Wednesday, August 19, 2009
OM BHOOTABRITHE NAMAHA
The sixth name of the Lord from the ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’, talks about the lord being the supporter of all beings. He is in the form of being the inner soul or Atman of all beings, and as the One who nourishes and protects all beings.
Sri Sankara interprets it as the acts of creation or destruction in the context of three functions of creation, sustenance and destruction. The Lord is the ‘Bhoota brith' hears, feeds, supports all in the universe, the materials we enjoy, and the various scriptures we read. That is why he is called ‘the navel of all’, in the Vedas.
The story states that – Once there lived a poor Vishnava Brahmin who had 16 children living in poverty survived merely on the ‘prasadam’(holy food offered to the Lord) distributed and always wore perpetual look of hunger. The Vaishnava’s family made the front portion of the temple as their residence.
The incident was brought to the notice of Ramanuja Dasha. On being questioned the poor Vaishnava admitted that he knew no Vedas to join any mutt and only a few words from the ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’, and in case if he was late his family would not get a single morsel hence he is forced to reside in the precincts of the holy temple.
Ramanuja was moved and felt compassionate. He asked the Vaishnava to chant the Sahasranama and stay away from the vicinity of the temple and promised that his food will come searching his family.
The old Sri Vaishnava started chanting ‘Vishwan Vishnur Vashat Karaha Bhoota Bhavya Bhavat Prabhuhu, Bhootakrit Bhoota brith’.
The old brahmin was not seen in the vicinity of the temple. Days passed by and the Vaishnava never came to the temple.
A strange sight was witnessed. A plate and a huge chunk of the Lord’s prasadam meant for distribution to devotees was found missing. The matter was brought to the notice of Ramanuja.
On the advice of Ramanuja his disciples found the Sri Vaishnava residing at Srirangam and brought him to meet Ramanuja. The Vaishnavite was overwhelmed and offered his obeisance.
When the Sri vaishnavite told that a boy had been bringing and offering them food on his head stating that he is called as Azhagiya-Manavala Ramanuja Dasan of Ramanuja.
Ramanuja was overwhelmed and stood in reverence in front of the Lord at the temple and cried – “Oh! My Lord Azhagiya Manavala”.
A voice spoke from the ether -“Ramanuja, I did not do it merely to honor your word. Sage Ved Vyasa has included Bhoota Brith, in the 1000 names he has given me. It means – I am the feeder of all”.
Dear readers, the Lord is called Bhoota brith’ for he feeds, fosters and protects all that exists. Hence, chant with faith and devotion: ‘Bhoota brith’ - the supporter, the feeder – the bearer of all things.
Chant “OM BHOOTA BRITHE NAMAHA” so that none in the universe suffers from any legitimate hunger, both in the mundane and spiritual aspects.