Welcome Speech to Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda 2014
Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple, Frisco, Texas
July 3, 2014
Prakasarao Velagapudi, PhD
(This welcome speech was delivered welcoming Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji as a Chairman of Datta Yoga Center based on his own experiences, experiences of other devotees, and the concept of Guru Tattva so permeated in our sacred scriptures).
On behalf of all the devotees across the globe, it is my extraordinary opportunity to welcome Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji to Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple in Frisco Texas with open hands and with joy filled hearts.
Sri Swamji is all pervasive, all knowing and ever vigilant. His lustrous watchful eyes are piercing, penetrating, hypnotic, seductive, and inquisitive. He is silently, vigilantly watching his devotees constantly day in and day out and as a godparent waiting at your door steps either at your home, in your office, in the hospitals, near your car, on the waters, on the mountains or at the parties only to rescue his devotees from the impending dangers, protect them from serious accidents, save them from the death beds, revive them from certain deaths, weave the way for certain success, smash all the hurdled that prevent his disciples’ chances of progress, pave the way for spiritual development, remove the circumstances that are creating the stress and strain, infuse confidence and conviction, instill the principles of dharma artha kama moksha, exhort them to follow his time testing messages, and inculcate peace and tranquility which is the very nature of a human being. In Kaivalya Upanishad, we are reminded that, “He is the Supreme Brahman, the Self of all, the chief foundation of this world, subtler than the subtle, eternal. That thou art; thou art That.”
Why would Sri Swamiji care so much for his devotees? It is the very nature of our Sadguru Sri Swamiji. He came to the earth on His own volition only to chop off the limbs of hurdles and prune the thorny road for smooth travel. He is an embodiment of Godliness, epitome of compassion, personification of love, and quintessence of Upanishadic guru. Not only one is reminded of Adi Shankara’s description of guru, but also one would wonder whether Adi Sankaracharya has Sri Swamiji in his mind when he described the very nature of guru. According to him, guru “is calm, tranquil, childlike, silent, and free from distracting motivations. Although learned he should be as a child, parading neither wisdom, nor learning, nor virtue itself …. He is a reservoir of mercy who teaches out of compassion to the multitude. He is sympathetic to the student and able to act with empathy toward him.”
Swamiji is a Healer.
Sri Swamiji is a healer, a therapist and a doctor. The instruments to treat his devotees both internal and external problems are his words, speeches, look, books, music and touch.Every individual is a bundle of past experiences. Some good and some bad. Past is buried in our emotions, experiences and sentiments. Childhood experiences, experiences in the schools, experiences in the world of work, memory of the loss of loved ones, family problems, secret relationships, jealousy, greed, animosities, sibling rivalries, and other problems have sheltered a prison in the heart fortressed by layers of sorrows and torments. They have been built up layers over layers masking the real nature of human beings – joy and bliss. Sri Swamiji is a great psychologist, mentalist, Dhanvantari, and a healer. He can dive deep into castles of sorrows of his devotees, detect them, and slowly peel the layers one by one, day by day, to relieve the devotees from the agony and dismantle the built up castle. A devotee has to open up his heart chamber where these experiences are hiding and built secret castles of sorrows. It is our responsibility to allow Sri Swamiji release these hidden experiences and make them fly away to their respective places where they belong.
There is no point in cursing the sun for not providing light into the house, when we shut all the doors, closed all the windows and draw all the curtains on top of it. Sunlight is everywhere, but we refused to open the outlets. One has to be receptive to receive the ever-present grace, blessings and compassion of Sri Swamiji. The infected mind has to be cleaned and properly dressed up before the treatment filled with grace and kindness can be effective.
Magnet and Iron – Guru and Disciple
Over the years millions of people had Darshan of Sri Swamiji, attended his innumerable lectures, read his numerous books, listened to his various songs, attended so many pujas and festivals, performed pada pujas, and attended several other programs. Many people were attracted to Sri Swamiji, have become ardent devotees receiving endless compassion and divine grace. Similar number of people attended his programs but never became his devotees. The question is why some people are not attracted to him to receive his boundless compassion and love?
One has to approach a Guru with open mind, pure mind, pure heart, pure love and full of respect. If the mind is mired in doubts, superiority complex, ego, misgivings, tainted views, and indifference, chances of getting attracted to Sri Swamiji are very limited.
Sri Swamiji is an embodiment of ojas (spiritual energy) and tejas (attraction). Sri Swamiji has a magnanimous and magnetic personality that attracts countless number of people.Magnet has an attractive power that can be experienced by a piece of iron. The metal that has high iron content attracts the quickest. The metal that has low iron content attracts the slowest. The level of purity in the metal determines the level of attractiveness. Similarly level of purity of heart determines the level of attraction to Sri Swamiji. Just like a piece of rusted iron is not attracted to the magnet or a piece of iron muddled in the mud cannot be attracted to the magnet, a devotee with impure heart or a heart drenched in ego is not easily attracted to Sri Swamiji. Once you file the iron to remove the rust or wash the iron thoroughly to remove the mud, it gets attracted to magnet. Unless one purifies his heart, purifies his mind and develop devotion, he cannot be attracted to Sri Swamiji. As many of us have seen that one family member gets attracted to Sri Swamiji on the very first meeting, another member may take more time to accept, while others may not be attracted at all. God appears differently for different people depending on our level of purity, our past history and our current associations. It is amazing that Sri Swamiji will be appearing differently for different people. That is the divine Leela; and that is also a devotees either fortune or misfortune.
How can we come close to Sri Swamiji? Satsangh
Then how can we purify our hearts and minds? How can we rescue ourselves from the whirlpool of mud that binds us to the ground? How can we remove the rust from the purity? Satsanga or holy association with Sri Swamiji is the answer! It is through attending his discourses and Bhajans,listening to his songs and lectures, attending his healing and meditation music, watching countless videos, following his actions, and reading daily messaged from putt gum, one can experience the indelible impact on them to come close to him.Based on my own experience, many devotees developed abiding yearning for spiritual living, compassion toward other beings, love without expectation,self-confidence, self-esteem, and mindset to abstain from bad habits. They have even cultivated discriminatory power to distinguish between real and unreal, developed spiritual inklings, learned to slowly scrape off layers of ego, shun the sorrows, found peace of mind, nullified the accumulated negative karmas, imbibed divine consciousness, engaged in nama japa, practicing yoga and meditation, conducting daily rituals, and experienced the resolution to the perennial social, economic, health and family problems. Constant, continuous and incessant association with holy company of Sri Swamiji will make all the difference. Every devotee should be cognizant of the virtues of association with Sri Swamiji to reap the benefits, to receive the grace, anddispel the darkness.
Sri Swamiji also talks about Arishadvargas and their negative effect on the personality of the individuals. These six passions of mind or desire are kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (attachment), mada or ahankar (pride) and matsarya (jealousy). They prevent man from functioning effectively in all walks of life, traveling toward spiritual growth and even thinking of attainingmoksha or salvation.Sri Swamiji’s divine rapture washes off the impurity, lifts off the dense fog of insecurity and dispels the darkness in the thick forest of life.
Let us pray Sri Swamiji to help us, guide us, goad us, scold us, chisel us, shape us and protect us from being the victims of Arishadvargas.Sri Swamiji can free us from the grip of these six enemies. How do we request Sri Swamiji to free us from these dacoits? Let us remember one stanza in Siva Ananda Lahari composed by none other than Adi Shankara, who extolled the greatness of Lord Shiva and sought his forgiveness to help kill our vices. Since Sri Swamiji is none other than Lord Shiva himself, let us beseech Sri Swamiji sincerely to help kill the thieves that have occupied our inner mansion and stealing our precious spiritual gems.
Maa gacha twa mithasthatho Gireesa bho mayyeva vasam kuru,
Swamin adhikaratha mama kamana kanthara seemanthare,
Varthanthe bahuso mruga madha jusho matsarya mohadaya,
Sthan hathva mrugaya vinodha ruchita labham cha samprapsyasi., 43
Don’t go here and there, Oh God of mountains,
And please my lord always live in me,
For Oh primeval hunter, within the limits
Of the dreary forest of my mind,
Live many wild rutted animals like envy, delusion and others,
And you can kill and play thine sport of hunting,
And enjoy there yourself.
In addition, we can also believe that it is only through the grace of Swamiji we may be able to escape the inescapable burden of life filled with problems as poisonous as Cobras venom, and endless desires that torment and burn us with passion and attachments. Laksminarasimha Stotram guides us as to how to request the help from Sri Swamiji to pull us out from the well infested with crocodiles.
“In the forest conflagration of worldly existence (illusion), I have been burned badly. Even every single hair on my body has been burned by large and fearful columns of flames. In this condition I have sought the shelter of the cool lake that is Your lotus feet. O Lakshminrsimha, provide me the support of Your hands.”
Experience the Sweetness of Swamiji
Many writers described Lord Krishna’s transcendental form as sweet, and his beautiful face as even sweeter.Many devotees have described Sri Swamiji’s form and his faceas compassionate, sweet, loving, caring, concerned, kindhearted, empathetic and so on. How do we describe His Sweetness / madhuram? Two verses in Madhurāṣṭakamcomposed by Sri Vallabhāchārya aptly describes Sri Swamiji for all the devotees:
His utterances are a delight, His actions/behavior are a delight,
His attire(s) is (are) a delight, His conduct is a delight.
His moving/wandering is a delight; His roaming is a delight;
Everything about the Lord of delight is a delight.||2||
His flute is a delight, His flowers (that He wears on ears or as garlands) or (dust of His feet) are a delight,
His hands are a delight, His feet are a delight.
His dance is a delight, His friendship is a delight;
Everything about the Lord of delight is a delight.||3||
Please welcome our Delightful Sri Swamiji to Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple by joining our delicate hands with a round of applause to all of our delight.