Monday, March 15, 2010

Ugaadi Subhakankshalu- Telugu New Year 2010

Swami Ganapati Sachidananda

Ugadi Pachadi -Andhra Delicacy Reflecting Different Flavors Of Life
from - Sailu's Food

Today we are celebrating Ugadi,the Telugu New Year Day, which is the first festival of our Telugu calendar and the first big festival that comes after Sankranti.Our Andhra festival is known by different names in different states of India like “Gudi Padwa” in Maharastra and “Ugadi” in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.Whatever the name this festival takes in different regions,it heralds the dawn of Vasanth Rutu (Spring Season),which is considered the first season of the year (Chaitra Maasam) .Ugadi to the Telugu speaking people marks a beginning of a new year in which nature is in full bloom, symbolizing regeneration and celebrating the season’s freshness.
With the coming of Ugadi, mango season is in full swing with fresh green mangoes flooding the rythu bazaars,garlands of marigold,roses,kanakaambaram, chamanti,naturally perfumed jasmine flowers (mallepuulu) which are in full bloom adorn the deities in temples and yes,you find most of our Andhra women’s braids are adorned with clusters of mallepuulu (jasmine flowers).The doorways of our homes are adorned with mango leaves which signifies prosperity and general well-being.But the most unique and significant tradition of Ugadi is beginning the new year with savoring a unique flavored pachadi (chutney) that epitomizes the spirit of Ugadi called "Ugadi Pachadi",with sweet,sour,pungent and bitter tastes (shadhruchulu or six tastes). This chutney or sauce is a symbolic reminder of the myriad facets of life in a sense prepares us for the year ahead.Of course,other than the special pachadi we also prepare special foods with the use of raw mango like papppu maamidikaaya,maamidi pulihora,maamidi kobari pachadi,pulihora,bobattulu, payasam and garellu.

Ugadi Pachadi is a special preparation prepared in every Andhra home on Telugu New Year’s day.Its made with fresh tamarind,jaggery(panela),fresh mangoes and neem flowers (margosa).One can add sugarcane,coconut and bananas also.The sweetness of jaggery,the sourness of tamarind,the bitterness of neemflower and the pungent flavor of the green mango skin,spice of the chilli powder ,raw tender mango’s taste and lastly salt form the shadhruchulu or six tastes of the sauce.

Andhra Ugadi Pachadi Recipe

1 cup of raw fresh mango (cleaned and dried and finely chopped along with skin into small pieces)
1 tbsp of margosa flowers (neem tree flowers)
1 cup of grated jaggery
1 tbsp of fresh finely chopped coconut pieces (optional)
3 -4 tbsp tamarind paste
red chilli pwd (according to your choice)
salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients to form a sauce like appearence.If you want a thin and watery chutney add very little water (2-3 tbsps).
Note: You can also add small pieces of sugarcane,pieces of ripe banana,putanaala pappu(roasted channa dal) along with the above ingredients.
Each home has its own version of preparing the ugadi pachadi but the main ingredients (reflecting all the six flavors) are as specified above.

The myriad rich taste of this delicacy tickles and lingers on our tongue for a long time leaving a medley of flavors.The flavors of the Ugadi Pachadi signifies that the mixture of bitter margosa flowers and sweet jaggery reflect the myriad facets of life,both joy and sorrow and prepares one to face both good and bad in the year to come.During this season we find people eating neem leaves and flowers at the onset of Vasantha Ruthu and through out the spring season as its a counter measure for kapha dosha individuals (kapha dosha increases around this period).Ugadi Pachadi is a healthy low calorie pachadi where the Neem flowers , new tamarind, jaggery and fresh raw mangoes contain nutrients that cleanse the system and act as prophylactics(prevention of illness or disease).

Ugadi Subhakankshulu!Wishing you all a very happy Ugadi and a great year ahead!

Panchangam Sravanam:

Telugu, Panchanga Sravanam

English, Panchanga Sravanam

Yugadi (Kannada: ಯುಗಾದಿ, Telugu: ఉగాది) from yuga + aadi, yuga means era, aadi means start. The start of an era) is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. While the people of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh use the term Yugadi/Ugadhi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day, Gudi Padwa. Sindhis, people from Sindh, celebrate the same day as their New Year day Cheti Chand

It falls on a different day every year because the Indian calendar is a lunisolar calendar. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March/April) and Yugadi marks the first day of the new year.
The word Yugadi can be explained as; 'Yuga' is the word for 'epoch' or 'era', and 'aadi' stands for 'the beginning'. Yugadi specifically refers to the start of the age we are living in now, Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga started the moment when Lord Krishna left the world. Maharshi Vedavyasa describes this event with the words 'Yesmin Krishno divamvyataha, Tasmat eeva pratipannam Kaliyugam'. Kali Yuga began on Feb 17/18 midnight 3102 BC.
The festival marks the new year day for people between Vindhyas and Kaveri river who follow the Dakshina Bhartha lunar calendar, pervasively adhered to in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
This calendar reckons dates based on the Shalivahana era (Shalivahana Shaka), which begins its count from the supposed date of the founding of the Empire by the legendary hero Shalivahana. The Satavahana king Shalivahana (also identified as Gautamiputra Satakarni) is credited with the initiation of this era known as Shalivahana. The Salivahana era begins its count of years from the year corresponding to 78 AD of the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the year 2000 AD corresponds to the year 1922 of the Salivahana Era.

In the terminology used by this lunar calendar (also each year is identified as per Indian Calendar), Yugadi falls on Chaitra Shudhdha Paadyami or the first day of the bright half of the Indian month of Chaitra. This generally falls in the months of March or April of the Gregorian calendar. In 2010, ugadi falls on March 16.
Lunar calendars have a sixty year cycle and starts the new year on Yugadi i.e., on Chaitra Sudhdha Paadyami. After the completion of sixty years, the calendar starts anew with the first year.
Yugadi (start of new year) is based on Bhāskara II lunar calculations in 12th century. It starts on the first new moon after Sun crosses equator from south to north on Spring Equinox. For example, the time for the new moon for Bijapur where Bhaskaracharya was born can be determined from the website [1] However, people celebrate Yugadi on the next morning as Indian day starts from sun rise. Many Indians in America also celebrate Yugadi.
[edit]Observance in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka

The Kannada and Telugu people celebrate the festival with great fanfare; gatherings of the extended family and a sumptuous feast are 'de rigueur'. The day, however, begins with ritual showers (oil bath) followed by prayers, and then the eating of a specific mixture of -
Neem Buds/Flowers for bitterness
Raw Mango for tang
Tamarind Juice for sourness
Green Chilli/Pepper for heat
Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness
Pinch of Salt for saltiness

This mixture with all six tastes (షడ్రుచులు), called Yugadi Pachhadi (ఉగాది పచ్చడి) in Telugu and Bevu-Bella( ಬೇವು-ಬೆಲ್ಲ) in Kannada[2], symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise) , which should be accepted together and with equanimity.

Holigey/Bhakshalu-prepared on Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
In Karnataka a special dish called Obbattu/Holigey, is prepared. In Andhra Pradesh, a special dish called Bhakshalu or Bobbatlu (Puran Poli) are prepared on this occasion. It consists of a filling (Bengal gram and jaggery/sugar boiled and made in to a paste) stuffed in a flat roti like bread. It is usually eaten hot/cold with ghee or milk topping.
Later, people traditionally gather to listen to the recitation of the religious almanac (Panchangam) of the coming year, and to the general forecast of the year to come. This is the Panchanga Sravanam, an informal social function where an elderly and respected person refers to the new almanac pertaining to the coming year and makes a general benediction to all present. The advent of television has changed this routine, especially in the cities. Nowadays, people turn on the TV to watch broadcasts of the recitation.
Yugadi celebrations are marked by literary discussions, poetry recitations and recognition of authors of literary works through awards and cultural programs. Recitals of classical Carnatic music and dance are held in the evenings.

Observance in Maharashtra: Gudi Padwa
The festival is called "Gudi Padwa" in Maharashtra; it heralds the advent of new year and is one of the most auspicious days for Maharashtrians.
It is customary to erect ‘Gudis’ on the first day (Padwa) of the Marathi New Year. 'Gudi' is a bamboo staff with a colored silk cloth and a garlanded goblet atop it, which symbolizes victory or achievement. Hence, this day is known as “Gudipadwa” in Maharashtra. The New Year is ushered in with the worship of the "Gudi" and the distribution of a specific "Prasad" comprising tender neem leaves, gram-pulse and jaggery. The symbolism of tastes is the same as what is described above.
Also in many Maharashtrian homes they celebrate the occasion by making Shrikhand Puri.

Vasanta Navaratr
i (literally - The 9-night Spring festival) starts on this day and culminates nine days later on Sri Raamanavami which falls on Chaitra Sudhdha Navami.
The years would have names in Sanskrit. The name of the one that starts on 27 March 2009 is Sri Virodhi.The one that ended is Sarvadhari.

Vedic and Puranic units of time span from the truti (microsecond) to the mahamantavara (311.04 trillion years). Hindu theology considers the creation and destruction of the universe a cyclic process.

Old Indian measures are presently used primarily for religious purposes in Hinduism and Jainism. They also are employed in the teachings of Surat Shabda Yoga.
The Hindu cosmological time cycles are described in verses 11–23 of Chapter 1, Surya Siddhanta:
(Verse 11). That which begins with respirations (prāna) is called real; that which begins with atoms (truti) is unreal. Six respirations make a vinādi, sixty of these a nādi.
(12). And sixty nādis make a sidereal day and night. Of thirty of these sidereal days is composed a month; a civil month (sāvana) consists of as many sunrises.
(13). A lunar month, of as many lunar days (tithi); a solar (sāura) month is determined by the entrance of the sun into a sign of the zodiac; twelve months make a year. This is called a day of the gods.
(14). The day and night of the devas and of the asuras are mutually opposed to one another. Six times sixty of them are a year of the devas, and likewise of the asuras.
(15). Twelve thousand of these divine years are denominated a chaturyuga (chatur=Four; yuga=Ages); of ten thousand times four hundred and thirty-two solar years.
(16) The difference of the krtayuga and the other yugas, as measured by the difference in the number of the feet of Dharma in each, is as follows :
(17). The tenth part of a chaturyuga, multiplied successively by four, three, two, and one, gives the length of the krta and the other yugas: the sixth part of each belongs to its dawn and twilight.
(18). One and seventy chaturyugas make a (manvantara (Patriarchate of one Manu); at its end is a twilight which has the number of years of a krtayuga, and which is a pralaya (catastrophic end of creation).
(19). In a kalpa (æon) are reckoned fourteen such Manus with their respective twilights; at the commencement of the kalpa is a fifteenth dawn, having the length of a krtayuga.
(20). The kalpa, thus composed of a thousand chaturyugas, and which brings about the destruction of all that exists, is a day of Brahma; his night is of the same length.
(21). His extreme age is a hundred, according to this valuation of a day and a night. The half of his life is past; of the remainder, this is the first kalpa.
(22). And of this kalpa, six Manus are past, with their respective twilights; and of the Patriarch Manu son of Vivasvant, twenty-seven chaturyugas are past;
(23). Of the present, the twenty-eighth chaturyuga, the krtayuga is past; from this point,reckoning up the time, one should compute together the whole number.


The Hindu metrics of time (Kālm Vyavahara) can be summarized as below.

Hindu units of time on a logarithmic scale.
Sidereal metrics
a Paramaanus () is the normal interval of blinking in humans, or approximately 4 seconds
a vighati (विघटि) is 6 paramaanus, or approximately 24 seconds
a ghadiya (घटि) is 60 vighatis, or approximately 24 minutes
a muhurta is equal to 2 ghadiyas, or approximately 48 minutes
a nakshatra ahoratram (नक्षत्र अहोरत्रम्) or sidereal day is exactly equal to 30 muhurtas (Note: A day is considered to begin and end at sunrise, not midnight.)

An alternate system described in the Vishnu Purana Time measurement section of the Vishnu Purana Book I Chapter III is as follows:
10 blinks of the eye = 1 Kásht́há
35 Kásht́hás = 1 Kalá
20 Kalás = 1 Muhúrtta
30 Muhúrttas = 1 day (24 hours)
30 days = 1 month
6 months = 1 Ayana
2 Ayanas = 1 year or one day (day + night) of the gods
[edit]Small units of time used in the Vedas
a trasarenu is the combination of 6 celestial atoms.
a truti is the time needed to integrate 3 trasarenus, or 1/1687.5th of a second.
a vedha is 100 trutis.
a lava is 3 vedhas.
a nimesha is 3 lavas, or a blink.
a kshanas is 3 nimeshas.
a kashthas is 5 kshanas, or about 8 seconds.
a laghu is 15 kashthas, or about 2 minutes.
15 laghus make one nadika, which is also called a danda. This equals the time before water overflows in a six-pala-weight [fourteen ounce] pot of copper, in which a hole is bored with a gold probe weighing four masha and measuring four fingers long. The pot is then placed on water for calculation.
2 dandas make one muhurta.
6 or 7 muhurtas make one yamah, or 1/4th of a day or night.
4 praharas or 4 yamas are in each day or each night.

Lunar metrics
a tithi (also spelled thithi ) or lunar day is defined as the time it takes for the longitudinal angle between the moon and the sun to increase by 12°. Tithis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from approximately 19 to approximately 26 hours.
a paksa (also paksha) or lunar fortnight consists of 15 tithis
a masa or lunar month (approximately 29.5 days) is divided into 2 pakshas: the one between new moon and full moon (waxing) is called gaura (bright) or shukla paksha; the one between full moon and new moon (waning) krishna (dark) paksha
a ritu (or season) is 2 masa
an ayanam is 3 rituhs
a year is 2 Aayanas

Tropical metrics
a yaama (याम) is 7½ Ghatis (घटि)
8 yaamas 1 half of the day(either day or night)
an ahoratram is a tropical day (Note: A day is considered to begin and end at sunrise, not midnight.)

Reckoning of time among other entities
Reckoning of time amongst the pitr (ancestors).
1 human fortnight (14 days) = 1 day of the pitrs
30 days of the pitrs = 1 month of the pitrs = (14 x 30 = 420 human days)
12 months of the pitrs = 1 year of the pitrs = (12 months of pitrs x 420 human days = 5040 human days)
The lifespan of the pitrs is 100 years of the pitrs (= 36,000 pitr days = 504,000 human days)
Reckoning of time amongst the Devas.
1 human year = 1 day of the Devas.
30 days of the Devas = 1 month of the Devas.
12 months of the Devas = 1 year of the Devas = 1 divine year.
The lifespan of the Devas is 100 years of the Devas (= 36,000 human years)

The Vishnu Purana Time measurement section of the Vishnu Purana Book I Chapter III explains the above as follows:
2 Ayanas (six month periods, see above) = 1 human year or 1 day of the devas
4,000 + 400 + 400 = 4,800 divine years = 1 Krita Yuga
3,000 + 300 + 300 = 3,600 divine years = 1 Tretá Yuga
2,000 + 200 + 200 = 2,400 divine years = 1 Dwápara Yuga
1,000 + 100 + 100 = 1,200 divine years = 1 Kali Yuga
12,000 divine year = 4 Yugas = 1 Mahayuga(also called divine yuga)

Reckoning of time for Brahma.
1000 Mahayugas = 1 kalpa = 1 day (day only) of Brahma (4.32 billion human years; close to the estimated age of the Sun, which is 4.59 Billion Years).
(Two kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma)
30 days of Brahma = 1 month of Brahma (259.2 billion human years)
12 months of Brahma = 1 year of Brahma (3.1104 trillion human years)
50 years of Brahma = 1 Pararddha
2 parardhas = 100 years of Brahma = 1 Para = 1 Mahakalpa (the lifespan of Brahma)(311.04 trillion human years)
One day of Brahma is divided into 10,000 parts called charanas. The charanas are divided as follows:

The Four Yugas
4 charanas (1,728,000 solar years) Satya Yuga
3 charanas(1,296,000 solar years) Treta Yuga
2 charanas(864,000 solar years) Dwapar Yuga
1 charanas(432,000 solar years) Kali Yuga

The cycle repeats itself so altogether there are 1,000 cycles of mahayugas in one day of Brahma.
One cycle of the above four yugas is one mahayuga (4.32 million solar years)
as is confirmed by the Gita statement "sahasra-yuga paryantam ahar-yad brahmano viduh", meaning, a day of brahma is of 1000 mahayugas. Thus a day of Brahma, kalpa, is of duration: 4.32 billion solar years. Two kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma
A manvantara consists of 71 mahayugas (306,720,000 solar years). Each Manvantara is ruled by a Manu.
After each manvantara follows one Sandhi Kala of the same duration as a Krita Yuga (1,728,000 = 4 Charana). (It is said that during a Sandhi Kala, the entire earth is submerged in water.)
A kalpa consists of a period of 1,728,000 solar years called Adi Sandhi, followed by 14 manvantaras and Sandhi Kalas.
A day of Brahma equals
(14 times 71 mahayugas) + (15 x 4 Charanas)
= 994 mahayugas + (60 Charanas)
= 994 mahayugas + (6 x 10) Charanas
= 994 mahayugas + 6 mahayugas
= 1,000 mahayugas

Our current date
Currently, 50 years of Brahma have elapsed and we are in the first Day of the 51st year. This Brahma's day, Kalpa, is named as ShvetaVaraha Kalpa. Within this Day, six Manvantaras have already elapsed and we are in the seventh Manavatara, named as - Vaivasvatha Manvantara. Within the Vaivasvatha Manavantara, 27 Mahayugas (4 Yugas together is a Mahayuga), and the Krita, Treta and Dwapara Yugas of the 28th Mahayuga have elapsed. We are in the Kaliyuga of the 28th Mahayuga. This Kaliyuga began in the year 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian Calendar. Since 50 years of Brahma have already elapsed, we are in the second Parardha, also called as Dvithiya Parardha.
The time elapsed since the current Brahma has taken over the task of creation can be calculated as
432000 x 10 x 1000 x 2 = 8.64 Billion Years (2 Kalpa(day and night) )
[8] 8.64 x 109 x 30 x 12 = 3.1104 Trillion Years (1 year of Brahma)
3.1104 x 1012 x 50 = 155.52 Trillion Years (50 years of Brahma)
(6 x 71 x 4320000 ) + 7 x 1.728 x 106 = 1.973 billion years elapsed in first six Manvataras, and Sandhi Kalas in the current Kalpa
27 x 4320000 = 116.640000 million years elapsed in first 27 Mahayugas of the current Manvantara
1.728 x 106 + 1.296 x 106 + 864000 = 3.888 million years elapsed in current Mahayuga
3102 + 2010 = 5112 years elapsed in current Kaliyuga.
So the total time elapsed since current Brahma is
155.52 x 1012 + 1.973x109 + 0.00012053302 = 155.52 Trillion Years
The current Kali Yuga began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar

The year is defined as 12 months, each of which is of 30 days in length i.e., the year is only 360 days long. Consequently, the calendar falls regularly out of date and is adjusted by introducing an additional month every so often. The additional month, called Adhika Maasa meaning literally an extra month, cycles through all the twelve months. No religious ceremonies or festivals are observed during the adhika maasa. There are 60 such year names and the cycle of years repeats every sixty years starting from Prabhava.
Vrusha (Vishu)
Sarvajittu (2007-2008)
Sarvadhari (2008-2009)
Virodhi (2009-2010)
Vikruti (2010-2011)
Nala (naLa)

The year is split into two halves, Uttharaayana and Dakshinaayana, based on the direction of Sun's apparent motion across the sky. The period of sun's six months in northern orbit is called Uttarayana. As the sun begins its journey north, it is believed that the Devas awaken from their slumber and start their day. This period id considered to be the path of light and very auspicious. We find that in Mahabharata, Bhishma waited until uttarayana to leave the world.
This is considered to be the darler path, and to be the night of the Devas. The other half of the year, during which the Sun's movement is southerly is called Dakshinaayana.


During a year, Sun's motion causes it to travel the entire Zodiac. The entrance of the Sun into each individual constellation is called sankramana and there are twelve such sankramanas (one month in length roughly). One important sankramana is the makara sankramana, which happens when Sun enters the Makara or Capricorn since it signals the beginning of Uttharaayana. In Andhra Pradesh, this is celebrated as the festival, Makara Sankranthi, and usually occurs on January 13 or January 14.

Cheti Chand is celebrated as New Year's Day by Sindhis,
According to the Hindu calendar, Cheti Chand is celebrated on the second day of the Chaitra month known as Chet in Sindhi. Hence it is known as CHET-I-CHAND. It is the second day of month chaitra (i.e. a day after Ugadi and Gudi Padwa).
The Sindhi community celebrates the festival of Cheti Chand in honour of the birth of Ishtadeva Uderolal, popularly known as Jhulelal, the Patron Saint of the Sindhis. This day is considered to be very auspicious and is celebrated with pompous and gaiety. On this day, people worship water – the elixir of life.

Followers of Jhulelal observe Chaliho Sahab. It suggests that for forty long days and nights they underwent rituals and vigil on the bank of Sindhu. They did not shave, nor did they wear new clothes or shoes. They did not use soap or oil or any opulent thing. They just washed their clothes, dried them and wore them again. In the evening, they worshipped God Varun, sang songs in his praise and prayed for their solace and salvation. After 40 days of Chaaliho, the followers of Jhulelal celebrate the occasion with festivity as 'Thanks Giving Day' even till today.

On this day, many Sindhis take Baharana Sahib to a nearby river or lake. Baharana Sahib consists of Jyot (Oil Lamp), Misiri (Crystal Sugar), Phota (Cardamom), Fal (Fruits), and Akha. Behind is Kalsh (Water jar) and a Nariyal (Coconut) in it, covered with cloth, phool (flowers) and patta (leaves). There is also a Murti (Idol)with this.

When you meet any Sindhi wish him for Sindhi New Year, saying "Cheti Chand jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav".
In response "Tohan khe bhi Cheti Chand jyon Lakh Lakh Wadayun Athav".

Langa Voni (in Telugu) (or Dhavani in Tamil language) is a traditional dress worn mainly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala by young girls between puberty and marriage. It is also called as two-piece saree or half saree or Paavadai Davani and comprises langa or Lahengaor Pavadai which is tied in the waist using string and an oni or Davani, a see through fine cloth usually 2 to 2.5 metre in length which is draped diagonally over a choli (a tight fitting blouse, same as worn for saree) and is usually woven with cotton or silk. A variant of this is Gagra choli of North India (the difference between the both being in the way of draping the oni or pallu).
The half saree provides a smooth switching from paavadai (full skirt) and sattai (tops), the traditional dress of small girls, to the complexity of draping a saree. Usually the paavadai and oni are brightly colored and contrasting to each other and look like the sari. Just like the sari, oni is also worn by wrapping it around the waist, with one end then draped over the shoulder baring the midriff.

The influence of western culture and apparent thought of inconvenience of wearing the dress has made many girls to switch from this traditional attire to modern outfits . In recent years, however, Langa Oni is gaining popularity among girls again due to media attention and due to the work of many designers who have brought in many new designs. Once being very simple, Langa Oni now portray extravagant embroidery, mirror or zari work with bold colors like black, grey etc which were once considered inauspicious. The fabric has also been changed from the usual silk or cotton to chiffon, georgette and other synthetic materials like crepe or nylon. Modern skirts are usually made of light to mid-weight fabrics like denim, jersey, worsted or poplin. Skirts of thin or clingy fabrics need slips to help the material of the skirt wear in a better way. All these changes have made the dress popular again. Once, worn by the South Indian community on family functions and festivities, Langa Oni are nowadays worn even as party wears.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tenali Ramakrishna

Tenali Raman, Toonz, English, 2003,

Tenali Rama, Hindi TV serial, DD, 1990

Tenali Ramakrishna, Telugu Film, part 1

part 2

Tenali Ramakrishna, Telugu Cartoon

Garlapati Tenali Ramakrishna (Telugu: తెనాలి రామకృష్ణుడు), popularly known as Tenali Rama and Vikata Kavi, was a court-poet of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 16th century CE. He was one of the Ashtadiggajas who were patrons of Krishnadeva Raya and is also referred to as Tenali Raman in some parts of Southern India.

His family had originally hailed from Tumuluru near Tenali in Guntur District. He was also known as Tenali Ramalinga, a Shaiva name. It is believed that he later converted to Vaishnavism.

Some scholars dispute whether that he was a contemporary of Krishnadeva Raya. Tenali Ramakrishna's most famous work, Panduranga Mahatyamu, is dedicated to god Panduranga (विठोबा in Marathi), a form of Vishnu, whose main temple stands at Pandharpur in Maharashtra. He was known for his wit. He died due to a snake-bite.

His story was made into a cartoon called "The Adventures of Tenali Raman" by the Cartoon Network (India) in 2001.

Scholars treat his famous work Panduranga Mahatyamu as one among the Pancha Kavyas. He has dedicated Panduranga Mahatyam to Viruri Vedadri.This book is about the Pundarika Kshetram on the banks of river Bhaimi and its legend. He also composed Udbhataradhya Charitram on the story of Udbhata, a monk, as well as Ghatikachala Mahatyam about Ghatikachalam, a place of worship for God Narasimha near Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.

He followed the Prabhanda style. He took the theme for Panduranga Mahatyam from the Skanda Purana and enhanced it with many stories about the devotees of God Vitthala (Panduranga).

He is noted for brilliance and wit and for mocking other poets and great personalities. He created a celebrated character called Nigama Sarma akka(sister of Nigama Sarma) and a story around her without giving her a name. He also had written many Chatuvu(extempore poems).


Krishnadevaraya who ruler the kingdom of Vijayanagara in between 1509-1529 was one of the greatest statesmen which medieval South India had produced. Called variously as ‘Kannadaraya’, ‘Sri Karnata Mahisa’ and ‘Kannada Rajya Ramaramana’, his rule saw all round prosperity of South India, culturally and materialistically. He was the son of Tuluva Narasanayaka and after the death of his brother Vira Narasimha ascended the throne of Vijayanagara in 1509. C.Hayavadana Rao opines that Krishnadevaraya was possibly ruling simultaneously with Vira Narasimha long before his coronation in August 1509.At the time of Krishnadevaraya’s accession to the throne, the condition of the empire was unstable. Not only he had to deal with rebellious subordinates but also the aggression of the Gajapatis of Orissa and the Muslim kingdoms in the north. But he came out successfully against all his adversaries.

His war against the Bahamanis: Though the Bahamani kingdom had split up into five separate states, the sultans of these kingdoms used to organize annual jihad against Vijayanagar. Soon after his accession to the throne, Krishnadevaraya had to face the combined army of the Bahamani Sultan and the Adilshah of Bijapur. Krishnadevaraya defeated them at a place called Doni and pursued them up to Kovilakonda where they were again defeated. The sultan of Bijapur, Yusuf Adil Khan lost his life in the battle. For the first time the Muslim kingdoms realized that they could no longer plunder and ravage Vijayanagar at will. In 1512, Krishnadevaraya re-conquered Raichur, which was in the hands of Bijapur for nearly 20 years. Then he marched towards Gulbarga, the capital of the Bahamini kingdom and freed the Bahamani sultan Mahmud II from his minister, Kasim Barid, reinstated him back to the throne and took the title ‘Establisher of the Yavana (Muslim) kingdom’. But later taking advantage of Krishnadevaraya’s preoccupation with the Orissa campaign, Ismail Adil Khan, the successor of Yusuf recaptured Raichur. Krishnadevaraya marched against him with an army consisting of one million men and defeated the Bijapur army at Kembavi and Surapur. Raichur was re-conquered in 1522. Then once again he marched to Gulbarga and liberated the sons of Mahmud II from Ali Barid, the son of Kasim Barid, made the eldest of them sultan and brought the others with him to Vijayanagar and treated them with much consideration.

His campaign against the Gajapatis: In 1512, Krishnadevaraya turned his attention to the east and conquered the fort of Udayagiri from the Gajapati in 1513 after a long a siege of one and a half years. Prataparudra’s attempt to raise the siege of Udayagir resulted in his defeat and the fleeing Gajapati army was pursued by the Vijayanagara army up to Kondavidu. Forts like Kandukur, Addanki, Vinukonda, Bellamakonda, Nagarjunakonda and Ketavaram was conquered and in June 1515 Kondavidu was caputured. Next he captured Rajamahendri and proceeded as far as Simhachalam. He established a pillar of victory at Potnur. Finally he invested Cuttack, the capital of the Gajapatis and Gajapati Prataparudra was forced to sue for peace in 1518. The Gajapati gave his daughter, Tukkadevi or Jaganmohini in marriage to Krishnadevaraya. In turn Krishnadevaraya returned all the territory north of Krishna to Prataparudra. Taking advantage of the Krishnadevaraya’s preoccupation in his Orian war, the sultan of Golkonda marched against Kondavidu and besieged it. Krishnadevaraya immediately dispatched a huge army of 200000 men under Saluva Timma, who defeated the Golkonda army and captured its commander Madarul Mulk and several officers.
Suppression of Internal revolts: The chieftain of Ummatur, Gangaraya had been in revolt since the last days of Vira Narasimha’s reign. In 1512, Krishnadevaraya marched against him and captured Sivanasamudra, the headquarters of Gangaraya. Gangaraya fled and was drowned in the river Kaveri. The conquered territory became a new province with Srirangapatana as capital. The same year Mangalore was also captured.

As a Warrior: Krishnadevaraya used to personally lead his army against adversaries in the battlefield and showed amazing resourceful ness in overcoming obstacles in his path. During the siege of the Udayagiri fort, he got boulders and rocks smashed to make passage wider and smoother for the movement of his troops. He showed extraordinary courage even in the face of gravest danger. For instance during the siege of the fort of Raichur, when the first line of defense was broken by the artillery fire from the enemy, Krishnadevaraya who was in charge of the second line stood firm and exhorted his men to fight without caring for their lives. Motivated by his call his men fought heroically and won the battle. Krishnadevaraya loved and cared his men and on the conclusion of a battle used to go to the battlefield looking for the wounded, making arrangement to pick them and treat.

His personality: According to Domingo Paes, the Portuguese traveler who visited Vijayanagara in 1520, Krishnadevaraya was of medium height and of fair complexion and with a good figure, rather fat than thin and had the signs of smallpox on his face. Paes records that Krishnadevaraya used to do exercises daily in the morning by applying oil on his body and used to work out till all the oil came out in the form of sweat. This was followed by a long ride over his horse. Then he used to take his bath, offer worship to gods and began his official work. “He is the most feared king, but very cheerful and merciful”- he adds.
Scholar and Patron of Arts: Krishnadevaraya was a great patron of literature and was know as Abhinava Bhoja. Himself being a scholar, he wrote the Telugu work Amuktamalyada and a Sanskrit play, Jambavati Kalyana. He had eight great scholars called Ashtadiggajas in his court. They included Allasani Peddana often described as the Andhrakavitapitamaha. His famous work was Manucharitamu, Another famous poet was Nandi Timmanna, the author of Parijathapaharanamu. Others eminent literary luminaries were Tenali Ramakrishna, Kumara Dhurjati and Rama Raja Bhushana. He asked the Kannada poet Timmanna to complete the Kannada Mahabharatha started by Kumara Vyasa. Telugu poet Peddanna was personally honoured by him for his proficiency in Telugu and Sanskrit and taken in a palanquin borne by Krishnadevaraya himself. According to Nidatavolu Venkata Rao, the reign of Krishnadevaraya is a glorious chapter in the South Indian literary history. The imperial court had representatives of Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil poets, who contributed largely to their respective literatures.
His religious beliefs: Krishnadevaraya patronized all religious sects and was a devotee of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati and even now we can see the images of Krishnadevaraya along with his two queens standing with folded hands in the Tirupati temple. The images have their names written in Kannada. Vallabhacharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the renowned saints of the bhakti movement visited his court. Krishnadevaraya honoured the former by performing Kanakabhisheka (showering gold coins on him). Krishnadevaraya held the Madhwa saint Vyasatirtha in much reverence and had left his throne vacant for the saint to occupy for some time. Krishnadevaraya expanded the temple of Ramaswamy at Vijayanagara and added a kalyanamantapa and tower to the temple of Virupaksha. He also constructed the Krishnaswamy and Vithalaswamy temples in the imperial capital.

As an Administrator: Krishnadevaraya toured the remote corners of his empire and heard the grievances of the people and redressed them then and there. He set up an excellent administrative system. The empire was divided into Mandalas, Nadus and Seeme. For the purpose of assessment and fixation of revenue, Krishnadevaraya had the whole of his empire surveyed. The unit of land for assessment was known as Rayarekhe or the royal line and which measured roughly about seven feet and nine inches. Twenty of these units made a bigha and 36 bigha’s, a mar or plot of 16 to 18 acres. Land revenue was fixed based on the yield, normally 1/3rd of the produce. Krishnadevaraya provided irrigation facilities to the dry regions around Vijayanagara with the help of a Portuguese engineer. The friendly relations with the Portuguese helped him obtain the highbred Arabian horses and the expansion of the overseas trade of the empire. He helped the Portuguese to conquer Goa from the Bijapur rulers in 1510. Krishnadevaraya built two new suburbs in the capital and called it Nagalapura and Tirumala Deviyarapattana in honour of his mother, Nagala Devi and queen Tirumalamba. Portuguese travelers Domingo Paes and Durate Barbosa visted his court and have left accounts of their experience there. According to the former Vijayanagar was very prosperous with abundance of foodstuffs, vegetables, fruits and animals being sold in profusion in the markets of the city at cheap rates. Barbosa speaks of the trade in jewels, diamonds, pearls and silk brocades, which were in plenty on its streets. “The city of Vijayanagar is constantly filled with an innumerable crowd of all nations and creeds”, he adds.

The End: It is said that Krishnadevaraya in his own lifetime had made his six year old son prince Tirumalaraya as the king and himself took up the post of minister. But Tirumalaraya fell ill and died possibly poisoned by the son of Saluva Timma (chief minister). When Krishnadevaraya came to know of it, he sent for the chief minister, accused him in open court and cast him and his whole family into prison. Meanwhile Krishnadevaraya was preparing for an attack on Belgaum, then in the Adil Shah’s possession when he took seriously ill and died soon after in 1529. Before his death, he nominated his brother, Achyutaraya to be his successor. The rule of Krishnadevaraya was a glorious chapter in the history of Vijayanagara Empire.

Vijayanagar's Kingdom (1336 -1565)
Foundation of kingdom
Death of Harihar II
End of Sangama Dynasty
Succession of Krishnadeva Raya
Krishnadeva Raya defeats Sultan of Bijapur
Death of Krishnadeva Raya
Vijayanagar's Kingdom comes to an end
Foundation of the Kingdom

When Muhammad Tughlaq was losing his power in Deccan, the two Hindu princes, Harihar and Bukka founded an independent kingdom in the region between the river Krishna and Tungabhadra in 1336 in order to check the progress of Islam in the south. Harihar and Bukka were sons of Sangama, one of the chiefs at the court of the Hoysala ruler. Both the brothers founded their capital at Vijayanagar on the south bank of the Tungabhadra and the kingdom was known as the Kingdom of Vijayanagar.

Harihar became the first ruler of the kingdom. After his death, his brother Bukka succeeded. Bukka was an able ruler and brought under his control nearly the entire Hoysala territory. He died in 1379 and was succeeded by his son Harihar II.

Harihar II was given the title of Maharajadhiraja. During his reign, the whole of Southern Deccan came under the authority of Vijayanagar. This also included present Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states. But there was continuous conflict with the Bahamanis and so he was not able to extend their boundaries beyond the Krishna river. Harihar II died in 1404. The dynasty founded by these two brothers were known as Sangama dynasty. The dynasty ruled for about 150 years till 1486, when one of their chiefs Narasimha Saluva deposed the last ruler of Sangama dynasty and seized the throne.

The ruler of Saluva dynasty did not last long. Narasimha Saluva was succeeded by his two sons. During the reign of the second son Immadi Narasimha in 1505, the Taluva chief Vira Narasimha usurped the throne and thus laid the foundation of the Taluva dynasty.

Reign of Krishnadeva Raya (1509-1529)

Vira Narasimha ruled for four years and in 1509 was succeeded by his younger brother Krishnadeva Raya. The Vijayanagar kingdom reached the pinnacle of its glory during the reign of Krishnadeva Raya. He was successful in all the wars he waged. He defeated the king of Orissa and annexed Vijaywada and Rajmahendri. He defeated the Sultan of Bijapur in 1512 and took the possession of the Raichur Doab. The Vijayanagar kingdom extended from Cuttak in east to Goa in the west and from the Raichur Doab in the north to the Indian Ocean in the south.

Krishnadeva Raya encouraged trade with the western countries. He had a cordial relationship with the Portuguese who had at that time established trade centres on the west coast of India. He was not only a great warrior, but was also a playwright and a great patron of learning. Telugu literature flourished under him. Painting, sculpture, dance and music were greatly encouraged by him and his successors. He endeared himself to the people by his personal charm, kindness, and an ideal administration.

The decline of the Vijayanagar kingdom began with the death of Krishnadeva Raya in 1529. The kingdom came to an end in 1565, when Ramrai was defeated at Talikota by the joint efforts of Adilshahi, Nizamshahi, Qutubshahi and Baridshahi. After this, the kingdom broke into small states.

The Vijayanagar Administration

Vijayanagar was the most powerful and prosperous kingdom in the south. Textiles, metallurgy and mining were the main industries in the kingdom. The Vijayanagar traders paid special attention to trade. Trade was carried on with countries like China, Sri Lanka, Central Asia. Foreign travellers who visited this kingdom had left wealth and prosperity during their visits. Many European travellers of the time have also left records testifying to the very high standard of art and culture, refinement and luxury of this kingdom.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The sage of Kanchipuram - a period documentary

Jagadguru Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal (May 20, 1894–January 8, 1994) or the Sage of Kanchi was the 68th Jagadguru in the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. He is usually referred to as Paramacharya or MahaSwami or Maha Periyavaal.

Maha Periyavaal was born on 20 May 1894, under Anuradha star according to the Hindu calendar, into a Kannadiga Smartha Hoysala Karnataka Brahmin family in Viluppuram, South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu as Swaminatha. He was the second son of Subramanya Sastri, a District Education Officer. The child was named Swaminatha, after the family deity, Lord Swaminatha of Swamimalai, near Kumbakonam. Swaminatha began his early education at the Arcot American Mission High School at Tindivanam, where his father was working. He was an exceptional student and excelled in several subjects.He won a prize for his proficiency in the recitation of the "Holy Bible". In 1905, his parents performed his Upanayanam, a Vedic ceremony which qualifies a Brahmin boy to begin his Vedic studies under an accomplished teacher

During the childhood of the Acharya, his father consulted an astrologer who, upon studying the boy's horoscope, is said to have been so stunned that he prostrated himself before the boy exclaiming that "One day the whole world will fall at his feet." In 1906, the 66th Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham performed the annual Chaturmasyam (a forty-day annual ritual performed by Hindu ascetics while remaining in one place), in a village near Tindivanam in Tamil Nadu. This was Swaminathan’s first exposure to the Math and its Acharya. Later, Swaminathan accompanied his father whenever he visited the Math where the Acharya was deeply impressed by the young boy.

In the first week of February 1907, the Kanchi Kamakoti Math had informed Subramanya Sastrigal that Swaminathan's first cousin (son of his mother's sister) was to be installed as the 67th Peetathipathi. The presiding Acharya was then suffering from smallpox and had the premonition that he might not live long. He had, therefore, administered upadesa to his disciple Lakshminathan before he died. Sastrigal being away in Trichinopoly on duty arranged for the departure of Swaminathan with his mother to Kanchipuram. The boy and his mother started for Kalavai (where Lakshminathan was camping) to console his aunt who, while also being a widow, had just given up her only son to be an ascetic. They traveled by train to Kanchipuram and halted at the Sankara Math. By then, Lakshminathan had fallen ill:

I had a bath at the Kumara Koshta Tirtha. A carriage of the Math had come there from Kalavai with the people to buy articles for the Maha Puja on the tenth day of the passing of the previous 66th Acharya. One of them, a hereditary maistry (mason) of the Math, asked me to accompany him. A separate cart was engaged for the rest of the family to follow me. During the journey the maistry hinted to me that I might not return home and that the rest of my life might be spent in the Math itself. At first I thought that my elder cousin having become the Head of the Math, it was his wish that I should live with him. But the maistry gradually clarified matters as the cart rolled on. The acharya had fever which developed into delirium and that was why I was being separated from the family to be taken to Kalavai... I was stunned by this unexpected turn of events. I lay in a kneeling posture in the cart, shocked as I was, repeating "Rama... Rama," the only prayer I knew. My mother and other children came some time later only to find that instead of her mission of consoling her sister, she herself was placed in the state of having to be consoled
—T.M.P. Mahadevan, The Sage of Kanchi

The 67th Acharya also died, after reigning for a brief seven days as the head of the Math. Swaminathan was immediately installed as the 68th head of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam on February 13, 1907, the second day of the Tamil month of Masi, Prabhava year. He was given Sanyasa Asramam at the early age of 13 and was named Chandrasekharendra Saraswati. On May 9, 1907 his "Pattabishekam" as the 68th Peetathipathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam was performed at the Kumbakonam Math. Devotees including Shivaji Maharaja of Tanjavur, government officials and pundits participated in the event.

Even though there was not enough property in the mutt to be administered, the court considering the benefit of the mutt, ordered the mutt to be administered under the “Guardian and Wards Act”. Sri C.H.Venkataramana Iyer, an illustrious personality from Kolinjivadi (Colinjivadi) village near Coimbatore was appointed as guardian by the court. The administration of the mutt was under guardianship from 1911 to May,1915. On the day of Sankara Jayanthi in the year 1915, Swamigal took over the administration of the mutt on the completion of his 21 st year. The administration of the mutt was taken over in name, but the actual work was taken care of by an agent, one Sri Pasupathi Iyer. He was an able administrator who volunteered to do the job without compensation and hailed from Thirupathiripuliyur. Sri Swamigal does not sign any document, instead Sri Mukham stamp is placed on documents.[1]
Maha Periyavaal spent several years in the study of the scriptures and dharma shastras and acquainted himself with his role as the Head of the Math. He soon gained the reverence and respect of the devotees and people around him. To millions of devotees he was simply "Periyava"—the revered one or Maha-Periyava. "Periyava" in Tamil means a great person, and conveys endearment, reverence, and devotion. "Mahaswami" and "Paramacharya" are his other well-known appellations

Maha Periyavaal was the head of the Mutt for eighty-seven years. During this period, the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam acquired new strength as an institution that propagated Śankara's teachings. The devotion, fervour, and intensity with which the Paramacharya practiced what Śankara had taught are considered to be unparalleled by his devotees.[citation needed] Throughout his life, the focus of his concern and activities was rejuvenating Veda adhyayana, the Dharma Sasthras, and the age-old tradition, which had suffered decline. "Veda rakshanam" was his very life breath, and he referred to this in most of his talks.

Remaining active throughout his life, the sage of Kanchi twice undertook pilgrimages on foot from Rameshwaram in the far south of the Indian peninsula to Benares in the North.

Providing support through Veda Patashalas (schools teaching Vedic lore) through the Veda Rakshana Nidhi which he founded and honouring Vedic scholars, he reinvigorated Vedic studies in India. He organised regular sadhas ('conferences') which included discussions on arts and culture—these led to a renewed interest in Vedic religion, Dharma sasthras, and theSanskrit language. His long tenure as Pitadhipathi is considered by many to have been the Golden Era of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.[citation needed] He attained Mukti (died) on January 8, 1994 and was succeeded by Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal.

Periyava stressed the importance of a Guru in one's life. He repeatedly preached about the importance of following the Dharmic path. His various discourses are available in a volume of books called 'Deivathin Kural' (Voice of the Divine) which have been compiled by R. Ganapathi, a devotee of Periyava. These books are available both in Tamil and English. A condensed form of these books is also available in English. These are available in any branch of the Kanchi math.

Though Periyavaa did not get directly into politics, he was interested in the happenings. At Nellichery in Palakkad (Present Day Kerala), Rajaji and Mahatma Gandhi met the Acharya in a cow shed. It was a practice in the mutt to wear silk clothes. But Acharya was the first one to do away with them and shifted to Khadi robes at Rameshwaram. He requested his devotees to do away with foreign/ non natural clothes some time earlier at Trichy. The day India became free, he gave the Maithreem Bhajata song, which was later to be sung at the UN by M S Subbulakshmi. He gave a speech on the significance of the flag and the Dharma chakra in it on that day.

Periyava's charm invited the rich and the poor, the old and the young alike to be his devotees. Some of his famous devotees include, their highness the King and Queen of Nepal, the Queen Mother of Greece, the Dalai Lama, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Indira Gandhi, R. Venkatraman and Atal Bihari Vajpayee among others. To the Acharya, the VIPs and the common man were one and the same. There were thousands of personal experiences to lakhs of his devotees, who still revere him, and pray to him as a messenger of the Supreme or an ultimate Guru.

The Kanchi matha is a Hindu monastic institution located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, one of the five pancha-bhUta-sthalas (five "material" sites).It is known formally as Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. The head of the matha is referred to as a "Shankaracharya", a title that is also applied to the heads of the four Shankara mathas.

The Kanchi matha has been gaining prominence since the 18th century, when it was at Kumbakonam. Some accounts claim that it was founded there as a branch of the Sringeri matha, and branched out afterwards. Today it is one of the most important religious institutions of South India

The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (July 2009)
The matha's official history states that it was founded by Adi Shankara of Kaladi, and that Jayendra Saraswati is its 69th head in succession, tracing its history back to the fifth century BCE.

Other, historical accounts state that the matha was established more recently (probably in the 18th century) in Kumbakonam, as a branch of the Sringeri Matha, and that it later declared itself independent. The heads of a matha in Kumbhakonam acquired control of the Kamakshi temple in Kanchipuram and moved their establishment to that city, between the years 1842 and 1863. This marks the origin of the Kanchi matha.

The Kanchi Matha claims to have been moved from Kanchipuram to Kumbakonam during the 18th century when Hyder Ali invaded the region. It is also claimed that archeological evidence in the form of stone architecture depicting the Shankaracharya and the epigraphy by the side situated in various temples in Kanchipuram indicate the 2500 year age of the Matha.

The Matha's published materials also claim that the present structure at Sannidhi Koil Street at Kanchipuram has been established there centuries before, which claim is however contradicted.

The Kamokoti Peetam however, traditionally refers to Sri Kamakshi referred popularly as Kamakodi. 'Kamakodi' is of Tamil origin, referring to Goddess Durga. 'Kodi' refers to Durga in the ancient Tamil Sangam literature. Kanchipuram is referred to as Kachi. The Vyakarana Mahabhashya of Patanjali uses the word 'Kanchi' and it can be thus understood that the word Kanchi also has a Sanksrit base. However, KamakOti is a latter Sanksrit form taken from the original Tamil form of Kamakodi. Tamil literature also refers to Kamakodi as Kamakanni.

The Original Kamakoti Peetam, in which Sri Adi Shankara established the Sri Chakra Yantra during the latter period of 8th century and the beginning of the 9th century' is at present known as "Adi Peeteshwari Ambal' and this temple is near the present famous shrine of Kamakshi. The form of the deity here is with ankusa, pasa, sugarcane bow and five flower arrows' 'respectively in each of the 4 hands. This matches precisely with Girvanendra Saraswath's Prapancha Sara Sara Sangraha.
It is noteworthy that the Sri Chakra in the present day Kamakshi Amman temple was installed by one Nrusimha Advari during the 16th century, which is evidenced by a stone inscription in the vicinity. The Present day Kamakshi was originally a Budhist temple, and the present Kamakshi was perhaps Tara Devi. The process of conversion of the present temple from a Budhist temple into the Hindu Pantheology was complete perhaps by the 12th Century AD.

Thiruthondar Puranam of Sekkilar Perumal written during the 12th Century mentions the old & original Kamakoti Peeta as Kamakottam. It also mentions about the new shrine which is the present day kamakoti Peetam. Arunagiri Nadar also refers only to the Original Adi Peeteswari with four hands as described above. He mentions that she is kumaran's mother and that she resides very near to Kumarakottam It should be noted that the Original Kamakoti temple is just adjacent to Kumarakottam. Arunagirinathar has obviously taken no notice of the present day Kamakshi temple.
In recent years the institution of Shankaracharya at the matha has come under increased stress. In 1983, when Jayendra Saraswati was already junior Acharya, the widely revered and popular Chandrasekharendra Saraswati appointed 13-year-old Vijayendra Saraswati as Shankaracharya as well, possibly owing to his differences with Jayendra. "Three Shankaracharyas for a single math was unprecedented", and Jayendra Saraswati abandoned the math and disappeared, and the Paramacharya anointed Vijayendra Saraswati as the math head. After about two weeks, Jayendra Saraswati returned, and a compromise was reached.

Sankararaman, son of an ex-employee of the Kanchi matha, Managing Trustee of the Lord Varadaraja Perumal temple at Kancheepuram, was murdered on September 3, 2004, allegedly at the behest of the Shankaracharya, police charged the Shankaracharya and several of his close associates with the murder. The murdered person, Sankararaman, had pointed out issues such as the Shankaracharya's trip to China crossing the seas by air, which according to him Hindus were forbidden to make.

Investigators alleged that calls to the assailants had been made from the matha mobile phone, and charges have been filed against Jayendra Saraswati as well as the junior acharya Vijayendra Saraswati.

On November 11, 2004, Jayendra Saraswati was arrested from Mehboobnagar, Andhra Pradesh. The arrest initially caused a tremendous uproar among the Hindu laity across the nation, and Bharatiya Janata Party and other Hindu groups started canvassing widely for his release. During the bail hearings, Justice R. Balasubramanian of the Madras High Court observed:
"materials relied upon by the prosecution... would prima facie constitute reasonable grounds to believe' that the petitioner is shown to be guilty of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

However, in a subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court, bail was granted, with the court observing that:
No worthwhile prima facie evidence apart from the alleged confessions have been brought to our notice to show that the petitioner along with other accused was party to a conspiracy

The Supreme Court also agreed to shift the trial to Pondicherry, after the defence argued that the media attention and other factors in Tamil Nadu made a fair trial impossible there.

In March 2006, both Jayendra as well as Vijayendra Saraswati, as well as a number of others, were charged on 14 counts, including murder and conspiracy[11]. The police have not yet provided substantial evidences against the Shankarcharyas involvement in the case. It has been believed that the cases were slapped due to vindicative actions by the former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu J.Jayalalitha. The validity of the case, and the truth behind still remains a mystery.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On Love

Osho (Rajneesh)

Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain (Hindi: चन्द्र मोहन जैन) (11 December 1931 – 19 January 1990), also known as Acharya Rajneesh from the 1960s onwards, calling himself Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh during the 1970s and 1980s and taking the name Osho in 1989, was an Indian mystic and spiritual teacher who garnered an international following. His syncretic teachings emphasise the importance of meditation, awareness, love, celebration, creativity and humour – qualities that he viewed as being suppressed by adherence to static belief systems, religious tradition and socialisation. His teachings have had a notable impact on Western New Age thought and their popularity has increased markedly since his death.

Osho was a professor of philosophy and travelled throughout India in the 1960s as a public speaker. His views against socialism, Mahatma Gandhi, and institutionalised religion were controversial. He also advocated a more open attitude towards sexuality, a stance that earned him the sobriquet "sex guru" in the Indian and later the international press.In 1970 he settled for a while in Mumbai. He began initiating disciples (known as neo-sannyasins) and took on the role of a spiritual teacher. In his discourses, he reinterpreted writings of religious traditions, mystics and philosophers from around the world. Moving to Pune in 1974, he established an ashram that attracted increasing numbers of Westerners. The ashram offered therapies derived from the Human Potential Movement to its Western audience and made news in India and abroad, chiefly because of its permissive climate and Osho's provocative lectures. By the end of the 1970s, there were mounting tensions with the Indian government and the surrounding society.

In 1981, Osho relocated to the United States and his followers established an intentional community, later known as Rajneeshpuram, in the state of Oregon. Within a year the leadership of the commune became embroiled in a conflict with local residents, primarily over land use, which was marked by hostility on both sides. Osho's large collection of Rolls-Royce motorcars was also notorious. The Oregon commune collapsed in 1985 when Osho revealed that the commune leadership had committed a number of serious crimes, including a bioterror attack (food contamination) on the citizens of The Dalles. Osho was arrested shortly afterwards and charged with immigration violations. He was deported from the United States in accordance with a plea bargain. Twenty-one countries denied him entry, causing Osho to travel the world before returning to Pune, where he died in 1990. His ashram is today known as the Osho International Meditation Resort

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

KK Raghava, Art and the Artiste

KK Raghava, TED

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Life is a, light and laughter!!

Life is Celebration -Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev - Click here for funny video clips
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Hell or Heaven?

Inner Engineering

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is an Indian yogi and mystic. He is the founder of Isha Foundation which administers yoga centers around the world, including India and the United States.

Jagadish Vasudev was born in Mysore, Karnataka. At the age of twenty-five on September 23 1982, he had a deep spiritual experience, and subsequently established Isha Foundation, a non-religious, not-for-profit, public service organization, which addresses all aspects of human wellbeing. The Isha Yoga Center near Coimbatore was founded in 1992, and hosts a series of programs intended to heighten self-awareness through the ancient practice of yoga. These programs are offered to people ranging from the highly educated to the illiterate, from corporate leaders to prisoners.

Sadhguru spoke in four panels at the 2007 World Economic Forum, addressing issues ranging from diplomacy to economic development, education and the environment. In 2006, he addressed the World Economic Forum, the Tällberg Forum in Sweden, and the Australian Leadership Retreat. He has also served as a delegate to the United Nations Millennium Peace Summit and the World Peace Congress. He is the only speaker to have been invited to the World Economic Forum three years in a row.Sadhguru has had interviews with the BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNNfn, and Newsweek International.
He was a delegate to the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit and a participant at the World Economic Forum in 2006, 2007, 2008 and2009.

Sadhguru is a practitioner of yogic temple building and consecration, creating the Dhyanalinga yogic temple in 1999. The consecration process employed Prana prathista which is different from the Mantra prathista process prevalent in Kumbabishekam rituals in practiced through the modern times. Ancient Indian alchemical processes were allegedly used extensively in the temple building and consecration. Contrary to science, it is claimed that the presence of solid mercury at room temperature can be observed in the building.

Project GreenHands and initiative to plant 114 million saplings to increase the existing tree cover of Tamil Nadu State by 10 % is spearheaded by Jaggi Vasudev[7]. The project entered the Guinness Book of World Records for planting the maximum number of tree saplings on a single day.
Vasudev was a key participant in the 2006 documentary film ONE: The Movie.

Pranayama - Bhastrika, Kapalabhati, Anulom/Vilom, Bhramari


Ramkishan Yadav popularly known as Swami Ramdev (Hindi: स्वामी रामदेव), also known as Baba Ramdev, is an Indian Hindu swami. He is particularly well-known for his efforts in popularizing Yoga as it is enunciated in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. He is also one of the founders of the Divya Yog Mandir Trust that aims to popularize Yoga and offer Ayurvedic treatments.
His camps are attended by a large number of people. Over 85 million people follow his yoga camps via TV channels and videos. His yoga teaching sessions are free for all, for the masses. His stated principle in life is to be of help to all.

Swami Ramdev has raised a number of national issues through his yog camps (yog shivirs). Most of the issues raised by him demand change in governance policies of India and the life style of common people. Some of the most emphasized issues are :

Malpractices in the agricultural sector
Swami Ramdev says that the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides has led to increased profits for those in trade, but it poses a big threat to the health of the common man since fruits and vegetables are increasingly becoming contaminated with disease causing chemical compounds.

Consumption of fast food and soft drinks
At most of his yog shivirs (yog camps) Swami Ramdev has raised the issue of increased consumption of fast foods, packed foods and soft drinks by common people. He says that these products are disease causing junk and are far from anything to be eaten. He says that soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi are no better than pesticides or toilet cleaners and this is enough to explain what effect it has on the human body.

Exploitation of farmers
Baba Ramdev blames the corrupt governance practices for the miserable conditions of the farmers and other backward parts of the society. He says that agriculture is the biggest contributor to India's economy and yet the farmers are the most poverty stricken class of people. He says that for the economic prosperity of the country it is an issue of utmost importance to bring welfare to the farmers.

Poor condition of indigenous industries
Baba Ramdev blames failure of government policies for the state of the Indian industries with the Indian market being flooded with foreign made or foreign brand goods. Baba Ramdev says that indigenous industries must be supported and promoted to reduce the dependency on foreign made goods and for this both the government and the consumers have to be aware.

Indian black money in Swiss banks

Baba Ramdev has publicly raised the issue of Indian money stashed away illegaly in Swiss bank which is estimated to be between 1-1.5 trillion USD. He says that the government must take concrete action and bring back the money as it belongs to the people of India and has been taken out of the country illegally.

84 Crore (840 Million) People living on Rs. 20 a day
Official surveys indicate that at least 84 Crore (840 Million) people (nearly 75% of the population) are living with a capacity to spend Rs.20 or less in a day. Baba Ramdev has started the Bharat Swabhiman Andolan the first aim of which is to bring prosperity to these 840 million people.