[Advaita-l] Teachings on the Vijaya Yatra - Pilgrimages Purify

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 8 15:36:03 EDT 2017

 (Around the beginning of the month, a nugget of Wisdom from the Jagadguru may be posted
on the Chaturamnaya list : http://lists.advaita-vedanta.org/cgi-bin/listinfo/chaturamnaya )


Thiruvananthapuram: APRIL 15 – 18, 2012
 Royal Reception at Thiruvananthapuram
On arrival at Thiruvanantapuram in the evening of 15th April 2012, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji
was received at the entrance of the city with Poornakumbha by Padmanabhadasa Sri Uthradhom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, royal scion
of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom Maharaja. The Jagadguru was taken in a grand procession with royal honors to the
Vaikuntam Hall where Sri Uthradhom Tirunal performed Dhuli Pada Puja. The Jagadguru halted at Krishna Vilas Palace for the
following two days and performed the Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja in the Palace.   
Blessings for Sri Uthradhom Tirunal
On 16th morning at 8 am, the Jagadguru had Darshan at Sri Ananta Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram.
Later in the evening, the 90th birthday celebrations of Sri Uthradhom Tirunal was held in the presence of the Jagadguru in the
Kunthira Maligai complex. In His Anugraha Bhashanam, the Jagadguru said that people spend the days of lives in various ways.
The Shastras state that – 
 कृतगङ्गोदकस्नानं श्रुतभारतसत्कथम् ।
 अर्चिताच्युतपादाब्जं दिनं कल्पशताद्वरम् ॥
- That day is deemed purpose in which one takes bath in the Ganga (visits a Tirtha Kshetra), hears to the glories of the Lord
in Itihasas such as the Mahabharata, and worships the Lotus Feet of the Lord. A day spent in such pursuits is better than a eon
spent otherwise.
The Jagadguru further explained that today, people feel it is a great achievement and their lives have become exalted if they
travel abroad. They take pride in saying “I have travelled to Britain thrice, America twice etc.” Gone are the days when people
used to consider themselves blessed after a pilgrimage to Tirtha Kshetras such as Kashi, Rameswaram, Badri or Sringeri. 

Remembrance of the Lord and chanting the Lord’s Name, rids one’s minds of impurities such as anger, greed and prepares one for
spiritual Sadhana resulting in the final liberation. 

If one does not spend the days in these manner, what is the point of living long? Let not people forget that the life is not
about living long but about living purposefully. 

The Jagadguru said that the Travancore Maharajas are historically known to have been noble rulers, without forgoing the worship
of Lord Ananta Padmanabha even a single day, and ruling through His Grace. The Jagadguru also recalled the strong relationship
between Travancore and the Sringeri Sharada Peetham. A number of records in the Peetham are testimony to this relationship.
These include a Srimukha written in 1838 by the 32nd Acharya of the Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji to
His Highness Sri Swati Tirunal as well as many letters written by the Maharajas of Travancore including Sri Swati Tirunal
(in 1842). Even to this day, an offering is submitted to the Sringeri Jagadguru on behalf of the Travancore Maharajas on the
occasion of Chaturmasya Sankalpa on Vyasa Poornima and on Saraswati Puja day during Sharan Navaratri. 

This relationship culminated in the early 20th century when His Highness Sri Moolam Tirunal donated lands associated with
Sri Adi Shankaracharya in Kalady to the Peetham during the time of Jagadguru Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji.
The Maharaja also helped in the construction of temples for Sri Adi Shankaracharya and Goddess Sharada at Kalady. 

The Jagadguru said that His Paramaguru and Guru have also visited Thiruvanantapuram to a reverential reception of the
Travancore Maharajas. Sri Uthradom Tirunal has stuck to the path shown by his predecessors and shown great respect and devotion
whether he visits Sringeri or receives the Jagadguru at Thiruvanantapuram.
The Jagadguru mentioned that the 90-year royal scion has been living a devoted life. Every day of his is filled with purpose as
he worships the Lord and has His Darshan. The Jagadguru Specially blessed Sri Uthradom Tirunal. 

On the morning of April 17th, the Jagadguru performed Puja to Goddess Sharada followed by Kumbhabhisheka at the Sharada temple at
Mulayara in Thiruvanantapuram. In the evening, the Jagadguru visited the Oriental Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram containing
about 75000 manuscripts and perused the collection. The Jagadguru then moved to the Sringeri Shankara Math in Thiruvanantapuram
and performed the Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja. The following day, the Jagadguru blessed the devotees at Thiruvananthapuram with
Mantrakshata and having spent 15 days in the state of Kerala, started for Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu.

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