Archive for June, 2015



Heart Image originally posted on the Ramana Maharshi FB Page by Cathy Ginter

Dear Friends,

In any language, the term “Heart” is unique. In Sanskrit, the “Heart” is referred to as Hridayam. Hridayam means, “Here is the Center”.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana gave a unique emphasis to the term “Heart” or “Hriydayam” in Sanskrit. He spoke about it frequently as the center of centers in which the mind must find final rest.

In ancient Eastern texts and scriptures, the Heart is talked about in the context of physical health, mental health, and also spiritual health and vitality. Even in English, we intuitively know that the word “Heart” really has multiple meanings.

If someone says to you, “You have a beautiful heart”, it does not mean that the person feels you have a very attractive physical organ beating in your chest.  No, not at all! The statement about the beauty of your heart…

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(Its a true story of my Father in Law)
A six year old boy was playing in the backyard of his house. There stood an iron pole inserted vertically.  The children used to climb up and then slide down.  The elder ones performed all sorts of exercises.
But that day he was all alone.  He found a leather belt.  He held it tightly in his little hand and started whipping the pole relentlessly..  His mother stood at the doorstep watching him.  He whipped the pole again and again murmuring “why did you kill my father.”  He was red with rage.  Not knowing the child’s sudden behavior she rushed at him.  He screamed “why did you kill my father.”  The words deafened her ears and she consoled her young one took him in her arms.  She knew she could not bring back his father.  Her husband would never return! He was killed by the dacoit.
Her husband was an Inspector in the Police force.  He was posted at Badnaver, in Madhya Pradesh.  Everybody addressed him as Raosaheb.
Raosaheb was very handsome strongly built and a brave person.  He caught hold of dangerous thieves and vagabonds and put them behind the bars.
life went on.. he found a beautiful lady fell in love and eventually married her.  They were blessed with five children.  As soon as he returned home from his tour, the children would cluster round him. He played with them. He would pick the young ones and swing them on his arms.  Their reverberating laughter and chuckles freshened him up.
Night was pleasant to be in parents arms. This bliss lasted for a very short period.  The darkness enveloped the twinkling stars which foretold a grievous future for the family.
That very night the Inspector spoke to his wife about his plans to catch the dacoit.    A pall of gloom spread over her.  She was dumbfounded as all her plans to desist him from venturing his arduous task.
Parting with his dear ones he strode away in the eerie jungles with his small coup—a handful of men and meager ammunition.  The dense forest near Badnawar in Madyapradesh was the dacoit’s hideout.  They drove in the deep forests in bullocarts – it was the only means to travel in those days.  The narrow lanes of the village, after village was traversed until one village was spotted for supplying huge amount of chicken meat and wines.  At ones the Inspector acumen directed his men towards that place. soon they confronted a  fierce looking person clad in military uniform with broad mustache.  No doubt that he was the famous dacoit Nathakanjar the most wanted by the police force.  He was surrounded by his men.. They were well equipped with ammunition.  He roared aloud to bring the Inspector before him.  After much interrogation the dacoit had insisted the Inspector to give up his Police uniform his belt and guns and surrender before them.  The brave Inspector preferred to fight with him unto his death.  It would be an insult to his profession to go back and cowardly submit to the dacoit’s demands. A fierce battle raged between the two troops. A sepoy who fled for his life had climbed a tree and saw the drama with his naked eye.  He was a sole survivor and later narrated the whole incident to the family members and the villagers all that had transpired between the two parties.  The fearless Inspector was none other than the little boy’s father.
The body of Raosaheb was brought home and laid for last darshan.
The small boy caught hold of his weeping mother’s hand, consoled her and promised to take care of her henceforth.
The heavens rumbled as the guns were fired..a mark of salutations for the Martyr. The last rights were performed..
Years later,
the promise he had made to his mother had been fulfilled when his mother breathed last.  A huge void left him, but this time he was not alone, his better half held him to share his grief.

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  A spiritual Experience!
In moments when the inner lamps are lit
And the life’s cherished guests are left outside,
Our Spirit sits alone and speaks to its gulfs.
(Shri Aurobindo (Savitri)
It was late evening, I peeped through my window.  The sky had turned scarlet .  The birds had flown in  to their nests.  This hour was very special.  I lit the evening lamp.  The perfume of the insence sticks engulfed the house.  The noisy day was somewhat quiet now.  My evening prayes had commensed.  After the prayers I loved to stay in this quiet mood.  Years back, i recalled a lovely story I had read.  It was about a rich woman she asks her Master(spiritual) that inspite of having all the comforts  wealth a good loving husband, children house everything in life, she feels empty and something missing in her life. What& Why?   To this the spiritual Master replies …”A part of our mind remains empty even if all the riches happiness of this world we get.  We must fill this gap initially by prayers to Almighty.  We have to build right climate (moral and psychological purification is necessary)  .  Just as we leave our shoes ouside before we enter the temple , we have to leave certain shoes before we enter the sanctuary of meditation…Shri Aurobindo
Daily this prayers has to be exercised.”  Further, he explained her how to practice meditation.                The woman obeyed him.  She sat on a sofa in her room closed her eyes and sat for meditation as instructed by the Master, daily..for considerable span.  After  some time she visited the spiritual Master and thanked him .  She no more had that feeling of emptiness. Moreover , peace prevailed. The real meaning of Life had unfolded to her!
“This is how we talk with the Almighty”,said the Master.   “Daily giving few minutes of silent  communion .  In the beginning with a short praise ,  reciting his name etc few minutes of deep breathing then keeping silence in body and mind.  This quietude leads us to peace and then his love starts pouring wisdom dawns, your heart is full of his grace which overflows in the form of tears at times.” He explained.
The saints say you cry for the worldly things all your life have you wept for the Almighty , who has created you and this beautiful creation the Universe.  Have we thanked him?
You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the universe to unfold.
This is how important you are!…Echart Tolle
Once Swamy Vivekananda had asked Shri Ramakrishna, have you seen God ?
“Yes”, replied the Master,. “I see him just as I see you here, only in a much intenser sense.” “The magic touch of the Master that day immediately brought a wonderful change over my mind. I was astounded to find that really there was nothing in the universe but God! … everything I saw appeared to be Brahman. ”…Swamy Vivekananda
Ask and it shall be given to you
Knock and it shall open to you
Seek and it shall be reveald to you
Words of the Lord (Jesus Christ) ringing in my ears…
One touch one glance of the Master changes the whole life…I pondered
I had sat in this mood for quite some time.
‘ For oft on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood, they flash upon my Inward Eye in the Bliss of Solitude’….William Wordsworth
By Prajakta Dighe
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A Glimpse of The Major
Those days I was serving in a private company.  My father had come to see us.  He had retired from his Defense Services.  He retired as a Major.  He was well built handsome  came from a village.  With his hard work  and sharpness he  was promoted as 2nd  lieutenant in the Army.  He was married to a beautiful lady(my mother) from the same village.
We were, huge family of three brothers and five sister was like the Sound of Music..
Do Re Mi Fa So La Te Do……..

As the years passed, we grew up did our schooling and then College.  All of us got settled and married.

That day, I was thrilled that father would come and see my posh office.  I introduced him to my Boss.  My boss granted me leave and so I spent the hours with my father visiting the shops and purchasing things…
Later we sat in a café for coffee…we chatted. His sparkling eyes wore a tired look.- we returned home.
I had realized father was aging.  At night massaged his feet with oil.  My hands felt the scars, bullets had pierced during war.  Memories kindled I could vishualise the harsh yesteryears. Fighting and braving the attacks of the enemy.  He had narrated us his encounters in the harsh snowladen mountains
I remember his bottle green uniform, decked up with medels.. we kids used to take pride in polishing them.  He had risen from 2nd lieutenant to Major.    Father was stationed to different places.  He could get leave for a couple of days to visit his family.  Life was very hard.    During war (with China in 1962) he was posted to remote place(NEFA Border).
We families of our Regiment were stationed at Srinagar. It was like a big community living together.  Our happiness and sorrow shared together.
I recall the  Sirens, the troops petrolling in the streets.  Our mother was a brave lady taking care of her small children.
At night there was total blackout.  The darkness and marauding planes would frighten us.     The day, too did not feel secure .  The news from the border was the topic in every mouth.  Where air raids from the enemy had taken place?  How many jawans and officers were killed!  How did the enemy get to know the strategy of Commanding Officer with his troops stationed …His area was bombarded!  The slain body was brought home to pay the respect from his near and dear ones.(A close friend of my father.) Last rights were performed.  The Gun Salute reverberated the sky.
The pangs of war victims are still there..vivid
No news we received of our father.
Wives of the Officers of our Regiment would gather .  Together with the families of the Jawans, kintted sweaters, glovers socks mufflers for the jawans .  Food items too were packed and sent at the border.  The winter was  unbearable. They(Jawans) were short of armaments etc. entailing large scale combat at the altitude of 4,250meters(14,000 ft).  The worst conditions they encountered.
Days passed ,  and one day on the 20th Nov1962 the ceasefire was declared by the enemy.  It withdrew its forces from the disputed area.  At last the war was over..

The day dawned when Father knocked our door.  Our joys knew no bounds.  Mother and we thanked the Almighty for his return from the battle.

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Lights in the Dark

Artist's impression of the New Horizons flyby in July 2015. (NASA/SwRI)Artist’s impression of the New Horizons flyby in July 2015. (NASA/SwRI)

After more than nine years of traveling through space the New Horizons spacecraft is now in the home stretch of its journey, with less than 120 days and 143 million kilometers to go before it makes its historic flyby of the Pluto system on July 14. It will be the first time we get a good close-up look at the distant world which had for over seven decades held reign over the frozen edges of our Solar System as the outermost planet, much like its namesake governed the cold darkness of the mythological Greek underworld.

Discovered on February 18, 1930, the ninth planet Pluto lost its “full” planetary status in August 2006 as the result of a highly-contested decision by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to create a new class of “dwarf planets,” of which Pluto, Ceres, and the then-recently-discovered Eris became charter members. Seven months…

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Lovely painting of Jane Austen.

The Bookshelf of Emily J.

Most women enjoy or appreciate Jane Austen’s work. I am one of those women, and although I don’t necessarily like everything I’ve read by Austen, and while I haven’t actually read all of her books, I do appreciate what I have read. I also liked a recent movie called Austenland that took a comedic take on our obsession with Austen.

I recently came across another way of honoring Austen at the Springville Art Museum in Springville, Utah. I was there on a women’s history tour, and the museum had pulled out some of the art it holds by female artists with female subjects.

I saw this one and couldn’t resist sharing it with you.



My favorite touch is the red wax seal on her signature of the work.


I hope the artist doesn’t mind me sharing her work with you. The museum staff said it was okay to take…

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The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean

“The surface of the Earth is the Shore of the Cosmic Ocean. Recently we have waded a little out to Sea, enough to dampen our toes or, at most,wet our ankles. The water seems inviting. The Ocean calls. Some part of beings knows this is from where we came. We long to return”….(Carl Sagan)

lonely planet earth
Welcome to this beautiful Planet Earth. It’s full of Life a place of blue nitrogen skies oceans of liquid water cool forests and soft meadows. In all our journeying through space and time this place is unique and rare. There must be many such worlds scattered through space but we have yet to find life elsewhere. With the accumulated knowledge from our ancestorsearth over million years, we have begun our voyage to home from where we humans are born from stars and now inhabiting a world called Earth.
.Carl says
Something in us recognizes the Cosmos as home. We are made of stellar ash. Our origin and evolution have been tied to distant cosmic events. The exploration of Cosmos is a voyage of Self –discovery…..
Our History:
During third B.C. in Egyptian city of Alexandria, was flourished with scholars.
Eratosthenes was a one of them. He was a Greek astronomer historian geographer philosopher poet theatre critic and mathematician. He was the director of the the great ‘Library of Alexandria’. He deduced with experiment that our Earth is round(360 degrees) and not flat. He calculated its circumference very correctly. ..40,000kms. Its very interesting about his discovery… He had read in one of the papyrus book from the Library that at southern frontiers outpost of Syene at noon on June 21 vertical sticks casts ‘no’ shadows. He observed that in Alexandria that the vertical sticks did cast shadows at noon on June 21. A very simple experiment with these sticks he calculated that the surface of Earth is curved and not flat which was presumed. The sun is far away its rays are parallel when they strike the Earths .Sticks placed at the different angle to the sun rays casts shows of different lengths .(see dia.1) For the observed differences of the shadow lengths, the distance between Alexandria and Syene had to be about seven degrees along the surface of the Earth220px-Eratosthene.01. Seven degree is 1/50 of three hundred and sixty degrees Eratostheses quoted. How very correct his calculations were 2200 years ago. Really Amazing!

The city was founded by Alexander the Great. Alexander encouraged knowledge from all around the world. He respected their Gods and Culture. The greatest marvel during his rule was the Library of Alexandria. He invited great scholars from India China Japan etc.etc. The Greek kings of Egypt who succeeded Alexander supported research and entertained the best minds for centuries. The Alexandrian Library is where we humans first collected seriously and systematically the knowledge of the world.
Seven centuries after its founding a Greek female Scholar Hypatia a mathemation philosophehypetiar an astronomer surpassed the philosophers of her time. Around 400 AD she became the head of Platonist school of Alexandria and taught the knowledge of Plato and Aristotle. Egypt then was ruled by Romans. By contemporary sources it is said that she was brutally murdered. The Library of Alexandria was destroyed…
Hypatia was the last light of the Library.
Socrates has written about her in his Ecclesiastical History.
We shall see more about these Scientist and Philosphers in coming

blogs..Socrates, AC Grayling


“Death of the philosopher Hypatia, in Alexandria” from Vies des savants illustres, depuis l’antiquité jusqu’au dix-neuvième siècle, 1866, by Louis Figuier.


source: Cosmos by Carl Sagan images from web and wikipedia

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