We convey our best wishes to our readers on the happy, holy and auspicious occasion of Ganesha Chaturdhi. May Lord Ganesha remove any obstacles on our spiritual path – physical, mental, emotional, social, gross, subtle – and help us in progressing onward. The difficulties one encounters in undertaking a task and completing it are enormous, more so in the field of disciplining mind and assimilating spiritual teachings. Ganesha Chaturdhi gives us the opportunity to worship that aspect of Lord through which we can remove these obstacles. Hence Ganesha is called “Vigneswara” or “Vighna Vinaasaka.”
The Ganapathi Atharvasirshopanishad, a hymn in praise of Lord Ganesha, was taught to us by Swami Pratyagbodhananda ji few years back. The Text and Audio file are attached for your use. Please use them for chanting the stotra on this festival day and be benefitted.
Text of Ganapathi Atharva Sirshopanishad
Audio rendition of Ganapathi Atharva Sirshopanishad:
Recently I got a book called “Miracle of Love – Stories about Neem Karoli Baba” when I went to Madison Univeristy Library, and since then I am absorbed in reading it whenever I have time. It contains personal experiences and stories Maharajji’s (as Baba is called) by his disciples and devotees, compiled by the famous Ram Dass, his western disciple. The time setting is between 60-70’s since Maharajji passed away in 1971 (He was a contemporary of Swami Sivananda). It is a very engaging book, and each incident and narration is instructive and has a spiritual message to convey.
I have known the name and form of Neem Karoli Baba when I was studying in BITS, Pilani. But I did not know much details about him at that time as I know now. We have a very small and beautiful Hanuman Mandir in the campus grounds of BITS, Pilani (in Rajasthan). Hari and I owe a lot to this temple. For me, personally, it is the source of blessings and divine grace. (Pilani itself has bestowed blessings one me since I met my husband Hari there, but that is a different story :)). Everyday in the Hanuman mandir, after the Aarati and Prasad, there would be Tulasi Ramayan Path. That is where I have got my initial knowledge and interest in Tulasi Ramayan.
Hari Om. Recently I returned from India and pilgrimage to Rishikesh, Badrinath in Himalayas. In this journey, I have experienced how life and death are interwoven in the Indian thinking. Generally, body is not given so much of importance and somehow a subconsious feeling of vairagya (detachment, dispassion) towards the body (whether genuine or not) governs the day-to-day living.
I was talking to our friend, Sri Rajuji, yesterday morning and he was narrating how he felt the presence of Lord Siva in the crematorium grounds he visited to perform the last rites of his sister-in-law. Lord Siva is said to roam in the crematorium grounds smearing the ash that is left over after burning the body. What remains of all the pampered body is just but a handful of ash.
Swami Sivananda ji said to remember 4 things…(1) Remember God, (2) Remember Saints, (3) Remember the pains of Samsara and (4) Remember Death.. Rembering any of the above is sure to make one’s life divine.
I was reminded of a poem I wrote around 10 years back about the dance of death, and I wanted to share it all with you here. I have seen deaths in the family and friends circle and it inspired me to write the below poem. It is difficult for near and dear ones to come out of the pain, but Time is the greatest healer and if we adjust our perspective towards Death, we can only welcome it. Below is the poem:
Swami Sivananda ji Maharaj had emphasized a lot on engaging oneself in chanting and writing the Divine Names. I derive great inspiration from him.
Around five years back, I acame across a nice booklet consisting of articles signifying writing Rama Mantra by an Organization called SHRI DADU LEELA ” RAMA NAMA PARIKRAMA” SHODH SANSTHAN,. This booklet also carries personal experiences and spiritual sadhana of devotees and practitioners who set aside a time every day and wrote the Rama Nama.
This organization encourages people to take up a committment of completing a given number of Rama Nama matra writing and sending it to them for storing it in the temple.
Please click the below image to download the booklet.
You can download the Rama Koti book prepared by Saranaagathi Team by clicking below image. Print on a printer which has both-side printing. Once you get all printed, just fold the bunch in half. Your booklet is ready !
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. .
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.
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.