This series chronicles interesting experiences recounted by the devotees of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. These articles are translations from the series, “Madhuramaana Mahaneeyar” that is published every month in Madhuramurali Tamil monthly magazine.
How Sri Swamiji’s Mass Prayers Began
In 2006, Sri Swamiji, while visiting Tuticorin elucidated on various topics at Sri Kathiresan’s house. With fervor, Sri Swamiji said, “We conduct discourses for several days in various towns and cities. We sing ashtapathis and abhangs written in languages unknown to us. The melodious tune and the rhythm of the songs mesmerizes and attracts all; but nobody actually comprehends the underlying meaning of the songs.
Hence, a desire to conduct a mass prayer, that can easily relieve people of their suffering, kept arising in my heart. Mahatma Gandhi too has conducted mass prayers. We hear people say: ‘We attended discourses, we went to bhajans, we conducted archana, donated money to conduct homams, performed remedies suggested in shastras.’ Yet, why doesn’t anybody say, ‘We prayed to the ever compassionate Lord?’
“A prayer must be simple. It must not be a business transaction. Prayer is potent. It can easily fulfill one’s wishes. People are suffering only because of the ill effects of Kali. People need to realize that Mahamantra alone can easily offset the adverse effects of Kali.”
Further, Sri Swamiji said, “[Kanchi] Mahaperiyava too wished for this. In those days, he ordained the actor S. V. Subbaiyya, who also had an interest in spirituality, and others to go to various towns and villages to propagate the glory of Rama Nama to the masses. Anyone who wrote Rama Nama incessantly and handed it over to the Kanchi Math, received a silver coin in return. He brought out Tiruppavai and Tiruvembai to the world and ensured it was sung in all the temples during the month of Margazhi. But these efforts lost momentum soon after.
“Bhagavan Nama Bodendral, Mahaperiyava, Sri Sri Anna and other Mahans have been concerned about this. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa often said, ‘When many come together to pray, such a prayer has tremendous power.’ “
Thus Sri Swamiji poured his heart out. We have always seen Sri Swamiji’s words coming true. Needless to say, the first mass prayer happened the very next day in Tuticorin. Further, on January 1, 2007, a mass prayer was conducted at Chennai’s Kamaraj Hall, in which thousands participated. What started humbly this way, has now gathered momentum and become a giant wave and is transcending not just several towns, cities and states in India but also other countries outside India as well.
Last month (October 2010), mass prayers were held in Ambasamudram, Tuticorin, Sivakasi, Kovilpatti, Virudhunagar, Kallidaikurichi, Periyakulam, Madurai, Trichy, Tiruppur and Udumalaipettai. More than 2500 people participated in each of these locations. The mass prayer organized in Tiruppur, on behalf of Sri Vari trust, was attended by approximately 10,000 people. The mass prayer program was held from 4.30 pm until 8.30 pm in the night. Sri Swamiji spoke about the glories of the Nama, incessantly for four hours. What was even more astounding was the fact that the entire audience sat in rapt attention for those four hours! All were offered dinner prasad after the event.
Original Tamil article by Dr.Bhagyanathan,
Madhuramurali November 2010 issue
Translated by Viji Shankar Dallas TX
Editor’s Note: The spate of Sri Swamiji’s Mass Prayers — that inspire simple, sincere and powerful prayer through the Mahamantra — continue even today around India and the world too, through his disciples. Every year on Jan 1, Sri Swamiji conducts a special mass prayer in a different city. This year (2016) it was held in Madurai and was attended by over 10,000 people, and also viewed live on the Web by thousands more from across the world. Excerpts from the Madurai Mass Prayer are presented here in the feature article of this newsletter issue.