Father’s day – Real Hero of Our Sanjeevan Prabhu Family

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

Today is father’s day. But I could not and did not become a father because I never got married. I do feel that I have missed that experience and struggles which a father undergoes. But I had the great opportunity of watching my own father from a close angle and I even today shudder to think the travails and hardships he must have undergone to bring up his large family of 7 children Those were the days when family planning was unknown and nobody would speak about it. My grand father had about 11 children. I would like to hasten to add here that though I did not become a father in the literary sense of the word, because of the sad and untimely demise of my elder brother, I had to take care of his little daughter whom he had left behind. This made me to understand lot of challanges a father has to undergo.

Here I am talking of my father. Yes, he was always very firm, strict and very rarely did he smile. He had such a serious look on his face, I even today do not know how he ran his retail business in medicines and how he maintained his relationship with his customers But the sacrifices he made for the family would show how kind hearted and loving he was. I always used to think that my father was stingy and would not spend money on himself. Because he was bringing all types of fruits, eatables etc for his children. But for himself he would not spend. Since he had a large family, he had to bring everything in large numbers or in big quantity. When I look back I just wonder how did he afford that ‘luxury’. My friend used to think that I was coming from a well to do rich family. His one son was studying for medicine, one engineering, one was in arts college, one was attempting to become a chartered accountant and his girls were going to colleges.But he did not deny any demand of his children. He was a strict disciplinarian. We were grown up with that discipline. In those days when there were not even radios, which came a little later, the day used to end by 7 or 7.30 in the evening. By 8.30, the entire household would have gone horizontal in their beds. But the night supper used to be served at about 7.30 in the evening, the entire family had to be there. There was a long table and the entire family used to sit around it at the assigned place of each of us. The places could not be changed. My father used to sit at the head of the table. None of us would dare to raise our heads when we sat along with our father. It was compulsory that all should be there at that time. By chance if one was found missing, my father would not eat and he would wait for that person to reach home. He would never ask where he had gone. The very fact that he was waiting for one to come back without eating his supper itself was the punishment for that child. He had a dress which people of that era used to wear. But when the household expenses increased, he changed over to ordinary khadi mundu. He was wearing coat and when he found that stitching a new coat was expensive, he gave up wearing coat. But he did not give up that practice until I think the tailor told him that he could not repair it any more!. He was wearing a Gandhi cap and even this he gave up to save a few rupees. These and other sacrifices my father did were for the sake of his children so that they should get good education and become successful in their life. But as we grew up and as we started our independent life, I found my father became very soft spoken, gentle and calm. He would not get excited any more. But the training he had given by examples made our character and if we the children what we are today, it is only because of our father. In fact he is the real hero of our family. Dad we miss you.

Towards the nature’s lap – Coffeebeans Home Stay

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It was a senior lawyer from Mumbai who planted the idea of going to a resort in the Western Ghats amidst Coffee Estate. He had to come to Mangalore in connection with a court case and he took advantage of that occasion to go to a resort in Chikmagalur. He liked his stay in the resort amidst coffee estates. He gave a very good account of his sojourn there and hence I also thought I should visit one of the many resorts which have mushroomed all over Chikmagalur and Mercara areas. I also chose Chikmagalur as my destination. I invited my German friend who was to visit India in May 2016 for our annual trip to some place. She had absolutely no objections and hence I started surfing the net for a reasonably priced resort. I came across two resorts in Chikmagalur. I selected the one called Thodadahalii Home stay and another Coffeebeans home stay. I chose the first and went ahead with the booking.
One should state here that though I chose that place, I was always scared of travelling on that route especially the section between Beltangady and
Chikmagalur. There are hundreds of curves which makes the journey a boring one. But my enthusiasm to go there overshadowed this dampening part of the journey.
The date was set. But a couple of days before the date of the journey, I received a message from the Homestay contact person stating that as there was a bereavement in the family, all the bookings had been cancelled and the amount paid as advance would be refunded. Though I was disappointed but I did not give up. I requested them to find an alternate Home stay so that I should not disappoint my German friend who was coming all the way from Germany They understood the genuineness of the request and then they directed me to another resort called “Coffee beans Home stay”.

We after an arduous journey reached the Home stay facility on a bright sunny afternoon. One very important development I had seen on the way are the small well furnished and attractive restaurants in places where there are petrol filling stations. They are really well furnished and maintained and are having clean and neat toilets and otherfacilities to relax. The snack served there was excellent. This shows that road journey in India can be pleasant.

The Coffee Beans Homestay has well furnished accommodation. It is nestled in the midst of a coffee estate. All around there are various type of tress apart from Coffee plants. The hospitality is par excellent. Not a big resort. It has its own advantage as they can attend to the guests individually. What attracted us is the interest shown by a young man who is the owner of the same. He would talk to everyone and partakes food along with the guests. He has very good ears because he would listen to what any guests says very attentively and with interest.
There is tour of the estate with the Manager of the facility. The ‘walk’ was very exhilarating as one could breathe fresh air which had beautiful fragrance. One could see several types of medicinal and other plants and trees. There one can see a few birds chirping and flying around. The Manager would identify the trees and the birds and sometimes gives the description of the tress and the efforts put in by the family since generations to maintain and expand the coffee estate. The coffee estate workers were found taking their places to start their work of tending the plants or trees or weeding out wild growth.
In the evening we had the opportunity to stand on the highest point of that area to witness the sunset. We are not new to watching such sun sets. All over the world we had watched it. One should add here that the sun always plays truant in the evening which disappoints the watchers. To reach that point, one had to drive through very narrow roads and on the edge of the cliff. Very drive was adventurous. I do not know whether the driver of the jeep was driving so to add some thrill to our stay. As usual sun was not allowed to come out by the thick layers of cloud. Disappointed we were about to return but suddenly

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The Coffee Beans Homestay has well furnished accommodation. It is nestled in the midst of a coffee estate. All around there are various type of tress apart from Coffee plants. The hospitality is par excellent. Not a big resort. It has its own advantage as they can attend to the guests individually. What attracted us is the interest shown by a young man who is the owner of the same. He would talk to everyone and partakes food along with the guests. He has very good ears because he would listen to what any guests says very attentively and with interest.
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There is tour of the estate with the Manager of the facility. The ‘walk’ was very exhilarating as one could breathe fresh air which had beautiful fragrance. One could see several types of medicinal and other plants and trees. There one can see a few birds chirping and flying around. The Manager would identify the trees and the birds and sometimes gives the description of the tress and the efforts put in by the family since generations to maintain and expand the coffee estate. The coffee estate workers were found taking their places to start their work of tending the plants or trees or weeding out wild growth.
In the evening we had the opportunity to stand on the highest point of that area to witness the sunset. We are not new to watching such sun sets. All over the world we had watched it. One should add here that the sun always plays truant in the evening which disappoints the watchers. To reach that point, one had to drive through very narrow roads and on the edge of the cliff. Very drive was adventurous. I do not know whether the driver of the jeep was driving so to add some thrill to our stay. As usual sun was not allowed to come out by the thick layers of cloud. Disappointed we were about to return but suddenly the Manager saw the sun just peeping out of the clouds and he shouted ‘look it is there’. Yes, it was there and slowly he came out of the clouds and again disappeared behind the clouds . We instead of watching it were taking photographs. That is what happens nowadays people busy taking pictures instead of watching the event. I do not know why we should think of preserving what we saw without seeing it attentively. However the sun set created a colourful sky on the west.sun
There was bon fire at the end of the day. It was very interesting as the organizer saw to it that all the guests sat together so that they could acquaint themselves with each other. Before the bon fire was over, there was heavy rains together with thunder and lightening. The streak of the lightening and sound of thunder sent chilling feeling down to the very marrow of one’s bones, splitting asunder one’s usually calm exterior and leaving one trembling, afraid, and in need of flight. But that was a very good experience. In that calm environment, the thunder echoed through the forest and the lightening suddenly showed how beautiful the natures is. It added some thrill to the get together. However the rains cooled down the weather in that area and we had a very pleasant night.bon
The experience on the whole was worth the amount spent. We were not disappointed but said good bye to our host by taking with us some fond memories

“SUSPENSION TRAINS” or “HANGING TRAINS” of WUPPERTAL, GERMANY

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Once I read in our local newspaper about the suspension train of Wuppertal, a small town in the North Rhine-Westphalia of the northwestern part of Germany. The report in the newspaper said that there is a suspension train in that town since running overhead as a means of transportation for the town. I had heard years ago that an attempt had been made in Goa but they had to abandon it as the train toppled from the overhead rail resulting in some casualty. It is a pity in our country if we fail in the first attempt then we never try it again. . So I thought I should go and visit this place and enjoy a ride in it.
When I mentioned this suspension train to Elke, my German friend, she said that we could go to have a joy ride in that train. So we visited Wuppertal. It is a city in North Rhine -Westphalia, Germany. It is located in and around the river Wupper Valley, and is situated east of the City of Dusseldorf and South of Ruhr area.
The hanging railway in Germany’s western central city of Wuppertal (pronounced Voopahtahl) is the oldest monorail system in the world. Built in 1900, the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn or “floating train” has been continuously operated since 1901, despite two world wars, various accidents and other turbulent events
In 1898, construction on the actual Wuppertal monorail began and after a construction period of only three years, under master builder Wilhem Feldmann, was opened in 1901. It was soon known as the “Wuppertaler Schwebebahn,” literally Wuppertal’s “floating train.” So great was the hype around this new mode of urban transport that even German Emperor William II was roped in to ride the monorail during a trial run on October 24, 1900.
Today, the suspended monorail stretches over a track system of 13.3 km and 20 stops. 10 km of tracks follow the Wupper River at an elevation of 12 meters and for 3.3 km; the tracks follow Wuppertal’s narrow streets at a height of 8 m. The monorail reaches top speeds of up to 60 km/h and covers the complete distance in about 30 minutes. It is a popular mode of transport
I wondered why this has not caught the eyes of some experts in India as this would help having transportation line above the road level saving lot of space on the ground, lower construction costs compared to conventional transport system, less noise pollution and no interference with existing transport systems. I was told about its disadvantages, Monorails can only run on their own tracks, therefore making compatibility with any other rail infrastructure virtually impossible. Also, each monorail requires unique parts from a particular manufacturer, making servicing time-consuming and costly.

I had joy ride in that train. I took a couple of round trip which I found interesting. It was running over the heads of men and especially roads and a river which was crossing the city. I found that even now people from all over Germany come to Wuppertal to experience the joy ride in the “suspension train.” Though it is over a century old, it has not lost its attraction. People in the city use it as a means of transport. Thus I experienced the joy ride in the “suspension train”.

9th of AUGUST – a day to strengthen our resolve to eliminate NUCLEAR WEAPON!!

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Today 70 years ago 2nd atom bomb was dropped on Nagasaki which killed nearly 80000 people and the city was destroyed completely on a 5km. radius. Not even a grass was left to remain. The death and destruction was due to burn injuries, radiation effect and malnutrition etc. If one sees the picture of Nagasaki city before the explosion and after will be able to estimate the terrible destruction power of nyclear weapon.

The city of Nagasaki is shown as a teeming urban area, above, then as a flattened, desolate moonscape following the detonation of an atomic bomb, below.  Circles delineate the thousands of feet from ground zero.  (AP Photo)

The city of Nagasaki is shown as a teeming urban area, above, then as a flattened, desolate moonscape following the detonation of an atomic bomb, below. Circles delineate the thousands of feet from ground zero. (AP Photo)


One should not forget that the atom bomb was discovered to avoid war by possessing such weapon. It was to terrorise the nations that the bomb was discovered so that there should be peace due to avoidance of war. But this genie which was in closed bottle till it was discovered has now become a great problem for the International community how to put it back in the bottle.

Today at the memorial service if one had listened to what the survivor of Nagasaki bombing, 86-year-old Sumiteru Taniguchi who recounted his chilling and heart rendering experience he had undergone on the fateful day while he was going on a bicycle as a postman to do his duties. He said that it was clear and sunny day and there was a sudden binding flash. His first thought was that it was a thunder and soon he realised that on such a sunny day there not be such thunder. He was completely burnt. His skin was peeling out from his body. Dress got completely burnt. He was a on a hill for about three days till he was shifted to a hospital for treatment which went on for over three years. Mr Taniguchi still bears scars on his back, the remains of three ribs that half rotted after the bomb dropped protruding from his chest.

This day is therefore remembered so that mankind should not use nuclear weapon again but should strive to eliminate it from arsenal.
( Photos from the net )

My Residence in “Rajgruh” – the house of Dr. Ambedkar

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Today is the day when the nation celebrates the 125th Birth Anneversary of B. R. Ambedkar who is popularly known as Bhimrao Ambedkar. I had the unique opportunity of living in his house called as “Rajgruh” in Hindu Colony, Dadar, Mumbai. It was my good luck which took me to Mumbai for my law studies. Ther were no law colleges in Mangalore in those days. People used to go to Belgaum or Madras, now called as Belgauvi and Chennai. I wanted to prosecute my studies as it used to be popularly called in those days as “earn while you learn” method. I thought I could get employment in Mumbai easily and then prosecute my studies. But attempts to get a job was not easy. It was not so easy to get jobs even in those days. Even the journey to Mumbai was very circuitous. One had to go by bus upto a railway head called Kadur and then travel by train to Mumbai. It used to be two days journey. My friends said that the best law college which could give such opportunities to learn and earn was a college situated in Flora Fountain called Siddharth College of law. It was started by Baba Saheb Ambedkar under the auspices of People’s Education Society. Instead of writing my own on that college, I would repeat what its college prospectus said.

“People’s Education Society, which was founded on 8th July, 1945 by Bharat Ratna Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar,M.A., Ph.D., D.Sc. (London)., LL.D. (Columbia ), D.Lit. (Osmania), Bat-at-law. The Society runs the various academic institutions throughout India including Siddharth College of Law which was established in the year 1956 at Prime locality of city of Mumbai in a heritage building called ” Anand Bhavan”.. People’s Education Society derives its inspiration from the teaching and ideals of Lord Buddha. lt believes in the principles of social justice. lt functions for establishing social justice. It’s primary aim is to promote higher education among the poorer people in general and Buddhists,Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and other Backward Classes in particular. lts motto is “Knowledge and love’for `knowledge is power and Love governs the whole universe. According to Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar the object of the people’s Education Society is not merely to give education but to give social democracy.This is what modern tndia needs and this is what all well-wishers of India must promote.The society is inspired by five great ideals of the founder, The ideal of knowledge, the ideals of compassion,the ideal of democracy,the ideal of equality and the ideal of justice”

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The college was situated at a Very convenient location from where one could go for work and reach from any corner of Mumbai. Another attraction was that the classes were a part time – morning and evening college and there was possibility of getting Hostel accommodation. I applied and the only question that was asked was whether I wanted to earn and learn and my answer was one emphatic yes. I got the accommodation. One Sri P.T.Borale was the Principal who encouraged the students not to be a burden on their parents. I got hostel accommodation. It was at that time I got the unique opportunity of living in Rajgruh. In those days .the house of BabaSaheb had been converted as the hostel of the college. I was so happy that I could not only boast of that privilege but also felt blessed that I could stay and breath and go round in the same house where the architect of Indian Constitution lived.

It is a big bungalow type house with a portico. In front of it there was a park on the other side of the road. Rooms were spacious and two or three students used to stay in each room. My room could be seen from the road. It was the first room on the left side of the Ist Floor, if one stands in the road. This stay and studies in the institutions promoted by Baba Saheb Ambedkar has now prompted me to pay my tributes to that great iconic leader who strived for the emancipation of the less privileged people. He was born to Bhimabai Sakpal and Ramji on 14th April, 1891 in Madhya Pradesh. He was the fourteenth child of his parents. His parents hailed from the Hindu Mahar caste, which was viewed as “untouchable” by the upper class. Due to this, Ambedkar had to face severe discriminations from every corners of the society. Wherever he went for his education, he was a victim of caste discrimination. Discrimination followed wherever he went. He was one of the architects of the Indian Constitution. Ambedkar began to find ways to reach to the people and make them understand the drawbacks of the prevailing social evils. He launched a newspaper called “Mooknayaka” ( leader of the silent He was a well-known politician and an eminent jurist. Ambedkar’s efforts to eradicate the social evils like untouchablity and caste restrictions were remarkable. The leader, throughout his life, fought for the rights of the dalits and other socially backward classes. Ambedkar was appointed as the nation’s first Law Minister in the Cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru.

In 1950, Ambedkar traveled to Sri Lanka to attend a convention of Buddhist scholars and monks. After his return he decided to write a book on Buddhism and soon, converted himself to Buddhism. In his speeches, Ambedkar lambasted the Hindu rituals and caste division. Ambedkar founded the Bharatiya Bauddha Mahasabha In 1955. His book “The Buddha and His Dhamma” was published posthumously.
He was posthumously awarded the highest civilian honour of Bharath Rathna in 1990

Here are some of his quotes which show his thinking and the cause for which dedicated his entire life. “Caste system is a social division of people of the same race” he said. “ The name Hindu is itself a foreign name. It was given by the Mohammadens to the natives for the purpose of distinguishing themselves. It does not occur in any Sanskrit work prior to the Mohammedan invasion. They did not feel the necessity of a common name because they had no conception of their having constituted a community.” He said that “Hindu Society as such does not exist. It is only a collection of castes Each caste is conscious of its existence. Its survival is the be all and end all of its existence”

He held the view that the ideal Hindu must be a rat living in his own hole refusing to have any contact with others.” There cannot be a more degrading system of social organization than the Chaturvarnya. It is the system which deadens, paralyses and cripples the people from helpful activity

He held the view that there is only one period in Indian history which is a period of freedom, greatness and glory. That is the period of the Mourya Empire. At all other times the country suffered from defeat and darkness. But the Mourya period was a period when Chaturvarnya was completely annihilated, when the Shudras, who constituted the mass of the people, came into their own and became the rulers of the country.

The priestly class must be brought under control by some such legislation as I have outlined above. It will prevent it from doing mischief and from misguiding people. It will democratise it by throwing it open to every one. It will certainly help to kill the Brahminism and will also help to kill Caste, which is nothing but Brahminism incarnate Ambedkar objected to the decision of Congress and Mahatma Gandhi to call the untouchable community as Harijans. He would say that even the members of untouchable community are same as the other members of the society. Hindus realize that they are the sick men of India and that their sickness is causing danger to the health and happiness of other Indians Caste system is a social division of people of the same race lower caste people. In Hinduism, conscience, reason and independent thinking have no scope for development. Life should be great rather than long He also favored the concept of providing reservations for Dalits and other religious communities.

In 1936, Ambedkar founded the Independent Labor Party. In the 1937 elections to the Central Legislative Assembly his party won 15 seats. Ambedkar oversaw the transformation of his political party into the All India Scheduled Castes Federation, although it performed poorly in the elections held in 1946 for the Constituent Assembly of India.

Ambedkar objected to the decision of Congress and Mahatma Gandhi to call the untouchable community as Harijans. He would say that even the members of untouchable community are same as the other members of the society. Ambedkar was appointed on the Defence Advisory Committee and the Viceroy’s Executive Council as Minister for Labor. His reputation as a scholar led to his appointment as free India’s first, Law Minister and chairman of the committee responsible to draft a constitution. Bhimrao Ambedkar was appointed as the chairman of the constitution drafting committee. He was also a noted scholar and eminent jurist. Ambedkar emphasized on the construction of a virtual bridge between the classes of the society. According to him, it would be difficult to maintain the unity of the country if the difference among the classes were not met.

On October 14, 1956 Ambedkar organized a public ceremony to convert around five lakh of his supporters into Buddhism. Ambedkar traveled to Kathmandu to attend the Fourth World Buddhist Conference. He completed his final manuscript, “The Buddha or Karl Marx” on December 2 1956 Since 1954-55 Ambedkar was suffering from serious health problems including diabetes and weak eyesight. On 6 December, 1956 he died at his home in Delhi. Since, Ambedkar adopted the Buddhism as his religion, a Buddhist-style cremation was organized for him. The ceremony was attended by hundreds of thousands of supporters, activists and admirers.
( Photos from the net )

Let us remember shabbily dressed street urchins on India’s 66th Republic Day!!

It is a matter of shame for our leaders to dress like heroes with perfume sprayed on their bodies when they go for republic day parade and bask in the limelight when millions of children wander in the streets of urban and rural India shabbily dressed as they cannot afford a good decent dress to wear on a national festival day. Our politicians think that they are like Nawabs and can do as they please. Unlike other countries we have still millions of poor people. Let us think of those unlucky children. Let us try to see what Gandhi said on dress code:
Gandhi wore simple clothes that conveyed his message. There is this anecdotal story of the time when Gandhi met the King of Great Britain in London and he wore his simple wrap around cloth.A journalist asked Gandhi, “Mr Gandhi, did you feel under-dressed when you met the King? Gandhi replied, “The King was wearing enough clothes for both of us!”Though it may not be practical to weave your own cloth and make your own clothes, you can simplify your life by dressing for comfort, not to impress.

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(Photos are taken from the net. If objected, will be removed)

BHAGVAD GITA- Song Celestial

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It was reported a couple of years ago that the District Court at Leninskiy of Tomsk in Siberian State of the Russian Federation had been asked by Federal Security Service (FSB) to declare the third Russian edition of Bhagavad Gita By Sila Prabhupada of ISKON as an extremist literature and it should be banned. This had created a great stir in India and abroad. People belonging to Hindu religion had slammed the move of the Russians as bigotry and intolerant. Even the learned scholars all over the world were astonished at the move by the Federal Government.

Without going into the merits of the Russian allegations, I made a short study of Bhagvad Gita. More I read, more I found it would be interesting to know and understand what this Bhagvad Gita is, which is considered as one of the most sacred and popular religious scriptures of Hinduism. I understood that it is the message given by Lord Krishna to Prince Arjuna in the battle of Kurukshetra to fight his cousins who were standing face to face in the battle field. Kurukshetra is a place in the north western part of India. It is believed that it was spoken by Lord Krishna in 3137 B.C. that is, about 5000 years ago. I wrote on the teachings of Bagavad Gita. Sadly though, a lunatic, who could not understand the same, hacked the blog. I felt that what I had studied should not a go a waste and hence I retrieved whatever left of it and I am presenting it once again. Those who have read it may read it again, if they so please ( why not again?) or skip it.

The message was given in the battle field. It was a battle of good against evil. Good is represented by the Pandavas ( children of King Pandu) consisting of five brothers while evil is represented by Kauravasa, their own cousins ( children of Dhritharashta ) numbering hundred. The fight was waged by Kauravas to establish their supremacy. Pandavas were not as much endowed with riches or means while Kauravas due to their sheer wealth and land, had on their side not only a big army but all the elders including their guru/teacher. Drona was their Guru who taught them archery while Bhishma was the eldest in the family. All of them were against the Pandavas. Prince Arjuna, one of the sons of King Pandu, was endowed with knowledge of archery, but was hesitating to fight as he doubted and confused whether he could fight his own cousins and his teachers and elders. He went to the extent of getting down from the chariot and laying down his arms expressing his unwillingness to fight and kill his own relations, teachers etc. It was this doubt which Lord Sri Krishna tried to clear by explaining to him the manner in which one should conduct himself in one’s day to day life

He told Arjuna not to attach any importance to the result of one’s work, one should do his or her duty properly and steadfastly, and leave the result to itself.

In Chapter 2 verse 47, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna:
“ Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana,
Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani”
This means :
You have the right to action only and not to fruits thereof. Do not try to be instrumental in making your actions bear fruit (which will follow according to laws of nature). Neither let your attachment be to inaction.

He gave the accurate and fundamental knowledge of God and the ultimate truth of creation, birth and death, the results of actions, eternal soul, liberation and the purpose as well the good of human existence

During the discourse, Lord Krishna revealed His identity as the Supreme Being Himself, blessing Arjuna with an awe-inspiring vision of His divine universal form.
Chapter X, Verse 20 Lord Krishna tells Arjuna:

aham atma gudakesa
sarva-bhutasaya-sthitah
aham adis ca madhyam ca
bhutanam anta eva ca

This means:

“I am the Self, Oh Gudakesa (Arjuna),
seated in the heart of all beings;
I am the beginning and the middle
and the end of all beings.”

Above verse shows how universal Lord Krishna is. He does not make any distinction between man and man, He says he is in every creature and that he is the beginning, the middle and the end. Hence there should not be any room to doubt the philosophy found in Bhagavat Gita.

The said teachings of Lord Krishna were transformed into writing by sage Vedavyasa as Bhagvad Gita. It is only an episode in Mahabharath The Mahabharath is the most voluminous book in the world. It is said that it is seven times of the size of Illiad written by Homer. Mahabharath covers the history of earth from time to time of creation in relation to India. It is composed of 100,000 rhymes quatrain couplets. It is in a story form based on four Vedas The Vedas are the oldest literatures of Indian thought, they are a collection of religious and philosophical poems and hymns composed over several generations beginning as early as 3000 BC. The Veda was composed in Sanskrit, the intellectual language of both ancient and classical Indian civilizations. Four collections were made, so it is said that there are four Vedas. The four as a group came to be viewed as sacred in Hinduism. They are called Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Mahabharath is considered as the 5th Veda as it reflects the contents of all the four Vedas.

Bhagvad Gita or in English it can be translated as Song Celestial or Song of God. Bhagvath means God and Gita means song. It is so called, though it is in prose form, as its rhyming meter is so beautifully harmonic and melodious when spoken perfectly. It is composed of 700 sanskrit verses in 18 chapters divided into three sections of 6 chapters. The sections are Karma Yoga means Yoga of action, Bhakthi Yoga means, Yoga of devotion and Jnana Yoga means Yoga of knowledge Yoga means ‘union’ between the mind, body and spirit. The teachings of Lord Krishna reveals to the mankind the means to achieve the union.

The central teaching of the Gita is the attainment of freedom or happiness from the bondage of life by doing one’s duty. It says that always remember the glory and greatness of the creator, and do your duty efficiently without being attached to or affected by the results, even if that duty may at times demand unavoidable violence

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As stated above, it was written by Vedavyasa, son of Parasara and mother, Sathyavathi. His full name is Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa. It is written in Sanskrit language, which is considered by Hindus as language of Gods. They call it as ‘Deva Bhasha’ Sanskrit means purified. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru has said that Sanskrit is a language amazingly rich, efflorescent, full of luxuriant growth of all kinds, and yet precise and strictly keeping within the framework of grammar. The ancient Indians attached a great deal of importance to sound, and hence their writing, poetry or prose, had a rhythmic and musical quality.Our modern languages of India are derivatives of Sanskrit, and to it owe most of their vocabulary and their forms of expressions.

Several great philosophers, Scientists and literary geniuses such as Albert Einstien, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Albert Schweizer, Hermann Hesse, Ralph Walda Emerson were some of the names which can be mentioned here who have praised the Gita as a venerable scripture. “When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous to me” It was this book translated into Russian as a third edition was being sought to be banned. The jury is out and it is for you reader to decide whether there was even an iota of truth in their allegations against the song celestial or Bhagvad Gita.

ROCK CUT TEMPLE COMPLEX- MASRUR, Himachal Pradesh

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For a traveller in India, there are umpteen places which he can visit. But the sad part of it is that these places are not given publicity all over India. For example for a person hailing form southern part of India will not know the treasure of architectural monuments which can be seen in the North and the same is the case for a North Indian. Other day I read in the net something written of my place and it is said that the said town is in Andhra Pradesh!. That is the reason why there is lot of ignorance of India’s heritage among people of this country. How many of Indians knew that Ladakh is part of India before Kargil war. Yes, it is true. I had been to Ladakh before that war and my colleagues who are well educated were asking me whether one needs Visa to go to Ladakh as “it is part of Tibet”. This is the height of ignorance. This happens because there is no proper publicity for these places in the south.
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I have made the above sermon because I never knew that in the north there is a place like rock cut Ellora/Ajantha caves or Mahabalipuram rock cut temples. There is such a rock cut temple in the north in Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh about 60 kms from Macleaodganj. When the taxi driver told us ( me and Elke) that there is a rock cut temple when we visited Dharmasala, I was surprised. Having gone to that part of the country, we thought it would be better to explore that temple. We drove to that place which took about 2 hours. The place is called Masrur.
Masrur has a 15 temple complex dedicated to Rama, Laxmana and Sita. The complex is situated on ahill with a rectangulat pond, which is considered auaspicious by devotees who throng this temple complex to worship Stri rama. These temples resemble the temple at Ajantha. There is stone image of Mahadev or Shiva in the middle. These protected monuments are believed to have been carved in the 7th and 8th century and represent the architectural styles of the Kailashnath Temple in Ajantha.
Kangra valley experienced an extremely powerful earthquake in 1905. Wonderful Masroor Temples suffered heavily and partly turned into ruins.
We were very much impressed by these rock cut temples standing in that far off north which is unbelievable in that part of the country. The person who accompanied us said that the rock-cut style is much more difficult than the structural one. In the latter, the artist shapes the material as he likes, whereas in the former the Material determines the way the artist should move. The limitation makes an artist creation out of a rock a most difficult task and the ability with which the remote artist of seventh and eighth centuries carried out their purpose is superhuman. That is why this is unique. It is situated in a small place but a treasure trove of architectural beauty among rock cut temples.
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