Archives for the month of: April, 2019

skullvia Legacy


Lord Hanuman devotee of Lord Rama

Hanuman is one of india’s favourite gods. I consider him as the equivalent of the saint Gabriel in Christianity. always available to guide and protect you from calamity and to overcome obstacles. Temples dedicated to him are more numerous than to other deities and every corner of every city has a temple dedicated to him. some are considered as powerful occult centres where  the possessed can be exorcised, problems overcome, difficulties solved.  He is called Sankat Mochan, the one who overcomes all your obstacles in temporal life. he is the monkey faced god sworn disciple of Lord Rama, his greatest devotee treated by him as a brother and friend who was always available in the Ramayana to ward off adversity, find his abducted consort Sita taken by the demon king of sri Lanka Ravana who refused to return her and wished to seduce her.  Hanuman leaped across the ocean and carried Rama’s ring to the grove where Sita was confined and gave it to her promising to take her back but she refused saying she would only be released by her lord Rama. Rama on his 14 year exile had encountered the race of Vanars, meaning monkeys, who had a kingdom down south. Sugreeva the king asked Hanuman to go scouting for Sita., Later when Rama;s brother Laxman was wounded by Ravana’s son indrajit and lay dying it was Hanuman who went flying in search of the herb that could cure him and carried back the hill with the herbs so that the right herb could be chosen for the cure. When it worked, Rama embraced Hanuman and said he was as dear to him as a brother. He said to him that he would live forever on earth as his devotee and help all those who needed help and support.

Lord Rama hugging Hanuman for saving his brother;s life

So Hanuman unlike other deities lives on the temporal plane, his spirit forever ready to help those who have afflictions obstacles or calamities, who are devoted to Lord Rama. Hanuman is therefore a special god always available like saint Gabriel when invoked and has an universal following in the land. In pictures and presentations of the avatar Rama and his consort Sita ( the embodiment of the Goddess Laxmi, as Rama is an avatar of Vishnu) he is always shown in the tableau with Laxman the devoted brother of Lord Rama. In all Rama temples too Hanuman is shown kneeling before the threesome.

Hanuman is also called an avatar of Lord Shiva and the son of the wind god, Maruti, Vayuputra. Bhajans on Hanuman are recited daily to ward off evil and overcome calamities and obstacles by all and sundry. The Hanuman Chalisa 40 verses describing his amazing feats of courage and unflinching devotion to Rama and Sita are recited over a hundred times to invoke his presence. And he never fails his ardent devotees because he is not a distant God but one available on the temporal plane at all times. Devotees are fervent in their worship and prayers to Hanuman and with good reason, he never fails in answering them. after all it was Lord Rama who ordained that he would never leave the earth to be able to serve his devotees and solve their problems. We are all beholden to the presence of such a saviour spirit perpetually in our midst.

He is also called jitendra, one who has overcome all his senses,  Buddhimatama, one who is the fountain of wisdom for those who meditate,  and Ramdootam, the one who is messenger of Lord Rama.

मनोजवं मारुततुल्यवेगं
जितेन्द्रियं बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठ ।
वातात्मजं वानरयूथमुख्यं
श्रीरामदूतं शरणं प्रपद्ये ।
Mano-Javam Maaruta-Tulya-Vegam

Jitendriyam Buddhi-Mataam Varissttha |
Vaata-Atmajam Vaanara-Yuutha-Mukhyam
Shriiraama-Duutam Sharannam Prapadye |

(I take Refuge in Sri Hanuman)
 Who is Swift as the Mind and Fast as the Wind
 Who is the Master of the Senses, and Honoured for His Excellent IntelligenceLearning and Wisdom
 Who is Son of the Wind God and Chief among the Vanaras (Who were part of the Devas the gods incarnated in the species of the monkeys to serve Sri Rama during His Incarnation),
 To that Messenger of Sri Rama, I take Refuge (by prostrating before him).

Lord Hanuman I consider as my patron saint and saviour may his perpetual presence save the world from evil and obstables.


Seed Mantras basically have no meaning, they are just magical sounds found in the Vedas that energise the reciter and transform his environment. They resonate with the universal essence and energise the mantra seeking through the Seed to approach the deity directly without any intervention. One such mantra is dedicated to the Goddess Durga who combines the three aspects of energy, Shakti, Sarasvati (knowledge and art) Laxmi( wealth and well being) and Kali ( time  dissolution and death) The prayer is part of the Durga Saptsati recited during the nine sacred nights of the goddesses empowerment to help the world rid itself of evil and in particular Lord Rama to defeat the fearsome demon Ravana who abducted his wife Sita, the embodiment of the goddess Laxmi consort of Vishnu the sustainer of life and the physical world and progenitor of the avtars Rama and Krishna.

The mantra recited during Navratra, the nine sacred nights of the Goddesse’s empowerment is said to have magical qualities. it ensures success in life, transforms and helps focus the mind,releases negative energies,, helps in influencing the minds of others in your favour, brings joy and happiness, improves the intellect, improves health and wards off disease,increases self confidence, protects from fear and evil,enhances your spirituality leading to enlightenment.


“Om Aim Hreem Kleem Chamundaye Viche”]
Om is the universal power whom we revere.
Aim is invocation to Goddess Saraswati for knowledge art and intellect
Hrim is invocation to Goddess Laxmi, for wealth health and well being
Klim is invocation to the goddess Kali, who regulates time and mortality
Chamundai , name of Goddess Durga in her fiercest aspect when she slays the demons Chand and Mund, thus earning the name Chamundai, is an  appeal to her for help
Vichhey providing us with a shield for protection. against evil, enemies and ill effects of planets in the Horoscope

A word about Beej or Seed mantras. They have no meaning but are prefixed to mantras and names of gods and goddesses signifying their particular universal sound. Sound rather than light was the primal creation at the start of the universe beginning with the sound OM. Other sounds relate to the gods. We have already seen above the seed sounds for the three goddesses. the gods too have their signature sounds. Shiva  for example has Hroum, Ganesh has Gam and Vishnu has Dam and so on. These sounds create their vibrations connecting one to the god one is appealing to. they are powerful additions to longer mantras and energise them.







Lord Shiva

The Mahamritunjai mantra (Great Victory Over Death) is considered as powerful as the Gayatri mantra in creating a protective shield around the reciter’s aura through its resonance and vibrations and warding off all calamities, suffering, obstacles, misfortunes, disease, disabilities,fears,anxieties,unhappiness and unfortunate circumstances, family discord,and untimely death while ensuring peace, tranquillity,health, well being, growth, prosperity,freedom from fear, and ultimately freedom from death and rebirth, through attainment of Moksha or salvation , enlightenment and immortality. The mantra also protects against adverse effects of planets in the Horoscope.

The mantra is found in the earliest Rigveda, Shiv Purana which contains chapters with Shiv centered cosmology, mythology  relationship between gods, ethics ) and Yajurveda and  is dedicated to lord Rudra the fierce aspect of Lord Shiva who is eternal transcendent, primal being and one who has conquered death,  Mritunjai. Lord Shiva is said to be easy to please and grant boons if the devotee chants the mantra with true faith, dedication  correct pronunciation and delivery.

                                          THE  MANTRA





Om is a call to the Universal essence that permeates and orders all creation and is prefixed before all mantras prayers and chants.

Tryambakam yajamahe is that we worship, adore, honour and revere the one with three eyes (two on the face and the third on the forehead, point of enlightenment) representing the past, present and future, the sun moon and fire and the three Gunas or attributes, the Sattva, truth, the Rajas, passion, energy and Tamas inertia., Lord Shiva, with whom we wish to merge our being.

Sugandhim pushti vardhanam – whose divine fragrance and virtue permeates all creation and entering us nourishes, makes us grow  strong healthy happy, fulfilled prosperous  devoid of disease  worries, fear and sorrow and arouses our finest qualities when we seek to merge with his essence.

Urvarukamiva bandhanan -Like the Gourd or pumpkin when fully ripened gets detached from its stem’s bondage automatically with no effort, so too let me detach from my bindings and bondage from worldly life. 

Mrityor mukti mamritat= likewise free me from the fear of death so that it is not untimely, making me realise that i am indeed immortal and free me from the cycles of life and death when the time comes give me such wisdom this is my prater.



The Gayatri mantra is considered the mantra of mantras. It is the most ancient of mantras dating back to the Rig Veda thousands of years old. Today it is recited with most prayers and is considered the gateway to salvation and enlightenment. It is mystical, mysterious and capable of numerous interpretations linking one to the spiritual realms and illumination.



                                                  THE MANTRA





The interpretation that appeals to me–

 Om  the universal spirit that empowers all creation, the universal essence; Bhur, the physical realm, the body, Earth; Bhuva, the mental realm , the universe; Svaha, the spiritual realm, the soul

That embodiment of the supreme spirit in the shape of the Sun, that enlightens and empowers all life in the created world with its radiance, and which we adore and revere,  worthy of praise and worship anf which permeates all the three realms

That glory love and purity of the divine essence, God, I meditate upon that

May his glory and spirit and effulgence  enlighten , illuminate guide and inspire my mind and spirit.



The goddess Durga worshipped on Navratra the nine sacred nights of devotional prayer

On the completion of the festival of Navratra i offer humbly and with devotion this post for the devout and those not familiar with the prayers to the Goddess Durga, called the primal power of Godhead, Shakti. I have translated the closing prayer from Sanskrit to English for those interested and annexed the prayer song rendered by Anuradha Paudwal famous singer of religious texts courtesy U Tube so that readers can get a feel of the original Sanskrit rendering..

During prayer recitation to the Goddess at the nine nights of Navratra the famous mantras of the ancient prayer the Durga Saptsati are sung and recited. These are believed to be among the most powerful magical mantras which ensure every fulfilment of wishes and blessings of the Goddess. however it is considered most inauspicious if the Sanskrit prayers are not recited accurately with perfect pronunciation and cadence. For this reason there is a necessary prayer song recited after the main prayer called the Forgiveness Appeal (Kshama Yachana) So that errors in prayer and recitation, impossible to avoid given the complexity of the ritual in chaste Sanskrit are overlooked by the Goddess and the worshipper does not suffer misfortune.

                                  DEVI KSHAMA YACHANA

O Goddess, Primal Being (Parmeshwari) day and night by me are being committed innumerable offences and sins. I am your devotee, believing this, be good enough to forgive these offences.

O Goddess (Parmeshwari) I do not know the ritual prayer to usher you in here, nor the prayer after nine days to submerge you back into the ocean nor do i know the rituals of worship, forgive me.

O Celestial Goddess (Sureshwari) the prayers i have done devoid of mantras, rituals and adequate devotion, was only possible  by your grace. After committing innumerable offences and sins, the one who comes to you for protection hailing you as Goddess Of the World (Jagtambe) he is said to achieve what even the gods find difficult.

O Goddess Of The World ( Jagtambe), I am an offender, but I have come into your protection at this time, I am deserving of your compassion and kindness, But you can do as you wish with me.

O Goddess, Primal Spirit (Parmeshwari) from ignorance, errors and lack of wisdom, whatever I have failed to do or have overdone, do forgive it all and become pleased and gracious.

O Goddess, the embodiment of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss and Primal cause ( Satchitanand Parmeshwari), Mother of the World, Granter of all Wishes and Desires (Jagatmata, Kameshwari), kindly accept with love these prayers of mine and remain pleased and gracious towards me.

O Sovereign Goddess (Sureshwari), you who are the protector of all secret desires and objects,accept my prayer and request and may I by your grace attain enlightenment.


 The prayer elevates ones spirit to the spiritual realms of devotion sung after the Durga Saptsati prayers during Navratra the nine sacred nights of the mystical powerful wish fulfilling goddess Durga in every corner of India with faith ritual and fasting before she finally departs in a procession to be submerged in the waters. This happens twice during the year in April and September. After April she empowers the birth of lord Rama on the ninth night and after September the festival of Dusserah when Rama slays the demon Ravana the epitome of evil lust and arrogance who abducted sita.



We imagine that it is only the rich or well to do who are able to take care of their disabled or handicapped members of the family. How do the poor cope in a similar plight.? Most of the time we dont know or do not care to find out. But the burdens of such care and rearing arise universally whether with the rich or the poor. For the poor without resources and facilities its an unimaginable burden with which they struggle to cope. I have two vivid examples which shows how the poor react and cope. Basically it is no different from what the rich my do in such unfortunate circumstances. That is the wonder.

We have a maid who comes to sweep our house every morning with a smile on her withered face and a greeting. She lives in the slum near by with a family of husband and son who sweep sewers for a living and a grandchild.  To add to their miserable plight he was born totally disabled, unable to move much or speak or respond. A virtual vegetable. With rare courage and determination  she decided not to let him pass away through neglect. They had no resources and lived from hand to mouth. Earning a pittance for their mean labours. there was no medical support or help from any source. Her name is Anu. Anu took on the entire burden of caring for the unresponsive child, feeding him, bathing and cleaning him, and his waste, dressing him and giving him all her love. He never became a toddler, spoke no endearing words just lay there.  With her heart and soul she did all one would do for a normal child with no compensatory response to egg her on. we did all we could to help the family by paying for the marriage of their daughter. But there was little we could do for her trials with the disabled child apart from suggesting free help from a government hospital. but in such a case they too could do little. so she accepted her fate and carried on like a noble warrior. Thus ten years passed. The child was now no baby but she cared for him as ever before, her life’s purpose. every night she would cling to him and give him her love till he slept. She also cooked for the family cared for her husbands needs and her son and daughter in law who had abandoned all hope for the child. and she was there every morning to do our housework and chat about his welfare. She only talked about her eternal love for him. At ten years he finally passed away and she became inconsolable. If any one deserved to be sanctified as a saint it was Anu. Her resolve, determination  courage and unresponded love speak of a rare humanity in the poorest of the poor which the best of us cannot match in similar circumstances with all our resources and riches. She never smiled again though she was finally blessed with a normal grandchild. In my view she had graduated through her selfless trials to a life of being born again as a queen. How did a poverty stricken outcaste slum dweller achieve this miracle is beyond my imagination. And with no complaint, rather as if it were a gift from god . We always wondered what the family would do when the child turned into a helpless adult. Fortunately they were saved from that eventuality but she remained inconsolable. She fasts on religious occasions with fervour. We asked her why given her sorry circumstances. Her reply, that i be born in my next life not as a sweeper who is not allowed by the conservative to even enter their kitchen!! Fortunately Anu’s daughter thanks to our financial support has married well in their terms and is leading a happy life.

The second case is that of a washer-man family who live down the street in a mud hut. they press and wash the clothes of all our colony. the washer-man is now old bent, and unable to work so he sits in the sun on a cot on the road while his two able sons do all the work. good for him to have fathered such help in old age.  One of his two daughters is married and visits with her children to the old man’s delight but the other daughter was born disabled and mentally incapacitated. She cannot speak though she grins whenever greeted. The remarkable thing is despite their poverty and manual labours they have taken care of her in every conceivable way. The washer man’s old wife washes and combs her hair daily in the sunlight on a winters day. They provide her with all her meals and help her feed herself. they dress her adequately each day and allow her to sit in the sun with her father shoulder to shoulder. When you see and greet them she reruns a wide smile. It is as if she is their good luck mascot and no daughter ever received the care and love she has. Can we compare this to a similar case in say a rich family. There there would be medical help, nurses to care for such a one and the occasional visit from family. i cant imagine more concern from a caring family. But here there is daily care love and unbelievable concern, with no resources to feed and take care of a member who does not contribute in any way. It is quite clear that she is their darling and her broad smile is the only compensation for their untiring efforts.  Its not just the old father who no longer works or the mother either but the two young able sons who have families and children of their own, who see to it that despite their limited resources they work night and day to feed and care for their parents and the beloved disabled sister. What a family to learn lessons from? My heart goes out to them every time my car turns a corner and spots them. What has the good Lord in store for them in their next life i often wonder. They must be great souls who have incarnated to experience these trials and evolve.

These are just two examples but what of the millions in poverty who suffer just not from poverty and the ability merely to feed themselves through hard labour in the sun but to take care of such eventualities with no help from any source. They must be the great souls we never heard about in our complacent comfortable lives. What of those who are well provided for East and West who don’t care a hang about their ailing parents or unfortunate siblings. There are in-numeral examples of people who have deserted their parents and handicapped siblings, particularly in the West where the tradition of joint family no longer exists. In india too as families become more nuclear the same plight effects ageing and disabled people. All they want is an inheritance. So ageing people hang on to their assets lest they suffer a similar plight. Daily one reads about ageing people having been abandoned by their progeny after assets were given over. its sad but true.

For this reason we have found many families with ageing grandparents not letting go of their succeeding generations. All they want is help when being taken to hospital or the ICU and for that they sacrifice the careers of their kids and grand kids. We know of many examples when  young promising youths have been denied the opportunity to build their careers and have never progressed. Well we decided to let our kids free and they are today far away and leading fulfi;lled lives. When the time comes to die in a hospital surely some medical service will take us there. No need to ruin lives for just such an instance. while we learn lessons from the likes of poor people in like circumstances there is no need to subject our own to that if you have enough resources to to take care of yourself

This is a complex issue and i would welcome a feed back from my friends and visitors at word press and elsewhere.



Emerald buddha, bejewelled

Most of us love object’d’arts from classical to modern. This happens even more if you own such an object or can see it daily in your catalogue of a museum, the internet site of a museum or when visiting one on a special holiday.. I have a collection of miniature paintings from India which are a perpetual source of joy particularly when you appreciate the different schools of painting the symbolism and changes happening from period to period. the style and school of the painting is most important to get a rewarding appreciation. there is much literature on the subject to enhance your appreciation. Then there are Vases and pottery and if you are a collector they too give you similar joy and appreciation of their style period and school of art. The museum at Jaipur the Albert hall, which incidentally i renovated, has a collection of fabulous  Indian pottery from the 18th and 19th centuries with each piece telling its own tale. there is the jaipur blue pottery famous quartz creations handed down to the present times, the Madras pottery, Persian and European pottery. A joy to research and understand their finer qualities and art form.. There are so many other art forms that even without actually possessing them your mind can possess by visiting a museum like Albert Hall Jaipur or the Met New York.


Recently on a visit to Bankok i picked up a few Buddhist object’d’art which have given me no end of pleasure

Ram with his bow Thai version

Kinnar , half human half bird bisexuaWe are everlasting lover and beloved. We never separate. We are eternally husband and wife; never do we become mother and father. No offspring is seen in our lap. We are lover and beloved ever-embracing. In between us we do not permit any third creature demanding affection. Our life is a life of perpetual pleasure.[1]

amazing acquisitions didn’t pay much for them but they make me joyous each morning standing on my study shelf.

As i enjoy object’d’arts i worked for several years to renovate Albert Hall Jaipur from its sorry state infested by bats and rats to the vision of Thomas Hendlay the curator of the 19th century for the maharajah of Jaipur as i selected the objects for the display it energised my artistic sense and i placed them in the museum to their best advantage with detailed signage. Fortunately the Chief Minister had confidence in my abilities and allowed me a free hand. It was sheer joy reorganising the museum according to Hendlays vision ( incidentally apart from being a curator he was also Surgeon General of the royal house. The thought in Hendlays mind was to display the finest examples of Jaipur arts and crafts and those of other parts of India and the neighbourhood. it was indeed an exceptional venture and for me to replicate it for the government of Rajasthan india was  a joyous opportunity. i had been visiting the Met every time i went to New York and the Tate gallery in London to learn about display signage lighting audio and  audio tours. i brought all this into play in the renovation effort thanks to the cooperation of the bureaucracy and the finances readily provided by the state government  All the precious artefacts collected by Hendlay had been consigned to the go-down and there were hardly any artefacts  on display. today it is one of the premium museums of India with over 2000 visitors each day. they share the same pleasure i had in organising it according to the 19th century curators vision. Below i have reproduced the video of the virtual tour of the museum with my voice guiding visitors who like to visit. Play it and enjoy.

I thank u tube for the opportunity to reproduce it on my blog with due acknowledgements..



press watch this video on u tube to see the video.

good viewing friends










Lord Saturn

Lord jupiter

The eleventh is the house of gains (labha) and receipts, ambitions and hopes and their realization, success and absence of misery. It is the House of friends and lovers, victory over enemies, discharge from hospital, prison, and other institutions, returning home.

The eleventh house does not belong to the Holy triangle – the first, fifth and Ninth) rather it is one of the Trishdayas or the three Houses of income whose Lords are considered inauspicious for a chart. However all planets located here according to Hindu scriptural injunction give good results.

In the chart which we have throughout being analysing (only way to understand jyotish astrology is to study a particular chart of a person) Jupiter and Saturn are located here. They are therefore in ‘conjunction’. they are also in mutual exchange of aspects with the Sun and mercury located in the Fifth house.

The eleventh Lord is Venus, thus we find that Jupiter is in an enemy sign. (how would you feel or react if you were a guest in the house of your enemy?) but for Saturn it is a friendly Sign. However being in the Eleventh house of ‘gains’  jupiter gives good results irrespective of being in an enemy Sign.

Firstly the ‘conjunction’ of Saturn and Jupiter is greatly auspicious (Rajyoga) because jupiter is Lord of a holy Triangular house, the ninth and Saturn is lord of an angular house ( the first  fourth seventh and tenth) the seventh. Lords of a triangular house and angular house together produce a Rajyoga very auspicious.

This would make the suibject highly regarded by people, efficient and meticulous in his work, prosperous, reputable, famous and respectable.

 The mutual aspects of the Sun and Jupiter, first grade friends (ParamMitra) creates a special association indicative of purity and strength of Soul, as the\Sun represents the soul and Jupiter wisdom. further the Sun represents  royal attributes (Rajya) and Jupiter fortune (Bhagya), thus these attributes are also enhanced by the association. the additional aspect of m\Mercury facilitates scholarship and pursuit of knowledge.


In the analysis other factors also emerge. being the next house from the tenth it refers to finances from a government source. As we have already seen from an examination of the seventh house, the owner of the eleventh located in the seventh house Venus, will make the subject gain through the wife and the wife will be wealthy well behaved and devoted. The friendship of the  owners of the two Houses Saturn and Venus are indicative of  attachment of the spouse to her children and their playing a prominent role in her life.

The presence of Saturn in the eleventh house will furthermore will make the subject powerful wealthy and well connected with sound health, intelligent and long lived, though he would suffer ill health in infancy.

Yet it indicates a quick temper and impatience. it is also indicative of artistic abilities, diligence, knowledgeably, but with few progeny.

The presence of Jupiter in the eleventh is indicative of good looks, fine friends who may help him in his career, the realisation of his ambitions, a good income and status, wealth and health and happiness from his children but again indicative of few progeny.

The chart also shows a good team player in any activity and placing the interests of the group above his own. 

The Sun

There may be afflictions of the throat, tonsils, diphtheria, cold and apoplexy. It also indicates friendship with people who are not at the same level of intellect and class, association with whom would not prove beneficial.                  


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