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

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Amazing Architectural Marvel – Avudaiyar Koil

Avudaiyar Koil

Avudaiyar Koil

Beautiful Statue of Vinayaka

Beautiful Statue of Vinayaka

My journey to age old Marvels of India took me this week to Avudaiyar Koil, an Architectural Marvel, 100 KM South of Trichy!This temple, called Thiruperundurai by Manickvasagar, is said to have been built by Him! Amazing intricate carvings makes it  as Great as Meenakshi Amman Temple!

Avudaiyar Koil

Avudaiyar Koil

The presiding deity is formless ATMANATAR!  There is no Shivalingam  but only a pedestal {Avudayar} located in the sanctum, hence the name Avudayar Koil.His consort is worshipped as Siva Yoga Nayaki in iconless form. There is no Nandi,  bull icon. There is deep spiritual significance in the queerness. Upanishads says  deity n Idol worship are only for beginners in the initial stage. As the devotee and his devotion matures,attaining gyanam, he has to realise the truth of formlessness. To illustrate the theology, the temple has been designed. This is the only Saivaite shrine in whole of India to portray the supreme truth symbolically. Since the soul (Athma) has no form, the deity is called Athmanathar.

Manickvasagar,being the prime minister, He spent all the money given to Him by the King, Varuguna Pandyan II to buy horses,  in building this temple. As He was bereft of money, Lord SHIVA displayed one of his Thiruvilayadall (holy prank) by transforming foxes to horses and once they were given to the king, they again became foxes! 

 

The temple is noted for the granite roof work. The ceiling of the Kanaga sabhai (golden hall) is a grandeur creation in stone. The ropes, rafters and nails all are made of granite.The bow wielding MURUGA, KALI and SHIVA’s rudra thandavam (wild dance) are the finest specimens in sculptural art.

Many renovations have been carried out, much of the current structure dates to the fifteenth Century . The temple covers an area of over 10 acres and faces south, constructed in such a way, that the setting sun strikes the sanctum even though it is cloistered within three circumambulatory paths. The thousand pillared hall has several delicately crafted pillars with depictions of the Oordhwa Tandavam of Shiva, Kaaraikkaal Ammaiyaar, Dhanurdhara Subramanya, etc.

One must take all steps to visit such Marvels of age old Architectural Beauty! 

Darasuram -Cosmic Dance of Shiva as Explained by Carl Sagan!

03-03-58-amazing-master-pieces

Darasuram.. a monumental architectural master piece from Raja Raja Cholan period..lots of similarity between Gangai Konda Cholapuram and this temple..

“Airavateswarar Temple at Darasuram near Kumbhakonam”

 img_20161125_130254

It is a very small town which has come to eminence due to the famous Siva temple of Airavateswarar, which abounds in architectural and rare sculptural specimens of workmanship.

 

The name Darasuram is said to be a corruption of the original name Rajarajapuram, and this temple – smaller than the Periya Kovil and Gangai Konda Choleeswaram dates back to Raja Raja II’s period (12th century AD). The Periya Nayaki Amman temple stands out as a separate temple because the outer walls of the temple have disappeared with the passage of time, unlike the original Periya Kovil in Thanjavur.

 

Darasuram is described as a sculptor’s dream re-lived in stone. The front mandapam itself is in the form of a huge chariot drawn by horses. Paintings and sculptured panels abound here, causing this shrine to be a veritable storehouse of art. The Vimanam is only about 80 feet in height. In front of the temple are stone panels which produce tones of varying pitches when struck.”03-04-04-dsc00839

 The legend goes to show that Airavata, the white elephant of Indra, worshipped Lord Siva in this temple; so did also the King of Death, Yama. Tradition has it that the presiding deity Airavateswarar cured Yama himself (the God of Death) who was suffering under a Rishi’s curse from a burning sensation all over the body. Yama took bath in the sacred tank and got rid of the burning sensation. Since then the tank is known as Yamateertham.

 Raja Raja Chola and Karikala Chola worshipped the Siva Lingam in this temple. South Indian Temple Inscriptions deals with a number of endowments of the Pandya Kings … On the temple walls these inscriptions are given, from which it is seen that the temple was known in those days as Raja Rajeswararn and Raja Rajapuram. Two such inscriptions are copied here.03-04-08-dsc00843

Carl Sagan, Great Astrophysicist, visits Darasuram and says :Hindu Philosophy is probably true that every Bigbang  is end of one cosmic  cycle and a beginning of another as shown by the Cosmic Dance of Nataraja :

 

 

Mahaperiyava is Veda Vyasar Himself!

If we suddenly happen to meet Veda Vyasar Himself, as a Hindu, we would follow any instructions He commands… Pure Bakthi and unadulterated Total Faith!

Anusham Speech by Sankar

Anusham Speech by Sankar

This is what Narayana Sankar, a Retd GM of SBI, has been doing since he was just 4!

He considers Mahaperiyava, God Himself and when his father, a very honest simple Magistrate was transferred to Kanchipuram, the first experience itself was startling, Sankar says :

He was named Narayana Sankar by Gyananda Giri Swamiji and he says “When I met Mahaperiyava for first time itself, Mahaperiyava said ‘Gyananda knows you will come here! Thats why He named you Sankar!”

Sankar ‘s Devotion is stunning! As an officer in SBI, when he was eligible for Leave Travel Concession, Sankar took the Advice of Mahaperiyava, as to where to go and Mahaperiyava even made his route Map, from Nepal to Rameswaram!

Sankar left an impression in our Senior Citizens, beyond words for his very simple living and humble approach!

I was reminded of Sri Annadurai Iyengar, Sec of Veda Rakshana Nidhi Trust, who was such a great wealthy lawyer in Kulitalai but one day he gave up everything and started walking barefoot for a Sacred cause, as commanded by Mahaperiyava : To preserve Vedas and Vedhic Pandits, for Posterity’s sake! Nani Palkiwala was the Chairman of the Trust!

This following  episode of another great Mahaperiyava devotee, Pichai Swaminathan, about this young Vedhic Student, Kapilanand, moved me to shed tears that I wanted to copy n paste in this blog of Mine!

Mahaperiyava is certainly Nadamadum Deivam!

Vedhic Student

Vedhic Student

அன்புடையீர்,

நமஸ்காரம்.

மகா பெரியவா சரணம்.

நேற்றைய தினம் (8.10.2016 சனி) முகநூல் நண்பர்கள் சிலருடன் தீபாவளியை ஒட்டி வேத பாடசாலை மாணவர்களுக்கும் வாத்தியார்களுக்கும் வஸ்திர விநியோகம்செய்தவதற்காகச் சென்றிருந்தேன்.

அப்போது குரோம்பேட்டை சங்கர்லால் ஜெயின் தெருவில் இருக்கும் ஒரு பாடசாலைக்குச் சென்றிருந்தேன். அங்கு சுமார் 50 மாணவர்கள் வேதம் படித்துக் கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள்.

தற்செயலாக ஒரு வேதக் குழந்தையைப் பார்த்தேன். பால் மணம் மாறாத பருவமோ என்று பிரமிக்க வைத்தது. தன் கல்மிஷம் இல்லாத முகத்துடன் பார்த்தவுடனே அனைவரையும் கவர்ந்து விட்டான் அந்த சுட்டிப் பையன். அவன் பெயர் – கபிலானந்த். வயது 6.

பாடசாலை வாத்தியார் ஸ்ரீ சிவகுமார் மாமாவிடம் கேட்டேன், ‘‘என்ன மாமா… இவ்ளோ சின்னவனா இருக்கானே… இவனோட அப்பாம்மா எங்கே இருக்கா?’’

‘‘இங்கே மெட்ராஸ்ல மாம்பலத்துலதான் இருக்கா?’’ என்றார்.

உடனே, ‘இந்தக் குழந்தை என்ன காரணத்துக்காக இங்கே அனுப்பப்பட்டிருப்பான்?’ என்று எல்லோரும் நினைப்பது போன்ற எண்ணங்களே என் மனதில் ஓடியது.

ஸ்ரீ சிவகுமார் சொன்னார்: ‘‘கபிலானந்தோட அப்பா பிஸினஸ் பண்றார். அவா ஃபேமிலி ரொம்ப நன்னாவே இருக்கு.

இந்தக் குழந்தையோட அப்பா கல்யாணம் ஆன பிறகு ஒரு சங்கல்பம் பண்ணிண்டாராம். ‘எனக்கு முதல் குழந்தை ஆண் குழந்தையா பொறந்தா அதை வேதத்துக்குக் கொடுத்துடணும்’னு ஒரு சங்கல்பம் எடுத்துண்டாராம். மகா பெரியவா ஆசைப்படி அவருக்கு மொத குழந்தை ஆணாகவே அமைஞ்சுடுத்து. உடனே வேதத்துக்குக் கொடுத்துட்டார்’’ என்றார் ஸ்ரீ சிவகுமார்.

என்னையும் அறியாமல் என் கண்கள் பனித்து விட்டன.

வேதத்துக்கு என்று குழந்தைகளைக் கொடுப்பவர்கள் இன்றைக்கும் இருக்கிறார்கள். மகா பெரியவா பட்ட பாடு வீண் போகவில்லை. வேதம் செழித்துக் கொண்டுதான் இருக்கிறது.

இந்த வேத விருட்சம் நன்றாக வளர, நாமெல்லாம் நீர் ஊற்ற வேண்டும். உரமிட வேண்டும். இவர்களைக் காக்க வேண்டும் என்கிற சங்கல்பம் எடுத்துக் கொண்டாலே போதும்.

தேசத்துக்காக ஒரு மகனைத் தருவதும், வேதத்துக்காக ஒரு குழந்தையைத் தருவதும் – என்னைப் பொறுத்தவரை இரண்டுமே தியாகம்தான்!

நாட்டு எல்லையை பார்டரில் இருந்து கொண்டு ஒரு வீரன் துஷ்டப் படையிடம் இருந்து காப்பாற்றுகிறானே… அதுபோல் ஊருக்குள்ளே இருந்து கொண்டு வேதம் படித்த ஒருவன் துஷ்ட சக்திகளிடம் இருந்து நம்மைக் காப்பாற்றுகிறான்.

ஜய ஜய சங்கர ஹர ஹர சங்கர.

ஹர ஹர சங்கர ஜய ஜய சங்கர.

அன்புடன்,
பி. சுவாமிநாதன்

Varalaxmi Vratham

Varalaxmi Vratham

Amman given to Sarasa by my mom

Amman given to Sarasa by my mom

My mother used to sincerely do Varalaxmi Vratham for several years with this beautiful Amman she had made! When my father passed away in 74,she Cd have given this to my elder brother’s wife or to any of her 4 wonderful daughters! But she loved my wife so much, she gave it to her asking Sarasa to do the Puja every year without fail.

Sarasa doing Puja

Sarasa doing Puja

This Amman has travelled all over the world and has given us a special consolation which any one else can’t give!

History :
Varalakshmi Vrata is a festival to propitiate the goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, one of the Hindu Trinity. Varalakshmi is one who grants boons (Varam).
The Hindu festival going by the name ‘Vara Lakshmi Vrata’ is celebrated on the Second Friday or the Friday before full moon day – Poornima in the month of Śravaṇā!

The history of the origin Of the Vara Lakshmi Vrata is rather interesting. Lakshmi is said to have visited a pious woman by name Charumathi, living in the city of Kuntinapura in Magadha (Bihar), in one of her dreams and expressed her satisfaction at her devotion to her children. When she woke up from her sleep, she took a bath and worshiped Lakshmi to ensure her blessings. When the other ladies heard of her dream and her worship of Lakshmi, they too began to worship her, and the custom is then said to have spread everywhere throughout the land in course of time..

May Goddess Varalaxmi bless us All!

Sri Krishna Temple, Udupi

Udipi Sri Krishna Temple

Udipi Sri Krishna Temple

Udipi Sri Krishna Temple

Udipi is 60 km north of Mangalore and Lord Krishna here is most sacred for the Devotees!
The daily rituals start by Blowing of a Conch at 4 AM and pilgrims are continuously fed during lunch and dinner! A ghosala and Auditorium inside attract a huge crowd!

The daily sevas (offerings to god) and administration of the Krishna Mutt are managed by the Ashta Mathas (eight monastries). Each of the Ashta Mathas performs temple management activities for two years in a cyclical order. They are collectively known as the Ashta Mathagalu in Kannada language.

Once Kanakadasa, a pious worshipper and devotee of Lord Krishna, was staying in a makeshift hermitage in front of Krishna mutt. There was an earthquake in the night and the outer temple wall cracked such a way that there was a wide enough opening for Kanakadasa to have darshana of the murti. Till today, devotees still worship Lord Krishna by praying through the same window where kanakadasa was seeing the offerings/Pooja from outside.It is known as Kanakanakhindi, and is decorated by an arch named after him. A statue has also been erected.

Kinakana Kindi

Kinakana Kindi

 

The Krishna Matha is known throughout the world for its religious customs, traditions, and learning in Dvaita or Tatvavaada philosophy. It is also the centre of Daasa Sahitya, a form of literature that originated in Udupi.

The eight Mutts are: Pejavara, Puttige,Palimaru, Adamaru, Sodhe, Kaniyooru, Shirurand Krishnapura

During the Paryaya festival, held every two years, the temple management is handed over to the next Matha. Each of the Mathas is headed by a Swami, who will be in charge of the temple during his Paryaya. The Paryaya is held on even years like 2008, 2010 and 2012.
SRI Anantheeswara Temple


It is located in front of the famous Sri Krishna Temple.
It was built during the reign of the Alupas in the 8th century C.E. and is considered among the oldest in the Tulu Nadu region. In an inscription dated 1357 C.E. the temple’s deity is referred to as Mahadeva of Udupi.

Chandramouleeswara Temple

Chandramouleeswara Temple Udipi

Chandramouleeswara Temple Udipi

This is located just in front of the Anantheeswara Temple. Both these Temples have beautiful Carvings taking them to the 8th century!

I was pleasantly surprised when I came out of the Main Sri Krishna deity, a priest gave me Prasadams and said ‘It is Lord Subrahmanya! ”

Unity in diversity!
All Lord’s Grace!

Hotel ramakrishna udipi

Hotel ramakrishna udipik

I saw a beautiful coin Museum which was the first office of Corporation Bank in 1900!I admired the way they have maintained some notes n coins of Historical importance!
For budget Travellers Ramakrishna Hotel is recommended!