To many, Karthika Vanabhojanalu is just another chance to meet and greet and have endless banter over food. Not many know the purpose, of paramount importance that comes hidden in it.
What happened on Karthika Poornima
It is very well known to the devotees that Lord, Sriyah Pathi (the Compassionate Supreme Power) goes in to Yoga Nidra for 4 long months, which mark the Chathurmasam.
Ever wondered why and what Yoga Nidra is and how different it is from the sleep that living beings have day in and day out? The sleep that we usually experience is caused by fatigue of eyes or in some, due to excess of Thamo Guna or Thamas.
But what is it in the case of the Lord of lords? In these four months, the creator, The Trivikrama puts himself in to deep silence and contemplates about the well-being of the Jeeva Koti, not humans alone, but the all-encompassing universe.
After 4 long months, Swami wakes up on the day of Prabhodini Ekadasi of the Karthika Masa. The second day, i.e., on the Ksheerabdi Dwadasi, becomes the day when all of the Devas come and meet the Lord Sriyah Pathi. They perform Pavithrothasavam for Swami with a rather competitive spirit to get attention of Swami. Until the day of Karthika Poornima, the Devas continue to serve (kainkaryam) Swami. On the day of Karthika Poornima, the lords Indra, Agni, Vayu and Varuna purge the Jeeva Rasis on the instruction of Lord Sriyah Pathi. This is the time we witness the rainy season, don’t we?
What is a Vanam?
Vanam literally means a garden. Figuratively it is something that gives the beholder, an undue satisfaction to the eyes and heart. Spiritually, who is the one who gives an endless satisfaction, no matter how long, no matter how many times? The obvious answer is the Paramathma.
Navatha Mupayi: meaning one who looks fresh every single time you see Him. The nature too is a form of God. They say Thasyathath Vanamithi: meaning Vanam is one of the names the Lord Narayana. Devas during the holy month Karthikam, on the instruction of Lord Narayana,as stated earlier, dwell in the nature, in the trees specifically.
The Devas are a form of Fire. Meaning they take in food in the form of fire(Yagam/Homam). In nature, when two trees are rubbed against each other, give the birth to fire. So fire lives in all the beings in its nascent form.
There are 4 forms of Agni,
Vaisvanara Agni, the fire with in all the living forms kept alive through food intake or the Aahara
The fire that lives in the sky, Divyagni,
Badavagni, the fire that dwells in water.
The Agni that forms in the creepers of the clouds.
Also there is another form of Agni that forms from Gold.
Of all these, Agni that comes from the trees is of supreme importance to the Jeeva Rasi.
What will happen to the human body when the fire within us dies, we die too. Hence the fire within us keeps alive. How does one keep the fire within us alive? By consuming the food and water.
When the water in the body reduces, we drink water. When the Agni within us i.e., the Tejas, shrinks, we take the Agni and How? Which is what we do during the month of Karthika Masam on a Vana Samaradhana.
Just like how the tree springs to new life in itself after a fall, we humans should too refill the Tejas by eating in its minute form and in the purest form. And so during The sacred month of Karthika Masa, our scriptures guide us to cook and take the food in the shade of trees that shower the purest form of Tejas.
On this Karthika Poornima, The Divya Saketham too was adorned with devotees who took part in the divine practice of Vana Bhojanam for the betterment of the mind, spirit and soul.
– From the teachings of HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji on 4th November 2017
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