The glory of Draupadi

Here is a not so well known story of Draupadi related to Naama Sankeertthanam. Happened to read this, and wanted to share it here.
As we know, Lord Krishna saved Draupadi from so many dangers and disgraceful situations. She was always Krishna’s favorite. He even carried Draupadi’s paaduka or shoes in His hand!
Sathyabhama and Rukmini, Lord Krishna’s most important wives had been observing this special blessings Draupadi was receiving from their husband. They used to wonder about it and Sathyabhama was even a little uncomfortable to watch her husband’s favoritism. Even though they did not express their feelings towards Krishna’s actions, Krishna sensed their feeling and decided to do something to clear their minds.

One day Krishna told that He would like to visit Draupadi’s palace along with Sathyabhama and Rukmini. They were happy to visit Draupadi and got ready immediately and reached Draupadi’s palace. When they arrived, Draupadi had just finished her bath and was combing her wet hair. Krishna gave an unusual order to Sathyabhama and Rukmini. He told them to help Draupadi comb her hair and brush out the knots for her. They were very surprised to hear this request from Krishna and hesitantly started combing Draupadi’s hair.

As they were combing the hair, they could hear clear chanting  of “Krishna, Krishna”from the head of Draupadi. Draupadi was not chanting through her mouth. They listened and to their astonishment found that the “Krishna” naamam was emerging from each strand of her hair. They understood that Draupadi had deep and sincere devotion towards Lord and Draupadi’s whole body was constantly reverberating with “Krishna” naamam. They had heard the story of Aanjaneya Swami that his whole body was filled with Raama naamam and now they saw the same phenomenon in Draupadi. She constantly remembered Krishna and His loving presence was in every pore and every nerve in her body. Through Naama sankeerthanam Draupadi became one of the greatest devotees of Bahagavaan and Bhagavaan responded promptly to Draupadi’s calls.
Rukmini and Sathyabhama was convinced of Draupadi’s greatness and never wondered about Krishna’s special affection for her. They actually started talking about the greatness of Naamasankeerthanam and started chanting naamam themselves continuously.

Harivarasanam

Harivarasanam Viswamohanam
Haridadhiswaram Aaradhyapadhukam
Arivimardhanam Nithyanarthanam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Repository of Hari’s boons,
Enchanter of universe,
Essence of Hari’s grace,
He whose holy foot is worshipped,
He who kills enemies of good thought,
He who daily dances the cosmic dance,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.
Saranakirtanam Bakhtamanasam
Bharanalolupam Narthanalasam
Arunabhasuram Bhoothanayakam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
He who likes song of refuge,
He who is in the mind of devotees,
He who is the great ruler,
He who loves to dance,
He who shines like the rising sun,
He who is king of all beings,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.
Pranayasathyakam Praananayakam
Pranathakalpakam Suprabhanjitham
Pranavamanidram Keerthanapriyam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
He whose soul is truth,
He who is the darling of all souls,
He who created universe,
He who shines with a glittering Halo,
He who is the temple of “OM”,
He who loves songs,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.
Thuragavahanam Sundarananam
Varagadhayudham Vedavavarnitham
Gurukrupakaram Keerthanapriyam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
He who rides a horse,
He who has a pretty face,
He who has the blessed mace as weapon,
He who bestows grace like a teacher,
He who loves songs,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is  in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in  you  Ayyappa.
Tribuvanarchitam Devathathmakam
Trinayanam Prabhum Divyadeshikam
Tridashapoojitham Chinthithapradam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
He who is worshiped by the three worlds,
He who is the soul of all gods,
He who is the lord of Shiva,
He who is worshipped by devas,
He who is who is worshipped three times a day,
He whose thought  is fulfilling,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is  in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in  you  Ayyappa.
Bhavabhayapaham Bhavukavaham
Bhuvanamohanam Bhoothibhooshanam
Dhavalavahanam Divyavaranam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
He who destroys fear,
He who brings prosperity,
He who is enchanter of universe,
He who wears holy  ash as ornament,
He who rides a white elephant,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is  in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in  you  Ayyappa.
Kalamrudusmitham Sundarananam
Kalabhakomalam Gathramohanam
Kalabhakesari Vajivahanam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
He who blesses with enchanting smile,
He who has is very pretty,
He who is adorned by sandal paste,
He who has a pretty mien,
He who is a like a lion to the elephants,
He who rides on a tiger,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is  in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in  you  Ayyappa.
Srithajanapriyam Chinthithapradam
Sruthivibhushanam Sadhujeevanam
Sruthimanoharam Geethalalasam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
He who is dear to his devotees,
He who fulfills wishes,
He who is praised by Vedas,
He who blesses life of ascetics,
He who is the essence of Vedas,
He who enjoys divine music,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is  in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in  you  Ayyappa.

Guru Stotram

1.       Akhand-Mandalakaram vyaptam yena characharam.
Tatpadam darshitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Akhand – unfragmented; Mandalakaram – one infinite whole; vyaptam –
pervades; yena – by which; characharam – movable & immovable; Tadpadam – That
state; darshitam – has shown; yena – by whom; tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious;
Guruve – guru, teacher; Namah – my salutations.

My Salutations to that Guru who revealed to me that Truth, which is
unfragmented,  infinite,  timeless  divinity,  and  which  pervades  the  entire
universe – movable or unmovable.
___________________________

2.       Agyan timir-andhasya Gyananjan Shalakaya.
Chakshur-oonmeelitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Agyan – Ignorance; timir – cataract; andhasya – blinded; Gyananjan – medicinal
collyrium; Shalakaya – collyrium stick; Chakshur – my eyes; oonmilitam – opened;
yena – by whom; tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my
salutations.

My  Salutations  to  that  reverential  teacher,  who  opened  my  eyes,  by
applying the divine collyrium of self-knowledge in my eyes, which had got
blinded by the cataract of ignorance.
___________________________

3.      Gurur-Brahma Gurur-Vishnu Gurur-Devo Maheshwarah.
Guru-sakshat Para-Brahma tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Gurur – Guru; Brahma – Creator; Gurur – Guru; Vishnu – Sustainer; Gurur – Guru;
Devo – the divine; Maheshwarah – the Destroyer; Guru Sakshat – the Guru is verily;
Para-Brahma – the transcendental divinity (which is the very basis of all the three);
tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my salutations.
Guru himself is the creator, sustainer and the destroyer. He is verily
the  very  transcendental  divinity,  (the  timeless  life-principle,  which  is  the
very essence of the creator etc.) My reverential salutations to that glorious
teacher.
___________________________

4.       Sthavaram jangamam vyaptam yat kinchit sacharacharam.
Tatpadam darshitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Sthavaram – animate; Jangamam – inanimate; Vyaptam – pervades; yat – that which;
kinchit – every vee-bit; sacharacharam; inclusive of everything movable or immovable;
Tadpadam – That state; darshitam – has shown; yena – by whom; tasmai – to that;
Shri – glorious; Guruve – guru, teacher; Namah – my salutations.

My  Salutations  to  that  reverential  teacher,  who  revealed  to  me  that
which  pervades  everything  in  this  world,  whether  animate-inanimate,  or
movable-immovable.
___________________________

5.       Chinmayam Vyapi yat-sarvam trailokyam sacharacharam.
Tatpadam darshitam yena tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Chinmayam – The self-effulgent diviity; Vyapi – pervades ; yat – that which; sarvam –
everything; trailokyam – the three worlds; sacharacharam – inclisive of everything
which is movable or immovable; Tadpadam – That state; darshitam – has shown; yena
– by whom; tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – guru, teacher; Namah – my
salutations.

My  salutations  to  that  glorious  Guru,  who  revealed  to  me  that  self-
effulgent divinity (the pure unconditioned consciousness) which pervades all
the three worlds, with all its movable and immovable objects.
___________________________

6.       Sarva-Shruti shiro-ratna virajit-padambujah.
Vedantambuja Suryo yah tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Sarva-Shruti – Of all Vedas; Shiro-ratna – crown jewel; virajit-padambujah – abide
at his lotus feet; Vedantambuja – the lotus of vedanta; Suryo – sun; yah – he who;
tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my salutations.
My  Salutations  to  that  reverential  teacher,  who  is  like  a  sun  for  the
blossoming  up  of  the  lotus  like  mantras  of  upanishads;  and  at  whose  lotus
feet lie the beautiful flowers, symbolizing the best of jewels of vedas.
___________________________

7.       Chaitanya Shashwatah  shanto vyomatito niranjanah.
Bindunaad kalatitah tasmai shri Gurave Namah.

Chaitanya – Consciousness; Shashwatah – eternal; Shanto – of the very nature of
peace; vyomatito – transcending space (& time); niranjanah – taintless; Bindu – the
concept of zero;  Naad – the primordial sound; kala – parts; atitah – transcending;
tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my salutations.

My  Salutations  to  that  reverential  teacher,  who  is  verily  the  eternal
consciousness,  which  is  of  the  nature  of  peace.  He  transcends  space  (&
time), the concept of zero, the primordial sound and all parts.
___________________________

8.       Gyanshakti-samaroodhah tattwamala vibhooshitah.
Bhukti-mukti -pradata cha tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Gurur – Guru; Brahma – Creator; Gurur – Guru; Vishnu – Sustainer; Gurur – Guru;
Devo – the divine; Maheshwarah – the Destroyer; Guru Sakshat – the Guru is verily;
Para-Brahma – the transcendental divinity (which is the very basis of all the three);
tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my salutations.

My  Salutations  to  that  glorious  Gurudev,  who  is  established  in
Knowledge and Power, who is adorned with the garland-of -Knowledge and
who grants both worldly prosperity and spiritual liberation.
___________________________

9.       Aneka-janma-sampraptah-karma-bandha-vidahine.
Atma-gyan-pradanen tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Aneka – Of many; Janma – births; sampraptah – accumulated; karma-bandha – the
bondage of action; vidahine – burns down; Atma-Gyana – The Self-Knowledge;
pradanena – by imparting; tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah –
my salutations.
My Salutations to that reverential teacher who by imparting the Self-
Knowledge, has burnt away the very bondage of actions in a whiff, which
had even though taken infinite lives to accumulate.
___________________________

10.     Shoshanam bhavsindhoshcha gyapanam saarsampadah.
Guroh-padodakam samyak tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Shoshanam – drying up; Bhava-sindhosh-cha – the endless sea of seeking; Gyapanam
– by enlightening me about the; saarsampadah – the true wealth; Guroh – of the guru;
padodakam – the water left behind after washing the feet; samyak – fully; tasmai – to
that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my salutations.

Even by the very sipping of the charanamruta (the water with which
the  feet  of  guru  are  washed),  we  get  blessed  by  the  eternal  wealth  (of
liberating  knowledge),  and  which  dries  up  the  endless  ocean  of  seeking  &
the  subsequent  sorrows.  My  Salutations  to  the  lotus-feet  of  that  glorious
Gurudev.
___________________________

11.     Na Guror-adhikam tattvam na Guror-adhikam tapah.
Tattva-gyanat-param nasti tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Na – There is no; Guror – than Guru; adhikam – higher; tattvam – truth; na – there is
no; Guror – than Guru; adhikam – higher; tapah – penance; Tattva-gyanat-param –
higher than the knowledge of truth imparted by the guru; nasti – does not exist; tasmai –
to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my salutations.

There  is  no  higher  truth  than  the  Guru,  no  higher  penance  than
(service  to)  the  Guru,  and  there  is  nothing  higher  than  Realisation  of  the
Knowledge  of  the  truth  imparted  by  the  Guru.  My  salutations  to  such  a
Gurudev,  who  is  himself  that  very  timeless  truth  (and  who  has  taken  up  a
form to bless his disciples like us with real knowledge).
___________________________

12.     Man-naathah Shri Jagan-nathah Mat-guru-shri jagad-guruhu.
Mad-atma sarva-bhutatma tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Man-naathah – My Lord; Shri Jagan-naathah – is the Lord of the universe; mat-guru
– My teacher; Shri-Jagad-Guruhu – is the Teacher of the entire universe; Mad-atma – My Self; Sarva-bhutama – is the Self of all; tasmai – to that; Shri – glorious; Guruve –
Guru; Namah – my salutations.

My  Lord  is  the  Lord  of  Universe;  My  teacher  is  the  teacher  of  the
entire universe; and my Self is the Self of all. My salutations at the lotus-feet
of such a Guru, who has revealed such knowledge to me.
___________________________

13.     Gurur-adir-anadish-cha Guruh-param-daivatam.
Guroh-parataram nasti tasmai Shri Gurave Namah.

Gurur – Guru; adir – is the beginning of the universe; anadish – yet, he himself is
without any beginning; Guruh – Guru ; param-daivatam – the highest diety; Guroh –
than the Guru; parataram – higher; nasti – does not exist; tasmai – to that; Shri –
glorious; Guruve – Guru; Namah – my salutations.

The Guru is the beginning of the Universe, yet he himself is without a
beginning,  the  Guru  is  the  highest  deity,  and  there  is  none  higher  than  the
Guru. My reverential salutations at the lotus-feet of such a Gurudev.
___________________________

14.     Tvameva mata cha pita tvameva
tvameva bandhushcha sakha tvameva.
Tvameva vidya dravinam tvameva
tvameva sarvam mama-dev-deva.

Tvameva – You alone; Mata – the mother; cha – and; pita-tvameva – you alone are the
father; tvameva – You alone; bandushcha – are the brother, and; sakha tvameva – you
alone are my friend; Tvameva-vidya – You alone are the knowledge; dravinam
tvameva – you are the wealth; tvameva sarvam – you are everything for me; mama-
dev-deva – O My ultimate God

O  God!  You  alone  are  my  mother,  my  father,  my  brother,  and  my
friend. You alone are the knowledge, my real wealth. You are everything for
me. You are verily my God alone.
___________________________

Meaning of Words & Translation of Shlokas
By Swami Atmananda


Mathru Panchakam

By Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

Adi Sankara Bhagawat Pada was born at Kalady in Kerala in a Namboodiri Family.His mother was Aryamba and his father died very early.When he wanted to take up sanyasa very much against the will of her mother, she finally agreed with a condition, that He should be present near her death bed and also he should perform the obsequies. Sankara agreed for this and took up Sanyasa. When he was art Sringeri, he realized that his mother was nearing death and by the power given to him by God reached there immediately. He was near his mother at the time of her death and also performed the funeral ceremonies. It was at this time he wrote this five slokas which came out deep from his mind. This was possibly the only poem he wrote, which is not extolling any God and also not explaining his philosophy.

Mother has been extolled as a god form in several places in the puranaas and also God has been approached as a son approaches his mother by many great savants. She is Dhatree[1], Janani[2], Ambaa[3] and Veerasu[4], Shusroo[5]. But Sankara in these poems is not dealing either of God in the form of mother nor mother in the form of God. He laments to the lady who was his mother and points out how his conscience is pricking him for being not able to do the duty of a son.

Aasthaam tavaddeyam prasoothi samaye durvara soola vyadha,
Nairuchyam thanu soshanam malamayee sayya cha samvatsaree,
Ekasyapi na garbha bara bharana klesasya yasya kshmo dhathum,
Nishkruthi munnathopi thanaya tasya janyai nama.

Oh mother mine,
With clenched teeth bore thou the excruciating pain,
When I was born to you,
Shared thou the bed made dirty by me for an year,
And thine body became thin and painfull,
During those nine months that you bore me,
For all these in return,
Oh mother dearest,
I can never compensate,
Even by my becoming great.

Gurukulamupasruthya swapnakaale thu drushtwa,
Yathi samuchitha vesham praarudho maam twamuchai
Gurukulamadha sarva prarudathe samaksham
Sapadhi charanayosthe mathurasthu pranaama.

Clad in a dress of a sanyasin,
You saw me in my teacher’s school,
In your dream and wept,
And rushed thither,
Smothered, embraced and fondled me, Oh mother mine,
And all the teachers and students wept with you dear,
What could I do,
Except falling at your feet,
And offering my salutations.

Ambethi Thathethi Shivethi tasmin,
Prasoothikale yadavocha uchai,
Krishnethi Govinda hare Mukunde tyaho,
Janye rachito ayamanjali.

Oh mother mine,
Crying thou shouted in pain,
During thine hard labour,
“Oh mother, Oh father,
Oh God Shiva,
Oh Lord Krishna,
Oh Lord of all Govinda,
Oh Hari and Oh God Mukunda,”
But in return,
Oh my mother dearest.
I can give you but humble prostrations.

Na dattam mathasthe marana samaye thoyamapi vaa,
Swadhaa vaa no dheyaa maranadivase sraadha vidhina
Na japtho mathasthe marana samaye tharaka manu,
Akale samprapthe mayi kuru dhayaam matharathulaam.

Neither did I give you water at thine time of death,
Neither did I offer oblations to thee to help thine journey of death,
And neither did I chant the name of Rama in thine ear,
Oh Mother supreme, pardon me for these lapses with compassion,
For I have arrived here late to attend to those.

Mukthaa Manisthvam, Nayanam mamethi,
Rajethi jeevethi chiram sthutha thwam,
Ithyuktha vathya vaachi mathaa,
Dadamyaham thandulamesh shulkam.

Long live,
Oh, pearl mine,
Oh jewel mine,
Oh my dearest eyes,
Oh mine prince dearest,
And oh my soul of soul,
Sang thou to me,
But in return of that all,
Oh my mother dearest.
I give you but dry rice in your mouth.

Cherish Motherhood!!


Avyakta-madhuram

Happy to share the story which I had come across recently.

The story of Meera Bai, the great Bhakta of Giridhara Gopala is well known. Right from childhood she used to always do Krishnaaraadhana. Every jeevi is influenced greatly by his previous janma’s karma. Same is the case with the great Meera Bai:

Meera Bai, in her previous janma, was born in Mathura. She was married at an young age to a boy from Nandavrajam. “In the Nandavrajam there is Baala Krishna. It seems none can escape His maaya. All the vanitas forget everything and completely come under His control it seems. They leave their families too. Please be careful my dear” — this is what everybody kept on warning Meera Bai before she left for Nandavrajam .

Finally the moment when she had to leave for Nandavrajam came. She was taken to Nandavrajam in a beautiful pallaqi. On the way to Vrajam there was severe very heavy rain with thunders. The severity increased and there were huge boulders falling. The people carrying the pallaqi left it and ran for their lifes. Not knowing what happened Meera Bai opened the pallaqi window and saw this paramaadbhuta drushyam:

It was the day when Indra showed His anger on the Vraja-vaasis. She saw a small Baalaka balancing the Govardhana giri on His little finger (left hand) and saving the lifes of Gopalas. Meera was awe-struck. The image of Govardhana Giridhaari just got fixed in her mind. In no time a boulder fell on her too and she lost her life. The bhaavam which Meera experienced when she saw Shri Krishna is avyakta-madhuram.


Our Visit to the Nursing Home

We had a blessed opportunity to visit Evergreen Castro Valley Nursing Home. http://www.evergreenhealthcare.com/

It was a part of my daughters balakendra activity. It was so nice to see the kids singing Christmas Carols for the elderly. The wonderful people in the nursing home loved our visit.

Hear me my Lord.. Be my companion,

come walk with me to serve the needy!


Ramu the Recycler

The past weekend, on Sunday 14 sep 2008, it was the first class for my daughter this semester in Balakendra. Balakendra classes are held amidst the beautiful rolling hills at the MA Center Castro Valley, CA. 

 This was the first class of the fall semester. Kids had an opportunity to explore “Nature Awareness”. Also they had participated in a small skit where they were given ample information about the “Significance of Recycling.” One of the green friends volunteer named himself as “Ramu the Recycler” who made the show an excellent one and who did a wondrous performance much appreciated by the kids.

This activity was part of Amma.org Green Friends network.


Kids were taken to a place where lots of things like reusable items, cans and glass bottles were thrown as Trash. The kids had an opportunity to segregate items which are glass, aluminium, paper and Plastic and place it in the right bins labelled with the items.

The kids did a Nature walk where they were on teams, chose a tree, named the tree and watered the tree with so much love and care. The name tags for the trees were placed on the trees with their friends name on it.

It was truly a blessing to watch the kids loving and kissing their trees.

My daughter named her tree as “Ganesha” as she is very fond of “Lord Ganesha” after watching the “Bala Ganesha” movie recently.

I recently found http://greenmomfinds.com/ very interesting.

The weekend was fun!!!


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