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Friday, October 31, 2008

Importance of Food in tamil literture (Thirukural)

"Food is the medicine for the disease called hunger"
Having interest in a vague and not so quantified topic like "food (nutrition habits) and its impact on our physical, psychological and spiritual well being"... i hv found the above quote to be one of the best quotes i have ever read on this genre....

Attributed to Adi Sankaracharya, this quote summarises as to how we approach eating. Just like medicines are taken in right quantities / proportions, right time and with a priority to health than taste, food needs to be treated and taken in the same way.
Even if we know and understand the importance of this line most of tend to ignore it till the system refuses to cooperate with us.

i wanted to share the importance of food stressed in one of the tamil literatures (thirukural, for those who have not heard about this refer to a list of 10 couplets stressing the single quote given above.

Its listed under a heading called "Medicine" and i have tried to reproduce the quote in tamil and its meaning in English...(Click on the image for better viewing).
i was surprised that many of us dont even know whats the constitution of our body and whats our prakriti is ... there are quite a number of sites available and you can try this site...

I shall blog some of the routines that can be easily followed (I follow for my 'single pack' abdomen) to be healthy and clean...
Happy reading!

Catch the bottom!

I cant help but recall that we have been repeated warned in our college not to "catch the bottom" which invites severe punishement...

As the economists across the world trying hard to 'catch the bottom' and trend the signs of the bottoming process, i see the much touted, stinkingly highly paid, considered as the most intelligent species in this world "the investment banker' has become another career title which has become an object of joke.
i think 99% of the investment bankers get bad name for the rest of them :)

I liked the english humor on "investement banker" ...

If you understand the exact nature of the problem then we will understand how stupid and blind the systems are and the people who ran it.... I like the way it is put across ...Dodgy debts packaged under Special investment vehicle and offered as " High grade structured credit Enhanced leveraged fund" ...

- Irrespective of what the market offers, nothing replaces financial discipline & prudence at an individual level.

Another news that churned my internal systems is the article that questioned the solvency of the Fed reserve which is over much more leveraged than the Lehman Brothers (when it went bust)... check this article.

The evening news reader on TV started off by wishing "Good Evening" and went on for 30 minutes telling us why it is not a good evening. Assam blasts, Mumbai lynching //... what is not being focussed on is the anger and frsutration of the common man on the system. The grieving father of the mumbai victim gave a counter offer to Mah. Govt for offering 2L compensation.... Just read the counter offer and we can understand the grief and anger...
"Let Maharashtra government take Rs 20 lakh and hand over Raj Thackeray to me." "I will not think twice and sell off all that I have to strike this deal. Will the government agree?" he questioned. "I don't want the money. I want those who killed my son should be dealt with in a similar manner,"

More than tough laws we need accountability. I propose that the security cover for the people responsible in governments (that includes the prime minister) should be progressively reduced so that they and their families live with the same fear every common man is now living. Else we would get nothing more than rhetorics after every incident.

"Dharmo rakshathi rakshathaha" goes a sanskrit saying means only if you protect dharma (justice) then that dharma will protect you. The faster we all realize what this means the better for us.

" You cant catch my bottom or the top" ... a loud statement from a kids video which my daughter was seeing disturbed my attention... mythologically... Lord vishnu and Brahma are trying to catch the bottom and top of shiva respectively and they could not do it. While vishnu agreed that he cant "catch the bottom", brahma lied to shiva that he has seen the extreme and got punished... so goes the story.

But the bottom line is "You can't catch the bottom & the top" . I wish our economists take a lesson or two from our mythological stories.....

Happy reading ! and have a great weekend

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why can live few days without food but not without water?

I am always fascinated with the concept of food (though am not a great eater) and its impact on us as an individual and the society. The fascination actually stems from how our ancestors have understood the prakriti (nature) of a person, food and the the impact of food on the individual. When you start thinking about this you really don’t know when you are crossing the boundaries of Ayurveda (Medicine), Yoga, culinary and Psychology and all look seamless.

There are 2 familiar statements which we all know and often debate on a peaceful evening with our friends.
· We are what we think.
· We are what we eat.

Being a firm believer of both statements I was always wondering the impact of food on our thoughts and our constitution (physically and mentally) till I came across this piece of information from chandogya Upanishad.

This is a discussion between Svetaketu Aruneya (the grandson of Aruna) and his father (Uddilaka, the son of Aruna), when Svetaketu returned to his father, at the age of twenty-four, having then studied all the Vedas, conceited, considering himself well-read, and stern. His father being a very wise man wanted to teach his son a lesson in humility and wanted to highlight that his self conceit does not befit him.

So he starts by asking him, have you ever asked for that instruction by which we hear what cannot be heard, by which we perceive what cannot be perceived, by which we know what cannot be known?' When his son acknowledges his ignorance on this he starts explaining things from evolution.

He says that water is produced from fire and explains whenever anybody anywhere is hot and perspires, water is produced on him from fire alone. Water he says produces food (earth). Further more he says that Fire, Water and Earth are the basic elements which manifest themselves in all the loving beings.

'The red colour of burning fire (agni) is the colour of fire, the white colour of fire is the colour of water, the black colour of fire the colour of earth. Learned men knew that 'Whatever they thought looked red, they knew was the colour of fire. Whatever they thought looked white, they knew was the colour of water. Whatever they thought looked black, they knew was the colour of earth. 'Whatever they thought was altogether unknown, they knew was some combination of those three beings (devata).

The most interesting aspect of food and its manifestation is as follows.

1. 'The earth (food) when eaten becomes threefold (16 parts); its grossest portion (10 parts) becomes feces, its middle portion flesh (5 parts), and its subtlest portion mind (1 part).
2. 'Water when drunk becomes threefold (16 parts); its grossest portion becomes water (5 parts), its middle portion blood, and its subtlest portion (1 part) breath.
3. 'Fire (i.e. in oil, butter, &c.) when eaten becomes threefold (16 parts); its grossest portion (10 parts) becomes bone, its middle portion (5 parts) marrow, its subtlest portion (1 part) speech.
4. 'For truly, my child, mind comes of earth, breathe of water, speech of fire.'
'That which is the subtle portion of curds, when churned, rises upwards, and becomes butter. 'In the same manner, my child, the subtle portion of earth (food), when eaten, rises upwards, and becomes mind. That which is the subtle portion of water, when drunk, rises upwards, and becomes breath. That which is the subtle portion of fire, when consumed, rises upwards, and becomes speech. For mind, my child, comes of earth, breath of water, speech of fire.
His son Svetaketu already realizing his mistake, requests his father to tell him more and his father continues.

Man (purusha), my son, consists of sixteen parts. Abstain from food for fifteen days, but drink as much water as you like, for breath comes from water, and will not be cut off, if you drink water. Svetaketu abstained from food for fifteen days. Then he came to his father and said: 'What shall I say?' The father said: 'Repeat the Rik, Yagus, and Saman verses.' His son replied: 'They do not occur to me, Sir.'

His father explains that your mind is weak and the recollection of your knowledge is difficult since you have not had food for 15 days. He asks his son to have food and realize that he can recollect his knowledge. The discussion continues this way.

This small section answered few questions and emphasized a lot:
· Why we can survive without food for few days and not without water?
· The depth of knowledge in understanding the nature of almost everything our ancestors possessed.
· Importance of vinaya (humility) and not just vidya (education.)
· It also highlights the way son has a respectful discussion with his father and his father’s concern in making his son realize his mistake.

Happy reading!

Arabia... Pre-islamic times

If some one can share the arabian history pre 3rd century AD, it would be a great discussion thread....... I am just sharing a research article which is fairly old....

Arabia is an abbreviation. The original word even today is Arbasthan. It originates in Arvasthan. As observed earlier Sanskrit "V" changes into "B". Arva in Sanskrit means a horse. Arvasthan signifies a land of horses, and as we all know Arabia is famous for its horses.

In the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. a wave of effecting a complete break with the past spread over West Asia. All links with the past were broken, images smashed, scriptures destroyed, education discontinued and the entire West Asian region took a plunge in abyssmal ignorance which lasted for centuries thereafter and perhaps persists to a certain extent even today because if in the whole world modern scientific and educational developments find stubborn and entrenched resistance anywhere it is in the West Asian countries.

It is said that the late Saudi Arabia ruler could not permit a radio broadcasting station opened in his own capital because of oposition from his Maulavis. He then resorted to a stratagem. Once while he had his council of Maulavis in attendance he had a radio set switched on to a program of Koranic recitation broadcast from a small transmitting station set up earlier without much ado. The Maulavis were delighted, so goes the report, to hear the word of Allah coming to them as if from nowhere. The king told them that what objections could they have to a mechanism which broadcast the word of Allah. The Maulavis agreed and the small radio broadcasting project was at last ratified.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica and Encycløpaedia Islamia the Arabs are ignorant of their own history of the pre-Muslim era. By a strange euphemism they call it a period of ignorance and darkness. Probably no other country in the world has deliberately written off a 2,500 year period of their own history by systematically stamping out and snapping all links with the past. They have wiped the memories of preMuslim era off their minds. So while they chose to remain ignorant of their past ironically enough it is they who dub the pre-Muslim era as a period of ignorance. Fortunately we can still trace the history of that preIslamic Arabia.

It is a well known adage that there is no such thing as foolproof destruction of all evidence. The pre-Islamic history of Arabia is the story of Indian Kshatriyas over that land, with the people following the Vedic way of life. In our attempt to reconstruct the story of pre-Islamic Arabia we begin with the name of the country itself. As explained earlier the name is fully Sanskrit. Its central pilgrim centre, Mecca is also a Sanskrit name. Makha in Sanskrit signifies a sacrificial fire. Since Vedic fire worship was prevalent all over West Asia in pre-Islamic days Makha signifies the place which had an important shrine of fire worship. Coinciding with the annual pilgrimage of huge bazaar used to spring up in Makha i.e. Mecca since times immemorial. The annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca is not at all an innovation but a continuation of the ancient pilgrimage. This fact is mentioned in encyclopedias.

Evidence is now available that the whole of Arabia was part of the great Indian King Vikramaditya's vast empire. The extent of Vikramaditya's empire is one of the main reasons for his world wide fame. Incidentally this also explains many intriguing features about Arabia. It could be that Vikramaditya himself had this peninsula named Arvasthan if he was the first Indian monarch to capture it and bring it under his sway. The second intriguing aspect is the existence of a Shivalinga or the Mahadeva emblem in the Kaaba shrine in Mecca. Before going into further details about the ancient Vedic rituals and names still clinging to Muslim worship at Mecca we shall see what evidence we have about Arabia having formed part of Vikramaditya's dominions.

ANTHOLOGY OF ANCIENT ARABIC POETRY: SAYAR-UL-OKUL In Istanbul in Turkey, there is a famous library called Makteb-e-Sultania which is reputed to have the largest collection of ancient West Asian literature. In the Arabic Section of that library is an anthology of ancient Arabic poetry. That anthology was compiled from an earlier work in A.D. 1742 under the orders of the Turkish ruler Sultan Salim. The 'pages' of that volume are made of HAREER - a kind of silk used for writing on. Each page has a decorative gilded border. It may be recalled that gilding pages of sacred books is an ancient custom associated with old Sanskrit scriptures found in Java and other places.

The anthology itself is known as SAYAR-UL-OKUL. It is divided into three parts, the first part contains biographic details and the poetic compositions of pre-Islamic Arabian poets. The second part embodies accounts and verses of poets of the period beginning just after Prophet Mohammad up to the end of Banee- Ummayya dynasty. The third part deals with later poets up to the end of Khalifa Harun-al-Rashid's times. Incidentally "Banee" means "Vanee" and Ummayya as in Krishnayya are Sanskrit names. Abu Amir Abdul Asamai, a distinguished Arabian bard who was the Poet Laureate of Harun-al-Rashid's court has compiled and edited the anthology. The first modern edition of Sayar-ul-Okul anthology was printed and published in Berlin in A.D. 1864. A subsequent edition was published in Beirut in A.D. 1932. This work is regarded as the most important and authoritative anthology of ancient Arabic poetry. It throws considerable light on the social life, customs, manners and entertainment forms in ancient Arabia. The book also contains an elaborate description of the ancient Mecca shrine, the town and the annual fair known as OKAJ which used to be held there every year. This should convince readers that the annual Haj of the Muslims to the Kaaba is only a continuation of the old fair and not a new practice. But the OKAJ fair was far from a carnival. It provided a forum for the elite and learned to discuss the social, religious, political, literary and other aspects of the Vedic culture then pervading Arabia. Sayar-ul-Okul asserts that the conclusions reached at those discussions were widely respected througout Arabia. Mecca, therefore, followed the Varanasi tradition of providing a seat for important discussions among the learned while the masses congregated there for spiritual bliss.

The principal shrines at both Varanasi in India and at Mecca in Arvasthan were Shiva temples. Even to this day the central object of veneration at both Mecca and Varanasi continues to be the ancient Mahadeva emblems. It is the Shankara stone which Muslim pilgrims reverently touch and kiss in the Kaaba.

ENTRY OF NON-MUSLIMS FORBIDDEN A few miles away from Mecca is a big signboard which forbids entry to any non-Muslim in the area. This is a reminder of the days when the Shrine was stormed and captured solely for the newly established faith of Islam. The object obviously was to prevent its recapture. As the pilgrim proceeds towards Mecca he is asked to shave his head and beard and to don a special sacred attire. This consists of two seamless sheets of white cloth. One is to be worn round the waist and the other over the shoulders. Both these rites are remnants of the old Vedic practice of entering Hindu shrines, clean shaven and with holy seamless spotless white sheets. The main shrine in Mecca which houses the Shiva emblem is known as the Kaaba. It is clothed in a black shroud. This custom could also originate from the days when it was thought necessary to discourage its recapture. According to encyclopaedias Britannica and Islamia the Kaaba had 360 images. Traditional accounts mention that one of the deities among the 360 destroyed, when the shrine was stormed, was that of Saturn, another was of the moon and yet another was one called Allah. In India the practice of Navagraha puja that is worship of the nine planets is still in vogue. Two of these nine are the Saturn and the moon. Besides, the moon is always associated with Lord Shankara. A Crescent is always painted across the forehead of the Shiva emblem. Since the presiding deity at the Kaaba shrine was Lord Shiva i.e. Shankara, the crescent was also painted on it. It is that crescent which is now adopted as a religious symbol of Islam.

Another Hindu tradition is that wherever there is a Shiva shrine the sacred stream of Ganga that is the Ganges must also co-exist. True to that tradition a sacred fount exists near the Kasba. Its water is held sacred because it was regarded as but another Ganga since pre-Islamic times. Muslim pilgrims visiting the Kaaba shrine go around it seven times. In no other mosque does this perambulation prevail. Hindus invariably perambulate around their shrines. This is yet another proof that the Kaaba shrine is a pre-Islamic Shiva temple where the Hindu practice of perambulation is still meticulously observed.

Allah is a Sanskrit word. In Sanskrit Allah, Akka and Amba are synonyms. They signify a goddess or mother. The term Allah appears in Sanskrit chants while invoking goddess Durga i.e. Bhavani. The Islamic word Allah for God is therefore not an innovation but the ancient Sanskrit appellation retained and continued to be used by Islam. The seven perambulations too are significant. At Hindu wedding ceremonies the bride and bridegroom go round the sacred fire seven times. the practice of seven perambultions around the Kaaba shrine in Mecca is, therefore, a Hindu Vedic custom. It is also a proof that Mecca was Makha or the shrine of the sacred fire around which worshippers made seven perambulations.

SAYAR-UL-OKUL tells us that a pan-Arabic poetic symposium used to be held in Mecca at the annual Okaj fair in pre-Islamic times. All leading poets used to participate in it. Poems considered best were awarded prizes. The best poems engraved on gold plate were hung inside the temple. Others etched on camel or goat skin were hung outside. Thus for thousands of years the Kaaba was the treasure house of the best Arabian poetic thought. This tradition was of immemorial antiquity. But most of the poems got lost and destroyed during the storming of the Kaaba by prophet Mohammed's forces.

SAYAR-UL-OKUL is a poem by UMAR-BINE-HASSNAM (Poetic Title: ABBUL-HIQAM meaning Father of Knowledge). He was an uncle of prophet Mohammed. He refused to get converted to Islam. He died a martyr at the hands of Muslim fanatics who wanted to wipe out non-Muslims. This poem was adjudged as the best in the annual fair at Kaaba.






A man who has spent all his life in sin and immorality and has wasted away his life in passion and fury,

If he repents in the end and wants to return to morality, is there a way for his redemption? Even if only once he sincerely worships Mahadeva, he can attain the highest position in the path of righteousness.

Oh Lord! Take away all my life and in return pray grant me even a single day's stay in Hind (India) as a man becomes spiritually free on reaching that holy land.

By dint of a pilgrimage of Hind a man attains the merit of noble deeds and gets the privilege of pious touch with ideal Hindu teachers.

Request any one to contribute if they have more on this topic...

Happy reading!

10 commandments!

Some of my colleagues would have seen this in my work area. I read this once a day!

  • Rule 1: Life is a package and it can be as simple as you want it to be !
  • Rule 2: Passion is what passion does !
  • Rule 3: We both can argue on anything as long as we come to MY conclusion.
  • Rule 4: Somedays you are the pigeon and somedays the statue. Accept it.
  • Rule 5: Never compromise on what you are. If god wanted you otherwise, he would have created you otherwise.
  • Rule 6: The only perfect view in life is "hindsight".
  • Rule 7: A pat on the back and kick on the butt is just a feet away!
  • Rule 8: You're never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you're never as bad as they say when you lose.
  • Rule 9: Dont try to change the world!, its like being a one legged man in a arse kicking competition!
  • Rule 10: A turtle makes progress only when it sticks its neck out! Own it!

If we both think alike then one of us is redundant (and its not me!) and if we differ please refer rule 3.

Live the life!

Happy reading !

Do you want to be a human being or Lion or Pig?

"Life is a progressive discovery of our ignorance"..

I keep highlighting the importance of relevant information in eliminating ignorance and for better decision making...

I used to ask this question to some of my friends. Its a no brainer that 100% of the responses used to be "human being" without hesitation. Then i share a small piece of information and ask for a response.

Believe me the responses used to be divided between Lion, Pig, Lig, Pion (u figure out what it is!) and ofcourse human being too... People who have choosen Lion or Pig are people who are true to their heart, those who have chosen Lig & Pion are the innovators / artistic and creators and those who stuck to human being are either hypocrites or saddists on themselves :)

The piece of information is available commonly in any magazine / media related to animal kingdom and is as follows:
  • A lion mates 30 times a day.
  • A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.

Now, Do you want to be a human being or Lion or Pig?

Happy reading !

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I, Me, Myself (About me)

Uniqueness is so common in this world... I am very unique just like every one else...

Every individual has three profiles (atleast a minimum of 3 profiles) viz: Vanity, Sanity and Reality.

You can access my Vanity profile @:

You can access my Sanity profile @:

The Reality Profile is as follows: ( I prefered to attach a textfile but the option does not exist here)

I have a firm belief that life is all about a journey that we travel from ourselves to ourselves. Hence guess am still trying to understand about myself...

Fortunate to be born in a South Indian “Tambram” family, which is orthodox, holding the best human values and extremely educated and wise. Despite blessed with a grandfather a renowned Sanskrit-Vyakarna teacher (Late. Sri. MK Venkatarama Sastrigal @ Raja Patasala, Kumbakonam), one of the paternal uncles (VVN from Kumbakonam, also a role model for me), a popular mathematics teacher and one of the paternal aunts, doctorate in Tamil & a teacher, I never had any inclination to teaching. I certainly attribute this to my inability to raise above my inquisitiveness about world at large in general and restlessness/ impatience in particular.
The family is quite close knit, with enough room for personal freedom, open to ideas and debates, progressive and forward looking and obviously with minor tiffs between few of them.

The most impressive trait I like about this family is their ability to rise up economically from the state of poverty (I remember my grandpa highlighting his predicament around second world war, about he not having another set of clothes to change and he would change to a towel, wash the one he is wearing, dry the clothes and change the same before he leaves for his work). Importantly this rise has happened through selfless dedication of many without compromising on any of the values. So many of my relatives elder to me are like real life icons offering inspiration and drive.

I have been told by many that am extremely dependable & with the right company am very gregarious.. else pretty reserved. I am very optimistic about life and people closer would see my confidence, (at times as obstinate), sense of humor and a "never-say-die-attitude".
I rate myself to be just about average in academia and Intelligence and most of my relatives and friends are sharper than me. The section about me would not be complete and would not see the light (Priya—my wife, who is the approver of this text & who decides my "Priyarities") if don't highlight my laziness. If you don't concur with this, I recommend that you talk to Priya and you would change your opinion., certainly!.

Among others, what keeps me going are my hobbies which you will get to know in this website. I was fortunate to also been blessed with great “Gurus”, who helped me with 2 of my important hobbies.

Two great individuals who converted a puny and timid individual entering college into a confident, physically strong and mentally stronger person (I also hold a black belt in Karate) that probably reshaped me as an individual over a period of the next 10 years are Sensai Devarajan—who initiated me into this way back in 1990 and Sensai Jacob Devakumar.
Two more people who had a deep impact on me with their knowledge and teaching are Sri. Dharamveer Singh Mahida (Yoga Academy of Pune) and Sri. K.Parathasarathy (Yoga Yuva Kendra) who taught me Yoga and oriented me on the right path which should help me for the rest of my life. No amount of recognition can repay my gratitude to them.
I have not highlighted the contribution for what I am today, from Priya, my parents (my role models), brother and some close relatives which is immense and cannot be explained in words. I have been equally fortunate to have a great set of friends & colleagues, some of them very close who has helped & been with me in every stage of my life.

What has been satisfying (atleast so far) is the fact that am at peace with myself (and also with most of my friends & relatives):-) and hope this continues as long as the journey continues...enjoy the journey, live by the day instead of worrying about the destination...Live the Life !

Thats I, me, Myself.

Happy reading!

Thinking hearts ! Why have i named it so?

Thinking (mind led) and feeling (heart led) are 2 qualities of human beings which if not rightly balanced may lead to many complications!. One devoid of the other becomes dry and would hit extremes. Thoughts without emotions is dry and manifests itself as artificial intelligence and also in some fellow human beings as we see and is undesirable.

Many would have heard Frank outlaw's famous quote saying,
"Watch your thoughts, thoughts become words, words become deeds, deeds become habits, habits your character and character your destiny"

Rene descretas was a celebrated philosopher across the world when he said "you are what you think" in the 17th century.

Modern management gurus have dug a level deep and they say the value system you have actually is actually feeds into your thoughts and hence values are the basis.

"Yat Bhaavam, tat Bhavati" goes a very old sanskrit saying and in Kath0panishad it is stated that you are your deep driving passion!

"You are your deep driving desire; As is your desire, so is your will
As is your will, so is your act; As is your act, so is your destiny." Kathopanishad

You can derive 2 things from the above:
1. The recognition given to Frank outlaw and Rene descrates are absolutely not worthy as they are recognized by people who have not read what is already available 1000s of years ago.
2. Bhaavam and desire are emotions and actually passions of an individual. This seems to be the basis and the primordial characterstic of life & living beings.

Hence for me life has to be heart led and guided by our logical thoughts instead of it being the otherway....

Think with your heart and this world would be a much better place !

Happy reading!


kāmamaya evāyaṃ puruṣa iti |

sa yathākāmo bhavati tatkratur bhavati |

yatkratur bhavati tat karma kurute |

yat karma kurute tad abhisaṃpadyate |.............

It and Now.

"Shreyo bhooyat Sakala Janaanam" ....means prosperity to all the living beings in this world !.. I want to start this blog with this benign thought.

This space in the internet is so unique and so special to few of you that this can provide a snap shot whats on my mind... I am not suggesting that it matters to you or this is what you are seeking out in life...but try anywhere else, you can't get what you get here in this site....a piece of my mind :).

For the few souls who are VORG (victims of rags gopalan a.k.a my relatives and friends) in this world and happens to share their life with me in what ever measure, this is one more manifestation of mine....

Divinity manifests when there is discipline and sustained effort over a period of time and thats the reason some one has probably said "work is god". While i believe in this, despite thats not my virtue, i shall make every effort to overcome this intertia time and again to share my thoughts in this site.

Happy reading!