Thursday, 29 September 2016

Trinity College at University of Melbourne Campus

Memorial Building
Last week, when I went on a team walk with my colleagues, I took photos of these impressive and historical buildings from University campus at Parkville. This is called the Trinity College which provides Residential college foundation studies, which prepares around 1000 international students for admission to the university of Melbourne. Founded in 1872 by the first Anglican Bishop of Melbourne, is an Anglican theological college. 

Trinity College

The Behan Building

Trinity College

Udemy – An Online Learning Platform

Udemy is a part of the current growing MOOC s (Massive Open Online Course) which offers Courses outside the traditional university setting. The courses are self paced and helps professional adults and everyone interested in increasing their knowledge, skills in a chosen field. 
Why do we need to learn or acquire Knowledge?. I came across an wonderful verse from vedic literature, which explains the importance,uniqueness and benefits of  acquiring the Knowledge. Of course, the verse refers to the Spiritual knowledge which frees one bondage from the cycle of Birth and death. But, while we are living our lives in this world there should be a balance of Spiritual and material activities. We all need to work, maintain ourselves and our family, a profession to provide us the bread and butter. Basically, Rabbits don’t line up to the tiger's mouth. They have to still go out and hunt or work their way. Similarly, to be successful in our job,business or profession, we need Knowledge that needs to be learnt,acquired and updated. Today, it is the era of internet where every information which is essentially knowledge is available freely. But, the problem is that the moment, you search for something on Google, you get so much information which is mind boggling, not in any particular order and cannot be authenticated. So we need a particular place or medium where we can repose our faith, cut down all the headache of trying to decide what is the required or valid information. This is where, a place where knowledge is Systematically delivered is needed. And, one of the places I found to be particularly useful for me was “Udemy”, where one can find literally, any Course dealing with numerous fields like including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology. And, importantly the Courses are affordable. In fact, I am so much impressed that I decided to promote this on my Blog. Interestingly, not many people still does not know about this. I encourage you to have a look at this and take up some courses of interest to you and increase your knowledge in the chosen profession.  
The verse that talks about the knowledge is,
Na chora haaryam, na cha raja haaryam, na bhaatr bhaajyam, na bharakaari
Vyayam krute vardhat evam nityam vidhyadhanam sarvadhana pradhanam
Cannot be snatched away by thief, cannot be snatched away by king, Cannot be divided among brothers, it does not cause a load on your shoulders. If spent daily, it always keeps growing. The wealth of knowledge is the precious of wealth of all.
Naasti vidya samo bandhuhu, naasti vidya samah sahrut
Naasti vidya samam vittam naasti vidya samam sukham
There is no relative equivalent to knowledge, there is no friend equivalent to knowledge. There is no wealth equivalent to knowledge, there is no happiness equivalent to knowledge.
Please refer to my previous blog post about, Knowledge and the real Knowledge,
Finally, few words about the Udemy. It's a great place to start looking for increasing both your Professional and personal skills, at your own pace and of your choice. There are few other places where you can learn for free and for less. I will talk about them in my next article. Until then, stay tuned. Have wonderful weekend and for friends in Victoria  -Aus, have a great long weekend.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Counting my Steps,taking care of Body and Mind

These are my steps so far for the day.And, I have few more to go, before I sleep.Though, I am not a great fan of this stuff like calculating how many Calories, I have consumed,how many I burnt, monitor them through gadgets like Fitbit etc.And, although I am not a fitness freak, I like to keep myself active and do moderate exercises for a healthy body and mind.This is something my company people have recently started (Stepathlon is a mass participation event for organisations of all sizes across all industries and countries).
Ofcourse, for practicing spirituality and developing love for God, these are not the pre-requisites.A healthy body and mind does help one to take up spirituality with vigor and enthusiasm but, it may not be the case always.Someone with a healthy body and mind, may not take up the path of spirituality and may want to go in the opposite direction, that is enjoy life, eat, drink and be happy.And, the opposite can be true as well, for example the case of great Christian saint, St. Francis of Assisi, whose terrible sickness could not stop him from preaching the glories of Jesus Christ.In spite of terrible sickness,he would show so much compassion for people afflicted with leprosy, which was a bit of social stigma at that time of 11th - 12 Century.He would also show his love and compassion to animals etc.
There is a verse (1.2.10) from Srimad Bhagavatam which talks about life's desires and healthy life.
kamasya nendriya-pritir
labho jiveta yavata
jivasya tattva-jijnasa
nartho yas ceha karmabhih
Translation:Life’s desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one’s works.

What this means is that, our lives are meant for a higher purpose which is more than eating nice food,drinking etc.One should direct his senses for the Inquiry of the Absolute truth.Who am I? Where do I come from? What is the purpose of my existence?.What is my temporary and eternal duties?Temporary could be working a full time job, taking care of your Children,wife and Parents. Eternal duties - it is said that by nature, every living being is a spiritual entity and the constitutional nature of a Spirit soul is to serve. Serve whom?It could be your family, nation, world but ultimately, to the Supreme God.

Friday, 16 September 2016

A Sweet Verse from Srimad Bhagavatam and the different Flutes of Krishna

Krishna with Flute
This is one of my favourite verses from Bhagavatam, Chapter named as “The Gopis Glorify the Song of Krishna's Flute” which explains about the way Krishna is dressed, decorated and is entering the forest of Vrindavan. Acharyas explain that, he is Akhila Rasamrta Murthi – Full of transcendental mellows, dresses up like a dramatic actor and catches the attention of everyone.

barhapidam nata-vara-vapuh karnayoh karnikaram
bibhrad vasah kanaka-kapisam vaijayantim ca malam
randhran venor adhara-sudhayapurayan gopa-vrindair
vrindaranyam sva-pada-ramanam pravisad gita-kirtih
Wearing a peacock-feather ornament upon His head, blue karnikara flowers on His ears, a yellow garment as brilliant as gold, and the Vaijayanti garland,Lord Krishna exhibited His transcendental form as the greatest of dancers as He entered the forest of Vrindavana, beautifying it with the marks of His footprints. He filled the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys sang His glories. Canto 10. Chapter 21,verse 5)
Talking about the Flute,in Chapter 26 of Nectar of Devotion by Srila Prabhupada explains that there are, three kinds of flutes used by Krsna, namely Venu,Murali and Vamsi.
Venu is a very small flute, not more than six inches long, with six holes for whistling.
Krishna with Flute
Murali is about eighteen inches long with a hole at the end and four holes on the body of the flute and produces a very enchanting sound.
The Vamsi flute is about fifteen inches long, with nine holes on its body. 
Krsna used to play on these three flutes occasionally when they were needed.
Krsna has a longer vamsi, which is called mahananda, or sammohini.When it is still longer it is called  karsini.When it is even longer it is called anandini. 
The anandini flute is very pleasing to the cowherd boys and is technically named vamsuli.These flutes were sometimes bedecked with jewels. Sometimes they were made of marble and sometimes of hollow bamboo. The flute is made of jewels  is called sammohini and the one made of gold, is called akarsini.
For more exhaustive description of Krishna’s Flute, you can visit this link,

Friday, 9 September 2016

Radhastami - Appearance day of Srimathi Radharani

The deity at Raval - Srimati Radharani in Baby form 
Tomorrow, 10th September  is the Auspicious Appearance Day Festival of Sri Radhastami,celebrated by many in India and all over the world.
Wish you all happy Radhastami Festival.
 radhe vrndavanesvari
 vrsabhanu-sute devi
 pranamami hari-priye

I offer my respects to Radharani, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vrndavana. You are the daughter of King Vrsabhanu, and You are very dear to Lord Krsna".
Srimati Radharani is always to be found with Sri Krishna, and Madhav is always to be seen with Radhika. One is never without the other's company.She is the embodiment of Maha-bhava, or the highest transcendental ecstasy, and none of the other gopis, or cowherd damsels of Vrindavana, posses Her excellent qualities.
What this means is  - Lord Krishna is called as Madan Mohan, one who is most attractive and beautiful that he defies even cupid. And Srimathi Radharani is called as Madan Mohan Mohini, because she won the heart of Lord Krishna with her beauty and loving service.
On this special occasion, I wanted to write about a place that I previously visited and that is connected to Srimati Radharani.

Raval Landscape

Raval village - Just outside the temple
A mysterious tree on the top of the temple 
Raval is a small village situated about 10 Kms from Vrindavan.This pristine village is a special and important place because,this is the same place where Srimati Radha Rani, about 5000 yrs appeared.It so happened that one day,King Vrishabhanu went to take bath in river Yamuna and saw in the river, a beautiful, golden lotus flower that was full of radiance and splendor. When the king reached the lotus, he noticed a beautiful, golden complexioned baby girl - Srimati Radharani. Immediately, the King had the divine vision of Lord Brahma, who advised him that, because of the great austerities performed by him and his Queen in the previous life,the consort of Lord Vishnu decided to appear as their child.The king happily took the baby girl to home and along with Queen Kirtida, started looking after the baby girl with love and happiness.However, they had one concern that the child eyes are completely closed and would not open them. Nevertheless, the King as per the instructions of Narada Rishi went ahead in the performance of all the auspicious Birth ceremonies.There were great celebrations and many friends and family members were invited, which included Nanda Maharaj and along with him,came the Baby Krishna.Krishna crawled into the jewel studded cradle of Srimati Radharani. As soon as this happened, Srimathi Radharani immediately opened her eyes and looked at Lord Krishna, who is her eternal Consort.This was the first meeting of the divine couple in this material world. Thus, the first person Radha Rani ever saw was Lord Krishna and with her eyes closed, this was the moment she was waiting for.
You can see the gated garden said to belong to Radha Rani or the temple.
This place is still untouched by the urbanisation and somehow retained the simple, beautiful with typical Indian village setting. The small temple consisted of small deities of Radha Krishna on one side and next to it is the small deity of baby girl - Radha Rani.
We climbed the steps to go to the first floor of the temple, where I got some nice pictures of the landscape and fields of Raval. In front of the temple, there is a garden which is said to belong to the temple deities.By the time we went, The garden was closed and unfortunatly could not go inside the garden.From here, we proceeded to Gokul,where Lord Krishna and Balaram spent their childhood and was about 30 mins drive from here. I liked this place which is simple, fresh air, kind and innocent villagers and hope to go back there in future.