Monday, July 31, 2017

Arre Bhai Pehchan Kaun?

Arre Bhai Pehchan Kaun?

Yes I am every bit an "Amchi" - Chitrapur Saraswat

 Brahmin (Bhanap) and a proud one at that!

First of all I would like to thank all my valuable readers, patrons and well-wishers who have for the past so many years reading my Blogs, and Posts on various Media Platforms. But for your motivation and Blessings I would not have been able to work harder, improve on my skills and bring to you the quality content I have always wanted to publish for you all. 

The main reason for creating this post was the same as the one I had posted this same content on Facebook only as a timeline post and not a Blog post as I am doing now. Time and again when I publish my various Blog Posts on different topics I am barged with messages, and mails trying to reach out to precisely who I am, where I hail from and more about me. Most of them have come in from my Community of Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins (Bhanaps) who were not known to me but somewhere felt I would have been what we fondly call as an "Amchi". Hence this post which I am sure will clarify all doubts and also remain as a permanent post on my Personal Blog for all to read about me. So here is the original post being re-posted for you all.

            Arre Bhai Pehchan Kaun?
"OH! SO YOU ARE AN "AMCHI" IS IT?" - OR IS IT STILL "PECHAAN KAUN'"? - This one's a BIGGIE BUT - On a lighter vein, I have posted this for the benefit of all our dear "Amchi's" especially after a lot of my friend requests or their friend requests accepted by me got this "Oh So you are an Amchi is it?" reply. - Yes I am every bit an "Amchi" - Chitrapur Saraswast Brahmin Bhanap and a proud one at that! I am not trying to post a "Who's - Who " of myself but only for the benefit of many who had "misplaced" me as a "Maharashtrian", "Marwadi" and even a "Sindhi”!!!!! Loving it every bit yet with so many people trying to connect with me! Thank you so much for your love!
I don't blame anyone for that as the surname Kate is more familiar here in Pune as the "Kate's" here are more rampant and resident in Kolhapur, Sholapur, Pune etc, and are "Maharshtrians". Let it be very clear that I have not posted this to be secularist in that way at all, but just to clarify. In our Saraswat community the name is more familiar as well known as the "Kati's" hence this disparity in understanding or rather misunderstanding which is well understood!!!!. 
Suffice to say that I would be much better recognized as Grandson of Late. Shri Pandurang Nagesh Shirali (My grandfather), and Late. Gangabai Pandurang Shirali of Bandra Mumbai. My mother Late.Mrs. Nirmala Kate (Nee Shirali) and myself all stayed at Mumbai (Bandra- West) at Patkars Old Building (Now called Geetanjali Co-op Hsg Socty) on the S.V. Road Bandra West, along with my loving aunts and uncles the Katre's and the Shirur's. I mention this because many of you Amchi's who are from Mumbai will now quickly relate with me now as most of them have visited our home at Bandra in the good old days.
I was more well known in those days as a skinny young lad - "Sacchu" to many (now even to my dear cousin sister Shobha Tai as I lovingly call her) (Shobha Karnad - Chennai). We all used to sing Bhajans in our Chitrapur Saraswat Mandal Bhajans and weekly Puja sessions at Bandra, Khar, Santacruz, Matunga and even Talmakiwadi if one would recollect those fond memories, along with my loving cousin brother Ravi Dada (Ravi Katre) who used to play the Tabla. Of this great generation I am indeed happy to mention that my loved and dearest "Bappa" - as I call him (who has been more than a Father, Guardian, Guide and Mentor to me till today) - Dinkar Ma'am to you all stays with my dear cousin sister Shobhana Karnad in Chennai. I am sure now that my lineage will fall into place in the minds of many!
As I relocated in 1982-83 to Pune for my Job and have settled down in Pune since then, at Pimpri, I quickly lost contact with all of the Amchi's in Mumbai, although we have many of them staying here in Kothrud, Pimpri, and elsewhere in Pune with whom I am now slowly getting acquainted with, courtesy Facebook itself which has been a big tool in helping me re-connecting with all you wonderful Amchi's and relatives whom I had missed out over the years.
I don't blame anyone for this as the breakup of our Traditional Nuclear Family status with the burdens of members of the family divulging out into various regions, states and even countries has created a sad divide in the immediate connectivity and relations in our families, and so much as one may try to match up with the interest to stay connected we are De-alienated and it becomes a big challenge, but not impossible.
I hope so and am sure now it will be easier for more people especially our dear "Amchi's" to now relate with me better or cast off their apprehensions if any, in connecting with me!
As for all you wonderful "Non-Amchi" great friends and fans I will elaborate on this wonderful community and what "Amchi" and "Chirtrapur Saraswat Brahmin”, "Bhanap" means in my subsequent posts or in my Blog and its post on Religion Scriptures Spirituality and also on my latest Blog सद्गति – The Konkani Blog.
Looking forward to Connecting with you now with renewed enthusiasm and "Amchi'sm”!!! Lots of Love and Warm Regards to All. God Bless!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Parampara - परम्परा - परंपरा

Parampara - परम्परा - परंपरा
Parampara (Sanskrit: परम्परा, paramparā) in simple terms denotes a succession, or tradition, and can be looked at in many views such as cultural, religious, musical lineage, family lineage, but the first mention of "Parampara" brings to our mind the succession of a Teacher and Disciple.
In the pure Traditional form Parampara
(Sanskrit: परम्परा, paramparā) denotes a succession of teachers and disciples in traditional Vedic culture and Indian religions such as Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism. It is also known as guru-shishya tradition (succession from guru to disciple).

The Sanskrit word literally means an uninterrupted row or series, order, succession, continuation, mediation, tradition. In the traditional residential form of education, the shishya remains with his or her guru as a family member and gets the education as a true learner.

In some traditions there is never more than one active master at the same time in the same guruparamaparya (lineage).

In the paramparā system, knowledge (in any field) is passed down (undiluted) through successive generations. For example, division of Veda and its transfer through paramparas describes Bhagavata Purana. Other fields of knowledge taught may include spiritual, artistic (music or dance), or educational.

Titles of gurus
In Parampara, not only is the immediate guru revered, the three preceding gurus are also worshiped or revered. These are known variously as the kala-guru or as the "four gurus" and are designated as follows:
  • Guru – the immediate guru
  • Parama-guru – the guru of the Parampara or specific tradition (e.g. for the Śankaracharyas this is Adi Śankara)
  • Parātpara-guru – the guru who is the source of knowledge for many traditions (e.g. for the Śankaracharya's this is Vedavyāsa)
  • Parameṣṭhi-guru – the highest guru, who has the power to bestow mokṣa (usually depicted as Śiva, being the highest guru)

The Guru-Shishya Tradition
The guru-shishya traditionor parampara 
("lineage"), denotes a succession of teachers and disciples in traditional Indian culture and religions
such as HinduismJainismSikhism and Buddhism 
(Tibetan and Zen tradition). It is the tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring where teachings are transmitted from a guru "teacher" (Sanskritगुरु) to a śiṣya "disciple" (Sanskritशिष्य) or chela

Such knowledge whether it be Vedicagamic
architectural,musical or spiritual, is imparted through the developing relationship between the guru and the disciple. It is considered that this relationship, based on the genuineness of the guru, and the respect, commitment, devotion and obedience of the student, is the best way for subtle or advanced knowledge to be conveyed. The student eventually masters the knowledge that the guru embodies.

In this first post about this vast subject I have only taken up the topic upto the basic understanding of what Parampara means and the generic view of Guru-Parampara.

In the subsequent posts we will try to know more about:
  • 1Historical background
  • 2Common characteristics of the guru–shishya relationship
  • 3Parampara and Sampradaya
  • 4Guru–shishya relationship types
    • 4.1Advaita Vedanta
    • 4.2Śruti tradition
    • 4.3Shaktipat tradition
    • 4.4Bhakti yoga
    • 4.5Prapatti
    • 4.6Buddhism
  • 5Psychological aspects and much more.

    It has been a very divine experience traversing even this small trail into knowing more about the Guru, Parampara, and Guru-Shishya Parampara, and I am sure every step in the Journey ahead will be more enlightening!

Eva Ekeblad Remembered on her 293rd Birthday!

Eva Ekeblad Remembered on her 293rd Birthday!

Google Doodled Eva Ekeblad today to celebrate her  293rd Birthday. Eva Ekeblad, née Eva De la Gardie, was a Swedish agronomist, scientist, Salonist and noble. Her best-known discovery was how to make flour and alcohol out of potatoes. She was the first female member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 
Born: 10 July 1724, Stockholm, Sweden
Died: 15 May 1786, Lidköping, Sweden
Children: Ulrika Fock Ekeblad, Agneta Sofia Ekeblad, ...
Books: Children, learning, numbers
Parents: Magnus Julius De la Gardie, Hedvig Catharina De la Gardie
Siblings: Hedvig Catharina von Fersen, Carl Julius De la Gardie....

The importance of the Remembrance is not only for her Birthday but for the cause of her invention which was that the Swedish Scientist brought Potatoes, and the Greenhouse curiosity to the inhabitants. She further discovered through her research the value of starch and how though very simple and humble it had the might to allow her to help in reducing famine in the years to come for her country that was then ravage with famine. You can read more about it here at the Wikipedia link -

Google had Dedicated a small Video with their Doodle which you can watch here -
You will also find more videos about her there in the link above.
Let us take this moment to  remember this great scientist and wish her a Happy Birthday as she still remains living among the Swedish People as a living example of what good work can do to your people and your country! 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Understanding The Meaning And Importance Of Guru Poornima

Understanding The Meaning And Importance Of Guru Poornima
||श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः|| 
Salutation to the Guru or the Teacher

Understanding The Meaning And Importance Of Guru Poornima

अज्ञानतिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जनशालाकया
Agyan timirandhasya gyananjan shalakaya

चक्षुरुन्मीलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः
chakshurunmilitam yen tasmai shri gurave namah

Meaning - 
He who removes darkness of ignorance of the blinded (un-enlightened) by applying the ointment(medicine) of (Spiritual) knowledge
He Who opens the eyes, salutations unto that holy Guru

Guru Purnima is an Indian and Nepalese festival dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. This festival is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, to pay their respects to their teachers and express their gratitude. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June–July) of the Shaka Samvat, as it is known in the Hindu calendar of India and Nepal.This day marks the first peak of the lunar cycle after the peak of the solar cycle.

Guru Poornima is a festival that is celebrated as per the Hindu Moon Sign calendar to express reverence towards your Guru, your teacher or mentors. Etymologically, the word Guru has been derived from two parts - Gu that means darkness and Ru that is the antidote to the darkness. Naturally, the word Guru implies someone who shows takes us away from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

The Above description and definitions though may highlight a particular religion, who followed them the principles are applicable to anyone in life irrespective of Religion, Caste, Creed, Nationality or otherwise. To Grow up in life we need a Guide, Mentor, Teacher or the divine entity we so term as "God" in bowing down before him in reverence and accepting in humility that there is something that is greater than "Self" and we accept it to learn from them and grow. Simply speaking we can say - "Guru Poornima is basically the festivals of the 'seekers' – the seekers of the divine wisdom, knowledge, spirituality, peace and greater prudence."

Guru ke sumiran maatr se, nasht vighn anant
Taase sarv aarambh me(i), Dhyaavat hai sab sant

(Just by remembering your Guru, you will be able to overcome all the obstacles. That's why at the beginning of everything, Guru is remembered – not only by the saints, but also by many common people)