Sunday, February 22, 2009


The Whole Creation,is the dance or play



(Shiva Tandav).,the dance of one conciousness.
Which manifested into a million species in the world.
Like the Mind, Memory and Intellect.
Shiva is also a tatva(element or principle in us).
Shivratri is when the Shiva Tatva and Shakti become one.
Shivratri is auspicious becaus ethe environment is more alive.
- H.H Sri Sri Ravishankarji.
(Mahashivratri is on 23rd feb. Do catch the celebrations live from 6 p.m onwards on Sanskar T.v.)

Forever Bangalorean!!!

Bangalore Mirror” did a fantastic job by inviting His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar, and arranging a Huge gathering of city folks to spend an evening with Him in Kantirava Stadium on 21st Feb!
Wow, what a pleasant evening it was. Thousands of citizens from Bangalore, Flood Lights filling the stadium ground, and soothing melodious music by DR. Manikandan and Bhanudidi.
Without wasting time in formalities, Sri Sri immediately tuned up with Bangaloreans and spoke about various things we could do in Bangalore. First and foremost, clean and green bangalore. He sighted an example of a city in Maharashtra, where volunteers are taking brooms in hand, and cleaning up the city!!
He said then, that we have to clean up the city from outside and then from inside. The violence in the city was never heard of.He then reflected on his growing up years. In His youth college days, He recalled that when all south India was protesting anti-Hindi slogans, Karnataka remained silent, and preferred to be peaceful. He said, the students even used to get gifts, clothes to make them protest, but they didn’t except it. In those days, there was no view of meat on roadside shops. All non-veg would be available only in one corner of the city, and it would need to be wrapped and hidden and taken, if one wished to. This was because the city had such sensitivity towards anything violent. We need to bring back that sensitivity and stand up and take action against the perpetrators of crime and violence. He suggested that we should be careful not to give violent video games to children, which involve shooting or killing a person. Because such children become insensitive to violence, and can commit such violent methods in their future life. We need to be careful in what upbringing we give to children.
He said, He was just coming from a visit to a village in Bihar where 220 maoist activists are caught in the jail. These maoists had taken the breathing process, the Sudarshan Kriya, and experienced a big transformation in their mindset. They were much healed after a meeting with Sri Sri and the reason for their terrorist activities has been lack of spiritual education, pranayam to them, ever before.
He said, “Violence free Society, Disease free body, Quiver free breath, Confusion free mind, Inhibition free intellect, Trauma free memory, Ego that compasses all, and Sorrow free soul are birthrights of each individual.”
He said, eating food raised in chemical fertilised farms is giving body aches to people. Organic farming and its purchase needs to be inculcated.
He gave some fantastic tips to involve people and expand belongingness:- He said, just meet five new people and greet them, ask them how are you, did you have your meal and so on.
He gave a new perspective to life:- “In a period of say 80 years of life, 40 years are spend sleeping. Daily 2 hours in Bathroom means 8 more years spent in using Bathroom. Then further few more years spent in travelling and eating. only about 10-12 years are spent in actual living, working and in company of people we love. There is so less time to spend being happy! So make a resolution that let’s say every Thursday, I will be happy, come what may! May be my assistant hasn’t done the work, but I will be happy, may be I lost money in share market, but I will be happy today. Postpone any regret or worry or anger for next day! “
Then He led us into a fantastic “Sookshma Vyayam”, with some very quotable quotes like "no pain no gain" , the subtle exercise, starting right on top of head to the bottom of feet. It was so simple and efficient, that in 10 min we felt so very much refreshed. He said, this subtle exercise gives very good circulation in all parts of body. He suggested that everyone should take out time to learn more of yoga, breathing techniques and Sudarshan Kriya.
Then He led us into a guided meditation. He explained that meditation is not concentration, it is mind without agitation,deconcentration.
Finally Sri Sri released a music album and Bangalore Mirror members thanked for His coming to the program.
Bangalorean at heart, in the hearts of Bangaloreans, we love you Sri Sri !

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kashmir Shaivism

Since Mahashivratri is just around the corner, i thought i'd do a few posts on this rich tradition. Here is a brief history of Kashmiri Shaivism:
The ancient tradition of Kashmir Shaivism is a non-dual (advaita) school of philosophy which takes as its source the ninety-two Tantras of Lord Shiva. This includes the sixty-four monastic Bhairava Tantras, the eighteen mono-dualistic Rudra Tantras, and the ten dualistic Shiva Tantras. This philosophical tradition is also known by its adherents as Trika. It is called Trika because it encompasses the threefold signs of man and his world. These three signs are Shiva, his Shakti (energy), and Jiva (individual ). Also signified are three primary energies: para (supreme) energy, para-para (combination of highest and lowest) energy. and apara (lowest) energy. These are also termed iccha Shakti, the energy of will, jnana Shakti, the energy of knowledge, and kriya Shakti, the energy of action. These three energies represent the threefold activities of the world: knower, knowing, and known. Kashmir Shaivism also known as the Trika tradition, encompasses four systems of philosophy: the Pratyabhijna system, the Kula system, the Krama system, and the Spanda system.
The teaching of Kashmir Saivism is so rich and detailed in its descriptions of what it reveals as the ascent of individual consciousness to universal God Consciousness (Parama Shiva) that it has been characterized as a mystical geography of awareness. It includes a highly developed system of spirituality that emphasizes not only the intellectual understanding of its concepts, but also the direct realization, the direct experience, of its truth. For the Kashmir Shaiva, the very nature of truth, its defining characteristic, is that it is unlimited and universal. The human intellect, on the other hand, is limited and individual. As such it cannot contain within its grasp that reality which transcends it. For the Kashmir Shaiva truth, as universal, is said to be anirvacaniya, unspeakable. Words cannot express or reveal it. Any attempt to define and contain it with the spoken word only limits it. If truth is to be known and understood, it must be experienced through direct realization. As the philosophy of Kaśmir Śaivism is deeply rooted in the Tantras, the lineage of Kaśmir Śaivism begins with Śhiva himself. According to tradition, as the knowledge of the Tantras were lost by the time of Kali Yuga, Shiva took the form of Śrikanthanath at Mt Kailaśha, where he fully initiated Durvasa Ṛiṣhi, into all forms of the Tantrika knowledge, including abheda (without differentiation), bhedabheda (with and without differentiation), and bheda (differentiated), as described in the Bhairava Tantras, Rudra Tantras, and Śiva Tantras, respectively. Durvasa Ṛṣi intensely meditated in the hope of finding an adequate pupil to initiate, but failed to do so. Instead, he created three "mind-born" sons, and initiated the first son, Tryambaka fully into the monistic abheda philosophy of the Bhairava Tantras; this is known as Kaśmir Śaivism.
Concepts in KashmirShaivism:Anuttara is the ultimate principle in Kashmir Shaivism, and as such, it is the fundamental reality underneath the whole Universe. Among the multiple interpretations of anuttara are: "supreme", "above all" and "unsurpassed reality". In the Sanskrit alphabet anuttara is associated to the first letter - "A" (in devanagari "अ"). As the ultimate principle, anuttara is identified with Śiva, Śhakti (as Śakti is identical to Śiva), the supreme consciousness (chit), uncreated light (prakāśa), supreme subject (aham) and atemporal vibration (spanda). The practitioner who realized anuttara is considered to be above the need for gradual practice, in possession of an instantaneous realization and perfect freedom (svātantrya). Anuttara is different from the notion of transcendence in that, even though it is above all, it does not imply a state of separation from the universe. Aham, the Heart of Śhiva,Aham is the concept of supreme reality as heart. It is considered to be a non-dual interior space of Śiva, support for the entire manifestation, supreme mantra and identical to Śhakti.
Kula, the spiritual group
Kula is a complex notion primarily translated as family or group. On various levels there exist such structures formed of many parts, interconnected and complementary. They are called families on account of having a common unifying bond, which is ultimately the Supreme Lord, Śhiva. The practices related to Kaula are very obscure and mystical and the focus is away from much philosophical tinkering and more into immediate experimentation. In essence, Kaula is a form of body alchemy where the lower aspects of one's being are dissolved into the higher ones, as they all are considered to form a unified group (a kula) which relies on Śhiva as ultimate support.

Friday, February 20, 2009


This year, Mahashivratri falls on 23rd February. " MahaShivrartri " or the "Great Night of Shiva" is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna

Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna

(as per Vikrama) in the Hindu Calendar (that is, the night before and day of the new moon). The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael (Bilva) leaves to the Lord Shiva, all day fasting and an all night long vigil.Observing Mahasivrathri is transforming as we awaken to whom we truly are. Lord Siva, the dissolver of ego enables clearance of past karmic negatives that have blocked us from our true potentials. Proximity of the mind with Source does align our thoughts to be empowered as we are in touch with our inner wisdom of calm, serenity, inspiration, abundance and knowing. Shaivism,names the oldest of the four sects of Hinduism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Saivites," revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer, revealer and concealer of all that is. Shaivism is widespread throughout India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, mostly. Notable areas of the practice of Shaivism also include parts of Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Maha Shivratri is not only celebrated by Shaivites today but also by Vaishnavites and other Hindus.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Message of The Granth Sahib

ok so this is my second post for the day .. Like all Scriptures be it the Gita, Torah, Bible or the teachings of any Great Saint, all have an underlying message not only for the followers of that particular religion but also to the whole of Humanity. The Granth Sahib is one such scripture which has messages for whole of humanity, believers and non believers alike. Here is what i find some of the deepest teachings an Messages of the Granth Sahib.
1.All peoples of the world are equal
The Guru Granth Sahib promotes the message of equality of all beings and at the same time state that Sikh believers "obtain the supreme status" (SSGS, Page 446). Discrimination of all types is strictly forbidden based on the Sikh tenet Fatherhood of God which states that no one should be reckoned low or high, stating that instead believers should –“reckon the entire mankind as One” (Akal Ustat, 15.85).
Sri Guru Granth Sahib promotes the concept of equality by highlighting the fact that we are made of the same flesh, blood and bone and we have the same light of God with us – Soul. Our building bricks are the same: The God-conscious being is always unstained, like the sun, which gives its comfort and warmth to all.
The God-conscious being looks upon all alike, like the wind, which blows equally upon the king and the poor beggar.
2.One God for all
Sikhism is strictly monotheistic in its belief. This means that God is believed to be the one and sole Reality in the cosmos, meaning that no other being have extra-human power. Sikh Gurus state that God alone is worthy of worship, and the highest end of existence, that is mukti or liberation can come through Devotion to God alone.
Besides its monotheism, Sikhism also emphasizes another philosophical idea, which is known as monism. Monism is the belief the world is only a "vision" or illusion (Maya) and that God is the sole "Continuing Reality" so that selfishness, egoism and hate are meaningless.
God is merciful and infinite. The One and Only is all-pervading.
He Himself is all-in-all. Who else can we speak of? God Himself grants His gifts, and He Himself receives them.Coming and going are all by the Hukam of Your Will; Your place is steady and unchanging.
3.Speak and live truthfully
Sikhs believe in the importance of truthful living, which can only be created by purity of mind and not through religious purification rites. They believe that impurity of mind leads to many other vices such as anger, lust, attachment, ego, and greed.
"So how can you become truthful? And how can the veil of illusion be torn away?O Nanak, it is written that you shall obey the Hukam of His Command, and walk in the Way of His Will."
4. Control the five vices
Devotees of Guru Sahib believe they must control the animal instincts of Pride/Ego, Anger/Temper, Greed/Urges, Attachment/Dependency and Lust/Addiction.
"All virtues are obtained, all fruits and rewards, and the desires of the mind; my hopes have been totally fulfilled. The Medicine, the Mantra, the Magic Charm, will cure all illnesses and totally take away all pain.Lust, anger, egotism, jealousy and desire are eliminated by chanting the Name of the Lord."
-Guru Granth Sahib Page 1388
5. Live in God's hukam
A Sikh believes they should live and accept the command of God easily and without too much emotional distress. They attempt to live in contentment and in Chardikala (positive attitude).
"Shalok: He wanders around in the four quarters and in the ten directions, according to the dictates of his karma.Pleasure and pain, liberation and reincarnation, O Nanak, come according to one's pre-ordained destiny. "
-Guru Granth Sahib
6. Virtues:The Sikh religion emphasizes several other virtues: Truth (Sat), contentment (santokh), Love (Pyar), Compassion/Mercy (daya), Service (seva), Charity (dana), forgiveness (ksama), humility (nimrata), patience (dheerjh), non-attachment (vairagya) and renunciation (taiga).
These believers attempt to avoid anger (krodh), egoism (ahankara), avarice (lobh), lust (kama), infatuation (moha), sinful acts (papa), pride (man), doubt (duvidha), ownership (mamata), hatred (vair), and hostility (virodh). In the Sikh religion, freedom from these vices , or Sahaj, is attained through tension-free, ethical living, grounded in spirituality avoiding self-mortification and other religious rites of cleansing.
First, is the Lord's Praise; second, contentment; third, humility, and fourth, giving to charities. Fifth is to hold one's desires in restraint. These are the five most sublime daily prayers.
SGGS Page 1384
Humility is the word, forgiveness is the virtue, and sweet speech is the magic mantra.
7. Womens' Status:Sikhism also preaches that equal respect should be given to women.
"In the earth and in the sky, I do not see any second. Among all the women and the men, His Light is shining. "
-Guru Granth Sahib Page 223 Shabad 706
I will do a few more posts on the Great Philosophy of Sikhism and scriptures like the bhagvad gita and Yog Vasistha .

The Guru Granth Sahib

The Granth Sahib is regarded as the most sacred scripture of the Sikh Religion but also regarded as a holy scripture by Punjabi Hindu's as weel as Nanak Panthis. Many people find solace in the techings of the Granth and the Gurus of Sikhism.
The Guru Granth Sahib ( ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ, gurū granth sāhib), or Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib, is the holy scripture and the final Guru of the Sikhs.
Guru Gobind Singhji , the tenth of the Gurus, affirmed the sacred text Adi Granth
as his successor, terminating the line of human Gurus, and elevating the text to Guru Granth Sahib. From that point on, the text remained not only the holy scripture of the Sikhs, but is also regarded by them as the living embodiment of the Ten Gurus. The role of Guru Granth Sahib, as a source or guide of prayer, is pivotal in worship in Sikhism, from which all the Kirtans and Gurubanis draw from including the Ardas. The Granth Sahib also contains the Sukhmani Sahib as part of it.
The Adi Granth was first compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Devji, from hymns of the first five Sikh Gurus and other great saints of the Hindu and Muslim traditions, seeing that originally Sikhism was an amalgamation of the techings of Hinduism and Sikhism. The original scribe of the Adi Granth was Bhai Gurdasji and later Bhai Mani Singhji. After the demise of the tenth Sikh Guru many handwritten copies were prepared for distribution by Baba Deep Singhji. The 'Guru Granth Sahib' is a voluminous text of 1430 pages, compiled and composed during the period of Sikh Gurus, from 1469 to 1708. It is compiled in the form of hymns written in praise of God, which describe what God is like and the right way to live. Written in the Gurmukhi(punjabi script) script, it is written predominantly in archaic Punjabi but includes occasional use of other languages including Braj, Punjabi, Khariboli (Hindi), Sanskrit, regional dialects, and Persian. Written in the Gurmukhi script, the compositions in Sri Guru Granth Sahib are a melange of ar Punjabi and various other dialects. The various dialects used are often coalesced under the generic title of Sant Bhasha( the language of the Guru's preachings) The languages used include Lehndi dialect of Punjabi, regional Prakrits, Apabhramsa, Sanskrit, Hindi languages (Brajbhasha, Old Hindi, Awadhi etc.), Sindhi, and Persian.This is how the Granth Sahib came to be. I could post more but it would turn out to be a long Post and therefore will post on the techings, history ,of the holy scripture in following posts.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Playing Your Part- A beautiful Knowledge Sheet.

Be thankful for the qualities you have been bestowed upon as they are not your own making. In the same way, it depends on the part that you have been given to play. Say, in a drama, you are given the part of a villain, and you play that role perfectly.. A villain always knows that when I am playing the role of a villain, it's just a role I am playing. I'm very sincere to my role.There is a saying in Sanskrit, "Durjanam Prathamam Vande Sajjanam Tadanantaram ," First, worship the bad person, and then the good man. The bad man is falling and giving you an example, "don't do what I did." Do not hate a criminal in jail, because he's a criminal. In prison, if there is a criminal, he is an embodiment of God. He has done you a greater service. Don't ever hate a drug addict, because he has given you such a beautiful lesson, and he has been given that role. He is just performing his role that way. When you understand these basic laws of truth, then your inner perfection becomes so stable that nothing on this planet can shake your inner perfection. Nothing can shake you. Your knowledge of a mistake comes to you when you are innocent! The knowledge of a mistake dawns in the moment when you are 'out of the mistake'. However the past has been, whatever mistake has happened, do not consider yourself to be a sinner or the maker of that mistake. In the present moment you are new again, pure and clear. Mistakes of the past are past. When this knowledge comes, that moment you are again perfect. Often, mothers scold their children and afterwards feel so guilty. Then they go on regretting, "Oh, poor thing. I got soangry and annoyed at this kid, poor child! I should not have done this."Then you prepare yourself to get angry again. Okay, you got angry with your kid once or twice. Why? Because of lack of awareness! Awareness was missing so the anger came up, it happened. That's what Krishna tells Arjunaa, "Arjunaa, you think you are not going to do what you are supposed to do? I tell you, you will do it. Even if you don't want, you are going to do it!" In a very clever way He puts it: "You better surrender to me directly." He says: "Drop everything. Surrender to Me, and do what I say". Then He says: "Well, I have told you whatever I have to say, now you think it over and do what you like, you do whatever you want to do, do however you like". But then He said, "but remember, you will do only what I want". These last few sentences of Krishna were so confusing, and people have struggled to make sense out of them. There are thousands of commentaries trying to make sense out of these few words, three contradicting statements. First He says, Surrender everything, I'll do everything for you,or just do as I say. Then he says: Think, think and see what is right for you, do whatever you feel is right. And then in the third statement he says: But remember (anyway) you will do only what I want you to do. All of our wanting to do, 'doership', is there to eliminate the*tamas* or inertia in you. Once inertia is eliminated, then you are in activity. When you are acting, you become a witness to the acting. Then you know you are not doing. Things are happening through you. This is the final level of realization. You can see this in every action of yours. Have you noticed this? You are busy 'doing' when you accomplish something. In the beginning you think, "Oh! I have accomplished. " But your accomplishment becomes more and more and more and as time goes by, you will begin tofeel, "no, it's all happening. I did not do anything, I did not accomplish." A writer will feel, "I did not write, it just started flowing, it started happening." All the creative work in the world - whether painting,dance, drama, music, anything - has all come from that unknown corner. It just spontaneously started happening. You are not the doer. The best sculptor will say, "I didn't do it, it just started happening." The best painter will say the same thing; the best music composer would say the samething. I tell you, the same is true for criminals too. You ask the worstcriminal, "did you do this?" He will reply, "No, it happened! What could I do?" *Knowledge of the Self is the only thing that can take you from imperfection to perfection.- H. H - Sri Sri Ravishankar

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Basics of Pasta

ok no its no hidden secret that i lurrvv pasta. there have been a coupla recipes of pasta on my blog .but what abou the basics ? how does one get started on the preperations of pasta?
ok here goes:
in order to boil any form of pasta( on the gas obviously, i use the microwave on in absolute emergency cases), in a vessel start boiling some water with salt, one the water reaches a luke warmish temperature, add the pasta u want, and then add a few drops of oil from the top(this prevents the pasta from sticking and becming gooy), boil the pasta for a few minutes until done. remove from the gas , let cool for about 10 mins .Then, put it in vegetable/food stainer and then pour a bottle of cold/room temperature water over it and leave it for atleast a few minutes before cooking.
2. always boil/ cook pasta on a medium flame while using the gas, in the micro do it on medium high for boiling and cooking.
3. Nobody would tell you this but using a combination of olive oil and butter to cool up the main dish always makes it richer and tastier.
4. The secret of the taste of pasta lies in the herbs and sauce used and not in the shape of the pasta.
5. Rosemary and Thyme add that extra body to any pasta sauce
6. A combination od American Sweetcorn and Basil with macaroni in white sauce is the easiest pasta dish to make.
7. Cheddar, Parmesan, Mozzarella are the best cheeses to use in pasta , you could combine all three and make a three cheese sauce ( recipe out soon)
8. Pasta is the general name given to a group of foods made of of whole grain cereals, originating in italy, some popular kinds of pasta are :spagetthi,fusili, penne,macaroni,fettucine(evey town and village in italy has its own unique style and shape of pasta)
9. Pastas made out of various kinds of Lentils was first popular in Pondicherry India .
10. The best accompaniment to pasta is red wine, in case you dont drink just like me, try it with a glass of chilled apple juice or an interesting mixed fruit mocktail..

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A quickie update and what am currently reading..

oh so i haventor almost 10 days .. ive been really busy with seva for the International Womens Conference which starts on friday been having some amazing satsangs with the argenteninians who were down foe the international AMC....and some excellent knowledge during the satsangs will post on that soon.... been doing some interesting reading lately tough: the world is flat by friedman is so amazing the way he eventually convinces you that the earhth maybe round but today techinally is flat a must read for some interesting facts and stories on globalisation,
Imagining India : a book by one of the greatest IT czars of India , Nandan Nilekani and how this great is posed for the future...,
Celebrating Silence - knowledge sheets by on eof the greatest Spiritualists and Humanitarian Leaders and Saint of this era- His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankarji
The Sacred Sukhmani Sahib - probably the most profound scripture of the Sikhs and Hindu's alike. will do a post on my favourite quotes from this one soon.
A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffery Archer-just started reading this so cant comment much.
Notes To Myself by Hugh Parther- a classical ,perennnial favourite, a must read wheather you are 18,20.40 or 60....
will again update my blog soon after the IWC...

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