Saturday, July 16, 2011
kraman sent you a video: "Visit to Carisbrooke Castle in Isle of Wight.wmv" - firstname.lastname@example.org - Gmail
Friday, April 15, 2011
It was in the year 1961 (towards the end of November) that my meeting with His Holiness took place. I was then on my third visit of India. Twice, previously I had come to India and had traveled all over the country devoting many months to the quest of a genuine Master of Spiritual Light and though I had been able to meet quite a few so-called saints (many of them being famous even in the West) still my heart remained dissatisfied, for they certainly did not measure up to my conception of a real God-man. I had begun to doubt even the existence of such a God-man in India. Nevertheless, I decided to embark on a last trial, one last quest.
This time, I did not go about in the usual way, viz., by asking, enquiring, checking etc., but devoted much of time to silent concentration and praying for Divine Guidance.
I wanted to start my quest from Madras this time. One day, after an hour or so of intense prayer to God (that He may lead my steps in the right direction) I decided to leave the room and to go out for a walk on the beach. As I was passing through the hall of my hotel I was unexpectedly stopped by a South Indian gentleman who addressed me like this: "The Master you are looking for is not far from here. His name is.....". and it was then that I heard for the first time mentioned the name of His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya! Amazed by this evident :lead" - though still a little skeptical, I decided to follow it. But the nice and helpful gentleman was unfortunately not able to give me the exact whereabouts of the Saint. He just knew he was in some small village in South India, and that was all he could tell me. I left Madras, but it turned out to be quite an elaborate quest. For I got the most contradictory answers to my questions. No two answers were alike, though the people seemed very friendly and eager to volunteer all they knew about the whereabouts of the great man. It was extremely frustrating and irritating! I spent quite some time chasing the elusive and ever-fleeing Saint, until I finally finding him, perhaps even doubting the very existence of the man. And then, one night as I was lying on my bed in one of those rather depressing railway retiring rooms, there was knock against my door. As I opened, there stood a young taxi driver. He would take me to Sri Sankaracharya, he said, for he knew exactly where to find him. For some strange reason I trusted the young man and just told him to be ready to leave very early next morning. My trust turned out to be well placed! After only a few hours of driving inland, following a very small and dusty road, we arrived (it was almost 10' clock) at a small temple near a village called Elayattankudi.
The numerous Brahmins present immediately reassured me that I had finally reached the goal of my quest. "I have come long was to seek His Holiness" said I.
"Yes, yes. He is expecting you!" came the incredible answer.
People had warned me that it would be difficult to be received by the Saint, and that even in the event that he would receive me, I'd probably have to wait for a long time! Well, in less than five minutes, I was standing before His Holiness!
I felt immediately that I was standing in the presence of real Greatness. What simplicity, what peace, what silence! A strong wave of veneration walled up from my heart. At last through GOD's mercy I had found what I had been looking for all these years! Although Sri Sankaracharya could not possible have heard of me before or known me in any human way, he nevertheless seemed to know everything about me. It was extraordinary! He did not need to ask me all those questions that I had been accustomed to answer in the presence of all those other so called saints, such as, "Where are you from" What do you do? Why have you come to India" - questions that made them appear to the more like curious reporters rather than omniscient saints! Here was a man who could see through me and read my mind like an open book without having to ask one single question! A wonderful sense of peace descended on my soul as the great and gentle man proceeded to answer all my conscious and my unconscious questions, without my having to ask them verbally! A sense of genuine and deep love for this loving man flooded my heart and my feeling of tremendous gratitude as I listened silently to his wonderful words. What a memorable hour this was!
Before I left, he blessed me and asked me to concentrate on him that very evening at 8 O' clock, when I would be back in Trichinopoly. Furthermore, I had to promise that before leaving India I would write to him and tell him about my further experiences in India!
That same evening back in Trichy I discovered the real meaning of the word "blessing"! As I was concentrating (as agreed) on His Holiness, I suddenly felt such an terrific spiritual strength that it almost overwhelmed me! What a concrete and tangible experience that blessing was!
Once should not be astonished at my enthusiasm provoked by the experience of real blessing! Up to that moment in Trichy I had been thinking of blessing only in terms of the empty, meaningless forceless gestures of Western priesthood and Popery! But this was the revelation that the blessing of a true Saint meant a transmission of tremendous spiritual power, a power as real and tangible as electricity and not just the meaningless sprinkling of water on things, animals and people!
I have not seen the Jagadguru since, but our spiritual contact has never been interrupted. Sometimes I write and the amazing thing is that his answer invariably strikes at the vital point of each question, leaving me awed at the incredible insight of the Great Master! So, as you can see, distance is no hindrance to a close spiritual contact... all I have to do is to concentrate let me end this short article by saying once more that it was indeed a blessed day when I met His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya.
Great Master of Spiritual Light
I shall not miss this sacred opportunity to send His Holiness-with the whole of my heart-my very best wished and to express my great reverence for Him and the great admiration in which I hold him. May god keep His Holiness in good health for the benefit of all sincere spiritual aspirants and devotees. I am honoured to be one of them and I know that we all need His Holiness.
How often have I not said to myself in these last few years : "Thank Heaven that such a being like Sri Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha exists."
He is the greatest Light of India.
I've looked all over India for spiritual guidance. But nobody could satisfy my thirst, for all the so called Indian Saints (and among them were famous names) just did not make the weight : and then I had the extraordinary chance to meet Him.
The moment I saw Him I felt unmistakably that I was in the presence of the Great Master, of a Spiritual Light. After all these disappointments I have begun to doubt and to think that it was no more possible to find in India what I was searching for. But in the presence of His Holiness all my doubts vanished. His Holiness justifies the claim that India still has a spiritual treasure to offer.
All these years I have carried Him in my heart with undiminished love and genuine respect. Whenever people complained to me about the incredible number of spiritual charlatans in India who post as saints and there by help in discrediting spiritual India, I reply "Ah yes, you are right. But do not forget. There still is a Sankaracharya that makes us all the rest. Go to His Holiness if you can, and all your doubts will be dispelled". Verily, one has to love and respect Mother India for having given birth to such a unique Son.
As long as I exist His Holiness shall always live in my heart as the greatest figure I ever had the privilege to encounter. With infinite respect and all my love I greet His Holiness with devotion on this momentous occasion.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Hariyudan Naan - yaar antha naan? At the end of the mega finale which was held in Sheikh Rashid Auditorium in Indian High School in Dubai we found out the answer to this question. Instead of Naan it was actually Naangal as the Judges selected one female and one male singer.
Ravishankar and Lakshmi ended up as the joint winners of this one year old show. The first runner up was Sharanya and the Second Runner up was Gopalakrishnan.
Kartik was voted by viewers through SMS and received highest number of votes though the Judges eliminated him after the second round.
The Grand Finale was started at 6.45 p.m. and ended at 11.45 p.m. It was 5 hours of non-stop entertainment and the entire audience was glued to their seats throughout the show. It was a fantastic event and was very well directed and conducted. Hats off to Director of the show Ms.Subhashree Thanikachalam.
Chinmayee took on the role of Vijay Aadhiraj and compered the Grand Finale.
The evening started with a chorus sung by all the Seven Finalists - Niranjan, Ravishankar, Kartik, Gopalakrishnan, Lakshmi, Sharanya and Bhargavi.
Chinmayee then entertained the audience with two great hits Maiya Maiya and Kilimanjaro. Anush gave the male voice support for the Kilimanjaro song. Anush was specially invited by Hariharan to play the keyboard for the finals.
Sharath then rendered a classical malayalam song which was composed and sung by him last year for which he won the Kerala State Award. His singing was simply superb and extraordinary. The Audience gave him a huge round of applause.James Vasanthan said Sharath is a "Asuran" in singing and composing. James could have better described Sharath as the "Chackravarthy" as "Asuran" is always linked to evil.
Hariharan then came on stage to entertain the audience by rending three songs - viz., Nenjukkul peithidum vaanmazhai; Nilavu paattu nilavu paattu and the great Amitabh Hit - Rang Barusae beege chunaruvaali rang barusae. He wished Happy Holi to all the audience (I do not understand why he chose to sing that song and also wish Happy Holi to a Tamil Audience - may be a national integration effort).
The First Round of the Grand Finale was "Performance Round". Kartik was the first to sing and he chose "Uyirin Uyire" and sang really well.
Lakshmi chose the song "Who's the Hero who's the hero kaakka vandha vaathiyaaro". She did a splendid job.
Niranjan selected a difficult song "mazhai thuli mazhai thuli mannil sangamam". He handled the song very well.
Bhargavi made a wrong selection and rendered "aiyo pathikichi pathikichi o o penne". This song ensured her elimination from the first round and made the choice for the Judges very easy and simple.
Gopalakrishnan selected "urvasi urvasi take it easy urvasi" and did well.
Sharanya chose the A.R.Rahman hit "konjam nilavu konjam neruppu ondraaga saernthaal enthan degam". She sang exceptionally well.
Ravishankar sang "thathai thathai" from Manmadan. He sang this song with total ease and did a very good job of it.
At the end of the first round the Judges announced the elimination of Bhargavi.
Ranjit came and rendered two songs - "raja raja rocket raja" from Siruthai and the remix "ennoda raasi nalla raasi" from mappillai.
The second round was a medley round wherein the six participants were to sing a few songs (due to time constraints it was kept at 2 - 3 songs instead of 5 songs).
Lakshmi started the round very well with some excellent P.Suseela numbers like "thamizhukku amudendru paer"; "pon ezhil poothathu pudhu vaanil" and "kattodu kuzhal aada aada". These are very soothing melodies of the great P.Suseela and Lakshmi handled the medley exceptionally well.
Kartik was the second to perform with two songs "ennai vittaal yaarum illai kanmaniye unn kai thazhuva" and "chinna chinna kannanukku". I felt he could have chosen some other songs for the medley.
Sharanya chose Ilayaraja hits "edhedho ennam valarthen"; "pani vizhum iravil nanaindhadhu nilavu" and "kalai thendral paadi varum raagam pudhu raagam".
Niranjan chose S.P.B. Hits and sang "aval oru navarasa naadagam"; "mandram vantha thendralukku manjam vara ennam illaiyo" "thaen sindhudhe vaanam" "Idayam oru kovil adhil udhayam oru paadal".
Ravishankar chose Yesudas hits and sang "poo maalai vaangi vandhaal pookkal illaiye"; "uravugal thodarkadai unarvugal sirukadhai" and "unnidam mayangugiren". He did an exceptionally good job and the third song "unnidam mayangugiren" really made the audience spell bound.
Gopalakrishna sang "mazhaiyum neeye veyyilum neeye" from Azhagan and "aen pennendru pirandhai" from Love Today. I felt he could have chosen some other songs.
I was expecting Gopalakrishnan to be eliminated after the second round but to the surprise of several people in the audience Kartik was eliminated by the Judges.
The Third and Final Round was then open for the remaining five singers to render challenging songs.
Lakshmi started the final round with the great all time hit of L.R.Easwari "pattathu raani paarkum paarvai vetrikku thaan ena enna vendum". He sang very well and kept the tempo very well throughout the song.
Niranjan selected the Balamurali Krishna hit song "oru naal podhumaa". He sang exceptionally well and gave a real threat to the other contestants with this number.
Sharanya chose the great all time hit of P.Suseela "Naalai entha velai paarthu odi vaa nilaa". It is a very nice melody of the great legend P.Suseela and Sharanya really sang well.
Gopalakrishnan chose the Hariharan hit number "kaadal theendave - udaya udaya unarugiren". He sang very well but I felt he could have chosen some other song.
Ravishankar then came and sang the great super hit song from Bale Pandiya "neeye unakku endrum nigaraanavan". He handled the song exceptionally well and got the maximum applause from the audience during the song. Once he finished singing the song the audience clapped for almost three minutes non-stop. He was emotionally moved by the applause and standing ovation. I have heard this song being sung in several competitions and programmes but I have never heard anybody sing like Ravishankar with such perfection and ease. It was a fantastic performance.
Hariharan said there is a twist in the story and instead of selecting one winner they have decided to select two. Ravishankar and Lakshmi were chosen as the joint winners of the Hariyudan Naan competition.
The moral of the story is "knowledge of carnatic music and training in classical music is extremely important and essential to become a good singer". Both Ravishankar and Lakshmi have been learining carnatic music and that has helped them a great deal to grasp the tips given by the Judges over the last one year.
I have watched several live shows in my life and this 5 hour show in Dubai for the Grand Finale for Hariyudan Naan will remain as one of the greatest shows seen by me.
Compiled by a friend of mine at Dubai.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
- through thoughts
- through words
- through actions that we perform ourselves
- through actions others do under our instructions
- Sanchita is the accumulated karma. It would be impossible to experience and endure all Karmas in one life. From this stock of sanchita karma, a handful is taken out to serve one lifetime and this handful of actions, which has begun to bear fruit and which will be exhausted only on their fruit being enjoyed and not otherwise, is known as prarabdha karma.
- Prarabdha Fruit-bearing karma is the portion of accumulated karma that has "ripened" and appears as a particular problem in the present life.
- Kriyamana is everything that we produce in current life. All kriyamana karmas flow in to sanchita karma and consequently shape our future. Only in human life we can change our future destiny. After death we loose Kriya Shakti (ability to act) and do (kriyamana) karma until we are born again in human body.
The role of divine forces
Gita interpretations and role of Guru
Views of the theistic Hindu traditions believing in a supreme God
Other schools of Vedanta
Sacred Texts - Bhagavata Purana
Many names in the Vishnu Sahasranama, the thousand names of Vishnu allude to the power of God in controlling karma. For example, the 135th name of Vishnu, Dharmadhyaksha, in the Advaita philosopher Sankara's interpretation means, "One who directly sees the merits (Dharma) and demerits (Adharma), of beings by bestowing their due rewards on them."
Gaudiya Vaishnavism view
Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj
Other Vaishnavite thoughts
Mitigation of bad karma
Relation between birth in a particular body to karma
Relation between astrology and karma
Other uses in Hinduism
- the ultimate agency that predetermines the course of events
- the inevitable fortune that befalls a person or thing; destiny
- the end or final result
- a calamitous or unfavourable outcome or result; death, destruction, or downfall
- something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot: It is always his fate to be left behind.
- the universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably prescribed; the decreed cause of events; time: Fate decreed that they would never meet again.
- that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny: Death is our ineluctable fate.
- a prophetic declaration of what must be: The oracle pronounced their fate.
- death, destruction, or ruin.
- the Fates, Classical Mythology . the three goddesses of destiny, known to the Greeks as the Moerae and to the Romans as the Parcae.
- Destiny, an inevitable course of events
- one of the Fates or Moirae
- any other Fate deity