Thursday, March 28, 2019

Asynchronisms in Purana explained

Hari Vamsa Purana - 2nd chapter.
Courtesy: translation in Hindi from Gita Press Publications

Janmejaya asks Vaisampayana: You had earlier said that Daksa and wife were born from Brahma's thumbs. Then how come Daksa again was born from Prachetas. How can Daksa, who is grandson of Moon, be also his father in law.

Vaisampayana replies:

Birth and Death are natural for every being. So those who are knowledgeable (Rishis) are not obsessed (moha) by this. Daksa and others are born and die in every yuga (basically this is a cycle). (55)

Earlier they didnt have such notions of seniority and inferiority based on age. Only tapas i.e. battery power was considered of importance and prabhava i.e. ability or impact was the reason for relationships between them. (56)
Note: Normally tapas is translated as austerity, which is not the right word. Tapas is like power bank which you have accumulated by a life of sadAchAr i.e. living by right principles.

The one who understands the root essence (tattva) of this srsti i.e. creation full of creatures that are progeny of Daksa can be santAnavAn i.e. have progeny (can further creation) and after conquering all obstacles establish himself in swarga with reputation.

So the focus of Rsis is on creation (srsti). Vaisampayana replies in 3 steps. First he establishes that age is related to birth and death, which happens in every yuga. Secondly that ability, impact, battery power were what established superiority or inferiority i.e. it was a heirarchy of merit, not age. Thirdly those who understand creation can further creation. This shows the importance of creation.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Bantureethi Kolu - Service of Rama

Banthu reeti by Thyagaraja

baNTu rIti koluv(i)yya(v)ayya rAma

tuNTa viNTi vAni modalaina mad(A)dula
goTTi nEla gUla jEyu nija (baNTu)

rOmAncam(a)nu ghana kancukamu
rAma bhaktuD(a)nu mudra biLLayu
rAma nAmam(a)nu vara khaDgamivi
rAjillun(a)yya tyAgarAjunikE (baNTu)

O Rama take me as Thy servant, Desire Anger etc the six dire enemies
May I smash to the ground empowered as a guard by thee

Let devotion to Rama be my shield
Let name of Rama be my sword
Let the emblem of Rama be my blessing
So that Thyagaraja succeeds in service of Rama

Thanks to the following link to help understand the meaning of this song:

And do listen to this excellent rendition by Nithyasri Madhavan

Friday, November 30, 2018

Janani Ninuvina

jananī ninnu vinā amba
trilōka dikkevarammā jagamulōna gāna

O Goddess, the mother (“janani” or “amba”) of the three (“tri”) worlds (“loka”)! Who else is there (“dik evvaramma?”) to take care for me on this earth (“jagamulona gaana”)?

I shed such tears on listening to the renditions of this song, that I can never remember ever. I am not even in a frame of mind to translate. I have verbatim copied a translation from here
Thanks to for this.

You can find the translation of all shlokas of this wonderful composition of the saint musician Subbaraya Sastry.

The rendition that brought copious tears (though others were equally powerful) was that of Maharajapuram Santhanam.

Needless to say that such a song can only be composed in that peerless raga Reetigowla. This raga can melt even ice cold hearts.

And if you want a violin rendition that will play the strings of your heart, listen to this rendition by Shri Chembai K Venkitaraman

O Mother take care of Me, who else is there but You to protect me in this samsara
I yearn to be a baby in your arms, feeling the kindness of your heart, through the warmth in your hands
In that limitless ocean of your womb, I was floating - just a small speck in the vastness - yet you fed me, took care of me. Even today take care of me in such manner, listen to my entreaties and protect me - O Mother.

Well there is one thing I would like to contribute to the translation though.
the first part of anupallavi is: Manasija Maanasa Sammodhini
In this "Manasija" is usually translated as "Cupid" or "Love God" i.e. Kamadeva by most translators. But I think the matter is a bit deeper. "Manasija" literally means "born of manasa" and "manas" can be translated as "mind' or "heart". In our philosophy there is a pretty good idea what "manas" is. Manas is the sheath on the atma, which makes it experience karma. Manas is wherein there is vrittis and samskaras. I think Shri Subbaraya Sastry (who would have composed this in some deep meditation or trance) would have meant that the Divine Mother is One who can entrap the mind - the mind is fast - it is never under control - but if one has Bhakti Bhava to the Divine Mother, then She is so strong, that She will hold the restless, unstable mind by enrapturing it with Her Divine Leela.

Interestingly in Jyotisa i.e. Vedic astrology - the 4H concerns both Mother and Manas and also Moon which is the karaka for 4H and thereby signifies both Mind and Mother. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Nrsimha Mantra Dhyana

Refer: "Nrsimha mantra", Page 373, Brihat Tantra Sara Part 1, Translation by Kapildev Narayan, Chaukhamba Publications

माणिक्याद्रिसमप्रभं निजरुचा सन्त्रस्तरक्शोगणं
जानुन्यस्तकराम्बुजं त्रिनयनं रत्नोल्लसद्भुषणम् ।
बाहुभ्यां धृतचक्रशङ्खमनिशं 
ज्ज्वालाजिह्वमुदग्रकेशनिचयं वन्दे नृसिंहं विभुम् ॥

māṇikyādrisamaprabhaṃ nijarucā santrastarakśogaṇaṃ
jānunyastakarāmbujaṃ trinayanaṃ ra
tnollasadbhuṣaṇam ।
bāhubhyāṃ dhṛtacakraśaṅkhamaniśaṃ daṃṣṭrogravaktrollasa
jjvālājihvamudagrakeśanicayaṃ vande nṛsiṃhaṃ vibhum ॥

māṇikyādri - mountain of rubies
samaprabhaṃ - shining equal to

nijarucā - by whose personal lustre
santrasta - tremble with fear
rakśogaṇaṃ - the demonic class

jānunyastakarāmbujaṃ - whose two hands rest on his thighs
trinayanaṃ - three-eyed
ratnollasadbhuṣaṇam - who is glittering in ornaments full of gems

bāhubhyāṃ - in his two (other) arms
dhṛtacakraśaṅkhamaniśaṃ - who holds the "cakra" i.e. discus weapon and the bejeweled conch

daṃṣṭrogravaktrollasa - whose jaws (daṃṣṭra), fierce visage (ugra-vaktra) are shining brilliantly (lasa)

jjvālājihvamudagrakeśanicayaṃ - blazing flame-like (jjvālā) whose long (udagra) tongue (jihvam), whose mane (keśa) heaped upwards (nicayaṃ)

vande nṛsiṃhaṃ vibhum - Salutations (vande) to that Lord Nrsimha, who is great and all pervading (vibhum)

Whose brilliance is like mountains of rubies
Whose luster makes demons tremble with fear

The Three-eyed Who is glittering in ornaments of gems
Resting two of His hands on His thighs

And in the other two arms carries the discus and conch
Whose jaws and fierce visage shine brilliantly

Whose long tongue is like a blazing flame and mane heaped upwards, 
I salute That Lord Nrsimha who is great and all pervading

Friday, April 20, 2018

The strength of the elephant
The heart of the lion
As humane as the pachyderm
As noble as the regal feline
The wisdom of the Guru
The compassion of Chandra
As valiant, brilliant as Surya
Full of Sattva, Bhakta of Hari

Fights valiantly with

The dragon, the snake
Heart is cold blooded devious like Rahu
Yet breathing fire thru mouth like Ketu
Full of Vayu, full of Agni

Sura so pehchaniye

Guru Gobind Singh said:
"Sura so pehchaniye jo lade din ke het
Purja Purja kat mare tabo na chhade khet"

Now a Bhagavad Gita Karma Yoga form of this in contemporary Hindi
Shur use pehchano
Jiska yuddha hai dharmakshetra
Har purza kat Jaye
Phir bhi na chhoDe Kurukshetra

Who fights for his cause
Know him to be brave
Though cut to pieces
He fights to his grave

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Motivating quote

From the trailer of Subedar Joginder Singh (film)

Jang jitne de liye asla nahi hosla chahida
To fight a battle, more than ammunition, you need spirit.

So true! battles are won and lost due to presence or absence of courage and not just due to superior resources or tactics. The resolve must be deep, the determination firm under any attack. Once you decide to the last bullet, there is no looking back. Either you shall win gloriously or die heroically - in either case your name shall be remembered, your examples would be given and people down the ages would be inspired by what you did and how you did it.

And mental strength comes from being righteous. A righteous battle fought for greater good gives one unshakable confidence.

Guru Gobind Singh said:
"Sura so pehchaniye jo lade din ke het
Purja Purja kat mare tabo na chhade khet"

Know him to be a hero, who fights for the righteous cause
Even though cut down to pieces, fights on without a pause

The battle is not just an external battle with a physical enemy, but the biggest enemy of all is Shadripu - the six weaknesses in a man, which gives rise to baser instincts.

Rahu is that enemy - the snake with many heads. Jupiter is the lion, full of purity, virtue, righteousness.