A View of Santhigiri Ashram

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Great Spiritual Trunk Road of Guru Centric Spirituality

Gurucharanam Saranam

The Great Spiritual Trunk Road of Guru Centric Spirituality
Mukundan P.R.

Spiritual renaissance in this era involves an evaluation and rectification of errors that had occurred in the actions (karma) and spiritual practices (dharma) of our forefathers in the bygone time, Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru had said it.  A tree gets its nourishment from its root in the soil, through the sun, water or other sources. Likewise, our family tree gets nourishment from its spiritual roots and the virtue of forefathers. If the forefathers have lived sinfully, if the ancestral souls continue to dwell in the dark cells of spiritual contamination, one can expect a fall in the life-fortunes of the offspring too.  Even if we have the best car in the world, we cannot cruise ahead even a little if there is a traffic jam. Similar is the case of a person, a family or society as there are our predecessors on the same road which we travel. We cannot progress in our path when they are stuck before us on the same road. Only a Soul- Knowing Guru can regulate the traffic on this spiritual trunk road of ancestral souls.

We have before us the examples of many families, which once had seen good times, fall in the pit of penury and oblivion. Most of the families which had temples and deities installed in them are known to suffer subsequently, because after the time of their forefathers, who established such practices at home, their descendents neglected those rituals, as they were either not spiritually inclined or lacked the time and knowledge for those rituals.  As a result, the spiritual fabric of the family gets weakened, whatever is the merit or demerit of those practices, and it becomes the cause of ruin of many families. Pitru dharma in Indian religion relates to this question of uplifting the ancestral souls and the astral status of a family. 

Can we strengthen the spiritual veins of our family by resorting to the ancient practices of our forefathers? Would the deities and ancestral souls get appeased by the renewal of rituals and renovation of temples, which the astrologers invariably suggest for a cure from pitrudosha, the ancestral curses?  Experiences of several people prove otherwise. The ancestral problems do not get cured completely or get cured only partially, that too for a limited period of time, even if the suggested rituals are performed by the best masters and tantrics in the field. I would like to quote one experience which proves that such problems could be cured by sages in the Jnana tradition, not wedded to the ritualistic tradition.

Sri Chidambaran is a retired Deputy Director of Education in Kerala and lives in Harippad near Kollam. When faced with diminishing luck and unexpected calamities in the once well to do family, astrologers were consulted. They revealed that there was pitru dosha in the family. As a remedy, the astrologers suggested renewal of family temple, reinstallation of deities, performance of homa etc. that would have cost lakhs of rupees. Sri Chidambaran kept quiet as the expense was unaffordable. One day, Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru happened to visit his place along with his disciples. The grace of Guru fell upon him and his family. Guru told him that the problem in his family could be resolved without the rituals advised by the astrologers. It was as an experiment he agreed to the suggestion. After all it involved no rituals and expenditure, he thought.

Guru asked Sri Chidambaran to call a good astrologer to see the astral chart of the family. The astrologer revealed the problem of pitru dosha and advised the same remedy - renovation of temple and reinstallation of deities etc. When the astrologer heard that the deities and ancestral souls could be removed just with ‘sankalpam’ (mental resolve) of Guru without any rituals, he said, ‘We are viewing this scientifically. No individual, let him be any great saint, through his divine power and meditation, the purifying ritual cannot be performed.  If the deities observed in the chart were seen relocated by ‘sankalpam’ then only it can be believed’, he added.

 On the appointed day, Guru reached the house.  There was along with Guru, a little girl, now a sanyasini in the Ashram. A big crowd had assembled there as spectators including the family members. The astrologer also arrived in time. Guru along with the little child sat in the front hall. The astrologer also sat on one side. Guru asked the astrologer to see what all were there in the family. After calculations, the astrologer said that it was a very old family and had an age and tradition of approximately 800 years. It was known from the chart that there were such and such disturbed deities - Brahma Rakshas, Serpent (Naga) etc. in the spiritual background of the family. The astrologer also disclosed that the remedial measure was to build a temple and install them there.

Guru called the little girl to his side and said something. After prostrating before Guru, that girl sat in meditation for sometime.  ‘Now you see whether these have moved from here or not,’ Guru asked the astrologer.  The astrologer made his chart again and looked bewildered for a moment, for, he saw that the disturbed deities and powers have been vacated. Guru asked him to do the chart once again to prove it beyond doubt. He did as advised and was astonished to find that pitrus and deities have been vacated with the sankalpam of Guru. Guru explained the spiritual background of the family as seen in vision during the performance: When all the disturbed spirits were asked to move after bringing them in the radiance of Guru, all except one were ready to move. That one was a Sanyasi, a member of the family. It was standing there as the family head in the ancestral zodiac. Although it was desirous of salvation, it was unwilling to move without someone taking its position. The tears of this Sanyasi were causing the family to deteriorate. Only after Guru promised to take that position in the family, the Sanyasi became ready to move. Guru told that it was a soul which had immense love toward the family.

Sri Chidambaran demolished the old family temple and built a prayer hall for Guru in the house. It was the beginning of his journey on the great spiritual trunk road of Guru centric spirituality. It reveals another dimension of Sanatana Dharma, which is based on the ancient Indian rishi tradition (Jnana marga) different from the brahmanical temple tradition suffering from the ills of caste system.
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