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Showing posts from July 13, 2009

Book: Puntanam and Melpattur: Two measures of Bhakti – English Translations of Jnanapaana and Narayaniyam

The book ‘Puntanam and Melpattur: Two measures of Bhakti’ contains the English translations of the Malayalam Jnanapaana poem by Puntanam and Sanskrit Narayaniyam of Melpattur. The book also contains a small poem by Mahakavi Vallathol. The verse translation in English of the poems is done by Vijay Nambisan. The book is published by Penguin Books India and is part of the Penguim Classics.Jnana Paana by Puntanam and Narayaniyam of Melpattur is considered to be gems of medieval Indian literature. Narayaniyam is a Sanskrit classic and is dedicated Lord Guruvayoorappan (Lord Krishna). It is a condensation of the Bhagavad Purana in 1036 shlokas (stanzas).Jnanapaana is a Malayalam classic and is an important literary work in the Bhakti tradition. Apart from the translations, the book also contains a detailed introduction on these literary gems.The flyer of the book saysFor four centuries, Jnana-paana and Narayaniyam have been touchstones of faith in Kerala. Puntanam’s Jnana-paana may claim to…

Importance of Chanting of Mantras and Prayers in Hinduism

Chanting of a simple mantra or prayer is considered one of the easiest ways to worship God in Hinduism. The prayer can be Om or Om Namah Shivaya or Om Namo Narayanaya or any of the numerous other simple Hindu prayers. It is said in the Puranas that chanting of mantras is the best way to approach God in Kali Yuga and attain Moksha. It is believed that self realization, tapas, Dhyanam etc., are tough to practice for human beings living in Kali Yuga (the present age). In the Satya Yuga, Dhyanam was the easiest way to approach God. The human mind was not polluted in Satya Yuga and therefore he/she was able to climb the ladder of self realization easily.In the Treta Yuga, Yajna and Yagams were seen as the methods of worship.In the Dwapara Yuga, pujas and rituals were seen as the best modes or worship.In the Kali Yuga, chanting of mantras and prayers is considered to be the ideal method to attain self realization. This is because the age of Kali is an age of inauspiciousness. Mind will be e…