[Advaita-l] VIRAJA HOMAM
karavind09 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 00:16:23 EDT 2022
Thank you Kameswara Rao garu, that you liked the note.
On Thu, Aug 4, 2022 at 9:33 AM KAMESWARARAO MULA <kamesh_ccmb at yahoo.co.in>
> Dear Sh.Aravinda Rao Garu,
> I will repost your
> attachment as Text as it could be usefull to many and attachemnts are not
> readable in the List mail.
> Sri Guru Padaravindarpana Mastu
> *A Ritual to Go Beyond Rituals (VIRAJA HOMA)*
> Every human being gets an identity immediately after his or her birth. A
> person is born into a religion, a cultural
> group, a nationality, or race. This identity is *given* by the people
> around. Vedanta calls it a superimposition on the
> otherwise free being. Probably this is what Rousseau, who was also
> influenced by the Upanishads, meant when
> he reflected, ‘Man is born free but everywhere he is bound in chains.’ The
> identity becomes a baggage which the
> person cherishes, protects, or even fights and dies for it. Some
> individuals shake off this identity at some point of
> time and assume a different identity such as a religion, a creed, or
> ideology. But we do not normally think of a
> situation in which a person shakes off all identities, rises above all the
> identities created by man and stands on
> par with the Supreme Divinity.
> Such a situation is envisaged in the *sanātana* *dharma*. It is also a
> highly revered stage in a person’s life. I was an
> eager witness to this ritual a few days ago. On the 31st of March and the
> 1st of April, the sacred banks of the
> river Godavari *(RAJA MAHENDARAVARAM /*
> *RAJAMUNDRY*)in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh witnessed a
> two-day long ritual in which two
> obliterated their identity and entered identitylessness. Swami
> Tattvavidananda Saraswati of the Arsha Vidya
> Gurukulam, a sage who is already established in such stage, inducted the
> two seekers to attain such stage. Of
> the two, one is an elderly person, an active politician turned into a
> serious student of Vedanta. He discharged his
> duties as a *gṛhastha* and *vānaprastha*. The other is a *brahmacārī*, a
> student of Vedanta, in his thirties who is
> already leading a semi-recluse life in an ashram in Uttarakasi. The two
> persons got a new identity and emerged
> as Swami Sivaramananda Saraswati and Swami Sthitaprajnananda Saraswati.
> This is a ritual going back to Vedic times, in which persons who reflected
> on the ephemeral nature of the world,
> who contemplated on the nature of one’s real self and thus weakened their
> worldly bonds, chose to leave home
> and became identityless. A very ancient example in our books is the sage
> Yajnavalkya in the *Brihadaranyaka *
> *Upanishad*, who took leave of his wife Maitreyi and entered this stage.
> This is a living tradition despite the
> assaults by marauding cultures on the Vedic dharma.
> *What is so unique about this ritual? What is its nature?*
> Advaita talks of two levels of renunciation – the renunciation of the
> fruit of action and renunciation of action itself.
> It is the latter which is discussed in the present context. The Vedic
> seers evolved a ritual to renounce the
> normally unbreakable bonds. The ritual is probably to reinforce a
> person’s conviction to renounce the life-long
> bonds and obligations. A person in social life has three obligations –
> to the gods, to sages and to forefathers.
> For that he must perform several duties. However, it is recommended that
> a person has to call it a day and
> renounce the three-fold obligations. There is a ceremonial renouncement
> of this.
> Sanatana dharma has devised a lifelong timetable of duties to be performed
> by a worldly person. One has to
> worship the deities, the sages, and the forefathers through several
> rituals. One well known ritual is the annual
> *śrāddha*, performed for the departed parents or elders. We offer
> *tarpaṇam* (water with sesame) to sages on
> certain occasions. One worships deities with devotion (*śraddhā*) as a
> matter of duty for various worldly desires.
> Whatever is performed with *śraddhā* is *śrāddha*. The ritual of
> renunciation talks of the eight different types of
> revered persons to whom he was offering respect in various forms. Now, in
> the new level, the renunciant goes
> beyond the eight duties. Hence for the last time, he performs the rituals
> – almost with the spirit of renouncing
> bondage with the deities (thus renouncing worldly desires), with the sages
> and with the forefathers.
> On the first day the two interns performed eight different *śrāddha*-s to
> eight revered groups. The list of revered
> ones is impressive.
> The first is the trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara.
> The divine sages like Narada, the *brahmarṣi*-s such as Vasishta and
> the *rājarṣi*-s such as Bhishma
> to whom the
> *gṛhastha* used to offer tarpanam.
> The three types of deities – Vasu-s, Rudra-s and Aditya-s. All gods
> are worshiped at an empirical level, for
> fulfilment of desires. They are now given up.
> 6. The sons of Brahma – the sages Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and
> The five elements and their evolutes – the senses and mind (signifying
> transcendence from sensual
> The paternal forefathers
> The maternal line in a similar manner
> *One’s own self, which was identifying with the body-mind-complex
> *The last śrāddha is a farewell to his former self. A person offers pinda
> to his own former self.*
> *(This is something wonder to know? Is sastra advises the self pinda daan?
> needs clarfication on this) *
> *He is liberated from the bonds of the BMC now.*
> After these *śrāddha-s* on the river bank the two interns came back to
> the ashram where we all halted. They were
> on a vow, *dīkṣā,* and so they observed fast all through the day and kept
> awake till the next morning, chanting
> Gayatri for the last time.
> *The second day started with a fire ritual called virajā-homa at 0530 am
> on the banks of Godavari. It was i*
> *nteresting to see that when the purohit was fumbling with the mantra-s.*
> Swami Tattvavidananda, a scholar in
> YajurVeda, helped him out by reciting them from the Maha-Narayanopanishad.
> These mantra-s, as the name *vi-*
> *rajā* indicates, are to affirm removal of *rajas*, the impurities of the
> This is the final ritual performed by a person who would be a *saṃnyāsī*.
> During this, the would-be *saṃnyāsī* is
> given a twig of the *pippala* tree. The *pippala*, also called as the
> *aswattha* tree, symbolizes *saṃsāra*, as we know.
> The two interns invoke *agni* (symbolizing rituals) into the twig and get
> ready for the final step of renouncing the
> The next step is a physical action by the Swamiji. He personally removed
> the sacred threads and cut the *śikhā*-s
> with a scissors and handed it to the interns. After this, the two interns
> and the Swamiji got into water. The Swamiji
> administered certain oaths to the two interns. The oaths related to
> *sarvātma*-*bhāva*, the vision of Brahman in all
> things in the universe. When you see Brahman in all things, it is natural
> that you love the other as your own self. It
> is an unconditional love. The newly graduated *saṃnyāsī* declares
> non-injury towards all living beings – those
> which are moving beings (humans, animals or insects) and stationary beings
> such as trees. They had chanted
> Gayatri on the earlier day but now it is given up and a new *saṃnyāsa *mantra
> is given to them by the Swamiji.
> ‘What is the contribution of such renounced persons to society?’, the lay
> persons ask. The *saṃnyāsī *is a moral
> compass to the people around him or her. Patanjali describes his state as
> the *dharma*-*megha*, a state which
> showers dharma on people around. There is an infectious flow of dharma
> from such person. He is a moral and
> spiritual mentor, a guide for universal peace. This is the logical
> culmination of the teaching of the Advaita
> Vedanta. It is an illustration of walking the talk. The snapping of
> worldly bonds happens mentally, as the seeker
> advances in his philosophical reflections. *The ritual is a solemn pledge
> to oneself.*
> Dr. Aravinda Rao K
> Dt: 04-04-2021
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