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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Deva Prasnam

Three types of terrain have been stated as suitable for construction of temples. 'Supadma', Bhadra' and 'Poorna'. A terrain with trees like Arayaal, Peral (Ficus Bengalensis and Ficus religiosa Sanskrit Aswatha, and Vada), Veppu, Maruthu (Jarul in Hindi, Pride of India), Elanji (bakul in Hindi), Ashokam, Chempaka (Champa), Jasmine etc situated on top of a hillock or in a valley with limited water sources is known as 'Poorna' and is considered suitable for construction of a temple
The terrain where Vadakkunathan temple stands conforms to this description completely. It is on top of a hillock and as water runs off from all sides after rains, there is limited water supply within the temple compound. The hole caused by Arjuna resting his bow on the earth for stringing it and where devotees are expected to wash their hands and feet holds but limited water. There was a huge Elangi tree inside the temple, near the Northern gopuram. The famed Elangithhara Melam used to take place under it. The tree fell some years ago and a new one was planted at the same site after observing all holy customs. It is just about ten feet tall now and the Melam now takes place adjascent to it. There is no dearth of Peraals with names like Manikandhan aal, Naduvil aal, Naickan aal etc. (V.K.N. adds Sonilal Harilal , jewellers). Manikandhan aal also collapsed almost a decade ago and the new one planted in its stead is flourishing. Banyan tree is much faster growing than Elanji. There is a medium sized sprawling Arayaal on the South side of the Northern gopuram.
The Kanikkonnas were in full bloom a month ago. Every morning a thousand golden nose rings used to be strewn underneath the trees. But they have now been stripped of all their bunches of flower which have been sold during Vishu for kani. The (Poo) Maruthu (Jarul) trees sway with their pink flowers. An odd Gulmohar puts the skyline on fire and a couple of Ashoka trees add further colour and fragrance. There are any number of jasmine vines and shrubs inside the temple. A couple of months ago the scores of Mango trees in the maidan had also flowered. The pond maintained by Catholic Syrian Bank used to contain a few white and blue lotuses (aambal). The pond is now totally neglected. But for this the stage is fully set for Kamadeva and if he brings along his bow of sugarcane stem with the string of bees all the arrows would have been readily available.

Aravindam f shokam cha
Chootham,* cha navamaalika
Neelotpalam cha panchathe
Panchabanasya sayaka.
(*Chootham= mango shoot)
Spring born out of a sigh of Brahma and which goads all creatures to undertake nesting activities (vasantham) is here. Her companion Malaya maaruthan has sadly been replaced by the exhaust fumes of countless vehicles rushing by. And the stentorian speeches of politicians at Vidyarthi corner and 'adipoli' Rahman songs have substituted the singing of koels . However, it should still be possible for Kama to carry out Mohanam (deluding), Shoshanam (withering) and Maranam (killing) with a little help from the politicians, Bevco and the Devaswam board. Only harshanam (delighting) and Rochanam(appealing) may be difficult.
Lord Shiva at the moment is quite vulnerable, surrounded as he is by Party ticket holders. And halahalam is no match for the stuff Bevco is peddling.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Of scoundrels, by scoundrels, for scoundrels

"Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. This world will never know peace in the world until the last politician is strangled with the guts of the last priest". Voltaire

Politicians and priests continue to thrive even after almost three centuries after Voltaire. Their tribe has in fact multiplied and prospered. Perhaps , the fervent wish that some benign force, terrestrial or extraterrestrial, would somehow bring about this prerequisite for peace in the world is never greater than during Election time.
Not that the people need much persuation to believe absurdities. There is no dearth for takers for schemes promising to make one a millionaire overnight. Or for godmen! Or for politicians bent upon serving you and me and the country!" In order to become the Master, the politician poses as your servant. DeGaulle"
"Asambhavam haema mrugasya janma
Thathapi Ramo lulupae mrugaya.
Praya: samapanna vipaththi kale
Dheeyo api pumsam malanee bhavanti"
(Knowing that a golden deer is improbable, Rama went after it. In times of danger, the minds of even the wise persons gets corrupted.)
And the average Malayalee cannot be considered 'savvy" despite his pretentions to intellectual superiority. I think the average Bihari who declares his allegiance based on caste or creed or such earthy consideration is wiser than the so called politicaly conscious Malayalee who believes in distant Gods, be it Marx. Engels, Lenin, Nehru or Indira. And the cultural leaders of Malayalees are no better, busy wallowing in the garbage produced by left leaning Latins with unpronounceable names.
Hearing the politicians, and reading the 'investigative reports' appearing in the print media or the hours of discussions which go on in the visual media one is tempted to ask the same question which Vikramaditya asked Acharya Siddhasena:
If truth was,
that which was said repeatedly
that which was said loudly
that which was said with authority, or
that which was agreed by the majority.

We should be ending up with a Government of the people(?) by a majority, for a minority.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Big B Blog

Amithabh Bachchan takes his blog very seriously. He posts almost everyday and find something interesting to write about. By comparison, Mammootty's blog lasted just two or three postings! There is a hyperlink from my blog to Mr.Bachchan's. It is worth a visit.

In Day 335 posted in March 09, he introduces Shobit Kaushal, poet, painter and also a terminaly ill cancer patient. Some of Kaushal's paintings, posted in the blog are really good. The whole write up is extremely sensitive and poignant. Please read at least this post at Bachchan's blog.

I append my comment which appeared among the responses.

“Hush……the old reaper is here again

Has been sitting in the dark corner for a while now.
If I just ignore him, perhaps he will go away,

or the comfort of the corner and the soothing breeze may lull him

like the morphine coursing thru my blood stream
Hush…..let not the phone ring now or a brash driver honk on his horn

let the old man rest, he also needs his forty winks.
The Paint……..why is it all coming out deep blue and brick red

Is there no sunshine yellow or foliage green left in my pallette…..

But, let the red and white blood cells dance along for a while more

the Old man shouldn’t mind, he was here a bit too early.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hierarchy of Discounting

This was the topic of a presentation by Dr.Krishnamoorthi in the TMA meeting of 31st.March

What I could understand from the presentation is that a person begins writing his/her own life story (script) at a young age, as he/she tries to come to terms with the world and his place in it. The script is revised throughout life but the core story is decided upon by age 7. The 'drivers' for the script are the 'parent' figures as perceived by the child and the 'parent' 'child' responses which were found to be successful in coping with persons/situations. It passes out of awareness but his /her responses to self, others or situation continue to be governed by the Script. When such responses/reactions/behavior fails, conflict arises internally and externally.

The person ignores some aspects of reality in acting out the Script belief. This is called "discounting". Such discounting may not be observable but may have to be inferred. A discounting matrix as under is used to decide the exact area of discounting











Significance of



Significance of



Significance of





Changeability of



Solvability of



Viability of





Personal ability to

React differently


Personal ability to

Solve problems


Personal ability to

Act on problems

A discount in any of the box entails discount in

all the boxes to the right

ail the boxes below it

all the boxes on the same diagonal

The person may have access to information but is blanking it out intentionally or unintentionally. The aim is to convince the person that he need not follow the Script strategy decided upon in infancy. Hopefully, the person will succeed in coming to terms with the changed circumstance.

This is my understanding of what Dr.Krishnamoorthi said. As indicated in the earlier blog posting, he ended his presentation with a quote about changing things that can be changed and accepting others. I had some doubts about the theory of hierarchical discounting. It did not touch upon the influence of the genetic makeup in the formulation of the Script. Do beings have unfettered choice in the formulation of the script? Granted that the script is developed through a trial and error method of selecting a response or behavior pattern that succeeds in furthering the person's interests still the genetic make up of the person plays a great part in it.

The 'trigunas' which Gita talks about the sattva, rajas and tamas and the parent-adult-child of transactional analysis may not be much different. What the child would perceive as good, mediocre and ugly behavior; the parents behavior has to be good as they can do no wrong.

karyate hy avasha karma

Sarvah prakrtijair gunaih (3.5)

(Everyone is made to act helplessly by the impulses born of nature)

Sadrsam cestate svasyah

prakrter jnanavan api

prakrtim yanti bhutani

nigrahah kim karisyati (3.33)

(Even the man of knowledge acts in accordance with his own nature. Beings follow their nature. What can repression accomplish?)

Sattvam rajas tama iti

gunah prakritisambhavah

nibadhnanti mahabaho

dehe dehinam avyayam (14.5)

(the three gunas, goodness passion and dullness born of nature bind down in the body the imperishable dweller)

Yad ahamkaram aseitya

na yotsya iti manyase

mithyai'sa vyavasayas te

prakris twam niyoksyati (18.59)

(if indulging in self conceit, thou thinkest 'I will not fight'; vain is this, thy resolve. Nature will compel thee)

Svabhavajena kaunteya

nibaddhah svena karmana

kartun ne'cchasi yan mohat

karisyasy avaso'api tat (18.60)

(That which, through delusion, thou wishest not to do, that thou shalt do even against thy will, fettered by thy own acts born of thy nature.)

Lord Krishna does not use a Discount Matrix but the counseling he does is unmatched. The ultimate is when he leaves the onus of making the decision to Arjuna

karmarjitham poorva bhave sat'adi

yat tasya pankthim samabhivyanakthi

That is what Varaha Mihiran says. The 'sat' 'asat' and 'sat-asat' deeds of the ancestors culminates in the unchangeble(dr'da), changeble (adr'da) and intermediate (dr'da- adr'da) yogas which a native is ordained to undergo. The core aspects cannot be changed. The Script or a large part of it appears to be in place even while the child is in the womb.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hierarchy of Discounting

The monthly meeting of the Trissur Management Association for March was on 31st. Venue Hotel Elite. Dr.Krishnamoorthi, who is a paediatrician in Elite hospital spoke on "Hierarchical Discounting". The topic is part of transactional analysis. He was assisted by his wife Lakshmi who is also a medical doctor.
Krishnamoorthi spent sometime at Ottapalam. I used to know him when I was in school/college. He was staying somewhere near the Courts on R.S.Road. His great ambition was to become a doctor which he did after his B.Sc. He was a great fan of my father and used to talk about books he borrowed from my father for reading. "Man, the Unknown" by Dr. Alexis Carrel was one such book. I remember Krishnamoorthi stopping me on the road to talk to me about the book. "Human personality has become so much compartmentalised that now it takes a team of specialists to analyse a single human being" he used to quote. This was in 1964-67. It appears that his interest in Psychology is abiding and enduring. He studied medicine at Osmania. I wonder whether the choice of Paediatrics was only a compulsion. Anyway he is a good paediatrician too.
Krishnamoorthi's PowerPoint presentation ended with a quote
'God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.'
This was a quote which my father also used to like very much. I am not sure whether Krishnamoorthi presented the quote exactly as above. The author is Reinhold Niebhur. I have no idea who the gentleman is. (I must research on this)
The talk by Krishnamoorthi on 31st March, evening. I regularly read a book of  Daily Thoughts tittled  'Days of healing, Days of Joy'. The subject dealt with in the book  for 1st April started with the same quote! You can calculate the mathematical probability of this happening which must be absurdly remote. I wonder whether Krishnamoorthi had an opportunity to read 'Synchronicity' too which was one of my father's favourite books.
P.S. Wikepaedia article on Reihold Niebhur suggests that his authorship of the quote is disputed. He wrote it as under.
"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."