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Showing posts from January, 2021

Totaka ashtakam

Background  Totaka ashtakam details the characteristics and attributes of Shankara.  We understand Shankara had the understanding of all the shastras, upanishads, learnt various philosophies, made people to self-realize and understand the concepts of Isvara and Jiva, created thoughts that become good deeds,  made them desire for neutral/equanimous perspectives, walked and travelled across like a ray of light, had none other in comparison to being in oneness. That's quite a breadth of information on Shankara.   Totaka ashtakam is said to be written by one Shankara's disciples (mookha kavi) who never spoke for a long time and the first words he spoke were the totaka-ashtakam.  The disciple declares that he knows very little and has little wealth and wants to surrender at the feet of Shankara to gain knowledge. It's so intriguing to note that this description of Shankara remains an apt description for mahA-periyava. Summary of Totaka-ashtakam You know the ocean of sastras, mea

Hanuman Pancharatnam

Background Hanuman pancha-ratnam is a set of five stanzas that talk of Hanuman's characteristics, teach bhakti of Hanuman and through that bhakti, teaches us to inspire ourselves and acquire jnAna. vRsa-kapi Hanuman is called vRsa-kapi, which means 'strong masculine monkey' or alpha-male (roughly). An alpha-male is a monkey that leads the group, stands alone and detached from the rest on top of the group, extremely powerful. Hanuman made himself powerful, stood tall, alone and detached from the rest of the monkey troops, provided that leadership to monkey troops. Hence Hanuman is called vRsa-kapi. Hanuman - The inheritor of vAyu Hanuman is son of Kesari and Anjana. But Hanuman inherits the property of vAyu. Hence hanuman is also called vAta-atmaja, vAyu-suta etc.. (inheritor of vAyu). The five properties of vAyu There are five properties of vAyu (air or gas or molecular cloud or ensemble of molecules). They are 1. There are no interactive forces (i.e., attraction or repulsi