Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The first aqua experience

Cheeru loves pets. He started to have a great fascination for fish when he saw the movie "Finding Nemo". In fact, he could even recognise so many fishes when he was barely two and half.

So, this little interest of cheeru encouraged us to set up an aquarium for him. But where do we go. We were not aware of any big aqua shop in bangalore. And even if we knew it, the fishes would probably die before we could ship it. So bad is the pollution, traffic and environment here.

When we went to Chennai, we happened to visit the kolathur area . We were so surprised to see so many whole sale aquarium shops there. There was one big shop called "Taiyo" which had a huge area with so many tanks exclusively for fish. Wow..what an amazing collection of fish. So many varieties - gold fish, sucker cat, red tail fish, eel fish, arowana, belly fish, guppy fish and may more. I even fail to get their names. There are even vegetarian fish which eat fruits and greens!!! Cheeru was so excited to see them all. He held the tender fish with his tender hands without a trace of fear. I could see the love he had for these creatures. He was really really thrilled.

The owner of the shop Mr.Ramesh was very courteous and had a very good knowledge of the fish - the food they ate, the temperature they live, the medications they need, their sensitivity to changing climate, the breeding conditions, etc etc. So, we felt comfortable in going and setting up an aquarium at our home in Bangalore

So, here are some tips if you want to set up an aquarium in your home if you are in Bangalore.

1. Choose an tank that suits your needs in terms of number of fish you wish to keep. If you want to keep around a dozen of small fish, then an ideal size would be a 2 feet tank. This will hold 12 - 14 fishes. If you are putting only guppi fish, then a 2 ft tank can hold around 200 of them..
1. Select fish that can withstand any temperature. Some fish have a very rugged constitution. For beginners, this is the best choice.
2. Gold fish are great to look but not best for a first timer.
3. Buy a heater to maintain a constant water temperature. This is needed as Bangalore has a changing climate.
4. Don't forget to buy holiday food. There are holiday foods for three days and also 15 days.
5. Buy suitable food. Don't keep changing the food
6. Change water every month. You need to change only 1/4 tank.
7. In Bangalore, you need to add chlorine to the water before you put the fsh in the water (that is cauvery water)
8. Observe the fish and check if they are happy and active
9. First time, when you feed, keep feeding the food till the fish rejects it. Keep this as a standard amount and give the same amount everyday
10. Don't keep the fish near high sound or bright light

Please remember, we buy pets for our pleasure. So, it is our responsibility to keep them happy.

So, happy fishing!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Your voice on Muziboo

This site http://www.muziboo.com is sure making some music among audience.
You can upload your voice with/without music , create music groups, really get someone to listen and appreciate your music

Started by an IIT-G graduate prateek dayal, I think it is a real cute creation. Many of us shy ourselves in public. But here, you can sing to the public without being seen but still can be heard. Has already got a good recognition. Have lots of members and songs.

So, Have fun, make Friends, sing your heart out and get noticed

Visit once and u would love to be back again.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nagareshu Kanchi

The Beginning

It all began when we were looking to buy some property in and round Chennai when we spotted the advertisement from the madras co-operative society. They were selling sites in kanchipuram and we were interested. All of a sudden, sprang up an idea as to why not start visiting divya desams and why not start with kanchipuram? The thought was sudden and had no history or incidence to ignite it. So, the idea is definitely a blessing and an anugraham by itself. What started of as a material pursuit was leading us to a spiritual journey

Immediately, I looked up the internet to get details about the DDs in kanchi. And found that there were fourteen of them. Could we make it to all of them in a day or two with cheeru (our 3 year old son) with us??– Well, the intention is god given, and so the fulfillment also would be HIS. To add fervor to our spiritual quest, we got the help of one Shri. Ramakrishnan who was a retired deputy thahasildar in kanchi and was helping devotees in visiting temples. Though we were apprehensive about asking him for help, he openly confessed that he is no material guide and was doing it as a service to devotees. And truly, he lived up to it. He took us to all places patiently, told us the significance of each temple and helped us make the pilgrimage a true success. The place we stayed was MM Hotel - A saravana bhavan undertaking. The price is quite reasonable and service also is quite good.

I will be now giving details about the Divya desams that we visited in Kanchipuram, and any other significant information. It will be in the order of the most efficient path taken for a good time management

DD No. 1: Shri Varadarajar temple

  • The temple is situated in Kanchipuram. Perumal is in standing posture, abhaya hastam with “Ma shuchah” (meaning “do not fear”) being inscribed on it.
  • Thayar is “Perundevi Thayar”.
  • There is a special 100 pillar mandapam where adishesha did tapas.
  • This is the birth place of Vedanta Desikar

DD No. 2: Ulaga Alanda Perumal

  • A giant darshan of Perumal (trivikraman) during the Vamana avataram.
  • Has one leg in the skies and the other on mahabali’s head. Very beautiful and majestic. Has the innocence of the small child in his face.
  • When mahabali’s was stamped by Emperumaan's feet, he could not get the dharshan of Thirivikraman. So, he prayed for his great Ulagalandha dharshan. Since, he could not be given the Thirivikraman darshan, the Perumal gave his seva as Aadhiseshan (Ooragathaan) which can be seen next to Ulagalandha Perumal.
  • Thayar is amudavalli (amritha valli)
  • Three other DDs within the temple prakaram.
DD No. 3: Neeragam – Perumal is in standing posture

Moolavar: Neeraganathan

Thayar: nilamangai valli

DD No. 4: Karagam – Perumal is sitting on the 5 headed adishesha

Moolavar: karunakara perumal

Thayar: Padmamani nachyar

DD No. 5: Kaarvannam – Perumal is standing with shridevi and boodevi


Moolar: Kaarvannam

Thayar: kamala valli

DD No 6: Yathothakari

Moolavar – Yathothakari

Thayar – Komala valli Nachiyar

DD No 7: Ashtabujanga perumal temple


Moolavar : Adi keshava perumal

Thayar: Alamel manga

DD No 8: Azhagiya Singar Perumal


Moolavar: Azhagiya Singar

Thayar: Amrutha valli, velukkai valli

DD No. 9: Deepak prakashar Perumal


Moolavar: Deppaka prakashar

Thayar: maragathavalli

DD No 10: Vijaya raghavan Peumal


Moolavar: Vijaya ragavan

Thayar: maragatha valli

DD No 11: Pandava thooda Perumal

Moolavar: pandava thoodar

Thayar: rukmini and satyabhama

DD No 12: Pravala Vannan Perumal

Moolavar: Pravala vannan

Thayar: pavala valli

DD No 13: Nilathingal Thundathan Perumal

DD No 14: Inside kamakshi temple

The visit to all the DDs will take atleast 3 days. Each temple has its own sthala puranam and significance inscribed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A much awaited travel to THE ASHRAM

A much awaited travel to THE ASHRAM

Sundar and I were very excited with the fact that we were going to make it to the ashram this time by HIS will. This was our third trial to visit the ashram. The first one was cancelled because of cheeru’s health. The second time, we were unfortunate not to make it as I had official commitments. As Vedanta and sastras point out, getting guru’s anugraham is extremely difficult. One can get the darshan of the LORD, but to get a GURU’s blessings and approval, one should have a sense of total surrender. Probably if we had opted to stay outside the ashram, we would have seen Lord Arunachala sooner. The blessings of Ramana got a little delayed, hitting out on our ego and lack of absolute surrender.

The hospitality in the ashram is very good. People are pious, polite and helpful. The stay was very pleasant with neat and well furnished rooms. Food is sumptuous and tasty (On the lighter side, if one wants to get away from the kitchen cookeries for a day or two, then this is an ideal placeJ).

The Ashram

The ashram with the serene atmosphere has a constant flow of people for all walks of life that defies tradition, culture, race, colour, religion. All that speaks in the ashram is silence and faith. To add to the beauty are the majestic peacocks. You never get so close to them anywhere else. They also seem to have got greatly influenced by the Ramana way – absolutely peaceful and calm. As I get a closer look at their necks and feathers, I really feel that there can be no greater engineer than GOD. Even the best artist with all his creative brain cannot add up to the colours of the peacock’s neck and feathers.

The Narayana seva at 10.30a.m everyday is a part of the ashram program where the poor and hungry are fed. The food is of good taste and quality with chips, sambar rice, and others being served. This is a very noble act of feeding the needy. But sometimes I fear if it initiates people into laziness?? What if it does? How can one differentiate if a person eats free food because he is lazy to work or he is really forced into begging. Looks like we have to give the benefit of doubt to the other side!!.

The book shop inside the ashram premises has a decent collection of Shri. Ramana’s life, short stories as told by HIM and also philosophy in varied languages.


We also went for girivalam in our car. There are eight lingams around the hill which represent the 8 directions. However, we could visit only 6 of them as the road beyond was diverted and we had to bypass the remaining 2 temples.

The Skandaashram

The trek to skandashramam was another eventful journey. Though it was painful, as a great man quoted, there was no suffering. The entire path was rocky and narrow. Nature was at its best with rich flora and fauna. Trekking after so many years was giving me an elated feeling. I was so over whelmed at the beauty of the Arunachala temple from atop the skandashramam. The temple looked so grand with its 4 raja gopurams, and 5 inner gopurams. It was a typical photographic picture and it was difficult for one to lift eyes off the divine sight.

The ashram was in absolute silence with a small but constant stream of visitors coming there for mediation. Bhagavan ramana lived here for around 20 years and did a lot of meditation here. His mother served him here as a devotee and attained Samadhi. Words fail me to describe the ashram to its befitting nature. At one point, I felt, how great is ramana’s mother to having given birth to such a great and renounced saint. As you enter the small rooms where ramana lived, your hairs stand up giving you a feeling of divinity within you. You feel one with the Lord, in absolute calmness and can feel the peaceful nature of the self. Just imagine, if we, who, as mere mortals feel so ecstasy after experiencing the inner self for a moment or two, given the right environment, imagine a person who is in this ever blissful state irrespective of the environment for a whole lifetime. I wondered - “Will ever attain this state??, Will I ever be in paramanandam ?? - Probably after a few tens or hundred births

The Virupaksha cave

The virupaksha cave which is slightly away from the skandashrama is also very enthralling. Ramana meditated here in the dark rooms of the cave. It is so dark inside that you cannot make out if anyone is sitting inside or not. What a place to meditate and attain siddhi!!! Each and every place where he lived is so appealing and heartening that any atheist would be initiated into meditation.

Coming down was inevitable. We trekked down with a heavy heart. The body alone was going dowhill, but the heart and mind was still with ramana – wondering, curios and waiting to be one

Come to think of it, a visit to such places gives a feeling of where you actually belong. A sense of true knowledge engraves you, though for a short period. The spiritual vibrations are so strong in such places that it makes you think and introspect more about life and its goal.

But where is the starting point – Well, I guess for people like me, the starting point is Karma Yoga. I have duty calling me now and got to go!!!..

One can look at the photos of this memorable trip at


Saturday, December 9, 2006

Bengaluru Greenary needs to breathe..

Bengaluru, 9th Dec 2006.

While the traffic situation becoming worse every day and the existing greenery fading away it is important to save the existing cover. Few green pockets of Cubbon park and Lalbagh is no more sufficient to digest the pollution released into air.

The avenue trees in every road needs to be protected. But it is doubtful if the existing ones (spared from axe..) would survive another decade. The reason being the hard pavement done around the trees. My common sense and little knowledge in biology tells me this is a detrimental to the trees. This practice will weaken the tree base and will be uprooted during heavy downpour.

The canopy in Margosa/Sampagie road (Malleshwaram) would be a thing of past in a few year from now. God! why not this fossil fuel around the globe disappear overnight :)

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Lahari initiative..

LAHARI - means is to flow. All of us need a flow in our lives - be it a monotonous flow or a changing flow. Just like how a flowing river is ever vibrant, our lives is more meaningful is we have a flow in our lives. This flow becomes more vibrant, more expanding, more influential more successful, more enligtening if we use life's flow is useful ways. In what ways can we chanelize our energies so that the flow of our life becomes more meaningful? I am listing only two of them for an instance

Danam - Donate to needy. By giving one gains happiness. The satisfaction that one accrues from donating a needy person cannot be expressed in words but has to experienced. More so, it brings to us a sense of responsibilty to this society, a feeling of empathy within ourselves, a kind of thanksgiving to GOD, for having kept us on the giving end.. .

Chanting - Well, you cant find a better way to feel more energetic, to feel more confident, to feel more secure and to become a more enligtened person. Chanting plays a very important role in increasingthe positive vibrations around us. It always gives a feel good factor. This is the first step towards realising the absolute and to go into eternal bliss. The chanting can be in the form of slokas, vedas, music, understanding vedanta - Everything takes your closer to the devine. The level of complexity of each ofcourse varies and has to be slowly graduated.

The LAHARI initative is one such sincere effort to teach small children slokas and to imbibe in them the essence of hindu culture, the teach them power of chanting, to make them come back to what they have to be. When I say come back to where they have to be - I say it with a deep sense of shame and regreat. What is happening to our children. Well, not to blame the children, the first blame has to be on the parents.

I have been taking sloka classes for small children for the past one year and I really feel, children mould the way you shape them. Children as small as 3 years old chant BagavadGita, nama ramayana and other slokas. Parents who bring them are really surprised to see their tiny tots sing and chant so well...There is a great sense of happiness to me also as I see children chants so well..and they come with so much interest and enthusiasm...I am sure these children will be more balanced in life, more mature, will be able to face the challenges of the deadly world in a more effective and confident way and are bound to be good mothers and father for the next generation.

So , teach children the essence of our religion, the greatness of our culture, tradition and the pride in talking in mother tongue.

The first step towards chanting and getting the power of chanting is to encourage speacking mother tongue at home. Speaking in mother tongue gives a child more confidence, make his/her speech more clear, and helps the child to be a better commuinicator and will definitely will have a better flair to learn other languages. But that is the not the order of the day today. Today, parents feel so proud to say that they talk only english at home and not their mother tongue. They feel it is below their prestige to speak in mother tongue. What a shame!!!!

Lahari photos can be viewed at


Vasudha Sundar

What is Apaurusheya?

One that is not human created...