Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mahakumbh 2013 (Allahabad, Prayag)


Hi,
Its Kumbh time and and the festivities have started. The event officially starts on the 14th of Jan and will go on till march. So those who havn't yet packed their bags can do so NOW !
Don't miss this. Take my word You Will REMEMBER This, for the REST of your LIVES !!!!
I remember the last Kumbh (2001) and I can never Imagine anything even remotely close to it. So take this Opportunity coz it takes a period of 12 whole years to make it - This BIG.

For those who are here or are planning to be here in a couple of days, Congrats.

Important points for You from GROUND ZERO -
1) Its cold, so come prepared. The temperature is dipping below zero during late nights and early mornings. Plus the area of the mela (event) is in the outskirts and is out in the open, so it is really cold.

2) Travel only by Air Conditioned railway coaches. The Sleeper Class can be very very cold at nights in this weather.

3) There would be lots of food around, all you need to care for is hygiene. Bring along antibiotics for common cold and stomach problems, medicines for stomach ailments.
Free distribution of Bhog/Prasadam by different organisations takes place daily and at all meal times. My favourite is ISKCON. So you can enjoy hopping around the area, food will find you.

4) The area of the Mela is really vast. An entire township is created for the event. It has its own administration, police and help services. It is fully guarded and has been secured to the optimum.

5) In the Last Kumbh we remember crores of people taking part in this event. This year we believe the crowd will increase. If you are staying away from the mela area, and If you have come for holy dips, then your chances of reaching 'sangam' at the right time and spot (i.e the place meant to take the dip) is inversely proportional to the distance of your lodging from the mela area- because of the unimaginable crowd and diversions created to control the crowd on the official days of Snan (Auspicious days of the Holy bath/dip) throughout the city, on those days. So take accommodation in the mela area, also to capture the best moments of the festival and to witness Everything you need to be at the spot of the event. So try find accomodation in the mela area, or really close by. You should not face any problems in that, ask around, buy, beg, adjust, do anything you like :)

6) No matter where you are in this vast area, your best friends are always around you, these are fellow travelers like yourself, the authorities, police, locals, everyone, just don't hesitate to take second opinions on anything.  

I hope this helps, will try to give more details soon. All the best !! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today on the auspicious day of the beginning of 'Navaratri' ( Tuesday, 16th of October, 2012), I would like to share an English translation of a Telugu song, that I did with online help some time ago.
The song is dedicated to Lord Shri Ram. Hope you would enjoy the song and its translation. Please forgive any/all mistakes that may have been made in the translation work, Since I don't know Telugu, I tried doing my best in translation using online help.
The song is called 'Rama Chakani Sita..'' and is from the Movie 'Godavari' (2006).


Thank you !

Hello, it has been days since my last post.
Its review time and I am going to share with you, two of the best Indian Spiritual/Religious music albums that have been my all time favorite. This is also a thank you note for the amazing artists, who have introduced to the world and to me, the amazing and soulful genre of Sanskrit hymns.

A few words about Sanskrit devotional music.
This genre is perhaps the oldest surviving genre of music in the world. This genre owes its origin to the Vedas and contributions have been made to it from time to time by the immortals of history. This music is devoted in  honor and praise of Gods in their different forms and aspects, sometimes in their 'avataar' forms, sometimes to the understanding of a 'niraakar' god and at times to the aspect of god which the composer best relates to.
This genre has evolved with time and has been enriched by compositions sung by the likes of Indra -the Lord of Heavens, Ravana- the Powerful and Learned King of Lanka, Adi Shankaracharya - the celebrated prodigy sage who revived ancient teachings of sanatan dharma, Sri Rama, Sage Narada and so many more great personalities of our culture.


Where do we get to listen to this music
I remember as a kid getting introduced to sanskrit devotional music through audios of 'kirtans' available from 'Ramkrishna Ashram'. Now there are many online pages where one can get to listen and download music belonging to this genre.
For those who have difficulty in understanding the language there are excellent online translations available for most of the compositions.



The album 'Shivoham', by Ashit Desai
Mr. Desai' s voice in this album is just spell bounding. The album was released in 2001 and this was probably the same time when I first played it. I am happy to say that for all these years I have cherished it, loved and meditated on it. This is one classic masterpiece one should definitely listen to. There is a powerful commentary given along the album explaining the glory of Shiva along with an introduction to the different the compositions of the music album.



Artist names: G. Gayathri Devi , S. Saindhavi, Uma Mohan, R. Shruthi.
Album name: Sacred Chants, Divine Chants, Divine Chants of Vishnu.. and many more.

These wonderful artists have the most melodious, soothing voices you could ever come across. Their voices generates respect when you hear them, and if they ever read this, I would like to thank them for making these compositions alive with their amazing voices. And yes, the music; it is perfect, - traditional served in contemporary experimental style! I congratulate the producers of these albums for creating these divine recordings. One good place to get introduced to their excellent music is through the link - http://www.bhaktipaadal.com/singer.php?page=1&SGRID=S.Saindhavi&lang=en&sort=song_asc

Kindly search for the youtube versions of the suggested albums and artists. If you like the compositions and get a chance of buying their original cds, please, do buy them. There is nothing better than promoting and supporting excellent, original creations.   

Friday, November 25, 2011

The search for truth is not a destination to arrive at but a journey in itself


How can the truth be genrelized if it is in its very core the most personal of all experiences?
The search for truth is not a destination to arrive at but a journey in itself. All attempts to codify the truth therefore remain merely as the word says - 'attempts'. Lighthouses can guide you in your journey but can never become the journey itself.

On the capabilities of communicating the truth.
~
Language is a barrier, so is imagination. How can we tame an ocean?
They say that thought traves faster than anything else known. How are we to overcome such a powerful friction then? By the time I condense my thought to a symbol or word the 'truth' has elusively evolved to a more complex form. Imagive this..Science says the Universe is continuously expanding. Where is it expanding into? But even if it is contracting, what are it's limits ? Where does it start and where does it end? It seems to expand into itself then! Carl Jung dug into the vast common collected experiences of human psyche, but 'truth' is beyond human psyche it was there before the psyche had come into existence. Therefore, symbology and language are to be ruled out as modes of communication of a truth that is beyond the human experience.

Questioning
~
The flowering of consciousness starts with questions. Questions are your own, you cannot borrow them..you can only ask them when you get a taste of them.These questions are to remain unanswered because if Buddha jumps in to give a 4 point formula, it becomes Buddha's truth and not mine. This is the most powerful philosophy born out of human endeavour to experience a personalised truth [emphasis on 'personalised experience'].
This is the way shown by Osho.

The principle of 'neti-neti'
~
'neti-neti' [not this, not this] makes you arrive at Advait'hood. It is very important to understand what these words point to.
Don't drink the words just feel them work on you. Remember there can be no codification of truth. Let these words shake off distraction even if momentarily like the sound from the buddhist gong or the famous zen slap. Such is the power of these words that if they are allowed to play on self then they create the thirst for knowledge. They become the first gurus.




.

.
aham brahmāsmi - "I am Brahman"
tat tvam asi - "Thou art That"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Krishna ~ The Perfect One

Krishna is the most dynamic form manifestation of Godhead. Avataars are but form maifestations, they had been decided upon by the Godhead to suit the scenario and need. Shiva has his avataars too, so does Shakti. Even the genius triology we come across is nothing but taking of different forms by the same Godhead to suit different requirements. 
The story of Krishna involves so many factors: astronomical, class struggle, spiritual, retributive, political, cultural, environmental, evolutionary, religious, its was for so much more than the more popular reasons of protection of dharma and showing the right spiritual way of life. Krishna was the perfect one. Perfect friend, son, enemy, teacher, lover, ruler, leader, politician. He was the most gifted flute player the world has ever known and the master of yoga. He was quick wittted, lethal, caring, loyal, powerful and a lot more. The purpose for such a larger than life avataar to be sent amongst us was a simple one: To show us the tremendous capabilities of the Human Body and Mind; if an avataar can do it, then so can we, thus, setting the stage for the future of Human Evolution. Growing in strength, emotion and intellect Krishna grew beyond all expectations, this is called the flowering of personality, a personality that is innocent yet intelligent enough to outgrow self imposed restraint of individual and collective psyche.
It is not that there can just be one perfection. The morning sky, beautiful flowers, song of birds each is perfect yet each is different, similarly no matter how many times they happen there is no struggle for perfection. Struggle is a tension, it cannot be eternally beautiful.
Krishna was a frequency reached by a human, unlike some other avataars where Godhead took a form to take care of an immediate need, Krishna's life was meant to be lived as a means to an end in itself. This is the beauty of Krishna's life, not shortlived, not for one purpose alone, not dedicated to any one aspect of life. Thus, anybody who reaches the same frequency in which lived Krishna, that anybody is immediately transferred to the level of Krishna. He/She becomes Krishna. This happened with Sri Radha. This happened with Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nitai and Gaurango. This happened with Sri Meera, Surdas, Tulsidas and Kalidas. This has happened with so many great saints and teachers. This is nothing new. What is important is that all these had happened through the path of Bhakti. We are now experimenting with other paths. We are coming now coming closer to such experiences by kriya yoga, kundalini, tantra and other such scientific methods. This is where great teachers have shown us true diversity. No matter what path we take, as we come closer to such experiences we get to understand that the concept of God too is an ever evolving one.      
This was what Krishna lived for. Realising oneself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Prakriti and Purusha

- With every blooming of a flower possibilities as large as eternity are opened up for the plant.
The struggle for continuation of existence is the story of life. The urge to reproduce lies deeper than all the layers of consciousness. It lies deeper, into the very heart of Existence itself. The sum total of everything is Existence. Existence is throbbing with life, nay it is life, life and expression of life. Yet this Existence of which we speak is not all in all. It has had a past and has a future. Imagine independent, unrelated, simultaneous Existences appearing like bursts of bubbles arising from a body of water, each complete in itself. They come and go with time. But unlike this perishable body of water, the phenomenon happening over eternity, must take place on a playground or strata that remains beyond the clutches of time. This strata is ‘svayambhu’ or ‘without a predecessor or one who arises on his own ‘. Personified as the ‘Purusha’/male part of the Unity and recognised as Shiva/Shambhu, this half of the Unity is everything that ‘Is there’ and ‘Not there’, everything that there ‘ever was’ or ‘will ever be’, a sum total of all possibilities, a great calm, a great ocean. The bubbles [Existences] arise due to the ‘will’ of the second half of the Unity. This second half is personified as ‘Prakriti’/or the female part, which is Energy/’Shakti’, absolute and uncontrolled.
The ‘iccha’/desire gives rise to ‘maya’/ or Existences. Purusha and Prakriti together are the Ocean of Bliss. Complete, Complimentary and Playful.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

self induced anesthesia


Unable to face myself in absolute stilness and silence for quite sometime, i decided to become the observer (although it now seems like this was many lifetimes ago). my mind reels with a nauseating dizzyness that is unknown to me. it is at this phase that i believe lonliness becomes the hardest thing to accept. Everything and everyone acquires a limitation which cannot satisfy the hunger within. The more i think of finding a solution or somehow ending this exhausting search, the more futile such an excersice seems. This is existentialism in full swing. i have been very much self absorbed. it had been fun at first, but with time i have understood that just like everything else - imagination, ideas and thoughts too are objects, subtle objects. this experiment has gone like i expected, but it has changed my perspective and changed me in many ways. i am now aware of possibilities that are unavailable inside my container. Then again there is my lower node or my instinctual self which makes me a human less than a human. overcoming myself in this aspect will be my next endeavour. This is a journey that is entirely within, it can also, no doubt, be an expression of a tired or a wanting mind, or a symptom of some psychological illness. But then in this world, what isn't. One thing however is clear, we are what we believe we are, and there is no turning back. I am writing this for myself as a memoir beside having expectations of finding co-travellers on the same journey.