Posted in #poem, festivals, mythoughts, Uncategorized

Pitrupaksh

The days of expressing gratitude to our elders who passed away,

Remembering them and their deeds lest our mind sway,

The things they have done and their work for us to complete,

Let us not sit back, relax but work and not look to others to compete…

Their work a big task is to spread civilisation and safegauard humanity,

We run after religions and their race for supremacy has lead to insanity,

Many have forgotten and just live in their self interest or ego or vanity,

These days are to live, love, give warmth to others and regain sanity

Let us be open to new thoughts as founding fathers said Aano Bhadraha,

Let us go within, deep inside, realise our goal and self as in Tena twam Asi,

Let us meet as brothers as He said Sarvasya Chaham Hradisannivishta,

And thank our forefathers for leading us on this path of Tat Twam Asi

Some from the new generation shun this very idea of Pitrupaksh calling themselves atheist (trending word amongst the youngsters nowadays) or non believers. Our Rishis have been humble and open enough to accept this as our way of life. But then my request to them is that please live with the same thought life long. And if not, please do not call yourselves atheist or anything, but try to find answers. “Quest about knowing is a sign of being Human”.

Let me begin by saying that these are the most auspicious days of human life as these days are of remembrance. Remembering the Love and warmth of our parents, grand parents and great parents. Days of remembering the Rishis, Acharyas and all those who worked for our upliftment and social upliftment. And if we have to do all this, then how can we have social functions? Social gatherings? And so the practise or the the social custom of not doing any other work except our routines and remembering our ancestors. But then people consider these days inauspicious.. How can the days when we think about our ancestors be inauspicious? Just that we don’t want to do anything else and interfere in our remembrance is what it is.

It’s such a beautiful concept and belief given to us by Rishi Atri. It is said that it is he who explained Shraddha to Rishi Nimi, who started practising the ritual. Rishi Nimi started offering to various Gods through Agni and so the ‘Havan’ finds its place in the rituals. Agni is considered the mouth of God’s. Also it tells us that we need to cook our food before eating it. The presence of Agni in every Vedic ritual is also out of gratedulness about the people who first found the use of fire. This led to the strengthening of the civilisation which we all call as Humanity, now.

The ritual also has a practise called the Pind Daan. Westerners call the Pind as balls of rice, due to the literal translation of the word. But atleast we Indians should know that they are not balls of rice, but signify our ancestors. (Will write someday about the rituals dine on the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th day of a person’s death in some other blog). The process of Pind Daan is so tremendous and has such a deep psychological meaning hidden in it. But we all just do it out of routine and are not interested in listening to the mantras being recited. It’s a matter of pride that our ancestors find a place with the great Rishis and Munis on these days. And when we realise this, we become satiated about our ancestors and we feel their presence with us through the great Seers.

Another myth which needs to be clarified that it is the son only who can do Pind Daan. Maybe we have become a patriarchal society after the coming of Moghuls and British, but originally we are not so. A daughter too can perform the Pind Daan of her parents in absence of a brother or if the brother is not interested. After all, these rituals are for each and everyone. Nowadays the daughter’s even give Mukhagni to their parents. And it was and is never banned in our society. A daughter is treated equally as a son in our society.

The last day, 16th day, the first day of Navratri, is the day of Matamaha Shraddh. It is for the married daughter’s who are at their in-laws and want to perform Shraddh of her parents. One needs to do Namaskaars to our Rishi’s who gave this right to the daughter’s as well. Always had this question in my mind about parents who have no sons. A few years back I got the answer. My elder sister ( Dhanashree Talwalkar – Athavale), Didi, performed the last rites of her father, Param Poojaniya Pandurang Shashtriji Athavale and till date performs Her duties towards Her ancestors every year. She brought this outlook to my knowledge.

Let us remember our ancestors during these days and offer them our tarpan.

Let us try to understand the meaning of these days and many such days given to us by our Rishis.

Let us make their sankalp, ours and try to be a good son or daughter.

Let us all try to pass on the right things to our next generation.That would be the true Shraddh of our Rishi’s and Acharya’s.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganeshotsav – 3

On this 10th day of the festival, the thought and feeling of seeing off a near and dear one very painful. It is always difficult to see off a dear one, and remember this is God. He is just not only our family member, but our Guide, who guides through various difficulties. The stay of the God at our place has broken many a shackles in our personal lives, family lives and social lives. It uplifts our feelings towards our nation too. But anything that comes has to go, is the basic education from Visarjan.

It is a teaching to us, that every Srijan ( creation) has to move towards Visarjan (destruction). It’s a part and process of the cycle of evolution of the Universe. If we think, we will know that it is because of Visarjan that we are able to enjoy life. Can we imagine an infinite life? (the scientists have been trying to find the elixir of life, but it has evaded us till now.) If we knew that we are going to have an infinite life, will we be able to enjoy life? So, the seers, wanted us to understand the finiteness of life and so they introduced us to this process of Srijan – Visarjan through celebration of Ganeshotsav.

Also let us look at it in our everyday life. Visarjan is a part of our daily life. We have to immerse many of our thoughts, beliefs and emotions, otherwise our very existence will become very difficult, living with them. Let’s understand it with an example. Say we had a fight and now we hold a grudge for the person with whom we fought. Now if we keep living with this grudge, we cannot move ahead in life. So as soon as that person goes away, we have to forget it and move on. Yes we might remember it again when we see or meet that person. But it does not or cannot stay with us for every moment of our life. Otherwise our lives will become miserable. So better immerse the feeling.

Visarjan also signifies to develop an outlook from “looking outside” to “looking inside”. Everything is destructible, but not the Love of God, the Soul. We need to understand that the flow of the river of love is within out body and keeps us going. We need to immerse the Ganesh into it. Leave our bodily desires and immerse ourselves into our souls.

Yet another way to look at it can be that death (visarjan) is going back to where we came from. Going back to our mother. Our mother will remould the Soul, and we will get a new life. We can also understand the importance and necessity and conviction about Life after Death. Why fear Death?, when we are going to come back again and again, till our Karma makes us do this. Death is only a changing of bodies, as we change our clothes, is what Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta describes. As I mentioned in my last blog, it is the Parthiv Ganesh which we bring home. Parthiv means made from earth. “From dust thou art, to dust thou shalt be, was said of the body” it comes from earth and returns back to earth.

I would request my readers to sit back and think over what we are doing. Are we doing it the way our Rishis have told us too? Is the social responsibility that Lokmanya Tilak envisaged being fulfilled? If not, then we need to ho backto our roots and correct our course as well.

May Ganesh give us all the necessary understanding and intellect to do it.

Ganpati Bappa Morya!

Mangalmurti Morya!

Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar ya!

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganeshotsav -2

नमो व्रातपतये नमो गणपतये।। नम: प्रमथपतये।।

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.)

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’s 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 the smallest 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. Amongst the different thoughts/informayion, we need to find out the most important one for us, as students.

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. At the same time 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

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganeshotsav – 1

Ganesh – the Eashwar (God) for his followers

Ganpati – the caretaker of his followers

Ganadhish – the head amongst the followers

Gananath – the saviour of his followers

Gananayak – the leader of his followers

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.

Ganesh at my place this year

I always wondered 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.

Such thoughts always keep 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 that once the writing of the book was started, it would not stop till the end. Also the writer would just not write down the book as a dictation but understand every word being spoken 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, Modaks.

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. The mud packs too 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 zestful Ganeshotsav.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Paryushan – A few thoughts (3)

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.

“MICCHAMI DUKKADDAM”

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, AarjavSatya 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.

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.

“Micchami Dukkaddam”.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Paryushan – A few thoughts (2)

Happy Mahaveer Jayanti to all my readers.

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. But the fact is a little different. It is during the days of Paryushan, 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 SATYASAUCHSANYAM 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 others with our truthसत्यं 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 ie Dnyan 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 tender 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.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Paryushan – A few thoughts

Ichchämi Khamäsamano,
Vandium Jävanijjäe;
Niseehiäe,
Matthaena Vandämi.

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.

Parvadhiraj Paryushan.

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 ten-fold 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 coming 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.

Jainam Jayatu Shashnam!

JAI MAHAVEER!

JAY RISHABHDEV!

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Matrudin (Reblog)

नास्ति मातृसमा छाया:

नास्ति मातृसमा गति:।

नास्ति मातृसमं त्राणं

नास्ति मातृसमा प्रपा।।

There is no shade like a mother,

No resort like her,

No Security like a mother,

No other ever-giving fountain of life…

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 all.

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 right 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 and my grammar are good, 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 communications today. Every free period of our 9th standard was taken up by Her for grammar. We used to tease her and dislike her for this, but today we all are very grateful to her for her efforts. She treated every child as hers and put in equal efforts towards each one of us.

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 strongly 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 is 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 best 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 protect 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 mother 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…

मातृदिनस्य शुभ आशयः।

Happy Matrudin to all my readers.

Posted in mythoughts, Quotes

An ode to my students

My Students…

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…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Naag Panchami to Shitala Saptami…

The month of Shravan.

Every day of this month is a festival.

It is the time of reiterating our commitment towards nature and Her living as well as non-living forms

Gratitude is the core philosophy of Vedic way of life. To be grateful is to be Human. This month makes us express our gratitude to whosoever, who has been a help to us to lead a beautiful and healthy life, socially and humanely.

So today we would be talking about the festivals which enlighten our way and are 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. (I have written a few independent blogs on the incarnation of Shri Vishnu.)

So with this broad outlook we will look into 3 festivals which we are celebrating during these 3 days. Nag Panchami (नाग पंचमी) and Shitala Saptami (शीतला सप्तमी). In between these two days, we celebrate Randhan Chhath (रांधण छठ्ठ). Let us understand them one by one.

Nag Panchami is a festival celebrated to worship the Serpents. The serpents are representatives of the reptile world. As human 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, they just left. 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 Sages 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 abode for Humans. So they inculcated this practise of celebrating Nag Panchami.

My readers, our festivals have a divine but human outlook, which we need to understand and not laugh upon. The westerners may call us the land of magic and serpents, but we are far more ahead in our understanding about nature than them. We need to develop our own attitude and understandings about all our festivals.

Also there have been many studies about the Nag people. They are considered as the sons of Sage Kashyap, the father of Indian soil, from whom Kashmir has got its name. We also need to study those Nag people, who some say were Brahmins but were driven out of Kashmir. This part of our history has been deliberately kept out of the reach of common people so that the connect between India and Kashmir cannot be established and we keep on believing that it has been a Muslim majority state. But readers many a new research is shedding light on the work of Sage Kashyap in today what is called Kashmir. But again will leave it upto you, my readers, those interested to look further and research and read.

The next day is Randhan Chaatth. A day of cooking. A day of putting all the culinary skills to work and cook the best food possible. A day when one cooks from Morning to Evening. It is the day of cooking the best delicacies possible and yeah at the same time in away that one can savour the next day. The women of the household start the preparations early morning itself. In some villages of Saurashtra, Gujarat, the women get together to cook. They sing devotional and folk songs and enjoy this whole process. The households offer this food as Prasad to Devi Annapoorna – the Goddess of Nutrition.

Also the diet of Indian people has been very simple. Being an agrarian economy, people are always on their fields working hard to survive, and for the survival of the human civilisation. Their diet is simple, of jowar, bajra chappati with jaggery or green chillies or rice with curry. This may be incorporated so that people may atleast for one day savour the various delicacies available in their homeland.

Also Ayurveda does not allow to eat food cooked the day before. Rather our households are such that we do not even eat food cooked in the morning. So eating it the next day is a dream. Man is more attracted towards things he cannot do or is not allowed. So our Sages must have kept a day to eat food cooked a day before. In the modern world, it’s a holiday in the kitchen for the womenfolk. Whatever may be the reason, but frankly many people wait for this day.

The next day is Shitla Saptami. It is the day of non cooking. Food prepared the day before is savoured on this day. Some of my readers may feel it is unhygenic to do so. 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 everyday. So our Sages have kept one day in the whole year when we can satisfy our urge to eat food cooked overnight through this festival. At the same time, people who regularly eat canned foods need to understand the quotient of healthiness inherent in daily cooked food.

In the morning, the lady of the household, wakes up early and worships the stove. They pray to the Agni (Fire) and Annapoorna Devi. They make a swastik with red vermilion and put a twig of a mango tree over it as an offering. The mango signifies sweetness and it is said that it imparts coolness. She prays to the stove to help her cook food which will be healthy to eat and impart health to the one who eats it. Apart from this, it is also a way of expressing our gratitude to the stove who burns the whole year for giving us cooked food. This whole day, the stove is not lit. In our way, we would say that’s it’s a holiday for the stove.

Mata Shitala – The Goddess of Health and Immunity

Also, it is day to worship Goddess Shitala, 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 out or dust off germs) and a pot full of pulses (the viruses) or cold water (a healing tool). Sometimes, she is shown 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 of the skin diseases to this day. 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 Shitala Mata and worship Her and thank Her for curing the child of the disease. (Medicines are administered regularly, but at the same time it is a matter of faith and gratitude towards nature).

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.

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 good for health and taste both.

On these days,

Let us learn to inculcate a feeling of gratitude towards even 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.

Jayatu Bharat!

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Raksha Bandhan – 2

रक्षासूत्र मंत्र :-

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).

The day of celebrating relations with our siblings. It is celebrated on the Poornima (Full Moon Day) of the Hindu month of Shravan. The beauty of this day is just not in the celebration or tying a rakhi around the wrist or the give and take of money or things; but it lies in developing the understanding of staying together and understanding each other. Actually this festival has its importance for the sister as well who is married. She gets an oppurtunity to visit her brother’s place and spend time together.

Then what is the importance of tying 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 would do that; 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. 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, and this year would share with their siblings too.

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. 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, my reader, to think, discuss and debate.

On this day, I pray to God to help me strengthen my bond with my sister/s and at the same time grant us both the understanding behind celebrating this festival.

Give the siblings the strength to stay in the best of their conditions at home and away.

Posted in matrubhumi, mythoughts

Matrubhumi – Swatantrata Diwas

Am purposely writing my blog today in Hindi as it is my national language. The translation in English to the same is below the Hindi part

भारतवासीयोंको भारत के 75 स्वतंत्रता दिन की शुभकामनाएं।

आज के दिन सब से पहले भगवान को कृतज्ञतापूर्वक नमस्कार करता हुं क्यों कि उन्होंने हमें आजादी दिलाई। आप कहेंगे ऐसा क्यों? भगवान ने कौनसी भूमिका निभाई स्वतंत्रता-संग्राम में? किसीको ऐसा भी लगेगा की आप भारतीय लोग हर बात में भगवान को क्यों बीच में ले आते हो? इसलिए इस बात की स्पष्टता पहले कर लें। हां, हम भगवान को हर बात में ले आते हैं क्यों कि उनके बगैर मेरा या आपका या हमारा अस्तित्व ही नहीं! हमारा क्या, इस सृष्टि का अस्तित्व नहीं! और मैं बौद्धिक तौर पर भी इस बात को कह सकता हुं की भगवान ने हमें स्वतंत्रता दिलाई। यद्यपि यह मेरी जो सोच है, वह पांडुरंग शास्त्रीजी आठवले ने बनाई। द्वितीय महायुद्ध में ब्रिटन और उसके साथी देश विजयी हुए। विन्स्टन चर्चिल, जो उस समय ब्रिटन के प्रधान मंत्री थे, उन्होंने अपने जवानों तथा नागरिकों का मनोबल खुब टिकाया एवं बढ़ाया भी। युद्ध के बाद ब्रिटन में तुरंत चुनाव हुए। स्वाभाविक है जिस व्यक्ति ने आपको जीताया है, वही चुनाव में जीत कर आना चाहिए। अपितु हुआ ऐसा की चर्चिल चुनाव हार गए। एटली की लेबर पार्टी सत्ता में आई। वह भारत तथा अन्य देश, जिन पर ब्रिटीश साम्राज्य था, उन्हें स्वतंत्रता देने के पक्षधर थे। जबकि चर्चिल का दृष्टिकोण भारत के बारे में सर्वविदित है। अब ऐसा क्यों हुआ? लोगों का दिमाग किसने घुमाया? तब मैं मानता हुं की भगवान ने घुमाया। कारण समय अब आ गया था जब भारत स्वतंत्र हो तथा दुनिया का मार्गदर्शन करे। (अब कितना किया? यह एक दुसरा प्रश्न है।) इसलिए प्रथम भगवान को कृतज्ञतापूर्वक नमस्कार।

दुसरा नमस्कार उन सभी लोगों को जिन्होंने इस देश की स्वतंत्रता के लिए अपना सबकुछ, यहां तक की अपना जीवन भी, दांव पर लगा दिया। जिन लोगों ने यह नहीं सोचा की उनका खुदका और उनके परिवार का क्या होगा! वाचक मित्रों, आप जरा सोचिए। लड़ाई किसके साथ थी? एक ऐसे साम्राज्य के साथ जिसके क्षितीज पर सूर्य कभी अस्त नहीं होता था। सफलता मिलेगी या नहीं, कोई हमारे बलिदान को याद करेगा या नहीं, कोई प्रकार की अपेक्षा नहीं। बस, स्वतंत्रता के इस महायज्ञ में झोंक दिया अपने आप को। एक १६/१७ साल का लड़का, खुदिराम बोस, हंसते हंसते सूली पर चढ गया। एक ६५/७० साल के महामानव, लाला लाजपत राय ने हंसते हंसते अंग्रेजों की लाठी झेली और अपनी जान न्यौछावर कर दी। एक ३०/३५ साल का युवा, स्वातंत्र्यवीर विनायक दामोदर सावरकर, परिवार की परवाह किए बगैर आंदामानमें ५० साल की एक नहीं अपितु दो-दो सजा मुस्कराकर स्वीकार लेता है। आज भी भगतसिंह, राजगुरु तथा सुखदेव के बलिदान को याद कर सर ऊंचा उठता है। तात्या टोपे, मंगल पांडे, वसुदेव बलवंत फड़के, चंद्रशेखर आजाद, रामप्रसाद बिस्मिल, असफाकउल्लाह खान, लोकमान्य बाल गंगाधर तिलक, बिपीनचंद्र पाल यह सारे नाम सुनकर सीना अभिमान से फुल जाता है। इस सारी लड़ाई में हमारी माताएं-बहनें कहीं पीछे नहीं थी। रानी लक्ष्मीबाई, कित्तुर रानी चेन्नम्मा, कल्पना दत्त, अरूणा आसफ अली और उन जैसी कई महिलाओं ने भी सक्रिय भूमिका निभाई। कितने नाम याद करें और कितने लिखें, इसलिए यहीं रूक कर सभी को कृतज्ञतापूर्वक नमस्कार करता हूं।

तीसरा नमस्कार उस व्यक्तिमत्त्व को जिसने सारे भारत को एक करने हेतु सारे भारत का भ्रमण कीया। उन्हें लोग आधुनिक भारत का चाणक्य कहते हैं। ५०० से ज्यादा रजवाड़ों को समझाकर, प्यार से भारत में सम्मिलित कर लिया। जो समझाने पर नहीं माने, उनको उनकी ही भाषा में समझाकर सम्मिलित किया। यह व्यक्ति ओर कोई नहीं अपितु महात्मा गांधी की बातों पर अडिग तथा अविचल श्रद्धा रखनेवाले सरदार वल्लभभाई पटेल। उस समय की कांग्रेस का संगठन अगर मजबूती से खड़ा था, गांधीजी की कही हर बात को उठाने तैयार था, तो उसमें इस एक व्यक्ति का बड़ा कर्त्तृत्व रहा है। इस महामानव को हम भारत रत्न से नवाजे या नहीं, वह भारत मां के सच्चा रत्न है। आज हम उनको श्रद्धा सुमन अर्पित कर सके ऐसा कोई स्थान या समाधि नहीं है, यह बात मन को दुखी कर देती है। आज की पीढ़ी उस व्यक्ति के बलिदान को समझ भी पाएगी या नहीं यह सवाल मन को सताता है। क्या उनके परिवार को आज कोई पहचानता है, यह यक्ष प्रश्न है। उनके परिवार के साथ किया गया बर्ताव किसी भी सभ्य समाज को सोचने पर मजबूर करेगा कि क्या इसलिए आजादी के लिए वह सब लड़े होंगे? उनको अपेक्षा भले ही न रही हो, पर हम देशवासियों का उनके प्रति कुछ कर्तव्य है या नहीं?

आज का दिन जैसे खुशी मनाने का है, वैसे सोचने का भी है। भारत आज 75 साल बाद कहां खड़ा है? भारत विश्वगुरु तो ठीक अपने गली (आशिया खंड) का भी गुरु कहलाने लायक है? तकनीकी विकास एवं आर्थिक सुदृढ़ीकरण से ही क्या हम यह कर पायेंगे? एक समय था जब विश्व भारत से आध्यात्मिक चेतना पाता था। स्वामी विवेकानंद तथा गुरू अरविंदो उसकी चेतना थे। विनोबाजी तथा रविशंकर महाराज (गुजरात) जैसै समाज की भावनाओं को टिकाने और बढ़ाने वाले निस्वार्थ समाजसेवी थे। भारत की चेतना हमेशा से भावनिक एवं आध्यात्मिक रही है। आज हम कहां हैं? इसका मतलब कोई यह न समझे की मैं तकनीकी विकास के खिलाफ हुं। पर सिर्फ उसी एक अंग की तरफ ध्यान देकर भी नहीं चलेगा। भारत का तथा भारतीयोंका विकास सर्वांगीण होना होगा। तभी वह फिर से सोने की चिड़िया कहलायेगा। और इस दिशा में पूरे समाज ने काम करना होगा। व्यक्ति की सोच में परिवर्तन लाना होगा। शिक्षा में से भारत के लिए प्यार और संवेदना जगानी होगी। तभी जाकर उसका परिणाम थोड़े सालों बाद दिखेगा।

हमारे जीवन में राष्ट्रप्रेम और राष्ट्रिय अस्मिता यह दोनों को जगाने की अत्यावश्यकता है। सही इतिहास पढ़ाना होगा। वामपंथी तथा दक्षिणपंथी विचारधाराओं से ऊपर उठकर सोचना होगा, लिखना होगा तथा जीना होगा।
त्यजेदेकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् ।
ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे आत्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ॥
(कुल के हितार्थ एक का त्याग करना, गाँव के हितार्थ कुल का, देश के हितार्थ गाँव का और आत्म कल्याण के लिए पृथ्वी का त्याग करना चाहिए ।) हमने सभी ने अपने कुल, गांव, राज्य से ऊपर उठकर सोचना होगा। अपने मान-सम्मान, जय-पराजय, बड़ा-छोटा इन बातों में से निकलकर हर एक व्यक्ति की बात सुननी होगी। किसके मुंह से कौनसी अच्छी बात कब भगवान बुलवा दे, क्या मालूम!

मां भारती के हित को सर्वोपरि मान सब ने साथ मिलकर निर्णय लेने होंगे।हमारी संविधान सभा ने, हम सब अपने मतभेदों के बावजूद, साथ काम कर सकते हैं, इसका उत्तम उदाहरण हमारे सामने रखा है। हर एक व्यक्ति को जब लगेगा की यह देश मेरा है और इसको सही ढंग से चलाना, संभालना, आगे ले जाना यह मेरी जिम्मेदारी है तभी भारत जनतंत्र होगा। जब हरेक व्यक्ति अपनी राष्ट्र के प्रति जिम्मेदारी समझेगा तभी हमें सच्चे अर्थ में स्वतंत्रता प्राप्त होगी।

इसे करने के लिए हमने भारत भ्रमण करना होगा। भारत के कोने-कोने में जाना होगा। लोगों से यत्किंचीत स्वार्थ के बगैर जुड़ना होगा। लोगों में सोयी भावनिकता तथा आध्यात्मिकता को प्यार से जगाना होगा। तभी राष्ट्रीय चेतना का उदय होगा। तभी भारत महान बनेगा।हम यह सब न कर सकें तो कम से कम जो यह काम कर रहे हैं, उनके प्रयत्नों में उपयोगी बनें। वह भी न कर पायें तो कम से कम उन प्रयत्नों की सराहना करें। और कुछ नहीं तो उनके काम में रोड़े तो न डालें।

आज के दिन सिर्फ इतना ही। बाकी की बातें कभी दूसरे समय पर करेंगे।

जय हिंद। जय भारत।

The English Translation:

Wishing all the Indians a very Happy 75th 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, Mangalore 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, I have to say that we do not have a place or samadhi where we can pay our respects to this great son of India. 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 realise this and 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 doing it. Atleast let us not be thorn in their paths.

That’s all for today. Let’s keep a few things for some other time.

Jay Hind! Jay Bharat!

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Deep Amavasya (Reblog with additions)

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.

Also would like to draw my readers attention to the fact that many people consider Amavasya as inauspicious. But see the far sightedness of the Rishis. Today is Amavasya of Asadh which is celebrated as Deep Amavasya. The next Amavasya of the month of Shravan is Matrudin. The Amavasya of the month of Bhadrapad is Sarv Pitri Amavasya. And the next Amavasya of the month of Ashwin is celebrated as Diwali. So now the question arises is Amvasya auspicious or inauspicious?

Wishing you all a Shubh Deep Amaavasya.

Posted in general, mythoughts

Mitra – 3

पापान्निवारयति योजयते  हिताय
गुह्यं निगूहति गुणान् प्रकटीकरोति  |
आपद्गतं च न जहाति ददाति काले
सन्मित्रलक्षणमिदं प्रवदन्ति  सन्ताः ||

-भर्तृहरि (नीतिशतक)

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.

Dear readers, after reading the above shlok I do not want to start writing long commentaries on it as it us self explanatory. But yes surely will like to raise questions and try to answer them. I expect that you will answer them to yourself too.

Do I have a friend with whom I can talk freely, without any inhibitions?

Do I have a friend who accepts me as I am and never tries to mould me?

Do I have a friend who tells me what is good for me and what is bad?

Do I have a friend what are the good qualities in me which I need to work upon?

Do I have a friend who tells me my vices in private and urges me to give them away?

Do I have a friend with whom I would be very comfortable talking about any thing in this world?

Do I have a friend who shares his secrets too?

Do I have a friend who never runs away in difficult situations?

Do I have a friend whom I can rely upon for everything in life?

Do I have a friend who fights for me and stands by me?

Do I have a friend who never lies to me and for me?

Dear Readers, there can be many more questions which one can ask and try to answer. The questions even might sound repetitive but we need to think and answer.

If the answer to even one of the above questions is “YES“, then we need to keep this friend forever like how we would keep a precuious thing forever.

Will end with a Hindi poem written by Maithilisharan Gupta about friendship:

तप्त हृदय को, सरस स्नेह से,

जो सहला दे, मित्र वही है।

रूखे मन को, सराबोर कर,

जो नहला दे, मित्र वही है।

प्रिय वियोग, संतप्त चित्त को ,

जो बहला दे, मित्र वही है।

अश्रु बूँद की, एक झलक से ,

जो दहला दे, मित्र वही है।

Wishing you all a very Happy Friendship Day.

Link to the previous blogs:

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/mitra-friend/

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2020/08/02/mitra-2/

Posted in #poem, matrubhumi, mythoughts

Kargil Diwas

26th July 1999…

Kargil Vijay Diwas…

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…

Still remember those days when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vaypayee went on a peace mission to our neighbour, in a bus. A bus from Amritsar to Lahore. Never did he realise that the neighbouring army was plotting against India. They just crossed over and occupied our peaks and on the Line of Control at many places especially in the Kargil – Leh sector.

We already were at a disadvantage as the hills were occupied by the forces of our enemy and we had to climb up and fight back. But the Indian Army was not to be laid back. The enemy never realised that they had made a big mistake of challenging one of the best and bravest armies of the world, the Indian Army. We fought back and within 30-40 odd days captured back the area which was occupied. Let us remember we had never lost it, it was occupied, by the most meanest of the methods.

The Kargil war is still etched very well in my memory. We used to be glued to the TV sets for every update we could get. As the fight progressed and our brave soldiers started recapturing our positions, we used to be elated and our proud chest would pump out of pride for our Army. Later, as the feeling of victory sunk in, it also made us proud to hear about the individual efforts of a soldier or a company under an able leader.

There are many instances or events which can be narrated. Of these many, I today choose to narrate the fight for Chorbat La.

Chorbat La is an important piece of land, a strategic mountain pass in Ladakh, if not won back would have let the enemy push in its army and arms into India, unopposed. It could have then blocked the very important Leh-Khalsi road used for the movement of troops and supplies and practically made it impossible to access the Leh-Srinagar road.

Major Wangchuk and his men from the Ladakh scouts took upon them, the mission of recapturing Chorbat La and accomplished this mission between 31st May and 1st June 1999. An impossible but a daring mission taken up by them as they very well knew the landscape. This was one of the first victories on the Indian side. My readers can very well understand its importance, by learning the fact that Major Wangchuk was recommended for the Mahavir Chakra even before the war was over and 6 soldiers from his unit won the gallantry awards.

These 6 soldiers had climbed a vertical mountain of ice 18000 feet high in a single line with the help of ropes and ice picks in – 6 degrees temperature. A single step put wrong would have killed all of them. If they would be detected, as they could have been as they were on the ridge, an enemy bullet could have easily killed them.

The unit climbed up the same route. They had to trek through 2 feet of snow. Later they attacked the 135 men strong company of the enemy and made them run for their lives. Taken by surprise, the enemy had to retreat to their base camp, into their side of their line of control. The 40 odd boys with their Major took over the pass and stayed back to defend it, till the regular army arrived to take over, which happened after 14 days when the 14th Sikh regiment took over.

I share the details of the Major’s experiences in his own words. He describes it in his conversation with one of the news reporters a few years back.

“When we actually went for the operation and were in contact with the enemy, I had just about 40 boys because 60% of the strength was taken away for other missions.

On May 30, a part of my unit climbed up and saw 12 to 13 (Pakistani) tents just beyond the LoC. They were housing almost a company (135 odd men). They also saw two to three chaps climbing up the ridge from the other side. My JCO shot them dead, confirming that they were Pakistanis, But there were other Pakistanis up on the ridge some distance away, too far to fire upon. This was around noon.

My JCO informed me over the radio, and I in turn sought permission from my headquarters to move ahead with a party. Then I immediately took my remaining 25 men and literally ran in the two feet deep snow up the mountainside. It was a distance of eight kilometres and I covered it in two-and-a-half hours.

I was in the middle of the ravine, about to climb up to the OP (Operation Post) when a burst of fire greeted us.

The effect was devastating! We scattered for cover, but in the bare mountain, this was difficult. We found one boulder behind which all of us huddled together, simply unable to move because bullets were flying all around us. Also, in the snow, movement is very difficult and slow.

One NCO who came along with me had his arm shattered; he died later due to excessive bleeding. With all of us hiding behind the boulder, there was nothing we could do.

To be honest, it was a scary situation and for the first 10 minutes, my heart was pounding, my head was throbbing and I just could not think. But then I calmed down and realised that we were in danger.

Also, more of my men were following and since I had no radio, I could not even inform them. So I immediately sent one person back to the remaining unit, with the information that they should start climbing up the ridge and go to the height on the right of the Pakistanis.

Then, my men and I ran to Adam base, located below our OP, and luckily there was no Pakistani firing. I don’t know why, but we all reached safe. This was around 1630 hours.

We waited for nightfall to launch another attack, but the moon light was so bright that we could have been easily spotted by the enemy.

But the blessings of the Dalai Lama, whom we had met a day before the mission, seemed to be with us and a blanket of mist came to our rescue.

Taking our chance and with the sacred thread given by the Dalai Lama around our necks, we started the steep climb up the mountain.

At dawn we reached the height and launched a surprise attack on the Pakistanis.

We killed 10 enemy troops. The Pakistanis ran helter-skelter down the slope and withdrew, dragging down some of their dead and leaving three behind. We took control of the entire ridge.

Thereafter, we took stock of all forces along the Chorbatla axis in the Batalik sector and cleared it of all enemy intrusions up to the Line of Control.

It was a difficult mission, but I couldn’t have done it without the boys. By virtue of being sons of the soil, the Ladakhi boys are mountaineers and conversant in negotiating the mountains.

Many troops get intimidated with lofty mountains and snow covered terrain, but the Ladakhi soldiers don’t fear the mountains.

I think the gallantry award came my way because it was the first success of the Indian Army, and secondly, Chorbat La pass was tactically very important.

It was a grand success for the Indian Army and the nation — that’s why I got the honour. Otherwise, there were lots of units who did much better than me,”

There are many such instances which can be and need to be described as well and shared in maximum. I plan to do so whenever I get an opportunity. I urge upon my readers to share any such events they know or have read about during the coming days.

The way our Jawans fight for us, fight for India is not only brave and courageous, it ignites a sense of patriotism amongst us too.

Today on this day, I bow down to the soldiers of the Indian Army and express my gratefulness to guard our borders. They keep vigil so that we can sleep well in our homes. My Namaskaars once again.

VANDE MATARAM.

JAI HIND.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts, personality

Asadh Poornima – Guru Poornima (Vyas Poornima)

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुःगुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुःसाक्षात् परब्रह्मतस्मै श्रीगुरवे नम: ॥

Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu,Guru is Maheshwar (Shiv) Himself, I bow down to The Guru.

GURU is the one who uplifts his disciple and guides him nearer to God.

GURU is the one who shows the right path and leads us unto it.

GURU is like the light house in the sea, which keeps the disciples away from the obstacles (rocks) of life.

GURU is the one who instills self confidence and self esteem in the disciple.

GURU is another Mother of the child who cares, shares warmth and showers love on.

The basis of the Indian Civilisation is to find a Guru, who will help to find oneself. A road traced upon by many but it is upto the individual whether to follow or charter his or her own path. But the Guru is a must for self realisation.

The Guru – Shishya parampara has it’s own place in Vedic culture. It can be seen in the lives of

Krishna – Arjun,

Aruni – Shvetketu ,

Haridrumata Gautam – Satyakaam Jabal ,

Mahaveerswami – Gautamswami

Buddha – Anand and many more.

We can find it even in the life of the Acharyas, Narad – Nimbarkacharya, Godpadacharya – Shankaracharya, Chyutrapreksha – Madhavacharya and many more. They take pride in citing their Guru’s name even after getting so much fame and following.

Even more recently,

Ramdas Swami – Shivaji and

Ramkrishna Paramhans – Vivekanand too.

Even the Jain Sanghs have a Guru of the Sangh whom the Shravaks and Shravikas look for guidance. (Whether Mahaveer or other Tirthankars would approve of this is another question to be dwelled upon).

From the above examples, my readers, I just want to point out the importance a Guru plays in human life.

Can a man not attain self realisation without a Guru? He can, but it’s very difficult. Only one in crore can become a Mahaveer or Buddha. Otherwise it is the guidance of the true guru which can lead us to God and realising the God within.

On the day of Guru Poornima, bow down to the Aadiguru Shankar, all the Rishis who took the pains to see Human become civilised and all the Acharyas and the Saints who showed the Human the right path.

गुकारस्त्वन्धकारस्तु रुकार स्तेज उच्यते ।

अन्धकार निरोधत्वात् गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ॥

“Gu” means darkness and “Ru” means light, so a Guru is one who leads us from darkness to light.

It is the birthday of Maharshi Ved Vyas, the writer of the Brahmasutra, Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, the one who infuriated the Vedas into 4 parts, who wrote the Puranas and the Mahabharat. Have already written a blog on Him last. The link to the blog is attached herewith.

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/maharshi-ved-vyas-bhagwaan-badrayan/

I once again bow down to my Guru and ask for His blessings that my faith in Him would and should never waiver.Jay Gurudev!

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Devshayani Ekadashi – Day when the Gods are put to sleep

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.

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 religioupractises.

It is being celebrated today on 19th of July, this year, without any fanfare, in every simple manner, at Pandharpur, the residing place of Lord Vitthal or Pandurang. 

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 unto 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.”

प्रमाणं भवाब्धेरिदं मामकानां
नितंबः कराभ्यां धृतो येन तस्मात् ।
विधातुर्वसत्यै धृतो नाभिकोशः
परब्रह्मलिङ्गं भजे पाण्डुरङ्गम् ॥ ३॥

Pramanam bhavabderidam mamkanaam,

Nitamb: karabhyaam dhruto yen tasmaat,

Vidhaturvasatyay dhruto nabhikosh:

Parabrahmalingam bhaje Panduranagam. ।।3।।

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. And so Bhagwan Shankaracharya calls this place the “Mahayogpeeth“.

Let us all today promise our Bhagwaan that we will do your work and spread your message hut to hut and heart to heart so that you may sleep at ease for the next 4 months.

Let us all read the lives of the saints, understand what they have taught us and try to imbibe those things in our lives.

Let us pledge to see God in everyone, living or non-living and slowly develop an out of reverence for the same.

Will end with an ovi which is one of my favourite written by Sant Dnyaneshwar…

देवाचिये द्वारीं उभा क्षणभरी । तेणें मुक्ति चारी साधियेल्या, हरि मुखें म्हणा हरि मुखें म्हणा । पुण्याची गणना कोण करी, असोनि संसारीं जिव्हे वेगु करी । वेदशास्त्र उभारी बाह्या सदा , ज्ञानदेव म्हणे व्यासाचिया खुणें । द्वारकेचा राणा पांडवां घरीं,

Posted in festivals, mythoughts, personality

Asadhi Beej – Rath Yatra

At the beginning of my blog itself, wishing all my Kutchhi brothers and sisters a very Happy New Year

असां जे कच्छी माडुओ के नव वर्ष की लख लख वधाई।

मेठो पांजो कच्छडो, मेठा पांजा माडु,

मेठी पांजी गालीयुं, ने मेठी पांजी प्रीत,

हलो हलो रे… आवई अषाढी बीज ।

The 2nd day of the month of Asaadh is a day celebrated as the onset of monsoons in Gujarat and Kutchh. The monsoons bring a smile on everyone’s face and people rejoice and celebrate as if it’s a new year.This day is celebrated all over India, especially Odisha, as the Rathyatra, “the procession of Chariots”. Lord Jagannath alongwith his elder brother Balbhadra and sister Devi Subhadra moves in their chariots around the Odia town of Jagannath Puri. This annual rath yatra attracts tourists from around the world. People get to touch their Lord and pull his chariot which is a once in a lifetime experience.

Jagannath Swami rides in the rath which is majorly decorated in yellow and called the “Nandi Ghosh.” Lord Balbhadra rides in “Tala dhwaj” decorated in green. And Devi Subhadra rides in her “Padma Dhwaj” black chariot. It’s the time when the siblings move out of their temples to meet the people, common folk, of their town. From their temple, they go to Gundicha temple, 3km away. Hence this yatra is also called as the Gundicha Yatra.

The names of the chariots and the colours too have their own significance. The chariots have their own charioteers. Daruka is on the Nandighosh, Matali on Taladhwaj and Arjun on Padmadwaj.

First the Deities are brought out from the temple in a very typical way. The deities do not have full body, but just a the face. So they need to be lifted and got out. This ritual is called the “Pahandi“. When one sees the deities being taken out, it seems as if they are being dragged. The multitudes of people try to catch a glimpse of the Lord and touch Him.

As soon as the Lord settles on His rath with His siblings (note that each deity has His or Her own individual rath), the erstwhile King of the Gajapati clan, arrives in a dress of a sweeper and cleans the rath and the roads with a broom in hand. This ritual is called “Chera Pahara“. It signifies that in the presence of the Lord, everyone is equal. The Kings, too through the years, have been very humble andgrateful to the Lord, to let them serve Him.

Then begins the journey.

The journey of the Lord to see His own people

The journey where the people can see their Lord

The journey of life to eternity.

The common man gets an opportunity to pull the three Raths and carry their Lord to His destination. The millions who have assembled, all, just try to touch the ropes attached to the Rath and feel grateful. The idea of a mere Human pulling the Rath of the Lord is in itself such a beautiful thought. It is He who pulls our lives throughout, but this day we get an opportunity not only to see Him, but pull his Rath as well.

Being elder, Balbhadra leads the triad. Followed by Subhadra and lastly comes Lord Jagannath himself. The idea of the brothers taking care of their sister is so divine. At the same time, it also signifies that Strength (Balbhadra) and Power (Jagannath), need to be balanced in Life. It would be possible only when one has the “bhadra” outlook (Subhadra).

Once the deities reach the Gundicha temple, they stay there for 9 days and will return back to their house after that, in the same manner as today. These 9 days are of Nagar Yatra and Darshan. The people get to see their Lords amongst themselves. The Lord too through this Yatra demonstrates that people in power need to keep their feet firmly on the ground and also keep in touch with the masses living in his or her kingdom.

The Yatra lasts for 6-7 hours and sometimes even takes 15-16 hours depending upon the wish of the deity. It is truly a very divine atmosphere in itself to be witnessed. I would request my readers to atleast visit Jagannath Puri once in a life time and if possible during the Yatra time.

A stotra written by Jagadguru Shankaracharya called Jagannathashtak is worth reciting. Quoting a shlok from it for Lord Jagannath.
रथारूढो गच्छन् पथि मिलित भूदेव पटलैः
स्तुति प्रादुर्भावम् प्रतिपदमुपाकर्ण्य सदयः ।
दया सिन्धुर्बन्धुः सकल जगतां सिन्धु सुतया
जगन्नाथः स्वामी नयन पथ गामी भवतु मे ॥५॥(“When Lord Jagannatha is on His Ratha-yatra cart and is moving along the road, at every step there is a loud presentation of prayers and songs chanted by large assemblies of brahmanas. Hearing their hymns Lord Jagannatha is very favorably disposed towards them. He is the ocean of mercy and the true friend of all the worlds. May that Jagannatha Swami, along with His consort Lakshmi, who was born from the ocean of nectar, be the object of my vision.”)

On this day, let’s pray to Jagannath, Balbhadra and Subhadraji to bless all us and our siblings and bless us that we live like they lived together.

Let’s pray to the siblings that may the bonds among our families become stronger day by day.

Let’s pray that our families always stay together happily and merrily.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts, personality

Reverence for Nature – Vrikshamandir Din, Madhavvrund Din…

Representational Image

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 Peepal (Ficus religiosa) 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.

Representational Image

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.

This year too the Swadhyayees have contacted their friends and family who do not know about Swadhyay and talked to them about the concept of Madhavvrund and have gifted them a flowering plant and requested them to nurture them in their respective houses.

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. Then I would say that Seeing is believing. I have seen it and I believe it.

Representational Image

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.

Posted in general, mythoughts

The month of Ashaadh

अषाढ़ उच्चारं, मेघ मल्हारं, बनी बहारं, जलधारं,

दादुर दकारं, मयूर पुकारं, तडीतातारं, विस्तारं…

The advent of the month of Asaadh (June/July of English calendar) reminds every Gujarati literature lover the above ‘chhand’ (a type of poetry with particular number of letters and maatras) (in music we call it the ‘metre’) which he/she has been hearing from his childhood. It says thus,”With the advent of the month of Asaadh, it is the thundering of the clouds, the clouds condensing and falling down as rain which is witnessed. The frog and the peocock start calling out their mates, and the thin wires of lightening covers all the sky.”

Rains signify new growth.

Rains signify germination.

Rains signify toil.

Rains signify coolness.

Rains signify energy, enthusiasm and verve.

Today is also the day of Kavi Kalidas, the great poet and writer. His treatise Kumarsambhav, AbhidnyanShakuntal, Meghdoot and many more are not only worth a read but are to be understood and savoured. I bow down to this great poet and writer, today. Even he has described rains in his poems.

Am always fascinated by rains and who isn’t? Atleast during the rains, every person turns a poet or a singer during these watery times. And my readers will have no different experience than this. The songs of the Hindi movies start resonating in our ears.

“ओ सजना बरखा बहार आयी”

“बरसात में हमसे मिले तुम सजन, तुमसे मिले हम”

“प्यार हुआ, इकरार हुआ, प्यार से क्यों डरता है दिल”

“टिप टिप टिप टिप बारिश शुरू हो गयी”

And many more which drive in us the urge to dance and sing to their tunes.Am equally fascinated by the 12 types of clouds/rains which are mentioned in the Gujarati literature as follows:

1. ફરફર – फरफर (Farfar) Rain which just stimulates and wettens our hair on the skin. Very Romantic and mind boggling.

2. છાંટા – छांटा ( Chhanta) Rain drops which is a little more then described above, yet less.

3. ફોરા – फोरा (Fora) Rain having drops of size that can wet an area of radius 1 inch on the ground.

4. કરા – करा (Karaa) Rain falling down as ice. We call them hail. Better to stay indoors when it hails.

5. પછેડીયો / પછેડીવા – पछेडियो / पछेडीवा (Pacchediyo – Pacchediva) – Rain from which we can protect ourselves only if we have an umbrella or a covering.

6. નેવાધાર – नेवाधार (Nevadhaar) Rain which will not only wetten the clay roof tiles, but also drip through it.

7. મોલીયો – मोलीयो (Moliyo) Rain which is beneficial to the crops to be grown. This rain is absolutely essential for a farmer.

8. ઢેફા ભાંગ – ढेफा भांग (Dhefaa Bhaang) Rain which will break the pieces of soil formed during the year so that the soil becomes ready for sowing.

9. મુશળધાર – मुशळधार (Musaldhaar) Rain which falls in form of torrents. It prickles us like a pin, when it falls.

10. અનરાધાર – अनराधार (Anaraadhaar) Rain which falls continuously. Drops cannot be seen. It seems as if water is falling like that from a tap.

11. સાંબેલાધાર – सांबेलाधार (Saambeladhaar) Raining cats and dogs. Very heavy rains.

12. હેલી – हेली (Hely) It is a mixture of any of the above mentioned rains which goes on continuously for a week.

Wishing you all a very Happy Monsoon Season.

Posted in general, matrubhumi, mythoughts

International Yoga Day (Reblog)

Summer Solstice

The day of Dakshinayan, the sun will now move from North to South, the day will start becoming smaller and the nights will increase.

Science calls it the Summer solstice in the northern hemisphere. The word ‘Sol’ means the sun and ‘stice’ means stood still, the day the sun stood still. Today the duration of day and night is roughly the same.

Tomorrow the monsoons formally set in India according to the Indian calendar. The sun will enter the “Aardra” constellation and the atmosphere will see changes accordingly. It is considered to be a wet constellation also signifying that it is monsoon time.

From last 7 years now the day of Summer Solstice is being celebrated as International Yoga Day. It is the call of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the efforts of our then ambassador to the United Nation, that out of the 192 or 196 member countries more than 180 countries supported and adopted to celebrate this day as International Yoga Day. The support for this day all over the world is overwhelming and transcends religion and faiths. It is heartening to see people performing Yoga irrespective of gender, caste and creed.

The ancient science of Yoga propounded by Bhagwaan Patanjali is now being recognised in its truest sense. Also let me clarify, our seers have never given a school of thought or method of maintaining good health out of gaining name and fame. They had their own experiences which they shared with world and left it upto the human race to decide and adopt. The “Yoga” that Bhagwaan Patanjali has explained has a deep meaning and if followed in its purest sense, will not only benefit humanity physically but also spiritually. The ‘Aasanas’ being performed everyday are the basic step towards attaining bliss in life. A lot of research has and is being done on this and available on the net for my readers to read.

“Yoga” means “to join.”

A union with self and God within oneself.

A union of self and God within others.

A union of Self and God Himself.

Tell me one prevalent faith or thought which does not try to find the truth within and without. Every faith does. So Yoga transcends faith.

At the same time, Yoga is just not ”Aasanas”. It is just 1/8th part of the Ashtaang Yoga as explained by Bhagwaan Patanjali. The 8 parts are as follows:

1. Yama (Satya, Ahimsa, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha)

2. Niyama (Shouch, Santosh, Tap, Swadhyay and Ishwarpranidhan)

3. Aasan

4. Pranayaam

5. Pratyaahaar

6. Dhyaan

7. Dharanaa

8. Samadhi

Will dwell upon these 8 some other day.

The “Dhyaan Mudra’s” that we find Lord Mahaveera and Lord Buddha are nothing but Yoga Mudras. They help us find the peace within. Just a few years back, I visited a few caves near Mumbai and they all had Lord Buddha sitting in Padmasana and smiling. The sculptures itself were so serene and peaceful, it just helps us understand the actual emotions when we do Yoga sincerely. And they both have found their self through these postures. So if practised properly, Yoga will slowly lead us to Self realisation.

So today,

Let us all dwell upon such gems given to us by our civilisation.

Let us learn to treasure them. Let us practise them.

Let us imbibe such practises into our lives.

Let the world follow.

Wishing you all and your families a very Happy International Yoga Day

Pray to Bhagwaan Patanjali to bless us all with good personal, social and spiritual health.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 10

Ganga Sagar

As we end the series today, am thinking about the journey when we began as a rivulet and now entering the ocean today. The narrow mindedness turning to broad mindedness. The art of looking at the world outside to the world within. It may be a complex process but we all have to undergo it one day. So let’s begin the last leg of our journey today.

परद्रव्येष्वभिध्यानं मनसानिष्टचिंतनम्।

वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

10. To wrongly insist / persist

Vitathabhivniveshashva” – to wrongly insist. Try to impose things on others which may not work for them. We all have this habit of insisting for things which have worked for us forgetting that different people have different solutions for the same problem. And that is how the Universe works.

Maa Ganga treads Her own path. She does not depend on others at the same time She does not expect others to follow Her. She goes Her own way. If people follow, fine. If they dont, then too She has no problems. She is “Nisang

At this stage of development we too need to learn this quality of being selfless. No attraction, no repulsion. No submission, no justification. This leads to the feet of Bhagwan Vishnu. This is the ultimate goal of life.

As we take the 10th and the last dip in Maa Ganga today, we pray to Her to bless us with the quality of being “Nisang” and attain the lotus feet of Bhagwaan Vishnu.

एतानि दश पापानि हर त्वमथ जाह्नवी।

दशपापहरा यस्मात्तस्माद् दशहरा स्मृता।।

O Ganga ! you are the one who will deliver me from the above said 10 sins and so I remember you (bow down to you) on the Dusshara day as “Duspaaphara”.

We bow down to Maa Ganga today and thank Her for guiding us all through this journey.

We thank Her for being there for us from eternity to eternity.

We bow down to Her and plead Her to keep us on this path of development and growth.

My dear friends / readers I thank you too for being a part of my quest to find answers to the questions which torments the Humans and trying to find an answer to them. Have we been able to find the answers? Have we learnt something? Have we grown during these 10 days? I leave these questions for you to answer.

Pray to Maa Ganga to keep writing about Her and get closer to Her through my writings

Namami Gange…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 9

Ganga – Howrah Bridge – Kolkatta

As we go closer to our destination, the form of the river becomes a delta and grows bigger but slower so as to smoothly enter the ocean. That is the purpose of our lives too. We began with the physical sins and moved on to the mental sins and we try to understand how to remove them from our lives. We move on to the second but last stop of our journey.

परद्रव्येष्वभिध्यानं मनसानिष्टचिंतनम्।

वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

9. To think that bad happen to others

Manasanishtchintanam” – to think bad about others. We think bad not only about others but also whom we consider close to us. Thinking about the loss of a close one is also a sin which we do without even understanding that it creates a negative feeling in our minds.

Negativity is the biggest hurdle in our growth and development. It hurts us badly without us even realising that it is hurting us. Negativity is slow poison – kills us slowly. From thinking negative about others we slowly move towards thinking negative about ourselves.

Maa Ganga is full of positivity. Her flow through all the obstacles is never hindered nor slowed down. She guides us to live and lead our life through every good and bad situation and reach our destination, the feet of Lord Vishnu, who resides in the ocean. Our destination will be reached when our lives be filled with “Positivity

Positivity not only help us move ahead in life but also accelerates us towards our goal. Being positive in all things is a big step in our development. Am reminded of the story we all have heard or studied in our childhood days – “It’s all for the Best”, where a king by mistake cuts his finger and the minister says its for the best. This angers the king and he sends the minister to prison. Later when he goes for hunting and attached by a wild animal, the wild animal leaves the king due to the smell of the blood from the cut finger. The king realises his folly, comes back and releases his Minister. But he asks how was the cut finger best for the minister. Then the witty minister replies that hadnt he been in prison he would have accompanied the Kind on the hunting trip and got killed himself.

So as we take our second but last dip in the Holy Ganga, we pray to Her to help us inculcate positivity in our lives and lead us to our development.

Tommorrow we will reach our destination and also celebrate the festival of Ganga Dusshara. See you all tommorrow…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 8

Ganga Ghat in Bihar

As we move onwards our journey from the Ganga ghats of Kashi towards Ganga Sagar, we have come to that node where we have to think beyond physical sins and sins expressed by our thoughts. Today onwards we think about the last 3 sins for which we need to be very careful and sensitive about. The first 7 can be seen by others too and they can help us correct them. But the last 3 are “mansik” – within our minds and no one except us can correct them. So let’s gear up ourselves and introspect.

परद्रव्येष्वभिध्यानं मनसानिष्टचिंतनम्।

वितथाभिनिवेशश्र्व मानसं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

8. To think about snatching others wealth

9. To think that bad happen to others

10. To wrongly insist / persist

These are the 3, and the last of 10, sins committed in our minds

Pardravyeshvabhidhyanam” – to think about snatching others wealth. To think about taking something which does not belong to us. How many of us have thought of this? I without any doubt would say everyone of us. Just imagine the guilt now while reading about what we have been doing.

I very well understand that first we have to come to terms with what I am trying to say. Secondly we need to accept it. Thirdly we need to decide to work on it. Fourthly we need to work on it and change it. We are at the first step today.

Also I was thinking that if we think about snatching wealth of others then wouldn’t they be thinking the same. What chaos would be created if the thought would be implemented! Just imagine the society then.

Maa Ganga never snatches. She rather deposits the silt which She has been carrying with it on the plains which She flows through. She has been giving to Human kind for time immemorial. And the thought of snatching never crosses Her mind. She just gives and teaches us to give “Datum

This is a situation exactly opposite of what we have been thinking. Instead of snatching we think about giving. And give, we have. When we think about Emperor Harsh and the way has has given or Emporer Raghu, the ancestor of Ram, has given away all his wealth to his citizens. We have a great tradition of giving.

So as we take our 8th dip in Maa Ganga let us inculcate the value of giving and start with sharing atleast.

As we move towards our destination let us keep sharing the various stops of our journey. See you all tommorrow…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 6

Triveni Sangam, Allahabad

Being arrogant and the art of lying is what were thinking about in our last two blogs. It tells us the importance of what we speak and how we speak. And we speak what we think. And these sins we are commiting are not helping us grow, rather they deter our growth.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

6. To backbite about others

The best time pass of Humanity is to back bite. To gossip is Human is what my teacher always used to tell us. At that age I didnt understand its meaning but today as I grow in age, I fully understand what she meant then. Who doesn’t back bite? Everyone does and no one is an exception to it.

Well was thinking about the different instances to write about but one thing which is striking with this “Paap” is that one cannot see the other human being good or gain popularity or grow big. It has become Human tendency to judge the other person’s growth with suspicion and caste a doubt on his / her growth.

It is a vice which has infected all ages. We all have at some time or the other being a part of it and helped in spreading it. This attitude of not being able to accept other person’s growth needs to worked upon and moulded into better understanding.

Maa Ganga through Her flow demonstrates not to be bothered by anyone’s growth and keep on doing the good work one has been doing. From the time Bhagirath got Her down to Mother Earth, She has been doing Her own work and working towards Her own growth. She isn’t selfish or self centered but at the same time She is “Inclusive“.

We need to be inclusive about people’s growth and development. Accept others as they are and at the same time accept how we ourselves are. Stop being suspicious about others and stop judging others. This will slowly make us inclusive and start accepting others.

While taking the 6th dip let us learn to be inclusive about others and ourselves in particular and remove this vice of back biting about others.

Tommorrow we will be talking about the senseless talks or as we call it chatter in our day to day language…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 5

Har ki Paudi, Hardwar

Let us continue with our understanding of the sins we commit with our thoughts and express through our mouth. Yesterday we were trying to understand about being arrogant and how Maa Ganga teaches us to be humble.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

5. To lie (To spread falsehood)

Today we talk about lying. “Anrutan” as they call it in Sanskrit. Lying is an art which we all have mastered in our lives. We have been seeing, observing and learning how to lie from our early childhood days. Will not like to state instances how we learn.

We lie to come out of an awkward situation, to save oneself from embarrassment, to save oneself from harm, to win admiration from others, to avoid being punished, to obtain an reward not otherwise really obtainable, to maintain privacy and many more reasons one can think of.

People will share instances and quote shlokas from the scriptures explaining that lying is allowed. But the thing is that it is allowed in certain extreme circumstances. And now where is it said that spread the lie. So there is avery fine line between spreading a lie and allowed to lie, which we all need to understand.

Also there will always be a justification for lying as the person who lies thinks that he or she is doing it for his or her own good. It might be as well, but the amount of harm it causes to the person’s integrity and character building and the society as a whole is something which people do not think about while lying.

Maa Ganga is always flowing and in now way does She ever stop Her flow in any situations. She may be facing Her problems of extinction or being made dirty, not once does She stop. She keeps flowing removing the dirt within Her. She has been flowing from the day She has arrived on Earth till date. She is always “TRUTHFUL“.

Being Truthful has it’s own problems. It can lead us to problems but they will be solved without causing any difficulties and in due time. It might not yield quick and easy results but in the long run it does help. Truthfulnees is a virtue adored even by the Gods.

Let us plead to Maa Ganga to help us be truthful, as we take our 5th dip in Her today.

Let us continue with our journey tommorrow. We have reached half way and should reach our destination in the next half…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 4

Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh

The last 3 days we have been talking about the different physical sins which we commit as humans and how Maa Ganga delivers us from them. Today we try to understand the different sins in words by us. These are such sins that we do not even realise that we are doing them.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

4. To speak arrogantly,

5. To lie (To spread falsehood)

6. To backbite about others

7. To talk without any reason and what make no sense ie senseless talk.

The above mentioned 4 sins are committed through tongue (thoughts)

This is a topic which is the most sensitive to all our relations which we try to make and sustain. A small word here and there can break the relations. The bonds of relations are very delicate and they can be broken easily with even a single wrong word.

May a people have a habit of speaking very arrogantly. Their arrogance arises either from their intellect, wealth or the position they have in the society. Sometimes it comes very naturally to all of us and makes such a dent that it becomes difficult to repair.

Let us begin with an example of a person scoring good marks or ranks in the exams they appear for. After such consistent effort and performance, it happens that the person develops a feeling of knowing everything under the Sun and starts looking down towards people not scoring good mark’s or ranks. Now this alienates them from their surroundings and creates another problem of aloofness.

Sometimes the wealth plays a big factor in how we speak. A wealthy person starts feeling that he or she owns everything due to their wealth and they start treating people very arrogantly and by belittling them. People start staying away from such people thus creating the class war in the society.

And for people with power, there is need of any description about this for people in India. How power is abused by people in power is no secret! Even the smallest of people in power (for example – the hawaldaar); their tone is very arrogant.

Maa Ganga, through Her flow guides us with a soft and melancholy sound. Even after helping a civilisation to grow on Her banks, She has been very humble. She doesnt make any arrogant noises of helping someone grow or being the most important person around. She is very “HUMBLE“.

Humility after attaining power is the most important value which one needs to imbibe in life. A humble person is not only loved by everyone but also wanted by everyone, in case of need. A person who is humble can help the society to its fullest and can be a shining armour in the otherwise dull and arrogant world.

While taking this fourth dip today, let us pledge to be humble in life even when we reach the highest echelons of life.

We continue tommorrow…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 7

Ganga Ghat, Kashi

We come to the last of the ‘Vaachik’ paaps we are trying to understand from last 3 blogs. I know they can be elaborated a lot and a lot more can be written but want to keep them short so that everyone with whom I share finds time to read them. Yesterday we talked about back biting about others.

पारूष्यमनृतं चैन पैशुन्यं चापि सर्वतः।

असंबद्धप्रलापश्र्व वाङ्मयं स्याच्चतुर्विधम्।।

7. To talk without any reason and what make no sense ie senseless talk.

Chatterbox, Badbad (in Hindi), are the terms we use oftenly nowadays. These words are used for people who keep on talking which make no sense or have no reason to talk about. These people just have a habit of going on and on and on. And the best part is that they are made a thing to be showcased by their parents and the peer group.

To talk is to use energy. It takes up a lot of energy to keep on talking. Ask the teachers and the professors. But here we are talking about people who talk for no reason as such. They just want some attention and so they just chatter. Kids especially nowadays due to over exposure have become chatterboxes and this has become an object of showcasing.

It is a common misconception that women talk endlessly, but the men do too. Rather men do it more!

There may be many reasons of keeping on talking continuously but is it right? Does the person talking endlessly take into consideration the person who is listening? Is there a need to go on talking endlessly?

Maa Ganga has demonstrated through Her flow that She knows when to make her presence known and when not. While flowing through the ghats of Varanasi and through Bhar towards Kolkatta, She flows while making minimum or no sound. Her flow is so smooth that people truly are awed with what they have seen Her at Rishikesh. She does teach us the value of “Balance” in life.

It is not that one should not talk. But one shoukd know when to talk! What to talk! And how much to talk!. This fine balance is a must for every person to grow in life. The world always likes “a man of few words”. But these few words have to be gentle, humble, truthful and balanced.

As we take our 7th dip, and the way we are moving, am sure that we will in our lives try to think over what we have spoken and shared during this discussion and try to live the way.

See you all tommorrow…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 3

Devprayag – Confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi

We are trying to understand the “Paap” which Maa Ganga removes from our lives. We are now at a node where we need to think about the third “Kaayik” paap.

अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।

परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal.

HIMSA CHAIVAVIDHANATA – To commit violence for no reason.

The third sin “Pardaropaseva ch” – To commit adultery or To have adulterous relationships. With the growing influence of “Being open minded” and “It’s a free world” we, humans have transgressed a path from “Shame” to being “Shameless”. Commiting adultery has become so common that it has become a topic of discussion from a topic of gossip.

The way, we, the society is behaving and opening up is just not distasteful but a disgrace. The way a man looks towards a woman, as an object of lust and propriety is something which one cannot even imagine. The mental state of the youth of our country in this regards, though still under wraps, is disillusioning. The days ahead will be of utter chaos and disbelief regarding relationships.

At this juncture, when we see Maa Ganga and Her pious flow, it leads us to a divine outlook of Motherhood. She holds us in Her bosoms very gently and awakens a emotion of reverence for the creation. She gently carries us on Her back and nurtures the quality of “Brahmacharya” within us.

Brahmacharya not only means abstinence from physical relations but it also means to walk on the path of God. To keep on walking continuously to spread His name far and wide. It also means to become one with God.

Maa Ganga too from Her emergence to Her submission is a Brahmacharini, spreading the message of God to every part of land and to every living being encountered in Her path.

Today as we take out third dip, let us today rise above the petty thoughts of adultery and pledge to live a life of Brahmachari and make efforts to spread the word of God far and wide.

Now as we discussed about the Kaayik (physical) paap, we shall move to the next mantra and try and understand the four “Vaachik” (Spoken) paap…

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Ganga Dusshara – 2

Rudraprayag – Confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini

We started yesterday with the aim to develop an understanding about how Maa Ganga is Das (10) “Paap” Haarini. And we began with the 3 “Kaayik” paap.

अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।

परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

We tried to understand the first one yesterday : ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal

Today we talk about Himsa Chaivavidhanata – To commit violence with no reason.

I think Himsa or Violence is the most spoken and thought after word or “paap” in today’s world. We all understand that Himsa means violence and it is done with no reason. From assaulting kids to wives to friends and today even countrymen, the word Himsa needs no description. The morning newspapers carry only the news of violence all over the world.

The word Himsa includes all acts of violence and destruction. All the types of activities that lead to violence should also be termed as Himsa.

Even when one starts to think negatively about oneself and demotivates oneself is also a type of Himsa – destroying one’s esteem, self confidence. The biggest Himsa we do to ourselves is when we say “I can’t do.”

When one sits at the banks of Maa Ganga, in Her lap, Her flow removes all these negative thoughts of demeaning and demotivating oneself and rejuvenates, recharges us with positive thoughts and motivates us for action. This is the true “Ahimsa

Friends, when one talks of Ahimsa it means Non Violence. And people take it as way of not doing anything – Nivrutti. To that extent that one should take care while walking too as it may kill the ants and the microbes around. Cover the mouth while talking so that the sound waves do not kill. And so walk less or talk less. Am not against this understanding but we need to move a step ahead. Ahimsa – means to spread the love all over. To love every part of the creation selflessly. And this is what all the Avatar’s born anywhere on Earth have propagated.

Similarly Maa Ganga too loves Her children. Maa Ganga and Her flow have always been non destructive. She flows so smoothly and elegantly from the Gomukh to Ganga Sagar. She just cleanses all the lands and their people and leads them to prosperity.

Today when we take a dip at the confluence of Alaknanda and Mandakini, let us pledge to understand the right meaning of Ahimsa and spread the love of Maa Ganga and through Her, the work of the Avatars and the greatness of this Holy land unto the last person on Mother Earth.

With the dip, let us leave the thought of Himsa behind and give prominence to the phrase ‘I can do’ in our lives.

We will take our third dip at the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi tomm…

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

Ganga Dusshara – 1

Gomukh – The emergence of Maa Ganga

On the auspicious occasion of Ganga Dusshara falling on 20th June this year, am planning a series of blogs explaining the meaning of the word “Dusshara”

GANGA DUSSHARA means the one who takes away our 10 sins (Duss + Hara) from our lives.

These 10 sins are ‘Kaayik’, ‘Vachik’ and ‘Mansik’ (physical, speech (thoughts) and pshycological).

We begin with the first of three physical sins today. But first what are they? A shlok describes them as thus:

अदत्तानामुपादानं हिंसा चैवाविधानतः।

परदारोपसेवा च कायिकं त्रिविधं स्मृतम्।।

ADATTANAMUPADANAM – To take away even if not offered ie to steal

I think it is the biggest problem we all are facing today, STEALING. Steal things, Steal the process, steal the thought to Steal someone’s peace. The question which comes to my mind is that how can one think of getting something which is not theirs. Isn’t it uncivilized?

Let us also understand that there is nothing wrong in copying someone’s method or process or experiment, but calling it, one’s own is stealing. We see many such people who behave in this manner. Also calling someone’s idea or thought one’s own is also stealing.

Again accumulating thoughts or amassing wealth and also not sharing with anyone is stealing. So in itself the word stealing has a huge or a very broad meaning which we all need to think about.

Maa Ganga takes away this sin from our lives. When we see Her flow and hear Her soft and tinkling sound, the thought to steal just goes away. Rather looking at Her flow, just removes the thought of belongingness towards things, processess and thoughts. The soft sound of the flow instills harmony in our thoughts and strikes a balance of “Aparigraha“.

What does Maa Ganga take from us? Nothing. Rather She gives us everything from life, water and alluvial soil which in turn helps us grow crops for our food. Learning from Her, we too can remove the vice of stealing from our life. We can live our life like Her sharing our most prized possessions with others.

Today when we take our first dip in Maa Ganga let us all pledge to give up this sin of Adattanamupadanam (stealing).

We continue our journey along the banks of Maa Ganga tommorrow…

Posted in general, mythoughts

World Environment Day

E – Earth

N – Never

V – Vilifies,

I – Instead

R – Radiates

O – Openmindedness and

N – Nourishment,

M – Mentors

E – Empathy and

N – Nobility

T – Till eternity

The mankind celebrating environment day is the way of expressing gratefulness towards the environment. Today, the importance of the environment need not be told or explained as Mankind understands its mistakes and is trying to correct them. The way we have tried to disturb the ecological balance has brought us to the brink of self destruction, but we have woken up from our slumber. Better late than never.

Let us learn to not only preserve the environment but also revere it. It’s the Vedic way to revere everything animate or inanimate as we see God in everything. God in Bhagwad Geeta Chapter 11 has called the Sacred Fig as one of its divine forms. “अश्वत्थ सर्व वृक्षाणां”.

We will get to see the reverence in many of the ways of Vedic culture. From worshipping a broom to worshipping different forms of animals as in cow and others. Vedic outlook is not only utilitarian, it is of reverence. At the same time reverence also does not mean that it can only be worshipped and not used. It simply means be grateful towards the thing one uses. 

So on this Environment Day, let us learn to live in harmony with nature.

Let us learn to not only utilise nature for our own development but also let it develop with our help.

Let us learn the Vedic way of reverence for Nature and imbibe it in our lives to live and enjoy the life to the fullest.

Posted in matrubhumi, mythoughts, personality

Bharat Ratna Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

अनादि मी अनंत मी, अवध्य मी भला मारिल रिपु जगतिं असा कवण जन्मला ।। धृ ।।

अट्टाहास करित जईं धर्मधारणीं
मृत्युसीच गाठ घालु मी घुसे रणीं
अग्नि जाळि मजसी ना खड्ग छेदितो
भिउनि मला भ्याड मृत्यु पळत सूटतो
खुळा रिपू । तया स्वयेंमृत्युच्याचि भीतिने भिववु मजसि ये ।। १ ।।

लोटि हिंस्र सिंहाच्या पंजरी मला
नम्र दाससम चाटिल तो पदांगुला
कल्लोळीं ज्वालांच्या फेकिशी जरी
हटुनि भंवति रचिल शीत सुप्रभावली
आण तुझ्या तोफांना क्रूर सैंन्य तें
यंत्र तंत्र शस्र अस्र आग ओकते
हलाहल । त्रिनेत्र तो
मी तुम्हांसि तैसाची गिळुनि जिरवितो ।। २ ।।

(Do exist from existence, and will exist till the existence, Cannot be killed,Do you know of such enemy who has been born anywhere, who can get me killed…।।)

The poet talks about his own existence for eternity and describes the beautiful understanding of death and soul as described by Lord Yogeshwar in Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, in the later verses.

The Poet is none other than

– The only freedom fighter in the world who got 2 life sentences for fighting against the British Raj, and yet continued his socio – politico life for his country

– The only writer in the world whose book, 1857, The first war of Independence, was banned by 2 countries before even it went for publication

– The first graduate whose degree was taken back because of participating in the freedom struggle

– The first Indian student who refused to take the oath of allegiance towards the British Crown and the reigning Monarch and so could not practice law even after successfully completing his degree

– The first Indian freedom fighter to burn the British clothes to stake

– The first Indian freedom fighter to call for, “Purna Swarajya”, complete independence from the British rule

– The first jailed politico-revolutionary whose case was heard at International Court if Justice, Hague and the British Government had to apologise to the French for commuting such an act.

– A person who suggested that the Dharma Chakra should find it’s rightful place, in the centre of the Indian Flag, to which our first President of India, Shri Rajendra Prasad, responded positively.

– A person amongst the few, who thought about the development of India, even before it’s independence and started working for it, just as he was released from Andaman Jail.

– The first poet who wrote his poems on the walls of the Cellular Jail in Andaman with the help of Iron nails and coal, sometime even with his own nails. After gaining freedom from the jail, remembered and wrote all those poems, roughly 10,000 lines, all over again.

Such a great personalityan intellectualan unparalleled leadera visionary and a man who could look into the future, unknown to the masses, is none other than Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, also known as “Tatyarao”, to those who know him.

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. Am citing one of the poems and the way it expresses the love for one’s Motherland is unparallel.

ने मजसी ने परत मातृभूमीला सागरा प्राण तळमळला ॥धृ॥
भूमातेच्या चरणतला तुज धूता मी नित्य पाहिला होता
मज वदलासी अन्य देशि चल जाऊ सृष्टिची विविधता पाहू
तैं जननीहृद् विरहशंकितहि झाले परि तुवां वचन तिज दिधले
मार्गज्ञ स्वये मीच पृष्ठि वाहीन त्वरित या परत आणीन
विश्वसलो या तव वचनी मी जगद्नुभवयोगे बनुनी मी
तव अधिक शक्ती उद्धरणी मी येईन त्वरे कथुनि सोडिले तिजला ॥
सागरा प्राण तळमळला
शुक पंजरि वा हरिण शिरावा पाशी ही फसगत झाली तैशी
भूविरह कसा सतत साहु या पुढती दशदिशा तमोमय होती
गुणसुमने मी वेचियली या भावे की तिने सुगंधा घ्यावे
जरि उद्धरणी व्यय न तिच्या हो साचा हा व्यर्थ भार विद्येचा
ती आम्रवृक्षवत्सलता रे नवकुसुमयुता त्या सुलता रे
तो बाल गुलाबहि आता रे फुलबाग मला हाय पारखा झाला ॥
सागरा प्राण तळमळला
नभि नक्षत्रे बहुत एक परि प्यारा मज भरतभूमिचा तारा
प्रासाद इथे भव्य परी मज भारी आईची झोपडी प्यारी
तिजवीण नको राज्य मज प्रिया साचा वनवास तिच्या जरि वनिचा
भुलविणे व्यर्थ हे आता रे बहु जिवलग गमते चित्ता रे
तुज सरित्पते जी सरिता रे त्वदविरहाची शपथ घालितो तुजला ॥
सागरा प्राण तळमळला
या फेनमिषें हससि निर्दया कैसा का वचन भंगिसी ऐसा
त्वत्स्वामित्वा सांप्रत जी मिरवीते भिनि का आंग्लभूमीते
मन्मातेला अबला म्हणुनि फसवीसी मज विवासनाते देशी
तरि आंग्लभूमी भयभीता रे अबला न माझि ही माता रे
कथिल हे अगस्तिस आता रे जो आचमनी एक क्षणी तुज प्याला ॥
सागरा प्राण तळमळला

Son of Damodar and Radhabhai Savarkar (Tatyarao) had three siblings, Ganesh (Babarao), Narayan and a sister, Maina. All dedicated their lives to India.

The relationship Tatyarao shared with Babarao is a guiding light to all the siblings around India today. Babarao, himself, is a freedom fighter and is caught for organising the youth against the British and sent to Kalaa Paani at the Andaman and Nicobar cellular jail. Vinayak also reaches the same jail in a few years for plotting against the British. After a few months, Vinayak finds out that Babarao is in the same jail, he longs to meet him. My readers may think, if they are in the same jail, how come they didn’t meet? Well, the interns of the jail are not allowed to meet each other. Even during lunch time, they are not allowed to talk to each other. But Vinayak, finds out a way and meets his brother during lunch. A conversation takes place with the help of the eyes, and the two brothers are united after a gap of many years.Narayan, the youngest sibling, has taken upon himself, the responsibility of the family, when both his elder brothers are in jail. He has been through many hardships too. It was during the time when Tatyarao was in jail, that his young son passes away. It is then, that Narayan takes care of his sister-in-law and looks after the family.

The Savarkar Brothers

Tatyarao is married to Yamunabai, through whom he has a child, a baby boy. When he hears about the child’s demise, he is pained and it is said that it is during one of these days, he penned the poem “Ne Majshi Ne Parat Matrubhumila” which I have cited above.

The bond shared by this couple is itself divine. When Tatyarao was jailed, Yamunabai visits him. Tatyarao, at that time too, emphatically explains to her, that his service to the motherland comes first. The lady, not only understands, but also promises to help him in his fight.

Will cite an incident about the bonding between the two. When Tatyarao was in jail at Andaman, he was made to extract oil from the coconuts in a very traditional way, manually. He has to shred the coconuts with bare hands. And then using the manual machine, which he had to pull with all his might, (say so as he is very frail by then), extract oil. A work of bullocks is got done from humans. Truly inhumane! When Yamunabai comes to know of this, she is ready to go through the same pain. She herself everyday goes down on her knees and walks towards the Tulsi plant to water it and circumnavigate around it. Now imagine a lady (cannot imagine a man even) enduting this pain, just to be close to her husband. Hats off to the lady!

We can go and on and on like this for many a time. But let us remember that it is only through such dedication towards family, literature and country; that Savarkar is what Savarkar is today.

Let us all try to understand the dedication of Savarkar for the Motherland and try to imbibe it in our lives.

Let us all try to develop a scientific temperament that Savarkar had in his times.

Let us all devote our time to quality literature in whichever way we can – as a listener, reader or writer.

On his birthday, I bow to this great personality and pray to God to give us the intellect and emotions to understand him better and better!

Jai Hind!

Posted in festivals, mythoughts, personality

Avatar – Kurm

The Avatars come to Earth to maintain a balance between Optimism and Pessimism, Action and Non- Action, Pravritti and Nivrutti. The world moves like a pendulum from one end of “Action – Pravrutti” to the other end of “Non Action – Nivrutti”. Mankind always loves extremes but does not understand that both are detrimental to its growth and development. A balance needs to struck between the two and the Avatar comes to strike that balance. An Avatar demonstrates how to lead a balanced life.

Today we talk about Kurm Avatar. The form of Tortoise. The story goes as such:

One day the Devas and the Asuras decide to come together to churn the ocean and obtain the nectar – an elixir of life. Asuras are humans like you and me. Just that they have decided to spend their life in Eat, Drink and Be Merry, lead a life involved only in sensual happiness. “असुषु इन्द्रियेषु रमन्ते इति असुराः। So they are not considered bad by humans.

Now the ocean is big body of water and we need a big churner so they approach the Mandrachal Parvat (mountain) to be their churner and the King of Snakes; Vasuki to be the thread bare to move the churner. They both readily agreed and so began the churning of the ocean.

The churning with Devas on one side and the Asuras on the other side was a sight to see. But the Mandrachal Parvat began sinking as the ocean was deep and the mountain had no base to rest upon. At that time it is said that Vishnu took the form of a tortoise (kurm) and gave a base to the mountain and took it upon it’s back with which the process of churning took place. Many a things came up during churning like Kalpvriksh, Laxmi, a bowl of poison and lastly the Nectar. Naturally there were discussions on who should have what.

Amongst the things that came out during the churning, the most wanted by both the parties was the Nectar and the most unwanted was the bowl of poison. Poison was taken by Bhagwaan Shiv and it is said that He drank it and stopped it in his neck, did not let it go down below His neck. So His neck turned blue and He is called Neelkanth.

Next was the discussion and fight for Nectar as the one who drinks it will become immortal. What is the secret to immortality? Something which Kurmavtaar has explained to Humanity.

Now let us look at it with a perspective that will help us understand better. A society is always made up of people with good thoughts and work and people with lots of wealth and a little lax about life. Now there is always a fight amongst the two about who is better? Both shun each other, one the other for their wealth and the other, the one for its intellect. Can they coexist? This is an eternal question which the Human race has tried to find an answer to. Here Kurmavtaar shows us the right direction.

When the fight reached its pinnacle and it started hurting the development of mankind, people from the above groups came together at the foot of the Mandrachal hills to find out a solution. At that time, the people who had developed and understood the importance of both intellect and wealth mediated and made both the groups understand the importance of each other. At that time different questions were discussed and the poison of accepting wealth as an important proposition of life was accepted by the group who considered it lowly. Thus balance was struck. The people realised the nectar of accepting both wealth and intellect as well as each other and living with each other.

The person / s who mediated showed great skills and adaptability during the discussion and demonstrated the skills of withdrawing and appearing at the right time. The way a tortoise does in different situations. So all of them started calling him / them “Kurm” (tortoise). We can find these descendants of Kurm, known as Kurmis, even found today in and around the state of Bihar. This is the Kurmavataar.

Bow down to this person / s on his / their birthday.

Let us all decide to strike a balance between wealth and intellect and accept them both as a part of peaceful living.

Let us all decide to be ready to drink the poison of our egos and wishes and whims for the betterment of Humanity as whole.

Let us all decide to be slow but firm like a “Kurm” as well as learn the art of adaptability in life.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts, personality

Avatar – Buddha

Sangham Sharanam Gacchami!

Dhammam Sharanam Gacchami!

Buddham Sharanam Gacchami!

I bow down and go to the Sangh, Dhamm (Religion) and Buddha for enlightenment.

Buddha means the enlightened one.

Buddha means unattached.

Buddha means the great leader.

An individual who guides lacs and crores of people to lead a simple and an austere life should be accepted as an Incarnation of God. And Buddha is no different. From the days of His sermons till today, He guides Humanity onto the path of peace and tranquillity. And till date and many years in future will He be the guiding light for Humanity.

Son of Mayadevi, Gautama is said to become either a great King or a great Monk. The parents are worried and are said to have kept him in the four walls of the grand palace built for him. Got him married at the age of 16 and had a son Rahul. But Gautama is inclined towards finding the way or the path of renunciation from miseries. His chatioteer Channa might have led him to those famous night trips around the city where he is said to have discovered old age, disease and death. And so he leaves his wife, kid and palace to find the path of greater good.

Sometimes I wonder can a prince be kept away from the truth of life? Can any person be kept away from it rather? I feel that Gautama always knew all the misery and he was continuously trying to find a path to come out of all this. And one fine day, he decided that enough is enough and left the palace with due permission from his wife. How can a Mahatma who leads an austere life forget his duty towards his consort? And Yashoda must also have consented to let him go and find his goal. I say so, cause once when Gautama became Buddha and He visited His father’s kingdom, it was Yashoda who urges her son Rahul to take up the life of a monk with the Sangh and a few days later, with due discharge of duties and permission of elders, herself joins the Sangh.

Also those who have come to guide the world, can they be stuck in all the worldly matters? Is a question which I always have. He got married and fulfilled his duties towards his wife, son and parents and left to find his own self.

The tree, under which He is said to have attained enlightenment, the Bodhi tree, still stands there with it’s full grandeur as a witness to the divine phenomenon. People all over the world today visit the place, to find peace and solace.

His philosophy, “Sarvam Dukham, Sarvam Kshanikam” explains to us the basic principle of Science, that the world is continuously fleeting and changing. And it is fact that everyone needs to acknowledge that there needs to be rationality behind any and every thought one propagates.

He talks about ‘Shunyatva (nothingness)’, not even emotions. Was there any reason for an enlightened soul to live on Mother Earth. But He not only did live but went around meeting people across villages, janpadas and kingdoms. Its was selfless love in action. His action is not out of pitiness towards our lives, but out of pure selfless love towards us, his brethren. People today have belittled Him and His philosophy and mould it according to their whims and wishes.

Another question which people frequently ask; Why are the followers of Buddha, a proponent of Ahimsa (non – violence), fish eating or meat eating? Has He allowed this? Friends, let us go back to the era when He lived. To propagate His thought, he approached the intellectual class at that time. This class did not respond to His call. So He accepted whosoever responded to His call. He accepted them as they are and yes believed that slowly they would change their ways of eating. And change, they did. But if it is translated as meat eating is allowed by Buddha, then it’s our misconception about Him. He cannot be blamed for the misinterpretation.

I purposely began with Sangham Sharanam Gacchami as opposite to what people say. Cause I believe that even He, The Enlightened One, will agree with it. Go the the Sangh first. Follow your “Dharma” second. And then come to me.

Buddha, as history tell us, is the first to establish a Sangh, for propagation of religion. He gave a very well designed way to spread religion through the Sangh. India will always be indebted to Him for this. And as a result, we see that Buddhist thought and philosophy has not only spread all over Asia, but also dominates the thinking process of Asia in a way.

On His Birthday, bow down to Him and may we be blessed to be accepted in the Sangh, He established.

Let us all set upon the path to find ourselves, answer our questions and attain Enlightenment

Let us all learn to understand in the right perspective, the work of the Buddhavtar.

Let us all together wake up and arise and keep on working for the upliftment of the Human race as a whole.

Buddham Sharanam Gacchami.

Posted in festivals, matrubhumi, mythoughts

Avatar – Narsimha Jayanti

Today is the Vaishakh Sud Chaturdashi, Narsimha Jayanti.

The day Hiranyakashyap was killed by the Avatar of Vishnu known as Narsimha, half lion, half man.

The day Prahlad was saved from the wrong ways of his father.

The day people realised the strength within them and banished / killed an autocratic King.

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 is never seen nor heard. So he simply didn’t believe in God and tormented and tortured people who believed. 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. But the anger witihin had reached its peak.

One day, Hiranyakshyap was sitting in his palace courtyard with Prahlad bound in chains. The people had gathered at 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.

Let us all awaken the lion within us and fight to defend ourselves, our country, our Dharma.

Let us all understand the importance of the strength within us and learn to grow it day by day.

Let us all become the hidden Narsimhas and devour the bad found in the society with our sharp minds (claws) and establish a Dharm Rajya in our country.

Posted in mythoughts, personality

Maharana Pratap (Reblog with changes)

He stayed in Jungles,

Slept on floor, ate simple food

To get Mewad back

Rana Pratap fought Akbar and his army and built his own army from the tribals, “Bhils”, whom he met in the Aravalli ranges, when his relatives and the other Rajput Kings did not help him.

The Charan Durshaji Aadha has written 72 Duha’s (verses) on the greatness of Rana Pratap and has sung them in presence of Akbar, which everyone needs to read.

Will share a few of them here for you all to read and understand them…

अलख धणी आदेश, धरमाधार दया निधे,
बरणो सुजस बेस, पालक धरम प्रतापरो. (१)

गिर उंचो गिरनार, आबु गिर ओछो नही ;
अकबर अघ अंबार, पुण्य अंबार प्रतापसीं. (२)

वुहा वडेरा वाट, वाट तिकण वेहणो विसद ;
खाग, त्याग, खत्र वाट, पाले राण प्रतापसीं. (३)

अकबर गर्व न आण, हिन्दु सब चाकर हुआ ;
दिठो कोय दहिवाण, करतो लटकां कठहडे. (४)

मन अकबर मजबूत, फुट हिन्दुआ बेफिकर ;
काफर कोम कपूत, पकडो राण प्रतापसीं. (५)

अकबर किना याद, हिन्दु नॄप हाजर हुआ ;
मेद पाट मरजाद, पोहो न आव्यो प्रतापसीं. (६)

मलेच्छां आगळ माथ, नमे नही नर नाथरो,
सो करतब समराथ, पाले राण प्रतापसी. (७)

कलजुग चले न कार, अकबर मन आंजस युंही ;
सतजुग सम संसार, प्रगट राण प्रतापसीं. (८)

कदे न नमावे कंध, अकबर ढिग आवेने ओ ;
सुरज वंश संबंध, पाले राण प्रतापसी. (९)

चितवे चित चितोड, चित चिंता चिता जले ;
मेवाडो जग मोड, पुण्य घन प्रतापसीं. (१०)

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.

Jay Mewad!!!

Jay Eklingji!!!

Har Har Mahadev!!!

Posted in festivals, general, mythoughts

Mother’s Day

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.

Wishing all the mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day

Posted in festivals, mythoughts

May 1st (Reblog with changes)

1st May…

Happy May Day!

Happy Workers Day!

Happy Maharashtra Day!

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.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts, personality

Maruti – (Reblog)

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.

Jay Hanuman

Jay Shree Ram…

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/maruti/?preview=true

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/maruti-2/?preview=true

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/maruti-3-good-friday/

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/maruti-4/

Posted in general, mythoughts

World Book Day

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

13. Yugandhar, Mrityunjay, Chaava – Shivaji Sawant

14. Yayati – V.S.Khandekar

15. Shreeman Yogi – Ranjeet Desai

16. Das Dongari Rahato – G.N.Dandekar

17. Bhedile Suryamandala – Ravindra Bhatt

18. The Fourth Way – Pyotr Ouspenskii (based on lectures by Gurdjieff)

19. The Prophet – Khalil Gibran

20. Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman

21. Deh Jhala Chandanacha – Rajendra Kher

22. My Experiments with Truth – M.K.Gandhi

23. Swami Vivekanand – through his eastern and western disciples volume 1–2

24. Mahaveer meri drishti se – Osho Rajneesh

25. Education and the significance of life – J.Krishnamurti

26. Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-four – George Orwell

27. Madhav kyay nathi Madhuvanma – Harindra Dave

28. Saraswatichandra – Govardhanram Tripathi

29. 12209 BCE Ram – Ravan Yuddh and When did the Mahabharat War happen – Nilesh Oak

30. Homo Deus – A Brief History of Tomorrow – Yuval Noah Harari

There are many more but these are a few books which have left an imprint on my life… At the same time do try and keep in touch with the new writers.

Friends on the World Book Day, would be happy if you all can sit back and brood over the books that you all have read. Covid-19 has given all of us a chance to sit back, relax and think.

Wish you all a very Happy Reading Time today.

Posted in #poem, mythoughts

Mother Earth Day (Reblog)

What has She, for us, not done?

Can we not all our wrongs, undone?

She never cries or complains but shares

We Her son’s behave like who cares!

Let us today pledge our love to Her,

And She loves us more for sure!

She is more our Mother, than Earth,

Let us all rise above our dearth.

The only thing we can do for Her,

Plant and replant and let’s save Water!

She will bloom and smile and rejoice,

To us She will share her fruits and joys!…

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.

Happy Earth Day.

Posted in festivals, mythoughts, personality

Avatar – Matsya Jayanti

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.

Namaskaars to Matsyavatar today.

To be continued…

Posted in mythoughts

Prakatyotsav…

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

Posted in general, mythoughts

International Mother Tongue Day – આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય માતૃભાષા દિન (રિબ્લોગ)

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.

પ્રભુના એ પ્રેમતણી પૂતળી રે લોલ,
જગથી જૂદેરી એની જાત રે … જનનીની

અમીની ભરેલ એની આંખડી રે લોલ,
વ્હાલનાં ભરેલાં એના વેણ રે … જનનીની

હાથ ગૂંથેલ એના હીરના રે લોલ,
હૈયું હેમંત કેરી હેલ રે … જનનીની

દેવોને દૂધ એનાં દોહ્યલા રે લોલ,
શશીએ સિંચેલ એની સોડ્ય રે … જનનીની

જગનો આધાર એની આંગળી રે લોલ,
કાળજામાં કૈંક ભર્યા કોડ રે … જનનીની

ચિત્તડું ચડેલ એનું ચાકડે રે લોલ,
પળના બાંધેલ એના પ્રાણ રે … જનનીની

મૂંગી આશિષ ઉરે મલકતી રે લોલ,
લેતા ખૂટે ન એની લહાણ રે … જનનીની

ધરતી માતા એ હશે ધ્રૂજતી રે લોલ,
અચળા અચૂક એક માય રે … જનનીની

ગંગાનાં નીર તો વધે ઘટે રે લોલ,
સરખો એ પ્રેમનો પ્રવાહ રે … જનનીની

વરસે ઘડીક વ્યોમવાદળી રે લોલ,
માડીનો મેઘ બારે માસ રે … જનનીની

ચળતી ચંદાની દીસે ચાંદની રે લોલ,
એનો નહિ આથમે ઉજાસ રે
જનનીની જોડ સખી! નહી જડે રે લોલ

– દામોદર ખુશાલદાસ બોટાદકર

Translation

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)…

Posted in matrubhumi, mythoughts

Battle of Panipat – 1761

14th January, 1761

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.

Har Har Mahadeo!

Posted in mythoughts

Learnings from the last year… (2)

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.

Looking forward to your experiences…

Posted in mythoughts

Learnings from the last year…(1)

The day has dawned with a gleaming ray

Hope and love should hold the world in sway

Just wrote the above 2 lines on occasion of the new year. Every new year brings with it, HOPE

HOPE that life would change.

HOPE that society would change..

HOPE that the world would change…

But what I personally hope for a change in my life, my way of thinking and my way of growth.

The last few months have been very thought provoking. The pandemic has affected every person. It has had it’s very bad and good consequences.

The good consequences are:

The families bonded and geled a lot.

We became aware about the existence of relatives whom we didnt care for in our regular life.

We came closer to nature.

We came closer to ourselves.

You, my dear readers, must also have come across many such positive things. Would request you all to share your experiences in the comment box.

Will be continuing this blog with new thoughts and new questions. HOPE you all will join me in my journey.

Posted in #poem, mythoughts

Poem #31

The days are returning back to normal

And the relations are again turning formal,

The love, the warmth, the care, we had,

Are slowly turning to nothing but a fad...

Humankind is returning to it’s old ways,

Nor has the epidemic, his thoughts swayed,

The cribbing, the competition, the politics of life,

Will lead to nothing but a life full of strife

Oh God, when will we, understand the purpose

Not only of being human, but his vices to douse,

To imbibe the virtues and help oneself and others,

And live the life to fullest, and no one to bother…

Posted in general, mythoughts

26/11 attacks – 2

This image still haunts Mumbai!!!

A day of remembrance of :

The valour of our Mumbai Police Force

The efforts of the Indian Army

The way Mumbai helps and works.

At the same time,

The failure of our political system

The failure of our Intelligence

The failure to save 150 plus lives...

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!

Jai Hind!

Vande Mataram!

Posted in mythoughts

SHIV PRATAP DIWAS

Today is a big day!

A day of triumph of good over evil.

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)

शाहीर अद्न्यातदास

Am also attaching the YouTube link for this song for my readers to listen to.https://youtu.be/hoNjMhgV6R8

Posted in #haiku, festivals, mythoughts, personality

Human Dignity Day

O My Creator,

My God, I bow down to you,

Salute You again…// 11 – 39 //

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.

The shlok for your reference :

वायुर्यमोऽग्निर्वरुण: शशाङ्क:
प्रजापतिस्त्वं प्रपितामहश्च 
नमो नमस्तेऽस्तु सहस्रकृत्व:
पुनश्च भूयोऽपि नमो नमस्ते ।।

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.

आप सभी को मनुष्य गौरव दिन की खूब खूब शुभकामनाएँ।

Posted in mythoughts

My gratitude to my Students – Poem #26 (Repeat)

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.

My Students…

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…

TYSM KIDS…

Posted in festivals, matrubhumi, mythoughts

Independence Day

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.

Bharat Mata ki Jay.

Vande Mataram.

Posted in general, mythoughts

Education – 3

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.

Let us all be responsible.

Let us all learn.

Let us all develop.

Let us all become good fathers and good sons.

Let us all become good human beings.

Posted in general, mythoughts

Education – 2

Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man – Swami Vivekanand.

Continuing from my last blog, where we were talking about curiosity. Am attaching the link of the last blog just for reference.

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/education-1/

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…

To be continued…

Posted in general, mythoughts, personality

9th August 1925

9th August 1945 – Nagasaki was bombed by America

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

14 year’s imprisonment: Manmathnath Gupta

10 year’s imprisonment: Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee, Mukundi Lal, Govid Charan Kar, Raj Kumar Singh and Ram Krishna Khatri

7 year’s imprisonment: Vishnu Charan Dublish, Suresh Charan Bhattacharya

5 year’s imprisonment: Bhupendranath Sanyal, Prem Krishna Khanna, Banwari Lal and Pranawesh Mukherjee

4 year’s imprisonment: Keshab Chakravarthy

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.

Posted in mythoughts

Education – 1

Education means to “to draw out”.

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.

Shouldn’t we think together?

Posted in mythoughts

Mitra – 2

पापान्निवारयति योजयते  हिताय
गुह्यं निगूहति गुणान् प्रकटीकरोति  |
आपद्गतं च न जहाति ददाति काले
सन्मित्रलक्षणमिदं प्रवदन्ति  सन्ताः ||

-भर्तृहरि (नीतिशतक)

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…

Posted in general, mythoughts

Quest to find oneself – 3

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.

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहम् शिवोऽहम्

Posted in mythoughts

Quest to find oneself – 2

The Almighty made this world!

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…

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहं शिवोऽहम् ।