On Sadhana - Parashara Bhattar's interesting reply
I was listening to the Tamil discourse on the life and teachings of Swami Parashara Bhattar from the site acharya.org/d.html | Upanyasams | BhattarVaibhavam.
After Sri Bhattar has become the next in line to Swami Ramanujar to the mutt/religious order of Sri Vaishnavam in SriRangam, one day he is visited by a Sri Vaishnava gentleman who asks bhattar how he has to do service to the god each day.
For this bhattar replies to him, that he has to wake up at 3:30 am each day, do aradhana by performing a list of activities, then afternoon aradhana, then evening aradhana followed by rehearsal of ithihasas, etc and perhaps take some rest at night 11:30 to be followed by waking up at 3:30 am next day.
The Sri Vaishnava is greatly pleased, But he also wants to know how Bhattar performs so many duties each day and sits down the next day to observe him. To his amazement, Bhattar does not do anything! He just sits in one spot and does 'mananam' (recitation) of some stotras/kathas, perhaps some divya prabandha. Even during the time of offering food to deity, Bhattar does nothing. Instead when it is time for him to eat his food, he sits down, offers first some water to the deity vigraha that he placed next to him, followed by offering of uneaten food first from his plate. And his day goes by like this, without much ado on his part regarding devata aradhana (deity worship).
Perplexed, the Sri Vaishnava asks Bhattar how come, having asked him to do so much each day to serve the deity in proper manner, Bhattar himself is doing so little, for which Bhattar says, "For you, even as much (as I told you to do) is not enough, for me, even this much is not needed!". (I do not know the exact phrase Bhattar might have used, so if this sounds like slightly conceited response, I apologize for that, but the point is to focus on the meaning Sri Bhattar has to offer).
Sometime back we had this conversation on daily sadhana and some members felt they need not do so much or any bit of daily sadhana at all... when I heard the above, it reminded me of this conversation we had. Just thought of sharing...
jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar