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Sri Parakala Matham Acharya Thirunakshatram Celebrations

From: Rajeev Karamchedu (rkaramchedu_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 16:03:17 PDT

Sri:
Sri Brahmatantra Swatantra Parakala Guru Paramparayai Nama:

Namaskaram to all the Bhaktas

I would like to make a follow-up request to Sri Srinath's email
regading the upcoming Parakala Matham Acharya Thirunakshatram
Celebrations. Details regading these celebrations can be found at

http://www.parakalamutt.org/festivals/jeeyartn.shtml


We are not at all strangers to the knowledge regarding
the Divinity of the Sri Parakala Matham. Even a fleeting glimpse
of the fact that the Matham's Moolavar, Sri Laxmi Hayagriva once
belonged to Bhagavan Ramanuja, causes an outpouring of desperate
longing to catch a glimpse, even a Shadow maybe, only hoping to reach the 
Lord's Lotus Feet as a result. There may be some temporary obstacles
that prevent us from doing that right away, but nothing prevents us
from doing the next best thing, which is to participate in the
Acharya Thirunakshatram festival by our generous sponsorships.

Through the sankalpams of our sponsorships and our donations, Our Divine 
Acharyas always have the knowledge of our small efforts like these,
just like a mother knowing her baby's efforts to roll-over and crawl.
They will always remember our innermost and sincere desire to drown in
the ocean that is Sriman Narayana and will bless us to reach The
Lotus Feet. Further, it gets even more easier when we have some
very easy opportunities to participate even if we are not there
physically! The Acharya Thirunakshatram Celebrations include
several kaimkaryams we can sponsor, like sponsoring the Sudarshana
Homam and Annadaanam.

Swamy Desikan in His Sudarshana Ashtakam and Shodasha Ayudha Stotram,
very beautifully describes the Sri Sudarshana Chakram. Praying the
Sudarshana Chakram is like praying to Dashaavataaram. Sudarshana Homam
grants us the boon of "adhyaatmika chintana" and turns our mind towards
the Lotus Feet of the Lord for ever. It is a path to Moksha.

Another event we can sponsor is Annadaanam. In Taittiriya Upanishad, it is 
said

"annam bahu kurviita | tad vrutam | ...."

"accumulate plenty of food. That is the duty..."

Here Bhrgu was advised to accumulated food not for himself but to feed the 
students of the gurukulam and also for maintaining and serving the seekers 
who might come to him for instruction. Annadaanam is a very auspicious 
daanam which nurtures and helps the propagation of
knowledge.

Later in MahanNarayanopanishad, also referred as Chaturtha Prasna,
we find the passage that is called Annastuti:

"yaabhiraadityastapati rashmibhisthaabhi: parjanyO varshati
parjanyEnaushadhi vanaspataya: prajaayanta: Oshadhivanaspatibhirannam
bhavatyannEna praaNaa: praaNairbalam balEna tapastapasaa shraddhaa
shraddhayaa mEdhaa mEdhayaa manIshaa manIshayaa manO manasaa shanti:
shantyaa chittaM chittEna smRuti:(g) smRutyaa smaara: smaarENa vi~jnAnaM
vi~jnEnaatmaanaM vEdayati tasmaadannaM dadantsarvaaNyEtaani dadaatyannaat 
praaNaa bhavanti bhutaanaaM praanair manO manasascha vi~jnaanaM 
vi~jnaanaadaanandO braham yOni:"

This passage is called Annastuti since it praises food as a source
of nourishment for our senses which gives us strength,
which in turn lets us attain self-control (tapas), observe religious 
practices like Ekadashi Vratam, Dwadashi Vratam etc.
As a result of this and anushTanam, our metal faculties are fine tuned, 
which results in mental control, which leads to calmness of mind during 
meditation. Eventually we reach a stage when we can concentrate upon the 
Lotus Feet of the Lord and finally attain THEM.

Annam is therefore considered a liberating agent and Annadaanam is
one of the most sacred daanams that can be done. Be a part of it by 
sponsoring a Annadaanam. There cannot be a better occasion to do it than our 
own Acharya Thirunakshatram celebrations!

http://www.parakalamutt.org/festivals/jeeyartn.shtml

Sri Laxmi Hayagriva Para BrahmaNe Nama:
Sri Laxmi Hayagriva Divya Paaduka Sevaka, Sri Brahmatantra Swatantra 
Parakala Guru Paramparayai Nama:

-- Rajeev Kumar Karamchedu
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