Showing posts with label Spiritual. Show all posts

Whatever Happened To Satya Sai Baba - The Man Who Was God?


Isn't it really amazing how the 20th century media could make ordinary mortals in to Gods and dispatch them to oblivion in the 21st century?
Millions of people around the world perhaps came to believe through the modern media and the internet that Satya Sai Baba of India was God himself.
Though he died only a year ago, the Baba has virtually disappeared from the world media, and from the minds and memory of most people who came to know about him, with hardly any mention even on the anniversary of his death.
Is it the media who should be really blamed for this forgetful ignoring of a Guru who had over 6 million followers when he died?
After all Jesus Christ and Gautham Buddha who are also credited with miracles and teachings, were not forgotten but loved, revered, remembered and worshipped for thousands of years before the advent of modern communications.
It is not surprising that no one, including the leading News papers, magazines and TV around the world want to remember or bring back the memory of Satya Sai Baba despite the $9 Billion assets he amassed during his life of 84 years, some of which he had spent on various charitable projects.
Despite the huge followings and philanthropic work, there was something not very honest and straightforward about this Godman who declared himself to be God and whose life was "dogged by controversy including allegations, never proven, of sexual abuse and charlatanism" as per a BBC report.
Whether he was God or not, at the minimum, he knew exactly what lead to the massacre of several young people in his Ashram one night and the serious allegations of sexual abuse brought out in the BBC report of 2004.
Satya Sai Baba chose to leave the earth by not leaving clear answers and an aura of suspicion and doubt in place of divinity. No God has ever survived in human memory with such questionablecredentials.
Perhaps this is the biggest reason why no one, including millions who believed in him, wants to talk about or remember Satya Sai Baba despite the numerous good causes he has supported with his immense wealth.
If his life and intentions were questionable even when he was alive, the intentions and behaviour of his relations and close people who have inherited the Trust with the immense wealth has done nothing to instil devotion and confidence in the Godman after his death.
Instead, they have only raised serious questions about their own integrity and intentions which has lead to public demand for take over and administration of the trust by the government.
Millions of his followers desperately want him to return to earth as Prema Sai before they lose their faith completely even as the fame and prosperity he brought to his village Putta Parthi seems to dwindle fast.

What Makes Even The Russians Go On A Pilgrimage To Sabarimala?


Though it is a gross exaggeration to call the recent visit of twelve Russians to Sabarimala the ultimate capitulation of Marxism Leninism to the Indian Mythology, the event has opened a rare and unique travel experience to people from all over the world who seeks exotic adventure of a different kind.

If you are not a woman under menopausal age and if you are willing to do a spiritual penance for 41 days, abstain from eating meat and enjoying sex in your thoughts and life, let your hair and beard grow uncut and lead a Spartan existence, then you can venture in to this life changing trip to Sabarimala which more than 50 million Indians of all religions already make every year!

For the team of Russians from Moscow led by Induchoodan, who has made this trip more than fifteen times and who practices Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, this unique pilgrimage to Sabarimala has probably come to mean what it does for millions of Indians:

Chandi Baba - The Polititician Saint Of India.


For millenniums, India has remained shrouded in mystery. Indian rope trick magician to Anna Hazare, the mystical, philosophical and religious Gurus of India have attracted inquisitive minds. From the ancient Chinese traveller Faxian to the Beetles and even Apple’s Steve Jobs found their inspiration from their Indian Gurus. Now, there is a Politician Saint from India, the world leaders confronted with the Occupy Wall Street, can learn something from.

Mr Oommen Chandy, who installed a webcam in his office for transparency of his administration, will no doubt abhor being called Oommen Swamy or Chandi Baba like an Indian saint, because he is only an elected Chief Minister of the tiny state of Kerala in India, equivalent to the Governor of a State in the US. However, for a large section of the population who is ready to patiently wait till the wee hours of the night for speaking to the Chief Minister, Mr Chandy is fast becoming something of a saint people line up in endless queue for an audience with!

The reason is Mr Candy is determined to take his power as a Chief Minister, bestowed upon him by ordinary people through a democratic election, to the very people, cutting through the red tapes, to order immediate and on the spot resolutions to their problems.

In fact Mr Chandy and his Government with its efforts to run a transparent and corruption free administration is already a role model for other Indian States and his own office fitted with a round the clock webcam has attracted world attention.

Why Mr Chandy may be fast acquiring the status of a Indian Guru of modern politics is his unique approach to solving people’s problems.  Unlike the world leaders who struggle to somehow disperse the masses of a generation, brought by their individual problems and hardship to the Occupy Wall Street venues, the CM actually invites them to assemble with their long pending and unsolved issues to specially organised venues he calls Chief Minister’s Mass Contact programmes!

The entire administration is moved to the spot, ready to process and dispense fiscal and legal succour allowed by government rules and existing law, but denied to the applicant by the web of red tape and corruption. People are invited and encouraged to register with their complaints and paperwork which are processed ahead of the programme, ready for an on the spot decision by the CM. Those who can’t can present on the day and still get answers.

However what makes Mr Chandy endearing to masses is his true desire to be amongst the masses, his patience to hear them out and his genuine concern to solve their issues. It is really amazing to see how he stands and moves around a milling crowd of all kinds of people listening, making his notes on the petitions, giving orders of urgent medical help and issuing cheques till the wee hours, without food or rest. His promise is to meet the last applicant and he keeps it no matter how late in to the night!

All leaders are popular but some are more popular because of their saintly nature!

Article already published in Technorati.com
Meet Oommen Chandy, the politician 'saint' from India, who may have something to teach world leaders confronted with the Occupy Wall Street movement.




Jupiter And Murdoch's Super Empire!


Murdoch's Super Media Empire is being hit by a tsunami!
When I wrote about a few observations associated with the position and recent movements of Jupiter a few weeks back, I had a feeling that I haven’t finished yet! I am sure astrologers around the world are trying to see if the new position of the planet Jupiter, which is not one of the dwarf planets, in the house of Mars somehow explains the abrupt and disastrous fall of Murdoch's empire.

I had listed some events which have shocked the world and have become defining moments in nation’s histories. I had also felt there could be more! What characterized all of them was not merely the profound loss to the establishment these incidents brought about but the speed and abruptness with which they happened, taking the whole world by awe and surprise.

Still I had somehow felt that I wasn’t complete in my reasoning, because, a large part of the world population was left out of the effects, though the life and future of everyone was affected in a defining way due to the colossal nature of the events.

I surely can’t say I am glad to take satisfaction that my curiosity and premonition about planet Jupiter is fulfilling as it affects so many lives with sad and disastrous effects. But the tsunami currently hitting the empire of Rupert Murdoch is definitely closing the gap!

The events, in breathtaking succession, of the last few days in the United Kingdom which has resulted in the arrests and resignation of so many people who till recently enjoyed unprecedented power can only be likened to a political tsunami that has stuck the east cost of the Atlantic and is expected to strike the west cost soon with similar devastating effects.

It is not just the enormous wealth of Murdoch in question, but the humiliating crumbling of the of the media super world he has managed to build in our lifetime, It is not just his fall from the position of a kingmaker but the depth to which he has fallen, borne out by the humiliating apology he had to make to the Dowler family, which actually show the fierceness of the tsunami wiping out the ground under his feet and his political empire.

A miracle of sorts or the stars having their say!



It is only a few days since I wrote about a strong co-relation between the recent transit of the planet Jupiter and life changing events around the world.

As ever, I had been a keen observer of the celestial movements and how those movements influence my life, hoping that I can learn from the pattern and prepare myself for the future, if not change it to my liking.

I have learned that, in rapid succession to the relocation of the planet Jupiter in April, the celestial malefic twins of the Vedic astrology, Rahu and Kethu were changing their positions in the second half of May, the exact date and time being depend on different calculations.

I didn’t know what this meant to the world, but guessed that personally their new position might not bring in any good news.

Sadly, though to the satisfaction of my curiosity, my hunch has turned out o be not too far from the reality.

What has greeted me last week was the news of the relatively unexpected death of a person very close to a dear friend.


All right, it is only a loss to a friend, not to me, but it is all depends how you feel about your friends, I suppose. Actually talking to my friend, made me sad for the loss of my close friend.

This was followed, two days back, by the demise of another person close to the same friend, who practically had the same relationship with my friend. It was a cardiac arrest, not expected at all of a person my friend wanted to visit, but couldn’t for reasons only destiny decides.

At last! The greatness and value in traditional Indian arts!


Article originally published in guardian.co.uk
Amplify’d from www.guardian.co.uk
'Dance brings my culture back to me'

Forget Bollywood and bhangra: a new generation of children are more into classical Indian dance, writes Aditya Chakrabortty

Aditya Chakrabortty
guardian.co.uk,
Tuesday 28 July 2009 22.05 BST

Article history




Students get to grips with the 2,000-year-old Indian dance form bharatanatyam. Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi

From Chennai in south India to Croydon, where south London shades into Surrey, is a distance of just under 5,100 miles. The city formerly called Madras is famous for its classical performing arts and temples; Croydon boasts trams and a big shopping centre. Yet if, one Saturday morning, you were to drive over to Kingsley junior school in west Croydon and tug open the door to the assembly hall, you would enter a kind of cultural buffer state – somewhere between suburban Britain and southern India.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Is jupiter Really a Planet of Fortune?

Article first published as Is jupiter Really a Planet of Fortune? on Technorati.

Now before you post your birth data and questions about your fortune, let me tell you this. I am not an astrologer. Even more important, I know nothing about western astrology. Then what am I writing here? Consider these events for a moment.

• Tsunami in Japan
• Death of Osama Bin Laden
• Jasmine revolution
• Arab spring
• BP oil spill
• Strauss Kahn affair

They all represent colossal losses in fortune! One way or the other these events have caused losses of wealth, fortunes of political establishment, and heads of movements and states in a way unheard in living memory.

All of them have happened in the span of a few months!



Unusual combination of stars depicted in this chart raise interesting questions not just for astrologers.

Now where is Jupiter in all of this? Whether they are total believers in astrology or not, a lot of people believe Jupiter has something to do with your fortune.

President Obama And The Power Of Lord Hanuman.

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Before the presidential elections of 2008, there was an interesting piece of news in wide circulation about President Obama. It was about a lucky charm he carried with him all his life, 
Is was a small replica of Lord Hanuman, a powerful God from the Hindu epics of India, who is depicted to have a body which is a combination of a human and of a monkey. Now, this type of representation of God is very common in the Hindu mythology and is not unknown in other cultures. But what made it to the news was that a candidate for the US presidency had it with him for good luck.

As history has proved it, LUCK in abundance was what he had in the 2008 US Presidential elections! 

But we don't know if President Obama knew it or anyone near to him was aware of a Hindu belief that Lord Hanuman bestows victory over the enemies of those who worship him rather than just bring merely good fortune! Whether President Obama or anyone near him believed it or not, it looks like this is what really happened.

First there was the victory over his opponents in his political life during the elections, defeating, Senator McCain and Governor Sara Palin in the Presidential election. 

Then more recently, he has defeated his opponent in war by annihilating Osama Bin Laden, who was his nemesis in the fight against global terrorism. What is interesting is that though it looks like a victory over one albeit the main enemy in war, it is in fact a great victory over all his enemies.

The courage and mettle the President and his team of officials and the US armed forces have shown in hunting down and finishing the face of terror from the earth  in effect also have silenced his political and social enemies, at least for the time being.

Lord Hanuman seems to have the power to annihilate your enemies after all, if you believe he can!


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Queing up for UGADI day lunch at TIVIDALE BALAJI TEMPLE,UK


The Tividale  Balaji Temple in the UK is in fact much more than a seat of God it was intented to be. It has become a place to visit for thousands of asians living in the United Kingdom and the part of their itinerary for those visiting as tourists.

The temple and its serene and vast surroundings covered by lawn adds to its attraction as a place to spend some time with family and children. On important Hindu festival days the place come alive with thousands of people, all leaving their day to day working western garb for wonderful coloured and embroidered sarees and all kinds of Indian dress, adding a lot of colour and variety to the scenery.

The temple though based on south Indian system of worship is rather generous in celebrations, missing almost none irrespective of the region of India. Consequently there are plenty of occasions and very frequently. On a nice sunny day, the celebration tend to be more colourful and prolonged like the UGADI day. All celebrations and weekends are especially looked forward to for the simple but very Indian meal as 'Prasadam'  to the worshippers. On UGADI celebration, the meal take a special Telugu flavour , with a few more Telugu preparations added to the usual meal.


UGADI DAY 2011



UGADI DAY 2012





What next ?

It was all very well to be able to stop someone out of a large number of people coming out of the temple hall and get his attention! I still haven't come to the subject matter at hand which was getting him to agree to sign up for a substantial donation to the temple for building the new Lord SIVA temple.

So I had to say something about Lord SHIVA and his festival MAHA SIVARATHRI. As I mentioned bits and pieces and different things to different people it won't constitute a readable narration though each piece of information I said must have been interesting to the listener as he continued to listen.  Anyway here is a good summary of the introduction, annotated from an authentic source!

MAHA SIVARATHRI falls on the 13th (or 14th) day of the dark half of Phalgun (February-March). The name means "the night of Shiva". The ceremonies take place chiefly at night. This is a festival observed in honour of Lord Shiva. Shiva was married to Parvati on this day.

People observe a strict fast on this day. Some devotees do not even take a drop of water. They keep vigil all night. The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night by washing it every three hours with milk, curd, honey, rose water, etc., whilst the chanting of the Mantra Om Namah Shivaya continues. Offerings of bael leaves are made to the Lingam. Bael leaves are very sacred as, it is said, Lakshmi resides in them.

Hymns in praise of Lord Shiva, such as the Shiva Mahimna Stotra of Pushpadanta or Ravana's Shiva Tandava Stotra are sung with great fervour and devotion. People repeat the Panchakshara Mantra, Om Namah Shivaya. He who utters the Names of Shiva during Shivaratri, with perfect devotion and concentration, is freed from all sins. He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives there happily. He is liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. Many pilgrims flock to the places where there are Shiva temples.


(continued on next post.....)                                    
(Curious what this is about ? See previous post)

Saturday, July 10, 2010
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Not at Harvard nor at Ahamadabad

No, they don't teach you this at Harvard or Ahamadabad!

All that you need, to be a good sales person, is a good measure of knowledge of the product you are selling! The more you have it the better you will be as a sales guy. The deeper the Guru delves in to the matter, the bigger is the following. Whether it is the woman who sells fish in the market or the suave connoisseur you deal with in the diamonds section of a big name jewellery, it is the same knowledge of the product that will impress you.

I had no time though to  remind me of  fundamentals of marketing and sales and brush up on my product knowledge.  I had to say something to the devotee who had stopped in front of me before  he lost his patience and moved on. I had to somehow grab his attention before he lost his curiosity.

If I simply said  Here is a leaflet which tells you everything, that would have suited us both. I can have the satisfaction of having achieved something great and the stranger in front of me a feeling of having escaped a Spanish inquisition! But that is not service to God!

I had to ask a question! My customer has to come out of the shock of being way laid and start using his brain. start thinking, start pondering for an answer.  So I started asking something, in fact anything to get him to talk. Like where he is coming from, is it the first time he is visiting the temple. how log before  did he arrive from India, is he married yet, any thing to strike a conversation.

I hate intruding in people's privacy but I had to get them to open their ears and eyes before they opened their hearts a bit.

Surprisingly it all seems to be working like in a trance! Suddenly everone seemed interested in what I had to say, except of course some hard core visitors who had gone through it all before with someone else!

(continued on next post.....)                                    
(Curious what this is about ? See previous post)


What did I say to the devotees ?

Though I had been involved with this great temple (The new Balaji Temple at Tividale in the west Midlands, UK http://www.venkateswara.org.uk/) for eighteen years only as a devotee, I had some idea about how the trustees have gone about raising funds to build the temple. But this didn't help when I was standing there facing a lot of people, coming out of darshan.

Naturally, for most of them the darshan must have been a very touching and special event in their life! They must waited a long time and taken a lot of trouble by travelling long distances with families and children. The reward was evident from their faces, the peace and tranquillity they must have felt and the feeling of a divine touch they carried. Mundane things like funds or fund raising must be the last things in their minds.What can you say to these people? I didn't know.

Then what I was there for was God's own business! Soon I had to find a way to carry on with my duty before the devotees dispersed and went their way. So I plucked up some enthusiasm from the din and dizil of the ambiance and the chanting of the Vishnu sahasranama over the temple audio system and ventured to stop people coming towards to me.

I said hello, vanakkam, namaste, hello sir, excuse me madam, anything which came to my tongue just to get their attention. I suppose there was an element of natural selection in my salutation based on the perception of age and the attire of the individual and the gender of the devotee.


It seemed to be working! Though I could read the reticence and annoyance at being way laid most unexpectedly, some sense of the God's business I had to present must have somehow transpired.

I wonder if it might have been the beautiful Kathakali padam praising lord Siva (a stotram) which was going in my mind which brought the change in their minds! Just listen and see for yourself!


Monday, July 05, 2010
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

God's very own salesman!

If you truly believe in God, it is really amazing how events in life, which might at first look very common or insignificant, can reveal glimpses of his grace!
Since many years, I have been given an opportunity to go to a great temple every Saturday. This is the new Balaji Temple at Tividale near Birmingham in the UK. Though very much in the centre of a British town, this is a new and marvellous temple built as a replica of the Thirupati Sri Balaji Temple. It is located  in a beautiful landscaped and isolated piece of land, fully of serenity and brimming with the presence of the almighty.




With HIS grace and the interest and passion of the wider Indian community all over the UK, the temple has grown over the years in to a complex with smaller temples for other deities and some communal facilities. At the request of a large number of devotees. a Lord Shiva temple is being built and its Kumbhabhishekam is being held in August 2010.
As part of the fund raising, temple trustees and volunteers often try to make the visiting devotees aware of various opportunities for donating to the temple fund. One such opportunity is contributing a golden billvam leaf which will be used in the puja on the Sivarathri day every month.
One of the trustees used to routinely talk to me on my every visit. One day he stopped me and suggested that I help him to do the promotion. Not considering  myself to be important and not having the "right profile" I excused myself from his demands on several occassions. However yesterday I gave in to his persuasions and agreed to talk to the devotees coming out of Darshan, least expecting that I can convince anyone to donate £501 pounds.
Reluctantly, with a bunch of leaflets in my hand I stood facing the outgoing line of devotees not knowing where to start. Very soon I found myself stopping people and talking to them things about Lord Shiva I didn't know that I knew! Finally I managed, to my utter surprise, persuade four families to sign up for the billvam in about twenty minutes. I think my friend was more surprised than pleased  when he told me that I have done very well.
Both of us agreed that it was the Lord who has done very well for himself!

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