Am a teacher by profession. A student of History and international politics. Believe that Bhakti (Devotion) and Humanism can only save Humanity. Revere all creation. My thoughts are influenced by His Holiness Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale
Meaning : Parshuram who is well-versed with the four Vedas and sports the bow and arrow upon his back, that is the one who has the radiance of both the Brahman and the Kshatriya, will destroy the evil doers either with a curse or with an arrow.
Today we talk about his birth. There is a long history about his birth and many people have this question that why born a Brahmin did he hold weapons? Why did he have the qualities of Kshatriya (warriors) being from a class of intellectuals (Brahmins).
We begin this story with Parshuram’s Grandfather Rishi RUCHIK. During his times the warrior class (Kshatriyas) had both wealth and power. They had become very arrogant and led a money – centered life and they gave these Rishis a hell of a time. Ruchik felt very bad about this and felt that the Brahmins need to make these Kshatriyas understand the importance of a God-centered life. So he started moving around amongst the masses educating them about the same. He was very fearless in his approach and this earned him a lot of respect. While moving around the Aryavrat he reached Rishi Vishwamitra’s Ashram. There he met Satyavati, daughter of a powerful king – Gadhiraj. They both met and felt the need to get married.
Now Gadhiraj even though a Kshatriya had lots of respect for Rishi’s and was delighted when he came to know that Rishi Ruchik wanted to marry his daughter. And Ruchik too readily agreed to this as he felt this may lead to smothering of his work of making the other Kshatriyas understand the importance of God centric life.
Now as their family life progressed, Rishi Ruchik got more and more engrossed with his work so Satyavati one day told him that she wanted a son. It is said that Rishi Ruchik prepared a potion with magical powers to give the potion born kid the characteristics of a Brahmin and asked Satyavati to drink it. Satyavati kept it aside saying she will drink it when she will need the son. A few days passed and she again told Rishi Ruchi that as I dont have a son so I dont have a brother. So Rishi Ruchi made a potion for Satyavati’s mother whic would give the option born child the characteristics of a Kshatriya.
Now as destiny would have it, Satyavati took both the options to her mother and told her the whole story. The mother felt that the potion made for Satyavati would be stronger as Rishi Ruchik would certainly want his son to be better and stronger. So she coaxed Satyavati to exchange the potions and they did. They drank their potions.
Satyvati was a very transparent and noble lady.She came and told Rishi Ruchik the whole episode to which the Rishi replied that she will now have a son with Kshatriya qualities.
Satyavati realised he mistake and begged of Rishi Ruchik for forgiveness. And asked to transfer those characteristics into her grandson and not her son. The simple logic was that she believed that she is not going to live that long to see her grandson. And so was born Jamadagni, her son. He is well known for his anger but lived a Rishi’s life.
And this Jamadgni is the father of Parshuram.
So goes this story. Now people might doubt the story and ask intriguing questions too about the same. But I would just point out that today the spread at which genetical science is developing something liked what is told above in the story might be possible in next few decades. We need to learn more about Gene’s, Genetical Sciences and Genetical Engineering. Maybe Rishi Richik did study the Human Genime and knew how to handle it with care.
Let us remember that all this powers with God in center are very beneficial to the society but if they fall in wrong hands can be very evil. And then to destroy such an evil, an avatar called Parshuram will have to take birth.
There are still many stories surrounding Parshuram regarding beheading of his mother and his cleansing of the Kshatriya Clan 21 times. But leave it for next time.
On this day of His birth, we not only bow down to the Great Parshuram but also need to acknowledge the work done by His ancestors in the upliftment of the society.
Let us all pledge to study these characters in the right way so that the Science hidden behind the stories is revealed to us and we understand them better.
Let Bhagwan Parshuram deliver us all from untruth and lead us to truth.
PS : Those who would love to know the details can read the discourses of Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale on Avatar in his book “Dashavataar” based on which my thinking and this blog has taken shape.
A day when Bhagwaan Rishabhdev broke His year long fast by drinking sugarcane juice through his cupped hands (Varshi Tap Paarna)…
The day when Bhagwaan Vyas started dictating Mahabharat to Bhagwaan Ganesha… day when farmers in India start the farming work for the monsoon season by decorating their cattle and worshipping their fields (Bhoomi Pujan)…
A day when Maa Ganga descended on Mother Earth…
The day when Lord Parshuram was born…
At the beginning, I mentioned that its is one of the 3 and half mahurats, auspicious time to begin anything new. Akshay Tritaya alongwith Dusshara, Gudhi Padwa and Kartik Poornima (half day) are considered as the most auspicious days to begin a new venture. Akshay Tritiya day falls on the 3rd day of the bright half (shukla paksha) of Vaishakha of the lunar month. (It falls in later half of April or first half of may according to western calendar). The whole day is a day to acquire wisdom, think and begin anew.
“Akshay’ means one which never diminishes. Tritiya means the third day. So it is believed that anything that we acquire or begin on this day, will never be diminished.
It is also considered as the birthday of Goddess Annapurna (the Goddess of Food). She too is worshipped today.
The Bengalis worship Lord Ganesha and Laxmiji and begin their new audit year, this day. It is called “Halkhata” in the local language.
Bhagwaan Rishabhdev, the first Tirthankar of the Jains, broke his fast on this day. A year long fast! I always wondered how they could do it. But this is “Tap”, ( the readiness to bear both pain and happiness, not to be delighted in one’s happiness and not to be bogged down in distress). Also, they (24 Tirthankara’s) in their pursuit of finding the truth about oneself, sometimes got lost in themselves and forgot to partake food. The fire within, for this pursuit was so hot that it engulfed all other worldly desires. This pursuit of truth has always been, is and will always be “Akshay”.
Mahabharat, the great epic, was started to be written today. It has covered all relations and all topics under the Sun. There is an episode before the Mahabharata was started to be written. When Bhagwaan Vyas asked Ganesha, the God of wisdom, to write his dictation, Ganesha said that it would be possible only on one condition that Vyas would not stop once he starts dictating. Bhagwaan Vyas readily agreed and put forth his condition that Ganesha will understand what is being told and then write it down. And so it is said that Vyas would speak a few sentences which were difficult to interpret for Ganesha and would take a break. The truthulness behind the episode is difficult to be adjudged, but this conveys to us the greatness of Bhagwaan Vyas. The Mahabharat in it’s true sense is a book of undiminished “akshay” wisdom.
Mother Ganga descending upon the earth is one of the most beautiful glacial phenomenon, an human can envisage and see happening in his own lifetime. Bhagirath, the great King, was able to do this. It’s an engineering marvel. Even today, people go upto ‘Gomukh’, the caves from where Ganga appears, but the exact place of Her origin is still unknown. The flow of Ganga is continuous and divine. The divinity within Her waters is something which will never be diminished “Akshay”.
I have decided to write on Bhagwaan Parshuram, the 6th incarnate of Lord Vishnu, today in my series on Avataar. But later in the day.
On this most auspicious day of Akshay Tritiya, I wish all my readers a very Happy Akshay Tritiya.
May Goddess Annapurna bless every field with lots of crops and every kitchen with unlimited and delicious meals.
May Bhagwaan Rishabhdev bless us all with the zeal and enthusiasm in our unending pursuit of eternal truth.
May Bhagwan Vyas and Ganeshji bless everyone with undiminishing wisdom.
May the ever flowing Ganga cleanse our bodies and minds and fill them with divine thoughts.
We know Pokhran-II was the series of five nuclear bomb test explosions conducted by India at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in May 1998.It was the second Indian nuclear test; the first test, code-named Smiling Buddha, was conducted in May 1974.
Pokhran-II consisted of five detonations, of which the first was a fusion bomb and the remaining four were fission bombs. These nuclear tests resulted in a variety of sanctions against India by a number of major states, including Japan and the United States.
On 11 May 1998, Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) was initiated with the detonation of one fusion and two fission bombs. On 13 May 1998, two additional fission devices were detonated, and the Indian government led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee shortly convened a press conference to declare India a full-fledged nuclear state.
Would surely recall the contribution of the great son of India, renowned scientist and Bharat Ratna President A P J Abdul Kalam and the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes, too.
The young readers of today would surely love to know how the global detective USA was tricked into not knowing about the tests and how they were conducted. They can watch the movie “Parmaanu” to understand the nitty gritties of the same.
Wishing you all a very Happy National Technology Day.
Totally there are 76 verses which the Charan, without any fear, has sung them in from of Akbar.
Will urge all my readers to find these verses and learn and appreciate the poetry of the Charan. We come to know the true history of our great Kings and our ancestors.
Rana Pratap had defeated Akbar’s forces many a times but it is not known to us as the history we study does not tell us. Historians call Akbar the Great and as a saviour of all, then why did Rana have to live in the jungles of Aravalli? Had he gone there for a picnic? Modern history is quiet about this. Why? Can we not tell the truth about Maharana Pratap and stop glorifying the Moghuls? The FACT is that Rana had taken a pledge to live in the jungles and sleep on the floor and eat simple food till He drives Akbar and his forces out of India.
And our modern day historians, the Nehruvians and the Communists tell us that we have to keep some portions of history out of reach of common man to stop the hatred spreading between two communities. Nonsense, does fighting for Motherland lead to hatred? Does fighting for ones freedom lead to hatred? Does not accepting slavery of the so called Masters lead to hatred? But they will follow their own set agenda.
So readers we need to find our history on our own. And we all will learn from history. Maharana Pratap has never hated anyone but at the same time not spared anyone who comes in between him and his freedom, him and his motherland. And no thinking and rational person would deny that.
Today on the birthday of Maharana Pratap, I bow down before him that we Hindus survived because of him and many great kings like who did not get into serving their masters over their Motherland.
Today will share a few poems written by some of the poets about Mothers.
Mother o’ Mine
If I were hanged on the highest hill, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine! I know whose love would follow me still, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
If I were drowned in the deepest sea, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine! I know whose tears would come down to me, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
If I were damned of body and soul, I know whose prayers would make me whole, Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!
– Rudyard Kipling.
Gods Special Creation
The hand that rocks the cradle also makes the house a home. It is the prayers of the mother that keeps the family strong.
Mother rises early in the morning and bathes her day in prayer. She talks to God about her family and places them in His care.
Mother communicates her love in a thousand different ways. When there’s a need, she is there, whether it is night or day.
Mother seasons life with love and gives so much of herself. God placed in her the best He had and made her unlike anyone else.
When challenges come our way and when trials block our view, Mother kneels down beside her bed and prays the family through.
Mother is God’s special creation. She is a light shining in the dark, illuminating the path for her family and pointing them toward God.
– Lenora McWhorter
Thank You MOM
You tell me that you love me when I don’t love myself. You’re the one who holds my hand when I need the most help. You smile when you’re sad to make me smile too. You make my life so much better by everything you do.
The first time you held me, I knew I was safe. Being in your arms is still my favorite place. Every second of my life I know that I will be loved, Because God sent his most loving angel from above.
Your heart is so pure, your smile is so genuine. You taught me how to love and how to be a gentleman. You’re the only girl in the world that I will ever need. Thank you for teaching me how to love and believe.
You make my life so easy by making your life tough. I could give you the world for that, but that wouldn’t be enough. Every day of my life I try to be like you, Because the world would be a better place with someone else like you.
– Miller Motla
Friends I reiterate myself that Everyday is a Mother’s Day.
One of the five main acharyas in India, the other being Aadi Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbakacharya and Ramanujacharya.
Vallabha means “dear one“.
Born today, that is the 11th day of the dark half of lunar month of Chaitra at Champaranya.
Son of Illamma and Lakshman Bhatta.
People say that His was a still birth so his parents left Him under a tree wrapped in white clothes. Later Shree Krishna appeared in their dreams to tell them that it is He who has arrived in this form and is well alive. The bewildered parents rushed back to the place to find the kid alive.
Studied Vedas at a very young age and earned the title of “Baal Saraswati“. Participated in many debates and earned the titles of “Acharya” and “Jagadguru” at the age of 12.
Later travelled throughout India, not once, not twice but thrice to explain Krishna bhakti and spread Vaishnavism.
He gave discourses on Bhagwat at 84 different places known as “Baithakji” (seats of learning) today. These “Baithakji’s” still have a relevance for all the practising Vaishnavas even today and a visit to any Baithakji is a divine experience. Every Vaishnava wishes to visit all the 84 places once in his life time.
Later, in Gokul he initiated his first disciple and laid the foundations of what we know today as Pushtimarg (Path of Grace). He made the first Vaishnava by giving / teaching him the important “Brahma Sambandh” (Realisation of a person’s relation with the Almighty).
He gave the mantra, “Shree Krishna Sharanam Mamah” (श्री कृष्ण शरणं ममः) to Surdasji and initiated him to the Vaishnavaite fold. We all know Surdas through his devotional songs which he has sung for the Lord Incarnate. The mantra itself explains complete devotion to Lord Krishna.
“SHARANAM” means to offer oneself to the wish of God. To believe that it is only Krishna who can take care of oneself. To believe that He operates our life and full submit oneself to Him and become His instrument.
He took Samaadhi at a very young age of 52 into the waters of the Ganges at Kashi.
His work “Madhurashtakam” is a lucid yet romantic version for Shrinathji, the deity at Nathdwara. In it, He glorifies Shrinathji and all His activities, ending every verse with the line “Madhuradhipate Akhilam Madhuram” (every act of the Lord is madhur). Madhur as a noun means sweet, tender, full; as an adjective means melodious, beautiful, sweet.
Many of His works are still being read and His followers are still trying to understand what the Acharya has written.
He talks about God being in the form of a child. He has hence asked Vaishnavas to worship the “Baal Krishna” (Krishna in child form). And treat the Lord as a child. As we fulfill all the wishes of the children, we should fulfill all the wishes of the Lord. The devotees express their love for the Lord by acts of giving Him a bath and feeding Him and making Him sleep. The tradition of 8 Darshans, from Mangala (Rising) to Shayan (Sleeping) are started by Vallabhacharyaji. The significance of these 8 darshans is that the Lord is just like us. He is no different and so we need not be afraid of Him, rather as He is a child, shower Him with all the love we can.Such a personality is called the Mahaprabhu.
Our seer’s called him so meaning He is the greatest amongst the Gods. Revered Pandurang Shastriji Athavale explains it in his own simple way that “Jo Bhagwaan ko milne bulaaye aur Bhagwaan ko aana pade, aise jo log hain unhe Mahaprabhu kehte hain”, (the Lord upon being called, is compelled to come to meet, such is a Mahaprabhu)
On this day of Varuthini Ekadashi, I bow down to this anshavataar and during these days hope that we all will chant the mantra he gave to this world “Shree Krishna Sharanam Mamah”.
Today I write about one of my favourite political characters Golda Meir, the only female Prime Minister of the Holy land of Israel.
A devout Jew
A committed Nationalist
A strong leader
The iron lady of Israeli Politics
She is often portrayed as the “strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people.”
Golda was born today, in 1898, in Kyiv, Russia Kingdom (present day Ukraine). Her father Moshe Mabovitch left to find work in New York Coty in 1903. In his absence, the rest of the family moved to Pinsk to join her mother’s family. In 1905, Moshe moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in search of higher-paying work, and found employment in the workshops of the local local railroad yard. The following year, he had saved up enough money to bring his family to the United States.
Golda’s mother Blume Mabovitch ran a grocery store on Milwaukee’s north side, where by the age of eight Golda had been put in charge of watching the store when her mother went to the market for supplies. Golda attended the Fourth Street Grade School (now Golda Meir School) from 1906 to 1912. A leader early on, she organized a fundraiser to pay for her classmates’ textbooks. After forming the American Young Sisters Society, she rented a hall and scheduled a public meeting for the event.
At 14, Golda studied and worked part time too. Her mother wanted her to get married but she declined. She bought a train ticket of train to Denver and went to live with her married sister, Sheyna, whom she was very close too. Here she was exposed to the Zionist philosophy, literature, woman suffrage, trade unionism and many more things.
In Denver, she also met Morris Meyerson, a sign painter, whom she later married on December 24, 1917.
When Golda and Morris married in 1917, settling in Palestine was her precondition for the marriage. So they moved to Palestine, after the First World War. In Palestine, Meir and her husband joined a kibbutz. Their first application to kibbutz Merhavia in the Jezreel Valley was rejected, but later they were accepted. Her duties included picking almonds, planting trees, working in the chicken coops, and running the kitchen. Recognizing her leadership abilities, the kibbutz chose her as its representative to the Histadrut, the General Federation of Labour.
In 1924, the couple left the kibbutz and lived briefly in Tel Aviv before settling in Jerusalem. There they had two children, a son Menachem (1924) and a daughter Sarah (1926)
In 1928, Meir was elected secretary of Moetzet HaPoalot (Working Women’s Council), which required her to spend two years (1932–34) as an emissary in the United States. The children went with her, but Morris stayed in Jerusalem. Morris and Golda grew apart, but never divorced
In 1934, when Meir returned from the United States, she joined the Executive Committee of the Histadrut and moved up the ranks to become the head of its Political Department. This appointment was important training for her future role in Israeli leadership.
The next two events of her life fill each woman on Mother Earth with pride and made the world realise the potential of Golda. One was her fundraising trip to America and second was her trip to Amman, Jordan.
In January 1948, the treasurer of the Jewish Agency was convinced that Israel would not be able to raise more than seven to eight million dollars from the American Jewish community. Golda traveled to the United States, and she raised $50,000,000, which was used to purchase arms in Europe for the young country. Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion wrote that Golda’s role as the “Jewish woman who got the money which made the state possible” would go down one day in the history books
On May 10, 1948, four days before the official establishment of Israel, Golda traveled to Amman, disguised as an Arab woman, for a secret meeting with King Abdullah I of Transjordan, at which she urged him not to join the other Arab countries in attacking the Jews. Abdullah asked her not to hurry to proclaim a state. To which Golda replied: “We’ve been waiting for 2,000 years. Is that hurrying?”
Can go on and on and on writing about Golda about She became the PM, how she became Golda Meir from Golda Meyerson, what work she did for Israel. And many more things. But this blog has become to long and I leave those memories from history for some other time.
Many of you might have felt that why begin with wishes for May Day first and Maharashtra Day the last! Cause that answer lies in its history.
My kid that day morning asked me, “Pappa what is the importance of this day? Why is it celebrated as international workers day and Maharashtra day?”
An unexpected question from a 10 year old made me think. I did explain to him about the socialist revolution and their fight for the cause of workers. A lot of workers blood was shed while fighting for their rights. How 1 May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. In that year beginning on 1 May, there was a general strike for the eight hour work day. On 4 May, the police acted to disperse a public assembly in support of the strike when an unidentified person threw a bomb. The police responded by firing on the workers. The event lead to the death of eight and injury of sixty police officers as well as an unknown number of civilian killed or wounded. Hundreds of labour leaders and sympathizers were later rounded-up and four were executed by hanging, after a trial that was seen as a miscarriage of justice.
And also how India after independence was divided into linguistic states. How Maharashtra and Gujarat were born! How there was bloodshed for the same! Some politicians just for their own selfish motives dividing India on basis of language. India after being divided on basis of caste, class, kingdoms (small and large); now was Her turn to be divided on basis of language. The founding fathers of India never have envisaged India divided on language and history will never forgive the leaders who fought for such petty political gains. Yet we citizens accept this division and will wish each other Jay Maharashtra and Jay Gujarat as if we are different. It is a day to think that are we different? Aren’t we all Indians? Having an identity with language is not a problem, but dividing people on basis of language is. Indians need to get out of this mentality, respect each other’s language and rise above the narrow minded borders that have been created. Yes let the borders exist for administration and better working of a country and now after all the carnage lectures accept these borders. As trying to draw new borders will come up with new problems.
While explaining all this I was lead to think that, is this the only reason to celebrate / commemorate 1st May? Or is there some other reason too? Can our human history be so narrow-minded? So took to the internet to find my answers. And I was proved right. History is always broad minded, not like humans who write it.
Sharing a few excerpts of what I found on the internet…
“The earliest May Day celebrations appeared with the Floralia, festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, held on April 27 during the Roman Republic era, and with theWalpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries.
The day was a traditional summer holiday in many European pagan cultures.
While February 1 was the first day of spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) wasMidsummer.
As Europe became Christianised, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and May Day changed into a popular secular celebration.
A significant celebration of May Day occurs in Germany where it is one of several days on which St. Walburga, credited with bringing Christianity to Germany, is celebrated.
The secular versions of May Day, observed in Europe and North America, may be best known for their traditions of dancing around the may pole and crowning the Queen of May.
Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours’ doorsteps”.
(Source – Wikipedia).
Humans have been naturalists from the very beginning. The last few hundred years have made them more aggressive towards nature and environment. Human wants to control nature. But the last 14 months have proved otherwise. Let us accept our limitations and not try to ride nature. So, on this very day, let us all pledge to take care of our environment and love the nature.
Let’s save Mother Earth not out of necessity but love for her.
She is our mother and takes care of Her Children without any expectations.
Let us coexist and thrive to achieve what the Creator has made us for.
Last 4 years the one character whom I am continuously writing upon is Hanuman, Maruti.
An embodiment of strength and valour
An epitome of devotion and dedication
An unbiased and transparent intellectual
An observant messenger and conveyor
Bow down to such a servant of Ram – Shree Hanuman.
Today on His Birthday, am at a loss of words and thoughts when I realise that I need to imbibe in my life what I write about Shree Hanuman. And so am just sharing the links to my last 4 blogs on Maruti. Would request my readers to go through them again and together let’s pray to Ram to help us imbibe the qualities of Hanuman discussed in them, into our lives.
But the one who is brave, can kill yet forgives is Mahaveer.
I wish all my readers a very Happy Mahaveer Jayanti.
– an apostle of Non Violence (Ahimsa)
– an apostle of Non attachment (Aparigraha)
– an apostle of Non stealing (Asteya)
– a proponent of Truthfulness (Satya)
– a proponent of Chastity (Brahmacharya)
A great soul born to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishaladevi of the Ikshvaku dynasty. He was called Vardhamaan, as his birth brought lots of wealth and name to his father’s kingdom.
He lived a prince’s life. He married Yashodhara and had a daughter from her, Priyadrashana.
He renounced life at an early age of around 30 and left all the attachments, even clothes. It is said that he took just a piece of cloth on renunciation and that too during the journey through the woods tore of and was entangled in the thorny bushes. He became “Digambara” (one whose clothes are the directions of the sky).
He performed severe penance for 12 years and attained Keval Gnan (blissful knowledge) before he gave his first Deshna. In total it is said that he gave total 55 pravachans in his life as an ascetic and He travelled the breadth and width of India. His final teachings (sermons given on the last 6 days of his life) are still studied by the munis of the Jain order.
At the age of 72, he attained Nirvana (liberation of the soul from the law of karma and life after death). A Jal Mandir exists even today in Pawapuri, in Bihar where he attained Nirvana. It is a very revered place of pilgrimage for Jains.
Let us also understand that Mahaveer did not start the Jain Dharma. He just carry forward the legacy of the 23 Teerthankara’s before him, from Adinath also known as Rishabhdev to Parshvanath. But it seems that He reached out to the masses and Jain thought came to be established as a Dharma.
Mahaveer’ s legacy was carried forward by the word of mouth by his 11 disciples called the Gandhara’s. They spread His thought far and wide. Many of His works are lost and a few which remain are a part of the Jain Agamas, which were compiled later.
It is difficult to write everything all that Bhagwaan Mahaveer did in his life in a single blog, so today will just bow down before Him.Jainam Jayati Shashanam.
Today is World Book Day. The books shape us and our thinking. They help us grow and learn.
First and foremost let me state emphatically that am an avid reader. Was exposed to books at a very small age as was a loner in my childhood days. Loved to live with myself and so my best friends at that time were books. Read a lot of Champak and Chandamama, which people of my genre will recall. The early 80’s were the beginning of Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha for me. Shikari Sambhu was my favourite at that time. So was Supandi. The characters portrayed by Amar Chitra Katha were the guiding force at that time. I still remember reading Sons of the Pandavas with Abhimanyu and Ghatotkacha covered in them. There were small libraries being run at every nook and corner of the main roads of Mumbai and I very vividly remember kids thronging them to borrow books.
I frequently visited the school library after Standard 6th. Our School Librarian was very helpful. Our library had a vast collection of books covering topics that my generation would need, from Study books to novels to fiction to mythology and philosophy. Out teachers used to coax us to read a book a week and I am grateful to them. The books I read in those years includes the Hardy boys, Famous Five, Agatha Christie and Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Lest I forget I should also mention Noddy, which we read in School in our library period in Standard 3. The Adventures of Tintin also played a very important part in my life. Still recall Snowy, his dog, the absent minded Professor Calculas, the twin policemen Thompson and Thomson and the bold and courageous Captain Haddock and his phrases like Ten Thousand Thundering Typhoons and Blistering Barnacles.
As age passed by I was more inclined towards history. Reading Indian History of Indian Independence and learning from the people who fought for our independence is what attracted me the most. Subhashchandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Chaphekar brothers, Lokmanya Tilak, Veer Savarkar, Senapati Bapat, Sardar Patel, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan and Mahatma Gandhi are still the bright lights of my life. Very little was available about the revolutionaries then or maybe I knew little but tried and still try to gather from wherever and whomsoever I could and read.
Then when I came in contact with Swadhyay, my reading took another turn. Took to reading philosophy and trying to understand the meaning of life. It attracted me the most as the way Dadaji (Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale) expounds the concepts of Vedas and Upanishads logically and based on reason. The best thing about Him is that He made me learn to look at both the sides of the coin. That slowly broadened my way of looking at the world. And through His lectures was tempted to read more and more books related to History, Philosophy and Psychology and different studies. And so it continues till today.
Today am making a list of books which I have read. The list is quite huge but am sharing the books which made impressions on my life… Am just sharing their titles with you all..
1. Geetamritam – A treatise on the Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta by Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale
1.a. Bilvapatra, Pandurangashtakam, Madhurashtakam, Shree Krishnashtakam, Homage to Saints Part 1/2, Shree Krishna Jeevan Darshan, Valmiki Ramayan Darshan, Rishi Smaran, Dashavataar, Divine manifestations of Lord Shiva, Murtipuja, Ganga Lahiri, Vedsaarshivastav, Anandlahiri, Thoughts on Ancient Indian Heritage, Geeta Simhaavalokan, Sanskruti Pujan – all by Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale.
2. Geeta Pravachane – Shri Vinoba Bhave
3. Geeta Rahasya – Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
3.a. Orion, The Arctic Home of the Vedas – Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak
4. Raj Yoga and Bhakti Yoga – Swami Vivekanand
5. Manache Shlok – Swami Ramdas
6. Future Shock, Paradigm Shift, The Third Wave – Allwyn Toffler
7. The Tao of Physics – Fritjof Capra
8. Raja Shivchhatrapati – Lokshahir Babasaheb Purandare
9. Shakuntaleya Bharat – Babubhai Vaidya
10. Gujarat no Nath, Patan ni Prabhuta, Jay Somnath, Prithvi Vallabh, Krishnaavtaar Vol 1–8, Bhagna Paduka, Lopamudra, Lomharshini, Bhagwaan Parshuraam – Kanhaiyalal Munshi
11. Parth ne kaho chadhave baan – Pannalal Patel
12. 1857- the first war of Independence, Mazzini, Majhi Janmathep, 6 golden pages of Indian History, Hindu Rashtra – Swatantryaveer Savarkar
A small movement which began in 1970 is now celebrated worldwide to create an awareness about Our own Earth and the efforts we need to make to save Her. I pay my respects to Mother Earth, today with this small poem.
Last year on Ram Navmi I shared about Ram being an ideal son. There are many facets to His life but today let’s talk about Ram being an Ideal Brother.
It is well known that Ram had 3 other siblings namely Bharat, Laxman and Shatrughna. But very few people know that Ram had a sister too, Shanta. But the great poet philospher Rishi Valmiki too has not tried to describe the relation between the brothers and their sister. So I too rest my words by just acknowledging her presence.
Regarding the brothers we all know how well knit their relationship was. When Ram learns about his father wishing to install Bharat as the king of Ayodhya, he happily accepts the decision as he has never considered himself different from Bharat. Even in the jungle, when Bharat comes to Chitrakoot to take him back to Ayodhya and Laxman castes aspersions over Bharat’s coming, it is Ram who has calmed Laxman with his belief in Bharat. He clearly states that Bharat has come to take them back. The trust which He had in his brothers is remarkable and needs to be emulated in these new times.
His love for Laxman is unparalleled.
They both are inseparable.
They live for each other.
They listen to each other.
They compliment each other.
They breathe for each other.
When Laxman fell unconscious by an arrow fired by Indrajeet, the way Ram has lamented is something which everyone needs to read. It clearly shows how much he loved his brother. He is ready to fight with the whole world for his brother. His anger, his grief, his anguish are nothing but out of love for Laxman.
Another instance which makes things crystal clear is when Laxman has to give up his life for breaking a rule. Will not go into the whole story, but Ram was not ready to order Laxman to give up his life. But it was a rule, and in Ram Rajya, even if Ram breaks the rule then he has to undergo punishment. So he does tell Laxman likewise, but he cannot take this idea if separation from his brother. And he too gives up his life by immersing himself in Sarayu river.
Such love between siblings is difficult to find and understand.
So on this Ram Namvi day, let us pray to Ram to give us the understanding about our relationships with our siblings and bless us all with the same.
Wishing you all and everyone at home a very Happy Ram Navmi.
Readers I plan to write on a topic which is very close to my heart – The Avatars of Vishnu.
Let me at the beginning itself clarify that I do not equate Avatar as an incarnation. As there is a difference between the meaning of the 2 words itself. Avataran for me is प्रादुर्भाव। Incarnation is an embodiment of a deity/ spirit or quality in the flesh. When we Indians say Avataran we mean that the “परब्रह्म” takes a form. Simple logic being that one who made these different forms, cannot He decide and take a form for Himself!
I know that when I speak this, am from the minor few in this world who believe in any form of “परब्रह्म”. But I have my strong convictions about the same. In the same breathe I respect those who do not believe or are not ready to accept any form of “परब्रह्म”. Cause they believe anything which has form, needs to be born. Once born, it has to deteriorate and later at some time die. But “परब्रह्म” is never born. Respecting this point of view, I quote Whitehead – ” Human form is the most intimate form for me”, meaning that we all need someone or something in whom we can confide and trust. Then why not confide and trust in the “परब्रह्म” I believe in. And so if I need to talk and share, I need HIM to be in some form. That’s the need of a Human form.
Avatar means to “come down”. But that makes HIM different from me. And I cannot exist without HIM. So I like the word प्रादुर्भाव – HE rises from me, from amongst us. And I will narrate the story of Matsya (Fish) keeping this meaning in mind.
Today is Matsya Jayanti. The day when “परब्रह्म” took the form of a Fish to save the mankind.
At this juncture should also clarify the Shlok which is always quoted for Avatar. The most famous Shloks of Chapter 4 of the Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta :
यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर्भवति भारत | अभ्युत्थानमधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्यहम् || 7||Whenever there is a decline in righteousness and an increase in unrighteousness, O Arjun, at that time I manifest myself on earth.
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् | धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे || 8|| To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age.
In the reasons of HIS coming to the Earth, “परब्रह्म” says the main reason is to increase the righteousness. Also people generally believe that the Avatar is to annihilate the wicked but let’s read the understanding of the shlok 8 again. It says – to protect the righteous परित्राणाय साधूनां. This is the first reason behind the Avatar. Yes while protecting the righteous if the wicked need to be annihilated, then they will be annhilitated. But the reason of coming is not only annihilation.
So all those who say that let the world deteriorate and the “परब्रह्म” will come and save this world are wrong. The basis of Avatar is “प्रयत्नवाद”। HE comes to save the people who are making efforts – to save the Civilisation, Humanity and Righteousness. In the middle ages when India was being ruled by the Moghuls and the British, our History has been changed or twisted in a wrong way. And we the people of our Motherland have stopped thinking critically about our own History and are just learning what our rulers told us then and tell us now.
So as I said that I take the meaning of Avatar as प्रादुर्भाव and keeping HIS promise (Geeta Chap 4 Shlok 7-8) in mind will write about Avatar.
Also our Purans have many different Avatars of Vishnu, Shiv and other Gods. But I will be sticking to the different Avatar of Vishnu – 10 to be specific. We begin with the first Avatar of Vishnu – Matsya Avatar.
Wishing all my friends, students, fellow bloggers and their families a very Happy New Year on occasion of Gudhi Padwa, Ugadi, Yugadi, Navreh (Kashmir) and Cheti Chaand.
The day, when :
Brahma (The Creator) created the world. It is believed that after the deluge, Brahma, recreated the world. The time restarted.
Shalivahan defeated the Huns and returned to Paithan, his capital.
As it is considered an auspicious day, (one mauhurat amongst the 3 and a half auspicious mahurats), it is said that Shivaji along with his Mavlas began his conquest for a Hindavi Swaraj on this day.
Today, I want to talk about Shalivahan, the great Satvahan King. A few thousand years back, after Gazni had invaded and looted and plundered India, the Huns entered India. They were just interested in two things. Women and Gold. They were considered amongst the most uncivilized people, then. They faced no or little resistance when they entered India and so entered deeper and deeper and reached Central India.Here they faced the first big resistance. It was from none other than the Satvahan King Shalivahan. He invigorated his soldiers and forced the Huns back to their country. He emerged victorious and returned back to Paithan. People welcomed him by hoisting Gudi’s outside their houses.
(There is another version of historical events, wherein it is said that Shalivahan defeated the mighty Vikramaditya and returned to Paithan. I leave upto my reader to decide his/her own version)
But the question which comes to everyone’s mind is that every king, to expand his kingdom attacks another kingdom, and one of them would surely emerge victorious. So what is so big that an entire calendar was started in Shalivahan’s name?
As I said above, that Shalivahan defeated the Huns. The folklore says that the people of his kingdom had heard about the exploits of the Huns and were not ready to fight them, fearing their ferocity. Shalivahan, then made these mud doll soldiers (mud dolls made into soldiers) and brought them to life and led them into the war to defeat the Huns.
Now this sounds mythological and against scientific temperament. And I agree.We need to understand our history with a right perspective. The people were not ready to fight. They were mentally not prepared to fight. They had become doll like, just did their routine work and tried to live happily. They didn’t want any problems in their lives. Shalivahan toured his Kingdom, talked to his people and motivated them to lift up arms to defend their motherland. The people trusted their King and his will to defeat the enemies. So they with this new found vigour fought against the Huns and emerged victorious. The citizens of Paithan welcomed their brave King by hoisting Gudhi’s outside their houses.
The Gudhi signifies Brahmadwaj. Sometimes it is also referred to as Indradhwaj. Gudhi is a bright colorful silk scarf-like cloth tied at the top of a long bamboo. On top of it, one or more boughs ofneemleaves and mango leaves are attached along with a garland of flowers. This arrangement is capped with a silver, bronze or copper pot (handiorkalash) signifying victory or achievement. The whole arrangement is hoisted outside each household, typically to the right, or through a window or terrace and will be visible to everyone passing by. Gudhi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.
The delicacies cooked at home on this day is just the one which blends with the season of Spring. And we all wait to just get back him to nourish them.
Like the last year on the New Year Day, we are all at home.
Let’s plan to do something which is good for everyone of us in the family.
Let us decide one thing that we all will sit together in the evening and pray to God for the well being of Mankind. Ram Navmi is coming up, if we all know, we can chant Ram Raksha Stotram together.
Let us study our history, culture and Sanskruti.
Let us understand the importance of values and try to imbibe them in our lives.
Again wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a Happy Chaitri Navratri.
The day of Holi has arrived. We all will lite up wooden logs to mark the arrival of Summer. The Prasad of coconut and Jaggery is to cool our body and prepare it for the coming summer’s. The next day is celebrated as “Dhulivandan” or “Rang Panchami”.
But do we know the historical significance of Holi?
Why do we celebrate it?
How is it related to Prahlad?
Who is Holika, who is supposed to have been burnt of the Holy pyre?
Let us take ourselves back to a time, more than 15000, maybe 17000 years back, (a time I leave upto historians and archaeologists to decide) when Man had learnt agriculture and started settling down. The Varah Avtaar had started a civilisation. The Avtaar of Vishnu had just killed Hiranyaksh (the one whose eyes see Gold everywhere and in every thing). People were moving from an only materialistic outlook to a spiritual one. From looking outside to looking inside. For that they needed to settle down, and not move from one place to another like nomads in search of food. Vishnu, the Operator, had taught his people to sow and cultivate and this led to their settling down at a place. Once the problem of basic necessities was solved, people started looking inwards. Now it is very easy to write the whole transformation in a few sentences, but it must have taken years of toil to do this. Imagine how much time we take when we want to change one habit! But, the road to civilisation is always filled with obstacles. There were many people who just loved the life of a Nomad and just loved accumulating wealth. Their leader at that time was Hiranyakashyap, the brother of Hiranyaksh. He did not believe in the ways of Vishnu and did not want a civilisation to thrive. He believed that action is the highest good and sitting back, looking inside oneself, would make people, lazy and overdependent on a God who was never seen nor heard. So he simply didn’t believe in God and tormented and tortured people who did believe. He had built his empire on the basis of Action, Action and only Action to earn Gold, Gold and only Gold. Many people despised him and his ways but did not have the courage and strength to fight Hiranyakashyap. Such people like Hiranyakashyap have been called “Rakshas”, the one who believes that one can take care of oneself. They did not have any horns on their head or have any long teeth like the ones shown in serials or as articulated in books and by “kathakaars”. They were normal people like you and me, dressed in their best attire and ornaments. Only difference was they believed only in today and worked for today. They did not believe in the authority of the Vedas. They did not believe in Life after Death. They believed in “Aham Rakshyami” ( I can take care of myself)
But Nature has its own ways.
Hiranyakashyap had a son “Prahlad”. He was an ardent devotee of Shree Vishnu. He believed in civilisation and used to go house to house to spread His thought. He was a small kid so used to share his thoughts with his friends. Some elders found this irritating so they complained to Hiranyakashyap. The King tried many methods of changing Prahlad’s way of thinking. The first being through education. He sent Prahlad to the best teachers in town. Prahlad would question and counter question them, leading to the other kids gathering around Him and slowly they started doing what Prahlad said. The teachers tried to drive sense in this boy! But he was very firm with his thoughts. The kids in turn would go home and share these thoughts with their parents. The thoughts spread like wild fire and slowly the tide started changing. The believers of Vishnu started gaining strength. Now all this must have taken some years to happen. At last the teachers became completely frustrated and sent back Prahlad to Hiranyakashyap citing their inabilities to teach him.This enraged Hiranyakashyap.
It was like the whole world listened to him and did his biding, except his son. He tried various methods to kill him. Throwing him down a cliff and setting the most poisonous of the snakes onto him. He also planned to get Him killed by intoxicating an elephant, which failed. The people who were given the tasks loved Prahlad so much that they either refrained from performing the tasks or went underground to escape the wrath of Hiranyakashyap. This torture by Hiranyakashyap slowly started increasing the already growing love, of the people, for Prahlad. Cause even in all difficulties Prahlad stood firm in his belief. The anger against Hiranyakashyap started brewing inside the hearts of the people.
The torment reached its pinnacle when Hiranyakashyap with his sister Holika planned to burn Prahlad to ashes on a pyre. It is said that Holika had some kind of technology (maybe what the fire fighters wear today, a coat of asbestos which does not burn) with which she could stay alive in fire and not get burnt. They both decided to make a spectacle of this. So, in midst of the town, Prahlad was asked to sit on the lap of Holika on a wooden pyre and the pyre was lit. But the winds that day were so forceful that the coat which Holika wore to save herself from fire, blew off and killed her before she could even get Prahlad on her lap. The people rejoiced. Now the anger had reached its peak.
By then, Hiranyakshyap was back in his palace with Prahlad bound in chains. The people had followed them to the palace. He shouted at Prahlad to show him his God. Prahlad said that He is everywhere. Hiranyakashyap took his mace in hand and pointing to the people standing there asked whether God existed in those people who stood in front of him like dead pillars? And Prahlad replied in positive. This enraged Hiranyakashyap who lifted his mace to kill Prahlad. But this time, the people had seen and heard enough. They just lost all their senses and in a bid to save Prahlad, pounced upon Hiranyakashyap and killed him. The “nar” (people) had turned to “simha” (lion). Thus Narsimha was born.
After killing Hiranyakashyap, they just went on a rampage. Prahlad approached them and asked them to come back to their senses. People realised that it was only Hiranyakashyap who was to be blamed and not others, accepted their folly and apologised. They lifted Prahlad on their shoulders and crowned him their King. And they celebrated the Day with colours and ashes left from the pyre lit to kill Prahlad. From that day, Holi is lit to remember the trouncing of evil and the advent of the good. The next day is celebrated as Rang Panchami.
People and many respected historians call this mythology and try to belittle our history. But for Macaulay kids, it is simply unimaginable, that India could be so advanced then. They look through their own myopic lens and judge every event from their lessons and own understanding of history. The Wendyputras and putris from India atleast need to open their eyes and look at our history with our perspective and try to understand and explain it.
Hope that the winds on this day will blow off the covers from their eyes and burn their bias towards Indian civilisation.
Let us pray to Bhagwaan Vishnu to lead us to a life that all our Rishis have lived for.
Let us be blessed with unflinching love towards God, like that of Mahatma Prahlad.
Let us all burn all our vices today and fill our lives with colours.
Wishing you all a very Happy Holi and Dhulivandana.
PS: The whole idea behind the history written above is inspired by my guide and elder brother Revered Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale.
The following is an imaginative monologue by a great Rishi born in Modern India who installed Bhagwaan Yogeshwar in a form He envisaged…
Bhagwan, these are testing times for devotees like us who see and worship you in an idol and believe in you and your words. I still cannot come to terms that the rational people of my country have countered Moorti Puja (idol worship) without even going into the rationale behind it. This unreasonable following of the white man is mind boggling and creates an atmosphere of non adherence to the Vedic philosophy and thought process. No doubt the way Moorti Puja is being done today has to be thought about, but in no way can it be out rightly damned or removed from daily life.
Bhagwaan, they call Your form an imagination. Yes it is. But Imagination has many types. Creative Imagination, Aesthetic Imaginatiin and Reconstructive Imagination. You are my Reconstructive imagination. I have seen you during my concentration and now am reconstructing back your form in a stone. I just hope that people some day realise that all the idols world over, whosoever has got them done, have been someone’s respective Reconstructive Imagination too.
Some of your devotees object to giving you a form arguing that one which has form has to take birth. And then later deteriorate to one’s death. Bhagwaan is beyond life and death. Hence our Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh is ‘ajanma’ (without birth) too. It is truly their utmost love for You, that they think so. But a common man like me and thousands like me need your form to talk too, to find solace in. I always wonder and say to myself, that the one who has given birth to so many different spieces with such vivid forms, cannot decide a form for Himself.
As Whitehead says, “Human form is the most intimate form for me.” It is easy for humans like us to relate with another Human. Confide in him and share with him. But Humans have their own vices, then why not confide in You! But how can this be done in a formless being. So you need to take a form. And what better form than a human form.
I call you out, O Yogeshwar, from whom every living and non living manifests and the one who is eternal, to take a form and stay back at a destined place to take care of your devotees who believe in You, which have faith in you and who want to do your Work. With You being around, nothing will be impossible to achieve, including a permanent peace and serenity in this world. Astu
Today India celebrates one of its son, who had a scientific temperament and gave the world an understanding about the intricacies found in Nature.
Today is the Birthday of C.V.Raman who gave us the “Raman Effect“. Simply known to the students as “Scattering of light“. The concept of wavelength to be understood in manner and way with a handful of resources then, is in itself a big achievement.
The best part about this research is that it was done in India. Yes, you read it right! In India, during the 1930’s there were people who had independently tried to perform researches and contribute in their small way to the vast field of science. I emphasize this point as historically we are made to believe that we were an underdeveloped nation without a scientific temperament, which is a hoax. The efforts that our people have put in, with the limited resources is a thing which we need to appreciate.
A step further, I would say, the efforts that the scientists have put in, all over the word, with the limited resources and understandings is a effort that the whole of humanity needs to appreciate. These scientists who try to discover the miracles of nature and understand them, are no less then the Rishis of the Vedic tradition.
Coming back to C.V.Raman, his research for the answer to the colour of the sky being blue, led him to the discovery. Scientist Rayleigh in 1870’s had tried to explain, which did not satisfy Raman and he explored further. A consistent effort of 9 to 10 years led to his explanation of the concept of Scattering of Light. He was awarded the Noble Prize for Physics, for his discovery in 1930.
To remember this great Son and his effort to understand the miracles of Nature, India celebrates his birthday as National Science Day.
Last year, we got an opportunity to visit TIFR ( Tata Institute of Fundamental Research ) in Colaba, Mumbai, during their National Science Day celebrations. It was enlightening experience. My son, nephew accompanied by myself got an opportunity to visit 3 labs in the institute, which was an experience which cannot be described in words. The kids were delighted to learn about superconductivity in one of the labs. My younget kids too loved the smaller experiments which were conducted on their lawns and open for all. He got a chance to see the glass moulding and the study of sound waves. The research scientists and their HOD’s were just great, coming down to the level, that even a 7 year old can understand was a feat to see, understand and imbibe in my life.
TIFR also conducts workshops on various topics called “CHAI and WHY?“. Again a very beautiful concept not known popularly to Mumbaiites. It is 3 hour workshop on a particular concept with a question and answer session. Open for all age groups, again the efforts that the scientists make is a lesson to experience. Would request my readers who have a scientific temperament and those who dont to attend atleast once and see and experience for themselves.
At the end, wishing you all a very Happy Science Day and pray to God that He help us develop a scientific attitude in our lives.
Today is the Birthday of a great Marathi poet, “Kusumagraj”. His contribution to the language as well as the literature has been so big, that his birthday is celebrated as “Marathi Language Day”. As a tribute to this towering personality of his field, I dedicate my post to him, and next what you all read is the language itself, Marathi.
आज मराठी भाषा दिवस आहे. कविश्रेष्ठ कुसुमाग्रज यांचा आज वाढदिवस. त्यांना 1987 सालाचा ज्ञानपीठ पुरस्कार देण्यात आला. त्यांचा गौरव करण्यासाठी, सरकार ने त्यांचा वाढदिवस ‘मराठी भाषा दिन’ म्हणून साजरा करायचे ठरवलं. आज त्यांचीच, एक मला आवडणारी, कृती तूम्हां सर्वां बरोबर सामायिक करतो. 1952 साली लिहीलेली ही कविता, आजही वाचकाला प्रेरित करते.
ओळखलत का सर मला?’ पावसात आला कोणी, कपडे होते कर्दमलेले, केसांवरती पाणी.
क्षणभर बसला नंतर हसला बोलला वरती पाहून, ‘गंगामाई पाहुणी आली, गेली घरट्यात राहुन’.
माहेरवाशिणीसारखी चार भिंतीत नाचली, मोकळ्या हाती जाईल कशी, बायको मात्र वाचली.
भिंत खचली, चूल विझली, होते नव्हते नेले, प्रसाद म्हणून पापण्यांवरती पाणी थोडे ठेवले.
कारभारणीला घेउन संगे सर आता लढतो आहे पडकी भिंत बांधतो आहे, चिखलगाळ काढतो आहे.
A strong proponent of Hindu Philosophy, yet Savarkar was a pragmatic practitioner of the Philosophy. He insisted for validating religious myths/blind faith against the test of modern science. In that sense he was a rationalist and a reformer. While in prison, Savarkar wrote the work describing Hindutva, espousing what it means to be a Hindu, and Hindu pride, in which he defined as all the people descended of Hindu culture as being part of Hindutva, including Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs. In 1921, under restrictions, after signing a plea for clemency (today the narrow minded make fun of him for writing it, but he had a bigger goal in mind and a better work to do than to churn oil everyday in the cellular jail), he was released on the condition that he renounce all his revolutionary and political activities. Travelling widely, Savarkar became a forceful orator and writer, advocating Hindu political and social unity. Serving as the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, a political party, Savarkar endorsed the idea of India as a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation). He even started a temple for the so called untouchables of that time and anointed them as the “pujaris” of the deity of that temple.
Yes, he had his differences with the Congress and its way of working, but he was never personal. He would criticise Nehru and his government’s policies, but never did he personally attack Nehru or any other Congress leader. Yet, he never got pension as a freedom fighter till Nehru was alive. He received it only in the Government of Lal Bahadur Shashtri.
The Congress and particularly, the Gandhi clan hated / hate him to the core and have not left even a single chance to criticise him or politically oppose his thoughts for their own personal gains. He was named in the FIR for plotting to kill Mahatma Gandhi, but acquitted by the Highest Court of our country, the Supreme Court. Yet even today, the so called Gandhi’s blame him for that dastardly act. They even went to the extent of spying on him for years after independence.
He has written many books too. A few but famous amongst them are worth a read. 1857, The First War of Independence, Maajhi Janmathep, The Six Glorious Pages of Indian History, and Hindu-Pad-Patshahi. His poems are still sung by the young and the old with the same fervour and love for country. “Sagara Pran Talmalla” and “Jayostute” imbibe a spirit of Nationalism and love for one’s own country.
On 1 February 1966, Savarkar renounced medicines, food and water which he termed as atmaarpan (fast until death). Before his death, he had written an article titled “Atmahatya Nahi Atmaarpan” (Self sacrifice, not Suicide) in which he argued that when one’s life mission is over and ability to serve the society is left no more, it is better to end the life at will rather than wait for death. On 26 February 1966 at his residence, Savarkar Sadan, in Dadar, Mumbai, he faced difficulty in breathing; efforts to revive him failed and he passed away at 11:10 a.m.
The radiant Sun light merged into the Sun. Today we can just bow down to this Mananshil Vyaktitva and as a tribute try to imbibe atleast one of his thoughts in our life during the coming years.
મારા પ્રિય વાચક મિત્રો ને આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય માતૃભાષા દિન ની ખૂબ ખૂબ વધામણી. આ મારો ગુજરાતી માં પહેલો બ્લોગ છે. તેથી મારી વ્યાકરણની જે પણ ભૂલો થાય તે બદલ હું ક્ષમાપ્રાર્થી છું.
મને હંમેશા પ્રશ્ન રહ્યો છે કે બોલાતી ભાષા ને માતૃભાષા જ કેમ કહેવાય? પિતૃભાષા કેમ નહીં? જો પુરૂષ પ્રધાન સમાજ હોય તો તેમજ હોવું જોઈએ, નહીં? લગ્ન પછી ખ્યાલ આવ્યો કે ઘરે ક્યાં પુરૂષોને બોલવા મળે છે! સ્ત્રીઓ જ બોલે. તો એને માતૃભાષા જ કહેવાય ને. આમેય રોજ સવારે મુંબઈ ની લોકલ ટ્રેન માં સવારી કરતા અને વિધ વિધ વિષયો પર મોટે મોટે થી ચર્ચા કરતા પુરૂષોને સાંભળો એટલે દરેક ની સ્થિતિનો ખ્યાલ આવે. જોકે એક વાત ની સ્પષ્ટતા કરી લઉં કે મારા ઘરમાં અમે ત્રણ પુરૂષો જ વધુ બોલીયે છીએ. (આ સ્પષ્ટતા મારા સાંજ ના જમણ માટે આવશ્યક છે.)
મસ્તી ને બાજૂ પર મૂકીને ફરી પાછા આપણા પ્રશ્ન પર આવીયે તો મને એકજ વાત નો ખ્યાલ આવે કે આપણા કોઈના પણ બાળપણમાં આપણી માતા જ આપણને બોલતાં શિખવાડે છે. તે સમય પણ એવો હતો કે પિતાજી વહેલી સવારે કામે નિકળી જાય તે ઠેઠ સાંજે પાછા ઘરે આવે. એટલે આપણે તો આપણી માતા સાથેજ. એજ આપણી વિકીપીડિયા. (હવે આજના જમાનામાં જ્યારે ઘણા પિતાઓને ઘરેથી કામ કરતાં જોઉં છું ત્યારે મારી આ વાત ઘણાને અપ્રસ્તુત પણ લાગશે). તેથીજ વડીલોએ ઘરે બોલાતી ભાષાને માતૃભાષા કહી હશે.
તો ચાલો માતાઓ ને યાદ કરીયે. દામોદરભાઇ બોટાડકર ની કવિતા ને ફરી એક વાર સાથે ગાઇએ. આપ સહુને ફરી એક વાર આજના દિન ની વધાઈ આપતાં મારી વાણીને વિરામ આપું છું.
મીઠા મધુ ને મીઠા મેહુલા રે લોલ એથી મીઠી તે મોરી માત રે જનનીની જોડ સખી! નહી જડે રે લોલ.
Wishing all My readers a very Happy International Mother Language Day. This is my first blog in Gujarati and I ask for forgiveness for all the grammatical mistakes that I will make.
One question has always tormented me right from my childhood, why is the language we speak at home called the mother tongue and not the father tongue? If this is male dominated society shouldn’t it be so. But I got my answer after my marriage. Men seldom get a chance to speak at home. It is the lady of the house who domaintes the talks. And so we call it Mother Tongue. People who travel like me in train everyday and listen to the men talking and discussing loudly on different topics would easily understand their plight. But I should clarify at this instance itself that at our homes it is we 3 men who speak the most. (This clarification is needed to confirm my dinner today at home)
Let us keep aside the fun part but I still have those memories of spending most of my childhood with my mother and learning to speak from her. Dad used to leave early in the morning and come back late in the evening. So seldom we spoke. It was our mother who was our Wikipedia then. (Today when I see father working from home I have my own reservations about what I shared above). Hence the elders must have decided to call the language we speak, the mother tongue.
And so, on his remembering all the mothers and wishing you again an Happy International Mother Language Day, am quoting a poem on Mother by Damodar Botadkar
Sweet is the honey, the rains,
But my mother is far more sweeter,
And so one cannot find an option for His mother…(Am not going to translate the whole poem in English as, first, I know that it will loose it’s charm. And second every poem should be read and understood in the language it is written)…
इंद्र जिमि जृंभपर ! बाडव सुअंभपर ! रावण सदंभपर ! रघुकुल राज है !! पौन वारिवाह पर ! संभु रतिनाह पर ! ज्यो सहसवाह पर ! राम द्विज राज है ! दावा दृमदंड पर ! चिता मृगझुंड पर ! भूषण वितुंड पर ! जैसे मृगराज है !! तेज तमअंस पर ! कान्न्ह जिमि कंस पर ! त्यों म्लेंच्छ बंस पर ! शेर शिवराज है !! शेर शिवराज है !! शेर शिवराज है !! शेर शिवराज है !! शेर शिवराज है !! –कवीराज भूषण.
Kaviraj Bhushan has used the abovesaid words to describe Shivaji. He further says
काशी की कला जाती, मथुरा में मस्जिद होती,
अगर ना होते शिवराय, तो सून्नत होती सबकी।।
The above couplet is just to give my readers an idea about how Shivaji must have worked in his lifetime. Am not going into the story telling part today but would love to highlight his few qualities, so that we all can pay a befitting tribute to the great warrior king.
Complete and unwavering trust in God : हे राज्य व्हावे, ही श्रींची इच्छा. This kingdom is being built on the wishes of the Almighty. Utmost trust in God at any age is a rarity in this world. Even today we might have a few people like him who trust God completely.
Self Confidence : With a small group of 5-7 Mavlas (soldiers), 2-3 mules and a few rupees (asharfi as it was called then), a young boy of 13-14 years, decides to build a kingdom to kick out the kings who behaved like masters and treated their people like slaves. What a self confidence! Our kids at the age of 13-14 cannot even decide their future career.
Great Planner : As seen in both the instances of Afzal Khan Vadh and Attack on Lal Mahal at night to kick out Shaistekhan from Maharashtra again require lots of planning. It also shows his capabilities of understanding his own limitations. Fighting the Mughals or the Bijapur Kingdom is plains would have been a harakiri, so draw them into a situation favourable to us.
An Astute Statesman : During the war of Fort Purandar, he signs a treaty with Maan Singh and surrenders 23 forts to the Mughal Emperor and agreed to go to Delhi, but on his conditions. Maan Singh agreed to Shivaji’s conditions, but before that Shivaji had mentally disturbed Maan Singh by arousing the Rajput pride in him. Shivaji’s dealings with the Adilshahi, Nizamshahi and the Mughals is a best example of his statesmanship.
Bravery : He always led his men from the front. His idea of “Ganimikava” is a matter of study for students of warfare even today. After killing Afzal Khan, he led his men to Kolhapur winning all the forts on his way in a span of 40 odd days.
There are many such qualities of Shivaji Maharaj which can be talked about. All these qualities were imbibed into him by his Mother Jijabai. Jijabai under her guidance had moulded Shivaji into what he was. His mentor Dadaji Konddev, a trusted lieutenant of Shahaji, Shivaji’s father, also has played a major role in his upbringing.
I, bow down to this great warrior on His birthday and end with an “Aarti” written by Veer Savarkar. जयदेव जयदेव जय जय शिवराया ! या या अनन्य शरणा आर्यां ताराया !!धृ!! आर्यांच्या देशावरि म्लेंच्छांचा घाला आला आला सावध हो भूपाला सद् गदिता भूमाता दे तुज हाकेला करुणारव भेदुनि तव ऱ्हिदय न कां गेला?…..१ श्री जगदंबा जीस्तव शुंभादिक भक्षी दशमुख मर्दुनी जी श्रीरघुवर संरक्षी ती पूता भूमाता म्लेंच्छाही छळता तुजविण शिवराया तिज कोण दुजा त्राता?…….२ त्रस्त अम्हि दीन अम्हि शरण तुला आलो परवशतेच्या पाशी मरणोन्मुख झालो साधु परित्राणाया दुष्कृती नाशाया भगवन् भगवतगीता सार्थ कराया या……….३ ऐकुनिया आर्यांचा धावा गहिवरला करुणोक्ते स्वर्गी श्री शिवनृप गहिवरला देशास्तव शिवनेरी घेई देहाला देशास्तव रायगडी ठेवी देहाला देशस्वातंत्र्याचा दाता जो झाला बोला तत् श्रीमत्शिवनृप् की जय बोला……….४ बोला शिवाजी महाराज की जय….
शिवगर्जना राजाधीराज छत्रपती शिवराय दुर्गपती गजअश्वपती भूपती प्रजापती सुवर्णरत्नंश्रीपती अष्टावधानजागृत अष्टप्रधान वेष्टीत न्यायालंकार मंडीत शस्त्रास्त्रशांस्त्र पारंगत राजनीती धुरंधर पौढप्रताप पुरंदर क्षत्रीयकुलावतंस सिँहासनाधीश्वर राजाधिराज महाराज श्रीमंत श्री छत्रपती श्री शिवाजी महाराज कि जय..
I liked the last two lines of the above stotra, as they convey the importance of Intellect, Knowledge in a Human’s life. It says that Saraswati stays on the tongue of the people who recite the stotra regularly. Also Saraswati has eyes of the shape of lotus and the one with Knowledge has large eyes. This is actually the essence of all Knowledge. These are the qualities of an intellectual.
One would ask me about the world today full of www and wikipedia’s and Google searches available that isn’t everyone an intellectual. Frankly it is not so. What you and me gain through all the sources on Internet is mere information. Information about the world, happenings in the world about the past and about the present and lastly about the future. Whereas Knowledge is different. It comes through experience. The thought put in action, experimented upon and ready to be tested by anyone is knowledge. In the language of the Vedas, it is the answer to the questions, Who am I? Why am I Here? What is the cause of the Universe? Where is God? All other things are just information. In simpler words any thought without experience is information, but put it to test, and it becomes knowledge.
These are the days of bloom. And we worship Saraswati on the first day itself. It has it’s own significance. It signifies that our mind and Brain need to bloom as the flowers and fruits. And only when they bloom will we get the sweet fruits of knowledge. We will be able to fulfill our quest for knowing ourselves. And when we gain knowledge, there should be an iota of doubt that whatever we speak will be out of experience and always for the good of oneself and the society as a whole.
Spring is celebrated across the globe. But the way our Rishi’s have connected it with Sarawati is something we need to think about and pass it on to our next generation. Spring follows Fall. In the world of technology it signals “Upgradation“. We need to keep on upgrading our experiences and our tests and keep a check on our thoughts. This is the time to do that. Keep away the unuseful part of old, and add on to the retained parts. It signifies an upscaling of ideas.
Our Rishi’s have described every God or Goddess of having lotus eyes and broad or large eyes. It tells us to be open to different thoughts and be ever accepting of good ones. At the same time, be lotus like so that the wrong ones slide off and we are unaffected by our surroundings. We all can be so with the help of knowledge. It is always seen that a lotus grows in marshy lands. Similarly, intellectual can come from any place, irrespective of their surroundings.
Today on the occasion of Vasant Panchami let’s pray to God to give us the strength to think, to experiment, to test and also the ability and openness to accept our limitations in all this.
May we gain the right knowledge as envisioned by our Rishi’s.
May Goddess Saraswati reign our hearts and mind, and through them our lives.
Wishing you all and everyone at home a very Happy Vasant Panchami and the coming of Spring.
नमस्तेऽस्तु लंबोदारायैकदंताय विघ्ननाशिने शिव सुताय।
श्री वरदमूर्तये नमोनम:।।
(Namo Vraātpataye Namo Ganpataye. Namah Pramathpataye. Namaste astu Lambodaray Ekdantaay Vighnanashine Shiv Sutaay Shree Varadmurtaye Namo Namah.)
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Maaghi Ganesh Chaturthi. It is also known as Magh Krishna Chaturthi. It is said that Lord Krishna looked at the moon on this day and was accused of stealing. He fasted on this day to get off the curse befallen on him.
People in Uttar Pradesh celebrate it as Tila Chaturthi. They make a mound of vermillion (sindoor) and worship it. They offer Til laddoos (sweets made from Jaggery and sesame seeds) to the Lord.
Today let us try to understand about Ganpati as the Devi of Buddhi (Goddess of learning). What can we as students of life learn from Her? What does the Idol of Ganpati want to convey? Does the concept of the Elephant headed God have any meaning?
The Ganpati word itself has a meaning, the leader of the masses. Ganesh means the Eshwar of the Ganas (leader of the masses). So the Lord exhibits the characteristics of a leader. And to be a good student, we need to educate ourselves (to draw out the qualities within us).
1. The Ganpati has an elephant head. Elephant signifies wisdom. Elephant is considered the wisest among the animals in the Animal Kingdom. So we all need to be gaining wisdom through what we study.
2. He has narrow and small eyes. It is not so that the eyes are small, but the face is so big, that the eyes look small. But the best part about the eyes is that they can see even a small needle in their path. As students when we study, we need to understand the smallest of the nuances of the topic which we are learning. We need to be alert for each and every information, and in whichever corner it may be, however small it may be.
3. His ears are like the “Sup” (grain whinning plate). The Sup keeps the grain intact and at the same time removes the dirt, the husk from them. The enormity of ears suggest us to be able to listen to all. At the same time keep the thoughts important for us and discard what is not. As a student, one needs to be focussed on studies. We may be exposed to various things around us, but we have to decide what to keep and which to keep away from. Also at the same time keep our ears open for good thoughts however far they maybe or however faint they may be. In all the different thoughts, we need to find out the most important one for us.
4. A crooked trunk signifies the length and the reach of oneself. The knowledge we get must be kept in such a way (folded) that it does not interfere in someone’s life. But it should unfold at the right time and be used for the rightful thing.
5. Ganpati is Mahakaay. A huge body. A big belly. Big belly is for keeping all things in the stomach. It is a storing place. Similarly we have to gain such huge knowledge that we need a big belly to keep it. Also we might get to know a lot about others (friends), good and bad, but we need to keep it with ourselves.
6. He has a small mouth. It signifies to talk less. A student needs to talk less and listen more. Keeping ones mouth shut means concentrating on what is being spoken and taught. At the same time, it also means that open up at the right time, ask questions, discuss, argue and draw conclusions.
7. The modak in his hand has its own significance. It is sweet inside and tasteless outside. It reminds us, students,thatgo into the depth of every topic, one learns. Any topic is always sweet and interesting from within. Outside it is always bookish and boring.
8. He rides a mouse. It signifies a control over worldly desires. Similarly a student needs to have a control over his desires and concentrate on his/ her studies. He needs to ride his wishes and will.
We can go on and on with lots of things about the Lord. But somewhere we need to leave the things for next time. Many thoughts still lie in my mind which need to be emphasized and talk about. But leave to it Ganesha to give me an opportunity to pen them down some other day.
Wishing you all again, a very Happy Maaghi Ganesh Chaturthi.
MAY LORD GANESH BLESS US ALL WITH LOTS OF INTELLECT AND WISDOM.
For people in power corridors, it’s a game of dice,
And forget the mother who gave her child by choice…
My heart goes out to all the mothers of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives today, for their motherland. To all those mothers of their children who will dedicate their children to the motherland. To all the children who will grow up seeing their fathers in the pitcures hanging on the walls or in the medals decorating the uniform kept in an old trunk. To all those who have lost a brother trying to defend his motherland.
No words for their ultimate devotion and dedication. Just bow down my head in solemn prayer to grant my brothers peace wherever they are.
Will today just share what the famous personalities have to say about Mahatma Gandhi.
Not since Buddha has India so revered any man. Not since St. Francis of Assisi has any life known to history been so marked by gentleness, disinterestedness, the simplicity of soul and forgiveness of enemies. We have the astonishing phenomenon of a revolution led by a saint. -Will Durant, American writer, historian, and philosopher
I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time.We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil. -Albert Einstein, Physicist
Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but he resisted with love instead of hate. True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, American Baptist minister, and activist
I have the greatest admiration and respect for Mahatma Gandhi. He was a great human being with a deep understanding of human nature. He made every effort to encourage the full development of the positive aspects of the human potential and to reduce or restrain the negative. His life has inspired me ever since I was a small boy. Ahimsa or nonviolence is the powerful idea that Mahatma Gandhi made familiar throughout the world. But nonviolence does not mean the mere absence of violence. It is something more positive, more meaningful than that, for it depends wholly on the power of truth. – His Holiness Dalai Lama
Many of his principles have universal application and eternal validity, and I hope the passing years will show that his faith in the efficacy of non-violent pressure as an agent for peaceful change is as justified today all over the world as it was in his time in India. -U Thant, Third Secretary-General of the United Nations
There are many but I chose to share the few which I like and love.
Namaskaars to the soul which came as a guiding light to many.
Rise up, O Obediant Son! You need to keep up Her Chin…
One need not go around the world to find these nerds,
They all end up in the educational institutes I heard,
They want freedom of expression and talk nonsense,
The time is ripe enough today to drive in them some sense…
Then there are others who sit in the studio and talk,
Just discuss and debate the break up India strategy to chalk,
Would write, talk and express their love for minorities,
No problem with that, but a country has it’s own priorities…
The one masterclass of people which exist from independence,
Call themselves lawmakers but have no cultural essence,
Of what history and grandeur, this land called Bharat hast,
Look upon their masters from the west, and forget the rest,
These people do not have any respect for the sacrifice,
Which people gave for this country overcoming strife,
They just wanna criticise, analyse and comment bad,
And speak about everything, good, bad or sad…
There are people who expresss their love for Mother India,
Just like Singh, Azad, Bose, Patel and many intelligentsia,
Cause for them, She exists, She thrives She cares, and She loves,
And shows the right path on which their lives they drove…
A day when we Indians accepted our Constitution.
A day when our forefathers keeping aside their differences pledged to work according to the adopted constitution.
A sacred document which will be ever correcting and inclusive of new ideas and experiments going on in Society and around the Universe.
It is so inclusive that our lawmakers have made 107 amendments (roughly) to the constitution from the day it was adopted. People can argue in favour or against amendments, Supreme Court too might have struck down a few amendments, but what I like is that we are a vibrant democracy who wanna keep changing and adapting ourselves.
Yes, I see this as a very positive sign of a vibrant democracy, but would urge the political parties to stop playing with it for personal ideologies and personal oneman – up – ship. It should also not be used to settle personal scores nor used to propagate any type of animosity amongst its citizens. Please do not descecrate it.
The bureaucracy is whom I appeal to today. I urge them to rise above stupid and silly political favours and serving these political masters. Would like to remind them that it is, we, the people, who are their masters and they should serve the country. There are many examples of bureaucrats who have done this and are doing it, and people have always stood with them, strongly. May it be Mr.Khera, Mr. Khairnar, Mr.Chandrashekhar, Mr. Shreedharan, Ms Bhide, Ms Roopa and many more. I bow down to their commitment to India and it’s people.
Judiciary has till now been unbiased, trying their best to balance the constitutional values between the states and within their country. Baring a few, the whole of judiciary is unbiased, not leaning towards any ideology and trying to do their best within its limitations.
The fourth pillar is something which I wouldn’t like to talk about. But what other day then this. The Media is expected to be reporting the events in a totally unbiased way. But what we find today, that media itself is biased. Accepting gifts and then reporting with personal biases or prejudices has become the weak point of today’s India. I fail to find a single newspaper or news channel or news anchor or reporter who reports the event/s as it/they is/are. Rather they all want to add their own dimensions to it. Twist it to suit their narrative and please their political masters or editors or their bosses.
The lawmakers need to be above any suspicion. But what we find today is exactly the opposite. They rape, they plunder, they incite, they do anything possible to keep their chairs. So less talked about them better. But wanna ask my fellow citizens who vote for them. Why do we vote for them? Why dont we throw them into a dustbin? There might be a few good men amongst all these, but they are so few that they cannot influence the dirty decision making.
My readers, you all may feel that am writing so negative today. Its not the case. I just want to put up my perspective about our country. One may agree with it or may disagree with it. But if not us, then who will think about the things which need correction for our country. Or are we still waiting for an outsider to come and set it right? Then what are we, her children for? Just to sit back, criticise and wait for “Saheb” to come over and correct things. Then am sorry to say that we are not worthy of this hard earned democracy.
Friends, I urge upon you all to think about the points I raised and try to find solutions. Cause that is what India looks for, from us, her children. She has always caressed us and nourished us with all the the sweetest milk from her bosoms. She has always kept us all above her own priorities and waited for us to come to her and stay together as her children.
Wishing you all a very Happy Republic Day and many more to come…
Today is the day that the brave Maratha’s fought Abdali and forced him to retreat. Sadashivrao Bhau, Vishwasrao, Tukdoji Scindia, Jankoji, Gayakwad gave up their lives to save Delhi. It is known as the Battle of Panipat.
This part of history is known and we are taught that the Maratha’s lost and their downfall began. But then why did Abdali sign a treaty with Nanasaheb Peshwa and return back to his native and give the reins back to the Marathas? If they had been beaten black and blue, how did the Maratha’s fight back and in a decade install Shah Alam II back on the throne of Delhi.
I sometimes fail to understand that the so called Historians, (I call them the “Wendyputra’s) can write such a history which is bereft of truth and logic. And we too like dumbass fools agree with what they say and believe what they say. Is it possible that the Maratha’s who were defeated and grounded, just rose from the ashes and fought against the Abdali. There is no problem thinking likewise, but it does not appeal the logic of a person.
The Maratha’s did loose on the Uttarayan Day, in Panipat. But that did not start their downfall. Mahadji Scindia was saved that day and he got all the Maratha’s togther and fought against Abdali. Nanasaheb Phadnavis too helped in all this. And both together with the Maratha army installed Shah Alam II back on the Delhi throne. The Mughal Emperor and his Empire was reinstalled by the Marathas. And so the line of the Maharashtra Geet “दिल्ली चे ही तख्त राखतो, महाराष्ट्र माझा”.
So my dear readers we need to have a relook at our written history and need to correct it wherever needed. Let us remember that “ईतिहास” means “this is the way it happened”. So let history be the way it has happened and not be coloured with the likes and dislikes of a few government sponsored and communist historians.
On the day of Supreme sacrifice by Bhau, Vishwasrao and others, let us all decide to shun the untruthful historians and the history written by them and decide to research and read our true history.
The word itself is self explanatory. It is when the Sun while moving through the different constellations moves into the constellation of Makar ( ), we call it Makar Sankranti
The social customs begin from today. They had been barred till now from last few days. The simple reason being, that the crop being ready to cut, needed to be harvested in time. So, the best way to keep farmers busy in their work, was to stop the social customs. This helps them concentrate on their work and do it perfectly. By this time, the harvesting is done and people are comparatively free.
Also the day is dedicated to worshipping the Sun. Sun being the source of all energy and in turn life needs to be understood. We Indians express gratefulness to the Sun for all that He has done for us.
On this day, would wish you, all your family members and your extended families a very Happy Makar Sankranti, Bhogi, Lohri, Khichadi and Tirmoori.
Pls read my older blogs on Makar Sankranti too. The links are provided below…
This is the most important lesson of the lesson. As we all were at home, working from home, there was no watch to look at. The schedules fitted in and not the other way round, as it always.
The best thing about the last year is “Keep Going”. We had many tough times to go through. Many of us lost someone close. Many of us themselves went through the ordeal of being unwell. But we all kept going.
Was reading the articles on net the other day. Was a little shocked to learn that the amount of wife abuse and the cases for divorce too have gone up during this time. A question which came to my mind is that what has happened to the people? We are always looking for time to spend together and when we got this oppurtunity, we are drifting apart. How silly the ways of life are! But we have kept going.
Many of us lost our near and dear ones. This loss is irreplaceable and the void it has left us with is simply which cannot be filled. We did mourn, we did felt bad, but we kept going.
Many of us discovered a new way of life and work. The work from home has been a boon to many who realised how good it is to be able to work in a cosy atmosphere of a house than an office. And we kept going.
There will be many different experiences which people may have gone through, which would surely like to hear. So if you have read till here, please spare a few minutes from your life and share them.
The Son of God came down to spread the love of his Father.
He came, He loved, He conquered the hearts.
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.
Am not going to write about the story of Christ, as we all very well know about it. But will share a few instances which touch us, the people, who love Him and for whom He cared. Many critics talk about His magical powers and challenge His authority over religion. Am going to share my views about those.
The most magical thing about Christ’s life is His resurrection from death. Did He truly die on the Cross? Did He get up from death? Many critics say no and tell us that He did not die on the Cross, He fell unconscious out of pain and so He never did resurrect. He just regained back His consciousness. I would say this is quite possible as there is no definite proof about the resurrection and we are dependent on the Holy Bible, which has different versions from His own disciples. In the same breath, I state, that this is a matter of faith and belief. If such a thought fortifies my belief in God, then so be it. I, for once, want my readers to understand that non-believers would spread their thoughts and ideas and we stick to ours. Am not against the agnostic, nor am of the view that they be kicked away from this life and the world, but they may have their views and I respect them without going into a debate or discussion about my beliefs. A debate is a medium to prove the superiority of oneself or one’s point over the other. But would Christ like it? Would Christ answer back? No, He would just go and embrace that man and spread His love. What I learn from Christ’s life is that Love everyone, beginning with oneself.
Another instance of His life is that Hefed many from two loaves of bread. A cooked up story say some. But maybe He had two loaves and when He shared His food with the hungry, His disciples who might have hidden their food, shared theirs too with the hungry. And while sharing it, said that it is Christ who has sent it. A perfect example of demonstration of the Teacher to His disciples. Atleast my readers would perfectly understand the meaning of compassion and demonstration. Cause that is how our teachers are. They teach through their own action, “Acharya”.
There are many instances which can be cited and discussed. But I leave them for another day. I just say that, Yes, I believe in Christ and in all that He did which is attributed to Him and He did resurrect.
What I personally do not like is the way the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangilical Church have decided to spread His word! Conversion is no answer or solution to the problems faced by the world. At the same time, I bow down to the people who willingly give up life for this cause of spreading the word of Christ. Would any Hindu, Jew, Mohammedan go into the deep jungles of Africa, knowing for certain that Death is imminent, to spread the word of God? Go to uninhabited places and islands to spread the word of God? No individual or organisation should criticise the work/conversions being carried out, unless they themselves are trying to spread the word of God in their own way. Let us learn not to play to the gallery and try and imbibe these characteristics within us. Let anyone who wants to criticise or even talk about them, leave the sofa sets of their living rooms and go to the last person living in remote places.
In the end, I would just say that Christ said ‘Love Thy Neighbour‘, so let us learn by beginning to love ourselves. God, His Heaven and His Kingdom are all within us, let us learn to love Him and go closer to Him.
At the end let us all pray,
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
टूटे हुए तारों से फूटे बासंती स्वर पत्थर की छाती मे उग आया नव अंकुर झरे सब पीले पात कोयल की कुहुक रात प्राची मे अरुणिम की रेख देख पता हूं गीत नया गाता हूं
टूटे हुए सपनों की कौन सुने सिसकी अन्तर की चीर व्यथा पलकों पर ठिठकी हार नहीं मानूंगा, रार नहीं ठानूंगा, काल के कपाल पे लिखता मिटाता हूं
गीत नया गाता हूं
Born in a middle-class family in Gwalior, Atalji’s love for the native language, Hindi is beyond words. He became the first person to deliver a speech in Hindi at the UN General assembly.
His fighting spirit is at par with his love for peace. His initiative of starting a bus to Lahore, with himself boarding the first bus and crossing over to Pakistan, is still very clear in my memory. At the same time when we were attacked in Kargil, his firm resolve to push back the enemy also demonstrates his love for his country.
His humour, His truthfulness
His sarcasm, His wit
His determination, His dedication
His way to make friends beyond party lines.
With all his differences, he was a true human being
O Sanjay, after gathering on the holy field of Kurukshetra, and desiring to fight, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do?
It is no coincidence that all 4 characters of the Geeta are related in as a warrior and his charioteer. Both Arjun and Dhritrashtra are warriors and both Krishna and Sanjay are their charioteers respectively. Just as the charioteer guides the chariot through the battlefield, so does the God and His song, Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, guides us through our battlefield of life.
Coming back to the reference to the first Shlok of Geeta, it conveys the essence of the whole battle. मामकाः पाण्डव (mine and yours), my sons and the sons of Pandu. Similarly our life is full of mine and yours (not mine / other). We are fighting this battle and Geeta guides us through it. Geeta explains the beautiful concept of “Dharma”- the way, the thought, the concept of deciding between mine and yours. Had Dhritrashtra not fallen for this difference between his own sons and his brother Pandu’s sons, the battle wouldn’t have happened! So, in a way, Dhritrashtra is one of the many reasons for Humanity to be blessed by the divine guidance of the Geeta. And maybe so the first Shlok of the whole song begins with him. Never to be heard again during the whole song. It also leads us to understand a beautiful word ‘Relationships‘.
Mine and yours can be understood in many ways. One of the ways that Geeta teaches me and I understand it is that we are all one as the divine manifests within us all. So we cannot be two different entities but two parts of the same entity. And so he exists everywhere and within everything. HE is OMNIPRESENT.
I am seated in the hearts of all living beings, and from Me come memory, knowledge, as well as forgetfulness. I alone am to be known by all the Vedas, am the author of the Vedānt, and the knower of the meaning of the Vedas.
So He is seated everywhere. Nothing can exist without Him. Nothing is different from Him. We can say that we are just His reflections. So how can it be mine and yours.
And readers this can be a way to understand the world and best solution towards the problems faced by mankind especially about relationships. Even the last Shlok of Geeta conveys the same
(Wherever there is Shree Krishna, the Lord of all Yog, and wherever there is Arjun, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be unending opulence, victory, prosperity, and righteousness. Of this, I am certain.)
Here too if we understand that both He (Yogeshwar Krishna) and myself (Arjun) are no different as the word यत्र is used for both. So they are together at the same place, that is the Atman and the jeev are the same place. And once we understand this then there is unending prosperity, opulence and righteousness and so is victory.
On this day, we bow down to the greatest Charioteer who came to guide Humanity about the most beautiful and cherished moments of its lives – ‘Relationships’.
It isnt that Geeta is explaining only relationships, it has many facets, but leave that for another time.
Best wishes on the occasion of Geeta Jayanti.
Also the festival of Christmas coincides today. So wishing all of my readers a very Happy Christmas too. Will come up with a blog on Christmas tomorrow.
The Gods have risen on Kartik Ekadashi. Now married to Tulsi too! A beautiful thought showing our childlike behaviour. It is like parents arriving from an outing and before the parents ask us anything, we get them involved in some other work or thought so that they forget to ask us what we did when they were away. God has slept last 4 months. He has awaken. So before He might ask us anything, we get Him married so He is busy with His family life. It sounds silly but the beauty is in the thought and how deep our seers have dwelled upon human psychology.
Today is Poornima. The Chaturmaas ends today for Jains (according to calendar it ended for Hindus on ekadashi). The Sadhus and the Sadhviji’s who had stayed at a single place from last 4 months will start their VIHAAR again. VIHAAR means to move from one place to another. No Sadhu is allowed to stay at a single place for more than 3 days, as there is a possibility of developing a sense of belongingness. Hence the VIHAAR. (All of Hindusim has the same set of rules).
Also today is Guru Purab. The birth of Guru Nanakdevji. A strong advocate of Hindu beliefs and ideals, he was born during the Mughal rule in India. He saw the atrocities being meted out on the Hindus and so started the SIKH way of life to save the Hindus from the atrocities. He advocated the 5 K’s for every SIKH. KIRPAN (a small steel sword) KESH (non cutting of hair throughout life) KANGA (wooden hair comb) KARA (a steel bracelet) and KACCHHA (a cotton underwear). Each and every SIKH is supposed to follow these 5 K’s throughout his life. He travelled around India and aroused the feelings of patriotism and brotherhood.
On His Birthday, bow down to Him with utmost humility. We express our gratefulness for His foresightendness and His bravery.
That day, 12 years ago, I had just reached home around 9.15pm and as per my habit started the television set to watch the news. My neighbour called out and asked me to watch the Doordarshan channel as it was flashing some breaking news about a gun fight. I immediately switched to DD News and started listening to the news. As the time passed it turned from bad to worse to worst and grim, eventually by 10.30 or so, we all realised that they were the dastardly attacks on the fragile fabric of Mumbai.
The horrendous scenes on TV for the next 3 days were mind boggling and invoking anger as day by day the death toll just rose up. Many policemen and soldiers bravely gave up their life in defending the economic capital of India. The gross indecisiveness by the Central Government as well as the State Government led to chaos and anguish amongst the citizens. Only when the Army Commandos flew down to Mumbai, people breathed a sigh of relief.
What followed was the courageous display of skill and commitment, one by one the terrorists holed up at the Chaddar House and The Taj were killed and Mumbai was finally liberated.
But the way a few eminent journalists behaved and transmitted live pitcures raises questions about their integrity and commitment towards India. Their live telecast was watched by the handlers in Pakistan and they guided the terrorists to locations where they wouldn’t have gone and do what they wouldn’t have dared to do. It’s a shame that some Indians still eulogise such reporters even today in the name of freedom of speech.
Also the later attempts by a few people from a particular political class to colour these attacks “Kesari” and call it a “RSS sazish” need to be equally looked down upon. The attempt to portray Hinduism and Hindus as terrorists and justify their own stand for ‘Terrorism has no religion’ is disgusting and need to be called out. Such class of people are not only enemies but the back stabbers of their own country. There are no words to despise them and their action.
But today is the day of remembering the heroes, who gave up their lives to save Mumbai and its citizens, rather took care of the fine thread of harmony of Mumbai.
I dedicate this blog today to Shri Tukaram Omble, the police Havaldar who took 40-odd bullets from the gun of Ajmal Kasab but caught Kasab alive.
I bow down to the General Manager at Taj, Mr Karambir Kang, who sacrificed his wife and children, as he took care of the guests in the hotel. My condolences to him and his family.
Also my salutes to the young Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who fought the terrorists in the Taj Hotel and was shrewdly killed with a bullet in his back.
Today even after 12 years of those dastardly attacks, feel ashamed that the main perpetrators are still not brought to the doors of justice. They find safe havens in a neighbouring country and the politicians and the media out here in India, still acknowledges them by adding a ‘Shri’ to their name. We truly do not have any sense of respect for the dead!
At the same time feel angry with myself, with my fellows Indians that why does this feeling of Indianness comes alive only particular days? Why is it that we realise that we are Indians on a Republic Day or a day such as this? Will we be part time countrymen? Truly feel frustrated at times that even in a democratic set up we are tied down to the rule of law and fight against people who do not believe the law.
Hope that some day we all will live upto the idea which are fathers of the constitution have called India, that is Bharat!
Hope that some day we will be prepared to give up our lives for our motherland India!
Hope that some day we will realise that money, power are nothing as compared to self respect and country’s respect and stand strong on our two feet to fight for the idea that is India!
Hope that we will instill a feeling of “Being Indian” in our future generations and trian them to become more better and disciplined citizens.
Hope that the world unites in the fight against terrorism and defines terrorism in it truest sense and not only condemn their doing but take action against them!
Wishing you all and everyone at home a very Happy Diwali…
In these times of the pandemic, all I ask from God is to bless us all with a very healthy life. May these clouds of fear and danger pass soon and let the Sun shine upon us as always!
Let us all be socially responsible and follow the Covid-19 guidelines to their fullest and spend time with our individual families. Let the time spent be not only of fun and frolic, but also spent on thinking about our responsibilities towards self, family, society, nation and the world as a whole.
Wishing you all and all your extended families a very Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year.
A son of a Marathi Sardar, Shivaji Maharaj’s triumph over Afzal Khan is one of the notable moments of Maratha History.
The treacherous Khan was killed in broad daylight in sight of his bodyguards, when he tried to act smart and kill Shivaji Maharaj. Maharaj was well prepared and dug his dagger deep into Khan’s abdomen and pulled out his intestines. Yet the Khan fought back and tried to escape, when one of the Maratha Sardar’s beheaded him.
Maharaj won and the tyranny lost.
Khan was tyrannical. He had destroyed Pandharpur and Tuljapur temples and broken the idols installed there, while moving towards Shivaji Maharaj. He had killed a lot of innocent people and plundered their households. Burnt all the fields in his path, just to get Shivaji Maharaj out of his hole, as he put it. But Shivaji was alert and he stayed put at Pratapgad, a fort in the dense jungles of Javali, a fort near Mahabaleshwar hill station now. Slowly Khan drew up nearer and nearer to Shivaji.
At the opportune moment, Maharaj wrote a letter to Afzal Khan and agreed to meet him. But he had his own terms and conditions. They would meet at the foothills of Pratapgad. Accompanied by a few bodyguards and no one else. Khan felt that Shivaji Maharaj was afraid of him and so he agreed.
And this meeting took place on 10th November, 1659
And the rest is history!
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Ki Jay!
JAY BHAVANI! JAY SHIVAJI!
Am sharing the Powada of Afzal Khan vadh. We all have heard it in the movie “Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy” प्रतापगडाच्या पायथ्याशी खान …(३) आला बेगुमान नाही त्याला जाण शिवाजी राजाच्या करामतिची त्याशी नाही जाणीव शक्तिची करील काय कल्पना युक्तिची हा जी जी जी …(३) महाराजानी निरोप घेतला …(२) अन दंडवत घातला भावानीला तसाच आई जिजाऊला वकुत ह्यो वंगळ त्यों कसला पानी आल आईच्या डोळ्याला अन सरदार लागला रडायला अहो हे हे हे सरदार तर रडतीलच पण हत्ती घोड़ शिव ना चार्याला अन गाई बघा लागल्या हम्बराया असला बेहुद वकुत आला दुश्मनाच्या गोटामधी चालला मराठ्याचा राजा अहो राजा हो जी र दाजी र जी जी …(३) खानाच्या भेटीसाठी …(२) महाराजानी एक शानदार शामियाना उभारला होता भेटीसाठी छान उभारीला नक्षीदार शामियान्याला अन अशा ह्या शामियान्यात खान डौलत डुलत आला …(२) सय्यद बंडा त्याच्या संगतीला शिवबाच्या संगती महाला म्हणतात ना होता जीवा म्हणुन वाचला शिवा राजाला पाहून खान म्हणतो आओ आओ शिवाजी आओ हमारे गले लग जाओ खान हाक मारीतो हसरी …(२) रोखून नजर गहिरीजी र जी जी … पण आपला राजा …(२) काही कच्च्या गुरुचा चेला नव्हता राजा गोर पहात त्याची न्यारी चाल चित्याची सावध भारी जी र जी जी … खानान राजाला आलिंगन दिल अन दगा केला खान दाबी मानी मान्याला …(२) कट्यारीचा वार त्यान केला …(२) गर खरा आवाज झाला चिलाखत व्हत अंगाला खानाचा वार फुका गेला खान यडबडला इतक्यात महाराजानी पोटामधी पिसवा ढकलला वाघनखांचा मारा केला हे टरटरा फाडल पोटाला हे तडा गेला खानाचा कोथळा बाहिर आला जी र जी जी …(३) प्रतापगडाचे युद्ध जाहले …(३) रक्त सांडले पाप सारे गेले पावन केला क्रुष्णेचा घाट …(२) लावली गुलामिची हो वाट …(२) मराठे शाहिचा मांडला थाट हो जी जी …(३)
Let us burn the vices of Ravan and embed values of Ram within us…
Let the Ram within, win today and from today onwards forever…
Let us all prepare to welcome Ram into our lives and accept our limitations as Good Humans…
The day of “Seemolanghan” (सीम्मोलंघन). It literally means to cross the borders. Not the borders drawn on the maps but the borders drawn in our society and in our minds.
Biggest border in our life is
“I Can’t Do“.
“I Can’t Accept“.
And the last is
“I Cannot Change“.
We have set these limitations in our lives and live with them. Today is the day to remember that “I CAN”. Let us all recall, remember and understand that Bhagwaan Ram had Vaanar’s to fight on his behalf. Vaanar means the one who is not sure about being Human. Ram took them together, revived their spirit and fought with their help to win the war. We all are like the Vaanars. Let us recognise the Ram within. The day we shed our inhibitions, we too will win the war.
Let us all remember, recite and learn the Shlok given below. It talks about the Surya. The problems he has and yet how He keeps on working. रथस्येकं चक्रं भुजगयमित सप्ततुरङ्गः
(The sun in the sky travels everyday with all odds against him, like a chariot with one wheel, seven horses trod by serpents and the driver without legs. Great people don’t depend on their accessories. They achieve their goal by their spirit and determination)
Let us all remember that it is the spirit within which keeps us going. So on this Dusshara, let us pray to God that He removes this vice of “I Can’t Do” from our lives and lead us to the light of “I Can Do“.
Second I cannot accept. Can we imagine ourselves accepting our own enemy? No we dont. We dont even accept our own, if they do wrong to us. But when we study Ram’s life, we learn to accept. He not only accepted the self doubting Vanars but also the brother of his enemy, Vibhishan. He accepted him with full faith and crowned him the King of Lanka, the day He accepted him. If He can, can we not?
I would say let us begin with accepting our small mistakes in life. Let us begin by accepting the vices within us. Let us accept the people as they are and not what we like them to be. I know it’s difficult but it’s a border which we need to cross in our lives. We need to crossover from I cannot accept to I can accept. Let us keep Bhagwaan Ram as our ideal.
Last is I cannot change. We talk about it next time.
Wishing you and everyone in your family and friends a very Happy Dusshara…
“God wishes that I start my work from this place, through this sign, Nirmala. We will start our Vidyapeeth here,” said Pandurang Shastriji Atahvale.
Pandurang Shastriji Athavale, Dadaji, had just come back from Japan. He had attended the World Religious Conference and propounded the theory talked about in Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. But when asked whether he had something concrete to show, he had returned back to India, to experimentally prove the teachings of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta.
His thoughts during the flight back home, were just about the recent offer by Dr.Crompton, he had declined politely and the challenge he had taken up to prove the thoughts he had put forth in his speeches at the Conference. Impressed by his clarity of thoughts, Dr.Crompton, a Nobel laureate, had offered Dadaji, to come to USA and propagate his thoughts about Geeta and Vedic culture. He was astonished when the young Pandurang declined it with utmost modesty. Dadaji in the flight was thinking that what he did was right. As the people in USA are not aware about Bhagwaan Krishna and so maybe will not have faith in him. So he will have to begin from scratch. Whereas in India, the people know Bhagwaan Krishna and had utmost faith in him. So it would be easier to talk to them and make them understand the thoughts. It is simple logic that a person follows who he trusts or has faith in. So now the first thing on reaching India would be to start looking for a place in and near Mumbai from where he can not only propagate His thoughts, but the place would also initiate experiments based on the thoughts.
On reaching Mumbai, the quest for finding the place began. He along with his consort, Nirmalatai, started visiting places for starting an institution for the above said activity. One day, while visiting a place near Kapurbawdi area of Thane, a district close to Mumbai, Nirmalatai’s chappals (footwear) got stuck in the mud. So taking this as a sign from the Divine, Dadaji laid the foundation stone for the institution on 22nd October 1954, Ashwin Sud Saptami, incidentally his birthday too according to Indian calendar.
Thus began the work on one of the only institutions that teaches how to lead a good life and how to become a good human! I have not heard of any such institution till date whose education is not going to fetch one nothing but knowledge. Yes I reiterate NO job, NO bread, NO fame.
As th work on the building proceeded, Dadaji went through a phase when he did not have any money left to continue with the building work. But God worried for his son and sent the money through people always wishing well for Dadaji. To save on every paise, Dadaji got the bricks made in the place itself. He himself was instrumental in making the bricks. Even today when we visit the place we get to see TVP (Tatvadnan Vidyapeeth) engraved on those bricks there.
The day of formal opening arrived in the year 1958, when the then Vice President, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, an acknowledged philosopher himself, arrived at Tatvadnan Vidyapeeth. It was a sombre occasion with a feeling and a touch of a family and not about protocols at all. After lunch, both Dadaji and Radhakrishnanji started talking about the future of the Vidyapeeth when the issue of economic dependency came up. Radhakrishnanji, being elder and more experienced, asked Dadaji about how he intends to run the Vidyapeeth without asking for funds. He even went further to cite his own experience when he and Madan Mohan Malviyaji asked for funds, for running the Benares Hindu University, from the society. To which Dadaji replied humbly, “Sir, we differ in fundamentals. For you, the society is absolute, whereas for me it is God. This is His institution and l would leave it upto Him to let it run. The day it doesnt, I have kept the lock ready. Will lock it up and go home.” Radhakrishnanji, a senior, was taken aback but admired the love of this young Shastri for his principles, especially faith in God. It is well evident that even in his last days on Mother Earth, Radhakrishnanji was happy to know that the institution he had inaugurated was still working.
Such is the Tatvadnan Vidyapeeth, whose birthday is today.
And such is Pandurang Shastriji Athavale, whose centenary birthday, we celebrate today.
The shlok uttered by Arjun, the disciple of God, talks about Him being the Creator of everything that you and me can see, hear, feel or touch with our senses, again created by Him and he offers a 1000 salutations to Him again and again.
You are Vāyu (the god of wind), Yamraj (the god of death), Agni (the god of fire), Varuṇ (the god of water), and Chandra (the moon-God). You are the creator Brahma, and the great-grandfather of all beings. I offer my salutations unto you a thousand times, again and yet again!
Have purposely taken this shlok today to celebrate the coming of my elder brother, my teacher, the creator of Swadhyay Parivaar, the recipient of Ramon Magasaysay Award for Community Leadership of 1996, the John Templeton prize for Progress in Religion of 1997 and the Padma Vibhusan, the second highest civilian honour in India of 1998, Param Poojaniya Pandurang Shahtriji Athavale ( Dadaji, as he is widely known to Swadhyayees). We celeberate His birthday as Manushya Gaurav Din, “Human Dignity Day“.
It is His 100th birthday and today we sit at His feet, trying to understand His thoughts and His work and His experiments on humanity. The work of human upliftment. Instilling a sense of gratitude towards God, society and self, He has guided millions of people, mainly Indians, across the world.
In the early 1920’s, a feast in the temple in a village of Roha, situated in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The rituals have just finished and people rush towards the area designated for lunch. The Gods have been offered a “bhog” which will be distributed as “Prasad” amongst the devotees. Some people wait at the steps of the temple for the Prasad. A few moments later, the head priest of the temple emerges from temple onto the steps with a few leaf – plates in hand and some morsels of food in it. He throws them onto the group of people waiting there who just grab it and eat out from them. It is an intriguing sight. A boy, very small, is watching this from not so long a distance and feels that something is wrong. He questions, “Why are these people being treated in this inhumanely manner? How come they do not feel bad being treated in this manner?”
The same boy after a few days, asks his grandfather the reason for taking a bath after returning from the so called downtrodden slum after teaching them the Dnyaneshwari. Laxmanraoji, a Brahmin scholar by himself, used to go regularly to the slums and teach the Dnyaneshwari to the people living there. A time when even the shadow of these people falling on oneself was considered inauspicious, he on his own went there and sat amongst them and taught them Dnyaneshwari, which in itself was very revolutionary. But keeping the sentiments of his community in mind, after returning would take a bath and then enter the house. On being explained this, the boy asked a pointed question to his grandfather, “If it is God who has made us all, how can they be down trodden? If God resides in us all, then how can they be considered inauspicious?”
After a few years, the boy is now in his youth, and has come to Mumbai to live with his parents. He has taken up reading at the Asiatic library. One monsoon evening after the library closed, he went and sat at the shores of Gateway of India. The waters of the Arabian Sea have swelled up due to the strong winds. A fisherman in his small boat is trying to balance his boat by resisting those winds and waves and trying hard to sail and save himself. The youth thinks to himself “What a brave man! Just look at the amount of energy he has. And people blame him and his society and look down upon them for all the vices. But if someone sits near this person and makes him realise his strengths and that God resides within him, then he can do anything which people feel is impossible for him to do.”
This youth today has transformed many lives and societies and has given them a self identity. He is none other than Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale, fondly called Dadaji, whose 100th birthday, is being celebrated by the Swadhyay Parivaar today.
An activist philosopher, who has not only propounded , but lived the philosophy of Indwelling God and Universal Brotherhood under the Fatherhood of God. These are not mere concepts, but today have become a way of living for many, who call themselves, Swadhyayees. These thoughts have changed the lives of many a people and society as a whole.
To imbibe and practise these two concepts Dadaji has given a small experiment, amongst his many experiments, a prayer, called Trikaal Sandhya, meaning to remember God, 3 times a day. He calls it an Atom Bomb. A householder might find it difficult to remember God at every instant, but he can do so at atleast 3 important junctures of his everyday life. First, in the morning, when he awakes. God gives us back our memory which we had forgotten when we slept. “SMRUTIDAAN“. Second during lunch/dinner time, when we eat our food and that converts to energy. God is there to oversee this process. “SHAKTIDAAN“. And at night, when God takes away all the thoughts from our mind, so we can sleep well. “SHANTIDAAN“. Being grateful to God slowly helps in experiencing the nearness of God and oneness with God. At the same time it develops an understanding, that what He does to me, He does unto others. So the other is not other. The other may not be related to me by blood, but we are related by the same maker of blood, God. So other is my divine brother. It’s a chain reaction which spread slowly Trikaal Sandhya being the neutron bombarded on the Human, the uranium atom.
This prayer, for you my readers, might sound like another ritual. But it is not so. If done with an understanding, it creates wonders. There are umpteen examples of what started as a ritual, but on understanding brought in transformation. A tobacco addicted man used to say it everyday. One fine morning, he thought that when I say “करमध्ये तू गोविंद ” meaning God resides in my palm, it means that when I rub tobacco on my palm, I rub it into Him. Now this thought changed his whole understanding and he left tobacco that moment itself. Yes, you may ask that this must be taking time. It does. It is slow and gradual, but permanent. And what if he never realises his folly? Then too it’s fine. He may change in his next life.
Let’s also talk about the transformation in the lives of the fisherman folk whom I mentioned about at the beginning of my blog. Dadaji went to them, into their houses and sat with them. He told them to identify themselves and live a dignified life. He told them “You are from the lineage of Vyas and Valmiki. Then why do belittle yourselves? You are following your father’s profession. ( आ पाप नो नहीं, तारा बाप नो धंधो छे।)” Instilling this self identity in them, the fisherman folk today see their lives change and transform. Dadaji calls them “सागरपुत्र”, the sons of the ocean. The relations that Dadaji built with them and their families is unparalled in the recent history. Similar is the case with the other castes and classes. In this modern world, where caste systems are still predominant amongst the society, people from the upper caste go to the houses of the outcastes ( called untouchables). Not only go to their houses, but live with them and share food with them. All this has been possible by a mind boggling thought of Indwelling God i.e. God resides in everyone.
Dadaji has stressed upon building relations. He says when you go to meet a person, first listen to what the person has to say. This is the stepping stone of any relation. Hear them out. You first relate with them. We do not go to them to change them, or give any advice to them or interfere in their ways of living. But we go to them as they too are sons of the same God who takes care of us. We are divine brothers. And It is believed that Dadaji himself has cultivated such relations with more than a lac families personally, transcending caste, class and creed. It’s mind blowing to see a philosopher so down to earth and ready to mingle with the common man.
His experiments of Yogeshwar Krushi, Matsyagandha, Vrikshmandir, Shreedarshanam, Loknath Amrutalayam to name a few amongst the many have brought about transformation in village and society as a whole. It is an alternative society in the already prevailing one. A society with no vices but just pure love and warmth for each other. A society of selfless relationships. It all sounds like an utopia, but one needs to see it to believe it.
But the crux of all this is the transformation of Humanity with God at it’s centre. The change in the individual. The change not through beheading but through the changing of the thoughts in ones minds and brain. This is true revolution. And so Dadaji’s birthday is celebrated as Human Dignity Day. His human centric life is always like a lighhouse in the vast ocean.
Even today his thoughts and methodology are the same which were at the onset of His Godly effort. The family spread across 6 continents and many countries works in the same way everywhere. This universal approach has been a guiding spirit to Swadhyayees through Dadaji’s daughter, Pujaniya Jayshree Athavale – Talwalkar (Didiji). She works with the same understanding as that of Dadaji’s and guides every Swadhyayee to work with the same spirit. As every year, even this year Swadhyayees are meeting their family, friends and relatives with this thought of God to build God centric selfless relations.
So, today Swadhyayees aptly celebrate Dadaji’s birthday as Human Dignity Day – Manushya Gaurav Din.
Wishing you all and your families a very Happy Human Dignity Day.
(Maadi Taaru Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo Jag Mathe Jaane Prabhutae Pag Mukyo Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo.
Mandir Sarjaayu Ne Ghantaarav Gajyo Nabhno Chandarvo Maa Ae Ankhyumaa Aanjyo Divo Thaavaa Mandir No Chando Aavi Pugyo Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo…
Maavdi Naa Rath Naa Ghugharaa Bolyaa Ajavali Raate Maa e Amrut Dholyaa Gagan No Garbo Maa Na Charanomaa Zukyo Kanku Kharyu Ne Suraj Ugyo…
– Avinash Vyas)
A beautiful poem by Avinashbhai comparing the advent of dawn, with the vermilion applied on the forehead of the Goddess. He goes on to describe that it feels as if the feeling of Godliness has taken over. The grandiose of the Goddess as described in the poem is truly the one that need to observe and behold in our eyes. The grand celebrations started two days back.
The Goddess is worshipped in different forms and every form has its own name and characteristic. Of the different forms, the three forms, namely Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati represent the Female trinity. Again all the three forms are just one of the different forms of the omnipresent. The three signify destruction, wealth and knowledge as well as death, prosperity and birth respectively. They are also worshipped as consorts of Shiv, Vishnu and Brahma respectively.
These days of Nav Ratri (Nine Nights) actually mean 10 days. The 10 days of the battle between Mahisasur and The Goddess Durga. On the 10th day, the Asur was slained and is celebrated as Dusshara (दशहरा). An Asur is someone who is enjoying life and is completely immersed in one’s senses and worldly gratifications only and denies the existence of anything except self. Here the Asur is named as Mahisasur meaning a person who lives and behaves like cattle. Goddess Durga kills this characteristic found within Humans. The fight is within and without too. To overcome or slay these vices one needs to arouse the feminine characteristic within oneself. And this feminine characteristic is Durga. Durga means to takes oneself beyond all difficulties. It is the divine energy that protects the soul from known and unknown, adversity and opposition. Durga means to deliver oneself across the turbulent ocean of ignorance to the radiant other shore beyond all darkness. To remind oneself a Durga Idol/ Ghat/ Kalash is installed in every household of India.
Many households especially in Maharashtra and Gujarat celebrate the festival as ‘Ghatsthapana‘ or ‘Garba‘. The flame or a Diya (small lamp) is kept in a specially made earthen pot with pores (holes) in it. The pot represents the omnipresent Goddess. The rays of light coming out through the pores signifies the importance of knowledge and strength. The Garba is placed at the centre of a circle and the men and women play a disciplined dance, also called Garba, around it on its periphery. It has many a significance. It reminds us that every action of ours needs to be God centric. And also we need to work in tandem with everyone. There needs to be a rhythm in our movement and we cannot afford to miss one step. The village as a whole comes together to celebrate.
At this juncture, need to talk about today’s Garba played in our cities. The youth today calls it Gujarati Sunburn, which is absolute humbug. They just feel that it is a place for entertainment and fun. A place where we can make friends for fun. A place to pick up boys / girls and to spend the nights with them. And then forget everything and live an uncontrolled and non-obstructive life. My readers, I urge upon you to give a thought about the thoughts and rituals which we have got from our elders through our past generations and would they like the way we celebrate them today?
The blaring music and the obscene dance steps add to the joke we have made out of such divine festivals. It affects the environment too. I myself remember playing Garba, the whole night, but it was quite a smaller scale in those times. Every lane had it’s own Garba celebrations and everyone from children to the elderly, participated. I have vivid memories of the girls and the boys playing at different times. In Gujarat, Girls playing is called ‘Garba‘ and the boys playing is called ‘Garbi‘. It is expected that both the sexes play differently. Also it was played on a single Dhol (drum) accompanied by the singing. Men and Women both sang during their routines. It used to be a grand affair and we all learnt the songs well. There were variations in steps then too. But today, the picture has changed. We just want to dance and vent out our feelings. We too like Mahishasur have started leading our lives for our senses and pleasure. We do not deny the existence of God, but at the same time we behave as if He does not exist. The time has come to arouse the Durga within us.
Let us be environment friendly and at the same time instill faith and devotion towards the Goddess during these days.
Let us learn to develop an outlook of treating every woman with respect, as She is the embodiment of Maa Shakti.
Let us remember to keep God in the centre of our life and plan and execute things around Him.
Today I want to express my gratitude to all my students, past and present who have cooperated with us during all these times. With you all being there has always kept us young and always in the mode of learning.
I dont why but I always wanted to be Teacher,
My parents despised this decision in worry of my future,
The idea of learning, all negativity to withstand,
Is the driving force of my passion, hope all understand…
The smiling face of my kids with questions ready,
Thir opening up with their likes, though slow and steady,
Their dislikes too need to be understood and heard,
So that they do not become the part of the herd…
I just love the days that I spend with my students,
Kids they are, facile, not a hint of fraudulence,
They make me noble and drive out my aggresion
For that’s the reason, that am a teacher by profession…
नमस्तेऽस्तु लंबोदारायैकदंताय विघ्ननाशिने शिव सुताय।
श्री वरदमूर्तये नमोनम:।।
(Namo Vraātpataye Namo Ganpataye. Namah Pramathpataye. Namaste astu Lambodaray Ekdantaay Vighnanashine Shiv Sutaay Shree Varadmurtaye Namo Namah.)
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Ganeshotsav. The days of rejoicement. A time when God arrives at our homes. It’s a beautiful concept in itself that God arrives as a guest at our homes.
Generally every household does have a Mandir (temple), so then why does God need to come home? Just to explain to Humans that every Sarjan (construction) has a Visarjan (destruction). The Ganesh which visits our houses is called the Parthiv Ganesh, Ganesh made from sand.
Today I want to talk about Ganpati as the Devi of Buddhi. What can we as students of life learn from Her? What does the Idol of Ganpati wants to convey? Does the concept of the Elephant headed God have any meaning?
My readers, our seers have done everything which has some logic and wanted to convey some understanding by celebrating a festival. They want us to ponder over many qualities and try to imbibe them into our lives. The festival celebration always has a learning part hidden in it.
Today we just want to dance to the tunes of music and pass our time. At the same time I see people being emotionally attached with Ganpati as the countdown of arrival begins many months before actual arrival, or even in some cases, from the day he leaves. People await the arrival as it liberates us from worries and sorrow and keeps us happy. But will we be stuck in this. Will we not move ahead in our understanding and let ourselves grow. Or just go on doing it the ritualistic way? At the same time am not against rituals. We all do the parayan of Atharvashirsh every year. Many of my friends do get the Parthiv Ganesh Murti at home. But let’s try to understand it today from a student perspective.
The Ganpati word itself has a meaning, the leader of the masses. Ganesh means the Eshwar of the Ganas (leader of the masses). So the Lord exhibits the characteristics of a leader. And to be a good leader, we need to educate ourselves (to draw out the qualities within us).
1. The Ganpati has an elephant head. Elephant signifies wisdom. So we all need to be gaining wisdom through what we study.
2. He has narrow and small eyes. It is not so that the eyes are small, but the face is so big, that the eyes look small. But the best part about the eyes is that they can see even a small needle in their path. As students when we study, we need to understand the smallest of the nuances of the topic which we are learning. We need to be alert for each and every information, and in whichever corner it may be, however small it may be.
3. His ears are like the “Sup” (grain whinning plate). The Sup keeps the grain intact and at the same time removes the dirt from them. The enormity of ears suggest us to be open to listen to all but decide what to discard while we listen. As a student, one needs to be focussed on studies. We may be exposed to various things around us, but we have to decide what to keep and which to blow off. Also at the same time keep our ears open for good thoughts however far they maybe or however faint they may be. In the different thoughts, we need to find out the most important one.
4. A crooked trunk signifies the length and the reach of oneself. The knowledge we get must be kept in such a way (folded) that it does not interfere in someone’s life. But it should unfold at the right time and be used for the rightful thing.
5. Ganpati is Mahakaay. A huge body. A big belly. Big belly is for keeping all things in the stomach. It is a storing place. Similarly we have to gain such huge knowledge that we need a big belly to keep it.
6. He has a small mouth. It signifies to talk less. A student needs to talk less and listen more. Keeping ones mouth shut means concentrating on what is being spoken and taught. At the same time, it also means that open up at the right time, ask questions, discuss, argue and draw conclusions.
7. The modak in his hand has its own significance. It is sweet inside even if tasteless outside. It reminds us, students, that go into the depth of every topic ones learns. Any topic is always sweet and interesting from within. Outside it is always bookish and boring.
8. He rides a mouse. It signifies a control over worldly desires. Similarly a student needs to have his own control over his desires and concentrate on his/ her studies. He needs to ride his wishes and will.
We can go on and on with lots of things about the Lord. But somewhere we need to leave the things for next time. Many thoughts still lie in my mind which need to be emphasized and talk about. But leave to it Ganesha to give me an opportunity to pen them down some other day.
Wishing you all again, a very grand Ganeshotsav.
MAY GANESHA BLESS US ALL WITH LOTS OF INTELLECT AND WISDOM
If knowing or unknowingly, have caused “Dukh” (rough translation “pain”) to any one, living or non living, by my thoughts, words or deed, thenfrom the bottom of my heart, I bow down to you and ask for your forgiveness.
The 8th day also known as Samvatsari. It is a Day to ask for forgiveness from the creatures of the world and the creation itself.
In my last two blogs, we are talking about the ten fold path or the ten virtues we need to imbibe in our lives to be a good Jain, follower of Jin (The Teerthankar). We have talked about 7 virtues till now. Will briefly recap them before moving on to the last three.
Kshama, the virtue of forgiveness. Mardav, to be modest in all situations. And the straightforwardness, Aarjav. Satya to accept one’s existence and the journey of life is to find the truth. Sauch, the purity of body and our thoughts. Sanyam, restraining ourselves and our Panch Indriya. Tap, the art of practising non food intake. These seven if implemented on would help us in our quest to find ourselves. Now, we move onto the last three.
TYAGA (Renunciation) – To leave things behind. Here Tyaga also means keeping the bare minimum and slowly giving away that minimum too. That is what the Jain Sadhu does. Bhagwaan Mahaveer too had a loin cloth when he left the kingdom, and slowly that too wore off. It happened naturally.
Internally renuncing the attachments and emotions is like removing a big hurdle from the path of development.And this is possible by realising the true nature of the soul.
AKINCHANYA (Non-attachment) – This assists the person in detaching from external possessions. Historically ten possessions are listed in Jain scriptures: ‘land, house, silver, gold, wealth, grain, female servants, male servants, garments and utensils’. Being unattached from these, helps control our desires and leads to an influx of meritorious karmas.
Also akinchanya assists us in being unattached from our internal attachments of false belief, anger, pride, deceit, greed, laughter, liking, disliking, lamentation, fear, disgust, sexual desires.The more we are unattached, the more we purify our soul.
BRAHMACHARYA (Celibacy) – It might have been talked about at last but it is equally important as the others. It’s only sexual context needs to be clarified. It means staying away from desires and our wishes. To the extent of staying away from our senses. Not even being led off by the scent of a rose or a cool breeze.
Brahmacharya has two words in it. Brahma + Charya. Brahma here means the soul and Charya means to dwell. It simple means to dwell in one’s soul. When we reside in our soul, we can become the master of the Universe. To reside outside means to become a slave of desires.
All the above ten virtues make us a good Jain or the follower of Jin. Many of you may wonder that we never heard anything like what you have written. But dear readers, we are followers of Jin. Let’s go back to our roots. Follow what Jin Prabhu has said. Our Sadhu and Sadhviji’s are our teachers. They can show us the path and lead us unto it. It is we who need to walk on it.
My student (Khushi Maniyar) had shared with me the meaning of Paryushan which I reproduce here as it.
“Paryushan introduces one to oneself. It reminds us of souls ultimate goal. पर्यूषण is actually made of two words. परि + उष्ण. परि means from outside and उषण means to come home stay. It means to come out of all materialistic things and stay in oneself ie आत्मा मा वास करवो.“
Now if you read all the three blogs together than my writing would make sense. Fasting is good, but at the same time the person who is fasting is thinking about these 10 virtues and is in the thought process of how to imbibe them into our lives. So let us all who fast, pray or ask for forgiveness celebrate the greatness of these days, try and live in the divine and pure atmosphere and immerse ourselves in it.
At the end of this series, I beg for forgiveness if I have hurt any one by my words or thoughts or deeds. I ask for forgiveness from all Guru Bhagwan for any mistakes in these blogs.
Frankly even after writing all the meanings I still feel that the names mean the leader of the masses. Also the different meanings convey the same thought that the one who leads.
The idea itself is so heart warming that the God himself comes to reside with us. We all go to the temples to get a regular Darshan. But today is the day when He comes to our place to meet us, to stay with us, to eat with us, to bless us. This itself is such a beautiful thought.
I always wonder who must have thought of this idea of getting the God home. How that idea must have percolated to the masses! The amount of time and energy spent on this idea is something beyond the pages of history, date and time.
This thought always keeps me trying to find answers to my questions. And I know Ganesh, the Goddess of Intellect helps and satisfies the curious with an answer.
There is a story that when Ved Vyas, decided to write the Mahabharata, he was trying to find a writer who would wite his story. It was a humongous task and the writer too has to be of the same iintellect as the story teller. So Muni Narad suggested that Ganpati, the son of Shiva, can write it.
Ved Vyas did approach Ganpati who readily agreed. They both had an understanding. Once the writing of the book was started, it would not stop till the end and the writer would just not write down the book as a dictation but uunderstand it before writing it down.
Two great personalities, and, one great epic.
Ganpati had decided not to stand up while writing, so sitting in one place would increase the heat within his body and make him uncomfortable. So Ved Vyas came up with an idea of applying mud packs on Ganpati’s body to keep him cool. Ved Vyas served Ganpati food that he loved to eat the most.
As the mud packs were applied, Ganpati’s murti, even today, is made from mud (Shadhumaati). Yet, even after these 10 days when the wrting of the book was completed, the heat had increased inside Ganpati’s body and the mud packs had dried and stuck to his body. So it is said that Ved Vyas took Ganpati to a nearby river to bathe him to soothe his body as well as remove the dried packs from his body.
Thus began the culture of getting Ganpati in the idol form at one’s house for 10 days and immersing them in water on the 10th day. Later, as it was found that it is difficult to get and look after such a big personality at home for 10 days, Rishis must have come up with the idea of keeping Him for 1 and half day or 5 days.
Some may disagree with this story, but it’s a start of the quest to find the reason behind it. Its going to be long journey, but will tread on it slowly and steadily. I trust that Ganpatiji will help me.
Wishing you all a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and a colourful Ganeshotsav.
My readers may ask me how is it that you Jains celebrate Mahaveer Jayanti twice in a year? Actually I too had the same question few years ago. Even many Jains call it Mahaveer Jayanti. But the fact is a little different. It is during these days, the Holy Book “Kalpsutra” is read. The life of the 24 Teerthankars is read and understood. On the 5th Day, the story of Mata Trishala’s 14 dreams (16 according to Digambar sect) and birth of Bhagwaan Mahaveer is read out. So it is called the Mahaveer Janma Vachan. And people celebrate with pomp as Mahaveer Jayanti.
We continue from my last blog about the ten fold path or ten virtues to be imbibed into our lives during these days of Paryushan. Last time, we gave a thought about 3 virtues. Kshama, the virtue of forgiveness. Mardav, to be modest in all situations. And the straightforwardness, Aarjav.
Today we talk about SATYA, SAUCH, SANYAM and TAP.
SATYA (TRUTH) – The only truth in this world is the existence of Self. Every other truth is relative. Excepting our own existence is the one and final step towards self realisation. Being in self denial, living in self denial is not going to help anyone. The first thing in life is to except oneself as one is and then move ahead in life.
At the same time, we can begin with small steps of speaking the truth and living that truth. At the same time being truthful does not mean to hurt others with our truthfulness. In our quest of the truth, we have to see to it that we do not hurt otherswith our truth. सत्यं ब्रूयात्, प्रियं ब्रूयात् . (Speak the truth, speak it with love). Any truth needs to be spoken with love and care. It also means that unless we share a good relation, we should not speak the truth. We need to develop relationships and let them thrive, for the truth to be told or spoken.
Also when we lie, we need to speak a hundred new lies to justify one lie. Which in turn hampers the process of imbibing Satya in our lives. So at the end, I will say one needs to realise the truth hidden within oneself.
SAUCH(Purity/Contentment) – Here the word means purity of body to purity of thoughts to purity of mind/brain. We all are aware about the external purity of our body due to the education, we receive in our schools. But we need to slowly go inwards, towards oneself. Getting contentment from material desires is not the only goal of life, but leading a contented, pure life so that it can be an ideal for generations, constitutes Sauch.
The characteristic of the soul is purity. So it is within us, which we need to find and not get stuck in material gains only. We need to go deep inside oneself and dig out this hidden virtue within us. And for this we need to practise restraint.
SANYAM(Self restraint) – I feel this is one of the virtues with whom Jains are largely identified today. Yes, we believe in restraint, not killing anyone outwardly as well as inwardly. But that is not only Jainism. Not harming anyone, not even the smallest of the creatures, is evident in all thoughts originating from Bharat. But here SANYAM means restraining oneself from desires. It is painful when our desires take over us. These 8 days constantly remind us to be away from desires. So to remember and learn this thought, we need to read the Kalpasutra. Learn from Teerthankar’s life. They never showed off. So should we?
It is also through SANYAM that we can win our desires and tread on the path of Moksh. Lesser we are attached to material things, nearer we are to ourselves and our goals of attaining Moksh. That is the reason Jains take up Sadhu dharm. The road to find one’s true self.
TAP (Austerity) – TAP means fasting, control over food. Restricting the intake of food. But after that do we gain control over our habit of eating food. Are we able to control our desires? Why is there a queue outside restaurants a Day before Paryushan and a Day after Samvatsari/Rishi Panchami? Restricting food also means restricting desires. Do we think about it? Are the celebrations of TAP justified?
Do we meditate during Tap. Do We sit back and introspect? Do we feel the nearness with our self? Our God? Cause after abstinence of food we need to move onto the next step of going towards one self.
I hope, my readers, you will give a thought about what we have read today. I just want to point out that we are becoming too ritualistic. Am not against rituals but we cannot get stuck in the rituals. Jain philosophy is loosing it’s sheen due to this. It is like eating the coconut from outside instead of enjoying the original coconut inside. So my friends, let’s think.
Still have 3 more virtues to go through. But ours is a journey long and slow, so let’s tread on it.
Listen to the Kalpasutra carefully.
Listen to what the learned Sadhu-Sadhviji’s have to tell us.
Listen to the voice within and learn to live by it.
Today is the New Moon Day (Amaavasya) of the Shraavan month. The last day of the month. Month of Bhadrapad begins tomm. Today is celebrated as “Pola” in Maharashtra and South India. Cattles are worshipped today.
And today is Mother’s Day. A day to remember all the great mothers like Jijabai, Kaushalya, Devaki and many more and their contribution towards parenting their kids. Also a day to express our gratitude to the “Gaumata”, “Tulsimata” and “Bharatmata”. By naming them, I just want to convey that every person and every substance which has help us nurture our life, is like our Mother, and today is the day to remember them.
And overall our own Mother, who has not only given us birth but also took care of us and help us grow.Someone can ask me that shouldn’t we remember our Mother everyday? I agree with them. But today is the day to not only remember them but also express our gratitude towards them.
1. Mother, a shade : I still remember my mother standing rigat by my side with a ruler in hand and hitting me when I erred, while learning Gujarati. Coming from a convent school, again her decision to educate me in an English Medium School, she took the pains that I learn my mother tongue Gujarati, when I was in 8th std. She made me do it the whole vacation. Today, I say with pride, that if my language is good and my grammar strong, it is just because of Her. I thank her today for her efforts.
Secondly my English teacher. Can never forget her. Ms A Coutinho. The effports she has taken for my Grammar, rather for the whole class, is showing its effect with our cmmunications today. Every free period of our 9th standard was taken up by Her for grammar. We used to tease her and dislie her for this, but today we all are veRyan grateful to her for her efforts. She treated every child as hers and put in equal efforts in each.
2. Mother, the last resort : I still remember that whenever we siblings wanted to get our things done, my mother was our last resort. Rather when it came to dealings with my father, it was always Her, who stood strogly for us.
I, am a father today, and see the same trait in my wife today. The way she prods our kids, the way She pushes them to exceed their limits and excel in their doings is mind blowing. The way She always stand by them and always there to help them is something we fathers rarely do. And after all this, if the kids feel that She is their last resort, they are right.
3. Mother, a security-giver : Mom is the bst security a child can ever get. The way she takes care of her child can only be compared to a lioness taking care of her cubs. She will go to the extent of fighting and killing the enemy. She will pprotect and teach the kid to protect himself.
Am reminded of Jijabai who took Shivaji under her care and nurtured him to grow up to become a great king. In the initial years of growing up, she has played not only the role of a mother but also protected Shivaji from all the evils of the society.
4. Mother, the ever giving : A child growing up without a mother is a difficult job for a father, but the mother can also fill in for the loss of a father and bring up the child. A mothers showers all her love and warmth and affection on her child and does not leave anything for next time.
There is no great personality who wouldn’t acknowledge the contribution by his/her mother into their lives. Satyakaam Jabaal is known by his mother and so are many. Even today, a childs good mannerisms and characters are attributed to its mother more.
In the end, would just request all my readers to give a thought for what their mothers have done for them and always remember to be grateful to them.
Also that our great culture and civilisation has already given us a Mother’s day, centuries back, so we have been, foremost, in acknowledging the role and contribution of a mother towards building a home, society and country, which the West is acknowledging from last few decades ot maybe a century or two. Let’s not forget that and educate our next generation about it too…
Oh! Forgiving Gurudev, I am giving up all my wrongful acts with all my strength and bow down to you with my head near to your feet.
The festival for asking forgiveness and to forgive.
The festival of celebrating life with a different perspective.
The festival of coming together and abiding.
The festival to follow and uphold the tenfold path of
1. KSHAMA (Forbearance)
2. MARDAV (Modesty)
3. AARJAV (Straightforwardness)
4. SATYA (Truth)
5. SHAUCH (Purity)
6. SANYAM (Restraint)
7. TAP (Austerity)
8. TYAGA (Renunciation)
9. AKINCHANYA (Non-attachment)
10. BRAHMACHARYA (Celibacy)
Before treading on this Ten-fold path, let me share with my non- Jain readers, that Jainism is one of the most scientific way of living and thinking. The way of worship is the same, except for the Sthanakvasi fold of the Shwetambar sect, that is everyone follows Idol worship.
Jainism, itself is divided into two big sects, the Shwetambar’s (the ones whose sadhus clad in white) and Digambar’s (the ones whose clothes are the sky, ie their sadhus accept and live a life without clothes). Shwetambar’s are further divided into 2 folds, the Deravasis (one who go to temples ie follow Idol worship) and the Sthanakvasis, as already mentioned before (one who do not go to temples and do not believe in Idol worship). Even with these outward differences, the thought of Jainism is followed uniformly in any part of the world. It is the uniqueness of the thought process in India, that even after having different ways of worship, we all are one.
Secondly, my readers might know Lord Mahaveer as the one who established Jainism. Again that’s not the complete information. Mahaveer is the 24th Teerthankar belonging to lineage of Rishabhdev or Adinath, as He is called, being the first. A Teerthankar is the one whose soul is sublime and one who has compassion towards all living beings. He is the realised one. And Jainism believes that anyone and everyone can transform his life to become the sublime self. All the 24 Teerthankars command the same devotion as any one of them.
I have decided not to go into the historical part of Jainism nor it’s cultural impact. I want to talk about the Ten-fold path propagated by these 24 men, for which the following eight days/ten days are to be celebrated. I said it’s a celebration of life because during these days one needs to sit back and brood over the above virtues and think about how to imbibe them into our life. All the 10 virtues mentioned above are equal with none more important or less important. All are equally important. We will talk about the first three today and during the course of 8 days, will talk about others, as and when the Lord permits.
1. KSHAMA(Forbearance) – My readers must have read the small prayer at the starting of the blog. It asks for forgiveness. Forgiveness is asked by bowing one’s head onto the feet of the person who is expected to forgive. As a mortal with lots of ego it is difficult for a person to bow down onto the feet of the person whom we have wronged. So we begin by bowing down to our Guru, the Teacher. If this becomes our routine, the person sheds all his inhibitions and attachment to self and will be brave enough to ask for forgiveness from the person whom he has wronged. And slowly we all can ask for forgiveness from all the creatures in the world. He is Mahaveer. This is what is Samyak Darshan. (Right Belief).
Forgiveness is like the oil to the machine, it helps us live in harmony with our fellow beings. Forgiveness begins with self. One should learn to forgive oneself. We all are sometimes too tough with ourselves. It is necessary in today’s world, but at the same time we need to be forgiving ourselves for our own spiritual development. We may be wrong in our way of living and thinking, but the day we realise we have been wrong, we need to forgive ourselves and move ahead in life. Do learn from our mistakes so that we do not repeat them, but forgive oneself too.
Forgiveness is the pain we inflict upon ourselves so that we may learn from it and brighten our lives with better karma. People have a wrong notion about forgiveness. They feel that it means to forgive others. But here the Jain darshan guides us to forgive oneself. It is only then, one can realise his true self.Forgiveness (Kshama Dharm) teaches ones soul to correct one’s identify oneself by encouraging to contemplate its true nature and hence achieve state of right belief (Samyak Darshan).
2. MARDAV(Modesty) – Humility is the diamond amongst the virtues. It is humility that makes great people, great. They never boast of their greatness nor talk about it or even give a hint about it. Sometimes our looks, money, social status, the virtue of forgiveness may make us a little / lot self-centered. Hence Kshama is followed by Mardav. There should be modesty in life after forgiveness. People believe in themselves being superior to others. We all come across such people in our lives. We might be like them too. We measure everything by temporary material objects. But this dents our life in the most dangerous way and makes our penance full of ‘Rajas’ gun. So we need to be very alert about this. The Paryushan days remind us of Humility.
All souls are born equal. No one is superior nor inferior. This is the true nature of our soul, every soul. Each soul is born divine. And the most important aspect is that every soul has a potential within to liberate itself. This belief will lead us to Mardav.
3. AARJAV(Straightforwardness) – People are deceitful. They deceive others and think that they are something great. But in doing so, they are deceiving themselves. One thinks different, speaks different and acts different. Our scriptures tells us to stay away from such people. Deceitful people loose the trust of others and they are considered less credible. Such people are a curse to the society as a whole. Whereas straightforwardness makes a person trustworthy. Such straightforward people are considered to be reliable and slowly they win the hearts of the people around them.
A straightforward person realises that the countless qualities with a being are an instrument to attain his final destination. Again the thoughts, the karma, are different from the realisation of self. So Arjav helps the person to tread on the path of realisation.
My dear readers, it’s a path we have got due to our karma’s of last lives and we need to make everything of this opportunity that we have got. We are on the path of Jin. On the path of Arihant. On the path of Siddh and Upadhyay. Let us all together decide to stick to this path and abide to live by the teachings of the Teerthankars. Then we can become true Jains.
Wishing all the Indians a very Happy 74th Independence Day.
On this day, I first bow down to God as He is the one who got India, Her independence. You, my reader, may ask me, How come God gave India independence? What was His role in it? How come you Indians always get God involved in everything? On the onset let us clarify this point as such. Yes, God is always a part of my writings and our Indian thought cause we believe that we exist because of him. Not only us but the whole creation exists because of Him. And yes we can logically prove that India got independence according to His wishes. Also at this point I should clarify that this thought has been imbibed in me by Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale. The World War II ended on a victorious note for Great Britain and it’s allies. Winston Churchill, the then prime minister, had led his country to victory through one of the toughest wars. It was he who has given the world the sign of Victory as “V”. He had kept up the high morale of the British troops and citizens during the war. The elections were due that same year and after this victory Churchill coming back to power was a foregone conclusion. But the results were surprising. Labour party with Clement Atlee as its head came to power. Labour was of the view of granting independence to British colonies including India. Winston Churchill’s idea and arrogance about India and Indians is well known to us by now. Now how did this happen? How did the electorate change its mind? I feel that God must have changed their minds. God had his own expectations from India, that let Her be free and guide the world over. (Have we been successful in living upto His expectations? is another question). Thus I first bow down to God.
I secondly bow down to the people who left their careers, families and laid down their lives for the independence of our country. My young readers in today’s times, it is difficult for us to imagine the situation or the battle at that time. Whom were we fighting against? A nation on whom the sun never set. Yet these people (freedom fighters) just selflessly offered themselves to the country without expecting. anything in return. Neither success, nor an expectation from Indians to remember their sacrifice. They just jumped into the burning fire of the independence struggle. A 16/17 year kid, Khudiram Bose, went to the gallows with a smile on his face. One 65/70 year man, Lala Lajpat Rai accepted the brunt of the English batons and gave up his life. A youth of an age of 30/35, Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar, accepted a two 50 year sentence in jail with a question “Will British Raj rule India for that much time?”. Our heads are held high even today while taking the names of Bhagatsingh, Rajguru and Sukhdev for their supreme sacrifice. Tatya Tope, Mangal Pandey, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Chandrasekhar Azad, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipinchandra Pal, these and many other names make us feel a sense of pride. Let us also not forget the women power of India. Their participation too was to the fullest. Rani Laxmibai, Kittur Rani Chenamma, Kalpana Dutt, Aruna Asaf Ali and many such brave women participated actively in this fight. We can go on and on with these names, but we will just pause here and now bow down to all the known and unknown freedom fighters.
Thirdly I bow down to the person who unified India, as it exists now, and for that he travelled to every nook and corner of India. He is called the Chanakya of Modern India. He integrated more than 500 big and small kingdoms into India with love and understanding and persuasion. Those which could not be pursuaded through understanding and love were then integrated in the way and language they understood well. The person is none other than, the most ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. If Congress was strong then, ready to listen to and follow the Gandhian way, it was because of Vallabhbhai Patel who went around meeting person to person, village to village, city to city to propogate the ideas and ideals of Congress then. It does not matter whether we honour this great man with Bharat Ratna (the highest civilian honour in India), but he is truly a gem produced by Mother India. It is with utmost sadness, Will we be able to understand the sacrifices this man has made? is a question that I leave to my reader to ponder over. Does India know the living generations of his family? The behaviour / treatment with the family of this great martyr makes one think, that did we fight for this? He did not have any expectations, agreed. But the question is that do we have any responsibility towards people like Sardar?
As the day is of celebrations, so is the day to sit back and think about a few things. Where do we stand? Where does Bharat stand today in the world? Are we the torch bearers of humanity for the world? Will only technological development and strong economic policy make us one? There was a time when the world recognised Bharat for its spiritual doctrines and borrowed from them. Swami Vivekanand and Gurudev Aurobindo were it’s guiding light. We had selfless social workers in Vinoba Bhave and Ravishankar Maharaj (Gujarat) who tirelessly worked towards the betterment of the society as a whole. Where are we today? Lest someone understand am against technological development, let me clarify that am not. But only technological development is not going us to lead unto overall development. Don’t we feel that we are taking care of just one part of the developmental process and ignoring others? We, Bharatiya will have to think holistically. That will help us regain our prosperity and respect. We will have to change the way we think. Will have to imbibe love and emotions for our country through our education system. If we do this today, then we will be able to see it’s fruits a few years later, cause change is slow.
Today we need to inculcate one’s love for his country and the pride of being an Bharatiya amongst all of us. We will have to study our true history for this. We will have to come out of the dogmas of left wingers and right wingers and think; write in that manner and live what we write and demonstrate. . त्यजेदेकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् । ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे आत्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ॥ (For the good of many, we will have to leave out one. For the good of the village we will have to leave out many. For the good of our country we will have to leave our village. And for self development and realisation, leave this worldly pleasures) We all have to rise above the narrow mindedness of selfishness, victory and listen to each and every citizen of India. We do not know, who will be guided by the God’s to suggest or speak the truth!
We will have to take all our decisions keeping Bharat and Her greatness in mind. We have done this before. The best example is our constituent assembly consisting of people coming from different areas, thoughts and leanings. Yet, for India, they all discussed, argued, debated and made unanimous decisions. Every person should know that it is his responsibility, our responsibility to run this country in a proper manner. To take care of it and to carry it forward on the path of progress is my responsibility, our responsibility. The day we realise this and are able to do this, will be the day when we will be democratic and independent in its true sense.
And for this, we will have to reach out to every nook and corner of Bharat. Reach out selflessly to each and every Bharatiya and develop a relationship based on love for our country. Will have to rekindle the fire of Spirituality with love and affection. That will be the rise of true nationalism. From that day onwards, India will again be a true torch bearer of humanity.
My readers, if we are unable to do this, let us all be helpful to people who are into it. If not helpful, let us appreciate the people who are trying to do it.
On this 74th Independence day, let us all pledge to contribute to Bharat in our own small ways, so that our Bharatmata would be happy and would also bless us with Her most valuable blessings.
In context with the current situation, the different experiences of staying at home and spending time with family in this way is something one had never imagined. Later, to some extent, we are going to be reminiscent of these memories.
Intelligence plus Character – that is the goal of true education
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Education means to inculcate good qualities in Human Beings.
Education makes a human being.
Education, today, is bread oriented. It teaches a person to become a good engineer, a good doctor, a good Chartered Accountant. But it does not teach the human being to be a good father or a good son.
They learn from their teachers less and parents more.
Actually when I think that education should imbibe qualities in a human being, in todays context, it becomes quite impossible to do all the things that is expected of it. As kids stay at school for just 6 to 7 hours. The rest of the hours, the kids are at home.
Do parents complement todays education?
Do they give such an atmosphere that the child can grow and develop?
It is always easy to pass on the blame than take it on us. But today we need to think about what we are doing as parents. Paying up the school and class fees just does not suffice.
Spending time with kids and playing with them is also a very important part of their life and upbringing. I still remember my grandmother, my neighbour telling me stories of Ram and Krishna in my childhood days and they have played a big role in shaping my thoughts and life. My mother was always there for me and always helping me find new and new books. She not only inculcate the habit of reading in me, she thought me my mother tongue,(Gujarati) as I studied in a Convent school. I see my wife doing the same for our kids.
After all this, it is also the atmosphere the child stays in and takes decision of what to pick up and what not. He needs guidance even there, and we peers need to be present at all such times.
So, in all, education begins at home and should continue in school and society.
And it is not only the responsibility of the school or school teachers only. Only thing is that we all need to play our part sincerely and honestly. This would help us all to make good citizens and better human beings.
Madhurashtakam is the sweetest description of the sweetness of child God, Shri Krishna by Mahaprabhu Shri Vallabhcharya. Every body part and all the actions of Shri Krishna are sweet and by his sweet contact anything living or non-living becomes sweet. Whatever sweetness we see in this material world should be understood as a small fraction of the sweetness of Shri Krishna. So the devotees of Lord Krishna should continuously remember the butter stealing form of his. It is not possible to describe the sweetness of Madhurashtakam; probably it contains the sweetest eight verses written in worship of Lord Sri Krishna on this earth.
O Krishna! your words are sweet, your acts are sweet, your clothes are sweet, your bent posture is sweet, your movements are sweet, your roaming is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥2 ॥
O Krishna! your flute is sweet, your garland is sweet, your hands are sweet, your feet are sweet, your dance is sweet, your friendship is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥3 ॥
O Krishna! your songs are sweet, your drinking is sweet, your eating is sweet, your sleeping is sweet, your beauty is sweet, your mark of forehead is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥4 ॥
O Krishna! your deeds are sweet, your floating is sweet, your act of stealing is sweet, your love is sweet, your words are sweet, your silence is sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥5 ॥
O Krishna! your berries are sweet, your garland is sweet, your river Yamuna is sweet, her waves are sweet, her water is sweet, her lotus are sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥6 ॥
O Krishna! your Gopis are sweet, your playing is sweet, with them you are sweet, without them you are sweet, your glance is sweet, your manners are sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥ 7 ।।
O Krishna! your friends are sweet, your cows are sweet, your stick is sweet, your creation is sweet, your destruction is sweet, your boons are sweet. O Lord of sweetness! everything about you is sweet only. ॥ 8॥
Now what is given here is the literal translation of the words and verses written. We need to dwell upon every word and find out the reason why Mahaprabhu has written every word and through his learn the Krishna way of life.
After talking about learning and parenting in my last two blogs on Krishna Janmashtami day, today wanna look at all together another aspect of Krishna. His relation with his family. Am going to quote only two poems (pad) written by Surdasji, for the same and leave it upto my reader to find their meaning.
मैं नहिं माखन खायो
मैया! मैं नहिं माखन खायो।
ख्याल परै ये सखा सबै मिलि मेरैं मुख लपटायो॥
देखि तुही छींके पर भाजन ऊंचे धरि लटकायो।
हौं जु कहत नान्हें कर अपने मैं कैसें करि पायो॥
मुख दधि पोंछि बुद्धि इक कीन्हीं दोना पीठि दुरायो।
डारि सांटि मुसुकाइ जशोदा स्यामहिं कंठ लगायो॥
बाल बिनोद मोद मन मोह्यो भक्ति प्राप दिखायो।
सूरदास जसुमति को यह सुख सिव बिरंचि नहिं पायो॥
This is a pad written by Surdas describing the act of stealing curds by Shree Krishna. And when caught by the mother, Jashoda, the different reasons given by Lala how curd is seen on his face.
Another pad where Surdasji describes Krishna’s question to his mother Jashoda, regarding the colour of her skin and His skin. And how it has become a point of mischief for his friends. A beautiful pad explaining the relation of Krishna, his brother Balaram and mother Yashoda
मैया मोहि दाऊ बहुत खिझायौ ।
मोसौ कहत मोल कौ लीन्हौ, तू जसुमति कब जायौ ?
कहा करौं इहि रिस के मारैं खेलन हौं नहिं जात ।
पुनि-पुनि कहत कौन है माता को है तेरौ तात ॥
गोरे नंद जसोदा गोरी, तू कत स्यामल गात ।
चुटुकी दै-दै ग्वाल नवावत, हँसत, सबै मुसुकात ॥
तू मोही कौं मारन सीखी, दाउहि कबहुँ न खीझै ।
मोहन-मुख रिस की ये बातैं, जसुमति सुनि-सुनि रीझै ॥
सुनहु कान्ह, बलभद्र चबाई, जनमत ही कौ धूत ।
सूर स्याम मोहि गोधन की सौं, हौं माता तू पूत ॥
All I want to say is that Krishna, the Divinity Himself, came to earth to guide us, Humanity, on how to live life. Instead of studying and understanding that, we are just interested in dancing, singing and making pyramids to break the pot of curd hanging at great heights. Am not against any form of celebration cause I myself too participate in it, but cannot leave such a great life, limited only to these things.
On this day of Janmashtami, I bow to Krishna, the Purnavtaar, for guiding mankind, on how to live through his life.
I bow to Krishna for giving us Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, a guide to lead a better life.
I bow to Krishna for accepting us as we are and leading us on the oath of finding oneself.
The next part is that education removes vices. Was thinking over it that how can education have a negative definition; actually it should have been education means one which draws out the hidden virtues with a person.
But sometimes to build a positive narrative, we need to understand its opposing negative part. This helps in making our understanding about a subject as a whole.
We begin with a simple vice, laziness. Who doesnt love to be lazy? But it is not a virtue at all. I still remember my dad switching on all the lights of the house early even on a sunday or even in vacation. I didnt like it then, but thank him now at my age for imbibing the quality of diligence, at that age, which is helping me now. Now I feel that early morning schools are always a better option than afternoon schools as they leave the whole day free for kids to play and study.
Let us take another one like anger. But the educationists need to talk about patience and compassion. Patience is the key to success. It is the impatience in today’s lives that is the root cause of major problems in our lives. We need to be taught to learn to be patient. “Jam yesterday, Jam tomorrow, but no Jam today” – is a sentence we all will remember learning at school or home. Compassion comes with maturity, but that is possible if one has learnt to patient.
We can go on discussing many such vices which need to be substituted with a virtue, for example greed – generosity, pride – modesty / humility, jealousy – gratitude and so on.
Now we come to our question that does today’s education helps us do this or rather makes us do this? The clear answer is NO.
Frankly today education has nothing to do with character building, it is just career – making and bread oriented. Ethics and values do not form a part of the curriculum. Economics goes to the extent of saying ethics has no part to play in economics. Now if this is the state of education in our country, why expect loyalty or ethical behaviour in our society.
So we need to find a solution to this. Right now the onus is on the parents to impart value education to their kids which sometimes is overlooked in case of working parents or parents having only a money-minded attitude. Also the society as a whole need to sit back and think about this.
Let us, parents and teachers, together find a solution to this
Let us draw out the hidden qualities with our child so that he / she can become a better son / daughter, a better father / mother , a better brother / sister and so on…
And that is the reason I began my blog with Swamiji’s sentence that these things are already there inside, we need to draw them out…
9th August 1942 – Quit India movement was launched
9th August 1925 – This is an important date in the independence fight of India against the British.
Members of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) looted the government treasury from the mail train near Kakori, 22km away from Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)
The members of this association were keen on not only throwing but uprooting the British rule from India, through an armed struggle.
The idea of this robbery was the brainchild of Ramprasad Bismil. It was not for money that they planned this lot but to make the government at that time aware about the problems of the Indian people and their cry for self rule. Agreed that the path taken by revolutionaries was not approved by many Indians, and so they did not support HSRA in any way. So our history teaches us that they did this robbery out of need of money. But people who have decided to die for the independence of India, would loot the train for money is something which does not appeal my mind and conscience.
People involved in this plan were Ramprasad Bismil, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan, Keshab Chakravarty, Sachindra Bakshi, Murari Sharma, Mukundi Lal, Manmathnath Gupta and Banwari Lal.
On 9 August 1925, the Number 8 Down Train travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow was approaching the town of Kakori (now in Uttar Pradesh), when one of the revolutionaries pulled the emergency chain to stop the train and subsequently overpowered the guard. It is believed that they looted that specific train because it was carrying the money bags which belonged to the Indians and was being transferred to the British government treasury. They looted only these bags (which were present in the guards’ cabin and contained more than 100,000 rupees) and escaped to Lucknow.
More than 40 people were arrested from all over India and sent to trial.
Ram Prasad Bismil and some others were charged with various offences, including robbery and murder. Fifteen people had been released due to lack of evidence and a further five had escaped, two of them — Ashfaqullah Khan and Sachindra Bakshi—were captured after the trial.
Chandrasekhar Azad, reorganised the HRA in 1928 and operated it till 27 February 1931, the day he died in a heroic act in Allahabad. On the day, He was surrounded by police and after a long shootout, holding true to his pledge to never be captured alive, he shot himself dead with his last bullet on 27 February 1931 at Chandrasekhar Azad Park, Allahabad.
Charges pressed against a further four men were dropped. Damodar Swarup Seth was discharged due to illness, while Veer Bhadra Tiwari, Jyoti Shankar Dixit and Shiv Charan Lal have been suspected of providing information to the authorities. Two other individuals – Banwari Lal and Indu Bhushan Mitra came to be approvers in return for a lenient sentence.
The punishments given were as follows:
Death sentence: Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah Khan
Deportation to Kala Pani (Port Blair Cellular Jail, Andaman and Nicobar Islands): Sachindranath Sanyal and Sachindranath Bakshi
I have purposely highlighted the people who were sentenced and their sentences as the kids today do not know about all this. NO books of history teaches us all this. We do remember different occasions today, but do not recall such events which also are proud moments in our fight for independence.
On this day, when we pay our respects to the people who does in the “Fat Boy” explosion at Nagasaki, or the people who gave their everything for Quit India,
Let us also remember all those who lead and fought an armed struggle for the Independence of our Motherland.
To draw out questions, to draw out vices in life and to draw out the already imbibed yet undrawn (hidden) qualities in a human being.
Keeping in context with the above definition, let us have a fair discussion about the same. First I raise a few questions.
Does our Education encourage curiosity?
Does our Education remove the vices from our life?
Does our education inculcate good qualities in us?
There can be many questions but I will stick to the above mentioned three.
Curiosity (the art of asking questions) is an inborn characteristic of a human being. It is out of curiosity, that human kind has developed and progresses to where it is. From the Stone age to the artificial intelligence age, it is this curious nature which has kept the humankind going and growing.
It is this curiosity which helped man discover the art of lighting a fire to lighting a bulb.
It is this curiosity which helped humankind, transcend the shackles of earth and even the solar system and move beyond it.
It is this curiosity that helped him looked outside as well as inside.
It is this curiosity which helped him to move to broad mindedness from narrow mindedness.
Does today’s education do this? The plain answer is yes and no both. The courses are designed in such a way that they do support a few questions coming to our minds. The teachers are well trained but do not have the time to answer each and every query of their students as they need to finish their portion in a stipulated time. So this acts as a hindrance in teaching.
Some schools, I have seen do not cover the whole portion and do a few chapters during the year, so at least the topics that are taught are taught nicely and at length. But then the other parts not covered are left behind, so the students missed out being exposed to them.
Also students learn in language that they do not speak at home. They think in their mother tongue and learn and write in another language which again psychologically possess a big problem. The problem of finding correct words to express themselves possess a problem due to lack of knowledge of words. At the same time we also know that learning different languages from a small age helps a lot. I know from my own example that from my childhood days, I was exposed to Gujarati (my mother tongue), Marathi, Hindi and English (my medium of learning). Later was exposed to French, Urdu and Kutcchi (a local dialect). Due to this it has helped me communiacte easily with people around me and understand them too.
According to psychologists there are 5 dimensions of curiosity:
1. Joyous Exploration – this is the prototype of curiosity – the recognition and desire to seek out new knowledge and information, and the subsequent joy of learning and growing.
2. Deprivation Sensitivity – this dimension has a distinct emotional tone, with anxiety and tension being more prominent than joy – pondering abstract or complex ideas, trying to solve problems, and seeking to reduce gaps in knowledge.
3. Stress Tolerance – this dimension is about the willingness to embrace the doubt, confusion, anxiety, and other forms of distress that arise from exploring new, unexpected, complex, mysterious, or obscure events.
4. Social Curiosity – wanting to know what other people are thinking and doing by observing, talking, or listening in to conversations.
5. Thrill seeking – the willingness to take physical, social, and financial risks to acquire varied, complex, and intense experiences.
It is education which will help us inculcate these 5 dimensions in ourselves and our kids. The pshycologisys further go on to say that from their experiments, they have found evidence of 4 types of curious people:
1. The Fascinated – high on all dimensions of curiosity, particularly Joyous Exploration
2. Problem Solvers – high on Deprivation Sensitivity, medium on other dimensions
3. Empathizers – high on Social Curiosity, medium on other dimensions
4. Avoiders – low on all dimensions, particularly Stress Tolerance
So now let’s decide how we want to be? How do we want to mould our life and that of our kids? And how can education help us with all this.
Was thinking what to write as the issue has been made political on the terms of being a secular country! And so I decided that instead of touching upon the issue of politics would dwell upon the history a bit.
Yes, the Mandir did exist before the Masjid was built. The Mughals came here to loot India and they knew that temples were places of abundant gold. So they looted temples and took away the gold. They justified it by saying that they are in this world to annihilate the idol worshippers. I have my own version that they justified their loot in the name of religion. So in turn they earned following from the teachers and followers.
The archaeological survey clearly found the remnants of the temple beneath the structure which stood there before 6th December, 1992. For Hindus, it became a battle of their existence or that is the way it was projected. I sometimes wonder that even after 1000 years of loots and raids and the external incursion, the culture has still stood strong as its roots are very deep.
Today it is not the victory of Hindu over anyone, but it is the victory of the Indian identity or Indian culture. It has been consistent in its beliefs and according to the law of the land waited for more than a 100 years for justice to be done. So the celebration today is of the patience that the Hindus have kept for so many years.
It is also a celebration of the acceptance of truth, which was continuously being denied to Ram. The people have the audacity to question their own legacy and heredity and call Ram mythological. But the dumbheads need to know that it is our history. Just because Western history believes in Human existence or culture is from last 3000 years or 4000 years, our people who learn from them also talk in the same sense which is absolute nonsense. We have a very rich history, full of culture and civilisation. And we need to find out about it. We cannot depend upon the non-Indians to do that work for us.
So today we celebrate the rich history, culture of India, that is Bharat, earlier called Aryavarta.
Also we should not forget in the euphoria of building the temple, the qualities of Ram, that He is known for. We need to imbibe those qualities in our lives too. For us, God not only resides in the temple but also in every heart. So in all this excitement, let us not forget the ultimate goal that we have to achieve and got this life for.
Let the political masters fight their petty political fights,
Let the narrow minded religionists quarrel over the structure,
Let the agnostics and the leftist question the very existence of Ram,
Let us all, the believing Hindus, be the followers of any Gods / Godessess, celebrate the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and known over the unknown.
रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः | रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोस्म्यहं रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर ‖
Seeing these pics of Ayodhya yesterday evening, am reminded of Tulsidasji’s words from Ramcharit Manas:
अवधपुरी प्रभु आवत जानी। भई सकल सोभा कै खानी।। बहइ सुहावन त्रिबिध समीरा। भइ सरजू अति निर्मल नीरा।।
When Ayodhya comes to know that Prabhu (Ram)is arriving, then She decorated Herself, the atmosphere cleared and the waters of the Sarayu river flowed gently…
Let us remember Ram is no where but within us and Ayodhya too is nowhere but our body, in which He resides…
येन बद्धो बलि राजा, दानवेन्द्रो महाबल। तेन त्वाम् प्रतिबद्ध्नामि रक्षे मा चल मा चल ॥
(O Brother! I tie you (towards your responsibilities) in the same way the King Bali was tied to, by his sister, Goddess Lakshmi. And pray that you may not waver from your path of responsibilities).
Am in two minds from many days whether to write or not on this caring and a beautiful relation. The great poet Valmiki too has refrained from describing Ram’s relation with his sister, Shanta. (Many of my readers may not that Ram too had a sister.) And Vyas too has not written any details about relations shared by Krishna – Balram – Subhadra or 105 Kuru Princes – Dushyala. If these great poets refrain to describe this relation, then I am just a student of this great culture and civilisation. At the same time, it is a relation which I want to write on and let the new generation also know and understand the real meaning behind this relation.
फूलों का तारों का, सबका कहना है एक हज़ारों में मेरी बहना है सारी, उमर, हमें संग रहना
I love these lines as they convey my feelings, or rather every brothers feelings towards his sister/s. Sister is the one and only relation where we can have fun and share what we like and don’t. She takes care of her brother as a protective Mother. She is a guiding force to her brothers. And so She is unique amongst the thousands of women on this Mother Earth.
This relationship is truly unique as there is a Day celebrated for it in our culture. We have Matrudin and Rakshabandhan. Both these festivals celebrate the most important and valued relations in our lives. It is considered a matter of pride to be a brother to a sister. It’s a truly selfless relation which needs to be taken care of and enjoyed.
Then why tie a Raksha (thread) around Brothers wrist? The understanding today is that the sister asks for her brothers protective covering. The brother would help and protect his sister in times of need. I feel this thought become the line of thinking during the last 1000 years of foreign rule. Our women needed to be protected from the foreigners and so who, but her brother. Question that arises to my mind is that in case of married man, what will he do for his wife? And a larger picture today is that woman today is herself quite qualified to take care of herself. And keeping this fact in mind, this festival will loose it’s sheen slowly and fade into memories in the coming years, if this would be our understanding. Or it will become just a ritual or a formality.
This festival is basically not for protection of women, but to develop an understanding amongst men on how to look towards women. Rather what should be a man’s attitude towards a woman. ‘Every other women, other than my mother and wife is like a sister to me,’ is what the festival wants to convey. The sister applying tilak on brothers forehead is giving him this understanding. It’s a third eye (tilak) for the brother through whose lens he learns to see every other woman as his sister. The thread around his hand conveys that the brother promises the same and promises not to deviate from this outlook or path (मा चल मा चल). It’s a Bandhan (commitment) that he is accepting. Hope, my readers atleast will understand this and try to inculcate this understanding in their lives.
I know am talking to a generation which asks “Can a boy and girl just not be friends?”, “My sister is my best friend.” I truly sometimes wonder whether todays generation thinks beyond friends and about the relations they have got. I personally have no such problems with their questions but do they think before they ask is what I ponder over later. My dear readers, let us all learn to enjoy every relation that we have got. Try to understand them and live in that way. And my question is if you both can be friends, then what’s the problem in accepting the girl as your sister or the boy as your brother. I leave this thought for you to think, discuss and debate.
God! Let my bond with my Sister be strengthened more in this coming year and let things get done from me, which will make Her happy.
पापान्निवारयति योजयते हिताय गुह्यं निगूहति गुणान् प्रकटीकरोति | आपद्गतं च न जहाति ददाति काले सन्मित्रलक्षणमिदं प्रवदन्ति सन्ताः ||
Meaning – Wise and noble persons have pronounced that the symptoms of a true friend are that he prevents us from committing sinful deeds and urges us to do things that are advantageous to us, keeps our secrets and brings out our virtues and qualities, does not desert us when we face misfortune, and helps us whenever we are in need of any help.
Do we get to meet such a friend today? And if we meet, will we keep such a friend? Need to ask this question as we every year in India celebrate the first sunday of August as friendship day.
We do give promises to each other but do we keep them? We make promises of being there always in life and death, but do we keep them? Do such friendships truly exist? Yes, they do.
The love and affection of Ram in his friendship with Sugreeva is something unimaginable today. Ram not only befriends the left out Sugreeva, but also gets his wife and kingdom back for him. Their bond of friendship is such that Sugreeva on learning that Rama is giving up his life in the waters of Sarayu, enthrones Angad, and joins Rama and enters Sarayu with him.
So we have many such ideals in front of us as a part of our history (though many foolishly call it mythology). We need to find them out, study them and learn to live like them.
On this day, let us try to find such a friend in our lives who is true. He / she may be only one but we need to have one true friend.
Wishing all my readers a very Happy Friendship Day…
A man is standing in the criminal box in the court, wrongly being indicted for no offence of his. The evidences laid before the court will prove him guilty.what would a lawyer do in such a case? Give up. But he would not get bogged down. As he had complete faith in his clients innocence. So he asks time from court. The court Grant’s permission. Next hearing, the lawyer declares that his client is dead, when he is sitting in front of everyone. The reason given by the lawyer is that He has taken “sanyaas” (renounced the world), so now he does not live according to Hindu scriptures. He has already done his own “pind daan.” (A ritual done after someone’s death and a person taking sanyaas is expected to do so.) The court agrees and let’s the person go free.
The lawyer is none other than Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, whose 100th punyatithi is today.
He was not a strong advocate of non violence and so had his differences with Gandhi. He even urged Gandhi to drop his idea of complete non – violence, to which Gandhi did not agree.
It is also said that he met Swami Vivekanand accidentally while travelling by train and then Swamiji was his guest for a few days too. They held each other in great esteem and had a mutual respect for each other. Again it is said that they both agreed that Tilak Maharaj would work towards nationalism in his own political way and Swamiji would do so in his own religious way.
When Swamiji passed away at a very early age, Tilak Maharaj said thus :
“No Hindu, who, has the interests of Hinduism at his heart, could help feeling grieved over Vivekananda’s samadhi. Vivekananda, in short, had taken the work of keeping the banner of Advaita philosophy forever flying among all the nations of the world and made them realize the true greatness of Hindu religion and of the Hindu people. He had hoped that he would crown his achievement with the fulfillment of this task by virtue of his learning, eloquence, enthusiasm and sincerity, just as he had laid a secure foundation for it; but with Swami’s samadhi, these hopes have gone. Thousands of years ago, another saint, Shankaracharya, who, showed to the world the glory and greatness of Hinduism. At the fag of the 19th century, the second Shankaracharya is Vivekananda, who, showed to the world the glory of Hinduism. His work has yet to be completed. We have lost our glory, our independence, everything.”
(SOURCE : WIKIPEDIA)
His writings and contribution towards the society through his newspapers “Kesari” and “Maratha” and through “Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav” and “Shiv Jayanti” have had a tremendous effect on the masses which lead to a great transformation in the society as a whole.
In 1903, Tilak wrote the book “The Arctic Home of the Vedas”. In it, he argued that the Vedas could only have been composed in the Arctics, and the Aryan bards brought them south after the onset of the last ice age. He proposed a new way to determine the exact time of the Vedas. In “The Orion”, he tried to calculate the time of the Vedas by using the position of different Nakshatras. The positions of the Nakshtras were described in different Vedas. Tilak wrote “Shrimad Bhagvad Gita Rahasya” in prison at Mandalay – the analysis of ‘Karma Yoga’ in the Bhagvad Gita, which is known to be a gift of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
While bowing down to this great towering personality on his 100th Punyatithi, can also ask for the spirit of nationalism to thrive amongst us, like him.
Today is Shitla Saptami. It is the day of non cooking. Food is prepared one day before (yesterday) and is savoured today. Yesterday had its own significance too.
Yesterday was Randhan Chaatth (the day of cooking). It is the day of cooking the best delicacies possible and yeah at the same time, the ones which we can savour the next day. The women of the household start the preparations early morning itself. At some villages in Saurashtra, the women get together to cook. They sing and enjoy this whole process. Some households also offer this food as Prasad to the Annapoorna. This festival (It cannot be called a festival as it is more a gathering) of cooking is always awaited during the year.
Some of my readers may feel it unhygenic to eat food cooked a day before. But frankly we all love cold food. Especially many foods like Khichadi and foods made from spices tastes great when eaten, the next day after preparation. But it is unhygenic and unhealthy to eat it. So our Rishis have kept one day in the whole year when we can satisfy our urge to eat food cooked overnight through this festival. People who regularly eat canned foods need to understand the healthy habits inherent in daily cooked food.
In the morning, the lady of the household, wakes up early and worships the stove. She makes a swastik with red vermilion and put a twig of a mango tree over it as an offering. The mango twig signifies sweetness and it is believed that it imparts coolness. The lady prays to the stove to help her cook food which will be sweet to eat and impart coolness to the digestive system of the one who eats it. Many families chant “Annapoornastotram” as a prayer to the Goddess of Food, who provides and feeds us everyday.
Apart from this, it is also a way of expressing our gratitude to the stove / gas burner who burns the whole year for giving us food. This whole day, the stove is not lit. In our way, we would say that’s it’s a holiday for the stove. It is one way of looking at the presence of Chaitanya in non-living too.
Also it is day to worship Goddess Shitla, the Goddess of cleanliness and health. Goddess Shitala is represented as a young maiden crowned with a winnowing-fan, riding a donkey, holding a short broom (either to spread or dust off germs) and a pot full of pulses (the viruses) or cold water (a healing tool). Sometimes, she is said to be carrying a bunch of neem leaves, a herb used throughout India since ancient times that is believed by some to be an effective remedy to most skin diseases to this day. And so even today in India we keep neem leaves around the patient suffering from Chicken pox. And after 5/7 days, parents take their kids for a darshan of Shitla Mata and worship Her and thank Her for curing the child of the disease. (Medicines are administered regularly, but it is a matter of faith and gratitude towards nature). (Also reading reports nowadays that Neem is effective as a precautionary measure of Covid – 19). On this day, we are expected to offer our gratitude to the broom and every other object which helps to keep our food and surroundings clean. Some people do worship the broom and the winnow on this day.
In these days of Covid-19, hope we Indians atleast understand the importance of cleanliness of ones house, kitchen and surroundings. Also personal hygiene, today signified by taking a bath after coming from outside or back from work; or washing hands after coming from outside was a must in the olden days. These were not habits which consumed time or we did not use any tissues to rub, but it was a compulsory wash which was required. Even today there are many households where the lady of the house does not touch the utensils of her kitchen without taking a bath. There is nothing religious in it, but hygiene. Our Rishis were great enough to male such practices part of our day to day life through activities and giving a religious connotation to it.
Shitala is the also considered as the form of Goddess Katyayani. She gives coolness to the patients of fever. According to Devi Mahatmya when a demon named Jvarasura gave bacterial fever to all the children, Goddess Katyayani came in the form of Shitala to purify children’s blood and to destroy the bacteria of fever in blood. In Sanskrit ‘Jwar’ means “fever” and ‘Shital‘ means “coolness“. She is worshipped all over India by different names.
These days are of showers. Showers heavy and light keep the atmosphere clean and cool. The combination of the showers and these festivals are like a combination of lime and jaggery. They are both good for health and taste.
On these days,
Let us learn to inculcate a feeling of gratitude towards even towards the smallest of the things which make out lives healthy and better.
Let us learn to keep our surroundings clean and keep ourselves clean and healthy, free from diseases.
Let us know our ancestors and their vision and their efforts to keep us civilised.
A day to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of our soldiers…
My ode to the slain soldier :
When the neighbour back stabbed us in the name of peace,
Let us be prepared to break his house piece by piece,
Let him not forget that he has messed up really bad,
We still remember our jawan bodies being ice clad,
We cannot forget the teary Mother or the widow or the kid,
For the enemy, who killed her son or husband or father, sordid…
One of the bravery stories from many which are a part of Indian history now…
July 7, 1999…
He was assigned the task of taking point 5140. (My readers also need to know that not all mountains are named like the Everest or Kailash or Kanchenjunga, but rather they are given numbers related to coordinates of their position). It was a hill top. The enemy was on the top and it was one of the important hills which needed to be taken for our successful defence and driving the enemy out. The warfare was going to be tough but Captain Vikram, decided to go ahead. Captain Vikram started moving through the rough terrain slowly but steadily and within hours the point 5140 was ours. ‘Yeh Dil maange more’ the code word was transmitted. His commanders were happy about his success when they received the radio message.
Mission accomplished. Vikram and his troops now had to return. But the son of the soil decided to move ahead and take point 4875. There had been casualties in his troop but the spirits were high. So on they went, with the permission from their superiors. Maybe Netaji’s words to his INA “Ab Delhi mein milenge” must be ringing in their ears by now. The task was impossible according to their seniors. But our brave troops tread on.
The enemy was anticipating the attack and was fully prepared. The attack was mounted but the Indian side suffered heavy casualties. One of the soldier was grievously injured and was in the path of the enemy bullets. The soldier was lying near the enemy lines. Captain Batra without even thinking for a moment lept out out from his position and ran towards to soldier. He was fired upon and he took five bullets in his chest and head. The enemy soldiers pounced upon him and in this combat he killed five enemy soldiers. But this assault was lethal. Captain Vikram Batra attained Martyrdom.
Captain Vikram Batra, who led the toughest mountain warfare, was often referred as Sher Shah in the messages intercepted by the Pakistani Army.
He could have had a good and peaceful life in the Merchant Navy, which he had initially joined. But being in the front, to fight for Bharat was his dream, which he fulfilled.
Bharat and Bharatiya’s indeed should be grateful to such soldiers who give up their lives for our peace. People will commemorate this day by wishing each other and changing their DP’s and updating their status, (which I am not against as I myself will also put up one once am done writing this blog) but hope they remember people like Captain Vikram Batra and the other 566 soldiers who attained martyrdom to liberate our Motherland from the enemy.
Lastly let’s end with two lines from the famous song sung by the soldiers of INA
Today we talk and understand, the Vedic way of expressing ones gratitude to Nature. We believe that God resides in everything. Rather it is the will and wish of God, that He created us, the non living and the living. We both co-exist. We believe (even science today believes) that we have come from the non-living. Science believes that there is ‘chetan’ (atoms) in everything and we believe that there is ‘chaitanya'(God) in everything. The Theory of evolution as suggested by Darwin has already been proposed many thousand years back by us in the form of 10 avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu.
So with this broad outlook we will look into the festival of Nag Panchami (नाग पंचमी) being celebrated today. It is a festival celebrated to worship the Serpents. The serpents are representatives of the reptile world.
As civilisation thrived, we had to cut down forests to make big towns and cities to accommodate more and more people. We knowingly had to drive out the reptiles from their natural habitats. As these reptiles cannot speak and express their emotions to us, for a few time they must have resisted but after finding their fight futile, they sacrificed their homes and went deeper into the jungles.
Our Rishis had a great intellect and an emotional heart. They felt that we need to express our gratitude to this class of animals who are sacrificing their homes for Humans. So they inculcated this practise of celebrating Naag Panchami.
On the occasion of Nag Panchami also want to talk about, the Naga people and Naglok, and giving a broader cultural and social outlook towards the society at large.
Were Nag people humans? Were they part of India? Yes 100%. They were humans and they were a part of India. We have had social and cultural relations with all the different tribes which exist in India even today.
Even today, in modern India, we have the Nagaland. The people residing there are called Nagas. It is just one tribe residing there, from many.
From our history we are all familiar with Vasuki, the serpent King. Just feel like sharing an anecdote about Him. Vasuki has played an important part during the churning of the ocean. Vasuki took part in the incident of churning of the ocean (samudra manthan) by allowing both the devas and the asuras to bind him to Mount Mandar, which was used as a blender in the churning of the ocean to extract “amrut” (nectar). Today it is found that Mount Mandaar or Mandar Hill or Mandar Parvat, as it is popularly known, is located in Banka District, in the State of Bihar in India. A the temple of Lord Shiva, called Vasukinath, literally meaning “the Lord of Vasuki”, is just a few kilometres away from Mandar Parvat, in the State of Jharkhand, in Dumka District.
I believe that this is my countries history and the Serpent King must have played an important part during the debates and discussion which the Devas and the Asuras had during the yesterday years. All these serpents, devas and Asuras were basically humans but names of different types of people who got their names from their characteristics. And the Serpents must have been the anchors of the debate or discussion which took place between the Devas and the Asuras.
Lord Krishna in His celestial song, Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta has called the serpent Vasuki as one His “vibhuti’s.” सर्पाणामस्मि वासुकि: (Amongst the serpents, am Vasuki. And it is this Vasuki, which can be seen around the neck of the lord or lords, Mahadev.
We know and have read about the Nagalok and how Arjun was married to a Nagkanya Ulupi, who gave him a son Iravan, who had participated in the Mahabharat war. And also a reference to that when Bheem, the second Pandav, was poisoned in his childhood and was drowned into a river, it was the Nag people who had saved him. Bheem’s strength is attributed to the potions given to him by them.
So friends, Nag people have been an integral part of our civilisation from years and we have had cultural and social relationships with them. We might have adopted this Nag pooja from them.
So, my readers, our festivals have a divine but cultural and social outlook too, which we need to understand and not laugh upon them. The westerners may call us the land of serpents, but we are far more ahead in our understanding about nature and humans, unlike them. Hence, we need to develop our own understanding about all our festivals.
We began the quest to know oneself in the last blog. Furthering the cause to know oneself, we move a step ahead today.
We will sit at the feet of the great Guru of mankind and try and learn from Him.
Jagadguru Shankaracharya answers this question in His own way. The following 6 verses are together known as Atmashtak or Nirvanashtak. It is His own way and philosophy of non-dualism emphasized and explained in the 6 verses. It’s one of the best ashtaks I have heard (though my reading and understanding about the vast Vedic literature has its limitations).
मनोबुद्ध्यहंकार चित्तानि नाहं
न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे न च घ्राणनेत्रे ।
न च व्योम भूमिर्न तेजो न वायुः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 1 ।।
Mano Buddhi Ahankara Chitta Ninaham
Nacha Shrotra Jihve Na Cha Ghrana Netre
Nacha Vyoma Bhoomir Na Tejo Na Vayu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 1.
I am not mind, nor intellect, nor ego,
nor the reflections of inner self (chitta).
I am not the five senses.
I am beyond that.
I am not the ether, nor the earth,
nor the fire, nor the wind .
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.
न च प्राणसंज्ञो न वै पंचवायुः,
न वा सप्तधातुः न वा पञ्चकोशः ।
न वाक्पाणिपादौ न चोपस्थपायु,
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम् ।। 2 ।।
Na Cha Prana Samjno Na Vai Pancha Vayu
Na Va Saptadhatur Na Va Pancha Koshah
Na Vak Pani Padau Na Chopastha Payu
Chidananda Rupa Shivoham Shivoham – 2.
Neither can I be termed as energy (Prana),
nor five types of breath (vayus),
nor the seven material essences,
nor the five coverings (pancha-kosha).
Neither am I the five instruments of elimination,
procreation, motion, grasping, or speaking.
I am indeed,
That eternal knowing and bliss, Shiva,
love and pure consciousness.
Jagadguru goes in to explain every detail in the remaining 4 verses. Would love if my readers would make an effort to find them out and learn them. As it a quest, we have to make efforts for it too.
Yes, I wrote the month of Shraavan and not the holy month of Shraavan as in our tradition all the months are holy. Who can decide which God of the trinity is superior? Shiv, Vishnu or Brahma? None as they all have their work decided for the and they just follow. So if someone says a particular God is more important and not another, then it’s the impression of the medieval thought that has become prevalent after the rise of Christianity and Islam.
I do not want to belittle even those schools of thought, but what I want to convey is that superiority was never a question which the Vedics had to answer or even tried to answer, as they knew very well that every work / thought has its importance. They believe in
“आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः।”
– Let all the good thoughts from all over the world come to me
And so Bharat never had a problem with welcoming Zorastrians, Arabs or the English. Nor did it have a problem with the rise of Jainism or Buddhism in Bharat itself. Rather it opened up its arms and accepted them with warmth and an open mind.
Let’s come back to our topic of Shraavan. Actually the farmer is now done with his sowing work and now he needs to take care of his growing crops and nurture them. His family is very busy with all this work. And lest they forget the indwelling God or the omnipresence of God in their work, our Rishis must have given these festivals to celebrate so that Work centered life returns / comes back to God centered.
Through these festivals, the Rishis want to inculcate a feeling of Reverence for the Creation and through them, Reverence for the Creator. At the same time, the utilitarian attitude or selfish attitude of humans should also be God centered. So a slow bit gradual change is expected in Humans while celebrating these festivals.
Yesterday I wrote about Deep Amaavasya. The new moon day is considered unlucky by many but the Rishis have given 4 festivals on all 4 amaavasyas of the Chaturmaas. Yesterday was Deep Amaavasya, next would be Matrudin, later Sarva Pitra Amaavasya and last one is Diwali. All 4 festivals have their own importance and also have tried to explain the importance of the festival culturally and emotionally. They do have a spiritual connect but I still have to develop that outlook, understanding and depth.
So next few days will keep sharing about the festivals during these months.
Today is a Tuesday. Shravan Tuesdays hold a different connotation for the newly married women of Maharashtra, especially amongst the women of Konkan. It is the day of “Mangala Gaur Pujan”. It is also known as “Sharavan Mangala Gaur Pujan”. The newly wed girl comes back to stay with her parents for the month of Asadh. Then on one of the Shravan Tuesdays, this puja is performed. The puja is for her well being.
It’s a time for the women of the family to come together and celebrate. Women play the whole night after the puja. The games are itself delightful yet completely physical as it would be evident from the pitcures see above. The women folk are fit and fine and play these games with festivities, laughter and a sense of competition. It’s a time to forget everything and just engross oneself in the game.
After this puja, the girl can now return to her in-laws. This puja is done for 5 years. The next 4 puja’s are performed at the in-laws place itself. At the end of the 5th year, the girl gifts her mother a pot full of cereals. A way to celebrate for the newly wed at her own place till she adjusts herself at her in-laws. Also a time to be oneself cause the bride would still be formal at her in laws but not at home. Just a way to help her adjust slowly to the new environment.
So as we can see that our Rishis have taken a lot of pain to understand the psyche of the people and given us these festivals. We will try to understand this outlook through my blogs in the coming days.
Today is the last day of Asadh as celebrated here in Western India. It is the last day of the month. But for the Northern India it is the 15th day of the 2nd month of Chaturmaas ie Shraāvan. (Why so? is another topic of research and study). In Western India, a month begins after Amaāvasya whereas in Northern India, Amaāvasya is in the middle of the month. So it is Amaāvasya (No / New Moon Day) today all around India.
Today is Deep Amaāvasya. The day to clean all the Diyas (earthern lamps) made of copper, steel, silver and gold. (Or any other metal) All the used and the unused Diyas are thoroughly cleaned today. And then in the evening time, they all are lit with rangolis (geometrical design with different colours) drawn around it. The Diyas are then worshipped and offered flowers. And the family members then share sweets with each other.
The worship has its own significance. It is spreading light in our lives and the lives of others too. Light is considered auspicious. It removes the darkness from the outer world and at the same time enlightens the inner self. We, Indians, light a Diya everyday and say the following shlokas invoking the blessings of the Gods :
शुभं करोति कल्याणं आरोग्यं धनसंपदः । शत्रुबुद्धिविनाशाय दीपज्योतिनमोऽस्तु ते ॥
दीपज्योतिः परब्रह्म दीपज्योति जनार्दनः । दीपो हरतु मे पापं दीपज्योतिनमोऽस्तु ते ॥
(I bow to the Light, which brings abundance and prosperity of Health, and wealth and which destroys the intelligent enemy [darkness]…
It is you O Light! That is the creator and the operator and you will lead me to light away from sins, so I bow down unto you…)
The Mother Goddess (Shakti) is also symbolised by a burning flame of a diya. Fire helps the mother cook the food. At the same time, they both symbolise energy. And so one of the names of the mother is “Shakti”. Will deal upon it in some later blog.
Lastly am reminded of a short story (or maybe it’s a poem). The Sun is ready to set. The Sun asks everyone in the Universe that who will take his place and give light to the world in his absence? No one answers. A small earthen lamp moves upto him and humbly says, that it might not be as large as the Sun and may not have enough energy to lighten up the world but it will try to lighten up the area around, in which it is kept. This makes the Sun very happy. It signifies the importance of small things in life. However small may one be, with determination one can do the work done by the great ones.
Also I understand the Sun as God and the earthern lamp as Humanity. The Human being promises to be His representation in this Universe and it is his/her responsibility to lighten up the world. So let us all try to be small and humble Diya’s and try to enlighten our lives and the lives of the people around us.
Wish you all a Shubh Deep Amaavasyaa.
Tommorrow onwards is the month of Shraāvan. A month of Devotion and Festivals. Naag Panchami, Shitla Saptami, Janmashtami and many others.
Have decided to write a series during these months of monsoon on the different festivals we celebrate. Will write about the known ones and the lesser known ones too as I have done today. Will try to keep them as short as possible.
And he made His image in his dearest creation, the Human!
He bestowed upon his son the best of His blessings in the form of Intellect, Money, Power and Name.
He started using his Intellect, started gaining knowledge, got a lot of money and power. People started knowing him and calling him. His arrogance and ego grew. He started questioning his very own Creator. He didn’t realise that he has started questioning his own existence.
This is the time when the Mother Goddess ‘Maya‘ struck him.
Slowly, she engulfed the little human into her arms and he too lost himself in her, forgetting all his responsibilities and goals of life.
He forgot even himself and his Creator.
He lived in this world of illusion.
The question arose in his mind, Who am I?
One fine day, a Human Being descended on Earth.
Lived a life full of God’s blessings but didn’t entangle himself in the worldly pleasures.
He looked for his Father and looked here and there.
Around him he saw nothing but illusion.
He looked within and lo behold! he found Him! His Creator.
Sitting quietly in his heart and waiting to talk.
As the man sat back and talked, Maya decided that her days are now over and left.
The Human is no one now, but a pure and an infinite soul, a universal soul…
Wish you all, my readers, a very Happy Vruskshmandir Din, Madhav Vrund Din and Yuva Din.
All 3 festivals celebrated by the Swadhyay Pariwaar, across the globe, on the same day, ie today, 12th of July. These 3 days also coincide with the birthday of the current head or the Elder Sister of Swadhyay Pariwaar, Revered Dhanashree Athavale – Talwalkar. She happens to be my mentor and guide too. Will write about the parivaar and its founder Revered Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale (Dadaji – elder brother in Marathi) in another blog some day.
Today wanna talk about the outlook that they both have inculcated into thousands of lives in India and abroad.
The Vedic philosophy believes in the 4 basic principles –Reverence for self, -Reverence for others, –Reverence for Nature; and –Reverence for the Creator.
The Creator himself resides within me as He, Himself said so in Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. “सर्वस्यचाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो ।” sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto श्री मद्भग्वदगीता – अध्याय 15 श्लोक 15 (I reside in every heart) So am divine. In the same way, He resides in every heart. So there is no question of looking down upon others too.
And goes a step forward to say, “अश्वत्थ: सर्ववृक्षाणाम् ।” Ashwathaha sarva vrukshaanaam श्री मद्भग्वदगीता – अध्याय 10 श्लोक 26 (Am the Banyan among the trees) So if the Creator Himself says so, the Nature is divine too. Then how can I even think of harming it!
But Human mind based on reasoning and scientific attitude talks about the need of tree or a cow once it loses it sheen as an object of utility. And slowly loses the feeling of reverence for everything, that has been inculcated in his or her childhood. I need to clarify that am not against the usage of things and objects in our lives, but at the same time it is distressing to see Humans become so emotionless towards fellow human beings, fellow living creatures and nature.
At such a time of distress, comes a Great Man (Human history is full of such great people) who takes us back to our roots and makes us understand to water them, and not bereave them from water. They come out of Law of Universal Necessity, and not out of Law of Attraction and Repulsion or Law of Karma. They teach the Universe about the morals and ethics of life and show the right path to tread on.
Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale, Dadaji, is one such person. He explains that people, that is we, look towards nature with a sense of Utility or a sense of Objectivity (being beautiful). But He further explains that we Humans who can think and reason and feel, should move a step ahead and try to find and see the divinity within everything. It is based on this thought that He has given an experiment called Vrukhsmandir (A temple of forests).
Swadhyayees from 20 villages around plant trees in a barren land. Take care of them as family members and grow them. As it is a community work, no one is the owner of the produce. It’s rightful owner is God, Himself. It may sound like some social experiment, but my readers I should draw your attention to the fact that it is purely divine. Everyone who participates here is learning to see God, even in the trees. Through this, I feel, that Shashtriji has revived the feeling of Reverence towards Nature. There are 27 such Vrukshmandirs in the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
And for this novel experiment of Vrikshmandirs, Shashtriji has been awarded the Indira Priyadarshini Vrikshmitra Award too.
It is an experiment which does have social impact, but Shashtriji explains and propounds that, we do plant trees and take care of them, but we are not environmentalist, we are ‘Bhakts’ (devotees). There are so many instances where lives of people going to Vruskhmandirs have changed and this is the basic idea of what Shashtriji wants to do. He further explains, that if we see changes in the mindset of the society or a positive attitude develops towards nature, for society as a whole, then it is the ‘side effect’ of this experiment. The Vrukshmandir is basically for a human to look into himself and change. This is Swadhyay.
Similarly, the people living in metro cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru or Kolkatta and Delhi and in town and cities have been encouraged to plant a small shrub at home to develop a healthy and a divine attitude towards Nature. Everyday morning, the family members get together and water the plant and utter the ‘Narayanopanishad’ while watering. Two small changes can happen. One is that the family comes closer and their bonding collectively with nature too increases. Singing the Narayanopanishad helps develop the understanding of seeing Narayan, ie God in the tree or sapling planted at home.
This understanding based on the thoughts of Bhakti has transformed lives of people and families. Created a sense of unity amongst society. And yes, indirectly helped in environment conservation too.
Shastriji has also asked upon Swadhyayees to conserve water at home, in fields and in lakes around their villages. Swadhyay parivaar has built thousands of lakes and check dams across many states in India. They call them ‘Nirmal Neer’. Also many Swadhyayees have taken upto rain water harvesting in their individual houses and many villagers have started helping in recharging the ground water levels through an experiment of “Shosh Khadda” (a pit that helps absorb kitchen water into the ground).
My readers might have a question that even after doing all this, we have never heard about it. Because both, Shashtriji and His daughter are of the firm belief that we have to go and share such ideas with people personally. First develop a relationship and then share. It is not a system but their conviction that changes are desirable in the minds of the people. The moment they realise and develop a bond with their God within, then a small Human can do big things. It is this firm belief that has kept the Parivaar together. And so they keep away from Media. There has been no such media propaganda of the ground work that they have done.
Today, also happens to be the birthday of Dhanashree Didi (Didi – elder sister). She has been nurturing the Parivaar with lots of love, warmth and affection. The way She connects with people through Her talks and action is just unbelievable. For people who dont know Her, they would feel that am just exaggerating. So even I would say that Seeing is believing. I have seen it and I believe it.
She has taken a lot of efforts to gather all the different pearls (people of different states, linguistic preferences, castes, creed, nationaities) into a single thread. The youth, in particular, will remain indebted to Her for generations to come. According to the wishes of Dadaji, She has organised the youth and given them dynamic activities through which the generation of today understand the morals, ethics and more importantly, the nearness of God. So the youth on Her birthday, celebrate Yuva Din (Youth Day). It is a way of expressing their Gratitude to both these ‘ Mahamaanavs.’
At the end, I pray to God that
May He, help us to develop strong bondings amongst Humans that these binds transcend faith and uplift Humanity.
May He, help us develop the understanding of oneness with Nature and the Universe as a whole.
May He, take us closer to Himself and bless us with understanding of oneness with God.
Moras Bhaji is a beautiful salty succulent that grows in damp regions like mangroves, dunes, beaches, etc which is mostly available during early monsoons.
It is a perennial creeper with small thick flat leaves. The size of the leaves goes up to 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length.
It is considered as a Halophyte. Halophytes are salt tolerant plants that grow in waters with high salinity, such as mangrove swamps, marshes, seashores and saline semi deserts. Only two percent of the plant species found on the earth are Halophytes.
The reason I planned to write about Moras as I came to know about its importance and use in one of the ‘Vrats’ (penance) done by the unmarried girls of a small age, in Gujarat. It is called “Molakaat”. The girls stay away from use of salt in food for 5 days. It is unimaginable for people like me who like a pinch (a bit large) of salt in their food. But the girls do dedicatedly follow the rules and abstain from salt.
Here is where Moras comes in. As it is rich in salt, some girls consume it during these 5 days. As the vrat coincides with the onset of monsoons, Moras is also available in plenty. They consume Moras in the form of theplas, parathas or falafels. They are very delicious to taste and are eaten by all in the family. Many a girls even abstain from consuming these.
But overall, I was just thinking about the vrats have been made to coincide with the seasons so my Namaskaars to the people who have come up with these novel ideas to make us learn some control in life too.
Well, I was very happy to consume the falafels made at home, which have left a taste to savour more. Will ask everyone of my readers to find out more such local delicacies and enjoy them during this lockdown…
A place of battle for many but a place of utmost devotion for the 300 who gave up their lives for their beloved Maharaj… The history of the place is itself mindblowing… Shivaji Maharaj after killing Afzalkhan did not rest… He conquered territories from Pratapgad to Kolhapur within a span of 20/22 days… He reached Panhalgad… He was surrounded by the armies of Fazal Khan and the Siddi… They laid a seige to the fort… Maharaj’s movement became restricted…
After a gap of 8 months, after the onset of the rainy season… One fine night He thinks of a plan… He sends an emissary to Khan and informs him of surrendering… The Khan’s army is delighted… They relax and loosen up their vigil… Taking advantage of this situation, Maharaj with a band of trusted 600 Bandal mavlas escapes Panhalgad at night… It was pouring heavily which helped in the escape…
But the Khan and Siddi came to know of the escape and they start a pursuit… Rainy night of Amavasya (new moon day) and the eerie and mountainous area of Sahyadri’s… They both run… Shivaji Maharaj and his men on foot and the Khan and the Siddi on their horses… They start catching up…
Shivaji Maharaj and his trusted band reach Ghodkhind, a valley between two mountains… Now the head of the Bandal Mavlas, Baji Prabhu Deshpande, comes forward and requests Maharaj to move towards Vishalgad with 300 of his men and he himself with the remaining 300 will stop the enemy in the valley… Maharaj is not willing but Baji coerces him to do so… Maharaj moves ahead with a heavy heart…
Baji and his band of 300 stand there in the valley and fight the enemy… They fight till they hear the sound of the guns, the signal that Shivaji Maharaj has successfully reached Vishalgad… It takes Maharaj about 8/10 hours to reach… Baji and his men give their ultimate sacrifice… Shivaji Maharaj reaches, the guns boom and hearing these booms, Baji gives up his life… An army of 300 against an army of 1000’s… Valour personified… Today is that day when Baji Prabhu Deshpande and his band of Bandals gave up their life for Maharaj and Swaraj.
Shivaji Maharaj comes to know of this and He names Ghodkhind as Pawankhind… Baji and his men have given their blood and made this valley, pious…
Have been to the valley with my friends first and a second trip with my family… The valley is in shambles… One feels bad when we see that places of history are not looked after nor maintained… We climb down into the valley from one place and we all are lost in that world…
Spontaneously words flow out of the mouth “Kshatriyakulavatansh, Go Brahman Pratipalak, Sinhasandheesh, Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki Jay” “Jay Bhavani, Jay Shivaji”… The sound of the slogans resonates… We spend lots of time down there and after an hour or so, we climb up the hill again… Refresh, rejuvenated, with a sense of pride…
Today, on this day of Pratipada, Bow down before the valour and ultimate sacrifice of Baji Prabhu Deshpande and his followers…
Bow down to Shivaji Maharaj who built a team of most trusted followers to realise His dream of Swaraj.
Bow down to the common people of Maharashtra, who trusted and stood by Shivaji Maharaj in His conquest of His dreams…
A question mark bowing down to an exclamation mark. It’s mind boggling.
At the same time Awesome. Beautiful. Creative.
It wholly explains the openness of Vedic literature in a simple yet lucid manner. Vedas have always given an impetus to asking questions. “Veda” itself means “to know“. This is has been and should be the underlying principle of development of the Human, His soul and the entire Human race.
Who am I?
Where have I come from?
What do I have to do?
Why am I chosen to play my part?
How do I do it?
need to be asked by one and all. Everyone might find a different answer to these questions. But the end result is the salvation of the soul from this circle of life and death.
The quest is the road from life to death to life, till the soul finds it’s rightful place. The day when the soul gets to sit in the lap of God, as “Dhruv” has found it. As many others have found it.
Some go to the extent of saying that stick to a thought and live your life with it and accordingly and you will find your salvation. Though I am no one to disagree with these Great souls, I feel that it is not possible. Say for example Mahatma Gandhi. By sticking to the lone principle of Ahimsa, he might have earned the title of a Mahatma, but if someone tells me that his soul was liberated due to this, is what I am not ready to believe. (Pls try to understand what I want to say and do not argue or counter argue on the example given. It can be anyone else.) I just want to convey that the development has to be whole, entire, complete.
Coming back to the quest, what I am fascinated by is the last question “How do I do it?”. There is no particular answer to this question. It will be varied. A “few” may find their own way to do it. They are the ones who have come, or rather, been sent to Mother Earth out of Law of Universal Necessity. The “many” need to follow them, do what they do and say what they say. Again accepting the master or a teacher is a human choice.
This is where I loved the picture, as for common people like me or rather us, we all need to bow down to these great people of wisdom – accept them as our Teachers, Guru…
Bowing down is to find the answers to our questions.
Bowing down is to signify the acceptance of their being a step ahead of us in the quest of develooment.
Bowing down means ” समर्पण”. I offer myself and my life to you and please guide me.
Bowing down means having full faith in the person we bow down to, after testing and questioning and reasoning every word the person has said.
Bowing down means merging our life into his and walk onto his path.
Here the questions rest.
Here the quest for development not only through thought but action begins.
Here we tread on the path to become an enlightened researcher.
As Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta propounds “बुधा भावसमन्विताः।” (Chapter 10 Verse 8) (a combination of Intellect and Emotions), this can be the only way to find the answers to our questions.
So my readers, let us begin this journey and be blessed by the right teachers who show us the path on which we need to tread on.
असित-गिरि-समं स्यात् कज्जलं सिन्धु-पात्रे। सुर-तरुवर-शाखा लेखनी पत्रमुर्वी।। लिखति यदि गृहीत्वा शारदा सर्वकालं। तदपि तव गुणानामीश पारं न याति।।
Pushpadant in his Shiv Mahimna Stotra has written this Shlok for the Lord. It translates thus:
O Lord! Even if we make paper of the land mass present on earth and ink from the water of her oceans, use the trees as a pen and if Saraswati, intelligence personified, sit backs to write about you for the time infinite, then too, it’s a mammoth and daunting task to describe all your qualities.
Today is Vyas Poornima. People celebrate it as Guru Poornima. Indian culture / civilisation personifies God in the form of a Guru. To lead and follow a spiritual life, a guru is needed. Kabirji in one of his doha’s (couplets) describes the importance of guru thus
गुरु गोविंद दोऊ खड़े, काके लागूं पाय। बलिहारी गुरु आपकी, गोविंद दियो बताय।।
Both the Guru and the Lord are standing in front of me and am confused whom should I bow down to first?.
The next line can be translated in two ways:
1. As you, my Guru, have shown me this form of the Lord, I bow down to you first
2. You being my Guru, pointed to the Lord saying, bow at His feet first.
It’s such a beautiful feeling that Kabirji has expressed stating that both the interpretations can be right. As they both, the Lord and Guru are no different.
Ved Vyas is the son of Rishi Parashar and Satyavati, a fisherwomen. The story goes that Rishi Parashar was in a hurry to reach a “Yaag” and had to cross a river to reach the other side. At that time, it was Satyavati who helped him cross the river. In lieu, Rishi Parashar gave her a mantra to beget a son. He also told her that the son would be very intelligent and no one would compare to him in intelligence. Satyavati at that moment invoked the mantra and conceived a child. The boy when born was called “Krishna” as he had black skin. The child was born on an island so was known as “Krishna Dwaipayan” (Dwaipayan – island born). [There may be other stories about the birth of Vyas, and I leave it upto my reader to decide which they like, but one thing is a fact that he was a son of Parashar and Satyavati].
As Krishna grew into an adult, he left Satyavati and promised her to return whenever she needed him. He gained knowledge from the four Kumar’s, Muni Narad and Brahma, Himself. After acquiring his education, he took upon a great task of bifurcating the Veda mantras.
Till then, the Vedas were all one. Krishna took upon him the task of understanding each mantra and started dividing them into Rigved, Yajurved and Samved. Rigved has all the mantra’s invoking Mother Nature and the Gods. Yajurved has mantra’s describing rituals and the technical modalities of performing them. Samved has the same mantra’s of Rigved (a few are different), but they are written in a meter and so can be sung.
It is easy for me to describe in three sentences the work he has done. But to be fair and to give you, my readers a fair idea about the volume of work, am just quoting one figure. Rigved had 12/13 shakhas of which only 2 are available today. The available 2 shakhas have more than 10000 mantras. It was a mammoth task. Also it was Krishna, who with a large heart accepted Tantra and Medicine as Vidya and clubbed them together to make a fourth Ved, Atharvaved. It covers many topics from the duties of the king to a common house holder. (Courtesy – Kanhaiyalal Munshi) The contribution of Krishna Dwaipayan cannot be put into words but due to his effort, people started calling him “Ved Vyas”. (One who has bifurcated the Vedas). He is considered by many as the incarnation of the Trinity, of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
अचतुर्वदनो ब्रह्मा द्विबाहुरपरो हरिः ।
अभाललोचनः शम्भुर्भगवान् बादरायणः।।
(He does not have 4 heads yet He is Brahma, He has just two hands yet He is Vishnu, He does not have a third eye, yet He is Shiv, He is none other than Bhagwaan Badrayan)
After his work was complete, which includes the writing of many Upanishads, he has written the 18 Puranas of which Bhagwat Puran is very famous and known to us. He wrote these Puranas as he realised that what he has written is difficult for a common man to understand. So he has written all the thoughts of Vedas and Upanishads as short stories. This is the height of intelligence when one starts thinking about all this mammoth work.
The one thing I should also mention is about Brahma Sutra. A collection of 555 sutras (aphorisms) in which is said to have compiled the whole philosophy of life. Brahma Sutra is associated with Badrayan as Vyas is also sometimes addressed as. It is said that the island in which he was born was covered with “Badara” (ber/ Indian Jujube) and so the name.
Last but not the least, Mahabharat. It is said to cover every relation and emotion under the sun. It has always attracted researchers from every field, be it historical, social, pshycological, archaeological and many more. It is said that when Vyas invited Ganesh to write the Mahabharat, Ganesh put forward a condition that Vyas will not stop when dictating the story. To which Vyas replied that he will not, but Ganesh too will first understand what is being told and then write. And so was written the Mahabharat of which Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta was the heart.
The Prasthantrayi of Upanishads, the Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta and the Brahmasutra is a gift to this world from Ved Vyas. All the Acharyas have written their commentaries on the three. The Trayi holds a very pious place in the Vedic culture.
It is very difficult to write all the work, in one blog cause as a point is written, a new thought arises which can be written about Ved Vyas. So on this auspicious day, believed to be his birthday and also the day when He completed and gave to the world the 4 Veds, I just bow down to Him with humility.
One last thing I wanted to share with my readers some of whom are my students too. I know that we all feel indebted to our school and tution teachers, rather we all should. But today is not the day to wish them. For them, in India, we celebrate 5th September as the Teacher’s Day. Today is a day to bow down to those teachers (guru) who have taught us how to lead a good and humane life and who leads us onto the path of spiritual development. The wishes should be “Guru Poornima ke Namaskaar” or “Bow down to you on this auspicious day of Guru Poornima”.
Let’s end with the Namaskaars to Lord Krishna as he is Jagadguru in the words of Ved Vyas, himself,
A sonnet is a 14 line poem which can be written in different rhyme schemes. I have followed a Shakespearen rhyme scheme of a b a b c d c d and e f e f g g. Its talks about a problem in the first 8 lines and then the solution in the next 6 lines. Have purposely kept my topic away from love and written about a geopolitical issue of my country.
Will be trying to write more sonnets in the near future and maybe a few romantic ones as well…
In the meanwhile, pls comment on the above that you read…
On the 11th day of the month of Asaadh, the Gods are put to sleep. This day is widely celebrated across India as Devshayani Ekadashi. (Do they sleep? Can we exist without them? is another question) But it is such a beautiful concept of “Sagun Bhakti” (Idol worship). As I sleep, so does my God. And our rishi’s have given a thought about people’s pshycology. The agrarian people will be busy with their work in the fields and will not be able to take care of the rituals associated with God’s. So the best way is to put Them to sleep. In this way, people can just concentrate on their work and give it 100% and at the same time do not feel bad or gulity about not doing their regular rituals and religious practises.
It is being celebrated today on 1st of July, this year, without any fanfare, in every simple manner, at Pandharpur, the residing place of Lord Vitthal or Pandurang. Otherwise, normally, Lacs of waarkari’s converge at the banks of Chandrabhagaa river and visit the deity residing in the temple. The waari ( वारी) as called in Marathi begins some 15/20 days before the Ekadashi. The devotees carry the Paduka’s (wooden sandals) of the great saints Tukaram from Dehu and Dnyaneshwar from Alandi, their birth places to Pandharpur for the Darshan of their Lord.
The roads are filled with the chants of
‘DNYANOBA MAULI TUKARAM”
“NIVRUTTI DNYANDEV SOPAN MUKTABAI,
EKNATH NAMDEO TUKARAM”.
All of them converge at Pandharpur on the day before Ekadashi. It is a divine trip from home to the temple, signifying the upliftment of the physical body to the spiritual soul. There are many waarkaris who have been taking this trip for years or from generations now. Their zest and enthusiasm irrespective of age and gender cannot be appreciated, but we can just offer them our ‘Namaskaars’.
The best thing about Warkari’s is that there is no distinction between caste or creed, rich or poor, King or layman and male and female. Not even between the child and the older people. They call each other ‘Mauli‘ and bow down to everyone whom they meet. It is a heartening picture to see a husband bowing down to his wife and a father bowing down to his son. The basic thought behind it is that I bow down to the God (Mauli – Mother) within you.
The saints Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram, Namdeo, Eknath, Gora Kumbhar, Chokha Mela, Muktabai and many others have done a tremendous work through this Bhakti movement in Maharashtra during the Mughal rule. They have visited hut to hut and touched the hearts of many a people and taken their Pandurang into the last person of the society.
Who is this Pandurang?
Who is this Vitthal?
Why does He stand with Hands onto his waist?
He is none other than Krishna who has travelled all the way from Dwarka to meet His Devotee Pundalik. Pundalik is the only son of two parents who have taken utmost care in his upbringing. Pundalik is a “ananya bhakt” of Krishna. He is spreading the word of Krishna to the people around him. His karmayog (work) is very big, but sadly lost today to history. When Shree Krishna hears about Pundalik and his work, He feels an urge to meet him. He rushes to Pandharpur in His chariot. The dusty roads make the dust stick to the skin of Shree Krishna. The already ‘Shyam’ (black) Krishna gets a new skin colour due to this dust. Hence He is called “Pandurang”.
When Krishna reaches the doors of Pundalik, He calls him out. It is said that Pundalik is busy with taking care of his parents, so throws a brick (eint) towards Him and asks him to wait. So Lord Pandurang puts His hands on His waist and waits for Pundalik to come out to meet him. Now this sounds a little weird to us. A devotee would never make his God to wait. Even the parents of Pundalik would have rushed out to meet Him. But due to poverty, there was no proper place to make Him sit, so they must have offered Him the brick shaped stone to sit on or stand on. We see Pandurang still standing on that stone at Pandharpur.
Jagadguru Shakaracharya gives us the meaning of this whole episode in his stotra “Pandurangashtkam.”
The God through this form of Pandurang wants to explain to His devotee thus:
“For those who are mine and reside in my heart, the waters of the Sansaar sagar, the Bhav sagar, are only upto the waist. So there is no question of drowning. One just needs to walk through these waist deep waters to meet me“
My dear readers, isn’t it big thing? It is generally, the devotee who goes to meet his God. Here it is the God, Himself, coming dow to meet His devotee. Namakaars to Pundalik and his karmayog.
From that day onwards till today, Pandurang through His various forms and lives, has guided His devotees to carry His word from heart to heart and hut to hut. It is through this thought, the saints came up with the thought of Dindi, or Wari, where devotees on their way to meet their Lord, walk from village to village. Visit hut to hut. Touch heart to heart. And spread the message of the Lord.
And after seeing, the work taken up and being done by His devotees, the way He wants them to, He goes to sleep. Why so? Is another topic which we will discuss and dwell upon when He gets up 4 months from now, on Prabodhini Ekadashi day.
PUNDALIK VARDE HARI VITTHAL.
SHREE DNYANDEV TUKARAM.
PANDHARINATH MAHARAJ KI JAY.
Today is also National Doctors Day… Wishing all of them a very Happy Doctor’s Day and expressing my gratefulness for taking care of the nation and its citizens….
Today is National CA Day… The Chartered Accountants look after the economic health of our families and society at large. Expressing gratitude towards them as well….