Category: General

Posted by bhattathiri 29 August 2004, 3:46pm

Happy Onam on 28-8-2004

Let this Onam bring prosprity and joy to all of us.On this auspicious day of Onam, let us  confer our bounteous grace and love on each of us.
Emperor Maha Bali best among the Asura emperors, based all his entire actions on truth and justice. Looking upon his subjects as his own children, he performed his duties. Bali was a very generous person. He was compassionate and was a shining sun of truth. The very fact of his reign in the land of Kerala is the cause for the prosperity and happiness of the people there. He had conquered all the lesser gods with his great prowess. He performed a sacrifice called Viswajit, in commemoration of his victory, on the banks of the river Narmada. The Lord incarnated as Vamana at that time. He was born as the son of the saintly couple Kashyapa and Aditi. They lived in a hermitage known as Siddhashrama. The young Vamana walked towards the site where Bali was performing the sacred ritual. The boy was brilliant and effulgent, and everyone looked with wonder at his great beauty. Vamana was the very personification of the attractive magnetic field. Ratnamala, the daughter of Bali saw the young boy and developed a desire in her mind to have Him as her own child and fondle Hi  in various ways. But, in the meantime, as you know, Vamana had pushed Bali down into the Pathala (netherworld). This event turned her love towards Vamana into hate and she felt that she could kill the child herself. The all-knowing Vamana noticed what was passing through the mind of Ratnamala and pronounced 'Tathaasthu' (may it be so!). God, since He is omnipresent, Sarvatah Paani-paadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvatah Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Thishthati (with hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouth and ears pervading everywhere, He permeates the entire universe), He is constantly pronouncing this blessing on all. Nothing escapes His attention. That is why we should always keep our minds filled with good thoughts.  He told Ratnamala, "Mother, you first desired to breast-feed Me. But seeing your father's downfall, your desire turned into hatred. You felt like feeding poison and killing Me. You will be born in Dwapara Yuga as Poothana and feed Me with poisonous milk, and you yourself will die." Therefore, it is essential for all of us to have constantly good thoughts as God is pronouncing blessing of fulfilment incessantly. In view of the ignorance of this reality, mankind fills its mind with many forms of evil thoughts. 

See no evil, see what is good;
Hear no evil, hear what is good;
Think no evil, think what is good;
Talk no evil, talk what is good;
Do no evil, do what is good;
This is the way to God. 
Though born in a family of demons, he was filled with divine thoughts. It is the consequence of the great merits of Bali that is manifesting as the benefits that people of Kerala enjoy today. Onam does not mean merely the preparation of sweet pudding, various delicious dishes, etc., and eating ourselves to the full. We must re-live the experience of the encounter between Bali and Vamana. Today Vamana is supposed to be physically present in the land of Kerala and hence this day should be celebrated with gaiety and joy. We should lead an ethical, moral and spiritual life.  Sathyam Bruyath, Priyam Bruyath, Na Bruyath Sathyamapriyam (speak the truth, speak pleasantly and do not speak unpalatable truth). These three values are the ethical, moral and spiritual, respectively. All the three values ultimately depend upon truth. Following the path of truth and without swerving from a spiritual life, we should work for the welfare of the whole world. Kerala has the political identity of being communist. However, every individual Keralite, irrespective of his political colour, never swerves from the daily duties of a purifying bath, smearing of holy ash on his forehead or wearing a sandalwood paste mark, visiting the temples, etc. Their divine love and devotion is unmatching. Kerala is a beautiful state. People there are replete with spiritual attitudes. But time has had its toll and the tender hearts of people have turned hard. Why is this? It is our own attitude that is responsible. The good and bad habits of the individuals of a region have their effect on the whole land. 

If money is lost, nothing is lost;
If health is lost, something is lost;
If character is lost, everything is lost.

Start the day with love;
Spend the day with love;
Fill the day with love;
End the day with love;
This is the way to God. 

Emperor Bali was the one who encouraged pure and sacred thoughts and activities. He was called Mahabali as he was truly great in every aspect of his character. Kerala, established by such a great personage is not to be reckoned lightly. In the map of the world, Kerala may look small, but it is a centre of great divinity. It is full of bliss. This land gave birth to Bali, Vamana and it was where Viswamitra performed intense penance and revealed the sacred Gayatri Mantra which is prefixed with the triple syllable Bhur Bhuvah Suvah. Bhur represents materialisation, Bhuvah - vibration and Suvah - radiation. The universe is entirely constituted out of these three components. Radiation is Divinity, vibration is the life principle and materialisation is the body. All these three are in you.

You are not one, but three, viz., the one You think you are (body), the You, others think you are (mental) and the one you really are (the Atma). Only when you recognise these realities, you achieve your humanness. Do not get too much attached to your body. So long as you are alive, you must keep your body in a healthy condition. For Karma Yoga, body is the basis. For meditation and worship, mind is the basis. For realisation, heart is the basis. You must recognise the unity of all these three. There are several three-fold unities which can be recognised, for example, 

Trigunam Trigunakaram, Trinetramcha Triyayudham;
Trijanma Papa Samharam Eka Bilvam Sivararpanam
The people of Kerala are really lucky. Staying in their homes, they would perhaps celebrate this occasion each in his own small way. They will not get the opportunity to celebrate it in this fashion with several thousands like this. The people of Kerala are the subjects of Bali and are blessed by Vamana and therefore they are all very lucky and full of merit. Keep in mind your ancient culture. That is your life and your sustenance. These days our culture is declining. If you lose your culture, what are you left with? Everything is lost. The seeds of ancient Indian culture planted in your land are alive and growing. Ensure that they do not ever wilt but ensure that they grow stronger. Believers and non-believers, all are imbued with this culture. Ensure that this is nurtured and developed.

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Posted by bhattathiri 29 August 2004, 3:08pm
This week's Hollywood Spiritual Film and
Entertainment Festival
(Film, Books, Scripts, Music)
Semi-finalists presentations for Sunday,
August 29th
Please RSVP using our system.
for Sunday's events, WE FILL UP VERY QUICKLY!
WHERE: Wilshire Screening Room
8670 Wilshire Blvd. (2 blocks west of La Cienega)
5:00 - 6:15 pm (PLEASE be EARLY):Spiritual
Entertainment Resource Meeting and catered
dinner (currently no charge)
DRESS: Semi-formal
6:30 pm ->  - Semi-Finalist presentations
(suggested contribution $10 online $15 at door):
"The Great Year" (46 minutes)
 A semi-finalist film by Geofff Patino
 Directed by Robert Ballo
       The Great Year delves into ancient beliefs in a grand 24,000-year
              celestial cycle, which effects the rise and fall of civilization and human
              consciousness. It then examines the ancient idea that this cycle is the
              result of the Sun's motion around a companion star and uncovers strong
              evidence supporting it.    
Chasing God  (52 minutes)
A semi-finalist film by
      Lenny de Vries and Dylan Burton (Melbourne, Australia)
      Narrated by award-winning comedian Dawn French (UK)
     ('The Vicar of Dibley')this thought provoking film addresses
      a subject matter rarely tackled: why do humans believe in a
      higher power? By travelling the world and interviewing diverse
      religious leaders, scientists and atheists Chasing God looks
      at the relevance of God in today's harsh world.
BLISS: 33 Simple Ways to Awaken Your Spiritual Self
A semi-finalist book by Michael Goddart
      Bliss - that experience of the unity of your Self and our
      Higher Power - is available to all. Experiencing that bliss,
      that greater realization of God, can be achieved right here,
      right now, by developing the 33 essential virtues with the
      book BLISS as your guide.


BLISS House, Reality TV Show:
A semi-finalist screenplay Reality TV show
 by Michael Goddart
      Bliss - In the reality TV show, BLISS HOUSE, twelve followers
      of twelve different religions strive to progress spiritually
      while determining the rules of the house and winning virtue
      immunity challenges. Each week, the House Members vote out the
      Member who has least contributed to an atmosphere of love and

      One Love, One World
      A semi-finalist song by Craymo & Brandon Jarrett
      One Love One World is a song about equality, world peace and
      tolerance. In spite of our differences we are all the same.
      We are all human beings sharing this planet. It is a song of
      love and peace for the children of the world. They are our future.

      A semi-finalist screenplay by Richter Cox
      A space-aged Noah's ark story in which Space Station A.E.
      becomes the only means of salvation from earth's destruction.
      Space Station A.E.-Leaving Earth emphasizes two important
      spiritual themes: First, that God desires us to show love towards one
      another and secondly, that God has given mankind the responsibility
      to keep the earth pollution free and clean.

Who comes to synergize?
Each  Sunday we have many first time and many
repeating greats coming again and again!
Amongst those present at previous Sunday screenings
Lindsey Wagner (Bionic Woman), Jonathon Phillips
(Senior Editor-Dreamworks), Martin Zwiback (Kung Fu),
Leo Bertucelli (It Takes a Thief),
John Lee (CEO of Entertainment Business Group,
Ian Merrick ("Apocalypse Now", "Platoon", "The Last Emperor")
Wendy De Ryche (President of Cinewomen), Gayla Scoll (Interfaith
leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints),
Swami Shiva(Vedanta Church), Jill Schrag (Damah Film Festival),
Ai Onogi (Spiritual Film Festival Goa, India),
and many more
Amongst those present at a previous week's Sunday screenings
Cathrine Anne Jones (THE CHRISTMAS WIFE" (Jason Robards),
"UNLIKELY ANGEL" (Dolly Parton), and the popular television series
"TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL"), Kathy Close (Hartley Foundation
and produced over 500 body mind spirit programs and documentaries),
Lisa Atkinson ("Frankenstein", "Shrek", "Antz", "Bugs Life", American
Tale 2", "Curious George", "Inspector Gadget", "Star Wars", etc.),
Kenneth Schwenker (100 million dollar feature
film producer), Mary Cancassi, and many more.
Amongst those present at a previous week Sunday's screenings were
Carole Dean of the Roy W. Dean Grants, The Venerable Dhyani
Yhwahoo (Cherokee Chief,  27th  generation lineage holder
and also a recognized lineage holder of  Tibetan Buddhism)
, Kathy Wilson (casting director of Indigo
among others), Peter Shiao(organizer of the Shanghai International
Film Festival and the first US-China Film Industry Conference with
the White House), Kenneth Schwenker(100 million dollar feature
film producer), and many many more!
What others have to say:
Wow!  What an awesome time Sunday night!
I now understand the enormous potential of
these meetings.  I plan to be a regular from now on.
Bless you for creating and maintaining this "space"
for the professional interface of like-minded souls.
- Bill Woolery, editor- projects for Disney, Dreamworks, etc.
"a little gem in Hollywood! would never
think that this little group would have so
many influential people attending their meetings
and presentations but they DO!.... there is
nice sort of 'family' feeling amongst the group
and something to look forward to coming
to each week!"-   Mark Vicente, director/cinematographer
"What the Bleep do we Know?!"
"At the last meeting, I set an intention that I would book
some east coast work so I could piggy back the prep on
 the movie I'm shooting in the fall in NY. Within days of that
 I booked a scout on cape cod...they fly me to Boston, I work
 for two days, then a week later they fly me home from NYC.
 It's amazing how well it works if you just put it out there."
- Jeffrey Seckendorf

The Spiritual Entertainment TV TALKSHOW
      (Reaching over 200,000 households)
      Next Show: Sept. 1st at 7:00 pm.
      Cable channel 98 in the Los Angeles areas
      Channel 3 in West Hollywood and Marina Del Rey
      Channel 37 in Beverly Hills
      Channel 77 in Santa Monica
      Host: Tory Jay Berger
      Guests: Claudine Jordan, Chicago, Il.
      Prof. Neal Weiner, Battleboro Vt.
      Mike Ianicello, Columbus, Ohio.
REMEMBER: We also welcome
Our family of industry professionals fill out
evaluation forms to help you with feedback and to
fine tune your project to get it out to it's intended
audience. This category may be used creatively
to help you gain synergy, funding, distribution, etc.
We have had our first Mentor event for
8 of our current semi-finalists for a private evening and formal candlelight poolside dinner with concert pianist, Erik Spicard and violinist Jennifer Nacke...

our mentor was....
Omar Kaczmarczyk
Omar Kaczmarczyk - Foreign Sales Agent -- Distributor -- Producer -- Copyright Manager --Omar Kaczmarczyk has a long and distinguished history in the motion picture and entertainment industry.
This is the first of a series of mentoring programs with Hollywood
Entertainment Industry Professionals.
Stay tuned for our planned future
mentor events for more of our semi-finalists. 
Note: The selection of semi-finalists for our mentoring events is not an indication of the judging process forthe festival.
Mark your calendar>>>
September 21st The March for Spiritual Entertainment
will be held in the streets of Hollywood, 2004
peace and blessings,
Tory Jay Berger
The Hollywood Spiritual Film and Entertainment Festival
"the first and only festival of it's kind."
Spiritual Entertainment
"The originating spring... forwarding spiritual
and wholesome entertainment and creators"
Spiritual Publicity
Tory Jay Berger (323) 822-9927
"To create, forward and participate in work of spiritual content"

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:16pm

The Ramayana, authored by Sage Valmiki, is perhaps the most well-know epic in India. It relates the story of Lord Rama (an incarnation of Vishnu), prince and later king of Ayodhya, a city in North India. The central message of the Ramayana is to demonstrate to us how to lead a virtuous life that does not violate any law of nature.

Lord Rama is considered to be a paragon of virtue, and is believed to be the only human who possessed the 16 great virtues of a

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:14pm

How to Love Yourself

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:13pm

The teachers have to teach the students the spirit of oneness. All are
one; we are not divided on grounds of religion, colour and nationality.
We belong to the caste of humanity. We should never allow ourselves to
be divided. This point has to be made clear. With gold, you can make a
ring. The same gold can be melted and you can make it in the form of an
earring. The name and the form of the jewels change, but the gold is
the same. Similarly, we may be different nationalities and different for
several reasons. But, basically we belong to the human race and the
human community. This oneness has to be taught to the students.
Teachers should love his/her profession. A teacher should love his
students. With that, he will be able to discharge things expected of him to
the best of his ability. Unless there is love, he cannot please anybody
and his teaching will also be useless. Goods are better delivered with
the spirit of love.

The spirit of patriotism should be inculcated into students committed
to our care. The teachers should include the spirit of patriotism in
the minds of the students whenever an opportunity comes. This is very

Unity is very necessary because all teachers, students, parents,
management and administration, all sections have only one goal; that is the
dissemination of knowledge. We watch our children

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:12pm


What is liberation? It is release from the constant cycle of birth and death. Why should man want liberation? He will only want liberation when he has been purified as a result of many lives and then, at last, he will begin to see the difference between truth and illusion. In fact, truth comes from within, an inner awakening which begins like a tiny light shining out of the darkness and ending like a searchlight, beaming out light, truth and the love of God.


Every being at its birth
deluded by the Pairs
is subject to bewilderment
with hatred and desires

But to those whose sin has gone,
the men of virtuous deed,
revere Me with a firm resolve
and from Pairs are freed.

For those who strive, on Me rely,
released from age and when they die
will know that Brahman as a whole,
all work, and what belongs to soul.

Concerning sacrifice, in Me,
With beings and divinity
at time of dying, those who know,
controlled in thought, they truly know.



Those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did
good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a
resurrection of judgement just as I hear, I judge; and the judgment that I
render is righteous, because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him
that sent me.

(John 5: 28 30)



Be vigilant and go beyond death. If you lack vigilance, you cannot escape
death. Those who strive earnestly will go beyond death; those who do not can
never come to life. The wise understand this, and rejoice in the wisdom of
the noble ones. Meditation earnestly and striving for nirvana, they attain
the highest joy and freedom.

If you meditate earnestly, pure in mind and kind in deeds, leading a
disciplined life in harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. If you
meditate earnestly, through spiritual disciplines you can make an island for
yourself that no flood can overwhelm.


Who created me, and
It is He who guides me;

Who gives me food and drink,

And when I am ill,
It is He who cures me;

Who will cause me to die,
And then to live (again);

And who I hope,
Will forgive me my faults
On the Day of Judgement.

O my Lord bestow wisdom
On me, and join me
With the righteous;

Grant me honorable mention
On the tongue of truth
Among the latest (generations)

Make me one of the inheritors
Of the Garden of Bliss

Forgive my father, for that
He is among those astray;

And let me not be
In disgrace on the Day
When (men) will be raised up;

The day wheron neither
Wealth nor sons will avail,

But only he (will prosper)
That brings to God
A sound heart;

To the righteous, the Garden
Will be brought near.

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:08pm

The beauty about Chess is it can be played anywhere , anytime and all
you need are two players and a chess Board! and now in this internet
age, you can play it on-line too! in fact, that is the only way i
communicate with my son-in-law on line , who always wins hands down !
( between you and me, I just let him !!! i do not use all my moves!!

As someone wisely put it

" The ultimate Truth can never be won. That is why the game of Chess
is so facinating."

SO true in the context of present discussion!

anyway, i want to share with members here this fascinating
explanation on the Symbolism of the game of Chaturanga ( chess) in
the context of hindu religion.

Chess is known as 'chaturanga' in Sanskrit - the word Chatur
means 'four' and 'anaga' means 'limbs' ....

please read on...

"The  translations or symbolic meanings of the Sanskrit terms:
chaturanga = four elements of material (fire, air, water and earth),
ratha (chariot) = earth (prthivi), ashwa (horse) = water (apas)
hastin (elephant) = wind or air (vayu), mantrin (wise man) = fire
(agni), rajan (king) = ether (akasha)."

Now on the importance of the term'chatur' or Four in hindu dharma

"THE  Indians have many different terms in mythology, religion and
philosophy with chatur: chaturveda (4 Vedas), chaturyuga (world
seasons), chturvarna (4 castes), etc.

By the name "chaturmaharajikas" (means 4 great kings) the Buddhists
call the gods of fire, water and earth who dwell in the North, South,
East and West, with their suites upon the horses in four different
colours. With the term chaturmaharajikas I have immediately brought
in connection the term "chaturangi" (means four kings) as one calls
in India the four-handed chess. For that chess, two names exists,
chaturanja and chaturanji. It used to be played by four players with
pieces in four colours. The white and black are the allies against
the yellow and green. In that game, even the kings could be captured
as common pieces. To me it has been clear at once that the term "four
kings" is in connection with the elements. The pieces are arranged in
the North, South, East and West, each group being coloured
differently - just the same case as with the elementary gods - with
the Kings and their suites. "

PLEASE raed this fascinating article on the Origins of Chess -A

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:07pm



Thiruvananthapuram, earlier known as Trivandrum, is the capital city of Kerala. The name literally splits into "Tiru","Anantha""puram" meaning "the town of Lord ANANTHA". This is really true since the temple is at the heart of the town and for generations, the kings have called themselves "Padmanabha-Dasa" or the "servants of LORD Ananthapadmanabha", and ruled the state as the representatives of LORD Anantha-Padmanabha.

The town has a history of supporting fine art and culture. The Kings of Tiruvancore (Thirunals as they are known) have not only promoted art but have themselves been accomplished artists. The most famous of them are Swathi Tirunal who is a well known composer in both Karnatak and Hindustani systems of music, and Raja Ravi Varma the internationally acclaimed painter, well known for inventing paints using natural materials.

The town bustles with activity during Navaratri, when music festivals are held in the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple. Unique in its style, the temple combines the Chola and Chera styles and is large enough to conduct processions within the temple. There is a separate quandrangle for dancers, where even the pillars are tuned and reverberate to different notes! Anantha-Padmanabha in reclined posture is a large statue, which needs to be viewed from three separate doors.

Museum is an important and unique building which houses several artifacts and rare musical instruments used in yesteryears. Within the museum complex is the Chitra Art gallary which houses Raja Ravi Varma's most famous paintings. It also brings to light the unique history of Travancore state, where education was given prominence. Another full length painting captures the mood of temple entry act of 1932 when untouchables were allowed into the Padmanabha temple. Their disbelief, reverence to the LORD are brought out well.

During the beginning of this century, the state had a statesman Diwan called Sir.C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer, who made women's education compulsory and free. He also allocated 15% of the state budget to education, laying the foundation for 100% literacy, which Kerala achieved a few years ago. Petty shop owners were heavily fined if their customers spilled garbage (banana skins etc) into the streets. This is reflected even today, all the shops carry a tin case as refuse bin to keep their city clean!

Extensive backwaters provide plenty of water resouce for all. People in fact are in the habit of bathing thrice a day and are well known for their good personal hygene. At the southern edge of the city is the internationally known Kovalam beach, which has the picturesque view of a paradise. Except for the monsoon season (June-Sept) the beach is a good place to swim and surf, due to it blue, shallow, waters. Specially designed cottages to catch the best of surf and sun make it an excellent summer resort with sauna, yoga and other health clubs provided during the season.

At the northern edge of the city is the space centre where India began its space program in a disused church. Visitors to this city can view launching of sounding rockets on wednesday evenings. These rockets, launched for conducting physics experiments, have been a regular feature for years now. Located on the magnetic equator, the data from the equitorial electrojet at about 70 kms altitude has particular importance to meteorology.

A city of tradition and space technology, Thiruvananthapuram truly represents the contrasts India is well known for. Being the capital of a state which boasts 100% literacy, it is both clean and environmentally conscious. Ayurveda - the Indian system of medicine (extensive use of herbs and roots), is well supported in this state. Doctors practicing this school of medicine have kept alive their generations of knowledge. Today they are supported by the University which conducts undergrad, graduate and research courses in the field of Ayurveda. With valuable help from this Dhanvantari (Doctor) traditions an Ayurvedic pharmacopia exists today and standardized medicines are marketed in India and abroad.

The city is home to one of India's best known architects Mr.Larie W.Baker. This octogenerian architect has built some of the most beautiful residential and public buildings here using his low-cost techniques using local materials and traditions. One of his widely known public buildings is the Centre for Economic development, which was built ECONOMICALLY by Baker. His own home in Nalanchira, often attracts visitors. Although he has been decorated by the Govt of India (Padmabhushan) and the British Queen (Honours list) he continues to be a simple but radical person. He has lived here for decades, helping people build beautiful houses/churches/public buildings at an unimaginably low cost.





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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:06pm
Maharaja Swathi Thirunal was a rare genius. It would be difficult to find a parallel. Like all such men of extraordinary genius he also passed away in his early thirties. Erudite scholar,enviable linguist, rare aesthete, builder of vision, administrator of varied dimensions, conneisseur ofeverything artistic and above all a great poet and composer, Swathy Thirunal compressed into ashort period of 12 years was of the most magnificient achievements of human capability. Generationsafter him have wondered at his miraculous achievements. Scholars havce despaired at the great
heights of glory he had reached. Sahrdayas still continue to be dazzled by the blazing trail of enjoyment of beauty (Soundarya aswadana) left behind by him Swathi Thirunal was born into a family with justifiable pride of ancestry. There wasVeermarthanda Varma who in the midst of his battle worn life, while carving out a whole state called Travancore did not forget to patronise some of the greatest poets of Kerala. Dharmaraja who followed the conquerer was an incomparable scholar. An authority on natyasastra, he found time while fighting the tiger of Mysore on the borders of the state, to sit down and compose several Kathakaliplays, a number of poetic works of merit and to crown them all, a detailed treatise on Natyasastrarenowned by the name of Balarama Bharata. Educated by a galaxy of scholars and aided by thebest private library of the South available in his own palace, Swathi Thirunal had mastered Sanskrit,English, Persian, Hindustani, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada in addition to his mother tongueat the early age of 16, when he ascended the throne and became Maharaja Swathy Thirunal.Although a great scholar and poet in his own right, he is remembered more as a composerBhakthimanjari, a devotional poem consisting of 101 slokas, Syanandoorapura varnanam,a Champudescribing the city of Trivandrum and the reigning deity Sri Padmanabha Swami, Sri Padmanabha Sathakam, another devotionoal poem in praise of Lord Padmanabha, Ajamilopakhyanam,Kuchelopakhyana, two musical pieces for Harikatha performances, Ulsava varnana and an intro-ductionto Prabandham describing the temple festival of Sri Padmanabha Swami and an introductionto Anyopadesa Sathaka. Another lasting work of his is a discourse on the various Prasas used in poetry particularly, the Moolanuprasa and the Anthyakshara Prasa.Swathy Thirunal composed over 500 songs. But so far we have been able to get only 313 of them. There is a common belief that his signature "Padmanabha" is there in all his works. That is not true. There are many compositions of Swathy Thirunal which do not contain that signature. Of the songs that are available 197 are in Sanskrit, 63 in Malayalam, 37 in Hindustani, 8 in Telugu andone in Kannada. In addition he has also composed 5 Thillanas. He has used with eclat rare ragas like Poorvakamodari, Sudhabhairavi, Dyujavanthi, Lalithapanchaka, Malavi and Gopika Vasantha. Some of these however were popular in the Kaathakali literature which was there before him. His Hindustani compositions include Drupat, Khyal, Thyal, Thumri, Gasal and Tharanas. He also adopted from Marathi, ragas like Saki, Bhindi, Ovi, Panchachamara and Kekavali.His kirthanas are all devotional mostly addresssed to his family deity Sri Padmanabha of the 188 Kirthanas composed by him 150 are in Sanskrit, 37 in Hindustani and one in Kannada.So far we have found 65 padas composed oby him for Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam.50 of them are in Malayalam, 10 in Sanskrit and 5 in Telgu. He has also composed 19 Chaukavarnasand 2 Thanavarnas, of the 19 Chaukavarnas, 17 are in Sanskrit, one in Telugu. Every compositionof Swathy Thirunal is distinguished by the choice of the most appropriate words,a regal flow of poetry and a very enjoyable musical quality. When you start singing a composition of his, the intrinsic feature of the raga gets expounded in the very first line. Being a good musician himself he could bring into his works a rare content that any musicologist would envy. Swathy Thirunal was to an extent a contemporary of the great musical composersThyagaraja Swamikal, Muthuswamy Deekshithar and Syama Sastry. While Swathy Thirunal died at the age of 34 in 1847, Thyagaraja Swamikal outlived him by a year and died at the age of 88 in 1848.Muthuswamy Deekshithar died at the age of 60 in 1835 when the Maharaja was 22 years old.Syamasastri died at the age of 64 in 1827 when the Maharaja was only 14. At the time of Swathi Thirunal the most popular compositions in karnatic music were no doubt those of ThyagarajaSwamikal. There is reason to Swamikal's compositions which were also dedicated to Rama, an avathara of Sri Padmanabha.Shatkala Govinda Marar who began as a student of percussion instruments like the Chenta, Thimila and Itakka had to give up that line due to a severed attack of rheumatism. Thereafterhe came to Trivandrum and studied music under Haripad Ramaswamy Bhagavathar and became a great exponent of Thyagaraja's compositions. He met Swathy Thirunal in 1831. The Maharaja was drawn to him like a magnet and honoured him in severeal ways including a presentation of a vaijayanthito be attached to Marar's seven stringed Thampuru. Govinda Marar called on Thyagaraja in 1837. When he offered to sing before Thyagaraja, Thyagaraja was a bit doubtful whether this rheumaticlooking musician from Kerala could sing at all. But when Govinda Marar's music began to flow mellifluously and reach to the heights beyond the then prevalent Thala and Kalaa, the great composer was spell bound. It was Marar's music that inspired the great composer to create his famoous Krithi, Entharo Mahabhavalu and simultaneously sing it for the benefit of Marar. During the period of Thyagaraja and the other great composers we do not find any sig-nificant musical compositions in Tamil. The only one that attracted spontaneous attention was Nandanar Charithram, by Gopalakrishna Bharath. It is significant that we have not so far been able to locate a single song, Kirthana or Pada by Maharaja Swathy Thirunal composed in Tamil . He too must have felt like his great contemporaries, the inadequacy of the Tamil alphabet. Much later pattanam Subramanya Iyyar, Bharatiyar, Papanasam Sivan and others have composed delightfulsongs in Tamil.Sri Rangaramanuja Ayyangar in his " History of South Indian Music from Vedic Times tothe Present" observes that "Maharaja Swathy Thirunal has covered a wide range in patterns ofcomposition, Geeta, Thavarna, Jarati, Ragamalika and Hindustani songs. For sheer variety inlanguages and patterns Swathi Thirunal songs. For sheer variety in languages and patterns SwathyThirunal has no equal. It may be said of him in truth that theory and practice of Carnatic music found their fulfilment in his unfolding.The Maharaja's unique concept of the aesthetics of various ragas are clearly seen in hisfamous Navarathri Kritis. He has chosen the raga with particular case to be in tune with the mood orSankalpa of the Mother in each kriti. Thus his Devi Jagajanani is in Sankarabharana, Pahimam SriVageeswari in Kalyani, Devi Pavane in Saveri, Bharathi Mamava in Thoti, Janani Pahisada in SudhaSaveri Pahi Janani in Nattakurinji and Pahi Parvathanandini in Arabhi.The beginning of the 19th century was the golden age of Thanjavoor. Sharabhoji Maharaj,a great Sahrdaya with a distinguished Marathi lineage was the leading light of the time. His court was crowded with artists of quality, musicians of eminence and scholars of depth. That was the time when the famous tanjavoor quartet, Ponnayya, Chinnayya, Shivandam and Vadivelu, the Nattuvanars of Dasiyattam emerged as the saviours of our national heritage, the bharatanatyamwhich had decayed through centuries of sensuality when the leaders of society were more inter-ested in the artists than in the art form. Dasiyattam, which had during the time of the legendaryMadhavi of Chilapathikaram, driven the Urvasis and Menakas into envious despair, had reached astate of social stigma and condemnation. The four Nattuvanars who could distinguish the woodfrom the trees, decided to cleanse the depraved art from that was Dassiyattam at the time. It was
an uphill task; but their sincerity of purpose attracted the attention of sarabhoji who gave them allthe support necessary. Within a decade thes Thanjavoor quartet rechoreographed the old Dasiyattaaminto the new and delectable Bharatanatyam . They picked and chose students, subjected them tothe severest of discipline and presented them before discerning audiences after prescribing a traditional sequence followed in the performances since than namely, the Alaripu, the Swarajathi,the Sabdam, the varnam, the padas and the Thillana By their effrort, Bharatanatyam the padasthe recaptured its classical stature and its remarkable beauty. The quarte's sudden rise to fameand their privileged position in Sarabhoji's court roused green eyed jealousies. Taleswere carried toSarabhoji who whoo in one of his drunken moods, banished them from his territory. It was indeeda sad fall for the quarte. they had to flee the state. The only place that offered them a refuge wasthe court of Swathi Thirunal. When they arrived there in distress, the Maharaja received them withhonour and gave them every facility to devote themselves to the art.Vadivelu though eswsentially a nattuvanar, had also acquired the facility to play on theviolin, an instrument which was still then used only by the westerners. the Maharaja was im-pressedby this and he showed special consideration to Vadivelu. Vadivelu had come along with hissister and two other girls, one called Sugandhavally and her elder sister. Sugandhavally and her sister had their origin in south Travancore. Their ancesters had moved over to Thanjavore a few decades earlier. there they had got Sugandhavally and her sister trained in Bharatanatyam under Vadivelu. During the presence of Vadivelu and the three girls that the Maharaja got the idea ofrechoreographing Mohiniyattam. Like Dasiyattam in Tamil Nadu, Mohiniyattam of Kerala had over the centuries, undergone considerable decay. Again it was the leaders sof society whose preferencefor the artist to the art form that led to the social ostracisation of Mohiniyattam. At the time of theMaharaja, Mohiniyattam was not considered decent enough to be presented in respectable society.When the Maharaja had learned from Vadivelu and others now they had revitalised the degenerated dasiyattam and recreated an exquisite Bharatanatyam out ofo it, the creative genius in the Maharajaroused itself. He had excellent companions sto stimulate his thought and ideas. They were the grand uncle, Irayimman thampi and the famous poet Kilimanoor Vidwan Koyithampuran, familiarly known as Karindran. Thus a Travancore trio obegan to reincarnate mohiniyattam and give it a respectable form and content. Sugandhavally's mastery of dance.A few years after the death of Sarabhi Sivanandam, Chinnayya, Ponnayya went back to Vadivelu stayed over for some more time. Earlier the had taken Sugandhavally as his second wife. His first had taken Thiruvattattu Narayani Pillai was a distinguished Veena. She was also known for
her beauty. Sugandhavally was only years old when the Maharaja took her as his second wife. She died 4 years later. Vadivelu had hopes that the Maharaja would, in the re-bound, take his sister in place of Suganthavally. That was why he stayed behind. But a year later he realised that the Maharaja was no longer interested inthe pleasure of the flesh. So he went back with his sister to Thanjavoor.The last 5 to 6 years of Swathy Thirunal were years of mental agony and distress. Thenew Britissh Resident, General Cullen was in the hands of an intriguing clerk who aspired to become the Dewan of Travancore. Although it was a sad commentary on a man of General Cullen's standing,it turned oout that Cullen was a mere play thing in the hands of his clerk, Krishna Rao. The resulting intrigues, controversies and the increasing interference of Cullen in the internal affairs of the administration led to a major conflict between the Maharaja and the Resident. The artist in theMaharaja was too sensitive to the outrageous conduct of the thick skinned Cullen. The Maharajabecame despondent and began slowly withdrawing from his administrative responsibilitiess. It wasindeed most unfortunate for the state administration by like the curse3 of Urvasi, it was indeed aboom to the music lovers of the future. It was in his most agonising moments that the Maharaja soughot refuge at the feet of Sri Padmanabha. Some of his most melodious songs came out onsuch occasions in unpremeditated strains of proofound sorrow and sweetness. An example isSarasakshaparipalayamam in Pandvarali.Swathy Thirunal spread his rays of kindness and glory like the sun an everyone aroundhim. They in turn had, lilke the moon, enjoyed othe splendour of that borrowed glory.of music and the choreographer of Mohiniyattam, the indigenous dance form of Kerala.With all the administrative talent available around him, one can imagine the plight of a16 year old lad, when placed in charge as the ruler of a state faced with many problems, social,political and financial. History has recorded that during his reign he had handled thoseproblemswith the sagacity of a far more mature man of wisdom and administrative experince. It was side byside with the first survey and settlement for the whole state, he set up the departments of Publicworks and Irrigation. He modernised the state forces on a par with the British army though limited in numbers. He conducted the first census of Travancore. It was during his time that a comprehensive manual of Laws, both civil and criminal were introduced and several courts of justice established invarious parts of the state to render fair and impartial justice to the opeople. The credit for setting upthe observatory, the museum and the zoo also goes to Swathy Thirunal. Being an avid reader andlover of books, he built the Government press and organised both the public library and the manuscript library. It was during the period when he was busily engaged with all these activities, at a timewhen talent was few, modern education was in its infancy and the attitude of society, far too conser-vativeto absorb the benefits of modern civilisation, that Swathy Thirunal also composed hundreds of lasting works in poetry and music. His Sanskrit works other than musical compositions includes

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:05pm

At some stage in life, we ask ourselves this question...Where is God, What is Religion? Is beleif in God necessary. Religion can be described in many different ways. If we really concentrate, the answers come from deep within us, such as...

What is the purpose of or lives? What is our final destiny?
What is the difference between right and wrong?
What are one's obligations to the other people?

These problems will arise only when we become old and neglected by our children, family, relatives and friends.

To some of us religion is belief in a superhuman power or powers to be obeyed, and worshipped, as the creator or the ruler of the universe. However the more orthodox people in society refer to religion as a specific system of belief, or simple worship, often involving a code of ethics.

Priests and other heads of religious orders believe that religion is a the state, or way of life of a person in a monastic order. Even more conservative sects believe that religion is any object that is seriously or zealously pursued. Certain methodistic orders believe that religion is basically an observation of devotion, piety, and discipline, according to their individual customs and rules and regulations.

However, basically, everywhere in the world man, to whichever religion he belonged, looked to a prophet - a religious symbol to concentrate upon. The most logical answer would be that religion is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, practices, and worship that centers on one supreme God or the deity. Religion gives a feeling of security to many people.

It is a fact that, there are certain people who follow religion merely out of fear without analysing it. These are people who follow a particular religion without analysing it or rationalising the various aspects of it. In the final analysis however, all religions are lead to the same goal and no religion is superior or inferior to the other.

There are various religions the world over. Some of them are - Buddhism, Christianity, Confucism, Bahaism, Hinduism, Bahaiism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Lamaism, Sikhism, Zionism, Taoism, and Zorastrianism, and Modern religion all these are just like rivers flowing to the same ocean.

All religions highlight the importance of prayer which is the only easiest and cheapest way to have a spiritual and paceful life especially in this age.

Pray and your destiny will change.  Numerous are the ways to pray, whether you go to a temple, mosque or a church. All paths lead to him. Choice is yours ... All are correct! To reach him, search thy within. Encounter your innerself and you shall arrive at the truth which evaded all your life. When you prayed you invoked the mighty powers of one who is above all. Submit to him with all humility. He is there to guide you at each and every stage of life.

Whatever be the nature of our prayers, shall we not forget that we shall always get what we truly desire. We have but to perform our Karma. Good thoughts earn Punya (merits) and bad thoughts result in Papa (sins).

To rise above the ordinary think lofty thoughts, help thy community and you shall be graced by God the Creator.

Of the cosmos is one. Call it by the name of Brahman, Bhagwan, Prabhu or Parmatma the Creator of the whole cosmos shall ever remain one. Consider it having a form or a form less being, a mighty computer preset to function based on the Karma of all individual beings ... it never interferes with the Karma or the Destiny of one.

Satsang is also very essential at every stage of life.

How the company of saints affects us is best explained by the phenomenon of coating. We can make Brass look like gold by coating and polishing it with liquid gold. If we coat it again and again the upper layer of gold would become so thick that with passage of time we may tend to forget the item was made of Brass. What we see gets stored in our memory cells. What is inherent pales into insignificance.

In human life whenever a beastly character comes into the company of a saint for a longer time ... He tends to forget his own identity and temporarily merges into the saintly fold. If he remains in such association for a longer period ... Chances are he may permanently change himself. Owing to circumstances this transformed Saintly character if falls into bad company again may even become notorious than ever.

Lord has given us instinct and knowledge for ourselves to self assess ... What is good or bad for us!! We must consentiously use our intellect in selection of a Guru by hit and trial method. There have been many who have realized and gone back to the abode of the Almighty Lord. Their experiences and narration

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 9:03pm
One have to develop self confidence from young age. Unfortunately today, one does not find this capacity for renunciation, this firmness of purpose, this deep level of faith and commitment, this willingness to completely offer up mind and intellect to God. Most people today do not have a vision that is steeped in faith. But you should develop such a strong faith. You cannot hope to know what kind of life you will be living in the future, or under what circumstances and in what place you will find yourself. No one knows these things but the Lord. If you offer everything to him, he will protect you in all situations. Such a deep level of renunciation requires strong self-confidence and a clearness of vision. Whatever work you do, you must have a great determination and a firm resolve. Without this you cannot achieve even the smallest thing.

A small bird laid its eggs on the shore of the ocean. It wanted to have a comfortable life. A number of times the waves came and washed the eggs away into the ocean. The bird became discouraged and also a little desperate, for every time it laid its eggs the ocean washed them away. In time it became very angry with the ocean. Now, you might think, 'what can such a small bird do to the huge ocean?' But it entertained no such doubts; it did not think of itself as just a little bird unable to do anything against the vast ocean. No, on the contrary, this small bird took a firm resolve and decided it was going to empty all the waters of the mighty ocean. That was its vow to which it stuck with great determination. Night and day it stood at the edge of the ocean, dipped its head into the sea, took a little water into its beak, flew to the other side of a nearby hill, released the water from its beak, and thus, drop by drop, resolved to empty out the whole ocean. It believed that ultimately it would manage, in this way, to conquer the ocean itself.

When it realized that it would not get very far on its own, it sought the help of Garuda, the eagle, which is Lord Vishnu's vehicle and which is endowed with divine powers. With the help of Garuda it was able to earn the grace of Lord Vishnu. Now the ocean became very frightened and humbly apologized to the little bird. The ocean assured the little bird that its eggs would never again be destroyed by its waves and that it would be most welcome to nest on its shores, without disturbance. How small was this little bird and how vast was the ocean! You also think of yourself as so small, but you should never get desperate and lose hope. You should not get dispirited thinking that you are so insignificant whereas God is infinite and all-powerful.

You might wonder, 'Why would God bother to pay any attention to me? What could I possibly offer him which he would be happy to accept, when the entire cosmos is already his? If even angels and divine beings cannot see him, how can I ever hope to behold his form?' But such self-demeaning and belittling thoughts will not get you very far. As long as you think this way, you will not be able to gain the grace of the Lord and be fit to serve him. Give no room for such displays of weakness. You have to establish the Lord in your heart and say to him, "Beloved Lord! I know you are residing in all the universe, but you are also here in my heart. With all my power I will keep you here, firmly established within me. You are, it is true, the biggest of the big. But you are also the smallest of the small. In that small form, You are ever residing in my heart." If you have such a firm faith in yourself, and a firm resolve to establish the Lord unalterably in your heart, then you will surely attain him and thereby, gain all the strength of the Lord.

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 8:59pm
Like a knife itself which can be used by a surgeon to save a life
or by one to kill someone so it is with Coca Cola.
   Or nuclear energy that can be used for either good or a
destructive force so it is with Coca Cola.
   Or even fire itself that can be used to cook our food and keep us
warm in the Winter it has caused the destruction of many acres of
land and homes and so it is with Coca Cola.

   Coca Cola in the CARBONATED form is very unhealthy to one. It
breaks down the teeth over a period of time and is totally
destructive ...over time... to one's health.......BUT........
Coca Cola SYRUP mixed with water is very beneficial to one's health
for it aids in purifying the kidney activity and bladder and the
circulation between them.

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Posted by bhattathiri 06 August 2004, 2:54pm

After having said whole Gita, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, You have heard with attention, all that I have been saying. Consider my words fully and do what you think right'. Thus Shri Krishna generously sets Arjuna free. In the same breath, in the next verse he says, 'Arjuna, give up everything and take refuge in Me'. What does this mean? It means as long as there is Ego, there is danger in becoming free; let not any desire of your own arise in your heart. Be an observer of all the waves of desire. 'Not my, but HIS Will' - 'Not my but His Will'. "I" am not, "He" is. As you learn to subdue your ego thus, your 'Rajsik action ill become pure and what will be left will be infinite action without the 'doer'. Every action coming from God - making one a vehicle of His 'divine will' No 'I', No 'My' - all His. Starting with 'I' and frustration leading to no activity in the first chapter to destroying the illusion of 'I' in the second chapter, Gita progresses to the way of action, inward action to support outward action, leading to state of egoless activity in fifth chapter. Rest of the chapters mention the tools of concentration, devotion, surrender, cosmic vision etc. to support egoless activity, and last comes total surrender to obtain His Grace which is the final tool. 'His grace having been established, no effort is needed to remain pure. Purity becomes not only our second nature, but it becomes our first nature, our nature itself. This is the aim and end of Bhagvat-Gita.

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