Monday, February 28, 2011

An insight to "Rath Yatra"

One of my friend suggested me to write about Odisha --- my native. Now, that I thought to write about Odisha the first thing that I would like to write is about our lord Mahaprabhu Jagannath. This is not something new but something which is worldwide known about Jagannath - the Rath Yatra(car festival).

Srikhetra of Sri Jagannath is one of the Dham's of the four Dhamas - the Badrinath Dham in North, The Ramanath Dham (Rameswaram) in South, The Dwarikanath Dham(Dwarika) in west. Sri Jagannath the black coloured, wheel eyed (Chakanayana) deity is called Lord Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe.

The main features about him is his form - Rupa, His food - Mahaprasada, His festival - rath yatra and his dwelling place - the temple. Everything about him is great. The road is Badadhanda, the temple is Bada Deula, the sea is Mahodadhi, and his food is Mahaprasada.

The festival of Lord Jagannath is called rath yatra or Gundicha yatra or Ghosh yatra. Gundicha was the queen of King Indradyumna the builder of the first temple. She initiated this festival. So, the festival is named after her. The Sri Gundicha temple is the place where Jagannath had his first manifestation. Hence, this is considered the birthplace of Jagannath.

Rath yatra is a symbolic represention of spreading Universal love and brotherhood. The idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra do not have fully developed hands and legs. The idol shows us to love the physically challenged. When we love the lord in this form then we must give the same respect to all irrespective of their physical ability.

The festival begins by priest and devotees together carrying the idols of Sudarshana Chakra, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath from temple to the Cart by traditional ceremonial manner called Pahandi, when Lord Balabhadra and Lord Jagannath are swinged foreward and backward. There is no restriction on the devotees and their form of worship on this day. Devotees are allowed to freely touch and embrace the deities.
The rath of Lord Jagannath is called Nandighosha with 16 chakas(16 wheels). The cart is decorated by yellow and red coloured fabrics. The rath of Balabhadra is called Taladweja with 14 chakas(14 wheels). This is decorated with red and green fabric. The cart of Devi Subhadra is called Debadalana with 12 chakas(12 wheels). This is decorated with red and black fabrics. Thus, all the three cart is decorated with yellow, green and black fabrics combined with red fabric.

After, the deities are seated in their respective rathas, the Gajapati Maharaja of Puri, sweeps the floor of all the three carts.The tradition or niti is popularly called as Chhera Pahara and is one of the major attraction. This tradition symbolises that even the highest Sovereign Power of the state is only a servant before the Almighty. Thus, this popular tradition signifies that there is no difference of what we do. Whether it be the powerful job of a king or the job of sweeper, everything is same before the eye of Almighty. This also teaches us not to look down upon some one's job and perform our duty with utter devotion.
Then horses and ropes are attached to the Rathas and devotees pull them from Badadhanda to Gundicha temple. There is no discrimination based on caste, creed, religion, region or gender on this day. Everyone is allowed to pull the Rathas. This liberty indicates that the deity is equal for everyone on the earth and he imparts equal opportunity to all.

The festival goes on for nine days. In case, the rathas are not able to reach Sri Gundicha temple before sunset, then they are dragged the following day. After, five days from the commencement of the festival another major ceremonial event happens which is called Hera Panchami. On this day, Goddess Mahalakshmi visits the Sri Gundicha temple and breaks the cart of Jagannath on her return. On the evening of ninth day, all the three carts and the deities are pulled back to the Bada Dhanda. And the following day the deities are decorated with gold jewellery to start the Sunabesha ceremony.

Thus, the nine day long Rath Yatra has many significance that shows us to spread Universal love and brotherhood. Nowadays, this festival is not just limited to Srikhetra Puri, but is celebrated world wide in all the Jagannath temples. Join together in not just celebrating Rath yatra but also in spreading universal love.

                               May God bless you all. Jai Jagannath!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"The Snake and The Frog"

This is story from Sai Satcharitra. Hemadpanth one of the disciple and devotee of Sai Baba has described beautifully the story of frog and snake. The thing that attracted me most is the beautiful description of our deeds and the results thus we get out of it. Well as we live in the age of science, we negate the belief of God, supernatural power, rebirth and all. However, all the religion across the world do support these. Yes, no one can predict or prove these facts. They can be false or true, and this is based on our belief and trust on God.

In the last chapter of Sai Satcharitra, Sai baba describes the past Karma(past deeds) and the result thus obtained. He describes how we need to repay for all our deeds,if not in this life it follows us to another. I am making my best effort to describe the same story.

The story goes as below :-

One day after his breakfast, Sai baba took a walk and reached a place near a small river. There he took rest under a tree and prepared the chillim. There came a passer by and took shelter near him. The fellow helped Sai baba and was sharing the chillim with him. At that time they heard a croakking sound. After few minutes again they heard the same croakking sound. To which the fellow passerby asked curiously that what has been wrong with the frog. Then, Baba says he is getting the bitter result of his past action. The passerby did not get this and wanted to see what was really happening. When he went near the frog, he saw a big black serpent which was about to shallow the frog. Then he ran back to Sai and asked him to help the frog.

At his request, Sai baba assured him that nothing will happen to him. He told that he is there to protect the frog. How can something wrong happen. He then goes near the serpent and tells him that Veerabhadrappa is not your enmity over yet? Is not it enough for our enemy Bassappa, has not he repented enough by being born as frog. Is not it enough for you also, by being born as serpent, you still hanger same enmity towards him. Now, leave him and rest in peace.

Hearing this the serpent left the frog and dived into the river. The frog too went away from that place.

The passerby could not understand the mystery and curiously asked Sai baba to narrate the story of Veerabhadrappa and Bassappa.

Then Sai baba gave a glance of their previous life. Sai baba then says that that at ancient time there was a Mahadev temple. The temple was very old and needed repair. The villagers had gathered some money as per their strength and deposited it to one of the rich man who was to act as the treasurer. The wealthy man was a miser, so he did not give due attention to the repair work. And he am ashed some amount from the collected money, and never paid a penny from his pocket towards this process. When the work did not progress, the villagers came to him. However, he gave many reasons supporting the delay in work. And also demanded more money from villagers.

That very night, the wife of this wealthy man got a dream from Mahadev asking her to donate for this and make it successful, then she will be blessed with hundred folds for her offer. In the morning the wife shared this with her husband. However, the miser did not belief this and said this is a bad dream and she should forget thinking about it.

After few days again Mahadev appeared to the lady in dream and said her that he does not want any offering from her husband. He wants it from her as she is devoted to him. And also added that offering should be made from heart and not just the quantity of money. He also advised her not to listen her husband. The wife in morning, said this to her husband and got similar kind of reply. To avoid any unwanted disturbance in their relationship as man and woman, she decided to offer the jewellery that she received from her father. However, her greedy husband decided to cheat even God in this item. He undervalued the ornaments and bought it himself with thousand rupees and gave his wife a piece of land adjoining the temple. The land was actually of a old women who had mortgaged it and was not able to repay the loan. Thus, this land was given to the temple.

One day, there was heavy rain and thunderstorm in which both this husband and wife died. The old women also died. Then this rich man was born  to a poor bhramin family and was named Veerabhadrappa. His wife was born as the daughter of the priest of Mahadev temple and was named Gouri. And the old women was born as the attendant of the temple named Basappa. The priest was worried about getting his daughter married. One day, Veerabharappa happened to meet the priest while begging. The priest married his daughter Gouri to him with the consent from god.

However, in this life also he remained miserly for wealth. There was suddenly a price rise and the price of the land adjoins the temple raised to one lakh thus making it 100 times its actual value. Now, again Veerabhadrappa acted miserly and wanted to amash the whole amount. At this time Gouri went to Sai baba in obtaining a suitable advise as to what should be done with the amount. Sai advised her to give one portion to the temple and another to the attendant Basappa and remaining she can keep it herself. And this does not have anything with her husband as it was inherited by her from her father the priest. Meanwhile, both Veerabhadrappa and Basappa came to Sai quarreling about the amount. Veerabhadrappa was threatening Basappa when he took refuse under Sai. Sai gave him words that he will protect him where ever he goes.

Then after some days both Veerabhadrappa and Basappa died and were born as frog and snake. Thus, today Sai himself came to save the Basappa(the frog) whom he had given assurance to protect.

Thus the moral of the story is that one has to reap what he has sown. He has repay the old due to those from whom he has taken. And the greed for money, drags the greedy to lowest level and thus destroys him completely.

"The flower Lotus - enlightment and detachment"

Today, I am all set to post about the Indian National flower "Lotus". What this signifies? Lotus is the only flower that blossoms in dirty mud. Mud is the symbolic representation of impurity and unclean. The flower Lotus symbolises Purity.

Thus, it is the symbol of Purity in midst of impurity. As lotus is Pure in mud, the soul or spirit is pure and spotless even though its inside the world. Lotus has its roots deep inside the mud, however its petals are pious. This is detachment. It does not take the impurity from the mud, however, takes the valuable nutrient to feed itself and blossom. In same way, we need to detach our self from all the wrong deeds and material life by being in midst of it.

Detachment can not be obtained by running away from this world, but by acquiring the essential ingredients that life can teach us. Lotus never turns mud into anything else. Mud is mud. Yet, mud has nutrients that can feed the plant. Similarly, when we are in same kind of situation that is mud, we can not move from there. We have to take the essential learning's from that situation to blossom. May be that is the secured place for that particular time.

Take for example, we want to free our self from some person, but the relationship has caught hold of us. The Peron attached to us could be the best teacher if we could see that part of them. May be we are restricting our self not to see the whole picture of the person. Detachment is removing slants and bias like this. It means seeing the whole picture.

The human tendency is to seek detachment when we fail, as we are subjected to criticism. However, accepting that the task will complete in its own time and way will help us attain freedom from that feeling of criticism.

Lotus thus tells to stand next to our enemies, and responding to them sincerely and seeing that how they fade and disappear. Detachment is a very great virtue which gives the emotional safety and freedom. It makes others feel that they can come and go without any fuss. However, the moment you stop loving life, detachment is impossible as you tend to seek help and attach yourself in things that help.

Detachment is best learnt from Lotus flower, which touches mud but never looses its beauty. Beauty means to keep growing.

In Hinduism and Buddhism the Lotus flower is considered as sacred flower. Particularly, in Hinduism it is associated with Goddess MahaLakshmi. She sits on a fully blossomed lotus flower, symbolising purity, beauty and everything that is good. Mahalakshmi brings prosperity,purity,chastity and generosity.

The thousand petals of lotus symbolises spiritual enlightenment. The Buddhist mantra "Ohm! Mani Padma Hum"  refers to the "Jewels of Lotus". It signifies not only the jewel of man's divinity living within the lotus(the cosmos) but also the jewel of cosmos divinity living within the lotus(man). In other words the mantra can be interpreted as "I am in you and you are in me".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Saturn - The Shani dev "

Today, I was reading some articles on Astrology. I was struck by an article about Saturn. The writer is a famous astrologer. Well, I am not going to make any copy of his article. But, yes his view points and understanding the subject was something that I really admire.

Let me now interpret the same thing as best as I can do to help my readers know about Saturn with respect to astrology.

Saturn is depicted as a hunchback person with a crippled leg. He is too dark and rides a crow. Saturn thus symbolises "MISERY" and "DARKNESS". Here, the Misery is not about wealth. Its about Time. His main principle is to make an individual time bound. The most biggest side effect of this restriction is old age, disease and death.

Its associated with darkness, dim or shadow. He is exact opposite to Sun which depicts light. Sun is associated with Authority. And Satern reduces that by bounding it to time.

The restrictions and boundary of time makes us feel miser. So, when you try to understand the effect of Saturn in your own life, then ask yourself "what makes you feel miserable?". Most of the time the Saturn will be associated with this.

The ultimate misery comes with ultimate limitation : the time. Saturn deals mostly with the most difficult subject. Thus, saturn is assoicated with endurance,perservance and tenacity.Saturn is lonely,cold, misunderstood and spiteful.

If you treat Saturn the sameway, that is by hating your limitations and boundaries, hating the limitation that time gives you that is old age, disease or death, then Saturn will start hating you and will be spitefull towards you.

Saturn by imposing limitation of time tries to drag you more towards realism. It makes you to accept the reality than trying to avoid it all together.  Take for example a person buy a lottery ticket and by being optimistic thinks that he will win it. Then Saturn says, there are many hundreds along with you who want the same lottery. So, there is fare chance that you won't win it. Thus, Saturn makes you more realistic. Often, this is misunderstood of being pessimistic. However, pessimism is realism taken into an unhealthy extend.

Saturn also makes one critical. Criticism is unhealthy when you loose friends and oppertunities for being overly critical. However, criticism in best spirit can give you the right job at right time. When Saturn is well placed in one's horoscope, it makes the individual critical about oneself. He gives the ability to get good jobs for you and earn new friends. However, when Saturn is in malefic in one's horoscope, it gives opposite results, thus the person looses important jobs and friends for being overly critical.

In many forms Saturn and Jupiter are fairly oppostite. Jupiter gives the power to be opptimistic and Saturn is pessimistic. Saturn limits and restricts things and Jupiter enhances healthy growth. Saturn is critical and Jupiter is encouraging.

Being oppostite also has something in common due to which they attract each other. What is the common thing between them? They both want to keep our passion(Mars) within our scope. They pull us to make us understand ourself better and thus proceed in the path of attaining enlightment.

Jupiter does so by encouraging us to do better and rewarding us for our good deeds. And Saturn punishes us for our mistakes and for holding on to the same. It limits us from doing wrong.

Many a times people associate Saturn with Authority and Discipline. However, Authority is the virtue of Sun. Saturn is the effect of Authority as limitation and restriction. It is here that it acts as shadow of Sun.

All the planets contribute towards making us discipline in different ways. Jupiter makes us disciplined by establishing laws. Saturn defines limitations and restrictions, thus dictating a code of law. Sun and Mars also contribute towards discipline. Sun being the authority and Mars giving the energy to punish those who disobey.

Saturn's task are awful,brutal and thankless. Only the truely strongest of planet could do this forever. Saturn therefore bestows "Strength". Not the physical strength of Mars and not the sensual strength of Venus, but the strength to stand all odds.Thus, Saturn gives us ability to survive the impossible.

When Saturn is well placed in our horoscope it gives us longevity,the ability to defy old age, the ability to stand all odds, the ability to face insults and oppostion.

However, a malefic Saturn makes everything in life hard, you feel draged to perform the daily chores and you loose interest in performing your duty.

If we hate the things associated with Saturn like the old age, disease or death, the more that hates us. And thus the person who hates old age gets the more negative old age.

Saturn also tries to make us more detached to worldly matters and material objects. When we detach ourself from these means becoming less selfish. When we detach ourself from pleasing just ourself, then Saturn rewards us with endurance and tenacity. It gives us the thing that we least desire.

Saturn can bless you to have the positive side of everything that he has. He can extend your lifespan, remove limitations, improve your health, make you satisfied and happy in your daily life. Make you detached from misery and give insight to realism. On the otherhand, if you hate Saturn, it will give an hell treatment to you.

   Ohm! Sanischaraya Namah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nizam's and Nawab's

The Nizam's of Hyderabad owned half a dozen palace and were among the richest people of their time. They were known for the luxurious lifestyle that they sported. I visited few palaces of the Nizam's. Three of such palace's are now converted into museums.

Its a good time for people like me who like museums and are interested to know their glorious history. Few weeks earlier, I had posted about Salarjung Palace now known as Salarjung National Museum. Today, I am all set to post about Purani Haveli and Chowmahala Palace.

Both these palace are located in half a km of perimeter to the Charminar. Well Charminar is very famous and people who visit Hyderabad for the first time would definitely make their way to Charminar, but as such Charminar is nothing but a gate. And Charminar is not very huge like the India gate in Delhi. However, the place is famous for the ladd bazar and its famous Hyderabadi bangle market.

When I started my journey in search of Purani haveli, it was a disappointment as the shopkeepers informed me that its a broken palace which has been converted to market place. Few people indicated me to a four way road saying this is Purani haveli. Thanks to one fellow pedestrian who directed me to visit the place near Princess Durru Shevar Women and children hospital. On my way in search of the hospital, I could see a green colour board showing H.E.H Nizam Museum.

When we went to the place we could see a junior college being run in the premises and the guard told us that the Museum is in 1st floor and the ticket would be Rs 70/- per person. As this is one of the oldest palace of Nizam's the premises was not very well kept. You can find a few cannons pointing towards the gate. The garden is not maintained and a very lonely place in itself.

When we went up in the stair case, the first entrance was to the longest wardrobe that the VIth Nizam sported. He was known for wearing a cloth once. The wardrobe itself is divided into two stairs and the upper stair is used to keep clothes. When he choose one he used to come down where there are many changing rooms. He used to change and in case he did not like he used to throw the clothes. He never wore one piece of cloth twice.  The next major attraction is the wooden manual lift that was used by Nizam to visit his wardrobe. Below you can see the picture of this wardrobe where the ground floor is visible clearly.

The next consecutive rooms were filled with photos and memorandums that the Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan received on the inaugural function of 25th Silver Jubilee. If you take a closer look, the letters and cards that he received were kept inside showcases that were made of gold and silver. There are many such showcases that barely weighes 3 to 4 kg of gold. There are many hand sticks that were made up of ivory studded with rubies and pearls. The pearls were not just from India but were taken from Arab. The photos depict the luxurious life of Nizam. It shows there way of celebrating birthday to their marriage ceremony. In one such rooms, it is filled with models of all the places that Nizam had built.

The Nizam VIIth got many gold and silver Mason's tool on the inaugural function and first stone that he led to construct Osmania university, hospitals, bridges and market places.

The last but not the least attraction in this Museum is the throne that was used by Nizam VII on 25th Silver Jubilee celebration and there is a model of the same throne in the Jubilee Hall where actually is was residing. The model is made of eight to nine kg of gold. The throne also has gold plating over wood work.


Chowmahalla Palace was the palace used by the Nizams after they shifted from Purani Haveli. The Palace has a beautiful water fountain in its entrance. The Palace is much larger and beautiful than Purani Haveli. This is well kept and decorated. The main entrance to this palace starts with the family tree of Asaf Jahi Dynasty. The palace has photos taken at that time of not only the Nizam's but their family. Most importantly the women of Asaf Jahi Dynasty. The coronation of the Last Nizam of Hyderabad took place in this Palace. Mukkaram Jah the 8th Nizam was chosen as the heir by his grandfather Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan.

The room contains many photos of the Last Nizam,his early childhood and the coronation to the throne. The adjoining room is the Darbar of Nizam (called grand Khilwat) with the small throne. This place has many exotic glass lights hanging from the ceiling. This can be seen in the picture below.

The next room again has paintings and photos of Nizam's and buildings they constructed. The following room contains the arms and ammunition.  The palace is divided into four major parts, thus giving it the name Chowmahalla Palace. The other parts are called Tanhiyat mahal, Afzal Mahal, Aftab Mahal and Mahtab mahal. The Aftab Mahal is the grandest of it all and displays the exotic dress materials and dupattas used by Nizam and his Family. The Tanhiyat Mahal has the throne used by Nizam for coronation and furniture's used by them. The Afzal Mahal has photos of children and ladies of the Palace. It has photos of Princess Durru Shevar and Princess Nilofar who married the son's of Mir Osman Ali Khan. Their beauty attracts each and everyone. Their splendid lifestyle is remarkable to be noticed in each picture.

The Palace also sports old vintage cars.You can also see many horse cart and hand carts used by Nizam.

 The Nizam VII Mir Osman Ali Khan was not only famous for the development of Hyderabad and setting up of educational schools and colleges, but also became popular with the many lawsuits against him for more than 200 illegitimate children that he had with more than 80 mistresses.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why we live as long as we do?

Well this is the question we often ask to our self when we are tied with lots of pain and trouble. I get this feeling every time I get confused as to what decision should be taken. Which way should I make a move? Life often puts us into situations where we do not know what to do, sometimes we take a decision and that does not turn to be fruitful. Today, my situation is somewhat like this. Suddenly, I remember one story told to me from childhood, that explains our pain the phase of life that we are going through. Well, this is not a story that gives us direction. It just explains us why we get this kind of a feeling. I hope readers will also agree to this.

In case, you have some other view,might be some other story or something, I would request you to put that in comments. So, that we all can know about it.

On the first day God created the cow. God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That's a kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years.  Let me have twenty years and I'll give back the other forty."
And God agreed.
 On the second day, God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past.  I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's too long to be barking.  Give me ten years and I'll give back the other ten."
So God agreed (sigh).
 On the third day God created the monkey.  God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh.  I'll give you a twenty year life span."

The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years?  I don't think so.  Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, okay?"
And God agreed again.
On the fourth day God created man.  God said, "Eat, sleep, play.  Do nothing, just enjoy, enjoy.  I'll give you twenty years."
Man said, "What? Only twenty years?  No way! Tell you what, I'll take my twenty, and the forty cow gave back, and the ten dog gave back and the ten monkey gave back. That makes eighty, okay?"
"Okay," said God. "You've got a deal."
So this is why for the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, enjoy, and do nothing;
for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family;
for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain our grandchildren;
and for the last ten years we sit in front of the house and bark at everybody.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wishing Birthday to the man who spread light in our life!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Google for displaying the doodle, that reminded me of Thomas Alva Edison.

Thomas Alva Edison was born on 11th Feb 1987. Thomas Alva Edison was called Alva or Al by his family. As a child he was very curious by nature. He kept asking questions. Even his mother who used to be school teacher,could not answer. He would experiment to find the answers. Once, he sat on egg himself trying to hatch egg. He would experiment and cause many accidents. However, he never gave up experimenting and leaving any question unanswered.

His teacher was overheard calling him "addled", that brought an end to his 3 months of formal education. He was taught by his mother.

He went to work at age of 12. He sold newspaper and candy in local train. When he used to get spare time in train,he used to experiment in the baggage car. Once, some accident happened in the train because of his experiment and he was thrown out of train.He became nearly deaf after this accident.

Then he worked as a telegraph operator. He worked in night shifts so that he could experiment and read in daytime. He was fired from this job, when another experiment caused accident in the office.

When he was 22 years old he went to New York. He only had $1 in his pocket. He hunted for a job during the day, and at night he slept in the basement of a gold company. He watched everything around him very closely. Some equipment broke down and Edison was able to fix it because he had been watching it work before he went to sleep each night. The owners gave him a job. He improved the machine so much the company paid him $40,000 for his invention. He started the American Telegraph Works in New Jersey.
He built a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. It was here with his employees he made many of his inventions. He would work night after night, and sometimes he would fall asleep at his workbench. His wife wouldn't see him for days at a time.
He and his team worked to make a light bulb which would burn for a long time without burning out. They tried 1,500 materials and nothing worked well. Finally he tried a new material in the filament that burned nearly 200 hours.
After he had made the light bulb, he worked to make a power system so people could use the bulb. In 1882 he flipped a switch and 85 houses in New York City had electric lights for the first time.
Thomas Edison was probably the world's greatest inventor. He had a patent on 1,093 inventions. In addition to the electric light, he also invented the phonograph , a camera to take motion pictures, a cement mixer, the automatic telegraph, and he improved Alexander Graham Bell's telephone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guru's three gifts

Once upon a time, there was a boy who stayed near a Saint. He was inspired by the saint. He thought to himself that if he continues to stay near the saint, his life will be enlightened and he will become a better person everyday. Thinking thus, he started to stay with the saint. He carefully listened to all the preaches that the saint used to give.

One day, the saint wanted to go to Himalaya. So, he called upon the boy. And before leaving the place, he gave him three things.

1- needle
2- wax candle
3- a strand of hair.

The boy accepted the gift from his Guru. However, he looked surprised and puzzled. The Guru then told that these are three things that will guide you in life and will make you successful. Hearing this the boy was confused,as he did not realise what to do with them.

Knowing,that the boy did not understood the meaning of these gifts, Guru explained him in detail about the gift and its significance in life.

Needle is an object which is used to join things. He wanted to tell his beloved student that "Be like a needle and be involved in joining people, never get involved in things that separates people."Needle represents creation not destruction. Here the Guru implied to be part of creating happiness and tranquility and advised his disciple not to be part of something that hampers mankind and leads to destruction.

During the creation of world, in Hindu mythology, we believe the Gods and Demon's together had churned the ocean with Mount Mandara. At that time both Poison and Nectar to Immortality appeared. If you want to spread peace and tranquility, you need to drink the Poison yourself and let others drink the nectar like Lord Shiva. Same way, a candle represents one who constantly burns himself to spread light of hope and happiness. Here, the Saint advised his disciple, to have patience and courage to burn his own interest to spread happiness. He wanted him to sow the seeds of happiness and peace in other people's life, irrespective of loosing his own happiness.

Hair represents softness,flexibility and humbleness. The Guru wanted him to be humble. To be soft and speak always words of softness. According to the Guru, one can win over all enemies by being polite and humble. Hair is soft, smooth yet robust, so it never breaks. He advised not to be brittle that you break before reaching your goal.

In this way, the Guru interpreted that by being humble and soft you can easily win over enemies. And patience is the key to happiness and peace. Without patience even the best of warrior can never win. Never get disheartened and stop yourself from moving towards peace and tranquility.

I want Peace?

"I want Peace.",this is what one of my friend answered when I asked , "why you are looking for new job". I had heard people looking for job change for job satisfaction or for money. However, someone seeking peace wants new job was something, I happened to hear for the first time. There must be something, which I don't know and did not had courage enough to ask.However, this line made me to think about Peace.

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. "
---Mother Teresa

What and how we define Peace?If you search for the meaning, it is absence of war and other hostilities. Peace is having harmonious relationship without any disagreement. Might be this is what my friend wanted to say. However, for a while the statement made me to think what he really wants to get.

Well, today I do not want to discuss the statement made or give any advise. I believe nobody is ignorant about getting or having peace. I just want to say something about my personal experience which might help someone get Peace.

In my school days, the sister's often used to ask us to bring old clothes. So, that they can donate these used clothes to someone who is in need. In those time almost everyone in my class used to donate clothes. We also donated old books to the poor students. Last year along with some of my good friends, we decided to celebrate Dasharra in an innovative way. We prepared Puri, Chole and Suji ka Halwa on MahaNavami. And went to near by Durga temple. We distributed these among poor and destitute. That day, we all were very happy, as it satisfied our inner self. We got so motivated by this that, we took a vow on the same day to distribute food made by us once again. And after few weeks, we again did that. I have many friends who donate to orphanages regularly. I had a colleague who used to visit orphanages regularly and teach the inmates. Last year, one of my friend on his birthday distributed his birthday cakes among cab drivers.

Yes, its true in this busy life we hardly get time to do such things. But, if you really have aim to achieve Peace, then it hardly takes time to start charity. Its not that you have to offer money always. And I believe its not good to offer money to young children. Its better to give eatables instead. Not that you need to buy them a full meal. However, give them chocolate or biscuits sometime. Watch these street children,how happy they are to receive this. They don't have the privilege to buy or taste chocolates like us. And they long for it. Try it sometime if you want to see happiness and get peace.

Please put forward your ideas.I would also like to learn new ways to generate happiness and Peace. Your feedback is essential for me to keep writing. Please keep giving your inputs.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Colors that we prefer in life,does that really determine our personality? I have always had a doubt on this. Certain aspects of our life might have link to the color that we prefer over others. One day, I heard one of my best friend asking another friend on his birthday not to wear complete black. As black symbolises negative attitude in us. That day, we three had a longer talk on this subject for sometime. Well, as in South India, black is not always associated with negativity and black magic, instead with spirituality. People who vow to visit Sabrimala temple, wear black dress and remain barefooted for 45 days.

Well,yes even I used to consider black as something associated with negativity. However, my perception changed when I came to Bangalore. All the gods and goddess in South are made of black stone. Almost all deity wear black dress once in a while. And most importantly, to go on pilgrimage to Sabrimala temple, one has to wear complete black dress. That day on I changed my view, and considered every color as auspicious as any other.Might be we consider something better over other, however,there might be some places in world where that color would be associated with spirituality.

Today,while googling I happened to read an article on color choice and personality. Most of my views and ideas was matching with the color that I prefer. However, I never take these seriously,as I see some traits in every color would match with my personality. Its fun reading them and patting yourself for what your personality is. So, viewers I am also posting the colors and there associated personality traits. Read and smile at yourself to have an incredible personality.

White: Symbolic of purity, innocence and naivete, white has strong connotations of youth and purity. If you are an older person, your preference for white could indicate a desire for perfection and impossible ideals, maybe an attempt to recapture lost youth and freshness. It may also symbolize a desire for simplicity or the simple life.

Red: The color of strength, health, and vitality, Red is often the color chosen by someone outgoing, aggressive, vigorous and impulsive—or someone who would like to be! It goes with an ambitious nature but those who choose it can be abrupt at times, determined to get all they can out of life, quick to judge people and take sides. Red people are usually optimistic and can’t stand monotony; they are rather restless and not at all introspective, so they may be unaware of their own shortcomings. They find it hard to be objective and may blame others for any mishaps. Quiet people with a preference for red may feel the need for the warmth, strength and life-giving qualities of the color, or they blanket their true feelings under a sober exterior. Red is usually chosen by people with open and uncomplicated natures, with a zest for life.
Maroon: Harsh experience has probably matured the Maroon person into someone likable and generous. It is often a favorite color of someone who has been battered by life but has come through. It indicates a well-disciplined Red personality—one who has had difficult experiences and has not come through unmarked but who has grown and matured in the process.

Pink: This color embodies the gentler qualities of Red, symbolizing love and affection without passion. Women who prefer Pink tend to be maternal. Pink desires protection, special treatment and a sheltered life. Pink people require affection and like to feel loved and secure, perhaps wanting to appear delicate and fragile. Pink people tend to be charming and gentle, if a trifle indefinite.

Orange: This color of luxury and pleasure appeals to the flamboyant and fun-loving person who likes a lively social round. Orange people may be inclined to dramatize a bit, and people notice them, but they are generally good-natured and popular. They can be a little fickle and vacillating, but on the whole they try hard to be agreeable. Orange is the color of youth, strength, fearlessness, curiosity and restlessness.

Yellow: The color of happiness, wisdom and imagination, Yellow is chosen by the mentally adventurous, searching for novelty and self-fulfillment. Yellow usually goes with a sunny and shrewd personality, with a good business head and a strong sense of humor. It is the color of intellectuality and all things to do with the mind. Yellow folks are usually clear and precise thinkers who have a good opinion of their own mental capacities and who have lofty ideals. They may at times tend to shun responsibility, preferring freedom of thought and action.

Green: The color of harmony and balance, Green symbolizes hope, renewal and peace, and is usually liked by the gentle and sincere. Greens are generally frank, community-minded people, fairly sociable but preferring peace at any price. Green people can be too self-effacing, modest and patient, so they may get exploited by others. They are usually refined, civilized and reputable.

Blue: Soft, soothing, compassionate and caring, Blue is the color of deliberation and introspection, conservatism and duty. Patient, persevering, conscientious, sensitive and self-controlled, Blues like to be admired for their steady character and wisdom. They are faithful, but are often worriers with somewhat inflexible beliefs and can be too cautious, and suspicious of flamboyant behavior.
Blue-Green: Exacting, discriminating, poised and attractive, the Blue-Green person tends to be sensitive, intellectual and refined, persevering and stable if rather detached. Blue-Greens have excellent taste, and are usually courteous and charming, capable but often refusing help or guidance.
Turquoise: Complex, imaginative and original, Turquoise people drive themselves hard and may be in a state of turmoil under their outwardly cool exterior.
Lavender: This is often chosen by a person who lives “on a higher plane,” who never notices anything sordid and who is always impeccably and beautifully dressed. Lavender people may be on a continual quest for culture and the refined things of life, high and noble causes but without the necessity of getting their hands dirty. A Lavender person is usually creative, charming, witty and civilized.

Purple: Purples are highly individual, fastidious, witty and sensitive, with a strong desire to be unique and different. Temperamental, expansive and artistic, a Purple person may become aloof and sarcastic when misunderstood. If you chose Purple, you tend to be unconventional, tolerant and dignified, likely to achieve positions of authority
Brown: A Brown person has stamina and patience, tending to be very solid and substantial, conscientious, dependable, steady and conservative. Browns are not impulsive, and may be inarticulate and tactless but they love responsibility and are reliable and kindly. If you chose Brown, watch out for a tendency to be obstinate and inflexible.
Gray: The color of caution and compromise, diligent Grays search for composure and peace and often work hard without reward. Older Grays like life to run on an even keel with few ups and downs. Young Grays may be withdrawing from life and suppressing their personalities. Grays often have good business ability and tend to work too much.

Black: Dignified and impressive without being showy, Black people want to give the appearance of mystery, but their preference may also indicate a suppression of desires and worldly aims, suggesting hidden depths and inner longings.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How you will be remembered?

In the year 1988, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The news papers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake. His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, "Dynamite King Dies." And also "He was the merchant of death."It condemned him for his invention of dynamite and is said to have brought about his decision to leave a better legacy after his death.This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words "merchant of death," he asked himself a question, "Is this how I am going to be remembered?" He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.
Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same.
What is your legacy?
How would you like to be remembered?
Will you be spoken well of?
Will you be remembered with love and respect?
Will you be missed?

Critic's and Criticism

To start with an original sentence, I have no good topic today to put forward my thoughts. Few days back an old friend of mine suggested me to put my thoughts about the criticism and critics that I have met so far. However, I am not someone who thinks of revenge and is revengeful. It will be like criticising a critic about his/her art. Artists never think of critics and critics never bother how artist react to it.

Now, coming to the point what I think about criticism. People criticise you on two things, when you are successful and when you are a failure. They don't criticise someone who does not make any attempt. If you are so much worried about, society, criticism , then just answer to yourself one question. Is there someone who will come to help you when you are in need? If still you value them then answer yourself who was standing with you when you broke down with tears.The people who put forward their views with respect to society never will come to wipe your tears,but will condemn and criticise each and every action of yours in the name of society.

Criticism is an indirect act of Self-boasting. When people criticise they think they are better than you. Had they been better than you, they would never require to criticise. It hurts when your near and dear ones criticise. When they do it, you see the real politics of life in them. They become silent when they had to put a step forward and stand with you, yet they leave not a single chance to criticise you for your decision and action.

My answer to all criticism is simple, come wear my shoes and walk, and tell me what would have been your decision? Critic's never have full knowledge, and half hazard knowledge of anything will never give the right decision.

When you pass through bad phase of life, even sincere advise sometimes appear as criticism. You need to have patience to see the depth meaning of people who care. Sometimes, the people who don't walk by you, does not necessarily mean don't love you anymore. Its just the fact that they don't have what you need at the moment, however they still love you. They might not express their love,trust or concern for you, but that don't mean they have stopped caring for you.

I most conclude with one thing, sometimes criticism really helps. Believe me, it gives you the boost that you require to keep going. So, Instead of thinking who will criticise or how this society will react, do what is right, and humanitarian. And most importantly, the older generation always criticises and condemns the younger one's, forgetting the fact that they have raised them. Older generation always compels you to be bound to their decision, they emotionally blackmail you, sometime just because they have insecurity complex. But, your desire and passion should not be obstructed by some one's insecurity feeling.

Stand for your own decision, and don't feel let down by criticism. After all, you have your mind and decision making capacity to make the right choice for you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Japanese Fish Story

The Japanese always loved fresh fish. However, the water near Japan did not held enough fish for consumption for decades. To solve this problem and feed the population with fresh fishes, the fishing companies in Japan started to hire bigger boats. Boats got bigger and went far to get more fishes. The farther the fisher men went the longer it took for them to bring back the fishes. The process took several days, hence, by the time the boats return, fishes started to rot. The Japanese people did not like the taste.

Now, the companies started carrying freezer in the boats. They started freezing the fishes after the catch so that they don't rot by the time they reach the shore. However, the difference of the taste was still marked. And Japanese did not like the frozen fish over fresh fish.And the frozen fish got lower price.

In order to solve this problem, the fishing companies got tankers. They started stuffing the tanks with fishes,fin to fin. After a little thrashing around the fishes stopped making any movement.They were tired and dumb but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference and did not like this either.

So, how did the Japanese fishing company solve this problem?How would they get fresh tasting fish to Japan? If you were consulting one of these Japanese fish company what would you suggest ?

How Japanese fish stay fresh:- The fish companies now added one one shark for each tanker. The shark would eat up a few fishes. However, the fishes would remain active in the fear of shark.Thus, they delivered very lively and fresh fishes to Japan.

Moral:- We all live in some short of ponds, very tired and dull. We all need sharks to make us lively and keep moving. Basically, Sharks here refers to the challenges, small or big that we face in day to day life. If you are getting right size and amount of challenges to face everyday, you think of ways to overcome them and thus get energized.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Mouse Story

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a
package. What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered - he was devastated to
discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning to the animals, "There is a
mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The chicken clucked and
scratched, raised her head and said,
it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
"Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but
The mouse turned to the pig and the pig sympathized, but said,
Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
"I am so very sorry, Mr.
The mouse next turned to the cow and the cow said,
it's no skin off my nose."
face the farmer's mousetrap alone.
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap
catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught.
In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned
home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to
the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.
But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the
clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well, she
So many people came for her funeral; the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough
meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
"Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, butSo, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you,
remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this
journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to
encourage one another.

Why we read "Srimad Bhagwat Gita" ?

Have you ever wondered why in every religion there is some sacred book. In Hinduism its "Srimad bhagwat gita, the Ramayana, Vedas,Upanishads,Sai Sadchartra and many more. Similarly, Christianity has The Holy Bible, Islam has The Koran and so on. The priest in every religion advise us to follow these books. They say us it will purify our thoughts and give us serenity and make us calm and composed.

Here I am going to describe a story of a Grand Pa with his Grand son, in which The Grand Pa teaches his grandson the significance of reading Holy Scripture day in and day out. Please read full, I am sure you will love this simple yet beautiful way of the author to describe it to a five year old.

There was a little boy of the age five who used follow is Grand Pa in every act. His Grandpa had a habit of reading the Holy scripture daily. The little boy started to follow him in this. He kept reading the Srimad Bhagwat Gita which is written in Sanskrit. Though he never got a single word of the book, he kept reading it for sometime.

One fine morning, when he saw his Grandpa reading it with devotion, he asked "I don't understand a single word in this book. Then what is the use of reading it?"

His Grandpa after finishing his portion, took a bucket which was used to keep charcoals.This bucket had few holes at its bottom . And told the little boy to fetch some water from the near by river,and promised him that he will answer his query once he gets the water.The boy went reluctantly to the river and filled the bucket.By the time he reached home, all the water had flown.

The boy told his Grandpa that it has holes so he can't get water in it. The Grandpa replied that if you can run faster than the time by which water will flow out of the outlet then you can fetch water in that bucket. So, he asked him to run faster. The boy again tried but, no result as before. The process went on for few times before the boy finally gave up.

At this point the Grandpa asked the small boy to look into the bucket and say what changes he can see. The boy replied the bucket looks cleaner than before. To this his Grandpa answered, similar to this if you read any Holy scripture without understanding, you might not get the summary but your soul will get purified. So, even if you do not understand the scripture, never worry keep your faith and trust and read it regularly.It will definitely help you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The School Essay Competition

Years back around 18 to 19 yrs back, I had participated for the first time in my school essay competition. The competition was between class I to class V. I was in 3rd Std. Teacher gave us some 5 different topics before one week.They informed that on the day of competition there will be three topics from this five, and we have to select one. The topics were easy when I think of them now. And we had to write some 300 to 500 words. One topic among them was "The Cow".

When I approached my Dad that evening with the 5 topics. He chose this simple subject and told me,"To win any competition, you need to approach the most easiest subject with a different approach or else opt for something that is too hard".

Then he started dictating me the essay about the simplest subject("The Cow"). I most make it clear that he is far better in literature than what I am. He modified the subject ("The Cow") in a beautiful way, giving description about how many breeds of Cows are available not only in India but world wide. There was few points describing the quality of these breeds, the amount of milk they can give at maximum. And also there was some views related to Hinduism and our belief of considering Cow as the Mother. The essay was much bigger and contained more than 500 words. I read the essay some 3 to 4 times and prepared one or two more essays as well.

On the day of competition to my luck, the subject("The Cow") was included in the three topics. And I choose this. As per my belief I managed to write some 300 words and counted number of words before submitting the paper. I managed to get a third prize. When my father enquired about the competition to my teachers, their remark was something beyond imagination. They told, my essay was not something that a Std 3 student can write. It was far better, however being so young, I am not eligible to write that way, so they gave me the third prize even though my essay was far better than the one which won first prize.

Today, I want to ask my teachers, was it really the appropriate way to encourage your pupil? Its never the less all the essays were prepared before hand. Is it not the teacher who should encourage his pupil to think differently ? If a student approaches a better way to modify an easy subject, should the teacher stop that, saying you are not old enough ?

Might be I am thinking from my perspective, however few question still arise in my mind. The simplest question is why we send small child to school, how they start learning and thinking differently. Well I never encourage mugging something, as a young student I remember teachers dictating the essay from essay book. They were grown up, was not it their duty to think and make a passage? Is it what you wanted me to write down, something taken from any essay book. Or was it required for me to write Cow has two ears,two eyes and blah blah...

As far as I understand the teachers and parent should encourage the pupil to think differently and with a larger view than the mere bookish way. How to start and infuse that into a child's mind and psychology is what we need to understand and make it work. Gone are the days, but that was the day when I thought for the first time that a simple subject can be beautifully modified. That was first time when I realised nothing is simple, until I know the vast knowledge it could store in it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Two Tales from Ramayana

Two tales from Ramayan :-
1-      This story is from Sundar kanda, when Hanuman goes to Lanka in search of Sita. After, meeting Sita in the Ashoka Vatika, when Hanuman convinced her about his visit as the messenger of Ram. Hanuman pleads to Sita to go with him. However, Sita denies accompanying Hanuman.  When she gave her message for Ram, Hanuman asks her to give something as a token to identify that Hanuman really met her. Sita gives this story as a token of remembrance.

Once while roaming in the forest, Ram and Sita with Lakshman came near a spring. While washing her face and legs, one cruel crow started tormenting Sita. It started to poke Sita. Sita somehow managed to escape the crow and then slept in lap of Ram. While she was asleep, the crow again started poking and this time it badly hurt Sita and she eventually started bleeding. Ram was awakened by the blood of Sita. On seeing Sita bleeding, he threw a glass blade (dhub grass) towards the crow. He infused mantras and made the grass blade as the Bhrama Astra. That grass blade then followed the crow and was about to kill it, that the crow surrendered to Ram and pleaded for mercy. Ram hearing his mercy told that he cannot take Bhrama Astra back , however can reduce its intensity. Then the crow reluctantly offered one eye of it’s, instead of his life. On command of Ram the glass blade destroyed its right eye.
Sita asks Hanuman to say, “Oh Ram! How can you leave Ravan who has taken me away from you, when you could not tolerate crow poking on me? You applied Bhrama Astra on the crow and you are not making enough efforts now to take me from this cruel Ravan. Please come soon and rescue me from this demon, or else I will give up my life in one month.“

2- One day during her childhood Sita was playing in a garden with Her friends, She saw a parrot couple.

They were talking like this, "There will be a king named Ram on this earth. His wife's name will be Sita. He will rule for 11,000 years along with Sita. Blessed are Ram and Janaki who will enjoy each others company." 

Sita got curious hearing Her name and Her future, so She thought, "Let me ask something more about my future." So She asked Her friends to catch those birds. Her friends brought those birds to Her.
SitaSita? How do you know about them? Tell me everything."
The birds said - "There is a Rishi named Valmeeki who is regarded very high. We live in his Aashram only. He has written a big book named "Ramayan" which seems very dear to him. He always reads the couplets of that book. We have heard it in full and since we hear it always, we also remember it. Now you listen to about Ram, and Sita and the events about their lives. By the help of Rishyashring Muni's Putreshti Yagya, Vishnu will appear in four forms - Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn. Ram will come to Mithila along with His brother Lakshman and Vishwaamitra. He will break the bow which will be very difficult to break, and marry the beautiful daughter of Janak - Sita. We have told you everything, now you please free us."
Sita again asked them - "Where will be Raam? Whose son He will be? How will He look like?"
Hearing this the she-parrot knew that She was Sita. She fell onto Her feet and said she parrot- "He will be like lotus bud. In fact who has hundred mouths, even he cannot describe His beauty, who am I to describe it? Blessed is Sita who will enjoy with Ram for thousands of years. But who are you? What is your name who is asking about Ram with so much curiosity?"
Sita said telling them about Her birth - "Whoever Sita you are talking about, She is me. When Ram will come here and accept me, then only I will free you. Now you live in my house and eat sweet things."
Hearing this the she-parrot said - "Janaki, We are the birds of forests, we live on trees and wander around. How we will be happy in your house? I am pregnant. Let me go and deliver my babies, then I will come back to you."
But Sita didn't free her. He-parrot requested Her to free his wife but Sita told him to go leaving his wife there only. Hearing this the he-parrot got sad and said
he parrot- "Whatever Yogee say, that is correct, that one should be silent and should not say anything to anybody, otherwise he is bound to his words. If we did not talk like this here, then why we should have been caught here. It would have been better if we were quiet."
He again requested Sita to free his wife but She didn't free her. Then the she-parrot gave Her Shaap - "As you are separating me from my husband at the time of my pregnancy, in the same way you will also be separated from Ram at the time of your pregnancy." And she died with sorrow of the separation of her husband. Since she died talking about Ram, a Divine Vimaan came to take her. After the death of his wife, the parrot said
he parrot- "I will take birth in Ayodhya and Ram will separate you by my words only." And off he flew.
Because he insulted Sita in sorrow and anger, he was born as a washerman. Whoever dies saying bad words about great people, even if he is the highest Brahman, he is born in lower class beings, that is why he was born as a washerman. Because of that washerman, Sita got separated from Ram at the time of Her pregnancy.

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