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 “आदित्यहृदयंपुण्यं”. The Sun has a noble heart indeed.
Have a great day. God Bless. இறை அருள் பெருக. வளமுடன் வாழ்க !
Looking at the Sunrise with awe and reciting Aditya Hrudayam during my early morning walks has been my most enjoyable moment for the day for several years.
Nothing can be more invigorating than this particularly in this era of pandemic and lock down. The one hour that I spend in the early morning is worth the gold. That is what Aditya (Sun) seems to be telling me today morning.
Watch Him talk to me today, Sunday the 16th Morning between 0545 and 0645 Hrs in Bangalore
After 15 months stay at the East Coast of USA, we are back at the base in Namma Bengaluru. Within two weeks of arrival, here we are ! under “Total Lock Down for 14 days” due to the second wave of the epidemic.
Heart goes out to the people suffering and affected by the virus. Lucky & fortunate elders like me should have no issues at all to stay at home in an apartment complex.
It is no big deal. Simple formula – Just lock down and look up. You will see what you want to see and not the barrage of negativity around. When you lock down negativity and look up for positives, you will see HOPE.
Here are some images of what I saw:
These iPhone images taken by me, reinforce my belief that Nature can present its best side even under stressful living.
I sincerely pray that this good side of Nature soon help us overcome its other side and presents a smile on us, the suffering Indians.
World ! Please Pray for Indians. This also will pass.
“It is an oft-quoted saying that philosophy begins in wonder. The mystery of the world with all its changes strikes the reflective temper. The Vedic philosophy grew out of a demand for the explanation of actual experience. Philosophy bade men seek beneath all change, which is the law of life, unity and persistency. All things are passing; what remains? Anything or nothing? The Vedic age raised the problem of philosophy and offered a solution. It was then that attempts to reflect upon the world of experience were made for the first time. When we reflect upon the world of experience, the word illusion (“Maya”) comes to the foreground.
The doctrine of Maya is consideredby many thinkers,to be an integral part of the Vedanta philosophy. The Vedanta system is supposed to be an acosmic pantheism, holding that the Absolute called Brahman alone is real and the finite manifestations are illusory. There is one absolute undifferentiated reality, the nature of which is constitutedby knowledge. The entire empirical world, with its distinction of finite minds and the objects of their thought,is an illusion. Subjects and objects are like the fleeting images which encompass the dreaming soul and melt away into nothingness at the momentof waking.
The term Maya signifies the illusory character of the finite world.” ( Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Eminent Indian Philosopher)
Wait a minute; does this statement strike a chord in us – in today’s COVID-19 environment?
It looks like it happened “just recently”. A year and a quarter has passed since the virus silently spread across the world. Millions of lives lost. Inter and intra relationships & transactions among and within individuals and society have been completely turned around leaving one to wonder whether it is all a dream and whether we all are waking up to a new state after a deep sleep. Yes, all the three basic states of our Consciousness (awake, dream and deep sleep) have come to play in this crucial time in each one of us thanks to Maya (She, The Big M,I call it).
Well, to me it appears like that; so I woke up after my second vaccination, with a new found determination to explore Maya and her origin, the Vedanta. True to its nature, the Big M treated me like a kid (which I am) and presented me with an exclusive giant Mall with infinite toy stores. No wonder I am lost. Not to disappoint me, the Big M presented me with three books titled Tattva Bodha, Isavasya Upanishad and Dakshinamurthy Stothram.
The last 2 weeks have been fairly severe in terms of the weather; temperatures dropping to single digits (deg F) and snow storms lashing cities forcing kids like me to seek the comfort of our cozy home – that means the Big M has given me an opportunity to deep dive into the books that I got from Her. Each Sloka (Verse) and each word in the three books, is sending me into “space walks” in search of the Self . Holding each Sloka as my life line, I venture into the space of contemplation. Whenever I return back to my home base, I stare through the window at the vast white carpet of snow all around and tried to relate my space walk with the “ground reality”.
In one such “stare” in the early morning after I went on my 18th space walk (corresponding to the 18th Sloka of the Isavasya Upanishad) , the day after the snow storm I did have a direct response from the principal character of that Sloka. Here is that Sloka, its meaning in English and Tamil and the response of the character .
A word of caution here – Millions of pages have been written over centuries by “Subject” – “Matter” – Specialists to provide commentaries for the Slokas in these books. Summing them up into few lines is absolutely immature and childish; yet as a child I have started by scribblings on Vedanta. Pardon me for that.
But Children have the right to enquire and ask questions. The child I am, I am asking questions to myself with the fond hope that someday I will find answers.
अग्ने नय सुपथा राये अस्मान्विश्वानि देव वयुनानि विद्वान् ।
युयोध्यस्मज्जुहुराणमेनो भूयिष्ठां ते नम उक्तिं विधेम ॥ १८ ॥
agne naya supathā rāye asmānviśvāni deva vayunāni vidvān |
yuyodhyasmajjuhurāṇameno bhūyiṣṭhāṃ te nama uktiṃ vidhema || 18 ||
Meaning in Tamil
அழல்தெய்வமே ! புரிவினையாவுமறிந்திட்டு – யாம்
Meaning in English
O god of fire, lead us by the good path
To eternal joy. You know all our deeds.
Deliver us from evil, we who bow
And pray again and again.
(From The Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran)
Music Courtesy: Jagruthi an awakening by Music India. (No commercial interests for me).
I was amazed and wondering at the skill and passion for iPhone photography (in Facebook) of one gentleman Viorel who posted a photo of a snow flake using his iPhone 11 + macro lens ❄️
Recently we had huge amount of snow shower with gutsy winds. After the snow, I was wondering how such a tiny flake in a Star form can take shapes that one can only see and enjoy. I was reminded of the term “Powder metallurgy”, describing the wide range of ways in which components are made from metal powders. Well, Mother Nature knows this technology very well even for non metallic applications. Here are some shapes that the snow powder “star flake” takes.
Nature is simply beyond and yet within anyone’s understanding like God is. The problem for us is “You only have to see it”.
“Who says that we trees have no aura ? Look at me – The Glow – Tejas (तेजस्). Isn’t it Divine? We thank our friend – Sun for this. However be aware that nothing comes free. Don’t worry. All the colors that we absorbed in the summer from Him, we will return it in the Autumn for you to enjoy. It is your turn then to,provide colors in the life of needy people in Winter. ” say the trees.
It is not just a divine glow; but a divine message. Isn’t it
What is a window ? I am not talking about either Bill Gates or Microsoft. I am talking about the simple, centuries old, “opening” that allows light, air and sound in buildings.
To quote Jeffrey Kipnis (Architectural Critic) “The architectural effects of a window have nothing to do with your description of the everyday building effect. The reason there are so many different windows is because the architectural effect is totally different than letting light, air, and views through windows. Every architect uses windows totally differently to take advantage of light, air, and views, but windows also frame views, change reflections, and do all sorts of things. They work at the existential and philosophical level, not at the functional level of building.”
Let us now look at the frame views and reflections that different windows provided to me in three residences at three different places in the East of the USA. This is in the form of a video.
The photographs are taken by me on my iPhone and the background music is by my 7 year old grandson who is learning the Piano.
There is a saying that “the grass is always greener on the other side”. Very often we do not appreciate the inner beauty that we hold and look for greener pastures elsewhere.
Living in this wonderful community, I was searching for the greener side within the “woods” during my regular morning and evening walks. I got them in plenty and didn’t loose the opportunity and “snapped” them with my iPhone.
Here is “Serenity in the woods”. Music is by my 7 year old grandson