Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Ratnapura Saiva temple festival suspended due to threats
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 April 2009, 10:11 GMT]

The trustee board of the 200-year-old historical Rakkuvaanai Sri Muththumaariyamman temple in Ratnapura district has been forced to suspend the annual festival of the temple due to death threats by Sinhalese youths of the area who went to the houses of the trustee board members and warned them of severe consequences if they conduct the festival that was to be held from 28 April to 10 May, sources in Ratnapura said. Rakkuvaana police too had denied permission to conduct the festival as the Buddhist Vesak festival is to be celebrated from 4 May to 10 May, the sources said.

The trustee board, having decided to hold the festival, had made elaborate arrangement and announcements about it.

The Sinhalese people of the area had not wanted the Saiva festival to take place during Vesak festivals and some youths among them had warned the trustee board members in their houses and Tamil traders in their business establishments not to hold the annual festival, the sources added.

Consequently, the trustee board was forced to suspend the annual festival causing great grief and disappointment among the Tamils in Rakkuvaanai and Ratnapura district.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009



On Monday the international media went to town about a team of archaeologists who had bumped into a rocky hilltop which is believed to be the burial place of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.
The group, which has worked around the site in northern Egypt for three years, is quite certain that it would soon be able to unearth the last resting place of these legendary lovers.

If they find the two tombs it is certainly going to be the greatest discovery after Howard Carter found the tomb of Tutankhamun, the boy king, in 1922.

While Egyptians and enthusiasts around the world are anxiously waiting for the unearthing of the tomb of the much celebrated duo that died some 2000 years ago, those in Sri Lanka who can boast of a history that perhaps goes beyond the days of Egyptian civilization appear to have forgotten many landmarks of the days of pristine glory.

With the latest evidence from Pahiyangala, Dambulla, Batadombalena, Embilipitiya and many other sites pointing towards the existence of a civilization here that goes beyond 100,000 years - some 50,000 years past carbon dating – it goes without saying that ours is one of the oldest places of human habitation.

However for whatever reasons some of the key sites which epitomizes the degree of development of the civilization especially those before the pre-Vijaya era have long been forgotten.

One such place is Gavaravila, considered to be the Sri Lanka’s first man made tank. Lying on a less travelled road in Ranamure in Matale it certainly is not a place that has regular visitors. It does not even have a single Google reference. However the breathtakingly beautiful medium size tank hidden in a small valley on the Matale side of Knuckles certainly is something all Sri Lankans should be proud of. This pre-Vijaya placid lake, with its thousands of blooming little lotuses, speaks of an irrigation system that existed in Sri Lanka at a time when only a few spots in the world maps had civilizations. Completed with sluice gates and other features of tanks that were built in the post – Vijaya period, one can hardly find any major difference between those and Gavaravila.

An hour’s trek through old villages past Gavaravila is Yudhaganapitiya, the place according to many where the Rama-Ravana battle had taken place. The proponents of the existence of a Dandumonaraya, the mythical aircraft used by Ravana to abduct Rama’s wife, Sita argue that given the rudimentary nature of the Wright brother’s first aircraft made in 1903, it was no surprise that Sri Lanka with its advanced technology making such an aircraft even some thousand years ago. The Wright brothers were clueless about the Bernoulli principle – which refers to the relationship between wind velocity and pressure – when they made their aircraft. It was a creation of empirical testing – pragmatism. Many sites including the incredibly windy Yudhaganapitiya and a few places in Mahiyangana are considered to be ones from where Ravana’s Dandumonaraya took off wings.

Valmiki’s Sanskrit epic Ramayana may appear a figment of imagination for some. However there’s still no harm in delving deeply into the history of one’s motherland and being proud of it, irrespective of race and religion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


‏Annadānam from Kailāsa to Kataragama
By Swami Vigyananand and Patrick Harrigan

Annadānam being served to pada yātrā pilgrims
Long before history came to be recorded, people the world over have recognized the close association between food and life. Human society may be said to have its roots in the systematic sharing of food.
In Oriental culture, the sharing of food has long been considered as a sacred duty. We offer cooked food to our ancestors, to the devas, to the Buddha and to monks, elders, pilgrims, as well as to family, friends, visitors, and to anyone who feels hunger, including animals. In Oriental tradition, no one should go to bed hungry; even animals and unseen beings should be offered food to ensure their happiness and good will.
The Sanskrit word annadānam literally means the offering or sharing (dānam) of food (annam). In every ethnic and religious community across the Indian subcontinent, no festival or ceremony is complete without annadānam, or at least with the distribution of prasādam, the edible items offered during pūjā.

Theory and practice
Accordingly, the importance of food is stressed in ancient scriptures, including the Vedas, Upanisads, Dharma Sastras, Dhamma Pāda, etc. Taittiriya Upanishad declares, ‘All life force comes from food.’ (annam vai prānah) and ‘Let food be produced in plenty’ (annam bahu kurveet). In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna declares, ‘From food all beings are evolved’ (annād bhavanti bhūtāni).
Even simple folk practices preserve traditions that have endured since time immemorial. Ancient peoples believed that spirits or deities may move upon the earth in human guise, and that such beings possess special powers or abilities that may help those who are open-hearted and generous towards such unusual strangers.
Hence, it is considered prudent in traditional societies to regard every stranger or sudden visitor with the utmost courtesy, respect, and hospitality–including the offering of choice food items.
Manu Dharma Sastra’s aphorism ‘atithih devo bhava’ (‘regard the guest as a deity’) plainly expresses this worldwide tradition among ancient societies that deities may move upon the earth in human guise, and that one should therefore regard them with the utmost courtesy and respect.
Annadānams too are conducted with this very principle in mind, for among the hungry crowd there may also be the anonymous genuine devotee, saint or even a deva or deity. Indeed, each and every poor person is regarded in this way, as expressed in the Sanskrit saying daridra Nārāyana (‘God dwells in the poor person’).

Annadānam and Pada Yātrā
Just as as the Indian subcontinent may be said to extend from Mount Kailāsa in the far North to Kataragama in the far South (also called Dakshina Kailāsa as it is situated upon the same meridian as Mount Kailāsa), so also the principle of annadānam is respected and practiced across the subcontinent.
A popular saying among Kailāsa pilgrims Bābā Amarnātha barfāni bhukhe ko anna pyāse ko pāni exhorts listeners to ‘offer food to the hungry and water to the thirsty in the name of Lord Siva’.
Adi Sankarācharya in his stotram praising Annapūrnā, the personification of plentiful food, says:

Annapūrne sadāpūrne Sankarprānvallabhe gyānvairāgya siddhyartham bhiksham dehi ca Pārvati.
Annapūrnā Devi, Goddess of Plenty, you who are Lord Shiva’s eternal Consort, give us alms together with wisdom.’

Because of this universal tradition of annadānam, since millennia it has been possible–even common–for sadhus, pilgrims, saints and others to travel from one end of the subcontinent to the other spreading the wisdom of their respective sampradayas to the far corners of the subcontinent.

Annadānam in Sri Lanka
Unlike in India, where innumerable traditions of pada yātrā flourish, here in Sri Lanka there remains only one pada yātrā tradition (foot pilgrimage to destinations such as Sri Pāda died out in the 20th Century). The traditional Pada Yātrā from Jaffna in the far North to Kataragama in the far South has for centuries been an annual affair attracting not only local pilgrims but also pilgrims from abroad, especially from India.

Arunagiri Nāthar
Arunagiri Nathar
Seven centuries ago, one of these anonymous pilgrims (for not one diary or record of a pilgrim has ever been published), Arunagiri Nathar, was a great Tamil devotee of god Skanda-Murugan, who had set out to visit and sing the praise of every great shrine of the God.
Less than a tenth of Arunagiri Nathar’s reputed 16,000 Tiruppukal songs have survived. But from the few that survive, one can surmise that, like so many pilgrims before him, Arunagiri Nathar first visited Kiri Malai on the northern coast of the Jaffna peninsula where he sang Tiruppukal, proceeded by foot to Trincomalee where he sang at Tiru Konamalai.
Arunagiri Nathar may have sang Tiruppukal at other shrines as well, but it was only at his destination, Kataragama, that he sang the most verses, of which 14 still survive.
Arunagiri Nathar therefore was one among the traditional pada yātrā pilgrims of his day who annually walked for two months from Jaffna via Trincomalee to Kataragama in time for the great Esala (Adi) festival.
While en route to Kataragama, Arunagiri accepted annadanam from common villagers and, in return, sang his spontaneous verses of Tiruppukal. The subtle spiritual influence (āsirvādam) of pada yātris like Arunagiri Nathar, however invisible, should not be discounted or underestimated.
The yatris all carry the God’s blessings with them to a lesser or greater extent, and it is principally for this aim that villagers offer annadānam. When one happens perchance (or by God’s grace) to feed a great soul (like Arunagiri Nathar), the blessings continue to manifest for generations afterward.

Kanya puja honours pre-adolescent child devotees annually on Teyvani Amman Devasthanam flag-hoisting day
Annadānam at Kataragama
In times past there have been many annadānam madams in Kataragama, and even today one may savour food offered freely to pilgrims and general public by Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims at Kataragama.
Just as in human society, where the lady of the house serves guests with food, so also at Kataragama it is the God’s eternal consort Sri Theivayanai Amman whose madam feeds every visitor, regardless of from where they come. Because of this tradition, and because the Kataragama Esala Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, Sri Theivayanai Ammann Madam today is Sri Lanka’s largest annadānam madam.
Sri Theivayanai Amman Annadanam Sabha preserves the Devasthanam’s age-old tradition of serving annadanam to pilgrims from far off places. Most of the foot pilgrims to Kataragama rely upon Theivayanai Amman Devasthanam especially for their daily meals.
During the current Esala festival season, about 8,000-10,000 pilgrims daily enjoy tasty vegetarian lunches and dinners at Sri Theivayanai Amman Devasthanam in addition to tea in the mornings and evenings. Even outside of festival times, the Devasthanam continues to serve annadanam the year round to devotees of all communities.
The Annadanam Sabha is pleased to render annadanam service to the public within the Temple premises of Sri Theivayanai Amman, the presiding deity who is Annapoorani – the Great Giver of Food. A unique feature of the annadanam is its being served the traditional way–on plantain leaves–to devotees of all communities, including service personnel.
The Annadanam Sabha is coordinated by S.T.S. Arulananthan, J.P. and A. Maduraiveeran, ably assisted by eminent persons from Colombo, Matale, Kandy, Batticaloa, Vavuniya, and Trincomalee, including Messrs. Swaminathan Karuppaiah, Shanmugarajah, and T. Rajah, to mention only a few of 300 annadanam contributors. Praise is also owed to the energetic service rendered by a volunteer force of youth from all over the island led by Ramesh Babu.
Sri Theivayanai Amman Temple, Kataragama is offering annadanam of pure vegetarian food to the public during the Kataragama Esala Festival from 17 July flag-hoisting until water-cutting on 1 August 2004.
Sri Theivayanai Amman gives yearly once darshan to devotees during Maha Perahera. This year Maha Perahera and Ambal Darshan occur on Saturday evening, 31 July.

Swami Vigyananand is the deputy to Kataragama Sri Theivayanai Amman Devasthanam Madadhipathi and Trustee, Swami Purnanand Giri.
Patrick Harrigan is an American scholar-devotee who has walked the Kataragama Pada Yatra 18 times since 1972. Since 1989 he has been acting editor of the Kataragama Research Publications Project.

Murugan’s Circus and our Multiple States of Being....!!!!

From: vama vamadevan
Subject: Murugan's Circus and Our Multiple States of Being
To: "Navamani Wijekumar" , "Raji Ravindran" , "Sivambi Jegadason" , "Sivapatham Aruliah" , "Soman Somanathan" , "Soma Somaskandarasa" , "Sudharson" , "Yogi Sunthar Yogiramsunthar"
Date: Monday, April 13, 2009, 12:38 PM
Murugan’s Circus and our Multiple States of Being

Mike Wilson
a.k.a Swami Siva Kalki
By Manik Sandrasagra
In 1971 the remarkable German Swami Gauribala introduced me to Saiva Siddhanta Jaffna. I met Swami at the Colombo-7 residence of Mike Wilson, an Englishman who, together with Arthur C. Clarke, made Sri Lanka his home in 1956.
Mike and his beautiful Sri Lankan wife Elizabeth ran a safe haven for those who went ‘against the stream’ in their home at Barnes Place. For me, a westernized oriental, returning home from a five-year sojourn in an idealistic North America, their home was an oasis of intelligent discussion amidst the gathering gloom and frustration of having our futures chartered by the dowager Bandaranaike.
I had first heard of Swami Gauribala in 1963 when I was just eighteen. My informant was Soundhi Sittampalam, my friend Maya’s mother. Their home off Flower Road was the temporary halting place for the gifted tenor Nihal Fonseka and me, rehearsing Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate directed by the American Bert Stimmel, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre nearby.
The Sittampalam household was also unique in many ways. There was Soundhi’s husband; Sitta sitting for hours with a man called Mahalingam reading peoples horoscopes from ancient ola leaves. Sitta was both Commissioner of Inland Revenue and Colombo’s foremost astrologer. We never spoke to him, but could hear him as well as Mahalingam’s monotonous chant in the background.

Archival 1960 photo of German Swami Gauribala (at right) with Sandaswami (Lord Soubury's son, far left) and Narikutti Swami of Australia and Mudaliyar Swami (Pandrikutti) of Colombo.
There was also a bearded Australian house guest in a loincloth, called Nari Kutti Swami. He was described as a disciple of Yogaswami, the sage of Jaffna. The Sittampalam home was essentially a Hindu Tamil home, while I was a Jesuit-taught Roman Catholic. They had a constant flow of visitors, many of whom were Yogaswami devotees.
In the ‘Thus have I heard’ tradition, I was introduced to this mysterious lineage; a lineage I never knew at the time I would one day be an integral part of. I was told of Yogaswami’s other foreign disciples; German Swami or Gauribala and Yanai Kutti or Sanda Swami, the son of Viscount Soulbury, the last British Governor General of Ceylon.
I was also told of an old lady, called Haro Hara Amma, who lived on a tea estate below Adam’s Peak. All these stories of mystery and magic intrigued me and influenced me in my formative years. Slowly I was returning to my origins from at least four generations of Roman Catholic conditioning.
With the production of Kiss Me Kate my apprenticeship under Sri Lanka’s foremost theatrical personality Arthur van Langenberg and my showbiz carrier began. Promoting Nihal Fonseka whom I met on this production here and in the West would be my main pre-occupation for the next seven years. This also led me to Yogaswami, although I did not know it at the time.
I met George Koch the photographer in 1964 at ‘Lukannon’ in Thimbirigasyaya, the last Van Langenberg family home in Colombo that they shared with the Macks. This was yet another spectacular environment, where Bevis and Geoffrey Bawa, Manjusri, Gamini Fonseka, Harry, Lester James and Harold Peries were all part of “an endless procession of fascinating visitors,” as their niece Barbara Sansoni describes it in her book The Architecture of an Island.

Nallu Kandaswamy Temple, Jaffna
When George discovered my obsession with cinema he invited me to be his assistant. We made three trips in all. One to Adam’s Peak, the second to film the vanishing Veddas in Gal Oya and the third to Jaffna where we documented on 16-mm film the Nallur festival.
On this last trip our hosts and patrons were Satchit and Linga Satchitananda. We went to Jaffna by train surrounded by a bevy of Hindu Tamil girls, and my obsession with refinement commenced. When we got to Jaffna we went to a house very close to the temple, where we stayed and very soon we set out to the holy precinct to begin our work.
However the matriarchal Linga made me shed my western clothes to wear a white vetti while remaining bare-bodied before we were allowed to be escorted to the temple to hear a relation serenade the deity. George the Dutch Burgher was allowed to remain as he was. I was completely transformed into a Shaivite, which is what my name signifies anyway, but dressing up like one was a brand new experience for me, just trying to keep my cloth up. Now looking back, having worn eastern clothes for over twenty-five years, this was the first time of cotton and comfort, although it was Swami Gauribala in 1971 who initiated me on how to wear a vetti properly with no fear of it coming loose.
On this expedition to the Nallur festival I followed George everywhere. One of the places we filmed in was the chariot hall, which was full of saffron-robed swamis. At the time the swamis did not hold my interest, as there were too many of them. It was many years later, when I was very much a part of this lineage that I realized that Yogaswami and his ‘kuttis’ or cubs always sat here during the procession and that I had unwittingly been granted a darshan with Swami, without even knowing it.

In 1966 I found myself in England planning to launch the carrier of Nihal Fonseka who had the sponsorship of J.R. Jayewardene, Bunty de Zoyza, Clarence Amerasinghe and Mubarak Thaha who helped him train under a ‘bel canto’ specialist called Maestro Guido Delni. At home both Aubrey Walpola and Anandaraja Hallock had taught Nihal all they knew and had recommended an Italian voice teacher rather than having his spectacular talent ruined by local mediocrity.
In between our other activities, which included recording Nihal singing ‘The Master Hand’ by Nimal Mendis with a 30-piece orchestra, I found myself visiting Mano Chanmugam regularly in Wallington to work on a film script called the ‘White Swami’ with Rex Cooke, who shared Mano’s home with him. The script was based on the stories I had heard from Soundhi. The Beatle George Harrison, whom I had met through John Barham, a fellow sitar student under Pandit Ravi Shankar, was the first to read the script and call me at Mano’s with great enthusiasm. He wanted my permission to share it with Mick Jagger. However the Indian guru of ‘Transcendental Meditation’, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, arrived in London at the same time as I was pushing my script. A star-studded cast turned up at the London Hilton Ballroom to hear the Maharishi and I lost my stars as they took off with the Maharishi to discover transcendental bliss in Bangor Maine in Wales.
Nihal and I returned to Ceylon in 1969 on a short holiday en-route to Singapore to perform at the Arundel Room at the Goodwood Park Hotel and I proceeded to search for the legendary Haro Hara Amma. In the meantime the Sittampalam household in Colombo had disintegrated with Soundhi moving to London with Maya and I had to proceed to Adam’s Peak with just one clue – a most curious name.

Haro Hara Amma
I asked around the tea estates that lined the road to the sacred peak for Haro Hara Amma and to my surprise I found her. She was well known as a Murugan devotee who always went to Kataragama on Pada Yatra. She was now very old and sat huddled in a corner in an estate line, saying little or nothing but staring at me. I left satisfied that for some mysterious reason I had found another link in the chain, but I did not know why.
Haro Hara Amma seemed like any other poor estate Tamil woman. Later on I would be told that she was an expert in tattvam -- seeing the inner reality behind appearances. Spontaneously she named all the Yogaswami devotees who hung out with German Swami in Kataragama after wild animals. Besides Nari (fox) and Yanai (elephant), there was a Puli (leopard) – Sam Wickramesinghe, a pandri (pig) the only one of them I never met who was also called ‘Mudaliyar’ and who was said to be related to Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner - and a punai (cat) – Adrian Snodgrass, now a reputed Buddhist scholar. German Swami himself was ‘petta naay’ or the bitch. I was told that he would sing an English drinking song as he walked with this pack of animals, the other ‘kuttis’ on the way to the Menik Ganga for a bath!

“Drink puppy, drink, let every puppy drink, that is old enough to lap and to swallow. Here’s to the fox and here’s to the hound, and here’s to the chase that we follow.”

German Swami Gauribala in his ashram "Summāsthan", 1981
He was undoubtedly the bitch, the ‘kuttis’ puppies and the chase was the search for the Holy Grail. Everyone’s guru was Yogaswami, and this was the only thing they agreed upon. Every one of them was distinct and each initiated according to their individual nature. Gauribala was the only one initiated as a sannyasin, confirming his earlier initiation in the North of India into the Giri Order of Dasa Nami sannyasins. Maggi Lidchi has documented this period in Kataragama in her novel Earthman published by Victor Gollancz, the film rights of which Richard Boyle purchased in 1978 so that we could turn it into a movie. In fact I commissioned Tissa Abeysekera to write the screenplay, and he produced an excellent structure for a movie, which we were however unable to finance.

German Swami
I finally met Swami Gauribala in 1971. It was a magical moment. He was quite unlike my idea of a swami. He was sitting on an easy chair, bare-bodied, dressed in a pure white cotton vetti, looking rather like Santa Claus and puffing at a smelly black Jaffna cigar. He had the words ‘summa iru’ tattooed in Tamil on the inside of his left arm. I had never before met an iconoclast of his quality.
He looked at what I was reading and chuckled. ‘‘An autobiography of a Yogi! A yogi annihilates selfhood. How then can a yogi who is a nobody write an autobiography?’’
This was his opening line. He also ridiculed the production I was engaged in called 'New Age' introducing to Ceylon the music of Bob Dylan and a variety of modern American musical crusaders. He chuckled, “New Age - all balderdash! It was completed long ago. All finished”.

White Rabbit

The set of 'God King'
Swami also introduced me to Sigiriya in 1971. Our party included Jocelyn Rouleau, a niece of the then Prime Minister of Canada, Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Carol, another Yogaswami devotee and spouse of James George, the former Canadian High Commissioner in Ceylon, India and Iran, with whose assistance the photographer Rollof Benny produced several breathtaking volumes. We were given a rare treat with Swami being our guide in a place that he knew intimately. In fact he called himself King Kassapa. I became the ‘White Rabbit’ and Jocelyn ‘Alice’ in this voyage of discovery. It was this introduction to a Mahayana version of our history that resulted in the God King in 1974, the biggest epic film in the life of Lester James Peries, which I co-produced with the legendary British producer Dimitri de Grunwald.
Swami also read my script of White Swami with great interest. He confirmed a few events that I had described in my script as fact, and this amazed me. These incidents known only to him, which even the ‘kuttis’ had learned from Gauribala, were in the script. My name and its meaning in Saivism (which I did not know), my father’s lineage, my meetings with Haro Hara Amma and Yoga Swami; and finally the script made Swami look at me with greater interest.
The other so-called coincidence that I was told much later was that Gauribala was performing a series of homa pujas under the patronage of Wilmot Perera at Sri Palee in Horana in 1954 at the same time that I was schooling there, since my father was the District Medical Officer. All this made our relationship special. For Gauribala, Yogaswami was alive and like the Buddha, was the Dhamma he taught.
Reading the notebooks he meticulously kept of his meetings with Yogaswami, it was obvious that he taught me in the same manner. The transmission of this knowledge is through mudra or a silent show of hand speechlessly spoken. This tradition of ‘speechlessly spoken’ transmission is presented through a collection of verses in the book Swami compiled in Tamil called Summa Irruka Suttiram, which he presented to me much later on, with the inscription to “Bāla from Bāla”. Bāla in Sanskrit is ‘child’ or ‘fool’.


Nallur Chellappa Swami
This compilation which many of us helped translate into English has yet to go into print. It concerns “The Multiple Meanings of an Initiatic Mantra of the Tantric Siddhas of Tamilnadu in the light of the Perennial Philosophy”. Included are Yogaswami’s own contribution to this literature – the four maha vakyams or Great Sayings given by Chellappa Swami, the great siddha and jnani of Nallur, to his disciple Yogaswami in the course of four years. Here are two parallel translations.

Whatever happens, happens right / All is well ever
Primordially perfected are all things/
It is completed long ago
We know nothing / I don’t know
The entirety of life only is truth / Truth, truth everywhere
Sacred utterances in old languages like Tamil and Sinhala have multiple meanings, and history we know is what we make of it in the present. We have also been taught that we are what our thoughts are made of. Originally language was sacred and secret and the preserve of the priestly caste. Right definition was the greatest skill. Individual opinion was unimportant and interpretation always in light of the eternal substance, the Perennial Philosophy, the Akalika or Sanatana Dharma. This brought balance and liberation while the opposite brought strife and conflict. Enlightened self-interest or greed were the options, and the battle was one between light and ignorance. Who is to be revered: the Arya Sangha who are catholic in their attitude or ‘rogues in robes’ promoting exclusivity? ‘As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be’ is a constant chant in the Latin mass, and how true that remains!
Yogaswami joined the Holy Feet of his Guru on 24th March 1964 and Gauribala became our thread to Yogaswami, the siddha. This Eelam of Saiva Siddhanta culture has Kailasa in the North and Kataragama in the South as its axis. It is not a nation-state but a state of being or awareness. It exists along every single spinal cord. It is also referred to as ‘remembrance’ or memory and according to tantric beliefs it is Kundalini – the coiled serpent that lies dormant at the base of our spines. This Eelam is not just one world but also many worlds. Modern aspiring people, however -- Tamil or Sinhala -- know nothing of these worlds.
In this world the only war is internal and victory is liberation from delusion. Such a world still exists in Jaffna as in other rural regions at the bottom of the social structure, where bhakti (devotion) and jñānam (wisdom) rule. Cultivators, fisher folk, toddy-tappers, tom-tom beaters, palanquin bearers and all the little people worship Amma or the Earth Mother. They are summa. Their lifestyle is summa. Summa is a state of being, where tranquility and serenity replace paranoia and fear.

Swami Gauribala gave me entrée to this elite in 1971. Thirty-one years later I went to Jaffna on May Day 2002 to celebrate the eighteenth anniversary of his samadhi and announce the revival of the Pada Yatra from Nagadipa to Kataragama with Kingsley Perera, an ex-JVP activist now working with me. My association with this lineage permitted me after all these years once more to enjoy the hospitality of simple people everywhere that know and share this worldview. At places like Selva Sannidhi, Vallipuram and Mattuvil, the view is the same. Bhakti (devotion) and jñānam (wisdom) still reign.

German Swami Gauribala © by Dominic Sansoni
Gauribala’s several notebooks on his meetings with his Guru contain the essence of this tradition. These observations have not been printed and available only to those close to the lineage. This is quite unlike the other publications on Yogaswami in print, including the bowdlerized version authored by the one-time American dancer-turned-guru Subramuniya and his Saiva Siddhanta Church. The Gauribala notebooks are manuals for a sannyasi disciple, not just compilations of sayings and utterances quoted out of context.
Gauribala never converted Yogaswami into a saint or an icon. He himself did not collect disciples nor sought popularity by good deeds and public acclaim. He danced until he died, living as Yogaswami had taught him. He was Yogaswami’s only disciple who renewed life instead of becoming a sanctimonious and serious bore. Swami had the advantage of not being understood by a middle-class urban mentality and this anonymity made it possible for this ‘nobody’ to be anybody at any time. Here was the freest spirit I had ever witnessed, free of even the doctrine. He had crossed the stream and had no need for a canoe any more.

Even in death he succeeded, since he wanted no trace of a tomb or samadhi. Yogaswami’s samadhi -- created by lay-devotees who missed the whole point of his subtle exposition of the Dharma – was once an Army camp and now a sealed tomb visited twice a day for a pooja! Gauribala, who escaped middle-class adulation on Yogaswami’s explicit instructions, has no Samadhi at all. Soon after he passed away his ashram was overrun by the military and reduced to rubble. Swami wanted it just that way. A great hunter leaves no trail!
I asked Dominic Sansoni to photograph Swami Gauribala. He was getting old and one day the pictures would be invaluable. When Dominic sought his permission to do so he agreed on the condition that Dominic photograph only what Swami wanted revealed.
There was also another condition: I was not to be shown the pictures. After Swami passed away on May Day in 1984 under more magical circumstances Dominic told me the story and gave me the pictures that he had taken.
The pictures made complete sense mostly to me. Together with his letters in my possession it was proof of the legitimacy of the experience I had in 1971, which I thought was my imagination. The lineage I had been initiated into – is a paramparawa in which our teacher is God Kataragama himself as Siva Dakshinamurti. Only after Swami joined the feet of his own Guru was there confirmation that he was aware of what had taken place between us. I was now a Kataragama convert for life.

Deviyange Kaele
I did not accept the initial invitation to walk from Jaffna to Kataragama in 1972 although others did including the American Patrick Harrigan who also met Swami for the first time in 1971. Swami himself first walked the Yatra in 1950, having met Yogaswami in 1947.
Swami and I were now on the road to becoming firm friends, as he had succeeded in arousing my interest and passion in the Kataragama tradition early in our relationship. He used every opportunity to guide my reading and kept insisting that the mature Ananda Coomaraswamy and the Frenchman Rene Guenon were the only worthwhile authors left while scoffing at “traditionalists” trying to give a new brand name to the Eternal Doctrine, and seeing problems where none existed.

Chitrasena, the Master of Dance
In the meantime, Mike Wilson, who was delightfully crazy in his own inimitable way, decided to swap his householder role and become a swami, calling himself Siva Kalki, and believing that he was the last avatar of Vishnu. He left his home with the Swiss artist Aiyar, who subsequently became the Bhikku Sumedha and together they made their home in a cave on Vallimalai, one of the Seven Hills of Kataragama.
This cave became my other place of pilgrimage and reflection and Swami Gauribala, Chitrasena and I would visit our friends who were in the process of being transmogrified into holy men. These visits enabled me to fall in love with the wonderful mystery tradition that was said to hold sway in Deviyange Kaele or the ‘God’s own Forest’ and meet up with a variety of individuals, including Matara Swami, who remains my fast friend to this day.

Pada Yatra
This attraction led to me to allow myself to be persuaded with wonderful stories of myth and magic, discard my Gucci shoes, my elegant shades, my life support systems including what money could buy. So I joined German Swami on this crazy pilgrimage to Kataragama in 1975 with a group of his friends he described as the Kopi Kuttam since
A small kuttam or party of Kataragama foot pilgrims, 1992
they stopped intermittently for coffee. Swami’s injunction to me was to walk from Pottuvil to Kataragama in not too difficult a sequence for me.
Swami’s letter that sealed my decision read as follows:

“The road is open for you, my dear! But time runs out for me. So, here is a new test and trial for you: a very hard one, I tell you: the karai-yatra. If you can do it, even in parts, that means in not too hard a sequence for you, it will be very good for your Guru and Mike, Aiyar and all those who are really sincere in following The Path! I gave you the timetable out of love for you. Now it is up to you, to act! If you come, I must warn you: it will be hard going for you. For me, too. It is my twenty-fifth jubilee pilgrimage, and with the help of the Mother’s Grace (Vergine Madre!) and yours, I hope to complete it at Valliamma’s sacred hill. After this my “mission” in Lanka will be completed and I will set out to the ‘Hieric Islands’ for the last “flight of the alone to the Alone”.

He had never written like this before. He had admitted that he was our guru. He never confirmed such matters, although in a letter to me in September 1971, soon after our first mystical encounter he wrote, “You did really splendid and I am very, very happy indeed. Let us hope that the Great Mother (Para Shakti) will bless you in your efforts to become a firm ring in the chain of our paramparai”.

Author Manik Sandrasagra in Yala National Park, traditional route of the Kataragama Pada Yatra
I now believed my earnestness in becoming a link in this chain of transmission had been rewarded and I joined the pilgrimage in Pottuvil with Chitrasena. There were about 750 people gathered there at the residence of Mr. Canagaratnam, an erstwhile devotee of the war god Skanda. It took us about ten days to walk to Kataragama through the jungle and at certain times the ordeal became too much for my lazy bones and I gave up preferring death to this agony.
There were several kuttams. I came to know some of them. From Jaffna itself there was Weerakatti and Muttukumaru while Kandiah and Hanuman were from the East Coast. Chelladurai, Kumaravelu and Aiyadurai were my other comrades in the Kopi Kuttam that German Swami led through the forest, propelled by great stories, lots of Jaffna cigars and a siddha preparation for extra energy called suranam. When walking barefoot gave me blistered feet, the crazy jnani Aiyadurai Swami took me for a walk and made me stand on fresh elephant dung and by magic my feet were cured. Such were the serendipitous discoveries I made on the journey!
Chitrasena was a dancer and fit, while I was not and together a comic sight, like Jeff and Mutt. We walked carrying a pole on our shoulders with our earthly belongings hanging from it. We allowed the Kopi Kuttam to totally dominate us and we did as we were told. We were too tired to think. This walking was killing us.
When I had just about given up the fight grace appeared in the form of a chanting group. I joined the group and decided to move with them. Nobody waited for another on the Yatra especially, in the jungle, and one had to keep moving or be left behind. Joining this group and chanting with them induced a trance in which we walked effortlessly for over five miles in record time, with no effort. This was yet another encounter of serendipity.

Haro Hara
On reaching the banks of the Menik Ganga the pilgrims piled up several logs and performed a fire-walking puja at night. Everywhere there were shouts of Haro Hara. We were two days away from Kataragama.
What impressed me most was the order in which everything was undertaken. The pilgrims were well disciplined. Every kuttam had a leader and he dictated the murai or order to be followed. They treated the forest as belonging to God. They harmed nothing.
The animals knew this as well. When an elephant was sighted the pilgrims would approach it and conduct a puja with a coconut and camphor. The elephant stood still. They knew this pilgrimage from inherited knowledge and had no fear.
One incident remains in my mind, how we came to a crossroad in the jungle. The pilgrims halted with indecision. While seated we heard a voice singing:
"Hallelujah, I'm a bum. Hallelujah I'm a bum again. Hallelujah, give me a handout, to revive me again".
It was German Swami announcing his arrival. The pilgrims pounced on him with anticipation, with cries of “Swami, Swami, tell us the way?” And Swami points at one of the paths and quietly sits down on the left, clear off the road to light his black Jaffna cigar.
The pilgrims leave shouting Haro Hara and Swami replied while he chewed on his cigar. After a while Swami decides to move and we follow him. He takes the other road. We ask him why? He answers, “I am German and they are Ceylonese. They don’t know their own land. They should learn by walking a little more”.


German Swami's guru Yogaswami
German Swami and his guru Yogaswami, whose guru was Chellappa Swami, whose guru was Kadai Swami, were all tantric siddhas from a Tamilnadu lineage. Their Adi Guru was Siva as Dakshinamurti, who sits in silence on the south face of every Shaivite temple. Dakshinamurti is the southern face of Dharma.
Kataragama has several lineages or paramparawas. Matara Swami, the current high priest at the Kiri Viharaya Vishnu Shrine in Kataragama, is a Sinhalese disciple of a Malayali teacher called Sankara Pillai. He was a mantaravadin or magician and this knowledge he taught his disciples who revere his memory to this day. The incumbent of the Vedahitikanda shrine atop the central of the seven hills of Kataragama, Ven. Siddhartha is yet another disciple. In fact his custodianship of the hill shrine is based on his lineage.
Lineage and the chain of transmission are the secret of the different guilds, castes or paramparawa – a kind of classification based on temperament. Summa Iru was the core teaching of our group. In Sinhala it is ‘nikang inda’. This was common-speak, and was our nirvana and samsara transcending explanations. All contradictions were resolved in Kataragama, a seat that from time immemorial had attracted rishis and buddhas.
In this dispensation there are several paths to the Divine. As many paths as the God has faces -- six in all: Hunter, Warrior, Swami, Beggar, King, Husband and Lover. Nothing is excluded here. Unlike the purity of other shrines, in Kataragama venison is offered twice a week to the god and an Idumban puja includes alcohol and kansa. In recent times however intolerant urban planners have banned everything, including sex, in this age-old fertility shrine. Such is the ignorance of the blind.
Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando, who was a lawyer at the time, met me in Kataragama to rescue me from the Pada Yatra. He took me back to Colombo to finish his film Colomba Sanniya that I was directing for him. I never knew at that time how significant all these events would be later on.

Many years later all that was forecast by Swami in his letter to me had come true. I brought into being the Kataragama Devotees Trust and had gathered around me all Swami’s acolytes from ‘the four quarters of the world’. We had made a trilogy on the Skanda story for television that was very well received. We revived the Pada Yatra from Jaffna to Kataragama in 1988.
We also re-instated in the annual perahera the ritual ambush by the Veddas, of which I first heard of from Swami. This had gone into abeyance ever since Boranda the Vedda had died some forty years ago. I went in search of Boranda’s descendents and found a son who could remember accompanying his father to Kataragama when he was just ten years old. He could remember what was done. I was successful in obtaining the support of the Basnayake Nilame at the time the late Jayewardene Attanayake who agreed to permit Bandya to carry out his rajakariya duties once more.
Our own lifestyle and work still keeps the lineage active. As he had stated in his letter to me in 1975 his ‘mission’ in Lanka had been completed and he could depart!
In 1984 Swami Gauribala passed away under even more magical circumstances and Rose Collingwood, an American girl whom I had taken to Swami in 1971, had returned to light the pyre and destroy the evidence that there ever was a Gauribala. That year I walked the same route again from Pottuvil to keep memories alive but it was discontinued the next year. Swami had never asked me to walk from Jaffna, suggesting that I do the Pada Yatra in parts and in not too difficult a sequence for me. He always treated me with great affection and respect, although he teased me constantly in order to destroy my self-image.

1988 Pada Yatra
In 1988 it was decided by a few of us to set up the Kataragama Devotees Trust and to re-start the Yatra that had not been performed from Jaffna for over four years. The IPKF was in Sri Lanka, the JVP active in the south, the LTTE in the north and east and our armed forces confined to barracks. We approached the Jayewardene Government with our proposal to reinstate this ancient tradition.
President Jayewardene endorsed our proposal by ordering the National Security Council to give us all the assistance we needed. Although Indian High Commissioner Dixit and General Kalkat were worried that mischief-makers would attack us, we were adamant that the pilgrimage would take place. We needed nobody’s permission to carry out our ancestral rites and customs. The IPKF gave us every assistance and so did the Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air Force and Police.
The World Association of Christian Communications (WACC) was a European NGO doing good with Christian tithes. Neville Jayaweera was one of their flag bearers. He came to Sri Lanka with a colleague called Dr. A. D. Manuel and together with the Marga Institute they decided to set up COMPAR, an acronym for ‘Communications for Peace and Reconciliation’. They wanted to wage peace, and they got together a team of communicators.
Mudiyanse Tennekoon and I representing the Kataragama Devotees Trust found ourselves sitting in the Marga boardroom listening to retired bureaucrats trying to be relevant. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Here was the origin of the urban ‘peace lobby’ trying to teach natives about conflict resolution padded with cash. We too needed some cash to launch a media campaign to remove the fear psychosis that had stopped pilgrims from walking from Jaffna to the sylvan shrine in the south.
WACC would only finance newspaper advertisements and a media blitzkrieg. This was okay since the Pada Yatra pilgrims moved through faith and needed no inducement to go on pilgrimage to the festival of their beloved Murugan. We needed to only to announce the pilgrimage and the rest would follow. There were no leaders and no fixed agenda like praying, meditating, silence, etc., which urbanites find important. To these pilgrims who had received a call from their God, life itself was amaiti or peace. To them all conflict was irrelevant and the only battle one of svaraj – the inner battle of self-control.

The only way to travel is the Government way and no small wonder that people seek political power. Thanks to the JRJ Government we went to Nagadipa/Naintativu in two hours from Colombo. A plane to Jaffna, a chopper to Gurunagar and a speedboat to Nagadipa, The Navy met Dominic Sansoni and me at Nagadipa and politely asked us our requirements. We asked for two bicycles and rode off on them having patiently dismissed warnings of the LTTE being behind every bush. I told these most concerned Navy officers that I had a secret weapon – an anti-terrorist device. Within ten minutes we were stopped by the ‘podiyans’, who claimed that we were riding their stolen bicycles. There was only one response that was possible and that was laughter, and this the boys least expected.
Very soon I had my secret weapon out and we were being treated with great respect bordering on veneration. My secret weapon was a photo album with three photographs. One was of Murugan the god of Kataragama beloved to all, the other a picture of German Swami whom everyone in Jaffna recognised and the last picture was of me together with the South Indian film star M.G. Ramachandran, who had inspired even LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran. My anti-terrorist kit was all the permission required for us to spend two memorable days in Nainativu thanks to local hospitality.
We then proceeded to Vattappalai or Mullaitivu. This time I had Mudiyanse Tennekoon and Sunil Situnayake with me. Once again the Air Force flew us in and the commanding officer of the camp drove us some distance before dropping us off as it was out of bounds for the military. We walked a few miles and reached Mulliyawelli. Here we witnessed another wonderful sign.
We knew nobody and we were standing self-consciously in the crowded temple courtyard when Sunil walked up to me with a stranger who wanted to know who I was. I asked him why, and he responded that he had seen and heard me laugh and that it reminded him of a friend he revered. I asked him who his friend was and he said German Swami Gauribala.
I laughed aloud once more and showed him my album, and told him that he had sent me. The man was overjoyed and his home became our home for our two-day sojourn. When we left all the women folk gathered in the compound to wish us farewell, especially to Mudiyanse Tennekoon, the Sinhala Goviya whom these Tamils had learned to love.

Kataragama-Skanda Trilogy
This was the beginning. The media campaign continued. When we got to Trincomalee there to greet me was Patrick Harrigan. Patrick had arrived the previous summer to help me write the script for the Kataragama-Skanda Trilogy that I had already documented on video for Frank Jayasinghe and the Worldview International Foundation. We needed the material that I had videotaped under the guidance of the Kataragama Guru Paramparawa, especially Matara Swami, to be understood and presented in a script format that could be narrated by Vijaya Kumaratunga and Swarna Mallawaratchchi in Sinhala and Richard De Zoysa and Michelle Lembruggan in English.
When Patrick returned in 1987 he was an UC-Berkeley doctoral student who had been spending time with German Swami between periods of study. Now he got to know me and my merry band. Like the ‘kuttis’ around German Swami learning of Yogaswami, the process continued with the next generation sharing the same stories. Only the storytellers had changed. This is how Patrick documented his experiences in the Sunday Observer in September 1987:

"So when Sri Lankan film director Manik Sandrasagra extended an invitation to spend the summer holidays in Sri Lanka helping in the completion of a three-part television series about the legends of Kataragama, I gladly took the bait. Little did we know what would arise from this little work of ours. Our 'Work’ in the sense that many have been contributing for a long, long time. We were all devotees of God, in one form or another.

All just do what comes naturally.
Not only Manik, but also others, like Farmer Mudiyanse Tennekoon, have allowed me to accompany them to places like Munneswaram and Kataragama. Through them, I was introduced to many facets of traditional lore, and came to meet other like-minded people, all luminaries in their own light, all models of humanity.

German Swami and Selladurai Swami

Patrick Harrigan and German Swami, ca. 1981
Alter Ego
I spent long days and evenings in the company of characters like Selladurai, Kumaravelu, Sam Wickramesinghe and Bhikkhu Nyanakhetto. Often we would just sit cross-legged by the light of a campfire or oil lamp, exchanging stories and jokes, of which not infrequently I was the butt.
Just to understand all the stories, puns and remarks, one would have to know at least three languages. And yet, however simple they might be, everybody drank their fill at these beggar’s banquets – wit and common sense, not sophistication, are what distinguishes this community of seers and jokers. They are called Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians or frauds by others, but they all speak a common language and discuss the same issues.
As diverse and motley as their appearance might be, they all share in a common deep-seated faith in the ultimate harmony of all things. For them, there is justice inherent in everything that happens, and real conflict is nowhere to be found. They recognize that we are all Muslim, surrendered from the very beginning to the will of the One Being. On this sublime plane, all conflicts are resolved.”
Patrick Harrigan and I are alter egos. German Swami had crafted it so. His was the pen and mine was the voice. Together we would keep the torch lit even after the others had gone. We were hooked from 1971 and Swami knew it. His letter to me confirms this. At Trincomalee all our friends met the pilgrimage that I had brought down from Jaffna. Now my job was done. Patrick would take over the rest of the pilgrimage and become my partner in this journey. Later in 1989 he would become the first and only doctoral student to be summarily booted out of Berkeley’s prestigious South Asian Studies Department, as his views based on the oral tradition were unacceptable to its bookish faculty. He left the U.S and would spend the rest of his time ever since here and in South India.
In 1988 Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Clancy Fernando, British High Commissioner David Gladstone and his wife April met us at Swami Rock and attended our pujas. I got to Swami Rock in three Moris Minor taxis packed with pilgrims in order that we meet the awaiting officials. At that time there were only 15 pilgrims in our group. The police stopped us on our way to Swami Rock and asked us to clear the road as thousands of pilgrims were due any moment. We told the police that we were the pilgrims! When we got to Kataragama the pilgrimage had grown to 60 pilgrims.
Ignorant sections of a straight-laced media displaying an urban mindset based on a false morality and paranoia that did not understand the ways of the mischievous Kataragama God chastised me for flying around in helicopters. For instance, a COMPAR review of the Pada Yatra sent to WACC at the time stated the following:
“The overwhelming question is, did the Pada Yatra lose its pristine spirit on account of the rather sophisticated trappings like paid commercial advertisements and helicopter travel by the organizers?”

However the pilgrims felt it was the God’s magic that provided helicopters and planes to facilitate the Yatra. Urban sentiments are alien to true devotees, and as a result of the 1988 revival, in 2002 some 10,000 pilgrims walked to Kataragama, with no help or inducement from politicians and with hardly any noise in the media. In 2002 Patrick Harrigan walked with over 300 swamis and swami ammas in the Pada Yatra with the ‘vel’ or lance symbol of the deity carried by Vallimalai Balananda Swami of Tamil Nadu.
In 2002 due to the non-conflict situation brought about by the on-going peace process we expected more pilgrims than ever before to walk this route, and that was reason for us to appeal to lawyer turned Foreign Minister Mr. Tyronne Fernando, who already knew of our work. He had addressed us in 1992 when he delivered the Sixth Ananda Coomaraswamy Oration. He had visited Ulpotha Sanctuary that I had founded, designed and built with the assistance of Mudiyanse Tennekoon for a private sector investor. He had met David Bellamy with whom we made the series Routes of Wisdom. Now Tyronne saw the opportunity for Sri Lanka to benefit from the Pada Yatra and its wisdom culture, and agreed that the Foreign Ministry should facilitate the 2002 Pada Yatra.
Patrick Harrigan returned from South India where he was adding all the other Murugan shrines to our rapidly growing portfolio of Living Heritage websites. We are now working out of the Galadari Hotel thanks to the truly Sri Lankan hospitality of the General Manager Chandra Mohotti, with phone lines thanks to Lanka Bell. We need little more.
We have never needed to persuade people and offer them inducements to join the Yatra. We just show others this sacred tradition and instill upon would-be pilgrims the ethics of the walk. It is not a picnic, but a spiritual exercise. Sri Lanka desperately needs re-education as it enters a new phase of peace. Every religion has failed. The preachers have failed. We have replaced spirituality with materialism, and have more faith in paper than in practice.
Jaffna and village Lanka have always been another world. Sri Lanka has several different worlds. This is part of our cultural diversity and needs protection as much as our bio-diversity. Preserving the difference should be the new war cry and wisdom the victory, for God forbid that peace brings in its wake uniformity and monotony, because then surely all the blood spilt on both sides will have been all in vain

Sunday, April 19, 2009

உயிருக்குத் தியானப் பயிற்சி‏......!!!

உயிருக்குத் தியானப் பயிற்சி‏
Fra: Maravanpulavu K. Sachithananthan (
Sendt: 19. april 2009 00:31:18
Til: Sasirekha (

உடலுக்கு உடற்பயிற்சி –உயிருக்குத் தியானப் பயிற்சி

தியானம் : தி = பேரறிவு
யானம் = பயணம்.

தியானம் என்றால் பேரறிவை நோக்கிய பயணம்.

இறைவனாகிய பேரறிவு, பெரும்சக்தி நம் இதயத்தில் வாழ்கிறது. அந்தப் பேரறிவை, பேராற்றலை, தியானப் பயிற்சியால் வெளிக் கொணர்ந்து, பெருக்கி பெரும் வல்லமை பெற்று, பேரானந்தம் (Eternal Bliss) பெற வேண்டும்.

தியானம் என்பது ஒரு

· ஒரு முகப் பயணம் (CONCENTRATION)

· உள் முகப் பயணம் (KNOW THYSELF)

· விழிப்புணர்வுப் பயணம் (AWARENESS)

தியானம் : பலன்கள்

புத்தி கூர்மை கூடுகிறது (INTELLIGENCE ++)
முடிவு எடுக்கும் திறமை வளர்கிறது (DECISION MAKING ++)
மனம் நிம்மதி பெறுகிறது (PEACE OF MIND ++)
மனம் நிறைவு பெறுகிறது (SENSE OF SATISFACTION)
இரத்தக் கொதிப்பு குறைகிறது (REDUCES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE)
நோய் எதிர்ப்புச் சக்தி கூடுகிறது (IMMUNITY ++)
புதுச் சிந்தனை, புதிய ஆற்றல், புதிய கலைத்திறன் வளர்கிறது (DISCOVERY AND INVENTION ++)
அகப்பொலிவு (தேஜஸ்) பெருகுகிறது (ENLIGHTENMENT OF BODY)
மன நோய்கள் அகல்கிறது (CURES PSYCHOSTS)
இறைநிலை கைகூடுகிறது (ACHIEVE DIVINE STATUS)
அறிவியல் தியானம் செய்முறை.

உடல் தூய்மைஉடல், கை, கால், முகம் அலம்பி தியானத்தை துவங்க வேண்டும்
உணவுவயிறு காலியாக இருக்க வேண்டும்
உகந்த நேரம்சந்தியா வேளை – காலை, மாலை
உகந்த இடம்காற்றோட்டமான அமைதியான சூழல்
ஆசனம்சுகாசனம் அல்லது பத்மாசனம், அர்த்த பத்மாசனம், சித்தாசனம் அல்லது வஜ்ராசனம்
முத்திரைசேஷ்டா முத்திரை அல்லது சின் முத்திரை
யோகம்சகஜ யோகம் – தசைகளை தளர்த்தி நாம் விரும்பியபடி அமர்தல் (RELAXED POSTURE)
உடல் நிலைதலை, கழுத்து, முதுகு மூன்றும் ஒரே நேர் கோட்டில் இருக்க வேண்டும். முதுகு நிமிர்ந்து உட்கார வேண்டும்.
திசைதெற்கு திசை நோக்கி அமர வேண்டும்
வாய்அங் என்று சொல்லி நாக்கால் அன்னத்தைத் தொட்டு உதடுகளை லேசாக மூடுங்கள்
கண்கள்கண்களை புருவ மத்தியை நோக்கி இயல்பாகக் குவியுங்கள்

(புருவ மத்தியில் ஆன்மா உள்ளது. தியானத்தின் பக்குவ நிலையில் ஆன்ம ஒளி ஜோதியாகத் தெரியும்.)

மனநிலைஎல்லா உயிர்களும் இன்புற்று வாழ்க என வாழ்த்துங்கள்
எண்ணக் குவிப்புஞான தீபம் நம் புருவ மத்தியில் இருப்பதாக பாவித்து வேறு நினைப்பின்றி மனதால் அதைத் துதியுங்கள்
எண்ணங்கள் பின் செல்ல வேண்டாம்நம் எண்ணங்கள் அங்கும் இங்கும் ஓடும். கவலை வேண்டாம். கஷ்டப்பட்டு எண்ணங்களை கட்டுப்படுத்த வேண்டாம். மனம் அலைந்தால் நீண்ட ஒரு பெருமூச்சு விட்டு, பிறகு தியானத்தை தொடருங்கள். எண்ணங்கள் தானே திரும்பி வரும்.
மூச்சுமூச்சு இயல்பாக விடுங்கள்
தியான காலம்ஆரம்பத்தில் தியான நேரத்தை 5 நிமிடங்கள், பின் 10 நிமிடங்கள், பின் 15,பின் 30 நிமிடங்கள் எனப் படிப்படியாகக் கூட்டுங்கள். ஒருமாத காலம் இத்தியானத்தை தொடர்ந்து செய்தால் ஒரு இனம் தெரியாத மன மகிழ்ச்சி, மனநிறைவு, மன நிம்மதி, அபரிமிதமான மன ஆற்றல் எல்லாவற்றையும் விட ஒரு புது மனிதராக நாம் மாறியிருப்பதை உணர்வீர்கள். வாழ்க்கையில் தியானம் ஒரு மறு பிறப்பு. வாழ்க்கையில் நமது ஒவ்வொரு செயலும், தியானத்தின் பின் அர்த்தம் உள்ளதாக, ஆனந்தம் தருவதாகத் தெரியும்.

“கண்களிக்கப் புகை சிறிதும் காட்டாதே புருவக்
கலை நடுவே விளங்குகின்ற கற்பூர விளக்கே”
( வள்ளலார் )


ஆசனங்கள் அனைத்திற்கும் மூலாதாரம் பிராணயாமம்

பிராணாயமம் = பிராணன் + அயாமம் (உயிர்க்காற்று + கட்டுப்படுத்துதல்)

மூச்சுக்காற்றை இயல்பாகக் கட்டுப்படுத்தி நிதானமாக கால அளவோடு சுவாசிக்கும் பயிற்சியே பிராணயாமமாகும்.

குறைவாகவும், மெதுவாகவும் மூச்சுவிடும் ஜீவன்களுக்கு ஆயுட்காலம் அதிகம்.

முயல் 1 நிமிடத்திற்கு 38 தடவை மூச்சு விடுகிறது. அதன் ஆயுட்காலம் 8 ஆண்டுகள்தான். ஆமை 1 நிமிடத்திற்கு 5 தடவை மூச்சு விடுகிறது. அதன் ஆயுட்காலம் 155 ஆண்டுகள்.

மனிதன் 1 நிமிடத்திற்கு 18 தடவை சுவாசிக்கின்றான். இதையே 9 முறை சுவாசித்தால் அவன் ஆயுட்காலம் இரட்டிப்பாகும். கோபம், தாபம், மன அழுத்தம் அதிக உணர்ச்சிகள் உடைய மனிதன் மிகவும் வேகமாக சுவாசிக்கின்றான். இதனால் அவன் நோய்வாய்ப்படுகிறான். மூச்சுப் பயிற்சியால் நோய் நொடி அகலும். ஆயுள் நீட்டிக்கும். பொதுவாக நாம் உள்ளிழுக்கும் காற்று, மூன்றில் ஒரு பங்கு நுரையீரலைத் தான் நிரப்புகிறது. மூச்சுப் பயிற்சியால் நுரையீரல் முழுதும் நிரம்பினால், பிராணவாயு அதிகம் கிடைத்து மூளை புத்துணர்ச்சி பெறும். ஞாபக சக்தி மிகும். படிப்பாற்றல், புத்திசாலித்தனம் கூடும். எதிர்ப்புச் சக்தி அதிகரிக்கும். நுரையீரல் வியாதிகளைத் தடுக்கலாம்.

மூச்சை உள்ளிழுத்தல்பூரகம்4 செகண்டுகள்
மூச்சை தக்கவைத்தல்கும்பகம்16 செகண்டுகள்
மூச்சை வெளியே விடல்ரேசகம்8 செகண்டுகள்

இந்த மூன்று பயிற்சியினுடைய விகிதம் 1 : 4 : 2 இருத்தல் சாலச் சிறந்தது.

இடது மூக்குத்துவாரத்தின் வழியே மூச்சை உள்ளிழுத்து வெளிவிடுவது இடகலை.

வலது மூக்குத்துவாரத்தின் வழியே மூச்சை உள்ளிழுத்து வெளிவிடுவது பிங்கலை.

இடது மூக்குத் துவாரத்தின் வழி மூச்சை உள்ளிழுத்து, வலது மூக்குத் துவாரத்தின் வழி வெளிவிடுவது சுழுமுனை.

இடகலை = குளிர்ச்சி ; பிங்கலை = சூடானது. சுழுமுனை பிராணவாயுவை அதிகம் நுரையீரலில் தக்க வைக்கும். காரணம் இடது நாசியிலிருந்து சுவாசப் பையின் தூரம் 16 அங்குலம். வலது நாசியிலிருந்து சுவாசப்பையின் தூரம் 12 அங்குலம். இடது நாசியால் இழுத்து வலது நாசியால் வெளிவிடும் பொழுது 4 அங்குலம் மூச்சு (பிராணவாயு அதிகம் உள்ள மூச்சு) நுரையீரலில் உள் தங்குகிறது. இது இரத்தத்தை சுத்தி செய்யும். பிராண சக்தியை அதிகரிக்கும்.

பிராணாயாமம் அட்டாங்க யோகத்தின் நான்காம் யோகமாகும்.

(1) பஸ்திரிகா பிராணயாமம் ; செய்முறை.

தியானம் போல் இடம், ஆசனம், மற்றைய நியதிகள் இருக்கட்டும்.
பிராணயாமம் செய்யும் பொழுது மூச்சோடு மனம் ஒன்ற வேண்டும்.
மூச்சை வெளிவிடும் பொழுது வயிறு மட்டும் சுருங்க வேண்டும்.
மூடிய கண்கள் மூக்கின் நுனியைப் பார்த்தபடி இருக்கட்டும்.
மூச்சை இயல்பாக விட வேண்டும்.
வலது கைப் பெருவிரலால் வலது நாசியை அடைத்து இடது நாசியால் மூச்சை முடிந்தவரை உள்ளுக்கிழுத்து நிறுத்தாமல் வலது கை மோதிர விரலால் இடது நாசியை அடைத்து வலது நாசியின் வழியாக மூச்சை வெளிவிடவும். பின் வலது நாசி வழியாக மூச்சை உள்ளுக்கிழுத்து நிறுத்தாமல், வலது நாசியை அடைத்துக் கொண்டு மூச்சை இடது நாசி வழியாக வெளிவிடவும். இப் பயிற்சியை 5-10 தடவைகள் செய்தால் போதுமானது.

(2) கபாலபதி பிராணயாமம் ; செய்முறை.

இரண்டு மூக்குத்துவாரங்களிலும் மூச்சை வேகமாக உள்ளுக்கிழுத்து நிறுத்தாமல் உடனே அதிவேகமாக வெளிவிடவும். இப் பயிற்சியை 5-10 தடவைகள் செய்யவும்.

(3) உஜ்ஜயி பிராணயாமம்.

இரண்டு மூக்குத் துவாரங்களிலும் ஒரே நேரத்தில் மூச்சை முடிந்தவரை உள்ளுக்கிழுத்து (4 செகண்டுகள்) பின் அப்படியே மூச்சை உள் நிறுத்தி (16 செகண்டுகள்) பின் நிதானமாக மெதுவாக வெளிவிடுதல் வேண்டும் (8 செகண்டுகள்).

ஆசிபா (ABS) பயிற்சி

ஆசனவாய், சிறுநீர்ப்பை, பாலியல் உறுப்புகள் அனைத்தும் ஒரே நரம்பினால் எஸ் – 2 (S 2 Segment) இயக்கப்படுகிறது. ஆசனவாயை சுருக்கி, விரிவடையச் செய்யும் பயிற்சியால் அந்த நரம்பு வலுவடைகிறது. பயிற்சியால் பெண்கள் பாலியல் உறுப்புகள் கட்டுப்பாடும், கர்ப்பப்பை வெளித்தள்ளுதல் (Uterine Prolapse) தடுப்பும் பெறுகிறார்கள். சிறுநீரை அடக்குதல் சுலபமாக சாத்தியமாகிறது. ஆண்களுக்கு நீர்த்தாரை கட்டியால் (Prostate) ஏற்படும் முதுமைக்கால நீர்க்கசிவு, கட்டுப்பாடின்மை குறைகிறது. விந்துக் கசிவும் கட்டுப்படுத்தப்படுகிறது.

ஆசிபா செய்முறை :

கால்களை கொஞ்சம் அகல விரித்து, நின்று கொண்டோ அல்லது உட்கார்ந்து கொண்டோ ஆசனவாயை மெதுவாகச் சுருக்கி, பின் விரித்து 10 தடவை பயிற்சி செய்யவும். இப் பயிற்சி செய்யும் பொழுது, மனம் பயிற்சியில் கவனம் செலுத்த வேண்டும். பயிற்சி கஷ்டப்படாமல் இயல்பாக செய்யப்பட வேண்டும். பயிற்சி முடிவில் உஜ்ஜயி பிராணயாமம் செய்யவும். கைகளைக் கும்பிடுவது போல் மேல் தூக்கி மூச்சை இரண்டு நாசிகளாலும் நாலு செகண்டுகள் உள்ளிழுத்து பதினாறு செகண்டுகள் நிறுத்தி பின் எட்டு செகண்டுகள் மெதுவாக வெளிவிடவும்.

ஆசிபா பயிற்சியை ஐந்து முறையும் மாலையில் ஐந்து முறையும் செய்யவும்.
ஆ : ஆசனவாய். சி : சிறு நீர்ப்பை: ப : பாலியல் உறுப்புகள்

A : Anus, B : Bladder, S : Sexual organs.

எல்லாப் பயிற்சிகளுக்கும் பொது நியதிகள்:

1. பயிற்சிக்காலம் முழுதும் வயிறு காலியாக இருக்க வேண்டும்.

2. காற்றோட்டமான இடத்தில் பயிற்சி செய்தல் நலம்.

3. பயிற்சியில் மனம் லயிக்க வேண்டும். (ஒருமை உணர்வு)

4. முக மலர்ச்சியுடன் பற்றுவைத்து பயிற்சியில் ஈடுபட வேண்டும்.

5. மூச்சை இயல்பாக விட வேண்டும்.

6. இரண்டு பயிற்சிகளுக்கு நடுவில் குறைந்தது 5 நிமிட இடைவெளி தர வேண்டும்.

7. பயிற்சி தொடங்குமுன் தசைகளை தளர்த்தி இயல்பாக மூச்சுவிட வேண்டும்.

8. மூச்சுப் பயிற்சியின்போது இருதய, நுரையீரல் நோயாளிகள் அதிக நேரம் மூச்சை இழுத்து, உள்நிறுத்தி ‘தம்’ கட்டுவது தவறு. ஆபத்தாகும்.

9. பயிற்சி முடிந்ததும் உடனே எழுந்து வேறு வேலை செய்வது நல்லதல்ல. குறைந்தது பத்து நிமிடம் ஓய்வு தேவை. விரும்பினால் சாந்தி யோகம் செய்யலாம்.

10.பயிற்சிகள் முடிந்த பிறகு நடைப்பயிற்சி மேற்கொள்ளலாம்.

11.இளைஞர்கள் விளையாடுவதற்கு முன் இப் பயிற்சிகளை ஒரு ஆரம்ப
தயார் நிலை (Warm up) பயிற்சியாக செய்வது சிறந்த பலனைத் தரும்.

எல்லா உயிர்களும் இன்புற்று வாழ்க

மறவன்புலவு க. சச்சிதானந்தன்
Maravanpulavu K. Sachithananthan

Monday, April 6, 2009



Sinhala Hindu New Year:

Observing a wealth of tradition
Chelvatamby Maniccavasagar

The Sinhala and Tamil New Year emphasises the underlying oneness of our society. It reflects the homogeneity of thought and tradition that binds those born is our soil. A common mood of festivity of goodwill and generosity, the nearness of their astrological timings, the parallels in ritualistic observances, all confirm deeply rooted historical association.

A common mood of festivity

These bonds show themselves large enough to establish a common allegiance, a common identity with the land of their birth.

Traditional New Year
In fact, goodwill, happiness and a sense of expectancy fills the air and the hearts of the Hindus and Buddhists as they await the dawn of the traditional New Year. It is observed with great reverence, devotion, a sense of duty and loving kindness towards all stimulating society, enlivening the nation and fostering national consciousness.

The New Year which is universally observed generally includes rites and ceremonies that are the expression of mortification, purgation, invigoration and jubilation over life’s renewal. Furthermore, renewals mark the course of life in nature and the human existence.

The survival of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year through long periods of colonialism and westernization testifies to the strength of natural characters in this country. It establishes the depth and durability of an indigenous culture. It bears witness to the long traditions that grew out of Lanka’s own civilization.

From time immemorial the Hindus have considered the transition as an auspicious event, for the sun is the presiding Deity of the planetary system and the entry from Pisces to Aries is significant, marking the beginning of the year. The Hindu Almanac known as Panchaangam substantiated by astronomical calculations gives us the exact time of the dawn of the New Year.

In fact, the month of April also marks the birth of spring. Even in Sangam classics there are references to the joyous activities of the spring. The great epics “Silappadikiarom” gives a vivid description of Indira Vizha.

The Lord Indira referred to in “Silappadikarm” is associated with festival of this nature. Lord Indira is considered to be a God of protection and in view of these favourable factors, the Hindus have counted upon “Siththirai” (April) as the first month of the year. The New Year festival is associated with a wealth of tradition, rituals and customs which are enchanting and mystical in character.

These are woven into the fabric of astrology, for it is believed that the New Year dawns with the sun, “Surya Bhagavan” coming down to earth riding His Golden chariot drawn by seven horses each representing a day in the week. The sun is also referred to as “Kaalathevan”, the one who determines the various seasons. The observances on this day are made in conformity with this movement of the sun and thanksgiving is offered to the Sun God.

On the New Year day, each member of the family is anointed with “Maruththuneer” before the bath. This Maruthtu water is a decoction of a variety of medicinal herbs, flowers and saffron prepared by the temple priests and is available only in the temples.

Sharing and caring
The herbs and flowers that are used in this decoction are the Lotus pomegranate, Tulasi, Vilvam, Aruham grass, Saffron, Thitpili, Sukku and Pepper. This ritual bath signifies the outer purity making way to spiritual purity.

Indeed, New Year is a season for sharing and caring. Social unity and co-operation have been emphasised since the vedic age. In the homes, milk rice is cooked with jaggery and offered to the sun. The poor are treated with lavish meals. The workers, relatives and neighbours join in merry making.

The first handling of money is done at the auspicious time. This is called “Kaivishesham” and is always received from good hearted people. It is also considered to be a lucky transaction and one looks forward to an year of prosperity.

To the young, particulary the children, it is a day of games and fun. They enjoy themselves wearing new clothes and lighting of crackers. The youth enjoy participating in a game called “Porthenkai” (Crushing of coconuts). The young girls engage themselves in games like swinging and scraping coconut. In the evening dance and music recitals are organised in the principal villages and towns.

New year is a festival of freedom, pece, unity and compassion crystallised in the last hymn on unity in the Indian spiritual text the “Rig Veda”:- “Let your aim be one and single, let your heart be joined in one, the mind at rest in unison at peace with all, so you may be”


Yogaswami venerated spiritual perceptor
On April 5, this year devotees Yogaswami paid their humble homage to Yogaswami the venerated spiritual master by celebrating his 45th Guru Puja. Although he shuffled off his mortal coil 45 years ago his life and teaching continue to inspire. It is a great inspiration, to read what those who met him have expressed.


Here is an extract from C.P.M. Abeyasekara’s article about his meeting this great sage:

It was on February 24, 1962 that I first paid my visit to this mystic, who lived in Jaffna. I had no favour to ask, no test to make. I merely wished to bask in the sunshine of his holiness! Just prior to my going to see him, I had read an account of the visit made by Ananda Pereira, Crown Counsel, where the least of the Swami utterances had griped me. It was just, Time is short, subject is large.

With this revolving in my mind I reached the humble dwelling which harboured this radiant personality, who immersed in the Bliss of the Divine came down to the ordinary levels of life to uplift men and women of all religions.

On my name being mentioned he greeted me with the words Abayam, this means I will guard you and protect you from danger and peril. Immediately I felt that I have left the world of the superficial and come to the world of real and basic things.

Then he added; Time is short, subject is large, that was what I told Ananda Pereira. I gasped but it was for a moment. I felt close to him as I felt that my mind was just a part of the universal mind, where thoughts are transmitted from one to another.

The Swami continued I am you and you are me. You may be a Sinhalese and I a Tamil but as far as spiritual attainment is concerned all living things are equal. Before God all are equal. That is why Lord Buddha has taught the doctrine of Ahimsa. If you hurt another, you hurt your ownself.

He concluded by saying, You have definitely a bright future. Have faith in your self. No great work can be done without sacrifice.

Courtesy - Sivathondan Souvenir, 1965


Pankuni Uttara festival
S. DURAISAMY Maskeliya group correspondent

Sri Shanmuganathar Swamy Hindu Temple at Maskeliya after renovation

Annual Pankuni Uttara Ther Festival of Maskeliya Shri Shanmuganathar Swamy Hindu Temple will be held on April 8 at 9 a.m.

This Ther festival is to be conducted after a lapse of four years. The last Ther procession was held in 2004. After which the temple was renovated and the Ashta Pandana Maha Kumbabisegam of the temple was held on November 10, 2008 in a very grand scale. Following which, 48 days Madalabisegam poojas were performed at the temple. On January 14, the Thai Pongal Festival was conducted. Now, the annual Panguni Uttra Ther festival is to be held.

As far as the Maskeliya Sri Shanmuganathar Swamy Kovil is concerned, the Panguni Uttara Ther Festival has become a very significant one. It has become a powerful and colourful one too.

On April 8, this year morning pure water will be collected in pots from the river at Sripada bottom and will be brought to the Shri Shanmuganthar Swamy temple premises. There at the temple an Abishekem will be held with this water to all idols and structures of gods and goddesses.

Kavadi dances will be conducted from Glentilt estate boundary and they will arrive at the temple premises in a very long procession with other Hindu cultural items such as karakattam and pommalattam covering all roads and streets of the entire Maskeliya town. Inside the temple special Panguni Uttara poojas will be conducted, in the presence of many devotees. Then the fire walk will be held. After the poojas Annathanam will be served to all devotees. At 5 p.m. Natheswara Kachcheri will be conducted at the temple premises.

At about 8 p.m. the main special poojas for god Shanmuganathar Swamy, with Goddesses Sri Valli and Sri Theivanain, Sri Vinayagar and Sri Marieamman will be held and after the poojas all idols of the Gods and Goddesses will be kept on the three chariots (Thers) and taken in a long procession round the entire town and on the following day at about 1 am, will reach the temple premises.

The chief incumbent of Maskeliya Shri Shanmuganathar Swamy temple is venerable Sri S. Sivasangara Sarma.


Incarnations of God Vishnu:

Kalki Avatharam
Thilaka V. Wijeyaratnam

Incarnations or Avatharams mean lowering one’s status. Here Lord Vishnu descends on earth in many lowly forms to vanquish evil and save the good. As Lord Krishna said in Geetha, “If there is good, I will save.” So He had always saved and protected the good, though it took time. “The mills of God grind slowly but exceedingly small.” All minute details are taken into account at the final Judgement Day.


The last and the final incarnation that will bring about the nemesis of the evil will be Kalki. Lord Vishnu is supposed to appear on a white horse as Kalki to put an end to all evil in the world. All these incarnations were divined by the great Rishis. Had not Nostradamus himself divined the happenings on earth?

“In the sacred temple, scandals will be committed. They will be thought of as honours and praiseworthy by one whom they engrave on silver and gold medals. The end will be in very strange torments.” Nostradamus prophesied, so be it - so be it.

To come back to Lord Vishnu’s incarnations let us see what happened in the past eras. According to the docket of Hindu chronology the very first era, after the creation of the world was known as the Kruthe Yugam which lasted 172,800 years. So says the Almanac.

During this era there was an upholding of Dharma by every living being. It was towards the end of this era an atrocious deed was done by a Kshatriya (Royal Personage). There was a rishi by the name of Gamathakni. His spouse was Renuka and their son was Parasuramar. Over a dispute a king had cut off the head of the rishi. The outraged son vowed to avenge the father’s death by killing every Kshatriya he confronted.

Renuka his mother let loose her hair and wailed. Only in distress a woman would let loose her hair. The Krutha Yugam was annihilated after this by the curse of Renuka.

This yugam was followed by the Thretha Yugam when Ramayana took place. This era lasted for about 1,296,000 years according to the Hindu Almanac. Sita wife of Sri Rama was coveted by Ravana the Rakshasa King of Lanka. He carried her over to his kingdom and kept her in a secluded spot known as ‘Asoka Vanam’. She was guarded by the Raskshasa women.

But Sita remained true to Rama and Ravana could not persuade her to accept him. On the other hand Sita let loose her hair and vowed that the Ravana clan be completely wiped out by Sri Rama. Thus Thretha Yugam ended after the malediction of another virtuous woman.

The Dwapara Yugam of 864,000 years is next. This was when Mahabaratha took place. When the Gauravas insulted Drawpathy in the court in the presence of the Pandavas, she let loose her hair and vowed that she would put up her hair only after King Duriyodhana’s death. So the Dwapara Yugam ended.

The present Kaliyugam has a life line of 432,000 years. It is in this Yugam that Kannagi - later worshipped as Pathini Amman, on the erroneous judgement of the Pandiya King who had her husband executed, let loose her hair and burnt the city of Madurai. In every era we see the complete annihilation of the world itself by the anger, fury, rage and frenzy of one woman.

Woe betide the Hindu World for now in this era almost all Hindu women are with hair loose, whether married or widowed, whether in a temple or at weddings, whether in distress or not, a most inauspicious action - in Tamil it is referred to as ‘Thalaivirikolam’. So with the advent of Kalki and all these loose haired women, the Kaliyuga is awaiting its end.

Readers may wonder how Parasuramar of one era could meet Sri Rama of another era and challenge him.

There are two theories. One is Parasuramar would have lived a long life, long enough to come across Sri Rama in the Thretha Yugam. Besides Parasuramar was also an avatharam of Lord Vishnu. The other concocted theory is that mythology has scant regard for chronology.

Be that as it may, during Kalki Avatharam Lord Vishnu riding his white horse would completely exterminate evil and evil doers.

But as he said, if there is good in one, one will be saved. So as a devotee of the Gods Siva, Vishnu and Brahama, one should first think good and then say good and do good and be good. Then one can sail through any disaster be it deluge, fire or storm holding on to the divine feet of the Almighty.