Sunday, October 22, 2017

1113. Real Tipu.....please stand up!!!


History sometimes becomes ambiguous due to the fact that the interpretation of those who have seen the event would have recorded it according to their perception. Though the historical events articulated as stories of many Kings do not alter much, there was one ruler in Deccan who was hated in one region and had earned respect in the other.   

Tipu Sultan is hated in the Malabar and Kodagu region while in Mysore region he had earned respect, though he was not revered or adored.

Hyder Ali, father of Tipu captured the throne of Mysore in a treacherous way from Immadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. His queen Lakshmi Ammani Devi constantly made efforts to restore and started negotiation with the British. Enemy’s enemy is a friend they say. The then Pradhan of Wodeyar, Tirumala Iyengar helped her and hence Hyder Ali imprisoned of relatives of Tirumala Iyengar who were called Mandyam Iyengars who lived near Melkote.

When Tipu came to know about Tirumala Iyengar talking to British, Tipu decided to massacre the Iyengars who were living in Melkote on Naraka Chaturdashi day. When all Mandyam Iyengars were immersed in Deepavali celebrations, Tipu’s men entered Melkote and massacred at least 800 people including women and children. Then on Naraka Chaturdashi became a black day in the history those survivors of Mandyam Iyengars belonging to Bharadwaja gothra. 

Some feel that Tipu fought against British and brand him a freedom fighter. This is not true he was surely an ambitious ruler who aimed at becoming Emperor of India which prompted him to convert Hindus to Islam religion.

Further we come to hear that he donated a lot to a Hindu temple. As I understand the history of Tipu, he had Purnaiah, a Brahmin as his dewan who advised him to take refuge in Sri Srikanteshwara Swamy at Nanjangudu when Tipu was facing hardship in this fag end days.

Once the favourite elephant of Tipu took ill and lost its sight, Tipu prayed to the presiding Deity and the elephant got back sight. Overwhelmed by the grace of the Deity, Tipu consecrated a Pachche (emerald) Linga adored it with Makara Kanti Hara. 
Tipu was never tolerant towards Hindus the circumstances made him revere the Deity at Nanjangudu nothing more. He is known for his atrocities in attacking temples in Kerala, the famous Guruvayur temple being one of them.

Ironically the descendents of Tipu are rickshaw pullers and daily wage works in Kolkata while my state  Government is planning to spend crores on Tipu Jayanthi celebrations.

Appeasement at the highest.....what say???

Saturday, October 21, 2017

1112.Intentions have always got to be Noble and Crystal Clear…………!



No matter how good your intentions are the world looks at your presentation, no matter how good your presentation is, Absolute look at the intentions behind it.

To impress others is most natural human instinct and basically those acts of impressing are moreover inclined towards concealed intentions. These intentions sprout out thoughts and those thoughts lead to actions. If the intentions are noble then the thoughts are nobler and much nobler will be the actions. While noble actions produce external result of success, the noble intentions produce the internal result of peace. Any action without the backing of a noble intention is unjustifiable. 

How do these intentions shape up in us? The intentions are cause either by the impressions that are latent in our unconscious mind or they get triggered by the influence of the external world like the opinions of others and/or our own limiting convictions. These intentions are in fact like the foundation base for a strong character to develop over it. Amazingly this foundation base could be formed with our conscious aware of it or without our conscious knowing about it also.

If we are unaware of these we may sometime end up living by default and will not know what and why we are doing. This is not a good feel at all. This happens when our intentions are influenced by outside sources and the result is that we feel stuck or detached or entrapped by such influence. In contrast if the intentions are guided by our self then they become the infrastructure of our life. By observing the intentions which are noble and crystal clear we can live a more conscious, mindful life.

Outside a village at the edge of a forest lived an old sage who sat into meditation for hours and remained calm, still, and silent. During his period of meditation, the pigeons and doves would just climb up and down playfully all over him. The birds just loved his presence and were fascinated by the bright aura that emanated from his body.

Seeing this wonderful sight, one day a hunter came to the sage. He told the sage that he was unable to have a good catch for the last few days and his family was starving. He told the sage to catch one or two pigeons so that he can cook them and feed his family. At first the sage was very hesitant, but after looking at the plight of the poor hunter, the sage agreed. He told the hunter that he will catch a pigeon for him the next day.

The next day morning, the hunter came to the sage. As usual the sage sat down and started his meditation. The hunter was watching the sage. Surprisingly, not a single bird came near the sage. They didn't even come into the direction where the sage was sitting. The sage waited for quite some time and the birds clearly avoided his boundary.

The sage got up and started walking away. The hunter came running to the sage and asked

“Why, what happened? Not a single bird came near you today?”

The sage replied, “Every day I come here to meditate with full of positive intentions and the birds get attracted towards those positive vibrations. But today, when I came here my intention was to catch the birds. This clearly was a negative intention; meditation was only namesake, so the energy field within me was not positive. The birds were able to sense it and hence they did not come near me.”


If you are intentions are not noble and are filled with negativity, then the positivity in the action you do will suffer.

Monday, October 16, 2017

1111. Miracle at the Sanctum....!



This temple is opened only for a few days in a year during the Hindu lunar calendar month of Ashwija. The temple will be opened a day after the full moon and is closed a day after Balipadyami in Karthika. The devotees will have the opportunity to have the darshana of the deity only for eight days, excluding the first and the last days. 

Saptamatrikas (Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrani and Chamundi) came to south of India they were taken aback by the beauty of Malnadu and decided to make it their home forever. Thus all the eight deities settled at this place. Maheshwari, Kaumari, and Vyshnavi took residence in the three anthills inside the sanctum; Brahmi in Hosakote (Fort) nearby; while Indrani, Varahi and Chamundi chose the three wells in Devigere (Pond).

The uniqueness of this temple is that the Nandaa Deepa (a ghee lit lamp) which is lit at the time of closing the tenple burns through out the year, with the ghee never depleting. Also the Anna naivedya (rice offering) made at the time of closing the tenple stays warm and unspoiled when the door is open again, a year later.

The temple is closed by building a wall at the entrance of the sanctum using bricks and cement mortar only to be demolished after an year.

In our science class we have studied that for a lamp to stay burning supply of air is necessary and flames get doused in vacuum. For the edible item to remain fresh for longer period it is necessary for us to create vacuum by siphoning air out of its container.

Here at this temple lamp burns because of the air within the sanctum and yet the rice offering made is not turned stale due to the presence of air. Some things happen beyond the explanation of science and that is what we are unable to comprehend.

The temple is Hasanamba Temple at Hassan district, Karnataka. Hassan is 183 Kms from Bengaluru. The Hasanamba Temple houses the presiding deity of Hassan, Goddess Hasanamba. She has been given that name as she is perceived to be ever smiling, bestowing all riches on her devotees. The town too, derives its name from her. Earlier it was called Simhasanapuri, however, after the Goddess Hasanamba started residing here, it was renamed Hasana (Hassan).

Yesterday we had been to have the darshana of the deity and the ever burning lamp.

Jai Hasanamba!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

1110. Bhang....Bang on!


Our guide at Chittorgarh fort while explaining the heroics of the Rajput solders mentioned that it was a practice then for the solders to consume “Bhaang.” He went on to tell that they consumed the herb before the combat so that it smoothens the nerves to reduce the impact of pain. He asked me if I had any knowledge of it. I said I knew about it but had never seen it. In a flash he fished out a small packet from his pocket and showed me a lump of green substance which looked like a finely ground leaf mixture. “Bhaang toh Bolenath ki Prasad hote hai, hum use Mahadev Ka Prasad mankar lethe hai,” (Bhaang is the offering to Shiva, we consume it as His oblation) he said.

Our next destination after Chittorgarh Fort was Nathadwara to have darshan of Shri Sreenath ji. As we came out of the temple after the darshan I saw a “Thandai” shop. It served cold drink prepared by grinding almonds fennel seeds, watermelon seeds, rose petals, peepers, cardamom, saffron and sugar and adding with milk. When I got there I came to know that the “Thandai” has another ingredient to go with it, it is “Bhaang” I ordered a glass of Bhaang Thandai, the thandaiwala asked me if I tried it before. Looking at my despondent reply he said he will add only a little quantity of it to the drink. That was my first experience of having Bhaang.

Now, what is this Bhaang? This was the question that creeped into my mind. For the answers I hit Google, here is the list of what I came to know about “Bhaang”

Atharvaveda mentions five sacred plants on earth among which Bhang finds place. The other four being Ashwatta (Ficus Religiosa), Darbha (Desmostachya Bipinnata), Soma (Amanita Muscaria), Bhang (Cannabis Sativa) and Rice (Oryza Sativa). This Bhang is also referred to as a “source of happiness” or “joy-giver”. Ayurveda recognizes the medicinal value of this plant and is called the “Penicillin of Ayurvedic medicine”

The only blunder to think that Bhang is a bad substance is that it is mistaken to be “Ganja”. We all know that plants are categorised as male and female depending on its ability to sprout flower buds. Ganja is the one which sprout flower bud and produce resin very high in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) this THC is responsible for Psychological effects. Bhang prepared from the leaves of a male plant which do not have flower buds comprising mostly of leaves where the THC level is low compared to Ganja.

As this Bhang is associated with Shiva and Parvathi, it is said that Parvathi alone could control the perturbation of Shiva and hence she created this herb to control him in her absence. In North India those leaves are treated like Bhilva and offered to Shiva Linga.

As per our Ayurveda, Bhang is one of the most effective and natural medicine ever available to mankind that can cure diseases, wounds and neurological or nervous disorder. Before Auragazeb banned the cultivation of this herb, we Indians used it in treatment of nausea, chronic vomit, fever and sunstroke.

More research needs to be done on this herb......will we!


Friday, October 13, 2017

1109. Rani Padmavati...!



Before the trailer release of the movie Padmavati our group was lucky enough to step foot on the famous Chittorgarh Fort.

This fort was originally called Chitrakut and was buit by Chitrangada Mori of a Rajput clan which claim descent from Solar dynasty. It is believed that Bhimasena of Mahabharatha had stuck the ground which resulted in water springing out to form a large reservoir (The one in the photo). We were told by our guide that this water body which is called Bhimlat Kund was the place where Padmavati took bath after pass through an underground tunnel which connected her royal harem to the kund. After bath she would offer prayer at a temple near the kund.

The history of the fort states that the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire ruled what is marked as Iron Age of Indian Sub-continent between 7th and 11th centrury C.E. Guhilas of Mewar were Vassals to this dynasty which later on split into Rawal and Sisodia. While Rawal under Bappa Rawal ruled from Chittorgarh, the Sisodias under Rana Kumbha ruled from Kumbalgarh.

In the year 1303 Rawal King Ratan Singh was ruling from Chittorgarh fort. He heard about the beauty of Padmavati who was exceptionally beautiful princess from Singhal Kingdom (do not know if it is a Srilankan Kingdom as many insist). After an adventurous quest he married her and brought her to Chittorgarh.

The Turkic ruler of Delhi Allauddin Khilji who was a womeniser also heard about her beauty was obsessed with the desire to obtain her. He attacked Chittorgarh but could not enter the fort and hence made a peace pact with Ratan Sen. He invited the King to his tent. Thereafter Allauddin cunningly detained the King and sought barter with Padmavati.

Gora and Badal Sonegra, the uncles of Padmavati spun a plan and agreed to send Padmavati to Allauddin as an exchange to their King, but along with her maids. Palanquins which were supposed to carry women ferried 700 brave soilders in them. The army attacked the tents and released the King and took him back to the fort.

Engraged Allauddin attacked the fort again and after fighting for more two months the Rajput army could not resist the invasion. The valiant Rajput men shouting “Jai Eklingji” faught bravely till death outside the fort while the women thousands in number led by Padmavati performed Jauhar (Self-Immolation on a pyre). They jumped into the fire so that they are not forced upon by Allauddin and his army.

Do not know if a few would agree with the decision Padmavati had taken at that time. When I read an article in "The Quint" authored by Ms.Urmi Bhattacheryya, I could sense the change in the mindset from those times and now. In the write up the author urges not to glorify Padmavati for choosing honor over life. So some feel that she should have submitted herself to Allauddin and save the King and the Kingdom. Maybe for her as they say in Kannada “Pranakkinta maana doddadu” (Honour is greater than life). 

When she was approached by Rathan Singh she submitted herself to him but she could not do so to Allauddin, she very clearly knew the difference between Love and Lust. 

Let us see what version our SLB will serve us.....!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

1108. Ban on Fireworks....!



Ban on Firecrackers by our highest court has multiple reasons one of which is Air Pollution and second is that the noise from firecrackers scare pets. The third is the injuries caused to eye. Apart from these I was amazed when I read that a few NGO’s were calling for boycott of fireworks this Deepavali through misleading information that “Fireworks were recent invention and never a part of our ancient culture” 

I do agree with the pollution menance due to fireworks but i do not agree with the statement that we people of Bharathavarsha are new to fireworks. 

Fireworks comprises of three main pyrotechnic compositions firstly Potassium Nitrate also called Saltpetre which our ancients knew as “Agnichurna” in Sanskrit. In Ayurveda it is called "Suvarnalavana" akin to Rock Salt, used for preparing medicine for indigestion.

Then there is Sulphur which is called “Gandhaka” in Sanskrit. It is a yellow powder which when ignited gives out fumes and smoke. I do remember when I was in school my Mama (Mother’s Brother) used to pour sulphur on a plank and set fire to it. It was to get rid of the hairy caterpillar group which had infested the castor grove behind out home. At those times Sulphur was used as insecticide and it was a beautiful sight to see the fumes and smoke. We were never rebuked about pollution then.

The third component is charcoal which is “Angharaka” in Sanskrit and we all have used charcoal at some stage. 

It is believed that the fireworks mixture has it origin in our country and this knowledge spread to east gradually. Firecrackers had different names in different regions such as Pataka, Vedi, Ateeshbazi etc. So in short our ancients did have the tradition of fireworks and it is very much in our culture. The celebrations at temples would not end without fireworks which is still practiced in Kerala and Tamil Nadu temples even today.

Air Pollution due to firecrackers is just a fraction compared to Carbon dioxide emitted by our vehicles, Sulphur dioxide released by factories and Chlorofluorocarbon discharged by our air-conditioners and refrigerators daily.

Why is fireworks alone targeted, I wonder. I do agree that it can be avoided but only from the view point of pollution, not just because some moronic organization say that it is not in our culture or tradition.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

1107. What is Pleasure???


Duryodhana refuses to part with five villages to Pandavas, King Dhritarasthra was depressed he sought the help of Mahatma Vidhura to advise him on the Dharma (Righteousness). The dialogues between Vidhura and Dhritarasthra is compiled and tittled “Vidhura Gita.” This text is generally referred to as “Vidhura Neethi” it comprises maxims of right conduct, fairplay and the art of governing and politics.

Explaining about the Sukha (Pleasures) that mortals experience in their lifespan, Mahatma Vidhura zero in on six components. Vidhura identifies six sources to experience pleasure in this corporeal world. Artha Agama (Flow of Revenue), Nityam Arogita (Incessant Good Health), Priyashcha bharya Priya vadini (Beloved and Pleasant speaking Wife), Vashyashcha Putro (Obedient Children) and finally Arthakari Vidya (Useful Knowledge) are the six means to experience pleasure in life.

Refering to the first component Mahatma Vidhura categorically suggests flow of revenue rather than Sampat (Wealth). Net worth in assests can never match the revnue flow. Liquidity is often a better indication of financial health than net worth. Regular cash flow alone is the one which can keep us in comfort zone.

The second in the list is continual good health. We may occasional have cold, fever, headache or body pain and that is not considered sickness. Here Vidhura is mentioning about any regular illness or permanent ailment, something that requires frequent visit to hospital. Even if all other sources of pleasures are available an unhealthy person cannot be in comfort as his mind is experiencing uneasiness.

The third and fourth is a combination of beloved and pleasant speaking wife. Note that here Vidhura is talking to King Dhritarasthra hence he uses the word “Bharya” (Wife). If he was addressing Gandhari maybe he would have used the word “Bharta” (Husband). The tone of the voice should never be harsh when the couple talk to each other. Voice should be sweet so as the words used. Some meet all the requirements of being a good spouse, but there is an unnecessary Ugrata (Acrimony) in their words when they talk to their spouse. While some spouses do not give a straight answer to any question and the answer is always in the form of a counter question. A harsh spouse will make life miserable even if she/he is considered to be beloved.

Next is to have obedient children, which King Dhritarasthra was deprived with. He had a misfortune of surrendering to the wishes of his eldest son rather than having his son under his control. Children have to be given independence and should be allowed to decide on their own. But the decision which they take should not be a cause for discomfort to parents. Parents find life miserable if they are to lead a life obedient to their own children. An excellent bond we develop with our children and children who show deference to their parents is a vital component for experiencing pleasure in life.

Finally the knowledge acquired by a person during his life time should be useful to him as well as to the society. We might have taken considerable time and resources to gain knowledge. If the knowledge so acquired is not used for the benefit of self and the society, it is a colossal waste. To gain knowledge is itself a fortune and to use it is wisdom. A wise person always experiences comfy.

With this six components Mahatma Vidhura has made easy for us to evaluate ourselves against these benchmarks and decide where we stand; whether we are pleased or displeased or somewhere in between.....

Monday, October 9, 2017

1106. Hazrath Khawja Gharib Nawaz.....!



I was wondering what the abbreviation of K.G.N & H.K.G.N is, whenever I saw it written on the transport vehicles. Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (K.G.N) & Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz (H.K.G.N) is the eulogy of the Great Sufi Saint Moinuddin Chisti, who is equally revered by Muslims and Hindus. Thousands of devotees visit the famous Dargah (Tomb) at place called Dargah Shariff situated at Ajmer. Khwaja Gharib Nawaz means Benefactor of the Needy.

When we planned our tour itinerary for Jaipur we did not forget to include Ajmer Shariff. Also we had Puskhar Temple which we had visited, the only temple dedicated to Brahma. We took bath at the Puskhar lake and after paying our obeisance at Brahma Temple, we headed towards Ajmer which is 16 Kms.

Ajmer is very picturesque flanked by the Aravalli mountain range. The Dargah looks massive with a white embodiment of circular dome. Our vehicle was to big for the narrow lanes of the place we had to hire a share auto to find way to dargah of Garib Nawaz. Dargah has a huge gate and just outside the main gate we can find numerous shops selling Chadar, pink Rose flowers, incense sticks to offer at the Dargah.

Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the “Khwaja Saheb” or the living spirit as he is fondly called attracts not only the muslims as the place ought to be but the people of all faiths and religion. We could see people from all faiths and creed here the moment we started walking towards the Dargah.

As we entered the holy place, as the convention goes we had to cover our head with a scarf. When we entered the place, the only thing we had noticed was the tomb covered in its various decorations and the serenity. Inside the Dargah we found attendants helping devotees to offer the Chadar, rose flower and incense. The place was little crowded yet every individual had space for himself. Once outside the Dargah we could see people in small groups listening to qawwali praising the Saint, and also a few of them chanting the holy name using seeds of dates as counting abacus.

It is said that Emperor Akbar and his queens used to pay their obeisance to this great Saint. This Sufi Saint is blessing many since eons.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

1105. Karva Chauth.....



Only if the husband is also willing to fast for the wellbeing of the wife, should the wife observe Karva Chauth” wrote an English newspaper a few years back. The writer could be talking about the reciprocation between husband and wife. In that sense it is very much necessary for both to have a good mutual understanding. 

The mutual understanding which do not let either if them go past the other. When the marriage is solemnized the mantra which the output utters also mean the same “Dharmecha Arthecha Kamecha Naathicharami“. (I promise stand with you in Dharma, Artha and Kama, will never outdistance you).

This mantra is not mentioning about the kind of duty but it is relating to the responsibility in carrying out the duty. If the husband is working outside as professional even so is the wife doing her duty professionally inside the home. We should not be amazed even if the roles of the husband and wife interchange.

If a husband gets up from sleep in the morning and wife provides him hot streaming coffee it should show her Love towards him. If she happens to question herself if she is a slave, then the relationship they hold get murky. Likewise the husband too should acknowledge the love and affection she is showering in him instead of merely considering her to have come to do the chores at the home.

Husband and wife have to make the home the best place to live. It happens only if they mutually consider themselves as King and Queen, not a slave and master.
In “Peddarayudu” a telugu movies there is a dialogue which goes thus- “The relationship between wife and husband should be like a fish and water but not fish and fisherman”.

Karva Chauth is one ritual which bonds the relationship be it wife taking up fasting for the wellbeing of her husband or the husband reciprocating to the wife with love.

May this Karva Chauth bring the husband and wife closer and closer than before.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

1104 Jantar Mantar, Jaipur...!



Aryabhatta, Baskaracharya and Varahamihira were the first and famous mathematicians and astronomers who gave us the science of astronomy and astrology in prose form.

It was in the early 18th century, the Rajput ruler of Amber, Maharaja Jai Singh constructed five astronomical monuments called Jantar Mantar (Jantar is from the Sanskrit word “Yantra,” meaning “Instrument,” as does Mantar from “Mantra,” meaning formula) in Delhi, Mathura, Varanasi, Ujjain and Jaipur. What is more amazing about these astronomical monuments is that one can keep track of all the Celestial Bodies from here. Yes by that time Galileo had invented telescope and even before the invention of telescope our ancient knew a lot about the solar system.

Maharaja Jai Singh who was a Rajput Mughal Commander had keen interest in Astronomy an Astrology. It is that interest which has made the Jantar Mantar sit pretty within City Palace compound of Jaipur and during our visit, we had the opportunity to spend a quiet & reflective afternoon among those beautiful structures.

Jantar Mantar has been declared as one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and rightfully so. It is a architectural astronomical marvel, working perfectly even to the present day. The observatory has 14 astronomic structures, which are not only large in size, but built from solid stone & marble. We were told by our guide that the scale to which they have been built has been to increase the accuracy in calculations.

Our guide showing us around knew a lot about how measurements work and how to make calculations. He explained to us how the Sundial can show us the time by the shadow of a pointer cast by the Sun on to a plate marked with the hours, minutes and seconds of the day.

What really interested me was the individual constellation device for different Sun signs. Also there was an instrument which could inform us the zodiac sign of the month. Yet another yantra as they are called, give us the information of the Lagna (Ascendant) for the prediction of destined future of an individual.

The Nakshtras (Celestial Stars) which according to our astronomers are 27 in number and are divided into 13.33° segments. And we have 12 Zodiac signs which are divided into 30° segments. All these astronomical measurements can be calculated using those massive monuments.

Jantar Mantar is a nice place to visit if you are in Jaipur and it is really well preserved, no doubt it is a World Heritage site, we did not know about this bit of information. And, just when I started writing this post, we were on the way to Amber Palace which is also is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The mirror work on the ceiling at Amber Palace to make it look like glowing stars when a beam of light is flashed on it..... is simply amazing.

Friday, October 6, 2017

1103. Sreenath ji of Nathadwara.


Thakur ji as He is fondly called is one of the many forms of Krishna. 

Srimad Bhagavatam illustrates an episode wherein Krishna as a young boy lifted Govardhangiri to protect the inhabitants of Brindavan from torrential downpour. The most ancient description of this deity appears in the Girirajakhanda of the Garga Samhita, He has been referred to as Devadaman Shreenath.

Shreenath ji gives darshan on a large black stone with his left hand raised and the right bunged in a fist. The idol is treated like a young boy by the priest and they tend to Him daily with normal activities like bathing, dressing offering bhog called “prasada” and give Him a little rest at regular intervals.

The idol is decorated with fine intricately woven silk cloth with zari work done on them along with lots of gems of antique value. The view of the idol which we get to see after the “Pardha” (curtain) is removed is a spectacular sight that is simply mesmerizing and enchanting.

The legends have it that the image of the Shreenathji was being transferred to safer place from Jatipura (Goverdhan Hill) near Mathura to hid it from the destructive wrath of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. When the image reached a certain spot the bullock carts wheel sank deep in the mud and refused to move further. The accompanying priest realized that this was the chosen spot and the image did not want to travel any further.

Accordingly a temple was built there, the Haveli of Shreenathji as the temple is called, was once a part of Mewar State, which was ruled by Sisodia Kings.

Shreenathji is referred to with the honorific Thakur ji in local area and customarily the name Shreenathji is not uttered as a matter of respect and reverence.

Jai Shree Krishna.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

1102. Dilwara Temple, Mount Abu...!


King Koushika wanted the wish fulfilling cow Nandini which was with Vashishta. Nandini was gifted by Indra so that the needs of the guests who arrive at the hermitage can be taken care. Nandini had the ability to serve food to thousands at one go.
The logic which King gave was the cow could be put to use better at the palace than in the hermitage. After a fierce battle between the soldiers of King Koushika and the army which came out of Nandini to defend her, in this melee Nandini fell in a lake. Vashishsta prayed the God for help.
Immediately there appeared mighty snake which threw itself into the lake. The force of the fall emptied the lake water so that Nandini could walk out of the lake. The mount on which the lake was emptied of its water was named “Arbudachala” after the snake Arbuda.

Mount Abu, is now the hill station situated at the southern tip of the Aravalli hill range. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhara, which is the highest point. Mount Abu is one of the major pilgrimage destinations in Rajasthan. One can get a panoramic view of the whole region from here. On the top is a cave which has a temple dedicated to Guru Dattatreya an incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu & Maheshwara.
Also we had the darshan of a natural occurring shiva linga at Achaleshwara Mahadev Temple. At the sanctum is Linga which is revered as the big toe of Mahadeva. The temple has a beautiful brass Nandi.
Out next stop was at Dilwara temple is constructed in 11th century using only marble stone. The carvings are exquisite the minuteness in the carving is unimaginable. All the ceiling carvings are absolutely stunning. Though the best among the best was the Narasimha rip opening the stomach of Hiranyakashyapa. We were not allowed to take pictures of the carvings, but fortunately I could download the pic.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1101. Rajput Maharana.....



Our Indian history boasts of many Kings who gallantly fought wars and even laid down their lives for the sake of their kingdom and people. One among them is the Lion of Mewar. We were at Udaipur palace yesterday and our guide was telling us about the famous Mewar King, Maharana Pratap Singh of Chittor. He holds a unique place among the heroes of Mewar. He was a descendant of Sisodia dynasty od Suryavanshi lineage.
Maharana was contemporary to Akbar and it was the time when Akbar had established Mughal supremacy in India and no one dared waging war against him. The Rajput Kings had surrendered before Akbar and even some had given their sisters and daughters in marriage to the Mughal czar to build compromise. At such a time, Maharana Pratap Singh alone stood defying the Mughal empire and even ridiculing the overtures for friendship with them. The Lion of Mewar would not make friends with invaders and infiltrators.
He had his capital at Chittor and a fort on a hill ruling over a tribe called Bhils and other hilly tribes. He did not covet for furthering the frontiers of his kingdom. He did not want to attack other kingdoms to extend his empire. He was only interested in peace and prosperity of his subjects. But he was never allowed to live peacefully by the Mughals. Every now and then they would attack Chitoor.
Once a large army contingency under an able army chiefs was sent by Akbar to subdue the Lion of Mewar. Maharana's own younger brother, Shakti Singh who had differences with Rana had gone over to the side of the enemy. Maharana collected his army of handful of soldiers and came out of Chittor fort to face the enemy in the battlefield of Haldighati.
A fierce battle ensued and the Rajputs and Bhils fought with unparalleled bravery. The Mughal soldiers who supported the Rajputs were taken aback at the unmatched fighting skills of Maharana's army. The battle went on till each and every soldier of the Chittor army was martyred. Chetak, the loyal & royal horse of Maharana wanted to take away its master to safety. Though it had lost one of its leg, with only three legs it carried Maharana out of the battlefield. After leaping the 22 foot river it fell dead. The Battle of Haldighati was a futile victory for the Mughals, as they were unable to oust Maharana.
It was the worst phase of life for Maharana. He had to wander in the forest hiding in the hills. One day a few people from Chittor came to see him and among them was Bhama Shah.Bhama Shah was a great general, adviser, minister of Mewar Kings. He laid all his money, ornaments and jewels at Maharana’s feet and requested him to organise an army. Very reluctantly, the Maharana accepted the offer and with the help of freshly organised army recaptured his kingdom.
The history which our guides at the Udaipur palace and the Kumbalgarh fort told us was enthralling. We could realise that there are only few daredevils like Maharana and only a few loyals like Chetak and Bhama Shah.
Jai Ho Maharana.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

1100. Kamalatmika (Dasha Maha Vidhya)


The Tenth and the Last of the Dasha Maha Vidya (Ten Wisdom aspects of Shakti) is Kamalatmika. She is the Goddess of Inner and Outer Prosperity. Kamala means “Lotus” Atmika is “based on”, thus she is Lotus Goddess of Delight, representing the unfoldment of Divine Nature and its manifestation in the physical world. Her epithets include Shakti as well as Maya.

Kalatmika Devi sits on a lotus which is the symbol of Purity, Spontaneity and Divine Beauty. It rises from unclean water to blossom as a pure uncontaminated flower. Dearth and Dharma come from the fact that despite lotus growing in muddy waters it still restores such a beauty. It makes no pretence of being better than it is and yet it's naturally beautiful. In spite of being in water it is never wet. It does not bothered about its surrounding but it blooms and vanishes. It teaches us to perform actions without getting attached to the outcome of the action performed and also not to bother about the external factors that might influence the action.

Among the Dasha Maha Vidyas, Goddess Kamalatmika is linked to fertility, crop growth and its profits, material wealth and good luck. There is no bias as this grace is to one and all. She relieves one from famine and ensures prosperity. She is only a giver she never expects anything from anyone.

One can find two white elephants showering pristine water on her continuously. Neither is she ferocious holding deadly weapons nor is she threatening with her looks or gestures. An unending gold coins pour out from her palm abundantly. When told that she is not biased many may have a doubt if she could be overlooking the violation of the purusharta goals of Dharma, Arta, Kama and Moksha?

This is to be seen in the context of the Dasha Maha Vidya in their entirety. In their strong associations with death, violence, war and killings they grant social needs such as worldly comfort, security, respect, and honour. Dasha Maha Vidya worship would suggest that seeker experience a refreshing and liberating spirituality in all that is experienced. The central theme for a seeker is Self-realization. Thus one is to stretch consciousness from social norms and expectations. That would require a new and refreshing perspective to live one’s life according to the rules of morality and immorality, a question addressed by the Dasha Maha Vidyas without compromising the goals of purusharthas.

Happy Vijayadashami to all my friends.

These ten write ups on Dasha Maha Vidyas though was the grace of Mother, it was possible for that thought to come out as the post because of your Love & Affection showered on me.

I would like to bow and offer Pranam to all those who supported in this venture either by posting the views or by sending messages in this regard.

May Maa Shakti bless the entire universe and fill it with abundance.

Friday, September 29, 2017

1099. Matangi (Dasha Maha Vidhya)



Shabda (Sound) is one of the most important principles of existence as it is both the source of matter and the key to become free from it. One who can thoroughly understand the four stages of sound as explained in the Vedic texts can utilize this science to become free from the bondage of matter.

When trying to understand the four levels of sound, we must first understand what “Shabda” is. Shabdais not mere vibration created by two objects; it also conveys the idea of an object and that is Vak. Vak is “Artha Ashraya” shelter to meaning. Vak and Artha are considered as a pair. The great poet Kalidasa hence refered Vak and Artha to Parvathi and Parameshwara in his starting verse of Raghuvamsham, the Maha Kavya.

“Vagarthaviva Sampriktua Vagarthah Pratipattyaye
Jagatah Pitarau Vande Parvathiparameshwarau”.

In this verse Kalidasa says it is impossible to separate the word and its meaning. The moment the word is uttered the meaning comes into our mind. The same is true with the Adi Dampati of the Universe Parvati and Parameshwara are inseparable.

Rig Veda says that Vak has four forms namely Para (Transcendental), Pashyanthi (Visible), Madhyama (Whisper) and Vaikari (Audible). The first three are hidden and the fourth is audible. Para is highest vibration frequency making it inaudible like the Pranava Omkara in us. Pashyanthi is mental that can be perceived within, the best example is the sound in the dream. Madhyama is the whisper which is in the thought form held in our mind, the best example is the the dialogue between two thoughts in our mind.Vaikhari is the words coming out of our vocal cord. This Shabda expressed as speech, Vaikahri is the ninth of the Dasha Maha Vidya (Ten Wisdom aspects of Shakti) called Matangi.

Apparently Matangi looks similar to Saraswati. The main point of similarity is the Veena. The sound of the Veena represents creativity, which is the power of consciousness to express itself. She has a parrot which is also associated with speech. Now, why parrot and why not any other bird??? We all know that every bird lets out sound be it chirping, cooing, tweeting, hooting or whistling. Primarily though parrots chirp they can also imitate the voice of humans. Holding this parrot Matangi indicates that we humans too can express the higest intuitions without employing our mental faculties. There is someting in us to thrive beyond the mental limitations.

The birth of Matangi Devi is an illustration for this. The scriptures say she is the daughter of Matanga Maharshi. Matanga was born to a Shudra woman and a Vaishya father, yet he aspired to chant mantras and read Vedas. His intense yearning made Shakti to manifest in him as Matangi. From his vocal chord flowed the Vaikari Vak which led him to Para Vak. This is mentioned in Mahabharta and it is supposed to be the first where the Abhipsa (Longing Desire) was fulfilled by the mother Matangi who came out as the words of pristine purity. Thus those who want to out shine as musicians or artist need her grace.

May Matangi bless all the upcoming artists.....!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

1098. Bagalamukhi (Dasha Maha Vidhya)



Vade Vade Jayathe Tattvabhoda (Every debate enhances the understanding of Truth). Here we should understand that the discussion and debate has to be to understand the subject better. The healthy debate turns into a vicious argument the moment Ego comes in. Every Siddhanta (Doctrine) tabled by our great Acharyas had the Khandana (Refutation) and Mandana (Embellishment) and before that the either parties would be familiar of the other persons point of view this is called Purvapaksha.

Apart from these healthy discussions there is Vitanda Vada (Unreasonable Argument) which we see regularly in electronic media debates. While the one who is participating in the debate with good intentions is bestowed by Vakdevi (Saraswathi), the one who wrangles is paralysed by Bagalamukhi.

The Eighth Goddess of the Dasha Maha Vidya (Ten Wisdom aspects of Shakti) is Bagalamukhi. Bagala is a corrupted version of “Vagala” Vagala in Sanskrit is Bridle.So we can derive that Bagalamukhi is the one who puts bridle to the mouth, stopping the flow of speech. The speech is suppressed for a short period of time. It is an intermediate immobilisation of the speech in the flow of a dialogue. It is Stambana (Arrest) of speech and not a permanent impediment. She restrains the flow at the critical moment of the debate and then let it go when it is of no consequence. Bagalamukhi thus is the Stambanakari who has the power to paralyse the entire universe. She has hold on the word as it is she who gave birth to the syllables.

Iconogrphy of Bagalamukhi shows the Goddess holding a Gada in her right hand which represents the manifested speech. In her left hand she is seen grabing the tongue of the demon who represents Durvakya (Bad Word). She blesses her devotee and grants him the Samyama (Control) over the faculty of speech, which is the first and foremost step to conquering other sensory faculties.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

1097. Dhumavati (Dasha Maha Vidhya)



The Seventh Goddess of the Dasha Maha Vidya (Ten Wisdom aspects of Shakti) is Dhumavati. She is “the smoky one.” Just as we comprehend Bhairavi, the Fifth Goddess in Dasha Maha Vidyas as efflugence, Dhumavati personifies the pitch dark, that darkness which Vedas describe as the beginning of the existence. We have mistaken that the Abhava (Absence) of light is dark; it is not so, the light is impregnated in the embryo of darkness. An example to know this better is the tree which is in the seed; tree is never absent in a seed. It is just the play of the Vyaktha (Manifested) and the Avyaktha (Unmanifested).

Yet, we term it as Abhava (Absence) and this abhava is of two types; Pragabhava and Dhvamsabhava. Pragabhava is the absence before it is brought into being, while Dhvamsabhava is the absence after it is destroyed. Example the clay and shred in relation with a pot. Pot in the clay is Pragabhava and in shred pot is Dhvamsabhava. This two Abhava is Dhumavati, she carries the embryo of light as Pragabhava and as Dhvamsabhava she swallows the light as smoke. This Yuga (Eon) has already dawn as Dhumavati has undergone the Prasava (Labour) of light and has delivered the Sat (Being) from Asat (Non-Being). As Dhumavati was the first and had dwelled in that Non-Being she is also called Jyestha (Elder). 

The concept of “Being” coming into existence from “Non-Being” which was Non Existent makes a section of seeker to consider the Being as Non-Existent. They negate the Being calling it Maya (Illusion), this theory is called Mayavada. Then there was another section of seekers who considered the Being as Shunya (Void), the extinction of the entire existence, this theory is called Shunyavada. The Tantra School of Thought does not accept either the Maya or Shunya they preferred to adore Dhumavati, the mother of Sthithi (Inertia) as she is the Yoga Nidra (Cosmic Sleep) of Maha Vishnu. 

The iconography of Dhumavati shows her holding a bowl of fire in one hand and a winnow in the other. The fire symbolizes inevitable cosmic destruction; all things shall pass away. Winnow is kitchen equipment that is used to separate grains from chaff, Dhumavati holding the winnow symbolises Viveka (Wisdom) to discriminate between the Shashwatha (Permanent) and Ashashwatha (Trancient).

Dhumavati empowers us inwardly to reach for the highest, and there is nothing to stop us once we are resolved. In the end, she points the way to liberation.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

1096. Chinnamastha (Dasha Maha Vidhya)


The Sixth Goddess of the Dasha Maha Vidya (Ten Wisdom aspects of Shakti) is Chinnamasta. Masta is head and Chinna is to cut off. As per iconography Chinnamasta is shown holding her own head that she has just cut off. The blood from her neck spurts into three jets. The middle jet is seen pouring in to Chinnamasta’s mouth, while the other two jets on the right and left are flowing into the mouths of her two attendants Dakini and Varnini respectively. This image of the Goddess is very ghastly and one may wonder how this deity who may seem to be from the Tantric school of thought finds its place in the Dasha Maha Vidyas.

Yes, at the very look of the deity one may feel that it is from the Vamachara Marga (Left-Handed Attainment). This notion had made the seekers keep away from knowing about this aspect of Shakti. It was Vasistha Ganapathi Muni, the disciple of Bhagvan Ramana Maharishi who explained the power of this deity. We are blessed to know about this form of Shakti which was passed on as a legacy by his guru Ramana.

Mind dwells in Head as well as Heart. When mind perceives a thing from the Head its output is Yuktartha (Rational) and if the mind is relating through Heart it is Bhavapurna (Emotional). Mind from Head often deceives many times by promising happiness in future but from Heart it saves us many times giving Peace, Contentment, & Happiness HERE and NOW. If head alone becomes the centre of activates to the mind it is better to cut off from it. This is what Bhagvan Ramana Maharshi was mentioning when he talked about “Manonasha” (Annihilating the Mind).

Vasistha Ganapati Muni by the grace of his Guru construed the origin of Dasha Maha Vidyas in his work called “Mahavidyadi Sutra Granthavali”. In that scripture it is mentioned that Chinnamasta has a profound yogic significance and separation of “head” is indicative of a great siddhi where one fully transcends the Gross & Subtle sheaths of Consciousness. He further relates Chinnamasta back to the puranic story of Renukadevi, the mother of Parasurama and wife of Maharshi Jamadagni.

This particular aspect of Shakti is categorised as Teevra Devata (Fierce Deity) and hence the Bija mantra of Cginnamasta is not initiated to all. The siddhis obtained through the Upasana (Adoration) of Chinnamasta is beneficial, however the consequence of mistake committed in the process of adoration is serious too. It is better to know about her and leave the adoration to the Tantric who crave for Siddhis.

The Paramatma (Absolute Consciousness) in us is encompassed by Pancha Koshas (Five Sheath) of Consciousness namely Annamaya Kosha (Physical Sheath), Pranamaya Kosha (Vital Breath Sheath), Manomaya Kosha (Mental Sheath), Vijnanamaya Kosha (Intellect Sheath) and finally Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss Sheath). While the Annamaya Kosha and Pranamaya Kosha exhaust at death the Manomaya Kosha and Vijnanamaya Kosha passes on, rekindling rebirth if it has Vasanas (Tendencies) and Samskaras (Impressions).

Chinnamasta reminds us that only Anandamaya Kosha, the seat of the Absolute will remain untouched, thus we are explicitly reminded that we all house Divinity within our Atma (Soul). Furthermore taking the Kundalini Shakti up the Sushumna nadi (Channel of Energy) which travels along the spinal cord breaking through the major chakras and experiencing the Divinity, as represented by the middle blood jet, shows that our true identity is that Soul, and that what we originally thought of as “our” soul is actually the same Soul, the same Divinity, manifesting in all. The other two blood jets from Chinnamasta represent Ida nadi and Pingala nadi, often referred to the two hemispheres of the brain. The balance of Ida and Pingala is necessary for the Sushumna nadi to elevate up.

Monday, September 25, 2017

1095. Bharavi (Dasha Maha Vidhya)


Dark induce fear. There is nothing in dark that can make us feel frightened but the obscurity in it intimidated us. Just exactly as we fear darkness we also fear effulgence. The only difference though is that in the extreme luminosity we are not obscure. That kind of fear is what a seeker experiences when he hears the name “Bhairavi”. The fifth in the Ten Wisdom aspect of Shakti is Bhairavi. Bhairavi is referred to Agni (Fire), Vidyut (Lightning) and Surya (Sun), which represent the three forms of light characteristic to the three worlds, the inferior world, the intermediary world and the superior world, corresponding to the physical, astral and causal universes.

Devi Mahatmya describes Bhairavi as a composite form of Maha lakshmi, Mahasaraswathi and Mahakali. She resides in the muladhara chakra.
The iconography of Bhairavi is in her two hands display the Abhaya Mudra, urging us to have no fear, and the Varada Mudra, the gesture of granting boons. She holds a Mala (Rosary) signifying devotion, and a Pustaka (Book) signifying knowledge. It is said that Bhairavi ignites passion and also grants us the power to control it.

The effulgence that Bhairavi emits shines on every facet of our existence, making it knowable. It is that light which sustains the created order, even though there could be shadows here and there in this realm of duality. As the light grows stronger it roots out darkness from every corner. It eventually grows so bright that the created forms dissolve into pure radiance, and what remains is the state of spiritual illumination in which we have no more individuality, no more our identification with the infinity. And that infinity is Maa Bhairavi.

May Maa Bhairavi illuminate our path....!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

1094. Bhuvaneshwai (Dasha Maha Vidhya)



The fourth in the list of Dasha Maha Vidyas is Bhuvaneshwari. Bhuvaneshwari has two words combined in it “Bhuvan” (Universe) and “Iswari” (Queen); She is the Queen of the Universe.

Now, for the question as to how this universe came into existence we have the answer in Purusha Sukta saying that Purusha took the form of Hiranya Garbha (Golden Foetus), the primordial atom and emanated into this Brahmanada (Cosmos). That Purusha who emanated had three distinct Vibhaga (Department) namely; Satyam which is the essential Truth, Ritam which devises that essential truth to transform into a creative reality and Brhat is the colossal energy which is required for Satyam to become Ritam. This colossal energy is Bhuvaneshwari. It is very difficult to understand the concept of Bhuvaneshwari if we start seeking using words and language; if one enters into silent mode then she unfurls herself.

To make us comprehend her, the puranas have mentioned her to be Aditi, the wife of Sage Kashyapa. Let us go into Tretayuga. We know Bali, the grandson of Prahlada was a great devotee of Maha Vishnu and he was ambitious to conquer every kingdom. His military expedition went on to defeat every kingdom on this earth plane. After His conquer on this earth plane his army set foot on Swargaloka (Heaven). Indra. the son of Aditi was taken prisoner. Then Aditi did Payovrata to beget Maha Vishnu as her son Vamana. Vamana is also reffered to as Upendra (Upa –Indra, Junior to Indra) in Vishnu Sahasranama. Maha Vishnu as Vamana measured the immeasurable.

The Purusha who had emanated into this Cosmos was the only one who could measure the immeasurable. And to make it happen it was for that colossal energy to bring in Vamana. Hence Bhuvaneshwari as the great mother using her Maya could bring the vast infinite into finite form and then carry that finite form in her womb.

As she was able to hold in her womb the infinite, Bhuvaneshwari is accepted as Brhat (Vast) and also she has the Shakti energy which is Maya. As Akasha is also Brhat, Bhuvaneshwari represenst the Space Element. Space manifests in physical as well as mental realm. Our Spiritual Heart (Hridaya) is the only place where the physical and mental combine and in that vastness is the seat of Maa Bhuvaneshwari. This thought denotes that Bhuvaneshwari is never away from us or we are never away from her presence. We may often forget, and most often we do, owing to the innumerable diversions which claim our attention and involve our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Still, Bhuvaneshwari as the light of awareness is ever present, illuminating and making possible all experience. Without her presence, we all would be Shunya (Zero).

The iconography of Bhuvaneshwari shows her holding in her upper right hand a goad and in her upper left hand a noose. This is to show that she as Maya is the one who binds and also liberates us. The other two hands are in Abhaya (which indicates not to fear) and Varadha (which indicates the bestowing gesture) Mudra.

May Maa Bhuvaneshwari bless us all....!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

1093. Tripura sundari (Dasha Maha Vidhya)


Kamadeva was reduced to ashes by Shiva and he became Anangha (bodiless). The heap of ashes was lying in that spot. Mahishasura, the Demon made a toy out of those ashes. He took it always with him and once while he did penance Brahma appeared to grant him boon. As soon as the toy came in the vicinity of Brahma it attained Consciousness. As it was only from ashes it had the earth element alone in it. With only the earth element it could still create havoc. Looking at it Brahma exclaimed, “Bhanda, Bhanda” meaning Shame, Shame. From then on the toy was called Bhandasura. On the advice of Shukracharya, the preceptor of Asuras he did penance and got a boon. As per that boon he can be killed only by a unmarried girl who is not born from a womb.

After obtaining the boon Bhandasura become even more troublesome. The atrocities of Bhandasura could not be tolerated. Everyone requested Parvathi Devi to vanquish the toy asura. There was a catch though, she was the daughter of Himavanta and also the toy asura had no full complete body as he was supported by earth element alone. The water, fire, air and space elements were missing.

Parvathi took the form of Shodashi (Sixteen Year) Bala Tripura Sundari. She also bestowed the toy asura the water element from her tears, fire element from her eyes, air element from her breath and space element from her sight. Then Bala Tripura Sundari slayed him.

She chose the age sixteen as it is at this age that a normal young girl experiences the inner impulse which is to unfurls a new sensations in her through which she fascinates everyone around her with an exuberant charm. Bala Tripura Sundari too charms all with her innocence. The innocence engrossed in purity that can disarm even the evilest. She is a powerful magnet for all who resonate with beauty, truth and goodness.

Thus, just as the young girl of sixteen, Shodashi Bala Tripura Sundari guides the seeker with great care on the spiritual path.

The third day of Navratri is dedicated to Tripura Sundari.

May Bala Tripura Sundari bless…….!

Friday, September 22, 2017

1092. Tara (Dasha Maha Vidhya)

After Kali the next of the Dasha Maha Vidya, the ten wisdom aspects of Shakti is Tara Devi. She resembles Kali in appearance and she protects. “Trayathe itti Tara”, she protects hence she is Tara. Her manifestations is not to slay any demon in the outer world, but to annihilate our inner enemies.

Amazingly Tara is adored by followers of both Hinduism as well as Buddhism. As I do not know much about how and why Buddhists revere her, I will share only from the Hinduism angle here. Tara Devi depicts both Soumya (Kind) as well as Ugra (Fierce) forms of Shakti. In her Ugra roopa she has four-arms in one she holds a cleaver and in the other a severed head. The cleaver she holds is called Jnana Churika, the cleaver of Knowledge. With that cleaver she is able to cut away whatever is deluding, divisive and discontent in us.

The severed head in other hand is the ego which has emerged out from the way we perceive and formulate our opinion based on our perceptual experience. To let us comprehend our inner nature Tara Devi uses her cleaver to cut away that ego in us. Aslo she enables us to come out of the false notions of our imperfections, inadequacies, and impediments thus releasing us from the bondage of conditional living. In her other hand she has a pair of scissors which she uses to cut the attachments. Those attachments which are causing hindrances to the seeker who is on the path of liberation. Finally in the fourth hand she holds a lotus which symbolises awakening.

This Ugra form of Tara Devi is similar to Kali but there is another form which is Soumya that is more pleasant and embodied with maternal tenderness. It is said that it was this aspect of Shakti which was the reason for the origin of Tara. We find her sitting on a lotus holding Shiva who is in the form of an infant on her lap. She suckles him and the milk from her breast counters the poison that Shiva had gulped at the time of Samudra Mantana.

The poison which emerged out from the ocean at the time of churning of the ocean was consumed by Shiva, earning him the name Nilakanta. Though Parvathi had restricted the poison at his throat, it had to be diluted. Shakti took the form of Tara Devi to breast feed him so that the poison gets weak.

May Tara Devi help us to fight our inner enemies....!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

1091. Kali (Dasha Maha Vidhya)


Starting from today Ashwija Shuddha Pratipada to Ashwija Shuddha Dashami is Navaratri (Nine Nights). These nine nights have ten days in them. In those ten days Shakti, the Supreme Goddess is worshipped and adored in the ten different wisdom forms called Dasha Maha Vidya. They are the ten malignant and benignant aspects of Sati and Parvathi respectively. Each of them represent a distinct aspect intended to guide the seeker towards liberation. To those who are ritualistic these forms can be approached in a spirit of reverence, affection, and increased closeness to Her. To those who are spiritually inclined, these same forms can represent various states of inner awakening. Puranas and Tantra Sahitya says a lot about these forms which aid Devi Durga in the fight against the evil, the elaboration though can be seen in Devi Mahatmya.

Kali is the first among the ten wisdom aspects of the Divine Mother; She represents the Power of Chaitanya (Consciousness) in its highest form thus accentuating the fundamental Tantravada (Theory of Tantra) that the Power of Chaitanya and Chaitanya is one and the same.It is stated in Devi Mahatmya that She emerged out of the wrath of Durga to associate herself in the battle against the Evil Demon duo, Chanda and Munda.

She appears withered with sunken eyes glowing red in their sockets. She wraps Herself with a tiger skin and wears a garland of skulls. Her gaping mouth shows her to be a fearsome, blood-thirsty deity. She has her tongue protruding out of her mouth. After slaying Chanda and Munda she gets the name Chamundi.

As Chamundi she takes on Demon Rakthabija (he whose blood is seed). Interestingly he had a boon which let a drop of his blood to clone another demon of equal size and strength. In the battle, he sheds blood profusely and there was an army of Rakthabijas. It was then Chamundi grew big enough to make him stand on her protruded tongue and slayed him there drinking all the oozing blood.

When I and my sister were in school we had holidays for Navratri after the mid-term examinations. It was a tradition to install a Kalasha and invoke Durga Devi in it. The Kalasha would be decked with different flowers for the entire ten days. Also every day different sweet were prepared for Prasada (Oblation) and different fruits were offered. Along with the offerings my mother would read Devi Mahatmya which is a part of Markandeya Purana. This section of the Purana describes the battle between Durga Devi and many Asuras (Demons). This is how I came to know about Kali and Chamundi.

To many this tale may be a ghastly, but if we go beyond the symbolic story we can find a profound insight. The ability to clone many similar to him as Rakthabija did is a metaphor to our mind which produce thought which begets another in an endless succession. Thus making the mind restless.

Chamundi is the faculty to restrain the mind from running helter- skelter. Mind resting in its own infinite peace and bliss is absorbed into itself is represented by Chamundi slurping off every drop of blood. Thus the Mind and Intellect index regains knowledge of its own original Divinity.

Just as Shiva volunteered to bring Kali out of trance, the preceptor in our life too will check our advancement towards adyatma to bring us to vyavaharikha every now and then


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

1090. Reservation and Dharma.....!



Life of every individual is different. Although there is no similarity our ancients never approved inferior and superior status. For the society to thrive, they knew very well every individuals contribution was must. The service of a teacher, physician, sewer, potter, farmer, barber, weaver, butcher, solider, sweeper and priest were needed for anyone to live a comfortable life in the society. There was no question of predominant or subordinate in the society, everyone irrespective of their contribution to the society was equal.
The way of thinking of the inhabitants was also so, they had understood the verse of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 verse 18 where Sri Krishna tells Arjuna:

Vidya vinaya sampanne brahmane, gavi, hastini,
suni caiva svapake ca panditah samadarsinah

Meaning: A wise man sees a learned and humble Brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog, a dog eater and all other living beings as equal.

We cannot say when we lost this Samadarshana (looking all as same). As we lost the mindset of looking all as same, we started to rectify it with Samatva (Equality). Now the real issue started instead of getting back the triat of treating everyone as the same we started to create a similar status to all. So the acceptance of the first sentence in this write up “Life of every individual is different” now changes to “Life of every individual has to be same.” In the rukus to create equality in society, Dharma (Justice) was snubbed. The Aarakshana (Reservation) stepped in creating even more discrimination and discontent.

There was nothing wrong in reservation as it was introduced to uplift those who were not looked at as same. But the fallout of this reservation was that Gaunya (Merit) was overlooked.  Reservation is for those who don’t have anything, who don’t have the most basic means of sustenance; it’s not for those who drive around in cars or travel first class, or even those who raise slogans to divide the very country which funds their free education. No community or a person should be branded backward. Politicians have used this divide to their favour to come to power.

The Mahabharata war could have been ended in 3 minutes because of Bheema’s grandson, Barbarika who was a brave warrior. He was blessed by Maharudradeva and bestowed with three powerful arrows. The power of the three arrows was such that, with one arrow he could mark all those whom he would wanted to destroy, the second one would mark all whom he wished to save. And with the third arrow he could destroy everyone marked by the first arrow.

When Sri Krishna came to know about the three arrows he asked Barbarika which side he would support, Pandavas or Kauravas. Amazingly Ahilawathi, the mother of Barbarika had advised him to side with the smaller army, so considering that the Pandava’s had a smaller army he said he would side with them. Sri Krishna knew that during the course of the battle whichever side Barbarika was would become huge and hence he would have to jump to the other side, this was a huge paradox. There was no Dharma in supporting the smaller or weaker side, thus Sri Krishna asked him his head so that his involvement in the war would be avoided. Before giving his head to Sri Krishna, Barbarika expressed his desire to view the war, leading to Sri Krishna placing Barbarika’s head on the top of a mountain overlooking the battlefield.

This story tells us that appeasing of any community or a section of people without following Dharma is not good.