Friday, October 10, 2014
Time stands still

Time stands still when you look in my eyes
With twinkling joy and yet just nothingness fills me

Time stands still when you act out your pranks
With sheer abandon and yet charm fills me

Time stands still when you dance and falter
With little tiny feet and yet energy fills me

Time stands still when you yearn for my presence
With genuine love and yet longing fills me

Time stands still when you drive me insane
With your annoyances and yet smile fills me

Time stands still when you join your sister
In sibling camaraderie and mother fills me

Time stands still when I hear your laughter echo
With your father's and family fills me

Time stands still when you are yourself
With bare innocence and I fill me

Time stands still when I live the moment
With you!

Posted by Bharani - 11:52 am - Make a comment


Friday, September 19, 2014
Toddler Ambal Bath

In the process of raising my girls, I am blessed with day-to-day moments of spiritual insight. When I deck them up in silks, when I braid and adorn their hair with jasmine flowers, when I teach them shlokas, when I cook or bake with them, at times even when the three of us dance to mindless Bollywood music - at those moments I feel a completeness - both as a mother and as a soul.

But the outstanding moment has to be when I give my toddler Ambal a bath. When I massage her head with Sesame oil as I sing Gowri Kalyanam, then use Kasthuri Manjal and Kadalai Maavu to gently scrub her baby skin and pour water on her like an Abhishekam, I feel a renewed fullness. Sometimes my eyes well up in happy tears. I sing Kalankah Kasthuri, a shloka from Adi Shankaracharya's Soundaryalahari as I dry her, dress her up, apply a bindi on her forehead, kajal on her eyes and finish off with a kiss!

Kalankah kasthuri rajani-kara-bimbham jalamayam
Kalabhih karpurair marakatha-karandam nibiditam;
Athas thvad-bhogena prahti-dinam idam riktha-kuharam
Vidhir bhuyo bhuyo nibidayathi nunam thava krithe
., 94

When I was taught this shloka, I was explained the meaning as well. I was told that Ambal presides over her gathering (Sabhai) every 15 days which are the days when the moon grows, depicting a emerald studded water canister that gets filled with camphor and incense scented water. And for the next 15 days, when the moon wanes, Ambal enjoys the water for her bath, while the gathering is adjourned.

Well again, there are days when bath-time is an out-of-control, tug-of-war experience, with me yelling at the girls and the girls splashing water in all directions, with me almost slipping and falling off, and the older one almost drowning the younger one by jumping in the tub.

I will have to remind myself to read this post on those days!! ;)

Posted by Bharani - 12:31 pm - Make a comment


Friday, September 10, 2010
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!

Parenthood can be quite a ride. There are moments of intuition, flashes of wisdom, exhausting weeks, exciting moments and interesting milestones with the baby. I know there are more of those pleasant and not-so-pleasant experiences coming up on the parenthood channel. For now, I am content looking back at the how far I have come and thanking God for all the blessings.

It is no big thing that a child is affectionate towards its mother - after all, we carry them around as a foetus for almost a year and nurse them for another long year. But with the father, it is different. Despite not having the closeness a mother shares with her child, the father still is such a huge influence on the little one. I look in wonder when my daughter looks up at her father. I remember the day my daughter was born. She was crying as I held her in my arms. My mother picked her up and she was crying, she was crying when my father held her. She kept crying as she was passed from one pair of hands to another. Then my mother gave her to my husband, her father. She stopped crying instantly. I know I was pretty harmonal at that point of time. But still it was way too touching. I think she felt her father's warmth and love. All through the first few months of her life, she continued to do that. She would be crying uncontrollably and the moment dad walked close to her, she would feel comforted. The bonding was unbelievable. She is now in her twos and nothing has changed. Mom is the bad cop and dad is the good one. She rushes to him the minute he is back from work. She offers to carry his bag and put it in its place. She loves playing toddler tennis with her dad. She hangs on to every word that he says. On days that she is really grumpy and would not want even a bite of food, she will willingly eat if her father feeds her. She misses him when he is out of town. Most days, the first word in the morning after she wakes up is "appa"!

I can only feel wonder at this bonding. Well, since motherhood came by, wonder is all that I feel most of the time.

Posted by Bharani - 12:17 pm - Comments (6)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sing...

There is a song deep inside you. You are born to sing a song and you are preparing. You are moving around in the stage with your dresses, but you are forgetting to sing---holding the mike, too, but you are keeping silent. 'Til that time, you'll be restless---until you can sing that song which you have come on the stage to sing. Doesn't matter if you feel a little out of tune for one minute or two. Go ahead. Sing. - Sri Sri Ravishankar

Posted by Bharani - 10:08 am - Make a comment


Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Samskritham

Sanskrit is a divine language that evolved from sounds in nature. From birds, from rivers, from planets, from space, from air, from land, from the entire cosmos.

Sanskrit is a language built to last, even when people will hardly speak or understand the language. The reason is, the vibration of Sanskrit words do not need understanding at an intellectual level - they reach the being at a subtler level. This is again because the language is in harmony with the universe. It makes the being within us vibrate in resonance. Now we know why sitting amidst Vedic chanting calms down the mind and uplifts us. I have also noticed that as you keep chanting, the meaning just comes to you at the intellectual level too!

Sanskrit is also a language friendly to the modern computers. Well, it was the language of the omniscient Gods, people who had transcended time.

Posted by Bharani - 09:20 am - Comments (1)


Thursday, December 11, 2008
Gmail

Google has made our otherwise monotonous lives so peppy! First it was the intuitive search results, and now it is the clutter free, light and friendly gmail! Very soon we will be saying gmail me, not email me :-).

I am now a big fan of the Planets theme! For the uninitiated, Gmail themes can be accessed from the Settings link that appears on the top right corner when signed into gmail. You can choose the theme that you want to see as a backdrop when you are gmailing, chatting or exploring. Planets is my favorite. I love the way the backdrop changes, almost makes it like a trip to space. I love the beautiful deep colors of the lunar craters, the saturn rings and the bright blue stars. If I gaze at it for long enough, I feel transported to far off and can almost feel the vast expanse of space around me with a meteor shooting by.

I know the whole last paragraph sounds a little too dramatic. But that is exactly my point. Gmail has infused more color and pep into my otherwise monotonous life. Atleast my mind wanders further from my laptop now. And wow, it shoots right into space!!

Thank you Google. Your efforts are appreciated and creativity admired!


Posted by Bharani - 01:27 pm - Comments (5)


Wednesday, May 14, 2008
What are the signs of a Guru ?

The five signs of a Guru are :

Dukhakshaya: Misery disappears.
Sukha avirvhava: Joy swells up in His presence.
Gyanaraksha: Knowledge dawns.
Sarva Samvardhana: You become more talented.
Samriddhi: You will have plenty.

How True!

Posted by Bharani - 08:24 am - Comments (1)


Wednesday, March 19, 2008
If I could treat both happiness and sadness just the same...



I used to love Hindi poetry classes in school and Dohas used to be my favorite. I used to like pretty much all poems with rhyme, but Dohas had the extra attraction of a deep meaning in a concise couplet. I was always impressed by them, be it Rahim, Kabir, Soor or Tulsi ke dohe - they all influenced a lot of my ideas during my growing-up years.

One such couplet is the one above. When I first learnt this Doha in 8th or 9th grade, I loved it instantly. I tried to practise it and do so even now. In moments of extreme joy, I bring the Divine in my thoughts. And of course, thoughts of the Divine is all that we have in moments of difficulties.

But of late, a different dimension to this Doha has been working on my mind. I no longer think Kabir is talking about thinking of God at moments of Joy. I think he is talking about being centered and stable even in extreme joy. Isn't that what Divinity is ? A vast expanse of serene cosmic calmness. Bringing in that tranquilness in our minds when we are faced with any extreme emotion, or for that matter in every single moment, is the essence of spirituality.

That centeredness, that stability is carried over at moments of sadness and difficulties. That way, we eventually develop equanimity towards happiness and sadness. Everything comes by practice. Being centered at all times also comes out of practice. Practice makes it a habit eventually, almost part of your nature. And realizing that the Divine is part of our nature....even a remote glimpse of that realization takes us much closer to our goal.

Posted by Bharani - 10:53 am - Comments (1)


Saturday, March 01, 2008
The world belongs to you

The world belongs to you. Pleasure or pain is an intense sensation in the four to six and half foot body. When we are not caught up in this, then we are truly and sincerely able to say, "I belong to you." That is when all the cravings and aversions, desires and doubts fall off—and in a moment the world belongs to you.

All your miseries surround the "I, I, I, . . . " - "I want this, I like that, I don't like this . . ." Just let go. The sun rises and sets, the grass grows, the river flows, the moon shines and I am here forever!

How do you feel if someone praises you?
Answer: "Shy, happy, great, embarrassed . . . "

It does something to you, doesn't it? It doesn't do anything to me! When you praise the moon, the mountains, Lake Lucerne , the Black Forest, it doesn't do anything to them. They remain the same.

Just like that I am part of nature. If you enjoy praising me, you may do so. In fact, you have no choice! (Laughter)

You can do with me whatever you like. I am there for you. I am your toy! (Laughter)

--SRI SRI

For more - http://gurukripa.wordpress.com

Posted by Bharani - 08:50 am - Comments (1)


Friday, January 25, 2008
The Disappearing Madisaar

The "Onbodhu Gajam" or 9-yards saree or the more popularly known Madisaar is disappearing. We see very few women sporting it in Madras and even fewer know how to wear one anymore. There are ready-made versions of it which don't look any close to the original and there are also some newly-devised techniques on how to wear a 6-yards saree in the 9-yards style - again destroying the very spirit of the holy Madisaar.

Personally, I like to think of the Madisaar as a "holy" attire. There are a couple of reasons for this. I wear the Madisaar only about four to five times a year, during religious ocassions. And on these days, after an oil bath, when I take my Madisaar saree to wear it, I get a sense of Bhakthi or devotion. If one observes the way the Madisaar is tied, it goes around the woman in the clock-wise direction only, making you turn in the manner of Pradhakshina. So, you end up doing a number of Atma Pradhakshinas in the process of wearing a 9-yards saree. That adds up to the tranquil feeling and seems to energize me positively, aptly preparing me for the religious ritual to follow.

It is also said that the 9-yards when worn properly, aligns the woman's body favorably with the magnetic energy of the earth, making the mind more attuned to a pious and devotional experience.

We should strive to keep up this tradition which is already disappearing. It is not practical to be able to wear this attire on all days of the week. But we should learn how to wear one like our mothers and grand mothers did - just so we are able to pass it on to the next generation.

How to tie a Madisaar (Step-by-step)

* Stand with your legs about 2 ft apart
* Make 5-6 pleats in one end of the saree (lengthwise) - this is called the "Kosavam".
* Keep the pleats on your left (at the back) and bring the saree around your body and make a knot at the left back (or front center) in your waist line.(In the direction Left-> Front-> Right-> Left)
* Bring it to the front and tuck one edge ( and almost 1/2 way from that edge) in the front. Make the pleat (width of the saree) and bring the whole saree to the back under your legs.
* Tuck the saree at the back (waist line) - this is called "Kachcham".
* Bring around the saree thro' your left after tucking the shorter edge slightly at your right.
* Bring the saree around your body again
* Hold it on your left and pass it on to your right shoulder arranging the border.
* Bring the border around and tuck it in the front.


Posted by Bharani - 03:15 pm - Comments (4)


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