DIVINE WEDDING!

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God created the world-humans and animals, forests and valleys,
Mountains and seas  for all the living beings to live in peace and plenty!
Man in his wisdom created festivals of all types in all religions
To be emulated and practiced by all in all regions and religions!

Divine wedding in Madurai- a holy place in Tamilnadu a pious festival!
Meenakshi Thirukalyanam is the divine wedding of Meenakshi Amman with Lord Shiva.
Held in Madurai, the cultural capital of Tamil Nadu the biggest event it is.
Legends say that Lord Shiva visited Madurai to tie the nuptial knots with Meenakshi.

Annual event takes place in ‘Meenakshi Amman Temple’ at Madurai-
Devotees from all corners of the world come to witness this DIVINE WEDDING!
As aA part of the renowned Chithirai festival, Meenakshi Thirukalyanam is
Held on the tenth day. Devotees throng in thousands to seek the divine blessings!

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THAIPPUSAM DAY-January 21st.

 

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Pregnant with meaning are the festivals and rituals prescribed in Hinduism
Not to be branded as superstition. But one should understand the significance
January twenty first today is “THAIPPUSAM” great day for Karthikeya’s
Devotees.on the full moon day of THAI month-January/February!

Mainly observed in countries where a significant presence of the Tamils live
Such as India, SriLanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore, South Africa, Canada
Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Trinidad And several other countries.
Thaipusam derived from the name of the month, Thai, and star, Pusam..

Festival. commemorates the occasion of Parvati’s giving Murugan
A Vel “spear” to vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman. Murugan’s birthday;
Let us on this day resolve to eschew all our negative tendencies
And lead a life of goodness and nobility and make the world a heaven!

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ECSTATIC DANCE DAY-December 22nd.

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Millions of years old ‘way of living’ called Hinduism
In India- highly scientific, logical with no fanaticism
Has many rituals and celebrations to promote unity
And Oneness, harmony and peace , high Spirituality!
December twenty second this year is Arudhra Darshan
Celebrating ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva. the cosmic dance
Of Lord Shiva,by the Nataraja form. signifying
Golden red flame and Shiva performing the dance-this red-flamed light!.
  Thiruvathirai- Arudhra Darisanam  Hindu festival
In the  states of Kerala and  Tamil adu.Thiruvathirai means
“sacred big wave”, using  universe was created by Lord Shiva
One hundred and thirty two  trillion years ago!Annual
Festival  celebrated in Makaram month Thiruvathira Star!

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VOICE FROM THE HEAVEN!

Lady behind the laurels being honored by the Chief Guest

As if to prove the quote “Art and Literature of the highest order cannot flourish in a world which is increasingly becoming mechanical and the society a rocket”, the events are taking place rapidly on the positive direction!

Yes I had a nice evening on the 29th of November which forms this week’s Sunday story which I am sure my esteemed viewers will find extremely interesting.

In Tamil Nadu we have a list of 64 arts and one of them is poetry! Training in Singing is another great art.

That evening lot lot of inputs I had in a Book release function!

Great invitation card for your view:

There are different types of poems and look at English poems-awesome indeed!

There are many different types of poems. The difference between each type is based on the format, rhyme scheme and subject matter.

  • Allegory (Time, Real and Imaginary by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
  • Ballad (As You Came from the Holy Land by Sir Walter Raleigh)
  • Blank verse (The Princess by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
  • Burlesque (Hudibras by Samuel Butler)
  • Cacophony (The Bridge by Hart Crane)
  • Canzone (A Lady Asks Me by Guido Cavalcanti)
  • Conceit (The Flea by John Donne)
  • Dactyl (The Lost Leader by Robert Browning)
  • Elegy (Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard by Thomas Gray)
  • Epic (The Odyssey by Homer)
  • Epitaph (An Epitaph by Walter de la Mare)
  • Free verse (The Waste-Land by TS Eliot)
  • Haiku (How Many Gallons by Issa)
  • Imagery (In a Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound)
  • Limerick (There Was a Young Lady of Dorking by Edward Lear)
  • Lyric (When I Have Fears by John Keats)
  • Name (Nicky by Marie Hughes)
  • Narrative (The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe)
  • Ode (Ode to a Nightingale by Percy Bysshe Shelley)
  • Pastoral (To a Mouse by Robert Burns)
  • Petrarchan sonnet (London, 1802 by William Wordsworth)
  • Quatrain (The Tyger by William Blake)
  • Refrain (Troy Town by Dante Rosetti)
  • Senryu (Hide and Seek by Shuji Terayama)
  • Shakespearean sonnet (Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare)
  • Sonnet (Leda and the Swan by William Butler Yeats)
  • Tanka (A Photo by Alexis Rotella)
  • Terza rima (Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost)

I  know for sure that I am not a student of English literature; yet some interest in poetry drew me to the world of POETRY and I am deemed to be a bilingual poet-and recently I was offered honorary Doctorate for my literary achievements!?!?!?!?

The magnificent function was organized by the family of the veteran

One of them is a selfish Dental surgeon of great repute- selfish in the sense- he never allowed his university first rank in his Five year BDS and three year  MDS to go out of his hands to any one else!!!!!!!!

He has been my great friend and my caring Doctor for long. I was a toothless person and he made me a TOOTHFUL-TRUTHFUL -PERSON!

This Blogger knows no Raaga or Thaala but he can definitely enjoy the divinity in music in any genre! .

MELAKARTA RAGAS

Any music has its own method of rendering and naturally Carnatic music has its own nuances- sophisticated nuances- and one to master it is to take Himalayan efforts and here was that multifaceted personality- hero of this Sunday story- had made indeed HIMALAYAN efforts and successfully accomplished! Raagas and thaalas are the life line of great Carnatic music in any language.But here was a multi faceted personality hailing from God’s own country KERALA and settled in Chennai for long. Among his several accomplishments one was writing poetry in Tamil- KEERETHANAS in praise of Divinity and Gods.

Music is Divine and soul lifting, enriching and ennobling. He was a good musician, a nice mridhangist, efficient astrologer, a multilingual poet, a great devotee of Lord Ayyappa , author of poems in hundreds, a social worker for Ayyappa Seva Sangh, Anna Nagar, Chennai for long. Not having any formal Tamil learning, he wrote several, several Tamil songs!

Visually challenged he was, he visited Sabarimala for several decades. Blessed with an understanding and intelligent wife and sons his book was published and released in a grand function which I was fortunate to participate and key in this Sunday story of this week! .

Mēḷakarta is a collection of fundamental musical scales (ragas) in Carnatic music (South Indian classical music). Mēḷakarta ragas are parent ragas (hence known as janaka ragas) from which other ragas may be generated. In Hindustani music the thaat is equivalent  of Melakarta. There are 10 thaats in Hindustani music, though the commonly accepted melakarta scheme has 72 ragas.

“RAGA RAYS”

Coming to the book release function-function was to release a wonderful book titled as RAGA KIRANAS- RAYS OF RAGAS- 72 Melakartha Raagaas authored by the HERO of this Story-multifaceted personality-beloved father of my Dental surgeon.-

166 page wonderful book you can see the front and back covers below.

We have seen earlier the nice Invitation card prepared for the occasion.

Function started sharp as planned at 6.30 pm in a beautiful hall in Naradha Gana Sabha, Chennai.

Three greatly reputed personalities were the chief guests and seated on the Dias.

World renowned 74 year old MRIDHANGIST-KARAIKUDI MANI was the main on the Dias who recommended Shri Rajakumar Bharathi- great grandson of my mentor from heaven Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar.

The mridangam is a percussion instrument from India of ancient origin. It is the primary rhythmic accompaniment in a Carnatic music ensemble. Guru Karaikudi Mani is the top mridangist in the world today. He is the son of my high school teacher in Karaikudi where I had my education and Shri Mani was a couple of years junior to me.

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Guru Karaikudi Mani playing his Mridangam

He writes in his preface to the book that was released thus:

Greatness of the author in astrology indeed is something remarkable. He has exemplary knowledge of music; a great devotee of Lord Ayyappa. He is an eminent mridangist too. Besides composing keerthanas on different pantheons of Hinduism, he has composed 72 keerthanas in 72 mela kartha ragas. That is something awe inspiring.

His last wish was that all his compositions must be published in the form of a book, practiced and rendered by musicians all over. My request to all musicians-sangeetha vidwans- is to fulfill his wish”.

Giving his views on the composition musician and great grand son of Mahakavi Bharathi Rajkumar Bharathi says: “ most outstanding is he has a tremendous knowledge of music. Composing songs in 72 melakartha ragas is not an easy task.In each of the verse, he has made use of the name of the respective melakartha raaga in each of his 72 songs!

 

Voice From Heaven

Faithful wife of the author poet, Astrologer, no surprise, heard distinctly his voice from his heavenly abode and beautifully quoted the same in the RAAGA RAYS released on that pleasant evening function. She concludes: “Thus, comes an end to the VOICE FROM HEAVEN of my husband from his heavenly abode and that I have verbatim given as Preface to this monumental work ”.

What a great and nobler husband and what a dutiful wife! One of the finest and noblest couples created by the Lord Almighty!

On the dais were the Chief guests of the evening three in number and the noble Doctor son of the noble father. After the prayer song of one of the songs composed by the poet on the Goddess of Learning, SARASWATHI rendered by Shuba Iyer, floral tributes were made by the three guests. Doctor son welcomed the Chief guests on the dais and the other invitees off the dais in a short and sweet language- mixed English and Tamil! Floral tributes were paid by the Chief Guests for the portrait of the poet kept in a decorated chair.

The chief guests in their own unique manner paid rich and eloquent tributes to the poet for his genius composition of 72 Tamil keerthanas in seventy two raga karthas.

All those connected wit preparation and release of the Book were duly honored including this Blogger which he does not deserve!

Short and sweet Vote of thanks was proposed by the first son of Doctor.

There after there was a fine music program exclusively poems composed by the hero of the day the multi faceted personality..

DRAMATIST PERSONAE:

Hero of the day enjoying his wish coming true from his heavenly abode:

Poet Sri Saidaasan  K.Narayanan

His dutiful wife Madam Lakshmi Narayanan.

Noble Doctor Son Dr.  N Vivek

Chief Guest Karaikudi Guru Mani- mridanga jambavan

Poet Dr. Rajkumar Bharathi-great grand son of Mahakavi Bharathiyar.

Isaip peroli Sikkil Gurucharan –musician of great repute.

Dr.J.Balaji-lovely designer and cover page artist.

Music team

Mrs. Rajeswari Shankar- Vocal

Mrs. Sri Vidya Ganesan -vocal

Ms. Pranathi – vocal

Mr. Srinivasan- Mridangam

Mr. Uma Shankar –Vlolin

Mr. Vinod Krishnan brother of Dr. Vivek-Planning and cordination.

Mst:  Sahas Vivek , student of a leading school in Chennai     first son of Dr. Vivek- Vote of Thanks

.Mst. Shrey Vivek second son of Dr.Vivek

Madam Meera Vivek- coordination

I do hope that I have made an earnest effort to give a report on the great book release function to my esteemed viewers. We shall meet with regular Monday posting tomorrow. Till then, may GOD be with you.

First copy being handed over to Sikkil Gurucharan by Rajkumar Bharathy.

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ENVIUS THOUGHTS crosses 1,83,000 views.
I am glad to share with you that with the 143rd view at 19.00 hrs today viz Sunday the Second (2nd) December 2018 , total views of the BLOG crossed the  ONE LAKH AND EIGHTY THREE THOUSAND (1,83,000) from more than 210 countries around the world on the 1376th day and 1429th post, thanks to your support and encouragement. Kindly continue

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BARATHIYAR ON NAVARATHRI

 

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As I always say and write one of my chief Mentors is Mahakavi Bharathiyar . To day being the end of Daserra, it was thought fit to bring in this subject and I am sure my esteemed viewers will relish. Thanks.

NavarAththiri —Bharathi ‘s song நவராத்திரி —பாரதி பாடல்

NavarAththiri Song–நவராத்திரிப் பாட்டு

Composer: MahAkavi Subramanya BhArati

NavarAtri festival is dedicated to goddess Shakthi manifested in three popular forms—Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Three days each are allocated to the three goddesses and worshiped during this period. The most popular event during this period is the arrangement of golu in most houses wherein various dolls of religious and mythological sinificance are displayed in a stair-like arrangement.

In the Carnatic music world, this period is celebrated with music concerts which feature exclusively those songs which are in praise of dEvi. Various music sabhas arrange such thematic concerts of several musicians. Some of the prominent composers whose songs are featured in such concerts are: Purandara dAsa, Muththuswami Dikshitar, Thyagaraja, Shyama Sastri, OoththukkADu Venkata Kavi, SwAti ThirunAL, PApanAsam Sivan, and a few other modern day composers.

While the songs of above-mentioned composers are given due importance during NavarAtri, let us see an important composition of Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi. He wrote one specific song titled navarAtrip pATTu which has 4 stanzas wherein he sang on the three prime goddesses—PArvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. This is unique because no one else included all the three of them in the same song.

Bharathi was a maverick universalist and a firebrand nationalist who risked his life and family in the pursuit of national freedom, women’s empowerment, and the upliftment of the” lower class” people while living in abject poverty and writing excellent poetry on various topics all along. His devotional songs on all Hindu Gods and Goddesses, as well as Allah, and Jesus Christ are well-known. Here is navarAtip pATTu here.

This song in ChaarukEshi raagam was specially composed-as reported to have been  extemporaneously by Bharathi at the request of his daughter ThangammaaL in PuduccEri (ca 1912) on the occasion of navaraathri.

நவராத்திரிப் பாட்டு

மாதா பராசக்தி வையமெல்லம் நீ நிறைந்தாய்!
ஆதாரம் உன்னையல்லால் ஆரெமக்குப் பாரினிலே!
ஏதாயினும் வழிநீ சொல்வாய் எமதுயிரே!
வேதாவின் தாயே! மிகப்பணிந்து வாழ்வோமே.

In this first stanza Bharathi is addressing Shakthi who is a blend of all the three goddesses, PArvati, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. Shakthi mother, Bharathi says, is all pervasive in the universe. There is nobody else with whom to seek refuge. He appeals to the goddess to guide him (us) for virtuous life. He addresses her as the mother of all VEdAs and that we will surrender unto her. (Even under the most adverse circumstances in his personal life he never lost hope and worshiped Paraasakthi fervently.)

வாணி கலைத் தெய்வம் மணிவாக் குதவிடுவாள்
ஆணிமுத்தைப் போலே அறிவுமுத்து மாலையினாள்
காணுகின்ற காட்சியாய்க் காண்பதெலாங் காட்டுவதாய்
மாணுயர்ந்து நிற்பாள் மலரடியே சூழ்வோமே

In this second verse Bharathi addresses goddess Saraswati (vANi) who is the deity in charge of the arts who will shower her grace on us for good speech. Like a flawless pearl she is the garland of knowledge. She is one whom we behold with reverence and whatever we see it is she who portrays them. She towers above everything that we imagine and “let us surrender at her flower feet”.

பொன்னரசி நாரணனார் தேவி, புகழரசி
மின்னுநவ ரத்தினம்போல் மேனி யழகுடையாள்
அன்னையவள் வையமெல்லாம் ஆதரிப்பாள், ஸ்ரீதேவி
தன்னிரு பொற்றாளே சரண்புகுந்து வாழ்வோமே

In this third quatrain Bharathi extols goddess Lakshmi as a golden queen ( reminiscent of MuttuswAmi Dikshithar’s song “hiraNmayIm lakshmIm   in lalitaa raagam) who is the consort of lord NaaraayaNa and one who is the epitome of fame. She has the beautiful complexion of the dazzling nine gems. She is the mother who protects all the beings in the universe. “Let us surrender unto the golden feet of Sri dEvi and flourish”.

மலையிலே தான் பிறந்தாள் சங்கரனை மாலையிட்டாள்
உலையிலே யூதி உலகக் கனல் வளர்ப்பாள்
நிலையில் உயர்த்திடுவாள், நேரே அவள் பாதம்
தலையிலே தாங்கித் தரணிமிசை வாழ்வோமே

In the last of the four stanzas, Bharathi praises Goddess Paarvati as having been born in the mountain (hima giri tanayE) and married lord Shiva (Sankaran). She bears all the cosmic energy and by cultivating the flame (in the foundry) she creates and sustains the energy in the universe. She will protect us.” Let us bear her feet on out heads and prosper in this world”.

For the benefit of those who can’t read Thamizh script, the transliterated Roman script version is given below as is the practice with this Blog.

NavarAththirip pATTu 

MAthA parAsakthi vaiyamellam nI niRaindAy!
AdhAram unnaiyallAl Aremakkup pArinilE!
EdhAyinum vazhinI solvAy emadhuyirE!
VEdhAvin tAyE! migappaNindhu vAzhvOmE.

VANi kalaith theyvam maNivAk kudhaviDuvAL
ANimuththaip pOlE aRivumuththu mAlaiyinAL
KANuginRa kATciyAyk kANbadhelAng kATTuvadhAy
MANuyarndhu niRpAL malaraDiyE sUzhvOmE

Ponnarasi nAraNanAr dEvi, pughazharasi
Minnunava raththinampOl mEni yazhaguDaiyAL
annaiyavaL vaiyamellAm AdharippAL, srIdEvi
tanniru poRRALE saraNpugundhu vAzhvOmE

malaiyilE thAn piRandhAL sankaranai mAlaiyiTTAL
ulaiyilE yUdhi ulagak kanal vaLarppAL
nilaiyil uyarthiDuvAL, nErE avaL pAdham
thalaiyilE thAngith tharaNimisai vAzhvOmE

Thanks to Google Guru I could make out this post today and I am sure you will with me tomorrow specifically “In Obeisance of Goddess Saraswathi-the Goddess of LEARNING.

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18th October- OBEISANCE TO GODDESS OF LEARNING

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On the pretty petals of the white Lotus!   (வெள்ளைத் தாமரைப் பூவிலிருப்பாள்)

According to Hinduism, Goddess of Learning , knowledge and wisdom is Goddess Saraswathi. Mahakavi Bharathiyaar has written 10 verses under the above caption. First in Tamil and its translation in English by Me are given here. 

In ENGLISH

Dwelling on the petals of white lotus
In the melodious sound of Veena
In the minds of the bards giving poems
Those give joy to the people of status
In search of the meaning inner of Vedas
Sacred meaning of the words of seers
Dwells the Mother of knowledge and power
On the pretty petals of the lovely lotus!                                  (1)

IN TAMIL ORIGINAL

வெள்ளைத் தாமரைப் பூவிலிருப்பாள்!

வெள்ளைத் தாமரைப் பூவில் இருப்பாள்
வீணை செய்யும் ஒலியில் இருப்பாள்
கொள்ளை யின்பம் குலவு கவிதை
கூறு பாவலர் உள்ளத் திருப்பாள்!
உள்ள தாம்பொருள் தேடியுணர்ந்தே
ஓதும் வேதத்தின் உள்நின் றொளிர்வாள்
கள்ள மற்ற முனிவர்கள் கூறும்
கருணை வாசகத் துட்பொருளாவாள்!

Transliteration

VeLLaith thaamaraip poovil iruppaaL
VeeNai seyyum oliyil iruppaaL
KoLLai inbam kulavu kavidhai
Kooru paavalar uLLath thiruppaaL!
ULLa thaamporuL thaediyuNarndhae
Oadhum vaedhaththin uLnin roLirvaaL
KaLLa matra munivargaL koorum
KaruNai vaasagath utporuLaavAAL!

 

Saraswathi Pooja in the Blogger’s home.

 

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GREAT FESTIVAL-DUSERAH

Navarathri Golu at Bangalore house- Photo by NV Sharadha

India -our great Motherland is holy and resplendent with several festivals-of all religions practiced in this Punya Boomi! Of the many longest, is DASERRAH otherwise known as NAVA RATHRI-nine nights!This has not only religious and spiritual significance but also social dimensions! This Sunday story carries us to Puttaparthi where Sathya Sai Baba detais us about the significance of this great FESTIVAL.(Courtesy: Sathya sai Website)

 

 Exposition by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Dashara Or Dasara

Purpose Of Dashara Or Dasara

“Festivals like Dashara are designed to make man aware of his divinity, to endow him with purity, to become aware of its holiness, to imprint on his heart the wisdom won by sages after years of yearning.” Sai Baba.

“It is to give Ananda (bliss) to the Bhaktas (devotees) that I arrange this festival (Dashara). I have no other wish. Do not muddy the pellucid waters of your faith by the slightest trace of doubt.” Sai Baba, 

“The Dashara Festival honours the victory of the Devas (gods) over the Asuras (demons), the forces of righteousness over the forces of evil. They (gods) were able to win, because Para-shakti, the Dynamic Aspect of Divinity, the power that has elaborated God into all this variety and all this beauty, came to succor them and fight on their behalf.” Sai Baba, 

“Dashara is the festival that celebrates the victory of the forces of the good over the foes that resist the progress of man towards light. The sages who have decided on these festivals have a high purpose. They want us to imbibe the inner meaning and use each day as a step in Sadhana, as a reminder of the journey, which each person has to undertake alone to the Feet of the Lord. The forces of good (Devas) are combating with the forces of evil (Asuras) in every living being and if they only rely on Mahashakti, the great Divine Force that fosters and fends the universe, they can easily win and reach goal.”  

Importance Of Dashara

“During the Dashara festival, the three Goddesses- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati – are worshipped according to certain traditional practices. The tenth day of the festival is celebrated as the victory. The celebration has its roots deep in ancient history of Bharat. In the Dwapara Yuga, when the Pandavas had to spend one-year incognito, they hid their weapons on the advice of Krishna, in a Jammi tree which is thick in foliage and whose branches are filled with latent fire. Vijayadashami was the day on which they retrieved their weapons from the tree and used them to win victory over the Kauravas.”

In the Treta Yuga, Sri Rama’s coronation, after his victorious return to Ayodhya from Lanka, was performed on the Vijayadashami day.”

Significance Of Dashara

“Today (23 October 1966), Vijayadashami is a thrice sacred day for Prasanthivasis. that is to say, those who live in Prasanthi Nilayam, here or elsewhere. It is as sacred as, Triveni, where three rivers commingle their holy waters. Today is the Samapti (Conclusion! Festival) of Dasara. It is also the Samapti (conclusion) of the Yajnasaptaha, the seven-Day-Rite of Puja and Parayana. It is also the Samapti Day of the Poorva-avataram, the Samadhi Day of Shirdi Shareeram. Sam-apti also means attainment of Brahmanandaand on this day you have a chance to the Bliss Indescribable.”

Inner Meaning Of Dasara

“The term’ Devi’ represents the Divine power which has taken the Rajasic form to suppress the forces of evil and protect the Satvic qualities. When the forces of injustice, immorality and untruth have grown to monstrous proportions and are indulging in a death-dance, when selfishness and self-interest are rampant, when men have lost all sense of kindness and compassion, the Atmic principle, assuming the Form of Shakti, taking on the Rajasic quality, seeks to destroy the evil elements. This is the inner meaning of the Dasara festival.”

Inner Meaning Of Devi Worship On Dasara

“When the Divine Goddess is in dreadful rage to destroy the wicked elements, she assumes a fearful form. To pacify the dreaded Goddess, Her faminine children offer worship to her with red kumkum (sacred red powder). The Goddess, seeing the blood-red kumkum at her feet, feels assured that the wicked have been vanquished and assumes her benign form. The inner meaning of the worship of ‘Devi’ with red kumkum is that thereby the Goddess is appeased. During the ten days of Dasara, the demons (Raakshasas) in the form of wicked qualities have been routed. Raakshasas do not mean demonic beings. The bad qualities in men are the demons. Arrogance is a demon. Bad thoughts are demons.”

Symbolism Of Ravana

“Ravana is depicted as the king of Raakshasas. He is said to have ten heads. He was not born with ten heads. Who is this Ravana and what are his ten heads? Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Moha (delusion), Lobha (greed), Mada (pride), Maatsyasya (envy), Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chitta (will) and Ahamkara (the ego) -all these ten constitute the ten heads. Ravana is of all the ten qualities. Each one can decide for himself whether he is a Ravana or Rama according to his qualities.”

Symbolism Of Rama

“Rama is the destroyer of the bad qualities. When engaged in this act of destruction of bad qualities. He manifests his Rajo-guna. But his Rajasic quality is associated with his Satvic quality. Even in cutting off Ravana’s ten heads, Rama showed his love. This was the only way that Ravana could be redeemed.”

Rama Vs. Ravana

“Ravana was one who was endowed with all wealth and prosperity. He lacked nothing in terms of comforts and luxuries. He had mastered the 64 categories of knowledge. His capital, Lanka, rivalled Swarga (heaven) itself in its grandeur. Instead of showing regard for Ravana, Valmiki extolled Rama, who gave up the kingdom, donned the robes of an ascetic and lived a simple life in the forest. What is the reason? It was because Rama was the very embodiment of Dharma. Everyone of his actions stemmed from Dharma. Every word he spoke was truth. Every step he trod was based on Dharma. Hence, Rama has been described as the very image of Dharma.”

Teachings From Dying Ravana For Lakshmana

“When Ravana lay dying, Rama directed his brother, Lakshamana, to go to him and learn from him the secrets of successful statecraft. Ravana taught him that a king who is eager to win glory must suppress greed as soon as it lifts its head, and welcome the smallest chance to do good to others, without the slightest procrastination. He (Ravana) had learnt the lesson through bitter experience. Greed arises from attachment to the senses and catering to them. Put them in their proper place; they are windows for knowledge, not channels of contamination.”

Lord’s Rajasic Acts Are Tinged By Satvic Qualities

“When the Lord metes out a punishment, it may appear harsh. But what appears extremely as Rajasic is, in reality, Satvic. In a hailstorm, along with rain there will be hailstones. But both the rain and hailstones contain water. Likewise, there is Satvic quality even in the Lord’s Rajasic actions. Similarly, there may be Satvic quality even in Tamasic actions. These depend on the time, place and the circumstances in which the Lord acts. Butter can be split with finger. But a powerful hammer is needed to break a piece of iron. The Lord deals with Satvic persons in a Satvic way. He applies the Rajasic weapon against Rajasic persons.”

Roudrakaara Worship Of The Divine

“People worship the Lord, attributing dreaded forms and qualities (Roudrakaara) to the Divine. This is not proper. The Divine has only one attribute, the Embodiment of Love. It has been said: ‘Love is God. Love pervades the cosmos.’ Hence, one should not view the world from a worldly point of view. It should be viewed from the eye of love.”

Sai’s Divine Will For Dashara

“The Maharani of Cutch, who is to preside over the Hospital Day this evening, was very much agitated whether she could come in time, on account of the disturbed conditions on the border with Pakistan, or whether Dashara itself will be cancelled by Me, as so many have been done in Mysore and elsewhere. But in spite of all obstacles, the fighting has stopped and news has come that peace is restored. This is another instance of the Grace, which Prasanthi Nilayam showers. This is the way Mahima works.”

Participation In Dasara At Prasanthi Nilayam

“This Prasanthi Nilayam is the Nilayam (abode) of Nitya (eternal) Shanti (peace), that cannot be disturbed, because it is based on deep discrimination and on unshakable renunciation of Vishaya Vasana (vagaries of mind and urges). To be here on this sacred day is indeed a great piece of good fortune. Thousands of Sadhakas (spiritual aspirants), aspirants and seekers have assembled here and those who have come into this auspicious company have to make the best use of chance. Instead of celebrating this Dashara in feasting and catering to the frailties of the senses, I am happy you are determined to spend it in holy thoughts.”

Lesson Of Unity

“Pilgrimages impress on people the lesson of unity. They bring together people from all comers of the world, irrespective of language or locality. Festivals like Dashara at Prasanthi Nilayam bring together Sadhakas from all the continents, irrespective of religion, caste, creed, and colour. They are motivated by the same urge, to involve themselves more and more in attempts to realise their innate divinity. They have met here to enjoy the supreme delight in the holy presence of the Lord and to recognise the unity of all in the Divine Atmic Splendor.”

Experience Of Dasara Festival At Prasanthi Nilayam

“The Dashara Festival has filled your eyes, ears and minds with Ananda (joy) for ten days and, with the bodies transformed by this rich experience, you are returning to your places.”

Activities During The Dasara Festival At Prasanthi Nilayam

“You will find in the Dashara programme here various items like Veda-parayana (recitation of the Vedas), Puja for Divine Forms, the feeding of the poor, dramas, music, Harikathas (stories about God), reading Puranas, lectures on shastras (scriptures), etc.

“This Puja, this Yajna, and this Homa, are arranged here every Dasara, in order to help you to leam that other everlasting, abstract Yajna, which everyone of you has to do, to save yourselves from fear, grief and anxiety.”  

Purpose Of Conducting Various Activities On Dasara

“All activities (on Dashara) are designed for various purposes that may not be evident on the surface. You may be under the impression that all this is but customary and traditional. No. Each item has a deeper significance. It is intended to bring about a definite change for some section or other. The Vedas are for entire mankind. They have prayers for peace, subjugating the anger of the elements and of human communities. They invoke the forces of nature to be calm and beneficent. So, the Parayanam of the Vedas promotes world peace and human welfare. For those who derive joy when names of the Lord are recited, each Name invoking one facet of the splendor of God, we have the Pujas. For those thirsting for directions along the path of Sadhana, we have discourses by the Pundits. Musical recitations and discourses transmit the teachings of the Shastras and Puranas in pleasant palatable ways. The dramas are visible representations of the essential lessons embodied in our scriptures. All these unfold the petals of the heart of man.”

Dasara Activities At Prasanthi Nilayam

Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yajna

“A Yajna for peace in the world is performed in Prasanthi Nilayam as part of Dasara and Navaratri celebrations. This year the Yajna started on 13th October 1999.

After Puja in Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir, the Ritwiks went in a procession to Poomachandra Auditorium at 8.20 a.m.to start the Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yajna in the divine presence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Yajnagni (sacrificial fire) was lit at 9.00 a.m. and placed in the decorated Yajna Kundam with the chanting of the Veda Mantras. The Yajna continued for six days and concluded on 19th October, the auspicious day of Dasara with Poomahuti performed by the Veda Purusha Bhagavan Baba Himself. After Poomahuti, Bhagavan sprinkled Yajna Teertham (sacred water) on the devotees in the entire Poomachandra Auditorioum and outside it. With Mangalaarti to Bhagavan at 9.20 a.m, the Yajna came to a happy conclusion.”

Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha

“The programme included the Discourses of Bhagavan Baba and speeches by scholars and students during the Navaratri celebrations. With Bhagavan’s blessings, three speakers addressed the devotees on 13th October 1999. The first speaker, Sri G.V. Subbarao, told that Yajna meant sacrifice.. The purpose of holding the Yajna was to transform us, so that we could imbibe the virtues of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema, Ahimsa. The second speaker, Sri Sanjay Sahni, narrated a few incidents to show how Bhagavan Baba revealed His identity in an extremely subtle way. The third speaker of the afternoon was a senior student, Sri Y. Arvind. He noted that sometimes

Bhagavan did not accept a devotee’s letter or respond to his prayer immediately. He said that by doing so, Bhagavan gives us an opportunity for self-introspection and purification.

The first speaker of the afternoon on 14th October was Sri Sudhindran, a student of Brindavan Campus. He said that the Vedas bring home the immense importance of Yajna as means of liberation and immortality…. The second speaker, Sri V. Ashwin, a student of M.Sc II year, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus, made a beautiful analogy between his mother and Mother Sai. While his mother gave him physical sustenance, Sai mother gave him physical as well as spiritual sustenance. The third speaker of the afternoon was Sri B.N. Narsimha Murthy, Warden of Brindavan Campus. Dwelling on the concept of Avatarhood, he said, ‘An Avatar is divine mystery. It is therefore futile to try to understand the Avatar. In the end, Sri Narasimha Murthy prayed to Swami for His Divine Discourse as the devotees were thirsting for His nectarine words. Thereafter, Bhagavan Baba blessed the devotees with His discourse.

On the afternoon of 15th October 1999, the third day of the Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha, the programme started at 3.50 p.m. with Veda chanting by the students. Sri Ram Parsuram, a student of M.Sc 1st Year, was the first speaker of this session. He lamented that modem man had forgotten to love.. .The second speaker. Dr. T. Ravi Kumar, a faculty member of Brindavan Campus, narrated some of his personal experiences as to how he had lost his eyesight twice in accidents in the Chemistry Lab and how Bhagavan showered His grace by restoring his eyesight to the surprise of the eye specialists. The third speaker of the session was Dr. G. Venkataraman, former Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He said, Navaratri was celebrated to worship God as Shakti or Divine Mother, who was not only the ocean of compassion, kindness and love, but also energy. After these brief speeches, Bhagavan Baba blessed the devotees with His Divine Discourse. The programme came to a close with Aarati to Bhagavan at 5.40 p.m.

On the afternoon of 16th October 1999, the first speaker was Sri. T. G. Krishanamurthy, President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization, Tamil Nadu. Referring to the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yajna, Sri Krishnamurthy said that Bhagavan Baba Himself was Yajna Purusha to whom all the sacrificial offerings were being made. The second speaker of the session was Sri K. Raghupati, a B.Com (Hons.) student of Brindavan Campus. He told that God was the only true friend of man and all other worldly friends were not dependable… The last speaker of the session was Sri Sandipan Chatterjee, a faculty member of Prasanthi Nilayam Campus. Sri Chatterji narrated several incidents of Bhagavan’s miracles and exhorted the devotees to follow the teachings of Bhagavan to raise their consciousness to a level where their will and Bhagavan’s will would become one. After this, Bhagavan gave His Divine Discourse. The programme came to a close with Mangalaarati to Bhagavan at 4.15 p.m.

On the afternoon of 17th October 1999, Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization and Central Trust Member, was the first speaker. Sri Srinivasan dwelt on the auspiciousness of the Navaratri festival and said that Bhagavan Baba Himself was auspiciousness personified. The next speaker. Major General S.P.Mahadevan, said that science had brought about material progress in the world, but it could not give peace of mind to man. The last speaker was a member of the Faculty of Commerce, Brindavan Campus, Sri Ruchir Desai. Sri Desai said, ‘Bhagavan Baba has incarnated to teach the message of love.’ After these brief speeches, Bhagavan narrated some of His childhood Leelas in His Divine Discourse. The programme came to a close at 4.35 p.m. with Mangala-aarati to Bhagavan.

In the afternoon of the 18th October 1999, the first speaker, Sri S.V. Giri, Vice Chancellor, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, spoke about the importance of nine days’ festival of Navaratri. The second speaker of this session was Bhattam Sri Rama Murthy, a former Minister in the state of Andhra Pradesh. He narrated a few touching personal experiences to bring home the point that Swami’ s life was only for devotees. The third speaker was a Sanskrit scholar from Rajamundry, Dr. Rama Somayajulu. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Bhagavan for this  opportunity to speak in His Divine presence. After these speeches, Bhagavan Baba showered bliss on the devotees by speaking about His childhood in His Divine Discourse for the second consecutive day. The programme came to a close at 5.10 p.m. with the offering of Mangaaarati to Bhagavan.

The first speaker on 19th October 1999 was Sri Indulal Shah, Chairman, Sri Sathya Sai World Council. Sri Shah referred to the significance of Dasara and said, ‘It reminded us of the victory of the good over the evil. It also brought home the message of self-transformation through genuine spiritual practice.”

The second speaker, Sri V. Srinivasan, All India President of Sathya Sai Seva Organization, referred to the Navaratri festival which was celebrated to commemorate the destruction of demons by the Mother Goddess. He said, ‘Bhagavan Baba, who is the embodiment of all gods and goddesses, destroys the demons of greed, ego, hatred and attachment through the weapon of love.’

The third speaker was Sri C. Srinivas, Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Sri Srinivas said that one was filled with awe and wonder when one thought how Bhagavan had totally changed this small hamlet of Puttaparthi into one of the biggest pilgrimage centres of the world. He referred to a book published in America, which gave the designs of 100 best-designed hospitals of the world, in which Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences had been given on the first page.

After these brief speeches, Bhagavan delivered His Dasara Sandesh. The programme came to a close with Mangala-aarati to Bhagavan.”

Glimpses Of Dasara Celebrations At Prasanthi Nilayam (1998)

“Dasara and Navaratri celebrations started at Prasanthi Nilayam on a grand note on 25 September (1998).

Bhagavan Baba came to the fully-decorated Sai Kulwant Hall at 7.00 a.m. and took a round of the rows of the vast gathering of devotees to shower the bliss of His Divine Darshan on them on the auspicious Navaratri day. After a brief round of Darshan, Bhagavan Baba ordered the distribution of Prasadam. Mangala-vadyam started about 7.45 a.m. Then at 8.00 a.m., all eyes turned towards Veda chanting Pundits, who came to the Sai Kulwant Hall in a procession followed by a group of Veda chanting students. They all came to the Mandir and received the blessings of Bhagavan before getting ready for starting the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yajna.

Soon after that the venue of the programme was shifted to Poomachandra Auditorium, where Veda Purusha Bhagavan Sai inaugurated the Saptaha Jnana Yajna.

The ceremonial lighting of the sacred fire was done by rubbing two pieces of wood against each other by the Pundits amidst the chanting of Veda Mantras.

After the fire was lit, the priests sat around the beautifully decorated Yajnashala and started the Yajna. While some Pundits sat near the Vedi and performed the Yajna by putting Ahutis (offerings) of ghee and other sacred articles in the sacrificial fire amidst the chanting of Veda Mantras, some other Pundits were engaged in performing Surya-Namaskaar, reading the sacred epics, worshipping Shiva, Devi, Ganesha and other related rituals.

At 11:30 a.m., Aarati was offered to Veda Purusha Bhagavan by the Pundits. The first day’s Yajna programme concluded at 12:00.

The auspicious day of Vijayadashmi, 1st October 1998 marked the completion of the Veda Purusha Yajna with Bhagavan offering Poomaahuti (final offerings) in the sacred fire. In the end, Bhagavan showered His blessings by sprinkling sacred water on all devotees inside and outside the Poomachandra Auditorium.

While the performance of Yajna continued for seven days in the morning, Bhagavan delivered His nectarine discourses in the evening. Bhagavan also showered His love and blessings on a galaxy of speakers by permitting them to make brief speeches before His Divine Discourse. Thus, while the Yajna fumes and Vedic chanting sanctified and spiritualized the atmosphere, the Divine Discourses and other speeches provided a veritable feast for the soul.”

“The first speaker on 30th September (Dasara Festival Day), Prof. G. Venkataraman explained the significance of Veda Purusha Jnana Yajna by saying that this Veda Purusha Jnana Yajna assumed importance because it was willed, organized and performed in the year 1998, which was being celebrated as the year of peace. He said true peace could be established on the foundation of Sathya, Dharma and Prema.

The present Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri S.V. Giri was the next speaker.

Explaining the significance ofNavaratri, Sri Giri said that the nine days of Navaratri, devoted to the worship of Durga, denoted the principle of energy; Lakshmi symbolized power and prosperity and Saraswati granted intellectual illumination. So, the last day of Navaratri marked the culmination of nine days of penance, dedication, devotion, intellectual illumination and mental purification.”

Dasara Celebrations At Prasanthi Nilayam – 1988

“The Dasara celebrations began with Kalasha Sthaapana in the Prasanthi Mandir on 11th October 1988. Devotees had started streaming into Prasanthi Nilayam from the beginning of the month.

Narayana Seva

There was Narayana Seva on 13th October on the spacious grounds of the Hill View Stadium. Nearly fifteen thousand men, women and children from all the surrounding villages had gathered on the grounds. As in previous years, Seva Dal volunteers and students of the Institute arranged for their sitting in orderly rows for the feeding.

Bhagavan arrived exactly at 9.00 a.m. and went to the rooms where the food was kept. Swami blessed the Prasadam and Himself inaugurated the Narayana Seva by serving food to some of the men and women. Scores of students from the Sathya Sai Institute and the Higher Secondary School served food to the thousands with remarkable speed and enthusiasm. Swami was on His feet for over half an hour attending to every detail of the Narayana Seva, inspiring the students and the Seva Dal by His presence.

Feeding the poor was followed by distribution of clothes (saris and dhotis)to thousands of men and women, with Bhagavan Himself presenting saris to a few women and dhotis to some men. Some overseas devotees participated in serving food and distributing clothes.

Veda Purusha Jnana Yajna

On the 14th, Bhagavan came in a procession, headed by a large group of students chanting Vedic hymns, and Ritwiks who were officiating in the Yajna. Leading the procession was Bhagavan’s Sai Geetha, followed by a band troupe.

Bhagavan inaugurated the Athirudhra Homa. Besides the Ritwiks officiating at the Homa, there were others chanting the Vedas, an old couple doing Linga Archana and Devi Puja, a Purohit who performed Surya Namaskar, and two pundits who were doing Parayana of Devi Bhagavatam and  Valmiki Ramayana.

Bhagavan Darshan And Discourses

Bhagavan gave Darshan to thousands of devotees in the Auditorium every morning. In the afternoons, during six days, there were discourses by Bhagavan, preceded by speeches by some old devotees and by research scholars and post-graduate students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute.

Students’ Testimonies

The speeches of the students not only testified to the extent to which they had imbibed the teachings of Bhagavan, but also revealed numerous instances in which Swami had given protection to the students or other devotees in critical situations. A common theme for all of them was the infinite love of Bhagavan, which they had experienced in innumerable ways. All of them pledged themselves to live up to the ideals of Bhagavan and dedicate themselves to His global mission for the transformation of mankind.

Conclusion Of The Yajna

The Yajna concluded on 20th October 1988, with Pumaahuti and adoration of Bhagavan as Veda Purusha by the Ritwiks. Bhagavan came to the auditorium from Prasanthi Mandir in a procession led by a large number of students reciting Vedic hymns.

Discourses

Bhagavan delivered His concluding discourse, emphasizing the inner significance of festivals like Navaratri and exhorting all devotees to rise above barriers of caste and creed, language and nationality and develop love towards each other as children of one God.

Swami later went round the auditorium sprinkling the mantra-charged Yajna-tirtham on all devotees and conferring His benediction on them.

Jhoola Festival

The crowning event of the celebrations was the Jhoola festival in the evening (20th October), when Swami, wearing an immaculate white robe, showered bliss on thousands in the Poomachandra Auditorium from the glittering silver Jhoola. The Institute’s students’ orchestra provided a concert for the evening’s function, which concluded with Aarati to Bhagavan.”

From the book – An Exposition by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba – Compiled and Edited by Suresh C Bhatnagar.

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