The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam &
Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sanskrit Education in Schools ...

Ever since independence, India has been a good, but complex dominion, with several States.  After we opted for linguistic division and reorganization of States, the number of States has increased, and the potential for further division continues to reign How we can strengthen the integrity of our Nation while continuing to preserve the Federal system, is thus a significant challenge.
A peep into history reveals that our country has always been divided by language, food habits, dress, and customs. And yet, from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari, we have embodied and displayed the same ancient culture. How has this been achieved?
The primary factor behind our cultural unity is the treasure of cultural wisdom and the abundance of literature we had evolved right from prehistoric times, bequeathed and cherished with fidelity and tenacity over countless generations. The literary treasure we have is documented in Sanskrit, which was also once the official inter-province and inter-kingdom medium for free communication. It served as the one strong National thread, uniting the people as a huge multi-splendoured Nation, fostering National fondness and cohesion. It is this integrity that Macaulay sought to undermine and destroy by eulogizing English in place of Sanskrit. While he strove to make a dent in our cultural unity, he could not, however, succeed in disintegrating it.
Sanskrit has withstood the onslaughts and inroads of time, thanks to its precision and impeccable structure and integration. Such a resilient vehicle of ideas was employed by spirituo-philosophical and secular writers alike. In fact, all our mathematical, scientific, and medical treatises are presented in Sanskrit poetry. The time has come when people must be infused with National pride arising from the knowledge of our own enviable  hoary achievements in science, mathematics and other domains. The earlier we are able to instil a proper insight into our cultural excellence, in which Sanskrit plays a dominant role, the better for the country as well as its intelligentia and leaders.
Values were evolved in this land at a time when ‘religion’ was not there on the earth. All our values, when rightly exposed, are bound to evoke emotional persuasion and rational compulsion from the listener and reader. In teaching Sanskrit and our cultural values, neither God nor religion need be brought in at all.
The need to propagate and popularise Sanskrit is thus paramount. Any step in this direction is certainly welcome by all means. The resistance or the effort to make a controversy in the matter is unfortunate. This is a time when all concerned should think of India, with its distinguished past and the prospect of preserving our integrity and cultural unity and elegance for all times to come.

Role of Government in this great mission

Every time a new Government is installed, it is an indisputable opportunity to implement their policies and principles. Or else their installation would have no meaning. Under democratic process, the party elected to power has the freedom to think the way they do and implement their policies and procedures, considering the welfare of the Nation and the cohesion of the people. Rather than meeting every move with reluctance and suspicion, everyone must have the prudence and patience to encourage the wish and will of the Government. After all any Government takes over with the mandate the people give them through the established democratic process.
As part of this emergent process, if they feel like introducing Sanskrit in their own Schools, it is undemocratic and unwise to impede the programme.
If the Government feels promotion of Sanskrit in Kendriya Vidyalaya is a right National step in deepening and strengthening the educational mission of the land, making it an artful, cultural and National endeavour, it should be greeted by one and all.

Safeguards to be ensured

The only point to be remembered in the matter is that any new step, in content and procedure, should be to ensure the welfare and progress of the students in their acquisition of knowledge. In the name of any new policy or principle, students and their learning should not be impeded. Thus, the introduction should be timed and pursued in a manner not to disturb their smooth study, but to facilitate it creditably.
Academic propriety and safety of both students and teachers must receive due attention in the matter. It is a legitimate question any time in independent India as to whether our students should run after foreign languages, or the first priority should be our own language, especially when Sanskrit has so much to inculcate National values imbuing National pride and identity are such as to evoke constantly emotional persuasion and rational compulsion.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Journey into Outer Space and the Journey Within

It is a matter of great National delight that ISRO scientists and allied agencies, individuals and groups alike, creditably designed, engineered and implemented the space journey to Mars, registering success in the very first attempt. People have witnessed the skill and mastery of human brain over matter and energy. To make the MOM traverse 300 odd days covering 680 million km overcoming all hurdles in free space is a distinguished feat indeed!
In the world of science and technology, it elevates the Nation to global glory and majesty.  It equally demonstrates how the sentient human brain hosts the potential to engineer inert matter and energy, making them respond to its wish and will. 
But let us remember with fidelity that India’s exploits in science even in the ancient past were unparalleled at the time. In physics, chemistry, mathematics, biochemistry and the like, our people had shown astounding knowledge and precision.
Our forefathers had discovered the speed of Sun as travelling 2202 yojanas in half a second, which is a very near approximation to the modern findings. They had also defined zero and pi precisely.  Equally so, they were awake to the gravitational pulls of the celestial bodies, which define their trajectories.
Our present brain is a bequest from our predecessors.  While cherishing our success, let us remember the ancients, their inner zeal and scientific precision, with gratitude and admiration.
Side by side with the excellence of science and technology, we find how greed, possessiveness and domination, unleashed by human mind, work their havoc, downgrading the very quality and worth of scientific achievement, and generating a plethora of threats to the planetary life itself.
Unless the human brain emergently launches its benign mission to reform itself and forestall the havocs of the mind and senses, by heeding the call of goodness, benevolence and coexistence, the outer exploits are bound to be retrogressive and inglorious.
As we are able to traverse amazing distances in outer space, we have greater power to delve into the unfathomable depths of inner sentient space, which brings lasting grandeur and felicity.
The achievement should make us equally reflective, inspiring the intelligence to transform the evil traits of the mind into benevolent grace and nobility. If human ingenuity can have this much of potential and possibility, what should be the magnitude of its domain over our own inner personality, from where emerge all kinds of impetus.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fundamental Position Regarding Treasure In Temples

30 April 2014
To mix up matters coming within the human domain unnecessarily with that of Divine and on that ground insist on conducting Devaprashnam for matters solely resting upon human thought and discretion, is imprudent, unscriptural and uncalled for. Temple as an institution, including the shaping of the Idol, its installation and consecration, etc. are a product and outcome of human ingenuity alone. Offerings as well right handling of them is also exactly alike. It is wrong to intercept the matter with anything like Devaprashnam, in order to know the wishes of the Deity. Only in non-evident matters, such a step need be thought of at all.
Kalavaras in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple were made by, articles kept there and locked by humans. Suddenly to say for any one that the opening of the Kalavara should be subjected to devaprashnam, is to say the minimum, immature and puerile. Let us understand that the whole concept of God, of Temple, worship, the disciplines and formalities to be followed in this area are all human alone. Here too it is appropriate to think about the matter rationally, faithfully and impartially and proceed with confidence and clarity.  
The Supreme Court, on 24th April, ordered a special audit of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple and its treasure trove by former CAG Vinod Rai following the report by the amicus curiae Gopal Subramaniam. The Apex Court also ordered the creation of a five-member administrative set-up under the district judge.
While all the issues raised, debated and judged were regarding Management and Administration of treasures in Temples, there is a very fundamental position everyone should understand. This relates to the four pillars –the Deity, the Devotees, Devotion and Religious Practices relating to worship, without which any effort to deal with the outcome of these will not have the required authenticity and Scriptural sanction.
1.    The Temple is first and last a public place of worship, for devotees to express their devotion and submit their various prayers seeking blessings to fulfil them. As part of this, perishable and non-perishable items, including gold, also are offered by devotees, all seeking specific blessings from the Deity in return.
2.    The large quantity of treasure present in the Temple vaults in no way enhances the divinity of the Deity. It is the taantric ceremonies performed by the Priests that always instal, imbue and enhance Divine blessings and Benedictory Power to the Deity. It is this Divine stock that Deity uses, spends, for granting the prayers of devotees, with the result that every day by the Devotees’ prayers, the Deity’s divinity is getting gradually depleted. The daily pooja will not be sufficient in the matter of retaining and preserving Divinity to the Idol.
3.    That is why periodically re-consecration (naveekarana) ceremonies become imperative in the Temple Installation practice. Divine infusion is always from the Taantric Rituals done by the priests qualified for the purpose. Such being the case, where is the question of the offerings-treasure ever becoming an integral part of the Deity’s Divinity at all, in any Temple?
4.     By hoarding ‘unmanageable’ amount of wealth in the temple, which the Scriptures strictly prohibit, the temple is only attracting thieves who constantly eye the treasure. It also warrants the complex, expensive task of managing the treasure, leading to incredible recurring e expenditure. In Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the annual security cost is Rs.23 crores.
5.   Other forms of corruption are also bound to creep in, disrupting the sublimity and sanctity of the Temple, as the attention would always be on safeguarding wealth, which in no way is part of the consecrational divinity of the Deity.
6.   By the accumulation of wealth and treasure, sophisticated arrangements to secure and manage it, like surveillance gadgets, frisking, CC TV and other measures, which are strictly not called for in the context of the Deity and its Divinity.
7.    In the past, temple assets have been used for societal welfare. His Excellency Rama Varma, the Maharaja of Cochin (1895–1914) was instrumental in establishing the Shoranur Junction–Cochin Harbour Terminus railway line. The treasury records of Kingdom of Cochin substantiate the fact that the Maharajah sold 14 gold elephant caparisons that belonged to the Sree Poornathrayeesha temple and other personal ornaments, which belonged to the Cochin Royal Family to fund the project.
8.   Another simple question to be considered to which no answer has come up in any of the debates – “what do we finally do with all the riches that are accumulating in the temple vaults – sooner or later?”
Considering these points, anyone sincerely concerned about the welfare of the Temple and temple institution in our Land, should implement the following to retain the sanctity of the Temple, and uphold the sublime and traditional devotional practices:
a)    Temples should not be allowed to become treasure houses, by hoarding and storing treasures in the temple, thereby, the divine abode, instead of being a place of worship tends to turn into an abode for various malpractices.
b)   Riches in Temple vaults should be deployed for societal welfare, particularly in the area of education and healthcare, in the light of the fact that there is a dearth of good schools and hospital facilities for people from the economically weaker sections of the society.
c)  The unutilized wealth from Temples should be utilized for the establishment and management of a string of Universities, which will provide specialized education in the Cultural and Scientific Heritage of our land, in fulfillment of the Fundamental Duty enshrined in the Constitution, namely ‘to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture’;
d)   Such money can also be used for creating better facilities (medical care, rest houses and the like), for pilgrims in the different holy pilgrim centres of our Land, in recognition of the fact that from times immemorial, pilgrimage has been an integral cultural part of our life, whereby the unity and integrity of the Nation are upheld and reinforced;
e)   Such items in Temple vaults which have an antique value and represent and preserve the culture of our Land, should be preserved and made available in a museum for the world to see and get to know our cultural history.
Ref: Shoranur Junction–Cochin Harbour Terminus railway line.
For details, contact: Br. Prasanna Swaroopa, Narayanashrama Tapovanam, Trichur, Kerala.
Email:; Phone: 0487-2277963, 2278302, 8281519763;

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Election Commission‘s order is to be heeded or flouted?

On April 8th, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Election Commission of India for having ordered transfer and replacement of officials from various districts, giving a time frame for it, with a view to ensure fair and free electoral process, that she won't 'allow' these transfers. On 7thApril, EC had announced the transfer of five Superintendents of Police and one District Magistrate after the opposition complained of bias. 

In its letter, EC ordered transfer of the officials to “non-election related and non-field” posts by 8th April. When the Chief Minister in a public meeting condemned and challenged the EC’s order, and declared clear disobedience to it, EC said it would have to cancel the Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal if the State Government did comply with its order.  

1.             Election Commission is a constitutional body. It has been set up under constitutional enactment of Parliament, to ensure that elections in the country are held in a free and fair manner and the Parliament itself duly comes into existence, with its power and potentials.
2.           In the matter of all elections, State and Central, Election Commission has sovereign powers, which are willingly and collectively bestowed by the people through their elected representatives.
3.       After elections are formally announced, Election Commission has supreme powers, which the State and Central Governments should willingly heed and implement, so that elections are conducted fairly and freely. Because they owe their own existence to the Election Commission and its constitutional functioning. All elected representatives, including all ministers, derive their status and power, only after EC conducts elections and announces the results. 
4.     Election Commission should be encouraged to take confidently whatever action, procedure or safeguard has to be taken,  to  conduct elections freely and fairly, without fear or favour. Only then the people can rely upon the electoral process, and accept it as faithful, truthful and effective. In this the Election Commission should receive all loyalty and support from the ruling Governments, no matter what party they represent.
5.            EC’s order on transfer of officers was occasioned by complaint from opposition party that the officers concerned were acting with partiality.  This was the best to be done in order to reassure the people about the impartial conduct of elections, which the Chief Minister’s party and its candidates are also relying upon for their getting elected. The entire country rests upon the electoral process and its destined outcome.
6.       Instead of appreciating and acting upon the order, which was the faithful task of any Government, the West Bengal Chief Minister, apparently courting political and administrative pride, openly challenged the Election Commission’s order, and declared refusal of compliance. If election is the means to install a Ministry, this act of the CM is a clear affront to the Constitution, constitutional machinery and the entire electoral process.
7.            The Chief Minister has come into power and position only on the basis of the fair election held by the Election Commission. Being so, how can any Chief Minister ever think of flouting the Election Commission’s orders, which have made State and Central Ministers what they are?
8.              This is like Bhasmasura, having gained a boon from Shiva, wanting to try it and kill Shiva Himself! Our epic narrations are always portraying the intricacies of human mind and how destructive it can be, thus warning all people to safeguard themselves against such pitfalls and destructive moves. I think the elected representatives as well as the electorate must have regular classes on the message of our epic literature, which deals with characteral elegance, behavioural majesty and interactional excellence of the humans.
9.           It is clear and open that what is needed is to strengthen Election Commission, CAG, CVC and such other , so that the democratic processes and democratic governments can function with full representation, confidence and clarity, commanding respect, allegiance and adherence from the people, who elect them to give an effective Administration.
10.        Nothing should be done to dislodge, weaken or thwart the democratic processes in the country, of which the electoral process and the Election Commission are supreme and sacrosanct.
11.       What is the harm if some officers are transferred and replaced? The real prestige of any Government is to prove its innocence and reliability by implementing the order, and not vice versa.
12.       When a Chief Minister openly speaks about flouting the order of Election Commission, forcing the Commission to go a step further saying that it will be forced to call off the election, what credibility will the Chief Minister and the Government have in the minds of faithful citizens? None would like any Government elected by them to be discredited with indiscretion, tall talk or disobedience to the Constitutional procedures and practices.
13.     Though the Chief Minister of West Bengal, has now accepted the EC’s orders, no well-meaning citizen of the country would be happy at the way the stern refusal and subsequent submission have come to be.
14.           We have to become wiser and more discreet to run the Democratic Government and help in ensuring the health and wellbeing of the democratic processes in the country.
15.          Let this National Higher Call be cherished and nourished by all concerned, so that our great country will rise to the characteral refinement and behavioural sublimity, which constitute our real cultural glory.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spirituality is fully scientific

31 January 2014
[On the 7th day of the Aatma Tattva Sameeksha Discourse Series
based on Ashtavakra Samhita in Thrissur, Kerala

Life is experiential. I exist and the world also exists; I am awake, I slept; I dreamed. I do not remember, now I do remember; I am old. I am sick. All these are one’s own experiences. Our life is a stream of experiences.
Spirituality, adhyaatma, is self experiential not external perceptible; that is spirituality is self experiential. It is recognizable by anyone else.
In the study of external objects instruments and gadgets are unavoidable. But these are merely instruments to help us in the study. It is our eyes, mind, intellect, which perceive the objects through these instruments and learn about them.
In the study of one’s self no instrument or accessory is needed. Spiritual knowledge is to be gained through the direct employment of one’s mind and intellect.
The information that comes through the senses is analyzed using the mind and intellect and conclusions are arrived at with conviction. Spiritual knowledge which is also similarly arrived at through self introspection and self analysis and is self experiential is thus unquestionable; this has to be acknowledged and accepted.  
Ashtavakra Mahrshi makes the process of Self-realization facile and certain. The entire world is gross and insentient. All the objects around are modifications of the five ‘elements’ namely earth, water, air, fire and sky. I am not any of these objects; I am the one seeing them, perceiving them. It is common knowledge that the one who is seeing cannot be the seen. One is the subject and the other is the object. The subject cannot be the object and vice versa.
I who am the witness of the pancabhootas am separate, different from them. Since I am able to include the vast expanse of the sky in my perception, I have the spatial dimension. The extent of ‘I’ is infinite!
It is the same eye that sees a mustard as well as the vastness of the sky as well as all the planetary bodies hovering in the sky. It is when all these are imprinted in my mind that I begin to experience them. Imagine! What could be the expanse and potential of such a mind that can imprint the entire cosmos within itself?
We are not ‘seeing’ the world; the world shines, is revealed as an imprint in us! This light does not belong to the external objects. It is from the inner power. None of the external objects can or do ever enter our within. All of them are merely imprints made by our mind in our mind.
It is only through vichara, introspection and analysis that we can understand the magnitude and power of this ‘I’ in us.
‘I’ who is the witness of the universe exceeds the universe itself! The universe floats in ‘I’ like bubbles in water. ‘I’ am the basis of these bubbles; and so this perceptible universe also resides in ‘me’ and is dependent on ‘me’.
He who knows this will not have any fear or concern about the universe. He will have no attraction or dislike for the Creation. That is why a spiritual knower, knower of truth, is able to function magnificently. He will always be competent, skillful and glorious in his actions.
The world is a servant in the eyes of a Knower, a Jnaani. ”I” am the Lord.
It is such self conviction and self confidence that is gifted by spiritual knowledge and realization.

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Enrich the greatness and sweetness of Malayalam!

29 January 2014
[On the 5th day of the Aatma Tattva Sameeksha Discourse Series
based on Ashtavakra Samhita in Thrissur, Kerala
Each and every Malayalee, each and every Keralite, has the obligation and onus to  nourish and embellish the mother tongue Malayalam and make it more relishing. This should be reflected more in speech than in Literature. However when the usage of Language becomes greater and greater there may occur a decrease in norms of usage. Constant vigilance against this tendency must be shown.
Clarity of the spoken word must be ensured. For instance the Malayalam word ‘Irinjaalakuda’ becoming ‘IrinjaalakuDa’ results in loss of melodic sweetness. So also it must be ensured that sounds such as (ka,Ta, ta,pa); (kha ccha THa, tha pha); (gha Dha dha bha) are emphasized correctly with appropriate force and resound and practiced. Only when one is able to look and write as also listen and write, will the usage of language become meaningful. There should never arise a need to ask if the word Daśaratha has ‘tha’ () or () dha in it! These distinctions and nuances must be mastered well.
Such a practice calls for close attention to speech  and regulation of the organs of speech. Regulation of the senses and sensory organs are of utmost importance in Spirituality.
We often find the word ‘bhayankara’ (Malayalam) being used indiscriminately. This word which should mean ‘fearful’ is now being liberally used by Malayalees to express just the opposite emotion – namely high appreciation of anything. Such oxymoronic usage of words create confusion of meaning and intention in Malayalam, apart from insulting the language itself.
Similar is the error in usage of soft and hard consonants combinations which often result in total distortion of pronunciation. For example the Malayalam word for Lotus is Padmam. This is seen to be corrupted as ‘Palmam’ which carries no meaning really speaking. In the same way Valmiki cannot be written as Vatmiki as is being done even by the News papers. Valmiki originated from Ratnakara being reborn from anthill called Valmeekam in Sanskrit.
It is said in the Mahabharata that even before 5152 years, the people of Kerala had acquired the nature and stature of ‘Arya-hood’. When considering classical status for Malayalam this fact was not taken into account it seems. How can such a slur on Malayalam be allowed in this State which claims 100% literacy and excellence in education?
We should not delay anymore in employing words according to their pronunciation.
Teachers alone can with love for the language and close attention raise the language from its downfall. It is the learning done in the first four classes of a child’s schooling that determines its language skills. The authorities and teachers should wake up to this fact. The parents can do little in this matter.
The audio-visual media too must take great acre to ensure purity of the usage of language. These may need a separate regulatory mechanism. Constant vigilance is called for in media broadcasts.

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