Do we ever ask God, ‘why me’ when She showers on us Her choicest blessings.
Why ask ‘why me’ when it is time for a little test of our patience, faith and mettle.
For Vishu/Tamil New Year, we have the custom of offering for Puja and spreading a family feast of sweet, sour and bitter dishes. Veppam kozhundhu – the bitter neem finds a place alongside sweet jaggery and sour mango in our festive menu. It is not without a reason. It is symbolic of one’s life cycle. Upswings and downswings, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, happiness and heart break are phases of life. When we never question ‘why me’ in moments of sheer bliss, why complain when it is time for self-introspection.
This too shall pass. After peaking highs, new lows are the laws of nature. Accepting God’s will and submitting at and surrendering to Her Lotus Feet one hundred percent may mark a milestone in one’s spiritual journey.
May Mother Goddess give us the strength and willpower to sail through challenging winds of time. Short-cuts to evade one’s Karma can only rejig the balance sheet. The shortfall will have to be met with and made good somehow, somewhere. If not today, then tomorrow. How many ever janams it might take. One can reschedule and postpone Karma not outwit it totally.
Because none other seeks the light of knowledge for salvation, awakening of higher consciousness and liberation of the soul from the birth-death-rebirth cycle as Dharma does. No Abrahamic way is anywhere close to the truth. There is no heaven or hell. Only this. You attain supreme conscience or opt to be reborn up until you are ready to merge with the creation and become part of it all on attaining the state of ‘Mukthi’ or ‘Moksha’ (‘Nirvana’ – enlightenment). How easily said than done. Ant and the boot story as I have mentioned many a time in my blog posts. I can never reach up to higher level than this. I am stranded. I am all admiration for those Maha Avatars who have managed to transcend through time and space into the Infinity, with immense mind control. This is after all the land of Gautama Buddha and Mahavira and Vivekananda and Ramana Maharishi. Of great Sadhus (sages), Rishis and Yogis. Just listening to their life stories suffices for me. I may take a 1000 janams (births) or probably much, much more to reach there, but who cares. I am aware of my own limitations. Unable to rise above this ground level of the pyramid of spirituality. Materialistic aspirations have dulled not just me. The damaging impact is all across the world and the purpose is lost. The one Adi Yogi who always resides in my heart is Lord Shiva.
Other folds have fielded their self-proclaimed prophets and saints and supposed sons of Gods as if we are running a race – and how wrongfully they succeed in weaning away masses from the one right path. It is not even apt to talk about them here when I think of the Maha Yogis who have walked the length and breadth of not just my country India, but the universe. India has had many of them, India is ancient. Cradle of civilizations. Only Hindus believe we are re-evolving after we devolved. It is next to impossible to make an Abrahamic understand this ingrained belief in every Hindu. This is why Dharma has to survive. The one true path. The one visible only to the seeker. Seeker of higher intelligence and truth. The only way you can bust your physical body to enter the realm of supreme existence. Other than on embracing death that is. Our Karma decides where we belong. Whether we must be recycled.
The way I look at our timeless temples, our Gurus, our ancestors, our Gods, our saints and even our mountains …. all this has changed vastly in recent years. I am now a staunch advocate for Hindu Dharma for this reason. I may never unravel the truth in my limited capacity and confinement, but let the seekers who have it in them go after the truth…
Sometimes this moves me to tears. The inability to go beyond my level. Sheer greed I know. The physical, mental limitations. The insignificance of my being. The pointlessness of material life.
The significance of our brain size proportionate to our body mass – i never paid more attention to this like I do now.
My prayer these days is : I can never reach up to you Oh My Mother and Father, but you can reach down to me. Elevate me a little.
Meditation is not easy. But a wise path to tread. Focus sharpens for the starters. Long winding road ahead… Yoga and meditation are good tools to work with in this direction.
The more you become aware of the bonding chains, of your level of intelligence that really matters, the less is the pain of suffering. More acceptance. More Peace. Om Shanthi!
At the end of the day, I am still the materialistic average human. Self-serving and taking refuge in small pleasures. The whole life becomes a summary of such trivialities. But how to get rid of mortal attachments. If I have to wait a lifetime every time, I shall. In this assignment that i have willingly taken in (I believe), let me score my best.
In this birth, in this defined role of mortal life wherein familial duties get duly prioritized, here and whenever possible I gaze at Thee in wonder. Who I cannot reach in a zillion ages. But I am happy to SEE, Thou are incomprehensible. My brains may burst to dust defining Thy dimensions. Thy Immensity. I am fulfilled right now. No aspirations. Ground level view is good and satisfying. Self realization can be at multi-level. I am at the entry stage. To realize that I can’t realize ever is my greatest achievement in this janam!
Pranaams to the greatest Mahans of Bharat! I cannot feel their presence, but I believe they are all around us. The vibes I sense on setting foot in our temples are a proof that I do not expect others to understand. Why great souls are not born these days. Materialistic vision clouds mind. Rituals drown or dissolve the essence. Meaningless pursuits lead us astray from the one goal: Mukthi. Liberation.
While on our way to weekend grocery shopping last evening, my hubby at the wheels asked me if I had come across even a single death procession in the Middle East in all these years. I said, ‘No.’ For that matter, I told him neither had we witnessed a death procession in Malaysia that was our place of residence for four years. How come I never thought of it for so long!
Death is a big matter in India. Processions for the dead are very common that may block traffic. It is a very macabre thing to write about I know, but I thought I have to write it down. Today happens to be Mahalaya Amavasya, which is special for Hindu ancestors. Millions around the country take a dip in our holy rivers and offer ‘tharpana’ in memory of their forefathers.
I was raised in a very shielded secure world until my mother passed away when I was still in school. Until then, I had only heard about death and had seen a few processions on my way back from school that would totally scare me. My mother would tell me, they were taking ‘kanmoodi swamy’ in procession. Means, God with closed eyes. To us Hindus, the dead immediately transform into God. We forget what kind of humans they were in their lifetimes. Once a person passes away, we celebrate the dead as God. We forgive their misdoings. Only the good things about them are to be highlighted and remembered. We also have annual rituals commemorating the dead in our families. Failing to honour the dead with appropriate religious rites may incur their wrath and we could get cursed with ‘pitru dosham.’ That is why we feed the crows everyday in our terraces, believing they are our ancestors waiting for our food!
Until the ’80s, the dead used to be carried on shoulders by minimum four men (relatives) for cremation. Whatever the distance (may be 3-4 km). Hindus do not have casket. Hindus lay their dead on coconut palm mat that is spun between two bamboo poles that the pallbearers have to carry. One can see this in Bollywood films. Even in modern times, this one ritual has not changed. The open procession could be a shocker to little children in those days.
Now no more it is so. Things changed by late ’80s. By then the black van had arrived on the scene. Plus the freezer facility. For even cremation now, we have only electric crematorium. No more wood burning.
The black vans get replaced by even more grander carriers in Chennai these days. With seating arrangement etc. Playing up to the gallery. Quite a show. Death is no more so raw as in my mother’s times. To a significant degree, the effect stands muted today.
Big send off to the dead. Ceremonial. Obstructing traffic. Drawing unnecessary public attention.
What irritates me most is how these processions hinder traffic in the metro. Many times when I would be on my way somewhere, the mourners also happened to throw rose petals etc., into the auto (rickshaw) i had hired. It is such a disturbance to our peace of mind. Mood spoiler. Especially if you are on way to temple, etc. There are some processions with even band !!! Can’t get gross than this!
I wonder why are we Indians like this. Why can’t we do anything quiet. The black vans and other death vans are prominent in the city roads almost every single day. Chennai’s population is 10 million approximately. You have to book for cremation immediately when death occurs, if you want it in time! And don’t forget to take the Aadhar card of the deceased to the crematorium!!! Nothing less is admissible!
There are many things we can learn from others. Out of which, we have to learn first how to behave at death. How to quietly mourn the passing away of a dear one. How to give some dignity to the dead. How to conduct ourselves with dignity.
In lower middle class Indian homes (labour class), the men take to the bottle after cremation . To relieve their pain. What about the ladies. Men can pee wherever they want, men can booze to relieve their stress, however women have to be that strong pillar to take in everything and remain standing, upholding the family tree and customs and traditions is it!
A 10 to 16 day ritual then follows in Hindu homes after someone’s passing. Highly religious. Then a monthly observance as per Hindu calendar. And then finally an annual remembrance – with all the spiritual significance.
I am told, our ancestors live in us. Right. My gene may be millennia old but I am essentially of the same stock that my ancestor was a 1000, 2000 years ago. I owe them that much. And especially if you are a follower of Dharma, it means your bloodline is pedigree and not corrupted for centuries, millennia. Conversion to Hindu Dharma is happening only since the last 100 years or so. Hindus are thoroughbred carefully for eons, generations which makes us unique and special. We have our ancestors to thank for such a thoughtful cultivation and preservation of the Hindu gene. Kula Deivam (family deity) for most Hindu families also may be some long lost ancestors. This is where remembering our forefathers has its relevance.
There are friends and relatives who have donated cows in memory of the dead to ensure heaven to their dear departed family members. I could only think of the calf the cow was separated from. There are those who went to Varanasi (Kashi) in the north and Rameshwaram in south Tamil Nadu to immerse the ashes in river Ganga and in the Indian Ocean. How much the dead were showered with love and respect in their own lifetimes is a million dollar question.
We Hindus also mourn for an year someone’s passing. We do not celebrate Diwali or observe any ‘vrath’ until the first year Devasham or Sraartham (annual religious commemoration). It is a must for us. We are not supposed to even wear new clothes in this one year period, but it is no more so for last many years. In digital age, a lot has changed in our society. Still, there is something that still needs a thinking-over.
Why is death so much observable in Indian roads. Why is that we have never seen death in other countries of our residence. And why do we Hindus have to appease our ancestors after they leave us, when we so much displease them when they are alive and kicking in our midst.
Don’t others have families too. Don’t they miss or mourn their beloveds. Are we Indians the only ones with emotions. Why are we overdoing even such a thing as close and intimate and personal and private like death in the family. How can we even make this a public affair by obstructing traffic. Why should others even know about our grief. Why should others suffer for our loss. Others totally unconnected to us.
I am proud of my Hindu roots, but there is a lot we Hindus can learn from others about life and death. Why can’t we just GO quietly. In peace. Om Shanthi!
Daughters may be denied the last rites as sons, but daughters can still fulfill their longings by giving their beloved parents and forefathers the respects they deserve at Kashi and Rameshwaram and Gaya. These are the only shrines/holy places in India that allow Hindu women to belatedly offer ‘tharpanam’ to their ancestors with/without an intermediary. These places are in my bucket list. There is also the Shraddha Perumal temple at Nenmeli, near Chennai that serves the same purpose.
The Theosophical Society is right in Chennai. It’s famous banyan tree is still a well known landmark. In fact when Chennai was still good old Madras, my aunt’s school used to take their high school girls for picnic to the tree that sprawled over a huge area leaving a cool shade. My aunt’s school is in Adyar bank even today. I can’t believe that once upon a time, the school used to open with a snake charmer leading them from the front. The classrooms used to be riddled with snakes from Adyar river. It was only in the 1970s and 1980s. Gradually things changed as India changed and soon there was no more work for snake charmer in the school premises.
So that is how the Theosophical society became familiar to me at a young age. Because of my aunt for whom, the banyan tree was like an icon as she daily commuted by city bus to her school which was close to the society.
In history text books, like anyone else, I have read about Annie Besant and Madam Blavatsky. More about Annie Besant who supposedly spearheaded the Home Rule Movement in India. She apparently moved on to other things, drawn by India. More so, the Hindu spirituality. Actually I had no idea. Many Chennaiites have been infatuated with the Theosophical society founded by her and J Krishnamurthy. However I have always remained immune to J Krishnamurthi. In fact, I did not even attempt to comprehend what they were trying to tell us. I didn’t know much about Annie Besant after whom Besant Nagar, the Chennai suburb is named. JK Foundation schools are popular for their style of syllabus and free thinking philosophies. More than that, I have never tried to find out honestly anything about this curious trio. Rukmini Arundale, the founder of Kalakshetra school of the classical dance form Bharat Natyam similarly was a close acquaintance to the spiritual thinkers. There was one more: Henry Olcott.
It is interesting to learn from Sadhguru, why they came to India exactly over a hundred years before, what drew them to India, and ultimately of the great Indian/Hindu spirituality and of Shiva. It is tragic that in a nation that beholds so much truth and wisdom about creation, there is today hectic foreign-sponsored activity to pull us Hindus away from native faith which is the only standing truth in the universe. That which truly transcends logic and theories and prophesies to lead you to the ‘true conscience.’ Or what you may call, the state of ‘Nirvana.’
The way I look at Sanathana dharma and at India has since undergone a massive change. I understand my belief system better now. I don’t care what others may want to think or how others may judge. It doesn’t matter.
I have heard of JK, Annie Besant etc over years but as I said I hardly paid attention to their interests or philosophies or experiments. The banyan tree that was once the center of many Tamil film romances (‘Aadi velli’ song for one, starring Kamal Hasan and Sri Devi from Moondru Mudichu in the black & white era of late 1970s), and the Theosophical society hardly attract visitors these days. Now strangely I know better. I understand the relevance finally. Aurobindo also was a freedom figher who later on became a spiritual guru who founded ‘Auroville’ in Pondicherry near Chennai that draws global citizens who make it their home. Pondicherry (now Puduchery) Mother from France, similarly is like a guru to many Tamils. I see Mother’s picture in many friends’ puja.
India is a spiritual enigma. I do not even attempt to explain these things to a non Hindu. Firstly you will be ridiculed. Secondly, they are followers of self-professed prophets who claimed to be sons of gods. Whereas we are from the land of Shiva who never had biological father or mother, who never had to be born to die… Is Shiva an alien. Are we His creations the way we humans today may mutate species in science labs. I will explain this. A Hindu child grows up hearing about ‘Yuga.’ ‘You cannot understand Yuga’ my granny used to say, ‘a Yuga is like millions of years for you but only one minute or one hour for Shiva.’
To an ant or a snail or a centipede or grasshopper, a walking human being is a living God no doubt. The ‘ant and the boot’ story. How many lifetimes of the ant is our single day. Shiva is the walking giant. We are the ant, millipede, grasshopper, snail. To realize Him is impossible for us for the way it is for the ant to picturize the human being. I try to realize Shiva. I can’t. They say Yoga is a tool that can elevate you to a higher level of conscience. So this is where Yoga and meditation come in. They help in focusing, nothing more. Neither am I good at Yoga nor is my intelligence that evolving. I can’t go beyond a level. In fact I cannot climb over my layman level. I don’t even try because I know my limits. My limitations are not only physical but also intellectual.
To those few who can raise themselves without the help of opium to a higher level of consciousness, I bow my head in respect and awe.
None of us can become a Gautam Buddha or Satya Sai Baba or Ramana Maharishi or Swami Vivekanand or even Osho. Living in their lifetimes is enough for me. Mahans are born every century.
I have not had a darshan of Puttabharthi Sai Baba when His phyical body was here. But I believe in His noble soul. I can understand what message Sadhguru is trying to convey. I am grateful I have a chance to listen to Him. No I am not a fan of Him and He is not my guru yet.
But Sadhguru helps me a lot in decoding Shiva. I am obsessed with Shiva and Shakthi. I just can sense that none of Hindu history is fanciful imagination or work of fiction. In some other plane of time, I believe like any other Hindu, we have had this past. A lie cannot be carried on for 15,000 years to near perfection, only through word of mouth except for last 50-60 years.
Hindus say, in death we blend with the ‘jyothi’ – we become the collective consciousness, we add to the collective conscience- provided we are freed or liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth (Nirvana). Our Karma decides that. (One step further: we may get to choose our rebirth to correct our previous Karma. Like a project assigned.) A Hindu heaven is this liberation or higher intelligence or conscience. Our prayers always ask, seek this supreme knowledge. There is no way you can compare Hindu Dharma with Christianity or Islam for this reason. The Abrahamics just lost it before they even began. period. Please leave us alone and don’t try to convert Hindus. Hindus are on right path even if most remain unaware.
SHIVA IN CERN, SWITZERLAND This is a mere ‘copy and paste’ job: Shiva and the God Particle.
உலகின் மிகப்பெரிய அணு ஆராய்ச்சி நிறுவனமான CERN நிறுவனத்தின் முன்பு 6 அடி உயரமுள்ள நடராஜர் சிலை வைக்கப்பட்ட தினம் இன்று (2004)
CERN – ஸ்விட்சர்லாந்த் நாட்டில் அமைந்துள்ளது உலகின் மிகப்பெரிய இயற்பியல் ஆராய்ச்சி நிறுவனம். 27கிமீ பரப்பளவில் 100 அடி ஆழத்தில் அமைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது . அணுத்துகள்களை ஒன்றையொன்று மோதவிட்டு ஆராய்ச்சி நடத்தப்படுகிறது .கடவுள் துகள்களை (GODS PARTICLES) பற்றின ஆராய்ச்சியும் நடத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. அதுமட்டும் இன்றி பல்வேறுவிதமான இயற்பியல் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட ஆய்வுகளும் இங்கே நடைபெறுகின்றன
கிறித்தவர்கள் அதிகம் வாழும் ஒரு நாட்டில் ஏன் இந்து மத கடவுளின் சிலை வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது என்று தெரியுமா? அதற்கான காரணத்தையும் அவர்களே கூறி உள்ளார்கள்.
“காலத்தால் பதில் சொல்ல முடியாத பல கேள்விகளுக்கான பதில் இந்த சிலையில் அமைந்துள்ளது என்று ” குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளார்கள்
அதாவது அண்டத்தில் உள்ளதே பிண்டத்திலும் உள்ளது என்பதை சொல்லாமல் சொல்கிறார் நடராஜர் .
அவருடைய வலது கையிலிருந்து இடதுகால் வரை உள்ள அமைப்பு Milky way என்று அழைக்கப்பட கூடிய பால்வழி மண்டலத்தை குறிக்கிறது . நடராஜரின் இதயம் அமைந்துள்ள இடத்தில் சூரிய குடும்பமான சோலார் சிஸ்டம் அமைந்துள்ளது .அவரின் இடுப்பை சுற்றி நிற்காமல் ஓடிகொண்டிருக்கும் பாம்பு நேரத்தை குறிக்கிறது. அதுமட்டும் இல்லாமல் அவரை சுற்றியுள்ள நெருப்பு வட்டம் பிரபஞ்சத்தை குறிக்கிறது
அருவமாகவும், உருவமாகவும் ஆகாயமாகவும் காட்சி தர கூடிய ஒரே கடவுள் நடராஜர் தான். சிதம்பரம் நடராஜர் ஆடிக்கொண்டிருக்கும் ஆனந்த தாண்டவம் என்ற கோலம் “cosmic dance” என்று பல வெளிநாட்டு அறிஞர்களால் அழைக்கபடுகின்றது.
அணுவின் அசைவும் நடராஜரின் நடனமும் ஒன்றாக கருதபடுகிறது.
அதனாலேயே “அவனின்றி ஓர் அணுவும் அசையாது” என்று திருமூலர் கூறியுள்ளார்.
1972-ஆம் ஆண்டு, ப்ரிட்ஜாப் காப்ரா என்கிற பிரபல அமெரிக்க அணு விஞ்ஞானி ‘The Dance of Shiva: The Hindu view of matter in the light of Modern Physics’ (சிவனின் நடனம் : நவீன பௌதிகத்தின் பார்வையில் வஸ்துக்களை பற்றிய ஹிந்துக்களின் நோக்கு) என்கிற தலைப்பில் Main currents in Modern Thought என்ற விஞ்ஞான சம்பந்தப்பட்ட பத்திரிகையில், சிவனின் நடனத்துக்கும், உப அணுக்களின் நடனத்துக்கும் உள்ள இணக்கத்தைப் பற்றி முதலில் விவரமாக எழுதினார்.
1975-ஆம் ஆண்டு இந்தக் கட்டுரையை விரிவுபடுத்தி ’The Tao of Physics’ என்ற தலைப்பில் ஒரு புத்தகமாகவும் அவர் எழுதி அது உலகிலேயே அதிகம் விற்ற புத்தங்களில் ஒன்றாக பிரபலமாகியது.
அதில்,. ”எப்படி இந்தியச் சித்தர்கள் படைப்பைப் பிரிக்க முடியாத, எப்போதுமே செயல்பட்டுக் கொண்டிருக்கும் ஒரு நடப்பாகப் பார்த்தார்களோ, அப்படியே தான் நவீன பௌதிக விஞ்ஞானமும் பிரபஞ்சத்தைக் காண்கிறது”
”பிறப்பும், இறப்பும் நிற்பதே இல்லை.
அதுபோல், பிரபஞ்சம் என்கிற தத்துவத்தின் அடிப்படையில் அணுக்களின் நடனம், அணுக்களின் பிறப்பினாலும் இறப்பினாலும் நிற்காமல் தொடர்கிறது.
கோடானுகோடி அணுக்கள் வினாடிக்கு வினாடி உருவாகி, மறைவதுதான் பிரபஞ்சத்தின் நடனம் (cosmic dance). அதுவே தான் நடராஜரின் நடனம்” என்கிறார் காப்ரா.
சிதம்பர நடராஜர் கோவிலுக்கு மேலே பறக்கும் செயற்கை கோள்கள் செயலிலந்துவிடுமாம் காரணம் புவியீர்ப்பு மையத்தின் செண்டர் பாயிண்டில் சிதம்பரம் நடராஜர் கோவில் அமைந்துள்ளதாம். அதுமட்டும் அல்லாமல் இந்தியாவில் உள்ள ஐந்து சிவஸ்தலங்களும் ஒரே நேர்கோட்டில் அமைந்துள்ளதாம் எந்தவிதமான அறிவியல் ஆய்வுகளுமற்ற காலகட்டத்தில் எப்படி இது சாத்தியமானது என்பது இன்று வரை புரியாத புதிராக உள்ளது
ஒட்மொத்த அண்டத்தின் குறியீடாக நடராஜர் அமைந்துள்ளார் என்பதை குறிப்பிடவே சுவிட்சர்லாந்தின் ஐரோப்பிய ஆராய்ச்சி கூடத்தில் நடராஜர் சிலை வைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.
”பரமகுருவாய், அணுவில் அசைவாய்” என்று அருணகிரிநாதர் பாடிய திருப்புகழை நினைத்துப் பாருங்கள்.
I grew up in a family where we fed the crows early in the morning the first morsel of food, after offering it to Mother Goddess Annapurna (Anna in Sanskrit means food), the one in charge of food grains, fertility and abundance department, with a small Sanskrit shloka (prayer). In deed, She is an avatar/another form of Mother Goddess Shakthi or Parvathi. As She is our benevolent Mother who feeds us in our hunger, we offer Her food everyday. The vigraha (idol) is placed in a copper or silver bowl of raw rice in our Puja (altar) at home.
There is no Hindu festival or worship without offering food to God first. It could be kheer or sweetened rice or fruits or whatever or it could even be meat as in some tribal and rural communities. Whatever, we each offer our Gods, what we can afford. This is whether we have an Annapurna deity installed in our Puja or not. Some may not have the Annapurna.
After the Aarthi is performed, we assume that the Gods and Goddesses have consumed our offering. Later we offer a portion of the offering to the crows who we consider our ‘pitrus’ (deceased parents and grandparents and in-laws in the family). It is only after such a ritual is complete, we can touch our food to eat.
Even today through length and breadth of India, this custom is strictly observed – atleast on auspicious days if not possible on working days. Observing the custom is a must especially during such days as Amavasya (new moon) etc., and during religious ceremonies. in south India, even today this is practised religiously literally.
Even so, the Christians and Muslims in India (even if they are converts) have the habit of mocking this tradition that has been in our practice for thousands of years observed from the times of our ancestors.
My friend quoted the Sringeri Mutt seer and gave me this explanation on the Hindu custom of offering food to our Gods, often ridiculed by muslims and christians who ask us whether any God can eat our food really. (Never mind their gods call for bloody sacrifice by way of brutal killing of hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep and turkeys to feed the gluttons that they are).
The seer answered the question to a muslim man who was asking him the rationale behind the offering of food to Hindu Gods.
The seer said, ‘when you read a book, you imbibe its substance. But do the letters in the book disappear and get into your system? Does the subject in the book by way of printed matter vanish once you have it by heart? Yet you know, the essence of the book is in you now. But the book still stays printed and has not gone blank. You have taken matter from the book, the book has given you something, yet the book has not become empty or blank.
Similarly, when we Hindus offer food to our Gods, the food is eaten by the Gods with love and blessings, but the food still remains for us bhakths (devotees) to later consume. Like the substance of the book you read that is ingested by you, our Lord and His Missus savour and relish our food. Yet the food remains in the banana leaf (normally we offer food for Gods in banana leaf at least in the south. we may also offer food to Gods in silverware or goldware (if you can afford even if the God may not ask for it!)) physically for the whole world to see. But in his/her heart a Hindu knows, believes and acknowledges with gratitude that the Gods have accepted the offering.
The muslim man was shaken by the explanation, I believe.
Every Hindu custom and belief is strongly rooted in logic and reasoning and immense faith. Do not let others get away with their ignorance and rude comments. Hinduism does not promote or encourage terrorism or nepotism or subjugation of women to inferior position like others do. Only Sanathana Dharma lists the order of priority thus: Matha, Pitha, Guru and Deivam (mother, father, teacher and god). Which faith will consign itself to lowest level of priority as ours does. Which is why I am a Hindu. No other fake or imported belief system in the world can come out with such a profound truth and insight as this.
I am seeing more videos on Sadhguru’s personal life which I don’t like. I don’t want to know of his background.
For years, I too misunderstood this man. When he was writing this column, ‘athanaikkum aasai padu’ (desire for everything), i was in no mood to read it in the Tamil weekly. Besides, i was young and too much was happening in my life too, though not always pleasant. But many of his followers found him around that time. He wrote in the name of Jaggi Vasudev. Before even i read him, i had judged him as ‘one of those gurus.’ Its a pity that i similarly missed the Tamil author Balakumaran. With a stubbornness i refused to read both that i now regret. May be had i read them a lot earlier, I would be a different being now.
Even after Sadhguru became popular, I steadfastly refused to hear him out. I finally found the ‘Sounds of Isha’ to my liking. I must say the Maha Shivrathri festival in Coimbatore drew me to his brand of spirituality. Also the last straw was my recent visit to Isha where I saw for myself the immensity of his visions that broke my resolve of not accepting anyone for a guru. I am now a changed one in many ways.
I have questioned in very old blog posts of mine years back, why those like Sadhguru are not ready to attain Jeev Samadhi. I have also mentioned of rumours about his wife’s passing. Now I understand better and I need no more explanation. No need I feel, for Sadhguru to explain himself to people something that will never be understood by them. For one thing, like me in past, they may cling to this adamant attitude. Secondly, people tend to like dwelling in such petty world where demonizing others can give them a cheap thrill. Thirdly, that is their level of spiritual perception. I trust. Believers trust. Trust is the basis for laying a strong foundation for anything worthwhile. Prana Pradhishta – i heard about it. It is inconceivable for most and undoable, but then I believe, to those with highest levels of spiritual maturing, yes, this is possible. These dimensions of spirituality cannot even be imaginable for most of the human race.
Only a Hindu/Buddhist/Jain can even perceive what this is. You have to live this culture, you have to live in this Punya Bhoomi to grasp such a concept. Jains in India do not even eat root vegetables like potato for instance because roots are life carriers. Extreme spirituality makes some Hindu sadhus live as nude ‘aghoris’ feeding on only the dead in the cremation grounds that are wasted already – not those that can flourish. Hindu sadhus’ penance without eating food for years, drinking water for years, standing on head for years (this tribe has almost dried up today) is unthinkable, unimaginable to most others especially the Abrahamics. These are people who have fought crusades and jehads to lay siege over nations and communities and convert them. We can have nothing in common with them. Hindu Gods are not for sale, not products for marketing. The way we know ‘eastern philosophy’ – the Abrahamics have no notion about and can never discover within their narrow limited ambit. Their mission is to propagate, improve their statistics, count more heads for the flock, nothing more. Acquisition is to Abrahamics what renunciation is to Sanathana Dharmis (Hindus). Jesus reportedly asked his followers to go in pairs of twos to spread the gospel and increase their tribe … can you imagine this with Hindu Gods. Thanks a million I am a Hindu and in all my rebirths I pray to be reborn a Hindu.
Coming from Tamil Nadu where most ancient Hindu temples were consecrated over ‘Siddha peetams’ I can somewhat understand even if at grass roots level, the concept of samadhis or attaining Moksha or Liberation. Now this is a term never to be used by Abrahamics. Things are only black and white for them: heaven or hell. The soul attaining liberation, freeing itself from birth cycle, elevating itself to higher spheres is a concept beyond their organized religious understanding. Temples in south India were always consecrated over Jeeva Siddha samadhis. Even the one in my street is a Siddha peetam. The presiding deity Shiva sits as Shiva Lingam over the Siddha peetam. We worship the Siddha who gave up His life for holding Shiva over Him. Such is the Sanathana Dharma. We give up life – shed life voluntarily. We are the last to take others lives. Which is why most of us are vegetarian. No Hindu butchers in entire India mostly. No Hindu-run butcheries. Maximum fish seller, that is it .
Similarly Jains in India until today leave their material attachments on inner calling anytime and renounce the worldly life to attain Nirvana. A family of four, millionaires, father, mother, two teenage children did it in south India only months back. Jains fast for days endless even now and leave their physical bodies. Fasting unto death. Normal, average people, not necessarily monks. Once their family duties are over, they choose to leave earth and attain Nirvana voluntarily shedding their physicality. However, they may not always get to choose their moment as they reach this level without much deliberation or mental preparedness unlike Sadhus who foresee it all and plan for months or even years beforehand. Swami Vivekanand did it reportedly. He decided to willfully shed his physicality at a preordained time that he hinted to his disciples. Just like that. However this is not Jeev Samadhi. From what I understand, it is just that the physical body that is a receptacle becomes too confining for their exploding levels of spirituality that these ‘mahapurush’ decide to shed it to go further up the spiritual realms or the nether world.
Shankara, Raghavendra, Aurobindo and many other saints in India attained Jeev Samadhis. In some countries this may be called suicide. Not in India. This is the way we have lived for millennia. Thanks Sadhguru for highlighting what we have been forgetting for centuries.
A friend was similarly telling me once how her great grand mother chose to die on a particular date and time, having fulfilled her familial duties. The old mother was too very spiritual and had become detached for years. She shed her body at a time of her choosing with family’s consent in family’s presence. Not suicide. Just like that, at the pre-disclosed time her soul left her body. Yes, our people have done that. Our ancestors. The most enlightened among them. If we cannot do it today, it is because we are materialistic. We have bonds that we do not want to break.
‘Koodu vittu koodu paaidhal’ – this is called in Tamil. Old Tamil/Hindi pictures had such scenes pictured. This is what the picture ‘Avatar’ is all about – Avatar of course is a Sanskrit word. The story is a beautiful make-over of the very ancient Hindu concept of reincarnation. Your soul can leave your body at your will – ancient Hindus did that reportedly (not all) but this, as i’ve reiterated, necessitates highest level of spirituality. This is where meditation helps in. And this is where precisely Yoga fits in. Yoga is just a tool to work with – like basic a,b,c for mind/body control. From here, you start your schooling. You don’t need to hallucinate popping up hashish to reach these levels of detachment or spiritual elevation. This is extreme mind control. Those who have have graduated upto transcendental meditation will agree. What we have to master is something larger than ‘pulan adakkam’ as we call it in Tamil. Control over our five senses as first step. Sadly, very few humans now are capable of these feat.
Spiritually every Hindu is inclined to go that way although not all of us have it in us to seek truth, or go in pursuit of truth the way our forefathers did. Nothing to us is coincidence. I have had numerous occasions in the past where I have had reasons to believe that there were some ‘signs.’ Signs that could be spotted and recognized. Divine interventions. It is useless trying to explain such profound heartfelt things to an Abrahamic or Atheist. I don’t even attempt. It is enough if we know and believe deep down our heart. We know this is no hallucination or brainwashing or fanciful imagination.
However, I am not yet ready to accept anyone as my guru. But Sadhguru helps a lot. Happy with this degree of spirituality of mine. I am a samsari. I want to pet my grandchildren someday. I want to shop and dress up and indulge in normal pleasures of life. Not ready for anything more. At the same time, I feel a reckoning in me like i’ve never felt in my life before. It is like, for the first time ever I sense, I am ready to go if my time has to arrive even this very moment. My son can take care of himself. Only one bandhan can stop me: that of my husband. He is someone who cannot live without me. Other than that, i have no other strappings to bind me to life even though to others i may appear very average – the typical shopping-chatting-gossiping housewife who does not more. That’s why i can understand about Sadhguru’s wife. I am at the base or entry level of the spiritual pyramid. If i feel that i am okay to leave given my modest quotient of spirituality, i can imagine what others in the highest levels of enlightenment may feel like. Of course God willing, I want to be there to pet my grandchildren someday – alongwith my husband. It is a wish. It is not in my hands – nothing is.
I continue my rituals of Puja at home and visit temples as much as I can – i am glad in Isha they do not downplay the regular rituals like some gurus do for instance. I am comfortable with whatever rituals we follow in our family. I am adapted to them since my childhood.
In Tamil they say, ‘kaacha maram thaan kalladi padum.’ The tree that springs fruits will have to face the stones. If there is no fruit in a tree, who is going to stone it.
Yes, of course, I am passionate about elephants. That still aches my heart a bit. But I am sure the elephants will find their way around. From what I heard, it is the christian group Karunya institutions who have taken over forest lands illegally. I have friends based in Coimbatore who swear of it and they have no reason to lie. Besides, it is public knowledge.
We are not building Hindu temples or championing for Hindu dharma in America or Africa or Australia or Europe. We want Hindu dharma to flourish and not die in our own dharmic Hindu country where it has its roots. The propagation of Abrahamic fold in India MUST STOP. If there are Hindu temples today around the world, they were not raised on conversion background. Many westerners and even far easterners embrace Sanathana Dharma (Hinduism) on discovering the true meaning and depth of our philosophies.
I would like to make more visits to Isha. Meanwhile, happy to listen to Sadhgur in You Tube. His service brings tears to my eyes. I am very emotional. That is the greatest impediment for me for moving to my next level of spirituality. I am still materialistic and not able to break that jinx. I won’t force anything down my throat but i shall try (as i do now without success). Let me see.
Meanwhile, I am glad India still produces such great visionaries and mystics. Their service to not only Hindus but entire humanity is immeasurable. I am glad i finally found my way. Better late than never.
No copyright violation intended. This was playing when I had a darshan of Linga Bhairavi as ardent Shiva devotees performed ‘shaashtaang namaskaaram’ (prostrations) to the deity of Union of Mother and Father – the Bhairavi Lingam. Cannot shake it off my system now…
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Didn’t really think much about Isha (Yoga) all these days or years. Decades back, the Isha Yogi Shri. Jaggi Vasudev (popularly referred to as ‘Sadhguru’) was writing a column in the Tamil weekly ‘Kumudam’ (or was it ‘Ananda Vikatan’) He wrote under the title ‘Aththanaikkum Aasai Padu’ (desire everything and anything). I regret missing reading it then deliberately. First of all the Isha Guru was not as popular then as he is now (though he had started making waves). Secondly, his grey beard and unconventional looks didn’t convince me that he was serious about what he preached. His sermon was casual style where he argued, one can be spiritual and materialistic at the same time. The same way, I have also missed the Tamil author Balakumaran. Now I learn of his genius.
Over time, Isha Yoga have spread their wings covering territories. They have planted thousands of trees and they employ rural artisans who they teach and train in various vocations. Foreigners wholeheartedly take ‘Dhiksha’ – the vow here, to become Yogis detaching themselves from material life. Not to be outdone are young and eager and highly accomplished Indian youth who give up every single pleasure conceivable in mortal life to become part of Isha Yoga. Isha, like any prospering institution or ideology, earned its fair share of critics. There were allegations that youth were getting brainwashed. My friends who have been at the center for Yoga training and meditation have always refuted this. The peace and the quiet (?!) and the Yogic nature allure some lost (or otherwise) souls to ascetic way of life for reasons known only to them. How can you mesmerize Americans and Australians and Germans and French all at the same time along with young Indian men and women.
Taking a rubber tube-tyred bullock cart ride, I struck up a conversation with an Australian couple in their fifties who said they were regulars in this part of the country every year. They seemed comfortable in Indian clothes and with Indian food and culture. Yoga and meditation lured them to India.
A mix of nationalities were meditating in varied locations in absolute silence through out the bustling center (which could be bordering on commercialization, but prevented from going that way evidently with great care). Under the trees. In the coves around Dhyana Linga, in the Chandrakund (women’s bath descending down broad stairs, with Mercury Linga at the center), in the Suryakund (stairwelled men’s bath with Mercury Lingam), lost to the outer world, existing in a transcendental hemisphere perhaps. Moving sight. Such a self-discipline is derivable only with an ‘inner calling’. Mind control is the key, for living a hermit’s life is no cake walk. There can be no hypnosis or black magic involved here. Indian youth have left their promising careers and family wealth behind seeking the ‘truth’.
Unlike Abrahamic fold, Hindu Dharma does not believe in conversion. We have no Vatican/Mecca or Bible/Koran. Hinduism or Sanathana Dharma is Free Will. Gurus preach in India foremost that attracts many foreigners. The Beatles and why even Steve Jobs have been to India on their spiritual journey. Once you skim the poverty and deterioration over centuries, you may find what you have been searching for – as these men have done.
Gurus get popular once popular personalities and celebrities start following them. Fake Gurus exist undeniably. Gurus travel overseas because their international followers want them to. With no force or brainwashing or coercion or bribing, some seekers turn to Hindu Dharma for salvation (Nirvana in Sanskrit).
Shiva, the ultimate. When Shiva is here, why do we need a Jesus.
Do Hindu Gurus champion conversion campaigns? Malign others?
What still brings many around the world to Hindu Dharma and Buddhism on their own volition.
Isha Yoga Center to me seems one such an epicenter that draws followers from every corner of the globe. Its impact on native Hindus is remarkable. It is a coincidence that the resurgence of the Hindu Conscience has to happen at the same time. I have not much listened to Sadhguru’s lectures, but he comes across as a practical guru from what little I have gathered. I have followed him once online on his Kailash Manasarovar pilgrimage across Indo-China border in the Himalayas. (Historically these regions belonged with India but China claimed them using aggression). Marvelous.
I do listen to Isha devotional in You Tube always. Nirvana Shatakam to others. Never miss their webcast of Shivrathri celebrations every February. Even Gurus have to evolve with changing times! I don’t find anything wrong with the Dancing Guru. The mysteries surrounding his personal life are immaterial to me. ‘Nadhi moolam, Rishi moolam’ – ignore! Wise counsel of our ancestors.
Isha Yoga center however has been in the eye of controversy for one more reason: for coming up in the Elephant corridor – in the elephant country where the elephants would climb down from the Nilgiris (the Blue Mountains (whose queen is the hill station Ooty), cross the valley and head to Kerala or wherever. I realized this immediately on setting my foot at Isha. It is impossible to miss. Despite all, my heart ached. ‘Isha is the elephant, is it not? Or rather the elephant is Isha?’ I asked aloud no one in particular. Why should it have to be here. Thousands of tree plantations seemed poor deal to me.
Shirking the painful thoughts, I focused on the huge monolith in front of me. The smiling Shiva in polished granite, with His chin tilted up, with His eyes half closed as if in trance, with the moon in His braids, with the snake around His neck. I clicked as many pictures of Him in all angles possible but nothing could capture Him in entirety I know. I made Him my screensaver with immediate effect. Ever since, I cannot put Him out of my mind. The profound impression He has made in my heart will be there forever in my life. The rugged tribal who descended from the Tibetan Himalaya is our Father. The Adi Yogi, the first Yogi in world history who gave India/Hindus the Yoga. Yoga is now universal gift. A gift that can never be matched or compared with any other. A gift like none other. The Adiyogi who dwelt in the cremation grounds, smeared in ash, anointing Himself with ash. A sect of His followers the nude ‘Aghoris’ even today feed on corpses and live life the way He did in cremation/burial sites. Never feeding on another life. Even vegetarians feed on living and breathing trees and plants destroying future offsprings before they are born.
Today happens to be Aarudhra when we celebrate the Dancing form of Lord Shiva – the Nataraja. Shiva’s cosmic dance has stopped the world scientists in their tracks that they have Him installed at CERNE, Switzerland. None has made the connection yet, but the scientific community now suspects of one between Lord Shiva and the creation of Earth. The You Tube is full of stories claiming Shiva is the extraterrestrial who brought life to our planet. To average Hindu, nothing matters. Shiva is our forefather. Father. Shakthi, our Mother.
I have had darshan of Lord Shiva (in the form of Shiva Linga) in hundreds of temples in India and abroad. Lately, in Bali – in caves. Thousands of years of Shiva worship preceded Christianity or Islam. In Isha Yoga, I didn’t find my spirituality rekindled. To me, it was more cosmetic. May be it appealed to others, but not to me. However, the Adiyogi in my mind lingers day and night, refusing to go away.
I forgot the elephant corridor. Hopefully the Indian elephant herds will find a way around. Shiva will find one. The center has refused via legal channels that the Yoga ashram has cut across elephant country. Hopefully this is true. Even if not, the Adiyogi has made it worthwhile.
If anyone is hypnotized or mesmerized or brainwashed, the only one doing it to him/her could be Adiyogi Himself. A lone Mumbai backpacker clicked some pictures for me. In his 30s, he couldn’t pull himself away from Adiyogi. Must be climbing up the corporate ladder – from what I could size up of him.
Shiva will be there for India to eternity. This is His home. He will take care, I breathed in peace.
PS: Wanted to include my friends’ opinion on Isha. They allege that the Christian ‘Karunya’ group of institutions have amassed landed estates (that were primarily agricultural and forest areas) in and around Coimbatore by whatever means but media make no mention of the same. Isha cornered as they are Hindu.
Spending a night in a Siruvani resort, taking a walk along the edges of forest reserve areas bordering cultivated farms and banana plantations, I couldn’t help noticing dried elephant dung heaps that were only two days old. The agricultural lands and estates were off limits to elephant herds, surrounded by electrified fences. Images of India’s wild elephants getting electrocuted, denied their passage flashed in my mind. Man-elephant conflicts are increasingly getting frequent, with bulls raiding villages and barns, routing, trampling over plantations. Troubling images. I knew I was walking down the elephant corridor in elephant country and anytime I could come face to face with a wild tusker. Strangely for a very first time ever, I feared for the life of the gentle giant over mine.