Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Monday, 22 June 2015
Once saint Naradha was going through a forest.Suddenly a robber came that way & caught hold of Naradha.He tied him in a tree hoping that he might rob some valuables from Naradha. Poor man! What will be Naradha having with him.Now Naradha came to know from him that he was a hunter & occasionally used to rob persons crossing that forest.Now Naradha told the hunter that he was committing sins for which he has to suffer later in his life.The hunter replied that he did not know any other profession, he had parents ,wife,sons & daughters to look after.Now Naradha told him that it was his duty to protect them & asked him to go to to home , ask his parents , wife & children whether they would share his sins committed by him. Naradha assured him that he would be there in the forest & would not try to escape.Now the hunter agreed to this & went to his home.When he first asked his mother whether she would share the sins committed by him.She replied that it was his duty to look after them & said that she would not share his sins. His wife ,children every one replied the same.Now the hunter returned to Naradha & told him that his family group would not share his sins. Naradha told him that he has to do some thing to clear off all the sins committed by him.Now the hunter was wondering how to do that.He realised that he has met a good person who could save him from further committing sins. Naradha told him that he can drive away the sins by simply telling God's name & he should also quit robbing.The hunter replied that he did n't know any God's name.Now Naradha told him to tell,"Rama,Rama" as far as possible.The hunter tried to tell "Rama's name".But he could not tell properly,as he was also an illiterate.Now Naradha suggested him to pronounce as "Mara,Mara " repeatedly.In course of time hunter continued to recite the above & it became 'Rama,Rama' .The hunter was so much attracted by this name & he sat there under a tree & going on reciting Rama nama.He forgot everything.He has been going on reciting "Rama Nama" non stop.An ant hill grew over him.No one could see him. Seeing his determination Rama appeared before him & blessed him.The hunter later wrote "Ramayana".Yes, the hunter is none other,He is saint Valmiki .How our Mahatma Gandhi drove away British.He got that strength by chanting Rama Nama.Sri.Rama stotra is from Jayamangala stotram AUTHORED BY Sengalipuram Bramhasri.Anandharama Dhikshitar with thanks & also to vaduvur kothandaramar temple administration. Stotra first part is published in the bottom & 2nd part in the top.
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Saturday, 20 June 2015
When he learnt that his mother was ill & bed ridden Adi Sankara reached Kalady.The end time came .He prayed to Hari to bless her with moksha. He has come there leaving his disciples , his relatives & Nambudiri bhramins opposed him as a sanyasi should not perform then the last ritual .As he could not take her to the burning ghat, he took her to the corner place in the backyard of his house. He placed plantain stems covering her body & lit the fire by his yoga power as they refused to give him fire. Sankara proceeded to Kamarup the present Guwahati in Assam. There he defeated the famous shakta commentator Abinava Gupta.He later went to Joshi, built a mutt at Joshi & temple at Badri.He later reached Kedarnath ,higher up in Himalayas.He became one with the Linga in 820 A.D in his 32nd year.We should always remember him for his hard work in reviving Hinduism by establishing Advaita philosophy.At his period lot of other religious faiths were threatening the very existence of Hindu religion.He preached the glory of veda Shastras & convniced the people & many ruling kings to follow our mother religion. Bhaja Govindam,Viveka chudamani,Soundarya lahari & many more are his master pieces.He lived a very simple life & followed what he preached.Photo below the shrine of Adi Shankara at Kalady(photo courtesy- Sringeri mutt).Bottom second photo - right side Badrinath temple - Badri Narayanan.Left side Kedarnath temple built by Sri .Adi Shankara -one among 12 jyothir lingas.(photo courtesy - temple committee of Badrinath & Kedarnath).You can see the Big bull - Sri.Nandhigeshwar in fron t of Kedharnath temple.It is said that Pandavas visited this place & worshiped Shiva here after the end of the great war.
Photos from top:Torana Ganapathi Shrine 2.Sri.Chjandramouleeswara Lingam 3.Torana Ganapathi in gold Kavacham 4.Sri. Balasubramanya swami.Photo courtesy - Sri.Sringeri mutt.Adi Sankara established four mutts in north,south east & west of India.Joshi mutt,Sringeri mutt,Jaganath mutt (Puri) & Dwaraka mutt.He placed Sri.Trotakacharya,Sri.Sureswara Acharya,Padma Pada & Hastamalaka as the first heads of these mutts respectively.Of these,Sri. vidyaranya from Sringeri mutt is the most famous sanyasin who founded Vijayanagara empire.The historical sacred throne of sringeri is called Vyakhyana Simhasana or seat of learning .Sri.Adi Sankara organized ten orders of sanyasins under the name Dasanami.The sanyasins end their names like Saraswathi,Bharati,Puri,Theertha,Giri,Vana & Aranya.Sankara was going along the street to take bath in Ganges.At that time a chandala was passing along the street with his dogs.sankara'S disciples shouted & asked the man to clear off the road.The Chandala asked Adi sankara ."O Venerable Guru,you are preaching Advaita & yet you make a great difference between man & man.Is advaita only theory".Sankara was very much moved by these words & thought to himself that Lord Siva himself assumed this form to teach him a lesson.Then he composed five slokas called"Manisha panchaka".Every sloka ends thus, he who practiced Advaita is my true guru be a chandala or bhramin .Adi Sankara gave each mutt a "Chandramouleeswara Lingam" which is shown in the photo which he got From God Siva Himself . The other idols were installed by the later acharyas .Will be concluded in the next postings.
Friday, 19 June 2015
Photos from top: Sri. Sringeri shankara math - kalady, the birth place of Jagad guru Adi Shankarar. 2.Shirine of Sri. saradamba. 3.Kumbhabhisheka held at kalady in 1910. Photos from Sringeri math web site with thanks Sankara met Sri. Govinda pada Acharya at Badrikashram in Badrinath & prostrated at the teacher's feet. When Govinda Pada asked who he was , Sankara replied " O revered Guru" I am not of the pancha bootha element but the immortal Atman (self) that is hidden in all names & forms . He told him that he was son of Sivaguru, brahmin of kerala. I was brought by my mother when my father died at my child hood.i have studied Vedas & Shastras under a teacher. I took Apath Sanyas when a crocodile caught my foot in a river.Kindly initiate me into Holy order of Sanyasa. Govinda pada was very much pleased to hear the truthful narration from Sankara.He accepted him as his disciple & initiated him into proper Sanyasa.Govinda pada taught him Advaitha philosophy which he learnt from his Guru Gauda pada acharya. Govinda pada asked Sankara to go to Kashi.Sankara proceeded to Kashi as per his Guru's instruction. There he wrote all his famous commentaries on Bhrama Sutra,the Upanishads & Gita . He then toured all over India.At that time other religions were found all over India. Sankara met the leaders of different school of thoughts & convinced them by arguments.He established the supremacy of Advaitha philosophy.He defeated Bhatta Bhaskara regarding his commentary on the vedhanta sutra.Dandi & Maurya became his students. He also defeated many pundits like Harsha, Abhinava Gupta,Murari misra,Udayanacharya,Dharma gupta,Kumarila & Prabakara.He also defeated Mandana Misra, an expert in Mimamsa & his wife Bharati who is said to be an avatar of Saraswati.Accepting the defeat,Mandana Misra became a disciple of sankara.Sankra took him to Sringeri & made him as the first sanyasin of Sringeri.His wife also accompanied him to Sringeri. She is there & worshiped even today.Owing to Sankara's actions all other religious faiths disappeared & he established the supremacy of Hindu Religion .
Thursday, 18 June 2015
When we ask a Christian, what is their Veda;they would immediately reply as "Bible" & similarly a Muslim;"Quran" would be the reply".If somebody asks us (Hindus) many of us would hesitate to reply what to tell as there are several holy books.You can tell as "prasthana thrayam"(பிரஸ்தான திரயம்) .This consists of "Bhramma Sutra,Upanishads & Bhahavat Gita".It is learnt that Sri.Aadhi Shankara wrote a commentary on Bhramma Sutra by Veda vyasa. Upanishads are explaining about our Vedas to recognize God in our selves.There are number of Upanishads. If one studies "Bhahavat Gita" which was earlier told to Arjuna by God Krishna during Maha Bharata war, all the Upanishads are covered in it. Sri.Sankara was was born in a very poor family(Nambudiri bhramin) in the year 788 A.D.His parents were Sivaguru & Aryamba.He lost his father at the age of 7.His mother Aryamba was an extraordinary woman.His" upa nayanam " was performed after his father's death in his 7th year .His mother took special care to educate him in Veda sastras, who learnt all of them with in 16 years of his age.He became the master of all philosophies.He wrote commentaries on Gita, Upanishads & Bhramma Sutra when he was 16 years old.Is this possible to an ordinary person. One day Sankara was bathing in a river , watched by his mother on the river bank. When he took a dip in the river he felt a crocodile dragging his feet.He immediately shouted that he was being dragged by a crocodile & let me fulfill my wish of becoming a sanyasi by adopting "Apath sanyasa " . Now his mother gave permission to adopt Sanyasa by his son.In our tradition , one has to get permission from his parents to become a sanyasi.How Sri.Swayam prakasa swamigal was struggling to get permission from his parents & brothers, i have told in my previous postings.Apath sanyasa means adoption of sanyasa when death is near.His mother is now worried that there is no one to perform her funeral fire because a sanyasi could not perform any last ritual. Asssuring his mother that he would reach her at her ending time,he left for searching a Guru.Let us see the remaining history in coming posts.Source of information & Photo from The divine Life Society with thanks.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
This is one of God Shiva temple on the northern river bank of Cauvery.( 62 ) Historical name is Thiruppalasiramam.Present name is Thiruvasi.God Shiva is called "Mattrurai Varadhar".Goddess is called Balambiga.It is said that she was born to a trader by name Kamalan & done hard penance under the Vannia tree.Later Shiva gave Dharshan to Her & married Her.Adikara nandhi appears with his consort below the Rajakopuram tower.Vinayaga is called selva vinayaga.During 7th century this area was ruled by the king Kolli Mazhavan.His daughter was suffering from an incurable disease.Frustrated,the king leaves her in this Shiva temple so that she is cured by the grace of God.Saint Sambandhar was visiting this temple.On hearing this, the king was also there to receive him.He told sambandhar about her daughter's condition.Sambandhar then prayed to God Shiva & sung ten verses in Devaram.On hearing this ,God Shiva was delighted,immediately blessed the girl & she was cured & became normal.God Shiva blessed her as Nataraja. Normally the devil muyalaga would be pressed under his foot.Here a serpent is there under his feet.In the later period,Sundharar came here to worship after visiting Thiruvanaikkaval. a lot of devotees used to accompany him.He used to feed them.To meet the expenditure,he used to demand gold from God Shiva in a friendly manner in his Devaram songs.God Shiva is very much fond of his Tamil songs.some times Shiva used to play & tease him in order to hear more songs from sundharar. Here also sundharar asked gold.As God Shiva delayed to give him gold,he got angry & asked in his songs whether God Shiva is there or not.After hearing this he got gold.In his mind , he was doubting the quality of the gold he received.At that time 2 persons came near Sudharar & asked him ,why he was looking at the gold.saying this,one of them got the gold from Sundharar & tested its purity.He told him that the quality was really good.The person who came with him too told that gold is pure one.Now the 2 persons disappeared.He heard a voice from the air.God shiva told Sundharar it was him only who tested the gold & the person accompanied him is none other than God Vishnu.தமிழில் தூய தங்கத்தினை பத்தரை மாத்து தங்கம் என்று கூறுவர்.இங்கு சிவன் அதனால்தான் "மாற்றுரைத்த வரதர்" என்று அழைக்கப் படுகிறார்.Goddess Mangalanayagi is blessing the small children to get relieved from balarishta dhoshas.This temple is in the bus route from Tiruchi to Salem at 13 kms from Tiruchi.You can see that Natarajar without muyalagan,a rare one.Bottom photo shows Sundharar.Photos from Dinamalar with thanks.We visited this temple during pradhosha time.We observed that local people participating in large number.We visited here around one and half year back.That time temple renovation work was being started. In the second photo below vinayagar,temple history is shown .