Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kahlil Gibran--Nature Lover

Kahlil Gibran as a Nature Lover is ackd and admired over the world and even Religious Teachers quote him. Quote" A powerful advocate of the unity of being and of universal love on the one hand, and as the child of nature and creation par excellence on the other. And in his posthumous works written in English, the environmental message of Gibran reaches its peak, notably in the gentle compassion of "The Wanderer"
The Lebanese poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), best known as the author of book -The Prophet,

All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things. In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence. - Kahlil Gibran.

The Lebanese poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), best known as the author of book -The Prophet, is widely regarded as a man of the East who brought a much needed element of spirituality to the West. But he was far more than that. Brought up in a breathtakingly beautiful countryside and steeped in a tradition that synthesized the great legends of Adonis and Astarte - the gods that were an integral part of the natural world of the imagination - he became one of the most environmentally aware writers of the early 20th century. He saw the body of the world as an outward manifestation of the divine essence, not as an object to be manipulated, rearranged and remade according to material desires and whims.

2 Pics of Kovalam taken by me at TAJ, Vivanta.

1) Said a tree to a man, "My roots are in the deep red earth, and I shall give you of my fruit."
And the man said to the tree, "How alike we are. My roots are also deep in the red earth. And the red earth gives you power to bestow upon me of your fruit, and the red earth teaches me to receive from you with thanksgiving."

2) "These plants that live upon the tree draw the milk of the earth in the sweet stillness of night, and the earth in her tranquil dreaming sucks at the breast of the sun.

3) "We live upon one another according to the law, ancient and timeless. Let us live thus in loving-kindness. We seek one another in our aloneness, and we walk the road when we have no hearth to sit beside.

"My friends and brothers, the wider road is your fellow-man.

Gibran establishes the true relationship between man and nature. With his view of heaven in a dewdrop and the phenomenon of the stars themselves speaking to him Gibran's speaks of the  world in which nature is both his mother and his sister.

Most inspiring 


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Figs-Ficus Anjeer -----

Figs-Ficus Anjeer WE relate to Anjeer easily as a dry fruit or in ice cream -and Fig syrup for digestion given to children esp even today. Many think of Fig leaf and covering in Adam &Eve only .
At Taj-Vivanta Kovalam two years ago , I took a few pics of a Java Fig tree which had been imported  from Java -in the wide gardens of the locaton -see pics. In the last 3 years I have studied the available data on figs esp the history and find it dates back 1000 years or more BC in recorded History---and in fact stretches from Europe to US - to -West Asia-Middle East to  India---all the way to  South Pacific Java etc. Dates and usage in so many cultures and ways is well recorded. 
Figs have an  amazing story as it is connected in all places across the world and acrossTIME-
Some interesting facts:
FIGS have 3  vegetative characteristics- 
a.Figs possess a white to yellowish sap (latex), some in copious quantities.
b.The twig has paired stipules or a circular stipule scar if the stipules have fallen off.
c.the lateral veins at the base of the leaf are steep, that is they form a tighter angle with the midrib than the other lateral veins, a feature referred to as a "tri-veined".
This is a Java Fig tree pic--taken  at Taj Vivanta Kovalam -Sept 2010.
Pics  taken in Uma Maheshwari temple, Mangalore Feb 2011;
See esp    close up pics of Oudamber "Moracea"  Tree &-leaves with Wasps effect on leaves ..Wasps  pollinate them -fig- tree  connection is amazing.
Figs are Tropical in origin -inc Mddle East and Temperate climates esp South Europe -Mediterannean (Common  Fig-F Carica F ) Many other kinds of figs and berries are seen;  most are edible or used for medicinal value and eaten by birds, primates & bats  and have served as food & nutrition for dry lands esp few others.

Figs have religious and cultural importance in worship and for their many practical and medicinal uses. 
There is no clear evidence from older fossils of Ficus trees, but a  "molecular clock study and carbon dating process" estimates ( indicates) that Ficus is a very ancient genus; maybe even millions of years old.
However  it is without doubt an Ancient Tree genus and about 800 kinds are recorded  over the world with so many legends and folk lore even attached.--
Readers choice to decide.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

STHALA VRIKSHAS--Trees at Hubli Shree Shiva Krishna Mandir

The 2 Sthala Vrikshas here are both Ashwattha for ShreeKrishna & Oudamber for Guru - Lord Shiva- -ShreeDattatriya -ShreeDakshinamurty -Rgds

Shivratri 20th Feb 2012, at Hubli -Shree Shiva Krishna Mandir

The Shiva Pancha-akshari Mantra of OM Namah Shivayah in simple terms means:
This mantra is also explained thus:

OM - Pranava is Absolute Brahman i.e. God without Form, name, shape. Etc

NA – Prithvi tattva (earth - material as ash)

MA – Jala tattva (water content in our body)

SHI – Agni tattva of Tejas as in the Sun & Heat of body temperature.

VA- Vayu tattva  as the vital energu force of pancha prana

YAH – Akash (sukshma aspect) and is the  space  for circulation in our body and in universe for the spirit to move.                                               

NOTE: The name RA-MA letters are taken as RA from Om Namo NaRAyana and Om naMAh Shivaya. This teaches us that Eshwara is one only in differenbt forms …ekam sat viprah bahudavanti.

From the new Hindu Prayer Book -
वन्दे शंभुं उमा-पतिं सुर-गुरुं, वन्दे जगत्कारणम् ।
= vandé shambhum umā-patim sura-gurum, vandé jagat-kāraṇam |
= Salutations (vande) to the good-doer (shambhum), to the husband of pAravtI (umA-patim), to the guru of the gods (sura-gurum), salutations to the reason (kAraNam) of the [manifest] world (jagat) |

वन्दे पन्नग-भूषणं मृग-धरं, वन्दे पशूनां पतिम् ।
= vandé pannaga-bhūṣhaṇam mṛiga-dharam, vandé pashūnām patim |
= Salutations to the one who is adorned by serpents, to the one protects the animals, salutations to the Lord of animals.

'pashu' literally means 'the one has been snared in a net'. Figuratively we are all pashu snared in the net of attachment, not realizing the true identity.

वन्दे सूर्य-शशांक-वह्नि-नयनं, वन्दे मुकुन्द-प्रियम् ।
= vandé sūrya-shashāṅka-vahni-nayanam, vandé mukunda-priyam |
= Salutations to the one whose eyes are the Sun, Moon (physical world) and Fire (Knowledge), salutations to the one who is dear (priyam) to Vishnu (mukunda) |

वन्दे भक्त-जनाश्रयं च वरदं, वन्दे शिवं शंकरम् ॥
= vandé bhakta-janā_shrayam cha varadam, vandé shivam shaṅkaram ||
= Salutations to the refuge (Ashraya) of devotee (bhakta-jana), salutations to the auspicious (shivam) and good-doer (shaMkaram) ||
SOME SPIRITUAL MEANING & SYMBOLISM- subtle (sukshma aspects)
a)     Rudra is Energy  and in the Ghora roopa “Rudra roope” includes  the attributes of Strength, Heat Potential &Anger aspects amongst others and all. This prayer is to keep the anger and strength in check. Suryadevata is the blazing red hot heat and the Rudram also covers the aspect as Surya aschame etc. 
     See Anuvaak No.1. NOTE: We cannot even sight the Sun except at sunrise sunset…  How can we see God “ Eshwara”  with our physical vision (eyes) and thus we say God is INFINITE. This helps to gain an idea of the term “Absolute, Infinite , Nirguna, Para-Brahman”
b)    Nandi vahan represent  Dharma. & stability of the Lord –the Creator.
c)    Shiva -Parvati symbolise the Potential & Kinetic Energy.  
d)    Kailasa is a peak and we get inspiration to Reach High in our Spirit. This begins with   self improvement as in Art of Living.
d)    Eshwara worships Rama – “Ramasya eshwara” and Rama worships Eshwara – Rameshwaram. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

3 Trees in Shree Vishnu Sahasranama

  • 3 Trees in Shree Vishnu Sahasranama 

    dt 12th Feb 2012

    4 names in Shree Vishnu Sahasranama are taken up viz
    Sulabha,--- Nyagrodha,Udumbara,Ashwattha

    Brief explanation :

    Prefixed with "Sulabha"- 817. easy to do means: The lords blessings are easily obtained by Bhakti alone-When the creation gives a leaf,flower, fruit , water we can offer with all our love - mind & heart. REFER leaf,flower, fruit ,water--when offered with pure devotion ref. Chp 9 Gita. -
    the Anugraha -of lord is Sulabha- easy to obtain .This is to enable a devotee to seek and strive to Parama-Purusha by the simple way of Devotion alone.

    Three Trees 

    1) The Banyan Tree: "NYAGRODHA"-822. name has been derived from the analogy to this tree- and it's Roots; but here the Aerial Roots have been used in analogy; Roots grow downwards firmly holding it--but  -aerial roots in  of a Banyan and the Tree stands tall, spreading all scross, giving shade to all-anyone  under a wide canopy -
    i.e. The Lord stands above VIEWING CREATION...Protects all, gives shade to all .
    There is no sectarian outlook in Mother Nature's care.

    The Banyan also symbolizes Trimurti with Vishnu as the bark, Shiva as the branches and Brahma as the roots. Indian culture acks the Banyan tree as 'Kalpa Vriksha' the tree that fulfill all your wishes.Thus the mighty Banyan Tree is considered as immortal and has always been the focal point for the village communities in India. It is probably the biggest and friendliest of all trees- used by people as a shady place to rest.
    Several meanings in analogy are taken with the Banyan tree and they are far reaching
    • As Vata Vriksha as in Shri Dakshinamurthy stotra.
    • The Banyan tree analogy is explained in detail in Gita Chp 15- Inverted Tree of Life and is accepted as an Upanishad.  

    2) UDUMBARA. 823.- Has several meanings inc food, nourishment, --the one who nourishes the universe,
    The name derived from ut-ambarah, i.e. issued from the Sky-
    the Supporter of universe, cause of creation and it's sustenance.
    As food from shruti- urgva annadyam, udumbaram.
    thus we have the upanishadic statement "Annam brahmeti"-food indeed is God.

    OUDAMBER-Dattatreya Guru:  son of the Rishi Atri and Anasuya. His birth was a divine boon, hence his name: Datta–“given”–and atreya–“son of Atri.” Considered a divine incarnation and known as the Lord of Avadhutas, is  revered as the embodiment of the Supreme Guru. Also authorship of the Avadhuta Gita, the Jivanmukti Gita, and the Tripura Rahashya. 
    ASHVATTHA-824. svah tishtati iti svasthah -means that which will stand tomorrow also-i.e. to explain permanency or symbolic of  permanent, not taken away by time,,,is Asvattah.
    Ashwattha -Pipal tree-Scientific name Ficus Religiosa
    The tree of enlighenment of Gautama Buddha-called as  Bodhi Tree (peepal tree)

    The Banyan is of a Ficus genus ( by figs) actually starts as a Fig-as an Ephiphyte when its seeds germinate any where –sometime in most unusual places a Tree-or a cement crack even in the cracks and crevices of buildings. The seeds of banyan are distributed all over at random by Birds and Wind The Sapling sends down strong roots and they may even expand and twist around and take over its base and cover the host tree esp.
    The name Strangler Fig is used for Banyan & Pipal esp. when Roots take control over place of origin NOTE-See the Trunk of such trees in many places, even public places and roads where Roots twist all around for growth and search for moisture and sunlight , got the name “strangler fig”-seen in many trees.
    The leaves of Banyan tree are broad dark green and thick like plastic and elliptical in shape.
    Young leaves have a reddish shade. Older banyan trees have Aerial Roots that grow from main trunk-into Giant Trees with age and cover a wide area.
    Natures Wonder

    Thought" Protect all Plants and trees -flora & fauna"
    Dharmo Rakshati, RakshitaH
    (Protect Dharma and it will protect you)

    SOURCES -The Aswattha  (Arasa Maram in Tamil ) is worshiped in most parts of India and a murthy of God is consecrated below the tree. In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the family which plants the tree, does a sacred thread ceremony to the tree and then conducts its marriage with the neem tree. Most of the Naga Temples in Kerala and Ganesha temples in Tamil Nadu are constructed below this tree. Women who are not able to beget children are asked to go round the tree daily. The great shade of the tree is used as the meeting place of senior citizens in every village.

  • Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chp 15: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas." (-Gita 15.1) Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality. In the desert there is no water, but the mirage suggests that there is such a thing as water. In the material world there is no water, there is no happiness, but the real water of actual happiness is there in the spiritual world.

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  • FROM SOURCE: moola mantra, significance
    • Moolatho Brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopine,
      Agratha Shiva roopaya Vruksha rajaya they nama., 1.

      My salutations to the king of trees. Whose root is the form of Brahma,
      Middle is the form of Lord Vishnu, And top is the form of Lord Shiva