This story about Bhagavad-gita I received from my dear Friend Raja.G - thank You Raja! A BASKET OF WATER
An old farmer lived on a farm in the mountains with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Bhagavad-gita . His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.
One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Bhagavad-gita just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bhagavad-gita do?"
The grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water."
The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.
This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead.
The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house.
The boy again dipped the basket into the river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See Grandpa, it's useless!"
"So you think it is useless?" the old man said, "Look at the basket." The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.
"Son, that's what happens when you read the Bhagavad-gita. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Lord Krishna in our lives."
Krishna and Radha
Thank You My Dear
for portraying the best of India
for the good of the world.
Thank you Dearest Raja
beautiful group and amazing pictures!
Thank you Dear Sara ...
thanks sunrise to views of indial cultural and heritage photographs, its great country.
Here are Facts that is known to many including Indians :
WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA
Some of the following facts may be known to you. These facts were recently published in a German magazine, which deals with WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA.
1. India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.
2. India invented the Number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
3. The world's first University was established in Takshila in 700BC.
More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4 th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
4. According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software.
5. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.
6. Although western media portray modern images of India as poverty striken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was once the richest empire on earth.
7. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5000 years ago. The very word "Navigation" is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH.
8. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is now known as the Pythagorean Theorem. British scholars have last year (1999) officially published that Budhayan's works dates to the 6 th Century which is long before the European mathematicians.
9. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India . Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11 th Century; the largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Indians used numbers as big as 10 53
10. According to the Gemmological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds to the world.
11. USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.
12. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra
13. Chess was invented in India
14. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like cesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient India .
15. When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley ( Indus Valley India in 100 BC.
More to Follow :-..............
Friends Please correct my last post as
Here are Facts that is not known to many people including Indians :
Quotes about India
"We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made." Albert Einstein.
"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition." Mark Twain.
"If there is one place on the face of earth where all dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India French scholar." Romain Rolland.
"India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border." Hu Shih (former Chinese ambassador to USA )
ALL OF THE ABOVE IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG, THE LIST COULD BE ENDLESS.
o be continuedt
Thank you Dearest Raja for sharing these interesting facts . A great work indeed !
The pictures are so beautiful, I have got the music on as I look through them and almost feel like I am there, the colours of the flowers and the beautiful costumes and the scenery is amazing, thank you for sharing it xx
On Behalf of over a Billion Indians
I thank you SS
for bringing out the best of our Country
God Bless You
Thank you Dearest Raja so much for your kind words - nice to hear from you
What is Onam?
Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
Onam is celebrated in the beginning of the month of Chingam, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham). This corresponds with the month of August-September according to Gregorian Calendar.
Carnival of Onam lasts from four to ten days. First day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruonam are most important of all. Popularity and presentation of rich culture of the state during the carnival made Onam the National Festival of Kerala in 1961. Elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers all are a part of the dynamic festival called Onam.
Government of India has taken due notice of this vibrant and colorful festival. It promotes Onam internationally in a big way and celebrates 'Tourist Week' for Kerala during Onam celebrations. Thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visit Kerala to be a part of Onam.
Story goes that during the reign of mighty asura (demon) king, Mahabali, Kerala witnessed its golden era. Every body in the state was happy and prosperous and king was highly regarded by his subjects. Apart from all his virtues, Mahabali had one shortcoming. He was egoistic. This weakness in Mahabali's character was utilized by Gods to bring an end to his reign as they felt challenged by Mahabali's growing popularity. However, for all the good deed done by Mahabali, God granted him a boon that he could annually visit his people with whom he was so attached.
It is this visit of Mahabali that is celebrated as Onam every year. People make all efforts to celebrate the festival in a grand way and impress upon their dear King that they are happy and wish him well.
Rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the ten day long festival. It is indeed a treat to be a part of the grand carnival. People of Kerala make elaborate preparations to celebrate it in the best possible manner.
The most impressive part of Onam celebration is the grand feast called Onasadya, prepared on Thiruonam. It is a nine course meal consisting of 11 to 13 essential dishes. Onasadya is served on banana leaves and people sit on a mat laid on the floor to have the meal.
Another enchanting feature of Onam is Vallamkali, the Snake Boat Race, held on the river Pampa. It is a colourful sight to watch the decorated boat oared by hundreds of boatmen amidst chanting of songs and cheering by spectators.
There is also a tradition to play games, collectively called Onakalikal, on Onam. Men go in for rigorous sports like Talappanthukali (played with ball), Ambeyyal (Archery), Kutukutu and combats called Kayyankali and Attakalam. Women indulge in cultural activities. They make intricately designed flower mats called, Pookalam in the front courtyard of house to welcome King Mahabali. Kaikotti kali and Thumbi Thullal are two graceful dances performed by women on Onam. Folk performances like Kummatti kali and Pulikali add to the zest of celebrations.
When is Onam?
Onam Festival is celebrated in the beginning of the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kolla Varsham) called Chingam. This month corresponds to August-September in Gregorian Calendar and Bhadrapada or Bhadon in Indian (Hindu) Calendar.This year / 2010 / Onam began on August, the 23rd.
When is Thiru Onam?
Onam carnival continues for ten days, starting from the day of Atham and culminating on Thiru Onam. Atham and Thiru Onam are the most important days for Onam festivities. The day of Atham is decided by the position of stars. Onam festival commences from lunar asterism (a cluster of stars smaller than a constellation) Atham (Hastha) that appears ten days before asterism Onam or Thiru Onam. Atham is regarded as auspicious and holy day by people of Kerala. Thiru Onam corresponds to the Shravan day in the month of August or September, hence it is also called Sravanotsavam.
At this time sun is in the Zodiac sign of Leo (Simha rasi), which happens to be the sun's house as well.
Significance of Onam Day in Mythology
The dayof Onam is decided in accordance with the legend of King Mahabali in whose honor Onam is celebrated. People believe that it was this particular day in the month of Chingam when Lord Vishnu took his fifth avatar as Vaamana, appeared in the kingdom of King Mahabali and sent him to nether world.
People believe that it is on the last day, Tiruonam that the spirit of King Maveli visits Kerala, hence the day is marked by feast and festivities. Devotees of Maveli celebrate the golden era witnessed in Maveli's reign during Onam. To welcome their revered ruler, people lay flower mats (Pookalam) in the front courtyard, prepare a grand meal (Onasadya), dance, play and make merry. All this is done to impress upon King Mahabali that his people are prosperous and happy.
A Brief History of Onam
It is believed that Onam celebrations started during the Sangam Period. Record of celebrations can be found from the time of Kulasekhara Perumals (800 AD). At that time Onam celebrations continued for a month.
As it is a harvest season, the beautiful state of Kerala can be seen in its magnificent best. Weather is pleasantly sunny and warm calling for mirth and celebrations. Fields look brilliant as they glow with golden paddy grains. It is also the boom time of fruits and flowers. After the month of deprivation, Karkidakam (last month of Malayalam Calendar), farmers are happy with a bountiful harvest and celebrate the festival to the hilt.
Onam in Kerala
Onam is the biggest festival of Kerala. But, there is a lot more to Onam than being just a festival. Onam reflects the faith of the people of Kerala; A belief in their legendary past, religion and power of worship. It shows the high spirit of the people who go out of the way to celebrate the festival in the prescribed manner and a grand fashion.
Best of Season and Weather
Onam is also a harvest festival. It is celebrated at a time when everything appears so nice and good. The beautiful landscape of Kerala can be seen in its full radiance at this time of the Malayalam New Year. Weather, it seems, also seeks to be a part of the festival. It contributes by becoming pleasantly warm and sunny. Fields look brilliant with a bountiful harvest. Farmers feel on top of the world as they watch the result of their hard labour with pride.
Children's Joy and Homecoming
Children eagerly wait for the arrival of the carnival. Why shouldn't they. It is time for them to get new clothes, toys and everything else they asked for or thought of. Numerous uncles, aunts and grandmas grace their wishes with delight. It is also a time for homecoming for people staying away from the families. Their arrival multiples the joy of the festival several folds.
Welcoming a Very Special Visitor
Onam awaits one very special visitor, Kerala's most loved legendary King Maveli. He is the King who once gave the people a golden era in Kerala. The King is so much attached to his kingdom that it is believed that he comes annually from the nether world to see his people living happily. It is in honour of King Mahabali, affectionately called Onathappan, that Onam is celebrated.
Womenfolk make special arrangements to welcome Onathappan. Flower carpets are laid in the front courtyards with dedication and full sincerity. A grand meal is prepared on the day of Thiru Onam. It is on this day that Maveli's spirit visits Kerala. Lip smacking meal consists of best of Kerala cuisine including avial, sambhar, rasam, parippu and the payasam.
One of the most marvelous facets of Onam is the unfolding of its rich and well-established culture. We see not just glimpses but a whole gamut of it in the ten-day-long carnival. Pulikali, Kaikottikali, Kummattikalli, Kathakali, Thumbi Thullal besides several other folk arts and traditions can be seen on one platform called Onam.
Of Unity and Team Spirit
The beauty of the festival lies in it's secular fabric. People of all religions, castes and communities celebrate the festival with equal joy and verve. Onam also helps to create an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood by way of various team sports organised on the day.
Onam is the passion of the people of Kerala. And, pride of India .
Ten days of Onam
Carnival of Onam continues for ten days in the state of Kerala. In some regions of the state festivities are restricted to four to six days only. However, scholars say, the festivities have toned down a lot in the present time. In earlier days, Onam was celebrated for a month and much more lavishly.
Nevertheless, Onam is still celebrated with gaiety and joy on all the ten days of the festivities. There are set rituals for each day and the traditional people of Kerala dutifully follow them. The mood of the people is upbeat all through the carnival and the high spirited people of Kerala are ever ready to indulge in merriment.
Of all these days the first day Atham and the tenth day Thiruvonam are the most significant ones. Ninth day Uthradam is also considered to be extremely important from the point of view of celebrations in several parts of Kerala.
Atham - Day One
First day is an important one and is considered holy and auspicious by the people of Kerala... more
Chithira - Day Two
On the second day of Onam, people add to the size of the Pookalam with different flowers... more
Chodhi - Day Three
Size of the Attha Poo gets further increased with an addition of design with a different flowers... more
Visakam - Day Four
Brisk activities in the market and households can be witnessed on the day of Visakam... more
Anizham - Day Five
High point of the day is the grand boat race event called Vallamkali... more
Thriketa - Day Six
People, who may be staying away from their homes, start coming to their homes as the main day approaches... more
Moolam - Day Seven
With just two days left for the festival now, enthusiasm grips the state of Kerala... more
Pooradam - Day Eight
The day holds significance in Onam festivities. Devotees create clay idols in the shape of small pyramids... more
Uthradam - Day Nine
It is a day prior to Thiruvonam. Some people begin festivities on a large scale on this day... more
Thiruvonam - Day Ten
The biggest day of all, is the tenth day called Thiruvon...more
PULIKKALI(TIGER PLAY) Onam Rituals
Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of Kerala. Festivities of Onam continue for ten long days. Of all these days, most important ones are the first day, Atham and the last or tenth day, Thiru Onam.
Religious and traditional people of Kerala sincerely follow all the customs and traditions set by their ancestors. A number of cultural programmes, dances, songs and feasts mark the festival.
Rituals for the Atham Day
Celebrations commence from the first day, Atham. The day is regarded holy and auspicious by the people of Kerala. People take early bath on the day and offer prayers in the local temple.
Notable feature of this day is that making of Pookkallam or the flower carpet starts from this day. Attha Poo is prepared in the front courtyard by girls of the house to welcome the spirit of King Mahabali in whose honour Onam is celebrated. Boys play a supporting role and help in gathering flowers. In the following days, more flowers are added to Pookalam. As a result Pookalam turns out to be of massive size on the final day.
Preparations for the Thiru Onam starts in a big way and everybody gets engaged to mark the festival in their own style. House cleaning starts on a massive scale and everything is made to look neat and tidy. There is also a set breakfast consisting of steamed bananas and fried pappadam (pappad). This remains the same till the day of Thiru Onam. A swing is also slung on a high branch of a tree. It is decorated with flowers and the youngsters take great delight in swinging and singing, that goes simultaneously.
Rituals for the ninth day-Utradam
A day prior to Onam is the ninth day of the festivities and is known as Utradam. On this day tenants and depends of Tarawads (traditional large joint family sharing a common kitchen and consisting of more than hundred people) give presents to Karanavar, the eldest member of the family. These presents are usually the produce of their farms consisting of vegetables, coconut oil, plantains etc. This gift from the villagers to Karanavar on Onam are called 'Onakazhcha'. A sumptuous treat is offered is offered by Karanavar in return for Onakazhcha. Village artisans also offer a specimen of their handicrafts to the Karanavar of Nayar Tarawads. They receive gracious rewards for this courtesy.
The Big Day - Thiru Onam
Kerala appears in its grandiose best on this day. Cultural extravaganza, music and feasts add colours of merriment and joy to the God's Own Country. There are celebrations all around the state and everybody takes active participation in them; Onam has assumed a secular character and is celebrated by people of all religions and communities.
People wake up as early as 4 am on the day of Onam. Day begins with cleaning of the house. In the earlier days, front courtyards were smeared with cow dungs. The custom is still followed in villages, where the houses are not cemented.
On the day of Thiruvonam conical figures in various forms are prepared from sticky clay and are painted red. These are decorated with a paste made of rice-flour and water and are placed in the front court yard and other important places in the house. Some of these clay figures are in the shape of cone and others represent figures of Gods. Those in the shape of a cone are called, 'Trikkakara Appan'. The tradition of making clay cones for Trikkara Appan has its roots in mythology, which says that festival originated at Trikkakara, a place 10 km from Cochin. Trikkara is also said to be the capital in the reign of legendary King Maveli.
Elaborate prayers ceremonies and poojas are also performed on this day. A senior member of the house plays the role of the priest and conducts the rituals. He wakes up early and prepares ata; Ata is prepared from rice flour and molasses for Nivedyam (offerings to God). Lamps are lit up in front of the idols and all members of the house join in for the ceremonies. Priest offers ata, flowers and water in the names of the God. As Onam is also a harvest festival people thank God for the bountiful harvest and pray for the blessings in the coming year. A peculiar custom is followed after this, wherein male members make loud and rhythmic shouts of joys. The tradition is called, 'Aarppu Vilikkukal'. This represents the beginning of Onam.
It is now the time for members of the house to dress up in their best attire and offer prayers in the local temple. Most people wear new clothes on the day. There is also a tradition of distributing new clothes on Onam. In Tharawads (traditional large family consisting of more than hundred people), Karanavar, the eldest member of the family, gives new clothes as gifts, called Onapudava, to all family members and servants. Other members of the family exchange gifts amongst each other.
The Big Feast - Onasadya
After completing the morning rituals, it is time for the family to get ready for the grand meal called Onasadya. The biggest and most prominent place in the house is selected to lay the meal which is traditionally served in a row on a mat laid on the floor.
The central place in the row is occupied by the eldest member of the family. In front of him is placed a lighted brass lamp at a distance. Towards the west of the lamp is placed a small plantain leaf on which the food is served. This is an offering made in the name of Lord Ganapathy.
Thereafter, the meal is served to all present. The elaborate meal consists of 11 to 13 strictly vegetarian dishes and is served on banana leaves. There is a fixed order of serving the meal and a set place to serve the various dishes on the leaf. A lot of preparation and hard work goes in making of the scrumptious Onasadya.
Time for Fun - Dances and Games
After the grand meal, it's time for people to indulge in recreational activities and enjoy the festival. Men of strength and vigour go in for rigorous sports while senior and sober members pass time by playing indoor games like chess and cards. There is a set of traditional games to be played on Onam which are collectively called, Onakalikal. It includes ball games, combats, archery and Kutukutu (Kerala version of Kabaddi).
Women go in for dancing activities as there are specific dances like Kaikottikali and Thumbi Thullal for the festival of Onam. Women performing the graceful clap dance called Kaikotti kali in their traditional gold bordered mundu and neriyathu presents a splendid sight. Besides, there is also a tradition of playing on a decorated swing hung from a high branch. Onappaattu - Onam Songs, are also sung on the occasion.
Celebrations and cultural programmes are held all across the state to mark the festival of Onam in which a large number of people participate. Prominent amongst them are Vallamkali- the Snake Boat Race and entertaining events like Kummatti kali and Pulikali. The other highpoint of Onam is the dazzling display of fire works. The state of Kerala can be seen engulfed in light and spirit of merriment when people burst patassu or fire crackers.
Wish You a Very Happy and Prosperous Onam