pachai maamalai pol mene

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Remain cool and composed.. come whatever may..

न पृथग्जनवच्छुचो वशं वशिनामुत्तम गन्तुमर्हसि।
द्रुमसानुमतां किमन्तरं यदि वायौ द्वितीयेऽपि ते चलाः॥ ९०
काळिदासमहाकविप्रणीते रघुवंशे अष्टमे सर्गे॥
na pṛthagjanavacchuco vaśaṁ vaśināmuttama gantumarhasi|
drumasānumatāṁ kimantaraṁ yadi vāyau dvitīyepi te calāḥ|| 90
kāḻidāsamahākavipraṇīte raghuvaṁśe aṣṭame sarge||

When a whirlwind blows, trees would shake and be uprooted.. But the mountains would just remain erect and unmoving.. 
The character of the great is revealed there..
This situation is driven home by the great poet Kalidasa in the eighth chapter of his great Kavyam.. Raghuvamsham

Aja a great emperor of the Solar Race ( He is the father of Dasharatha) married the beautiful princes Indumathi in a swayamvara.. and the couple lived happily for a long time.. 
The princess was actually a divine damsel who had come to earth due to the curse of a sage.. 
The release from the curse happened when a flower from the heaven fell on her.. 
Immediately she attained her divine form, left the earthly human bodies and joined the Apsaras in heaven..

Aja was overcome with unbearable grief.. 
His pathetic laments grieving the separation of his lady love is the legendary Aja Vilapam.. 
A masterpiece in literature of pathos in Sanskrit.

However, life had to go on.. 
Sage Vasishta, the purohita and guru of the Solar race came to know of the depressive state of mind suffered by the emperor.. The sage was in a Yajna Deeksha and could not visit the king in person and console him..
Therefore he left a message through one of his disciples..

The inevitability of death and departure was clearly underlined in the message..
Vasishta further reminds the Emperor that ordinary people had the choice to grieve but men of Aja's stature and nobility were expected to be stoic and bold and were expected to show boldness under any circumstances..
The sloka quoted above appears in the Raghuvamsha Mahakavyam in this context.
You, the noble king of a great dynasty, you who is expected to be the role model for other, you must not become slave to excessive grief, as is the habit of ordinary human beings.
Tell me, what is the difference between a tree standing on the groud and a mountain with many cliffs standing firm on the earth if both shake and fall when they face a torrential wind..
The tree can afford to fall and collapse.. not the mountain..
In crisis situations men of character are expected to remain calm and stoic, come whatever may..
word analysis 
वशिनां उत्तम oh best among exemplary people
त्वं you 
पृथक्जनवत् just like ordinary people 
शुचो of grief
वशं गन्तुं becoming dependent, getting overwhelme 
न अर्हसि do not deserve, should not permit yourself
द्रुम सानुमतां between a tree and a range of mountains 
किं अन्तरं what is the differnce 
यदि if 
वायौ in the wind, in the whirlwind or cyclone
ते द्वितीये both of them
अपि चलाः भवतः.become disturbed, move and sway, in a similar fashion..

Musings 54

Someone quoted.. When we think all the doors are closed on us and are locked too, we fail to understand that some closed doors might not be locked at all.

My thoughts on it

"There are no locks and keys and even doors in reality..
either the lock or the key or even the door is in our minds..

with a little care and diligence we can remove the locks, keys or even the doors..

But any purpose would be served if and only if we have something original to contribute..
There is a saying in Malayalam.. പൂച്ച കണ്ണടച്ചാല്‍ ലോകം അസ്തമിക്കില്ല.. The world will not disappear just because the cat closes its eyes.
Often we just close our eyes.. or our minds and think that everything is over..everything has disappeared 
Only we are responsible for that.. 
Our eyes can be opened only by ourselves.."

Chonnam goes to Mundur..

In our agraharam.. there is a story about Chonnam going to mundur .. Chonnam Mundoorukku pona pole..

Our agraharam is in the heart of Palakkad town.. and Mundur is a place about twelve kilometers away from here.. a place en route to Mannarkad.. and Mundur is semi hilly.. and full of very fertilke arable lands.
The brahmins of the agraharam in yonder years, owned a lot of agricultural lands there..

They would leave the lands in the control of tenants and a few would visit there often and stay in temporary shelters called kalappura.. Such kalappuras were used for extra curricular activities too.. That is a different story.

One brilliant mama in our village had an equally brilliant son whom he christened Swarnam (Swarnapureeswaran or something like that).. and assigned a pet name of Chonnam..

This mama had extensive areas of agriculture lands in Mundur..
He wanted to inspect the progress of agricultural activity and the activities of the tenants at Mundur and also wanted to collect something in cash or kind from them for the daily use of the family..
So one evening he called his darling son Chonnam and told him

Chonnam nee nalaikku kaarthaale mundurukku ponam.. 
you should go to mundur tomorrow morning.

The obedient son agreed as if the fathers order is a Vedavakyam

The next morning the sun rose, and the father was searching for the son to leave instructions as to what he should do at Mundur

He called the golden boy.. and there was no response.. 
Then he enquired about the whereabouts of his wise son.

No one had any clue.
His august presence was not felt since early morning..

But by ten O clock in the morning, the son was sighted, running back after a long, long trek

Nee engeda ponaay.. where did you go.. asked the father.

Pat came the reply... Neengal Chonna pole Mundurukku poyittu Vandaachu.. I have gone to Mundur and come back as per your directions..

Enthukku daa ponaay.. what was the purpose of your travel.. asked the father..

Appa, neengal athu chollalaye.... father , you did not tell me that..

The son had obeyed his father to the dot.. but with no purpose served..

A brilliant father, an equally brilliant son whose weight is worth is gold.. and a great journey..

This anecdote might be found in the annals of many paatti stories with different heroes and dramatis personae..

But our agraharam story goes like this..

We iyers though brilliant in many ways, are capable of extremely absurd actions.. innocently but foolishly..

Monday, February 18, 2019

Share and be blessed.. grab and be ruined.


मोघमन्नं विन्दते अप्रचेता सत्यं ब्रवीमि वध इत्स तस्य।
नार्यमणं विन्दति नो सखायं केवलाघो भवति केवलादी॥

ऋग्वेद १०-१७-६
moghamannaṁ vindate apracetā satyaṁ bravīmi vadha itsa tasya|
nāryamaṇaṁ vindati no sakhāyaṁ kevalāgho bhavati kevalādī||
ṛgveda 10-17-6
A very thought- provoking message from Rigvedam.. 

The mantram underlines the importance of social commitments and our duty of sharing of the resources with others..

The simple mindless person eats and eats away food (annam) more and more..
But actually he is just eating away and going to face (unceremonious) death round the corner.

A fellow who just eats away without sharing and without perfoming his duties never would acquire the blessing of the Aryaman.. 
Nor will he gain any friends

One who merely eats all alone will be all alone in suffering for his sins.
Aryaman.. is the God of manes of Pitrs. 
The word Aryaman means "Close friend".. bosom play companinon' 
He is the son of Aditi and Kashyapa.
He is the protector of Mares, the presiding deity of the Milky way galaxy..
And in Rigvedam which is the earliest Veda, He is of equal status of Mitra, Varuna Bhaga, Brihaspati etc
There are suggestions in Rigvedam that even Indra the leader of gods receives favours from Aryaman..
Remember this mantra..
शं नो मित्रः शं वरुणः शं नो भवतु अर्यमा शं न इन्द्रो बृहस्पति शं नो विष्णुः उरुक्रमः..sham not mitraH sham varuna sham no bhavatu aryamaaa sham na indro brihaspati sham to vishnuH urukramaH.
( May Mitra bring us welfare.. May Varuna Bring us welfare May Aryama bring us welfare.. May Indra bring us welfare.. May Brihaspati bring us welfare.. May Vishnu who pervades the whole universe bring us welfare..

Friday, February 01, 2019

evolution of Mahabharatham

नारायणं नमस्कृत्य नरं चैव नरोत्तमं देवीं सरस्वतीं व्यासं ततो जयं उदीरयेत्
Narayanam namaskritya naram chaiva narottamam 
deveem saraswatheem vyaasam tato jayam udeerayet..

Jeyam is treated as the primary synopsis of events originally conceived and which in due course got elaborated to eighteen huge Parvas or chapters of the epic Mahabharatham ..

It would appear that Jeyam has got included in the first Parva of Bharatham already..

And it seems that part of it has crept into subsequent parvas too..

Many descriptions of the same incidents or episodes have minor or even major variations in the narratives in different Parvas..
but no attempt has been made by any ancient author to cover up the contradictions..

It is a Herculean task to read the whole of Mahabharatham.. and even when I attempted that with the huge translated material of Kisari Mohan Ganguly,

I found that the Sanskrit text in original is too much of a challenge.. 
Moreover there are many versions of Mahabharatham .. of Vyasa himself as available across India and many incidents that are included in some editions are not finding place in other editions..

Often hundreds of chapters found in some editions are missing in some other editions..

So we can read, enjoy, evaluate and derive benefit.. 
but we may not succeed if we dig too much into the historical authenticity of all parts of Mahabharatham..

Not only with Mahabharatham, this is the case with many ancient texts too..

For example part of Balakandam and the whole of Uttarakandam in Valmikiramayanam are held as interpolations by scholars, 
and they have based their views on the style of narration and grammatical style and such factors..
Sanskrit was a living language for millenniums and the language evolved.. 
But thanks to the very sane and crisp approach of the greats like Panini, the basic foundation of the language has been enduring and consistent in spite of all the vagaries of space, time and attitudes..

Most other languages lost their shape even within four or five centuries.. 
Take the case of English which we use here.. an article in this language written five centuries ago will be abracadabra for almost anyone today..

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

they lead us from brightness to brightness..

Sesha himself in Krita or Satyayugam 
Lakshmana is Treta yugam.. 
Balarama the Sankarshana in Dvapara Yugam 
Sage Ramanuja is Kaliyugam...

Anantha incarnated in these forms.. 
Wherever one finds Perumal Narayana in whatever activity, even in His bedroom with Thayaar Lakshmi, Sesha is there.. the confidant and the conscious keeper and servant and the foremost bhaktha of Narayana.. 
What a blessed Soul!
Hinduism survives today because of the Acharyals like Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva in the forefront..
Namo namaH..

musings 53

I deal with religion in more than one way.. 
I have read a lot on Hinduism and have lived as a follower of that religion, and would often discuss the rituals and practices of that school..
But that is more dissemination of information..
I am not hawkish or fanatic about performances..
Just I have the belief that whatever is good, nice and beautiful about that religion and its culture can be followed and enjoyed.. especially when it is not working towards the detriment of social balance..

But I do write on religion as an object of intellectual analysis too.. 
There I treat every religion equally, just on the basis of objective evaluation of the pros and cons of following certain tenets, maintaining certain institutions and attitudes and so on..

There I do not remind me or others that I am a follower of Hinduism..

This might look as applying double standards, and doing double talk.. 
But everything is relevant only in its own context.

pooja--what it means to me

The most beautiful slice of time every day in my life is that eighty to ninety minutes in the morning.. serving.the God the way I love.
I am sure that God needs no service from me..and I do not believe He is going to give me any special boons in return. No.

I do not even know whether he accepts my worship..I can never verify.

To collect flowers to be placed at his feet.

To clean the vessels earmarked for his service.
To clean the ground where He is to sit and receive my flowers and praises.
To clean and decorate the little objects in which I believe He presents Himself (I may be right or wrong in that belief.. but that matters a lot to me)
To offer water for His bath.
To offer incense and sandal paste to Him.
To utter many many words in His/Her praise 
To offer some little food for Him/Her..knowing well that I am not good enough to expect that he/she would eat from my hands.
To offer a leaf of Tulasi to krishna.
To offer a leaf of Bilwa to Shankara 
To see Their majestic presence in the light of brightly lit camphor.
To sip.a drop of water that washed their lotus feet.
Yes. I can get all this only if I am living on this earth.
I want nothing from you God except this slice of time where i serve you forgetting myself.

Vedic Prayer and entreaty to God

Vedic Prayer and entreaty to God.. in the bhakthi way are different..
The vedic arrangement of words..and letters are supposed to be according to the patterns of six Vedangas..
like kalpam shiksha niruktham, chandas, vyakarana and also following Jyothisha..
The first five are dependent on exact pronunciation.. intonation and so on..
You must understand that the Vedic belief was that when the rituals according to the prescriptions are performed, the recipient deities that is the deities who receive their due share of offerings from the sacrifice are bound to deliver the goods without fail.

They would deny such delivery when the rituals are incomplete and are not performed correctly in all respects.

The modern day authors and swamis added some sort of exemptions and condonations to the rigours..

The mimamsa schools did not allow such things.. but the bhakthi schools seem to support the existence of some concessions when the intention is good.. 
The modern gurus hold that it is sufficient to have good intentions.. 
Agreed, good intentions are okay when we consider earthly and mundane matters..

But if you ask the modern gurus,as to what is the basis for such concessions, he or they will have no answers.. 
No major concessions or exemption can be found in ritualistic matters.
In brahmin rituals we have to follow the Vedas and Vedangas..

Bhakthi schools or semi secular swamis can give their opinions, but such opinions cannot hold the fort in Vedic and Yajnik matters.
To believe in Vedas or to believe in Swamis is your choice..

But it is unfair to counter the requirements of Vedas with what some persons who are not exactly subscribing to Vedic ways are saying is not fair..

Those who want to follow Vedas can follow Vedas by subscribing to the rules prescribed in Vedas.. 
If they choose they can followed the ways prescribed by modern gurus.. and swamis too..
But the fallacy lies in creating hybrids or mules.. Hybrids will not work well..

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

father in laws house

असारे खलु संसारे सारं श्वशुरमन्दिरम्।
हरो हिमालये शेते हरिः शेते महोदधौ॥
सुभाषितरत्नभण्डागारे ३८९-१२
asāre khalu saṁsāre sāraṁ śvaśuramandiram|
haro himālaye śete hariḥ śete mahodadhau||
subhāṣitaratnabhaṇḍāgāre 389-12

A funny subhashitam found in many anthologies like Subhashita ratnabhandagaram, neetisshastram.. etc

The blessedness of happy stay in father in laws house is extolled here
In this world of woes where existence is clueless and difficult, life and stay would be most comfortable if the place happens to the house of the father in law..

We can see that Hara, the Lord Shiva stays in Kailasa which is a part of Himalaya ranges.. and Himalaya is none other that Uma's father.. and Sivas father in law.

Similarly Lord Vishnu also does not lag behind.. He has taken abode floating aloft the Shesha Naga.. on the ocean.. and one should not fail to note the fact that ocean is from where Lakshmi the better half of Vishnu was born.. So Vishnu also endorses the bliss of residing in the house of father in law..
Of course, the parents in law would be very hospitable to the son in law even if he is an idiot.. because they have to ensure peace for their daughter.

It is another thing that prison is often referred to as Mamiyaar Veedu or the mother in laws house..

word analysis
असारे fathomless, clueless, difficult 
संसारे life of worldly woes 
श्वशुरमन्दिरं house of the father in law 
सारं खलु is indeed worthy and beneficial for stay
हरः Hara Lord Shiva
हिमालये शेते sleeps in the Himalayas ( Kailas)
हरिः Hari the Vishnu 
महोदधौ शेते sleeps floating over the great ocean

Monday, January 28, 2019

dignity to be maintained at any cost

वनेऽपि सिंहाः मृगमांसभक्षिणः
बुभुक्षिताः नैव तृणं चरन्ति।
एवं कुलीनाः व्यसनाभिभूताः
न नीचकर्माणि समाचरन्ति॥
vane'pi siṁhāḥ mṛgamāṁsabhakṣiṇaḥ
bubhukṣitāḥ naiva tṛṇaṁ caranti|
evaṁ kulīnāḥ vyasanābhibhūtāḥ
na nīcakarmāṇi samācaranti||

The lion, the king of the forest, always would have for its food the meat of wild animals like deer .. 
In forest, the lion might face difficult situations too. 
And in the forest, more grass is available than meat.
However, the lion, even if in desperate conditions would not take grass for food.

Just like that a thoroughbred person born in a respectable family would never perform lowly deeds just because he is in difficulties or is overcome by sorrow..

A subhashitam.. from unclassified collection.. Looked nice..

Sunday, January 27, 2019

balance consumption and savings

दातव्यं भोक्तव्यं सति विभवे सञ्चयो न कार्यः।
पश्य मधुकराणां सञ्चितमर्थं हरन्त्यन्ये॥
dātavyaṁ bhoktavyaṁ sati vibhave sañcayo na kāryaḥ|
paśya madhukarāṇāṁ sañcitamarthaṁ harantyanye||

A very important advice... 
it would seem very silly or trivial.. 
but something we usually fail to follow..
to our own dismay.

If some material in our possession is either capable of being gifted or of being consumed, it is better not to hoard them.
Eat them, enjoy them or give them voluntarily to others who can use them.

See, the honeybees collect their honey from so many flowers toiling all along, but store the honey without having the mind to taste them.. 
But what happens..?
Someone else just snatch away all the honey along with the honey combs..