Friday, September 19, 2014
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 -
Friday, September 10, 2010
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 -
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
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 -
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
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 -
Thursday, December 11, 2008
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 -
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.
Posted by Bharani - 08:24 am -