Tuesday, June 30, 2015


The first word which comes to mind looking at an umbrella - protection. It is our individual shield from the heat of the sun or from the cold rain and wind. Furthermore, this kind of shield represents protection from spiritual suffering and other harmful forces. But this subject at deity hands can mean something more significant. For example, Arjuna held over the head of Sri Krishna a precious white umbrella. Or, Buddhism features an umbrella as one of eight auspicious symbols. And this sculpture of Ganesha with an umbrella looks so delightful, agree? As usual, I will try to think a little on this theme.

Probably inspired by trees, the first umbrellas could be huge leaves for example. In general, with history development, we see that it is the king's privileged article, and no one but the king could have one.
As a symbol of worldly power, the umbrella has taken on the proportions, colorations and embellishments that were inherited from ancient religious traditions.
Hindu Shveta-chattra was a symbol of supreme law and  the symbol of supreme authority placed over his head at his coronation. So, it also was transferred on the highest terrestrial power as the instrument of protective and sheltering firmament. Here, society and religion are intractably related. And the earthly sovereign was seen as the exemplar and custodian of Dharma, universal responsibility. The Ramayana depicts the ceremonial in which the sage Vasishtha installed Rama upon a golden throne while Shatrugna placed a white umbrella over his regal head. Also, that white umbrella emerged from churning of the ocean and was given to Varuna. In rituals, especially dedicated to Vishnu, the temple umbrella is used very often.
In Christianity, the Pope used a ceremonial parasol umbrella as ceremonial regalia. Also known as the pavilion, in modern usage the umbraculum is a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church and the authority of the Pope over it. It is found in the contemporary Church at all the basilicas throughout the world, placed prominently at the right of their main altars.
 In Buddhism, it symbolises the center of the universe and spiritual support. Umbrellas can also represent a kind of mobile temple. And Buddha will often display a large and elaborate umbrella above his head. When Buddha blessed his disciples with the beatific vision of Buddha-fields, they saw stretching before them myriads of Buddhas serenely seated under trees and umbrellas.

 In Vajrayana Buddhism, this large umbrella (atapatra) was even deified into the thousand-armed-footed goddess Sitapatra, whose name literally means the white umbrella.
In Jainism, umbrella (chhatra ) is one of auspicious symbols also. You can see the divine three-tiered parasol above Tirthankara's head. As one of the insignias of royalty, and in a metaphorical sense, it represents the spiritual power. The Jains hold that the entire manifested universe may be represented as a colossal human form topped by an umbrella symbolizing the ultimate heaven, conveying that every man is capable of spanning the realm of the mediators.
 Wherever Hinduism and Buddhism spread, there also was to be found the umbrella. In China and Japan, these stylized discs inspired the pagodas that mark the sacred precincts of Buddhist temple grounds. Each tier of umbrellas of the pagoda represents the cosmic spheres of deities or Bodhisattvas.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Thailand
Well, it's possible to search and to find analogies still long.
From ancient megaliths...
 to Madur Madanantheswara Siddhi Vinayaka Temple, for example.
The general idea that umbrella is symbol of universal Dharma and the vertical handle represents the central axis that upholds the world. If the umbrella is over an important person, it indicate that the person or symbol below is the center of the universe. The space an umbrella is the space between heaven and earth. And then, it can be a symbol of transfer of divine law between God and man. Personally, to unlock the mystery of the umbrella, we should seize its handle for to pass its energy upwards imitating the MahaYogin Shiva, who is the Master. And then, that energy can graciously go down to top of a head and to heart. After all, all ribs of umbrella ultimately converge in the center.


Friday, June 26, 2015

As for me, I shall behold Your Face

Psalm 17

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.

From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right.

If you try my heart, if you visit me by night, if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.

As for what others do, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.

My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me, hear my words.

Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.

Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,

from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.

They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly.

They track me down; now they surround me; they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.

They are like a lion eager to tear, like a young lion lurking in ambush.

Rise up, O Lord, confront them, overthrow them! By your sword deliver my life from the wicked,

from mortals—by your hand, O Lord— from mortals whose portion in life is in this world. May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them; may their children have more than enough; may they leave something over to their little ones.

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Rain Cloud

From the Lotus Sutra.

A dense cloud, spreading over and everywhere covering the whole three-thousand great-thousand fold universe, pours down [its rain] equally at the same time. Its moisture universally fertilizes the plants, trees, thickets, forests, and medicinal herbs…[all] receive its share. From the rain of the one cloud [each plant] according to the nature of its kind acquires its development, opening its blossoms and bearing its fruit…The Declarer of Truth is also like this; he appears in the world like the rising of [that] great cloud…I am the Declarer of Truth, the Buddha, the World-honored One…I know the present world and the world to come as they really are…

I look upon all [living beings]
Everywhere [with] equal [eyes],
Without distinction of persons,
Or minds of love or hate.
I have no limitations [or partiality];
Ever to all [beings]
I preach the Law equally;
As [I preach] to one person,
So [I preach] to all…
[But] beings, according to their nature,
Receive it differently,
Just as among plants and trees
Each takes a varying supply.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Srikanto Matulo

shreekanTho maatulo yasya jananee sarva mangalaa |
janakah shankaro devah tam vanday kunjaraananam ||

One whose maternal uncle is Lord Maha Vishnu,
One whose Mother is the representation of all things auspicious,
One whose Father is Lord Shiva,
I worship Him, the elephant-faced One.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

In the Fire

When the soul is plunged in the fire of divine love, like iron, it first loses its blackness, and then growing to white heat it becomes like unto the fire itself. And lastly, it grows liquid, and, losing its nature, is transmuted into an utterly different quality of being. And as the difference between iron that is cold and iron that is hot, so is the difference between soul and soul, between the tepid soul and the soul made incandescent by divine love.

---By Richard of Saint Victor

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Be My Light - Sajna

Michael Bolton's performance of the beautiful AR Rahman's song - " Sajna".

When you smile I smile with you
When you cry I feel it too
You're my soul
My heart calling out to you

Be my eyes when I can't see
Be my voice when I can't speak
Be my light
When darkness creeps on me

Sajna, sajna, sajna re
Aa ja sajna, sajna, sajna re

To the star that shines so bright
'Cross the sky, 'cross my night
Making ways to be right by your side
Hold me close, don't let me go
Hold me tight, don't you say no
Save the love we have forevermore

Sajna, sajna, sajna re
Aa ja sajna, sajna, sajna re

Save me when my dream catches fire
Save me, be my only desire
Wake me when the pain is over
Take me now, take me now
Take me now

When you smile I smile with you
When you cry I feel it too
You're my soul
My heart calling out to you

Be my eyes when I can't see
Be my voice when I can't speak
Be my light
When darkness creeps on me

Sajna, sajna, sajna re
Aa ja sajna, sajna, sajna re

Hold me close, don't let me go
Hold me tight, don't you say no
Save the love we have forevermore

Monday, June 15, 2015

Nava Kālī

Of the myriad forms of Sri Mahākālī, various sampradayas unite them in special groups of 9, 12/13 or more forms. As a rule, they represent symbolic distinctions of the divine function: in absolute unity, unity in diversity, and complete diversity. While these are its main aspects, there is the all-pervading One aspect. Each of these aspects is supposed to be contemplated upon as it relates to the divine activities of creation, preservation and absorption. Personified as goddesses, these aspects have been eulogized in certain stotras. These nine forms of Kālī, Navakālī, with their mantras are mentioned in  Mahakala Samhita (Kamakalakalikhanda).
 1. om krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ guhya kālike krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ svāhā |

 2. om hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ guhya kālike krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ svahā |

 3. om krīṁ hūṁ hrīṁ guhya kālike krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ svāhā
 1. om hauṁ kāli mahākāli kilikili phaṭ svāhā |

 2. om krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ bhadrakālyai
krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ svāhā |

 3.  om bhadrakālī mahākālī kili kili phaṭ svāhā |
om krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ śmaśānakāli
krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ svāhā |

 1. om krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ mahākāli
krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ svahā |
 2. om kroṁ kroṁ kroṁ kroṁ paśūn gṛhāṇa huṁ phaṭ svāhā |

om auṁ hūṁ hrīṁ phreṁ chrīṁ strīṁ śrīṁ kroṁ namo dhanakālyai vikarālarūpiṇi sureśvari dhanaṁ dehi dehi dāpaya dāpaya kṣaṁ kṣāṁ kṣiṁ kṣīṁ kṣuṁ kṣūṁ kṣṛṁ kṣṝṁ kṣlṛṁ kṣlṝṁ kṣreṁ kṣraiṁ kṣroṁ kṣraṁ kṣraḥ kroṁ kroṁ āṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ hūṁ hūṁ phaṭ phaṭ svāhā ||

om aiṁ klīṁ hrīṁ hrūṁ siddhikālyai namaḥ

om hrīṁ caṇḍāṭṭahāsini jagadgrasanakāriṇi
naramuṇḍamālini caṇḍakālike
klīṁ śrīṁ hūṁ strīṁ chrīṁ phat phat svāhā ||

om krīṁ hūṁ hrīṁ strīṁ klīṁ kālakālī phaṭ svāhā ||

om krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ dakṣiṇekālike
krīṁ krīṁ krīṁ hūṁ hūṁ hrīṁ hrīṁ svāhā ||

Om Krim Kaliyai namaha

Monday, June 1, 2015

Love's Way

By Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Love's way is humility and intoxication,
The torrent floods down. How can it run up?
You'll be a cabuchon in the ring of lovers,
If you're a red ruby's slave, dear friend ;
Even as Earth is a serf of the sapphire sky
And your monkey body's a slave to your spirit.

What did Earth ever lose by this relationship?
What mercy has the Self showed to weary limbs?
One shouldn't beat the snare drum of awakening
Beneath a cosy sofa's, comfy counterpane.

Hoist, like a hero, your flag in the desert.
Listen with your soul's ear to the song,
In that hollow of the vast turquoise dome,
Rising from the lover's passionate moan .

When your tight gown-strings are loosened
By the tipsy inebriation of perfect love,
The victorious heavens shout, triumphantly!
And the constellations gaze down ashamed.
This world is in deep trouble, from top to bottom,
But it can be swiftly healed by the balm of love.

---English version by Alan Jacobs