[Advaita-l] Teachings on the Vijaya Yatra - Sannyasa Ashrama Ideal to attain Jnana

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 2 11:12:49 CST 2015

Chennai: JULY 1-4, 2012
Arrival at Sudharma
On the evening of July 1 2012, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji
started from Raja Annamalai Puram, Chennai and arrived at Sudharma to a grand welcome by a large
congregation of devotees. Here, the 100 year old heritage home of the Late Sri A. Sivasailam,
an ardent devotee of the Mahaswamiji, would be the abode of the Jagadguru during the
Chaturmasya Vrata. Ardent disciple, younger brother of Late Sri A. Sivasailam and Chairman of the
Chennai Vijaya Yatra Committee, Sri A Krishnamoorthy offered Dhuli Pada Puja.
The public function to welcome the Jagadguru began with a Veda Ghosha. Sangeetha Saraswati
Dr. Sudha Raghunathan rendered the prayer song, singing the composition, “Sharada Karunanidhe”
composed by the 34th Acharya of the Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji.
Vidwan Goda Venkateshwara Shastri welcomed the Jagadguru in Sanskrit. 
Sri A Krishnamoorthy then welcomed the Jagadguru by reading the Swagata Patrika in Tamil. He also
remembered the various visits of the Sringeri Jagadgurus to Sudharma ; the first one being in 1960
when Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji had stayed for 10 days, and his father
Sri Anantaramakrishna Iyer of M/s Amalgamations Group had the fortune of serving the Jagadguru.
His elder brother, Sri A. Sivasailam along with others had the fortune of welcoming
Sri Sri Mahasannidhanam and Sri Sri Sannidhanam in the late 1970s and in 1986, and also during
Sri Sri Sannidhanam’s 1995 Vijaya Yatra to Chennai. Sri A Krishnamoorthy ended the welcome with
prayers that, by the Satsankalpa of the Jagadguru, the people of Chennai develop greater faith and
devotion in God and the Guru. 
Sri B. Madhavan, Secretary of the Madras Sanskrit College in his address recalled the dictum,
“दर्शनादेव साधवः” and “तीर्थीकुर्वन्ती तीर्थाणि” from the Puranas that state that all fortune dawns
by the mere Darshan of saints and that even the holy places are made holier by the dust of saints.
Blessing the gathering with His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that
Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya protected Sanatana Dharma and expounded the Dharma Tattva
to everyone. In our Dharma, we have the system of Varnashrama – having the four Varnas and the
four Ashramas. The four Ashramas are Brahmacharyam, Garhasthyam, Vanaprastha and Sannyasa.
There was a time when the fourth Ashrama – the Sannyasa Ashrama – had become rare. Before the
time of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, it had become very rare to come across a Sannyasi.
Sri Adi Shankaracharya brought about a change and revived the Sannyasa Ashrama. One of the Names
in the Ashtottara Shata Namavali of Sri Adi Shankaracharya is परिव्राजाश्रमोद्धर्ता
Parivraajaashramoddharta – one who revived the Sannyasa Ashrama. 
The Jagadguru explained that Sanyasa Ashrama is ideal for a person who wants to attain Jnana or
knowledge. In the other Ashramas, one has to perform a number of Karmas. It is not easy to pursue
the path of knowledge in these Ashramas. Hence when one accepts Sannyasa, one can give up Karma in
accordance to the scriptures, renounce the world and have the opportunity to engage solely in
efforts toward attaining Jnana. Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada hence embraced Sannyasa, and also
gave Sannyasa to the qualified thus revived this Ashrama.
The Jagadguru pointed out that the Dharma Shastra texts including the Manu Smriti talk of the
four Ashramas and the Dharma associated with them. The most important Dharma associated with
Sannyasa Ashrama is Ahimsa. 
Even though Ahimsa is classified as a Dharma common to all in accordance to the dictum –
अहिंसा सत्यमस्तेयं शौचमिन्द्रियनिग्रहः । एतं सामासिकं धर्मं चातुर्वर्ण्येऽब्रवीन्मनुः ॥,
it has special significance for a Sannyasi. The vow of Ahimsa is taken at the time of embracing
Sannyasa – अभयं सर्वभूतेभ्यो मत्तः स्वाहा । Let all beings be freed of fear from me. Hence a Sannyasi
avoids moving around during the rainy season as doing so may amount to harming many small
living beings that emerge during the rains. The Sannyasi remains in one place for this time period.
This is called as Chaturmasya. The Sankalpa taken during the Chaturmasya Vrata explains the
observance of such Ahimsa as the very reason for observing the Chaturmasya. Hence the Chaturmasya
period is set aside for staying in one place, for contemplation on the Brahma Tattva and for
instructing eligible disciples. 
The Jagadguru said that while He preferred to remain in Sringeri during Chaturmasya, He had set
out on the Vijaya Yatra this year and had to observe it outside Sringeri in this Nandana year.
Many ardent disciples had requested to conduct the Chaturmasya at their cities. However, He had
chosen Chennai as it was fifty-two years before ago that His Guru had observed Chaturmasya in
Chennai and the disciples of this city had been longing for the Sringeri Acharya to observe
Chaturmasya here. 
The Jagadguru also mentioned that while He preferred the bliss of solitude, the study of
Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s Bhashyas, and in engaging in Japa, He was carrying out the responsibility
entrusted by His Guru, and felt it was His duty to satisfy the sincere request of devotees.
Hence He had preferred a peaceful location for observing Chaturmasya and acceding to the requests
of the devotees of Chennai, had informed Sri A Krishnamurthy about His decision during the
Alwarkurichi camp in May 2012. 
The Jagadguru also expressed that that devotees and disciples streamed in to have the Darshan of
their Acharya, to listen to His words, to receive His blessings, and they were prepared to travel
long distances merely to have His Darshan. The Jagadguru empathized with the difficulties
experienced by the devotees coming in to have His Darshan, and blessed them. 
The Jagadguru also noted that the current year’s Chaturmasya’s period would be an extended one
stretching into 3 months due to the Adhika Bhadrapada Maasa, and said that He would deliver
Upanyasas regularly for the benefit of disciples.
The Jagadguru also fondly remembered that it was exactly forty-six years ago, on July 1 1966
that He had reached Ujjain to surrender at the Lotus Feet of His Guru. The Jagadguru ended
His Anugraha Bhashanam stating that securing eveyone’s welfare was His daily prayer to Bhagavan,
and blessed that everyone have Shraddha in Dharma and live as a Dharmika.

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