Meditation of the poet

And he took his spirit into a quite spot of the universe

Washed it with tears till the shadows of sorrow dissolved into mist

Silence spread out from his heart and his spirit rose into eternity

Leaving death and birth behind

His spirit flew like a spring breeze across mountains and seas

And all it touched awakened into a flowering spring.

Meditation of the poet

And he took his spirit into a quite spot of the universe

Washed it with tears till the shadows of sorrow dissolved into mist

Silence spread out from his heart and his spirit rose into eternity

Leaving death and birth behind

His spirit flew like a spring breeze across mountains and seas

And all it touched awakened into a flowering spring.

Nadi Shastra – an experience

“I am Vibishana and you?”

Intro

Nadi Shastra is said to have been written by the great Sage Agastya, who is considered as one of the most revered vedic scholars in India. His writings are part of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and  the Rig Veda, just to name a few. Nadi Shastra is based on the belief that every soul has a individual cosmic constellation that is governed by 150 Nadis (energy strings) that connect us to the cosmic bodies and the all pervading power. Sage Agastya is said to have written down all these individual constellations on palm leaves. This code manifests itself trough our individual thumb print. Our thumb lines and their characteristic provide enough information for the Nadi reader to locate the matching leaf. A lot of leaves are said to have been lost and destroyed during the British Raj. Most of the existing leaves are in the possession of Nadi readers and the Shiva Temple of Vaitheeswaran in Tamil Nadu, which is today the only center for Nadi Shastra Astrology in India. 

The experience

Curious about this science, our chef Mardhanan of Mantra Koodam took me there by car, since he was too chicken to sit on my motorbike. The village is about 1.5 hours drive trough a pleasant and green country side, dotted with small towns and villages of Tamil Nadu. 

SHRI AGASTHIYA MAHASIVA NADI JOTHIDA NILAYAM is written in big letters on a signboard outside the house of the chosen Nadi Jothidar, Mr. Ravi.  

We climb the stairs and are welcomed into his small office, where a fluent english speaking gentleman introduces himself as the reader. To feed my innate curiosity I decide to settle for the more intense course that includes my past, present and future. 

He stresses the fact that he is not an astrologer, but an interpreter of the texts of Agastya. I give two impressions of my thumb. He disappears to find my leaf, a leaf that is there only for me, no one else in the entire world. For each person they say such a leaf exists. Luckily my leaf is found and I pay the fee of INR 4500.00. No leaf, no pay. 

We leave Mardhanan waiting in the office I am am ushered into a small room further down the corridor, where we sit both settle on a thin mat on the floor. 

“Are you comfortable?” 

Yes, I reply and he begins. 

He beams at me; “You know it is my privilege today to meet you, your leaf is special, not many times I get these kind of leaves. Your leaf is exactly that of Vibishana”. 

Vibishana is a well known character of the Ramayana. He was a follower of Rama and advised his brother Ravana against the capture of Sita. When Ravana kidnapped Sita he went to follow Rama and his knowledge of Sri Lanka helped Rama to get his wife back and kill Ravana. After the death of Ravana he was crowned king of Sri Lanka. Vibishana was told by Rama to stay back on Earth and to guide them to the path of truth and Dharma. Hence, Vibhishana is considered one of the seven immortal living beings in Hinduism who are to remain alive on Earth until the end of the current Kali Yuga.

I assure myself that this is maybe the story everybody gets to hear, so I decided to sit back and listen. 

He looks at me and says; “In your past life you have been in India, (I get to hear that often) and your family are great worshippers of Shiva”, he beams. 

20170417_154540I tell him that apart from I doubt that any of my family was even remotely aware who Shiva was. 

“No no he says there is Shiva in your life, its written here”. 

Fact is, that actually our Family Symbol carries all the signs of Shiva, the Trishul, the new moon and the hill that could be Kailash. 

 

He further tells me that I have to watch my back and that I should not travel long, especially on a motorbike. Remember I was there on car, because Mardanan was too scared to pillion with me, so could not have known of my liking of motorbikes.  Truth is that just before my departure to India, I bought another seat for my motorbike, since on long rides I started to have back ache. 

We talked about the past, the present and the future. Some things are true, about some I have no idea and some are just not there in my life, however hard I try to find them. 

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Personally I think it is a wonderful dive into the wealth of India’s manyfold forms of faith. We step into a world that has survived since Vedic times and is practised today probably almost in the same way as 3000 years ago. 

South India offers you insights into the oldest surviving traditions of India and especially Kumbakonam is the cradle of the ancient Hindu faith that finally gave shape to the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Hindu faith of Bali. 

The weavers of Thirbuvanam

The weaver

India and Saris is a love story dating centuries back and there is no garment that dresses a woman with more elegance than this 5 meter piece of woven craftsmanship.

In the village of Thirbuvanam almost every house owns a handloom. On my last visit, I had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Jothi, a master weaver. He explained, that the fine silk from the factory is too thick, so its manually split into three, producing an almost invisible thread, that is used to hand weave the most wonderful Saris, interwoven with artistic gold and silver patterns. This craft has been part of this region for generations. No wonder then, that these silk saris are considered among the finest in India.

Changing times

Boycott politics, because they are the slaves of the rich corporations

Boycott rich corporations, because they are the slaves of power and greed

Boycott main stream media, because they are the slaves of the manipulation of politics and rich corporations. 

Boycott racism, nationalism, patriotism and religion, because they enslave your mind

 

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery

None but ourselves can free our minds

Have no fear for atomic energy

‘Cause none of them can stop the time

How long shall they kill our prophets

While we stand aside and look?                Bob Marley

 

“YOU ARE NOT THIS BODY

YOU ARE NOT THIS MIND

YOU ARE THE SPIRIT…

THIS IS THE GREATEST TRUTH.”         H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

The miracle of birth

We were born into a place without our consent.

We were born into a family without our choice.

We were born into a culture without our knowledge.

We were born innocent, small and pure.

So how can there be racism, patriotism, nationalism and the following of a particular religion?

Let’s imagine ourselves to be born somewhere else, in another culture, to another race!

Lets imagine ourselves to be devoid of the pre fabricated lies we were told to believe.

What keeps us from being the human we were born in the first place, devoid of religion, cast and creed? Just full of love with an open heart towards all beings and all forms of live.

What keeps us from discarding the stories of hatred, greed and selfishness we have been told?

 

 

The tiny space of now

The space between the second that was and the second to come is the only place you are truly in reality. Only if thinking stops and you perceive the world without thought you are in harmony with your SELF, your surroundings and the universe. You become an observer and part of this great cosmic play. Unless we connect to the primordial power, we will never know who we truly are.

The (broken?) dream

What if life was like a beautiful song?

We would cherish each sound, not the beginning nor the end

We would be part of each note in our heart

Living the moment in silence and joy

 

Yet we created a world, a system, where each one toils

For something better to come, a goal, heaven, a dream

From young we tell them that grades are important

That only then they will reach somewhere

Then we tell them again, that to serve a system

Will make them happy, fulfilled and free

That nation, religion, race are the final goal

Even a god we created that would give us heaven 

If we served and did as the rule book told

So they work and toil all for for some one else

and for dreams they’ve been told

Till they are old, weak and worn out by life

The goal they were told had never been found

 

Why not take life as a beautiful song? 

The bookstore

A thousand voices of inspiration telling me to go out and speak of what I have to say.

The secret of sound

To listen to music without words

Is to leave your mind behind

To leave your mind behind

Is meditation

Meditation takes you to the source

And the source of all is sound

Cochin (Kochi) explored

What ever little we know from history, Kochi always seems to have been a vibrant port by the Arabian sea, gaining importance after the Dutch, Portuguese and Brits came to trade and occupy. Initially the city was frequented by Roman, Chinese and Arab traders. They all had one thing in common. They came for the wealth of spices and precious woods and in turn left indelible marks on the history and cuisine of the city. Kochi developed into a major trading port dealing in pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and other goods. Till today Kerala is world wide famous for great quality spices.
Kochi was frequented by many great travellers, scholars and traders like Fa Hien and Vasco da Gama among others. Their tales and reports contributed significantly to the growth of the city and made Kochi the most important trading points in India.
Few urban pockets in any city would offer such an engaging mix of history, culture, culinary treats, as the historical area of Fort Kochi, located right on the busy harbour mouth with ships and fishing vessels moving in and out. There are museums, art galleries, cafes, the famed fishing nets and shopping on Princess Street. You can see some of the last remnants of Dutch Colonial style houses, with their steeply angled roofs and tall windows.


The streets in the immediate vicinity are splendid to stroll about and if you like to move a bit further then its best to take a cycle and move towards the vast godowns of the spice market and finally into Jew town with the first synagogue in India. A must see is the Dutch Palace with its amazing murals and wooden ceilings. Fort Kochi’s pride however are the massive rain trees lining the streets, each a miracle of nature.
Make sure to visit the David Hall. Once , this was the 1 7th Century home of the areas Dutch civil and military commander. Today of course, it’s a smart little Gallery- Cafe. Come browse some art, enjoy a cold coffee and a Pepperoni Pizza, or just take in the age-old ambience.

Kumbakonam – India’s most ancient cultures

If you love to retrace the footsteps of ancient cultures, myths and legends you certainly have to come to this part of India. If you are keen to explore more than just the century and measurements of temples then this is the place. If you share my fascination of mythology and the socio economic background of some of the most astonishing achievements of 3000 years ago, then Kumbakonam is the place to experience. This is the land before religion, where Shiva, the all-pervading form of existence is worshipped as the five elements and the nine celestial bodies, the planets. Take a step back into time  when the Vedas and Upanishads were written, studied and explored. A time where sound was an understood as an in music manifested emotion. Shiva’s Tandava at Chidambaram is nothing less than the victory of our supreme self over the destructive elements of our ego.

If you take time to explore this area, you explore shrines and arts that reflect the spirit of ancient science, where the influence of the cosmos on our physical and mental system was studied and explored. The culture of South India right up to the invasion of the British indicates a socio political system of a very high order, where a loosely formed caste system set the base for a non violent coexistence. No surprise, that this culture was of great interest to others and travelled far and served as the foundation of the temples of Ankor Wat and the Hindu faith in Bali.

In compare to the Northern part of the country, South India was untouched by islamic wars and invasions and retained a less diluted form of its ancient knowledge.

The British in turn were after the material riches and even forcefully tried to eradicate local knowledge, rather than learning from it. Much of India’s wisdom was forced underground and is being gradually revived. Ayurveda, Yoga, Kalaripayattu and other forms of physical, mental and spiritual healing are rediscovered, to a large extend also fuelled by western curiosity and the recognition that western capitalism is turning into a proposition that raises more questions than providing answers. Besides this age old technics of healing there is an incredible wealth in art and music in this region.

For me a magical point of innate attraction and a must see is the Chidambaram Thillai Nataraja temple, considered to be the place, where Shiva danced his Tandava, the celestial dance of creation. The name of the city literally means “atmosphere of wisdom”. The temple architecture symbolises the connection between creative arts and the divine. The temple represents one of the five elements (air, ether) and is considered to be the geomagnetic centre of the earth.

Another very important cultural and historical part for Hindu faith are the Navagraha, or the temples of the nine planets. These shrines can be found in small villages or completely surrounded by fields.

Darasuram is not a living temple these days. Yet, it is a wonderful place to see the astonishing temple architecture in a smaller form. Its nice to observe the intricacies of the workmanship once not in neck craning heights. The temple boasts a wonderful insight into the temple art of South India including many fine and wonderful sculptures adorning walls and pillars.

Gangaikondacholapuram, another close by wonder, is known as an architectural and engineering marvel. It is open and without the traditional temple walls and has one of the largest statues of Nandi, Shiv’s bull in India.

Swamimalai

When you look at one of the bronze idols in temples and shops, you look at a craft that goes back more than a thousand years. This art, is also known as the lost form. Statues are sculpted from wax, slowly covered in clay, dried, covered again and eventually baked in a kiln. The hot wax is drained from the freshly baked clay and  and  replaced with molten bronze. A fascinating art and by all means not as easy as it sound here, as only about 10% of the efforts prove to be effort of grace and beauty.