Thursday, May 31, 2012

Operation - Blog Resurrection

Its been eons since I came this side. Life has changed a lot I haven't written in a while. I have felt uninspired...actually that would be a wrong word....I was just caught in the world around me with absolutely no time to reflect. There have been times in the last year where I have felt disconnected from the world, society, people around me, times when I have just felt like running away from everything. I needed faith, I needed something that I could close my eyes and focus on.

But now I am back... and hope to keep this blog alive

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Destiny called Draupadi

As I read through another Mahabharata, I keep thinking to myself how Draupadi was created just to fuel the cleansing of the Earth at the cusp of the ages.

To begin with she was not born, she appeared from the fire of a yagna. King Drupada had just been humiliated by Dronacharya. He was defeated and captured by Arjuna at the direction of Drona. King Drupada came back to Panchala and conducted a massive yagna to beget a son who would kill Drona and a daughter who would marry Arjuna. And so there she was...Draupadi, born to marry the handsome Arjuna.

But, fate had something else in store for Draupadi. Draupadi was a dark and ethereal beauty who no man could resist. When the Pandavas saw her at her svayamvara, they all wanted her. Even so many kings and princes of Bharatvarsha, including Kuru prince Duryodhana and King of Anga, Karna. Draupadi's purpose in life was accomplished when Arjuna pierced the eye of the revolving fish, disguised as a brahmin. The Pandavas brought her home to Ekcharka to their mother and presented Draupadi as bhiksha. Kunti, their mother asked them to divide it among themselves. Kunti grew very worried when she saw Draupadi and realized what she had just uttered. But, Krishna appears and tells them how Draupadi in her previous birth had asked Lord Shiva for a husband and had repeated "husband" five times in her boon.

At her svayamvara, Draupadi refuses to accept sutaputra Karna and spurns him. This incident remained embedded in Karna's memory when he did what he did at the dice game.

After receiving Khadavprastha from their uncle, the Pandavas with the help of Krishna, transformed it into Indraprastha. The danava Maya built a Maya Sabha for them there. Maya Sabha was built such that it read the mind of people that came to see the sabha and if they were envious, the sabha would conjure up tricks which would confuse them. One day, after the Rajasuya yagna, Duryodhana entered the Maya Sabha and looked at it full of envy. As he stepped in, he lifted his garment to cross what he thought was a puddle of water but it tuned out to be a hard floor. A little further down he walked into a pool of water when he thought it was hard ground. Seeing the Kuru prince drenched, Draupadi laughed out loud. Duryodhana was seething with anger and stormed out of the place.

All these led to the dice game and Draupadi being humiliated in the Kuru sabha. Karna and Duryodhana never forgot the insults handed to them by Draupadi and took advantage of the dice game. For Draupadi, Bheema and Arjuna took the vows they took.
Once, during the exile, when Draupadi was alone, Jayadratha, the king of Sindhu and brother-in-law of Duryodhana saw Draupadi and could resist her. He caught hold of her and carried her away. On his way he was caught by the Pandavas and they punished him by shaving his head off. Unable to bear the insult he performed a rigorous penance and obtained a boon such that he would be able to defeat all the Pandavas except Arjuna in battle for a day. This he used on the day when the Kauravas treacherously killed Abhimanyu.

These and many other incidents, make Draupadi THE reason for the Mahabharata war. She was the Lord's Maya that illusioned the demonic forces and together, Krishna and Krishnaa (Draupadi was called so because of her complexion) rid the Earth of her burden.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spiritual Evolution

The root of this discussion was during a session we had on spiritual leadership. I am surprised ...... Why have we come to the point that we think ethical leadership is innovative or radical? Isn't it something that should come naturally? Weren't we born to be ethical? Why should we have a lecture on this? And besides .... what is the new fad that "I have guru" and "my life changed after I met my guru"?
I believe these gurus are doing a decent job of at least getting people aware of the essence of life. One could agrue that most of these spiritual teachings are more about day to day living and really do not lead to moksha. Then what is so spiritual about these teachings? But then remember all humans (or for that matter creatures) are in different stages of spiritual evolution.
As I see it there are 3 stages of spiritual evolution -
1. Regular dialogue between two atmas - Here you accept that you are the soul and not the body. This awareness is essential before u emabark on the path to self realization. The dialogue happens between two people.
2. Dialogue between the atma and the perceived parmatma - Now you find a guru whom you look upon as parmatma. You get closer to the "Truth" if you would like to call. But according to me at this point too, the guru is an atma who probably is closer to the parmatma.
3. The last and the most diffcult part is realization that atma and parmatma are the same. Now the dialogue is more internal and you are well on the path to self realization. I do not know where it ends.....
These are purely my thoughts and I consider myself very low on the spiritual evolution path. It may also seem to be an oversimplified path to self realization. Again I am no expert. And of course I do not subscribe to any school of thought. I am after all a free spirit in this vast universe that was created just for me to question and find answers naturally!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

7 1/2 years of Shani

Ok sorry for the long time between posts, I have been plain lazy and besides, I have reached a stage of saturation.
Coming to my post, I have been reading a lot of astrology on the web. I find that the most dreadful thing, according to astrology, is the 7 1/2 year cycle of Shani (Saturn). And yes you have guessed it, I am right in the middle of this action.
Shani is one of the Devas (gods). He is the son of Surya (Sun) and his wife Chhaya(Shadow). Shani is known as the greatest teacher .
During the 7 1/2 years of Shani we get resuts as per our past Karma. In an individual's average lifespan, this 7 1/2 year cycle will come 3 times. Shani can be both good and bad. In an individual horoscope, not only the house in which the planet is placed will be affected, but also the houses Shani lords over (2) and the 3rd and 10th houses from where Shani is placed will be affected. So this gives us 5 areas in our lives that may be affected during the 7 1/2 years of Shani.
I believe that Shani helps set our expectations right and keeps our feet firmly on the ground. People with a lot Shani influence are the ones that come up in life after a good long fight. According to astrology, Saturn never denies god things, it only delays. It delays so that we can adjust our expectations. It gives us time to become patient. Saturn certainly makes us more tolerant. We realize that everything related to this world is bound to change. Nothing is certain in life.
Once these lessons are learnt, Saturn starts giving. We get all that we ever wanted but now we are wiser and know the brevity of our life experiences.
So as the saying goes "This time will also pass!" So yes, there is an end to this time tunnel and also light at the end of the tunnel!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yudhishtira's Final Journey - Part 1

Mahabharata the greatest epic has a befitting end.

After the war, the Pandavas rule the land for many years.When kaliyuga set in, Krishna went back to his abode in the high heavens. Seeing this the Pandavas crowned Parikshit as the king and went to on their final journey.

On their way, the Pandavas passed many a plains and mountains. During this time a dog joined them. They had just crossed the Himalayas and were proceeding towards Mount Meru. Just then Draupadi fell to the ground. Bhima asked Yudishtira why Draupadi, inspite for of following dharma throughout her life, fell dead. Yudishtira replied that Draupadi was greatly partial to Arjuna and that was her one sin that caused her to die.

Next to fall down dead was Sahadeva. Yudishtira said that Sahadeva thought that there was no one as wise as him. When Nakula fell,Yudishtira said that Nakula thought he was the most handsome man and that brought about his fall.

Then the greatest hero Arjuna fell. Yudishtira said that Arjuna had boasted before the war that he would single handedly kill each and everyone of his enemies. This Arjuna did not accomplish and had to die.

A dieing Bhima asked Yudishtira his fault. Yudishtira replied that Bhima ate too much, was proud of his strength and hated his enemies and these were the reasons he had to die.

Now only Yudishtira and the dog remained. They continued their journey up the mountain. Suddenly, the mountain was lit up by an uneartly glow.Indra, the king of Gods, had come with his chariot to take Yudishtira to the heaven. Indra told Yudishtira that the Gods were pleased with his honesty and adherence to Dharma and were letting him come to heaven in his mortal body. The dog that came this far with Yudishtira, follwed him into Indra's chariot. Indra would not allow the dog to go heaven. But Yudishtira was firm and insisted that unless the dog was allowed to go with him he would not come. Indra was pleased with Yudishtira and allowed the dog. Immediately Lord Dharma, who was in the form of the dog till then, appeared before Yudishtira. He was very happy with his son, Yudishtira who even in this situation refused to give up his dharma. Then they all ascended to the heavens above....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Karna -1

I have tried to write this post a couple of times in the past. Everytime I sit down to write, something happens and I discard the draft. So here is my third attempt....

The one story that makes me sad everytime I read is the story of Karna. He had such good luck but everytime lady luck smiled at him something went wrong.

Karna was the son of the Sun God and Kunti. He was born with a kavacha (divine armour) and kundala (divine earings). These made him immortal. He looked bright and handsome as the Sun God himself. But his mother, Kunti abandoned him to save herself from infamy. She set Karna afloat in a wooden box on the Ganga. This was the beginning of his cursed life.

The box with the child was found by Athiratha, a charioteer. Athiratha and his wife, Radha did not have any children of their own. They were more than happy to find this infant. They named the child Radheya. When Radheya was sixteen, he decided that he did not want to become a charioteer. He wanted to learn archery. He told his mother, Radha, about his desire. Radha then revealed to him that, he was not her son. She gave him permission to leave and go on his quest in search of knowledge in archery.

Radheya met many rishis and experts in archery. But no one was willing to teach a suthputra (Athiratha was born of a brahmin and kshatriya so was a suth) archery. Finally, Radheya met Bhargava (Parasurama) and fell at his feet and begged him to teach him archery. Radheya told Bhargava that he was a brahmin, a lie that would cost him his life.

Bhargava was very fond of Radheya and taught him everything he knew. One day Radheya was attending to Bhargava. It was noon time and it was hot. Bhargava felt tired and wanted to rest. Radheya offered his lap for his guru to lie down on. Bhargava was pleased and accepted it. Just as Bhargava went into deep sleep, an insect bit Radheya. The bite was so deep that the pain was immense and blood gushed out. Radheya bore the pain so as to not wake his guru up. But, the blood that flowed out, reached Bhargava's ear and woke him up.

Bhargava was shocked to see what happened. Immediately he realized that Radheya had lied to him. Only a kshatriya could bear the pain that Radheya bore. He pronounced a curse of Radheya that when the most important moment of his life came, Radheya would forget all that his guru taught him.

Radheya was distraught. He bowed silently and went away. Cursed by his guru, he had nothing left in this world. Misfortunes don't come single. As Radheya walked on the banks of Ganga thinking about what happened, something flashed in front of his eyes. He thought it was a deer and shot an arrow. When he went near he saw that he had killed a brahmin's cow. The brahmin immediately cursed Radheya, that when he will fight the most important battle in his life, the wheel of his chariot would get stuck in the earth and at that time he will lose his life.

Radheya could not help the curses. He felt that he was at the mercy of Fate. Fate is more powerful that anything in this world...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Itsy Bitsy Spider

"The Itsy Bitsy spider went up the water spout,
Down came the rain and washed the spider out,
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy spider went up the spout again"

I have sung this song so many times in the last 3 years. But today as I stop and think, I see a deeper meaning here. This rhyme has the same lesson as the story "Bruce and the Spider" Robert Bruce was the king of Scotland. He had been defeated by the English six times. After the sixth defeat, Bruce escaped and found a hideout in a cave. Bruce was very disappointed with life. He thought about leaving the country and never coming back.

One day, he watched a spider building a web at the cave's entrance. The spider fell down time after time, but finally he succeeded with his web. So Bruce decided also to go back and fight the English once more, And this time he succeeded!

So also the Itsy Bitsy spider, climbed the spout. Circumstances, in this case rain, pushed Itsy Bitsy back. But Itsy Bitsy didn't give up. It waited till the sun came out. It waited, waited for the right oppurtunity to climb the spout again!!!