As it Strikes Me

Traditionally, Saivaites(those who worship Lord Shiva) wear vibhuti(sacred ash) on their forehead as a religious mark. Vibhuthi is nothing but ashes from burning cow dung. Why then is it given so much significance? One may think " after all , its just ash." There is a very deep meaning behind it.  It is because it is a symbolic representation of the fact that the sense of ego should be burnt into ashes in the fire of Jnana and that is why it is worn on the forehead in order to constantly remind one of the very purpose of human birth.

Many of us would be aware of the common practice in our homes wherein a handful of rice is placed in the backyard for the crows to take before we take a meal.
It is believed that the crow represents our forefathers and by offering rice to the crow we are offering to them. Elders would often say " Feed a crow before you eat.

The world is advancing fast. Science and technology is growing by leaps and bounds.  Every day we seem to become more and more intelligent and civilized.

But lo!  What a paradox!  It is the reverse in our country alone!  Our forefathers, the great Rishis were more intelligent than us in all respects. Inventions and discoveries in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, architecture, social order, election system – you name the field, they excelled!

Throughout history, we see that in various times, the society has been mass hypnotized by powerful speakers, eloquent poets and enticing artists towards bravery, freedom, independence, communism, capitalism, rationalism, casteism, social ethics, so on and so forth.

Even though we feel some of our views on some specific issues are correct and acceptable to our conscience, we may not come forward to express it openly because of the following reasons:
1. Our views may not be appreciated by the majority or the ruling government

Ramalinga Vallalar says 'Ul onru vaithu puram onru pesuvaar uravu kalavaamai vendum'
The literal meaning of this verse is "Let me not have the company of those whose words and thoughts do not go together."

To me, it seems that Vallalar conveys a more profound meaning --
"Ul onru' refers to the Soul or the God that is in everyone of us and 'puram onru pesuvaar' refers to those who decry that God does not exist.  'Puram pesudhal' is a nice term in Tamizh that means talking against something which is not visible to the naked eye.
Vallalar really meant to stay away from those atheists who have God in their own hearts and yet decry that He does not exist!

Visualize the battlefield in Mahabharata when the war was at its climax.  On one side is the valorous Karna with Salya as his charioteer and the rest of the Kuru clan.  On the other side is the Pandavas especially Arjuna with verily Bhagavan Sri Krishna as his charioteer.

A person has committed an offense.  He runs from pillar to post to get opinion from people around him to know if he is guilty or not. He gets a different opinion from each one. Eventually, in the court of law, the judge himself gives him a clean chit and acquits him.  Is it not a big relief for him?

We are all people who have committed such offenses.  But we are lucky to have Srimad Bhagavatam which gives us a great relief.

In the sixth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, it is verily Yama Dharma Raja (the Lord of Death) who does ‘Nama Siddhanta’ (proves the power of the Divine Name) .  From his own mouth he states that he shall not touch anyone who reminisces of Lord Narayana in his last breath.

Can there be a better verdict?

In this world there are people who believe in the existence of God and there are those who do not. However, we find that there is no real difference between the two – the believer and the atheist. The Atheist simply refuses to accept the existence of God and carries on with his life. The believer, though accepts the existence of God, carries on with his life without really taking any step to reach that God he speaks of.

One should enslave God by his devotion and Sadhana.

The elephant completely submits itself to the authority of the mahout who is a weakling when compared to the elephant.   It obeys all his commands – stands and moves as he orders – and does not act on its own. It even raises its trunk and blesses the one that
the mahout orders it to! Likewise, if one captivates God by his devotion and penance, the Almighty dances to the tune of the devotee! The Lord, unquestioningly, showers His blessings on the one  this  
devotee directs Him to! And the easiest way to captivate God is by chanting His Divine Name.