Thursday, December 31, 2009

happy new year - नववर्षाभिनन्दनम्


time ticked one more second and as per the modern common custom, it is time to make resolutions, or should i say time to 'start following up on the resolutions made under extreme peer pressure'.

vidur has a small advice for resolutions, undertakings, projects that we decide to undertake. "the wise should only make those resolutions (undertake projects) that are according to one's ability and aptitude." else they will have less chance of completion.

"once started, the wise doesn't stop or get distracted by fear or attachment, cold or heat, ample or no resources, pride or aimlessness; the wise takes resolutions to completion."

and here is a simple yet deep thought for the new year:
"but the one who sees all beings in the divine and divine in all beings, after that [after such viewpoint, experience] one doesn't hate anyone." - iishAvAsya upaniShad (6)

each of the 18 shlokas of this upaniShad is packed with meaning worth a chapter or a book in itself. being part of the upaniShad, these kind of thoughts are very ancient, much before any of the 'modern' institutionalized 'religions' started.

here is pursuit of truth, spiritualism in its purest form, loaded with many layers of meanings and experiences.

here is wishing you all a happy new year.

embrace the world with an open heart.

for the great saint tulasiDasa says - "run towards the [people of the] world and hug them with love, for you never know in what form you may find the divine".

नववर्षाभिनन्दनम् = नव-वर्ष-अभिनन्दनम् = new-year-greetings

resolve to take resolutions to completion!

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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

how we learn and grow - आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते

one fourth from the teacher, one fourth from own intelligence,
one fourth from classmates, and one fourth only with time.

AchAryAt pAdamAdatte, pAdam shiShyaH swamedhayA |
sa-brahmachAribhyaH pAdam, pAdam kAlakrameNa cha ||

आचार्यात् पादमादत्ते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया ।
सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥


this one shloka opens up many facets, related to learning and teaching – be it regular schools or spiritual learning. modern education system, student-teacher relationship, undue blame on teacher or students for below expectation results.

let us look at each of the four parts. one learns from four sources - teacher, self, others, and with time (i.e. experience).

this doesn't mean it is exactly one-fourth from each. that may depend upon individual case - how good the teacher, classmates, own intelligence or environment is.

just like to grow a tree a gardener, good seed, fertile soil and time are needed, so too to learn one needs a teacher, own intelligence, co-students and time (patience, experience).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

give dutifully when, where, to whom the need is


it is that time of the year,
the season of giving,
the season of charity, caring, love and kindness!

merry christmas!

those in the snow belt, enjoy the snow.
others, enjoy the sun! but enjoy.

recently, on a reputed online discussion forum, i read a comment in context of why indians (read - hindus) don't do much charity, that other religions stress on charity, even as much as 15% of your income! that is a hefty chunk of charity! surely the trait is giving is shrinking everywhere - with our increased wants and needs, increased population, and increased selfishness, corruption and reducing trust.

it is true that many hindus are wary of charity as a routine, mainly because they are not sure of what happens of the donation. many non-profit organizations exist for the mere task of funneling money in form of expenses. but otherwise, hindus do actually do charity, in many small to large organizations around the world.

but this set me thinking, what does the ancient philosophy say on this? does the 'religion' talk about it? i am including just a few thoughts on the topic of giving, and since the sanskrit is not necessarily simple, i have skipped the language part for them.

the concept of giving was at many levels. the householder sustained a large part of the society via charity. the students begged their food in the village/town as brahmachAri. this ensured they didn't develop egos larger than their hearts! the sannyAsii, poor, wandering monks all depended on the gRihastha (householder) for sustenance. this is still seen among buddhist societies, where monks still take alms.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

belur halebid - temple towns of the hoysAlA dynasty

900 years old temples, the belur temple is continuously used temple with prayers offered and even weddings performed.

the halebid temple was destroyed by invading muslims even while under construction.

more photos to come.
click here to see comments on the photos.








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(c) shashikant joshi । शशिकांत जोशी । ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
Practical Sanskrit. All rights reserved.
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Friday, December 4, 2009

may hanumAn give you intellect and strength - बुद्धिर्बलं यशो धैर्यं



intellect, strength, patience, fearlessness, health,
consciousness (awareness) and oratory - may they come by remembering hanumAn .

बुद्धिर्बलं यशो धैर्यं निर्भयत्वमरोगिता ।
अजाड्यं वाक्पटुता च हनुमत्स्मरणाद्भवेत् ॥


buddhir_balam yasho dhairyam nirbhayatvam_arogitA |
a_jADyam vAk_paTutA cha hanumat_smaraNAd_bhavet ||


while devotees of any divine form will say that their divine will give them everything, why are these things associated with hanumAn - intellect, strength, patience, fearlessness, health, consciousness (awareness) and oratory? there are specific reasons.

in the master epic rAmAyaNa of vAlmIki, we come across a wonderful character named hanumAn. his character has captivated people from all times and of all ages. along with shiva and ganesh, perhaps there are most temples of hanumAn. so vast are the qualities of hanumAn and the reasons for them that one post will not be sufficient.

being an avatar of shiva himself, he is favourite of bachelors, and men of strength like wrestlers. he is called as the monkey god. but calling it that in english removes all the greatness one feels when refered as vAnara - which means "maybe human", i.e. half human, like the great apes.

there are many shlokas in his name, and saint goswAmI tulasidAsa wrote a full 40 verse, compact poem called "hanumAn chAlIsA" i.e. 40 verses of hanumAn. in it, he summarizes all the adventures of the great hero.