Category Archives: Did you know?!

Secret of Om Namah Shivaya revealed!

contd. from my last post

Next day, we woke up to a beautiful rainy morning making the place even more charged up and livelier. The weather was just perfect for us to start our day, though it continued raining. The driver took us to a ‘special’ mess, I don’t recollect the name though. It was a medium-sized room painted blue, with half its ceiling thatched, water dripping inside at intermittent places, with different sized tables and chairs, and there was no place to sit, so full of customers! The ‘wait’ers in the ‘special’ mess hardly knew anything about ‘customer’ service. šŸ™‚ So, we had to ‘wait’ till someone listened to us. But, when the breakfast was served, it was too tasty and was worth its ‘wait’. The kumbakonam ‘degree kaapee'(that’s how coffee @Kumbakonam is specially known) smelt and tasted so good, with the weather adding to it! I can smell kaapee as I type this…

After our ą¤Ŗą„‡ą¤Ÿ pooja, we set off to the Suryanarayanar : Sun God temple. Unlike other temples where the main deity is Lord Shiva, in this temple the main deity is the Sun god. But still, there was a place in the main shrine where there was Lord Shiva and Parvati. We got a little wet in the rain and felt cold as we waited in the queue.

Sri Suryanarayanar – Sun God

But, as we entered the shrine, we could feel the radiance of the Sun, the luster, the ‘soothing’ heat, seeing the Sun God was just magnificent! One more thing is that, the Guru (Planet Jupiter) stands just in front of Sun inside the shrine. It seems, this arrangement is so as to cool down the heat intensity of Sun’s rays. Even science says that the Jupiter absorbs all the harmful rays, the meteors, etc. from the space and protects the earth! šŸ™‚

Rahu, Serpent God at Thirunageshwaram

After this, we visited Sukran (Venus – the lord of prosperity), Chandiran (Moon – For Healthy Mind and body), Rahu (the North lunar node) and Guru (Jupiter) stalams. The Devi in Sukran temple shares my name ;-)! In each temple, we felt special and different – The Chandiran temple was so cooling and relaxing as expected; in the Thirunageshwaram temple for Rahu (Serpent God) – How the milk color changes to blue when poured on the deity is something to watch!

You can google and read a lot of interesting stories about these temples, instead of me CTRL C – CTRL Ving it here. šŸ˜‰ One of the main realization that I had was, Guruji always tells us to chant “Om Namah Shivaya” to waive away any negative effects that can happen due to the planetary positions and transitions. In all these temples, one thing that was common was that all the Planet Gods are said to have prayed to Lord Shiva for saving them from their curse. All these temples have been systematically built, with a shrine for Lord Shiva such that people will have to anyways chant the mantra when they get there! Nice!!? šŸ™‚

Also, in each temple, people light a lot of lamps, and it is said the planet Gods will do good to us if we do so. So, we too casually bought the lamps and lit in all the temples. For the first time, I felt so different after lighting the lamps in each temple; as if something in me got purified and nullified. Though lighting a lamp everyday at home is a trained habit from childhood, some realization happened in this trip. It not only purifies the surroundings, but also one’s self! You need to experience it to know it.

It said that the best days to go to each Navagraha-temple is on their day during the week. For Rahu and Ketu (North and South Lunar nodes), its Sunday and Tuesday respectively. But, even a weekend visit to these temples can get you an awesome experience! Just remember to sit, sing and meditate at least for few minutes in each temple instead of just rushing from one temple to another to complete the visit. šŸ™‚

Or…
Just sit back at your place and chant (Om Namah Shivaya)*108 times everyday and all Navagrahams will do us all Good!

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Guru Poornima

Today is Gurupoornima… Wish you all a Happy Gurupoornima!!! šŸ™‚

This is some of what I have heard on Gurupoornima –
A day
to feel completely grateful, to thank for whatever we have received,
to Thank all the Gurus of the past,
to know and feel that we are taken care of,
to be and make others happy, šŸ™‚
any Meditation today will reap benefits many fold!
to turn back and see how we have changed and developed in the past year. We assess what lessons we have learned. Itā€™s for reviewing ourselves in knowledge since our mind needs to be reminded again and again.

Enjoy yourself in blissful knowledge today!

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Just let itĀ beā€¦

Guruji tells this story in the knowledge tape “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”, it’s just too good to follow and has worked wonders for me :-). May be a known story, but wanted to share it with you all…

Once Buddha along with his disciples happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed a bullock cart crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!”

So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake and found the mud was settled a bit but still not fit for drinking. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.

After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it was crystal clear. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said,” See what you did to make the water clean…You just let it be….
and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water.”

Buddha continued “Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed…..just let it be… Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down… It will happen. It is effortless.”

Awesome right? But, many times what we (at least I used to šŸ˜‰ ) do is to take some important decision or shout immediately at someone just right at that moment, or do something that’s absolutely mindless, that will on a long term not be so good for us! When we allow our mind to settle down, things just happen on it’s own, and amazingly it will be the best that can happen to us. That’s my experience. You can check it out too!!! ( I can see you eyebrows raised when you read this Prasanna, YES… I am Om Shanti Shanti Shanti now, so I can share this! šŸ˜‰ ).

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Akshaya Tritiya

All that I knew about this day was if we buy any gold or purchase any property, it will grow many fold in the coming months. Few days back I happened to read this article from Bharath gyan on Rishimukh magazine about Akshaya trithiya.

Some interesting things were stated :

This particular day, it seems :

1. Treta yuga started
2. Sun and Moon are seen the brightest best from the west coast of India
3. Is the birthday of Parashurama, who is considered the 6th avatar of Vishnu
4. Veda Vyasa started dictating his family biography called Jaya, which is known to us as Mahabharata

But, if we take the word ‘Akshaya’, it means something that never diminishes(Akshaya paatra sounds familiar right?!) and can be attributed to endless limitless provision of food, wealth and prosperity, that never diminishes. ‘Tritiya’ refers that it’s the 3rd day after amavaasya(new moon day).

Bhageeratha prayatna

As we can see, the reasons above cannot be considered as reasons for today being called as “Akshaya tritiya”… So that “something else” that has happened was – it seems this day, long long time ago, Bhageeratha, an ancient king of the Surya vamsha, by his extraordinary efforts, cut through the rocks in the upper Himalayas and brought the waters of Ganga this side to give unending prosperity to his land, kingdom and people. Whatever route that we have seen the river Ganga take, is actually man made and was accomplished by Bhageeratha. That’s why Ganga is also referred to as ‘Bhageeratha prayatnam’ and is herself called ‘Bhageerathi’ :-). It is this event of bringing prosperity with the waters, that has been commemorated with Akshaya tritiya day.

I Loved this line that they had stated in the article – “Gold and Platinum are only a ‘result’ of prosperity and not the ’cause’ of prosperity. Unending water supply is the ’cause’ of prosperity.” Very true right?! If not for our water resources, it would have been extremely challenging or impossible for us to exist!

It can be considered that this day should have been celebrated by us every year to recollect the efforts of our forefathers to make this a better and prosperous place to live in. But, through the years, we have lost the significance and Ganga is now being polluted by all means and we only remember the Gold and Platinum! A better way to celebrate, rather than just buying gold would be to safeguard our resources, our planet in whatever means we can – plant a tree (ask me and join us on June 5th), stop polluting water, lessen the usage of plastic bags or better may be to stop using them, or anything to protect our Planet, so that generations to come can remember us for doing good šŸ™‚ and not end up cursing us! What say?!

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About this year…

As I had told that I would tell more about this year in my previous post, though it’s been sometime, here it goes…

Like 12 months come in cycles every year and each have a specific name, there are 60 years in our Indian calender, which come in cycles too. Each year has a specific name and amazingly, its meaning has something to do with how, if we live in that year, our problems get minimal and all good things get Maximised in that year… yeah, ancient Indians were really brilliant, if you thought otherwise, it’s time you change :-)!!!

Am not an astrologer nor a predictor… But, this is what I heard from Swami Suryapaada / Chayanna for this year – called “ą¤µą¤æą¤•ą„ƒą¤¤ą¤æ” / “VIKRUTI” šŸ™‚ –

Some tips for this year that he shared with us in a satsang and that I remember are (definitely not verbatim and some words are translated)-

Vikruti (meaning distortion) can be of either of the 3 types –
Distortion in Speech(ą¤µą¤¾ą¤•ą„), Action(ą¤•ą¤°ą„ą¤®), Feelings(ą¤­ą¤¾ą¤µ). This year, it’s better to speak only when needed, if you are not needed to speak in some situation, it’s better to keep silence. Usually we get into some gossip with somebody or the other. This will directly affect our feelings. Because somebody said something which is not so pleasant, and we also responded to it, we get upset, angry, etc. Even a lie is not kept in its pure form when it moves from one person to other. Isn’t it? If we can only avoid the unnecessary gossips, it will be good for us. So, firstly, say “wrong number” to gossips :-P. Also, we need to take care that our actions & feelings are kept in their pure form. Sadhana will keep the calmness of mind,i.e, bring purity in feelings. Being more in seva, (meaning doing good for others in short) we can maintain the purity in our actions.

Guruji also says in one of the knowledge sheets that we can attain perfection in speech through satsang(good company), in action by doing seva, in feelings though sadhana. Though whatever stated above is relevant all the time, it’s specially applicable this year. It makes so much sense for me this year, as each and everday I get reminded of this when I engage myself in some conversation or the other, which is absolutely not relevant and get back to the 3 “S”s to ą¤øą¤¾ą„ž the “S.A.F.”! šŸ™‚

P.S. : If you did not get my last sentence, read the post again from start! šŸ˜‰

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Margazhi Thingal – The Month of Margazhi

The Tamil month Margazhi (Dhanur masa in Sanskrit), spanning from the mid-December to mid-January is regarded to be the early morning for the day of the devas and devis. Every month in Indian calendar has something special, but this one is super special – this is one of the months to get ourselves involved in spiritual quest instead of getting bothered about the mundane things. It’s special to all devas and devis, but very much known for Aandal (said to be one of the incarnations of Lakshmi) and her Thiruppavai. My mom used to tell the stories of Aandal during school days – how she did a cute penance for these 30 days, told out the Thiruppavai, and got to merge with Lord Narayana with her Supreme love. Everyone in the family used to chant the Thiruppavai early in the morning, so anyways, if you are at home, you have to wake up!
One very exciting thing about the month is you get amazing tasty yummy steaming hot prasadams, that’s perfect for the chill weather, in almost all temples in South India, early in the morning.:-) So, one thing that I used to do when I was in school is to get up in the morning, help my mom put kolam in front of the house (my mom and sis might disagree to this;-) ) , go to the nearby temples, one after another, collecting prasadams! šŸ˜› By the way, it used to make my parents extremely happy and I used to get a lot of goodies in return, which added on to my interest in waking up early (at least most of the days! šŸ˜‰ ).
*In this month very elaborate and intricate artistic patterns – we call it “Kolam” – are drawn at entrance of all houses. Most of the roads, atleast in Tamilnadu looks spic and span and fully decorated. This can be definitely seen on every road if you go into any village in Tamilnadu. All the houses will have lamps lit at the entrance.
One of amma’s Kolams
During this month we have the music festival, all the concert halls will have top to newĀ carnatic artists performing. Apart from this, groups of people along with manyĀ childrenĀ come on the roads with dolak, nadaswaram, mridangam singing the hyms ofĀ  the divine and would stop in front of each house(we call them bhajana ghostis).Ā  On the last day of the month, we have the procession of Aandal and Rangamannar(Lord Narayana), nicely decorated and broughtĀ in front of every house šŸ™‚ – More like a reception after their wedding.
Aandal with Narayana on a procession in front of our house
Ā Vaikunta ekadashi, Thiruvadurai (again wait for the yummy “kaLi with kootuprasadam on this day) and Hanumath Jayanti are the famous festivals in this month.
What makes me feel so proud in this is how in our culture, spirituality was induced through various means of art, food (yummy prasadams) right from the childhood and naturallyĀ got good habits in us! Over the years, this tradition has definitely seen a set back. It’s indeed very sad that nowadaysĀ very few parentsĀ know of these themselves. Most of them are busy thinking about how to manage the family, worried about various things andĀ fail to tellĀ their kids on our culture! Little do they know that all these not only add life into our living, but makes life much more easier even with a little amountĀ of spiritual quiotent addedĀ to our life.
I do miss those daysĀ when I used to be in Chennai, going to the 4-5 temples, but thanks to theĀ habit inducedĀ right from my childhood – it’s changed to doing group sadhana these days šŸ˜‰ early in the morning(though its much more challenging for the cold Bangalore weather)! Group of us get together and meditate and do kriya, listen to some nice knowledge! It used to beĀ seeing the divine onlyĀ outside, but now,Ā itsĀ not only confined to seeing the divine outside, but also within! Isn’t that so cool?!

PS: This year, Gurudev has inaugurated a super serene Ganeha, Lakshmi Narayana, Devi temples in Sri Sri Gurukul, next to theĀ Art of Living Bangalore ashram – felt it was done so that I don’t miss the long missed temple ritual ;-).

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My (official) name — Karpagavalli

I am officially called KarpagavalliĀ and at home calledĀ Bhargavi… The scope of this postĀ is limitedĀ to my official name. šŸ™‚

Most of the times when people who are not from TamilnaduĀ hear my name, I am oftenĀ asked what it means orĀ hearĀ comments like “what?!! Its sounds more like name of aĀ  place / village like “Tiruchirapalli, Bommanahalli, UttarahalliĀ … ”Ā  *don’t they know theĀ difference between p, h and v???!!*

So thoughtĀ to write a post on it clearing the doubts and to direct all those who ask me for the meaning to this! šŸ™‚

There was a time when I used to feel very bad about myĀ parents naming me so… Ā for it being very long , sounding village-like(Ā “pattikaadu” types), unfashionable,Ā for many not able to pronounce itĀ since I was broughtĀ up in a Metropolitan city.. *ahem ahem*… many did and still do end up calling me by various short forms – ‘KK’ (the second K stands for my dad’s name – Krishnamurthy)Ā being the most used since my college days, ‘KV’ by some, ‘Karpu’ by my school friends…Ā  Also, I used to get angry if they did not get my name when I tell them, I know… I was so dumb! šŸ˜‰

Nowadays,Ā IĀ feel very proud of my name because of many MANY reasons (I need to creditĀ  YES!+ and The Art of Living in my life here)…

First being… many have told me that they say my name outĀ  loudĀ several times before going to bed to memorizeĀ it! šŸ™‚ Next day they used to come to me and proudly say out my name to me and feel so great that they pronounced it right!Ā Even my x-German managers(when I used to work with Bosch)Ā actually got the pronunciation right and used toĀ call me only by my full name!!!

Secondly… There’s hardly anyone who has my name! šŸ˜‰ 1 in a 1000 or say 10000!!! Was the only one in Bosch, now the 2nd in Art of Living.. but the one and only in YES!+ team !!! šŸ˜‰

Okay, coming back to what it means and why I was named so…

It’s theĀ name of Parvati deviĀ in very few temples in Tamilnadu, the famous one being the KapaleeshwararĀ KarpagambalĀ temple, located atĀ the place I was born – Mylapore, Chennai, TamilnaduĀ … The deviĀ is calledĀ KarpagambalĀ or Karpagavalli. The deviĀ is saidĀ to beĀ the goddessĀ of the wish fullfillingĀ tree “KarpagavrukshaĀ / Kalpavruksha”Ā — which is the celestial tree that grants all the wishes of the devotees!!!

There are also many songs on theĀ deviĀ in Tamil… Famous ones being, “KarpagavalliĀ ninĀ porpadangalĀ pidithen”, “KarunaiĀ deivameĀ Karpagame” and so on…

The secondĀ reason to name me so was because, at leastĀ in South India, we have the custom to name the grandchildren with his/ her grandparent’s name. My maternal grandma’sĀ name was Karpagam, hence… the story šŸ™‚

Finally,Ā Ā with all the knowledge I have gotĀ from the Art of Living Ā it’s now become “what’s in a name!?”!!! šŸ™‚ So, you can call me whatever you want, if I know that you are referring to me, I’ll surely respond!Ā  But remember, every timeĀ you call me by my fullĀ name you are calling the wish-fulfillingĀ devi !!!

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