Sunday, 10 July 2011

Simple Living Higher Thinking

Mother Mariammen

||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||

Dear readers ,                                       
Aum Namo Narayanaya to all of you. I greet you with love, humility, respect and warmth during these icy cold days we are experiencing. The approaching week brings with it two important events on the religious calendar. On Friday we will see many spiritual aspirants pay homage and reverence to their gurus and on Sunday is the commencement of the Mariammen prayer which will continue for the entire month of Adi.
I think I should write about the Mariammen prayer this week and concentrate on the Guru pooja next week.  In actual fact the preparations for the Mariammen prayer will commence as early as tomorrow when the porridge meal will be soaked to ferment.
Growing up in South Africa has exposed us to unique adaptations of various practices from India. One should not be totally surprised on a visit to India if no similarity exists in some of the prayers and rituals we undertake here in South Africa.
Porridge prayer as it is most commonly referred to by locals has become a must attend event in the diary of our communities, this proven by the thousands who descend on the temples to partake in the prayer and porridge prepared and offered to the mother.
But in some instances we see a deviation from the norm, where elaborate meal preparations are made and huge gatherings of family and friends arrive at the home. On one hand this creates a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to socialise but upon arriving home on reflection one will find that nothing except a full stomach and time with friends and family has been derived from that outing. In a way as South Africans we have managed to transform our festivals pregnant profound meaning into feasts.
The word Mari in tamil means rain, which immediately conjures the thoughts of preservation in me. When a seed emerges from the ground it is in immediate need of water in the form rain in order to sustain its growth and life.  In the Devi Mahatmayam the divine mother is described in the powerful words as sristhi , sthithi and vinashanam.  That is as the creative, preservative and dissolution power of the universe.
It is no wonder then that the Mother as Mariamma is worshipped in many rural farming villages for blessings in preserving life. South Africa has also not escaped her grace as many farming towns on the sugar belt are installed with her murthi.
She is also revered and worshipped for her ability to cure measles, small pox and fever with her concoction of syringa leaves and turmeric powder.  To this day many make their way to the mother to assist them in curing many body ailments by offering small silver replicas of their anatomy to her. Many would come forward boldly to attest to her divine grace in curing them.
The Mariammen Prayer in its absolute forms goes on to teach us a beautiful mantra for success in life both physical and spiritual. Always practice simple living and higher thinking. There are various maladies in our society which is a direct result of us breaching the code of simplicity and seeking that which that does not augment or add any value to our inner growth. The mother shows in her methods that the cure to our maladies is to return to the simple basics as shown through her use of turmeric and syringa(Simple ingredients from nature) . The higher thinking evolves from the use of very important tool known as viveka or discrimination. The ability to do things to protect and keep our physical bodies healthy, the ability to discriminate on the thoughts we process to keep our minds pure and our hearts pure with the actions we perform like sharing as seen with the distribution of the porridge with all.

Shri Krishna said in the Bhagavad gita, offer to me with love a leaf,a fruit or a glass of water and I shall accept, which further encourages the point that simplicity in all our actions is what is needed. Always discriminate against thoughts and actions that make us selfish, which will intern help us to expand our hearts and create space for love and devotion. Like the rain which showers the crops of the poor and rich, the sick and healthy equally.  Shri Ramakrishna said, the grace of god is incessantly flowing it’s just up to us to adjust our sails.
By practicing this mantra of simple living higher thinking, peace,calm,love and devotion will descend on you.  May the grace of Mother Mariammen be with you is my sincere prayer.

1 comment:

  1. Deshni Naidu write....

    Congratulation Yogen.
    What a wonderful idea on creating this blog as a means of communicating the importance of ones existence on this earth. We are so consumed with our own busy lives that we forget to appreciate the simple thinks in life. Yes, you are right if we all live by the mantra - Simple living higher thinking, we would all be more richer, wiser and have a more cheerful existence on this earth.
    Keep up the good work of being an inspiration and guru to us all, the young and old.
    Om Namo Shivaya


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