the travelogue of life

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Njanappana of Poonthanam- Translation

My teacher(Lord of Guruvayur) should help me always to keep the sacred names always in my toungue, and thereby making my life fruitful;
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
Neither we know about yesterday and tomorrow, nor do we know about the time when the body seen in the present will end. O Lord, you make the seen unseen and make one ‘carried’(dead) within couple of days.It is too you who make the King a beggar.
Some perceives this by seeing, but some does not. And there are some who perceives early that nothing seen of this sort is the Truth. There are different mentalities among humans themselves. As many wants to know about it, there are many Saastras(books with correct explanation of various aspects of life). For those interested in Karma, there are Karmasaastras. There are innumerous saastras like Sankhya saastra, Yoga etc, but keep those aside for now.

For people like us who are bewildered in this rotating wheel of the world, great scholars have suggested the Supreme Truth. To get salvation easily, give your ears to this.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
We are all tied up with a thing called ‘Karma’(Deeds).
The world of all these seen is handled by a single ‘jyothi’ (flame) form, without allowing any of these to come within it and without getting disturbed by any of these, being something pereceivable by the ones who think of it, being non-perceivable by any means to those who does not know anything, being the living thing in each one of the world wherein no two are alike.This one who stands detached from everything, is the one who made the world! Three worlds are contained in this 'One', and compared to this, this world is nothing!
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
In this world made of the ‘One’, there are three karmas(deeds)- Good deeds, Bad deeds and a mix of these. When we think of these three, we can see that life is tied up by these, one using golden chain, the other using iron chain, and the mix of good and bad deeds uses a chain made of both gold and iron.Those who are in the way of Brahma also are tied up with their deeds. Even Brahma finds it diffcicult to create the world before the ‘Flood’, or to cross the chain of deeds. Even the dik paalakas(the Gods protecting the eight directions) are bound at their own directions. We, with our silly deeds changes our form from one species to another, by entering the womb and coming out of it and thereby playing with our deeds.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
The creature ‘life’ being in Den for some time, gets free of its bad attributes and attains maturity in course of time, to take birth as a human. Those gone to the heaven by performing good deeds enjoys there till their credits of their good deeds expire. They take birth on earth, and if they die after many bad deeds, will be thrown to the dens.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
One life from heaven will take birth in this world as a Brahmin(the best caste). But doing many bad things make him take next birth as a ‘chandala’(low caste). Demons become Gods, Immortals become trees, Goat becomes elephant and vice versa, fox dies to take birth as man, a lady dies to take birth as a fox, the unkindly toturing king dies to take birth as a worm, fly dies to take birth as a cat, and all these are Lord’s games. These lives going up and down like this earns all deeds from this earth; endless deeds!
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!

Thus, with the earned credits of the deeds , the lives go to the respective worlds, and remains there until the credits of one’s own deeds expire in course of time. Then they come again to earth to earn more deeds. It is like , staying somewhere else with the money you got it from your home.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!

The playground for all deeds is the place of birth which is earth. Destroying one’s deeds also is not possible anywhere else. The Earth, the mother of the world gives everything they like to the devotees, to the ones yearning for liberation and to the good and successful ones. She is the root nature of the Lord, visible to us. The incarnations of the supreme is happening, to protect her only. Because of this, Earth is the best among the fourteen worlds. Saints in the way of Vedas and the Vedas themselves tell this with great respect. In the great ocean there are lakhs of islands wherein seven are the best.
As the centre point of the lotus Earth stands aplace known as 'Bhoodharendra', which is divided in to nine parts. Among these nine, Bharatha country is the best part. Respected saints are telling this is the area of Karma. Even for those in Brahmaloka, the seed of Karma is to be sprouted from there. It is not easy to destroy Karma and to take life to salvation, in the parts other than Bharathakhanda(the country Bharata). We all should remember that this Bharatha is such an important a place.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
Among all the four yugas, Kaliyuga is the best as it is very easy to attain salvation in the same. There is no other effort needed other than chanting Lord’s names like “Krishna Krishna Mukunda Janardana Krishna Govinda Rama”. Thinking of this, those lives in the other thirteen worlds, those in the other six islands, those in the other eight khandas(sectors) and those in the other three yugas ,praises and respects the Bharathakhanda of Kaliyuga; as they are unable to attain salvation. They think..”It is our bad luck not to take birth in this Bharatha khanda in Kaliyuga, O God! We salute every human and even Kali who took birth here at this time, o Krishna!”
Others praise like these, but why should we tell this? Instead, we all should remember that this time is Kaliyuga, this place is Bharatha and we are all humans. You think well about whether the names of Hari are vanishing, whether the fear of den is decreasing, whether this is a life without a tongue or whether we do not have this destruction at all.Alas! Without thinking, we are wasting our life.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!

After many births of suffering, because of some good deeds, we have taken birth here. How many births we had in forests, how many in water, how many in soil, in how many we stood as trees, how many times dying, how many times as cows or other animals; all before getting this life as a human. It took big effort to enter mother’s womb. After that, we lost 10 months there, another 10 or 12 years as a child and thereafter living in self esteem and pride, being illiterate of oneself.
We don’t know how long we live. In this momentary body, breath alone persists. That too diminishes being illiterate of the this and running around. In this short span of time, we are not chanting His name.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!

Some are quarelling for positions without shame. Another few are thinking of the communal egos and becoming mad about it. Some are going to the houses of women and becoming their pet-monkeys, some are taking pride in being the servants, some are doing ‘shanthi’(pooja) till dusk to sustain, some are not giving even food to his own father, mother and wife. Some don’t even see own agnisakshini wife even in dreams! If some good people correct it, they become furious on these good ones, as if towards enemies. Some disrespect scholars and some takes the credit of keeping the world in tact only through their words.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!

Being proud of their brahmanya, some claims even brahma is equal to me. Some are performing ‘Agnihotra’ to attain titles, some are selling huge quantity of gold n precious stones , some are doing business with elephants, some are using even ships for making money!
Even after doing all these, how much wealth are they getting?!! Instead, they are ruining themselves in greed for money, to become dirty paupers. Mind will never be happy with how much ever wealth we get.If one gets ten, he wants to get hundred instead; if one gets hundred, he wants thousand instead. If one gets thousand, the would think more would have been wonderful.
We are going up in the rope of desire, without get detached from it.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
When good people beg for money, the cruel ones will not given even a part of it, but at the time of death no one is able to carry even the dress put on. Without repenting, they are in wrong believes, and by having desire in wealth, they are ignoring the Truth. The Truth is Brahma itself, and the good people believe in this. Without knowing what is to be known from the knowledge, some pretends to be a scholar. It is just like an ass carries saffron without knowing the smell of it. Thinking of Lord, one can see all these illusions are because of the desire.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!

Life period is counted down and the desire is going up and up. While thinking one after the other like “Vishu has come after Onam”, “Thiruvathira is yet to come”,”In the month of Kumbha, my birthstar aswathy will come”,”There will be some death anniversary in the month of Vrischika”, “feasts are not less”, “After getting a child, I will marry him off and will see his child”, the poor fellow dies, O Lord!
Why to say this much about it? All of us should think well- the size of our Karma, the various births we had come through, the Time has reached Kaliyuga, the greatness of Bharathakhanda and the fact that we are born in that, the time wasted in this birth, the fact that there is no measure of one’s life period, the healthy state, the fact that one can attain ‘Purusharthha’(dharma, artha, kama, moksha) by chantimng Lord’s names, the forthcoming fears about den. You should think about it today. Why to waste time, all of you go to Vaikunda!
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
We are together neither at the time of birth nor at that of death. O why should we compete for nothing, in this meantime we saw each other? Having Purusharthha with us, why we are longing for wealth? Why should we consider other light during daylight? Is there any need of other children when Unnikkannan(Lord Krishna in the form of a kid) is playing in our mind? We have got many friends, but are there not devotees of Lord Vishnu? Seeing the tricks of the Maya(Illusion), life too plays its silly tricks and these are the prosperities in this world. This world is our home, the master of the world, the Lord is the father for all of us and the Mother of the world is the mother for each living thing. This father and Mother are there to protect us always. The food is their bhiksha to us and all we have to do is to have the same.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
Without desires, we should chant the Lord’s names, in devotion. We all should live carefully in this way, as much as we can, for the life period allotted to us. We should salute and praise , without any shame, each and every living things. Being His devotee, one should suffer all the harshness towards him . When one sees good people, he should bow down without shame. One should dance in devotion, like an insane. When world goes like this, difficulties will run away. And when one’s assigned Karma is over, the body falls down. Seeing the Brahma rising, the life rush towards it. While going on Truth, don’t worry about anything, but listen to the greatness of Lord’s name, Listen to the greatness of Lord’s name!
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
Let one be the low caste or the high caste in the way of Vedas ie Brahmin, if not born as dumb , utter once in any day ,just one among the innumerous names of the Lord-whether it be when you sit freely, or unknowingly in your dreams, or considering it as something else in fun, or even for somebody else.
O Krishna, Krishna, Mukunda,Janardana, Krishna, Govinda, Narayana, O Hari, O Achyuthananda Govinda Madhava Sachchidananda Narayana O Hari!
Let one be in any place, if he utter this with his tongue, or if not,hear this with his ear one time in any day, his life has become fruitful and he will get salvation. This is mentioned by the teacher Shridharaacharya(a character in Hindu mythology), Badarayana(Vyasa, author of Mahabharata), Geetha(The holy bhagavat Gita) and the Vedas.
Chant happily His names to join happily in Brahma. This is required only if you have will for it. This is the greatness of His name. O Lord! Though this is wrong or not wrong, please express yourself! Please express yourself! Krishna! O Lord! Krishna!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana !
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!
Victory to Narayana!..................................

Monday, November 10, 2008

The 'balidaan'

With lot of expectations, we reached the new place 2 days prior to Dusshera. We were invited for the party on the same day with the guests, as a part of the ‘Kaal ratri’ celebration. I was there at the gate on the very first day, to welcome the guests. There were totally 4 ladies including me, hosting the occasion.
While standing there , the senior most among the hosts told me..”I hope your husband might have told you about it…you have to cut a goat tomorrow on the ‘balidaan’ rite. The newly arrived lady is supposed to do it…you are ok with that right?we all had done it”
That caused a thunder in my heart. I don’t know whether they sensed it or not. The other lady’s words reinforced it and I was not able to breathe thinking of my fate. Deep in mind I had a doubt that they might be pulling my legs..but we can not say..these ladies seem to be quite serious in their words..
I told them..” I am a vegetarian and has got some brahmin origin also from my maternal grandpa’s side..I cant even think bout causing a harm to anyone or anything..”
But they were not moved by this, but repeated..”We all have done that..you too have to do it..”
I started looking for my husband who was busy with receiving guests and talking to them. I wanted to reach him so badly and complain about these ladies..At the same time I had to smile at everyone, being a host. I was worried, but acted as if I am cool. Seeing me looking around, the senior lady asked me..”what happened? “ that question made me a bit happy as it sounded as if those ladies are closely watching for any change of mood in me, as an impoact of their joke. I tried to believe that it is a joke. But still a ray of doubt remained. Each moment it started growing and I started thinking of how to escape from this hazzle.
The programs for the day started and we sat there behind the guests, watching the cultural programmes..I could not enjoy any of those as I was tensed of the next days fate in store for me…
I prayed for a fever..I prayed for some disease so as to escape from the next day’s programme. During the break, the junior lady told me..”I was worried how can I cut the goat. Now that you arrived after me, I am saved. Being a vegetarian, I cant even imagine doing it myself”..
This strengthened my doubt and I was disturbed very much. I told them” In case I have to do that, I will show my head instead.Let someone take my life instead of that poor animal”. They smiled.
From that moment onwards, I started offering many things to my favourite deities , to save me from this difficulty...and each moment I assured them that I wil do it as soon as I visit Kerala next time..:)
The party got over by dawn and before leaving for our room, the senior officer’s lady enforced “Durga has to do it tomorrow”..The officer added.”She wil not sleep tonight…”..
My husband told laughing” She can not do it..She cant even harm an ant. ..then I will have to do it..”
I got some relief from his words…
The next day morning….we reached the balidan venue…all were assembled..I was worried how to avoid a scene in front of the guests..I prayed the goddess again..Suddenly the goat was brought for the ‘balidaan’ and one person was ready with the weapon. Then I understood that al these were their tricks…One lady told me smiling..”sorry yaar ..that was a joke from our side..we were pulling your legs..hope u are not feeling bad about it..Afterall do u think any woman can do it..some are even vegetarians…”
Then a deep sigh came from me which I tried to hide but was quite visible to all.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

“Kal memsaab ne sabko daraa diyaa..”

We reached our guestroom back , after his duty for one week in a distant city. Have to be here for one more week, before shifting to the accommodation. As we were removing our shoes, my husband got an immediate order to go for 5 days to a remote village in a different state.I was furious inside towards this order, but could not show to anyone except my husband. In no time he was ready and left for the duty, leaving me alone in this guestroom, in this new place.

It is secured inside the cantonment. Still the thought of being alone here for 5 days started disturbing me. I wanted to talk to my mothers(mom and mother in-law). Of course we should not trouble our parents, but when I feel helpless, I always looked for a my mothers’ lap.

I went for my evening walk, like an award movie. Came back to see the guestroom in darkness. The officer in the downstairs has also gone for the duty…The thought that nobody is there in that building put a spark of fear in me.I Put the lights on,took bath, had my prayers and started reading a book thereafter .

The orderly came with his pressed uniform . After asking him to bring the dinner around 9 pm, I continued my reading . As soon as he left I went asleep owing to the previous night's journey.

The Sahayak came with dinner by 9 pm. As the calling bell is not working, he statrted calling me.I had gone to a good sleep and did not hear him. He got frightened and informed the people in the mess..”memsaab ko kuch ho gaya hogaaa”(something has happened to her)...

What they could do was informing another officer. The officer rushed to our guestroom along with his wife who is again an officer. They both and our sahayak started calling me…Still no response…The officer also smelled some danger and he came to our balcony through the windows and started calling me from there!!

At last, hearing some sounds I woke up….I opened the door and gave a blank look at these three, little disturbed of my broken sleep.It took some minutes for me to undertsand the situation…

I begged their pardon and thanked them for their help. It took some time for sahayak to get relaxed, thinking of what would have been the consequences if something had happened to me and had my husband known about it…
They left soon as it was past 10 pm by then..the drama took around one hour to the curtains!
The next day morning, when he came to take the plates, sahayak was telling “kal memsaab ne sabko daraa diyaaa”..I could read the a past fear from that face.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

From the plains to mountains

We left for his unit location very early, the next day morning. As we were out of the plains, the journey became very difficult, but we were happy to have a skillful driver. Thick forest started appearing on the sides..We could feel the change of climate as we reached the mountains. It was incredibly cold. We could see waterfalls on the sides...

took some snaps on the way and by the afternoon, we reached Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. we were feeling extremely hungry as it was quarter to 3 in teh afternoon. Could not find any restaurants there..The only available ones were Nepali ones... We decided to try a nepali dish for the lunch. The restaurant was in the first floor of an old building..It was too small a room with 4 or 5 tables in it. The walls had pictures of dragons, and the room was furnished in Nepali style, using the colour Red generously everywhere. Chinky waiter took the menu from us and it took a lot of time to serve food. At last my 'thuppa'(noodles cooked with lot of leaves and tomatoes) and his noodles arrived hot. It was yummy indeed.
We came out of the restaurant and started searching for our driver. He came running and took us to the historical War Cemetery there.

It was a monument built for the martyrs of the second worldwar.he was attracted by the names and regiments of themartyrs whereas i was behind the beautiful garden out there...They are maintaining it quite well, with entry prohibited in many areas.We could see the entire city from the top of the hill. After spending one hour there, we resumed our journey.We were out of the city within a quarter of an hour.We could see lush green around, with the smell of the plants dominating in the atmosphere. It was as if we wre entering a forest.There were trees , trees and only trees around........Then started appearing vegetable sellers on the roadside.
Bananas and Pineapples were the only fruits available there.On the vegetable side, I could see none other than some strange leaves, squash and ginger.Contrary to what I have seen in the other places, ladies were doing the business.they were in their traditional wrap-around and shawl, looking quite ugly after the day's work.we got some pine apples and bananas from a lady and boarded the vehicle again. We passed many villages after that.The entrance to each village is marked by an arch with the name of the village entitled.By 5.30 pm, it was completely dark..We reached our guestroom around 6.30 PM, and had the pine apple pieces brought from the mess to freshen ourselves up..I could feel a difference in the taste of water. We had boiled water as I was new to the spring water.I never believe 100% in any filtration technique...How long will we have to be here in this forest?!

Journey to Nagaland

I was little worried saying adieu to my hometown, yet the thought of joining my husband helped to keep my spirits in tact. Yes! I am going to the ''Seven Sisters'' to meet him. And I was travelling with my dad after a long time.That gave me a kinda security and pleasure.It was half past nine when we reached Mumbai. My dad was happy to take me to his quarters. I became a child again.It is difficult for parents at times to consider their children as grown ups. My dad, being the eldest brother of 3 sisters can play the role of a home maker better than my mom! I felt little guilty as I was drinking the milk boiled by him. Bread and milk was quite enough for the dinner. We went to sleep soon as my flight was early morning next day. Dad's alarm woke me up. We got ready in no time. Though it was difficult to get one auto in to the defence area early morning, dad managed to get one. We reached the airport 2 hours before the flight's departure time. I started feeling bad leaving my Dad alone. My mindset that time was the same as a child whose Dad has come to drop her at the nursery school for the first day... After check-in, I came back to my Dad twice to see him again and again. At last one among the cabin crew had to remind me of the flight time. I reached Guwahati through Kolkata , after 6 hours. The food served was really expensive and I had limited my lunch in to some raisins carried from home and mineral water. Was feeling really hungry. At last I found my cousin n his wife waiting for me with their car, outside the airport. I felt bad as I knew they were waiting for me to have the lunch together-being doctors in Army, they were real busy ones. I was seeing teh Guwahati city for teh first time...quite deserted roads..not that attractive..Bhabiji told"there is a Vishnu Mandir near by. if possible we will make a visit this evening..." We reached the officer's mess and had our lunch.it was 3.30 PM! They took me to my accommodation in the mess, as they themselves were staying near to mess waiting for their accommodation.Guwahati was dampened yet hot that time. My cousin who is elder to me by around 10 years frightened me saying.."beware of snakes...thisis north east!" ...as soon as they left for their accommodation, I was all alone there...and fear started crawling within...As I always do, I made a check in the bed, pillows, bathroom, buckets, cupboards, drawers etc and made sure everything is safe. I was not sure when can my husband come down to Guwahati to pick me. It all depends on the availability of his casual leave.How can I live alone in this room alone?!! Evening my brother came to pick me up to their accommodation on his way back from the hospital. Bhabiji(brother's wife) was ready with tea. we chatted for some time. My brother copied some classic/cartoon english movies for me to a CD. Bhabiji want to go to the hospital for the evening rounds. She took me also behind her on her scooter. I was introduced to some officers(her patients) and we came back after half an hour. Brother was too busy in finishing a document. And despite their busy schedule, they planned to take me out for dinner. I enjoyed travelling in the car during night. the climate was quite pleasant with a breeze. We got inside a Chinese restaurant. I was not able to understand the names of even the soups in the menu..I gave a bewildered look towards my brother.Seeing this, bhabiji pointed to one item and told "lets be on the safer side..am sure this is a pure veg item.."..Three of us being vegetarians, it was better to on the safer side. I enjoyed the company of my cousins. we reached back and to my great relief, my bhabiji decided to sleep with me. The thought of sleeping alone in that strange place has been troubling me, still I was trying to be bold. But only a lady can understand another lady.:) I was too happy..at the same time I felt it quite bad as I am detaching his wife from my brother for a coupla days..they must be more matured than me.. Myself and bhabiji chatted for long and slept. She left early morning for PT. By the time they reached mess dressed up in olive for the day, I too was ready for the breakfast. My brother advised me not to get panic when you are new to your unit mess, to be relaxed and not to worry about the any mistakes in following the etiquette. But as the etiquette is almost the same as that we learnt in corporate training, I didnt feel anything new. Afterall, I had visited my husband last year soon after our marriage. I was pretty relaxed. Sending them off to hospital, I returned to room and started listening to the music, watching a movie etc. After two days, my husband got leave and came down to pick me from there. He was happy to handover a packet of sweets, a token of love to my cousins and was feeling very grateful towards them for their help. We left our accommodation the next day early morning, in a bus towards the railway station. The train is in the afternoon. We decided to take rest near the railway station. We boarded the train to Dimapur by the afternoon. Going to north east is like going out of India to me.The entirely different culture, people, habitat.. Assam, being planes is quite similar to West Bengal and is having more of Indian culture. As we go towards Nagaland and Mizoram, the mountain people and their chinky look will make you feel that you have reached outside India. Our train compartment was full of chinky people, except one Malayali jawan family. We reached Dimpaur by 8 PM. Jawans were waiting there to receive us. We reached the officers accommodation near to the railway station, in the army vehicle. We had to start early morning next day, towards the mountains..Yes,his unit is located in a very remote area in Nagaland.