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Showing posts from 2013

The world of books

I always consider myself very fortunate to have inculcated the habit of reading from early childhood. Credit goes to my parents, who always bought me a book or two whenever I wanted one as well as my school which had a well stocked library of Enid Blyton, PG Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, Perry Mason, Nancy Drew, RK Narayan and so on. My school teachers Ms. Glory James, Ms. Laiq Unissa and many others encouraged us to read several good books that helped us to improve our English and also chisel our character through the schooling days. Those were days when there was no television, Internet, e-books or PDF! No Ipods, Walkmans etc. My children find it amusing how one could have survived without television and Internet!

Books open up different worlds and makes us be part of those very stories that we read. Can anyone deny the feel of playing along with Swami and living in the town of Malgudi when you read Swami and friends? Or traveling through the time machine while reading HG Wells? Or alm…

The true Aghori!

Dr. Robert Svoboda is an authority on Ayurveda (incidentally the first westerner to obtain a degree on Ayurveda from the Pune University) and author of the famous Aghora trilogy.

I have read a few of Dr. Robert Svoboda's books - the Aghora trilogy, the Greatness of Saturn etc. All of them are wonderful and gives a glimpse of the man that Dr. Svoboda is and of course his Master Swami Vimalananda. I had the fortune of meeting him at Kashi (Varanasi) when he guided us to Trailinga Swami's home, Lahiri Mahasaya's home and Swami Kina Ram's temple. It was surprising to see his excellent command of the local language when he asked for some specifics at Kashi and of course knows the city of Varanasi like the back of his palm. Dr. Svoboda likes Kuki Hojicha, his favorite tea (the aroma was heavenly), I am yet to get a taste of that - hopefully very soon.

The reason for this post is different though. I am sure most of us have a very different picture when it comes to descriptions …

Soul Stirring Harikathas!

Harikatha is a beautiful art form combining story telling, music and philosophy. In earlier days this was very prevalent and practiced widely to promote devotion towards the Lord but alas! it is a dying art. I was introduced to Harikatha when I got an opportunity to listen to Sri Krishnapremi (Sri Anna) at the Krishna temple in Malleswaram, Bangalore. Intoxicated by this format, later I got an opportunity to listen to Smt. Vishaka Hari at the Ramar Koil at Ramnagar, Coimbatore. She combines her excellent command over Carnatic music with the 'bhaava' & 'bhakti' required to tell stories about Krishna, Purandaradasar, Rama etc. Her unique way of Harikatha brings people to tears and down to their knees to bow down before the Almighty. Listed below are some "must listen" harikathas by Vishaka Hari. Purandaradasa Charithram - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urH1PG6F-1o Rama Nama Vaibhavam - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGE9Le8IL9Q Sabari Motcham - https://www.yo…