Thursday, August 31, 2006

Last month we completed reading and pondering upon the wisdom of the Bhagavad Geeta...after that we celebrated by having lunch at 'Govinda' the restaurant in Iskcon...Let me share with you 2 verses from the Scripure.

Two Geeta Verses
Before rushing helter skelter to find God, let us start the search, by looking within ourselves.
What we find is sometimes not very pleasant.
Most people complain that they cannot change themselves.
What I feel and say to them is, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Look back! Do you react less to circumstances, than you used to, a few years ago?
If yes, then you are on the right track.
If one learns to communicate with oneself, one progresses spiritually, and one is never lonely.
If one learns to really meditate, one will look for only one boon, that of ‘peace’
And that happens when one accepts, that things are, the way they are.
See! No one is asking you to give up trying to change circumstances; to the way you would like them to be.
You can study hard and you may be a very bright student, but you could fall ill and fail the examinations.
One has to renounce oneself to the above outcome.
A more common example is about people who ‘kill’ themselves to please others, and end up being criticized.
To such people I advise: Enjoy the ‘service’ let that, be your reward, not the result of your action.
We will be, eventually judged by our true intentions, when we ‘acted’.
Not by what people ‘spoke’ about us.
This is what Krishna means, when he states, in the 47th verse of the 2nd Chapter in the Geeta, that our right is only over our actions, not over the fruits (outcome) of the actions.
He said:
Karmanyey Vaadhikaa rastey, Maa phaleshu KadaachanaaMaa karma phala hetur bhoor, Maa tey sangotswa, akarmanee
There is another verse in the Bhagvad Geeta, which I really like.
It is the 12th verse of the 12th chapter.
Krishna says:
Shreyo hi jnaanam abhyaasaat,jnaanaa dhyaanam vishishyateDhyaanaat karma phala tyaagasTyaagaat chhaantiranantaram
Which I would interpret thus:
Better than (ritual) practice is Knowledge (Gyaan)Better than knowledge is meditation,Better than meditation is, to renounce the fruit of your actions,
Note: Krishna does not ask you to renounce ‘actions’. He is asking to renounce its fruits.
(If one does the above) Peace immediately follows.

It was Radhashtami on the 1st of September...if you would like to know more about it, click:

To read some points about an alternative Education Vision, Click and scroll down on:


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Let me tell you a story that happened 500 yrs ago in Dakor (A short distance from Ahmedabad in Gujarat)
There was an old man called Bodana who would travel all the way to Dwarika every year to see (Do darshan) his Krishna (Dwarkadheesh)
On his last trip there Bodana told Krishna that he had become too old so this was probably his last trip there! Bodana had a dream at night where Krishna told him to take Him (Krishna) away with him. Bodana did as he was told and he was accused of stealing the Idol by the King...When Bodana told the king his version of the story the king in order to humor the poor man said that they would weigh the idol of Krishna...They would put the Idol on one scale and posessions on the other) and whoever's turned out heavier would get to keep 'Krishna' have guessed right...Bodana only put the only posession that he and his wife possessed (a nose ring) and the scale tipped in Bodana's favour!

Anyway the point that I am making is that I used to go to the Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple in Juhu on Janmashtami and now an Iskcon temple has 'come' very near to my house near Babulnath Temple...
...And I am cordially invited and taken care see now I am older and need a little extra comfort...and my Krishna gives it to me...Koun kehat hai Bhagwan aatey naheen tum Meera ke jaisey bulaatey nahin!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

We had a book release on the 19th of Aug 2006 at the Times of India Bldg
The book: 'Shiva to Shankara' by Dr Devdutt Pattanaik published by Indus Source Books was released by Mr Sudarshan Shetty whose sculpture adorns the Hyatt Grand at Santa Cruz, Bombay
In the picture above, from left: Dr Devdutt Patanaik, Ms Sonavi Desai, Sudarshan Shetty and myself speaking about the necessity of not only understanding and appreciating our own faith but that of others...
Shiva to Shankara is a praiseworthy effort to decode symbols and mythology connected with MahaDeva. It is a must read for those who want to make an effort to understand the 'subjective truth of a people or a culture'
Read 'Hindu Customs and Beliefs' Click:

and Symbolisms in the Ramayana, Click:

Ganeshji comes back to our homes on the 27th of Aug 2006
Those conversant with Yoga would know that the 'Kundalini Shakti' or primordial energy, rises in a zigzag manner through the Spinal chord, culminating in the third eye, which resides in between the eye-brows. When the trunk of Ganeshji is facing straight forward, it signifies that the passage, though the Spinal chord, or 'Sushumna' is entirely open. When the trunk of Ganeshji is swung right in the air, it means that the 'Kundalini Shakti' has reached the Sahasraar' or the Region of the third eye, permanently.
When Ganeshji's trunk is curved to the right. He is called Siddhi Vinaayak. The left side, represents the Moon. The right side represents the Sun. When the Trunk of ones Ganeshji leans towards the Right, It would require special worship.

Read more about Him, Click:

Read out to your children, Click:

Ganpati bappa Morya!
Much love during this festive season,

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Amongst the Sindhis during the ceremony of 'Datar', salt is exchanged from the bride's hands to the groom's hands three times. The bride also does the same with all the relatives from the in-law's side. It is commonly believed that if you do the above there will be no arguments or fights between the bride and the in-laws. When salt mixes with food, it mingles totally with the ingredients of the meal. However the presence of the salt is felt because it gives the food taste. By exchanging salt, the family subtly tells the bride that she is going to be part of the new family and she should mingle with them like salt does with food.

Amongst the Hindus it is also believed that if you eat the salt of anybody's house, you ought always to be faithful to that family. Exchanging salt is also symbolic of the above.

In the above photograph you will see me exchanging salt with my father-in-law and years later my husband performing the ceremony with our bahu-rani (daughter-in-law)
Some time back, I had an interesting visitor. She is getting married soon and hence wanted to know about the significance of Hindu Wedding Rituals. She and her fiancée would like to have a marriage ceremony with a difference. They feel that they would both be contributing equally towards the working of their marriage. Therefore the to-be groom is inclined towards the desire to perform 'datar' with his in-laws, just like the to-be bride is required to enact with hers.
The bride-to-be would like her sister to participate in the marriage ceremony as much as her brother and uncles would be required to do. She asked me whether she was breaking any Religious rules thereby. I assured her that the above ceremony was relevant to those times when it was only important that the bride adjust with her new family. I laud the bride and groom's spirit . I appreciate their desire to modify the Rituals and follow what their hearts proclaim is the truth of the day.

12th of August was Sheetla Saptami...Click:

20th of Aug is Parsi New Year. Click:

Smt. Jaya Row will be touring the US and UK to take the universal message of Vedanta to more people across the globe. If you have benefited from Vedanta and would like your family & friends in the US and UK to avail of it too, you might want to share Smt. Row's US/UK itinerary with them.
Below is a link that takes you to Smt. Jaya Row's itinerary:

12th of August was Sheetla Saptami...Click:

20th of Aug is Parsi New Year. Click:

Smt. Jaya Row will be touring the US and UK to take the universal message of Vedanta to more people across the globe. If you have benefited from Vedanta and would like your family & friends in the US and UK to avail of it too, you might want to share Smt. Row's US/UK itinerary with them.
Below is a link that takes you to Smt. Jaya Row's itinerary:

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The birth of Lord Krishna which we Hindus call Janamashtami falls on the 15th of August this year.
Krishna is the most worshipped deity as well as the most controversial one. We Hindus believe that Krishna was a true yogi. He did everything in life, but with total detachment. In fact, in the Gita, He states that there is nothing to be renounced in this world, but attachment to the senses and desires. Yet it seems He lived His life to a point of absurdity, marrying 16,108 women, stealing but­ter while he was a child and bothering and teasing the gopis (ladies) in the village.
However through His pranks, one message comes out clear-Love/Playfulness. His profound Intellect is proven later in the philosophy that He expounds to Arjuna on the battlefield, which Is known as the Bhagavad Gita.
In the Srimad Bhagavat. Krishna freed 16100 women who were Jarasandha’s prisoners. Jarasandha was planning to sacrifice them and Krishna gave them refuge. During those days women would consider it below, their dignity to live under the protection of a man unless they were married to him. Maybe that is the reason why Lard Krishna had to make them His wives.
Let us not forget that morality differs with time. What may have been perfectly ethical during those days may not be so today: but we have to live according to the rules prevailing during the age that we live in.
The symbolic aspect is that Krishna’s main wives were actually his two hands, two legs, two ears and two eyes. The rest of the 16,100 wives were the veins in His body. This means that just like a wife is (was? ;) supposed to be under the husband’s care and protection so was Sri Krishna the Lord of His sense organs to the extent of even being in control of the blood that flowed within His veins.
My notes are short and to the point. I love Krishna! Do get to know Him through my pen....ooops keyboard...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Raksha Bandhan
It is a beautiful festival and falls on the 9th of August this year...I say that because the date changes every year according to the Hindu calender...Raksha Bandhan transcends faiths it has Universal appeal...
Raksha means 'protection' This Raksha' is considered two-fold. The sister ties a colored thread called raakhi (like a friendship band) on the brother's wrist to remind him that he is to protect her during times of adversity, and it is believed that the sister protects her brother by virtue of the fact that she prays that her brother is always saved from harm's way always, and in every way. Indrani tied it on Lord Indra's wrist to protect him while He warred with the Demons...

Read more, click: