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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Update Alert!


World Pundit, Photo PunditVideo Pundit and Music Pundit (post on Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan) blogs.
Health Pundit blog updated (AYURVEDIC PANCHAKARMA) for March 31, 2013. Enjoy!

WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY EASTER!

INDIAN PUNDIT and all of its associated blogs wish you all a VERY 
HAPPY EASTER.


Enjoy this lovely image and click on it for the melodious choir song:
"Jeevanulla Devane Varu":



Friday, March 29, 2013

Who will finally bell the Sri Lankan Cat?

I tried my best to veer from political articles because they can sometimes turn against one's self interests. But not any more. I would rather be a fiery, outspoken, empathetic Tamilian than a mute, impotent spectator of the continuing GENOCIDE in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan aggression continues despite the fact that US and Canada jointly sponsored the UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka with support from UK and Belgium. Hats off USA, Canada, UK and Belgium. Govt. of India, please wake up! 

Do it for Tamils, do not back off thinking about LTTE and commitment to panch-sheel. Listen up India, this is barbaric ethnic cleansing in everyone's plain sight! If the Indian government keeps mum and continues to underplay the world's outrage on this continuing carnage, it will be to its own peril. Even the Tamilnadu student community has shown excellent leadership in peacefully demonstrating against Sri Lanka. As can be seen in the video below, all opposition parties have joined together in this humongous effort to plead with the Indian government to bring Sri Lanka to book based on the May 27, 2009 resolution of UNHRC. Kudos to America and Canada once again, for jointly initiating this resolution. Following is an excerpt of the Security Council press statement on Sri Lankan Humanitarian Crisis.

Of course, the Tamilian political parties' outcries that the past atrocities of Sri Lanka are as equally inexcusable violation of human rights as it is in the present, is totally valid. All of India must now unite in urging our government to act, and act now before it is too late to mend things OR stand ashamed before all for non-action. Lord Sri Krishna's clarion call in The Bhagavad Gita is ringing in my ears (Chapter 2 Verse 3):
क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्था नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते श्रुद्रं ह्रुदयदौर्बल्यं त्यत्तवोत्तिष्ट परन्तप!!
Meaning: Yield not to impotence, O Arjuna, son of Pritha! It does not befit thee. Cast off this mean weakness of the heart. Stand up, O scorcher of foes!
My interpretation: Oh my India, Oh my India, will you stand up to the might of insolence and quell it? You scorcherer of enemies, valiant yet virtuous!

India, the whole world is looking up to you to step-up and render justice to your Sri Lankan Tamilian brothers and sisters. Will you instead seek to hide your blazing, radiant face in the nondescript sunset of petty politics? Will you have no heart to hear the anguished cry of a suffering generation? Will you be able to face tomorrow's world as an economic and political force, what with this farce? Come, teach a miniscule nation the size of a mobile SIM card a few basic lessons on humility, respect and conformance to the resolution of the world's mightiest nations. We plead you, please do not go by the revised resolution. The original draft of 2009 is still good as gold, specially since US backed nations did well in urging UN to conduct an enquiry on Human Rights violation in Sri Lanka, calling for its  international accountability.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

(Mis)Understood Buddhism

Disclaimer: The writer has no intention or motive to kickstart any controversies.  The post merely espouses a personal point of view.

The modern interpretation of Buddhism is based on these underlying assumptions (rather misconceptions):
  • Gautama Buddha established a religion totally distinct from Hinduism
  • Gautama Buddha was himself a naastik and preached so too
  • Gautama Buddha is only as important in the buddha hierarchy as a Padmasambhava, Avalokatishwara, Quan-Yin or Medicine??? Buddha
  • There is no mention of gods, demi-gods or variety of hells in Buddhism
  • Buddhism does not engender the concept of or belief in soul reincarnation
  • Pali is the presiding script of Buddhism even from Buddha's time
  • Zen, euphoric self-gratification and aimless meditation all are equally endorsed by Buddhism
All of the above are underlying, yes, undermining buddhism and lying about its truth.

Gautama Buddha, born as Prince Siddhartha to King Shuddodana and Queen Maaya in Kapilavastu, is himself considered one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu by North India and a sizeable population of South India. That his mother saw a six tusked white elephant enter her womb to conceive as a child with 32 virtuous signs on his person, is in itself a proof of Buddha's inherent greatness. It is not totally baseless to claim he is but one of the many Buddhas in a long succession who appear on Earth to emancipate humanity from dukkha or misery. But today's buddhism is merely a subtle hypnotic indoctrination about the culture of the nations that export it as their bonafide religion. That is the reason we see a pre-eminence acceded to other languages, prominently Pali (and not Sanskrit, rightfully), as well as an inordinate obsession with flavors of Buddhism like Hinayana, Mahayana and Theraveda. Not to be outdone is the propaganda of elevating those considered either disciples of Buddha or exotically named precursors, popping out of nowhere merely to whet the pseudo-spiritual appetite of the eagerly deceived.

Buddhism can be considered as an offshoot of Hinduism, more as a reformist version. Gautama Buddha detested animal sacrifice which was an un-vedic edict prevalent during his times and was a clever ruse of certain north indian brahmin sects, in order to maintain a stranglehold on the vedic society. Buddha's passion for truth and compassion for people prompted him to restate the Vedas in their true wisdom and to make it simple enough to reach the common man. Buddha, after achieving enlightenment (or buddhahood), preached Nirvana as the final goal of human emancipation. Buddha had no compelling urge to replace Hinduism with his own brand. Even in the world of Buddhist teaching, there is a concept of the formidable enemy "Mara", hundreds of hells, a judge of the dead, demi-gods in war with demons, as well the trimurtis and tridevis. Entrenched deeply in the finality of the Vedas and not entirely disowning god-based iconography, Gautama Buddha hardly fits the image of a Naastika, let alone anti-god. It is even mentioned in Buddhist texts that he had counselled the gods on true liberation. It is then absolutely no wonder as to how an enlightened human and his teaching evolved into a myth eventually. This is what we are experts at - envelope a myth over a purported mystery, when it actually harkens to a deficiency in our own understanding about enlightenment.

If at all you think I am totally off track here in my presentation about Buddhism, please spare some time to read this illuminating article  UNDERSTANDING BUDDHISM THROUGH ANCIENT INDIAN SCRIPT where Dr. Satkari Mukhopadyay dispels all aspersions and myths around the real Buddhism.

I rest my case, my Lord!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Updates to blogs

Photo Pundit, Health Pundit and World Pundit blogs are updated.
Hot update for March 24, 2013: Vedic Pundit blog.
Poem Pundit launched on March 22, 2013.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ram Shalaka - Fulfill wishes of your heart

It is time I tried some interactivity in my posts. Experiment no. 1 - Ram Shalaka.

Ram Shalaka or Ram Prashnavali as it is popularly known, is a Sanskrit letter chakra that provides you answers to your heartfelt wishes from out of the verses of Ram Charit Manas, the epic work of Goswami Tulsidas the great devotee of Lord Rama. Go ahead and try this well made one courtesy of AstroJeevan:
Close your eyes, pay obeisance to Lord Ramji, frame a clear question in your mind and click on any of the following squares in the Ram Shalaka. May the gracious Almighty Lord Ramji bless you!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mahakavi Kalidasa

Treatises could be written on Mahakavi Kalidasa and his phenomenal contributions to Sanskrit literature.

Sanskrit, as many of you already know, is considered a "Deva Bhaasha" or the language of the Gods. I will spare you the agony of a paragraph explaining why it is considered so. Sanskrit even has a spoken, colloquial counterpart called Prakrit. There are many great names from Indian history associated with the development and deep entrenchment of Sanskrit as a written and spoken language in their societies. 

A few such legendary names are Veda Vyasa/Valmiki for Ithihasas, Panini for grammar, Patanjali for Yoga treatises, Aryabhata/Bhaskara/Madhva etc for Scientific Treatises, Charaka/Sushruta for Medical Treatises, Bhaasa/Ashvaghosa/Shudraka for Sanskrit Dramas, Kautilya for Artha Shastra and some others in the Hall of Fame. But for Sanskrit poetry, plays and epics there was no one who could match Mahakavi Kalidasa's brilliance and eloquence. But Kalidasa's life never kick started this way.

Kalidasa was in the spring of his life a foolish vagabond who used to cut and sell wood. He was considered so naive that he would sit at the edge of a tree branch and cut its stem. Legend has it that the courtiers of the kingdom where Kalidasa resided, wished to teach their vain princess a lesson and got him married to her. When she came to know the truth, she abandoned him by locking him inside a Kali Temple. When Kali returned to her abode, Kalidasa refused to let her inside unless she grants him a darshan to prove she is indeed Kali Devi. Kali Devi realized his time for greatness has come as a relief from his curse, smiled and granted him audience and vaagshakthi (utterances come true). That is when Kalidasa instantly composed the great Shyamala Dandakam in praise of many forms of Mother Kali. Incidentally, he came to be known as Kalidasa only after this incident, which means Devotee of Kali. 

Later, as his fame and name grew far and wide, he became the official court poet laureate and personal confidante of the famous wise King Bhoja Raja. Their association was so fruitful for Sanskrit that Kalidasa went on to create epic masterpieces like Raghu Vamsam and Kumara Sambhavam, love poetry like Megha Sandesham and Ritu Samharam, and plays like Abhijnata Shakunthalam, Malavika Agnimitram and  Vikrama Oorvashiyam. All of these are literary treasures bequeathed to humanity. It is in King Bhoja's court he was honored with the title of "Mahakavi". Sri Subramaniya Bharathi, India's National Poet is the only other Indian to hold this honorific title.

The beauty of Kalidasa's gems lie in the generous similes and metaphors he uses to describe, for example, a change of emotions of the character of his play or poetry as related to a corresponding change of season. This popular invocatory verse from Raghu Vamsam is considered as a word play of Kalidasa where he intentionally puns on the word Pitharau (can mean two fathers OR parents):
वागर्थाविव सम्प्रुक्तौ वागर्थप्रतिपत्तये
जगतः पितरौ वन्दे पार्वतीपरमेश्वरौ
vAgarthAviva sampruktau vAgarthapratipattaye
jagatah pitarau vande pArvatIparameshvarau
Translation:
Just like a Word and its Meaning are supplements to one another and at times are mutual compliments, I salute the pair of parents (or two fathers), Parvati and Parameshwara (or Partvatipa and Rameshwara).

The following video (where Akkineni Nageshwara Rao enacts the role of Kalidasa and Ghantasala sings) relives the Shyamala Dandakam, a praise of Kali Devi as the emerald-hued Raja Matangi (one of the 10 tantric Mahavidyas and a ferocious form of Saraswati Devi) playing on the Manikya (Ruby) Veena instrument. Click here for the Kannada film star Dr. Rajkumar's version. Shyamala means the dark-colored and Dandakam  is a special prose styled poetry that sometimes exceeds 26 syllables per line. The Sanskrit text and its English transliteration with meaning for this wonderful devotional hymn can be found here:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Breaking News: Updates to Blogs

Updates to Photo Pundit Blog and Book Pundit Blog.
Yes, the new World Pundit Blog and Health Pundit Blog are updated too.
Enjoy!

India You Rock - Part 2

Continuing our IYR series:

Can you believe I am forced to post again about Gujarat? Because it has already become the state on which other states might model themselves when it comes to all-round development and sound economic practices. Sri Narendra Modi, CM of the state and chief architect of Gujarat's economic revolution, started wielding his magic wand few years back which has now catapulted Gujarat as No. 1 state and him as the future No. 1 (PM for short) of India. Down below are 4 media clippings as a case in point:

Saturday, March 09, 2013

India You Rock - Part 1

Starting the India You Rock (IYR) series with this first post on a sample of India's growing religious harmony.

Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai naara (slogan) has reverberated the north Indian skies for around 120 years. But seldom do we see such acts that truly corroborate this goonj. Rather there are always goons to disrupt a natural affection between religious communities, by creating tough situation for law and order at the mere batting of an eyelid of a conniving political bigwig. Not only do all religions enshrine worship, prayer, peace, amity and virtue as the cornerstones of their scriptural injunctions, but also urge people to put it into daily practice. Some families like the one below, do actually live by that good counsel (note the genuine joy on the family's faces as they serve with love):

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Tale of two Vaishnavaites

Innumerable are the names of Lord Vishnu and innumerable are his devotees. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, professions and learning (vidwat). We are about to embark on a spiritual adventure along with two of His famous devotees in Indian history, Bhaktha Kumbhara and Sant Tukaram.

The birth name of Bhaktha Kumbara is unknown, but he was referred to as Gora Kumbhara (The fair-skinned potter). From an early age, he was immersed in the love for his favorite deity, Lord Krishna as Pandarinatha or Vittala or Vithoba (Lord of Pandaripur). Kumbhara lived somewhere in the 13th-14th century in Teredoki Village in Maharashtra. Legend has it that once in a rapturous mood, he squished his own baby son along with the clay used in making pots. Since his wife was of advanced age, as also to re-engage his heart in Samsara (worldlyness), his wife convinced him to marry her own sister. He vowed that even if he slept between the two wives, he would not entertain impure thoughts nor even touch them. But once by mistake, his hands fell over his two wives on either side. In a moment of deep anguish he cut off his two hands, and for some time lived without his hands. Not being able to bear the longing of separation from his deity, he finally implored Lord Krishna to accept his life at His holy feet. Moved by Bhaktha Kumbhara's unflinching devotion, Lord Krishna granted his two hands, and the happiness of regaining the lost son, and another through Kumbhara's second younger wife. Bhaktha Kumbhara lived a long life of selfless service to his community and unparalleled devotion to Lord Krishna.

Sant Tukaram was born and lived most of his life in Dehu, a town close to Pune, Maharshtra. He is slated to have lived between 1608 and 1645. He is considered as a prominent Varkari Sant and spiritual poet of the Bhakti movement. Some scholars consider him as a Kunbi Maratha hailing from the agricultural tillage caste of vaanis. His complete name is Tukarama Bolhoba Aambile. In South India, he is fondly addressed as Bhaktha Tukaram. Tukaram lost his first wife Rakhumabai and had three sons of his second marriage to Jijabai (Avali), namely Santu/Mahadev, Vithoba and Narayan. Tukaram is believed to be the spiritual successor to the mystic Sant Dhyaneshwar, and vehemently opposed the concept of Chatur Varna classification of society. He was also a devotee of his Lord Vithoba like Bhaktha Gumbara. He adorns the illustrious Varkari lineage of Namdeo, Dhyaneshwar, Janabai and Eknath. He has personally sung the praise of Sant Namdeo and about his personal guru Babaji Chaitanya. Tukaram believed that one should chant God's name (Panduranga Vitthal) with love, and not for earning something in exchange for the chant. He urged people to look beyond the transience of worldly affairs, and realize that it is only the unselfish chant of God's name that delivers a person from the misery and suffering of this earthly existence. Tukaram himself realized this after his mother, wife and son passed away and he experienced one suffering after another. When Tukaram became disgusted after all this, God appeared in his dream and suggested that his suffering would end if he chants God's name with love. After this incident, Tukaram began chanting God's name and singing poems called "abhangs", which are replete with meaning and messages about love for God and the transience of worldly affairs. It is believed that a heavenly vehicle arrived to transport him to Vaikuntha, the permanent abode of Lord vishnu. According to certain other hearsay, Sant Tukaram is supposed to have returned twice or thrice to be with his people, bless and guide them. And that his wife Jijabai was engaged in tending to the cows, cleaning the shed, chopping wood and such worldy work that she refused a trip to Vaikuntha, when entreated by her huband to accompany him. Her story is an object lesson to all of us on the stranglehold of samsara from which we must free ourselves in this very life.

Below are snippets from the lives of the two saints brought to life in celluloid. First video is from Bhaktha Kumbhara (Dr. Rajkumar plays the title role), where he explains in the majestic presence of Sant Namdeo and Gyaneshwar, that a human is comprised merely of brain and flesh. Second video is from Sant Tukaram, where he is seen imparting his final words of wisdom to the devotional crowd, before embarking to Vaikuntha to be permanently united with his dear Lord Vishnu:


Monday, March 04, 2013

Yoga for Laughs

I am an ardent fan and disciple of Swami Ramdev (aka Ramakrishna Yadav). I learnt new asanas like Chakradanda only by watching his TV program in Aastha. It is incredible how this youngster (only 47?) was able to gather a disparate people and infuse in them national spirit and yogic discipline consistently. At his instigation, many like me are now loyal followers of Ayurveda. His dietary/nutrient supplements start with the term "Divya" and he is the first to come up with an ashtakavarga formulation to fortify Chyavanapraash. His Patanjali Yogpeeth - Divya Yog Mandir (Trust) in Hardwar is a sprawling campus complex that houses a herb garden, a free hospital, a yoga center, an indigenous medicine college and more. With him is associated Acharya Balakrishna, who is a knowledgeable Ayurveda practitioner and herbalist. Swamiji has millions of followers and loyalists all over the world, and has extensively traveled in order to share his divine wisdom and shower his blessings on everyone.

A forthright and simple man, Swamiji's wry humor is his prime armor. I hope he will humorously forgive this small liberty at his expense:


Sunday, March 03, 2013

INDIA ARE YOU NOT ASHAMED YET?

Shame is no longer in any Indian dictionary. Our youth have ensured it will never find its way back, thanks to their extraordinary strength of "character". India, go hang your head in shame at what I am to reveal about most of your youth.

While politicians are busy scarring Mother India's face with black soot what with their atrocious behavior and no accountability to any of their actions, indian youth (from many states) have decided to spit on her lovely face to augment her agony. Don't get what I am talking about?

How about premarital sex? How about public display of unabashed acts of prurience? How about sex scandal MMS? How about girls covering their faces and making out with their boyfriends in secret hideouts? How about the not-so secret lodge/hotel bookings? How about increasing teenage pregnancy? How about fast spread of AIDS? And how about more broken and dysfunctional marriages and families?

I feel you got the point. But how about some videos as proof and to pep up your own sex life as our wonderful youth teach us once again we are NOT the land of Sulva and Yoga Sutras, but the land of the Kama Sutra instead. Welcome to Indian Youth Orgy 101:

MODE(L)ST WOMEN?

Could not "shy" away from posting

I really could not shy away from a post on this age old subject - Modesty in women's apparel.

Are today's women modestly dressed by any standard, let alone Christian? I am not sure they are. We are all living testimony to a well orchestrated degradation of our culture through media blitzkrieg. Women's apparel have apparently risen up (pun intended) in modern fashion and creativity, but has fallen in modesty standards and sensitivity. The women model, not a modest woman is the new model woman. 

One has to just simply wake up in the morning to be bombarded with hoardings, advertisements, internet, TV and films that simply spew the skewed version of who a modern woman is. Forget about what all the religions of the world say, even forget what it means for a woman to be a woman anymore, it is very saddening to espy that empty feminism has carved itself a niche even in the hallowed sanctuaries of thinking minds and moral giants. It is a catastrophic sign of our times!

According to me, she is not the bikini calendar toy or the hot, sizzling seductress actress or even the strident, aggressive executive who has no time for the family. I am still naive enough to believe that the elusive Mahakavi Bharathiyar's "Pudumai PeN" is still around the corner someplace. There are enough women with modernity in thought and modesty in character left on this planet, for the godly male to feel secure about our shared cosmic (not cosmetic) spiritual destiny. Women like Dr. Sharada Menon or  Medha Patkar, for instance. 

Here are some images for your viewing pleasure, that purveyors of womanhood dread to look at:

Friday, March 01, 2013

Pèace de résistance

Yes, this title is wantonly and aptly misspelled.

If you are "galactically busy", please skip over or close the page window and attend to your daily chores. For the benefit of the interested few who are left wondering if human freedom is still alive and kicking somewhere on this planet, a website, its promoters and their objectives should come as a fragrant breath of relief.

Finally, a merry band of indignant and brave visionaries decided to do something more about Lincoln's famous quotation "Of the people, by the people and for the people" and the irrevocable U.S. constitution declaration "We the People...".

The website linked below is an aspiration of a generation, an inspiration of a legacy, a perspiration of the regressive and the respiration of the progressive. It has Z dimensions in which Z humanity can reconnect with each other over Z Net on Z Space. Z Communications that we must establish among us as brethren, hearkens to the vitality of our common future.

It is less important what you intend to believe in, so long as it contains even an iota of truth in it. There is really no need for all of us to look, dress, eat, live and believe alike, and agree with one another on every issue. But when it comes to shaping our destinies on this planet, we all really look up to each other for mutual support, moral endorsement and uplifting encouragement. In this shall we all lead fulfilling lives!

Z Communications