Protos' Musings

"In the long run men hit only what they aim at" — Thoreau

Sir’s Sapthathi celebration at Trivandrum

with 3 comments

I had been to Trivandrum on 11th May for attending our beloved Sir’s Sapthathi celebration at Ayodhya Nagar Temple, Sreevarahom. Joining me were Harish (with Vidya and Nano) and Sarath (who managed to make it despite a very busy schedule with Manju and Veda mol) and Madhu.

Sir, for the uninitiated, is Mr. Duraiswamy, retired Assistant Executive Engineer, Kerala Water Authority. He started taking tuition early on in his career to help his family out financially. The habit, luckily for us, continued through the majority of his career. He played a very vital role in shaping the life and careers of many students including yours truly. I was a kind of student who was complacent and lazy and extremely prone to fits of inaction (when it comes to studies) and he worked hard to ensure that I had pretty good grades in SSLC. It was more like a gurukulam with a bunch of us staying there overnight to concentrate on studies during our SSLC days. I am sure Sunil and Sarath won’t forget those days in a hurry as we had some great fun during that time.

It felt good to know that what we did did bring lots of joy and happiness to Sir and Mami, though whatever we ever manage to pull off will pale in comparison with what they have done for us over the last 20 years. We managed to gift Sir an assembled PC and we are deeply indebted to Krishnan Mama (Harish’s father) for taking care of procurement and logistics.

The evening was mostly musical with Sarath playing the host and keeping the crowd enthralled was performances by Abhilash (who has made it a habit to win awards at events like SuperStar; a hugely talented kid who is learning Hindustani from Ramesh Narayanan), Sarma Mama (who had been with our beloved Thaadi’s Tharangini) and his daughter and son. Madhu played the spoil sport by refusing to play the violin (to be fair to him, actually he couldn’t bring it from Chennai).

People from all walks of life (Sir’s friends, former students, relatives) turned up to felicitate Sir and Mami. I am planning to start a shawl shop in the near future with his collection! :)

It was also a chance to catch up with old friends and other people from the childhood days. Met Jagadeesh and Paramesh and many others after a dozen years. Good that at least a few from the NSS batch of 1993 made it big!

Jiju and Sunil couldn’t make it since Jiju is in US and Sunil has shifted to Hyderabad.

Without further ado, here is the link to some of the pix from that musical evening and from the Ayush Homam that followed later in the week that I missed out on.

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Written by Proto

June 4, 2008 at 08:12 hrs

Posted in Random Ramblings

3 Responses

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  1. Sir is really lucky to have such adorable student like you Sarath Harish et al.
    What a grand function! the photos themselves speak of the grandeur.
    Nice job and congrats to you the organizers.
    I am sure he will be a pride man filled with mirth and gratitude :)

    Arun

    June 4, 2008 at 12:19 hrs

  2. *proud man

    Arun

    June 4, 2008 at 12:19 hrs

  3. Some ask me whether religious functions, puja, etc, are not “mere” rituals. Atmic awareness is an inward experience. As for rituals they are outward actions. The question is how rituals will help in experiencing the Self.

    Rituals are indeed not necessary for one who has realised the Self. But we must put the question to ourselves whether we have truly realised It, whether we are mature enough for realisation, whether we have become inwardly pure. Were we honest we would admit that we are far from having become mature for awareness of the Self. By taking many births, by performing many works and by the vasana of previous lives, we have concealed the bliss of knowing the Self. By conducting good rites, and by associating ourselves with noble objects, we have to banish the evil habits sticking to us from our past lives. Then there will be an end to karma itself and we will embark on Atmic inquiry. Until then we have to perform what are called “mere” rituals.

    The proper thing for ordinary people is to conduct all the rites mentioned in the sastras. The benefits obtained from them may be seen in practice. When a person takes care to go through the rites strictly in the manner prescribed in the canonical texts, he will gain one-pointedness of mind. This should be of immense help to him in contemplating the Self later. And the desire to follow the sastras in all aspects of life will mean that he will be brought under a certain discipline. When we conduct rites according to the sastras our determination and will power will be strengthened. Since we subordinate our views to the injunctions of the scriptures, we will cultivate the qualities of humility and simplicity.

    So what do we gain by performing “mere” rituals? We will acquire one-pointedness of mind, discipline, non-attachment, will power, humility. On the whole it will help us to live a moral life. Without moral conduct there can never be Atmic inquiry and Atmic experience.

    The Buddha did not prescribe any Vedic rites. But he too laid stress on morality and discipline. The Pancasila that Nehru often spoke about is of the utmost importance to the Buddhists. The Buddha points to the value of morality without the performance of Vedic rites. What about the Purvamimamsakas? They believe that Vedic rites are of the utmost importance and that is no need to worry about God. In our sanatana dharma, however, there is a weaving together of rites, the good conduct and discipline arising out of them, devotion to Isvara and finally knowledge of the Self.

    Morality does not arise by itself. If you want milk you must keep a cow. If you keep a cow you will get not only milk but also cow dung. Then there will come up a haystack. When you keep the cow called karma you will not only derive not only morality and good conduct from it but also something that you feel is not wanted, that is cow dung. When you keep a cow must keep the place free from cow dung – that is a part of commonsense or wisdom. It is in this manner that you must obtain the real benefits from religious rites.

    If rituals are not necessary for true Atmic knowledge, even the murti called Isvara is not necessary for the same. But we can dispense with rituals and Isvara only when we reach a high plane of knowledge. At first Isvara is very much necessary for our inward journey and there are so many reasons for it. I will tell you one. We need an entity that exemplifies all that is good. Have we not for ages together thought of Isvara as such a one, one who represents all virtues and all auspicious qualities. When we mention the word “Isvara” we at once think of him as one without any evil. If anything or anyone combines beauty, compassion, power and enlightenment to the full it must be Isvara. It is a psychological principle that we become that which we keep thinking of. By meditating on Isvara’s manifold auspicious qualities our own undesirable qualities will give place to good ones.

    There are many benefits that flow from rituals, puja, etc. One of them is that they help to make us good. They are also of value in taking us to the path of workless yoga and the inward quest.
    kamakoyi.org

    bhattathiri

    September 27, 2008 at 19:36 hrs


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