Archive for the ‘RKM’ Category

PrAchetasA

October 23, 2006

Discussion about this name came in the last Sunday lecture. Valmiki, intervening in the battle between Lav,
Kush and Ram, informs Rama that the former are indeed his children.  Sita now enters the scene. Valimiki in his declaration about Sita being pure refers to himself as PrAchetasA.

Bramha has ten mAnasa putras (mind-born sons). One among them (I think the last one) was Prachetas. Valmiki is the son of Prachetas.

I know only Motilal

July 3, 2006

After the coronation of Shri Ramachandra, many sages came to greet him. One day, the great and senior seven (i donot remember the exact number)sages -Agastya included-arrived. They lodged near the palace and asked a messenger(dwarapalak?) to inform Dasharatha’s son that they had arrived. At this juncture, Swamiji explained as to why they addressed Shri Rama as Dasharatha’s son. The sages belonged to the age group of Dasharatha and its common among seniors to refer to the children as so and so’s son, no matter what his stature. Swamiji cited a real life example here…

Sir M Visweshwaraiyya and Jawaharlal Nehru were sharing the dias in some function connected to or not much later than the Bhakra dam times. Sir M was not for the Bhakra project and possibly had a grudge. As it happens, Nehru addressed the gathering for a while and then it was Sir M’s turn. At some point in his address Sir M referred to Jawaharlal as Motilal. To which, Jawaharlal rose and objected saying that it was him and not his father on the dias. Sir M then hastened to add “i dont know who you are, i know only motilal!”

I wonder if this incident is recorded elsewhere.

Murari

June 11, 2006

Today Swamiji came to the end of Valmiki’s Ramayana.

Somewhere in the hymns recited in praise of Rama, by Shiva followed by Indra, the word murari occurs. In this context, Swamiji mentioned that Mura was the commander in chief of Narakasura’s army. Murari meant one who did the samhara of Mura i.e, Krishna. I forgot how then it fit into a praise for Rama.

Valmiki’s Ramayana ends with the coronation of Rama followed by the descripton of Rama rajya. Phala shruthi marks the finish. Ofcourse, there is some more added saying that the story of Rama is not fiction and had occurred long long ago

I remember this part vividly because the Mura i know is a scientist who specialises in micromechanics of defects. 

Rama shaved?

June 10, 2006

This post is after a really long time. Now that i have the laptop and write more often. What follows below is also a recollection of what i heard in swamiji's lecture a few weeks ago.

The Ramayana serial, by Ramanand sagar, shows Rama and laxmana with long hair made into a a jata. But they were clean shaven. However, Valmiki's Ramayana says that they had long beards too. In this regard, Swamiji added that they would use Banyan tree oil (or milk?) to their hair so that it stayed in place. And that Ramanand sagar would have taken the idea of clean shaven Rama from the popular paintings of Raja Ravi Verma. Infact the latters depictions have got grooved into public memory and now are traditional knowledge.

Don Juan

April 10, 2006

Today, having gone early to RKM i chanced upon a book, ‘Journey to Ixtlan-Lessons from Don Juan’ by Carlos Casteneda. The author was a pursuing a PhD in anthropolgy and the outcome was a series of books on Don Juan, ‘the sorcerer’, his teachings, herbs and philosophy. I read a few pages and found it interesting. Hope to read it sometime. On surfing the web casually i found a link which not only has extracts from his books but also mp3’s of some compilations read out. It also has a list of other books that Carlos has publised, the latest being published in 1999.

Mysterious?

March 19, 2006

The last sunday, a vdo lecture by swami Ranganathananda was arranged. It was on ‘Practical Vedanta’. I was generally not happy about the adequacy of the contents of the talk to the topic. After coming back, i wrote down in detail(more than a few pages) what i felt was expected from such a talk and how the talk was not fulfillilng it. But when i clicked the publish button the site hanged and my write up was irrecoverable. I neither have the patience nor the mood to write about it again. This has happened to me on other occasions too, when i am in criticising mode.  Swami Ranganathananda is an advanced spiritual person and he knows better what his audience needs to be told. Who am i? Macchar

Ravana is dead

March 19, 2006

Since, the story part was not the focus of this lecture series on Ramayana; today, Swamiji finished Ravana by starting as ‘After Ravana fell to the ground a light emerged from his body and entered Rama’. Apparently this story of light/soul merging into Rama is found only in Adhyatma Ramayana. The Adyatma Ramayana, from the very beginning, recognises the divine nature of Rama and that Rama is none other than Vishnu incarnate. Valmiki on the other hand portrays Rama majorly as a human being, though at a few places he hints that Rama is none other than the supreme being. For instance:

When Ravana is dead and lying on the battle ground, Mandodari comes and wails. In her wailings she says that even when Khara and Dushana with their large army were destroyed single handedly by Rama, she had realised that Rama was the supreme being.

Ofcourse, Swamiji did’nt translate the last word as ‘supreme being’. He said something which meant, Rama was beyond time.

Swamiji, in one of the earlier lectures, mentioned that in the Valmiki Ravana has only one head. Its only in the Ramacharitamanas and later Ramayana’s that he has ten heads.

Vibhishana moaning the death of Ravana remember the many good deeds of Ravana. He also praises his devotion to Lord Shiva. Here Swamiji mentioned that there is a sutra, a hymn on Shiva, supposed to have composed by Ravana. I forgot the name, but Swamiji says its very melodious to sing and is set in very good metre.

When Ravana saw Vibhishana on the battleground he at once got furious.  Thinking that all that happened was due to Vibhishana he hurled the shakti weapon (shula?) at him. Shakti is weapon that Shiva had bestowed to Ravana saying that no person could withstand it. Rama, all knowing that he is, comes in the way of the weapon and absorbs the power in the weapon.    

Martanda

March 5, 2006

Today, it was the last lecture on the ‘Aditya Hridayam’. The thing that first comes to the mind is the meaning of ‘Martanda’. It is formed from Mruta Anda, i.e dead egg.  The dead egg is brought to life in the womb by the heat of the mother. The ultimate source of heat is the Sun. Therefore, it is also one of the names of Aditya (Sun).

Not convincing, like many other meanings, but thats how it is.

In the phala shruthi, it is mentioned that chanting that this hymn with devotion for a number of days (forgot the number-it was something like 46) one can achieve anything! However, it is generally chanted for general health. In this swamiji says that it is not just a stotra but a mantra.

In the above context, he narrated two stories from the ‘Guide Post’. A gentleman was about to leave his house had almost gone to the nearby electric pole where his car was parked when he heard his phone bell ring at home. He walked back into his house; his friend was online-talked for a few minutes. When he goes back to his car, he sees that the electric cable has snapped off the pole and is lying there, live!-Had he not gone to attend to the phone he would have got electrocuted. He feels grateful to his friend and goes back home to call him again. But this time is unable to reach his friend.

May be a day or two later when he meets this friend of his, he narrates the incident.  That day, the phone at his friends’ was dead and he had never called up! Grace-unasked for…

He narrated another similar incident-phone call stuff-but this time its a lady who is extremely worried about her child who has gone to school. A tornedo is expected to hit the area where the school is and she does not know how to reach her child. Just then she gets a phone call from the childs teacher mentioning that they had shifted to someother building and the child is safe. 

She later learns that the teacher never called up. The school building was already washed away by the whirlwind when she had received the phone call(from the school).

MahaShivaRatri

March 4, 2006

Today, Swamiji narrated 3-4 stories that signify the importance of this day. But he first underlined one important distinction about this day that it was a ‘vrata'(vow/solemn ritual) and not a ‘habba'(festival/ceremony).

The following four stories have been ascribed to this day:

The gods and the demons churned the ocean of milk using mountain meru as the spindel and snake vasuki as the rope. As the began to churn, snake vasuki puked out an ocean of poison. This poison had to be prevented from destroying one and all. Lord Shiva came to their rescue and drank all the poison. This was the day on which he drank the poison and saved the world.

Once the gods, all of them, got bored of their work and wanted some entertainment. One of them got this idea that Shiva being a great dancer; watching him dance could enliven them. So, they all request Shiva and he obliges by performing tandava nritya. It was this day that he performed. The connecting story here is that: Shiva first played his drum(the ‘damaru’) some 14 times (or 24?) . Each sound of these 14 is a sutra for Sanskrit language (grammar?), collectively known as Maheshwara sutras.

Once Brahma and Vishnu gave vent to their ego’s and started arguing as to who is the greater among them. Suddenly, there appeared a shiva linga one end of which reached the skies. A voice from the heavens declares that whoever reaches the end of the linga will be the greatest. It so happens that after long years too the ends are not found by either of them and they are humbled. It was Shiva who had created the linga and the day was mahashivaratri.

I forget the last story; i am writing it after about a week that i heard the lecture.

A rather brutal support

February 20, 2006

This is the first story that i mentioned in the previous post.  Swamiji narrated this story to corroborate the sloka from Gita “ananyaschintayantomaam etc…”

The story is from the Kalyan magazine published by Gita Press and has occured near Banaras prior to independence. Two sanyasins boarded a boat to cross the ganges which divided a smaller village from a town. The elder sanyasin was quite senior and was continuously counting his beads. The boat got crowded soon. Just when it was about to leave two British soldiers jumped on to it. Their general demeanour was rude and they went around nudging others to find place. They came across this sanyasin and nudged him too.  The sanyasin was unknown to the world around him, deeply engrossed in counting the beads. The soldiers not only teased him they also manhandled him. The people on the boat were outraged at their acts but none dared to confront an Englishman.

The boat was nearing the other shore. The river had certain areas which, if the boat parked there, would be inconvenient for the passengers to get down at reach the shore. There were spikes all along these areas ensure the boat would’nt halt there. Now, one of the soldiers in order to show his bravery or so, decided to jump standing on the edge of the boat directly on to the shore. It so happened that as he leaped instead of reaching the shore he fell bang on the spikes resulting in his instantaneous death.

People on the boat were convinced that his death was an outcome of his unruly behavior with the sanyasin. It was a punishment from God to somebody who pained his devotee who was thinking of Him all the time (ananyaschintayata). A rather brutal punishment, i thought 😦 


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