Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Dashavatarastuti - Vadiraja - Vamana 10

Dhyaana + arha - worth meditating up on, fit to be meditated upon,
Vaamana + tano - dwarf (Vamana) + Having body of , Natha = Lord,
Pahi = protect, Yajamana + asura + eesha = Leader, Presider (presiding
over the Yagna) + Demon + King, Vasudha = Earth, Adanaa + ya = take
back + to, Yaachanika = one who is begging, asking for, Leenaartha = hidden,
inner, sweeter meaning Vak + Vashita = Oratory + Under control, Naanaa = Many,  
Sadasya = members of assembly, Danuja = demons, Born out of Danu.

Meena + anka =  fish + sign (on flag) ie Manmatha, Nirmala =  Clean, clear, pure,
Nishaa + naatha = Night + King ie moon, Koti = Crores,  Lasamana = Radiance, Beauty,
Aatma + maounji + guNa = (on) Body + waist + Thread Kaupeena = Loincloth,
 Achcha + Sutra = Pure, Sacred + thread, Pad + yaana = Legs + Moving ie Walking,
Atapa + tra = Sun + protecting ie umbrella, Karakaa = kamandala, Vessel to carry
water,  Anamya = worth bowing before, Danda + Vara = Stick + Great,Supreme,
Bhrit = Possessing, Carrying.

In the guise of a seeker, taking back the earth by sweet talking the king of demons,
Bali and taking under control all members of his assembly by oratory, having the
body of dwarfish Vamana, worth meditating upon,

With the radiance and beauty surpassing crores of ‘Manmatha’ who has fish sign on
his flag, and lord of night ‘Chandra’, king of night, and having a thread around the
waist, wearing a loincloth and the sacred thread, moving on the feet, holding the
umbrella, the water vessel and carrying the supreme power stick - danda (which is )
worthy of prostrations, Lord, (you) protect (us).  - 10

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dashavatarastuti - Vaadiraajaswamy - Vaamana 9

Pinga + aksha =  Red + eye, meaning a Big cat, Lion. Vikrama = Brave, parakrami.  
(Brave like a lion) Turanga = Horse, Horse unit of the army, Adi = etc,  Sainya = Army,
Armed Forces, Chaturanga = Four branches of ancient armies - Men, Horse units,
Chariots and elephant unit. Avalipta =  being proud of, Carried away by the possession of,
Danu+ ja = Danu + Born, meaning a Danava. A + saanga + adhvara + stha + bali = un,
not,in,im + correct, proper, complete + yagna + doer, performer + Bali.  Meaning
Balimahaaraja who was performing a yagna which was improper, Improper because
the main ingredient essential for yagna, ie Vishnubhakti, was missing. Sa + anga + ava +
paata = Alongwith, including + body parts + pushing + down, Hrishita = Very happy, thrilled,
Amara = having no death, meaning gods, Ali = Group, Nuta = Praising, Worship through
singing, Te = To

Shringara =  Very nice, beautiful, enchanting Paada = foot, Nakha = nail,
Tunga + agra = high, top + tip, top end, Bhinna = crack, cut, pierce Kanaka = Gold,
Anga = Body parts, Anda = comprising all, (Kanakaangaanda is other name for
Brahmaanda) Paati = fell out, fallen, Tatini = That which has banks, borders,
meaning Ganga river.
Tunga = Top, high   Ati + mangala + Taranga = Very + Auspicious + waves  
Abhibhuta = destroy, washaway Bhajaka + anga + agha =  those who are
praising + Body + Sins Meaning external and internal impurities/sins of body  
Vamaana + namah = Vamana + Prostrations

You, who pushed into the lower recesses of ‘paataala’, the whole of Bali Chakravarti,
son of Danu, who was brave as a lion and was consumed by the fact that he had
under his control a large army comprising of all the four units including the horse unit,
and the group of gods were thrilled.

The tip of your beautiful toenail pierced the golden outer cover of the universe,
(Brahma performed ‘Abhishekha’ for the toenail) and the sacred Ganga flowed
down, her auspicious high waves washed away the external impurities and internal
sins of those who were singing your praise, Vamana, prostrations to you. -  9

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Dashavatarastuti - Vadirajaswamy - 8 Narasimha

Dambholi = Lightening, Teekshna = Sharp, severe, excessive, Nakha = Nails,
Sambhedita = ripped apart, Indra + ripu = Enemy of Indra (in the present case Hiranyakashipu), Khumbhi + Indra = King of elephants, (Kumbhi is one who has a 'kumbha', ie an elephant) Pahi = Protect, Kripaya = Please, kindly, Sthambha = Pillar, Arbhaka = child, one who is born out of, Asahana = Intolerant (Narasimha doesn't tolerate enemies, arrogance etc) Dimbha + ya = Child +To (Namely, Prahlaada) Datta + vara = Giver/given + Boons, Gambhira = Deep, loud, grand, Naada = Sound, Nrihare - nr + hare = Nara + Hari = Man + Lion

Ambhodi + ja = Ocean + Born , Anusarana = Being followed, Following, Ambho + ja + Bhu = Water + Born + Born from (One who was born out of something born in water, meaning born from Lotus, ie Brahma) Pavana = Vaayudeva, Kumbhinanasa + Esha = Snake + King (shesha), Khagaraat = Garuda, Kumbh + indra = Elephaant + king, Kritti + Dhara = Skin + wearing, (shiva), Jambhu + Ari = Jambhasura + Enemy (Indra) , Shanmukha = Subrahmanya, Mukha + Ambhoruha = Mouth + Lotus = having lotuslike mouths/faces, (meaning Beautiful and not absorbing effects of 'Samsaara' - Devatas - just as lotus does not absorb water inspite of being in contact) Abhinuta = being prostrated/ worshipped, Mam = Me.

With sharpest nails, which are like a thunderbolt, slaying a king elephant like Hiranyakashipu, coming out of a pillar, intolerant of enemies and the evil and granting boons to the child Prahlaada and producing a deep majestic roar, (you) Narahari,

Being followed by Lakshmidevi, and worshipped by Brahma, Vayudeva, Seshadeva, Garuda, Shiva, Indra, Subrahmanaya and other gods, please protect me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Malvan - More Pictures

Beginning the proposed 20 km walk, early morning. 

Triambak, who took pains to carry a new camera in the hope of getting good pictures, took hundreds, lost all of them by the click of a button and managed to retrieve all ! 

The group minus the photographer after trimming some kilometers. 

Walking path

My friends are game for anything. Walk, car, boat or bullock cart !

Waiting on the boat for more 'bakra's to join 

The place for Scuba diving

Scuba in progress

The group selfie, without which the outing is not complete

Bye, Malvan. 

Malvan - Enjoyable Fish Fry, Regrettable Scuba Diving !

It is a cliche but a fact. Nothing captures the imagination of a Goan better than
Fish curry rice and fish fry. My friends thoroughly enjoyed the fish plate at Malvan
though they were sucking their breath and reaching for their beer repeatedly for
relief from the spicy preparation! And the fact that my fish starved friends were
enjoying 'formalin free' and fresh fish - just short of putting it live in their
mouth - enhanced their pleasure to a great extent. I am not entitled to that
pleasure and I stuck to my grass but I should accept that even my grass was
well prepared and I enjoyed it.

We (my swimming group) made an overnight trip to Malvan last weekend. I think
fish fry and an opportunity to get yourself photographed wearing scuba gear - for
use in your FB and Whatsapp posts - is what Malvan is all about. If you enjoy that,
you had a great time there. It has nothing to offer for picky people like me
and I wasn’t impressed. But since I was with my friends, whose company is enjoyable
irrespective of where you are, I had a good time.

I was imagining Malvan to be a peaceful, isolated and clean sea side place but it is
none of  that. Probably It was like that some years back but now that it has shot to
fame as a cheaper alternative to Goa, it seems to be just “making hay while the sun
shines" and not bothering about the after effects.

My complaints (by nature, I am prone to look at the darker side usually) begin with the
travel to Malvan from Ponda - Goa. One hundred and forty
kilometrs took four hours. The road is good but the traffic congested till the
Goa - Maharashtra border and after that, traffic is reduced but the road condition
gets worse. Once you reach the place you directly head to the beach. When you
find rows of fishing boats along with cars, goods vehicles and rikshaws, you are
on the beach. The great line of trash is the border between the land and water.
Initially I thought that we were on a somewhat crowded part of the beach and
maybe it gets better as you move away. But the next morning we walked for nearly
eight kilometers along the beach - crossing Tarkalli and going upto Devbag - and there
is no difference.

The highlight of our trip to malvan was the scuba diving. I thought that the eight of
us would be taken to the diving spot by a boat,
you dive down using the scuba gear, see whatever there is to see, pay for the
pleasure and get back. But no. You will be herded to a large boat which already
contains two or three more groups who have bargained for  similar pleasure.
The agent will dump all of you in the boat and goes out looking for more people.
You remain baking in the boat for an hour or so. Once he is sure that he can’t find
anymore, he give a thumbs up and the boat leaves for the place meant for diving,
about half a kilometer away from the shore, right next to the Malvan fort.

The place meant for diving is about 50 feet by 50 feet in area and as you near the
place, you will notice another half a dozen boats, containing about twenty people
each, jostling for a vantage spot.  The Scuba operators take two or three at a time for a
dive lasting about eight to ten minutes and concentrate on making you pose above the
corals and attracting fish to your face using fish food spray. They used some foam
like spray - I think it was fish food because fish come rushing. One of them
takes your picture, and you are done.

So, you dive for about eight minutes and spend about two to three hours idling/ baking
in the boat. Not something that I would enjoy. Since it is a considerable duration people
are forced to eat in the boat, rinse their mouth and spit into water and children who
have to let go, are encouraged to stand on the edge of the boat and relieve themselves.
Mercifully none of the adults did that. And that is the water you dive into. An oxygen
cylinder is on your back and you bite on to the mouthpiece and hold it tight, sealing
it with your lips. The same mouth piece which has been held by thousands
like you  and which has never been washed except for the dip it gets into saline water
between two people using it.

I just could not do it but I could not back out too. Everyone else was doing and enjoying
it ! So,I went for it. But however much I tried, I could not hold the mouthpiece tight and
cover it with my lips. As a result seawater kept entering inside and I had to come out in
between and face reprimands from the operator for not following the instructions. After
five minutes, I was done and glad that I was done! I climbed out, gargled my mouth
repeatedly, spat into the same water everyone else was spitting into, and we returned
to the shore soon afterwards.

The tide had cleared some of the trash littering the beach and the beach was looking
clean and calm. we went for a swim. The sea was smooth, water was cool and clear
and the company as I said was great. We enjoyed a good swim before our lunch.
The fish plate, which I have mentioned in the beginnig. We left Malvan by three
and were back in ponda by seven after a refreshing tea break at a roadside gada
at  Banda.

What I have written, is what I felt about Malvan and the fact that I enjoyed the visit in
spite of the reservations that I have expressed here, indicates the effect my buoyant
friends have upon me! And I end with that happy memory and the taste of hot sweet
tea we had in the roadside gada at Banda - Maharashtra.

My Friends : From left to right - Praveen, Rajesh, Sandesh, Viren, Rajaneesh, Shivdeep, Triambak. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Fort At Chitradurga - Unexpected visit

Happened to visit the Historical, comparatively well preserved and maintained fort at Chitradurga on our way back to Ponda. It has survived many invasions and rulers and looks like it will survive the civilisation and development too!

The distance from Bengaluru to Ponda is about 570 kilometers. Not difficult to cover in one day. But since I feel the long drive, unruly highway traffic and innumerable diversions a bit tedious, we decided to travel upto Chitradurga, halt for the night and resume the journey the next morning.

We had no intention of visiting the Fort. But we selected the KSTDC Mayura Yatri Nivas for our night halt and it is located right next to the Fort. I had seen the fort some three decades back and though I was impressed then, I had forgotten what I had seen.

Since I learnt that the fort was right next and that it opens at six in the morning, the urge to use the Fort for my morning walk was irresistible. I was impressed with the maintanance and upkeep of the fort. The KSTDC hotel was also good and the 'all in one' there, Rajesh, was very attentive and courteous. Most important, my wife certifies the Dosa, served for breakfast !

The imposing entrance to the fort. The entry path takes steep 90 degree turns and was meant to make it very difficult for the invading forces to maneuver and see what is ahead. 

The area covered by the fort is huge and paths lead in all directions from the main entrance. 

The huge grinding stone used for grinding gun powder with the help of elephants. There are four of them. 
The fort as seen from the outside.

The sun rises above the city of Chitradurga. 

One of the many entrance ways inside the fort.

An imposing stone arch leading to a temple.

One of the temples inside the fort.

'Okuli Honda' meaning a pond used to mix colours for Holi. 

A view of a part of the inside structures.

Shaded path way.

The 'Fort View' rooms of the KSTDC Mayura yatri nivas.

Day 4 - 'Maalekallu Tirupati' and onto Bengaluru

'Maalekallu Tirupati' Near Arasikere. I have been visiting Arasikere since my childhood. It is my aunt's place. This hill has a temple of Balaji or Srinivasa at the top and I understand that the priest climbs the 1200 steps to the top everyday in the morning to perform the 'Pooja'. My cousins used to tell us stories of the priest finding a tiger lying on the step one day and a bear climbing down another day. That was half a century back and was possibly true! Since then I have been eager to climb the hill but never had an oppertunity. I climbed the hill early one morning last week and enjoyed every one of 1200 steps. Apart from the squirrels which were scurrying here and there and a few birds, there was not another soul on the entire hill. 

The steps to the top
The 'Mantap' where the climb starts.
Halfway up the hill. The Govindaraja temple at a distance below. 
Wonderful view and solitude at the top. 

Resting place on the way

A charming old structure.

Sri Balaji at the top. I understand he was free till recently and was imprisoned after some miscreants damaged the idol. 

Blackheaded Ibis seen at the bottom of the hill.

A large lake on the way to Bengaluru. Between Tiptur and Turuvekere - A route which we were not supposed to take but ended up on, by mistake. 

Google said "you have reached your destination". Our house in Bengaluru.