Sunday 7 February 2010

Decoding Cosmos!

"Enthamaathramuna Evvaru Thalachina Antha Maathramu Nuvvu", the opening lines of the famous Annamacharya Krithi is translated as:- "O Lord, You assume whatever form that is attributed to You by Thy devotee!"
Fantasy plays a big part in our lives. We fantasize about material and emotional fulfillment in our day to day life. Fantasy, is a powerful form of meditation as the mind is focused on the desired object/relationship. Over a period of time many of us attain our desires as a result of the intensity of our thoughts and wishes. Even God is realized through fervent thought-practice and staunch conviction that He is in and around us. As the famous saying goes, "God is in faith"! To fantasize about God, the practitioner needs to have a chosen deity. Since God responds only to emotional appeal, it is mandatory to choose a specific relationship with Him/Her (in case of a Goddess). A clinical approach to God does not work. Love and faith gradually train mind and eye to become vigilant for identifying messages from the cosmos.

I started this practice many years ago, I vividly remember the time when I used to take my daughters for their swimming classes in Savera. I used to sit by the pool and imagine God, Lord Venkateswara, in all His finery streched out as Lord Ranganatha on the other side of the pool. I alternate between Lord Venkateswara and Goddess Durga whenever I spin yarn out of my fanciful thoughts about God's presence in my day to day life.

Then comes observation, this part is absolutely blissful and exciting! It may take a while for the trained eye to figure out messages from God. When curious messages, occurrences and coincidences (hinting at the presence of God )are recognized by the psychic core of our minds (call it premonition or intuition!) we can be convinced that we are finally THERE! The messages could come in the subtlest of forms or manner, it depends upon the ability of the practitioner to interpret the message from God. The understanding manifests itself into Truth or God! For a practitioner who is not convinced by cosmic messages, God remains in His Nowhere Land and would not budge! For the non-believer God remains as inaccessible as ever!
To invoke God, the best thing would be to develop feelings of love and kinship towards Him.
A clinical approach to God is a big no-no! God responds ONLY to emotional appeal! Love and belief gradually train the mind and eye to be vigilant and alert for grasping messages from God.

I couldn't help but notice a few coincidences of late. I found that whenever I checked my mobile for missed calls or messages, the time would read as 12:12, 10:10, 03:03, etc.,always showing even hours and minutes on my mobile. My instinct would nag me that God was making His presence felt ("KAALOSMI"- "I AM TIME" as Lord Krishna stated in Bhagavad Gita)! After convincing myself that it was indeed God Himself who was revealing His divine presence through the even hour/minutes that showed on my mobile, I started treating my mobile reverentially. My observation has further led me to believe that when the time showed as 10:37, 12:48, 09:36, 06:24 etc. (the minutes adding up exactly to the sum of the hour), even that implied God! At times when the time (during my random check for missed calls or messages) showed one or two minutes lesser than 10:10 or 07:34 etc., I would wait for the one or two minutes to pass to feast my eyes on God!
During instances like travel by car, flight or train or while stationed in some place, my gaze would casually encounter messages like "Sri Kamakshi Thunai", "Do not fear, I am here" etc. on lorries, buses or cars. When I look at pictures of fierce looking lions (representing Goddess Durga), elephants (for Lord Vighneswara), monkeys (for Lord Anjaneya) etc., I recognize them as my guardians .
Way back in 1994, I had a terrifying experience while flying from Coimbatore to Chennai (returning from a holiday in Ooty). The air turbulence was so intense that I thought I would not survive the flight! It took me a very long time to get over my phobia for flights. In the midst of my fear of flying, I had to take up a journey to London for a veena concert. I prayed fervently to Lord Ranganatha to make my journey pleasant without air pockets and turbulence. Despite all my prayers, during the flight my knees were shaking and my palms wet and sweaty due to fear. After sometime I heard the captain of the flight announce that we were flying across Madurai (close to Trichy, Srirangam) and I got goosebumps listening to the announcement. I recognized it as God's way of declaring that He was protecting me! I was simply thrilled! As though the assurance was not enough, another miracle took place just then!
Sensing somebody occupying the empty seat next to me. I turned to notice that he was an elderly Indian. It was obvious that he sat next to me to strike a conversation. He asked me curiously, "Are you Veena Gayathri?"
Small talk was the last thing I needed, at the same time I was glad to have company to be able to keep my mind off the flight! I replied with a tired smile, "Yes".
He introduced himself,"I am Rangarajan"! His name made me jerk my head towards him, my eyes growing wide in awe and wonder!
All through the journey, the gentleman discussed music and the temple rituals in Lord Ranganatha's temple in Srirangam (he told me that one of his relatives worked as a priest in the temple!). Time flew and I hardly noticed the flight. In London Heathrow Airport, Mr.Rangarajan refused to leave my side till the organisers came to meet me. Walking along with the organisers I turned to look behind. Mr.Rangarajan was still there, waving goodbye to me with a smile!
On my return to India I knew it would be too much to ask God for a repeat performance, but somehow I couldn't shake off the premonition that He would once again escort me back to India. While I was pondering about the curious ways of the Divine, I heard a voice from behind, "Gayathri! Neeyaa!!". I turned back to find ghatam vidwan, Sri. T.H.Subashchandran looking at me in surprise and delight. I had known Sri.Subash from my childhood as he had accompanied me on mridangam as well as ghatam for many of my concerts.
"Subash Anna! How nice to see you!" Being in the company of any member of Sri. T.H.Vinayakram's family feels like being in a religious discourse about Maha Periyava. The members of the entire family are staunch devotees of Maha Periyava of Kanchi Mutt. I was simply thrilled to know that my premonition had come true and that God would be with me on my way back to India too.
On the way to London if the conversation between Sri.Rangarajan and myself was all about Srirangam temple and Lord Ranganatha, on the way back to India the conversation between me and Subash Anna was all about Maha Periyava and the miracles He performed in the lives of His devotees!

God is within our grasp, it is simply an art of decoding cosmic signals!