[ Discourse on Sri Vidya was delivered by His Holiness Paramacharya Chandrasekara Saraswati Swami of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham at Vuyyuru, Andhra Pradesh on January 25, 1968, at 8 P.M in the temple of Siva on the invitation of members of Sri Vidyanilayam, Vuyyuru. His Holiness Telugu speech was translated by me.]
I was invited to this village by Sri Vidyanilayam. For this Vidyanilayam the name "Sri Vidyanilayam" is very appropriate. Generally, every human being wants happiness and thinks happiness comes through money. So, he struggles to earn money. All peoples in this world are surviving and living by learning one Vidya (learning one subject). There is no real happiness in this way of living. Life is very sorrow due to obstacles and insults that we face in our daily life. Professions for earning food is called arts (kalaas). What we do for happiness is called vidya. We get happiness if we do work with our own interest without expecting results. Even arts (kalaas) will become vidyas if we do not expect the result. "ardha kareecha vidya". In this sanskrit word "cha" means very important. Aim of vidya is for happiness (ananda). Ultimate aim of vidya is for peace and equality. Then only, vidya will become immortal (amruta). All other works are like dead things.
We may sing well, write good poetry, draw picture. Even after retirement, some people learn music through veena, flute, etc; read sastras (holy scriptures). All this we do are not for food. They are for happiness. If we use music, poetry, drawing etc. arts (kalaas) for earning food, they are going to die. They can not give happiness. Plays on the stage, cinema, etc. unholy things are considered as arts (kalaas). It is not true. Many woman lost their character with the attraction of movies. Their attraction is only confined to the screen of cinema. They do not know how to behave outside of their acting.
We cannot get real happiness through some vidya if we learn it only to know some extent. Real happiness and taste come only if we learn to our complete satisfaction and able to teach others. Therefore, all should learn one Sri Vidya which gives peace, equality, happiness along with other vidyas for earning food. After learning sri vidya, we should give to others and others to next generations. It is called sri vidya because we ourself have taken it as vidya. The main goal of sri vidyanilayam is to teach such a sri vidya.
We are human beings or men or women. 'Man' means the descendants of 'Manu'. We have natural tendency to think or utter (mananam) a mantra repetitively. So, the English word 'man' is also indicates the same. Therefore, for human beings the mental happiness (manasika) is only important. Other than that is for animals. Animals only know body pleasure and sorrow. In fact animal is better than man if man wastes his mind. Animal does not acquire money. It does not have debt. "Vidya viheenaha pashuhu". In fact, without vidya man is inferior to animal. The world can only be perfect with educated people. We are all Purushas (men). It does not mean that we left out women. Every one will have a vidya. Every living being is purusha (man). "poornam anena iti purushaha". We are eligible to enjoy the things if we can give a part of it to God who gave us every thing. If we do not offer to God and try to enjoy ourselves, then we may be called thieves. "yoo bhumkteesthena eeva saha".
They are many methods to offer happiness to God that comes from
Vidya. A poet 'Pushpadanta' described in Sivamahima Stotra in the
Trayee saamKhyam yogaha pasupati matam Vaishnava miti Prabhinne prastaaNe paramidaha madhaha padhyaMiti cha Ruchinam vai chitryat rujukutila nanapadha jusham Nrunaameeko gamyastvaMasi payasa marnava eva
Trayee means three vedas. We have to study three vedas and perform karmas (duties) mentioned in the vedas.
Saamkhyam: our body is inertial. It will die. It does not have intelligence. We are knowing this through our experiences. I am fatty, I am block, I am suffering from illness, etc; in all the sentences " I " indicates consciousness with body. But consciousness is different from body. This knowledge i.e "consciousness is different from body" is called 'saamkhyam'. This is also known as "prakruti purusha vivekam".
Yogam: Our mind is always thinking either good or bad. We are suffering from unable to follow the mind. Even we try to control, it will not be stable. If we keep it stable, we get immense happiness (ananda). Through yama, niyama, aasana and pranayaama, mind can be controlled. This process is generally called Yoga. "yoga chitta vrutti nirodhaha".
Pasupati matam Vaishnavam: We can not create a single grain of rice. We enjoy with whatever is there in the world. God alone can create such a world with his power. His power is greater than that of us. If we follow his power, we will feel happy. With faith in God, whatever we do should be offered to God. Religion (saivism, vaishnavam, etc.) teaches the process of offering to God. If we say Siva is God, then it is Saivism or alternatively if Vishnu is God, it is Vaishnavam.
When people go to new village, some may go directly to the place where they have work. Some may go around the village and come to their place of work. Similarly some may get happiness directly and some may get after seeing the world. Ultimately all reach the same place.
Some people travel towards the east, some people towards the west, some other to south and some other to northern direction. How can all reach the same place? When we go towards the east, we reach the ocean within a few miles. In the West about 800 miles away near Dwaraka we see the ocean. In south, around 500 miles away near Kanyakumari and in north about 5000 miles away near north pole we see the ocean. River Narmada is flowing towards the west. Ganga and Yamuna towards the east, Brahmmapurta towards the south, Shona river towards the north. All rivers finally join the Ocean. As like the ocean which surrounds the Earth, God dwells in all living beings (jeevaas). Whatever we do, it will go to the God. I mentioned earlier that when we offer some thing from our daily works to God, it will become immortal (amruta). There are 64 arts (kalaas) to earn our daily food. The 64 gaps in Sri Chakra represents these arts. The place where various professionals offer their work to God is a temple. Some people question that when the temple is filled with a lot sounds from bhajans, bells, other musical instruments, how can we meditate? Temples are the places where one has to donate some thing, but not for meditation. There are some holy places adjacent to rivers meant for meditation. Some people, for examples laborers who live with daily earningis are not able to meditate. If those laborers donate a small part of their daily earnings to God, it will become a great pooja (shoda-shoopa-chara pooja) to God. Poor people, women, children, old people may also offer to God leaves or flowers or fruits to their capacity. Rich persons can donate money for temple and it can be used to beautify the temple. Educated persons can donate their tapas with their mantras and anushttanas. By sharing their happiness in this way, great power can be created. Temples are the places to create such a great power. It is very important that the power should be properly distributed to the people. It is not wrong that we are unable to visit a temple daily. For the sake of those who are unable to visit the temple, temple bell is an indication for taking their food which has to be offered to their village temple. The habit of ringing bell in the village temple came for this purpose. This way, cooked food in the every house will become prasada of God.
When we share happiness, we develop real equality and love. Before starting speech, every one say "sisters and brothers". How can all be sisters and brothers? Is it true that all audience should have single mother and father? Yes! it is possible to have single mother and father for all. Our father is God (Eswara) and mother is Para Shakti. "Jagataha pitarau vande".
The concept of sister and brother is not only applicable for human beings but also to animals, trees and plants. All these are created by God only. When we realise this, no one will do harm (himsa) to others. Meat eaters will stop meat eating. Buddha said "Ahimsa paramo dharmaha". But, many Buddhist sanyasins in China and Burma take meat as Bhiksha. In those countries, every Buddhist has to take sanyasa for some time before their marriage. What is the use of big theories when they say something and do other way.
Can we live without doing harm (himsa) to other living creatures? Every grain of rice and wheat is a living being. When we eat each grain, we are killing a living being. How to avoid the sin of killing? If we eat fruits and juice without seeds, we may not do any harm to any living beings. "Jeerna parnaa sanaha rushayaha". Rishees (sages) lived by eating ripened leaves and fruits. We can eat lemon, orange, mango, banana etc., fruits after they are fully riped and fall down from the tree. When unripened fruit is plucked, some liquid comes from the tree. It indicates that tree suffers with pain due to plucking unripened fruit. Fully ripened fruit automatically detaches from tree. In addition, fully ripened fruit including neem and tamarind will have good taste. Every ripened fruit is tasty. Why do we take such a satvic food? "Aahaara suddhu satva suddhihi". Those who take satvic food (fruits) will not get kama (desires). Such a people need not undergo family planning and need not kill their babies in the womb. Such people will not be affected by angry. World peace automatically comes when such a satvic people increases.
Will such a food be sufficient to world population? It may not be available. Many people are now dedicating their life for their country and also suffering. Some people commit suicide for what they believe. If satvic food is not available, people should keep on fasting and die. Youth should come forward for this. Finally the required population will remain for available food and there will not be hatred and wars in the world.
Will such a food give enough strength? One Britisher, who thought that Indians were uncivilised and their food was inferior, was getting meat every day from America and eating. He started learning Sanskrit. One day he heard "sushkai trunaih vanagajaha balino bhavanti" a Sanskrit sloka. After hearing, he changed his mind. He stopped eating meat. Which animal is powerful? Elephant. What does it eat? grass and leaves. Some of you may question that lion is powerful than elephant. It is not so. Lion can not pull heavy weights like bull. So the works of non-vegetarians like lions will be useful for destruction. For satvikaharies, entire world looks beautiful.
World looks beautiful if our hearts are good. We like our tender children even if they slap us. If others slap us, we will also try to slap them. We may otherwise report to police and go to court. If we do not have capacity to do so, we will weep and keep quite, but not happy. Enjoying the entire world i.e insults and sorrows with love and affection is called "Sri Vidya".
Some people say that they are unable to concentrate on God. They asked me what they can do. My advise to them is to learn any one vidya for happiness but not for food. God is "Veda vidya swarupa". Education is nothing but devotion to God. This is one type of Sri Vidya. Another type of Sri Vidya is there with mantra, chakra and upasana. This is not required for all people. But what I taught till now about Sri Vidya in this discourse is required and interested for every one.
My advise is that Sri Vidyanilayam should teach not only the arts
for food but also one Vidya for happiness. It should take students with a
desire to learn the above two. Then only, the name, "Sri Vidyanilayam" will
be appropriate for this educational school. For this, I pray for the
blessings of Goddess and God Srimantripura Sundari Chandramouleshwara.
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