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Parnika : March 2017

Anaadi Shivodaya

Mahashivaratri

24 FEB 2017

The 13th night and 14th Day of Phal­gu­na Month is observed as Mahashiv­ra­tri in India. It is ded­i­cat­ed to the wor­ship of Lord Shi­va and is con­sid­ered extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial for a spir­i­tu­al sad­ha­ka. Shi­va is known as the Lord of Destruc­tion. Destruc­tion not of the world, but of our igno­rance. To cre­ate some­thing new, some­thing total­ly dif­fer­ent from what exist­ed pre­vi­ous­ly, destruc­tion of all exist­ing struc­tures is impor­tant. This paves the way for some­thing fresh, some­thing unique and some­thing that has no bur­den of the past. That’s how sig­nif­i­cant “destruc­tion” is.

At Anaa­di, Shiv­o­daya 2017- Mahashiv­ara­tri was cel­e­brat­ed in a unique way. We have been work­ing with a lot of young peo­ple and we want­ed to do some­thing that they can relate to. Many are not used to stay­ing awake the entire night and if that stay­ing awake has to hap­pen effort­less­ly, we need some­thing engag­ing. Shiv­o­daya was an all-night learn­ing camp where 30 peo­ple were engaged in diverse activ­i­ties.

The pro­gram start­ed at 6.00 pm with our offer­ing to Lord Shi­va, who is Anaa­di-begin­ning­less. In the Shi­va Purana, Brah­ma and Vish­nu set out to explore the begin­ning and end of Lord Shi­va who had tak­en the form of a beam of light. Both Brah­ma and Vish­nu accept­ed defeat as they were able to find nei­ther the begin­ning (Adi) nor the end (antha) of Shi­va. Hence Shi­va is Anaa­di.

In the Kaira­ta Par­va of the Mahab­hara­ta, Arju­na sets out to attain the Pashu­patas­tra. As he was wan­der­ing, he saw a wild boar rush­ing towards him to slay him. Arju­na, who was known for swift response and reac­tion, strung his Gan­di­va and point­ed it at the boar. At that very moment, a hunter (Kira­ta) and his wife were present at that spot. Both Arju­na and the hunter shot an arrow at the boar and the boar fell dead. The boar revealed its true form, which was a rak­shasa. An argu­ment erupt­ed between the hunter and Arju­na as to who shot the boar first. Arju­na show­ered arrows at the hunter and a fierce bat­tle start­ed. Arju­na kept show­er­ing arrows but the hunter accept­ed them with a smile. Won­der­struck by the fact that his arrows had no effect on the oth­er per­son, Arju­na stood still. He soon real­ized that this must be none oth­er than Rudra- Shi­va him­self. He sur­ren­dered to Shi­va, asked for for­give­ness and ren­dered a slo­ka. He won the bless­ings of Shi­va and obtained the Pashu­patas­tra.

Ana­ha­ta, the musi­cal offer­ing of Anaa­di had set tune to the slo­ka and the slo­ka was chant­ed at var­i­ous inter­vals through­out the night.

कपर्दिन् सर्वदेवेश भगनेत्रनिपातन । देवदेव महादेव नीलग्रीव जटाधर ।।


कारणानां च परमं जाने त्वां त्र्यम्बकं विभुम् । देवानां च गतिं देव त्वत्प्रसूतमिदं जगत् ।। अजेयस्त्वं त्रिभिर्लोकै सदेवासुरमानुषै । शिवाय विष्णुरुपाय विष्णवे शिवरुपिणे ।। दक्षयज्ञविनाशाय हरिरुद्राय वै नमः । ललाटाक्षाय शर्वाय मीढुषे शूलपाणये ।।

पिनाकगोप्त्रे सूर्याय मंगलाय च वेधसे । प्रसादये त्वां भगवान् सर्वभूतमहेश्वर ।।

गणेशं जगतः शम्भु लोककारणकारणम् । प्रधानपुरुषातीतं परं सुक्ष्मतरं हरं ।।

व्यतिक्रमं मे भगवन् क्षन्तुमर्हसि शंकर । भगवन् दर्शनाकांक्षी प्राप्तोऽस्मीमं महागिरिम् ।। दयितं तव देवेश तापसालयमुत्तमम् । प्रसादये त्वां भगवन् सर्वलोकनमस्कृतम् ।। न मे स्यादपराधोऽयं महादेवेतिसाहसात् । कृतो मयामज्ञानाद् विभर्दो यस्त्वया सह । शरणं प्रतिपन्नाय तत् क्षमस्वाद्य शंकर ।।O Kapar­din, O chief of all gods, O destroy­er of the eyes of Bha­ga, O god of gods, O Mahade­va, O you of blue throat, O you of mat­ted locks,

I know you as the Cause of all caus­es. O you of three eyes, O lord of all! You are the refuge of all the gods! This uni­verse has sprung from you.

You are inca­pable of being van­quished by the three worlds of the celes­tials, the Asur­as, and men. You are Shi­va in the form of Vish­nu, and Vish­nu in the form of Shi­va. You destroyed the great sac­ri­fice of Dak­sha. I bow to your HariRu­dra form. You hast an eye on your fore­head. O Sar­va, O you that rainest objects of desire, O bear­er of the tri­dent,

O wield­er of the Pina­ka, O Surya, O you of pure body, O Cre­ator of all, I bow to you. O lord of all cre­at­ed things, I wor­ship thee to obtain thy grace.

You are the lord of the Ganas, the source of uni­ver­sal bless­ing, the Cause of the caus­es of the uni­verse. You art beyond the Prad­hana and Purusha, you are the high­est, you are the sub­tlest, O Hara You are the lord of the Ganas, the source of uni­ver­sal bless­ing, the Cause of the caus­es of the uni­verse. You art beyond the Prad­hana and Purusha, you are the high­est, you are the sub­tlest, O Hara

O illus­tri­ous Shankara, it behoveth thee to par­don my fault. It was even to obtain a sight of thy­self.

Let not this rash­ness of mine be regard­ed as a fault–this com­bat in which I was engaged with thee from igno­rance. O Sankara, I seek thy pro­tec­tion. Par­don me all I have done.”

Smt. Anand­hi Jee­va gave a lec­ture demo on Bharatanatyam shas­tra. She beau­ti­ful­ly walked the par­tic­i­pants through the var­i­ous aspects of clas­si­cal dance. She even made the par­tic­i­pants try out a few pos­tures. Attempt­ing these pos­tures gave the par­tic­i­pants a taste of the com­plex­i­ty and intri­ca­cies involved in this ele­gant art form.

The dance lec-dem was fol­lowed by nar­ra­tion of sto­ries of Shi­va.

For those attempt­ing for the first time, stay­ing awake post mid­night can be very tough. They will need some­thing to keep them awake. When one is deeply engaged in an activ­i­ty sleep does not seem to both­er. Zen is derived from the word Dhyan refer­ring to med­i­ta­tion. Zen prac­tices are high­ly engag­ing at the same time very med­i­ta­tive. Soorya­narayan engaged the par­tic­i­pants in a deep form of art : Zen draw­ing. Zen draw­ings help you to accept your mis­takes and cre­ate won­der­ful pat­terns out of them. One stroke at a time is the mantra! Some amaz­ing draw­ings came out of the ses­sion. Peo­ple who had no expo­sure to draw­ing were thrilled to see how effort­less­ly they could cre­ate intri­cate draw­ings. Com­bined with the bal­anc­ing of the breath, the sketch­es were breath­tak­ing. Soorya’s med­i­ta­tive draw­ing ses­sion was fol­lowed by a fiery talk on Sub­ra­manya Bharathi by Venkata­pa­thy. He beau­ti­ful­ly brought out how Shak­thi had influ­enced Bharathi and how he had woven Shak­thi wor­ship in all his poems.

It was around 3.30 in the morn­ing. That’s the tough­est time to pass. We all went out a lit­tle bit to play bad­minton and then went to the ter­race to catch a glimpse of the the clear sky. We had a mini star gaz­ing ses­sion. This ses­sion was fol­lowed by a short ses­sion on the life sto­ry of Kabir blend­ed with some sooth­ing songs com­posed by the great saint.

The par­tic­i­pants were awak­ened by Shyam’s ses­sion on “Resur­gent India”. Under­stand­ing one’s role as a cit­i­zen of the coun­try can help one act with vig­or for ben­e­fit of fel­low cit­i­zens. In that con­text, know­ing the glo­ri­ous past of India becomes extreme­ly impor­tant.

It was dawn and the pro­gram con­clud­ed with a med­i­ta­tion ses­sion fol­lowed by a group ren­der­ing of Bho Sham­bo !

Aum Namah Shiv­aya!

Satsanga with Shri Adi Narayananan

“The pow­er of reg­u­lat­ing food and sleep on the path to free­dom”

We take vratas on dif­fer­ent days like Mahashiv­ara­tri, shashti or ekadashi. Vra­ta means a vow that you take for your­self, a direc­tion that you set for your­self. When they take a vra­ta, along with that, peo­ple also take up upavasa. Upavasa lit­er­al­ly means liv­ing near­by or being in touch with your deep­est self, or your deep­est Ish­ta Deva­ta — the Divin­i­ty that you con­sid­er your­self close to, or whose fre­quen­cy match­es with yours. One is in con­stant con­tem­pla­tion of the Divin­i­ty, there is con­stant vichara. In vichara, there is no move­ment of thought. It is not con­tin­u­ous think­ing, but becom­ing still. So dur­ing upavasa, will one think of one’s food, water and sleep? There will be no thought of all this, that is the mean­ing of mei maran­thu irukarthu. So it is not con­trol. But you are so deeply long­ing for it, that oth­er things like food and sleep does not approach your thought. That is called upavasa — upavasa vra­ta. So that vra­ta is along the direc­tion of tak­ing you clos­er to the Divine, and ulti­mate­ly the Divine is not an object out­side of you. Ini­tial­ly, you approach it as an object out­side of you. But then, actu­al­ly it merges. Then you see, there is only the Divine. There is noth­ing oth­er than the Divine. Vera onnume illa. One can­not even say,”I am Divine”, because only the Divine is. So where is the notion of “I”? Then it com­plete­ly merges. Then there is noth­ing but Divin­i­ty. The breath is Divin­i­ty, speech is Divin­i­ty, food is Divin­i­ty, the one who eats is Divin­i­ty, the act of eat­ing is Divin­i­ty, there is noth­ing but Divin­i­ty. So it is almost like float­ing in Divin­i­ty and that itself is Divin­i­ty! Then, it is an actu­al expe­ri­ence. And Mahashiv­ara­tri is such an aus­pi­cious occa­sion to take steps towards arriv­ing at this real­iza­tion. We can look at Shi­va as one with this guna- Sagu­na. Shi­va is also con­sid­ered nir­gu­na. Nir­gu­na means beyond the gunas or gunati­ta. Gen­er­al­ly this cre­ation is con­sid­ered a prod­uct of the tri­gu­nas – satt­va, rajas and tamas*. The inter­ac­tion and inter­play of these 3 gunas cre­ates this appar­ent shrishti, that is why this cre­ation is called appar­ent cre­ation. Because if these 3 gunas har­mo­nize, bal­ance out, then there is no cre­ation, actu­al­ly. So the cre­ation is, yet it is not, and that is Shi­va. That is beau­ti­ful! So shiv­ara­tri is con­sid­ered a step that will take you clos­er to this real­iza­tion, where you real­ize that all this is the Shi­va tatt­va, and there is noth­ing but that. And hence it is not. And it is not con­tra­dic­to­ry. It is not! And yet it is, but these are not con­tra­dic­to­ry. In the space of expe­ri­ence, one can expe­ri­ence these deep­er real­i­ties, and this is not with­out also, it is with­in and hence one can­not even speak of ideas such as ‘with­in ‑with­out’.

*Satt­va – puri­ty. Satt­va means good­ness, light and knowl­edge. It rep­re­sents the quin­tes­sen­tial bal­ance. Nature sus­tains with satt­va. Rajas – pas­sion. Rajas rep­re­sents tran­sience, desire and action. Cre­ativ­i­ty is a func­tion of rajas. Nature cre­ates with rajas. Tamas – igno­rance. It means dark­ness, illu­sion and iner­tia. Nature destroys with tamas.

So to expe­ri­ence this, to be sim­ple, we restrict food. Why? Because, gen­er­al­ly what hap­pens? We are pulled towards object recog­ni­tion. We focus on the objects of the sens­es, and that is called vishaya dhyana. We are pulled irre­sistibly, like we have no oth­er choice. Our sens­es are pulled by their objects. It is like our sens­es rush towards the sense objects. Ini­tial­ly it seems to be thrilling. After a while, that itself becomes mis­er­able! We feel,”Oh man, what is hap­pen­ing? I don’t under­stand!” But we are not able to give it up, because it seems superb, but at the same time, we feel it is a huge pain! So that is called vishaya dhyana. Vishaya dhyana means the flow of con­scious­ness towards the objects of the sens­es. So going after the objects of the sens­es is not wrong. But one will see, what­ev­er expe­ri­ences are giv­en by sen­so­ry plea­sures are always lim­it­ed. If you under­stand this, a per­spec­tive dawns. This is called vairagya. Vairagya means vira­ga – going beyond raa­ga and dwe­sha. Raa­ga is attrac­tion and dwe­sha is repul­sion. Vairagya is a move­ment that revers­es the flow of con­scious­ness — a pure­ly out­ward flow of con­scious­ness is sta­bi­lized, and is reversed. So that “flip” from an out­ward move­ment to an inward move­ment is a big step, in the spir­i­tu­al path. Because that flip is not easy. It is non-triv­ial. For that one needs to take immense effort. That is why, in the Indi­an tra­di­tion, there are sim­ple strate­gies like vra­ta and mau­na.

We take up mau­na, because the gen­er­al flow might be too fast and com­pul­sive before we can even become aware and restrain our­selves. Gen­er­al­ly, words spill out of our mouth before we know it. With­out aware­ness, we speak words with­out any con­trol over them. So then, one takes a vow of silence — “No. I am going to direct my speech as per my will. For this time peri­od, I shall not speak and I shall main­tain silence.” This is like an impor­tant direc­tion – set­ting a direc­tion. And “not speak­ing” first starts from the out­er, and then pro­ceeds to the deep­er, inner dimen­sions. The out­er refers to not speak­ing with the mouth. Grad­u­al­ly one pro­ceeds to the inner – not speak­ing with the man­as as well, that is, not let­ting thoughts “speak” in the mind. Then there will be no thought. Mau­na is to bring about a rever­sal of this move­ment that is going on auto­mat­i­cal­ly. Through these impor­tant steps, we slow­ly try to reverse it. When we try to reverse the flow of con­scious­ness towards objects, that flip becomes a crit­i­cal step. Con­scious­ness is usu­al­ly flow­ing out­wards, towards some­thing or the oth­er in the exter­nal world. That is why many peo­ple expe­ri­ence this — “Oh! Thoughts keep com­ing! Aaaargh!” — And they are not able to stop this flow of thought and there is a huge strug­gle.

But that flip, once you achieve that flip, that rever­sal in the move­ment of con­scious­ness, all of a sud­den you will see, it just sets! And that is a tremen­dous expe­ri­ence actu­al­ly, it is not auto­mat­ic. It has to be desired for and effort should be applied in that direc­tion, which is Mahashiv­ara­tri.

Gen­er­al­ly, how does this flow towards objects hap­pen? Because we seek com­fort. We gen­er­al­ly seek com­fort and plea­sure. When we have an expe­ri­ence, and if it gives us plea­sure, we repeat­ed­ly rein­force the thought — “This gives me plea­sure. This gives me plea­sure. This gives me plea­sure…” and we seek that expe­ri­ence again and again. This cre­ates the ten­den­cy in us to go in search of that which gives us plea­sure and com­fort. A sim­ple exam­ple is food — when we eat cer­tain food items, “Mmm…this is good.…this is good…this is good…” — so say­ing, we go in search of that plea­sur­able feel­ing. When we seek plea­sure and com­fort, over a peri­od of time, what hap­pens? You are locked up in the expe­ri­ence of plea­sure. If that expe­ri­ence is not avail­able, it gives you a neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence. What­ev­er gives you plea­sure, a lack of that, or that in a dif­fer­ent man­ner, gives you a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence. It is the same object that leads to both plea­sure and pain. That which gives you plea­sure, a lack of that, or that in a dif­fer­ent man­ner, leads to pain. We desire to go beyond this dual­i­ty, and that is why we restrict the pur­suit of plea­sure. Gen­er­al­ly, when we are on a vra­ta, for exam­ple dur­ing Mahashiv­ara­tri, if we sleep, that would be very com­fort­able, would­n’t it? In fact, that would be the ulti­mate! Hence we restrict sleep. Why? Because, if we sleep, it would be com­fort­able. Not just the body, the mind also feels com­fort­able. What does it mean for the mind to feel com­fort­able? “Aha! Nice!” Usu­al­ly, what do we do when we want to sleep? We switch on the fan, or the air con­di­tion­er, cov­er our­selves with a cozy blan­ket and think to our­selves — ”Ah! I don’t want any dis­tur­bance.” Then it feels nice. Seek­ing com­fort is not wrong, but what hap­pens? This is not a con­scious process. Then, if what­ev­er gives us com­fort is tak­en away, or obstruct­ed in some way, the expe­ri­ence turns into one of pain. We get stressed out. Hence, we take a con­scious step to mas­ter these things. That is why aus­ter­i­ty, or tapah. Tapah means fire of effort — it is cer­tain­ly fire, and fire is not com­fort­able. Cer­tain very intense peo­ple do tapasya with mos­qui­tos around, with­out even cov­er­ing them­selves with a blan­ket. Now what do we do when we go to sleep? We turn on the fan, air con­di­tion­er, cov­er our­selves with a blan­ket and sleep com­fort­ably. Seek­ing this com­fort is the gen­er­al ori­en­ta­tion. Hence, you reverse that ori­en­ta­tion, where you say,”No. It is alright with me to endure dis­com­fort.” Then grad­u­al­ly, you start gain­ing a dis­tance from the sens­es — the pull of the sens­es. Lat­er you start becom­ing capa­ble of direct­ing the sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. Until then, it is a non-direc­tion­al sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. Whether you like it or not, only vishaya dhyana is hap­pen­ing. It is not a con­scious par­tic­i­pa­to­ry expe­ri­ence. You can­not direct it. But when we grad­u­al­ly get engaged in these process­es, such as Mahashiv­ara­tri, vra­ta, mau­na and so on, grad­u­al­ly you become capa­ble of direct­ing the sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. And that is a big step for­ward, because it is a step towards free­dom, because you can direct it! You can direct the sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence — you can direct how you expe­ri­ence what the sens­es pro­vide you. And that is very very impor­tant. That gives you a sense of free­dom, a sense of expan­sion, and that is worth it. It is always worth it. Hence, towards that, we take up sim­ple steps. Then you will see, life is fun! Life is a lot more than just plea­sure. Life is much more than these tem­po­rary, fleet­ing plea­sures. You can start with fleet­ing plea­sures. There is noth­ing right or wrong about it, but you should not end there, for that is point­less. You have not expe­ri­enced the free­dom that comes from expan­sion, where you direct the sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. Right now, what we call ‘expe­ri­ence’ is sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence only. Nobody has expe­ri­ence beyond this, right now. So how do we con­scious­ly direct our sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence? This becomes the key ques­tion. For that these kind of tra­di­tion­al method­olo­gies and prac­tices are avail­able for all of us to take up. And all these prac­tices are very tra­di­tion­al, because this is not a new quest, or a new ques­tion. It is an age-old quest!

Now, you might ask, “What if I have got work and oth­er engage­ments in day-to-day life? Should I leave all that behind and pur­sue this quest?” Such a ques­tion can­not be, because this is more about the inner direc­tion. What­ev­er be your out­er cir­cum­stances, and what­ev­er be your work for this time peri­od, let it go on. Sim­ply do what is required to car­ry out your duties. But that is about it. This is about the inner direc­tion.

Should­n’t the envi­ron­ment we are in be con­ducive for the suc­cess­ful prac­tice of sad­hana?

That is the­o­ret­i­cal. See, we always imag­ine, “All these aspects need to be per­fect. Only then, I can prac­tise my sad­hana.” This is again vishaya dhyana, because you are again being bound by the sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. Out­er envi­ron­ment means sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence, right? “Only if this, this and this (with respect to con­di­tions in the out­er envi­ron­ment) is con­ducive, I can do my action.” — If this is so, it might nev­er hap­pen, because the out­er envi­ron­ment might nev­er be under your com­plete con­trol.

What if there are dis­tur­bances and obsta­cles in our present envi­ron­ment?

That is why, when we learn to walk, at that stage, we are just tak­ing baby steps. When we take baby steps, actu­al­ly you will see, there will not be any big obsta­cles. But, gen­er­al­ly what hap­pens is, our imag­i­na­tion works over­time – we are here tak­ing our baby steps, but we imag­ine our­selves to be 100m sprint­ers! -(Laugh­ter) For exam­ple, this hap­pens with med­i­ta­tion — those who encounter med­i­ta­tion, as soon as their minds are set on prac­tic­ing it, they start to think, “No no, 5 min­utes is not enough for me. I must med­i­tate for 5 hours, no, 5 days. For 5 days, I am going to sit absolute­ly still, and my mind is going to become one-point­ed, and med­i­ta­tion is going to take off, and I am going to attain enlight­en­ment, and I will see every­thing as light!” Our imag­i­na­tion is awe­some. But when it comes to action, we can only take steps from where are now. We sit for 5 min­utes, and our knees hurt, our back hurts. So these are prac­ti­cal aspects. We have not over­come all this. Before that we start imag­in­ing, “I will do tapasya for 50 years. I will do tapasya for 500 years. The Sid­dhas have lived such great lives.” Tak­ing inspi­ra­tion is very very good. The Sid­dhas are great beings. You can­not equate our­selves with them. You have to look at your prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions. When you sit for med­i­ta­tion, you expe­ri­ence knee aches and back­ach­es. You need to deal with this first. But you can start with 5 min­utes of med­i­ta­tion a day. That is okay. You can­not imme­di­ate­ly sit for 5 days; that is not pos­si­ble with­out the nec­es­sary back­ground. You may not be able to sit for 5 hours, or even 1 hour, for that mat­ter. If you try sit­ting for so many hours, it will be a huge strug­gle with­in your­self. Whether you expe­ri­ence pain in the body or not, your mind will be a huge con­flict. What will you do? You will want to get up, but at the same time you will also want to sit. Have you expe­ri­enced this? You will want to get up but you will also want to sit. It is an actu­al con­flict, you can­not escape it. And this con­flict will cre­ate a lot of “blood­shed” with­in you. You will feel frus­trat­ed and depressed, “Enna da vazhkayithu! Life is a waste!”

Sir, but at the time when this con­flict is rag­ing, if we remem­ber our desire and inspi­ra­tion -”I have to med­i­tate” and if we keep remem­ber­ing that, we can actu­al­ly sit through the peri­od.

Yes! That is called vic­to­ry. But is that easy to come? In actu­al expe­ri­ence, it is not very easy to come. And how long can you sus­tain it? Can you sus­tain it for 5 hours? No. It is not very easy. A sim­ple thing, if we sit for med­i­ta­tion, after a while, our back starts aching. Then what do we do? We move around look­ing for a wall to rest our backs on, don’t we? You will see, if you are keen­ly aware of your inter­nal con­di­tions, even doing this will dis­turb your inter­nal state. Because you will start get­ting com­fort­able. And once you seek com­fort, it will be vishaya dhyana. The bal­ance that is main­tained with­in your­self gets dis­turbed actu­al­ly. It is actu­al­ly pos­si­ble to expe­ri­ence all this. As your sad­hana becomes sub­tler and sub­tler, you can expe­ri­ence these inter­nal states cor­re­spond­ing to out­ward con­di­tions. And then you will also be able to expe­ri­ence being able to gov­ern inter­nal states, irre­spec­tive of the out­er con­di­tions. That is mas­tery. But it takes time and effort. Now, you are here. When you sit, your back hurts, your mind refus­es to become one-point­ed. The mind is just not rest­ing in one place. It is run­ning here, there, every­where. This is the ground con­di­tion. You will have to deal with that. You may have the desire, the goal — ” I need to sit for 5 hours.” That is the goal. But you are not there yet. You are bare­ly try­ing to walk. You are not able to sit even for 5 min­utes. That is the ground real­i­ty. But keep­ing that (med­i­tat­ing for a longer time) as the goal, what­ev­er has to be done now, has to be done. Then you will see that the out­er cir­cum­stances are not a prob­lem. The out­er cir­cum­stances that you are in right now is as per your cur­rent require­ments. Once you start med­i­tat­ing for 5 hours, the out­er cir­cum­stances would cer­tain­ly change. It has to change. The out­er cir­cum­stances are a reflec­tion of your inner real­i­ty. It will give space or it will fill up space. Have you observed this? Out­er cir­cum­stances give you more space of oper­a­tion. Take your father and moth­er. Is their way of inter­act­ing with you the same as the way it had been when you were a small child? No. They have giv­en you more space and free­dom. That is how it works.

The “kalam”, one’s field of action, gets cre­at­ed accord­ing to our inner growth, does­n’t it?

Yes, your kalam gets cre­at­ed. So your real work is in terms of inner effort. That effort should be con­tin­u­ous. You should play with it, you should exper­i­ment with it, you should gain con­fi­dence. That is the key thing, gain­ing self-con­fi­dence — “Ah! I can do this. I can do this much con­sis­tent­ly.” Hav­ing this con­fi­dence, you take the next step. And from there, you keep going, pro­gress­ing to greater heights. Then you will see, the out­er cir­cum­stances actu­al­ly give way, or fill up space; it acts both ways. In your child­hood, how were you? At that time, your par­ents pro­vid­ed you with much love, affec­tion and care, they nur­tured you and catered to your every need. As you grew old­er, they gave you the space to expand. Oth­er­wise you would not even be study­ing in col­lege or going to work right now. They would have kept you at home say­ing,” No no, you are a small child, you must not go out of our home. Study­ing in col­lege would be very dif­fi­cult for you.” But did they do this to you? No. So the out­er space always expands to accom­mo­date your inner growth. If you remem­ber this, then you will not be in con­flict with your out­er envi­ron­ment. But your imag­i­na­tion might be in con­flict, because you are imag­in­ing your­self to be some­one who you are not. Right now you are not there yet. That is a goal. Towards that goal, what­ev­er steps you take to reach it, accord­ing­ly the out­er space also expands to accom­mo­date your progress. For most peo­ple, this is the con­fu­sion, or this is the con­flict. But that con­flict is an imag­ined con­flict. It is not a real con­flict. Because, as you grow, expand and become stronger, any­how the out­er cir­cum­stances – the peo­ple around you, etc, will have to give way, there is no oth­er go. There is no oth­er go. But since you are always liv­ing with your­self, you might think that it is tak­ing for­ev­er to get there. Isn’t that so? So that is called the the­o­ry of rel­a­tiv­i­ty. You are under­go­ing the tapasya — tapah, it is fire. When you are under­go­ing the fire of tapasya, it seems like for­ev­er — “Enna da, I am stuck with this real­i­ty.” (Laugh­ter) That is per­cep­tion! But actu­al­ly work is hap­pen­ing. And that is very good, in a way. It is very good, because your desire, your anx­i­ety to reach the goal is so high, that you feel,”Eh, enna? What? Noth­ing is hap­pen­ing!” That is good, but at the same time, you should not give up prac­ti­cal sense. Prac­ti­cal out­look is very impor­tant. Now, if you are able to sit only for 5 min­utes, you can only sit for 5 min­utes. But dur­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties like this, like Mahashiv­ara­tri, on such occa­sions, you will get an exter­nal push. Then, you ride that wave. On occa­sions like these, you can try and sit for a longer time. It is only as you make more and more efforts towards sit­ting still that you come to under­stand -” Oh…I need to do this, I need to work on this, I need to work on that.” So you are con­stant­ly keep­ing your eyes trained towards the goal. As you put in effort keep­ing your eyes on the goal, prac­ti­cal­ly, you will encounter dif­fi­cul­ties or obsta­cles. But since you are inspired by the goal, you don’t leave the goal just because it is not prac­ti­cal. No, that is not the way. I am not say­ing that.

You are inspired by the goal, by the vision, but when you take one step from where you are, a great many obsta­cles crop up! There might be sim­ple things that you would not have imag­ined in imag­in­ing and visu­al­iz­ing the goal – such kinds of obsta­cles crop up. But you are will­ing to face all those obsta­cles because you are inspired by the vision, the goal. You are inspired, your inspi­ra­tion takes you. But this is per­spi­ra­tion, what you are doing now is per­spi­ra­tion. So inspi­ra­tion is required, oth­er­wise there is no direc­tion for per­spi­ra­tion. And you will eas­i­ly give up — “Why? I have to over­come so many obsta­cles. What does it mat­ter if I con­tin­ue with my efforts, or don’t con­tin­ue?” — feel­ing thus, you could give up med­i­ta­tion eas­i­ly. But no! That is not the way.

We are fired up!

You are fired up by the inspi­ra­tion. So that is very impor­tant. But at the same time, you are not yet there. So now the ground real­i­ty is this – your legs hurt. And that is why we prac­tise asanas. Grad­u­al­ly, lit­tle by lit­tle, we bring bal­ance to the body. Hatha yoga is pre­cise­ly that. Raja yoga is deal­ing with the mind direct­ly. It deals with the antahkarana (the inner instru­ment*). Hatha yoga is for prepar­ing the bahyakarana, the out­er instru­ment, and grad­u­al­ly going towards the inner instru­ments as well. When both the bahyakarana and the antahkarana are pre­pared, then you reach the goal, or to be pre­cise, the goal hap­pens. Not until that. So the effort is in terms of that prepa­ra­tion. But as you con­tin­ue to put in sin­cere effort to sit in med­i­ta­tion, you will know for your­self what your chal­lenges are — “Oh, this is a prob­lem for me, that is a prob­lem for me…”. You are sin­cere with your­self, and you don’t know when you will over­come your hur­dles, but you will­ing­ly put in effort. As you put in more and more effort, you will see, it can­not quite be said that the obsta­cle or prob­lem dis­ap­pears. Rather, you grow, where the prob­lem van­ish­es! Let us say that you are expe­ri­enc­ing knee pain. So you put in effort through the asanas, by which the ground con­di­tions that sus­tain the knee pain have gone. That is why you take in input from tra­di­tion as well. When you take vratas and such, all of a sud­den you will see, your body coop­er­ates with you, your mind coop­er­ates with you. You will see, if you don’t sleep, your mind will coop­er­ate with you. But for that you should be on an emp­ty stom­ach. You need to fast; if you don’t fast and if your stom­ach is not emp­ty, you will go off to sleep. And if you sleep, your mind will not coop­er­ate with you ful­ly. Your mind will not coop­er­ate ful­ly, your body will not coop­er­ate ful­ly. You will see, you can­not sus­tain your ener­gies for long. If you take a sankalpa, or resolve, you will not be able to hold on to it. Because if you sleep, your resolve might become lax — ”Enna da vazh­ka! What kind of life is this? Enough…this much effort is enough for today.” Your resolve will end that way. And, vishaya dhyana will become very easy, if you eat and sleep to your con­tent­ment. You need to be reg­u­lat­ed in your food and sleep. By reg­u­lat­ed, I do not mean elim­i­nat­ing your food and sleep. But if food and sleep are prop­er­ly reg­u­lat­ed, then you will see, you can give direc­tions to the sens­es. You will have choice. If they are not reg­u­lat­ed, you will not have choice. It will be com­pul­sive action. Do you see? Sim­ple aspects of life such as food and sleep have so much mahat­vam, impor­tance! That is why they should be well-reg­u­lat­ed, in mod­er­a­tion. As you are on the path to free­dom, you will see how much this oper­ates. Only then many fin­er aspects get revealed to you. That is why you will see that peo­ple don’t eat out­side, they take vratas. Gen­er­al­ly what do we observe? I have seen that many peo­ple, when they go to a new place, or wher­ev­er they go, first thing, they hunt for a restau­rant. (Laugh­ter) That is not wrong, you know! Nowa­days that is the fad — every­one looks for a restau­rant or a movie-the­atre, first thing. In fact, nightlife is one of the major rank­ing fac­tors for cities. Peo­ple can have a jol­ly night life drink­ing, par­ty­ing, enjoy­ing etc. But that will take you in com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent direc­tion. It will not take you on the path of con­scious growth. You will not be the direc­tor of your life.

* When we say “I”, we look at our­selves in terms of instru­men­ta­tion — bahyakarana and antahkarana, because this body is an instru­ment for us to live this life. This body is con­sid­ered an out­er instru­ment, or bahyakarana. Like­wise we have an inner instru­ment, or antahkarana. The antahkarana is gen­er­al­ly looked at with respect to four aspects – man­as (that which sens­es the sen­so­ry data and has the play­ing field of the emo­tions), chit­tha (mem­o­ry bank), bud­dhi (intel­lect) and ahamkara (the stamp of doer­ship on the process­es of the mind and body — “I did”, loose­ly trans­lat­ed as the ego)

One would be a slave to sen­so­ry plea­sures?

It would be com­pul­sive behav­iour. You would think it is choice, but that is not true choice. You are caught in the net of plea­sure (and unavoid­ably, pain as well). Whether you like it or not, you will act com­pul­sive­ly, and you will no choice. That is why you need to go on a fast peri­od­i­cal­ly to keep your stom­ach emp­ty, and you need to reg­u­late your sleep. How do you reg­u­late your sleep? What is the opti­mal amount of sleep that you need for your life to func­tion? That is all you must sleep, not more than that. Then you will see you will have amaz­ing growth in med­i­ta­tion. If you get more sleep than this opti­mal amount you will see, you can­not med­i­tate. Only vishaya dhyana will hap­pen. Through sim­ple prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence you will arrive at this knowl­edge. That is why, we need to cut down on the plea­sure and com­fort we derive from long sleep. You know, when I trav­elled to the Himalayas, I encoun­tered so many sad­hus, all that they had on them was a dhoti, a kur­ta, and maybe a sweater. Oth­er than this, they had a jol­na pai, a cloth shoul­der bag, a bowl for food and a razai, a quilt. In the harsh­est of climbs, this is all they pos­sessed, noth­ing more. And they would not stay in any hut or ashra­ma. They would sleep on the road, or out in the open! Now, how do we fare in such con­di­tions? We can­not even sleep inside the hotel room or ashram room, because of the cold. These peo­ple would be exposed out in the open! What a vra­ta! Just imag­ine how one should be fired up to under­take this! They would just not care for com­fort. And that will give one tremen­dous free­dom! You will see, if you just reg­u­late these two – food and sleep, you will actu­al­ly taste free­dom in your life. You will expe­ri­ence much freedom.You can do any­thing you wish. You can do any­thing. It will give you kamya sid­dhi — what­ev­er you desire will fruc­ti­fy. You will gain this much sid­dhi, just by reg­u­lat­ing your food and sleep. It is so pow­er­ful. It does not mean that you must always go hun­gry, nev­er eat­ing or sleep­ing. That is for the high­est order of yogis. For oth­ers it is not required. So that depends on your sphere of play, you know. It depends on your kalam. If your field of play becomes very large — actu­al­ly even prime min­is­ters, min­is­ters and CEOs do that, they don’t care about food and sleep. They have so much work to do that they can­not afford to sleep or care about food, because then, not just them, but their entire peo­ple, or their entire orga­ni­za­tion would suf­fer. That can­not be. So they fol­low sim­ple food and sleep reg­u­la­tion. These are very sim­ple prin­ci­ples, noth­ing big. But now, in our search for some­thing big to hap­pen, we have ignored the sim­ple prin­ci­ples of life. Hence, we see, true “big­ness” does not hap­pen. The true great­ness does not hap­pen. More than big or small, it is about great­ness. It is this great­ness that we miss. We live very mediocre lives, just addict­ed to the sens­es, just enmeshed with the sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence, with no relief or respite from the sen­so­ry expe­ri­ence. That is a trag­ic life! So any effort towards free­dom is worth it. It is def­i­nite­ly worth it, and it is much more than any­thing else.

Sapta Vidanga Sthalams: Nadanam

Tran­scribed talk of Smt Anand­hi Jee­va

For Anaadi’s Shiv­o­daya, we were very hap­py to have with us Smt Anand­hi, who is a dancer, dance teacher and chore­o­g­ra­ph­er. Every­one enjoyed her live­ly ses­sion, lis­ten­ing to her lec­ture demon­stra­tion on aspects of the Indi­an clas­si­cal dance. Here we have trans­lat­ed and pre­sent­ed a very inter­est­ing and infor­ma­tive talk of the Saptha vidan­ga sthal­ams and the pecu­liar dance move­ments called nadanam, that are enact­ed in each of these 7 sthal­ams, dur­ing the pro­ces­sion­al car­ry­ing of the deity, Natara­ja*, in the palan­quin.

*Natara­ja ‑Shi­va as the King of dance – the Cos­mic Dancer.

This Shiv­ara­tri, I shall nar­rate to you a sto­ry about Lord Shi­va. Do you know where Shiv­ara­tri first came to be fol­lowed as a form of wor­ship? It was in Thiru­van­na­malai. There was a Chola emper­or by name Muchukun­da chakravar­ti. It was through him that Shiv­ara­tri began to be cel­e­brat­ed as a night of wor­ship of Lord Shi­va. Why was his name Muchukun­da chakravar­ti? Because his face was like a mon­key’s. Why was his face like a mon­key’s? There is a his­tor­i­cal anec­dote for it. Once, on a night, a mon­key, chased by a tiger, climbed up a tree to save his life. The tiger was prowl­ing below. Fright­ened that he might doze off and fall from the tree and get eat­en by the tiger, and not know­ing what else to do, the mon­key began to pluck the leaves of the tree one by one and drop it down below. That night hap­pened to be a Shiv­ara­tri, and below the tree was a Swayamb­hu lingam. And the leaves that were plucked by the mon­key and dropped onto the Swayamb­hu lingam hap­pened to be Bil­va leaves. (Bil­va leaves are con­sid­ered to be very spe­cial in the wor­ship of the Shi­va lingam.)

So, pleased with this mon­key who had wor­shipped him with a great many leaves, Shi­va appeared and said to him,”Ask of me a boon.”

The mon­key said,”I desire to con­quer the world. But I do not wish to relin­quish my iden­ti­ty. I want to be born with the same face – that of the mon­key that I am now.”

Hence, he was born as Muchukun­da chakravar­ti in the Chola king­dom. Once, he went to Indralo­ka (the world of the celes­tial beings), because Indra, the king of the devas, had sought his help to defeat a pow­er­ful demon called Vaala­sur­an. Extreme­ly pleased with Muchukun­da chakravar­ti and full of grat­i­tude for him, Indra said, ”Ask of me any­thing what­so­ev­er that you desire. I shall grant you the boon.”

Muchukun­da chakravar­ti replied,” I saw you wor­ship­ping a mara­gatha (emer­ald) lingam here. My heart is drawn to it. I desire to take it to Bhu­lo­ka (earth) to install it there and wor­ship it.”

Now, this vidan­ga* lingam had been pre­sent­ed to Indra by Mahav­ish­nu him­self, who had held it in wor­ship. Indra held this image in great rev­er­ence. He did not wish to part with it. So he said to Muchukun­da chakravarti,”Alright, come tomor­row.”

Indra did not wish to part with that lin­ga. But at the same time, he could not take back his word. So he had 6 oth­er iden­ti­cal lingams made and the next day, he showed Muchukun­da the 7 lingams, all of which looked exact­ly like the lingam pre­sent­ed by Mahav­ish­nu and which Muchukun­da chakravar­ti desired. Indra offered him, ”Please take with you whichev­er lingam that you like.” Muchukun­da chakravar­ti looked at the 7 lingams. Pray­ing to the Lord that he may make the right choice, the king picked the right lingam as soon as he set his eyes upon them! Hap­py with the true devo­tion of Muchukun­da, Indra gave away all the sev­en vidan­ga lin­gas to the king, who decid­ed to install them in and around Thiru­varur.

*Vidan­ga refers to a lingam that has not been chis­elled out and is of Divine ori­gin. Vi + dan­ga — the form untouched by the sculp­tor’s ham­mer.

It is this Mara­gatha Vidan­ga lingam that was installed in Thiru­varur as the image of Thya­gara­jar – Mara­gatha Natara­ja. The places where the 7 Vidan­ga lingams were installed are called the Sap­ta Vidan­ga sthal­am. Sap­ta means sev­en. The Saptha Vidan­ga sthal­ams are the sev­en places around Thiru­varur with Lord Shi­va as Thya­gara­ja. Thya­gara­ja is the name giv­en to the man­i­fes­ta­tion of Shi­va at Thiru­varur called Somaskan­da*, and 6 of the oth­er Sap­ta Vidan­ga sthal­ams. This image of Thya­gara­jar is referred to as Veed­hi Vidan­gar** in the sacred Tamil The­varam hymns. The term Vidan­ga (Veed­hi Vidan­ga as in Thiru­varur) rep­re­sents the Thya­gara­ja image, as well as the Shiv­alingam (made of Mara­gatha (emer­ald), placed in a sil­ver cas­ket) that is installed in the shrine ded­i­cat­ed to Thya­gara­ja.

* Somaskan­da — Sa + Uma + Skan­da = Shi­va along with Uma and Skan­da. This form fea­tures Shi­va, Uma and Skan­da (Muru­ga or Karthikeya who is their son). Lord Shi­va is seat­ed with Par­vathi to his left and Skan­da seat­ed in between them. It rep­re­sents Sat — Shi­va (Exis­tence), Chit — Shak­thi (knowl­edge) and Anan­da — Skan­da (bliss) aris­ing out of their union.

**Veed­hi Vidan­gar – The unchis­eled form of the pro­ces­sion­al deity who is tak­en out in the streets. ‘Veed­hi’ in Tamil means ‘street’.

So what is spe­cial about these 7 places? All the 7 places have the image of Natara­ja, but what is dif­fer­ent and spe­cial about each one? When the deity is car­ried in a pal­lak, or palan­quin, it is not a straight pro­ces­sion where peo­ple sim­ply walk car­ry­ing the deity in a palan­quin, as we might usu­al­ly imag­ine. It is a dance pro­ces­sion where the peo­ple per­form spe­cial dance move­ments while car­ry­ing the deity in the pal­lak. Every Vidan­gar is asso­ci­at­ed with a pecu­liar and unique nadanam or dance form that has a spir­i­tu­al mean­ing attached to it. In 7 places in and around Thiru­varur, prathish­ta has been done for the images of Natara­ja. Let us look at each of these places and its unique dance pro­ces­sion.

Though Muchukun­da chakravar­ti was a native of the Kongu region near Karur, under­stand­ing the spir­i­tu­al great­ness of the Cau­very delta region, he installed the orig­i­nal Veed­hi Vidan­gar (the emer­ald lingam once wor­shipped by Mahav­ish­nu him­self and pre­sent­ed to Indra) in Thiru­varur, the Sun­dara Vidan­gar at Naga­p­at­ti­nam, Avani Vidan­gar at Thiruku­valai, Nagara Vidan­gar at Tirunal­lar, Adi Vidan­gar at Thirukkar­avasal, Nila Vidan­gar at Thiru­voimur and Bhu­vani Vidan­gar at Vedaranyam.

Thiru­varur – Veed­hi Vidan­gar, “Aja­ba nadanam”

The orig­i­nal Veed­hi Vidan­gar was installed by Muchukun­da chakravar­ti at Thiru­varur. Thya­gara­ja is asso­ci­at­ed with the aja­ba nadanam. The ajapa mantra is “ham­sa — soham”. It is the voice­less, silent japa rep­re­sent­ed by inhala­tion and exha­la­tion of breath. Thya­gara­ja is said to per­form this dance on the chest of Vish­nu who is in yoganidra. This con­trolled breath is known to yogis.

In Thiru­varur, the evening abhishekam is referred to as Saya rak­sha­pu­ja and Indra him­self is believed to come here with all the devas every­day dur­ing this time, to con­duct the poo­ja.

Thirunal­lar – Naga­p­at­ti­nam – Sun­dara Vidan­gar, “Vil­lathi nadanam”Nagara Vidan­gar, “Unmatha nadanam”

Here Natara­ja per­forms the unmatha nadanam. Unmatha means bod­hai, but bod­hai would not be the right word. Natara­ja is in an intox­i­cat­ed state while per­form­ing this dance. In Tamil, one can say mei marand­hu – for­get­ting one­self in bliss of God con­scious­ness.

Here, the dance is like the waves of the ocean – vil­lathi nadanam. Kadal alai kon­jiyum varum, seeriyum varum. The waves can be soft and play­ful, or they can be wild and rag­ing. When the deity is tak­en on a pro­ces­sion in a pal­lak, the peo­ple who car­ry the pal­lak enact these dance move­ments – the move­ments of waves in an ocean. Hence Natara­ja’s dance at this sthal­am resem­bles waves – small waves and big waves. The peo­ple who car­ry the pal­lak would know the pro­ce­dure as to how to coor­di­nate each of their move­ments so as to bring about this dance motion.

Thirukkar­avasal — Adi Vidan­gar, “Kuku­ta nadanam”

Here, the dance is like that of a cock, seval – kuku­ta nadanam. How does a cock move about? How does a cock move its neck? So the peo­ple per­form move­ments resem­bling that of a cock, while car­ry­ing the deity in the pal­lak dur­ing the pro­ces­sion.

Thiruku­valai — Avani Vidan­gar, “Bringa nadanam”

Here, the dance resem­bles the move­ments of a bee­tle, van­du – bringa nadanam. The cir­cu­lar pat­terns of move­ment, the ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal move­ment and the jump­ing move­ment of a bee­tle are enact­ed while car­ry­ing the pal­lak, dur­ing the pro­ces­sion of the deity.

Thiru­voimur – Nila Vidan­gar, “Kamala nadanam”

Here, the dance resem­bles the grad­ual blos­som­ing of a lotus flower. The blos­som­ing hap­pens from the inner to the out­er. When they bring the deity in the pal­lak, they do so fol­low­ing the move­ment of a blos­som­ing lotus – from below to above. They do not car­ry the deity at a fast pace. The dance is slow, because it resem­bles a lotus sway­ing grace­ful­ly to a gen­tle breeze. Hence the pal­lak is car­ried in a slow man­ner, gen­tly sway­ing from side to side.

Vedaranyam – Bhu­vani Vidan­gar, “Ham­sa paa­da nadanam”

Here, the dance resem­bles the gait of a swan — ham­sa paa­da nadanam. The dance motion while car­ry­ing the deity in the pal­lak resem­bles the grace­ful move­ments of a swan.

Hence, we see that var­i­ous unique dance forms exist at the Sap­ta Vidan­ga sthal­ams.

You can even search for these dance pro­ces­sions on YouTube. For exam­ple —

Unmatha nadanam

Kuku­ta nadanam

Gen­er­al­ly, we imag­ine that a pro­ces­sion is just the car­ry­ing of the deity in a pal­lak in a sim­ple man­ner. Actu­al­ly, there are dif­fer­ent pro­ce­dures to car­ry the deity in the pal­lak. Each deity has a dif­fer­ent pro­ce­dure by fol­low­ing which, it must be car­ried. This “nadana pro­ce­dure” has been fol­lowed for gen­er­a­tions togeth­er. Even today, when peo­ple car­ry the deity in the pal­lak, they fol­low the pro­ce­dure per­tain­ing to the unique nadanam of that deity. With­out pos­ing “log­i­cal” ques­tions such as — “How can a selai, an image, dance?”, to this day, these peo­ple still fol­low the tra­di­tion of the nadanam with faith in their hearts.

In the Indi­an tra­di­tion, the whole of cre­ation is seen as the dance of Shi­va, the Cos­mic Dancer, Natara­ja. We share here a few lines from a beau­ti­ful poem by Smt Smrithi that reflect this -

“Thillay­ile nadana kaatchi

yel­lai illa inbam tharume

Idathu padam thoo­ki nin­dru

muvu­laga­mum aalum sivane…”





Shakti Dasan Bharati

Venkata­pa­thy

மகளிர் தினம், ஆண்டு தோறும் மார்ச் 8 ஆம் தேதி அன்று உலகெங்கும் கொண்டாடப்படுகிறது. இந்த வருடம் மகளிர் தினத்தையொட்டி இந்தக் கட்டுரையில, நம் நாட்டின் மஹாகவி என்று அழைக்கப்படுகின்ற சுப்பிரமணிய பாரதியை பற்றிக் காண்போம். ‘ரௌத்திரம் பழகு’ என்று பாடி நமக்கெல்லாம் புரட்சி உணர்வை ஊட்டிய பாரதிக்கும் மகளிர் தினத்திற்கும் என்ன சம்பந்தம் என்று நீங்கள் வியப்படையாளம். ‘Behind every suc­cess­ful man there is a woman’ என்பது ஓர் ஆங்கிலப் பழங்கூற்று. நம்மைப் போன்ற சாதாரண ஆண்மகன்களுக்கு இது பொருந்தும். ஆனால் நம் மஹாகவிக்கோ இந்த உலகத்தைப் படைத்து, காத்து, அழிக்கவல்ல அந்த ஷக்தி தேவியே மூலமாக நின்றாள். அதனால் தான் தன் பெயரை ஷக்திதாசன் என்றே மாற்றிக்கொண்டான் பாரதி. அதாவது அந்த ஷக்திக்கே தன்னை அடிமையாக்கிக்கொண்டான். சக்தியும் பாரதியும் பற்றி மேலும் இந்தக் கட்டுரையில் காண்போம். நமக்கெல்லாம் தெரியும் அவன் ஒரு மஹாகவி. ஆனால் தெரியாத பலவிஷயங்களும் உள்ளன. ‘ஆயிரம் ஆண்டுகளுக்கு ஒரு முறைதான் ஒரு மஹாகவித தோன்றுவான்!’ அப்படி வாராது போல வந்த ஒரு மாமணி நம் மஹாகவி பாரதி. இப்படி ஆயிரம் ஆண்டுகள் நம் தர்ம தேவியும், தேச மாதாவும், தமிழ்த் தாயும் தவமாய்த் தவமிருந்து பெற்றடுத்த பிள்ளையைப் பற்றி நாம் பார்க்க வேண்டுமானால், அவரை ஈன்றெடுத்த இந்தப் பாரதத் தேசத்தைப் பற்றியும், அதன் மகத்துவத்தைப் பற்றியும் நாம் அறிந்துகொள்ள வேண்டும். நம் பாரதத் தேசத்தைப் பற்றி ஆழ்ந்துச் சிந்தித்தால் தான் அதன் அருமை நமக்குப் புரியும். ஆனால், இப்பொழுதெல்லாம் ஆழ்ந்து சிந்திப்பது என்றால், முகப்புத்தகம் சென்று, MEMEs பாக்கணுமான்னுக் கேட்டுப்போம். நம் சித்தர்களும், ரிஷிகளும், முனிகளும் வேர்வையும் ரத்தமும் சிந்தி, தன் வாழ்க்கை அர்பணிச்சு உருவாக்கிய இந்தத் தேசத்தையும், பண்பாட்டையும் இருவரி MEME எழுதி கொச்சை படுத்தக்கூடாது. நம் பண்பாட்டைப் பற்றிச் சிந்திக்கணும்னா, அதைப்பற்றி பாராயணம் செய்யனும். நம் தேசத்தைப் பற்றி, அறிய முயற்சி எடுத்து, தவம் பண்ணனும். பாரதி சொல்கின்றான்: செய்க தவம் செய்க தவம் நெஞ்சே, தவம் செய்தால் எய்த விரும்பியதை எய்தலாம் அப்படி முயற்சியெடுத்து அறிந்தால் தான் இந்த தேசத்தை பற்றியும், பாரதியை பற்றியும் அறிய முடியும். மூன்று விஷயங்கள் சேர்ந்தால் நம் பாரத தேசம். பாரதம் = தர்மம் + தெய்வம் + தேசம். அப்போ பாரதி யார் ? பாரதி = பாரதம். நமக்கெல்லாம் இருப்பது தேகாத்ம போதம். பாரதிக்கு இருந்தது தேசாத்மபோகம். தன் வாழ்க்கை இந்த மூன்று விஷயங்களுக்காகவே அர்பணித்தவன் பாரதி. அதிலும் தன் புனைபெயர் ஷக்திதாசன் என்ற பெயர்க்கேற்றாற்போல், சக்தியின் அருளாலேயே வாழ்ந்து முடித்து கொண்டு அவளுடனே சென்றும் விட்டான். சக்தி தேவி சரஸ்வதி ரூபத்தில் அருள்: வெறும் 39 ஆண்டுகளே வாழ்தவன் பாரதி! நன்றாக புரிந்துகொள்ளுங்கள், நமக்கெல்லாம் நம் வாழ்க்கை என்னனு கண்டுபுடிக்கவே அவ்வளவு காலம் தேவைப்படும். 20 வயசுல ஒரு இன்ஜினியரிங் முடிச்சிட்டு, அப்பறம் எதுக்கும் ஒரு MBA படிப்போம். மறுபடியும், ஆசைப்பட்டு வெளிநாட்ல ஒரு MS/ME பண்ணிட்டு கடைசியா வேலைக்கு போவோம். அப்புறம் பிடிக்காத வேலைல இருந்து மொதல் மாசச்சம்பளத்துல ஒரு கேமரா வாங்கி hob­byயா எதயாச்சும் பண்ணிட்டு அதுதான் நம்ம வாழ்க்கையோனு நினைப்போம். அதுக்குள்ள, ஜல்லிக்கட்டுக்கு போராட்டம் வரும். அதுல அந்நிய மாடுகள் கொண்டு சதி என்ற தகவலை பாத்துட்டு, நாட்டு மாடுகளை வாங்கணும்னு ஆசை வரும். கடைசில நம்ம டீச்சர் சொன்ன மாதிரி மாடு மேக்க தான் நாம லாய்க்குனு, ரெண்டு நாட்டு மாடு வாங்கி கிராமத்துல செட்டில் ஆவோம். இப்படி என்னுடைய பல நண்பர்கள் முடிவு பண்ணிட்டாங்க. அதுக்கே நம்மக்கு 30–35 வயசாகிரும். ஆனால் பாரதியோ தான் வாழ்ந்த 39 ஆண்டுகளில் அடுத்த ஆயிரம் ஆண்டுகளுக்காண வேலையை முடித்துக்கொண்டு போய்விட்டான், அவன் ஒரு மஹாகவி. 1882 ஆம் ஆண்டு டிசம்பர் 11இல் பிறந்தவன். அவன் பெற்றோர் அவனுக்கு இட்ட பெயர் சுப்பிரமணியன். பாரதியுடைய அப்பா ஒரு தமிழ் பண்டிதர், பொறியாளரும் கூட. தன் பிள்ளை ஆங்கிலக் கல்வி கற்று பிரிட்டிஷ் அரசின் கீழே பொறியிலில் வியாபாரம் செய்யவேண்டும் என்று தந்தைக்கு ஆசை. ஆனால், தன் தவப்பிள்ளையை அவ்வளவு சீக்கரம் விட மாட்டள் தேவி. 1893 தன் 11 வயதிலே, பாரதி என்ற பட்டம் பெற்றான் சுப்பையா. தனது பதினொன்றாம் வயதில் பள்ளியில் படித்து வரும்பொழுதே கவி புனையும் ஆற்றலை வெளிப்படுத்தினார். பாரதி- சரஸ்வதி தேவியின் இன்னொரு பெயர். தமிழ் கவிமூலம் தன் பாரதியை தர்மத்திற்கான ஆற்றல் செய்ய செய்தாள் ஷக்தி தேவியான சரஸ்வதி. அவனே சொல்றான்: சந்திர னொளியில் அவளைக் கண்டேன் சரண மென்று புகுந்து கொண்டேன் பயனெண் ணாமல் உழைக்கச் சொன்னாள் பக்தி செய்து பிழைக்கச் சொன்னாள் சக்தி தேவி குரு ரூபத்தில் அருள்: குரு பாரம்பரியம் கொண்ட நாடு நம் நாடு. இந்த நாட்டை எப்பொழுதெல்லாம் அதர்மம் தர்மத்தை கீழே தள்ளி மேலோங்குகிறதோ அப்பொழுதெல்லாம் பகவான் அவதரிக்கின்ற பூமி நம் பூமி. கிருஷ்ணர் சொல்லியிருக்காரே பகவத் கீதைல: யதா யதா ஹி தர்மஸ்ய க்லானிர்பவதி பாரத அப்யுத்தானமதர்மஸ்ய ததாத்மானம் ஸ்ருஜாம்யகம் (எப்போதெல்லாம் தர்மம் வலுக்குறைந்து அதர்மம் ஓங்குகின்றதோ அப்போதெல்லாம் நான் ஓர் ஆன்மாவை உருபெறச்செய்கின்றேன்) பாரதி சொன்னான்: தர்மத்தின் வாழ்வுதனை சூது கவ்வும் தர்மம் மறுபிடியும் வெல்லும். குரு என்கிற சப்தம் நம் நாட்டிற்கே சிறப்பானது. டீச்சர் உண்டு. ஆனால் பாடம் நடத்துபவர்க்கு குரு அல்ல. தன் தவத்தின் வலிமையால் மௌனியாக இருந்து சிஷ்யருடய அறியாமையை அகற்றுபவர்க்கு தான் குரு என்ற பொருள் பொருந்தும். நாட்டின் குருமார்கள் காரணமாகவே தருமம் இன்னும் வாழ்ந்திட்டு இருக்கு நம் நாட்டிலே. அப்பிடி பட்ட குரு பாரம்பர்யம் கொண்டவன் பாரதி. அவதார புருஷர் பகவான் ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணா பரமஹம்சர், அவருடைய சீடர் சுவாமி விவேகானந்தர். அவருடைய சீடர் இங்காலந்நாட்டிலே பாதிரியாருக்கு மகளாக பிறந்து, அங்கே விவேகானந்தரைச் சந்தித்து சரணடைந்து, இந்த நாட்டிற்க்காக அர்பணிக்கப்பட்டவள் என்ற பெயர் பூண்ட நிவேத தேவி. அவருடைய சீடர் மஹாகவி பாரதி. அருளுக்கு நிவேதனமாய், அன்பினுக்கோர் போயிலாய், அடியேன் நெஞ்சில் இருளுக்கு ஞாயிறாய் எமதுயர் நா டாம் பயிர்க்கு மழையாய், இங்கு பொருளுக்கு வழியறியா வறிஞர்க்குப் பெரும் பெருளாய்ப் புன்மைத் தாதச் சுருளுக்க நெருப்பாகி விளங்கிய தாய் நிவேதிதைத் தொது நிற்பேன் பாரதி தன் குரு மீது பாடிய பாடல். ஷக்தி ரூபிணி நிவேதிதா தேவி பாரதிக்கு கொடுத்த தர்மம்- பெண்விடுதலை. பாரதியும் தர்மமும்: நம்ம எப்போவும் நம்ம கடமை இதுதானாங்கிற யோசனைளையே காலத்த கழித்திருப்போம். பாரதி, கலைமகள் தனுக்கு கொடுத்த தர்மத்தை சரிவர செய்தாரா? ஒரு கவிஞன் கவிபுலமை கொண்டு என்ன செய்துவிடமுடியும்? எப்பிடிப்பட்ட கவிஞன் பாரதி பாருங்க. பாரதி ஒரு புரட்சிக் கவிஞன். எப்படி புரட்சி? பாரதி, அடிமைப்பட்ட நாட்டிலே இந்த அடிமை விலங்கை அறுத்தெறிய வேண்டும் என்பதற்காக, ம் என்றால் சிறைவாசம் ஏ என்றால் வனவாசம் என்ற காலத்தில் வந்தே மாத்திரம் என்று பாடியவன். இப்பொழுது பாடினால் பாடிவிட்டு போகட்டும் என்று சொல்லிவிடுவார். அன்றைக்கு பாட முடியாது. ஆனால் பாரதி பாடினான்: நொந்தே போயினும் வெந்தே மாயினும வலி குன்றது ஓதுவோம் வந்தே மாத்திரம் பாரதி ஒரு பெண்விடுதலைக் கவிஞன். பெண் விடுதலைக்காக தம் எதிர்பார்ப்பு, ஏக்கம், கனவு, கற்பனை, குறிக்கோள், வேட்கை ஆகிய அனைத்தையும் சம விகிதத்தில் கலந்து உருவாக்கிய ஒரு கற்பனை ஓவியம் ‘புதுமைப் பெண்’. ஒரு பெண்ணுக்கு இருக்க வேண்டும் எனக் காலங்காலமாகப் பேசப்பட்டு வந்த அச்சம், மடம், நாணம், பயிர்ப்பு என்னும் மரபு வழியான குணங்களை அடியோடு மாற்றி, முற்றிலும் புதுமையான முறையில் பாடினான் பாரதி. நிமிர்ந்த நன்னடை நேர்கொண்ட பார்வையும் நிலத்தில் யார்க்கும் அஞ்சாத நெறிகளும் திமிர்ந்த ஞானச் செருக்கும் இருப்பதால் செம்மை மாதர் திறம்புவது இல்லையாம் அதற்கேற்றாற்போல் ஒரு பெண்ணையே தனக்கு குருவாக வைத்துக்கொண்டான், அவன் ஒரு புரட்சிக் கவி. ஒரு கவிஞன் எல்லா பாடல்களும் பாடுவான். ஆனால் பாரதி பாடாத ஒரு பாடல் உண்டு. தாலாட்டு பாடலை அவன் பாடவில்லை. ஏனென்றால் உட்கார்ந்து கொண்டே தூங்குவதில் நாம் வல்லவர்கள். இந்த நாடு ஏற்கனவே தூங்கி கொண்டு இருக்கிறது. உறங்கிக் கொண்டு இருக்கும் நாட்டிற்குத் தாலாட்டு பாடல் கூடாது என்று பாடாதவன். ஆனால் சாதாரணமாக தூங்குகின்றவர்களை எழுப்புவது என்று உண்டு. அதற்கு நம் நாட்டிலே பாடும் பாடலுக்கு சுப்ரபாதம் என்று பெயர். பாரதி சுப்ரபாதம் பாடினான். எப்பிடி பாரதி சுப்ரபாதம் பாடினான்? பாரதீய குழந்தைகள், பாரத மாதாவை எழுப்புவது போல பாடினான் அவன் ஒரு புரட்சிக்கவி! “பொழுது புலர்ந்தது, யாம் செய்த தவத்தால்; புன்மை இருட்கணம் போயின யாவும்; எழுபசும் பொற்சுடர் எங்கணும் பரவி எழுந்து விளங்கியது அறிவெனும் இரவி; தொழுதுனை வாழ்த்தி வணங்குதற் கிங்குன் தொண்டர்பல் லாயிரர் சூழ்ந்து நிற்கின்றோம். விழிதுயில் கின்றனை இன்னுமெந் தாயே, வியப்பிது காண்! பள்ளி எழுந்தரு ளாயே! ” பாரதி ஒரு கட்டுரை ஆசிரியன். அவன் எழுதிய கட்டுரைகள் முன்னும் பின்னும் இருந்ததில்லை. பாரதியின் ‘ஸ்வராஜ்யம்‘ என்பதில் ‘ஸ்வ’ என்பதற்குத் தரும் விளக்கம் காண்போம். “ஸ்வராஜ்யம் வேண்டுமென்று நாம் கேட்கிறோம். இதிலே ‘ஸ்வ’ என்பது யாரைக் குறிக்கிறது?…. ‘ஸ்வ’ என்றால் ‘தனது’ என்று அர்த்தமாகிறது. யாருடையது? இந்தக் கேள்விக்கு நாம் மறுமொழி சொல்வதென்ன வென்றால், பாரத தேவியுடையது. பாரத தேவி தன்னைத் தானே பரிபாலனம் செய்து கொள்வது ஸ்வராஜ்யம் ஆகும்.” (– காலவரிசைப் படுத்தப்பட்ட பாரதி படைப்புகள் 2, பக் 692) பாரதி ஒரு கதாசிரியன். சின்ன சங்கரன் கதை, ராகவ சாஸ்திரியின் கதை, சந்திரிகையின் காதல் என்ற பல கதைகளை இயற்றியவன். பாரதி ஒரு உளவியல் அறிஞன். மனத்தைப் பற்றி அவன் பாடியது போல யாரும் பாடியிருக்க முடியாது. பேயாய் உழலும் சிறுமனமே! பேணாய் என் சொல் இன்று முதல் நீயாய் ஒன்றும் நாடாதே! நினது தலைவன் யானே காண் தாயாம் சக்தி தாளினிலும் தருமம் என யான் குறிப்பதிலும் ஓயாதே நின்று உழைத்திடுவாய் உரைத்தேன் அடங்கி உய்யுதியால். பாரதி ஒரு குழந்தை கவிஞன். நமக்கெல்லாம் தெரியும்: ஓடி விளையாடு பாபா நீ ஓய்திருக்கள் ஆகாது பாபா, கூடி விளையாடு பாபா ஒரு குழந்தையை வைத்ததே பாபா. குழந்தைகளுக்காக மிக அற்புதமான கவிதைகளை படைத்தான் பாரதி. ஔவையார் போல் புதிய ஆத்திச்சுவடி கொடுத்தான்: அச்சம் தவிர் ஆண்மை தவறேல். இளைத்தல் இகழ்ச்சி ஈகை திறன் உடலினை உறுதிசெய் கண்டிப்பாக நாம் அதை படிக்கவேண்டும். பாராயணம் செய்யவேண்டும்: பாரதி ஒரு காதல் கவிஞன் 14 வயதினிலே 7 வயது செல்லம்மாவை மனம் புரிந்தான். இத்தனைக்கும் கனவு என்ற தன் சுயசரிதையில் சிறார் திருமணத்தை விரும்பவில்லை என்று எழுதியிருக்கிறான். இருந்தாலும் தான் வாழ்ந்த வாழ்நாளில் தன் ஞானத்தால், கவிதைகளால் ஸஹ தர்ம சாரிணியையும் தன்னைப்போல் பெரும் இடத்திற்கு கொண்டு சென்றான். எப்படி? தான் கண்ட புதுமைப்பெண்ணாக செல்லம்மாவை மாற்றினான். பாரதி மறைந்த பின், அவனுடைய கவிதைகளை இந்நாட்டிற்கு கொண்டு சேர்க்கவேண்டும் என்பதற்காகவே வெளியுலகம் அறியாத செல்லமா, தானாக முயன்று முன்வந்து பாரதி ஆசிரமம் நிறுவி அவன் பாடல்களை வெளிக்கொணர செய்தாள். இறக்கும் தருவாயில், தன் முழு சுயநினைவு இழந்த பின்னும் செல்லமா, பாரதி தனக்குக் கொடுத்த வாழ்க்கையை பற்றி பாரதியின் வரிகளிலேயே பாடிக்கொண்டிருந்தாள்: திண்ணை வாயில் பெருக்க வந்தேன் எனைத் தேசம் போற்றத் தன் மந்திரி ஆக்கினான் திருமால் வந்தன் நெஞ்சுநிறய புகுந்தான் அவன் காதல் பாடல்கள் அனைத்தும் செல்லம்மாவையே குறித்தது. அதில் அத்துணை காதல் சுவை இருக்கும். சின்னஞ்சிறு கிளியே, கண்ணம்மா! செல்வக் களஞ்சியமே! என்னைக் கலி தீர்த்தே, உலகில் ஏற்றம் புரிய வந்தாய்! பிள்ளைக் கனியமுதே! கண்ணம்மா! பேசும் பொற் சித்திரமே! அள்ளி அணைத்திடவே, என் முன்னே ஆடி வரும் தேனே! ஓடி வருகையிலே, கண்ணம்மா உள்ளம் குளிருதடி! ஆடித் திரிதல் கண்டால், உன்னைப் போய் ஆவி தழுவுதடி! உச்சிதனை முகர்ந்தால், கருவம் ஓங்கி வளருதடி! மெச்சி உனை ஊரார், புகழ்ந்தால் மேனி சிலிர்க்குதடி! Bharathi is a car­toon­ist. சித்ராவளி என்ற பத்திரிக்கையை தொடங்க வேண்டும் என்று எண்ணினான். ஆசிரியராக இருக்கும் போது அவனே படங்களை வரைந்தான். அவன் ஒரு இயற்கை கவிஞன், சித்தாந்த கவிஞன், வேதாந்தா கவிஞன், சமுதாய கவிஞ்சன்- இப்படி அடுக்கிக்கொண்டே போகலாம். இப்படி தனக்கு வழங்க பெற்ற தர்மத்தை, சில காலங்களிலேயே செம்மையுற செய்தான் பாரதி. கவிதை எழுதுபவன் கவியன்று. கவிதையே வாழ்க்கையாக உடையோன், வாழ்க்கையே கவிதையாகச் செய்தோன், அவனே கவி — பாரதி. நமக்குத் தொழில் கவிதை, நாட்டிற்கு உழைத்தல், இமைப்பொழுதும் சோராதிருத்தல் — பாரதி. பாரதியும் தெய்வமும்: தன் வாழ்நாள் முழுவதும் தெய்வத்தைப் பற்றி பாடிக்கொண்டேயிருந்தான் பாரதி. பாரதி, விநாயகப் பெருமானிடம் சென்று துதிக்கிறான். “கற்பக விநாயகக் கடவுளே போற்றி! சிற்பர மோனத் தேவன் வாழ்க! வாரண முகத்தான் மலர்த்தாள் வெல்க! ஆரண முகத்தான் அருட்பதம் வெல்க!” இப்படி விநாயகரை முகஸ்துதி செய்து தன் வேண்டுதலைத் தொடங்குகிறான். கணபதியிடம் வேண்டி நின்ற பாரதி பராசக்தியிடம் செல்கிறான். அவளிடம் சென்று ‘நீயே சரணம்’ என்று கூவுகிறான். “நீயே சரணம் என்று கூவி — என்றன் நெஞ்சிற் பேருறுதி கொண்டு — அடி தாயே எனக்கு மிக நிதியும் — அறம் தன்னைக் காக்கும் ஒரு திறமும் — தரு வாயே யென்று பணிந்து ஏத்திப் - பல வாறா நினது புகழ் பாடி — வாய் ஓயே னால் அது உணராயோ? — நின துண்மை தவறுவதொ ரழகோ?” அம்பிகை பாரதியைக் கருணையுடன் பார்க்கிறாள். மகனே, நான் உண்மை தவறவில்லை. நீ எப்போதும் என் புகழ் பாடி வாய் ஓயாமல் பாடுகிறாய்; தெரியும். உனக்கு என்ன வேண்டும் கேள்” என்கிறாள். பாரதி சொல்கிறார். [1] “நின்னைச் சில வரங்கள் கேட்பேன் — அவை நேரே இன்றெனக்குத் தருவாய் — என்றன் முன்னைத் தீய வினைப் பயன்கள் — இன்னும் மூளா தழிந்திடுதல் வேண்டும் — இனி என்னைப் புதிய உயிராக்கி — எனக் கேதும் கவலை யறச் செய்து — மதி தன்னை மிகத் தெளிவு செய்து — என்றும் ஸந்தோஷங் கொண்டிருக்கச் செய்வாய்!” இப்படி எல்லா தெய்வங்களைப் பற்றியும் பாடினான் பாரதி. விநாயகரை பாடினான், முருகனை பாடினான். ராமனை பாடினான். கண்ணன் என் தந்தை, கண்ணன் என் மகன், கண்ணன் என் ஆசான் என்று 23 பாடல்கள் கண்ணனை பற்றியே பாடினான். இயேசுவை பாடினான், அல்லாஹ்வை பாடினான். இப்படி எல்லா தெய்வங்களையும் பற்றிப் பாடிவிட்டு, அறிவே தெய்வம் என்ற பாடலில் இப்படி தொடங்குகின்றான்: ஆயிரந் தெய்வங்கள் உண்டென்று தேடி அலையும் அறிவிலிகாள்!-பல் லாயிரம் வேதம் அறிவொன்றே தெய்வமுண் டாமெனல் கேளீரோ? அப்படியானால் தெய்வத்தை பற்றி அவன் எத்தகைய எண்ணம் கொண்டிருந்தான்? இதைப்பற்றி நாம் ஆராய்ச்சி செய்யவேண்டும். பாரதியும் தேசமும்: விடுதலைப் போராட்டக் காலத்தில் தேசிய உணர்வுள்ள பல்வேறு கவிதைகளைப் படைத்து மக்களை ஒருங்கிணைத்த காரணத்தால் பாரதி தேசியக் கவியாகப் போற்றப்படுகிறார். மண்ணும் இமயமலை எங்கள் மலையே… மாநிலமீதிதுபோல் பிறிதிலையே… இன்னறு நீர்க்கங்கை ஆறெங்கள் ஆறே… இங்கிதன் மாண்பிற்கெதிர் எது வேறே என்று எழுதியவர். தன்னுடைய தாய்நாட்டை நினைந்து பெருமைகொண்டதோடு மட்டுமன்றி அதன் எதிர்காலம் எவ்வாறிருக்க வேண்டும் என்ற பார்வையும் பெற்றவர். “வந்தேமாதரம் என்போம்… எங்கள் மாநில தாயை வணங்குதும் என்போம்… ஆயிரம் உண்டிங்கு ஜாதி… எனில் அணியார் வந்து புகழ் என்ன நீதி… தாயின் வயிற்றில் பிறந்தோர்…ஒரு தாயின் வயிற்றில் பிறந்தோர்… நம்முள் சண்டை செய்தாலும் சகோதரர் அன்றோ” என்றவன், பள்ளித்தலமனைத்தும் கோயில் செய்குவோம் என்றான் . வங்கத்தில் ஓடிவரும் நீரின் மிகையால் மையத்து நாடுகளில் பயிர்செய்யும் நதிநீர் இணைப்புத் திட்டத்தை விடுதலைக்கு முன்பே கனவுகண்டவன். சிந்து நதியின் மிசை நிலவினிலே சேர நன்னாட்டிளம் பெங்களுடனே சுந்தரத் தெலுங்கினில் பாட்டிசைத்து தோனிகள் ஓட்டி விளையாடி வருவோம் கங்கை நதிப்புரத்து கோதுமைப் பண்டம் காவிரி வெற்றிலைக்கு மாருகொல்லுவோம் சிங்க மராட்டியர்தம் கவிதைகொண்டு சேரத்து தந்தங்கல் பரிசலிப்போம் நாட்டையும் மொழியையும் பிரிக்க நினைப்போர்க்கு இது பாரதியின் பதில்! ‘ஆடுவோமே பள்ளுப் பாடுவோமே ஆனந்த சுதந்திரம் அடைந்துவிட்டோம்’ என்று விடுதலைக்கு முன்பாகவே பாடிக்களித்த பாரதி, தேச விடுதலைக்கு முன்பாகவே உயிர்நீத்தவர். அவன் உண்மையிலேயே ஒரு தீர்க்கதரிசி. இப்படி தர்மமும், தெய்வமும் தேசமும் போற்றி வாழ்ந்த பாரதி வழி நடப்போம். அவன் படைப்புக்களை படித்து, அது போல் வாழ்ந்து அந்த ஷக்திதாசன் போல் நாமும் நம் தர்மதேவதைக்கும், தேச மாதாவுக்காவும், தமிழ் தாய்க்காகவும் சேவை செய்வோம்! தேடிச் சோறு நிதந் தின்று பல சின்னஞ் சிறு கதைகள் பேசி மனம் வாடித் துன்பமிக உழன்று பிறர் வாடப் பல செயல்கள் செய்து நரை கூடிக் கிழப்பருவம் எய்தி கொடுங் கூற்றுக் கிரை யெனப்பின் மாயும் பல வேடிக்கை மனிதரைப் போலே நான் வீழ்வே னென்று நினைத்தாயோ? Ref­er­ences: 1. http://ilakkiyapayilagam.blogspot.it/2011/09/blog-post_14.html

Utishta Bharata- Resurgent India

Shyam Kumar

Bhara­ta has tra­di­tion­al­ly been con­sid­ered the kar­ma bhu­mi — the land of action and pun­ya bhoo­mi — a sacred land. It is a land which has been blessed by the feet of many mahat­mas and guru paramparas — unbro­ken lin­eages of enlight­ened mas­ters. This arti­cle is a hum­ble attempt to present some inter­est­ing details about our Bhu­mi, its cul­ture and its world­view. Like Hanu­man, we have for­got­ten the great­ness of our land and our peo­ple. Once we regain our civil­i­sa­tion­al mem­o­ry, once we remem­ber that we are “the descen­dants of Rishis” as Swa­mi Vivekanan­da said, we revere our bhu­mi and work for a resur­gent India. Our Bhu­mi From our old­est Vedas, Bhara­ta has con­sis­tent­ly been described as the land south of the Himalayas extend­ing up to the Sind­hu Sagara( The Indi­an Ocean). It is 3200 kilo­me­ters in length with an area of 329 mil­lion hectares mak­ing us the 8th largest coun­try in the world. How­ev­er, we have the sec­ond largest cul­tivable area in the world with 160 mil­lion hectares of high­ly fer­tile land. 60 per­cent of our land is cul­tivable as opposed to a glob­al aver­age of just 10 per­cent. What has made this land so extra­or­di­nar­i­ly fer­tile? The mighty Himalayas in the north has giv­en rise to great rivers like the Sind­hu, Ma Gan­ga and Brahma­pu­tra which irri­gate large parts of North­ern India. The Sind­hu Gan­ga plain is 80 mil­lion hectares in area, with slow run­ning rivers that irri­gate fer­tile fields. The soil is renewed every year by the rivers and the plain has a depth of 1400 meters! Maa Gan­ga alone gives life to over 40 crore peo­ple. From time immemo­r­i­al, our civil­i­sa­tion has been nur­tured on the banks of the Gan­ga, and she is right­ful­ly seen as a moth­er to our civil­i­sa­tion. The Gan­ga is so deeply entrenched in our civil­i­sa­tion­al mem­o­ry that many rivers in the Indi­an region have been named after her. The Mahaveli Gan­ga in Sri Lan­ka and the Mekong in Chi­na are named after her. The west­ern and east­ern coast has an area of 40 mil­lion hectares nur­tured by rivers like the Godavari, Krish­na and Cau­very. Civil­i­sa­tions across the world flour­ished on the banks of great rivers and we are blessed with many such, each capa­ble of sus­tain­ing a civil­i­sa­tion on its own. Rec­og­niz­ing the great bless­ing of these rivers, we bow down to them as our moth­ers. The flow of these rivers makes India the most irri­gat­ed land in the world with a poten­tial to dou­ble the irri­gat­ed area. Our aver­age annu­al rain­fall of 105 cm is among the high­est in the world. Surya deva casts his benign gaze on India through­out the year. This means that almost the whole of India can cul­ti­vate 2 crops a year, with many regions able to cul­ti­vate three crops in a year. There are very few regions world­wide that can boast of cul­ti­vat­ing three crops a year. Our bhu­mi, the Himalayas, our rivers and rain­fall com­bine to make us the rich­est agri­cul­tur­al region in the world. In spite of our large pop­u­la­tion we have a decent ratio of arable land per per­son. One mean­ing of Bharat is the land which is capa­ble of Bharana(feeding) the entire world. This incred­i­ble fer­til­i­ty has made Bharat the home to an extra­or­di­nar­i­ly wide vari­ety of flo­ra and fau­na. We have over 45,000 species of plants and 7500 species of fau­na. The sci­ences of Ayurve­da and Sid­dha flour­ished in our land. The Dharmic World­view The Himalayas in the north, the south­ern coasts with few nat­ur­al har­bours and the tor­ren­tial rain­fall in the east pro­tect­ed our bound­aries and allowed us to live secure­ly in our lands for mil­len­nia. An extra­or­di­nar­i­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed civil­i­sa­tion flour­ished in our land deeply anchored in Sanatana Dhar­ma — a civil­i­sa­tion of spir­i­tu­al, social and mate­r­i­al abun­dance. The Bharatiya world­view under­stood the essen­tial uni­ty of all cre­ation and saw it as the man­i­fes­ta­tion of the Divine. There­fore it become our Dhar­ma to live in sus­tain­able har­mo­ny with all exis­tence. This gave rise to a cul­ture filled with the spir­it of Yagna — joy­ous and self­less offer­ing — a cul­ture of shar­ing and abun­dance. As Swa­mi Chin­mayanan­da famous­ly said, this is a land where one can walk from the Himalayas to Kanyaku­mari with a staff, a bowl and a stick in hand and expect to be fed and clothed because our peo­ple will joy­ous­ly share and sup­port even with the lit­tle they have. This cul­ture of shar­ing is man­i­fest in many forms in this land. A famous exam­ple is the thin­nai that is seen out­side tra­di­tion­al south Indi­an homes where any­one can come and rest or even spend the night and leave. Tra­di­tion­al­ly food and med­i­cine were always to be giv­en as Dhana and nev­er sold. Even today these prin­ci­ples live on in many of our rur­al regions. The Gri­hastha( house­hold­er) was seen as the foun­da­tion of soci­ety and was giv­en the respon­si­bil­i­ty of car­ing for all of cre­ation. The house­hold­er was to earn Artha(Wealth) by dharmic means and spend them for dharmic caus­es — sus­te­nance of fam­i­ly, soci­ety and all liv­ing beings around. Com­mu­ni­ties and Gra­mas, organ­ic group­ings of peo­ple were con­sid­ered as legit­i­mate par­tic­i­pants in the state. The guid­ing prin­ci­ple was Swara­jya- Inde­pen­dence and Swavalam­ban- self-reliance. Each house­hold had its Swara­jya ‑its locus of action and respon­si­bil­i­ty, each gra­ma had its Swara­jya and so on in increas­ing cir­cles of inde­pen­dence. Even today, main­tain­ing law and order as well as social secu­ri­ty is still large­ly han­dled by the com­mu­ni­ty. India is one of the least policed coun­tries in the world and has one of the low­est crime rates in the world. India has a vio­lent crime rate of 4.6 crimes per 1,00,000 peo­ple while coun­tries like the Unit­ed States have fig­ures as high as 439, this despite spend­ing more and being bet­ter policed. Social secu­ri­ty com­pris­ing of health care, care of the elder­ly, the sick and the des­ti­tute are still large­ly han­dled by the com­mu­ni­ty in our land. These func­tions, which are han­dled by Gov­ern­ments in many devel­oped coun­tries take up more than 1/3 of the gov­ern­ment spend­ing. Dimen­sions of Indi­an Genius Irri­ga­tion was tak­en very seri­ous­ly across the whole of India and local­ly suit­ed tech­niques were devel­oped in every region. The famous ery sys­tem of Tamil Nadu ensured avail­abil­i­ty of water through­out the year. British records in the 1850s esti­mate that Madras pres­i­den­cy had over 50,000 inter­con­nect­ed tanks which were con­struct­ed and main­tained by the com­mu­ni­ty. Nat­ur­al farm­ing and bio-cul­tur­al meth­ods were high­ly devel­oped. There was also a sophis­ti­cat­ed sys­tem of redis­tri­b­u­tion that ensured social secu­ri­ty and pro­vid­ing of essen­tial ser­vices. Till 1800, India was the lead­ing pro­duc­er of tex­tiles in the world with thou­sands of vari­eties of fab­rics and weaves. Even with the indus­tri­al rev­o­lu­tion, Indi­an tex­tiles were com­pet­i­tive in terms of both price and qual­i­ty. The impo­si­tion of bru­tal tax and export tax rates, some­times up to 80 per­cent proved to be a cru­el blow to the tex­tile indus­try. The pat­tern was the same across oth­er indus­tries as well. India was sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly de-indus­tri­alised. Edu­ca­tion in India was large­ly com­mu­ni­ty sup­port­ed and com­mu­ni­ty run. The indi­vid­ual stu­dent had to only pay a nom­i­nal fee and in most cas­es edu­ca­tion was giv­en free to every­one. Each vil­lage had its own pri­ma­ry school and clus­ters of vil­lages had a cen­ter for high­er learn­ing. There was a cen­tral impor­tance giv­en to the teach­ing learn­ing process and infra­struc­ture was seen only as an aid. There were many uni­ver­si­ties of high­er edu­ca­tion includ­ing Nalan­da, Tax­i­la, Odan­ta­puri, Vikra­mashila etc. Dharam­pal, a Gand­hi­an his­tor­i­cal has used British Colo­nial records to demon­strate that there were over one lakh schools in Ben­gal in 1830! Madras Pres­i­den­cy had a well-devel­oped sys­tem of edu­ca­tion as well. Inter­est­ing­ly 80 per­cent of the stu­dents study­ing in Madras Pres­i­den­cy were from OBC, SC and ST back­grounds. Decline Under the British India suf­fered a ter­ri­ble decline in all dimen­sions — eco­nom­ic, social, and cul­tur­al under British rule. Angus Madisson’s report, shows that India had 32 per­cent of the world’s GDP in 1 A.D. It was 24.4 per­cent in 1700. By the end of British rule it was an abysmal 4.2 per­cent. Agri­cul­ture, indus­try and edu­ca­tion were sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly destroyed by oppres­sive and hos­tile poli­cies. Chen­galpet in 1770, before British rule had 50 per­cent of its pop­u­la­tion involved in agri­cul­ture. With­in a hun­dred years of British rule over 80 per­cent became depen­dent on agri­cul­ture due to the decline of indus­tries. In 1800 India was the lead­ing exporter of tex­tiles. By 1830, Indi­an tex­tiles were wiped out from the mar­ket. Thou­sands of weavers died of star­va­tion. In 1750 India had 25 per­cent of the world’s man­u­fac­tur­ing out­put. In 1913, it was 1.4 per­cent. Now is our time After Inde­pen­dence, we have strug­gled to come to our own. We have man­aged to achieve food suf­fi­cien­cy and even sur­plus food pro­duc­tion. Our eco­nom­ic growth over the last twen­ty years is among the fastest in the world. But much, much more needs to be done. But the sto­ry is not that of despair and the real­i­ty is not grim. We live in very excit­ing times. India today is the fastest grow­ing econ­o­my in the world. Our Demo­graph­ic div­i­dend has ensured that we will have an 86 crore work­ing pop­u­la­tion by 2020. This is a tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ty for us to trans­form this nation. The 2005 eco­nom­ic cen­sus said India has 4.5 crore entre­pre­neurs, a fig­ure far high­er than the glob­al aver­age. This is impor­tant because small indus­try employs over 10.5 crore peo­ple and con­tributes about 47 per­cent of our GDP. India is an entre­pre­neur­ial and entre­pre­neur dri­ven nation. Entre­pre­neur­ship blooms across the coun­try, even in unex­pect­ed places. Con­sid­er the town of Karur in Tamil Nadu, with a pop­u­la­tion of around sev­en lakhs. It has giv­en rise to two major banks, name­ly Karur Vaisya Bank and Lak­sh­mi Vilas Bank both with deposits of around fifty thou­sand crores! How did Karur a small town with no spe­cial edu­ca­tion­al ecosys­tem or gov­ern­ment patron­age give rise to these? Tirup­pur near Coim­bat­ore, exports tex­tiles worth sev­er­al thou­sand crores every year, with lit­tle infra­struc­tur­al or gov­ern­men­tal sup­port. The spir­it of com­mu­ni­ty and entre­pre­neur­ship is inher­ent­ly high across this nation. The com­bi­na­tion of eco­nom­ic growth, the demo­graph­ic div­i­dend and the inher­ent entre­pre­neur­ial spir­it makes for excit­ing times to live in. For the first time post-inde­pen­dence, there is a gen­er­a­tion which has the mind space to look beyond sur­vival and fam­i­ly and look at pur­su­ing aspi­ra­tions, build­ing com­pa­nies and engag­ing in nation-build­ing. That is us. What are we going to make with this immense pos­si­bil­i­ty? The gov­er­nance land­scape is equal­ly promis­ing. Devel­op­ment as an agen­da is being adopt­ed by par­ties across the polit­i­cal spec­trum and this res­onates with the com­mon vot­er. For prob­a­bly the first time in inde­pen­dent India, devel­op­ment is an issue that can swing elec­tions. Tech­nol­o­gy dri­ven gov­er­nance is becom­ing a real­i­ty with por­tals like data.gov.in pro­vid­ing free, open-source, gov­er­nance data and attendance.gov.in mon­i­tor­ing the atten­dance of cen­tral gov­ern­ment employ­ees. There is also an increas­ing space for youth in gov­er­nance. Many states have launched Chief Min­is­ters Fel­low­ships where the bright­est tal­ent from across the coun­try can work direct­ly under the chief min­is­ter in ensur­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of flag­ship schemes. The Maha­rash­tra War Room, is a team with­in the Maha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment, com­prised of young tech­nocrats, which over­sees and ensures effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion of key gov­ern­ment schemes. Most of the mem­bers are below 30 with no pre­vi­ous polit­i­cal back­grounds. The last two years have seen over 19,000 new vil­lages get­ting elec­tric­i­ty for the first time. Jan Dhan Yojana (Bank­ing for all), Aad­haar and mobile pay­ment plat­forms like BHIM have laid the foun­da­tion for path break­ing ini­tia­tives. Most sub­si­dies giv­en by the gov­ern­ment can be direct­ly deposit­ed in the accounts of the ben­e­fi­cia­ry. Dupli­ca­tion and false claims can be elim­i­nat­ed based on Aad­haar. Mobile pay­ments ensures that the com­mon cit­i­zen can access and trans­act using his bank accounts effort­less­ly. Our civil­i­sa­tion­al mem­o­ry shows us that this is no new phe­nom­e­non, but an ancient Bhara­ta which is being reju­ve­nat­ed and find­ing its right­ful place in the mod­ern world. We live in the cusp of excit­ing times, trans­for­ma­tion­al times. A few hun­dred years lat­er peo­ple may record this cen­tu­ry as deci­sive in the his­to­ry of Bharatha. Giv­en the immen­si­ty of what’s hap­pen­ing around us, giv­en the immense poten­tial and the excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties to build some­thing, to serve or engage in nation-build­ing, the ques­tion becomes: How do you wish to con­tribute?

Ref­er­ence:

  1. Time­less India, Resur­gent India — a pub­li­ca­tion by Cen­ter for Pol­i­cy Stud­ies, Chen­nai.

  2. Talks by Dr Guru­murthy on the eco­nom­ic aspects of

What­ev­er is of any val­ue in this arti­cle is due to the grace of the gurus. The mis­takes are entire­ly mine.

Siddhar Charithiram

Siddha Parampara of India

Venkata­pa­thy and Soorya­narayan

Machamu­ni is a great sid­dhar who was the brought up as a child by Sid­dhar Pin­na­keesar. He is also Pina­keesar’s dis­ci­ple. North Indi­an leg­ends tell that Machamu­ni was born under an inaus­pi­cious star. His par­ents threw the baby into the ocean. A fish swal­lowed the baby, where he lived for many years. Then there is a sto­ry that once Lord Siva was preach­ing Uma Devi. Uma Devi had slept when Lord Siva was preach­ing her. How­ev­er, the fish with the baby was lis­ten­ing to the lec­ture. Lat­er on, Sid­dhar Machamu­ni was redis­cov­ered by Lord Siva. Although it is a sto­ry, it is fas­ci­nat­ing indeed. In the 523rd song of “Karu­voorar Vad­ha Kaviyam”, Karu­voorar says that Machamu­ni is a Sem­ba­davar. Sem­ba­davar’s are the tra­di­tion­al fish­er­man. From the name Machamu­ni, it is easy to say that he is a fish­er­man (Macham mean fish in Tamil). Sid­dhar Agasthiar in the 218th song of his book “Amud­ha Kalai Ganam ” says that Machamu­ni belongs to the Sem­ba­davar social group. How­ev­er, Sid­dhar Bog­ar in the 5700th song of ” Bog­ar 7000 “, says that he belongs to ” Kallu­da­yar ” social group. Also in song 5873, he says that Machamu­ni was born on the Rohi­ni star in the Tamil month of Adi (July-August). Under­stand­ing the imper­ma­nence of human life, he in search of truth got teach­ings from Sid­dhar Kaka­pu­jan­dar. In the book ” Agasthiar 12000 “, in the fifth Kan­dam, Sid­dhar Agasthiar says that Machamu­ni had tak­en lessons from Sid­dhar Kaka­pu­jan­dar. He also says that he donat­ed all his wealth to poor peo­ple on attain­ing spir­i­tu­al sal­va­tion. He fol­lowed vaasiyo­gam and awak­ened his kun­dali­ni ener­gy to under­stand his inner self and attain sid­dhis. After 12 years of vaasiyo­gam, he got asta­masid­dhis and pro­nounced his major works in Sid­dha med­i­cine sys­tem. By tremen­dous efforts and con­stant prac­tice of med­i­ta­tion and yoga, he real­ized the true nature of the Self. After learn­ing Sid­dha med­i­cine, alche­my, gnana and Sid­dha yoga philoso­phies, by dint of his deep med­i­ta­tion he pro­posed many the­o­ries in the space and atom­ic sci­ences. Machamu­ni in his 97th song of his book ” Machamu­ni Thandagam 100 “, also men­tions the words “Guru Nand­hi” and “Guru Bog­ar”, while offer­ing prayers to his guru. Hence, it can be said that Sid­dhar Bog­ar and Sid­dhar Nan­deeswarar were also his gurus. Machamu­ni also men­tions about the Siva Than­da­va wit­nessed by Sid­dhar Pathan­jali in one of his songs. Hence, it can be said that he had lived in the peri­od when Sid­dhar Pathan­jali and Sri Viyakra­bathar wit­nessed the Siva Than­da­va in Thillai. Thillai is the oth­er name of Chi­dambaram and is one of the five dance halls of Lord Siva.

Machamu­ni Sid­dhar is called Machin­dranath or Mat­syen­dranath in the north­ern part of India. He is tra­di­tion­al­ly con­sid­ered the founder of hatha yoga as well as the author of some of its ear­li­est texts. He is also seen as the founder of the Natha Sam­pra­daya, hav­ing received the teach­ings from Shi­va. He is main­ly asso­ci­at­ed with kaula shaivism. He is also one of the eighty-four mahasid­dhas and con­sid­ered the guru of Gorak­shanath, anoth­er promi­nent fig­ure in ear­ly hatha yoga. He is revered by both Hin­dus and Bud­dhists, and is some­times regard­ed as an incar­na­tion of Aval­okiteś­vara. He attained jee­va samad­hi in Thiru­parankun­dram in Tamil nadu.

Some of the books writ­ten by Machamu­ni are

Machamu­ni Perunool Kaviyam 800

Machamu­ni Sarakku Vaip­pu 800

Machamu­ni Vagaram 800

Machamu­ni Yogam 800

Machamu­ni Vaithiyam 800

Machamu­ni Thiru­mandi­ram 800

Machamu­ni Gyanam 800

Machamu­ni Vedan­tham 800

Machamu­ni Gurunool 800

Machamu­ni Thitchavid­hi 100

Machamu­ni Thandagam 100

Machamu­ni Gyana Thitchai 50

Machamu­ni Sthoola Sukku­ma Karana Gyanam 30

Machamu­ni Suthi­ram 21

It is our bless­ing and priv­i­lege to expound some of the works of the great and ven­er­at­ed Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar or Machamu­ni. In this arti­cle, we will study one spe­cif­ic aspect from Machamu­ni Sid­dhar which is about the Kechari Mudra. Kechari Mudra is a vital prac­tice from the Yog­ic per­spec­tive and Machamu­ni Sid­dhar instructs on its impor­tance, prac­tice, and ben­e­fits through his poems.

ஓங்கார மாவதென்ன வென்று கேட்கில்உகாரமொன்று மகாரமொன்று அகார மொன்று

பாங்காக நின்றபிர ணவமே யாச்சு

பாரிந்தக் கருவல்லோ ஆசான் சொன்னார்

வாங்காத அகாரஉகா ரத்திற் சேர்ந்து

வன்னிநின்ற யிடமல்லோ மகார மாச்சு

தாங்காதே உரைக்கிற்றகே சரியைக் காட்டும்

சச்சிதா னந்தமென்ற மவுனந் தானேWhat becomes Aumkara, if so asked,

Are the syl­la­bles u, m and a

Stand­ing togeth­er to become Prana­va.

See! Isn’t this the nucle­us said by the Mas­ter!

Merg­ing with the a and u, unut­tered,

Hasn’t the fire-resid­ing place become the m syl­la­ble!

Inex­plic­a­ble, indi­cat­ing Kechari,

The silence called Sat-cit-anan­da!

The great Sid­dhar Boganathar has referred to Kechari mudra as the king of mudras. The Kechari mudra is a very advanced yog­ic prac­tice where the tongue is stretched and elon­gat­ed through var­i­ous prac­tices so as to roll it back and pen­e­trate the through the upper pas­sage to the nos­trils. This is done so as to arouse the kun­dali­ni to high­er chakras, there­by lead­ing to the efful­gence of ambrosia, and there­by lead­ing to the state of Sat-cit-anan­da. As part of the Anaa­di Foundation’s win­ter and sum­mer yatras, we have vis­it­ed the Kriya Yoga Ashram in Tapo­van, Rishikesh. The Ashram has been estab­lished by Shankaranda­giri Maharaj com­ing in the lin­eage of Yuk­tesh­wara­giri Maharaj. We found instruc­tions to sad­hakas print­ed and past­ed in many places say­ing, “Remem­ber to hold Kechari mudra while chant­i­ng your mantra.” Do join us the next time! And what is result of prac­tis­ing Kechari mudra? Sid­dhar Machamu­ni explains,

காணப்பா யிதுகண்டால் ஞானஞ் சித்திகைவிட்ட சூஸ்திரம்போல் தேகஞ் சித்தி

ஊணப்பா அஷ்டாங்க யோகஞ் சித்தி

ஒன்றுமில்லை யென்றுசொன்ன சரங்கள் சித்தி

தொணப்பா பிறவியத்த குணமோ சித்தி

சொல்லரிதா மென்றுசொன்ன மவுனஞ் சித்தி

வீணப்பா மற்றதெல்லாம் வாய்பேச் சாகும்

மேவியந்த கேசரிக்குள் விரைந்து கூடேSee! If this is real­ized, it leads to Sid­dhi of Wis­dom

(A Kite) Unteth­ered from the thread, leads to Sid­dhi of Body

Expe­ri­ence of the soul, lead­ing to Ash­tan­ga Yoga Sid­dhi

The state of emp­ty breath is a Sid­dhi

Attain­ing the qual­i­ty of no births is a Sid­dhi

The inex­plic­a­ble silence is a Sid­dhi

All else are vain pursuits/talk

Embrace the Kechari and quick­ly merge

Machamu­ni Sid­dhar very mys­ti­cal­ly explains how one can gain Sid­dhi over body and mind by the prac­tice of Kechari Mudra and how impor­tant it is. He com­pares the one who has mas­tered Kechari Mudra to a Kite unteth­ered from its thread. Here thread refers to the knot that ties us to the body. What hap­pens to one who unteth­ers from this knot? What is the free­dom they get? Machamu­ni con­tin­ues:

மதிகெட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சுமகத்தான கேசரிக்குள் வாழ்ந்தோர்க் காச்சு

விதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு

வேதாந்த சிரோமணியாம் ஞானிக் காச்சு

பதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு

பராபரத்தை யம்பாரமாய்ப் பாய்ந்தொர்க் காச்சு

கெதிகேட்டா ரென்றசொல் லாருக் காச்சு

கேள்வியற்ற மூடருக்குக் கிட்டுந் தானேThe term intox­i­cat­ed per­son has come to refer

Those who are dwelling in the sacred Kechari

The term anni­hi­la­tors of des­tiny has come to refer

Those who are shin­ing Vedan­ta-Jnani gems

The term ungod­ly per­sons has come to refer

Those who have plunged in the Para­para

The term non-con­formists has come to refer

Those who are dumb with no more ques­tions

Sid­dhi over Kechari Mudra gives us spir­i­tu­al intox­i­ca­tion that no one can dream of. It is our wish that you explore this yog­ic trea­sure under an able-guru. To go beyond likes and dis­likes, to reach the state of Mok­sha- the Eter­nal Free­dom!

In this edi­tion, we have pre­sent­ed a few gems from the works of Mat­syen­dranatha Sid­dhar from his tamil text “Kaarana 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 anaadifoundation@gmail.com. In absorb­ing this, may our abhyasa con­tin­ue, may our shrad­dha in the Sid­dha Parampara strength­en and may rev­e­la­tions awak­en as we grow with­in!

Prakriti Darshana

Millets: From the farm to the palm

Dietary choic­es have an impact on the plan­et in a very sig­nif­i­cant way. They deter­mine the kind of food that is pro­duced and what hap­pens to the food after it is pro­duced. While the high focus on increas­ing food avail­abil­i­ty by mass cul­ti­va­tion of cer­tain crops like rice and wheat have helped to alle­vi­ate hunger, they have also result­ed in sev­er­al prob­lems includ­ing a) mono­cul­ture lead­ing to reduced bio­di­ver­si­ty: of the 50,000 plant vari­eties rice, wheat and maize account for 60% of the plant-based food sup­ply b) increase in the car­bon foot­print of food due to usage of fer­til­iz­ers for cul­ti­va­tion, pro­cess­ing of food and trans­porta­tion c) large vol­umes of food wastage.

In a devel­op­ing coun­try like India which has a pop­u­la­tion of 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple, one hand the poli­cies laid out to increase food pro­duc­tion did help to reduce hunger but on the oth­er hand they have reduced the nutri­tion­al diver­si­ty of food. For instance, in 2016, India pro­duced about 103 mil­lion tonnes of rice while only 17 mil­lion tonnes of puls­es. A lop­sided focus on rice and wheat not only reduces the nutri­tion­al diver­si­ty but also imbal­ances the water con­sump­tion by agri­cul­ture and the rain­fall depen­den­cy. Rice requires about 2.7 mil­lion acre-feet of water and 1250 mm of rain­fall in con­trast to grains that need only .8 mil­lion acre-feet and 350 mm of rain­fall. Dietary pat­terns in turn are impact­ed by the pro­duc­tion and avail­abil­i­ty of the foods of choice. So the cul­ti­va­tion is depen­dent on the demand and the demand dri­ves pro­duc­tion. Hence sus­tain­able diet not only involves the con­sump­tion of nutri­tion­al and ener­gy effi­cient foods but also the pro­duc­tion of the same. Solu­tions address­ing respon­si­ble and sus­tain­able food con­sump­tion can lead to both incre­men­tal and rapid trans­for­ma­tions as dif­fer­ent stake­hold­ers like farm­ers, end con­sumers, food retail­ers, tech­nol­o­gists and pol­i­cy mak­ers join hands. In the above con­text, mil­lets are won­der grains and for mil­len­nia we have been con­sum­ing them. How­ev­er after the Green Rev­o­lu­tion, rice and wheat start­ed dom­i­nat­ing the farm­lands and mil­lets that are far more sus­tain­able, slow­ly but steadi­ly began dis­ap­pear­ing from our food sys­tem. Get­ting peo­ple to change their food habits is not easy. Chang­ing the entire farm­ing and food sys­tem is even big­ger a chal­lenge. Here are some rea­sons why you should start includ­ing mil­lets in your diet today:

  1. Mil­lets are packed with nutri­ents:

  2. High Fibre – All mil­lets have at least 5 times the amount of fibre as rice. Barn­yard mil­let has 50 times as much.

  3. Low Glycemic Index – Mil­lets con­tain com­plex car­bo­hy­drates that digest slow­ly and release sug­ar slow­ly into the blood­stream. They are an ide­al diet choice for dia­bet­ics and those at risk of meta­bol­ic dis­or­ders.

  4. High Cal­ci­um – Fin­ger mil­let has thir­ty times more cal­ci­um than rice, while every oth­er mil­let has at least twice the amount of cal­ci­um com­pared to rice.

  5. Iron con­tent – In their iron con­tent, fox­tail and lit­tle mil­let are so rich that rice is nowhere in the race.

  6. Mil­lets are also rich in min­er­als and micronu­tri­ents like Beta Carotene, which rice com­plete­ly lacks. Since mil­lets are supe­ri­or to rice in all aspects of nutri­tion, they can be used to solve the rur­al as well as urban mal­nu­tri­tion prob­lem that the world is fac­ing today. Obe­si­ty, dia­betes, heart dis­eases among the urban pop­u­la­tions of the world can be traced back to their dietary imbal­ance and the pres­ence of car­bo­hy­drates and absence of oth­er nutri­tion­al ele­ments in our diet. To over­come these prob­lems, increased use of mil­lets in our diets can be the answer.

Are mil­lets tasty? Sure, mil­lets are nutri­tious. But, how do they taste? Mil­lets cer­tain­ly are tasty foods. For gen­er­a­tions, Indi­ans have been con­sum­ing mil­lets as a part of their dai­ly food. Ragi por­ridge, Pearl mil­let por­ridge, mil­let lad­doos, mil­let upma, mil­let dosas are very pop­u­lar dish­es. Processed foods like mil­let cook­ies, cakes, nutri­tion bars, puffed mil­let snacks, mil­let heath mix­es, etc can also be found in most of the super­mar­kets and local stores. Almost all foods that are cooked with rice and wheat can be pre­pared with mil­lets. Each mil­let adds a unique flavour to the dish and con­sum­ing mil­lets also ensures a healthy diges­tive sys­tem due to its high fibre con­tent. Also mil­let cook­ies do not stick to the mouth like oth­er cook­ies, and this adds a lot of taste to it.

Mil­lets need hard­ly any irri­ga­tion: Mil­lets are rain fed crops and hence they need no irri­ga­tion. Lets us look at the water foot­print of grow­ing 1 acre of mil­let and 1 acre of rice. It takes 6 mil­lion litres of water to cul­ti­vate one acre of rice. This equals the annu­al water con­sump­tion of 100 fam­i­lies. To sim­ply put it, 1 tanker full of water goes into pro­duc­ing 1 kg of rice! On the oth­er hands mil­lets require only about 28% of the water needs of pad­dy, and can also with­stand severe droughts. They can go with­out water for more than a month. That is why mil­lets can with­stand drought-like con­di­tions in the Dec­can and Rajasthan and pro­duce food and fod­der. Mil­lets grow on the poor­est of soils Mil­lets are often grow­ing on skele­tal soils that are less than 15 cm deep. Mil­lets do not demand rich soils for their sur­vival and growth. Hence, for the vast dry­land area, they are a boon. Mil­lets can grow in poor qual­i­ty soils, turn­ing hith­er­to uncul­tivable land into pro­duc­tive farms. Togeth­er with their com­pan­ion crops, mil­lets enrich and build the soil. Most mil­lets can be grown on low fer­til­i­ty soils, some in acidic soils and some on saline soils, which is a tes­ti­mo­ny to their har­di­ness and extra­or­di­nary capac­i­ty to sur­vive very harsh con­di­tions. Mil­lets such as Pearl mil­let can be grown on sandy soils as is done in Rajasthan. Poor farm­ers espe­cial­ly in dry­land India are own­ers of very poor lands and low fer­til­i­ty farms. The only crops that sus­tain agri­cul­ture and food secu­ri­ty on these lands are mil­lets. Mil­lets pro­duce mul­ti­ple secu­ri­ty They offer not only food but also fod­der, health, nutri­tion, liveli­hood and eco­log­i­cal secu­ri­ty. The residues from Sorghum and Pearl Mil­let are also exten­sive­ly used as domes­tic con­struc­tion mate­ri­als, live­stock feed as well as for fuel. Mil­let farms are inher­ent­ly bio­di­verse and hence pro­vide secu­ri­ty to the farmer. Being all sea­son crops, they can be cul­ti­vat­ed all year round. A mil­let farm has sev­er­al oth­er crops such as ground­nut, horse gram and lentil plant­ed with­in it. Com­bined with the fact that no pes­ti­cides are used, such a farm becomes a thriv­ing ecosys­tem. Mul­ti crop farms are a nat­ur­al insur­ance against not only pests, but unpre­dictable weath­er and mar­ket pric­ing as well. If one crop fails, the farmer has oth­ers to use for food and to sell. Thus, while oth­er food crops can offer us food secu­ri­ty, mil­lets can offer mul­ti­ple secu­ri­ties. Mil­lets do not require chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers: Mil­lets do not demand syn­thet­ic fer­til­iz­ers. In fact, under dry­land con­di­tions, mil­lets grow bet­ter in the absence of chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers. There­fore, most mil­let farm­ers grow them using farm­yard manure under pure­ly eco-friend­ly con­di­tions. In recent years, farm­ers have also start­ed using bio fer­tilis­ers such as ver­mi­com­post pro­duced in their back­yard and growth pro­mot­ers such as pan­cha­gavya, amrit pani etc. These prac­tices make mil­let pro­duc­tion not only eco-friend­ly but stays under the con­trol of farm­ers. Less demand for fer­til­iz­ers also helps aquat­ic habi­tats and dis­cour­ages pol­lut­ing indus­tries. In a time when most farm­ers get into severe debts for pur­chas­ing chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers, and end their lives as a result, encour­ag­ing mil­lets is a step towards help­ing them. Resis­tant to pests Some mil­lets like the Fox­tail mil­let are com­plete­ly pest free. Oth­er mil­lets don’t need chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides to grow as their seed coats are strong and deter most insects. Unlike oth­er grains, mil­lets are resis­tant to most pests, which means that the farmer need not spend mon­ey buy­ing harm­ful pes­ti­cides. This also ensures that the farmer’s health is not affect­ed by spray­ing pes­ti­cides and most of the mil­let fields are healthy with­out the pres­ence of chem­i­cals. Sim­ple tra­di­tion­al meth­ods of pest con­trol will take care of the pests. The next time you buy mil­lets, you need not wor­ry about the “organ­ic” tag, because most mil­lets are cul­ti­vat­ed pes­ti­cide-free any­way. Most of them are not affect­ed by stor­age pests either. They are nature’s boon to the agri­cul­tur­al com­mu­ni­ty. Mil­lets as Cli­mate Change Com­pli­ant Crops Mil­lets are not only adapt­able to wide range of geo­graph­i­cal and eco­log­i­cal con­di­tions but also resilient to agro-cli­mat­ic vari­a­tions. Due to all the qual­i­ties men­tioned above, Mil­lets remain our agri­cul­tur­al answer to the cli­mate cri­sis that the world is fac­ing. Cli­mate Change is expect­ed to con­front us with three chal­lenges.

  1. Increase in tem­per­a­ture upto 2–5 degree Cel­sius

  2. Increas­ing water stress

  3. Severe mal­nu­tri­tion

And mil­lets have the capac­i­ty to meet these chal­lenges:

  1. They can with­stand high­er heat regimes and tem­per­a­tures upto 46 degrees Cel­sius.

  2. Mil­lets grow under non-irri­gat­ed con­di­tions in such low rain­fall regimes as between 200 mm and 500 mm. Thus, they can also face the water stress and grow.

Every one of the mil­lets is a store­house of dozens of nutri­ents in large quan­ti­ties. They include major and micronu­tri­ents need­ed by the human body. Hence they can help peo­ple with­stand mal­nu­tri­tion. It is impor­tant to note that with the pro­ject­ed 2 degree Cel­sius tem­per­a­ture rise, wheat might dis­ap­pear from our midst, since it is an extreme­ly ther­mal sen­si­tive crop. Sim­i­lar­ly, the way rice is grown under stand­ing water makes it a dan­ger­ous crop under cli­mate change con­di­tions. Mil­lets are not just food; they are an inte­gral part of the cul­ture of thou­sands of com­mu­ni­ties all over the coun­try. It is a food that is so deeply inte­grat­ed into the cul­ture of com­mu­ni­ties. As con­sumers, we are the key deci­sion mak­ers who not only decide what we, our fam­i­ly and friends eat, but also decide the future of our food sys­tem. When we opt for health­i­er and more sus­tain­able foods in the mar­ket, the demand for such food increas­es and retail­ers also start procur­ing these foods. Trends are bound to move towards sus­tain­abil­i­ty. And always remem­ber: Farm­ers grow what we eat and retail­ers sell what we buy. It is nev­er the oth­er way round.

Kathalaya

Stories for the young

Bha­jagovin­dam — 8

गेयं गीतानामसहस्रं ध्येयं श्रीपतिरूपमजस्रम् । नेयं सज्जनसङ्गे चित्तं देयं दीनजनाय च वित्तम् ॥ २७॥Geyam Gitaa naa­ma sahas­ram Dhyeyam Sri­pathi roopa­ma­jas­ram Neyam saj­jana sange chit­tam Deyam deena­janaaya cha vit­tam (27)Trans­la­tion Sing the thou­sand names of the Lord, con­stant­ly remem­ber His form, enjoy the com­pa­ny of good peo­ple and share your wealth with the needy.

Nara­da Mahar­ishi, as always, had a doubt. He asked Lord Vish­nu, “What is the ben­e­fit of asso­ci­at­ing with good peo­ple?” Lord Vish­nu is like the many teach­ers you see. No direct answers! Find it for your­self! Lord Vish­nu told Nara­da to ask a par­rot perched on a tree. Nara­da saw the par­rot and asked the ques­tion. The par­rot imme­di­ate­ly dropped dead! Nara­da was shocked. He ran back to Vish­nu and asked Him about the inci­dent. Vish­nu said, “There is a calf out there. Please put your ques­tion to him”. Nara­da then asked the calf and the calf too fell dead. Nara­da was real­ly wor­ried. He won­dered if he had com­mit­ted a sin by ask­ing such a ques­tion. He ran back to Vish­nu total­ly shocked and Vish­nu with His usu­al calm smile said “There is a prince out there. Go and ask him”. Now Nara­da would­n’t go. Nara­da said “Prab­hu! Once bit­ten twice shy! I don’t want the prince to die”. Vish­nu assured him that noth­ing would hap­pen. Nara­da went to the Prince. Nara­da swal­lowed hard for every word he said, fear­ing that the Prince might die upon com­plet­ing the sen­tence. Once Nara­da com­plet­ed the ques­tion, the Prince laughed. Nara­da was relieved that the prince did­n’t die after all. The prince said “Lord! How is it pos­si­ble that you ask this ques­tion to me while you are always in the com­pa­ny of Narayana? I was a par­rot and the moment I asso­ci­at­ed with you, I died and came back as an evolved cow. The moment the cow asso­ci­at­ed with you, it died and now it is a prince. Now! The moment I saw you I am enlight­ened. Such is the pow­er of asso­ci­a­tion.”. Nara­da was speech­less! In this shlo­ka, Shankara high­lights the impor­tance of chant­i­ng the Lord’s name, remem­ber­ing the Lord’s form, enjoy­ing the com­pa­ny of good peo­ple and shar­ing one’s wealth with oth­ers. It is very impor­tant to pay atten­tion to the kind of peo­ple we asso­ciate with. The more evolved they are, the bet­ter the chances of our evo­lu­tion too. Many a time you may have expe­ri­enced a pres­sure from oth­ers to do things that you may not do by your­self. These may be good things or may not be accept­able things. Hence, pay­ing con­scious atten­tion to the peo­ple around you is impor­tant. Some peo­ple take this to extremes and lock them­selves up in seclu­sion. That will also not help unless you are the mature kind of per­son who can han­dle your­self. Become aware of the influ­ence your friends have on you and things will auto­mat­i­cal­ly fall in line. Good luck with your asso­ci­a­tions!


From the lives of Mahat­mas

As nar­rat­ed by Shri Adi­narayanan at Para­manan­danub­ha­va, Rishikesh 2015 -

The impor­tant thing is what prin­ci­ples we can draw in from the lives of mahat­mas and apply in our lives, and keep going, as there is a lot of work to do. See, even mir­a­cles and so on, what is the big deal? You just look at it with­in the frame of ref­er­ence log­i­cal­ly. An inci­dent in Ramakr­ish­na Parama­ham­sa’s life beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trates it. (Ramakr­ish­na Parama­ham­sa was the Guru of Swa­mi Vivekanan­da.) There was a yogi who trained real­ly hard, and he could light a fire just by mere sight. He came and demon­strat­ed it to Sri Ramakr­ish­na Parama­ham­sa. His dis­ci­ples were mighty impressed. Ramakr­ish­na sim­ply said, ”Eh! Antha theep­et­ti kon­du­va da. Ithukku than iva­lo aarpatam ah? Hey! Bring me those match­sticks. Is this what all this fuss is about?” [Laugh­ter]

Sri Ramakr­ish­na Parama­ham­sa

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