Archive for July, 2014

July 23, 2014

HD Video of Sringeri Rajagopuram Kumbhabhisheka June 8, 2014.

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji performed the Kumbhabhisheka of the Rajagopuram and consecrated Sri Torana Ganapati at the newly erected granite temple on June 8, 2014.

A video documenting this historic event is now online. It is a high definition (HD) video, so if you have a high speed internet connection, please turn on the HD option in YouTube (it is usually low resolution by default).


Hari Ramasubbu

July 20, 2014

Symbolism hidden in the story of Samudra manthan.

In Hinduism, Samudra manthan or Churning of the Ocean of Milk is a puranic story when the ocean was churned by Devas(people of good virtue) and Asuras (people of bad virtues) in order to bring back Devi Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. It appears in the Bhagavata Purana, the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana.

Its a pity that while Thailand remembers its ancient heritage by building a replica of Samudra manthan at Bankok airport , Indian airports are built with election symbols at airports and no trace of ancient Indian heritage or culture.



Symbolism hidden in the story of Samudra manthan.
The story represents the spiritual endeavor of man for gaining immortality through concentration of mind, withdrawal of senses, control of desires and practice of austerities and asceticism.

The Gods represent the pleasure principle in ourselves. The demons represent the pain principle. The gods also represent the senses, while the demons the evil and negative thoughts and impulses. The participation of both the devas and the demons signify the fact that when one is seeking immortality through the spiritual practice one has to integrate and harmonize both the positive and negative aspects of ones personality and put both the energies for the common goal.

The ocean of milk is the mind or the human consciousness. The mind is always compared to an ocean (mano sagaram) while the thoughts and emotions to the waves. The mind as an ocean is in fact a universal symbol, known to other religions and cultures also.

Mandhara, the mountain stands for concentration. The word “mandhara” contains two words “man” (mind) and “dhara” ( a single line) which means holding the mind in one line. This is possible only during mental concentration

The mountain mandhara was upheld by Lord Vishnu as a Tortoise. The tortoise here stands for the withdrawal of the senses into one self as one practices mental concentration and meditation or contemplation. It also suggests that the mind should rest itself upon or freely surrender itself to the divine will.

The great serpent Vasuki stands for desire. The desire is always compared to a thousand hooded serpent. The Vasuki used in the churning of the ocean denotes that the devas and the demons held desire (to seek immortality) as a rope and churned the mind with the help of concentration and withdrawal of the senses. You can hold desire in your hands and manipulate it only when you have control over your desires. So control of desire is suggested through this symbolism.

The halahal represents suffering and pain we undergo at the beginning of spiritual sadhana. When the mind is subjected to intense churning by opposing forces, the first thing that comes out of the process is intense suffering and great inner turmoil. We are told by many that when an initiate starts his spiritual sadhana he faces a number of difficulties. The problems become intensified because of inner conflicts, where one part yearns to pursue the spiritual path while the other opposes it.

In the initial stages of sadhana a seeker’s mind throws out all kinds of reactions, negative thoughts, desires and impulses out into open so that he can deal with them appropriately. These problems are basically physical suffering and mental suffering without resolving which further progress is not possible. In short we can say that halahal is the instability of the body and the mind that arise as a counter reaction against ones spiritual practice.

Lord Shiva represents the ascetic principle. He is the destroyer of illusion, one who is innerly detached, pure and austere. His role in this story as the consumer of poison suggests that one can deal with the early problems of spiritual life, such as the instability of the mind and its restlessness, by cultivating the qualities of Lord Shiva, namely, courage, initiative, willingness, discipline, simplicity, austerity, detachment compassion, pure love and asceticism.

Alternatively it also means gaining control over the mind through breath control. Lord Shiva is controller of breath. He is prananath, or praneshwar, Lord of the Breath. In spiritual sadhana, it is essential that one gains complete mastery over ones breathing pattern. Many spiritually advanced souls have the capacity to hold their breath in their throat, near the palate, as they meditate.

The various objects that came out of the ocean during the churning stand for the psychic or spiritual powers (siddhis) which one gains as he progresses spiritually from stage to stage. These siddhis are spiritual powes which come to a seeker as he progresses on the spiritual path. We are told that a seeker is to be careful about these powers as they can hamper his progress unless he uses them judiciously, not for his selfish gains but for others’ welfare. This is the reason why the gods and demons distributed these powers among others without keeping anything for themselves as they did not want to lose sight of their original aim which was to gain immortality.

Dhanvantarari stands for health. The vessel containing the amrit was brought before the gods and the demons by Dhanvantari, the divine physician. This signifies that immortality can be achieved only when the body and the mind are in a perfect state of health. Spiritual success is not possible in case of a person who is mentally or physically sick or whose gross body is not fit for receiving divine illumination.

Lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini stands for delusion of the mind in the form of pride. It is the pride of achievement to which the asuras or the demons succumbed and thus lost their right to enter into the world of immortality. Pride and egoism are the last hurdles one has to overcome in spiritual life before experiencing self-realization.

This is in brief the symbolism hidden in the story of Sagar manthan.


July 8, 2014

Beautiful rendition of Adi Shankara’s Devi Nava Ratna Malika Stotram

The Devi Navaratnamalika stotram (the garland with nine gems), composed by Sri Adi Sankaracharya in the Bhujanga-prayata (or Snake metre) which has an undulating pattern, just like a snake’s movement. It is composed in praise of the all-enchanting beauty and gracefulness of the Great Goddess who is the cause of this Universe.

Beautiful rendition of Adi Shankara’s Devi Nava Ratna Malika Stotram by Keerthana and Kriti Bhat; : This rendering is set as a beautiful ragamailka.

The ragas used are Hamir Kalyani, Hindolam, Naatakuranji, Shanmukhapriya, Saama, Mohanam, Anandabhairavi, Kaapi, Sindhubhairavi for the nine stanzas, and Sri Raagam for the phalastuti

6 mins Video –

Audio file :

Sanskrit Text :

हार नूपुर किरीट कुण्डल विभूषितावयव शोभिनीम्
कारणेश वर मौलिकोटि परिकल्प्यमान पदपीठिकाम्
काल काल फणिपाश बाण धनुरङ्कुशाम् अरुण मेखलाम्
फाल भूतिलक लोचनाम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

गन्धसार घनसार चारु नवनागवल्लि रस वासिनीम्
सान्ध्यराग मधुराधराभरण सुन्दरानन शुचिस्मिताम्
मन्धरायत विलोचनम् अमल बालचन्द्र कृतशेखारीम्
इन्दिरारमण सोदरीम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

स्मेरचारु मुखमण्डलाम् विमल गण्डलम्बि मणिमण्डलाम्
हारदाम परिशोभमान कुचभारभीरुतनु मध्यमाम्
वीरगर्वहरनूपुराम् विविध कारणेश वरपीठिकाम्
मारवैरि सहचारिणीम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

भूरिभार धरकुण्डलीन्द्र मणिबद्ध भुवलयपीठिकाम्
वारिराशिमणिमेखलावलय वह्निमण्डलि शरीरिणीम्
वारिसारवहकुण्डलाम् गगनशेखारीम् च परमात्मिकाम्
चारुचन्द्ररविलोचनाम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

कुण्डल त्रिविधकोण मण्डल विहार षड्दल समुल्लसत्
पुण्डरीक मुखभेदिनीम् च प्रचण्डभानु तडितोज्ज्वलाम्
मण्डलेन्दु परिवाहितामृत तरङ्गिणीम् अरुणरूपिणीम्
मण्डलान्त मणिदीपिकाम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

वारणानन मयूरवाहमुख दाहवारण पयोधराम्
चारणादि सुरसुन्दरी चिकुरशेकरीकृत पदाम्बुजाम्
कारणादि पतिपञ्चक प्रकृति कारण प्रथममातृकाम्
वारणान्त मुखपारणाम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

पद्मकान्ति पदपाणिपल्लव पयोधरानन सरोरुहाम्
पद्मराग मणिमेखला वलयनीवीशोभित नितम्बिनीम्
पद्मसम्भव सदाशिवान्तमय पञ्चरत्न पदपीठिकाम्
पद्मिनीम् प्रणवरूपिणीम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

आगम प्रणवपीठिकाम् अमल वर्णमङ्गळ शारीरिणीम्
आगमावयव शोभिनीम् अखिल वेदसारकृतशेखरीम्
मूलमन्त्र मुखमण्डलाम् मुदित नादबिन्दु नवयौवनाम्
मातृकाम् त्रिपुरसुन्दरीम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्

कालिका तिमिर कुन्तलान्त घन भृङ्ग मङ्गळ विराजिनीम्
चूलिका शिखर मालिका वलय मल्लिका सुरभि सौरभाम्
फालिका मधुर गण्डमण्डल मनोरहानन सरोरुहाम्
कालिकाम् अखिलनायिकाम् मनसि भावयामि परदेवताम्


नित्यमेव नियमेन जल्पिताम्
भक्ति मुक्ति फलदामभीष्टिदाम्
शंकरेण रचितां सदा जपे
नामरत्न नवरत्नमालिकाम्

इति श्रीमत्परमहंस परिव्रजकाचार्यस्य
श्री गोविन्दभगवत्पूज्यपाद शिष्यस्य
श्रीमत्शंकरभगवतः कृतौ नवरत्न मालिका संपूर्णम्


Transliteration :

Haara noopura kireeta kundala vibhooshithaavayava shobhineem
kaaranesha vara maulikoti parikalpyamaana padapeethikaam
kaala kaala phanipaasha baana dhanurankushaa maruna mekhalaam
phaala bhoo tilaka lochanaam manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Gandhasaara ghanasaara chaaru nava naagavalli rasavaasineem
saandhya raaga madhuraadharaa bharana sundaraanana shuchismitaam
mandharaayata vilochanaa mamalabaala chandrakruta shekhareem
indiraa ramana sodareem manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Smera chaarumukha mandalaam vimala gandalambimani mandalaam
haaradaama pari shobhamaana kuchabhaara bheerutanumadhyamaam
veera garvahara noopuraam vividhakaaranesha vara peethikaam
maara vairi sahachaarineem manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Bhooribhaara dharakundaleendra manibaddha bhoovalaya peethikaam
vaariraashi manimekhalaa valaya vahni mandala shareerineem
vaari saaravaha kundalaam gagana shekhareem cha paramaatmikaam
chaaruchandra ravilochanaam manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Kundala trividhakona mandala vihaara shaddalasamullasat
pundareeka mukhabhedineem cha prachandabhaanu taditojjvalaam
mandalendu parivaahitaamruta taranginee maruna roopineem
mandalaanta manideepikaam manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Vaaranaanana mayooravaahamukha daahavaarana payodharaam
chaaranaadi surasundaree chikura shekareekruta padaambujaam
kaaranaadhipati panchaka prakruti kaarana prathama maatrukaam
vaaranaanta mukhapaaranaam manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Padma kaanti padapaanipallava payodharaanana saroruhaam
padmaraaga manimekhalaa valayaneevishobhita nitambineem
padmasambhava sadaa shivaantamaya pancharatna padapeethikaam
padmineem pranava roopineem manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Aagama pranavapeethikaa mamala varna mangala shareerineem
aagamaavayava shobhinee makhilaveda saarakruta shekhareem
moolamantra mukha mandalaam muditanaada bindu nava yauvanaam
maatrukaam tripurasundareem manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam

Kaalikaa timira kuntalaanta ghana bhrunga mangala viraajineem
choolikaa shikhara maalikaa valaya mallikaa surabhi saurabhaam
phaalikaa madhura gandamandala manoharaanana saroruhaam
kaalikaa makhila naayikaam manasi bhaavayaami paradevataam


Nityameva niyamena jalpataam bhukti mukti phaladaamabheeshtadaam
shankarena rachitaam sadaa japet naamaratna navaratna maalikaam

Meaning :

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, whose body shines, due to her wearing a garland, anklets and ear globes, Whose feet are bowed with the crowns of Indra, Brahma and millions of the like, And who holds a cobra, a rope, arrow and bow and a goad in her hands and wears a girdle studded with rubies, And whose hair is adorned with the moon and the sun.

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, who has the sweet smell of the scented areca nut, camphor along with the juices of tender betel leaves, Who is as sweet as the song of dusk, who has a pretty face which wears a sweet smile as a great ornament, Who has eyes which are circled by bees, Who wears the faultless moon on her head, And is the sister of Vishnu, the husband of Lakshmi (also called as Indira).

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, who has a very smiling face, who has a very clear shining cheeks, who shines by ornaments and necklaces she wears, Who has a chest which suffers due to her very heavy breasts, Whose anklets appear as if they would destroy the pride of heroes, Who sits on a platform whose legs are various gods, and who is the companion of the One (Lord Shiva) who is enemy to Maara (the God of Love, also known as Kamadeva or Manmadha).

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, whose seat appears as if it is the earth itself which is supported by Adhi Sesha wearing his gem stone, who wears a waist band made of special gems, who has a body which appears to be a sphere of fire, Who wears ear studs which appears to contain all the oceans within, Who is the divine soul touching the sky, And who has pretty eyes which are but the moon and the sun.

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, Who shines in the six petals surrounding the triangle in the middle of the Sri Chakra, Who has such a pretty face that the lotus bends her head in shame, Whose radiance is similar to that of the Sun and the lightning, Who is similar to the cool waves which emanate out of moon,
Who is red in colour and who is like the (guiding) light surrounding all the worlds.

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, who quenches the thirst of the God with the elephant face (Ganesha) and one who rides the peacock (Kaarthika) by her breast milk, Who has lotus like feet touched by the hairs of the saluting pretty heavenly maidens, Who is the cause of the power of the five gods including Brahma , Vishnu , Rudra, Easwara and Sadashiva, Who is the primeval mother, And who brings joy to the face of Lord Ganesha.

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, Who has tender legs and arms, which are as charming as a lotus and are of hue of a fresh lotus bud floating in water, Who wears a hip belt made of rubies which shine along with her attire, Who sits on the throne with five legs representing the five Gods Brahma , Vishnu , Rudra, Easwara and Sadashiva, Who is sacred and Who is a form of “ॐ”.

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, who has Vedas and the sacred ॐ as her seat, Who is the very pure form which does good to every one, Who shines with her body which is itself is the Vedas, Whose form is the essence of the Vedas, Whose face itself is the basic chant (known as Sri Vidya), Who has the youthful form of the mixture of The sound (ॐ) and The point (Sri Chakra), Who is mother of all and is the prettiest of the three worlds.

I pray with my mind the divine Goddess, who has the hair over her forehead which has a colour of black cloud and is similar to the row of bees sitting, Who has bands made of flowers like the sweet scented jasmine adorning the top of her hair, Who has shining red cheeks similar to the petals of lotus flowers, And who is the Goddess of the three worlds named as “Kali”.

Those who chant this garland of nine gems, composed by Sankara, would their life in this world and would attain salvation, and all their wishes would be fulfilled.