Sunday, 12 August 2012

Garudadhwani - A voice of Garuda

This post was to be posted along with my other blogs on birds the name of which are found in the name of carnatic ragas. But somehow whatever I wrote and saved was in some other computer in which I did not have access afterwards.  Today, I got free time to spend on computer which made it is possible for me  to write and post  this.  MY blog is used for my writing on  subjects related to music, mysticism, miscellaneous and yoga.

Garuda, a  mythical bird or bird-like creature that appearing  in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology is   regarded as king of birds and is  worshiped being the trusty mount of Vishnu and the remover of  the effects of poisons from one's body.  It is the implacable enemy of snakes Garuda Vidya is the  mantra against snake poison to remove all kinds of evil The large mythical bird with eagle-like features that appears as the subject of  certain mythological stories is represented with a human upper body, big eyes, beak, short blue horns, yellow hair standing on end, bird's claws and wings. However, sometimes, Garuda is represented in human form with wings. 

Vishnu was pleased with  Garuda's strength and determination which was noticed at the time of Garuda's attempts to bring nectar to save his mother. Garuda plays an important role in Krishna Avatar in which Krishna and Satyabhama ride on Garuda to kill Narakasura. On another occasion, Lord Hari rides on Garuda to save the devotee Elephant Gajendra.    Garuda's wings are believed to be  chanting  the Vedas while flying. Throughout the Mahabharata, Garuda is invoked as a symbol of impetuous violent force, of speed, and of martial prowess. India uses Garuda as military symbols: It becomes a guiding spirit as this  majestic Eagle soars high in the air, sharp and agile, always ahead

Garuda became  national emblem  of Thailand and Indonesia.   The emblem of  Thailand’s Garuda  is portrayed  more traditional anthropomorphic mythical style and Indonesian Garuda is represented  in heraldic style with traits. In Indonesia, Thailand and Mangolia it is not only used as a cultural symbol  but also certain organizations are named after Garuda. Indonesian airline,  football teams and in many other places, Garuda’s name is in use. There are music, malls and many which are found to have named after Garuda.

In Yogasana, Garudasana or Eagle Pose increases the ability to concentrate, improves leg and foot stability and promotes balance. Brings mental harmony. Has a beneficial influence on the male reproductive organs and is specifically recommended for prostate problems.The other important point is that Garuda represents the five vayus within us : prana, vyana, udana, samana, brahmana through his five forms Satya, Suparna, Garuda, Tarkshya, Vihageshwara. These five vayus through yoga can be controlled through Pranayama which can lead to Kundalini awakening leading to higher levels of consciousness.

The main reason for my writing this blog is my interest in music and therefore, a raga name referring to Garuda is "Garudadhwani" in which 'Thathvameruga Tharama" is  the only very popular piece. I could hear the song when my vocal sir  taught my  junior who is also my friend. Through this song Tyagaraja is asking if It is possible to know the meaning of the eternal truth of "Tatvamasi". The lyrics and meaning  of the song is :

tatvameruga taramA para

tatvamasi yanu vAkyArthamu rAma nIvanu para


tamasa rAjasa guNamula tannu kollu pOdayA rAma bhaktuDaina tyAgarAja vinuta vEda shAstra

Is it possible to realize and experience the profundity of the vedic declaration, Tatvamasi-"You are that"? The traits of Tamasa and Rajasa gunas can never be avoided by us. It is possible to know the meaning of the eternal truth of "Tatvamasi" O Rama!?

This raga has a shade of western music when sung or played in drutakala. Most of the svaras are used without gamaka. The reverse of Bilahari making seven notes on the ascending scale, but only five on the descending  Carnatic Kritis found in this raga  are:
  1.         Ananda Sagara Tala:-Adi  Composer:-Thyagaraja                                                                
  2.       Tatva Meruga  Tala:-Rupaka -Thyagaraja
  3.        Devi Kamalalaye Tala:-Adi  Composer:-Mysore Vasudevacharya
  4.        Emineramunnani, Garudadhwani, Krithi, Adi, Garbhapurivasa  
  5.       Garudavahana, , Rupaka, Muthaiah Bhagavatar
  6.       Rajarajeswarii, Adi, Muthaiah Bhagavatar
  7.       Sri bhavamchinmayam, , Misra Chapu, Muthaiah Bhagavatar
  8.       Chandamundasiraschethry,  Rupaka, Muthaiah Bhagavatar
  9.       Nitho jeeppaka Adi Pallavi Sesha Iyer
  10.      Kaaththarul Adi Abraham Pandithar
  11.     Pakshiraja garuda Triputa Lakshmikrishna
 Some websites  I used for listening certain concerts:  are:


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Monsoon : A metaphor of life

“Weather is great metaphor for life – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it is bad,  and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella”  - Pepper Giardino

“For the man sound in body and serene of mind  there is no such thing as bad weather; every day has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously” – George Gissing

“All things have their season, and a time  to every purpose under heaven;  a time to be born; and a time to die; a time to plant,  and a time to reap “ ( Ecclesiastes:  3: 1 – 2)

WATER, WATER everywhere and not a drop to drink… The Rime of the Ancient Mariner relates the experiences of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage. the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads.   But I narrate here from my own experiences and collections.

Urbanites get exposed to the poor civic infrastructure or poor planning  or maintenance of buildings with crack, blockage, water logging, overflowing  open drains adding to people’s woes .  Heavy rain caused severe inconvenience to commuters and people living in low-lying areas   I felt very uncomfortable this time due to entry of water in my house on which I pay a good amount of rent.  It disturbed my sleep and made me spent hours for removing so many buckets l of water entered inside the house.  The reason  for entry of water inside the flat which was on the first floor above which was a terrace where only one outlet which got blocked with leaves and fruits of the nearby tree.  So is the outlet in the balcony. Improper set up creates chaos at times. In my childhood, I could see rain coming through roof tiles in my  house when we kept different pots or vessels but never had a problem or bitter experience like this.

Rain rain go away, come back another day!
Rain gives different experiences and many imagines and reacts in their own way. We complain when it rains too much and complain when it rains too little. It sometimes brings some   uncomfortable situation, destruction and death making us feels it as a curse. Rainwater  being the source of drinking water, rain  can be perceived only as a blessing as it brings relief, beauty and growth making greener than ever.

“Beauty of Monsoon is that it is No Cycle, Periodicity, No Trend”

Monsoon rains are crucial for plants and animals along with hundreds of millions of human beings.  We find cattle in cracked fields, and lines of containers waiting for erratic visits by tanker lorries at the time of delayed monsoon or weak monsoon. Invoking the rain god, conducting special prayers and yajnas has become a usual thing.  Recently,  I could read a news about  a bizarre order of the state government of Karnataka deciding  to spend Rs 17 crore on special rain prayer.  The relief from the long spell of summer heat through the soothing showers monsoon and likelihood of growth, development and greenery around. Welcoming the monsoon, there used to be celebrations in many colorful ways, with rituals and traditions or characteristic of a particular state. In one of my earlier blogs on music, I wrote about musical concerts highlighting monsoon ragas.

Monsoon, the term used for the rainy phase of a seasonally-changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase. Monsoon is a term used all over the world and not in India alone and it is when an area receives large amounts of rain it is the four months of June- September.  Indians look up to the skies, checks the forecast models, measures and checks every possible parameter, from the Pacific Ocean water temperatures to the High pressure off the Australian Coast. Roughly 65 percent of the world's population lives in monsoon regions. This is the fastest growing region on the planet.  By the year 2025, it is anticipated this number will grow to 75 percent. Monsoon, the life-line of Indian agriculture. Erratic nature of the Monsoon of the Indian Monsoon of the Indian subcontinent is "vagaries of Monsoon”.

Indian Agriculture is gamble with monsoon.  Kharif (summer) crops harvested around the Dussehra and Diwali festivals is fully depended on the monsoon. Rice is the most important kharif crop, followed by pulses, coarse cereals, oil seeds, sugar cane and cotton that are less dependent on rain than the staple.

Monsoon reflects many moods.  Monsoon has been a paradox—so bountiful in the North-East that it has triggered deadly and destructive floods in one  region and so scarce in the other parts of the country  the ensuing drought has devastated people’s livelihoods

Every monsoon season brings news of floods causing   terrible damage to people's homes and buildings, and ruining people’s lives and livelihoods..  Monsoon has been concern not for farmers alone but for all in all the areas. Everybody has got their own missions coming out with their own products, tips, preparations, recipes whether it be medicine, food or fashion. This is the time when variety of outfits, umbrellas or canopy in different size and colours can be seen. During my childhood, colourful folded umbrellas were not available.  After I came to cities, I could see people go even without umbrellas and go in the drizzles. If  downpour is there, shelter is taken under a tree or some place till the rain gets subsided.  When the storm like rainfall is there, the light weight folding umbrella does not serve the purpose. 

Monsoon requires one every care and planning and it is a good news that Scientists are trying to unravel one of Mother Nature's biggest mysteries with the help of super computer that allow them to  make a quantum leap in predicting the erratic movements of the monsoon If successful, the impact would be life-changing in a country where 600 million people depend on farming for their livelihoods and where agriculture contributes 15 percent to the economy. Once the cracking of the monsoon code is done, it would help India conserve depleting water resources and agricultural output would get a boost as farmers would be able to plan their crops better. The paradox is that many farmers ignore the weather forecasts and rely instead on Hindu astronomical almanacs and signs in nature

While referring to cracking the source of code of monsoon by scientists, I would add the croaking of frogs from which we were able to guess from the nature the likelihood of rain in the near future. Such croaking has also become a rare to which also blaming is made on the effects of the climate change.

Ultimately it's all about water. It is mainly through rainfall and whatever amount of water we get and everybody needs water. Rain harvesting  is one of the approaches that is now being practiced What is essential to personal health, healthy economic, geopolitical, and environmental conditions around the world is clean air and clean water. Water is the fluid that gives us life The world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use is less than 1%. By 2025, as estimated by UN,  forty-eight nations, with combined population of 2.8 billion, will face freshwater “stress” or “scarcity”. Thus, due to population growth, climate change, and mismanagement, the need for adequate, affordable drinking (and irrigation) water is a growing international crisis. the unsustainable lifestyle of the wealthy few is storing up catastrophic climate change. The unsustainable style of wealthy few is storing up catastrophic climate change. Human suffering will be felt not just on the economy, but also in the way we live in the days to come.  Let us hope that all the concerned, through technology, science, development  or whatever,  would make a real difference in the future and make the world a better place finding solutions for everything.

"Climate is what we expect, Weather is what we get"- Mark Twain
“Weather is a dictator which distributes favors and penalties impartially”
“Weather’s prediction is always like woman’s wits, always tricky to guess”
“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 “In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.”  - Khalil Gibran
“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.” – Lao Tzu
“O wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet.” - Chanakya

“Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.” – John Updike
“ And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton
“This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can't see how deep it is” – Dennis Rodman

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Kokiladhwani - the song of the cuckoos

In my attempt to write blog on birds linking to Indian Music because of  uniqueness and exequisite nature of  these birds  which are used to symbolise virtues, expressions or feelings.  One can find fables and superstiton also get blended with history of these birds. Our writers, poets and musicians discover in nature an uncommon power that can satisfy human beings and transfer this earth into a homeland for fairies and other super natural agents as we can find from the history, literature and various art forms. The previous blogs were about Hamsa (Swan) and Mayura (Peacock).  This blog is about  Kokila - कोकिला known also as Cuckoo, कोयल, koyal (nightingale),  पिक (Pic), सारिका (sarika), कुहुकिनी (Kuhukini), वनप्रिया (Vanpriya).

This bird is described as the singing bird and its size is 39- 46 cm in length. Cuckoos are best known for their wide repertoire of calls. Calls are usually relatively simple, resembling whistles, flutes, or hiccups and used to attract mate or demonstrate ownership of its territory. It has become a metaphor for inspiring music because of the melodious call. The note  used only by the male bird,  is the intimation of love and heard, (though very rarely,) like the song of the nightingale, in the middle of the night. The tendency of the cuckoo to dupe  more than twenty birds by depositing its eggs in the nest of the other birds instead of hatching itself which are mentioned in fables are in fact true as observed and universally agreed by the naturalists. In appearance, males and females are distinct.  Females have green beak and red eyes and females are smaller than the males. Male which  is glossy black with yellowish green bill and crimson eyes have short wings and long tail.  The femal is drawk brown with profusely spotted and barred with white.

William Wordsworth's poem  "To the Cuckoo"  was about his immense pleasure from the voice of cuckoo which brought to his mind the memory of the boyhood which is the golden time for him. He addressed the cuckoo as darling of the spring.  Cuckoo is also addressed as a blessed bird as it is blessed with the quality of angel and fairy filling the world with joy and happiness.

Indian Music and the Kokila :

The ragas in Carnatic music with the name of "Kokila" are : Kokila (kOkilam) cakravAkam janya Aa: S R1 G3 M1 D2 N2 S  Av: S N2 D2 M1 G3 R1 S), Kokilabhashani  dhIra shankarAbharaNam janya
Aa: S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S Av: S N3 P M1 G3 M1 R2 S)
, Kokiladhwani  harikAmbhOji janya
Aa: S R2 G3 M1 D2 N2 D2 S  Av: S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S
, Kokilanandi shhanmugapriyA janya
Aa: S G2 M2 D1 N2 S Av: S N2 D1 P M2 G2 S)
, Kokila Pancham (jhAlavarALi janya
Aa: S G1 R1 G1 P D1 N3 S Av: S N3 D1 P M2 G1 R1 S
) Kokilapriya or Kokilaravam kOkilapriyA mEla
Aa: S R1 G2 M1 P D2 N3 S Av: S N3 D2 P M1 G2 R1 S)
,Kokilavarali harikAmbhOji janya Aa: S R2 M1 P D2 S
Av: S N2 D2 M1 P M1 G3 R2 G3 S).  

The popular kritis in Kokiladhwani are:  Giri Dhanvinam - HB, Koniyadedu, Toli Nenu Jesina - Thyagaraja

To listen click :
The kriti Toli Nenu has been sung in Tamil Movie "Avar Enakke Swandham".

In Tamil music, we can find kuyil isai. One can find so many songs in all languages and movies describing or with the name of Kuyil or Koel or Kokila.  Some of the Hindi film songs are:

The Odissi music has some deviations from the main stream of Carnatic music and Hindustani music. For some ragas, name is same but swaras are different or original and unique and not found in the mainstream Different raga name, but same swaras. Chalan and Bhava also varies.   For example, Raga Kokila used in Odissi music is similar to Bhoop in Hindustani and Mohanam in Carnatic.

In literature mainly in Sanskrit like hamsa and mayoora, kokila has also been used as messenger  and kokila sandesha. One can find several names associated with these birds on surfing.

Cuckoo clock with richly hand carvd decorations from various woods  is popular and its basic form is 200 years old.


Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya - Mohd Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar Raga Sohini  Film: Swarna Sundari
koyal si teri boli ku ku ku ku ku surat hai kitani bholi ku ku ku ku ku  Hindi movie Beta
Koyal Boli Duniya Doli · Sargam
The title of "Nightingale of India" was given to Sarojini Naidu  being a famous Indian poet whose main themes in her poems were  love and death, separation and longing, and the mystery of life and  poetry is lyrical and musical, using many types of meter and rhyme and filled with rich imagery. She was child prodigy and master of children's literature.  She became the first President of Indian National Congress and first Lady Governor.
The melodious and charming voice of  the female playback singer Lata Mangeshkar who has sung large number of songs (50000 or so) brought her also the title of Nightingale of India

Friday, 14 October 2011

Mayuradhvani - Sound of the Peacock

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds. – Aesop

I wrote first blog in Blogger writing about swan the Sanskrit word of which is "Hamsa" wherein I wrote about ragas starting with the "Hamsa".  Among these ragas, Hamsadhwani is very popular in Indian Music.  This blog is about magnificent bird Peacock (called in Indian langugage as mor, morla, mayoor) which has attained pride of place in our literature, arts, thought, mythology, dance, music and yoga. Before I write about peacock, what is reminding me of  my childhood and school days when I also did like other classmates keeping or sticking the feather in the pages of notebook  without much knowledge of it other than its attractions and rare availability in our places.  I am also reminded of the Circular peacock feathered fans (Alavattom) being used in Temples and festivals which added beauty and attraction. Right from childhood we saw the photos and descriptions of the Lord Krishna who has so many decorations, of flowers and peacock feathers.

The Peacock, Pavo cristatus (Linnaeus), the national bird of India   is symbolic of qualities like beauty, grace, What has gained it a symbolic presence in temples, royal gardens, and even at the gates of Paradise, according to one Muslim legend, is its  magnificent plumage  which  are just gorgeous with their vibrant colors and unique design.

Though there is a Peacock Sanctuary in Kerala viz., Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary, the only one of its kind in Kerala, is located at a distance of 30 km from Palakkad town, spreading over a 500 hectare reserve forest land, with a population numbering above 200, I could not visit the place. However, I could see peafowls so closely and as easily as I could find crows in our hometown when I was in Ahmedabad where I stayed for more than 28 years near to IIMA, ATIRA, PRLGujarat University campuses.  Monkeys and peacocks were very commonly seen in Gujarat. I remember the day when after rajayoga meditation class at Navrangpura BK centre, we had a stroll towards a college ground just behind of which is Hussain Doshi's Gufa (also known as Amdavad ni Gufa) where we spent some time watching and enjoying  a Peacock.  The Gufa (Cave) housed in the campus of the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) is an underground art gallery situated opposite Gujarat University in Ahmedabad. It is an example of contemporary architecture with a fusion of modern and ancient ideas. It was constructed using computer aided design and tribal initiative. Paintings and sculptures of noted artist M.F.Hussain and was designed by architect B.V.Doshi are exhibited in this art gallery.

While Hamsa (swan) symbolizes discrimination between the good and the bad or the eternal and the evanescent., peacock representing arrogance and pride over its beauty, and  showing beside the Goddess Saraswati by having a peacock as her mount teaches not to be concerned with external appearance and to be wise regarding the eternal truth."

Peacock is colourful, swan-sized bird, with ornate and extravagant feathers that mesmerize us from every angle. The unique shade of bright blue and the colorful feathers that adorn its tail make the peacock a beloved bird in many cultures and the one of the most beautiful and recognizable world creatures.  Much has been written about peacocks with different interpretations as to what it symbolizes and different legends. Technically, only males are peacocks. Females are peahens, and together, they are called peafowl.

Peafowl such as the blue peacock have been admired by humans and kept as pets for thousands of years. A male peafowl is one of the largest flying birds when the combined length of its train and its large wingspan are considered. This simple bird has become the symbol of divine because of its unmatched elegance and qualities.

The peafowl is prominent in the mythology and folklore of the Indian people. The Hindus consider the peacock bird to be sacred because the god Kartikeya, known by many names Subramaniam, Sanmukha, Shadanana, Skanda and Guha. (Second son of the Lord Shiva and Parvati or  and brother to the god Ganesh) rides on its back. Kartikeya is a popular deity and is better known as Murugan in southern states of India. The pious bird is seen along with Murugan gripping with its feet a serpent which symbolizes the ego and desires of people.  Thus, the peacock is regarded as the destroyer of harmful habits and the conqueror of sensual desires. Karthikeya thus symbolizes reaching perfection in life.  Like Snake charmers use flute training the poisonous snake to obey, another way that has been adopted is to worship creatures that can get rid of snakes.  As the snake is about to attack, peacock spreads out its wings and feathers with great force and sends the snake flying. Thus, Peacocks are said to be great snake-slayers and reputed to be immune to snake bites.  Feathers may be burnt to ward off disease. Peacock therefore, symbolizes victory over poisonous tendencies in sentient beings.

In Islamic tradition and lore, the peacock was guardian of the Gates of Paradise and in Christianity; peacock is an ancient symbol of eternal of life. Chinese regards the Peacock as a symbol of divinity, rank, power and beauty and symbol of the Ming Dynasty.  Saint Augustine believes the bird as incorruptible.

Loud and raucous call of peacock almost like laughter, reminds us to laugh at life. Even in medieval times, oaths were taken keeping hands rest on the birds.

The feathers were and are used in healing ceremonies and magical rituals. The round "eyes" of the feathers are viewed to give the Peacock vision into the past present and future, and they are seen as the sacred all seeing eyes of the magical world. At the same time, peacock feathers are regarded as ill-omened in many cultures. In Mughal times, only Royalty and the nobility were allowed to use fans made of peacock feathers. It was considered arrogant to use by others. There are   some sayings that 'One man's meat is another man's poison.' or 'One man’s pet is a fox's dinner'.  This could be because of the Greek Mythology according to which   a hundred eyed monster was turned into a peacock with all its eyes in its tail i.e. the Evil-Eye associated with wickedness. To describe human emotion, particularly that of anguish and separation, peacock has been used and this can be seen in Kalidasa's Meghadootam. It could also be a superstition that   it is very unlucky to have the feathers of a Peacock within the home or that the gifts of feather received or anything made out of the feather is considered as bad.

I happened to listen an interview in FM Radio with the organizer of the Birdwatcher’s society of Andhrapradesh (BSAP), an NGO formed by a few enthusiasts in Hyderabad with the object of spreading the message of bird conservation.  BSAP organizes field trips, lectures, film and slide shows, nature camps, treks, waterfowl counts, bird ringing, etc. Considering Ecological and Biological importance and many other advantages by having such type of activities apart from conservation of birds, it is definitely a good hobby and activity. While some people are taken this as a kind of profession or past time engaging feeding, watching, studying or taking care of the birds as their pets, some people are least concerned about birds & animals  and  do not mind killing them and making them for foods.   

The peacock displaying of its tail which looks like hundreds of eyes are watching and the sound of peacock which is like a screaming or baby crying and all other movements are actually for attracting peahen during courtship or an indicator of rain, signaling its approach with a harsh crying call. The all seeing eye of peacock is taken as the eye that sees all actions and all people, meaning that nothing escapes the universal justice. In other words, Peacock is used as a symbol for Protection and Enlightenment. Since it is associated with rainy season, it is a symbol of fertility. 

The name Arjun, depicted in the Indian epic Mahabharat refers to the peacock. Sri Krishna's peacock-plume can be linked to our lives. The plume on his head like a crown is mutli-colored feathers. Bright colors stand for happiness, felicity, merriment and prosperity and dark color stands for sorrow, despondency and calamity. This indicates whatever colors that life offers is to be accepted as a gift with equanimity and to accept friends and foes equally.

Music and the peacock: Musicologists attribute the origins of notes (swaras) to the Nature's sound and Shadjam (S) is the sound of peacock also. In Hindustani music, Thumri, reference of peacock can be heard. 

Mayuradhvani is another raga which is not as popular as Hamsadhwani raga and has only very few compositions.    Tyagaraja's popular composition “Raga sudharasa panamu jesi ranjillave o manasa “in this raga highlights his awareness that music born of inspiration has OM sound, echoing out the body with the seven notes emanating from Siva. Tyagaraja expressed the importance of raga through this composition meaning of which is like this:  “O mind! Enlighten yourself about the nature of raga .Practice of nada yoga or music bestows you, without much effort, powers that otherwise accrue only through strenuous yogic exercises, sacrifice of comfort or through severe penance.” This song is popular even outside the carnatic music lovers as it was sung in some of the movies.  One of them is Malayalam movie “Sargam”. 

To listen the song, just click Ragasudharasa - Sargam (1992) KJ Yesudas, KS Chithra  and Classical song   of MLV Raga Sudha Rasa - MLV ,

The other name of this raga is "Andolika" and in this sarvakalika raga evoking vira rasa Ri and Ni are raga chaya svaras.

Other kritis in this raga :
Karanamemi kanene by GNB
Sevikka vendumayya by Muthuthandavar
Vajresi mathe  - Muthiah Bhagavatar

Gajanano virajathe - NS Ramachandran
Vyomakesam namami -Muthiah Bhagavatar

Peacock Yoga Posture:

Yogasans are the destroyer of all diseases and Mayurasana is a posture which assumes the shape of peacock during the asana and it is a wonderful Asana for (i) improving digestion (ii) helping tone up the internal organs such as, spleen, liver, kidneys, pancreas and stomach (iii) bringing glow on the face (iv) strengthening thighs, forearms, wrists and hands, abdominal muscles and entire back body. This asana is suggested for diabetic patients.

This is done by joining both hands in the front and turn the fingers backwards. Sit on knees. Then inhale and place the elbows on both sides of the navel slowly straighten the legs backwards. The whole body (in the lateral plane) on ones palms with the support of the elbows, just like a peacock ‘s leg holds its body.  At the completion stage, the head and legs will be above the ground at the same level. Mayurasana is sometimes also called “Forearm or Elbow Balance”.

The other variety or different pose of Peacock is Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)

The above asanas (poses) are very difficult and it should be practiced with great care and only attempted by those who have achieved advance level yoga poses. It is not advisable for those who are pregnant or having diseases like peptic ulcer or hernia. Suitability can be checked up with a doctor also.

Hams asana (Swan pose) where the whole body floats horizontally off the ground, supported by working the arms, wrists and hands is also like Mayurasana.  But this challenges even those who mastered the Mayurasana because the fingers pointing forward rather than back seems to increase the effort.

Peacock idioms:

There is an idiom that, "Proud as a Peacock" as pride is a quality that attributes to a handsome peacock. Another idiom:  she's like a jackdaw among peacocks = she's like a fish out of water; As happy as a peacock; as vain as a peacock; dressed like a peacock;

" Pride of the peacock is the glory of the God".-William Blake
" To Paradise, the Arabs say, Satan could never find the way until the peacock led him in." - Charles Godfrey Leland
A Peacock has too little in its head, too much in its tail ( Swedish proverb)
Sparrows who emulate peacocks are likely to break a thigh (Burmese proverb)       

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Nine (Nava) of Mine

The numerical nine has got its own metaphysical, astrological or mathematicl significance  associating with planets, jewels, sentiments, festivals,music compositions, type of devotions and so on.A deep collection of meanings for the number nine is given in is considered as a  good number in Chinese Culturebecause it sounds the same as the word "longlasting"  and is strongly associated with the Chinese dragon,  a symbol of magic and power, the  Japanese consider 9 to be unlucky because it sounds similar to the Japanese word for "pain" or "distress".   Burmese Buddhists believe nine wonders of Shwedagon Pagoda could grant one's wihses come true.  I have also seen after coming to Hyderabad that some businessmen or entrepreneurs prefer 9 or 999 to start with anything as it is believed to be lucky number for them; maybe it is a belief in numerology  or certain wonders of 9.

In sanskrit, nine is "Nav" or " Nava" and some of the terms prefixed with "Nava" like Navaratri, Navarasa, Navagrih in the context of music and dance are described in this blog which is a part of mine.

Navaratri, the Nine nights , is celebrated as an auspicious Hindu festival worshipping nine forms of Durga, the goddess of power when music and dance also become a part of celebration.  Garba, ras dance and musical concerts.  Nine Devi kritis, to be sung on each day of the Navaratri season at  the Navaratri Mantapam in the Fort Palace of the Maharaja of Travancore.  The article “TheNavratri Kritis of SwatiTirunal” by Dr. P. P. Narayanaswami given in the website , with more details and  audio clippings will help you listen and know  more about the Navratri festival and the Navratri Kritis.  Among Swati Tirunal's compositions, the famous navaraathri krithis are very popular which are composed for singing on each day of the nine day festival.

Naaraathri krithis  
  • Devi jagajanani – sankaraabaranam
  • Baarathi maamava – todi
  • Janani maamava – bairavi
  • Saroruhaasana – panthuvaraali
  • Janani paahi – suddha saaveri
  • Paahi janani – nattakurunchi
  • Paahi parvatha – aarabi.
Navaratna (nine gems) mala or jewellery which has become popular because of astrological or metaphysical or stylish looks contains nine different semi-precious gems which must be  high-born (top quality) and flawless.  The nine planets  of Jyotish or vedic astrology corresponding to these gems are: Ruby for Surya (Sun),Pearl for Chandra (Moon),Red Coral for Mangala (Mars),Emerald for Budha (Mercury),Yellow sapphire for Bhaspati (Jupiter),Diamond for Shukra (Venus),Blue sapphire for Shani (Saturn),Hessonite for Rahu (the ascending node of the Moon) Cat's Eye for Ketu (the descending node of the Moon),

Navaratna is also used as a terminology for Public Sector Enterprises status of which got elevated with greater autonomy to complete in the global market. Govt.of India first identified 9 PSEs which has now been increased to 16 or so.
Navaratna Malika -Syama Sastri composed the now famous "Navaratna Malika" or nine kritis in parise of Goddess Meenakshi. Syama Sastri's greatest contribution was the swarajathi. Syama Sastry composed most of his songs in Telugu and mostly in praise of Goddess Parvathi or Ambal.
There is also a musical collection of Prof.Omanakutty  (swathi 1 CD) which consisted the following kritis:
Nava-raga-malika - a beautiful composition in Carnatic music known the lesson as "varnam" using nine ragas as a best  exercise in learning swaras and raga chaayas  enabling singing kritis afterwards. Valachi Vacchi. ' Ragam: Talam: Adi. Composer: Patnam Subramania Iyer. Pallavi : Valachi vacchi yunna naapai, chalamu seya meraa saami ... Kedara, Shankarabharana, Kalyani, Begade, Kamboji, Yadukula Kamboji, Bilahari, Mohana and Shree. 
  • Bhavatheeya -   Bhairavi
  • Thavaka- Kedaragowlai
  • Sathatham - Neelambari
  • Pankajaksha- Thodi, Aradhayami-Bilahari
  • Vande deva - Begada
  • Paramapurusha - Ahiri Bhavathi
  • Mukhari and Deva deva-Nadhanamakriya 
Navaraga malika used in dance and known as Pada varnam portrays navaras [nine sentiments : Love [शृंगार] , Mirth (हास्य), Pity or Tender (करुण), Anger or Wrath (रौद्र ), Heroism or valour (वीर), Terror or Fear (भय), Astonishment or Surprise (अदऽभूत), Tranquility or Peace (शांत), Disgust (बीभत्स).
Angaiyar Kanni by Lalgudi Jayaraman is Navarasa Varnam in ragas Bilahari - portraying Ananda (Bliss) or Veera (Valour), Huseni - portraying Shringara (Love), Valaji - Adbhuta (Wonder), Saranga - Hasya (Humour), Sucharitra - Bibhasta (Disgust), Atana - Raudra (Anger), Rasikapriya - Bhayanaka (Fear), Sahana - Karunya (Pathos) and Nadanamakriya - Shantam (Peace).

K N Dandayuthapani Pillai navaraga malika composition of Samiyai Azhaitodi Vaa,  in ragas Todi, Mohanam, Vasanta, Devamanohari, Shankarabharanam, Saranga, Kaanada, Arabhi and Bhairavi, is  used for using raga mudras.

Navagrih / Navagrhas as believed in Hindus  which have nine influences on our lives are : the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu.  As described in Hindu astrology,
the sun represents the soul, the heart, the father, authority, heat, power and ambition. The moon is the mind, mother, water, coolness, emotions, memory and common sense. Mars is courage, bravery, sports, competition, maleness, passion, action, war, cuts and burns. Mercury is intelligence, learning, teaching, speech, expression, communication and writing. Jupiter is fortune, expansion, wealth, children, religion, philosophy and wisdom. Venus is marriage, love, romance, luxuries, prosperity, femininity, artistic expression, grace, and beauty. Saturn is slowness, struggle, discipline, dryness, labor, asceticism, accidents, and chronic disease. Rahu is material desire, dullness, ignorance, laziness, sleep and addictions and ancestral karma. Ketu is asceticism, spirituality, psychic ability, ghosts, eccentricity and occultism. For more details see the section entitled, Hindu Astrology. The influene of the planets even in European usage can be found in the days of the week - sunday is governed by sun, monday  by moon, Tuesday by Mars (Martes in Spanish); Wednesday by Mercury (Miércoles); Thursday by Jupiter (Jueves, Jovian for Jupiter); Friday by Venus, (Viernes), and Saturday, of course, is governed by Saturn. Two others called Rahu and Ketu that are added later.
In Hindu temples along with the main deity, a navagrahas are also seen with an intention to performing pujas to  propitiate the nine influences or  to pacify / attract the nine planets and fulfill our wishes. However, while chanting most of the prayers are addressed to Indra and Agni (fire) who are both very powerful Vedic Gods and not to individual planets. There are navagraha stotras  to pacify the planets and protect the reciter from the evil effects of the planets.
Navagraha kritis of Muthuswami Dikshitar has a legend that Dikshitar made his disciple sing  for a week composition Brihaspate in the Raga Atana propitiating the planet Jupier which was not favourable as per the disciple's horoscope and which caused stomach ailment finding difficult to be cured. This incident became the reason for composing kritis on all Navagrahas,

Each song is a prayer to one of the nine Navagrahas ("planets" of Hindu mythology). The songs titles, raga (musical scale) and tala (rhythmic pattern) are listed below:
·         Suryamurthe Namosthuthe (on Sun or Surya, in Saurashtra Raga, Chaturasra Druva Tala)
·         Chandram Bhaja Manasa (on Moon or Chandra, in Asaveri Raga, Chaturasra Matya Tala)
·         Angarakam Ashrayamyaham (on Mars or Angaraka, in Surati Raga, Rupaka Tala)
·         Budham Ashrayami (on Mercury or Budha, in Nattakurunji Raga, Misra Jhampa Tala)
·         Brihaspathe Tarapathe (on Jupiter or Brihaspathi, in Atana Raga, Tisra Triputa Tala)
·         Sri Sukhra Bhagavantham (on Venus or Shukra, in Paraju Raga, Khanda Ata Tala)
·         Divakaratanujam Shanaishcharam (on Saturn or Shani, in Yadukulakamboji Raga, Chatusra Eka Tala)
·         Smaramyaham Sadarahum (on Rahu, in Ramapriya Raga, Rupaka Tala)
·         Mahasuram Ketumaham (on Ketu, in Shanmukhapriya Raga, Rupaka Tala)
The thala set for all the  seven kritis is in sooladhi thala. The last two (on Rahu and Ketu) are believed to have been composed by followers of Dikshitar, to complete the set of nine even though the signature used in the song is that of Dikshitar (guruguha).
Navabhakti :  9 ways of Bakthi  or devotion in the Vedas.
Sravanam-  Ramakatha Sudha Rasa Paanamu,- Sudha madhurya bhashana
Keerthanam- Yelaavathara (Mukari ragam); Intha saukhyamani (Kaapi ragam)
Smaranam- - Smarane sukamu (janaranjini)
Paada sevanam- Sri Rama Padama (Amrita vahini )
Archanam-  Utsava sampradaya keerthanam
Vandanam- paying obeisance to the lord- vandanamu (sahana)
Dasyam-- Kriti lekana (Asaaveri);  Pahirama (vasantha varaali);  Upchaaramu
Sakya-  Sakhudu,- Thyagarajunimitra
Atma nivedanam- - Nee chittamu naa bhagyamayya (vijaya vasantham)

Math wonders
The Beauty in Number 9
The number 9 is very interesting and suspect looking like an upside down 6.

the last number in a base 10 system
 1=0.999 999 999 999   2=1. 999 998 999 999   3=2.999 997 999 999   4=3.999 996 999 999  5=4.999 995 999 999
 6=5.999 994 999 999   7=6.999 993 999 999    8=7.999 992 999 999   9=8.999 991 999 999 10 = 9.999 990

Again, the number 9, which owes some of its unique properties to the fact that it is 1 less than the base 10, presents some nice peculiarities. 9x9 = 81 99x 99 = 9801 999x999 = 998001 9999x 9999 = 99980 001 99999 x99 999 = 9 999 800 001  999 999x 999 999 = 999 998 000 001 9999 999x 9 999 999 = 99 999 980 000 001
While playing with the number 9, you might ask your students to find an eight-digit number in which no digit is repeated and which when multiplied by 9 yields a nine-digit number in which no digit is repeated. Here are a few correct choices: 81 274 365x 9 = 731 469 285   72 645 831x 9 = 653 812 479  58132 764x9 = 523 194 876
76 125 483x 9 = 685 129 347

123456789 x 9 gives 9 times the digit 1 in the answer (1111111101). Take a look at the next calculations: 9's and 11's are always near each other! Just as 9 and 6 which are upside down to form a vortex shape of geometric congruency. If you divide: 100/9 = 11.1111111111. and 100/11 you get 9.090909090909. 1111x1111= 1234321 mapped out on a graph forms a pyramid.
0 x 9 + 1 = 1
1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 + 10 = 1111111111

By clicking here , 
you can see the secret knowlege of the Number Nine in very detail.