Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Amrita Varshini Raga & Self Confidence

image courtesy--google.

 I read this story in my mother tongue Tamil . I thought I should share this story which carries a valuable message. The story happened in  a small village.

There was a small village on the banks of river Cauvery.There  lived  Sundaraman . He was a very good singer. He had two children, one son Ram 12 years old and one daughter Mythreyi who  was nine years.  He earned his livelihood by giving musical performances in the surrounding villages and by teaching music to the village children. His living was doing good for a few years. A spell of drought affected the village and its surrounding villages too.And many families were finding it hard to make their living. Sundaraman's family was also one among them.

River Cauvery was dried up .And so were the lands . Lands once filled with crops now looked  barren for want of water for irrigation. The wells at home were also showing signs of drying up. This worried the villagers.

The situation seemed to be going from bad to worse. The villagers were looking helpless and some were moving to the nearby town to combat this drought.

In this situation , the villagers gathered  in the home of the Village Head. Each one gave a suggestion to fight the drought. 

One of them said," There is a belief that  if Amrita varshini Raga  is sung ,then the god of rains will be happy and there is sure to be a heavy downpour. "

"Why don't  we try this? This should not be a tough job " suggested another.

" Yes. Sundaraman can do this. He is ofcourse a good singer." replied another .
Though many villagers did not have any trust in this belief , they were left with no other choice . And so they decided to try their luck with Amritavarshini .

And Sundaraman was also there, hearing all this. He readily agreed to sing songs in Amritavarshini Raga. 
An auspicious day was selected  to sing .He was supposed to sit on the banks of the dried up river and sing .  The news spread to the other villages and singers from the surrounding villages also said they would join Sundaraman so that the the whole belt of villages in the district  gets rain.

On the said day Sundaraman got up early in the morning and performed his daily pooja . Then he dressed himself up in a white dhoti and a white shirt with the sacred ash on his forehead. He started to leave.  Seeing through the window , he could feel the scrouching heat of the Sun.

He turned towards his wife and asked her to close the door as he was leaving.

His son Ram interrupted ," Dad , You had forgotten to take some thing ".

" What? "

" Umbrella dad.  If it rains won't you get wet?" asked Ram.

" Rain....?  Are you crazy?  People had  asked me to sing songs in Amritavarashini ragam for the rains to come. And you see outside Ram.  It is very sunny." told Sundaraman.

"Dad ...That is what Iam also telling. You are going to sing to invite the rains. After you finish your song or even as you sing  there is going to be a down pour. You might get wet.So please take the umbrella ." without waiting to see his dad's reaction, he rushed out to play.

Sundaraman  stood rooted to the ground. He was staring at his running son.

"Look at this little boy . He is teaching me something which I had forgotten. I had forgotten not only to take the  umbrella but also forgot to carry my selfconfidence  with me. " He thought to himself.

Now with a clear thought and his heart  brimming with self confidence , he called his daughter,
" Mythreyi. Please bring the umbrella dear. If I sing this raga, there is going to be a heavy down pour .
Also you and your brother should take care not to get wet in the rains."

The message is clear ." Be Confident with what you do . "

For those of you who would be curious to hear this raga , I had attached a Tamil video. You are sure to enjoy. Hear this song , closing the windows. Otherwise the rain water might splash in.

video courtesy---You Tube.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Deaf Reach The Top.

This is a story of a young boy who reached the top of a hill.

In a small village there was a small hill. There were young  boys playing around , near the foot of the hill. One day as they looked up the hill, they were saying, " If only we can reach the top , we can see the other side of the hill and of course we can have  a good view from the top."

" why don' t we try to climb ? " said one.

" Are you a fool? Can we climb such great height? " discouraged another.

" No. For sure I cannot do that  ." Said another and went and sat on a rock near by.

One by one they showed their disbelief about climbing the hill.
Of the 10 or 15 boys only five of them were firm on their stand. They decided to climb the hill next day morning , as it was getting dark then.

The next day as  decided all the boys came to the foothill. Five boys started to climb the hill, while other boys were simply watching the climbers.

The boys who did not  climb , started to shout,

" you boys cannot do that ."

" there are rough and slippery rocks." 

Hearing this one boy slipped and fell. For fear of falling one boy left the competition even before  he scaled a few yards uphill.

Now he too joined the other boys in shouting,

" This climbing is unnecessary. " 

" They are going to fall and break their heads."

" There is  even a possibility that they might even die during their fall."

Hearing all this one by one withdrew from the ordeal except one boy. Without paying heed to all these discouraging cries, that boy  climbed the hill and reached the top.

No doubt , climbing the hill was not an easy task for him. There were slippery rocks, thorns pricking his feet, no grip to catch hold of, he suffered wounds, bruises,  Still...... he continued with the ordeal and completed.

How come ,.....he alone climbed up the hill?  Guessed why......?

Yes. Your guess is right. That boy was deaf. Not a single word of discouragement reached him. So, it was possible for him to reach the peak.

" There are no gains without pains. So have a deaf ear to discouragement and we are sure to reach the top " is the message I got. Did you?


image courtesy---google.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Lord Vishnu rescues the elephant.(Gajendra Moksha)

We all know God comes to our rescue, when we face troubles. There are instances where even animals  have received the Grace of God. Here is one such  incident , where Lord Vishnu rescues an elephant  from being killed  by a crocodile.

In a thick forest , there lived many elephants . The king of elephants was Gajendra. Gajendra took full care  of his herd.This herd was in the habit of offering prayers to Lord Vishnu, after taking bath in a pond near by.  One day as usual, they all went to the water source to bathe and the herd was led by Gajendra, their king. They were enjoying their bath and having fun there, by splashing water on  one another with their long trunks.

Suddenly, one of them saw the beautiful Lotus bloomed in the water far away from their place. Nevertheless the fragrance reached them. Gajendra carried away by its beauty, and fragrance , waded through the water and reached the lotus. With the help of his trunk, he plucked the flower and was returning back.He almost reached the sands .He stepped on the shore with his one leg. But.....alas.. he could not lift his other leg. 

There was a crocodile in the water. He had caught hold of one of the legs of Gajendra. With his one leg on the sands , Gajendra tried hard to free  himself from the crocodile. But the crocodile  did not leave his hold . Gajendra's struggle went on for a long time. The other elephants tried to free Gajendra but of no use. One by one they all left, leaving Gajendra all alone there . 

Gajendra and the crocodile were having a tough fight. One was dragging the other. The elepant dragged the crocodile to the land and the crocodile dragged the elephant into the water. This duel went on for some time. 

Gajendra the elephant, realised that there is no way he could free himself from the  crocodile, Now as a devotee of Lord Vishnu, he cried loud, "Adhimoolame , Abayam." meaning " Oh, Lord Vishnu! Save me."

On hearing Gajendra's cry,  Lord Vishnu flew down seated on Garuda.(His vehicle, the eagle) With his Sudharshana Chakra ,he freed Gajendra from the mouth of the crocodile.

While Gajendra got wisdom,  the crocodile also reached heaven as he was killed by none other than Lord Vishnu himself.

Would you like to listen to the story? Here it is....
I have narrated it .....

 This incident is said to have taken place in Kapisthalam, near Kumbakonam in Tamilnadu. This place is now the temple tank of Gajendra  Varadaraja Perumal temple.Here is the photo. (The temple tank is dry now) 

  This is the place where Gajendra Moksha is said to have taken place.

picture courtesy--Sri.Tamizh Elango.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Wrist Watch.

We all know about Swami Vivekannada's  magnetic speech  at the Parliament of Religions,Chicago.When he was in U.S.A he happened to travel in a local train  . Three  young girls in their teens came and sat opposite to Swamiji. When they saw the Swamiji's saffron dress , they made  fun of his physical appearance and giggled at him.

As usual Swami Vivekananda remained cool without uttering a word. Eventually they saw the watch ( gifted by his devotee)  on Swamiji's wrist. The girls then asked him to give the wrist watch to them ,otherwise ," we shall call the cops on some false accusations against you." they said.

Swami Vivekananda did not give any reply . Instead he gestured to the girls that he is deaf and asked them to write on a piece of paper.. The girls immediately took a piece of paper and wrote," If you don't give the wrist watch to us, we shall call the cops and make  some false accusations against you."

Now, Swami Vivekananda spoke " Now you call the cops. I need to make a complaint based on this " showing the written paper.

Imagine the plight of the girls now. With great discomfort they left the place.

Here is the message,
One should be bold and without fear, with an exceptionally strong common sense! 

image courtesy--google.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Ghost in the Champaka Tree

Swami Vivekananda , named as Naren by his parents, always exhibited  courage and  confidence even as a small boy. He normally used to go and play in his neighbour's house. There was a champaka tree , the flowers of which are liked by  Lord Shiva. And so , people  collect these flowers for worship .

Naren as a small boy  used to dangle upside down  from the branches of this tree. He enjoyed doing this.
The grandfather of the house  saw Naren swinging from the branches of  this Champaka tree. He was scared that Naren might get hurt if he falls from the tree .Also  he might lose the precious Champaka flowers . So, he called out,
" Naren, my boy. Don't climb up this tree . There is a ghost  living in this tree. It catches the children playing around the tree and breaks their neck."

Naren immediately jumped down. Grandfather  returned back to his room to relax.  Again Naren started to dangle from the tree branch. Now his friend standing down said, " Naren, have'nt you heard from the grandfather  that there is a ghost in this tree. The ghost might kill you. Get down from the tree. "

Naren laughed away and said to his friend ," Don't be silly. If there is really a ghost in this tree as the grandfather said, then my neck should have been broken by now.  Don't believe anything  that anybody tells you. We have to  use our common sense before believing anything."
And this was Swamiji as a young boy.

Shall we take the message,
One should be bold and without fear, with an exceptionally strong common sense! 
image courtesy--google.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Swami Vivekananda's encounter with the monkeys.

Swami Vivekananda ,  is  affectionately called as the " Orange Monk " by the westerners .He wears the orange colour Hindu saintly dress and so he is called as the Orange Monk.He had a magnetic art of  attracting people to his speeches. He addressed  the Parliament of Religions  held in Chicago, in 1893.His inspiring speech began with " Sisters and Brothers of America." After his inspiring speech on Hinduism, he became India's  Spiritual Ambassador in America.

He  narrates certain incidents which happened in his life. From these incidents he must be, ofcourse sending us a message. And this one is about the encounter with monkeys in Sarnath.

Swami, a great devotee of Godess Durga was returning after praying at the Durga temple in Sarnath.He was walking between a tank filled with water on one side and a big wall on the other side. He was suddenly surrounded  and cornered by a herd  of monkeys. Some shrieked, some howled at him. And some even went to the extent of clutching his feet with the intention of biting him. He started to run away from them. The faster he ran, the more bolder the monkeys were. They  began to chase him. Swami did not know the way to escape from these  animals.
Another saint who was passing by, saw this. He shouted at Swami Vivekananda ," Oh,Saint! Why are you running away from them.Face the brutes." These words brought him back to senses. He stood firm, turned around and  majestically stared at the monkeys . Now the monkeys , fell back and fled from the scene.
Swami, then went on his way and ofcourse  he thanked the saint who helped him.

Let us take  the message     

image courtesy---google

Friday, 21 March 2014

My ebook " The Story of Rama "

When I saw some of my friends preparing ebooks,  I thought I should also make an ebook. My first book was in Tamil . Then I thought  why can't I take some stories from " My Story Court " and prepare an ebook.

And so here it is.

" The Story of Rama "


Click the above link . read and enjoy. Let me have the feed back.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Roasted ? or Non- Roasted?

Let us learn about Avvaiyar, the famous tamil poetess who lived thousands of years ago. She was propogating the fragrance of Tamil literature  and also she had written poems for kids on morality and spirituality. She had penned around fifty nine poems in tamil literature.
Her famous work for kids is called Athichoodi.(ஆத்திச்சூடி). She is such a learned poet that the kings of those days would feel high, if  Avvaiyar  praised them with her poems.

Her quote," கற்றது  கைமண்  அளவு, கல்லாதது  உலகளவு " has been translated as ' What you have learned is a mere handful; What you haven't learned is the size of the world " and exhibited at NASA*

This great learned  poetess was always, very humble and polite.But there was a time when she  too was not devoid of self conceit. But this was quickly  broken to pieces by the Lord Himself.

With a feeling of achieved everything and  feeling elated , she was resting under a jamun tree thinking," I have learnt everything in Tamil. Have written much in Tamil and also have spread it far and wide.. What should I do more? " 

Lord Muruga decided to make her feel that she has still  much to do and still more to  learn. So he came in the disguise of a cow herd boy. 

See how the conversation goes.

Lord Muruga  calls, " Grandma..."

Avvaiyar turned around  and asked, 'Who are you? :

" Iam  a cowboy grandma. My cows are grazing here. But , grandma , what are you doing here? " aked Lord Muruga.

" Iam just taking rest my boy.  I have learnt Tamil and have been spreading the fragrance of Tamil far and wide. ." said Avvaiyar.

" That means......You are a learned woman. am I right grandma ? "  asked the naughty cowboy.

With pride Avvaiyar  answered " Yes"  and stretched her legs.

Now Lord Muruga in the form of cowboy said," Grandma, You have learnt so much, have done a lot  work. So, take some time  to rest." Also he asked " Do you want some  jamun fruits to eat now ? " 

Avvaiyar thinking a while and said " yes . I would like to have some my boy. Why don't you shed down some fruits for me ?"

Lord Muruga readily agreed and asked her, " What kind of fruits do you want? Roasted  or non- roasted? "

Avvaiyar got perplexed about this roasted and non-roasted concept in fruits . With a little confusion in her mind, said, " O.K. Let me have the non-roasted  fruits."

Lord Muruga , shed some fruits from the tree with the help of a stick.

Fruits fell down on the ground . As it rolled on the ground , it collected some dust .So Avvaiyar took some fruits in her hand and started to blow off the dust from the fruit.

Lord Muruga stopped her by saying," Grandma ! You asked for non-roasted fruits. I pulled down the non-roasted ones. Then why are you blowing it again? Is it hot? "

This type of tricky question exhibited the smartness of the boy.  Avvaiyar immediately, looked up at the boy,and at the same time realised  her mistake of self conceit.

She was sure that  he must be divinely, to intervene and point to her about her self conceit .she asked ," My boy. Tell me the truth. Who are you? You  have been an eye opener for me. I was thinking that I have learnt everything. But by your act and speech you made me realise, that I still have got more to learn and do. 

Lord Muruga gave darshan to Avvaiyar and said," I just came to have fun with you. Continue the good work you are doing. Do not stop."

Avvaiyar the saintly poetess went on to pen many more poems in Tamil language.

Watch the video . You can see the story as a visual treat.

Many of you, may be curious  about Avvaiyar's works for children.
As an example I present here Athichoodi(ஆத்திசூடி) with English translation.
Here is  glimpse of it.

Uyir Ezhuthu                                 ஆத்திசூடி                                     English translation

1. அ                      அறம் செய விரும்பு                 Desire to do good things

2. ஆ                       ஆறுவது சினம்                         Anger is to be controlled

3. இ                        இயல்வது கரவேல்                 Help others in any way you can

4. ஈ                         ஈவது விலக்கேல்                     Always be charitable

5. உ                        உடையது விளம்பேல்          Do not boast about what you

6.ஊ                        ஊக்கமது கைவிடேல்          Do not give up hope/effort

7.எ                          எண் எழுத்து இகழேல்           Respect learning

8.ஏ                           ஏற்பது இகழ்ச்சி                       Begging is despicable

9.ஐ                          ஐயமிட்டு உண்                         Give alms before eating

10.ஒ                       ஒப்புர வொழுகு                        Be virtuous

11.ஓ                        ஓதுவது ஒழியேல்                 Do not give up learning

12.ஒள                    ஒளவியம் பேசேல்                Do not talk bad about others

13.ஃ                          அஃகஞ் சுருக்கேல்                  Never cheat on food.


* source wikkipedia
English translation of Athichoodi --courtesy wikkipedia
video courtesy---You Tube.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The great ' Zero '.

If you subtract 10 from 10 what do you get ?
There  comes the answer  "Zero".
 If you take five from five you will get ......Yes again 'zero'.

Even though numbers were used  by the ancient Egypts, Mayans, Arabs ,they were not sure of this zero. They wondered how could ' nothing '  be ' something '. They used the words,vacum, naught, nil, void whenever they had to use zero. Sometimes they used the letter ' N ' too.

Now comes the interesting question.
Then, how  did the world come to know about 'Zero'? 

It was around  the 5th century that the world accepted zero. That contribution was from our(India) mathematician and astronomer  'Arya Bhatta'. He treated '0' as a number and discussed operations involving it including division.

AryaBhatta  is also called as BrahmaGupta. It is said he was born in Ashmaka .This region lies  betwen Narmada and Godavari .This is now identified with  Maharashtra  . There is also another opinion that he was born in Kerala. Wherever he may be born , he went to  Kusumapura for higher studies. Bhaskara, his disciple  identifies  this place with Pataliputra which is now called as  Patna. His higher studies were in Nalanda University in Patna. Later he also became the head of this famous university.Though  he did not explicitly  mention zero as a number, the French mathematician Georges Ifrah argues that  the knowledge of zero was implicit in Aryabhata's place value system.

He authored many books which are lost. His major work 'Aryabhatiya ' is a blend of astronomy and mathematics. Aryabhata was able to tell us the diameter of the earth, much before Galelio did.  His famous disciple was Bhaskara who was also well versed in these theories.

As a mark of honour, Government of India  named its first satellite as Aryabhata  and the next one as Bhaskara .

image courtesy-google.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Even Spiders Inspire !

Spiders  are normally  little and  easily get smashed  under our legs. .There may be very ferocious ones too  as we see in movies.  I am talking about the normal ones which weaves web in roofs.

Let us  see how a spider  inspired  a king to  fight back.

There was a Scottish king named Robert Bruce. He wanted to free Scotland from English rule.Once he lost a battle against the English. He was about to be captured. So, he had to flee for his life . He was on the run and was in exile for a few months .While he was hiding in a cave , he thought of even giving up and surrendering himself along with his kingdom.

As he was thinking on these lines, he saw a spider in the cave.The spider was trying to weave the  web.
It climbed up the roof, started to weave.......but ...oh......it fell down. Again the spider climbed to the roof  , started weaving.......and again, it  fell down. Bruce was watching this spider. The spider was not tired. Again it started to climb and weave the  web. Though it  failed for seven times in weaving the web, the spider did not give up. Without any reluctance it  tried  the eighth time. This time the spider climbed to the roof and started to weave the web.  And yes, this time  the spider succeeded in its  effort.

Robert Bruce on seeing the spider's effort got  fresh energy .He  decided to fight back. Immediately , he came out of exile and asked his soldiers to  "Try , try, and try again  till you succeed.."

And , with that energy Robert Bruce  fought the battle and ofcourse won that.

Oh!  Even spiders do  help for victory in a war.

There are many caves even now in Ireland which claim  as Bruce's caves .

Now ,I know, you will agree with me if I say , we need more of inspiration than perspiration for success.

You might be eager to see how Robert Bruce looks like. I was able to get his picture from Google. Here it is,

Thank You!!

Images courtesy----google.