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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Concert - T.N. Seshagopalan

What happens when you believe something with all your heart? Belief fuels enthusiasm, and determined enthusiasm explodes into passion. It fires our souls and lifts our spirits.


Four years ago, the author of this note  was flying from JFK NY Airport to SFO to attend a meetingat Monterey , CA An American girl was sitting on the right side, near window
seat. It indeed was a long journey - it would take nearly seven hours.
I was surprised to see the young girl reading a Bible unusual of young
Americans. After some time she smiled and we had few acquaintances talk.I
told her that I am from India

Then suddenly the girl asked: 'What's your faith?' 'What?' I didn't
understand the question.

'I mean, what's your religion? Are you a Christian? Or a Muslim?'

'No!' I replied, 'I am neither Christian nor Muslim'.
Apparently she appeared shocked to listen to that. 'Then who are you?' 'I am
a Hindu', I said.

She looked at me as if she was seeing a caged animal. She could not
understand what I was talking about.

A common man in Europe or US knows about Christianity and Islam, as they are
the leading religions of the world today. But a Hindu, what?

I explained to her - I am born to a Hindu father and Hindu mother.
Therefore, I am a Hindu by birth.

'Who is your prophet?' she asked.

'We don't have a prophet,' I replied.

'What's your Holy Book?'

'We don't have a single Holy Book, but we have hundreds and thousands of
philosophical and sacred scriptures,' I replied.

'Oh, come on at least tell me who is your God?'

'What do you mean by that?'

'Like we have Jesus and Muslims have Allah - don't you have a God?'

I thought for a moment. Muslims and Christians believe one God (Male God)
who created the world and takes an interest in the humans who inhabit it.
Her mind is conditioned with that kind of belief.

According to her (or anybody who doesn't know about Hinduism), a religion
needs to have one Prophet, one Holy book and one God. The mind is so
conditioned and rigidly narrowed down to such a notion that anything else is
not acceptable. I understood her perception and concept about faith. You
can't compare Hinduism with any of the present leading religions where you
have to believe in one concept of god.

I tried to explain to her: 'You can believe in one god and he can be a
Hindu. You may believe in multiple deities and still you can be a Hindu.
What's more - you may not believe in god at all, still you can be a Hindu.
An atheist can also be a Hindu.'

This sounded very crazy to her. She couldn't imagine a religion so
unorganized, still surviving for thousands of years, even after onslaught
from foreign forces.

'I don't understand but it seems very interesting. Are you religious?'
What can I tell to this American girl?

I said: 'I do not go to temple regularly. I do not make any regular rituals.
I have learned some of the rituals in my younger days. I still enjoy doing
it sometimes..'

'Enjoy? Are you not afraid of God?'

'God is a friend. No- I am not afraid of God. Nobody has made any
compulsions on me to perform these rituals regularly.'

She thought for a while and then asked: 'Have you ever thought of converting
to any other religion?'

'Why should I? Even if I challenge some of the rituals and faith in
Hinduism, nobody can convert me from Hinduism. Because, being a Hindu allows
me to think independently and objectively, without conditioning. I remain as
a Hindu never by force, but choice.' I told her that Hinduism is not a
religion, but a set of beliefs and practices. It is not a religion like
Christianity or Islam because it is not founded by any one person or does
not have an organized controlling body like the Church or the Order, I
added. There is no institution or authority..

'So, you don't believe in God?' she wanted everything in black and white.
'I didn't say that. I do not discard the divine reality. Our scripture, or
Sruthis or Smrithis - Vedas and Upanishads or the Gita - say God might be
there or he might not be there. But we pray to that supreme abstract
authority (Para Brahma) that is the creator of this universe.'

'Why can't you believe in one personal God?'
'We have a concept - abstract - not a personal god. The concept or notion of
a personal God, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling us irrational
stories through few men whom he sends as messengers, demanding us to worship
him or punish us, does not make sense. I don't think that God is as silly as
an autocratic emperor who wants others to respect him or fear him.' I told
her that such notions are just fancies of less educated human imagination
and fallacies, adding that generally ethnic religious practitioners in
Hinduism believe in personal gods. The entry level Hinduism has
over-whelming superstitions too. The philosophical side of Hinduism negates
all superstitions.

'Good that you agree God might exist. You told that you pray. What is your
prayer then?'

'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,'

'Funny,' she laughed, 'What does it mean?'

'May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. Om Peace, Peace, Peace.'

'Hmm ..very interesting. I want to learn more about this religion. It is so
democratic, broad-minded and free' she exclaimed.

'The fact is Hinduism is a religion of the individual, for the individual
and by the individual with its roots in the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita. It
is all about an individual approaching a personal God in an individual way
according to his temperament and inner evolution - it is as simple as that.'

'How does anybody convert to Hinduism?'

'Nobody can convert you to Hinduism, because it is not a religion, but a set
of beliefs and practices. Everything is acceptable in Hinduism because there
is no single authority or organization either to accept it or to reject it
or to oppose it on behalf of Hinduism.'

I told her - if you look for meaning in life, don't look for it in religions;
don't go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next..

For a real seeker, I told her, the Bible itself gives guidelines when it
says ' Kingdom of God is within you.' I reminded her of Christ's teaching
about the love that we have for each other. That is where you can find the
meaning of life.

Loving each and every creation of the God is absolute and real. 'Isavasyam
idam sarvam' Isam (the God) is present (inhabits) here everywhere - nothing
exists separate from the God, because God is present everywhere.. Respect
every living being and non-living things as God. That's what Hinduism
teaches you.

Hinduism is referred to as Sanathana Dharma, the eternal faith. It is based
on the practice of Dharma, the code of life. The most important aspect of
Hinduism is being truthful to oneself. Hinduism has no monopoly on ideas.- It
is open to all. Hindus believe in one God (not a personal one) expressed in
different forms. For them, God is timeless and formless entity.

Ancestors of today's Hindus believe in eternal truths and cosmic laws and
these truths are opened to anyone who seeks them. But there is a section of
Hindus who are either superstitious or turned fanatic to make this an
organized religion like others. The British coin the word 'Hindu' and
considered it as a religion.

I said: 'Religions have become an MLM (multi-level- marketing) industry that
has been trying to expand the market share by conversion. The biggest
business in today's world is Spirituality. Hinduism is no exception'

I am a Hindu primarily because it professes Non-violence - 'Ahimsa Paramo
Dharma' - Non violence is the highest duty. I am a Hindu because it doesn't
conditions my mind with any faith system.
A man/ woman who change 's his/her birth religion to another religion is a
fake and does not value his/her morals, culture and values in life. Hinduism
was the first religion originated. Be proud of your religion and be proud of
who you are.
Om Namo shiva……………

sent by Ms.Vidya Anantharaman
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dear Sir Sri Vaithinathan Hariharan Hinduism is not a religion but the only available source for understanidng the Universal structure. People are not there but the so called people are nothing but the manifestations of the Supreme. In some the manifestation is peaking and in some very lowest ebb. As such there are no births or deaths and no good or bad. This was the teaching of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Nobody can either contribute or take away to the structure. When the Supreme does some balancing act to maintain equilibrium, the consequent disturbance is mistaken as individual pain or sorrow. This was the theory of Marcus Aralius. So there cannot be any individual suffering or pleasure as there is no individual. This may be hard to digest and understand.But this is what happens in everyday life and it is exhibited in SLEEP. In SLEEP the individual is not there. Waking is not from SLEEP but switching over to the concept of "I", the body which was lost in SLEEP. This is Hinduism and no one can claim that they are to SAVE Hinduism or bring harm to. Any deviatin form this scripture of NO ONE EXISTS is only a conceit and searching for reasons for the fraud. Naratha Bakti Sutram says that there can be no BAD in the manifestatins and there can only be harmony and peace. The superimposed "I", the body conscience is very much limited and from this finite structure the infinite structure cannot be described. It will be only an illusion. That is why Siddas and Rishis went away from the peopole who imagined that they are there. Nammalwar said " Nattarodu Iyalvu Ozithu Nanarananai Namminome". Thank You Sir With warm regards ravi
March 31, 2011 10:58 AM
Blogger balayogi said...
Sanathana dharma Defined in brief, devoid of lengthy treatise or jargons, all aspects of life of a HINDU, I mean a correct Hindu in heart and soul not the show offs, require no labeling by or from anyone, no justification by or for anyone, no approval from anyone, no abstract theories or explanation by anyone, no debate or critical analysis or evaluation based on any -ism, nor even any fanatical following based on any specific methods of life style. One can revel in all these aspects of life of a Hindu and they reveal their splendor by merely living a life of constant self enquiry based on any or many levels /methods of perception available and accessible to the heart, intellect and soul of the individual. This life of self enquiry will manifest the various levels of metamorphosis of one’s spiritual evolution wherein the reverse process of life takes place. That is as we grow through the inevitable multiple and different forms and conditionings, we acquire huge carapace of irrelevant loads of activities to our life thinking that each one is important, indeed they may be /are at different stages of life important, but not vital, the self enquiry strips us of the carapace of important/relevant conditionings of the past and makes us notice the essence of every aspect of life. Sanathana dharma is perhaps the best known way which gives sketchy guideline for this process of soul’s slow but sure search for spiritual enlightenment /evolution/improvement. The crux of the matter is to grasp the essence of spiritual vibrations in every aspect of life in our own way and leave out the extraneous factors, however greatly revered by tradition or promoted by religious institutions or eulogized by the elite. Everything in any process of growth is just a step, important and inevitable, but not a stop. It is so with mother’s milk [our biological aspect of life]; it is so with learning of alphabets, words and numbers [our intellectual aspect of life]; it is so with hugging, kissing and cajoling as babies [our emotional aspect of life]; it is so with our learning and understanding of different concepts [ our philosophical aspect of life]; it is so with all forms of worship, devotion and all its concomitant rituals and religious practices [ our spiritual life] and so on. This is the inherent wisdom. A normal human being has to go through a process to grow in everything or into something. There may be exceptions like a Adi shankara, or a Bhagawan Ramanamaharishi. We can neither avoid the steps nor get struck to them. That’s why I cannot accept the snobbism of so called intellectuals parroting pet slogans like religion without rituals, god without religion or religion without gods, spiritualism without god or religion etc. In fact I have books titled in each part of the slogan. Not only Hinduism but Bharath matha itself is an enigma wrapped in mystery for any one who has not lived it, one must grasp the spirit of it, which is imbued with spiritualism and jeevan. That’s why a true Indian can live anywhere with anything or even without anything. Whereas most of the westerners cannot live even without a specific brand of tissue paper or at least any tissue paper. Unfortunately no westerner has so for understood properly nor can understand either of the above [Hinduism or Bharath matha] fully unless they live it shedding all their conditionings with their heart and soul
April 3, 2011 10:47 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Dear Sir Sri Vaithinathan Hariharan Your esteemed self is very corect to state that anything in the process of learning is taking a step towards growth. Presently one has to start with LKG or Pre KG and reach the hihger levels as per their ability or attitude. But in the process of God Learning nobody is willing to go beyond LKG. The reason is that the body conscience and the consequent worldy pleasures. Love for God is lost and God is taken to be boons presenter and in the worst case there is fear of God and His punishments. As per Hindu scriptures God will never hate, never punish, never ridicules and never will have all other unpleasant qualities. The moment the I rise all the bad inclinatins follow. Therefore the I should be submited to the God. I have watched many mothers boasting that their 6 years old kid is well versed with many slokams. The mightyness of the God for the Slokams are menat is totally for gotten and the super imposed I comes into play. Now one can see how lucrative is the jargon "MANA VALAR KALAI" . The MANAM that is to be annihailated is inflated. All the study on God in India have failed to make one humble and simple. This is due to the fact that the people are always encouraged to expand their MANAMS. When you permit your MANAM to get vanished in SLEEP why cannot you do it in waking. The hypocracy is to be given up or take the decision that I will be like a tiger or a lin or a snake or any other carnivorious of herbivorious cfreatures. Here also the hypocracy creeps in. The only solution is the thinking that GOD alone exists and all the other are visuals refected or imagiined. Imagine such a society. People Live but Do Not Live.Nothing will be there to act against Nature and all will be humble , merciful, pleasant . With warm regards ravi
April 4, 2011 1:59 PM
Blogger Harisankar said...
i get the feeling that i gave the credit of longest comment to another reader too soon. ;))
June 7, 2011 12:43 AM
Blogger hvaidya said...
It is the same person
June 8, 2011 7:52 PM

Concert - Dr. Narmadha

  1. Nere nammidhi - Kaanada  
  2. Vaathapi - Hamsadhwani  
  3. Laawanya raama - Poornashadjam 
  4. Raghuvamsa - Kadhanakudhoogalam 
  5. Saadhinchane - Aarabhi  
  6. Siva siva siva enaraadha - Kaamavardhini 
  7. Koniyaded - Kokiladhwani  
  8. Endhuku - Sankarabaranam  
  9. Meera bhajan - Vaageswari   
  10. Jagadhodhaarana - Pilu
  11. Muralidhara - Maand 
  12. Jagatjanani - Rathipathipriya 
  13. Mangalam and Vaazhiya sendhamizh
Courtesy :
I am here to tell you, to promise you in fact, that simple, tiny changes made one minute at a time, one experience at a time, will positively change your life and every outcome of every experience, in powerful (though sometimes subtle) ways. 
Blogger uhgarmusic said...
Dear Sir, Both 11th and 12th are pointing to 'JagathJanani'. Please look into it. Thanks againfor this wonderful compilation of Dr. Narmadha. With Regards, Raghu.
April 5, 2011 4:16 AM
Blogger hvaidya said...
Dear Mr. Raghu, Thanks for pointing out the error. I have corrected it.
April 5, 2011 8:53 PM
Blogger uhgarmusic said...
Dear Sir, Thank you; but, now the link no 12 is still 'Jagath Janani', while 10th and 11th point to 'Muralidhara'.. The listing now is: 10# Muralidhara - Maand 11# Jagatjanani - Rathipathipriya 12# Mangalam and Vaazhiya sendhamizh. We are missing the 12th entry - 'Managalam'. Current 12th is the correct ones for 'Jagath Janani' (11th entry). Please look into it. And, Thank youonce again! With Regards, Raghu
April 6, 2011 4:22 AM
Blogger hvaidya said...
Dear Mr. Raghu, The whole confusion is due to the missing link of Jagadhodhaarana.(No 10) I hope now everything will be in order
April 6, 2011 3:31 PM

Blogger uhgarmusic said...
Dear Sir, Thank you! I thought we had only 12 numbers; instead, we have got one more - that hidden one! 'Jagadhodharana!'.... How wonderful! Thank you sir so much! With Regards, Raghu.
April 7, 2011 5:17 AM