13th July 2019
Vyasa Puja Festival part 4
I meant to chant with all the devotees in the temple this morning but I had to do another conference call with the devotees from Australia. They were celebrating Vyasa puja festival. So, I had to address them. So, I could not join chanting with the devotees in Pandharpur temple this morning. So, Vyasa puja celebrations are on and I am getting greetings and reports of Vyasa puja from here and there, in Chittagong, Bangladesh and this and that. So, the news reports and greetings are continuously pouring in.
The main Vyasa puja where I was present was celebrated in Pandharpur on Shayani Ekadashi day, here. This is the biggest day for Lord Vitthal, Pandhuranga, when few million people, we can’t just call them people. Devotees! His devotees come to take His darshan on Shayani Ekadashi. Shayani means go to sleep. So, Lord goes to sleep and with that Chaturmasya begins. And Lord is going to rest for four months now. So, before He goes to sleep, take little break, devotees like to come and see the Lord. So that was today, the big day in Pandharpur. And by that kind Lord I was given birth on the biggest day of Lord of Pandhari, Pandharinath.
There were days when we were celebrating my birthday, Vyasa puja on wrong day, day or two days before the actual day, Shayani Ekadashi. Then we got out calculations together and I realized that I was born on Ekadashi and not on navami. We were celebrating two days before Ekadashi, but, that happened may be 10-15 years ago. So when we got calculations together and I realized, the Lord has given me birth on Shayani Ekadashi day- the biggest day of the Lord in Pandharpur.
I was kind of moved and I remember my emotions stirred up to know, to realize that I was born on Shayani Ekadashi day, when millions of devotees come to Pandharpur to have festivities and main festivity is Netrotsav, Nayanotsav, feast for eyes, that is festival. I want to see the Lord, Lord of their hearts, face to face, Panduranga, Vitthala! And that is the day devotees meet the Lord; it is milan day or reunion day. It is a big day and I realized I was born on that day. I was touched and moved and emotion stirred up and then we started to celebrate Vyasa puja on Shayani Ekadashi day and also started celebrating that in Pandharpur, we have stuck to Pandharpur.
Vyasa puja celebration in Pandharpur is the reason that I was born on Shayani Ekadashi day. It is the biggest day in Pandharpur.
So, on Vyasa puja day that was yesterday herein Pandharpur and devotees were making their offerings and of course many of you wrote your offering and I have them in the form of Vyasa puja book here. And this year we had one book for English offerings and another one for Hindi and Marathi offerings. So, devotees were making offerings yesterday and devotees are writing through email.
Tukaram, all the way from California, he was meant to come here, but he couldn’t manage. So, he wrote offering and like that many other devotees also sending their offerings through email. So, they were glorifying as is expected. And then during my Vyasa puja address yesterday I made one point that these glories, qualities that they were focusing on, Guru Maharaj is compassionate, Guru Maharaj is this and so many things. I said or I reminded that these are qualities of Krishna and some of these qualities Lord has invested in all of us. The source of these qualities, originality of these qualities, and cause of these qualities is Lord. So, anybody who needs to glorify that should be the Lord or unknowingly you are glorifying the Lord, although I am in front there, in front of the assembled devotees. But these qualities are qualities of the Lord. So, He should be getting the credit.
One-time Prithu Maharaj, he was being glorified by the citizens. Prithu Maharaj, he was empowered, Shaktyavesha avatar of the Lord and his citizens were praising him, glorifying him. But then Lord made the point, what is the need to glorify me separately? The glories of the Lord, Supreme Personality of Godhead, they exist eternally, they prevail, satyameva jayate. So why are you glorifying me? Glorify the Lord. Lord’s glories are worth glorifying. They are always there. So, he was encouraging his citizens. He was kind of directing them towards the Lord. Don’t make me the target. Don’t think I have this quality. These qualities eternally exist in the Lord. So, I was just remembering Prithu Maharaj’s stand that he took. Why me? Why me? These glories are always here eternally. Glorify the Lord.
I also reminded all assembled devotees that the qualities they are talking about and glorifying those qualities in their spiritual master, I reminded that those qualities are also in you. You are also qualified and you are also then worth glorifying because you belong to the Lord and Lord has invested qualities in you also. So like father like son. So, qualities of the father are found in the son or daughter. So here there are two fathers- spiritual master is father and ultimately Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, Panduranga Vitthala, He is father of all of us.
So, the spiritual master’s qualities are in his disciples, in his followers and Lord’s qualities are also in every living entity, every part and parcel has qualities of Krishna in minute quantity.
So do not forget or you should remember or remember to revive those qualities and become qualifie. Knowing this, that everyone, all other devotees are parts and parcels of Krishna, they belong to Krishna, they belong to spiritual master, they are Krishna’s property, they are spiritual master’s property, realizing this is also enough to know that connection with Krishna, spiritual master’s connection. So those devotees around us, we should be respecting them, do the ‘amanina manadena’ as Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s expectation, offer all respect to others.
So why offer all respect to others? Because they belong to Krishna; they are Krishna’s devotees and they are worth glorifying or taking refuge in or worth glorifying. They are qualified and hence we should offer all our respect to others as they are Krishna’s and spiritual master’s.
So, Vyasa puja festivals are going on. Devotees have assembled. From Melbourne Australia, 40 devotees have gathered and they are having celebration there. So today here in India or in Pandharpur, we are leaving for Aravade, my birth place. Several hundred devotees are leaving for Aravade. There we will have, not exactly Vyasa puja but something, something. Some welcome and some procession in the village and my family and friends and villagers would be greeting us. Those who will go there, they will have opportunity to not just visit my birth village but birth place also. It is a little house, where I was born and that has been preserved. So those who will go there they will get to see exact location where I was born on this day, 70 years ago. So, this is part of yatra.
We had festivities for 4 days in Pandharpur and then we have 3 days of yatra beginning with Aravade, my birth place today and tomorrow we will proceed to Kolhapur, Mahalaxmi darshan and katha there. And then we will go Krishna Venna confluence, place visited by Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, where He found Krishna Karnamrita. So, we will visit it tomorrow and remember, recite Krishna karanamrita little bit. And then proceed to Dehu, the birth place of Tukaram and day after tomorrow the whole tour of birth place of Tukaram and that birth place is very special amongst many features. This is where Vaikuntha viman (plane) landed some 400 years ago. Tukaram boarded the plane and took off as thousands witnessed this departure of Tukaram for spiritual world. So that is day after tomorrow. So, like that we have beginning with today, 3 days yatra, pilgrimage ahead of us.
Okay so we will stop here. I have to get ready to leave for Aravade. Keep chanting with attention and see you another day chanting japa.
Mean time I want to mention one book has been published. This is in Hindi, based on japa talks. 70 japa talks have been selected and printed in Hindi and because it is a 70th Vyasa puja, we have printed 700 copies and they are kind of being sold on big demand. You could try to get your copy and it could be helpful, inspirational guidelines in this book.