Friday, December 17, 2004


I personally feel that like ...
Mathematics which sits at the top of all sciences
advaita sits at the top of all philosophy...

I mean though advaita is very vast... very subtle ... very ticklish....
the philosophy 'as it is' .... is very pervasive and holistic... i mean u can include everything .....

It is like the general theory of relativity which gives an all encompassing
U can include the "pushti marg" and the "dviata" and "suddhadvaita" easily as special
cases of advaita... just like Newton’s laws became special cases of Einstein’s theory..

Now no advaita story is complete if we ignore its main exponent.. SHANKARCHRYA aka Shankara aka Sankara (English version)....

Here is a good primer on the veteran....


No historical person has exercised a deeper and stronger influence on Indian thought and intellect and on spiritual life than Sri Adi Sankaracharya (788 – 820 A D). Indian philosophy, culture, poetry, humanism, art, literature etc., even today, reveal the impact of his teachings. In particular, he left indelible marks on the religious map of India.
As a philosopher, a poet, a reformer, an organizer, a teacher, an integrator, and an interpreter and so on, Adi Sankara is the sublime prophet of an epoch and thus rightly deserves to be called 'Jagadguru' ('Universal Preceptor').
Sankara's Life in Brief
The success and glory of life of Adi Sankara is sung in one sloka
“Ashta varshe chaturveedi
Dvaadasae sarva saastravit,
Shodasee kritavaan bhaashyam
Dvaatrimsee munirabhyagaat.”
“At eight, a master of four Vedas
At twelve, a professor of all sastras,
At sixteen, an interpreter and commentator
At thirty two, a great sage.”

Adi Sankara was born to the blessed couple of Siva guru and Aryamba, in Kalady in Kerala state, India. He had mastered the Vedas and sastras at the age of eight. After taking sannyasa from his master Govinda Bhagavatpada on the banks of the river Narmada, Sankara went to Kasi and then to Badri where he wrote Bhashyas at the guru's bidding. Then, he traveled to all parts of India, spreading the gospel of Advaita Sidhanta. He established four monastic centers at the four corners of India and entrusted them to the care of monks noted for their intellect, character and vision. With his immense knowledge and forceful arguments, he was able to win over adherents of different schools and sects. He upheld the Sanatana Dharma, whose tenets are eternal and universal.
His Literary Accomplishments Sankara's great writings, all in Sanskrit, consist of major philosophical commentaries and other works, as well as minor works such as hymns for a common man.

1. Major works on Philosophy

Of all the works, Sankara's commentaries (or Bhashyas) on the Prastanaa traya (trilogy of works) are considered to be very great and important in the realm of philosophy.
They include Bhaashya on
Brahma sutras (called Nyaaya Prastaana)
Ten Principal Upanishads (called Sruti Prastaana)
Gaudapada Kaarikas (called Smriti Prastaana)
Bhagavad-Gita, Vishnu Purana and Sanatsujatiya.

2. Minor works on Philosophy

Sankara wrote many Prakaranas (minor works), such as
Viveka Chudamani, with nearly 600 slokas, stands foremost.
Upadesa Saahasri, with 675 verses, is well known for vedantic topics
Aparokshanubhuti is composed of 147 stanzas dealing with yoga processes
Vaakya vritti gives the meaning of Mahavaakya, namely Tat Tvam Asi
Panchikarana deals with the process by which the five subtle elements combine to form gross elements and the material world
Svaatma Prakaasika, in 98 verses, explains the nature and characteristics of the soul which is distinct from the body
Prasnothara Rathnamaalika, just like any handbook, gives short questions and answers on the soul
Atma Bodha, another simpler work, is a basic for a seeker to start with
And some other minor, but valued works on philosophy, such as Tattva Bodha, Atma-Anatma Viveka, Prabodha Sudhakara, Brahmagnanavalli, Swaatma Nirupana
Other similar hymns are Maya Panchakam, Sadhana Panchakam, Vignana Nauka, Nirvana Panchakam, Nirvana Shatkam Kaupina panchakam etc.
Dakshina Murty Stotra
Sankara composed the immortal hymn, Dakshina Murty Stotra, in ten stanzas, which is a masterpiece. It inculcates the highest devotion to the Divine being as the guru of gurus. It provides a text for the students to learn the fundamental truth of Advaita Vedanta.
Manisha Panchakam
It is another important metrical Prakarana, in five stanzas, explaining the principles of Advaita Vedanta.

3. Works of Devotion (stotras)

Though Sankara expounds the concept of Nirguna Brahma (without attributes), he advocates 'Devotion' (bhakti) towards a Saguna Brahma (with attributes), which when ripened leads to the knowledge of Nirguna Brahma. Further, he did not only believe in the efficiency of bhakti in the realization of Brahma, but also actually composed a large number of hymns (or stotras) in praise of many deities, in different contexts.
Kanakadhaara stavam is a famous work in praise of Goddess Lakshmi.
Sarada Bhujanga prayaataashtakam, in 8 verses, is in praise of Sringeri Saradaamba.
Siva paadaadi kesaanta varnamala stotra is a beautiful hymn on Siva.
Lakshmi Narasimha karaavalamba stotra, in 12 stanzas, is a full surrender to Lord Narasimha.
Siva bhujanga stotram and Vishnu bhujanga stotram are composed to ensure happiness to his mother.
In Veda saara Siva stotram, a vital doctrine of Advaita is introduced in the shortest framework of 7 stanzas.
Charpata Panjarika Stotram (Dvaadasa Manjarika stotram)
In this, (popularly known as Bhaja Govinda stotram), Sankara shows in touching words and with apt examples, how an average
man can embark on his spiritual endeavor.
Two highly potent prayers, Soundarya Lahari and Sivaananda Lahari, each of 100 stanzas, are unfathomably deep in spirit and thought and are expressions of his proficiency in poetry.

His Poetic Prowess

Sankara was well aware that commentaries on the Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita etc., required basic knowledge, great skill and effort on the part of the reader. So, for the benefit of the layman, he created a large number of simple hymns (stotras) on various forms of the Lord such as Siva, Vishnu, Ambika, Ganesha and many other gods.
1. Rhythmic Poetry
Sankara amalgamated philosophy into poetry and the outcome was metrical, rhythmical and musical hymns.
To name a few stotras, we have
Ganesha Pancharatna stotram “Mudaakaraatha modakam….” Shatpadi stotram “Avinayampanaya vishno damaya…” Uma Maheswara stotram “Namah Sivaabhyaam navayouvvanaabhyaam” Annapurnaashtakam “Nityaanandakari varaabhayakari...” Sivaananda Lahari “Kalaabhyaam chudaalankrita sasi kalaabhyaam” Mahishaasura Mardini stotram “Ayigiri nandini nandita modini...”
Some of the hymns are quite simple, like
Siva Panchaakshari stotram “Nagendra haraaya trilochanaaya...”
Lingashtakam “Brahma murari suraarchita lingam...”
Some of the hymns are not that simple, for example,
Dakshinamurty stotram “Visvam Darpana drisyamaana nagari tulyam…” Or Soundarya Lahari “Sivassaktyayukto yadi bhavati sakta prabhavithum...”
2. Ultimate in Devotion
Sankara's degree of devotion to Lord is great and surrender to Him is ultimate. This fact is disclosed in many of his hymns, for example, in 'Siva Maanasa puja', the last two slokas are
1. “Atma tvam Girija matih… Sambho! Tavaaraadhanam.” [1]
Meaning of the sloka
“My self is Sambhu (yourself); my intellect is Girija; my vital breaths are your attendants; my body is your temple of residence; my enjoying the objects of senses is your worship; my sleep is the state of meditation; all movement with the pair of feet is doing pradakshina to you and all my words are your praises. O Sambhu! Whatever I do is entirely an act of worshipping you.”
2. “Karacharana … Maha Deva Sambho!” [2]
Meaning of the sloka
“Ocean of Mercy! Forgive me all this fault-done and yet to be done, committed by hands, feet or done vocally, physically and by actions through the faculties of hearing, seeing and thinking (mentally). Faults may also arise from not doing prescribed duties and by doing prohibited actions.”
3. Imagery
The beauty of the images in his works, decorated by the figure of speech, developed by the poet-author creates high levels of joy and enlightenment in the readers and seekers. For instance, the 61st sloka of Sivaananda Lahari describes the gradual ascendance of the state of devotion, by giving impressive examples.
“Ankolam nija-bija ….. sada saa bhaktirityuchyate” [3]
Meaning of the sloka
“That state of mind is called 'Bhakti', wherein all movements of thought go automatically to the lotus feet of the Lord and stick to them forever just as the seed of the ankola tree (on falling) gravitates to the parent tree, the iron needle to the magnetic stone, the devoted wife to her husband, the creeper to the tree and the river to the ocean.”
A great synthesizer
Adi Sankara, with his knowledge as his companion, was able to command the emotion of intellectuals as well as the masses. He was able to gather the scattered people and raised their spiritual and cultural energies by revolutionizing their philosophical thinking.
The greatest service rendered by the great Acharya was to establish four 'Amnaayas' in the four directions for the task of preaching preserving and protecting the values of Sanatana Dharma. He founded four monastic centers (Peethas).
Puri in east – Rig Veda (Pragnaanam Brahma as Mahaa Vaakya)
Sringeri in south – Yajur Veda (Aham Brahmaasmi)
Dvaaraka in west – Sama Veda (Tat Tvam Asi)
Badrinath in north – Atharva Veda (Ayamaatma Brahma)
Adi Sankara entrusted the above centers to the care of great monks, namely, Hastaamalakaachaarya, Suresvaraachaarya, Padmapaadaachaarya and Totakaachaarya, who have their traditional successors even now.
Thus, he made a lasting and permanent arrangement for propagation and synthesis of religion.

A National Integrator

No single individual has done in India more for national integration than Adi Sankara. Adi Sankara traveled all over India, propagating and unifying the spiritual outlook of the people. Through discussions, debates and compositions, he was able to win the hearts of the people. The unifying force, namely, Sanskrit language helped national integration become all the more effective. In those times, there were innumerable groups and classes, each in conflict with the other. Socially, the country was divided into different creeds and sects. Sankara brought back the Vedas and taught Vedanta which teaches that there is but one existence and that is God. He convinced his followers of various sects and rationalized the practices of the chief cults.
He founded 'Shanmataas' (six modes of purified forms of worship) to satisfy the spiritual and religious practices of diversified Hindus of the country and unify them. They are 1. Saiva; 2. Vaishnava; 3. Saakta; 4. Soura; 5. Gaanapatya; and 6. Skaanda (Subrahmanya). Accordingly, he recommended the practice of 'Panchaayatana Puja' wherein the five major five deities of Vedas, namely, Surya, Ambika, Vishnu, Ganapati and Siva [4] are worshipped by making one's chosen deity the main focus in the center (i.e., as per a chosen order of arrangement of the deities on the same platform). The sixth deity, Shanmukha, is worshipped in the form of 'Yagneswara' (Fire) in the daily rituals (through Agnihotra). This method of worship avoids the deliberate elevation of any one deity over the other.
“His greatness lies in the fact that he gathered up scattered cultural and spiritual energies of the people and raised the voltage tenfold,” mentions Swami Ranganathananda of Sri Ramakrishna Mission.
“He revised Hinduism by reforming the Buddhist elements in Gaudapada Kaarika and gave them a vedantic character …which represents a turning point,” says Prof. Sengakee Mayada, an eminent indologist in Japan.

A Great Yogi

Adi Sankara's life on earth had been a miracle. Within a short span of 32 years, he traveled throughout the length and breadth of the country, three times, establishing a marvelous philosophy. Surely, he should have had an inner yogic life, by which it was possible for him to achieve so many great things. His exposition, titled 'Vivarana', on Vyasa's commentary on the famous Patanjali Yoga Sutras throws light on the Acharya's perception on Yoga. His work, 'Yogataravali' reveals many secrets of the yoga sastra.

His Message

Adi Sankara was universal in his outlook. He was kind. His message was meant, not for Hindus alone, but for all mankind. Through his eminent works he drives the man to carve out a personality.
To quote a few slokas from his works,
1. In Charpata Panjarikaa Stotram, (Bhaja Govindam), Sankara advises that suffering is a part of this endless cycle of births and deaths.
“Punarapi jananam… .paahi murare” [5]
Meaning of the sloka
“Birth unceasing, death unceasing!
Ever to pass through a mother's womb,
Hard to cross is the world's wide ocean
Lord! Redeem me through thy mercy.”

2. In Sivaaparaadha Kshamaapana Stotra (15th sloka), he cautions that equipment of joy in human life is highly temporary.
“Ayurnasyati… rakshaadhuna” [6]
Meaning of the sloka
“Day by day, life ebbs away before our eyes as we look on; youthfulness declines; days passed do never return; time devours worlds; wealth is fickle like the ripple on the wavelets of water; life is fleeing like lightning. Therefore, oh Lord! Protect now with your grace; seeking refuge in you.”
3. In 'Upadesa Panchakam' he ordains the way of leading a purposeful life.
“Vedo nityamadhiyataam… vinirgamyataam” [7]
Meaning of the sloka
“Study the Veda everyday; do properly Karma prescribed therein (rituals, at least the nitya karmas); by the performance of those karmas, worship the Lord; abandon attachment to desire-driven action; wash away the accumulated sins; reflect on the defects of happiness derived from samsaaric existence; be firm in desiring the Self (in realization); quickly leave your house (i.e. take to sannyaasa)
Based on many of his works, great scholars have summarized his message as follows:
Realize that everything around you, including your wealth and your family, are all evanescent. Too much attachment would result in diverting your mind from what is eternal.
You have to learn to renounce the thought of reward for what you are doing.
Moral preparation should be a part of the life and that is achieved through universal compassion and love.
You long for liberation. Life is the school to educate you for the eternal life.

His Philosophy

Usually, the doctrine of Advaita is formulated in the famous sloka of Sankara,
“Slokaardhena pravakshyami Yaduktaih grandha kotibhih; Brahma satyam, Jaganmithyaa, Jivo brahmaiva naa parah!”
Meaning of the sloka
“What has been told in countless number of books is being said in one half a sloka. Brahman is Satyam (Truth); world is Mithya (apparent); the individual soul (jeeva or atman) is none other than the Infinite Brahman.”
The last part of the above sloka is more significant and it is briefly explained thus:
“By analyzing the three states of experience, namely, waking, dreaming and deep sleep, Sankara exposed the relative nature of the world. The three states of consciousness are superimposed into a fourth transcendental state known as 'turiya'. Then the individual soul realizes that he/she is none other than the Infinite Brahman.”
Sankara established that the above realization is the supreme truth of the Advaita. Advaita is the non-dual reality of Brahman in which atman (the individual soul) and Brahman are identified absolutely.
Adi Sankara's mission was to propagate the Advaita Philosophy, which is, in a nutshell, as follows.
“The world of manifestation and multiplicity that we see is not real in itself. It seems real only because of 'ignorance' (or Avidya). To be caught in it is bondage. To get over Avidya, works (karma) are in vain. They only bind us to the endless chain of cause and effect and to the unreal process of 'Samsaara'. Only wisdom can remove ignorance. (Path of Jnaana is superior). Wisdom consists in conviction that Brahma alone is real. The individual self and the Brahman are identical. When this is realized, the ego is dissolved. We are back to perfect joy and blessedness. Reality is 'Brahman is one without a second.' ”
The manifold nature of the phenomenal world and its ultimate unity is symbolized by AUM, the most sacred syllable of Hindus.

Advaita and Modern Science

Sankara's views on the nature of reality have a striking resemblance with the advanced theories of modern science.
Students of Physics are aware of the implications of the uncertainty principle, which states that, “It is impossible to specify precisely and simultaneously, the values of both members of particular pairs of physical variables that describe the behavior of an atomic system.” The principle includes that the knowledge, which occurs in pairs, namely, position and time, energy and time and action and time is affected. Uncertainty relations are constituents of knowledge at the ordinary levels of experience. Once this concept that they occur in pairs is got over, the uncertainty relations do not come into the picture at all. Sankara proposed in his Advaita theory that the limitations of ordinary knowledge vanish when one transcends the idea of opposites or pairs and then there is a direct perception out of intuition.
In modern science, the outside world is deeply affected by the position and time of the observer. The special theory of relativity claims differences relative to the position and time of different observers.
Sankara was the foremost who denied the separate existence of subject and object. He made the statement that in the highest reaches of knowledge the distinction between subject and object disappears.
Sankara says that the universe which the person sees is only that which he thinks he sees... Sankara does not deny the existence of an objective universe. He asserts that it is the sense of perception that makes the difference between one observer and the other. If a person transcends the boundary of ordinary perception, then the question of an objective existence other than pure consciousness does not arise. Then the process of seeing (observation), the seer (subject) and the seen (object) have no independent existence and this is the highest goal which every human being should try to reach.


The books and articles written on Adi Sankara are enough to make a whole library. Many thinkers and seekers have been meditating upon life, philosophy, and the works of Adi Sankara.
Sankara has been a source of inspiration to many of the leaders of modern times too.
In 'The Discovery of India', Jawaharlal Nehru has said of him, “Sankara was a man of amazing energy and vast activity.” Nehru expresses that Sankara was no escapist returning into his shell or into a corner of the forest.
Dr S. Radhakrishnan has said,
“Sankaracharya is one of the immortals of India's cultural history. ... His originality was in reinterpreting the great Indian tradition.”
N. A. Palkiwala, an eminent jurist, writes,
“Whole generations have come and gone, empires have flourished and vanished, but Sankaracharya's empire of the spirit survives. And so long as his great spirit abides with our people, there is hope for the future greatness of our country.
Adi Sankara is the greatest expression and true meaning of a world teacher in philosophy, religion and culture.”
Adi Sankara is Jagadguru par excellence.

Full version of slokas
[1] “Atma tvam Girija matih, sahacharaah praanaah, sariram griham,
Pujaa te vishayopa bhoga rachanaa, nidraa samaadhih stitih,
Sanchaarah padayoh pradakshina vidhih, stotrani sarvaa giro,
Yadyat karma karomi tattadakhilam Sambho! tavaaraadhanam”.
[2]“Karacharana kritamvaakkaajam karmajamva,
Sravana nayanamjamva maanasamva aparaadham,
Vihitamahitamva sarvametat kshamasva,
Jaya jaya karunaabde Sri Maha Deva Sambho!”
[3] “Ankolam nija-bija santatih ayasaantopalam suchika
Sadhvi naija-vibhum lataa kshitiruham sindhuh sarid vallabham
Prapnotiha yatha tatha pasupateh paadaaravindadvayam
Chetovrittih upetya tishtati sada saa bhaktirityuchyate”
[4]Adityamambikaam Vishnum Gananaatham Maheswaram
Panchaayatana pujartham kalpayedvijasathamah
[5] “Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam,
Punarapi janani jatharae sayanam
Iha samsare bahudustaare
Kripayaa paare paahi muraare.
[6] Ayurnasyati pasyataam pratidinam yaati kshayam youvvanam
Pratyaayaanti gataah punarna divasaah, kaalo jagadbhakshakah
Lakshmistoya taranga bhangi chapalaa, vidyutchalam jivitam
Tasmaanmaam saranaagatam karunayaa tvam raksha rakshaadhuna.
[7] “Vedo nityamadhiyataam taduditam karma svanushthiyataam
Teneshasya vidhiliyataamachitih kaamaye matishtyajyataam
Paapaughah paridhuuyataam bhavasukhe dosho anusandhiliyataam
Atmechha vyavasilyataam nijagrihaattuurnam vinirgamyataam”

Sunday, December 05, 2004

bend it like beckhem never did

Perhaps the most ubiquitous and tantalizing entity in this world is life, which incidentally is also is the most intriguing thing. Furthermore, it is omnipresent. From the vast expanses of space to the deepest, unfathomable oceans, it exists…forever. As Shakespeare held it, ‘Counter positives in turn give positives.’ every end is a new beginning. Likewise, one life gives rise to another life, thereby proclaiming the divine vision – a vision of eternity.
We are not prattling about the “divine” as understood by ‘Christians’, ‘Hindus’, ‘Moslems’ etc. We are talking about a divine who is green in trees, blue in sky, red in rose, colorless in water and hazel in your eyes. This divinity is ‘no where’ yet ‘now here’ i.e. it depends on your perspective. Our divine is natural & NOT supernatural and when you submerge yourself in the natural you enter the realm of supernatural; for whatever you call supernatural, finally has a natural manifestation & a natural meaning. What do you think? The most conspicuous materialization of this ‘supernatural’ or the ‘infinite’ is Man.
As the Vedas put it,
‘prakruti’ has only existence,
‘manushya’ has consciousness as well as existence, while
‘parmatma’ has consciousness, existence as well as bliss.
This is why we all strive to achieve the ‘Parmatma’. Yet, ‘however great God might be, he cannot be greater than you, for it’s your imagination that created Him’. So lets uncork your imagination & bottle your common sense, for to imagine the unimaginable is the zenith of imagination.
When asked to think of an Energy source, what comes to your mind in an instant? A battery? Or perhaps an internal combustion engine. Some of you may have drifted to the notions of water, fire, earth, air & sky as sources of energy. Is that all? There are sources beyond these – the Divinity & Man. What we are talking about is not completely insane. Can you walk up a wall? Why not? The laws of physics prevent you from doing so or do they? After all what we understand & fear to be true, we call theories & what we observe & neglect as it is beyond our explanation, we call Laws. In fact, Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone & more fragile than a rose. What we mean to say is that man himself creates limits for himself. It won’t take you much to think of someone who can calculate faster than a machine. How was it possible? Simply because they knew that man can never be second to any of his own creations. One day probably, a ‘man-like’ creature shall sit across a table with a human being & emote. Whatever happens, it shall never excel a man. Man is limitless while machines have limits. And, we claim here that the only limitless thing that a man can bring into being is … Another MAN. Do not all these demonstrate the presence of the divinity in Man? The powers are out there for the grabs…if only you dare to tread.
To sum it up we’d like to revert to a spiritual view… “The only important thing is to realize Divine Life and to help others realize it by manifesting it in everyday happenings. To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others -- by expressing, in the world of forms, truth, love, purity, and beauty -- this is the sole game that has intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents, and attainments in themselves can have no lasting importance.” – Meher Baba, Complete Discourses, page 200.
So, plunge into the divine, free your mind & break all the barriers.
Wishing you Bon Voyage,
With warm regards,
Ashutosh Ghildiyal & Parth Awasthi (II Year)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

curruption :i lie therefore i am

picture of M. Visvesveraya the great engineer who thought character building and dam building were similar activities. He would have broken the heart of our contractors, who would have laughed to hear that he carried two fountain pens, one strictly for the office, the other for personal use. The other delightful foil for him was the customs officer who has just been nabbed by the CBI for corruption. Someshwar Mishra also believed in character building. In fact he was arrested soon after be administered the oath of honesty to new customs officers. Mishra is part of a virus sweeping India, a malaise called dishonesty.

Is dishonesty a fault, or a cultural trait?

Earlier, politicians had to respect honesty even if they were personally dishonest. That hypocrisy was necessary because a sense of the norm had to sustained. But what this did was hide the tensions one lives. In fact, to many, dishonesty is a survival tactic. A young man goes out for a date and lies to his parents who are circa 19th century. A housewife lies about the budget to save some money from her alcoholic husband. You lie at office as a form of resistance against your boss. Dishonesty is too wide a word and covers too much. But the real dishonesty is the way we lie to ourselves. Men lie to themselves as to how they feel about women. The great Indian family is held by the glue of dishonesty. The British made hypocrisy a national trait but Indians made dishonesty into an art form. We lie to ourselves because there are too many selves to confront.

Corruption is a pathology, but dishonesty is something polluting. It marks our everydayness. I lie therefore I am. It is difficult to be honest about dishonesty. I see it as outside me. Every politician, bureaucrat, parent, school principal does. We must begin by seeing it as a part of ourselves that we find so difficult to construct. Our identity crisis comes not from nationhood, caste, religion but from constructing our personal self.

Part of our tragedy is that our models of life are too exemplary. Gandhi’s one temptation to lie is the stuff of history. Visvesveraya’s honesty is like an alien public act, a governmental performance. He writes about honesty as if it is a policy document. Dishonesty is not about a public self, it is personal, intimate and this we (males in particular) find difficult to confront. How do we confess that few of us have grown up? How do we tell our children about bribes we paid, or our acts of cowardice? We lie to sustain the unbearable self. But when we lie, we can live with the everydayness of our self.

Dishonesty begins with excuses, postponements. It is a rubric for the messiness of what India is. The best thing to do is to portray it on our flag, confess it in our diaries. Confronting, it without condemning it, would be an interesting start. It would make us less inventive but maybe we need to invent other directions. Dishonesty should not be seen as interesting fiction but as something boring, glaring, huge, everyday like socialist realism. Then may be something new, unexpected might happen. Not that economics will change but our relations to our children and the women in our lives might. It could be the most liberating thing we could look forward too. Maybe we should try it in homeopathic doses. The impact might be allopathic. We have nothing to lose but our current selves.

north east: manipur

Last week, a friend of mine asked me: "What do you think of the problem in the north-east?" Let us begin with the obvious. The north-east is a colonial construct. The very act of labelling distances it. The plurality of places, spaces, memories, ecologies we call Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Bodoland, Assam gets homogenised into a flatness of north-east.

We have increasingly orientalised ourselves after Independence. Once we homo-genise, once we orientalise, we behave as if we colonise. And the three together create what sociologists call the self-fulfilling prophecy. What is familiar through, say, the People of India survey is behaviourally reproduced by attributing strangeness. Manipur is more distant than Madison. Do we even think of the difference between Hindu Manipur and Christian Mizoram?

An integral part of India is read as an item of foreign policy. And people respond in turn by saying "go back Indian army". Of course there is insurgency there and the insidious fingers of the ISI. But is ISI the marker to a problem or are we as a democracy going to wrest it from ISI and redefine it for ourselves? The youth of these societies are already part of the Indian and global mainstream. They are prominent in every educational institution both in their ability to be westernised and yet retain their separate indivi-dual identities. When the PM, sensitive though he is, says we have to retrain bureaucrats for the north-east, he might be falling into the same stereotypical traps.

There is a second part of the story. My late colleague Giri Deshingkar was a defence expert with a heart. He knew that statistics could bleed. Giri once talked to us about a problem of law and order and not as he emphasised a ‘law and order’ problem. For instance, the atrocity of Assam Rifles or the insurgent violence, the agitations could be read as a problem of law and order.

The problem of law and order dealt with the paramilitarisation of our society. Deshingkar observed that India as a society has over a million paramilitary forces outside the army. Many are equipped like army units and yet function for internal order and control. He talked of a decade when almost all the awards for gallantry the army got, were for action against our own people. What then happens to the idea of civil rights and people’s security? In that sense women’s protests against the rape and murder of Manorama Devi by Assam Rifles is something that concerns us all. How do we stop the paramilitarisation and brutalisation of our society?

I am not ignoring the problem of terro-rism and insurgency. It is commonsense that terrorist groups, whatever their
inaugural acts of liberation, gradually degenerate to fat-cat tax collection agencies. The monstrous jugalbandi between terrorism and paramilitarisation literally asphy-xiates democracy in a society. When atrocities like terrorism and rape are met with silence, then protest must be genuinely creative to break through the crust of complicity and silence. That is what the nude protest in front of Kangla Fort achieved. It demands a response beyond questions of rights, feminist propriety, security or the other cliches of the "north-east problem".

What do we do as ordinary citizens and concerned Indians? Do we leave it to the experts — retired ministry officials, security denizens and exiled politicians desperate to make a comeback? How do we respond to the Manipur in each of us? There is in each Indian a part that wants to secede and another which desperately clings to the idea of India. Each of us wants to be separate and Indian — Tamil and Indian, Gujarati and Indian, Sikh and Indian. The term ‘and’ is crucial for Indian identity. The minute we guillotine it terrorism is born. But more, since media is so central, do we restrict it to the visual spectacle of protest of the women or do we demand to hear voices, discourses from Manipur and not from Delhi? Sometimes one feels it is Delhi that has seceded from the rest of India. Can we insist on a newspaper panchayat where citizens can demand the news, voices, views they want so that Manipur gets more
space than the socialites on page 3? A newspaper panchayat allows conversations across states between people. Let Manipuris speak for themselves and let India don a hearing aid and listen to these voices. If protest is a scream of pain let us insist on hearing it without experts as middlemen brokering the idea of Manipur. We have to decide whether Manipur is only an issue for the state or an idea for civil society.

A few years ago when the earthquake struck Gujarat, people from every part of India rushed to help. They came with the little they had, but ready to share. An atrocity is like a social earthquake. When people protest atrocities in Manipur do we remain silent or do we remember that each gift demands a return? Silence magnifies the terror and brutality of an atrocity. Worse, we have to decide whether the only way to discover some parts of India is either through a tourist folder or an atrocity narrative. The first destroys the sacred geography of India and the second demeans our democratic imagination. Let us sustain the Manipur in all us. One hopes that the prime minister’s visit inaugurates a small beginning in this reciprocity of decency and conversation

Friday, November 19, 2004

Sigmund Freud Theoretical position on forgetfulness and comments on GN Devy’s view on that theory to interpret Indian culture

Replied Lord supreme," Many births of mine have passed away, so were yours. I am aware of all those births, but O Parantapa, you are not aware of them.
Gita: 4:5
“To err is human; to forgive is divine” the age-old adage when looked at form the standpoint of the aforementioned verse gets slightly modified to: “To forget is human; to remember is divine”.
The above verse bears testimony to the fact that the idea of amnesia is fundamental to Indian religion. Moreover amnesia at an innate level is human.
Memory is considered a great virtue and better memory is largely related to success, understanding and intellect. We have books and tutorial classes teaching how to remember and “win friends and impress people”. Memory is thus considered a very crucial component of accomplishment in academia, business, polity and all conventional walks of life. The ability to forget however is also an important virtue and if nature were not generous enough in endowing us with it we would have had a completely different life on this planet.
Amnesia is generally of two types:
1. Antero-grade amnesia - inability to remember events beginning with the onset of the injury; essentially, severely decreased ability to learn.
2. Retrograde amnesia - loss of memory for events preceding the injury.
What we consider amnesia in this essay would be primarily retrograde amnesia.

Dr Ganesh Devy tried to give a historical explanation to the crisis in Indian Literary tradition. He observed that there existed a void in our intellectual recollection of our medieval times and he tried to fathom the underlying reasons for the same. He observed that though India had large number of culturally rich languages, there was a marked absence of literary criticism in the prevalent languages. It is quite ludicrous that languages, which had been into existence since early thirteenth century and have produced quality works in literature, had not developed literary criticism even in the crudest forms. The impact of colonialism brings with itself a new image and new eye of looking at one self and cultural amnesia.

Our acceptance of west, as our rulers has created psychological frameworks, which have led us to believe that West is superior to East. Colonial experience thus produces a tendency in colonized, which tries to ape the colonizer and win their approval. Certain sections of society are better at embracing this change and this in Indian context can be explained by rise of Pareses of Bombay, Brahmins of Pune and Bhadralok of Calcutta who heartily embraced foreign education and rose to higher echelons within the British Government. This also gave rise to Nationalistic sentiments against the colonizer and thus colonization as a process creates turbulence in every cultural system. Under influence of the aforementioned the Classical India became glorious and modern India progressive and the intermediate a period of continuous vulgarization (Dark Age).


Regrettably all these turned into a historiographical convention and is now accepted as the undisputed principle of Indian history. Devy argues that such misleading historiography will lead to bogus theories explaining Indian literary position.

Ancient Indian Heritage:
Sanskrit as a language had an illustrious past of great literary scholars and grammarians and this period extended right from Vyas 4 BC to Bhoj 11 AD. This tradition of creative literature helped Sanskrit in becoming an extremely sophisticated system of literary thought. Sanskrit had a glorious tradition of scholars commenting on language, linguistics, metrics, style, diction, drama, dance, theatre, metaphor, symbol and diction, genre and sociology of literature and so on. These theories were incorporated in the Indian educational system and taught y scholars and brooded upon by scholars.

A scholar named Rajshekhar had identified nine elements criticism in his Kavyamimsa
1. Sutra – idea in prose
2. Karika – idea in verse
3. Vyakhya - elucidation
4. Vritti - illustration
5. Bhasya - commentary
6. Tika - assessment
7. Mimsa - analysis
8. Samiksha - review
9. Sastra – theory of literature related to other field of knowledge.

Which shows how deep and sophisticated were then prevalent literary tradtions.

Islamic Invasion:
Other languages based on Sanskrit had the benefit of inheriting the rich literary tradition of Sanskrit. The emergence of bhasa tradition in India coincided with the Islamic invasion. This also helped in further enriching the bhasa tradition bringing with it new styles of prose, poetry. The rise of shayri and Khusros devotional style of poetry are living testimonies to this fact.

The British Period:
The rise of British in eighteenth century furthered the cultural and political interference in the social fabric. The British decided that it was their historic duty to educate India though it was based on the odd idea of civilizing the less civilized race. With this came the introduction of English language in Indian education scenario. A striking mention here is that at that point no university in Europe considered English fit for academic discourse.

The introduction of English education brought with it new concepts like sovereignty, liberty and they found their way into Indian literary sensibility. The violent intrusion of alien literary pressure brought with itself a cultural amnesia which made an average Indian incapable of tracing his tradition backwards beyond mid-nineteenth century. Colonialism created cultural demoralization and false sense of shame in the minds of colonized about their own history and traditions. It must be noted that the aim of British was not to educate Indians to become their cultural equals. It was just to make Indians them useful to the empire.

The crisis can be explained by the picture:

Sanskrit Theories --------------------------------------------------------à Western Theory

Several distinguished Indian scholars have commented and tried to understand this phenomenon. Ashis Nandy has elucidated it using the man woman relationship where the colonized or the woman tries to imitate man and ends up becoming neither (androgynous). In harbouring the illusion of access to the western thought the Indian intellectual seeks to endorse his self image by the colonial rule, and, thereby chooses self deception. The renowned play Abhigyan Shakuntalam by Kalidasa provides an effective metaphor to understand this. The Sankuntala (colonized) who is secretly married to Dusyanta (colonizer) is not taken back to Dusyanta’s abode and when Sakuntala turn up at his palace Dusynata fails to recognize her and she fails to prove her identity. Thus Sakuntala is neither accepted by her husband nor by her foster father. This alludes to the colonial nature of encounter between colonizer and colonized and loss of memory of colonized.


The Indian critic feels a false emotional proximity to western and Sanskrit ideas while he tends to repress the bhasa tradition to repress the colonial side to colonial side of colonial experience. We need to note that western influence came with the colonizing British and prior to that India was alien to the western ideas. Thus western ideas can be seen as an external bud grafted on the Indian literary fabric. The bhasas on the other hand have developed from Sanskrit language and thus have assimilated Indian culture and traditions . The bhasa tradition must be seen in the same cultural continuity ignoring these would oddly fragment Indian culture and falsely dichotomize the great Indian literary tradition.

The current affiliation of cultural amnesia is compounded by the traditional Indian anxiety over the loss of memory. It is of course idle to speculate if amnesia has been a constant malaise of Indian psyche. It would be also idle to speculate if the longevity of Indian culture (parampara) has any direct connection with the anxiety. The most interesting example is the method of learning rote (oral tradition of India) which is still used in this age of printing technology. The Indian obsession with committing things to memory and considering memory sacred is well known ( smriti is another name of upnishads). Indians have considered memory as power which is independent of intelligence. The two components of learning are regarded as

Medha ---- Intellect
Smiriti------- Memory

In Changodaya Upnishad memory is described as a revereable faculty which is fundamental to human existence. It is said that memory allows one to think, reason, recognize. Coomaraswamy the veteran Indian thinker argues that memory is kind of latent knowledge and that by implication amnesia is a given condition of human mind. His explanation of amnesia is that memory transcends space and time and while entering this life soul enters these limits and loses memory. The argument is based on the metaphysical assumption of an all knowing soul or self or Purusa as being a priori reality. Memory and Amnesia is Commaraswamy’s opinion become symbolic interpretations of ‘an omniscient self’, and ‘the contingent ego’ respectively. The contingent ego must which is human go must learn as a child to.

One of the finest western thinkers in the area of psychoanalysis and amnesia was Sigmund Freud. Freud's first hypothesis was that the largest part of our mental lives consists of processes–thoughts, wishes, impulses, ideas, desires, images, and associations–that are unconscious. When we examine consciousness, it turns out to be full of discontinuities, inconsistencies, and gaps. The key to a successful treatment is the recovery of blocked memory. In fact the kind of illness with which Freud is concerned can be defined in terms of a selective blockage and leakage of memory. In the course of a person's development, certain forbidden desires and traumatic experiences become sealed off from conscious awareness, but leak through in the form of painful symptoms. Suppressed by the conscious part of the mind, they come back to haunt the body: this is what Freud calls the return of the repressed. "Psychoanalysis is a technique that allows dark meanings and irrational motivations to rise to the surface of conscious awareness. They can then be taken into account; they can be influenced by other considerations; and they become less liable to disrupt human life in violent and incomprehensible ways" (Jonathan Lear).

Freud notion of amnesia was that early childhood memories, particularly sexual ones, were too frightening and distasteful to the child to be preserved as such. Instead these emotional early memories required filtering from conscious awareness, and so took the form of more innocuous and seemingly inconsequential "screen memories". A major difficulty that arises in considering Freud's account, as a complete analysis of the phenomenon is that not all reported early memories are emotionally neutral or concerned with trivialities. Memories of troubling experiences from early childhood appear to be no less common than negative memories from adulthood. In their excellent review articles Pillemer and White (1989, White and Pillemer, 1979) point out that in this, as in many things, Freud was multi-voiced. In addition to his 'screen' or 'blockade' model he also proposed a 'selective reconstruction' model. The general premise of this 'selective reconstruction' model was that the inaccessibility of early childhood memories was due to a disjunction between the earliest and later modes of processing information. Modern theoretical accounts of infantile amnesia are more in line with the selective reconstruction than the blockade model.

Amnesia is related to as understood by experimental psychology to violent unconscious repression of memory. In his Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Sigmund Freud claims that there exists a definite relationship between the loss of memory and the nature of memory lost. This relationship can be merely superficial or complicated and profound. On the basis of this relationship Freud presents the typology of what he calls the concealment of memory.

To quote Freud:

I particularly emphasized a peculiarity in the temporal relation between concealing memory and the contents of memory concealed by it The context of concealing memory in that example belonged to the first years of childhood while the thoughts represented by it, which remained practically unconscious, belonged to a later period of the individual in question. I called this form of displacement a retro active or regressive one. Perhaps more often one finds the reverse relation that is an indifferent impression of the most remote period becomes a concealing memory in consciousness which simply owes its existence to an association with an earlier experience against whose direct reproduction there is resistances. We would call these encroaching or interposing concealing memories. What most concerns the memory lies here chronologically beyond the concealing memory.

Freud’s concept can be used in cultural context. The idea of concealing memory can be extended to mean that cultural amnesia is an inevitable consequence of colonialism. It is caused when dominant culture or its constituent features are branded inferior by a dominating culture and are accepted as being such by the subject culture. If this amnesia destroys the native perception of the immediate past it also helps as a strategy to preserve the self respect of the dominating culture as well as to win approval from the dominating culture.

In the words on MN Srinivas: In India westernization has brought with it a regressive tendency of Sanskritization in the sense of reviving a distant past and representing the immediate past.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Para Puja

what to say about it!!!
is it puja or it is para(beyond) puja
only a divinity herself could have composed it.

we noramlly worship god with 16 upcharas they are

1 (DhyAna &) AvAhana (meditating, inviting & installing )

2 Asana (offering a seat)

3 pAdya (offering water to wash His feet),

4 arghya (offering water to wash His hands),

5 AchamanIya( water to sip & cleanse)

6 AsnAna (bathing)

7 vastra (garments),

8 upavIta(sacred thread)

9 (patra &) uShpa(leaves & flowers), (haridrA-kumkuma &) gandha(turmeric, vermilion powder, sandal wood paste),

10 AbharaNa (alankaraNa) (jewels),

11 naivEdya & tAmbUla(fruits, coconut, eatables & beetle leaves with areca nuts),

12 (managaLa) Arati (waving lighted oil/ghee lamps),

13 pradakShiNa (parikramaNa)

14 namskAra(going round the Deity & salutation),

15. prArthanA (stuti)(prayer)

16. udvAsana (bidding farewell)

sri sankara expresses his helpnessness to do so in state of consciouness
which is logical since u dont talk about the atributes of a person when he is present
in person


pUrNsya-AvAhanam kutra sarvAdArasya cha+Asanam |
svachChasya pAdyam-arghyam cha, shuddhasya+Achamanam kutah || 1 ||

nirmalasya kutah snAnam, vastram vishvOdarasya cha |
nirAlambasya+upavItam, puShpam nirvAsanasya cha || 2 ||

nirlEpasya kuto gandhO, ramyasya+AbharaNam kutah |
nitya-tRaptasya naivEdyas-tAmbUlam cha kutO vibhoh || 3 ||

pradakShiNam hi+anantasya hi+advayasya kutO natih |
vEda-vAkyair-avEdyasya kutah stOtram vidhIyate || 4 ||

svayam prkAshamAnasya kutO nIrAjanam vibhOh |
antar-bahishcha pUrNasya katham udvAsanam bhavEt || 5 ||

Evam-Eva parA-pUjA sarva+avasthAsu sarvadA |
Eka-buddhyA tu dEvEshE vidhEyA brahma-vittamaih || 6 ||

sri mat sankaracharya

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Indian Classical music

courtsey: Andrew Buhr

The fundamental components of Hindustani music
There are three main components to the classical music of india - drone, raga, and tala.
The Drone
Unlike western musics, indian music is not based on harmony. The harmonic princple of contrast between simultaneous sounds is foreign to the indian conception of music. The concept of modulating (or changing) keys is also absent. Instead, the music is based on a drone, a continual pitch that sounds throughout the concert. This acts as a point of reference for everything that follows, a home base that the musician returns to after a flight of improvisation.
Raga - organization of Melody
"Raga" is one of those annoying words which has no equivalent in english, and is thus also frustratingly difficult to define. Terms like "generalized melody" or "melodic framework" are perhaps the best english descriptions, although they are only somewhat helpful.
I like to describe a raga as being about halfway between a scale and a tune. A scale is just a set of notes, which can be used in any way you want. A tune leaves no room for spontaneous creation of melody. A raga lacks the total freedom of a scale, but has much more freedom than a tune.

A raga may be characterized in a number of ways. It is built out of a specific selection of tones from the octave (at least five), like a scale. But in a scale all notes are equal. Ragas have more and less important notes. There may be characteristic phrases that are used in the performance of the raga, or specific ways in which the notes cannot be used. Each raga is also associated to a particular mood, and to a particular time of day or season of the year.

The result is a melodic structure that is easily recognizable, yet infinitely variable. No two performances of the same raga, even two performances by the same musician, will be identical. Indeed the same raga may be played by the same musician one night for half an hour, the next night for an hour and a half. Yet the character of the raga, the mood it creates, will still be the same.

Tala - organization of Rhythm
In the same way that ragas are melodic structures, talas are rhythmic structures. The tala can be thought of a cycle, divided into equal beats which are collected into subgroups. So, for example, Rupak tala consists of seven beats, a group of three beats followed by two groups of two beats (sometimes represented 3+2+2).
The tala is usually represented by a series of strokes (called "bols") on the Tabla, reflecting the subgroupings within the tala. The tabla player will vary the strokes that he plays, but will do so in a manner consistent with the basic rhythm of the tala. In particular, he will be careful to differentiate between the khali (off-beats) and tali (on-beats), which are defined for each tala.

The most important beat of the tala is the first one, called "sam". In performance, the soloist may go off on a long improvised phrase that may last for many cycles of the tala, but will always return to the composition on the sam

Monday, September 13, 2004



Modernity is a term, which is often used, fashionably juxtaposed (this is modern art!) advantageously dropped (Most Modern Machine), envied (West enjoys modern amenities), cyclically emphasized (DA-IICT is modern, world class), environmentally abhorred (Modern planning has led to degradation.......) and often misunderstood.

Modernity has a spatial and temporal dimension and possibly many others!
In canonical sense we associate modernity with time in a sequential order; with things occurring later acquiring a “modern” tag and at the same time phased out things becoming “outdated” (The “outdated” gramophone and the “modern” CD Player).
It seems that concept of modernity has matrimonial relation with the present. The present is modern!!
We also view modernity as spatial notion where the modern is nothing but the Italian style, Japanese gadget, German engineering, English manners, American Education, Zen meditation.
In my view modern is not current, modern is not contemporary, modern is not latest, modern is not new, modern is not fresh, modern is not up to date, modern is not present, modern is not recent.

Modernity as concept cannot be tied within the tiny shackles of space or time, modernity is eternity. I would term Socrates as modern for he is eternal. Even Vivekananda would qualify as modern, Gita as book and its concepts would again fit in my definition of modern for they are here for ever they are tested on the altar of time, invoked in the past, used in present, and definitively will continue to be valued in future.

I closed all the windows to ward off the evil
but now truth stands knocking at the door
waiting to come in.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


North India wakes up from the chilly winter. Its spring here again. The yellow of mustard flowers covers miles on end. It is now that the joyful celebration of Basant will be celebrated. There will be singing and dancing. But few of us know that Basant is traditionally celebrated not only by the Hindus, but also by many Muslims in India. It is believed that the Chishti Sufis may have begun the celebration of Basant amongst Indian Muslims in as early as 12th century.

The legend goes that Delhi's Chishti Saint Nizamuddin Aulia once so grieved because of the passing away of his young nephew Taqiuddin Nooh, that he withdrew himself completely from the world for a couple of months, either locked inside his room or sitting near his nephew's grave. His close friend, disciple and famous court poet, Amir Khusrau, could not bear with his pir's absence any longer, and started thinking of ways to brighten him up.

One day Khusrau met a few women on the road who were dressed up beautifully, singing and carrying colourful flowers. He asked them what they were up to, and the women told him it is Basant Panchmi today. They were taking the offering of Basant to their god. Khusrau found this very fascinating, and smiling he said, "Well, my god needs an offering of Basant too". Soon, he dressed himself up like those women, took some mustard flowers and singing the same songs, started walking towards the graveyard where his pir would be sitting alone. Nizamuddin Aulia noticed some women coming towards him - he could not recognize Khusrau. On close inspection, he realized what was going on, and smiled. They had all been waiting for him to smile for two months. Amir Khusrau, other Sufis and disciples started singing Persian couplets in praise of spring, and symbolically the mustard flowers were offered to the grave of Nooh.

Following are some of the Persian lines that they may have sung:

Ashk rez aamad ast abr-e-bahaar Saaqia gul barez-o-baada beyaar

Or, Arab yaar tori Basant manayi

Or Hindi couplets like:

Sakal bun phool rahi sarson
Ambva borey, tesu phooley,
koyal boley daar daar, Aur gori karat singhar,
malania garhwa le aayin karson
Sakal bun phool rahi sarson

The impact of this incident was such that the celebration of Basant became an annual affair in the Khaneqah (monastery) of Nizamuddin Aulia, and subsequently in other centres of Chishti order all over the country. The local Muslims affiliated to all those Dargahs and Khaneqahs automatically took to the tradition of celebrating Basant. In the Mughal era, this tradition had probably evolved into a major public festival. Maheshwar Dayal in his book Alam Mein Intekhab: Dilli (1987), describes one such Basant in Delhi at the time of Bahadurshah Zafar, in following words:

"...the chill was on the decline. The spring had arrived. Dilli wallahs were setting up the fairs for Spring, as usual. Many were offering flowers and ittar on the Qadm Sharif (a sacred space in Jama Masjid). When people heard the announcement of Bahadur Shah Zafar's birthday, they gushed forth with joy. It was Thursday. There was such a crowd that not a hair's breadth of space was empty on either the Red Fort maidan or the shore of Jamuna. The curtains of houses, the Chadurs of women, the turbans of men, and the clothes of children, everything was dyed Basanti - even the candles hanging from the rampart were Basanti. It was as if mustard was growing in every nook and corner. Indoors and outdoors, people danced the whole night. Thousands of giant balloons made of mustard coloured paper, with candles lit inside, were being flown in the air. By four o'clock in the morning, the whole sky became Basanti. It seemed as if mustard was flowering in the eyes of the sky."

Compared to the glitter of Basant in the past, what we find today in the Dargah of Nizamuddin at Delhi seems more ritualistic, nevertheless festive. On Basant Panchmi, some qawwals from Dargah visit a nearby Haryana village to collect mustard flowers. On the way back, they offer these first on the tombs of many saints related to Nizamuddin Aulia's order, including Naseeruddin Chiraghe-Dehli and others near Mehrauli. Back in Basti Nizamuddin, some interesting rituals take place -- dyeing of the clothes in the Basanti colour being the most exciting one. One can see hundreds of people wearing Basanti scarves, handkerchiefs, chadurs and caps, almost dancing to the tune of Basanti qawwalis. They take out a procession, offering flowers and fateha on every little grave present here. The beautiful Hindi and Persian qawwalis sung here - mostly ascribed to Amir Khusrau himself - praise the coming of spring and the disciple's longing to meet his pir.

Sufis have a long tradition of adapting to the local culture and language of the places they visited to spread their message. The Chishti sufis too, have not only tried to relate to the Indian culture and music, they even experimented and enriched the various cultural forms. Basant is a living example of that. In today's scenario, while communities are being forced to be polarized into their puritanical identities, Muslims celebrating Basant or Hindus taking part in Eid may sound like a dream. In the past, it was these Dargahs and Khaneqahs, which served as platforms where the twine could meet. Don't we need the spirit of the dargahs today


this for info puropses
erudite readers will note the striking similarities between
christ and the krishna of gita.
prabhupada of isckon fame has even gone to the extent of commenting
that both are one and the same thing.
chirst has the same phonetic origin as krist
( it is a sanskrit word) which means beautifull.
all kirshna devotees know that the lesser known name of krishna is krist.

enjoy the post:
I was leading a life apart from God, with no hope, when God by His mercy opened my mind to the wonderful plan that He has laid out for all men and women to be reconciled to Him and to spend eternity with Him.

``For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that
Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.''

Yes, the ultimate love was demonstrated by God when He decided to come to Earth as a man (Jesus Christ), lived a perfect life, suffered at the hands of His own creation, and underwent a tragic death of agony at the cross in Calvary. Even in his death and sufferings, He practised what he preached, by doing good to those who persecuted Him. By coming back to life after death, He also demonstrated His victory over death, showing that He is able to bring us also back to life at the judgment time..

Is Jesus Christ the ONLY way to reach God? Yes, He is the only way to have a personal relationship with God.
``I [Jesus Christ] am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.''
``Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.''

I have accepted the gift that God has offered, and my current plan is:
``Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead,
To win the coveted prize for which Jesus Christ has called me.''
``I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.''

Friend, you too can accept the gift of salvation that God offers, have a personal relationship with God now, and spend eternity with God, our Creator, instead of suffering in hell without Him. Remember, Jesus Christ is the ONLY way!
``What good is it if a man gains the whole world,
and yet forfeits his soul?''

PS. All of the above quotes are from the Holy Bible


Where The Mind is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Give Me Strength

This is my prayer to thee, my lord---strike,
strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown the poor
or bend my knees before insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

-- Rabindranath Tagore
(From Geetanjali, 1910)

Friday, September 10, 2004

mira ( includes ram ratan dhan and ram nam ras pijai)

Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo

Janam janam ki punji paayi,
Jag me sabhi khovaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo.

Kharch na laage koi chor na loote,
Din din hot savaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo.

Satki naav khevaaya sat guru,
Kari kripa apanaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo.

Mira ke prabhu giridhar nagar,
Harshi harshi jas gaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo

pyAre darasana dIjyo Aya, tuma bina rahyo na jAya ..
jala bina kamala, chaMda bina rajanI, aise tuma dekhyAM bina sajanI .
Akula vyAkula phirU.n raina dina, biraha kAlajo khAya ..
divasa na bhUkha, nIMda nahi.n rainA, mukha sU.n kathata na Ave bainA .
kahA kahU.n kachhu kahata na Avai, milakara tapata bujhAya ..
kyU.n tarasAvo antarajAmI, Aya milo kirapAkara svAmI .
mIrA dAsI janama-janama kI, pa.DI tumhAre pAya


he rî maim to prema dîvânî, merâ dard na jâne koya
sûlî ûpara seja hamârî, kisa bidha sonâ hoya
gagana maNDala pai seja piyâ kî, kisa bidha milana hoya
ghâyala kî gati ghâyala jânai, kî jina lâî hoya
jauhar kî gati jauhar jânai, kî jina jauhar hoya
dard kî mârî bana bana Dolûm baida milâ nahim koya
mîrâ kî prabhu pîra miTaigî jaba baida sâmvaliyâ hoya


patian main kaiso likhoon, likhyoi na jaai?

patiyan main kaiso likhoon, likhyoi na jaai?

baat kahoon moohai baat na aavai, nain rahyaa bhar laai.

kalam dharat mero kar kanpat hai, hirdo rahyo ghabrai.

kisbidh charan kamal main gahayo, sab hee anga tharraay.

Mira ke Prabhu Hari avinaasee, charan rahoon laptaai.


citanandana âge nâcûngî
nâci nâci piya rasika rijhâûm, premî jana ko jâcûngî
prema prîta kâ bândha ghûnghrâ, sûrat kî kachanî kâchûngî
loka loja kula kâ marjâdâ, yâ maim eka na râkhûngî
piyâ ke palangâ jâ pauRhûngî, mîrâ hari rang râcûngî

I will dance before the Consciousness-Charmer.
Having danced and danced, I will please my enjoyer. I will feel my lover.
I will tie on the ankle bells of love and affection. I will wear the dancing-garment of His Face.
Worldly modesty, family honor—I will not care for either of these.
I will go and lie in the bed of my beloved. I, Mira, will dye myself in Hari's color.

râma nâma rasa pîjai manuâm, râma nâma rasa pîjai
taja kusanga satsanga baiTha nita, hari carcâ suNa lîjai
kâma krodha mada lobha moha ko, bahâ citta se dîjai
mîrâ ke prabhu giradhara nâgara, tâhi ke rang bhîjai

Drink the nectar of the Divine Name, O human! Drink the nectar of the Divine Name!
Leave the bad company, always sit among righteous company. Hearken to the mention of God (for your own sake).
Concupiscence, anger, pride, greed, attachment: wash these out of your consciousness.
Mira's Lord is the Mountain-Holder, the suave lover. Soak yourself in the dye of His color

mere to giridhara gupâla, dûsarâ na koî
jâ ke sira mora mukuTa, mero pati soî
tâta, mâta, bhrâta, bandhu, apanâ nahim koî
châRa daî, kula kî kâna, kyâ karegâ koî
santana Dhiga baiThi baiThi, loka lâja khoî
cunarî ke kiyâ Tûka Tûka, oRha lînaha loî
motî mûnge utâra bana mâlâ poî
ansuvana jala sîñci prema beli boî
aba to beli phaila gaî, nanda phala hoî
dûdha kî mathaniyâ baRe prema se biloî
mâkhana jaba kâRhi liyo, châcha piye koî
âî maim bhakti kâja, jagat dekha roî
dâsî mîrâ giridhara premu târe aba moî

Mine is Gopal, the Mountain-Holder; there is no one else.
On his head he wears the peacock-crown: He alone is my husband.
Father, mother, brother, relative: I have none to call my own.
I've forsaken both God, and the family's honor: what should I do?
I've sat near the holy ones, and I've lost shame before the people.
I've torn my scarf into shreds; I'm all wrapped up in a blanket.
I took off my finery of pearls and coral, and strung a garland of wildwood flowers.
With my tears, I watered the creeper of love that I planted;
Now the creeper has grown spread all over, and borne the fruit of bliss.
The churner of the milk churned with great love.
When I took out the butter, no need to drink any buttermilk.
I came for the sake of love-devotion; seeing the world, I wept.
Mira is the maidservant of the Mountain-Holder: now with love He takes me across to the further shore.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Political relevance of Naipaul's win : a commnet

Rss,Shiv Sena,Bajrang DAL,VHP,& more are all origin from fanatics who like our educated Siddharth ,claim all of India tothemselves merely on basis of there religion.Thay want to equate muslims of other countries with there own country maen,who happen to believe in another religion.
BJP is nothing but changed name of JAn Sangh.To day they are shouting them selves hoarse about Harkat (?) or Jaishe which alaso changed its name to somthing else.
Can he say that Hindu Mahasabha is not the parent organisation of Jan Sangh & BJP.??


Lehar sethi zaidi
Sender: SASIALIT@LISTSERV.RICE.EDU (SASIALIT -- Literature of South Asia and the Indian diaspora)

a.My favorite bogeymen are not the sangh parivar.
They are- All fundamentalists, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Christian alike.

I have the unique distinction of having an Islamic' fatwa' against me and
the title of a 'mleccha'( brahminical term for outcastes) at the same time.
but then I think of the tradition of this wonderful secular country of ours-
Yes, much before,( 5000 years) - the much maligned( in some places rightly so) Congress party (of the last 50 years) ruled or anyone else. Kabir das- the half Hindu half Muslim outcast- like me, Bhikha, Sarmad, Raskhan( the Sufi Krishna bhakt), Baba Nanak and his Hindu Muslim twin arms- Bala the Hindu fan holder and Mardana the Muslim musician( rabab player for His banis) , Mian Mir- the Sufi foundation stone layer of the Golden temple, Dara Shikoh, the translator of the Upanishads into Persian- and loser of
head and life for this Secular belief, Guru Gobind Singh-( Na tu Ram na tu rahim), the 32 Saints in the rural Punjab whose shrines are being looked after by people of 5 different religions, the Vaisnava bhakti singing AMir Khusro ( chhap tilka sab Cheen, Piya mose naina mila- take my tilak/ tike and shringar and look at me Beloved), Bulleh SHah and Sachal Sarmast, the bauls of Bengal.. And many many more....I know that I am not alone. The politics may come and go.. But you cannot divide nations and cultures 5000 years old by 50 years of a separate electorate bill designed by the British (1911) to be precise. and please, do not take the simplistic view that the Congress did what it did- if you recall, they did vote against partition, and Mr Moutbatten and Mr Jinnah's desire many many times. This is a chapter and story in its own right. the lesser said about the diabolical role of the British govt at this time the better- do read the India office papers: 12 volumes, 10,000 pages
of ‘The Transfer of Power between 1942-47’( released by Her Majesty’s govt
in 1972, 25 years after independence) to realize the shocking manipulations which went on. (There were 42 prominent Muslim leaders in support of the Unity of India- of the Indian national congress, compared to 2 against- the Muslim league. Till 1937 the Muslim league only had 1.3% of the entire Muslim vote of the Indian subcontinent) - I have been researching this issue for the last 6 years and from London, San Francisco, to New Delhi. The whole
issue of the Hindu vote and the Muslim vote was started in 1911, under the S. Electorate Bill ,which forced Indians – Hindus to vote for Hindus and Muslims to vote for Muslims. . it is considered as the foundation stone and the ‘concretiser’ of the two nation theory which resulted in the splitting of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. ( the two nation theory was propounded before Mr Jinnah’s opportunistic appropriation of it in the 1930s- by VD Savarkar in his book Hindutva in the 1920s). And please lets not start a
discussion beyond the scope of this list.. These days of course it is fashionable to deride the Mahatma, slag the Congress (all sincere readers of the Indian freedom struggle are pained at the fall- esp, after Indira Gandhi's authoritarian regime- and the immediate
origins of the current decadence lie in it-do read Nayantara’s Sahgal's Rich Like US and Prison and Chocolate cake- for a powerful picture of the Indian National congress’s freedom struggle and the decadence under Mrs., Gandhi- Nayantara and her mother Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit were bitter opponents of Indira Gandhi- believing she had betrayed the principles of the Congress and the Mahatma) and run down the freedom struggle. .. I do wonder where we'd be without it.

Of course no one talks of the cooperation which the right wing and the Mahasabha (along with the Muslim League) gave to British during the struggle. (The Hindu Mahasabha is the parent organization of the so-called 'Hindutva' right wing. (I find it demeaning to Hinduism's grandeur to use this word) so to say its distinct from the RSs is bizarre. Memoirs of the founders of these groups talk of their direct support from fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and their full fledge application of fascist ideas to implement in India. (Documents widely available.) Sorry, but I do and will fight against racism, fundamentalism and yes parties which have Italian women at their helm- not because they are so - but because they once fought for the freedom of the Indian people. And please, don’t say now that they didnt win freedom for us and there were no British coloniserts.. In fact we fear that in a few years’ times it will
be said there was no Mahatma..
( Siniterly this has alreaduy statred as the current campaisn to distort
Indian history books under the right wing govt. they have actually deletd the entire freedom struggle with reference to the mahatma in 1 line and the rest devoted the founding of the RSS)I have been involved in this issue for sometime so I have seen these documents with my own eyes. PS: Do pardon me if this is intensly writen but a few matters required immediate clairification

traditional compositions of khusro

Some qawwalis and folk songs of Khusrau tradition
Qawwalis and folk songs, the most popular genres in the Khusrau tradition, have kept his name alive amongst the masses for more than seven centuries. The following popular verses, just like the rest of his Hindvi dohas and riddles, have reached us through oral traditions rather than authentic document sources. There is a strong possibility that some of them may have been composed by much later Qawwals and poets who tried to relate to Khusrau's legendary association with Nizamuddin Aulia.

Chhap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Chhap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Prem bhatee ka madhva pilaikay
Matvali kar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Gori gori bayyan, hari hari churiyan
Bayyan pakar dhar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Bal bal jaaon mein toray rang rajwa
Apni see kar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Khusrau Nijaam kay bal bal jayyiye
Mohay Suhaagan keeni ray mosay naina milaikay
Chhap tilak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay

You've taken away my looks, my identity, by just a glance.
By making me drink the wine of love-potion,
You've intoxicated me by just a glance;
My fair, delicate wrists with green bangles in them,
Have been held tightly by you with just a glance.
I give my life to you, Oh my cloth-dyer,
You've dyed me in yourself, by just a glance.
I give my whole life to you Oh, Nijam,
You've made me your bride, by just a glance

Man kunto maula,
Fa Ali-un maula
Man kunto maula.
Dara dil-e dara dil-e dar-e daani.
Hum tum tanana nana, nana nana ray
Yalali yalali yala, yalayala ray Man tunko maula......

"Whoever accepts me as a master,
Ali is his master too."
(The above is a hadith - a saying of the Prophet Mohammad (PBH).
Rest of the lines are tarana bols that are generally meaningless
and are used for rhythmic chanting by Sufis.)

Aaj basant manaalay suhaagun,
Aaj basant manaalay;
Anjan manjan kar piya mori,
Lambay neher lagaaye;
Tu kya sovay neend ki maasi,
So jaagay teray bhaag, suhaagun,
Aaj basant manalay…..;
Oonchi naar kay oonchay chitvan,
Ayso diyo hai banaaye;
Shaah-e Amir tohay dekhan ko,
Nainon say naina milaaye,
Suhaagun, aaj basant manaalay.

Rejoice, my love, rejoice,
Its spring here, rejoice.
Bring out your lotions and toiletries,
And decorate your long hair.
Oh, you’re still enjoying your sleep, wake-up.
Even your destiny has woken up,
Its spring here, rejoice.
You snobbish lady with arrogant looks,
The King Amir is here to see you;
Let your eyes meet his,
Oh my love, rejoice;
Its spring here again.

Bahut Kathin hai dagar panghat ki,
Kaisay main bhar laaun madhva say matki?
Paniya bharan ko main jo gayi thi,
Daud jhapat mori matki patki.
Bahut kathin hai dagar panghat ki.
Khusrau Nijaam kay bal bal jayyiye
Laaj rakho moray ghoonghat pat ki.
Bahut kathin hai dagar panghat ki.

The road to the Well is much too difficult,
How to get my pot filled?
When I went to fill the water,
In the furor, I broke my pot.
Khusrau has given his whole life to you Oh, Nijam.
Would you please take care of my veil (or self respect),
The road to the well is much too difficult

Mohay apnay hi rung mein rung lay,
Tu to saaheb mera Mehboob-e-Ilaahi;
Mohay apnay hi rung mein……
Humri chundariya, piyaa ki pagariya,
Woh to donon basanti rung day;
Tu to saaheb mera …….
Jo kuch mangay rung ki rungaai,
Mora joban girvi rakhlay;
Tu to saaheb mera…….
Aan pari darbaar tehaaray,
Mori laaj saram sab rakh lay;
Tu to saaheb mera Mehboob-e-Ilaahi,
Mohay apnay hi rung mein rung lay.

Dye me in your hue, my love,
You are my man, oh beloved of Almighty;
Dye me in your hue.
My scarf, and the beloved’s turban,
Both need to be dyed in the hue of spring;
Whatever be the price for dyeing, ask for it,
You can have my blossoming youth in mortgage;
Dye me in your hue.
I have come and fallen at your door step,
For you to safeguard my pride, my dignity,
You are my man, Oh beloved of Almighty,
Dye me in your hue.

Tori soorat kay balihaari, Nijaam
Tori soorat kay balihaari.
Sab sakhiyan mein chundar meri mailee,
Dekh hansain nar naari, Nijaam........
Ab ke bahar chundar meri rang de,
Piya rakh lay laaj hamari, Nijaam......
Sadqa baba Ganj Shakar ka,
Rakh lay laaj hamari, Nijaam........
Qutab, Farid mil aaye barati,
'Khusrau' raajdulaari, Nijaam.......
Kouo saas kouo nanad say jhagday,
Hamko aas tihaari, Nijaam.....
Tori soorat kay balihaari, Nijaam.

Beholding your appearance, Oh Nijaam
I offer myself in sacrifice.
Amongst all the girls, my scarf is the most soiled,
Look, the girls are laughing at me.
This spring, please dye my scarf for me,
Oh Nijaam, protect my honour.
In the name of Ganj-e Shakar (Nizamuddin Aulia's pir),
Protect my honour, Oh beloved Nijaam.
Qutab and Farid have come in the wedding procession,
And Khusrau is the loving bride, Oh Nijaam.
Some have to fight with the mother-in-law,
While some with sisters-in-law,
But I have you for support, Oh Nijaam


santo dekhahu jag baurana
sanch kahun to maran dhave jhuTha jag patiyana
hindu kahata ram hamara musalman rahamana
apas me dou laR laR marata marm kai nahi jana

nemi dekha dharmi dekha pratah: kare asanana
atam mar pashanahi puje un me kacchu na gyana

bahutak dekhe pir auliya paRhe hai kitab kurana
ke murid tadabir batave un me uhai jo gyana

asan mar dimbh dhari baiThe man me bahut gumana
pitar pathar pujan lage tirath bane hai bhulana

topi pahare mala phaire chhap tilak anumana
sakhi sabade gavat bhule atam khabari na jana

ghar ghar mantar det phirat hai mahima ke abhimana
guruva sahit sab shishya hi dube ant kal pachhitana

kahahi kabit suno ho santo hai sab bharam bhulana
ketik kahu kaha nahi mane sahaje sahaj samana

(English) [RP: be warned: somewhat excruciating!]
"Look, the world is mad."

Saints, look, the world is mad.
If I tell the truth, they rush to beat me.
If I lie, they trust me.
The Hindu says, I adore Ram.
the Muslim says Rahman.
Then they kill each other.
No one knows the secret.
I've seen pious Hindus, rule-followers,
early morning bath-takers--
killing souls,
they worship rocks.
They know nothing.
I've seen plenty of Muslim teachers, holy men
reading their holy books,
teaching their pupils techniques.
They know just as much.
And posturing yogis, hypocrites,
hearts crammed with pride,
praying to brass, to stones, reeling
with pride in their pilgrimage,
wearing their caps, turning their prayer-beads,
painting their brow-marks and arm-marks,
braying their hymns and their couplets,
reeling. They never heard of soul.
they buzz their mantras from house to house,
puffed with pride.
The pupils drown along with their gurus.
In the end they're sorry.
Kabir says, listen seekers,
they're all deluded.
Whatever I say, nobody gets it.
it's too simple.

Friday, September 03, 2004

paramhansa yogananda original edition of an autobiography of a yogi

Paramhansa Yogananda was the first yoga master of India whose mission it was to permanently live and teach in the West. In the 1920's, as he criss-crossed the United States on what he called his "spiritual campaigns," his enthusiastic audiences filled the largest halls of America. His initial impact was truly impressive. But his lasting influence is greater still. This book, first published in 1946, helped launch, and continues to inspire, a spiritual revolution in the West.

Only rarely does a sage of Paramhansa Yogananda's stature write a firsthand account of his life experiences. Followers of many religious traditions have come to recognize Autobiography of a Yogi as a masterpiece of spiritual literature. Yet, for all its depth, it is full of gentle humor, lively stories, and practical common sense.

This is a verbatim reprinting of the original 1946 edition. Although subsequent reprintings, reflecting revisions made after the author's death in 1952, have sold over a million copies and have been translated into more than 19 languages, the few thousand of the original have long since disappeared into the hands of collectors. Now, with this reprint, the 1946 edition is again available, with all its inherent power, just as the great master of yoga first presented it.

This book is available in bookstores throughout India. If your bookstore doesn't carry it, give them the name of the publisher and the book title, and they can order it for you.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


If you live to be a hundred,
I want to live to be
a hundred minus one day,
so I never have to live
without you.

-- Winnie the Pooh

"We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and Knows."
-- Robert Frost


We make a Living by what we get, we make a Life by what we give.

In a forest a fox bumps into a little rabbit, and says, "Hi, junior, what are you up to?" "I'm writing a dissertation on how rabbits eat foxes," said the rabbit. "Come now, friend rabbit, you know that's impossible!" "Well, follow me and I'll show you." They both go into the rabbit's dwelling and after a while the rabbit emerges with a satisfied expression on his face. Comes along a wolf. "Hello, what are we doing these days?" "I'm writing the second chapter of my thesis, on how rabbits devour wolves." "Are you crazy? Where is your academic honesty?" "Come with me and I'll show you." As before, the rabbit comes out with a satisfied look on his face and a diploma in his paw. Finally, the camera pans into the rabbit's cave and, as everybody should have guessed by now, we see a mean-looking, huge lion sitting next to some bloody and furry remnants of the wolf and the fox.

The moral: It's not the contents of your thesis that are important - it's your PhD advisor that really counts.

There is no thrill of sailing,
When the sky is clear and blue.
There's no joy in doing
Things anyone can do.

But there's some satisfaction,
That's mighty sweet to take
When you reach a destination,
Which you thought you could not make.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;only love can do that.
---Martin Luther King Jr

When IMPOSSIBLE itself says I'mPOSSIBLE,why can't you make it possible?

popular slokas

This is a nice collection of Slokas I came across somewhere on the web, I have copied it underneath.

Shanti Mantra – Om Sahana Vavatu

Om Sahana Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu
Sahaveeryam Karavavahai

Tejas Vinavati Tamastuma vidhwishavahai

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Saha- both; nau-us; avatu- may he protect; bhunaktu-may he nourish; viryam karavavahai-may we acquire the capacity; tejasvi-be brilliant; nau-for us; adhitam- what is studied;astu-let it be; ma vidvisavahai-may we not argue with each other.


May He protect both of us. May He nourish both of us. May we both acquire the capacity (to study and understand the scriptures). May our study be brilliant. May we not argue with each other. Om peace, peace, peace.

Brief explanation

At the beginning of a class, the teacher and students generally recite this peace invocation together. Both seek the Lord’s blessings for study that is free of obstacles, such as poor memory, or the inability to concentrate or poor health. They also seek blessings for a conducive relationship, without which communication of any subject matter is difficult. Therefore, this prayer is important for both the teacher and the student.

Ganesha Shlokams

Gajananam Bhuta Ganathi Sevitam
Kapittha Jambu Palasara Bhaksitam

Uma Sutam Shoka Vinasha Karanam

Namami Vignesvara Pada Pankajam

He who has the face of an elephant, one who is worshipped by the Bhootha ganam, He who eats the essence of kapitha and Jumbu fruits, He who is the son of Uma Devi and He who allieviates the ill feelings in us. O! Lord Vigneshwara who is an embodiment of all the above, we offer our Namaskarams at your Divine feet.

Shuklambara Dharam Vishnum

Shashivarnam Chatur Bhujam

Prasanna Vadanam Dhyayet

Sarva Vignopa Santaye

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Suklambaradaram-one who wears a white garmetn; visnum; all pervading; sasivarnam; who ahs a brilliant complexion; chaturbhujam-who had four hands; prasannavadanam- who has an ever smiling face; dhyayet- I meditate upon; sarvavighnopashantaye- for the removal of all obstacles


Lord Vigneshwara, who wears a white garment, who is all pervading, who has a bright complexion (like a full moon), who has four hands (representing all power), who has an ever-smiling face, upon that deity I meditate, for the removal of all obstacles.

Brief Explanation

Lord Ganesha is the older son of Lord Shiva son Goddess Parvati. He is invoked before any undertaking for the removal of obstacles. He is also worshipped for knowledge and wisdom that he bestows upon devotees.

Sri Vakratunda Mahakaaya

Koti-soorya samaprabha

Nirvighnam kuru me Deva

Sarva-karyeshu Sarvadaa

O, Lord Ganesha of the curved trunk and massive body, the one whose splendor is equal to millions of Suns, please bless me to that I do not face any obstacles in my endeavors.

Mooshika vahana modaka hasta
Chamara karna vilambita sootra

Vamana roopa Maheswara putra

Vigna-vinayaka paada namaste

He who has the mouse as his vahana(vehicle),

He who always keeps Modhakam (a traditional type of sweet)

He who has ears that resemble a hand held fan,

He who wears a chain-like ornament around his waist,

He who is short in stature,

He who is the son of Parameshwar,

O Lord Vinayaka who is all the above and he who always removes our obstacles,

We worship your Divine Feet.

Gajavaktram Sura-shreshtam


Paashaankusha-dharam Devam

Vandeham Gana-naayakam

I bow before that God, who is the leader of Shiva’s ghosts, whose face resembles that of an elephant. Who is supreme among the deities, Who sports ears that look like fans and Who is armed with noose and goad.

Ekadantam Mahakayam

Lambodara Gajananam

Vigna Nashakarma Devam

He Rambam Prana Mamyaham

I bow to that God, Who has one tusk, one Who has a large body, one Who has a big stomach, one Who has the face of an elephant; He who destroys all obstacles and Who is also called Herambh (beloved of the Mother).

Guru Shlokam
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu

Gurur Devo Maheshvarah
Guru Shakshat Param Brahma

Tasmai Sri Gurave Namah

Know The Guru To Be Brahma Himself. He Is Vishnu. He Is Also Shiva. Know Him To Be The Supreme Brahman, And Offer Thy Adoration Unto That Peerless Guru.

Saraswathi Shlokams
Saraswathi Namastubhyam

Varade Kamarupini

Vidyarambam Karishyami

Siddhir Bhavatu Me Sada

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Saraswathi- O Goddess of Knowledge Saraswathi, Namstubhyam-salutatiosn to you; varade-one who gives boons; kamarupini- one who fulfills desires; vidyarambaham-to begin my studies; karisyami-I am going; siddhirbhavatu-may there be accomplishment; me- for me; sada- always.


O Goddess Saraswathi; salutations to you, the giver of boons, the one who fulfills desires. I shall begin my studies. May there always be accomplishment for me.

Brief Explanation

This prayer is chanted before beginning a class or at the beginning of one’s studies so that all learning may resolve in knowledge alone. It is addresses to Goddess Saraswathi, who symbolizes all forms of knowledge, including the knowledge of the performing arts. Knowledge is a fundamental pursuit of human life, and a life of study and learning provides nourishment and discipline to the human intellect. In the Vedic culture, study is considered one’s duty.

Krishna Shlokams
Krishnaya Vasudevaya

Devaki Nanda Nayacha

Nandagopa Kumaraya

Sri Govindaya Namo Namaha

I bow and pray to lord Krishna, son of Vasudeva and Devaki, also the son of Nandagopa, who takes away sorrows, sufferings, pain and trouble.

Vasudeva sutam devam

Kamsa-Chanoora mardanam

Devaki parama-anandam

Krishnam vande Jagatgurum

I do vandana (glorification) of Lord Krishna, the resplendent son of Vasudev, who killed the great tormentors like Kamsa and Chanoora, who is a source of greatest joy to Devaki, and who is indeed a world teacher.

Mookam karoti vaachalam

Panghum langhayate girim

Yat kripa tam-aham-vande

Paramananda Madhavam


Lord Krisna is the avatara of Lord Visnu who personifies ananda,joy.He established dharma and also gave us the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.


Mukam(mute) karoti(makes) vacalam(eloquent), Pangum(lame) langhayate(cross) girim(mountain), yatkrupa (whose grace) tamaham vande(I salute Him), paramananda (one whose form is ananda) madhavam (Lord Krisna).

Vishnu Shlokam
Shanta Karam Bhujaga Shayanam

Padmanabham Suresham

Vishvadharam Gagana Sadrsham

Megha Varnam Shubhangam

Lakshmi Kantam Kamala Nayanam

Yogibhir Dhyana Gamyam

Vande Vishnum Bhava Bhaya Haram

Sarva Lokaiaka Natham

I adore Vishnu, the embodiment of Peace, who sleeps on the serpent,

Whose naval is the lotus of the Universe

Who is the Lord of the Gods, who is the support of the Universe, Who is in the form of Space (the Omnipresent)

Whose color resembles that of clouds, Whose body is auspicious

Who is the Lord of Lakshmi, whose eyes are like lotuses

Who is attainable by Yogis through meditation

Who is the destroyer of the fear of birth and death

And who is the One Lord of all the Worlds

Rama Shlokam
Ramaya Rama Bhadraya

Ramachandraya Vedhase

Raghu Nathaya Nathaya

Sitayah Pataye Namaha

To Rama, Ramabhadra, Raghunatha(These are different names of Lord Rama), the Lord, the Consort of Seetha, our salutations to him.

Sri Rama Rama Rameti

Rame Raame Manorame

Sahasra Nama Tat Tulyam

Rama Nama Varanane

Lord Shiva told this shloka to Parvati I meditate upon Sri Ram as Sri Rama Rama Rama, the thrice recital of Rama’s name is equal to Recitation of the thousand names of Lord Vishnu (Vishnu Sahasranama)

Shiva Shlokam
Sivam Sivakaram Shantam

Shivat Manam Sivottamam

Shiva Marga Pranetaram

Pranatosmi Sada Sivam

Karpoora-gauram karuna-avataram

Samsara-saaram Bhujagendra-haaram

Sadaa-vasantam Hridaya-aravinde

Bhavam Bhavanee-sahitam Namami

I salute to that Ishwara along with Bhavani (Shiva and parvati) who is as white as Karpur(camphor), an incarnation of compassion, the essence of this world, who wears a bhujagendra(snake or serpent) around his neck and is ever present in the lotus abode of our


Maha-Mrityumjaya Shlokam
Om Trayambakam Yajamahe

Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam

Urva-rukamiva Bhandhanaat

Mrityor-mukshiya ma amritat

Om Klim Nama Shivaya

Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Tryambakam – three-eyed; Yajamahe – worship; Sugandhim – beautiful smelling; Pusti – well nourished, (prosperity; Vardhanam – increaser; Urvarukam – cucumber; Ive – like; Bandhana – from bondage of worldly attachments; Mrtyor – mortality; Muksiya – may you liberate; Ma- me; Amrat – for the sake of immortality


We worship the three-eyed One (Lord Shiva), Who is fragrant and Who nourishes all beings; may He liberate me from death, for the sake of Immortality, even as the cucmber is severed from its bondage of the vine. Om Peace, Peace, Peace

Navagraha Shlokam
Om Namah Sooryaya Chandraya Mangalaya Budhaya Cha

Guru Shukra Shanibhyascha Raahave Ketave Namo Namaha

My Salutations to Soorya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars) and Budha (Mercury). I also salute Guru (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn) as well as Rahu and Ketu.

Subramanya Shlokam
Shadaananam Kumkuma-rakta-varnam

Mahaamayam Divya-mayoora-vahanam

Rudrasya Soonam Sura-sainya-natham

Guham Sadaa Sharanam-aham Prapadye

I seek Sharan (refuge) in Guha (one who resides in the cave of the heart; another name for Subramanya), Who has 6 faces, Who adorns the color of Kumkum or Blood (red), one Who is a great warrior (?), one Whose vahana is the divine peacock, one Who is Rudra’s (Shiva’s) son, one Who is the leader of the army of devas.

Devi/Durga Shlokam
Sarva-mangala-mangalye Shive Sarvaartha-sadhake

Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayani Namostute


Goddess Parvati is the consort of Lord Siva and is worshipped as Sakti. The Puranic literature describes her as having many forms, including Durga, Candi, Kali and Uma.While Siva symbolizes the efficient cause of the creation, Sakti symbolizes the material cause.


The one who is the auspiciousness of all that is auspicious (sarvamangalamangalye), the consort of Siva (Sive), who is the means of accomplishing all desires sarvarthasadhake), who is the refuge of all (saranye), the three eyed one(tryambake),the fair complexioned one(Gouri), Salutations to you, Narayani(narayani namostute).

Salutations to the consort of Sri Narayana (Sri Lakshmi Devi), who is all auspicisous, who is the Mastress of all, who blesses devotees succeed in their efforts and who is the refuge of all.

Annapoorna Shlokam
Annapoorne Sada poorne, Shankara Pranavallabhe

Gyana Vairagya Sidyartham, Bhikshaam Dehi cha Parvati

Mata cha Parvati Devi, Pita Devo Maheswarah

Baandava Shiva Bhaktyascha, Svadeso Bhuvanatrayam

Annapoorne – the wife of Lord Shiva; She who is full of food; Sadapoorne – who is always full of resources; Sankara – of Lord Sankara(Shiva); Prana – the life-force; energy; Vallabhe – the beloved; Jnana – knowledge; Vairagya – attitude of renunciation; Siddhyartham – to fulfill the purpose of; Bhiksham – alms, food; Dehi – giveus; Namostute – we bow down to You

O Annapurna, Who art ever full, the beloved life-force of Lord Sankara (Shive, O’ Parvathi – grant me alms that I be firmly established in Knowledge and Renunciation. Mother is shakti, father is shiva, relatives are the devotees of shiva and own country is all the three worlds

Lakshmi Shlokam
Ya Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Lakshmi Roopena Samsthita

Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha

Salutations again and again to the Devi who abides in all beings in the form of good fortune.

Tulasi Shlokam
Yenmoole Sarvatheerthaani Yenmadhye Sarvadevatha

Yadagre Sarva Vedaascha Thulaseem-tham Namamyaham

I bow down to the Tulasi at whose base are all the holy places, at whose top reside all deities and on whose middle are all the Vedas.

Hyagreevar Shlokam
(This sloka is to be recited before children start their daily school work/studies)

Gyaananandamayam Devam

Nirmala Spadikakruthim

Aadaram Sarva Vidyanaam

Hyagreevam Upasmahe

Vidyaarambam begins with a prayer to Sri Hyagreeva (Lord with the Horse’s face) Haya-horse; greeva-neck. You are the presiding deity for all knowledge. We pray to you to bless us with all the knowledge.

Ayyappa shlokam
Bhoota-natha Sadaananda Sarva-boota Dayaapara

Raksha Raksha Maha-bahor Shastre-tubhyam Namo Namaha

Hanuman shlokams
Buddhir Balam Yasho Dhairyam

Nir Bhayatvam Arogata

Ajatyam Vak Patutvam Cha

Hanumat Smaranat Bhavet

By remembering Hanuman, one can gain wisdom, strength, success, courage, fearlessness, lack of ill health, lack of sluggishness, and Oratory skills.

Manoj-avam Maruti Tulya Vegam

Jitendriyam Bhudhi-mataam Varishtam

Vaataatmajam Vaanara-yoota-mukhyam

Sri Ramadootam Sharanam Prapadye OR Sri Ramadootam Shirasaa Namami

I surrender to Hanuman, the messenger of Lord Rama, whose speed is as swift as the mind and as swift as the wind, who has controlled his sense organs and is the most intelligent among the intelligent ones; who is the son of Vayu and the chief of the monkey tribe.

Anjaneyam ati-paata-lananam

Kaanchanaadri Kamaneeya Vigraham

Paarijaata-tarumoola vasinam

Bhavayami pavamana nandanam

Anjana’s son, his face deep red,

His body shining like a golden mountain,

Dwelling always at the root of the Parijata tree,

On him, I meditate; the Wind-god’s son.

Yatra yatra Raghunatha Keertanam

Tatra tatra Krita mastakanjalim

Bhaashpa-vaari paripoorna lochanam

Marutim namada rakshasa-antakam

In all those nooks and corners, where the lord of Raghunath (Rama)* is sung about, In all such nooks and corners is he (Hanuman), With tears flooding from the eyes, Salutations to my Lord Maruthi*, He who saw the end of all evil ones.

Garuda Shlokams
Kumkum-ankita Gaathraaya Kundendu-dhavalaaya cha

Vishnu-vahana Namastubhyam Kshemam Kuru Sadaa Mama

Kalyanam-avahatu Kaamyaphalam Dadaatu

Mishtaanam-avahatu Mrutyum-apaakarotu

Dukhaani Hantu Duritaani Niraakarotu

Gaambheeryam-avahatu Gaaruda-darshanam Me

One whose body adorns the color of Kumkum, one who shines like the bright moon

I bow to the vahana of Vishnu, please bring forth my welfare always.

Bless me with welfare, grant me my wishes

Bless me with bountiful food, make me immortal.

Destroy sadness, remove my obstacles (worries)

Bless me with courage, Hey Garuda, give me your darshan

Kumkumankitha Varnaya Kundendu Davalayacha

Vishnu Vahanamsthubyam Pakshirajaya Thenamaha

One who has the complexion of Kumkum, one who shines like the bright moon

I pray to the Vahana of Vishnu, who is the king of the Birds.

Lamp Shlokam
(This sloka is to be recited while lighting lamp)

Subham Karoti Kalyanam

Arogyam Dhana Sampadah

Shatru Buddhi Vinashaya

Dipa Jyotir Namostute

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Subham- auspiciousness; karoti – which brings; kalyanam- prosperity; arogyam- good health; dhanasampadah- abundance of wealth; satrubuddhi- of the intellect’s enemy (ignorance); vinasaya- for the destruction; dipajyotir- that lamplight; namosthuthe- I salute thee.


I salute the One who is the lamplight that brings auspiciousness; prosperity, good health, abundance of wealth, and the destruction of the intellect’s enemy.

Brief explanation

This prayer is chanted before lighting the lamplight. Light is considered a symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity, and abundance in many cultures. Light brings with it brightness, but how does it destroy the intellect’s enemy? The intellect’s enemy is ignorance, which is likened to darkness. Light removes the darkness and makes it possible to see things clearly.

Deepajyothi Parabrahma

Deepajyothi Janardhana

Deepo me hara tu paapam

Deepaa Jyothir Namostute

I salute the Lord, the sustainer of the creation, in the form of this light. I salute this light (the Lord), may He destroy afflictions resulting from my omissions and commissions.

Prabhata shlokam
Karagre Vasate Lakshmi

Kara Mule Saraswathi

Kara Madhye Tu Govindah

Prabate Kara Darshanam

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Karagre-on the tip of your fingers; vasate- dwells; Lakshmi- the Goddess of Prosperity, Lakshmi; karamule- on the base of your hands; Saraswathi- the Goddess of Knowledge Saraswathi; karamadhye- in the middle of your hands; tu-whereas; Govindah-the Lord Govindah; prabhate-in the morning; karadarshanam-look at your palm.


On the tip of your fingers is Goddess Lakshmi; on the base of your fingers is Goddess Sarasvati; in the middle of your fingers is Lord Govinda. In this manner, look at your palm

Brief Explanation
This is a Morning Prayer called “karadarshana”. One begins the day with this prayer. ‘kara” means the palm of the hand and it stands for the five karmendriyas, or the organs of action. While looking at the palm, one invokes the Lord in the form of various deities, thus sanctifying all the actions that will be done during the day. By acknowledging the Lord as the giver of the capacity to perform actions and as the giver of the fruits of those actions, one sanctifies the actions. Thus, one prays in the morning to reinforce the attitude that all actions are performed as a service to the Lord.

Other shlokas
Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havir

Brahmagnau Braahmanaa Hutam

Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam

Brahma Karma Samadhina

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

Brahma- Brahman; arpanam- the means of offering; havih-oblation; brahmagnau-unto the fire that is Brahman; brahmana-by brahman; hutam- is offered; eva- indeed; tena- by him; gantavyam- to be reached; brahma-karma-samadhina-who is abiding in Brahman


Any means of offering is Brahman, the oblation is Brahman, the fire in which the offering is made is Brahman, and the one who offers is Brahman. Such a person who abides in Brahman indeed gains Brahman

Brief Explanation

This verse from the Bhagavad Gita (chapter 4, verse 24) and is traditionally chanted before meals. Brahman is the name of the Lord, the cause of the whole creation. Looking at the whole creation as an effect, Brahman is seen as the cause of everything. The effect does not exist separate from its cause. This verse likens food that is eaten to an oblation poured into the fire during ritual. By chanting this prayer before meals, the food that is eaten is offered to Brahman, the Lord.

Asato Ma Sadgamaya

Tamaso Ma Jyotir gamaya

Mrityorma Amritam gamaya

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Sanskrit to English Word Meaning

asato-from unreal; ma-me;sad-to the real; gamaya –lead; tamaso – from darkness (of ignorance), ma-me; jyothih-to light; gamaya-lead; mrtyoh- from death ; amrtam- immortality; gamaya –lead to immortality


Lead me (by giving knowledge) from the unreal to the real; from darkness (of ignorance) to the light (of knowledge); from death (sense of limitation) to immortality (limitless liberation)

Achutananda Govinda, Namoscharena Beshajak

Nashyanti Sakalan Rogan, Satyam Satyam Vadamyaham

By always chanting the name of the Lord, it will destroy all bad health and disease. What I say is the truth.

Tvameva Mata Cha Pita Tvameva

Tvameva Bandhuscha Sakha Tvameva

Tvameva Vidya Dravinam Tvameva

Tvameva Sarvam mama Deva Deva

O Supreme Lord (deva-dev, Master of all demigods), You are our mother, father, brother, and friend.

You are the knowledge and You are the only wealth. You are our everything.

Om Poornamadah Poornamidam

Poornaat Poornamudachyate

Poornasya Poornamaadaya

Poornameva Vashishyate

That is perfect - this is perfect. What comes from such perfection truly is perfect. What remains after perfection from perfection is yet perfect. May there be peace, peace and perfect peace.

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha

Sarve Santu Niramayah

Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu
Mas Kaschid Dhuka Bhag Bhavet

Sanskrit to English Translation

Sarve-all; bhavantu-may be; sukhinah-happy; niramayah-free from disease; badrani-prosprity; pashyantu- may enjoy; ma-not;kaschit- anybody; dukkshbhag-one who suffers; bhavet-may be


May all be happy. May all enjoy health and freedom from disease. May all enjoy prosperity. May none suffer.

Brief explanation

These are prayers for the prosperity and welfare of humanity. To achieve anything in life, one has to make an effort and await the results. In addition, many unknown factors and laws influence the outcome of that effort. By praying to the Lord, one acknowledges these laws as the natural order inseparable from the Lord, and one acknowledges the Lord as the giver of all results of actions.

Kaayenavaacha Manasendriyerva

Budhyadmanava Prakrite Swabhavat

Karomi Yadyat Sakalam Parasmai

Narayanayeti Samarpayami

Unto Lord Narayana, I dedicate all the acts that I perform with my body, speech, mind, senses and intellect that are born of deliberation and natural tendencies.

Guru Shlokam
Yasya prasaadaat ahameva Vishnu:

Mayyeva sarvam parikalpitam cha

Itham vijaanaami sadaatma-roopam

Tasyaamkhri padmam pranatosmi nityam

He by whose grace I came to know that I alone am the all-pervading divinity, and on Me alone is everything imposed. This knowledge was bestowed right here in this very life, to the lotus feet of that teacher I always love to do many namaskarams.

Saraswati Shlokams
Yaa kundendu Tushaara-haara-dhavala

Yaa Shubhra-vastraavritaa

Yaa Veena-varadanda manditakara

Yaa Shwetaa Padmaasanaa

Yaa Brahmaachyuta Shankara Prabhritibhihi

Devaihi Sada Vanditaa

Saa maam paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee

Nih-shesha jaadyaapahaa

Goddess Saraswati Is All White Like The Kunda Blossom, The Moon, Snow, And Pearl. She Is Dressed In Pure White. While Two Of Her Hands Play The Veena, The Two Other Hands Are Poised To Give Boons, And Award Punishments As Needed. She Is Seated On A White Lotus. She Is Ever Worshipped By All The Celestials Including Brahma, Vishnu And Maheshwara. May This Saraswati Remove My Obstacles And Protect Me.

Shiva shlokam
Karacharana Krtam Vak

Kaayajam Karmajam Va

Sravana Nayanajam Va

Maanasam Va Aparaadham

Vihitam Avihitam Va

Sarvame Tat Kshamasva

Jaya Jaya Karunabdhe

Sri Maha Deva Shambo

Sanskrit to English word meaning

Kara-hands; charana-feet, krtham-done; vak-organ of speech;kayajam-of the physical body;karmajam-born of the performace of actions; va-or;sravana-nayana-jam- born of eyes and ears; va- or; manasam- born of mind; va-or; aparadam- omissions and commissions; vihitam-enjoined acts; avihitam-prohibited acts; va-or; sarvametat- all these; kshamasva-forgive; jaya-glory; karunabdhe-ocean of kindness;sri mahadeva-great Lord Shiva; shambo-one hwo causes happiness, Smabhu-Shiva


Lord, kindly forgive all the omissions and commissions born of my eyes, ears, mind and organ of speech, or done by my hands and feet, and the omissions and commissions in the performance of my duties, wither enjoined or prohibited. Glory to you, Mahadeva, the one who is the ocean of kindness and the cause of happiness.

Before going to sleep, one ends the day with this prayer. One asks the Lord for forgiveness for inappropriate actions that one may have knowingly or unknowingly done during the day.

O Lord, kindly forgive the wrong actions I have done knowingly or unknowingly, either through my organs of action(hands, feet, speech) or through my organs of perception (ear, eyes) or by my mind. Glory unto Thee, Oh Lord, who is the ocean of compassion.

Rama Shlokam
Neelambuja shyamala komalaangam

Sita-samaaropita vamabhagam

Paanau-mahaa-saayaka charu-chaapam

Namami Raamam Raghu-vamsha naatham

I do namaskarams to Lord Rama, who was the best amongst the great kings of Raghu-kula, who wields his great bow and arrows, who has a complexion and softness like that of a blue-lotus, and on whose left sits Goddess Sitaji, his dear consort.

Devi shlokams
Maanikya-veenam Upalaalayanteem

Madaalasaam Manjula-vagvilaasaam

Maahendra-neela-dyuti Komalaangeem

Maatanga-kanyaam Manasaa-smaraami

She who plays a Veena* of emerald,
She who is tired with activity,
She who can talk honeyed words,
She who is beautiful,
She who is the daughter of Matanga*,
She who is pretty beyond compare,
I meditate on Thee.

*Veena- a musical instrument
*Matanga- A sage of ancient times

Chaturbhuje Chandra-kalavathamse

Kuchonathe Kumkuma-raga-shone

Pundreshu Pashaankusha Pushpabaana Haste

Namaste Jagatega Mataha

Oh, you with the four arms, wearing the digit of the moon,

With raised breasts, whost face is the color of kumkum,

Holding the bow of sugar cane, the pasa, the ankusa and the five flower arrows

I bown down to you, who are the One Mother of the Universe

Eka Shlokam Ramayanam
Poorvam Rama-tapo-vanaadi-gamanam Hatva Mrugam Kaanchanam

Vaidehee-haranam Jatayu-maranam Sugreeva-sambhashanam

Balee-nigrahanam Samudra-taranam Lankapuri-daahanam

Paschaat Raavana-kumbhakarna-hananam Etatdhi Ramayanam.

Lord Rama went to the forest in order to fulfill the promise his father had given to one of his wives (Kaikeyi). In the forest, Seeta was attracted by the golden deer and Rama went after it. At that time, the wicked Ravana kidnapped Seeta. Jatayu tried to defend Seeta and save her, but was killed by Ravana. Lord Rama then befriended Sugriva and killed Vali, the unrighteous. He crossed the ocean and entered the city of Lanka. He then destroyed the city of Lanka, killed the wicked demons Ravana and Kumbhakarna and set Seeta free. This is the story contained in the Ramayana.

Eka Shlokam Bhagavatam
Aadau Devakidevi-garba-jananam Gopee-grihe Vardhanam

Maaya-pootana-jeeva-ta apa-haranam Govardhanodhaaranam

Kamsachchedana-kauravaadi-hananam Kuntisutaa-paalanam

Etat-Bhagavatam Purana-kadhitam SriKrishna-leelamritam

In the beginning, Krishna was born from Devaki’s womb, he grew up in the house of Gopikas. Then he slayed Maya and Pootana, sanctified Govardhana mountain. He slayed Kamsa, ended the Kauravas, took care of Kunti’s sons. This is the leela (?) of Krishna that is narrated in Bhagavatam in the Puranas

Vishnu Shodasha Nama Shlokam (16 names)
This sloka reveals the 16 different names of Vishnu that one must chant when doing different activities in one’s life

Aushadhe Chintayét Vishnum Bhojané cha Janardanam

Shayane Padmanabham cha Vivahé cha Prajapatim

While taking medication remember Vishnu. Consuming food – Janardana

Sleeping remember – Padmanabha, during wedding – Prajapati

Yudhe Chakradharam Devam Pravase cha Trivikramam

Naraayanam Tanur-tyagé Sreedharam Priya-sangamé

At war – Chakradhari, Travel – Trivikrama

Death bed – Narayana, when meeting loved ones – Sreedhara

Du-swapne Smara Govindam Sankate Madhusoodanam

Kaanane Naarasimham cha Paavake Jalashaayinam

Bad dreams remember Govinda, in troubled times – Madhusoodana

In a forest remember Narasimha, In the midst of fire remember Jalashayina

Jalamadhye Varaham cha Parvate Raghunandanam

Gamane Vamanam chaiva Sarva-kaaryeshu Madhavam

In the middle of water (water activities or travel ) – Varaha, On a mountain (trekking) – Raghunandana (Rama). Travel by foot – Vamana, when you start any deed remember Madhava.

Shodashaitaani Naamani Pratarudhaya ya: padeth

Sarva-papa-vinirmukhto Vishnu-loke Maheeyate

One who reads these 16 names every morning will be rid of all sins and will attain Vishnu loka (Moksha).

Ganesha Dwaadasha Nama shlokam (12 names)
Pranamya Shirasa Devam

Gauriputram Vinaayakam
Bhakataavaasam Smare Nityam
Aayush Kaamartha Siddhaye

Every day, I bow down to that Lord, the son of Gowri, the Lord one who lives in the heart of the devotees, blessing them always with good health and prosperity.

Prathamam Vakratundam Cha
Ekadantam Dwiteeyakam
Thriteeyam Krishna Pingaaksham
Gajavaktram Chaturthakam

Starting from here the twelve names of Ganesha are mentioned and he is worshipped in those different forms. The first as the Lord with the curved trunk; second, as the one with only one tusk, third, as the one with black (red/brown) eyes, fourth, as the one with giant structure.

Lambodaram Panchamaam Cha
Shashtam Vikatameva Cha
Saptamam Vighnaraajendram
Dhoomravarnam Tathaashtamam

Fifth, as the one with a big (long) stomach, six, as the one with a huge body Seven, as the remover of obstacles, eight, as the one with smoke gray color

Navamam Phaalachandram Cha
Dasamam Tu Vinaayakam
Ekaadasam Ganapatim
Dvaadasam Tu Gajaananam

Ninth, as the one with moon on the front of His head, tenth, as the foremost leader, eleventh, as the leader of the ganas, twelfth as the one with elephant face.

Dvaadasaitaani Naamaani
Trisandhyam Yah Pathernnarah
Na Cha Vighna Bhayam Tasya
Sarva Siddhikaram Prabho

Any person, who remembers these twelve names of Ganesha, three times in a day, will have all their obstacles and fear removed and will attain success. (This group of verses is said to be sage Narada's offering to Lord Ganesh.)

Vidyarthi Labhate Vidyaam

Dhanaarthi Labhate Dhanam

Putrarthi Labhate Putraan

Mokshaarthi Labhate Gatim

Anyone seeking knowledge (students) will receive knowledge, one who seeks wealth will receive wealth, one who seeks progeny, will be blessed with offsprings, one who seeks moksha shall attain salvation.

Japet-Ganapati Stotram

Shatbhir-masaihi Phalam Labeth

Samvatsarena Sidhim cha

Labhate Na-atra Samshayaha

If you recite Ganapathi’s Stotram, you will reap the fruits for all the seasons and within the year you will achieve, without doubt, what you desire.

Ashtebhyo Brahmanebhyascha

Likhitva ya: Samarpayet

Tasya Vidya Bhavet-sarvaa

Ganeshasya Prasadataha

With the blessing of Lord Ganesha, One who gets this sloka written by eight Brahmins, will be blessed with knowledge and power of learning forever.

Ithi Narada Purane Shri Ganesha Stotram Sampoornam

Thus ends the song of praise of Lord Ganesha composed by Narada.

Navagraha Sloka
(this is a dyana shlokam for all Navagrahas)

aarogyam pradhathu noh dinakaraha
chandroh yasho nirmalam
bhoodim bhoomisudhaha sudhaam sudhanyaha
pragnyaam gurur gowravam kaanya
komala vaak vilaasa madhulam
mandho mudham sarvadha
raghur bhaahubalam virodha shamanam
ketuhu kulasyonadhim

Let us pray to Lord Surya who bestows well-being and health
Let us pray to Lord Chandra to bestow eminence and recognition
Let us pray to Lord Kuja to bestow opulence and prosperity
Let us pray to Lord Bhudhan to bless us with astuteness and wisdom
Let us pray to Lord Guru for knowledge and good judgment
Let us pray to Lord Shukra for graciousness and enhancement
Let us pray to Lord Shanishwara for harmony and contentment
Let us pray to Lord Rahu for vigour and valour
Let us pray to Lord Ketu for progeny, kith and kin

Surya or Sun is the most powerful living God - whom everyone can see, perceive and pray. Though he is visible, he also has been presented in a variety of forms. Lord of this planet is God Siva

Chandra or Moon is a lovable God - Pleasing to the children as well as elders, universally appealing to everyone whatever may be the religion. Goddess Parvathi rules the planet.

Angaraka or Mars is regarded as a God of martial character, red in every aspect. Even the Romans held him as their Guru. He is the Son of Earth and is ruled by Lord Subramanya.

Budha or Mercury is considered as the greatest among the wise. This Devata bestows wisdom and wealth on his devotees. He is ruled by Lord Maha Vishnu.

Brihaspati is the Guru (Jupiter). He results in a cure from ailments and helps one to ward off his/her sins and gives strength, valour, longevity, etc. He grants the boon of fatherhood to the childless, good education (Vidya). He is ruled by Lord Dakshinamurthy.

Sukra or Venus is the bestower of long life, wealth, happiness, children, property and good education. He is ruled by Goddess Mahalakshmi.

Saniswara or Saturn, is generally known to affect one adversely on occasions when he occupies certain positions in one's horoscope. A prayer to him, especially on Saturdays, is said to mitigate the hardships one will have to face during these periods. Saniswara is considered equally a bestower of all benefits to the devotees who pray sincerely to him. He is ruled by Lord Yama.

Rahu is instrumental in strengthening one's power and converting even an enemy into a friend. He is ruled by Goddess Durga.

Ketu brings prosperity to the devotee's family. He grants good health, wealth, cattle and all around prosperity. He is ruled by Lord Ganesha and Indra

Dashavathara Shlokam
Vedaanuddharate Jagannivahate Bhoogolam Udbibhrate

Daityam Daaryate Balim Chhalyate Kshatrakshayam Kurvate

Paulaastyam Jayate Halam Kalyate Kaarunyamaatnavate

Mlechchhaan Moorchyate Dashaakrutikrute Krishnaya

Tubhyam Namah

The Ten incarnations of Lord Hari are described in the above stanza:

Vedaanudharate – Matsya; Jagannivahate – Kurma; Bhoogolom udbibhrate – Varaha; Daityam Daaryate – Narasimha; Balim Chhalyate – Vamana;

Kshatrakshayam Kurvate – Parashuraam; Paulastyam Jayate – Rama; Halam Kalyate – Balarama; Kaarunyamaatnavate – Buddha; Mlechchhaan Moorchyate – Kalki; These are the 10 forms of Krishna (Lord Hari)




Lord Rama, Who is Pure and absolute Brahman,


Rama, the essence of Time, the Lord Supreme,


Rama, blissfully reposing on Shesha as his bed,


Rama, worshipped by all Gods, beginning from Brahma


Rama, who adorned the solor race,


Rama,(Who manifested as) the Son of Dasaratha,


Rama, who enhanced the (peace and) happiness of Kaushalya (His mother),


Rama, the beloved wealth of Viswamitra (sage teacher)


Rama, Who destroyed the (demoness) Tataka, the ferocious,


Rama, Who(also) overcame the demons Maricha and others,


Rama, Who protected the sacrifice of the Sage Kaushika,


Rama, Who gave Salvation to Ahalya,


Rama, Who was worshipped by sages like Gautama,


Rama, Who was Praised By great Gods and sages alike,


Rama, Who(having very) soft feet, was carried across water by a boatman,


Rama, Who was the object of infatuation of the citizens of Mithila,


Rama, Who was source of great joy for Janaka’s mind,


Rama, Who broke the bow of Siva (which others could not lift),


Rama, Who was offered the garland by Sita (in Marriage)


Rama, Who was applauded by all for this wonderful marriage,


Rama, Who chastised the pride of Bhargava,


Rama, Who Protected the Citizens of Ayodhya


RAMA RAMA JAYA SITARAM (Repeat both lines 2 times)

Shrimad: “ having divine Grace” used throughout text as term of respect

Ahalya: A sage who had been turned into stone by curse of the irascible yogi, Durvasa

-Gana : means “Crowds of “ or Congregations of” … throughout this text

Videha : “Without body-idea “ --- here it may thus mean “Janaka” or “those who have transcended body – Consciousness. Bhargava : Parasuram – the haughty champion of the Brahmins.



Rama, endowed with innumerable divine qualities,


Rama, sought in marriage by the daughter – of Earth(sita),


Rama, bright as the moon on a pitch dark night,


Rama,Who while in the forest literally followed His father’s Commands,


Rama, to Whom the beloved Guha surrendered himself at His feet,


Rama, whose tender feet were gently washed by Guha,


Rama, Who brought great delight to Bharadwaja,


Rama, Who resorted to the Chitrakut mountain,


Rama, Who was constantly remembered bt Dasaratha,


Rama, Who was venerated By Kaikeyi’ Son Bharatha,


Rama, Who performed devotedly (though in exile) His parents last rites,


Rama, Who gave his own sandals to Bharata.


RAMA RAMA JAYA SITARAM (Repeat both lines 2 times)



Rama, the Savior of the people of the forest Dandaka,


Rama, Killer of the mischievous Rakshasha, Viradha,


Rama, worshipped by the rishis Sharabhanga and Sutikshna,


Rama, who was helped towards greatness by Agastya’s (a sage’s) kindness,


Rama, Who was served by the birds king (Jatayu)


Rama, Who lived happily in the edge of the forest Panchavati,


Rama,Who was the cause of Shurpanakha’s misery,


Rama,Who dried up the faces of (killed) the demons Khara and Dushana (“avengers” of Shurpanakha),


Rama, Who followed the deer that was dear to Sita,


Rama, Who caused by his arrows, Maricha’s (a Rakshasa’s )suffering


Rama, the Seeker of the stolen Sita,


Rama, Who was the giver of Salvation to jatayu


Rama, Who are the Fruits given by Shabari,


Rama, Who cut off the arms of Kabandha (a Rakshasa)


RAMA RAMA JAYA SITARAM (Repeat both lines 2 times)

RAKSHASHA = Demon (enemies of Rama)

Shurpanakha : Sister of Ravana, (demon king of Ceylon) whose nose Lakshmana Cut off because she was about to swallow Sita.

Shabari : An aged hermitess who had waited for Rama since youth, and kept fruits for Him.



Rama, Whose own feet were served by Hanuman,


Rama, Who fulfilled the desires of the humble Sugriva (King of the monkeys)


Rama, the Killer of Proud Vali,


Rama, Who sent the monkey-messengers (to Ceylon),


Rama, always accompanied by Lakshmana (doer of good)


RAMA RAMA JAYA SITARAM (Repeat both lines 2 times)

Humble: here implies “taking refuge at Rama’s feet”



Rama, Whom the great monkey (Hanumaan) always meditated on,


Rama, by Whom his journey’s obstacles were destroyed


Rama, the Refuge of Sita’s life(Prana)


Rama, by the wicked Ten-faced Ravana reviled,


Rama, by the good natured Hanumaan praised,


Rama, (Who heard), told by Sita, (the story of) the Crow’s rescue,


Rama, Who saw the Crest – jewel (of Sita) (brought by Hanumaan)


Rama, Whom Hanuman’s words comforted.


RAMA RAMA JAYA SITARAM (Repeat both lines 2 times)

“His” (Hanuman’s) “journey” : “movements” = his journey to ceylon

“Crow’s rescue: The crow jayanta wanted to injure Sita, hence Hanuman was about to kill the bird, but Sita saved its life.



Rama, Who went to kill Ravana,


Rama, by mionkey soldiers accompanied


Rama, to whom (the king of) dried up Ocean prayed,


Rama, Who gave Bibhishana freedom from fear,


Rama, Who with mountains built a bridge (to ceylon),


Rama, Who severed Kumbhakarna’s head( from Body),


Rama, the killer of a host of Rakshasas,


Rama, Who pushed down Ahi-Ravana into the nether-World,


Rama, Who killed the ten-faced Ravana,


Rama, Who was praised by the gods, led by Brahma (VIDHI) and Siva (BHAVA)


Rama, Who was seen by the Sky-dweller Dasharatha,


Rama, Who was happy to see Sita (after Conquering Ceylon)


Rama, to whom Bibhishana bowed (i.e became His vassal) after being crowned,


Rama, Who travelled well in vehicle called Pushpaka


Rama, Who was served well by Bharadwaja,


Rama, Who did things pleasing to the heart of Bharata,


Rama, Ornament of the city Saketa (=Ayodhya)


Rama, to Whom all His own(relations) submitted,


Rama, Who sat on the jewel – bedecked throne,


Rama, decorated with garlands for coronation,


Rama, by many kings honored,


Rama, to Whom Bibhishana gave many varieties of offerings,


Rama, Who showed grace (anugraha) to all (many)monkeys,


Rama, the Protector of all Jivas (creatures),


Rama, Who is the basis (support) of all the World.


RAMA RAMA JAYA SITARAM (Repeat both lines 2 times)

Prayed: i.e an appeal to Rama to repair damage done when He dried up the Ocean to cross to Ceylon.

Bibhishana : Youngest brother of Ravana, exiled for his devotion to Rama

Kumbhakarna : Second Brother of Ravana

AHI-RAVANA : was grandson of Ravana. Rama “pushed him down” into neither world (MAHI) instead of killing Him.

Dasharatha : i.e after his death, saw Rama, from heaven.



Rama, Praised by groups of sages who came to see him,


Rama, Who head (from the sages) of Ravana’s birth,


Rama, Happy in Sita’s embrace,


Rama, Who preserved (ruled) with impartiality His Kingdom,


Rama, Who banished (renounced) to the forest, Janaka’s daughter (Sita),


Rama, Who caused lavana’s death,


Rama, Whom Shambuka praised before going to heaven (dying)


Rama, Who got much joy (by meeting) His Own sons, Kusha and Lava


Rama, Who was initiated into the Horse – Sacrifice,


Rama, to Whom Kala(god of Time) spoke about His divinity,


Rama, Giver of Liberation to ayodhya’s people,


Rama,Who gave joy to the Gods, Led by Brahma,


Rama, Whose own form if full of luminosity,


Rama, the Loosener of the World’s


Rama, engaged in establishing Dharma,


Rama, Giver of Liberation to devotees,


Rama, Protector of all moving and unmoving,


Rama, Curer of all world’s ills,


Rama, established in His home of Vaikuntha,


Rama, Who lives in the State of eternal bliss


Rama, Victory to Rama, the King


Rama, Victory to Rama, Sita’s Ram


RAMA RAMA JAYA SITARAM (Repeat both lines 2 times)

“Ravana’s” : “Ten –throated…”

“Lavana’s” : Rama had his youngest brother Satrughna, kill Lavana (as Asura) “His Divinity”, i.e that He soon would have to go back (dying) to his own state as Vishnu. “ ”: Samsara Lit: “Those in devotion – engaged”