Sunday, December 30, 2007

The theory of Macrocosm and microcosm

According to Einstein, the sum total of all energies in the universe at any point of time is the same. Which means that , existence as it is , is subject to no change. Which means that creation is not time bound. This also satisfies law of conservation of energy (derived from Newton's laws of motion) that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

Our vedanta says there was never a time when there was no creation. One of our Shanti mantras which is the invocation mantra of Esavasya Upanishad says

Om purnamada purnamidam purnat purnamudasyate
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasishyate

my translation
om ada:- that ; purnam- (is) infinite; idam- this; purnam- (is) infinite; purnat- (from) the infinite; purnam- the infinite; udasyate- emerges; purnasya- from the infinite; purnamadaya- even when the infinite emerges, purnam eva- only the infinite ; avasisyate- remains

translation according to Advaita Ashrama publication

my translation-
Om that (supreme Brahman) is infinite, and this (conditioned Brahman) is infinite. The infinite (conditioned Brahman) proceeds from the infinite (supreme Brahman), (Then through knowledge), realizing the infinitude of the infinite( conditioned Brahman), it remains as the infinite (unconditioned Brahman) alone.

From the translation of Mata Amritananadamayi's site,

"That is the Whole, this is the Whole;
From the Whole, the Whole arises;
Taking away the Whole from the Whole,
The Whole alone remains…

More of the mantra

The "pUrNamada: pUrNamidam..." vajasaneyi samhitopanishad mantra (chapter 40 of Madhyandina branch and chapter 41 of Kanva branch of Shukla yajurveda; popular under the name of Ishopanishad or Ishavasyopanishad) has a precedent as well as a parallel in Atharva veda.

Now, my question: Is it not a clear, very very clear understanding of the cosmic laws ? This sloka says that the Brahman and the creation never change. There is no time factor at the level of Brahman at all. Time is relative. Brahman and creation are absolute.

And we give the credit to Einstein.

Organic farming and the centrality of the cow

Jai Sri Ram.


These days you hear a lot about organic farming. It can be defined as the entire process of agriculture in a given area done exclusively with natural manure and natural pesticides. (and on the other hand completely eliminating syntheric fertilizers and pesticides).

India was a world leader (and we still are) in the area of organic farming. Our forefathers knew how to take record harvests using bio manure using cow dung . The pesticide they used was pancha kavya- which is a mix of cow's milk , cow's ghee, curd, cow dung, and cow's urine.

Coming to think of it , the cow was the centre point of agriculture. No wonder , it was a respected animal in India. The entire economy of rural India depended on cattle and farming. Without a cow, no family was complete. A man's wealth was measured by the number of cows he had.

In addition to manure, the cow's milk was a much sought after food. Butter milk was (is) a famous health drink and even a poorest man prepares it and takes regularly.

The cow is the most docile of all animals known to man. It is man's friend, wealth and spiritual companion. All great yogis, after having reached a stage when they could reflect on their past lives, found to their astonishment that , a recent birth of them was in the form of a cow !

But, how do we treat them? Old cows , after the milch period is over, are sold to moslems who take them in open trucks for days without food and water ! All the cattle farmers in India are Hindus and all the butchers are muslims. Will our mother nature forgive us ? How can any Hindu go to a Krishna temple when his pet animal is butchered in his own land ?

How can a person go to Shiva temple, when the bull , his vehicle, is killed mercilessly after all its strength is sapped out in farming and cart pulling ? Do we not see in suburbs of cities, the neck and legs of cows are joined with a rope so that the cow cannot raise its head more than one foot above the ground ? The owner replies that this prevents the cow to 'focus' on the grass and prevents it from straying away !

Will our Gods ever forgive us ? Think ! This is the only country that knew to thank the animals. But here , right in our midst, all these chaos are happening.

Self respecting Hindus, awake ! Stop this killing. Even if it is at the cost of some of your savings, buy an old cow, save it, and protect it. If you are a city dweller, allocate some money each month to give it to some goshalas, who are struggling to make the ends meet . There are many good goshalas. In my next post I will give the address of some. Meanwhile members can post on this and add whatever you want to.

Organic farming and the centrality of the cow- part 2
I think this is something everyone need to educated uopn.

60 years back, we were taking only one harvest a year. The rest of the time , the field was rested or 'rejuvenated'.

The issue of plenty has nothing to do with farming methods. Rather with preservation techniques and distribution.

The farmer 60 years back must have been a confused man. He knew neither his own tradition well nor the dangers of the alien methods. A professor in Annamalai University, was explaining in Podhigai channel how he helped get fantastic yields of sugar cane with just cow dung manure as fertiliser and pancha gavya as pesticide. The suffix - 'cide'- meaning-'to kill' is a misnomer here . These natural agents created an atmosphere where the pests cannot thrive.

Similarly, neem paste and turmeric made the bugs sterile by interfering in their reproductive system.

Sri Natesan , organiser of Govardhan, a cow protecting organisation, was telling me that Masaal Dosai with potato smash inside became famous only in the 60 s. Because they could be easily transported from the Nilgiris . But no one bothered that the terrace farming that was a requisite for potato was ruining the western ghats and the source of a number of rivers.

Twenty five years back, if a guest came during noon, he was served only butter milk or rice- but no milk or coffee. Why ? Was milk insufficient ? Nope. India had much more cows then than at present. There was no preservation. The 'pasteurization' was not introduced.

But no one bothered to notice that the pasteurized milk was a dead milk by heating it to 170 deg plus temperature. Initially in America, no cat or dog used to touch the pasteurized milk. My son's bronchial allergy/ cold taking/wheezing was greatly relieved after I started giving him farm fresh milk. You will vomit instantly if you ever enter the storage yards. The globe- container is washed once in many months or not at all.

Nowadays apples are waxed and stored for years. Waxing closes the pores in the outer skin of the apple and prevents the moisture from escaping. Taste a waxed apple and taste a fresh one. You will know.

In essence, If we want our children and their descendants to live healthily, organic farming is essential and cow protection is a topmost priority. Without cow organic farming is inconceivable.

Let us all give our big hands. Cow protection is not only spiritual in nature but profoundly scientific.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Temple Archakas Issue- Will sense prevail

Temple Archaka Issue- Will sense prevail ?

Mr M Karunanidhi, CM of Tamilnadu, passed a law recently stating that anyone can become an archaka of any Hindu Temple.

On the surface it looks good and in these times , everyone seem to agree. Most sections of the society believed that at last the only remaining bastion of the brahmin has been stormed. Is that view right ?

There is little awareness among the lay public about the regular brahmin commuity and the Archaka community. The archaka community is broadly divided into Saiva (Sivachariar or Kurukkal) and Vaishnava sects( Bhattars). These archakas swear by the Agamas and not the Vedas. Whereas the brahmins (iyers, smarthas) live by the Vedas and have nothing to do with the kurukkal or their Agamas. By this I do not mean the Agamas are antagonistic to the Vedas. Agamas use many vedic mantras and practices, and they have adapted the Varna system.

The Agamas are the guiding documents of the majority of the non brahmins of Tamilnadu- whether of Saiva, Vaishnava or Saktha hues. As such, the Agamas are theirs ! But, the Agamas are massive Sanskrit documents which are out of bounds to most of the general public. Only the archakas are the authorities in them ! They do a five year Agama course many Patashalas run by Hindu Charitable organisations and mutts.

These archakas are also traditionally proficient in Grantha lipi, a form of letters used by ancient Tamils to write Sanskrit. This is Tamilnadu's own Sanskrit Lipi !

Agamas specifically insist that only those Agama experts belonging to the respective Archaka community MUST BE ALLOWED to enter the sanctum sanctorum of temples. Many may object to this but, temples are tantric complexes and temple worship, deepa, dhoopa, arati, alankara, naivedya , prakara circumambulation all are tantric practices.

Agamic injunctions are therefore subtle( since they are tantric) and no one has ever questioned them. As such , the person allowed as per Agamas should do the puja inside the sanctum.

The Tamilnadu Government's move will be a direct impingement on the Agamas, and the persons affected will be only non brahmins as their own sacred books are trampled ! The athiest TN politicians can ill afford the anger of the caste Hindus in this regard !

Also, all the Agama mantras are in Sanskrit, and have been followed since time immemorial. The Agamas are said to be as old as the Vedas themselves. By promoting Tamil archana, another injunction is disobeyed. Even the Adheenam of Thiruvavaduthurai, which is not a brahmin mutt, recently issued a statement saying only Agamic mantras will ne allowed inside the sanctum and Thevaram and Thiruvasagam can be recited outside. Even Supreme court has heard a case and has specifically stated that only Sanskrit Mantras are to be chanted inside the sanctum !

The Agamas are living, vibrant documents which govern the entire Hindu society right from the Dalit to the Brahmin- whether they acknowledge it or not. Agamas started temple worship and the entire plan upto the consecretion stage is governed by the Agamas only.

The Tamilnadu Givernment, thinking in its stereotyped views that anything spiritual or orthodox is brahmanical , has blindly gone into this matter without weighing the pros and cons. This move , if becomes law, will seriously affect the temple management and future temple constructions. Agamas' superiority will be put to question and all future governments will enact laws with impunity in temple matters. The losers will be the non brahmin Hindus !

The sane option would be to regularize the Agamic education, providing better pays to these archakas and conduct centralised examination with periodic checks - all in concurrence with all the adheenams and mutts. This is a win win formula and the Government will get many bonus points.


Thirunavukkarasar (Appar) and the revival of Hinduism


Appar swamigal was a spiritual giant of ancient Tamilnadu.( 4 th century AD) Here is the story of his life. He lived in an extraordinarily troubled phase of Hindu religion and let us see how he toppled the politically motivated religious aggression of the Jains and Buddhists.

Appar was born in a Tamil Vellalar family of farmers. His birthplace was Tiruvamur, in central Tamilnadu. Originally named ‘Marul neekkiyar’, he lost his parents at an early age. His sister, Thilakavathiyar, was betrothed to Kalippagaiyar. Before the marriage took place, Kalippagaiyar was killed in battle. Thilakavathiyar refused to marry any other stating that once she thought of someone as life companion , it was final and no other had a place in her life.

Unable to see his sister in sorrow, young Marul neekiyar, drifted away and joined the Jains in Pataliputram (present Kadalur).

He excelled in the study of the scriptures of the Jains and soon was one of their leading scholars. He also got a name from them as ‘Dharmasena’.

His sister, Thilakavathiyar, an astute Shiva devotee, could not bear to see her brother thus gone abandoning the age old Shaiva tradition. She incessantly prayed Lord Shiva for returning her brother to her.

Dharma Sena developed a terrible stomach ache after that. He tried various ways available at that time. His Jain community also tried to cure him by various prayer and healing methods but to no avail. The pains worsened. At this time, he thought his days were numbered and remembered his sister . He went to see her immediately.

His pious sister, knowing her brother's ailment to be Shiva's leela, thanked the Lord in her heart, prayed and took vibhooti ( holy ash) in her hand and applied on her brother's forehead. Instantly, the pains left and Marul Neekkiyar fell on his sister's feet. He realised his mistake and was changed forever.

The Jains could not stomach his leaving their religion.. They had become politically powerful by converting Kings and the nobles. Their complaint to the Pallava King, Mahendra Varma, resulted in Marul Neekkiyar being put into lime kilns. Not only did the ordeal could harm him , but it was like " a faultless Veena, an evening moon, a flowing breeze, the beginning spring, a pond with bee surrounded flowers" as he sang the immortal ' Masil Veenaiyum....'

The Jains now induced the King to order him to be tied to a rock and thrown into the sea. The stone floated and on it sat Thirunavukkarasar ( a name he got later due to his command over the tongue), singing the pathigam ( ten quadruplets) ' Chotrunai Vediyan..'

The King soon realised his grave mistakes and it was Thirunavukkarasar's turn to advise him to take to Shaiva Dharma as his ancestors did.

It was the first blow the Atheistic jains received. Though Thirunavukkarasar was over 50 years when he converted back to Saivism, he went by foot to many Shiva temples in Tamilnadu and sang pathigams on the residing deities. He was joined by the child extraordinaire , Gnana Sambandar to deal deathly blows to Jainism and Buddhism wherever they went. It was Gnana Sambandar who called him as 'Appar' which name stuck.

Appar was a colossus who was a original thinker and was divinity personified. He was arguably the first to start the Bhakthi movement in India that later caught the imagination of the rest of India. His mode of tackling on the alien religions was in fact , very simple. He identified himself with the people, cared for them and helped them.

His life itself was spent in cleaning temples ( called Uzhavarappani in Tamil). But this simple act got him so many followers and his songs ignited the devotional fires among Tamils after many centuries of confusing religious thoughts. Appar advocated simple living, being pious and relying on God Shiva as an ideal supreme God. The miracles he performed on his countrymen was also a factor that steered Tamilnadu away from Jainism.

Appar's songs along with those of Gnana Sambandar and Sundarar form the famous 'Thevaram' , a sacred treasure for Tamil Saivism which are sung to this day by devotees.


Appar's life is a lesson for all those working for a revival of Hinduism towards releasing it from the clutches of self defeating, false secularism . Devotion has to be cultivated in every person and self pride in his beliefs has to be encouraged. Every Bharat builder must be a sadhak himself, trying to realise God. He must seek God before he can ask others to do so. To show the bluff in the fake healing of Christians, he himself must try to become a healer.

Every temple, be it in a dalit colony or be it the richest , must evoke the same devotional spirit in every one of us. We all must become Loud Hindus. By loud I mean, we should overcome shyness to sing His fame aloud in the temples. We must become visible Hindus. By visible , I mean proudly adorning our religious symbols like Vibhhoti, Namam, Thiruman, Kumkum etc. and also by rejecting lungi and western dress in temples. Be a Bold Himdu. By bold I mean , never hesitate to question anything that affects our Hindu society.

Do this and see our Sanatana Dharma engulf not only Bharat but the entire earth.

Jai Bharat


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sandhyavandanam- Achamanam

Om Sri Paramatmane Nama:
The name of the Lord is the most powerful weapon in this world that can save mankind from every danger. Is there any choicest of them among the numerous names of the Lord Sri Krishna ? He has more than 1000 names and we need a few for daily remembrance. How ? Our rishis have chosen fifteen of them. We will see them in the later part of this article.

Achamanam means partaking of a small quantity of water. The health experts of our times have come to a conclusion that taking large quantities of water at any time is harmful. They advice only sipping small quantities. But ours is a land of yogis who knew the anatomy and physiology of humans both physically and by intuition ( gnana drushti). They devised an ideal way of a treatment of the body with the infusion of a small quantity of water ( about 1 ml) repeatedly which created such a healthy effect.
During an achamanam, we usually take three intakes. Each time saying one name of the Lord in this order; Achyutaya nama: Anantaya nama: Govindaya nama:. The water is poured into the palm by a small spoon of 1 ml capacity and then poured into the mouth by the hand. This repeated after each mantra. This is followed by touching various parts of our body by our different fingers .There are two acamanams in the beginning, two in the middle and one in the end of one Sandhyavandanam routine. Totally, fifteen small intakes take place during this.
Now, we will look at the health benefits. There is a vidhi (rule) in Achamanam that the water should not be sucked from the palm. The water from a panch patra ( a tumbler like container which is wide at the top and bottom of approx 100 ml capacity of Silver or Copper) is transferred to the right palm by means of a Uddharni (spoon) of 1 ml capacity. The right palm is now lifted steadily without spilling and keeping the anterior end (wrist end) touching the lips and raising the neck and tilting the palm so that the WATER FLOWS INTO THE MOUTH BY GRAVITY. No sucking. We feel that the water is trickling down the food pipe but the water is of such a small quantity that we do not feel the trickling below the heart region. This, the Rishis call as ‘going into the heart’. Some acharyas say that this water directly mingles with the blood.
The immediate effect is a lowering of the temperature, or rather ‘heat’ of the body. Though allopathy still does not accept the ‘heat’ of the body as a parameter of health , (due to lack of research), we know it ourselves. Holistic therapeutic systems like Ayurvedha and Homeopathy recognize this. Modern living has made such disastrous effects that the burning sensation in single parts or extremities are so common. Achamanam takes care of this. Lack of perspiration raises the body heat. Constipation also is a cause. Even for a man in fever, giving drops of cold water steadily reduces the temperature. Achamanam removes the ill effects of today’s hectic lifestyle such as Constipation, Stress, fatigue etc.
The mental effects are subtle. Lowering of heat gives tranquility. Achamanam being the starting point of Sandhyavandanam, this must be a preparation of the Sadhak for further kriyas.
During Achamanam the names of the Lord are also chanted. After the first three of Achyutaya Nama; ( obeisance to the changeless)
Anantaya Nama; ( obeisance to the infinite , endless)
Govindaya Nama:,((obeisance to Him who is attainable by chanting Vedas)
twelve names are said
We know from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas how the name of the lord is more powerful than Himself. Rama’s arrows fell as garlands on Hanuman when Hanuman could not obey Sri Rama’s command. At that time Hanuman was chanting only Rama Nama !
Now we will go into why our Rishis chose these twelve names.
Vasudeva, the Parabrahman, when expands himself into four states (chatur vyuha- name 138 of Vishnu sahasra nama) for creation, preservation and destruction (recall) takes four names respectively
Vasudeva ( who is stationed in every living being)
Sangarshana ( who does not descend from his position)
Pradhyumna ( who is full of wealth)
Aniruddha (who can never be opposed)
These four vyuhas expand further into twelve vyuha states
  1. Kesava ( who takes many forms, one who is the total combined form of Brahma , Vishnu and Siva)
  2. Narayana (the final refuge of nara or Jiva)
  3. Madhava( Pathi of Lakshmi)
  4. Govinda-(One who is attainable by Vedic chanting)
  5. Vishnu ( One who pervades everywhere)
  6. Madhusudana(Destroyer of Madhu, the demon( Destroyer of Tamoguna))
  7. Trivikrama- (who measured the universe in three footsteps)
  8. Vamana-( the small figured, who gives as per one’s punya karma)
  9. Sridhara( One who sustains Lakshmi)
  10. Hrishkesa(who rules the senses)
  11. Padmanabha( Who has the lotus in his navel)
  12. Damodhara( One who has the universe as his abode)
So, by knowing these names and vyuhas and chanting them respectively during partaking of water and after, we get the multiple benefits. Also, touching various parts of the body with different fingers in a particular orders is like a kavacha ( armour ) and in my opinion prepares the sadhak by focusing the mind since an unconcentrated mind can not perform the series without mistakes.
In the next part we will see Prashanam- a somewhat similar kriya which is a self purification exercise.

Also see

Sandhyavandanam- time

Om Sri Paramatmane Nama:

Sandhya Vandanam

The time:

What is the apt time for doing Sandhya Vandanam ? The name suggests Sandhya , the meeting time of Day with night, which is just before and during sunrise and sunset.

Ajyotisho darsanat sandhi, jyotisho bhanutare

The above statement of the shastra means

Sandhi is the time when the sun and the stars are together visible. The practical thing therefore will be to start

  1. In the morning before sunrise, give Arghyam( explanation later) during sunrise and finish just after sunrise.
  2. In the evening, begin before sunset, give Arghyam during sunset and finish later.

For those who always are inconsistent with their timings, Shastra says

For prAtha: (morning) Sandhyavandhan

Uttama tarakopeta madhyama lupta taraka

Adhama urya sahita prata: sandhya tridha mana

To do PrAtha: ( morning) sandhyA vandanam when the stars are visible is Uttama (first grade.); Maddhyama (middle grade) when doing without the stars; and Adhama ( least grade when Sun is visible)


Uttama suryasahita maddhyama anudita taraka

Adhma tarakopeta sayam sandhya tridha mata

To do Sayam( evening) Sandhya Vandanam , It is Uttama doing while the sun is still shining; Maddhyama when doing before stars are visible; Adhama after the stars are fuly visible.

Sri Abhinava Theertha swamigal says whatever be the grade, it is always best to do it regularly. Otherwise, he warns, one’s Brahmanathva itself is wasted.

The morning and evening sandhis are also ideal since, traditionally and habitually, a person’s stomach will be empty doing both sunrise and sunset. An empty stomach is achieved after four hours of a solid meal. An empty stomach is a prerequisite for Sandhyavandanam since there are at least three sets of pranayama totaling 15 in one full routine. A loaded stomach will interfere with pranayama greatly resulting in indigestion, sleepiness etc. Even the madhyahnikam ( noon) routine is done with an empty stomach before the meal.

There are three types of Karmas- Nithya, Naimithika, and Kamya karmas. Kamya karma is one which is done with a desire to achieve, like a yagya for long life etc .Even if kamya karmas are not done , there is no sin. Naimithika karma is one which is not shastra bound and not niyamic, i.e., a necessary duty , such as taking bath after an eclipse. Nithya karma is one which is ‘niyata nimitta’ meaning ‘ that which is done which is shastra bound’ . Sunrise and sunset are the reason for doing Sandhya vandanam. Hence this is classified in the Nithya karma, which has to be done daily , lifelong.

In the next part we will discuss a fascinating karma called Achamanam which is spiritual and profoundly scientific.

Sandhyavandanam - an overview

Om Sri Paramatmane Nama:

Sandhya Vandanam:

Our Vedas are an enormous collection of books. One cannot read them in an ordinary lifetime. But, we Sanatanis have to read them. Our Rishis made an easy , enjoyable, fruitful and powerful way of reciting some small portions of the Vedas every day together with some offerings that have been followed since time immemorial by our Sanatana family.

Most of today’s younger generation do not know our traditional language which is Sanskrit- which is pitiable. Without knowing the language, the mantras recited make no sense to them and the whole process becomes a mechanical one. There is a dearth of real teachers of these mantras who can teach them to the pupils at the time of upanayanam itself. Some Noble souls like Yoga Acharya Sundaram, Kadalangudi Brahmasri Natesa Sastigal, Sri Sri Abhinava Theertha Mahaswamigal of Sringeri Sarada Sankara Peetam have explained the intricate meanings of these mantras, the meanings of the various parts of Sandhyavandanam and most importantly , the health benefits and scientific brilliance behind these seemingly simple karmas.

This is an attempt by one who learnt the Sandhya Vandana late in his life. As a penance, I wish to present to all an easy to understand and apply document for the benefit of mankind in general and the individual in particular.

Sandhya Vandanam – who can do it ?

The Vedas declare that the three varnas of Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vysya are eligible. Today’s society has been completely overhauled by interchange of occupation that a Brahmin by birth runs an Industry, a Vysya is a teacher and a Kshatriya is a scientist. The list is endless. Since Vedic injunctions were by division of labour, now one can safely say that anyone who properly understands the Mantras and has the fire in him for the welfare of the society , can do it. This is my opinion. Almost a hundred years back, Vivekananda, put yagnyopaveetam on sixty dalit boys and declared them dwijas(twice born). I think their descendants are also called Brahmans in Bengal.

Now, I invite you all to read the fascinating Sandhya Vandahanam which is perhaps one of the best and subtlest daily routine of prayer, thanksgiving, and mantra meditation offered to mankind ever.

The articles will be in parts. The attempt is to go as deep as I could go into the inner meaning of these mantras and karmas. Meanings of every word uttered is given.

I thank Sri Krishna for this inspiration.

I urge all the fortunate who read this , to take printouts and keep them ready while doing Sandhya Vandanam. Most importantly spread the word to all you know about the necessity of such a holiest of Karmas in this degraded era of Kali.

Hare Krishna ! Jai Bharat !