Life - A Spiritual Odyssey

A journey made By one self, For one self, within One Self....

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Auspicious Beginnings......


Happy Tamil New Year &
Happy Vishu
to all those celebrating new beginnings....

For the musically inclined, I have set up a seperate audioblog at Singing Spirit. Guess, this is my new beginning...



Invoking Lord Ganesha on this auspicious day, here is a new recording of Sri Ganesha Pancharatnam. Please read thro the shlokam and the translation before and while listening...

GANESHA PANCHARATNAM

Mudakaraatha Modakam Sada Vimukti Saadhakam
Kalaadharaavatamsakam Vilasiloka Rakshakam
Anaaya Kaika Naayakam Vinasitebha Daityakam
Nataasubhasu Naashakam Namaami Tham Vinaayakam.

Meaning: I prostrate before Lord Vinaayaka who joyously holds modaka in His hand, who bestows salvation, who wears the moon as a crown in His head, who is the sole leader of those who lose themselves in the world. The leader of the leaderless who destroyed the elephant demon called Gajaasura and who quickly destroys the sins of those who bow down to Him, I worship such a Lord Ganesh.

Natetaraati Bheekaram Navoditaarka Bhaasvaram
Namat Suraari Nirjanam Nataadhi Kaapa Duddharam
Suresvaram Nidheesvaram Gajesvaram Ganeshvaram
Mahesvaram Samaasraye Paraatparam Nirantaram.

Meaning: I meditate eternally on Him, the Lord of the Ganas, who is frightening to those not devoted, who shines like the morning sun, to whom all the Gods and demons bow, who removes the great distress of His devotees and who is the best among the best.

Samasta Loka Samkaram Nirasta Daitya Kunjaram
Daredarodaram Varam Vare Bhavaktra Maksharam
Krupaakaram Kshamaakaram Mudaakaram Yasaskaram
Manaskaram Namaskrutaam Namaskaromi Bhaasvaram.

Meaning: I bow down with my whole mind to the shining Ganapati who brings happiness to all the worlds, who destroyed the demon Gajasura, who has a big belly, beautiful elephant face, who is immortal, who gives mercy, forgiveness and happiness to those who bow to Him and who bestows fame and a well disposed mind.

Akimchanaarti Marjanam Chirantanokti Bhaajanam
Puraari Poorva Nandanam Suraari Garva Charvanam
Prapancha Naasha Bheeshanam Dhananjayaadi Bhushanam
Kapola Daana Vaaranam Bhajaey Puraana Vaaranam.

Meaning: I worship the ancient elephant God who destroys the pains of the poor, who is the abode of Aum, who is the first son of Lord Shiva (Shiva who is the destroyer of triple cities), who destroys the pride of the enemies of the Gods, who is frightening to look at during the time of world's destruction, who is fierce like an elephant in rut and who wears Dhananjaya and other serpents as his ornaments.

Nitaantikaanta Dantakaanti Mantakaanta Kaatmajam
Achintya Rupa Mantaheena Mantaraaya Krintanam
Hrudantarey Nirantaram Vasantameva Yoginam
Tameka Danta Meva Tam Vichintayaami Santatam.

Meaning: I constantly reflect upon that single tusked God only, whose lustrous tusk is very beautiful, who is the son of Lord Shiva, (Shiva, the God of destruction), whose form is immortal and unknowable, who tears asunder all obstacles, and who dwells forever in the hearts of the Yogis.

Mahaaganesa Pancharatnam Aadarena Yonvaham
Prajapati Prabhaatake Hrudi Smaran Ganesvaram
Arogatham Adoshataam Susaahitim Suputrataam
Samaahitaayu Rastabhootim Abhyupaiti Sochiraat.

Meaning: He who recites this every morning with devotion, these five gems about Lord Ganapati and who remembers in his heart the great Ganesha, will soon be endowed with a healthy life free of blemishes, will attain learning, noble sons, a long life that is calm and pleasant and will be endowed with spiritual and material prosperity.


Sri Ganesha Pancharatnam (originally sung by KS Chitra, currently sung by me)

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Musically yours,
I am back from the much needed break and the self imposed exercise in detachment from blogging. Thanks to all who popped in and checked in on me. It was a pleasure to go back to being the "silent reader" that I was before. There were and still are, too many things that demand my attention. However, I have also come to realize that blogging does provide a lot of welcome relief from the mundane monotony of life and its thousand routines. So, I am back but, with a difference.
My musical self wants to awaken from its long hibernation... So, here is a song dedicated to all the wonderful bhakthas of Sri Krishna, out there in this wide world, including myself...This was originally sung by the one and only Lata Mangeshkar and is one of my absolute favourite ones...



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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Goodbye.....for now...

My world demands more of my attention now. So, I am not sure if I can blog as actively as before. I will still remain a regular reader of all the blogs that I visit .......
So, keep your spirits up and most importantly, keep your balance at the center of your being where all your Gurus and Gods reside....

Thanks for the company...

Radhika

Friday, February 03, 2006


The story of a sinner.....

I would like to share one of many pearls of wisdom from Bhagavan's life, in my own words....

Once, a distraught man arrived at Ramanashramam and broke down at the feet of Bhagavan. "I have sinned, Bhagavan, I am a sinner, there is no hope for me, What shall I do?".
In his usual style, Bhagavan replied "Its the thought that "I have sinned" that has a powerful hold on you. Ask for whom the thought arises and you will be fine ".
The man was not satisfied with Bhagavan's answer and said "No, that does not work, Please help me, somehow"
At which, Bhagavan replied "Ok, Have you done anything good in this life, ?".
The man replied in the affirmative and Bhagavan said " Then, surrender all your good deeds to me"
Man : "They are all yours, Bhagavan"
Then, Bhagavan replied "Now, give me all your sins". The man was aghast and said "Bhagavan , you have no idea what you are asking. I dont want to burden you with my sins. They are too many. "
Bhagavan : "Surrender both or else you can go your own way"
The man agreed and let go ..
A strange peace descended on his grief stricken face and he went away, never to be seen or heard from again....


Monday, January 30, 2006


Guru Ramana- Divine Life within....



Silence engulfs my mind

When i think of Him....

excluding all else....

I am going to embark on the challenging task of putting into words my own unique relationship with The Guru I have never met in my whole life. Yet, He was instrumental in changing my whole life and how I perceived it till then. I am not going into the personal details of how I was led to that "moment of surrender", when I was ready to let go everything to Let God in.. On hindsight, it was a partial surrender as my ego was still actively ruling my life even after that. I believe partial leads to complete surrender eventually and I wait eagerly for the day when His grace shall descend fully upon me...

I had read about Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi in my teenage years in one of the Amar Chitra comic books. Two things stayed in my mind from that read, The Death Experience which established Him firmly in The Self and the bright comet which blazed a path across the sky when he attained Mahasamadhi. The rest all faded away with the passage of time and I never gave a second thought to Him afterwards. After marraige, my mother brought His photo during one of her visits and still there was no impact, whatsoever. Finally, when life " of my own making" pushed me into a corner and the moment of "letting go" arrived, I did and a whole new sense of being awakened within me. All that I took seriously before, became absolutely trivial and I had a completely new outlook on life. I have always been an extremely sensitive individual, and that part of my personality started dropping away and still is, although I still have a long way to go before I attain "samadrushti"...

I remember very clearly, that day, it was raining outside my balcony door and I just stood facing the rain and praying and surrendering it all... Immediately, the wind carried a few drops of falling rain and showered it on me at the exact same moment and I strangely felt purified and light inside my heart. My burdens had dropped for those few incredible moments... I sensed that a new chapter was beginning in my life and it was proved right....

A new interest in reading about the lives of saints and sages awoke in me and I strongly pursued it as it was filling me with a strange peace of mind which I had never experienced before..I read about all the great souls who walked this Earth and about Ramana Maharishi, but did not stick to anyone or even to Him. I did this for a long period of time and just enjoyed the divine experience that reading was giving me. Here were great examples of how life should be lived which deeply impacted me. After going around in a full circle, I came back to Ramana Maharishi and kept His photo in my puja corner. Something led me to read about His life in more detail and I started in full swing. Every aspect of Him and His earthly life appealed to me in the most profound way and I got deeper and deeper into His teachings. I started buying His books by the dozens and it strangely filled my own unique thirst of knowlege. I felt that He was the Perfect One for me...

I was going thro the reading and digesting of all the information phase as I was not yet ready to get into the "sadhana" aspect of it. Thereafter, I had an incredibly "real" dream which affected me profondly. The inner change started taking place. I started digging into my own "personality " to find out why exactly I was so unhappy inspite of having all and I found the answer. I was led to the answer in the form of my own 'Ego" which was causing all this confusion. I started practising towards negating it and still am..

All my life, I was afraid of being "my human self". I had my share of weaknesses and strengths, but I was subduing the good in me and encouraging the bad, just so that I could survive in a tough world. Anger was swallowing everything else. I started rediscovering my "humanness" first by accepting myself for who I am and most of all forgiving myself for who I was.. I didnt want to live in the past anymore. Only when self forgiving happened, did I start forgiving all around me. Only with self- acceptance was I was able to accept everyone else, no matter how different they are from me. I understood what exactly makes us unique from each other and what is the "constant" among us all. My little self started reaching out for The Ultimate Self behind all. It was incredibly freeing to be able to forgive and forget myself and everyone...It felt nice to be selflessly nice to people without wondering if they would have me for dinner because of my "niceness"..After all, all my puny efforts counted for something with Ramana, if not for the world....

As for his actual teaching of discovering "Who am I", I am starting to practise that. It comes about automatically during meditation, with no effort on my part.. Initally it was not so and I could not relate to the teaching all that much. But now I am gaining a better understanding of what He was trying to show us. As for my personality, I am becoming a better person in respecting the life given to me and to others to reach this state of oneness. The negative aspects still raise their heads, but they dont have absolute control anymore. I can get over them sooner and in the end forgive myself for indulging in them, apologize to those who were affected and move on with Life...However, I made sure never to repeat them again...

I still am discovering a lot about myself, the world that I inhabit and what my ultimate purpose is. He is helping me at every step, by giving me wings and letting me fly without holding me back to His way. After all, he never initiated anyone to be His disciple. His own Guru was the Holy Hill Arunachala which is believed to the actual manifestation of Lord Shiva. He would speak and advise everyone based on their own levels and needs and would never force others to Be like Him. He stood for "absolute and real freedom" in life. He treated all beings, be they man, animal, birds or beasts in the same way and encouraged others to do so too. He lived the most natural life in human form possible and the most humble. There is no rigorous "outer" sadhana required, no organization to join, no philosophies to get attached to, no people to get attached to,no "running away" from the world ,nothing.. Ramana constantly encouraged his followers to be detached from Him and seek Him within their own self or "inner guru". When they grieved over his sickness he said "why do you grieve? Where am I going? I am right here" .
Just like he said, everything happens within my self while normal life and its varied responsiblities go on as it always has.....Noone has been affected in any way from all of this except my own little self.... I have always experienced the fact that my own inner peace on any day translates to a peaceful existence for all around me.

My life's little miracle has been that my son was born under the same star and month as Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi. Punarvasu nakshtra in the month of Margazhi. I found Him two years after my own son was born. I had no idea about it until my mother realized it was so. So we celebrate both bdays together. I dont know what to think of it... so I don't think...

I am happy that I was able to find my own way to Guru Ramana just like how He found His in Arunachala.......

Sarvam Sri RamanArpaNamastu

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Of Ants, Humans and God

On a totally spontaneously crazy moment, I shall go "down to earth" to crawl like an ant, walk like a human and try to Be God, all at the same time.. I think it is called "Pratipaksha bhavana" in Sanskrit. I am going on the premise that all 3 are real and hope they dont take offense....

Ant:
  1. Does not call itself an ant.
  2. Has strong instincts about survival and the role it has to play in its short life.
  3. Mother Nature's own and fully under Her control.
  4. Does not feel the need to control any other being beyond eating for survival. Goes along with the plan of Mother Nature perfectly.
  5. Does not care about a world bigger than its own anthill or the nooks and cranies of our homes.
  6. Possesses some degree of intelligence which is perfect for its own survival.
  7. Does not care much whether there is a God or not. On second thoughts, maybe God does manifest in ant form to teach them a thing or two about ant life....
  8. Killed by the hundreds in a mere instant by bigger life forms and Mother Nature herself.
  9. Just lives it life by surviving the best it can and dies.....
  10. A perfect example of how to work and live harmoniously with its own kind and with its God, Mother Nature.

This should suffice as I am no expert on ants and I dont remember being one, either.

Now for the fun part..

Human :

  1. Calls himself a man/woman/child and obsessed with naming everything he sees before him, including ants, giving them not one, but many colourful sounding ones...
  2. Is possessed of higher intelligence in the form of a mind and prides himself over it....possessed of an equally powerful Ego as well..
  3. Has to define, analyse and dissect every other life form on this earth and find out what makes them tick...
  4. Digs into the past and has to find out how everything started and where everything is heading..Is he going to end up like the dinosaurs, someday maybe?
  5. Considers himself the guardian of this world and plans and executes on how the world should serve him at any point in time.
  6. Also considers himself representative of Mother Nature and tries to lord over Her and all her other creations, in the name of helping them to survive....
  7. Is trying to reach out to the rest of the cosmos as well to find out what makes the universe tick and whether the chicken or the egg came first or both....
  8. Does/does not believe in a Higher form of intelligence or God or His Hand in the creation of the cosmos.
  9. However, willing to believe that they might be aliens somewhere in the outer realms of the galaxy and still waiting for one to visit or send a message(SETI).
  10. Willing to go to the basic sub atomic level to find out the mytery of creation, but sometimes ignores what makes up his own mind and what lies within its fascinating depths. Even while attempting it, does not go beyond the physical brain and its workings..
  11. Not much unity of thought or action. Has to prove uniqueness/individuality to his own kind. Calls it his survival instinct....
  12. Has to prove himself at every stage in the name of ambition, progress etc etc.
  13. Trying very hard to create "The perfect life" for himself on Earth. Claims to do so for other life forms too. Creates zoos for his entertainment...
  14. Gets very upset when Mother Nature/ God interferes with his best laid plans...fumes, curses and destroys, makes a royal mess and then tries to mop it up with no help from God, thank you....
  15. Wages wars in the name of a God he doesn't know or care to know.
  16. Has a herd mentality sometimes when it comes to fighting for the survival of some self proclaimed cause(religion/country).
  17. Knows himself to be the highest life form on Earth and the fact that he is the perfect instrument for reaching the state of God.
  18. There are some of his kind who have discovered the mystery of all life, be they ants, humans or God...problem is not many of their own kind believe them...Anyway, it all sounds like a complicated form of Greek and latin ... In the end, who cares??
  19. Needs proof for everything and trusts only what he sees, hears, talks,feels and smells even if the instruments that aid him in these are quite faulty themselves. Heck, they are not even as good as that of an ant.
  20. Last but not the least, some of his kind, like "yours truly" write all these down for, "God knows what" reason....maybe for the same reasons that are cited above....

Wow!!! That felt good. Anyway, now comes the difficult part...Here goes nothing...

God (in all His forms that He has made Himself known to humans or ants):

  1. Started creation just for the heck of it and One became Many and everything came into being.
  2. Has representatives to manage creation, maintainence and destruction, among many others. These representatives are his active manifestations while He remains the Passive Witness.
  3. Does not see any difference between a human or an ant as HE is the same oneness principle underlying them both..
  4. Destroys both in the same manner and watches while humans fume and fret and ants accept...
  5. Ants accept and evolve into higher life forms
  6. Human fret and run around in circles before finally getting ready for the next step..
  7. Has made Himself known repeatedly only to humans( as far as we know) and waits with a mysterious smile for divine sense to prevail on them someday....
  8. Even if it doesn't, it does not matter as everything will be fine in the end and they will all merge back into Him.
  9. The human obsession/ fear over death has no effect on Him, whatsoever. As far as He is concerned there is no such thing as Death .
  10. Reveals the Truth about Life to a few that are willing or ready to listen and realize....Grants them Liberation from human life when their work of trying to share with the rest of their kind is done. Not that its ever done, anyway. The dog's tail of this human world swings right back up again...
  11. Works at every level, from the tiniest to the largest, but not many notice...Some are too busy waiting for aliens to land and declare themselves to be our long lost ancestors...Hopefully they dont blow us up first...Ants still dont care, either way...
  12. Loves all his creations equally and is present as The Witness within all, human, ant and all in between.

My dear "small circle of readers", after all this extrapolation, hopefully you may have learnt to appreciate the ant better even if you don't believe in God. After all, they are as real as the bite marks they leave on our poor unsuspecting forms, sometimes. That "Ouch" sting really shows us how "alive" we are and that We Exist, anyway.....

Yes, I am definitely going someplace serious with all of this. It doesn't take rocket science to know that most humans seem to be the most dissatisifed lot, among all life forms on the face of this Earth. We just cannot create something without destroying something else. No matter how much progress we have made in trying to perfect our life on this Earth, we still have not found a way to live like the ants do, in perfect harmony within themselves and with Mother Nature. We can still be humans and aspire for God's perfection in life, while living like humble ants, can't we?.....Who says that's not possible?

Its said in the Holy Bible.....(replace meek with any other so called lower life forms, ants, for eg or humble human beings)

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth......."

Thursday, January 26, 2006



Prakriti

I am Mother Nature

And you are my child.

I helped in creating you and

everything that you see before you...

I control all but I share with you.

My children , there are many,

Birds, animals, trees, mountains....

I love them all,

But you, You are special.

Why?

You have a mind,

A mind that has the power to

create, nurture and destroy.

Not all at one time, but

each at its own time.

I trust you because

He is most powerful in you,

The one who starts the cycle,

maintains and destroys it all

in the end.

Yes, you have a mind

which can connect to The Source of All

You have the power of The Source of All

Alas, what you have you done with it,

this mind and its power?

You create, nurture and destroy

Me and my other helpless children,

all at once...

Your creations suffocate ME, destroy ME

ME, The mother that gave you life and

A beautiful mind.

Which is the worst of it all,

filled with thoughts that are so powerful,

they make me

shudder, quake and weep

And when I do ,

you say I am wrathful, avengeful and

filled with fury.

I am tired,

tired of it all,

I am tired of you and your

beautiful mind,

I want to gather you

in my arms

and sleep in Him

For ever....