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Founder His Holiness Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamigal
Patron-in-Chief His Holiness Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji


Vd {Okmg_mZmZm bmoH$mZm r[V_mdhZ & VdmbmoH$mo [dO`Vm pmaXmX``m gXm &&

May Tattvloka always excel, by the grace of Sharada, delighting the seekers of Truth.
His Holiness Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji

Chairman Emeritus T. R. Ramachandran

Editor and Publisher Sarala Panchapakesan Advisor V. R. Gowri Shankar, Sringeri

Managing Editor R. Krishnamurthy
Overseas Liaison
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S. Yegnasubramanian (1 908 281 0607), New Jersey, USA
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Established in 1978, Tattvloka is published monthly by Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal

Education Trust of Sri Jagadguru Sankaracharya Mahasamsthanam, Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada
Peetham, Sringeri 577 139, Karnataka, India.
(Articles and photographs welcome. Those published in Tattvloka do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor)

Annual Subscription: Rs.396. Foreign (airmail) US$49 annual. Make cheque payable Tattvloka.
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Published by Sarala Panchapakesan on behalf of Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal Education Trust,
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Editor: Sarala Panchapakesan.

3 January 2016
Jagadguru Speaks.............................................................................................................06
Altruism is personally rewarding, too.

How to keep New Year's Resolutions...........................08

Keep walking with patience and discipline, so that the
path to fulfilling the resolutions unfolds.

Gems of Sankara..................................................................................................................12
The Self thinks as it were; acts as it were.

Spirituality and Religion ................................................................................14

The choice is between just being religious and leading
a religious-cum-spiritual life.

Siva is Sabha-pati...............................................................................................................20
As the saying goes, all the world is the
Lord's stage.

Sparks of Wisdom.............................................................................................................25
Spiritual Quote..........................................................................................................................27

Youth Vox................................................................................................................................................28
Caring of Elderly Relatives.........................................................................32
Service to elders is a debt we have to discharge.

Manage Business with Viveka........................................................40

Maturity of a manager lies in practising time-tested values.

The Alluring Krishna of Mohanur..........................................44

The deity is credited with magical powers to promote conjugal harmony.

Book Review.....................................................................................................................................48
Lord Murugan: Karthikeya Katha.

4 January 2016
January 2016

The Nectar of Devotion ...............................................................................50

Sagely advice from Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji.
News and Events..............................................................................................................54
Pattabhisheka Day at Sringeri.
Readers Survey.......................................................................................................................63
Help us to make Tattvaloka Better.

The Wellness Sense ..................................................................................................67

The constant play of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
affects the flow of our thoughts.

Holistic Culinary Art Jamun.........................................................72

Jamun, the multi-benefit fruit.

Laughter is the Best Medicine..................................................... 76

Fury of Flood in Chennai............................................................................ 78
Our helplessness comes to the fore in the face of Natures wrath.

Yoga Posture.................................................................................................................................82
Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Asana).

Story with a Moral.......................................................................................................84

New Year Presents : It is never too late to learn.

Did You Know ?...................................................................................................................87

Jai Ho Bharat...............................................................................................................................88
Kalavantin Durg: The World's Most Dangerous Hill Fort.

5 January 2016
6 November 2015

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Zmo _{VahVwH$s &&
May the world flourish. May the wicked give up wickedness. May all
creatures wish for mutual welfare. May the mind attain peace. May
our intellect turn towards God without any expectation.

Such a prayer comes from a pure mind. If man leads his life ideally
with this noble attitude, he will attain sreyas. God will accept his
prayer and suitably reward him, while bestowing his grace. If at all
such a person faces any difficulty, everybody will come to his help.

We see examples of this in the Ramayana. Though just a bird, Jatayu

tried to block Ravanas path to save Sita. The squirrel, a tiny creature,
helped Rama as much as it could. And one cannot just forget the
service of the vanara sena (army of monkeys).

What we learn from this is that the prayers and activities of a pure
hearted person praying for public welfare will be effortlessly crowned
with personal rewards, too. Even persons with malice towards him
will quickly reform themselves. This is indeed the special significance
of a pure-hearted prayer.

We bless all to develop such a sattvic attitude H

7 January 2016
How to Keep New Years
When you keep walking with patience and discipline, the
path to fulfilling your resolution continues to unfold. One
step at a time.

8 January 2016
In a cartoon by Annie Taylor- difficult to honour your promise
Lebel, Angus, a dog, asks Phil, the next time. That is because
another dog: What exactly is a your conscious mind has won
New Years Resolution? Its a over you, it thinks: I can do
To do list for the first week of whatever I want since this
January, says Phil. person foregoes his stance if I
Sounds familiar?
But, every time you choose to
Many of us make New Years keep your resolution and not
resolutions. Personally, I like the listen to the talkative mind, you
idea of making resolutions. It get a significant boost in your
gives you something to work ability to keep your promises.
towards throughout the year. Because, now your mind says I
And, of course, it gives you am in the body of a person who
another reason to celebrate does what he pronounces. My
when you fulfill your promise. whining is of no use because he
Having said that, most people will not give up. When your
fail to stay on course, and give mind is convinced that you will
up their resolutions within the not listen to it once you have
first few months, if not weeks. In decided on something, it will
my view, either do not make stop bothering you. Try it any
resolutions or leave no stone day. A resolution is a living
unturned in seeing to it that you thought. Here are three golden
complete them. principles of making and keeping
your new year resolutions.
When we make a resolution but
do not keep it, our self-esteem Promise to Yourself
takes a hit, it weakens our self- Remember that while your
confidence. Your conscious mind, resolution may have a positive
your habits, want you to break impact on those around you, it is
your resolutions. They will predominantly for yourself. Your
create plenty of noise and will resolution should strictly focus
exploit every thought, every on what you plan to do. For
idea, every possibility to have it example, you cannot say I will
their way. If you do not stick to not let my partner get mad at me
your resolution at that time and this year. Or, I will make my boss
give up, it becomes a lot more give me a raise. Well, actually

9 January 2016
you can but this will not really reasonably ascertain whether or
be a resolution because a true not you are working towards
resolution should focus your goal. The more specific you
exclusively on your actions and are, the better chance you have
not others. I will not shout at of seeing your resolution
my partner can be a resolution, through. For example, I will lose
for example. A resolution is a weight this year is not a good
promise you have made to enough resolution, because
yourself. losing weight is something you
wish to accomplish. It is not an
Make a resolution about action, or even resolution. It is
something you feel passionate the outcome.
about. Something that will
motivate you to fulfill it. While it A good resolution focuses on
is natural to make resolutions the action. Therefore, much
driven by the outcome, your better is to say I will exercise
complete attention should be four days a week or I will not eat
devoted to the actions that will desserts more than once a week
lead to the desired outcome or I will only eat salad for my
though. Visualising the outcome lunch, and so on and so forth.
or dreaming about it is only to Remember, a good resolution is
keep you motivated. Results will not a proclamation of the
come from action alone. When outcome but action. When you
you feel lazy or feel like are specific and clear about the
dreaming, get up and act. Act, actions you will undertake, you
act, act. Do not listen to your will automatically move towards
mind. the fulfillment of your
resolutions. And every time you
Be Specific move a step closer, you will feel
Resolution is a not a wish list stronger.
but a to-do list (hopefully,
beyond the first week of Be Disciplined
January). Do not just say I wish The best way of staying
to be a happier person or a disciplined is to take it one step
better person because how will each day, each hour at a time.
you measure such a resolution? Therefore, a New Years
If you cannot quantify, then at resolution may well be a to-do
least be specific so you may list for the first week of January.

10 January 2016
Why, it is actually for the first It is how we have evolved and
day of January. The only progressed. Resolution is the art
difference between an ordinary of following your dreams, your
to-do list and this one is that it goals. It is what makes you work
gets carried forward. You wake towards what matters to you.
up on the first day of the new Make a resolution today, if you
year, you follow your to-do list. have not already, and stick to it.
You do the same on the second
day, and the third, fourth, fifth Go on, just do it H
till you arrive at the last day of
the year.
Just stay true to your resolution Swami
today. Promise yourself that no
matter what, today you will not
listen to the rebellious chatter of
your mind. Instead, you will
simply do what you have decided
you will do. And repeat it
tomorrow, the day after and the
day after. You will be amazed
how quickly the whole year will
pass. Next year, it will be much
easier to keep your resolution.
Your mind will try to derail you,
it does not like changes or Om Swami
discipline, it likes having its way.
It may say to you: As it is, life is
pretty hard, why make it harder
with all these resolutions and
stuff. Just do not pay attention
to it. You focus on what you have
to do.

The ability to dream a future,

to visualise an outcome, to make
resolutions is an extraordinary
privilege granted to our species.

11 January 2016
A major conclusion of Advaita Vedanta is the answer to the
question,Who is the doer? Who is the thinker? The conclusion
is: It is not the Self; it is only the reflection of the Self in the
intellect. This reflection makes the mistake of identifying itself
with the body-mind-intellect and assumes the agentship of all
thoughts and actions.

The most significant scriptural authority for this is the

statement in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4-3-7): Dhyayativa,
lelayativa meaning, (the Self) thinks, as it were and shakes, as it
were. 'Dhyayati' here means 'janati', 'knows, cognises'. 'Lelayati'
here means 'karoti', 'does action', though the word's primary
meaning is 'moves', 'wavers'.

Two Kinds of Functions

All our actions can be classified into two kinds--the knowing
function and the doing function. The first, supported by the
antah-karana (the inner organ, the mind), is that of the
jnanendriyas (organs of perception and cognition, namely, eye, ear,
nose, tongue, skin), and the second one, supported by the pranas,
is that of the karmendriyas (organs of action namely, hand, foot,
larynx, organ of reproduction and organ of excretion). Both
functions are 'Mithya' says the Upanishad. That is the purport of
the words 'iva', meaning, 'as though'.

In his Bhashya on the upanishad, Bhagavatpada Sankara

says: The intellect is that which is illumined, and the
light of the Self is that which illumines.

12 January 2016
We cannot distinguish
between the two. It is because light
is so pure that it assumes the likeness of that
which it illumines. When it illumines something
coloured, it assumes the likeness of the colour. The self,
illumining the intellect, illumines through it the entire
body and organs. Therefore, through the similarity of the
intellect, the Self assumes the likeness of everything.

It is for this reason that the whole world, to its utter

delusion, superimposes all activities peculiar to name and form
on the Self. By illumining the intellect, which does the thinking
through its own self-effulgent light that pervades the intellect,
the self assumes the likeness of the latter and seems to think just
as the light looks coloured. Hence people mistake that the Self
thinks; but really it does not, nor does it have any motion.

The Supreme Lord has neither the knowing function nor the
doing function. It is his reflection in the buddhi which is doing all
these. The false identification of the reflected consciousness with
buddhi makes it appear to the buddhi as if Paramatma is doing
everything. The reflected moon in the lake quivers because of the
quivering of the water surface; the moon in the sky is not
quivering H Prof. V. Krishnamurthy

13 January 2016
Religion builds up the human bonding which
paves the way for spirituality
14 January 2016
A question which is often
asked is: Can one be
spiritual without being
religious? There is a tendency
these days to look down upon
Religion or religious lifestyle is
something connected with
relationship (sambandha or
yoga). Relations are important
and inevitable in human life. It
religion or a religious lifestyle is also seen that relationships
for one reason or the other. have an impact (positive or
Some have the view that religion negative) on our physical and
implies fundamentalism. For emotional health and
some others religion is success/failure, prosperity/
symptomatic of social inequality penury in our lives. In fact, a
born of the caste system. There few good relationships can have
are others who consider religion the effect of converting hell into
as empty rituals and promoting heaven and a few bad
superstitious beliefs and relationships can provide a
outmoded customs and result to the contrary. Therefore,
practices. scriptures recognise the
importance of the relationships
Many are happy to declare and have devoted considerable
themselves as working for attention and provided valuable
spiritual progress but hesitate to guidelines.
say that they are religious also.
Therefore, several important Three Categories
questions need to be examined Relationships can be broadly
and these are: (i) What is divided into three categories
religion? (ii) What is spirituality? (i) Jiva sambandha (our
(iii) What is the difference relationships with all living
between the two? (iv) Are the beings and particularly human
two optional or to be practised beings); (ii) Jagat sambandha
together or separately and if so (our relationships with the
in what order? external world); and (iii) Isvara
sambandha (our relationship
There are and can be several with the Lord).
differing views on all these
questions. However, this article Our relationship with other
is intended to present the beings begins with the
approach of our scriptures and connection with mother from
acharyas in our tradition. the womb to start with and

15 January 2016
continues with family and importance of all the three
society at large. This human relationships and continue to
bonding is very important as work for their maintenance and
research has shown that where healthy growth. Naturally, we
this is lacking, the growth of the would like to know how this can
individual is likely to be be done. Our religion provides
adversely affected. As regards very valuable inputs based on
our relationship with the world, well established principles to
it can be seen that we are help us in this task.
connected right from birth to the
environment (like the child Taking the example of the
having to breathe immediately relationship between the mother
on being born) and natural and the child, we see that during
elements and forces (akasa, vayu, pregnancy a part of the mother's
agni, apaha and prithvi). Our life mind is always devoted to
is heavily influenced by the role thoughts on the child. Following
of environment and ecology. this bonding with the child at
the thought level, the mother
Most Important starts talking to the child after
Our relationship with Isvara, birth in a language that the child
the creator and protector of the can grasp reinforcing the bond at
universe, is the most important the speech level, which
and enduring association, not continues for life thereafter.
affected by time and continuing Besides the mental and vocal
through our various births bonding (manasa, vachika
(janma-janmantara sambandha). sambandha), the mother's
It is without beginning (anadi) physical association with the
and is endless (ananta) as well child starts very early, the child
and capable of giving emotional being sensitive to the mother's
security. touch (kayika sambandha).

Scriptures therefore enjoin that The under current of all these

we must do everything to value, connections at various levels is
preserve, nurture and hold the manifestation of the
steadfast to this crucial bonding. mother's relationship with the
child. Thus, through manasika,
A religious lifestyle is one vachika and kayika karma we
where I appreciate the cultivate and nurture all

16 January 2016
relationships in the world. All We also have to take note that
our religious practices and the rituals and practices laid
customs reflect our efforts to down in the scriptures are only a
bond with and develop and means to help maintain our
maintain our relationships with relationships and not an end in
the fellow-beings, with the themselves. The scriptures
world at large and the Lord. therefore warn us against our
getting carried away by the
Thus, all of us need some kind rituals themselves and miss the
of religion and rituals in essence or the purpose for which
fostering these three these are intended. Such an
relationships. Some may follow obsession has led to a lot of
the traditional practices set out research to enquire into the
in the scriptures while some customs and practices laid down
others use their own improvised in the tradition resulting in
ways of cultivating and avoidable controversies and
maintaining these relationships. symbolism.

Other Values Also, our scriptures are quite

Besides religion, all ethical flexible in the performance of
values highlighted in the rituals and where for instance,
scriptures play an important role the materials specified are not
in the healthy development of available, substitution with the
these three relationships and available materials is permitted.
help to avoid any undue conflict What is needed is the
or friction. Values, such as commitment, sincerity and
ahimsa, satyam, danam, daya or devotion in the practice of
karuna (compassion) are all worship and puja.
instrumental in maintaining the
bond with jiva, jagat and isvara. We need, however, to respect
the tradition and try to follow
It is therefore clear that the guidelines as far as possible.
religious practices, disciplines The intent is that all our actions
and values stipulated in our at the thought, speech and
scriptures are very relevant and physical levels should promote
useful in the context of our relationships with fellow-
maintenance of our smooth beings, the world and the Lord.
relationship in all the three cases.
Wherever due to age and ill

17 January 2016
health, physical performance is would have created a world free
not possible, one can take to of all inequality, suffering,
recital or reading (parayanam) sorrow and death. Once I
and where even this is difficult discover that absolute freedom is
one can do manasa puja. Thus, possible only by the discovery of
rituals and values are relevant absolute truth and that I need to
for all of us. Even atheists transcend my relationship with
(nastikas) will have to follow jiva, jagat and isvara and I devote
some kind of rituals and values my life to that pursuit, I am said
in maintaining their to be leading a spiritual life with
relationships with others and moksha as my goal.
the world at large. Therefore it
follows that all of us have to be The religious life I lead can be
religious in some way or other. used for
(i) material prosperity and
Absolute Freedom (ii) by appropriate redesigning
What is spiritual life? This is for spiritual goals also. Thus a
dealt with by the scriptures in religious person can be religious
the end portion of the vedas without being spiritual. But one
(Vedanta). This portion of the can never be a spiritual person
scriptures is devoted to the without being religious.
study and discovery of the
absolute reality which is the A religious person, however,
support of all the relative things has the choice to be merely
in the universe and transcends religious or to lead a religious
all duality. and spiritual life H
Absolute freedom is possible
only by the pursuit of the
absolute reality. Without the
knowledge of absolute reality,
our freedom from the world will
be limited. R B Athreya
In the relative world, even
isvara's freedom to create is
limited by the karma of the jivas. (Based on lectures by Swami
If the Lord had total freedom, he Paramarthananda in Chennai.)

18 January 2016
19 January 2016
The Lord of the Stage

SIVA is Sabha-pati

As the saying goes, all the world is Lord's stage.

20 January 2016
T he famous Sri Rudram, a
key hymn occurring in the
Krishna Yajur Veda, praises
Siva as Sabhapati, namas
sabhabhyah sabhapatibhyascha vo
Chitra Sabha (Hall of pictures) at

Nataraja in the Silver Hall in

Madurai Meenakshi-Sundaresvarar
namaha. In each anuvaka of this temple, a stone icon, has his right
potent prayer, Siva is worshipped foot raised. This was Siva's
invoking the benevolent aspect, response to a plea by a Pandya
rather than his terrible aspect. king, who appealed to him to
Siva dances within our minds and change the posture as otherwise
hearts and removes maya, our he would get tired, always
karma bonds, avidya and egoism, dancing with his left foot raised.
and makes us experience ananda.
The entire cosmos is the stage for
At the Ratna Sabha, Nataraja
Lord Siva's dance. His movements
appears in the Urdhva tandava
vibrate within every atom of
posture, lifting his left foot high
matter and life in the entire
and touching his crown with it.
cosmos, chetana (sentient) as well
The Tamra Sabha at Nellaiappar
as achetana (insensient) forms.
temple in Tirunelveli enshrines
Siva as Periya Sabhapati.
Siva's Sabhas
Sabha stands for an assembly
hall as well as a stage. Siva's The Three Dances
cosmic dance as Nataraja is The Puranas describe three types
portrayed in several ways. The of dance by Nataraja:
five halls of Nataraja's cosmic Sandhya Tandava is described
dance are known as Pancha elaborately in the Pradosa stotra. It
Sabhas. In the traditions in south describes that seated on a gold
India, these are: throne studded with gems, Parvati
Kanaka Sabha (Golden Hall) at watches Siva dancing on the
the famous shrine in heights of Mount Kailasa with
Chidambaram; choicest accompaniments. The
Rajata Sabha (Silver Hall) Goddess of learning, Sarasvati,
in Madurai; plays the veena, the celestial chief,
Ratna Sabha (Ruby Hall) at Indra, plays on the flute, the
Tiruvalankadu near Chennai; creator, Brahma, maintains taal
Tamra Sabha (Copper Hall) with cymbals, Lakshmi sings and
in Tirunelveli; and Vishnu beats the drum.

21 January 2016
Bhairava Nrtya. Siva's furious (lords of all winged creatures),
dance as Bhairava (Virabhadra) as Uragas (masters of all reptiles
he destroys evil, is watched by that move on their chest), Siddhas
ganas (groups of all species). The (divine beings with the eight
dance stage is the cremation super powers or siddhis), Saadhyas
ground. (celestials of Bhuvarloka, a region
above earth and below svarga),
Nadaanta Nrtya, the enchanting Vidyadharas (attendants of Siva),
dance performed in Chidam- Amaras (all immortals), Apsaras
baram. Nataraja wears on his head (wives of Gandharvas) who
a cobra, the river Ganga, the assemble at twilight to witness
crescent moon, a wreath of bilva Siva's dance.
leaves, and a sacred thread. In his
right ear he wears man's kundala Dance in Dahara-akasa
(ear rings) and on the left ear, the Siva's dance in Chidambaram
tatanka worn by women. He holds signifies dance in the Dahara-
a drum in the right upper hand, akasa. Dahara is the cavity of
and with the other hand sports the heart and 'A-kasa' means
the abhaya mudra. One left hand refulgent everywhere. ( 'A' means
holds a flame and the other points on all sides, 'Kasa' is glowing).
fingers downwards at Muyalaka, Daharakasa is literally the
the evil dwarf at his right foot. knowledge-space, or the space of
With left foot raised high, the heart.
Nataraja stands on a lotus from
which springs a circle of light At this famous Siva shrine, this is
(Tiruvaasi) that touches the drum indicated by the empty space in
and the fire in the Lord's two the sanctum, or what is known as
hands. The dance depicts Siva's Chidambara rahasya, or the secret
Pancha-kriya: Srshti, Stithi, of Chidamabaram. As the priest
Samhara, Tirobhava (veiling removes the curtain to 'show' the
through Maya) and Anugraha devotee, the rahasya, in the eyes
(grace, release). of the beholder, there is nothing
but empty space. One merely sees
Siva's Sandhya Tandava is the golden bilva leaves to signify
watched by groups of : the presence of Siva and Parvati.
Gandharvas (celestial musicians What is sought to be indicated is
and dancers), Yakshas (semi-divine the akasa tattva, the principle of
attendants of Kubera), Pathagas space. Space is formless. We can

22 January 2016
only know the secret of Siva tattva it is the secret relating to each
by going within. When you individual and it is left to them to
remove the veil of illusion and realise its true meaning.
desires, you experience the vast
infinite inner space. For a few Sabhapati is Bliss
moments your mind becomes free Siva is dancing to indicate the
from thoughts. We realise that rhythm of life. If both feet are
there is some secret of which we stuck in the ground then you
have had a small glimpse, like a cannot dance. Even to walk you
flash, and this experience brings a need to take one foot up.
transformation in life.
As Sabhapati, Nataraja represents
Empty space is pervaded by the Ananda Tattva (bliss) that is
Mahakala Siva, the lord of the desired by the whole world. Every
universe, who is the inherent atom in the world is filled with
consciousness of the Conscious the potential for action, yet it is at
Emptiness. Conscious Matter is peace. Siva, the principle of
the result of blending of time and infinite peace and bliss is not
emptiness. Its creator is inert. It is peaceful, yet dancing.
Emptiness, which, though bearing The entire creation is dancing in
all movements of matter, remains bliss. The entire creation is
beyond and unaffected by it. longing for bliss.

Legends describe three types of Nataraja is a symbol of birth,

space: Bhutakash the physical growth, and death. Creation starts
body, Chittakash thoughts and with the sounds of the drum.
emotions, and Chidakash the Protection for life and desires is
vast, Supreme Consciousness. The assured by the hand in abhaya
life-force energy is awakened in mudra. The fire points to
the Chidakash. To realise this renunciation and destruction of all
thought, one has to unveil the attachments H
"curtain of maya," which the
priest in front of the rahasya seeks
to demonstrate. Encapsulated in
the world of illusion, we are
unaware of the absolute reality.
According to legend, Chidambara Lalita Ramakrishna
Rahasya will never be revealed as

23 January 2016
?? January 2016

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Aamdw{MV H$m Am{Vo Jh_mJVo &
N>omw: nmdJVm N>mm ZmonghaVo _: &&
Even if a person is inimical towards us, we should treat him
courteously when he comes to our house, offer him a seat and
water. He should in no way be humiliated.

The tree knows the woodcutter comes to chop it off; still it

welcomes him with its shade. H

Courtesy: Subhashitani V. Rajagopala Ganapadigal

25 January 2016
26 January 2016

27 January 2016 Os
Dear Swamiji,

My question is very simple. If everything is in the hands of God then

why should I plan my future or work hard? God will provide for me.
Please enlighten me.

Tushar Sharma, 24, New Delhi

28 January 2016
Dear Tushar, was no need for him to run

M i n d
around, that, he too, like the fox,

T o begin with, I believe

that our actions and
surroundings determine
a great deal of our future and not
just God. Krishna says in
could just take up a corner
somewhere, God would provide
for him too.

Subsequently, he managed to
Bhagavad Gita (18.13, 14) that navigate his way out of the
there are five elements that forest and parked himself, under
determine the result of anything. a tree, outside the first village he
They are approach, doer, came across. He vowed to
resources, efforts and fifth is surrender to God and only live
destiny. Once I wrote a post on off what was offered to him.
my blog on the same topic citing Days went by and no one offered
a story of a monk. I quote: him anything. He was starving,
at the verge of collapsing. His
Once upon a time, a man, in faith shook, just short of
search of livelihood, on his way shattering, and he wondered
to another town had to pass how could God be partial, how
through a jungle. It so happened come he provided for the fox and
that he lost his way in the not him.
woods. Roaming helplessly, he
came across an old banyan tree, While he was engrossed in his
its roots hung low and it own world, he saw a sannyasin,
canopied a wide area. He saw a a mystic, pass by. In his frail
fox sitting under the tree. At condition, he called out for the
first, he got scared, thereafter, mystic, narrated his story, his
relieved, for, he noticed that it predicament, and put him the
was lame, an old fox, mostly question that bothered him. The
disabled, unable to hunt. monk chuckled, and said, Who
told you to take on the role of the
He sat there in a shady corner. fox? Are you lame? Disabled?
What he witnessed a while later You should be the bird, working
amazed him, He observed birds for yourself as well as providing
on the tree occasionally dropped for those who depend on you.
pieces of meat and the fox fed on
them. That was how it survived. I hope you get your answer in
It dawned on the man that there the story above. If you do believe

29 January 2016
that God provides for everyone,
by the same logic, we must also
accept that the same God gave
you a mind capable of thinking
and deliberating, limbs that
move, a body that functions. He
provides through the capabilities
each one of us is blessed with.
It is up to us whether we want to
build on them, nurture them and
consequently give meaning to
our lives or simply neglect them.
It is a choice, a personal choice.

Our present is the result of the

choices we made in the past and
your future rests on the choices
you are making today. Be wise in
what you choose H


30 January 2016
Page 31
32 January 2016

M i n d
Service to elders is a debt we have to discharge

D o you have all your four

grandparents alive?
Two paternal, and two
maternal. Or, at least, one or
more of them? If not, do you
questions were generally not
raised. It was automatic that the
older generation will live, until
their peaceful death, with one or
more of their children. There
have living relatives of their were benefits to all three
generation? generations in such a joint
family system. But, now such
Where do they live? With your questions are being raised
parents, in your home? worldwide.
Or, with one of your
uncles or aunts? Or, on Capitalism, the market, global
their own? Or, in an old mobility, education or dual
age home? Or, moving careers may have their benefits,
from one child to but also their casualties. Senior
another? citizens are among the latter.
Singapore has passed a law
How well do they live? imposing the obligation on
In good health? With children to care for their parents.
svadheenam, self- The UN has declared an
reliant, able to take International Day of Older
care of themselves Persons. Do you recall the date?
and their daily needs October 1.
and routines? Or
sick, at risk of fall, The Five Rinams
illness or violence? Besides law and such global
policies, our culture provides an
Till about the middle of important set of values. The
the 20th century, such first is that we should approach

33 January 2016
our life primarily as debtors living with you and your parents
with debts to repay; and not as in your home, take care of them
creditors, with entitlements. as much as you can. Do not leave
You may have heard of the it entirely in the hands of your
Pancha Rinam, the five debts that mother, father or elder siblings.
each of us owes. One of these is If they are living with one of
Pitru Rinam, debt to our your relatives elsewhere, visit
ancestors. While performing the them, in your annual holidays.
annual Sraddha ceremony for our See the elders' pride and joy
deceased parents, we recall three when you meet them. Send
or more generations. While this them periodic emails. Talk to
is symbolic and useful, what is them on Skype or Facetime.
even more critical is that we take Many seniors are net savvy. Call
good care of elders who are alive them, regularly, at least once a
and with us, here and now. month, when they are
reasonably well; and even once a
A Growing Problem week when they are unwell.
Care of the seniors is a growing
problem in India and world over. Remember, life is anityam,
The population of people aged 60 uncertain. Do not neglect, and
years and above globally is regret later. If all your nuclear
currently 600 million. The family seniors are no more,
forecast is that it will reach two spend some time with elders of
billion by 2050, when many of the extended family. Beyond
you, our dear young readers, will them, visit seniors of friends in
still be alive. The proportion is old age homes, etc. Earn their
projected to rise in India from asirvadam, blessings. If, despite
about 10 per cent now, to 20 per all such good work, you have a
cent in 2050; and 33 per cent by lonely old age, after a few
2150. The aim of the UN Day is decades, do not complain. Look
to honour, respect, and care for back with deep satisfaction on
the elderly; and help them grow how well you had discharged
old with dignity and inclusion. your debt H

What can you do about it?

First, commit yourself deeply to
the value of Pitru Rinam. If one
or more of your grandparents are M.B.Athreya

34 January 2016
35 January 2016
Page 36
Page 37
Page 38
39 January 2016
Maturity of a manager lies in practising time-tested values.

M ost managers lead

management of
business more by impulse, and
less by viveka. Impulsive action
On the other hand, viveka
stands for a calm, discerning
ability, characterised by a
perceptive, judicious approach
in any situation. Viveka
is marked by lack of forethought essentially denotes maturity of
and an impetuous, emotional or mind. In the words of a Buddhist
passionate reaction to lama, maturity is when you
situations. 'Act first, think later, understand that whatever you
and repent even later' is the do, you do for your own peace.
outcome of most impulsive
behaviour. Our scriptures urge everyone

40 January 2016
to gain Viveka, the ability to cent, the situation would look a

M i n d
differentiate between the real lot worse than it is. A
and the unreal. Viveka complaining attitude makes
Chudamani(Crest Jewel of people around despondent, and
Discrimination), the Vedantic it smothers creativity and
treatise authored by the innovation.
universal teacher, Adi Sankara,
offers a step-by-step approach in Focus on Controllable
the form of dialogue between a A mature manager
master and disciple on how to differentiates between
shed false perceptions about controllable and non-
anything that is unreal, and gain controllable factors, and focuses
insight on the enduring aspects on the former, instead of
of living. frittering energy trying to
manage the latter. Some external
Practical Approaches factors would seem to constrain
At the level of day-to-day growth and inhibit a desirable
management of business and way of functioning of an
dealing with multiple enterprise. For example, there
stakeholders, viveka implies a could be crippling regulatory
few key approaches for a issues, or predatory practices of
practising manager. competitors that may not look
prudent in the long term.
The first is to learn not to Likewise, internally the required
complain about any situation, infrastructure facilities may be
but to make the best of the wanting. Viveka lies in not
available resources. A mature getting overwhelmed by such
mind will understand that factors, but work around to steer
complaining makes things look a sustainable, dharmic approach.
worse than they are. When
people complain, they focus only A mature manager learns to
on what is wrong. operate within the constraints,
and tries to draw the best in any
If things in a company are 80 situation. Perfect conditions
per cent good and 20 per cent exist nowhere, and one should
bad, when a manager spends learn to motivate the staff to
most of his time thinking and function within the given
talking about the bad 20 per framework.

41 January 2016
Viveka in Relationships Prudence lies in not getting
Mature handling of relation- swayed by temporary gains
ships with all stakeholders is an without giving due weight for
indication of Viveka. Good long-established relationships.
working relationships make the
work always enjoyable. People Mature handling of relation-
are more likely to go along with ships with senior and junior
changes that a manager wants to colleagues is a hallmark of good
implement when he maintains leadership. According to a recent
sound relationships with research, 86 per cent of
everyone. employees believe that if they
like their manager, they are more
Mature managers realise that productive. Mature managers
networking and relationship take care to respect the opinions
management is key to long-term and ideas of all employees, as
growth, and not frenzied short- this is a good way to keep them
term measures. They train staff energised and happy.
on how to develop sound
relationships with existing and Tolerance, a sign of Viveka
potential clients by adopting A visible sign of maturity in a
what is called a 'farming' manager is how he handles
approach - a slow, solution- differing views and maintains
oriented attitude, instead of a respect for everyone. As the
'hunting' approach focused on employee mix becomes more
immediate results. diverse with younger and senior
workers, successful managers
It is important that understand the importance of
relationships are not sacrificed harnessing the power in the
for short-term gains. For convergence of diverse
instance, several finance viewpoints, passions and
managers have learnt a painful inspirations.
lesson that when you switch
long standing relationship with A Viveki manager will realise
a bank in favour of a new entrant that the leadership style should
that comes up with tempting be varied according to
offers, there could be a cost situations, with decisions made
eventually when business consensually, with inputs and
conditions turn adverse. consultation from all concerned.

42 January 2016
He will realise that it is better to that offers a lesson on seeing the

M i n d
depend less on positional power, big picture. A traveller walking
and more on personal impact. He along a lane comes across three
will know how to make policy stonecutters working in a
exceptions without causing quarry. Each was busy cutting a
harm to overall discipline. block of stone.
Tolerance and mutual respect are
the hallmarks of a Viveki. Interested to find out what they
were working on, the traveller
The Valmiki Ramayana refers to asks each of them what he was
several leadership qualities of doing. The first stonecutter
Rama to highlight his balanced replies, I'm cutting a stone.
approach. The Ayodhya Kanda Not getting wiser, the traveller
mentions that Rama would never asks the second one who replies,
lose his cool, and he would speak I'm cutting this block to make
sweetly to everyone without sure that it is square, and the
causing any form of dissonance. dimensions are uniform so that
He would be true to his word it fits in the wall. The third
(satya sandha), have no envy stonecutter, who appeared the
(anasuyaka), have immense happiest of the three, replies,
patience, would show gratitude I'm building a cathedral.
(krutajnata), and would always
keep his senses under control This ability to see the larger
(vijitendriya). purpose helps to develop a
prescient approach to manage
Big Picture any emerging issue in a
The most important attribute business. Once we truly
of a Viveki is his ability to view understand the grand purpose,
any situation in a holistic way, whether in business or personal
and not in individual parts. In life, the right way to handle day-
business, this happens when the to-day issues simply falls in
manager realizes that he is just place. That is the true benefit of
not earning a living, or doing the operating with Viveka H
best at the job, but would leave a
legacy behind.

Readers may be familiar with

the Story of Three Stonecutters R.Krishnamurthy

43 January 2016
44 January 2016
M i n d
The Alluring Krishna of
A temple credited with magical powers
promotes conjugal harmony.

We all know about Ardha- vigraha of Krishna is indeed

rnarisvara, the composite unique and captivating.
androgynous form of Siva and
Parvati, depicted as half male There are Puranic accounts to
and half female, split down the indicate that Mohanur was
middle. But how many know originally known as Bilvaranya
about the composite form of kshetra, full of bhel trees. Once
Vishnu represented as Krishna Siva was eager to see Vishnu in
and Rukmini? his bewitching Mohini form and
the latter obliged. Since then the
There is a beautiful temple on place came to be known as
the banks of Cauvery river at a Mohanur.
place called Mohanur about 18
kilometres from the town of Readers may be aware of the
Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, which legend describing Mohini as the
is well known for its hugely only female avatar of Vishnu. She
popular 18-feet high Anjaneya appeared as an enchantress to
carved out of a single rock. acquire the pot of amrit, the
elixir of immortality, from the
The main temple in Mohanur is thieving asuras for the benefit of
dedicated to Kalyana Prasanna devas. Many different legends
Venkatesvara and includes a tell of her various exploits and
sannidhi of Sammohana Krishna. marriages, including union with
The literal meaning of Siva. These tales relate, among
Sammohana is alluring or other things, the destruction of
hypnotising. The panchaloka Bhasmasura, the ash-demon.

45 January 2016
Mohini is worshipped in Western sanctum sanctorum. There is a
India where temples are devoted symbol of wristband and sword,
to her depicted as Mahalasa, the which is the signature sign of
consort of Khandoba, a regional Nayak rulers, at the entrance of
avatar of Siva. the sanctum indicating the
involvement of rulers of Nayak
Origin from Ant-hill era in building the temple
There is an interesting story around the 16th century.
behind the main temple
dedicated to Venkatesvara in Bewitching Krishna
Mohanur, which is said to be The shrine of Sammohana
about 1300 years old. Gopala with the idol made of
panchaloka as we enter the
There lived an old man in the Rajagopura is of particular
place who visited Tirupati significance.
regularly. Over a period of time
his age would not permit him to In this beautiful vigraha, the
do the pilgrimage. Extremely male part is on the right side of
disheartened, he decided to end the composite form and the
his life by drowning in the female form on the left side, seen
Cauvery river. Before doing so, in tribhangi lalitha posture, with
he prayed ardently and there the neck slightly tilted, and the
emerged a snake from an anthill. waist and knee in a romantic
Stunned by the sight, he went triple fold. His left leg is in the
back to the village. That night he front while the right leg is firmly
had a dream in which the Lord placed on the ground.
informed him that he was
embedded in the ant-hill near He is eight-armed, carrying
the river and that he should be sankha (conch); chakra (wheel);
installed. ankusam (goad); pushpabanam
(arrows of flowers);
A svayambhu murti emerged ikshuchapam (bow of
when the ant-hill was dissolved sugarcane); pankajam (lotus
with the water of Cauvery. Later flower), and venuvadyam (flute).
the kalyana form of Vishnu with Beautifully adorned with
Sridevi and Bhudevi was duly ornaments and sandal paste, he
installed. The mud formations is enticing in appearance. Very
are still visible inside the fascinating is the way the

46 January 2016
ornaments are depicted on the of married couples getting re-

M i n d
murti. The whole concept is united after spells of separation.
focussed on Ekatvam, oneness of About a quarter century ago, a
male and female principle, which gentleman from Bengaluru,
is the very basis of creation. upset over separation from his
wife, is said to have come across
While it is common to see details of the composite form of
Lakshmi seated in the chest of Krishna in a text, and provided a
Vishnu or independently, this pencil sketch to a painter to
composite form where Rukmini commission a painting of the
occupies one half of Krishna is same, to be installed in the
indeed a rare phenomenon and Mohanur temple. On the day the
an unusual representation. painting arrived at the temple,
there was a message that the
While there are many other separated couple were brought
shrines of importance in this together by the girl's father.
temple, such as that for
Sudarsana, Lakshmi, Hayagriva, Many couples who are on the
Dhanvantari and Medha verge of divorce offer prayers to
Sarasvati, this bronze of Sammohana Gopala here and
Sammohana Gopala is absolutely have experienced restoration of
captivating and unique. marital harmony.

The temple priest Sri Sammohana Gopala is thus not

Venkatasesha Bhattachar said only bewitching, but also brings
that there is textual authority for joy to couples in his composite
such a form, and he quoted from form, reminding them of the
Vaikhanasa Agama Marichiprokta greatness of oneness H
rupa dhyana Muktavali.
The installation of this bronze
took place in 2013.

Couple Reunited
The temple, and the shrine of Dr. Vanamala Parthasarathy
Sammohana Krishna in
particular, are miraculously
associated with several incidents

47 January 2016
Book Review

By R. Viswanathan.173 pages.
Price Rs.200. Published by Trinity
Press, 113, Golden House,
Daryaganj, New Delhi 110 002.

way. The number six is

significant in all the episodes
involving Muruga, his very birth
from the six balls of fire that
emerged from the fusion of Siva
and Parvati as Ardhanarisvara,
his six foster-mothers, the

I n this interesting and

delightfully readable book,
Sri R. Viswanathan, a former
senior banker who regularly
discourses on the various
number of his faces, the days of
his battle with the demon
Surapadman, and so on.

One could perceive many

aspects of Kaumara tattvam, has parallels between the episodes
incorporated a lot of research described in this book and those
material on Karthikeya, revered in the Valmiki Ramayana and
as the effulgent younger son Kalidasas Kumarasambhavam.
of Siva. Many incidents and beliefs are
explained beautifully,
There are highly informative interspersed with Vedantic
anecdotes relating to the six concepts, such as the author's
popular resorts of Muruga explanation regarding the
known as the Aru padai veedu, significance of rooster on
with the author explaining the Murugas flagstaff and peacock
meaning of this term in a novel as the Lord's mount. The

48 January 2016
differences in the worship of with the sanctum for Siva

M i n d
Karthikeya in the North and the located at the base, Ganesa in
South of Vindhyas are also the middle tier, and the temple
charmingly brought out. for Muruga on top.

The style of story-telling Karthikeya is said to have a

adopted by the author is reddish complexion,
innovative, with absorbing corresponding to that of the red
details and points of view on planet, Mars. The similarity
observing Dharma as the sub- suggested is that both are
stratum, like a sugar-coated pill. commanders of forces. While
The names and the significance Muruga, as explained in the book,
of several popular places of is the commander of the devas,
spiritual import have been Angaraka, the deity presiding over
described for the benefit of lay the planet, Mars, is said to be the
readers. For instance, how the commander of the celestial forces,
river flowing in Madurai according to astrology.
acquired the name Vaigai, or the
origin of the term 'Tiruttani' are The book appropriately
revealing. Excellent cross concludes with excerpts from the
references from some of the work of saint Arunagirinathar,
famous ancient works on the Muruga bhakta non-pareil.
Muruga such as the
Tirumurugatruppadai of the The author may consider
great poet, Nakkeerar, of the including in any future edition of
Sangam period of Tamil literature the book, more details about a
add to the value of the book. vital aspect associated with
Karthikeya: The inner
The author has also lent his significance of the sacred
touch with the reason for the syllable, Om, meditated
age-old belief that Siva's elder worldwide for peace and inner
son Ganesa is to be propitiated wellbeing H
before launching on any mission.
It is interesting to read his
description of the meaning
behind the three-tier
arrangement in the famous C.L.Ramakrishnan
Swamimalai temple in the South,

49 January 2016
Devotional Path brings peace and joy even at an early stage.

50 January 2016
P eople have a natural devotee's pause after "tvam",

S r i n g e r i
capacity to love. Affection meaning "You", was only the
requires an object and interval between successive
when that object is God, it gets words. Taking the request as
the appellation, Bhakti, or complete, she immediately
devotion. He who attains such granted him Bhavanitvam or the
devotion no longer longs for state of being Bhavani, i.e. she
anything. While attachment to made him one with herself.
wife, wealth, etc., causes Sankara has stated this in his
bondage, attachment to God Soundaryalahari.
liberates. So bewitching are
God's glories that even sages The Lord's mercy extends to
who have realised the Truth all. Did not Rama tell Sugriva
and have nothing to achieve when the latter voiced
go into raptures on concern about accepting
thinking of him. Vibhishana? "To anyone
who seeks refuge in me
Though intrinsically saying, 'I am Yours', I
formless, the Lord grant fearlessness".
appears in various Overpowered by
forms to grace his love for devotees
devotees. We read in who have
the Devi Mahatmyam of surrendered,
the Markandeya Purana, Krishna declared
"You are gorgeous, to Uddhava, "With
lovelier than all that is beautiful a view to purifying myself by
and absolutely stunning. the dust of the feet of the sage
Greatest of the great, You are who longs for nothing, bears
verily the Supreme Goddess." enmity to none and is
equanimous, I always follow
Immediate Response him.
A devotee wanted to pray, "O
Bhavani, please bestow on me a While it is said that a true
compassionate glance." So, he devotee is under God's loving
began with the words "Bhavani care, it would be wrong to infer
tvam." So eager was the Goddess that a devotee ought not to have
to fulfil her devotee's wish that any hardship. The Lord is not
she did not realise that the only compassionate but also

51 January 2016
perfectly just. If a person had The path of devotion is special;
committed major transgressions one begins to experience peace
in earlier births, allowing him to and joy even before making
go without punishment in the much headway. Sharpness of
form of suffering would be a intellect, scholarliness,
travesty of justice. A judge who prowess, age, physique, social
refuses to penalise murderers on status, occupation, wealth, etc.,
the ground of kindness would be are not of any consequence for
doing disservice to society. He the bhakti path.
can, of course, take mitigating
circumstances and repentance God being most loveable, there
into consideration to reduce the is no reason why anyone cannot
punishment to a person found cultivate devotion. Devotion to
guilty of a crime. Likewise, God, God can be developed by
being just, does award repeatedly thinking of God and
punishment even to devotees, his glories. The company of holy
but, being kind, reduces the devotees helps develop devotion.
penalty to the extent possible. On the contrary, bad company
turns one's mind away from God.
No Need to Seek
God is omniscient, Experience of Peace
omnipotent, omnipresent and Even when one is able to
an ocean of mercy. Hence, there briefly fix his mind on God, there
is just nothing that the devotee is an experience of peace
has to make known to God because, at least for that short
which is not already known to duration there are no concerns,
him. Further, if the devotee like for a baby in the mother's
says, "I want this; I want that", arms. This feeling itself
how can he be said to have full provides an impetus to the
faith in the gracious budding devotee to think further
dispensation of the Divine One? about God.
This apart, even when faith is In a verse in Sivanandalahari,
inadequate, it would be Sankara has portrayed the stages
appropriate to avoid praying for in the growth of devotion. In the
anything. So, he who attunes first stage, the devotee somehow
his will to that of God can never approaches God, just as the seed
have any reason for of the Ankola tree manages to
dissatisfaction. get to the tree and attach itself

52 January 2016
to its trunk. Thereafter, the there is an easier option. The

S r i n g e r i
effect of grace, which was there Lord says that the aspirant
even earlier, begins to be clearly should dedicate all actions to
felt. God holds on to the devotee him and give up desire for the
just as a magnet attracts and results of all acts. Longing for
holds a needle. The devotee feels results is productive of bondage.
the pull of God. In the third The aspirant, acts with the
stage, the devotee and God are feeling, "I do this for God." He
close to each other. Next, just as does not go a step down and
a creeper adds to the beauty of a declare, "I do this, so that God
tree, the devotee adds, as it may be pleased."
were, to God's glory. Indeed,
devotees, such as Prahlada were Acting as he does for the sake of
ornaments of God. In the final God, the devotee abstains from
stage, the devotee merges with misdeeds. He acts with firmness
God just as a river flows into and and enthusiasm.
becomes one with the ocean.
The Lord proclaims, "Fix your
Practice of Devotion mind on me. Be my devotee.
Krishna has compassionately Worship me. Prostrate before
taught how devotees of different me. Conducting yourself in this
capabilities should practise fashion, offering all ends, means
devotion. A mature aspirant is and needs to me, you shall come
advised to fix his mind and to me alone. Truly, do I promise
intellect on God as the Cosmic thus to you, for you are dear to
Person. To the aspirant unable to me." Who would not want to
view everything as related to God, surrender himself to God who is
Krishna teaches repeated fixation so very loving and loveable H
of the mind on some chosen form
of God. Suppose a person is Condensed from the book
unable to meditate even on any Enlightening Expositions of His
form, he is instructed to be intent Holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava
on service to the Lord. The Vidyatirtha Mahaswamigal
devotee should engage himself in brought out by Sri Vidyatirtha
hearing the glories of God. Foundation.

Finally, if a person is unable to

be absorbed even in such tasks,

53 January 2016
Jagadgurus witnessing Go Puja

1 Mahasannidhanam performing Kartika Somavara

Puja to Lord Chandramoulisvara

Page 54
Pattabhisheka Day

S r i n g e r i
at Sringeri

T he 26th anniversary of
the Pattabhishekam
(ascendance to Sri
Sharada Peetham at Sringeri) of
Jagadguru Sri Bharati Tirtha
of the Peetham, Jagadguru
Chandrashekhara Bharati
Mahaswamiji, and the 35th
Acharya, Jagadguru Abhinava
Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji, were
Mahaswamiji was celebrated on celebrated on November 7 and
November 1, 2015 at Sringeri. 10 respectively. On both days,
Sahasra Narikela Homa was Mahasannidhanam and
performed and purnahuti took Sannidhanam offered homage at
place in the presence of the adhishthanam shrines in
Mahasannidhanam and Narasimha Vanam.
Sannidhanam. Earlier, the Mahasannidhanam performed
Acharyas had darsan at all special puja at the shrines at
temples in the premises. night with Rudra Krama
In the evening, at a public
function in the presence of the Coinciding with the event,
Jagadgurus, Sri V R vidyarthis and pundits of Sri
Gowrishankar, CEO & Sadvidya Sanjeevini Samskrta
Administrator of the Peetham, Mahapathashala conducted a
read out the report of the Sabha, which began with Veda
Navaratri celebrations, pointing Parayana. The Sabhas were
out that this year's Navaratri was presided over by Vidwan MA
historic in that both the Nagaraja Bhat and Vidwan
Jagadgurus graced the Durbar Vinayaka Udupa respectively.
for the first time after the Sishya Scholars narrated in Sanskrit
Sveekara in January 2015. incidents from the lives of the
Jagadgurus while Brahma Sri
Jayantis of Acharyas Tangirala Dakshinamurthy
The Jayanti (birthday recounted some anecdotes in
celebration) of the 34th Acharya Kannada.

55 January 2016
Mahasannidhanam performing puja to Sannidhanam inaugurating
Vidyashankara on the Aradhana Day of Sankaracharya Ashtottara Shatanama
Jagadguru Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji Parayana Yajna by lighting a lamp

Jagadgurus participating in the Vidyashankara Rathotsava

53 January 2016
The Jayanti of the 32nd Agrahara. Dhatri Homa and Tulasi
Acharya, Jagadguru Vriddha Kalyanam were performed. Tulasi

S r i n g e r i
Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamiji, Kalyanam is the ceremonial
was observed on November 24. marriage of the holy Tulsi plant
to Lord Krishna. The wedding
Kartika Somavara Pujas signifies the end of the monsoon
Mahasannidhanam performed and the beginning of the
Somavara Pujas on the four wedding season. In the evening,
Mondays of the month of Kartika. deepotsava took place at the
The pujas were telecast live by Tulasi shrine facing the temple
Sankara TV. of Sri Janardana Swami near Sri
Vidyashankara Temple.
Vidyashankara Aradhana
The 682nd Aradhana of the 10th Laksha Deepotsava
Acharya of the Peetham, On the day of Kartik Purnima
Jagadguru Sri Vidyatirtha (1229- (November 25), Laksha
1333 AD), was observed on deepotsava took place, with
November 18. The Acharya was Mahasannidhanam accompanied
known to be always absorbed in by Sannidhanam lighting a lamp
the bliss of self-realisation. The at Malahanikaresvara temple.
royal brothers, Harihara and The Murti of Bhavani
Bukka had great reverence for Malahanikaresvara was carried
the Guru. along the main streets, with the
entire place looking resplendent
Mahasannidhanam performed with the beauty of countless
Aradhana Puja at noon in the number of earthen lamps lit.
Vidyashankara temple built over
the samadhi of the Acharya. Next Yagas at Vidyaranyapura
day, Sri Vidyashankara Rathotsava Mahasannidhanam and
carrying the utsava murty of the Sannidhanam graced the
acharya took place through the purnahutis of the Maharudra
main streets of Sringeri. Yaga and Krishna Yajur Veda
Samhita Yaga at Vidyaranyapura
Ksheerabdhi Dvadasi Agrahara on November 27 and
On November 23, Ksheerabdhi 29 organised by Brahma Sri
Dvadasi was observed with Tangirala Dakshinamurthy and
special puja to Lakshmi- his family. Chaturveda Parayana
narasimha in Narasimhapura also took place. In his anugraha

57 January 2016
Ubhaya Jagadguru leading the procession
of Malahanikaresvara on the occasion of

Sri Sannidhanam leading the Vidyashankara Rathotsava

Page 58
Mahasannidhanam lighting the first
deepa during Deepotsava

Gracing Purnahuti of Maharudra

Homa at Vidyaranyapura

Page 59
Teppotsava in the divine presence of Sri
Sannidhanam as part of Laksha Deepotsava

1 graces Deepotsava at
Sri Sannidhanam
Sri Durgamba temple

Page 60
bhashanam, Mahasannidhanam himself stands in front of us and
giving his darshan. Sri

S r i n g e r i
expressed happiness that in
recent times, all the three Mahasannidhanam blessed that
Samhita Yagas had been every follower of Sanatana
conducted in the ancient Dharma participate in this Japa
agrahara, which came into Yajna, the greatness of which is
existence in memory of vouched for by Bhagavan himself
Jagadguru Sri Vidyaranya. in the Gita, where He states -
kmZm Onkmo @ p_ - Of all Yajnas,
Sri Sankaracharya I am the Japa-Yajna. Sri Maha-
Ashtottara Shatanama sannidhanam also said that the
Yajna Parayana of the Ashtottara of Sri
Sri Adi Sankaracharya Adi Sankaracharya must become
Ashtottara Shatanama Parayana part of our daily prayers.
Yajna commenced on 6th
December 2015, conducted by Sri In His Anugraha Bhashanam, Sri
Shaankara Tattva Prasaara Sannidhanam pointed out the
Abhiyaanam of the Sringeri importance of Guru in Sanatana
Peetham. As part of the Yajna, Dharma, and the role of the Guru
tens of thousands of devotees in our lives as the remover of
have begun chanting the ignorance. He extolled the
Ashtottara Shatanama of Sri Adi virtues of Sri Adi Sankaracharya
Sankaracharya in groups at and called for chanting of the
various centres. Ashtottara Shatanamavali with
total Sraddha and Bhakti H
Earlier, Sri Mahasannidhanam
in His Anugraha Bhashanam for
the event said that it is our
foremost duty to remember and Details of the Ashtottara Yajna
revere Sri Adi Sankara, the can be found at
incarnation of Lord Paramesvara,
for reviving Sanatana Dharma ara-yajna.
and for showing the path of
welfare to all. If we understand
the pregnant meanings behind
each name in the Ashtottara, and
chant the names with sincerety,
it will be as if Sri Adi Sankara
1 61 January 2016
62 January 2016
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63 January 2016
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64 January 2016
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65 January 2016
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66 January 2016
Page 67
The constant play of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
affects the flow of our thoughts.

Ignorance will go back to a normal

This is called tamas in Sanskrit. temperature. It cannot remain hot
Tamas also means darkness, forever. If you freeze it and leave it
illusion, error and gloom. It aside, it will go back to being
primarily refers to a state of water. This is the law of nature.
aggression. The functions of So, not only is tamas not bad, it is
deterioration, death, decay, necessary, because it is simply the
disintegration and complete stage before restoration and
destruction are governed by the rejuvenation. The destruction in
mode of ignorance. Anything tamas is illusory, because nothing
comprising the five elements must is really getting destroyed. Only
eventually decay. This is the fate the forms are changing; it is
of any material entity. These merely a change of appearance a
entities may be living or non- sort of transformation.
living, moving or still, natural or
artificial, organic or inorganic. Tamas in the human mind is the
Upon decomposition, they merge seed of aggression, negativity,
back into the five elements. hatred, depression, delusion, fear
and anger. In the darkness of
No matter how dearly or tamas, in that illusion, one no
intelligently you hold on to longer sees right from wrong. In
whatever matters to you, fact, its rising and gripping
eventually it will meet ignorance justifies all wrong acts
destruction; it will separate from as right. Whether it is partners
you. The fundamental law of lying to each other, people killing
nature is that everything must go each other, governments fooling
back to its original state. If you their people, or countries going on
boil water and leave it aside, it a spree of territorial aggression,

68 January 2016
tamas makes it all look like a brain. It feels good. This tiny
normal part of our contemporary experience of happiness and

B o
world. euphoria subsides after a while,
and then we are back pursuing the
Additionally, tamas means passion again.
inertia, dullness and lethargy. Ego
is tamas. Rajas sits in the middle of the
modes of ignorance and goodness,
Passion because during the arousal of
Passion is called rajas in Sanskrit. passion, one may lean towards
Rajas also means blood. either ignorance or goodness.
Interestingly, rajas also means a When one's passion is dominated
vaporous cloud or a sphere of by ignorance, one could easily
mist. It is this description that harm the other person or even
gives us the real insight into the take someone's life. But when
nature of passions: they are goodness dominates passion, one
impermanent and fugacious. Like may even jump into the sea,
a cloud of mist, they disappear as risking one's life to save another
soon as they appear. This is the person.
essence of human life.
Passion, when tamed and
Throughout our lives we work harnessed, brings out the
hard to feel good, to feel happy. extraordinary in an individual.
But pleasures are never like the Such a person may become an
gentle stream they come in inventor, a scientist, a
squirts and spurts, as if happiness mathematician, a preacher, an
is teasing us. artist, a musician, a peace worker
or an administrative officer. When
All pleasures spring from the it is channelled, this energy
pursuit of passion. The writer at bestows exceptional absorption,
his desk, the athlete on the field, concentration and persistence on
the scientist in her lab, and the a person.
artist with her painting, all derive
a certain pleasure in pursuing The fact that the word, rajas, also
their passion. Every time a means blood signifies that every
passion is fulfilled, it gives us a person has some passion, just as
glimpse of happiness. A everyone has blood in their
neurotransmitter is fired in the bodies. Not everyone discovers his

69 January 2016
passion, though. Each individual become feeble, because sattva is
has certain talents and passions boosted with awareness.
hidden in him: It is in their blood.
It is only a matter of bringing In fact, yogic and Ayurvedic texts
them out. Nature creates with mention knowledge (jnana),
rajas. Therefore, in your scientific knowledge (vijyana),
microcosm, too, creativity is a restraint (samyam), mindfulness
function of passion. Rajas (smriti) and concentration
represents transience, desire and (ekagrata) as the antidote to and
action. treatment for mental afflictions
caused by imbalanced mental
Purity humours. Each of these five
Purity is called sattva in Sanskrit. strengthens sattva.
Sattva also means goodness, light and
knowledge. But, most importantly, it The sage-physician, Charaka,
means your innate nature; your basic makes it clear that ignorance and
fabric. Your inherent nature is pure passion can be faults, and,
bliss and light. therefore, may be detrimental to a
person's physical and mental
Imagine you are hiding a small health, but sattva can never be
lamp in your hands and you walk harmful no matter what. Sattva
into a dark room. As soon as you represents the quintessential
open your hands, the whole room mental, psychical and emotional
will light up. The light in your balance. Nature sustains with
hands has removed the darkness. sattva. If nature goes out of
But what if you walk into a lit balance, the world will cease to
room, hiding a bit of darkness in exist. If rajas is pleasures and joy,
your closed hands? The room will then sattva is happiness and bliss.
not become dark when you open
your hands. There will be light all The constant play and
around. Because, light is the competition between sattva, rajas
dharma of nature; it is the way of and tamas triggers changes in
nature. mood, emotion and the flow of
thoughts. Tamas causes a disease,
Similarly, our own true nature is rajas treats it and sattva heals the
light and bliss. If we become sufferer. Sattva represents
aware of our passions and steadiness, peace, clarity and
ignorance, they automatically balance.

70 January 2016
Imagine someone shouts at you famous, be recognised, own
aggressively, with an intent to something, have someone, be

B o
upset you. If, then, you something and do more. These
contemplate physically abusing or fires first give us warmth, then
harming this person, it means they dry us out and then they
tamas is strong; it is governing burn us. These mental fires arise
you. In the same situation, if you out of fluctuations in our mental
feel your aggressive emotions well humours. They affect the fire in
up, but you do not yell at the our body directly, impacting our
other person, rajas has won over health and well-being.
tamas. If, however, you do not feel
any negativity or aggression; you There are 13 fires in the human
do not feel like giving it back to body controlling various
the person, nor do you have to metabolic functions in the organs
curb your reaction, in simple and tissues and at a cellular and
terms, you remain unaffected, molecular level. Of these, the four
it means that your mode of digestive fires are dominant; they
goodness, sattva, has won over govern the others.
both tamas and rajas.
To be continued...
Our mental and physical
humours have an intricate
relationship with the energy flow
The Wellness Sense Os
and the digestive fire in our
bodies. Vedic texts list many types
of fire, notably, the fire of wisdom
(jnana-agni), the fire of the senses
(darsana-agni), the fire of passions
(kama-agni) and the fire of love
(prema-agni). For our benefit or to
our detriment, these are the fires
that heat, transform, mould and
shape us. When unchecked, they
can also burn us.

Most in our world are burning in

one or more of these fires--the
burning to have more money, be

71 January 2016
the Multi-benefit Fruit

J amun, endearingly associated

with Lord Siva, is a delicious
tropical plum-like fruit found
abundantly in many parts of the
boy sitting on a jamun tree and
kindled the spiritual energy of
Avvaiyar, the famous Tamil
poetess. When the tired poetess
world. The fruit's enduring asked him to shake the tree to
association with Siva is recorded collect the fruit, he asked for her
in the puranas. The celebrated choice of cold or hot fruit. As
Siva temple, Jambukesvaram, near she blew the dirt sticking on a
Trichy in South India sports fallen fruit, he teasingly asked
jamun tree as the sthala vriksha her whether the fruit was too
under which a famous sage had hot to eat. Realising that the
done intense tapas. illiterate shepherd boy had
fooled her by a play on words,
Legends describe how the humbled poetess looked up
Kartikeya, the younger son of to behold the beautiful form of
Siva, once sported as a shepherd Subrahmanya.

72 January 2016
Health Benefits Medicinal Properties
Also known as jambul, jamun is Jamun tree is known to be

B o
eaten as a health snack in many effective in the treatment of
parts of the world. Astringent diabetes. Extracts of its bark,
and acidic in nature, this pulpy leaves and seeds are used in
sweet fruit is eaten with salt. combination with herbs to
The natural fruit has a reduce levels of glycosuria and
single seed. blood sugar. Powder of dried
seeds is consumed with honey
Jamun has a unique colour and over a course of two months to
taste. Its skin is satin-soft, bring down blood sugar levels.
gleaming and inky-dark like the Jamun juice should be included
heart of the monsoon cloud. in a diabetic's diet.
(This is why the fruit is also
known in Sanskrit as The bark of jamun tree has
meghamodhini, meghavarna and anti-helmintic properties, which
Shyamala.) The sweet and tangy help in treating urinary
flavour of the ripe fruit is disorders. A glass of jamun juice
heavenly. The purplish patch the with half teaspoon of bark
fruit leaves on the tongue when powder daily is recommended
eaten is because of plant for persons with urinary
pigment, anthocyanin. (In Greek, infections and urinary tract
'antho' means plant, and 'cyan' disorders. Vinegar made from its
is blue). fruit helps in treating
enlargement of spleen, urine
Jamun is loaded with nutrients retention and chronic
essential for good health. Its diarrhoea.
bark, leaves, and seeds have
been used since ancient times to Regular intake of jamun seed
cure various diseases and powder three times a day helps
ailments. Jamun juice in in regulating blood sugar level as
particular is gaining momentum well as insulin secretion, and
globally because of the presence stimulate healthy liver function.
of bioactive phytochemicals that
minimise the risk of liver disease Jamun juice is excellent for
and cancer. Major sugars present natural bowel movement. The
in this ripe fruit are fructose seed powder is used as a cure for
and glucose. digestive disorders, an excellent

73 January 2016
home remedy for abdominal The pulp of jamun is used for
bloating. treating gingivitis or bleeding
gums. Leaves of jamun are burnt
Jamun minimises the risk of to form an ash which, when used
cancer. This fruit has several for brushing, helps to strengthen
bioactive phytochemicals that the gums. Intake of water boiled
include polyphenols to fight with jamun bark helps in curing
cancer cells. Individuals that respiratory disorders including
undergo chemotherapy or asthma and bronchitis. Taking
radiation sessions benefit jamun bark water with honey
significantly by taking jamun two times a day is also beneficial
juice. Anthocyanins, flavonoids, in treating leucorrhoea among
ellagic acid and gallic acid women.
present in jamun have the
capacity to prevent Jamun seed powder taken with
carcinogenesis in the organs of yogurt assists in curing kidney
the body. stones.

For Blemishes, Scars The fruit contains good amount

Turmeric mixed with jamun of potassium essential for
juice and applied on skin is keeping heart healthy and
helpful to get rid of blemishes preventing hypertension, stroke
and light scars. Jamun's and other cardio vascular
astringent property helps it diseases.
keep oily skin fresh, smooth and
acne-free. The fruit contains a Some Precautions
good amount of vitamins, such Buy fresh jamun in small
as A and C, as well as minerals amounts so that it can be
beneficial for the health of eye consumed within about two days
and skin. as it easily loses freshness.
Generally it is picked from the
Vinegar made from jamun is ground when it falls after
used as a cure for sore throat and getting ripe, or picked directly
whooping cough. from the tree when it changes its
colour to dark blue or purple.
Bark powder mixed with water Avoid buying bruised, spotted,
is effective in curing tapeworm cut, wrinkled, small, lightweight
infection. and light coloured jamun.

74 January 2016
Jamun can be enjoyed in a Pregnant as well as breast-
number of ways, such as fruit feeding mothers should avoid

B o
salad, jamun vinegar, seeds jamun.
powder, juice, jam, murabba,
jellies, pickles and chutney. It can Our ancestors had the wisdom
be sprinkled with black pepper to plant jamun trees in public
powder and salt according to the places. Even at the start of the
taste of the person. last century, when Lutyen's Delhi
was taking shape, jamun tree
While jamun has the property had prominently figured in the
to lower blood sugar level, planter's list. As a result, the
diabetic patients should take it beautiful avenues of New Delhi,
carefully as it may reduce blood such as Rajpath, are lined up
sugar level to a great extent with imposing jamun trees
leading to hypoglycaemia. The whose umbrella-like crown
fruit should also be avoided a soaring to over hundred feet
few days before and after any provide cool shade to the delight
surgery as it might lower the of millions H
blood sugar level.

More Precautions

Avoid eating jamun on an
empty stomach.

Avoid drinking milk at least

one hour before and after Dr Chandra Venkatasubramanian
eating jamun.

People suffering from edema

should avoid eating jamun.
Also by those with a history of
regular vomiting and those
fasting for long periods.

Excess intake of jamun may

cause cough and accumulation
of sputum in the lungs, and
lead to body pain and fever.

75 January 2016
L aughter is an infective
phenomenon. Among all
the 84 lakh creations of
God, only man is endowed with
the faculty of laughter. In fact,
value of laughter for positive health
and in the control of neurosis.

It helps release pent up

emotions, resentment, anger, and
man is the only animal that malice.
'laughs and weeps'.
Regular laughter before sleep has
Many laughter clubs have been seen to help insomniacs.
sprung up now, where senior
citizens gather in parks and Laughter has been useful in
bellow their guts out. Many increasing the Endorphin levels in
people snigger at these practices, the body. It relieves pain in
but laughter is definitely chronic sufferers of arthritis and
associated with good health. helps in muscle relaxation.

Medical Benefits of Laughter It helps in abdominal breathing

Studies by reputed Medical and better oxygenation of the
organisations have endorsed the body.

76 January 2016
Laughter regulates stress by
reducing the levels of cortisol,
Universities in Ancient India

B o
adrenaline and nor-adrenaline.

It increases the immunity of the

body by increasing the body's
natural killer cells, antibodies and

It is believed that the purpose of

existence is for joy and all Indian
Spiritual masters encourage
laughter and positive thoughts
and exhort the aspirants to dump
their sorrows and negativity into Takshashila, one of the oldest
the graveyard, before plunging universities in the world became a
into a Spiritual way of life.
noted centre of learning several
Conclusion centuries before the Chrisitan Era,
Studies at Stanford University by and continued to attract students
Dr. William Fry have revealed that from around the old world until the
laughing 100 times a day is as destruction of the city in the 5th
good as jogging or exercising century. At its height, it has been
briskly for ten minutes.
suggested that Takshashila exerted a
As we grow older we laugh less. sort of "intellectual suzerainty" over
A 6-year old child laughs about other centres of learning in India.
250 to 300 times a day and an Nalanda was one of the world's first
average adult laughs about 40 residential universities, having
times a day and the serious and dormitories for students. In its
glum persons laugh less than 5
times a day H heyday, it is said to have
accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.
Among others was the Kerala School
of Mathematics and Astronomy,
Dr. Rajesh Vishwanathan which flourished between 14th and
16th centuries.

77 January 2016
Fury of Flood in Chennai

Our helplessness comes to the fore

in the face of Natures wrath

78 January 2016

t appeared to be just like
another rainy day on

B o
December 1. The water
outside our gate was running
like a rivulet, another usual
feature. Our area always used to
be water-logged even for
moderate rainfall. So, none of us
was really prepared for what was
to come. I sat watching the
water flow. It reminded me of
Venice, except that this was dirty

Fickle Existence
A big leaf from the opposite
tree fell near our gate. It
strangely had one water drop on
it. It slowly revolved in the
water My mind recalled the
verses of Acharya Adi Sankara in
Bhaja Govindam how fickle was
human life like water drop on a
lotus leaf.



I don't know why, but a slight

uneasiness gripped my heart
sampraapte sannihite kale... (at
the time of final breath). Why
were these verses so persistently
running through my mind? The
rain had by now intensified.
Soon we realised this was just
not some ordinary rainfall.

79 January 2016
Worried, we all withdrew into Sri-chakra. 'Please Mother ! Save
the house as water entered our us !!!' The rain continued
gate. pounding on. Was this pralaya?

We made frantic calls for a Finally, at dawn, the rain

boat. Meanwhile, we tried to stopped. We heard voices at the
rearrange the things on the gate. A few friends of ours had
ground should water invade the braved the waters and waded
house. We waited and waited through chest-deep waters to
no boat came. Darkness had set reach us. I cried out in relief and
in. I don't know why a sense of gratitude. The Mother had heard
fear gripped me. Remembering my prayer!
Bhaja Govindam, I frantically
chanted 'Govinda, Govinda'. As Sink or Swim
we watched in horror, water There was a temporary lull in
started seeping into the house. the rain and time was running
out as more rain was forecast.
We somehow reached the open Someone led me into the water. I
terrace which had no room or cried out in fear and desperation.
proper flooring but only a But, like the Shakespearean
thatched roof. Still that was our quote, 'To be or not to be', it was
only option now. I was shivering either to sink or swim. In this
both in cold as well as in fear. case, to wade. I held on tightly to
The thatched roof provided my 'rescuer', who then was the
minimal shelter as it was Mother Goddess Herself in my
leaking in many places. A dog sight. We somehow with great
howled miserably outside. It difficulty waded out. I could feel
was heart-rending. To me, it was the strong undercurrents
a symbolic howl of a whole city swishing around, threatening to
in distress. pull us in.

O, Mother, Please... It was surely divine grace that

I prayed and prayed as never saw us through. We spent a few
before in my entire life. I invoked days at a friend's place. The
the Mother Goddess sarva magnitude of the disaster
rakshakara chakreshvari the unfolded through the media.
deity of the Sarvarakshakara Chennai was stunned, shocked
chakra, the sixth avarana of the and devastated.

80 January 2016
Light Amidst Darkness As for me, it left me very sober.
The only ray of sunshine was I learnt to be grateful for every

B o
that people cut across all little drop of fresh water, every
barriers to help each other out. morsel of food and every bit of
While heart-rending stories clothing. It taught me not to take
emerged, so did heart-warming everything for granted. It
ones. Our local milk-man doled showed me the unpredictability
out milk for stranded people in of life. However much one reads
spite of his own house being about the fleeting nature of
flooded. When one of us went to existence, it is quite different
buy candles, the shop owner when one experiences it. I
politely said, 'Please take only as again recalled Adi Sankara's
much as you need. Just because words jeevitam atishaya
you have extra money, do not chapalam. After things settled
buy the whole stock'. Ordinary down, we returned. It was with
people showed extraordinary tears of gratitude that I went
courage and compassion. first to the puja room.

Who was to blame? Fate, El Things will never be the same

Nino, the wrath of the elements, again ! H
inefficiency, inadequate drainage
system, encroachment of water-
bodies, water mismanagement,
haphazard construction or a
combination of all?.... Perhaps,
the answer will never be found.
Dr. R. Asha


Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Asana)

82 January 2016
T his New Year, relax and 4) Firm the shoulder blades

make a vow to get against the back and puff the
physically and mentally side ribs forward. Lift through

B o
healthy. This pose here is an the top of the sternum but avoid
ancient blessing of pulling pushing the front ribs forward,
yourself out of depression and which only hardens the lower
working towards a healthy back.
living. One step at a time, one
day at a time. Look straight ahead or tip the
head back slightly, but take care
Organising the Pose not to compress the back of the
1) Lie prone on the floor. Stretch neck and harden the throat.
your legs back, with the top of
your feet on the floor. Bend your 5) Urdhva Mukha Asana is one of
elbows and spread your palms the positions in the traditional
on the floor beside your waist so Sun Salutation sequence. You can
that your forearms are relatively also practise this pose
perpendicular to the floor. individually, holding it anywhere
from 15 to 30 seconds, breathing
2) Inhale and press your inner easily. Release back to the floor.
hands firmly into the floor and
slightly back, as if you were Benefits
trying to push yourself forward Improves posture
along the floor. Strengthens the spine, arms,
Then straighten your arms and Stretches chest, lungs,
simultaneously lift your torso up shoulders and abdomen
and your legs a few inches off Firms the buttocks
the floor on an inhalation. Keep Stimulates abdominal organs
the thighs firm and slightly Helps relieve mild depression,
turned inward, the arms firm
and turned out so the elbow fatigue, and sciatica
creases face forward. Therapeutic for asthma H

3) Press the tailbone toward the

pubis and lift the pubis toward
the navel. Narrow the hip points.
Firm but do not harden the

83 January 2016
84 January 2016
Two little boys were at play one day when a Fairy suddenly appeared
before them and said, "I have been sent to give you New Year presents.

She handed to each child a package, and in an instant was gone.

Vasu and Uday opened the packages and found in them two
beautiful books, with pages as pure and white as the snow when it
first falls.

Next year the Fairy came again to the boys. "I have brought you
each another book" said she, "and will take the first ones back to
Father Time who sent them to you."

"May I not keep mine a little longer? asked Vasu.

"No" said the Fairy, "I must take it just as it is."

"I wish that I could look through mine just once," said Uday.

"You shall look at your book," said the Fairy, "and Vasu, at his." And
she lit for them two little silver lamps, by the light of which they
saw the pages as she turned them.

The boys looked in wonder. Could it be that these were the same
fair books she had given them a year ago? Where were the clean,
white pages, as pure and beautiful as the snow when it first falls?
Here was a page with ugly, black spots and scratches upon it; while
the very next page showed a lovely little picture. Some pages were
decorated with gold and silver and gorgeous colours, others with
beautiful flowers, and still others with a rainbow of softest, most
delicate brightness. Yet even on the most beautiful of the pages
there were ugly blots and scratches.

Vasu and Uday looked up at the Fairy at last.

"Who did this?" they asked. "Every page was white and fair as we
opened it; yet now there is not a single blank place in the
whole book!"

85 January 2016
"Shall I explain some of the pictures to you?" said the Fairy, smiling
at the two little boys.

"See, Uday, the spray of roses blossomed on this page when you let
the baby have your playthings; and this pretty bird, that looks as if it
were singing with all its might, would never have been on this page if
you had not tried to be kind and pleasant the other day, instead of

"But what makes this blot?" asked Uday.

"That," said the Fairy sadly, "That came when you told an untruth
one day. All these blots and scratches that look so ugly, both in your
book and in Vasu's, were made when you were naughty. Each pretty
thing in your books came on its page when you were good."

"Oh, if we could only have the books again!" said Vasu and Uday.

"That cannot be," said the Fairy. "See! They are dated for this year,
and they must now go back into Father Time's bookcase, but I have
brought you each a new one. Perhaps you can make these more
beautiful than the others."

So saying, she vanished, and the boys were left alone, but each held
in his hand a new book open at the first page.

And on the back of this book was written in letters of gold, "For the
New Year."

Moral: It is never too late to learn our lessons and start a new
towards a positive direction in life.

86 January 2016
In the world of henna art and design, the name Pavan Ahluwalia
reigns supreme. She is a Guinness World Record holder, earning her
spot as the fastest henna artist after painting an impressive 511
unique armbands in a single hour last year.

She is a self-taught artist, who has been creating Mehndi decorations

since the age of seven. The familiar aspects of the ancient art are all
there--and Ahluwalia still maintains a large bridal audience for those
looking for conventional Indian, Pakistani or Bengali designs--but it
is her flair for multimedia and contemporary work that sets her
apart from other henna artists in her field.

87 January 2016
88 January 2016
Located at an elevation of 2,300 feet in the Western Ghats near
Mumbai, the Kalavantin Durg is a truly amazing structure that was
used as a watchtower in the past.

As one of the 23 forts that were handed over to the Mughal Empire
by Shivaji according to the Treaty of Purandar in 1665, it was
reclaimed by the Maratha forces two years later.

The fort is believed to be built around the time of Buddha, or

approximately around 500 BC, for a queen named Kalavantin whose
story seems to have been lost in the mist of time.

One of its most impressive features is the steps leading up to the

fort that were cut into the rock of the hill with great perfection.
There are no railings on the edge and no ropes on the wall to support
the climb, which makes the climb down pretty tough to handle if one
suffers from vertigo.

The steps up to the peak are almost a three-hour climb while

getting to the fort is yet another challenge to face, recommended
only for the experienced trekkers.

However, once at the summit, the panoramic view of Western

Ghats is breathtaking. Not only the city of Mumbai can be viewed
from here but also other forts like Peb, Chanderi, Materan, Karnala
and Ershai are a sight to see. Accessible from Mumbai-Pune
Expressway, the fort is a main tourist attraction. On every Shimga
Festival of Holi, locals from Machi-Prabal Village dance on top of the
fort and they consider it a part of their culture and heritage.

Kalavantin Durg's location and treacherous steps up to the top have

given it the rightly deserved reputation of being the most dangerous
fort in the world. H

89 January 2016
90 January 2016
91 January 2016
Registered with Registrar of Newspapers of India under No.30492 / 78
Postal Regn. No. TN/CH(C)/316/15-17 Licensed to post without pre-payment.
WPP No. TN/PMG(CCR)/WPP/156/2015-17 Date of Publication 24th December 2015.

His Holiness Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji

With Pranams to the Benign Guru

New Madurai Bye-Pass Road, Karur 639003. Tel: 04324-646049
We seek to promote the betterment of youth in academic and
entrepreneurial efforts anchored on ethical values and devotion to God

92 January 2016