Jnana Yajna 53

Year & Dates:

January 27, 1959 to February 18, 1959

Yajna Topic:

Aitareya Upanishad


Bengaluru, India.

In the sharp cold morning air of January 27, 1959, at the City Institute Grounds of Chamarajpet, Bengaluru, there was a warm glow of happiness inside the pandal where the 53rd Jnana Yajna of Pujya Gurudev was inaugurated at exactly 7:30 am. Before the large, attentive audience who had gathered, Dr. Anantharaman, a respected scientist and professor at Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru, honored Pujya Gurudev with the title “Vedanta Kesari,” meaning the “Lion of Vedanta” and appreciated how Chinmaya Jnana Yajnas were the apt answer to problems, personal or national. 

Beginning with the impassioned Santipath, Pujya Gurudev highlighted how Aitareya, a boy not brahmin by birth, gained the Highest Wisdom and gave it to all as Aitareya Upanishad. This only proved that scriptures welcome sincere aspirants of any background.

The All-Embracing Lion of Vedanta

When introducing the Aitareya Upanishad, Pujya Gurudev narrated how Mother Earth initiated the son of Itara, Mahidasa (a potter and servant of the earth) to realize the Infinite Perfection.  He drew attention to the way the Upanishad under study, belonging to Rg Veda, contained “similes and metaphors taken from the potter’s life, and to that extent, we may say that Aitareya Upanishad is the Scripture of the common man, the Bible of the proletarian, the Quran of the laborer.” As He elaborated on the great progression of thought in the Upanishad, the common examples began indicating the lofty Truth behind Creation, the journey of the jiva (individual soul), and the essence of unity declared by the well-known Mahavakya – Prajnanam Brahma, Consciousness is Brahman.

As this Upanishad Jnana Yajna ran parallel with the Gita Jnana Yajna, their paths united in a glorious Akanda Kirtan before a resplendent Krishna Vigraha in the Odakathur Mutt culminating in a grand Vishnu Sahasra Laksharchana. Pujya Gurudev explained how offering flowers in worship symbolized surrendering the negative vasanas (inherent tendencies) to purify and invoke the Divine within.

Always making time for children and youth amid the two Yajnas, Pujya Gurudev was overjoyed to listen to the “Chinmaya Bala Vihar” children of Chamarajpet recite the entire second chapter of the Gita. He also made sure to inspire the youth in various colleges in Bengaluru with His many lectures..

The Avabhrta Snaana at the sacred Kapila river near Nanjundeshwara temple with the bonus darshan at the renowned Chamundeshwari temple was an unforgettable immersion where kirtan, bhajan, meditation, Gita chanting, and satsang with Pujya Gurudev made over 500 devotees temporarily transcend their preoccupations with a mundane world.

The two yajnas were a Vedantic symphony. Pujya Gurudev, as the consummate conductor, made children, youth, and adults of all backgrounds reach a spiritual crescendo through several paths.

“Think,” Says Pujya Gurudev 

Memory is facilitated by continuously employing the mind to dwell upon those thoughts for a longer period, and this mental and intellectual process of assimilation of what we have heard is called ‘reflection’ (Manan.) To do manan we need not renounce the world or run away into a quiet corner. It is most effectively undertaken by maintaining in one corner of the mind these thoughts to smolder. A small quantity of incense burning at one end of a hall can impart its fragrance throughout the hall, and even waft the same sweetness to the atmosphere outside the windows. So too, the vedantic discourses heard once may be allowed to smolder at one end of the mind and it will soon spread its fragrance into the wider world of one’s own thoughts and ideas within, and speech and actions without.

From Aitareya Upanishad Yajna Prasad

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