Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gooseberry in one's Hand

naranilan curan iyakkan nAnalan anataNan maTRu
aracanum vaNikan cUttiran allan naRpiracAri
kirakiyum vAnappirattan kETakal canyAci
niraiyinil yArumallEn nicapOta vaTivinAmE
A man, a demigod, a dog, I am not;
Nor a brahmin am I.
A kshatriya, vaishya, shudra, I am not;
Nor in one of the four stages am I.
Not a bachelor or householder,
Not a renunciant or forest-dweller.
I am none in any hierarchy.
Forms of our consciousness are we.

This verse is from Nutrirattu from "Attamalakam", a Tamil version of "Hastamalakam". The word literally means "gooseberry in the hand." It is derived from the expression: to have gooseberry in one's hand which meant in the language, to say something that is crystal clear.
It is said that once a woman who wished to take a dip in a sacred river left her infant to the care of an ascetic on the bank. Unfortunately, while the saintly man was deep in meditation the child crawled into the waters and drowned. When the mother returned and discovered the tragedy she began to wail. The spiritual man, realizing what had happened, took the body of the dead child from the river, and let his own soul seep into it. The child was revived, but it did not speak. The yogi in the boy's body saw no need to talk. Some years later, the great Shankaracharya happened to run into the seven-year mute child. The philosopher-saint asked the boy who he was, and who his parents were. Now the lad suddenly spoke, and uttered the above words of wisdom.
The life principle manifests itself in a variety of ways. In the traditional worldview they may even be as unearthly beings. Here on earth they could be humans or animals. We as human beings refer to ourselves as of this race or nation, of that creed or caste. Then again we recognize ourselves as being in different stages in life: as child or adult, as spouse or parent or grandparent.
In the midst of all these apparent differences and transformations we often forget that at the core we are all but bits of the same cosmic self.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Khwaja Mere Khwaja

Khwaja Mere Khwaja, a song from the movie Jodhaa Akbar.

Sung & Composed By A.R. Rahman:

Khwajaji, khwaja
(O saint khwaja)
Khwajaji, khwaja, khwaja ji
(O saint khwaja) ; (O saint khwaja)
Ya gharib nawaz
(The one who cherishes/soothes the poor)
Ya moinuddin, ya khwaja ji
(O Moinuddin Chisti), (O khwaja saint)
Khwaja mere khwaja
(O saint khwaja)
Dil mein sama ja
(Reside in my heart)
Shaho ka shah tu
(You are the king of kings)
Ali ka dulara
(Ali’s beloved)
Khwaja mere khwaja dil mein sama ja
(O saint khwaja); (Reside in my heart)
Beqaso ki taqdeer, tune hai sawari
(The destiny of the ones in despair, you have changed for the better)
Khwaja mere khwaja
(O saint khwaja)
Tere darbar mein khwaja
(At your door, o khwaja)
Door toh hai dekha
(I’ve seen it from afar)
Sar jhuka te hai auliya
(Your confidents/protectors/confessors bow down to you)
Tu hai Hindalwali khwaja
(You are the hindalwali Khwaja)
Rutba hai pyara
(Your status is glorious/great)
Chahne se tujhko khwaja ji mustafa ko paya
(By wishing/worshipping you Khwaja, I have found Muhammad [the chosen one])
Khwaja mere khwaja
(O saint khwaja)
Dil mein sama ja
(Reside in my heart)
Shaho ka shah tu
(You are the king of kings)
Ali ka dulara
(Ali’s beloved)
Mere peer ka sadka
(The alms of my old age)
Hai mere peer ka sadka
(It is the charity of my old age)
Tera daaman hai thama
(That I have come in your refuge)
Tali har bala humari
(All my problems/crisis have been averted)
Chaya hai khumar tera
(Your trance is all over me)
Jitna bhi rashk kare beshak
(No matter how much one may envy (rashk) be jealous)
Toh kam hai ae mere khwaja
(Its just too less, o khwaja)
Tere kadmo ko mere rehnuma nahi chodna gawara
(Its not acceptable(gawara) , o my guide(rehnuma), to leave your feet(kadmo)now.)
Khwaja mere khwaja
(O saint khwaja)
Dil mein sama ja
(Reside in my heart)
Shaho ka shah tu
(You are the king of kings)
Ali ka dulara
(Ali’s beloved)
Khwaja mere khwaja dil mein sama ja
(O saint khwaja); (Reside in my heart)
Beqaso ki taqdeer, tune hai sawari
(The destiny of the ones in despair, you have changed for the better)


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

White Tara

Goddess Tara, a female Buddha and meditational deity, is arguably the most popular goddess in the Buddhist pantheon. She is considered to be the goddess of universal compassion who represents virtuous and enlightened activity.White Tara is, of course, white in colour. Her white colour indicates purity, but also indicates that she is Truth complete and undifferentiated.
White Tara (Sitatara) is associated with long life. Her mantra is often chanted with a particular person in mind. She’s another representation of compassion, and she’s pictured as being endowed with seven eyes (look at the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and her forehead) to symbolize the watchfulness of the compassionate mind.
When the 1000 White Taras are named the tone of the planet will shift from one of fear to one of compassion, of love. It is something like the Durga myth. When the world was on the brink and the Gods threw their hands up in surrender and called on Durga to save this world, Durga came. She cut away greed and avarice and restored harmony. The Gods asked her to stay and be our goddess but she said , "No, that wasn't the deal I signed onto, but if you need me again you can call on me". And so we are. We are calling her to cut away avarice and we are calling on White Tara to remove the fear, thus allowing this to happen, through compassion... through love.
Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Mama Ayuḥ Punya Jñānā Puṣtiṃ Kuru Svāhā

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kaala Bhairava

Lord Kaala Bhairava is that manifestation of Lord Shiva who oversees the march of time. Bhairava means "terrifying" and it is an adjective applied to Shiva in His fearful aspect. Seen as Siva Himself, Bhairava reveals the 64 Bhairava Agamas to Shakti (Bhairavi), which are the source of Kashmir Saiva philosophy. In Kashmir Saivism, Bhairava is said to be derived from bha (bharana; maintenance) + ra (ravana; withdrawal) + va (vamana; bring out or create). So, Bhairava is Shiva Himself, the supreme, who brings forth, sustains and withdraws creation back into Himself. From the Vijnanabhairava Tantra:
Understand that the spatial reality of Bhairava is present in everything, in every being, and be this reality. (verse 124)
Bhairava is one with your radiant consciousness; singing the name of Bhairava, one becomes Shiva. (verse 130)
O beloved, when the mind, intellect, energy and (the notion of) limited self vanish, then appears that wonderful Bhairava. (verse 138)
The Rudrayamala Tantra, quoted in a puja manual Bhairava Upasana, describes the worship of Vatuka Bhairava, or Bhairava as a small boy, and gives his mantra as 

hrim vatukaya apadudharanaya kuru kuru batukaya hrim

From the yogic point of view, if an individual applies the Bhairava Mudra, he or she looks both outwards and inwards at the same time and is one with Shiva-Shakti. Bhairava is terrible, terrifying, because He represents pure consciousness, before which the kleshas (obstacles) and conditioning of an ignorant human being crumble.

|| śrī kālabhairavāṣṭakaṁ ||
devarājasevyamānapāvanāṁghripaṅkajaṁ vyālayajñasūtraminduśekharaṁ kṛpākaram |
nāradādiyogivṛndavanditaṁ digaṁbaraṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 1 ||

bhānukoṭibhāsvaraṁ bhavābdhitārakaṁ paraṁ nīlakaṇṭhamīpsitārthadāyakaṁ trilocanam |
kālakālamaṁbujākśamakśaśūlamakśaraṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 2 ||

śūlaṭaṁkapāśadaṇḍapāṇimādikāraṇaṁ śyāmakāyamādidevamakśaraṁ nirāmayam |
bhīmavikramaṁ prabhuṁ vicitratāṇḍavapriyaṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 3 ||

bhuktimuktidāyakaṁ praśastacāruvigrahaṁ bhaktavatsalaṁ sthitaṁ samastalokavigraham |
vinikvaṇanmanojñahemakiṅkiṇīlasatkaṭiṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 4 ||

dharmasetupālakaṁ tvadharmamārganāśanaṁ karmapāśamocakaṁ suśarmadhāyakaṁ vibhum |
svarṇavarṇaśeṣapāśaśobhitāṁgamaṇḍalaṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 5 ||

ratnapādukāprabhābhirāmapādayugmakaṁ nityamadvitīyamiṣṭadaivataṁ niraṁjanam |
mṛtyudarpanāśanaṁ karāladaṁṣṭramokśaṇaṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 6 ||

aṭṭahāsabhinnapadmajāṇḍakośasaṁtatiṁ dṛṣṭipāttanaṣṭapāpajālamugraśāsanam |
aṣṭasiddhidāyakaṁ kapālamālikādharaṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 7 ||

bhūtasaṁghanāyakaṁ viśālakīrtidāyakaṁ kāśivāsalokapuṇyapāpaśodhakaṁ vibhum |
nītimārgakovidaṁ purātanaṁ jagatpatiṁ kāśikāpurādhināthakālabhairavaṁ bhaje || 8 ||

kālabhairavāṣṭakaṁ paṭhaṁti ye manoharaṁ jñānamuktisādhanaṁ vicitrapuṇyavardhanam |
śokamohadainyalobhakopatāpanāśanaṁ prayānti kālabhairavāṁghrisannidhiṁ narā dhruvam ||

|| iti śrīmachaṁkarācāryaviracitaṁ śrī kālabhairavāṣṭakaṁ saṁpūrṇam ||

Om Hraam Hreem Hroom Hrime Hroum Ksham
Kshetrapaalaaya Kaala Bhairavaaya Namaha


Friday, November 14, 2008

Prakasha & Vimarsha

In Tantric Metaphysics, the Original Absolute or Ultimate Reality, called Paramashiva ("Supreme Godhead") or Parasamvit ("Supreme Consciousness") is described as Prakasha. This is the Absolute Reality as pure, static, nondual Consciousness. And just as Shiva is Prakasha, so Shakti - the dynamic self-expression of the Absolute - is Vimarsha. Vimarsha is the self-contemplation of Prakasha, it is Prakasha reflecting Itself, surveying Itself, Experiencing Itself. As one Shakta Tantric text, the Kamakala Vilasa, puts it, "Vimarsha is the mirror in which Prakasha reviews itself" (Shankaranarayanan, Sri Cakra)
Thus the Godhead, which is of the nature of Prakasha, transcendentally and non-dualistically experiences (Vimarsha) Its own intrinsic nature. This is the state of Shiva and Shakti, Prakasha and Vimarsha, in total identity and union, the Ground of Being, Infinite Consciousness. Through Vimarsha, the Absolute emerges from Its original Latency, to become Self-Conscious (Vimarsha) of Its own Infinity and Its own Infinite attributes.
All Creation and all existence comes about through Vimarsha, through the Absolute experiencing Itself.
At the level of the Unmanifest Absolute (Parabrahman, Parasamvit, etc), Shiva and Shakti, Prakasha and Vimarsha, abide in total identity and union. Parabrahman is eternal and unchanging; the Quiescent Absolute Light and Truth which is beyond Light and Dark, Truth and Falsehood.
The Sufi Jili, a disciple of the great Ibn Arabi, spoke of stages of unfoldment within the Godhead Itself, in which the original simple Essence, the "Dark mist" (al-`Ama), develops consciousness and qualities by passing through various stages of manifestation, which modify Its original simplicity.
The "Dark mist" (al-`Ama), the Unmanifest
Abstract Oneness (Ahadiyya)
He-ness (Huwiyya) and I-ness (Aniyya)
Unity in plurality (Wahidiyya)
are all transcendent stages of Divine being. From Wahidiyya arise Mercifulness and Lordship, which pertain to God's relation with his Creation. And Sri Aurobindo states that the Supermind has three "poises" which are outlined as follows:
"...The first founds the inalienable unity of things, the second modifies that unity so as to support the manifestation of the Many in One and the One in Many; the third further modifies it so as support the evolution of a diversified individuality which, by the action of Ignorance, a lower level the illusion of the separate ego..."
The Sufi Jili gives a visionary account in which the Ruh or Divine Spirit conversed with him regarding its origin and its nature, saying: "I am the child whose father is its son and the wine whose vine is its jar....I met the mothers who bore me and I asked them in marriage..."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mono- and Poly-theism

In the major religious traditions of humankind god is always used in the singular. In Judeo-Christian thought as in Plato as well in Islam, we find explicit affirmation of there being but one God. This firm belief in a single god is referred to as monotheism. On the other hand, there are (and have been)religious systems which freely recognize a variety of gods. In ancient Egypt,Persia, and Greece, for example, many different gods were worshipped. We call this belief polytheism.

In the vision of Hinduism there are no simple answers to complex questions. If we ask the Hindu tradition, which of the two views, a single god or many gods is correct, the answer would be, both: There is but one god, and there are also many.

Confusing as such an answer might seem, a little reflec-tion will show that it carries much meaning if we recognize that God is not an object or an entity that is to be spotted at some place and time, but an inherent feature of the cosmos that is to be grasped as an inner experience. We may approach the question through an analogy.

Consider music. Is there such a thing as music ? The answer clearly is yes, but only to those who have heard music. A person born deaf may deny the existence of music or at best agree with a hearing person who tells him so. But no one can intellectually grasp music: It is to be experienced, not defined. Now let us ask: Is there one music or many ? Music is one, but its expressions are countless. What is more, at least for most of us, we can only know music through its many expressions. Perhaps, at the highest level, one may be able to grasp music as such without reference to any particular piece. This, roughly, is the Hindu view of god. There is but one god, but its manifestations are many. And god is best experienced through one or more of its multiple manifestations.

It is possible to enjoy a variety of music and yet be fond of one particular piece more than any other. If we were to ask an avid music lover which is the most im-portant or enjoyable piece of music, she could very well say, "The one I am istening to at a given moment." For each piece has its own charm and beauty,and while one is in the joys of listening to a particular piece, all others recede into silence. So too, in the Hindu mode, of the many manifestations of god, the one that is being adored is the most important at the moment. Others may, at other times, take on the primary role.

In the Hindu attitude to the Divine, the one God is manifest in many different forms of co-equal importance, yet with one of them taking on major significance to an individual in a given context. Furthermore, just as every music lover may have his or her own favorite piece, a Hindu (or Hindu family) may have a favorite divine form; that is, One Who is worshipped regularly as one's own hereditarily adopted deity. Such a godhead is called an ishta-devata or chosen god. And we are told, pratim?rathamo pr?han?the m?is the first step in worship.

Monotheism is a grand vision, if the term only implied belief in a single God. Sadly, it often includes a constraining corollary: "That One God is the God which I worship." It is no small irony of history that there have been more bloody confrontations between monotheistic religions and among sects within monotheistic religions than between any of them and a polytheistic one: not a happy commentary on Middle-Eastern monotheism.

Theologians and leaders of all religions would do well to consider Hinduism's view on this matter. There is a precious aphorism in the Rig Veda which says it all:

ekam sat; vipra bahuda vadanti

Truth is one; the learned call it by different names.

The word sat means truth, essence, and also God. God is essentially the ultimate truth, the quintessence of the Cosmic Whole. In the Hindu framework, by truth one means that which is real, and by real one means that which is eternal, and not subject to transformation or decay. Thus, God is the only Reality with a capital R. Reality with a small r is the passing and perishing panorama that we experience every waking hour.

Quintessential Truth, however, is infinite, and it can be grasped only in parts and only parts of it can be grasped by the human mind. So every description of the Divine, whether from revelation or through speculation, whether from reading or by reflection, can only be partial. So we all proclaim it in many different ways. One is not right and the other wrong in this matter. Like the six blind men who wanted to know about the elephant, we all obtain a glimpse of the Ultimate. Truth about the Ultimate is like the glitter of a gem, it shines in different ways when viewed from different angles. For the enlightened heart and mind, God can be seen in the star of David as in the Cross, in the Crescent inspired by the Koran as in the abstract sound of the sacred Om.

Monday, November 3, 2008


This love legend has the Chenab river as the central motif and the water of the river plays the role of bringing together the lovers and then parting them forever.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in his famous qawwali sung of Sohni as the one who lost her all for love. As the tale goes, Sohni, a potter’s daughter in Gujarat and an artist in her own right, baked the most beautiful pots ever. Mahiwal, the prince of Bukharo, came to Gujarat and saw the pots made by Sohni and led from the pots to Sohni, he fell in love with her. Sohni too gave her heart away to the prince charming. The social order would not accept this love for a man from afar and so to be near her, he became a buffalo herd, thus the name Mahiwal.

However, Sohni was married off to someone else but the lovers continued to meet. Sohni would swim past midnight with an earthen pitcher for support to meet her Mahiwal on the other side of the Chenab. He would await her arrival with a fire lit outside his hut. However, her sister-in-law discovered this secret rendezvous and one ill-fated night replaced the earthen pitcher with a half-baked one. Sohni was drowned in the Chenab and her corpse reached her lover.

The legend of Sohni-Mahiwal first captured the imagination of poets like Fazal Shah and Qadir Yaar who are considered the "Sohni specialists", just as Waris Shah and Damodar are the specialists of the saga of Heer.

Qadir Yaar (1802-1892) wrote of the love of Sohni in the Sufi strains where Ishq Majazi (human love) is considered a shortcut to Ishq Haqiqi (love for God) poignantly penned the last night of the qissa of Sohni thus:

Across the Chenab his hut beckoned her

Like a lamp flickering on a grave

On that stormy night the breath of the

Chenab was torn, clouds screamed

To test Sohni, God created this night

Cold, violent and strangely rain-drenched

Speaking Allah’s name she lifts her pot

Knowing intuitively it is half-baked…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lights of Diwali

Diwali, being the festival of lights, thousands of lamps are lit in and outside every home on the day.
Lamp or Deep is the symbol of knowledge. Lighting the lamp of knowledge within us means to understand and reflect upon the significant purpose of each of the five days of festivities and to bring those thoughts in to our day to day lives. Kalpasutra mentions that the King Chetaka of Vaishali with several confederate kings, had a great lightning of lights, since they said:
"since the light of intelligence (Vardhamana Mahavira) is gone, let us make an illumination of the material matter"


Monday, October 6, 2008


The most important legend which is central to Durga Puja is about Durga, and forms the theme of Chandi. In the Chandi, Durga is mostly referred to simply as Devi, the Goddess, and occasionally as Ambika. She is an independent, supreme Goddess, not the consort of any male God. Chandi is described as the Supreme reality who is a combination of Mahakali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswati.
The story of the goddess who protects and restores order to the universe is told in the 700 verse Chandi Path, also known as the Durga Saptashati. As already mentioned, the Chandi is one of the oldest scriptures on Mother Worship. It was obviously composed before the sectarian divisions of Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism entered Hinduism. Hence Devi is referred to in this book as the Power of Vishnu and also addressed as Narayani repeatedly.

Durga as Chandi

The Chandi is divided into three parts. In the first part Devi appears as Mahamaya which is described as yoga-nidra of Vishnu. That is to say, Mahamaya is the power of Tamas which makes people lethargic, indolent and sleepy. Under the influence of this cosmic delusive Power, Lord Vishnu went to sleep. At that time two demons by name Madhu and Kaitabh came out the ears of Vishnu and attacked Brahma the Creator God. Brahma then praised the Divine Mother as Mahamaya or Yoga-nidra. Pleased with the petition, she withdrew herself from Vishnu's body. Vishnu now woke up and killed Madhu and Kaitabh.

In the second part Devi appears as Mahishasura-mardini and is also called Chandika. The story goes that when a powerful demon by name Mahishasura was the king of the Asuras (demons), they attacked the Devas (gods) and vanquished them. The defeated gods went to Shiva and Vishnu and complained about the atrocities of Mahishasura. Hearing this, Vishnu, Shiva and other presiding Deities became angry. The rays of their anger combined to form a supremely powerful and dazzlingly bright female Being - the Devi known also as Chandika and Ambika. Seeing the dazzling brightness of the Devi, Mahishasura first sent his army to attack Her. But the Divine Mother exterminated them all. Then Mahishasura, who had the form of a buffalo, himself attacked Her. Devi at once jumped upon his body, pressed his neck with her foot, struck his chest with her spear, and finally cut off his head. The gods being extremely relieved and pleased, praised the Devi, and their praise takes up the rest of the second part of Chandi.

In the third part of the book, Devi appears first as Parvati and then, out of her form, there arises another form known as Kalika. But she continues to be referred to as Ambika. The third part narrates another valorous act of the Divine Mother. Once upon a time two brothers, Shumbha and Nishumbha became lords of the three worlds, and the gods lost everything. Coming to know of the beauty of Kalika, they sent word to her asking her to come to them. When she spurned their order, they at first sent two demons, Chanda and Munda, to capture her. Seeing them, Ambika became angry and out of that anger there issued forth a terrible form known as Kali who fought with the demons. Finally Kali cut off the heads of Chanda and Munda. She thus came to be called Chamunda. Now Shumbha and Nishumbha themselves rode in their chariots and attacked Ambika and Kali. After a protracted battle Ambika herself destroyed Shumbha and Nishumbha.

The image of Durga as Mahishasuramardini epitomizes the Chandi. To understand the significance of the image we have to understand the significance of the Chandi. Sri Ramakrishna used to say: Jini Brahma tini Shakti, tini i Ma "He who is Brahman is Shakti, and He himself is the Mother of the Universe".
In modern times the Divine Mother, born as Sri Sarada Devi, has given us this assurance: ''Always remember, there is somebody behind you … Place your burden upon me and remain unperturbed.'' This is also the last message of the Chandi.

Om Namah Chandikaya

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Worship of God as Mother has prevailed in India from prehistoric times. It was perhaps in vogue in Mohenjodaro-Harappa civilization. In the Rig Veda, there is a wonderful hymn known as Devi-Suktam (which is chanted during Durga Puja days) in which the Divine Mother declares that She moves with the Rudras, Vasus, Adityas, and all other gods, that She is the power of all gods, that She is the Queen of the world, and so on.
The Durga Puja is celebrated in various parts of India in different styles. But the one basic aim of this celebration is to propitiate Shakti, the Goddess in Her aspect as Power, to bestow upon man all wealth, auspiciousness, prosperity, knowledge (both sacred and secular), and all other potent powers. Whatever be the particular or special request that everyone may put before the Goddess, whatever boon may be asked of Her, the one thing behind all these is propitiation, worship and linking oneself with Her. There is no other aim. This is being effected consciously or unconsciously. Everyone is blessed with Her loving mercy and is protected by Her.
Durga represents the Divine Mother. She is the energy aspect of the Lord. Without Durga, Shiva has no expression and without Shiva, Durga has no existence. Shiva is the soul of Durga; Durga is identical with Shiva. Lord Shiva is only the silent witness. He is motionless, absolutely changeless. He is not affected by the cosmic play. It is Durga who does everything.
Shakti is the omnipotent power of the Lord, or the Cosmic Energy. The Divine Mother is represented as having ten different weapons in Her hands. She sits on a lion. She keeps up the play of the Lord through the three attributes of Nature, namely, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. Knowledge, peace, lust, anger, greed, egoism and pride, are all Her forms.
Devi worship is, therefore, worship of God's glory, of God's greatness and supremacy. It is adoration of the Almighty. It is unfortunate that Devi is ignorantly understood by many as a mere blood-thirsty Hindu Goddess. No! Devi is not a vicious demoness nor is She the property of the Hindus alone. Devi does not belong to any religion. Devi is that conscious power of God. The words Devi, Shakti, etc., and the ideas of different forms connected with these names are concessions granted by the sages due to the limitations of the human intellect; they are by no means the ultimate definitions of Shakti.
The Upanishad also says: "The supreme power of God is manifested in various ways. This power is of the nature of God, manifesting as knowledge, strength and activity".

Om Hrim Shrim Dum Durgayai namah
Om Hrim Shrim NavaDurgayai namah

Monday, September 8, 2008

Brahma Sutras

One of the most fascinating and useful aspects of the Vedic Literature are the Brahma Sutras. The Brahma Sutras are composed of four Adhyaya (Chapters) and are pointers to the transcendental, beyond the mind. If we attempt to understand the Brahma Sutras on the surface level of the meaning of words, then the mind will become caught up in the words and we will miss Brahman. Brahman is not a thing to be known. Brahman is for Being. Brahman is the essence of Being, the silence of Being. The Brahma Sutras are to be known in silence and are revealed in silence. The true knowledge of Brahman is in the gap between the sutras. Think a sutra then transcend. The manifestation of the sutra will spring forth with the fullness of Brahman. Each sutra has this power, this mission and this glory.

The first sutra points the way to the dawn of Brahman Consciousness - the desire for knowledge of Brahman:

Athato Brahmajijnasa
Now, therefore, the enquiry into Brahman.
Atha: now, then, afterwards; Atah: therefore; Brahmajijnasa: a desire for the knowledge of Brahman (the enquiry into the real nature of Brahman).

In the second sutra we are given the pointer to the origin of the world:

Janmadyasya yatah 
(Brahman is that) from which the origin etc., (i.e. the origin, sustenance and dissolution) of this (world proceeds).
Janmadi: origin etc.; Asya: of this (world); Yatah: from which.

The third sutra is about the importance of Sastra. Sastra is sometimes translated as scriptures or holy texts. What makes the Sastras holy texts is their ability to reveal Brahman. Sastras may be in the form of sutras, as in the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, or the Brahma Sutras. Sastras may be in the form of prose, such as the Bhagavat Gita, or the Srimad Bhagavatum. In all cases, Sastras are writings that have as their sole purport the knowledge of Brahman. The ultimate author of all Sastras is Lord Brahma, the creator of our Universe. Our Universe is a dream in the Mind of Lord Brahma and we are His dream creatures. When those who are awake record the thoughts of Lord Brahma, Sastras are the result. The proper way to study Sastras is through the practice of samyama. One must not allow the mind to get caught up in trying to "understand" the Sastras. This understanding that the mind offers is very superficial and will not get at the Truth. Instead we do not try to understand the Sastras, we simply, innocently read the Sastras and then look inward for the revelation of the Truth they contain.

The scripture being the source of right knowledge.
Sastra: the scripture; Yonitvat:  being the source of or the means of the right knowledge.
The Omniscience of Brahman follows from His being the source of scripture.

Tattu Samanvayat
Brahman the main purport of all Vedantic texts.

Tat: that; Tu: but; Samanvayat: on account of agreement or harmony, because it is the main purpose.

The fifth sutra reminds us that thinking about Brahman is not realization of Brahman:

Thinking about (Brahman) is not (Brahman because thinking) is not subtle (enough for the realization of Brahman).
Ikshateh: on account of seeing (thinking); Na: is not; Asabdam: not subtle.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Katha Upanishada

As indivisible air getting into the world becomes essence of every nature,
so the indivisible "Self" of all existing stays also beyond.

The Katha Upanishad tells the story of Naciketas, a student who is initiated into traditional Upanishadic wisdom regarding the nature of reality. Naciketas offers to be sacrified by his father who is giving away all his possessions. He is sent to Yama, the god of death, who tests Naciketas for his qualifications to seek wisdom and eventually leads him on a gradual path to enlightenment.
Chapter II
There is a city with eleven gates belonging to the unborn Atman of undistorted Consciousness. He who meditates on Him grieves no more; liberated from the bonds of ignorance, he becomes free. This, verily, is That.
He is the sun dwelling in the bright heavens. He is the air in the interspace. He is the fire dwelling on earth. He is the guest dwelling in the house. He dwells in men, in the gods, in truth, in the sky. He is born in the water, on earth, in the sacrifice, on the mountains. He is the True and the Great.
He it is who sends prana upward and who leads apana downward. All the devas worship that adorable One seated in the middle.
When the soul, identified with the body and dwelling in it, is torn away from the body, is freed from it, what then remains? This, verily, is That?
No mortal ever lives by prana, which goes up, nor by apana, which goes down. Men live by something different, on which these two depend.
Well then, Gautama, I shall tell you about this profound and eternal Brahman and also about what happens to the atman after meeting death.
Some jivas enter the womb to be embodied as organic beings and some go into non—organic matter—according to their work and according to their knowledge.
He, the Purusha, who remains awake while the sense—organs are asleep, shaping one lovely form after another, that indeed is the Pure, that is Brahman and that alone is called the Immortal. All worlds are contained in Him and none can pass beyond. This, verily, is That.
As the same non—dual fire, after it has entered the world, becomes different according to whatever it burns, so also the same non—dual Atman, dwelling in all beings, becomes different according to whatever It enters. And It exists also without.
As the same non—dual air, after it has entered the world, becomes different according to whatever it enters, so also the same non—dual Atman, dwelling in all beings, becomes different according to whatever It enters. And It exists also without.
As the sun, which helps all eyes to see, is not affected by the blemishes of the eyes or of the external things revealed by it, so also the one Atman, dwelling in all beings, is never contaminated by the misery of the world, being outside it.
There is one Supreme Ruler, the inmost Self of all beings, who makes His one form manifold. Eternal happiness belongs to the wise, who perceive Him within themselves—not to others.
There is One who is the eternal Reality among non—eternal objects, the one truly conscious Entity among conscious objects and who, though non—dual, fulfils the desires of many. Eternal peace belongs to the wise, who perceive Him within themselves—not to others.
The sages realise that indescribable Supreme Joy as "This is That." How can I realise It? Is It self—luminous? Does It shine brightly, or not?
The sun does not shine there, nor the moon and the stars, nor these lightnings—not to speak of this fire. He shining, everything shines after Him. By His light all this is lighted.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ganesha Chaturthi!

The Ganesha festival-birthday, Ganesha Chaturthi, is celebrated on the fourth day of the month of Bhadrapad in the Hindu calendar, the 9th of September in 2013. A simple, traditional worship ceremony to Lord Ganesha is here.
It is believed that the Hindu sages conceptualised the rup or murti (forms) of the different gods in keeping with the attributes they wanted to portray through them. When we look at the number of meanings in the rup of Ganesh, this does seem very true. Here are some of the most important symbols associated with Ganesh.
His broad crown is an invitation to think big. The tiny eyes speak of the importance of concentration and attention to detail for success in any foray. One chief form of concentration is to listen to others more, and talk less. This is symbolised by the huge elephantine ears and small mouth He sports. Ganesh has only one tusk, with the other broken off. This symbolises the importance of holding on only to the good and discarding the bad. The trunk of Ganesh symbolises the importance of being efficient and adaptable in order to be successful in one's ventures. The curvature is also said to represent the rising of the kundalini (spiritual energy that is believed to be coiled serpent-like at the base of the spine) powers. His large tummy points to the necessity of digesting all that life has to offer—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The abhaya mudra (gesture of fearlessness) of His lower right hand symbolises Ganesh's blessings and protection on a person's journey through life, especially the spiritual one. In His upper right hand, Ganesh usually holds an axe, with which He is said to cut of all attachments. He pulls the devotee nearer to the spiritual path by the rope that He carries in His upper left hand. He offers rewards for penances (sadhana) done with the modak (type of confection, usually made from rice flour and a stuffing of jaggery, coconut, etc.) He holds in His lower left hand. The bowls and baskets of offerings at Ganesh's feet are there to symbolise that the entire world, and all its choicest pleasures, are out there for the taking. Ganesh's tiny pet and vehicle, his mouse, bowing down close by, is there to indicate that though a little desire is good, it is essential for one to master it. You have to ride your desires and not vice versa.

I have prepared for you a fragment from an old telugu film "Sri Vinayka Vijayam" where some mythological events  are displayed and Sri Ganesh executes kathak perfectly!

Ganapati Aarti: Jai Dev Jai Dev!

Sukhkarta Dukharta:

Sukhkarta Dukhharta Varta Vighnachi ...
Nurvi Purvi Prem Krupa Jayachi
Sarvangi Sundar Uti Shendurachi ...
Kanti Jhalke Mal Mukataphalaanchi
Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti ....
Darshan Maatre Mann Kaamna Phurti
Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti ....
Darshan Maatre Mann Kaamna Phurti

Ratnakhachit Phara Tujh Gaurikumra ...
Chandanaachi Uti Kumkumkeshara
Hirejadit Mukut Shobhato Bara
Runjhunati Nupure(2) Charani Ghagriya
Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti
Darshan Maatre Mann Kaamna Phurti ...
Lambodar Pitaambar Phanivarvandana
Saral Sond Vakratunda Trinayana
Das Ramacha Vat Pahe Sadna
Sankati Pavave Nirvani Rakshave Survarvandana
Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti ....
Darshan Maatre Mann Kaamna Phurti
Ganeshaya Dheemahi:

Gananayaka Ganadaivataya Ganadaksha Yadhimahi
Guna shariraya Guna Manditaya Guneshanay Dhimahi
Gunaditaya Gunadhishaya Guna pravishtaya Dhimahai
Ekadantaya Vakratundaya Gauri tanahaya yadhi mahi
Gajeshanaya Bhalchandraya shree ganeshaya dhimahi

Gaanachaturaya ganaapranaya
gaanantaratmane gaanot sukhay
Gaanamattaya gannott sukha mana se
Guru pujitaya, Guru daivataya, Guru kulasthaine
Guru Vikramaya, Guiyya pravaraya Gurave guna gura ve
Gurudaitya kalakchetre, Guru dharma sada rakdhyaya
Guru putra paritratre Guru pakhand khand khaya
Geet saraya, Geet tatvaya Geet kotraya dhimahi
Gudha gulfaya, Gandha Mattaya Gojaya pradaya dhimahi
Gunaditaya Gunadhishaya Guna pravishtaya Dhimahai
Ekadantaya Vakratundaya Gauri tanahaya yadhi mahi
Gajeshanaya Bhalchandraya shree ganeshaya dhimahi

Gandharva rajaya gandhaya
Gandharva gana shravan pranaime
Gaadha anuragaya granthaya geetaya
grantatarth tanmaiye gurileee.
Gunavateee.. ganapatayeee..
Granta geetaya granta geyaya grantanta ratamane
Geeta leenay geetaa shrayaya
Geetavadya vadya padave, dheya charitaya gaya gavaraya
Gandharvapri krupe gayakadhina vighra haya
Gangajala pranayavate Gauri stanamadhaya
Gauri hridaya nandanaya
Gaur bhanu sukhaya Gauri ganeshwaraya
Gauri Pranyaya Gauri pravanaya Gaur bhavaya dhimahi
Ohasa hastraya gowardanaya gopa gopaya dhimahi
Gunaditaya Gunadhishaya Guna pravishtaya Dhimahai
Ekadantaya Vakratundaya Gauri tanahaya yadhi mahi
Gajeshanaya Bhalchandraya shree ganeshaya dhimahi

The Mayureshwar or Moreshwar temple lies along the Karha River in Morgaon, a village in Maharashtra. The idol of Moreshwar is a self-incarnated (swayambhu) form of Lord Ganesh and is one of the famous Ashta-Vinayakas. Aarti Jai Dev Jai Dev in Morgaon:

This fragment from a documentary film shows a celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi in India from the individual house to visarjan. 

Vakratunda mahakaya suryakoti samaprabha.
Nirvighnama kurumedeva shubhakaryeshu sarvada

"O mighty God with a trunk,
your brilliance is like that of a thousand sun
free my path of all obstacles
in all auspicious works that I undertake."
गणेश Om gam ganapataye namah

Mantra Pushpam

Mantra Pushpam - Vedic Hymns

From Taithreeya Aranyakam of Yajur Veda.

Lyrics & Meaning:

Yopam puspam veda
Puspavan prajavan pasuvan bhavati
Candramava Apam puspam
Puspavan, Prajavan pasuman bhavati
Ya Evam Veda
Yopa mayatanam Veda
Ayatanam bhavati.

He who understands the flowers of water,
He becomes the possessor of flowers, children and cattle.
Moon is the flower of the water,
He who understands this fact,
He becomes the possessor of flowers, children and cattle.
He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself,

Agnirva Apamayatanam 
Ayatanavan Bhavati
Yo agnerayatanam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati
Apovagner ayatanam
Ayatanavan bhavati
Ya Evam Veda 
Yopa mayatanam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati

Fire is the source of water,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself,
Water is the source of fire,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself.
He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself,

Vayurva Apamaya tanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati.
Yova Yorayatanam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati|
Apovai va yorayatanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati.
Ya Evam veda 
Yopamayatanam Veda
Ayatanavan Bhavati 

Air is the source of water,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself,
Water is the source of air,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself.
He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself,

Asowvai tapanna pamayatanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati
Yo musya tapata Ayatanan Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Apova Amusyatapata Ayatanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Ya Evam Veda 
Yopa mayatanam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati

Scorching sun is the source of water,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself,
Water is the source of scorching sun,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself.
He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself,

Candrama Vama pamayatnam 
Ayatanavan bhavati.
Yascandra masa Ayatanam Veda
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Apovai Candra masa Ayatanam
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Ya Evam Veda
Yo pamayatanam veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati

Moon is the source of water,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself,
Water is the source of moon,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself.
He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself,

Nakshtrani va Apamayatanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Yo Nakshtrana mayatanam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Apovai Nakshtrana mayatanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Ye evam Veda 
Yopamaya tanam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati 

Stars are the source of water,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself,
Water is the source of stars,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself.
He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself,

Parjanyova apamayatanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Yah parjanyasya syayatinam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Apovai parjanya Syayatanam 
Ayatanavan bhavati 
Ye Evam veda 
Yopa maya tanam Veda 
Ayatanavan bhavati 

Clouds are the source of water,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself,
Water is the source of clouds,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself.
He who knows the source of water,
Becomes established in himself,

Samvastaro Va Apamayatanam 
Ayatavan bhavati 
Yassavatsa rasyaya tanam Veda 
Ayatavan bhavati.
Apovai samvasara ayatanam
Ayatanavan bhavati
Ya Evam veda 
Yopsu Navam pratistitam veda
Pratyeva tistati

Rainy season is the source of water,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself,
Water is the source of rainy season,
He who knows this,
Becomes established in himself.
He who knows that there is a raft is available,
Becomes established in that raft.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bahauddin Valad

 Bahauddin Valad, Father of Rumi (1150-1231)

Alif Lam Mim.

If God says We, meaning I AM, then any pronoun I use becomes superfluous. Designations fall like petals. Wisdom comes, and I feel such pleasure flooding me that I fear losing my sense of it. I tell myself: Inquire into how lover, beloved and the other ways of loving exist as one thing.

As it is with God's qualities and human beings, so there is a unity with love. In the heart there is no room for differentiation, only oneness and the Beloved. I would give away books, lands, my virtues and reputation, everyone, for one hour inside that Presence.
(Maarif 1:172-173)

This is how God talked with Muhammad, saying, 'We have given you victory' (Quran, 48:1), There was companionship between them, 'We have sent down to you a book' (4:105), and 'Have we not expanded your heart' (94:1)? 

They spoke together like friends. Has anyone else had such an experience? And since the divine mystery is part of everything and everyone, must there not be such nearness inside everyone?

An answer came to this wondering argument. There are ways unique to each soul. One gets handed pain, another love, another lust. One must go through terrible punishment, another extensive comforting.

But the way of God with prophets is on another level, where miracles and grace and visions of the unseen world come. Aspire to that plane. Otherwise you will continue to speak to God about heat and cold, food, livelihood, sleep, walking, and the various human theories about mystery.

May prayer is this. When I am alone with You, let me feel pleasure of a surrendered love. Give me the oneness as I sit by myself beyond the satisfaction of any desire.
(Maarif 1:174-175)

Someone asked me what is the knowing I speak of and how does the love I mention feel. I said if you don't know, what can I say? And if you do know, what can I say? The taste of knowing love has no explanation, and no account of it will ever give anyone that taste.
(Maarif 1:143 ) 

When I was sick, it came to me that there are two approaches to work. One is bold and quick, fearless in action. The other is worried and constricted with concern about things that could possibly go wrong. If action flows from anxiety, the outcome is murky and disturbed. But if action moves with a swift joy and courage, the world begins to resolve its difficulties and grow whole.
(Maarif 2:24) 

I am afraid for anyone to see my faults, my baldness, my privates, the body flaws I hide with clothers. But bride and bridegroom see everything about one another. They can be many ways with each other, tender and mocking, playfully rough, any way at all, because they have no fear with each other. Likewise, the mystery of God knows everything about me. Here, out in the open in front of that, I say, Do whatever you want with this body. Every part of me stands naked in front of you, like a new bride ready for whatever will happen-- love, fear, service, difficulties, humiliation, delight.
(Maarif 2:139-140 )

from The Drowned Book
Ecstatic and Earthly Reflection of Bahauddin, The Father of Rumi
by Coleman Barks and John Moyne

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Just to quote Buddha Shakyamuni:
There is that sphere where there is neither earth,
nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither the infinitude of space,
nor the infinitude of consciousness,
neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon.
And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor stasis;
neither passing away nor arising:
without stance, without foundation, without support.
(Udana VIII.1-Nibbana Sutta, Total Unbinding) 

Friday, August 1, 2008

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

असतो मा सद्गमय
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय
मृत्योर् मा अमृतं गमय
ॐ शांति शांति शांति - बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद् 1.3.28.

Asato Ma Sat Gamaya
Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

Lead Us From the Unreal To Real,
Lead Us From Darkness To Light,
Lead Us From Death To Immortality,
Let There Be Peace Peace Peace.  

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (Sanskrit: बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद्) is one of the older, "primary" (mukhya) Upanishads. The doctrine of "neti neti" ("neither this, nor that") and a often quoted verse, "Asato Maa" is found in this Upanishad.
Chapter VIII

1. Then the daughter of Vachaknu said: 'Venerable brahmins, I shall ask him two questions. If he answers me these, then none of you can defeat him in discussing Brahman." The brahmins said: "Ask, O Gargi."

2. Gargi said: "O Yajnavalkya, I shall ask you two questions: As a man of Kasi or the King of Videha, scion of a heroic line, might string his unstrung bow, take in his hand two bamboo— tipped arrows highly painful to enemies and approach his enemies closely, even so, O Yajnavalkya, do I confront you with two questions. Answer me these." "Ask, O Gargi."

3. She said: "O Yajnavalkya, what pervades that Sutra which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be?"

4. He said: "That, O Gargi, which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be, is pervaded by the unmanifested akasa.

5. She said: "I bow to you, O Yajnavalkya. You have fully answered this question of mine. Now brace yourself for the other." "Ask, O Gargi."

6—7. She said: "Yajnavalkya, what pervades that Sutra which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be?" He said: "That, O Gargi, which is above heaven and below the earth, which is heaven and earth as well as what is between them and which—they say—was, is and will be, is pervaded by the unmanifested akasa." "What pervades the akasa?"

8. He said: "That, O Gargi, the knowers of Brahman call the Imperishable. It is neither gross nor subtle, neither short nor long, neither red nor moist; It is neither shadow nor darkness, neither air nor akasa; It is unattached; It is without taste or smell, without eyes or ears, without tongue or mind; It is non—effulgent, without vital breath or mouth, without measure and without exterior or interior. It does not eat anything, nor is It eaten by anyone.

9. "Verily, under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, the sun and moon are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, heaven and earth are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, moments, muhurtas (about forty— eight minutes), days and nights, fortnights, months, seasons and years are held in their respective positions. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, some rivers flow eastward from the white mountains, others flowing westward continue in that direction and still others keep to their respective courses. Under the mighty rule of this Imperishable, O Gargi, men praise those who give, the gods depend upon the sacrificer and the Manes upon the Darvi offering.

10. "Whosoever in this world, O Gargi, without knowing this Imperishable, offers oblations, performs sacrifices and practises austerities, even for many thousands of years, finds all such acts but perishable. Whosoever, O Gargi, departs from this world without knowing this Imperishable is miserable. But he, O Gargi, who departs from this world after knowing the Imperishable is a knower of Brahman.

11. "Verily, that Imperishable, O Gargi, is never seen but is the Seer; It is never heard, but is the Hearer; It is never thought of, but is the Thinker; It is never known, but is the Knower. There is no other seer but This, there is no other hearer but This, there is no other thinker but This, there is no other knower but This. By this imperishable, O Gargi, is the unmanifested akasa pervaded."  

Chapter IX
26.  ... Here the Upanishad itself states: This self is That which has been described as "Not this, not this." It is imperceptible, for It is never perceived; undecaying, for It never decays; unattached, for It is never attached; unfettered, for It never feels pain and never suffers injury. Yajnavalkya said: "These are the eight abodes, the eight organs of vision, the eight deities and the eight beings. "Now I ask you about that Person who is to be known only from the Upanishads, who definitely projects those beings and again withdraws them into Himself and who is at the same time transcendental. "If you cannot clearly explain Him to me, your head shall fall off?' Sakalya did not know Him; his head fell off; and robbers snatched away his bones, mistaking them for something else.  "

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008


ōm namaste rudra manyava utota iṣave namaḥ,
namaste astu dhanvane bāhubhyāmuta te namaḥ.

Prostration to Thee, Rudra; prostration to Thy wrath and Thy arrow (which destroy evil); prostration to Thy bow; prostration to Thy mighty Arms.

Note:—According to the celebrated Sayana Acharya, the Rudra chapter of the Yajur Veda consists of the mantras by which oblations are offered in the Sacrifice of Knowledge, wherein the manifold universe is visualised as the extensive manifestation of the Supreme Being.
yā ta iṣuḥ śivatamā śivaṁ babhūva te dhanuḥ,
śivā śaravyā yā tava tayā no rudra mṛḍaya.

This, Thy arrow that has become exceedingly peaceful (to the devout); Thy bow become a source of auspiciousness, and Thy quiver of blessedness; with these, O Valiant One (Rudra), make us happy.

Note:—While the first mantra invokes the Terrible Power for destruction of evil, the second envisages the fulfilment of the arms on the establishment of peace, and the now benignant phase of what was once formidable.
yā te rudra śivā tanūraghorā'pāpakāśinī,
tayā nastanuvā śantamayā giriśaṁtābhicākaśīhi.

Rudra! That blessed and benign form of Thine, which obliterates the trace of all sins—with that most hallowed and calm phase of Thy being, reveal Thyself to us, O Radiator of Peace from the Mount of Kailasa!

Note:—Rudra-Siva is said to have two forms, the terrific and the beatific, which are manifested at different times.
yāmiṣuṁ giriśaṁta haste bibharṣyastave,
śivāṁ giritra tāṁ kuru mā higṁsīḥ puruṣaṁ jagat.
O Benefactor from the Mount of Kailasa! That arrow which Thou wieldest for aiming at enemies, make that benign (in respect of us). Harm not human beings or others in creation, O Protector on the sacred Mount!
śivena vacasā tvā giriśācchāvadāmasi,
yathā naḥ sarvamijjagadayakṣmagṁsumanā asat.

Resident of the Mountains! We pray to Thee with auspicious eulogies for the sake of attaining Thee. Do so deign that this whole world of ours is rid of all ailment and affliction, and blooms with a joyous mind.

adhyavocadadhivaktā prathamo daivyo bhiṣak,
ahīgṁśca sarvāñjaṁbhayantsarvāśca yātudhānyaḥ.

May that Divine Physician, First among gods, exalt me in His all-redeeming Transcendent Being, having cut off all evil, whether in the form of poisonous creatures and wild beasts, or the demoniacal natures in creation.
asau yastāmro aruṇa uta babhruḥ sumaṁgalaḥ,
ye cemāgṁrudrā abhito dikṣu śritāḥ
  sahasraśo'vaiṣāgṁheḍa īmahe.

This (Rudra in the form of the Sun), ruddy, pink, brownish and yellow and of variegated hue (in different stages of rising from the horizon), most auspicious (being dispeller of darkness), manifested in the bright rays enveloping (the earth) from all directions, ranging in tens and thousands—we mitigate the penetrating ferocity of these with our prostrations.
asau yo’vasarpati nīlagrīvo vilohitaḥ
utainaṁ gopā adṛśannadṛśannudahāryaḥ
utainaṁ viśvābhūtāni sa dṛṣṭo mṛḍayāti naḥ.

This Blue-necked (due to drinking poison), Red-complexioned One, who traverses through the sky (in the form of the Sun)—Him do see (with their eyes) the unlettered cowherds as well as the maids carrying water, Him do also see all beings (both high and low). May He (Rudra) make us happy.

Note:—The import of this mantra is that while the Lord as seated in such regions as Mount Kailasa is accessible only to those who have spiritual realisation, as the Sun He is visible to everyone. In His great compassion He makes Himself felt even by our outer senses.
namo astu nīlagrīvāya sahasrākṣāya mīḍhuṣe,
atho ye asya satvāno'haṁ tebhyo'karannamaḥ.

Salutation be to Nilagriva (with blue neck), who has a thousand eyes (as Indra), and who pours down (as rain or parjanya); salutation be from me to others, too, who attend upon Him (as His servants).
pramuṁca dhanvanastva-mubhayo-rārtniyorjyām,
yāścate hasta iṣavaḥ parā tā bhagavo va.

Lord! Unfurl the string at both the ends of Thy bow. Those arrows that are in Thy hand, set them aside (now, after the enemy has been destroyed).

Note:—The term ‘Lord’ is the equivalent of the Sanskrit original ‘Bhagavan’, which means one who is possessed of all wealth (Aisvarya), valour (Virya), fame (Yasas), prosperity (Shri), wisdom (Jnana), non-attachment to things (Vairagya)—an epithet of the Almighty.
avatatya dhanustvagïsahasrākṣa śateṣudhe,
niśīrya śalyānāṁ mukhā śivo naḥ sumanā bhava.

O Thousand-eyed Divinity! Thou that hast hundreds of quivers (in war)! Setting down Thy bow, and dismantling the ends of Thy piercing arrows (after Thy purpose has been fulfilled), become Thou auspiciousness unto us, with a charming mood of blessing.
vijyaṁ dhanuḥ kapardino viśalyo bāṇavāgïuta,
aneśannasyeṣava ābhurasya niṣaṁgathiḥ.

May the bow of Kapardin (Siva) be freed from its string; and may His quiver be without the piercing ends of the arrows held above. May his arrows become incapable of piercing through, and may His bow become merely a support for the arrows (and not to shoot them).
Note:—This mantra and the others which pray for the putting down of the weapons of Rudra-Siva are invocations of His peaceful aspect, which manifests itself when He is not engaged in the work of destruction with His fierce arms.
yā te hetirmīḍhuṣṭama haste babhūva te dhanuḥ,
tayā'smānviśvatastva-mayakṣmayā paribbhuja.

O Abundant Source of all fulfilments! Protect us Thou, from all sides, with the weapons (like the sword) and the bow in Thy hands, that have ceased from purposes of destruction.
namaste astvāyudhāyānātatāya dhṛṣṇave,
ubhābhyāmuta te namo bāhubhyāṁ tava dhanvane.

Salutation be to Thy weapon arrow that has not been extended on the bow, but is capable of striking the enemy! Salutation to Thy bow. And salutation to Thy two arms.
pari te dhanvano hetirasmānvruṇaktu viśvataḥ,
atho ya iṣudhistavāre asmannidhehi tam.

Lord! May the pointed arrows of thy bow exclude us in every way (from their destructive operations). And that quiver of Thine, may Thou keep it far away from us (and protect us).

Note:—According to another interpretation, the second line can be rendered thus: ‘And that quiver of Thine, may Thou direct it to our enemies.’

Objectively, it is a prayer for the control of the forces of nature. Subjectively, it is a prayer for self-control and the rousing of the spiritual consciousness. Universally, it is a surge of the soul towards God-realisation.


Friday, July 18, 2008


The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali temple that was She who had become everything. She showed me everything was full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness -- all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as It were, in Bliss, Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kali temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the Divine Mother-even the cat. Ramakrishna

In that breaking-through, when I come to be free of my own will and of God's will and of all His works and of God Himself, then I am above all created things, and I am neither God nor creature, but I am what I was and what I shall remain, now and eternally. 

... When I stood in my first cause, I 'then had no 'God,' and then I was my own cause. I wanted nothing, I longed for nothing, for I was empty Being and the only truth in which I rejoiced was in the knowledge of my Self. Then it was my Self I wanted and nothing else. What I wanted I was, and what I was I wanted and so I stood empty of God and every thing.
Meister Eckhart

If you wish to form a picture of the [divine] Substance, you must raise your intellect to the last [substance] intelligible. You must purify it from all sordid sensibility, free it from the captivity of nature and approach with the force of your intelligence to the last limit of intelligible substance that it is possible for you to comprehend, until you are entirely divorced from sensible substance and lose all knowledge thereof. Then you will embrace, so to speak, the whole corporeal world in your being, and will place it in one corner of your being. When you have done this you will understand the insignificance of the sensible in comparison with the greatness of the intelligible. Then the spiritual substance will be before your eyes, comprehending you and superior to you, and you will see your own being as though you were that substance. Salomon Ibn Gabirol

Divine love (bhakti) is of the nature of nectar (amrit), gaining which, one becomes perfect, divine, and contented; and having gained which, a man has no further desire.
... It is impossible to describe the nature of divine love precisely; one Is in the same predicament as a mute person asked to describe the taste of sugar. That inherent love may arise at any time or in any place within one who is fit to receive it. It has no distinctive characteristics, except that it is free of selfish motive. It is an extremely subtle inner experience of all-pervading Unity.
... Once that divine love is obtained, one looks only to that, one speaks only of that, and one contemplates only that, It is easily recognized; love requires no proof outside of itselfit is its own proof. It appears in the form of inward peace and supreme happiness. One who has attained it has no anxiety about worldly struggle; he has completely surrendered himself, the world, and everything to the Lord.
 Bhakti Sutras

When there enters into it a glow from the Divine, the soul gathers strength, spreads true wings, and, however distracted by its proximate environment, speeds its buoyant way to something greater; ... its very nature bears it upwards, lifted by the Giver of that love. ... Surely we need not wonder that It possesses the power to draw the soul to Itself, calling it back from every wandering to rest before It. From It came everything; nothing is mightier. Plotinus

Whosoever finds (Love), finds Nothing and All Things; that is also certain and true. But how finds he Nothing? Why, I will tell thee how. He that findeth it, findeth a Supernatural Supersensual Abyss, which hath no Ground or Byss to stand on, and where there is no Place to dwell in; and he findeth also Nothing is like unto it, and therefore it may fitly be compared to Nothing; for it is deeper than any Thing, and is as Nothing with Respect to All Things, forasmuch as it is not comprehensible by any of them. And because it is Nothing respectively, it is therefore free from All Things; and is that only Good, which a Man cannot express or utter what it is; there being Nothing to which it may be compared, to express it by. Jacob Boehme

If the light of a thousand Suns suddenly arose in the sky, that splendor might be compared to the radiance of the supreme Spirit. And Arjuna saw in that radiance the whole universe in its infinite variety, standing in one vast Unity as the body of God. Bhagavat Gita

Monday, July 14, 2008

Nasadiya Sukta - Creation

nAsad Asin nosad Asit tadAniM
nAsid rAjo no vyomA paro yat
kim AvarIvaH kuha kasya
SArmanambhaH kim aAsid gahanM gabhIram
na mRtyur Asid aMRtaM na tarhi
na rAtryA ahna Asit praketaH
Anid avAtaM svadhayA tad ekaM tasmAd
hAnyan napataH kiM canAsa

Thus begin the famous nAsadIya sUkta (Creation Hymn) of the Rk Veda (X-129) which consist of seven stanzas. There are many English versions of this. None of them can fully convey the grandeur and majesty of the original. Translations of great works, especially by sages and seers, are like pale imitations in papier mache of magnificent sculptures of the masters in marble and granite. But they are worthwhile efforts to convey the essence of the work to those who don't have the benefit of a knowledge of the original language.


Not even nothing existed then

No air yet, and no heaven.

Who encased and kept it where?

Was water in the darkness there?

Neither deathlessness nor decay

Nor the rhythm of night and day:

The self-existent, with breath sans air:

That, and that alone was there.

Darkness was in darkness found

Like light-less water all around.

One emerged, with nothing on

It was from heat that this was born.

In it did Desire, its way did find:

The primordial seed, born of mind.

Sages know deep in the heart:

What exists is kin to what does not.

Across the void the cord was thrown,

The place of every thing was known.

Seed-sowers and powers now came by,

Impulse below and force on high.

Who really knows, and who can swear,

How creation arose, when or where!

Even gods came after creation's day,

Who really knows, who can truly say

When and how did creation start?

Did He do it? Or did He not?

Only He up there knows, maybe;

Or perhaps, not even He.

This is as profound a poetic vision of Creation as any in the lore and legacies of humankind. It is remarkable how the rishi in deep meditation reveals to us the glimpse of cosmogenesis that he derived from his own meditation. Many scholars and philosophers have analyzed and commented upon this marvelous reflection which reveals the penetrating power of the seer. What has impresses us here is the subtle skepticism at the end. The enlightened thinker know that when it comes to ultimate questions, none of us can be very sure. So this reflection could be interpreted as saying that when we as mortals make statements about the origin and the end of the universe, or about God and the hereafter, we can never be absolutely certain.

arvAgdevA asya visarjanenAThA
ko veda yata AbabhUva (verse 6)
Even gods came after creation's day,
Who really knows, who can truly say.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ganga aarti

The aarti is a pleasant ritual of worshipping the Ganga.
Its the site which is to be seen...lots of lamps flowing on the river water with people praying Mother Ganga. This divine light ceremony is filled with devotional song, prayer, ritual and a palpable sense of the divinity of Mother Ganga.

The aarti, an ornate oil lamp, lined with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee - is offered to God. We give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us that day, as well as symbolically offering light back to Ganga aarti is a time when we break free from the normal stresses and strains of every-day life, and gather together in joy, reverence and peace.

As bright yellow sun dips in the water, and the reflection of its rays bring tears to our eyes we are filled anew with a deep sense of bliss, reverence and spiritual connection.

Arti Ganga maiya, man jai sursari maiya
Bhav-varidhi-uddharini atihi sudradh naiya, man Jai....
Hari pada-padam-prasuta vimal varidhara,
Brahmadeva Bhagirathi shuchi punyagara, man Jai
Shankar-jata-viharini, hanoi trya tapa,
Sagar-putra-gana-tarini harani sakal papai man Jai...
Ganga Ganga jo jana uchcharat mukha son,
Dur desh man sthit bhi turat tarat sukh son, man Jai...
Mrit ki asthi tanik tuv jal dhara pavai,
So jan pavan hokar param dham javai, man Jai
Tav tatvasi taruvar, jal thal char prani
Pakshi-pashu-patang gati pavai nirvani, man Jai
Matu, daya mai kijai dinan par daya
Prabhu pad padma milakar Hari lijai maya, man Jai

Jai Ganga Maa!

Varanasi 2012. Press the title for full HD


From the film "Meenaxi, tale of 3 cities".
A song "Noor-un-ala-noor"(Ustad Murtaza Khan, Ustad Qadir Khan)
Lyrics: M.F.Hussain. Music:AR Rahman

chaaro.n taraf chaaro.n taraf nuur-un-alaa nuur-un\-alaa nuur-un-alaa nuur
Everywhere Everywhere!... there is the divine light....light upon light !

ye barq\-e\-tajallii a.ndhero.n ko chiiratii
This Tajali piercing through these darknesses!
(Tajali is arabic and is refered to the Divine sight that was made by Moses on mount Sinai, who used to communicate with God from this mountain without seeing Him)
yahaa.N bhii tuu vahaa.N bhii tu, ye roshanii kyaa roshanii
I find you Here ... I find You There... this Light!.. O WHAT a LIGHT!

tere siwaa ko_ii hai ke puuchhuu.N
Is there a reason to ask if there is anything other than YOU!

a.ndhero.n se puuchhaa to chup ho gaye chup ho gaye
The darkeness became silent when questioned!

ujaalo.n se puuchhaa to sharamaa gaye sharamaa gaye
The brightness became shy when questioned!

pari.ndo.n se puuchhaa kahaa.N parawaaz hai
I questioned the birds ..."where to, do your flights take you?"

Kaamoshii se puuchhaa kahaa.N aawaaz hai
I questioned the silence .."where does sound exist?"

phuulo.n se patto.n se seaayii sadaaa
It was then...from the flowers , the leaves and the colors came the same reply:

chaaro.n taraf chaaro.n taraf nuur-un-alaa nuur-un\-alaa nuur-un-alaa nuur
Everywhere Everywhere!... there is the divine light....light upon light !

uThaa_ii chilaman to dekhaa jalawaa teraa
It was when I lifted the veils ...that I saw your miracles!

ba.Dhaayaa qadam to ma.nzil terii ma.nzil terii
It was when I took a step towards You ...that I found the path!

uThaa_ii nazar to suurat terii suurat terii
You were everywhere when I lifted up my eyes!

bha.Nware kii gun\-gun me.n, ka.ngan kii khan\-khan me.n
In the hissing of a moth... in the clanking of the kangan (bracelet) !

aashiq ke tan\-man me.n birahan ke nainan me.n
In the body&spirit of the the eyes of the birahan

taano.n me.n saragam me.n bas tuu hai tuu hii tuu
In the taans .. in the musical notes..I found you ..only YOU!

dil kii diiwaanagii man kii aawaaragii tuu
You are the passion of my heart ...You the wilderness in my innerself!
duur leke chal tuu kuchh puuchh naa tuu kuchh puuchh naa tuu
Carry me away with You without me questioning...

ji.ndagii ek raaz thii ek raaz hai ek raaz hai
Life was a secret and will remain a secret!
jaan kar hogaa kyaa kis ne hai jaanaa
Who has the answers to it ... who knows!

ko_ii kahe mohabbat ko_ii ibaadat
Some call it love and some call it worship!

diiwaanagii kahe.n chaahe junuu.N chaahat hii terii adaa
Some may call it ecstasy and others passion but ...LOVE is your truest attribute!

chaaro.n taraf chaaro.n taraf nuur-un-alaa nuur-un\-alaa nuur-un-alaa nuur
Everywhere Everywhere!... there is the divine light....light upon light !

ye barq\-e\-tajallii a.ndhero.n ko chiiratii
This Tajali piercing through these darknesses!

yahaa.N bhii tuu vahaa.N bhii tu, ye roshanii kyaa roshanii
I find you Here ... I find You There... this Light!..