Saturday, June 30, 2018

1173. Biopics.....necessary???

Biopics are to stay in Indian Film Industry. A Biopic is a cinematic conversion of the life of an individual who has earned fame in the career and reached the status of a celebrity. The intention of this venture is to highlight the ups and downs of the individual in the career graph. In recent times we have had a lot of Biopic. The question is, are these Biopics necessary???

Biopics are not new to us earlier any historical movie made was indeed a Biopic. We never questioned those Biopics two decades back, why are we sceptical about them now???  As I understand earlier a biopic gave an inner view of the character regarding both personal as well as public life. Audience were double thrilled when their favourite actor was donning the role of their favourite personality. Many untold or unrecorded events in the life of the character that were veiled by the media or biographers can be revealed in a biopic. Sometimes Biopic was to be a summed up version of various writes on a particular character.

Then why do we have to have such uproar on a Biopic when it is made on a gangster???

Biopics made in recent times do not reflect the event as it is for commercial reasons. In the climax of the movie Dangal the father of the wrestler was shown to be locked up in the rest room. In reality Mahavir Phogat, the real life father was very much present at the final bout. The screenplay was twisted a little to make the audience more emotional. Biopics are meant to glorify but not to the extent of making it a pro-film. If the Biopic is on a gangster there is no doubt the director will show the police, judiciary and media in low light to highlight gangster character.

Cinemas do not remain purely entertainment any longer now it has been used as a medium to instil a thought. We had many movies that glorified crimes which started from the English movie “Godfather” a frictional novel by Mario Puzo. We had many Indian movies which glorified the crime like Satya by Ram Gopal Varma. I would say it was glorifying criminality. Movies reach the masses and impress the youth. Youngsters who watch them begin to think that crimes are normal. After feeding our audience with such movies now the trend is to glorify criminals. 

Unfortunately we have become such an audience that we readily accept a Biopic of a criminal. Recently we had a Biopic of a gangster in Gujarat with a leading actor playing the role of the gangster. Now we have a brilliant director in Bollywood who has made a movie on a Movie Star by spicing up things. To make the movie hit among masses he conveniently avoids showing the underworld in bad light and adds imaginary story bits that would make the fans go-gaga-over.   

It is so unfortunate that while Hollywood makes a movie on “The Man Who Knew Infinity” a great Indian Mathematician called Srinivasa Ramanujan, we have our own directors scripting on Gangsters and directing Criminals. Not that we do not make Biopic on inspirational personalities, a Biopic was directed by Sandeep Varma on Manjunath (remember him he was an employee of Indian Oil Corporation Limited). He was shot dead for sealing down two petrol pumps in Uttar Pradesh for selling adulterated fuel. He hailed from a poor family and had taken a loan to complete his management course at IIM, Lucknow. He never wanted to join the private sector or a multinational company, his aim was to improve the system of allotting at filling stations. 

If only our brilliant directors script a Biopic on such characters and our ace actors don the role of such personalities, the real meaning of a Biopic can be justified.

Friday, June 29, 2018

1172. Knowledge, Devotion and Dispassion....!

Many of us think that Bhaya (Fear) instils Bhakti (Devotion), but even if it does, it is not the Ucitamarga (Sensible Way). Sriman Madhva explains clearly that the devotion which is got from fear will fade as the thought becomes Tarakasangata (Rational). Sriman Madhva says Bhakti develops from knowing the Merits (Gunas) of God and further will sustain by Vairagya (Freedom from Worldly Desire).

Sriman Madhva has this story from Srimad Bhagvata to support his views. Sage Narada happens to pass by a young lady wailing before two old men. He wants to know the cause of her misery. After enquiry he comes to know that the woman was born in Dravida Bhumi (Tamil Nadu) brought up in Kannada Bhumi (Karnataka) stayed in Maratha Bhumi (Maharashtra) and has been travelling and had aged. Now along with the two old men she was now in Brij Bhumi (Gujarat). As she reached Brij she retained her youth and energy, but the two men continued to remain old totally sapped of all energy. This was the cause for her misery.

When Narada asked who she was, the woman said, “I am Bhakti, these two are my sons, Jnana & Vairagya.  

Narada explains her the cause of the malady, “O! mother, this is the age of “Kali” (Kaliyuga) the traits like Jnana, Bhakti and Vairagya have diminished. This Brij Bhumi has retained your youth but Sri Krishna has left for Parandhama (His Ultimate Abode) as His avatara has ended. I think He has sent you down to earth to enter into the minds of all His devotees. 

Narada then offered to help revive the sons of Bhakti. He advised Bhakti to listen to Srimad Bhagavata along with her two sons “Jnana” and “Vairagya”. Bhakti follows the advice, she listened to Srimad Bhagavata with great attention and amazingly her two sons revived to youthfulness. Thus the misery of Bhakti ended.

Jnana is knowledge which gets us to know the merits of God. Vairagya is that quality in us by which we view all things (other than the vital) without passion. Sri Sri Sankara insisted that Jnana alone was the way to Moksha. Srimad Ramanuja added Bhakti along with Jnana to attain Moksha. It was Sriman Madhva who categorically said that without Vairagya both Jnana and Bhakti become futile.  

Jnana is mere knowledge, if I have headache the knowledge of the name of pill for a headache alone cannot relive the pain one should take the pill. Bhakti too can be just pomp and show if done for others. Jnana and Vairagya serve to promote the spirit of Bhakti. Bhakti can subsist without Jnana but deprived of Vairagya it is inconsequential.

Vairagya does not mean abandoning responsibilities of life and running away to Himalayas. Vairagya is to be indifference to sensual objects and realize that in this world “Mustard of pleasure is mixed with a Mountain of Pain” so endurance is the key.

There are four stages in Vairagya. First is Yatamana where the senses are not let to entertain sensual gratification. Next is Vyatireka when senses consciously develop aversion towards things which does not help mind excel spiritually. Then it is Ekendriya where senses stand still and are subdued, but the mind has either Raga (Like) or Dvesha (Dislike) for objects. Mind will be the only sense that functions independently. Vasirara is next when no objects tempts any longer. The senses are perfectly quiet and mind also is free from likes and dislikes. Finally it is Paravairagya, the highest stage of Vairagya. Here the seeker is not worried about himself as he is free from the qualities of the gunas he becomes Gunatita.

Is there anyone like that??? Hanuma is one. 
Hanuma later on came as Sriman Madhva to teach us this in an explicit way.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

1171. Ten Heads of Ravana...!

I always wondered how Ravana could balance his ten heads on his neck. We have seen him being depicted with ten heads and if it has to be in symmetry five to his right and five on his left, so in the middle the neck has to support the two halves. In one of the scriptures I had read, Ravana was a great devotee of Maharudradeva and an inordinate scholar. Once he undertook a vicious penance. It is said that to please Maharudradeva, Ravana axed his head one by one and offed them to his Lord. These 10 heads indicate the knowledge he had about 4 Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atarvana) and 6 Shastras, the Six Systems of Theistic Philosophy namely, Nyaya Shastra of Sage Gautama, Vaishesikha Shastra of Sage Kanad, Sankya Shastra of Sage Kapila, Yoga Shastra of Sage Patanjala, Mimamsa Shastra of Sage Jaimini and Vedantha Shastra of Sage Vyasa.

We all know that knowledge brings humility (Vidya dadati Vinayam) but for a few it brings in Ahamkara (Ego). Ravana had developed ten heads filled with ten emotions which Mahabali, the Emperor of Sutala, the third of the nether worlds advises Ravana to discard the nine and retain the tenth. Mahabali says that Ravana accumulated lower emotions which need to be abandoned and retain one higher emotion called Intellect.

Here is the conversation between Mahabali and Ravana:

MAHABALI: Shun Anger, it clouds your intellect and make you do foolish things.
RAVANA: How can I, Anger electrifies my thoughts and push me into action?

MAHABALI: Shun Pride it stems arrogance which stops clear thinking and vision. It overestimates you and underestimates your enemy.
RAVANA: How can I, Success is the offshoot of Pride and with the immense energy that I posses I should be proud of it.

MAHABALI: Do not be jealous, it makes you yearn for other other man’s wealth, wife and fame.
RAVANA: How can I, Jealousy is the driving force for progress, and the root of accomplishment is seeded in Jealousy.

MAHABALI:  Happy and sad are mere truths like hot and cold. A man of superior intellect remains calm unaffected by them.
RAVANA: How can I be calm when one of my beloved departs and how can I not celebrate my happiness.

MAHABALI: Fear is a disease and it spreads and kills everyone who is in its grasp.  
RAVANA: It is basic nature of man and animal.  I fear death and it rekindles my instinct to be prepared to face it.

MAHABALI: The one who thinks himself always is selfish what use is life if you are not a small light in darkness? 
RAVANA: Selfishness is the foundation of ambition. To achieve all the treasures of the earth I have to be highly Self-centred.

MAHABALI: Attachment is a link that binds you to the chain of make-believe. It weakens you and pushes you to bondage.
RAVANA: Attachment is the King of emotions. There can be nothing greater that mother’s attachment to her baby.   

MAHABALI: Have control over your ambitions. Do aim and strive for it but keep your feet grounded always.    
RAVANA: Ambition is the key to progress. Without ambition magnificent cities cannot be built. Men become great by being ambitious. Ambitions are horses that pull life forward.  

Not a bit did Ravana understand what Mahabali was telling him…Alas! if he had retained the Tenth head called Intellect automatically the nine would have faded..........Dashagreeva!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

1170. Academic knowledge and Analytical knowledge!!!

The theory based knowledge of concepts and theories acquired at college or university is the Academic Knowledge. This is the mere basics which every student is educated in the institution he is enrolled in. Apart from what is taught a few students try to analyse and use that theoretical knowledge to help them in their enterprise. Using the knowledge obtained academically for critical thinking to find solution to any kind of complications that one may encounter in life is Analytical Knowledge. With only Academic knowledge one can never approach a problem as the solution to it does not necessarily be notional. 

I remember in the movie “3 Idiots” Rancho Shamaldas Chanchad asking his professor, “Why a pencil was not used in spaceship?” It was to make us treat the sequence as a joke and laugh, but in reality Russians did use pencil while Americans were spending a lot of money to replace the fountain pen. Use of pencil turned out to be hazardous for the Russians as the graphite dust started to clog the critical electrical points in the space ship. It was also affecting the health of the astronauts. Only after a long research a scientist Paul C. Fisher invented the ballpoint pen using the thixotropic ink with a ball in the tip. As we write the ball in the tip rolled and the ink spread on to the paper. For any invention if necessity is the mother, analytical knowledge is the father.  

Another widely known story is about the soap company in Japan. Company used to regularly receive complaints that a few soap boxes in their consignment were empty. The manufactured aromatic soaps were delivered by a machine to small individual box and a set of six individual boxes were packed in a corrugated box. The machine delivering the soap to the individual box on some occasion failed to deliver due to time lag. Management asked its engineers to look into the problem. The engineers who could not rectify the time lag in the machine decided to solve the problem in a different approach. They used a high-tech precision scale that would measure the weight of each soap box. If any box weighed less than it normally should, there was a beep sound and flash light.

With a beep sound and a flash light the line would come to an abrupt halt. The supervisor had to walk over to the machine and retrieve the empty box out of the line, pressing another button to restart the unit. The effort was a success but they had to shell out lots of money as they had to install the high-tech precision scale in all its manufacturing units across the country. When the management was worried about the inventory cost, a young engineer had a simple solution he placed a heavy duty industrial fan across the conveyor line and switched it on, and as each soap box passed the fan, the gusty air from the fan simply blew the empty boxes out of the line.

There is always a simple way to solve a problem and an analytical mind is after it.

1169. A Sacrament called Marriage.

“Iyam Sita Mama Sutha, Sahadharmachari Tava Pratheechcha Chainam Bhadramte Pannim Grihneeshva Panina Pativrata Mahabhaga Chayevanugatasada.”

“Here is my daughter, Sita, who will ever tread with you in the path of Dharma. Take her hand in yours. Blessed and devoted, she will ever walk with you like your own shadow.”
This is what Janaka Maharaja tells Shri Rama while introducing his daughter Sitadevi, after Shri Rama had lifted the Shaivachapa (Shiva’s Bow). 

A traditional marriage is the union of two individuals for life, so that they can pursue Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Economy), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation) together and also a ceremony of cementing the bonds of two families together. The primary witness of a Vivaha is Agni (Sacred Fire) and by law as well as by tradition, no Vedic marriage is deemed complete unless Saptapadi (Seven Encirclements) have been made around the Sacred Fire, by the bride and the groom together. Vivahais one of the “Shodasha Samskara” (16 Sacrament) which was instituted by Shwetaketu, the Son of Uddalaka.

There was a time when it was allowed for men and women to take any number of partner they desired. Budha (Mercury) was born out of union of Chandra (Moon) and Tara, the wife of Sage Brihaspati (Jupiter). Sage Bharadvaja was born when Brihaspati desire for Mamta, wife of Sage Utathya who was his brother. Uninhibited and free sexual conduct was normal at those times. Any woman or man could go with anyone they desired to fulfill their sexual urge.

Young Shwetaketu once happens to see his mother being pulled by a Muni and telling her “let us go”. Looking at that Shwetaketu was very upset, but his father Sage Uddalaka tried to convince him and said, “Don’t get angry son, this is the cosmic law, as cows and other creatures do, men and women are free to go with anyone they like, either on their own free will or in response to an invitations.” But Shwetaketu did not agree with the instinct valid only for animals. He felt a urgent need for maintaining dignity and propriety of conduct between man and woman that led to the evolution of the “Institution of Marriage”.  

Shwetaketu propounded a set of “Do’s & Don’ts” for both married men and women enforcing a proper dictum to marriage. He streamlined the fidelity between husband and wife and licensed marriage as prerequisite to procreation. He also instituted property rights in those times.

Friday, June 22, 2018

1168. Unwanted and Desired......!!!

A nursing student is advised to perform wound irrigation in a proper way before taking up the dressing procedure. Wound Irrigation is the act of flushing the wound with saline solution in order to remove dead or necrotic tissue and other debris. This procedure will help clean the wound and keep it hydrated. Keeping the wound clean and hydrated ultimately helps in quick healing. Without proper care in wound irrigation any amount of antibiotic gels and creams is futile in wound treatment.

In a traditional Hindu household the Yajamani (Lady of the House) gets up early in the morning, cleans the front yard with the coconut broom. After cleaning she sprinkles water on the cleaned space and then she draws pretty patterns called “Rangoli”to display her aesthetic sense. Though this empirical art is just making patterns using either rice flour or limestone powder, the cleaning of the courtyard and sprinkling water plays an important role in projecting the art.  
In wound irrigation and cleaning of the courtyard what is to be observed is that the unwanted is removed. The word used in Sanskrit for unwanted is “Anista”. Our scriptures say that human race is always in “Anista Nivrutti, Ista Prapti” (Removal of Unwanted, Obtainment of Desired) mode. For the desired to be obtained the undesired has to be removed.  
In the path of Spirituality, a seeker has to cultivate the basic six prerequisite qualities of Mind termed as Shat Sampathi. These six qualities are Sama, Dama, Titiksha, Uparati, Sraddha and Samadhana.

Sama is the tranquillity, equanimity and composure of Mind. By having this quality of mind we accept the unexpected rather than expecting the world outside to act to our expectations. It even helps us to take the commotion in stride and expect thing as they are so that there is no disappointments. Disappointment and tranquillity do not coexist.   

Dama is self-restrain and control over our senses. Our conscious mind with the help of the senses will get in touch with the external world. If the Mind is not trained properly, the senses become the driving force for it and the mind acts to the whims and fancies of the senses. So it is important to teach discipline to the senses by using knowledge on the basis by which it is accepted by our Mind and not forcefully impose over the senses.

Titiksha is forbearance, tolerance in the thought, word and deed. It teaches us endurance and to cope the pairs of opposites such as heat and cold, pleasure and pain, etc.

Uparati is desisting from sensual pleasures. The pleasure we experience may from object we need and from object which are our wantons. We could make a sincere effort to get the pleasures from the needed object rather than imagining we would get it from our wantons. Surprisingly if we observe some of our wantons are not to satisfy our self but others. 

Sraddha is intense faith in the word of the Guru, Scriptures and, above all, in one's own self. It is not blind faith but is based on accurate reasoning, evidence and experience. As such, it is lasting, perfect and unshakable. Such a faith is capable of achieving anything.

Samadhana is a capacity to put in order the statements that we receive from different scriptures and philosophies. If we are in touch with many philosophies we find that some are contradictory to each other. Samadhana gives us the inner strength to place the statements of any philosophies in a particular context and bail us out from getting confused.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

1167. Forewarned so that be Forearmed.....

There was drought and scarce of water had not only affected humans but also the cattle. The Pre-Monsoon and Monsoon had failed and it was the end of Badrapada Maasa (September) and there was not even a drop from the sky. The King was worried though the astrologers had predicted normal rain, if not satisfying, yet there were no sign of clouds. By this time of the year the peasant community should have started the agricultural activities. The worried King consulted his Wise Minister. 

“Nanna Uttara nimma Hasthadallide, nimma Chitta” (My answer is in your hands, your wish) told the Wise Minister when asked about the rain. The King understood what the Wise Minister had told and waited for another fortnight. The sky did open up and it started to rain. 

There was a code in the sentence of the Wise Minister which the King decrypted. To a lane person it seems that the Wise Minister had no answer and had left the matter to the King to decide.    

The words “Uttara” Hastha” and “Chitta” in Kannada is “Answer” “Hand” and “Wish” respectively but they are the names of the 27 Nakshatras (Constellations) too. Amazingly they are associated with the rainfall pattern which our farmers keep track. Our Vedic rainfall prediction technique has its own unique beauty for estimating the time & amount it will rain, as it is the simplest and more accurate way to predict rains. This technique is based on the positions of the Sun and the 27 Nakshatras. Off the 27 Nakshatras only 11 Nakshatras from Rohini (May) to Chitta (Oct) coincides with the crop growing period of Kharif (Monsoon Crop season). 

The transit of Sun over these 11 Stars is classified as Kharif. Rohini and Mrigashira bring Pre-Monsoon showers. Aridhra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Aslesha, Makha, Pubba and Uttara bring Monsoon (Mungaru) rain. Hastha and Chitta bring Post-Monsoon showers. The Nakshatras Mrigashira, Aridhra, Pushya, Makha, Pubba and Chitta has an increasing trend whereas Rohini, Punarvasu, Aslesha, Uttara and Hastha Nakshatras shows decreasing trend in rainfall.

When the King was anxious as the Pre-Monsoon and Monsoon had failed the Wise Minister had advised the King to remain calm and wait for Post Monsoon showers, that is what he meant in code words.  

In addition to the positioning of the Sun and the Stars our ancients had some unique techniques to predict the amount of rainfall. Nature gave them indications of rain, ants emerging out of ant hill carrying their eggs and a sudden croaking of frogs indicated sudden rains. Halo around the Sun or Moon means it will rain shortly. On the day of Holi, it is tradition to lighten up bonfire to commemorate the burning of Kamadeva by Maharudradeva. The height of the towering fire and the direction of the smoke (velocity of Wind) is observed to determine the intensity of rain. 

Nature has provided us indications to be forewarned so that we are forearmed. It has been since Vedic times to forecast rains based on the observations of winds, clouds or behaviour of animals, birds, insects, trees, plants or atmospheric wonders like halo around the Sun or Moon. 

Aren’t we blessed???

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

1166. Positive Thoughts Positive Vibrations....!

The ability to visualize and imagine is the special feature that makes my brain better than those of other creatures. Visualising and Imagining is a trait which is bestowed only to Human race. I can do this with the help of the frontal cortex in my brain. It has researched that there are numerous nerve cells in my cerebral cortex arranged in definite patterns, but in order. This visualising and imagining helps in removing fear by developing faith this is called positive use of it. If the same act increases my fear then I am using that trait in a negative mode. Faith and fear can never remain simultaneously so positivity and negativity cannot stay together.

Scientists have observed that a human brain is both broadcasting as well as a receiving station as far as thoughts are concern. My brain is capable of catching up the extremely high vibration of thoughts that are generated by other brains around me through the medium of the space, just as we see in the radio broadcasting principle. Positivity and Negativity that is experienced by me depends upon the vibrations generated by other brain. If I am in contact with a person who is gloomy there is negative vibrations and that low feel pours out on me too. If I am with a cheerful, it means that person is in positive vibration mode and that high elevates me too. In both cases the chances are that the emotions of thought gets amplified. If the cheerfulness amplifies then it calls for a celebration but what if the gloomy mood encompasses??? Is it possible to avoid negative vibrations and face only positive vibration???

As told above a human brain will catch up only those vibrations which are extremely high. Thoughts are energies travelling at an extremely high rate of vibration. Thought is responsible to receive negative or positive vibrations. If observed we are most surrounded by people who love to talk more about those people who have caused harm to them and they seldom talk about people who are helpful to them. It shows that they are negative prone people who want to portray themselves as victims always. It is always better to keep away from the negative prone people. Now, how is it possible to know if a person is negative prone unless he talks to us or interact with us?

Our ancients have suggested a secret that is to pray every day early in the morning. Prayer is to develop positive frequency in the brain. Once the positive frequency is developed in the brain the thoughts become optimistic and firm. This can be experienced throughout the day and we receive and broadcast only positive vibration. Is offering prayers the only means to achieve positive frequency, if so, what is the fate of an atheist or an agnostic???

An atheist or an agnostic can also develop positive frequency; the best way to achieve it is by Self-Motivation. Irrespective of what kind of people are around us these are the two ways one is to surrender to God through prayer or to Self-Motivate. Initially it is little difficult but as we follow this routine it will become habit and hence our second nature. Then no negative frequency can catch us. The best time for a Prayer or Self-Motivation is early in the morning. 

There are a few who practice both, they pray to God and then they say to themselves “Today I am going to be happy, whatever the situation is I am going to put my best potential to triumph over it. I believe God is do not inflict any problem which I cannot solve and no one can irritate me without my participation. I am not going to get disturbed by anyone if possible I will cheer others.”

Saturday, June 16, 2018

1165. Time or Action Management???

“Main Samaya Hoon” the resonating voice of Harish Bhimani with a wheel on the background begins B.R.Chopra’s Mahabharat serial. The concept of using “Time” to tell us the “Tale” was extraordinary as Time is Eternal. Time is the one which can claim to know all. When time is saying you will be hearing the accurate as Time is an Ever Existing Entity.

Time moves with the same speed, it neither lags nor does it lead. We have formulated the pace of the time by naming it as second, minute, hour, though Time does not make any changes in its accuracy. A day is also taken as the reference of Time, but it is only the period of one revolution of Earth around Sun. Or could it be the lunar phase for those who follow Lunar Calendar. Both ways it is the measure of Time and superficially we calculate Time on the earth based on the movements of Sun and Moon.       

Let us contemplate deeper. In fact, the time is not decided on the basis of the movement of the planets. The movements of these planets are on the basis of the time. We, the inhabitants of Bharathavarsha are fortunate to have almost equal amount of daylight and nightfall for the entire year. While the countries nearer to poles experience a large seasonal variation in the daylight and nightfall.  Norway which is described as “Land of the Midnight Sun” has 20 hours of daylight. 

The existence of the time is primeval, and will continue to exist, irrespective of Daylight or Nightfall. The daylight and Nightfall does not make any change in the nature of the Time. Astonishingly though it appears that everything is being managed according to the Time. If so, how then is it possible to manage Time? When we say we need to learn to manage Time is it not an illusion. Time Management is an indication of our limited understanding of the nature of Time.

Instead of focusing on how to manage Time we should give attention on how to manage our Actions. If the time could be managed then why should we be in haste in some occasion and also complain about wasting it in another. Let us wipe out the illusion we have about Time management and concentrate on our Action management. The countries which have uneven Daylight and Nightfall have focused on how to manage Action and hence they are able to be on par with Time. 

Action management requires focus on planning and organizing the work activities of self and others. There is a Subhasitham which says “It is improper to start digging the well after the house has caught fire! We should be pro-active i.e. we should have the solutions ready even before the problem arise.”  Here the Action of digging the well is pitted against the Time when the house is on fire. This says that we need not wait for the Time when the house is on fire but Action of digging the well is foremost. 

Action management against Time management, I know this seem to look paradoxical but if we perceive it from Action angle and not the Time angle we will come to it.    

1164. Om Namo Narayanaya....!

Guru Periya Nambi asked Srimad Ramanuja to go to Thirukoshtiyur Nimbi to learn from him the secret to attain Moksha. Ramanuja went to Thirukoshtiyur Nambi’s house and prostrated before him and put up his request to him. Thirukoshtiyur Nambi looked at him and said, “I do not think you are eligible to know about it, as of now. You go and come back again after some time.” Ramanuja returned to Srirangam with much disappointment and made eighteen trips to Thirukoshtiyur by walk and each time he was sent back.

Looking at Ramanuja’s persistence one day Thirukoshtiyur Nambi said, “I will now incite the Ashtakshara Maha Mantra which will free the person who recites it from cycle for birth and death but, you have to keep it a secret never reveal it to anyone. If you do so you will go to hell.”

Ramanuja was incited with the mantra. Ramanuja’s face was radiant and he was very happy. Next morning instead of returning to Srirangam he went to Thirukoshtiyur temple. On the way he called out to the people and told them to come to the temple and he would gift them a valuable gem which would give them Eternal Bliss. Ramanuja climbed up the steps and reached the top of the temple Gopuram.

He told the people that he was going to tell them about a Mantra that would free them from the circle of samsara. He loudly chanted “Om Namo Narayanaya” and asked the people to repeat it. People were all enthralled and repeated it.

Thirukoshtiyur Nambi came to know about it and he fumed with rage. He came to the temple and shouted, “By giving initiation to you I have committed a sin. You are a traitor you will go to hell.”

Ramanuja replied politely, “Acharya! I know that I will go to hell for not abide your command. But if thousands of people would be benefited by chanting this mantra, I would not mind going to hell.”

When Nambi heard this he hugged Ramanuja and appreciated his broadmindedness and blessed him.

What is so special about this Maha Mantra???

Hiranya Kashyapu had told his wife, Kayadhu that he would go to Mount Kailasa and do penance, may be it will take some years for him to come back. But he returned back after a few day, Kayadhu was surprise but did not ask him the reason then. After a few days when Hiranya Kashyapu was alone with Kayadhu one night, she asked him the reason for him to return back without performing penance. Hiranya Kashyapu tells his wife the reason for him to abort penance was two sparrows. When he sat in the seat of silence two sparrows chanted “Om Namo Narayanaya” and he was disturbed and in a fit of anger he went to kill those two birds which flew away. Unable to concentrate he ceased practicing penance and came back.   

In reality the two sparrows were Sage Narada and Sage Parvata who were assigned to disguise as birds and disturb the penance. Now, when Hiranya Kashyapu was explaining this to his wife he copulates with her who was in her ovulation period and she conceived. The fetus in the womb of the mother gradually developed and happened to be a great devotee of Maha Vishnu.

The Mantra “Om Namo Narayanaya” in the mind of Hiranya Kashyapu when he was united with Kayadhu brought Prahlada to the earth. This incidence is mentioned in Narasimha Purana.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

1163. Truth....!

Sathya (Truth) unfolds through Pratyaksha (Perception), Anumana (Inference) and Agama (Verbal Testimony). As I understand Anumana is the connexion which connects either the Pratyaksha or Agama to Sathya. For Pratyaksha the sense organ I need is Eyes and for Agama I depend on Ears. If I am a Rationalist I believe only what I sees so for me Pratyaksha becomes Pramana (Proof) and if I am a Fanatic I relay more on my Ears. Either way in both occasions I might be deprived of Sathya as I am depending on my sense organs.       

In Anumana I get to use my sixth organ called Mind. If the Rationalist in me who insists more on Visual Opinion can contemplate on the Truth I seek, then I will know that sometimes Truth is beyond my perception. As a Fanatic if I believes on the Verbal Testament I should understand that Truth is beyond words. In both cases it is the Manana (Contemplating Mind) which concludes whether that which I have seen or heard is Truth or not.

Mind too cannot conclude on its own it will be helped by either my Chitta (Memory) or Buddhi (Intellect). If I see smoke on the mountain my memory helps me in concluding that there has to be fire on the mountain. To know if the Mango is ripe I need my memory which asks me to look at the colour through my eye, smell by nose and feel if it is ripe by touch depending on my past experience. But this is to know about the objects in the Prapancha (Universe), hence it is group of Pancha (Five) senses. 

While seeking for the Truth which is beyond my senses it has to be Buddhi (Intellect) which comes to my aid. Mind is in between my memory and the intellect, if my Mind chooses Memory it will be with my senses and whatever my mind concludes will be favourable to my body due to sense gratification. This is what Yama told Nachiketa about when he mentioned about Preya (Pleasure). Preya is what I, as an identity like which pleases me. It is the “Pleasure Principle” that makes me feel good, no-matter what the consequence is.

If the same Mind is with Intellect, the Truth which unfolds may not necessarily be that which is cognised before. Intellect has the capacity to look beyond the realm of Mind as it is always aligned with Super Consciousness. The output of this approach is Shreya (Pleasant). If my Mind chooses the best consequences, whether it makes me feels good or not, often forgoing a temporary pleasure for the sake of a lasting benefit, it is Shreya. 

Truth is always in the midway I need to be rationalists as well as fanatics by using my Memory and Intellect respectively. Mind if stuck with Memory or with Intellect fails to comprehend the Ultimate Truth.       

Thursday, June 7, 2018

1162. Lacrimal Fluid of Maharudradeva.

Botanical Name: Elaeocarpus Ganitrus Roxb.
Family: Tiliaceae, the Lime/Linden family.

Rudrakshas are not properties used in movies to portray a character wearing it to be a Gangster or a Ruffian. They are Beads of Power with which the Yogis of Himalayas maintain their health and kept their mind in tranquillity. The Yogis also used them for self-empowerment and to develop fearlessness from the physical hindrance on their path towards Liberation.  

According to Srimad Devi Bhagavatam while fighting with the demon Tripurasura who was invincible, Maharudradeva had to use a weapon called Manohara Aghora. That weapon had the consolidated power of all deities put in one, hence it was so powerful and dazzling that even Maharudradeva had to close his eyes for a second while using it. The Lacrimal Fluid which flowed out of his eyes when he closed felt on the ground and a sapling sprouted and went on to be a tree. The fruit berry that grew on this tree was called blue berry and the seed inside it Rudraksha.

A group of scientists from of the Institute of Technology University in Banaras conducted a research to find out if the thousand year belief that the Rudraksha bead can cure is true. A combined research was conducted by a team of scientists from various faculties like Biochemistry, Electrical Engineering, Psychiatry, General Medicine and Psychology. The research proved that the bead does have powerful Electro-magnetic, Para-magnetic and Inductive Properties. These beads are said to induce Alpha State of Mind (State of Awareness) by sending signals to brain through the galvanic cells which results in rise in confidence and inner strength and also simulates the nervous and the endocrine system so that respiration is normal and there is calmness in the physical body.

It has been found that the beads can send Bioelectric signals to the brain and stimulate and enhance the brain to create positive impact on the activity of neurotransmitters and helps in maintaining a balance in the Dopamine and Serotonin levels. With the balance of these two biogenic aminies there is a possibility of transformation in the personality, mindset, attitude, charisma and also confidence of the individual who is wearing a Rudraksha bead.

Is just wearing a Mala of Rudraksha Beads be helpful?? Yes, it is proved that wearing of Rudraksha controlled heart beat and had a positive effect on Blood Pressure, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration. But for the evolution of Spiritual Consciousness one can take the leverage got from obtaining the Alpha State and use the mind to concentrate on a Bija mantra like “OM” or a Maha Mantra like Maha Mrutunjaya Mantra.

While Srimad Devi Bhagavatam provides us the needed explanation from Vedic Knowledge pertaining to the unexplained attraction towards the Enchanting bead, and today's Science has scrutinized the effect of the bead, and provided information on how it can help mankind to enhance their ability to move towards a happy, healthy and blissful living.

{PLEASE NOTE: Just as we have adulterated and duplicate items being sold in market, a few in an intention to make fast buck sell spurious beads online BE AWARE of them}

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

1161. Shri Rama's questions to Bharata.

Bharata came to the forest in search of Shri Rama to persuade Him to return back to Ayodhya. Shri Rama declines and asks 50 odd questions to Bharata. From the welfare of the family to art of administration, Shri Rama’s questions to His brother is advice to all of us. I wish not to elaborate as the question we read says it all. Since Shri Rama starts every question with word “Kacchit” (I hope that) this portion of Ramayana is called Kacchit Sarga.

Rama to Bharata:

I hope that the King Dasaratha is well.

I hope you are treating the preceptors of Ikshvaku respectfully.

I hope that a Brahmin who is versed in the traditions, who is intelligent and just, is employed for your sacred fire rituals.

I hope that you are holding in high esteem the Gods, our ancestors, dependents, teachers, doctors and brahmins.

I hope that ministers who are valiant like you, learned, masters of their senses of noble birth and skilled interpreting internal sentiments by external gesture, are assigned to you.

I hope you do not fall prey to excess of sleep and do wake up at appropriate time.

I hope that you do not take decisions alone or indeed with lots of men. 

I hope your schemes does not get leaked to public before it is implemented.

I hope your projects are of maximum benefit with minimum cost and is on time.

I hope you discuss with one wise man rather than a thousand fools, as a wise man can help you in difficult matters.

I hope that others are unaware, by their enquiries or strategies or by any other approaches the details of your discussions with your wise minister.

I hope that skilled is assigned with superior work, an average worker is given an average work and unskilled is asked to assist as a helper.

I hope you are providing daily provision to your army and giving them suitable salary without any delay.

I hope that a knowledgeable person with presence of mind to speak to the point is selected as an ambassador by you.

I hope you do not forever take foes lightly, even those who are weak and having been expelled, return again.

I hope the punishiment for an offence is neither too harsh or nor too lenient.

I hope you are not honouring the materialistic brahmins, they are skilled in perverting the mind. Ignorant they are but act as if learned.

I hope in your kingdom women, farmers and cowherds are looked after well. 

I hope forests, the home of wild animals is well preserved by you and most importantly the female species in them are protected for the progeny to prosper.

I hope milch-cows are in abundance.

I hope the income is abundant and expenditure minimum. 

I hope your treasure does not reach undeserving lot.

I hope that all your employers, in your presence, do not adopt a disrespectful attitude or on the other hand all of them do not hasten away on seeing you.

I hope you are not prosecuting an honest person who is falsely accused of some offence, without investigation according to law-books.

I hope that your well-educated ministers solve a case dispassionately when a dispute occurs between a rich man and a poor man, after studying the situation carefully.

I hope you do not discard virtue due to excessive yearn for wealth or your interest towards religion or by your self-indulgence in pleasure, greed and gratification of the senses.

I hope you are following the common practice, which our fore fathers observed and which is in accord with the path of the virtuousness.

This incidence can be read in Ayodhya Kanda (100th Sarga). All these years I had only heard about Bharata collecting the sandals of Shri Rama and placing it on the throne of Ayodhya and ruling. 

I wonder if we had this in our syllabus in middle school how well we would have had our mind trained. Its good to reading them even at my age now….. I am thankful to my Sri Hari for letting me read them.    

1160. Politicians and Voters....!

At the time of Monarcy the saying was “Yatha Raja Thata Praja” which meant the “As the King so his Subjects”, that is if the King was good his subjects were good. As we are now electing our leaders in Democracy the saying has to be altered to “Yatha Praja Thata Raja” which means “As the Public so is their Leader” since we are electing our leaders as we are. Unfortunately in democracy a person who has not approved a leader should also bear with him if he wins with majority. In yesteryear's we had leaders like Kamaraj Nadar, Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel, Lal Bahadur Srivastava Shastri, whose ambition was to serve people. But today we find it is not democracy but just a mob rule. Real democracy is the one when every individual is protected by state for keeping his views and acting against what he feels is not good to his society. Here we have got nepotism and caste politics. There is no Dharma. The leaders have forgotten that they are elected to serve the people and they have taken politics as a profession and are purchasing power utilising the corrupt means to influence on the voters.

Amazingly there are thugs and rowdies who have control over the mass with their money and muscle power in politics. Also it is unfortunate that those who oppose those elements have to face the blunt of having them as leaders. Ironically in democracy the votes can be purchased and the poverty and pleasure seeking mindset has made the voters sell themselves to these thugs and rowdies. Astonishingly these leaders who have made their way up in political arena shamelessly use the loophole in the law to safeguard themselves from their misdeeds. I personally feel that to those who use the loop holes of the law to save their skin have to be tackled with procedures which are not mentioned in the rule book. When the majority are aware that those thugs and rowdies are misusing the power and defending themselves before the court of law using the loopholes and making the mockery of justice it is high time we need to deal with such elements in a different way.

When Sri Krishna came to Mathura along with his big brother Balarama, King Kamsa who was waiting to kill them both organised a wrestling match. It was announced that the bout was to be treated as sport and Kamsa’s greatest wrestlers Chanura and Mustika were to fight Sri Krishna and Balarama. The entire town had gathered to witness the match. Kamsa himself was seated in the royal pavilion. Krishna took on Chanura, and Balarama wrestled with Mustika. Before the match Sri Krishna told the gathering that the match was an eye wash and He was fully aware about the plan of Kamsa to have both the brothers killed by Chanura and Mustika. Krishna hence did not get into the wrestling ring as a sportsperson wearing the sporting gear. He announced that when the ploy was to kill then He too will accept the challenge as combat and not as sport. Krishna was not a hypocrite He announced initially that He will kill Chanura, as He does not consider this gambit as game.

There are times when we need not go by rules when we are tackling crooks…..

1159. Sunlight and Precious Stones.....!

Sunlight falls equally on Diamond, Quartz and White stone. Diamond glitter the most while quartz sparkle a little and white stone shimmer the least. The ability to glitter is not because of the Sunlight but the inherent nature of the stones. Just like the Sunlight we get Prerana (Motivation) from the Avicchina Mula (Eternal Source), our actions are like the glitter from the stones.

Our actions are propelled by our inherent Gunas. Satva Guna pushes the individual to indulge in action befitting all. Rajo Guna draws towards self regarding action. Tamo Guna will not let the individual know which action benefits whom.
These Gunas influence the mind on taking advice to rectify the way we perform our actions.

Pandavas who had Satva Guna in predominance agreed to Vidura Neeti. Kauravas were attracted to Kanika Kuta Neeti. Kanika was the cunning minister of Dhritarashtra he was learned, shrewd and crafty.

Kanika Neeti advocates to “threaten the timid, bow before the strong, bribe the greedy, kill the enemy, if you want to succeed in royal path”.

It says, “Carry your enemy on your shoulder when times are adverse. Once times become favorable, break him, as you smash a mud pot on a stone slab”.

It also advices “Never have mercy on anyone irrespective of whether he is weak or strong, but don’t display it to world. Make the world believe that you are kind and compassionate. Look for all possible chance to kill those who are against you without them suspecting your actions”.

The Kanika Kuta Neeti is a guide lines to the political class now. Every word in it applies to the attitude of a selfish politician of recent times. Not all politicians have the mentality of going with Kanika philosophy there are a few who thread the path of Vidura Neeti too. If those who follow the words Vidura increase and those who heed to Kanika reduce we have a nice place to live.

Going against our inherent nature is not as simple as said but it is not impossible. Once we know that we are going against the will of nature then we need to change course. It is just the matter of acceptance. Even Duryodhana agreed that his actions were against Dharma and he knew about it but did not wish to rectify his actions. It is just lack of will.

For example both Kamsa and Dronacharya knew by whom they will be killed. Kamsa knew that the son of his sister would kill him and Dronacharya knew his friend Drupada's son will kill him. Kamsa ordered to eliminate all the new born in his Kingdom while Dronacharya taught Dristadyumna the art of warfare. Though both were killed according to what was destined the approach made the difference.