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Tue, 06/30/2015 - 08:20
Arts Culture India Foundation as part of its endeavour to encourage special children presented drawing  materials to all the special children of Sri Sakthi Academy, Chennai -600015 on 29th June 2015. It is proposed to have an orientation program about our ancient monuments and heritage locations and encourage those students to draw the pictures of the same. Sri Sakthi Academy deserves all appreciation for its continued  dedicated service to the special children.

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Sat, 05/16/2015 - 14:19
Eligibility for Studying Srimad Bhagavad GItA and VishNu SahasranAma
SrImad BhAgavatam i-4-25 empowers Women and those belonging to the fourth caste to study MahAbhAratam. As SrImad Bhagavad GItA and  VishNu SahasranAma are  parts of MahAbhAratam, women and those belonging to the fourth caste who have faith in BhagavAn  can recite them  after learning from a Guru.
The intrinsic meaning of the adage “ BhAratah pancamo vedah” is that MahabhArata is a ceaseless treasurehouse of holistic knowledge like the Vedas  which contains various subtle exposition of dharma. It does not mean that only dvijas are  entitled to study MahabhArata. This injunction applies only in the case of study of the four Vedas comprising of  samhitA.  BrAhmaNa, AraNyaka and Upanishad and  VedAnta vicAra.
It is to be noted that a plain and unbiased reading of the VishNu sahasranAma phalaSruti shows that it can be chanted by all the four VarNas for which the benefits acrrue differently based on one's VarNa.
Vedantago brAhmaNah syAd kshatriyo vijayI bhavet !vaiSyo dhana samruddhas syAt  SUdras sukhamavApnuyAt !!
On similar lines, this is another pramANa from SrI vAlmIkI RAmAyaNa:
paThan dvijo vAk RishabhatvamIyAt |syAt kShatriyo bhUmi patitvamIyAt ||vaNik janaH paNya phalatvamIyAt |janasa SUdro'pi mahatvamIyAt ||       1-1-100
By reading this RAmAyaNa, ---A BrAhmaNa attains excellence in speech ---A Kshatriya attains lordship over land ---A VaiSya attains monetary gains ---A SUdra attains personal excellence.
Please note the word "paThan" (reading) used in SrI ValmiKI RAmAyaNa. This in addition to  the quote from SRimad bhAgavatam (given below) proves the eligibility of Women and  SUdras in reading the text of the ItihAsas like RAmAyaNa and MahAbhArata.   SrImad BhAgavatam i-4-25 empowers Women and SUdras to study MahAbhAratam .
                        strI SUdra dvijabandhUnAm                        trayI na Sruti gocarA                        karma Sreyasi mUDhAnAm                        SreyA  evam bhaved iha                        Iti bhAratam AkhyAnam                        krupayA muninA krutam !!  SrI Sankara bhAshyam on SrI VishNu sahasranamam on the sloka "vedantago brAhmaNas syAt" goes in a circle and tries to connect performance of yajna and the SUdra varNa and says that the SUdras can only hear but not chant. This stringent  view also held by someAcAryas does not bring out the true spirit behind the purpose of creating itihAsa purANas. These are intended for the benefit of  all including women and SUdras ,irrespective of the VarNa, as BhagavAn is common to all and He can be reached by any one irrespective of one's caste through unconditional love.
Different types of BrAhmaNasWe need to understand more about who is a BrAhmaNa. Vipra means BrAhmaNa.
A person is born as a BrAhmaNa.
As the first born among the mortals, he is known as agrajanmA.
After Upanayana. he becomes a dvija.
As one learned in Vedas, he is known as a Srotriya.
As a deity upon earth, he is known as BhUdeva.
As one who has emanated from the mukha of the Supreme, he is known as Mukhaja.
A BrAhmaNa who is only by birth and not by performance of duties is known as BrAhmaNabruva.According to Devala, there are eight types of BrAhmaNas as follows in the ascending order of greatness:(1)MAtra
MAtra means one who is born in a BrAhmaNa family who has not undergone upanayanam and not following any ansuhthAna.
BrAhmaNa is one who has done some veda adhyayana, who has ACara, SAnti, Satyam, dayA.
Srotriya is one who has done the Veda adhyayanam of one SakhA along with kalpasUtra or six vedAngas, knower of dharma, performer of six karmas like yajanam.
anUCAna is one who is vedavedAnga tatvajna, Suddha citta, devoid of Sins and having the qualities of Srotriya.
BhruNa is one who is vrataguNopeta, follower of niyamas in yajnas and vedAdhyayana, devapitruSishtAnna BhojI, jitendriya.
Rishikalpa is one who has all vaidika and laukika jnAna, Asramastha, jitendriya.
Rishi is one who is Urdharetas, tapasvI, follower of AhAra niyama, powerful to give SApa and anugraha, satyasandha.
Muni is one who is not attached towards vishayas, knower of all tatvas, without KAma and krodha, dhyAnastha, nishkriya, jitendriya, viewer of gold or sand equally.Learning of VedasIn matters regarding learning and teaching of Vedas , we have to go based on what is stated in the Vedic Scriptures and concluded by our great Rishis. One should not confuse what is stated in the SAstras with our limited materialistic knowledge. It is safer and better to align with the upadeSa of smrutis in  this regard.Vedas are no doubt meant for Universal peace, Universal development and Universal welfare. But the Vedic yajnas have to be performed by those who are qualified by the SAstras to perform. While Vedic knowledge can be freely disseminated for the benefit of all, teaching and learning the Vedic Mantras with VarNa and svara have to be based on tradition only.Vipras have protected the Vedas from time immemorial by making personal sacrifice and by leading a simple and austere life devoted to propagation of Vedas (sVadhyAya pravacanam). We have to offer our deep sense of  gratitude to them who have selflessly carried it so far despite numerous hurdles. In the name of modernity, let us not fiddle with it.When we daily recite the SAnti PATha as below, we pray for the well-being of not only human beings but also animals and plants. ThereforeVedic Prayers have an Universal outlook.Urdhvam jigAtu bheshajam !Sam no astu dvipade !Sam catushpade !Om SAntih SAntih SAntih !The following Mantra also recited while offering oblations to our forefathers show how caring are the Vedas about environmental order.Madhu vAtA rutAyate(Let the air be pleasant)Madhu ksharanti sindhavah(Let the rivers be pleasant)MAdhvIrnas santvoshadhIh(Let the plants and creepers be pleasant)Madhu naktamutoshasi(Let the day and night be pleasant)Madhumat pArthivam rajah(Let the dust of the earth be pleasant)Madhu dyaurastu nah pitA(Let our father-like Sky be pleasant)Madhu mAnno vanaspatih(Let the herbs be pleasant)MadhumAm astu sUryah(Let the Sun be pleasant)MAdhvIr gAvo bhavantu nah(Let the cows be pleasant to us)--- mahAnArAyaNa upanishad xxxix-3Let all the dvijas take the initiative in learning and propagating the Vedic knowledge for the benefit of all Beings within the framework ofSAstras.Else the prediction in SrImad BhAgavatam that "VedAh PAshaNda dUshitAh" would become a reality very soon.Let us pray more Vipras do whatever they can for protecting and nourishing the Vedas and the Srotriyas.Yadyat Acarati Sreshthah tadtadevetaro janah !sa yat pramANam kurute lokas tadanuvartate !! ( Bh. G . iii- 21)SummaryAll people who have faith in the Supreme are eligible to study SrImad Bhagavad GItA and SrI VishNu sahasranAma. While Vedas and Vipras are to be held in high esteem, we need to understand that for approaching the Supreme, Vedas are not the only route for people belonging to all castes. Taking into consideration various aspects, BhagavAn has so kindly made him easily accessible to people of other VarNas as well through the path of unconditional love popularly  known as  bhakti yoga.There are two broad routes to reach the Supreme. One path is approaching him while duly following the VarNASrama dharma (as far as practicable) as stipulated in Vedas and SAstras. This is mainly applicable for the first three VarNas. Another one is the BhAgavata dharma which does not have the Vedic injunctions thereby opening the door to all irrespective of caste or creed. That is why we can find many BrAhmaNas lovingly worshipping Non-BrAhmANa Azhvars and NAyanmars in the Bhakti tradition of the South.  If some one from any caste or creed  is so passionate and craving to know the Supreme BhagavAn , there is nothing which stops him if he follows the second path. Such a noble soul has to be deeply respected by all. The confusion has arisen mainly because we are mixing up the two and trying to apply the rules and injunctions of the first path to the second. Those who tread by the second path always honour those following the first path of VarNAsrama dharma and vice versa as the ultimate objective of reaching the Supreme BhagavAn is the same in both cases. குலம் தாங்கு சாதிகள் நாலிலும் கீழ் இழிந்து எத்தனை நலம் தான் இலாத சண்டாள சண்டாளர்கள் ஆகிலும் வலம் தாங்கு சக்கரத்து அண்ணல் மணிவண்ணற்கு ஆள் என்று உள் கலந்தார் அடியார் தம் அடியார் எம் அடிகளே !---NammAzhvAr TiruvAimozhiजय जय श्रीराधे 
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Tue, 05/05/2015 - 21:24
All glories to   श्रीसीतारामचन्द्रप्रभु.
मम भर्ता महातेजा वयसा पंच विंशकः ||
अष्टा दश हि वर्षाणि मम जन्मनि गण्यते |--३-४७-१०उषित्वा द्वा दश समाः इक्ष्वाकूणाम् निवेशने |
भुंजाना मानुषान् भोगान् सर्व काम समृद्धिनी || --- ३-४७-४तत्र त्रयो दशे वर्षे राज अमंत्र्यत प्रभुः |
अभिषेचयितुम् रामम् समेतो राज मन्त्रिभिः ||---  ३-४७-५
On the strength of the above,   श्री सीता   was about  6 years  ( 18-12=6) when her wedding took place and  श्री रामचन्द्रप्रभु was about 13 years (25-12=13) old .  We have to rely on वाल्मीकी रामायण for authenticity. Even the Story line is slightly different in other versions of रामायण .
श्री सीता is none other than श्री राधा.
श्रीसीतारामजयम् Iजय जय श्रीराधे I 
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Fri, 04/24/2015 - 20:04
The OmkAra upAsana is intended mainly for sanyAsis. There are a lot of restrictions in the Vedic Scriptures regarding the usage of PraNava. Considering the modern times, if the term is retained as Yoga (which is mainly Asana and PrAnAyAma for many) and the world acknowledges that it belongs to BhArata as part of its sanAtana dharma, it is enough to start with. Later when some people develop intense faith in the Yoga system, they can look into the eight limbs of Yoga in a holistic manner comprising of yama, niyama, Asana, PrANAyAma, PratyAhAra, DhyAna, DhAraNa, and samAdhi. This could be  construed to be one non-controversial strategy to make the world aware of the potentials of Yoga and realize immense benefits from Yoga practices.जयजय श्रीराधे 
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Fri, 04/24/2015 - 19:41
The Dhvajastambha, as we call it, is installed based on the Agama pertaining to that specific temple. The details of the size, height, quality of the wood to be used and so on are specified in the Agama concerned. PAncarAtra and VaikhAnasa are the two main Agamas followed by the Vaishnavite temples. There are many branches of PancharAtra Agama. The North Indian Temples are not based on PAncarAtra and VaikhAnasa Agamas. Hence depending upon the Agama / Scripture followed by the Temple, there are variations.जयजय श्रीराधे।   
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Thu, 04/23/2015 - 21:35
The Vedas wish all prosperity for the farmers who feed all human beings.
Let our Ploughs cleave the ground with Prosperity.Let  the Ploughers go round the yokes with Prosperity.Let Parjanya give Prosperity with honey and milk.Let SunA and SirA bestow us Prosperity.
शु॒नं नः॒फाला॒ वितु॑दन्तु॒ भूमि॑ शु॒नंकी॒नाशा॑ अ॒भि य॑न्तु वा॒हान् ।शु॒नम्प॒र्जन्यो॒ मधु॑ना॒ पयो॑भिः॒ शुना॑सीरा शु॒नम॒स्मासु॑ धत्तम् । --- TaittirIya SamhitA IV-2-5 
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Sun, 04/19/2015 - 10:22
SrI RAmAnujAcArya, the greatest AcArya of SrIvaishNavism has clearly upheld the sanctity of varNASrama dharma in his SrI BhAshya, the exalted commentary on Brahma sUtra. All the 74 AcAryas established by him uphold the  Vedic tradition  and are conforming to sAstras even today.
SrI RAmAnujAcArya at the same time strongly believed that we have to respect the great Saints and devotees belonging to other castes as well, as many AzhvArs are non-BrAhmaNas. While it is the duty of one person to follow his own varNASrama dharma, it does not make him automatically superior to others. In the considered view of SrI RAmAnujAcArya all VaishNavaites (tirumAl adiyArs) are one and the same in the eyes of the Supreme BhagavAn. Hence one has to be always polite and humble in spite of his caste. The jIyars of SrI RAmAnujAcAryatradition wear yajnopavitam and perform nitya karma. SrI RAmAnujAcAyra fully knows what is varNASrama dharma and what is devotion (bhakti yoga) and Surrender (Prapatti). Those vaishnaviteswho are not brAhmaNas do not wear yajnopavitam but are engaged in the service of BhagavAn are called as "sAttANi" . They render "pushpa kainkaryam" in a selfless manner. SrI RAmAnujAcAyrawelcomed all for doing unconditional and selfless service to the Supreme irrespective of caste. Vaishnavites never claim that they are superior based on birth. For them, it is the loving  devotion to the Supreme which is important. All devotees are verily equals. At the same time, Vaishnavites fully adhere to varNaSrama dharma. SrI RAmAnujAcArya never advocated the supremacy of BrAhmaNas over others. One of his respected AcAryaswas Swami Tirukkacchi Nambigal, who was a non-BrAhmaNa. Therefore, if only SrI RAmAnujAcAyra hadconsidered BrAhmaNasas superior, there is some meaning in alleging that he could have converted non-BrAhmaNasinto BrAhmaNas. For him, all SrI Vaishnavaites are indeed  equals. At the same time  he also emphasized that the SAstras have to be duly complied with based on one's VarNASrama dharma as determined by one's birth.  SrI RAmAnujAcArya brought many people into the fold of Sri VaishNavism without any change in their status of varNa. As they were disillusioned with the non-Vedic philsophies, mAyA vAdam etc, they voluntarily came into the fold of Sri VaishNavism. All the sAtthAdamudalis of heritage temples like SrIrangam, still remain to date as sAtthAda mudalis only. Nobody was ever converted into the BrAhmaNa fold. Pillai UrangAvalli Dasar became a very close disciple of SrI RAmAnujAcArya at SrIrangam and he remained as a non-BrAhmaNa only. SrI RAmAnujAcArya firmly believed in the supremacy of Vedic Scriptures. According to the SAstras, there are no rituals for converting the caste of the person into BrAhmaNa VarNa. Hence as a strong upholder of SAstras, SrI RAmAnujAcArya would not have even dreamt of changing the VarNas just like that. SrI RAmAnujAcArya is far beyond the mAyA of caste supremacy and there is no need for him to convert non-BrAhmaNas into BrAhmaNa VarNa. He only openly welcomed all people with love and affection  irrespective of their castes into the fold of SrI VaishNavism  to cross the ocean of samsAra and  reach the abode of the Supreme. श्रीमते रामानुजाय नमः।जयजय श्रीराधे।  
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Wed, 04/15/2015 - 08:12
The very fact that we are asking Veda PramANa overlooking the smrtis of the great Rishis shows our lack of respect for their sagacious wisdom and trying to use our very limited knowledge to understand and interpret the Vedas. According to Manu, one who disrespects the smrtis is a nAstika.
Both Sruti and smrutis constitute valid pramANas. We have to keep in view that smrutis have only Sruti as the base. Though there were many SAkhAs (recensions) of the Vedas in the days of  yonder, only a few are available now due to various reasons.anantA vai vedAh ! ---- TaittirIya KAthaka
The Vedas are infinite. Thus while a particular aspect (for example, mandatory performance of trikAla sandhyA including  mAdhyAnikam) specifically covered in the smrutis could have been  based on a Vedic statement which was existing  in a particular Vedic recension at that point of time but not now, it may not be correct for us to conclude that the particular aspect is not backed by Vedas. Hence it would be very difficult to overlook what is stated in the smrutis as being something which is not mentioned in the Vedas and hence need not be followed.
One cannot properly understand the intended and intrinsic meaning of Vedas. As Vedas are complex and innumerable, the Rishis through their great tapas composed the Smrutis which define what is dharma for a particular Yuga.
In order to understand the Sruti in the proper perspective, one requires the guidance of smruti. Interpreting the original Vedic Mantras on our own accord is dangerous in the modern environment.
For each Mantra, there is a Rishi, a Chandas and the devatA. One cannot overlook the Rishi and chant any Mantra including GAyatrI MahA Mantra. As Rishis are the Seers of Vedic Mantras and the authors of smrutis, we hold them in high esteem. Rishi TarpaNam is offered to them. KAnda Rishi TarpaNam is also there. All the Srauta, grihya and smArta PrayogAs are done even today based on the statements of great Rishis like Apastamba, BodhAyana, ASvalAya, Jaimini, LAtyAyana, KAtyAyana and so on. In addition, we have sanakAdi Rishis, Sapta Rishis , NArada, BharadvAja, Veda VyAsa and so many others.Each BrAhmaNa (however materially he may be rich) is born only as a debtor with triple debts. He is indebted to the Rishis, DevAs and Pitrus. The Rishi debt is discharged through brahmacarya, Deva debt through performance of yajnas and Pitru debt through progeny.JAyamAno ha vai brAhmaNah tribhir rNavA jAyate !brahmacaryena rishibhyah !yajnena devebhyah!prajayA pitrubhyah!The Rishis including Rishi Patnis are to be respectfully worshipped. Without them, the Vedas would have disappeared. The smrutis, which are Rishi Proktam are therefore equally valid like Sruti.
Whatever one feels like doing according to his mental make-up does not constitute dharma. That is why in Bhagavad GItA , BhagavAn advises all to follow dharma as ordained in the Scriptures :tasmacchAstram pramAnam te karYAkArya vyavasthitau!jnAtvA SAstra vidhinoktam karma kartum ihArhasi !!-----Bhagavad gItA ! 16.24One who does not follow SAstras gains not Sukham or Siddhi or parama gati.yah Sastra vidhim utsrijya vartate KAma kAratah !na sa siddhim avApnoti na sukham na parAm gatim !!---Bhagavad gItA 16.23Learned sees through the eye of SAstras" ----kavibhih SAstra cakshushA ---"---- SrImad BhAgavatam x-84-36Sruti smruti mamaivAjnA yad tad ullanghya vartate !AjnAcchedhe mama drOhi mat bhaktOpi na vaishNava !!--- VishNuvedamUlAh smrutayah !---- SankhadurbodhA vaidikASSabdAh prakIrNatvacca ye khilAh !tatraita eva drushtArthAh smruti tantrai pratishthitAh !!---- MarIciSrutim paSyanti munayah smaranti ca tathA smrutim !tasmAt pramANamubhayam pramANaih pramitam bhuvi !!---- ManuAccording to Angiras, those who are learned in pramANas should duly take care of them. Otherwise, authentic pramANas would get destroyed by baseless pramANas.pramANAni pramANajnaih paripAlyAni yatnatah !sIdanti pramANAni pramANairavyavasthitaih !!--------Angiras
Coming to the subject, there are two modes of samskAram in terms of Pitru medham and Brahma medham. For both, there are Veda Mantras available as per grhya prayoga and are currently in use. This varies based on the sUtra to which one belongs to. Now for each and every karmanushthAna if somebody asks for specific pramANa in the Vedas (of which only a portion is available now), it is not in line with the path of the wise. We need to understand that the Veda Mantras used in the context as recommended by the Rishis constitute the PramANas. It is to be noted that in the entire two volumes of SrAddha kAnda of VaidyanAtha dIkshitIyam, only pramAnas from dharma SAstras are given. In the Vedas we have ample references about Pitru Yajna, svadha , Pitru, PitAmaha, PrapitAmaha and so on. But for each karma and the detailed procedure, if some body demands specific Veda pramAna, it is too much and tantamounts to overlooking the sagacious wisdom of the  Rishis.According to MarIcI, one is born as a candAla in crores of birth if one gives up performance of Abdika SrAddha.PanditA jnAnino mUrkhAh striyo'tha brahmacAriNah !mrtAham samatikramya candAlah kotijanmasu !!--- MarIcIAccording to LokAkshi, one shall do anna SrAddham only and not HiraNyam or Ama SrAddham.Pushapvatsvapi dAreshu videSastho 'pyanagnikah !annenaivAbdikam kuryaddhemnA va'mena na kvacit !!--- LokAkshiAccording to Jamadagni, Sumantu and USanas, one without wife is not entitled to perform pArvaNa SrAddham and he has to do Ama SrAddham. na bhavatyasya sAmagrI dArA vA gruhameva ca !AmaSrAddham prakurvIta vrddho bAlaSca yo bhavet !!- JamadagniOne who thinks that there are no Pitrus and gives up performance of SrAddha earns the curse of his own santi pitaraSceti krtvA manasi yo narah !SrAddham na kurute tatra tasya raktam pibanti te !!--- Aditya PurANaWhere SrAddha is not done, there no Putras are born, no relief from dieseses, no long life and no tatra vIrA jAyante nArogA na SatAyushah !na ca Sreyodhigacchati yatra SrAddham vivarjitam !!--- HArIta
It is to be noted that even in the dharma SAstras different ways have been suggested for a particular situation by different Rishis. It is difficult to comprehend and interpret the proper course of action many a times. Our own interpretations of the Vedas in the context of performance of various Karmas would be grossly misleading. We have  to necessarily go by what the great Rishis have said and follow it as far as possible in one’s own prevailing circumstances.Hence if any one  who raises such questions  genuinely believes in Vedic Scriptures, he can personally approach a Srotriya well-versed in dharma SAstra, get his doubts clarified and act accordingly.नमः परमऋषिभ्यो  नमः परमऋषिभ्यः।जय जय श्रीराधे।
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Tue, 03/31/2015 - 09:14
The dharma SAstras prescribe age as the only criterion for performing Upanayanam. They have not mandated Gurubalam etc for performance of Upanayanam. There is  authority for performance of Upanayana even at the early age of five. We have to always keep in mind that in respect of any karma, dharma SAstras provide for multiple options and thus allowing from the age of five to sixteen for performance of Upanayanam with different associated benefits. According to Manu, a BrAhmaNa who is desirous of brahmavarcas can perform Upanayanam at the age of five.
brahmavarcasa kAmasya kAryam viprasya pancame !
--- Manu
According to Angiras, a BrAhmaNa who is desirous of brahmaVarcas can perform Upanayanam at the age of five.
brahmavarcasa kAmasya pancame abde agrajanmanah !!
--- Angiras Now the issue is that if some body strongly believes that Gurubalam is a must for this purpose, then it becomes a mental block for performance of Upanayanam within the age prescribed by SAstras. We need to understand that by Upanayanam one is drawn towards the Guru for study of Vedas. Hence Guru kataksham will be there for any one who undergoes Upanayanam.  But in the family if there is serious difference of opinion among the elders on this point, one can get it resolved by approaching one's own family Guru and act accordingly. If in the process the decision gets delayed, only the boy is deprived of the benefit of early study of Vedas. The specific date for Upanayanam has to be fixed for the boy concerned based on PancAnga. One should not go by a common muhurta date as far as possible.जय जय श्रीराधे
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Sun, 03/22/2015 - 08:29
Talk on "Vedic Management'' at the National Vedic Conference on 20th  March 2015 conducted by Sri Venkateswara Vedic University,  Tirupati.

जय जय श्रीराधे 
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Sat, 03/21/2015 - 16:41
SECRETS OF MAHAMANTRA  Five partsbyDr S Kannan

जय जय श्रीराधे 
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Sat, 03/07/2015 - 13:45
As part of the Indian Heritage Series Lectures of Arts Culture India  Foundation, Sri Caintanya Mahaprabhu's Jayanti was celebrated and a Talk on " SECRETS OF MAHAMANTRA" was given by Dr.S.Kannan on 5th March 2015 Thursday  from 6 30 p m to 8 00 p m at  Sri Parvati Centre, 28/160, Eldams Road, Alwarpet, Chennai 600018. जय जय श्रीराधे

जय जय श्रीराधे
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Sat, 02/28/2015 - 07:32
SrI Caitanya MahAprabhu’s Jayanti will be celebrated by the devotees across the Globe with special devotional fervor on  Thursday, the 5th March, 2015.महामन्त्रप्रदातारं माधुर्यभावसागरम् !मधुकृष्णस्वरूपं तं महाप्रभुं नमाम्यहम् !!MahAmantrapradAtAram mAdhuryabhAva sAgaram !MadhukrshNasvarUpam tam mahAprabhum namAmyaham !!
I offer my respectful obeisance to SrI Caitanya MahAprabhu,The bestower of the MahAmantra,The ocean of MAdhurya bhAva, The honeyed form of SrI RAdhAkrshNa.
हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे !हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे !!
जय जय श्रीराधे ! 
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Sun, 02/22/2015 - 19:23
Ques: One of the key issue in my thinking is the topic on soul. One of the books on outlines of Vedanta discusses the point of view of materialism where the perceiver has no independent existence without the perceived. That is the soul is nothing, only void but seems to be a positive entity due the series of perceptions of phenomena. Neurology today says many feelings and emotions are based on the exposure of the brain to the correct stimuli at the right time or otherwise the cells go waste and cannot be revived. Similarly at old age, cells die, causing dementia etc. The neo cortex of the brain learns from experience and manages in the world till it decays.
For me, this approach is so dominating that it is difficult to surmount this understanding and relate to soul.It is told that without a substantial stratum of consciousness (unchanging and unaffected), it is impossible to have varying perceptions themselves. Now, here is the confusion. That such a reference plane is required for perceptions, is not easy to comprehend. The example is the flowing river which is perceptions and the river bed which is static. The example is easy, but not the soul. Same concept is told (one of the lectures in IIT-K available in youtube on 'who am I') in Mandokya Upanishad on the " Turiya", the fourth state common to all three states of Jagrat, Swapna and Nidra. This is told as the key to advaita.If this concept is understood, then I think, other aspects of advaita follow.I am not able to comprehend this. Is it like relativity. Like unless light velocity is constant, you cannot explain the world. This is proved but not easy to understand.Thus a never changing conscious is required to perceive the varying. Otherwise there is no datum to refer is it? For me this point is to be resolved primarily, before trying to understand other concepts of advaita.I request you to throw some light on this subject .
 Ans: Atman is the core substratum which is beginningless, changeless and permanent. It is the witness of the three states of consciousness (avasthA traya) - waking (JAgrad), dream (svapna) and deep sleep (sushupti). It transcends the three bodies (Sariras) in terms of  gross (sthUla), subtle (sUkshma) and Causal (KAraNa) and the five sheaths (KoSas) comprising of annamaya, prAnamaya, manomaya, vijnAnamaya and Anandamaya. It is of the nature of satcidAnanda. In simple terms, the Atman is the changeless truth which in connection with the KAraNa , sUkshma and sthUla Sariras manifests in multifarious names and forms based on the accumulated karma phala. While the sthUla SarIra undergoes six-fold modifications, the fixed point of reference is always the embedded and invisible Atman representing the individual soul. Turiya is the fourth state which transcends the three states of cosnsciousness and is the true nature of the self in its exalted form representing the flight from gross to subtle, from ephemeral to eternal and from sound to silence. The term "Atman" as appearing in the Upanishads has to be properly interpreted. In certain contexts, it also refers to the Supreme ParamAtmA. The Vedic Statements talk about Bheda as well as abheda. Hence a holistic approach is required. A clear-cut understanding comes through Chapter 15 of Srimad BhagavadgItA which clearly establishes the three-fold tattvatraya concept of Cit (Atman- Consciousness) acit (Jada- Insentient) and ISvara (Brahman- Purushottama- Supreme). It is only through Atman that consciousness is established. In the various Vedic Scriptures the qualities of Atman have been explained and without that the JIva in manifested form cannot be identified. The identity of that individual soul is clearly established and well-connected through various births. Otherwise it would be difficult for one to account for birth defects, poverty at birth, orphaned on birth and so on. Each JivAtman gets specifically identified, connected and manifests in an appropriate  bodily form. The samsAra goes on till liberation based on kaivalyAnubhava (Advaita) or reaching the lotus feet of the Supreme BhagavAn (Moksha- Dvaita, ViSishtAdvaita). The individual Soul in the state of bondage is mAyAdhIna ( under the control of MAyA) while the realized Souls are MAyAtIta (transcended MAyA) . Only BhagavAn is MAyAdhISa as MAyA is always under his divine control.
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Whether it is correct to write in English as "GAyatri"?

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 08:27
It is गायत्री ---- ईकारान्तः In English we have to distinguish between GAyatri andGAyatrI. Some people use GAyatree . In Transliteration , it has to be written as Gāyatrī Anyhow, it should end with ईand that is important. जय जय श्रीराधे
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Fri, 01/09/2015 - 23:42
 1.Q: Once vasanas are expended, will jeevatma remain individualistic. I am told that ego and feeling of I is a major problem for realising God ( I do, I feel, I am this etc). Will the Jeevatma come in the way of oneness.A: The VAsanas will get exhausted only when "I" and the associated ego disappear.
 Q:As regards purification of the Jeeva, right approaches would help. For example I seem to treat a snake or a scorpion differently if seen in the wild, in the garden or in the bathroom. Ahimsa is fundamental feeling in all the three situations but sometimes himsa seems to be inevitable. Ants and cockroaches in the kitchen may be a more blatant example, I use insecticides etc to kill them. Further, human body is having both friendly bacteria and unfriendly ones, and I take anti-bio-tics to kill them when not under control.I use milk on a daily basis, while it belongs rightly to the calf. Plants are lower forms of life and I live on it, while it is possible to avoid animal products. Will it be possible for the entire world to avoid animal products. To top it all, we use milk and honey in worship. Even using flowers plucked from plants and offered to God, slightly disturb me. The bees and some birds seem to coexist with flowers and depend on their nectar. I do not think it is perfect to offer to God these things, though we like to worship God with nice things.Thus it seems one can never get rid of vasanas completely. We can only reduce the vasanas. I am sure some answers should be there in our Vedas for these. Kindly share this knowledge.A: Himsa without selfish interest and for the purpose of dharma is not reckoned as Himsa. According to GItA, leaf, flower. fruit and water( patram, pushpam, phalam and toyam) are the acceptable offerings to the Supreme . But the moot point is the inherent Bhakti BhAva. Without that God does not accept anything from anyone. We should not stretch our compassion to other living beings too far so as to die of starvation. The Vedas say that "annam na nindyAt ! tad vratam !." Human life is very rare and hence for protecting it one has to take proper care by consuming appropriate food. As regards killing of animals " Mens Rea" should be there for one to be held guilty.Any offering to Supreme with devotion does not incur sin. He relieves one from all known and unknown sins . aham tvA sarvapApebhyo mokshayishyAmi mA Sucah !
Q:Worldly existence seem to be having many contradictions. Animals, which are programmed to live in certain way and have no free will, some of them kill others for prey. Himsa is apparent to us but it happens naturally. As if it is meant that way. Vegetarians seems to be only doing less himsa, considering plants are also lives of different order. It seems creation itself, like good and bad bacteria within human body, is in a larger scale, seen in nature, with such happenings, one harming the other. Many humans do not like a deer being killed and eaten by a tiger. Thus what we feel and what nature is, are not in sync apparently. Neither we can agree nor disagree. But no doubt that the feeling of sadness when a deer is killed is there and we may try to protect the deer, given an opportunity. At the same time, we know very well that wild animals starve to death if they are not given or getting such prey and in zoos wild animals are offered such prey.In a very very subtle way vegetarians are also not absolutely harmless and of course, we seem to have no qualms about offering milk to god, which rightly belong to its calf. We seem to be sort of conditioned, rather than being true to ourselves. What we feel and what is nature, I feel, is not in sync for some reason. If, for so many thousands of years, great thinkers have not found an answer, will it be worthwhile searching for such answer. If answer is there, why it is not apparent or common knowledge. I definitely know that I am not the first one to feel so, but since I have not come across answers, I am searching. Hope you will appreciate and through some light. A: Animals live by instinct while human beings are bestowed with the power of viveka. Animals do not incur any sin by eating other animals as they are programmed in that fashion.All the milk from the cow cannot be consumed by the calf. It is our duty to first feed the calf with cow milk and take only the extra milk gracefully for offering to Supreme and for human consumption. By offering to God, food becomes prasAda .and is free from contamination of sins.Everything is well-connected in nature by design and we do not perceive it due to our own limitations in understanding.People bestowed with intellect always search for answers for the puzzle of creation. But only a few succeed with the grace of BhagavAn.
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Thu, 01/08/2015 - 21:49
Q: I believe God has no second and hence the world, senses and thoughts and whatever is a part of the Brahmam - it may be an over simplification, but I wish to be corrected if wrong. A: All this is verily the Supreme.
Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma  - ChAndogyopanishad ISavAsyamidam sarvam --  IsAvAsyopanishad 
Q: Does it mean even the vasanas are attached to the part of Brahmam?
A: VAsanas are not all  attached to Brahman.  It is attached only to JIvAtmAs.
3.Q: The question I understand is not answered so far - as to how the vasanas came about in the first place. Was there a chance to use free will the first time and it was used against dharma at the first instance?
A: Yes. When the Jivas accumulate karmas through sakAma karma , VAsanas start to accumulate in terms of Karma Phala.
 4. Q:Have you tried to reconcile Darwin's theories and the big bang theory etc with the non-duality concept derived from Vedas? Where does vasana fit in here. Can there be a large repository of the deeds done by the portion of the Brahmam over a mind boggling length of time. As the concept of self and mind and feelings are not in the realm of Darwin or the recent origin of universe theories, I expect reconciliation would not be easy.
A: Darwin's Theory is not correct as per Vedic Scriptures. All the Beings have been independently  created by the Brahman  Each Being brings with it its own baggage od VAsanas based on the Karmas.
 Vedic Scriptures give vivid  details of creation of the Universe.  
Q:It is told that world is a manifestation of the Brahman, animate and inanimate. Thought, feelings and intellect are transitory and hence are only a short reflection of Brahman in various forms for the time being. Apparently the vasanas influence these. Is this right understanding?
A: Thought, feelings and intellect are to be used to  realize the Brahman. No doubt  VAsanas impact these until divine grace is obtained and one pursues the path of nishkAma karma.
Q:I am told that no intellect can understand such matters of Brahmam and only belief and dhyana can make one realise Brahmam. Scientific inquiries and reasoning does not help. Does it mean Jnana is different from such reasoning. A: According to Advaita, Self realization is only through knowledge. JnAnAt eva tu kaivalyam.But It is ViSvAsa (utmost faith) which takes you forward in the pursuit of the Supreme. The recommended and safer path for  Kali Yuga is Bhakti Yoga through devotional nAma japa  of RAdhAKrishNa.
Q: I really do not know if I deserve to get answers, as I do not consider myself as a seeker with total dedication. All the same I thought I should start.
A: VedAnta is  your birth right. A truthful person like you  is verily  a true seeker.
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Tue, 12/16/2014 - 19:51
In the scheme of nature, there is a free will for an individual to do something or not to do something or do differently. This is the free space available to us.Destiny , on the other hand, plays its trick starting with the birth of a child. Why one is born poor and another rich ? Why one is healthy and another has serious birth defects? One loses the mother the moment it is born? One is born dead? The questions are too many.But what is the force which causes such disparities ? Whether God is to be blamed for this partiality?The only logical answer could be the Karma Theory which explains that the human being takes birth to exhaust his PrArabdha Karma. This gets extinguished only by experiencing in the world , going through the vicious cycles of pleasures and pains. In the process there is always a little scope to do some action within a limited domain. Just like a Cow which is tied by a long rope has the freedom to move within the space determined based on the length of the rope, human beings have some free will to exercise. Beyond that limited area the tied cow cannot roam about. This represents the force of destiny. The reason why people lose their precious life suddenly due to accidents, dieseases, natural calamities like Tsunami , earthquake and so on cannot be otherwise explained.Self- effort is absolutely essential for any one without taking shelter under the guise of destiny. Therefore one has to do his Svadharma in a given environment without any expectation. If destiny decides otherwise, one should have the will power to take it in his stride in a positive manner. For this meditation techniques help a lot to make one develop equanimity towards the dualities. One should take caution not to abuse the little free will that is available to him.Desapite one's best intentions and efforts, the effect of PrArabdha Karma embedded as VAsanAs may suddenly manifest and impact one any time. But that is the secret of life .
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Tue, 12/16/2014 - 19:45
Bhagavad GItA has the main objective of Bhakti Yoga . But there are other valued aspects related to Karma and JnAna as well. Karma Yoga can be applied to both materialistic pursuits and religious/spiritual endeavors. The principles are the same. While one is about society another is  regarding divinity. Instead of not doing any thing (Karma SanyAsa) Karma Yoga is far superior. The philosophical inputs of Gita appeals to the mind, body and intellect representing Bhakti, Karma and JnAna Yogas. We can emulate best practices of great men as well both at the materialistic and religious / spiritual levels: Yadyat Acarati Sreshthah tadtadevetaro janah !
sa yat pramANam kurute lokas tadanuvartate !!
--- Bh. G . iii- 21
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Tue, 12/16/2014 - 08:50
SrI RAdhA is MahAlakshmI in the form of NIlA DevI. She is worshipped with intense prema bhakti bhAva by AzhvArs and AndAl (GodA) as Nappinnai. She is also fondly adored as Pinnai. Pinnai MaNAlan is verily RAdhA Vallabha.
Along with chanting of TiruppAvai , chanting of SrI RAdhA KrupA katAksha Stava helps one to gain the bliss of Krishna katAksha and His divine association.
SrIgovindapriyAm rAjnIm vrndAvana manoharIm !KrpAsvarUpiNIm divyAM rAdhA devIm namAmyaham !!
I offer my respectful obeisances to the Goddess Sri Radha Devi, Sri Krishna’s beloved Queen, the source of the beauty of Brindavan, who is auspicious and is of the form of mercy.
SrIrAdhikAkrpApAtrAm vishNucittasutAm sudhAm !SrIkrshNapremamagnAm tAm godA devIm namAmyaham !!
I offer my respectful obeisances to SrI Goda DevI (AndAl) who is blessed by SrI RAdhA DevI (in the form of NIla DevI), the nectar like daughter of SrI Vishnu citta (PeriyAzhvAr), immersed in Sri Krishna Prema Bhakti.

Sri Radha Krupa Kataksha Stava Raja Stotram
Sri Krishna  Krupa Kataksha  Stava Raja Stotram
Barsane Wali Radhe
Paramadhan Radhe 

जय जय श्रीराधे 
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