Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mental Worship - Experience of Acharya

Hare Krishna Friends,

What follows is a first-hand account of Acharya’s Manasika-puja during his initiation into Narasimha-mantra by Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi Mahasvami. The excerpt is from the book “Yoga, Enlightenment & Perfection of His Highness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal” by Sri Umesh.

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During my initiation, when Acharya (Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi Mahasvami) was about to start voicing the dhyana-shloka, I found myself spontaneously visualizing Narasimha in my heart. As I heard and repeated the dhyana-shloka, I realized with surprise and happiness that the form of Narasimha described therein and the one I was seeing matched. The words relating to the panchopachara puja (following the dhyana shloka) took only some seconds for Acharya to utter and for Me to repeat. Yet, I experienced no shortage of time in elaborately worshipping the Lord mentally in My heart with offerings of sandal paste, flowers, incense, lamp, food and so on. I can attribute only to divine grace the irresistible urge that led Me to begin the worship. During naivedya (offering), I served the Lord a variety of dishes in a jewel-studded golden plate, put a little food into His mouth, waited for Him to masticate and swallow and only thereafter offered another morsel. It was as if the several seconds miraculously became extended to over half an hour from My perspective. Even while performing the worship with concentration and dedication, I was able to see Acharya and repeat His words without delay.

When Acharya started to utter the Narasimha-mantra (after the panchopachara-puja), He placed His right palm on My head. He had not done this when He initiated Me into other mantra-s such as the Medha-Dakshinamurthy and the Srividya.

The moment Acharya chanted the mantra once and, following Him, I too did so, an amazing event occurred. Acharya abruptly withdrew His hand from My head, joined His palms and gazed at Me silently with deep reverence. My breathing stopped. The form of Lakshmi-Narasimha that I was seeing within Me vanished. However, I began to experience the Lord as My Antaryamin (Inner Controller), refuge and intimate well wisher as clearly as one can see a fruit in one’s open palm. I ceased to regard the body, prana, organs, mind and intellect as Mine, everything was just His. I do not know how long I remained thus, motionless and immersed in bliss. All along, I did see Acharya keeping His palms joined and looking in My direction.

Then, the form of Narasimha reappeared and My breathing resumed. My mental state reverted to what it had been during My chanting of the mantra but with the difference that I now felt extremely intimate with Narasimha. At the same time, Acharya lowered His hands. He then recited the mantra two more times, giving Me time to repeat His words. After completing the initiation, He said, “After You had said the mantra once, I saw just Narasimha in Your place. That is why I jerked back My hand from Your head and offered My salutation to Him. When His form disappeared and You reappeared, I proceeded with the initiation. Dedicate everything to Him.”

Throughout that day, offering everything to Narasimha was extremely easy. For instance, when I had My afternoon bath, I automatically felt that I was performing abhisheka to Narasimha who abided within Me. During bhiksha, I straightaway visualized Him as accepting from within and eating whatever I put into My mouth. When I read a book after Bhiksha, He appeared to be listening from inside My heart as if I were reading to Him. As I walked, it spontaneously seemed that I was taking Him, who was within Me, for a stroll.

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