Saturday, 29 June 2013

The legend of Dhari Devi, Uttarakhand, India .....

  *      As per local legend, the Dhari Devi Temple was once washed off by floods. While floating the idol struck against a rock and the villagers heard cries of the idol. On reaching the site, they heard a divine voice asking them to install the idol on the spot it was found. Since then the fierce looking idol remains where it was, under the open sky, and thousands of devotees on the way to Badrinath pay their obeisance to it. The temple of Dhari Devi, situated on the banks of Alaknanda in Srinagar hosts only the upper part of idol, the lower part is believed to be in Kalimath, on the way to Kedarnath.

*       Dhari Devi, a manifestation of Goddess Kali, is revered as the protector of the Char Dhams. Her idol was removed from her temple hours before the cloudburst that resulted in flash floods and landslides in which thousands have perished. The holy town of Kedarnath, except the temple, has completely been flattened. The massive tragedy has reinforced people's belief in the divine.

*       As per believers, Uttarakhand had to face the Goddess’ ire as she was shifted from her original abode to make way for a hydel project . A similar attempt in 1882 by a local king had resulted in a landslide that had flattened Kedarnath.

*      For the believers, it's difficult to dismiss this belief.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Are rescue efforts in Uttarakhand enough ???

^     More than 1,20,000 pilgrims were caught in the floods in the Char
Dhams yatra on the night of 16 Jun. A week has passed and thousands
still wait to be evacuated from different places. At the moment nobody
talks about thousands who have perished in the water and under the mud.

^     About 60 choppers were pressed into rescue mission on 16 Jun and
since then more than 60,000 have been evacuated safely. But the big
question is, "Does an aspiring Super Power has only sixty choppers
in the country?"

^     Ponder this:-
       *   Where are the choppers with Chief Ministers of various states?
       *   Where are choppers owned by millionaires and billionaires of
       the country?
       *   Why food packets could not be dropped for the stranded
       *   Where are the rich; the corporate people, the film stars, etc.
       *   Why the politicians can't unite even in this hour of national
       grief? Why are they not on the ground with their people?
       *   Why the poor citizens have to suffer because of human follies
       every time such a disaster strikes?

^      Questions are unending but answers are hard to find. When the
govts fail, the defence forces and para military forces provide succour.

^      Kudos to the troops who are engaged in rescue mission. They are
the only ray of hope in otherwise gloomy scenario. Our prayers for
those who are battling with life...

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Uttarakhand faces Nature's unprecendented fury...

*    Gods surely are angry. The recent destruction in the Himalayan
     state of Uttarakhand in India is a testimony to that.

*   Uttarakhand is facing Nature's unprecedented fury.  The rivers
     'Alakananda, Bhagirathi and Ganga are furious with the humans
     for destroying their habitat by illegal mining, constructing large
     and numerous dams, and huge buildings on and around their banks.

*   The corrupt politicians and bureaucrats who in connivance with
    mining and building mafia are hell bent on destroying the ecology
    of the young fold mountains.

*   My hearts goes out to thousands of those who are still missing and
    wait for rescuers on the yatra routes. I pray to God to save them all.

The Tale of King Bharthari

^       King Bharthari was the king of Ujjain, India in the 1st Century BC. 
He was enslaved by the magical beauty of Queen Pingla, who feared
none since Bharthari was under her “spell”. She wandered around
fearlessly and fell in love with the stable master.

^        Prince Vikramaditya, the king’s younger brother, considered
Bharthari as a father figure and Pingla as a mother. The king had made
him the Prime Minister. Vikramaditya was the first to have suspicions
regarding Pingla’s adultery. After much deliberation he finally informed
his brother about her misdeeds. Besotted with Pingla, the king took
offence and reprimanded his own brother.

^       The king considered Pingla as the epitome of high moral character.
After some days she made a request to the king, “your younger brother
is like a son to me and I have always tried to be a mother to him but he
looks at me in a lustful manner. He has made several attempts to defile
me, and not only me, but he has destroyed purity of many women in this
kingdom. A few days ago he had attempted to lure the daughter-in-law
of the Brahmin with the assistance of maids, but she, like me, too is a
faithful woman and resisted his intentions. I implore you to stay alert and
be very wary about such an unscrupulous man. I do not want you to be
in any danger from him.” Upon hearing this, the king took every word to
be the utmost truth.

^      Then Pingla called the Brahmin and told him to go to the king and
tell him exactly what she wanted to him to do.  She threatened him of
dire consequences if he refused.

^    A fearful Brahmin went to see the king the next day and told him that
Vikramaditya had defiled his daughter-in-law. Filled with rage, the king
without any investigation immediately ordered his younger brother’s
expulsion from the kingdom.

^      One day a Brahmin arrived in the king’s court and told the king
about the fruit of immortality, which he had obtained after appeasing the
deity?  He and his wife couldn’t eat that fruit as they feared that both
would have to endure poverty forever and he wished to give it to the king
in return for some wealth. Bharthari took the fruit in exchange for wealth.

^      The king didn’t eat the fruit himself but gave it to his beloved Pingla,
who in turn gave it to her lover, Mahipala. The lover didn’t eat the fruit
either but gave it to his favourite maid, who accepted the fruit but began
to contemplate her lifestyle, “I have sinned all my life, destroyed many
marriages. If I eat this fruit and become eternal then I will have to endure
all this. It's better I give this fruit to the king, who  has given me so many pleasures.” And thus she presented the fruit to the king. 

^      A stunned king asked her, “who gave you this fruit.”  On inquiry
she told him the whole story truthfully. The king immediately summoned
the stable master and asked him about the fruit. Mahipala fell at the
king’s feet and narrated about his affair with the queen. 

^      This filled the king with hatred for Pingala in particular and the world
in general. He, after leaving the kingdom to Vikramaditya, renounced the
world and became a saint and spent his life in search of the truth. 

^       This story is a popular folklore in central India. Some decades back
the story of Bharthari was popularly played by various nautanki groups
in villages. As a child, I remember having watched it on a few occasions
in my village.

^       Morale ............... not every Siddhartha becomes a Buddha. 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

and quiet flows the Nubra.........

  For centuries from beneath
                     the black snout, it flows,
  On moonlit nights like
                   pearl, River Nubra glows,

  Journeying from Base Camp
                               it meanders along,
  Joins Shyok River at Khalsar
                           village singing a song,

  She fascinates travellers with
                             her mystical charms,
  And welcomes one and all
                             with extended arms,

  Often sounds of gun fire
                     break valley's tranquillity,
  High mountains on sides
                    guard her pristine beauty,

  Burning pyres on her banks fill
                       her heart with sadness,
  Unmindful of national frontiers 
                           and man's madness,

  Without a sacrifice in Siachen
                         not a single day goes,
  Numerous stony graves tell tales 
                    of India's unsung heroes,

  In snow or hail; sun or rain;
                    through misty meadows,
  Weathering many a storm,
                      quiet the `Nubra' flows,


Monday, 10 June 2013

Buddha.... the Awakened One.

^      Prince Siddhārtha, at 29, was so much moved by the pain and
       suffering of common people that he renounced his wealth and
       power and became a monk. He wondered place to place to seek
       the truth.

^      Under the Bodhi Tree in Gaya, India he achieved enlightenment
       and thus prince  Siddhārtha became Gautam Buddha.

^      Have you ever pondered why only prince Siddhartha achieved
       enlightenment and not any other king, before or after him, who too
       had renounced the world and led an ascetic life?

^      Because as per the Bhagavata Purana, he is the reincarnation of
       Vishnu. Simply put, he was God and not a normal human being,
       as some text would make us believe.

^      Next in the series we will see how an Indian king, despite
       possessing the fruit of immortality, failed to achieve enlightenment.

^     Moral of the tale is that renunciation alone won't guarantee
      anybody enlightenment.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Spare a Thought for Mother Earth.....

 ^      Have a look at Mother Earth’s obese children.  Sitting elsewhere,
        if you are wondering who are your siblings milking the Mother dry,
        you  know who to blame.

         Country             Population          Population         

                                        2012                   2050

         China                      1.3 b                   1.3 b
         India                        1.2 b                   1.6 b
         United States         314 m                  439 m
         Indonesia               248 m                  313 m
         Brazil                      193 m                  260 m
         Pakistan                 190 m                  276 m
         Nigeria                    170 m                  264 m
         Bangladesh            161 m                  233 m
         Russia                    142 m                  109 m
         Japan                     127 m                  193 m
         Total                        4.1 b                   4.9  b
         World                       7 b                      9.3 b

^       Approx 60% of word's population lives in above ten nations
        and 40% in balance 182 nations, who are paying the price of
        global warming for no fault of theirs. 

^      Our planet, perhaps, was not designed by God to sustain 6 b
        population. Imagine 2060, when it's going to touch 10 b. Will
        Earth be able to sustain this much load ?  The very thought
        is scary. 

^      The escapists might say,  'Hey! Who cares? I won't live that long.’ 
        But spare a thought for those who will ........ 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Waterfall - Nature's precious gift

^     The waterfalls are Nature's precious gifts to mankind.

^    The very sight of a waterfall brings out a child in us. We rush to it,
      stand underneath it, and splash water all over us.

^     It lights up our hearts and minds, and its beauty touches our very
      souls. Blessed are those who live in the mountains and get their 

^     But sadly, we humans are hell bent on destroying them. Global
      warming has dried up the seasonal falls, converted  perennial
      ones into seasonal and thinned the bigger cascades.

^     Don't bank on the govts to save them for you. When have they ever
      cared for the environment ? 
^     Do your bit to save them for yourself, your children and your
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