Friday, December 21, 2007

Last days in Boston !

The melancholy of seperation or the excitement of getting back home , is yet to touch me .
But, its holiday mood here and I've forgotten my disciplined self now and freaking out !
Watched 2 movies yday [ laage chunari mey daag, and Aata (telegu) ]. Lots of music, lots of playing in the snow[fully aware that even if I fall ill, I'd be home by that time, leading to office bunk ;) ]

Need to do packing, final few things in the checklist..If possible, try out skiing, as it wud be a graet chance to fulfill my childhood dream[since the time i saw Shammi kapoor do "Yaaaaaaahoooooooooooooo "..]

Shud be interesting days ahead. !
Cio soon, India !

Monday, December 10, 2007


On friday, there was a farewell party to one of my teammates and the pizza I had for lunch was amazingly delicious.In the evening, my new friend and spiritual companion Rajesh picked me up from hotel,for a dinner at his place.Very enjoyable moments, those.. We talked a lot about each other's families, backgrounds, spiritual journey so far , world politics etc..He has a little kid aged a year, and incidentally, his name official name is akilesh, which is my name@home...hyper active kid..His official name is Giridhara gopalan, and true to his name, he loves the sound of flute. I whistle, when he gets into an irritable mood, and he starts smiling..only Ramanand sagar's ramayana/mahabharat is played all the time at their house..its the right environment for a kid , i thought ..
Then I had some authentic south indian food after after a long desert walk !!We were soo immersed in our discussions that, it was 11.45 PM already ! He dropped me back.
On saturday, it was plain goofing around, watching videos in youtube,listening to music, reading a book on spead reading. I was joined by another friend for a visit to Costco store, which is Saravana stores type in US-wholesale giants.MY friend got a lot of choclates... I got some monster-size apples, and some small gifts..I'd got a reading lens, with LED fitted, but LED wasn't working..Turn around the pack and its "MAde in china" !! No wonder !!
Towards the evening, it was getting boring, and I watched back to back movies-"Vettaydu vilayadu" and " Happy days" again. I can't get enof of this movie..
Got up quite late on sunday, and after normal routines, did long meditation..In the evening, Rajesh called up and had made a program to visit a Hanuman temple..So, started at 5.30 PM, reached his apmt, picked up his family and headed to temple..Well its this jounrney which was most enchanting..We were exchanging stories of saints' lives and miracles by them, back and forth about Shirdi baba, seshadri swamigal, gyaananandar,paramahamsa yogananda, shri ramana..a true satsang in the car...I was imagining the temple to have a typical gopuram etc, the typical temple architecture. But to my surprise, its normal building, which housed a hanuman murthy, surrounded by Shiva, navagraha idols on its side..But what captured me most was the veda adhyayana going on there..My mind almost always enter a peaceful state, once I start hearing vedas..A student was learning the prayoga of navagraha homa mantras, from his guru..My mind was fully absorvbed into the sound vibrations..It was great to see such adhyayana going on in US also..
I went into a speechless meditative state for sometime, and then we started ..Time to shift from yoga to bhoga !
We headed straight to Mysoreveggies, in Lowell..Its very close to the famous swaminarayan temple. But it was too late for us to visit that temple..We chose to order Iyengar thali, and boy, the plate was about 2 ft diameter, and filled with lots and lots of cups with items ! how am i gonna eat this..I took full 5 mins to get hold of all the items.. rasam, sambar, pickle, avial, paneer mutter, salad, some onion curry, brinjal roast, 2 papads, some sweet pongal, tomato soup, some mor kozhanbu..uff..stoped counting..And it was unlimited thali, with puri/chapathi/dosa along with it...I chose was masala dosa..and I don't think I ever tasted this kinda stuff in India before..Awesome !!I got greedy for more dosas, and also added chapati to the the end, my friend ordered mango lassi..and it was cap in the feather..It tasted just like mango milkshake, and it was again the best I've ever heard !! becoming a big-time foodie here..But I left the place wondering , whats the lassi part to this name? There was no taste of curd..
And it was just 13$ . I had a buffet lunch in one of the indian hotels near-by, but its taste would be a few light years away..Folks, if you wanna taste authentic indian food, come to to Mysoreveggies, and your tongue is sure to be treated to an unforgettable experience !Whatta way to end a weekend !

Chinmaya temple

Monday, December 03, 2007

Silver bullet for a happy life ..

Read this in a time mgmt book today.

Though of sharing :

Studies show that people who are the least vulnerable to stress tend to exhibit the following characteristics:

• They have many friends and acquaintances.
• They eat regular meals.
• They sleep well.
• They drink alcohol sparingly.
• They don’t smoke.
• They exercise regularly.
• They rarely drink coffee.
• They’re affectionate.
• They feel comfortable with the amount of money they
• They’re in good health.
• They gain strength from their spiritual beliefs.
• They’re open about their feelings.
• They belong to at least one club or social group.
• They are neither overweight nor underweight.

Powerful mantra !

I had an interesting experience yday.
I was supposed to sail to liberty island, to visit statue of liberty, but I was not allowed to enter the ship at all, as I had a small trolly bag. So, I was waiting outside in snow. There's this clinton castle, which is just a circular-walled structure with completely open centre. Just a big atrium, nothing else within the walls. So, I told my friends that I'd wait ther till they come back.

It was heavy snow since morning , and waiting there was getting very tought, inspite of leather jacket, shoes, gloves, monkey cap etc.
I was literally shaking. I was trying to pass time by feeding the sparrows and pigeons with peanut cake. There was a temporary relief, but after the peanut cake got over, it was back to square one.

People had warned me of frost bites etc, and I got a little afraid.
I decided to chant vishnu sahasranamam, and started it.
By the time I finished 1 time, I was feeling less cold and shaking had stopped, but was still cold.
I started another round, and by the time I finished the next round, I forgot all sensation of cold.
My mind was just immersed in the mantra.
Well, Ramana maharishi underwent a cancer tumour removal operation in his shoulder, without any anesthetia and he forgot the body. Thats because his being was entirely absorbed in that sat-chit-anand.
My experience was resembling that, albeit in a very minute way.
The experience underscored that, when the mind's focus is away from body, on a mantra or a thought, body conscious vanishes.

I recounted a similar experience, while I was in 1st yr B.Tech.
I was studying for an important exam the next day, but was shaking with fever.
Tablets were of no avail.
So, I started to chant this mantra, and within an hour, my fever had vanished.
Well, I also learnt about one such experience of Kanchi seer.
He was shaking with temperature one day, and doctors had advised him to abstain from bath.
But instead, he summoned a pandit/discourse specialist named Anantharama Dikshithar and asked him to start Vishnu sahasranama parayanam.
In just about 30 mins, his temperature had vanished in ether, and he came out taking a bath, and headed straight for his puja.

Such is the power of this mantra. !!!
No wonder then, that Shankaracharya , in his "Bhaja Govindam" espouses everyone to chant this daily. He says,
"Geyam geeta, naama sahasram"

Thanks to Bhishma for this mantra. And long live the mantra, and let many more benefit by its chanting !