17. Kishkindha Kanda…Hoyi Achal Jimi Jiv Hari Paayi

hanumanji

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!

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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.

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Doha:

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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16. Kishkindha Kanda…Khal Kai Preeti Jadha Dhir Naahim

Ramji

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Doha:

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!

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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.

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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

SreeRam

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.

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Doha

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).

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Doha:

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.

 

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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….

 

No Disclaimer

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If I could direct a short film, I will base it on  the theme ‘Respect.’  In the Canterbury tales, in her answer to what a woman truly wants, the old crone says, ‘autonomy over her life’. That is the version which has come to my notice anyway. To put it simply, ‘Respect.’

Going by my own life lessons, that was the toughest examination question that life posed: ‘how long will you stay without respect?’ It happened many times- in both personal and professional relations. Every time, the litmus test was the same.

Every time I made the fundamental mistake of being naive and expecting that the world was full of respectful people. So from one situation to another, I would march right on, without ever pausing to check the environment first: the subtle learning forgotten-‘find out what you are getting into.’

Why the Universe  had to expose me to the same  lesson multiple times has become clear to me by now. I was the  quintessential poor student, who kept failing every time and the Universe had no option but to force me to retake the examination many  more times: in different circumstances, with different characters playing in the scenes, but with one underlying core test.

‘Can you understand why you are in the midst of this drama?’

Now after a series of failures, I am confident to state the answer .

‘I know, sir! Oh, yes. Because I was dumb enough to not check the waters first. There is no respect anywhere in the treacherous vicinity, M’Lord! And every second I stay, my lifeblood will be sucked out by the negativity and pettiness. I shall now check carefully the environments where I invest my life and time and never compromise on my self respect.’

And thus I take up my pen . To write a note for those who might benefit from my mistakes.

Cardinal Rules of Life:

1. There is no love or growth without respect. It can be anything else, but disabuse yourself of the falsehood that love or growth thrives without respect. It does not.

2 . If someone gets a kick out of seeing you play small, making you look small, ensuring you stay small, either get ready to be a bonsai or step away. To grow into what you were meant to be.

3.  If you have tasted gutter water all your life- metaphorically speaking- you will find ‘respect’ a strange sort of drink at first! But get used to this heartening elixir, and you find yourself strong and alive again. For that, pick work, friends, and environments carefully. Else that old addiction to gutter water can take over and you will again find yourself in circumstances where respect is a word that is banned.

4. Nothing matters except your dignity. No one has the right to humiliate you or degrade you. No hidden agendas are powerful enough to hurt you; if you can see through the elaborate set up. The game of thrones is always at play in the friendly neighbourhood of one’s own life; but a wariness about the intentions of the other  actors might make you less vulnerable to hurt. You can step away, detached.

5. Be graceful as you step away from abusive environments. But listen!If needed, fight hard . If someone reads your quietness as weakness, and tries to harass you, do not hesitate before taking action. File a complaint.  Have your lawyer’s number on your speed dial.

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All life’s lessons are totally my own. No disclaimer.

Letting Go

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So my daughter coloured her hair blue. I stared through the phone: trying to tell myself it was my imagination. It was not. It was a riot of blue.

Seeing me wince, she said, ‘Amma, I have been wanting to do it for a long time. And do not worry. It will wash away with every shampoo.’

I suggested dryly that she immediately take one. Her original thick black hair was so beautiful! She laughed.

Then I paused. It was her hair and her choice.

Art of letting go. Very tough for this particular mother, but it had to be done.

We talked about the philosophy lessons in the new quarter.

I decided to wait for the raven to return when it wished.

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Having stubbornly rejected the idea of a  small, steaming chocolate cake for dessert, my daughter looked expectantly at me. Now let Amma bite the bait. I could see  in my imagination those sleeves  being rolled up for a fight. ( ‘Whatever Amma says has to be negated’! Yippee!)

Then I paused. It was her tummy and her choice.

Art of letting go. Very tough for this particular mother, but it had to be done.

I ordered  the chocolate cake for myself. Little girl ordered a milk shake. Five minutes into the eating, she scooped up the cake with her spoon. The shake was ruthlessly pushed towards me.

‘I changed my mind,’ she explained.

I tried to maintain as neutral a face as possible.

Ahhhh, there was something to this art of letting go!

As I sipped her milk shake, I reflected that I had always loved the colour blue.

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Kishkindha Kanda-14 Ab Nadh Kari Karuna

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Ab nadh kari karuna bilokahu dehu jo bar magahu//

Jehim joni janmau karma bas tah Ram pad anuragavu//

Yeh tanay mam sam binay bal kalyanprad prabhu lijiye/

Gahi bah sur nar nah aapan das Angad kijiye//

Hey Lord! Take compassion on me and grant me a boon that I seek . In whichever womb that I shall be born again, grace me with eternal devotion to Your feet!  Hey Lord of plentiful grace! Here is my son Angad: equal to me in strength and character. Accept him as your own protege. Lord of men and gods!  Embrace him, and make him your devoted servant.

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Doha:

Ram charan drid preeti kari Bali keenh tanu tyag/

Suman mal jimi kand te girat na jaanayi naag//

As effortlessly as a flower garland slips off the neck of an elephant, Bali’s life spirit became wholly attached to the Lord and he relinquished his mortal body.

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Ram Bali nij dham padava/ Nagar log sab byakul dhava//

Nana bidhi bilaap kar Tara/ Choote kes na deh sambhaala//

Sriramji send Bali to Param Dham: The abode of Vishnu. All the citizens, hearing news of their Raja’s demise, raced towards the spot. Queen Tara, was wailing desperately; her hair was loose and her body was trembling…( She was not in control of her own senses due to her intense grief)

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Tara bikal dekhi Raghuraya/ Deenh gyan hari leenhi maya//

Chiti jal paavak gagan sameera/ Panch rachit ati adham sareera//

Seeing the grief of Tara, Sriramji guided her with wise words and helped her to overcome her ignorance. ( The Lord pointed out the illusionary nature of the universe)

He said: This extremely vulnerable body has been made from five elements- earth,water,fire,sky and air.

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Pragat so tanu tav aagem sova/ Jeev nitya kehi lagi tumh rova//

Upja gyan charan tab laagi/Leenhesi param bhagati bar maagi//

The body  (of Bali) is seemingly sleeping in front of you but his soul is eternal. So what are you wailing for? When Tara’s inner eyes opened, she cast herself onto the Lord’s feet and prayed for unending devotion to the Lord.

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Uma daru joshit ki naayi/ Sabahi nachavat Ramu gosayi//

Tab Sugreevahi aayasu deenha/ Mritak karma bidhivat sab keenha//

Lord Shiv says: Hey Uma! See how the Lord makes everyone dance like a puppet!

Afterwards, SreeRamji ordered Sugreev to conduct all rites of death of his brother Bali.

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