7.30.2006

The mark of a brahmin woman













It was a silent evening at home while I watched my mother prepare for Varalakshmi Nombu. The priced wooden temple came out of its bag and I proceeded with the yearly ritual of assembling the parts together. My fascination for temples made me look at this small mandapam in wood wondering whether I would be able to carve something similar.

An ancient bag, almost belonging to the previous century came back home from the bank with all silver items in it. Part of the booty was a silver pot, kuthi vallaku(lamps) and of course Amman herself wrapped in a red cloth which was her dress for the puja. Amman, wore necklaces made of semi precious stones, an elaborate nose ring, beautiful earrings that gave life to her bright eyes.

The following morning, Amma was draped in her madi saree (9 yard saree) reciting mantra and meticulously doing the puja. I watched Amma in her madi saree, a fairly complex outfit with innumerably tucks and twists to finally give the most gorgeous outlook to a brahmin woman - the virtues of Amman herself.

Amma was complete, with metti(toe rings) in her toes and golusu (anklets) to go with it in silver. They say these jewelery keep away all evil spirits and black magic, while she is free to tread on any ground, her purity being her only guard.

The madi saree itself is considered to be most pure as the yarn does not involve the killing of silk worms or pesticides as in the case of cotton. The yarn being pure and not bringing any "dosham" (sin) onto itself is considered the purest outfit a brahmin woman can wear. Hence worship of Amman is best done in a madi saree for it increases the spiritual power of the woman when she worships God.

Amma wore her bangles, a combination of emerald and rubies embedded in gold. She wore her six petaled "vairu thodu"(diamond earrings) embedded in gold and of course her nose ring. Gold is a significant metal worn on the human body, it has a power of its own. Being worn in the arms, ears and nose enhance the internal spiritual power of the brahmin woman. Puncturing of the nostrils allows the impurities in the inhaled breath to exit through the hole therefore allowing pure air to enter into the lungs. Puncturing of the ear lobes help similarly in health. Hence problems like sinus and headaches are minimized.

Amma never uses the hair dryer. She says our hair gets spoiled and it brings in side effects on the face. Most traditional brahmin women have long hair to comb, hence water should not remain on the head. Hair should be dried naturally ensuring there is no water accumulation. This reduces tension headaches and sinus. Amma always dries her hair by brushing it vigorously creating water sprays all around her with our most famous "thundu" - the brahmin absorbent white towel, completely functional but fairly lousy to look at after a while!!

Then of course the most fabulous mark of a brahmin woman is the big red bindi Amma wears on her forehead. With vibhuti smeared above it, it completes the picture. Amma looks like Amman just descended into the house, simply perfect. With jasmine flowers locked into her hair, the red madi saree brightens up the whole house as Amma runs into rhythm with her mantras to Amman. I feel so small when I look at Amma perform, still wishing every time I would get a chance to do the same puja with just as much devotion as she does it with.

Truly a divine form, with her feet richly colored with turmeric, subtly enhanced by the silver metti and anklets contrasting with the red madi saree with a thick gold border, she simply looks great! I sat back in my "paavaadai" wishing some day I would enter the divine category of brahmin women, a form of Amman relived.

39 comments:

JC Joshi said...

A nice description! It reminded me of my mother and other ladies in the house too. There was perceptible transformation in their demeanour when they and their idols got all decked up for some religious occasion as if they were possessed by some divine spirits!

I read Acharya Rajneesh explain how good spirits get attracted because of the environment created by the worshipper – the neatness and cleanliness of the location, the sweet smell of the incense sticks, the mantras, and so on… I would like to add to that the colours - of clothings, precious metals and gemstones etc. also – as the real source that energise the environment, besides, of course, the diversion of attention from day-to-day actions that ‘attract bad spirits’!

Kannan Raman said...

well said. it reminds me about my mom and her dedication in worshiping god.

kavitha said...

I have grown to appreciate the madi saree as a very elegant outfit. I have missed my days of the davani, but the madi saree is something i am going to want to treasure as a part of living irrespective of what the world says.

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

Have you at any time thought of the sanctity of wearing Madi Saree, nine yards compared to the normal 5-6 yards (?), when your mother worships Kaliamman particularly?

A thought comes to my mind about it… Kali and Krishna both mean black. Even when I am writing these lines in red, when I select one, I see it green in black background! So, my 'personal' view follows:

The mythological stories indicate Red (as reflected through Ma Kali’s tongue painted red), as the destructive point force located at the ‘heart of Shiva’ or the core of earth, whereas the outer cover of earth is indicated as Green, which turns lava, that spills over the craters of volcanoes, black as it gets cooled in contact with air/ water…

Also, it is well known that when white light breaks up, in the visible spectrum one finds green in the middle - as the neutral colour - while red is located in one extremity with Orange and Yellow colours (associated with Ganesha and Parvati or Mars that is bellievably linked to Krishna through Bheema in Dwaperyuga, and Moon that is related to Draupadi, respectively) separating the two!

Thus, coming to the extraordinarily long Madi saree, perhaps one would notice its reflection in the reference to the story of Mahabharat where Krishna came to the assistance of Draupadi - by lengthening her saree to an infinite length when Dushashan, ( literally ‘maladministration’), as per orders from Duryodhan (literally a ‘bad soldier’), attempted to disrobe her publicly…

kavitha said...

Hi Joshi Uncle,

what you have given is a very interesting reflection of the madi saree as per the mahabharata.

I do not know whether we can make a connection of that sort for i wouldnt know exactly how draupadi was draped (judging that in the tv serial mahabharata she didnt wear the traditional madi saree way).

But there isnt much we can say about the depictions of this age though i would like to add the tv serial tried very hard to be true to life.

Indeed its an interesting connection you have made.

regds
Kavitha

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

The tv serial gave the normal interpretation of lengthening of saree to infinite length through the character of Draupadi as a layman would generally visualize…

However, the same phenomenon could also be ‘scientifically’ understood from the fact that we are unable to see the other side of the moon or Draupadi’s face from earth, because of the relative motions of earth and moon – we the terrestrials are able to see only one side of the moon, i.e., Sita's feet as seen by Lakshamana ( model of earth) in the story related to Trtayuga...

Also, we know that for the general movements within our galaxy, we could perhaps give credit to the centre of our galaxy, the powerful black hole, or ‘Krishna’, located therein, which is responsible for making all the Heavenly Bodies within our galaxy go around it for billions of years…Thus I feel that the figure 9 (yards) also reflects the ninth planet, Saturn, physical representation of the formless Vishnu or Ananta the four handed one of the mythology...

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

With the possibility of the ‘unborn Creator’ to be like a mischievous child, in a lighter vein, many times funny situations are seen to occur when a word in one language is heard by another who is not a linguist and is conversant only with some one particular language used as a means of communication in a particular region... For example, the word ‘terima’ in Tamil, meaning, “Do you know?” It would be understood to mean ‘your mother’ in Punjabi! There is a joke also prevalent about it in this region (which I am not citing here as it is irrelevant)…

There could be many such examples cited… In the present reference, a Punjabi would understand ‘madi saree’ to mean ‘a saree belonging to mother, or Ma (Durga, say), just as the sentence commonly used by pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Ma Vaishno Devi, “Jai Mata di!” It means, “Long Live Mother!” Although the present day Punjab - besides its five rivers and therefore their potential for plentiful agriculture produce - is mainly known for its martial race… And, by the way, maybe for its lesser known fact that Astrology reached its peak in the Punjab at a certain point of time in the past. 'Bhrigu Samhita', a popular compilation on the subject, was developed at Hoshiarpur (literally, ‘the city of intelligent or wise people’ - the Astrologers)…It is also less known, as I read somewhere, that one of the Vedas was written by a certain group of women in the Punjab…

JC Joshi said...

Not only different meanings of the same word in different languages, even a slip of tongue could sometimes create misunderstanding between two people who might even speak the same language… Due to the slip of mouse, or, rather the slip of my mind I find I have written ‘linguist’ instead of ‘multi-linguist’…sorry! Anyway, thank God, I have caught it in the first slip!

JC Joshi said...

The hero of Mahabharata, Krishna, in Gita refers to the Human body as ‘the garment of the soul’, the third-side-of-the-coin-like formless entity, or energy that really matters…

The apparent hierarchy among physical bodies, therefore, is on account of the 'garments' the souls wear. The human being, believably, also is a model of the universe. Therefore, as per the analogy, the hierarchy is on account of the Heavenly Body a particular individual represents predominantly - perhaps in three stages over the entire life to reflect the three-in-one God’s aspects of creation, sustenance and transformation - for each being is believed to be formed of the essences of the selected members of the Solar System, which also reflect some hierarchy among themselves also…

Thus, in view of the above, the instance related to attempted ‘Draupadi cheer haran’ and failure in it could also indicate the immortality of Moon and also the other members of the solar system, as indicated by ‘scientists’ also while estimating the present life of the system as over four billion years and likely to continue for billions more…

The ancient ‘Hindus’ also in the same manner as the solar system, indicate continuity of individual souls eternally, although in different forms or ‘garments’ from time to time with periods of rest or sleep in between - even for Brahma, i.e., our Sun, which apparently is referred as Rama in Tretayuga and Arjuna, the reported lifelong companion of 'Krishna' in Dwaperyuga…

Anonymous said...

how/why is "brahmin women" a divine category?

kavitha said...

Hi anonymous,

I am not trying to put up brahmins above all else. to me i view the state to be divine. its my personal view point for certain reasons.

Fundamentally the woman is very divine for she possess strengths that are very unique to her which need to be well respected by not just the men but women as well.

hence the post. I seem to have offended you and am sorry about that.

regds
Kavitha.

JC Joshi said...

The Hindu Philosophy of Vedanta considers the existence of one and only real being, Naadbindu - an unborn or ‘swayambhu’ and unending or ‘ananta’ point source of energy - as the ‘Absolute Truth’. The physical forms within the apparent universe or ‘brahmand’ believably are His or Her Own relatively inferior ‘images’ because of some ‘mental’ or ‘spiritual’ energy spent in converting different ‘souls’ into material forms, which could also just be results of imagination within His or Her head at some given time and which all follow some logic or ‘different truths’ in order to exhibit the apparent hierarchy in ‘Nature’…

With the above as background and with the ‘knowledge’ as reflected through humans as His/ Her instruments, the functions of ‘creation, sustenance and transformation’ – that are generally associated with the supreme being/ supreme knowledge - are also being carried out by animal forms in which man apparently is seen to be the superior most, having in his possession the potential to reach even the end of the universe… However, it is also apparent that knowledge and physical strength are related with apparent time that becomes effective with the appearance of physical forms, for real time applicable to the Supreme Being is zero... It’s a fact that in the mammals, each individual is born from a ‘mother’ who is apparently unbiased and loves her children equally, a characteristic also associated with God or the Divine Person…

In human beings also the aforesaid applies irrespective of the fact that the society, which generally is more biased towards man because of their ‘natural’ possession of greater physical strength, might categorise them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ - believably because of ‘Maya’ or illusion...

In the mythological stories related to 'Satyuga' or the era of 'Truth', Kartikeya is depicted as the favourite of his father, Shiva the hero of the story, while Ganesha is depicted as the favourite of his mother, Parvati teh consort of Shiva, and therefore possessing additional ‘spiritual power’, overall strength from both Ma Kali as well as Ma Gauri, the energies related with black and white, and consequentially capable of resisting even Shiva…

Maybe, one could see the logic why Mother is considered divine - at least by the ancients…

And, God believably is 'swayambhu' or appeared on His Own, which is perhaps why He might even be looking for His Own origin or Mother...Maybe Mr Anonymous could throw some light for His and also our benefit...

JC Joshi said...

Although I have indicated these elsewhere also, I might as well reiterate the colours of the ‘garments’ associated with the above personalities, as inferred from the mythological stories...

Peacock being indicated as Kartikeya’s vehicle - as a relatively faster moving one compared to Ganesha’s slower moving ‘mouse’ - he is apparently associated with the relatively faster moving inner planet Venus (that has poison in its atmosphere) and Blue colour. It lies attached to green colour of the visible spectrum on the side opposite to that occupied by yellow colour, that has tail-like attached to it orange and red colours also - in that order. The neutral Green colour is associated with the Bholanath, or Mahesh, or Mahashiva (when the whole solar system is considered), i.e., Neelkantha or the one who has a ‘blue throat’ because of the deadly poison held therein (mainly in the atmosphere of planet Venus) in order to protect the demi-gods from its ill effects, and thus also giving Him immortality...

Yellow colour is associated with the metal Gold or Guru the superior most, or earth’s satellite moon, or Shiva’s consort Parvati, who in fact believably helped Shiva to retain the poison (in His throat or planet Venus) and thus render immortality to Him with additional ‘somrus’ or moon-rays …

Krishna the all rounder or Yogiraj however is symbolically depicted with a peacock feather in his crown and also sporting yellow clothes, for he is referred both as ‘Peetamber’ as well as ‘Neelamber’, and his location through inference is indicated at the centre of our galaxy…In the essence of the galaxy/ universe, he is believably linked to the planet Mars, the outer planet or Ganesha the slower moving one that is associated with Orange colour, which is attached to yellow colour and also has a ‘mouse’ or red colour as the tail represented by the essence of Asteroids, which came to be associated with the ‘Vanar sena’ or ‘monkey army’ of Hanuman in Tretayuga…

In the human form, the location of essence of planet Mars, orange colour, is indicated at the tip of the tail-bone, or ‘Moolaadhar’ while that of the moon is indicated at the head or ‘Sahasrara’. Thus in the human form, orange colour is considered separated from Yellow colour, believably because of planet Saturn cutting off Ganesha’s head immediately after his birth and Shiva transplanting an elephant’s head in its place, i.e., deciding planet Saturn as the datum zero in the drama related to animal life!

Thus, apparently to render temporary life to humans, orange colour is separated from yellow colour and also friendly or inimical colours as essences of other selected planets are introduced in child Ganesha’s path within each human form to delay his meeting with his mother. Thus teh need for Yoga, or the combined physical, mental, and spiritual exercise, to help their meeting, which needs a ‘Bhagirath prayatna’ or the help of 'Ganga Mata' that flows within each human form!

JC Joshi said...

No views coming from Mr. Anonymous, I would add further for all anonymouses. After all 'what is there in a name'!

In our flag, referred as Tricolour, saffron or orange colour, representing the formless or Param Brahma is placed at the top, thus indicating top priority to be given to ‘spirituality’. For, saffron colour robes were used by Jogis, a common name associated with Yogis or sanyasis or seekers of Truth in the fourth and final stage of their life, after retirement from active life and thus believably having sufficient experience to have become eligible for proper overall analysis, i.e., acquiring ‘Siddhi’ in order to provide guidance to the persons related with various administrative functions in active life…Raghuvanshi kings had sage Vashista while the Kuru kings had sage Vidur, i.e., Infra Red colour, for the advisory role…

In the active life, the role of our Sun or Brahma - as the source of white light, although, as an all rounder containing within it a part or essence of orange colour also besides other colours –was considered secondary. Thus it is placed below saffron. The basic role of Brahma or white colour, to create Kal charka or apparent time cycle, is indicated by a wheel in blue colour - that is associated with Krishna as an incarnation of Param Brahma located at the centre of our galaxy - over it…Raghuvanshi kings had sage Vishwamitra while the Kuru kings had sage Dronacharya, i.e., Ultra Violet colour, for the advisory role…

Green colour, representing the Bholanath or the Simple God or Earth, is placed at the bottom as it provides the base or stage(s) for human life drama, as well as acts as the supplier of a grand variety of material required for enactment of the drama eternally…

The above are my ‘personal views’ that are, of course, picked up from my head with the belief that the source of all thoughts could be someone else, the real Guru who has ‘Sahastra’ or ‘thousand’ names and who believably lives within each physical form!

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha,

As I indicated earlier elsewhere, I found communication even in a flag that droops down and wraps itself up against the staff to which it’s tied with strings when wind stops flowing - like a devotee performing ‘shastang’, i.e., when one lies praying, prostrate in front of the deity…

The same phenomenon could also be interpreted as the apparently relatively weaker flag and the stronger staff , respectively, to represent human body wrapped around the soul. Both, the cloth and the staff are components derived from plant life itself that grow out of earth - the central figure…

Some describe mischievously a thin woman in a saree as a ‘walking bean pole’, and so on, there could be many different view-points…

A tree has been compared with human being in Gita…To me, a tree appears like a man caught in the quick-sand – only his body, arms and hair, like the stem (its bark as its 'garment'), branches and leaves, projected out of the ground while its roots or lower body, legs, feet, toes etc., remaining stuck below the ground, unseen…Like humans also are being worshipped, India has a tradition to worship trees, such as Banya, Peepal, Tulsi, and so on...

Rita Ghosh (Y! groups) said...

after reading your blog on Varalakshmi Nombu and the significance of the madi saree, I could almost see your mother performing the puja right in front of my eyes. ...the description was so beautiful

JC Joshi said...

As per the present day thoughts, man started upon the over 4 billion-year-old earth from the ‘cave age’ a few million years ago only and has recently reached a highly advanced stage in the present ‘atomic age’ thanks to advancement in technology during the last few centuries only in the ‘Christian era’…And, that the naturally available fig leaf was the first garment, other than the natural skin one is born with, that the primitive man wore as he evolved to reach the present day advancement in all fields of development, which of course aparently still has a long distance to cover to reach the 'Truth'…

However, it is also known that the ancients had apparently reached the ‘supreme knowledge’ through realization. In the east they stated man to be a model of the universe, which itself was illusory. In the west the same concept expressed man as ‘an image of God’…Krishna, the incarnation of Vishnu, perhaps a model of our galaxy out of innumerable ones that apparently exist inside the void of the universe, in Gita, also similarly stated that it was because of Maya or illusion that everyone saw Him inside each, whereas the entire creation was within Him, that is, the infinite void of the universe or Vishnu, or Krishna's enlarged or 'Virat' form…

In view of the above, the apparent present day expression of some ‘fabric’ covering the infinite void of the universe, that is considered to be expanding like a balloon, suggests in its human model the natural skin to represent that ‘fabric’. We have learnt, that our Sun, an ordinary star, also has a garment like covering of Helium, an inert gas, around its hot core of Hydrogen gas, and our earth has hard rocks with relatively softer soil on top that provide covering to its core of molten rocks, and so on…

The ancient Hindus were conscious of the ‘panchbhoota’ with Earth as the central figure. Perhaps ‘Digamber Jain Munis’ or the ones who consider ‘the (blue) sky as their natural garment’, and also the ‘Naga Sadhus’, represent the specimens that remain unaffected with the passage of time, and thus apparently pertain to the remotest past even in the present day India in its certain regions…

Thus the existence of innumerable practices performed traditionally, with or without garments, since time immemorial in India in its different regions, as believable paths leading to the Supreme Being, confuses the layman as to which out of so many ‘Truths’ is the ‘Absolute Truth’… Krishna, in Gita, suggests actions with firm faith in Him in whatever field of activity one is engaged in…Perhaps this suggests that hierarchy among man, like in the 'Nature', is also a part of the grand design of the Supreme Being...It is said that without His will, not even a single leaf could flutter...

Nickel Beak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nickel Beak said...

Hi Kavitha,
About the "anonymous" comment, don't apologize, don't even try to explain. For he/she seems to belong to the opinionated "hate-you-forever" category to whom no amount of explanation will be enough. What I don't understand is if he/she hate the "Brahman" or the "woman", or both.

Either way, one thing is clear. He/She is likely to be a stumbling block to everything. Spirituality, discipline and progressive adoption of religion. I would rather have wanted you to ignore the comments. But that's just me. Don't be discouraged and keep coming up with more such posts!

JC Joshi said...

As per the ‘wise’ ancient ‘Hindus’, being one of the infinite numbers of images of the one and only Creator, everyone has some important role to play in the drama in human life…

In the story pertaining to Tretayuga when human efficiency reduced to 75% from 100% in Satyuga, Sita was also called ‘vaidehi’ or the one who has no physical form – she was considered pure energy representing the Supreme Soul, the superior most or Guru, who is placed at the highest pedestal – as essence of immortal Moon at ‘Sahasrara Bandha’ inside the head of each human form…

Ravana, a Kartikeya-like favourite devotee of Shiva, representing essence of planet Venus located at the throat, placed hurdles in the path of Rama, representing Sun that has its essence placed at the solar plexus or ‘Manipuraka Bandha’ inside each human form…It was Hanuman, representing planet Mars with its essence located at the ’Mooladhar Bandha’ without whose assistance Rama couldn’t have achieved Supreme Knowledge – as indicated by the golden yellow idol of Sita that he worshipped after regaining Sita!
Similarly even with the reduced human efficiency to 50%, a similar drama with certain modifications is indicated by the story of Mahabhararta in the Dwaperyuga. Only characters are named Draupadi in place of Sita (or Parvati of Satyuga}, Duryodhana in place of Ravana, and Arjuna in place of Rama…

Those characters who apparently wrote these stories in the past understood the ‘Truth’ of the human life drama or Maya that is illusion - as also the ‘Absolute Truth’ of the Creator as formless, who in reality is the one and only source of all human thoughts - and were called 'Brahmin'…

Apparent time (and mischievous nature of the unborn child-like Creator) created with the help of the solar system, was indicated as the root cause of the apparent hierarchy and thus the grand variety in human behaviour with two types of characters, categorized as Rakshashas and Devtas, i.e., ‘bad’ and ‘good’, respectively as models of ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ planet, respectively…

JC Joshi said...

I thought I should add the mischief part separately, although I have indicated this earlier also…

The stories indicate return journey of the Bhootnath or the Lord of the Past…

Satyuga or the ‘age of Truth’ is indicated to occur first and time runs through Tretayuga and Dwaperyuga to finally reach Kaliyuga the age of maximum human efficiency of 25% only - that reduces to 0% at its end or, rather, 100% purely ‘spiritual’ or the formless once again alone, ‘back to square one’! Thus it is obvious that during any Yuga He would observe through different characters both, the fresh characters that are moving towards Satyuga as well as those who are returning towards Kaliyuga to finally merge with Him! Thus those characters which are observed performing ‘religious’ rituals traditionally, maybe apparently unknowingly, might represent those who are on the return leg of their journey and thus could provide clues to the ‘seeker’, or the one who sought the ‘truth’ in the past, when one tried reading the repetitions of mythological stories 'between the lines'…

JC Joshi said...

In the northern parts of India, there are huge gatherings seen at different locations to observe burning of the effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna, and his son Meghanada that bring end to the presentation of ‘Rama leela’ performed on different stages over ten days during the festival of Dussehra year after year…Thereafter, many raise the often repeated question: When evil characters had been eliminated by Lord Rama, how does evil continue to exist even in the present?
‘Hindu’ Mythological stories themselves provide answer to the above by calling such presentations as ‘Leela’ or drama in the flash-in-the-pan-like life of temporary human characters on apparently immortal earth that, in fact, reflect the various aspects of the characteristic properties of the one and only unending immortal being over apparent time, for time applicable to Him is zero as He is formless or physically zero and hence considered ‘nirguna’ or inert…

This obviously would have necessitated innumerable Heavenly Bodies, which apparently fill the infinite void of the universe, as instruments to hold the data and energy required for the continuance of drama on earth through eternity, with a apart of energy from the point source (Naadbindu) received at the centre of our galaxy finally made available from ‘Sun’ directly or reflected through ‘Moon’ to physical ‘Earth’ and also the variety of life on it for their creation, sustenance and transformation - the roles assigned to Sun, Moon and Earth, respectively…Although all these functions are equally important, the role of sustenance apparently lying with the mysterious character of Moon, it is given the highest pedestal by ancient ‘Hindus’ (the word derived from ‘Indu’ the moon), which is also reflected through the role of ‘Mother’ as its model in animal life…

kavitha said...

Hi Nickel,

I ideally do not like controversy on my blog, be it with respect to me or others who loyally post comments to this blog.

I am careful enough not to ruffle feathers. The topic of brahmins in our society is indeed a sensitive issue and the question raised by anonymous has been raised by many others too.. this age old discrimination/ differentiation with respect to birth is not digested with comfort anymore.

hence the comment, if you ask me.. personally it didnt matter. but i think it was just right to not leave a sour taste in anyone's mind!

regds
Kavitha

Nickel Beak said...

Whatever you say! Its your world! I just wish sanity prevails!

JC Joshi said...

Yes, the basic purpose of the writing here in the particular blog is to increase knowledge on ‘spirituality’ and tolerance for which ‘India’ was known the world over…It is definitely a matter of curiosity for every layman, ‘local youth’ or ‘foreigner’, to see such a grand variety in all aspects of life here continuing from time immemorial, be it in the country’s natural features, language spoken by its inhabitants, food, religion, i.e., worship of every object from idols to mouse to elephant - in open air, or inside a variety of places of worship, and so on, in this part of the world…
It is known that change is a law of nature. All said and done, human society always, whether one likes it or not, ‘naturally’ gets divided into three categories on any subject. There will be some who would agree with a particular thought, some would oppose it and another would remain indifferent…Life is like that…

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, Nickel beak...

I give below a thought I had prepared as a reaction to the present day reporting on increased pesticides in cold drink, which remained undelivered!

We are told by ‘experts’ from time to time how the water that we drink is polluted despite all the trouble taken by the believably '(in)efficient Government departments' to filter and clean it, for pollutants including pesticides enter it due to leakages through joints in the pipe line, anywhere from source to delivery point(s)... At homes some people might have the consolation of having installed aqua-guards, whose efficiency also could be doubtful! But, what about even them when they, like unlucky others, are obliged to go to their work places/ travel to different places through different modes of transport, and so on…

Life, therefore, is anyway Ram bharose (dependent on God) for air that we breathe also is told to be getting more and more polluted with time. Also the food that we eat is polluted and might even contain a variety of poisons, including pesticides used during the growth of the vegetables/ cereals etc. along with the adulterants that are known to be added in the different ingredients by greedy traders…Over and above all these are the fashionable drugs for the youth, viz., cocaine, heroin, and so on. And also the innumerable antibiotics etc., that one must take at some stage or the other…

Thus, it is perhaps only because of Shiva within each person, whether one believes in God or not, that despite all these poisons or halahal that our population is increasing by a few crores every year and also the average life span has also increased! Of course, it was Parvati who actually believably helped Shiva to retain the halahal in His throat, and therefore the credit perhaps goes to Ma Durga the eight-handed Goddess, the opposite of Ma Kali the Goddess of destruction with a red tongue!

Anonymous said...

kavitha, you write, "I am not trying to put up brahmins above all else. to me i view the state to be divine. its my personal view point for certain reasons."

for what reasons do you view the state to be divine?

kavitha said...

Hi anonymous,

I wish i could answer your question right away, but i am not in a position to do so. I need to have a complete picture with logical reasoning before i start dishing out what is of emotional importance to me.

I hope this answers your question for now. time will come, when i can be more clear and logical in my answers and therefore make them more digestible rather than make them look like an emotional out burst.

Regds
Kavitha

Anonymous said...

ஒறுத்தார்க்கு ஒருநாளை இன்பம் பொறுத்தார்க்குப்
பொன்றுந் துணையும் புகழ்.
- திருவள்ளுவர்

Those who hurt gain happiness for a day. Those to are patient will be accompanied by fame for eternity.

- By Tiruvalluvar

signed,
Anonymous-2

Badhri said...

Anonymous,
Let us understand one thing. The traditional idea of right/greatness/divinity by birth is wrong/sinful. Let us not argue in vain over it.

However, Brahmins in those days did go through a lot rigourous disciplining procedures (whether it was sensible,acceptible or necessary for the stated reasons is again not worth arguing). Discipline did make them astute. (This is not to mention that the non-brahmans were indisciplined or dumb).

The key point to take from Brahminism or this post is discipline gives you "intelligence" both materialistic and if you will spiritual. One thing that we have to "un-learn" from traditional Brahminical practice is the notion that "Discipline or divinity is the sole right of Brahmins alone". I believe the shastras don't imply the notion since there are pointers in epics of a non-brahmin attaining divinity (Vishwamitra, for instance).

PS: I am not answering for Kavitha. It is my own views and hope it offers you the answers you seek.

kavitha said...

Btw Badhri, Vishwamitra did all his penance and attained "brahmin" status. It is also a fact that he superceeded all others and almost threatened to uproot Brahma and Indra and take away brahmaloka and Indraloka.

Its was this fear that caused the Gods to send down Urvashi and Rambha to distract him so that he would not get any more powerful than he was. It was at the banks of the Narmada river that he realized that he had fallen prey to the Maya played in by the apsaras and the Gods.

So "Brahmin" is a state to be, it doesnt come by birth alone. If a brahmin eats non veg, he is doing more harm to himself... but well this is all old school of thought, who cares about it anymore anyway... (except me maybe!!)

JC Joshi said...

Hi Kavitha, Badhri,

Today, no one questions the words of ‘experts’, such as Physicians, because of the knowledge of the apparent efforts that go into their attaining that coveted status - after following rules set up by administrative systems concerned from time to time and accepted by the masses on account of the apparent results realized by the common man…

Similarly, abstract entities, viz., good/ bad, right/ wrong, happiness/ unhappiness, and so on, the opposites in ‘Nature’, were understood by some ‘wise’ ancients, through ‘Tapasya’/ ‘Bhagirath Prayatna’, or ‘valiant efforts’ and thereafter believed by all to be results of ‘Maya’ that is illusion, i.e., existence of only one ‘real being’ and his innumerable images that fill the entire 'illusory universe'/ earth that is ‘mithya jagat’!

It’s a known fact that every human being at any given time apparently sees a phenomenon from one’s own point of view/ or another’s in whom one has faith and continues to believe it to be the ‘absolute truth’, except when at any other time he gets convinced of some other 'truth'...

The ancients, call them by any word or name, apparently attempted to break this ‘Maya’ and appear to have succeeded in convincing all at some point of time about the ‘absolute truth’ of creation by attaining certain extraordinary powers through Yoga for everyone to see...

Every individual apparently accepted oneself to be playing an important role, which could be understood at any time only if one attempted to reach the view-point of the real being that apparently alone matters…

“One man’s meat is another man’s poison,” a ‘modern’ saying expresses ‘Maya’ in its essential truth today...

The wise in the present also have expressed that a realization cannot be expressed in words…Although we expect others to express their thoughts without any ambiguity even on 'spiritual' subjects, maybe, one could try describing difference between the sweetness of banana and mango, say, to realize it personally...To a layman it is impossible to explain why one has a temple in Rajasthan in India where only mice are worshipped, except by the acceptance of the belief about one God by the ancients that is ritually followed by their progeny, like a student copying another relatively more knowledgeable than him/her...

susan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bhattathiri said...

India was having a good cultural system I mean Sindhu - Ganga Civilization
and Nalanada-Taxila World first Universities based on equality and social justice with
all modern innovations which the modern scientists may wonder. But we all
lost due to the foriegn invasion. Am I right Sir. Let us hope that Sri.
Sankaracharya or Swami Vivakanada has to born again to bring back the glory

Anant. said...

Hi,
Nice one, reminds of childhood days we used to look with awe. To see western influence overshadow the traditions makes the heart heavy. Three salutes !
Anant.

Anonymous said...

Good, but no body saw Amman bathing naked, if so write it.

vaishno devi trip said...

vaishnodevi is a beautiful place and nav devi,water fall is a nice place to visit. I especially love its atmosphere at night. I though loved the temple of Mata vaishno devi the most. The views from the top are enchanting.

Dollar Paisa Blog said...

vaishnodevi is a beautiful place and nav devi,water fall is a nice place to visit. I especially love its atmosphere at night. I though loved the temple of Mata vaishno devi the most. The views from the top are enchanting.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kavitha,

Beautifully written. I could not agree with you more. In fact my mother follows quite a bit of what you have written about your mother and I have been taught something very similar. My mother wears 9 yards saree for any pooja as it is believed that this is the proper outfit for any religious activity to be done in madi. She used to explain to me in detail all the symbolism behind these and ensured that I follow this, at least for all the festivals. So come any festival or pooja time, I wear the 9 yard saree and silver anklets too. The only slight difference is that being from a madhwa family, the way we wear the 9 yard saree is different from the way the madisar is worn. The saree we wear looks something like the 9 yard saree the Maharashtrian women wear.

With regards,
Rohini.