11.16.2008

Shiva Bhikshatana and Mata Annapurni at Varanasi

"Bhikshaan Dehi... Bhikshaan Dehi"

This echo at the door brings every lady of the house, every grihasta to offering annam, or rice as food for the mendicants who come by. These mendicants were intellects of a superior kind and society considered it an honor to serve them. One such story has been previously mentioned in the life of Kaaraikkal Ammaiyar who fed a mendicant a mango, a Shiva Yogi who came to her door step.

This is one of many instances where Shiva Bhikshatana has walked into the lives of people and blessed them by coming to their doorstep or by holding a dialog with them questioning the practise of the very knowledge they have been enlightened with. This was in the case of Adi Shankaracharya, who seemed to have a slight touch of arrogance?! about his status as an enlightened soul. The Manishapanchakam is the enlightening dialog between an untouchable sweeper surrounded by dogs who met this great saint in the streets of Varanasi near the Kashi Vishwanath temple.


As Shankara walked by, he signalled for the untouchable to move as he walked to the main temple. The sweeper, surrounded by dogs with a stick in the hand asked Shankara whether the sun made a difference between the Ganges and the water by the homes of the untouchables where its reflection fell? How then is the atman of a sweeper any different from the atman within him, an enlightened soul? Even the greatest of enlightened souls was questioned over his pride of being knowledgable.

Here are two instances, where Shiva Bhikshatana has made a mark in the lives of two people in recorded history, one a lady serving him at her doorstep, and another was an enlightened saint of his time.

This very same form that Adi Shankara saw and recognized as Lord Shiva is the same form that is seen within the walls of the Kashi Vishwananth temple within the shrine chamber of Swarna Annapurni.
Annapurni Mata, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati resides here at Varanasi, promising all mortals that there is food and prosperity promised to all. Shiva Bhikshatana resides here as a naked mendicant to whom she serves food with her own hands.

Lord Bhikshatana and Mata Annapurni do not represent abundance of food in the literal sense. The divine couple have the same message to give to the mortal world be it Kaaraikkal Ammaiyar who fed a mendicant food, or to Adi Shankara who was given enough food for thought despite being a superior soul with intellect.

Bhiksha, can be food for sustenance, bhiksha can be food of enlightenment. The mother is resourceful, a provider of knowledge as well as one who wipes out hunger. She is the life force, the energy that drives one to want, to be passionate to know, to realize the truth of their divine existence. It is Shiva Bhikshatana who enlightens even the enlightened, and makes them realize that the truth of his form as Bhikshatana, as the teacher, is beyond the arrogance of written knowledge. In his world, Bhiksha is the need for divine knowledge, to fulfill the purpose of realizing oneself, and therefore even the most superior intellects walk with a bowl, the brahma kapala, that which is the humble request to the Lord to grant divine knowledge and kill the hunger of the bhakta.

As the Shree Annapoornaashtakam goes...

Annapoorna Sadaa Poorne Shankarapraana Vallabhe| Gyaanavairagya Siddhayartam Bhikshaan Dehi Cha Paarvati|| Maataa Cha Paarvati Devi Pitaa Devo Maheshwara| Baandavaa Shivabhaktaakshcha Swadesho Bhuvanatrayam||
Annapoorne – the wife of Lord Shiva;
Sadapoorne – who is always full of resources; She who is full of food;
Sankara – of Lord Sankara(Shiva);
Prana – the life-force; energy;
Vallabhe – the beloved;
Jnana – knowledge;
Vairagya – attitude of renunciation;
Siddhyartham – to fulfill the purpose of;
Bhiksham – alms, food;
Dehi – give us;
Namostute – we bow down to You

In the mortal world to Goddess Annapurni I pray:

Bhikshaam dehi kripaa valambanakaree maataannapoornesvaree||

In the intellectual world of realizing one self and surrendering to Lord Maheshwara I pray:

Shivaya Nama Om Shiva Lingaya Nama Om| Atmaya Nama Om Atma Lingaya Nama Om||

Related topics:
Shiva Bhikshatana - the enchanting mendicant.
He presents Himself
Shiva Bhairava - The naked mendicant
Jyotirlinga - Kasi Vishwanath, Varanasi
Enlightenment on the streets of Varanasi

Photo courtesy:
Chennaionline.com
tamilnation.org

14 comments:

JC said...

The Yogis realised MAN as a model of the universe, with our soloar system realised as its essence...

Humans apparently are being tested, just as one apparently performs tests on man-made equipments with a view to eventually attaining perfection in all equipments...maybe thus reflecting the desire of the Formless Being who alone attained 'perfection' at the end of Satyuga...And He, being related with zero time and space, is also the humblest being and, therefore, the real role model for all humans - the word 'naked' used for the formless is to distract the mind of the mortals to keep them away from the 'Truth'!

The

JC said...

'I' wanted to add that a 'Hindu' should normally have no problem in realising the truth as carried forth since time immemorial in a popular prayer addressed to the Formless Creator wherein God is addressed as father, mother, brother, friend, education, money, and everything...and the Yogis indicated existence of one and only unique Supreme Being and all physical forms apparent in the infinite universe as His Own Images, each playing some important role - even of diverting one's attention away from Truth!

JC said...

Kavitha, It is only if one comes to know about the role of all the natural elements, viz. sunrays and heat contained in the solar particles, different characteristics of land, air, and water, in generation of the annual water cycle that is responsible for India being called 'a golden bird' through ages, which allowed interaction of its inhabitants with people from other regions...to result in an apparent chaotic stage today that doesn't permit reading between lines the advanced thoughts...

Harshad said...

Joshi uncle,

Your third comment was a little encrypted. Didnt entirely understand you though i know you were trying to say something very profound.

The value given to these ancient theories is fast depleting. So there results chaos in the indian subcontinent.

Dharma is dying as we can see so clearly in all our tv channels

JC said...

Hi harshad,

'I' have already said it so many times about Time that is Mahakal Shiva the controller of apparent time, or Bhootnath Shiva the Lord of ghosts or past, that the thought might sound a bit difficult unless you have followed the earlier comments...

The basic 'Hindu philosophy' relates God with zero time and space, a point source of infinite energy...who is reviewing its own past within apparent time - like, as its reflection, humans reviewing events that happen within fraction of a second with the help of 'action replays' with the help of sensitive cameras...

The events that 'we' are getting to see today are understood to have happened in the very beginning of evolution when apparent time was nearly zero...called Kaliyuga the Dark Age...

JC said...

Although the creation and destruction of the physical universe believably happened at the same instant, the review of the evolution from the unique perfect stage to zero the state of ignorance apparently continues eternally. And, in this drama, each physical form apparently reflects a certain stage in the evolutionary process. For instance, 'Nature' reflects perfection, while animal life reflects different stages in the process. And, although human form is perfect, each form reflects some stage of achievement of incomplete knowledge that reflects the apparent heirarchy in humans, in various aspects...the total knowledge being distributed at eight different levels (within chakras, or bandhas that is 'locks') and assessment/ judgment by any other individual is done on the basis of information that pops up into the head of the concerned and finds exposure to the outside world through actions - verbal or creative/ destructive...

JC said...

The symbolic representation of Natraj Shiva and 'apsmara purush' under His right leg conveys how although each individual is a true model of Shiva Himself, however, because of time one does not become aware of the 'Truth', unless one has firm faith and belief in it. The wise therefore indicated the truth through the statement, "I am Shiva/ And so are you."

It is time that believably doesn't allow one to generally accept it as possible because of finding oneself most of the time helpless because of apparent circumstances and heirarchy. Therefore, in the Gita, the wise ancients advised one to remain unmoved under all circumstances...and remainsurrendered in Krishna, the 'all knowing'...

Nilo Dream said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC said...

Kavitha, The wise ancient Hindus realised each man as a model of the universe and the solar system as essence of the universe. But, it's also known that not all human beings appear to be carbon copies of each other - there is a clear cut heirarchy among humans at all times. The wise ancients therefore categorised humans as (devtas) angels or (rakshasha) demons to explain the presence of the middle path (neutral) and also good (positive) and bad (negative)...and the heirarchy was expressed in the statement, "Hari anant/ Hari katha ananta." That is, 'as many mouths/ so many thoughts'...

As 'I' said earlier also, a simple coin that has three sides: head, tail and the blank one, reflects the mind of the Creator...to realise which one needs to activate one's ajna chakra or the third eye (of Shiva)...or continue to act like a blinkered horse that is not allowed to see on the left or right side of the 'beaten track'...All as part of a grand design by Parvati or Durga (MOON) though!

JC said...

Shiva the 'naked mendicant' cryptically alludes to our planet earth that exploits energy from sun (Brahma), in the form of sunlight (Brahmin) or 'fire' as one of the five basic elements that go into the making of all physical forms...Annapurni refers to the one and only satellite of our planet earth, moon, whose essence is believed to be housed at the 'sahasrara chakra' in the head of each human form containing information - but to a varying extent as total information/ energy is distributed in eight (8) chakras...which need to be lifted up to the head for 'moksha' that is realisation of the 'Truth'...

JC said...

Although ancient Hindus came to realise the role played by the members of the solar system, they also realised the role of 'west' in diverting the average person from reaching the 'Truth'...

The ancient Hindus were highly advanced in Astronomy, and through the various mythological stories they conveyed that these were meant to be read between lines...just as they could believably read the lines on the palms even, besides reading the horoscopes...

Kavitha said...

Joshi uncle,

Some of the concepts are/were so profound, that it would never be understood by the common man. Hence the ancients had to convert it to "stories" or "myths" for people to digest it if not realize it.

Not many are going to understand that astras didnt get their power from the sharpness of their tip or the many spokes the arrow had, but from the mantra power that accompanied them that made them far more deadly than just a killing weapon.

All this from a set of syllables that were recited with full devotion to bless the weapon.

People will question how the pushpaka vimana flew because they dont believe there is another approach to flying except the kind they know.

I mean Newton's law of gravity can be figured out by more than 1 way but as humans, we have not even tried it and if we have... its not that publicized. So there is only one approach to every discovery or invention and that is the sad story of mankind... there are many roads to Rome and under estimating our ancients on their IQ is the biggest mistake we make in the are of self supremacy!

If there is no evidence in the form we want or agree with, it doesnt mean it didnt exist because it was well and truly documented to last these centuries to come to us.

We should feel blessed instead of questioning it!!!

JC said...

Yes, Kavitha, it was eventually relised and conveyed by the one and only Formless being that human life is but an illusion, a drama for His Own purpose, which alone matters...

JC said...

In the 'present' that was perhaps, in fact, virtually the remotest 'past' in the evolution of pure energy to immortal physical bodies in the form of the apparently heirarchical solar system in which our earth-moon together reflect perfection, we the human beings get to see the entire picture. Like a book available in a library or a shop that needs to be read from the beginning to the end - and only to retain the essence by the apsmara purush or forgetful man as the time passes thanks to the grand design by the Formless Creator, generally called Shiva, the word being opposite of Visha the poison thus conveying immortality...He
is however called by thousands of names since time immemorial though - due to lack of knowledge as per the Gita, for instance thus helping in creating chaos as it is apparent today due to Hinduism being considered as a 'religion' and not 'Truth' as it was called by the 'wise' ancients, who came to be known as Hindus for they used lunar cycle to determine all their auspicious occasions...