He who steals must steal no longer…

Carnatic music is one among the greatest treasures of South India and which is being performed since several millennia.  Carnatic classical music originated from the Sama Veda. Historically, this form of music is known to be the among the easiest way of connecting with the Divine, owing to the fact that Bhakti is known to be its driving force.

To this day, several enlightened masters who contributed the most to Carnatic music are remembered, respected, quoted by all Carnatic musicians and musicologists alike.  Among the stalwarts, were the Trinity of Carnatic music, consisting of shri.Thyagaraja Swamigal, shri.Shyama Shastri and shri.Muthuswami Dikshithar.

Now, I want to bring to your attention something horrific that has been happening in the world of Carnatic music, the last few months. For those of you who don’t already know, a few Carnatic musicians have been misappropriating  Kritis and other works associated with pure form of Carnatic music, plagiarising and presenting them in praise of other religions.  It is obvious that they are doing this to showcase themselves as being “secular” and have taken it upon themselves to ‘bridge the gap’ between religions.  Now, you might wonder, what’s wrong with this ? What’s the worst that could happen if a few words are edited, here and there ?

Well, lets be very clear in the fact that there is a VAST difference between appropriation and appreciation. Carnatic music in its original form is meant for the entire world to enjoy and this is irrespective of peoples’ race, religions, caste and creed. It’s meant to be shared with the whole world, for the whole world to experience the ecstasy of Bhakthi.  However, misappropriating the lyrics from Krishna to Jesus is unacceptable and such acts of plagiarism hurts the sentiments of thousands of Hindus world over. Such an act is as good as one Nation stealing the National Anthem of another Nation !

Currently, Carnatic music has become the newest platform for the intellectual recolonisation of India and is leading towards degeneration of Hindu culture in particular.  Hence we need to WAKE UP before it is too late.  At this rate, in about 100 years, future generations of Hindus will be made to believe that these Kritis and Compositions are based on the bible !

https://thewire.in/communalism/in-tamil-nadu-non-hindu-carnatic-musicians-are-being-othered

I urge you to read the above link, where a presstitute, Krupa GE, makes atrocious statements about how Cristian Carnatic music is already an ‘established genre’ of music. As an aspiring Carnatic musician, it boils my blood to see how Carnatic music is being ruthlessly plagiarised and then flippantly justified, without any respect or credit being given to the creators of this divine form of music.

As sacred sentiments were hurt, Carnatic musicians who had taken part in this horrendous activity received back lash to which T.M Krishna (a musician) called it ‘communalism’

As a practicing Hindu, I wanted to point out that in NO way do we cherish hatred towards any other religious group or anyone . After all, Hinduism states ‘ Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavanthu’ , which is a blessing for the entire world, saying ‘let the whole world be happy as everyone is an extension of me.’

So in essence, please don’t strip any Hindu practice of its originality, irrespective of whether it’s Carnatic music or even Yoga.  Learn and practise these in its original form only.

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You are worth fighting for!!

Dear friend
I know that you don’t want to hear this. You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before. That life gets easier, that everything becomes better, that you need to give it time for the mess around you to settle down.

I know that you dont believe it’s true. After all, how could it be? Each day, you struggle to get out of bed and to silence your demons and insecurities, each day, you try to hide from the hell you are put through. I know that you’ve hurt yourself, starved yourself and have even tried to numb yourself. I know that all your efforts were in vain and that you’re exhausted.

But look at you, you’re still alive. Fighting against all the odds that threaten to swallow you. You are stronger than you believe, you still wear the mask of smile despite the growing sorrow within, you’re still breathing the same air as me.

Listen to me, please.
Your heart and body was not made for this. It wasn’t made for being tired or for being sad. You were made to burn as bright as the stars you came from.You’re made of great dreams that will come true one day.

Hold on.

I know that it is unfair of me to ask of this Herculean task. It’s true that I don’t know you. But I do know something about you. I know that right now, you would rather leave than live.

But I’m asking you to stay in this senseless now so that you can enjoy the blindingly beautiful then. It is a place where your hopes and aspirations live.
You’ll fall in love with living. With the breath taking sunsets that are yet to be painted on the evening sky. With the food that you’ve yet to taste and to the places you will visit, with the grass nestled between your toes. With the breeze gently ruffling your hair and with the sun warming your face.
Cry. Get angry. Scream into a pillow. But also, call someone who loves you. Let us share your burden and battle your demons together.

Remember, you can never be violated !
You are loved. Help can be found because, you’re worth fighting for 💖

RAISE YOURSELF BY YOURSELF!!!

One of the most admirable aspects of Hinduism is its relevance to the modern era. Over the centuries of scrutiny, Hindu scriptures continue to enriching whoever attempts to understand them. One of the most beautiful, striking scriptures, which still enlightens the reader, is the Bhagavad Geetha.
As the Bhagad Geetha is too extensive to condense in a small essay, I have chosen one of my favourite verses to expand upon. This verse is in chapter six, fifth verse.

uddharedaatmanaatmaanam naatmaanamavasaadayeth |
aatmaiva hyaatmano bandhuraatmaiva ripuraatmanah ||

Translating this Sanskrit verse, it means ‘ Raise yourself by yourself! You are your best friend and worst enemy, DO NOT degrade yourself.’

India has always been a spiritual nation – blessed with access to great works like Vedas and Upanishads, and hence producing great leaders like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda.
In the present day, we see a lot of western influence forced onto us as a society and by which the youth seem to have been taught that the ancient scriptures are all a matter of fiction. In reality, our ancient scriptures have answers to the problems of today. To make matters worse, the modern day education not okay is irrelevant but also brings down the levels of self confidence and intellect of the youth. Did you know, according to a recent survey, 77% of Indian youth suffer from alcohol and drug addiction? Thousands of youngsters have suicidal tendencies and some of them throw away their lives, just because they don’t know how to handle situations.
This particular verse of the Bhagavadgeetha is completely applicable to the youth of today and it explains beautifully that one should always lift oneself Up- which basically means whether the youth is a success or a failure is completely dependant only on himself. In other words, the youth of today should not depend on others or external circumstances for their growth. They should take entire responsibility for their lives and be the change they want to see.

Deep down in most youngsters, lies a feeling of not being intelligent enough, or not being beautiful enough, or not being strong enough. All these feelings arise only because we compare ourselves to supermodels, or Harvard graduates, or fitness experts. When we compare ourselves to others, we lose out on our uniqueness and we feel inadequate. This is one of the main reasons why the modern generation of people are a confused lot.
This verse says very clearly ‘ Do not degrade yourself.’ This means, we underestimate ourselves by comparing with others, and we stop seeing a possibility in ourselves. The ONLY person you should be comparing yourself to, should be yourself. Only by this way, can you develop and value yourself, while you do not wait for others approval.

If you help yourself, you are your greatest friend. But if you destroy yourself, you are your greatest enemy. Just by understanding this verse , a major difference can be seen in the mindset of people.

Tryst with the Divine

If God is everywhere, why should we go to temples?
A question that has puzzled a lot of people; if god really exists everywhere, why should we indulge in deity worship or go to a temple ?
Different people have different ideas about God – some consider God just as an invisible person sitting above and cynically judging all their actions; some have a business deal with God – they pray only if God gives them what they want. The list is endless; people have their own unique ways of relating to God.
My Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda has said ” Deities are not mere idols! They are embodiments of IDEALS!”

When prayer starts in a person, seeking for the higher truth also blossoms. We might not realise it, but as the seeking takes over us, our cognition evolves and the way we relate to God drastically changes. From my very own experience, my relationship with God drastically changed after Swamiji gave me the right context to worship. Initially, I always considered God as someone who grants me wishes, but as time passed, it dawned upon me that prayer should be done just for the sheer joy of it, to experience that we are also extensions of the Divine.

Over the centuries, people have criticised idol worship. Even in the modern era, people can’t help but wonder why Hindus bow before a mere stone.
The truth is, God is everywhere, but are we experiencing that at every moment in our lives ? Certainly not! Till we realise it and until it becomes a part of our cognition, deity worship is the best path!

So be very clear, when we pray to a deity , we are not just bowing down to the stone, we are bowing down to the cosmic energy which is represented by the stone! Deities are nothing but representations of the divine Cosmic energy. Many a time sceptics have argued that prayer doesn’t necessarily have to require a deity or a temple ; why can’t we just close our eyes and meditate ?? We must understand that till we associate ourselves with a form( our very own body) , we must relate to God through a form. Only when we go beyond our body and realise that we are not just our body, can we relate to God without a form. Deity worship is undoubtedly the sweetest, most romantic tryst with the Divine. 💕

As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogposts, Wealth can never be measured by the number of zeros in our bank balance ; the real wealth lies in the richness of our experiences! The way we cognise life makes us rich and living with Bhakthi is the most royal way to live.

Eat beans, not beings :)

The scorching summer heat has been getting to all of us. As years pass, our planet keeps becoming warmer at an alarming rate as an effect of global warming. The Earth’s carbon footprint has been drastically rising. Something momentous has to be done, or there won’t be a planet for us to live in, at a later stage. This might sound like a fourth grade EVS class, but let me tell you the catastrophic consequences of the increasing carbon footprint. Firstly, the overall temperature increases. There becomes shrinking water supply( various manufacturers have already hinted at this) , devastating changes in crop yield due to decreased precipitation, and the list goes on.

Now, let me reveal to you something you don’t already know. I bet you didn’t know that a staggering 50% of the carbon footprint is caused due to consumption of meat! Don’t believe me? Click on this link to read the statistics.

 (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.vox.com/platform/amp/2014/7/2/5865109/study-going-vegetarian-could-cut-your-food-carbon-footprint-in-half   )

Let’s face it, hypothetically, if the entire world turns vegetarian, we could produce food for 3 billion more people without trashing the Planet’s resources. You all are probably quite used to hearing how eating meat is unethical, violent and cruel to animals. There are numerous documentaries of how animals are tortured before being killed and served on your plate for dinner.

Understand, absolutely NO animal whatsoever, is slaughtered feeling blissful or joyful. When they’re on their death bed, they’re crippled by fear and agony. Do you really think they bless the world before being ruthlessly murdered? Definitely not! When these pitiful animals undergo this trauma, their bodies releases hormones accordingly, which are stored in their bodies (Similar to how our bodies release adrenaline when we are scared). Unfortunately, humans fail to understand that, and ignorantly indulge in eating these bodies, unknowingly consuming all the agonic hormones which are stored there. So be very clear, next time you’re about to eat meat, ask yourself if you really, truly want to eat a plateful of depression.

Apart from the societal convention, are you aware of the effects of meat eating on your consciousness ?
Whether you’re familiar with it or not, deep inside each and every one of us, lies our latent, potential energy, called Kundalini energy. This energy can be awakened only by a Guru, in order to open up higher possibilities, including enlightenment.
However, even the remote possibility of any spiritual awakening is not possible with a non vegetarian diet. In order to experience great truths like Advaitha, one has to constantly keep aligning themselves to the cognition that everyone and everything is an extension of them, and so accordingly, there isn’t even an ounce of violence towards other beings, leave alone slaughtering them.

In order to have a better understanding about how we ARE what we eat, and how what we eat determines the quality of life, click on this link to hear a short clipping from Swamiji’s discourse.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KekTzDXQ3CY

Yoga: Elixir for life.

YOGA! Over the past few years Yoga has been trending all across the world, becoming a popular fad among youngsters. As a child, I was always more of a couch potato but I knew one thing for sure; Yoga has a religion and it’s Hinduism. I had always heard of myriad incidents where some Yogis master power over their bodies and minds to such an extent that they could breathe through their toes and stay in the same position for days and days, without any food or water. However, all these extraordinary happenings had always been brushed away by me, because they were always referred to as ‘myths’. Only now does it dawn upon me, after meeting my Guru, that the word ‘myth’ is highly arbitrary in nature and it creates doubt in us about our very own traditions and culture, when it IS a possibility even for us.
Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Yoga and the way it is being practiced. People have come up with ridiculous practices like ‘beer yoga’, ‘goat yoga’ and oh, before I forget, ‘nude yoga’.
Before I continue, watch this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMbiK4yY7WE
What exactly is wrong with this video? Well, it’s a group of Americans talking about how a religious practice, yes, religious practice, that originated in India and is deeply rooted in Hinduism is good for their body and mind but they would rather not associate it with Hinduism. Yoga, unfortunately, is the newest platform for the intellectual recolonization of India and Hindus in particular.
Yoga, by definition means “union of the individual spirit with the universal spirit” In other words, we practice Yoga to experience the space of Oneness (Advaita). Yoga is a path to the ultimate and it IS the ultimate. Yoga not only gives you physical and mental wellbeing, it prepares our body to receive high energy initiations from the Guru, leading ultimately to enlightenment.
Also, I want to emphasize that you don’t necessarily have to be Hindu or Indian in order to practice Yoga. To different people, the universal consciousness can mean different things; you can call it Sadashiva, Krishna , Jesus or even a formless cosmic energy. Hinduism doesn’t discriminate. But to participate in the stripping of its identity and roots, forcibly disassociating it from Hinduism is absolutely felonious. The science is available for the world to enjoy and benefit from! However, diluting the practices in any form and coming up with preposterous, absurd names such as ‘downward dog’ or ‘wheel pose’ is unacceptable.
It has been said before but let me remind you about the Kohinoor diamond which was once part of our proud Indian heritage. The priceless diamond now sits, embedded in the crown of British royalty. The British arrived, looted the country, colonized the people and stole the jewel to claim it as their own. Whether you realise it or not, the same thing is happening to Yoga. Yoga is a gem from the depths of Hinduism and we are allowing this intellectual theft to happen. Most Yoga nowadays is the product of a deep-seated human need for fulfilment, combined with a tendency to “white wash” anything that is brown.
In other words, if you ever feel like doing ‘mindfulness meditation’ or ‘upward dog’, please do not call it Yoga. Yoga is much much more than any ordinary fitness regime. If you want to practice the most authentic Yoga, refer the scriptures and constantly align yourself to it, so you know you’re on the right track. I’m also proud to say that my Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda is reviving this extraordinary science and bringing Hinduism back to its glory!

Windows to the world!


“Awareness controls your life” – Paramahamsa Nithyananda.

Throughout our life, we come across various situations. Sometimes, we find ourselves trapped in a classroom with a dreary looking professor, monotonously going on and on about a subject. Sometimes, we find ourselves amidst people with whom we have absolutely nothing in common. Most of the time, as we don’t actually enjoy what we’re doing, we end up doing it mechanically. When this happens, our mind begins to wander and starts to dwell in its own fantasies and imaginations, far from the reality happening outside us. We create a distance between ourselves and reality. In other words, we lose AWARENESS. 

Unfortunately, the truth is that everyone dies but not everyone lives. Personally, I think ordinary people don’t actually live; their life gradually slips into death. They merely exist. 

Swamiji has said that awareness makes us take ownership of our lives and take control of it. Without awareness, there is no scope for involvement with life and hence, there would be absolute withdrawal and denial. Now, you’re probably wondering, what does photography have to do with this ? Let me answer you with an example from my own experience.

Under normal circumstances, a winter morning would seem perfectly ordinary to me. Nothing about it would strike me as different or unique. After starting to explore my possibilities, I picked up my camera and started venturing. To my utmost surprise, the so called ordinary morning didn’t seem ordinary anymore!! I began to pay attention to all the trivial details ; the thin golden rays of the sun emerging from the horizon, the serenity of the vast pinkish sky, the lightness of the fluffy white clouds floating from place to place, leaves glistening with fresh dew drops, the sweet, vibrant fragrance of newly bloomed flowers, the list is endless. I started to actually become AWARE of my surroundings and relish every single detail, feeling gratitude for everything.

Just like I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post ( Being sensuous…) , Sadashiva exists in detail. How will we be able to enjoy and celebrate Him, if we don’t even enjoy the details of our surroundings ? 

HINDUPHOBIA- the hype & hyperbole against Hinduism.

It was a fine winter evening. I cuddled up in a warm woollen sweater and turned on the television. I skimmed through a number of channels with a smirk on my face, hoping to find something interesting. All of a sudden, something caught my attention. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve skipped through it, but something rather odd made me stop and watch. It was a perfectly ordinary Tamil channel playing serials full of drama, which I always assumed grandmothers and grandfathers liked to watch . However, a person dressed in saffron and wearing rudraksh was present there. This was rather unforeseen so I decided to watch a little more. It didn’t take me more than a few seconds to realise that the person dressed in the traditional attire was being portrayed as a cunning, lustful, manipulative cheat who plots against everyone else. I felt absolutely infuriated at how the idea of sannyas and saffron was being misused and depicted wrongly.

Understand, this example might probably seem diminutive and irrelevant to you. You might wonder why I’m making such a big deal about a fictional television serial. But why don’t you consider for one moment, the gigantic impact it has on its viewers. Regrettably, they choose to believe everything they see on TV and subconsciously, whether they realise or not, they develop HINDUPHOBIA. When I say this, I don’t just mean the followers of other religions, I’m referring to our very own Hindu brethren who fall for such ploys by the Anti-Hindu forces.

One of the most fatal fallacies of people’s reasoning is that all religions are the same. But how can we even compare them when they are all completely different ? Can we compare all the cuisines of the world and say they’re all the same ? No. We can safely say that all religions are unique and most certainly NOT the same.

Hinduism, in actuality, talks about ‘Vasudeiva Kutumbakam’ which means the whole world is our family. This means a practicing Hindu lives for others ; goes on endlessly spreading bliss and celebration. Sadly, as people subconsciously digest all the crap they see, when Hindus are being portrayed so pathetically, they start developing an aversion towards Hindus and in extension, our Sannyasis. 

Here, I want to bring to your awareness, the persecution that my Guru Paramahamsa Nithyananda went through. Swamiji’s growing popularity and ability to draw huge masses of seekers caught the eye of many anti-Hindu forces and a few of them joined hands to start a systematic campaign to malign Swamiji – and Hinduism in effect. It is an open secret that these evil forces demanded huge sums of money to stop the tirade, which in itself highlights the crooked intentions of theirs. 

In conclusion, this blog should serve as an eye opener to those people who are easily misguided by such anti-Hindu forces. When in doubt, follow a three step process 

1. Read & learn more about our Hindu scriptures
2. Question the intent and objective of articles & TV programs that belittle Hinduism & it’s followers 
3. Lastly – hold your head high as a practising Hindu

The land of love,life and death…

VARANASI! The very remembrance of this divine city fills me with a feeling of awe and fascination. From the grandeur and vastness of the Ganga, to the petite crowded lanes full of hustle, the only thing constant everywhere is Sadashiva’s immense, powerful presence. 

Th moment I got out of the airport, the sharp, bitter cold hit me. I shuddered, pulling on my jacket and wondering how i would be able to manage myself for the next three days. However, the excitement of the whole situation completely overtopped every other negative feeling and I grinned to myself, awaiting the experiences to come.

After collecting our baggage, we proceeded to our hotel and decided to retire for the day. Just when I was on the verge of falling asleep, an unison of loud, boisterous chanting disrupted the nightly silence. They seemed to be chanting “RAM NAAM SATYA HAI” . Out of curiosity, I peeked out of the window to see a group of men carrying something on their shoulders. It was covered in a colourful cloth and a lot of flowers. It then dawned upon me that it was a dead body which was being carried to the Harishchandra Ghat, for cremation. 

The next day, I awoke with a feeling of anticipation. We started off with a boat ride in the Ganga. What I’d seen in pictures and dreamt of for so long was finally unfolding in front of my eyes. As the boat travelled from Ghat to Ghat, I enjoyed the fresh breeze brushing the hair off my face and the warmth of the sunlight penetrating my skin. I dipped my hand into the Ganga, every pore of my skin celebrating the coolness and purity of the water. 

After forty five minutes, we reached the Manikarnika Ghat. We got out of the boat and prepared to take a dip in the holy water. I recalled that the Ganga has the ability to purify Herself and us, so we could leave behind whatever powerless thought currents that limit us from living up to our true potential. I slowly stepped into the freezing waters and felt my legs become numb. Before I dipped my head completely, I declared to myself powerfully that I would drop my habit of comparing myself with others. This pattern had always been troubling me, as it never let me appreciate what I have and myself. With that powerful declaration, I dipped three times and emerged out of the water -feeling liberated. I truly did feel free from my pattern of comparison. I felt that it had left me completely, so from that very moment, I started to feel gratitude even for the smallest of things.

After a series of temple visits, we sat in silence, on the banks of Ganga, at Harishchandra ghat. I watched in utter fascination as dead bodies were brought in and dipped in the Ganga before the cremation. From close quarters i observed the cremation process – the body is dipped in the Ganges once, placed on the pyre & lit to the encore ” HAR HAR MAHADEV” reverberating the steps of the ghat. As I watched this process, it struck me that one day, even my body would be nothing but ashes and that body is after all a mere object, beyond which I will continue to exist. 

I realised that people normally idolise and fear death so much,always dread it and create phobias about it, whereas in Varanasi, death is just another casual part of day to day life because they know very clearly that they will continue to exist in another form even after their body stops functioning!!! 

I also remembered Swamiji’s discourse on His death experience where He says ” When you know that death is going to happen to you, the respect which you carry for your ego will come down. Because, whatever you think shouldn’t leave you, is ego. When you know for sure everything is going to leave you, then the respect for ego drastically drops. ” 

According to legend, it is said that Sadashiva liberates anyone who is cremated here at Varanasi and appears before them, does the Ananda Tandava and frees them from the cycle of birth and death. 

Over the next few days, we visited Allahabad and a number of other temples including Kalabhairava, Vishwanatha, Annapurni and Vishalakshi. 

I truly did have an extraordinary experience in Varanasi. Instead of only seeing the chaos,crowd and confusion, i was able to embrace the uncertainty and see the ORDER within the chaos, thanks to Swamiji’s discourses.

In other words, if you want a whole new perspective about life and want to celebrate Sadashiva’s vibrant presence, Varanasi is the place for you !!! 

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