Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton JANUARY 2023 krishnaarchana A 400- year old classical dance form KATHAKALI

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january 2023 krishnaarchana 3 Creative Team Publisher Madhav Kochunni Cover pic credit: Shaji Krishnan Board Liaison Gopinathan Menon Coordinator Shaji Krishnan Writers Anjana Rajendran Aravind Menon Babu, Sreekala, and Vidya Nair Br. Sudheer Chaitanya C K Usha Bhai Divakaran Kariannur Dr. Alakananda Nath Dr. Anil Menon Dr. Jyothirmayi Devi Dr. Sudhirdas Prayaga Dr. Sukumar ED Viswanathan Gopi Kottoor J K M Nair Rajish Ramankutty Nair Unni Oppath Vanamali Mataji Vinitha Radhamma Vrinda and Shilpa Bailur Editors Aravind Menon Divarakaran Kariannur Krishna Menon Lekha Madhavan Shalini Menon Shanti Menon Vinitha Radhamma • Kathakali • Is love just the body • Hindu Scriptures • Is Ravana the first aviator? • Don’t rest even in peace, for long • Dharma • Principles of Health, Aging and Longevity in Hinduism • Quiz + Coloring competition winners • Vaishnava Temples of Kerala - A temple for Unnikkannan • Tara • Yuvathma • Food Bank Donation • Treasure Hunt • An Appeal for Help • Quiz Competition • Essay Competition • Colouring Competition • 2023 Calendar (English and Malayalam) Table of Contents iym-a-cm-Kn-Wntamlw Cu- a-lm-t£{Xw `m-j-bv¡v ]-cn-an-Xn-bp-ïv tamlw hm-Xm-etbi-sâ hm-Xn-Â-¡-Â- hm-XtcmKnin-jy- kv-tXlw- im-[n-amw km-[-\- - - - - - - - - - Design Editorial Courses Competitions Temple Website Location 2580 Countryside Dr, Brampton ON L6R 3T4 Temple Charity Registration no.: 860244110 RR 0001 An appeal for help - p. 36 The temple needs your help to become financially independent by decreasing its liabilities and becoming debt-free as soon as possible. Check out the financial picture.

january 2023 krishnaarchana 5 Note from the Editorial Board Welcome to the second edition of Krishnaarchana. The Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton (GTOB) had an exciting year with events, classes, poojas and chanting sessions to encourage togetherness, community spirit, and learning teachings and values of our Sanatana Dharma. For the first time in the GTOB’s history, in preparation for the anniversary of the Prathista Dinam and subsequent Ulsavam, the temple started the Parayeduppu ritual. Parayeduppu is the ritual of filling nellu or paddy in a para and offering it to God to receive blessings for the entire family. To conduct the Parayeduppu, the temple brought the para, nellu and other required items ceremonially to the homes of the devotees so that the devotees could offer Parayeduppu in their own homes. This ritual brought the presence of Lord Guruvayurappan to every household. In July of last year, the GTOB celebrated the third anniversary of the Prathishta Dinam Maholsavam with pomp and joy. After nearly two years of restrictions on public gatherings due to the pandemic, the temple was able to conduct the consecration pooja and celebrate this event with cultural programs where artists from different genres could showcase their talents. Annadanam (food distribution) was also carried out during all event days. The recently built Poonthanam Art Centre stage served as a venue to celebrate the various musical and dance performances. This stage encourages more devotees to visit the temple and enjoy cultural programs showcasing the talents of our fast growing congregation. The GTOB has enabled both younger and older generations to connect to their roots while maintaining our Hindu traditions as practiced in Kerala. With your spiritual and financial support for the temple, we can ensure that it continues to prosper for years. We hope that you enjoy reading the second edition of Krishnaarchana. May your prayers be fulfilled by Lord Guruvayurappan’s blessings and wish all readers a happy new year.

6 krishnaarchana january 2023 MAIN FEATURE By Rajish Ramankutty Nair Kathakali is a traditional classical dance drama of India, which is highly explicit, passionate, dynamic and colorful. This highly stylized dance drama is unique, and is the pole star among the galaxy of Indian classical dance forms. It is increasingly becoming an internationally popular art form. Kathakali has no close parallel to any other traditional dance form in the world because of its unique aesthetic qualities and spiritual contents. The word Kathakali literally means “story play”, but this miracle art is much more than that. It has been called a dancedrama, a ballet, a theatrical art, an opera, a pantomime, a miracle play, a masked play and so on. Kathakali emerged as a monumental form of dance drama about 400 years back in the state of Kerala . It is a dramatic artform in which the actors interpret their ideas and emotions through a highly stylized medium of gestures, picturesque hand poses and vivid facial expressions. The various gestures are supported by the related and expressive body and eye movements. Kathakali integrates several forms of art and (the perfect mingling of Nritta, Nritya and Natya) each form complete in itself, like dance, drama, literature, and music (vocal and instrumental). The harmonious mingling of Nritta, Nritya and Natya finds a perfect example in Kathakali costumes and ornamentations. Kathakali costumes and ornamentations are gorgeous, elaborate, intricate, colorful and huge in size to give the characters a superhuman appearance. The costumes consist of billowing skirts, breastplates, crowns, anklets, necklaces and bangles. The strikingly opulent headdress with streaming hair flowing down to the waist and the face painted over in different natural colors with the lips, eyebrows and eyelashes emphasize tremendously impressive impersonations. Chutti Kuthal and Theppu Theppu is the first stage where the artist himself/herself applies the basic facial paintings. On this, the Chuttikkaran (make-up artist) puts the Chutti (a series of white ridges built up from the chin to either side of the cheek) forming the second stage of make-up. The actor lies flat on a matted floor, and the expert starts drawing “the designs” on the face. The most elaborate part of the makeup is the Chutti. The Chutti plays a crucial role in differentiating the characters and their personality. Characters in Kathakali Kathakali characters are symbolic and primarily classified into six distinct types according to their makeup and costumes. Pacha: Pacha means green which represents Sattvika nature and portrays noble protagonists. Characters like Lord Krishna, King Arjuna, Bheema, etc. Kathi: Kathi means knife (ambitious and violent) and is used to portray villainous protagonists. Eg: characters like King Duryodhana, and King Keechaka. continued ...

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january 2023 krishnaarchana 9 Thadi: Thadi means beard and consists of three types - Chuvanna thadi (red beard), Vella thadi (white beard) and Karutha thadi (black beard). Characters like King Dushasana, King Bali and Sugriva Kari: Kari means black, which depicts low characters. Characters like demons Shurpanaka, Nakrathundi, among others Minukku: Minukku means prettying up like women, sages, brahmins etc. Kathakali plays are written in verses, and the language is a mixture of Malayalam and Sanskrit. These are set to music in appropriate ragas, and the musicians sing line by line to the accompaniment of the drums, timed to the beating of the gongs and cymbals. The stories are mostly from the old and familiar Indian mythologies of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Kathakali Language (Mudras) Kathakali mudras are called Adisthana Mudrakal curated from Hasthalakshana Deepika. There are 24 mudras in Kathakali. Kathakali is a dance drama, but the characters don’t speak verbally. Kathakali uses a well-developed hand gesture language. Like other languages of the world, it also uses these mudras as alphabets and with alphabets makes words and eventually sentences. In Kathakali, the enactment is of two types: Cholliyattam: Cholliyattam means acting with vocal support. Cholli means reciting, and attam means enacting. Whatever the vocalist sings, the actor enacts them. Ilakiyattam: Ilakiyattam means without vocal support. Here the actors have more freedom to express his/her imaginations. About the Kathakali Artist Rajish Ramankutty Nair, Founder and Director of Toronto Kathakali School is an internationally acclaimed Kathakali dancer born to Dr. Kalamandalam Ramankutty (a renowned Kathakali Asan) and Rajani Ramankutty He got proficiency under veteran gurus like his father Dr. Kalamandalam Ramankutty Asan, Thiruvattar Jagadeesan Asan, Sadanam Balakrishnan Asan from the age of seven in the tough “Guru Shishya Parampara” – “the dedication of student to gurus training rituals” from International Centre for Kathakali, New Delhi. He has represented India at various international dance festivals in Italy, Greece, Libya, Russia, Thailand, Columbia and several other countries. Apart from Kathakali, he has also performed Semi-classical dance, Contemporary dance, Bollywood dance, Western dance and Hip-hop on various stages. Rajish was born and brought up in India and immigrated to Canada in 2020, where he started an initiative - Toronto Kathakali School to preserve and showcase Kathakali and other temple art forms on an international level. continued from previous page

january 2023 krishnaarchana 11 Is love just the body POEM By Gopi Kottoor Is Love just the body, beloved? Is your love just my body Krishna? or is it Radha, formless lightning? Is it you? Your blue body warm as the kingfisher’s feather untouched by every water? What is love? is love soul, bereft of the thirsts of longing or our bodies entwined in the night ooze of the senses, among the dipp’d blue lotuses Tell me, Am I, the flute, Radhae Is the flute me? Don’t you remember me with every note, though you are the song that pours and pours? So, love must be, must be when you can’t just tell the body from the soul. Where the colours of the rainbow prism colourless there flows love. With me in you, you and me in me, you in me me and you in you, when you open to me as your eyelids close, there’s just our togetherness turning divine, steadfast as moonlight upon calm Yamuna in unassuming celestial flow ARTS Radha Krishna By Neji Ravindran

12 krishnaarchana january 2023 Hindu Scriptures BOOK EXCERPT By ED Viswanathan According to Hindu scriptures, knowledge (Jnana) always existed in the form of sounds in the universe. Thus knowledge (Jnana) started as Sruti - that which is heard. The Rishis of ancient times, who are the scientists of the ancient past, heard eternal truths, and they taught those truths to their disciples by telepathy; later, disciples wrote them in books, which gave us the Smriti scriptures – that which is remembered. RISHIS, as well as RISHIKAS (women Rishis), were scientists like the scientists of today. They were not preachers. Some of the RISHIKAS (women Rishis) during the Vedic age are Gargi, Maitreyi (one of two wives of the Vedic Rishi Yajnavalkya), Ghosha, Lopamudra and Sulabhah. Gargi composed several hymns that questioned the origin of all existence. Gargi even debated Rishi Yajnavalkya in the court of King Janaka, the father of Sita Devi. Rishis and Rishikas discussed and debated like scientists about every aspect of life, even sexuality. What are the Vedas? There are four Vedas. These Vedas claim to teach the highest aspects of the truths which can lead humanity to God. The Vedas and Upanishads are Sruti scriptures. The word Veda came from the root word “vid” meaning “to know”, and they are considered apaurusheya (not human): in other words, it is believed that God wrote the Vedas. The Vedas state that selfrealization is the only goal of human life. They also discuss the rituals and Vedas consist of: Samhitas Basic texts for hymns to deities, formulas and chants. The Sanskrit word Samhita means “put together”. Brahmanas Description as well as directions for performance of rituals. The word originated from the word Brahmins. Brahmins are the original Hindu priests, and they follow Brahmans to conduct rituals. Aranyakas Contain Mantras and interpretations of rituals--This book also known as “the forest books” since they are used by saints who meditate in the forests. Upanishads Texts revealing ultimate truths by different saints. Upanishads teach men that there is one and only one God and that is Brahman. Each and every one of us is truly the immortal soul (Atman) which is indeed Brahman. Name Knowledge Verses Rig Veda Knowledge of Hymns 10,589 Yajur Veda Knowledge of Liturgy 3,988 Sama Veda Knowledge of Music 1,549 Atharva Veda Knowledge given by Sage Atharvan 6,000

january 2023 krishnaarchana 13 Isha Upanishad Kena Upanishad Katha Upanishad Prashna Upanishad Mundaka Upanishad Mandukya Upanishad Aitareya Upanishad Taittiriya Upanishad Chandogya Upanishad Brihadaranyaka Upanishad Kaushitaki Upanishad Shvetashvatara Upanishad Maitri Upanishad ceremonies to attain self-realization. What are the Upanishads? The Upanishads are the brains of the Hindu culture. Niels Bohr, the great Danish physicist, who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, said, “When I have doubts, I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.” The word Upanishad came from the combination of three words upa (near), ni(down), shad (sit) meaning the teachings of the Upanishads were conveyed from masters to students who sat very close so that no one else heard them. There are a total of 108 Upanishads, and the following thirteen of them are considered the most important. ARTS Krishna By Sreekala Chengat STUDY, WORK & LIVE Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant +1 647 401 4353      in CANADA

14 krishnaarchana january 2023 Is Ravana the first Aviator? ANCIENT MYSTERIES - MYTH OR FACT? By Vrinda and Shilpa Bailur Many think the Wright Brothers invented the first plane in 1903, but the truth is that demon-king Ravana was the first person in Hindu literature to have controlled an airborne vehicle,around 7,000 years ago. To explain the purpose of research conducted based upon ancient architecture, the audience of News 18 was startled to hear that Shashi Danatunge, ex-Vice Chairman,Civil Aviation Authority, state,“King Ravana was a genius. He was the first person to fly. He was an aviator. This is not mythology; it is a fact. There needs to be detailed research on this. In the next five years, we will prove this”. If Ravana was the world’s first aviator, the Ramayana also claims that Hanuman, the Hindu monkey-god, could fly without using a ‘pushpaka vimanam’or a Ravana-style aircraft. This raises the question of whether The Vimana was a myth or a reality. According to Valmiki Ramayana, it describes Ravana riding “The great golden aerial chariot, Pushpaka”. Ravana had acquired aviation skills and built his own aerial vehicle. The Tourism Ministry has taken up the challenge of proving that aerial chariots were, in fact, a reality, as mentioned in Hindu mythology. Ravana does have an aerial vehicle in the original Sanskrit version of the Ramayana in which he abducts Princess Sita, although there is no evidence of its mechanics or that it resembles a bird (or peacock) in design. Indeed, vimanas, or “flying castles,” are a common visual metaphor in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain texts from South Asia, some of which date back more than 2000 years. Martin Wickramasinghe wrote The Dandumonara Kathava, a little children’s book based on one of these famous folk stories. The peacock’s design is depicted in these stories: its wings flap to create lift, and the operator “peddling” (padinav) from his pilot seat controls pitch and direction with three ropes (tied to ailerons?). While the Sinhala term for this device (dandu-monara, or “wooden peacock”) is unique, the core story topic and the notion of the bird-machine can be found in numerous regional literatures and oral traditions across India. The dandumonara appears to be a representative of a wider literary genre in Sanskrit literature that deals with mechanical contraptions, including human and animal machines, which are found in the Pañcatantra (an old collection of folktales) and the Kathasaritsagara (“Ocean of the Streams of Stories”). The Samarangana Sutradhara, a technical treatise written by the poet-king Bhoja (fl. 1025), includes a chapter on machines that blurs the lines between magical and technical in its descriptions of elaborate plumming, automatically refilling oil lamps, motorised menageries, robotic soldiers, and alchemically enabled combustion engines. There are several specific directions on how to build flying aircraft in the text: Having built a great bird made of light wood, with a fine, tightly knit outer covering, and placing within its belly a mercury mechanism (rasa-yantram) functioning as a receptacle for a blazing fire, Through the power of that mercury (pāradasya śaktyā) and the force of the air released from the wings [of the bird] flapping in unison, a man mounted atop it may travel a great distance through the sky, painting pictures [amid the clouds], his mind altogether serene. –Bhoja’s Samarangana Sutradhara chapter 31, verses 95 and 96 (Translation)

january 2023 krishnaarchana 15 These Ancient Hindu inventions gave courage and assured that humans could evolve and enhance technology to further aid the world and its people. The first ever flying vehicle existed some 7000 years ago; it was called “The Vimana”. About Five thousand years later, the Wright brothers invented the first plane. Two recorded examples of recreated technologies in this day are, targeted missiles, back in ancient India they were known as “Astra’s” and test tube babies,the first test tube babies were known to be Gandhari’s 100 sons, the Kauravas. Notes: 1 “Sri Lankan government asks people to submit proof that Ravana used the first aircraft.” 2020. Deccan Herald. 2 Valmiki Ramayana: “Sloka & Translation.” n.d. Sloka & Translation | Valmiki Ramayanam. Accessed February 6, 2022. 3 Satish, DP. 2020. “Sri Lanka Says Enough Facts to Prove Ravana Was 1st to Use Aircraft, Asks People to Help With Research.” News18, July 19, 2020. References: Henry, Justin. 2019. “Ravana’s Mechanical Flying Peacock.” Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Lakshmi, Rama. 2015. “Indians invented planes 7000 years ago - and other startling claims at the Science Congress.” The Washington Post. Moorthy, Saathiya. 2020. “Ravana the aviator, mythology or science? – South Asia Journal.” South Asia Journal. Satish, DP. 2020. “Sri Lanka Says Enough Facts to Prove Ravana Was 1st to Use Aircraft, Asks People to Help With Research.” News18, July 19, 2020 “Sloka & Translation.” n.d. Sloka & Translation | Valmiki Ramayanam. Accessed February 6, 2022. “Sri Lankan government asks people to submit proof that Ravana used the first aircraft.” 2020. Deccan Herald. ARTS ARTS Krishna Ganesh By Akshita Anoob Kumar By Rohan Pakan

I see a lot of people sending messages of Rest in peace “RIP” as soon as they hear about the death of a dear one. Yes, it is an expression of love, affection and respect. And I know, it is a sensitive matter. I can see a few people thinking of me as ‘insensitive’ as I write this piece. As someone who considers this life only as a stop-over in an eternal journey, I think wishing a departed soul ’Rest In Peace’ (RIP) is not appropriate. It is against the philosophy I subscribe to. I am sure most of my friends who appreciate Hindu/Indian philosophy of life as a cyclical eternal phenomenon will also agree with me. I enjoy the journey rather than the destination as such. The concept of RIP (Rest in Peace) has its origins in the Semitic religions that believe the soul, having departed the body, will take rest until the day of final judgment. On this day of judgement the ‘good’ will go to heaven and the ‘evil’ will be led to their own abode. The notion is of a one-time, one-way journey with no recourse. So, “Resting In Peace” will amount to wishing someone this one-way path, and I do not agree with that. Concepts of heaven and hell are there in Hindu scriptures as well, but the idea there is to have a stop-over in heaven or hell and continue the journey, no matter who you are. It is the same for all beings, from insects to Lord Siva, with no exemption or exception. To take birth is to enter into a short realm of life and gather experiences, good and bad, as fuel to continue the journey which is non linear and unbound by time and space. I had an interesting experience a few years back in Detroit. I was attending an engineering conference there in 2009, where I was also the recipient of an award. The award was presented by the father of that stream of engineering, who, having pioneered this field of engineering before the Second World War, was instrumental in developing a prominent methodology that we use even today. In 2009, he was in his early nineties. He took a liking towards me and we decided to take an evening boat cruise together in the Detroit river, which separates the US and Canada (Windsor). He revealed to me that he was also a senior minister within a Christian faction prevalent mainly in the US. I told him that in my family, Christ is revered as a guru, a teacher as were many other enlightened beings in the history of mankind. After the cruise, I helped him get to his hotel and he sat me down in his room. He offered me a copy of the bible and expressed his wish to write a blessing and a prayer for me on the first page. He told me, with that prayer, he was going to seek my entry into the church of Jesus upon final judgement. Although I am not a born Christian and I have not accepted Christ as my only savior, he assured me that all such ‘shortcomings’ will be overcome once he prays for me. He was a pious older gentleman and I sat there waiting for him to complete his prayer for me. I am all for gathering any blessings I can in this lifetime, and then some! Partway through, he opened his eyes and asked, ‘Sukumar, what is your wife’s name? I want to include her in the prayer.’ I asked him,’Which wife’s name should I give to you? My wife of this life, or the ones before this? May be, I was the wife in some of the previous lives and then should I find my husbands’ names and give them to you? Maybe I was an animal in some lives. Then what would I do? I said this with due respect to him and he probably saw that in me. He stopped his prayer, wrote a simple message of best wishes in his bible and asked me about what I told him. He asked, ‘do you also have many wives?’ His church permits many wives so there could be more true Christians in the world, but he chose to have only one wife for practical reasons. I explained to him what I knew about As someone who considers this life only as a stop-over in an eternal journey, I think wishing a departed soul ’Rest In Peace’ (RIP) is not appropriate. Don’t rest even in peace, for long MOVE ON MY DEAR... By Dr. Sukumar

january 2023 krishnaarchana 17 incarnation, re-incarnation, cycle of life and the eternal journey every being is undertaking. I also tried to relate this to the story of Chithrakethu (Bhagavatham -6th Canto). It was surprising to me that a ninety two-year-old high priest, a worldrenowned authority in an area of science, was not aware of the concept of reincarnation and the cycle of birth and death. It is not that I expected him to subscribe to the idea of life cycle, but to be not aware that such philosophies existed elsewhere was an eye-opener for me. He thanked me for introducing the concept to him and asked me about what happened to Chithrakethu in the story I referred to. At ninety two, his ears were still sharp. I gave him a short version of the story. Chithrakethu was a king who had no children. He was desperate for an offspring and in order to please the gods, he invited the illustrious Sage Angira to conduct a major fire ritual in the palace. At last, to the king’s delight, his youngest wife gave him a son. All his other wives were jealous of her and eventually poisoned the child. The king was beside himself with grief, and sought the Sage’s counsel again to seek answers to his questions. ‘Where is my child now? Since you were instrumental in getting me a son, you should also help bring him back’. The sage told the king about the cycle of life and the eternal journey a soul is supposed to take, gathering experiences as it moves on. But the king was not satisfied, and insisted the Sage bring his son back to life. The sage, reluctantly arranged for the king to meet up with the soul of the departed son. The king wanted to embrace him, but the child asked, ‘Who are you? On my journey, I have had many relationships, many mothers and fathers, wives and children. Who are you and what is so unique about this relationship with you? In fact all of us, animals and plants included, are ever-related and eternally bound to one another. Having a ‘special bond’ in just one lifetime is not of any relevance to me. Let me move on…’ I wish all departed souls I knew, or not, a silent prayer of Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi, (Peace) and a happy journey. Move on my dear.... don’t rest even in peace, for long. Your new home doesn’t come with new mortgage advice. I do. Rohan Menon Mortgage Specialist 416-993-9549 Personal lending products and residential mortgages are offered by Royal Bank of Canada and are subject to its standard lending criteria. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. 45810 (12/2022)

january 2023 krishnaarchana 19 Dharma FEATURE By Vanamali Mataji The concept of dharma is unique to Hinduism. In fact, the actual name of Hinduism is Sanatana Dharma – the ancient “Law of Righteousness.” This is a cosmic law which enfolds everything and keeps everything in its place. It is a triple law known as ritam, (the principle of natural order which coordinates everything in nature), satyam (truth) and dharma (righteousness). The first two are cosmic laws which when translated into human life is called dharma. Everything in the universe has to uphold this law. The whole of nature upholds this law without any problem since it’s conditioned and therefore has no choice in the matter. Galaxies don’t run around as they like, plants don’t grow upside down, the sun and moon and all the other planets have their own orbits beyond which they cannot transgress. The sun shines, the rain falls, flowers bloom, and fruits appear according to this cosmic dharma which essentially means the law of righteousness, the law which decides what the best behaviour is for each and every thing in the universe. In as much as human laws keep in tune with this cosmic dharma, they can be called just and righteous. The universal laws of ritam and satyam when passed through the medium of the human mind become distorted and that is why we find that it becomes very hard for human beings to remain steadfast to the rules of dharma. The problem with the human being is that he is not conditioned. He has a mind and intellect and a reasoning capacity which enables him to think for himself. In one way this is good but in another way it is very dangerous because a distorted or perverted intellect can cause havoc both in the individual and on the social platform. The Hindu Dharma is called Sanatana for two reasons. It is ancient and eternal. It has always existed because it is related to the cosmic system which has never changed from ancient times. The other reason is that it attempts to make us realise that we are not our body alone. Our body is only a possession like our car or house. The power that animates the body is spiritual, not physical. The body is made up of matter and energy but the Hindu Dharma makes us realise that the inner consciousness or atman is unborn, undying, eternal and infinite. It takes us from body consciousness to divine consciousness and makes us experience our immortality. Like all Sanskrit words, the word “dharma” comes from the Vedas which are the foundation on which the mighty edifice of Hinduism has been built. The word does not really have an English equivalent. Even in Sanskrit dharma conveys a huge number of meanings. In the previous paragraph I have already said what it means when connected with nature. When applied to the human being it denotes the attitude which gives strength to the human being in all situations, in fortune and misfortune, prosperity and adversity. From these and from various other shastras (scriptures) we can have some idea of what exactly is meant by the Hindu Dharma. Our epics and Puranas deal with the subject of dharma and try to portray to us the exact connotation of the word through the lives of the characters depicted therein. Goals of Life According to Hinduism, there are four goals of life known as the “purusharthas.” These are “dharma, artha, kama and moksha.” They represent the obligations, restraints and aspirations that the human being has, which will fuse his individual life with the society as well as his cosmic life. This alone will enable him to live a life lived in harmony and peace with himself, with society and with God. Dharma The very first goal of life as given in Hinduism is dharma. Here it stands for that code of honour and righteousness by following which a person can make a living which is in consonance with the law of nature. Artha Dharma leads to the second goal which is “artha” or the pursuit of wealth. Wealth which is gained by self-effort, following a strict code of conduct is allowed by the shastras (scriptures). Kama The third goal is “kama,” which is the human aspiration for pleasure continued ...

january 2023 krishnaarchana 21 which if enjoyed through dharmic or legitimate means is permissible and will lead to the fourth purushartha (goal) of “moksha.” Moksha Moksha means liberation from the egoistic bonds created by the mind and intellect. Moksha or liberation is something which every human being can achieve here and now provided he leads a dharmic life. Artha and kama (desire for wealth and desire for pleasure) are bound by dharma or righteousness on one side and moksha or liberation on the other which points to the fact that if both artha and kama are followed using dharmic means, they will certainly lead us to moksha or liberation. Thus, we see that the Hindu Dharma is extremely rational and scientific in its approach to reality. It does not try to suppress the basic psychological needs of the human being but keeps in view the goal of life, which is enlightenment and helps us to break away from the pressures imposed on our personality by the ego. Itihasa A life on earth which is lived according to the laws of dharma will indeed bring fulfilment and liberation both in this world and after the death of the physical body. The great sages of our epics, Valmiki and Vyasa have stressed the different aspects of dharma in their wonderful works known as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. These two epics deal with the greatest of our avataras – Rama and Krishna. Both Valmiki and Vyasa were contemporaries of these great personalities so they wrote about historical facts which unfolded before their very eyes and not about happenings which were told to them by a third party. The British who came to exploit this land were confronted with a culture which they were totally incapable of understanding. However, they realised that the only way to control the masses was to make them disbelieve in the historicity of their greatest avataras – Rama and Krishna. They did their best to make out that the Indians had no concept of history and the stories about Rama and Krishna were myths created by the fertile brains of Valmiki and Vyasa! Unfortunately the British-educated elite of Bharat were an easy prey and fell for this type of nonsense. However, archaeological evidence of the modern age has proved beyond a doubt that these giants amongst men did indeed stride across this holy land of Bharat and that everything written about them in these two epics is a true and faithful picture of the historical presence of these amazing beings. The very fact that almost every festival in Bharat is connected with one or other of these avataras should be enough to convince anyone of their existence, if such proof was necessary. Moreover if we look at the names of all the places mentioned in the Ramayana we find that these can easily be identified. The path taken by Rama from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka can be seen even today. Both Valmiki and Vyasa were exceptional astronomers as well as astrologers and they have mentioned very specific placements of planets at the time of the birth of Rama and Krishna as well as the date on which Rama set out on his journey to the forest and many other dates. With the help of modern technological software all these facts have been scientifically proven which might make it easier for the modern mind to accept the fact of their historicity. Both these epics actually deal with the different facets of dharma which has always played such an important part in Hindu life. In fact, the Hindu mind has always tried to pry open the many-faceted jewel of dharma and discern its different meanings. Rama and Krishna Abstract words like dharma, satyam, ritam etc. are all very difficult for the human mind to understand. It is easier for the mind to conceive of such things if a concrete example is given. Therefore, Valmiki portrayed these words in the Ramayana through the character of the great king called Rama. In the story of Valmiki, it is said that he had been a cruel hunter and robber called Ratnakar at one time. Once he came across the sage Narada who told him to meditate and gave him the divine mantra of “rama.” Many years later Narada returned to the spot where he had left Ratnakar and found that he was so immersed in his tapas that an ant hill had grown all over him. Narada broke open the ant hill and asked Valmiki to open his eyes and return to the world. Valmiki said he would return to the world only if Narada could tell him of the existence of at least one human being who was the essence of all dharma. Narada immediately mentioned the name of Rama and said that he was indeed the epitome of dharma or righteousness. He urged Valmiki to leave his seclusion and return to normal life and write the story of Rama continued ... According to Hinduism, there are four goals of life known as the “purusharthas.”

january 2023 krishnaarchana 23 which would prove to be of great help to all humanity. Valmiki agreed and that is how the Ramayana was written. There are many controversial episodes in Rama’s life which are misinterpreted by many of the modern youth. However, if we look closely at these episodes we will find that he was only acting according to the strictest rule of dharma as he perceived it. In fact, he was the true “dharmatma” – the personification of dharma. In his stoic adherence to dharma he was forced to sacrifice even the strongest of his attachments. However, we see that despite his agony he never deviated from his ideal even though it meant that he himself had to undergo great tortures of self-sacrifice and self-denial. He did not flinch even when he had to part from his beloved wife and finally from his beloved brother. We, who live in an age of easy morals, where ideals are renounced for the sake of self-interest, may consider Rama a fool, but to the ancient Indian society and to those who strive to uphold dharma, he is indeed a God; for none but a God would have been able to act in such a fashion, with absolute self-abnegation. In Rama we find this blend of the sublime characteristics of God combined with all the frailties of the human being. Every avatara has to have both these sides if he is to give an example to humanity. If he acts in a superhuman way all the time, he would not serve his purpose which is to lift up the human being despite his frailties, to the divinity in him. Therefore, at times he has to behave in a weak human fashion to encourage us so that we can also lift ourselves to the level of a Rama however weak or helpless we may be. We live in an age which is at a loss to know the meaning of human existence – which doubts the existence of God. We are perplexed as to how we can act with righteousness when the whole world seems to have gone mad, when the meaning of truth and beauty have been forgotten, when hate and selfinterest seem to be the only rule of conduct. The Ramayana has inspired and encouraged countless people, not merely in Bharat but all over the world because it is a story based on eternal verities which appeal to the best in human nature. These values which have been portrayed in the character of Rama, have a universal appeal and therefore the Ramayana has risen above the limits of sect, religion, race and country. It has continued to cast its spell through the ages. Situations may change but basic human nature has remained the same from those times to the present moment. Many great souls and preachers and incarnations have come and gone but none of them have been able to change this basic human nature. However, the individual can and must change if society is to progress. The character of Rama has a direct appeal to these individuals who crave to cast off the confining limitations of their ordinary human nature and attain divine heights. The Ramayana is filled with characters that were prepared to sacrifice their own selfish interests for the sake of the greater good, who were prepared to subjugate their own ego and live only for the good of the world and act in consonance with the duties and obligations of their particular position in society. Rama is the portrait of a man who became divine by shaking off the limitations of mortality by a strict adherence to satya (truth) and dharma. He had all the qualities of the average man, the attachments, the desires, the anger, the fears, the passion and the serenity. He became divine by shaking off these bonds. He surmounted these obstacles in his character and became super human, one who put his duty to God and country above all personal considerations. He shows us that this type of perfection is available to all of us, weak though we are. Thus, his character has always been held up as an example to all men as Sita to all women so that all of us can perfect our own characters as they perfected theirs. The character of Krishna as portrayed in the Mahabharata is slightly different. Krishna remained a God in all situations. He was always the master of every situation and never the victim. That is why he is known as the “poornavatara,” the supreme incarnation. In the case of Rama, as we have seen, God had taken on a human form with all its frailties in order to show us how our aspirations for a dharmic life can be fulfilled. For this we have to be prepared to completely subjugate our ego and live only for the good of the world and act in consonance with the rules of the cosmic dharma as seen in the duties and obligations that we owe to the society in which we live in. Rama is the portrait of such a man. Hence, he will always be a perfect example to all human beings whatever be their country or their creed – a glorious and living example of the word “dharma.” Satyameva jayate! Dharmameva jayate! Rama is the portrait of a man who became divine by shaking off the limitations of mortality by a strict adherence to satya (truth) and dharma.

24 krishnaarchana january 2023 Principles of Health, Aging and Longevity in Hinduism HEALTH & WELLNESS By Dr. Sudhirdas Prayaga cm-Km-ZntcmKm-³- kX-Xm-\p-j-àm-\ tij-Im-b- {]-kr-Xm-\tijm-³- Hu-Õp-Iytamlm-c-Xn-Zm-³- P-Lm-\tbm A-]q-À-hsshZym-b- \tamkvXp- X-kv-ssa ragadirogan sathathanushakthan asheshakaya prasrethanaseshan Oulsukhyamoharathidhan jaghanayo apoorvavaidhya namosthuthasmai (Ashtanga Hridhayam 1.1) My obeisance to the ‘apoorva vaidhya’, the father of healing or the god of good health, who protects us from all ailments caused by ‘ragas’, which are associated with and spread all over the body giving rise to restlessness, stress, and diseases. Psychology of Health and Diseases – ‘ragas’ are the cause of most of the ‘rogas’ Diseases can be classified into four main classes: psychologic, infectious, metabolic and genetic. Our ancient acharyas and rishis have long identified that psychological problems probably account for most of our diseases. Vagbhata acharyan, in his classic Ayurvedic text Ashtanga Hridayam indicated that ‘ragas’ are responsible for many of our ‘rogas’ or ailments. ‘Ragas’ are psychological feelings, probably unique to humans, caused by the dualities in mind such as love & hate, attachment & detachment, generosity and greed, pride and envy, etc. Some such thoughts can also be seen across am-{Xm- kv]-À-im-kvXp- -sIu-t[b- iotXmjvW- kp-J-Zp-J-[mBhagavat Gita. Here is an example. maatra sparshaastu kaundheya seethoshna sukhadukhadaa (Bhagavat Gita 2:14) In Bhagavat Gita Krishna says to Arjuna that ‘one feels heat and cold or happiness and sadness due to the interactions of our five senses with the external world. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors wrote about the role of the senses, mind and psyche in diseases. Ancient Hindu philosophy gives prime importance to controlling the mind to have good health, longevity and attain moksha or oneness with God. Yoga or yogasana (physical exercises), pranayama (breath exercise) and dhyana (meditation) are prescribed as ways to achieve this. In his classic Ayurvedic text, Charaka says that the body and mind are complementary, exchange energy and affect each other, just like how heat is transferred when hot oil is poured into a cold vessel. i-co-c- a-\-tkm -tbmK- ]-c-kv]-c- a-\p-hrsPXv B-Zm-c- Bt[b- `mth\mZv X-P-bv L-Smtbmcn-hsharira manaso yoga parasparamanu vrijeth adhara adheya bhavenaad thajya ghadayoriva (Charaka Samhita) Aging and Longevity – aspire to live for 100 years Aging and longevity are two aspects of life everyone is always concerned with. Aging and associated conditions themselves are not a disease. Typical characteristics of aging we recognize are wrinkling of the skin, graying of the hair, baldness, etc. These characteristics of aging set in at different ages in different individuals. Mental, physical, environmental and genetic factors contribute to these individual variations. In scientific terms, normal aging occurs due to oxidation and peroxidation of various macro molecules within our body. As you age, the skin becomes more wrinkled because it loses its elasticity, mostly due to damage to membrane macromolecules such as proteins and lipids which make up the body structure. Hair becomes white mostly due to oxidation, like how bleach whitens coloured cloths. We can compare this to a car; a well-maintained car can last a long time, while a race car with rough use won’t last a season. The same is true for your body. One of our scriptures, Isavashya Upanishad, proclaims that one can aspire to live for 100 years if we follow our Dharma and Karma. In contrast, the current life expectancy is only 70 to 80 years in the developed world, much less in other parts of the world.

january 2023 krishnaarchana 25 continued ... Ip-À-Æt¶-thl- I-À-½m-Wn- PnPn-hntjÑ-Xw- kam-lkurvenevaha karmani jijivisheshatham samaha (Isavashya Upanishad -2) So, why is this disconnect? The problem is most of us are at a loss when it comes to our body, without a clue on how to maintain our body. Fortunately for us, ancient Hindu literature has a wealth of information about good health and practices. In fact, geriatric science, jara chikitsa, is a major division of classic Ayurveda, which deals with aging. Probably our western style education made us ignore this information and left them in the dust bin. It is our duty to get them back to practice. Currently, people are trying various chemicals and herbal preparations to keep young, healthy and live longer, without knowing whether they will ever work. In the current world of economic survival, we are running after making money and often ignore our own health. By the time we realize our poor health, it may be too late. Health and Fitness – running a marathon is injurious to your health In our society today we are all leading a fast-paced life to achieve material wealth and success, often ignoring our health. We tend to forget that health is our most important wealth. By middle age when we realize this fact, often many of our bad habits have already contributed to our poor health. We spend a lot of money and time to maintain our fancy car but not to protect and maintain our own body. Strangely, modern science and western medicine which is supposed to provide clear directions fall short. The so-called pundits keep changing their mind about what is good and what is not for good health. Media and information overload also contribute to such fallacy. Presently, we believe that vigorous exercise is good for keeping fit and trim. Running a marathon appears to be a fad these days. Aerobics and similar excessive exercises seem to be the norm, to be healthy these days. Even ‘yoga’ is being taught as vigorous physical exercise at the present time, without knowing its original intent and purpose. Media also extol these in vain. I believe, rigorous physical exercise is the antithesis to good health and longevity. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we don’t need exercise, but we need a balanced physical and mental regimen. I don’t see anywhere in our ancient Hindu literature mentions of the virtues of vigorous exercise. On the contrary, there are innumerable mentions about the importance of balance of body and mind and how to do that. Scientific literature also supports this view, although the media and the pundits have yet to catch up. kn-²y-knt²m k-tam`q-X-z- kaX-zw- -tbmK- D-NytX sidhyasidho samobhootva samathvm yoga uchyate (Bhagavat Gita 2:48) In Bhagavat Gita Krishna says that balance of body and mind is yoga. Krishna also says that those who do unscientific and senseless torturing of their body are ignorant and are not my favourite. I-À-i-b-´- i-co-c-kvYw- `q-X-{Km-a-atNX-k amwssNhm-´- i-co-c-kvYw- Xm- ³-hn-²ym-kp-c- \n-Ý-bm-³- Karshayanta sareerastham bhootagraamamachetasa Maamchaivaanta sareerastham taanvidhyaasura nishchayaan (Bhagavat Gita 17:6) There is an inverse correlation between heart rate and life expectancy in most mammals. The average adult human heart rate is about 70 beats per minute. According to modern science, the number of heartbeats per lifetime is a constant among mammals, despite a 40-fold difference in lifespan or 500,000-fold difference in body weight. Lowering the heart rate of humans from 70 to 60 increases life expectancy by over 12 years (European heart journal supplement 2003, R. Ferrari). Scientific studies have shown that increasing the heart rate is a risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The vigorous exercise most of us do in the name of good health increases heart rate. In contrast, many of the asanas (yogic postures), pranayama (breath exercises) and dhyana (meditation) help to lower heart rate and slow down breathing. All these are techniques for good health and longevity prescribed in many of our ancient texts, including the well-known Yogasutra written by Pathanjali thousands of years ago. The purpose of a fruitful exercise regimen should be to stimulate the whole body and not to give a workout to your heart or burn calories. A-[n- hym-bm-a-Z- Im-tkm P-zcm-N-À-Zn-kvN- Pm-btX lr-Z-bm-Xn- D-]tcmZ-kvN- C-Xn- hym-bm-a- e-£-Wwadi vyayamatah kaso jvarachardisca jayate hrithayati uparodesca idi vyayama lakshanam (Charaka Samhita 7.33) Even Charaka has mentioned over 2000 years ago that vigorous or over exercise can cause headache, fever, and even heart attack in his famous

26 krishnaarchana january 2023 CompetitionWinners QUIZ + COLORING Quiz competition winner - Amitha Srilal Nambiar Runner-up - Dhyan Sajith

january 2023 krishnaarchana 27 Runner-up - Shri Kumaram Coloring competition winner - Ananthika Vinod The first issue of Krishnaarchana magazine held a Quiz Competition and Coloring Competition. The Guruvayurappan Temple of Brampton would like to thank all the participants. All prizes were sponsored by Krishna Store. Prizes were given to the winners and runners-up by Sunil Nambiar of Krishna Store from the temple premises. Arborway Immigration Inc. 90 Burnhamthorpe Rd. W. Suite 1400 Mississauga, ON L5B 3C3 Immigration Specialist: V. P. Divakaran Immigration Consultant: Olayinka Ogundipe Contact us today for a consultation session Phone: +1 (647) 669-9715 Email: www. SERVICES OFFERED • Humanitarian & Compassionate PR • Visitor Visa & Extension Application • Admissions, Study Permit & Extension Application • LMIAWork Permit & Extension Application • Spousal & Family Sponsorship Applications •Super Visas for Parents • Canadian Citizenship Application • FSW, CEC, PNP Express Entry PR & all other PR Applications

28 krishnaarchana january 2023 A temple for Unnikkannan VAISHNAVA TEMPLES OF KERALA By Aravind Menon One of the seven great Vaishnava temples in Kerala, The Ambalappuzha Shree Krishna Temple is located in Alappuzha district, with the presiding deity – Lord Vishnu – carved out in black granite stone. The idol carries a whip in the right hand and a conch in the left, representing Parthasarathy (the charioteer of Partha or Arjuna). However, as per Thantri Damodaran Namboothiri, the idol conforms to the image of ‘Goshala Krishnan’. Krishna worshipped at Ambalappuzha is adorably called Unnikkannan. Legend has it that Saint Vilwamangalam Swamiyar and Pooradam Thirunal Thampuran, the then-ruler of Chembakassery, were once travelling along the backwaters. Suddenly they heard the melodious sound of a flute. The boat was immediately halted and on alighting, they found that the music was emanating from a nearby peepal tree. The Thampuran could not see anything, but the Swamiyar’s inner eyes gave him the vision of Krishna playing the flute. An ardent devotee of Krishna, he immediately appraised the Thampuran of his vision and mentioned that building a temple there would be beneficial to the world at large. The exact date of the construction of the temple is not known. It is believed to have been built sometime between the 15th and 17th AD by Chembakassery Devanarayanan Thampuran. The Chembakassery ruler was able to obtain a suitable idol from Kuruchi and it was brought to Champakkulam by boat. Thampuran decided to receive the idol himself and set forth to Champakkulam by boat accompanied by an entourage of boats. To commemorate this event, a boat race is organised every year. The colorful Champakkulam Moolam Vallam Kali (boat race) is also the oldest snake boat race in Kerala that attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists. The Ambalappuzha Shree Krishna temple and Guruvayoor Shree Krishna temple have an association that dates back to the invasion of Tipu Sultan in 1789, when the idol in Guruvayoor was brought to Ambalapuzha to protect it from the plundering army of Tipu. The idol remained safe in Ambalappuzha for about 12 years. Probably Guruvayoorappan’s taste for the Ambalapuzha palpayasam came about during his stay Amabalapuzha Sree Krishna Swamy Temple # 24 One of the seven great Vaishnava temples in Kerala, The Ambalappuzha Shree Krishna Temple is located in the Alappuzha district, with the presiding deity – Lord Vishnu – carve out in black granite stone. The idol carries a whip in the right and and a conch in the left giving the appearance of Parthasarathy (the charioteer of Partha or Arjuna). However, as per Thantri Damodaran Namboothiri, the idol conforms to the image of ‘Goshala Krishnan’. Krishna worshipped at Ambalappuzha is adorably called Unnikkannan. Legend has it that Saint Vilwamangalam Swamiyar and Pooradam Thirunal Thampuran, the then ruler of Chembakassery, were once traveling along the backwaters. Suddenly they heard the melodious sound of a flute. The boat was immediately halted and on alighting, they found that the music was emanating from a nearby peepal tree. The Thampuran could not see anything, but the Swamiyar’s inner eyes gave him the vision of Krishna playing the flute. An ardent devotee of Krishna, he immediately appraised the Tha puran of his vision and mentioned that building a temple there would be beneficial to the world at larg . The exact date f t e construction of the temple is not known. It is believed t h ve been built sometime between the 15th and 17th AD by Chembakassery Devanarayanan Thampuran. continued ... text on Ayurveda. He compares over exercise to a lion trying to drag an elephant. A wise person should do exercise in moderation. Food is another important factor for good health; what you put in is what you get out. There is a wealth of information about choice of food in our literature. Importance of proper sleep, exercise and sex also have many references in our classic texts. Some of these topics will be discussed in my other articles. Check my blog (prayagaprinciples.blogspot. com) for other similar articles.