Sunday, 31 December 2017


2017 1231 53  The Way of a Pilgrim: Secret of Salvation, Unceasing Prayer

Jesus Prayer

"The Way of a Pilgrim"  is the English title of a 19th-century Russian work, recounting the narrator's journey as a mendicant pilgrim across Russia while practising the Jesus Prayer. It uses a pilgrim's journey as a vehicle to teach the practice of ceaseless inner prayer and communion with God. 

It has become in the West a classic of Russian Orthodox spirituality.  No book has inspired more people to set out to discover the inner springs that nurture the life of Orthodox Christians and to learn the practice of the Jesus Prayer. It has been for many, a revelation about the life of prayer.

This aim of union with God, is central to the Prayer in the Name of Jesus. Brief in form, it leads the soul to concentration and sets it face to face with God. Its tenor is such as will fix and bind into one all the forces of man, spiritual, mental, and corporal, in that single act of perfect devotion— loving adoration. It endows the being with absolute stability. At the same time it strips the soul of all subjectivity, all self-seeking, and sets it in the objectivity of the divine. It is both the path and the culmination of renunciation and self-denial.

The following excerpt is from the book “The Way of a Pilgrim”:


How is one saved?  

This godly question naturally arises in the mind of every Christian who realizes the injured and enfeebled nature of man, and what is left of its original urge towards truth and righteousness. Everyone who has even some degree of faith in immortality and recompense in the life to come is involuntarily faced by the thought, " How am I to be saved? " when he turns his eyes towards heaven. 

When he tries to find a solution of this problem, he enquires of the wise and learned. Then under their guidance he reads edifying books by spiritual writers on this subject, and sets himself unswervingly to follow out the truths and the rules he has heard and read. In all these instructions he finds constantly put before him as necessary conditions of salvation a devout life, and heroic struggles with himself which are to issue in decisive denial of self. This is to lead him on to the performance of good works, to the constant fulfilment of God's laws, and thus witness to the unshakableness and firmness of his faith. 

Ask God. Pray to God. Pray for His help.

The seeker comes across the book called Philokalia, in which twenty-five holy Fathers set forth in an understandable way the scientific knowledge of the truth and of the essence of prayer of the heart. He sees that truly to pray means to direct the thought and the memory, without relaxing, to the recollection of God, to walk in His divine Presence, to awaken oneself to His love by thinking about Him, and to link the Name of God with one's breathing and the beating of one's heart. He is guided in all this by the invocation with the lips of the most Holy Name of Jesus Christ, or by saying the Jesus Prayer at all times and in all places and during every occupation, unceasingly. These luminous truths, by enlightening the mind of the seeker and by opening up before him the way to the study and achievement of prayer, help him to go on at once to put these wise teachings into practice. 


For the Full Text of "The Secret of Salvation: Unceasing Prayer": [Click Here]


For the Full Text of "The Way of a Pilgrim": [Click Here]


Sunday, 24 December 2017


2017 1224 52  Nector of Thiruvaachakam:  37.9 Pidittha Patthu பால் நினைந்து

From The  "Pathway to God through the Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

Oh my Treasure! Oh great Lord Sivan!
Oh You Who, very much more solicitous 
than a mother who mindfully suckles her child,
melting this sinner's flesh,
and increasing the inner light,
squirted the never-drying up honey [of bliss into my mouth]
and trailed after me from place to place!
I have [now] followed You
and have caught You firmly.
Henceforth, where will You, at Your pleasure, go? T37.9

பால் நினைந்து ஊட்டும் தாயினும் சாலப் 
பரிந்து நீ, பாவியேனுடைய 
ஊனினை உருக்கி, உள் ஒளி பெருக்கி,
உலப்பு இலா ஆனந்தம் ஆய 
தேனினைச் சொரிந்து, புறம்-புறம் திரிந்த 
செல்வமே ! சிவ பெருமானே !
யான் உனைத் தொடர்ந்து, சிக்கெனப் பிடித்தேன்;
எங்கு எழுந்து அருளுவது, இனியே ?   தி 37.9


YouTube Video: "Paal ninainthootum" sung by Lalgudi Swaminathan:  [Click Here]


Sunday, 17 December 2017


2017 1217 51  Nector of Thiruvaachakam:  22.10 Koil Thiruppathikam தந்தது, உன்-தன்னை

Saint-Poet Maanikkavaachakar

From The "Pathway to God through the Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

You gave Yourself to me and took me in exchange;
Oh Shankara, 
Who, indeed, is the cleverer one of us two?
Infinite Bliss I gained, what did You gain from me?
Oh Mighty Lord who has occupied my mind as Your shrine,
Oh Sivan Who abides in Thirupperunthurai,
Oh my Father, Oh Lord of the Universe,
my body You have taken as Your abode,
for this I have nothing to offer in return.   T22.10

தந்தது, உன்-தன்னை;  கொண்டது, என்-தன்னை;
சங்கரா! ஆர்-கொலோ, சதுரர்?
அந்தம் ஒன்று இல்லா ஆனந்தம் பெற்றேன்;
யாது நீ பெற்றது ஒன்று, என் பால்?
சிந்தையே கோயில் கொண்ட எம் பெருமான்!
திருப்பெருந்துறை உறை சிவனே!
எந்தையே! ஈசா! உடல் இடம் கொண்டாய்;
யான் இதற்கு இலன், ஓர் கைம்மாறே!    தி 22.10


YouTube Video: "Thanthadu un thannai" sung by MMDhandapaniDesikar: [Click Here]


Sunday, 10 December 2017


2017 1210 50  Pathway to God through Thiruvaachakam: Siva Puranam T

From the "Pathway to God through Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

Hallowed be Namachchivaaya  [Your Name]!
     Hallowed be the feet of Naathan [the Lord]!
Hallowed be the feet of Him Who never departs 
     from my heart even for as long as it takes to wink!
Hallowed be the feet of the precious gem of a Guru,
     Who in Kokazhi assumed lordship over me!
Hallowed be the feet of Him, Who in the guise of the Agamaas,
     Stands close [to beings and pours grace on them]!
Hallowed be the feet of the One,
     The Many, the Immanent!

நமச்சிவாய வாழ்க! நாதன் தாள் வாழ்க!
இமைப்பொழுதும் என் நெஞ்சில் நீங்கதான் தாள் வாழ்க!
கோகழி ஆண்ட குருமணி  தன் தாள் வாழ்க!
ஆகமம் ஆகி நின்று அண்ணிப்பான் தாள் வாழ்க!
ஏகன், அநேகன், இறைவன் அடி வாழ்க!  


YouTube Video: Siva Puranam sung with lyrics and meaning: [Click Here]


Sunday, 3 December 2017


2017 1203 49  Pathway to God through Thiruvaachakam : Thiruvaachakopanishad

From The "Pathway to God through the Thiruvaachakam" by G.Vanmikanathan

Saint-Poet Maanikkavaachakar
The "poet of ruby utterances" Maanikkavaachakar sings the song of eternity, Thiruvaachakam, with a clear and serene voice, making available to the Tamils, the same pathway to God even as the Upanishads do

This "Thiruvaachakopanishad", so to say, has the nature of an autobiographical work on the Pathway to God trodden by Maanikkavaachakar.  

"Did I indeed perform penance [thavam] and 'Si vaa ya na ma' gained to chat?
Sivan, the mighty Lord, Who tastes sweet like honey and delicious ambrosia, 
Of his own accord came and entered my heart, and to me, His slave, did the gracious favour,
Of impelling me to c1wdastigate my carnal life and hate it."    T38.10

sings the saint poet.

நானேயோ தவம் செய்தேன்? 'சிவாய நம' எனப் பெற்றேன்?
தேன் ஆய், இன் அமுதமும் ஆய், தித்திக்கும் சிவ பெருமான் 
தானே வந்து, எனது உள்ளம் புகுந்து, அடியேற்கு அருள் செய்தான் --
ஊன் ஆரும் உயிர் வாழ்க்கை ஒறுத்து அன்றே, வெறுத்திடவே !   தி 38.10

"Guru" is one who leads a person out of darkness. Lord Siva himself comes as a Guru for claiming the soul of Maanikkavaachakar, who affirms this in no uncertain terms throughout  the Thiruvaachakam.


YouTube Video: "Naaneyo thavam seiden?" sung by Siva Damodharan [Click Here]


Sunday, 26 November 2017

MANU SMRITI 7.46: WHY AVOID KAMA AND KRODA [ काम क्रोध गण ] ?

2017 1126 48  Manu Smriti 7.46: Why avoid Kama and Kroda [ काम क्रोध गण ] ?

कामजेषु प्रसक्तो हि व्यसनेषु महीपतिः  | 
वियुज्यते अर्थ धर्माबयां क्रोध जेष्वू आत्मना एव तु  ||  M 7.46  

M 7.46. For a king who is attached to the vices springing from love of pleasure, loses his wealth and his virtue, but (he who is given) to those arising from anger, (loses) even his life.  


See also Bhagavad Gita 16.21:

Sunday, 19 November 2017

MANU SMRITI 7.18-19: PUNISHMENT IS DHARMA [ दण्डं धर्म ]

2017 1119 47  Manu Smriti 7.18-19: Punishment is Dharma  [ दण्डं धर्म ]

दण्डः शास्ति प्रजाः सर्वा  दण्ड एव अभिरक्षति  | 
दण्डः सुप्तेषु जागर्ति  दण्डं धर्म  विदूर बुधाः     ||    M 7.18

M 7.18. Punishment alone governs all created beings, punishment alone protects them, punishment watches over them while they sleep; the wise declare punishment (to be identical with) the law (Dharma).

समीक्ष्य स धृतः सम्यक सर्वा रञ्जयति प्रजाः  | 
समीक्ष्य प्रणीतस तु विनाशयति सर्वतः      ||       M 7.19  

M 7.19. If (punishment) is properly inflicted after (due) consideration, it makes all people happy; but inflicted without consideration, it destroys everything.


Sunday, 12 November 2017

MANU SMRITI 8.15: DHARMA PROTECTS [ धर्मो रक्षति ]

2017 1112 46  Manu Smriti 8.15:  Dharma Protects [ धर्मो रक्षति ]

Image result for manu dharma and punishment

धर्म एव हतो हन्ति धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः  | 
तस्माद धर्मो न हन्तव्यो मा नो धर्मो हतो वधीत्   ||    M 8.15

धर्म एव हतो हन्ति   Dharma being violated, destroys;
धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः  Dharma being preserved, preserves.
तस्माद                  Therefore,
धर्मो न हन्तव्यो       Dharma must not be violated   
मा नो धर्मो हतो      lest violated Dharma destroys us.


Sunday, 5 November 2017

MANU SMRITI 10.63 : DHARMA IN SUMMARY [ सामासिकं धर्मं ]

2017 1105 45  Manu Smriti 10.63  Dharma in Summary

अहिंसा सत्यं अस्तेयं शौचं इन्द्रिय निग्रहः   | 
एतं  सामासिकं धर्मं चातुर्वर्ण्ये अब्रवीन मनुः  ||   M 10.63

10.63:  Dharma in Summary [ सामासिकं धर्मं ]

01 अहिंसा    Abstention from injuring (all living things), 
02 सत्यं        Truthfulness
03 अस्तेयं     Abstention from unlawfully appropriating (the goods of others), 
04 शौचं        Purity, and 
05 इन्द्रिय निग्रहः  Control of the sense organs, 

Manu has declared to be the summary of the law for all [the four castes of]  men. 


Sunday, 29 October 2017

MANU SMRTI 6.92: TEN COMPONENTS OF DHARMA [ दशकं धर्म लक्षणं ]

2017 1029 44  Manu Smriti 6.92: The Ten Components of Dharma दशकं धर्म लक्षणं ]


Manu Smriti [6.92] defines the Ten Components of Dharma thus:

धृतिः क्षमा दमः अस्तेयं  शौचं इन्द्रिय निग्रहः   | 
धीः विद्या सत्यं अक्रोधः दशकं धर्म लक्षणं      ||   6.92

The ten components of Dharma [ दशकं धर्म लक्षणं ] are:

1]  धृतिः  firmness
2]  क्षमा  patience
3]  दमः   self-control
4]  अस्तेयं  non-stealing
5]  शौचं   purity, internal and external
6]  इन्द्रिय निग्रहः control of the senses
7]  धीः  strength of mind
8]  विद्या  wisdom
9]  सत्यं   truthfulness and
10]  अक्रोधः  absence of anger

All -- refers to all the four orders [namely, student, householder, hermit and ascetic].

Full text of Manu Smriti in Sanskrit with English Translation: [Click Here]


Sunday, 22 October 2017


2017 1015 43  Poems that touch the heart:  God is not far from any of us

God is not far from any one of us:
The wild flower by the wayside speaks His love;
Each blithesome bird bears tidings from above;
Sunshine and shower His tender mercies prove,
And men know not His voice!

God is not far from any one of us:
He speaks to us in every glad sunrise;
His glory floods us from the noonday skies;
The stars declare His love when daylight dies,
And men know not His voice!

God is not far from any one of us:
He watches o'er his children day and night;
On every darkened soul He sheds His light;
Each burdened heart He cheers, and lends His might
To all who know His voice.


                                           Thomas Curtis Clark [1877-1953]

Sunday, 15 October 2017


2017 1022  42  Poems that touch the heart:  I am still rich

I am still rich.
The morning comes with old-time cheer;
The sun breaks through the blurring mist;
And all the sorrows of the night
By newborn rays of hope are kissed.
Up and rejoice! a spirit cries,
What is your loss with morning skies!

I am still rich.
My friends are faithful, as of old;
They trust me past my poor dessert.
They ask no gift of golden gain,
But only love. With their strength girt,
Can I not face the road ahead --
Though some old treasured joys are dead!

I am still rich.
I have my work, which constant calls;
I could not loiter, if I would;
Each moment has some task to speed,
Some work to do. How kind, how good
Is life that God now grants to me --
A segment of Eternity!

                                      Thomas Curtis Clark [1877-1953]

Sunday, 8 October 2017


2017 1008 41 Poems that touch the heart: Only A Soldier!  Anonymous

UNARMED and unattended walks the Czar, 
Through Moscow's busy street one winter's day..
The crowd uncover as his face they see,- "
God greet the Czar !" they say.

Along his path there moved a funeral,
Grey spectacle of poverty and woe.
A wretched sledge, dragged by one weary man,
Slowly across the snow.
And on the sledge, blown by the winter wind,
Lay a poor coffin, very rude and bare.
And he who drew it bent before his load,
With dull and sullen air.
The Emperor stopped and beckoned to the man ;
"Who is't thou bearest to the grave ?" he said..
"Only a soldier, Sire !" the short reply.
"Only a soldier, dead."
"Only a soldier !" musing, said the Czar ; "
Only a Russian, who was poor and brave..
Move on. I follow. Such an one goes not
Unhonoured to his grave."
He bent his head, and silent raised his cap;
The Czar of all the Russias, pacing slow,.
Following the coffin, as again it went,
Slowly across the snow.
The passers of the street, all wondering,
Looked on that sight, then followed silently
Peasant and prince, and artisan and clerk,
All in one company.

Still, as they went, the crowd grew ever more,
Till thousands stood around the friendless grave,.

Led by that princely heart, who, royal, true,
Honoured the poor and brave.

Sunday, 1 October 2017


2017 1001 40  Poems that touch the heart: Somebody's Mother 

by Mabel Down Northam Brine [1816-1913] : An American Poet
And "somebody's mother" bowed low her head

The woman was old and ragged and gray
And bent with the chill of the Winter's day.

The street was wet with a recent snow
And the woman's feet were aged and slow.

She stood at the crossing and waited long,
Alone, uncared for, amid the throng

Of human beings who passed her by
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eyes.

Down the street, with laughter and shout,
Glad in the freedom of "school let out,"

Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
Hailing the snow piled white and deep.

Past the woman so old and gray
Hastened the children on their way.

Nor offered a helping hand to her —
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir

Lest the carriage wheels or the horses' feet
Should crowd her down in the slippery street.

At last came one of the merry troop,
The gayest laddie of all the group:

He paused beside her and whispered low,
"I'll help you cross, if you wish to go."

Her aged hand on his strong young arm
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm,

He guided the trembling feet along,
Proud that his own were firm and strong.

Then back again to his friends he went,
His young heart happy and well content.

"She's somebody's mother, boys, you know,
For all she's aged and poor and slow.

"And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
To help my mother, you understand,

"If ever she's poor and old and gray,
When her own dear boy is far away."

And "somebody's mother" bowed low her head
In her home that night, and the prayer she said

Was "God be kind to the noble boy,
Who is somebody's son, and pride and joy!"

by Mabel Down Northam Brine [1816-1913]

[See also "Abu Ben Adhem" by Leigh Hunt uploaded on June 26, 2016]