Vantage View – A photographic Pranaam 🙏

Today is Thai Pongal. They say தை பிறந்தால் வழி பிறக்கும். The dawn of the Tamil Month of Thai is expected to bring in solutions to all our issues. Happy Pongal to all.

The day is also called Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan or Maghi or simply Sankranti (also known in Bangladesh as Poush Sankranti), It is a harvest festival day in the Hindu Calendar, dedicated to the nourisher Aditya or Surya (Sun). It is observed each year the day Sun enters the Capricorn zodiac which corresponds with the month of January as per the Gregoriyan Calendar. It marks the first day of the sun’s transit into Makara rashi (Capricorn). A very special day indeed for us.

On this auspicious day, here is my photographic Pranaam to Aditya.

Everyday during my walks in the early morning and in the evening, I was always under the impression that I had the best views of our nourisher “Aditya” the Sun and receive his Golden Blessings.

Somedays I get young guests joining me to share the gallery.

But never did I realize that there are always some “special beings” who had the vantage view, negating my “superior view” about myself. Here are these special ones.

No wonder we say “आदित्यहृदयं पुण्यं”. The Sun has a noble heart indeed.

Have a great day. God Bless. இறை அருள் பெருக. வளமுடன் வாழ்க !

Dakshinamurthy Stothram Sloka 8 – காயப் பறவையின் ஒப்பனை கலந்த உறவுகள் – Illusionary Transactions of the Self

Preamble

We saw in the introductory blog earlier that this “jivatma” which was “relation less” and who is otherwise a witness “Saakshi” becomes related due to the influence of Maya, becomes an actor and the misery starts with transactions and continues till we know our true self through “atma gnanam”. Adi Sankara outlines a few relationships in this Sloka.

Audio Link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mnp6fmu9ps0gip3/Sloka%208%20-%20Vishwam%20Pashyati%20Kaarya.mp3?dl=0

Sanskrit Sloka

विश्वं पश्यति कार्यकारणतया स्वस्वामिसम्बन्धतः
शिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः ।
स्वप्ने जाग्रति वा य एष पुरुषो मायापरिभ्रामितः
तस्मै श्रीगुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्रीदक्षिणामूर्तये ॥८॥

Meaning in Tamil

மாயையவள் வசப்பட்டு உழலும்,

காயமுறை சீவன், கனவிலும் நனவிலும்

காரிய காரண தன்மை கொண்டு,

உடையான் உடமை எனவும்

ஆசான் சீடன் எனவும்,

அருமை தந்தை மகன் எனவும்,

பேதம் பல ஈண்டு

பாடிடுமே பல உறவு கொண்டு.

மோடம் போட்ட அப்பேதம் நீக்கி,

காயமுறை பற்றிலா அச்சீவனே

மாசிலா முழுநிறை இறையென உரை,

ஆதிஅந்தமிலா மோனநிலை ஆசானாம் அந்த அருள்மிகு

தக்ஷிணாமூர்த்தி பொற்பாதம் பணிந்திடுவோம்

Meaning in English

The differentiations that we see in the world as Cause and Effect, as possessor-possession, relations as the disciple & teacher, and also as father & son etc., are all differentiations within the one Ātman. In Dream or Waking state, He, the One Puruṣaḥ  is always present, and (as if) Maya wanders over Him and gives rise to all these Differentiations. Salutations to Him, the Personification of Our Inner Guru Who Awakens This Knowledge through His Profound Silence; Salutation to Sri Dakṣiṇāmurty.

Understanding the Sloka

The Role of Maya

Let us look at the third line first: य एष पुरुषो मायापरिभ्रामितः eṣa: puruṣaḥ māyā paribhrāmitaḥ;

1. It means – This ordinary person in the world; even though he may be worldly-educated; who is spiritually and scripturally-illiterate; he is māyā paribhrāmitaḥ; { माया māyā means avidya परिभ्रम Paribhrama = Moving To and Fro, Wander/drift}. மாயையவள் வசப்பட்டு உழலும்

2. This means that he is confused because of avidya and therefore instead of taking original sākṣi svarūpam as himself; he mistakes the incidental-ahaṃkāra as himself drifts into the attached-self called ahaṃkāra I; I am going to certainly become a relative individual, related to the external world; asaṃga sākṣi (the unattached witness), becomes ससंगजीवः sasaṃga jīvaḥ (attached soul); relationless pure sākṣi-I, have now drifted and fallen down to a relative samsāri-I;

3. This means that every relation is causing one form of samsāra or the other. There is no relationship which is free from problems; In fact, if there is a relationship free from problems then the end of the relationship will cause problems; If there is a relationship so beautiful and wonderful and enjoyable, even that wonderful relationship becomes a problem when the relationship has to end because of time/kala, because of prarabdhaḥ, because of any reason. Therefore, a problem free relationship is an oxymoron; it does not exist. And therefore, the sākṣi-I, who is ever free, now has fallen down to ahaṃkāra-I, with varieties of problems.

Relationship

A few empirical relationships are enumerated in the sloka i.e., कार्यकारण संबन्धः kāryakāraṇa saṃbandhaḥ; cause and effect relationship. I-as-jīvātma, the ahaṃkāra-I, am a product of my own past karma; my prarabdhaḥ karma has given me this personality; this physical, this emotional, this social personality. Therefore, I am never a free person; I am tossed up and down; by my own karma; thus I am a कार्मय kāryam; my karma becomes the kāranam for my situation.

Let us see a few of the cause & effect relationships.

  • 1. स्वस्वामिसम्बन्धतः svasvāmisambandhataḥ; स्वस्वामि (Svasvaami = Possessor and Possession & सम्बन्ध (Sambandha = Relation). That means as ahaṃkāra, I am related to several possession, as owner-owned sambandhataḥ; and ownership means, there is a yogakṣema samsāra. yogakṣema samsāra means acquisition-maintenance samsāra is there like. உடையவன் – உடமை உறவுகள்.
  • 2-3. शिष्याचार्यतया तथैव पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना भेदतः Shissya-[A]acaarya-Tayaa Tatha-Eva Pitr-Putraady[i]-Aātmanaa Bhedatah |
  • शिष्याचार्यतया śiṣyacāryatayā; means guru-śiṣya sambandhataḥ. ஆசான் – சீடன் உறவுகள்.
  • पितृपुत्राद्यात्मना pitṛ putrādyātmanā; means father son adhi etc. தந்தை – மகன் உறவுகள் (சொந்தம் எப்போதும் தொடர் கதைதான், முடிவே இல்லாதது)

So, the māyā paribhrāmitaḥ puruṣaḥ drifted and fallen down from a relationless pure sākṣi-I, to relative samsāri-I in either of the स्वप्ने जाग्रति वा Svapne Jaagrati Vaa avastha, whether it is waking state or dream state, gets into the inevitable saṃsāraḥ.

Of course we get some interval and relief in सुषुशि अवस्त suṣupti avasta, wherein we do not worry about the family members and society and other problems, and unfortunately we cannot sleep for long. The sleep is only for a few hours and older we grow, lesser the sleep also. Therefore even sleep is not a permanent solution; even death is not a permanent solution, because punarjanma brings in punaha sambandhataḥ and samsāra; And therefore this jeevathama, puruṣaḥ ha; who is really a sākṣi; that purushā, māyā paribhrāmitaḥ; as is confused because of māya.

Relationships & The Birds on a Tree – A Vedic Perspective

Talking about the relationships of the unattached witness and the attached soul, the famous two birds in one tree Sloka from the Upanishads provides the classic conceptual framework for this Sloka in Dakshinamurthy Stothram.

The Shruti, says: By Mâyâ, Siva became two birds always associated together; the One, clinging to the one unborn (Prakriti), became many as it were (vide Mundaka- Up. 3-1; Yâjniki-Upanishad 12–5).

The Mundakopanishad Sloka 3.1.1:

द्वा सुपर्णा सयुजा सखाया समानं वृक्षं परिषस्वजाते ।

तयोरन्यः पिप्पलं स्वाद्वत्त्यनश्नन्नन्यो अभिचाकशीति ॥ १ ॥

dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṃ vṛkṣaṃ pariṣasvajāte |

tayoranyaḥ pippalaṃ svādvattyanaśnannanyo abhicākaśīti || 1 ||

Meaning of the Sanskrit Words – “Suparnau – two of good motion or two birds; (the “word Suparna” being used to denote birds generally); Sayujau – inseparable, constant, companions; Sakhayau – bearing the same name or having the same cause of manifestation. Being thus, they are perched on the same tree (‘same,’ because the place where they could be perceived is identical). ‘Tree’ here means ‘body;’ because of the similitude in their liability to be cut or destroyed. Parishasvajate – embraced; just as birds go to the same tree for tasting the fruits.

Two birds bound to each other in close friendship are perched on a tree. While one of the birds is busy consuming the fruits of the tree with great relish, the other seems to be in a state of detached equanimity just looking at its compatriot. The tree in this example represents the body. The bird busying itself with the material pleasures accorded by the tree is the ‘Jivātma’ (individual soul), that has an inextricable identification with the body and mind. Such an identification makes the Jivātma both the ‘karta’ (doer) and the ‘Bhokta’ (enjoyer). The observing bird on the other hand, represents the ‘Paramātma’ (the Supreme Self). The Supreme Self remains uninfluenced and untainted by any material pleasures and possessions and remains a still tranquil witness.

Adi Śankarācārya in his commentary to this sloka says – This tree as is well known has its root high up (i.e., in Brahman) and its branches (prana, etc..) downwards; it is transitory and has its source in Avyakta (maya). It is named Kshetra and in it hang the fruits of the karma of all living things. It is here that the Ātman, conditioned in the subtle body to which ignorance, desire, karma and their unmanifested tendencies cling, and Isvara are perched like birds. Of these two so perched, one, i.e., kshetrajna occupying the subtle body eats, i.e., tastes from ignorance the fruits of karma marked as happiness and misery, palatable in many and diversified modes; the other, i.e., tbe lord, eternal, pure, intelligent and free in his nature, omniscient and conditioned by maya does not eat; for, He is the director of both the eater and the thing eaten, by the fact of His mere existence as the eternal witness (of all); not tasting, he merely looks on; for, his mere witnessing is direction, as in the case of a king.”

The Way Forward

Swami Dayananda Saraswathi in his lecture says that in all but one relationship listed by Adi Sankara , the “bedha”- the difference between the Atma and the Maya influenced Jeeva continues to exist eternally irrespective of the transactions. The guru-shishya relationship even though is a cause and effect relationship is the only one which ensures that the influence of Maya is nullified and the true nature of Jeeva is revealed through the guru’s teachings. In that state, even the guru-shishya relationship withers away and so too the other relationships.

And that is perhaps why Adi Śankarācārya says, even this confused jeeva is really none other than that dakṣiṇāmūrti only and therefore he says Tasmai Shri Gurumoorthaye; To that Gurumoorthy, dakṣiṇāmūrti , my namaskaraha.

அன்பு சிவமிரண் டென்ப ரறிவிலார்

அன்பே சிவமாவ தாரு மறிகிலார்

அன்பே சிவமாவ தாரு மறிந்தபின்

அன்பே சிவமா யமர்ந்திருந் தாரே

என்ற திருமந்திரப் பண் இக்கருத்தினைப் பிரதிபலிக்கிறது.

This, in essence is the eighth Sloka.

Long distance shoot using iPhone from the balcony of my house.

Lockdown Gossip – “The caw coo colloquium”

Ever since we returned back to Bangalore in April 2021 from the USA, it has been exactly the same conditions like what we faced when we entered NewYork in early February 2020. LOCKED DOWN.

Locked down essentially means you get lots of time to do “Roof top walking” a familiar routine in the early morning and evening for me; this time with a difference – with lots of friends and companions. Strange!

Yes. It is literally an expedition to the animal kingdom and in particular THE BIRDS. I can assure you that if the lockdown continues further I can probably claim to have understood what these wonderful creations of God speak among themselves.

Here is Cathy, the Crow and Peggy, the Pigeon in a conversation on a bright and sunny day. True to the current situation, they had their cup of woes too. Let us hear them.

Well, Don’t worry Cathy and Peggy. Normalcy should be restored soon. Best wishes.

Note: Videos and photos taken on my iPhone X.

Video Link

Exploring Hamptons- Wainscott

After a week’s stay at the Southampton Village it was time to move to Wainscott in the Hamptons for the Memorial Day week end. Wainscott didn’t disappoint us at all. It matched Southampton “leaf by leaf”, “hedge by hedge” and “green by green”. My iPhone popped out of my pocket and started the job even without I realizing it !

The background music is by Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh in the Raga “Dharmavathi”. Of course, the little birds and the waters of Wainscott added beauty to the BGM score by lending their voices too. Here is a glimpse of that in under 5 minutes in my You Tube channel prabhu53. Pl visit.

Pl subscribe to my YouTube Channel “prabhu53

Early Morning Aerodynamics

After nearly 4 decades in Aeronautical Industry, I decided to keep away from the Industry and focus on my other interests such as Travel, Languages, Spirituality and Photography. I could manage to stay focused for nearly 6 years now. Last week during my early morning walk I could hear giggles/noises stating that I can’t keep away from aerodynamics even after retirement. To my surprise the birds in my roof top spoke to me. Here is their version of lift, drag, take off, vertical take off, cruise etc

Early Morning Aerodynamics


https://youtu.be/GYoRk2nB-b8