Monday, September 3, 2012

Ganapati Bhatta

Ganapati Bhatt of Karnataka was a staunch devotee of Lord Ganesh. He read Brahma Puran and could  know that Brahma in real  form was residing at Nilagiri Sri Kshetra Puri. He decided to come Puri and to have Darshan of Brahma. He reached Puri on the day of Snana Purnima, the full moon day of Jyestha of Odiya calendar. Ganapati Bhatta saw Lord Jagannath, Paramabrahma on Snana Mandap with other deities. He keenly observed at Jagannath but he could not observe his dearest Ganesh. Being disappointed he left the temple to go back to his native place. Lord Jagannath could know the feelings of his devotee. He himself as Brahman met Ganapati Bhatt and implored him to come and see Lord once again on Snana Mandap
before leaving Puri. It was evening and on the persuasion of Brahman, he came to Snana Mandap. To his surprise, he saw Lord Jagannath in the head of elephant. He danced on the road saying that God had fulfilled his desire. From that day three deities appear in Gajanan Vesha after taking bath on Snana Mandap.

Source- Odisha Review

The other side...

"A Father was reading a magazine and his little daughter every now and then distracted him. To keep her busy, he tore one page on which was printed the map of the world. He tore it into pieces and asked her to go to her room and put them together to make the map again. He was sure she would take the whole day to get it done. But the little one came back within minutes with perfect map. When he asked how she could do it so quickly, she said, 'Oh Dad, there is a man's face on the other side of the paper. I made the face perfect to get the map right." "She ran outside to play leaving the father surprised...”

There is always the other side to whatever we experience in this world. Whenever we come across a challenge or a puzzling situation, look at the other side... You will be surprised to see an easy way to tackle the problem.
Always have a positive attitude in life. Even a stopped watch is right twice a day...!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The donkey who fell down into the well...

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! 

Source- Internet

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Story of Bibhisana and Balaram Das

King Bibhisan, brother of demon Ravan in Tretaya Yuga was a great devotee of king of Ayodhya Ramachandra. After killing Ravan, when Ramachandra was preparing to leave Srilanka by Puspakabiman tears came to eyes of Bibhisan. He said to Ramachandra "Oh, Lord when I surrendered to you, promised me all protection and assured me to get rid of the bondage, sufferings of this world by seeing your lotus feet daily. Now it will not at all be possible for me to have Darshan daily of your feet". 

Smilingly Ramachandra replied- "Bibhisan, you worship and pray Lord Jagannath daily who resides very close to Mahodadhi and you will see my presence within Him." From that day he became a great devotee of Lord Jagannath. Bibhisan daily comes to get Darshan of Lord Jagannath. One day after completion of worship to Lord Jagannath, Bibhisan requested Lord to pay his kind visit to Lanka so that he would feel himself fortunate. Lord Jagannath could not refuse the request of his devotee. One day Lord decided to go to Lanka and on the way he met His great devotee Balaram Das and as soon as Balaram Das heard from Lord that he was going to Srilanka he prayed Lord to go to see Lanka. Accepting his request, Lord offered Balaram to carry a narrow-necked golden water jug and asked to follow Him. In Lanka Garh, Bibhisan welcomed Lord Jagannath with great ovation with Balaram
Das and offered garland of rare species of black jasmine flower, pearl and worshipped the Lord. After blessing Bibhisan, Lord returned to Srikshetra and left Balaram Das in his Matha. As Balaram Das was overwhelmed with this unexpected incident he had forgotten to return the golden water jug to Lord Jagannath. In the next morning, when the golden jug was not found in the temple, it was reported to the king
Prataprudra Dev and Balaram Das heard this news. He immediately went to the temple and returned the golden jug to Panda who was on duty. The king warned the stainless saint Balaram Das  for this act of stealing. But saint Balaram narrated the incident of previous night and the king hearing the incident rushed to temple and could not believe when he saw the garland of rare species of black jasmine, garland of pearl etc. with Lord Jagannath offered by Bibhisan. Tears came to his eyes and embracing Balaram Das the king begged for apology for blaming him. The devotion of Balaram Das and Bibhisan is still alive. On the day of car festival, at the time of Pahandibije Lord Jagannath waits near Garudastambha at Natamandir of the temple facing towards south with the belief that Bibhisan offers his worship to Lord at that moment. This indicates how Lord Jagannath is dear towards His devotee.

Source- Odisha Review

Self - Surrender knows No Complaint

When Rama and Lakshamana went to take their bath in Pampa Lake, they thrust their bows into the ground. Coming out of the water, Lakshamana took out his bow and found its tip stained with blood. 
Rama said to him : " Look, brother! Look. Perhaps we have hurt some creature." 
Lakshamana dug in the earth and found a big bull frog. It was dying. 
Rama said to the frog in a sorrowful voice : "Why didn't you croak? We should have tried to save you. You croak lustily enough when you are in the jaws of a snake." 
The frog said : " O Lord, when I am attacked by a snake I croak, saying : 'O Rama, save me! This time I found that it was Rama Himself who was killing me; so I kept still.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Me and my cycle

Then I used to ride bicycle back and forth between college and home every day. On the middle way, every day I would have to face a big hole on the center of road. That hole was big enough even to make any absent minded pedestrian fall and get hurt.. I was not a pedestrian yet was pretty absent minded.. Often while being immersed in my land of imagination I used to discover myself fallen with my bicycle near the pit. I then decided to avoid that altogether and to come through a different route.. but that route was awfully crowded and was not suitable for me. So I began pondering upon that problem of mine ... I never desired such a situation when my bicycle and I would have to fall and get hurt every day! I began to think that how come so many people staying nearby the pit are safe and sound while moving with their respective bikes and cycles whereas I was the only person to face the music... as if the pit was created to punish only me for some abstract reasons! I then decided to get down from cycle near the pit and cross that by walking.. It solved my problem; yet I felt embarrassed seeing small boys crossing the pit with half pedaling of pretty bigger cycles than that of their respective sizes. I cried of my inefficiency and decided to try again to learn crossing the hole riding my adorable cycle....

A sense of fury and avenge was created inside me that time when I was miserably hurt while endeavoring the adventure of the crazy small boys. I began to curse the Government who can't maintain a road for a simple college going girl to ride a bicycle safely! I was sure..I had no mood to prepare and participate for any adventurous sports.... But I didn't know whom to say, whom to raise my matter of agony... Suddenly a verse from Odia book from remote childhood lurked in mind's eye...

"Tuma pari chota pilaatie, gaan chaahaalira chaata sie, cheheraati taa'ra daula daaula, buddhire taahaara sarikie"

I was of course not a small girl, neither was having an intention to mind for others' problem... simply I wanted to solve my problem.. That too the great Gopabandhu way....It was no big deal for me. But the only problem was my shame and shyness for people around me... If people see me while filling up the hole, what would they think!! How much ashamed I would have to be! Several such thoughts whomped in mind...

And I decided in mind my next course of action that is to do the task only sharp at 4 o'clock in the morning when no one would be there on road. I took a bamboo basket to collect mud and an ax to dig. I had already informed my grandmother about my venturing, with a lot of reluctance she did let me go... and our raita Nidhi Mausha followed me to help me in my work. Together we could make a very beautiful temporary cover for the pit with mud and pebbles.... I was so much happy for my achievement and began feeling worthy of myself... And surprisingly there was no more the temporary cover of the pit the next day. I don't know who really had mend the pit permanently... But I was so much happy because I became instrument for the permanent solution of a common problem while searching for the solution alone for myself..

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Man and Machine

Since time immemorial, the exotic creation has been satiating the human lives. Man collects all the materials from this huge world to fulfill his physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual needs. To surface his ego in the visible world, man adopts various unique methods. Basing upon the terrestrial world, he builds a surrounding for his own requirements. From the very surrounding he gets a life full of luxury. He chooses for himself a life surrounded by various matters, an artificial machine-run, synthetic life which is beyond the cognition of any other species of this world. Despite of the marvelous intellect, artistry, skill and constant endeavoring for enjoying a life adorned by a status of superiority, man has never conquered the all pervasive time. Time flushes out all his creative skills along with his identity. This makes us feel that all the actions pertaining to the material world is comparable with continued waving of the sea. It makes feel as if the definition of the action oriented human life is defined by any invisible superpower! Highly uncertain visible world and all the actions relying upon it can nothing be but the outer layer of a very delightful truth. Directly or indirectly that invisible power attracts the forces of life towards a path of eternal evolution. Since any remote unknown past the waves of life have been running towards some unknown destination just like a river being attracted by the sea runs breaking through all the obstacles coming its way.

                                                                                  image courtesy-Man and machine                                                           

Man searches all the happiness from the material world being nescient about the possible pervasiveness and openness of soul beneath the eternity of time. Machine becomes a medium for him to skim off happiness from the mundane world. Machine has made life easy and comfortable. Man is now able to do the very task in few hours which earlier took him years together. What magnificence machine does bring! Man can move from one part of the world to another in few hours sitting on an aeroplane; click of a switch makes his food ready to serve; his dresses ready to wear; he gets the news and entertainment of world over just by sitting and relaxing in his living room; he always manages to get an air-conditioned environment for himself while at home, workplace or while travelling. Likewise most of the human actions get replaced by machines. But in the process of enslaving the machines man in his ignorance slowly begins to accept the supremacy of machines. It seems as if the machines steal the nature gifted physical efficiency of man ! Slowly he develops a sense of incredulity on his physical and mental power; and slowly machine occupies his heart, mind and body. Life appears to be unmanageable, dormant and miserable without even the thought of machine. Man relies more on machines than himself or any other human being. If there is a power failure or machinery failure, he becomes highly disturbed or stressed. Just think, how modern man is dependant upon computers! With the passage of time, man is inventing more and more advanced computers and robots to match his high ambitions. In the name of self-reliance in security, he goes accumulating the machines of destruction in the form of weapons of warfare. In the English scientific fiction movies like “Terminator” and “Matrix” it has been presented that, after getting human intellect and self-awareness, robots try to erase the identity of human and an indispensable war occurs among men and robots. At last, man destroys all his intelligent creations in order to get rid of those. Sometimes these fictions seem as the truth of coming future. By the help of science man is creating more harm than welfare for himself, this fact can never be denied.

In the past man was staying very close to nature. Like a simple, disciplined and obedient child, man was giving respect to mother nature. The  moon, sun, stars, mountains, forests, streams, all the flora and fauna were appearing to him as the presence of almighty God.  He was getting pure soul filling bliss from the nature. The very nature now has become just an instrument of repletion of his lustful demands. He goes on slashing woods, destroying forests and killing wild animals for making settlements, for farming or for building deluxe edifices. He goes on  demolishing hills to get minerals; he flushes away the industrial waste to rivers and seas, toxic gases to air thereby making the environment highly polluted and never he repents on his evil deeds. Since every action has an equal and opposite reaction, all the losses that man brings forth to the nature, boomerangs back to him in the form of  flood, gale, famine, diseases and other natural calamities. Then the machines are only used to collect and to ensconce the corpses.

It seems as if the delicate luxurious goods and machines created by the help of science is devoted to the service of the few privileged groups of people in the society, because it widens the gap between rich and poor more and more. While the richer section of the people remaining in sheer abundance and luxury maintain a life of opulence, the poorer section of the society fight with life every moment, poverty-stricken. It reminds of an English movie titled “Metropolis” in which it is presented that the affluent sections of the society live in an artificial heaven where all the basic as well as subaltern amenities of life are available whereas the hapless have-not’s live under the city in ample darkness and hopelessness. They toil incessantly like animals for proper maintenance and running of the machines which would provide luxuries to the people living in the heaven. 

The use of the machines which closes the door to utilize the mental and physical power of humans was highly opposed by Mahatma Gandhi. Although that belief may appear to be outdated and unusual in the contemporary life, there is no better pedagogy and alternative than this belief to save the endangered future of man. There is absolutely no limit to the raging desires pertaining to human ambitions. Man always sees forward. Looking back is none of his interests. The life of his ancestors appear to him as backward and impracticable. There arises a conflict; a conflict between new thoughts and old thoughts; a conflict between modesty and impulsion, a conflict between spiritual and material way of life, a conflict between normative and pragmatic ways of handling problems.

In a weak phase of material life being frustrated and depressed, man certainly falls on a real mental conflict within. He begins opposing his own decisions, he questions his own ambitions and aspirations; he analyses history and instead of valuing his thoughts with ego he values those with his conscience. At that time he desires strongly to go back to the domain of pure beauteous nature where he becomes the true follower of bliss. He tries to remove the gap between faith and truth. Then only an unification occurs between spiritual and material way of existence. The spiritual disciplines give material life its proper shape. Then only the aim of using machines in material world becomes creation, maintenance, saving lives and peace instead of lust, jealousy, violence and destruction. A disciplined material life tries to make human realize his relation with nature in a more focused manner.

With the evolution of human civilization, intellect and knowledge is also persistently increasing. That knowledge must sway away human towards a path of realization. Instead of destructing and devastating the nature man would be devoted to protect and nourish it. The blissful truth lying beneath the dynamic mundane life would be part of every body’s life. In the massive paws of time, man and his noble deeds would never be wiped out. Rather it would lead life towards an eternal path like brisk dazzling sun rays.

This article was published in Ama Odisha e- magazine-5th editon as editorial.