Epitaph II.

The LBC weekly post on “This Will Be My Epitaph” has generated some interesting mail for me and here is the first one that touched my heart.

“Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog.”
– George Gordon, Lord Byron, “Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog”

The next one is from our irrepressible Mayo who insists that my tombstone must have my picture on it.

Prayer Recital – Mangalya Prarthana.

A friend has asked me to recite the shlokhas posted in my earlier post on Prayer and let him hear it over a podcast.

For the first time ever, my voice will resonate over the internet from a blog, thanks to some quick help from Megh. Megh, you are incredible. Thank you.

Please turn the speakers on, turn the volume up and click on:

Podcast-001-2012Nov10

This Will Be My Epitaph.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where thirteen of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Maria The Silver Fox. The twelve other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!

Prayer.

Grannymar had this to say in my post on my recent pilgrimage.

“I hope you said one for me when you reached the temple!”

The prayer that I offered was this:

Swasthi prajabhya paripalayantham, Nyayena margena maheem maheesa, Gobrahmanebhyo shubhamasthu nithyam, Loka samastha Sukhino bhavantu.

Let good things occur to the king of the country,
Who looks after his people well, in the path of justice, Let Cows* and Brahmins** have a pleasant life daily, Let all people of the world have a very pleasant life.
*wealth was measured by cows in those times ** People in search of God

Kale varshathu parjanya, Prauthwee sasya shalini, Deso yam kshobha rahitha, SAjjana santhu nirbhaya.

Let the monsoon be timely and plentiful, Let earth be covered with vegetation, Let the country live without problems, And let good people never have fear.

Aputhra puthrina santhu, Puthrina santhu pouthrina, Adhana sadhana,
Santhu jeevanthu sarada satham.

Let sonless people have son,
Let people with son have grand sons, And let people who are poor or rich, Live and see one hundred autumns.

Sarvathra sukhina santhu,
Sarve santhu niramaya,
Sarve bhadrani pasyanthu,
Ma kaschid dukha bhag bhaveth.

Let people live with pleasure everywhere, Let all people live without diseases,
Let every one feel themselves secure, And let none have at anytime sorrow,

Om Sarvesham swasthir bhavthu, Om Sarvesham santhir Bhavathu, Om Sarvesham poornam Bhavathu, Om Sarvesham Mangalam Bhavathu.

Let comfort be every where,
Let peace be everywhere,
Let there be plenty everywhere,
And let good things happen everywhere.

Om Santhi, Om Santhi, Om Santhi

Let there be peace, Let there be peace, Let there be peace.

(Mangalya Prarthana
(Universal Prayer to well being from the Vedas) Translated by
P.R.Ramachander)

A Pilgrimage.

Accompanied by three other friends and a professional driver, I went on a pilgrimage on Sunday to Bhimashankar. The trip was comfortable and very satisfying but as I write this, I am suffering from sore calf muscles which were very much in use during the climb down to and up from the temple to the plateau on top. A small price to pay for a long over due visit to a famous temple.

I had been hearing about Bhimashankar for the past twenty two years. That is ever since we moved to Pune. It is just 125 Kms away from Pune and I had often used the Pune to Nashik highway on my way to Igatpuri during the nineties. The road to Bhimashankar branches off from that highway, but I never had the urge to take a diversion to visit Bhimashankar. I suppose that the correct time had to come as decided by Shiva for the visit to be made.

This pilgrimage was not only about a visit to a shrine. For me it was a revealing drive as the old empty stretches of highway lined on two sides by dry and barren land has now been transformed into an almost fully occupied stretch. On either sides of the highway, we could see signs of progress, factories, rural homes, work shops and so on and the road itself was occupied by a variety of automobiles that could not have been imagined those days.

The contrast that is India was also very much present with the fairly frequent sighting of bullock carts, motorcycles, ancient jeeps ferrying rural passengers as the only efficient public transport availabe and also tractors, yoked bullocks on their way to farms etc.

Signs of prosperity in the off highway rural areas were heartening too and since it was the weekly market day in two towns on the way, we were able to see some rural marketing skills of merchants and the crowds that thronged the bazaars.

All in all, it was a very satisfying outing. I intend going again but will refrain from going to the temple as I doubt that my legs can take the strain once again.

Discipline.

What a coincidence that this topic is chosen for the LBC when it is a hot topic of discussion over here. On last Sunday, newspapers reported that teachers are likely to get up to three years in prison for giving corporal punishment to students. Discipline, very much part of our education, sans punishment and reward will remain a chimera if teachers are prevented from disciplining children.

My reaction to the proposed bill as far as punishments are concerned is total disbelief. Now, the buck will effectively be passed back to the parents of the children and with modern life styles, what kind of disciplining the parents will impart to their children is a moot point. Further, the proposed bill also prevents schools from preventing students from appearing in examinations as punishment for whatever misdemeanor and this too is a disaster waiting to happen.

I reproduce what I wrote in one of my earlier posts on Corporal Punishment:

“I personally believe that excess parenting and molly coddling of children are making them into what Bikehikebabe so effectively calls namby pambies. Are we producing wimps? Or have we already produced wimps who in turn are producing wimps?”

Lest I be misunderstood, there have been cases where the punishment has been brutal and I am totally against such brutality. But to ban all punishment to prevent such abuse is absurd and not well thought out. I doubt very much that anyone would object to disciplining being part of the education/growing up process, but to ban all punishment in schools is like using a road roller to crush a cockroach.

I am glad that I do not have grand children. If the system is getting geared to producing wimps, I want to have nothing to with the future outcomes. Disciplining/punishing children was and should be part of all childrens’ growing up process and to tamper with that system is dangerous. I may be opinionated in this, but I do not think that I would be what I am today had it not been for the parenting and teaching system of my youth which emphasised on discipline and punishment.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where thirteen of us write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Deliious. The twelve other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order, Anu, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, ocdwriter, Padmum, Paul, Rohit, Shackman, The Old Fossil and Will. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, do give some allowance for that too!