Posts Tagged ‘religion’

More from K2, 190919

September 19, 2019

K2: Paru Sharma is actually Rama.
Me: Oh, really?
K2: Yes, he is Vishnu, born as Rama and then as Krishna.
Me (catching sight of the Amar Chitra Katha in his hand): Oh…that’s Parashurama!

He’s very annoyed that I am laughing. I am hoping that he doesn’t make the Buddha into a Buddhu…

Pouring out…ghee and grief

August 16, 2019

The young daughter pours the oblation of ghee into the sacred fire of the “havan”…and her tears pour down her tender young face.

My own eyes fill as I see the sorrow of the toughest part of growing up. If Agni and Swaha do not take her love up to her father, surely those twin streams of salt and grief will do so.

IMG_6042 Outpouring of ghee and grief, Blr, 160819

The itinerant religious singer, Bhutanahalli, 170619

June 18, 2019

I clicked this photo of an itinerant religious singer, with my young friend Prem, while we were watching the Baya Weavers at Bhutanahalli koLA (pond):

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Since he was singing about the maleficient god Shaniswara (the planet Saturn), I clicked him in front of the shrine:

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I also saw Krishnaveni’s husband and her son Punith (they run Ravisutha Hotel, where we generally have chai and brefus when we are birding in the area) give alms to the singer:

I posted on FB and asked if such a singer would have a specific name, and got a very detailed reply from Rajpal Navalkar:

“This one is Kamsale. Most of them can be found in North Karnataka. In Maharashtra, too, we have these semi classical and even classical Buas (called Bauls in Bengal) who go around singing Bhajans and Bhavageet.”

He went on to add, in detail:

Religious singers are of five groups: (1) Kamsale (2) Neelagaru (3) Chowdike
(4) Gorava (5) Gane.

Professional religious singers sing only those songs which concern their chosen gods, pilgrim centres and temples. Their main purpose is to propagate the supremacy and philosophy of their particular religion to inculcate values and norms in the community. Professional singers are characterised by traditional colourful costumes and conspicuous musical instruments. They command great respect and take active participation in all the religious celebrations of their community.

(1) Kamsale

Kamsale: ‘Kamsale’, popularly known as ‘Devadraguddas’ are the disciples of Lord Madayya. ‘Kamsale Mela’ is a popular folk song which deals with the history of ‘Mahadeshwara’ (the presiding deity of Malai Mahadeshwara or MM Hills, a renowned pilgrim centre, situated in Mysore district).

The name ‘Kamsale’ is derived from the traditional musical instrument. It is a unique musical instrument consisting of two bronze plates. The bronze cymbal is in the form of a cup with a broad base. The other plate is a flat structure with a tassel tied in the centre. The cup is held in the left hand and with the help of the tassel the flat plate is held in the right hand and the singer clashes both of them rhythmically during the performances.

‘Kamsale’ singers sing either individually or in a group. when in group, this form becomes a mela and consists of three members. The main performer plays the ‘Kamsale’ instrument, supported by two artistes in the background playing an instrument-the ‘Dammadi’ and the ‘Yekatari’-single-stringed musical instrument. The performance consists of narration by the chief singer, who pauses in between to interpret the story. The Kamsale artists do not wear any traditional costumes.

Their dressing is simple, they wear ‘Rudraksha’ beads, which is their religious emblem, and carry a satchel. They are illiterates and have no printed literature. They learn those songs orally. They participate in fairs, which are held in Mahadeshwara hills during ‘Diwali’, ‘Shivaratri’ and ‘Ugadi’ festivals and are found extensively in Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore districts of the state.

Thank you for all the information, Rajpal. Just a few minutes of that song had so much of a story behind it! Here’s some more of the KamsALe, with more of dance:

Eid at Fatima’s home, 050619

June 6, 2019

Fatima (in the lehenga..she’s 20, can you believe it?) teaches K1 Hindi. She invited us over for Eid and, with her family, extended such warm hospitality!

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Fatima, her parents and brother Zain, with K1 and K2

When we got home, I explained to the children how Imitiaz, her father, had fallen on hard times and had to shut his tailoring shop. The children have just brought out some toys that they want to give Zain, her 7-year-old brother.

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The feast at Fatima’s
I am very proud of of Fatima, who works in an office; and I am very proud of my grandchildren. This warmth and inclusiveness is what Eid, or any other festival, is all about.

mahishAsura mardhini, 191018

October 19, 2018

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अयि गिरिनन्दिनि नन्दितमेदिनि विश्वविनोदिनि नन्दिनुते
गिरिवरविन्ध्यशिरोऽधिनिवासिनि विष्णुविलासिनि जिष्णुनुते ।
भगवति हे शितिकण्ठकुटुम्बिनि भूरिकुटुम्बिनि भूरिकृते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १ ॥

Ayi Ranna-Durmada Shatru-Vadho[a-U]dita Durdhara-Nirjara Shakti-Bhrte
Catura-Vicaara Dhuriinna-Mahaashiva Duuta-Krta Pramatha-[A]dhipate |
Durita-Duriiha Duraashaya-Durmati Daanava-Duta Krtaanta-Mate
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 5 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
5.1: Salutations to You O Divine Mother; I Invoke You; Who Manifested to Destroy the Battle-Intoxicated Arrogant Demons and Who is the possessor of Unrestrainable and Imperishable Power,
5.2: (I Invoke You) Who made Lord Shiva Her Messenger, that Shiva Who is Distinguished by Cleverness in Deliberation and is the Lord of the Ghosts and Goblins,
5.3: Who is Honoured for Bringing an End (i.e. Rejecting) to the Proposal of the Evil-Minded and Ignorant Messenger of the Demon (Shumbha) (and hence bringing an end to the demons themselves),
5.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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सुरललना ततथेयि तथेयि कृताभिनयोदर नृत्यरते
कृत कुकुथः कुकुथो गडदादिकताल कुतूहल गानरते ।
धुधुकुट धुक्कुट धिंधिमित ध्वनि धीर मृदंग निनादरते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ ९ ॥

Sura-Lalanaa Tatatheyi Tatheyi Krta-Abhinayo-[U]dara Nrtya-Rate
Krta Kukuthah Kukutho Gaddadaadika-Taala Kutuuhala Gaana-Rate |
Dhudhukutta Dhukkutta Dhimdhimita Dhvani Dhiira Mrdamga Ninaada-Rate
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 9 ||

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Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
9.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; Following the Rhythm of Whose Great Battle the Celestial Dancers Dance the rhythm of Ta-Tha-Theyi, Ta-Theyi, expressing the sentiment of the battle with their Dramatic Acts,
9.2: (I Invoke You) Following the Rhythm of Whose Great Battle the Celestial Musicians Create Music capturing the Tense Eagerness of the battle with the Talas (musical beats) like Ku-Kutha, Ku-Kutha, Ga-Da-Dha, Ga-Da-Dha,
9.3: Following the Rhythm of Whose Great Battle a Steady Deep Sound of Dhu-Dhu-Kuta, Dhu-Kuta, Dhim-Dhimi is played in the background from the Mridangam (a musical drum),
9.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

सहितमहाहव मल्लमतल्लिक मल्लितरल्लक मल्लरते
विरचितवल्लिक पल्लिकमल्लिक झिल्लिकभिल्लिक वर्गवृते ।
शितकृतफुल्ल समुल्लसितारुण तल्लजपल्लव सल्ललिते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १२ ॥
Sahita-Mahaahava Mallama-Tallika Malli-Tarallaka Malla-Rate
Viracita-Vallika Pallika-Mallika Jhillika-Bhillika Varga-Vrte |
Shita-Krta-Phulla Samullasita-[A]runna Tallaja-Pallava Sal-Lalite
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 12 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
12.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; Who is Accompanied in the Great Battle against Excellent Wrestlers (Fighters) by Girls who appear Tender like Jasmine Fighting against the Enemies,
12.2: (I Invoke You) Whose Accompaniments are Composed of Girls from the Bheel Tribe who are Tender like Creepers of Jasmine and buzz like Swarms of Bees,
12.3: Whose Face Play a Smile Created by Joy which appear like Dawn Shining forth with Red Colour and Blossoming the Excellent Buds of Flowers,
12.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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विजितसहस्रकरैक सहस्रकरैक सहस्रकरैकनुते
कृतसुरतारक सङ्गरतारक सङ्गरतारक सूनुसुते ।
सुरथसमाधि समानसमाधि समाधिसमाधि सुजातरते ।
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १७ ॥
Vijita-Sahasra-Karaika Sahasra-Karaika Sahasra-Karaika-Nute
Krta-Sura-Taaraka Sanggara-Taaraka Sanggara-Taaraka Suunu-Sute |
Suratha-Samaadhi Samaana-Samaadhi Samaadhi-Samaadhi Sujaata-Rate |
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 17 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
17.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; Who Conquer Thousands of Enemies who fight against Her with Thousands of Hands (by manifesting Her Own Thousand Hands); Who then Make Thousands of Hands (of Devotees) Praise Her,
17.2: (I Invoke You) Who Created the Rescuer of the Devas (Son Kartikeya) to Fight with Demon Tarkasura and then Urged Her Son for that Great Fight,
17.3: Who is Pleased with both: The Devotional Contemplation like King Suratha for Worldly Gains, and also the Excellent Devotional Contemplation like Merchant Samadhi for Spiritual Knowledge,
17.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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पदकमलं करुणानिलये वरिवस्यति योऽनुदिनं सुशिवे
अयि कमले कमलानिलये कमलानिलयः स कथं न भवेत् ।
तव पदमेव परम्पदमित्यनुशीलयतो मम किं न शिवे
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ १८ ॥
Pada-Kamalam Karunnaa-Nilaye Varivasyati Yo-[A]nudinam Su-Shive
Ayi Kamale Kamalaa-Nilaye Kamalaa-Nilayah Sa Katham Na Bhavet |
Tava Padam-Eva Param-Padam-Ity-Anushiilayato Mama Kim Na Shive
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 18 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
18.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You knowing that Whoever Serves Your Highly Auspicious Lotus Feet Everyday, Which is an Abode of Compassion, …
18.2: (He Serves) That Lotus (Lotus Feet), Which is an Abode of Kamala (Goddess Mahalakshmi); (Therefore) Will He Not Himself Become an Abode of Kamala (i.e. filled with Purity and Prosperity)?
18.3: Your Feet Indeed is the Supreme Feet (i.e. Supreme Refuge); Therefore How can I Not Practise Devotion Towards them, O Auspicious Mother?
18.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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अयि मयि दीन दयालुतया कृपयैव त्वया भवितव्यमुमे
अयि जगतो जननी कृपयासि यथासि तथानुमितासिरते ।
यदुचितमत्र भवत्युररीकुरुतादुरुतापमपाकुरुते
जय जय हे महिषासुरमर्दिनि रम्यकपर्दिनि शैलसुते ॥ २१ ॥
Ayi Mayi Diina Dayaalu-Tayaa Krpaya-Iva Tvayaa Bhavitavyam-Ume
Ayi Jagato Jananii Krpayaasi Yathaasi Tathanu-mita-Asira-Te |
Yad-Ucitam-Atra Bhavatyurarii-Kurutaa-Duru-Taapam-Apaakurute
Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura-Mardini Ramya-Kapardini Shaila-Sute || 21 ||

Meaning:
(O Divine Mother, I invoke You and take refuge in Your Auspicious Feet)
21.1: (Salutations to You O Divine Mother) I Invoke You; You Must Bestow Your Grace on Me, O Mother Uma, Who is Compassionate to the Miserable,
21.2: (I Invoke You) O Mother of the Universe; Just as Your Grace is Showered (on the Devotees), In the Same Manner are Your Arrows Scattered (on the Enemies) (destroying their egos),
21.3 Please do Whatever is Appropriate at this time, O Worshipful Mother, to Remove the Sorrows and Afflictions (of the world) which has become Difficult for me to bear,
21.4: Victory to You, Victory to You, (I take Refuge in Your Auspicious Feet) O the Destroyer of Demon Mahishasura; (Victory to You) Who Shine with Beautiful Locks of Hair and Who is the Daughter of the Mountain.

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For the full Mahishasura Mardhini Stothram, click

here

clicking on each Sanskrit word will also give its meaning.

Turahalli State Forest, 180918

September 27, 2018

Warning, contains images that may be disturbing.

The Bangalore skyline from Turahalli

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Post to the bngbirds egroup:

Today was the fourth time in a few days that I went to Turahalli. After Vijetha Sanjay discovered the patch of the carnivorous plant, Drosera burmannii (Sundew plant), I have taken friends to see the plant; they have all been surprised by how tiny it is!

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Today was the first weekday that I have been to Turahalli in a while. As we climbed the path to the Muniswara temple, we heard the temple bells being rung and some chanting too. What, however, the three of us were unprepared for, was to have four chickens beheaded and their bodies thrown in front of us, twitching as they bled to death.

The family offering the worship included young children; they were obviously inured to this, and everyone seemed quite matter-of-fact about it.

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Sacrifice is a part of many rituals of worship, and I cannot presume to judge such customs. But being completely unused to it, it was very unsettling indeed. Even more upsetting was seeing the head of one of the birds lying amongst the flowers offered for worship.

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So if anyone is not used to watching such customs, please do not go up to the temple on a Tuesday, as it seems to be the day for such sacrifices. I have never, in all my years of visiting Turahalli, seen this before.

However, the rest of our outing was very pleasant indeed. The patch of the carnivorous plants was rewarding, as was the brightly-coloured male Red Avadavat which seems to sit regularly on some dried trees near the top of the hillock.

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Several kind of insects,spiders and flies showed us their beauty. Four Southern Birdwings flashed their bright yellow and black as they flew overhead near the Eucalyptus trees. A Pale Grass Blue opened up the blue as it repeatedly sat on the freshly-fallen petals of the Cassia senna.

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Spotted Dove
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A dog near us charged at a young peacock, which flew up into the Eucalypus and afforded us a shot.

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A young family who’d brought a professional photographer (and a plastic sign saying “BABY GIRL”) to capture their daughter’s infant moments, kept yelling at her to look at the camera. (“IL NODU, PUTTA!”) Patient for a while, she finally started her own bit of yelling when she was made to put on a pair of blue plastic butterfly wings and a blue antenna headband!

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Such lilttle vignettes kept us quite happy as we slowly wended our way back, and went home after a nice hot coffee at SLV Coffee, where the ever-smiling Triveni was working as hard as usual.

A fly:

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Blister Beetle with pollen from the Stachytarpeta flowers:

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I have put up the photos from the outing

here

and the Flickr album is

here

And have made a short video of the wonderful “pot” entrance that the ants were making to their nest:

Also rather struck by the exponential growth in the human habitation in the less-than-ten-years I have been visiting Turahalli, I made a quick video of the skyline:

The eBird list is

here

Rangoli on Ganesha Chathurthi, 130919

September 13, 2018

Instead of the stock Ganesha Puja photos, I thought I’d click some of the beautiful rangolis that I saw on my morning walk. So much art on our roads and footpaths, I felt like documenting and preserving these transient works.

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Kolams like these are called “puLLi kOlam” in Tamizh, that is, they have first an arrangement of dots, which are joined together or have lines drawn around them (sometimes a single continuous line); very geometrical and precise.

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Ones like this are freestyle:

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Let me end with a lovely Ganesha-themed puLLi kOlam:

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4th Sunday outing, Bngbirds: Muthanallur Kere, 220718

July 25, 2018

Our group, the Usual Gang of Suspects, at MCS or Mandatory Chai Stop. The group always has different people, so this is a good way of introducing ourselves to each other!

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The assembled group except for MBK.

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Anil, Anindita, Divya, Regin, Arpita,Sushma, Imtiaz (hidden),Siri, Sanjay, Suhasini, Padma,Prathap, Ramaswamy, Gopinath, Raju, Harish, Ganesha, Priyaranjan, Subramanya, Sahas, Vijay, Arnab, Srini, Deepak. MBK is missing. Muthanallur lake,220718

With MBK, who was photographing me photographing the group!

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Email to bngbirds egroup:

Dear Shyam, Sorry that you had to miss a very pleasant morning, and one where two of the most experienced birders of Bangalore were present! It was very nice to have Dr M B Krishna and Dr S Subramanya, who shared some of their encyclopaedic knowledge with us.

Suhasini with MBK and Subbu

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All of us met at the Shani temple at Muthanallur,

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but when we started walking on the lake bund, it was apparent that because of the proliferation of water hyacinth, this part of the lake was completely choked and we could not see much. So we all piled into our cars and went to the Muthanallur bus stop, and from there to the path that leads past a pig farm to the shore of the lake.

Rose-ringed Parakeet

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The lake was brimming; this is, surely, the fullest that I have seen this waterbody.

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The path that we usually walked on was completely under water, so we took the higher path. This, too, was very overgrown after the rains, and we did not cover more than half the distance we usually cover in drier seasons. However enough interesting beings kept us occupied.

Pied Kingfisher

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Having started with Coppersmith Barbets and White-throated Kingfishers near the temple, we looked at Little Grebes, Little and Great Cormorants, Coots and an occasional Egret and Pond Heron. Black Kites and Brahminy Kites soared over the water, effortlessly riding on the monsoon wind. We heard the Common Iora before some of us spotted it. Some Purple Swamphens, Common Moorhens, and an Indian Cormorant added to our list. We watched Sunbirds and Flowerpeckers, too.

Sunbird’s nest

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Oriental Darter

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Nor was there a lack of other creatures to observe. Today certainly seemed to be Spider Day! Wood Spiders, Orb Weavers, Tent Spiders, Signature Spiders, Comb-footed Spiders, Social Spiders…what a variety of them we were privileged to see this morning!

Butterflies, dragonflies, and damselflies, too, dotted our walk and it was nice to see ants farming hoppers on the Milkweed plants. Siri was the only child on the walk, but she was most interested in everything, even though a snail shell had her drawing back in disgust!

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Green Lynx Spider with fly kill.

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A variety of wild plants were all around us. I showed them the Abutilon, the Devil’s Coach Whip, the Coat Button flowers, and the heart-shaped mark on the seeds of the Balloon Vine, that gives it the scientific name “cardiospermum” (cardio=heart, spermum=seed).Evolvulus, Justicia, Richardia, Senna, bloomed everywhere.The water hyacinth led the list of invasive plants, with Parthenium, Lantana, Eupatorium there too. We looked at the monocultures of Acacia and Eucalyptus.

Returning, we paused at the Adi Parasakhti temple that has been recently built, next to the huge old Mahua tree, which was fruiting.

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MBK aaked an intriguing question about why the tree dropped all its seeds near itself rather than trying to disperse it far and wide. (Want to know the answer? Email him!) We shared the variety of snacks that we brought, and having restored our tissues, walked back to our waiting commitments elsewhere and the routine of our weekday lives.

Some of us stopped for breakfast at South Inn, on Sarjapura Road, as we returned that way.

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Replete, and charged up with the easy companionship of a morning spent in Nature, we wended our way homewards.

Many thanks to Deepak, who came along in spite of running a fever the previous day. As one of us had locked the key inside the car, he stayed until the issue was sorted out (Gautam went to the village and got a mechanic from a garage, who opened the car in a few minutes!), before leaving.

Small Salmon Arab.

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MBK made the point that the walk must start later to allow students to join in. However, on my own walks, I ensure that college students and young women are provided safe transportation, and have many of them on walks that start sharp at 6.30am. It just takes a little extra effort to accommodate people in cars; and it results in everyone meeting new people and bonds the group together!

So please, if you have any difficulty with transportation on the 3rd and 4th Sunday walks, do ask on the group if someone is coming from your area; people are generally happy to share a ride, and people like me, who do not have a car, or have trouble with the low frequency and late start of public transport on a Sunday, can still enjoy these outings.

I have put up an album of my photos on FB,

here

and on Flickr,

here

I have taken a short video of the group while we took a snack break:

Shyam and others, wishing you a good time for the rest of the Sunday, (I mean the siesta as well as the time left!) and a productive week ahead.

Cheers, Deepa.

I reflect…

March 7, 2017

What if the reflections
Of faith and belief, in my soul,
Are different from yours?
I might see a temple in the glass;
You might see a church spire.
Should we then fight
And argue and shed blood
Over what is right and wrong?
Surely, all these paths and reflections
Lead but to the innermost soul
Where resides the Force, the Being
That we believe in…both you and I.

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Mist-ery, and creating the look, Hoskote Kere, 251216

December 28, 2016

On Christmas Day, I went to the 4th Sunday outing of BngBirds, which I had organized this month at Hoskote Lake. It was foggy, and I got some mist-erious shots:

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Amongst other things, I noticed this godman getting ready for his day, donning the accoutrements of his trade (sorry, religion seems to be as much a profession these days as any other more-usual one!)

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He had an assistant, who did not seem to need as much adornment as he did.

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I asked them if I could take photographs, and he and his assistant nodded and carried on with their makeup. Everything…the “rudrAksha” beads, the “vibhUti”, the “sindUr”…was being applied carefully.

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I got a strange, half-suspicious look when they realized I was taking more than one photograph! So I stopped and went on my way.

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What are the lives of these people like, and how do they eke a living? I will never know…we live in the same city, but on different planets!