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Showing posts from May 28, 2008

Sabarimala Makaravilaku Controversy Never Ends

In Kerala, Gods’ Own Country, whenever there is a controversy regarding faith it will somehow end up at Sabarimala Makaravilakku – the diya, or vilakku or light, that appears three times at the distant hill known as Ponnambala Medu during Makaravilakku festival which is held annually on January 14. The appearing of Makaravilakku is an open secret in Kerala, even among Ayyappa devotees. Atheists and rationalists have always maintained that it is lit by police, forest guards and temple officials. Incidentally, even when the Communists were ruling the KeralaState the Makaravilakku ritual has happened. According to Ayyappa legend, after defeating demon Mahishasura, Ayyappa merged with the Dharma Shastha idol on the Makarajyothi day. It is believed that the tribals who were harassed by the demon Mahishasura first lit the light to celebrate the slaying of their tormentor. Another legend indicates that the Lord disappeared from earth at Ponnambala Medu or Kantamala where the Makaravilakku is…

Sri Lankan Ballet Maha Ravana Explores the Greatness of Ravana

‘Maha Ravana – The Rising Sun of a Dying Realm’ is a new Ballet (a theatrical representation of a story that is performed to music by trained dancers) from Sri Lanka directed by Pabalu Wijegoonewardane which explores the greatness of Ravana, the demon king in the epic Ramayana. The ballet critically looks into the character of Ravana and explores the positive traits of including his love for music and art and the building of Pushpaka Vimana, the fly machine. Thiruni Kelegama writes in the Sunday TimesPabalu Wijegoonewardane, the director says he didn’t want to subscribe to what he calls an imported legend. ‘I wanted to find out whether Ravana was really a ‘demon’ and whether everything that we blindly believe in the Ramayana about him is true. This is what led me to trace this legend with a new perspective,’ he says adding that Ravana was the only king who managed to wipe out all forms of divisions in Sri Lanka, uniting it.He not only ruled Sri Lanka but governed a vast kingdom with…

Who is a Paramahamsa? Answer from Paramahansa-Parivrajaka Upanishad

In this world, very rare is the mendicant monk who is a Paramahamsa. If there is one, he is ever pure. He alone is the Purusha glorified in the Vedas. He who is a great man (maha purusha) has his mind resting in me; I too remain in him alone. He is the ever satisfied. He is free from the effects of cold and heat, happiness and misery, honor and dishonor. He puts up with insult and anger. He is devoid of the six human infirmities – hunger and thirst, sorrow and delusion, old age and death – and is free from the six properties of the body – birth, existence, change, growth, decay and death.He is without the intervention (i.e. he is not circumscribed by) of elderliness or otherwise. Excepting the self, he sees nothing else. Unclad, bowing to none, not uttering ‘svaha’ (as he worships no gods), not uttering ‘svedha’, free from blame or praise, not resorting to mantras and rituals, not meditating on other gods (than the supreme God), free from blame and praise, refraining from aims and the…

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