Madhuram Aho Madhuram
Series on Namadwaar E-Satsang YouTube Channel
‘Madhuram Aho Madhuram’ is a unique YouTube series based on the divine Madhurageetham compositions of HH Maharanyam Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji. In this series, Sri Swamiji’s disciple Sri Ramanujamji delves into the heart of Sri Swamiji to bring out the sweet, deep, and beautiful meanings of his Madhurageetham compositions.
Access the Madhuram Aho Madhuram Playlist here to relish the meaning of numerous Madhurageethams: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…
This ‘Madhuram Aho Madhuram’ series shows the depth and sweetness of various Madhurageethams, of which a very treasured one is “Kuppayil Vizhundha Oru Malar.”
Purandara Dasa has given us a day planner on how to lead our lives with Bhagavan Nama in his ‘narajanma bandAgE’ kirtan. During the the Covid pandemic in 2020, Sri Ramanujamji’s daily discourses nourished the days with the Master’s Divine words strung into beautiful, colorful, fragrant garlands of Intelligent Living, Mahamantra series, Kalidharma Undhiyar, Vibeeshana Sharanagathi, Gajendra Moksham, Maduram Aho Madhuram and much more. And thanks to these being available on YouTube, devotees can listen and cherish these for years to come.
One may try to sing the divyavAni of our beloved Master knowing neither it’s origin nor meaning nor the bhava or rasa behind it. Still it feels sweet and divine. Yet, when we try to understand the true intent and deep rasa behind the seemingly simple words, it gives immense joy while rendering the kirtans. Madhuram Aho Madhura series enables us exactly this.
Growing up in India, words that we commonly hear from elders are punniyam, karma, vidhi and so on. Temple visits are often made only to merely fulfill materialistic desires or to perform rituals. Words like “Guru” or “Guru’s krupA” are indeed rare to hear. The exposition of this Madhurageetham – Kuppaiyil Vizhundha Oru Malar – shows how Sri Swamiji brushed aside all these three and showed that only Guru’s grace alone is needed. Sri Ramanujamji emphasizes on the word ‘aruLE’ (nothing but only grace).
In the exposition of this Madhurageetham Sri Ramanujamji beautifully compares and draws a connection showing the story of AnanthAzhwar and how Guru’s Grace can transform any individual soul and make one realize the purpose of this birth. Sri Ramanujacharya hearing Nammazhwar’s pasuram “sindhu pU magizh thiruvEnkatam” realised his Guru’s bhava and how he yearned for every flower that bloomed in Tirumala Hills to adorn the Lotus Feet of Lord Srinivasa. Ramanujacharya with tears in his eyes eagerly looked for the earnest disciple who would render this service. AnanthAzhwar deemed this to be his highest purpose, and dedicated his entire life towards fulfilling his Master’s wish.
The shedding purpose of any flower is to attain Lord’s Lotus Feet. The Guru is the one who can bridge this gap and He is the one who can help the flower attain its destiny.
The exposition of this Madhurageetham made us understand how Sri Swamiji in this kirtan conveys that the Guru’s grace (Guru aruL) does not mind going even to a filthy garbage (samsArA) and pick a flower (us) that is lying there. A passer-by can only pity looking at the flower but can never save it. This is something we all can relate to, because, when we are struggling, caught in this mundane world we tend to lament to our friends or relatives and in turn all they can do is to show only pity on us. Whereas it is the Guru’s Grace alone which can truly elevate us from this ocean of samsArA.
This reminds me of an incident that happened during one of Sri Swamiji’s annual Kalpatharu Day (Jan 1) Mass Prayers.
There was a devotee who had shared her Nama Anubhava with the local coordinators in the area.
She had told them, “My husband and I are old, we earn our daily wages from working in a construction site. We only have each other and if we don’t work we won’t have food. Few months back my husband fell down during his construction work and had a spine fracture. The hospital needed money which we didn’t have. I had heard Sri Swamiji say, “no money or effort is needed, just chant and your wish will come true.” So I chanted the Mahamantra without even having full faith. I have nothing to lose so I chanted. Within a few days a person came and gave Rs. 50000/- We never knew they owed us this money and we were pleasantly shocked.” Hearing her experience, the coordinators were delighted and encouraged her to share her Nama Anubhava.
The next day many well educated people were surrounding Sri Swamiji to have darshan of him. Sri Swamiji looked at this old lady who was standing far away from all these people and called her to come near him. Everybody was looking at her. She was not sure if Sri Swamiji was calling her. Sri Swamiji asked, “Oh, you live here nearby? ” and the old lady replied, “Yes, there is a slum nearby and that is where I live.” Sri Swamiji asked, “Shall we go there?” Before they all realized Sri Swamiji started walking towards the slum. Nobody even dared to keep their feet in that area but Sri Swamiji didn’t mind that at all and He went straight to her hut. Her husband was there. There was a Mahamantra sticker that she got from the mass prayer. Sri Swamiji chanted Nama for a few minutes and the old lady also chanted with him. She was awestruck and couldn’t believe this was real.
The next day when she again met with the coordinators during the mass prayer she said, ”I am not going to share the story which I told you yesterday but instead I am going to share something very unique and divine.” She started off by saying, “Money may come and go but Bhagavan Nama brought Sri Swamiji himself to my home. Will this even happen? I was scared and hesitant to go near him, there were many well-educated people around him, in spite of all of them being around, he looked at me, he called and talked to me and above all, he himself came to my home. So what wouldn’t this Nama do?” That was her statement!
The old lady was filled with such overwhelming gratitude seeing this loving gesture of Sri Swamiji. Here, it was the wind – the Guru’s Grace which elevated the flower – the old lady.
After doing such a great deed, neither did the wind wait for the flower to show its gratitude nor showed the slightest acknowledgment, personifying absolute humility.
When I look at the lyrics of this Madhurageetham we may be able to initially comprehend only the literal meaning, but in the series when the upamanam (simile) process and the upameyam (to which it is compared to) is hidden, we are able to see who Sri Swamiji refers to when he mentions the flower in this kirtan. It is us!
As Sri Swamiji sometimes says, even while doing small household chores we would like to claim the name for it. The ‘I’ plays in my mind when we cook or care for our families, etc. but does it stop there? No, the ‘I’ plays even to the extent during chanting Bhagavan Nama or doing kainkaryA (service).
Sri Swamiji in his Aksharamanamalai series of lectures quotes this verse of Sri Ramana Maharishi,
Jnamaliyir kedaa naan yendru urudhi yaay
nAdi nin uruvE Arunachala
In this verse, “Jnamali” refers to a dog. Sri Ramana Bhagavan here says, “The nature of the dog is to shower its owner with love, affection, and gratitude. Even the dog shows its gratitude to the owner even though the owner hardly has time for his dog. However, here I am, being a human, I have forgotten my Lord, the One who resides in me – my antaryAmi! I am worse than a dog!”
Out of compassion, Mahans do such a great deed to each and every soul yet they remain totally unassuming and calm like clear water in the pond. Bestowed with this priceless gift, how shall we show our gratitude?
We can be grateful only by constantly listening to His words, not just once, but again and again (muhur muhuhu), thus gearing our lives towards the final destiny – like how rivers flow without a break towards the ocean.
These wonderful words of wisdom of Sri Swamiji’s, abundant they are, yet the most precious of gems – ‘vAri iraithAlum rathinam rathinamE’!
Sincere prayers at the Lotus Feet of Our Guru Maharaj that we constantly listen to them and enrich our lives through this ‘Shravanam and Mananam’.
By Nithya Sriram, Redding CA
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