Monday, August 30, 2004

The Belur Math and The Dakshineshwar Temple

The post that I had promised earlier, after those crazy posts in the mean time.

During my recent visit to Kolkata, I had been to the Belur Math - the place where The Ramakrishna Mission was established by Swami Vivekananda when he placed the ashes of his master Sri Ramakrishna, and laid the foundation for a temple for it. The temple has a beautiful and pleasant dark sandstone colour. The interiors when I went in was filled with devotees and the evening bhajans/kirtans were being sung.
As soon as I entered it, I was in some other world. The temple is like any other Ramakrishna Math with an idol made of marble of Sri Ramakrishna seated in Samadhi, and Sarada Devi's photo in the left side inside a little room. The kirtans were so soul stirring that I just sat there in rapture for a while as this melodious song was being sung by a large group of monks; as if the whole of the temple was vibrating in consonance with positive energy, my hairs stood at an end, and then after a while I knew I had to leave.
I found my parents and cousins and family, and others outside. Apart from the main temple there are temples of Sarada Devi, Swami Vivekananda (here his ashes are preserved) and also Swami Brahmananda. I also bought a few books from the Book Centre.
Before going to main temple as soon as you enter after a few minutes of walk, on the left hand side is a RKM Museum � a big one. At its entrance you see the buggy in the olden days people traveled on these pulled by horses I guess(I am not sure). Inside there are two floors full of artifacts, personal belongings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda and the brother monks. Items on display include models of the houses or the places that the Swami and his master visited, books, clothes etc etc. Its a great journey into the lives of those spiritual giants. Its to be seen to be experienced.

Then later on we also went to the Dakshineshwar temple after a short meal in the adjoining local eatery. It had rained heavily and by the time we reached darkness had fallen. The huge courtyard was all wet with rains. This temple was made in the mid 1800 my Rani Rashmoni � the windowed landlady of great riches and equally great devotion. The right hand side as you enter the courtyard has twelve identical Shiva temples . Then first on the left is the RadhaKanta, Radha Krisha temple followe d by the Kali(Bhavatarini) temple. The temples are grand in their own right and late evening prayers (Arati) were going on when we went to the main Kali temple. Opposite the main Kali deity is the Natya Mandir where cultural events used to be held (I am not sure if they are held even today). The temple actually has a outlook of harmony towards all forms of Hindu worship - Vaishnav, Shaiva and Shakti; hence the different temples in the same premises.
Later we asked about and located the room in which Sri Ramakrishna stayed. The bed is preserved and covered with glass. In front of the bed, devotees sat and a group of singers were singing devotional songs/kirtans; here too the atmosphere was serene and I felt great joy and peace of mind. Right opposite down the road is the Nahabat � where the holy mother Sarada Devi used to stay, cook and meditate.
After visiting all of the above we headed homeward, with a sense of accomplishment; a grand experience it was for me having somewhat linked up to our rich spiritual heritage.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Dissection (v.): cut apart so as to show the internal structure.

The little boy slept on - unaware of what was happening outside [He was dreaming - some suspect he was retarded]
[Sound moral ground, hypochondriac, mental placebo, confusion abound]
His father thought he would never know he slapped his wife and held a axe to finish her off and threw her so she vanished in the cold of the night [ Allegory Act 1] The tender yet submissive mother and the fiery form yet to form.
[Moronic stand of the Nth status for monolithic solitude - Himalayas flash again and again]
He wanted to get rich nothing else - come what may
[Disruptive thoughts for disruptive ideas to get famous]
As I write this I can still hear those ghastly shouts emanating from that house in the darkness. Blood curdling shrieks as they were that would awake the cruelest demons and devils from their deepest slumber
[Highly volatile dump of the mind]
[World power domination Iraqi interim administration]
The TV blared on as if to mitigate the effect of beating the wife black and blue and bleeding all over.
[Najaf and Fallujah bloodied red]
Reality show was it of the modern age - loop within a loop Nesting of thoughts as if stupid programming constructs were not enough
[Kill the boredom get real - what is real ?]
Renunciation is real that which is real is true
[Britney is the go of this day - ask who Nivedita was and watch them stare]
Sleaze and Kaliyug age of mind boggling darkness
Pitch dark as the mouth of Goddess Kali as she gulps up everything with relish; cant get out of her clutches the Zombies of this material world Bright streaks of fire emanate from her fiery eyes and vaporise all, the Evil Dance starts
[Violence, Promiscuous relations, libidinal excesses, no control what so ever]
I have a job, so say so much but cant we get better. Human relations are the real thing that which I cannot get I cannot socialize and go to the parties not the parties of disco and booze. Am I a caged bird in this cage of the Unreal World (Tournament?)
[Money finance business cash cash cash - fight to stay alive in this tournament the competition and contest]
Consumer culture, buy this buy that, old lady cries hoarse like my granny cursing one and all, extolling the good ol days.
I wanted a Laptop - My friends were true friends and suggested the right path.
Don't waste money just because you have it . . .
[New Delhi, York ... NYPD India Police]
Get PHOREN Independence Day style
-> Olympics India 100 Billion + 1 medal [Feel Good Indeed] Hoisting a flag is a propaganda right as in British days just to keep 'secularism' intact; Gujarat - How about Punjab and Godhra (All blatant and corrupt on both sides - whom to blame ?)
IT - Tech - I want my mobile and palmtop even my company makes one Simputer they call it.
Salman God Rushdie's Model - Laksmi : Puja Festival today as I see them frolic somewhere in India on vacation ?
::: Tantra -> Hero, Child, Companion relations with god - As I read the Master's Gospel and my mind runs riot and I want to drown in Bliss (Samadhi its called)
Naked I came naked I shall go - and come back if I do not get to merge with the whole.
Mind I should kill the bloody demons of greed, lust and anger; jealousy and selfishness as they create havoc within
I write to get that right - I have nothing else to do - Is my time up; a total realization of how useless and vain this life is ...
Some deficiency I thought but the whole thing is a game a leela of the absolute mix and match get out of this whole game of life
What do I not have in life and yet I want to give it up
I realize the worthless nature of life and yet want to cling to it
Shame, fear and attachment lead the man down if the thresholds are crossed
Chaotic as the thought processes get further out of control I am writing - a great author that I think I am; what foolish vanity
Ideas galore but laziness gets you nowhere Stand up and fight do not show your back and flee
As the vomiting starts the smell in the mouth rises unbearable; The churning starts and the end will be reached half an eon past. A singularity which will be the meeting point of physics and metaphysics : Science follows Spirituality
Research for the knowledge the truth not the money - that has been envisaged and experience ages ago in my land of the sages and

Was I hallucinating ... ?

Those thoughts, those thoughts are coming again. I need to hurry, run, flee; they are coming again, they will get me, they will dissect my mind my, inner most innards and throw them on the blog of my life. Do you see the blood stains ?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Thinking of switch from Desktop to Laptop

Planning to sell off my PC - It was a HP Pavilion which cost me a whopping amount of about 65K (INR) when I bought it back then in Jan 2000.

With an
  1. Intel Pentium III 450 MHz processor with MMX technology
  2. 100 MHz FSB
  3. Chipset Intel 440BX/100,
  4. 192 MB RAM,
  5. 40 GB Seagate HDD,
  6. along with an nVidia Riva TNT graphics card with 8MB VRAM.
Further details here :
HP Pavilion PC Model 8505 (AP) - Product Specifications

One of my colleagues suggested putting an ad on FreeAds, I am planning how much to specify as the selling price (Negotiable though). Any idea guys. Would 15-20K be appropriate. Or sell the parts separately ?

I am thinking of a laptop next - any idaes what would be a good deal ?
I recently saw a IBM ThinkPad model for about something like 55K (INR) - Intel Celeron Mobile 2.2 GHz, 256MB DDR SDRAM, Combo drive etc etc ...

Or should I go for an AMD processor based system ? Guys suggest something.
I would not like to spend too much - some brands are available for 35K - this time I dont want to shell out more without any purpose (for their shipping charges/brands) !
How about other brands (including Indian ones) - HCL, Toshiba, Acer, Zenith etc etc ?

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


This is just great - Books and data and loads of information for free - that you can modify, add to and edit. Heard of Wiki ? (A wiki (pronounced "wicky", "weeky" or "wi-key") is a website (or other hypertext document collection) that gives users the ability to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allows that content to be edited by other users.)

Here are some amazing things :

Wikipedia - An open-content encyclopedia
Wikibooks - Free textbooks and manuals
Wikisource - Free source documents

Here are some samples :
Data Encryption Standard - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fractal - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Theology - From WikiBooks
(The portion on Hindu Theology/Philosophy was added by Shamit Bagchi - neat right ?)

It says at the Wikibooks submission site :
Please note that all contributions to Wikibooks are considered to be released under the GNU Free Documentation License (see Wikibooks:Copyrights for details). If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here.
You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource. DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Back from Kolkata

Was home by 11 am today, it was a refreshing three weeks ...
Had a good time with cousins - visiting them and they coming over - I have plenty of cousins. One of them got married recently. It was a grand family reunion of sorts and getogethers, food and music flowed unhindered; Bengali culture - I am amazed to find everyone grows up to become talented singers and players of musical instruments - it runs in their veins I guess.

Also visited quite a few places of interest this time:

The Victoria Memorial - Storehouse of British paraphernalia and details of old Calcutta its history and growth and the luminaries it produced. The paintings on display are amazing depicting the vivid perspectives of the British on various places, events and aspects of India. Its strange that after so many years I have managed to visit this Calcutta landmark with parents and cousins. The monument is imposing in white marble and the intricate frescoes on the walls and color tinted windows along the domes. One huge portion of the monument is fully air conditioned, a respite from the humid heat outside though rains had brought down the temperature somewhat.

Apart from that the Birla Lakshmi-Narayana Temple was a magnificent piece of architecture with its elegant all white marble structure and the marble deities of gods and goddesses inside. The architecture reminded me of the Konark Temple in Orissa. Its just eight years old. We got drenched as it started pouring when we were about enter the temple.

Also visited the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum - a mammoth museum with antiques on all aspects of industrial progress made by mankind ranging from communication, transportation to biotechnology, robotics and AI. Had to glance over some of the things. The museum demands a whole day � we saw only about 50 percent of the whole stuff on display.
The other places I visited include Kalighat � The Kali temple; the spot is supposed to be a holy pilgrimage spot where the idol of Kali is supposed to have emerged from the within the earth.

The other spots I will elaborately describe in my next post � these include
The Belur Math � here The Ramkrishna Math was established by Swami Vivekananda, where the remains of the Swami are buried and the Dakshineshwar Temple where Sri Ramakrishna worshiped the goddess Kali and attained enlightenment.

The temperature was not very pleasant with the excessive humidity (95+ percent) it makes you all the more uncomfortable. After 2 and half years it was altogether pleasant though maybe a bit uncomfortable with frequent power outages. However the last few days heavy downpours cooled the city somewhat.