Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Moving to www.spiritual-note.com

Dear All,

Since the collection of information about various saints has grown to a decent size, it is time to move on to a different website which is dedicated for collecting the information about spirituality.
The new site is www.spiritual-note.com
Spiritual-note.com site will contain all the main article about the spirituality and saints, I will continue to post my blogs at blogs.spiritual-note.com

Regards,
Yogesh.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Kanaka Dasa



One of the most remarkable saints of the period of Purandara was Kanaka Dasa of Kaginele. He was a great disciple of Vyasarja, though a shephard by birth and great critic of caste hierarchy. Kanaka was born to Biregowda and Beechamma, at Bada and hew as a saiva in the beginning, and later on became a close follower of Vaishnavism, and a devoted Bhakta of Tirupati Venkateshwara whom he visited often, in spite of the hazardous nature of the journey up the hills. By reason of his devotion to Venkatesha and contacts with the archakas of the temple, there is a belief that Kanaka was a Vaishnavaite of the Ramanuja School, and never accepted a Vaishnavite of the Ramanuja school, and never accepted a Taratamya aspect of Madhva philosophy, as is borne out in the opening of his work "Mohana Tarangini': "Sattvikollasa Sri Ramanuja Muni Saranu!!!".

But Kanaka Dasa spent youth and his later years most in the company with Sri Vyasaraja, who spoke in admiration of him as he did of Purandara. Kanaka was of the warrior community, perhaps his defeat in the field of battle, directed him to the path of devotion. He was already an author of Narasimha stora, Ramadhyana Mantra, Mohanatarangini before he became a follower of Sri Vyasaraja and followed most of the tenets of Madhva religion.

He never became a Madhva though he accepted the Taratamya Tattva in the hierarchy of God like Brahma, Vayu, Girisha and others. Perhaps, he was already very much influenced by Sri Vyasaraja and his tenets before he gave to the world Nala Charitre and Haribhati Sara. H was essentially, a Madhva mystic seeing the manifestation of Keshava in the meanest creation as well as in the highest, coloured by all the attributes of God and partaking of divine powers. There is a popular story that Kanaka being rejected entrace at the temple at Udipi, went round the Prakaram and burst in tears of song, appealing to the Lord to give darshan when the idol turned round, made a slit in the wall where Kanaka sat and give darshan to him. He composed hymns in moments of exaltation and when he sang them, he felt himself enveloped with melody and ecstatic lyric poetry.

Links:
  • A web page containing good information Kanaka on Dvaita.org
  • A web page containing good information Kanaka on Kamat.com

Friday, June 22, 2007

Useful Sites

Freeindia.org

A very good site which has lot information about India. I like the Biographies section which has the biographies of lot of great Indians including Saints, Poets, Kings and Queens, Leaders, Social Reformers, Scientists and Philosophers etc.

Apart from the biographies section this site provides information about Indian culture and art, freedom movement, latest happenings etc.

Link: Freeindia.org

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sant Bhogar Siddhar



Bhogar was a South Indian by birth, belonging to the caste of goldsmiths, who became a siddhapurusha under the guidance of Kalanginaathar. In Bogar's Saptakanda he reveals details of various medicinal preparations to his disciple Pullippani (so named as he is believed to have wandered in the forests atop a puli or tiger) and at every stage he quotes his guru as the authority. Also Pulippani must have been a young man then, as he is often referred to as a balaka.

It is said that as per the last wishes of his guru, Bhogar proceeded to China to spread the knowledge of siddha sciences and strangely enough his journey is said to have been made with the aid of an aircraft; he demonstrated to the Chinese the details of the construction of the aircraft and later built for them a sea-going craft using a steam engine. The details of these and other experiments demonstrated by Bhogar in China are clearly documented in the Saptakanda.

Bogar's guru, Kālāngi Nāthar, is believed to be a Chinese who attained siddhi in South India and thus became included among the Eighteen Siddhars.

Link:
  1. The life of Bhogar Siddhar page on Palani.org
  2. The Life of Bhogar in Pictures page on Palani.org

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Shri Trailanga Swami


A detailed article on Shri Trailanga Swami is now available at http://www.spiritual-note.com/Trailinga_Swami

Trailinga Swami
born to Narasingh Rao and Bidayabati in 1601, was a great Indian Saint who did tremendous sadhana for over 250 years and attained to the heights of spiritual knowledge. Swami is said to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. His initial name was Shivaram.

Shivaram was always a profound and seriously introspective child. For the most part he avoided regular childhood past times, preferring instead to spend his time in solitude. He was quite indifferent to the demands of the society around him. Rather his great joy was to listen to religious stories told by his mother. He spent 52 years of his life serving his parents and at the age of 52 when his mother left her earthly body, Shivram moved out of his house and started his search for the guru. He started his sadhana in the local cremation grounds, where he remained seeking wisdom for 20 years. After that he went to many places including Nepal and finally settled in Banaras (Kashi) where he stayed for about 150 years.

The Swami, rarely eating earthly foods, was said to have gained a pound of body weight for each of his earthly years and finally reaching over 300 pounds.

The Swami was consistently seen to drink deadly poisons and remain unaffected by it. Thousands of people have seen Trailanga floating on the Ganges for days on end. Many who witnessed this are still living today. Swami was seen sitting on the top of the water and other times remaining hidden under the waves for hours and days. Frequently the Swami was seen on the extremely hot stone slabs at Manikarnika Ghat under the blistering heat of the Indian sun, yet no ill affect resulted to his body.

Trailanga Swami took samadhi on the ekadashi (11th lunar day) of the bright lunar of the month of Pousha (December) 1881.

Links:

Web pages containing good information about Shri Trailanga Swami
  1. Shreemaa.org
  2. Angelfire.com

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Purandara Dasa



A detailed article on Purandara Dasa is now available at http://www.spiritual-note.com/Purandara_Dasa

Purandara Dasa
was born to a pawnbroker named Varadappa Nayaka. Varadappa Nayaka and his wife Lakshmi Bai had been childless for several years, and finally, after praying to Lord Srinivasa of Tirupati, they became proud parents of a child whom they called Srinivasa. The family are supposed to have hailed from Pandarapur in modern day Maharashtra but Purandara Dasa lived in Hampi during the latter part of his life.

Srinivasa Nayaka grew up and entered his father's business. However, unlike his father, he was a miser, so much so that it is said that he even baulked at spending money on treatment for his father's illness. His wife Saraswathi bai was the opposite: always wishing to contribute to charity much to the displeasure of her husband.

One day, Lord Vishnu in the guise of a poor priest visited Srinivasa Nayaka's shop who wanted some alms to perform the thread ceremony for his son. Srinivasa Nayaka, being a miser, asked him to return the following day, and kept the Brahmin coming for another six months. Finally, fed up with the Brahmin's persistence, he gave him one fake coin that he played with as a child. Vishnu as the priest then told Srinivasa's wife Saraswathi the pitiful story of how a miserly pawnbroker made him come to his shop every day for six months only to give him a fake coin in the end. Saraswathi's heart melted and she gave the Brahmin her nose ring as alms (a gift from her parents and thus not something that she got from her husband). The Brahmin promptly took the nose ring back to Srinivasa Nayaka's shop, where he wanted to pawn it for money. The pawnbroker recognized it, however, so he locked it up in his safe and hurried home. He demanded that Saraswathi produce her nose ring immediately. Struck with fear, Saraswathi locked herself in the kitchen and tried to swallow poison. Miraculously, the nose ring dropped from the heavens into her cup of poison and she was able to produce it for her husband. Upon returning to his shop, he opened the safe, only to find that the nose ring in the safe had vanished. This put his mind into a turmoil. After deep thought, he came to the conclusion that the brahmin was none other than Lord Shri Purandara Vitthala Himself. He recalled all the incidents that had transpired in the previous six months. Wonderstruck, he was ashamed of his miserliness, Srinivasa Nayaka decided to renounce all material belongings and become a dasa (servant)of god. Thus, Srinivasa Nayaka came to be Purandara Dasa. In gratitude for this event, he would later compose a song dedicated to his wife, for having shown him the path to God. From that day onwards he became a devotee of Shri Hari. The once Navkoti Narayana became a Narayana bhakta, the hands which sported gold and diamond rings now played the tamboora, the neck which used to be resplendent with golden chains now housed the tulasi mAla. The man who had turned away countless people away, now himself went around collecting alms and living the life of a mendicant. The Nayaka who would have lived and died an inconsequential life became the Great Purandaradasa, loved and revered even centuries after his death.

Link:
  1. Good information about Purandara Dasa on Freeindia.com (link)
  2. Good information about life of Purandara Dasa and his literature on Dvaita.org (link)
  3. A page on Wikipedia (link)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Bhagwan Swaminarayan


Life in Brief

At 20, the Lord was in Ramanand Swami’s Ashram serving as a humble servant. He was named Sahajanand when Ramanand Swami initiated Him. The Lord became the sole spiritual master when Ramanand Swami appointed Him as the Guru of his ashram. A month later, Ramanand Swami passed away. On the 14th day of the funeral rites, in the village of Faneni, the Lord introduced the new Swaminarayan Mantra. News of this Mantra spread far and wide. And its spiritual power was felt everywhere. Sahajanand Swami now became known as Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Anyone who chanted the Mantra enjoyed samadhi - the ultimate spiritual experience. Those who heard it, wrote it or thought of it experienced samadhi. Others who saw Bhagwan Swaminarayan, heard the sound of His sandals, or discussed His philosophy saw a divine light and beheld the visions of the great incarnations of God - Rama, Krishna and Shiva. Since the trance was an experience of His grace, it was called krupa samadhi.

Followers from all walks of life, of all talents and stations, of all positions and powers joined the flock of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Scholars and music maestros, spiritual seekers and spiritual leaders came forth and took initiation. Bhagwan Swaminarayan was accepted as God Himself and the way of life He introduced came to be known as the Swaminarayan Sampraday.

The word 'Sampraday' emphasizes the fact that the Movement, its philosophy and principles have been continually guided and preserved, in all their purity, by an unbroken and untainted spiritual hierarchy of enlightened Gurus.

By 49, Bhagwan Swaminarayan completed His mission on earth and returned to His divine abode. Over 2 million devotees had experienced His divinity and hailed His purity. Six magnificent mandirs enshrined His spirituality and several scriptures encapsulated His knowledge. Yet His personality, in all its totality was preserved by His spiritual successor Gunatitanand Swami.

On 1 June 1830 CE (Jeth sud 10, 1886 VS), Bhagwan Swaminarayan left His mortal body which was cremated in Gadhada.

But long before that He had begun to reveal that He would continue to be present on this earth through a succession of spiritual Gurus. The Lord's eternal words spoken on 8 February 1826 CE (Maha sud 2, 1882 VS) are recorded in Vachanamrut Vadtal 19: "When the Jiva gets a birth as a human being, God or God's enlightened Sadhu are always manifest on this earth. When the Jiva knows and understands them, he becomes a Bhakta - God's devotee."

Keeping to this timeless promise, Bhagwan Swaminarayan entrusted Gunatitanand Swami, His Enlightened Sadhu, with the oars of the Sampraday.

Link:
  1. Baps.org - A good site about Bhagavan Swaminayrayan.