Thursday 9 December 2010

Thursday 2 December 2010

Tuning special hearts!


Healing Session in Sadhanalay

Shyamala Sajnani does not talk about 'music therapies' or "raga effects". She actually DOES IT!!! And how??!!
In a city like Mumbai, she carries her own veena (carries it all the way down the three floors [in an apartment complex that has no lift] of her building, places the veena in her car and drives herself to Sadhanalay (school for special children)which is on Peddar Road, Mumbai) to offer musical solace to the special children with special needs and skills.
In her own words she told me about what makes her do this- "All Veenas ( almost all) have a dragon head at the left base. Legend goes that there used to be a fiery dragon which was wreaking havoc by breathing fire and causing devastation everywhere. Nobody could calm the dragon until the Goddess of learning, knowledge and truth, Saraswathi came to help. When She played on the Veena the dragon calmed down immediately.The dragon had just one wish. He asked for a boon by which he will never be separated from the sound of Veena, And that is how till today Veena bears a dragon head.I just felt that the dragon could be a metaphor and probably the sound of the Veena has the ability to soothe and calm the live dragons in all of us. It could be our desires, emotions, diseases and just about anything. I also realized that since I have been playing Veena regularly (through out the day) I also fall sick lesser. You can notice all the veena teachers and easily conclude that they all have longer, healthier lives.I happened to get talking to a teacher in this school and offered to play there for the kids for an hour simply to help them relax and feel calmer.I have no goal , some kids are very very receptive to music but are not able to go to specific teachers to learn. I just want to help them out , if I am able to, to have a better understanding of music, may be learn a bit myself. I do strongly believe that sound can bring in a lot of change.The change can be any which way,Sangeetha gnyanamu with bhakthi will have sanmargamu, as sung by saint Thyagaraja.

The kids were curious, happy, some sing along and some get emotional..... So far I have done very few compared to how many I would like to due to rains and also renovation work in progresss there has made it quite difficult to play for long.
The idea is to play for an hour when they are having lunch so they can relax and special time of 20minutes to 30 minutes for kids who have noticable skills in music. Ragas used have been, Desh,Hindolam,Shama and mostly Bhajans which they know from these ragas. "

Wednesday 24 November 2010

TIME


"Bhgavad Gita (11th Chapter-32nd Verse)

"Kaalosmi Lokakshayakruth Pravrudhdho
Lokaan Samaaharthumiha Pravruththaha.
Rutheypi Thvaam Na Bhavishyanthi Sarve
Ye 'Vasthithaah Prathyaneekeshu Yodhaaha"


Meaning: Lord Krishna stated: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you (the Paandavaas), all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.

"Kaalosmi" (I am TIME), Lord Krishna stated in Bhagavad Gita. Any mantra yields sure and fast results when recited at the same time everyday. As God and Time are one and the same, a time-conscious mantra becomes power-packed due to the grace of God and yields amazing results. Time is God and the needles on a clock are to be regarded as the representatives of God!
Timing of the mantra is very important, if somebody is able to recite the mantra only at 8.00 am everyday, it is advisable to maintain the same time everyday for the enhancement of the mantra-power. There are people who recite mantras at 12 noon sharp when all the three needles on the clock join together. Late Sri.Kama Sastri, music director and conductor of Vadya Vrinda, All India Radio, Chennai used to bring work to an abrupt halt at 12 noon to observe a minute's silence for offering prayers. There are many who keep awake at 12 midnight to repeat the recitation for further power-inducement into their mantra (it is best if the mantra is given by a spiritual Guru or a Srividya Upasaka if it is a Devi mantra). I have known few devotees who recite the same mantra four times in 24 hours, at 12.00 midnight, 6.00 am, 12.00 noon and 6.00 pm everyday.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

VAINEEKA MUSIC -SINGAPORE (KARAIKUDI BANI)

Veena Vidushi and Guru Smt.Jayalakshmi Sugumar
(Smt.Jayalakshmi Sugumar is the grand daughter of veena legend, late Sri.Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer, founder of the magnificent Karaikudi Bani and the daughter of veena vidushi, late Smt.Sankari Ammal.Smt. Jayalakshmi Sugumar had taught in Kalakshetra from the year 1966 and shifted to Pondicherry in 1976 where she continued her services till the year 1981.After this she worked for Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society for 7 years to return to Pondicherry to teach in the prestigious music college of Pondicherry- Bharathiyar Palgalaikoodam.Smt. Jayalakshmi once again returned to Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society after her fruitful work in Pondicherry music college for 7 years. Her service for SIFAS was from 1995 to 1998. In 1998 Smt.Jayalakshmi Sugumar started her won veena school on the lines of her illustrious grand father, Sri.Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer-VAINEEKA MUSIC.She is not at all for awards or rewards. Her affectionate, selfless and soulful approach to her students is evident in the high quality of music she imparts to them.)
"Veenayin Edirkaalam Singapoorla...." phrase from my extempore speech for the veena arangetram of Kumari G.V.Abhirami (disciple of Smt.Jayalakshmi Sugumar) was greeted by thundering applause from the audience.
The veena arangetram was designed on the lines of an elaborate and colourful opera. While appreciating the noteworthy effort and talent of the performer G.V.Abhirami, my mind registered the powerful role of Abhirami's Guru in the entire presentation of the veena arangetram. The style was unique and classy! As we all know, Karaikudi Bani is highly conservative and well known for combining voice with veena. Singing while playing the veena is no mean feat. Apart from sruthi alignment it is also difficult to coordinate voice with veena. Despite the ordeals, Karaikudi Bani is steadfast about not losing voice with veena and the school does a splendid job of the same!
The arangetram was also an informative affair with the opening Ata Thala varnam in Bhairavi (Viriboni) displaying all the "Dasa Vidha Gamakas" that are so important for veena. I was amazed at the meticulous thought and effort that went behind the preparation of the aragetram and the soulful guidance of Guru Smt.Jayalakshmi Sugumar.
The highlight of the arangetram was the ragamalika thanam. The design of the thanam was like an exotic piece of jewelry, the tonal modulation and the musical thrust, especially in the Malayamarutham segment were breathtaking.
The world of veena music need teachers like Smt.Jayalakshmi Sugumar to put an end to meaningless questions like ,"Is there a future for veena?" or "Why aren't there many veena players?" etc.
Owing to the fact that Smt.Jayalakshmi Sugumar lives in Singapore, "Veenayin Edirkaalam Singapoorla............."

Thursday 4 November 2010

Ultimate Bliss


Ananda Acharya on Rest

You need rest, perfect rest. There comes a time in the life of man when the body and the brain and the mind want to feel the stillness of the Universal Spirit. Then, the best thing is to do nothing, to think about nothing. That takes away all misfortune, that cures all disease, that soothes all sorrow, that alone makes man whole again.

Ananda Acharya, Yoga of Conquest (Hoshiarpur, India: Vishveshvaranand Institute, 1971) pp. 33-34 [February 29, {1924}]

Friday 8 October 2010

Rama Nama.

"Ram" has more than one application in Sanskrit. It is the "Beeja Mantra" (seed sound) for the manipura chakra (solar plexus chakra). Manipura could be translated as "City of jewels". Meditation on this chakra yields occult powers and this is one of the important chakras responsible for radiating 'prana' or life-force energy throughout the body.
By reciting the mantra, 'RAM' the manipura chakra is activated to be able to handle the flow of kundalini energy.
Secondly, 'Ra' and 'Ma' that forms the name 'Rama' are interpreted as follows: 'Ra' which is associated with the solar energy flows through the right side of the human body whereas 'Ma' which is associated with lunar energy flows through the left side of the human body. Repeating the mantra, 'RAMA' (even mentally) one is able to balance the solar and lunar energies for sound mental and physical health. Sidhdhi of Rama Nama blesses the entity with spiritual powers and elevation of soul.

Following are 3 powerful Rama Mantras:-

1)Om Namo Bhagavathey Raghunandanaaya Rakshognya Vishadaaya Madhura Prasanna Vadanaaya Amithatheyjasey Balaaya Raamaaya Vishnavey Namaha Om!!

The above sloka if recited one lakh times will grant "mantra-siddhi".

2)Om Kleem Namo Bhagavathey Raamachandraaya sakalajana vashyakaraaya Swaaha!!

Above sloka is meant for general success and attraction.

3)Dasha Raama Naama Sthothram:-

Dhyaayaami RAAMA MabhiRAAMA
GiRAAMAranda DhaaRAAMAdhagna
MithaRAAMA MareyrviRAAMAm
AaRAAMA Madbhutha ThaRAAMAlasadgunaanaam
GhoRAAMAyagnya MasuRAAMAravandithaanghrim!!

The above if recited yields the benefit of chanting the powerful name of Lord Rama ten times within one sloka,

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Out of the world!

























"Vishaalaneelothpalalochanaayai
Vikaasipankeyruhalochanaaya
Sameykshanaayai Vishameykshanaaya
Namah Shivaaya Cha Namah Shivaaya!"

(Excerpt from Ardhanaareeshwara Sthothram, by Adi Sankaracharya).

Kumudakriya, the janya raga of Panthuvarali (Kamavardhini), 51st melakartha has been chosen by the great saint vaggeyakara, Sri.Muthuswami Dikshithar for his grand composition, "Ardhanareeswaram". The scale of Kumudakriya-Ascending:-Sa Ri Ga Ma Dha Sa; descending:-Sa Ni Dha Ma Ga Ri Sa. This raga falls in the "adbhutha rasa" (wonderment and awe)category of the navarasas (nine emotions).
Contemplation on the prayogas or phrases Sa Ni Dha Ri', Ri Ga Ma Dha Ri, etc. invoke a sense of fantasy, make-believe or illusion. Imagine suddenly walking into somebody who is split into a perfect half of a perfect man and a perfect woman! It certainly is a heart-stopping sight! Absolutely dazzling and surreal! Kumudakriya, a breathtaking raga of fantasy, bestows wonderful events, fantastic happenings in life. Ragas yield results only when the "jeeva swaras" (soul-notes) are tapped and mastered. Mere humming or rendering of the scale are not sufficient to induce life into the raga.

Bhogavasantham another janya of Kamavardhini (Ascending:-Sa Ri Ga Ma Dha Ni Sa, descending:- Sa Ni Dha Ma Ga Ri Sa), so close to Kumudakriya (with only a slight variation in the ascending order) does not yield results like that of Kumudakriya. Bhogavasantham invokes joy, festivities and enjoyments.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Radhey Radhey!

15/09/2010,Jyeshta Nakshathram, Ashtami Tidhi.
Divine Birth of Radha.


















Radha-Gayathri:-
Om Vrishabhaanujaaya Vidmahey
Krishnapriyaaya Dheemahi Thanno Raadhaa Prachodayaath!

Popular Radha Bhajan by Shradeya AcharyaGaurav Krishnaji Maharaj


Friday 20 August 2010

Sufism on Veena

Hazrat Inayat Khan

Noor Inayat Khan

The Sufi saint and Saraswathi Veena player, Hazrat Inayat Khan had authored several books regading abstract and unstruck sound ('anahatha shabda'). He used Veena as his vehicle to attain self-realization. His daughter, Noor Inayat Khan (visit website www.geoffreyarmes.com for more details about Noor) was a fine musician herself and played the Saraswathi veena. She authored the book, Sufi Princess. Noor Inayat Khan was born in the year 1914 in Moscow, Russia to Hazrat Inayat Khan and Ameena Begum. Almost all her youth was spent in Paris. After her father's demise in 1927 and the declaration of the 2nd World War and the invasion of France, Noor had no option but to move to England and she returned to France (Paris) in 1943 as an Allied spy radio operator. Captured by the Gestapo, she was held in solitary confinement and subjected to cruel interrogation methods. Despite the torture, Noor never revealed her identity to her captors. At the age of 29, in the year 1944, she was executed by the Gestapo. England and France posthumously awarded her the "George Cross" and "Croix De Guerre" respectively.
In one of his innumerable Sufi messages Hazrat Inayat Khan has stated that the Sufi knows of the past, present and future, and about all things in life, by being able to know the direction of sound. Every aspect of one's being in which sound manifest has a special effect in every direction. The knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole Universe. Whoever has followed the strains of this sound has forgotten all earthly distinctions and differences, and has reached that goal of Truth in which all the Blessed Ones of God unite. Space is within the body as well as around it; in other words the body is in the space and the space is in the body.
This being the case, the sound of the abstract is always going on within, around and about man. Man does not hear it as a rule, because his consciousness is entirely centred in his material existence. Man becomes so absorbed in his experiences in the external world through the medium of the physical body that space, with all its wonders of light and sound, appears to him blank.
This can easily be understood by studying colour. There are many colours that are distinct by themselves, yet when mixed with others of still brighter hue they become altogether eclipsed; even bright colours embroidered with gold, silver, diamonds or pearls serve merely as a background to the dazzling embroidery. So it is with the abstract sound compared with the sounds of the external world. The limited volume of earthly sounds is so concrete that it dims the effect of the sound of the abstract to the sense of hearing, although in comparison to it the sounds of the earth are like that of a whistle or a drum. When the abstract sound is audible all other sounds become indistinct to the mystic.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

HU



Above is the HU Song of the Eckankars (Eckankar is a religious and spiritual movement that identifies God with Sound and Light).
.
Just as many traditions believe that the “OM” is the original creative sound, there are traditions that believe that this energy may be attributed to another sound—the “HU”. In the Shabd Yoga traditions, including Master Path and Eckankar and in the mystical Islamic path of Sufi, the “HU” is considered to be the highest vibratory mantra that can be sounded. Chanting the “HU” is said to lead one to transcendence—to God realization and enlightenment.

HU” is believed to be the universal name of God, which is present in every existing language. The “HU” sound has been described as many things from the buzzing of bees to the rushing of wind to the flute of God. It is said to be present in the words we speak, in the sounds of animals; that it is the wind in the trees, the rushing of waters, the roaring of water falls, the beat of the sea against a beach—that it is everywhere, in every plane.

Like the “AH” and the “OM”, the “HU” may be perceived of as a seed syllable. Depending upon its pronunciation, it may also be perceived of as a vowel sound—the “U”. The “HU” creates extraordinary energy for balance and clearing. Many believe it activates both the heart and the crown chakras. When sounded together in a large group, it is extremely powerful and transformative.

What leads to "HU"? 'HU' or Saut-E-Sarmad (Abstract Sound or "Sarmad"-meaning 'intoxication' for Sufis) or Anahatha Shabda (unlimited and unstruck sound) according to vedas.The great Sufi saint, Hazrat Inayat Khan in his "The Mysticism of Sound" states that the soul of the listener becomes the all-pervading consciousness, and his spirit becomes the battery which keeps the whole universe in motion.
Select excerpts from Hazrat Inayat Khan's sayings:
Some train themselves to hear the Saut-E-Sarmad in solitude on the seashore, on the river bank, and in the hills and dales; others attain it while sitting in the caves of mountains, or when wandering constantly through forests and deserts, keeping themselves in the wilderness apart from the haunts of men. Yogis and ascetics blow Sing (a horn) or a Shankha ( a conch shell) which awakens in them this inner tone. Dervishes play Nai or Algosa (a double flute) for the same purpose. The bells and gongs in the churches and temples are meant to suggest to the thinker the same sacred sound, and thus lead him towards the inner life.
This sound develops through ten different aspects because of its manifestation through ten different tubes of the body; its sound like thunder, the roaring of the sea, the jingling of bells, running water, the buzzing of bees, the tweeting of sparrows, the Veena, the whistle, or the sound of Shankha until it finally becomes "HU", the most sacred of all sounds!
This sound "Hu", is the beginning and end of all sounds, be they from man, bird, beast, or thing. A careful study ill prove this fact, which can be realised by listening to the sound of the steam engine or of a mill, while the echo of bells and gongs gives a typical illustration of the sound "Hu".

In English the word 'human' explains two facts which is characteristic of humanity: 'Hu' means God and 'man' means mind, which word comes from the Sanskrit 'Mana'( mind being that of the ordinary man). "Human" therefore may be said to mean God-conscious, God-realised or God-man.In Hindi the word "Hum" means I or we, both of the words signifying ego. The sound "Hu" becomes limited in the word "Hum" for the letter "m" closes the lips. The word "Hamsa" is the sacred word of the yogis which illumines the ego (the Hindi "Hum") with the light of reality. The word "Huma" in the Persian language stands for a fabulous bird. There is a belief that if a Huma bird sits for a moment on the head of anybody it is sign that he will become a king. It is said in the old traditions that the Zoroaster was born of a Huma tree. This explains the words in the bible, "Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.' In the word "Huma", Hu represents spirit, and the word 'Mah' in Arabic means water.
'Hur' in Arabic means beauties of the Heaven, which means Heavenly Beauty. 'Zuhur' in Arabic means manifestation, especially that of God in nature. 'Ahura Mazda'is the name of God known to Zoroastrians. The first word 'Ahura' suggests 'Hu', upon which the whole name is built. The word 'Huwal' suggests the idea of Omnipresence, and 'Huvva' is the origin of Eve, which is symbolic of manifestation; as Adam is symbolic of life (like 'Prakrithi' and 'Purusha' of Sanskrit). All these examples signify the origin of God in the word 'Hu'.
'Jehova' was originally 'Yahuva', 'Ya' suggesting the word 'Oh' and 'Hu' standing for God, while the 'A' represents manifestation. 'Hu' is the origin of sound, but when the sound first takes shape on the external plane, it becomes 'A', therefore 'alif' or 'alpha' is considered to be the first expression of 'Hu', the original word. The Sanskrit alphabet as well as that of most other languages begins with the letter 'A', as does the name of God in several tongues. The letter 'A' is pronounced without the help of the teeth or tongue, and in Sanskrit 'A' always means without.
The words 'Om', 'Omen', 'Amen', 'Ameen', which are spoken in all houses of prayer, are of the same origin; 'A' is the commencement of the word expresses the beginning, and 'M' in the midst signifies end; 'N' the final word is the re-echo of 'M', for 'M' naturally ends in a nasal sound, the producing of which signifies life.
In the word 'Ahud' which means God, the only Being, two meanings are involved in assonance.'A' in Sanskrit means without, and 'Hudd' in Arabic means limitation. Hazrat Inayat Khan quotes Sharif, "I by the light of soul realize that the beauty of the Heavens and the grandeur of the earth are the echo of Thy magic flute (abstract sound)"!

Monday 16 August 2010

Aadi Pooram - Ariyakudi

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Above is a photo of the street on which the Carnatic Music Emperor, Sri. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar lived. The first photo is of the legend himself.

I had performed in the Vairavar Temple (Kala Bhairavan) in Vairavanpatti on Aadi Pooram (August 12th). As it is a small, remote village my mother and I had to stay in Kaaraikudi which is around 15 kms from Vairavanpatti.That day being Andal Jayanthi, in the morning my mother and I went to Ariyakudi (5Kms from Kaaraikudi where we stayed) to Lord Venkateswara temple (famously known as "Thenn Tirupathi"). I asked the temple priest to give me guidelines to go to Sri Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar's house. I was eager to see where the Monarch lived. Saying "Vaango" the temple pujari walked with me all the way outside the temple and pointing towards the opposite street he told me, "Ado avaaloda veedu inda theruvule daan irukku!"
Awestruck,I stared at the street. From there I clicked with my mobile.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Maitreem Bhajata!



"Maithreem Bhajatha Akhila Hrith Jaithreem"

Meaning: Praise (or adopt), friendship which conquers the heart of the World!

"Athmavad Eva Paraan Api Pashyatha"

Meaning:See others as you would see yourself!

"Yudhdham Thyajatha, Spardhaam Thyajatha"

Meaning: Eschew wars and competitions!

"Thyajatha Pareshu Akrama-Akramanam"

Meaning:Eschew attack on others, this is not correct!

"Janani Prithvi Kaama Dughaasthey"

Meaning: The Earth is the Mother who grants all your desires!

"Janako Deva Sakala Dayaaluh"

Meaning:The Lord is the Father who is compassionate to all!

"Daamyatha, Dattha, Dayadhvam, Janathaa"

Meaning:Practice restraint, charity and mercy, Oh People!

"Shreyo Bhooyaath Sakala Janaanaam"

Meaning: Let there be all round prosperity for all people!

The above is composed by His Holiness, Sri Kamamkoti Peethaadhipathi Poojyashri Chandrashekharendra Saraswathi.

Concept and presentation:Shyamala Sajnani

Monday 2 August 2010

Miracles of Veena

Maithraayanniya Upanishad states-"A drop of blood as it circulates within a human body takes along with it one breath of the human being. This drop of blood along with one breath takes nearly 7 minutes to circulate within the human body. Similarly, when the veena string is plucked once, the nada wave emanating from it takes nearly 7 minutes to travel back and forth between the bridge of the veena to the base fret of the veena."

The different properties of the woods used have an effect on the tonal characteristics of the veena. The grain pattern of the jackfruit wood used is important for veenas. The choice of wood plays a vital part in the aesthetics of the instrument.
Veena playing is not only about chemistry between 'nadam' of the veena and 'life-force energy' of the player. The interaction between human-body cells and the wood grains in the veena are equally thought provoking. Coming to think of the interaction between cells and grains/ 'nadam' and kundalini', we are able to understand how types of veena affect the player. The veena, appearing deceptively innocent has a potent nature and life of its own which can directly affect the player (provided he/she adapts the posture and breathing patterns required for veena-playing).
Continuous practice on a good veena (wood of fine quality due to seasoning at spiritual places, temples, on the banks of holy rivers or under a banyan tree, thereby devoid of doshas) yields results corresponding to the nature of the veena such as- sudden spurt of energy, sense of positivity, improvement in complexion, lush hair growth (in the case of middle-aged and the old, reduction in hair fall), shedding fat, agelessness, youthful looks etc. Playing on such veenas bring about good fortune, spiritual elevation and general prosperity. While such is the case with good veenas, one should watch out for any untoward events, ill health, bad luck, general disharmony, deterioration in physical complexion/ lack-lustre looks, fatigue, depression etc while playing on certain veenas. While all events and circumstances in life cannot be attributed to the veena one is handling, continual turn of bad events or atmosphere could certainly be attributed to the veena one is handling at the time of occurrence of bad happenings. This could be due to doshas in the wood, alignment of the frets (bad 'melam' of the veena dandi) etc. I have seen a veena that was made only on full moon nights. The veena maker would keep the wood aside on all other days except full moon nights to periodically transform the wood into a veena. Such veenas contain great spiritual powers and also lend a heavenly glow to the player.
Even the size of the veena plays a major part in affecting the player. It is essential for the player to feel comfortable while running his left hand across the dandi and plucking the strings with his right hand. Any strain on his/her biceps, elbows, hands and the chest region means the veena he/she is handling is not the corresponding size of the player. Normally a Saraswathi veena measures roughly upto 24 and a half 1/2 inches from the base note to the top note and 4 and a half feet from the simha mukha to the end of the kudam. Any addition or subtraction even by an inch or two to the length of the veena could be due to the size of the kudam (right side of the veena), resulting in an overall distinction in size yielding corresponding effects on the player. An ideal veena merges with the player to become his/her extension.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Yet another cosmic message!


(Above is a photograph of the Mother of Pondicherry)
Many times we come across people with familiar features or attitude (body language, features, articulation etc.)bearing strong resemblance to our friends, relatives, acquaintances or someone who has hurt/angered or pleased/made us happy in the past. I made the startling discovery that such people bearing similar features of our past contacts cross our paths generally after we have lost touch ( for any reason) with those 'past contacts'. It could be a cosmic reminder or a karmic chain of contact!I recall the period when I had lost touch with a person many years ago. Within just a year of the event, I ran into another person from a totally different field, yet bearing an overwhelming resemblance to the past friend. That is when I realized that another entity bearing a strong resemblance to the past contact bumped into me to remind me of unfinished karmic business. Even if we are convinced that there is nothing more to the past, unfinished karmic business points to lingering thoughts or an interest from the past contact to reestablish contact. The only means to break the chain of karma is through detachment to the past and the person.
I tried to analyse the cosmic message behind such an occurrence (of meeting somebody who resembles a past contact). I understood that the person with whom we have lost touch could be mentally following us through powerful thought waves emanating from his/her aura, automatically invoking an interaction between their "breed" of people ( similar "saamudrika lakshanam") and ourselves. While all this is about living people, evolved souls have explained about after death phenomena such as the following:-
In one of the books by Navajata Bhaiji, a close associate and devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of Pondicherry, he states that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have described in very great detail what happens to the soul, the psychic being and the astral personality after death. The mind continues to exist, the vital continues to exist, even after death. People may say out of ignorance that so and so would be born as a snake or a cat or a bird. Bhaiji states that it is incorrect. He says that according to what he has learnt from Mother, only a part of the personality of a person, like the lower part, may join a snake, a cat or a bird. That doesn't mean that his entire personality, including his soul have joined with that animal! He quotes Mother's examples of this phenomenon. She said that a young man She knew, died in the First World War. She was living in Paris at that time. She was sitting in a room when suddenly a cat ran to Her and pulled at Her dress. She saw in the cat's eyes the eyes of that man and could feel his presence. She immediately knew that the young man had been killed. Later She found that he had indeed died on the battlefront exactly at the time the cat had come to the Mother. So the astral body hardly took any time to travel from a battlefield in Germany right upto Paris and get in touch with the Mother. That is the speed with which the astral body can travel, it can even go through a wall and keep its personality intact.
The book has another account of the Mother's narration of an incident regarding a musician (a pianist). He had trained his hands in piano-playing over years of pracitce. After his death, his subtle hands got concretised- they got the skill- and so even after the man died, his hands, only the hands, remained in the subtle-physical. This is truly amazing that not the total personality but the hands alone could combine with the hands of another person who was trying to become a good pianist. But this second musician must be in an attitude of invoking- and this is very important- invoking some force to help him and for that moment he may play very beautifully, which normally he may be incapable of doing.
This means it is quite possible to build a connection; to build a contact with subtle-physical forces, and combine with even a part of the personality of another person who has died and thus improve one's life!

Thursday 22 July 2010

Who is the monk?

Above is a group photo taken way back in early 60s, after I rendered 2 or 3 krithis in All India Sai Samaj (Saibaba Temple, Mylapore). In the audience were a revered monk (at whose feet I am seated) and somebody called "Professor Rege" (I still remember his name). The eyes of His Holiness are deep with knowledge of the Self. I was too young to know any details about Him. I wish to know particulars about His Holiness.
(Click on photo to enlarge).

Sunday 11 July 2010

Acupressure on veena for tonal enhancement- Clarification

While thanking Music Lover for raising the point if other set of melakartha ragas that contain swaras (notes) missing in each other (for eg. Chakravakam-Simhendramadhyamam, Hanumathodi-Mechakalyani, etc.) could be used, I would like to clarify that it is acceptable and possible to do so. I had mentioned Mayamalavagowla-Haimavathi specifically only because the former is traditionally used for Sarali Varisai, Janta Varisai and Alankaram. Haimavathi is the only raga that has entirely different notes (swaras) than that of Mayamalavagowla.

Friday 9 July 2010

Acupressure on veena for tonal enhancement!

The brass-plated bridge (tonal enhancer)

Parts of Veena

'Naadam' (resonance) is the life of veena. A veena devoid of 'naadam' is lifeless and fails to evoke any emotion in the player as well as the listener. The tone of a veena is enhanced only when it is used. How does it happen? As we all know the bridge is the tone-determining part of the veena. It is located on the kudam-(see diagram).The process is like this:-
Veena is subject to acupressure simultaneously while the player is involved in producing music through the instrument. Acupressure is an ancient art using the fingers (or other parts of the body which is irrelevant in the case of veena)to skilfully press key points, which stimulates the body's (in this case -veena) natural abilities. When these trigger points (frets and strings) are pressed, they release muscular tension (tonal inertia) and promote blood circulation ('naadam'-resonance).
The index finger and the middle finger of the left hand press on the metal frets as they move from one swara to another. The right hand's index and middle fingers strike (pluck) the strings firmly, matching the movements of the left hand. As both the hands operate simultaneously,the strings that runs across the bridge rub tightly across the brass plate on top of the bridge (there are two bridges, the top of the bridge which is covered by a brass plate supports four main strings, holding them tightly and firmly while the side bridge, which is a curved brass plate supports the three side strings) creating a black line-like dent or mark over the brass plate while the metal frets, due to the pressure of the left hand fingers dip ever so finely into the wax-bed. Both, the line-like mark on the brass plated bridge and the frets that are being pressed and ground by the act of playing the instrument gradually bring about a deep timbre in the tonal quality of the veena. Obviously the points (swaras) wherever the frets are pressed by the left hand and plucked by the right hand fingers trigger particular zones on the brass plate resulting in tonal enhancement. If a particular krithi or raaga or the mere scale of Mayamalavagowla from open sarani to the middle shadjamam could produce tonal enhancement to a certain extent, the result would be far greater and wholesome when the veena is played or subject to acupressure from the first fret (rishabha) to the topmost shadjamam, that is, on all the 24 frets.
The two ragas, Mayamalavagowla and Haimavathi when played on three octaves (starting from the open shadjamam of the third bass string to the topmost shadjamam on the first string) in all the three speeds activate every zone on the brass-plate. The 15th melakartha raga, Mayamalavagowla and the 58th mealakartha raga, Haimavathi consist of swaras that are missing in each other, thereby encompassing the 24 frets of the veena, leaving no scope for an untouched pressure-point.

Tuesday 29 June 2010

Sad demise!

Veena Vidushi,Smt.VIDYA SHANKAR
Renowned veena Acharya, musicologist, sanskrit expert and reputed author of carnatic music texts, Smt. Vidya Shankar passed away this morning (according to news I had received from reliable sources). The field of veena suffers a great vacuum after her demise, the contributions she made during her life-time towards veena and the aspirants of veena have been immense and unparalleled! My heartfelt condolences to her family members and disciples.
I pray to God that her soul should rest in peace at the lotus feet of the Lord!

Monday 28 June 2010

After a long tour!



After a tiring, yet interesting tour, I have just returned from Singapore. Watching Michael Jackson's music show on the television marking the first anniversary (June 25th) of his death in my hotel room in New Park hotel on Serangoon Road, Singapore (ironically I watched news about his demise in Houston last year), brought tears to my eyes!
My all-time favourite, "Beat It" is embedded below. The last one-minute of the song builds into a crescendo of electrifying vocals, choreography and matchless dancing by the great genius!

Sunday 6 June 2010

My Younger Sister Shyamala Sajnani

Click on photos to enlarge

Cool gurus all over the country are hooking onto Skype to teach their students scattered across Kazakhstan, Sydney, Paris and Wisconsin, finds Lalitha Suhasini

An hour before noon, veena and Carnatic vocal tutor Shyamala Sajnani dials Sydney from her suburban home in Mumbai to link to her 24 year-old student Madhumati Santosh, who has settled down for a mid-afternoon weekly veena session. "It's been a month since I've been learning on Skype now," says Santosh, over the phone from Sydney. Santosh learnt the veena under Sajnani for two years while she was based in Mumbai, before she moved to Australia after she got married. "I practised on my own at home, but learning like this is so much better. It's as easy, as say, looking for something on Google," she says.

Mumbai-based veena and vocal tutor Shyamala Sajnani connects with Madhumati Santosh, her student based in Sydney over Skype for her weekly veena lesson.
PIC/ HASHIM BADANI

Forty five-year-old Sajnani, a self-confessed technophobe, began taking classes on Skype just this January after much coaxing from overseas students. The clear Sydney-Mumbai connectivity has helped ease her into the new system, says Sajnani.
Supplementing Skype lessons
While Sajnani's Indian student based in Kazakhstan makes a trip to Mumbai to brush up her veena lessons, Krishnamurthy visits Paris once a year to conduct mridangam workshops. "There are times when because of time difference and syncing, it's difficult to understand the time signatures properly. Sometimes, there's also a language barrier with the French students and I have to make do with hand gestures. It can get a little challenging," admits Krishnamurthy, who also has students as young as 10-year-old Anirudh Bharve from Goa taking online lessons.
Above are the photograph and excerpts from the interview of my sister which appeared in today's (06-06-2010) Sunday Midday, Mumbai.Following enquiries, here are her contact details,
shyamalasajnani@gmail.com , mobile:09820710573.

Friday 4 June 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam (wedding chapter 137-147)


Sri Kumara Swami

137)Evamukthaha Kubeyreyna Sreenivaasaha Sathaam Gathihi!
Shanmukham Preyshayaamaasa Vahneyraahvaanakaaranaath!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa asked Lord Kumara Swami to summon Agnihothra (Fire God).

138)Sa Gathvaa Thvaritham Skandaha Shaasanam Gnyaapayan Hareyhe!
Sampraaptho Vaayuveygeyna Sahitho Jaathavedasaa!!

Meaning:
Lord Kumara Swami set off immediately to carry out the wishes of Lord Srinivasa. Accompanied by Lord Agnihotra, Lord Kumara Swami returned in lightning speed.

139)Thathaha Provaacha Bhagavaan Thvaritham Havyavaahanam!
Sree Bhagavaan:-
Kshanaadbhrakshyaannashaakaadi Pacha Swaahaa Samanvithaha!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa ordered Lord Agnihothra-" I command Yourself and your wife, Swaaha Devi to prepare hot and delicious food immediately!"

140)Ithi Naaraayanavachaha Shruthvaagnisthamabhaashathaha!
Agni:-
Paakaardham Bhaajanam Krishna! Naa Sthye Kama Pi Mey Harey!!

Meaning:
Lord Agnihothra said,"Krishna! How can I cook without any vessels here?!...

141)Kaaryaha Paako Mahaaraaja! Bahoonaam Bhakthavathsala!
Ithi Thasya Vachaha Shruthvaa Shaarngyinam Prathyabhaashatha!!

Meaning:
O Merciful and Compassionate One to devotees! Lord Srinivasa! I have to cook for so many people and how is it possible without any vessels?!"

142)Sree Bhagavaan:-
Bhavathaam Bhavaney Thaatha! Kinchijjaathey Mahothsavey!
Bhaajanaani Mahaabhaaga Vardhanthey Vatabeejavath!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa said, "Agnihothra! I am sure you have as many vessels as Banyan seeds in your house which you use for festivities!

143)Mama Kalyaana Samaye Bhaanda Meykam Na Drushyathey!
Deivameyva Param Manye Sarveyshaam Sarvasaadhaney!!

Meaning:
For my wedding celebrations I do not have even one vessel! Alas! Without God's grace how can anyone carry out the rituals and procedures?!

144)Upaayam Shrunu Sapthaasya Paakaardham Paajanairvinaa!
Annam Swaamisaromadhye Soopam Paapavinaashaney!!

Meaning:
Agnihothra, One who is blessed with seven tastes ("jihwa")! If you do not have vessels to cook, please cook rice on the banks of Swami Pushkarini, Dhal on the banks of Papavinashanam...

145)Viyadgangaa Jaley Vahney!Paramaannam Gudaanvitham!
Deyvatheerthey Shaakamagney! Thumbutheerthey Thu Chithrakam!!

Meaning:
Sweet Rice pudding made out of jaggery ('chakkera pongali') on the banks of Aakasha Ganga, Vegetables on the banks of Deva Theertham, Tamarind rice ('pulihora') on the banks of Thumburu Theertham....

146)Kumaaradhaarikaatheerthey Bhakshyaani nVividhaani Cha!
Paandutheerthey Cha Karthavyaha Thinthrineerasa Uththamaha!!

Meaning:
On the banks of Kumara Theertham a variety of savouries ('pindi vantalu'), on the banks of Paandu Theertham tamarind soup (sambar and rasam)....

147)Vyanjanaanyanyatheerdheyshu Kandamoolaphalai Ssaha!
Kriyathaam Lehyapeyaani Theerdheyshvanyeshu Paavaka!!

Meaning:
On the banks of the other 'theerthams' (divine lakes), dishes made out of herbal vegetables and fruits. Please organise for such dishes that can be licked and tasted with the tongue and delicious syrups and juices that are to be drunk, etc. on the banks of the rest of the divine lakes!"

Friday 28 May 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam (wedding chapter 127-136)


127)"Dhanam Dehi Dhaneyshaana!Pathrey Likhithamaathrakam!
Evamuktho Vasupthihi Vaasudeyveyna Bhoomipa!!

Meaning:
"Kubera! As per the agreement, please handover the money to me!"

128)Dadau Dhanam Kubeyrasthu Klupthasankhyam Vrushaakapeyhey!
Drushtvaa Thadhdhanaraashisthu Thathkareydaadhdarirnapa!!

Meaning:
Lord Kubera handed over the agreed amount to Lord Srinivasa. and Lord Srinivasa handed the money back to Kubera saying..........


129)Kuberamabraveeddevaha Sambhaaraanayanam Prathi!

Shree Bhagavaan:-
Aaneeyathaam Thandulancha Mitham Prasthairdhaneyshwaram!!


Meaning:
"The required articles, rice grains to the required measure......


130)Maashaadikancha Mudgaadeen Godhoomaamshcha Samaanaya!
Guda Thaila Madhu Ksheera Sharka Raajya Dadheena Cha!!


Meaning:
Black gram,
whole green gram, wheat, jaggery, oil, honey, milk, sugar, ghee, curd, and other groceries,....

131)Vasthraani Yogyamoolyaani Soththareeyaani Chaanaya!
Thilahinjyu Mareechaadi Jeera Sarshapa Meydhikaan!!

Meaning:
Nice and expensive 'dhoties' (garment worn by men, tied around the waist), 'uththareeyam' (garment worn around the shoulders by men), sesame seeds, asafoetida, pepper, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, please purchase all these articles and groceries and bring them here....

132)Haridraakthaani Kurveedhaaha Vasthraani Dvijayoshithaam!
Kambalaashcha Dhanaadheesha! Kreeyanthaa Mithi Chaabraveeth!!

Meaning:
Please soak the garments to be given to Brahmin women in turmeric water, purchase rugs, ....

133)Devaanaamuththareeyancha Devasthreenaam Dukoolakam!
Poogeephalaalani Divyaani Nagavalleedalaani Cha!!

Meaning:
Also purchase 'uththareeyams' for the Devas (men of the divine clan) and silk garments for the women of the Deva clan. Along with it, please arrange for good betel nuts, betel leaves............

134)Elaalavangakarpoora Mruganaabhirasam Thadhaa!
Maangalyathanthum Kanyaardham Paadaangushthaadimudrikaam!!

Meaning:
Cardamoms, cloves, camphor (Borneo-camphor), saffron, 'Mangalasuthram" for the bride (the auspicious yellow thread which the bridegroom ties around the bride's neck), bangles, mirrors, toe-rings (mattelu)....

135)Hasthaanguleeyakam Meydya Kubera! Kuru Sheeghrathaha!
Ithi Govindavachanam Shruthvaasau Nirmamey Kshanaath!!

Meaning:
Please arrange for my finger ring at the earliest!" As Lord Srinivasa ordered, Kubera organised everything within just one minute and then....

136)Kuberaha:-
Thvathprasaadeyna Govinda! Sarvam Sajjeekrutham Mayaa!
Paakaardham Pundareekaaksha! Niyumkshvaagnimathaha Param!!

Meaning:
Kubera said, "O Lord! I have organised everything (as ordered by Lord Srinivasa) with Your Grace! Please order "Agnihothra" to start cooking."


Wednesday 26 May 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam (wedding chapter 113-126)


113)Bruvathyevam Dhanapathau Shreepathirvaakyamabraveeth!
Sreenivaasaha:-
Ekasmin Brahmadivasey Thvavathaaraa Dasha Smrutha!!

Meaning:
As Lord Kubera completed His speech, Lord Srinivasa said," The "Dasavatharam" (ten avathaaraas,'incarnations') had taken place during one day for Brahma. (Srimad Bhagavatham states that 1,ooo cycles of the four yugas (one cycle of four yugas equals 4.32 million years, which is also known as one "kalpam")....

114)Mamaavathaarasamaye Naanayaami Dhanam Gruhaath!
Bhoogathancha Dhanam Raajan! Naiva Neyshyaami Madgruham!!

Meaning:
Whenever I incarnate (take an "avathaaraa"), wealth is neither supplied from Vaikuntham (the celestial world of Lord Vishnu) to Bhoolokam (earth where human beings reside), nor is the wealth carried from Bhoolokam to Vaikuntham....

115)Yadhaayugam Yadhaakaalam Yadhaadesham Yadhaavayaha!
Avathaaramaham Kurvan Rameythra Ramayaa Saha!!

Meaning:
My "avathaaraa" (incarnation) on the planet of Earth along with my Spouse, Sridevi will be in accordance with the particular yuga (the four yugas being-Kritha Yugam, Threthaa Yugam, Dwaapara Yugam and Kali Yugam), in accordance with the times, in accordance with the circumstances and in accordance with the age.....

116)Nimiththamaathramapimey Dhanam Thvam Dhanadaadhunaa!
Yugaanusaariney Dehi! Deshakaalaanusaarathaha!!

Meaning:
I take human form in adherence to the circumstances and times, therefore I appoint you as the caretaker of the wealth and give me when I need it!", as Lord Srinivasa asked..

117)Sa Thasya Vachanam Shruthvaa Kubero Vaakyamabraveeth!
Kuberaha:-
Yugaanusaarinastheydya Kadham Daasyaami Chakrabhruth!!

Meaning:
Lord Kubera replied,"O Lord who adorns the discus ("Chakram"), how can I lend money to You who reincarnates according to changing times and cicumstances?!....

118)Yadi Daththam Thvayaa Pathram Thadaa Daasyaami They Vasu!
Adhanaha Sadhanam Lokey Yadhaa Kaankshathi Maadhava!!

Meaning:
Just like how a poor man would seek loan from a rich man, You will have to apply for a loan in writing (document) and I shall then give You the required amount!"....

119)Thadhaiva Narashaardoola! Bhagavaan Loukikaissamaha!
Evam Thadvachanam Shruthvaa Harirbrahmaanamabraveeth!!

Meaning:
Agreeing to that, Lord Srinivasa after consulting experts asked Lord Brahma....

120)Sreenivaasaha:-
Kadham Lekhyam Mayaa Pathram Runaadaaney Vadaadya Mey!
Brahmaa:-
Runagraahee Sreenivaaso Dhanadaayee Dhaneshwaraha!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa asked Lord Brahma, "O Four-Faced One! How do I draw a written document seeking loan?" Brahma replied as follows,"I,Srinivasa am the receiver of the loan. Kubera is the giver of the money....

121)Aathmakaaryanimiththam Thu Kalyaanaardham Kalau Yugey!
Vaishaakhey Shuklasapthamyaam Vilambey Chaiva Vathsarey!!

Meaning:
In the 'Yuga' of 'Kali', in the year of 'Vilambi' (name of the year according to vedic panchangam), in the month of Vaishakha (31 days starting from April 21st), on the 'Tidhi' (date) of "Shuklapaksha Sapthami" (seventh day of the waxing moon), for my wedding......

122)Nishkaanaam Raamamudraanaam Lakshaani Cha Chathurdasha!
Dravyam Dattham Dhaneysheyna Vrudhdhigrahanakaaranaath!!

Meaning:
With an agreement to pay back with interest a loan of fourteen lakhs of in the form of "maadalu" (currency during those times) bearing the imprint of Sri Rama has been received from Kubera.....

123)Sa Vrudhdhi Dithsathathaa Moolam Sveekrutham Chakrapaaninaa!
Vivaahavarshamaarabhya Sahasraanthey Dhanam Punaha!!

Meaning:
Receiving the amount from Kubera, an agreement to return the loan with interest was subsequently issued by Lord Srinivasa. The period between the first year of the wedding to 1,000 years was marked as...

124)Daathavyam Yaksharaajaaya Sreenivaaseyna Shaarrnginaa!
Ekaha Saakshee Chathurvakthro Dwitheeya Sthu Thrilochanaha!!

Meaning:
The time given to Lord Sreenivasa for returning the loan with interest to Kubera with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva...

125)Thritheeyoshwathdharaajasthu Veththi Sarvamidam Drudham!
Ithyethadrunapathrasthu Sreenivaasolikhithsvayam!!

Meaning:
And as the third person, theBanyan Tree as witnesses", as Lord Brahma dictated, Lord Srinivasa Himself drew the agreement with His own Hand....

126)Evam Pathraardhamaakarnya Runapathram Ramaapathihi
Likhithvaa Thathkarey Dathvaa Dhaneysham Chaabraveeddharihi!!

Meaning:
And Lord Srinivasa handed over the document to Kubera and told him.....



Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam (wedding chapter 104-112)


Lord Kubera

104) Sri Bhagavan:-
Sabhaayaam Kimidam Proktham Pourusheyna Vachashshiva!
Ko Vaadya Runadaathaasthi Vivaahasyaasya Pushkalam!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa said,"Rudra! You are talking so vehemently in this assembly! Now who will give us required money to conduct this marriage?..

105)Purushaha Pourusham Yathnam Aachareynnaiva Bhashayeth!
Evamukthvaa Shivam Praaha Kuberam Purushoththamaha!!

Meaning:
Man should act instead of speaking loftily!" Having said thus, Lord Srinivasa addressed Lord Kubera (God of wealth)....

106)Nimiththam Varthathey Kinchi Ditha Ehi Dhanaadhipa!
Ithyevamuktho Dhanadaha Pithaamahasamanvithaha!!

Meaning:
"O Lord of wealth! I have a job for you, please come here!", on being summoned, Lord Kubera along with Lord Brahma....

107)Samuththasdhau SabhaamadhyaathThvaritham Shivasamyuthaha!
Brahmanaa Sa Kubeyreyna Shankareyna Ramaapathihi!!

Meaning:
Stood up hurriedly. Accompanied by Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma, Lord Kubera followed Lord Srinivasa....

108)Ekaanthey Swaamitheerthasya Pashchimeyshwaththasannidhau!
Gathvovaacha Dhaneyshaanaam Sreenivaasaha Sathaam Gathihi!!

Meaning:
To the western side of the lake Swami Pushkarini, at a secluded place near the banyan tree. The protector of all....

109)Sreenivaasaha:-
Saadhayasva Mahaabhaaga! Kalyaanam Mey Kalau Yugey!
Dathvaa Dhanam Yaavadishtam Puthrasya Naravaahana!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa said:- "Kubera! Please lend required amount of money to Lord Brahma for conducting my marriage in this "Kali Yuga"!

110)Vaasudevavachaha Shruthvaa Vasupaalobraveedhdhareem!!
Kuberaha::-
Thvadadheenam Deva! Sarvam Jagadeythachcharaacharam!!

Meaning:
On hearing the Lord speak thus, Kubera spoke,"O Lord! The entire Universe is in your control!....

111)Bahoonaam Jeevaraasheenaam Madhye Koham Jagathpathey!
Niyojitheyna Bhavathaa Rakshitham Thvaddhanam Mayaa!!

Meaning:
Am I not insignificant among the crores of living beings in this Universe?! I am at your command and the Guardian of Your wealth....

112)Thaddaanaa Daanayoho Shakthihi Mama Nasthi Khagadwaja!
Graheethaa Thvam Cha Daathaa Cha Svathanthrothra Thvameyva Hi!!

Meaning:
I am not eligible to lend you the wealth nor claim the wealth as mine! You have all rights to claim the wealth as your own or to gift the wealth to others!!"


Monday 24 May 2010

The Divine Bird!



Learned scholars and pundits are aware of the fact that Lord Krishna had never cohabitated with any of His 16,000 wives. It is blasphemous to view Lord Krishna as a mere human being in whatever sphere of His 'Avathaara'.. His Divine presence and "saanghathyam" (company) gave Ultimate contentment and joy to all His 16,000 wives. His divinity was overpowering, throwing open flood gates of overflowing love residing in the center of the hearts of all His wives.
This pure and divine love is termed as "Bhakthi Yoga", which is sublime and not in the least related to physical desire or chemistry. The peacock feather adorning Lord Krishna's forehead depicts the purity of the Lord. Hindu mytholgy claims that peacocks are pure and chaste. It is also largely believed that a peahen conceives by consuming the teardrops of a peacock in order to maintain the pristine purity of the peacock.
Peacock is also the 'vaahana' (vehicle) of Lord Subrahmanya Swami. The Lord was seated on a peacock when He fought Surapadma.
A certain section of tribals firmly believe that Goddess Saraswathi changed Her "vaahana" from the Swan to a Peacock!
In Ramayana, Sage Valmiki has stated that Bharatha was assisted by peacock breeders called Mayoorakaas when he went in search of Lord Rama during His exile in forest. Separated from Sita, Lord Rama expresses His grief to His brother, Lakshmana. In His conversation, Lord Rama makes a special mention of the affinity between a peacock and peahen lamenting that He was not as fortunate as the peacock which is inseparable from the ever-loving peahen! During their separation, Lord Rama recalled how Sita clapped her hands daintily to the dancing steps of a majestic peacock on the branch of a "Kadambaa Tree". That particular peacock became as dear as a son to Lord Rama.
Peacock represents the spring season. The joyous dance of peacock is associated with this most romantic and aesthetic season. The ragas Vasantha and Brindavani are strongly associated with this bird and are said to invoke the beautiful peacock dance, as it spreads its enchanting feathers!

The note "C" in the western music and the shadjamam of Indian classical music are described as the voice of the peacock by renowned musical treatises. Even veenas are made with peacock heads in the place of lion heads.

Thursday 20 May 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam (wedding chapter 94-103)



94)Brahma:=
Kruthvaa Punyaahakarmaani Prathishtaapya Kuleshvareem!
Nopavaaseyna Govinda! Ganthavyamithi Mey Mathihi!!

Meaning:
Lord Brahma said, "Having performed all the auspicious rituals like the 'naming ceremony' ("Punyah Vachanam") and installed your Kula Devatha, which is the Samee Vruksham, O Lord Govinda, please do not fast and travel on an empty stomach! This is my opinion..

95)Munayaha Kshudhithaassarvey Baalavrudhdaadayasthadhaa!
Vadathyevam Chathurvakthrey Chakrapanirabhaashitha!!

Meaning:
Children, women folk and all the monks are hungry!" as Lord Brahma tried to convince....

96)Srinivaasaha:-
Vachanaani Mahaarhaani Thava Puthra! Pithaamaha!
Kadham Kaaryamakaaryancha Naiva Jaanaasi Puthraka!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa said,"Dear Son, O Four-Faced One, Your words are invaluable!But how is it that You are unaware of the good and bad of a situation?...

97)Deshakaalaavanaalochya Bhaashasey Baalisho Yadhaa!
Dravyaanaamayutham Thaatha! Gatham Mey Kaananey Girau!!

Meaning:
You are ignorant of the ways of the world and you are talking like an unintelligent man! On the hills amidst the deep woods, thousands of my properties were destroyed!....

98)Evam Vyayam Samaapannam Kadham Pashyasi Chakshushaa!
Gnyaathvaapi Rikthathaam Vaachaa Thveyvamukthey Kadham Bhaveth!!

Meaning:
Have not you seen the loss of much property with your own eyes?! Having known about poverty, how could you speak like this?!"

99)Vadathyevam Svapithari Brahmaa Lokapithaamahaha!
Thooshnimabhoonmahaaraaka! Bhagavathpurathasthadaa!!

Meaning:
Lord Brahma listened silently while Lord Srinivasa was speaking.

100)Neelakanthobraveedvaakyam Pitharam Svapithusthathaha!
Neelakantha:-
Shrothavyam Vachanam Thaatha! Mama Balasya Maadhava!!

Meaning:
Lord Shiva addressed His Father, Lord Srinivasa, "Srinivasa! As your son I request you to listen to my words!...

101)Vivaahakaraney Deyva! Thadhaa Bhavanakarmani!
Praarabdhasyaanthaparyantham Yo Hi Yathnam Samaachareth!!

Meaning:
While performing a wedding or a house-warming ceremony, an ideal man would perform all the necessary rituals unfailingly as his duties.....

102)Sa Eva Punyavaan Lokey Keerthimeythi Na Samshayaha!
Sampaadyaaha Sarvasambhaaraaha Shubhakaaryeshu Pushkalaaha!!

Meaning:
Undoubtedly such a man is most fortunate and will attain great name and fame! It is necessary to gather abundant goods and articles for performing auspicious ceremonies...

103)Bahulaardhavya Thadabhaavey Thvrunam Chareth!
Sa Shambhuvachanam Shruthvaa Shambaraaripithaabraveeth!!

Meaning:
For accumulating articles and things needed to perform an auspicious ceremony such as this, wastage of any amount of money should not be taken into account! When somebody cannot afford so much money, He should atleast acquire loan to be able to perform all the necessary rituals!" As Lord Shiva spoke, Lord Srinivasa....

Sunday 16 May 2010

Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam (wedding chapter85-93)



Above is a photograph of the temple of Lord Sreenivasa and Goddess Padmavathi's wedding, Narayanavanam

85)Varaahavachanam Shruthvaa Vaasudevobhyabhaashitha!
Sreenivasaha:- Kuladeveeprathishtaancha Karishye Sharaney Thava!!

Meaning:
Lord Sreenivasa told Lord Varaha Swami,"I shall place my Kuladeivam, Shamee tree close to You, here itself!"

86)Ithyevam Praardhayantham Tham Sreenivaasam Paraathparam!
'Thadhaasthvi Thyabraveedraajan!' Kolaroopee Harissvayam!!

Meaning:
Lord Varaha Swami agreed with Lord Sreenivasa, Who is the Lord of the Universe!

87)Kalashey Swarnakhachithey Mukthaaraashim Prapoorya Cha!
Vasthreyna Veyshtayithvaadha Poojaam Kruthvaa Vidhaanathaha!!

Meaning:
Taking a gold pot (kalasham) filled with pearls and covered by fine fabric, worshipping the same reverentially....

88)Prathishtaapya Varaahasya Sannidhau Praakrutho Yadhaa!
Swashthaanam Punaraagathya Sreenivaasaha Sathaam Gathihi!!

Meaning:
Like a common man, installing the Shamee tree along with the golden pot close to Lord Varaha;Lord Sreenivasa returned to His place...

89)KUBERAACHREENIVAASAKRUTHASVAPARINAYAARDHARUNAADAANAPRAKAARAHA

Abhojaneyna Ganthavyam Naaraayanapuraahvayam!
'Aakaasharaajanagara' mithi Nishchithya Cheythasi!!

Meaning:
Even without having His meals, Lord Sreenivasa decided to go to Narayanapuram which is the township where King Aakaasha Raja (Goddess Padmavathy's father) resided...

90)Brahmaanamabraveethraajan! Thvarayaa Gamaney Rathaha!
Sreenivasaha:-
Vidhey! Dyaiva Niyukshvaithaam Seynaam They Chathurangineem!!

Meaning:
Lord Sreenivasa was eager to start His journey to Narayanapuram, He requested Lord Brahma, "Chathuraananaa, Organise an army consisting of immense strength (all the vital four strengths) to accompany me in the journey...

91)Sheeghram Ganthum Chathurvakthra! Naaraayanapuram Prathi!
Maa Bhoothkaalo Vrudhai Vaathra Doorodhvaa Hyasya Varthathey!!

Meaning:
Aakaasha Raja's city, Narayanapuram is very far away from here. Let us not waste anymore time!...

92)Balam Sarvey Vaney Thaatha! Vrudhdabaalaabalaanvitham!
Shanairgachchathu Raajendra! Munimandalapoorvakam!!

Meaning:
Let the old people, children and women be accompanied by the army that has been allotted for the group of pious monks!"

93)SaThasya Vachanam Shruthvaa Chakrapaaneyshchathurmukhaha!
Vachanam Vyaaharachcheeghram Pitharam Purushoththamam!!

Meaning:
Lord Srinivasa spoke thus. After listening to what Lord Srinivasa had to say, Lord Brahma spoke as follows to Lord Srinivasa who was his Father....

Sunday 9 May 2010

Karma control!


Above is an image of planet Mars

Mars has been in debilitation in Cancer for nearly 6 months (right from October 2009-May 26th 2010). Mars being a fiery planet, its debilitation generally causes world wide disturbances on the political arena, terrorism, aggressive tendencies in women and children (Cancer being a moon sign), crime rates and general violence. Thankfully Jupiter's transit in Pisces from May 2nd till Mars's departure from Cancer on May 26th could slow down the aggressive Mars, the fifth aspect of Jupiter on Mars is most welcomed by Aries, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn and Pisces signs.
No science is superior to God:-
"Sooryendubhouma Budhavaakpathi Kaavya Souri
Swarbhaanukethu Divishathparishathpradaanaa
Twaddaasa Daasa Charamaavadhi Daasadaasa
Sri Venkatachalapathey! Thava Suprabhaatham!"
The sloka above (from Sri Venkateswara Suprabhaatham) states that all the planets are subservient to the Lord, directed and maneuvered by Him While unconditionally accepting the above, astrology could still be viewed as a very relevant science. The Law of Karma being the determining factor behind the planetary alignment in one's natal chart, I strongly believe that our good deeds could strengthen the weak planets in our natal charts, likewise sins and bad deeds could contaminate the best 'yoga' in one's natal charts.
A business man who ran into tough times and bankruptsy knew just how to get his fortune back. He simply shut down everything (his residence and his business) and went away to a lepers' colony to serve them. He spent nearly 6 months serving the lepers dedicatedly. On his return, he found that his business not only picked up momentum rapidly, but flourished like never before!
Even small gestures add upto good Karma. A simple smile invokes good karma! Regardless of whether it is a salesperson from a famous brand name, hellbent on demonstrating his vacuum cleaner and water filter (never mind if you don't want to buy it, he is only obsessed with demonstrating the item), or the innumerable couriers you have sign for in a day - wedding invitations ,arangetram invitations etc. etc.,umpteen wrong numbers one receives on the landline, the servant not turning up on one of your crucial days, the list is too long to complete; the bottomline is-SMILE kindly at everybody! It is true that even a frown or a minor show of irritation (that could hurt many sensitve souls like me) adds up to bad karma. Smile even when you are simmering within. After all, doesn't every religion demand the same thing? Smiling comes easily when you know that it can lessen the intensity of a bad planet in your natal chart!
Serving a cause, a sickly person, keeping company with a lonely person, offering solace and comfort to destitutes, emotionally deprived and abused people, being generally kind, helpful etc. nullifies bad planetary alignment and their consequences in one's natal chart.
The following are the best ways to get out of misfortune:
1)Healing a sick person (it could be through Pranic or Reiki, charging a reasonable fee for healing is perfectly alright).
2)Feeding a hungry or an under nourished person.
3)Offering shelter.
4)Keeping company with old and neglected people and orphans.
5) Serving handicapped or terminally ill people.
General patience, kindness, generosity, love and warmth contribute towards enhancing one's fortune in life! Not to mention that optimism and positive thinking literally eradicate doshas from one's natal chart.
This posting started with the lengthy transit of debilitated Mars in Cancer, to enter Leo on May 26th and to stay there till July 20th, 2010. How is it going to be for the 12 moon signs while Mars transits Leo?

Mesha Rasi (transit in 5th house)
(Aswini 4 padams, Bharani 4 padams, Krittika 1st padam):-
Fever, futile and unnecessary worries, if having progeny, anxiety due to them. Misunderstandings and clashes with one's children, strife and jealousy.

Vrishabha Rasi (transit in 4th house)-(Krittika 3 padams, Rohini 4 padams and Mrigasira 2 padams):-
Lack of happiness and peace, loss of position and humiliation. Mother should be taken care of.

Mithuna Rasi (transit in 3rd house)- (Mrigasira 2 padams, Ardra 4 padams, Punarvasu 3 padams):-
Happiness through victory, success and enjoyment. Extremely favourable transit.

Kataka Rasi (transit in 2nd house)-(Punarvasu 1 padam, Pushyami 4 padams, Aslesha 4 padams):-
Loss of wealth, aggressive speech, arguments and quarrels.

Simha Rasi (transit in 1st house)- (Makham 4 padams, Poorva Phalguni 4 padams, Uttara Phalguni 1 padam):-
Dejection and separation from loved ones. Blood impurities and diseases related to the same.

Kanya Rasi (transit in 12th house)-(Uttara Phalguni 3 padams, Hastha 4 padams, Chittha 2 padams):-
Misunderstandings with wife, quarrels and lack of sleep, restlessness of mind, tiresome travels to distant places.

Thula Rasi (transit in 11th house)-(Chittha 2 padams, Swathi 4 padams, Vishakha 3 padams):-
Financial gains, freedom from diseases, gaining properties, contentment and good health.

Vrischika Rasi (transit in 10th house) ( Vishakha 1 padam, Anuradha 4 padams, Jyeshta 4 padams):-
Obstacles in work, tedious works, health problems, generally unfavourable transit.

Dhanush Rasi (transit in 9th house)- (Moola 4 padams, Poorvashadha 4 padams, Uttarashadha 1 padam):-
Humiliation, loss of position, tremendous body weakness, wastage of dhatus in body and energy and dispirited attitude.

Makara Rasi (transit in 8th house)- (Uttarashadha 3 padams, Shravana 4 padams, Dhanishta 2 padams):-
Insults, travel to distant places, loss of wealth, problems due to debts, blood impurities and bodily sickness.

Kumbha Rasi (transit in 7th house)- (Dhanishta 2 padams, Sathabhisha 4 padams, Poorvabhadra 3 padams):-
Loss of conjugal happiness, uterus related problems for women, problems regarding food and clothing, untimely food, eye diseases, misunderstandings with one's family.

Meena Rasi (transit in 6th house)-(Poorvabhadra 1 padam, Uttarabhadra 4 padams, Revathi 4 padams):-
Victory over enemies, freedom from diseases, conducting religious and auspicious functions, gain of wealth, success in all fields, fame, general happiness and enthusiasm. Excellent transit.

Mars being a fiery planet, the results due to its transit in unfavourable houses may sound a little scary, but as long as we know that karma depends upon our actions and that natal charts are ever changeable through attitude and behaviour, there is no cause for worrying!!
P.S:To appease Mars, prayers to Lord Subrahmanya Swami, fasting on Tuesdays and "Angarakam" in Surati are recommended.

While on Mars, the famous saying, "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus" has a contrary functioning when it comes to instant attraction and chemistry between man and woman. It is Venus in the man's chart and Mars in the woman's chart and their respective placements in mutual charts that are given primary importance in determining mutual attraction. Woman's Mars and Man's Venus in conjunction, opposition or mutual squares (kendras) cause deadly attraction and magnetic pull towards each other. In such cases the benevolent aspect of man's Jupiter on woman's Mars safe guards the woman's position, by leading to matrimony in most cases.





Wednesday 5 May 2010

Spiritual action!


Above is a photograph of a snowboarder

Dr. Frederick Lenz's conversations with Master Fwap in "Surfing the Himalayas" are so awe-inspiring, which is not the only reason why I read the book so many times! This book literally transports me to the Divine Himalayas, I can almost feel the air turning chilly around me every time I read it!
Master Fwap is a Buddhist monk who identifies Dr. Frederick Lenz as 'the chosen one' for enlightenment. In all the preachings of Master Fwap, the best one was about the practice of perfection towards 'samyoga' through one's profession or constant job.
According to Master Fwap, in Tantric Buddhism even inanimate objects possess inherent knowledge (which the Buddhists term as 'emptiness'). Buddhist believe that all things, experiences and people are inherently empty! Tantric Buddhism further states that all physical and nonphysical things have another side, a side that is not visible to the senses or accessible to the reasoning mind. This different side can only be known and experienced intuitively by emptying one's own mind of thoughts, judgements and predispotions about life and how it works.
Master Fwap further describes Dr. Frederick Lenz's snowboarding as 'samyoga' ( the act of uniting), in which the action aimed at perfection (of performing the act of snowboarding) synchronises the doer (Dr. Frederick Lenz) and the object (the board) to a state of 'oneness'!
According to Master Fwap, the first step is to allow the action of an activity or an event to take precedence over one's point of view. That is the Tantric Buddhist way. To allow the emptiness inherent within actions and experiences to guide and shape one's choices thereby letting the actions to direct us, the actors, and not the other way around.
The Tantric Buddhist way - before beginning an activity one must always empty oneself of thoughts regarding what is to be done. Then allowing the inherent emptiness within to act as a guide instead of one's ego directing and making innumerable mistakes. One should allow oneself to be guided by the invisible principles of the Universe WITHIN one's actions! At that time there will be a perfect flow of energy in whatever one chooses to do, and there will be a grace and power present in all of one's movements. Tantric Buddhism hails such an act as perfect!

At this juncture, Master Fwap instructs Dr. Frederick Lenz,"Now you will go on your board down the mountain. But first you must make your mind still. Then allow the emptiness within your BOARD to guide you. Let it become your will. Remember, YOU are the BOARD!!! Then your ride down the mountain will be perfect action!"

To achieve the above, the aim should be towards nothing less than perfection! In the quest for perfection, man loses himself in the job at hand to the extent of naturally blending/ merging ('samyoga')with the action as well as the inanimate object he is handling! Many great instrumentalists, engineers, doctors, accountants, carpenters, electricians, mechanics, sportsmen, ......................the list includes everybody belonging to various fields, are eligible for this yoga. The bottom line is to discard ego and turn into the object ( it could be a musical instrument, sports equipment, or any gadget in relation to one's profession) towards which your actions are directed, thereby inducing power of action into the inanimate object, creating the 'samyoga' of the actor, action and the object. It is therefore not surprising that the actions of experts handling various gadgets in different fields are natural and almost involuntary! Such experts take their natural skills for granted without realizing that they have merged themselves with whatever they are handling!