Wednesday, February 24, 2010


1, Ranganathan Road, Nungambakkam – part III

The concluding part of description of the great place where I grew up.  I wish I can go back in time and see the place as it was earlier!

Veli maadi – the backyard was called veli maadi. This again was one of our favourite place and we have had many moonlight dinners here. On the veli maadi we had stairs leading to mottai maadi and below the stairs was the place where the maid used to wash the vessels.
My Paati was so finicky about cleanliness that the maids had a tough time with her. But one look at all the vessels neatly placed upside down for drying will show that her fuss has paid off!  Paati’s strict instruction was that the vessels have to be dipped once again in plain water after the maid cleans and only then dried. I remember that initially this work was done by my eldest sister and later on, it was transferred to my second sister and so on!
Paati showed the same strictness in washing clothes. The maid had to rinse the clothes atleast three times, but the bucket should be filled only half with water as water wastage is very wrong according to Paati. To this day, I shout at my maid if she wastes water!
Veli maadi was the place where clothes were dried most of the time.  The left corner of veli maadi had a hand pump and during water problem, we used to take turns and pump water to fill up big drums and undas! Opposite the hand pump were two overhead tanks and I remember Paati slipping and falling there once, fracturing her hand!

Mottai maadi – From the veli maadi stairs led to mottai maadi. Again the steps of mottai maadi was one of favourite spots of Sundari to have coffee. We used to do some bird watching from that spot too as some rare birds used to come seasonally to the trees in pakkathu school. Mottai maadi was a huge place, covering the entire area of our house on the first floor. We have spent many summer nights sleeping in mottai maadi and the Sun waking us in the morning! We used to take the transistor to hear songs on vividha bharathi and Appa and I used to hear a lot of old songs then due to which I developed a great liking for old Tamil movie songs!

On the way to Mottai maadi there was a side maadi which had very low walls. Paati used to do rain water harvesting here. Just before rains, Paati used to clean this place and close the drain so that rain water collects here. When it is full, she used to open the drain and collect the water in buckets from below!
Sundari and Jayashree were very keen on gardening and had many plants in mottai maadi. We had panneer rose, saamandhi, jaadhi poo and vegetables like onions, tomatoes.
Mottai maadi was used by us also for studies. I remember doing my homework there many days and also revising before the exams sitting on the chimney in mottai maadi.
Mottai maadi has heard gossips from different groups of people, the elders in the family, we sisters and our cousins, various guests and friends of ours!
As soon as I finished schooling, we had to shift to another house as this house was sold by the owners and it was demolished and made into a commercial building
I miss this house even today and will miss it always!

Friday, February 19, 2010


1, Ranganathan Road, Nungambakkam – part II

In continuation of 1, Ranganathan Road, Nungambakkam - Part I, i am continuing below description of my all time favourite place :
Verandah - As soon as we enter the main door, there was a verandah like space. The main door had rods on the top half so that we can see whoever it entering the house. When I was very young, I was very scared of the milkman by name Ramachandran for the simple reason that he used to sprinkle milk in sharp droplets. One afternoon when I was fast asleep, Amma and Paati went to a shop nearby locking me inside. I remember holding the verandah window railings and crying my heart out!
This verandah was generally used for leaving the slippers and one side where there was a passage leading to the stairs downstairs was closed by lot of junk stuff. On the other side corner was the kalli petti where the Golu dolls where stored. Our beddings and pillows were kept on top of the kalli petti. Any function at home, the chairs and Nayana room cot will be shifted to the verandah and we kids were asked to stay only in the verandah in case of devasams etc.

Hall - As a doctor was staying in this house before us, there was a wooden partition in the hall which divided the hall into – Nayana room and hall. Sabitha and I used to do a lot of artwork with chalk on the wooden partition on the hall side, but Sundari did some lovely paintings of Asterix, Obelix and Cacofonix on the Nayana room side. We were all great fans of the Asterix comics that we named ourselves after the five Gauls. Sujatha was Vitalstatitics, Sundari – Asterix, Jayshree – Cacofonix, Sabitha – Getafix and myself – Obelix. Only behind my name and Sujatha’s name there was a meaning. She was called Vitalstatics cos she is the eldest and I was called Obelix because of my figure 

We also nicknamed ourselves as pancha pandavis, in the same order – Sujatha being Dharma putri and I, Sahadevi!

Amma’s afternoon nap was always in the hall near the entrance of the bedroom, so that she can have a view of anybody knocking the door.
Sabitha and I used to sleep with Paati in the hall. I always insisted that I sleep only in the middle as I was very frightened to sleep in the corner near the window. I remember getting very scared seeing the shadows of some movement in the next building on the wall in front of me.

The first room was Thatha room and we had two strong wooden chairs with a centre table for Thatha to meet his clients. I used to be fascinated when my sisters Sujatha or Sundari used to sit on Thatha’s chair (only Thatha’s chair and not the chair opposite which is meant for the visitor) and read books. I remember copying this when I grew up!
The telephone was also kept in Thatha room and when I was in eighth standard, I picked up courage to take the telephone number of my friend and call her one day just for the thrill of using the phone personally!

Nadu room - The second room was Appa, Amma’s bedroom was called Nadu room (as it was kind of in the centre) and we had a huge wooden bureau there with all our clothes. There was a dressing table in this room without a mirror and also a wooden laundry cupboard. The favourite hiding place for all of us was the small space between the laundry cupboard and the wall next to it!
Next to the hall was Swami room. As soon as we cross the hall, there used to be a small step which was wide enough to sit on! Most of the days Sundari used to sit there and have her morning coffee. There were huge doors between the hall and swami room and on either side of the wall, there was a small shelf like space. One side Paati used to keep sunnambu jaadi for Thatha and on the other side, we had our ink bottle, from which we had to fill up ink into our pens!

Kitchen was in the right corner of this Swami room. It was such a tiny kitchen, but Amma used to cook food on the medai and also have a stove on the floor for preparation of coffee etc. During rainy season, all of us used to sit in the kitchen for our meal!

Though it was called Swami room, only one almirah had Swami padams and the rest of the room was used as storage space. We used to have aatukal in the corner near the backdoor. Opposite the Swami almirah, there was a wooden bench with a line of aluminium dubbas filled with groceries!
During any festival time all special preparations were made in Swami room by shifting the stove there!
There was a wash basin opposite the aatukal near the other door leading to the back yard aka veli maadi.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Maha Deeksha I - part 2

Mind has two layers
Conscious mind – processes 2000 bits of information in a second
Unconscious mind – processes 400 crore bits of information in a second

Conscious mind
This stores the day-to-day things like name, address, numbers etc

Unconscious mind
Unconscious mind stores all the forgotten things (by the conscious mind) and the negative emotions
Anything that has happened in one’s life – important or unimportant, big or small, positive or negative - is stored in the unconscious mind
The unconscious mind is compulsive, repetitive and destructive

If you do not want to see your inner truth, all the junk becomes unconscious mind
If you do not see your inner truth it becomes
a) Guilt
b) Fear
c) Negative thoughts
d) Financial problems,
e) Health problems
f) Relationship problems and
g) Karma

If somebody says you are a coward, you do not like it and the mind tends to find faults with the person who said that. You should see inside yourself and understand that may be you are a coward. The moment this is done, cowardice goes away from you and you become courageous. When you look within yourself and understand you are a coward, it does not make you feel inferior but makes you come out of that quality and become courageous.

There is only one mind which is called the Ancient Mind. All the thoughts we get are actually stored in the collective conscious mind and we just tune into one of those thoughts. The thoughts we have are not ours.
For example, people in Hastinapur still have the qualities of Duryodana.

If you believe in God, you just pray to him
If you have faith in God, you are sure that you will get whatever you ask
If you are discovering God, you are ready to do anything for God
Example for discovering God – Once Hanuman noticed that Sita had Sindoor on her forehead. As he did not know what it was, he asked Sita. Sita was not sure how to explain, so she just said that she wears it because Rama likes it.
Rama was sitting in meditation and when he heard a loud noise as though somebody jumped. He opened his eyes and saw Hanuman fully covered with Sindoor. Rama asked Hanuman about this and he said, “Sita said you like it, that’s why I applied it all over my body”.
Such was Hanuman’s love for Rama.


Problems are different from sufferings
There are two types of problems
1. real problem
2. created problem

If one has a health condition, it is a real problem
Because of the health condition, if he starts thinking that people will ill treat or ignore him, it is a created problem

Real problems have solutions

1. Take decision – that you are going to come out of the problem
For example, most of the time, people do not want to come out of the problem. Unless you decide that you want to come out of the problem, you cannot go to the next step
If you have health condition, you should decide that you want to come out of it. If you have a financial problem, you should decide to come out of it

2. Acquire knowledge or skill – to solve it
For example, in the case of a health condition, find out how it can be treated. In case of financial problem, find out how you can solve it – ways and means – business or loan or job etc

3. Face the risk – there is always a risk when you try to solve the problem
For example, in the case of a health condition, there is always a risk that treatment may not work. In case of a financial problem, there is always a risk that your business will not work out.

Created problems do not have solutions.
The mind only creates these problems which actually do not exist.
Mind is a businessman, it does not do anything without profit
1. Created problem becomes a habit leading to imbalance in personality
2. Created problem makes you move away from the real problem leading to the real problem being unresolved
3. Yath Bhavam, Thath bhavathi – the feelings you have when you have created problems will convert it into a real problem.

90% of man’s problems are created
One should have awareness of the created problem to come out of it.


1. Vaasthu
Vaasthu is a very familiar term nowadays and is followed by almost everybody.

2. Relationship
We have already gone through the importance of relationship and its influence on
one’s life in part I.

3. Karma
Karma is nothing but “as you sow, so you reap, but many times over” – meaning when you do something good, it returns to you manifold and when you do something bad, again it returns to you manifold.
This is not God’s punishment, but the Law of this Universe.

4. Pithru
Pithru means one’s ancestors. It is very important to have the blessings of one’s predecessors. We have to pray for the moksham of all our ancestors so that they attain moksham and give us their blessings.
This exercise can be done anytime one feels that he has a problem in his life because of the lack of blessings of any particular ancestor.

God’s Grace

God’s grace comes either as a solution or dissolution to your real problems
If you have a financial need for something, the solution will be to give you money and the dissolution will be to remove the need.

One must pray to God for your needs as below:

1. Clarity – about what you want
a) you should really want it
a) you should not ask for it for the sake of competing or in comparison with others
b) see your inner integrity in your need
c) focus on the solution and not on the problem
for example if you need money, ask God for money and don’t keep on saying, I don’t have money, which will create only that situation where you will not have money

2. Visualisation with emotion
a) Imagine the solution
b) Imagine as if it has already happened
For example, if you are praying for a job, imagine you already have the job

3. Detailed description
- describe your need in detail
For example, if you are praying for a car, imagine as though you already have the red coloured, maruti zen which has all the facilities you want (a.c, stereo, tv etc etc) and you are driving it with your family sitting with you

4. Surrender
- pray in detail as above and surrender to God

5. Gratitude
- Thank God for giving it to you. You should have enough faith in God to thank him immediately after praying for it even before God actually grants your wish

Monday, February 8, 2010

Maha Deeksha I - part 1

 Maha Deeksha I

Maha Deeksha is a course for increasing the level of human consciousness. As it is evident from various websites and media, the world is expected to come to an end by December 2012. This is because the human consciousness has come down so much in this Kali Yuga and through these Deeksha courses, the consciousness levels of humans are boosted which will help them step into the new Yuga  comfortably.

These Deeksha courses have different levels and the first is Maha Deeksha I followed by Maha Deeksha II and so on. Earlier these courses were conducted at the Oneness University at Satyavedu,  border of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. But to speed up the process and for public convenience, nowadays the course is conducted in many places all over India.

I got to attend the Maha Deeksha I this January at Vaitheeswara Amma Bhagawan Temple in Nemam, outskirts of Chennai city. It was a three-day course with classes from 6.30 am to 7.30 pm with breaks in between. Though all facilities are available to stay there for the three days, I found it convenient to come back home each night as the travel time is only 30-40 minutes from Nemam to my house by bus.

Before I explain about what I learnt there, I would like to thank our friend Anu (she is more a sister than a friend) who first suggested to my sister Sundari that I attend the Maha deeksha I. Though I fought the idea vehemently then, I am really happy now that I attended the course. Secondly my sisters Sundari and Jayashree but for whom I would not have attended the course.

On 8th January morning, I reached Nemam around 7.30 am and the registration process took more than an hour with about 250 people attending the course. We had people who had come from Salem, Tirupur, Trichy, France and Canada.

Classes began at 9.00 am. Our classes were conducted by the Oneness guides Umaji and Nirmalaji. We started the class with a prayer to Amma Bhagawan and aarathi.


1. Man belongs to one of the five elements – pancha bootham
a)      Water – flow from top to bottom – a person who always goes down from a higher level to a lower level in life.
b)      Air – unsteady, never remain in one place – a person who always jumps from one activity, job, etc to another.
c)      Earth – still – a person who does not want to take a risk and does not like changes, a laid-back attitude.
d)      Fire – blows upward – a person who grows in life, energetic.
e)      Akasam – we were informed that this will be dealt with in Maha Deeksha II.

All of us were asked to understand which element we belong to so that we can decide consciously to improve ourselves.

2.   Every man is programmed
a) Primary programme
From the time a man is conceived by his parents to the first 6 years of life
b) Secondary programme
6 – 12 years of life
3. Tertiary programme
12 years to present

In all these programmes man collects charges
Charges = decision + feeling (emotion)
For every happening in a person’s life (small or big), he takes a decision and feels an emotion, either positive or negative.
All the charges a person collects right from primary programme leads his life. These charges settle in his conscious, making it impure.


3. Man can follow the seven steps to overcome these charges:

1.      Awakening to suffering leads to awakening of heart
2.      Awakening of heart leads to awakening of calm
3.      Awakening of calm leads to awakening of inner integrity
4.      Awakening of inner integrity leads to awakening to listening
5.      Awakening to listening leads to awakening of “what is”
6.      Awakening of “what is” leads to awakening of intelligence
7.      Awakening of intelligence leads to awakening of action


There are three types of suffering
a)      Physical suffering – this happens when the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are not fulfilled
b)      Psychological suffering – this happens when there is problem in relationships – anger, jealousy etc
Mind has two needs – to love and to be loved
All actions of man are only to get love.
c)      Spiritual suffering – this was experienced by Buddha
This usually happens to common man around the age of 18-24 years where he feels that there is something missing and goes in search of it. This usually gets solved when he gets married and settles in life.

Suffering is nothing but the mind’s repeated analysis of an unpleasant happening
When one is hurt by spouse or friend, he keeps on repeating in his mind that he is hurt by it. He keeps thinking of the hurt caused to him by this happening and does not actually replay the scene in his mind, just keep pushing it back and only think that he has been hurt. This is SUFFERING

Also he keeps imagining a counter argument for the situation if it happens again whereby he goes on justifying to himself that he is right and the other person has hurt him.

The only way to come out of this is to EXPERIENCE the hurt.
Buddha practiced a method to do this. It is called Vipasana.
Close your eyes and experience the hurt you felt in the situation. Do not escape from / avoid the hurt. Just experience it. It will have an effect on a part of your body as a pain or a feeling. Just experience that pain / feeling. The suffering will go away and you will feel light.

There are four different types of reactions to hurt 
a)      accept you are hurt and continue with life
      b)   cut the relationship with the person who hurt you and go ahead
c)  make rules for a relationship when you go into it. For example, you can tell the other that you ‘do not like loud noise, so don’t make loud noise’. The other does not like crying, so you will not cry. Such rules are not practical and will create only more problems
d)      don’t care attitude

The flowchart of hurt is like this:

Hurt » Relationship » Heart » Brain » Universe

If one is hurt in a relationship, he feels the hurt in his heart, which signals his brain which in turns sends some negative signals to this universe.

For example, if your relationship at home is not okay and you have an argument before going for an interview, you have very little chance of getting the job there.

     Primary Programme
     The primary programme of man consists of the following
  1. Four baskets
  2. Fundamental childhood decisions

Four baskets - This is from the time a couple decides to have a baby to the first 6 hours after birth. At any time during his life, man is stuck in one of these baskets

1st basket  - 1 – 4 months of conception
A couple must decide to have a child only if they can be sure that they are happy, healthy and wealthy enough to raise a child.
Right from conception to the first four months, the foetus is quite still and in a happy state
People who are happy where they are and never move forward in life are in this basket

2nd basket – 3 -8 months of conception
During this period, the baby struggles a lot as it grows rapidly and finds the uterus very constricting
People who always struggle to achieve things in life are in this basket

3rd basket – 8 – 9 months of conception
This is a period of hope and no hope alternating as the baby tries to come out of the womb repeatedly, but not able to do so
People who try their best, and toggle between hope and despair are in this basket

4th basket – from the moment of birth – first 6 hours of life
The moment of birth is a feeling of freedom as the baby is able to move it limbs and breathe fresh air.
People who feel free and happy are in this basket
If the child does not receive mother’s hug within the first 6 hours, it tends to become a violent person in future
It is also very important how well a baby is received after coming into this world. The kind of comments that are passed on the gender, colour, appearance of the baby are registered by the baby and forms a basket
Babies born by Caesarean deliveries are born without any effort from their side. Hence such people have to be pushed to do things. Sometimes they have a fear in them as they see instruments when they come out.

Fundamental Childhood decisions (FCDs)
These are decisions taken by the child right from 6 hours after birth – 11/12 years of age. The child observes and registers actions / reactions of the people around him and takes some decisions.

For example, if a child tries to poke his finger into an open plug point, parents may react in a one of the following ways:

a)      Shout at / beat the child

By this the child may decide,
  1. that if you do something on your own, people will get angry
  1. that parents are people who will beat or shout  and so on

b)       Scare the child about the danger

By this the child may decide,
  1. Plug points are dangerous and so on

c)     Tell the child gently

By this the child may decide,
  1. parents are people who treat you well
  1.  understand the danger and so on

These FCDs are registered in the mind and the mind applies it to various situations and one takes action accordingly throughout one’s life.