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HH Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana Chinna Jeeyar Swami

From: Indira Prativadi (srinprat_at_erols.com)
Date: Mon Jul 10 2000 - 21:08:07 PDT

Srimathe Ramanujaya Namaha:

Dear members of the list,

As some of the members have mentioned earlier HH Sri Tridandi
Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swami
presided over the Shree Yagam conducted here at the Shiva Vishnu temple,

Maryland. This was a concluding 5 day celeberation
of Sri Mahalakshmi Koti Kumkuma Archana started in February. HH's
participation in the pujas, His discourses, just His presence
here had profound devine effect on all those who came in contact with
Him
during the function. I would like to share the write up by son
who is a student at Penn State with you all, which speaks for itself as
to
what effect the Jeeyar had on his young mind.


" My Venture into Vedic Wisdom
  *****************************
I returned home from my fourth semester in college mentally and
physically
tired from the recent finals week.  As my sophomore year came to a
close, I
looked ahead to a relaxing summer, a time for me to regroup.  I have
always
been what you might call a regular Hindu in that, I pray to God, and I
know
general Hindu concepts and practices.   So, having been away from home
for
so long, one of the things I had been looking forward to was the
opportunity
to come to the temple again.  Along with home life, it's a sort of
reservoir
where I can come and replenish myself spiritually.  I had also known
that
His Holiness Sri Sri Sri Tridandi Sriman Narayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar

Swamiji was to visit our Sri Siva Vishnu Temple once again in early
June.
        I was sixteen when He was last here in 1996.  I attended all the

events while He was here, and had become somewhat acquainted with who He
was
and what He did.  Although I recognized Him then to be an elevated soul,
I
was still too immature to fully absorb the whole situation and be
internally
touched by it.  In addition, the circumstances of this visit would be
different from 1996 in that there has been an on going, unprecedented
Koti
Kumkuma Archana for Sri Laksmi in the preceding four months, presided
over
by one of the Jeeyar's disciples, Sri Prahalladachaya, and the Jeeyar
was
coming to participate in the final 5 days of it.  My mother and sister
had
been consistently participating those preceding months, and I had been
hearing from them while I was in school about how much of an enriching
experience it has been for the both of them.  So, having matured since
the
last time such an event had happened at our temple, I looked forward to
the
spiritual experience of being in the company of enlightened souls.  All
my
anticipation, however, could not have prepared me for the impact our
Jeeyar
had on me during those five days.
        It is difficult to articulate the profound messages I took away
from
those five days, but I can say that through the Jeeyar's words I believe
I
have gained some understanding about the essence of Hinduism, where all
its
universality and greatness lie.  At this stage in my academic career and
my
life in general I have been asking questions as I seek to grasp my
identity.
Many of the more spiritual questions, which I felt were the most
relevant
ones, led me to probe my religion, and I was looking for answers of what

role my religion plays in my life.  I sought concrete answers, and
received
them through our Jeeyar Swami.  It was because of him that I was able to

understand that we worship the all pervading supporter of the universe
around us, visible and invisible, Sriman Naaraayana.  The issue of these

many deities that Hindus worship and in many cases quarrel amongst each
other about was put to rest by the Jeeyar's explanation that we worship
the
Lord of the universe in a form we choose, a form He accepts but is not
limited to.  Indeed the power that sustains everything and everyone is
intangible to us, invisible but all-pervading; we call it God, and we
give
it many forms which we worship, but I was then able to realize they are
all
One.
        Our Jeeyar preaches the importance of the partnership between
knowledge and practice.  Only when combined are the two of these useful
and
beneficial.  The Swami emphasizes the importance of doing things
correctly,
and yet He does this without making worship seem tedious or
painstaking.  He
simply says that there is a right way and a wrong way of approaching
God;
just as a specific key will fit a specific lock, so too are there
specific
protocols to be followed when worshipping God.  But equally or more so
than
protocol the Swami speaks of the devotee.  Because after all, we worship
God
not for His sake, but for our own.  It is for our own enlightenment that
we
seek the divine power.  So what does the devotee need to do get closer
to
God?  I learned from our Jeeyar that I should accumulate qualities that
bring me closer to the divine, such as compassion, selflessness,
respect,
discipline, and suppress those qualities which disrupt and hinder that
progress, including anger, passion, greed, and jealousy.  The positive
qualities that help us reach God are automatically manifested if we
accumulate bhakti towards God.  I say accumulate, because, for most
people
like me, it is something that must be generated and nurtured.  True
bhakti
in most cases is not innate, like a mother's love for a child. I saw
that my
bhakti must blossom through the consistent practice of worship.  It is
with
bhakti that one should worship God, rather than fear or sense of
obligation.
The only way for me to generate that kind of love and bhakti towards God
is
constant prayer, but how does one pray to God constantly?  The Jeeyar
cited
the Bhagavad Gita on several occasions when answering that question.  It
is
through devotional service to the Lord.  I realized then that
worshipping
the Lord should be integrated into my lifestyle, it should become a way
of
life.  It does not begin and end with going to the temple and praying,
or
standing before a picture or an idol and praying.  Indeed, one's
lifestyle
should facilitate service to God.  The Jeeyar clarifies that one can
still
do normal things and live a "normal" lifestyle, but live it righteously
and
in service to God.  Any work we do (karma), let it be an offering to
God.
This message taught by the Jeeyar is found in the Gita too.  I found it
to
be the answer to many questions.  My attempt to put this philosophy into

practice, however weak or incomplete an attempt, has brought me peace of

mind, and a sense of control and bliss.
        What was further inspiring was the actual Yagna being performed
on
those days by the temple priests and the disciples of the Jeeyar.  The
Jeeyar and His diciple acharyas brought to our temple immense energy
which
diffused into and visibly changed all who were present.  Our temple
priests
were now ritwiks, and they performed the Yagna hand in hand with the
acharyas.  The atmosphere during those five days was a window into Vedic

times, an era where the wisdom of Hinduism was undiluted and practiced
in
its purest essence, where such yagnas were performed all the time,
everywhere, by enlightened men and women.  The Yagnaacharya, Sri
Narasimhacharyalu, a disciple of our Jeeyar and a teacher at His Vedic
school, represented those Vedic times with his flawless performance of
the
Yagna.  Every action of his was done with precision, dignity, and pride,

just as the sages and enlightened bhaktas did a long time ago.  One
could
close one's eyes and leave the parking lot outside the temple where the
Yagna was being done, and forget the present, inhaling the holy smoke
from
the kundas, feeling the energy of the voice of Sri Narasimhacharyalu as
he
perfectly recites the various slokas and Vedic mantras, and travel back
in
time, escaping the trivial worries of modern life behind.
        I look back upon those five days as a period in my life where I
was
able to open my eyes, and become aware of a more subtle, and more
relevant
knowledge than I had ever been previously exposed to; a knowledge that
is
applicable in all arenas of life.  It made me grateful and proud to be
born
into my culture and to have at least scratched the surface of the Vedic
wisdom which always existed but was manifested from the deep meditation
of
the most austere, wisest sages in the beginning of time.  My experience
with
His Holiness Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar, has pacified the turbulent waters
of
life, giving me the knowledge, and through which, the strength to
progress
day by day, spiritually and otherwise.  I have by no means done justice
to
my experience, what I learned, how I improved myself as a person and my
life
in general during the Jeeyar's visit to our temple.   It is beyond the
scope
of this chronicle and of my ability to articulate.  I write these words
with
no other motive than to express to some extent my humble gratitude, and
to
pay my sincere respects to the great souls of the past and present who
have
made available to anyone seeking it the divine knowledge which can
dispose
of all ignorance and lead to happiness and liberation.  Jai Sriman
Naaraayana!


- Phalgun Prativadi
   June, 2000 "






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