5.10.2009

To the Great Trees I bow.

The green leaves
The blissful shade
Cutting out the strong heat
This pure air
The gentle breeze
Singing in my ears
As I sit here
Below this tree
Smelling the moisture
In the air
Far away in this remote temple
Peace reigns supreme
Deep within

I am here
On this sacred floor
Dotted with light
A spot lit stage
I look up to him
He gently smiles
His form envelopes
This peace around
He rules here
He rules my heart
He stands near here
Waiting for me
To awaken from my dream

These sacred verses of beauty sing through my mind as I look up to the idol of Lord Shiva standing next to me. Its a small chamber, walled by the thick roots of the banyan, pure and clean hanging down like a curtain cutting the world out.

This is the divine world of the celestials, a world of extra ordinary power and bliss. In this world the rules are different, money has no power and neither does status or ego have any value. Here principles matter and the given word. There is power in the thought and in the spoken word. Here the truth matters and the real person within me matters.

What appears like a silent atmosphere, otherwise is a world so secretive that it can go simply unnoticed if the imagination of the mind is not tuned to receive its feeble but significant signals. With practice the mind learns to dim the noise within it and starts to tune into the celestial world. In the depths of silence, in the voice of the wind and in the fragrance in the air one gets to feel the truth that surrounds oneself.

The all pervading Lord Shiva continues to stand center stage as the various celestial, the Gandharvas and Apsaras fly around offering flowers and leaves to him. Flowers, leaves and food, a constitute of milk products from the cow bring back strong affinity towards the purity in these very natural offerings. The Lord doesnt ask for anything else for he is present in the fragrance, he is present in the bright color pigment and he is present in the very tree under which I lie watching his form, wondering just how simple he is to not want gems and gold and precious stones.

He is in the flowers, he is in the sacred vilva leaf I hold, he is in this tree under whose shade I sit and contemplate. His nature is to be silent, his nature is to be stone cold, his nature is to test my endurance to see if will snap or make it back to his heart. As I hold this sacred leaf I look up to his divine form, I hold up the vilva leaf and with bhakti, I place my self, my ego at his divine feet as the sacred verses run within my mind.

Lakshmyasthanutha uthpannam mahadevasya cha priyam|
Bilwa vruksham prayachami, Eka bilwam shivarpanam||

I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
For it is equal to giving a tree of Bilwa,
Which was born from the breast of Lakshmi,
And which is very dear to the Lord Shiva.

Moolatho brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopini|
Agratha shiva roopaya, Eka bilwam shivarpanam ||

I offer one leaf of Bilwa to Lord Shiva,
As Brahma resides at its bottom,
Lord Vishnu lives in its middle,
And Lord Shiva lives in its tip.

I hold this sacred leaf at your feet O Lord, that which possesses the very nature of Brahma at its root, of Vishnu in its stem and of You at its head. How lucky is this leaf that you reside within itself, how lucky would I be if I realized you reside within me.

I look up to the banyan tree and its strong roots cover me. I worship this great tree for within it resides He.

Aswatha vruksha sthuthi (I pray to this banyan tree)

Moolatho Brahma roopaya, madhyatho Vishnu roopine|
Agratha Shiva roopaya, vruksha rajaya the nama||

My salutations to the king of trees.
Whose root is the form of Brahma,
Middle is the form of Lord Vishnu,
And top is the form of Lord Shiva.

Aswatha sarva papani satha janma arjithanicha|
Nudhaswa mama vrakshendra, sarva aiswarya pradho bhava||
The holy fig (banyan) tree pushes away, all sins earned,
In several hundred births, and Oh king of trees,
Please grant me all different types of wealth.

To the king of trees I pray, to the Lord of the jungles I bow for within your root lies the great Lord Brahma, within your branches resides Lord Vishnu and surrounding me atop your great self, Lord Shiva envelopes my soul. I sit here holding my hands together in adoration, praying to this great tree whose strengths are so unknown, for worshiping you is like vanquishing my sins, of this birth and the past, of this life and hoping never to be born in this form again. I pray to thee O great banyan tree, to grant me wealth of a different kind, wealth in the form of knowledge, wealth in the form of divine fruit, wealth in the form of divine vision to be able to see the Lord residing within you.

As I get up to go, my heart aches to leave you behind, my feet shiver to walk back to that world of chaos from where I come. I walk through the silent walls of the temple to look back outside, into that divine world, at the center of which you stand in the sunlight calling me to take rest under your divine shade.

I stare on, looking close into your lap for within your shade lies the divine Tulasi whose fragrance enveloped the air around me. Tulasi, small and tender, yet so powerful and so divine.

Thulasi shree sakhi shubhe , papa haarini punyade|
Namasthe Naradanuthe , Namo Narayana priye||
Oh, Holy Thulasi,
Bosom friend of Lakshmi,
Destroyer of sins,
Bestower of blessings,
Salutations to thee,
Who is praised by sage Narada,
And is the darling of Lord Narayana

To the trees that take root in this earth,
To the trees that stand testimony to the times that have gone,
To the trees that hold the very form of the Lord within them...
To the trees under whose branches the Lord has taken form as a Linga
I feel so small in front of you for you stand here, unchanged, unmoved like a permanent home to the Lord within.

Related posts:

Tulsi, at the seat of Samadhi
Reflections on the Trinity - Trimurti Shiva

An ode to Lord Shiva with Vilva leaves

Photo courtesy:
Flickr.com: Palmer Digital Studio | Tilak Haria's photostream

28 comments:

JC said...

Yes, Kavitha, Poor God has apparently taken lots of trouble to convey His presence to 'us humans' through different agencies or media, whether those are 'natural' geysers or copy thereof through the agency of humans in the form of 'man-made' water fountains the world over, some very popular too.

'I' see His hand in the Banyan also - a similar representation of a water fountain reflected through its roots that return to the ground...as also associated with 'The Buddha' and gets reflected in similar spread of 'Buddhism' all over the world, also like water that reaches all over the globe in the form of clouds rising from the seas as its roots and return as river water finally to the seas...that inspired Kalidas also who is considered as one of the greatest poets born in 'India'...

Any numbers of words might fail to make one understand Him, but He has conveyed through the 'wise ancients' that to a 'wise person' only a small hint might suffice!

YOSEE said...

All plants are clues to divinity. Tokens of the immense " chetana" that creates and permeats all.
To quote from Joyce Kilmer's simple but lovely verse, taught to little kids in school :
"I think I shall never see,
a poem lovely as a tree....A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray.....
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."

JC said...

'I' had first read Acharya Rajneesh (Osho) say, to the effect, that a realistion cannot be expressed in words. However, words become necessary if one wants to share a realisation with others...That's how one can explain finding of innumerable views on different subjects in all directions of the globe, N-E-W-S...

'Wise ancient Hindus' are found to have laid stress on 'panchbhoota' that is 'five elements' that according to them necessarily go into the making of all physical forms...

Thus one can perhaps associate Trees, the 'plant life', with 'earth' as these are rooted into its top soil - as earth's extension into 'air' that acts as a medium to make available the required energy, or 'fire', for its sustenance, from the distant sun in the 'sky' that itself extends further into 'infinity'. That is, the enlarged form of 'zero', represented symbolically by two zeros or numeral '8', but written horizontally...

The said symbol of infinity could also be visualised graphically as Lord Vishnu (of 'Hindu mythology') reclining on the bed formed by celestial serpent Shesha in the middle of the 'kshirsagar' that is, literally 'Milky Ocean' and thus also indirectly with 'Krishna the cowboy', His eighth (8th) 'avatar' or incarnation - starting with Fish as His first. And, a fish (in a bowl as referred in Mahabharat whose eye was shot with an arrow by Arjuna) can also be visualised represented graphically by the crescent of moon shown on Krishna's most evolved form, Shiva's forehead...and its known that moon evolved from earth itself, from its core or 'heart' or the abode of 'Ma Kali'...(and ancient Hindu astronomers indicated earth as the centre of the universe)...

Thus, in view of the above, an active volcano, that has its origin in 'patal', or underground, in the heart of Shiva where 'Kali' resides, can be visualised as the 'tree of fire'...and can thus help ralise why 'Bengalis', in the east of India, call 'Diwali' as 'Kali Puja' and use fireworks on that particular new moon night every year call 'anar', literally pomegranate the fruit, that can perhaps be noticed to represent - as its model - a volcano...

JC said...

And, from a 'botanist', one would learn that a fruit is surplus energy for the tree concerned. And, that a ripe fruit generally gets 'naturally' offered to earth for sustenance of the concerned species of plant life, either directly, or through any agency, human (like 'lion's-share'), or even 'inferior life forms' that has man at the head of the list...

The above thought might, however, lead to the possibility of 'grahas', or members of our solar system, to perhaps similarly utilise humans also as storage systems - for storage of energy as well as information related with evolution of 'Nature' from zero to infinity...as it appears to be indicated by 'ancient wise Yogis', indicating need to 'activate kundalini', such that the total energy/ information recorded within each and every individual is raised to one point in the head for 'merging the self with God', the 'Nadbindu' or point source of infinite energy, that is, the believable formless Creator/ Destroyer related with time and space zero...

JC said...

Talking of trees reminds me of a story about a liar and a 'spiritualist' heard repeated recently.

It seems that one day the liar told everyone he met that he had seen God make an elephant pass through the eye of a needle!

And, obviously, everyone laughed and enjoyed the 'joke' and shared it with others too...But, they saw the 'believer' dance in the market place with joy when he heard it!

Someone then asked him if he really believed it possible to make an elephant pass through the eye of a needle?

His reply was in the afirmative, followed by his comment that if God can make a whole big tree contained within a tiny seed, where was the scope for any shadow of doubt?

And 'Krishna' says all 'wrong acts' result from lack of knowledge:)

Kavitha said...

:) WOW!

Its sometimes so hard to believe that it is in the nature of things to behave differently under varying circumstances...

That a small seed can give rise to a huge banyan tree... that a small sperm can give rise to a horribly complicated person... that a small word of potency can deliver one to moksha.

Such is life.

JC said...

Yes, Kavitha, The 'wise ancient Hindus', (may perhaps call them as the souls very close to the Supreme Soul), understood 'life' as symbolic - having sound energy, 'oM', as universe's seed or its 'beej mantra'...

Being an 'eccentric', 'I' can imagine small letter 'o' to represent our sun, the source of energy during the day, or the 'mysterious moon' during the night. And, letter 'M' to represent the Ganga-Yamuna valley, graphically (when 'o' is written vertically and symmetrically above 'M'), that formed the root of the 'civilisation' or 'human tree', that once upon a time prospered in 'India' in the fertile land due to the assured water cycle, set up thanks to Bhagirath's valiant efforts and Shiva's grace to bring down 'Ganga waters' from moon. And thus the people were called 'Hindu' thanks to 'Indu' the moon :)

JC said...

Maybe here too 'I' should have again invited attention to the Gita where 'Krishna' indicates man as an 'inverted tree', whose roots are in the 'sky', unlike 'normal trees' that are rooted to 'earth' and receive raw food from it. And which is then cooked in the green leaves thanks to interaction between cholorophyll in the leaves and sunlight through the process of photo synthesis. The cooked food is then made available to all components of the tree...

And man is believed by the yogis to receive food, for its sustenance, in the form of permutations and combinations of the essences of selected members of the solar system ('navhraha', literally 'nine planets') to reflect heirarchy that is evident in all aspects of 'Nature'...

Eight (8) essences are believed concentrated one each at eight chakras from 'mooladhar' located at the base at the tip of the tail-bone (housing essence of planet Mars, the believable abode of Ganesha), to 'sahasrara' located in the head (housing essence of moon - that is provided the highest pedestal, believably as the abode of Ganesha's Mother Parvati/ Durga who provided 'amrit' or immortality to the 'devtas' when 'churning of milky-ocean' in four stages was completed)...

'Present day Scientists' also find human nervous system within the spinal column in appearance like roots of trees...

JC said...

The ancient art of treatment of ailments using herbs and their essences developed by sages in 'ancient India' is called 'Ayurveda'. And it's in vogue in the 'present' also, maybe to a leser extent than Allopathy, since time immemorial...

And, in fact, 'inferior animals' also seem to naturally have knowledge about it to some extent, and perhaps they might have, to a certain extent, helped sages - in the Himalayan region partiicularly - in development of this system in the 'past'...

In fact at a certin stage the essence of tea leaves was used mainly as medicine for certain ailments, and it has gradually become a drink of the poorest of the poor even as the 'drink that cheers'...Even in Allopathy, certain medicines have extracts from certain herbs too...'I' had read somewhere that the bark of Willow Tree (whose wood is used for making Cricket bats) contains the pain killer aspirin...

Even ancient astrologers appear to have identified and advised roots of some specific plants - kept close to one's person - as effective in nullifying the harmful aspects of certain specific planets!

It is believed by 'scientists' that the same chromosome after certain different cycles in the process of evolution resulted in both - the trees as well as humans! And, therefore, trees are our cousins!

P.N. Subramanian said...

Simply beautiful ...

JC said...

Hi Sri Subramanian, 'I' saw your post on Most Unusual Churches around the World and found it a very interesting compilation of 'man-made' creations in masonry/ rocks in the 'west'...Thanks!

Interestingly, the direction west is believably ruled by ring-planet Saturn or 'Satan' - or perhaps 'shaitan', that is, 'mischievous Krishna', also a 'sudershan-chakra-dhari', a representative or avatar of Vishnu, to ancient 'Hindus', perhaps thus associating the two mythological characters with 'grahas' Saturn the beautiful ring-planet and Jupiter, also a ring-planet but relatively an inferior one :)...

JC said...

Maybe, 'I' should have added that the hand of the 'supreme being' could perhaps be seen only by a 'seeker' in the use of 'Cross', associated with Jesus by 'Christians' and all churches the world over...

Maybe it's a coincidence that a 'cross' appears somewhat similar to the 'Swastik', a symbol adopted by 'Aryans' both in the 'east' as well as 'west' at some point in time when the four hands, or four faces of Brahma, or perhaps four cardinal directions, met at a common point or 'Nadbindu' or Vishnu of the 'Hindu mythology' as the believable Creator of the entire universe using sound energy represented by 'om' as the beej mantra, like a tiny seed responsible for a huge tree :)

Kavitha said...

You sure have a very refreshing way of thought Joshi uncle... to equate Lord Krishna with saturn or satan(which makes the meaning entirely different) and shani with the rings of the sudarshan chakra... wow!

JC said...

Kavitha, 'I' have just been trying to read the mind of 'wise ancients' through the scriptures/ mythology with the background knowledge of 'science' as it gets revealed from time to time, say in newspapers, thus indicating some usefulness despite apparent garbage they contain (just like the characteristic property reflected by 'earth'!)...

And, 'I' am at it for almost three decades now :) 'My daughters' also sometimes used to get frustrated and demanded from 'me' why 'I' brought in God in all my discussions even on petty matters (such as their demand for a TV, and 'my' efforts to resist it on some logic :)

JC said...

Perhaps it is thanks to the 'family tree' that 'my eldest daughter' recently told me on phone how she now recalls my words when 'her 10-yr-old dear daughter' demands something that's too dear!

And, similarly, there is a mythological story related with 'hath-yogi Krishna', for even as an infant he was adamant and demanded to have moon, as a 'toy' he would want to play with :)

And, king Nand was 'worldly wise' - he ordered a basinful of water to be kept in the open! And, thus made available moon, although its 'image' only and yet fufilled child-Krishna's demand to play with it. Maybe only as a pastime, or 'time pass', without physically geting it, for the image got distorted everytime it put its hand into water to catch it (that's what 'we humans' also appear to anyway do - seeing only 'distorted images' :)

JC said...

Perhaps it is not necessary to elaborate it, however, 'I' might still mention for academeic interest that perhaps the above could help correlate appearance of dreams on mind's eyes and the 'Hindu belief' about mysteriours moon's essence housed at the 'sahasrara chakra' in human head, as its source...

It is believed reflected by the 'golden yellow' colour that generally diverts the attention of an average human being from the 'truth', ie., 'Peetamber Krishna' as the most evolved Parvati, the consort of Shiva (as Sati/ Kali in the beginning) and the ruler of direction North where Himalayas are located as a Crown on the head of 'India' that was 'Mahabharat' or 'Great India' (irrespective of location in the 'past' in different countries, for the Himalayan ranges - apparently in Kaliyuga the 'dark age' - extended from Afghanistan to other countries, viz. Nepal, and China who claimed Tibet where the abode of Shiva-Parvati is located in Mount Kailash only after moon had emerged in Satyuga from earth itself!)...

JC said...

Now, perhaps a 'tree' could help one to visualise overall 'Time' reflected by say moon's cycle of rise and fall..

The seed, Nadbindu-like, reflecting the 'remote past', as the original seed loses its independent existence and virtually disappears once it is sown.

And, the plant/ tree, as it germinates - thanks to care taken by the gardner/ grace of God - after lapse of some time becomes visible to average human eyes only when it emerges above the ground...

And, thereafter its 'meter' starts functioning, reflecting passage of time as 'present' turns in to 'past' day after day...and at some point in time the tree gains 'maturity' - over some period of time that can even be observed from the annular rings 'Nature' - like 'historians' - leaves marked inside for the doubtful human being, but at the cost of the concerned tree's life - short-circuiting! However, the tree, anyway, after some more days or years might eventually lose its independent existence, which could be accounted for due to various possible factors...

The 'wise Hindus', similarly, realised human life also as part of a 'grand design', called 'maya' that is illusion created by the formless 'supreme being' for its purpose that isn't made known even to the 'wisest of the wise' human at any time - perhaps except when it is Satyuga, the goal it ever had in mind during all other yugas from Kaliyuga to Tretayuga...imagine it represented, although ritually, by a pyramid shaped human-tree during Krishna Janmashtami in Mumbai that wins the prize by reaching the pot of 'amrit' (supplied by Mohini form of Vishnu as moonlight or 'somrus' meant only for 'devtas' or demigods)...

JC said...

Kavitha, There is another interesting 'tree' 'I' had read about in the childhood. It is called 'Kalpataru'. It was indicated as a tree that fulfils all wishes or thoughts that arise in one's head while one happens to be underneath it!

The story had a man lost in the forest. He was tired walking almost all day but was unable to find an exit.

He was standing under a tree when he wished he had a bed to lie down upon. And there was a bed provided in the shade! The next he thought of food, and that too was provided!

But, being a doubtful person he couldn't believe that he was in the shade of a 'kalpataru' and now that it was getting dark, getting panicky, he thought he might get eaten by a tiger! And, his wish was duly fulfilled!

Kavitha said...

Yes i have read about the kalpataru vriksh in some of these verses but couldnt make a connect in the blog hence i didnt mention it altogether

JC said...

Maybe one doesn't link this 'kalpataru' with 'kalpana' that is 'imagination', or 'kalpa' also meaning about 4.32 billion years (as generally believed) as one day in the apparently unending life of Brahma that is being reviewed by Yogeshwar Vishnu/ Shiva the Bhootnath or Lord of the Past, or the three-in-one God who, being all knowing, is able to do so, while 'Apsmara Purush', the 'forgetful man', although His Own Image fails to recollect his own remote past, not even events related to the 'present life'...

It was in the Sixties in the college that 'I' heard Swamai Ranganathananda of Rama Krishna Mission say that we 'Indians' aren't able to pintpoint where the shoe actually pinches us - we generally tend to beat around the bush...That reminded me how 'I' had the opportunity to observe growth of bacteria cultured in agar media in my college days that filled the dish completely (each bacterium multiplying by division) just in 2-3 days, starting from a dot like appearance under a microscope and turning into a black circle that grew bigger with passage of time. And thus the poor bacterium in the outermost periphery perhaps might not even know it had started from a dot somewhere in the middle of the dish - or maybe it does(?), being similar in appearance to Nadbindu, literally the 'dot', a point source of infinite energy...and also mysterious like Him!

JC said...

And, to the Vedantis, the whole universe itself is the said Kalpataru, for the real Supreme Being is formless, being related with time and space zero who, however being 'perfect', is able to project His Past and review it on His mind's eye...in repetitive cycles, about 1080 times, from long duration periods, Satyuga to Kaliyuga, during one day in the unending life of the Creator or Brahma - of over 4 billion years...God alone knowing what He seeks?! And the 'wise ancients' have merely indicated the only purpose of man is to seek the formless God as well as gods with forms...Yogis also have informed us that each and every human being is yoga or fusion of the spirit, or soul, a component of the formless Supreme Being, and an inferior appearing external material form...which appaerntly confuses each soul on account of apparent hierarchy in all aspects of 'Nature' due to 'maya' that is illusion...

JC said...

In a masonry structure, similarly, one can see its roots in its foundation that connects it with the underground; its superstructure as its stem, and perhaps its dwellers as its leaves/ flowers/ fruits!

And, similarly the seeker could imagine the Himalayan range itself as many trees that are rooted to the centre of 'earth'. And imagine Shiv-Parvati seated on the top of the tree while acting as source of 'water' for creation and sustenance of 'life' on earth eternally and also acting as as an agency - like a mirror reflects images of the one irrespective of whether it is 'living' or 'non living' in the eyes of an average human being - for reflecting the 'truth' of 'life'...

For example, on its own water flows down from high elevations to lower ones, a simile that is generally used by thinkers and poets reflected by human nature also...and many other characteristics, such as similar behaviour, in four stages, in both hunans and rivers, from their origin to the apparent end...and so on...

In view of the above, the 'wise ancients' also have similarly conveyed unending Time (and related events) to repeatedly flow from top to bottom (in Bhootnath Shiva's mind), from Satyuga (the life- giving Divine Person seated at the peak) to Kaliyuga (the base, or ground level, say reflected even by a man-made structure in the form of Vimana/ Pyramid) and back again to the peak of 'sky'...

JC said...

Thus, one might reach Shivlinga - with Parvati's yoni acting as its root - as the Tree of all trees that is 'watered' (subjected to ablution or cleansing of the body proper by devotees), and the compound leaf of Vilva offered on its rounded top, thus the linga symbolically representing the three-in-one God (Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh, as model of formless Shiva who is responsible for the triple functions of creation, sustenance and destructin for transformation in to different forms in the believable cyclic manner, through 8.4 million animal forms to reach man as 'God's image')...

JC said...

And, just as the Banyan is considered as teh King of trees, among humans the 'wise ancients' used the term 'purushottam', that is, the best among humans at a particular duration of time, eg., Rama (a model of our Sun) was considered by 'Hindus' as the best during Tretayuga, the yuga of human efficiency believably ranging between 50 to 75%, where the formless Supreme Being, the seed of the universe represented by 'om', alone is believed to be 100% efficient...Thus it is the apparent material form that results in reduction in human efficiency. However, the 'wise ancients' realised 'Nature' to represent the 'Kalpataru', the imaginary infinite tree, serving some useful purpose to its creator by reflecting its components in entirety, maybe to appreciate it, like a painter before one sits down to copy the 'still life' on a canvas for a 'permanent record' of the beautiful creation...like a photograph similarly freezes (apparent) time for appreciatin of personality over long range of ever changing time...Or, maybe to seek its own origin, among the meekest of the meek, perhaps...

JC said...

Among 'plant life', 'I' would give maximum marks to the mustard, a plant that has for its seed a small dark black, or red, spherical-ball-like form (close to Nadbindu in appearance).

And, as 'I' have earlier also elsewhere discussed in detail, mustard seeds are directly used for control of ghosts, (in say Bengal/ Assam the states infamous for practice of 'black magic'), ie., 'bhootas' the inferior souls forced to loiter in space or be suspended from Peepal Trees (refer 'baital pachchisi', or 'sinhasan battisi', both related with legendary King Vikramadktya), for those had believably failed to attain 'moksha' when those were in human forms, at least once, and might now have attained some 'inferior animal form' even...

And, in Bengal/ Assam, mustard oil is used ritually for application on the body, and its oil also used as a cooking medium, maybe for cooking mustard leaves itself, by the 'common man'...

JC said...

Eventually, a soul, or a 'seeker', cannot help but look within the self, the garland of eight (8) seeds, or different appearing 'images' of dots and their projections in eight directions (making a total of 64 'yoginis' or components of stored energy within an individual) linked within the spinal column by nervous systems, the central and 2 sympathetic ones, ie., lines or threads (that too are believably made of nummerous points) representing essence of planet Saturn that control both the upward and the downward directions and thus help circulate energy from 'mooladhar' to 'sahasrara', like raw material/ cooked food from the roots to the leaves and vice versa...

JC said...

If one were to look around, ie., 'outwards', for some simple model of the system to help visualise the process maybe only to a small extent, a 'South Indian' perhaps has an advantage!

Thanks to 'my wife' who was born and brought up in Bastar region** of Madhya Pradesh (now in Chattisgarh state), in the early Seventies 'I' too bought a big cooker and an equipment called 'idli maker', which has a central spindle, (like nerves that constitute the central nervous system). It can be made to pass through holes in the middle of each of the four numbers round plates, each one of which has four circular shaped depressions (instead of 8) in which one pours the finished grounded paste of the requisite ingredients (instead of 8). The plate that is meant for resting on the cooker's base and also remain above water, is provided three legs. The equipment, the spindle duly scred to the base plate, is then placed centrally inside the pressure cooker, but without the weight on top, after adequate quantity of water is filled in it. It is the water that helps produce the steam that rises up inside the cooker and thereby cook 'idlis' or the 'rice cakes' in a few minutes (16 numbers of big idlis at a time in 'my cooker', whereas perhaps there are equipments that produce larger numbers of smaller-sized idlis)...

*******************
** Before 'Independence' of 'India' that is 'Bharat', Bastar (derived from 'Vastra', meaning (magical) 'cloth') had Bhanjdeos as the tribal kings who hailed from the adjacent southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The original king believably had close contacts, almost friendly terms, with Ma Danteshwari and, therefore, thanks to her grace he had come to occupy the said region - by stretching the magical cloth - the Bhanjdeos ruled for many years...

And interestingly, its headquarter at Jagdalpur is located close to the 'big circle' that passes through Amarkantak/ Kashi/ Mount Kailash, ie., close to longitude 82.5 degrees east :)

JC said...

'I' am sorry! 'I' should have said that the Bhanjdeos hailed from the state of Orissa, located on the northeast of Bastar (in MP). And, it has Andhra Pradesh on its southwest and, therefore, noticeable presence of Andhrites in the region...