Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

October 10, 2017

Upanishad Ganga – Complete 52 episodes- Chandraprakash Dwivedi – DD National

Ram Ram

Upanishad Ganga is a 2012 Indian TV series beautifully done by Chinmaya Mission and ChandraprakAsh Dwievedi( who did Chanakya in DD in the 90s).

Each episode is 30 minutes. Every episode talks about the key aspects that are taught in the Upanishads and in our heritage in general. A must watch for people who know Hindi.

You can see Upanishad Ganga videos in youtube but they are only small clips. This archive link has complete 30 minutes of all episodes.



Ram Ram

July 17, 2017

Amritha Varshini – 42nd Issue

Download link


We are glad to release the 42nd issue of our E-Magazine Amritha Varshini today on the auspicious commencement of Dakshinayana Punya Kaalam.

Kindly read and share your valuable feedback.

Humble Pranams

Anand Vasudevan
Dharumamigu Chennai
17th July 2017

June 27, 2017

Amritha Varshini – 41st Issue

Ram Ram

Please find the link to Amritha Varshini 41st Issue from Shri Anand Vasudevan.

April 9, 2017

Hevilambi 2017-2018 Calendar from Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam

जय जय शंकर हर हर शंकर

Here is the calendar from Kanchi Srimatam for this year.

April 8, 2017

Sampradaya Bhajan – Book – PDF – In Tamil

What is Sampradaya Bhajana or Dakhshina Bharatha Sampradaya Bhajana? It is the tradition of Bhajans in India and as the name suggests particularly in South India. It’s the collection of Kirtanas and Namavalis in specific order. Mainly the order has been evolved by Sri Marudhanallur Sadguru Swamigal, Sri Pudukottai Gopala Krishna Bhagavathar.

The trinity of gurus as far as Sampradaya Bhajans are considered 1. Bodhendra Swamigal 2. Sridhara Ayyaval 3. Marudhanallur Sadguru Swamigal. The sampradaya bhajana paddhati has mainly evolved due to the tradition and efforts of Marudhanallur Sadguru Swamigal.

The bhajans are typically rendered in the following order:

  1. Dhyana Slokam
  2. Sangraha Thodaya Mangalam (Thotakam – Beginning with a praise, Mangalam – End)Thodaya Mangalam is different from Thotaka Ashtakam of ADI SANKARA
  3. Guru Dhyanam
  4. Guru Abhangs
  5. Sadhu Keertanas (hymns on Sadhus and sants. It can be abhangs also)
  6. Jayadeva Ashtapadi
  7. Narayana Teertha Krishna leela Tharangini

Here is a book in tamil that has has most of the krithis that is sung during a pracheena sampradaya bhajan.

Download/View this book —

April 7, 2017

Ebook #2 – Important Daily Rituals – Kanchi Periyava Forum

Ebook #2 – Important Daily Rituals – Kanchi Periyava Forum

Link to download and read the book —

April 7, 2017

Pooja Sangraham – Pooja steps in Samskrtam and Tamil. – Kanchi Kamakoti Matam Publication.

Pooja Sangraham book contains panchAyathana pooja, Guru pooja and many special festival poojas from South Indian tradition.

This book is published by Pratyaksha Trust (Guidance of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Matam)

Download/View Link

If you are using this book, do consider donating to Prathyaksha Trust at

March 30, 2017

Ebook #1 -Essense of Hindu Tradition & Culture – From Kanchi Periyava Forum

Ebook #1 -Essense of Hindu Tradition & Culture – From Kanchi Periyava Forum


Link to download and read the book —

March 23, 2017

39th Issue of Amrithavarshini

Ram Ram

Please find the link to Amritha Varshini 39th Issue from Shri Anand Vasudevan.



Ram Ram

March 7, 2017

Amritha Varshini – 38th Issue

Download/Read Amritha Varshini 38th issue.


By the divine grace of Guru and God we are glad to release the 38th issue of Amritha Varshini today on the auspicious occasion of Shivaratri.

May the Lord shower his blessings on all.

Kindly read and share your valuable feedback.

Humble Pranams

Anand Vasudevan
Dharumamigu Chennai
Shivaratri, 24th Feb 2017

October 6, 2016

Upanyasams – Pithru Poojanam–Mahalayam–Navarathri-Vidhyarambam


Important and not to be missed upanyasams in tamizh and some in telugu. There are so many upanyasams on many topics related to our culture.
It will take a life time to listen to these upanyasams and adhere to them.

Pithru Poojanam–Mahalayam–Navarathri-Vidhyarambam by VadakudiBrahmmasri T.SundararamaDikshidar

தற்காலம் நேர்ந்திருக்கும் கஷ்டங்களுக்கு எல்லாம் கர்மானுஷ்டானங்களே மருந்து

ஸ்ரீ காஞ்சி காமகோடி பீடாதிபதி ஜகத்குரு ஸ்ரீ சங்கராசார்ய ஸ்வாமிகள் அவர்களின் ஆக்ஞைப்படி “வேத தர்மசாஸ்த்ர பரிபாலன ஸபை” என்ற பெயருடன் இந்த ஸபை 1942 வருஷம் செப்டம்பர் மாதம் 11 (s No.1 of 1942-43 ஆக) பதிவு செய்யப்பட்டது.

As per instructions of Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peethadhipathi Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya Swamigal, “VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA” has been registered on 11th September 1942 (S.No. 1 of 1942-43).

Objectives of this Sabha:
1. Primarily encouraging and developing Niyama Adhyayana (Study as per rules) of Vedas while staying in Gurukulam.

2. Developing knowledge of Vedas and Dharma Sastras.
3. Teaching in traditional manner and spreading of Vedas and Dharma Sastras.
4. Collecting funds from brahmanas for looking after brahmana upadhyayas (traditional teachers) and brahmana students of Vedas, Veda Bhashyas (commentaries on Vedas), Grihyasutras and Dharma Sastras; giving honoraria to students who pass the examinations and Guru dakshina to upadhyayas.

ஸபையின் நோக்கங்கள்.
இந்த ஸபையின் நோக்கங்கள் :

  1. முக்கியமாக குருகுல வாஸமுறையில் வேதங்களில் நியம அத்யயனத்தை ஆதரித்து, வ்ருத்தி செய்வது.
  2. வேதங்கள், தர்மசாஸ்த்ரங்கள் இவைகளில் ஞானத்தை வ்ருத்தி செய்வது.
  3. வேதங்களையும், தர்ம சாஸ்த்ரங்களையும் சாஸ்த்ரீக முறையில் கற்பிக்கவும், பரவவும் செய்வது.
  4. வேதங்கள், வேதபாஷ்யங்கள், க்ருஹ்யஸூத்ரங்கள், தர்ம சாஸ்த்ரங்கள் இவைகளை கற்பிக்கும் ப்ராஹ்மண உபாத்யாயர்களையும், கற்கும் ப்ராஹ்மண மாணவர்களையும் ஆதரிக்க நிதியை ப்ராஹ்மணர்களிடமிருந்தே பெற்றுக்கொண்டு அந்த மாணவர்களுக்கு அவ்வப்பொழுது பரீக்ஷைகளில் தேறினவர்களுக்கு ஸம்பாவனைகளும், உபாத்யாயர்களுக்கு குருதக்ஷிணைகளும் கொடுப்பது.


Hari Ramasubbu

August 16, 2016

Meaning of AvaniAvittam MahaSankalpam Audio (Tamil)

Meaning of AvaniAvittam MahaSankalpam mp3 file .

Above is Maha Sankalpam for Yajur Veda Upakarmaa – from SrisrisriMusiri Maamaa’s son Vajpeyayaaji Shrimaan Yegnappa of MUSIRI.

ஹர ஹர சங்கர ஜெய ஜெய சங்கர| ஹர ஹர சங்கர காமகோடி சங்கர|

Credits : Vajpeyayaaji Shrimaan Yegnappa of MUSIRI and Ganesh Raghu , Houston.

^^^^^^^^^ One more article ^^^^^^^^^

Why is a day allotted separately as ‘Gayatri Japa’ ?

“When we chant Gayatri as part of Sandhyavandanam every day, why is a day allotted separately as ‘Gayatri Japa’ day for chanting it again?” A valid doubt.

A question I was asked once about the chanting of Gayatri come to my mind. “When we chant Gayatri as part of Sandhyavandanam every day, why is a day allotted separately as ‘Gayatri Japa’ day for chanting it again?” A valid doubt.

But the question was followed by an admission which became the answer to the question itself! “Of course we look forward to this day every year and perform the japa with great enthusiasm and much devotion, and when I was a brahmachari I used to do the Gayatri homa as well with great care”. So what makes this day so special? What gives us that inexplicable joy when we do Gayatri Japa?

Generally the Gayatri Japa day comes the day after ‘Sravana Pournami’. It is the same day for all the Veda branches, though the day of Avani Avittam is different for different Vedas. On this day, ‘Sahasra Gayatri japa’ i.e. chanting of Gayatri 1,008 times has to be performed without fail. The sankalpa that precedes Gayatri Japa, which comprises Mityaadeeta praayaschitta, Apadaneeya dosha praayaschitta and Samvatsara praayaschitta gives you an idea of the importance given to the Sahasra Gayatri Japa.

Mityaadeeta praayaschitta is considered the most significant among these, and seeks forgiveness for our omissions, errors, mispronunciations and tonal lapses in the chanting of mantras on different occasions during the entire year. With this praayaschitta the Brahmacharis also seek pardon for other transgressions if any from the Brahmacharya vrat.

This is what you do when you chant “Mityaadeeta praayaschittaartham sahasra Gayatri maha mantra japam karishyae” during the sankalpam on this ‘Gayatri Japam’ Day.

If we go strictly by the rule, all of us – not only Brahmacharis but even grhasthas – are supposed to do Gayatri homa, with 1,008 samit’s offered to the Agni at the rate of one samit per chant. Over time the custom has changed and the current practice is that homa is done by Brahmacharis only.

One is not supposed to eat till the Japa is completed. After completing the Japa, doing the Madhyahnikam and Brahma Yagna, one can partake of lunch.

It can be averred with authority that if everyone required to do Gayatri japa does it diligently with pavitra on their finger and chant the mantra as it should be done i.e. in five distinct sections within the mind and without moving the lips and tongue, the benefit to the person as well as to the community at large will be immense.

Let us remember the definition of Gayatri: “gaayantam traayata iti Gayatri” meaning “that which protects the singer, one who chants, is Gayatri”.

The Gayatri Japa comes this year, Manmata varusham, on 30th August. I hope we all use this wonderful opportunity to perform the Gayatri Japa sincerely and pay homage to our Rishis, our Vedas and to Paramatma.

Sarma Sastrigal


Hari Ramasubbu

August 6, 2016


Download :


We are glad to Offer the ​​
36th Issue of Amritha Varshini at the divine lotus feet of Mahaperiyava today on the Auspicious occasion of Ashada Ekadasi coupled with Anusham.

Kindly take your time to read and share your valuable feedback.

Humble Pranams

Anand Vasudevan
Editor – Amritha Varshini

August 5, 2016

Sraavana Purnima – Purpose of Upakarma Read Later

Sraavana Purnima – Purpose of Upakarma

  • by Siva Subramanyan
  • Aug. 5, 2016
  • 2 min read


Sri Chandramoulisvaraya Namah:



Publication No. 24

This is the right name for it; not ‘Aavaniyavattam’. Though this is the right name, it does not convey the right meaning. We should call it ‘Aavani Purnima’; nay, even this is incorrect. We should in fact call it ‘Sraavana Purnima’. Followers of Aapasthambha sutra should perform a karma called ‘Upakarma’ on the day of Purnima in the lunar month of Sraavana, if there are no blemishes on that day. Sraavana Purnima generally is found to occur on the day of Avittam star in the solar month of Aavani. Hence that day is referred to as Aavani Avittam, further twisted in spoken parlance to ‘Aavaniyavattam’.

This same Upakarma should be performed by Rigvedis on the day of Sravana (Tiruvonam) star in the lunar month of Sraavana and by Samavedis on the day of Hastha star in the lunar month of Bhadrapada, which comes next to Sraavana.

What is the purpose of Upakarma?

The purpose of performing any karma will be known if we note the Sankalpa uttered by the Upadhyaya during that karma. When he utters Sankalpa, we should ask him for the meaning of the Sankalpa. Only then he will at least show interest in learning the meaning himself. Rigvedis’ sankalpa is as follows:

“Adhitanam chandasam ayatayamatvaya adhyayana viryavattartham”

Import of this: That which is not ‘yatayamam’ is ‘ayatayamam’. What is ‘yatayamam’? Even in Bhagavadgita, we come across “Yatayamam gatarasam puti paryushitam cha yat”. One yamam means three hours. Food loses its efficacy after three hours after cooking. Based on this, the term ‘yatayamam’ is used to denote objects which have become useless with time. For food it is three hours; similarly various materials have different limiting times upto which they are useful. If these time limits are crossed, their efficacy diminishes. Same with Vedas. After Upanayanam, study of Vedas commences on the first Aavani Avittam day. Utsarjana karma is done in the following Pushya (Thai) month, study of Vedas is halted and in the next six months, as much as possible of the six Vedangas, viz. Siksha, Vyakarana, Chandas, Niruktam, Jyotisham and Kalpasutram is studied. Then in the Sraavana month of the following year, on the day of Upakarma, Upakarma is performed and study of Veda mantras is commenced again. This karma of starting study of Vedas is known as Upakarma. Only if Upakarma is performed in this manner, will the meagre store of Veda mantra with us have power. If not, it will become ‘yatayama’ like the food described in Bhagavadgita.

If at least the Gayatri mantra which is with us is to have power, we must perform the karma of Upakarma without mistakes in mantra and with understanding of meaning. Only because Upakarma is not performed with sincerity, some karmas done these days become useless owing to loss of power of mantras. Hence Upakarma should certainly be performed.

If we are to commence uttering a mantra, it will bear fruit only if we worship the Rishis and Devatas who gave us that mantra at the beginning and receive their blessings. Their power of Tapas (austerity) will accrue to us through that mantra. There are three ways of worshipping them. One is invoking them in an object (kurcha of darbha, purna kumbha, lemon, betelnut fruit or lump of clay) and worshipping them with sixteen specified upacharas. The second method is doing ‘Tarpanam’ with water for those Rishis. The third method, more powerful than the previous two, is to perform ‘Homam’ in Agnimukham for them.

Hence during Aavani Avittam, we should arrange for an additional Upadhyaya to explain to Grihasthas during the progress of Homam the Rishi or Devata for whom oblations are being given in Agni by the main Upadhyaya.

More important action required:

On a Sunday prior to Aavani Avittam Grihasthas should assemble in a place and learn as far as possible from knowledgeable Upadhyayas the Upakarma procedures properly and completely with meaning and intent; on the day of Upakarma, they should observe those procedures without forgetting the meaning.

August 2, 2016

Avani avittam Mantras and Varalakshmi Vratham mantras (2016) – IN Tamil


Yajur upAkarma and Varalakshmi vratam mantras pdf.


Hari Ramasubbu

April 5, 2016



Please find below Amritha Varshini bi-lingual spritual magazine by Sri Anand Vasudevan.


Past IssuesHere is the permanent link to see every magazine that is published until now in downloadable pdf format.



Inline image 1

October 8, 2015

Book : Yoga, Enlightenment and Perefction – Download pdf

Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfection book by Sringeri Jagadguru

H.H. Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal

Download pdf

Acharya unnamed

By way of paying reverential homage to the 35th Acharya of the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji (1917-1989), on the occasion of His Aradhana on October 4, 2015, Sri Vidyatheertha Foundation is pleased bring out and make available to all, free of cost, the digital version of the book titled, ‘Yoga, Enlightenment and Perfectionof H.H. Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamigal’. This book, which contains a detailed account of the Jagadguru’s spiritual practices and His realization of and steadfast establishment in the Supreme, also serves an authoritative exposition of Yoga, Bhakti and Vedanta. It was first published in the year 1999 and reprinted many times thereafter. The present digital edition – with both PDF and EPUB versions to facilitate reading of the book in various devices – may be downloaded free of cost from the website of the Foundation at the following link:

An unmatched authority on the scriptures, a peerless Yogi, a consummate Jivanmukta, an ocean of mercy and perfect preceptor, Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji adorned Shankara Bhagavatpada’s Sringeri Sharada Peetham as its 35th Acharya. He was born on November 13, 1917, and was initiated into Sannyasa on May 22, 1931, by the 34th Acharya, the renowned Jivanmukta, Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji. His Holiness intensely engaged in spiritual practices, which strictly conformed to the scripture, right from the day of His Sannyasa and these culminated in His full realization of and steadfast establishment in the Supreme Brahman on December 12, 1935.

The book Yoga Enlightenment and Perfection contains a short account of the life of the Jagadguru in the words of the reigning, 36th Acharya of Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji. This is followed by a short account in the words of Acharyal – which is how Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamiji has been referred to in the book – about His Guru (Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji). Then, after some relevant information about Acharyal’s pre-Sannyasa days, commences a detailed account of His practice of Hatha Yoga, devotion, Karma Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Nada Anusandhana, contemplation on the Atman, meditation and Samadhi on divine forms, scripture-based reflection on the Truth and Savikalpa Samadhi and Nirvikalpa Samadhi (the acme of Yoga) on the Absolute; and of His thorough elimination of notions of non-Atman, His enlightenment and Jivanmukti. Citations from the scriptures and other authoritative texts as also extracts from the discourses and dialogues of the Jagadguru have been included to provide clarifications and additional information. Jagadguru Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji has approvingly conferred on the work a benedictory foreword (Srimukha).


Hari Ramasubbu

September 21, 2015

மகாளய பட்சம் – விளக்கம்

Mahalaya paksham for all time zones starts on September 28th and ends on 12th october.


மகாளய பட்சம் – விளக்கம் & மகாளய பட்சத்தின் ஒவ்வொரு திதியிலும் தர்ப்பணம் கொடுப்பதன் பலன்கள்

"மகாளயம்’ என்றால் "கூட்டமாக வருதல்’. மறைந்த நம் முன்னோர் மொத்தமாக கூடும் நேரமே மகாளய பட்சம். "பட்சம்’ என்றால் 15 நாட்கள். மறைந்த முன்னோர் 15நாட்கள் (சில சமயங்களில் 16 ஆக மாறுபடும்) நம்மோடு தங்கும் காலமே மகாளய பட்சம்.

இது புரட்டாசி மாத பவுர்ணமிக்கு மறுநாள், பிரதமை திதியில் துவங்கி, அமாவாசை வரை நீடிக்கும். புரட்டாசியில் வரும் அந்த அமாவாசையே மகாளய அமாவாசை எனப்படும். தை அமாவாசை, ஆடி அமாவாசை ஆகியவற்றை விட உயர்ந்தது இது.

மற்ற மாதங்களில் அமாவாசையன்று முன்னோரை நினைத்து தர்ப்பணம் செய்வோம். அவர்கள் மறைந்த தமிழ் மாதத்தில் வரும் திதியில், சிராத்தம் முதலியன செய்வோம். ஆனால், மகாளய பட்ச
காலத்தில் பிரதமை துவங்கி அமாவாசை வரை தினமும் தர்ப்பணம் செய்ய வேண்டும்.

ஒட்டுமொத்த முன்னோரையும் அப்போது நினைவு கூர வேண்டும். தீர்த்தக்கரைகளுக்கு சென்று புனித நீராடி, நம் முன்னோர் ஆத்மசாந்திக்காக பிரார்த்தித்து வர வேண்டும். அந்தணர்களுக்கு ஆடைகள், ஏழைகளுக்கு உணவு, படிக்க சிரமப்படும் மாணவர்களுக்கு கல்வி உதவித்தொகை என தானமளிக்க வேண்டும்.

நமது தேசத்தின் பல நூற்றாண்டுகளுக்கும் முந்தைய வரலாறைக் கூட தெரிந்து வைத்திருக்கும் பலர், தங்கள் மூதாதையரில் மூன்று தலைமுறைகளுக்கு முன்புள்ளவர்கள் பெயரை நினைவில் வைத்திருப்பதில்லை. அந்த பயிற்சியை இந்த காலத்தில் நமது குழந்தைகளுக்கு அளிக்க வேண்டும். தற்போது நினைவில் உள்ள தலைமுறையினர் பெயரை டைரியில் குறிக்கச் சொல்ல வேண்டும். அப்படியானால் தான் எதிர்காலத்தில் தர்ப்பணம், சிராத்தம் குறித்த அறிவு நம்மிடையே நீடித்து நிலைத்திருக்கும்.


மகாளய பட்சத்தின் ஒவ்வொரு திதியிலும் தர்ப்பணம் கொடுப்பதன் பலன்கள் தரப்பட்டுள்ளன.

முதல்நாள் – பிரதமை – பணம் சேரும்

2ம் நாள் – துவிதியை – ஒழுக்கமான குழந்தைகள் பிறத்தல்

3ம் நாள் – திரிதியை – நினைத்தது நிறைவேறுதல்

4ம் நாள் – சதுர்த்தி – பகைவர்களிடமிருந்து தப்பித்தல்

5ம் நாள் – பஞ்சமி – வீடு, நிலம் முதலான சொத்து வாங்குதல்

6ம் நாள் – சஷ்டி – புகழ் கிடைத்தல்

7ம்நாள் – சப்தமி – சிறந்த பதவிகளை அடைதல்

8ம் நாள் – அஷ்டமி – சமயோசித புத்தி, அறிவாற்றல் கிடைத்தல்

9ம்நாள் நவமி – சிறந்த வாழ்க்கைத்துணை, குடும்பத்திற்கேற்ற மருமகள் அமைதல், பேத்தி, புத்திசாலியான பெண் குழந்தைகள் பிறத்தல்.

10ம் நாள் – தசமி – நீண்நாள் ஆசை நிறைவேறுதல்

11ம்நாள் – ஏகாதசி – படிப்பு, விளையாட்டு, கலையில் வளர்ச்சி

12ம் நாள் – துவாதசி – தங்கநகை சேர்தல்

13ம்நாள் – திரயோதசி – பசுக்கள், விவசாய அபிவிருத்தி, தீர்க்காயுள், ஆரோக்கியம், சுதந்திரமான வேலை அல்லது தொழில்

14ம்நாள் – சதுர்த்தசி – பாவம் நீங்குதல், எதிர்கால தலைமுறைக்கு நன்மை.

15ம் நாள் – மகாளய அமாவாசை – முன் சொன்ன அத்தனை பலன்களும் நம்மைச் சேர முன்னோர் ஆசி வழங்குதல்.

எனவே, மகாளய பட்சம் என்னும் அரிய சந்தர்ப்பத்தை நழுவ விடாமல் இருந்தால் லாபம் நமக்கு மட்டுமல்ல! நம் தலைமுறைக்கும் சேர்த்து தான்.


Hari Ramasubbu

July 3, 2015

Ghana Parayanam – ​​Loka Sarasvatya Yanti Ghana Parayanam during 2015 Shankara Jayanti

A melodious and blissful Ghana Parayanam at Sringeri Sharadha Peetam. ​​

Loka Sarasvatya Yanti Ghana Parayanam during 2015 Shankara Jayanti (7 mins)


mp3 :

Rescuing our Vedic Priesthood

Insightful article about 1. Significance of Vedas 2. How Vedas are organized 3. The art & science of Vedic Chanting 4. The plight of today’s Vydicaas in India.

Rescuing our Vedic Priesthood – Dr. S. Yegnasubramanian


I. Our Scriptures The word Veda is derived from the Sanskrit root vid which means “to know”. Since our religion follows the vedic injunctions, it is known as “Vedic Religion”. The word religion implies the meaning of dharma. The texts that give us the complete knowledge of dharma are called dharma- pramANa. They are fourteen in number and are: four Vedas, six VedAngas (the organs of the Vedas), and four UpAngas (secondary organs of the Vedas). 14= 4 Vedas +6 VedAngAs+4 UpAngas = VidyaAstAna These fourteen texts are glorified as vidyAsthAna’s – the abode of true knowledge and wisdom. (See Appendix 1 for a comprehensive list of our scriptures and what they deal with). As codified by Sage Veda Vyasa, all four Vedas put together had 1,131 SakhAs (branches). However, only 10 are available today, and of those, only two are nearly complete! The Vedic literature can be broadly classified into four groups: 1. SamhitA: the mantra portion; 2. BrAhmaNas: the portion dealing with rituals; 3. AraNyakas – the forest texts, and 4.Upanishads – the portion dealing with Vedic philosophy. The principles of Dharma as embodied in our religion are all centered on the Vedas.

2. Glory of the Vedas Apasthambha Sutra describes Vedas as the Pramana: (authority – pramanam vedasca). Manu Smriti hails them as vedokhilo dharma moolam (the root of dharma); Bhagavan Sri Krishna says: vedaisca sarvair-ahameva-vedya: (I am known through the Vedas). The Vedas are Infinite (anantA vai vedA;); They are the very breath of Iswara: (yasya niSvasitam vedA:) They are without beginning: (anAdi) and of non-human origin (apourusheya.) They teach the glories of all creations and the principles of dharma and enshrine true knowledge and wisdom. That is why our scriptures proclaim: vedo nityam adheeyatAm tad uditam karma svanushtIyatAm (practice the Vedas daily; practice well their prescriptions) It is our great fortune that we have inherited such a rich and cherished dhArmic tradition. It should be our foremost duty and goal to preserve such a tradition. Our ancestors led a peaceful and contented life following the path set by the Vedic guidelines. That path withstood the tests of historic times and was smooth to follow without obstacles.

3. The guardians of our scriptures – the Vedic Priests Wayne Howard, in his book “Veda Recitation in Varanasi” writes: “ The four Vedas are not “books” in the usual sense, though within the past hundred years each Veda has appeared in several printed editions. They are comprised rather of tonally accented verses of hypnotic, abstruse melodies whose proper realizations demand oral instead of visual transmission….. The ultimate authority in Vedic matters is never the printed page but rather the few members of the Brahmana caste who are today keeping the centuries-oldtraditions alive. However, the Vedas are approaching a point in history, which willdetermine whether they survive or slip into extinction. They have shown remarkable vigor and perseverance in the past – thriving under potentially destructive political, economic, and religious upheaval – but whether they can withstand the accelerated rate of social change in the twentieth century is a formidable question which leaves their future in grave doubt”. No – that doubt should never be allowed to sustain. Because, if Vedas have to perish, it amounts to the destruction of dharma itself, the root of an entire civilization, culture and tradition. However, as Howard had correctly observed, the ultimate authority of Vedas lies with the vedic priest , who, through a tradition of oral transmission, has been propagating them over generations.

4. Vedic Chanting – a perfectly formulated oral tradition The Vedas are called ‘Sruti”- which means, what is heard. It is never read from a text, since the recitation of any veda mantra should conform to the following six parameters, namely,

  1. varNa (letters);
  2. svara (intonation);
  3. mAtrA (duration of articulation);
  4. balam (force of articulation);
  5. sAma (uniformity), and
  6. santAna (continuity).

If any of these parameters is not maintained, it would change the meaning of the mantra itself, leading to even diametrically opposite effects! In the absence of a written text, our rishis had devised many ways to prevent even a small error to creep in to the recitation of the veda-mantras. These fool-proof methods used to chant each veda-mantra in various patterns and combinations are known as : vaakya,pada, krama, jaTA, mAlA, SikhA, rekhA, dvaja, danDa, ratha, and Ghana. Among these, vAkya, pada, krama, jaTa and Ghana methods of chanting are more popular and let us analyze them only here. Vaakya or samhitA pATha is to recite a mantra in a sentence straight with appropriateintonations. In sentences, some of the words have to be conjoined in chanting. In padapAtha, a sentence is broken down to ‘words’ or pada’s, which gives the student theknowledge of each word. In the krama method, the first word of a sentence is added to the second, the second to the third, the third to the fourth and so on, until the whole sentence is completed. This method enables the student to understand not only individual words but also how the words combine in recitation with the attendant modification of the svaras. Scholarly priests capable of reciting the entire veda-SakhA in the krama format is given the title kramavit. In the jaThA method, the first word and the second word are recited together and then the words are recited in the reverse order and then again in the original order. For example, in the krama method, if they are recited as 1-2;2-3; 3-4; 4-5 etc., in the jaThA method, they are recited as 1-2-2-1-1-2; 2-3-3-2-2-3; 3-4-4-3-3-4 and so on. Scholarly priests capable of reciting in the jaThA method are given thetitle “jaThAvallabha”. The Ghana method is more difficult than the above where thecombinations of words will be 1-2-2-1-1-2-3-3-2-4-4-2-3; 2-3-3-2-2-3-4-4-3-2-2-4 and soon. A priest who can recite in the Ghana method is given the title ghanapAThi. These methods of complicated recitations in a oral tradition were devised in order to preserve the purity of the word, the sound, intonation, pronunciation, accent and sound combinations of the vedamantras. By repeating the words in manifold ways, the correct tally of words was also kept which has naturally ensured its purity. To enable the scholars to take up the difficult methods recitiation, it was believed that, more difficult methods of chanting earned more puNya or merit!

5. The Merit, and the Plight of a Vedic Scholar Today Just to illustrate what it takes for a priest to earn the title of a ghanapAThi, let us briefly analyze what is involved in the training. For illustration, let us consider only one portion of the krishNa yajur veda, called the taittiriya samhitA. In this portion there over 2,000 pancASat’s (1 pancASat = 50 pada’s), amounting to 109,308 pada’s. We can roughly assume each pada to have 3 syllables, thus totaling ~330,000 syllables. In the Ghana method of chanting, each syllable gets repeated 13 times, thus amounting to 4,290,000 utterances. And each of these utterances have to conform to all the six parameters discussed earlier. Only when a person becomes capable of reciting this in any order asked, gets the title of a ghanapAThi. This is for only one samhitA portion in krishna yajur veda alone. Then there is Sukla yajur veda, rig veda, sAma veda, and atharva veda. There were scholars proficient in more than one veda as evident from the names dvivedi, trivedi and caturvedi. In addition, there are other samhitA portions, brAhmaNa portions, AraNyaka poritons, and the Upanishads, in the vedic scriptures alone. After proficiency in ghanapATha, some learn lakshaNa-ghanapATha, which deals with the characteristics of each letter, its origin, how it has to be emphasized in a mantra, its varNa, the presiding deity, etc etc. Then there are purANa’s, dharma-Sastras etc. All these were learnt without any book, tape or any such instruments in the oral tradition, and were stored just in ~200 grams of the human brain! And the most interesting thing is, it was not that one or two individuals who were proficient in this dharma, but an entire society was well versed in this! Such a scholarship takes well over 25 years of intense education in a gurukulam, in addition to observing all the religious disciplines! Having analyzed what it takes for a vedic priest to become a ghanapAThi, let us look at his plight in modern day society. When there is so much of respect and recognition for all other secular professionals – be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, scientist, businessman, artist etc. – the respect and the compensation extended to these vedic scholars are patheticallyfar below standards. On the one end we are all proud to inherit such a rich and cherished vedic tradition, but, on the other, not being sensitive enough or even negligent towards preserving and transferring it forward. At this rate, what were originally 1,131 SakhAs, and are only 10 today, will further deteriorate leading to a great loss to human-kind. The only guardians of this rich tradition are the vedic priests. Because of the way the society treats them and the poor compensation, they are not motivated to send their children to vedic schools (pAThaSAlA’s). Generally they come from economically backward families, and so they drop out of schools early, striving to make a living and to support their poor families. All others who have already migrated to secular education are not going to revert back to vedic learning in the traditional sense. In addition, the personal discipline to be observed by the vedic priest being so stringent (otherwise, the rituals and mantras are believed not to give the desired result, and to even bring demerit), it makes one to shy away even more. When compared to the status of priest-hood in other religions, the plight of the vedic priest is really sad.

6. What can be done to bring back the lost glory of the vedic priest ? Even though the situation appears very gloomy, there is lot of hope today. The very fact that a forum like this wants to address this issue itself is very encouraging. Following are some of my thoughts to help foster and propagate this tradition, though by no means exhaustive: 1. The first step is for every member of this varNa to be aware of what we have in our vedic scriptures and become sensitive to this education. 2. Even if one may not have time or may have other limitation to learn, observing the disciplines, one could at least support those who learn, and the pAThaSAlA’s that teach. 3. Many of the teachers in these pAThaSAlA’s are highly under-paid and they continue to teach just to foster this dharma. With the affluence of the NRI community, support can be given to increase the compensation for the teachers and stipend to the students. 4. Scholarships for advanced vedic learning can be implemented to motivate students not to discontinue from a full curriculum due to economic reasons. 5. Most of the mantra’s employed in rituals are from Vedas. Actually rituals(samskAras) are aimed at developing the eight inner values (Atma guNa’s),which are: compassion (dayA), patience (kshamA), free from jealousy(anasooyA), purity (soucam), keeping cool (anAyAsam), not beingmiserly(akArpaNyam), absence of attachment (aspruhA), and peace (mangaLam). The more we shy away from rituals, more are the chances of losing those mantra’s, since less will be the motivation for the priest to practice them! 6. There can be awareness courses on samskAra’s (there are ~ 41 samskAra’s from conception to cremation!), so that every member of the varNa will develop an interest and faith in them. Such faith will increase their respect for the vedic priest as an AchArya. 7. We believe that giving dAnam (gift) to a priest washes our sins. The priest gets this power because of his vedic knowledge. Hence, the compensation for the priests should be given with faith, humility and sincerity so that, it is not just a compensation for a job done, but an offering (sambhAvanA) for blessing our families in the name of Vedas. Unless this varNa raises to bring back the glory of the vedic priest, it may be difficult to expect others to raise to this call. After all, religious practices are only for the believers, and these discussions are aimed at those who have an implicit faith in this dharma. With a renewed thrust and commitment, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The vedic-priesthood will certainly become well respected in society with this awareness. Institutions like the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation Inc. USA, organize mega yajnas like the ati-rudra-mahA-yajna of 1997 bringing ~100 vedic scholars from India, essentially to appreciate and respect the vedic priest-hood, in addition to showing to the present and the future generation, how an authentic vedic ritual could be conducted, even outside of India, and how such knowledgeable priests are available even today. Source Material: 1. “The Vedas”, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay 1988 2. “Rescuing our Vedic Pundits”, Dr. S. Yegnasubramanian, Page 9, The Hinduism Today, Dec. ‘97 About the Author: Dr. Yegnsaubramanian (Dr. Mani) is the Chairman of the Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, and the Sanatana Dharma Foundation, USA. He is also the advisor for several temple organizations within USA, Canada and India. Dr.Mani has been teaching vedic/puranic scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta for the past two decades in New Jersey, to groups of adults and children. He is the editor and publisher of the international journal, Paramaartha Tattvam in which he writes regularly on various topics of Vedanta, vaidika samskaras, and bhakti in general. He was the general chairman of the first Ati-rudra Mahayajna conducted in the Poconos in 1997 and the Satachandi yajna in 2001. Under the auspices of the Sringeri Shankar Mutt, he organizes veda sammelans all over India every year involving thousands of vedic scholars. He was a trustee and the Chairman of Religious affairs of the Bridgewater temple from inception until the kumbhabhishekam in 1998. He gives lectures and short courses on sanatana dharma, scriptures, and Vedanta, all over USA and Canada. He represents the Hindu Faith in Interfaith Forums and conducts Youth Forums. He was awarded the title of “Dharma-rakshA-mani” by the Shankaracharya of Kanchi in 2003. Dr. Mani is a scientist by profession who retired from Bell Labs. in 2001. He works presently at Andrew Corporation in Warren, NJ and lives with his family in Skillman, NJ.

Appendix 1.

Our Scriptures (Dr. S. Yegnasubramanian)

I. Vidyasthanas (Source of Supreme Knowledge) – 14

a) Vedas (4) : Classified by Vyasa – 1131 recensions (SakhAs): ~25,000 mantras

b) Vedangas: (6) & c) Upangas (4) (to understand Vedas completely and in depth)

II. Upa Vedas (4) 1. Ayurveda Science of Life 3. DhanurvedaScience of Weaponary and Warfare 2. Artha SAstras – Science of Wealth /Economics 4. Gandharva veda Treatise on fine arts, music,etc.

III. Aranyakas and Brahmanas – Vedic Scriptures learnt and interpreted by Rishis in the forests are Aranyakas and those interpreted in homes for homely use are Brahamanas:

Upanishads: are placed towards the end of Aranyakas. They deal with aspects of realizing through the path of knowledge (jnana marga), the nonduality (abhedha) of Brahman. They are considered as the quintescence of Vedas.

PrasthanatrayI: (Texts on Tattvajnana – Knowledge of Self – Metaphysics): 1. Upanishads; 2. Bhagavad Gita; 3. Brahmasutras; 2 & 3 are not vedic scriptures, they are given this status due to their content.

32 Primary Vidyas:(Primary Knowledge) 4 Vedas, 6 Vedangas, 4 Upangas, 4 Upa Vedas, 2 Ithihasas, Tantra, Smriti, Nastikamata (agnosticism), 3 Sastras (artha, kama andshilpa), Alankriti (asthetics), Kavya (poetry), Desabhasha (linguistics), Avasaokti, Yavanamata, Desadhidharma.

More such articles at

April 19, 2015

Shankara jayanthi. India April 23rd. US April 22nd.

In BhAratham, Shankara Jayanthi is falling on April 23rd Thursday.
In US, Shankara Jayanthi is falling on April 22nd Wednesday (According to and
Shankara Jayanti is observed on Vaisakha Shukla Panchami, fifth day in bright half of Vaisakha masam or Vaisakh month.

Adi Shankara’s contribution to the resurrection of Hinduism and his exposition on Advaita Philosophy is unfathomable and needs no mention.

Even though it is a working day on this year’s Shankara Jayanthi, let us close our eyes for 60 seconds and pray to Lord Dakshinamoorthy with Gratitude for giving Adi Shankara to us on this Jayanthi dinam.

Adi Shankara’s Life History. Some events, and an artist’s impression:

Lord Shiva, also known as Dhakshinamurthy, who spreads the Universal Truth not by words but by his silence and by his sign of his hand which is held in the form of “Chin Mudra”.About 2500 years ago, when the spiritualisation of the people greatly reduced, all the Gods and the Rishis went to Kailash and pleaded with Lord Shiva to revive the world. Lord Shiva agreed with their request and informed that he will be born in this world. Lord Brahma, Indra and others also agreed to be born in this world to help Lord Shiva. 2
3 In Kaladi, Kerala, a learned brahmin, by the name of Sivaguru, and his wife, Aryambal, spent their life in pooja and in giving alms to poor and in other good deeds. This childless couple went to Trichur and performed puja for 48 days to Lord Vadakkunathan (Lord Shiva) and prayed for a son. Lord Shiva melted in their devotion and appeared before them and told them “I am extremely happy with your devotion and you will get what you want. But tell me whether you want a number of dull children or a son who is extremely intelligent, who will live for a short period only.” The couple replied the decision could not be theirs as the Lord knows what is good for them.
Lord Dakshinamurthy, pleased with the reply, was born to Aryambal under the star “Thiruvaithhirai”. As the Lord had already promised that he will be born to do good to this world, the child was named Sankara. Sam means prosperity and Karathi means te giver. All the visitors stood in awe at the divinity of the child and said “This is not an ordinary child”. 4
5 As Shankara grew up, he attraced everybody with his intelligence and kindness. At the age of three, he was given “Aksharabyas”, i.e., the learning of writing and reading. At the age of four, he lost his father. At the age of five, he was initiated in Brahmacharyam i.e., the holy thread ceremony was conducted and he was sent to Gurukul for learning of scriptures. As per the practice the brahmachari has to go from house to house and take alms and submit this to his guru. On a Dwadasi day Sankara happened to go to the house of a very poor lady jand asked for the alms. The lady did not have a single grain of rice in her house to give. However she had kept a single Amla fruit for herself as it was a Dwadasi day. She unhesitatingly gave this Amla fruit to Sankara as she could not send a Brahmachari empty handed. Sankara was moved by her selflessness and the poverty of the lady and prayed to Goddess Lakshmi in a beautiful sloka which is called “Kanaka Dhara Stotram”. On completion of this stotram, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in person and showered a rain of golden coins on the poor lady’s house.
One day, the rishis came to him and reminded him of his duty to the land in spreading spiritualism. Sankara agreed it was time to become a Sanyasi and go all over the country to kindle religious ferver.One day when Sankara was taking bath, a crocodile caught hold of his leg. Sankara called out to his mother. Aryambal came running and to her horror she found her son in the grip of the crocodile and she cried that se did not know how to help her son.

Sri Sankara informed his mother that his life was nearing to an end, but if he became a Sanyasi, he could start a new life as a sannyasi. Thus Sri Sankara obtained permission from his mother to become a sannyasi.

7 Sri Sankara went in the search of a Guru to be formally initiated as a Sannyasi. At the banks of the river Narmada, he found the river gushing forth into floods. By using his powers, he encapsulated the river in his Kamandal (a vessel sannyasi’s carry) and released it in the banks of the river. Sri Govinda Bagawathpathar, an ascetic who saw this, marvelled at Sri Sankara dn took him on as a Shishya.
Sri Govinda Bagawathpadar taught various vedas to Sri Sankara. He also taught about Advaita, the principle that every one in this world is the manifestation of God and that God and Atman are one and the same. He advises Sri Sankara to go out in the world and spread this truth throughout the country. 8
9 Sri Sankara went to Kasi and by that time, he had a lot of disciples. One of them, Sanandhyaya, was drying the clothes of his Guru and suddenly Sri Sankara called him to the other bank of the river as he needed the clothes urgently. Sanandhyaya, little realising that he would drown, starts walking into the river. However, the Grace of his Guru resulted in a lotus materialising wherever he was keeping his foot. When asked as to how did he cross the river, he says that when his Guru calls, he is not to worry about anything. Sri Sankara named him as Padma Padar (lotus feet).
Once, in Kasi, when Sri Sankara was going to the Vishwanath Temple, his path was blocked by an “untouchable” who was accompanied by his wife and 4 dogs. The disciples of Sri Sankara shouted at him to make way, and to keep a distance. The untouchable smiled and said, “”According to your principle of Advaita, which you practice, all the Jivatma are same as God. How do you ask me to go? How am I different from your Paramacharya? What you say is unreasonable. How can I go away from myself?”Sri Sankara realised that it was not an ordinary person and understood that it was Lord Shiva himself who had come along with His consort and the four Vedas. He prostrated before the Lord and sang five slokas called “Manisha Panchakam”. Lord Shiva presented himself along with Visalakshi and blessed Sri Sankara. 10
11 When Shri Sankara was 16, a very old Brahmin of ill health started arguments with him about Brahmasutra bashyam which Shri Sankara had written. Shri Sankara was astounded by his intelligence and arguments but they continued their discussion. The arguments continued for days together and the more Shri Sankara argued, his ideas crystallised more and more and he understood that the old man was none other than Vyasa Rishi, who was the creator of Brahmasutra. Sri Sankara said that he has done a great disrespect to the sage by entering into an argument. Vyasa Rishi said “I fully agree with your bashyam and I wanted to establish that yours is correct. I bless that you should live another 16 years and you should spread this Advaita throughout the country.”
Sri Sankara learnt that there was a great learned person by the name Mandana Mishra who lived in Mahishmati and who followed the Karma Mimaamsa method of devotion. Sri Sankara arrived at his house and found his house was closed and Mandala Mishra was carrying out some rituals inside his house. Sri Sankara entered the house by using his powers and entered the house. Mandala Mishra became very angry and shouted at Sri Sankara. But Sri Sankara smiled and explained the uselessness of such rituals.However, Mandala Mishra admired the intelligence of Sri Sankara and started discussions with him after completing the rituals. Sri Sankara said that there should be a judge to decide the winner and suggested that Sarasawani, the wife of Mandala Mishra, to be the judge. Sarasawani, who was extremely intelligent and learned, realised that Sri Sankara was none other than Lord Shiva, did not want to declare her husband as the loser. She suggested that both of them should wear a garland of flowers and whichever garland fades first, that person would be the loser. Naturally, Sri Sankara won. 13
14 As per the original condition, Mandala Mishra became an ascetic and started to leave the house. Unable to bear the separation, Sarasawani stood transfixed and told Sri Sankara that according to our faith, the husband and wife, even though have two bodies, are spiritually one and she would be incomplete without her husband.Sri Sankara accepted this and started discussion with this lady. Saraswani showered questions like rain and Sri Sankara gave very beautiful answers and Sarasawani acknowledged him, and followed Sri Sankara and her husband’s footsteps.
In their travels, they reached Sringeri in Karnataka, which is on the banks of Tungabadra. While Sri Sankara and Mandala Mishra were walking, Sarasawani did not move and stood fixed in the sands of Tungabadra. Sri Sankara turned back and realised by his divine powers that Sarasawani did not want to proceed any further and created a seat for her for spreading the Advaita. This seat is today called the Sharada Peetham or the Seat of Sharada. This was the first Mutt installed by Sri Sankara, with the direction that all the heads of the Mutts will be called Sankaracharayas and they will have a lineage of Shishyas or disciples. 15
16 When Sri Sankara was in Sringeri, he divined by his superior powers that his mother was in her deathbed, and as per his promise while taking Sanyas that he would be by her side while she breathes her last, he reached Kaladi and paid his last respects to the old lady. Aryambal was happy that her son had come back. Sri Sankara prayed to Lord Venkateswara who appeared in person and blessed Aryambal. Sri Sankara did the last rites for his mother but the people of Kaladi said that a Sanyasi does not have the right to do the last rites, but he did not hear that and carried the body of Aryambal and put her in the pyre himself and lit it himself.
After the death of his mother, he went all over the country and converted the people of other faith to Advaita. He revived a number of temples and using his powers, he established a number of Yentras in these temples to spread the blessings of Parasakthi. During his travels, he arrived at Mukambi, a religious place in Karnataka. A poor brahmin came to Sri Sankara with his deaf and dumb son and prostrated before Sri Sankara. Sri Sankara asked the boy, “who are you?”. The dumb and deaf child, for the first time, opened his mouth and explained, “The body is not me, it is the Paramatma who is my body.” Sri Sankara was pleased with his answer and he gave an amla fruit and named this boy as Hastaaamalakan. (Hastaa means hand and Amalakan means amala). Hastaamalaka became one of the principle disciples of Sri Sankara. 17
18 Sri Sankara, with his three principle disciples, namely, Padmapadar, Sureshwarar (Mandala Mishra) and Hastaamalaka, went from place to place, and preached Advaita. Sri Sankara gave intense training to his disciples. One of the other disciples, Giri, while listening to the discourses, would not ask any doubts, would not open his mouth, and would be silent all the time. Some of the other disciples thought that this Giri was a dumb idiot and did not know anything. One day, all the disciples were ready to listen to Sri Sankara’s discourses. Sri Sankara waited for Giri to arrive. Ultimately, Giri turned up but instead of keeping silent on that day, burst forth into eight slokas which had never been heard by the disciples earlier. These were the creation of Giri. On hearing this, all the disciples felt ashamed and praised Giri. These slokas are called “Thotaka ashtakam”. Giri was named as Thotakar by Sri Sankara.
Sri Sankara visited Thiruvidaimarudur in Tanjore district of Tamilnadu, which is a great religious place, and the ruling deity in the temple was Lord Shiva. The learned Saivites of the temple informed Sri Sankara that Lord Shiva is the creator and that they are all merely lowly life created by Lord Shiva, and if that was so, how does Sri Sankara say that they were one with the Lord ? They did not agree with the Advaita principle. Sri Sankara asked them to enter the temple. As they reached the Sanctum Santorum of the temple, their was a thunderous statement “Satyam is Advaita”. This was repeated thrice and it was also followed by a hand which came out of the Linga which conformed the truth. All the learned persons acknowledged the principle of Advaita and accepted Sri Sankara as their Guru. Even today, there is a Sankara Mutt at Thiruvaimarudur and there is a linga with a hand materialising out of it. 21
22 Sri Sankara visited Thiruvanaikar, near Trichy in Tamilnadu. In this temple, the Goddess Akhilandeswari was having a feirce power and people who went to have her darshan could not stand the fierceness of this Goddess. Sri Sankara created two sets of earrings which are called Tatankam and he presented these to the Goddess. The fierceness of the deity reduced. This tatankam, the earrings, has been maintained over time by the Acharyas of the Kanchi Mutt.
Sri Sankara visited Tirupathi and recited the Sloka “Vishnu pathathi keshanta stotra” which describes the Lord from his foot to the head. He wanted the people to visit the Lord in great numbers and get his blessings, he established an yantra. From that day the number of followers of the temple increased and is increasing day by day. 23
24 Arjuna tree is the tree of “Marutha” and the place where Lord Shiva appears as a Linga under this “Martha” tree is called Arjuna Kshetra. The Thiruvadaimaruthur which Sri Sankara visited earlier is called Madhyaarjunam. Srisaila, in Andhra, is called Mallikarjunam as Lord Shiva resides under a Marutha Tree which has also got Jasmine creepers on this tree. Sri Sankara visited this tree and became ecstastic on seeing the linga at the foot of this tree. His happiness flowed like the waves of a flood and became a sloka called Sivanandalahiri.
Near Srisailam, there is a forest called Hatakeshwaram, that no man enters. Sri Sankara entered this place and did penance for many days. During this time, a Kabalika, by name Kirakashan appeared before him. Kapalikas are a set of people who live in the burial grounds and pray to God by giving human and animal sacrifice. They were against Advaita which preaches love and affection and shuns violence. He asked Sri Sankara that he should give his body as a human sacrifice to Lord Shiva. Sri Sankara was happy to hear this request and agreed. Kirakashan was about to cut off Sri Sankara’s head when Lord Narasimha appeared in the form of a lion and killed Kirakashan. 25
26 Sri Sankara completed his travels and went to Badrinath. Lord Vishnu appeared before him and told that his sculpture in Alaknanda river should be taken out and a temple should be built for it. This temple is called Badrinarayan temple and is one of the important religious places for Hindus.


March 28, 2015

Dasharatha, Ashwamedha and Rama – By SriSri Ravi Shankar

Dasharatha means one who can run ten chariots at a time. Your body is Dasharatha, the ten chariots, which include the five organs of senses and the five organs of action. These take the mind into ten different directions.

The three names of Dashratha’s queens are also very interesting.

The first wife is Kaushalya, which means skill.

The second wife is Sumitra, which means good friend. There could be many friends, but not all are good friends. Many times, friends drag you in the wrong direction. Sumitra is one who takes you in the right direction.

The third wife is Kaikeyi, one who stands by your side, although she appears differently; but deep within, she does benevolence. It is like a doctor who gives you a bitter medicine, or a vaccination. As soon as the children see him, they start yelling and crying, but the vaccination does good to them. Similarly, Kaikeyi who apparently is not pleasant, but inwardly, does that which is good for you.

Dasratha did a yagya called Ashwamedha, after which he got four sons. Shwa means yesterday or tomorrow, Ashwa means today – not yesterday, nor tomorrow. It means it is eternal and the present moment. Medha means purification. Medha also means intellect. Ashwamedha means purifying the intellect by being in the present moment, purifying the spirit, the senses, the body-mind complex; going deep in the spirit.

When Dasharatha did the Ashwamedha yagya, Rama was born. This is the spiritual significance of Sri Rama’s birth. The words – ‘rays’, ‘radiance’, all these come from the Sanskrit root Ra, which means to shine, radiance, brilliance and light. Ma means within me, in my heart. ‘Rama’ means ‘the light in my heart’. When the mind in this body, with some skill gets into the present moment, it purifies the mind and the heart, and then Rama, the light in our heart, shines.

Four things come out of you when Ashwamedha is done. When your senses are purified, then what comes up is the Divine light in your heart (Rama), and awareness (Lakshmana). Then, you have no enemies (Shatrugnan), and all the talents (Bharat) come to you.

Message from From Art Of Living. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


Hari Ramasubbu

March 24, 2015

Pravachanam by Mullaivasal Krishnamurthy Shastrigal in Tamil

Excellent Pravachanam by Mullaivasal Krishnamurthy Shastrigal in Tamil. He starts with Samskritham in the first 5 mins.

  • Shasthrigal talks about very practical topics about todays busy living and how it deviates from Vedic Heritage.
  • He gives various references to Maha Periyava of Kanchi.
  • He also talks about Sandhyavandanam (40th minute )

Here is another series of talks by Mullaivasal Krishnamurthy Shastrigal that he refers in the above talk.

Vedathin Suvai


Hari Ramasubbu

February 12, 2015

Crazy mohan – on paramacharya and deivathin kural – Tamil video – 19 mins

Excellent 19 min talk by Crazy mohan on the importance of knowing India’s heritage. He talks about Mahaperiyava and deivathin kural too.


Hari Ramasubbu

January 25, 2015

All videos from Sanyasa sweekara last week

For those who missed Sankara TV telecast, here are the videos of Sringeri shishya sweekara,

Uttaradhikari participating in Purusha sookta homa


Parayanka Soucha

Vyakhyana SImhasana and Mangalarati


Yogapatta announcement

Darshana of Sharadamba by the two Jagadgurus

ANugraha Bashana by Sri Vidhushekarabharati swamiji

Anugraha Bashana by Sri Bharathitheertha swamiji


Hari Ramasubbu

January 11, 2015

Successor to Sringeri Sharadha Peetam. Some details.

Jagadguru Bharati Tirtha Swamigal of Sringeri Sharada Peetha has nominated Sri Kuppa Venkateswara Prasada Sharma as his successor-designate.

On Jan 4, 2015, devotees assembled in Sringeri in large numbers to celebrate the the silver jubilee of Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji’s Peetharohanam.

At this historic event, the Jagadguru announced His decision, as divinely-ordained by Goddess Sharadamba, to accept Brahmachari Sri Kuppa Venkateshwara Prasada Sharma as His successor-designate.

​Video of Present Sringeri Acharya announces his sishya sweekara . Video in Kannada with English subtitles

The announcement happens around 29th minute of the video.

Photo of Jagadguru with his successor Sri Kuppa Venkateswara Prasada Sharma

Sri Kuppa Venkateswara Prasada Sharma with his parents.

Details of the successor to the peetam.

Family and Birthplace: Brahmachari Sri Kuppa Venkateshwara Prasada Sharma (current age 22) was born in Tirupati in 1993 to Sri Kuppa Shivasubrahmanya Avadhani and Smt. Seetha Nagalakshmi. He belongs to the Kaundinya Gotra and is a native of Anantavaram, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh.

Age 5 to age 16:

The Brahmachari had his Upanayanam at the age of five and began his first lessons in Krishna Yajur Veda under his grandfather and Yajur Vedic scholar, Sri Kuppa Ramagopala Vajapeyayaaji. He continued his Vedic education up to Krishna Yajur Veda Kramanta under his illustrious father, who is currently serving as Principal of TTD Veda Pathashala in Tirumala and as Project Officer in Dharma Prachara Parishad managed by TTD.

Born in a family of disciples of the Sringeri Jagadguru, the Brahmachari had accompanied his father while the latter had come to Sringeri to participate in Dharmic activities in the years 2006, 2008 and 2009. The Darshan of Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji during these visits made a profound impact on the Brahmachari.

Age 16 to Age 22: The Brahmachari expressed his desire of studying Shastras directly under the Jagadguru in early 2009. With the blessings and consent of Jagadguru Mahaswamiji, the Brahmachari took refuge under His Lotus Feet of the in June 2009. Under the tutelage of the Jagadguru, the Brahmachari mastered the Sanskrit language. Then, the Jagadguru Himself taught the Brahmachari the entire Tarka Shastra. The Brahmachari is endowed with Guru Bhakti, scholarship in the Vedas and Shastras, adherence to tradition and dispassion.

The Shishya Sweekara ceremony will take place on the 22nd and 23rd of January 2015 at Sringeri. The Jagadguru will initiate the Brahmachari into Sannyasa on 23rd January 2015.

(Courtesy : Sringeri Mutt Official Press Release)


Hari Ramasubbu

June 9, 2014

Sringeri Rajagopuram Kumbhabhisheka Videos

The Maha-kumbhabhishekam of the 127 feet majestic Rajagopuram ​is
performed by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji,

the 8th of June 2014.

On this occasion, Laksha-modaka-ganapati homa as well as Atirudra and Sahasrachandika Maha-Yagas and Koti-kumkumarchana at the shrine of goddess Sharadamba

​ ​

​Day 2​ video summary – 15 mins

Day 1​ video summary – 15 mins


May 16, 2014

Advaita Sharada – Excellent project started today by Sringeri Sharadha Peetam to propagate the teachings of Adi Shankara.

Advaita Sharada Project

Over a century ago, the 33rd Jagadguru of Sringeri, Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji led the first ever compilation of the complete works of Sri Adi Shankaracharya — Sri Shaankara Granthavali. In keeping with this tradition and sensitive to our technology age, the presiding Shankaracharya of the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham, Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji is blessing and guiding the Advaita Sharada Project.

The goal of the Advaita Sharada project is to make available our ancient Shastric texts (in particular Vedantic texts) for access via the Internet and other computer-based devices like tablets and smartphones. Leveraging audio, video, commentaries, sub-commentaries, notes, tags and hyperlinks, we hope to provide a platform for in-depth research and additional learning for seekers, scholars and students. We also plan to create a learning platform to introduce the Upanishadic philosophy of Advaita for beginners and early aspirants.

Invoking the blessings of Goddess Sharada (the presiding deity of Sringeri Sharada Peetham) and reflecting the Upanishadic teachings as expounded by Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya, the project has been named "Advaita Sharada".

Akhanda Bharata

First offering: Shankara Prasthanatraya Bhashya

The first offering of Advaita Sharada is a text searchable, extensively hyperlinked Intenet edition of the Sri Shaankara Granthavali, published by the Vani Vilasa Press, Srirangam. This is a result of a collaborative effort between Sri Shankara Advaita Research Centre, Sringeri, andSriranga Digital Software Technoloiges, Srirangapatna.

The source text in Unicode was provided by The Sringeri Math at Srirangam; it is scrutinised and proofread at the Sri Shankara Advaita Research Centre, Sringeri. The XML markup scheme and the technology framework for the Internet edition was developed by Sriranga Digital Software Technologies, Srirangapatna. This Internet edition was released on Shankara Jayanti – the Vaishakha Shukla Panchami day of the Jaya Samvatsara – 4th May 2014 by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji

In forthcoming releases, we will introduce multimedia, commentaries, sub-commentaries and tags for these Bhasyas. We invite you to register and view this first release.

March 14, 2014

Karadayar Nonbu – The Vrata by Tamil Women

Karadayan Nombu or Vratam is an important fast observed by Tamil women. 
Karadayan Nombu is based on the legend of Satyavan and Savitri. Based on this legend, each region in India observes an Upvaas in different time of the year. In Tamil Nadu, it is observed during the transition of Tamil Month Maasi and Panguni. The story of Satyavan and Savitri is a sub plot in the Mahabharata.

Savithri among the five Satis leads the image of a loyal and steadfast wife who could bring back her husband from Yama the God of Death because of her intrepidity and thinking-on-her-feet capacities.

The oldest known version of the story of Savitri and Satyavan is found in “The Book of the Forest” of the Mahabharata. The story occurs is told by Markandeya. When Yudhisthira asks Markandeya whether there has ever been a woman whose devotion matched Draupadi’s, Markandeya replies by relating this story:

The childless king of Madra, Ashwapati, lived as an ascetic for many years and prayed to the Sun God Savitr. He wished to have a son for his lineage. Finally, pleased by the prayers, God Savitr appeared to him and granted him a boon saying that he will soon have a daughter. The king is joyful when his daughter is born and named Savitri in honour of the god. Savitri, born out of devotion and asceticism becomes the embodiment of these qualities later in life.

Savitri was so beautiful and pure that she intimidated all the men who came near her. When she reached the age of marriage, no man asked for her hand. So her father told her to find a husband on her own. She set out on a pilgrimage and founds Satyavan, the son of an exiled, penniless, blind king named Dyumatsena who was a forest-dweller.

Savitri returned to find her father speaking with Sage Narada who announced that Savitri had made a bad choice: although perfect in every way, Satyavan was destined to die one year from that day. In response to her father’s pleas to choose a more suitable husband, Savitri insisted that she had already chosen her husband. Narada finally agreed and King Ashwapati gets Savitri and Satyavan married. Savitri went off to the forest wearing the clothing of a hermit and lived in perfect obedience and respect to her new parents-in-law and husband.

Three days before the predicted death of Satyavan, Savitri began to observe a fast and vigil. Her father-in-law warned her that she had taken on too harsh a regimen, but Savitri assured him that she had taken an oath to perform these austerities and Dyumatsena offered her his support as well.

On the morning of Satyavan’s final day, Savitri asked her father-in-law’s permission to accompany her husband into the forest. Since she had never asked for anything during the entire year of her marriage Dyumatsena granted her wish.

The couple went into the forest and while Satyavan was splitting wood, he suddenly became weak and laid his head on Savitri’s lap. Yama, the God of Death, had come to claim the soul of Satyavan.

Savitri followed Yama as he carried the soul away. When he tried to convince her to turn back, she offered various wise arguments. She praised Yama for his just rule as King of Dharma, and for his noble conduct with no expectation of return.

Impressed by her oratorical skills Yama praised both the content and style of her words and offered her any boon, except the life of Satyavan. She first asked for the eyesight of her father-in-law and restoration of his kingdom. Next her wish was for a hundred sons for her father and then a hundred sons for herself and Satyavan. The last wish cleverly created a dilemma for Yama, as it would indirectly grant the life of Satyavan. However, impressed by Savitri’s dedication and purity, he offered her any boon, but this time omitting “except for the life of Satyavan”. Savitri instantly asked for Satyavan to return to life. Yama granted life to Satyavan and blessed Savitri’s life with eternal happiness.

Satyavan awoke as though he had been in a deep sleep. Meanwhile Dyumatsena regained his eyesight even before Savitri and Satyavan’s return. Savitri retells the story to her parents-in-law, husband, and the gathered ascetics. As they praised her, Dyumatsena’s ministers arrived with the news of the death of his usurper. Joyfully, the king and his entourage returned to his kingdom.

From then Savitri has always been idolised as the ideal woman who used her wits to win back the life and riches of her husband. Unfortunately in the modern mind the label ‘Sati Savitri’ has assumed a negative connotation and used to describe paragons of virtue in joint families, especially as dep[icted in TV serials. The strength and ability to hold families together under any circumstances has become somewhat unbelievable when the norm seems to be women who are ready to come out of relationships on the flimsiest of excuses.

However there are many caregivers who, being younger than their husbands by quite a few years, are spending their own twilight years caring and being loyal to ailing spouses. This is true of men as well who care for their wives but unfortunately they are not called Sati Savitris. They may be called Ekapatni Ramas, but considering what happened to Sita that may be an iffy title.

Today marriages happen because the couples think that they are Made for each other.
The next stage they become loving and Mad for each other.
Soon the fights and disagreements set in making them SAD for each other.
Incompatibility and different types of torture part their ways and the couple become BAD for each other.

August 18, 2013

The Great Hindu Tradition – Excellent source of Information on our Dharma.

Book: The Great Hindu Tradition

Book: The Great Hindu Tradition

Contact the author at or mobile: 9444380973

Buy the book  here from Amazon. Price of the book Rs. 200/-.

April 13, 2013

Online panchangam for this Vijaya New Year

Tamil and Kannada Panchangam for this new year from Sringeri Peetham.