Thursday, 25 June 2015

Melbourne CBD Landmarks

Some of the Melbourne CBD landmarks, I should say. I pass them every day and never get a chance to stop and look. One of the weekend, I had a chance to visit the city with my son and got some spare time to capture these shots on my Mobile.

Melbourne Central

State Library of Victoria

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

Coops Shot tower @ Melbourne Central

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

Flinders Street Railway Station

Flinders Street Railway Station

Federation Square

Federation Square

Gopal's Vegetarian restaurant


Melbourne Central:-  A flourishing shopping complex with under ground train station. The center of attraction is the Coop's Shot Tower which is about 50 meters high was built in 1888, was producing Lead shots till 1961.The tower is 9 storeys high, and has 327 steps to the top, today has a museum and some shops today. Jackie Chan's movie, Mr Nice Guy features this tower in its opening scene.
State Library of Victoria has lot of History and is an impressive building. I haven't got a chance to visit and have a look at the interiors but, I was told apart from books, it is worth the visit. And, also there are also some interesting rumours and talks of Ghost sightings in this building.
St Paul's Cathedral: Situated at the corner of Flinders lane and Swanston street is a magnificent 18th century church. Again, never had a chance to go in.
Federation Square : The happening place of Melbourne. A place for public events, gatherings etc. Has some funny collection buildings, shops and worth a visit.
Flinders Station : This is the oldest and central station for Melbourne. All trains(Local), start and end here.(Just joking) But, it is little bit like that.
And, of course being a Vegetarian and looking for a tasty food, I prefer to visit these two restaurants in Swanston street.
Cross Ways Vegetarian restaurant : Eat as much you can.You actually get a lot for what you pay and its tasty as well.Rice, Curry, Papad, Halwa with Semolina and custard and drinks - Butter Milk and Orange Cordial.Cost $7.50 for Normal and $5.50 for concession.(
Cross Ways Vegetarian restaurant 
Cross Ways Vegetarian restaurant 
Gopal's Vegetarian restaurant
Gopal's Vegetarian restaurants : More variety.Different Salads, Curries,Indian, Malaysian, Western etc with healthy drinks. (
Gopal's Vegetarian restaurant

Monday, 22 June 2015

Urban Yogi - Selected as one of the 13 Religion & Spirituality blogs in India

My dear readers and supporters of the blog, I would like to share this happy news 
"Urban Yogi  has been selected as one of the 13 RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY blogs in India by one of the largest Comparison shopping portals in India, who recently started a series on Top Blogs in India to honor the highest quality blogs running in India."

My sincere thanks to the team at for selecting my blog to be featured on their list of Top blogs.And, also my heartfelt thanks to all of you, who made this possible.
I have not written anything new but, just tried to repeat what I heard and  what was already there in Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatham.
Mukam karoti vachalam pangum langayate girim
yat krupa tamaham vande paramananda madhavam

I pay obeisances to that supremely blissful Madhava,who is the ocean of  mercy,whose compassion can make a dumb person speak and a lame person to climb a mountain.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Stop Complaining and Start Living

 Yesterday at work, It was like any other day until, I bumped into one of my colleague - a wonderful and amazing lady and we started conversing. The topic started with the weather which is terrible, cold, wet etc. Then, I remembered and told about my friend whom, I met few days ago. He had been living in Melbourne since last ten years and thinking of relocating to his home country because, the weather was always so bad, for 7 months in a year it is cold, windy etc. The country where he comes from is always warm and things will be much brighter there and more cheerful (he reckons).
Alright Ramana, this is what it is, My good friend started talking." No one in this world is happy by caring or changing the externals. The problem is that the externals are always changing and it is the nature of the world. Also, what you perceive as happiness today, basing on the external things like weather, or a new mobile phone, the same thing tomorrow you would start hating. Today you are cold and start to think how good it is to be a warm weather or see how terrible this Mobile looks (after 1 year when a New Mobile is in the market.) Until and unless, one finds his inner self and connection with the source of all joys a person can never be happy. Just imagine, how lucky we are to be in the situation that we are. We have a good job, an office where the temperature is maintained at optimum level, we have warm cloths. So that, if we feel cold, we can simply cover up with warmer clothes or drink a cup of hot coffee. Think of all the homeless people living on the streets, without proper warm clothes or money to buy a cup of coffee. For, example I come from a country where it is always quite warm but, somehow I came here and decided to live here for as long as I can, because it is more peaceful and happy place in spite of bad weather. Whereas if you simply change the place, your body will still be the same and after a while it will starts whinging about the weather, place, people etc. There are some people who are always complaining and whinging about things in life and my advice is that, never entertain them or hang around with them, because they will drain your life energy".
I told her, “Wow...that's amazing, quite an intense, deep, insightful, thought provoking. Thank you very much for your amazing words of wisdom, I never expected this from you and you really made my day”.
And, these words had deep impression on me and I reflected on these thoughts for the rest of the day. I suddenly remembered the words of  Stephen Covey about Circles of Concern and Influence.
In his famous book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" he writes about two circles which contain our lives, the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence. It is a wonderful book and I strongly encourage everyone to read it. Stephen, talks about how we have two invisible circles. This is where we invest our thoughts, planning, thinking, working into. There is a circle of Concern which is basically, some people putting too much of their efforts into things beyond their control like, National debt, Environmental issues, A meteorite coming close to the earth, I even remember a friend who used to worry about death. Actually, no so much of worry but, his theory was that ultimately he is going to die and then, why bother doing anything at all in life. As you would have sensed, this is a circle which most of us have little control.Of course, we can always do our bit in the grand schema of things like, use bio degradable bags instead of plastic bags, do not waste things etc. but really, we don’t need to think whole night about these issues.
Then, there is the circle of influence like our children, family, relatives, friends, health, job and work place, which if you decide to do something can certain have an influence and that’s where we should be putting our efforts and heart into.
So, Stephen Covey while talking about, Habit 1 which is being Proactive in life, says that your life doesn’t just happen. Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you by the choices and decisions you make in life. He goes on to develop the Habit 1, be Proactive in life and take responsibility for life and stop blaming things on parents, grandparents, the nation etc.Thus, instead of reacting to or worrying about the situations one does not have control on, become proactive and focus your energies and efforts in the circle of influence.
             Its interesting to note that on a different level Lord Krishna explains in Chapter 13 of Bhagavad Gita called - Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga about how the Spirit Soul is different from the body in the verse 33,
yathā sarva-gatam sauksmyād
ākāśam nopalipyate
sarvatrāvasthito dehe
tathātmā nopalipyate
The sky, due to its subtle nature, does not mix with anything, although it is all-pervading. Similarly, the soul situated in Brahman vision does not mix with the body, though situated in that body.
The air enters into water, mud, stool and whatever else is there; still it does not mix with anything. Similarly, the living entity, even though situated in varieties of bodies, is aloof from them due to his subtle nature. Therefore it is impossible to see with the material eyes how the living entity is in contact with this body and how he is out of it after the destruction of the body. No one in science can ascertain this. (Translation and Purport by Srila Prabhupada).

Again, what this means is that on a practical, physical and spiritual levels we need to develop, nurture and take care of our inner selves rather than being concerned or carried away by the externals.  Long time ago, I heard this story. Once, there was a Musk deer who started running with its full strength. The reason was to find out the source of a wonderful fragrance coming out from somewhere. So, it was running all over the forest asking different animals and birds the source of the fragrance and no one could tell. Sadly, the deer exerted herself so much that she collapsed at a place and started to die when, a wise elephant came to her and said, “O foolish deer, the smell that you are running after is nowhere else other than  coming from yourself.”

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Mind Body Spirit Festival - Melbourne

 The Festival was held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, 2 Clarendon Street, Southbank (corner of Clarendon St & Normanby Rd). It was a three day event that ran from June 5th to 8th June - 10:30 to 6:30. I was invited to attend the seminar by one of my good friend who has Vegan friendly food stall ( I am amazed to see the number of stalls and people visiting the festival. There must have been about 150 to 200 stalls, showcasing various items on Healthy, spiritual  and natural living, which included stall on Natural Foods, Various types of Massage, Gems, Crystals, Psychic reading, Healing through Angels, Horoscope, Tarot Cards reading etc.
There are guest speaker and seminars on various topics ranging from Quantum Physics, Astrology, Healthy living and various Music  and dance  Performance on the stage, Soul Kitchen - Healthy Food for the Soul.
It was an amazing experience to see so many people and products aimed at Natural and healthy living, nourishing our spiritual side of life etc. Reminds me of a quote “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Of course, Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita emphatically, explains the same point, the nature and characteristics of a spirit soul in the second chapter that,
  • We are spirit souls encaged in a material body
  • The body is a dead matter and dying every moment but, what sustains it is the spirit soul that illuminates the whole body with Consciousness
  • There is no death for the spirit soul. A spirit soul simply changes the bodies like we change our dress
  • The spirit soul is immutable, it cannot be cut by any weapons, burnt or made wet by any liquid. The spirit Soul always existed, will continue to exist.
  • Elsewhere the size of the spirit soul is mentioned (Svetasvatara Upanishad 5.9) to be the ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. If one takes the tip of the hair and divides it into hundred parts and then takes one of these divided parts and further divides it into hundred parts, then what remains is the size of the soul. Since the soul is so tiny, it is not possible to see the spirit soul with the naked eyes.
  • So, the bottom line is that since, essentially we are all spiritual beings, no amount of matter i,e Money, riches, Comforts, Luxury living can make us happy. We are just like, fish out of water. Unless, we realise and nurture our core being of spirituality we can never be happy.

This, Information is so vital and basic for our existence and after further discussion of the Soul and its nature, Lord Krishna did not speak about in any further chapters of Bhagavad Gita.
Finally, it was refreshing to see something different being promoted other than, the electronic goods like TV’s, Mobiles, Fast foods and Sweet drinks like chips and Cloths. Unfortunately, I could spend only few hours and next time, I plan to make it, at least a half day.