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Flamingos in Mumbai

The migratory birds are here…

Vashi – Navi Mumbai and Thane creeks are now flooded with them. Just sharing a few pics…

Initiate our souls into the light
Flamingo yes your hue is burning bright
Your colors lighting up the night
We migrate out of darkness within you

Enlighten us to heal our weary hearts
To be with love and never to depart
Appreciating brand new starts
Your beauty resonates us deep within

We want nothing more than with you to be free
To fly away from stress along with thee
Our wings could only hope to grow
As beautiful as yours unfold
You are the breath of freshened air
Our spirits call to breathe repair

In my memory of you I see poise
Noticing your stance without a noise
Perfectly still you are seen
Tranquil in life’s pond so serene

As we pass through to become in ourselves
Teach us how to become nothing else
Than the magnetic beautiful creatures
Spirit designed with every feature

We are a gift to the flowing
Always coming always going
There never seems to be enough
Time in the universe thereof
To take a moment to enjoy
And therefore we destroy

This is an ode to your sweet nature
A song of love and light not danger
A memory we are creating
A vibrant show of figure skating

In the circle of acceptance now
Our wings are rising up to bow
Take in the scenery with deepened breath
Never afraid of shaking hands with death

For we are peaceful and at rest
Knowing we always do our best
A true beginning has no end
Drinking from life as we befriend
The journey of our soul path
In a spiritual rose bath

– Courtesy, The Terry Tree, Portland, Oregon

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Swiss Solidarity…

The country of Switzerland light up its Matterhorn mountain in the Alps range with the flag of India to express its solidarity with the citizens of India in their fight against COVID-19.

Thank you Switzerland for standing with us!

It also projected the flags of a few other countries which I share herewith.

Indian Flag
Flag of United Kingdom
Flag of The USA

Italy
Swiss Flag
#stayathome
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Mahaprabhu Vallabhacharyaji… (Reblog with changes)

Proponent of the Shuddhadvaita (Pure Nondualism).

Founder of the Pushtimarg.

Devotional Philosopher.

One of the five main acharyas in India, the other being Aadi Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbakacharya and Ramanujacharya.

Vallabha means “dear one.

Born today, that is the 11th day of the dark half of lunar month of Chaitra at Champaranya.

Son of Illamma and Lakshman Bhatta.

People say that His was a still birth so his parents left Him under a tree wrapped in white clothes. Later Shree Krishna appeared in their dreams to tell them that it is He who has arrived in this form and is well alive. The bewildered parents rushed back to the place to find the kid alive.

Studied Vedas at a very young age and earned the title of “Baal Saraswati“. Participated in many debates and earned the titles of “Acharya” and “Jagadguru” at the age of 12.

Later travelled throughout India, not once, not twice but thrice to explain Krishna bhakti and spread Vaishnavism.

He gave discourses on Bhagwat at 84 different places known as “Baithakji” (seats of learning) today. These “Baithakji’s” still have a relevance for all the practising Vaishnavas even today and a visit to any Baithakji is a divine experience. Every Vaishnava wishes to visit all the 84 places once in his life time.

Later, in Gokul he initiated his first disciple and laid the foundations of what we know today as Pushtimarg (Path of Grace). He made the first Vaishnava by giving / teaching him the important “Brahma Sambandh” (Realisation of a person’s relation with the Almighty).

He gave the mantra, “Shree Krishna Sharanam Mamah” (श्री कृष्ण शरणं ममः) to Surdasji and initiated him to the Vaishnavaite fold. We all know Surdas through his devotional songs which he has sung for the Lord Incarnate. The mantra itself explains complete devotion to Lord Krishna.

“SHARANAM” means to offer oneself to the wish of God. To believe that it is only Krishna who can take care of oneself. To believe that He operates our life and full submit oneself to Him and become His instrument.

He took Samaadhi at a very young age of 52 into the waters of the Ganges at Kashi.

His work “Madhurashtakam” is a lucid yet romantic version for Shrinathji, the deity at Nathdwara. In it, He glorifies Shrinathji and all His activities, ending every verse with the line “Madhuradhipate Akhilam Madhuram” (every act of the Lord is madhur). Madhur as a noun means sweet, tender, full; as an adjective means melodious, beautiful, sweet.

Many of His works are still being read and His followers are still trying to understand what the Acharya has written.

He talks about God being in the form of a child. He has hence asked Vaishnavas to worship the “Baal Krishna” (Krishna in child form). And treat the Lord as a child. As we fulfill all the wishes of the children, we should fulfill all the wishes of the Lord. The devotees express their love for the Lord by acts of giving Him a bath and feeding Him and making Him sleep. The tradition of 8 Darshans, from Mangala (Rising) to Shayan (Sleeping) are started by Vallabhacharyaji. The significance of these 8 darshans is that the Lord is just like us. He is no different and so we need not be afraid of Him, rather as He is a child, shower Him with all the love we can.Such a personality is called the Mahaprabhu.

Our seer’s called him so meaning He is the greatest amongst the Gods. Revered Pandurang Shastriji Athavale explains it in his own simple way that “Jo Bhagwaan ko milne bulaaye aur Bhagwaan ko aana pade, aise jo log hain unhe Mahaprabhu kehte hain”, (the Lord upon being called, is compelled to come to meet, such is a Mahaprabhu)

On this day of Varuthini Ekadashi, I bow down to this anshavataar and during these days hope that we all will chant the mantra he gave to this world “Shree Krishna Sharanam Mamah”.

Astu.

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Tulip Gardens of Srinagar

My Bhabhi shared these pics and I couldnt stop myself from sharing with you all… A poem on Tulips at the end to lift up our mood…

Tulip Gradens of Srinagar…

You didn’t care much for Easter
or for flowers for that matter
yet I went to the store and bought
a bouquet of pink and yellow tulips.

Now here I stand in the midday sun
my shaking fingers clutching the long green stems,
as a warm, slow tear drips off my chin.
I kneel down and set the flowers down next to the temporary sign that holds your name,
wondering again why I even bothered.

I grab a handful of the dirt that now hugs your body and cringe at the thought of you laying just feet below me.
I can’t help but wish that you were here.

– Lou Morgan

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Poem #21

Your Prayer!

The times are bad, but your words are very dear,

They give us hope to live in these ages of fear,

A day before you gave you words, a form of prayer,

I felt as if the God has taken a form, in their flair

I create” is what You trust and believe in the most,

And “I will come again” when the world is way lost,

The above two phrases are not just words alone,

But the drive to do HIS work, as it is my own

A very spontaneous flow of words which just flowed through the mind, and I have just written it the way the words shaped up. No editing, no correcting, so it might sound raw, but I dont want to change a word, as it has come from within.

My dear friends, the world is passing through a very bad phase, when we are fighting against our own selves, as these viruses are also allegedly man made. Don’t know where this fight will lead us to, as it is too early to take a call.

One thing is for sure, it can be fought only with Prayer.

PRAYERPositive Reassuring Action Yielding Eternal Results.

I read this on the net and I have started thinking about it. I shared it with you all so that even, you, my readers, can think in your own way.

Till then, see you all…

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Happy Easter Sunday

The symbolic language of the crucification is the death of the old paradigm, resurrection is the leap into a whole new way of thinking

– Deepak Chopra

The moon and stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The Savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon Him

One final breath He gave
As Heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected King has rendered you defeated

Forever, He is glorified
Forever, He is lifted high
Forever, He is risen
He is alive
He is alive

We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
We sing hallelujah
The lamb has overcome

PS : Have not posted the whole carol…

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Let’s learn from Nature…

Heliotropism

Sunflowers turn according to the position of the sun. In other words, they “chase the light.” This facing the sun phenomenon is called HELIOTROPISM


You might already know this, but there is another fact that you probably do not know!
Have you ever wondered what happens on cloudy and rainy days when the sun is completely covered by clouds?
Perhaps you think the sunflower withers or turns its head towards the ground. Is this what crossed your mind?
Well, that’s incorrect!


This is what happens…


They turn towards each other to share their energy.
Nature’s perfection is amazing!!!


Isn’t this applicable in today’s context? Many people may become low-spirited, and the most vulnerable ones, sometimes, become depressed.
How about following the example of the beautiful sunflowers i.e. “Supporting and empowering each other”.


Wishing you all a “Sun flower” trait of turning towards each other on their cloudy and gloomy days.
Lets spread goodness…

Always remember the Sunflower

whose face looks towards the Sun.

She drinks His beauty in Her face

and like Him, She becomes

Her glory is like His glory,

Its strong and true and good.

You know She is a source of joy,

Her seed gives life and food

The Special Flower has much to give

Though fragrance She has none,

She teaches us to look within (above)

At God’s own perfect Son…

– L.Gayle

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Maruti – 4

अंजनीगर्भसंभूत कपीन्द्र सचिवोत्तम।
रामप्रिय नमस्तुभ्यं हनुमन्! रक्ष सर्वदा।।

Meaning :
I bow down to Hanumaan and ask for His protection, the one who was born of Anjani Mata, one who is the best amongst the Vanars, a very able minister and most loved by Shree Ram.

I have purposely not translated Vanar as monkey as people would literally do. As I have already clarified in my blogs before that according to Sanskrit grammar, the word Vanar can be broken up as Va + Nar, meaning the one who has a doubt about being a Human. Nar here is used in context with being Human and not just to signify a male.

We have been trying to understand the various qualities about being the messenger of God. (Ramdoot). Today we take up Hanuman’s quality of being a minister.

He has been an advisor to King Sugreeva. A King who was banished from His Kingdom by his brother, Vali. Hanuman as a minister, true to his oath, stayed with Sugreeva, even during his period of banishment. He used to guide Sugreeva on all important matters.

Sugreeva’s friendship with Ram is a long term vision of Hanuman. It was Hanuman who met Ram and Laxman in the forests, when they were searching for Sita, who was abducted by Ravan. The dialogue between Hanuman and Ram needs to be read, understood and implemented in life, which Valmiki has written. At that moment, Hanuman invites Ram to meet Sugreeva, suggesting that the Vanar King can help Ram in His pursuit for Sita.

Hanuman, then tells Sugreeva to make friends with Ram and Sugreeva trusting him fully, does so. This friendship of Ram and Sugreeva goes so long, that when Shree Ram enters Sarayu river to end His Avtaar, Sugreeva too rushes to Ayodhya and enters Sarayu, after Him. At that time too, Sugreeva leaves Prince Angad in the care of Hanuman. Such is the love and trust, that Hanuman commanded.

Will also share the links of my previous blogs so you all can read them too.

Wishing you all a very Happy Hanuman Jayanti.

Let us all be determined like Hanuman who knows only Ram in his life.

Let us all be dedicated like Haanuman who knows only the work of Ram in his life.

Let us all be disciplined like Hanuman who has chanted only the name of Ram in his life.

Jai Hanuman!

Jai Shree Ram!

PS : The links to my previous blogs on Hanuman... https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/maruti/?preview=true

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

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

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Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya – 2

Every Indian household, which considers itself cultured, lights a diya in the evening at their homes. Our Vedic Sanskriti has always been the worshipper of radiance, worshipper of Light.

Today we all will light the lamps adhering to signify the triumph of light over darkness. But at the same time, if we continue doing what is not expected from us in these times, like as a citizen not to follow the rules strictly of Social Distancing and Lockdown, or just forwarding messages without checking their truthfulness or even admonishing about things not within our ambit of understanding, then will this lightening of the diyas help?

Let us follow Social Distancing at its strictest level. The next few days, weeks or maybe even months are times to be alert, vigilant and disciplined. Our country doesnt expect anything else. Can we not reciprocate?

Let us stay at home. Spend time with family and self. These are the days of self assessment and improving the understanding about ourselves. Can we not do this for ourselves.

Let us learn to respect nature. Let us learn to live together with all the living creatures however small and large. Have been receiving and seeing videos of rare birds being seen in cities nowadays. Can we not create an environment where we can coexist?

Let us believe in God. For it is Him, who takes care of everyone of us. It is difficult to accept these times as His care, but when we dwell deeply, we might understand His way of teaching.

Let us enjoy these times. Be positive. Be healthy. And let’s keep away from all the negativity in this world. And move together towards the best world we can create together.

Should we?

Can we?

Will we?

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Ram – An ideal Son

Rama valued his father’s pride more than his own pain
& defended his father’s honor that haters tried to stain.
He embarked on journey with no hate in his brain
For his divine loyalty drained out the feeling of disdain.

When the people witnessed him depart
It broke them & torn their souls apart.
Yet they realized Rama’s magisterial art
When he said, that he lives in everyone’s heart.

Though he was unjustly treated by his stepmother
His heart still melted with affection for his brother.
For they mutually respected one another
& this brotherly love no cruel conspiracy could smother.

Rama’s spiritual values till this day we celebrate
Because even though he was victimized by his unforgiving fate
Yet on his shoulders he carried his responsibilities‘ weight
& with integrity he conquered all kinds of hate.

Sidharth Jain, New Delhi

The poem beautifully enumerates the topic. Feel what can I write after all these words. I should be grateful to my brother from Delhi, who took time out, to write this, even though he didn’t want to. He shared that he did it out of respect for me, but I very well know and believe that Ram residing in his heart has made him do this.

Ram, the name itself gives goosebumps to millions of his followers.

Ram, the name itself gives one the confidence to win in every battle.

Ram, the name itself instills arouses passion for the Motherland.

But today I want to talk about Ram as an ideal son. Will not describe the events described in the poem as they are self explanatory. But will talk about संतान।

सम्यक् तनोति इति संतान। A child is one who carries forward the goals of parents.

And we can see the same characteristics in Ram. His forefathers King Aja, King Raghu, his own father King Dasrath have all lived their lives for the betterment and development of society. It is said that even the Devas, used to ask them for their help. Similarly Ram too, has worked towards development of society as a whole. The 14 years spent in exile were for the upliftment of the people who lived a uncivilized life. Fighting with the Rakshasas, who felt that spending uncivilized way of life is the only aim in life, is just a small part of the exile. Historically, all the events of abducting of Sita, meeting the Vanars, the Ram Ravan war, took place in the last 14 – 16 months of exile. So the question arises what did Ram do for the initial period? He, like his forefathers, lived amongst the uncivilized people and developed relations with them. He spent time with them and slowly but steadily made them understand the basic tenets of a cultured life. Led them to the path of civilisation.

Similarly like his forefathers, he always gave respect to the words of the Rishis. When Vishwamitra came to Dasrath to ask for Ram, to fight of the Rakshashas who were disrupting their yadnya. Dashrath, a father denies. But it is Ram who reminds him of his duties and expresses his willingness to go with the Rishi.

Ram is a very obediant son. He never questions his parents. When his father told him that he would be crowned the King, he agreed. The next day, when Dasrath banished him to exile, he agreed. He did not argue. Rishi Valmiki notes that there was not even a minute change in his expression in both the instances. He is always ready to do as his father tells him too.

I dont want to make this blog a long read, by writing many such instances from Ram’s life. But would sure love as always to raise questions to make everyone of us think.

Will we listen to what our father says, even if it is against our wishes?

Will we still command the same respect for our mother who for some reason strip us off our powers?

Will we complete every wish of our parents even if it means giving up our lives?

Let us all try to find genuine answers to these questions as devotees and followers of Ram. On this day of Ram Navmi, if we can sit back (lockdown days) and think and find answers to the above questions, then I do not think, India would need an old age home, anytime in near history.

Wishing you and your families a very Happy Ram Navmi.

May Lord Ram bless the world and lead us to light from these dark days of the pandemic.