A View of Santhigiri Ashram

A View of Santhigiri Ashram
Lotus Parnasala and Sahakarana Mandiram , Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Teerthayatra of Sishyapoojita Janani

Gurucharanam Saranam
The Teertha of Sishyapoojita Janani Amrita Jnana Tapaswini to North-West
Mukundan P.R.

The Teertha Yatra of Her Holiness Sishyapoojita Amrita Jnana Tapaswini, the Guru Apparent of Santhigiri Ashram was a unique event, which can no less be compared with the great journeys undertaken by sages in the past like Sri Buddha, Mahavir, Adi Sankaracharya or Guru Nanak. These sages through their spiritual odysseys were erecting the edifice of spiritual and cultural transformation. The journey of Sishya Poojita was such a journey for the spiritual and cultural renaissance of India as envisioned by Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru, the founder of Santhigiri Ashram. The teachings of Guru have inspired millions of people in and outside India as it add a fundamentally new perspective to the deep rooted spiritual and social maladies faced by our society today.
Sishyapoojita Janani was accompanied by 56 regular Teertha Yatris throughout the journey. The Yatra commenced on Thursday 5 November, 2009 from the Santhigiri Ashram Headquarters at Pothencode Thiruvananthapuram and concluded at Mumbai on 30th November, It involved more than 5000 KMs road journey through north-western India covering major cities and towns viz. New Delhi, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Waga Border, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Dehradun, Mussouri, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mount Abu, Devgarh, Meerut, Agra, Nad Dwara, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Daman, Vapi, Panvel, Karjat (New Mumbai) and finally Mumbai. Here I will not go into the details of the journey as a travelogue on her Teertha Yatra is about to be published soon as a book. I shall mention only the ideological significance of the Teertha Yatra, from my point of view. Certainly there are many things which I do not know. Whatever little she has mentioned about the Yatra, it has been mentioned in the travelogue along with the wonderful experiences of the Yatra itself.

The Significance of the Teerthayatra

If we look at the present times, we find that there is no dearth of spiritual teachings and ideologies. Volumes of sacred literature are available today, taught by both ancient and modern masters, prophets and Gurus. But when it comes to the realization or practice, we get to a blank. The spiritual aspirants as well as the laity get stuck at a certain level of experience unable to achieve the fullest and the ultimate. This is not the case of a particular religion but is an all-pervasive problem. The spiritual roof of mankind is blackened universally by the suffocating smokes of hatred, greed and suspicion. The lack of love we experience among ourselves is indicative of the distance we have created between ourselves and God. The old and new ideologies, religious and otherwise, have failed to take us forward on the path of peace and enlightenment. The Teertha Yatra of Sishyapoojita Janani was to generate love of God among the people.

Generally people seek immediate solutions to problems. They are unable to go in depth into the cause-effect relationship of problems. The faithful think that the Supreme Power who supposedly created this vast universe could perform any miracles. Let God perform a supreme miracle so that all living beings in the world live happily forever with love and respect. The great Gurus and Prophets wished it so and we too repeat their prayers. But such a miracle does not happen. What is the reason? God always said that the problem lies in you and the remedy also lies within you. Be conscious and alert to the laws of life - to Dharma. This seems to be the restraint of God and silent exhortation to humanity. Know the Dharma, the Will of God. The lifetime effort and mission of Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru has been this – to impart Dharma to the suffering humanity.

A large number of spiritual aspirants today are trying to hide in the pigeon holes of their own ‘Self’. They are taught in sophisticated terms and terminology that the ‘Self’ (Atma) is the Supreme God. This could be a wrong and misleading supposition. The ancient method of yoga was developed in a different age which is being promoted in different fashions today. Its effectiveness in calming the body and mind is indisputable. However, for salvation and soul evolution, there are impediments arising out of physical, spiritual, ancestral and karmic bonds with which every soul is affected. The tranquility of the Self cannot be gained without gaining freedom from the karmic bonds and spiritual entanglements accumulated in one’s soul. One can gain this inner freedom only through selfless service at the feet of the Supreme Guru. The path of Santhigiri Ashram is to overcome the spiritual and karmic difficulties through service at the feet of the Guru.

It is said that the nature of our Self is consciousness. But it is wrong to equate it with the Supreme Light. Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru said; ‘We are not the Supreme, but only part of it’. To equate ourselves with God was the first spiritual mistake or the ‘original sin’ of mankind. One of the four great enunciations of the Vedas itself is that ‘I am God’ (Aham Brahmasmi). A curse has befallen on the world due to this error. Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru conveyed to humanity when and how this spiritual error occurred and with what consequence. This is a new knowledge in the spiritual history of mankind. This was revealed from the Supreme Light to Santhigiri Guru Parampara.

The above said spiritual error occurred in the 3rd Chaturyuga of the present Manvantara and thereafter, due to Godly curse, the sages could not experience spiritual light. In the 7th Chaturyuga, the Supreme authorized Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara - three spiritual evolutes to impart spiritual knowledge to mankind. It was thus the Trimurty worship originated in the world. In the subsequent period, the first error was repeated in the Trimurty tradition also, because, contrary to the Will of the Supreme, the Trimurty were equated with the Supreme God. Again corruption took place in the dharma and karma of mankind. After the 3rd Chaturyuga, now it is the 28th Chaturyuga, which means we have lived with this spiritual fall for several ages.

The pollution in dharma affected mankind in various ways. In the passage of time, a priestly class came into existence. They developed complex rituals imposing discriminatory laws on the less privileged with the help of the rulers and fabricating mythical stories. The people were segregated on the basis of castes and true spiritual knowledge was denied to them. The birth of Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru was to initiate a correction in the dharma and karma of this ancient land. The Guru’s liberating ideology should reach at all door steps for the transformation of India. The Teertha Yatra was to touch the heart of India and its people.

The Sudras, the majority in the society, were encouraged to worship low and evil spirits and follow sinful customs and practices. The status of women was degraded. Women, irrespective of their caste tags, were bracketed under Sudra and denied of spiritual knowledge and enlightenment. The children and the family go astray if the women were ignorant of dharma, karmic and spiritual laws. The Indian society was thus degenerated into depths of despondency, superstition and ignorance. Dharma and Karma when practiced wrong for a long time cause wrong Karma Gati among the people, i.e. wrong karmic tendencies in the soul. The result of wrong Karma Gati would be perpetual misery and downward spiral of the soul and the family. When the families thus become victims of wrong Karma Gati, not only the family, but the society suffers, the nation suffers and ultimately the whole world. So fundamentally what is to be rectified and reoriented is the old perceptive on dharma, which we blindly follow not knowing what merits and demerits it would emboss on our soul and family. The Teertha Yatra was to carry this message to the Indian masses.

Due to wrong worship, ignorance about dharma and karma, the majority of Indians became physically and mentally raw and brutish without any positive inclinations in life. They became Sudra in the real sense. They stood divided even when the cultural and spiritual motifs of the society were being destroyed by foreign invaders. India was crushed. India became a slave country for centuries. Even at such times, the priestly and ruling class, excepting certain valiant men and women, sided with the foreign invaders for their selfish ends. Always, the ordinary people suffered. India suffered. The route of the Teertha Yatra showcased the symbols of this past suffering of India.

The people are used as tools and misguided in the name of religion and politics. How can India escape from this suffering? The spiritual renaissance initiated by Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru addresses this question. Guru said that Kaliyuga is the age of enlightenment for all, especially the Sudra. India is destined to lead the world again, Guru predicted. The Teertha Yatra of Sishyapoojita Janani, the Guru apparent of Santhigiri Ashram is the commencement of this spiritual renaissance of India.

According to Sanatana Dharma, propounded by the great Rishis, each time segment (yuga) in the creation undergoes cyclic evolution, in order that all living beings merge with the Supreme after fulfilling their full growth and potential. Therefore, the soul undergoes birth and death several times, to fulfill the dharma and virtues associated with each birth. Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru said that this cosmic plan is known as Yuga Dharma and each Yuga has its specific dharma. Contrary to this, in the present Kaliyuga, the dharma of the past Yugas – the Treta Yuga and Dwapara Yuga is followed, which is the worship of Devi-Devas (celestial beings and angels) and their propitiation through Yaga, Yagna and other originated in the world. In the subsequent period, the first error was repeated in the Trimurty tradition also, because, contrary to the Will of the Supreme, the Trimurty were equated with the Supreme God. Again corruption took place in the dharma and karma of mankind. After the 3rd Chaturyuga, now it is the 28th Chaturyuga, which means we have lived with this spiritual fall for several ages.

It was Sri Krishna, who, in the beginning of Kaliyuga, hinted about the dharma of Kaliyuga. He exhorted Arjuna to abandon the dharmic precepts that were being followed and surrender to Him (Krishna) as his spiritual guide, the Guru or Master. Krishna, the Guru imparted spiritual vision and experience to Arjuna. Krishna categorically stated that it was not through the learning of the Vedas spiritual realization is gained, but through surrender and devotion to the Guru, the embodiment of supreme enlightenment. Remember that Krishna was the spiritual authority of Dwapara Yuga, born in a Yuga Sandhi (confluence of two ages). He was born in Dwapara Yuga just before the commencement of Kali Yuga. His duty, accordingly, was to assess the past and delineate the dharma of Kaliyuga.

The Vedic tradition, however, refused to accept Krishna’s spiritual authority and in the subsequent period created myths that Krishna was an avatar of Vishnu, a God in the Trimurty tradition. Krishna was thus brought under the Vedic ritualism. The same mistake was repeated in the case of Buddha, who came subsequent to Sri Krishna. It was wrong to do so, because Krishna was a highly elevated soul, a Supreme Guru incarnate, who had transcended the spiritual planes of Trimurty and demigods. The visit of Sishyapoojita Janani and her entourage to Mathura and Vrindavan was to honor that great soul, the manifestation of supreme spiritual enlightenment.

Another revelation of Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru of paramount importance is about the difference between the spiritual status of Devi-devas and a Guru who has transcended the spiritual planes of devi-devas. Guru revealed that there are ten spiritual planes which a soul has to transcend before it could experience the Light of Brahman. The Trimurty and Devi Devas occupy a position up to and below the sixth plane. But the formless truth of the Soul is experienced only after the sixth plane. Sri Krishna was a soul who had transcended the eighth spiritual plane by birth itself. In the Kaliyuga, God is to be worshipped through the medium of the Supreme Guru who comes as the authority of the age.

How do we recognize that Supreme Guru? The Supreme Guru would have transcended the planes of Demigods and Trimurty, i.e. he should have at least transcended the seventh plane in spirituality. He would be a Trikala Jnani and should be able to look into what had happened in the past Yugas and act according to the will of Brahman to initiate corrections in Dharma, as required of the age. That Guru and His lineage will receive revealed words from the Supreme Light to guide humanity forward and his words will be the Vedas for the whole humanity.

Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru is that Supreme Guru, who transcending all spiritual planes, became the authority of the age, whose disciples get revealed words from the Supreme Light of Brahman. The dharma of Kali Yuga is to surrender at the feet of that Supreme Guru, in love and devotion, to attain spiritual enlightenment as well as worldly progress. This is the exalted vision of Santhigiri Ashram. Guru cuts away the wrong Karma Gati of the soul, of the family and the ancestors, which helps the birth of good progeny in the family with physical and mental prowess and also with spiritual vision and enlightenment. Guru removes all barriers of caste, religion, class and creed binding human beings in the love of God. Guru is the reflection, the veil of the impersonal or the formless Supreme Being, the Light of the universe. God is to be realized through the medium of Guru. This is the concept of Santhigiri Ashram. This path, Gurumargam, will join human hearts, liberating them from religious and cultural confinements and narrowness. The Teertha Yatra of Santhigiri Ashram went weaving new threads of spiritual enlightenment in the social fabric of India.

After Guru merged with Adi Sankalpam (merging with the Light of Brahman) on 6th May, 1999, Sishyapoojita Janani Amrita Jnana Tapaswini carries the Light and mission of Guru. Sishyapoojita was born at Kallar in Idukki district, Kerala. She became entitled to the position of the first Sishyapoojita, i.e. the venerated among the disciples in the Guru Parampara through her dedicated life of renunciation from the age of seven, when she met Guru for the first time.

Sishyapoojita receives revelations and transcendent visions from the Light of Brahman, through the medium of Guru and imparts this knowledge for the guidance of humanity. She carries out spiritual intercessions on behalf of the Guru parampara. Sishya Poojita undertook the Teertha Yatra as per the Will of the Supreme through the spiritually and historically important places in North-Western India carrying the message of Guru and performing unique spiritual intercessions inspiring hundreds of people from all walks of life including heads of spiritual, religious, political, social and educational institutions.

The soul of India is ailing. The Rishis and sages are not in peace due to the wrong course of dharma. So too are the ancestral souls who suffer unable to get elevated birth, due to polluted dharma and family institutions. We can understand from the long history of India that her heart has been rent several times by the bloody march of greed, violence and ignorance by depredators, religious crusaders and cruel invaders, both internal and external. The soil of India is soaked with the blood of thousands of innocent souls. Such places appear wearing the dark blanket of wrong Karma Gati. Only by the grace of the Supreme Guru, those places and the souls inhabiting in the subtle could be liberated from the misery and a new vista of light brought through the spiritual intercession (sankalpam) of Sishyapoojita, the Guru Apparent. While burning the old Karma Gati, she paves the way for a new Karma Gati to germinate in those places. Children carrying the light and mission of Guru will take birth wherever Sishyapoojita Janani went during her Teertha Yatra. This is how a Supreme Guru brings transformation to the soul of a society.

The Teertha Yatra of Sishyapoojita was a journey cleansing India of the age old dharmic aberrations. The dawn of change and spiritual rise of India is not far. One well known neurologist, who was accompanying Sishyapoojita in the Teertha Yatra asked her how she performs this spiritual intercession. Sishyapoojita’s explanation was that on reaching a place, she could see in vision the characteristic of that place and the souls connected with it. When these souls come under her observation, she does the sankalpam for their deliverance, or for a suitable birth subsequently so that they could work out the remaining karma. The spiritual visions of several other initiates travelling with Sishyapoojita corroborated with such revelations.

The Teertha Yatra of Sishyapoojita Amrita Jnana Tapaswini was a multifaceted exercise in building goodwill, peace and harmony among different sections of people apart from its deep rooted spiritual connotation. It was not only a spiritual journey, but an educative one spreading the light of knowledge and interaction among the different people and institutions of India in spiritually and historically important places. She visited dozens of important institutions and imparted spiritual bliss and wisdom to more than 3000 people during her journey of 25 days. The Teertha Yatra of Sishya Poojita Janani will ever be remembered in the spiritual history of India. It would take India to the zenith of spiritual glory.
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