Heiligen in de Bhutabhrteshwarnathmandir Mandir, deel 3
Vervolg op eerdere blogs over de heiligen, die op de muren van de tempel Bhutabhrteshwarnath mandir staan afgebeeld. Aaradhakananda, een bewoner van de ashram, beschrijft op zijn Facebook-pagina het leven van deze heiligen. Een unieke kans om tien Vaishnava heiligen en Alvars (heilige poëten) te leren kennen en over de diepe kracht van overgave te lezen.
Er is weinig bekend over de middeleeuwse dichter, zanger Surdas uit Braj, het land dat met Heer Krishna wordt geassocieerd. Zijn composities zijn in Braj Bhasha, een Hindi dialect, geschreven. Dit werd in die tijd onbeschaafd gevonden. Een aantal werken van Surdas tillen dit dialect naar een literair niveau.
Surdas werd blind en in een arm gezin geboren. Hij werd het slachtoffer van verwaarlozing en misbruik. Op zesjarige leeftijd verliet hij zijn ouderlijk huis. De grootste zegen in zijn leven was dat Sr
Vallabhacharya, de gevierde vertegenwoordiger van de Shuddhadvaita, ook bekend als het pad van Pushti (Pushti Marga), hem accepteerde als zijn discipel. Van deze leraar ontving hij de kennis van de Hindu-filosofie.
Hij leerde de Sreemad Bhagavata en andere hymnes in het Sanskrit uit zijn hoofd.
In prachtige poëzie beschreef hij het leven van Krishna, vooral de jeugd van Krishna. Hij deed dit met zoveel levendige details, dat hij door geen enkele heilige of dichter, zelfs niet door Kalidasa, is geëvenaard. Het is een van de wonderen in de literatuur hoe een blinde dichter de kindertijd van Krishna in zo’n minutieus en kleurrijk detail, stap voor stap, kon beschrijven. Het trekken van Krishna’s eerste tand, het spreken van Zijn eerste woordje, het nemen van Zijn eerste zelfstandige stapjes, zijn allemaal gelegenheden voor Surdas geweest om geïnspireerde liederen op te componeren, die tot op de dag van vandaag, in honderden huizen, worden gezongen door moeders die baby Krishna in hun eigen kinderen zien. De liefde die hem als kind was ontzegd stroomt door zijn liederen; de liefde die in Braj door Yashoda, Nandagopa, de Gopis en de Gopa’s over Bala Gopala werd uitgestort.
Surdas is nooit getrouwd, want hij zag Sri Krishna als eeuwige minnaar en hij portretteerde de liefde tussen Radha en Krishna als etherische liefde – de onweerstaanbare aantrekkingskracht van de individuele ziel voor de Superziel van van de Jivatma voor de Paramatma.
Pundalik in his young age never looked after the needs of his father Janudev and his mother Satyavati. Both Janudev and Satyavati were great devotees of lord Krishna. when Pundalik got married he started ill treating them all the more. Tired of his tyranny, the parents decied to go to Kashi. Hearing his parents plans, Pundalik and his wife decided to join them. His treachery continued so much that he made his old parents walk throughout the journey while he and his young wife rode on a horse.
On the way, they came across the hermitage of the great sage, Kakkut muni. Tired of the long journey, the group decided to spend some days there. That night, Pundalik lay awake and witnessed something remarkable. Just before dawn, he saw a group of beautiful, young women dressed in dirty clothes, enter the Sage’s hermitage. They did chores like cleaning the floor, fetching water and washing the Sage’s clothes. After that, they went to the prayer room. When they came out, their clothes were spotlessly clean and they disappeared. Pundalik wasn’t alarmed seeing this but rather he felt at peace. He kept thinking about the incident the following day. He wanted to be sure that he was not dreaming but had truly witnessed such a glorious incident. So he remained awake again. But this time, he got closer and decided to speak to the women.
“Who are you all?” “We are Ganga, Yamuna and all the holy rivers of India. People take a dip and bathe in us to wipe away their sins. The impurity of their mind, body and souls make us dirty. That’s why you see our clothes in such filthy condition.” Pundalik was amazed with their answer.
“But you are the biggest sinner of all because of the way you treat your devotee parents.”
This was a rude awakening for Pundalik. He realized his mistake and changed his ways. He served his parents well and looked after all their needs and comforts. Seeing Pundalik’s sincere devotion, Krishna appeared to Him and stayed forever in Pandharpur with Rukhmini Devi.
Father of Sri Andal. He heard lots of stories of Sri Kannapiran from his parents and because of this, he got attracted towards Sri Vishnu. In the early days of his life, he learnt all the Vedams, etc. Both of his parents were also had a great bhakti towards Sriman Narayanan. And like them, Vishnu siththar was also very much attracted by Sriman Narayanan and his Gunams. So, he started to dedicate his life to Sri Vishnu. He selected to dedicate Garlands and flowers to the Perumal.During the time of Periyalwar, Madurai (belonged to Pandiya Kingdom) was ruled by the king named Vallabha devan. He conquered lots of kingdoms in North and the chozha kingdom also. As a routine, he dressed in another way to find how is ruling and how are the people of his kingdom. While passing through a house, he saw an elderly person sitting in front of the house. The king had a great doubt:how to overcome this birth and what to be done to be good in the next generation. As the person in front of the house seemed to be brighter, the king thought he is the right person to be asked and he can find the solution from him.
The King asked the Andhanar about him. The Andhanan answered that he comes from the north after having the sacred bath in Ganga River and now he is traveling towards Sethu River. Hearing this, the king bow down towards him and asked what is the best way to be happy in the next life piravi and for what should be done in this life. The Andhanan said:”The necessary things for the night, should be found and searched in the day time, The thing for the rainy season, had to be found and saved during the sunny seasons; thing needed for the older age should be saved in the younger age itself; like that, to be good in the next life, we should be good in present life- help others, follow our rules and regulations etc. If we are good and follow the said rules according to our religion, one can attain all the things what he wanted in the next life”.
Perialvar (originally called Vishnuchittar) was an ardent devotee of Narayana and he used to string garland to Perumal every day. He was childless and he prayed to Perumal to save him from the longing. One day, he found a girl child under a Tulasi plant in a garden inside the temple. The child was goddess Sri Mahalakshmi herself incarnated to test the devotion of alvars. He and his wife named the child as Kothai, who grew up as a devotee of Krishna, an avatar of Perumal. She is believed to have worn the garland before dedicating it to the presiding deity of the temple. Periazhwar, who later found it, was highly upset and remonstrated her. The Lord appeared in his dream and asked him to dedicate only the garland worn by Andal to him. The girl Kothai was thus named Andal and was referred as Chudikodutha Sudarkodi (lady who gave her garland to Vishnu). The practise is followed during modern times when the garland of Andal from Srivilliputhur Andal temple is sent to [Tirumala Venkateswara Temple] on Garudotsavam during the Tamil month of Purattaasi.
Kodhai was brought up by Vishnuchitta (Periyalvar) in an atmosphere of love and devotion. As Kodhai grew into a beautiful maiden, her fervor for the Lord Perumal grew to the extent that she decided to marry only the Lord himself. As time passed, her resolve strengthened and she thought constantly about marrying Ranganathar of SriRangam.
In North India, Radha Rani is celebrated as the “Queen of Bhakti (devotion).” Similarly, in Tamil Nadu Andal is remembered for her pure love and devotion. In the Thiruppavai, Andal, as a Gopi in Ayarpadi (Brindavan),emphasizes that the ultimate goal of life is to seek surrender and refuge at the Lord’s feet
Tulsidas was born to Hulsi and Atmaram Shukla Dube in Rajpur, Uttar Pradesh, India in 1532. He was a Sarayuparina Brahmin by birth and an incarnation of Sage Valmiki, the author of the Sanskrit Ramayana. It is said that Tulsidas did not cry at the time of his birth, and was born with all thirty-two teeth intact. In his childhood, he was known as Tulsiram or Ram Bola. From Family Man to Ascetic:
Tulsidas was passionately attached to his wife Buddhimati until the day she uttered these words: “If you would develop for Lord Rama even half the love that you have for my filthy body, you would certainly cross the ocean of Samsara and attain immortality and eternal bliss”. These words pierced his heart. He abandoned home, became an ascetic, and spent fourteen years visiting various sacred places. It is said that Tulsidas met Lord Hanuman, and through him had a vision of Lord Rama. Immortal Works:
Tulsidas wrote 12 books, the most famous being the Hindi Ramayan — “The Ramcharitmanasa” that is read and worshipped with great reverence in every Hindu home in Northern India. An inspiring book, it contains sweet couplets in beautiful rhyme in praise of Lord Rama. “Vinaya Patrika” is another important book written by Tulsidas. Wanderings & Miracles:
Tulsidas lived in Ayodhya for some time, and then shifted to Varanasi. He once went to Brindavan to visit the temples of Lord Krishna. Seeing the statue of Krishna, he said, “How shall I describe Thy beauty, O Lord! But Tulsi will bow his head only when You take up bow and arrow in Your hands”. The Lord revealed Himself before Tulsidas in the form of Lord Rama with bow and arrows. It is believed that Tulsidas’s blessings once brought the dead husband of a poor woman back to life. The Moghul emperor in Delhi came to know of this miracle and sent for Tulsidas, asking the saint to perform some miracles. He declined saying, “I have no superhuman power, I know only the name of Rama”, only to see himself behind the bars. Tulsi then prayed to Lord Hanuman as countless powerful monkeys invaded the royal court. The emperor released him from prison asked Tulsi to pardon him.
Thondaradippodi Alvar was born in a small village by name Thirumandangudi Chola region in Prabhavayear, Margazhi month, Krishna chaturthi, Tuesday in Kettai (Jyestha) Nakshatram (star). His father ‘Veda Visaradhar’ belonged to “Kudumi Sozhiyap Brahmanar” community also called as “Vipra” people, whose routine work is to praise about Sri Vishnu. On the 12th day after his birth, he was named as “Vipra Narayanar”. From an early age, bhakti towards Sri Vishnu was taught to him. He grew up with a well rounded personality. It is said that in spite of being good and beautiful and dedicated to Sri Vishnu bhakti, he had no conceit and treated all the aged persons and persons who are younger to him in the same way and gave proper respect to them.
As per Hindu legend, he was under the influence of a prostitute, whose mother stole all the money of Vipra Narayanan. When he was need of money, Vishnu came in his rescue and showered gold in him. He became a staunch devotee of Ranganatha of Sriranganathaswamy temple. He constructed a big Nandhavanam (flower park) in Srirangam, where various beautiful and fragrance flower plants are grown. He worshipped all the bhaktas of Sri Vishnu and put the podi (Small tiny dust particles), which is found under the feet of them in his head and sang songs in praise of Sri Ranganathar. From then, he was called as “Thondaradipodi Alwar”.
Karmabai is born on 20 January 1615 in the family of Jiwanji Dudi in the village Kalwa situated in Nagaur district. She was a devotee of Krishna. The story goes.like this- karmabai’s father was a devotee of Krishna. Once upon a time he had some work outstation, so he instructed her to offer the food(bhog) to the lord and then only she should eat. Karma was very young and she took this instruction literally. Next morning she woke up early and made khichdi for offering the Lord. But when she saw that lord is not eating, sincere towards her father’s instructions innocent karmabai did not eat anything at all and waited for lord to come and eat first. Lord Krishna was very impressed by her determination and showed mercy on her. He himself appeared before her and ate her khichdi. He followed the same routine till her father didn’t returned. When her father returned she told him everything, her father was shocked in disbelief and thus karma pleaded lord to appear once again to prove her true. And very merciful lord Krishna did appeared once again to keep his devotee’s respect. She took living samadhi on 25 July 1634.
Jananabai or Jana, a little girl whose mother before dying told her to go to Pandharpur where she would be protected by Lord Vitthal, Jana came to Pandharpur. Janabai was all along an ardent devotee of Lord Vitthal, and she was also gifted with poetic talent. She composed many divine religious verses in abhanga form. Her sentimental poetry is replete with her love for the God. In several poems on devotion which she had composed, she described herself as ‘Nam’s maid-servant’ or ‘Namdev’s Jani’. Jana used to give water to the outcastes. Jana took care of Namdev’s family, Namdev being a very devotional man. She was one of the closest followers of Namdev and had no ambition other than to serve Namdev and sing the glory of the Lord Vithoba. Compassionate Lord Vitthal used to help her in her daily domestic chores and He was also singing for her. Once the priests of the temple accused her of the theft of an ornament of the Lord, but she told them that the Lord was sleeping in her house the previous day and that the Lord must have left the ornament in her house. People laughed at her, thinking her as a liar. She was awarded a punishment. As she approached the iron pole where execution was to take place, gazing at it and singing the Lord’s eulogy, the pole melted and flowed into the river. Her devotees, seeing this miracle, began rejoicing, for God had saved His devotee and shown her greatness to all. Those who had condemned her, were shocked and realized their horrible mistake. She was thus protected by the Lord.
In one of her poems she sang, addressed to Lord Vithoba, indicating her ambition: “Let me undergo as many births in this world as you please, but grant that my desires are fulfilled. They are that I see Pandharpur and serve Namdev in every birth. I do not mind if I am a bird or a swine, a dog or a cat, but my conditions are that in each of these lives, I must see Pandharpur and serve Namdev. This is the ambition of Namdev’s maid.”