Friday, July 4, 2014

509. Pradakshina: Being aware of each Step and hav e a Conscious Walk.....

Pradakshina is a customary circumambulation of the outer prakara of the sanctum going from the right. Pradakshina and Parikrama does mean the same but the word Parikrama is used to go around a natural occurrence like a hill or a river or tulasi plant or even fire, while Pradakshina is limited to outer premise with the Lord as the central point. As it is impossible to draw a perfect circle ignoring the center point, Lord is the center point providing the source and essence of our lives. The significance of performing Pradakshina is to recognise Him as the core point in our lives so that we can go about doing our daily chores. This is to emphasize that He is the center of everything around and hence everything else revolves round him. It is the adaptation of the solar system where all the planets revolve around sun which is the reason for the other planets to exist. It is the same as our Muslim brethren do in Tawaaf-e-Kaabah, for the feel of oneness. We all know that any point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the center point. This shows that wherever we are we are equally close to Him who is at the center.  

As the matter of fact everything here in the universe does Pradakshina. In an atom it is the electrons which go around the nucleus. While in meditation our awareness goes around the inner self and has a rendezvous with it. This is called Atma Pradakshina and many a times it is done at the end of a pooja with the chant of a sloka which goes like this:

Yani kani cha Papani Janmanthara krithani cha Thani thani vinashyanthi Pradakshinam pade pade

(Sins of any intensity committed in this and previous births will be destroyed by doing Pradakshinam step by step).

Pradakshina is done very slowly and it is not hurried. They say it has to be done at the pace of a pregnant woman holding a cup of oil filled to the rim and walking. The essence is that it has to be done not as a brisk walk which we do as exercise. It has to involve both our body as well as our mind. In Pradakshina our mind has to remain one pointed even though the limbs and the body are moving. This is where the sloka gets its significance when mind is one pointed it acts as a sieve purifying the sins committed by thought, word and deed. This is same as the confessions done by our Christian brethren in front of the priest.  

Sri Sri Sankara in one of his works “Shiva Manasa Pooja” tells that our simple stroll becomes a Pradakshina if we just meditate on Him. Such a walk will take us around millions of galaxies as He is infinite. There is this puranic story where for the knowledge fruit symbolized as a mango fruit, Ganesha and his younger bother Karthikeya are put to test and asked to go around the universe. Whoever returns first will be rewarded with the fruit. Wasting no time Karthikeya mounts on his peacock and set off.  Ganesha just walks a full circle around his parents saying that since his world contains only his parents there is more logic for him to circumambulating them.

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