Obtain Divine Grace by obeying your
The moon illumines
the world at night and the sun during the day.
Righteousness illumines the three worlds, and a virtuous son
illumines his entire lineage.
Embodiments of Love!
A virtuous son is greater than even those who have
acquired Jnana (knowledge), Vijnana
(wisdom), Sujnana and Prajnana
(constant integrated awareness). Lord Vinayaka is such a virtuous
son. Every individual has a Guru. But, Vinayaka has no Guru
at all. He is the Guru of Gurus and the leader of leaders.
He is called by the name “Vinayaka” since He has
no leader above Him and He is the leader for all.
Whenever a new task is undertaken, it is customary to perform
Puja to Lord Vinayaka to invoke His blessings for the successful
completion of the task. Even while starting a musical concert,
the singers pray to Lord Vinayaka with the kirtan,
“Vinayaka Nannu Brovara” (Oh! Lord Vinayaka!
Please come to my help). It is only when you thus pray to
Lord Vinayaka and seek His blessings, will all your task meet
Lord Vinayaka has an elephant’s head and trunk. It denotes
that Vinayaka can be compared to an elephant in intelligence,
which always thinks twice before setting its foot forward.
Similarly, it is only after intelligent discrimination that
Vinayaka moves forward. The four letters in the word Ganapathi
(ga, na, pa and ti)
denote that Lord Vinayaka is full of Vijnana,
Sujnana and Prajnana.
People today forget the underlying meaning in the name ‘Ganapati’
and engage themselves in mere rituals. You may not perform
any rituals, but, never give up worshipping Lord Vinayaka.
Especially, it is the foremost duty of the students to come
under the leadership of Vinayaka, who is a leader unto Himself.
You would not find a parallel to Lord Vinayaka. When you take
such a Lord as your ideal and pursue your studies, you will
be able to master all branches of education. Vinayaka has
a big tummy, which is full of Jnana (wisdom). That wisdom
is His power. We should worship such a powerful Lord. No one
can comprehend the true nature of Lord Vinayaka, fully.
Lord Vinayaka is the leader for one and all. He is the divine
father and mother to everybody. In accordance with the prayer
Twameva Matha cha Pitha Twameva, Twameva
Bandhuscha Sakha Twameva, Twameva Vidya Dravinam Twameva
(He alone is the father and mother, friend and relation, wisdom
and wealth to every individual). No one else can be compared
to Lord Vinayaka in terms of power and prowess in this world.
The world is unable to recognise the true nature of such a
divine leader. We are, today, prepared to accept the leadership
of ordinary mortals. This is an unfortunate situation.
Today is the holy day commemorating the birth of Lord Vinayaka.
In fact, He has no birth at all. He created the entire universe.
All the Vedas are the result of the divine sankalpa of Lord
Vinayaka. All forms of knowledge have originated from Vinayaka.
Embodiments of Love!
Lord Vinayaka does not know what anger is. He is the embodiment
of love. Where there is love, bad qualities like anger, passion,
conceit etc., cannot gain entry. You might have witnessed
the facial features of Vinayaka. Did His face ever reflect
anger? No. He will always be smiling. Vinayaka is omnipresent.
People attribute a particular place as the birthplace of God
and consider it as a Kshetra (a
sacred place of pilgrimage). But, no single place can be ascribed
as the birthplace of God. He is Swayambhu
(Self-emergent). There is no specific place which can be ascribed
as place of birth, place of upbringing, etc., for God. He
is omnipresent. God will manifest in such a place where people
get rid of their bad qualities and sincerely pray to Him with
devotion. He is Gunatheetha (beyond
attributes). He is Nirgunam, Niranjanam,
Sanathanam, Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala
Swarupinam (God is attributeless, pure, final abode,
eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness).
God appears to be angry at times. But, that is not real anger.
In order to put the devotees on the right path, He pretends
to be angry. If He does not pretend so, there is no chance
for the devotees to change their behaviour. His pretending
to be angry is just a drama. God has no trace of anger in
Him. When we commit mistakes or tread the wrong path, we are
afraid that God will be angry with us. But, God only pretends
to be angry on such occasions so that you become aware of
your own faults and deficiencies. For example, when Swami
keeps Himself away from you, you feel very sad and think that
Swami is not talking to you because He is angry with you.
In fact, Swami does not know what anger is. He is the embodiment
of love. He is full of love. However, on some rare occasions
when He speaks harshly, it might be misconstrued that He is
angry. This is quite natural even in our day-to-day life.
When you call somebody, “Son! Please come here,”
it sounds that you are calling him with love. But, if the
same words are uttered with a raised voice (in an angry mood),
it looks as though you are angry. Therefore, all these are
variations in expression and nothing else. The same was the
case with Sage Durvasa, whose expressions revealed anger and
thus became synonymous for anger. But in fact, Sage Durvasa
had no anger at all!
During the Mahabharata war, Aswatthama, the son of Dronacharya,
took a terrible vow to annihilate all the Pandavas. Having
come to know of this, Droupadi prayed to Krishna to save the
Pandavas. The leelas of the Lord are not only wonderful but
also mysterious. God enacts dramas and even changes the scenes
in His play for the welfare and safety of His devotees. In
this instance, the Lord saved the Pandavas with a delicate
touch that He alone is capable of.
He went to Sage Durvasa. He was immensely delighted to receive
Krishna. The sage asked, “Lord, what brought You to
my humble ashram?” Krishna smiled and said, “I
have a small job for you.” The sage was happy and said,
“I am at Your service. You just have to command.”
Krishna then said, “Good! Tonight, you have to save
the Pandavas.” Durvasa was puzzled and asked, “Lord,
it is You who protect everything in creation. Who am I to
do that job?” Krishna replied, “That is a different
matter. But for this job, you will be My instrument. I extend
protection in many different ways. On this occasion, you have
to do something specific as per My instructions.” Durvasa
wanted to know what it was and Krishna continued, “Dig
a pit, ask the Pandavas to hide themselves in it, cover it
with planks, grass and mud, and then take your seat on the
shelter so prepared. The enemies of the Pandavas may come
and ask you about the whereabouts of the Pandavas. They may
say, “You know the past, present and future. Please
tell us where the Pandavas are hiding.” Durvasa intervened
and said, “Lord, I cannot tell a lie.” Krishna
countered, “Did I ask you to utter falsehood? I am Myself
the Embodiment of Truth, and I will always ask you to speak
only the truth. However, you are at liberty to change your
voice suitably to achieve the desired result. I am sure you
understand.” The sage nodded and smiled.
Some time later, after the Pandavas were hidden, Aswatthama
came there, exactly as Krishna had foretold. Durvasa was sitting
with his eyes closed. Bowing to the sage, Aswatthama enquired,
in a most humble manner, about the whereabouts of the Pandavas.
Durvasa slowly opened his eyes; which were like flame. Angrily
he roared, “Yes, the Pandavas are here, right below
me.” Aswatthama was frightened because the sage was
well known for his bad temper and his propensity to curse
those whom he is angry with. Promptly, he fled from the scene,
and the Pandavas were duly saved. All Avatars employ such
techniques, and Swami too does the same when required.
The sages and saints, yogis and
jnanis for ages have been providing
rakshana (protection) and sikshana
(correction) and make people tread the right path. Sage Durvasa
did the same thing. Ignorant people accuse him of being one
of anger in spite of being a great tapasvin.
But, those people who are able to understand the real intention
behind his apparent anger realise the truth. God has no anger.
In fact, one who has anger is not fit to be called God at
Once Mother Parvati and Easwara called Vinayaka and His younger
brother Subrahmanya, and advised them to go round the world.
They also told them that whoever came first would be given
a phala (fruit) as reward. This competition was intended to
demonstrate the greatness of Vinayaka to the world. The younger
brother Subrahmanya immediately plunged into action. He mounted
His vehicle, the peacock, to fly round the world. But, Vinayaka
did not move and sat in His own place. Easwara then enquired,
“My dear son! Why did You not start on Your journey
round the world?” Vinayaka laughed at this question
and replied “Oh! Father! I need not go anywhere. The
fruit of all My journey round the world is right in front
of me.” So saying, Vinayaka made a Pradakshina
(circumambulation) round His father and mother (Lord Easwara
and Mother Parvati) and sat down calmly. He claimed victory
in the race. In the meanwhile, Subrahmanya came there, after
completing His journey round the world. He was very much tired
and reported to His father about His successful completion
of the task. Lord Easwara then declared Vinayaka as the winner
in the race and handed over the fruit to Him. The place where
this episode took place is called Palani, in the State of
The underlying meaning in this story is that the parents are
the very embodiment of divinity and it is enough if one does
pradakshina to them in reverence.
That would be tantamount to the punya
(merit) acquired by visiting all the holy shrines in the world.
Without the parents, there can be no son at all! If children
are to be virtuous, it is the parents who have to take care
of them. The parents are responsible for the success of their
children in all the endeavours.
It is common practice for students to visit temples during
examination time and pray for success in the examinations.
They offer coconuts in the temples with the pocket money given
by their parents. These are all external practices, which
have little to do with sincere devotion. If they really wish
to achieve success in their endeavour, it is enough if they
please their parents and obtain their blessings. If they are
satisfied, you are sure to succeed. In order to drive home
the point that children should strive to please and satisfy
their parents first, Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati arranged
this competition of going round the world for Lord Vinayaka
and Lord Subrahmanya. If you want to obtain the grace of God,
it is enough if you obey the command of your parents lovingly.
There is no greater divinity than the parents who are present
right in front of your eyes. They have struggled hard in several
ways to bring you up to the present state. They made a lot
of sacrifice, so that you may come up in life. No parent would
ever like to displease his children. They appear to be angry
sometimes and may even give some punishment, but that is only
outward. In their heart of hearts, they have abundant love
for you. Even if they pretend to be angry, it is for your
own good. The stream of infinite love ever flows in their
hearts. Here is a small example: When the child does some
mischief, the mother gives a beating. But, how? The beating
merely produces sound but does not cause any pain to the child.
Her anger is borne out of love only. On certain occasions,
they may show anger, but it is only temporary. It is never
permanent. You may think that your parents are angry with
you. But, that is your own misunderstanding; you may not be
able to understand their love, which is lying dormant. Even
if they show anger and say “chee” (an expression
in Telugu to indicate one’s disapproval), it is only
out of love. Students shall, therefore, try to understand
the real nature of their parents.
In fact, one’s anger is his own enemy, and happiness,
his heaven. One should always be happy. A person with anger
and irritable temperament can never achieve anything. Vinayaka
is one who always obeyed his parents’ command. That
is why it is said that there is no leader above Him. Students
sometimes ask for money from their parents to go to a cinema.
When parents refuse, they think that the parents are angry.
These are trivial issues. The parents, especially the mother,
will be even ready to sacrifice her life, in order to save
her children in times of danger. Unfortunately, today there
are sons who even go to a court of law against their mothers.
It is, therefore, essential that they change their attitude
towards their parents and realise that they are verily embodiments
Any number of diversions or silly thoughts may arise in children,
but the parents’ love towards their children remains
unwavering. There are several sons in the world who are angry
with their parents, but relationship of the parents and their
children is one of love only. Whatever differences that may
arise between them are only temporary. The relationship between
parents and their children is one of love, nothing else. Lord
Vinayaka is the embodiment of love. He always showers love
only. When He was acting as a scribe to write the Mahabharata
to the dictation of Sage Vyasa, he displayed the same attitude
of love. Since He was the embodiment of Love, Vyasa selected
Him particularly to undertake the duty of a scribe. Throughout
the period of writing the Mahabharata,
Vinayaka displayed this quality of pure love. That is why
you do not find even a single mistake in the Mahabharata.
Since He was flawless, His word was also flawless. You do
not find the bad qualities of anger, jealousy, envy or pride
in Vinayaka. They are the qualities of a human being devoid
of noble qualities.
From today onwards, you give up whatever little anger you
have towards your parents and cultivate pure love towards
them. Love begets love. Receive love from your parents in
abundance and prosper in life.
Today is the festival of Vinayaka Chaturthi. It is a very
important festival. There is a custom in some families to
invite the newly married son-in-law for the festival. Therefore,
do not hesitate to go to your in-law’s house to spend
some time happily with them.
Oh newly married bridegroom,
visit your in-laws’ house,
Come, spend your time in fun and frolic with your brothers-in-law
The entire household and the neighbourhood will honour you
with love and affection.
When a son-in-law visits his spouses parents’ house,
the entire household gets into a festive mood. One is sure
to feel happy and mentally relaxed. There are, however, some
stone-hearted sons-in-law, who cultivate ill-feelings towards
their in-laws and do not visit their house. Such ill-feelings
are the result of food. As is the food, so is the head. The
feelings of the heart reflect the thought in the head (mind).
Therefore, we must take the right food. You should never take
such food as would kindle the flames of anger and envy in
you. Since ancient times, sages in India have observed strict
diet regulations. They always made it a point to consume sattwic
food, not rajasic food. By consuming
rajasic food, anger is generated.
On the other hand, if you consume thamasic
food, you will feel sleepy even while you eat. Therefore,
both rajasic and thamasic
types of food must be avoided. Only sattwic
food must be taken. Excess of chillies, salt and sour items
must be avoided in food. Before you take food, never forget
to offer your prayers:
Brahmarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmaiva Thena Ganthavyam
Brahma Karma Samadhina.
(Brahman is the ladle as well as the oblation. He is the sacrificial
fire as also the sacrificer. And finally, Brahman is the goal
of one who is engaged in the act of sacrifice.)
When you pray in this manner before you partake of your food,
God immediately responds thus:
Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva
(I am present in all beings in the form of digestive fire.
United with the Prana (exhalation)
and Apana (inhalation), it is
I who consume the four kinds of food.)
While taking food, you must always ensure that you take only
such items which you can easily digest. Never consume food
which you cannot digest. Just as you sit down happily for
taking food, so also when you get up after taking your food,
you must feel happy and light. Some people sit for food with
a light stomach and get up with a heavy stomach after eating
bellyful. This is not the proper method of taking food.
Always take light food. These are the habits you must cultivate
at least from this auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturthi. If
you cultivate these good habits and qualities you can become
as great as Lord Vinayaka.
(Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the Bhajan,
“Prema Muditha Manase Kaho…”)