Category Archives: Divine Nectar

Sri Rama Navami Navaratri Special – Part 2

Dear All,

Hari Om. Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama ! Saints, Sages and Scriptures have proclaimed that the Divine Name is Sabda Brahma and superior to the Divine Form itself. All glories to the Divine Name ! Let us celebrate it during this auspicious Navaratri season with the fervor of Sri Hanuman ji.

1. Audio By Swami Chidananda ji Maharaj, Late President of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh)

Personally for me, Swamiji’s voice resonates with everything that is sublime and divine. His voice sounds with that brilliance that at once makes you alert and dive into sublime thoughts. Hear the introduction to the “Padhu Pothi Me Ram” song and you will know this for yourself. One of my greatest inspirers and healers is Swamiji’s voice. Though I have never seen Swami Chidananda ji, his voice is something that I cherish.

The below songs are the best and my most favourite songs.
Padhu Pothii mein Ram
Song of Immanence of Ram
Song of Salutations

2. Sampradaya Bhajans on Lord Rama: Vol-1 & Vol-2

I came across the very beautiful Sampradaya Kritis and Bhajans on Raaga 3-4 years back. Since then, this rendering of Sampradaya Kirtans on Lord Rama are one of my favorites.
Click below on the images of the albums to listen to the audio.

3. Bhajans by Sri PurushottamDas Jalota

Recently my friend Sripriya has sent me some links to melodious and devotional rendering of Bhajans by Sri Purushottamdas Jalota (Sri Anoop Jalota’s father). They are very soothing and devotional to hear.

Click below on the image of the album to listen to the audio. .

Hope you enjoy all the audio as I did !

Yours,
In Service of the Lord,
Aparna & Hari.

Sri Rama Navami Navaratri Special – Part 1

Dear All.

Hari Om ! Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama !

The Navaratri for Sri Rama Navami has begun on the first day of Chaitra – on Ugaadi day. During this special time, we want to provide for our Telugu readers two valuable E-Books which we found on archive.org and which are a treasure !

Sri Rama Manatranushthanam

by Sri Rama Saran

(Purvashram name is Sri Kundurti Venkata Narasayya)

Click to download:
This book was published by Rama Nama Kshetram, Guntur in 1958. At that time, the price of this book is: Rs:2.80. Can you imagine buying a diamond for Rs 2.00 ? Well, here you go ! I found this E-book three years back and recently when I went to India, I asked my father to get this book and many other books penned down by Sri Rama Saran for me from Rama Nama Kshetram. Rama Mantra Anushthanam book is an elaborate treasure trove of wisdom about Rama Tattwa. It also details about the methods of Purascarana and Anushthana for purification of mind and for cultivating devotion for the Divine Supreme. I find this book to be extremely valuable for spiritual seekers.

Sri Rama Navaratri Utsava Kalpah

by Sri Ramaka Rama Sarma

Click to download:

This book was published in 1993 and this is actually in Sanskrit but in Telugu script. It is not difficult Sanskrit at all. This book covers the 9-day worship of Lord Rama during Navaratri and Mantra Japa of Lord Rama’s Divine Name. It contains a detailed schedule of Parayana, Stotras for each day in this 9-day worship along with celebration procedures of Sri Rama’s Birth, Sri Rama’s wedding, Sri Rama’s crowning etc. It contains wonderful and powerful Stotras like Sri Rama Hrudayam.

I think these two books will be of great significance and help for spiritual seekers in their Sadhana.

We will post Special Part 2 tomorrow.

Yours,
In Service of the Lord,
Aparna Hari.

Insights and Inspiration by Swami Venkatesananda

Dear All,

Hari Om.

I came across a Daily reading from the works of Swami Venkatesananda and liked it. I thought I will share that article with all of you:


“Any motivation in the practice of yoga becomes almost immediately counter-productive. Indeed, it is obvious that it is some sort of a motivation that brings the student to yoga in the first place. But a wise teacher would do well to point out immediately that yoga is the antidote to the ills caused by motivation and a goal-oriented life, and therefore seeking a goal for the practice of yoga defeats its
purpose.

People are ill, physically and mentally, because instead of living they are constantly struggling for something. Living does not involve struggle, contrary to popular misconception. The simplest form of living is joyous and blissful, and life is intelligent, wise and alert enough to avoid pain and unhappiness instantly. It is some sort of twisted motivation that causes pain and suffering, and then rationalises such pain and suffering even to the point of exalting them.

Right from the very beginning of the practice of yoga the student discovers that the intelligence in the body is capable of meeting every situation that arises in life from moment to moment. This is the purpose of the yoga asanas (postures). During pranayama the yogi again discovers the great power and vigilance of the life-force which is beyond the ego-sense and which alone enables us to live. In meditation the yogi discovers (uncovers) self-ignorance. Then, self-knowledge (knowledge as the self or self as pure knowing) alone is. This is kaivalya, freedom, liberation – which ever is and should, therefore, be treated neither as the goal nor as an idea.

There is not even a rejection of pain, but the realisation that such rejection makes pain painful! It is not pursuit of pleasure, but the realisation that it is the pursuit that makes pleasure pleasurable (and as its inevitable reaction, painful). When there is neither rejection nor pursuit, life is liberated from the haunting shadows of ignorant notions. There is enlightenment. All life becomes divine life.”

Yours,
In Service of Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari

Inspirational Spiritual Calendar

Dear All,

Hari Om. Namaste.
Happy New Year to all of you !

I have taken up a personal project of preparing a Spiritual calendar with daily inspirations, spiritual techniques and instructions which we can use for growing spiritually and strengthening our sadhana. I am very happy to have completed this project and bring before you this calendar which I think will be very valuable to all the sincere spiritual seekers.

I mainly gathered the wisdom from Swami Sivananda ji’s books “Precepts for Practice”, “Divine Nectar” and “Concentration and Meditation” books which I think are extremely valuable. I have tried to put the daily wisdom as I thought would be fit for all of us.

All the images I have used in this calendar are public and open source, so there are no copyright violations.

I am attaching the whole calendar here. Click on the below image to download the PDF. (Please be patient as it is a file of 43 MB and may take some time to load).
Download Spiritual Calendar here:

You need to do some work to make these PDFs into a physical calendar that you can put it on your desk or mantelpiece and flip it daily. This calendar format is meant to look in this way.
Sample Appearance of the Calendar:

You can give this PDF to any printing company who have experience with making calendars (spiral bounding) and ask them to prepare it for you.
Or, for your personal use, you can follow the below simple process to make one:

1. Print the full PDF with 2-sided printout (color or grayscale, according to your choice). Totally you will have 31 sheets.
2. Cut each page along the lines that you see on the printed paper. Each paper (with 2-sided print) should give you 6 pieces of paper after cutting along lines (that is 12 sayings).
3. You need to have certain materials to punch holes in each cut paper.
4. Arrange with “Daily Inspirations” page as 1st and “happy New Year” page as 2nd, and then “Jan 1” as the 3rd page, then continue arranging.
5. Have a thick cardboard backing for these pieces of paper so that it can support the calendar to stand.
5. You need to spirally bind all these pieces together.

I know it sounds like a lot of procedure. You can follow the procedure if you have the capability and materials with you. It is easy to get it done if you are in India. In US, I think you can take these printed sheets of paper to OfficeMax or some company like that and they will charge some money to make this for you.

I hope you like this calendar and make use of it.

In Service of the Lord and Gurudev,
Yours,
Aparna & Hari

Manache Shlok – Verses addressed to the Mind

Dear Friends,

Namaste.

I first heard about Manache Shlok when I read in some book that Swami Chidananda ji (Late President, Divine Life Society) was very fond of this little book and always carried in his pocket. At that time, I was driven by inspiration to know what this Manache Shlok is. I had knowledge about Samarth Ramadas by that time as one of the greatest saints and gurus of our India, and that he was the guru of the greatest warrior and hero of our country, Chatrapathi Sivaji. Somehow, whenever I think of Samarth Ramadas, I am attracted and inspired by his whole being. And on another occasion when I was attending a Satsang with Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Pennsylvania, Swamiji mentioned about Dasabodha written by Samarth Ramadas and how it is packed with highest knowledge of vedanta.

My brother was living in Pune at that time, and on my request, he got Manache Shlok, Dasbodha, Atmaram and Karunashtake of Samarth Ramadas. My happiness knew no bounds when I received the books. Since I am not Marathi by birth, my brother also purchased translations which I could use in my study. Fortunately, I came across a book called “Verses Addressed to the Mind” which are compilation of series of lectures that Swami Chidananda ji gave in Rishikesh Sivananda Ashram on Manache Shlok. I bought that book as well.

I started with Manache Shlok. It is at this moment I realized how fortunate I was to have learnt Hindi in my school years and get good speaking and writing knowledge ! Because of this, I was able to read great works of great masters in the upper and middle Indian geographical regions, and have the ability to read and understand languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi etc.

Manache Shlok is a beautiful work consisting of very simple verses with 4 lines in each verse. The presentation is simple, in that a simple person with simple knowledge can follow and grasp the sublime meaning that the author is presenting. As the title suggests, all these verses address the mind – teach it what is right and what is wrong, how one should live this life, how one should be devoted to Iswara, what qualities have to be cultivated, what tendencies and inclinations are to be avoided, what is auspicious and what is inauspicious, and throws light on the compassionate nature and glories of Iswara. Though I started from the first sloka, I would wander sometimes and pick up some verse from some page and it would be so nice and so connected.

I also read the book by Swami Chidananda ji, and felt extremely happy to read his exposition and the way his love and his passion for reciting the name of the Lord is expressed. I derived so much of inspiration from these two books. When Swami Prakashananda of Chinmaya Mission, Toronto came to visit us, he liked these two books and he took them. We also came across the audio of the rendition of manache shlok on youtube and liked it very much. Please find it below.

“Manache Shlok” book in Marathi can be purchased anywhere in India, I think. “Verses Addressed to the Mind” by Swami Chidananda ji can be bought from here

Yours,
In Service of the Lord,
Aparna & Hari

Stotramala Audio by Swami Brahmananda

Dear Friends,

Namaste. Hari Om.

I had the opportunity to hear Swami Brahmananda ji’s rendition of Vedic chants – Taittiriya Upanishad, Purusha Suktam in his “Vedic Chants” CD. I am simply thrilled by his voice. I am a little picky about the audio, as I look for an intensity of Bhava in the rendition and its ability to elicit devotion and sublime thoughts in me. Swami Brahmananda (of Chinmaya Mission) has such voice – firm, melodious and deeply spiritual.

At a later point of time, I came across his audio rendition of Stotras – Ganga Stotra, Siva Manasa Puja, Meenakshi Stotram, Dakshinamurthi Stotram, Brahmanubhuti and other stotras on http://www.archive.org under the community audio section. I hear them very often, and listening to them makes me very happy and very uplifting.

Click the below Links to go to the pages where you can hear these renditions. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Best Wishes,
Yours, In Service of the Lord,
Aparna & Hari

Remembrance of God is the greatest fortune

Hari Om!
Om Namo Narayanaya!

After a long gap during which we also enjoyed a month long stay at Sivananda Ashram in India (more on this will be posted soon), here is a post to share a very inspiring talk given by Guru Maharaj Pujya Sri Swami Chidanandaji:-

What is good fortune and what is misfortune? Who is our friend and who is our enemy?

Man is the only living being endowed with discrimination and who has inherited vast knowledge through scriptures – the Vedas, Puranas, Srimad Bhagavatam, Panchadasi, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Narada Bhakti Sutras, Sandilya Bhakti Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, BrahmaSutras, etc – which are filled with so much wisdom. Add to it the wisdom teachings of many, many sages down the centuries. In our own times, there are the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna Dev, Swami Ramdas, our own Gurudev, Ma Anandamyi, etc.

How much guidance we have got! If we don’t use this for our good, then who is to blame for it? Having all this and not utilizing it – it is our fault, not somebody else’s fault.

Vipado Naiva Vipadah, Sampado Naiva Sampadah !
Vipada Narayana Vismrutih, Sampat Smaranam Narayanasya !!

Misfortune is forgetting God – that is the real misfortune. Constantly remembering God and not to forget Him – what is greater fortune than this? This is indeed the greatest fortune. Other things are neither good fortune nor misfortune. These alone are the greatest good fortune and the greatest misfortune – Remembrance of God and forgetfulness of God.

Who is your friend? Who is your enemy?

He is your greatest friend, well-wisher, relative, companion, helper – who creates in you a taste for repetition of God’s name, even from your childhood. Srimad Bhagavata Maha Puran says that He is your father, mother, companion, best friend, helper, well wisher – who creates within you, a taste for the name of God even from your childhood. There cannot be a well-wisher greater than such a person, because in this Kaliyuga, repetition of God’s name is the greatest way.

Jaake Hruday na Ram Vaidehi !
Tyajiye Koti Vair sam Yadyapi Param Sanehi !!

That person, in whose heart God is not seated – here he mentions Lord Rama and Sita, the daughter of King Janaka Maharaj or Videha. That person who has not kept God and awareness of inner presence of God -even if he is your best friend, cast him away, leave him, renounce him, as though he is a million devils or enemies – who is intent upon doing you harm; who will destroy you, hurt you, harm you. Such a person, even if he happens to be your best friend, if he diverts your mind to miscellaneous enjoyments saying – lets go to the club or the cinemas, lets go and have a nice evening snack in the restaurant, etc. Any person who diverts you towards earthly activities, whose fruit is not attainment of God – discard, renounce, give up such a person as though he were a million enemies put together. Even if he happens to be your most intimate friend, because slowly he will color you in his own color. He will make you like himself.

This is a miniscule wisdom teaching out of many that we have received from various saintly sources. I think this one is from Sant Tulsidas.

Having provided you with these nuggets of spiritual teachings, gems of wisdom, I shall end the service of this morning, but Spiritual teachings are only useful when they are remembered; when they are kept in the heart and so remember them and benefit from them by applying them in your own life – subjective inner life as well as objective outer life in this world. Even if you have many lakhs of rupees in the bank and you do not make use of it, then you are as good as a poor person or a miser. A miser has money but he will not spend; a poor person has no money so he cannot spend. To either of them money is not of use in life. In the same way for spiritual teachings. Therefore, spiritual truths and guidance must be actively and constructively utilized. It is for living; you must apply it in your daily life by thought, word and deed.

Hari Om! Om… Om… Om!”

Yours in service of God and Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari