September 19, 2012
Anima, Lagima, Mahima,Garima, Praptika, Prakamaya, Isitva, Visitva
The Asthasiddhis – eight siddhis of Sri Maha Ganadhipati Ganesha also called as Siddhi Vinayaka, in one of the Raja Ravi Verma’s paintings these siddhis are depicted as eight women surrounding Lord Ganesha.
Siddhi is a Sanskrit word that literally means accomplishment, Siddhis can occur in two ways, naturally, or as a result of extended practice of austerities. the ways to obtain the siddhis are Devotion, Pranayama, Meditation, Control of senses, Herbs, Mantras, etc
Nine main Siddhis are:
- Parkaya Pravesha: Ability to enter some other body and to bring back any dead body with life.
- Haadi Vidya: Ability to stay without nourishment for a long time.
- Kaadi Vidya: Ability to withstand adverse climatic conditions like extreme cold or blazing fires, for him/her the surrounding will remain ambient.
- Vayu Gaman Siddhi: Ability to fly with body and move from place to place with in a flash of thought.
- Madalasa Vidya: Ability to change the size of ones body, like Lord.
- Kanakdhara Siddhi: Ability to acquire immense wealth.
- Prakya Sadhana: Ability to direct a soul or spirit to take birth from the womb of a barren woman.
- Surya Vigyan: Ability to transform one substance into another using Sun rays.
- Mrit Sanjeevani Vidya: This Vidya invented by Guru Shukracharya. Ability to bring a dead person back to life.
April 14, 2012
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s disciple, Rajeev Taranath once told journalist Renuka Narayan an interesting story behind the name of the Raga ‘Lankadahan Sarang’.
It is interesting to believe that Hanuman had played a new Saranga based raga immediately after setting the city of Lanka under fire?
Renuka Narayan writes:
“Just as old Hindu temples each have a sthala puranam, or founding legend, most classical ragas have an ‘aithihyam’ or creation history. This raga’s aithihyam is that after Sri Hanuman set fire to Lanka, he fell into a mood of great embarrassment at having behaved so wildly, that too with Devi Sita in the vicinity. Since he was a highly educated and divinely gifted person, he was moved to express his remorse through the composition of a somberly beautiful raga, full of reflection and tranquility. ‘Lankadahan Sarang’ means ‘The Sarang Scale Composed After the Burning of Lanka’”
Please listen to Ustad Ali Akbar Khan rendering Raga ‘Lankadahan Sarang’
compare it with Richard Wagner’s composition ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ which has been widely used in war time newsreels and in many Hollywood film war scenes including in the the air bombing sequence Apocalypse Now, the 1979 film based on Vietnam war.
What role music has been playing vis-a-vis war?
(many thanks Gopalakrishnan)
April 14, 2012
Sun Wukong , also known as the Monkey King is a main character in the classical Chinese epic novel Journey to the West . In the novel, he is a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. After rebelling against heaven and being imprisoned under a mountain by the Buddha, he later accompanies the monk Xuanzang on a journey to retrieve Buddhist sutras from India
Sun Wukong possesses an immense amount of strength; he is able to lift his 13,500 jīn (8,100 kg or 17,881 lbs) staff with ease. He is also superbly fast, able to travel 108,000 li (54,000 kilometers or 33,554 mi) in one somersault. Sun knows 72 transformations, which allows him to transform into various animals and objects; he has trouble, however, transforming into other people, because he is unable to complete the transformation of his tail. He is a skilled fighter, capable of holding his own against the best generals of heaven. Each of his hairs possesses magical properties, and is capable of transforming either into a clone of the Monkey King himself, or various weapons, animals, and other objects. He also knows spells that can command wind, part water, conjure protective circles against demons, and freeze humans, demons, and gods alike.
The origin of Sun Wukong is considered by some American, Chinese, and Indian scholars to be influenced by both the Hindu deity Hanuman from the Ramayana and elements of Chinese folklore