Sunday, November 08, 2009

Gems of Tyagaraja- 2

హెచ్చరికగా రారా హే రామచంద్ర
హెచ్చరికగా రారా హే సుగుణ సాంద్ర

పచ్చ విల్తునికన్న1 పాలిత సురేంద్ర (హెచ్చరిక)

1. కనక మయమౌ మకుట కాంతి మెరయగను
ఘనమైన 2కుండల యుగంబులు కదలగను
ఘనమైన నూపుర యుగంబు ఘల్లనను
సనకాదులెల్ల కని సంతసిల్లగను (హెచ్చరిక)

2. ఆణి ముత్యాల సరులల్లలాడగను
వాణి పతీంద్రులిరు వరుస పొగడగను
మాణిక్య సోపానమందు మెల్లగను
వీణ పల్కుల వినుచు వేడ్క చెల్లగను (హెచ్చరిక)

3. నిను జూడ వచ్చు భగిని కరంబు చిలుక
మనసు రంజిల్ల నీ మహిమలను పలుక
మిను వాసులెల్ల విరులను చాల జిలుక
ఘన త్యాగరాజు కనుగొన ముద్దు గులుక (హెచ్చరిక)

Translation (Courtesy: http://sahityam.net/wiki/Heccharikaga_Rara)

O Lord Ramachandra! Deign to come cautiously; O Lord brimming with virtues! Deign to come cautiously.
O Father of Cupid! O Protector of Lord of celestials!
1. As the splendour of the golden diadem is radiated, as the pair of beautiful ear-rings sway, as the pair of beautiful anklets jingle, and as the sages Sanaka and all others exult beholding You, O Lord Ramachandra! Deign to come cautiously.
2. As the rows of necklaces of perfect shaped pearls sway (on Your chest), as Brahma – the Consort of Sarasvati – and Indra extol You on both sides, O Lord Ramachandra! Deign to come cautiously and slowly on the steps of precious stones, as the spectacle goes on, hearing the notes of music on lute.
3. As the parrot in the hand of Parvathi – Your sister - who comes to see You – speaks of Your mights to the exultation of the minds of the devotees, as all the celestials – dwelling in heaven - shower plenty of flowers, O Lord Ramachandra! Deign to come cautiously so that this blessed Thyagaraja may behold You as Your charm oozes.

The below is my own verse, inspired by the song and the devotion of Sri Tyagaraja:


How long shall I live in vain?
How long this torturing pain?
While I wait for Thou my Lord,
How long till I see Thou again?

Come now, let me not fall,
Come now, please heed my call,
Do not Thou love me, my Lord?
Come now, please crush this wall.

I fear that in blindness I cannot see,
I fear I will lose my vision of Thee,
Shower on me Thy blessings my Lord,
I fear this world will transform me!

Before its too late for me to realize,
Before I cannot handle any surprise,
Warn me, as Thou arrive, my Lord,
Before my each virtue turns into a vice!


Warn me, as Thou arrive my Lord,
Warn me, as Thy descent begins,
Warn me, when Thine will is to hold me,
Warn me, as Thou arrive my Lord.

For I cannot miss this chance,
To end my ever-longing penance,
And shed my tears and wash your feet,
When my wish-fulfills when we two meet!


-Siddartha Pamulaparty
Nov 08, 2009.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Science, Religion and Philosophy-- An Essay

Religion is not accepted by the science. But not all religions accept the science. Science is but Knowledge. A knowledge that is proven by experiment. However, there are various aspects of science that have empirical proof or abstract theorems. The question then, is what is the relationship between the science and religion, if there is any historically or contemporarily?

There is one common thread, though: the birth of ideas in the minds of human beings. In science, there are several theories and axioms which took birth in the minds of the noble or ignoble humans and either they were proved in later experimentation or were accepted by commonsensical deduction. Modern physics especially, the branches of quantum theories or string theories are but ideas waiting to be proven or accepted. Religion also had its roots in human mind. Dogmas and doctrines, practices are all born out of human intellect: ideas mundane or of great intellect.

Religion thrives and survives on one basic principle: faith. In fact, we often see the faith as a synonym of religion. Faith is a feeling, similar to a belief. What concrete foundation it has is a different matter. Faith is in fact a manifestation of human ideas. If humans were not able to think and form opinions, there would neither be religion, nor science.

Talking of faith, when the faith forms in the obvious in the nature, it becomes the least sensitive part of the religion. For instance, importance of the natural elements like earth, air, water and fire are almost common in most religions. The most sensitive issues that differ between the religions of the world are mostly the convictions which are not natural; not so obvious; the unknown and the unseen and hard to comprehend.

Blind faith is what makes the religions non-scientific. If there was a custom or tradition in a religion that has a proper reasoning or rational behind it, it cannot be considered as a blind faith.
Here also comes the aspect of logic.

With logic, we have one more product of human intellect: the philosophy.

Most of the Western world considers Aristotle as THE Philosopher. However, historically this is not true. Philosophy existed ever since the first of the human species evolved, with a psyche that could make the species "think". There were innumerous civilizations across the world, some of which have lost their stories in eternity and very few have still sustained. There were philosophers in the Greece before Aristotle, even before Socrates or should we say even in the times of Homer or before? India, the country that was the center of interest during the ancient and medieval times for its rich tradition of heritage, has a unique history of philosophy too.

What is the basis of philosophy? Like faith is to the religion, the belief is the crux of philosophy. Philosophy is but a conviction of things and processes around a person. Like religion and science, philosophy also has the natural course of "actions" being performed based on the belief one has.

While there are behavioral traits that draw a line of difference between religion and philosophy, there is also a binding force: the transformation of faith into belief, with reason or without.

Philosophy, religion and science, have all made so much of progress, that the fundamental thoughts have transformed from Individual level to collective level. Hence, today we see many communities- of religious, philosophical and even scientific nature.

The complexity of human thoughts and ideas has influenced, if not originated, the amalgamation of these three different products of intellect. Today, there may be scientific communities with an inclination to a religion and more frequently a philosophy. There are philosophical communities that have some part of their ideas derived on established scientific facts and more frequently, of ideas derived from historical religions.

However, religion embracing scientific facts and/or philosophical propositions that have not existed long before is not witnessed. Perhaps, because religion is the oldest of the these three.

Well, there may be some newly born religions which are based on philosophies and very rarely also on some aspect of science. This yet again proves that religion has its birth in human mind.

What is divinity? Does an entity called God exist? These questions are more of philosophical nature. Religion is formed based on these questions already answered and opinionated. Science does not care to dig into these. And in trying to find an answer for this, innumerate philosophies
have been born. Most of which could be bent over to one or more religions.

So, in a way, philosophy is some where between the two extremes of religion and science.

Human race is not only responsible for the existence of these ideas, but also the sufferers of the consequences of the ideas, as and when they have advanced.

As the faith in the religion has grown so strong that common sense or reasoning has no impact or even consideration, there have been many ill-effects on the human lives. From times immemorial, each religion had its own misgivings. But again, it has to be remembered that the ideas were human, the thoughts were human, the actions were also human, towards or against the human lives.

Advancement in science has its own consequences of human terror. Wars, often aided with military science, have always done damage than good. There are good examples too, like in the fields of medicine, or civilian engineering which has provided almost every aspect of this century's living ways and comforts are products of science. However, there are bad examples, and weapons of mass destruction is just one of them.

Philosophy, although appears not too extreme, depending on the will of the individuals who apply these philosophical thoughts into action, there have been casualties before. Dictators across the world, and supreme leaders, have often with their philosophies have destroyed human lives.

The business of the world today survives more based on what is different than what is common between the peoples. Different people have different needs and different capabilities. If there is absolutely no difference between individuals or countries, nothing would be exchanged.
As long as this exists, the difference, the flow of the activities in the world would be natural.

But, if we wake up in a world, where the populations and individuals have all common interests, all common needs, all common capabilities, imagine if there would be any productivity? No. The key to the world we live in today, is based on the variation of human thoughts, ideas and their subsequent needs.

If there were no religion nor philosophy, but only science, lives of people would be totally mechanical. Men and women would turn into robots.

Religion and philosophy are in a way inseparable. Hence, it is not only difficult but also silly to imagine a world with either one of them without the other.
The relationship between the two lies in the basic fundamental synonymous relationship between faith and conviction.

Ideas, thoughts will still remain the common ground of these three interesting aspects of the human civilizations.





-Siddartha Pamulaparty
August 29,2009.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lost Letters - III

To: My teacher, Prof. M. Ravinder Rao on January 4, 2005!

Dear Sir,

Firstly, I wish you would find a very happy new year in 2005. I am quite delighted to have received a mail from you.
I remember on an occasion (of Teachers' day festival) you told us that a Teacher will be happy when the student first Understands, then Believes and finally Acts accordingly of what the Teacher has taught him.(forgive me if i missed out something).
I think of that very often.
Well, sir, I haven't been in touch with my Teachers at our KITS college,during the past year when i graduated. i take the whole blame on myself for not doing so. Each and every thing I learnt and experienced during my B.Tech, I shall cherish all my life.

At the beginning of this new year, let me make a resolution that I shall not just keep my memories of the beautiful past and my own experiences with the world as I see it to myself....
I shall share them with my Teachers and fellow-students of my college.

Kindly convey my Warmest Wishes to all my Teachers.
(Please forgive, although I would like to personally meet everyone, the time doesn't permit so).


Thank You and Regards,
Siddartha P.
(Roll No 99301, BTech Mech Engg 1999-2003, KITS Wgl).

Lost Letters - II

To: Education@Walden.Org, 09 July, 2004.
Dear Sir/Madam,

I am an ardent admirer of Thoreau and am an avid reader of his influential essays. I cannot tell in words the kind of motivation I derive from studying Thoreau. I have a few collections of Thoreau's essays, including Walden, Civil Disobedience and Life Without Principle.
I seem to have natural ideas similar to what Thoreau seemed to elucidate in his writings. I am to admit that he is the most influential factor in my life.
I would like to do a comprehensive study on life, thoughts, philosophy and literary contributions by Thoreau.
So, I write to you to know of any way of getting this done. I know of the fact that to undestand Thoreau, the best way is to read his own works.
I am reading Thoreau, but I consider that I have only limited access to his profound collection of thoughts.
Kindly advice me, how to begin a comprehensive study of Thoreau as a philosopher rather than a naturalist. My primary interest in Thoreau is of his philosophical musings.

Thanking You In Anticipation,
Pamulaparty Siddartha
Warangal-506002
A.P., India.

Email:Siddhu_pamu@yahoo.com

Lost Letters - I

Dear XXXXXXXX,
Without knowing what's in your mind, I am attempting to communicate to you my feelings, suddenly without having to take into consideration what you might feel.
I must admit that I do not know how to act. I consider myself the biggest fool on earth.
So, I have like others, different states of mind at different points of time. I feel that my status of mind wobbles a lot, more often than what could keep me sane. That is why, I always doubt my sanity.
Don't go into details or jump to conclusions without thinking for yourself.
I know I sound stupid. But I am stupid.
Now, my state of mind is close to being crazy. I have made some terrible mistakes and regret about them. Deeply regret them. So, as Thoreau said: "to deeply regret is to live afresh'. so i am trying to live afresh.
I have many friends but still I am a man of solitude. I love solitude. Of late, for the sake of my love of solitude, I have been hiding too many of my thoughts inside my head, which got into my subconscious.
Now that I am a little retrospective, that subconscious thoughts are troubling me a lot.
So, I thought for a change, I 'll modify my attitude to feel better.
Our system or atleast that system which I know, has taught us to dream but forget. Dream only to that extent in which you have no part to play. Reality is very different, they say.
But many times, there were many sources of inspiration which told that you have to follow your dreams and that is the way to fulfill your destiny. It is, here, apt to refer to "The Alchemist" by Paulo Cohelo, which you ought to read. Yes, it is an important book for everyone to read. In case you can't find the book, I will for the time being give you the sentence which forms the basic theme of the book: "When you desire something, all of the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." This, I find close to what I think is the only law on which the Universe and all its constituents operate, indefinitely.
Also Thoreau said: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live what you have imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the Universe become simpler". I believe in all that Thoreau had said. Is'nt it after all what we want: simplification?
Many people think they know what they are supposed to seek in life. I wonder.
I used to believe, everything will turn up the way it should and gave no importance to the efforts I personally exercised. I am disappointed as many learned people still say that you are not going to change the world.
I also had believed in some point of time in the past that my destiny is predecided and I am just going to blindly play the game.
Most part of my life, almost always, maybe even now, I thought and with a slight doubt believed that I am special. I am not like others. May be every next person feels the same. So eventually, I end up being a normal ordinary usual person.
So, even if I think I am unique, psychologically I end up being the same other person.
I have read many books, and I had many theories going on in my mind. I accepted all that I thought was wise in each of them. You realize or not, every thing and every being is associated with some kind of philosophy or the other.
I, at many times thought, I was about to discover some fundamental, basic fact, which was so obvious as to be neglected. I thought I am just about to find the most intimate secretly kept Truth about the Universe. But I always stopped at some point and never carried the same thought again.
I still, however, think that my core purpose in life is to discover that Truth. Am sure I will discover it. Not only me, you and all others will discover it. The difference among all, however, will be, whether you accept and love it or fear and avoid it.

I will choose to accept it. and that too, in all good humour.

Good bye forever.
Siddartha.

(Written: September 09, 2004, Never Delivered!)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Peace of Mind

A little something I wrote about 6 years back on a little piece of paper, which I stumbled upon searching for something else:

Once upon a time, there was a young boy called Sreekumar. Sreekumar got a doubt one day that the reason for his happiness might be lack of "Peace of Mind". So, he went to the market place and asked the shop-keepers for a little "Peace of Mind". But the shop-keepers sadly said "We are already out of stock and we have no suppliers now!". Not willing to let it go, he went to his teacher and asked for the same. The teacher felt really sorry for the boy and tried to console him. But, even the teacher failed to give him what he wanted.

Then, Sreekumar asked his parents, friends, neighbors, but in vain. He became so restless that he began pestering even the strangers for some Peace of Mind, each one of them said: " I myself, do not have it! How can I give you?"

Sreekumar began to travel to far-away places, impatiently, in search of it. He went to strange cities, fiery forests, dangerous landscapes, crossed many miles, swaw many seas, climbed many mountains: yet no fruitful results.

One day, in a village, he met a fine young woman and was attracted to her. He asked her if she knew where he could find the Peace of Mind. The young lady teasingly said she knew it, but wouldn't tell him. He began begging her and arguing with her. Finally she said, Peace of Mind is not a thing to "ask for", but to "Give to others", annoyed with him. She also said asked him to leave her alone, and go meditate in solitude, perhaps in contemplation he may stumble upon it.

Taking the advice, he went on to river-side, and sat beneath a tree, still anxious of the thing he was in search for. He felt tired and began feeling sleepy. He slowly fell asleep. In his dreams, he heard the voice of the young lady again: "You are losing all that you have gained so far, by worrying about lacking peace of mind. Stay calm, and feel the freedom, be happy, do not worry, then you will realize that there is eternal peace in your own head." Sreekumar then realized that he was the only one who could answer his own quest. He never asked about peace of mind again after that day.

He said to himself often:
"It is not the actual "Suffering" which is the cause of unhappiness; it is the "willingness to suffer" that causes unhappiness. The laws of nature and the Universe are so simple and straight: they say "you want it, you got it!".
"Anything that CAUSES FEAR is not worth CARING for; Anything that DEMANDS CARE is not worth LOVING; Anything that EXPECTS LOVE, is not worth LIVING for.
"One who realizes this and lives accordingly is the Ideal Happy Man. Ideal does not mean that never is possible, it only means that Rarely is seen."

For a person to attain PEACE OF MIND, the only possible way is to DECIDE TO BE HAPPY . That essentially means, STOP WILLING TO SUFFER.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wisdom of Thoreau again....

I read an essay "Slavery in Massachusetts", which was in fact an address Thoreau delivered at the Anti-Slavery Convention at Framingham, MA, on July 4, 1854. It was also printed in the LIBERATOR for July 21, 1854.

This is another example of the great man Thoreau, who during the times human slaves in America was not against the law, yet, had advocated on the true spirit of humankind on liberty and freedom.

Here a few wise quotes and remarks from this address I wanted to record here in my blog, most of which are still very relevant today, here in America, so also in India and wherever there is injustice in one form or the other towards any individual :

1. Nowadays, men wear a fool's-cap, and call it a liberty-cap.

2. I wish my countrymen to consider, that whatever the human law may be, neither an individual nor a nation can ever commit the least act of injustice against the obscurest individual without having to pay the penalty for it. A government which deliberately enacts injustice, and persists in it, will at length even become the laughing-stock of the world.

3. I would much rather trust to the sentiment of the people. In their vote you would get something of value, at least, however small; but in the other case*, only the trammeled judgement of an individual, of no significance, be it which way it might.

[* This is in the context of a case where a Judge (I guess jury system was not formed by that time, which needs to be cross-checked), on deciding a charge on an individual case on Slavery].

4. The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free. They are the lovers of law and order who observe the law when the government breaks it.

5. I am more and more convinced that, with reference to any public question, it is more important to know what the country* thinks of it than what the city thinks. The city does not think much.

[Country, here, as in villages. This is yet another example, how Thoreau influenced Gandhi, to quote the Gram Swarajya. In that way, Thoreau had influenced to my own country, India, to be free today to some extent.]

6. Let us, the inhabitants of the country, cultivate self-respect. Let us not send to the city for aught more essential than our broadcloths and groceries; or, if we read the opinions of the city, let us entertain opinions of our own.

7. The editor is a preacher whom you voluntarily support. *
[* This comes in the context when Thoreau criticizes the large-scale print media, almost every criticism holds very good to the present day media].

8. No matter how valuable law may be to protect your property, even to keep soul and body together, if it do not keep you and humanity together.

9. Will mankind never learn that policy is not morality; - that it never secures any moral right, but considers merely what is expedient?

10. What is wanted is men, not of policy, but of probity, - who recognize a higher law than the Constitution, or the decision of the majority.

11. The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls, - the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber to the street every morning.

12. Justice is sweet and musical; but injustice is harsh and discordant. The judge still sits grinding at his organ, but it yields no music, and we hear only the sound of the handle. He believes that all the music resides in the handle, and the crowd toss him their coppers the same as before.

13. Art is as long as ever, but life is more interrupted and less available for a man's proper pursuits.

With the last quote on Art vs Life, I end this post here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The bully state MA

I was always in awe of the state MA, right from my college days. The MIT, Harvard, Boston, the Spirit of America...huh! The Sun rises right here in the US!

Indeed, it is great! And so are the expenses here! Last time in Chicago, I was not so inclined in the "savings" thing. But, in the end, I could save okay. This time I came with an aim to save, but alas, I have already spent and going to spending much more.
First thing, I got an apartment to rent on my name. Luckily my credit score must have been good, I got a better deal. Eventually I would be spending over a thousand bucks for the rent. That is, if I stay all alone.

And then, it was time to get a car, as I needed it desperately. You call it whatever, but I ended up paying for a used car more than I ever thought I would spend. It cost me over eight grand. I hope to get back a significant amount when I sell it back though, which I can't and don't want to imagine right now.

And the thing that caused me a major disappointment is the auto-insurance. Man! It is difficult for people like me to even drive a car here! I heard that there is annual tax for the car, and even the Gas!! Wow!!

So far, in the 3 weeks, it gave me startling surprises on the amount of money I spent already.

Hope things will get better and there would not be any further surprises.

Note: This post is written after going thru a lot of strainful thoughts in the past few days. May be I will experience better things and write some inspiring stuff in my next posts.

Monday, March 02, 2009

First Few Days...

Finally, today, I got the kind of time I wanted to seriously spend on writing a post here. In the past few weeks, life made a U-turn. I deliberately traveled back to India to do some things in my mind and even before I was half-way thru, I was compelled to travel back to the States in mid-February. And leaving from the airport, with all my cousins, aunts, and parents seeing-me off, it was a crazy feeling. I was feeling like shit, why the hell do I have to agree to go to the US? Momentarily it may appear to be a valid thought, that I could have made a choice, by being blatantly adamant about staying back in the home land. However, looking at the circumstances, perhaps I did not have much choice and that this was for good.

And when I started speaking to friends once I landed here, every one asked me just one question: "How did you come to US, while everyone is heading back to India?" Obviously because of the recession and its effect on the employment. Well, then, I believe the reason I am here is also because of the economic recession and one of its different consequences: the cost-cutting achieved on out-sourcing.

My first weekend here, I went to the Circuit City, the experience was horrifying. This I already wrote in my previous post, because I could not resist not writing it.

Anyways, 2 weeks later we moved from a town called Randolph to another, Norwood. The apartment is a single-bed, and currently there are 4 of us for a few weeks. Later on, I am expecting 3 will leave and an another colleague will join in. So that'll equal the equation.

By the way, I forgot to mention, I started to hate the Boston area, as my old US home in Chicago area was much more decent. I mean the town, the roads, the facilities and the ease of living. Here, I am scared about one thing: "Parallel Parking", which I have never done before, and never had a reason to do while in the Illinois town of Schaumburg. And the interstate traffic, as I was told by some locals, sucks during the rush-hour.

One good thing though is that the apartment I stay in, has its own T-station. If I catch a train, right at my home, I will reach Boston South Station in 40 mins. And, as I was told, if I catch a bus to New York from South Station, will be in the Big Apple in 4 hours. Isn't that pseud?

Well now, I got a place to stay, got a phone in the first 2 weeks, that leaves me with buying a car as the only thing left to be able to lead the regular American living, rather, an Indian (east) living tailored to American system!! :-)

Work place is around 10 miles and I still need to get used to the route. I figured, the only way I will remember is once I start driving again.

Hope there would be more leisure time this time around to contemplate and suffer, and then turn into a post here in my good ole blogspace.

-Siddartha Pamulaparty

02-Mar-2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Recession It Is

All the time back in India when I was reading news about US companies laying-off employees, some filing bankruptcy, government bailing-out some, I was sad, but it was not so disheartening. Looking at things from a distance, you just feel sorry and then get on with it.

The first day here in US, I happened to go the Circuit City. The store had a "Store Closing Sale" board hanging outside. When I went it, I suddenly felt sick, my heart went so low, literally this was a shock!! I felt really pathetic about it!

I intend to write again when I find time, how life seems to be changing in the US, and how sad I really felt about things I have seen or heard so far.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Untitled Poem




Fresh breeze of autumn fills my lungs today:

As if I woke up in yonder woods,

As if my dream was now so true,

As if I realized my solemn wish,

It felt like I could spread my wings

And fly away, freely, liberated!!

Life seemed not so burdensome

Looking at the year gone by;

All those moments that have been spent

Seemed to come back in my memories again!!

Everything around me glowed in bright spirits,

Good times have made their way from eternal oblivion;

But then, will it last? The pessimist in me woke up again!



-Siddartha Pamulaparty

Oct 21, 2008.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bhagavad Gita Chapter Two: Notes

  • The Bhagawan begins His discourse in II:2.
  • II:6 Arjuna in a fix between what's right and what's wrong. He is a cloud, suspended between the sky and the sea.
  • II:7 Arjuna does the best; Surrenders himself to Bhagawan.
  • The Great Lecture starts in II:11. II:12 is a great sloka:
na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param
  • First mention of the 'soul' in II:13.
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
Important Note: The soul is mentioned as 'that', not called as 'aatma' so far.
  • II:14, some important concepts: Sense Perception ( माथ्रास्पर्शाह ) , Tolerance (तितिक्शः )
  • II:15 speaks about 'Eligibility for Liberation' (अमृतत्वाय)
  • II: 16 Word to Word Meaning: Never of the non-existent there is endurance; Nchanging quality there is of the eternal; Of the two, verily observed conclusion in deed of them, of the truth, by the seers.

nasato vidyate bhavo

nabhavo vidyate satah

ubhayor api drsto 'ntas

tv anayos tattva-darsibhih

  • II:17 to II:39, Bhagawan defines the 'soul' and describes its characteristics briefly.
  • He speaks about 'duty' and its importance. The soul is indirectly mentioned as एवं , अयं etc which means 'this''. II:38 says: "Fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress; loss or gain; victory or defeat; and by so doing you shall never incur sin".
  • II:13 to II:39 also has explanation by 'Analytical' study, i.e. सांख्ये (saankhye), which literally means 'that which describes things in detail'.
  • Definition of Yoga after II:39: Yoga means working without fruitire results; it means freedom from bondage of work!
  • II:41 defines the word व्यवसायात्मिका , the 'resolute faith that will elevate one to the highest perfection of life'. In simple words, fixed in determination.
  • Another word that means 'determined' is from II: 37 कृता
  • In II:42, Bhagawan mentions the Vedas. The context is a little sarcastic about the bling followers of rituals with wrong goals.
  • In II:44, He mentions the samaadhi (समाधि) , which means "fixed mind" i।e। fixed on understanding the self।
  • II:45 mentions about 3 modes (guna's) : "sattva", "rajas" and "tamas". But above these three is nithyasattvasthaha (नित्यसत्त्वस्तः) meaning "a pure state of spiritual existence".
  • II:46 gives an analogy: of Vedas as Wells, and Gita as the Great Reservoir of Water. It says about "knowing the purpose behind the Vedas".
  • II:47, my favorite and one of the most popular slokas: " karmanyevaadhikaarasthe ...". It speaks about "rights" ( अधिकारस्ते) and "cause" ( हेतुः) and "attachment" (संगः)
  • II:48 defines the state of mind in Yoga as "being equipoised in success and failure and becoming equanimous"
  • II:49 defines Conscious Surrender (बुद्धौ शरणम)
  • II: 52 mentions Delusion (मोह)
  • II:54 Arjuna's question, one of the ideal questions. Some important words here are स्थितप्रज्ञः (fixed consciousness) , समाधिस्थस्य (of the one situated in trance) and स्थितधी: (one fixed in consciousness of Bhagawan)
  • II:55, Bhagawan defines the state of pure, transcendental consciousness (i.e. स्थितप्रज्ञः ) . (It becomes clear that "mind" is to be used to realize this state. Purification of the mind is required, however).
  • II:56 defines how a Muni (मुनि) must be: (i) No agitation (विग्न) during दुखः (ii) No interest (स्पृहः) during सुखः (iii) free from attachment (राग) , fear (भय) and anger (क्रोध) (iv) steady mind ( स्थितधी:)
  • II:57 and II:58 defines the word Prajnaa प्रज्ञा which means Perfect Knowledge.
  • II:60 warns about the dangerous senses. (This could be the reason why I am not able to feel what I ought to, in my spiritual endeavors).
  • II:61 Offers what is ideal i.e., control and restrain the senses.
  • II:62 Beautiful Verse:

ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंस: संगस्तेषुपजायते ।
संगात्संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते ॥

Meaning:

"While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them,

and from such attachment lust (desire) develops and from desire arises anger."

  • II: 63 Continued from the earlier verse:

क्रोधाद्भवति सम्मोह: सम्मोहात्स्मृतिभ्रमः।
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति ॥

Meaning:

"From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderement of memory.

When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost and when intelligence is lost one falls

down again into the material pool."

Siddartha Pamulaparty

(Based on notes made in 2003/2004)

Oscar Wilde - A Tribute




"Oscar Wilde once told Andre Gide that he had put his genius into his life, and only his talent into his art. " - So goes the first line in the Introduction in the book "The Works of Oscar Wilde" published in The Wordsworth Poetry Library Series, published in 1994 by Wordsworth Editions Ltd., Hertfordshire, England, printed in Denmark by Norhaven.

I bought the book in New Delhi on 07th June, 2004. Long back, I think about 15 years ago atleast, I accidentally came across a book titled "The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde" at my grandfather's bunglaw room in Warangal. I read the La Belle Donna Della Mia Mente in the book, and I could now, looking back all these years, say without doubt, that this was what influenced me and brought me into the world of English Poetry. Later on, I came across the book once again in 2000 in my college library. Every line in this poem is my favorite and amazes me everytime I read it. For example, here are a few lines that show the "genius" of Wilde, although he would not admit it, and say it is merely his talent from the poem La Belle Donna Della Mia Mente:

1) My limbs are wasted with a flame,
My feet are sore with traveling,
For, calling on my Lady's name,
My lips have now forgot to sing.
2) She is too fair for any man....
...Fairer than Queen or courtesan
Or moonlit water in the night.
3) Her little lips, more made to kiss
Than to cry bitterly for pain,
Are tremulous as brook-water is,
Or roses after evening rain.
4) O twining hands! O delicate
White body made for love and pain
O House of Love! O desolate
Pale flower beaten by the rain.

Perhaps it is just talent for the witty Irishman, but for mortals like me, this is genius.
This poem will always remain my most favorite.

However, there are more that I came across later and I would like to put a few of them here in this post.

a) Thou knowest all; I cannot see.
I trust I shall not live in vain,
I know that we shall meet again
In some divine eternity.
-- -- (The True Knowledge)

b) ... Yet, though my lips shall praise her without cease
Even to kiss her feet I am not bold
,...... -- -- (Madonna Miad)

And then there is this master piece, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol", where we see a new, much more matured poet in Wilde. Here are some very very very inspiring lines from the poem:

1) "...And though I was a soul in pain,
My pain I could not feel"
2) "...The man had killed the thing he loved,
And so he had to die."
3) "...Who watch him lest himself should rob
The prison of its prey."
4) "...He only looked upon the sun,
And drank the morning air."
5) "The loftiest place is that seat of grace
For which all worldlings try;.."
6) It is sweet to dance to violins
When Love and Life are fair:
To dance to flutes, to dance to lutes
Is delicate and rare:
But it is not sweet with nimble feet
To dance upon the air.


Ultimately he says in this Ballad:


And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!


Inspired by Wilde, I might have written many lines in my own stupid poems so far.
However here are a few I would like to capture, for my own reference, as I wrote in the blank pages of the Wilde book:

* As the wild flower gets wilted in the fangs of time,
So is the lover punished and love is called a crime.

* Dream, you are with me right now
As I lie down weared in my bed.


Just a snapshot, a tribute to the one who gave me a life in the world of poetry, although it is an ant's life.


-Siddartha Pamulaparty
Dt: 25-Jan-2009.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bhagavad Gita Chapter One: Notes

Below are some of my notes I found recently, which I wrote down some years back, attempting to study the Geeta.

Here are the notes for Chapter One:

  • Observation of the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra
  1. Kurukshetra is described as a piligrimage. They call it the Dharmakshetra, the place where the Dharma will prevail.
  2. Diplomacy of Duryodhana has been lauded.
  3. First sloka to name the Bhagawan Krishna is 14th. (I:14). The name used here is "Madhava".
  4. Mention of Hanuman in I:20. Importance of Hanuman is signified rightly, i.e., Hanuman is a symbol of victory, as Rama was served by him during the crisis in Ramayana (as told by Valmiki).
  5. Arjuna's Plight explained in I:29 and I:30
  6. Arjuna's doubt about the 'purpose of war', is similar to my doubt about the 'purpose of my life', which seems like a war, a battle every day. (I:33, 34, 35)
  7. I:36 speaks about Fear of acquiring 'sin'. Very appropriate to everyone now.
  8. I:37 shows Ignorance. Question "Why?"
  9. From I:38 to I:42 explains why certain traditions are important.
  10. I:45 is about 'Giving up' and the associated blues.
  11. A brief summary: The total names of  the Bhagawan Krishna are 8. They are: (i) Madhava (ii) Hrishikesha (iii) Achyutha (iv) Krishna (v) Keshava (vi) Govinda (vii) Madhusudhana and (viii) Janardhana.

-Siddartha Pamulaparty
(Sometime in 2003/2004)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Disappointing Trip - Chennai

Unlike the last time when I went for my H1-B stamping, this time around, going for H1-X stamping was via a train journey. I was glad that it was not in a plane, where even though the time it takes is much much less, the trouble in commuting to and from the airports, sitting with legs twisted in the economy class of the planes, I reckon I could avoid in a train journey, happily sleeping in the night while on the move. The other advantage was not to spend a forlorn night in a hotel, which I always hated. Satisfied with this and also the fact that a lot of cost to the company could be saved, I embarked on this trip.

Catching the Chennai Express on the 06th January, I was looking forward to a special sojourn in Chennai the next day, once I complete the formal interview at the US Consulate. Earlier in the day, I heard from a senior colleague about a Lord Jagannath temple in the outskirts of Chennai, which was a miniature model of the original temple in Orissa's Puri. I resolved that I will at any cost visit this shrine and since it was an auspicious day, the Vaikunta Ekadasi, a darshan of the Lord of the Universe would be an ideal way to spend my time in Chennai. Presently, on board the train, I gave a call to Madras Cabs to arrange for a personal cab on an hourly basis for me. It was set and done. I then immersed myself into the book "Hotel" by Arthur Hailey, which I have been reading for almost a fortnight now. Mine was a side-lower berth in the two-tier AC compartment. As time flew by, an elderly lady from the adjacent seat requested me if I could swap her Upper Berth with my lower berth. Owing to the fact that she could not climb up, I readily agreed to her request. Soon I set my stuff up on the berth and started for an early nap, as I was totally tired and my eyes were burning.

It was around 06:10 am when the train finally entered the platform 5 of the Chennai Central station. I was kind of glad to look at the familiar station after a pretty long time- almost 4 years now. I quickly rushed past the crowd and took a left turn and bought a cigarette at a road-side vendor and lit it. The sky was overcast with clouds and it seemed it would rain. I was not sure if it's going to be good or bad, if it rains, I mean. After a couple of puffs of the Goldflake Kings', I thought I could not use it anymore and then moved on walking towards North on the street in search of the hotel Bhima's Inn, suggested by my father. I found it on the right side of the street after passing a half-a-dozen blocks. The reception clerk suggested there was only AC rooms and charge was around 450 INR. I took the room and ordered a cup of tea.

By the time I completed my bathing, did my morning Sandhya Vandanam and was ready, it was around 8:00 AM. There was still time for the cab to come and pick me up. I cross-checked my Green BEP file and all the documents were in order. I tried to switch on the Television, but nothing was on the screen, except a blue background. I quit. Just went on thinking about the trip later this afternoon to Kannathur, on the East Coast Road. I prayed to Sri Vishnu, to see that things went in order so that I could make the trip possible. I received by SMS the cab number and the driver's name and phone number details from Madras Cabs at around 08:30 AM. I was thinking, if I should leave my bag in the hotel, come back after the interview and thence start to the temple or rather check-out and leave the bag with Saravanan- the driver, in the cab. By around 09:00 AM, I decided on the latter. I gave a call to Saravanan and informed him to pick me up at Bhima's Inn instead of the Chennai Central. He said he would reach here by 10:00 AM.

By 09:30 AM I packed up and checked-out of the hotel. I waited in the lobby till it was 10 o'clock and gave a call to Saravanan. He said he could not find the hotel. I suggested he wait in the Central parking lot and started walking briskly, fearing it would ruin my dress-up for the interview, if it rained. Luckily it didn't and I found Saravanan, ready with his Indica in the parking lot. Boarding up the rear seat, I asked if he understood any Telugu or how good his English is. He said, he understood a little bit of English, but no Telugu. I had to manage in a mix of English and bits and pieces of Tamil that I managed to remember.
I explained to him in this mixed language, about the plan: first drop me at the consulate, my appointment time being 11:30 AM, I said I should be out by 12:30 or worst case by 01:00 PM. I suggested him to have lunch while I was in.

Saravanan then cruised the Indica across the parking lot, taking it out in the slow-moving traffic from the railway station and then along the main road. I realised they have blocked the space between the road dividers just opposite to the station, near the Medical College, and he hence he drove further East-ward and finally managed to take a U-turn. The familiar roads were nice to watch, as he crossed past the bridge opposite the Central, and there it was finally, the Thousand Lights. He said he would park the car in the lane adjacent to the Oxford Press and I went on to join the ever-long queue at the consulate building. I realized it was just about 10:40 AM when I enquired the time from a Wipro employee from Cochin here with a similar BEP file as mine. In the due course of time, finally it was the time to enter into the building.

Once inside the first building, had to wait for what seemed to be an hour to get my files and documents verified. The gentleman at the counter threw out all the degree certificates original petition papers and stapled the application forms and arranged them in the green file signalling that the other documents would not be needed. He took all my fingers' impressions on the electronic machine and suggested I proceed to the inner building for the interview. I moved straight to the inner chambers, as it was very familiar by now, this being my third trip into the consulate.

I was asked to go straight ahead and join a small queue where the interviews were being done. I was glad it was not at all like the last time, when there were a lot of people in the same area where now, almost only 10% of people stood. While standing in the queue, I looked at the TV screen which was showing the CNN-IBN channel. The breaking news, as the channel dubbed it, was "Satyam--India's Enron". Curious I followed to read the marquee in the news below and got the story. I thought this was worse than what anyone expected. I, for myself, thought earlier that the Satyam stuff would be over by the end of a couple of quarters. This was too early and too damned shocking in the way that it happened. Before I could totally digest it, it was my time for the interview. This time around it was a lady officer, who appeared very friendly and noble. First thing she asked me how things were at my company, I just said, things were great, and added a "so far" after a pause. Both of us smiled after a moment later to this response. She asked some very simple questions for the formal process' sake and said everything was set and I could proceed. Thanking her, I left the consulate in search of Saravanan.

Saravanan was asleep in the car when I found him about a couple of hundred metres walk from the main road into the lane. I gently woke him up and got to know that he did not go for lunch. I suggested he have it, since we were going to be pretty late when we end up the day's trip, with he finally dropping me at Chennai Central. He said he'll have it somewhere on the ECR. I excused myself for a moment and lit up one more cigarette and like earlier in the day did not feel like finishing it off. And I thought it was time to the trip I was looking forward to. I gave him instructions on the destination and he once again cruised the car into the traffic desert.

It was around 01:30 PM when we reached the Lord Jagannath Temple at Kannathur. To reach here, you need to take a left turn, almost immediately after crossing the ECR Toll Gate. It could be roughly around a half kilometre. The watchman, who also spoke only Tamil gladly welcomed and with a sorry note on his face, somehow communicated that the temple was closed and would open at 03:00 PM again. All the fervour with which I came all the way drained out. I thought I would wait till the temple opened in the afternoon and asked Saravanan to go ahead for his lunch. I was anyways fasting today.

I then washed my feet and strolled around the sanctum sanctorum, after seeking permission from the watchman. It was a very pleasant temple and everything looked excellent. After spending a few moments here, I asked the watchman the way to the beach. I was told that in this area, the Sea Water was sweet, just in the area that was close to this temple. I asked the watchman about this and he did not seem to acknowledge it. Anyways, I walked through the sand towards the beach and as I did, the sound of the ocean water hitting the sand, the hissing sound when the tide swept back, the melodies when tide upon tide rushed through the Bay into the land grew louder and louder.

I could see a lot of fishermen's boats, their motors dismantled from them and kept aside from a distance. As I came nearer, there was a flock of crows that were pecking a dead fish which probably landed on the shore, thrown by the water. I walked across the beach a little further and went into the water. The tides were mild and seemed to grow nastier as time went by. I thought it might not be a good idea to taste the water to check if it was sweet, as it looked mighty dirty. After a few moments of encounter with the great water body, I returned back to the sand and sat over a fisherman's boat. It was a very pleasant afternoon indeed, the sky overcast, the water with a lot of mystic sounds and the cool breezes swirling around. Seemed perfect. I was for a moment wondering if Vishnu could show up from the water in his earliest of the avatars as the Matsya and bless me on this auspicious day. However, in vain, I started back toward the temple. By the time I reached Saravanan was back. The watchman said the temple would not open till 04:00 PM. I then thought probably the Bhagawan did not want to see me, after all. May be He thought I was not deserving for His divine darshanam yet, and probably He is signaling that I am not yet prepared to seek what I always wanted from Him...liberation.

In utter disappointment, yet with a hope to come back some other time, I started back with Saravanan driving me back to the Central. It was around 4:00 PM when I was inside the station. After surveying here and there for a little bit, I came towards my favorite shop, the Ramakrishna Math store and bought the CD of Bhakta Ramadasu Keetanas sung by Dr. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna and another CD of the original speeches of Swamy Vivekananda at the Chicago event in 1969. I then bought a couple of sweet boxes from Anand Bhavan store and again got immersed into the novel "Hotel". Soon it was time for the Charminar Express to start and there I was back on my seat, getting on the berth for an early sleep again.

Overall, despite the Visa thing, the trip left me disappointed, looking at how unfortunate I really am, unable to have the darshanam of Jagannatha and that too on the auspicious day of Vaikunta Ekadasi!! What a waste this life of mine is, in deed!!

Longing

Early in the morning,
When a new day is born,
I wake up in your memories
I feel you in my heart….

And that’s when it starts aching:
I’ve been longing
For belonging
To you and I keep
Singing this Song…

I spend the day at work
As if lost in day-dreaming
I got a lot of friends there
Who tease me that I’m crazy…..

And that’s when it all makes sense:
I’ve been longing
For belonging
To you and I keep
Singing this Song…

It soon grows dark in the sky,
Dawn it is, time to get some sleep,
But I lay awake- deep in your thoughts
When I close my eyes, it’s you in my dreams again….

And that’s how it goes each day of my life:
I’ve been longing
For belonging
To you and I keep
Singing this Song…

- Siddartha Pamulaparty
(Dt: Jan 13, 2008)