Srimad Bhagavatham Chapter 13 of Skandha 1 – A Commentry

This chapter turns the narrative on its head, directs it on a somewhat different trajectory.

Just before the start of the encounter  between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, Duryodhana visiting his father had overheard at the entrance, Vidura advising Dhritarashtra inside, to put his foot down on his vagrant son, banish him from the Kingdom and make amends for the injustice done to the Pandavas.

Duryodhana abuses the uncle Vidhura in the harshest language, calls him an ungrateful wretch, orders him out.  Dhritarashtra kept mum all the while.  Piqued, Vidura laid down the royal insignia on him and silently walked out of the chamber and out of the kingdom itself.

The chapter begins with his return to the palace, after knowing the course of the battle and the end.  The Pandavas are excited, welcome him and enquire about his experiences. Vidura narrates them but mentions nothing about the Yadus or even Sri Krishna, although he was aware of the extinction of that kingdom and the ascension of Sri Krishna to his abode in Vaikunta.

Vidura then visits the brother who seemed to be enjoying life with the Pandavas in command.  He chastised the brother, asked him how he could lead a despicable life, like a watch-dog, eat food served by Bhima even after so much injustice was done to that son.  He warned that the future was bleak and, he had indications of this.

Dhritarashtra leaves the palace at night, Gandhari accompanying him and, Vidura himself in toe.

As part of his morning routine, Dharmaputra comes calling on his uncle, finds the room empty.  Sanjaya when asked says he had no idea whatsoever.  Just then, Narada walks in , lectures on the transitoriness of life and relationships, reveals that Dhritarashtra had left towards the Himalayas with his wife and Vidura, and was focussed on his future. He also prophesied that, over the week, a forest-fire would consume the couple and Vidura will return to his abode, Yamaloka, from where he had been banished for a transgression, to live as a sudra for a hundred years.  Narada leaves.

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Danvapasi Petition

I have a-thought, a real game-changer of sorts, and hurting no one.

Our banks and insurance companies, corporates and courts of law are quietly sitting on billions and billions of rupees worth of unclaimed-for-decades assets of one form or the other, accountable to no one and secreting the details.  Unclaimed/disputed but unresolved maturity and other claims, long-unadjusted premia received and other accounts, including pledged properties not redeemed are with the LIC and govt. lending agencies, banks etc.  Every single corporate unit has unclaimed dividends accumulated over many years, unclaimed shares, long-disputed but not at all claimed assets, security deposits etc. the extent is a closely guarded secret to enable some to pocket bits thereof.
Govt. can appoint an agency to identify and quantify these within a time-frame, bring the issue to parliament to debate and take policy decisions to monetise them.  It belonged to an earlier generation, no claimants, good to share it with gen-next or use it both purposefully and productively.
With all my self-proclaimed skills, I have lost about a crore of rupees worth of shares and dividends.  You can extrapolate this for the nation to get a broad picture.
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Brahmanas are My Gods

Narada, once, asked Maha Vshnu if He worshipped any Gods.  And Vishnu replied:



Meaning ‘The entire Universe is under the surveilance of God and, God is under surveilance of Mantras, which are under the control of the Brahmanas.  Therefore,Brahmanas are my Gods’ .

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Shrimad Bhagavatham Prathama skanda chapter 7 – A Brief Commentary

Chapter 7 of Book 1 narrates the cowardly act of Aswathama.

He was anxious to show his gratitude to Duryodhana for all he had done for his family, and Duryodhana himself was hiding under the waters of a lake, after the ignominous defeat in the battle.

Aswathama kills all the five children of Draupadi, while they were asleep.  And, Draupati is outraged, Arjuna pacifies her assuring that he will behead Aswathama and avenge this crime.  Accompanied by Krishna, he goes after Aswathama.  Meanwhile, Aswathama had released the Brahmaastra aimed at the Pandavas.  Krishna tells Arjuna that the Guruputra only knew how to release the astra, not withdraw it.  Therefore, best for Arjuna to tame it with his own and, withdraw both together.
They both go after Aswathama, he is caught, bound to the chariot like a hunted animal and dragged to Draupati’s presence.  For good measure, Krishna asks Arjuna to keep his word to Draupati, behead the villain, quoting the Dharma-sastra in support of the punishment.  However, when Draupati saw the guru-putra in that abject condition, she was moved to tears, pleads for sparing his life, says:
meaning  ‘Release him, release him, at once, he is a brahmin, dear son of our Guru, his mother, totally devoted to her husband,Drona,  should not wail like I am doing now.  Also, even if is retribution, killing him will destroy our family too.
The skilled Krishna now changes track, endorses Draupati, cites the injunction against killing brahmins.  Instead, suggests shaving off his head, which is equivalent to beheading a brahmin.  My Lord can wear innumerable hats at the same time, back-track, Become the devil’s advocate, if only to defend virtue and ensure peace.  An amazing Avatar, Sage Vyasa’s greatest character portrayal. Enjoy, the session, all of you, lucky ones.
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Shrimad Bhagavatham ‘Scripture is incapable of translation’

‘Scripture is incapable of translation’ said Sir Henry Newman in his ‘Idea of a University’.

So is this amazing commentary in Malayalam.  It talks of four kinds of devotion to the Lord, the first looking for security from want or fear of sickness etc, second with a desire for knowing the Lord, the third for a ‘quid pro quo’ benefit and the fourth, the one who genuinely wishes realisation.  Sri Krishna would call them ‘Aartha, Jignaasu Arthaarthee and Gnaanee in the Bhagavad Gita ( Slokas 16 and 17 of Chapter 7):
Tamil Upanyasakas would relate tit-bits in support.
Narada had believed that he was The Lord’s best devotee, to clear this, asked Him and Vishnu said, ‘not you’.
The sage wished to ask who then it was, did not.
On his next visit, The Lord was having a head-ache, Narada offered to get a cure and, my Lord said, if he could rub some dust from the feet of His best devotee, it would disappear. Narada rushed out to find this, asked everyone, no one would claim to be the best devotee.  Frustrated, went to the Brindabans in Mathura, the gopikas gathered around asking questions about The Lord, Narada told them about the head-ache and his search for the remedy.
At once, all gopikas sat down, scratched their feet and collected a handful of dust to be taken to the Lord.  Narada felt happy, reported back to the Lord, who just smiled, mischievously, and said ‘ you just met my best devotees’, Narada was bowled over.  In his ’Narada Bhakti Sutras’, he defined ‘Bhakti’ saying
Chapter 47 – Skanda 10 has a highly poetic rendering of the love of the Gopikas.
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IIT Madras soon to have a Sanskrit Chair to explore science and technology in the vedas

Excellent initiative.  However, have genuine doubts if it will be allowed to succeed by the pseudo-seculars

The politicians In Tamil Nadu, the Commies, Casteist’s, pseudo-seculars and idling ‘activists’ will campaign against it. The media will highlight support.  Politicians from opposition will join, stall functioning of Parliament, calling it an attempt to ‘brahminise’ India.

Difficult to find a Director/Vice Chancellor who will be committed for making the experiment a success.

Reservation quotas both for students and faculty will be demanded, courts will interfere and mess up the entire issue, the mission will go, off target, I fear.

There is no structured Sanskrit teaching available in our schooling system now.  Reason, no faculty available.   One year will be needed to learn Sanskrit, limiting admission to manageable numbers.  Catch them early and fund them throughout.  If you say, ‘all those interested in learning Sanskrit, come over, enjoy free learning and likely entry into onward grades, ending up with IIT’, some may fall for it.

I would ask that  Government locate a thousand language experts across India to teach selected students Sanskrit to cope up with the Vedic literature, which contain the targeted knowledge-capsules.  Do not make it a part of IIT yet and become a soft target to condemn.

I would love to support the proposal. It has been one of my cherished wishes.  All I have been able to do is to encourage my children and some close relations and friends to realise that the Vedas are more scientific, ‘Astro-physics’, than religious injunctions like the Bible or Koran and deserve close look.  And, they all had, fortunately, exposure to Sanskrit during schooling.

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My Lord, Give us troubles from time to time

One of the core messages of the Srimad Bhagavatham is in Chapter 7.
Sri Krishna was taking leave of the Pandava family prior to returning to Dwarka, when Uttara comes running, wailing, calling Krishna’s help to save the child in her womb that (Parikshit to be born posthumously) was being destroyed.    Knowing it to be the Brahmastra commissioned by Aswathama, he enters her womb, saves the surviving Pandava heir to throne.
Now, taking leave of Kunti, asks if she needed anything and, she bursts loud to say:
‘My Lord, Give us troubles from time to time ( The Lord must have been shell-shocked!) if only we can have your presence amidst us, a concourse that ensures freedom from re-birth’.
She was echoing only what the Lord Himself had told Udhava, His best companion, in a different context:
‘The mind of a person who constantly thinks of sense objects gets stuck to those objects.On the other hand, the mind of one who constantly remembers Me merges with Me’.
I used this episode and the sloka while speaking at a well-attended Annual Meeting  of the CII (South), in Madras.  My friend Suresh Krishna was presiding and the Chief Guest was Sri. Murari, Industry Secretary of GOI. It was a time of excessive, meaningless restrictions on manufacture, imports etc.  I quoted the story and pleaded that we have more troubles so that we could have regular meetings with this “Krishna”, “Murari”.  The meeting burst into uncontrollable cheer, Murari got up and assured He would be the saviour.  Later, Tarun Das who attended,  mentioned this to Mohan, in Delhi.
Glory to My Lord, Sri Krishna.  Great going.
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Crisis will help to make a brave, new world for all mankind

During these desperate times, I am reminded of the story of Parikshit Maharaja.

Parikshit had only eight days to live, at the end of which had to die of snake-bite, ordained by the curse of a rishi-kumar.  The King is duly informed by the rishi’s messenger.

The ministers went into a huddle to save the King, quarantined him much as we are done, frisked everyone and everything coming to him under any pretext.  The King is worried to a frenzy, just then, unannounced walks in Sri Suka,son of Vyasa.  The King feels relieved, tells him ‘I have only eight days to live’.  Suka says, ‘you are sure of eight days, not anyone else in this world, for them the end can come any time’.  And, engages the king with the exploits of Lord Vishnu in his various avatars, the origin of the phenomenal Universe, its extent, history, geography,   civics, shape of things to come until now and hereafter.  Nothing is left out

Parikshit feels greatly relieved, all fear disappeared and readied himself to entertain the snake and let it do its assignment.  Janamejaya, his son, ascends the throne.

Beautiful sequence, I am extremely happy and see divine intervention here.  Feel confident, the crisis will help to make a brave, new world for all mankind.

Saty safe & Love to all.

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Covid-19:Applicability of `Force Majeure`

Courts all over the world have considered various aspects of the applicability of ‘force majeure’ (circumstances beyond the control of parties at the time of making of the contracts and intervening during the period agreed for performance) and  pronounced decisively.

‘Corona virus’ infection was and continues to be beyond the wildest imaginations of the human mind, especially when its spread is across the globe and its cause is still unclear. As a fall out, several states have locked down human activities, confined people to their homes or to quarantines arranged by governments.

This is a glaring instance for applicability of the doctrine and the need to revisit the contractual obligations.

Where substantial performance is complete, the courts may order grant of extra-time or monetary compensation for any resulting losses .

If, however, the agreed performance time-frame had expired prior to the outbreak, the court may look at ‘balance of convenience’ aspect.

If it is a supply contract or ongoing obligation, it may suggest to parties to Consider extension of the performance time, with or without additional financial obligations.

If the supply is offered beyond the usage period, say calendars/diaries or winter/summer dresses, reasonable compensation may be considered in lieu of performance.

Cases will need to be decided purely on facts, very little of legal issues is involved.


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Indrakshi Stotra, Jvara Mantra, Shiva Kavacham

If one recites it a hundred times, it releases him from both diseases and captivity;  if recited a thousand times, he achieves whatever he desires

Would like share my faith in these Mantras.
1.   I believe the Rishis, who emphatically propounded the theory that sound had very, very great potency.   It controlled Nature itself in all its aspects, and we are all integral parts of Nature.   Therefore, anything happening in us (to us) is happening in Nature itself.   Swamy Rangananda used to say that, ‘nothing can be unnatural;  anything, just anything, can only happen in Nature, and is therefore only natural’.
2.   The innovators of these Mantras – the authorship is unknown, although Indrakshy, at the beginning, says INDRENA AADOU KRITHAM STROTRAM (this Strotra was created by Indra, the Chief of Gods),  believed that they  heard these in their inner consciousness, they only handed it over to posterity.   The Mantra also tells the effects of chanting, regularly.   SATHAM AAVARTHAYED YASTHU MUCHYATE VYAADHI BHANDHANAATH – AAVARTHAYAN SAHASRAM THU LABHATE VAANCHITHAM PHALAM ( if one recites it a hundred times, it releases him from both diseases and captivity;  if recited a thousand times, he achieves whatever he desires).   Similarly, Sivakavacha (or armour of Siva) is a part of the Brahmaanda Puraana.   It says that, by chanting it one overcomes enemies and inimical situations.
3.   During the emergency period, Indira Gandhi turned a ‘tyrant-traitor’, and ruled the country, ruthlessly.   Any kind of opposition, even a whisper, she sent adversaries to jail, treated them cruelly.   Even I was threatened on two occasions, since I was a proclaimed non-conformist !
During this period, my good friend in Cochin, Mr. S.K.Anantharaman (Editor of Indian Express) phoned to say that his big boss in Madras, Bhagavandas Goenka, wanted him to locate me and fix an appointment.   One Mr.R.Ramakrishnan, GM of Indian Express from Madras met me and talked about some predictions I had given earlier regarding Mr.Ramanath Goenka, how doctors  in Calcutta saved him from dying after some prayers I had suggested to be conducted at Benares temple !   He was pursuing the subject, and said that Indira Gandhi wanted to destroy Bhagwandas Goenka and his business, and send him to jail, and that I should advice what can be done to save him.
I then prescribed the chanting of these Strotras One thousand times, ceremonially, by professional priests, also do some Havans etc.   He wanted these to be arranged, so on my advice my friendly Vadhyar Group in Kalpathy, went to Madras for this.   After a week’s ceremonies – I was in Madras to seek the Kanchi Mahaswamy’s blessings.   I was also invited to meet Bhagavandas Goenka.  I was surprised that, within a couple of weeks, Indira Gandhi announced elections. She was trounced and herself went to jail, for a week !
On several other occasions also, I have had intimate experiences of the potency of these Mantras.  
The bottom-line is FAITH, without which one cannot survive in the phenomenal world.


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