Tuesday, June 25, 2019

What truly are the six faces?

Be it Eka-rupa bhakti or Aneka Rupa Bhakti, beyond form and appearance, it is relevant to understand the divine attributes. Legend has it that Karthikeya, popularly hailed as Arumugam – is endowed with Six Faces! ‘Arumuga Velanukku Arohara' is a very popular salutation that reverberates! The one minute video gives a glimpse of some of His well known abodes with a few Poetic lines sung at a recent satsang.
What truly are the six faces?
One face that sheds rays of Light that remove the dense darkness shrouding the world; one that lovingly showers boons on the devout; One that watches over the sacrifices and offerings made. One that enlightens the minds of Sages; One that is in battle to destroy the negative forces & One that smiles lovingly at His consort.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Gift a smile

The phone rang! The caller wished an early ‘Happy birthday’ and asked ‘How old are you now?’ I took his query with a smile. We don't talk about trees getting older, instead we say they are ‘growing.’ Perhaps we must use the same language for ourselves: We're not getting older, we're just growing.

Come to think of it, smile is 'happiness' right under your nose. The next time you smile, notice your breathing and heart rates sync up. Thiruvalluvar, the Poet philosopher goes one step further in a nice couplet “To smile even in adverse situation is an elevated mindset”

Let us use our smile to change the world; and not let the world change our smile!🙂

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book release at Open air theatre, Sri Sri College of Yoga

24th March 2019

The thematic decor, contextual exhibits, the mellifluous rendition of Adi Sankara’s ‘Aigiri Nandini Nanditha Medhini’ by the Girls choir set the ambience for a magical evening. It was an appropriate prelude to the release of the book ‘Parashakti authored by Bhanu Didi . The book,a Westland Publication, demystifies the puranic tales on the glory of Mother Divine. More importantly, it has unlocked the deeper knowledge hidden between words and images described in ancient wisdom. A great boon for seekers and the GenNext.

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Spring is here!

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!” It is also a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be. Holi is celebrated in Spring, the transition phase of winter and summer. Here are some interesting aspects of this festivity also known as Rang Panchami, Basant utsav, Hola Mohalla, Lathmar Holi and so on.

The period induces the growth of bacteria in the environment and physical body. When Holika is burnt, temperature in vicinity rises substantially. For those who go around the bonfire or the pyre, such heat is said to kill the bacteria in the body and cleanses it.

During this phase, the body experiences some tardiness; to counter laziness, people sing and dance to music with Dhol, Manjira and such traditional instruments. This helps in rejuvenating the human body.

Colours are said to play a vital role in fitness of human body. Deficiency of a particular colour could cause an impairment that can be healed when that colour element is supplemented. It is not surprising that today wellness experts recommend to Eat colours through varied veggies –see image!

In ancient times, when people were playing Holi, natural sources like turmeric, Neem, Palash and so on, were used by them. The playful pouring and throwing of colour powders made from such natural sources, is said to strengthen the ions in the body with a healing effect overall. 

It is interesting to see growing people awareness of the harmful effects of synthetic colours and moving towards natural herbal colours!

Happy Holi!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

“Music, Mankind & Nature – the symbiosis”

10th Feb 2019

Excerpts from Arunji's address to the music Conservatory:

“What we pass off as animal sounds and chirpings of birds, do in fact, contain the treasure of music. For instance in the sapta swaras, Sa (Shadja) originated from Peacock and Ri ( Rishab) from the Buffalo; Ga (Gandhar) from the  Goat and Ma (Madhyama) from the Stork and so on.  Such sound vibrations from Nature influenced the formation of ragas which in turn could impact nature as well as seen when Tansen lit the diyas in his Emperor’s Court by invoking Raag Deepak. When the temperature began to soar high, he commended his daughter to sing Raag Megh Malhar which brought down the showers and doused the fire.

Muthuswamy Dikshithar from the celebrated Carnatic Musical Trinity brought rains for the parched lands and thirsty throats in Ettayapuram with his rendition of Raag Amritvarshini. Mozart's diary confirms that he purchased a starling as a pet after hearing the bird sing snatches from his Piano Concerto!

We recall the several satsangs when during our renditions in praise of Karthikeya, scores of peacocks would dance away spreading their feathers; otherwise naughty and restless monkeys would sit quietly in meditative state when Ram dhuns were sung.”

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year 2019

Was reflecting on the era when almost every town kept its own local time, defined by the Sun. There were no international protocols for how time should be measured. Mid-1850s saw the emergence of public clocks in Great Britain set to GMT, one of them being the Big Ben. Its comforting chimes were used for decades to herald the transition from the Old to the New Year. Even when its clock mechanism was dismantled for renovation, they would activate the chimes with the help of a specially built electric mechanism to power the hammer weighing 200 kilograms!

As the New Year approached, Time stood still at the recently concluded retreat by the hillside. Refreshing mountain air gave much needed rejuvenation to transit into another calendar year.

Here’s wishing you all a great year ahead.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit!

A year ago, due to stormy rains in the city, a big rain tree fell uprooted outside our compound wall. The tree, circa a century old, stood witness to a couple of generations. It chose to fall without causing any hurt to unwary humans or property.

Planting the heavenly Parijat tree was our tribute to such a great soul! The Parijat is said to be one of the many gifts from Samudra manthan. It blooms occasionally especially after Ganga Dusshera. The flower has a very strong fragrance, used for incense sticks and perfume. Its medicinal applications are indeed vast.

Once when Krishna brought the tree to Dwarka, conflict arose between his consorts Rukmini-Satyabhama , both insisting to have the Parijath plant in their respective gardens. The astute Krishna planted the tree in such a manner that although it was planted in Satyabhama’s garden, its flowers would fall in Rukmini’s garden.In this way, Rukmini got the flowers and Satyabhama got the tree!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Festivities farsighted!

Here comes the fortnight of the Goddess (Devi Paksh). Preparations in full swing-a great time for artisans and idol crafters to showcase their creativity.Be it Ganesh Utsav, Dussera Durga Puja, Bombe Habba - Navaratri Kolu, display of dolls occupy pride of place.

When we explore the origin of these festivities, we cannot but admire the wisdom and farsightedness of our forebears. Traditionally ours being a strong pastoral, agrarian society, it became imperative to encourage dredging and de-silting of irrigation canals and riverbeds. To this end, idol-centric festivals provided strong eco -friendly fillip for requirement of clay sourced from such dredging operations.

Navaratri brings forth creative art & craft skills of family members on themes inspired by legends -Itihasas and Puranas. Pujas, rendition of sacred hymns and bhajans add to the flavour. In many locations now, Garba is performed in honour of Devi followed by Dandiya in merriment with extreme energy and vigour. Overall these festivities bring people closer in joyful, interactive ambience.

Monday, September 24, 2018

LKM- a genial soul, no more.

21 September 2018
With the passing away of Muthuswamy Naidu ( LKM) , sharing a flashback  upon his geniality and sense of humour.  Those were the early days of AOL in TN.  LKM  was continuously hitting the road to render promotional talks for voluntary groups of businessmen in Coimbatore District.
His opening remarks always tickled the curiosity of the audience.  “Friends I have yet to recover from the shock of losing a few lacs of rupees!” He would then unravel the backdrop. “For years I have been nursing a frozen shoulder that made it difficult to shift manual gears in my automobile. The manufacturer was also producing cars with floor gear. To make life easier, I invested in a new vehicle which had that option. A few weeks later I took the AOL course. On the third day they taught me the Sudarshan kriya, which released me completely of my frozen shoulder. The recovery was an enduring one; but it left me wondering, had this blessing been there a bit earlier, I could have well saved the few lacs that I invested in the new car!”
In the early years, he often travelled with his team to the ashram to carry out intensive seva. The courses coordinated by him at the serene Tirumurthy Hills were always housefull. Participants loved his personal touch in hospitality and care.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Teachers Day 2018

During my days at school Dr.Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, in whose honour the day is dedicated, reminded us: ‘The ultimate purpose of education is not the mere acquisition of knowledge and information but initiation into higher life.’ Your role is not confined just to impart the curriculum but to steer the class towards good human values as well.
It takes a big heart to be in this profession as a teacher. You could be just a teacher but to your students you are their role model! The cherished characteristic you can have is to be friendly and congenial with students. It is a plus, if students can share their problems with you without being afraid or hesitant.
Do take care of your health for your students’ sake. Allocate sometime for pranayama and meditation every morning before leaving for the School. This will keep you refreshed through the day. In the fast paced life today, there is a dire need to attend to your physical, mental, emotional health. Remember your class room lectures last for several hours in addition to regular daily conversations. The calories that you burn in the process do impact on your fitness levels. Hence the need to stay sufficiently hydrated during work hours.
May the divine grace and the wisdom of our  Guru Parampara be upon you all.
Extract from my address to Teachers today🦉