Heart to Heart Communion
Seeking the Supreme Being’s Blessings
Sai devotees visiting Prasanthi Nilayam would have noticed during Nagar Sankirtan a group of Brahmins reciting hymns and prayers from the very ancient scriptures in Sanskrit language with intonations as dictated by hoary tradition, preceding the Bhajan singers.
Among the hymns they recite, are to be found ‘Purusa Suktam’ and ‘Sri Rudram’ which are revered as the holiest of all the portions in the Vedas (Ancient Hindu Scriptures). At the beginning of the ‘Purusa Suktam’ (literally it means words describing the Supreme Being) there is a beautiful prayer as follows:
Daivih Svastirastu Nah
Uurdhvam Jigaatu Bhesajam
Sanno Astu Dvipadhe
Om Saantih Saantih Saantih
"That which will avoid misery and sorrow in the present and in the future, we seek to know and pray for.
We pray for the growth of yagjnas (ie., actions that will connect us with and please the gods in charge of the various activities in the universe.)
We pray for the people who execute such yagjnas
and promote universal welfare.
May the grace and blessings of the gods be on us.
May humanity have prosperity and peace.
May the medicinal plants and other vegetation grow tall and profusely.
May we be in happy harmony with the two-legged ones.
May we in happy harmony with the four-legged
GOD! Let there be peace in us, in others and
Traditionally, along with ‘Rudram’ (Hymn on Rudra ie., Siva) they chant a famous prayer which is equally regarded as a powerful mantra:
Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaat Mrutyor
"We worship the three-eyed one (Siva) who has a divinely fragrant form and who helps the growth of full and complete happiness. Like the Urvarukam (a kind of cucumber which lies on the ground and when ripe, gets severed so effortlessly that it is not noticed at all) may I be released from my bondages and die effortlessly after a full life. May I not swerve from the path of Immortality."
Thus one seeks to live well and fully, doing the assigned duties and enjoying the various pleasures of life with the blessings of Lord Siva; but at the same time does not want to be bound to the world so much that he would find it very difficult to die to the world and its pleasures and take to the path of blissful immortality later. Like Antony who definitely loved Caesar but loved Rome more, the devotee wants to enjoy the worldly life to the full but not at the cost of immortality of which the corollary is the ability to give up the body mind-set, etc., as and when required, effortlessly.
O. P. Vidyakar