Advaita Bhakti through Contemplative Practice of Narayaniyam (ABCPN - 0)

Srikrishna Ghadiyaram srikrishna_ghadiyaram at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 27 14:12:03 CST 2002

Hari Om !!

--- "V. Krishnamurthy" <profvk at YAHOO.COM> wrote:
> ABCPN - 1
> Sloka No.2. (Ref. nAryaNIyaM: 92 – 9)
> gangA gItA ca gAyatry-api ca tulasikA
> gopikA-candanaM tat
> sAlagrAmAbhi-pUjA para-puruSha
> tathaikAdashI-nAma-varNAH /
> etAny-aShTApy-ayatnAny-api kali-samaye
> tvat-prasAda-prasiddhyA
> kShipram-mukti-pradAnIty-abhidadhur-R^iShayas-teShu
> mAM sajjayethAH //
> Tr.:  Oh Supreme Lord! there are just eight items,
> namely, Ganga, Gita,
> Gayatri, Tulasi leaves, sandal paste, the worship of
> sAlagrAmaM, (the fast
> on the day of) Ekadasi, and Divine names. These
> eight, declare the sages,
> are the easy and quick means of salvation, in this
> age of kali-yuga, as
> they secure Thy abounding grace. May I be intensely
> devoted to them all!
> Comment:  This asks for karma-yoga with the stamp of
> bhakti. There is a
> folk-lore sloka which says:
> gangA gItA ca gAyatrI govindeti catuShTayaM /
> catur-gakAra-samyukte punar-janma na vidyate //
> Meaning, ‘when the four that begin with the
> consonant ‘ga’ are integrally
> present, the four being gangA (the river Ganges),
> gItA, gAyatrI and
> govinda (standing for God’s name) – then there is no
> rebirth’.
> Bhattatiri  adds to these four, another four.
> In the orthodox traditions initiated by Adi Sankara,
> five main divinities
> are worshipped through a sophisticated ritual called
> pancAyatana-pUjA,
> meaning, worship at five altars. Here the divinities
> are worshipped not in
> their human-like forms but in certain symbols in the
> form of stones, which
> are nothing but certain rock formations available in
> specified locations
> in India. The Sun-God, sUrya, is taken as inherent
> in certain crystals
> normally found in Vallam in Tamilnadu. The Mother
> Goddess, shakti, is
> represented by the svarNamukhi stone found in the
> bed of the river of that
> name in the Andhra region of South India. VishNu is
> worshipped in the
> sAlagrAma (mentioned in Bhattatiri’s verse) stone
> that can be had in
> plenty on the bed of the river Ghantaki in the
> Himalayas. Ganesa is the
> red shonabhadra stone found on the bed of the river
> Sone flowing into the
> Ganges. Finally shiva is the bANa-linga found in the
> Omkarakunda of the
> river Narmada, near the island of Mandhata. The
> pancAyatana pUja tradition
> may be taken as an intermediate stage between the
> worship of Godhead with
> form and the worship of the formless, because the
> symbols of worship as
> rock formations have certainly a form but they are
> also formless in that
> they have no parts like face, eyes, body, hands and
> feet. It is as though
> the devotee trains himself to take the mind from the
> formful to the
> formless while at the same time allowing full scope
> for one’s devotional
> feelings. Also note that in the Vaishnava tradition,
> the emphasis is on
> the sAlagrAma to such an extent that the other four
> of the pancAyatana
> tradition are mostly omitted.

Would you please elaborate on :

1. Ekadasi Vratam: I have some doubts on this subject. What is the
prescribed method of observing this Vratam. There is so much of confusion
about the actial times of Ekadasi thithi timings. How is it reckoned for
the observance of this Vratam. Is it to be observed from dawn, even though
the tithi starts later ? or should it be observed strictly as per the tithi
timings. Any other important practical guidelines that should be kept in
mind while observing this Vratam in the present times.

2. More details and comments on Panchayatana puja willbe helpful.

Om Namo Narayanaya !!f


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