Friday, October 17, 2014

What is the significance of 18 holy steps @ Lord Ayyappa?

      16th Sep 2011 was my first visit to Sabarimala, in fact that was a fortunate trip. Credit goes to my colleuge Raj, who introduced me to team in Bangalore, which is basically raised from HMT employees, and now it's being evolved as a unified family with diverse individual. I really enjoyed my every minute with group, rather just been to holy place. These is where everyone of us fortunately meet people of various age;passion,profession,attitude etc..

Pen down this post to share info to some of the very common question(s) appear looking over to any swami(devotees).
      Lord Ayyappa (hindu deity worshiped in South India) is believed to be born out of the union btw Shiva and Mohini(avatar of Vishnu). a.k.a 'Harihara Puthra'

Reason behind the name Manikanta?
He was found(tied a golden bell 'mani' around his neck 'kandan') on banks of the Pampa river, soon after his birth.

Symbolism of the 18 steps?

Those who carry the irumudi on their head are only allowed to use the 18 holy steps.
steps 1 - 5: symbolize the five human senses(Panchendriyas - signify the `mortal’ nature of one’s body) - vision, hearing, smell, taste n touch.

steps 6 - 13: symbolize the eight ashtaragas - Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Madha, Maltsarya, Asooya n Dhumb. (Love, Anger, Avarice, Lust, Pride, Unhealthy Competition, Jealousy and Boastfulness).

steps 14 - 16: symbolize for three gunas; nature born qualities
i.e. Satva,( perspicuity, discernment) , Rajas(activity, enjoyment) and Thamas(inactivity, stupor).

steps 17 - 18: symbolize vidya (Knowledge) and avidya (Ignorance).

Why 18 steps?
The steps represent the 18 hills existing in and around the region of Sabarimala. Ponnambalamedu, Gowdenmala, Nagamala, Sundaramala, Chittambalamala, Khalgimala, Mathangamala, yladummala, Sreepadamala, Devarmala, Nilakkalmala, Thalapparamala, Neelimala, Karimala, Puthuserrymala,
Kalakettimala, Inchipparamala and Sabarimala.

Could be derived frm epics-
Eighteen is considered as the code number to break into the soul of the Nature. The significance of 18 can be traced back to the Vedic age. The first Veda, believed to be protected by Lord Brahma himself, had 18 chapters. Later, Veda Vyasa divided it to create the four vedas: Rigveda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharava Veda. Each of these vedas had 18 chapters.Veda Vyasa also wrote 18 puranas and 18 upa-puranas. The Bhagavad Gita has 18 chapters and the Kurukshetra war lasted 18 days.
What is Irumudi & it is used for?
Basically it means 2(iru) compartments,
- Munmudi(front) meant for Pooja articles
- Pinmudi(back) for journey requisites.

Significance of ghee-filled coconut?
Symbolically, the ‘ghee’ in the coconut represents the ‘soul.’ And the human body is represented by the coconut. After the arduous trek, when a devotee stands face to face with Lord Ayyappa – the ghee poured on the Lord symbolically represents the merging of the individual soul with the universal soul or the ‘Jivatma’ with ‘Paramatma.’
Finally, the empty coconut, which represents the body, is consumed by the fire in the ‘homakundam.’

Why 40 + 1  days of vratham?
Since the human form is the last form to get this enlightenment, 40 days spiritual discipline is undertaken to remind us the 40 weeks we were in mother's womb and the finally on the 41st day we take the final journey to Sabarimala. This knowledge of the Self requires help of a guru and so Ayyappa Vratham should be initiated with a Guru. The Guru initiates the practice  by putting a Tulsi mala (108 beads that represents the mathematical rhythm of nature).

Why do we wear black or blue dress?
Wearing black clothes is the traditional dress to indicate total with-drawl of mind and total absorption into the "Self" or "Atma". (Objects are black due to complete absorption of color spectra). Blue color is the color of illusion like the blue sky or blue ocean. To remind us the maya (illusion) of this mind, blue color is worn.

Why not to cut nails, shave not cut hair?
 It is a great practice to give up the thought that we are not this body that is born and dead, but the immortal Consciousness principle, Brahman.  Importance is not given to physical comforts of body and so no shaving, no nail cutting, no wearing shoes etc is done so that it helps the mind to transcend from the body sense to the awareness state and finally to consciousness state.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How is a football player's running distance measured?

It was the 16th round of FIFA 2014, ARG vs SUI on pitch for pre-quarter-finals. You know it was absolutely 0-0 to both sides even after 70+ mins, and the team white n blue was struggling to be alive in tournament. So it was quite interesting, and entire ~8k audience eyes were on 2 strikers Shaqiri <> Messi. Unfortunately Messi was not at all heading to net; might be as he was boxed by swiss mid wingers

but DiMario was progressive around penalty area and corners, where as Messi was just on free-kicks.

I beleive it was Johan Djourou(of Swiss) substituted by other player at around 74th min, and while he was walking out, a feed appeared on screen "Johan total distance 2.3 km" I just wondered, how did they calculate Mr. Johan Djorou had run exactly 23000 meter in the that course??

The Union of European Football Associations(UEFA) document outlines - there is a tracking technology used to measure a football player's running distance during a game. It is a complex system of 16 cameras; field is divided among 16 cameras, with each one filming its own area. Computers setup on other side keep analyze the feeds inflow from all the 16 cameras and then calculate trajectories of player movements. In this way the system can also determine elements such as shot speeds and distances between a goal and ball position during free kicks.

It also says that, the UEFA has tested the system against proprietary tracking systems used by individual clubs, and also by sending people on predetermined, fixed-length trajectories, and found it to be generally accurate within 3%.

Eventually, that too after course of 118 minutes, DiMario(#7 of ARG) headed the net bypassing 3+goalie in a row, from distance of around 45 yards. Here, I must say it was a brilliant admit (pic above)  from Mr. Lionel Messi.

white and blue beat red to clinch a place in quarter finales of 2014 carniball
Rio De JaneiroBrazil

Cheers to Lionel Messi and Angel DiMario

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Why is Wimbledon so special?

Nothing has changed here over the 135 summers, since 1877 and the value that has been shown to this event can even gray out the quote "Change is the only constant". And now it is one of the greatest sporting events in the world!!

What is the specialty exist in it? how is it still holding the huge audience in the emerging world, when people expect changes in anything and everything they do?

Yes, there are some changes, to the audience rather than in the event itself. Below are those sensational things that entitle popularity for ever.

Grass court: that is certainly used only for 2 weeks in a year.

Royalty bow: followed tradition, players to bow to the members of the royal family seated in the royal box upon entering or leaving court.

White clothing: including hats, socks and shoes to be almost entirely white.

Salutation: players are referred to as Mr, Miss and Mrs in each and every instances.

Nomenclature: while all other tournaments have men and women's singles and doubles, Wimbledon has a more formal way for addressing it as Ladies' and Gentlemen's singles or doubles.

Only ground roll: no ball boys throw or toss ball to player.

Day break: the middle sunday of the Wimbledon fortnight is always a day off in tournament.

Clear ground: Wimbledon does not put any sponsor advertising around its courts.

Tickets: Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament where fans without tickets for a match can queue up and still get seat.

Strawberries & cream: Spectators and players are offered strawberries and cream as the typical stand food at the tournament.

Umbrellas: Rain is as much a part of Wimbledon as the adrenaline-pumping on-court action. And, although the rain does put a brake on the game, it allows photographers some pretty scenic shots. Also, accompanying the rain always are plenty of umbrellas, many in dark green and purple - the colour of Wimbledon.

Towels: Even towels and handkerchief provided to players would have pattern of dark green & purple; cloths supplied by Welspun.

Friday, June 6, 2014


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Little Brown BAT

That was dinner time, while waiting for my food I was watching TV. It was one of the kannada news channel suvarna 24/7 I watch regularly, and the program was our sandalwood actress Ragini dwivedi's celebrating her birthday(24th May) in one of the blind school in Bangalore...

Shashank my nephew shouted when a bat fly just beside his head, after a while a discussion caught me - he says it's animal when my aunt was telling it's a bird, and some story on it's indication within home... ... ...

Isn't it a BIRD? Everyone might have seen it flying close by even though it appears rarely; will be active only in dark time. Are you sure it's BIRD??

@ that moment my preference was to capture it... become an habit since day one I bought my smartphone.

okay, let me come to the point... To be frank with you, even I didn't know that bat is an animal until that. hare why should I get doubt when I have seen it flying around many times. Here comes up my curious mind, a reason to pen down this post.

Bat is the only animal that can't walk! The limbs and feet of bat don't help it to stand and walk, hope you have the reason now to say why it fly. I presume that this could be the one reason, that we haven't had got chance to cite it's face, if am not wrong.

But there is one more strange thing, for whoever knew that it was an animal. ie. it actually get relax by two posture,
1. What most of us have seen - lays on floor or any supporting object, it is just like a nap when it gets tired of flying.

2. Below image says all about the second method, which I haven't seen so far. Any chance have you??

You know? their claws are in the shape of hooks. So when bat wants to rest, the easiest thing for it is to use their hook-shaped claws for the grip and to swing. That appears to be the most comfortable position as it also helps to glide easily in the air.