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Poem #15 – Moorti Puja

कहता हैं कोई, की मूर्ति में ईश्वर क्या, उसका अंश नहीं,

कैसा आग्रह, जिसमें बचा अब कोई मनुष्यत्व नहीं?

इस बात को समझाने, मनवाने; काटो-मारो की घोषणा,

बस अब दूसरे को काफिर कहने की शेष बची एषणा ।

क्या यही इस रचना के पीछे होगी ईश्वर की संकल्पना?

एक बेटा दूसरे को मारे,बस यही बाकी रही थी देखना !

अगर विज्ञान मानता कण कण मैं है चेतन का तत्त्व,

तो सोचो, समजो, फिर गलत क्यों मूर्ति में मानना सत्त्व।

मनोविज्ञान भी मानता मन जिसमें हो पाता है स्थिर,

उस बात के गुण उठाकर हो जाती उसकी प्रज्ञा स्थित।

वह जो अजन्मा है, उसकी मूर्ति उसीकी विडंबना है,

इसी उच्च भावना व समज से गर विरोध है, ठीक है।

ना आदि ना अंत, फिर भी वह अपने बीच समाया

उसे ढूंढना, उसे पाना, यही खेल कहलाता माया।

मुझे वह मूर्ति में मिलता, तुझे वह ऐसे ही मिलता,

यह बात समझकर अब हम दोनों को है संभलना।

ऐसा तो नहीं, कहीं, मैं पूजता इसलिए विश्वास नहीं,

जिद को छोडो, क्यों कि वह है सर्वत्र, बात यही सही।

उससे गर आगे बढकर कहूँ तो वह वहां भी है,

जहाँ हम नहीं,

जहाँ हम नहीं,

जहाँ हम नहीं ।

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My Goals for 2020 and My Report Card of 2019

Wishing you all a very Happy and a Prosperous New Year.

The goals I had set for the last year 2019 are as follows :

To distribute my day into 10+8+3+3 hrs to strike a good balance in my life.

10 hrs of honest hard work,

8 hrs of good sleep,

3 hrs should be spent on (3Fs, 3Hs and 3S).

3Fs are family, friends and faith

3Hs are health, hygiene and hobby and

3Ss are soul, service and smile, and

Last 3 hrs for travelling in Mumbai (a compulsion) though will try to read and write during my train journey everyday.

.

.

.

Could do all except one that is health and so this year,I pledge to concentrate on it and complete it as well.

Have seriously taken to blogging this year and have tried to write, learn and understand and I feel am maturing day by day as the days progress. Hope to continue with my schedule this year too. Add a few sonnets and a few more festivals and maybe some Hindi poetry

It has been a long year with lots of learning and trying to adjust and at the same time feeling happy to be able to follow my goals set for the year.

Time spent with family is the best and the together when we move out for our spiritual quest, it’s a different world in itself. Cannot describe it.

Well I know I dont have to report this to anybody but I felt that I should share what I have done and what I intend to do.

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Poem #14 – Happy New Year

The day begins with a faintish fawn,

Thats the colour of New Year dawn,

The minds filled with green lawns,

And the shining life tells us to play on…

It’s the new year and people will swear

Do something with their lives to wear,

To wander here, there and elsewhere,

Themselves and family to take care

Gone is a year and here comes the new,

Let’s talk about the things we did a few,

To start our lives, bidding grief adieu,

To pick up the straws last year strew…

Wishing all my friends, their families and my readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year

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Haiku #42

One who controls mind,

Will find ever peaceful God,

And is poised in life… // 6 //

Want to end my year on a very positive note and here Lord talks about the liberated. For liberation, God specifically talks about controlling the mind. He calls him / her “Jeetaatmanah” (जितात्मनः).

Another very important thing that Gid has pointed out in this shlok / Adhyay (chapter), is that every good and bad thing will keep on existing. It cannot be removed, thrown away, but the one who controls his / her mind will change his / her outlook towards them.

PS : This month I have written about the first 6 adhyay of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. Next 6 adhyay, in the month of January.

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Quote #20

One of my favourites…

A positive attitude is a must in life to live it fully with enjoyment…

God has already blessed us with the bet people and things in life, let’s train ourselves to find it…

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Merry Christmas (Reblog)

The day of the Advent of Saviour.

The day Merciful God was born.

The Son of God came down to spread the love of his Father.

He came, He loved, He conquered the hearts.

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.

Am not going to write about the story of Christ, as we all very well know about it. But will share a few instances which touch us, the people, who love Him and for whom He cared. Many critics talk about His magical powers and challenge His authority over religion. Am going to share my views about those.

The most magical thing about Christ’s life is His resurrection from death. Did He truly die on the Cross? Did He get up from death? Many critics say no and tell us that He did not die on the Cross, He fell unconscious out of pain and so He never did resurrect. He just regained back His consciousness. I would say this is quite possible as there is no definite proof about the resurrection and we are dependent on the Holy Bible, which has different versions from His own disciples. In the same breath, I state, that this is a matter of faith and belief. If such a thought fortifies my belief in God, then so be it. I, for once, want my readers to understand that non-believers would spread their thoughts and ideas and we stick to ours. Am not against the agnostic, nor am of the view that they be kicked away from this life and the world, but they may have their views and I respect them without going into a debate or discussion about my beliefs. A debate is a medium to prove the superiority of oneself or one’s point over the other. But would Christ like it? Would Christ answer back? No, He would just go and embrace that man and spread His love. What I learn from Christ’s life is that Love everyone, beginning with oneself.

Another instance of His life is that He fed many from two loaves of bread. A cooked up story say some. But maybe He had two loaves and when He shared His food with the hungry, His disciples who might have hidden their food, shared theirs too with the hungry. And while sharing it, said that it is Christ who has sent it. A perfect example of demonstration of the Teacher to His disciples. Atleast my readers would perfectly understand the meaning of compassion and demonstration. Cause that is how our teachers are. They teach through their own action, “Acharya”.

There are many instances which can be cited and discussed. But I leave them for another day. I just say that, Yes, I believe in Christ and in all that He did which is attributed to Him and He did resurrect.

What I personally do not like is the way the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangilical Church have decided to spread His word! Conversion is no answer or solution to the problems faced by the world. At the same time, I bow down to the people who willingly give up life for this cause of spreading the word of Christ. Would any Hindu, Jew, Mohammedan go into the deep jungles of Africa, knowing for certain that Death is imminent, to spread the word of God? Go to uninhabited places and islands to spread the word of God? No individual or organisation should criticise the work/conversions being carried out, unless they themselves are trying to spread the word of God in their own way. Let us learn not to play to the gallery and try and imbibe these characteristics within us. Let anyone who wants to criticise or even talk about them, leave the sofa sets of their living rooms and go to the last person living in remote places.

In the end, I would just say that Christ said ‘Love Thy Neighbour‘, so let us learn by beginning to love ourselves. God, His Heaven and His Kingdom are all within us, let us learn to love Him and go closer to Him.

At the end of my blog, I repeat the pray,

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread; and

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

AMEN

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Grateful 🙏and Humbled🙏

Today, first of all, am really grateful to God for blessing me with a 1000 followers.

Next grateful to WordPress for giving me this platform and letting me air my views through my writings and helping me reach out to a bigger audience.

Am so delighted to have 1000 plus people around the world following me and reading my blogs, commenting and liking them, giving suggestions for my improvement and am really grateful to all of them. From my first follower to the 1002nd follower who just started following me a few moments back am grateful and humbly accept all your suggestions.

Will keep on writing and expanding my way of thinking and my thought process through this medium. And keep on sharing, improving and understanding the new things and new thoughts around the world.

This medium has given me a lot of friends too and a lot of people whom I admire or adore or respect. Madhusudanji, Pawanji, Aashish (Shanky salty), Nehaji, Mahesh Mali, Abhijeet, Abhishek, Nirant, Arnav, Preetam, Priyankaji, Savio, Nehaji, Siddhant, Sumeet, Harsh Chanwani, Ramyaniji, Samyak, Sajal, Shivaniji, Sohanpreet, Vrundaji, Pranam, Prabhi, Nishanshu, Chiranjeevi, Bhavya, Aayushiji, Karthi and Bless.

Have left out Arun from this group as I am indebted to home personally for introducing me to all the above people who are great writers, poets or thinkers in their own way.

Again two people need a special mention.

One is Siddharth from Delhi, who has earned a special place in my heart with his love, warmth and a single call which was totally unexpected.

The other person is none other than Dr. Nimish (Dr.Faith is what I call him) from Lucknow. He calls sometimes. He talks. He cares. He shares. Though we are far apart, we try to keep each other company through our little sharings and small chats.

One person with whom am in touch only on WordPress and had impressed me the most is Vidur Sahdev. His writings are simple but mindblowing. Would love to read more from him.

Am grateful to all the followers and WordPress to gift me 1000 followers on a day which had a great and divine significance for me personally. It’s the day when we celebrated the 90th Birthday of my elder brother, my mentor and my guide, Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shahstriji Athavale, 9 years ago on 20th December, 2010. It is only and only with His blessings that am able to think, understand and write whatever I can through this blog.

I humbly accept all your suggestions and comments in the right spirit and will keep doing the same…

Thank you so much once again…

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Haiku #41

Ones whose sins are washed

And looks equally at all

Is liberated… // 5 //

The fifth chapter is called Karma Sanyas Yog. Here Lord describes how a person can live as a human and still be liberated. It is just the need to change ones outlook.

But are we ready to change our outlook? Do we feel that is it for our own development? How can we get our sins washed away? Can we be pure? Let’s sit back and think…

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Poem #13

कहते हैं चाहिए, हिन्दूओं से आजादी,

कहते हैं की लेकर रहेंगे आजादी,

वंशज तुम जिनके, थे चाहते यही,

कर बैठै अपनी जान की बरबादी

निशंक याद रखना, हम हिन्दू हैं,

इस भारत माँ की संतान हैं,

माँ की लाज को गर आंच लगेगी,

उखाड़ देंगे तूझे, जो करे गद्दारी

अगर इस देश में रहना होगा,

उसके तरीकों से जीना होगा,

माँ के आँचल के ढोंगी प्रहरी,

क्या शिक्षा सिखाती तुम्हें? दंगाई

शिक्षा का है काम निराला,

फैलाए सब जग उजियारा,

जो जात-धर्म की बातें छोडी,

नाचे स्वयं वहां माँ सरस्वती।

Just tried to pen a few thoughts about the ongoing protests at a few places in India.

Ashamed about the media which just highlights all such stray incidents and keeps on giving them prime time. The fourth pillar of Democracy, the media, has sold out and is biased. They run a narrative to suit their TRP’s and create an image of backward India, a non developing and a non inclusive India.

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Poem #12

अब द्वंद्वों के सामने दंटकर लडना होगा,
कंधे से कंधा, हांथो में हाथ मिलाना होगा।।

महाराणा शिवाजी के साथ जैसे चले,
आज सबको साथ साथ चलना होगा।।

आज फिर से मां संस्कृति ने पुकारा है,
आज फिर अपनी हड्डियों को मांगा है।।

नव दधिची बनकर यज्ञ में आहुति देकर
अपना अपना तन-मन वज्र बनाना है।।

Just wrote my feelings which I have been experiencing during the last few days. Would appreciate your comments…

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UK Votes

Britain is voting today in cold and rainy climate…

People are uploading the pics of their dogs getting waiting in the rain near the polling booths….

Would it be conservatives led by Boris Johnson or labour led by Jeremy Corbyn?… let’s wait…

Will Brexit happen?… let’s wait…

Will the Greens or the SNP or Brexit Party spoil the elections?… let’s wait…

Am no commentator on any type of election but the social and political impact of this election on the future of Britain and indirectly, on Europe is going to be major…

Conservatives want a Brexit, Labour is not sure, SNP doesnt want it…

The divide is seen even within the population… The old guard of the Society feels that they have had no benefit with EU and so they should leave and charter their own path, whereas the generation now and growing want to exploit the possibilities of open borders and trade within Europe…

Boris Johnson talks about the independence of Britain in doing business and trade with the countries across the world and regaining Britain’s pride… Jeremy Corbyn is still not clear about what he wants his party to do, an ambiguous position. He wants to renegotiate the Brexit deal with EU and then put it to vote in UK (referendum).

But None are listening to the voice of the people. This is the joke that Democracy plays on its lone pillar, the citizen, who votes to keep it alive. The pillar who will support Her, but the leaders would use this very pillar to build their own narratives and palaces.

Lest I would start commenting on the process going on right now of electing a government or interfere in it, let me stop here and await the results, due in a few hours from now…

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Haiku #40

The faithful find me

And I incarnate again

To uphold Dharma… // 4 //

This Chapter of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta propunds many facts about the Karma and also His incarnation. Here Bhagwaan emphasizes that He can be found with faith or Faithful find Hkm according to their Faith’s. Also Bhagwaan talks about the reason of His taking up Human Form.

The question is do we have faith in Him? But to have faith in Him, do we have faith in ourselves? Nothing in this world can be achieved without Faith. Truly said is that ‘Faith can move mountains.’

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Haiku #39

You do your Karma

Follow the great men of soil

Even I do same… // 3 //

The third chapter talks about Karma (action). It explicitly explains about the ‘niyat’ karma (natural duty) which has been described in the Vedas. And Bhagwaan goes on to say that even His role and work is defined which He keeps on performing. Everyone is with the ambit of the cycle of Karma.

The question we need to ask ourselves is that do I perform my duty? The basic things expected from me. Am not talking about any duty towards the society or nation, but towards oneself. Let’s sit back, think and start performing.

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Margashirsh Ekadashi – Geeta Jayanti – 2


अर्जुन उवाच |
नष्टो मोह: स्मृतिर्लब्धा त्वत्प्रसादान्मयाच्युत
स्थितोऽस्मि गतसन्देह: करिष्ये वचनं तव ।।

The above shlok is the essence of the singing of the Divine Song where Arjun talks about ‘Mohnaash‘ (detachment from worldly pleasures). My last blog had mentioned that Geeta begins with मामका (mine = attachement) of Dhritrashtra and here at this shlok it ends with Arjun’s understanding about detachment. It’s a long journey, with beautiful encampments in between.

Every person has a different perspective and I have mine, about the above said encampment. It is a place where, while reading, one stops and sits at its banks and keeps thinking, re-reading those shloks as said by Bhagwaan Yogeshwar. For me, the places where I encamp are the description of a

Sthitapradnya in Chapter 2,

Rajvidya in Chapter 9

The values of a Bhakt (devotee) in Chapter 12

Gunatit in Chapter 14, and

The values of the Devas and the vices of the Asuras in Chapter 16.

Will be taking about Sthitapradnya in today’s blog.

Sthitapradnya can be called the one with steady wisdom, intelligence and understanding. Such a beautiful life of a person as described by Bhagwaan is truly mindblowing. Will just share the shlok and its English translation for our reading and understanding. Will not go into the details of explaining them and leave it upto you, my reader, to read them and understand them. It all begins with the question asked by Arjun and later Bhagwaan goes on to describe the Sthitapradnya.
अर्जुन उवाच |
स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधिस्थस्य केशव |
स्थितधी: किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम् || 54||

(Arjun said : O Keshav, what is the disposition of one who is situated in divine consciousness? How does an enlightened person talk? How does he sit? How does he walk?)
श्रीभगवानुवाच |
प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् |
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्ट: स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते || 55||

(The Supreme Lord said: O Parth, when one discards all selfish desires and cravings of the senses that torment the mind, and becomes satisfied in the realization of the self, such a person is said to be transcendentally situated.)
दु:खेष्वनुद्विग्नमना: सुखेषु विगतस्पृह: |
वीतरागभयक्रोध: स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते || 56||

(One whose mind remains undisturbed amidst misery, who does not crave for pleasure, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.)
य: सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य शुभाशुभम् |
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 57||

(One who remains unattached under all conditions, and is neither delighted by good fortune nor dejected by tribulation, he is a sage with perfect knowledge.)
यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वश: |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 58||

(One who is able to withdraw the senses from their objects, just as a tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell, is established in divine wisdom.)
विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिन: |
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते || 59||

(Aspirants may restrain the senses from their objects of enjoyment, but the taste for the sense objects remains. However, even this taste ceases for those who realizes the Supreme.)
यततो ह्यपि कौन्तेय पुरुषस्य विपश्चित: |
इन्द्रियाणि प्रमाथीनि हरन्ति प्रसभं मन: || 60||

(The senses are so strong and turbulent, O son of Kunti, that they can forcibly carry away the mind even of a person endowed with discrimination and practicing self-control.)
तानि सर्वाणि संयम्य युक्त आसीत मत्पर: |
वशे हि यस्येन्द्रियाणि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 61||

(They are established in perfect knowledge, who subdue their senses and keep their minds ever absorbed in me.)
ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंस: सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते |
सङ्गात्सञ्जायते काम: कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते || 62||

(While contemplating on the objects of the senses, one develops attachment to them. Attachment leads to desire, and from desire arises anger.)
क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोह: सम्मोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रम: |
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति || 63||

(Anger leads to clouding of judgment, which results in bewilderment of the memory. When the memory is bewildered, the intellect gets destroyed; and when the intellect is destroyed, one is ruined.)
रागद्वेषवियुक्तैस्तु विषयानिन्द्रियैश्चरन् |
आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति || 64||

(But one who controls the mind, and is free from attachment and aversion, even while using the objects of the senses, attains the Grace of God.)
प्रसादे सर्वदु:खानां हानिरस्योपजायते |
प्रसन्नचेतसो ह्याशु बुद्धि: पर्यवतिष्ठते || 65||

(By divine grace comes the peace in which all sorrows end, and the intellect of such a person of tranquil mind soon becomes firmly established in God.)
नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना |
न चाभावयत: शान्तिरशान्तस्य कुत: सुखम् || 66||

(But an undisciplined person, who has not controlled the mind and senses, can neither have a resolute intellect nor steady contemplation on God. For one who never unites the mind with God there is no peace; and how can one who lacks peace be happy?)
इन्द्रियाणां हि चरतां यन्मनोऽनुविधीयते |
तदस्य हरति प्रज्ञां वायुर्नावमिवाम्भसि || 67||

(Just as a strong wind sweeps a boat off its chartered course on the water, even one of the senses on which the mind focuses can lead the intellect astray.)
तस्माद्यस्य महाबाहो निगृहीतानि सर्वश: |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता || 68||

(Therefore, one who has restrained the senses from their objects, O mighty armed Arjun, is firmly established in transcendental knowledge.)
या निशा सर्वभूतानां तस्यां जागर्ति संयमी |
यस्यां जाग्रति भूतानि सा निशा पश्यतो मुने: || 69||

(What all beings consider as day is the night of ignorance for the wise, and what all creatures see as night is the day for the introspective sage.)
आपूर्यमाणमचलप्रतिष्ठं
समुद्रमाप: प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् |
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी || 70||

(Just as the ocean remains undisturbed by the incessant flow of waters from rivers merging into it, likewise the sage who is unmoved despite the flow of desirable objects all around him attains peace, and not the person who strives to satisfy desires.)
विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति नि:स्पृह: |
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: स शान्तिमधिगच्छति || 71||

(That person, who gives up all material desires and lives free from a sense of greed, proprietorship, and egoism, attains perfect peace.)
एषा ब्राह्मी स्थिति: पार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति |
स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति || 72 ||

(O Parth, such is the state of an enlightened soul that having attained it, one is never again deluded. Being established in this consciousness even at the hour of death, one is liberated from the cycle of life and death and reaches the Supreme Abode of God.)

I have not come across such a beautiful description about a person or a devotee before. It is self explanatory and needs no explanation as I earlier stated. Would request my readers to read the shlok again and again and try and understand them slowly and later without even reading their English meanings. Am sure Maa Geeta will speak with you.

I have found my Sthitapradnya in my elder brother, mentor and guide; Param Pujaniya Pandurang Shastriji Athavale and am trying to walk on the path already tread by Him, as He holds my finger and guides me.

Would request all my readers to seek their own mentors or guides.

I know that my blog today has become a bit longer than usual and some might even find it tough to understand the shlok and meanings initially. But am sure the day you start understanding them, you will start loving them.

Am attaching the link to my last years blog as well, just in case if you feel like reading it

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/margsheersh-ekadashi-geeta-jayanti/

Wish you all a very Happy Geeta Jayanti and a Happy celebration of the month of Margashirsh!

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Haiku #38

The Soul’s immortal;

Death is, but a change of clothes

So get up and fight… // 2 //

Even if Soul is immortal, the body will die. It’s a natural process. So instead of being afraid of death, let’s embrace it. Fight till you attain “moksha”. We cannot run away from it. In the battlefield of “Kuru” (performing action – Karma) there is no running away or sitting down dejected.

Are we not afraid of death? Or have we forgotten that we are answerable to someone? We see both the thought processes in this world. Will we be able to strike a balance between both positively? Let’s sit, relax for a day and think over this weekend.

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Haiku #37

Will not fight nor kill

Anyone from family,

Uncivilized isn’t it?… // 1 //

The first chapter is Arjun Vishaad Yog. The great warrior Arjun has described his mental state and denies to fight against his own blood. He gives his own understanding and logic towards his outburst. He sees danger regarding the corrupting of the civilisation. He cried for the civilisation that the Sages have built with their efforts and blood. Hence it is “vishaad”.

Do we think about even about our families before arriving at any decision? Do we think about the effects of our action due to our decision? Do we fully understand the impacts of our decision? Hope we think and realise one day…

Post Script :

No specific shloks this time. Would try to write the history of the chapters. I know will not be able to do so in a single Haiku, so will write till my God guides and permits.

Also it will not be everyday as before, but yes will be consistent with my writings of the Haiku on Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta.

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Haiku #36

The action done for

God is Renunciation,

Say philosophers…

And

Giving up the fruits of

Karma, know this as Tyag,

Says the sagacious… // 18 – 2 //

We want to renunciate this world. Run away from it. Leave everything behind and just think about ourselves (Cause how many think about their souls is a big question in itself). But here Bhagwaan draws a clear line between sanyas (renunciation) and tyaag (giving up).

(Sagacious = learned, astute, prudent)

But we would love to do what is easy for us! Which has less pain! As our minds have become numb. In these tough times, we come up with easy things that we like and then give a nice dressing (covering) to our actions. But will we understand the essence of these two words as explained by the Yogeshwar? Will we shed our inhibitions and attitude and learn? Let’s learn.

The shlok for your reference :
काम्यानां कर्मणां न्यासं सन्न्यासं कवयो विदु:
सर्वकर्मफलत्यागं प्राहुस्त्यागं विचक्षणा: ।।
The Supreme Divine Personality said : Giving up of actions motivated by desire is what the wise understand as sanyās. Relinquishing the fruits of all actions is what the learned declare to be tyāg.

– Astu –

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Haiku #35

With a Heart, kind and

Harmonious, utter ‘Sat’,

Good Karma is ‘Sat’… // 17 – 26 //

The two most important values in a human’s life; Sadbhav (Harmony) and Sadhubhav (Kindness). We need to imbibe them in our lives and then utter the word ‘Sat’ (the name of God). Even the good Karma (action) is also called ‘Sat’ (the action done for God).

What comes first? Good Actions or the above said values. Well it is relative to a person. They both are complementary. So we can strive for any. Would we?

The Shlok for your reference :
सद्भावे साधुभावे च सदित्येतत्प्रयुज्यते
प्रशस्ते कर्मणि तथा सच्छब्द: पार्थ युज्यते ।।

The word “Sat” means eternal existence and goodness. O Arjun, it is also used to describe an auspicious action.

– Astu –

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26/11 attacks…

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...

Its is 26/11 and the messages have been pouring in throughout the day, 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 time and day to Shri Tukaram Omble, the police Havaldar who took 40-odd bullets from the gun of Ajmal Kasab but caught Kasab alive.

I remember the General Manager at Taj, Mr Karambir Kang, (I hope to get the name right), 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 too fought the terrorists in the Taj Hotel and was shrewdly killed with a bullet in his back. So much for the valour of terrorists!

Today even after 11 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!

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!

PS : am purposely going to upload this blog around 9.18pm as I remember reaching home and same time hearing about a gun battle which had started at Leopold Cafe in the news, which turned into a nightmare in next 30/40 minutes…

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Haiku #34

Amorousness, Rage,

Avarice, three gates to Hell,

So relinquish them… // 16 – 21 //

The three doors to Hell. Hell is a mental state in which a person just loses his peace of mind and can think nothing but about ‘Kaam’ (amorosuness), ‘Krodh’ (rage) and ‘Greed” (avarice). Once, one is, into any one of these or led by these, it leads to destruction of humanity within.

What we need to think is that are we really Humans? Are we lead by these vices in our lives? Do we have the slightest idea of these affecting or guiding us in our lives? Let’s introspect.

The Shlok for your reference :
त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मन:
काम: क्रोधस्तथा लोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयं त्यजेत् ।।
There are three gates leading to the hell of self-destruction for the soul—lust, anger, and greed. Therefore, all should abandon these three.

– Astu –

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Haiku #33

Neither sun and moon

Nor the fire illuminate

Find me there, my home … // 15 – 6 //

The address of the place where He resides in his own words. He is omnipresent so is He describing the place, my heart?

It is the place where He resides and that place has it’s own aura and shine. Why do we then run here and there to find Him? When will we realise that He is within and all shining?

The Shlok for your reference :
न तद्भासयते सूर्यो न शशाङ्को न पावक:
यद्गत्वा न निवर्तन्ते तद्धाम परमं मम ।।

Neither the sun nor the moon, nor fire can illumine that Supreme Abode of Mine. Having gone There, one does not return to this material world again.

– Astu –

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Haiku #32

The secrets of life

I share, one can liberate

Themselves from the play… // 14 – 1 //

Bhagwaan explains at the beginning of the Chapter itself that He is repeating all that is know and all that He has said before so that one can study these and try to liberate oneself from the act.

When He clearly states so, why doubt His words? Why not just follow them? Cannot we after all the thought needed surrender to Him? Wouldn’t we be like to be liberated from this cycle of Birthd and Death? Or we want to charter our own path? Please think.

The Shlok for your reference :
परं भूय: प्रवक्ष्यामि ज्ञानानां ज्ञानमुत्तमम्
यज्ज्ञात्वा मुनय: सर्वे परां सिद्धिमितो गता: ।।

I shall once again explain to you the supreme wisdom, the best of all knowledge; by knowing which, all the great saints attained the highest perfection.

– Astu –

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Journey by train – 2

The other day I wrote my experiences about journey by Indian Railways and was overwhelmed with the way, my readers, you all reacted and had fun and learnt a lot of things through your responses.

Today I want to share my experience about travelling by a local train in Mumbai.

First things first. Mumbai local trains are the best and the fastest mode of transport in Mumbai. They might run 10/15 minutes late, yet always better than travelling by road. They are an experience of a lifetime.

One can learn a lot of things on the local train.

From good relations to the choicest of the abuses and a lot of new information. From stories to bhajans to folk songs to discussion on politics and spirituality to one of the worst type of fights (worser than the street fights), it is a daily routine.

From people chatting loudly to the ones who sit quite in one of the corners of the train and the most romantic couples to the marketeers who wanna sell their wares.

Then we have the ones who seek attention and the lone foreigner who is trying to figure out his way with the help of the trains.

The enthusiastic 4th sitter on the seat who would ask the other 3 to move a bit to adjust himself on the seat to the nearly drenched in sweat man trying to find a place beneath the hot air blowing fan.

The one who jumps into the arriving train for a window seat to the one who casually enters into the train when the person sitting at the window just gets up and gives his window seat to him.

Then the groups who make the loudest of the noises by their talks and games to the groups who come together, talk at the beginning and then go to sleep for the rest of their journey.

From the one who sleeps on the shoulder of his co-passenger to the one who snores loudly to disturbs the others sleep.

From the one watching movies or videos on the mobile (even with weak internet, what patience!) to the ones chatting loudly about their business transactions so that the whole compartment knows about it.

From the boy trying to stand on the foot board on the door of the train to the ones who want to perform antiques by endangering their lives.

It is always a thrill to travel during office hours as you get updated for yesterday events and about present day events. One just needs a patient ear to hear. Also one learns what to hear and what not.

Local trains of Mumbai teach you the act of living and behaving in a socially sound way. They train you for the worst and prepare you for life.

We need to continue this journey next month too so leave a few things for next time.

Ciao…

Waiting to hear from you all…

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Haiku #31

Know this body as

the ‘Kshetra’, place of action,

And you the knower… // 13 – 1 //

Bhagwaan after 12 chapters talk about the body, itself. He says that this body is nothing but a ‘Kshetra’ – the field where (through which) action takes place. And the one who understands this, is the “knower” (Kshetradnya).

He has clarified what this body is for through this shlok. It is to perform action and be a doer. So can I run away from my responsibilities? Can I just try to perform hard and physically draining penances and cause harm to it? The day we know the answer to these and many such questions, we know ourselves. We know Him.

The shlok for your reference :

इदं शरीरं कौन्तेय क्षेत्रमित्यभिधीयते
एतद्यो वेत्ति तं प्राहु: क्षेत्रज्ञ इति तद्विद: ।।

The Supreme Divine Lord said: O Arjun, this body is termed as kṣhetra (the field of activities), and the one who knows this body is called kṣhetrajña (the knower of the field) by the sages who discern the truth about both.

– Astu –

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Haiku #30

You cannot study,

Act for me and you will find

Me, all-pervading… // 12 – 10 //

Bhagwaan tries to show his progeny the ways to find Him. Here He says if you cannot study (concentrate or devote) and find Him in the scriptures, then atleast a person should perform action, for his karma. Through actions and in actions also, one is able to find Him. But the motive behind the action should be for Him.

We all work from day to night. Rather toil hard. But what is the motive? Money, to keep our families happy, to keep oneself happy. Or maybe some other motive but never is it based for God. God always finds his place last. Can we give Him the first place? Think.

The shlok for your reference :
अभ्यासेऽप्यसमर्थोऽसि मत्कर्मपरमो भव
मदर्थमपि कर्माणि कुर्वन्सिद्धिमवाप्स्यसि ।।

If you cannot practice remembering Me with devotion, then just try to work for Me. Thus performing devotional service to Me, you shall achieve the stage of perfection.

– Astu –

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Haiku #29

Your eyes don’t see me,

I give you the divine eyes,

See My opulence… // 11 – 8 //

Bhagwaan in this shlok tells us that if we need to see Him, then we need a different set of eyes. Divine eyes. A different outlook than what we have. He shows the way too through this chapter and emphasises that He is omnipresent.

Readers, are we able to see Him everywhere and in everything? In animate and inanimate. If so, do we treat them according to our whims or understanding? Let us all develop this understanding in our lives. Will we?

The shlok for your reference :
न तु मां शक्यसे द्रष्टुमनेनैव स्वचक्षुषा
दिव्यं ददामि ते चक्षु: पश्य मे योगमैश्वरम् ।।

But you cannot see my cosmic form with these physical eyes of yours. Therefore, I grant you divine vision. Behold my majestic opulence!

– Astu –

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Haiku #28

Keep your thoughts and mind

In Me, such devotees are blessed

With brains to find Me…// 10 – 10 //

Bhagwaan talks about His being active and taking care of His devotee. A devotee is the one who 24 hours applies his thoughts and mind for His Work. Then Bhagwaan blesses the devotee with intellect which will help the devotee to find Him.

As a family man, we do not and cannot apply our thoughts and mind for 24 hours unto the Lord. But can we start by doing it atleast 1 hour a day? Can we not have a day in a month where we devote our thought and mind for the Lord? Lets change ourselves and dedicate ourselves.

The shlok for your reference :
तेषां सततयुक्तानां भजतां प्रीतिपूर्वकम्
ददामि बुद्धियोगं तं येन मामुपयान्ति ते ।।
To those whose minds are always united with me in loving devotion, I give the divine knowledge by which they can attain me.

– Astu –

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Haiku #27

The one completely

Devoted to me alone

Is one I take care… // 9 – 22 //

Here this is the best assurance Bhagwaan has given to His devotee. If the devotee is completely surrendered to His thought and work, and finds no time for himself or his family, Bhagwaan assures that I take care of his day to day life.

Discipline, dedication and devotion make up a devotee. Lack of even one can move my faith in myself and God. So lets try to build up these 3 in our lives and be rest assured. Would we trust the word of God and try?

The shlok for your reference :
अनन्याश्चिन्तयन्तो मां ये जना: पर्युपासते
तेषां नित्याभियुक्तानां योगक्षेमं वहाम्यहम् ।।

There are those who always think of Me and engage in exclusive devotion to Me. To them, whose minds are always absorbed in Me, I provide what they lack and preserve what they already possess.

– Astu –

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Haiku #26

The emotion at

Death, is the one which stays and

Follows you next life… // 8 – 6 //

The way we think and the way we live plays an important role in life as well as individual life after death. Here Bhagwaan emphasises the importance of emotions , indirectly guiding us too emote positively.

Do we think positively or in this materialistic world, we get swayed by the currents of different emotions? Can we change our way of thinking and expressing our emotions? Can we control our emotions? Let’s think…

The Shlok for your reference :
यं यं वापि स्मरन्भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलेवरम्
तं तमेवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्भावभावित: ।।
Whatever one remembers upon giving up the body at the time of death, O son of Kunti, one attains that state, being always absorbed in such contemplation.

– Astu –

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Haiku #25

O Arjun, I AM

The only reason behind

Evoluting world… // 7 – 6//

Bhagwaan further describes Himself as the sole and only reason behind the making and destroying of the Universe. Here Bhagwaan emphatically says “Aham” – I am. He further clarifies that He has two characteristics “Jad” (inanimate – Prakriti, matter) and “Chetan” (animate – Purush, soul). And everything arises out of these two.

The question of how the Universe came into being. Or who made the Universe is directly addressed here. Now it is upon us if we want to believe it or not. We can research, reason, argue, debate and discuss and come to our own conclusions. Will we?

The Shlok for your reference :
एतद्योनीनि भूतानि सर्वाणीत्युपधारय
अहं कृत्स्नस्य जगत: प्रभव: प्रलयस्तथा ।।

Know that all living beings are manifested by these two energies of mine. I am the source of the entire creation, and into me it again dissolves.

– Astu –

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200 posts

When one gets such a pleasant reminder from the WordPress admin team, it’s a day to rejoice. But am a little perplexed that a person who came to WordPress out of curiosity and to know, not only started writing but within a period of roughly 3 years completed writing 200 posts.

Am grateful to all those who prompted me to take up WordPress. And then my readers who by their likes and comments kept up my spirits in the initial days. The readers who suggest are more respected as they relate with what I try to write. A few have become good friends today. Am grateful to all of them. And lastly am grateful to WordPress for giving me this wonderful platform.

Hope that the next 100 posts would be as interesting as the first 200 have been. Would surely look forward to your suggestions and feedbacks. Keep in touch.

See you all!

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Haiku #24

A selfless one

Is a Sanyasi – Yogi

Duty bound to work… // 6 – 1 //

The first shlok of the 6th chapter is a slap on the face of the people who want to run away from their responsibilities towards society, house and self and call oneself a Sanyasi or a Yogi. Bhagwaan further explains that the one who does his work selflessly is a true Sanyasi or a Yogi.

We too would like to run away from our duties. A trend nowadays is not to get married, again a run away from responsibilities. Or just throwing money around absolves us from our responsibilities. Does it? Do we fall into this category? Or we think otherwise? Think.

The shlok for your reference :
अनाश्रित: कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति य:
स संन्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रिय: ।।

Those who perform prescribed duties without desiring the results of their actions are actual sanyāsīs (renunciates) and yogis, not those who have merely ceased performing sacrifices such as as again hotra yagna or abandoned bodily activities.

– Astu –

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Haiku #23

One who selflessly

Applies body, mind and brain

Is known as Yogi… // 5 – 11 //

Bhagwaan talks about a Karma Yogi. He is the one who selflessly does his work for the work of God. When we say selfless, it means not for oneself but for others.

But when we say others the problems of superiority and inferiority complex arise, so why not keep God, our father, in between all that we do for others. Cause we come from the same Father, the one whom I am helping is my brother and not a downtrodden or any other term we use in our day to day life. Do we do charity such a thought in mind? Let’s assess ourselves.

The Shlok for your reference :

कायेन मनसा बुद्ध्या केवलैरिन्द्रियैरपि
योगिन: कर्म कुर्वन्ति सङ्गं त्यक्त्वात्मशुद्धये ।।

The yogis, while giving up attachment, perform actions with their body, senses, mind, and intellect, only for the purpose of self-purification

– Astu –

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Haiku #22

The secret I share

Because you are dear to me

And my devotee… // 4 – 3 //

Bhagwaan calls Arjun His dear as His reason to share the fine nuances of life and to show him the right path. He also calls him, His devotee as another reason to share the secrets of the world.

Are we so? Are we a devotee or His dear one. For us the first step is to be His devotee and once He starts recognising our voice, we become his dear one. Such a simple way. Why complicate it? But first Are we His devotee? Can we be His devotee? Will He accept us as His devotee? Let us read Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta and think.

The Shlok for your reference :

स एवायं मया तेऽद्य योग: प्रोक्त: पुरातन:
भक्तोऽसि मे सखा चेति रहस्यं ह्येतदुत्तमम् ।।

The same ancient knowledge of Yog, which is the supreme secret, I am today revealing unto you, because you are my friend as well as my devotee, who can understand this transcendental wisdom.

– Astu –

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Haiku #21

One who has control

Over body but not mind

Is a hypocrite… // 3 – 6 //

The state of a hypocrite. He can dupe the world with his outwardly behaviour but he cannot fool Bhagwaan. Internally there is no change inside.

Isn’t the world like this today? Aren’t we like this? One behaviour at home, another in social life and yet another at work place. Geeta is clear that this is nothing but hypocrisy. In the pursuit of truth, this might be the phase when we transit from our dual self to our self, but can it be for life? Let’s think and change…

The shlok for your reference :
कर्मेन्द्रियाणि संयम्य य आस्ते मनसा स्मरन्
इन्द्रियार्थान्विमूढात्मा मिथ्याचार: स उच्यते ।।
Those who restrain the external organs of action, while continuing to dwell on sense objects in the mind, certainly delude themselves and are to be called hypocrites.

– Astu –

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Haiku #20

Dont be impotent,

O Arjun, shed the weakness

Of your heart, Arise… // 2 – 3 //

Here, Bhagwaan taunts Arjun of being impotent. Has the one year of being Brihannala at the Courts of Virat, somewhere left an imprint on Arjun’s mind? A topic for the psychologists to discover and discuss. He asks Arjun to shed all the weakness of his heart and to rise from these negative thoughts.

Dont we behave like this some times in our lives? Bhagwaan tells us to arise to the occasion and not run away. Face the situation and fight it. Do not think about any other thing. Parantap means the one who conquers his enemies, foes. Bhagwaan is clear about us being Parantap, are we?

The shlok for your reference:

क्लैब्यं मा स्म गम: पार्थ नैतत्तवय्युपपद्यते
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ।।

O Parth, it does not befit you to yield to this unmanliness. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O vanquisher of enemies.

– Astu –

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Haiku #19

My limbs tremble and

As my mouth is drying up

Am getting goosebumps… // 1 – 29 //

The moment of war. Arjun has started looking and thinking. And he is anxious now, not about the result. But he is anxious that now he will have to fight his own people for a piece of land. So he starts arguing.

The same happens with us. At crossroads we start thinking and sometimes overthinking and we react in the same manner, the way Arjun did. Do we have our Krishna with us? Who will guide us? The same Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta which guided Arjun.

The shlok for your reference :
सीदन्ति मम गात्राणि मुखं च परिशुष्यति
वेपथुश्च शरीरे मे रोमहर्षश्च जायते ।।

My limbs are giving way and my mouth is drying up. My whole body shudders; my hair is standing on end.

-Astu-

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Afzalkhan Vadh

Just remembered the importance of the day as I was reading about the controversy created around the name of Shivaji Maharaj in some TV programme and where Big B was involved in it. Maharaj was called just by his name, which hurt feelings of many and they protested. The Channel and Big B have apologised by now and the controversy rests.

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 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.

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Journey by Train – 1

Travelling by an Indian long distance train is an experience! Sometimes a hilarious one! Sometimes boring! Sometimes loving! Sometimes an adventurous one! But always a learning experince.

It all depends on how one has decided to travel. With a reservation or not! My readers dont be surprised with such a statement. We, Indians take pride in travelling without a reservation and then keep on boasting about how we got a seat without any reservation till our next trip and a new experience to boast about!

Talking about the co-passengers there are many types you will find on Indian trains. Today let’s know about them and try to acquaint ourselves with them.

1). The Unreserved but Reserved passenger : This type of passengers are quite common on long distance trains. They travel regularly on the same train daily. Yes! They do carry a valid ticket to travel (we call it the season pass here) but they do not reserve any tickets. They just board any compartment and demand to be seated. The most funny part about these passengers is that they behave as the train is their home and the co-passengers their family members. They all will board your train for the next station and talk so loudly and cheerfully that in their excitement of sharing their day to day experiences they forget that they are enlightening (or rather harassing) the other passengers. A classic case study!

2). The helpful co-passenger : An always ready to help person. Trying to help everyone with finding their seats and their family members. Knowing every nook and corner of the train from the seat to the upper / lower deck to the seats which are yet to be filled or their occupants have not boarded the train with some uncanny reasons about the passengers unable to board the train. The person also keeps you entertained during the journey with long stories, short stories, varied experiences and jokes on which one would be forced to laugh. And at the end of your journey you would realise that the passenger was seating on an unreserved seat.

3). Adam and Eve : The best pass time on your train. And if it is to be newly married couple, then you will be entertained till they get down or you get down, whichever is first. They feel and behave in a way that the world around them is non existent and that they are the only two living creatures in this world. Their wishpers, the giggling of the girl, the old exploits being narrated in a loud and boastful voice by the boy, their eye play and their sudden silence on realisation that all the eyes are looking upon them and their exploits. After a few moments of realisation, they drown themselves again in their own personal world.

4). The lone beautiful traveller : I think the most beautiful moments of everyone’s life if you travelling alone too. But She gets the most attention. Instantly, the whole bogie (train compartment as it is called in India) turns toward the lone seat for every type of help. One will see the whole royalty of India descended there. She is treated like a royal princess with many princes and kings trying to woo Her. Every male in the compartment becomes brave yet humble, courageous yet artistic. The fun from getting bottle of water for her or to treating her with a cup of tea is always a delight a watch. The agonising look on the face of the married males, the ‘a little tensed’ face to see a competition on their female counterparts and the puzzling face of their kids about what has exactly happened to Dad, today, is all seen one at a time.

5). The loner : He is the male counterpart of the last type of the passenger, but he is not the attention seeker type nor is he attractive to gain any attention. The look on his face is of a person who is tired of life. The question on his face is of why am I travelling today? The grim look on the moustaches face tome the stern look on the bearded face does not help in communication too. He would just take his window seat and keep looking out through it endlessly. He would neither initiate any communication nor would anyone like to communicate with him. He is just to himself.

6). The family : A complete Bollywood package. A complete entertainer. A more than a lifetime experience. The kids playing with the co passengers. Mom looking to serve her kids with home made food at every possible moment. Dad lost in trying to look into the necessities of the kids and the very next moment, of mom (his wife). I sometimes do wonder whether its truly a family journey where everyone is together but busy with their own work. Everyone has a predefined role to play and entertain all the passengers with their noises of fights and cries. But you will never know where your time flies off with a family together. And yeah if lucky enough get to taste the thepla and chhunda if you have a Gujarati family travelling with you.

7). The vendors : They are not actually the passengers but you see them more, moving around the train, trying to sell their ware. From Khaman – Idli to Groundnuts and chocolates, one can get anything that a person needs nowadays. A new addition to a few trains is a man selling electronic goods on the train at half the prize, than the one which we buy them from outside. There are also those funny type vendors who make one’s journey more enjoyable.

My readers, you all can also go on adding the different types of passengers that you must have come across during your long journeys. They are the ones who make our journey more memorable.

I still remember the Armyman with whom I travelled together all the way from Kurukshetra to Mumbai. His childhood, his parents, his village, his training at the institute, his induction into the Army, especially his platoon. His pride of being a soldier of the Sikh regiment. He was returning home from his first posting and he was excited to share his experiences at the Indo – Pak border. Those 36 hours of travel have been one of the memorable moments of my travel. We didn’t keep in touch, but yes that journey has inked my heart forever.

I just end today, with a hope to write about my train journeys as and when time permits. Please let me know your views about this blog.

PS : Am indebted to my English literature Teacher, late Ms. A COUTINHO for teaching us the Chapter – Travel by Train by Priestley (hope I am right) in our 8th Standard. I still vividly remember about the characters described by the writer and the explanation given by our Miss.

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Bhai Beej

The day of Bhai Duj

A relation to cherish,

No words to describe…

The day has arrived when the brother visits his sister at her home. A day of get together and fun and frolic. A day to reignite and revitalise a relationship which has less words and more feelings.

Wishing you all a very Happy Bhai Dooj.

The moon takes one of the best forms today. The crescent form. He has given up all that he has acquired and is now out to earn back all that is required to give back a few days later. The true ideal for a Karma Yogi. He needs to earn and give and earn all over again.

Let the brothers learn from the moon and live a life of a Karmayogi.

Also a day to develop an outlook of looking at the girls with a sense of brotherly feeling. A much needed outlook for the new world where the younger generation feels that there is no need to name a relation between a boy and a girl.

At the same time for us to understand that let us try to look at every relation with a sense of understanding and maturity and not to jump to conclusions as we feel.

Let us all develop the understanding and maturity that the world needs today…

Wishing you all a Happy Diwali and A Prsoperous New Year…

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Deepawali Wishes

Deepawali – the Festival of Lights. Literally meaning a line of Lights.

Let the light fill our lives with happiness, virtues, wealth and knowledge.

Let the light remove all the vices, sadness and darkness from our lives.

Let the light shine our path, we are treading on and guide us onto the right path.

On Dhanteras, we pray to Goddess Laxmi to bless each and every household with the different wealths asked by the great Seers in Shree Suktam and remove the ‘alakshmi’ from our homes.

On Narak Chaturdashi, pray to Goddess Kali to kill the asura within us and liberate us from the selfish motives and lifestyle. Let Krishna liberate our 16108 nerves from the worldly pleasures and guide them on the path of good.

On Deepawali, pray to Goddess Saraswati to guide us unto the path of God. Let Ram be born in every heart. Let us pray for a long and lasting peace in the world. Let us all walk on the path to attain nirvana as attained by Mahaveerswami. It is also the Day when our Avtaar’s left this world for their Abode.

On the New Year, let us start anew and have an auspicious beginning in our lives. Let us enlighten ourself like Gautamswami.

On the Day of Bhai Beej, learn to respect every woman in this world like a sister and nurture these relationship.

On the Day of Panchami, let us learn to understand the importance of knowledge and try to imbibe it in our lives.

Wishing you all and everyone at home a very Happy and Auspicious Deepawali and a Prosperous New Year.

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Haiku #18

Fix your intellect

And mind in Me, and you will

Always live in me… // 12 – 8 //

Have purposely kept the Chapter 12 for last. My favourite Chapter, as it describe the qualities of a Devotee. Before describing the qualities, in the Shlok, God tells His Devotee what he needs to do. He shows him the path. We need to tread on it. Will we?

The Shlok for your reference :
मय्येव मन आधत्स्व मयि बुद्धिं निवेशय
निवसिष्यसि मय्येव अत ऊर्ध्वं न संशय: ।।

Fix your mind on Me alone and surrender your intellect to Me. There upon, you will always live in Me. Of this, there is no doubt.

– Astu –

PS : I pause my efforts to write a Haiku on a shlok of every chapter of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. Has been an illuminating experience. I never expected any response from my readers but the way you all have responded is what I consider the Blessings of Maa Geeta. Will surely continue to write a Haiku on Geeta as and when She permits me too.

Thank you so much Readers!

Blessed!

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Haiku #17

Om, Tat and Sat are

The three names of Almighty

From the beginning… // 17 – 23 //

Always had the question is God without form (Nirgun Nirakaar) or with form (Sagun Sakaar)? If without form, how do we address him? Herein lies the answer. Call Him “OM”, “TAT” and / or “SAT”. All three are His names. And from Him came everything, the beginning of the Universe and later Humans, scriptures and all.

Let me also clarify, lest people understand that Geeta advocates only devotion for the Formless God. Rather She talks about both, but leaves it upto to Her readers to follow the path that they wish.

The Shlok for your reference :

ॐ तत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविध: स्मृत:
ब्राह्मणास्तेन वेदाश्च यज्ञाश्च विहिता: पुरा ।।
The words “Om Tat Sat” have been declared as symbolic representations of the Supreme Absolute Truth, from the beginning of creation. From them came the priests, scriptures, and sacrifice.

– Astu –

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Haiku #16

What to do, what not,

Listen to scriptures, likewise

Perform your duty… // 16 – 24 //

Again a brilliant answer to our question of what to do and what not? Bhagwaan says read the scriptures and follow them. Mind it, He does not say folow him, He says follow the scriptures. Such an open mind and such humility is a demonstration for us, the Rational animal.

The shlok for your reference :

तस्माच्छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ
ज्ञात्वा शास्त्रविधानोक्तं कर्म कर्तुमिहार्हसि ।।
Therefore, let the scriptures be your authority in determining what should be done and what should not be done. Understand the scriptural injunctions and teachings, and then perform your actions in this world accordingly.

-Astu-

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Haiku #15

The tree with its roots

Above, branches below, and

Leaves are Vedic hymns… // 15 – 1 //

The one who knows the tree described above is the knower of the Vedas, is what God says. The shlok tells us that if you have to seek knowledge and move upwards in life needs to go back to the roots. It is a beautiful description of the knowledge one needs to attain.

The shlok for your reference :
ऊर्ध्वमूलमध:शाखमश्वत्थं प्राहुरव्ययम्
छन्दांसि यस्य पर्णानि यस्तं वेद स वेदवित् ।।

The Supreme Divine Personality said: They speak of an eternal aśhvatth tree with its roots above and branches below. Its leaves are the Vedic hymns, and one who knows the secret of this tree is the knower of the Vedas.

-Astu-

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Haiku #14

Those who serve me with

Unrestrained devotion, will rise

Above the “Trigun”… // 14 – 26 //

Again how do we obtain freedom from the three Gun “qualities” found in nature, (Satva – goodness or purity, Rajas – passion and Tamas – inertia)? One needs to devote oneself with unrestrianed devotion in Him. Every time, a devotee wants to liberate himself, the only way out shown by Geeta is Devotion.

The shlok for your reference :
मां च योऽव्यभिचारेण भक्तियोगेन सेवते
स गुणान्समतीत्यैतान्ब्रह्मभूयाय कल्पते ।।

Those who serve me with unalloyed devotion rise above the three modes of material nature and come to the level of Brahman.

-Astu-

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Haiku #13

I say nothing new,

The scriptures, the sages have

Already said so… // 13 – 4 //

The humility of the Lord reflects in this shlok. He says that He is just repeating what the sages have said and the scriptures have written. This is a beacon to all the budding writers who feel that they are the creators and think otherwise. Let’s be Humble.

The shlok for your reference :
ऋषिभिर्बहुधा गीतं छन्दोभिर्विविधै: पृथक्
ब्रह्मसूत्रपदैश्चैव हेतुमद्भिर्विनिश्चितै: ।।
Great sages have sung the truth about the field and the knower of the field in manifold ways. It has been stated in various Vedic hymns, and especially revealed in the Brahma Sūtra, with sound logic and conclusive evidence.

-Astu-

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Haiku #12

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, 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.

Today, I wish all of your my readers, across the globe, a very Happy Human Dignity Day.

-Astu-

PS : My link to the blog I had written last year :

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/10/19/manushya-gaurav-din-human-dignity-day/

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Haiku #11

Whatever you see

Glorious and powerful,

Is nothing but Me…// 10 – 41 //

The most sought after shlok by all the proponents of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. God is Omnipresent. Here Bhagwaan says “मम” means “mine”. It is a direct confirmation from Him.

Let us understand, that Ved Vyas in the whole of Mahabharat has used Krishna Uvach (thus spake Krishna) but while writing Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta, he uses Shree Bhagwaan Uvach (thus spake the Lord).

The shlok for your reference :

यद्यद्विभूतिमत्सत्वं श्रीमदूर्जितमेव वा
तत्देवावगच्छ त्वं मम तेजोंऽशसम्भवम् ।।

Whatever you see as beautiful, glorious, or powerful, know it to spring from but a spark of my splendor.

-Astu-

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Haiku #10

Even the sinner,

Who is devoted to me

He is a Sadhu (monk)…// 9 – 30 //

The shlok for people like us who sin at every step in life. Here Bhagwaan out of compassion just gives us a reason to lead a righteous life. Bhagwaan call such a person “sadhu” one who leads a life of a simpleton. The greatest of the assurances.

The shlok for your reference :

अपि चेत्सुदुराचारो भजते मामनन्यभाक्
साधुरेव स मन्तव्य: सम्यग्व्यवसितो हि स: ।।

Even if the vilest sinners worship Me with exclusive devotion, they are to be considered righteous, for they have made the proper resolve.

-Astu-

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Haiku #9

What’s reality?

What’s Adhyatma? Asks Arjun

What is the Karma?… // 8 – 1 //

The song is just not a monologue but a ddialogue between the Lord and His devotee. Devotee is the seeker and the questions above are of every seeker who is trying to seek. A simple Haiku, but has its roots in the Prashnopanishad (the Upanishads of Questions). Curiosity is a virtue.

The shlok for your reference :
किं तद्ब्रह्म किमध्यात्मं किं कर्म पुरुषोत्तम
अधिभूतं च किं प्रोक्तमधिदैवं किमुच्यते ।।
O Supreme Lord, what is Brahman (Absolute Reality), what is adhyātma (the individual soul), and what is karma? What is said to be adhibhūta, and who is said to be Adhidaiva?

-Astu-

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Haiku #8

You worship any

Of my form, I thus for you

Manifest Myself… // 7 – 21 //

The greatness of the Lord is seen in this shlok. One may worship Him in any form, he manifests Himself, for His devotee, in that form. Isn’t a beautiful feeling that God is ready to take any form for me. Just think over it!

The shlok for your reference :

यो यो यां यां तनुं भक्त: श्रद्धयार्चितुमिच्छति
तस्य तस्याचलां श्रद्धां तामेव विदधाम्यहम् ।।

Whatever celestial form a devotee seeks to worship with faith, I steady the faith of such a devotee in that form.

-Astu-

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Haiku #7

O son of the soil,

Be a Yogi in life, for

He is the greatest… // 6 – 46 //

Bhagwaan tells the importance of being a Yogi – the one who is joined in communion with Himself, God. He, the Yogi is greater than any ascetic, an intellectual or a doer / performer of action. Again a lighthouse like shlok for all of Humanity.

The shlok for your reference :
तपस्विभ्योऽधिकोयोगी
ज्ञानिभ्योऽपिमतोऽधिक:
कर्मिभ्यश्चाधिकोयोगी
तस्माद्योगीभवार्जुन।।
A yogi is superior to the tapasvī (ascetic), superior to the jñānī (a person of learning), and even superior to the karmī (ritualistic performer). Therefore, O Arjun, strive to be a yogi.

-Astu-

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Haiku #6

Who knows one’s senses,

Mind and thoughts; know him

As liberated… // 5 – 28 //

Bhagwaan here in this shlok describes the liberated (mukta). He goes on to say that the Mukta also has to be free from wishes, fear and anger. It is the goal of every living being to be liberated from the cycle of life and Bhagwaan here shows the path. It is not as simple as it seems. Yet this is the only way.

The Shlok for your reference :
यतेन्द्रियमनोबुद्धिर्मुनिर्मोक्षपरायण:
विगतेच्छाभयक्रोधो य: सदा मुक्त एव स: ।।

Controlling the senses, mind, and intellect, the sage who becomes free from desire and fear, always lives in freedom.

-Astu-

PS : plan to do one a day, on a shlok from each Chapter of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta for 18 days. Have already done on Chapters 1,2,3,4 and 18. Today it is on Chap 5. If you have any choice of shlok of your own, pls share and if I am able to make a Haiku, will surely write one and blog it.

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Haiku #5

To save the saintly

To restore the true Dharma

I reveal myself… // 4 – 8//

One of the most known shlok of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. No Indian would be unaware about it. I purposely have left out one charan about killing the wrong doers. But at the same time for people who question whether God manifests Himself in Human form. This is an answer from God, Himself.

The shlok for your reference :
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम्
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय सम्भवामि युगे युगे ।।

To protect the righteous, to annihilate the wicked, and to reestablish the principles of dharma I appear on this earth, age after age.

-Astu-

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Haiku #4

Philosophers say

Body does not exist nor

Does soul change itself // 2 – 16 //

The game of “Maya” (illusion). We come to this world and forget our self within and start living in this outside world. The philosophers correct our understanding. They try to take us away from the realm of Maya.

The shlok for your reference :
नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सत:
उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्वदर्शिभि: ।।
Of the transient there is no endurance, and of the eternal there is no cessation. This has verily been observed by the seers of the truth, after studying the nature of both.-Astu-

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Haiku #3

His Wishes fulfilled

By Gods, when he eats alone

Know that man as thief // 3-12//

A difficult one to make a Haiku but purposely took it up.This Shlok has become dear to many hearts, as here God plainly states that even after I fulfill humans wishes and he just sits behind and enjoys them without even acknowledging my help and even offering some part back, is nothing but a thief.

The shlok for your reference :
इष्टान्भोगान्हि वो देवा दास्यन्ते यज्ञभाविता:
तैर्दत्तानप्रदायैभ्यो यो भुङ्क्ते स्तेन एव स: ।।
The celestial gods, being satisfied by the performance of sacrifice, will grant you all the desired necessities of life. But those who enjoy what is given to them, without making offerings in return, are verily thieves.

-Astu-

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Haiku #2

In the battlefield,

Amongst My son’s and Pandu’s

What are they doing? – //1 -1//

The first shlok of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta. Where the King asks his charioteer Sanjay about the happenings on the battlefield.

The Shlok for reference :
धृतराष्ट्र उवाच
धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे समवेता युयुत्सवः
मामकाः पाण्डवाश्चैव किमकुर्वत सञ्जय ।।

Dhritrashtra said : O Sanjay, after gathering on the holy field of Kurukshetra, and desiring to fight, what did my sons and the sons of Pandu do?

-Astu-

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Haiku #1

God, Man together

Lay Victory and Values,

So say intellect… //18 – 78//

Inspired by the last shlok of Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta…

The day to remember these Golden words spoken by the charioteer, Sanjay to his King, Dhritrashtra. The power of the word of God is such that it gives strength to a slave to tell his master, to a citizen to tell his monarch, the truth and nothing but the truth…

The Shlok for reference :
यत्र योगेश्वर: कृष्णो यत्र पार्थो धनुर्धर: |
तत्र श्रीर्विजयो भूतिध्रुवा नीतिर्मतिर्मम ||
Wherever there is Shree Krishna, the Lord of all Yog, and wherever there is Arjun, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be unending opulence, victory, prosperity, and righteousness. Of this, I am certain.

– Astu –

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Dusshara

Let us burn the vices of Ravan and embed values of Ram within us…

Let the Ram within, win today and from today onwards forever…

Let us all prepare to welcome Ram into our lives and accept our limitations as Good Humans…

The day of “Seemolanghan” (सीम्मोलंघन). It literally means to cross the borders. Not the borders drawn on the maps but the borders drawn in our society and in our minds.

Biggest border in our life is

I Can’t Do“.

Next is

I Can’t Accept“.

And the last is

I Cannot Change“.

We have set these limitations in our lives and live with them. Today is the day to remember that “I CAN”. Let us all recall, remember and understand that Bhagwaan Ram had Vaanar’s to fight on his behalf. Vaanar means the one who is not sure about being Human. Ram took them together, revived their spirit and fought with their help to win the war. We all are like the Vaanars. Let us recognise the Ram within. The day we shed our inhibitions, we too will win the war.

Let us all remember, recite and learn the Shlok given below. It talks about the Surya. The problems he has and yet how He keeps on working.
रथस्येकं चक्रं भुजगयमित सप्ततुरङ्गः

निरालम्बो मार्गह चरनरहितह् सारथिरपि।
रविर्यर्तेवन्त्यं प्रतिदिनंमुपरस्य नरभस्यः

क्रियसिद्धि सत्वे भवति महतां नोपकरणे ।।

(The sun in the sky travels everyday with all odds against him, like a chariot with one wheel, seven horses trod by serpents and the driver without legs. Great people don’t depend on their accessories. They achieve their goal by their spirit and determination)

Let us all remember that it is the spirit within which keeps us going. So on this Dusshara, let us pray to God that He removes this vice of “I Can’t Do” from our lives and lead us to the light of “I Can Do“.

Wishing you and everyone in your family and friends a very Happy Dusshara…

सोनं घ्या आणि सोण्यासारखे व्हा व रहा…
शुभ दशहरा।

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Quote #4

Parenting, a job with a different perspective…

Parenting, simple yet so difficult

Maybe the Quote solves the questions related to Parenting…

And after this I hope we all learn to behave responsibly as a parent…

PS : it’s a request from my divine Brother which I cannot ignore. He has guided me a lot in my initial days in The Work. A silent listener, a keen observer and a quick learner. Above all, a well behaved parent as described in the quote…

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Quote #3

One of the best quotes which I relate with….

The moment one starts disliking work or a person, one becomes irresponsible towards that…

To be irresponsible, means to disrespect and dislike…

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Quote #1

Have decided to upload a quote everyday for a few days…

Let me know your views too…

Today’s Quote :

One of my favourites…

Dedicated to all the creative people in this creative world…

Have a nice day…

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Remembering our Ancestors (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

Friends, the days of Pitrupaksh, (a fortnight to remember of our parents / grandparents and our ancestors), the most divine days of every year, are moving towards their culmination.

These days are celebrated during the monsoons when the farmers are busy with his work. Some might object to my use of word “celebrated” as the days are considered inauspicious to do any type of religious work. But I have a question, can a day of remembering my parents or grandparents who have passed away be inauspicious? It’s just that our Rishis decided that during these days we will only concentrate on remembering our fathers and so would not indulge in any other social or religious activity. What can be a more bigger worship than this!Would urge upon you my readers to think over the above mentioned thought.

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”.

During these days, the sons and the daughters (yes daughters too, even if married) should perform the rituals of Shraddh.

Remember our parents/grandparents gratefully.

Recall what they have done for us.

Revisit each moment and day we have spent with them.

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Poem #11

Dedicated to all my ancestors.

You lived and worked hard to make us civilised,

You loved and touched every heart to become humanized,

The extent of understanding that you all have sowed,

Grateful will we always be, with our heads bowed

The father of Indian soil, Kashyap, got the Vaishyas together,

To keep the whole human race from running helter skelter,

Mother Earth prospered and bloomed and thrived,

Kashyapi” or “Urvi” as what to call Her, you decide…

The father of Democracy is none other than the Atri,

With Anusuya by his side, Dattatrey belongs to this tree,

The upliftment of Humanity is the goal of their lives,

To find God within is what every being now strives…

Vashishtha is the proponent of Anarchism, (self rule )

To unearth His work and learn the methodism,

He is not the slave of a king, but an epoch king maker,

The clan of Ikshvaku would be indebted for their raker…

Vishwamitra the king, who overcomes his vices,

To compete with oneself is the process he realises,

The one who gave “Gayatri” to one and all

And gracefully saved himself from the fall…

Next is the ever angry Jamadagni divine,

Who fought his life to save the bovine,

Renuka, his consort, is an epitome of justice,

The footwear and umbrella are at their service…

Parashar is the one who spoke Vedas in the womb,

Gave his “Smriti” to live in Kaliyug (modern world) and doom,

If a person learns to live by his ten commandments,

He will prosper as they will be a man’s adornments…

Bharadwaj is known as the Father of Medicine,

He delivered the mankind from physical sin, (not taking care of ones body)

Father of Dronacharya and a guide to Lord Ram,

Bringing about nourishment” is a work for the calm…

Thus the Saptrishis do tread on Mother Earth,

To spread the faith and remove our dirth,

“Pitrupaksh” (Shraddh) are the days to remember them,

And gratefully keep them at our lives helm…

The days of the Pitrupaksh (Shraddh)… Remembering and being grateful to our ancestors… We do remember the lineage we belong to, that is our grandfather and their fathers. But at the same time, we need to remember our ancestors, the Rishis, who gave us this way of life. And so today I tried to write in simple words the work and their contribution to the society.

Rishis have done a huge, although the word is too small, work for the upliftmen of human and making of the civilisation. It’s very difficult to write about their work in a single blog. So have just highlighted their work in a few words. Hope you all like it and try to find about the work they have done.

Today is also World River Day. (Its always on the last sunday of September) For us Indians, river have been the basis of our civilisation. The Ganga, Yamuna, Naramada all have been a constant soure of inspiration to all of us. I bow down to them today.

गंगा सिंधु सरस्वति च यमुना गोदावरी नर्मदा ।
कावेरी शरयू महेन्द्रतनया चर्मण्वती वेदिका ।।
क्षिप्रा वेत्रवती महासुरनदी ख्याता जया गण्डकी ।
पूर्णा:पूर्णजलै:समुद्रसहिता:कुर्वन्तु मे मंगलम् ।।

(May the rivers Ganga, Sindhu, Saraswati, Yamuna, Godavari, Narmada, Kaveri, Sharayu, Mahendratanaya, Chambala, Vedika, Kshipra, Vetravati (a rivulet), chiefly the Mahasurnadi, Jaya and Gandaki become sacred and absolute, and along with the sea, shower benevolence on me.)

At the end, do bow down again to all my ancestors and express my gratefulness to making me what I am today.

Shree Pandurangarpanamastu.

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Paani Paani re! (Collaboration with Nimish Tiwari)

मित्र..कैसे कोई जुुुगत लगाई जाए ??

कैसे यह प्यास बुझाई जाए ??

संकट के बादल घिरते प्रतीत हो रहे ,

प्यासे चेहरे मायूस खड़े तक रहे ।।

..

सूखते हुए कुएं ,सूनसान हो रहे नल-कूप ,

प्यासे निराश पंछी..घटते हुए जन-जीव ।

सूखती हुई नदियाँ , सूखते हरे-भरे पेड़ ,

अमृतमय होने वाली ‘पानी’ की हर बूंद ।।

..

स्तर गिरता भू-जल का ..मित्र

हाँ,गिरता स्तर मानवता का भी ।

कम होती बारिश भी अब तो ,

और कम होते इंसानी जज्बात भी ।।

..

चलो..सजग हो जाते,कही देर न हो जाए ,

पानी को ही लेकर कही युद्ध न छिड़ जाए ।

रुपयों में भी ‘जल’ न मिलेगा,मित्र तब तो ,

क्या पता पानी में भी पहरेदार लग जाए ।।

..

बिन पानी जीवन है असंभव ..अंत निश्चित है ,

कुबेर हो या सुदामा दोनों की यह समान जरूरत है ।

श्रेष्ठ प्रकृति वरदान है ये , इसे व्यर्थ ना जाने दीजिये ,

जिम्मेदारी समझे या समझिये मानव-धर्म ,

इसकी हर बूँद बचाई जाए ..

इसकी हर बूँद बचाई जाए…

Nimish Tiwari

The third world war, if fought, will be for water and not land!

The poem and the abovesaid statement themselves signify the importance of water, rather fresh water, in our lives. We have the oceans and the seas around us but their water is what we cannot drink. I think Agasti was the first and the last person to drink the water of the seas, according to our scriptures. It means that He must have found some technique to purify the ocean waters and made it potable. Israel today has also to some extent succeeding in doing so. But that’s not what we want to talk about, today!

We want to talk about Water…

Jeevanam sarva jeevanaam

Paawanam sarvato mukham,

Amrutam Parmam tatvam

Pranamami Muhur muhuhu:

Call “Jeevan” and “Amrut” in Sanskrit (one of the many names for water in Sanskrit). “Jeevan” signifies life and “Amrut” long life, or rather eternal life.

Water is not only the need of humans, but of the Soil “Dharti Mata” too. Water quenches her thirst too. She is so large hearted that she stores it inside for her children. But we, her children, are so selfish that we do not care. We have stooped to such a level where we have used up all her saved water too. The ground water levels are depleting. Just another day, our society tried to dig up a bore well, due to scarcity of water. To everyone’s dismay, we didn’t strike water even after digging deeper than ever before. The time has arrived that the urban population needs to think about this seriously and sincerely.

The studies around India have shown that the ground water levels all over India have gone down and the wells are drying up.

Isn’t this a sign by Mother Earth, to correct course now and quench her thirst?

Wouldn’t we care for ourselves atleast, as selfish as we are?

Why even think of next generation when we ourselves would be deprived of water?

After air, water is one of the nutrients absolutely essential. It forms 70% of our body fluids. It needs to be recycled everyday otherwise it leads to physical and physiological problems. And so medical science advises us to drink atleast 8 glasses of water everyday. And we all very well know that dehydration can even lead to death. And we all do take care of all this to live a healthy life.

Recycling is done by nature as well. Now when it does recycle annually, shouldn’t we take care of the water, the way we take care of ourselves. Shouldn’t we prudently use water? Shouldn’t it be reused? Do we share the responsibility with nature?

Every drop of water falling from the skies counts. I recall a poem I learnt in 8th std of my school days.

छोटी छोटी सी यह बूंदे सागर को भर देती है।

If the droplets can fill up oceans wouldn’t they fill up our rivers and the streams and our lakes? But have prepared for that. It is not till we plan to hold and stop water from flowing into the oceans, will we be able to quench the thirst of Mother Earth or ours!

We are a blessed country. We have so much that the others dont have. Israel, for example, has so little rain, yet has mastered agricultural techniques and created wonders in the field of agriculture. The fruits and the vegetables they have grown is astonishing. We sincerely need to learn from them. I recall a statement by one of the Israeli PM’s “If you (India) can give us anything, then we wish you give a cloud full of rain.”

We are a race who has been taught to find and see God in everything. Even in the non-living or abiotic as they call it nowadays. We see God or Divinity as some might say in soil and sky, in space and air, and yes of course Water. We believe that we all have been made from these 5 elements of nature (Panchmahabuta). So let us take care of all of them, beginning with water.

The other day I was reading that a person needs 20 litres of water a day for his daily activities, so roughly 140 litres a week, 560 litres a month and 6,720 litres a year. A family of 4 would need 26,880 litres a year. Can a household not harvest even half of its water needs.

Rain water harvesting is the need of the hour. We need to collect the rain water in underground tanks beneath our houses and buildings and societies. And atleast use it for drinking and cooking, as it is medically safe.

Make checkdams and recharge wells and quench the thirst of Mother Earth. Make the ground water levels rise. Prudently use ground water for the next few years so that their levels rise.

Make small lakes on the outskirts of the village and store water in it which can be used by all the villagers at their time of need.

Shrimati Amla Ruia, a Mumbai based social activist has transformed over 100 villages in Rajasthan, including the lives of the people living in those villages. She has used the traditional water harvesting techniques and built check dams too. She has founded Aakar Charitable Trust with a view toward creating a sustainable and permanent solution for drought hit regions of Rajasthan. Uptil now, her Trust has help build 200 check dams and impacted over 2 lakh lives.

People like these and many more are doing their bit. However big or small their effort might be, it is highly commendable and needs to followed or copied. Every village, town and city have their own pecularities and they need to find out solutions through public participation.

It is an individual effort.

It is a family effort

It is a society, village, tehsil, district , state and national effort

Let us start thinking about ourselves and changing our behaviour to help a good cause, not for the next generation, but for our own generation.

It’s now or never!

Save Water Save Life Save Earth

(PS : I thank Nimish for writing this poem for the write up. Actually he is the one who helped write this article and edit it too. A good human being to the core and a future doctor of my country.)

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हिन्दी दिवस

आप सभीको हिन्दी दिवस की शुभकामनाएं ।

आज के दिन कुछ ऐसी रचनाएँ आपके समक्ष रख रहा हूँ जिसने मेरा हिन्दी के प्रति लगाव बढाया। हालांकि मेरी मातृभाषा गुजराती है, अपितु हमारी पाठशाला के शिक्षकों ने हम सभी इतर भाषी बच्चों पर काफी मेहनत की है। बडे चाव से पढाया और राष्ट्रभाषा परीक्षाओं के लिए प्रवृत्त कीया एवं तैयारी भी करवायी। आज भी मैं मेरे गुरूजन शर्माजी तथा मिश्राजी का कृतज्ञ हूँ ।

आज के दिन, वाचकमित्रों, मैं अपनी सबसे मनपसंद कविता आप सभी के साथ साझा करना चाहूँगा । कविता जानी पहचानी है। कवि दुष्यंत कुमार की जुझारू कलम से लिखी गयी यह कविता हर पीढी को प्रेरणा देती रही है तथा देती रहेगी ।

हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए
इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए

आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी
शर्त थी लेकिन कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए

हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में
हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए

सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं
मेरी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही
हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए

उन्हीं की एक दूसरी कविता जो रग रग में एक विश्वास जगा देती है। वह भी यहाँ उद्धृत करता हूँ ।
इस नदी की धार में ठंडी हवा आती तो है,
नाव जर्जर ही सही, लहरों से टकराती तो है।
एक चिनगारी कही से ढूँढ लाओ दोस्तों,
इस दिए में तेल से भीगी हुई बाती तो है।
एक खंडहर के हृदय-सी, एक जंगली फूल-सी,
आदमी की पीर गूंगी ही सही, गाती तो है।
एक चादर साँझ ने सारे नगर पर डाल दी,
यह अंधेरे की सड़क उस भोर तक जाती तो है।
निर्वचन मैदान में लेटी हुई है जो नदी,
पत्थरों से, ओट में जा-जाके बतियाती तो है।
दुख नहीं कोई कि अब उपलब्धियों के नाम पर,
और कुछ हो या न हो, आकाश-सी छाती तो है।

ऐसी तो कई कविताएं। कईयों कवि। कईयों लेखक। जिनकी कोई गिनती नहीं! ऐसी सम्मृद्ध भाषा को मनाने का आज दिन है। तो आओ साथ मिलकर कुछ बातें करें?

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Muharram – 2

(The Shrine of Iman Hussein)

Ya Hussein! Ya Hussein!

The month of Muharram!

The first month of the Islamic Calendar! Considered very pious and divine!

The 10th day of Muharram, Ashura, has its own importance for the Shia Muslims… At the same time it’s a day of fasting for Sunni Muslims…

Before the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussein, it was celebrated as a day of atonement by Jews cause it is believed that Moses delivered His people (Children of God) from the hands of the Egyptian Pharaoh on this day. Till date Sunni Muslim brethren observe it and fast on this day…

But am writing this blog for the history better known and associated with martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandchild of His Holiness, The Prophet, Muhammad… From my early childhood was attracted towards the “Taziya” procession taking place near Byculla and other places in Mumbai… Faintly recollect my grandfather taking me around to see them…

But let’s come back to our blog… The grandchild of His Holiness, The Prophet Muhammad, was the third Imam of the Islamic world… He too faced prosecution from his own Muslim brethren and had to fight all his life…

Hussein and his 72 followers had entered Karabala in the 1st Day of Muharram and the King Yazid, his opponent was already there as if waiting for them to arrive… Hussein and his followers were surrounded and asked to surrender… To which Hussein denied… And the seige began…

As the seige dragged on, Yazdi stopped all the water from reaching the Hussein camp on the 7th day… There were small children who thirsted for water… Seeing this some people broke the seige and reached the river, which was nearby, for water… But as soon as they turned around with their pots filled, they were attacked and killed and the pots failed to reach the Hussein camp… This lead to death of kids due to lack of water… (This is the reason that water is offered to every passerby during these days)

The killing which started on the 7th day itself turned to a full fledged war on the 10th in which Imam Hussain attained martyrdom… He died for a cause… He died for Humanity… He fought the evil…

Many a poet have written about and described the whole story at length which is worth listening too if one cares for Humanity…

And so it is not only a day to remember, it is a day to mourn…

A day to ask God for forgiveness…

A day to quench the thirst of the thirsty and hunger of the hungry…

A day to remember that someone gave up His life for the sake of humanity, for the values given to mankind by His Holiness, The Prophet, Muhammad…

A day of reckoning for mankind that even after all the wars, fights we have had, differences have existed, do exist and will exist… Do we want to accept them or still fight for them to satisfy our egos… Cannot differences coexist?… I leave this question, to you, my reader to ponder over…

But the way Islam is looked as regressive in the world, pains a few thinkers. A handful few (maybe 10% of all Islamists) follow a path of violence to propagate their thought and have also created a havoc around the globe. From Afghanistan to Iran, from Iraq to Syria, from Al Quaeeda to ISIS, the militant mindset needs to be changed. And Imam Hussein can be the best ideal for all of this to change.

At the same time, Imam Hussein’s sacrifice is a factual and a sad truth about differences within a thought process. But these differences within, leading to a kill, is something Humanity needs to think about. Differences exist and should exist in the quest for truth, but they should not translate into killings. We find many instances of such differences in every culture too. But some learn, some wait to be taught. At the end we all need to understand that killing is not the final good.

On this day, I pray to Allah to bestow upon His children, the patience, understanding and love for each other and for peaceful coexistence of the humankind.

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Ganeshotsav

The last few days have been filled with fun and devotion. At the same times the rain Gods have drenched Mumbai during the festival in a manner not experienced before (atleast not in my memory) during Ganeshotsav. It seems the Gods are happy with the simple and hard working Mumbaikar, this year. We profusely thank them for these blessings.

The days of Visarjan are nearing.

An emotional farewell is awaiting.

The teary eyes and a cry of “Pudhchya varshi lavkar ya” (come back early next year) fill the atmosphere with gloom as well as hope. The hope of Ganesh visiting our houses again. The hope of, He blessing us again. The hope of the year passing by without any obstacles.

Have been visiting friends and relatives during these days. The bonds are being strengthened due to the festival. The old memories come up and the new memories are made. The next generation meets and starts bonding. This is the best part of any festival, as it helps to carry on the relations their parents and grandparents have built and nurtured.

Mumbai is alive 24 hours during these days. The areas of Girgaum, Khetwadi and Lalbaug-Dadar are buzzing with activities and devotees making a bee line towards the different pandas where the larger idols have bee installed. Now a days, the themes and shows are also abreast of new happenings and some also help in creating awareness about environment and personal health.

The one which I have liked personally is the message from the Mumbai RTO department through this festival regarding wearing helmets. An important message for our own welfare and well being.

Even if the celebrations have been subdued due to the floods this year, the fervour is the same as ever. The pitcure of kids pulling their parents from one pandal to next is still the same. The crowd at the “Aarti’s” is still singing them with the same enthusiasm as ever. It is truly great fun to listen to the different ways the same words are sung in different households.

As the 10th days approaches now, the feeling of seeing off a near and dear one is slowly rising. It is always difficult to see off a dear one, and 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 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!

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Paryushan – 3 (Reblog)

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, Aarjav. Satya to accept one’s existence and the journey of life is to find the truth. Sauch, the purity of body and our thoughts. Sanyam, restraining ourselves and our Panch Indriya. Tap, the art of practising non food intake. These seven if implemented on would help us in our quest to find ourselves. Now, we move onto the last three.

TYAGA (Renunciation) – To leave things behind. Here Tyaga also means keeping the bare minimum and slowly giving away that minimum too. That is what the Jain Sadhu does. Bhagwaan Mahaveer too had a loin cloth when he left the kingdom, and slowly that too wore off. It happened naturally.

Internally renuncing the attachments and emotions is like removing a big hurdle from the path of development. And this is possible by realising the true nature of the soul.

AKINCHANYA (Non-attachment) – This assists the person in detaching from external possessions. Historically ten possessions are listed in Jain scriptures: ‘land, house, silver, gold, wealth, grain, female servants, male servants, garments and utensils’. Being unattached from these, helps control our desires and leads to an influx of meritorious karmas.

Also akinchanya assists us in being unattached from our internal attachments of false belief, anger, pride, deceit, greed, laughter, liking, disliking, lamentation, fear, disgust, sexual desires. The more we are unattached, the more we purify our soul.

BRAHMACHARYA (Celibacy) – It might have been talked about at last but it is equally important as the others. It’s only sexual context needs to be clarified. It means staying away from desires and our wishes. To the extent of staying away from our senses. Not even being led off by the scent of a rose or a cool breeze.

Brahmacharya has two words in it. Brahma + Charya. Brahma here means the soul and Charya means to dwell. It simple means to dwell in one’s soul. When we reside in our soul, we can become the master of the Universe. To reside outside means to become a slave of desires.

All the above ten virtues make us a good Jain or the follower of Jin. Many of you may wonder that we never heard anything like what you have written. But dear readers, we are followers of Jin. Let’s go back to our roots. Follow what Jin Prabhu has said. Our Sadhu and Sadhviji’s are our teachers. They can show us the path and lead us unto it. It is we who need to walk on it.

My student (Khushi Maniyar) had shared with me the meaning of Paryushan which I reproduce here as it.

Paryushan introduces one to oneself. It reminds us of souls ultimate goal. पर्यूषण is actually made of two words. परि + उष्ण. परि means from outside and उषण means to come home stay. It means to come out of all materialistic things and stay in oneself ie आत्मा मा वास करवो.

Now if you read all the three blogs together than my writing would make sense. Fasting is good, but at the same time the person who is fasting is thinking about these 10 virtues and is in the thought process of how to imbibe them into our lives. So let us all who fast, pray or ask for forgiveness celebrate the greatness of these days, try and live in the divine and pure atmosphere and immerse ourselves in it.

At the end of this series, I beg for forgiveness if I have hurt any one by my words or thoughts. I ask for forgiveness from all Guru Bhagwan for any mistakes in these blogs.

“Micchami Dukkaddam”.

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Ganesh Chaturthi – 3

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.

I always wonder who must have thought of this idea of getting the God home. How that idea must have percolated to the masses! The amount of time and energy spent on this idea is something beyond the pages of history, date and time.

This thought always keeps me trying to find answers to my questions. And I know Ganesh, the Goddess of Intellect helps and satisfies the curious with an answer.

There is a story that when Ved Vyas, decided to write the Mahabharata, he was trying to find a writer who would wite his story. It was a humongous task and the writer too has to be of the same iintellect as the story teller. So Muni Narad suggested that Ganpati, the son of Shiva, can write it.

Ved Vyas did approach Ganpati who readily agreed. They both had an understanding. Once the writing of the book was started, it would not stop till the end and the writer would just not write down the book as a dictation but uunderstand it before writing it down.

Two great personalities, and, one great epic.

Ganpati had decided not to stand up while writing, so sitting in one place would increase the heat within his body and make him uncomfortable. So Ved Vyas came up with an idea of applying mud packs on Ganpati’s body to keep him cool. Ved Vyas served Ganpati food that he loved to eat the most.

As the mud packs were applied, Ganpati’s murti, even today, is made from mud (Shadhumaati). Yet, even after these 10 days when the wrting of the book was completed, the heat had increased inside Ganpati’s body and the mud packs had dried and stuck to his body. So it is said that Ved Vyas took Ganpati to a nearby river to bathe him to soothe his body as well as remove the dried packs from his body.

Thus began the culture of getting Ganpati in the idol form at one’s house for 10 days and immersing them in water on the 10th day. Later, as it was found that it is difficult to get and look after such a big personality at home for 10 days, Rishis must have come up with the idea of keeping Him for 1 and half day or 5 days.

Some may disagree with this story, but it’s a start of the quest to find the reason behind it. Its going to be long journey, but will tread on it slowly and steadily. I trust that Ganpatiji will help me.

Wishing you all a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and a colourful Ganeshotsav.

A few pictures of preparations at home :

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Paryushan – 2 (Reblog)

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. Even many Jains call it Mahaveer Jayanti. But the fact is a little different. It is during these days, the Holy Book “Kalpsutra” is read. The life of the 24 Teerthankars is read and understood. On the 5th Day, the story of Mata Trishala’s 14 dreams (16 according to Digambar sect) and birth of Bhagwaan Mahaveer is read out. So it is called the Mahaveer Janma Vachan. And people celebrate with pomp as Mahaveer Jayanti.

We continue from my last blog about the ten fold path or ten virtues to be imbibed into our lives during these days of Paryushan. Last time, we gave a thought about 3 virtues. Kshama, the virtue of forgiveness. Mardav, to be modest in all situations. And the straightforwardness, Aarjav.

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2019/08/26/paryushan-1/

Today we talk about SATYA, SAUCH, SANYAM and TAP.

SATYA (TRUTH) – The only truth in this world is the existence of Self. Every other truth is relative. Excepting our own existence is the one and final step towards self realisation. Being in self denial, living in self denial is not going to help anyone. The first thing in life is to except oneself as one is and then move ahead in life.

At the same time, we can begin with small steps of speaking the truth and living that truth. At the same time being truthful does not mean to hurt others with our truthfulness. In our quest of the truth, we have to see to it that we do not hurt others with our truth. सत्यं ब्रूयात्, प्रियं ब्रूयात् . (Speak the truth, speak it with love). Any truth needs to be spoken with love and care. It also means that unless we share a good relation, we should not speak the truth. We need to develop relationships and let them thrive, for the truth to be told or spoken.

Also when we lie, we need to speak a hundred new lies to justify one lie. Which in turn hampers the process of imbibing Satya in our lives. So at the end, I will say one needs to realise the truth hidden within oneself.

SAUCH (Purity/Contentment) – Here the word means purity of body to purity of thoughts to purity of mind/brain. We all are aware about the external purity of our body due to the education, we receive in our schools. But we need to slowly go inwards, towards oneself. Getting contentment from material desires is not the only goal of life, but leading a contented, pure life so that it can be an ideal for generations, constitutes Sauch.

The characteristic of the soul is purity. So it is within us, which we need to find and not get stuck in material gains only. We need to go deep inside oneself and dig out this hidden virtue within us. And for this we need to practise restraint.

SANYAM (Self restraint) – I feel this is one of the virtues with whom Jains are largely identified today. Yes, we believe in restraint, not killing anyone outwardly as well as inwardly. But that is not only Jainism. Not harming anyone, not even the smallest of the creatures, is evident in all thoughts originating from Bharat. But here SANYAM means restraining oneself from desires. It is painful when our desires take over us. These 8 days constantly remind us to be away from desires. So to remember and learn this thought, we need to read the Kalpasutra. Learn from Teerthankar’s life. They never showed off. So should we?

It is also through SANYAM that we can win our desires and tread on the path of Moksh. Lesser we are attached to material things, nearer we are to ourselves and our goals of attaining Moksh. That is the reason Jains take up Sadhu dharm. The road to find one’s true self.

TAP (Austerity)TAP means fasting, control over food. Restricting the intake of food. But after that do we gain control over our habit of eating food. Are we able to control our desires? Why is there a queue outside restaurants a Day before Paryushan and a Day after Samvatsari/Rishi Panchami? Restricting food also means restricting desires. Do we think about it? Are the celebrations of TAP justified?

Do we meditate during Tap. Do We sit back and introspect? Do we feel the nearness with our self? Our God? Cause after abstinence of food we need to move onto the next step of going towards one self.

I hope, my readers, you will give a thought about what we have read today. I just want to point out that we are becoming too ritualistic. Am not against rituals but we cannot get stuck in the rituals. Jain philosophy is loosing it’s sheen due to this. It is like eating the coconut from outside instead of enjoying the original coconut inside. So my friends, let’s think.

Still have 3 more virtues to go through. But ours is a journey long and slow, so let’s tread on it.

Listen to the Kalpasutra carefully.

Listen to what the learned Sadhu-Sadhviji’s have to tell us.

Listen to the voice within and learn to live by it.

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Matrudin

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…

Happy Matrudin to all my readers.

Today is the New Moon Day (Amaavasya) of the Shraavan month. The last day of the month. Month of Bhadrapad begins tomm. Today is celebrated as “Pola” in Maharashtra and South India. Cattles are worshipped today.

And today is Mother’s Day. A day to remember all the great mothers like Jijabai, Kaushalya, Devaki and many more and their contribution towards parenting their kids. Also a day to express our gratitude to the “Gaumata”, “Tulsimata” and “Bharatmata”. By naming them, I just want to convey that every person and every substance which has help us nurture our life, is like our Mother, and today is the day to remember them.

And overall our own Mother, who has not only given us birth but also took care of us and help us grow.Someone can ask me that shouldn’t we remember our Mother everyday? I agree with them. But today is the day to not only remember them but also express our gratitude towards them.

1. Mother, a shade : I still remember my mother standing rigat by my side with a ruler in hand and hitting me when I erred, while learning Gujarati. Coming from a convent school, again her decision to educate me in an English Medium School, she took the pains that I learn my mother tongue Gujarati, when I was in 8th std. She made me do it the whole vacation. Today, I say with pride, that if my language is good and my grammar strong, it is just because of Her. I thank her today for her efforts.

Secondly my English teacher. Can never forget her. Ms A Coutinho. The effports she has taken for my Grammar, rather for the whole class, is showing its effect with our cmmunications today. Every free period of our 9th standard was taken up by Her for grammar. We used to tease her and dislie her for this, but today we all are veRyan grateful to her for her efforts. She treated every child as hers and put in equal efforts in each.

2. Mother, the last resort : I still remember that whenever we siblings wanted to get our things done, my mother was our last resort. Rather when it came to dealings with my father, it was always Her, who stood strogly for us.

I, am a father today, and see the same trait in my wife today. The way she prods our kids, the way She pushes them to exceed their limits and excel in their doings is mind blowing. The way She always stand by them and always there to help them is something we fathers rarely do. And after all this, if the kids feel that She is their last resort, they are right.

3. Mother, a security-giver : Mom is the bst security a child can ever get. The way she takes care of her child can only be compared to a lioness taking care of her cubs. She will go to the extent of fighting and killing the enemy. She will pprotect and teach the kid to protect himself.

Am reminded of Jijabai who took Shivaji under her care and nurtured him to grow up to become a great king. In the initial years of growing up, she has played not only the role of a mother but also protected Shivaji from all the evils of the society.

4. Mother, the ever giving : A child growing up without a mother is a difficult job for a father, but the mother can also fill in for the loss of a father and bring up the child. A mothers showers all her love and warmth and affection on her child and does not leave anything for next time.

There is no great personality who wouldn’t acknowledge the contribution by his/her mother into their lives. Satyakaam Jabaal is known by his mother and so are many. Even today, a childs good mannerisms and characters are attributed to its mother more.

In the end, would just request all my readers to give a thought for what their mothers have done for them and always remember to be grateful to them.

मातृदिनस्य शुभ आशयः।

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Paryushan – 1 (Reblog)

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 tenfold path of

1. KSHAMA (Forbearance)

2. MARDAV (Modesty)

3. AARJAV (Straightforwardness)

4. SATYA (Truth)

5. SHAUCH (Purity)

6. SANYAM (Restraint)

7. TAP (Austerity)

8. TYAGA (Renunciation)

9. AKINCHANYA (Non-attachment)

10. BRAHMACHARYA (Celibacy)

Before treading on this Ten-fold path, let me share with my non- Jain readers, that Jainism is one of the most scientific way of living and thinking. The way of worship is the same, except for the Sthanakvasi fold of the Shwetambar sect, that is everyone follows Idol worship.

Jainism, itself is divided into two big sects, the Shwetambar’s (the ones whose sadhus clad in white) and Digambar’s (the ones whose clothes are the sky, ie their sadhus accept and live a life without clothes). Shwetambar’s are further divided into 2 folds, the Deravasis (one who go to temples ie follow Idol worship) and the Sthanakvasis, as already mentioned before (one who do not go to temples and do not believe in Idol worship). Even with these outward differences, the thought of Jainism is followed uniformly in any part of the world. It is the uniqueness of the thought process in India, that even after having different ways of worship, we all are one.

Secondly, my readers might know Lord Mahaveer as the one who established Jainism. Again that’s not the complete information. Mahaveer is the 24th Teerthankar belonging to lineage of Rishabhdev or Adinath, as He is called, being the first. A Teerthankar is the one whose soul is sublime and one who has compassion towards all living beings. He is the realised one. And Jainism believes that anyone and everyone can transform his life to become the sublime self. All the 24 Teerthankars command the same devotion as any one of them.

I have decided not to go into the historical part of Jainism nor it’s cultural impact. I want to talk about the Ten-fold path propagated by these 24 men, for which the following eight days/ten days are to be celebrated. I said it’s a celebration of life because during these days one needs to sit back and brood over the above virtues and think about how to imbibe them into our life. All the 10 virtues mentioned above are equal with none more important or less important. All are equally important. We will talk about the first three today and during the course of 8 days, will talk about others, as and when the Lord permits.

1. KSHAMA (Forbearance) – My readers must have read the small prayer at the starting of the blog. It asks for forgiveness. Forgiveness is asked by bowing one’s head onto the feet of the person who is expected to forgive. As a mortal with lots of ego it is difficult for a person to bow down onto the feet of the person whom we have wronged. So we begin by bowing down to our Guru, the Teacher. If this becomes our routine, the person sheds all his inhibitions and attachment to self and will be brave enough to ask for forgiveness from the person whom he has wronged. And slowly we all can ask for forgiveness from all the creatures in the world. He is Mahaveer. This is what is Samyak Darshan. (Right Belief).

Forgiveness is like the oil to the machine, it helps us live in harmony with our fellow beings. Forgiveness begins with self. One should learn to forgive oneself. We all are sometimes too tough with ourselves. It is necessary in today’s world, but at the same time we need to be forgiving ourselves for our own spiritual development. We may be wrong in our way of living and thinking, but the day we realise we have been wrong, we need to forgive ourselves and move ahead in life. Do learn from our mistakes so that we do not repeat them, but forgive oneself too.

Forgiveness is the pain we inflict upon ourselves so that we may learn from it and brighten our lives with better karma. People have a wrong notion about forgiveness. They feel that it means to forgive others. But here the Jain darshan guides us to forgive oneself. It is only then, one can realise his true self. Forgiveness (Kshama Dharm) teaches ones soul to correct one’s identify oneself by encouraging to contemplate its true nature and hence achieve state of right belief (Samyak Darshan).

2. MARDAV (Modesty) Humility is the diamond amongst the virtues. It is humility that makes great people, great. They never boast of their greatness nor talk about it or even give a hint about it. Sometimes our looks, money, social status, the virtue of forgiveness may make us a little / lot self-centered. Hence Kshama is followed by Mardav. There should be modesty in life after forgiveness. People believe in themselves being superior to others. We all come across such people in our lives. We might be like them too. We measure everything by temporary material objects. But this dents our life in the most dangerous way and makes our penance full of ‘Rajas’ gun. So we need to be very alert about this. The Paryushan days remind us of Humility.

All souls are born equal. No one is superior nor inferior. This is the true nature of our soul, every soul. Each soul is born divine. And the most important aspect is that every soul has a potential within to liberate itself. This belief will lead us to Mardav.

3. AARJAV (Straightforwardness)People are deceitful. They deceive others and think that they are something great. But in doing so, they are deceiving themselves. One thinks different, speaks different and acts different. Our scriptures tells us to stay away from such people. Deceitful people loose the trust of others and they are considered less credible. Such people are a curse to the society as a whole. Whereas straightforwardness makes a person trustworthy. Such straightforward people are considered to be reliable and slowly they win the hearts of the people around them.

A straightforward person realises that the countless qualities with a being are an instrument to attain his final destination. Again the thoughts, the karma, are different from the realisation of self. So Arjav helps the person to tread on the path of realisation.

My dear readers, it’s a path we have got due to our karma’s of last lives and we need to make everything of this opportunity that we have got. We are on the path of Jin. On the path of Arihant. On the path of Siddh and Upadhyay. Let us all together decide to stick to this path and abide to live by the teachings of the Teerthankars. Then we can become true Jains.

Jainam Jayatu Shashnam!

JAI MAHAVEER!

JAY RISHABHDEV!

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Shree Krishna Janmashtami – An obedient son

वसुदेवसुतं देवं, कंसचाणूर्मदनम्।

देवकी परमानंदं, कृष्णं वंदे जगद्गुरुम्।।

I bow to the Jagadguru (Teacher of the world) Krishna, the son of Vasudev and the one who gave the feeling of eternal bliss to Devaki, the slayer of Kans and Chanur…

As per my last post on Krishna Janmashtami, we looked at the aspect of parenting through the Krishna way of life. I have this strong urge to continue with the same. The Krishna within compels me to write more about it. Isn’t this the Krishna consciousness?

( My last Janmashtami post link : https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/monsoon-months-chaturmaas-shree-krishna-janmashtami/ )

Krishna is the son of Vasudev, as mentioned in the above shloka. Many people write about the relation between a child and the mother, but very few write about the child’s relation with the Father.

Father is the most invisible hand in the upbringing of a child.

Father is the one whom child looks upto as he/she grows.

Father is the one who is an ideal to the child in the world.

Father is the untold love and warmth and utmost care for his child.

Father is the disciplinarian in a child’s life yet shares a bond of freedom.

The relation about which Vyas felt that it cannot be described so began with Vasudev, but ended up saying just that Krishna is the son of Vasudev, and nothing more. He didn’t talk about this relation the way he describes Krishna’s relation with his mother, Devaki. Krishna is the giver of bliss to his mother. But I always wanted to know about His relation with His father.

I personally feel (after my experience as a father) that kids bond easily with their mother as she is always there for them, whereas the fathers are away toiling to take care of their families. In no way I belittle the mothers who stay back home and toil in their own way. In the modern world, many a women folk work shoulder to shoulder with their men and help in running the household and the errands of the house. Look at the families in Gokul. Nand and Jashoda work equally to keep their household running. If Nand tends to the cattle, then it is Jashoda who looks after their milking and preparing Goras. For those who have done this work, know it is no easy job, leave aside calling it menial with a narrow mindset. Our history too shows that the Queens/ Queenmothers have played an important role in the running of the state affairs. Let’s conclude this topic here, lest we might forget our topic about being a Father.

The Father is the one who gives a goal to his kids. He nurtures them and makes them learn to be independent. The qualities of a Male are imbibed in the kid through the father. The father’s responsibility does not lie only in providing the kid, pocket money or other necessities. He needs to spend some time or part of his life with the kids too.

I still remember the time, when I always found my father around, when I needed him the most. He was never seen at my PTM’s or my functions. But the day I needed him the most, he was always around. A man of stature and principles, he never wavered from his goals and even today at the age of 74, he portrays an ideal of hard work for his grandsons. Working like a 25 year old, he has been a guiding light to many, but especially to both us siblings.

At the same time, the kids are duty bound to carry forward the legacy of their fathers. सम्यक् तनोति इति संतान। – The one who properly, fully and in a right way spreads the work (thought) of the father is a child.

We see a lot of these traits in the life of Shree Krishna. Vasudev was one of the chiefs of one of the Yadav clan. Yadavs lived in a confederation of states. They all had their individual kingdoms, but all were ruled by a single King. Vasudev was an able administrator and a just man. Fit to be the King. Yet he gave up his claim over the throne and worked under Ugrasenji, father of Kamsa. Similarly, Krishna having all the qualities to be a king, emulated his father and did not lay any claim to the throne. He ruled the hearts of the people. It is history, that the Kings all over India were attentive to the movement of his eyebrows and took decisions likewise. (This is difficult to believe looking at the state of Yadav’s today.)

I know am talking about this in a material world, where a father and son alike are interested in looting people and inheriting their legacy. People with such a mindset would hardly understand what our forefathers lived for.

Vasudevji passed on the values to Krishna and Krishna too with due respect and humility, accepted them. This is the essence of a father – child relationship. We see the same upbringing in the life of Parshuram and Rama and all our ideals.

On the day of Janmashtami,

As Fathers :

Let us think on becoming a good father.

Let us look after our kids and their upbringing equally with our spouses.

Let us share the responsibility to give the kids some goals in their lives.

Let us pass on the legacy of ethics and moral values to our kids.

Let us be more indulgent with our kids and give them their space and freedom.

As kids :

Let us all decide to listen to our fathers however wrong, we may feel, they are.

Let us all take forward their love and warmth to our siblings.

Let us carry on the legacy of our parents and try to be like them, if not better.

Let us spend more time with them and look after them.

Let us pledge to eradicate all “old age homes” from our area, village, town, city, state and country.

At the end, good wishes to you all and your families on occasion of Shree Krishna Janmashatmi.

May the Krishna within us arise and grow and spread His radiance!

Jay Shree Krishna.

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Narali Poornima – Raksha Bandhan

वल्हव रे नाखवा हो वल्हव रे रामा
मी डोलकर डोलकर, डोलकर दर्याचा राजा
घर पान्यावरी बंदराला करतो ये जा!
आयबापाची लाराची लेक मी लारी
चोली पीवली गो नेसलंय अंजीरी सारी
माज्या केसान गो मालीला फुलैला चाफा
वास परमालता वार्यानं घेतंय झेपा
नथ नाकान साजीरवानी
गला भरुन सोन्याचे मनी
कोलिवार्याची मी गो रानी
रात पुनवेला नाचून करतंय् मौजा
या गो दर्याचा दर्याचा दर्याचा दरारा मोठा
कवा पान्यावरी उठतान डोंगरलाटा
कवा उदानवारा शिराला येतंय् फारू
कवा पान्यासुनी आबाला भिरतंय तारू
वाट बगून झुरते पिरती मंग दर्याला येतंय् भरती
जाते पान्यानं भिजून धरती
येतंय भेटाया तसाच भरतार माजा
भल्या सकालला आबाल झुकतं हे खाली
सोनं चमचमतं दर्याला चढते लाली
आमी पान्यामंदी, रापण टाकतो जाली
धन दर्याचं लुटून भरतो डाली
रात पुनवेचं चांदनं प्याली
कशि चांदीची मासली झाली
माज्या जाल्यात होऊन आली
नेतो बाजारा भरून म्हावरां ताजा

(Valhav re nakhava ho valhav re rama

Me dolkar-dolkar-dolkar daryacha raja Ghar panyamandi bandarala kariti yeja…..

Aaibapachi larachi lek me lari
Choli pivali go nesaliy anjiri sari Mazya kesan go malila fulaila chafa Vas paramalata varyan ghetay zepa Nath nakan sajirvani, Gala bharun sonyache mani

Kolivadyachi me go rani
Rat poonveli – nachun karatey mauja..

Yago daryacha- daryacha darara motha Kava panyavari uthatan dongarlata-lata
Kava udan vara shirala yetay faru
Kava panyasuni aabhala firatay taru Vat bagun zurate pirati tava daryala yete bharati Jate panyan bhijun dharati Yeto bhetaya tasach bhartar maja..

Bhalya sakalala aabhal zukate he Khali Sone chamchamat – daryala chadhate lali – lali..
Aamhi panyamandi rapan takato jali
dhan daryache lutun bharato doli
Rat punavechi chandane pyali
Kashi chandichi masali zali
Majya jalyat houn aala Neto bajara ikaya mhavara taja…)

The song of the fisherman folk…

One of my favourite songs which I have been listening to from my childhood. Have performed on it too in my school days. At that moment little did I realise that a few of my best friends would be from this most adventourous communities of India.

Living on the coastlines of India, they have been a community who fight the waves of the ocean to live a life of self respect and self esteem. We call them the “Koli’s” and the “Aagri’s” here in Mumbai. They are the original Mumbai locals. The aboriginal community of Mumbai trying to survive and live upto their name. The 7 villages, of Original Mumbai, were where they lived. These 7 villages when they came to the English Monarch as dowry were slowly developed as a port and slowly it turned into what we see and call as Mumbai today. Even as Mumbai developed, the Kolis and the Aagris have maintained their identity in the various Koliwadas ( Villages of Koli) and Aagripadas (Villages of Aagri).

They are a very hardworking community. The women folk is equally strong as their men. They work shoulder to shoulder with their men and not only look after their household, but earn for it too. The men venture into the seas early morning at 2/2.30 to catch fish. Some go into shallow waters, catch fish and cone back to the shore early morning. The women are waiting for them at the Jetty. They separate the different types of fishes from the catch and take them to the local markets to sell them. And return back home in the afternoon.

Some fisherman go deep water fishing and get the different bigger types of fishes, which many a people savour during the lunch and dinner at their homes. They stay in the deep seas for 2/3 days and return after the stipulated time. It a life full of hardships where one has to carry their food and fuel for 2/3 days and survive on that. Bear Grylls, of the Man V/s Wild should do an episode on one of these trawlers one day.

The days of hardships for these folk are the monsoons when they cannot venture into the sea. There is no fishing and no fishes to sell. Nature too recycles itself during these 40/50 days. The time to lay eggs and let them incubate so after the end of this period, new fishes are ready to be caught. During this time, the fishermen folk spent the most difficult time of staying back at home, but this is also a time to sit back and recuperate. It’s a tough time but they manage on their savings and live a very Happy and joyful life.

The last 5 days, that the day before Shravani Poornima (the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan), they get the waters of the ocean to their homes. Put them in a “Kalash”, put a “Shreefal” (coconut) over it. And worship and pray before it. These are the days of preparing for the new fishing season. The fish nets and the boats are repaired and prepared and painted anew. The days of preparations pass on very fast accompanied by worship and prayers.

On the day of the full moon, the whole village wears a festive look. The whole day is celebrated with a lot of fanfare. The main programme is in the late afternoon. The time when every family carries the Kalash from their respective homes to the ocean accompanied with music and dance. They all gather at the ocean side. All the Kalash are gathered and arranged on the sands, where they are worshiped for one last time. Later the coconuts are offered to the Ocean Gods as an offering. The boats are pushed inside the oceans the new fishing season begins.

This festival is, like the other festivals, of expressing gratefulness to the Ocean who helps them earn a living and survive. Now a days, the younger folk of this community have taken to education and hard workers as they are, are excelling in the fields which they choose. Many are taking up Navy and Merchant Navy as an option. Yet the fervour to celebrate Narali Poornima has remained as it is, even in these younger generations.

The day coincides with two other festivals. One is where the intelligentsia change their sacred thread which they wear the whole year around and the other is of Raksha Bandhan. The day to get the blessings of the sister and strengthen the sibling bonds.

Had written about Rakshabandhan last year, the link to which I share at the end of my blog. Will write about the thread changing ceremony next year.

Till then, wishing you all a very Happy Narali Pooornima and Rakshabandhan.

My link to the blof written on Rakshabandhan last year

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/monsoon-months-chaturmaas-rakshabandhan/

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Matrubhumi – Independence Day

The day to thank God for giving India freedom so that it can lead the world.

The day to remember our soldiers who sacrificed their lives and family for India and Her freedom.

The day to remember the revolutionaries who just left everything for the fight for freedom.

The day when India was liberated from slavery of around 1300-1400 years of the Shakas, Huns, Gaznis, Moghuls and the English.

The day when India decided to formulate it’s own destiny and charter Her own path, the path no different from Her founding fathers, the Sages and the Rishis.

Wishing you all my readers a very Happy 73rd Independence Day. A day to rejoice and a day to sit back and think as well.

The day when we decided that we will be a democratic country with a federal structure. The reorganisation of states and the writing of the constitution of India are the two major steps that we have taken during the initial years of our Democracy.

Democratic process has been the heart of our philosophy from the known history. Even when we had Kings ruling their respective states, they had Sabha’s to help them govern. The Sabha’s had a big say in the day to day working of the country. Yes the Kings did have a few rights over the decision of the Sabha’s, but that is the same today. Doesnt the Government come out with an ordinance when needed? But Sabha has a large role to play. The importance of the Sabha can be understood by the single instance of Ram leaving Sita, when a doubt was raised about Her character. The working of Indian kings has been such that there should not be an iota of doubt amongst its citizens about the King or his ministers. If the King doesnt comply to the wishes of the people, we all have witnessed what happens then! A Prime Minister with a brute majority of more than 400 seats in one election, loses the very next election due to charges of corruption and nepotism.

We all know that Krishna belonged to the Vrishni Sangh which was nothing but a congregation of many states which had a King helped by the ministers to govern the land. This is somewhat similar to the Federal structure of India that we have today. Even we get to see such a structure in Thailand which has 9 kings who take the throne one by one after a defined period.

I just want to convey to my readers that let’s not think that we are doing something new. It isn’t so! We are just emulating our forefathers. Only thing is that neither we know our history nor are we interested in knowing it. And this is our biggest problem. We all just feel that India has become civilised after the British came in and before their arrival we were just a bunch of nomadic tribes moving here and there for a living and fighting for lands. We have been taught so through our history books.

On this Independence Day, I urge my readers to read our true history written by historians like R.C.Mazmudar and not by the Government planted stooges who help make text books suit the Government narratives. Also let us understand that India has a very old history of more than 12000-15000 atleast years as independent researchers like Nilesh Oak and others have researched and proven. In the world of Internet today, let us embark on our own research and try to find and understand our roots.

India has been one culturally, socially and politically from the times of Lalitaditya, Samudragupta and Chandragupta. We have been one, as have pointed out in many of my blogs written on Motherland – Matrubhumi series. We have been the pioneers of Unity in Diversity in thoughts, social customs and political leanings.

The three major thoughts of the World, The Vedic way, The Buddhist way and The Jain way have their roots in India. The major religions find a place of respect here. The Parsis who ran away from Iran due to fear of persecution, find a respectable place in India. Islam and Christianity have also been accepted and respected as thoughts and studied here too. The best part of India is that Her citizens have the freedom to practise and live any thought that they feel is good for them. Even to the extent, that even non-believers or atheists find a respectful place here. This is the broad mindedness of India.

Today when one sees the political manoeuvring in the country, one is disheartened that did our founding fathers or our forefathers fight for this. They too have erred a lot, but that does not give us the right to criticize them or picture them the way we do today. If we as the present generation feel that these are some mistakes which were committed, then the best way is to correct them, not sit on them. And who can guarantee that what we do today will not be corrected later by the future generations?

So,

Let us together do our best for India. Give our best to India. Perform our duties and own up for the mistakes we commit during performance of our duties.

Let us see to it that India not only thrives as an economic super power but also as a spiritual superpower, in which the solution to all the problems lie.

Let us research and find and try to go to our roots and learn to cling to them and live by them.

Let us be civilised and cultured in our behaviour with each other and towards every Indian, rather every citizen of the world.

Let us pray for peaceful and a healthy world and let there be good faith and good will around us and let there be no ill will.

Remember!

We are the land of

वसुधैव कुटुंबकम । (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) (the whole world is a family)

आनो भद्राः कृतवोयन्तू विश्वतः । ( Aano Bhadraha Krutvoyantu Vishwatah) (Let the noble thoughts flow to me from all the directions)

सर्वेत्र सुखिनः सन्तु, सर्वे सन्तु निरामयः ।

सर्वे भद्रानि पश्यन्तु, मा कश्चिद् दुःखमापनुयात् ।।

(Sarvetra Sukhinaha Santu, Sarve Santu Niramayaha,

Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Ma kaschid Dukhamapnuyaat)

Wishing you and your families a very Happy 73rd Independence Day.

Also wishing the citizens of Korea, Congo and Liechtenstein with whom India shares Her Independence Day!

Jay Hind!

Vande Mataram!

PS : would also request my readers to read the following blog written by D K Hariji and Hemaji

Svatantrata – True Independence
https://wp.me/p2LM3O-8h

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Nag Panchami – 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 sages. 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. (It will need a blog wholly dedicated to this talk.)

So with this broad outlook we will look into 3 festivals which we celebrated during the last 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 wonenfolk. 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. 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.

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!

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Who am I? – 4 (Deep Amavasya)

अरे अरे ज्ञाना झालासी पावन ।
तुझें तुज ध्यान कळों आले ॥१॥

तुझा तूंचि देव तुझा तूंचि भाव ।
फिटला संदेह अन्यतत्वी ॥२॥

मुरडूनियां मन उपजलासी चित्तें ।
कोठें तुज रितें न दिसे रया ॥३॥

दीपकीं दीपक मावळल्या ज्योती ।
घरभरी वाती शून्य झाल्या ॥४॥

वृत्तीची निवृत्ति अपणांसकट ।
अवघेंची वैकुंठ चतुर्भूज ॥५॥

निवृत्ति परमानुभव नेमा ।
शांतिपूर्ण क्षमा ज्ञानदेवो ॥६॥

In our journey to find oneself, Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, one of the Saints of the Bhakti Movement (Warkari Sampradaay), will help us.

At a very young age, Dnyaneshwar lost his parents and had taken his elder brother, Nivruttinath, as his guru, his guiding light. Nivruttinath is considered as one of the Yogi’s of the Nath Sampradaay (sect).

He pursued his path of truth amongst all odds and this is one of his “ABHANGS” verses on self realisation. The second line of the first verse is the answer to all our quests. “TUJHE TUCH DHYAAN KALO AAHE“. He explains that at the end of the search one realises that the one we are trying to find is within oneself and nowhere else. The third line “TUJHA TUCHI DEV TUJHA TUCHI BHAAV“, emphasises the same thought in another way. He says you are your own God, and the day one realises this thought, all the doubts will vanish in thin air and the rush to find HIM in others will stop right away. Again at the same time one should also know that Dnyandev in no way denies HIS existence in others. He just says that once you find HIM within you, the quest for running here and there will stop. Again the Vedic slogan of “TAT TVAM ASI” is also understood through these lines.

The third verse “MURDUNIYA MANN UPAJALASI CHITTEIN, KOTHE TUJH RITEIN, NA DISE RAYAA“. He further explains that on Self Realisation, that is, reigning in our senses, the God has entered our heart. God resides in our heart. God himself says so in the Chapter 15 Verse 15 of the great poem Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta.
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो
मत्त: स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनं च |
वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो
वेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम् || 15||
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanan ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham

It is just that we had forgotten but remembering this thought is the first step to self realisation. And once HE resides in our heart, all the emptiness leaves. We realise that we are not alone, but the Creator is with us.

In the fourth verse, Dnyandev says “DEEPAKI DEEPAK MAVALLYA JYOTI, GHARBHARI VAATI SHUNYA JHALYA“. On self realisation, the flame of desires are extinguished. They are extinguished not dowsed. There is not even a hint of desire left. Here let us also be clear that when Dnyandev says that no desire is left. He means that no desire for personal self is left. Without desire, it’s practically impossible to survive. But on self realisation, it is only the desire “To live for Thee” which is left and so all actions performed will be selfless and for the good of the society and for HIM.

The essence of life is to alight the flame of light, The Deepak, in our lives. The Lamp, as called Deep, is a very important symbol of realisation. It has used by mnay to explain the life we have to lead. Many a great poets have written about it.

Today is Deep Amavasya. The last day of the month of Asadh. The month of Shravan sets in tomorrow. People in the Malabar region, cleanse all the lamps that they have in their house and light them tonight. It is for cleanliness of the lamps and the soul. We should sit in front of those lamps and pray to remove all the darkness within and walk on the path of enlightenment.

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…)

Dnyandev wants us to realise the importance of lightening and worshipping of lamps. The last two verses, He talks about the omnipresence of GOD. Once we retire from our own desires, we have to feel, see and understand GOD in everything. He is also offering his Namaskaars to his Guru, Nivruttinath, in the last verse. When he says “NIVRUTTI PARAM”, he means to tell us that whatever I have got is because of my Guru, my teachers and the self contentment and all embracing mercy is a prasad of my Guru.

Today on the Day of Deep Amavasya, let the light the lamp of Knowledge in our lives and understand what these great saints have realised and tried to tell us in a language we understand.

Let us move from selfish motives to selfless ones.

Let us move from darkness to light.

Let us move from the world outside to world inside.

Let us realise the GOD residing inside.

Let us understand the meaning of ‘I’.

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Kargil Vijay Diwas

26th July 1999…

Kargil Vijay Diwas…

A day to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice of our soldiers…

The Supreme Commander of the Indian Forces, The President of India, Respected Ramnath Kovindji paid his respects and also of the nation to the 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 Amberish K Diwanji, of Rediff.com.

“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.

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Who am I? – 3

The other day when we were talking about “Who am I?”, someone sent me this. The beauty of the picture and that of its creator struck me.

A question mark bowing down to ‘I’.

Awesome. Beautiful. Creative.

It wholly explains the openness of Vedic literature in a simple yet lucid manner. Vedas have always given an impetus to asking questions. “Veda” itself means “to know“. This is has been and should be the underlying principle of development of the Human, His soul and the entire Human race.

The questions:

Who am I?

Where have I come from?

What do I have to do?

Why am I chosen to play my part?

How do I do it?

need to be asked by one and all. Everyone might find a different answer to these questions. But the end result is the salvation of the soul from this circle of life and death.

The quest is the road from life to death to life, till the soul finds it’s rightful place. The day when the soul gets to sit in the lap of God, as “Dhruv” has found it. As many others have found it.

Some go to the extent of saying that stick to a thought and live your life with it and accordingly and you will find your salvation. Though I am no one to disagree with these Great souls, I feel that it is not possible. Say for example Mahatma Gandhi. By sticking to the lone principle of Ahimsa, he might have earned the title of a Mahatma, but if someone tells me that his soul was liberated due to this, is what I am not ready to believe. (Pls try to understand what I want to say and do not argue or counter argue on the example given. It can be anyone else.) I just want to convey that the development has to be whole, entire, complete.

Coming back to the quest, what I am fascinated by is the last question “How do I do it?”. There is no particular answer to this question. It will be varied. A “few” may find their own way to do it. They are the ones who have come, or rather, been sent to Mother Earth out of Law of Universal Necessity. The “many” need to follow them, do what they do and say what they say. Again accepting the master or a teacher is a human choice.

This is where I loved the picture, as for common people like me or rather us, we all need to bow down to these great people of wisdom.

Bowing down is to find the answers to our questions.

Bowing down is to signify the acceptance of their being a step ahead of us in the quest of develooment.

Bowing down means ” समर्पण”. I offer myself and my life to you and please guide me.

Bowing down means having full faith in the person we bow down to, after testing and questioning and reasoning every word the person has said.

Bowing down means merging our life into his and walk onto his path.

And then,

Here the questions rest.

Here the quest for development not only through thought but action begins.

Here we tread on the path to become an enlightened researcher.

As Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta propounds “बुधा भावसमन्विताः।” (Chapter 10 Verse 8) (a combination of Intellect and Emotions), this can be the only way to find the answers to our questions.

So my readers, let us begin this journey and be blessed by the right teachers who show us the path on which we need to tread on.

तत् त्वम् असि” (Tat Twam Asi)

चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहं शिवोऽहम् ।

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Moon – 2

Chandrayaan will be kept in space soon,

A satellite from India will then land on moon…

The most sought after scientific event will be fulfilled in a few days from now and people from India will rejoice.

Today is the anniversary when Man first stepped on the moon.

Thats one small step of man but a giant leap for mankind.

The above said words keep on ringing in our minds today. Except Neil Armstrong, the other astronaut Buzz Aldrin who walked on the moon is still alive to share their experiences with us. What a mesmerising experience it must have been! A human walks in a place other than Mother Earth. Am sure they must have been overwhelmed with the excitement of the moment too.

Man has been attracted towards studying the environment around him from many a years. He is more interested in knowing the unknown. Discovering the unknown. Exploring the unknown. He derives a sense of adventourism from it.

Moon is one such heavenly object which has fascinated man always. From writing poems and songs to actually walking on it, man has traversed a long journey. To the extent that we have a lunar calendar in existence even today. The waxing and waning of the moon has helped us count time. The “Poornima” (full moon day) and the “Amavasya” (new moon day) have their own importance signifying the mid date of the month and the culmination of the month respectively. Even the science of forecasting, Astrology, considers moon position equally important as the other planets and Sun.

Even the phases of the moon have their own importance.

Duj ka chand (The moon on the 2nd day from full moon or new moon) – Crescent moon. It signifies the strengthening of the bonds between siblings. Celebrated as Bhaiyya Duj in India, as the last day of Diwali, in the month of October / November. Sisters invite their brothers to their in-laws place for a get together followed by lunch / dinner. It is believed the girls who do not have any brothers consider the Moon as their brother and celebrate the day with Him.

Vat Savitri Poornima – Celebrated for long life of the husband on the full moon day. It falls in the months of May- June.

Matru din/ Pola – Celebrated on the Amavasya of the Shravan month. A day dedicated to expressing gratefulness to all those who feed us and take care of us. From Mother Earth to the Cattle and our Own Mother.

Chaturthi – Celebrated with pomp and fanfare as the day when Ganeshji was born.

These are just a few from the many which can cited here and we know.

A story explaining the waxing and waning of moon also can be found in the Ganesh Purana but I leave it upto some next time to talk about it.

The only thing i want to convey through all this is that the moon has always played an important part in our lives, in upliftment of Human civilisation.

Today we plan to land on it. We plan to build colonies on it. We wish to set our foot on it. And we all know that with the advent of science, we will be able to achieve that.

The only request I wanna make through this blog, is that

Let’s not forget the emotional connect we have with Chandamama.

From my childhood days, the moon has been our Mama (Maternal Uncle) and let us learn to live with this thought. Going to the moon is like visiting Mama’s place. Will end with a beautiful Marathi rhyme regarding going to Mama’ house.
झुक झुक झुक झुक अगीनगाडी, धुरांच्या रेघा हवेत काढी

पळती झाडे पाहूया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामाचा गाव मोठा, सोन्याचांदीच्या पेठा
शोभा पाहून येऊया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामाची बायको घोरटी, म्हणेल कुठली पोरटी
भाच्यांची नावे सांगूया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामाची बायको सुगरणं, रोज रोज पोळी शिकरणं
गुलाबजामुन खाऊया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

मामा मोठा तालेवार, रेशीम घेईल हजार वार
कोट विजारी घेऊया, मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया

A nursery rhyme we all have learnt in Maharashtra explaining the meaning of going to Mama’s house.

Let we be blessed with such a train which will take us all to the moon. Every verse can be explained with what can be done and how to spend time on Moon.

Till then ciao.

Hope to meet you all on the Moon!

PS : The link to my blog which I wrote last year on the same day. You all will love to read it.

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/moon/

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Monsoon Months – Guru Poornima

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुः गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुःसाक्षात् परब्रह्म तस्मै 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 or

Buddha – Anand.

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 disciples.

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!