Thursday, October 12, 2017

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY- THIRD QUARTER--AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2017

THOUGHT FOR  THE DAY- THIRD QUARTER--AUGUST & SEPTEMBER 2017




THOUGHT FOR THE DAY-- THIRD QUARTER, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER, 2017
AUGUST 2017

DETACH FROM SAMSARA AND SEEK THE GOAL
 Is There Jadha Bharata in Us? By Pujya Swami Chidanandaji
'Attachment' has always been regarded as the main factor preventing our ascent to divinity, return to our 'spiritual home' and realizing our true nature. The story of Jada Bharata illustrates how even a very learned man could get stuck with an unbearable sense of attachment to a new-born young one of a deer. It seems everyone of us is akin to Jada Bharata. Attachment to persons, to institutions, or even to social causes can postpone the breaking of our worldly ties. This webinar will examine the nature of our psyche that keeps us tied down to samsāra, even as the prospect of liberation is just around the corner!
 "asanga-shastrena dridhena chittvā..."
 Cutting the tree of samsāra with the firm weapon of detachment..." Geetā 15.3
 Swami Chidananda draws our attention to these two slokas in Bhagavad Gita to his above message:
Na roopasyeha tathopalabhyate naanto na chadir-na cha sampratishthaa |
Asvatthamenam suviroodhamoolam asanga-sastrena dridhena cchitvaa ||
Tatah padam tatparimaargitavyam  yasmin gataa na nivartanti bhooyah|
Tam-eva chaadyam purusham prapadye yatah pravrittih prasritaa puranee || (15—3 to 4)
Its (asvattha’s) form  as such is not experienced here, nor its end nor its beginning nor its continuity.     Having severed this deep-rooted Asvattha tree   with the weapon of   non –attachment, one should next seek the goal reaching which they do not return, saying, “I take refuge in that primordial Purusha  from whom this eternal process has sprung”.
The real form of this Asvattha tree cannot be understood in this material world. Since the root is upwards the extension of the real tree is at the other end. No one can see how far the tree extends nor can see the beginning of this tree. Yet an enquiring mind can find out the cause.  In Sankalpa Religious resolution)   by pronouncing   nakshatra,  tithi, date etc., we  connect ourselves  to the beginning of times  and know how far the world has come at that moment. Similarly by Gotra by analysis we can connect to Brahma, the creator. Finally in this way we reach to the Supreme personality or Godhead through the association of  persons   who are in the knowledge   of that Supreme Personality. Then by understanding Brahman one becomes gradually detached from tis false reflection   of reality, and by the knowledge one can cut off the connection and actually become located in the real tree. Bhagavan says in Bhagavad Gita among trees I am Asvattah.
The word Asanga is very important. Before that we should know what our attachments are   which Swamiji has explained.  Our attachment for sense objects and lording over   the material nature is very strong. Therefore we must learn detachment by discussion of spiritual science based on authorities of scriptures (svadhyaaya) and we must hear from persons like Swami  (sadguru).  As a result of such discussions in the association of devotees (satsanga) one comes to the vicinity of Supreme Personality. Therefore to get out of the entanglement of this strong Asvattah tree of material life one must surrender to the Supreme (Saranagati). Once you surrender you become detached automatically.
Perhaps you may like to learn more about this mysterious tree. Please go through my detailed discourse on the subject:
--August 31, 2017
HINDU CONFUSIONISM AND OUR IGNORANT OR CONFUSED WORSHIP
I would like to draw your particular attention to the following sloka in Gita: “Yanti devavrataa devaan pitrun yanti prituvrataha|bhootaani yanti bhootejyaa yaanti mad-yaajino -api vaa  ||
  The worshipers of the gods to  go to the gods ,  the worshipers of the manes (pitrus)  go to the manes, the worshipers of the spirits go to the spirits, and MY (GOD) worshipers  come to ME. Who is this ME and who are  these devavratas? Are you clear about it?  Who are pitru devatas? What are Bhootas? Why Ganesaha be referred as Bhootaganadi Sevitam? Do you have answer? 
If this  Gita sloka is properly understood  with the explanation of Swami Prabhupada  and MNU  mantras we will have no  confusion in our worship of deities like Ganesha, Kartikeya, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, Swminarayana,  Saibaba, Navagraha etc., and   what  I repeatedly say and which is also repeatedly misunderstood as if I am against the worship of these deities. Bhagavdgita also does not stop you from worshiping these deities but says the end results are different. It also depends on what your goal is. But you should be clear in your prayers as  to where you are  led to by your prayers   and what  you can expect  and not live in false hopes!  Why are you disappointed by your prayers? We alone are responsible as we are not clear about what we do?

Mahanarayana Upanishad makes a distinction between Deva and devatas and says DEVO EKAH--he Supreme Being, Brahman, Paramatman is ONE without any second (adviteeyam).  Its panchabrahma Mantras, Daharavidya etc are directed to that DEVA. Then there are  Mantras  to various  Devatas like Aditya Devataa mantrah, Bhoo-devataa ka mantrah, Sarvaadevataa mantrah, Vaisvadevataa mantrah etc.

"First let us understand the system of Supreme Being’s (Deva’s control), and then everything will become clear. The Vedic texts describe 330 million devatas, or universal controllers, but we should not confuse these beings with DEVA  or GOD.  GOD  is beyond the purview of the material universe. The devatas are controllers of various aspects of nature within the material realm. For example, the scriptures describe a personality named Agni who is in charge of the element of fire. Likewise, there is the description of the personality named Indra who controls the rain. And finally there is the greatest personality Siva (Maha-deva) who is in charge of material destruction. All of these controllers (ishvaras) belong to God’s natural system of material administration. Within the material realm God has arranged a hierarchy of control for automatic administration of nature. Each of these personalities (numbering 330 million) can be called a controller (ishvara) as they are each in charge of a particular aspect of nature. They are actually secondary controllers. It is exactly like a government that has many levels of control, such as Prime Minister (national controller), Chief Minister (state controller) and District Magistrate (district controller). To an uneducated person, the District Magistrate is supreme. If one gets his blessings, any governmental work one needs to get done will be accomplished. But he is only supreme within his district. Above him there is a higher controller, who controls the entire state. If one surrenders to the state controller and receives his blessings, one need not fear the district controller. Thus one may think the Chief Minister of a state is actually supreme. But above him is the Prime Minister, who controls the entire country. According to one’s level of knowledge, one will identify a particular level of supremacy. But factually there is only one supreme authority situated above all others. 'From the highest planet in the material world, Brahma Loka, down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place'. But one who attains My abode never takes birth again( BrahmaSamhita). This is the definition of God. He must be situated beyond time. The higher controlling devatas (Agni, Ganesha, Subrahmanya, etc.) have a life span of one kalpa (4,320,000,000 years). Brahma, the topmost material entity, has a life span equal to the life of the universe."--Says Swami Prabhupada of ISKCON. I quote Prabhupada for you would not agree the same stuff coming from an insignificant person with no saffron robe. I  would say even Swamiji has misunderstood Koti which means one Crore as well as Kind. But ISKCON people will be against me up with arms.  But Koti=kind will remove all misunderstandings and stop blaming puranas or resorting to a grand exposition of deities, rituals and worship! You now know why I ask you to meditate on Brahman and not on Devatas and spend all time in Kindergarten and  not spiritually progress!  
You will have a clear picture   when I bring to your attention a detailed discourse quoting freely from Vedas and Bhagavadgita. If you do not read it is your misfortune not mine! I am sending this message  as you generally go to my Blog to read  through my long discourses which are an encyclopedia on the subject and meant for your periodic reference!
Unfortunately though MNU clarified Deva and devatas we find often these terms are mixed  and indiscriminately used and the  reference to Deva or devata is left to our discretion according to context. This is so even in Bhagavad Gita as you see from the above text. You will be more convinced as you read through the explanation of Sami Prabhupada. The word GOD in English is Deva  in Sanskrit that is  Supreme Being or Paramatman, made up from three English letters G,O and D,    where G stands     Generation, O for Operation and D for Dissolution that is the  One and Only Creator, Sustainer and Dissolver.  It is the ONE that takes these three roles to play; As Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Sustainer and Siva the Destroyer. In Christianity they believe in One god and therefore it is well understood. While God could be ideal translation for Deva, unfortunately we have to translate devi and devatas also as gods and   goddesses  that brings in lot of confusion in our understanding of spiritual  and religious discourses. One way to overcome this is to write  the word god in all Capitals as GOD when we refer to Brahman or Paramatman or Supreme Spirit.  In the above sloka Devavratah means those who worship devatas and not Deva. ME refers to Bhagavan or GOD. But who can make a rule and  implement it for everybody’s compliance.  So you have to  live with the confusion  and use your discretion to  understand the context.  
Can anyone tell me why we deify Kama (passion) and Manyu (desire) in Kamokarsheet Mantra and also do homa to those  deities? We also have a Manrtra Alaksmi Swaha! Are vedas Stupid ? Why did Puranas made our famous EKADANTA Vighnaraja and run to him to remove obstacles?  Siva did not make ekadaanta? What he created   was Gajanana with two tusks.  But Puranas did and went on justifying it and glorifying it! Sankara only said__ Anekadam Tam bhaktaanaam Ekadam Tam upasmahe! Why did Vedas  not prescribe a mantra Nirvighnaaya Swaha? I would be grateful for your explanation? I know why I did Kamokarsaheet homa and why I prescribed to you also. I  know  why I pray to 1-33 odd numbers and also 4, 8. 12........48 and just stop. I don't have to repeat Chamakam 108 times without understanding?
It is natural that you get different picture when you read from different religious and spiritual authors and get confused? But I am neither a Religious Pundit nor a Spiritual Guru to guide you. You should know what makes sense to you and what is good for you!
--August 31, 2017

A MOMENT TO THINK, SPEAK AND ACT ALIKE WITH HATRED TOWARDS NONE
I have pleasure in presenting to you couple of highly philosophical and spiritual gems of lyrics in Kannada composed by a doctor friend of mine. Those of you who do not understand Kananda get the help from your   Kannada friends. I had the unique life time opportunity of watching the total solar eclipse and the whole world going dark just for about 2 minutes bringing total darkness after presenting a huge diamond ring around a dark circle when all people watching shouted with one voice “behold! The brightest diamond ring of Almighty God  coming from heaven and revealing to us” Those that watched got a feeling that he/she has seen Brahman Himself in the darkness  and as if the Earth was waving the lamp (aarati) to reveal the divine ring.  Alasa! It was all momentary and for few seconds, a rare opportunity for the fortunate in their   lifetime! Who knows who will live to watch the next full solar eclipse and the divine diamond ring? As I was watching this exciting event for which I had no words to express a strange thought flashed in my mind. This was one rare event when all eyes were fixed on one Universal God and an opportunity to watch his divine ring thinking about nothing else! Why then can’t we live so united, so focused  and  thoughtful  to live in peace and harmony for ever like that?  I was also reminded of the Vedic Mantras:
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” whole world is one family standing together;
Sangacchadhvam sam vadadhvam sam vo manaamsi jaanataam/ devaa bhaagam yathaa purve sanjanaana upaasate // (X-191-20)
Come together! Speak together! Let our minds be all of one accord like the divines that sat togetheer in the past in harmony to worship.
 Samaano mantra: samiti: samaani samaanam mana: saha chittamesam / samaanam mantramabhi mantraye va: samaanena vo havisha juhomi  //(X-191-3)
Let our speech be one; united be our voices! May our minds be in union with the thoughts of the wise people!  Sharing a common purpose; we worship as one.
  Sahanavavatu sahanau bhunaktu sahaveeryam karavaavahi, naavadheetamastu maa vidvishaavahai om santih; santih; santih
 May  Him protect us! May He bless us with bliss of Knowledge! Let us exert together! May what we study be well studied! May we not quarrel with each other! May there be Peace within! Peace in the outside world! Peace of God that passes all understanding!

ಆಗಸದ ಅಂಗಳದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಗುವ ವಿಧಿಯಾಟವಯ್ಯಾ/
ಕಾಣದ ಕೈಗಳು ಆಡಿಸುವ ಗೊಂಬೆಯಾಟವಯ್ಯಾ/
ಅಂಬರದ ಸಭಾಂಗಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಗುವ ಕಣ್ಣುಮುಚ್ಚಾಲೆ/
ಕಾಣದ ಕೈಗಳು ನೆಡೆಸುವ ದೇವಲೋಕದ ಲೀಲೆ/
 ಹಗಲಲಿ ಸೂರ್ಯನು ಬೆಳಗುವನು ಬುವಿಯಾ/
ಚೆಲ್ಲಿ ತನ್ನ ಕಿರಣಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಕಾಶಿಸುವನು ಪೃಥ್ವಿಯ
ಇರುಳಲಿ ಚಂದ್ರನು ಚೆಲ್ಲುವನು ಮುಗುಳ್ನಗೆಯಾ/
ತಾರೆಗಳ ಜೊತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಳಗಿಸುವನು ನಿಶೆಯಾ/
 ಮನುಜರ ಗಮನವನು ಸೆಳೆಯಲು ದೇವನು ಸೃಜಿಸುವನು/
ಸಡಗರ ಸಂಭ್ರಮದ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳನ್ನು ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಲ್ಪಿಸುವನು/
ಎಚ್ಚರಿಸಿ ಮಾನವನ ಚಿತ್ತವನು,ತನ್ನ ಇರುವಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಜ್ಞಾಪಿಸಲು/
ಆಹ್ವಾನಿಸುವುನು ಭುವಿ ರವಿ ಶಶಿ ಗ್ರಹಗಳನ್ನು ಆಟಗಳ ಆಡಿಸಲು/
 ಚಲಿಸುವ ಚಂದಿರನು ನಲಿಯುತ ಬರುವನು ಅಮಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ/
ತಿಳಿದೂ ತಿಳಿಯದೆಯೋ ಭಾಸ್ಕರನ ಭುವಿಗಳ ಪಥದಲ್ಲಿ/
ಸೂರ್ಯನಿಗೆ ಅಡ್ಡತೆರೆಯಾಗಿ ಕಾವಳ ತರುವನು ಹಗಲಲ್ಲಿ/
ಗಡಿಬಿಡಿ ಗೊಂದಲ ಮಾಡಿ ಮುಂದೆ ಸಾಗುವನು ಕ್ಷಣಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ/
 ಕತ್ತಲೆಯ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣುವನು ದೇವನು ಎಲ್ಲರ ಚಿತ್ತದಲ್ಲಿ/
              ನಂಬಿಕೆಯ ನಾವೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಯುವರು ಮನುಜರು ಭರವಸೆಯಲ್ಲಿ/
ಕಾಣುವನು ದೇವನು ಕತ್ತಲ ಕರಿ ತುರುಬಿನ ವಜ್ರದುಂಗುರದಲ್ಲಿ/
ತುಂಬಿ ತುಳುಕುವುದು ದೈವ ಭಕ್ತಿ ಎಲ್ಲರ ಮನದಲ್ಲಿ, ಹೃದಯದಲ್ಲಿ
ಹಗಲಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುಳಾಗುವುದು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ, ದೇವನು ಇರುವುದು ಸಾಧ್ಯವೇ/
 ದೈವಿಕ ಕ್ಷಣಗಳು ಕಾಣುವುದು ಕಣ್ಣುಗಳಿಗೆ ಸ್ಮರಿಸಲು ದೇವನ/
ಸೂತ್ರದಾರನ ಮನೋಗತ ರೂಪಿಸುವುದು ಮಾನವನ ಜೀವನ/
ಸಂಶಯವೇಕೆ ಸಂದೇಹವೇಕೆ ದೇವನ ಇರುವಿಕೆಯ ಸ್ಪಂದನ/
ಮೂಢಮತಿಗಳು ಮರೆಯದಿರಿ ದೇವನಿಗೆ ಮಾಡಲು ನಮನ/
 ಸೂರ್ಯಗ್ರಹಣ ಆಗಸದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಗುವ ಅಸಾಧಾರಣದ ಪ್ರಮೇಯ /
ಸಮಯ ಅಸಮಯವಿಲ್ಲ ದೇವನಿಗೆ ತೋರಲು ತನ್ನ ಮಾಯ/
ವಿಶ್ವವ್ಯಾಪಿಯಾ ಸಂಭವ, ಅರಿವು ಮಾಡುವುದು ಬದುಕು ತಾತ್ಕಾಲಿಕ/
ವಿದಿಯಾಡುವ ವಿನ್ಯಾಸದ ವೈವಿದ್ಯತೆ ಜೀವನ ಬಾಳು ಕ್ಷಣಿಕ/

 --August 26, 2017

 
20 FT GANESHA MURTI CONSECRATION IN LORTON VA USA—My most cxontroversial E-Mail

This was my most intriguing E-mail which was  more misunderstood  than understood by Ganapati Bappa Merry Makers who spend lot of money and time which could very well be directed to good causes as Tirupati Temple does. I am sure you  many of you might have misunderstood me too!


20 FT GANESHA MURTI CONSECRATION IN LORTON VA USA
Sant Gupta of HMEC forwarded  a program display of  20ft Sri Ganesh  Murthi Consecration and the  associated cultural events at  Ganesha Temple  Loral, VA  probably claiming to be the tallest Ganesha in   the whole of USA. I  got little amused by the remarks of Sant Gupta of HMEC  “PLEASE do not ‘IDOL’ to Describe Ganesh Murti; instead, use Deity”.  If you go  through the E mail sent by the temple,  you will come to the conclusion that Sant  Gupta mistook  the word IDOL  in two ads “Indian  Idol” and “Indian Idol Finalist” that was meant for a cultural event  as  referring to consecration  of Sri Ganesha Murti or masde  a pun on the word Idol.  Instead of clearing his misunderstanding or seeking clarification I took advantage of the situation to express my views  also  in a lighter  vein.  I made it look as if he was criticizing the much fun-fare attached to such a serious religious ceremony of consecration by including Indian Idol Show which they could have circulated separately without combining together under their Cutural Society Program! Anyhow that is always the Indian way of religious worship with very little spiritual focus on such  occasions  to  attract maximum  crowd.
 “Myth and popularity of Ganesha amazes me! He is the right "Idol" presented to Hindus by Siva and Parvati  because we have lost all touch with Vedic wisdom  and gone to Kindergarten level in understanding the wisdom of Vedas. Skanda the alternate choice who is hailed in Ramayana and glorified in Vedas as Sanat Kumar, accepted by all religions at one time  and who even taught Narada Bhuma Vidya in Chhandogya is not found ideal or Idol for the Kindergarten Education we all need. Ganesha brings in  lot of fun with his man-elephant demeanor! Could Hayagriva the earliest man-Horse could have done that job with his highest intellect,  “Jnananandamayam devam"?  Could Man-lion Narasimha could have done the job though he was melted downby Prahlada  and assumed the form of Lakshmi Narasimha? I doubt very much! To avoid competition Siva tore him down as we learn in Puranas in his Sarabhavatara. ?
It is seems Hindus need some sort of Man-animal   combination to come out of Man-animal state in spiritual evolution about which I will talk soon. I understand we have to pass through Man-stone Man-plant, Man-animal, Man-Man stages to attain Super manhood for spiritual evolution!   Here again there is Siva-Vishnu conflict. So Saivites win! Visvaksena goes to background though Vaishnavites pushed him hard!  I can’t believe Rudra   cut an elephant's head to carry out the surgery after beheading Parvatis’s private guard in a fit of anger and make that live!  He should have got one of the Vishvaksena elephant-man   to convince Parvarti that was her guard after a surgery for his replacement of head!He could have very well fixed the cut off man’s head!  So Ganeshah is very ideal or "idol" for our Kindergarten education. That poses a problem for we need a nursery deity for our children. Can Ganesha's mouse fulfill that role? I congratulate Loran, Va High intellectuals in arranging a week long Ganesha fun-fare  and grand Ganapati Bappa Moria ceremony. I prefer Kindergarten education to indifference or atheism! I  I still recall how I got attracted to Ganesha as a child in Karnataka by the week long Ganesha celebration. Kids use to run around shouting "Ganesha Banda, kaikadubu tanda"  Ganesha has arrived with his sweet pudding during Ganesha Chaturthi week. I too joined the fun. There was lot of fun and frolic! I have still not got out of that food attraction seeing Modakahsta Ganesah!  Ganesha Temple does not disappoint me for there is too much competition   for Modka garlands. I am lucky as   Ganesha here is the largest and so is Modaka garland. I won't miss my share! My only regret is why Ganesha temple in Nashville has not arranged such fun-fare? May be they are in primary school as they have Bal Vihar for kids!
 Wish you all a happy Ganesha Chaturthi and Modaka Festival! You recently enjoyed Hanuman  Vadamala fesatival! Modaka is sweet unlike pepper Vada! Ganesha is Great!”

Comments Received and my reply
 C) I beg your pardon - I am not sure I understood the intended message of your commentary - some of which I am not quite sure I agree with. A few comments inline.

“I am not sure the Hindu deities are up to a beauty/popularity contest. They are created by mankind for their own benefit. Like everything else, popularity of deities/temples/etc also wax and wane due to time. There is no myth about it. If we talk about mythology, there are plenty of it in Hinduism - but we seek the purport behind the myth rather than myth itself.

When God is one presenting in multiple forms, there is no question of alternate choice - it is Hobson's choice. Just because Skanda's glory is mentioned in Ramayana does not mean he supercedes his brother Vinayaka. Rama's forefathers (Ikshvaku) did penance on Lord Vinayaka to get the grace of Lord Vishnu their kuladaiva. In puranas, you always see the statement "there is no god greater than x y z" - which, in true sense, is a meaningless statement, though intended to increase the attachment of the devotee

Again, there is no competition between Siva and Vishnu - these are pure later-day concoctions and bull shit. SharabhAvatar is to bring Narasimhavatar to a close as the end-result has been achieved. But it is a moot point whether the Ultimate Parabrahman, Narasimha or Sharabha, will get engulfed in Tamasa/Rajasa and wander uncontrollably. There must be a different hidden meaning for these. I feel it is not right to take such things literally. For example, Veda means knowledge and it should be formless. If that is so, how can it be hidden inside an ocean (of all the places) as if it is a physical manifest. And why should it be a horse phase, why not something else? Why not go as a man himself? If Lord Narayana himself is Veda (vedam sAxAt nArAyaNaH paraH), and he himself instructs Brahma in every kalpa, where is the need to go and find it when He himself is the one to be found? So, all these must be metaphors - deity forms, vahanas, etc

Lord Vighneshwara is the Mooladhara Murthy - not kindergarten deity. Even Vaishnavite texts like Narada Pancharatram hails Lord Vighneshwara as the first-worshipped. I have never found any reference to Vishvaksena in Puranas, though Iyengars found him. For that matter, all deity worships are at the kindergarten level of spirituality but people have to go through an evolution. Swami Omkarananda put this very nicely in a lecture - "if you ask me whether 5th standard is good or MBA good, my question to you will be "to whom?". For a person who is in 2nd standard 5th standard is better and he can't get MBA straight even if he wants to. Textual knowledge of Vedas/Upanishads/Tantras does not give AnubhUti and Anubhuti comes through spiritual evolution and with the true grace of a preceptor (genuine preceptor). All moorthy forms vanish when equanimity of all beings dawns - it is easier said than done. All shashtras, worship methodologies, etc. become useless after the evolution crosses that stage. So, everything is required for those qualifying people”

 Mr.  Muralidharan is on my mailing list and he can find answers to many of his questions and so I did not elaborate as  it is futile.  Further none else felt and commented like him  though there are number of Ganesha devotees as participants including myself   and I have written so much on him. But the worship pattern and the focus on mythological and fun part as well as misinterpreting Veda mantras for glorifying him is disappointing like Gananatva. If it is all right why that mantra is not used on all other deities?  My short reply was  as follows:
 Thanks for your enlightenment.  I am educated on the subject being ignorant of Purans. I read every year Ramayana with full understanding; Ikshvaku's kuladaiva is Jagannatha and Srirama recommended that to Vibhishana-- "Aradhaya Jaganntham " Anyhow I do not understand too much about puranas and puranic stories.   My discourse on Viswaksena is in the blog which is most popular with world audience. I did not have one adverse comment. Temple traditions do not do pranapratishtha to  any  mutilated deity. Since Ganapati Gana broke his trunk to hurl at Sun or write Mahabharata as given in Puranas religiously serious people have taken to worship   original  Ganapati Gana  as Vishwaksena  hailed in VSN who is Ganesha. This story breaking tusk in anger is a myth and then celebrate as Ekadanta is also not appropriate overriding pranapratishtha for this one deity as   exception.   Why should God be associated with anger in meaningless provocations? Why are we upset when we call all this myth and exaggeration? Why do we need such exaggerations if we are not at kindergarten level? How long should we remain at kindergarten level as Vivekananmda said? What education are we conveying here with such stories? In Tirupati before Brahmotsava starts Vishvaksena and Garuda are   taken in procession first to supervise the arrangements and ward of evil. Since you are very deeply involved in Purans I have no comments to offer but to listen and get myself corrected. I always circulate your wisdom thoughts whenever I receive one.  I am happy you are appreciating the Ganesh Mela in Va.  I do not also believe in  “33 Koti devargal"  (Periyava also quoted  this) which I have clearly explained as  propaganda for 33 kinds of devatas helping ekodevah in administering the vast universe  that are 11 Rudras, 12 Adityas , 8 Vasus , Indra, Prajapati and Asvin,.
I draw your kind attention to the following questions You raised after a your two agonizing  E-Mails torn out of contest and understanding though you have been my participant for quite some time   in which communications you have all the answers to your  misunderstandings.
1. Ganesha is an inferior god suitable for kindergarten people in spirituality and for fun. 
2. Vedas do no prescribe Ganesha worship
3. Perhaps Skanda is superior and alternate choice God as he is extolled in Ramayana.
I am neither provoked nor upset nor feel obliged to answer you as you can find answers in all recent postings. I am pained to see the use of American abusive slang in your e-mail   which I don’t like to repeat that shocked me coming from a religious scholar to whom I had all respect! If you have not read them it will be futile to waste time on it. Your particular attention is drawn to my discourses Vedanta is the religion of the future and Uncommon Understanding of the Unknown.
 My E mail was to  forward  the message of Sant Gupta of Hindu Mandir Executive Council which he often sends echoing his thoughts on the subject matter of Consecration Ceremony in VA where the sacred ceremony had turned into fanfare and fun-fare including INDIA IDOL show besides others.    I had just focused on it as Kindergarten approach,   again reflecting the thoughts of Swami Vivekananda in his Chicago speech where he said the current practices    of Hindu religion are at that level and also said Uttishtata jagrata which I had referred several times. I have nowhere said Ganesha is an inferior God; it is your own imagination! I do chant the Veda Mantra on Ganapati (gajanatvam ganapatigam) dail  and also chamakam fully understanding what the odd numbers1-33 mean and4,8……48 mean I am an iyengar too but I got rid  of my suffix long back as I believe in “Aatmavat sarvabhooteshu” and “vasudahiva Kutumbakam”.  But that Ganapati is not what Puranas project as the one who broke his tusk being annoyed to hurl at the  sun. But even respecting Purana I would like to worship Ganapati who was restored by him with both the tusks or replaced one from Gajanaa divine species. Vedas do speak of several divines kinnaras, gandharvas, hayavadanas, Gajavadans etc. I cannot think of kind hearted Siva being angry and in a fit of anger decapitated   a dutiful guard of Parvati created for the occasion but thanks to the story He is made a permanent Devata. In all probability he replaced it from among Gajavadanas and that may be  Vishvaksena hailed  in VSN and worshiped in Tirupati as  devata. Tirupati will tell you as to his Vedic origin if you do not believe in my discourse on Vishvaksena read by thousands of readers  who have all appreciation.
 Krishna died by the arrow and Rama shot an innocent Sambuka  by his arrow for just performing an Yajana. It should not be the thes portrayals our sculptures  and temples should propagate and then give a long explanation why we worship.’ “Anekadam bhaktanam ekadam tam Upasmahe” has been made ekadantam to justify broken tusk and anger. In Rajasthan there is a temple that worships rat also and I will not be allured to worship Rats. Vedas  have deified  Kama,  Manyu  and Alakkshmi but  they do not say we should meditate on these as Brahman!
Anyhow, no amount of explanation will convince you as you are very knowledgeable and an authority on Puranas. I am not. I go by Svadhyaaya, satsanga and satkarma. I had only talked about the crowd as having kindergarten level and primary level  and not caused any aspersions on Ganesha.  I waited for comments from others and only two have commented besides you as the Daniel of judgment! I reproduce below their comments and my reply. They are  most devoted to Ganesha  as  I know them. All my e-mails are not posted on the Blog. They are search engines and intended for exchange of thoughts. I often revise when supported by sufficient  quotes from Vedas as  I believe in “Vedokhilam dharmamoolam”
 A) It appears all items that surrounds Lord Shiva appears to be mystery - Lord Ganesha and Lord Subramainya (etc.)  On the lighter vein - Lord Ganesha is very lovable God. He never has a task to reduce his weight and always happy to share Modhaka.
Bala from Atlanta
I did say Ganesha is the most liked devata.  Of the three animal headed devatas he is the most lovable for kids.  Our religious focus   should start with kids and so we too have to join them.  But   my  only worry is  we should not stay there with kids forever and think of reducing our burden at a later stage which realization will come to kids too when  they are adults. Siva is a mystery because he is not like Vishnu, the sustenance aspect of Parabrahman.  He is very serious person concerned about planning our future after being handed over by Vishnu, being the dissolution aspect, who is worried how to dissolve all our Karmas  and  kick us up than down. Being the most kind hearted, sometimes he ignores our minor sins unlike Vishnu who tolerates up to only hundred and then punishes as happened even in the case of Sisupala. His role is always “vinasaya cha dushkritam” and not reforming them as happened to Valmiki in TretaYuga. He is a mystery God as we know from Chamakam when he said worship on odd  numbers 1 to 33 and even numbers 4 to 48 in steps of 4  for guessing  as to what they mean? Mere love is not enough as we have seen from our parents.  We have to get serious to work with Vishnu for our  good  living focused  on Dharma and listen to Siva for our future. Thank you for your well wishes
B)  Ganesha Temple in Nashville is hosting a private party’s Ganesha in the auditorium for 11 days. There could be fun and frolic after all!
Sunanda from Nashville
Probably you may be under the impression that I am against Ganesha worship being a strong devotee of Ganesha.  I still recall how you once reminded me for the wrong fixing of Ganesha photo by my daughter facing South which I corrected though Ganesha looks into all directions!
 Ganesha worship as is practiced by Hindus today is one of the most fun and frolic worship and very  strongly promoted to kindergarten level  of worshipers for this is the most appealing deity to children strongly promoted by religious, spiritual and fine arts devotees.  Ganesha idols are in all street corners and bus stands. I call them idol because most of these do not have pranaptishtha and they are the most show pieces in our drawing rooms.  It is true we too should join our kids and give them religious training, but sometime or other we should be more serious   to rise beyond kindergarten level and spiritually advance. This aspect is least focused in our focus on Ganesha in teaching and worship.  This is because Siva himself projected him Maximum and least on Guruguha. Siva is a mysterious aspect of Parabrahaman and knowing our level of ignorance strongly promoted Ganesha’s worship as Prathma vandita based on myths rather than spiritual focus and further progressing towards Skanda worship. While we enjoy his worship at kindergarten level with our children, we should at the same time focus more on the wisdom of Skanda at matured level to whom even Siva shows rapt attention and thus draws our attention. He did not elaborate after Prathama vandita and left it to our discretion. Think why he did not say Ganesha is the only exclusive vandita for all our needs?    You know Skanda taught knowledge of Brahman even to Narada which I had explained. We should go through these different stages and not relax by just repeating Om Ganesaaya Namah or Ganparti bappa Moria! We do abhishekam chanting ekascha me trayascha me etc. not knowing what these 1-33 odd numbers are and  4,8, 12….48 even numbers are?  What purpose will it serve? Siva left it for us to think and act!

Question--Has anyone calculated or estimated how much money & time is used during Ganesh Chaturthi in the World. Can this be focused towards Ganesha's needy—Anil Pandey
 Reply: I have no clue. Ganesha is a very symbolic deity whom even Sankara strongly promoted knowing the mood of the people.  This deity has no reference in Vedas, Ramayana or Bhagavad Gita yet has been popularized so much in recent times like Venkateswara.  People have struggled  hard to connect them to Vedas. I believe musicians and artists have largely contributed.    I am worried this deity is also maximum used for fun and frolic with very little focus on spirituality.  An art creation remains an idol or artefact or drawing room piece unless consecrated. Few take it seriously also but that is very limited. You see this deity in every street corner and even in crowded bus stands without any serious thought of consecration. That bothers me.The money this deity attracts from devotees could be put to better use like what they do in Tirupati. But many thrive from that easy earned money and go lazy too  ganesha temples are scattered all over the place. It sounds like Ganesha cottage religious industry--NRS
 I wish Ganesha Devotees would see Ganesha in needy people. Thank you again--Anil
Wish You all A week of Ganesha Merriment Festival! But please revert to Vedic wisdom when the fun is over.  I thank all the commentators for their excellent contribution but for which I would not have kindled  your  thoughts for a serious spiritual orientation! Mere my lectures would have been boring which you could have just overlooked or postponed!
--August 27, 2017

A REVIEW OF THE MOST POPULAR GAYATRI MANTRA OF SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE
Even religious Hindus, commonly practice few Vedic mantras like the Gayatri mantra and pay great reverence, yet the rest of the ten thousand verses of the Rigveda are seldom examined or recited. We often ignore to study the ancient mind because of the antiquity and symbolisms and riddles contained in Veda mantras. To me the Vedas are the great pyramids of the ancient mind and should be honored like the pyramids of Egypt as one of the greatest achievements of ancient humanity, with relevance for all times. The Vedas hold many keys about our spiritual origins as a species and hold for us the living voice of the ancient seers, sages and yogis, our spiritual ancestors, and allow us to connect with them in our minds and hearts. They have many practical wisdom to lead a happy and contented life. With this objective I have tried to quote some mantras specially picked and explained them. I have also recently circulated Gems from Vedas and Upanishads with meanings and some explanation. I often wonder wjhether this powerful Nityakaram (daily duty) should be resatricted only to Dwijas who have under gone Upanayana Samskara. Now-a-days many postpone this Samaskara to the wedding day which is administered to Non-Hindus and other castes also who marry a Brahmin girl in Brahmaa marriage? Why prohibit girls? Vedas do not prohibit but our religious heads do! I have gone at length to describe Trikaala Sndhyavandana Mantras in the following discourses:
Sandhyavandana Mantra contains the Main message of Vedanta for our Liberation. It prescribes Achamana (Achyutaaya Namah etc) for purification, Atonement Mantras for three times in a day (Sooryascha…Paapebhyo rakshabntam etc.), Meditation (Gayati Mantra) that leads one to liberation. Gayatri is employed during the performance of Japa, Homa, and Dhyana. Until one is purified by the practice of Pranayama he is not ready for Japa. Pranayama performed during the twilight devotions differ from the one advocated by Patanjali for the practice of Yoga. In the former case breathing in, holding the breath within and breathing out are appropriately measured by the mantra we use. In the latter case breathing in, holding the breath within and breathing out are appropriately measured.
Gayatri Japa mantra is: Om bhoorbhuvassuvah| tat savituh varenyam | bhargo devasya dheemahi | dheeyoyonah prachodayaat|| Here the first line is addressed to the Supreme who is the ruler of the three worlds. The next three lines are main body of the Mantra. These may be visualized symbolically as Brahman and His three feet to which we surrender in meditation. (charanm pavitram … yena pootastarati dushkritaani--sanctifying feet that crosses over evil deeds). The number three is very important and has lot of significance in Vedas--- the three states Vaiswanara, Tejasa, Hiranyagrbha; Here three lines may even signify three steps of the Supreme(Trivikrama) that rules the three worlds. Brahman is described as chatvaari sringo trayo asya paadaa dwe sirshe sapta hastaaso asya|| Brahman is described as a mystic bull with 4 horns 3 feet 2 heads and 7 hands. This represents him as a Kaalapurusha or Kalpa which is 4320000000 years (4 followed by 3 followed by 2 followed by 7 zeros). Again these are 4 Vedas, 3 States or Gunas, Two inseparables Aaatman (Self) and Parmaartman (Supreme) and Agni with seven tongues or flames all describing Brahman.
The word “Tat” qualifying “savitar” in the Gayartri Mantra makes it clear that visible prime luminary of the heaven is only a representation of God –head or Parabrahman who is referred to here as immanent in all creatures and also transcendent. He is savitar because He is the cause of the Universe and He animates and impels all that exists. He is Deva because He is self-luminous, and all other light, whether intellectual or physical, is a loan from Him. The devotee meditates on bharga, light, for the attainment of all the four-fold values of life. The term bharaga is derived from the root bhrisj meaning to roast or to burn. It, therefore, implies not only the radiant light but also the heat which destroys the root cause of ignorance and misery which bars one from the attainment of the Supreme. Hence the divine light is eagerly sought after by all who seek release from the round (cycle) of birth and death. The significance of the third line of the Gayatri is this: According to the Vedas, thought and activity make up human life. A man’s mental activities elevate him if and when they are under the influence of divine operation. Hence in this line the devotee’s longing is expressed that the Supreme should guide his mind towards the performance of religious duty, selfless devotion to God and the highest illumination. The ancient authorities have paraphrased the ideas contained in the Gayatri by the following verse:

Yo devah savitaasmakam dhiyo dharmaadigocharaah |
Prewrayt-tasya yad bhargas-tad-varenyam-upaasmahe ||
Yad-brahma nityam hridi sannivishtham maam prevrayat-tishthati nah subuddheeh|
Bhargastadaakhyam bhajaneeyametat dhyaayaama nityam ravimandalasyaam ||

In this context please go through the message of Jagadguru Sankaracharay of Kamakoti Peetham popularly known as Periyava in Tamil which I have roughly translated with my limited knowledge.
அத்தனை ஜீவராசிகளுக்கும், தாவரங்களுக்கும் கூட ஸூர்ய சந்திரர்களின் கிரண தாரைகளால் பாலூட்டுகிறாள். தாவரங்களுக்கும் ஜீவன் உண்டு. ஸூர்ய சந்திரர்களின் பிரகாசத்தால் உணவூட்டுகிறாள் என்றால் என்ன அர்த்தம்? ஸூர்ய ரச்மியிலிருந்துதான் தாவரங்கள் ஜீவன் பெறுகின்றன என்பது தெரிந்த விஷயம். ஸூர்ய வெளிச்சமில்லாத இருட்டான இடத்தில் விதை போட்டால் செடி வராது. தாவரங்கள் நேராக தாங்களே ஜீவ ஸத்தை ஸூர்யனிடமிருந்து பெறுகின்றன. அதோடு நிற்காமல் பரோபகாரமாக இப்படி நேரே ஸூர்யனிடமிருந்து ஜீவ ஸத்தை பெற முடியாத நமக்காகவும், தாவரங்களே நாம் அடுப்பு மூட்டி சமைக்கிற மாதிரி ஸூர்ய உஷ்ணத்தில் அந்த ஸூர்ய சக்தியையே நமக்கு ஜீர்ணமாகிற மாதிரி ரூபத்தில் சேமித்து வைத்துக்கொள்கின்றன. ஸோலார் குக்கர் காய்கறிகளையும், அரிசி முதலான தானியங்களையும் நாம் சாப்பிடும்போது, இந்த ஸூர்ய ப்ரஸாதமான சக்தி தான் நமக்கு உள்ள போய் ஜீவ ஸத்தை தருகிறது.
ஸூர்யனுடைய வெளிச்சத்திலே, ஓயாமல் ரிலீஸாகி கொண்டிருக்கும் சக்தி ஸகல அணுக்களுக்குள்ளேயும் வியாபித்தும், தாவர வர்க்கத்தில் மேலே சொன்னாற் போல போடோஸிந்தாஸிஸ் உண்டாக்கியுந்தான் ஜீவ ப்ரபஞ்சத்தை நடத்துகிறத என்று இப்போது ஸயன்ஸில் சொல்வதை எத்தனையோ யுகம் முந்தியே நம்மடைய வேத சாஸ்திரங்களில் சொல்லியிருக்கிறது. தாவரம் மாதிரியே நாமும் நேரே அந்த சக்தியை பெறுகிறதற்கு தான் காயத்ரி முதலான மந்த்ரங்களை கொடுத்திருக்கிறது. (ஸயன்ஸுக்கும்) பல படி மேலேயே போய் தேஹ சக்தியோடு நிறுத்தி கொள்ளாமல் புத்தி, சக்தி, பாரமார்த்திகமான ஸாதனா சக்தி ஆகியவற்றையும் அவனிடமிருந்து க்ரஹித்து கொள்வதற்கு காயத்ரியை கொடுத்திருகிறது. அங்கே ஸவிதா, ஸாவித்ரி என்று நம்மை பெற்றெடுத்து வாழ்வு தருகிற ப்ரியமான தாயாகவே ஸூர்ய சக்தியை சொல்லியிருக்கிறது. இந்த சக்தியும் ஆதி சக்தியான பராசக்தி என்ற மூலமான தாயாரின் அங்கந்தான் பாலூட்டும் அங்கம் என்கிறார் ஆசார்யாள்.
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ஜகத்குரு காஞ்சிகாமகோடி ஸ்ரீசந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி சங்கராச்சார்ய ஸ்வாமிகள்
ADHARA SAKTHI -- MAHA PERIAVA EXPLAINS

Just as the mother feeds the baby with her breastmilk Universal Mother feeds milk to the entire living beings with the rays of Sun and Moon. Plants also have life. What do we understand by this feeding through the rays of Sun and Moon? It is a known fact plants survive because of sun’s rays! If we sow a seed in a dark place where there is no sunlight the seeds will not sprout and plant will not come up. Plants directly obtain life-providing energy from Sun. They do not stop at that; they store the nutrients for us in a generous way since we are not able to receive the same from the sun direct, like what we do by lighting and cooking; they store the sun’s energy for us for digesting the food. This benevolent solar energy gets into us in the form of solar cooker vegetables and grains that we eat and give us the necessary energy to live.
Present day scientists say now is that this perennial solar energy gets into all particles and by photo synthesis in plants and runs the world but our Vedas stated the same eons before. In order to derive directly such a strength from Sun like plants Vedas have given us powerful mantras like Gayatri. Here it has gone many steps ahead than science, not stopping at body strength alone, to directly absorb mental strength, Sadhana (goal-reaching power by constant practice) strength for liberation etc., from the Supreme through Gayatri Mantra. There it calls this Power of Sun Savita and Savitri, our mother who gives birth to us, nurtures us and provides life to us. This Power is none other than Parasakti, the primordial energy, that is found in our breast feeding mothers says the Jagadguru Kanchi Kamakoti Jagadguru Sankaracharya Swami.
--August 21, 2017

Comments:
Hats off to your monumental effort in trying to bring to the doors of the aspirants,the most powerful mantra Gayathri (Vedamaathaa).

--BRG Iyengar from Bengaluru

SELF ERROR TO SELF-ACTUALIZATION
From the very beginning one should accept the fact that “I am not the body, the body is not for me”. The reason is that individual Self is of higher nature (sentient) which is a fragment of the Paramaatman while the body and the world are of lower nature (Non-sentient). The lower nature in spite of our best efforts can’t satisfy our real desire; it can’t make us immortal, can’t wipe out our ignorance and can’t make us happy for ever.  So we seek a greener pasture. When we associate with this lower nature we are compelled to believe we need Liberation. This liberation is defined as Moksha that is a liberated state from all attachments for Moksha consists of two words  Moha+kshya=Moksha. Puranas make us believe that Moksha is another place where we do not see any sorrow and only Ananda or Sreyas.It is the status change and not a change of place.Once you are in the state of moksha you are the part and parcel of Supreme Self or an  integral part of it from which alone you came. Sankara progressively leads us to know that Self by detachment and Ramanuja   guides us further to submit to that supreme Self (saranagathi) to find a permanent abode to settle after having left the physical body. Vedas lead us to Aham->Atma->Brahma, recognize your true Self (Sat) leaving everything else and integrate with Brahman, Sathyam (that which regulates  mortals and immortals) Sat+thi+yam where sat is immortal, thi is mortal and yam is what is being regulated that is Sat to Sathyam. This is a progressive step to go from mortality to immortality—Asato maa sat gamaya (Chhandogya). But please listen to the learned Swamiji for a better understanding as I am not a Vedic scholar. Please go through my detailed discourse by Swami Hamsananda.

FOWAI FORUM (INDIA) AND STEP (USA) will present a discourse on Self-error to Self-Actualization     by  Swami Hamsananda on Sunday, August 27, 2017. All the webinar audio/videos are available on YOUTUBE/fowaiforum.

Gist of the Presentation:
 Every seeker seems to be working on the removal of bondage and being liberated from Samsāra, while Vedanta asserts that there was never bondage and hence liberation too is fictitious.  How then is this wild experience of the pluralistic world, causing so much of disturbance, tossing the individual hither and thither?  Where did I go wrong in not experiencing the Immutable as “Me Myself?”
How am I to know the Truth that ‘I am the SELF’ and not the self!

Acharya Shankara guides us systematically! Let us analyze on Sunday, 27th August 2017.

(Message from  Vibha Chaitanya of Fowai Forum)

--August 23, 2017

SHARADEESA SARADEESA GANAPATI TRISATI FROM VINAYAKA TANTRAM
The Hindu Temple is a constellation of symbolism. It is an image that at once relevant to human aspirations and persistent in human thought and actions.  In this the most popular mythology created deity Ganesha is in the minds of every Hindu Siva and Sakta follower pushing back the Ancient  One, Skanda to the background. He often replaces Sarasvati by those dedicated to Fine Arts who start  concerts with  obeisance to the Lord of obstacles and a Male as we are a male chauvinistic society!    Puranas have used every  religious   marketing technique possible  to propagate the wish  of Lord  Siva in the act of pleasing his beloved Parviti that  made Ganesha  most popular in preference to Skanda  who is glorified in  Upanishads as Sanat  Kumara who taught  Narada besides Siva  and also glorified in Ramayana. Skanda Upanishad was the last of the 108 original Upanishads and somehow later Ganesha Atharva Seersha Upanishad was written and made popular. Tamil Tantrics do not lag behind and ever active.  They have brought in   Vinayaka Tantram and brought forth Saradeesa Ganapati  to join the assembly of 32 Modaka Priya Ganeshas that probably include Lakshmeesa Ganapati! May his Tribe increase! His Stotra they say is the ultimate voice  for liberation however heavy you are loaded with karmas! We all need Modaka and not Wisdom (Jnaanappazham as Avvaiyar said--wisdom fruit)
If Garuda Purana  explainbs there is only one God - Lord Vishnu; all other forms are He himself in different forms as Muralidharan sites from Puraanas why to confuse, bring in so many deities and then say all are Vishnu alone. Are we not satisfied if we worship Venkatesvara alone as that Vishnu who is convincing and pleasing to all traditions with his outreach to many other religions as we discussed in detail before. Gita says “Devavrataah   Devaan yaanti, Madhyajinopi Maam”—Worshippers of Gods go to Gods and those who worship Me alone, they surely come to Me” 
 Puranas started Hindu Confusionism moving away from Hindu Dharma. Look at Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism that branched out of Hindu Dharma they believe in Dharma and Satyavachan and  focus on Gautama Buddha, Varadhmana and Guru Nanak.alone, their practical Gods. They are not confused with later 49 Buddhas,  23 earlier   Tirthankaras  led by  Rishabha, Adinatha,   an Avatar of Vishnu who resorted to dharma in preference to sacrifice  and later Several Gurus in Sikhism.
Hinduism which can be more appropriately called Hindu Confusionism is a more recent nomenclature given to a conglomeration of heterogeneous traditions and plurality of beliefs and worship with a long history of development from the Vedic (that which has originated from Vedas—the four ancient texts which contain the core of Hindu Philosophy and beliefs) sacrificial religion through the worship of epic and Puranic heroes and personal  deities, cults and sects, as well as philosophical  system rather than to a monolithic tradition or structure based on a single system of beliefs and worships or single text as scripture based on Dhrama.
Not our children but  we  Hindu American adults  as such need to go to Bal Vihar schools  as we are still at  Kindergarten level confused by our Puranas and its protagonists.  May be then  we need to open nurseries for our children.  Even the wise Jagadguru Sankarachrya is a victim of this confusion.   Jagadguru Chandrasekarananda Sarasvati called Periyava mentions about “muppaatti-moonru koti devargal” in Tamil as 33 Crores of Gods referring to “trayatrimsati koti” mentioned in Atharvaveda.  Here he has also been tempted by the popular translation of the Sanskrit word “Koti” to mean Crore or perhaps he wants to play to the gallery knowing the crowd.  But in Sanskrit “Koti” also means “kind” a rare translation. With this meaning  Atharvaveda only means 33 Vedic  devatas,  12 Aditys+11 Rudras+8 Vasus+Asvins (twin brothers)+ Prajapati=33 Gods. I am surprised how this rare meaning has missed his  attention and we wrongly interpret that Vedas mention 33 crores of Gods and invite adverse comments from all and extend it to Temple worship to blindly, and guide them to Ishta  Devata  worship. May be this keeps our Silpis busy and idol making  art thriving! I Have talked enough in the past on this topic  and want to remind you   once again  the following wisdom thoughts: Agnirdevoe dwijaateenaam muneenaam hridi daivatam | Prathima svalpabuddheenaam sarvatrae viditaatmanaam || The ritualists have their God in the fire (Agni); but the wise folk find him in their own heart. It is the dull-witted one that seeks God in the icon. Those who have higher understanding see God in everything”
Please go through the rare sloka on Saradeesa Ganapati on the occasion of forthcoming Ganesha Chaturti which has lot of phalasrutis as you are always pleased by his Goodies Modakas than the dry wisdom of Guruguha who is Skanda that is Balaji and that is Santkumara,  the Universal Lord in order  to please Lord  Siva,  the dissolution asprct of Parabrahman though Garuda Purana says be concerned only  with sustenance aspect of Parabrahaman Vishnu  as long as we have to function on Earth endorsed by Sanakara , Ramanuja, Madhava, Chaitanya, Jaideva and others.
MESSAGE FROM MURALIDHARAN IYENGAR
Greetings and Namaste. As Vinayaka Chaturthi falls on Friday (25/Aug/2017), I am delighted to share a rare Trishati (300 names) of Lord Sharadesha taken from Vinayaka Tantram. The brief Phalashruti mentions that one who recites this hymn gets all enjoyment and wealth in this world and attains emancipation.

Readers might remember that in Vinayaka Tantram, Lord Vinayaka is also praised in the form of Sharadesha (consort of Goddess Sharada, i.e. Saraswati) with Ashtottaram, Trishati, Sahasranama, Hrudayam and Kavacham. I had shared the Ashtottaram a couple of years ago.

This Tantram praises Siddhi and Buddhi, the consorts of Lord Ganesha, as none other than Lakshmi and Saraswati respectively. Lakshmi Ganapati is one of the sixteen forms of Mahaganapati (Shodasha Mahaganapati). Readers might also remember that Brahma Vaivarta Puranam hails Lakshmi and Saraswati (and Ganga) as the consorts of Lord Vishnu. Readers also might remember that Lord Kartikeya is praised as the consort of Saraswati in the famous Shatru Samhara Trishati. This doubtlessly will be confusing for the befuddled who perceive each of these forms as different.

There is no need to split hair over hallucinations. We saw last year that Lord Narayana claims that Lord Vinayaka is Lord Krishna himself (Brahma Vaivarta Puranam, Prakriti Khandam). This is pellucidly explained in Garuda Purana, there is only one God - Lord Vishnu; all other forms are He himself in different forms.

Lord Krishna mentions the following in Uddhava Gita (Chapter 2)

svamAyayA sRRiShTaM idaM sadasal laxaNaM vibhuH | praviShTa Iyate tattat sa rUpo .a gnirivaidhasi || 2 - 47 ||
(Meaning: The omnipresent Lord, pervading this gross and subtle universe created by His own Maya, acts in the shape of different things like fire in the combustible things)

We have seen innumerable quotes from various puranas that the one and only Parabrahman takes many shapes and names and it is only those dull-witted who imbue difference among them.

May We pray to Lord Vighna Nayaka on the Vinayaka Chaturthi day with this beautiful prayer.


--AUGUST 20, 2017
Comments:
This is a rare and beautiful sthothra. Thank you for sharing this.Wish you a Happy Gowri and Ganesha festival.
--BRG Iyengar from Bengaluru
WAY TO REALIZE GOD
Dharma and Truth turns you to be  an amsa of God  or God alone as we just learned this morning.  Dharma and Sathyam are always in Union with God and so inseparable. So if we follow dharma and sathyam we realize God automatically. That is what Jnaana Bhakti is.
We are exposed to God, puja, prayer, Rituals, temple etc. by our parents, relatives, friends and the community. This is the bhakti of lowest grade which I often refer as KINdergarten level; also there is what is  called Manda Bhakti. Here Bhakta pursuits only for artha and kama. After sometime the bhakta grows slowly and matures.    He prays not for the worldly things but for God Himself. There is a big shift in his attitude from artha, kama to Lord.   This is   called Maddhyama (middle order) Bhakti.  As the Bhakta matures further; he wants to know who is God, what is God, what is His true nature?   He   discovers Bhakta is not different from Bhagavan.  Bhagavan and Atma are one and the same.   This is love of highest order.   At this stage he prays to god with the following Mantra: “Viswaani deva savitar duritaani paraasuva yad bhadram tanma asuma”—Oh God, O creator turn away from me all the sins. Bring to me that which is beneficial. Here you do not go to him with any personal wish but leave the choice to him expressing your love and full confidence in him for He knows what is best for us and not settle for anything less.
 "Lord Krishna says to Arjuna  again and again in Bhagvat Gita “Chaturvidha Bhajante Mam.” There are four types of devotees. This is all due to their Punya or Sukrutinah. They recognize and worship me. The degree of recognition, their attitude, approach and prayers are different.
1.   Artah Bhakti: The one, who is in trouble, grief or sadness, distress, discomfort and in crisis, is called Arti. When the person is captured by grief or distress, whom he will call as a last resort? If he has some Punya Karma  there is Isvara in his life and he will call upon Him. He calls only when he is in distress – till then he does not think about God. This is Artah Bhakta. God is used here as Sadhana (means); so sadhna vishaya Prema. Manda Bhakta. Nothing wrong with it.
2.   Arthaarthi Bhakti: The devotee, whenever he wants to accomplish something like artha and kama, like wealth, security, power etc.,  he invokes the grace of God to control certain factors, which he cannot do on his own. He wants to fulfil his Kamya Karmas by using God as means to fulfill it. Devotee prays for dukkha nivrutti and sukha prapti here. This is also Sadhana Vishaya Prema, therefore Manda Bhakti.
3.   Jignaasa Bhakti: Jijnasa  is one, who desires to know the truth of Isvara; Isvara Tattvam. He does not use Lord as means. Lord is his goal. He uses Isvara’s grace to know Isvara. He does his nitya and naimittika karmas  for antah karan suddhi and to gain knowledge. His prayers are not for limited things within Samsara  like kamya karmas, but he is a Karma Yogi and wants to know Isvara. He has got some Viveka; a different kind of devotion. God is his goal. So Jijnasa  bhakti is Sadhya bhakti, therefore madhyama bhakti. Also madhyama  bhakti in time becomes Jnana bhakti  but not yet.
4.  Jnana Bhakti: Also called Siddha bhakti or Uttama Bhakti. He is the Jnani, who knows the truth of Isvara as Atma. The devotion in form of absolute love. What is absolute love? Between the object of love and the person who loves, there is no difference at all. The love consumes all the differences. This is only in the form of knowledge. The truth of Isvara and Atma is one and the same no difference, this knowledge is known to Jnani. This is also called Ananya bhakti: Ananya means no Other. The Lord and the devotee, the alter of bhakti, are one and the same. This is devotion of a Jnani. Bhakti is fulfilled here. All the above three bhaktas also have union with the Isvara temporarily , for them Isvara is other than themselves and therefore Isvara still remote to them;( Paroksa). Jnani bhakta is always in union with Isvara. Isvara  is immediate to jnani ( aporoksha). Jnani is isvara. Isvara is Paroksha for Artah, Artharthi and Jijnasu.  Paroksha means Isvara is known indirectly. For Jijnasu there is possibility of Isvara becoming aparoksha in time. Other bhaktas also can fulfil same things in time. Lord Krishna says in Gita, Artah, Artharthi and Jijansu Bhaktas are dear to Me, but Jnani is ME.
 Bhakti is a union between Jiva and Isvara. Jnani is most exalted Bhakta among all forms of bhaktas.  Jnani is the one, who has accomplished what devotion can accomplish. Jnani is Tattva-vit. He knows truth of Isvara as Atma. Isvara is not separate from anybody, but they don’t know it. Jnani knows – he is Isvara. Devotion is only for this knowledge. If I know Atma as Isvara, then devotion resolves. Till then it is a devotion. Devotion culminates in Jnanam. The devotion is not after knowledge. Knowledge itself is devotion of highest order. So bhakti is a union between Jeeva and Isvara. We have to know, how by jnanam. The devotion fulfills in Jnanam." (presentation by Vedantin  Dr. Satpathy at Who Am I Seminar)
Chhandogya Upanishad gives its parting advice thus: “Aachaaryakulaad vedamadheeya yathaavidhaanam guroh karmaani seshenaabhisamavritya  kutumbe suchau dese svadhyyamadheeyaano dharmikaan vidadhat aatmaani sarvendriyaaani sampratishthaapya-ahimsan sarvaa bhootaanyanaytra teerthebhyah sa khalvevam vartayan yaavad-aayusham brahmlokam abhisampadyate na cha punaraavartate na cha punar-aavartate||”
A Person who devotes himself to the study of the Veda, to the propagation of that Vedic learning,  to the performance of the obligatory duties as accessories to the meditation upon Brahman   attains Brahman and never more returns to the world of Samsara (world of pains and temporary pleasures). Let us now see what Padmanabham of India.Divine.Org has to say in his article Devotion—The Vehicle y to Realize God
Devotion – The Vehicle to Realize God
Posted by V.A. Padmanabham   | Articles on Hinduism| IndiaDivine.Org
The ultimate aim of human life is self-realization by knowing who am I? All kinds of religious thoughts, theories, preaching and practices help human beings to reach this goal and nothing else. Just as there are many ways to reach a place in physical world like walk, bus, train and so on, there are different paths and methods to reach the goal of life viz., Bhakti, Jnana and Vairagya (devotion, knowledge and renunciation respectively).
Man being a rational being amongst 84 lakh species created by the Almighty attempts to question everything he or she comes across and strives to find answers through reading, questioning the Master, analysis, assimilation and introspection. History of human evolution and civilization is a mere journey in this direction. Spiritual elevation would be a reality only when an individual strives, struggles, survives and succeeds in his efforts to find the truth in his life. In real terms, it is truth and nothing else and truth cannot be in parts and fragments but in totality and in perfect manner without any contradictions and inconsistencies whatsoever.
Devotees are of four groups as told by Lord Krishna in Srimad BhagavadGita – Aarto, Jijnasu, Arthardhi and Jnani. One who is engulfed in worries, sufferings and diseases belongs to first category of devotees- Draupadi, Gajendra and many other personalities come to our mind who prayed and cried for God in need, worry, melancholy and found solution, solace and comfort. Equally prominent are the great personalities like Dhruva, Parikshiit, Janaka, Yudhistara and many more who were yearning to know the ultimate truth and attained Janna-knowledge of Soul. Majority of human beings , not with any tinge of regret or inferior feeling belong to such a group who have always acquired and demonstrated over millions of years and Yugas added many to their wish list in spite of fulfilling many desires through the grace of God. We find in this materialistic world this classification of devotees who deliberately chose devotion as a vehicle for the fulfillment of desires. As long as Desires exist and dominate human mind, there will be devotees who worship God for the fulfillment of the same in their lives. Just as waves in the Ocean, these desires do not diminish or subside and they have the tendency to reappear, multiply, accumulate and inundate the human mind for all times with no signs of contentment in sight throughout the life. However, it does not mean that all the devotees belong to this class who always are behind the fleeting desires. Men and women who could understand the transitory nature of desires do not anchor for the same.
In the final group, we find a small and miniscule group of the knowers who demonstrate highly gifted qualities and people having enviable degree of inquisitiveness and never satisfying thirst for knowing the deeper and deeper truths of life and beyond. Prahlada, Narada, Sanakas, Sananda, Nandana, Ambarisha, Pundarika, Ved Vyasa, Suka Parabrahma and many more personalities who from their birth shone in the glory of the Lord and lived and danced in the nectar of Names of God. Everyone in this Universe unquestionably and undoubtedly becomes part of one of these four classes of Devotees.
The question often haunting the inquisitive mind is who inspires, motivates and guides the mortals in the path of devotion. Obviously, it is the Master who takes the lead and how to identify the Master is another area of concern. It is repeatedly told by the elders just as the Seeker strives to search and find his Teacher; the latter is also equally and more eagerly in his search of the Seeker. Ultimately the meeting takes place and thereafter, things become crystal clear to both and the ways are wide open. In Gita again, Lord amplifies the position of the Seeker. The disciple should approach the Master and Salute him, prostrate on the feet; question the Guru on matters relevant with all humility and with utmost interest to know and also serve the Guru with all the devotion and dedication and only then the Master will readily show the path of realization to the student.
In the past, we have come across in scriptures, many devotees attained salvation or Moksha without any knowledge of scriptures or even without any formal initiation into any study by the Guru or the Master. In the great religious place of Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh, the place is known for the attainment of Moksha for a spider, snake and an elephant. The Spider did not read or listen to Vedas, the snake did not know any religious books and the elephant also did not recite any mantras but all the three were shown benevolence by the Lord by granting the salvation from the unending chain of birth and death.
Adi Sankaracharya in Sivananda Lahari extolled the glory of Lord Siva comparing himself to’ Pasu’- animal and as Pasupathi Lord Siva should show mercy on him. Here Adi Sanakaracharya prayed on behalf of all and not for himself. We may not know grammar, literature, dance, music or any such subjects but if one keeps his intellect, mind and body on the lotus feet of the Lord, then everything else turns out to be easy and clear.
In another place in Sivanandalahari stothra, Adi Sankaracharya vividly brings out the need to fix our concentration on the feet of the Lord even though we may take the birth of God, men, animals, mountains, insects and so on, the aim of everyone should be to pray and nothing more and in what shape one is born is not relevant.
Devotion or Bhakti is so simple and easy to practice and all the sins one has committed in his life will stand burnt and uplift him from the deep sea of birth and death as in case of Ajamila in Sri Bhagavatam. Throughout his life, he spent in all possible sinful activities, never uttered the name of God even once but at the time of his death, he murmured the name of his son Narayana. This simple act of uttering his son’s name Narayana absolved him from all sins and took him to heaven and the messengers sent by the Yama had to return. This adequately demonstrates the need to chant the name of Lord Every day without waiting for the last day of life which is not known to us. That is why Adi Sankara emphasizes the need to do Bhajan, have friend ship with good people, read at least once Gita, have sip of Ganga Water and pray lord at least once in life. Many simple things are laid out for all of us in Bhajagovinda Stotram.
Prahlada preaches his fellow students about the need to have devotion and do chanting of the names of Lord Vishnu without wasting life in transitory affairs. Division of 100 years of human life into four stages viz., childhood, adolescence, youth and old age and describing the different activities like having material enjoyments with wife, children, relations, wealth, possessions and all other material attractions before one realizes no time is left for lasting and self- realizing actions. Age fleets and moves fast taking human being nearer to the end of life and all the actions performed in life prove to be futile and meaningless serving no purpose and the priceless human life is spent in transitory and fleeting activities. Prahlada, therefore, exhorts in Srimad  Bhagavatam the need to delve on the name of God, chant the name of God and perform all such deeds which help in realization.
In Gita, we find a great expression on the elevated presentation of ways of devotion in Bhakti Yoga-12th chapter. Knowledge is superior to mere practice of rituals, meditation is superior to knowledge and renunciation is superior to meditation. It is clear that once renunciation of fruits of action is sacrificed, peace returns to human being. In this narration, one should understand that mere bhakti or performing rituals may lead to nowhere, and knowledge may lead to arrogance and meditation stabilizes the mind in goal and finally Thyaga or renunciation may bring lasting peace immediately.
In the ultimate analysis, the most fruitful and instantly rewarding form of devotion is “Saranagati”- taking refuge under the kindness of God. Many personalities resorted to this mode when it was proved that conditions were beyond their capacity and control and their energy levels were far inadequate to combat, fight and achieve the result. Gajendra, king of elephants fought for thousand years in water with crocodile and felt his energies debilitating, diminishing and quite inferior to that of the increasing strength and capabilities of the Crocodile in the water. Then he prayed for help, protection and salvation to the Lord in nameless, shapeless but the Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. Lord Vishnu who is considered by Sruthi as the ultimate protector of the creation came to his rescue and proved his title of the savior of the Saranarthi – who surrenders at the feet of the Lord for protection and salvation.
--August 20, 2017 

TRUTH—DHARMA—GOD, THE INSEPAERABLE TRIUNE

India’s motto Satyameva Jayate is from Mandukya Upanishad which I have explained at length  in my discourse “Gems from Vedas and Upanishads”  along with  “Satyam vada Dharmam chara”  from Taittareeya Upanishad.  The motto “E Pluribus Unum” in Latin   meaning “Out of many One” alternatively translated as "One out of Many   or "One from Many" is a 13-letter traditional motto of the USA and of the city of Monguagá in Brazil. This very  much sounds like an adoption  of Ancient Veda Mantra “Eko Viprah Bahuda Vadanti”  and “Devo Ekah; na adviteeyam”   Never codified by law, E Pluribus Unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States  until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act   adopting "In God We Trust" as the official motto. For a detailed study on these two Motto Indian and USA and their similarity go through my detailed discourse.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says Supreme Being having created   his deputies in three Varnas Brahma,  Agni,  Indra, Vasus etc., as  Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaisya also created  Pushan Earth as Sudra. He then created Dharma (Universal Law) to guide these four Varnas.   Having created Dharma He entered into Dharma and became Dharma Himself.  It also says that this Dharma is Sathyam “Dharmah Sathyam” --Dharma is verily Sathyam.   Chhandogya Upanishad says Sathyam means God the Creator.  Sathyam consists of three syllables:   Sat= Immortal; thi= mortal; yam=the principle that controls the mortal and Immortal, that is God.  Hence Sathyam in Indian motto and God in American motto means the same.  The word God is also coined from three English letters G=Generation; O=operation; D=dissolution like Sathyam.  Supreme Being created only humans as Sudra and mortals on earth bound with Karma   while the other Varnas as immortals. Sudra means service class that means  Humans have to live for and  serve Truth and Dharma   to attain immortality like the other three Varnas--asato maa sat  gamaya where asat=mortal and sat= Immortal (Chhandogya). While coining from Latin E pluribus Unum to “In God we Trust” the then   Congress out of ego made it “In God we Trust”. It would have been  humble and appropriate to say “To God Only We Submit”. As the World’s leading power earned by its own will and self-less hard work it need not bow to any other self-centered Nation and hence submission to Supreme will as a motto would have been a better rendering. Jesus said take up thy Cross and follow Me, that is submission. Who are we to judge whether God is trust-worthy, to say In God we Trust.  He decides what we deserve; He only made us the World Leader. We should be His trustworthy! Here I am reminded of another oft quoted American Motto “All Men are Created Equal”  Being male chauvinistic they used the term men in place of   people. Compare this with the Vedic mantra “Aatmavat sarvabhootesahu” –The same Self abides in all.

To me Dharma, Sathyam (Truth), God all mean the same or Three-in-One, learning from the Vedic wisdom.  They are inseparable Trinity!  In court we swear, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God,  all in the name of God.  Why three times? That means in action, speech and thought (kaayena vaacha manasendriyar vaa) we should be truthful! I have also talked before that “One who protects Dharma or Truth will be protected by Dharma (Truth)--Dharmo rakshati rakshitah”. Please go through my discourses on the subject at your leisure.his very much reflects Jesus telling  his followers (of Dharma) "Whosoever believeth in Me Though he is  dead yet shall he live" says Jesus> This means if you believe in dharma in action it will always protect you even after death for Christianity does not believe in Reincarnation. Thinking rationally, if you Truthfully follow Dharma   or Dharmically follow Truth then where is the scope to commit any sin while you are all the time engaged in erasing your past bad deeds  a sure way to Liberation. Then why do you need worship and meditation? Your work is worship all the time and the truthful thoughts are meditation.   He then does not need your “patram pushpam phalam or thoyam” since they are all spiritually held in Dharma and Truth.   Mantrapushpam you offer to Lord is more pleasing than physical Pushpam!


Let us listen to Swami Chidananda of Fowai Forum  for the rationale of Truth to  guide us to lead  a clean, contented, and   good life.

SATYA, Emphasis on Truthfulness in the Upanishads

FOWAI FORUM (INDIA) AND STEP (USA) (FOWAI: Flame Of Who Am I? and STEP: Society To Educate People)Brings to you an enlightening discourse by  Pujya Swami  Chidananda on Sunday, August 20, 2017.  All the webinar audio/videos are available on YOUTUBE/fowaiforum.

Gist of the Presentation:
  
“Truth alone wins,” declares the Mundaka Upanishad (3.1.6). “Speak truth,” is the injunction from Taittiriya Upanishad (1.19). The aspirant in the Ishāvāsya Upanishad (mantra 15) calls himself ‘someone who has stayed on the path of truth’ while praying to the Almighty. “Truth houses this exalted wisdom, Brahma-vidyā,” says the Kenopanishad(4.8). Lord Yama in Kathopanishad (1.2.9) compliments Nachiketā, saying the latter has ‘true fortitude’ . Lastly, in Chāndogya Upanishad (4.4.4) the son of the poor lady Jabālā speaks the plain truth that neither his mother nor he knows who his father is. In all these ways, the sacred lore of the Upanishads is replete with emphasis on TRUTH (truthfulness) as the supreme virtue in human life.
The webinar will examine the rationale behind this emphasis.
~
References made, in Sanskrit from Upanishads: satyameva jayate, satyam vada, satya-dharmāya, satyam-āyatanam, satya-dhritih, Satya-kāma Jābāli}

--August 18, 2017
DEEPER MEANINGS IN VEDAS NEED RESEARH AND PROPAGATION
Even   in India Land  of Vedas,  the Vedas are not always properly understood, though they are honored by an important segment of the population. A few Vedic mantras like the Gayatri mantra are commonly practiced and afforded great reverence, yet the rest of the ten thousand verses of the Rigveda are seldom examined or recited.
Recall the Veda Mantra I explained long back: Sapta praanaa prabhavanti tasmaat saptaarchishah samidhah sapta jihvaah | sapta ime lokaa eshu charanti praanaa guhaasayannihitaah sapta sapta ||  From Brahman originate  seven praanas, the seven flames, their seven fuel, the seven tongues and the seven worlds in which the life-breaths move. Further other things that are sevenfold also come forth from Him, who dwells in the secret cavity of the heart and are set in their respective places (MNU).
We are often kept dark on Veda mantras like sapta sapta in this mantra.  What are those other Saptas? We are asked to meditate upon few odd and even numbers in Chamakam. Tha  keeps us wondering why we do so? Here is  another Veda Mantra with no explanation  describing  Brahman as a mystic bull   with 4 horns 3 feet,  2 heads and 7 tongues which is zero shaped (which means  Cosmic Time as Kalpa of  4 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   years) which are often translated to convenience to suit the text as I have done. Chatvari sringa trayo asya pada dve sirse sapta hastaso asya | tridhaa baddho vrishabho roraveeti maho devo martyaa aaviesa ||Rigveda IV.58.3.” This means Brahman has Four  horns, three feet, two heads and seven hands.  This mystic   Bull connected in a threefold manner, eloquently declares the Self- luminous deity has entered the mortal everywhere.   
This mantra contains the hidden meaning Brahman is  Kaalpurusha or Time, symbolizing  the Yuga number or cosmic age of 4320,000,000 million years (Kalpa) as the mantra suggests  the numbers in order 4, 3, 2 and seven (tongues) zero.  Brahman is described as a Mystic bull with 4 horns, 3 feet and two heads and 7 tongues in Vedas.  Brahman is also described as Kaala or time. This could mean 4+3+7=14 contained by two heads one dark and one bright,   one head focusing on dark half of the month and the other bright half of the month and the whole representing 4320,000, 000 years where 4, 3 and 2 appear as numerals and 7 as zeros constituting one Kalpa like Svetavaraha Kalpa, one span of cosmic time of Creation and dissolution.
In this kind of suit the context explanation  even Sankaracharyas are not exempt.  Jagadguru Chandrasekarananda Sarasvati called Periyava mentions about “muppaatti-moonru koti devargal” in Tamil as  33 Crores of Gods  referring to “trayatrimsati koti” mentioned in Atharvaveda.  Here he has also been tempted by the popular translation of the Sanskrit word “Koti” to mean Crore.  But in Sanskrit “Koti” also means “kind” a rare translation. With this meaning  Atharvaveda only means 33 Vedic  gods,  12 Aditys+11 Rudras+8 Vasus+Asvins (twin brothers)+ Prajapati=33 Gods. I am surprised how this rare meaning has missed everybody’s attention and we wrongly interpret that Vedas mention 33 crores of Gods and invite adverse comments from all and extend it to Temple worship to blindly, and guide them to Ishta  Devata  worship.  Puranas discorded Sanatkumara to be worshiped as Skanda glorified in Chhandogya Upanishad, also glorified in Ramayana but brought a later Mythological Deity Ganesha to fore-front whose creation story  you are all popular with.  He was created by the body scum of Parvati (Ucchishta Ganapati), beheaded by enraged husband Siva and restored to please Parvati,  killing an innocent elephant  and blessing Him  with all wisdom.  We have to focus on a deity who conveys the concept of Tadekam in our Temple worship and meditation particularly as Hindu Americans drawn from many traditions. Vedas always mentions ONE DEVA (Devo Ekah, Tadekam) with 33   Devatas, as deputies to govern the Universe.  They are actually offices of power in the cosmic scheme of creation, and,  human beings who have acquired extraordinary religious merit necessary for getting those places will occupy them in each cycle of creation. Hanuman is believed to be the next Brahma when the present Brahma’s term expires.  We mostly go by the translations of Western Vedic scholars   and commentators who have also struggled like me.  We do not go to authentic sources of commentators like, Sankara,   Madhva,  Sayana, Rangaramanuja etc., for their commentaries are all in Sanskrit and they have commented only on few Upanishads during their life time.  This needs lot of Vedic Research to dig through the mysteries contained in them in the language of Vedic Sanskrit which is different from modern literary Sanskrit.  Indian Council of Historic Research is engaged somewhat in Vedic  Research as well as a professor in Rochester Institute of Technology but with different perspective about which I had informed  you  earlier.
Please also go through the full article by David Frawley on the related subject:
Textual Evidence in the Vedas – Cultural and Historical Implications
By Dr.David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri)
--August 17 2017


CULTURAL AND HISTORIC EVIDENCES HIDDEN IN VEDAS NEED RESEARCH

This year's theme for the  12th Annual Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference Sept 15-17, 2017  is "Hindu Temples and Institutions: Challenges of the 21st Century."  Hindu temples  and institutions are facing challenges around the globe as technology and social changes affect traditional beliefs and practices. The 12th annual HMEC conference will enable Hindu leaders to look at these trends affecting their institutions and rise to the challenges presented by the digital age in the areas of temple management, religious programs, youth engagement, serving seniors and society. In this context  it is worth going through an interesting article "Cultural and Historical evidences in the Vedas Need Research" and also my discourses:
 David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) is an American Vedic teacher and author of more than thirty-five books on Vedic subjects.  His fields of expertise include Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedanta, Vedic astrology and the Vedic texts. The goal of his work is to promote the cause of “Vedic Education,” which recommends the teaching of Yoga, meditation and Ayurveda in schools, ashrams and temples. He has a D.Litt. from S-VYASA and a Padma Bhushan (2015) award from the Government of  India.
Here is an extract of  the speech  titled  “Textual Evidence in the Vedas—Cultural and Historical implications” delivered by Vamadeva Shastri at the  foundation Day of Indian Council of Historic Research( ICHR) with my  explanation where needed throughout  in the light of what I am doing through my discourses to broaden  your vision.    However I also attach  the full text for your reference. 
“History of India remains a vital concern for all of us though many of us have become US citizens to get a real understanding of Vedic culture, religion and Vedas. Very few Hindus to-day  wherever  they are settled seem to know or take pride in their historical Hindu  heritage that is one of the oldest in the world.  The  Bharatiya or Indian ethos has been more rooted in the Eternal and the Universal, whereas the Western and modern ethos seems to becoming ever more aimed at the transient. India of previous historical era was not the India of the last few centuries, which was contracted under foreign rulers.  
Vedas are one of the greatest gifts to humanity that India or the world has ever produced. A few Vedic mantras like the Gayatri mantra are commonly practiced that have afforded great reverence, yet the rest of the ten thousand verses of the Rigveda are seldom examined or recited. I have broadened your vision by repeatedly quoting Veda mantras and giving their deeper meaning as I have  learned from great Indian Gurus and also brought out a rare compilation of Gems from Vedas and Upanishads for your awakening to the above facts.  Professor P.R. Mukundan from RIT in USA is also engaged to research and preserve old Rig Vedic manuscripts as I reported. Please refer to my E-mail “A State-Of-The-Art Vedic Lab and Library to Be Set -up in Bengaluru Soon”
Vedas and the Upanishads, summarized in the Bhagavad Gita, do have their rightful recognition as among the greatest philosophical, mystical and meditation based teachings of the world, and one of the oldest. The mantras of the great Rishis are largely reduced to primitive nature worship (as  seen in  our parrot chanting of these mantras  in worships and rituals). Tamils have moved away from Vedic mantras to Tamil hymns in worships and rituals whose deeper meaning is also not easy. The same is   true for Buddhism and Jainism also. Five Manus, twenty eight Vyasas and long periods of Yugas over thousands of years mentioned in Vedas, during which civilization rises and falls at various levels, and that our current civilization, though advanced materially, remains spiritually un-evolved.  Harappan or Indus civilization and the geological studies of the Sarasvati River, now indicate that historically the Vedic culture likely represents this great civilization in ancient India, including its extensive urban sites. The Vedas reflect a vast universe, a great culture, and a pursuit of higher awareness beyond the ordinary realm of time and space.
No continuity between the vast Harappan ruins of ancient India and the vast literary record of the Vedas is generally accepted by modern historians. We cannot ignore the likely connections between the literature and archaeology of ancient India, particularly when both are vast and extensive and reflect the same region of the world and the same river system. We need to combine both the literary and archaeological evidence. Before the time of the Buddha, Sanskrit  based languages had spread as far as Sri Lanka, and to Indonesia not in the recent past but earlier.  The Rigveda contains clear depictions of different geographical regions and groups of peoples. Even terms like Mleccha that occur later in the Brahmanas and Mahabharata for hostile or un-Aryan people were used for certain Northern and Western Vedic people, mainly of the Anus, peoples of Sindh, Panjab and Afghanistan to the west like Sindhus and Sauviras, not indigenous non-Vedic people but to related Indic or Iranian peoples. Even Krishna said that Arjuna would be doing something un-Aryan if he decided not to fight in the war. Buddha also called his teachings “Arya Dharma” and his four noble truths the four Aryan truths. The term Aryan in Rigveda is mainly a general term of nobility and respect and has no connotation of race, ethnicity or immigrant populations. Other Aryan groups or Indic and Iranian peoples such as the later Mittani, Medes and Persians likely carried with them this Vedic idea of a state and rule of law (Please read my discourses on Sanskrit language).  Indeed the Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan peoples that we find in Europe the Middle East and Central Asia, including the Scythians, seem mainly Kshatriya people who moved out  with an idea to possess  power or empire. The Vedic region is that of seven rivers of which the Sarasvati is the central most and which flow to the sea.  
It is time to put the Aryan-Dravidian controversy to rest. There is no evidence in the Vedic texts of any Aryan invasion or migration but only of the development of a great civilization from the Sarasvati region to the sea. Aryan is term of respect and nobility. Even Buddhism and Jainism called their teachings Aryan. Anyone who departed from dharma could be called un-Aryan regardless of ancestry.  From the second century onward, Christian leaders decided to break away from the Hindu influence and show that Christianity only started with the birth of Christ." Hence, many later saints began branding Brahmins as "heretics," and Saint Gregory set a future trend by publicly destroying the "pagan" idols of the Hindus. They also  started branding  Sanatana Dharma called Brahminical Religion  (seekers of Brahman) as Hinduism and called it a caste based pagan religion indicated by the suffix --ism  (nepotism,  atheism, hedonism, dogmatism) while Christianity  was glorified  with suffix -ity  (purity, chastity, clarity nobility,  humility, piety).   New archaeological and linguistic discoveries have proved that there never was an Aryan invasion and that there is a continuity from the ancient Vedic civilization of the Sarasvati culture
 There is a very extensive cultural sophistication in Vedic texts extending to language, poetry, music, urban sites, temples and fire altars, mathematics and astronomy, medicine and herb-ology. For exampe of the Rigveda mantra I quoted while explaining Daharavidya or understanding Brahman—“Chatvari sringa trayo asya pada dve sirse sapta hastaso asya | tridhaa baddho vrishabho roraveeti maho devo martyaa aaviesa ||Rigveda IV.58.3.” This means Brahman has Four horns, three feet, two heads and seven hands.  This mystic  Bull connected in a threefold manner, eloquently declares the Self- luminous deity has entered the mortal everywhere.   
This mantra contains the hidden meaning Brahman is  Kaalpurusha or Time, symbolizing  the Yuga number or cosmic age of 4320,000,000 million years (Kalpa) as the mantra suggests  the numbers in order 4, 3, 2 and seven zero.  Brahman is described as a Mystic bull with 4 horns, 3 feet and two heads and 7 tongues in Vedas.  Brahman is also described as Kaala or time. This could mean 4+3+7=14 contained by two heads one dark and one bright,   one head focusing on dark half of the month and the other bright half of the month and the whole representing 4320,000, 000 years where 4, 3 and 2 appear as numerals and 7 as zeros constituting one Kalpa like Svetavaraha Kalpa, one span of cosmic time of Creation and dissolution.
The idea of mortal also comes from 4+3+2+7=16. Human being elsewhere referred to as Shodasee meaning 16. Human being constitutes 10 sense organs, Manas or mind and five elements or Panchbhootas.    A human being is also bound by three  states-Awakening, Dream and Deep-sleep described as Vaiswanara, tejasa Hiranyagaerrbha and also three Gunas of Prakriti. You see how deep is the meaning contained in the riddle language of Vedas and a research mind is needed to solve the riddle.
Not only Vedas but even  our scriptures have  such amazing hidden  information that needs to be revealed by researchers and understood by all:
In Hanuman Chalisa, it is said : "Yug sahasra yojan par Bhanu! Leelyo taahi madhur phal janu!!

1 Yug = 12000 years; 1 Sahasra = 1000;  1 Yojan = 8 Miles

Yug x Sahasra x Yojan = paar Bhanu
12000 x 1000 x 8 miles = 96,000,000 miles

1 mile = 1.6kms

96,000,000 miles x 1.6kms = 1,536,000,000 KLM 

NASA says that, it is the exact distance between Earth and Sun (Bhanu).That proves Hanuman  did jump to Planet Sun, thinking it as a sweet fruit (Madhur phal). It is really interesting how accurate and meaningful our ancient scriptures are. Unfortunately, it is hardly recognized or interpreted accurately or realized by any country in today’s world. 
There is a famous Rigveda verse relating to Yoga that occurs in the Shukla Yajurveda and in the description of Yoga practices in the second chapter of the Svetasvatara Upanishad-- Yunjante mana uta yunjante dhiyo vipra viprasya brhato vipaschitta meaning Rigveda V.82.1, “the vast illumined Seers  controlled their minds and their intellects by Yoga”.  The idea of Yoga as control of the mind or chitta, such as we find the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is firmly rooted in Rigvedic ideas as we note here.  We see in this Vedic verse, also quoted in the Upanishads, that the Vedic rishi had a vision of the Divine or Supreme Self both within the mind and as pervading all of nature. His language was Mantra and symbolic but his vision was Vedantic.
David Frawley concludes his speech with the following piece of advice: “The literary evidence of the Vedas is of a sophisticated spiritual and material culture in India, covering most of the north and west of the country, with its roots going back to the origins of agriculture. No other culture in the world has preserved such an important record for all humanity. It provides us a new window on our history and our human potential.
There is a need for an extensive new Vedic study and research in India, including considering the Mantra and yogic dimensions of Vedic knowledge. This is one of the most important intellectual considerations for the coming century, not only for India but for the world as a whole. We hope that ICHR will take this issue up in a serious manner and produce a comprehensive and enlightened view of the Vedas. Above all a new time line of ancient India should be created in which both the outer evidence and Vedic literary evidence are adequately considered. In the process many important secrets of ancient civilization are bound to be revealed for the benefit of historians and thinkers everywhere.”
I have been forwarding to you the powerful messages that Vedas, Upanishads and Gita send,   relevant to practical life and our need to focus on them for success in life as well  as spiritual uplift  as explained by modern spiritual Gurus. In fact my collection of Gems from Vedas and Upanishads   have been compiled keeping main focus on the same.  I hope you will try to chant them repeatedly knowing their meaning and derive the benefit from wisdom thoughts contained therein.
Please go through the full article by David Frawley:
Textual Evidence in the Vedas – Cultural and Historical Implications
By Dr.David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri)
Please go through:

--AUGUST 13, 2017
VEDIC ASRTROLOGY ON THE UPCOMING TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN USA
Please go through the Identical Planetary Placements  224 Years Apart presented  by Sam Geppi. The first chart marks the beginning of the Reign of Terror that began during the French Revolution, when ideologue Robespierre assumed power. The second is the chart of the August 8 Eclipse in the United States.
In both dates we see 7 of the nine visible planets in the exact same signs, an occurrence so rare as to boggle the mind. Also, in each example, the shadow of the eclipse path passes within a few hundred miles of each Nation’s Capital.
Rahu, sun, moon and retrograde Mercury in Leo. These are both days of the solar eclipse. Eclipse is also very tight, with an orb between four and 7°. This eclipse in Leo shows a counterfeit version of power, which usually trends toward tyranny and domination.
The common “Mercury retrograde” connection refers to backward thinking, miscommunication, flawed analyses and the lack of discrimination in support of this despotism and violence.
Additionally, we see Mars and Venus, both in cancer. The debilitated Mars shows a lack of discipline and moral integrity (9th house ruler, from Leo). Venus, which shows diplomacy and tolerance is highly compromised by this weakened Mars.
Additionally, prominent/important planets in Scorpio, a sign of paranoia, are ominous – Especially given the aforementioned debilitated Mars. When the ruler is weakened, the lower quality of the sign emerges. Meaning, Scorpio at best is a sign of emotional courage and resolve. When Mars is weakened however, it trends toward paranoia and emotional reaction.
 As you can see in the chart of  224 years back the path of the eclipse passed within a few hundred miles of Paris, the city in question. As you can see, the upcoming solar eclipse in August 2017 will pass within a few hundred miles of the US capital, Washington DC. Also look at the Chart of the Current President in relation to the August Eclipse Chart.
It’s clear to see the connection between the chart of the current president and the 2 eclipse charts. He has a 6° Leo ascendant, with Mars at 3°. The sun will be eclipsed at approximately 5° on August 21, which is right on his ascendant and Mars.
 Why the Nodes/Rahu?
Do you remember the story of Rahu and Ketu? Rahu had his head chopped off after being deceived. Rahu is a planet of confusion, deception and trickery. In fact, I discovered the connection to the reign of terror, and the solar eclipse, after a prominent decapitation occurred several years ago on a solar eclipse. This led me to investigate the most notorious rain of decapitations in history, the reign of terror in France. Much to my surprise I learned it both began and ended the days of the solar eclipses.
Why Leo?
Leo is the sign of the King. The sun being eclipsed by Rahu shows the obsessives and confused expression of power which led to the bloodbath in France more than 200 years ago. This same confused power struggle is looming ominously before us now.
Thoughts / Predictions / Conclusions
We are not 18th Century France, reacting to an entrenched monarchy system. We are a democracy, with many checks and balances in place to hedge against a literal “Reign of Terror”. But we definitely have a potential for harsh, authoritarian power plays and there are provisions in our bylaws that account for things like “Martial Law”, especially if it is to restore “Public Safety”.
We have already seen, not only attempts to silence dissenters (Media, Intel, Justice), but the removal of scientific data and information from official government websites, the installation of Cabinet members hostile to the Agencies they are meant to protect / citizens they are meant to serve, etc. Given the level of mobilized resistance already to these efforts by the current admin, there is no reason to think it will not get worse before it gets better. In the name of “Public Safety” we may see some attempts to over reach – using national-guard – for example, our outlawing protests (especially if they get violent which may be coming).
 It is my hope that the revolution is against the current regime that in fact they represent the worn-out aristocracy that began to shift, culturally at least, with Barack Obama. Recognition of multi-varsity and inclusion from the Obama years led to the backlash against it we are seeing – as it was corrupted by the same flawed system of paybacks, elitism and moneyed interests. Those years were seen as a certain Tyranny by some. Whereas others see this current regime as the real tyranny.
I am voting for inclusion and openness.
Following the French Revolution (if you set aside Napoleon’s conquest) France settled into a democratic system. There revolution had to be as harsh (in the reverse) as the system / oppression it was replacing in order to find balance.
--August 11, 2017
Comments received

Very interesting information. Thanks for sharing—Dr. Brahm Parsh

Thank you. Hope it is right, and we get better times ahead! Wonder if the violent protests yesterday in Virginia was already predicted 2 days ago, when he said..."or outlawing protests (especially if they get violent which may be coming)..."—Dr. Santhosh Venkatraman


Very interesting information. Being an engineering graduate, I am a layman in astrology and astronomy. What I have practically seen during a solar eclipse is that a Geiger Counter(used for measuring radiation) reading simply shoots up, compared to normal times, indicating large amounts of cosmic radiation. Kusha grass (the sacred Darbha grass) is supposed to be an insulator of electricity and this is added to food items during the eclipse possibly to prevent ionisation of the food articles and poisening them. Our Rishies and yogis used to sit on Darba grass during meditation to avoid draining of the spiritual currents (pranic currents of extremely high frequencies) developed during their practices. I also understand that Rahu and Ketu are imaginary points in space, opposite each other, used for astronomical calculations. Rahu is the point of convergence of the conical shadow's tail (which is shown as a wave as in snake's body, due to the natural vibration of the sun, moon and earth), conical shadow having been formed due to blocking of the light from the luminous body to the observer. This information which I got from my collegue has no scientific basis and so I would like to be pardoned for any inadequacy. Although I have been a technical person, I am now totally immersed in spiritual pursuit and there is a wide gap between worldly knowledge and reality.


OFFERING OBEISANCE TO ELDERS

It is the Hindu tradition to bow down to the Supreme and to the elders by kneeling and bowing ones head to the floor. There are 2 postures which are practiced by Hindus.  The Ashtaanga posture is when all 8 limbs of the body touch the floor (face down sleeping posture).  This is also called Sashtaanga Namaskaaram.  This is recommended to be done by men only.  The Panchaanga pranaamam or 5 parts of the body touching the floor (head, shoulders and hands, knees, feet) is done by men and women.  This is a kneeling posture with the head bowed down to the floor.   In temples prostrations of these types are done only to the Gods. Outside temples they are done to elders.  Prostrations should not be done to those who are sleeping or still in wet clothes.  One should not also bow down to those who are younger in age.   In the Vaishnava practice the men in the family prostrate and then announce their name, ancestry and school of thought (abihivaadanam) after they have had their upanayanam (thread ceremony).  Usually one announces his gotra, the three or five sages one is  discendant  from, the sutra one follows, the Vedas one follows and then ones name to receive blessing from elders. These announcements are not made before God,   Sages, Sanyasis, or women  other than ones mother. Abhivaadanam is an interesting practice handed down from generation to generation without any documentation.  It was unique way of maintaining a record of the family background, school of thought, Vedic study and background of the individual. 
Please go through the present posting on the subject and also go through my discourse why we do many things in Hindu Culture:



The Value of Offering Obeisance to Elders
Posted by Vaijayanti Mala Devi Dasi |   | Articles on Hinduism |  IndiaDivine.Org
When my son went to India and met an elderly lady, he offered his obeisance  and seeing this the lady started crying and blessed my son saying that nowadays none of the new generation children like the act of offering obeisance  and said she was astonished seeing my son doing this even though brought up in a foreign country. The credit for teaching my son this should go to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON, in which offering obeisance is an integral part of Vaishnava culture.
Offering obeisance to the Supreme Lord and to the devotees of the Lord is an important limb of Bhakti or devotional service. The first thing we are expected to do upon having darshan of the Lord or His pure devotees is to offer pranams. In our Vedic culture it has been a practice that whenever the younger ones in the family meet anyone elder than them, they immediately fall at their feet and offer their obeisance  and seek the elder’s blessings. In Mahabharatha also we see that Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead follows this very nicely and whenever He meets Yudhishtira who is elder, the Lord gets up and offers respects. This culture is mostly forgotten now. Srimad Bhagavatam from the beginning to the end, glorifies the Lord by saying “namah namah” again and again. The first verse in Srimad Bhagavatam begins with “om namo bhagavate vasudevaya” and the last verse is 12.13.23
naama-sankirtanam yasya sarva-paapa-pranaashanam |
pranaamo duhkha-shamanas  tam namaami harim param ||
“I offer my respectful obeisance untothe Supreme Lord, Hari, the congregational chanting of whose holy names destroys all sinful reactions, and the offering of obeisance  unto whom relieves all material suffering.”
We are unaware of the great value of this practice. Just by falling at the feet of the elders we attract the mercy and blessings of the elders and any misunderstanding or anger just melts away by this very act. In this regard there is a beautiful story of sage Markandeya in the Padma Purana Srsti khanda chapter 33 and we shall see the same here.
This pastime of Markandeya is different from the one given in the Srimad Bhagavatam, as it is from a different Kalpa (4320, 000, 000 years). In the previous Kalpa, there was a renowned sage by the name Mrikandu and a son was born to him. His name was Markandeya. That boy attained five years of age and developed exceedingly good qualities. Once, a sage full of knowledge saw the boy roaming around in the courtyard. The sage stood there for a long time and through his mystic vision came to know all about the future course of events that were to occur in the life of the boy. Seeing the sage, Mrikandu asked him, “What is the duration of life of my son? Kindly calculate the number of years remaining in his life, and whether they are less in quantity or great.” The sage said, “O Lord of the sages! The creator of this world [Brahma] has fixed the total remaining duration of life of your son to be six months. Please do not lament. I have told you the truth.” Mrikandu heard this and then performed the Upanayana, sacred thread ceremony, of his son Mrikandu then said to his son, “Always offer obeisance to the sages.” The son, having heard this, took great pleasure in offering such obeisance.
Not caring for high or low caste, he paid respects to all humans. After five months and twenty-five days had passed, Markandeya saw a group of seven sages and offered his respects to them. Markandeya was wearing a mekhala, a belt-like girdle, and was carrying a staff. The sages said, “aayushmaan bhava,” “Live long!” However, after saying this, they noticed that the boy had only five days remaining in his life. Knowing this fact, the sages became frightened. They took the boy with them and went to see Lord Brahma. They paid their respects to Lord Brahma and introduced the boy. The boy offered obeisance to Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma said to the boy, “May you live long.” The sages heard these words and were visibly pleased. Lord Brahma saw the sages and was amazed. He said to the sages, “Who is this lad and why has he come here?” The sages then narrated everything as follows, “This is the son of Mrikandu. He is short-lived. We have brought him here so that you can kindly make him live long. Seeing that he was short lived, his father named Mrikandu performed the Upanayana ceremony, tying the girdle around his waist and bestowing the staff. Mrikandu then advised him to pay respects to each and every saintly person he saw. O great grandsire! We were on a pilgrimage and happened to notice this lad paying respects to each and every one. Thus we blessed him by saying, ‘Live long!’ How will the words spoken by us as well as yourself come true?” Thus addressed by them, Lord Brahma replied, “This is Satyaloka — the land where true words are spoken. This is the reason why it is fearless from all sides. This lad named Markandeya will now have a life-span equivalent to mine. This, best among sage, will be helpful to me and will be present along with me at the beginning as well as at the end of Kalpa.”
Thus we see the great value of offering obeisance  and now under the blessings of Srila Prabhupada we should revive this wonderful culture and teach our younger generation the value of this.
--August 11, 2017
KRISHNA JANMAASHTHAMI AND HINDU CONFUSION-ISM
Sri Krishna Jayanti falls on  August 14  or 13th September  depending on the traditions this year. With all its pride in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” and “Devo ekah” Hindu Religion as is practiced   today is –ism based—Saivism, Vaishnavism, Saktism and Astrology-ism etc. Therefore we have two Krishna Jayantis, two Hanuman Jayantis, three Upakarmas, two Uttarayanas two Dakshinayanas practiced to convenience and Nine planets of astrology in contradiction to Vedic Astrologyof Surya Chandra, Brihaspati and Bhoomi  being only presiding  deities, Rahu and Ketu being myths and others dead planets. American Hindu Temples are copy-cats, follow sectarian India and depending on the strength of the boards and main deity belonging to –ism group decide on the special worship days and rituals.
In Nashville where I stay Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on August 14  this year where the main deity is Ganesha, priests are all  Saivites and Saivites are in majority as Board members. Vaishnavaites   stay home and celebrate it on September 13 which  day is not a special worship Day in Ganesha temple.  May be Pittsburgh will be celebrating KIrishna Janmashthmi  on 13 September as in Tirupati. We do not celebrate astronomical Uttarayana and Dakshinaayana on actual days because astrologers say they are   on January 14 and July 16th. Similarly Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated   during Rama Navami as Ayodhyavasis say and not on Mula Nakshtra Dhanurmasa in December as North American  Panchangam says. It is   obligatory   for a temple like Nashville to celebrate both days of Upakarma, Krishna Jayanti, Hanuman Jayanti, Winter and Summer Solstice Days as all religions observe and since astronomy can’t be questioned,   as  special worship days in a year since they solicit donations from all and  are also concerned about all traditions till they find a common ground to have one North American Panchangam made obligatory for all instead of copying confusing sectarian traditions from India. Hindu Temple of Fiji and BAPS  Organization in USA celebrate these festivals on week-end  Sundays mainly to attract crowd and collect funds with active participation  like what America does for its holidays as well as Presidents” Day. Are we not dishonoring Gita's statement "tasmaat saastram pramaanam te"? Do we know what these sastras  are? Temples say these are  sectarian Aagamas-Siva, Sakta Vaishnava Aagamas!
For a Hindu temple of Multi Traditions this is unfortunate confusion. The Council  of Hindu Temple of North America publishes one North American Panchangam   whose author is Panchga-Mandiram  of Mysore, a  well -known and diplomatic Panchngam published in India.  It pleases all –isms and so everyone is happy. American Hindus are very highly educated   unlike Hindu masses in India. There are eminent world reputed Astor-physicists among them. Why can’t they sit with the eminent astrologer of North American Panchangam and bring one Panchangam suitable for all. It baffles Hindu American Youth that Krishna and Hanuman are born on different days for different traditions and Krishna was killed also on different days for different traditions by an arrow of a hunter and solstice days are different to Hindus which are based  on science and astronomy to all others!  We know Dr. Narahari of Memphis did elaborate research on Mahabharata War using planetary software and fixed its date. B. N. Achar used planetarium software to argue that the Mahabharata War took place in 3067 BCE. It should not be difficult  for him to fix the right birthday of Krishna and Hanuman acceptable to analytical Hindu American Mind. All temples in USA should have a common goal and common approach to unify all Hindus from different traditions, spiritually  advance also,  lead the country spiritually focusing on few important festivals and rituals with common understanding based on the wisdom of Vedas.  Vedas deal with rituals only and not on festivals and the aim of Gita is to lead one to tranquility, happiness and equanimity. No rituals are prescribed by it and Gita’s doctrine is beyond religious and National boundaries. Our worship, festivals and rituals should reflect these thoughts  and also the wisdom of Vedas Eko Viprah bahuda vadanti,  Vasudaiva kutumbakam, sangacchadvam samvadadvam, Krinvanto viswamaaryam, sarvejanah sukb hino bhavantu etc .It is worth going  through what JAINA has done as well as Buddhists from India who are plagued with similar problems in India that being Indian culture--divide and fight!  I had appraised you about the significant contributions of JAINA and unification  of Jain community in USA fighting its orthodoxy from India but not neglecting dharma aspects of Jainism. 
 I am delighted to share a short and very sweet prayer on Lord Krishna by Akrura taken from Padma Puranam, Uttara Khanda and Chapter 260 (titled Kamsa Vadha) sent by   Muralidharan Iyengar from Singapore. Lord Shiva mentions that one who chants this hymn at the time of taking bath gets the benefit of bathing in all holy rivers and attains Lord Vishnu's abode in addition to getting relief from all troubles.  Here we see mutual admiration  of Siva and Vishnu and their oneness which does not reflect in their worships by us.  May we pray  to Lord Krishna on His Janmashtami day with this exquisite prayer and accrue immense spiritual wealth! Please also  go through my detailed discourse on  Krishna Janmashthami:
 Sri Krishna Stuti – Akrura – Padma Puranam
 Akrūra uvāca -
kālātmane namastubhyaṁ anādinidhanāya ca |
avyaktāya namastubhyaṁ avikārāya te namaḥ || 1 ||
bhūta-bhartre namastubhyaṁ bhūta-vyāghra namo namaḥ |
namaste sarva-bhūtānāṁ-niyantre paramātmane || 2 ||
vikārāyā 'vikārāya pratyakṣa-puruṣāya ca |
guṇa-bhartre namastubhyaṁ niyamāya namo namaḥ || 3 ||
deśa-kālādi-nirbheda rahitāya paramātmane |
anantāya namastubhyaṁ acyutāya namo namaḥ || 4 ||
govindāya namastubhyaṁ trayīnāthāya śārṅgiṇe |
nārāyaṇāya viśvāya vāsudevāya te namaḥ || 5 ||
viṣṇave puru-rūpāya śāśvatāya namo namaḥ |
padmanetrāya nityāya śaṅkha-cakra-dharāya ca || 6 ||
uadyat-koṭi-ravi-prakhya bhūṣaṇāñcita varcase |
haraye sarva-lokānāṁ-īśvarāya namo namaḥ || 7 ||
savitre sarva-jagatāṁ-bījāya paramātmane |
saṅkarṣaṇāya kṛṣṇāya pradyumnāya namo namaḥ || 8 ||
aniruddhāya dhātre ca vidhātre viśva-yonaye |
sahasra-mūrttaye tubhyaṁ bahu-mūrdhāṅghri-bāhave || 9 ||
sahasra-nāmne nityāya puruṣāya namo namaḥ |
namaste nāga-paryaṅka-śāyine saumya-rūpiṇe || 10 ||
keśavāya namastubhyaṁ pīta-vastra-dharāya ca |
lakṣmī ghana-kucāśleṣa vimardojjvala varcase |
śrīdharāya namastubhyaṁ śrīśāyā 'nanta-rūpīṇe || 11 ||
 Phalasruti
 īśvara uvāca -
snāna-kāle paṭhed yastu devaṁ dhyāyan sanātanam |
imaṁ stavaṁ naro bhaktyā mahadbhir mucyate hyadhaiḥ || 12 ||
sarva-tīrtha-phalaṁ-prāpya viṣṇu-sāyujyaṁ-āpnuyāt |
evamantarjale devaṁ stutvā bhāgavatottamaḥ || 13 ||
arcayāmāsa sa jalaiḥ kusumaiśca sugandhibhiḥ |
kṛtakṛtyas tadākruro nirgatya yamunā jalāt || 14 ||
sametya rāmakṛṣṇau tu praṇanāma śubhānvitaḥ |
taṁ dṛṣṭvā prāha govindo vinītaṁ vismitaṁ hariḥ || 15 ||

|| iti pādme-mahāpurāṇe pañcapañcāśat-sāhasryāṁ-saṁhitāyāṁ uttara-khaṇḍe umā-maheśvara-saṁvāde śrīkṛṣṇa-carite kaṁsa-vadho-nāmādhyāye akrūra-kṛta rīkṛṣṇa-stutiḥ sampūrṇam ||

--August 10, 2017
Comments Received
 Good Thoughts. BTW, do you know Hindus are the laziest people, according to the latest report, on this planet? They follow wasteful and stupid rituals without intellectual exercise. Their lifestyle, in India particularly, is full of filth because they refuse to follow hygienic rules and practices. Those who are managing temples affairs in USA are educated derelicts, I do not expect any change from these people. --Tarun N Surti



UPAKARMA RITUAL AUGUST 7, 2017
Tomorrow is Upakarma. Is Upakarma meant Brahmin male Dwijas Only? It is for you to think about it and not to go by the sermons by Swamijis. Also this upakarma is postponed in India because of the visibility of Chadragrahana in India. Since this is not visible in USA Sri Ganesha temple in Nashville has wisely thought to conduct the same for the desired performers at its premises. This is a Universal Atonement Day for all for all the sins committed and evil thought we are haunted with. Hindus restrict this to threaded Brahmin males. Hindu American Temples also administer Gayatri Mantra   during Hindu Marriage Ceremony and also perform  holy thread investiture ceremony to  male Christian boy wedded to a Hindu girl which has not caught the eyes  of  our Sankaracharyas! They too are entitled to do this Upakarma ritual. Usually they do not bother as well as many Hindu Americans, for Lord Jesus  attoned for all our sins by crucifixion on the Cross and some now feel  He is Sanat Kumara and son of God. Those of you who have missed my discourse may through the relevant extracts to know about tomorrow’s Upakarma ritual. This is a sign for Interfaith Dialogue now popular in USA!
 “Kaamoekaarsheet in Sanskrit means ‘those acts that are out of desire’. ‘Manyurakaarsheet’   means “those acts that are committed out of anger”. The general practice of uttering ‘namoh namah’ after this mantra appears to be not appropriate as this Japam is done with a sense of contrition according to some. However if one goes back to the full Mantra as given in Mahanarayana Upanishad it will be clear why adding “Namoh Namah” is stipulated.  Some- times it is not advisable to resort to word-by-word meaning of mantras.  Also full Mantra chanting makes sense and enhances spiritual value which runs   as follows:
 “Kamoe-akarsheen namoh namah | Kamo-akarsheet-kaamah karoti naaham karomi kaamah kartaa naaham kartaa kaamah kaarayitaa naaham kaarayitaa eshaa te kaama kaamaaya swaahaa || 
Manyu-rakaarsheer-nnamo namah | manyu-rakaarsheen-manyuh karoti naaham karomi manyuh karta naaham kartaa manyuh kaarayitaa naaham kaarayitaa eshaa te manyoe manyave Swaaha || (61—62, Mantrapushpam, Narayanopanishad, Ramakrishna Math).
The translation of the mantras runs as follows:
Salutations are to the Gods.  Desire performed the act. Desire did the act. Desire is doing the act, not I (Self). Desire is the agent not I. Desire causes the doer to act not I. O Desire, fascinating in form, let this oblation be offered to thee, Hail!
 Salutations are to the Gods. Anger performed the act. Anger did the act. Anger is doing the act; not I. Anger is the agent; not I. Anger causes the doer to act; not I. O Anger, let this oblation be offered to thee. Hail!
 We do not have the authority to alter the mantras of Vedas for our convenience or condense them.  It is therefore essential we chant the full mantra 108 or 1008 times as per convenience. Since the word Swaahaa comes at the end of these mantras, these are mantras meant for Homa (sacrifice) for annual self-atonement like the one we recite in daily prayers for self-atonement (prayaschittaa)—“Sooryascha maamanyuscha…..paapebhyo rakshantaam” and “Agnischa maamanyuscha….paapebhyo rakshantam”. Unfortunately Sandhyavandana mantras are also made exclusive by wrong interpretation to Brahmin   males only where the dwijas   pray for atonement of their sins committed during the day. Does it mean others do not commit sins or they   do not need atonement every day?
 Lord Narayana, to whom this apology is submitted, is sure to bear the acts of our omissions and commissions with regard to Saastras.
Kamokaarsheet Mantras appear in the Andhra version of Mahanarayana Upanishad (MNU) in section 61 and  62. Prior to them section 61 contains a mantra as follows:
 “Yadvo devaaschakrima  jihvayaa   guru manaso vaa prayutee devahedanam | araavaa yoe noe abhi ducchunaayate tasmin tadenoe vasavoe nidhetana swaahaa  ||
 O Gods, O Vasus, that serious god-offending sin which we committed by our tongues, by our understanding, and by our actions, place that in those who come near and act in an evil way towards us (provoke us).  Hail (Swaahaa)!
 This is a Homa mantra for self-purification as it ends with the sacrificial term “Swaha” a term used in offering oblations to fire. The next two mantras described above as Kamokarsheet manyurakarsheet mantras only elaborate what is mentioned in section 61.  Therefore the above Kamokarsheet  mantras are  meant for Homa  for all which are also employed for Japa (repeated recitation) during Upakarma.  Probably Grihyasutras later adopted these Vedic mantras condensing them while prescribing Upaakarma ritual procedures. It is therefore advisable to use the full Vedic mantras instead of condensing them to hurry up the Japas. Their full version is convenient for Japa and is not too long. It is therefore fitting and proper to chant Kamokarsheet manyurakarsheet mantras contained in sections 61 and 62 in full as given above and not what is given in Upaakarma ritual manuals.”
 --August 6 2017

 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY—SECOND QUARTER
 I believe many of you are too busy struggling hard with your kid’s future and also busy in your pursuits. Those retired like me may think it is too late to focus on spirituality and postpone it to next birth enjoying the short time left behind. You might have missed my regular E-mails now and then or stored them and forgotten about it. I bring to your kind attention and leisurely reading my collection of all E-mails sent to my active participants in the second quarter of the year 2017. I would like to share these thoughts sent you spending time and effort with my blog readers also apart from the   discourses that I share.   This is a new service I started last year which according to Google Reports is very popular among blog visitors though comments and suggestions from you were sporadic.   I hope to end my contribution of discourses to the Blog by the end of  this year.  However, I will continue posting  my collection of E-mails sent to you on quarterly basis  on the blog to benefit the blog visitors from different parts of the globe as long as I can. They have been quite active   and the blog reading as well as participants are  gaining momentum.  My E-mails often dwell on forwarding messages received from great thinkers and knowledgeable people like Swami Chidananda of Fowai Forum, Swami Chidananda  of Paramrtha Niketan,  Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev,   Phil Goldberg, John Smallman, IndiaDivine.Org, Facebook, Feed-spot, Huff-post, Swarajya,   Internet sources, serious religious and spiritual thinkers  and HR Forum participants who have sent their valuable suggestions etc., with my comments and further research.   I started my discourses on Hinduism indu Religion, Spirituality and Culture in 2002 at Sri Ganesha Temple, Nashville TN, USA encouraged by the then Chairman,  Baal Vihaar School  DR. Vedavyas and an ardent devotee and teacher of Baal Vihaar Kamala Raghunathan. Some of you continuously  support me too appreciating my work.  I did not realize my own strength then. Now Hindu Reflections will complete its mission with little more than 300 postings with more than 3000 pages of reading material on the blog and the customary E--mails as you see in this E-mail.   Around 350000   pages have been read by blog visitors not counting your participation. I hope I have taken your thoughts around multi-aspects of Hindu Religion, Vedanta,   Hindu culture, Inter-faith, Spirituality and Out-reach available all at one source making it mini-encyclopedia on Hinduism.   Your comments and further suggestions as to how I had served you in the past and how can I can serve you better in the future will be highly appreciated. I would strongly recommend that you download my classified discourses and use it for reference to go to your subject of interest as my blog is perhaps one of the largest of its kind. My discourses are posted as they got delivered as guest lectures and are not arranged in any orderly fashion. These E-mails are not related to my discourses posted on the Blog. Those of you who are busy in your pursuits may unsubscribe to receive the E-mails in the future and be content with registration on the blog If any of your friends wants to be on my e-mail they may contact me at <nadipuram @hotmail.com>The topics so for posted on the Blog under this  series are:
1. Thoughts of the Day (January 2017)
2. Exclusive E-Mails of Hindu Reflections (January 2017)
3. Thought for the Day --First Quarter 2017    (July 2017)
4. Thought for the Day --Second Quarter 2017 (August 2017)


VEDIC LAB AND LIBRARY

Vedas,  say the universe is made of matter and energy  as revealed by Einstein's Theory E=Mc2 about which I have spoken a lot; Please see the exciting news thanks to the Herculean effort by a Hindu American Professor from Rochester Institute of Technology, USA. I am also   leaving behind my blog Hindu Reflections : <nrsrini.blogspot.com> one source at finger-touch containing the wisdom of Vedas as supplementary mission, a work of  a decade and one man's effort.
A State-Of-The-Art Vedic Lab and Library to Be Set Up In Bengaluru Soon
(Swarajya  Staff, Bengaluru, India)

All ancient Indian wisdom will soon be one touch away thanks to an upcoming state-of-the-art preservation laboratory which will bring the Vedas and other Indian scriptures onto your smartphones.
As reported by The Times of India, the initiative will be set up in Bangalore and is being spearheaded by Bengalurean P R Mukund, who is an engineering professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  It was his desire to preserve Vedic manuscripts and the wisdom they hold that got him to develop a technology called Waferfiche which is being used to preserve the manuscripts available on ancient palm leaves.
With the help of this technology, images of manuscripts will be copied through multi-spectral imaging process on a Waferfiche, which is a water and fire proof silicon wafer. This wafer can then be read using as simple magnifying glass. The palm leaves are first softened by rubbing them with the juice of Tulsi, following which a micro-image of the leaves are digitized using the multi-spectral image technology.
Three thousand old manuscripts have already been converted into digital form and are now being turned into e-books.
Mukund, who is also the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of Knowledge in New York, said, "The upcoming India Centre, which will house the manuscripts, will have a library of digital books of these granthas and a laboratory where I can make more of these Waferfiche discs. I'm confident of getting talent in India. A lot of Indian students connect with me online to hear my talks on Vedic science and are very energized about it".
A ‘fortunate’ encounter with Vedic scholar Bannanje Govindacharya few years ago led Mukund to delve into the Vedas and other Hindu scriptures. "I was amazed at the research done in this country while scripting the Vedas, which say the universe is made of matter and energy  If science and its by-products explain matter, spirituality is all about energy. All our scriptures provide knowledge about energy," he says.
And if you too possess any of the old manuscripts that you inherited, you can share it with the foundation and have them digitized.
--August 5, 2017

Hindu American Thoughts and Actions on Wake-up call of Swami Vivekananda
Hindu Americans should wake up to the call given by Vivekananda on "Vedanta Religion of the Future to the World" about which I talked about in detail whose principles Hindu American should  gradually implement in its present worship and rituals to save the extinction of Hinduism on a foreign soil as it happened to European culture and many ancient religions and also promote it through spirituality, meditation and Yoga that will not cause a revolution but evolution to integrate its walled approach  copied from India and also influence walled Abrahamic Religions. This needs looking into current religious practices imported from India and modify them within the discipline of Hindu Dharma with proper explanation to influence the young minds who are mostly attracted to Major religion of the land by the Universal binding force of Love. Hindus in India will not listen to off-shore advice nor are they concerned with our problems. They enjoy internal fights and are busy. Soon Abrahamic Religions and 33% of Americans who say they are SBNR (Spiritual but not religious) will join us.    Let us strengthen the organizations like HMEC, VHP, The Council of Hindu Temples of North America etc., who focus on American Hindu community and Hindu Dharma in their task of universal appeal without prejudice and insist on them not to focus all the time on Hindu India operating in USA. We have our own problems which need attention. Many of us have left India by fatal attraction of   Material World and we need to survive and succeed. Indian migrants have not succeeded in getting dual citizenship like European migrants who succeeded may be due to their common belief in Christianity and ambition to make it Religion of the world. But it has misfired in USA 33% being SBNR along with sizable atheists who say Atheism is a Religion and exercise their religious rights as I talked about.
Sri Ganesaha temple in Nashville is focused on this problem may be many other Hindu American Temples too! Performing Samaskaras for interfaith couples,   welcoming and accommodating Interfaith married couples to Hindu Temples and allow them to participate in Hindu religious worship,  conducting  week-end temple tour to all irrespective of caste, creed or race as long as they observe temple discipline and etiquette, explain principles of Hindu Dharma and to take children of Baal  Vihaar to different religions’ worship places  is to  impress upon the public of the broad outlook of Hindu American community and the need of the hour.   This is the American Hindu way.
Unfortunately such things are not possible in India if Inter-faith couples reveal or expose their identity with a Western partner as they enter a Hindu temple when they visit6 India.  I had my recent experience in taking a White American friend to Kapali Temple in Chennai.  In spite of my diplomatically avoiding sanctum visits merely confining to outermost cir-cum-ambulatory path,   I was shouted and hunted down.  Some efforts have been made in India in building Siva-Vishnu temple in Chennai   learning their lessons from Orissa tradition particularly the ancient  Bhuvanesvar  Temple  where Salagrama and Linga are worshiped together with Bilva and Tulasi as in Tirupati.  Gomatesvara idol in Srvanabelgola stands naked on a hillock with no fortress built around and people of all faiths do Pada-puja (charnam pavitram vitatam puranam ena pootahscharati dushkritaani).  The deity can be seen from  few  miles from the temple. That is how Venkatesvara stood on Venkatadri without Sankha and Chakra in the beginning before it was commercialized,  which the good Lord tolerates as the income benefits his devotees. That is why Jains rushed to the Tirupati hills and worshiped him as Neminatha and Buddhist and British high executives worshiped  him as Sanat Kumara hailed in Book of Revelations of the Holy Bible.
Recently Pejawar Monastery Swamiji in Udupi opened the premises to Muslims to hold Ramadan breaking-fast prayer and also enjoy the symbolic feast in its premises. In Tiruvaiyar temple authorities removed altars of Navagrahas, Nayanmars and many other minor deities   focusing on main deities of Siva and his family. Hindus in India are busy with  building temples for Ganesha and Hanuman in every street corner posing traffic hazard and in crowded bus stands,   busy with cow vigilante programs and have no time for rationale thinking in a Sovereign Democratic  Secular Republic and feel happy that they are championing the cause  of  Hindu religion moving away from Hindu Dharma  and are blind to the reforms that have taken place in their own tradition and orthodoxy. At the same time once a very open minded Jagannath Temple in Puri has raised a  prominent  display  "Entry for Hindus Only” probably plagued by the recent forceful conversions to Christianity by some active   missionaries in India in Odisha. On the other hand Christians and Jews in USA welcome the visits of Baal Vihaar students  with an open house policy   because Holy  Bible says; "My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all peoples" (Isiah 56:7). No such open declaration and practice is seen in Hindu worship in  India as temple worships are of recent origin and are regimental as decided by the religious  monastery heads and temple authorities. Muslim countries give no scope for this even though there are isolated Hindus who are married to Muslim community which is rather rare.    You can’t even carry Bhagavad Gita in your hands in Saudi Arabia.   American Hindus are trying to broaden their vision with the Vedic wisdom of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” and “Eko viprah bahudaa  Vadanti”. With a view to break the sectarian walled traditions Ganesha Temple in Nashville, though Agama based,   concludes its worship with the hymn   “ OM Jaya Jagadeesa Hare” and relevant Veda mantras   with its Universal appeal  in which  many visitors from Abrahamic Religions join Hindu American devotees.   They are conducting a series of Interfaith Dialogue seminars (aa no bhadrantu kratavah yantu Viswatah), This is just a beginning and much more needs to be done to achieve spiritual progress and Universal Oneness
Your comments are welcome.
--August 5, 2017

YOGI RAMSURATKUMAR FROM ARUNACHALESVAR
Please find below an exciting report on Yogi Ramsuratkumar from Arunachalesvar. This article at once inspired by many to come with their personal experience with the Guruji in flesh and blood and not a myth, similar to the experience with  Arunagirinthar and Ramana Mahrshi about whom I recently talked to you. Among many comments I have picked one as very spiritual and emotional   as it echoes my thoughts  on RAA-MA  Mantra, that evolved out of Ma and  Ra the two letters that Narada administered to a destitute hunter and killer who after repeating became Sage Valmiki who wrote Ramayana. If there be such a high salvation for such a sinner there is hope for every one of us to attain Moksha (moha+kshaya meaning getting rid of attachment) and ultimately Mukti (Liberation) by meditating on RAMA mantra. RAMA mantra constitutes Ashtaakshari and Panchakshari (Om Namo Narayanaya and Namh Sivaya), Ra  and ma  being seed letters of the two mantras as explained in my discourse. Here is the comment with my editing:
“As stated if the Mantram SRI RAMA JAYA RAMA JAYA JAYA RAMA is chanted continuously 24 hours in a day all the 24 elements of our composition namely Pancha Bhutas, Dasa Indriyas, Pancha Pranas and four Antah Karanas (Manas, Buddhi, Chitta  and Ahamkara ) would be spiritually activated and they correspond to the 24   names OF Vishnu   which we chant  as part of sankalpam before doing any worship or Sandhyavandana.  Secondly the twenty four hours signify 24 spokes in Dharma/Kaala Chakra as well 24 letters of Gayatri Mantra. Accordingly 24 hours of one day is the subtle form (Sukshma Rupam) of one`s life time. Prabhu Rama is Dharma Swarupam.  Dharmam is Satyam (Chhandogya) as Dharmam protects those who protect it. Satyam is Jayam as Truth only triumphs (Satyameva Jayate).  Hence the Mantra  carries significance that Rama is Jayam. Thus continuous chanting of Rama Namam round the clock for  24 hours on any day ensures Jayam (success) which is nothing but Muki to Physical body, Sthula Sareeram (Hardware), Subtle Body,  Sukshma Sareeram (Software) and Causal body  Karana Sareeram (Firmware) and definitely one would undergo spiritual enlightenment--. P.V.A.P SWAMY”
Please go through my discourse on the subject:
The Joyous Presence of Yogi Ramsuratkumar
Posted by L. Ramani   Saints and Gurus|  IndiaDivine.Org 
The Arunachaleswara Temple sits at the foot of the Sacred Mountain Arunachala and dominates the flat countryside of Tamil Nadu. At the base of the imposing sculptured towers of the temple, simple beggars congregate in long rows. One among them is seated, wrapped in many clothes of different sizes and colors, a country fan in one hand, the personification of disheveled splendor and yet his face shines with a divine glow.
Here we come across a happy beggar, whose spontaneous laughter is infectious and joyous. He is Yogi Ramsuratkumar. People come to him bringing their problems and he envelops them with peace. His compassion lifts their heavy burdens. Rare are the remarkable beings who live in the conscious presence of divine grace and can distribute it selflessly to all who come to them. In Yogi Ramsuratkumar we have such a presence living today at the foot of Arunachala.
Yogi Ramsuratkumar was born in a village near Varanasi, in North India. He was fascinated by the sacred river Ganga in an inexplicable way. Playing along the banks of the Ganga, brought him immense happiness. Even as a young boy he longed for the company of holy men, who thronged to the Ganga. From this association, the inner urge for true peace, began to produce ripples of spiritual longing. A Seemingly ordinary incident changed his outlook for good. It was the sight of the death of a bird – this brought home the message of the transitory nature of life. Slowly, God intoxication sopped his soul. One of the monks he met at this time suggested that he meet Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry, in South India.
Sri Aurobindo’s “Lights on Yoga” widened his already mature inner vision. Merely being in Aurobindo Ashram brought Yogi into a state of divine madness. From there he was drawn to Sri Ramana Maharisi at Tiruvannamalai. The complete accessibility of Sri Ramana was a tremendous gift to Yogi Ramsuratkumar. Sri Ramana was available day and night to all the devotees. He stayed in Sri Ramanasramam for a few months and drenched himself in Sri Ramana’s all-pervading grace.
A few incidents touched him deeply. As was the habit in Sri Ramanasramam after puja was done to the Mother’s shrine, the arati plate was put before Bhagavan. One day he took Kumkum (sacred red powder) as usual from the plate. Yogi happened to be the first to take the Kumkum which Bhagavan had just touched. The mere touch of the same plate put him into an ecstatic state. On another occasion the Yogi was thrilled to witness the compassion of Sri Bhagavan. A devotee, Ekanath Rao, brought a bowl filled with various fruits cut into pieces into the hall where Bhagavan sat. Within the large bowl was a small bowl with pieces specially cut for Bhagavan. Bhagavan’s sense of equality was total and although his tolerance toward devotees was immense he would never permit anything special for himself. When Bhagavan noticed a separate bowl for himself he was annoyed and pushed the bowl roughly aside. A few pieces split on the floor and were left there. The devotee then began to distribute the fruit-pieces to all in the hall. Everyone in the hall sat with a few pieces in their hands, not wanting to eat since Bhagavan himself did not have any. Out of compassion for the devotees, Sri Ramana reached down, picked up the fruits that had fallen on the ground and began to eat. The rest of the devotees then were able to eat.
After spending these glorious days with Bhagavan Ramana, the Yogi went to the Himalayas. With the passage of time, the divine fervor that he had experienced at Aurobindo Ashram and Sri Ramana’s presence began to wane. When he heard that both Sri Aurobindo and Sri Ramana had left the body the same year he went to visit Swami Ramdas. Swami Ramdas told him to chant Ram Nam (the name of Ram – Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Rarn) for 24 hours. He did this and was brought back into the state of “divine madness”.
Reminiscing on the time spent in Sri Ramana’s presence, Yogi Ramsuratkumar has said: “Once a sadhaka put a number of questions to the Maharishi. One of these questions, along with Sri Maharishi’s reply, was translated into English for the benefit of those who did not know that language like myself. The question was: ‘If the Guru dropped the body even prior to the sishya (disciple) having succeeded in his sadhana, is it necessary for the sishya to seek another Guru to guide him further on?’ The reply was: ‘Not necessary. He can continue his sadhana. Guidance and grace will flood him undoubtedly’.
When someone ventured to ask the Yogi why in that case had  he gone to Swami Ramdas after Maharishi’s passing, he graciously replied: ‘I had begun to see that a Higher Power was expressing itself, using me as an instrument. Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi was a principal influence in shaping this beggar to this state. After his passing away this beggar needed a Guru in the body. I did not see any conflict in going to Swami Ramdas. It was Swami Ramdas who initiated this beggar and gave him this madness! The inner life of saints like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Sri Aurobindo, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi, and Swami Ramdas is far far removed from what we can externally perceive of them; they are not just bodies. They are ever rooted only in the Eternal infinite’.
Around Yogi Ramsuratkumar there is a fragrant atmosphere of tenderness, beauty, a perennial flow of godly love. He has found inner bliss and the radiation of that bliss to those around him is palpable; it seems almost as though one could touch it. His words may be forgotten, but never his presence and the deep impregnable power of his personality. Often after speaking or lifting a devotee’s worldly burdens he fills him with the vibrant chanting of Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram. His sweet voice reverberates, resounds in the air. And one knows that here before him is a man who has freed himself from all the fetters of the world and lives in that divine state of union, ‘oneness’ with the entire creation.
[Personal experience of a devotee on visit: Words are superfluous to speak of the affection I enjoyed from Sri yogi I was in 1982 December 82 or Jan 83. I got a chance to have darshan of Yogiji in Thiruvannamalai. At that time there were only very few visitors less than five or six and yogiji asked me why I came to see Him When I explained   that I wanted to conduct my sister’s marriage as I had to do it from my meagre earnings yogi   blessed me that   “Father will bless me” meaning that Arunachaleswarar will bless me and asked me to get up. After prostrating when I was about to leave the house from the Sannadhi Street Guruji accompanied me up to the gate and just at that time wanted me to wait for a few moments and asked me if I wanted His picture and when I said it was a blessing to have His picture from His own hands Yogiji went inside and removed His picture that was hanging behind Him and gave it to me with the words KEEP THIS with you and that He will guide me. And that picture that I got in Jan1983 is still adorning my  House walk.  My anantha koti namaskarams to the beloved Yogi].

SHINTOISM HAS ITS GRASAS ROOTS IN SANATNA DHARMA AND HINDUISM LIKE ALL WORLD RELIGIONS
Shintoism is the indigenous religion of Japan. It is rooted in the prehistoric religious practices of the Japanese related to Vedic religion and its continued contact with Hindu Religion. In Japanese lore  it is known as “Kaami no michi” in which innumerable Japanese deities  from which the Japanese imperial family is believed to have descended. In Chinese it is called Shin+tao=Shinto, which signifies the “way of spirits of God”.  Over a period of time, this Kaami got so intertwined with Buddhism and Taoism that all of them coexist in perfect harmony.  Shintoism is a State Religion of Japan.
Japanese celebrate Festival of Dolls like Kolu in South India.    It is interesting to go through an article with pictorial representation “Why Japanese Religion has foundation in Hinduism” by S. Alexander, IndiaDivine.Org-- In classical Japanese, India is known as “tenjiku”, which translates as “the land of heaven”. Japanese culture has gods and demons too, which is quite similar to the Hindu mythology. There are many Hindu gods that have paved their way into the Japanese mythologies--Saraswati as Benzaiten; Yama,as Enma; Apsara asTennin; King of Gods – Indra as Taishakuten; Ganesha (Ganapati)as Kangiten; Kubera as Bishamonten; Garuda, as Karura.
Many such references can be seen, especially if you go into the Kansai region. About 20 gods are worshiped all around Japan. Many of them can be seen in the Kyoto region, which is known as the city of a thousand shrines. There are hundreds of shrines to Goddess Saraswati alone in that country, along with innumerable representations of Lakshmi, Indra, Brahma, Ganesha, Garuda. 
A number of words in the Japanese language have their roots in Sanskrit.  Each deity has a “Beejakshara” and these are venerated by the people, even though most of them cannot read it. Some Japanese tombs are adorned with the Sanskrit alphabet. Also, the idea of Karma has also entered Japanese philosophies. They say “bachi ga ataru”, which translates as “something bad will happen to you if your actions cause harm”.
You may kindly refer to my discourse on Navaratri where I talked about Japanese Festival of Dolls similar to ours.   I had already talked how Sanat Kumara was worshiped in Bhuddhism and Shintoism while talking on Venkatesvara including many other  religions of the East and the West. All religions have their grass roots in  Sanatana Dharma or  Eternal Tradition  but some still  continue  to be influenced by Vedic as well as Puranic gods of Hinduism, Hindu philosophy and Esoteric Sanat Kumara Tradition and Vedic rituals as described while talking on Eucharist and Samahain rituals in my discourses. These are further supported by archeological evidences from several countries the most significant being that of Rome as presented to you. The most significant   players are the Dharma based Religions of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism about which we talked a lot of late.

Hindu Americans should wake up to the call given by Vivekananda on "Vedanta Religion of the Future to the World" about which I talked about in detail, and gradually implement the principles in its present worship and rituals to save the extinction of Hinduism on a foreign soil as it happened to European culture and many ancient religions and also promote it through spirituality, meditation and Yoga that will not cause a revolution but evolution to integrate its walled approach  copied from India and also influence walled Abrahamic Religions. This needs looking into current religious practices imported from India and modify them within the discipline of Hindu Dharma with proper explanation to influence the young minds who are mostly attracted to Major religion of the land by the Universal binding force of Love. Hindus in India will not listen to off-shore advices nor are they concerned with our problems. They enjoy internal fights and are busy. Soon Abrahamic Religions and 33% of Americans who say they are SBNR (Spiritual but not religious) will join us. Please enjoy the current article from IndiaDivine.Org and think deep to influence the organizations like VHP, HMEC etc.  Let us strengthen these organizations in their task of universal appeal without prejudice and insist on them not to focus all the time  on Hindu India. We have our own problems which need attention. Many of us have left India by fatal attraction and we need to survive and succeed. Indian migrants have not succeeded in getting dual citizenship like European migrants who succeeded may be due to their common belief in Christianity and ambition to make it Religion of the world. But it has misfired in USA 33% being SBNR along with sizable atheists who say Atheism is a Religion and exercise their religious rights as I talked about. 
--August 2, 2017



INDU ELIGION.
 FOUR DHARMA RELIGIONS IN INTERFAITH DIALOGUE SEMINAR
Sangacchadhvam sam vadadhvam sam vo manaamsi jaanataam/ devaa bhaagam yathaa purve sanjanaana upaasate // ( Rig Veda X-191-20)
Come together! Speak together! Let our minds be all of one accord like the divines that sat together in the past in harmony to worship.
[These mantras say that a person not only should take care of himself but also look after the welfare of the society he lives in.   All people should live with one mind without enmity and this can be achieved only by the divine grace says the mantra
Supreme Spirit addressed as Sathyam created the divines as immortals and the humans as mortals. Sat means immortal, thi means mortals and yam means what is being connected. (Sathyam=sat+thi+yam).  He also gave us Sanatana and Sanatkumara to reveal that Sanatana Dharma to us.   We humans cut that Dharma into pieces called Religions building walled cities   that suited our convenience and comfortable stay.  That is why Dharma is found in every religion if look deep and it is left to our intelligence to find it. You have heard in the recent Interfaith Dialogue Seminar Buddha’s followers misspelled that as Dhamma and said our Dharma is different.
 The creator Savitar (creative Impulse) created Brahmana, Agni; Kshatriya Indra;  Vaisya Vasu;   and  Sudra Earth  and several others  among these Varnas totaling 33 Vedic deities to rule the world (deputies). They all sat together and prayed as the mantra above says.  Bhagavaan said in Bhagavad  Gita “Chaatur-varnyam mayaasrishtam”. There is a difference between “chatur varnam” (four varnas) and “chaatur varnyam” (characteristics of four varnas).  May be chatur means clever and therefore this   may mean clever characteristics of his 33 administrators.  We again misunderstood   Him and created four castes and began to split  them  and fight and even cutting them to several pieces later.
We heard in the august assembly of four Religious experts during Interfaith Dialogue Seminar what the four Dharma Based Religions are and how they are great and unique and you do not  need anything further for salvation if only have faith in the founders.  Hinduism could not think of a Foun
der with their  misunderstood Aham Brahmasmi concept. It was all four roads leading to Rome not knowing the distance of travel!  But I do not know whether we got confused or convinced hearing to the questions and answers from the audience   that includes me. To help us JAINA organization has come out with a simple booklet explaining these four religions which I attach for your proper understanding. To me all looked speaking about same Dharma in pieces like the blind men and the Elephant. May be  I am wrong being at the Kindergarten level of Vedanta! Brihadarnyaka Upanishad says Dharma was created immediately after creating four Varnas may be to guide those four Varnas of Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra and Chhandogya Upanishad says Dharma means Sathyam!  After all said and done only Deva  (Dharma) has to guide even devatas (Varnas)!.  May be caste cannot be equated with Varna but our wise counselor on Hinduism on the dais said Krishna created four castes! May be Krishna has different meaning for Varnas in different yugas!  We all know Krishna is too difficult to understand being Chatura! May be someone of you may correct me if I am wrong!  
UTTISHTHATA JAAGRATA CHARAIBETI CHARAIBETI
One of the agitated mother in the audience felt the whole dialogue was a waste without understanding the problem of children in local schools who often turn violent. She had no patience to go through JAINA contribution to the society. She seems to be upset even with the Hindu community. None wanted to answer her convincingly, may be due lack of time. Unfortunately American education system with the wrong understanding of secular state obligations cannot help here. The onerous has fallen on the individuals as well as the community. Here again the community which practices Dharma as Religion   is most suited.  Hindu Americans focused on succeed at any cost have also forgotten their Dharma role.  Recently a Hindu American kid shot a girl who disappointed him in his love affair.  Nobody can help the society unless parents start their early education of their children at home. If we point one finger at others three will point towards us! For this they should be spiritually disciplined. Henri Nouwen says “The spiritual life is not a life before, after or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of pains and joys of the here and now” All human beings, whether we admit or not, hunger for the spirit. We are spiritual beings. We long for something deeper and more meaningful. We long for connection, not only with each other but also with God. But the great irony is that we are too busy, too preoccupied, too restless, too fearful and too anxious for this to actually happen. We worry ourselves to death over things that may or may not take place.  We are busy with many things, but all too often, it’s the wrong things. Loneliness has become a defining challenge of our time. Because we are too busy and remain unconnected. The culture is shallow and superficial. We ask others how they are doing and don’t even wait for a response. “Out of all this pervading loneliness many cry, is there anyone who really cares? Is there anyone   who can take away my inner sense of isolation? Is there anyone with whom I can feel at home?” These are great questions and ones that we all ask. But we long for answer. “Can any of you by worrying add as single hour to span of life?” asked Jesus.  No we can’t. Time is short and limited. But we can certainly lose an hour, a day, a year or even a lifetime. So turn spiritual, teach dharmic values to children at home by anecdotes, appreciate what society is doing voluntarily and extend your helping hand. Our Dharma focused Society also needs to focus more on the practical implementation at all levels besides these thoughprovoking seminars.
--August 1, 2017
Comments received:
You are right about the confusion we had during Sunday interfaith dialog. I appreciate your comments. 
--Dr.Brahm Parsh




THE ESSENTIAL NEED TO KNOW WHO AM I AND  HONOR SELF
It is a general feeling that children are ignorant and needs to be taught not realizing we ourselves need to be educated.  Here we have the example of Lord Siva learning from his child Skanda who became his Guru and hailed as Guru Guha. Probably he knew that it wasa Sanat Kumara who was born as his son as promised! But why do we think like that? Why can’t we realize we are all children of God and the same Self abides in all? It is a pity many of us do not know this Truth.  Once we realize this our effort will be to make the child realize this truth from the very beginning. Hindus try to discipline their child with “matru devo bhava” and “pitrru devo bhava” treat your mother as God; treat your father as god but never make attempt the child to realize who that God is for they themselves do not know who that God is! Then they come up with Puranic stories where gods are constantly engaged in fight needing all weapons of destruction. That god is in mother, father and the child as well.  Here the father, the mother as well as the child   remain ever ignorant of realizing “Who am I”. So all of us are ignorant and need a Guru. The best Guru is yourself once you focus on “Who am I?” So we are all ignorant children of God! May be it   calls for Svadhyaya (self-study as was in my case). Recently we heard Kanchi Math wanting to teach Brahmin boys in a Central school Vedic Wisdom Thoughts at very early age and struggling hard to find children, majority of the seats provided going vacant in spite of free boarding and lodging. Perhaps Puranas and their colorful enactment plays would have motivated parents to send their children to such schools!  A visit to our Baal Vihaar Schools in USA would convince the concerned how deeply involved we are in Puranas!  May be I am wrong! Let us here what John Smallman has to say?
“As I was meditating this morning (one day in April 2016, actually) the thought "honor yourself" flowed into my mind. And I suddenly realized (finally!) that that is the only rule we need to observe!
If I do not honor myself how can I possibly honor anyone else? The vast majority of humans, regardless of race, color, or creed, were, as children, told and shown that they were not good enough. It was (is?) believed that they had to be taught to behave well and honor others, BUT they themselves were not so honored! After all, they were only children!
We are all teachers, as ACIM makes very clear, and we teach what we believe even if we are unaware of it. So, as children, many of us are dishonored, unacknowledged, discounted, and that is what we learnt and then teach, purely by how we conduct ourselves, how we live our lives for all to see.
Our upbringing makes us feel inadequate at best, and at worst worthless! Our "elders and betters" think this is good for us because it was how they were brought up – children need to be disciplined – and that it is the correct way, otherwise they will become uncontrollable! Then in our teens, sometimes much earlier, we rebel against this unfair and unjust treatment, and are again harshly judged by those "elders and betters!" And we do become uncontrollable.
So, as teenagers and young adults, as we throw off the shaming and blaming we experienced growing up, we construct fronts or masks – of confidence, strength, intellectual ability, whatever – behind which we hide in almost constant fear of being discovered, of being seen as who we truly are. But of course who we truly are – divine beings, the beloved children of God – has also been hidden.
I think to awaken is to become aware that who we are is all that we can ever be – we can't be anyone else however much we may admire someone else, or the mask behind which that someone else is also hiding – and we need help from those a little further along the path of spiritual growth (we are all without exception, even if we don't see or acknowledge it, on a spiritual path) to see the person that we truly are. Just who we are, is always perfectly OK – "I'm OK, You're OK" – because we are far, far more than we can possibly imagine, in fact we are all perfect divine beings who have temporarily forgotten that truth.
Once a person realizes this and starts the essential process of total self-acceptance they do begin to honor themselves, and when that happens it becomes impossible not to honor all others, even though one may not like them or agree with them.  In other words, until we learn to honor ourselves we cannot honor others – although we can pretend to – and once we do start honoring ourselves we cannot not honor others”.
--September 29, 2017



REQUEST BY KANCHI MONASTERY TO SEND BRAHMIN BOYS TO VEDA CLASS

Kanchi Math has started a Veda cum regular school in Ullal near Bangalore University. All castes are admitted here for CBSE system of regular 10+2 schooling. But Brahmin boys are given Veda class from 6 to 7 AM and 6:30 to 8 PM (approx. times). This is in addition to regular schooling. They are also provided with a 400 seat hostel with full food. 

But one of the organizers of this institution in Kanchi Math was telling me that they can find monetary resources but are finding it difficult to get Brahmin boys to join this all expenses paid institution! Now only 100 seats are occupied in the hostel and 300 are vacant. He was requesting all Brahmin families to send their boys to this school.

We hear so much these days from Hinduism Protagonists as to the machinations from other religious followers in India and make a wolf’s cry with utter negligence on their part to contribute anything positive! Never find fault but find a remedy!   See what they are doing to spread the wisdom of Vedas when a religious Institution has come out with an excellent facility with Central Board Secondary Education   Scheme with focus on study of Vedas with extra few hours. I was a Jenkin’s Scripture Prize holder in my school days   and attended an additional one hour class of Bible every day besides my regular studies for the State Board Exam.  I gained something and lost nothing and I was top in my class and had also studied Sanskrit. I studied Sanskrit from a Non-BRAHMIN Sanskrit Scholar in my college days.  Probably then also Brahmins were indifferent to Sanskrit Studies! American School in Delhi is full with Brahmin Students and it is hard to get into it. But look at this Vidhya Peeth which is begging for students who have nothing to lose but only gain additional knowledge. I am not sure whether these Veda classes are restricted only to Brahmin Boys as generally our religious Institutions   prohibit girls and restrict it to only Dvijas! Brahmins are no longer conscious of their Dharma but want to pride in their caste status given by the society  and prosperity. 
Anyhow that is the Hindu India who cry always Wolf and we as Hindu American sympathizers rush to help them. They should know what is good for them   and focus on their children! But as Hindu Americans we should think of the future of our children. But being in a minority we cannot introduce this plan for our children in Public schools. But we can certainly impart that part of the education in our Sunday schools adding Saturdays also to teach Vedas along with Sanskrit language. The present system of voluntary training in Vedic Heritage Sunday Schools with Voluntary teachers not trained for the job as well as wasting time in teaching regional languages including Hindi had been a waste as is evident from the students that  have left their parents for college education who neither benefit from it nor propagate it! I I rarely come across a Hindu American kid born in USA that can neither converse in Mother tongue nor motivated! Why waste time on that? If a mother can't do it none else can!! In my teens I spoke   3 languages and learned Sanskrit and English. Later I could speak in German, Russian and French. Learning Sanskrit besides English and Spanish should not be a problem in USA for a Hindu kid. 
Let us study the scheme from Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham and introduce the scheme in our Vedic Heritage Schools and Bal Vihars with trained Teachers as a supplementary spiritual education more broad based keeping it open for all including those from other cultures that are interested. This will pay its dividends for the future generation and will help in promoting Universal Oneness, Peace and Prosperity spreading the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Krinvanto Viswamaaryam, Sanghachchadvam Samvadadvam, sahanaavavatu sahanau bhunaktu, sahveeryam karavaavahai etc. We have a good opportunity to contribute something to our adopted Nation promoting Spirituality, Sanskrit and Yoga if we can plan well and build a foundation. 
--September 22, 2017
Comment received:
I agree with you noble thoughts. It is poorly worded for times. I feel there need to be universal change needed in lines to Sri Ramanujar (putting poonal) for all people. But if you see today Srirangam is at least may be doing the opposite - keeping many Iyer away even though they pay for the all temple activities. I see many North American Vaishnava temples has modified to in line with funding (I see Hanuman temple in Alpharetta a classical change - installed Ganapathy, Murugan and Shiva). They saw we are here 1% brahmain and .02% Iyengars and we cannot behave same way like India. Many people from all community across are in the board of trustees. 
India too this must change - Srirangam, Ahobila Mutt Chembur.  I am in Ahobila mutt Chembur forum (since i was born there). I feel sorry with their behavior like you. 
In one of the Vaishnava forum, I a part of (inducted, I saw a posted "Cirtical condition -  need volunteer  emergency blood donation for ailing Iyengar boy - the forum posted please donate - preferably Iyerngar brahmin. No one came forward - finally it opened to Brahmins (Iyer included) and one of them donated.
At the same, I feel each school should have an evaluation process (like Harvard or MIT or GT or IIT's) and I am not opposed to rules and standards. I often see in US - people typically do not oppose the large institutions but they have option to go to court. Each Institution has a rule and regulation (I have not seen a single one not having it). Even catholic, Islam, Jews have rules 
But when it comes rule from spiritual Hindu religious discussion, there is huge protest or dissatisfaction.  
--Bala from Atlanta
Thanks fro your further enlightenment. I studied in a Christian School and went by  its discipline. Informally or formally Veda mantras are chanted/ heard   by all who attend temples  or undergo  Hindu Rituals like Vivaha and shoedsa s Upacharapuja in USA This is more common in in Hindu American Temples  where rituals are conducted and mass participation is promoted.  We cannot stop chanting of Veda mantras by others in USA. Our Maths even prohibit ladies from chanting Gayatri Mantra. Further Vedas do not prohibit or make rules for learning Veda mantras. Why not we then follow Vedic dictum  and not our religious institutions. Fortunately even in Bangalore uninterested Brahmin boys too do not attend such classes.  This may be a blessing in disguise.I am not sure whether Kanchi math was right in moving away such studies to public schools which will be more abused by mischief makers.That is why Sanskrit Colleges were created  and Maths had their own Veda schools. Manu said all are born as Sudras --Janmana jayate sudrah and only by proper karma earns Brhamana status by karma and not by birth. Even as per His master plan all human were children of Earth who herself is a Sudra Devata (Brihadarantyaka.).  So, we as Hindu Americans cannot go by India and the Maths but can go by the wisdom of Vedas.—Reply by NRS
On deeply pondering - these discussion though all well intended does not change any equation unless we start this and do something. For instance, thought my dad came out of his home town to live in Mumbai, he made sure we enrolled in Veda class (by inviting the Ganapadigal ) and who taught us essential items. 

I used to wonder, we all have similar choice of bringing these Ganapadigal and asking all people (irrespective of community they belong to).  I used to wonder institution like Tirupati (richest temple in India) - to set up University in Assam, Kerala, Mizoram, Sri Lanka and spread vedas. I do not know these are reasonable ask - atleast promote the other items

I used to teach what little I learnt from my teacher in Atlanta and I stopped when interest dropped. May be my bhakti was low (never know). One person asked Kachi Paramacharya a question - why with his grace the world is not improving, the acharya was silent for long time and said to him - may be the acharya's bhakti is not enough to lift the world. 
You are doing great in spreading your thought I read many of this in my spare time. Thank you
--Bala from Atlanta

I studied from 1946 to 1951 in Srinivasa Rao High School at Thiruvaiyaru, Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India.   Any student was admitted in Hindi Class but not in Sanskrit class where only the Brahmin boys and girls were admitted and the boys were not allowed to have hair-cut.  This continues even today.  The reason was and is that a few non-brahmin students are non-vegetarians.  Just because of a few non-vegetarian students, the entire non-Brahmin students are not allowed to study Sanscrit.  In some private schools, Brahmin boys are allowed to have hair-cut and study Sanskri—Prof. Nagarajan from Nashville.
Thanks for your personal sharing of   your experience of your boy-hood days. More are less we are from the same period but with different experiences may be because you studied in a conservative orthodox town whereas  I studied  in the capital city of Madras. I also come from a very orthodox Brahmin family where everyone in my house had tuft and wore namam daily. Though surrounded by Periyar group , I continued with my Iyengar appearance till I completed my 10th standard even when  I stepped out of my house.  When I came to Madras from Mysore at the age of 8 I sought admission in a Hindu Theological School managed by Saivite Brahmins. I did not get admission.  Surprisingly I got admitted by a Christian Missionary School in spite of my appearance. When I was in first form I got free-ship for rest of the school years as I stood first in Jenkin’s Scripture Prize Examination which had its stipulations—attend Bible special class every day for an hour and attend choir on Saturday. They did not mind my Iyengar appearance as I was the top student even in Bible. I was given special permission to study Sanskrit at home for classes 6-8 under my scholarly grand-father and take my annual exam. In my high school my Sanskrit pundit was an Iyengar with namam and tuft. My closest competitor was a Muslim Mapila from Kerala. May be my Iyengar posture helped to stand first in Sanskrit! I continued with tuft and Namam till completing 10th but regularly ragged and teased by all including my Iyer Class teacher. But they had to put up with me for I was 1st or 2nd   in my class. I took a bold decision to cut of my tuft when I was in my final year that brought wrath of my grand –father and I was  treated as a  Pariyah at home though comfortable with  my outside contacts. My scholarship continued even after high school with half free-ship.—Reply by NRS.
KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI--2017
We celebrated Krishna Janmashtami on August 14, Monday in 2017.  We again celebrated it on September 13, Wednesday 2017. How can Krishna be born on different days for different traditions? Hindu religion says our Kaamya karmas (special religious days) should be performed only at a specified time  and so is  Janmaashthami.   Logically Ganesha Chaturthi too should have occurred on different days this year. This did not happen because   Ganesha is a sectarian God, whatever one may think, for Saivites only, unlike Krishna who is universal.  This confusion caused by astrologers should at least be solved by Hindu Americans who are presumed  be    highly  educated and  loaded with scientists.  Lord Krishna exhorts to mankind through his advice to Arjuna “tasmaat saastram pramanam te kaaryaakaaryou vyavasthitou”—therefore consider saastra as the authority or final arbiter in determining what action should or should not be performed. Should we not follow the Lord’s advice and benefit there from? If the Karmas are performed otherwise they may not cause injury,  they certainly will not be efficient.

Ganesha’s birth date is not very well defined he being a mythological creation from body scum. But certainly Rama’s and Krishna’s Birthday are well defined in Itihasas.  Itihasa means it happened so unlike Puranas.  Lord Krishna was born around midnight. That night was the eight phase of the moon known as Ashtami Tithi. The Moon was near Vrshabha, the bull, i.e.  the Taurus constellation that houses the star Rohini. The star Rohini is known as Aldeberan in modern astronomy. The month was Shravana, one of the 12 months in the Indian calendar.

Shravana  vrishabha ashtami, Rohini Nakshtra, uditam Lagnam” --Date of Krishna’s Birth by Gregorain Calendar is 27th July, 3112 BCE. Astronomical events repeat themselves at regular intervals. Hence fixing one date is difficult. Here the most recent event of Krishna’s  birth is taken for   calculation. As time is eternal and cyclic, the events repeat themselves. But Krishna’s birth  date for  us is  fixed as above in the present cycle. Why can’t we realize this truth being very highly educated and why should we be misguided by our religious Pundits and astrologers and  believe that we are doing everything according to saasatras ?

Comment Received:
Thanks for the E-Mail. Whenever there are conflicting dates, the Temple gets lots of calls from the concerned Devotees. Devotees argue and get into unnecessary discussion with the desk staff. How sad & waste of time. Even the Priests get harassed for this. 
--Anil Pandey
SPIRITUAL AWAKENING--WE ALL NEED
I have sent you in the past powerful messages from FOWAI forum with my additional notes the need for our turning inwards that call for looking outwards to turn inwards, the need for self- study (Svaadhyaya), good company (satsanga) and good deeds ((satkarma) for we  alone are our ultimate  Gurus,  having been taught progressively by Mother our first  Guru,  Father, the next Guru and well prepared  training by our Teacher. We also talked about to overcome fear of Death and how it is important to focus more on this Fear, before Death than after Death.  All these are also dependent on Isvara Prema, the Universal Binding Force of Love with which the Creation started   that also abides in us being part of that creation which we need to rediscover.  This Creator is called Vidhartara in Hinduism. We come across the Vedic prayer of our Rishis about which we discussed before:
Vidhrtaaram havaamhe vasoh kuvidvanaati nah | savitaaram nrichakshasam ||
We invoke the Creator of the universe who sustains the creation in many ways and who witnesses the thoughts and deeds of all. May He grant us plenty of excellent wealth (Svadhyaaya, Satsanga, Satkarma and Isvaraprema).
 You may be happy to note that  these Vedic wisdoms  have started inspiring Western  thoughts    that were purely bogged down in the past with   beliefs and faiths that helps us somewhat towards salvation, with a spiritual awakening of late which is seen echoing throughout in the powerful message sent by John Smallman. Please go through and send your valuable comments. It is time for us to Arise, Awake and Move Forward not only uplift ourselves but also ennoble others too, krinvanto Visvamaaryam--Uttishthata, Jaagrata, Charaiveti, Charaiveti for all round Peace, Progress and Happiness.
REMEMBER, FEAR IS JUST AN ABSENCE OF LOVE, BUT THERE IS ONLY LOVE
John Smallman
We commune with you, and the many other channels presently incarnate as humans on Earth, because the messages that you receive and share greatly assist the Grand Awakening process by conveying to many the divine plan for humanity.  All on Earth at this point in our spiritual evolution, whose purpose is to lead you Home to Oneness, chose and volunteered to be human in order to take part in the awakening by dissolving the veil you had inserted between yourselves and Reality.
It truly is only a veil, a very thin and insubstantial veil, that seems to separate you from Reality.  The conflicts and chaos that you see around the world are but the foundations of the illusion collapsing as humanity becomes increasingly aware of the insanity with which it presents you daily and chooses to support it no longer.  It is extremely important that you continue daily to renew your intent to be only loving no matter how difficult the situations in which you may find yourselves during your daily lives.
You are all part of the divine plan, and the plan is that you dissolve the illusion and awaken into Reality – the state of knowing that you are One with God, Source, All That Is – where you have your eternal existence in joyful and harmonious communion with all of God’s divine creation in the infinitely vast field of Love that is God, and is All that He has created.
As you wait expectantly for humanity’s Grand Awakening, you do know that it is really going to happen.  Deep within everyone is the knowing that you are One with Source, that only Source is Real and that all else that you experience is illusory.  Your egos and the illusion seem absolutely real to you because it is their purpose to appear undeniably real to you, and by believing in them you reinforce your sense of separation because you see what you believe in – vast numbers of separate beings, things, planets, stars, galaxies, and universes. Your physical human forms have extremely limited senses and intelligence with which to investigate and understand the illusion.
However, modern physics has shown conclusively that everything – yes, absolutely everything – is connected to everything else, that there is no separation and that physicality is illusory.  The seeming physical world is in fact just a virtual reality, something that you experience within and then project out collectively to where you can be aware of it with your physical bodies.  Mystics from every denomination of religious or spiritual practice have also found this to be so.  When you have become accomplished meditators you too will experience momentary sensations of being vast, of being One, and all your doubts will then fall away.
You are in the Presence of God in every moment of your eternal existence, but due to the severely limited abilities of your human bodies you remain unaware of this because the veil hides Reality from you.  Your awakening is the removal or dispersal of that misty and ephemeral screen so that you can return into full awareness of your divine nature, fully alive and permanently at peace in the divine Presence.
God is Love, infinite and unconditional Love, and within that infinitely vast field all of creation is lovingly held and embraced without the slightest moment of interruption. As you have so often been told: “There is nowhere else.”
You collectively made the choice to attempt to separate from Source, which is quite impossible, and as a result found yourselves in an unreal or insubstantial environment that despite its unreality appears to be extremely substantial.  Whatever you experience that is not in complete alignment with Love is unreal and illusory, notwithstanding the pain and suffering that you undergo.
By spending time intentionally within yourselves each and every day, at your holy inner altar or sanctuary, where Love resides in every moment of your eternal existence, you strengthen your spiritual connection, enabling it to show you glimpses of Reality even though you have inserted that veil between you and It in order to hide from It.  Those brief glimpses, which you will never forget, are what will sustain you when you are overcome with doubts about Reality, God, Source, and are asking yourselves:  “How could there be a God when there is so much suffering and conflict in the world?”
As your strength in your faith in God builds through this daily practice you will be able to overcome and dissolve all doubts, whether your own or those of others, that attempt to persuade you that your belief and faith in God are distractions from living sensibly and practically as a human on Earth.  And of course you can see quite clearly that those who cling to that belief and strive to make it real for themselves are not at peace, while for the most part you are, because you know that all that separates you from Source is a thin and diaphanous veil which is in the process of dissolving like morning mist.
Your awakening is inevitable, as you have been told so many times, but it is you who will do the awakening, and you will make the choice to awaken at precisely the right moment.  You are not going to be shaken awake by anyone else.  It is your daily time within at your inner sanctuary that will present you with the opportunity to do so, and it will keep on presenting it to you until you accept it and act on it.
You have free will, as you well know, even though at times you doubt it, and sometimes even believe that your emotions control you.  They do not!  When your emotions appear to be controlling you it is because you have chosen not be responsible for your thoughts, words, actions, or behaviors, and have given your power away to your egos which always operate from fear.
Remember, fear is just an absence of Love, but there is only Love, so there can never be an absence of It.
Fear is the result of your choice not to open your hearts to the Love  which envelops you in every moment of your eternal existence.  Love patiently waits for you to choose to open to It, and it will wait until you do so, as you inevitably will.  It is impossible to remain permanently closed off to Love, Mother/Father/God, Source, because It is what you are, It is your true nature, It is the life force that flows through you and is you in every moment, relentlessly and unceasingly.  Without it you would not exist, you would be neither conscious, unconscious, nor dead, you just would not be.  But you are because God created you, and that will never change!
 --September 17, 2017
Comment received
Message of love is what I like. What is the best way for people to transfer the love they have for God into celebrating life as manifestation of God?
--September 17, 2017
My Answer:
If we understand following Veda Mantras, practice and propagate  we can find answers to your questions:
 Aatmavat sarvabhooteshu—The same Self (isvara Prema) abides in all of us. Only thing is we have to realize it! All people (human  species with sixth sense)  are created equal on earth unlike in higher worlds Devas, Danavas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Gajavadanas,  Hayavadanas etc. We are all children of Immorrtla Bliss cxreated asa mortals, sudras  from Pusan Mother Earth—Padbhyaam sudro ajaayata.
 Indhram vardhanto apturah krinvanto vishwam aryam Apaghnanto aravnah -- Rigveda (Mandala 9, Sutra 63, Mantra 5)
Meaning: Increase your energies, make the whole world noble and destroy the evil ones.
Kāmastadaghre samavartatādhi manaso retaḥ prathamaṃ yadāsīt |
Sato bandhumasati niravindan hṛdi pratīṣyākavayo manīṣā || 4 ||
In the beginning Love descended on it- that was the primal seed, born of the mind. The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom know that which is, is akin to that which is not. (This was the first Rasa among Navarasas that came forth)
Tiraścīno vitato raśmireṣāmadhaḥ svidāsī.a.a.at |
Retodhāāsan mahimāna āsan svadhā avastāt prayatiḥ parastāt || 5 ||
And they have stretched their cord across the void, and know what was above, and what below.  Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces. Below was strength, and over it was impulse. 
Ajyeshtaaso akanishthaasa sama bhraataro vaavradhuh Saubhaagaaya / (Rigveda 5-60-5)
There is none high or low amongst you. You are all brethren and therefore, strive all together to attain prosperity. (Rig Veda 50, 60, 5).
Te ajyesthaa akanisthaasa udbhido amadhyamaaso mahasaa vivavridhuh | sujaataaso janushaa prishnimataro divo marya aa no achaa jigatana || (Rig: 5-59-6)
Among these men there are no superiors or no inferiors, no middle ones either. They become great from small beginnings. They make progress in different ways by dint of their merits. By birth they are all highborn because they are all children of Mother-Earth. O you men of the Lord Refulgent! Be available to us in a loveable manner or grow into praise-worthy souls in fair ways.
Ajyesthaaso akanislliaasa ete sam bhraataro vaavridhuh saubhagaaya|yuva pita swapaa rudra eshaam sudhughaa prishnih sudinaa marudbhayah || (Rig: 5-60-5)
These men are without superiors and without inferiors. They are mutually brothers. They march onwards for prosperity. The eternally youthful, the soul protecting, grief alleviating God is their father. The richly feeding Mother-Earth as Universal Mother produces happy days to these mortals.
Sangacchadhvam sam vadadhvam sam vo manaamsi jaanataam/ devaa bhaagam yathaa purve sanjanaana upaasate // (X-191-20)
Come together! Speak together! Let our minds be all of one accord like the divines that sat together in the past in harmony to worship.
 [All people should live with one mind without enmity and this can be achieved only by the divine grace says the mantra]
 Samaano mantra: samiti: samaani samaanam mana: saha chittamesam /
samaanam mantramabhi mantraye va: samaanena vo havisha juhomi  //(X-191-3)
 Let our speech be one; united be our voices! May our minds be in union with the thoughts of the wise people!  Sharing a common purpose; we worship as one.
[Vedanta Religion is universal. It did not promote walled religions.  Bhagavad Gita later said these religion need bridges to connect to the Supreme. All rivers seek refuge in the vast Ocean. All religions seek universal Lord Brahman only who is ever expanding and indescribable to accommodate all]
Samaani vaa aakootih samaana hridayaani vah / Samaanam astu vo mano yathaa vah susahaasati // (X-191-4)
United be your purpose, harmonious be your feelings, collected   be your mind, in the same way as all the various aspects of the universe exist in togetherness, wholeness.
[We should act in a manner with no ill-will towards others, causing no harm and causing no  pain. Let us learn from the nature as to how to live in peace and exist together in harmony that pleases the Lord says the mantra]
 ….. dvandvam vai veeryyam  yadaa vai dvau samarabhete atha tadveeryyambhavati dvandvam vai mithunam prajananam-mithuna mevaitatprajananam kriyate //
A pair is strength. When two copulate, then there is strength.  A pair is a copulation.  A copulation, a procreation is thus produced. (Satapata Brahmana 1:1:1) This is how Supreme started the creation of humans as the children of Pusan or Mother Earth as Sudras or work force --Padbhyam sudro ajayata.
Aa no badhraah kratavo yantu viswatah adabhdaaso apareetaasa uddhidah | Devaano yathaa sadamidvridhe asanna praayavo rakshitaaro dive dive || (Rigveda)
Just as all the divines  who contribute to the progress  of us  each day and  who take care of us every day without sparing no time protecting   and   nourishing us all the time, let such noble tidings come from all parts of the world with no  hindrance and always fruitful!.
Om Sahanaa vaavatu | Sahanau bhnaktu | Sahaveeryam karavaavahai|Tejasvi naavadheetam-astu  | Maa vidvishaamahai |Om Santih! Santih ! Santih ||
 Though this mantra is chanted both by the teacher and taught before the commencement of the study of this Upanishad this mantra conveys a strong message to all of us:
 May the Supreme Lord of Love protect us! May that Lord nourish us! May that Lord build strength! May we realize that Lord of Love in us! May we be inspired to live in love with all! May we be motivated to live in peace with all!


LOOKING OUTWARD TO LOOK INWARDS
The first mantra of Kenopanishad indirectly sends a powerful message that what we are looking outward as a natural phenomenon has arisen from within and administered by Self within us   all the time about which FOWAI Forum draws our attention. Looking outward and seriously thinking about it will make us look inwards necessarily to understand the Reality. Otherwise in our busy life we just ignore the Reality.
Kenoshitah patati prshitam manah| Kena praanah prathmah praiti yuktah | Kenaeshitaam vaachamimaam vadanti |  Chakshuh srotram ka u devo yunakti||
At whose behest does the mind think? Who bids the body live? Who makes the tongue speak? Who is that effulgent Being that directs the eye to form and color and the ears to sound?  The scene before us here is very clear.  Looking at these things outwards  a  knowledgeable disciple approaches his enlightened Guru to resolve the great riddle in life that is bothering him after having   been taught for a long time  by  his master  and want to start his research project  enquiring if there is an independent Eternal Director who by his mere Wish prompts the mind to alight on the objects. He further questions   “If there be such a great Illuminator and Controller? Who is he? What is it? What is my relationship   with the Supreme Power existing ever so secretively within me, ever vigilant, ever brilliant and ever alert?”  The Guru directs him to turn Inwards and  inquire into these to find a suitable answer.
Please recall my recent discourse on Bhuma Vidya which was also in the pattern n of discussion between a student and his Guru.  Here the student was none other than Narada and the Guru   was Sanat Kumara who was Skanda who taught even his father Lord Siva.  By a series of   progressive questions and answers the guru was able to guide the student to find an answer himself. The Power behind every activity of nature and of person is the power of Brahman. To realize this Truth is to be immortal.  Austerity, self-control, performance of duty without attachment—these are the body of that knowledge. The Vedas are its limbs, Truth is its very soul.  One who attains to knowledge of Brahman, being freed from all evil, finds the Eternal, the Supreme.
Remember what Swami Chidananda talked about Svadhyaaya sometime Back. Self-redemption must come from ourselves. The external props such as temples, deities, Gurus etc., are all encouragements and aids. These external-helps must be intelligently used by us to our best advantage, and we should thus build up for ourselves necessary inner perfections. To a  Vedantin, the real Guru is the pure intellect within. The purified, deeply aspiring mind is the disciple.
Just as a disciple is in search of a Guru, the Guru is also in search of a disciple. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa never went out in seeking a Guru; Sri Totapuri Maharaj had to reach Dakshinesvar of  his own accord to instruct the Mother’s Son. Swami Chidananda has likewise has identified few disciples who are now able to guide us initially as our Gurus. We recently heard Dr.Thimmappa Hegde to learn about    “What  Happens  Before Death  is More  Important   Than What Happens  After Death”.Having no such fguidance from a Guru I may confuse you than convince you.  I just recall how my Professor in college once told me where you cannot convince confuse speaking on the subject of Light! No one theory can hold good for Light as you know.  Brahman is the very source of all lights. Please listen to Dr. Chilkuri Radhakrishna for a vivid description of the topic.
Webnair advice to “Look Outwards to Look Inwards” took my thoughts further to think about the wisdom of our founding fathers of Sri Ganesha Temple where we have in  the center  Lord of Obstacles   as Presiding deity while the presiding deity to the right is Venkatesvara, The Sustenance Aspect of Brahman and to the left is Siva, The Dissolution Aspect of Brahman, all the three at one level. The name Ganesha Temple misguides us. Better would have been Siva-Vishnu Temple.  The three at one level  is just to remind us that we must first turn outward and focus on all obstacles that come in our way of spiritual progress, eliminate them with the blessings of the Lord of Obstacles and then turn right to focus inward  on the Lord of Sustenance  (Vishnu) for  our spiritual growth during our life time and then turn left to further focus inward and   to prepare for our spiritual journey further   with the blessings of Lord of Dissolution who  dissolves our past Karmas based on the merits    we have earned and decides whether  to further  continue  our journey upwards  or come back better equipped for  further improvement after another birth. We will be therefore   wrong in our thinking if Lord of Obstacles   and removal of obstacles is the ultimate goal of our life.  Vedic wisdom also tells to worship   Alakshmi, Adharma, Kama, Manyu etc.  with the  Swaahaa mantra  to remove all negative feelings and  actions  but never mentions anywhere to focus on them as Brahman. Intentions of our founding father was not to consider Vighnaraja as equal to Siva or Vishnu, the aspects of Prarabrahman but first think of removing all obstacles by propitiating the Lord of Obstacles  as Pratham Vandita just as we first pay obeisance to Mother Earth as we trample on her and abuse her in many ways in our selfish goals.
 --September 16, 2017

KOLU OF DEITIES FOR EVERYDAY WORSHIP IN HINDU AMERICAN TEMPLES?
Navaratri is a festival which is celebrated as Kolu, Festival of Dolls in the South. You can see in the display at higher levels all male and female deities glorified in Puranas displayed and also worshiped together which concept our friend from Singapore is trying to bring to your attention presenting his newly researched Sarada Stotram. As Hindu Americans we do celebrate Kolu of deities every day and you can see devotees walking around with sloka books containing hymns praising each deity and that offering different goodies depending on how many times you repeat the stotras and before which deity. We find also Vighnaraja visibly displayed in all his different forms like Dasavatara but unfortunately no one has come out with a set of 32 Ganapatis including the most powerful Uchchishtha Ganapati of Vamachara from Tantric concept. South Indians do not agree Vighnaraja is married and so you do not find Siddhi and Bhuddi in the Kolu assembly. My only worry is why Alakshmi who is well glorified as Female deity in Srisuktam is not found in the assembly as also Kamadevata, Manyu devata etc.
kṣhutpipāsāmalāṁ jyeṣṭhām alakṣmīṁ nāśayāmyaham,
abhūtimasamṛddhiṁ cha sarvāṁ nirṇuda me gṛihāt.
I shall focus on the elder sister of Lakshmi, Alakshmi, the embodiment of inauspiciousness and such evil as hunger, thirst, and the like to destroy them. O Lakshmi! Drive out from my abode all misfortune and poverty.
I believe someone will come later with his version of Alakshmi icon as the description of Alakshmi is available in Puranas like Vighnaraja. I also strongly believe Srisukta being oldest and is from Vedas that should have inspired Puranas to come with several myth based stories so popularized in slokas, music and dance as well as rituals of Vignaraja! I also strongly believe Siva being the dissolution aspect of the Supreme simply dissolved the body-guard of Parvati created out of her body-scum as she had assumed the role of creator not called for. Probably even Siva did not create one but simply replaced it with a Gajavadana from that group of divine creations by Brahma whom Vaishnavites worship as Vishvaksena with both the tusks. It also explains why the temporary Ganesha idols which do not undergo consecration ceremony are dissolved in water. This is to highlight the act of Siva who dissolved the temporary guard of Pravati and replaced it with an elephant headed Gajanana. I do not believe that auspicious and kind hearted Siva beheaded a guard on duty and appointed as Vignaraja by Siva in a fit of anger hurled his tusk at the Sun and also involved in over eating? Look at the fate of Jaya Vijayas who were condemned for three generation and were killed by Vishnu Avatars and still remain as gate keepers only and not glorified as Ganesha; Why?  
Vedas do mention about the worship of deities like Alakshmi, Adharma, Manyu (anger), Kama (lust) etc. with the mantra Swaahaa but never ask us to meditate upon them as Brahman. Puraanas have however dramatized and glorified these vital as well as harmful feelings   and acts    among whom Vighnesvara is  most popular and pushed to the level of Parabrahman.
--September 15, 2017

SIKHISM, JAINISM, AND BUDDHISM ARE PHILOSOPHIES LIKE ADVAITA, DVAITA AND VISHISHTADVAITA
It is the divide and rule policy that made Sikhism a separate religion. Otherwise it was just a part of Hindu Philosophy   like Advaita, Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita. So was the philosophy of Ford founder Rishabha who is also an incarnation of Vishnu. So is Buddhism. Listen to Rajiv Malhotra and convince yourself. The present day Jain Religion was   conceptualized under the 24th Tirthankara Mahavir Vardhamana to call it Jain Religion. Buddha never started a new religion. His followers did. Hindu Americans have a good chance of bringing these Religions back to Hindu Dharma towards horizontal integration as Buddha and Jina deities are installed in American Hindu Temples and worshiped and Jains and Buddhists of Indian Origin attend Hindu Temples and participate in rituals and worship. Once this is done others will follow to bring faiths together under one roof and here there is no better choice than Vedanta about which I talked about. Please go through my detailed discourse:
http://nrsrini.blogspot.com/2016/05/vedanta-religion-everlasting-universal.html
"Sangacchadvam Samvadadvam" --Let us Unite Together and Speak Together--(Rigveda)
I am happy to receive the following message from Rajiv Malhotra through E mail which conflates with my views though not based on politics but Hindu Eternal Thoughts on Dharma on the subject as expressed at Nashville Seminar on Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Please also read and listen to: Facebook: @RajivMalhotra.Official; YouTube   RajivMalhotraOfficial
Sanjeev Nayyar & Rajiv Malhotra explain the history and importance of Deras in Punjab & Haryana. Contrary to the Medias bad image of them, they are vital social movements that serve large segments of population especially at the lower social-economic strata. This episode begins with the history of Sikhism. It then explains how the British later engineered the community for their own agendas. In the process they sowed the seeds for many present-day problems in Punjab & Haryana. In this context, the Deras must be understood as the backbone of civic society at the grass roots. The conversation candidly discusses issues facing the communities and presents some constructive ideas.

FLOW OF THE CONVERSATION:
1) History of Sikhism - it was not separate from Hindus. Guru Gobind Singh later started Khalsa movement but other forms of Sikh dharma flourish alongside.
2) It was British who institutionalize a sharply separate Sikh identity - for reasons we explain and using methods we cite.
3) There is further social fragmentation in the 1960s due to green revolution bringing selective prosperity only for land owner jats, the Khalistan movement, the recent drug networks, and the latest Christian evangelism. These create havoc at the lower strata.
4) It is against this backdrop that Deras must be understood and appreciated as social groups providing services for the UNDERCLASS - 70% of Dera members tend to be lower class in social-economic terms.
5) Deras are hated by orthodox Sikhs because: Deras bring Hindu-Sikh unity, empower the lower class (non-elite) Sikhs, and take members away from traditional Gurudwaras controlled by the powerful SGPC that was set up by the British.
6) Maoists/Khalistanis hate Deras because: Deras fill the social vacuum which breaking India forces would like to fill.
7) Christian evangelists hate the Deras because Deras secure the masses in a blend of "user-friendly" Hindu-Sikh populism, and compete with the kinds of services (schools, colleges, hospitals, matrimonial match-making, employment, etc.) which missionaries use as their own USP.
8) So the demise of Deras would be devastating for Punjab & Haryana, because such a vacuum would help Sikh orthodoxy, Maoists/Khalistanis, Christian missionaries.
9) Unfortunately, the media and political authorities are determined to dismantle Deras, projecting them as a political nuisance.
10) My own prescription is: better institutionalization of Deras. Please watch my ANALYSIS in the final 10 minutes after the interview is over. There is also vital need for upgrading the mentality of the lower classes, who are aping the modern Indian/Western as their marker for advancement. Hence they encourage their leaders to (foolishly) turn into Elvis Presley type of machoism, which is the cause of their downfall.
 --September 11, 2017


WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE DEATH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT HAPPENS AFTER DEATH

WEBINAR 97 presents on Sunday, 10th September, 2017   an   Audio/video speech   by Dr. Thimmappa Hegde on Kathopanishad--Life before Death; Dialogue with the God of Death. Here is a perception of Life before Death by an American Author Dr.  Kalia Mugilan.
"Fear of dying is probably the biggest weakness in human lives. While we know we will all die someday, we live this fear by trying to insist on creating meaning in all that we do. We sometimes live this fear in procreating and lay the burden of our existence onto our children’s lives. We live this fear by making a mark in the community we live in. We live this fear, somehow, sometimes creating a theory about where we came from, and having higher purpose, and that is an eternal life of immortality or a life after death.  The fact of the matter is all the living things come to stop   being living, or in another world, all beings will die or the energy we hold passes on to another form of energy.  While progress and growth in society prolong life, however, all living things die. We should be able to accept death with in a moment’s notice” says the author The Urban Monk   with a humanistic perspective on  nine Vital feelings: Forgiveness, Gratitude, Hope, Beauty,  Brilliance, Belonging, a combination of Beauty-Brilliance-Belonging, Respect and Death, a Western perespective of Navarasas  living with  a progressive, practical and materialistic world that does not believe in reincarnation.
Who knows what happens next when we die say some. Hindu pragmatic    philosophers too did not speculate but said “Atyutkataih punyapapaih ihaiava phalmasnute”--We reap the benefits of our meritorious deeds or fruits of evil acts in this very life.
Gist of the Presentation by Dr. Thimmappa Hegde on Webnair 97 is as follows: “The greatest love and respect a student of Vedanta has is for a Brahma Vidyā Āchārya.  In Kathopanishad the āchārya is Yama Dharmarājā, the God of Death. A thorough study of this Upanishad under the guidance of an Achārya will not only remove the fear of death but also give liberation here and now while in this body.

Yama Dharmarājā says that more important than what happens after death is Life before Death.  If we value the gift of our lives, our top priority will be to get Self Knowledge.

This Upanishad is an excellent manual even for a fresh and prepared student of Vedānta. If we can have the determination and disspassion of Nachiketā  (the student in this Upanishad )  we move from mrityu to amrita (as conveyed in the mantra line mrityor-mā amritam gamaya )”.
Our sages in the past were bogged down by fear of Death and raised their voices to the unknown with the famous  two mantras “asato maa sat gmaya | mrityor maa amritam gamaya” Both mean the same emphasizing the concern.   Asat means mortality and Sat means Immortality.   Nachiketas in Kathopanishad had a doubt as to:  when a man   dies  some say  that  he is and some say  he is not!  He therefore sought the help from his Guru Yama, the Lord of Dharma. Death is a stage in the journey of life which journey we continue after arrival on earth from a place unknown, enjoy pain and pleasures in life for some time and    continue farther the journey again.    “If a man comes to die   through the nerve that ascends upward toward the thousand petals lotus in the brain, his vital force passes upwards   through that nerve, he attains Immortality; but if his vital force passes out through another nerve, he goes to one or other plane of mortal existence and remains subject to birth and death” says Kathopanishad.  This is also described as journey by those who die during Uttarayana, the former and those who die during Dakshinayana, the latter.  But  if some liberated souls die during Dakshinayana they will rest in Chandraloka  for the rest of the period of Dakshinayana but continue their journey further  to reach the destination and will not come back to earth says MNU.  Therefore it is very important to take our journey with proper GPS (Guru Prompted Spirituality) for continuing the journey in this very life. May be the blessed few who die during Uttarayana need no GPS! The secret of Immortality has to be found in purification of the heart, in meditation, in realization of the identity of the Self within and Brahman with the help of a learned Guru or Acharya. Immortality is union with God when you complete your journey.  Without GPS you may miss the destination and after wandering hither and thither, sometimes even enjoy  lovely spots, but mostly going through painful long and winding path   come back to earth again.  So   we approach the Guru to lead us from darkness of fear of death to Brilliance of Hope and confidence   with the prayer “Tamso maa Jyoirgamaya”—Lead us from Darkness to Light that is ignorance to Knowlede (of the Supreme).
But I am neither a Vedantin nor a spiritual Guru and therefore let us listen to the wisdom thoughts of the learned speaker Dr. Thimmappa Gowda from FOWAI Forum:
--September 8, 2017
Comment Received:
Basically wanted to say I enjoyed this particular email of yours about how we try to attach a meaning to life and this has been one of my basic question for many years. As a matter of fact it is for this reason, I was attracted to the writings and sayings of JK Krishnamurthi as well (who as you know was with the theosophical society and was not a believer in god either). I am curious is this belief in the absence of life after death and there is only one life for us humans, just like any other creations, your belief that you have concluded upon after these many years or have you always wondered this to be even in your younger days? I am impressed by your energy and passion and your efforts to keep up these writings and so proud of you and your accomplishments and proud to have come to have known you and your family.
--Chakravrty Ramaswam, Columbus, Ohio.
WHY DEIFY & PAY OBEISANCE TO ANGER--MAYURAKAARSHEET NAMAH?
Even our Devatas are not free from the influence of Anger. Scriptures always speak of Kama (Lust)   induces Krodha (anger) and therefore referred  in pair as  vices which is very well illustrated in Ramayana:
Dasratha’s advice to Rama   in Ramayana:
Gunavaanapi tu snehaat putra vakshyaami te hitam | bhooyo vinayamaasthaaya bhava nityam jitendriyah ||Kaama-krodhaani  tyajasva vyasanaani cha | Parokshyaa vartamaano vrityaaa pratyakshyaa tathaa ||
To you, a storehouse of merits as you are, I shall tender friendly advice out of sheer affection. Resorting to even greater humility than before, constantly keep your senses under control and eschew violence born of concupiscence (lust) and anger
Manu on Anger:
Paisunyam saahasam droha earshyasooyaartha dooshanam   | vaagdandayoscha paarushyam krodhjo api gano ashtakah ||
Tale-bearing, violence, vindictiveness, jealousy, censoriousness, squandering one’s patrimony, abusive speech and cruelty in punishment are the eight vices of anger.
Manu on Lust
Mrigayaaksho divaasvaapah parivaadah striyo madah |Trauryatrikam  vrithaatya cha kaamajo dasako ganah ||
Hunting, playing at dice, a sleeping by day, slandering others, fondness for women, vanity, love of singing, playing on musical instrument and dancing and  strolling about idly—these are the  one that induces one  to Lust.
 Kama (Lust)-Krodha (Anger); Lobha Greed) –Mada (Arrogance); Moha (Attachment)-Matsarya Jelousy) are 3 pairs of enemies. Without experiencing these Shadripu (six enemies) at the fullest a person can't understand the meaning of the Love which is the soul. These Shadripu's pull the human from all the sides away from the soul and makes the life of the human miserable.  Through bhakti and renunciation, these 6 vices can be overcome.  So Vedas advice deify them and worship as Lords so that they constantly remain focused to get rid of them. For example Kamokaersheet Manyurakarsheet namonnmah. This is a nitya Karma in Vedsas and an annual event as ordained by Agama sastra. Purans have brought in an unique deity Vighnarajaya namah based on mythical   stories and made it most popular in Hindu worship on even  roads and  crowded bus stands with no consecration a unique feature among   all religions.    We have other deities too Adharmaya Swaha; Alakshmi! But Vedas or very clear while they say deify both Adharma and Dharma  and pay obeisance  only focus on Dharma as Vyahriti  of Brahaman,. Dharma is  Sathyam and Sathyam is Dharma says and "Rita(ga)m Sathyam Parabrahma". 

“Do you know the whole family of anger? Insistence is its very dear sister; violence its spouse; egoism its elder brother; fear its father; insult and back-biting its daughters; enmity its son; jealousy its daughter-in-law; hatred its grand-daughter; negligence its mother. Please keep away from this whole family.{Courtesy: Pashupati Tekriwal, a Homo Whatsappean}”-- Swami Chidananda brings home to us  a powerful message to keep away from anger emphatically  highlighting the wisdom thoughts from Pashupati Tekriwal in his Arni series. He further adds:
 Anger is when you punish yourself for the faults of others.
·         Anger is that breeze which puts out the flame of your intelligence.
·         Anger is not a solution to any problem but is itself a problem.
·         Anger keeps you in continuous stress when you don’t control it.
·         Anger leaves you more tired at times than what a whole day’s work does.
·         If somebody can make you angry, she / he controls you in that sense.
·         If your smile is God’s signature on your face, anger erases it.
·         When overpowered by anger, you need more energy to sit quietly than to yell or scream.
·         The fool expresses his anger through shouting and screaming; the wise man brings his anger under control.
·         Silence can be of great help in the matter of winning over anger.
·         Count up to ten when you get angry; count up to a hundred if you get very angry.
I am sure my friend philosopher poet Dr. Ram Prasad will come out with a lyric on the subject to constantly remind these! But yet they all will be just glanced through and soon forgotten! How can we  overcome such a casual attitude to hear from one ear and let it pass through other and make way for another sermon as  we don’t retain them.
Please recall Veda Homa mantras Manyave swaha, kamaya swaha, Adhramaya Swaha, Mrityuve  Swaha etc. The Swaha mantra is  addressed to Deva and Devatas in Homas and Svadha  Mantra to manes or Pitrus.
I believe Vedic rishis have thought about very seriously on this problem knowing the Hindu mind. Anything that needs serious consideration and constant attention need   to be interwoven with religion so that we could rush to temple and conduct a homa or puja. (In fact this kamokarshet homa is  a nitya karma meant for all not for  Dwija males only). That includes even safe driving on roads and you hang a Ganesha portrait  in front! You may kindly recall Kamokarsheet Homa whih the so called Dwijas performed recently.
 Manyu-rakaarsheer-nnamo namah | manyu-rakaarsheen-manyuh karoti naaham karomi manyuh karta naaham kartaa manyuh kaarayitaa naaham kaarayitaa eshaa te manyoe manyave Swaaha ||  
 Salutations are to the Gods. Anger performed the act. Anger did the act. Anger is doing the act; not I. Anger is the agent; not I. Anger causes the doer to act; not I. O Anger, let this oblation be offered to thee. Hail!
”Manyurakaarsheet’” means “those acts that are committed out of anger. Manyu is rage towards the enemy, internal or external. Since the term occurs here in connection with Kama, it is translated as anger personified; for obstructed desire is the source of anger. All those cravings, instincts, propensities, inclinations, desires and needs    that express themselves continually in the thoughts and behavior of people are referred to by the word Kama or desire. And so obstruction of Kama in any form evokes reaction in the shape of rage or anger which supply the motive force for a wider area of thought and activity covered by human behavior.  A worshiper is represented here as offering repeated obeisance to the gods who witness the inside of all people and arraign them the Bar of Divine Justice.  The angry person pleads not guilty and deposes that he/she, the Self in man, did not do any act, is not doing anything, is not an agent. Or an abettor; the motive force driven by desire is the agent that did acts and is doing them. In order to propitiate the Deity of Anger, so that worshiper may be left in  his pure nature, as  a resent of the withdrawal of all harmful angers, an oblation is offered into the consecrated fire. Once we realize the Self there is no chance for any such anger or desire. You now see why  Vedas have deified Kama and Manyu and offer prayer! At the same time veda does nmot say you should meditate on Manyu as Brahman! 
 Worship of Lord of Obstacles to have success in all our undertakings is also based on this, a  Negative Forces worship philosophy. Lord Siva presented  Ganapati, his own adopted son (like Jesus in Christianity), probably  as He is busy otherwise for serious  things, in order to take care of our day to day small problems  as  a leader who is worshiped as Visvaksena by Vaishnavites in his original form as leader of  Gajanana Ganas. You know perhaps Supreme created many species as demi-gods like Devas, Sadhyas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Gajananas, Hayavadanas etc. (Please refer to Swami Prabhupada’s description of creation in my discourse  on One God, Devatas and  Grahas for worship by all Traditions).  Siva might have removed     the temporary guard of Parvati  made from her body scum by a Gajanaa with two tusks,  I also   pay obeisance to Gajaanana with two tusks who is invoked in Vishnu Sahasranama, as he is consecrated and worshiped in Tirupati  who attends on  Balaji  as a guard and treasurer who supervises  Brahmotsva arrangements. Puranas have  gone further deified  him not only as Vighnaraja King of Obstacles) but also Manyuraja (king of anger) with one tusk and widely popularized it with the story that in a fit of anger he broke  his tusk and hurled at laughing sun   while he was troubled by over eating and the serpent belt could not hold his belly.  He is also worshiped as Sat-Chit_Ananda Vigraha which   Swmi prabhupada refutes saying he is a devata and not Deva. But we have here a very popular deity Two-in-One where  Vighna and Manyu both are deified. He will be an ideal deity for Manyurakarsheet and Vighnakarsheet Homa on Upakarma Day!
 “Sat-Chit-Ananda Vigrahah, further defines what differentiates Krishna from the other devatas. Krishna has a spiritual body composed of sat (eternality), chit (complete knowledge), and ananda (spiritual bliss).  This is what separates Krishna from the 330 million devatas within this material world. The devatas, though very powerful entities, are ultimately embodied beings just as we are.   Even Indra, Ganesha and Brahma are eternal spirit souls covered by a devata body due to illusion. The only difference is the quality of illusion that is conditioning us. We are conditioned more by the lower gunas of rajas (passion) and tamas (ignorance) whereas they are conditioned by the higher quality of sattva guna (goodness)” says Swami Prabhupada.   You may now understand why I said before Sat-chi-ananda vigrhaya namah in Ganesha Ashtottara  is not appropriate in Ganesha devata worship ! I am not sure why  Swami Prabhupada added Vigrah to Sat-chit-ananda; but who knows the mind of great saints! So I do paroy chanting as in Ashtottara without thinking. We cannot make a Vigrah of Absolute Consciousness  yet we go by what our priests say often  "Please repeat after me"
--September 3, 2017

AUGUST 2017
DEVO EKAH, VEDIC 33 DEVATAS & DEITIES SUITABLE FOR COMMON WORSHIP  BY  ALL TRADITIONS IN  TEMPLES
The apparent Polytheism of the Hindus can be seen visually in operation in American Hindu Temples today,to please all traditions, when you walk through the gallery of sanctums with its selective crowd gathered round a particular deity in command for any particular day ritual or festival.
Mahanarayana Upanishad makes a distinction between Deva and devatas and says DEVO EKAH-the Supreme Being, Brahman, Paramatman is ONE without any second (adviteeyam).  Its panchabrahma Manrtras, Daharavidya etc. are directed to that DEVA.    There are other  Mantras  to various  Devatas like Aditya Devataa mantrah, Bhoo-devataa ka mantrah, Sarvaadevataa mantrah, Vaisvadevataa mantrah etc.
Unfortunately though MNU clarified Deva and devatas we find often these terms are mixed up  and indiscriminately used and the  reference to Deva or devata is left to our discretion according to context. This is so even in Bhagavad Gita. While God could be ideal translation for Deva, unfortunately we have to translate devi and devatas also as gods and   goddesses  that brings in lot of confusion in our understanding of spiritual  and religious discourses. One way to overcome this is to use the word god in all Capitals as GOD when we refer to Brahman or Paramatman or Supreme Spirit.   This has given room for  lot of confusion and often mislead us to run to  subordinate devatas instead of focus on Supreme for achieving our ultimate goal in life. Gita clearly says those who worship these  devatas go to these devatas and get their petty desires fulfilled, those who worship manes  go to manes and only those  who worship the Supreme go to to Supreme  Spirit or   Brahman and get liberated if not in this birth but in the near future.
The Vedic texts describe 330 million devatas, or universal controllers, but we should not confuse these beings with DEVA or GOD.  GOD is beyond the purview of the material universe. The devatas   are controllers of various aspects of nature within the material realm.  Various demigods such as Ganesha, Karttikeya, etc., are actually posts that are occupied by a particular living entity for one day of Brahma.  For example, it is described in the Puranas that in the present day of Brahma, the post   Karttikeya (Skanda) is being occupied by Sri Sanatkumara, the great liberated son of Lord Brahma about which I had talked to you elaborately. Sanatkumar’s arrival is also glorified in the Holy Bible. It is exactly like a government that has many levels of control, such as Prime Minister (national controller), Chief Minister (state controller) and District Magistrate (district controller). Through meditation one can perceive these higher entities – the gandharvas, apsaras, yakshas, and devatas. By purifying our consciousness we can enter these higher dimensional planes through our sukshma-sarira (subtle body composed of mind, intelligence, and identification) and see these beings face to face, just as I can see you if you are standing before me. 
Vedic astrology contains seven   presiding deities, Sun (Surya), Moon  (Chandra), Jupiter (Brihaspati), Neptune (Indra) Uranus (Varuna), Pluto (Prajapati), and Earth (Aditi) that preside over seven Janma Nakshatras and not Rahu and Ketu.    In fact these 7are devatas among the 33 controllers of Supreme Being. There is no need to have a Navagraha altars for worship in temples lured by astrologers and their false predictions as the same is  found  only in Siva temples in South India. If however the need is felt   we can have Saptagraha altars of these 7 Vedic devatas out of 33 controllers which would also conflate with Vedic Astrology or Jyothsha sastra,
 Hindu American Temples that cater to Multi Traditions and conduct inter- caste, inter-racial and inter-faith weddings by Brahma Marriage Samskara (sacrament) as well as keep the temple open to all faiths and races will be wiser to choose Venkatesvara as the Ideal symbolic Deva (God) as presiding deity and also have Sapta Graha altars to satisfy those who are believers in their Horoscopes based on authentic Vedic astrology which is Vedanga called Jyotisha Sastra,
Please go through the detailed discourse with lot reference to Vedas, Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana as  well as elaborate elucidation by Swami  Prabhupada of Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON.
--September 2, 2017
RARE BHAGAVATSTUTHI FROM BRAHMA PURANA
I have pleasure in forwarding  you this rare composition from Brahma Purana  sent  through courtesy Muralidharan Iyengar for  Hayagriva Jayanti, the first ever incarnation  neither included in Dasavatara  nor his birthday  celebrated  in American Hindu Temples. Hayagriva is the presiding deity of Parakala Math in Mysore. Bengaluru has also a Hayagriva Trust engaged in Spreading the message of this Lord of Wisdom who is the Guru  of Sarasvati. Also Vedas describe a group of devatas with horse head like Gajananas and   Asvini devatas are represented with twin horse-head whose portrayal can be seen in Lithuania. Mention is also made of a demon Hayagriva. Please go through my discourse on Narayana and Hayagriva. I missed his English version. However I transliterated the same from Kannada. The sloka ends with obeisance to Vishnu in his Pancharatra concept with which  he is worshiped in Chennai Parthasarathy Temple-- Paravasudeva,  Vasudeva, Sankarshana Prdyumna and Aniruddha. Please go through my discourse on Hayagriva that has all Kritis and also an Upanishad. The objective of Hayagriva Trust  is  to publish all available literature on Hayagriva. I hope someone will send my compilation on Hayagriva to help them in their mission as I am not sure whether they will have all these including the one sent by Muralidharan Iyengar from Singapore.
--September 2, 2017