Monday, February 19, 2007

Sri Raghavendra Thirtha - My Visit to Mantralaya

My visit to Mantralaya on Feb 17th & 18th 2007, after a gap of 26 long years was a divine calling and an emotional experience.
My husband, daughter and our friends (Chitra, Akhil, Raghu, Mr & Mrs. Reddy) travelled by the APTDC Bus,boarding it at 9.00 am on Feb 17th. The journey was tedious, but bearable as we were in the company of friends. We went via Alampur, Kurnool District which is famous for the SHRI JOGULAMBA DEVI Temple, one of the 18 Shakti Peethas in India which has been recently reconstructed after 615 years.

We reached Mantralaya located in Kurnool District, in western Andhra Pradesh at 7.15 pm. We were provided accommodation at the APTDC Punnami Guest house which was clean and had hot water facility. We had a quick bath, got dressed and rushed to the Mutt for darshan of our GURU, Shri Raghavendra Swami.

I was very excited, as I remembered my childhood visits to the Mutt, very frequently with my parents and brothers. We then lived in Hutti Gold Mines,Raichur District, Karnataka, which presently is the only Gold producing mine in India. My parents were ardent devotees of Sri Raghavendra Swami (Rayaru) and followers of his philosophy. After my father's ( Shri. H. Ramamurthy) untimely demise in 1984, I and my mother somehow could not visit Mantralaya. Even after my wedding, eight years ago, despite many plans and attempts by my husband and me; for reasons uncomprehending, the visit did not materialize.

I call this visit a divine calling because, my mother who is suffering from breast cancer has immense faith in Rayaru and his blessings. And when my friend Chitra suggested that we visit Mantralaya that weekend, being a holiday for our kids; Phani and I were quick to say yes and Mr & Mrs Reddy were more than happy to join us.

Shri Raghavendra Swami, lived in the 17th century (1601-1671) and was one of the greatest proponents of Madhva Philosophy(Dvaita Philosophy). He was considered to be the reincarnation (avatara) of Prahalada. He was an ardent devotee of Moola Rama and Anjaneya.

Shri Raghavendra Swami is said to have performed many miracles during his lifetime and his devotees like my mother, believe that he continues to bless them and miracles do happen even now. Shri Raghavendra Swami entered the Brindavan live, which is located at Mantralaya. Guru Raghavendra is not visible to us now but was visible to Sir Thomas Munroe, the collector of India about 150 years ago when British Ruled India. He is believed to be present in the Brindavan alive (in athma form) at Mantralaya to this 336 year of entry ( as on 15th August 2007) into his Brindavan .

It is a common phenomenon in Kannada Madhva households, such as ours, to teach children from a very young age to recite this Raghavendra Stotra in the morning, after bathing.

pUjyAya rAghavendrAya satyadharmaratAya chabhajatAM kalpavR^ixAya namatAM kAmadhenavedurvAdidhvAntaravaye vaishhNavIndIvarIndaveshrI rAghavendragurave namo.atyantadayALuve

(I worship as the Kalpa-vrksha, and salute as the kAmadhenu the esteemed RaghavEndra who is always engrossed in the true dharma;. He is a brilliant sun who destroys the false arguer, and a moon that casts a mellow light upon the ViShNu bhaktas; salutations to that Guru ShrI RAghavEndra; salutations to the one of extremely kind disposition.)

For our return journey on Feb 18th, after the morning Darshan, we boarded the bus at 9.30 am. The one thing that disappointed me was the sight of the nearly dry River Thungabhadra. On the way back we visited PILLALAMARRI, a huge banyan tree( India's National Tree) spread over an acre of land at Mahabubnagar. I learned that this is the second biggest and widest banyan tree in India, the first being in Howrah, Kolkata, India. Adithi and her friend Akhil had a good time climbing the tree and posed for a few snaps. We reached Hyderabad at 8.00 pm, tired but contented, with the pilgrimage.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Inspiring Books

Giant Steps


Based on the finest tools, techniques, principles, and strategies offered in Awaken the Giant Within, best-selling author and peak performance consultant Anthony Robbins offers daily inspirations and small actions -- exercises -- that will compel you to take giant steps forward in the quality of your life.

From the simple power of decision-making to the more specific tools that can redefine the quality of your relationships, finances, health, and emotions, Robbins shows you how to get maximum results with a minimum investment of time.



An historical narrative of slavery in the American South. Based upon actual researches conducted over a period of years, Haley reconstructs the events that led to the enslavement of Kunta Kinte, the "African" identified in Haley's family lore as their founding father, and his settlement on American shores. Kinte, in his own history, becomes an allegory of the history of the millions of Africans brought forcibly to America, and of the people they became in the intervening years.

Courtesy: ebay

Celestine Prophecy

First published in 1993, this tale has gained a loyal following, entertaining and inspiring thousands of readers with its far-reaching ideas. First-time author James Redfield carries the reader through a quest that begins when the main character decides to follow the exciting trail of a mysterious manuscript rumored to exist somewhere in the jungles of Peru. As his characters go through a series of intense adventures, involving travel through physically and politically dangerous turf, the author gradually introduces nine potentially universe-altering principles, or "insights," starting with the power of coincidence and its meaning to the modern world. Vivid characterizations and stunning experiences drive the ideas home and make the improbable seem likely to show up just around the next corner.

Courtesy: ebay

Like the Flowing River

A transversal cut in the anatomy of Paulo Coelho’s literary work, Be like a river flow compilation of tales, opinions and ideas constitutes a beautiful reflection of the wide creation of the Brazilian writer. Rescued from different periods and publications, the current collection draws the sensitive line followed by the eyes of the creator, stopping on those details of reality and contemplation which distill the subtle philosophy of one who observes existence with the same placidity of gazing at a river. Undoubtedly, with a clear intention of approaching and revealing the mystery and the ways in which a man walks through life. Telling the story of human beings, with their numerous edges, is what Paulo Coelho considers his mission. Telling what they are and how they are, without necessarily bonding to what they want or to what they pretend. Almost like instant pictures of life. Brief and intense pieces of writing that show us a tiny eternal moment of someone’s living. Just like a boy who writes on his notebook with more awareness of his pen than the content of his tale, simply because everything will depend on the way we look at things. These are delicate and pure reflections about literature, history, the art of love or the way to become an archer, when repetition turns into intuition, extolling the capacity of the senses. Or about books and libraries, where the ordinary act of choosing contents can project to life in all its most various shades.

Note: This is a general synopsis.

Courtesy: Paulo Coelho's Official Site

My Mom

My mom with her granddaughters - my daughter "Adithi" and my brother's (Nagaraj "Raju") daughter " Gauri" (Stays in Dubai). We visited my mother who lives in Pune with my younger brother Major H. Ravi Ramamurthy, an Army officer and a Paediatrician and his wife Ashwini. My mom was diagnosed with an advanced stage breast cancer in November 2006. I and my brothers were shattered and upset initially, but coped collectively. She is currently undergoing treatment at the Army Command Hospital, Pune.

My mom is a very spiritual, positive, active and brave lady, with tremendous grit and determination. We are praying that she responds to the treatment and recovers. HOPE and PRAYERS along with the right medical treatment can bring in MIRACLES. I presently go by this dictum.

I think CANCER is predominantly in the news with the number of cases increasing drastically over a period of time. Though the technology has improved and many new effective drugs are introduced, the need of the hour is awareness about the disease. It is not a taboo word. I was surprised to note that people are scared to utter the word "CANCER". Please help spread awareness.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My daughter Adithi

This was Adithi's first visit to a vineyard located about 50 kms from Hyderabad at Mulugu village enroute Shameerpet. Adithi was exited seeing bunches of luscious black and green grapes hanging from the vines. The farm is owned by Phani's (my husband) colleague, Sunita and her husband. It was a learning experience as we understood the whole process of growing grapes, packing and exporting them to England and Holland. And believe me it is not an easy task. I really came back in awe of Sunita's amazing grit and determination. Kudos to such Women!