Dr. Raja Ramanna’s Experience

Our 24th Anusham programme on 2nd August 2017 at Madampatti,Coimbatore,was made memorable by the Spiritual experiences of Mrs. Chandra Janakiram and Savitri Viswanathan. 

Anusham programme Aug’17

Chandra Janakiram’s Experience

Every Indian must have heard of the great Nuclear Scientist, Head of BARC, Dr. Raja Ramanna.I narrated his experience with Mahaperiyava from an article on Mahaperiyava appeared in a Bhavan’s Journal, which I reproduced in my Sankara Jayanthi Souvenir in 1985 in Nigeria :

Narrating Raja Ramanna’s Experience

Raja Ramanna was more westernized in his younger days with a sort of hatred towards anything ritualistic! He as an young lad, had an argument with his neighbour, a 60 yr old highly Orthodox Brahmin who wanted to teach Vedas to this young lad but Raja Ramanna was not at all interested when the old man told him :”You will one day realise the real Treasure of our Upanishads!”

Savitri Viswanathan’s Experience

Raja Ramanna,describes in this article that he realised after several years the Greatness of our culture as an Astrophysicist, with a good knowledge of Sanskrit, when he was nearing 60!Though he was a great Piano Player,his world changed as he started taking interest in Upanishads!He however didn’t believe in Sages/Seers/sentimental Indians but he had a Manager in Kalpakkam Reactor Research Unit ,an Iyengar,a great devotee of Paramacharya,who constantly insisted that Dr.Raja Ramanna should oneday visit the great Seer at Kanchipuram,which Raja Ramanna constantly refused to do so!One fine morning Raja Ramanna ,during a visit to Chennai,had told Iyengar:”OK This time I will try to see “Your Seer”for your sake.Fix up a time!”

Raja Ramanna writes in this article :

“As soon as I landed in Meenambakkam,I asked Krishnamurthy who was supposed to take me to Kanchipuram,’Have you fixed an appointment with Kanchi Paramacharya?”

Krishnamurthy was silent for a few minutes and Raja Ramanna,being impatient,repeated the question.Krishnamurthy,answered :”Sir None fixes appointment with Paramacharya!We have to take a chance!Incase He is on mouna,we cant even discuss anything!”which infuriarated Raja Ramanna further !

On reaching Kanchipuram,Raja Ramanna was surprised to see the seer living in a small room,belying all his imaginations of a great Seer ,living  in all luxury! There were several devotees waiting for hours to have His Darshan.

‘Suddenly’ Raja Ramanna writes:’I saw a set of security personnel entered saying that the Governor of Tamilnadu was coming.Raja Ramanna says:”I realised in a few moments,the atmosphere made me realise that this place is beyond the realms of vastness of the Material world and my darshan at the Age old Adi Sankara temple inside the Ashram made me very simple and purified.I understood to what extent I was ignorant when I asked for an appointment with the Acharya!”

I saw the Acharya,on a raised platform,adjoining the room through a small window,barely a square foot wide,through which devotees peep into get His darshan!I also peeped in,and saw in the somewhat dim light,the Acharya,deeply engrossed turning the page of a book.At this moment the Governor arrived and we all moved back.The Governor also went to that Window for a short time and left soon after,but all the while the Acharya continued His search among the books,irrespective of what was happening outside!

A little while  later a strange  peace seemed to envelop us and I felt as though we were in a space where the devotees,the temple and everything around us were some minor objects in a great enactment.Everything around was simple to the extreme,and while I was meditating about why we-an odd assortment of people-were there at all,it began to appear that the strains of the Rg Veda was the only material thing of Value in that atmosphere!

Suddenly one of the aides of the Swamiji called us to the window,as the Acharya wanted to see us.He then asked His aides in a very weak voice in Tamil to open the pages of a book.After selecting the page with the finger from a distance,He asked me,if I knew enough Sanskrit.I was happy that I had Krishnamurthy,who teaches Vedas,with me!

During the discussion with the Acharya,a miracle happened.He asked me :”Have you read the philosophy of Nagarjuna?’I told Him, that is the very philosophy I am reading right now on my way by Prof Hiriyanna  of Mysore University on Indian Philosophy!I said Nagarjuna is the greatest scientific philosopher at all times.The Swamiji nodded His head and asked me to send Him a copy of this book.The discussions veered around “Katyayana”.

(Kātyāyana was born in a Brahmin family at Ujjayini (Ujjain) and received a classical Brahminical education studying the Vedas. Katyayana studied assiduously under Asita, who had predicted that Prince Siddharta would become either a chakravartin, a great worldly ruler, or a Buddha. With a group of seven friends he invited the Buddha to visit, and gained enlightenment (bodhi) while listening to him preach. He was ordained, and made numerous converts in the state of Avanti.[1] He is known as Phra Sangkajai in Thai Buddhism and portrayed as extremely portly.

Kātyāyana is listed as one of the ten principal disciples of Gautama Buddha: MahākassapaĀnandaSāriputtaSubhutiPunnaMoggallāna, Mahākaccāna, AnuruddhaUpali and Rāhula. He was foremost in explaining Dharma.)

 

Katyayana,in one of the Vartikas,”sidham thu nivarthakathvaath also shows himself in favour of Advaitha.”said the Acharya.The meaning of the above Vartika is as follows:

“Truth is Brahman.Knowledge is Brahman and Brahman is Endless.We can understand Brahman by experience.So what is the use of the sentences taken from philosophy ,satyam gnanamanatham brahma etc.,which tell about God?

It is a repetition only.Is it not?

No.The scholars know Brahman well.Others will have confusion.In order to avoid it,these sentences repeat the same frequently.Even the Bhashyakara,Patanjali,while commenting on the Sutra opines,in favour of Advaitha.How can we see the mark of Asat?(Non existing)

Yes.We can see it.It is like Mirage!”

The discussion was educative that at places I was able to discuss with Him in my own Kannada Language and He cleared some of my doubts.

Then He blessed us by raising His hands when we prostrated for His asservatham!

I must have been in direct contact with Swamiji for less than half an hour,but in regions outside material time ,I must have been with Him always!Here atlast I knew I had been in the presence of a learned man and an Inspired Man!(coutesy Bhavan’s Journal)

My Classmates

 

 

 

 

 

Mahaperiyava Jayanthi on 8th June 2017

Mahaperiyava Jayanthi on 8th June 2017

This year, as usual, Mahaperiyava’s Jayanthi, brought so much Peace and Tranquility at Shenbagam, with Vedhic Chanting by Panchapakesa Sastrigal and his Gurukula Vidyarthis.

Vedhic Chanting

Panchapakesa Sastrigal

Vedhic Chanting

Dr.Usha Ganesh, a Great devotee  sang a few songs on Mahaperiyava

Mahaperiyava’s Songs

Dr. Usha Ganesh’s Songs

ALL HIS GRACE!

But for Him so many Vedhic Schools wdnt have survived! Devotees must encourage such Gurukulams,  as in a World, full of Materialistic Pursuits, such a Devotion by the Vidyarthis must be Encouraged!

 

Miracles of Mahaperiyava – Nigerian Miracle

Mahaperiyava

On this Mahaperiyava Jayanthi day, 8th June 2017, I try to Recall His immeasurable Compassion to Save me from a Certain Death, that too in Nigeria!

I was working in Phonodisk Nigeria, Ijebuode, as its CEO, a Nigerian – American collaboration, for manufacturing Gramophone Records, Cassettes. It was started by Allahji Haruna Ishola, who was like our Yesudas, whose records were sold all over Africa within no time! I was replacing a set of Americans who were Looting the co. As it happens in many cos there were many locals who did not like my disciplined way to make Phonodisk profitable, catching many of the culprits Red handed!

Sankara Jayanthi – NIGERIA Souvenir 1985(Printed in Phonodisk)

My factory was 35 KM from my Bungalow in Ijebuode and I had a Peugeot 505 and 504 and drivers had to come all the way from Ijebuode  to drive me to the Factory. So I asked them not to come all the way and I started driving myself everyday to the Factory in the Mornings!

With Phonodisk Staff

Those days in 80s,Nigeria was so rich with Oil Money that almost every one drove a Peugeot or a Benz! Traffic regulations had to be brought in Lagos by Stipulating Odd Cars on Odd Days and Even Cars on Even Days! That is why almost every CEO used to have 2 Cars!

My  Faith in Mahaperiyava was so Strong, I used to always keep His Picture on the Dashboard!

Nigerians, for that matter, most Africans,  believed in Witchcraft! Some of my Security Guards, and Cooks, living in our Premises used to be afraid of us, as we used to light the Deepam everyday in the evening and used to pray, thinking,  we also practise Witchcraft!

Phonodisk Staff

Haruna Ishola’s own brother, called Baba was the most affected financially after my arrival, as he was living next to the Factory, Looting all the time!

So his aim was to Finish me somehow!

One day when I was driving my 505 to the Factory, I was experiencing a wild wobbling in the front tyres. I was driving at 100 KM but somehow managed to reach the Factory!

When the Factory Security Guard opened the Gates and when I parked the car, I saw Baba with his close Assistants looking at me with Amazement! He had told most of them ‘I wd never ever enter the Factory again!’ 

When I closed the car door, to my utter Amazement, I saw the Front Right Side Wheel,  falling down and rolling! Someone had loosened the Bolts, when the car was parked  in the Garage !

Benjamin, my Security Guard!

Some of my Ghanian Staff, my  well Wishers like Bernard, came running and literally lifted me!

I was saved on that day purely because of my Faith in Him. On hearing this Allahji Haruna Ishola came from Lagos and hugged me! He, not educated in English, conveyed through his Daughter, a Director of Phonodisk  “Your Witchcraft is more Powerful than Baba’s. He will now run for his Life!”

A really wonderful innings I had in Nigeria thereafter, all because of His Grace!I printed and Released Fela’s First Album which crossed a Million Records in just 3 Days! Ofcourse, every time I used to print a Record of Allahji Haruna Ishola’s, we used to sell a Million Records, in a Music Crazy Country! Can’t believe I was also a part of those Celeberations ! 

Incase you want to hear a similar incident,  earlier to this one,  please listen to this video taken by Shivaraman for Sage of Kanchi :

Marvels of India – Sringeri

Sringeri Vidyaranyar Temple

Sankara Jayanthi

When Lord Parameaswara Himself was reborn in Kalady!

If one makes a trip to Kodajadri one can imagine how it is impossible to trek to that place even Today! Unless AdiSankara is Parameaswara Himself some 1300 yrs back He cdn’t have made it! 

On Sankara Jayanthi, A journey to Sringeri is a pilgrimage bringing me immeasurable Happiness.

Selfish Eeeee Sringeri

Enjoy the intricate Carvings, shadows falling exactly on the Zodiac signs of that month, an architectural Marvel! 

Take a dip in the Thungabadra!

Visit Rishyasringar Temple!

Don’t forget Simhagiri across the river! A Peaceful Paradise!

Adi Sankara Temple Sringeri

Vidyasankar Temple is an architectural Marvel!

Sringeri Sankaracharyas

The Vidyashankar temple was built in commemoration of the pontiff Vidyashankara, around 1357-58 C.E.. It was built by Vidyaranya, patron-saint of Harihara and Bukka  the brothers who founded the Vijayanagara empire! 

The niches in the temple have a number of sculptures from Hindu mythology. Inscriptions in the temple record contributions made by several Vijayanagara emperors. One must not miss the Stone Chains unique in only few Temples like Avudaiyar Koil, Perur, apart from Sringeri! 

The architecture  is also an exhibition of the astronomical expertise of medieval south Indian temple builders. The main temple hall features 12 pillars designated for the 12 signs of the zodiac. Windows and doors along the temple walls are arranged such that equinoxes sunrise views reach the deity. The northern and southern gates enable the sunrise view from the hall during solstices. The structure stands on a high plinth and commands a magnificent view from the hills and their slopes all round. It is more or less a rectangle with apisidal east-west ends. On the western side is the Garbhagriha, with Vidya Ganapathi  on one side and Durga on the other side of the entrance.

In the eastern half of the structure is a mantapa with twelve pillars, huge monoliths carrying large figures and carrying heavy projecting corbels on top. These twelve pillars are marked by the twelve signs of the zodiac in their regular order, and arranged in such a manner that the rays of the sun fall on each of them in the order of the twelve solar months. On the floor is a large circle, marked with converging lines to indicate the direction of the shadows. The central ceiling is an exquisite piece of workmanship with lotus and pecking parrots. The vimana over the Garbhagriha rises magnificently with shikhara, mahapadma and stupa. The rest of the roof is made up of sloping channelled slab. The basement is elaborately sculpted with animals, puranic stories, and Dasavathara . From the caves of the corners of the central hall chains of stone rings hang which is a unique master piece! 

Stone Chains Sringeri

Ramakrishna Mutt,Elk Hills, Ooty

RKMUTT ELK HILLS OOTY was established in the year 1924 by Swami Shivananda 

RK MUTT OOTY

RK MUTT ELK HILLS OOTY

Swami Shivananda was one of the foremost disciples of Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna. Swami Vivekananda called him ‘Mahapurusha Maharaj’ as He was married at an young age due to some family commitments, ‘against His will and remained a Bachelor with the consent of His wife’ . After 3 years of married life, His wife passed away and He met Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna and surrendered to His divine power, being Sri Ramakrishnar ‘s foremost Disciple !

Swami Shivananda aka Mahapurusha

Ooty Ramakrishna Mutt was founded by Him in 1924 in ELK Hills, known as Bishop’s Town at that time! This 2 Acre plot was donated by a Washerman, Thiruvengadam Pillai, who was a great devotee of Devi Mariamman! One day he had a dream and Devi wanted him to donate this plot for a Temple. It so happened that when Swami Shivananda was looking for a plot to build the RK Mutt, He met Thiruvengadam, who said “I have been searching for some one like you, Swamiji,  for the last 2 years!”

Daily Programme

Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna

The structure we see is the same as built in 1924, even today spreading the Gospel of Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna and serving the local community in various ways like other RK Mutts. Swami Shivananda started RK Mutts in Mumbai and Nagpur also later on.
One of His Disciples is Swami Chidbhavananda (see my blogSwami Chidbhavananda) who started various RK Ashrams all over Tamilnadu and today educating nearly 80000 students every year!

RK Mutt Ooty

Bhajans @RKMutt

Arthi @RKMutt Ooty

Earlier years of Swami Shivananda :
He was employed in McKinnon and Mckenzie before He was attracted towards Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna!
We get inspired so much when we go back to that time and imagine the selfless sacrifice made by such Great Saints!
Group photo taken on 30 January 1887 In Baranagar Math, Kolkata.

First set of Disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Shivananda, left extreme

Standing: (l–r) ) Swami Shivananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, Swami Vivekananda, Randhuni, Debendranath Majumdar, Mahendranath Gupta (Shri M), Swami Trigunatitananda, H.Mustafi
Sitting: (l–r) Swami Niranjanananda, Swami Saradananda, Hutko Gopal, Swami Abhedananda

He wrote after His first visit of Sri Ramakrishna “I have not yet come to a final understanding whether He [Ramakrishna] was a man or a superman, a god or the God Himself, but I have known him to be a man of complete self-effacement, master of the highest renunciation, possessed of supreme wisdom, and the supreme incarnation of love.”

Tarak Ghosal , as His original name, continued to visit Dakshineswar till Ramakrishna fell ill and was brought, first to the Shyampukur house and then later to the Cossipore Garden House. In Cossipore, Tarak joined with others including Narendranath Dutta, later known as Swami Vivekananda, to serve Sri Ramakrishna.

After the death of Ramakrishna in 1886, the small group of direct disciples who decided to embrace monastic life gathered round in a dilapidated house in Baranagar; Tarak was one of the first to settle there. Thus began the Baranagar monastery of the Ramakrishna Math.
Swami Shivananda passed away in 1934 and His memory is kept alive next to Sri Ramakrishnar’s in Baranagar!

Whenever I spend a few days in Ooty, I just can’t imagine what an amnt of Dedication and Guru Bakthi , Swami Shivananda, Swami Vivekananda and others have had, for Bagwan Sri Ramakrishna ! Unimaginable! 
Every year Sri Ramakrishnar’s Birthday is a great festive activity here with poor feeding and many cultural activities, attracting 10s of 1000s to this temple!
This RK Mutt quietly helps all poor in this area with free education, medical facilities and does feeding as a regular activity!

God Bless such Great Temples of Selfless Sacrifice!

Marvels of India – Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple – Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple(inside) Bhubaneswar


Bhubaneswar is dotted with many Architecturally carved out beautiful Temple towers  in Odissy style architecture , which is unique. It is called Deula style,that has fourcomponents namely, 

vimana (structure containing thesanctum), 

jagamohana(assebly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor.

Deula Style Architecture Lingaraj Temple


Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraj was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra) as noted in Ekamra Purana, a 13th-century Sanskrit treatise. The temple is active in worship practises, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar and Shiva is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. The temple has image of Lord Shiva of only 8″height but with 8feet Dia! 

At Lingaraj Temple

A tower inside Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneswar


The Lingaraja temple is said to have been built first by the ruler Yayati Kesari in the 7th century who shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar. Bhubaneshwar remained as the Kesari capital, till Nripati Kesari founded Cuttck in the 10th century. Inscriptions from the period of the Kalinga King Anangabhima III from the 13th century are seen here.
There are many structures inside the temple, particularly of interest is the replica of Puri Jagannath and Balabadra, Subadra, one can have such a peaceful Darshan! 

Our Faith is so pure for the Cows,  Bulls and Cow Dungs too, that one can see them loitering everywhere in all such Temples! 

Binny Subba Rao’s 74 th Rama Navami Festival!

Sankaran Namboothry @Coimbatore

Sankaran Namboothry ‘s concert on the 7th April at Binny Subba Rao’s 74th Rama Navami Celeberations at RS PURAM was cool in a hot summer evening!
Yesterday’s sought after prodigy, brought out brilliance of his Guru, TVG in Vathapi
(Hamsadwani) and from Entha bhagyamu in Saranga onwards, it was all the way a Thiagaraja Day and aptly so!
Aparama Bakthi in Panthuvarali was followed by
Endaro Mahanu bhavu: (this was in Milwaukee) 


Sive pakimam is a rare Kalyani krithi by Thiagaraja on His most revered Dharma Samvardini, who is  across the Cauvery on the northern side of Thiruvaiyaru , was well rendered, except that Sankaran has this habit of closing his left ear often, we don’t know why?
Inthakananandamemi in Bilahari followed by
Palukavenina – Poorna Chandrika and Nee dhayaravale in thodi as the main Raga, were good !
A great atmosphere at Binny Subba Rao’s house with cool sands and chairs to sit brought back memories of Temple concerts of Yesteryears!
Long Live Subba Rao’s Rama Navami!