Friday, November 30, 2007

Visit to SRF Centre, Boston

I've been into this YSS way for long, and one of the first things I did after landing in Boston was ,to check if there's an SRF centre in Boston.
Luckily, I found one very close to my hotel.
I've been wanting to visit it sicne 2 months, but something or the other would take me away..Either a tour or weather or sheet inertia.
Last weekend I went to that centre, but it was locked. :(

I was working from home yesterday, and since it was thursday I wanted to get deep into spirituality. And I decided to goto the centre again for long meditation, as it was thursday and there's a long session scheduled.

I reached there well ahead of time, and was waiting in the lobby. Within the first few steps into the centre, I could sense that my mind is slowing down, thoughts are fading and the steady fountain of peace within, started to surface.

Well, over the past 2 months in US, I was able to go only little close to that state of mind , even after an hour of meditation in the room. But look at this ! Mere stepping into a room quitened my mind effortlessly.

Mr. Lahiri welcomed me and we were chatting briefly about our backgrounds and our spiritual way.
The meditation started at 6.30 and it was a session interspersed with bhajans , affirmations, and prayer for oneself and world healing.

The 1st 25 mins or so was good, and I already touched depths of peace, which I used to feel while doing girivalam, or meditate in SRF centres in india or the caves of Arunachala !
But the, my mind started to wander .
I just couldn't do anything. I tried to control is by chanting something, but it wudn't stop.
I stopped controlled the mind, and started to observe it.
And I could realize the upanishadic truth that, "the fastest thing in the world is mind".
THere were dreams, images, thoughts unheard and unseen by me earlier.
I went into a dream state, and I could see my head falling down repetitively, as it happens in college.
And I got so irritated by my misbehaving mind, that I just wanted to get up and leave.
But, then my mind is gonna come with me too. So, thought, let me persist a little more..and tried to continue my meditation...

At the end of 1 hour, I could barely meditate, inspite of breath-control etc.
What a pity. I sed to meditate long, while in India.
Look at my mind, so corrupt due to irregular meditations in US.

'No wonder its said, regular practise is the key !"

Well, after that doomed attempt, I met the centre director, who was from Coimbatore and he introduced me to a lankam tamilian.
Was good to hear some tamil after long.
I found that out of the 20 odd people meditating, only 4 were indians.
So many foreigners had hugged this spiritual path, with both hands.

And then I met a great guy, Rajesh, who was so buoyant and friendly and hospitality-personified . He was so young, but learnt that he was a Phd, has a 1 yr old kid. Well, youthfulness is just a state of mind ain't it !

He offered to take me around for shopping , and guide me on this. He gave some tips , and dropped me at my hotel, at 9 PM.

Well, irrefutably, folks in the spiritual journey are magnanimous and beautiful at heart aint it !

I learnt that Paramahamsa Yogananda has first landed in east coast, and was so captivated at the harmonious locales of Boston, charles river etc, that he immediately wanted to start a centre here.

Was soo happy to meet nice people.
And the peace-o-meter showed the highest reading in 2 months.

Om shanthi shanthi shanthi !!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shauk hai song, from Guru !

Raath ka shauk hai
Raath ki saundhi si
Khaamoshi ka shauk hai
shauk hai, shauk hai

Subha ki roshni,
bezubaan subha ki aur gungunaathi,
roshni ka shauk hai
shauk hai, shauk hai

sansani maavlon ka
yen ishk ke,vaavalon ka
sansani... ka
barf sei khelthey
baadalon ka shauk hai.

kaash ye zindagi
khel hi khel mein kho gayi hothi,
raath ka shauk hai
shauk hai,shauk hai

neend ki goliyon ka,
khaab ki loriyon ka,
neend ki goliyaan,
khaab ki loriyaan
bezubaan os ki boliyon ka shauk hai,

kaash ye zindagi ,
bin kahe bin suni so gayi hothi,
subha ki roshni,
bezubaan subha ki aur gungunaathi,
roshni ka shauk hai,
shauk hai, shauk hai

Secret of How to work?

From "The prophet" - By Khalil gibran
Great wisdom !!


Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."
And he answered, saying:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
"The Prophet" By Khalil Gibran
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that nothing but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.
You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.
Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet."
But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jab we met - the film !

I watched this yesterday and I should say that, its one of the best decisions in my life.
Right, I plan to watch it another time, and then only blog about it.
But, MUST WATCH for everyone out there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

♪♪♪♪♪♪ Yeh ishq haaai !! baitey bitaaye !! jannath dikhaaye haa !!! Oh rama !!!!! ♪♪♪♪♪♪

Saawariya - The film

=Excellent music by Monty sharma ! The songs and the background score is out-of-the-world and classy stuff.
=Stunning cinematography by Ravi.K.Chandran, who weaved a similar magic in "Black" too. Its all blue color this time. He's indeed the address of cinematography in India now.
=Very artistic set
=Very pretty lead pair[killer eye/smile of heroine and charms of the hero]

But ,I felt like I just saw a documentary. Nothing riveting at all in the plot[read void].
The theme of love , is sweet as always, but this film is like asking to drink a gallon of kheer in one gulp. Except Rani Mukherjee's[plays her role to perfection] and hero's, no other character is properly defined[Salman's cameo was pathetic]

Net-net, it could have been a decent musical drama on broadway,provided the duration is shortened to 40 mins or so.

Past-midway, I was left thinking, when is the end.

There's a phrase "Keeral vizhunda plate" in tamil, which indicates the way a gramaphone disk sounds like, when it has any scratches on the tape. You suddenly hear the audio slowing down, and hear buffallo's voice instead, and then voice again, and this pattern alternating ain't it? Nice simili for this movie.

Well, I was hopefull of watching an exciting horse race, but there were just 3 horses, merely jogging at 5 KM/Hr each, and I laboriously wait for it to conclude, hoping for some thrill. But, just when my eyes are slowwwwwwwwwly immersing into a slumber, I hear some trumpets, signalling the end. Uff !!

So, I think that should summarize it all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy days- the movie !

This telegu movie, has captured my mind like none other.
It captures the college days of a group of engg students.
What can I say !! The music, the screenplay, the chemistry between the protogonist group, heroine tamanna[her natural acting is wowwwwwwwwwww]....the list goes on..
Most importantly, it just hijacked me completely for 3 hrs and gave me a surrogate pleasure of the college fun,conflicts, chakkar with girls, roaming with a friend's circle all the time, which I didnt have much of, during my own college days, as I was completely drowned in my own ambitions and its chase.

Well, retrospection sometimes brings up a lot of unfulfilled desires for everyone ain't it !?

Am sure I'll watch this movie another 2-3 times in theatre, as the camera print was pathetic, to say the least. That ways, I'll live out the missed parts of my college days.
Well, am hearing the songs since yday, non-stop.
Esp "Arerey...Arerey..Manasey..jaarey" and "Oh my friend".
I got a few drops of tears when I saw this song's video. The music and picturization are sooo very out of the world.

Needless to say, this film has become a super-duper hit , as many millions would have been able to connect the movie to the golden time of their lives , and relive it.

Also, I've gotta watch the director's[Sekhar kammula] previous movies.

I sign off, humming a the song " Ohhhhhh.... My friendddddddddd" song for you :)

Adios !

Vel - The movie !

Huhooo !! Watched Vel now, thanks to
Well, its a thorough entertainment fair.
Don't feel like to do a proper film review, but just wanted to highlight some stuff.
Nice screenplay by Hari again. He's a masala film guru.

Lot of scope for Surya, as he's got a double to play. Both roles have been done very well.
Vadivel's comedy is as always, very good. But he's getting a little stereo-types offlate, doign the bravado kinda roles and facing the music subsequently.

Asin is as pretty as ever and hers is a cute character. The way Surya and Asin fall in love, is nice.
What really caught me in this is, Asin tells Surya that she wants to marry only after a year, as she has carer ambitions. Surya asks, y not continue her career even after marriage?
And then she comes up with a poignant explanation :

"Once I get married, I want to focus only on my kids and family, and support my husband's career . Thats when I can do full justice to the role of Wife "

Ahh !!! I felt like planting a kiss in her cheek. Whatta sweet thought from a girl, I thought, and sent out a heaty prayer to god, to get me a similar girl, who wilingly comes forward with this idea with a little forethought, rather than being pulled apart by the tensions of family and career simultaneously, and reacting to this scenario.

Well, from my angle, I can't see my soulmate having a strong urge to work , and not being able to do so due to husband's pressure. It won't be right on my part to sacrifice her burning ambitions and dreams.So, voluntering to this idea, would be better for both folks.

Ok, getting back to the topic, a nice entertainment, and its strongly recommended to go into the weekend, starting with this movie. Am downloading "Jab we met" now :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Demand of times !

I've been viewing friend's list of some of my friends in orkut, to find some mutual friend now and then. I open certain profiles, and find that they are beautiful and have many fans, ncie testimonials etc..When I open the scrapbook, I find some secrets about themselves revealed to their friends, about their boyfriend etc. I find that some of those orthodox girls, get very easily attracted to dashing, aggressive guyz, who can weave magic with words, but many of them being non-brahmins. Well, the entertainment media has eulogized such a personality and abstracted these characteristics, and reserve it for heroes of films. Girls, the dreamers that they are, cherish a secret desire to marry such a person and when they do meet an entertaining guy, they instantly fall for him, irrespective of his character,family background etc.

Well, its the dance of Kali yuga, that brahmin girls are falling into the charm of non-brahmin guyzz and many of our seers have constantly maintained that, when the brahmin community falls apart, the society goes in tatters. Esp, if the females go astray, it doesn't spell doom, but is doom itself. I've been reading some literature about marriage, according to hindu dharma and child marriage is written all over it. It says that marriage to girls, is like upanayana for boys. They need to treat their husband as their guru, while the husband is a humble devotee of his guru and hence, as an eventuality, the husband's virtue acts like an engine, carrying along the wife also, and the couple move along the path to heaven.

Also, early marriage ensures that the couple are tied together before their respective ego's are kindled, and just like friendships at childhood, this marital relationship flourishes for long.
Its also mentioned that, women remain in control of god agni, for 3 yrs after attaining puberty and its these 3 yrs, that their feeling of sensuality is at the peak, as they undergo all sorts of biological changes.
Its with this in view that, the marriage had to happen before this.

My comments : Well, many of us must have observed that in Sathya sai baba tradition, which is followed by many millions world-over,there's always a seperate Q for males and females and they sit seperately, while doing bhajans as well. It holds good in Shirdi temple too. Why do they do that? They are much revered people in the society, and they've lived lives, completely dedicated to the societal benefit. We've found numerous incidents of saints predicting things coming 50-60 yrs llater, and Shirdi baba talks about previous births of his visitors also. So, when they prescribe something, they obviously mean good to the people in the long run, and short run also. So, prescriptions like the ones mentioned above, would be meant for societal benefit only. Nothing else.
Well, I feel bad about our education system . The education we have now, is completely western, and is a collection of wisdom learnt over the past 400-500 yrs at the max. What happened to the wisdom of the earlier times? Why are we being so short-sighted to follow the teachings of a culture which is so short-lived? Why do we use our limited knowledge and capabilities,to beat the traditions to death, by questioning them vigorously ? Why don't we respect our traditions? I think the answers about our traditional practices would sink in, if we approach with humility and devotion, rather than egoistic and analytical view of things? How can the taste of s sugar candy be explained in words, unless its felt by oneself?
And sadly, all these best practices would again come back to us from the wesern world after about 5-10 centuries and thats when we'd recognize our folly, like how its happening to Yoga/eating habits etc now.

I got all this info, from the discourse of a seer[Kanchi Mahaswami], who's followed by millions all over the world, and who's done great miracles to save devotees. He's looked upon, as a mother by many families. When such a seer says something, it has to be pregnant with virtue, ain't it?
But, we are so much deluged by modern civilization, that all this looks childish to us.
Well, thats a big topic in itself. But, I'd dropped by to share with other brahmin guyz that, to follow dharmic way, there's a new skill demanded from brahmin guyzz these days, and that is , to be fun-loving, charming and entertaining. Thats when the brahmin girls will stay in the community, rather than marrying, vysyas, kshatriyas and even SC/ST folks at times.
Well, charm always helps to connect to people and we have a very succesful role model, Lord Krishna ain't it?

So, all you brahmin guyz !! Its the need of the times, to develop charming personality, over and above the traditions that you follow I guess. Be good in sports, and be fun loving . Thats when good things emerging from you, will be listened to, and thought about.

All you brahmin girls, I don't know how to explain the ills that would plague the society, if you marry outside the community, as I don't have a sociologist/spiritual/clairvoyant view of the world, like this seer and many more, but I can only pray that this doesn't happen.

PS: Am no seer nor social reformer, but my heart still throbs , thinking about the duties of a brahmin towards the society. And I shall remain a researcher in this subject, to give appropriate answers to my kids too.
Also, one of my friends wanted me to highlight that, even a lot brahmin boys are marrying outside the caste. Well, my only reply to that is, I don't think guyzz are as objective as girls in some sense. They have their ego, much more than girls. Girls are failry reasonable and respect their family , parents and their emotions. So, I requested them with the hope that they'll consider this. But a guy's ego may not even accept this idea, as his ego wud rebel this idea. So, am not even making an effort to put forth some ideas for them, with respect to our culture and religion. Only thing is, if they marry outside the caste, they loose right to do final rite to their parents.