Who Resides Inside You?


The news of a poor, mentally distraught, famished young man- belonging to the tribal community- being beaten mercilessly to death by a mob who alleged that he had stolen some rice; who took delight in posting selfies, made many of the listeners reel under the shock and horror of human deeds. Finding it difficult to forget the picture of those wide eyes and face which was innocently staring at evil, I ended up calling someone dear to re kindle the fastly dimishing hope within.

Sister had a different take on the issue. ‘What enters our minds and hearts: those thoughts decide whether we become devils or angels,’ she said quietly. ‘So it is important to introduce only the highest, kindest, most beautiful thoughts into our minds.’

I recently read an article by the great SreeNarayana Guru: Spiritual leader, poet par excellence, scholar in multiple languages, humanitarian, radiant soul lamp for want of better words; in which he had elaborated on the same topic. It was an article called , ‘ Daiva Chintanam’. He warned about the omnipresent evil which easily takes over our minds and hearts if our inner selves remain susceptible and vulnerable.  He also wrote about choosing intentionally to welcome the beautiful and lovely energy vibrations around to enter our souls. From the pen of a master who wrote such exquisite poetry of deep philosophical meaning in Sanskrit, Malayalam, Tamil; who had translated Upanishads and Tamil spiritual literature alike for the common man, this article on what we jokingly refer as the super natural world, took me by surprise. He clearly mentioned the ‘unseen worlds’which we have to be aware of.

Leaving aside psychological studies of mob, dissipation of responsibility etc, I allowed myself to reflect more on these thoughts.When the mind is full of anger, vengeance, pettiness, hatred, it is truly dark. Who resides within us then? How did that enter? How does one welcome the good? By cultivating kindness, affection, generosity, wisdom, love, service, selflessness…

In a world so very ready to troll and abuse the voice of the outsider, it is almost an act of subversion to bring up children who can think differently: those who can naturally see the ‘oneness’. Children who can think for themselves, and look at the world around with compassion.

Perhaps, each of us can take up the responsibility: to nurture the young souls in our family to grow up that way. But it is a lot of hard work.

Perhaps that starts by giving them good books to read. By introducing them to great, fine, high energy thoughts of those good spirits who lived/live in different parts of this mortal world. Those who had different names, different genders, different skin colours, spoke different languages but spoke the same beautiful truth.

Perhaps it starts by weening them away from the seductive world of objects, never ending greed, relentless marketing and self promotion into a serene, luminous world of thoughts.

Maybe we can do our humble bit to turn them into “human beings” : who , on meeting a hungry, mentally disturbed living being will offer food and clothes with no second thoughts.
A generation which will never seek out an iron rod and a flashy mobile phone to torture an innocent to showcase their ‘coolness’.


(Photos of excerpts from  Sree Narayana Guru’s translation of Isavasyopanishad and his immortal Anukampa Dasakam- Ten Shlokas praising compassion)

The Cascade Effect


Gargi checks the whatsapp message again: “Your silken curls, cascading like a river, are giving me sleepless nights! When do I get to bury my face in that garden of fragrance?”
She rubs her eyes and looks again at her greying old phone. The beep had woken her up from a rather deep sleep.
The message reads the same.
She checks the sender information.
There is no display picture. No pompous one liner or any other detail. Just an unknown number sending her this romantic stuff at one in the night.
‘Well, well,” she mutters to herself, “if it is any of my old admirers, I would like to shake him up for not sending this to me fifty years before! Could have given the Urdu poetry quoting Colonel a run for his money!”
She does not reply.
But when she goes to bed again, she cannot help smiling to herself. There is a song in her heart.
“Keshav should get that river side plot. He is struggling in his business now… This plot might help.” She thinks fondly of her younger son. He reminded her most of her late husband, the Colonel.
She caresses her long, thick, white curls, as she drifts off to a happy sleep.

Lakshmy giggles as she reads the message. Trust Krishnan to send her this syrupy sweet nothing at one in the night. Did he get drunk by any chance after doing all that Maths?
How did he get her number?
She caresses her silken black hair, cascading like a river, and imagines him hiding his face in that garden of fragrance.
Trust him to look all serious, the quintessential Maths teacher, and trying poetry to charm her at night! And except for looking deeply into her eyes in the staff room, he has till now never dared to express any emotion.
Was this his number? Ever since he had joined their school last month, she had been desperately trying to get it. Sheena , her friend, had mercilessly teased her about her crush!
Well, she will not respond now! But tomorrow, during the tea break, she will ask him whether he liked rivers and gardens!
She dreamily stares at the moon outside and is filled with inexplicable joy.
If only tomorrow arrived now!
Dr. Alice reads the message and wipes away the sudden tears.
When was the last time her husband sent something so nice?
And especially after a big fight? When she has almost decided to call it quits.
But this was not his normal number.
When he stomped out at ten in the night, she had thought it had ended.
Memories came flooding back: their college romance, their youthful days when George tried to create his business, the birth of their daughter…the recent fights over his drinking bouts, the extravagance…
‘ We will pull through… will go for a vacation together…a place somewhere far away, with rivers and gardens…He still praises my long hair! Lord, how I remember his courtship in college, quoting his favourite poets!’
Alice dials her husband’s number.
He picks up. A disappointed, frustrated man.
‘ Honey, come home. You know I love you,’ she says. Her sincerity makes her voice wobble.
There is a gasp from the other end. As if someone could not believe his ears.
‘ Alice, is that you for real? What..I mean…I love you too darling… I am reaching in ten minutes time!’
The man, nursing his drink and contemplating various ways of ending it all, feels as if the Lord has given him a wake up call.
He shakes his head and laughs at none in particular.
‘ You forwarded it to three numbers unknowingly? What do you mean, you idiot? The first thing you do in my brand new phone is to whatsapp lines of my new song to our grandmother, the family doctor and my English teacher? Arrghhhhhh….’

‘Shut up children! It is night one o’ clock. Get into bed!’ An extremely irritated mother calls from her bedroom.
A fifteen year old’s attempt to create a song for impressing his girl friend, fades off slowly, to the tunes of a screaming younger brother who is getting his ears mercilessly boxed.
Of course, the mysterious cascading effect of his creativity was slowly rippling through the neighbourhood even then.




18. Kishkindha Kanda…Dekhiat chakrabaak khag naahim


Mahabrishti chali bhooti kiyaarim/ Jimi sutantra bhaye bigarahim naarim//
Krishi niraavahim chatur kisaana/ Jimi buddh tajahim moh mad maana//

In the pouring rains, the boundaries of the farms are getting broken, it is akin to certain souls going astray crazed with untramelled freedom
The farmers are removing weeds from their fertile lands, like the wise man removes desire, selfishness and ego from within himself
Dekhiat chakrabaak khag naahim/ Kalihi paayi jimi dharma paraahim//
Ushar barshayi trin nahim jaama/ Jimi Harijan hiyam upaj na kaama//

The Chakravak bird is not to be seen anywhere, it has disappeared like Dharma on the onset of Kaliyug! On the infertile lands, the rain falls intensely, but not even a blade of grass sprouts there…It is like the heart of a Vishnu devotee which will never be fertile ground for Kama ( desire)
Bibidh jantu sankul mahi bhraaja/ Praja baad jimi payi suraaja//
Jah tah rahe padhik dhaki naana/Jimi indriya gan upajem gyaana//

The earth is resplendent with a variety of living creatures, similar to the prosperity of citizens living in a good, spiritually evolved land. The travellers can be seen resting at different places, like the senses desisting from seeking out sensory objects due to the awakening of wisdom.


Kabahu prabal bah marut jah tah megh bilaahim/
Jimi kapoot ke upajem kul sandarm nasaahim//

The wind blows with such force that the clouds scatter hither and thither, it is akin to the clan’s honour getting lost when the family  begets morally weak characters as progeny.

Kabahu diwas mah nibid tam kabahuk pragat patang/
Binasayi upajayi gyaan jimi paayi kusangh susangh//

Due to the heavy clouds, darkness falls in daytime, and sometimes the sun appears. It is like a man’s wisdom getting clouded in the company of bad souls and then emerging again, in the worthy company of the good.

17. Kishkindha Kanda…Hoyi Achal Jimi Jiv Hari Paayi


Chhudra nadim bhari chali torayi/Jas dhorehu dhan khal itarayi//

Bhumi parat bha dhabur paani/ Janu jeevahi maya lapataani//

The small streams are destroying the shores as they make their way forward, similar to wicked men losing their sense of decency on acquiring even small amounts of wealth (they become arrogant with power).On falling on the earth, the  rain water has become muddy; like a pure soul getting trapped in illusion or Maya!


Samiti samiti jal bharahi talaava/ Jimi sadgun sajjan pahim aava//

Sarita jal jalnidhi mahu jaayi/ Hoyi achal jimi jiv Hari paayi//

The water is accumulating in ponds, like spiritual qualities, one by one, become part of a good man. The water from the rivers merges with the ocean and becomes finally serene and still; like the soul on attaining SreeHari, gets freed  from the birth and death cycles and achieves stillness.



Harit bhumi trin sankul samucchi parahim nahi pandh/

Jimi pakhand baad tem gupt hohim satgrandh//

The earth has become covered with grass and has turned green all over, and the pathways have disappeared.  It is similar to a hedonistic approach taking over, and the teachings of the spiritual books becoming ignored or sidelined.


Dadur dhuni chahu disa suhayi/ Bed padahi janu battu samudayi//

Nav pallav bhaye bitap aneka/ Sadhak man jas mile bibeka//

The croaks of frogs resound from all four sides in tandem, as rhythmic as a group of  young initiates reciting the Vedas

The trees are looking splendid with new, green leaves; like a devotee’s mind becomes resplendent on acquiring true wisdom


Ark jawas paat binu bhayavu/ Jas suraj khal udyam gayavu//

Khojat katahu milayi nahi dhuri/ Karayi krodh jimi dharmahi doori//

The Madar and Jawasa trees have shed their leaves, like the wiles of the wicked cannot continue under a good king’s reign. One cannot discover dust even on searching; it is akin to Dharma getting driven away when anger takes over the mind


Sasi sampan soh mahi kaisi/ Upkari kai sampati jaisi//

Nisi tam ghan khagoth biraja/ Janu dambhinh kar mila samaja//

The earth is luxuriant with harvest crops, radiant like a good man’s prosperity. The fireflies group together in the heavy darkness of the night, similar to boastful coxcombs having a meeting.



16. Kishkindha Kanda…Khal Kai Preeti Jadha Dhir Naahim


Sundar ban kusumit ati sobha/Gunjat madhup nikar madhu lobha//

Kand mool bhal patra suhaye/ Bhaye bahut jab te Prabhu aaye//

The luxuriant forest on the mountain was full of flowers and resplendence. In the hunger for honey, groups of bees were buzzing around the vicinity. Ever since the Lord arrived, there was a great abundance in  herbs, fruits, leaves and roots in the forest.


Dekhi manohar sail anoopa/Rahe tah anuj sahit surbhupa//

Madhukar khag mrig tanu dhari deva/Karahim siddhi muni Prabhu kai seva//

Charmed by the beautiful and unique mountain, the Lord along with his younger brother started dwelling there. The Gods, Siddhass and sages took the forms of honey bees, birds and animals in order to serve Lord Sreeram.


Mangal roop bhayavu ban tab te/Keenh niwas ramapati jab te//

Phatik sila ati subra suhayi/ Sukh aaseen taham dwai bhayi//

When the Lord  of Lakshmi started dwelling there, the forest became a glorious place. There was a brilliant, exquisite crystal rock of extreme beauty; the brothers could be seen seated on it.


Kahat anuj san kadha aneka/ Bhagati birati nripaneeti bibeka//

Barsha kaal megh nabh chhaye/ Garjat laagat param suhaye//

Sree Ramji used to narrate lots of stories to his brother- about devotion, detachment, art of ruling and knowledge. The  blue black clouds spread across the sky in the rainy season looked enchanting, as thunder roared.



Lacchiman dekhu mor gan naachat baarid pekhi/

Grihi biratirat harash jas Bishnubhagat kahu dekhi//

The Lord said: Look Laxman, at the muster of peacocks! They are dancing in delight on seeing the rain clouds. It is like a householder, who is fascinated by the idea of detachment (aka vairagya), and getting to see a Vishnu bhakt!


Ghan ghamand nabh garjat ghora/ Priya heen darpat mann mora//

Damini damak rah na ghan maahim/ Khal kai preeti jadha dhir naahim//

In the sky the thunder is growling mightily, and my mind is at a loss without my beloved Sita. The lightning flash does not stay forever in the clouds, it is similar to the unsteady benevolence of a wicked man.


Barashahim jalad bhumi niarayem/ Jadha navahim budh bidha paayem//

Boond aghat sahahim giri kaise/ Khal ke bachan sant sah jaise//

The clouds are descending  near  the earth before turning into downpour, like a scholar becoming more and more humble with his learning. The mountain is enduring the impact of the furiously falling rain drops, like the sages endure the harsh words of the wicked.

15. Kishkindha Kanda…Ati Kripal Raghubeer Subhavu


Ram kaha anujahi samuchhayi/ Raj dehu Sugreevahi jaayi//

Raghupathy charan nayi kari maadha/ Chale sakal prerit Raghunaadha//


Then Lord SreeRam asked his younger brother Laxman to coronate Sugreev as the King. Following the Lord’s exhortation, everyone paid obeisance to Him and left the place.



Lacchiman turat bolaye purjan bipra samaj/

Raju deenh Sugreev kah Angad kah jubraj//

Laxmanji immediately convened a meeting of all citizens and the Brahmins. He coronated Sugreev as the King, and made Angad the crown prince (yuvraj).


Uma Ram sam hit jag maahim/ Guru pitu matu bandhu prabhu naahim//

Sur nar muni sab kai yeh reethy/ Swardh laagi karhi sab preethy//

Hey Uma! ( Says Lord Shiv) In the world, there is no one like SreeRam who always does good to everyone- no Guru, father, mother, relative or mentor will be as well wishing as Him. Whether it is Gods, Humans or Sages, typically everyone is selfishly motivated and acts pleasingly from his or her self-interest.


Baali thraas byakul din raathy/Tan bahu bran chintham jar chaathy//

Soyi Sugreev keenh kapiravu/ Athi kripal Raghubeer subhavu//


Sugreev, who used to be terribly afraid of Bali both night and day, whose body was full of grievous wounds, whose chest would burn due to anxiety always, The Lord made that very Sugreev the King of the Monkeys! SreeRamji is extremely compassionate in nature.


Jaanathu as Prabhu pariharahaim/Kahe na bipati jaal nar parahim//

Puni Sugreevahi leenh bolayi/Bahu prakaar nripneethi sikhayi//

Those who do not seek the protection of such a Lord (those who let go of such a Lord), it is but obvious that they will get trapped in the illusionary traps of this mortal world. Lord Ram called Sugreev to his side and taught him the various wise principles of Ruling (Art of ruling).


Kah Prabhu sunu Sugreev hareesa/ Pur na jaavu das chaari bareesa//

Gat greesham barsha ritu aayi/ Rahihavu nikat sail par chhaayi//

Then the Lord said-Hey King of the monkeys, Sugreev! I shall not be returning to my home for the next fourteen years. The summer has passed and the rains have begun. I shall reside in the mountain nearby.


Angad sahit karahu tumh raaju/ Santat hridayam dharehu mam kaaju//

Jab Sugreev bhavan phiri aaye/Ramu Prabhashan giri par chhaye//

You rule the kingdom along with Angad. Keep my work in your heart at all time. When Sugreevji returned to his abode, the Lord went to the mountain called Prabharshan and took up residence there.



Pradhamahim  devanah giri guha rakhevu ruchir banaayi/

Ram kripanidhi kacchu din bas karahinge aayi//

The Gods had already made a cave  in that mountain  beautifully suitable for the Lord’s rest. They had known that SreeRamji would be staying for a few days therein.



Recitation of Vijayalakshmy’s Poetry




I have always loved reading and reciting poetry in my mother  tongue. Below, you can find  six poems  ( recited by Yours Truly ) written by my beloved poetess Vijayalekshmy.

1.Paava aka The Doll

2. Kausalya

3. Swantham and Samarpanam

4. Alakku

5. Vilpathram

6. Dosa

Hoping that her thought provoking lines would make you introspect and smile….