Monday 1 April 2024

Mangalacharan 4


वन्दे बोधमयं नित्यं गुरुं शंकररूपिणम्‌।

यमाश्रितो हि वक्रोऽपि चन्द्रः सर्वत्र वन्द्यते॥3

भावार्थ:-ज्ञानमय, नित्य, शंकर रूपी गुरु की मैं वन्दना करता हूँ, जिनके आश्रित होने से ही टेढ़ा चन्द्रमा भी सर्वत्र वन्दित होता है॥3॥ BK. Sh. 3


In the third shloka from the Mangalacharan (Balkaand) of Shri Ramcharitmanas, Goswamiji offers his reverence to the Guru, the embodiment of knowledge, who is the manifestation, the mirror image of Lord Shankar.

Goswamiji worships the Guru as an incarnation of 'Shankara', the primal Guru, under whose guidance even the flawed moon garners worship globally. Just like the moon, all fallacious humans (even though Goswami Tulasidas is making a reference to his own shortcomings) can also find praise and veneration in a Guru’s shelter.

Understanding that Lord Shiva is the paramount Guru, the source of unerring wisdom who liberates souls from the cycle of rebirth, Goswamiji venerates the Guru principle itself. The refuge of a Guru can shift perceptions of even the most undeserving disciple, irrespective of their flaws.

This verse underscores the significance of spiritual mentorship. But what about ordinary individuals like us, those ensnared by ego, distrust, and inability to surrender?




While lineage and legacy matter, if it was all that mattered, how would it be different from the material world? How would spiritual quest be any different from the exclusionary academic practices? what about those without prestigious educational backgrounds? Those without mentors, and without access to the old boys’ / girls’ clubs?

However, there remains hope. Lord Shiva, 'Shankar', the one who is capable of Shaman, dispels all doubts, transforms all shortcomings, and embraces all beings without any biases whatsoever. All you need is a pure heart. That’s the only qualification.

Vaishnav scripture suggests Lord Shiva worships Lord Vishnu and is dear to Him, indicating that seeking refuge in Lord Shankar endears one to Vishnu as well, regardless of one's stature in life or social hierarchy.

But what about the Shaiva scriptures? Isn’t Shiva higher than Vishnu in the hierarchy of the Hindu Holy Trinity?

Well, I digress. And frankly, it doesn’t matter.

As a simple devotee without a lineage, my key takeaway from this verse is hope. Hope for salvation, hope for preservation from Vishnu, and shelter from Shiva.

I’m mindful that surrender as a conscious act doesn't grant me entitlement to grace, which manifests when it does. Grace after all, cannot be demanded, invoked, asked for, begged for. Grace manifests. And when touched by it, even the flawed crescent moon finds celebration.

In its absence, endeavours may halt momentarily, yet Shankar's guidance ensures perseverance on the chosen path, even chanting the Ram Charit Manas.

Look at this work, for instance. When doubts, pride, ego took over, the work stopped. When grace happened, Lord Shankar dispelled the doubts, and took care of the ego. It is only for grace that the recitation of the entire Ram Charit Manas happened during Covid.

Thus, my return to this work clearly indicates that the Lord’s grace hasn't forsaken me. That alone is enough!

© Anupama 2024


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Mangalacharan 4

  वन्दे बोधमयं नित्यं गुरुं शंकररूपिणम्‌। यमाश्रितो हि वक्रोऽपि चन्द्रः सर्वत्र वन्द्यते॥ 3 ॥ भावार्थ:-ज्ञानमय , नित्य , शंकर रूपी गुर...