Thursday, August 31, 2017

1082. Intuitive Knowledge.......!

We often hear this sentence when two are in argument or discussion “I am correct you were wrong.” This correct and wrong are obviously referred to the final statement of the subject matter of discussion. It would be erroneous if we presume that the two words “Correct” and “Wrong” are indicating Viparyaya (Opposite) in this context. If we analyse with a mature sense keeping the discussion in view, we can know that those words are pointing out the Bhinna (Different). Now this seems to be confusing, how can a decisive statement in an argument which is supposed to be one be “different”???

It is Anubhuti (Perception) that makes it different. Every individual has his own perception that may not be in Samanvaya (Similarity) with others. Amazingly it is this Anubhuti which bring in Anubhava (Experience) to us. As we gain more experience we should be able to analyse every discussion or argument from the Bhinna (Different) point of view instead of Viparyaya (Opposite). This is the quality of Samibhuta (Equipoise). This equipoise state of mind provides us the ability to think from different Pramana (Dimension). When we start thinking from different dimensions we develop Karunya Bhava (Empathy).   

Being empathic as we all know is an ability to understand or relate to another person as if we were in their shoes. This can happen either mentally and emotionally. When we take this empathic ability up a notch we can feel the emotional states of another person or experience what they are feeling first hand as if they were our own emotions. In other words, we can have Pratibha Medhas (Intuitive Knowledge).

Intuitive Knowledge is independent of our sensory experience and hence cannot be proven through senses. Expression of Love is one of them, you know how much you love someone but cannot divulge it in words. The origin of this intuitive knowledge is the point of origin of our Svarupa (Nature) with which the entire cosmos was created. It is the ideal state we seek to attain in the successful embodiment and integration of all of our senses within our rational and non-rational self. It is the final destination we seek to return to.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

1081. Advice.....!

He is a government official staying in a tenement with his aged mother, wife and his college going daughter. Thiers is a happy family. Across the road in an apartment stays a family of a corporate employee living with aged mother, his wife and their college going daughter. The aged mother is not in high spirits, reason her son doesn’t care for her. The government official was from his young age; let’s say habitually a family man taking care of the family. The corporate employee even before his marriage was not so inclined towards family welfare. His mother thought marriage would induce responsibility and he might transform himself, but it never happened. He was habitually a sloppy man.              

A few lanes away from this apartment stand an old age home run by a very successful businessman. The geriatric shelter home has more than 50 elderly people and provides them all facilities to keep them comfortable in their last lap of life. The businessman had come to the city some 10 years back and made good profits in business, with a conviction to give back to the society he had started the old age home. A good gesture indeed, but his aged parents back in his village longed to spend the rest of their life with their only son.         

Habits are vital in helping us do everything in a habitual process. Habit has two faces one being the Vasanas (Impressions) and the other Samskara (Tendencies). The impressions are the groove that is created in the plane of consciousness with the needle of past repetitive thought. They tempt us to repeat a particular event over and over again.  

Our mind gets the pattern in the memory and makes the thought and behavior habitual so that the conscious mind can deal with it without much complication. These become tendencies which are behavioral attitudes of action or non-action which in fact label our habit. This is an amazing virtue of mind, but the drawback is that tendencies can also have a negative hold on the same mind and make them hard to break. Hence some say habits are hard to die.

Here we can notice three different approach in terms of looking after the aged parents. The first and second are habitual, one takes good care of his mother and the other does not. The tendencies in both are hard to change (though there is no need for the first guy to change as he is doing in a better cause). Now coming to the businessman, his thoughts are good but it needs to be channelized to a proper goal, here the word of advice gets its importance. He has to be reminded about Svadharma which Sri Krishna told Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. It is good to take care of those devoid of filial affection, but it has to start from our threshold.      

Krishna did not advice Duryodhana the moment He understood the past impression were influencing him. He had told Krishna, “I know what Dharma is but don’t follow, I know what Adharma is but don’t quit.” In case of Arjuna the scenario was different he needed Sri Krishna to guide him towards the right goal.

Advice can route the good cause towards the right goal. 

Do you agree friends???

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1080. Negation and Transcending....!

A psychology professor came up with a unique question for his students at the time of final exams. The students were ready to leave the class and the professor requested for their attention and picked up his chair, dumped it on top of the desk and wrote on the board:
“Using all the knowledge you have gained from the semester, prove that this chair does not exist. You have ten minutes.”

All of a sudden there was silence in the class. Some studious students pulled out their project books and started writing. Some reached out to their texts and guides to look into them for anything substantial. Some started to have discussions among others. But there was this fellow sitting in the last bench who took out a sheet of paper and scribbled something and folded it into half wrote his name and handed over it to the professor. Not only the professor but the entire class was astonished by the young man’s act.

When the whole class insisted to know what the young man had written, the psychology professor revealed his answer sheet which had just “WHAT CHAIR?” written in the middle of the sheet.

There was a concert at an old temple and elderly people had gathered in the hall. Everyone had sat down and one middle aged person was sitting near a pillar. A young man requested him to relocate himself so that his grandpa could rest his back to the pillar and sit. The middle aged man was adamant to shift place, staring at the young man he said, “Do you know whom you are talking to; I am a Tarka Praveena (Proficient of Logic) I can argue that this pillar does not exist at all.”  

The young boy looked at the pillar and then at the Tarkashastradnya (Professor of Logic) and said, “Revered sir, could you please head butt this pillar hard before you prove with all your knowledge that this pillar does not exist?”     

Vedanta talks about Nakara (Negation) and also about Ativarthata (Transcending). Negation is easy compared to Transcending. In negation one stays where he is but puts the object in question away from him while in transcending the individual surpasses it. 

In the two analogies above the student had transcended and looked beyond the chair and hence he did not find it and also there was no ego to fan him. In the case of the Tarka expert he just wanted to show off his knowledge by using words to negate the pillar, which he had already mentioned to the young man while boasting about his credentials with his ego was inflated.

In negation there is still an iota of Ajnana (Ignorance), likewise if a seeker can realize that sorrow is just the result of ignorance then he will be asking “WHAT SORROW?” And further realization of the truth makes him realize the illusionary and dream-like nature of the world, and then he will be in a position to ask “WHAT WORLD?” “WHAT PAIN?” “WHAT LOSS?” “WHAT GAIN?”

Delight or grief does not exist in reality since they do not appear on their own; they are temporary flip flop emotions that sprout in our mind as the stream of thoughts flow if we are sceptical. This is the reason Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that with no desires in the mind, if the lower self is satisfied with the higher Self then the seeker is steadfast and rock solid in making decisions. This is not mere negation but definite transcending.....What say???    

1079. Durva Grass...!

We have all noticed that when a dog experiences indigestion, it eats grass and throws up to gets its stomach clear. It is an instinctive action which none has taught it. The metabolism in the dog drives it to search for the grass. And most importantly it is no ordinary grass the dog looks out for Durva grass which is commonly known as Bermuda grass.

The botanical name of this grass is Cynodon Dactylon. In the West it is considered as a weed and there are so many means to eradicate it. We here in India have given it a special place. It is one of the most important components of ritualistic worship of Ganesha, the God of Wisdom.

To make us understand the importance of this grass our puranas have given us a story too.

It was the time when a Asura (Demon) was in his atrocious high. He had a unique talent of spitting fire and burning down everything and everyone around him. For his ghastly act he was called “Analasura”. Anala in Sanskrit is fire. This Asura created havoc and terrified the inhabitants of all the three worlds. Unable to withstand the outrage the Suras (Divine Beings) went to Ganesha requesting him to save them from the Asura.

Ganesha took the Cosmic form and swallowed the Asura in one gulp. Analsura started to emit fire within the stomach. As Ganesha had assumed the Cosmic form the heat inside the stomach reflected on the universe and the whole terrene started to feel the heat.

Now it was the tremendous task for Devas to cool the fire in the stomach.

First it was the turn of the Moon to cool him down. The attempt went futile. Lotus which Maha Vishnu was holding and the Snake around the neck of Maharudradeva too failed to bring chill in the stomach of Ganesha. Then the Saptarishis (Seven Sages) brought Durva grass from Bhuloka (Earth) and placed it on the stomach of Ganesha. Immediately the whole of the cosmos could feel the cool. Durva grass according to ancient Rishis is the strand of hair of Virat Purusha. There is Durva Sukta in Krishna Yajurveda.

Ayurveda and Siddha school of medicine has recognized the medicinal values of this Durva grass and are using it in preparing their medicine.

Charaka, the father of Ayurveda refers to Durva grass as the complexion promoter and is titled it as “Sahasra virya” denoting its thousand fold strength and versatility in use, such as complexion enhancer, astringent, moisturizer, demulcent and cooling for the skin.

The coolness in the Durva grass is good for eyes and is therefore regarded as a good ophthalmic drug.

Today, Bhadrapada Shukla Astami is Durva Astami.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

1078. Parvathi created Ganesha...!

“She scrubbed her skin with Sandalwood paste, scrapped off the dead cells mixed it with turmeric and moulded a beautiful boy into which she installed life.” This is how our Puranas describe the birth of Ganesha. 

Let us begin with the story before this event. Gajasura was an ardent devotee of Maharudradeva. He did penance and asked Maharudradeva to dwell in his stomach. Maharudradeva took the form of a Linga and the Asura swallowed it. The Layakaraka (i could not find a English word for Laya) was absent so dissolution was stalled. When all the Devas started praying to Maharudradeva, he burst out of the stomach of Gajasura. The Asura understood his grave mistake of gulping one of the Trinity and hampering the creation. Gajasura begged for forgiveness and requested thus, “Now that you have burst out of my body only my head is intact, everyone should remember my head and you should wrap your body with my skin.”

Meanwhile Parvathidevi in Kailasa was preparing herself for a bath. She didn’t want anyone to disturb her and moulded a young boy and did Prana Pratista (installation of life force). She asked him to stand guard at the door. Maharudradeva came to Kailasa after a long stay in the belly of Gajasura. He was confronted by the young lad at the door. Not allowed inside Maharudradeva angrily threw his trident at the boy which severed his head.

Now why did Maharudradeva who is known for being clam by practicing meditation get agitated??? 

Here Bhagavan Vyasa reminds us of the story of Maali and Sumaali the two demons brothers who fought with Suryadeva. Being the devotees of Maharudradeva the brothers pleaded him to intervene. Maharudradeva struck Suryadeva with the trident and this made the entire world plunge into darkness. Kashyapa the father of Suryadeva cursed Maharudradeva, “Just as you pierced my son’s chest with a trident, you will one day pierce the head of your son with that trident.”

2 + 2 is 4 and the curse unfurls and the young boy to whom Maharudradeva was father was killed. Parvathidevi insisted her husband to bring the little boy back to life and now the elephant head of Gajasura was used for transplantation. We all know the rest of the story.

The outermost layer of our skin is composed of dead stratified squamous, keratinized epithelial cells. Science today says that cloning is possible with epithelial cells. Never know if Parvathidevi used her epithelial cells to clone Ganesha. In fact as per our scientific knowledge clones are the identical copies of donor of cells, if so clone developed from the cell of a male will be a male and if develop from a female cell it will be a female. Parvathidevi created Ganesha who is of  opposite sex by using the genetic engineering to alter the genes in a cell, which the science may come up with this technology in future.  

Whatever may be the science behind the creation of Ganesha, I wish to contemplate it from the spiritual angle. The dead cells from the body of Parvathidevi were mala (Dirt). We humans have Ego as dirt in our mind. Maharudradeva who is Consciousness beheads the ego with a little head and installs a bigger head which is awareness. Small head is narrow thinking, selfish thinking and being avaricious it has to be replaced by a head which has broad thinking, selfless thinking and being generous. This is more helpful to excel and move on further instead of being stuck with the arguments of those who have pride in identifying as devotees of Ganesha and those who call themselves atheists.  

May Gowri Maa bestow auspiciousness to the entire mankind.   

1077. Solar Eclipse....!

Eclipse is a spectacular astronomical event for the rest of the world, but for my country it has an astronomical significance too. Here it is called Parvakala (Auspicious Time), today the other part of the world with respect to India will witness Solar eclipse. While a few feel relieved that Surya Grahana will not be visible in India, some do miss the Parvakala. For them it is one of the celestial event which they are unable to be a part of.
Scientifically speaking the solar eclipse occur on Amavasya (New Moon day). Sun and Moon are in conjunction as seen from the Earth. In a solar eclipse Moon is the eclipsing body, passing in between Earth and Sun casting a shadow across earth's surface so that the Sun is obscured.
There are three types of solar eclipses.
Khagrasa Surya Grahana (Total solar eclipse) happens when Sun is completely in line with the Moon who is covering the Sun totally.
Khandagrasta Surya Grahana (Partial solar eclipse) when the Sun and Moon are not in line but Moon is covering the Sun partially.
Valaya Surya Grahana (Annular solar eclipse) happens when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but size of the Moon smaller than that of the Sun. In this type we are able to witness the ring formation.
All the three types of solar eclipse is a spectacle to watch but with a little care.
If this event was visible here, the entire phase of eclipse would have been considered auspicious. Hence during this period many religious ritual like nama japa, punascharana, pithru tarpana, dana are considered to be very sacred.
Temples would be closed at the time of eclipse to be opened by chanting of Veda mantra. This ritual is to ward off the negative energy that gets activated during eclipse.
Om Bhaskaraya Vidhmahe
Diva karaya Dheemahe
Thanno Surya Prachodayath.
Om, Let me meditate on the Sun God,
Oh, maker of the day, give me higher intellect,
And let Sun God illuminate my mind.

Monday, August 21, 2017

1076. Self-Esteem vs Narcissism....

Sva-Manyate (Self-Esteem) and Sva-Anuragha (Narcissism) has a very thin line between them. It is very difficult to differentiate them in general and while parenting in particular. 

Parenting is a skill and it has to take the middle path. We know in the late 70’s and early 80’s the kids were not given much of attention. It was the reason for the kids to remain aloof. Now in this period of time it is just the other extreme of it, the over indulgence of parents which is of more concern.
Parents overvalue their children and tend to raise them with an overblown sense of their own superiority. When children are given special care they develop narcissistic behaviour and come to believe they deserve more as they are superior to others. Simple parental warmth provided to a child with an appropriate level of self-esteem is more than sufficient. There is no need to imagine they are the best and they need the best.
In fact every child is the best for the parent and is better than the other at something or the other. The fact is that we are all humans making us equally valuable.

Children who are made to think they are special are likely to develop a sense of self-absorption because it was their parents who had put them on a pedestal and showered them that unearned praise. It is observed that when anyone who thinks he is superior to others, he behaves very badly. It is always better to treat everybody like we are all part of the human family, and are all worthy of respect.

Parents have to give warmth alone there is no need to instigate fire. Warmth provides the child the required self-esteem which is an important ingredient for self-confidence. Fire feeds narcissism which is self-esteem stained with ego. Even worst in some cases parents have this habit of “Blanket Praise.” Praise works in short run for those approval hungry young children. Sometimes parents tend to use this praise to compensate for a lack of something. The fallout of such kind of blanket praise is that the child can see though it and become either an introvert or a praise junkie.

Recognizing their hard work, appreciating them for persisting and encouraging them not give up in the face of failure is the role a parent has to don. This will be the real praise for the success obtained by the child. 

If the parents explain the purpose of life as the child grows then it will know it's Sva-Mulya (Self-Worth) which will never let the Sva-Manyate to become Sva-Anuragha.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

1075. Jeeva Samadhi of Maharshi Patanjali.

We Hindus believe that every individual in his lifespan has to experience the triumph and turbulence according to the past thoughts and deeds accumulated from several births. This is like the deposit of earnings which is called “Sanchitha” this bag of earnings which is called Karma Phala (Resultant Fruit) is the reason for unending cycle of births. A portion of this taken for utility in this life span is called “Prarabdha.” Amazingly while enjoying the Prarabdha there are chances of accumulating new Karma Phalas this is called Agami Karma.

Consciously or unconsciously our Agami Karma invites Good (Punya), Bad (Papa) or Mixed (Mishra) results. Is this result necessary? What is the yield of Good, Bad or Mixed results? The individual has to take a birth to experience them and again do the same thing that he is been doing in this life. Hence this cycle is called Samsara, that thing we do without a stop.

Annihilation of cycle of birth and death is a process which only a few can think of. While in the sacred Rameshwaram Temple a couple of days back we had the opportunity to pay obeisance to Maharshi Patanjali at his Jeeva Samadhi located behind the Nataraja shrine near the third Prakaram of the temple.

I am not a scholar but I do wish to share my understanding of Jeeva Samadhi. As told earlier that though we have come to endure or enjoy our Karma Phalas, we do amass more Karma Phalas as Prarabdha. When this Prarabdha is exhausted the bonding between the Sthula (Gross) and Sukshma (Subtle) body gets detached. The Sukshma Deha will continue its journey with a new Sthula Deha and this is called rebirth. 

Some do not wish have rebirth and with this Sankalpa (Conviction) they do only Punya Karyas (Good Deeds) and more importantly channelize the resultant fruit to the Divinity and thus become non-doer. The Sukshma Deha is now a non-enjoyer too.

With the conviction of no rebirth the individual will be alert not to commit any Papa Karya (Bad Deed) which could be a Lepa (Taint) for him to come back again. Now is the real essence of Karma Siddhantha, with no Papa Karya and no desire for the fruit of the Punya Karya, where should the Bhagya (fortune) of the deed go???

With no other way the Punya Karya done by the individual will wipe-out the Papa Karma Phala remaining in the deposit of earnings (Sanchitha). When all the Papa Karma Phalas are vanquished, what stays behind is only Punya Karma Phala. As the Prarabdha of this life span is exhausted he does not opt for another Sthula Deha, instead he goes into transcendental meditation. Here he remains immersed in infinite bliss.    

We can never say that in Jeeva Samadhi the body dies nor can we say it is alive, however the energy will remain in and around the body as if it were still alive and hence the body does not decay. This is a state where the he enters into the Samadhi state at his own will after completion of his mission on earth and here his mind completely dissolved into the Divinity, he stops the function of his body and mind. 

In this state of suspended animation the breathing and blood circulation completely stops but the Pranic forces keep the body cells nourished and alive. He continues to guide his followers towards spiritual advancement. While in that state of trance he experiences the ecstasy being rewarded from the resultant fruits in the Sanchitha and is always at Bliss. He remains in the Jeeva Samadhi till the Punya Karma Phala is exhausted.    

It was my fortune to have spent some time sitting at the Jeeva Samadhi of Maharshi Patanjali.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1074. Wells at Rameshwaram Temple...!

Sri Ramanatha Swamy Temple or Ramalingeswara Swamy Temple, or just Rameswaram temple as it is commonly known is one of India’s most revered pilgrimage destinations, on a par with Varanasi in the North. This island houses the Gandhamana Parvatha which is the highest point. Amazingly this temple is in line (almost) with all the other four temples which represents the Pancha Tattva (Five elements).

Rameshwaram (Pritivi) is 79.3 degree E.
Chidambaram (Akasha) is 79.7 degree E.
Thiruvanaikaval (Jala) is 78.7 degree E.
Thiruvannamalai (Agni) is 79.0 degree E.
Srikalahasti (Vayu) is 79.7 degree E.

And also very near is in longitude is Kailasa which is 81.3 degree E.

As Pancha Tattva Kshetra this sacred place is most visited by Saivates but even for Vaishnavites it is one among the four primary holy places, called Char Dham, along with Badrinath in the North, Puri in the East and Dwaraka in the West. Hence it is equally revered by Vaishnavites and Saivites. Here Shri Rama and Sitadevi consecrated the Sivalinga made of sand and together commenced the worship in the presence of Lakshmana, Hanuman and Vibhishana.

Rameswaram is an island marking the Indian side of Ramasetu, the bridge that the Vanara Sena led by Nala and Neela built for Shri Rama to cross over to Lanka to rescue Sitadevi from Ravana.

It may be noted that a small temple which existed for a long period of time was renovated by Raja Parakramabahu, the king of Polonnaruwa Kingdom of Lanka. Thereafter occurred many rounds of expansion and renovation which continue to this day.

Whatever may be the stages of renovation the 22 wells in the temple premises remain most interesting. After the dip at Agni Theertham (Bay of Bengal) which is opposite to the temple devotees walk to temple entering a fantasy world of stone chambers and steel post, which are essential guides to the journey towards the amazing wells inside. 

Starting from the first well called Mahalakshmi Theertham the devotees spend next 90 minutes getting drenched with the water splashed by volunteers who draw water from the well using small buckets. It is a unique experience as the temperature and the taste of the water is different and distinct from each other.   

Each well has a story to tell like at the Mahalakshmi Theertham it is said that Yudhisthira became wealthy by the grace of Maha Lakshmi after taking bath at that well. The second, third and fourth namely Savitri, Gayathri, and Saraswathi Theertham pardoned a rishi of his curse. At the Sanku Theertham which is eleventh in the series, Sage Vatsanaba was rid of the sin of ingratitude. Fourteenth and Fifteenth is Surya and Chandra Theerthams which bestows the seeker with the knowledge of past, present and future which is called Trikala Jnana.  

Finally the twenty second is the Kodi Theertham which was created by Shri Rama by hitting the ground with his arrow to bring forth water to anoint the Sand Linga consecrated here.

In all it is said in Skanda Purana that there are 64 Theerthams in the island along with the 22 which are inside the temple alone. There are a few like Rama Theertham, Lakshmana Theertham, Villondi Theertham and others in the island which are the only few known to us. There are many yet to be rediscovered like Dharma Theertham which was excavated a few years back.

Bathing in all those 22 wells and having the Dharshanam of Sri Rameshwara Swamy was a great experience.

May Sri Rameshwara Swamy bless us all....

1073. Rameshwaram Temple...!

After the pilgrimage to Varanasi we had to visit Rameshwaram to complete the circuit. We had to anoint Sri Ramanathaswamy with the Ganga water we had collected while we had been to Varanasi. Yesterday we got the chance to be in the holiest place situated in Rameswaram island.
It was a great wish and also a part of the pilgrimage ritual circuit to have a tour to this historical and very holy place. I do believe in our Hindu puranas which mentions that whenever God is pleased with you, automatically somehow you will get chance to visit a holy place. I feel really happy to experience the joy of satisfaction by having the glimpse of that place where Shri Rama along with his vanara sena built a bridge. The bridge to cross the sea and reach Lanka to bring back Sitadevi who was abducted by Dashakanta Ravana.
It is said that Shri Rama after the war with Ravana landed in this island and consecrated a Shiva Linga to get rid of Brahmahatya Dosha (Sin of killing a Brahmin).
We all know that Jaya and Vijaya took three births as the rivals of Maha Vishnu. In their first birth they were Hiranyakashyapa and Hiranyaksha. In the second they were Ravana and Kumbhakarna. So though Ravana was born in a Brahmin family, he by his nature was a Asura (Demon). Abducting other persons wife is an act of Asura. Shri Rama killed Vaali, the brother of Sugriva on similar grounds.
Moreover one cannot accept the fact that Brahminism is hereditary. So killing of Ravana could not have brought Brahmahatya Dosha to Shri Rama.
Then why did Shri Rama had to consecrate a Shiva Linga at Rameshwaram is the question.
Ravana was a Shiva Bhakta who was ready to offer his head one after the other into the sacrificial fire to please Maharudradeva. When such a devotee was annihilated there was a loss of one in the strength of Shiva Aradakas (Shiva Adorers). Shri Rama by consecrating a Shiva Linga there at Rameshwaram kept up the tradition of worship of Shiva which is even today followed by millions of devotees.
I am glad to visit such a magnificent temple by His grace. This linga is the representation of Pritvi (earth) tattva of the Pancha Tattva namely, earth, fire, water, air and space. This is also said to be amongst 12 Jyotirlingas.
The uniqueness of this place is taking bath from the water of 22 wells around the temple. It is considered as very auspicious and was not only quite different in temperature but also in taste. It took around 1 and half hour to complete having bath from all the 22 wells. Then we proceeded for darshana.
If possible will post about the bath from those wells tomorrow.
Hara Hara Mahadeva....

Sunday, August 13, 2017

1072. The Pot of Curd....!

Dahi Handi is a playful mischief associated with Sri Krishna Janmastami. As a little lad Sri Krishna along with His elder brother Balabadra and a group of notorious kids used to steal butter from the households in Gokula. The gang would form a human pyramid to reach the pots of butter hung from the ceiling. 

This is enacted as Dahi Handi to commemorate the birthday of Sri Krishna, is there any profound philosophy behind it. Lets explore.

Here the pot is the ego that dangles in the grasp of Samsara. There is Dahi that is curd in the pot which is embodied as the conscious being. If we observe Sri Krishna and his gang were stealing the Navanitha, the butter while we in Dahi Handi have Curd filled in the pot. 

Why is the pot filled with curd and instead of butter???

The butter is the essence of the Supreme got when the being which is the curd is churned with the mind as the churning staff and the thought as the rope. 

Amazingly in the process of churning the curd to obtain butter there is a conscious  pulling of the rope alternatively on the either side one at a time. When the rope end of one side is pulled the rope on the otger end side gets automatically wound to the churning staff. This is how our thoughts too work, when the positive thoughts in us are consciously flared up the negative gets behind. The positive thoughts in our being when contemplated upon leads us to the Supreme. This is churning of thoughts. Never should we misunderstand this as over thinking. Over thinking involves many thoughts at a same time whereas contemplation is getting different dimensions of a single thought.

The breaking of the pot in this Dahi Handi is the symbolism of subduing the ego in us to release the content that is binding us to samsara. 

However to break the ego is not an easy task as one  have to focus steadfastly on realising the essence or the ultimate with devotion.
Distractions from around distort the focus. The human pyramid trying to break the pot is discouraged by the onlookers who splash water on the participants from breaking the pot. 

The necessity of  one pointed focus and devotion playa an important role to reach the goal. The group in the pyramid is the satsangh.

Lets us celebrate Dahi Handi grasping the philosophy behind it and seek the blessings of Sri Krishna to realise our true self.

Happy Janmastami to you, your family and friends…..!

Sri Krishnarpanamastu!!!

Friday, August 11, 2017

1071. The Mighty Bow.....!

Gandiva is the strongest bow supposed to be unbreakable. Along with the bow was two quivers of arrows. The arrows in the quivers was said to never get exhaust. Thus the archer could keep up with a constant and relentless shower of arrows  from Gandiva. The string of the bow was so tied that if twanged it sounded like thunder, creating terror in the heart of the enemies
Gandiva was created by Chaturmasa Brahma to protect Dharma. He gave it to Prajapati Daksha. Daksha handed over it to Chandra, the Moon God. Chandra gave it to Varuna, the Sea God.

Meanwhile it so happened that Agni, the Fire God was hungry and wanted to devour the Khandava Vana, the dried forest.
In that forest lived Takshaka, the King of Serpents. He was very close to  Indra, King of the Devas. So every time Agni tried to burn down the forest, Indra would ask Varuna to drench it down toake sure Takshaka was safe.

Unable to satisfy his hunger Agni approached Arjuna to help him burn down the Khandava Vana. It is important to note that the burning of Khandava Vana was to rejuvenate the vegetation by burning out the dried up forest.

Forest fires are a natural and necessary part of the ecosystem. Fire turns the dead and decay plant matter into ash to reinstate the nutrients back to the soil to make it fertile again. Though it is not right to 
Coming the subject, hearing the woes of Agni Arjuna agrees to help him burn the Khandava Vana. Arjuna consults Sri Krishna as he is aware that he need to fight with Indra, his father in order to assist Agni.
Sri Krishna siezing the opportunity tells Agni to fetch the Gandiva so that Arjuna can confront Indra. Agni explained the situation to Varuna who hands over Gandiva and the quivers to Agni. Anyhow the purpose of creating the bow by Brahma had to materialize.

Agni offered them to Arjuna. Arjuna was overjoyed. The mighty bow was now his! However using the bow was not an issue to Arjuna as the bow displayed its might only when it bonded well with the archer who mends it. Gandiva bonded with Arjuna very well. Arjuna helped Agni burn down the forest with the Gandiva by winning over Indra.

It is said that despite having many guardians, Gandiva truly became a part of Arjuna, it belonged to Arjuna, the way it never belonged to any of its previous custodians... In that sense Arjuna was one with the Gandiva. Even now Gandiva is associated mostly only with Arjuna.

However after the end of the Kurukshetra war, the Gandiva had served its purpose. Agni asked Arjuna to return the Gandiva back to Varuna as he no longer needed it. Realizing that its purpose was over, Arjuna returned the Gandiva back to Varuna, with whom, it is believed the Gandiva still with.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

1070. Perfection in Life is an Impractical Goal.....!

Perfection in life is an impractical goal. In reality it is never a goal it is an approach. No one can ever boast he is leading a perfect life. There is never a hassle free life which can be considered as perfect. Does that mean there is no need to aim for perfection???

If the essence of perfection is understood then the way we perceive it will be different. To aim for perfection does not mean to be the best or to be better than someone; if one is better than what he was a day before then the approach is happening. 

When the great Acharya Trio (Sri Sri Sankara, Srimad Ramanuja, Sriman Madhva) themselves did not proclaim to be perfect, what are we who are yet ordinary seekers. Though the three philosophers knew that they were not Paripoorna (Perfect) and Sri Hari alone is, they preached the necessity to aim at perfection. By chasing perfection alone can one achieve excellence.

There were a few friends working for an IT company. To get relieved from the work stress they plan a weekend trip to a riverside holiday spot. Everyone knew swimming except for one guy who had this Bathophobia (Fear of Deep Water). As expected all the other friends decided to live all their belongings with this guy who sat on a rock and got ready to get into the river.

Splash! They heard a sound; a little boy who had brought his cattle to gaze accidentally fell into the river. Though everyone there knew swimming no one rushed to save the boy. Ironically one idiot took out his mobile phone and started capturing the mishap while another thought it would be dangerous for him to go after the boy. The third was thinking about medico legal issues if he did venture into the river to save the boy and failed to get him out alive.

Our non-swimmer guy who was sitting on the rock also saw the boy fall into the river. He immediately got up and jumped into the river caught the boy by his hair and pulled him out. The boy was made to puke out the water and after a few minutes the boy was able to walk and go home.

The IT friends were astonished at the non-swimmer’s feat, one of them asked, “Hey! How was it possible you said you were afraid of water and you never had entered into water?”  

Unable to believe his act the young man said, “I do not recall what happened to me as soon as I heard the splash sound I became aware that the boy had fallen into the water. The intuition in me guided me to jump and catch hold of the boy by his hair and drag him to the riverbed. I could hear the faint voice from somewhere at which I acted. I feel happy that we were able to save the boy.”         

None in the group were as perfect as Michael Phelps in swimming, yet every individual had a little knowledge in swimming that was sufficient to try to save the boy. One need not be perfect to use whatever knowledge he has if he wish to use it or share it.  

Perfection can be achieved when one knows that he is not perfect. At the same time one should never gauge the other keeping perfection as yardstick.......Am I right???    

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

1069. Value of Time.....!

Kaalapurusha and Chanda arrived at the doorstep of Abhuti with Paasha in their hands. They were the attendants of Yama, the God of Death. They were there to carry out the orders of Chitragupta to extradite the Jeevatma (Individual Consciousness) of Abhuti. Abhuti was one of the richest merchants in the province.

The Paasha (Noose) in their hands is the device they use to yank the soul out of the body. Amazingly that device Paasha is only half of the mechanism. The other half is in the Jeevatma as Aasha (Desires). The Paasha and Aasha are like a pair as we find in hook and loop tape. If we observe the hook and loop fastener tapes which are commonly known as “Velcro” tapes we can understand better. These tapes have two lineal fabric strips while the first strip features tiny hooks the other has small hair like loops. When the two strips are brought together the hooks catch in the loops and the two pieces fasten temporarily during the time that they are pressed together. The Paasha in the hands of the attendants of Yama is the hook and the Aasha within the Jeevatma is like the loop. As there was endless desire in the Jeevatma the Paasha could easily get hold of it. The more the Aasha the easier for the Paasha to get hold of the Jeevatma.

As the Jeevatma was to be taken out Abhuti realized that the time had come to bid goodbye to the present life. “I am not ready to die I do have much to do. Do you mind coming back next year?” asked Abhuti.

Chanda replied, “Sorry your time is up and we must take you now.”

Abhuti enquired, “Do you know who I am? I am one of the richest men in the region.”

Kaalapurusha nodded, “We know all about you and as we take everyone else when the time is up we have to take you too; so hurry up, let’s go.”

Abhuti pleaded, “If I were to give you Dashapratishata (Ten Percent) of my earning, which is Laksha Swarna Varaha (One Lakh Gold Coins), will you return after year later?”

Both the Yama attendants shook their head and replied, “You don’t seem to understand. It is time to go.”

For the next few moments, Abhuti tried his best to negotiate with the atattendas of Yama by giving away more of his earning for lesser time. He finally succumbed and offered “If I were to give you all my earnings, will you give me one Ghalige (24 minutes) so that I can talk my Patni (Wife) and Sutah (Children) and express my prema (Love) to them. I have never told them that and it is very important to me that they know how I feel about them. I also need to seek Kshama (Forgiveness) from my elder brother I have hurt him most. All I ask is one Ghalige!”

Chanda and Kaalapurusha paused and looked at Abhuti curiously and asked, “How long did you take to earn Laksha Varaha?”

Abhuti replied, “60 Ayana (30 years), it took me a whole 30 Varsha. See it seem to be a great Prasttava (Deal) in exchange for one Ghalige, take it all. You will never have to work another day in your life.”

The Yama Kinkaras were short of words finally coming to terms they said “Really we do not understand you Manavas (Human Beings)! If you are willing to give up the earnings you made for 30 Varsha for one Ghalige, then why did you not make the most of every Nimisha (Minute) while you had it? How did you value your Samaya (Time)? What was your Pradhanyata (Priorities)? Why didn't you say or do the things that really mattered most?”

The light in the eyes of Abhuti faded, he was gone. His One Laksha Varaha could not buy him the Samaya (Time) to do what really mattered most to him.