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Posts Tagged s’ama

yOga : dhAraNa and dhyAna : Holding an idea and paying attention

dhAra is flow. dhAraNa is to hold an idea, or a thought.
dhru word root means to bear. dhAryatE means bears.

Having practiced restraint from undesired things and commitment to valued principles, having found a comfortable posture that you can hold for a long time, having practiced breath regulation and having learned not to pay attention to the data stream continuously presented by your senses -
you know practice holding one idea in your mind.

That could be Aum, or Rama Nama or the form of Vishnu or a Divine Light or the idea that Everything is Brahman or that You are He.

Some people constantly hold on to the idea that the people they are forced to live with are not nice in behaviour or ideology or such like. These are people who become very unhappy and distressed.

There are people who hold the idea that “Rama is perfect” or “Lalita is gentle” or “Hanuman is pure” and so on. These are happy people always laughing and energetic.

The idea that “sarvam brahma – all is brahman”, and “pUrNam adah pUrNam idam – That (para) is complete and this (iha) is complete” and “soaham asmi – He, I am ” give peace and tranquillity and open the way to greater knowledge.

The world has been presenting us various ideas often conflicting, since birth. At different times, different ideas and arguments appeal to us. Some make us depressed, some make us excited and some make us illumined.

Only those who have practiced detachment can accept the idea that all is brahman, and that includes me.

On holding this idea and becoming detached to the idea of mistakes and achievements, and recognising that the real doer is the brahman, those people attain inner peace – s’ama.

Now is the time for dhyAna or paying attention.
You may pay attention to your various chakrAs, or to the idea of your iSTa daivam. Each has its own effect on you. Different gurus suggest different ways of becoming calm and different things to focus on so that you can attain that ultimate state of bliss. You can pick what works for you.

Remember that the mind need not be crushed or controlled or supressed, it just needs to be calm and still like your body, like a clear lake on a beautiful, cool windless day.

satya s’AradA

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Vedas : Rg vEda or Atharva Veda : Which vEda was chronologically first?

Indian Calendars used manvantaras, yugas and other such durations, to date when things happened. The original calendars were of shorter durations and related to people and the later ones were longer and related to astronomy.

The manvantaras were originally as long as the period of a manu’s control.

If you read this article : The Manus – Lineage, you will see that the first manu was Dhruva’s grandfather, Uttanapada’s father and the next four were his cousins. (Swarochishta (Mark P.67.4), Uthama ( Mark.P 73.13), Taamasa (Mark.P 73.13), Raivatha (Mark.P 75,73,74)). Dhruva’s son Sishti, had a son called Ripu and a grandson called Cakshusha. Cakshusha married Pushkarini,  the granddaughter of Varuna. (See : Adityas). Their son was Cakshusha Manu. So cakuSa manu was the great-great-grandson of Dhruva. The Avatars of Vishnu from Nara Narayana to Prithu, occured during the Cakshusha Manvantaram. Caksusha Manvantaram ended with the Matysa Avataram Flood, Matsya was the first avataram of the Vaivaswata Manvantaram.

The present manvantaram is called Vaivaswata Manvantaram. But by now the reference durations for manvantaras are not individuals but astronomical events. For today’s length of a manvantaram please see : http://oldthoughts.wordpress.com/ancient-indian-calendars/kalpas-yugas-manvantaras/

Today, we say that there are 14 Manvantaras in a Kalpa. A manu or an Indra lives for 1 manvantara. 1 manvanatara is a 100 years of Indra. This is an astronomical number. But it does not mean that each of the manus were thus long lived! The earth is about 1 kalpa old. (4.32 billion years old).


The first yugas were just one year old.

In my article How many kinds of Yugas are there?, I have detailed how the definitions of Mahayugas (Carturyugas) grew in length from the 5 years of the Paitamaha siddhanta to the 4,320,000 years of Aryabhatta, as more celestial bodies were taken into consideration, for computing Yuga durations.
Since this article refers to astronomy and to the Vishnu Puranam and it requires people to learn a little mathematics, astronomy and sanskrit, people either skip the article or leave with awe/insults depending on their own nature and the beliefs gifted to them by their environment.

In this site whenever I say Vyasa or Veda Vyasa, I always mean Krishna Dwaipayana, the son of Parasara and Satyavati, the great grandson of Vasishtha and the father of Suka, Dhiritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura. However, it is written in the Devi Bhagavatham, that every Dwapara Yuga, had its own Veda Vyasa, the one who classified the Vedas. Devi Bhagavatham gives us the following list of names as the Veda Vyasas, people who worked on classification of veda mantras over the yugAs.

“The present auspicious Manvantara is Vaivaswatha Manu; it is the seventh in due order; and the son of Satyavati, the best of the knowers of Dharma, is the Veda Vyâsa of the 28th Dvâpara Yuga of this seventh Manvantara. In the next Dvâpara, Yuga Asvatthama, the son of Drona will be the Veda Vyâsa. Twenty-seven Veda Vyâsas had expired and they duly compiled each their own Purâna Samhitas in their own Dvâpara Yugas.

  1. In the first Dvâpara, Brahmâ Himself divided the Vedas;
  2. In the second Dvâpara, the first Prajapati Vyâsa did the same;
  3. So S’akra, (Indra) in the third,
  4. Brihaspati, in the fourth,
  5. Surya in the fifth;
  6. Yama, in the sixth,
  7. Indra, in the seventh,
  8. Vasistha, in the eighth;
  9. Sarasvata Risi in the ninth,
  10. Tridhama, in the tenth;
  11. Trivrisa, in the eleventh,
  12. Bharadvâja, in the twelfth;
  13. Antariksa, in the thirteenth;
  14. Dharma, in the fourteenth;
  15. Evaruni in the fifteenth;
  16. Dhananjaya, in the sixteenth;
  17. Medhatithi in the seventeenth;
  18. Vrati, in the eighteenth;
  19. Atri, in the nineteenth;
  20. Gautama in the twentieth,
  21. Uttama, whose soul was fixed on Hari, in the twenty-first,
  22. Vâjasravâ Vena, in the twenty second;
  23. His family descendant Soma, In the twenty-third;
  24. Trinavindu, in the twenty-fourth;
  25. Bhârgava, in the twenty-fifth;
  26. Sakti, in the twenty-sixth,
  27. Jâtûkarnya in the twenty-seventh
  28. and Krisna Dvaipâyana became the twenty-eighth Veda Vyâsa in the Dvâpara Yugas.”

kRSNa dwaipAyana was of the 28th Dwapara Yuga, his grandfather Sakthi was of the 26th Dwapara Yuga, his great grandfather Vasishta was of the 8th Dwapara Yuga. In my article How many kinds of Yugas are there?, I have detailed how the definitions of Mahayugas (Carturyugas) grew in length from the 5 years of the Paitamaha siddhanta to the 4,320,000 years of Aryabhatta, as more celestial bodies were taken into consideration, for computing Yuga durations. Historical – Human RSi Achievement based dwApara yugAs must not be confused with astronomical dwApara yugAs.

  • Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyasa is fifth generation from Brahma, but in the 28th Caturyuga.
  • This would be about 140 years if we take 5 years as the duration for a Caturyuga.
  • If we take it that each generation was born 15 years after the previous generation, we are looking at 75 years for 27 Caturyugas or about 3 years to a Caturyuga.
  • If we take 12 years as the Caturyuga duration, we have 324 years between Brahma and our Vyasa. That is about 60 years between generations.
  • What I am increasingly coming to believe is that first Caturyuga was 5 years old, the next was 12, then 60 and so on… The answer lies in finding the formula or equation that fits all the data points.

We have a systematically growing calendar and this is beautifully evidenced in the Vishnu Puranam. Please see : (See :Kaliyuga duration 360000 years, 1200 divine years, Vishnu Puranam. Tracking the growth of the Kaliyugam from 12 to 432000 years).

Brahma was the first Veda Vyasa and his mantras are found in the Atharva Veda.

The Atharva Veda Mantras differ from the Rg Veda Mantras, Sama Veda Mantras and Yajur Veda Mantras in the being less rigorous in chandas, but the mantras are mostly the same. As per the Bhagavatham Atharva Veda was The First Veda and is called The Brahma Veda. atharvan, angIrA and brahmA were among the rishis.

Three Vedas are referred to in Valmiki Ramayanam. (trEta yugam)

When Hanuman met Sri Rama for the first time.  Rama praised Hanuman to Lakshmana, saying that Hanuman‘s excellent speech clearly indicated mastery over the Rg, Yajur and Sama Vedas. This is important also from the point of view that Valmiki referred to 3 vedas. Not one and not four. By the time of Sri Rama, there were 3 Vedas already.

  • In the ValmikiRamayanam : kishkinda kAnDa : trtIyah sargah. Page 753, Gita Press 5th edition, we read this episode in which Hanuman meets Sri Rama : At Sugriva’s bidding, Hanuman approached Sri Rama and Lakshmana in a bhikshurUpam, (in the guise of a mendicant who lives on alms). He spoke in a soft and pleasing language. He praised the virtues of Sri Rama and Lakshman – their handsome forms, theri noble gait, their powerful bodies and their divine appearance and their divine weapons. He then introduced himself as Hanuman the minister of Sugriva and sought their friendship on his king’s behalf. Sri Rama then addressed Lakshmana and said, “Only a person who knows the meaning of the Rg Veda, knows the Yajur Veda by heart and knows the sAma vEda also can speak so beautifully like this. He has mastered grammar perfectly. Though he has spoken such a lot, he hasn’t made a single error, with his face, eyes, forehead, eyebrows or any other part of his body. His speech is clear, sweet and emanates correctly from the chest, throat and head.” (see Siksha Vedanga).

The Purusha (puruSa) Suktham (sUktam)  tells of a yagnya from which the vEda mantrAs ie Rks (Rcah), sAmAs, chandAs and yajus were born. (trEta yugam)

  • The taittirEya samhita says that a yagnya performed with Rks, is superior to that performed with sAmans and yajus.

The important thing about our Veda Vyasa, is that he classified the Vedas into 4 vedas and included (gave status) the Atharva Veda as the 4th Veda. And of course he also edited and compiled all the Puranas, which he received from his pUrvajAs (people born earlier to him). And as if this was not enough he authored the Mahabharatam and the Srimad Bhagavatham.

  • Here is the description from the Srimad Bhagavatham on how Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyasa classified the vEdAs into four. (dwApara yugam)
    • Source : 1.4.15 to 1.4.23 : Vyasadeva purified himself in the Sarasvati River and sat by her banks and meditated at sun-rise. He thought about the Dharma in the different Yugas. He observed the fall in Dharma, the decreased longevities and competencies of the people. He divided the Single Veda into 4 Vedas : ṛg-yajuḥ-sāma-atharva as well as the puranas and the itihasas and taught them as follows. The Sakas are branches of the Vedas grew as each student acquired disciples and grand-disciples of his own.
      • Rig Veda to Paila
      • Yajur Veda to Vaisampayana
      • Sama Veda to Jaimini
      • Atharva Veda to Angirasa also known as Sumanthu (1.4.22)
      • Puranas and Itihasas to Romaharshana, the father of Ugrasrava.
  • Kunda Guruji’s explanation : “While the mantras of the Atharva Veda were available at the time of Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyasa, he faced a lot of opposition when he wanted to add it to the Veda and create  a division for it. However his decision prevailed and the Atharva Mantras were included into the veda and classified as Atharva Veda. The samhitas of Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhata, Yoga and Tantra texts have origins in the Atharva Veda. The reason Tantriks have a negative image, is the use some of them put it to. There is nothing bad in the Atharva Veda itself”… this is what I learnt from my Veda Guru. (Atharva Veda : the origin of medicine, yoga and tantric texts).

So, did  Krishna Dwaipayana Veda Vyasa make one vEda into four in the dwApara yuga? or did he make the count of vEdAs go from three to four?

My View : 

I think that he is responsible for the ordering of the vEda mantrAs into manDalAs etc, that is for the organisation and preservation.

For eg the first manDala of the Rg vEda is not the oldest. Though vis’vAmitra is clearly younger than vasiSTha, viswamitra’s mantras are placed in third mandala and vasishtha’s in the seventh manDala. In some manDalAs the classification is by dEvata and in some it is by the RSi and his descendants.

His focus was on knowledge ordering and preservation.

So Yes, the Rg, sAma, yajur and atharva vEdAs existed prior to vEda vyAsa, as a body of mantrAs, differing in chandas (metre), swarAs (notes – 3 in Rg and 7 in sAma) and with gadya or prose portions in the yajur vEda, but it was kRSNa dwaipAyana vEda vyAsa who organised them into manDalas etc as we find them today.

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

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Sarma, Sharma, s’arma, शर्म

Photo Credit : Satya Sarada Kandula : All Rights Reserved

Sarma, Sharma, s’arma, शर्म : shelter , protection , refuge , safety, a house, Joy , bliss , comfort , delight , happiness (as per dictionaries)

It is conventional for Brahmins to add the word/name s’arma at the end of their names when they intoduce themselves.

……name.. s’arma aham bho abhivAdayE.

When I heard that priests in some other cultures were called shamans, I wondered, what the word originally meant. I had heard that in Hindi s’aram had come to mean shy as in s’armili.

Recently, in one of the s’Anti mantras, I learned this :

..dEvEbhyah s’arma mE dyauh s’arma, pRthivI s’arma, ….

And I asked my Guru what it meant. ‘It means peace’ she said.. ‘of a very special kind., a different shade of peace than what is indicated by s’ama and dama‘.

I have written this about s’ama and dama‘ previously:

“…So obviously, when I next met my veda guru I questioned her about s’ama and dama. Both mean peace…. But dama is a stillness of the indriyas or the sense organs. s’ama is a peace of the antahkaraNas or the inner sense organs. s’iva is called s’ankara (s’am + kara) , because of the s’ama that he can cause in others. The word s’Anti is derived from s’ama. My Veda Guru told me that the entire purpose of a temple is to create this feeling of s’ama in the devotees….

Today, of course,  people of all castes sometimes use s’arma as a first or last name, because they like it and the government allows it. Joy to them! A special kind of peace to them!

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

Writer, Researcher, Photographer




http://oldthoughts.wordpress.com/ http://kishkinda.wordpress.com

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Madhu and Kaitabha : Devi Bhagavatham

Madhu and Kaitabha are described in  Swami Vijñanananda’s translation of the the Devi Bhagavatham as Daityas, Danavas and Asuras, though my studies upto now, show that these were not synonyms.

They were born out of the ears of Vishnu.

These were the days right after one of the Pralayas. So the whole world was submerged by water. Vishnu (s’auri) was deep in YogaNidra.

Anantasayana Panel, Mahishasuramardini Mandapam, Mamallapuram by bseshadri.

Photo by : bseshadri on flickr. All Rights Reserved.

The boys had lots of fun playing in the water and one fine day they were struck by the fundamental question…, who are we, what caused us and what caused this world around us. They quickly came to the conclusion that it was Adi Sakthi who was the primal cause of everything and meditated on Her.

As soon as they realised this they heard the vAk bIja mantra (of dEvI saraswati) and they chanted it with great devotion and s’raddhA (dedication).

Delighted with their s’raddha, She offered them a boon and what they wanted was a boon to die of their own free will – icchAmRtyu. Once they got it they were first thrilled and later proud and finally such an arrogant pair that they decided to do away with Brahma, and take over his padmAsana.

Brahma had no intention of giving over to this pair, and considered his options, given in the s’AstrAs. (Rama was considered an expert in all the four listed below.)

  1. sAma
  2. dAna,
  3. bhEda,
  4. danDa

The brothers were in no mood for discussions, the question of gifts did not come up, he could not sow dissension between them and if he praised them they would take it as weakness equal to surrender. But to punish someone you need to be strong and Brahma could not do this by himself. So he decided to enlist the support of his father Vishnu.

(Bheda is a bit like the good old British – ‘divide and rule’.

If Brahma, is Vishnu’s son having been born from his navel, then so are Madhu and Kaitabha, for having been born of his ears. BTW, Brahma means great and represents knowledge, madhu means sweet and kaitava means deceit. madhu and kaitabha attained power by concentrating on vAk or speech, incidentally considered the wife or s’akti (competence) of brahma and they wanted to take over his place on the lotus-seat! – Satya).

Vishnu was deep in Yoganidra on the ananta the serpent with a thousand hoods.

(ananta means endless, infinity or eternity. Thousand is a poetic reference to a large unspecified number. – Satya)

Brahma had a hard time trying to rouse Vishnu, with his prayers and he realised that Vishnu was under the deep influence of nidra dEvI and decided to invoke the dEvI herself.

(Both Devi Bhagavatham and Srimad Bhagavatham are full of wonderful prayers., I am not going to reproduce all of them here but I recommend them to all devout people to either read the original sanskrit or the translation.

I would like to draw your attention to this line from Brahma’s prayer to the Devi -

The Sânkhya philosophers say (that the Purusa (the male aspect of S’akti) is the pure, conscious being and that Thou art the Prakriti, without any consciousness, material inert, Creatrix of the universe; but, O Mother! art Thou really inert like that? Never like that; had it been like that, how is it that Thou hast made Bhagavân Hari, the receptable of the world quite unconscious like this? O Bhavâni! Thou, being beyond the Gunas art displaying like a dramatic performance these various dramatic plays by the conjunction with the three Gunas. - Satya)

When Devi Yoganidra, of the tamo guNa left Hari (Vishnu), he woke up.

At this point the RSis of the Naimis’Aranya interrupted Suta. How could anyone or anything be higher than puruSottama s’rI mahA viSNu?

Suta said, “That is a tough question. Some believe in the supremacy of Vishnu, as others in the supremacy of Siva. Some followers of the Veda worship the sun, morning, noon and evening (tri-sandhya). Others worship Agni, Indra and Varuna.

Those who are great scholars, declare

  1. perception,
  2. inference,
  3. and verbal testimony as the three modes of proofs.
  4. The Naiyâyik Pundits add to the above three, a fourth proof which they call upamâ, resemblance, or similitude
  5. and some other intelligent Pundits add another fifth proof called Arthâpatti, an. inference from circumstances, presumption, implication. It is deduction of a matter from that which could not else be; it is assumption of a thing, not itself perceived but necessarily implied by another which is seen, heard or proved;
  6. whereas the authors of the Purânas add two other, called Sâksî
  7. and Aitijhya, thus advocating. seven modes of proofs.

Now the Vedânta S’âstra says that the supreme being (Param Brahmâ), the Prime cause of the Universe, cannot be comprehended by the above-mentioned seven proofs.

Therefore, first of all, adopt reason leading to certain knowledge, the Buddhi, according to the words of the Vedas and discriminate and discuss again and again and draw your inference about Brahmâ.

And the intelligent person should adopt what is seen by perception as self-evident and what is inferred by the observance of good conduct. The wise persons say, and it is also stated in the Purânas, that the Prime Force is present in Brahmâ as the Creative Force; is present in Hari as the Preservative Force; is present in Hara as the Destructive Force; is present in Kurma (tortoise) and in Ananta (the thousand headed Snake) as the earth supporting Force; is present in fire as the Burning Force, is present in air as the moving Force, and so is present everywhere in various manifestations of forces…

Therefore the wise man, knowing this firmly, should serve in every way the Highest S’aktî. O Munis! This is the settled conclusion of all the Sâstras. I have heard of this great hidden secret from Bhagavân Krisna Dvaipâyan. He heard it from Narada, and Nârada heard it from his own father Brahmâ. Brahmâ heard this from Visnu.

Now that Vishnu was awake, he understood the situation from Brahma and challenged the brothers madhu and Kaitabha to a fight. They fought long and hard for 5000 years during which the brothers could take turns to rest, but Vishnu did not get any time to rest or think. Then he called for a short break on the grounds that he was fighting one against two. With his yogic powers he understood that they had a boon of icchAmrutyu from the Devi Herself and prayed to her for help.

She adopted the form of the dark beauty Kali and distracted and confused the brothers with her glances and smiles. At that time Vishnu offered the brothers a boon for their valour. Full of pride, intoxicated with attraction,  the brothers offered him a boon instead! He peacefully asked them to die at his hand. Then they asked him a boon that he should only kill them on a solid surface seeing that the pralaya waters were everywhere.

Then Vishnu grew huge and indicated his lap as a place where the brothers could have their heads cut off. For some time the brothers and Vishnu went on growing bigger and bigger till the brothers gave up, lay on Vishnu’s lap and had their heads chopped off by the discus – Sudarshana Chakra.

The ‘meda’ or fat from the brothers filled the ocean and became the solid earth which was thereafter called medini.

Then Suta concluded saying, “You have heard about the Devi and her greateness. Therefore this Supreme S’akti should be worshipped anyhow; either in Her Saguna form or in Her Nirguna state.”

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s’ama dama : s’ama in Melkote Narayana Sannidhi

At Melkote, the chief deity is Sriman Narayana himself., not one of his 22 avatars.

The Trip :

My cousin called up one morning at my Yoga Practice time and declared his intention to take me to see nArAyaNa at mElkOTE. All I had to do was get ready, he took care of everything else as a son would.

My Veda Guru tells me that when the dEvAs give us a blessing it is like this, we have no trouble at all from the boon.

We alternated my practice of Veda chanting in the car  and his practice of some Tamil Vaishnava prayers (it has pallandu pallandu in it.. so you may know the name. It sounded very good). He was completely done up in the Sri Vaishnava attire and I learned to mu great surprise and delight that he was training himself to be a temple archaka and that he had exams to take in a few years.

(This is his ‘second career’. Many software engineers in India plan for a second career to start around 40 years of age and they systematically gear up for this transition, but this was the first person I know personally who picked this career.)

With our slippers left in the car we half-ran across the hot tar road to the temple. What it is with Vishnu and the poor soles of my feet, I don’t know. This was not the first time. (See Papanasanam). My cousin felt no pain for himself but was worried about this grey haired old lady whimpering every time her foot touched the road.

The Temple :

Varaha Pillar Sculpture at Melkote : Photo Credit : Satya Sarada Kandula : All Rights Reserved

The temple is simply awesome. I was allowed a special close-up dars’anam of the Devi to my great astonishment and my cousin slowly let it known to me that his guru was the chief priest of the temple!

He then explained that it was Sri Ramanujacharya who had completely rescued the temple and its vigrahas in his days. He pointed out the utsava vigrahas (the ones that are taken in procession), that had been brought by Brahma from the DevaLoka.

It was the Tamil New Year day, so there was a special pUja to Sri Ramanujacharya.

I prayed for his help in understanding his work, the vEdanta sangraha.

s’rIman nArAyaNa ..,  s’ama :

Wonderful and unusual as this trip was, the absolute pinnacle was the dars’anam of Sriman Narayana (Vishnu) himself. It was the most beautiful vigraha I have seen. My cousin told me that he and the priests had seen the vigraha move and blink on occasion.

What I did experience was an extraordinary stillness of mind. Absolute stillness, like I have experienced very, very rarely in my life. My cousin told me that this was also the most peaceful of all dars’ans for him.

So obviously, when I next met my veda guru I questioned her about s’ama and dama. Both mean peace.

But dama is a stillness of the indriyas or the sense organs. s’ama is a peace of the antahkaraNas or the inner sense organs. s’iva is called s’ankara (s’am + kara) , because of the s’ama that he can cause in others. The word s’Anti is derived from s’ama. My Veda Guru told me that the entire purpose of a temple is to create this feeling of s’ama in the devotees.

Singing Sriman Narayana in Narayana Sannidhi :

I was sitting on the side somewhere singing the Annamacharya kirthana Sriman Narayana, which my cousin overheard. He talked to the priests and had me sing in a little square in front of Narayana behind the devotees lined up for dars’anam. I sang softly so as to not disturb the prayers of others around me, but with all the love in my heart. Then a gentleman introduced himself as s’ankara nArAyaNa, he said that he has been sitting behind me, he had heard me sing and that it was a wonderful experience for him!! My cousin too said that my rendering had been very good, so I was very pleased with my self. At that instant, I paid no attention to the man’s name but today I am very glad that it was Sankara Narayana.

An Advaitin in Sri Vaishnava Company :

Now, my cousin’s guru invited us both for lunch and my cousin accepted. When he told me, I was alarmed. I am an advaitin by birth, by marriage and by inclination. Traditional Sri Vaishnavas do not eat food in the company of advaitins. Not to tell them would be a lie and to tell them would be to put them on the spot. Finally my cousin worked it out that I would eat at the maTam, while he ate in his guru’s house and his guru was left with the feeling that I did not want to trouble them. I very much regret missing the super awesome Sri Vaishnava repast.. :D

The Sanskrit Scholar :

At the end of the day, I saw an elderly distinguished looking gentleman talking sanskrit to the temple priest. My veda guru had told me that her professor, a swayamAcarya was at the head of sanskrit research at melkote and to look him up  as well as the sanskrit library.

The college and library were closed, but I did introduce myself to this scholar in my slow and halting spoken sanskrit. He said that his name was Apte and he too was a scholar and editor of books who worked with my guru’s guru in writing a big book all about melkote. (It costs Rs 1000 or so… )

It was my cousin’s turn to be impressed. He said, “I had no idea you could talk sanskrit like Telugu!”  This was an exaggeration, but a welcome one.

The trip home :

With the huge downpours, gales, lightening and fallen trees, we drove home safely in time for dinner, both scared and exhilerated by this grand display of nature and our wonderful visit to Melkote!

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