Saturday, September 23, 2006


In one of my recent trips, I came across a place called Dharmasthala (place of righteousness). What was unique about the place was the Tulabharam (Balance) I found in a Shiva temple when normally you find it in a Vishnu temple. The story of the Tulabharam is quite interesting.

Satyabhama married Krishna (the prince of Mathura) and started their first year of marriage together. One day the sage Narada came to their house and was received with befitting honour. In the course of his stay Narada noticed that Satyabhama was very proud and arrogant of her talents, wealth, social skills and attractiveness. In fact one day he noticed how she was narrating the way she had helped rescue Krishna in a crucial battle with Narakasura and while she was narrating, she even forgot that Krishna had come home and she failed to receive him or even recognize his presence.

The time came for leaving and as was the custom in those days, a parting gift was to be made. Narada smiled when Satyabhama asked him what he wanted. He said you will never be able to give me what I ask for. Satyabhama flew into a rage and said there is nothing in this world that cannot be given by me. Narada smiled again and said, in that case give me Krishna. I want Krishna to give up family life and come away with me and live the life of a recluse.

Satyabhama was aghast! Narada wanted her husband to leave his family and kingdom and become a recluse?? She begged Narada to ask for something else and Narada relented. He said give me something equal to him and I will let him remain. Satyabhama thought this should be easy. She brought in a large man-size balance (Tulabharam) and placed Krishna on one scale and place all her wealth and Gold on the other scale but no matter what she kept, the balance never became equal. Soon Satyabhama had kept all that she had but it was of no avail.

Having lost in her challenge Narada took Krishna away. The people of Mathura went behind them asking Narada to release Krishna otherwise harm would come to the kingdom and family. Not knowing what to do, Satyabhama went to Rukmini a lady of a slightly older generation and belonging to the first wives club.

Rukmini went to Narada and got to know the details of the exchange. Either they had to give up Krishna or give Narada something equal to him. Rukmini prayed and then took out a Tulsi leaf and said, here I am giving you all my devotion to my husband. If my devotion to my husband is true may the scale show it is equal to Krishna. Narada smiled and accepted the Tulsi leaf saying this was what he was looking for and said that he had played this little game just to show a moral.

If a man finds that the object of his affection is not devoted to him, instead of arguing or demanding love from her, he should just transfer all HIS love and devotion towards God instead.

If a man finds that his wife is devoted to him, he must understand he has a rare gem in his hands and he must ensure that she is never taken for granted.

A woman must realize that while her talents, wealth, social skills and attractiveness may fetch her a number of "friends" and "admirers" (which is usually temporary), the only way to retain the right man in her life and that too for a lifetime is through good character and undying and undivided devotion towards him.

Knowledge when it becomes fully matured is Gnana (enlightenment) and love when it becomes fully matured is Bhakti (devotion) If knowledge does not lead to enlightenment and love does not lead to devotion such knowledge and such love is useless. Its only a combination of Gnana and Bhakti (enlightening knowledge and loving devotion) that leads to long term Harmony and Bliss.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Tenth Dimension

One of the most special gifts I received during Gokulashtami (Krishna's Birthday) was an email forward that explored Ten Dimensions of this physical creation. Ten you may ask, because we know just three dimensions. But then if we were to ask a two dimensional creature, that creature would also insist that there were only two dimensions unable to visualize any further. So the reason we see everything as just three dimensions is because we are three dimensional creatures ourselves. Creations in lower dimensions will find it difficult to visualize creations of a higher dimension. Further creations of a lower dimension are usually a cross section of the next higher dimension.

The presentation in the link ( says the ten dimensions are as follows

0 - The Dot
1 - Length
2 - Breadth
3 - Height/Depth
4 - Time (our Life path across time from birth to death)
5 - All possible variations of Life paths taken by us over a time line (which is not linear)
6 - All possible variations of possible life paths of all creatures in this universe over time
7 - The Life path of this Universe from the Big Bang to its end
8 - All possible variations of all life paths of this universe over time
9 - Life paths of all universes
10 - All variations of all possible Timelines of all universes (and all creation contained therein)

The revelation was so sudden when the connection was made that I rushed to pick up the Gita where a verse kept going around my head over and over again. The Tenth Dimension was none other than the "Vishwa Roopa Darshan" that is described in the Mahabharatha and Bhagwat Purana.

Vishwam - All Creation (*Sanskrit)
Roopam - Appearance/Form
Darshan - View

The Vishwa Roopa Darshan which is the cosmic/celestial view of the Lord as witnessed by Arjuna is the view of how all creation appeared in the single form of the omnipresent. In other words, in that Vishwa Roopa Darshan, Arjuna saw all variations of all possible timelines of all universes and all creation contained therein. A three dimensional creature was blessed to see all creation from the perspective of the tenth dimension.

Fully excited, I went on to read exactly how Arjuna had gone on to describe what he saw.

evam etad yathatha
tvam atmanam parameswara
drastum icchami te rupam
aisvaram purushottama

Arjuna said "O Greatest of all personalities, though I see you in this physical manifestation, I want to see your real cosmic form". (*Physical Manifestation - Three dimensional form)

If you think I am able to see your cosmic form my Lord, please show me your universal self".

The Lord said "My dear Arjuna, behold now my opulence with hundreds of thousands of varied divine forms multicolored like the sea.

Whatever you wish to see can be seen in this form. This universal form can show you all that you now desire as well as what you may desire in the future. Everything is here completely". (*Dimension 5?)

But you cannot see me with your present eyes, so I will give you divine eyes to be able to see my mystic opulence.

Sanjaya said, "Saying this the Lord revealed his celestial form to Arjuna".

At that time Arjuna could see in the universal form of the lord the unlimited expansions of the universe situated in one place although divided into many many thousands. (*Dimensions 8 and 9?)

Arjuna said "My dear Lord Krishna, I see assembled together in your body all the demigods and celestial beings and various other living entities. I see Brahma on the Lotus Flower and Shiva and various sages and serpents. (*Various types of creation)

I see in your universal body many many forms, bellies, mouths, eyes expanding without limit. There is no end, there is no beginning and there is no middle to all this. (*Dimensions 6 and 7?)

Although you are one, I see you spread throughout the sky and the planets and all the space inbetween. Oh great one, as I see this Universal form I see that all the planetary systems are perplexed.

Oh all pervading lord, I can no longer maintain my equilibrium, seeing your radiant colors filling the sky and beholding this form, I am overwhelmed. (* If you were suddenly exposed to the vast stretches of deep space or the vast depths of the ocean or simply to the unknown without any preparation, we would all be overwhelmed)

To make the long story short Arjuna goes on to see life paths related to his current life and situation. He sees all the soldiers of both sides die in the war except for the Pandavas themselves who eventually became successful. Seeing that Arjuna had become overwhelmed, Krishna reverted to his human form.

Arjuna said "You are the only sanctuary of this cosmic world. You know everything and you are everything that is knowable. You are above the material modes. O limitless form, this entire cosmic manifestation is pervaded by you.

"In the past I have referenced you as "oh Krishna, oh Yadava, my friend" not knowing your real glory. Please forgive all my offenses I may have done in madness or in love. I have dishonoured you many times when relaxing or lying on the same bed or eating together, sometimes alone, sometimes in front of friends. Please pardon me for all my offences.

The Lord said "Oh best of Kuru Warriors, no one can see this celestial form by merely studying the vedas or performing sacrifices nor by charities or similar activities. Only by undivided devotion and performing each one's duties free from the contaminations of previous activities and mental speculation and having kindness too all living entities can I be understood as I am. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of my understanding.

Thus at a time when there were no telescopes and no scientific instruments and no space travel was written this ancient wisdom merely based on self exploration and communication with God.

(*Those Interested in the complete text of the celestial form may refer to the 11th Chapter of the Gita)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The first Sepoy Mutiny

The Sepoy mutiny is famously thought of as happening in 1857. Even the recent Mangal Pande movie was focused on that. But did you know that the first Sepoy Mutiny actually happened in my hometown in 1806? July 10th is the Bicentenary of this incident in Vellore Fort.

After the demise of Tipu Sultan the prince of Mysore, his entire family was captured and kept in Vellore Fort by the British. The Indian soldiers were forced not to follow their own traditions. Hindus were not allowed to wear the mark on their forehead and Muslims were forced to shave their head and beard. The soldiers who protested were publicly given 900 lashes. These soldiers decided on the first Sepoy mutiny. A traitor named Mustapha Baig provided information about this revolt to the officers but the revolutionaries got wind of this betrayal and pre-poned the mutiny from July 14 to July 10.

On July 9th was the wedding celebration of Tipu Sultan's daughter, an unknown soldier opened the fort gates and let in a number of soldiers. At 3am they attacked all the British soldiers in the fort and raised Tipu's flag on the fort and crowned Fateh Hyder, the second son of Tipu as King. Major Gootes an officer ran to Ranipet (about 30km from Vellore) to get help. Her Majesty's 19th Dragons led by Col. Gillespie reached the spot at 7am and launched an assault on the fort killing 800 soldiers and arresting 600 and hanging 17. Those who were captured were jailed in the Vellore and Trichy Jails. Monuments for the slain British soldiers were made in the Central Church here.

After Independence, a memorial for the slain Indian soldiers was created in the junction between Bangalore Road and Officers lane in Vellore by the then Chief Minister Karunanidhi in 1998. Today the fort has been taken over by the Archaeological survey of India. The fort now houses the Jalagandeshwar Temple (for Shiva) and also a Mosque and the Central Church is right opposite the Fort Maidan now providing a place for unity in diversity where all are free to follow their own traditions. Many people visit all places of worship irrespective of their religion. Outside the complex is a statue of Gandhi to show that what could not be achieved through weapons was achieved through sheer will power.

The city's administrative services and police training grounds including facilities for Hockey, Badminton, football, basketball and athletics are also available within the fort complex apart from the Thiruvalluvar college. I also visited a unique museum with rare bronzes of Shiva, Vishnu, Durga and Mahavira from the 9th century and anthropological analysis of the life of ancient people in the district, flora and fauna of the days gone by. Unique is a Greek coin used for Indo-Greek trading in 160B.C (Megasthenes the greek ambassador to India at that era travelled as far south as Madurai establishing international relations).

To celebrate the 200th anniversary, the place where Tipu's Family was kept captive is open to public till July 11th only. Tipu's family was buried nearby (on the way to Sathuvachari) and the burial ground is also available to those who visit Vellore during this memorable time.