Tuesday 19 April 2011
198)Gnaanaheeno Guru Sthyaajyo Midhyaavaadee Vidambakaha
Svavishraanthim Na Jaanaathi Parashaanthim Karothi Kim.
Meaning:Do not recognise a foolish man as Guru. One who is quarrelsome and deceptive cannot achieve his own peace. When that is the case, he is not eligible to bring peace to his devotees.
199)Shilaayaaha Kim Paragnaanam Shilaasangha Prathaaraney
Svayam Tharthum Na Jaanaathi Param Nisthaaraye Thkadham.
Meaning:Such a person is like a big stone. He has the tendency to cheat few devotees. When this fellow himself does not know how to cross the shore of human life, how can he lead others?!
200)Na Vandaneeyaa Sthey Kashtam Darshanaa Dbhraanthikaarakaaha
Varjaye Ththaanguroon Doorey Dheerasya Thu Samaashrayeth.
Meaning:Fake Gurus who terrorise devotees just by their gaze are not fit to be worshipped. Such a Guru is to be chased away. Always worship a Guru who has knowledge of Self.
201)Paashandinaha Paaparathaa Naasthikaa Bhedabudhdhayaha
Sthreelampataa Duraachaaraaha Kruthaghnaa Bakavruththayaha.
Meaning:Pompous Gurus who are interested in bad vices, self-advertisement, atheism, propagation of controversial subjects, debaucherous, ungrateful and indulging in fake prayers are to be discarded.
202)Karmabhrashtaaha Kshamaanashtaa Nindyatharkaishcha Vaadinaha
Kaaminaha Krodhinashchaiva Himsraashchandaashshathaa Sthadhaa.
Meaning: Gurus who are unethical, immoral, impatient, who indulge in wasteful arguments, full of desires, aggressive and short-tempered and like to harass/torture, who are adamant and horrific by nature, yet advertise themselves as Gurus are also to be rejected and discarded.
203)Gnaanalupthaa Na Karthavyaa Mahaapaapaa Sthadhaa Priye
Ebhyo Bhinno Guru Ssevya Ekabhakthyaa Vichaarya Cha.
Meaning:Never consider a foolish man or a sinner as Guru. After careful inquiry, identify the correct person who has knowledge of Self and worship Him with faith.
204)Sishyaa Danyathra Deveshi Na Vadhey Dhyasya Kasyachith
Naraanaam Cha Phalapraapthau Bhakthi Reva Hi Kaaranam.
Meaning: Devi, please do no preach this to anybody other than the best devotee. A devotee attains the fruit of knowledge only through devotion.
Sunday 10 April 2011
Gods and Goddesses are characterized by specific 'tattva' (nature) exuded by Their respective forms. We pray to particular Gods in the forms of Maha Vishnu, Shiva, Subrahmanya etc., and Goddesses in the forms of Maha Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Durga, Kali, Annapoorna Devi, Kamakshi, Meenakshi, Visalakshi etc. because they are our family deities ("kula deivam"), or as a ritual to fulfill a certain religious commitment. Rarely it is also due to love for the deity.
By worshiping a particular deity over a significant amount of time, the 'tattva' of the deity is imbibed by the devotee as he is gradually able to create a fine thread of connection with the particular 'tattva'/nature or quality of the deity. Therefore the devotee is succesfully able to perceive the 'tattva' by sponging off the quality or nature of the deity through effective chanting of mantras or meditation on the chosen deity.
Here are a few 'tattvas' imparted by Gods and Goddesses ( material benefits are not mentioned here):-
Lord Maha Vishnu: Tranquilising, peaceful and coolness of mind.
Chanting of Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam is the Maha Shanthi mantra which yields enormous peace and wisdom. This stotra, combined with Lakshmi Ashtotharam bestows great peace of mind, clarity of thought, elevation of mind and wisdom. Chanting of this Maha Shanthi mantra solves critical problems in life. When "Aapadudhdhdaaraka Stotra" is chanted after Sahasranamam, even the most critical health problems are solved. The essential 'tattva' one derives by chanting this stotra are wisdom, maturity and a peaceful demeanour. Worship of Maha Vishnu through Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam or Ashtaakshari (Om Namo Narayanaya) is highly suitable for hyper-active, highly strung,aggressive, nervous and sensitive people. Suited for people with high blood pressure.
Lord Rama: Willpower, mental strength and self confidence. Worship of Lord Rama enhances self-esteem, will power, strength of mind, ability to get rid of bad vices. The mere chanting of Rama nama yields astounding benefits. "Sri Rama" (Sri-yin, Rama-yang) balances the ida-pingala nadis in the body ensuring proper blood circulation and general good health.
The mela raga Hari Kambodhi is a Vishnu Tattva raga, extending to Rama Avathaara. "Rama Nannu Brovara", "Dinamani Vamsa", "Undedi Ramudu Okkadu", "Enthara", "Enduku Nirdaya"... etc. are vibrant krithis of Saint Thyagaraja providing deep insights into the majesty of Lord Vishnu and Rama Avathara. The rendition of these krithis are to be treated as meditation on Lord Vishnu/Rama for great spiritual elevation.
Lord Krishna:- Contentment. The Jagath Guru, Giver of Knowledge of the Ultimate Truth, He offers solace to the deprived. Srimad Bhagavatham is an ice pack for the agitated mind as Lord Krishna makes Himself felt through this grand scripture even in this day and age!!!!
Combined worship of Lord Krishna and Radha balances the yin and yang in oneself bringing about contentment and ending the search for temporary and worldly love. Quest for external love and companionship is discovered within through worship of Radha and Krishna. The worship of the Divine Lovers results in filling the void in the practitioner.
Raga Mohanam and Bilahari.
Lord Venkateswara/Balaji: Aptitude and attainment of high profile life, luxuries, material enjoyments and spiritual contentment.
The Sri Yantra, which is the yantra of Goddess Balatripurasundari was installed in the sanctum santorum of Lord Venkateswara Temple in Tirupathi. It is because of this "Bala Yantra" that the Lord is known by the name "Balaji!"
Raga Abheri and Surati.
Lord Shiva:- Spiritual bliss and detachment.For people pursuing the spiritual path. Equanimity of mind.
Raga Panthuvarali, Hamsanandi and Kambodhi.
Lord Vighneswara::- Rejuvenation. Worship of "Muladhara Murthy" (One who resides in the muladhara chakra or base chakra) activates the chakra, removing blockages and rejuvenating the entire system. The practitioner is able to perceive a burst of energy within and the rush of adrenalin. Suitable for depressed, dispirited and weak people.
Raga Nata, Gowla, Hamsadhwani and Malahari.
Lord Subrahmanya:- Dynamism, optimism, outgoing and action-oriented.Worship of Lord Shanmukha is highly suitable for the pessimistic, shy and vulnerable lot. Worship of this God makes one assertive and bold in confrontational situations. Ideal for fighting court cases and defeating enemies.
Lord Anjaneya:-Fearlessness, courage and valour.Worship of Lord Hanuman is ideally suited for people wanting to get rid of their phobias. Also for people to come out of imprisonment, fighting critical situations and mental ailments such as schizophrenia, paranoia and hallucinations.
Raga Athana and Kanada.
(To be continued......)
Friday 8 April 2011
Yesterday I drew the chart of Teacher's demise. 09.30 AM, 6th April, 2011. Star of the day Bharani, same as her birth star !! (Incidentally M.S.Amma is another legend who has the same star). Time of demise, 09.30 AM, with Taurus rising. Lord of the ascendant, Venus sitting pretty in yogakaraka's house (in Satabhisha, constellation of Rahu who is responsible for veena playing) Aquarius indicates great artistic prowess of the departed. Moon in Bharani, lord of the constellation is Venus again! Moon was transiting the 12th house (Aries), the house indicating life after death and moksha.
Teacher passed away during Vasantha Navarathri during which Goddess Durga is worshipped. The Nava Durgas worshipped on Navarathris are !)Shailaputhri, 2) Brahmacharini, 3)Chandraghanta, 4) Kushmanda, 5) Skanda Matha, 6) Kathyayani, 7)Kalarathri, 8) Maha Gowri and 9)Sidhdhi Dhathri.
Teacher left this world on the third day of Navarathri (tritiya) that belongs to the third Durga of the Nava Durgas, "Chandraghanta" who wears a half-crescent moon on Her forehead.
I interpreted waxing Moon's presence in the 12th house as the presence of Goddess Chandraghanta. (Also Yogakaraka's placement in Hastha and ascendant's placement in Rohini, both moon's constellations are indicative of Goddess Chandraghanta's authority over the after life of Teacher.) I understood the direction where Teacher's soul is headed, which is undoubtedly the world of the Supreme Goddess! Yogakaraka Saturn in purva punya sthaana (Virgo) again in moon's constellation (Hastha) is aspecting all the four planets in Pisces (7th aspect). They are the lord of the eighth house (Ayush Sthana), Jupiter; lord of the fifth house (purva punya sthaana), Mercury; lord of the fourth house and atmakaraka, Sun; and the dispositor of the twelfth house Aries, Mars. All the four planets receiving the favourable aspect of yogakaraka, Saturn reveals the elevated status of the soul after death. Presence of Rahu as "Kodanda Rahu"( karaka for veena) in ayush sthana (Sagittarius) and Venus who is the lagnadhipathi as well as lord of constellation (Bharani) placed in the twelfth house (Aries), transiting Aquarius and Sathabhisha (Rahu's constellation) in particular reaffirms Smt.Kalpagam Swaminathan's yogic state through veena playing and the soul's travel to the celestial worlds.
Wednesday 6 April 2011
Kalpakam Swaminathan, who dedicated over eight decades to veena playing and teaching, passed away here on Wednesday. She was 89.
Ms. Swaminathan, who began learning to play the veena when she was six, was a passionate exponent of the ‘Thanjavur style' of playing. Her vocalised style of playing was marked by its rich feel and was steeped in classicism. In the decades she dedicated to mastering the instrument, learning, engaging with theoretical aspects and aesthetics of veena playing, sharing and teaching, she emerged a unique vidwan and a revered guru.
With her initial tutelage under Kallidaikurichi A. Ananthakrishna Iyer and association with the much-regarded scholar P. Sambamurthy, Ms. Swaminathan cultivated a nuanced understanding of raga playing and particularly, gamakas (oscillation of notes in a manner appropriate to the raga being played.)
Learning compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar from T.L. Venkatarama Iyer, considered an authority on the subject, enriched her repertoire.
Much of her understanding came from her deep engagement with the instrument and introspection.
Her research-oriented approach to music helped her make significant contributions during her stints at the Kalakshetra and the Central College of Carnatic Music, now known as the Government Music College.
Her scholarship and expertise won her several accolades, including The Music Academy's ‘Sangita Kala Acharya' and the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha's ‘Aacharya Choodamani' titles.
Her relatives and admirers remember her as a modest, humble and accessible artist who believed that the art was always bigger than the artist. She is survived by her daughter-in-law, grandson and his family.
Published by The Hindu, dated 07/04/2011
Queen of veena, Smt.Kalpagam Swaminathan breathed her last this morning around 9 a.m in her residence. Her rich life was filled with penance and worship of veena, apart from imparting great knowledge to innumerable worthy disciples.
Veena playing, according to ancient scriptures is meant to be "rahasya vidya" (secret art). This "kalaa" (art form), treated as upasana (penance) is equal to Srividya Upasana in the form of "nadopasana". Such an approach towards the vedic instrument makes the practitioner an expert in every nuance, intricacy and secrecy pertaining to the instrument. Smt. Kalpagam Swaminathan, a veena yogi and nadopasaka of the highest order had mastered all the techniques and aesthetics of veena. She lived and breathed veena. The last few months of ailment and heartache due to her inability to play veena have been the most critical times of her life. Having completed her remnants of karma, she has gone to the celestial world where she belongs, to the abode of God, in a timeless world, to play the celestial veena for eternity.