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Sooktis (verses Of wisdom from Hindu Scriptures) by Sri Swamiji were clearly explained in His lively style everyday during the lockdown for Corona. They were extremely enlightening in various ways and we appreciated very much the often entertaining illustrations by our Sadguru! Whenever Sri Swamiji was unable to conduct the Satsanghs, we were fortunate to have Sri DattaVijayanandaTeertha Swamiji do so.

We thank them both sincerely and wholeheartedly! Here we present some of them for the benefit of all!

Enjoy and imbibe the teachings in your daily lives!

Photo credits: Avadhoota Datta Peetham

Gangā pāpaṃ, śaśī tāpaṃ, dainyaṃ kalpatarustathā Pāpaṃ tāpam ca dainyam ca, ghnanti santō mahāśayāḥ ǁ

The waters of Ganga wash away all sins. The cooling rays of the Moon dispel afflictions. The Kalpavriksha tree dispels poverty. However, with their mere darshan, great saints and Sadgurus can wash away all sins, afflictions and poverty at once! Only Sadguru can wash away all our sins, destroy the 3 afflictions and wipe away the 8 forms of poverty! Difficulties and happiness keep arising in every life. Even animals and birds experience both happiness and difficulties! You may ask- how do joys and sorrows arise in our life? The answer to this is simple- it is your own past deeds that result in the present happiness or sorrows that you are experiencing! Our today’s good deeds will result in happiness in future. Likewise, bad deeds give rise to sorrows. This lesson is repeatedly taught by all our Dharma shastras. But our ancient Maharishis, who were an epitome of compassion, also revealed the ways by which we can reduce our load of sorrows.

Pibati grasati pāpiśṭamiti pāpam- as it troubles the sinner it is addressed as pāpam. Puṇati śobhanam karma iti punyam- that which causes the wellbeing of the person is punyam. This is how texts on grammar define the terms pāpa and punya (sins and merit).

Now comes the question- how can we reduce our balance of sins? By bathing in the waters of Ganga, to certain extent, the sins can be washed away. This sookti re-iterates affirmatively that Ganga washes away the sins of those who bathe in her waters.

The Moon, with its cooling rays, dispels all agonies. He reduces the intense suffering caused due to the Sun’s rays and showers us with coolness. This is how it is normally explained. The great poet Kalidasa has remarked- yathā prahlādanāt chandraḥ-

Mental afflictions undergone by us are classified into three- ādhyātmika, ādhibhoutika and ādhidaivika. At times, along with the mental agony we also suffer physically. By worshipping the Moon-god, we are freed from the three afflictions and we experience coolness. Chandramā manasō jātaḥ- from this Vedic statement it is evident that Moon-god is the presiding deity for the mind.

We discussed that bathing in Ganga washes away our sins and that worshipping the Moon-god reduces our afflictions. Now let us talk about the wish-fulfilling Kalpavriskha tree. Kalpavriksha frees us from feelings of helplessness. Helplessness is an outcome of dire poverty.

Remember that the object which we give away in charity in this birth, comes to us abundantly in the next birth. The person who performs annadana will never experience food shortage in his next birth. The person who distributes clothes in charity, will never face shortage of clothes in the next birth. The person who gives away his daughter in marriage (kanya-dana) will obtain good progeny. The person who refrains from any charitable deed suffers miserably due to poverty and difficulties. He experiences all the 8 forms of daridra (poverty).

What are the 8 forms of poverty (ashta daridra)? Wearing torn clothes, eating stale, leftover food or orts (remainder food from another’s plate), inability to digest food, begetting physically handicapped children, being widowed at a very young age, obtained a termagant spouse or a spouse who is badly addicted to evil habits, losing the parents at a very young age, and being born blind – these are the 8 forms of poverty. The person who seeks shelter under the Kalpavriksha tree never suffers from these 8 types of poverty.

Among the three solutions offered earlier i.e. bathing in Ganga, worshipping the Moon or seeking shelter under the Kalpavriksha tree- each of them has the ability to dispel only certain problems. Ganga can remove sins, Moon-god can remove affliction and Kalpavriksha can remove poverty. However, great saints have in them the ability to remove all the 3 types of sufferings at one go! In other words, only our Sadguru has in Him the capacity to free us from all forms of sufferings! Those who listen to Sadguru’s teachings, put them into practice and talk/ behave humbly with Him have no need to travel to Ganga to dispel their sins. This must not be wrongly construed that they must never bathe in sacred rivers. Understand that Sadguru has the ability to wash away all our mental sins and give us the required purity!

Merely with the darshan of a Sadguru, the person can be freed from all sins! Having darshan of Sadguru’s feet showers all auspiciousness. The nectar called Sadguru’s discourses dispels all forms of sorrows. Receiving teertham from His sacred hands is the kavacha that protects all nadis. Receiving prasadam from Him dispels every disease!

Compiled by Parimala Eshwarla

Rājapatnī gurōḥpatnī, bhŗātrapatnī tathaiva ca Patnīmātā svamātā ca, pancaitē mātaraḥ smŗtāḥ ǁ

Meaning: The king’s wife, the teacher’s wife, elder brother’s wife, mother-in-law and own mother – all these five are in the position of a mother and are to be revered as such.

The words ‘māta’ and ‘amma’ are extremely sacred. Māta means mother. Uttering these words fill us with radiance and brightness. Janani is yet another synonymous word for mother. Along with the mother who has given us birth, the Lord has given us another 4 mothers. Earth, which permits the newborn to be placed on her soon upon birth, is addressed as Bhu-māta (Mother Earth).

The cow that supplies milk for the nourishment of the newborn is called Go-māta. The river that gives us water to drink thereby quenching our thirst is called Ganga-māta. For helping us lead a righteous life and giving clear directives about mandated duties and prohibited deeds, Vedas are called Veda-māta. We remain forever indebted to these four mothers who nourish and enrich our lives.

Māti paricaryām karōteeti mātā – as she tends to all the needs of the newborn she is called māta. This is the common meaning. As she carries the foetus in her womb for 9 months, she is māta- this is another meaning. As she measures the good and bad about her child, she is māta- this is the third meaning. The treatise on grammar offers 10 different meanings to the word māta’.

Although the mother is addressed as ‘amma’ or ‘māta’ a slight difference exists between the two words. ‘Māta’ is Sanskrit word while ‘amma’ is in Telugu, Kannada etc. Amma is also at times used in Sanskrit.

Amma is she who showers love and affection. She who, along with love and affection, also imparts training and discipline is māta. In our lives, 5 such mātas exist.

The king’s wife should be respected as a mother. She cannot be looked upon as a sister, sister-in-law, friend; she is in the position of mother. The one who protects and governs us is the Lord. The term king includes even the elected representatives. His wife is in the position of a mother. This is evident in the way we address the Goddesses. We say Mother Lakshmi, Mother Saraswati and Mother Parvati.

He who dispels ignorance in us is Guru (teacher). Through this good advice, Sadguru alone can destroy the impurities of this birth and the sins of the past births as well. He is the form of the Supreme. As such Guru’s wife is also a mother to us. The word ‘bhrātra’ stands for elder brother. The elder brother is in the position of a father. He is the head of the family, after the father. He is the one who helps clear the indebtedness towards the father. As such, elder brother’s wife also takes the position of a mother.

Likewise, the mother-in-law (wife’s mother) should take the position of a mother. She was responsible for giving birth to his wife, who helped him in carrying forward his family lineage by giving birth to his progeny. For this reason, a man must treat his mother-in-law as his own mother.

The mother who has given him birth, who has shared her blood and flesh with him, is to him a supreme goddess. The Vedic statement na mātuḥ param daivatam- emphatically states this. Sri Shankara Bhagavadpada swami has said – kuputro jāyēta kvacidapi kumātā na bhavati- that there can be a bad son, but a wicked mother can never exist in creation.

Compiled by: Parimala Eshwarla

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