Satsang at Shri Ramalingeshwara Temple, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, 6th October, 2009
The unique feature of this day’s Satsang was that it had been arranged in front of the sanctum sanctorum of Shri Ramalingeshwara instead of a Satsang Hall unlike the other Malaysian temples so far. As innumerable devotees poured in to listen to Parama Pujya Shri Shri Nimishananda Guruji, the temple seemed to expand effortlessly to accommodate all of them. After Pujya Guruji had gone around the temple, He was very reverently escorted to the dias by the trustees. One of the trustees expressed his immense gratitude by saying that all the trustees felt extremely happy because Pujya Guruji had accepted their invitation and sanctified the temple with the touch of His Lotus Feet. Pujya Guruji blessed all the trustees of the temple as they offered their prostrations and began the discourse – “We find many temples dedicated either to Hari or Hara, but this temple of Shri Ramalingeshwara is a rare combination of both Hari and Hara or Vishnu and Shiva. The deity of Shri Ramalingeshwara was first consecrated at Rameshwaram near the southern tip of India. This is the source temple of Shri Ramalingeshwara. To understand how the deity at Rameshwaram was consecreted, we have to go to the epic of Ramayana which came to us through Sage Valmiki. In the Treta Yuga, Lord Vishnu manifested as Rama on earth with the sole purpose of establishing Dharma or right principles in the lives of human beings. Lord Rama, the epitome of Dharma, was a role model to the world in all His relationships. To His father He was an ideal son, to His Guru He was an ideal disciple, to Devi Sita He was the ideal consort and to His citizens He was an ideal King. Even to His enemies, He was an ideal warrior and adversary.”
“On the day of Lord Rama’s crowning ceremony, His father unwillingly banished Him to the forest for 14 years at the insistence of His stepmother. When Lord Rama heard this command from His father, He bowed His head in gentle humility and agreed to leave the kingdom immediately so that His step brother could be coronated in His place. Lord Rama who was the epitome of humility, always showed the utmost reverence towards His parents, elders, Sages and Gurus and obeyed their commands implicitly. Through this He demonstrated how important it is for all of us to respect and obey our elders and mentors. The qualities of faith, obedience and surrender are also indispensable for those of us who walk on the spiritual path under the guidance of a Guru.”
“So when Lord Rama went to live in the forest at the behest of His father, a demon called Ravana became infatuated with His consort Sita. He kidnapped Devi Sita from the forest and imprisoned Her in his kingdom on the island of Sri Lanka. Ravana was a great sadhak and an ardent devotee who had pleased Lord Shiva immensely with his intense austerities or tapas. However, when he indulged in all kinds of undesirable activities and finally allowed himself to be enslaved by his lust and infatuation for Devi Sita, he became the personification of adharma or unrighteousness and had to be slain by Lord Rama in order to re-establish Dharma. That is why Ravana is always depicted as a demon with ten heads which symbolise our egoistic vices of lust, anger, greed, attachment, arrogance, jealousy, compulsive attraction and repulsion, and the abilities to scheme and connive. Here the Ramayana emphasizes that even the act of making a human being divine or demonic is decided by the Will of God. However, God decides whether we are divine or demonic depending on how faithful, devout and receptive we are to His grace. When we allow the ten egoistic vices to desecrate our minds like Ravana, we will be deviating from the path of Dharma and joining the ranks of the demons. On the other hand, when we decorate the mind with virtues that enshrine God, we will be establishing Dharma and joining the ranks of the Gods. The Dharma that we establish in this way also protects our seven forthcoming generations from all kinds of troubles and problems. When we protect Dharma, Dharma always protects us because it is eternal and invincible. In the whole history of Creation, Dharma has never ever been defeated by adharma because the final victory always rests with Dharma. This Cosmic Law is the very foundation of God’s Creation.”
“To accomplish His mission of establishing Dharma in the Treta Yuga, Lord Rama gathered a huge army of monkeys who offered their services selflessly for the rescue of Devi Sita. However, when He came to Rameshwaram, He realized that a huge bridge had to be built if the entire army was to cross the ocean and reach Sri Lanka. Then Lord Rama, who was trapped in the delusion of sorrow at the separation from His beloved consort, decided to worship Lord Shiva to stabilize His mind before beginning this seemingly impossible task. He used the sand and seawater to fashion the ovoid form of the Shivalinga. When he compacted the sand in this way, the grace of Lord Shiva consolidated it to make it as hard as stone. Lord Rama then offered His worship to Lord Shiva by bathing the Linga ceremonially with water. Thus piercing through the veil of delusion and regaining His mental equipoise, Lord Rama built the bridge with the help of His army, stormed Sri Lanka, killed Ravana, defeated his army and rescued Devi Sita. Since Lord Rama made this Shivalinga with His own hands, it is called Ramalingeshwara. This deity has been consecrated and is worshipped even today in the temple at Rameshwaram which is hailed as one of the most sacrosanct pilgrimage centres in India. This beautiful temple where we are all most fortunate to be sitting now has the same divine power and vibrational frequency. When we go to Rameshwaram and worship the deity, our karma is dissolved and we get great courage and confidence to walk fearlessly on the path of Dharma.”
“The bridge that Lord Rama built symbolizes the internal bridge of Dharma that all of us must build if we want to cross the ocean of worldly existence that is seething with adharma. Whenever we are confronted by a crisis in our lives where we are caught in the battle between Dharma and adharma, we should immediately pray to Lord Rama saying – “This crisis seems to have no dharmic solution, but I do not want to resort to adharma or foster it in any way. Please show me a dharmic way out of this crisis.” Immediately things will change dramatically and Lord Rama will reveal a righteous way for us to resolve the crisis without compromising our principles in any way.”
“Lord Rama could have easily used His own divine powers to rescue Devi Sita, but He gave all His followers an opportunity to establish Dharma through their selfless service. The army of monkeys laboured very hard in their efforts to complete the huge bridge as quickly as they could. This shows us that we must dedicate our body, mind and Soul to the cause of establishing Dharma and be willing to make great sacrifices for this. This also emphasizes the basic tenet of the Ramayana - when we strive scrupulously to uphold dharma, many selfless souls will gather instantaneously to help us during our times of need. So, today let us all dedicate ourselves to the cause of establishing Dharma in this world. May all of you succeed in this noble cause and may the grace of Lord Rama and Shri Ramalingeshwara be with you forever bringing you victory, great fulfillment, peace, contentment and bliss. May all beings be happy.”
Jai Matha. Om Tat Sat.