WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE SURRENDER

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“Vishno pade parama” ituudita prasamsau  

Yo “madhva utsa” iti bhogyatayaapyu paatau  

Bhuyasta dheyti tava paanitala pradhistau  

Sree Venkatesa Charanau Saranam Prapadey.  

 PADA VANDANAM,PADA NAMASKARAM,PADA ARCHANAM,PADA SEVANAM, PADA PUJA OR WORSHIP OF FEET  : 

The land of India is a very unique place on this planet where people are culturally endowed with an ardent desire to worship feet.No other society or social community has openly exhibited this behavioral trait and feet worship could be described as the hall-mark of Indian Identity.This tradition and literal practice of feet worship was well established by the time the epic poem of Ramayana was composed.In AYODHYA KANDA,we read the very moving account of Rama touching the feet of His father Dasaratha and queen mother Kaikeyi after having received the orders for his banishment to live in the forest for fourteen years.Later in ARANYA KANDA,we read about the younger brother Bharata who literally clung to the feet of Rama seeking His refuge.Eventually,Bharata carried Rama’s sandals keeping them on his head and installs them on the throne( PADUKA PATTABHISHEKAM ) and served them with great devotion for fourteen long years during Rama’s exile.  

Lord Rama and the Tradidtion of 'Feet Worship'
Ramayana gives detailed accounts of the Tradition of Feet Worship.Rama had worshipped the feet of His father, mother, stepmothers and His Gurus. Bharata, the younger brother of Rama had installed the sandals(Padukas) worn by Rama upon the throne and had worshipped them for fourteen years.

India is the land where you witness people touching the feet of living persons as an act of worship.This is a fairly common event and sometimes the remembrance of such worship lingers in your mind.I would like to narrate one such event that I had witnessed in the past and my act of remembrance may add-on to the blessings these feet worshipers may be receiving even today.  

I was traveling by train from Rajahmundry to Lucknow City to serve in the Indian Army Medical Corps. I was motivated by a desire to see the land of India with my own eyes and know its people.For the first time, I was traveling in a first class compartment and was the sole occupant. Later in the night, a lady entered the compartment and was apparently traveling alone. She was elegantly attired, looked modest and the picture of an upper middle class house wife. Early morning, when the train had halted at a station, I did not realize that she had reached her destination. She was quietly seated, was not gathering her belongings and was not even looking outside to check if some one had arrived to receive her. After a little while, I had noticed three young men, well- dressed and well-groomed, all of them little older than me, checking the list of passenger names on the door of the train compartment and entered the compartment. They did not pay any attention to my presence. One after the other, they went forward to bend and touch her feet and paid their respects. The behavior of the young men that I was keenly observing was natural, spontaneous and unpretentious. That early morning hour, they were not putting up an act in a public place to impress any one. They acted in a deliberate, purposeful and reverential manner and I am very sure that they grew up in that manner and clearly they were not inhibited in displaying their respect in front of strangers. I was a silent spectator of this scene wherein an unassuming woman suddenly got transformed into a living deity. I can assure you that you would witness such a scene only in the Land of India. Hence, I would claim that the desire to worship the feet of a living person would define Indian Identity.  

Every deity that Indians seek to worship are better pleased when we worship their feet. PRAHLADA had described ” PADA SEVANAM ” as one of the nine ways to worship VISHNU. Indians worship feet not only as a sign of humility but also as a mark of submission, total surrender to the will of God. They touch feet as a plea for protection. This is not a mere religious rite or ritual and it actually shapes the attitudes and behavior of people. The final resting place for the individual souls(‘ JEEVATMA ‘)has been described as the Lotus Feet of the Lord. This is described as ‘CHARANAM'( Feet of the Lord ) ‘SARANAM’ ( Ultimate Refuge ).  

Please also view a related blog post titled ‘Defining Indian identity – The Land of Karma’  

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/defining-indian-identity-the-land-of-karma/ 

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,  

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,  

M.B.B.S.,  Class of  April,  1970.  

    

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WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE FEAR

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 Ullanghya Sindho salilam saleelam
Ya soka vahnim Janakaatmajaayaa
 Aadaaya te nieva dadaaha Lankaam
 Namaami tam praamjali Anjaneyam.
 In one great leap of faith,Hanuman jumps over the sea with utmost ease,whereas crossing the sea evokes only a sense of fear in my heart.I derive some hope from the legend about the land bridge built by the army of monkeys.The Sea God had promised that the rocks and boulders used for the construction of the bridge will be held in place and stay afloat.He did that to please Lord Rama.During my journey across the ocean of ‘ SAMSARA ‘,I could use the name “RAMA” and remain afloat.
 
 
 

   

  

LORD RAMA - THE MEDICINE FOR A DISEASE KNOWN AS 'SAMSARA'
In the fearful journey described as 'SAMSARA', I would use Lord Rama's name as a 'Life Jacket' and also the name serves like a Beacon of Hope and provides a sense of direction while journeying across an uncharted sea.

 

 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” says the Holy Bible,in The Book of Proverbs,Chapter1,verse7.For the religious traditions that originated outside of India such as Judaism,Christianity and Islam,the fear of the Lord could be a primary motivating factor to seek worship of the Lord.On the contrary,the religious traditions that originated in the land of India,do not encourage their adherents to entertain any such fear of the Lord.In the Indian traditions,the Lord or deity that Indians choose to worship would receive them with a sign that proclaims ” BE FEARLESS “.The Lord reassures them with a sign that is popularly described as ” ABHAYA HASTA “or ” ABHAYA MUDRA “.In Indian literature,countless number of images,idols,paintings and drawings,there are invariable references to a consistent message of ” ABHAYA “and naturally Indians are less concerned with ” The fear of the Lord “.  

The cultural traditions that originated in India motivate people to seek refuge or shelter at the Feet of the Lord by evoking a sense of fear and this fear is described as the fear of ” SAMSARA “.Samsara or Bhava describes the viewpoint about the human condition and deals with the problems of human existence.It contributes to a sense of apprehension and anxiety and the attitude it generates is one of intense fear and helplessness.Samsara portrays the picture of life’s journey as a tedious,difficult and challenging swim across an unknown,uncharted and treacherous ocean.Samsara is also depicted as a serious disease entity afflicting a person’s health and is referred to as ” BHAVA ROGA “.Others view Samsara as existence in a bottomless deep pit(“AGHADHA”)or that of being trapped in a deep well from where an escape would not be easy.The fear of Samsara/Bhava,the human condition,has nothing to do with physical courage.The powerful idea of Samsara inspires a sense of fear in the hearts of even the most courageous of all people.Cultural traditions that have their roots in the other parts of this planet may not be aware of this kind of fear and hence the fear of Samsara could be viewed as a feature that defines and molds the Indian Identity.Indians chant the Lord’s name as a medicine to cure this terrible disease and they seek Lord’s protection to reach the shore and complete the journey across the ocean.There are numerous references in Indian literature and some verses could be quoted to illustrate the point.  

1.SRI RAMA MANTRAM:  

  

Human existence faces challenges from several directions. The concept of Samsara is an additional and significant challenge experienced by the people of Land of India. Lord Rama during His life's journey had faced several challenges and His name gives the comfort and protection that I seek while my journey is rough and tough.

 

 Samsara sagara bhayaapaha viswa mantram  

Sakshaanmu mukshu jana sevita siddhi mantram  

Saranga hasta mukha hasta nivasa mantram  

Kaivalya mantra manesam bhaja Rama mantram.  

This verse would banish the fear generated by the ocean like Samsara.  

2.THE PRAYER TO LORD MAHA VISHNU:  

  

"VANDE VISHNUM, BHAVA BHAYA HARAM" - Salutations to Lord Vishnu, the Destroyer of the Fear of Samsara.

 

Shantaakaaram,bhujaga sayanam,padma naabham,Suresam,  

Vishwaakaaram,gagana sadrusam,megha varnam,subhangam  

Lakshmi kaantam,kamala nayanam,yogi hrudyaana gamyam  

Vande Vishnum bhava bhaya haram,sarva lokaika natham.  

The prayer would destroy the fear of bhava/Samsara.  

3.THE PRAYER TO LORD LAKSHMI NARASIMHA SWAMY:  

  

THE UPLIFTING POWER OF LORD NARASIMHA TO CONQUER THE FEAR OF SAMSARA.

 

Samsara koopa mati ghoramaghadha mulam,  

Samprapya dukha sata sarpa samaa kulasya  

Deenasya Deva krupayaa saranaagatasya  

Laksmi Nrusimha mama deeht karaavalambam.  

The verse pleads the Lord to extend His hand and physically lift the worshiper from the horrible bottomless well of Samsara.  

4.THE PRAYER TO LORD SHIVA:  

  

LORD SHIVA, THE PROTECTOR, THE DESTROYER OF ALL FEARS.

 

Praatarnamaami girisam girijaardha deham  

Sarga sthiti pralaya kaarana maadi Devam  

Visweswaram vijita viswa manobhiraamam  

Samsaara roga haranoushadha madviteeyam.  

The verse describes Lord Shiva as the root cause of creation,sustenance and eventual destruction and the Lord’s name is the matchless medicine to wipe out the disease of Samsara.  

5.A PRAYER FROM BHAJA GOVINDAM:  

  

Guru Adi Shankaracharya describes the fear of Samsara and its resolution by seeking protection from chanting the name of GOVINDA.

 

Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam  

Punarapi jananee jatare sayanam  

Eha samsaare bahu dustaare  

Krupayaa paare paahi Murare.  

This verse seeks the compassion of Vishnu to reach the shore and to get over the problem of this difficult existence which involves repeated cycles of birth,death and rebirth.  

6.KALI KALMASHA NAASANA MAHAA MANTRAM:  

  

SHODASA NAAMA MANTRAM. The Sound Energy of these 16 names would destroy all the polluting effects of our present times.

 

Hare Rama Hare Rama-Rama Rama Hare Hare  

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna-Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.  

 
This Mantra is composed with sixteen words and hence is also known as Shodasa Naama
Mahaa Mantram.Amongst all Vedas,there is no better device than this Mantra to seek
 

  

deliverance from the trappings of Samsara.The following verse from Kali Samtaranopanishad  

proves the efficacy of this Mantra.  

Eti Shodasam Naamnam,Kali kalmasha naasanam;  

 NaaTha parataropayaH, Sarva Vedeshu drusyatey.  

Human existence is beset with countless uncertainties and difficulties which may arrive without any prior warning from different directions in an unpredictable manner.It is rational to approach life with a sense of apprehension and seek the help of the Lord who graciously held His right hand in a show of compassion and receives with a greeting of “ABHAYA” and is willing to banish the fear of Samsara.  

Please also view a related blog post titled ‘Defining Indian Identity – The Land of Karma’  

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/defining-indian-identity-the-land-of-karma/  

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham,  

Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,  

M.B.B.S.,  Class of  April,  1970.    

 

  

WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE HUMILITY

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Sri Vakra tunda mahaa kaaya,koti Surya sama prabha
Nirvighnam Kuru me Deva subha karyeshu sarvada.
 
Lord Ganesha is unique amongst all deities. He has a human form with the head of an asian elephant. Like the elephant which can grasp objects with its trunk, the entire realm of knowledge is in His grasp. In brilliance, He outshines Sun(Surya) and His radiant appearance can illuminate the entire universe. His body is so huge, it can accommodate the entire creation. He is worshiped to remove obstacles. He removes obstacles when we contemplate actions that promote our well-being and brings us the good will of others and the actions should have no evil design or purpose. Lord Ganesha removes obstacles and paves the way for accomplishment and success in human endeavors.The notion that success is the result of divine
sanction rather than being entirely due to personal effort, would let us reach
our goals with a sense of modesty and humility.The primary goals for man have been described as Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma(right conduct)is not only a goal but also is the way.The other three goals should only be reached following the way of Dharma.To prepare for the journey on the path of Dharma, the traveler finds direction from a sense of humility.The radiant and immense personality of Ganesha endows us with humility. Having reached the goals of Artha(personal wealth ,social status and position), and Kama(fulfilment of desires,progeny and family), we inevitably encounter with the consequences of the powerful effects of time.The following verse from ‘ Bhaja Govindam’ sets us on a mission to seek the fourth goal of human existence.

 Maa kuru dhana jana yauvvana garvam, Harati nimeshaa tkaala sarvam
Maya mida makhilam hitvaa, 
Brahma padam tvam bravisa viditvaa.

The fear that time would dissolve every thing we possess would help us to overcome arrogance that may be associated with acquiring wealth, family and being youthful in age. Sooner or later, we set our sights for the fourth goal and it will not be very easy to visualize the final destination.To achieve Moksha or Mukti, to reach the shore of liberation and conclude the journey across the ocean of Samsara, a person endowed with humility would be able to say the following prayer and get the needed help. Human existence is permanently bound to illusionary sensory experience of Sunrise and Sunset. Sun shines with all His radiance all the time. The living entities exist in an illusionary state which helps them to mark their existence by the alternating periods of light and darkness. We do not have the biological ability to detect the spin of the Earth and we have synchronized our existence with Sunrise and Sunset and this biological rhythm, known as Solar Rhythm, Circadian Rhythm, or Diurnal Rhythm, manages several of our biological functions. It is not easy to comprehend the Ultimate Reality when the existence is synchronized with an illusion. Time’s Power of Dissolution would eventually compel us to investigate and to explore the concept of Absolute and Unchanging Reality. A prayer to Lord Ganesha would endow us with humility that we need to achieve the four primary goals and gives us success in life.
 
MENTORSHIP  :
 
Bammera Potana, the well-known Telugu poet while translating the epic poem of Bhagavatam from Sanskrit language into Telugu had stated that he would narrate the story of Bhagavatam using imagination and inspiration entirely provided by Lord Rama: 
 
“Palikedithe Bhaagavata ma ta, Palikinchu Vibhundu Ramabhadrun da ta, ne

Balikina bhava hara magu na ta, Palikeda verundu gadha balukaga nela?”

I would like to narrate my story, describe my ideas, and share my thoughts drawing inspiration from Lord Rama and it would be my endeavor to destroy the state of conditioned existence called ‘Bhava’, and get over the fear of ‘Samsara’, a journey of the embodied soul across uncharted sea which constantly evokes a sense of fear of the unknown.   
LORD RAMA, THE SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR CREATIVE WRITING.
Maharishi Valmiki, Adi Kavi, had no formal education. He was totally inspired to narrate the Story of Lord Rama called RAMAYANA. Telugu Poet Bammera Potana who also had no formal education translated the epic poem known as Bhagavatam from Sanskrit into Telugu and displayed his immense powers of Creativity. He had not only dedicated his work to Lord Rama but also acknowledged that every word that he had used was inspired by Lord Rama. For my humble endeavor, I seek the same inspiration.

 Anya dhaa saranam naasti,Tvaa meva saranam mama
Ta smaat karunya bhaavena,kshamasva Parameshvara.
 

Please also read related blog post titled ‘A  prayer to Ganesha’ 

http://bhavanajagat.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/a-prayer-to-ganesha 

Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,

Ex- Number. MS-8466 Rank. Captain  AMC/SSC  &  Number. MR-03277K Rank. Major  AMC/DPC

Medical Officer, South Column, Operation Eagle,

Directorate General of Security,

Office of Inspector General Special Frontier Force,

East Block V, Level IV, R. K. Puram, New Delhi – 110 022.