Saturday, February 27, 2010


Despite my self imposed solitary confinement and also an emphatic NO, to whatever petit invites I receive, life still keeps engaging me, in strange ways. Every now and then I keep runnning into people, and somehow even though I dont interact much verbally, some sort of bonhomie develops. Recently I met someone, who introduced himself as a Bombay boy. He had just set his foot on this land. As the converstation welled up, I was the asked the usual desi-to-desi question, 'where are you from'. I convinientaly dodged it, giving him in return some rhetoric and some innuendos. Later, as courtsey demands, I offerred some biscuits and enquired if he would like some chai or coffee. Chai, came the answer, after the usual no-thanks, prelude.

I realized, that actually I dont have what it takes to make a chai. For several years now, I am more accustomed to English-tea, and I dont stock the "poor-dark-cousin" of it.  :-)
I expressed my, inability and enquired if he would rather manage with coffee, since english-tea taste might not be, well, his cup of tea. He responded, he would like to try something new and something else which i dont recall now.

So as the earl-grey, started leaving its hue in the cup, he told me, that he is actually from konkan. He retold a story of his forefathers migrating from the costal areas coz the conversion drive of invaders, was so strong, that they had to either convert or flee. His forefathers naturally chose dharma and relocated to Bombay. As I was listening to his story, I could see his face displaying various emotions. Perhaps he was waiting for me to respond. I was straight faced. I noticed that his cup was far from empty, while I had finished mine long ago. I told him, its not neccesary to drink it, and I can make coffee and he need not finish it for the sake of polite-social-bheaviour. Till now actually, I was hearing his story, attentively but non jugementally, with little or no, sentiments for the family suffering etc.

He replied that he is actually enjoying tea. Before I could remark thats he is being too formal again, he told me, this is what people drink in Konkan. He told me about how peasents in konkan are so poor that they cant afford a cow or purchase milk. He told me how this is the "the breakfast tea" of konkan.

Perhaps it was the way he told it. Or perhaps it was the way the vapour from his cup was condensing on his glasses. I suddenly missed milk in my tea. The mlik that turns darkness into light(brown).

Veena Sahasrabuddhe; Raag Chhayanat

Even though of late I listen to more carnatic music, if I have to pick up 1 singer, only 1 singer in Hindustani classical, among the ones who are performing today, I would undoubtedly pick Veena Madame! While youtube stocks zillion records of zillion others, it remains mystery to me why there arent many of Veena madame's records there. She is perhaps the only one today, who has perfected the art of combining skill with the emotive expression. When people tell me, they dont listen to her, they just cry and cry, I can understand why it is so.

So, today morning when ,someone whom I dont know, sent me this youtube link, I was very pleasently surprised. I have this mp3 and have heard this many times, but finding it on youtube is something else. When the music is on the cloud, naturally you are on Cloud no 9. :-)

Here is raag chhayant, a very pleasent raag, my guess is its a derivate of yaman(or atleast the same Thaat). Correct me if I am wrong by commenting on this post.

Thanks TC, my mystery friend, for this.

Friday, February 26, 2010


तुमको खोजा
और शायद,
तुम को पाया

जब तुम आये
तो क्यूँ लगता है कि
धोका खाया ?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Three Poems

भर रहे हो तुम,
मेरे भीतर ,
खालीपन बनकर.

 तुम्हारे और मेरे बीच
अब बस मैं का फासला है

मर रहा हूँ मैं
पल पल
जीवन कि तरह

बस एक फर्क है
के जीवन ज़िंदा है

Monday, February 22, 2010

Yege Yega vitthal bai

Today morning, with bhayyia, I was looking at a stuti i.e. Pandurangashtakam. A euology for Panduranga Vitthala. We were planning to translate it for Stutimandal. While I found the stuti beautiful, I suddenly spotted a phrase, "lasat kundalam". Immediately, I quipped, "plagiarism". The phrase also exists in some other stuti. Pat came the reply, "Sometimes repetition has a purpose, How else will you describe shining ear-ring(kundala) in Bhujanga-Prayat(a meter)?". I took a bow, and gave up :-).

Anyway, while the stuti on Panduranga will be up there soon, we can start singing Vitthal right away! Here is a beautiful Abhang from Sant Janbai. I have also put the lyrics and their translation. This reminds me, that, I have to also translate, the tuka abhang.."tuka aksha che badha" too, some other time, perhaps.

येग येग विठाबाई, माझे पंढरीचे आई ॥१॥
come come Vitthalbai (vitthal described as a women), my mother from pandharipur(the place where vitthal's vigraha is located)
भीमा आणि चंद्रभागा, तुझ्या चरणीच्या गंगा ॥२॥
Bhima and Chandrabhaga(local-rivers), are the Ganga which flow from your feet

इतुक्यासहित त्वां बा यावें, माझे रंगणी नाचावें ॥३॥
Come with these rivers, and make me dance in your glory(actually the word used is रंग, color)
माझा रंग तुझे गुणीं, म्हणे नामयाची जनी ॥४॥
My ecstascy/mood(the word used again is, रंग, color) is due to you, my name is Jani(janbai).

PS: I dont know marathi, I acknowledge the help of my friend Amit for this translation. You rock Amit!. I also thank Parag and Sampada, who have helped me, whenever I needed their help for Marathi. Thanks so much you two!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ashtavakra Gita : Part 4

This is from chapter 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Ashtavakra Gita. Once again, only selected slokas :). Therefore, chapter 7 has been completely omitted. Loved chapter 8, so included whole of it. Chapter 8, talks about the characteristics of bondage and liberation. Slokas are very clear, simple and beautifully, expressed.

Chapter 9 is also beautiful. Especially 9.6 and 9.8. In 9.6 he talks about who is a guru. Its interesting because, its ashtavakra's opinion on the concept of Guru, and as always he is blunt and direct. 9.7 talks about bhoota.  and could lead to an interesting discussion on bhoota shuddhi but some other time. 9.8 is true beauty :). He uses the word vaasana twice. I might talk about this concept of Vaasana, later in some post. The translator though chooses to interpret 'vaasna' as desire.

10.1 read the last phrase as respect everything( सर्वत्रादरं कुरु), Though the translator is also right in his own way.  Btw, as I have said earlier, a translation of the source has its limits, more so when you talk about something which is, "so to speak", beyond human understanding. But in case if you want me translate or bring out some sloka more explicitly, just drop a comment and I will do the needful. I am using the wikisource for sanskrit text and the translation is the by same person, i.e. Jhon Richards.

तदा बन्धो यदा चित्तं किन्चिद् वांछति शोचति।
किंचिन् मुंचति गृण्हाति किंचिद् दृष्यति कुप्यति॥८- १॥
Bondage is when the mind longs for something, grieves about something, rejects something, holds on to something, is pleased about something or displeased about something. 8.1

तदा मुक्तिर्यदा चित्तं न वांछति न शोचति।
न मुंचति न गृण्हाति न हृष्यति न कुप्यति॥८- २॥
Liberation is when the mind does not long for anything, grieve about anything, reject anything, or hold on to anything, and is not pleased about anything or displeased about anything. 8.2

तदा बन्धो यदा चित्तं सक्तं काश्वपि दृष्टिषु।
तदा मोक्षो यदा चित्तमसक्तं सर्वदृष्टिषु॥८- ३॥
Bondage is when the mind is tangled in one of the senses, and liberation is when the mind is not tangled in any of the senses. 8.3

यदा नाहं तदा मोक्षो यदाहं बन्धनं तदा।
मत्वेति हेलया किंचिन्मा गृहाण विमुंच मा॥८- ४॥
When there is no "me," that is liberation, and when there is "me" there is bondage. Consider this carefully, and neither hold on to anything nor reject anything. 8.

कस्यापि तात धन्यस्य लोकचेष्टावलोकनात्।
जीवितेच्छा बुभुक्षा च बुभुत्सोपशमः गताः॥९- २॥
Rare indeed, my son, is the lucky man whose observation of the world's behaviour has led to the extinction of his thirst for living, thirst for pleasure, and thirst for knowledge. 9.2

कृत्वा मूर्तिपरिज्ञानं चैतन्यस्य न किं गुरुः।
निर्वेदसमतायुक्त्या यस्तारयति संसृतेः॥९- ६॥
Is he not a guru who, endowed with dispassion and equanimity, achieves full knowledge of the nature of consciousness, and leads others out of samsara? 9.6

पश्य भूतविकारांस्त्वं भूतमात्रान् यथार्थतः।
तत्क्षणाद् बन्धनिर्मुक्तः स्वरूपस्थो भविष्यसि॥९- ७॥
If you would just see the transformations of the elements as nothing more than the elements, then you would immediately be freed from all bonds and established in your own nature. 9.7

वासना एव संसार इति सर्वा विमुंच ताः।
तत्त्यागो वासनात्यागात्स्थितिरद्य यथा तथा॥९- ८॥

One's desires are samsara. Knowing this, abandon them. The renunciation of them is the renunciation of it. Now you can remain as you are. 9.8

विहाय वैरिणं काममर्थं चानर्थसंकुलं।
धर्ममप्येतयोर्हेतुं सर्वत्रादरं कुरु॥१०- १॥

Abandon desire, the enemy, along with gain, itself so full of loss, and the good deeds which are the cause of the other two -- practice indifference to everything. 10.1

त्वमेकश्चेतनः शुद्धो जडं विश्वमसत्तथा।
अविद्यापि न किंचित्सा का बुभुत्सा तथापि ते॥१०- ५॥
You are one, conscious and pure, while all this is inert non-being. Ignorance itself is nothing, so what is the point of wanting to understand? 10.5

Friday, February 19, 2010


मन की बड़ बड़
ही तो है बस, गड़बड़

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mithya ha Sansar

(text has been copied from the youtube channel)
मिथ्या हा संसार । अवघा मायेचा बाजार ॥१॥
mithyaa haa sansaara | avaghaa Maayecha baazaar ||1||

स्त्रिया पुत्र धन । हे तो सर्व मायिक जाण ॥२॥
striyaa putra dhan | he to sarva Maayika jaana ||2||

यांत गुंतू नको नरा । न करी आयुष्य मातेरा ॥३॥
yaat guntoo nako naraa | na kari aayushya maateraa ||3||

वाचे वदे हरिहर । करी ध्यान निरंतर ॥४॥
vaache vade Harihara | kari dhyaan nirantara ||4||

एका जनार्दनी नरा । नित्य भज हरिहरा ॥५॥
Ekaa Janaardani naraa | nitya bhaja Hariharaa ||5||

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I feel your callous touch
under your palm

I am motioned, pressed
and dragged
with trenchent coldness

at your command.
I just point,

For you,
I am just a rat
running your

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ashtavakra Gita : Part 3

This is from chapter 3,4, 5 and 6. All these are words of Ashtavakra. The translation sometimes is a little rusty, especially, chapter 6. Where 'laya' is interpreted as 'peace' by translator . But its clear enough to bring out the intended meaning.

I loved chapter 6. It looked more like proclamation and I read the slokas many times. As always I am just putting the ones I liked most, I am sure you some of you will see the whole text.

आत्माज्ञानादहो प्रीतिर्विषयभ्रमगोचरे।
शुक्तेरज्ञानतो लोभो यथा रजतविभ्रमे॥३- २॥
Truly, when one does not know oneself, one takes pleasure in the objects of mistaken perception, just as greed arises for the mistaken silver in one who does not know mother of pearl for what it is. 3.2

सर्वभूतेषु चात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि।
मुनेर्जानत आश्चर्यं ममत्वमनुवर्तते॥३- ५॥
When the sage has realised that he himself is in all beings, and all beings are in him, it is astonishing that the sense of individuality should be able to continue. 3.5

मायामात्रमिदं विश्वं पश्यन् विगतकौतुकः।
अपि सन्निहिते मृत्यौ कथं त्रस्यति धीरधीः॥३- ११॥
Seeing this world as pure illusion, and devoid of any interest in it, how should the strong-minded person, feel fear, even at the approach of death? 3.11

स्वभावाद् एव जानानो दृश्यमेतन्न किंचन।
इदं ग्राह्यमिदं त्याज्यं स किं पश्यति धीरधीः॥३- १३॥
How should a strong-minded person who knows that what he sees is by its very nature nothing, consider one thing to be grasped and another to be rejected? 3.13

अंतस्त्यक्तकषायस्य निर्द्वन्द्वस्य निराशिषः।
यदृच्छयागतो भोगो न दुःखाय न तुष्टये॥३- १४॥
An object of enjoyment that comes of itself is neither painful nor pleasurable for someone who has eliminated attachment, and who is free from dualism and from desire. 3.14

आत्मानमद्वयं कश्चिज्जानाति जगदीश्वरं।
यद् वेत्ति तत्स कुरुते न भयं तस्य कुत्रचित्॥४- ६॥
Rare is the man who knows himself as the nondual Lord of the world, and he who knows this is not afraid of anything. 4.6

न ते संगोऽस्ति केनापि किं शुद्धस्त्यक्तुमिच्छसि।
संघातविलयं कुर्वन्नेवमेव लयं व्रज॥५- १॥
You are not bound by anything. What does a pure person like you need to renounce? Putting the complsex organism to rest, you can find peace. 5.1

आकाशवदनन्तोऽहं घटवत् प्राकृतं जगत्।
इति ज्ञानं तथैतस्य न त्यागो न ग्रहो लयः॥६- १॥
I am infinite like space, and the natural world is like a jar. To know this is knowledge, and then there is neither renunciation, acceptance, or cessation of it. 6.1

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ashtavakra Gita : Part 2

This is from chapter 1 and 2. I have copied only some slokas. The ones I liked.
The recurrent theme of dialogue is self-awareness and of-course the outright denial of what is perceived by mind and senses.

In the conversation, I actually, liked expression of Janaka more than Ashtavakra :). I have emboldened and underlined some slokas. Sanskrit is from wikisource and translation is from here.. I will post more snippets from the following chapters in the next post.

जनक उवाच॥
कथं ज्ञानमवाप्नोति कथं मुक्तिर्भविष्यति।
वैराग्यं च कथं प्राप्तं एतद् ब्रूहि मम प्रभो॥१- १॥
How is one to acquire knowledge? How is one to attain liberation? And how is one to reach dispassion? Tell me this, sir. 1.1

अष्टावक्र उवाच॥
यदि देहं पृथक् कृत्य चिति विश्राम्य तिष्ठसि।
अधुनैव सुखी शान्तो बन्धमुक्तो भविष्यसि॥१- ४॥
If only you will remain resting in consciousness, seeing yourself as distinct from the body, then even now you will become happy, peaceful and free from bonds. 1.4

एको द्रष्टासि सर्वस्य मुक्तप्रायोऽसि सर्वदा।
अयमेव हि ते बन्धो द्रष्टारं पश्यसीतरम्॥१- ७॥
You are the one witness of everything and are always completely free. The cause of your bondage is that you see the witness as something other than this. 1.7

मुक्ताभिमानी मुक्तो हि बद्धो बद्धाभिमान्यपि।
किंवदन्तीह सत्येयं या मतिः सा गतिर्भवेत्॥१- ११॥
If one thinks of oneself as free, one is free, and if one thinks of oneself as bound, one is bound. Here this saying is true, "Thinking makes it so." 1.11

देहाभिमानपाशेन चिरं बद्धोऽसि पुत्रक।
बोधोऽहं ज्ञानखंगेन तःनिकृत्य सुखी भव॥१- १४॥
You have long been trapped in the snare of identification with the body. Sever it with the knife of knowledge that "I am awareness," and be happy, my son. 1.14

निःसंगो निष्क्रियोऽसि त्वं स्वप्रकाशो निरंजनः।
अयमेव हि ते बन्धः समाधिमनुतिष्ठति॥१- १५॥
You are really unbound and actionless, self-illuminating and spotless already. The cause of your bondage is that you are still resorting to stilling the mind.

साकारमनृतं विद्धि निराकारं तु निश्चलं।
एतत्तत्त्वोपदेशेन न पुनर्भवसंभवः॥१- १८॥
Recognise that the apparent is unreal, while the unmanifeast is abiding. Through this initiation into truth you will escape falling into unreality again. 1.18

जनक उवाच॥
यथा प्रकाशयाम्येको देहमेनं तथा जगत्।
अतो मम जगत्सर्वमथवा न च किंचन॥२- २॥
As I alone give light to this body, so I do to the world. As a result the whole world is mine, or alternatively nothing is. 2.2

आत्मज्ञानाज्जगद् भाति आत्मज्ञानान्न भासते।
रज्ज्वज्ञानादहिर्भाति तज्ज्ञानाद् भासते न हि॥२- ७॥
From ignorance of oneself, the world appears, and by knowledge of oneself it appears no longer. From ignorance of the rope it appears to be a snake, and by knowledge of it it does so no longer. 2.7

ज्ञानं ज्ञेयं तथा ज्ञाता त्रितयं नास्ति वास्तवं।
अज्ञानाद् भाति यत्रेदं सोऽहमस्मि निरंजनः॥२- १५॥
Knowledge, what is to be known, and the knower -- these three do not exist in reality. I am the spotless reality in which they appear because of ignorance. 2.15

द्वैतमूलमहो दुःखं नान्यत्तस्याऽस्ति भेषजं।
दृश्यमेतन् मृषा सर्वं एकोऽहं चिद्रसोमलः॥२- १६॥
Truly dualism is the root of suffering. There is no other remedy for it than the realisation that all this that we see is unreal, and that I am the one stainless reality, consisting of consciousness. 2.16

शरीरं स्वर्गनरकौ बन्धमोक्षौ भयं तथा।
कल्पनामात्रमेवैतत् किं मे कार्यं चिदात्मनः॥२- २०॥
The body, heaven and hell, bondage and liberation, and fear too, all this is pure imagination. What is there left to do for me whose very nature is consciousness? 2.20

अहो जनसमूहेऽपि न द्वैतं पश्यतो मम।
अरण्यमिव संवृत्तं क्व रतिं करवाण्यहम्॥२- २१॥
I do not even see dualism in a crowd of people, so what do I gain if it is replaced by a desert? 2.21

नाहं देहो न मे देहो जीवो नाहमहं हि चित्।
अयमेव हि मे बन्ध आसीद्या जीविते स्पृहा॥२- २२॥
I am not the body, nor is the body mine. I am not a living being. I am consciousness. It was my thirst for living that was my bondage. 2.22

मय्यनंतमहांभोधौ चित्तवाते प्रशाम्यति।
अभाग्याज्जीववणिजो जगत्पोतो विनश्वरः॥२- २४॥
In the infinite ocean of myself, the wind of thought subsides, and the world boat of the living-being traders is wrecked by lack of goods. 2.24


गुब्बारे की तरह
भर देते हो तुम
खालीपन भीतर

और मै भी
फूल उठता हूँ

फूलता क्यूँ हूँ ?
फूटता क्यूँ नहीं ?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ashtavakra Gita : Part 1 -- The Story of Ashtavakra

This is the version of the story, I had read, in a Hindi book named "Ashtavakra Gita". Book was published by "Randhir book sales, Haridwar".The translator/author of the book is/was "Nandlal dashora". It might not tally with other uploads on web.

Legend has it that Ashtavakra argued from his mother's womb with his father. His father was teaching Veda to his pregnant wife, and the yet to be born child reportedly exclaimed, that Vedas dont contain any truth. Well even in our times we find precocious children, but this is uber-precocious...isnt it? May be child had heard Pink Floyd, who knows :-)

So the father, enraged, curses his son, to be born deformed.(father son rivalry is historic you see, fathers cant take it when it comes from sons!)

That's what the name means, Ashta(eight)+vakra(deformed/bent/curved/etc.) So the boy now, has all his eight body parts, deformed. Actually 8 here means whole body(more on that some other time).

All this happened during the reign of King Janaka. Now, Janaka calls for a conclave of all seers/brahmins/bla bla bla, to discuss, what in those times was the holy grail of human intellectual adventure. By this, I mean, asking the question, "What is Brahman". It so happened, that Ashtavakra's father also attended the gathering and defeated all but one scholar. Learning this, Ashtavakra, still a child, takes it upon himself to come to his father's rescue.(when will fathers learn, and accept that their sons are smarter than they are ;-) )

When the gathering saw the deformed child, it seems they laughed and mocked at him. Ashtavakra called all of them "Chamar". Gentlemen, the word 'chamar' was an abuse in those days too! Anyway, the young boy promptly defended, his pejorative remark by arguing that the assembly failed to notice the transcendental formless, caught as it was, in the "apparent-to-the-eye" form, which by all Adhyatmic means is Unreal :). Now isnt that justification enough for being called Chamar ? It is, or it was, in those days :).

Janaka, impressed, made him sit on his throne and took Brahmopadesha from him.

Later as many of you know, Janaka, gave upadesha to Vyasa's son Shukadeva, which is another legendary story, but some other time.

So Ashtavakra gita is that discourse, between the young-enlightened-boy Ashtavakra, and the thirsty-for-enlightenment Emperor, Janaka. Needles to say, as per the book, Janaka gets his realization, very soon i.e. in the first few slokas. Rest of the book, hence, is then about two enlightened souls pontificating on the 'Reality'.

It would sound trite, but my good friend had once pointed out that Patanjali in his YS, mentions about, "Samadhi by Aushadhi". This then means, Patanjali was the first, exponent of what we today know call LSD. :)

I will post some slokas, which i enjoyed, in the next post.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


First of all sorry for the goof up. The quote in the last post, was not from Ashtavakra Gita. I got misled. I read the whole Ashtavakra gita to confirm it. Wikipidea is not right always! I should be more careful.

I will post something on both Ashtavakra and his gita shortly.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


the flower wilted.
Fatigue, time
showed up
on its face,
on its form.

But the flower is still a flower
in some ways,
not in some ways.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Two dhrupad compositions. The reason I post less dhrupad here, is, that less dhrupad is available.:). Gundecha brothers have done, a great service by breathing life into this art form which was dying. I had posted posted some dhrupad before here.

Here are two Dhrupad compositions by Gundecha brothers.

1. Ran jeeti ram raoo aye: Having won the battle, Rama comes.
2. Namo Anjani Nandanam Vayu Putram: I bow to son of Anjani and Vayu i.e. Hanuman.

Both are beautiful. First one is resplendent, energetic. Second one has more pathos.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Poem: Fountain Pen

Every day,
I scrape and scratch,
and I bleed,
like a fountain pen.

And like a fountain pen,
I get filled and refilled.


Q: How to live with pain?
A: Die!

Tilak Kamod - Neer bharan kaise jaaon?

This is a famous composition in Raag 'Tilak Kamod'. This has been adapted with some instrumental arrangement(western mostly) in a recent Pakistani movie, 'Khuda ke liye'(for the sake of god). I am embedding the same. Its a nice night and beautiful song. It could have been even better had they not used some of the instruments which commence in the later part of the song. Though if you see it in the context of the movie, the instrumental arrangement is not oddly placed. Its in sync with situation and script.

The song describes, Krishna lila. A gopi is expressing her inability in going out for water, since Krishna the 'stalker' wont let her do that.:)

नीर भरन कैसे जाऊं , सखी री मोरी डगर चलत

Incidentally, I had first heard this composition in Shuba Mudgal's voice. Then one friend recommended me to watch this movie, 'kuda ke liye', seeking my opinions on the same. And then when I saw this song, a big Aha happened. I still have that mp3(Shuba Mudgal's), in case anyone of you want that, just comment on this post and I will be happy to send that to you.

Anyway song has been sung well, and the deep male voice adds a very soothing feeling to it. And tilak kamod is a good raga :)