Monthly Archives: May 2020

Sri Vidya Upasaka: Dikshitar

Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775 – 1835) was one of the greatest Musician-Saints and is one among the Carnatic Music Trinity, the other two being Saint Thyagaraja and Shyama Sastri.

Dikshitar’s father was Ramaswami Dikshitar who was a Sanskrit scholar and an accomplished musician living in Tiruvarur in Tamilnadu. When Dikshitar turned twenty five, the great Chidambaranatha Yogi of Varanasi visited their house and requested Ramaswami to send Dikshitar with him for further education. His father agreed and Dikshitar went to Varanasi. He was initiated into “Sri Vidya Upasana”, and his Guru told him to constantly worship Sri Annapurneswari, the Bestower of material needs (Bhukti) as well as liberation (Mukti). He mastered the scriptures, the science of mantras, astrology, music, and was an expert in playing the veena. He came under the influence of Hindustani classical music and Western band music.

After a few years, the teacher told him that it was time for him to go back home because he had learnt all that had to be learnt. The young disciple asked the teacher what was the proof that he had learnt everything. The teacher asked him to go to Mother Ganges and take a dip. If his learning was complete, She would reward him. He went to the Ganges, took a dip and invoked Her. Mother Ganges was there in front of him with a beautiful veena in Her hand. She handed it over to him. It had “RAMA” inscribed on it and was different from the normal veenas. The tail end of the veena which is called ‘yaalimukha’ is turned upwards. In normal veenas it is turned downwards. This veena that Dikshitar used is even now preserved in their ancestral home.

With the blessings of his teacher and with this unique veena gifted to him by the Mother of Knowledge, Dikshitar travelled back. He arrived at Tiruttani, one of the famous six abodes of Kartikeya in Tamilnadu. Dikshitar was sitting and meditating on the Lord on the steps of the temple, when Lord Kartikeya came in the disguise of an elderly man, asked him to open his mouth and put sugar candy into his mouth and disappeared. At that very moment, he composed a beautiful kriti on Kartikeya with the mudra (signature) GURU-GUHA. Kartikeya also known as GUHA had come to him as his GURU.

He has composed songs on almost all deities, all pilgrimage centres and brought into the kritis the uniqueness and speciality of them all. Along with Sangeeta sastra, he incorporated the “mantra sastra” into his songs and therefore to render them with correct pronunciation and bhava, with a little understanding of its meaning will bring all prosperity to the singer as well as the listener – singing of his keerthans is equivalent to chanting the mantras.

Instances of Dikshitar bringing relief and solace to individuals as well as to the community through his keerthans are many. With a Kriti in raga Amruthavarshini, he brought the rains down on the parched land of Ettayyapuram (Tamil Nadu). He also brought health back to his disciple Tambiyappan by warding off the evil effects (graha dosha) of Jupiter, by composing a kriti on that planet. 

On the eve of Deepavali in 1835, after he had finished Devi Puja, he had a vision of Sri Annapurneswari and sang “Ehi Annapurne” – his last kriti. He remembered what his Guru had told him and knew it was time for him to leave his body. He asked his disciples who had gathered there to sing his composition “Meenakshi me mudam dehi” (Meenakshi bestow upon me Your grace) in the Raga Gamakakriya. When they sang the lines: “meena lochani pasha mochani” (O! Fish-eyed One, who cuts asunder the knots of bondage), he asked them to repeat these phrases once more. As they were repeating them, Dikshitar uttered “Shive pahi, Shive pahi, Shive pahi” and left his physical body to merge eternally with the Mother of the Universe whom he invoked and worshipped all his life. 
His compositions called “Kamalamba Nava-avarana” Krithis which are full of mystic significance are rendered even today with great religious fervour during the Navaratri festival.

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Swaminatha: The Guru of Lord Shiva

Lord Brahma once went to meet Lord Shiva. When he reached Kailash, he ignored and disregarded the presence of the little child, Kartikeya, Lord Shiva’s younger son. Kartikeya was displeased with Brahma’s behaviour. He immediately questioned Brahma on the fundamental principles based on which he was going ahead with the process of creation. Brahma said that he followed the principles enshrined in the Vedas for creation. Hearing this, Subramanya asked Brahma to recite the portions from the Vedas which described the process of creation. Lord Brahma started his recitation with the Pranava Mantra “OM”.

As soon as Lord Brahma uttered the word “OM”, Subramanya stopped him and asked him to explain the meaning of “OM”. Brahma was taken by surprise, and he realized that he had no answer to the child’s question. A creator who was incapable of explaining the meaning of “OM” was indeed unfit to carry on the process of creation, and had to be punished. As the commander-in-chief of the Devatas, Subramanya imprisoned Lord Brahma and took up the entire process of creation upon himself!

All the devatas went and prayed to Lord Shiva seeking the release of Lord Brahma. Shiva came to Subramanya and asked his son to release Brahma, but Subramanya refused stating that the Creator did not even know the meaning of the Pranava mantra “OM”, and hence he should not be shouldering the responsibility of creation of the world. Lord Shiva then asked his son if he knew the true essence of the Pranava to which Kartikeya said, “yes”. Shiva then asked him to impart the knowledge of the Pranava Mantra to him. Kartikeya agreed to initiate his father into the secrets of the Pranava on one condition. Shiva had to first accept him as Guru, and appropriately give him a higher seat than the student. The Lord agreed to accept his son as his Guru, and give him a higher place than himself. The Lord then lifted his son in his arms. Carried by his father in his arms, Kartikeya – the Guru whispered into the ears of his disciple the entire knowledge of the Pranava Mantra – OM. At that point of time, Parvati came and saw her son teaching her husband! She was very happy. The Guru (Swami) was initiating her husband (Natha). She looked at her son very lovingly and said that in future her son, Kartikeya will be known as SWAMINATHA – “The Guru of Lord Shiva”, and the sacred place where the initiation took place will be famously known as SWAMIMALAI (Tamilnadu).

Swamimalai is one of the six main abodes of Lord Subramanya. Here Lord Shiva’s shrine is located at the basement and Swaminatha’s shrine is located atop of a hillock. There are sixty steps leading to the shrine, each step representing one year of the sixty years in the Hindu calendar.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

The Glory of Devotion!

King Ambareesha who belonged to the Solar dynasty was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Though he had so much of wealth, power, position and people at his command he never became proud of them all. On the contrary he ruled his kingdom rightly and justly as a sevak of the Lord. He conducted yagnas, performed austerities, undertook vows and pilgrimages, worshipped Lord Sri Hari and also was a very charitable person. Pleased with him, Lord Narayana gave him the “Sudarshan Chakra” – His own divine weapon as a gift. Under the grace of the Divine Disc the kingdom flourished and prospered.

Ambareesha and his wife undertook “Ekadashi Vratham” for a whole year. According to the rules of the Vratham, total fasting has to be observed on Ekadashi, whereas it is only one meal on 10th day (Dashami) and on the 12th day (Dwadashi). The king was concluding the Vratham in the month of Kartik, in Mathura, on the banks of the Yamuna river. After the fasting on Ekadashi day, on the next day of Dwadashi, Ambareesha had a holy dip in the river, worshipped the Lord, gave away gifts in charity and offered food to the sadhus and brahmanas. The king was then about to break his fast, when Sage Durvasa came there. Seeing the Rishi, the King received him and humbly requested him also to join for food. Durvasa agreed and went to have a bath in the river. For a long time he did not come. The auspicious time for breaking the fast was approaching. If there was delay in breaking the fast, the king would lose all the merit of the Ekadashi Vratham.

But after having invited a guest for food, it would be wrong to eat before the guest is served. Not knowing what to do, he consulted the sadhus over there. They told him to wait for the guest, but at the same time to sip a little water which is equivalent to breaking the fast so that the merit of breaking the fast at the right time would be honoured. As the king was sipping the water offered to the Lord, Durvasa came. He flew into a rage saying that the king had insulted and humiliated a guest by having something before serving the guest first. The king tried to explain the situation to him saying that he had just sipped a little water to keep up the rules of the Vratham. But Durvasa was in no mood to listen to him.

He plucked out a strand of his matted hair and flung it on the ground. It manifested into a horrible monster and rushed to devour the king. The king silently prayed to the Lord. Immediately Sudarshan Chakra came whirling forward and destroyed the demon instantaneously. After that the Chakra moved forward to attack the Sage. He was so terrified that he started running. Wherever he ran, the Chakra followed him. Not knowing what to do, in sheer desperation the Sage ran to all the three worlds, crossed all the seven oceans, begged all the devatas, but nobody could help him. He ran to Lord Brahma and next to Lord Shiva. Both of them expressed their utter helplessness in containing the might of Vishnu Chakra. Finally he approached Lord Vishnu in Vaikunta. Even there, Lord Vishnu expressed his helplessness saying that he was bound to the devotee by chords of devotion and therefore could not help him. It was only the Lord’s devotee, Ambareesha who could save him.

Durvasa ran back to Ambareesha and flung himself at the devotee’s feet pleading to be saved. Seeing the Sage fall at his feet, Ambareesha stepped back and prayed to Sudarshan Chakra to withdraw itself and calm down. On seeing the Chakra withdraw Durvasa was relieved. All this time, Ambareesha was waiting without having his food, so that he could first serve his guest and then have his food. The Sage was very happy and pleased to see the faith and devotion, committment and seva-bhav of King Ambareesha. He blessed him with all his heart and left the palace basking in the glorious thoughts of the Lord and His devotees.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.

The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/…/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava…/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact.. For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Narada’s test of Devotion!

Sage Narada was a great devotee of Lord Narayana. He was constantly playing on his divine veena and singing the Lord’s name. He once went to Vaikunta and asked Lord Hari who was His greatest devotee. Narada was sure that the Lord would take his name as the greatest devotee. The Lord pointed out to a farmer in one of the remotest villages and said that he was His greatest devotee. The Sage was shocked. How could he who was constantly taking the Lord’s name day in and day out not be the greatest devotee of the Lord?

Narada looked at the Lord questioningly. The Lord told Narada that he can go down and see for himself. Narada went down and quietly, unnoticed by anyone stayed very close to the farmer’s humble and simple hut. Early in the morning the farmer woke up with the Lord’s name NARAYANA on his lips. Then he went about his daily usual routine, went to his field and worked under the scorching sun along with the others. He worked till late in the evening. At dusk, he returned back, had a wash, sat and spent some time with his wife and children and had his simple meal. Tired and exhausted, he fell off to sleep with NARAYANA on his lips. In a day, the farmer remembered the Lord only twice! Narada was puzzled. Anyway, he decided to spend another two days there and watch over the farmer. The routine was the same on all the days. Narada was quite annoyed with the Lord as to how He even considered this farmer who took the Lord’s name only TWICE a day as His greatest devotee. He went straight to Vaikunta and narrated all that had happened down below. 

The Lord smiled and told Narada that He will explain, but before that He wanted Narada to accomplish a piece of job for Him. Lord gave Narada a pot filled with oil up to the brim, asked him to balance it on his head, and told him to go around Vaikunta and come back without spilling even a drop. Narada wondered what this had to do with his question, but anyway since the Lord had told him, he agreed. Narada put down his veena, nervously picked up the pot of oil filled up to the brim, placed it on his head and started walking slowly. Carefully balancing the pot of oil on his head, Narada put his steps forward cautiously, and went round Vaikunta and came back. He was beaming with happiness for he had not spilt even a drop of oil during his travel. He had been able to carry out the Lord’s instructions…..!

The Lord then asked Narada how many times he remembered NARAYANA during his journey round Vaikunta. Narada was surprised and told the Lord that he had NOT remembered the Lord even ONCE. How could he remember the Lord when all his attention was in balancing the pot of oil on his head?

 
The Lord smiled and told Narada that all that was given to him was a small piece of job of going round Vaikunta with a pot full of oil on his head, and yet he had forgotten the Lord even during that short interval of time. And here was this farmer working day in and day out, shouldering all the responsibilities and problems of his family and work, and yet he never forgot to take the Lord’s name NARAYANA, ONCE in the morning and ONCE in the evening. Hence according to the Lord, the farmer’s devotion was superior to that of Narada’s. 

Narada immediately understood that this was Lord’s unique way of destroying his ego. Completely humbled, Narada prostrated to the Lord, sought His forgiveness, prayed to the Lord to grant him total and unconditional devotion, picked up his veena and with “NARAYANA” on his lips left Vaikunta with a sense of total happiness and inexplicable bliss.

[PS : I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.

The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/store/children/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava-1-stories-for-children/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467 Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com