it was in May of 1979 when I first visited Ayodhya. the temple of Lord Sri Ram temple was not there, it was just iron fencing surrounding the statue of Ram Lala, guarded by few police officers with guns.
the top of the statue was covered with just a blue tarpaulin, an image that is still vivid in my mind.
i remember standing, feeling helpless and sad about our Sri Ram, as we were not allowed to go near the statue and had to be at a distance of 50 meters.
a few drops of tears rolled down my cheeks to the ground, as I sincerely prayed and wished to see the real temple of Sri Rama come up there. That was a long time ago… 41 years !!!
on two other occasions I tried to go, but could not even enter that area.
with a lot of tapas and sacrifice of so many good people, today is the stone laying ceremony for the foundation of Sri Rama temple in Ayodhya. the very birthplace of Sri Rama who has inspired millions and millions of people, who influenced our culture, music, arts, tradition, lifestyle, family and everything else.
for me Rama means everything, when we learn Sanskrit, we begin with रामः रामौ रामाः
even in the modern age Ram & Sita are relevant, computers cannot work without RAM! SITA is also a system integrated teaming assistant
i am very happy and overjoyed to see that, at last, our land has recognised its master and decided to honour him. may he continue to inspire the coming generations to live the life of dharma.
One of the most influential characters of history who held the fabric of values and family relations ships even after 8000 years !!! Without Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, all our literature, dance, music, sculptures, festivals all will be void. They are the fabric of our culture. Sri Rama showed man can become God. Sri Krishna showed God can come down to man. Both are fantastic.
Read more about Sri Rama in these 14 days of lockdown. How he lived his 14 years in the forest will be very interesting. Valmiki Maharshi is the one who wrote Sri Rama’s biography. He wrote, taught this to Sri Rama’s children – Lav & Kush. They recited this in front of Sri Rama and he approved it. That is Valmiki Ramayan. Have look at this wonderful scripture https://www.valmiki.iitk.ac.in/
शरीरं सुरुपं तथा वा कलत्रं यशश्चारू चित्रं धनं मेरुतुल्यम्। मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरंघ्रिपद्मे ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम्।।1।।
Shareeram Suroopam Thatha Vaa Kalatram, Yasascharu Chitram Dhanam Meru Tulyam, Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….1
The Body is handsome, the wife is attractive, Fame spread far and wide, wealth is enormous and stable like Mount Meru; But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
Kalatram Dhanam Putra Poutraadi Sarvam, Gruham Bhaandavaa Sarva Mettadhi Jaatam, Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….2
Wife, wealth, son, grandson, and the like, House, relations and relations all are born in a great family; But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
Shadangaadhi Vedo Mukhe Shastra Vidhyaa, Kavitva Aadhi Gadhyam, Supadhyam Karoti, Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….3
Expert in six parts of Vedas, knowledge of Scriptures on the lips, With poetic skill, prose and beautiful verses he composes; But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
Vidheseshu Maanyaha, Swadheseshu Dhanyaha, Sadhaachaara Vrutteshu Matto Na Cha Anyaha, Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….4
Well respected in foreign lands and affluent in the homeland, with the thought ‘In righteous deeds and conduct, no one is like me’; But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
Kshamaa Mandale Bhupa Bhupaala Vrindihi, Sada Sevitam Yasya Paadaaravindam, Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….5
The emperors and kings on this earth have been incessantly serving one’s feet: But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
Yasho Me Gattam Dhikshu Dhaana Prataapaath Jagadvastu Sarvam Kare Yatprasaadaath Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….6
My reputation is spread in all directions owing to the glory of my charity All worldly possessions are within my reach as the rewards of these virtues; But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
न भोगे न योगे न वा वाजिराजौ न कान्तासुखे नैव वित्तेषु चित्तम्। मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरंघ्रिपद्मे ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम्।।7।।
Na Bhoge, Na Yoghe, Na Vaa Vaajiraajaa, Na Kaantaa Mukhe Naiva Vitteshu Chittam, Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….7
Neither in indulgence nor in the discipline; in horses or in kingdoms neither in the women’s enchanting face nor in riches the mind engrossed; But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
अरण्ये न वा स्वस्य गेहे न कार्ये न देहे मनो वर्तते मे त्वनर्घ्ये। मनश्चेन्न लग्नं गुरोरंघ्रिपद्मे ततः किं ततः किं ततः किं ततः किम्।।8।।
Aranye Na Vaa Svasya Gehe Na Kaarye Na Dehe Mano Vartate Me Tvanargye Manasche Na Lagnam Guro Ranghri Padme, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim, Tatah Kim……….8
Not in the forest, not in one’s own house, not in work not in the body, nor in the invaluable things my mind dwells; But if the mind is not immersed in devotion to the lotus feet of the Guru Really of what use is all these, what use, what use, what use?
Result of reading: That pure one who recites this octad on Guru whether be an ascetic, king, a brahmachari (celibate) or a householder achieves the wishes परम पुरुषार्थम् for the highest state known as Brahman by keeping his mind on the words of Guru.
— गुर्वष्टकम् – श्रीमद् शंकराचार्यविरचितम् — Guru Ashtakam by Shri Adi Sankaracharya
Listen to the beautiful rendition of that song by Kuldeep M Pai & Surya Gayatri
today we had a heritage trip with the students of amrita vidyalayam from pulpally. visited 3 places connected with ramayana in wayanad – valmiki ashram where sita devi and her children lav & kush were living, jadayatta kav – where sita devi disappeared into the ground, and sita devi – lav & kush temple.
at the valmiki ashram there is a flowering plant – mandaram (bauhinia acuminata), pink in colour – which will bloom throughout the year – at least 2 flowers will be there on any given day. the belief is that they represent lav & kush.
it was a beautiful trip. spending sufficient time in each place, we discussed the importance of valmiki and his work, about sri rama & sita devi and their understanding and practice of dharma.
i was listening to the victory speech of prime minister narendra modi ji. he was speaking to the workers of bjp this evening at the party office after a landslide victory, for the second term to rule the country. this is what he said: “you, the people of india have given me more faith, so more responsibility. you have filled up the shoulder bag of this sadhu with hope, desires, and resolves..
i promise you, the people of india that 1.i will not misuse my power or do anything against the law. i may make mistakes while performing action. but i will not do anything which will not suit my position and the law.
2. i will not do anything for myself.
3. every second of my life and every cell of my body is dedicated to the people of india. whenever you evaluate me, pls evaluate against these 3.”
am still finding it difficult to control the surge of emotions, the tears of joy within me. because i know these are not just words, being in power for the last 18 years he has been living that and he will continue to live.. that is modi ji
being a citizen of india, he is my prime minister … one with such a vision, purity in the heart and efficiency in the hands, culture and matured, selfless to the core, dedication of this level… i see the dawn of india becoming the viswa guru. am sure, it is not far away. i feel blessed to have such a prime minister vande maataram.
Wherever praise of Lord Rama is sung, With head bowed and folded palms in veneration, eyes filled with tears of devotion, I salute that Maruti, who is the son of wind, who destroyed the demons.
Sri Rama asked Hanuman ji once… Who are you? he said देहबुद्ध्या तु दासोऽहं जीव बुद्ध्या तवदंशकः आत्मबुद्ध्या त्वमेवाहम् इति मे निश्चितामति: when i consider my self as body .. i am your servant when i consider my self as jeeva.. i am your part when i consider my self as atma .. i am yourself. there is no confusion in this understanding.
such a disciple and a guru are not two, but one !! Jai Sri Ram !!
with Sri Sitaram Kedilya at Amritapuri. He has a remarkable feat of traveling 23,100 km by foot from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and back, visiting 2350 villages in just 5 years!! the journey was undertaken to know India, be Indian, and to awaken India to the status of Jagat-guru.
The beautiful Ajantha and Ellora Temple caves, architecture and paintings. One of the unrecognised wonders of the world of Indian cultural heritage. This Ellora caves should have been the icon of India’s tourism. When you read the story you will understand it.
am here in the amritavidyalyam, kanyakumari, came to interact with kids.
it was a ‘free’ day. decided to go to suchindram temple. a very famous one. this holy place is only 13 km from Kanyakumari. its believed that indra got purified from here. hence the name – suchi – indra. he met the trinities – brahma, vishu and maheswara here thus purified. the name of the diety is sthanu-mal-aryan meaning siva-vishu-brahma respectively.
i had been there in my teens. but i dont remember all that i have seen. only the music pillar was there in my mind. i wanted to see that again.
many music pillars are there in the temple, carved out of a single granite block which is about 20 feet tall. each pillar is different. one like the music notes of a piano. another one you have to tap with your fist between two different size pillars. in the middle there is a small pillar. your hand just touches the 3rd small pillar…ahah the sound comes. another like ‘jala tarang’ 4 rings are on a pillar. you tap with your nails. it will sound exactly like in jala tarang – (playing music with water in porcelain vessel). unfortunately people have broken 3 of those rings who have no respect for art, culture.
yet another pillar having 32 small pillars! small pillars in one big granite stone, which is a support pillar of the temple roof. it has 32 diff notes!! wooowwwww…. its like a peetham on which all these 32 poles stand connect at the upper part to the bigger piece of the single granite. how its hard for the hand to get in and play on each pole. how did they chiseled it out, and made it to perfection.? ( this is locked inside a net to protect it from the people!! ). the temple has 2 pillars like that.
architectural marvel another stunning exquisite workmanship is on few statues… what is the speciality? they look ordinary. but if you insert a small iron wire or a thin stick in the left ear, it comes out through the nose! if you insert it in the right ear it come out through the left ear! remember its done in a single stone image. (this also people have pushed all sort of things into the ears and the authorities have blocked the approach to the statue. very sad)
another statue where you can insert a wire in an ear, it comes out through the other. another – a salabhanjika- lady standing with a lap. she has a nose ring. you can insert a a wire in the rose. another is a statue, which is one among the 4 big statues, part of a 20 feet pillar. the statue is standing with folded palms – like namste. the beauty is when the light falls on the hands from a side, you can see the finger nails tips like that of a human being.. transparent!!!! brilliant is int it?
also i sow ganeswari, a statue with elephant face and woman body. another ganesha is having a nandi pratishta in front of him. usually nandi you will find only in front of shiva. another, hanuman is going though the mouth and coming out of the ear of a rakshasi on his way to lanka.
statue of kama deva and his consort rati devi is so exquisite. i havent seen the statue of kama deva anywhere else. statues of arujuna and karna also decorates the same mandap.
the hanuman image in this temple is 22 feet tall. you need a ladder to climb up and do the daily pujas. this beautiful, single granite block image which has been buried during the muslim invasion and was reinstalled around 88 years ago.
so many more special idols there – both big and small- conveying art and engineering, beauty and skill of our ancient masters.
remember all these are done on granite!!
next one is the nandi. 13 feet high, 21 feet long and 10 feet wide. its not granite but is made of lime and mortar. its one of the biggest of its kind.
the guide told me that during the regime of Ayilyam Thirunaal Maharajah of Travancore, a lottery scheme was introduced to raise funds for rebuilding the temple. it was in in 1875, and a sum of over rs 40,000 was raised. that was the first lottery in india. then kerala lottery came. and other state lotteries consequently.
when you visit these temples without any prejudice, you will stand in awe to the past of india. why did we loose the connection? how we lost it? questions we need to ponder seriously.
(unfortunately the temple authorities won’t allow the camera inside. i wonder really do they know what they are depriving to the society? a chance to talk about our great culture. no one in this world are going to recreate this sculpture. then why this restrictions? by allowing the pic, no damage it will create to those sculptures. will they reconsider this?)
it was an inner call to visit kurushetra. recent gita class has been propelling my heart to be there at the battle field where sri krishna delivered the wisdom of gita to arjuna.
gita sthal: where sri krihsna supposed to have given the upadesh to arjuna. a vata vruksh is standing there, supposed to be very old
the surrounding areas are paddy fields. some buildings are also there around. imagine, 18 akshounihi armies were arrayed there. and krishna and arjuna standing in the middle of the battle field. the war was about to begin. when you visualise this you will hear the din and roar of that battle field, the bugles, cry of the horses and elephants. there sri krishna is telling arujna – … intelligent will not lament over the dead nor for the living. i could hear this. wow. feels so inspired and energised.
saraswati river was flowing through kurushetra. its about 48 kos, and many theerthas (sacred water bodies) in kurushetra. it is considered as a sacred place – dharma kshetra. thats why war was decided to be conducted here, being a dharmic place. the war was for dharma.
brahma sarovar. its huuuuuuuuge. i walked along the banks, took half an hour to cover less than quarter of the sarovar. so it will take two hours at least to cover the whole sarovar. this is where soldiers used to take bath every day after the war.
drupadi kund: this is where draupadi supposed to have washed her hair, after it was smeared with dussana’s blood.
pandava mandir: temple for pandavas
bhishma kund: where bhismha was lying in sarasayya, bed of arrows, arjun brought ganga to the son of ganga when he was thirsty. sri krishna took pandavas to bhishma. seeing sri krihsna bheeshma started crying. arjuna asked krishna why he is crying, is it paining too much?. ‘you ask him’ said krishna.
bheeshma said ‘”in spite of sri krishna being with the side of pandavas, their sorrow has not subsided. i cant understand Krishna’s maya. thats why i cry”
lying on that bed of arrows for 41 days, before he left his body, he taught yudhisthira how to rule the kingdom, and vishnu sahara nam.
panorama: exhibition of mahabarata
the mahabharata war is painted on a circular wall, continuously, from day 1 to 18. there is an interesting painting – on 12 day skri krishna was hit by vaishnavastra, send by bhagadathha to kill arjuna, turned into vaijayanthi mala.
archeology dept have excavated jarasandha nagar, the kingdom of jarasandh in rajgir, bihar dist.
in kankali excavation a stone carving was found which dates back to 1st century – sri krihsna is being taken across yamuna. and a govardhanadhari krishna of 4th century.