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Parnika: February 2017

Editor’s Note

Shri Gurub­hyo Nama­ha!

Guru Kri­pa! We are hap­py to present the eighth issue of Parni­ka. It is our hum­ble offer­ing to the rich parampara of India. Parni­ka — Leaflets of Insights is a month­ly mag­a­zine to share and dis­cuss insights on life based on Indi­an prin­ci­ples.

Jan­u­ary has been a hap­pen­ing month for Anaa­di Foun­da­tion. Start­ing with the Pada Yatra to Maru­damalai on Jan­u­ary 8th, the month has been excit­ing. A lot has been going in the out­side world too with the Jal­likat­tu ban and protests by young­sters gain­ing nation­al and inter­na­tion­al atten­tion. This month’s Parni­ka is packed with amaz­ing arti­cles detail­ing our var­i­ous pro­grams in Jan­u­ary, a new diet for Shiv­arathri, reme­dies for headache, Q and A on Bhuta Shud­dhi which hap­pened dur­ing the train jour­ney while return­ing from Rishikesh and some excel­lent inputs for young­sters who feel insignif­i­cant in their cur­rent roles. We have ded­i­cat­ed an arti­cle to the Great Pita­ma­ha for Bhish­ma ash­ta­mi (Feb 4, 2017). The deep insights of Sid­dhar Gorakhnath have been cap­tured in Sid­dha Charithi­ram.

Mahashivaratri “Cheat Diet” (serves 1)

On Mahashiv­ara­tri, one under­takes a vra­ta (a firm vow unto one­self) to fast through­out the whole day and night, stay­ing awake the whole night. Some­times, pangs of hunger become dif­fi­cult to ignore and one may feel like eat­ing some­thing, although one is on a vra­ta. The good news is you can cheat even dur­ing your vra­ta, pro­vid­ed you eat only as per this diet, giv­en below! So here are two recipes of the “cheat diet” — don’t cheat too much! When you are a begin­ner its okay!

The day before Shiv­ara­tri, at noon, soak a hand­ful of green gram in a bowl of water. After 10 hours, (that is, at night), drain the water and drink it. Leave a lit­tle water in the bowl con­tain­ing the green gram, just to keep it moist. Make sure that the water does not soak the gram, as it just needs to be moist. Cov­er the bowl with a lid and leave it to sprout overnight. The next morn­ing (on Shiv­ara­tri), the green gram would have sprout­ed.

For lunch:

*To the bowl con­tain­ing sprout­ed green gram, add a hand­ful of dry aval(flat­tened rice).

*Add some fresh­ly grat­ed coconut and jag­gery.

*Mix well and eat.

For din­ner:

*Take a hand­ful of aval(flat­tened rice) in a bowl and add a spoon­ful of porikadalai (roast­ed gram).

*Add fresh grat­ed coconut.

*It is impor­tant to chew well and eat mind­ful­ly, as aval being dry, has to get mixed with the sali­va prop­er­ly before you swal­low. Eat­ing in a hur­ry can cause the aval to get stuck in your throat.

Aval and porikadalai: the yogi’s diet

Aval and porikadalai is a com­plete diet in itself. It is a high­ly nutri­tious and sattvic diet that yogis fol­low. Instead of dry aval, pori (puffed rice) can be used. Both are sattvic in nature, the dif­fer­ence being that aval is fill­ing and pori is light. Cou­pled with Yoga asanas and pranaya­ma, a yogi can go on a com­plete aval and porikadalai diet. It makes the body sattvic. The stom­ach is always light, no mat­ter how much is eat­en. One can engage in vig­or­ous action through­out the day, with a sleep require­ment of only about 2–3 hours. One can wake up from sleep any­time, whether it is a long sleep or a short one, and active­ly engage in action, with­out the usu­al grog­gi­ness after sleep. One will be always hap­py, as one’s ener­gies are high, and depres­sion can­not find an entry point. Going on this diet opens up the sens­es, enabling one to per­ceive rich colours in the world. One will see one’s con­scious­ness expand. Med­i­ta­tion hap­pens beau­ti­ful­ly and sad­hana takes off. Aval and porikadalai is very cheap. One can take this while going on pil­grim­ages, thus one need not depend on exter­nal sources for one’s food. The body may become very thin, but one will be very healthy and ener­getic. How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to under­stand that a sad­ha­ka can take up this diet only under the guid­ance and instruc­tion of the Guru.

Happening Month!


8 JAN 2017

Jan­u­ary has been a hap­pen­ing month for Anaa­di. The pro­grams for the year start­ed with the Pada Yatra to Maru­damalai on Jan­u­ary 8. Each of our pro­grams have been designed to push the bound­aries a bit, be it the Mahab­hara­ta pro­grams where the expan­sion of cog­ni­tion hap­pens by lis­ten­ing to the com­plex sto­ry line or the Himalayan yatras where peo­ple scale dis­tances they nev­er imag­ined and that too on foot. The Pada Yatra was a unique and first time expe­ri­ence for many. It was heart­en­ing to see the yatris keep up the enthu­si­asm through­out the walk. In the Indi­an tra­di­tion, espe­cial­ly in the South, Pada yatras are not uncom­mon. Peo­ple walk near­ly 100 kms to reach Palani dur­ing “thai” month. In our life and jour­ney on earth, we gath­er so much from peo­ple and cir­cum­stances around us. This cre­ates strong impres­sions which con­tributes to our karmic load. Pada yatras can be extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial in “reduc­ing” this load. Why or How? We can ded­i­cate a whole arti­cle to this, may be in the future.

CLAP : Children’s Leadership Awakening Program

13–15 JAN 2017

The Children’s Lead­er­ship Awak­en­ing Pro­gram (CLAP) that we orga­nized with Edu­Se­va, was a unique event in many ways. It was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence inter­act­ing with chil­dren and the kind of vibran­cy they bring into the envi­ron­ment is inde­scrib­able.

57 chil­dren in the age group of 14 to 17 and 6 teach­ers from near­ly 10 schools in Tamil­nadu includ­ing Bharatiya Vidya Bha­van, SSVM World School, Chan­drakan­ti Pub­lic School, Vidyapeetham Sholin­gur, Kamala Nike­tan Trichy and Sudar­shan Vidya Vikas, Pudukot­tai par­tic­i­pat­ed in the camp.

Host­ed at The Arya Vaidya Chik­it­salayam & Research Insti­tute, Navakkarai, Coim­bat­ore, the pro­gram was inau­gu­rat­ed by Pad­mashri Dr. P.R Krish­naku­mar, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Arya Vaidya Phar­ma­cy and Chan­cel­lor of Avinashilingam Uni­ver­si­ty for Women and Dr. B.K Krish­naraj Vanavara­yar, Chair­man, Bharatiya Vidya Bha­van, Coim­bat­ore.

This children’s camp, with an Indic approach, pro­vid­ed chil­dren with the phys­i­cal, men­tal and emo­tion­al tools to awak­en their lead­er­ship poten­tial. The vision that chil­dren set for them­selves at this right age, will flow as ben­e­fi­cial actions in the future. This camp was designed to enable chil­dren to imbibe the qual­i­ties that make for a true leader and a suc­cess­ful indi­vid­ual: com­pas­sion, vision for the larg­er good, a sense of own­er­ship, self-reliance, ener­getic action, deci­sion-mak­ing with clar­i­ty, inspi­ra­tional stew­ard­ship and self-poise. The pro­gram blend­ed Yoga and Med­i­ta­tion, Inspi­ra­tional sto­ries from Indi­an epics, Social Lead­er­ship project, astron­o­my and music.

This pro­gramme was a foun­da­tion for every­thing we do in future and paved our way in becom­ing a dili­gent and suc­cess­ful cit­i­zen. We learnt 36 qual­i­ties of a leader by con­nect­ing the epics and real life inci­dents of per­son­al­i­ties. For exam­ple Arju­na, Drau­pa­di etc. in epics and famous Indi­an per­son­al­i­ty Srikanth Bola who is a blind per­son in Andhra Prad­hesh . Most of the lead­ers in our coun­try in the cur­rent sce­nario are not think­ing about the wel­fare of the peo­ple. We learnt the fore­most qual­i­ties, a leader should pos­sess in his life. For instance: 1. He/she should be a open-mind­ed per­son. 2. A leader should pos­sess self-dis­ci­pline because he/she would be con­sid­ered as a reli­able per­son for the long run and he will be vic­to­ri­ous in life. 3. A leader is a per­son who should be fear­less and they should under­stand the fear of the peo­ple and act accord­ing­ly. 4. A leader should have the qual­i­ties of hon­esty and integri­ty which forms the foun­da­tions of trust­wor­thi­ness and essen­tial val­ues for our life. We learnt that suc­cess is not impor­tant in your life. What­ev­er we do, we have to per­form things with joy, then final­ly the suc­cess is yours. ~ Stu­dents of Vidya Pee­tam School, Sholin­gur

Dur­ing the Inau­gur­al address, Dr. P.R Krish­naku­mar spoke about his life jour­ney and inspired the stu­dents with inter­est­ing anec­dotes from his life. He high­light­ed the impor­tance of per­son­al con­vic­tion and courage in gain­ing suc­cess as a leader. He encour­aged the stu­dents to look beyond main­stream edu­ca­tion and set a vision for their lives.

Dr. Krish­naraj Vanavara­yar, through his thought pro­vok­ing pres­i­den­tial speech, awak­ened the stu­dents to Swa­mi Vivekananda’s thoughts. He empha­sized on the need for such camps and how they can become a means of grow­ing from being ordi­nary to extra­or­di­nary. The ses­sion start­ed with the chil­dren being intro­duced to the CLAP song, a rhyth­mic and melo­di­ous tune which con­veyed the pur­pose and goals every indi­vid­ual should adhere to. We shared inter­est­ing sto­ries from the Mahab­hara­ta and their rel­e­vance to mod­ern times. The sto­ries showed the stu­dents an expand­ed view of the lead­er­ship qual­i­ties men­tioned in Indi­an epics and how they are applic­a­ble in the con­tem­po­rary con­text. Chil­dren were exposed to deci­sion mak­ing frame­works from Indi­an Phi­los­o­phy. The curios­i­ty and enthu­si­asm of the chil­dren was vis­i­ble through the numer­ous ques­tions they asked. Adi­narayanan and Smrithi expand­ed the ques­tions and patient­ly answered them.

Chil­dren learn some­thing bet­ter when they put it into action. The Social Lead­er­ship Project designed by Edu­Se­va gave the chil­dren an oppor­tu­ni­ty to put the lead­er­ship prin­ci­ples into prac­tice and that too for a social cause. Chil­dren worked in groups on spe­cif­ic case stud­ies in the areas of Edu­ca­tion, Health, Food and Envi­ron­ment. The case stud­ies described spe­cif­ic prob­lems in rur­al and urban set­tings. A few case stud­ies were also based on mod­el vil­lages which had achieved suc­cess in Edu­ca­tion or Health. Teams were giv­en frame­works to ana­lyze prob­lem space. They were guid­ed to iden­ti­fy the var­i­ous fac­tors and sub-fac­tors that led to the prob­lem and the con­se­quences. An in-depth explo­ration of the prob­lem space gave them insights on iden­ti­fy­ing the core issues. Once they iden­ti­fied the core prob­lem, they were guid­ed to move to the solu­tion space. Team mem­bers ideat­ed on var­i­ous solu­tions. They were pro­vid­ed with a guide­lines sheet high­light­ing var­i­ous para­me­ters to eval­u­ate their solu­tions. The guide­lines sheet had dif­fer­ent dimen­sions of the solu­tion like : legal­i­ty, eth­i­cal­i­ty, rev­enue oppor­tu­ni­ties and vol­un­teers par­tic­i­pa­tion. The out­comes were eval­u­at­ed based on Empa­thy, Cre­ativ­i­ty of the Solu­tion and Depth of Explo­ration of prob­lem space. The activ­i­ty gave the chil­dren an oppor­tu­ni­ty to look at social issues and ideate on prac­ti­cal solu­tions.

Shri. Jagan­nathan of Kalyc­i­to Infotech who is pas­sion­ate about Edu­ca­tion, shared his thoughts on joy and suc­cess. He empha­sized on focus­ing on the inher­ent joy in doing things rather than the end goal. Being dis­ci­plined, com­mit­ted and coura­geous can bring suc­cess auto­mat­i­cal­ly.

Smt. Hema Ramesh, a free­lance edu­ca­tor who believes in life­long learn­ing, inspired the sto­ries from real-life anec­dotes of great achiev­ers. She encour­aged the stu­dents be respect­ful to elders, cul­ti­vate qual­i­ties of love, empa­thy and com­pas­sion and con­tribute to the soci­ety.

The astron­o­my ses­sions caught the imag­i­na­tion of the chil­dren. Using lat­est astron­o­my soft­ware, chil­dren learnt about the var­i­ous celes­tial events and how they were sig­nif­i­cant in map­ping his­to­ry. They trav­elled back in time to the Mahab­hara­ta ages and viewed the celes­tial map at that point in time.

An Unending Quest: IIT Delhi

22 JAN 2017

Right after CLAP, we head­ed to Del­hi to address a group of stu­dents at IITD who were inter­est­ed in things beyond their dai­ly lives.

We live in excit­ing times of choic­es and pos­si­bil­i­ties. Many times, we find our­selves eter­nal­ly at cross­roads with numer­ous ideas and choic­es where every choice seems valid. These myr­i­ads of choic­es could be a boon but could also be a source of con­fu­sion and mis­ery. That is when we are faced with a lot of ques­tions and doubts — “Should I do this or should I do that?” These micro ques­tions snow­ball into deep­er philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions like, “What is the pur­pose of my life?” Appro­pri­ate mod­els and tools can help trans­form these ques­tions into a mean­ing­ful quest lead­ing to suc­cess, hap­pi­ness, pros­per­i­ty and philo­soph­i­cal ful­fill­ment. All young peo­ple, espe­cial­ly stu­dents, want to pack their lives with a lot of mean­ing­ful and excit­ing activ­i­ties and achieve­ments. Every­one wish­es to be a super-achiev­er in what­ev­er they take up. In the process of engag­ing in these activ­i­ties, stu­dents face a lot of chal­lenges. These chal­lenges could be on 3 dimen­sions: Phys­i­cal, Emo­tion­al and Intel­lec­tu­al.

Phys­i­cal chal­lenges like lack of ener­gy, lethar­gy, sleepi­ness, lack of robust health can be con­crete obsta­cles that can lim­it our pro­duc­tiv­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty. Emo­tion­al chal­lenges like over­sen­si­tiv­i­ty to com­ments and crit­i­cisms, imbal­ance of mind, exci­ta­tion and depres­sion, inabil­i­ty to sus­tain enthu­si­asm, low self-worth based on com­par­i­son and bore­dom can derail all the progress that we might have achieved till date. Intel­lec­tu­al chal­lenges like lack of per­spec­tive or big pic­ture visu­al­iza­tion, lim­it­ed cog­ni­tive capa­bil­i­ties, lack of trans dis­ci­pli­nary expo­sure, myopic deci­sion-mak­ing con­structs, nar­row aspi­ra­tional win­dow can seri­ous­ly lim­it the heights to which we can aspire and grow.

This Work­shop pro­vid­ed the­o­ries and prac­tices (based on rich Indic Tra­di­tion) nec­es­sary to lead a life of health, hap­pi­ness and suc­cess.

Be it the nar­ra­tion of the humor­ous anec­dote from per­son­al life or the sto­ry of Arjuna’s com­pe­tence, the ses­sions kept the audi­ence in rapt atten­tion. IITD has some of the best minds in the coun­try and when they start on an inner jour­ney, they can tru­ly trans­form many things around them.

We are mak­ing avail­able the audio and tran­scrip­tion of the talk on our FB page and blog:


Beyond the binary of cruelty and pride

Shyam Kumar and Venkata­pa­thy

The mas­sive, stu­dent led protests at Mari­na Beach in Chen­nai has made the nation take notice of the anger in Tamil Nadu over the Jal­likat­tu Ban where it seen as an intru­sion by the Supreme Court on Tamil cul­ture. There is a sense of dis­ap­point­ment against the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment for fail­ing to ensure Jal­likat­tu is held this Pon­gal. Against this back­drop, Mane­ka Gandhi’s recent arti­cle call­ing the Pon­gal a day of “vio­lence and killing” where “boys jump on each one (bulls) and try to tear its horns off” has left peo­ple fum­ing. In the arti­cle Mane­ka Gand­hi claims that “Every­one in India looks down upon it – as civ­i­lized peo­ple should”. This state­ment typ­i­fies a cos­mopoli­tan elit­ism that con­sid­ers itself to be mod­ern and pro­gres­sive and rur­al India to be back­ward and bar­bar­ic, in need of being saved. There is lit­tle effort tak­en to under­stand and sin­cere­ly engage with their lives and world­views, there is mere­ly the civil­is­ing mis­sion to be force-fed to every­one, for their own good of course. This imag­ined sense of nobil­i­ty makes the courts and cos­mopoli­tan elite inter­fere with and pro­nounce bind­ing decrees on their lives and cul­tur­al tra­di­tions with­out an ade­quate con­sul­ta­tion and under­stand­ing of the stake­hold­er com­mu­ni­ty. Who passed leg­is­la­tion, which court called for a ban, who is fight­ing the case against it — these things do not linger in pub­lic mem­o­ry. What stays is the fact that they have been denied the right to con­tin­ue the cul­tur­al tra­di­tions of their land by a dis­tant pow­er which does not under­stand the sig­nif­i­cance Jal­likat­tu car­ries in their world. This cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance is best exem­pli­fied by the Supreme Court which called Jal­likat­tu an “import­ed roman-style glad­i­a­tor sport”. Each of these words is incor­rect – it is not “import­ed”, is not a glad­i­a­to­r­i­al death match, nor is it a sport. It’s an indige­nous, bio-cul­tur­al tra­di­tion which has been prac­tised for over 3000 years. Cul­tur­al tra­di­tions are deeply inter­wo­ven into the social and eco­nom­ic lives of the peo­ple. Restric­tions on these impact not only the tra­di­tion, but also direct­ly affect econ­o­my and soci­ety. There­fore it becomes imper­a­tive to under­stand the con­text of Jal­likat­tu. The first depic­tions of Jal­likat­tu are found in Indus Val­ley Seals. Sangam lit­er­a­ture, writ­ten over 2500 years ago, refers to Jal­likat­tu as “eru thazhu­vud­hal” or embrac­ing the bull.

Krish­na played a very impor­tant role in the revival of many tra­di­tion­al games such as Jal­likat­tu. K.M. Mun­shi, in his book Krish­na­vatara, describes how Krish­na intro­duced many games such as Jal­likat­tu, Malyu­dam (com­bat-wrestling), Rekla (bul­lock cart rac­ing), etc., that chal­lenged the youth of Yadavas. This helped Yadavas to strength­en their army as well as to keep the youth busy with learn­ing. let us see what Tamil lit­er­a­ture has to say about it, since at this point in time Jal­likat­tu large­ly is relat­ed to the region of Tamil Nadu. Many of Tamil lit­er­a­ture men­tion about Nap­pin­nai who is the daugh­ter of a Pandya King. Nap­pin­nai is large­ly referred to as Nila Devi in non-Tamil lit­er­a­ture. Many works describe Nap­pin­nai. Leg­end has it that Krish­na tamed 7 bulls to become eli­gi­ble for the mar­riage with Nap­pin­nai. It was a tra­di­tion of the peo­ple of Ayar (cowherds) that for men to be eli­gi­ble for mar­riage, they should tame a bull dur­ing Jal­likat­tu. A Pulavar (poet) Nal­go­or Velvi­yar (‘நல்கூர் வேள்வியார்’) prais­es Thiru­val­lu­var with Krish­na this way: உப்பக்க நோக்கி உபகேசி தோள் மணந்தான் உத்தர மாமதுரைக்கு அச்சு என்ப — இப்பக்கம் மாதானு பங்கி மறுவில் புலச் செந்நாப் போதார் புனற்கூடற் கச்சு. It rough­ly trans­lates to: How Krish­na, who tamed a bull to mar­ry Upa­ge­si (Nap­pin­nai), is like an axis for the North Madu­rai, so is Thiru­val­lu­var- who is fault­less, is like an axis for the South Madu­rai. There are ample works of Azh­vars which describe this event, and I leave it to the read­ers to explore fur­ther. [3] In the same ref­er­ence I found anoth­er very inter­est­ing fact that a Sangam Pulavar (poet from the clas­si­cal Tamil peri­od) called Iraya­nar (இறையனார்) men­tions that the Head of Dwara­ka (Krish­na) attend­ed the Sec­ond Clas­si­cal Tamil Con­fer­ence that hap­pened at Kapada­pu­ram! Quot­ing from the ref­er­ence:கடல் கொள்ளும் முன்பு 2 ‑ஆம் தமிழ் சங்கம் நடைபெற்ற கபாடபுரத்தில், துவரைக் கோமான் கலந்து கொண்டார் என்று இறையனார் உரை தெரிவிக்கின்றது.

Apart from the Devo­tion­al Hymns oth­er works of lit­er­a­ture also strong­ly relate Jal­likat­tu and Krish­na. It is believed that the first ref­er­ence to Jal­likat­tu is in the lit­er­ary work called Mul­laikali (முல்லைக்கலி) of ancient Tamil clas­sics called Kallith­o­gai (கலித்தொகை). It con­sists of 17 vers­es out of which 7 speak about Jal­likat­tu called then as Eru Thazhu­vud­hal (ஏறு தழுவல்). We must read them to under­stand how Jal­likat­tu was (and is) one of the pride among the Tamil cul­ture..

Here again, the men try to tame bulls to be eli­gi­ble for mar­riage. The poems beau­ti­ful­ly inter­twines strength and val­or of men with the roman­tic expres­sions of women! And, Thiru­mal (Vish­nu) was wor­shiped by the peo­ple of Mul­lai.

~ Venkata­pa­thy

Describ­ing Jal­likat­tu as a bull­fight con­jures visu­als of the Span­ish bull­fight — of mata­dors who sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly stab the bull until it bleeds to death. But Jal­likat­tu and oth­er bull sports in India are entire­ly dif­fer­ent – evolv­ing from a world­view that wor­ships cre­ation, espe­cial­ly the bovine. In Jal­likat­tu, the bulls are let out one at a time to run a dis­tance of about 100 meters. The bull charges wild­ly and tries to reach the exit gate. Vic­to­ry is not in killing the bull or over­pow­er­ing it, but in hold­ing on to its hump for a peri­od of a few min­utes. Only one man can hold the hump at any point of time. Usu­al­ly with­in ten min­utes, the bull reach­es the fin­ish line. On a typ­i­cal Jal­likat­tu day, hun­dreds of bulls are released. Men who suc­ceed become local heroes and suc­cess­ful bulls become the pride of their own­ers and are some­times nom­i­nat­ed as the tem­ple bull. For the rest of the year, the bulls don’t do farm work but under­go rig­or­ous train­ing, includ­ing run­ning and swim­ming exer­cis­es, to build their sta­mi­na for Jal­likat­tu. They are fed a spe­cial diet of wheat flour, corn flour and cot­ton­seed. The vic­to­ri­ous bulls are used as stud bulls for the vil­lage and impreg­na­tion is usu­al­ly done for free. Jal­likat­tu and the train­ing rou­tine ensure the secre­tion of male hor­mones for main­tain­ing viril­i­ty. The tem­ple bull, being vil­lage com­mons, make every vil­lage eco­nom­i­cal­ly inde­pen­dent with regard to cat­tle gene pool. Jal­likat­tu there­fore becomes a method to iden­ti­fy the best bull as stud bull for selec­tive breed­ing. It also car­ries a sense of egal­i­tar­i­an­ism as peo­ple from all class­es and castes par­tic­i­pate with equal enthu­si­asm. Mock tam­ing ses­sions are held before the event to help tamers hone their skills in con­trolled con­di­tions. There is a strong eco­nom­ic dimen­sion to Jal­likat­tu as well. Suc­cess­ful bulls fetch a few lakhs in mar­ket val­ue and the Jal­likat­tu com­mit­tees offer prizes to own­ers and tamers. Court rul­ings and leg­is­la­tion have ensured that Jal­likat­tu is sub­ject to strict guide­lines. The bulls have to be cer­ti­fied by the Ani­mal Wel­fare Board. Usu­al­ly, both man and bull are insured. Vets are present to check for ani­mal cru­el­ty. Intox­i­cants, chilli pow­der and oth­er sub­stances are banned. A key aspect of Jal­likat­tu is that only indige­nous region­al breeds are used. Tamil Nadu has six indige­nous species- Kangeyam, Umbal­ach­ery, Barugurs, Malai Madu, Puliku­lam and Alam­ba­di. Many cen­turies of breed­ing has ensured that each species is high­ly suit­ed to its region. With farm mech­a­ni­sa­tion steadi­ly erod­ing the val­ue of bulls, Jal­likat­tu pro­vides the nec­es­sary social pride and eco­nom­ic incen­tive to rear stud bulls and sus­tain indige­nous breeds. Under­ly­ing all of this is a world­view of bovine rev­er­ence and a deep under­stand­ing of inter­de­pen­dence. On the third day of the Pon­gal Fes­tiv­i­ties, called Mat­tu pon­gal (Cat­tle Pon­gal), bulls and cows are washed and dec­o­rat­ed. They are giv­en the best of fod­der and Poo­jas are per­formed for their well­be­ing. The stud bulls are main­tained and cared for until they die. They even pose in fam­i­ly pho­tographs! When they die they are giv­en a cer­e­mo­ni­al bur­ial. The dis­course on Jal­likat­tu can­not be exclu­sive­ly from the lens of ani­mal cru­el­ty. It has to analyse cul­tur­al and eco­nom­ic dimen­sions as well. Unless we engage with those who pre­serve tra­di­tion­al live­stock, vil­lages will rapid­ly lose breeds and their stud bull pop­u­la­tion. In the last three years, native stud pop­u­la­tions have dropped dras­ti­cal­ly. One species, the Alam­ba­di is already extinct. Advo­cates of a ban don’t seem to under­stand that there is no eco­nom­ic incen­tive in rais­ing bulls. Their util­i­ty in the tra­di­tion­al farm­ing sys­tem has been replaced by machin­ery and automa­tion. With Jal­likat­tu banned, the farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties have no choice but to send bulls to slaugh­ter hous­es. This not only increas­es cru­el­ty but ensures the loss of indige­nous stud bulls. This in turn forces vil­lages to become depen­dent on buy­ing semen for arti­fi­cial insem­i­na­tion, a mar­ket dom­i­nat­ed by a few play­ers. In the age of patent­ing germplasms, this can become a dan­ger­ous lia­bil­i­ty. Until we ensure the pro­tec­tion of the species and eco­nom­ic inde­pen­dence of vil­lages through alter­na­tive mech­a­nisms, we can­not con­sid­er blan­ket ban tra­di­tions that have been the rea­son for sus­te­nance of these bulls. By doing so, we unwit­ting­ly abet the grad­ual demise and extinc­tion of indige­nous species. A rea­son­able approach that takes in con­sid­er­a­tions of ensur­ing fair treat­ment to the bulls would be to explore appro­pri­ate for­mu­la­tion and enforce­ment of reg­u­la­tions- some­thing that the Jal­likat­tu organ­is­ers are open to.


“Remembering the Great Pitamaha on Bhishma Ashtami”

Even today, we remem­ber Bhishma’s life, mes­sage and lib­er­a­tion from earth with great rev­er­ence.

In the Indi­an cal­en­dar, Feb­ru­ary 4 2017 hap­pens to be a Shuk­la Pak­sha Ash­ta­mi, the 8th Day in the brighter half of the lunar month. It is men­tioned in the Mahab­hara­ta that one of the most revered per­sons, Pita­mah Bhish­ma who was always clad in sil­very white clothes, chose to leave his body on this very day. In many parts of the coun­try, peo­ple per­form Tarpan with kusha grass, sesame seeds and water in his mem­o­ry. On this sig­nif­i­cant day, it would be appro­pri­ate to know the sto­ry of Bhish­ma and how he shaped the nar­ra­tive of the Mahab­hara­ta. In times when King­ship was looked at as the right­ful inher­i­tance by a son who qual­i­fies in every respect, Bhish­ma, in his prime of youth gave that up with­out a sec­ond thought and even vowed to remain unmar­ried. That shows his mag­na­nim­i­ty, tya­ga bha­va and why he shines as the most revered char­ac­ter in the Mahab­hara­ta. Bhishma’s birth

King Shan­tanu of the Kuru lin­eage who was the son of Prati­pa was wan­der­ing in the for­est. His eyes fell upon a beau­ti­ful woman. Instant­ly attract­ed by her beau­ty and radi­ance, Shan­tanu enquired her ori­gin and expressed his desire to mar­ry her. The beau­ti­ful damsel reveals that she is Gan­ga and agreed to mar­ry the king but placed a con­di­tion before him. She said that after their mar­riage, the king should nei­ther inter­fere nor ques­tion any of her actions. Intox­i­cat­ed by her beau­ty, Shan­tanu agreed to the con­di­tion. They led a vir­tu­ous life in the palace. After many years, the queen Gan­ga who was a beau­ty in form and char­ac­ter gave birth to a child and let it go in the riv­er. Remem­ber­ing his agree­ment, Shan­tanu did not inter­fere with her actions. She let go of sev­en such chil­dren and when she was about put the eighth child into the riv­er, Shan­tanu, unable to bear the pain and rage, ques­tioned her action.

Sad that he had bro­ken the promise, the queen revealed that she was the Riv­er God­dess Gan­ga and that she would have to leave the King and take the child with her. She went on to explain the real rea­son for her actions. It so hap­pened that on a cer­tain day, the eight Vasus, who were celes­tial beings, had come down to earth. They hap­pened to see the divine cow Kamad­henu in Sage Vashistha’s ashram. The wife of one of the Vasus named Dyu expressed that she would like to gift the cow to her friend. Unable to refuse her request, the Vasu stole Kamad­henu. Upon know­ing this, Sage Vashistha cursed the Vasus to be born on earth and that the Vasu Dyu will lead a long life of on earth. Gan­ga men­tioned that the Vasus had tak­en her help to be born on earth and that she had to keep their birth and lib­er­a­tion a secret. The eighth child was des­tined to be on earth and he was named Devavrat­ta, whom we know as Bhish­ma.

Bhish­ma of Ter­ri­ble Oath

After Gan­ga had depart­ed, Shan­tanu was deeply sad­dened. On one of his oth­er expe­di­tions, he was attract­ed by the fra­grance of a woman. He came to know that she was the daugh­ter of a fish­er­man. When he expressed his desire to mar­ry her, the fish­er­man placed a con­di­tion that the child born to them should be crowned the next king. Unable to make such a promise, he returned to the palace dis­cour­aged. Look­ing at the King’s sor­row, Bhish­ma took it upon him­self to meet and con­vince the fish­er­man. He promised the fish­er­man that he would nev­er mar­ry and that the child born to the fisherman’s daugh­ter shall become the king.

It was unthink­able that some­one born in the roy­al fam­i­ly and who was next in line would take such a strong oath. This beau­ti­ful yet ter­ri­ble oath earned him the name Bhish­ma. The oath is ter­ri­ble because a prince vow­ing to remain unmar­ried will mean that the roy­al lin­eage stops with him. Giv­ing up the king­ship made the oath all the more ter­ri­ble. This oath also earned him a boon from his father who said “Death shall nev­er come to thee as long as thou desirest to live. Tru­ly death shall approach thee, O sin­less one, hav­ing first obtained thy com­mand.”.

Amba’s Oath

While Bhishma’s oath gained him a boon of choos­ing his time of death, there was a woman’s oath that caused his death. Amba along with her two sis­ters, the princess­es of Kashi, were car­ried away in a char­i­ot by Bhish­ma to get them mar­ried to his broth­er Vichi­travirya. Amba who was already in love with King Sal­va, expressed her anger and demand­ed that she be let go. Refused to be accept­ed by Sal­va, then by Vichi­travirya and also by Bhish­ma, Amba took a ter­ri­ble oath to defeat Bhish­ma. Unable to accom­plish this in her present life­time, she was reborn as Shikandin, the daugh­ter of Dru­pa­da, who lat­er became a man through the exchange of gen­der with a yak­sha.

Bhishma’s Role in Hasti­na­pu­ra

Those who read the abridged ver­sion of the Mahab­hara­ta often miss the sig­nif­i­cant role that Bhish­ma played in the wel­fare of Hasti­na­pu­ra. Hasti­na­pu­ra was always going through tur­bu­lent times, either because of untime­ly death of Kings or weak lin­eage or a blind king’s rule. Bhish­ma, who was in Hasti­na­pu­ra across gen­er­a­tions, was the pil­lar who pro­tect­ed and sta­bi­lized the throne. He was instru­men­tal in iden­ti­fy­ing the right Gurus — Dronacharya and Kri­pacharya — for the Kuru princes. He iden­ti­fied appro­pri­ate wives for Dhri­tarash­tra, Vidu­ra and Pan­du. Through­out the Mahab­hara­ta, one can see that Bhish­ma always shared his wis­dom to bring sta­bil­i­ty in the king­dom. He active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in war to pro­tect the King­dom and always advised them on prop­er niti to be adopt­ed at all times to main­tain the pros­per­i­ty of the Kurus. One often has the ques­tion: Could Bhish­ma have stopped the Mahab­hara­ta war from hap­pen­ing?

Vyasa Mahar­ishi nar­rates that Bhish­ma had tried on many occa­sions to stop the war but the words of Dury­o­d­hana were so strong and Dhri­tarash­tra was so blind to his son’s atti­tude that Bhish­ma could not do much. Though he knew very well that a war would be dis­as­trous, hav­ing been with the Kurus for so many gen­er­a­tions, he decid­ed to stay on the side of the Kau­ravas to fight the war.

Felling of Bhish­ma

The Kuruk­shetra war start­ed on the Shuk­la Pak­sha Ekadasi of Mar­gashir­sha month. This is also the day when the Bha­gavad Gita was deliv­ered and observed as Mok­sha­da Ekadasi. The war had start­ed and it was the ninth day and both the sides were cre­at­ing severe dam­ages. Bhish­ma as a com­man­der-in-chief seemed invin­ci­ble. It is men­tioned that in the war, Bhish­ma sin­gle-hand­ed­ly destroyed 1.27 Akshauhi­nis. On the ninth night the Pan­davas and Shri Krish­na approach Bhish­ma and they ask Bhish­ma the means to kill him. Bhish­ma reveals that he would nev­er fight a woman or a woman who has become a man. The next day, the Pan­davas place Shikandin in front of Arju­na and show­er arrows on him. Bhish­ma refused to retort as he could not fight Shikandin, who was born a woman.

When Bhish­ma fell on the ground, the entire place came to a stand still and vaidyas rushed to pro­vide med­ical aid. Even at the moment, Bhish­ma made one last appeal to Dury­o­d­hana to give up war and make peace with the Pan­davas but he refused. He even requests Kar­na to fight on the side of the Pan­davas as Dhar­ma was on their side. He too refused. As sug­gest­ed by the Rishis, Bhish­ma lay on a bed of arrows wait­ing for an appro­pri­ate Muhurtha to leave his body.

Bhishma’s Words of Wis­dom

The depth of Bhishma’s under­stand­ing of life, gov­er­nance and lib­er­a­tion are beau­ti­ful­ly pre­sent­ed in the Shan­ti Par­va which is the longest chap­ter in the Mahab­hara­ta. After the war is over, Yud­hishthi­ra is deject­ed and wants to renounce his posi­tion as King. Shri Krish­na takes him to Bhish­ma, who is lying on the bed of arrows, for the trans­fer of knowl­edge of Purusharthas (Dhar­ma, Artha, Kama and Mok­sha) from Bhish­ma to Yud­histhi­ra. Shri Krish­na express­es that with the pass­ing away of Bhish­ma, all the won­der­ful knowl­edge will van­ish with him and hence it was impor­tant to imbibe them from him. When Yud­histhi­ra and Krish­na meet Bhish­ma, he men­tions that he is weak after hav­ing fought the war and is in tremen­dous pain. Also, he ques­tions — In the pres­ence of the all-know­ing divine Krish­na, of what val­ue could his mea­gre knowl­edge be? Krish­na affirms that Bhish­ma is the fore­most of the Kurus and bless­es him that he would not expe­ri­ence the pain from the wounds caused by the arrows. Krish­na adds that Bhish­ma shar­ing the knowl­edge him­self, will estab­lish him as one of the wis­est beings in the col­lec­tive mem­o­ry of future gen­er­a­tions.

No won­der even now we remem­ber Bhishma’s life, mes­sage and lib­er­a­tion from the earth with great rev­er­ence. Bhish­ma niti is still con­sid­ered to be one of the fore­most ref­er­ence texts expound­ing the prin­ci­ples of Dharmic liv­ing and con­duct. The word Pita­ma­ha (the Grand­fa­ther) imme­di­ate­ly invokes the remem­brance of Bhish­ma in the minds of Bharat vasis. Dhar­mo Rak­shati Rak­shi­ta­ha (Dhar­ma pro­tects the one who pro­tects Dhar­ma).

Siddhar Charithiram

Siddha Parampara of India

Venkata­pa­thy and Soorya­narayan

This is an ongo­ing series on the Sid­dhar Param­abarai of India. Sid­dhas refer to per­fect­ed mas­ters who have achieved a high degree of phys­i­cal as well as spir­i­tu­al per­fec­tion or enlight­en­ment. We look at var­i­ous Sid­dhas who have graced upon this earth with their Pres­ence — their life and the wis­dom they shared in the form of poems, cou­plets that are referred to as Sid­dhar Padal­gal. To begin with, we are look­ing at Sid­dhas from the tra­di­tion of “Pathi­nen Sid­dhar­gal”. In the pre­vi­ous issues, we saw about Kud­ham­bai Sid­dhar, Pam­bat­ti Sid­dhar, Idaikkaat­tu Sid­dhar, Sat­taimu­ni Sid­dhar, Sun­daraanan­dar Sid­dhar and Karu­voorar Sid­dhar. We also saw how the Sid­dhar­gal poet­ry is pre­sent­ed in Sand­hya Bhasha. In this arti­cle, we will see the glo­ry of Gorak­natha Sid­dhar.

Gorak­natha Sid­dhar

Gorak­natha Sid­dhar is a great Sid­dha and a dis­ci­ple of the great Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar and both the Guru and his Sishya are among the revered Pathi­nen Sid­dhar­gal. Also known as Gorak­nath amongst the Nav­nath yogis, Gorak­nathar wrote texts with vers­es on med­i­cine, phi­los­o­phy, and alche­my. Agath­iar and Bog­ar were also his Para­ma-Gurus. Like oth­er Sid­dhas, Gorak­nathar has pro­duced many works on Med­i­cine, Phi­los­o­phy, and Alche­my. Agathi­yar is said to have giv­en Gorak­nathar the duty of safe­guard­ing the secrets of alche­my: the stu­dent of alche­my must wor­ship Gorak­nathar and seek his grace to excel in the field.

Gorakar Muli­gai and Gorakar Vaip­pu are revered texts in Sid­dha med­i­cine giv­en by Gorak­natha Sid­dhar. Gorak­nathar also gave Avad­hootha Gita, a clas­sic text and one among the major works pro­pound­ing hatha yoga — Hatha Yoga Pradipi­ka.

Leg­ends state that Gorak­natha Siddhar’s Jee­va samad­hi tem­ple is in Vadukupoigainal­lur of Naga­p­at­ti­nam dis­trict of Tamil Nadu. Many also con­sid­er to be in Poyur, Girnar. Gorak­natha Sid­dhar is said to have also spent a por­tion of his grow­ing-up years in the Vel­lian­giri Moun­tains in Coim­bat­ore. Oth­er sanc­tums relat­ed with Gorak­nathar are Perur (Coim­bat­ore), Thiruchen­dur, and Tri­cona­malli. Gorak­nathar caves can also be found in Chat­ura­giri and Kol­li Hills.

Gorak­natha Sid­dhar is such a pow­er­ful being that his influ­ence can be seen on the Spir­i­tu­al evo­lu­tion of the entire Indi­an sub­con­ti­nent. Gorak­natha Sid­dhar was an influ­en­tial founder of the Nath Hin­du monas­tic move­ment in India. In Nath tra­di­tion, he is con­sid­ered as one of the two notable dis­ci­ples of Mat­syen­dranath.

The Gurkhas of Nepal and Indi­an Gorkhas take their name from this sid­dha. Gorkha, a his­tor­i­cal dis­trict of Nepal, is named after him. There is a cave with his padu­ka (footwear) and an idol of him there. Every year on the day of Baisakh Purn­i­ma there is a great cel­e­bra­tion in Gorkha at his cave, called Rot Mahot­sav. It has been cel­e­brat­ed for the last sev­en hun­dred years.

Like Gorkhas in the North there is also a group of peo­ple called “Yogeeswarar” in South India, Kanyaku­mari dis­trict, Sucheeen­dram taluk, Akkarai vil­lage- whose Kula Guru is Gorak­natha Sid­dhar.

Leg­end says that long back Gorak­natha Sid­dhar, dur­ing one of his many wan­der­ings, came to the Akkarai vil­lage and stayed with these peo­ple. They accept­ed the Yogeeswarar as their guru. When Gorak­natha Sid­dhar wished to leave them, the sad group fol­lowed him for some miles till he entered a small Lord Shi­va tem­ple for med­i­ta­tion at a vil­lage called Kor­randy. The long await­ing group in front of the tem­ple final­ly decid­ed to check for Gorak­natha Sid­dhar inside the tem­ple and they were all sur­prised on not find­ing him there. They believed that this is the samad­hi of Gorak­natha tem­ple and they still con­duct Poo­jas there. This tem­ple is called as Korikkanathar Thirukkoil locat­ed at the vil­lage called as Kor­randy, Therur, near­by Sucheen­dram, Kanyaku­mari Dis­trict.

Includ­ing Gorak­natha Sid­dhar and Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar, the Nath sect con­sists of nine Naths. It is stat­ed that the nine Naths and 84 Sid­dhas (a more detailed list of Sid­dhars includ­ing Pathi­nen Sid­dhas) are all human forms cre­at­ed as yog­ic man­i­fes­ta­tions to spread the mes­sage of yoga and med­i­ta­tion to the world.

It is our bless­ing and priv­i­lege to expound some of the works of the great and ven­er­at­ed Gorak­natha Sid­dhar. Many songs of Gorak­natha Sid­dhar are replete with Sand­hya Bhasha, med­i­c­i­nal recipes, doc­u­men­ta­tion of expe­ri­ences and instruc­tions to sad­hakas of var­i­ous lev­els of pro­gres­sion and inten­si­ty. In the mys­ti­cal first poem we present here, Gorak­nathar speaks of the secrets he has left for seek­ers such as us and invites us with a promise that the deserv­ing seek­er is blessed for sure.

மறைத்திட்டே னென்குகையி லனேக சித்தை

மைந்தனே வுன்றன்பேர்ச் சொல்லி வைத்தேன்

துறையதனைக் கண்டுநீ யெடுத்துக் கொள்ளு

சொல்லாதே யொருவருக்கும் தொசந் தோசம்

முறையாக விதையறிந்து நடந்தா யானால்

முனிவர்ளுஞ் சித்தர்களும் புகழு வார்கள்

நிறையாக தெரிந்துகொள் மைந்தா நீயும்

நீடூழி காலம்வரை வாழ்கு வாயேI have hid many secrets in the cave.

Oh Son, I have sig­ni­fied your name!

Go to your sec­tion and take it!

Do not speak of it, for it isn’t appro­pri­ate.

If you fol­low the prop­er instruc­tions,

The Sages and Sid­dhas shall show­er prais­es.

Under­stand com­plete­ly, oh my son!

May you live for eter­ni­ty!

Read­ing this song was so wel­com­ing and seemed as an invi­ta­tion by Gorak­natha Peru­man to dip into what he offers us, for it is his bless­ing and des­tiny that we are even read­ing these lines of Gorak­natha Sid­dhar.

And in the fol­low­ing lines, Gorak­natha Sid­dhar reveals how the immac­u­late Shak­thi beholds the entire cre­ation and is beyond the time cycles of maha yugas and maha pralayas. Gorak­natha Sid­dhar also instructs that the immac­u­late Shak­thi resides in the ris­ing Kun­dali­ni.நாட்டியே ஈஸ்பரியுந் தனித் திருந்து

நன்மைபெற சிருஷ்டிப்பா ளண்டந் தன்னை

ஆட்டியே யுகமதுதான் முடிந்த காலம்

அப்பனே பரமசத்தி யழியாள் பாரு

தாட்டிகமாய்ச் சத்திக்கு ளெலாம டங்கும்

தன்மையுள்ள வல்லசத்தி தரிக்கும் வீடு

மூட்டியதோர் குண்டலித்தாய் வாசஞ் செய்யும்

மூலமதை யறிந்துநீ குருவைக் காணேThe Moth­er stands all alone

And deliv­ers cre­ation to attain the good!

Even when the Yuga winds up and time runs out,

My dear, see! The Moth­er does not per­ish.

All cre­ation is con­tained with­in Shak­thi!

The infi­nite space is the immac­u­late Shak­thi’s home!

Moth­er resides in the ris­ing Kun­dali­ni,

Real­ize the Source and see the Guru!

In order to under­stand the intri­ca­cies of the cos­mic time cycles, we rec­om­mend you read “ Unend­ing Quest: Rishikesh Reflec­tions” book by Anaa­di Foun­da­tion. The book is a com­pi­la­tion of Q&A with Shri. Adi­narayanan cov­er­ing a wide array of inter­est­ing ques­tions and eye-open­ing answers doc­u­ment­ed dur­ing the Anaa­di Foun­da­tion Rishikesh Retreat 2015.

In the fol­low­ing song, Gorak­natha Sid­dhar extols the thun­der­ing flood of Grace bestowed by the Guru. He points out that the holy feet of the Guru are the roots for lib­er­a­tion. Gorak­natha Peru­man also shares the sub­tle expe­ri­ences of the states as one rais­es in spir­i­tu­al con­scious­ness, lead­ing to a flame of tapasya that will burn the impu­ri­ties of igno­rance and the seeds of kar­ma.

குருகண்டு கால்பிடித் தேறும் போது

குபீரென்று தள்ளுமடா வேகத் தாலே

திருகண்டு வாயுவுக்கு மேல தாகத்

திகழொளியு மெத்தவடா சப்த மேகம்

இருட்கொண்டு மழைபொழியு மிருட்டுங் கனமும்

இயற்க்கைதனை யறியாமல் மாண்டார் கோடி

அருட்கொண்டு மதைக்கடந் தப்பாற் சென்றால்

அப்பனே வொளிவீசுங் கண்கொள் ளாதேAttain­ing the Guru, hold­ing onto Guru’s feet

As you raise, the speed shall thwart and throw you!

The flame shall shine more

Than the wind; And the sev­en clouds shall

Shroud dark, show­er rains and grow dark­er!

Igno­rant of the nature many have passed away.

By the Grace, If you do not miss and attain,

Oh dear! The eyes can­not behold the radi­ant glow!

There are many sto­ries that extol Gorak­natha Siddhar’s guru bhak­thi. It is said that Gorak­natha Sid­dhar always fol­lowed vig­or­ous­ly and exten­sive­ly, every instruc­tion from his guru Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar. The Nath sam­prathaya pays their immense respect to these great mas­ters. In his trav­els Gorak­natha Sid­dhar had criss-crossed the Indi­an sub­con­ti­nent and as point­ed to ear­li­er, a diverse geo­graph­i­cal areas have sig­nif­i­cance to his his­toric pres­ence. And diverse tra­di­tions hail his great­ness. Even the writ­ings of Sant Kabir and the Sikhs tra­di­tion have many ref­er­ences to Gorak­natha Peru­man.

In this edi­tion, we have pre­sent­ed a few gems from the works of Gorak­natha Sid­dhar from his tamil text “Brah­ma Jnana Sut­ti­ram”. We invite you to con­tem­plate more on these lines and share with us your insights. We also invite you to share with us lines from Sid­dhar Padal­gal that have deeply touched you. You could write to us at

In absorb­ing this, may our abhyasa con­tin­ue, may our shrad­dha in the Sid­dha Parampara strength­en and may rev­e­la­tions awak­en as we grow with­in!

Yuva Spot

Feeling insignificant

I was asked a ques­tion — “I feel very insignif­i­cant in my cur­rent role. I am work­ing in a big multi­na­tion­al com­pa­ny, and I am in the begin­ning of my career, but I feel lost. I feel as though I am not con­tribut­ing any­thing to the world. I don’t feel good about it. I don’t feel hap­py about it. I don’t feel sat­is­fied. I don’t feel ful­filled. What is the rea­son for this and how can it be changed?” Dis­il­lu­sion­ment and dis­sat­is­fac­tion

This is a very impor­tant ques­tion. When I speak to many of my past stu­dents, I have come across such a state of mind. A cer­tain dis­il­lu­sion­ment — yes, the month­ly salary is com­ing in. That is good, and one requires that salary. But that is about it. There is not much sat­is­fac­tion, hap­pi­ness or ful­fill­ment, and they are also not sure how long they can con­tin­ue with this. It almost seems like the begin­ning of one’s career itself is a tragedy! That is not a good thing. It should not hap­pen that way. Life is beau­ti­ful. But for most peo­ple, the fact that life is beau­ti­ful is the­o­ry, not in prac­tice — “Life is beautiful…yeah…yeah…I got that. But come on, be prac­ti­cal!” So I feel it is impor­tant to look at it and clar­i­fy it, because life is beau­ti­ful.

Seek­ing the feel­ing of being sig­nif­i­cant

So what hap­pens? I will talk from my own expe­ri­ence in terms of mov­ing with thou­sands of stu­dents — my own stu­dents. A typ­i­cal four-year or three-year grad­u­a­tion. So you go through an under­grad­u­ate pro­gram, you learn half-heart­ed­ly, or don’t learn too much. Okay. But let’s say you learn prop­er­ly, you get a good job, you get placed in a good MNC, a big multi­na­tion­al com­pa­ny, and you go in with a lot of expec­ta­tions. You have these expec­ta­tions – you want to be rec­og­nized, you want to do a good job, you want to feel hap­py about earn­ing that income, and you want to feel impor­tant, that you have con­tributed some­thing to the com­pa­ny and to the clients. So these are all valid expec­ta­tions. But what might hap­pen? You go into the com­pa­ny. A large multi­na­tion­al com­pa­ny actu­al­ly pro­vides a big plat­form. You might be one in a ten thou­sand, or one in a thou­sand. So it pro­vides a large plat­form. But, when the size of the com­pa­ny grows, your job also becomes super spe­cif­ic. You are expect­ed to do a spe­cif­ic job, and do it well. It fits into the larg­er pic­ture, the big­ger pic­ture, and that is how the com­pa­ny deliv­ers to its clients and cus­tomers. So you play a role – a def­i­nite role — but it is a small role. Small does not mean it is insignif­i­cant. But gen­er­al­ly our expec­ta­tion when we go in, is most­ly in terms of — “Hey, I want to be sig­nif­i­cant.” Or at least, “I want to see myself as being sig­nif­i­cant.” So that per­cep­tion of your­self becomes so very crit­i­cal. But let’s say you just write some code or do some work, in a multi­na­tion­al com­pa­ny. You don’t get the feel – it is about the feel right? The per­cep­tion is the feel — You don’t get the feel that you are doing any­thing sig­nif­i­cant. And that is where the catch is. It is not right or wrong, but it is impor­tant to feel good about what you are doing. It is impor­tant to feel ful­filled and sat­is­fied and there is no one yard­stick, using which every­body’s per­cep­tion can be com­pared. There is no strait­jack­et­ed approach. It is about each one’s sense of ful­fill­ment – that feel­ing of ful­fill­ment. It is a feel — it can­not be cer­ti­fied by some­one out­side of your­self. It is an inner feel. If you feel right about it, that’s it. If you don’t feel right about it, you need to do some­thing about it.

Real­iz­ing one’s sig­nif­i­cance by see­ing the impact of one’s actions

So it is not a ques­tion of right or wrong. Work­ing in large MNCs can be superb. It can be a very ful­fill­ing expe­ri­ence for some. But for some oth­ers it might not be a very ful­fill­ing expe­ri­ence. So going with that feel, for those who do not feel ful­filled about such a pro­file and role, from prac­ti­cal obser­va­tion, what I have observed is this : Ear­li­er, right after one grad­u­at­ed, there used to be the con­cept of appren­tice­ship. Even now, for exam­ple, those who aspire to become char­tered accoun­tants are sup­posed to appren­tice in a firm or under some­body and then, over a peri­od of time, grad­u­ate. I am not talk­ing of appren­tice­ship. I am talk­ing of small envi­ron­ments. For exam­ple, you go into a start­up, right after your under­grad­u­ate edu­ca­tion, assum­ing that your fam­i­ly does not expect too much in the mat­ter of finance — “giv­ing back” — from you yet. Over a peri­od of time, you need to give back, but let us say that your fam­i­ly is finan­cial­ly com­fort­able. Then the feel good comes from the feel­ing that you are impor­tant. You are not dis­pens­able. You are impor­tant. And it becomes crit­i­cal to vis­i­bly see that what you are doing actu­al­ly con­tributes to the orga­ni­za­tion. It is impor­tant for you to be able to see — “Oh! I am sig­nif­i­cant.” It is not -”I am in this vast ocean, and whether I am there or not, it does not mat­ter.” — this might not build up your feel of being impor­tant, in good way. It might dam­age it.

The impor­tance of build­ing a prop­er career pro­file and per­son­al­i­ty

In the Indi­an tra­di­tion, when we bring up chil­dren, they are giv­en a lot of atten­tion, appre­ci­a­tion, love and care so that their ahamkara*, devel­ops into a ful­ly-bal­anced and well-formed ahamkara. Like­wise, when we ini­tial­ly join a com­pa­ny, we might want to build up our pro­file and our per­son­al­i­ty, because our career depends on a prop­er build­ing up of our pro­file. So there, it becomes use­ful to rec­og­nize that a small plat­form in terms of a start­up ecosys­tem or an entre­pre­neur­ial ven­ture can be rich­ly reward­ing. You might be a techie, but when you go in, you will see that you might start learn­ing about finances, busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion, eco­nom­ics and how it impacts, the mar­ket and how it responds, the cus­tomers, the cus­tomers’ psy­chol­o­gy, how they deal with it, and much more. You will see that there will be ups and downs. In a big envi­ron­ment, you are shield­ed away from all this. But in a small envi­ron­ment, you get exposed to all of this, but in this process, what hap­pens is, your feel­ing of being sig­nif­i­cant becomes real­ly impor­tant. You feel,”Yes, I am doing some­thing worth­while.”

*Ahamkara is loose­ly trans­lat­ed in Eng­lish as the ego. Ahamkara comes from the root words ‘aham’, mean­ing ‘I’ and ‘kara’, mean­ing ‘doer’. Ahamkara is the prin­ci­ple of doer­ship: the stamp “I did” that we place on the process­es of the mind and body.

Social orga­ni­za­tions as plat­forms for mul­ti­di­men­sion­al groom­ing

Get­ting that feel, that you are doing some­thing worth­while, that there is mean­ing to your actions and to what you are doing, is so very crit­i­cal. And get­ting that feel in a big envi­ron­ment, at the begin­ning of your career might be chal­leng­ing. I am not say­ing that it can­not hap­pen. But for some it might not hap­pen. That is where a small envi­ron­ment, a start-up envi­ron­ment, or an entre­pre­neur­ial envi­ron­ment can pro­vide you with this mul­ti­di­men­sion­al role set, which is also chal­leng­ing, but that chal­lenge is what you want at that point in time to grow. Then, you will see that your actions have an impact. You will see the vis­i­ble impact of your actions, espe­cial­ly, if you get into an NGO, or a social orga­ni­za­tion. You will see your actions have social impact, and that is superb! For the first time, you will start observ­ing that how you speak and what you do, actu­al­ly impacts soci­ety, and that gives you a great feel, and you will start feel­ing respon­si­ble. And respon­si­bil­i­ty is the basis for a well-devel­oped per­son­al­i­ty – a well-bal­anced mature per­son­al­i­ty, which actu­al­ly boosts your career lat­er on. So after this ini­tial expo­sure to an entre­pre­neur­ial envi­ron­ment, or an NGO, or a social orga­ni­za­tion — a small one — you get well-groomed, mul­ti-dimen­sion­al­ly groomed, and then you go into a big­ger envi­ron­ment, if you want to. Then you will see that you will shine there, and it will be excep­tion­al­ly ful­fill­ing, because you will be able to feel and sense how your actions impact your envi­ron­ment. So get­ting that feel, that each of your actions mat­ter, that you mat­ter, is so very impor­tant. So life is beau­ti­ful!


Ques­tions and Answers

Bhuta Shud­dhi

We look at all of cre­ation as pra­pan­cha. Pan­cha means five. It is made up of the five .…

Q: Ele­ments? You can say ele­ments. But bhutas are bet­ter word­ings. They need not be looked at as phys­i­cal. Not phys­i­cal like this (body), still they are the fun­da­men­tal sources of mat­ter. Each has its nature. So what are the pan­cha bhutas? Space, air, fire, water, earth. Each bhuta is an evo­lute from the pre­vi­ous bhuta, in this order. So these (ie, air, fire, water and earth) are con­sid­ered evo­lutes from space. Why? Because space, or akasha, is expan­sive. There is noth­ing spe­cif­ic to it. And space leads to the con­di­tion of sound. How does this hap­pen? We shall look at it soon. And from that, after fur­ther trans­for­ma­tion, comes the evo­lute of vayu, or air. From vayu evolves agni, or fire. From agni evolves jala, or water. From jala, evolves prithvi, or earth. Now, space is an evo­lute of a much more fun­da­men­tal aspect, which is man­as. Man­as is an evo­lute of bud­dhi. Bud­dhi is an evo­lute of the aham tatt­va — “I AM” con­scious­ness. Actu­al­ly you can intu­itive­ly real­ize this with­in your­self. This is the whole process of cre­ation, that is going forth from a fun­da­men­tal Source. And hence the fun­da­men­tal Source is not phys­i­cal… Q: Is it some­thing which we can­not com­pre­hend, but can only expe­ri­ence?

But, we are That. You can also under­stand it. You can sim­ply under­stand it intel­lec­tu­al­ly. That fun­da­men­tal Source is not lim­it­ed to the evo­lutes. That fun­da­men­tal Source is all. And hence, it is not any­thing in par­tic­u­lar. For exam­ple, this body is made up of cells. Cells are made up of atoms. Atoms are made up of sub­atom­ic par­ti­cles, which are made of quarks. Beyond that you have the par­ti­cle-wave dual­i­ty. One way, it looks like a par­ti­cle. But what is a par­ti­cle? Actu­al­ly if there are waves, spe­cif­ic spa­tial­ly col­lo­cat­ed high fre­quen­cy waves can be called a par­ti­cle. And then that wave is atten­u­at­ed. There is no par­tic­u­lar point where the wave starts and ends. The wave is con­tin­u­ous, but spa­tial col­lo­ca­tion gives you the impres­sion — “Okay, this par­ti­cle is here.” That is what we call a par­ti­cle. Oth­er­wise, if you look at it as a wave, a wave has no begin­ning or end!

Now the ques­tion – what is vibrat­ing to pro­duce this wave?

So the answer is some­thing more fun­da­men­tal than this. If we look at cos­mol­o­gy, physi­cists talk about dark mat­ter and dark ener­gy.* But in the Indi­an sci­ences, we look at the uni­verse in terms of much more fun­da­men­tal aspect. For exam­ple, man­as is also relat­ed to mat­ter. In fact, that is more fun­da­men­tal than mat­ter.

*It turns out that rough­ly 68% of the uni­verse is dark ener­gy. Dark mat­ter makes up about 27%. The rest — every­thing on Earth, every­thing ever observed with all of our instru­ments, all nor­mal mat­ter — adds up to less than 5% of the uni­verse.


Q: Is the man­as that you are talk­ing about the same as the mind? Mind is more gen­er­al­ized. Man­as is more spe­cif­ic. We call it the antahkarana, mean­ing, the inner instru­ment. Man­as is an evo­lute of the bud­dhi (intel­lect), which is an evo­lute of the Atman. The Atman can be explained in this way — for exam­ple, here (in this train com­part­ment) you have space, and space is out­side as well. But the space here gets a qual­i­ty of its own right? Why? Because it is enclosed. Actu­al­ly, if you take this com­part­ment away, there is noth­ing but space. So that is called Atman, which is non-dif­fer­ent from Brah­man. And Brah­man is actu­al­ly very sim­ple, it is not com­pli­cat­ed at all. These evo­lutes are com­pli­cat­ed. It is the dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion that is com­pli­cat­ed, the fun­da­men­tals are always sim­ple. That from which all this has come, is very very sim­ple! So, you have these evo­lutes, lead­ing to the panch­ab­hutas. And each bhuta is an evo­lute of the bhuta pre­ced­ing it (in the order giv­en above).

These bhutas are not exact­ly ele­ments. That are not ele­men­tal in that sense. For instance, is an atom atom­ic? Mod­ern sci­ence tells us today that it is not – the atom is not atom­ic. Ear­li­er it was believed to be atom­ic. Atom means indi­vis­i­ble – that you can­not split it up any fur­ther. But now, through progress in sci­en­tif­ic research, we have split it up, but we have not reword­ed the word ‘atom’. It is not said -”No, now it is ‘unatom’” [Laugh­ter] So bhutas are not exact­ly ele­ments.

Now, from space evolves move­ment, which is air, or vayu. So vayu tatt­va, leads to move­ment. Vayu or air has space, and it has move­ment. From the vayu tatt­va evolves fire, or the agni tatt­va, which has a form, but with­out sub­stance. Form with­out sub­stance is fire – tejah (anoth­er name for the agni tatt­va). Now, fire has space, it has move­ment, and it has form. From agni evolves water, or the jala tatt­va, which has sub­stance, but the sub­stance is flu­id. So jala, or water has space, move­ment, form and flu­id sub­stance. Then, from the jala tatt­va, comes prithvi, or earth, which has space, move­ment, form, sub­stance and solid­i­ty. So these are also inter­con­nect­ed to the sen­so­ry tattvas. So space, or akasha has the pecu­liar attribute of sound.

Q: Why do we talk about space and sound in a par­al­lel way? In the Indi­an scrip­tures, it is said that in the very begin­ning, at the dawn of cre­ation, along with space there was sound. I have nev­er heard of sound being an attribute of space.

Because it is an attribute. It is inter­re­lat­ed. You can­not sep­a­rate an attribute from the fun­da­men­tal. For exam­ple, con­sid­er the jeans that you are wear­ing – can you sep­a­rate the tex­ture of these jeans, from the jeans mate­r­i­al itself? No, because the mate­r­i­al has that attribute. Like­wise space has the attribute of sound. You get the essence, right? — the way of putting it across. The nat­ur­al expres­sion of space is sound. Vibra­tion is a qual­i­ty of space, isn’t it? Actu­al­ly the Indi­an health sys­tems and the Indi­an sci­ence looks at sound as an expres­sion of space. In mod­ern sci­ence we don’t study sound as an expres­sion of space — sound does not prop­a­gate in vac­u­um. Hence sound and space can­not be spo­ken of togeth­er. But in the Indi­an con­text, for us, ‘sound’ is not just the audi­ble sound. The whole of the elec­tro­mag­net­ic spec­trum is called sound. For instance, microwave radi­a­tion, and any wave is con­sid­ered sound. It prop­a­gates. What do you need as a medi­um to prop­a­gate? That is a qual­i­ty of vayu. You under­stand? Vayu has the attribute of move­ment.

It is the phys­i­cal, audi­ble sound that requires vayu to prop­a­gate. Microwave radi­a­tion does not need vayu to prop­a­gate. It can prop­a­gate in vac­u­um as well. It does not need a medi­um, but not so with phys­i­cal sound. It is a qual­i­ty of move­ment, which is dif­fer­ent, but it car­ries sound with­in itself.

When we speak of space, or akasha, its con­crete rela­tion is with audio. For vayu, or air, its con­crete rela­tion is with touch, because that is how you get sig­nals — that is how the sig­nals are trans­port­ed. For agni, or fire, its con­crete rela­tion is with the sense of sight, because we per­ceive form. Jala, or water, is to do with taste, because that is how the sen­so­ry sig­nal is trans­ferred. Final­ly, prithvi is to do with sense of smell.

So we see that in the whole of the pra­pan­cha, which is made up of the panch­ab­hutas, you can actu­al­ly clas­si­fy all beings in terms of these evo­lutes. Hence, the more the com­plex the evo­lu­tion, the more well-devel­oped these evo­lutes, no mat­ter which loka you go to. And there are var­i­ous geo­met­ri­cal pat­terns by which you can iden­ti­fy how well-devel­oped the being is, with their phys­i­cal expres­sion.

So these are the panch­ab­hutas. Now each bhuta has to per­form its role appro­pri­ate­ly, right? For exam­ple, (speak­ing to a par­tic­i­pant wear­ing glass­es) what hap­pens to your sight, if you take away your glass­es? Do you see the world prop­er­ly or is your vision dis­tort­ed? Dis­tort­ed. So you cor­rect it. That is called shud­dhi. But there are deep­er and deep­er lev­els of shud­dhi. Here you are using a phys­i­cal shud­dhi, a phys­i­cal cor­rec­tion. Shud­dhi is also cor­rec­tion, purifi­ca­tion. This takes us to deep­er aspects. For exam­ple, when we per­ceive real­i­ty, our per­cep­tion can be dis­tort­ed. You can see and imag­ine things which are not there. Or you could see things in a dis­tort­ed way. You might be see­ing what is, in just the oppo­site man­ner! For exam­ple, when you see a rope, you can imag­ine it to be a snake. So, mak­ing efforts to cor­rect these dis­tor­tions, from the phys­i­cal becomes so very impor­tant. For this you adopt bhuta shud­dhi. There are var­i­ous process­es…

(…to be con­tin­ued in Parni­ka Issue 9)

Paati Vaithiyam

Indige­nous reme­dies for com­mon ail­ments



  1. Take a piece of chukku (dry gin­ger), rub it on a san­danakal (grind­ing stone) with a lit­tle water to make a paste.

  2. Apply this paste on the fore­head for relief from headache.


  1. Rub kram­bu (clove) on the grind­ing stone and apply to the fore­head.


  1. Take some pep­per pow­der in a pan, and heat on medi­um flame (to a tem­per­a­ture that is tol­er­a­ble for you).

  2. Apply this heat­ed pep­per pow­der to the fore­head.

Clove in Ayurve­da

Known as kram­bu in Tamil, clove has been used in India and oth­er parts of Asia for many cen­turies. It is an essen­tial ingre­di­ent in Indi­an cook­ing. It is known for its anti­sep­tic and anal­gesic prop­er­ties.

In Ayurve­da, clove is used for its med­i­c­i­nal prop­er­ties such as improv­ing diges­tion and reliev­ing bloat­ing, gas and abdom­i­nal col­ic pain. It is also used to relieve cold, cough and res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­or­ders.

Effect on the tri­dosha:

Clove bal­ances kapha and pit­ta.

How to grow gar­lic

Clove is the aro­mat­ic dried flower buds of the clove tree, and are native to India and Indone­sia. Cloves are prop­a­gat­ed by seeds or by cut­tings. The seeds can be direct­ly plant­ed, or soaked in water overnight to remove the out­er lin­ing.


Clove thrives best in a warm humid trop­i­cal cli­mate with an annu­al rain­fall from 150–250 cm. It prefers par­tial shade. Clove grows best in rich loamy soils in the wet trop­ics.


It can also grow in heav­ier red soils, but in either case, needs good drainage.


  1. Buy pol­li­nat­ed clove seeds from an organ­ic source. Ensure that the seeds are recent­ly gath­ered and not dried out, because dried clove seeds will not ger­mi­nate. Plant the clove seeds as soon as they are bought, for suc­cess­ful ger­mi­na­tion.

  2. The seeds of the clove can be sown in poly­thene bags filled with soil, sand and ful­ly decom­posed cow dung mix­ture and kept in a shady cool place. The seedlings are ready for trans­plant­i­ng in the field when they are 18–24 months old.

  3. The pits (of dimen­sion 75 cm x 75 cm x 75 cm) for plant­i­ng the seedlings are par­tial­ly filled with com­post (ver­mi­com­post which is an excel­lent com­post, can be used), green leaf manure or cat­tle manure and cov­ered with top­soil.

  4. Water­ing is nec­es­sary in the first 3–4 years in clove cul­ti­va­tion.

  5. Keep the soil moist for your clove trees and place them in a sun­ny, warm loca­tion. Do not allow the soil to become water­logged or your clove tree may die from root rot. Main­tain a high humid­i­ty for your clove tree by mist­ing it dai­ly.

  6. Fer­til­ize the clove tree using organ­ic fer­til­iz­er and decom­posed manure. Con­sult your local farmer (who prac­tices organ­ic agri­cul­ture) for instruc­tions on the rec­om­mend­ed dosage and time of appli­ca­tion of fer­til­iz­er, and pes­ti­cides for pest con­trol.


Clove trees pro­duce clove buds after 20 years of growth. After 20 years of growth, the clove tree begins to pro­duce flow­er­ing buds. Once flow­er­ing begins, cloves can be col­lect­ed dur­ing both the spring and win­ter of trop­i­cal regions for at least sev­er­al decades.


The unopened flower buds are har­vest­ed when they turn pink in colour. At this time, they are less than 2 cm long. Har­vest­ing of cloves should be done using step lad­ders, with­out dam­ag­ing the tree branch­es, as it adverse­ly affects the suc­ceed­ing growth.


Indi­vid­ual flower buds are sep­a­rat­ed from the clus­ter by hand and spread in the yard under the sun for dry­ing. The cloves are con­sid­ered well-dried when the stem of the clove is dark brown and the bud, light brown. Well-dried cloves are about one-third the weight of the orig­i­nal cloves.


Sto­ries for the young

Bha­jagovin­dam — 6

Bha­jagovin­dam was com­posed by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. In this com­po­si­tion, Adi Sankaracharya talks about the rep­e­ti­tious cycles of birth and death that human beings go through, and how seek­ing the Grace of God can lib­er­ate us from this cycle. We have also shared a poem titled ”Quest for Free­dom”, which beau­ti­ful­ly brings out the mean­ing of this shlo­ka.

पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं

पुनरपि जननीजठरे शयनम् ।

इह संसारे बहुदुस्तारे

कृपयाऽपारे पाहि मुरारे ॥ २१॥

Punara­pi Jananam Punara­pi maranam

Punara­pi janani jatare shayanam

Iha sam­saare bahudus­taare

kri­paya pare paahi muraare (21)Trans­la­tion Tak­ing birth again, dying again and stay­ing in the womb again. This is indeed dif­fi­cult to break. O Killer of Mura! Please show­er your mer­cy upon me.

Let us look at our life in two dimen­sions — the phys­i­cal and men­tal. When we look back at our life after all these years, the body just seems to be an accu­mu­la­tion of the food that we eat, many things have been tak­en care of by nature and the struc­ture seems to hand­ed down from our ances­tors (for exam­ple, my nose resem­bles my father’s and my ears resem­ble my mother’s). If we look at our thoughts, they seem to be a bun­dle of opin­ions accu­mu­lat­ed from the envi­ron­ment we are in and most of them are from oth­ers For exam­ple, knowl­edge is from books, lik­ings seem genet­ic and peer defined, etc. So what we call “I” sud­den­ly seems fuzzy! The body is not “I” and the mind too is not “I”. In fact, it some­times seems like they are not even “mine”, leave alone “I”. So when we are born again and again, we keep accu­mu­lat­ing this “stuff” with noth­ing actu­al­ly being “ours” or “I”. So why must we let this mean­ing­less rep­e­ti­tion hap­pen? Does­n’t it become bor­ing at one point? Would­n’t we want to just quit this cycle? We do actions either for plea­sure or when they serve a pur­pose. As we mature, we tend to do more mean­ing­ful tasks than those that are for plea­sure.

For those who have attained a cer­tain clar­i­ty in life, even tak­ing birth seems to be mean­ing­less until it serves a spe­cif­ic pur­pose. I think I have con­fused you enough!

Let us say you are aspir­ing for a high pro­file job (equiv­a­lent to a high­er pos­si­bil­i­ty in life). Now say there are two ways to get­ting there. In the first path, you need to study for 10 years and in case you do not per­form well, you need to repeat the 10 years of study again to attain that posi­tion. Say you did this for 3 cycles (30 years). Then, sud­den­ly, some­one tells you that there is a way of work­ing smart by which you will direct­ly get the job. Now would you opt to work in a spe­cif­ic smart way and get the job, or would you be okay with work­ing 10 more years and fum­bling and not get­ting there at all? Its upto you to decide! There is no pre­scrip­tion!

When it comes to life, you don’t even know you have done these numer­ous cycles. We just think this is the one and only time. The moment the idea of rep­e­ti­tion dawns, we will want to go. In this con­text it is very impor­tant to under­stand about sad­hus and avataras* who are ready to take up this repet­i­tive cycle vol­un­tar­i­ly because of the com­pas­sion they have towards us. India is filled with such mahat­mas who come and go by choice.

*incar­na­tions of Divin­i­ty“Quest for Free­dom”Oh! Shi­va

Moment by moment the days pass by

and one is caught in cycles

That are but whirl­winds of rep­e­ti­tion

Oh how so bor­ing… Oh! Shi­va

Take me to a land

where moments don’t pass by

No rep­e­ti­tious cycles there

and still­ness reigns supreme

The moment of eter­ni­ty — the eter­nal now - Shri Adi­narayanan

Divine Humor

From the lives of Mahat­mas

Once Bhagavan’s school teacher vis­it­ed Bha­ga­van who was now a ful­ly real­ized Jnani. Bha­ga­van, out of love for His teacher, gift­ed him a book of poems com­posed by Him. The teacher who was aston­ished by the skill and adept knowl­edge of Bha­ga­van asked Bha­ga­van a doubt from the book. Bha­ga­van turned to the peo­ple around and exclaimed “I ran away from Madu­rai only because I feared his ques­tions in school. He is ques­tion­ing me here too! Where do I run now?”. Every­one includ­ing the teacher burst into laugh­ter!


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