Part 4: Final Journey

Final Journey

After completing the Dig Vijay Yatra the Acharya remembered the words of Sage Vyasa who had instructed him to do a tour of the land and spread the message of the Vedas and expel all false notions and doctrines.

Starting from Kalady in Kerala, the Acharya had travelled through the length and breadth of the nation and meeting several thousand people along the way. At each location there were intense discussions and formal debates on varied topics. On the one hand the Acharya had to physically undergo the strain of travelling through various terrains, forests, crossing rivers and varying climatic conditions and on the other hand had to be fresh for any debate or question that may be posed to him at any location. He engaged in debates and arguments with care and love for the person on the other side and steadfastness in his faith in the Vedas as the source of all true knowledge. Thus he enabled everyone to realize the true knowledge of the Vedas and set them on the right path. Very rarely were incidences were people felt slighted or humiliated after a debate. Such was his love for his countrymen and such was his faith in the Vedas that he relentlessly did everything possible to bring the Vedic Dharma back into the lives of people.

In his divine yatra, the Acharya was not just a gentle preacher who gave only lectures. But he very actively removed several false notions, purified several practices that were being followed, consecrated and renovated temples and re-established ritualistic worship, helped resolve disputes between followers of different paths and guided thousands who approached him with any doubts. Whatever needed to be corrected he did not hesitate to do so. Wherever his help was needed he even took major tasks like renovation of temples or dispersing kapalikas. Where things could be settled by debate he did that, where he felt more focused effort is required he brought in Vedic scholars and instructed them to stay and spread the message in that place. There were several places where Vedic dharma was nearly not being followed, there were places were people were hostile to it. There were places where several wrong notions and practices were being followed and still there were places where sincere seekers existed and came to Acharya with doubts. The Acharya was ever alert to the needs of every place and took appropriate actions to help the people of the place. It was truly a divine mission carried out with utmost care, love and devotion. It was a complete overhaul in the cultural and spiritual environment of an entire nation.

Having thus fulfilled the divine mission, Acharya sat on the banks of the Mandakini at Kedarnath. Though physically tired his very presence was refreshing and he appeared ever calm and peaceful.

Acharya was in his 32nd year and sensed that his time to depart had arrived. His disciples too felt a little disturbed and expressed their prayers that the Acharya should live for a hundred years and bless the land. Acharya would only smile.

King Sudhanwa who had accompanied the Acharya on most of his travels requested the Acharya for direction and guidance so that the task that Acharya had accomplished in this grand yatra could be strengthened and not let it slip back to earlier state. He said that the people who were now feeling blessed with the visit of the Acharya would need continued guidance from time to time. So very humbly he requested Acharya to guide and direct his disciples and devotees so that the divine current that was flowing through the country be kept alive.

Responding to this the Acharya instructed his disciples to remain firmly in Jnana. He instructed Padmapada, Sureswara, Totaka and Hastamalaka to reside in the four corners of the country and spread the message of the Vedas for the happiness and well being of the world. Through them the Upanishadic dharma will continue to thrive in the ancient land. Brahmavidya will be safe guarded if the tradition of saints and sages is protected. Though householders can gain knowledge of the supreme self, absolute renunciation is necessary to safeguard the required upasanas, dispassion and purity so that it can be effectively passed on to the next generation. He ordained that there will be many saints in their order who will be full of intense dispassion and meticulous adherence to the path ordained by the Vedas and thus continue to keep the knowledge and traditions alive in letter and spirit.

Shrine at the Samadhi temple at Kedarnath
Actual signboard at the spot

After saying all this theAcharya became absorbed in profound Samadhi. Now there came a concourse of Rishts and Devas with Brahmaat t.heir head, to lead this incarnate aspect of Siva back to Hispristine state in Sivaloka (Siva's Abode) in the heaven of Kailasa.The assemblage of luminous chariots filled the heavenly paths.The celestials rained a heavy shower of Mandara flowers over theregion and sang the glory of Lord Siva who had taken that formof a Sannyasin: "Thou art the first of Devas. Thou art the destroyerof Tripuras. Thou didst bum Cupid and swallow poison. Thou,the three-eyed one, art the centre from which the origin, the sustenance and the dissolution of the universe take place. Thou hastaccomplished the mission for which Thou didst manifest in the world. Pray! Do come now into.our midst in Thy heavenly Abode."As the Devas addressed Him thus, the great Lord, stirred to thedepth of His being, was ready to ascend to His supreme Abode, when there came and stood before Him the divine Bun Nandi,His vehicle, of swan-like whiteness. Indra and his retinue nowraised their voice in a chorus of hymns and began to rain flowersgathered from the heavenly Kalpaka tree, and in the midst of thesethrilling occurrences, the great Sannyasin, mounting the back ofthe divine Bull with Brahma supporting Him, transformed himselfinto his real form as the great Lord Siva with matted locks and thecrescent moon peeping from it. And, as the Devas and the Rishiscried 'Hail unto Him', He attained to His Divine Abode