Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Why do we need to go to a Temple - when we say that, God is Everywhere?

This is again, one of the answers that I wrote for someone's question on Quora. Since, couple of people asked me the same question personally, I thought of posting this on my blog.
So, this is a good question.
Sri Gaura Nitai

Sri Jagannath, Baladev, Subhadra
Why do we turn on a Fan when air is everywhere? Because, even though air is present everywhere, you cannot feel its presence everywhere. Especially, when it is a hot or humid day, we need that air to be blown so that we get relief. Similarly, water is everywhere but, when we feel thirsty, to quench the thirst, we take water stored in a water filter or tap or something. Though, God is everywhere and within us as Paramatma, we go to Mandir or temple to see him physically with our eyes. The personal aspect of deity form of God is something where everyone feels personally reciprocated. Depending on the level of our faith and surrender, God reciprocates. That is why, while some see the God in the temple as an Idol made of stone or metal, others perceive him as a person. They understand that since God is all powerful and can manifest through any form he likes, even though he is form is completely spiritual, because of his mercy and the love and devotion of a devotee, he agrees to manifest in the deity form and accepts the services and gives his blessings. But, even though a deity is made from a material substance like a stone, metal etc, when the deity is installed as per the prescribed methods of Vedic scriptures like Pancharatrika Vidhi, he comes and resides in the deity form. Just like an iron rod, kept in the fire after a while becomes as good as a fire, the deity made up of material substance becomes spiritual. One more important point to note is that, manifestation of a deity is a mercy form that enables a devotee to offer their services. Surely, the Supreme Lord is completely spiritual full of Sat, Chit and Ananda that is eternity, knowledge and bliss. So, why doesn’t the deity when sometimes apparently, disrespected by some hooligans keep quiet and does not respond. That is some paranormal activity like, the Deity form doesn’t break up or shower thunderbolts on the miscreants? Because, God does not bother responding to those people and no way affected and he simply withdraws himself from the deity form. Then, we also see so many instances of deities responding to the devotee’s request like, the deity of Sakshi Gopal of Vrindavan walked all the way to a small town called Vidyanagara in Orissa to give a witness statement to his devotee.
ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham: as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. (Bhagavad Gita 4:11)
Sri Radha Vallabha
Then, the other aspects come into picture like, the way a temple is built, as per vasthu shastra, generally temples have this Yantras or the Copper and Brass plates with Bija Akshara or the sacred sounds inscribed on them and they are worshiped for number of days with certain mantras and finally, they are installed just below the deity in the temples. So, the whole idea is, as soon as one enters a temple which is a power house of spiritual, positive vibrations will immediately give solace to the troubled hearts of the people. Ultimately, it is the love and devotion of a devotees which makes certain temples special and so to say powerful, because that is what Lord actually see and expects from us.
He says in Bhagavad Gita 9.11
" patram puspam phalam toyam
  yo me bhaktya prayacchati
  tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
  asnami prayatatmanah.
If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit a water, I will accept it."

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi

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Fasting is an age-old practice that dates back to thousands of years and played a central role in many religions, cultures and traditions of the world.
Apart from the health benefits like Promoting Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance, Promoting Better Health by Fighting Inflammation, Improving Blood Pressure, controlling Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels etc. Fasting is a key item of devotional service in Sanatana Dharma or Hindu culture.
Tomorrow (12th June in India) is one of those special days on which fasting is performed not merely by abstaining from food but even water - called Pandava Nirjala Ekadashi. (Nirjala means, without water and Ekadashi - Eka means one and dashi means ten, is the eleventh lunar day of each of the two lunar phases which occur in a Hindu calendar month. Ekadashi is considered as a special day for observing spiritual practices.)
 I will write some other time about Ekadashi and more about fasting but, for now, let me share a story about this special day.
Five Pandavas and Krishna

Once Bhimasena, the younger brother of Maharaja Yudhishthira, asked the great sage Shrila Vyasadeva, the grandfather of the Pandavas, if it is possible to return to the spiritual world without having observed all the rules and regulations of the Ekadashi fasts.
Bhimasena then spoke as follows, "Oh greatly intelligent and learned grandfather, my brother Yudhishthira, my dear mother Kunti, and my beloved wife Draupadi, as well as Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, fast completely on each Ekadashi and strictly follow all the rules, guidelines and regulative injunctions of that sacred day. Being very religious, they always tell me that I should also fast on that day too. But, Oh learned grandfather, I tell them that I cannot live without eating, because as the son of Vayudeva - Samanaprana, (the digestive air) hunger is unbearable to me. I can give widely in charity and worship Lord Keshava properly with all manner of wonderful upacharas (items), but I cannot be asked to fast on Ekadashi. Please tell me how I can obtain the same merits result without fasting."
Hearing these words, the grandsire of Bhima, Shrila Vyasadeva said, "If you want to go to the heavenly planets and avoid the hellish planets, you should indeed observe a fast on both the light and dark Ekadashis."
Bhima replied, "Oh great saintly intelligent grandfather, please listen to my plea. Oh greatest of munis, since I cannot live if I eat only once in a day, how can I possibly live if I fast completely? Within my stomach burns a special fire named Vrika, the fire of digestion. Agni the fire-god, descends from Lord Vishnu through Brahma, from Brahma to Angirasa, from Angirasa to Brihaspathi, and from Brihaspathi to Samyu, who was Agni's father. He is the gatekeeper in charge of Nairritti, the south-eastern direction. He is one of the eight material elements, and Parikshit Maharaja, he is very expert at examining things. He examined Maharaja Shibi once by turning into a dove. (for further information on this incident see Shrila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's Shrimad Bhagavatam commentary to 1:12:20. Purport.)
 Agni is divided into three categories; Davagni, the fire in wood, Jatharagni, the fire in the digestion in the stomach, and Vadavagni, the fire that creates fog when hot and cold streams mix in for example the ocean. Another name for the fire of digestion is Vrika. It is this powerful fire that resided in Bhima's stomach. Only when I eat to my full satisfaction does the fire in my stomach become satisfied.
Oh great sage, I might possibly be able to fast only once, so I beg that you tell me of an Ekadashi that is worthy of my fasting and that includes all other Ekadashis. I shall faithfully observe that fast and hopefully still become eligible for liberation's release."
 Shrila Vyasadeva replied, "Oh king, you have heard from me about the various kinds of occupational duties, such as elaborate Vedic ceremonies and pujas. In the Kali-yuga, however, no one will be able to observe all these occupational & functional duties properly. I shall, therefore, tell you how, at practically no expense, one can endure some small austerity and achieve the greatest benefit and resultant happiness. The essence of what is written in the Vedic literatures known as the Puranas is that one should not eat on either the dark or light fortnight Ekadashis."
 As stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam (Mahabhagavat Puranam) 12:13:12 and 15, the Bhagavat Puranam is itself the essence or cream of all Vedanta philosophy (sara-vedanta-saram), and the Shrimad Bhagavatam's unequivocal message is that of full surrender to Lord Shri Krishna and the rendering of loving devotional service to Him. Observing Ekadashi strictly is a great aid in that process, and here Shrila Vyasadeva is simply stressing to Bhima the importance of the Ekadashi vratam.
 "One who fasts on Ekadashis saved from going to the hellish planets." Hearing Shrila Vyasadeva's words, the son of Vayu, Bhimasena, the strongest of all warriors, became frightened and began to shake like a leaf on a banyan tree in a strong wind. The frightened Bhimasena then said, "Oh grandfather, what should I do? I am completely unable and ill-equipped to fast twice in a month throughout the year! Please tell me of the one fasting day that will bestow the greatest benefit upon me!"
Vyasadeva replied, "Without drinking even water, you should fast on the Ekadashi that occurs during the light fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha (May-June) when the sun travels in the sign of Taurus (Vrishabh) and Gemini (Mithun), According to learned personalities, on this day one may bathe and perform Achamana for pratiprokshana purification. But while performing Achamana one may drink only that amount of water equal to a drop of gold, or that amount it takes to immerse a single mustard seed. Only this amount of water should be placed in the right palm for sipping, which one should form to resemble a cow's ear. If one drinks more water than this, he might as well have drunk wine despite the soaring heat of summer (in the northern hemisphere and cold in the southern hemisphere).
One must certainly not eat anything, for if he does so he breaks his fast. This rigid fast is in effect from sunrise on the Ekadashi day to sunrise on the Dwadashi day. If a person endeavours to observe this great fast very strictly, he easily achieves the result of observing all twenty-four other Ekadashi fasts throughout the entire year.
On Dwadashi the devotee should bathe early in the morning. Then, according to the prescribed rules, guidelines and regulative injunctions, and of course depending on his ability, he should give some gold and water to worthy brahmanas. Finally, he should cheerfully honour prasadam with a branmana.
Oh Bhimasena, one who can fast on this special Ekadashi in this manner reaps the benefit of having fasted on every Ekadashi during the year. There is no doubt of this, nor should there be.
Oh Bhima, now hear the specific merit one gets by fasting on this Ekadashi. The Supreme Lord Keshava, who holds a conch, discus, club and lotus, personally told me, `Everyone should take shelter of Me and follow My instructions.' Then He told me that one who fasts on this Ekadashi, without taking even drinking water or eating, becomes free of all sinful reactions, and that one who observes the difficult nirjalafast on Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi truly reaps the benefit of all other Ekadashi fasts.
 Oh Bhimasena, in the Kali-yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, when all the principles of the Vedas will have been destroyed or greatly minimised, and when there will be no proper charity or observance of the ancient Vedic principles and ceremonies, how will there be any means of purifying the self? But there is the opportunity to fast on Ekadashi and become free of all one's past sins.
Oh son of Vayu, what more can I say to you? You should not eat during the Ekadashis that occur during the dark and light fortnights, and you should even give up drinking water (nir = no jala= water) on the particularly auspicious Ekadashi day of Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi. Oh Vrikodara (voracious eater), whoever fasts on this Ekadashi receives the merits of bathing in all the places of pilgrimage, giving all kinds of charities to worthy persons, and fasting on all the dark and light Ekadashis throughout the year, in one go. Of this there is no doubt.
 Oh tiger among men, whoever fasts on this Ekadashi truly becomes a great person and achieves all manner of opulence and wealth, grains, strength, and health. And at the fearful moment of death, the terrible Yamadutas, whose complexions are yellow and black and who brandish huge maces and twirl mystic pasha ropes in the air for binding their victims will refuse to approach him. Rather, such a faithful soul will at once be taken to the supreme abode of Lord Vishnu by the Vishnu-dutas, whose transcendentally beautiful forms are clothed in gorgeous yellowish garments and who each hold a disk, club, conch and lotus in their four hands, resembling Lord Vishnu. It is to gain all these benefits that one should certainly fast on this very auspicious and important Ekadashi, even from water."
When the other Pandavas heard about the benefits to be gained by following Jyeshtha-Shukla Ekadashi, they resolved to observe it exactly as their grandfather Shrila Vyasadeva had explained it to their brother, Bhimasena. All the Pandavas observed it by refraining from eating or drinking anything, and thus this day is also known as Pandava Nirjala Dvadashi (technically it is a Maha-Dvadashi).
Shrila Vyasadeva continued, "Oh Bhimasen, therefore you should observe this important fast to remove all your past sinful reactions. You should pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna in this way making your sankalpa declaration, "Oh Lord of all the devas (demigods), Oh Supreme Personality of Godhead, today I shall observe Ekadashi without taking any water. Oh unlimited Anantadev, I shall breakfast on the next day, Dwadashi."
Thereafter, to remove all his sins, the devotee should honour this Ekadashi fast with full faith in the Lord and with full control over his senses. Whether his sins are equal in volume to Mount Sumeru or to Mandarachala Hill, if he or she observes this Ekadashi, the sins that have been accumulated all become nullified and are burned to ashes. Such is the great power of this Ekadashi.
Oh best of human beings, although a person should also give water and cows in charity during this Ekadashi, if for some reason or other he cannot, then he should give a qualified brahmana some cloth or a pot filled with water. Indeed, the merit achieved by giving water alone equals that gained by giving gold ten million times a day.
Oh Bhima, Lord Shri Krishna has said that whoever observes this Ekadashi should take a Holy bath, give charity to a worthy person, chant the Lord's Holy names on a japa-mala, and perform some kind of recommended sacrifice, for by doing these things on this day one receives imperishable benefits. There is no need to perform any other kind of religious duty. Observance of this Ekadashi fast alone promotes one to the supreme abode of Shri Vishnu. Oh best of the Kurus, if one donates gold, cloth, or anything else on this day, the merit one obtains is imperishable.
 "Remember, whosoever eats any grains on Ekadashi becomes contaminated by sin and verily eats only sin.
But he who observes this sacred Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi and gives something in charity certainly achieves liberation from the cycle of repeated birth and death and attains to the supreme abode.
Observing this Ekadashi, which is merged with Dwadashi, frees one from the horrible sin of killing a brahmana, drinking liquor and wine, becoming envious of one's spiritual master and ignoring his instructions, and continually telling lies.
Furthermore, Oh best of beings (Jivottama), any man or woman who observes this fast properly and worships the Supreme Lord Jalshayi (He who sleeps on the water), and who on the next day satisfies a qualified brahmana with nice sweets and a donation of cows and money - such a person certainly pleases the Supreme Lord Vasudeva, so much so that one hundred previous generations in his family undoubtedly go to the Supreme Lord's abode, even though they may have been very sinful, of bad character, and guilty of suicide, etc. Indeed, one who observes this amazing Ekadashi rides on a glorious celestial airplane (vimana) to the Lord's abode.
One who on this day gives a brahmana a waterpot, an umbrella, or shoes surely goes to the heavenly planets. Indeed, he who simply hears these glories also attains to the transcendental abode of the Supreme Lord, Shri Vishnu. Whoever performs the Shraddha ceremony to the forefathers on the dark-moon day called amavasya, particularly if it occurs at the time of a solar eclipse undoubtedly achieves great merit.
But this same merit is achieved by him who simply hears this sacred narration - so powerful and so dear to the Lord is this Ekadashi.
One should clean his teeth properly and, without eating or drinking, observe this Ekadashi to please the Supreme Lord, Keshava. On the day after Ekadashi one should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His form as Trivikrama by offering Him water, flowers, incense, and a brightly burning lamp.
Then the devotee should pray from the heart, `Oh God of gods, Oh deliverer of everyone, Oh Hrishikesha, master of the senses, kindly bestow upon me the gift of liberation, though I can offer you nothing greater than this humble pot filled with water.' Then the devotee should donate the waterpot to a brahmana.
Oh Bhimasena, after this Ekadashi fast and donating the recommended items according to his ability, the devotee should feed brahmanas and thereafter honour prasadam silently."
Shrila Vyasadeva concluded, "I strongly urge you to fast on this auspicious, purifying, sin-devouring Dwadashi in just the way I have outlined. Thus, you will be completely freed of all sins and reach the supreme abode."
Thus, ends the narration of the glories of Jyeshtha-shukla Ekadashi, or Bhimaseni-nirjala Ekadashi, from the Brahma-vaivarta Pura.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals: Core Infrastructure

Cloud is the latest buzz word in the field of Technology and the future. And, since I work in IT field, I thought, I should learn a bit of what's happening in this field. So, this is the result of studying after-hours, weekends. Spent about 10 hrs on this and pretty happy with the outcome.

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Akshaya Tritiya - A Day for New Beginnings

Wishing you all a Happy Akshaya Tritiya Day.

Sri Radha Madhava - Mayapur Chandrodhaya Mandir
Akshaya means ‘that which does not diminish or perish’. Hence, Akshaya Tritiya is believed to bring never ending success and good luck. Every year, Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated on the 3rd day of bright half of lunar month of Vaisakha month of Hindu calendar. It is auspicious because Akshaya Tritiya day is devoted to Lord Vishnu. According to description in Puranas, performing Shri Maha Vishnu Pooja on Akshaya Tritiya removes sin and helps in attaining salvation. The Shri Maha Vishnu Puja can be simply performed with Tulsi leaves, flowers and rice grains and by reciting the names of Vishnu.
Akshaya tritiya, according to the Vedic calendar, is a day considered to be conducive to success in any significant endeavour. Traditionally, those aware of Akshaya tritiya's benefits schedule major life events—marriages, initiations, business ventures, establishing a new place of residence on this day.
Akshaya-tritiya is an important day in Vedic culture as any donation performed for the right cause is declared to yield inexhaustible results. Devotees consider this day as a reminder to surrender whatever they have in the service of the Krishna.
There are many important events recorded in the Vedic history about this day.
·     Appearance of Lord Parasurama, who is the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
·     Appearance of Maha Lakshmi from Samudra manthan – the Churning of Ocean by Demigods and Demons
·       On this day Lord Ganesha began to write Mahabharata
·       On this say, Lord Krishna saved Pandeva’s and Draupadi by having a grain of rice that was struck to the bowl. What happened was that when, Pandavas were living exiled in the forest, Duryodhana tricked the Sage Durvasa and his followers to visit them for meals. When Krishna eat that grain of rice, everyone including Durvasa and his disciples became so full that they could eat no more. And, to save themselves from the wrath of Bhima of not honoring the meals that would be served to them, they all had to quickly retreat from that place.
·      It marks the beginning of Chandana-yatra festival and festivities that runs for three weeks. To keep the Deities, cool from the scorching heat of the summer sun, the devotees apply sandalwood paste(chandana) over Radha Madhava and the other Deities.

Monday, 29 April 2019

A Story about Finding Faults in Others

Sunrise at Hare Krishna Temple Eungella, New South Wales

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Don't Find Faults in Others - is not a blanket statement that applies to everyone and every situation in our lives. What we need to understand is the fine line, the context and the reason for finding faults. If you are a parent, teacher, a Manager or someone Senior in a company and need to advise, inform, correct someone for their benefit, then that is OK. Though, it is important that the fault finding should not demotivate, depress, make someone vulnerable or discouraged. It should be given in a constructive, palatable way in a spirit of concern, welfare and compassion for others. Because, remember the Law of Karma - For everything we do through our mind, words and bodily actions are all considered as Karma.
In Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 15 Lord Krishna explains that, aversion to fault finding is one of the qualities of a man endowed with divine nature.
In this regards, Srila Prabhupada comments in Bhagavad Gita As It Is - 16: The Divine and Demoniac Natures - "Apaisunam; means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course, to call a thief a thief is not fault-finding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life."
It is interesting to think and understand why do people criticize? Some common motivations for criticism are (1) gaining a sense of superiority, (2) getting back at someone who has hurt us, (3) asserting our position or belief as the best or only way, and (4) avoiding scrutiny of our own shortcomings. Identifying our motives takes honesty and courage. Specially, it is said that in spiritual life, fault finding is a anartha or unwanted habit that makes the practitioner, unhappy and unable to get the spiritual happiness and contentment in spite of following all the rules and regulations rigidly.

(Please read this story - it can save you from lot of troubles!)
Once there was a king who distributed food to the brahmana's.
One day, as he was giving out food to the priests, an eagle flew above holding a dead snake in his claws. Out of the mouth of the dead snake fell a drop of poison into the food that the king was distributing.
No one knew or saw that this had happened, so the king continued distributing the food.
The Brahmin who accidentally got the poisoned food from king died, and the king was feeling very sad about it.
One of the servants of Yamaraja (God of death) who has the service to distribute karma to the living beings has a problem. When this incident with the king and the poisoned food happened, however, he did not know who to give the karma to.
After all, it was not the eagle's fault that it carried the dead snake in its claws (since this was its food), nor was it the dead's snake fault, nor was it the king's fault because he did not know that the poison fell into the food.
However, one day, few other brahmanas entered the kingdom to meet the king.
A lady was sitting next to the road and they asked her: "Do you know where the king's palace is and how we can get there?"
She said: "Yes," and pointed at the right direction. "But, be very careful," she said, "The king is known to kill brahmanas!"
The moment she said that and criticized the king un-rightfully, that moment the servant of Yamaraja has decided. He gave her the karma of killing the brahmana!

Moral of the story:
If you criticize anyone and you are right about their deeds, you get half of their bad karma.
But, if you criticize someone and you are not right about their deeds, then you get 100% of their karma.
This story can inspire us to be careful about what we think or say about people surrounding us.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Sri Ram Navami and 108 names of Lord Rama

Happy Sri Ram Navami. Jai Siya Ram, Jai Jai Siya Ram (meaning Victory to Ram the “Blissful One” and to Sita or Siya - the embodiment of the purest feminine beauty and strength).
On this auspicious day, I thought of posting this article with 108 names of Lord Rama. I was reading each name and the names filled me joy and contentment. And, then I reflected on some of the possible benefits of reading these names. Of course, to start with, the names of Lord Rama can make rocks to float in the ocean and each of these names signifies one speciality of the Lord. And, remembering these qualities brings all auspiciousness into one's life, driving away all the unwanted things. May that sharp arrows of that greatest and most compassionate archer, Lord Rama kill all those enemies called lust, anger, greed, hatred, jealousy, laziness etc.

Om shri ramaya Namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the giver of happiness

Om ramabhadraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the auspicious one

Om ramachandraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, who is as lustrous as the moon

Om shashvataya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, to the ever-lasting one

Om rajivalochanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lotus-eyed

Om shrimate namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the abode of lakshmi

Om rajendraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the king of kings

Om raghupungavaya namaha -Obeisances to Sri Rama, the most exalted of the raghu dynasty

Om janaki vallabhaya namaha -Obeisances to Sri Rama, the beloved of janaki

Om jaitraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the triumphant

Om jitamitraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the conqueror of his enemies

Om janardhanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the refuge of the people

Om vishvamitra priyaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the beloved of sage vishvamitra

Om dantaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the well-controlled one

Om sharanatrana tatparaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who is keen to protect those who take refuge in him

Om bali pramathanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the vanquisher of bali

Om vagmine namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the eloquent

Om satyavache namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one of truthful speech

Om satyavikramaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who is valiant in defending truth

Om satyavrataya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one of truthful vows

Om vratadharaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who faithfully keeps his vows

Om sada hanumadashritaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who is always served by hanuman

Om kausaleyaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the son of kausalya

Om kharadhvamsine namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the annihilator of the demon khara

Om viradha vanapanditaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the expert in destroying the demon viradha

Om vibhishana paritratre namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the protector of vibhishan

Om kodanda khandanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who broke the mighty bow

Om saptatala prabhedre namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who permeates the seven planes of existence

Om dashagriva shiroharaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who cut off ravana’s heads

Om jamadagnya mahadarppa dalanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who shattered the pride of parasurama

Om tatakantakaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the slayer of tataka

Om vedanta saraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the essence of vedanta

Om vedatmane namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the self of the vedas

Om bhavarogasya bheshajaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the reliever of all earthly ailments

Om dushanatri shirohantre namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who cut off the head of dushana

Om trimurtaye namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the embodiment of the three gods

Om trigunatmakaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the source of the three gunas

Om trivikramaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord as vamana

Om trilokatmane namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the source of the three planetary systems

Om punyacharitra kirtanaya namah - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one whose story is a source of merit to those who sing it

Om triloka rakshakaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the protector of the three world systems

Om dhanvine namaha -  Obeisances to Sri Rama, the wielder of the bow

Om dandakaranya kartanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the dweller in the dandaka forest

Om ahalya shapashamanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the remover of ahalya’s curse

Om pitru bhaktaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the worshipper of his father dasaratha

Om vara pradaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the giver of boons

Om jitendriyaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the conqueror of the senses

Om jitakrodhaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the conqueror of anger

Om jitamitraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who wins over friends

Om jagad gurave namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the guru of the world

Om riksha vanara sanghatine namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who organized the hordes of monkeys

Om chitrakuta samashrayaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who took refuge at chitrakuta hill

Om jayanta trana varadaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who blessed jayanta

Om sumitra putra sevitaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who is served by sumitra’s son (lakshmana)

Om sarva devadhi devaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord of all the gods

Om mritavanara jivanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who revived the dead monkeys (after the war)

Om mayamaricha hantre namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the destroyer of the demon maricha who practiced illusion

Om mahadevaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the great lord

Om mahabhujaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord of mighty arms

Om sarvadeva stutaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who is praised by all the gods

Om saumyaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the calm one

Om brahmanyaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the absolute reality

Om muni samstutaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who is praised by sages

Om mahayogine namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the great yogin

Om mahadaraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the noble one

Om sugrivepsita rajyadaye namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who returned the kingdom to sugriva

Om sarva punyadhi kaphalaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the giver of fruits of pious work, good karmas

Om smrita sarvagha nashanaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the remover of all afflictions

Om adipurushaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the primal being

Om paramapurushaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme being

Om mahapurushaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the great being

Om punyodayaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the source of all blessings

Om dayasaraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the embodiment of compassion

Om purana purushottamaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the most ancient person

Om smita vaktraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who smiling speaks

Om mita bhashine namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one of moderate speech

Om purva bhashine namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the one who rarely speaks

Om raghavaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the scion of the raghu dynasty

Om ananta gunagambhiraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord of infinite majestic qualities

Om dhirodatta gunottamaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord of valorous qualities

Om maya manusha charitraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who incarnated as a man through his maya

Om mahadevadi pujitaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who is worshiped by lord shiva

Om setukrite namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the builder of the bridge (at setubandha to sri lanka)

Om jita varashaye namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the conqueror of desires

Om sarva tirthamayaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who is the sum of all holy places

Om haraye namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the destroyer

Om shyamangaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the dark-complexioned one

Om sundaraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the beautiful one

Om suraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord

Om pitavasase namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord clad in yellow raiment

Om dhanurdharaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the bearer of the bow

Om sarva yajnadhipaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord of sacrifice

Om yajvine namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the sacrificer

Om jaramarana varjitaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the conqueror of birth and death

Om vibhishana pratishthatre namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who established vibhishana on the throne

Om sarvabharana varjitaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who relinquished all adornment

Om paramatmane namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme self

Om parabrahmane namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme absolute

Om sachidananda vigrahaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the embodiment of existence, awareness and bliss

Om parasmai jyotishe namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme light

Om parasmai dhamne namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme abode

Om parakashaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme space

Om paratparaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme beyond the highest

Om pareshaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme lord

Om parakaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who takes his devotees across (the ocean of
Samsara–birth and death)

Om paraya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme being

Om sarva devatmakaya namaha - Obeisances to Sri Rama, the lord who is the source of all gods

Om parasmai namaha -Obeisances to Sri Rama, the supreme lord.
(These prayers are available at www.stephen-knapp.com)

Raghupati Raghava Rajaram
Patita paavana sitaram

Sundara vigraha meghashyam
Ganga tulasi salagram

Bhadra girishwara sitaram
Bhagat janapriya sitaram

Janaki ramana sitaram
Jaya jaya Raghava Sitaram

written by Sri Lakshmanacharya in a religious text titled Shri Nama Ramayanam.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Birthday Wishes to my Wife – A Short Story

Today is the Birthday of my Wife.
Red Roses
Just a short story.
Few years ago, when I was still a Student doing Master’s here in Australia, I prayed to God for a Good job. Nothing happened. After a while, I prayed for help, guidance, motivation and devotion to God. Nothing happened. I then prayed to God for a good friend. A good family, nice children, a Home some good times, for someone who can guide me, motivate me to right things, be critical of me, one who would never leave alone me in any situation. The, I also prayed to God to send me someone who is talkative, because I am by nature very quiet person. Prayed for someone who is beautiful not only at looks but also in her heart. Then, I thought life is not like living in a Five-star Hotel where everyone is cordial, and everything is nice. It should be something interesting like a Bollywood movie. A couple of songs, some fights, some comedy etc. Anyway, nothing happened.
And, then I forgot the whole thing and the time passed by.
Then suddenly, last night I had a dream and saw God. I was quick to ask him, my dear God, I now remember so many prayers that I did for you and I had so many wishes. And you never fulfilled any of them? And, I started recollecting and reading from the Wish-list again.
My dear God, I asked you for so many things, A good job, help, guidance in life, devotion to you, a good friend, a nice family etc.
And, the Sweet Lord kept smiling all the while and finally said these words, "You had too many wishes and takes too much of my time to fulfill. That's why I thought over and gave you a Gift that fulfills all your wishes, desires and what not. I sent you, your wife and everything else followed her automatically".
I could not say anything but, still had a question. Dear God, I said “That is so true. I totally agree with you. But, why did you give me your vision, darshan now?”
“Just to remind you that tomorrow is your wife’s Birthday”, saying this the Lord disappeared.
My dream broke, and I woke up.
My dear friends, devotee’s, family and relatives, please give your best wishes to my Wife for her good health and happiness.
Stay blessed my dear Wife. Thank you very much for everything, your love, care, affection, Chastisement, tolerance, anger, for looking after us and putting up with us. May Lord Krishna bless you with many more years of service to him. Many more Happy returns of the day.
Your Husband and Children…

PS:- This is something that I wrote on my Facebook page for my Wife. Many liked it and some asked me to post it here for wider audience.