Om Ganeshaya Namaha
“Guru Brahmā, Guru Vishnur, Guru Devo:maheswara:ha,Guru Shakshat Pāra:Brahmā, tasmay Śrī Guravay Namaha”
“Guru is the lamp in whose light one can see Ishwar(a), may that light shine upon our darkness and bring us into the ever joyous state of Brahm:anandam”
Maatru Devo:bhava Pitru Devo:bhava Aacharya Devo:bhava, Athiti Devo:bhava ~Taittiriya Upanishad
Dheena Devo:bhava ~ Swamy Vivekanandha
Introduction to Kanakadhara
A young five-year-old boy following His upanayanam, walked to a house seeking alms. He stood at the door and shouted ‘bhavathi bhikshan deehi’ (I humble request for alms). The lady of the house noticed and desperately ran into the house in search of food (since He is a brahmachari (Brahmā:chari) money shouldn’t be given, only food can be offered). There wasn’t any, the family was starving, and Her husband went in search of grains left behind on the ground after harvest, so was their poverty. The lady was anxious and in sorrow unable to find anything desperately searched, came out, and went in multiple times, unable to express Her own starvation. The boy noticed, but He waited patiently. Finally, she came out with something in Her hand, the boy opened his hand towards Her, and she dropped an old and dried amla fruit (gooseberry) in his hand as tears rolled from her eyes. The boy’s eyes filled with an ocean of silence, stared at that dried amla in His hand, He then looked up to the sky, and so it came, the Great Ganga Herself, pure and heavenly, like the day when She followed the Great Bhagiratha. It was a dhārā (flow), splendid, pure, majestic, and from Vaikuntam Śrī Lakṣmī and Śrī Viṣṇu watched carefully, to witness a magnificence flow. That day, that boy, in a single glance of compassion and confidence captured the undivided attention of Iśvara.
One can never comprehend such exceptional literary greatness from a young five-year-old boy, Śrī Śankara Bhagavatpaada (henceforth will be referred to as Śrī Śankara), literature even today baffles scholars. As we are about to get drenched ourselves, let’s wish that our lives became this flow as we journey through Kanakadhara.
Note To Readers
Pravachanam in Sanātana Ḍharma is a verbal discourse on Shastra (Śāstra) or on a Guru Siddhānta(m) (an approach or discipline taught by a Guru) of Sanātana Ḍharma and never to be interpreted as preaching. Pravachanam is not a career or a profession nor is it a business. It’s when devotees or well-wishers of society, especially elders, reach out to a devoted scholar and urge to help understand a specific topic in Śāstra through verbal discourse, including the life and teachings of a Guru. Pravachanams are usually, but not limited to, are performed on auspicious days and on auspicious grounds like temples and/or during an auspicious event. Such discourses could last for hours or divided across many days. One of the reasons why older temples of Sanātana Ḍharma were immense in design to encompass not just deity worship but to perform religious and cultural events like schooling of vyakaran(am) (grammar and vocabulary), wedding, festivities, pravachanams, and more. The topic of discourse is usually an account from Śāstra (including Puranas) that is chanted or read from its respective text followed by its explanation. The explanation encompasses various references from other texts from Śāstra to help viewers and listeners of all backgrounds, to understand its tatva(m) (essence) and meaning. The primary purpose of pravachanam is to help people of all backgrounds to understand Śāstra through Purana(m), or Guru Siddhānta(m) so that it can help uplift human conscience and gratitude so that we can face tough days with confidence, and good days with gratitude towards Ishwara (Iśvara).
Readers’ Expectations From This Text
Any topic of Śāstra or Guru Siddhānta incorporates the tatva (also called as tatvam) of Ishwara (Iśvara) and each such topic might illustrate a different approach towards comprehending this tatva(m), the topics are a conscience effort to expound such essence with references and citations from various Sanātana Ḍharma literature. So what is tatva or tatva(m)? It is the core message of literature that is inherent and illustrated with references and examples quintessential towards comprehending the concepts and the underlying meaning. In other words, tatvam is the essence whose comprehension is the true purpose of literature. Vedās are the ultimate literature passed on to humanity making them the foundation of Sanātana Ḍharma and it’s this very essence that is continual in all Upanishads, replenished as accounts and events in all Puranas and Itihaasa, and through Guru Siddhānta. No matter which literature of Sanātana Ḍharma we explore, destiny is but the same tatva and the same applies to our quest to explore Kanakadhara as we will savor the same tatva. The examples and analogies described are no different from our day-to-day lives, hence, are meant to help us understand various thoughts and question that dwell within us. Topics like, what is God or Iśvara? What is the difference between Iśvara and Shakthi (śakti)? Why Iśvaraor God does things the way He does? How does one reach out to God or Iśvara? Why so many forms of God or Iśvara? Why does one suffer? How does one solve their suffering? Is there a previous and next life? What is the significance of a temple and Namaskar? What is Ḍharma (also called as Dharm)? What is the significance of women in Sanātana Ḍharma? How is Śrī Mahā Viṣṇu and Shiva (Śiva) be understood and compared? What is Karma and Ḍharma? Why is Iśvara represented as masculine and Shakthi (śakti) as feminine? Who is a Guru and so much more? This is neither an article to browse through, nor should one attempt to finish reading it with a competitive notion. Kindly read this slowly as the topics are vital concepts of Sanātana Ḍharma and so are vital to comprehending existence and its purpose. The origin of this content is a conscious effort to translate a verbal discourse from one of the great living legends and Guru from Sanātana Ḍharma, Śrī Śrī Śrī Brahmasri Chaganti Koteshwar Rao (henceforth will be referred as Śrī Chaganti garu).
One might find a word-to-word translated meaning of each sloka in Kanakadhara because of many significant efforts made by extraordinary minds. However, the intent of this reading is for us to understand and contemplate the wealth of such profound literature passed on to us by great personalities of this unprecedented Ḍharma (Not Religion, it’s a Ḍharma). Each sloka and each word in it are chosen for a reason, encapsulating an inherent message, so we the inheritors of such legacy could explore and experience the confidence and joy concealed within. Each word has its place and tells us a story. Each title takes us on a journey into various Puranas and its accounts. Each story vitalizes our ancestry and our vocabulary. This reading is not just to understand a stotram, it is to get a glimpse into the core of Sanātana Ḍharma. It gives comfort, closure, purpose, and meaning to that which was unknown or forgotten. Following such exploration, one during their Dhyāna(m) (meditation) can visualize each of its references in bliss as we journey through many rich stories and examples. One can only hope that the flow of such unprecedented discourse, will illuminate our lives and uplift our conscience.
(Srichaganti. K.D.S, n.d., p.1-2)
REFERENCE ENTRY (APA Style citing)
River Ganga (Uttaranchal, India).(March 22, 2017). Positive News US. File:3364655834-3eab5a4263-b_orig.jpg. Retrieved from: tp://www.positivenewsus.org/indian-rivers-given-legal-rights.html
Chaganti Koteshwar Rao. (Apr 2016). Wikimedia Commons. File: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AChaganti_Koteswara_Rao_in_August_2015.JPG. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaganti_Koteswara_Rao.