My Father’s Song to Krishna

Although credit goes to my grandma for introducing Lord Krishna to us, it is my 68 year old father who reaffirms our faith time and again through his soulful bhajans (devotional songs). As we celebrate the birthday (Janmashtami) of the mischievous God, do listen to this wonderful song invoking Krishna in my father’s voice.

Here, the singer is asking the Lord to take birth again once again and keep His promise. Everyone is waiting for Him to take Kalki avatar.

When we were small, Krishna ruled over our household and often caused mayhem. His room needed to be cleaned first. The best garlands were made for him. He needed to be bathed and adorned and then an elaborate puja ceremony would follow sometimes infuriating us kids. We would get jealous of the attention Krishna got.

While morning passed in tending to the enchanting one, Evening ceremony would bring joy. It was the most beautiful part of the day because my father would then sing soulful songs in his divine voice. Hearing him everyday, strengthened us from within.

He would transfer us to a world of spirituality, faith and belief. The belief that someone up there always takes care of us. Faith that there is always a positive aspect to every misfortune. And lastly, in order to be free and joyful, just surrender to Krishna.

Even now, my gentle and loving father teaches us the most profound things in a very simple way. I will relate an incident. My family believes in astrology to some extent and my father wore a couple of rings with special stones. I asked him to get a ring for me too according to my horoscope. He laughed and said – You don’t need any ring, or anything to protect you. You have Krishna!

The best lines of faith I have ever heard in my life. I am truly grateful to the almighty that I belong to a family that is steeped in faith. I hope you like my father’s voice. And although many of you don’t know the language, I am sure your hearts will comprehend. Jai Shri Krishna!

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Devotion – The highest form of intelligence!

Today, I came across this wonderful quote by the well known seer Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. 


In one of his discourses, available on YouTube, he talks about how devotion is the highest form of intelligence and living life. If you are a devotee, you will conquer every struggle in your life easily. It is the simplest way to be… there is no struggle, no ups and downs… just leading your life in pure bliss. 


…Because a true devotee knows, there is a huge power around us, who is managing things in the best of our interest. Do check out sadhguru’s videos. 

Have a blissful weekend!

Image and video courtesy Google & YouTube

Anecdote – Lesson by my grandma!

My grandma is a grand old lady nearing a century. If you look at her, she may appear formidable in the beginning and then a ringing laughter would ensue, dismantling the image you had conjured up in your mind. The fact is, she is both formidable as well as light hearted. A unique, delightful combination!

Born and brought up in a royal family ( Kharsawan, Jharkhand), she has always had that regal bearing. She believes in maintaining distance from her kids, grand kids, great grand kids as well as recently added a great great grand kid. And we are all supposed to behave in her presence. We rise when she enters the room and remain respectful in her presence.

During my childhood years, we lived with her, so, we had the opportunity to observe her from the closest quarters. I discovered her lighter side later in life. Initially, I was apprehensive of her. She commanded and the household ran according to her. But as I grew up, I discovered the lighter, fun side of her personality. There have been many instances when she would have us in splits.

Here is one such incident. One of our cousins was going to meet a prospective bridegroom. In arranged marriages in India, girls and guys are introduced by their families, they meet up, chat and then a decision is taken unanimously. 

So, this cousin was both excited as well as scared before her first meeting. Our granny called her and said, “If you like this man, try to do little something to make him fall for you.”

We were seeing another aspect of our grandma. We all asked, “what?”. She immediately showed us how to woo a husband – “Look sideways at him and then look down… blush… look up again at him… look down and blush again. And then smile juuust a little.” We doubled up with laughter!

I don’t know whether my cousin looked sideways at the prospective groom or not but they ended up getting married!

(Sharing a picture of my grandparents)

I look up to my grand old lady because she always had the audacity to laugh at all challenges that came in her life. In her almost 100 years of life, she has seen many ups and downs. All her peers are long gone now, times have changed but she has remained strong.

I adore her because she is quite broad minded, child like and her booming laughter lightens the most serious of situations. A great devotee of Krishna, she follows what the playful God  says – to celebrate life as it is!

Long live my grandma!

When I lied about something…

   
 ( A chit chat with Him)

Recently, I lied about something to escape an uncomfortable situation. It was a small lie… did not hurt anyone nor did it bring any major benefits to me. I just escaped a situation. But a lie it was!
My heart felt a little heavy. So, I thought of talking to Him and asked – Will you forgive me for my tiny sin? 

He said – It is important that you forgive yourself. I love you the way I have always loved you. It is you who have to take care of your Self.

I defended myself – I have not done wrong to anyone. I just protected myself with the help of that lie.

There was no answer from Him. 

I nudged Him again –  Is a lie wrong in all its forms?

Thankfully, He answered – if your heart is light nothing is wrong, if your heart feels heavy. You have done some damage to it. Remember, every sin sickens your conscience and weakens your Self. You get weakened over time. It has nothing to do with Good or Bad, Right or Wrong. It affects your Self. There is no external force keeping a check over you, it is your Self, who is the witness to all that you do. I am and will always be with you until you throw me out of your heart.

I asked further – And how sick is my heart?

He answered – You are a better judge! Just remember that as long as you feel the heaviness after committing a ‘sin’, I am around. With time, people learn to ignore the heaviness. They start believing in deception. Deception makes life easier but  with time, you will be disconnected with your Self. I make life heavier but I connect you to your Self. 

I said – Is that all you do, mighty God? You just connect me to my Self?

He laughed – Yes, that is all I do. Rest, is all your own doing. You create your own paradise and hell. And remember, try never to alienate the ‘self’ witness, the moment that connection breaks, life may seem easy but you would be lost forever. 

I asked –  But how do I heal the heaviness in my heart?

He said – By admitting that it was a fault and resolving to tell the truth. Damage control is important. 

I asked – And why do I need You as a mediator between me and my self?

He smiled – It is your choice. Establish a connection with your Self and you will not need me. I and your Self are no different. I am just on a large scale. Presently, you need me because you have been taught to listen and pray to me, all your life.

I said – Well,  much ado over a small lie! You certainly look a little less dreadful to me, now that I know that you do not punish  people or send them to hell.

He laughed.

I said –  Okay, I think I will not repeat that lie again to strengthen my Self. I find it funny to realise that my life is all about my Self. This Self creates heaven, it creates hell! And poor religious fundamentalists, they have been fighting and killing for You. 

He said – I know. They are the lost ones…

I said – So, will you always be around no matter what I do…?

He said – Yes, I will always be around as long as you don’t start avoiding me. I do not avoid people, they avoid me!

I simply said – Alright, that means, I will have to stay clean, so that I don’t avoid you.

He smiled – Yes, my dear!

I smiled.

Random sketches of the eye!

  When I was a little girl, I used to love sketching. I drew faces and figures all over my copies and books. I would often get frowns from my parents and teachers but it would never deter me.

My aunt is a lovely artist and I drew inspiration from her works. Even my sisters loved to draw figures and landscapes but I primarily focussed on the face, specifically the eye!

These days I hardly paint because colours demand a lot of time and effort. And also because I don’t want my kids to get supercreative and make artworks all over the house. But I do sketch a lot whenever inspiration strikes me.

Today, I felt like sketching the eye and I drew some random sketches in about fifteen minutes.

Here are the pictures…hope you will like them😀

  
  
  
  
And finally, a sketch of Krishna, I made recently. 

  

Did you know Sri Rama had a sister?

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Yes, you read it right! Sri Rama had an elder sister Shanta (born of Dashratha and Kaushalya), who was given away for adoption to Kaushalya’s sister. To read in detail click here . There are a few other random facts I found out about Ramayana. I thought that since it is Dussehra time, the timing is just right to share!

For the benefit of non Hindus, let me first elaborate that the festival Dussehra is symbolic of victory of good over evil. Ramayana, the epic, written by sage Valmiki deals with the story and glory of Lord Rama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Rama had killed the very powerful demon king Ravana, who had abducted his wife Sita, on this day. Since then, Dussehra is celebrated across India.

But there are a few lesser known facts which many do not know. I would like to share a few interesting ones I came across:

1)During the exile period of Rama, Laxman and Sita, Laxman never slept. He is, hence, also called ‘Gudakesh’ meaning one who has ‘defeated sleep’.

2) Laxman’s wife Urmila slept both his and her share of sleep so that Laxmana could protect Rama and Sita. It is said that she slept for 14 years and woke up when her husband returned to Ayodhya.

3)  Vashishta, the guru of Raghukul dynasty named Ram. He explained that the name Rama is a powerful mantra. It is made up of two beeja aksharas(alphabetical seeds): Agni beeja(Ra) and Amrutha beeja(Ma). Agni beeja energises the soul, mind and body. Amrutha beeja reinvigorates the prana shakti(life force) in all the body.

4) After killing Bali by using deceit, Lord Rama promised that Bali would have his revenge in his next birth. Bali was reborn as Jara the hunter who killed Krishna – the next reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.

5) Ravan, the demon king with ten heads was killed at the eve of Dussehra. His ten heads symbolises the ten sins within us. They are:

  1. Kama vasana (Lust)
  2. Krodha (Anger)
  3. Moha (Attachment)
  4. Lobha (Greed)
  5. Mada (Over Pride)
  6. Matsara (Jealousy)
  7. Swartha (Selfishness)
  8. Anyaaya (Injustice)
  9. Amanavta (Cruelty)
  10. Ahankara (Ego).

Hope you liked these lesser known facts of Ramayana. Allow me to wish you a happy and prosperous Dussehra. Festivities have just started  my lovely friends and the great thing is – this will last till Diwali ( and in some parts of India till Chath puja).

Wishing you great fun and festivity ahead!!!

Image courtesy Google