Monday, April 18, 2011

Hanumaan - God of Kaliyuga

The greatness of Hanuman is explained by Lord Ram in the Ramayan.
Lord Ram said to Hanuman, ‘I am greatly indebted to you, O mighty hero. You did marvelous, superhuman deeds. You do not want anything in return. … you have not asked for anything at any time. You threw away the precious garland of pearls given to you by Sita.
How can I repay my debt of gratitude to you? I will always remain deeply indebted to you.
I give you the boon of everlasting life. All will honor and worship you like myself. Your idol will be placed at the door of my temple and you will be worshipped and honored first. Whenever my stories are recited or glories sung, your glory will be sung before mine. You will be able to do anything, even that which I will not be able to!
Hanuman Jayanthi is the birthday of Lord Hanuman and it is observed on the full moon (Purnima) day in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March – April) as per traditional lunar Hindu calendar. In 2011, the date of Hanuman Jayanthi is April 18.
(In some calendars the Purnima starts on April 17,2011 but the celebrations are on April 18). Lord Hanuman is also known as Bajrang Bali and Anjaneya and is one of the most popular gods in Hinduism. He is a Chiranjeevi – one blessed with immortality.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Do you want to see more than one Sunrise & Sunset Every Day?

Today I read an article that the astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station witness around 15 sunrises and 15 sunsets every day.
The International Space Station orbits about 354 kilometers (220 miles) above the Earth and travels at approximately 27,700 km/hr (17,211 mph), so it takes about 92 minutes to circle the Earth once. For this reason, every 45 minutes the astronauts on-board see a sunrise or a sunset, with a total of 15 – 16 of each every 24 hours.
A space sunset is said to be a spectacular sight that shows in vivid detail the many layers of the Earth’s thin atmosphere. The first layer displays the dark part of the Earth experiencing night. Above that, in deep orange and yellow is the Earth’s troposphere, which contains almost all of the clouds in the sky. Then the pink to white region above the clouds which gradually turn to a light blue band, essentially the stratosphere, is that part of the Earth’s atmosphere where airplanes fly.  The layer above the stratosphere appears as a darker blue band that gradually fades away into the cold dark vacuum of outer space.
·         The in-orbit construction of the International Space Station (ISS) began in 1998 and is scheduled for completion by late 2011. The station is expected to remain in operation until at least 2015. The ISS is operated by Expedition crews of six astronauts and cosmonauts, with the station program mandating maintaining an uninterrupted human presence in space since the launch of Expedition 1 on October 31, 2000, a total of little over 10 years thus far.
·     The International Space Station can be seen from Earth with the naked eye. Since 1998, the International Space Station’s orbit is inclined to the equator by 51.65°. At its most northerly, it is at the latitude of London, England, and at it most southerly, it is over the latitude of the Falkland Islands.
·         More shooting stars can also be seen from the ISS than from a person standing on Earth. The primary reason being that the astronauts have a much wider view of the sky.

·         The clock on the International Space Station ticks about 0.0000000014% slower than an earthbound clock because of relativistic effects. In 2014, the International Space Station is expected to receive the most accurate clock ever launched into space, which is a cesium clock.

·         Due to the weightlessness of space, dust does not settle down, it just floats around. Because of this, astronauts aboard the ISS sneeze about 100 times a day!

·         Another bad thing about living aboard the ISS is that every time someone farts or the like, that air has nowhere to go.  Also, given the tight quarters and limited bathing facilities, body odor tends to be rampant.  There are filters that try to clean up the smelly air, but astronauts frequently report that the first thing you notice when opening the air lock to the ISS is the bad smell. 
·         In April 2001, Dennis Tito became the first ever space tourist. He paid $22 million to stay aboard the ISS for eight days.
·         The record for the longest single stay in space was broken by cosmonaut Valeri Poliakov after he stayed in space for 438 days, 17 hours, 58 minutes, and 16 seconds!
·         Because of the relative speed of the Space Station, each sunrise or sunset aboard that vessel only lasts a few seconds.

Koda Koda Maami

In 60s my uncle used to make fun of me that I am doing “koda koda mami work” whenever I draw some pictures by seeing some magazines or do some projects for my children for their school curriculum. That Mami used to create wall hangings and table top articles from old calendars and pictures available in the house. Those days only scissors, gum and white chart boards were available for affordable price. With that she could do so many artistic and creative wall hangings. The extension of this is nothing but Collage.

A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the Visual Arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
A collage may include newspaper clippings, ribbons, bits of colored or hand-made papers, portions of other artwork, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas. The origins of collage can be traced back hundreds of years, but this technique made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty.

Now I continue that “cut and paste” in electronic media viz. in blog.

corruption, corruption, corruption everywhere in India ?

All speak about Anna Hazare. All emails are about Anna Hazare. All the articles in the electronic media are about Anna Hazare only. All are well informed about his movement. I just share with you the quotations of Anna Hazare which I enjoyed. 
Over every huge tree that we see over ground, there always is a seed that had submerged itself into the darkness of the soil.
Ban on consumption and sale of alcohol lays the foundation of rural development.
It is impossible to change the village without transforming the individual. Similarly it is impossible to transform the country without changing its villages.
If villages are to develop, politics have to be kept out.
Education without spirituality cannot help development.
Money alone does not bring development, but it certainly corrupts.
In the process of rural development, social and economic development should go hand in hand.
The work of social transformation is neither easy nor impossible.
The ultimate goal of all politics and social work should be the upliftment of society and of the nation.
Books alone cannot prepare future citizens, it requires cultural inputs to do so.
Educational institutions are not enough to make good citizens, every home should become an educational center.
Indulgence causes disease whereas sacrifice leads to accomplishment.
One should not accept anything free; accepting charity makes one lazy and dependent.
When the person learns to see beyond his self-interest, he begins to get mental peace.
One who performs all worldly functions and still remains detached from worldly things is a true saint.
Salvation of the self is a part of salvation of the people.
It is experience that gives the direction but it is youth that gives the drive to every plan.
Also "Gnani" who is writing columns in Kalki Tamil weekly brings about the Corruption which is prevailing in Tamilnadu. My brethren folk who are abroad can enjoy his latest column which appeared in Kalki.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Padmavathi of Jayadeva, a mellifluous and a Divinely Singer

Dr. Sukumar Sen in his book on Jayadeva which has been published by Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1963 gives a very interesting narration about the musical skill of Padmavathi and Jayadeva. This book narrates fanciful stories about Umapati Dhara. Govardhana Acharya, Dhoyi and Jayadeva, all of whom are mentioned in the Gita Govinda. The story on Jayadeva is as follows:
A certain Brahmin called Budhan Mishra appeared in the assembly hall of Raja Laxmana Sen and claimed that he had attained great heights in composition of music, for which he had been honoured by Gajapati Kapilendra Deva of Utkal. He had obtained a ‘Writ of Victory’ from Gajapati of Utkala. He then started singing in Patta Manjari Raga and all the leaves of a nearby Aswastha tree fell down. All the courtiers started praising Budhan Mishra. The King decided to honour him with a Writ of Victory. 
(For this Research on "Jayadeva & Ashtapthy" it has been commented that Patta Manjari is not known to be an established Raga. It is difficult also to believe that King Laxmana Sen was holding his open assembly (durbar) under a Aswatha Tree on the shore of river Ganga.)
Just at that time Padmavati, wife of Jayadeva was comig back from her bath in river Ganga. Hearing sounds of joy in the royal court, she entered the hall and announced that unless anyone defeats her in music in a competition, no one should be awarded a ”Writ of Victory” Seikh, a Muslim saint was present in the King’s court. He asked Padmavati to sing a song and create some miracle. Padmavati started singing a melodious song in Gandhava Raga. All boats floating in the river came back on their own to the shore. All courtiers were amazed.
Budhan Mishra was reluctant to enter into a contest with a woman. Seikh ordered that Padmavati’s husband Jayadeva be called to the royal court. Jayadeva came to the Court. Seikh told Budhan Mishra to sing so that new leaves came out in the Aswastha tree. Budhan Mishra expressed his inability to sing like that. Poet Jayadeva then started singing in Basanta Raga and immediately new leaves started sprouting in the Aswastha tree which had lost all leaves earlier. The honor given to Mishra was taken back and he was only given some small gifts and asked to leave the court.