Monday, December 1, 2008

THE HISTORY AND LEGEND OF LORD AYYAPPAN




The descedants of Pandya dynasty discarded by Thirumala Naicker Diwan of Raja Vijayanagar, who was then ruling the Pandya Kingdom, comprising of Madurai, Tirunelveli, Ramananthapuram, were living scattered in places like Valliyur, Tenkasi, Shengottah Achankovil and Sivagiri. At that time, Pandiyas were ruling in many parts of Travancore and the descendants of Pandiya dynasty belonging to Chempazhanattu Kovil, living in Sivagiri were given the right to rule the country of Pandalam, the King of Travancore eight hundres years ago. King Rajasekara was the direct descendant of this dynasty.

King Rajasekara was very talented, courageous and just in his deed, People were living happily and prosperously in his regime. However, the king was very unhappy that he had no children and his subjects were also worried that he had no heir to inherit his kingdom. At the request of the queen, both of them used to pray to Lord Shiva for blessing them with a child.

Mahishasuran, Son of Ramban, undertook a severe penance (Dhavam) towards God. Lord Brahma tried every tactics to stop his penance, but having failed in his attempts, appeared before the Asura and asked what boon he wanted, from him. Mahishasuran asked Lord Brahma to give him a boon by which nobody in the earth would be able to kill him, and Lord Brahma conferred the Boon on him. Mahishasuran, armed with his boon, began to commit atrocities and murders on the earth and terrorised people. Fearing his wrath, people ran away to far away places.

The Devas seeing the atrocities committed by Mahishasuran came to the conclusion that only a divine power could kill him and approached Chandikadevi pleading to put an end to Mahishasura who was misusing the boon given by Lord Brahma. Chandikadevi set out on her mission and killed Mahishasura in a duel, on earth.

Mahishi daughter of Karamba, brother of Ramban undertook a severe penance towards god in order to take revenge on the Devas, who were responsible for the death of her brother. Lord Brahma appeared and offered to confer on Mahishi any boon expect that of immortality. Mahishi asked Lord Brahma to bless her with a boon by which nobody, except the son created out of the union of Shiv (Hari) and Vishnu (Haran), would be able to kill her. Lord Brahma gave the boon and Mahishi went to Devaloka and started harassing the Devas.

The Devas incurred the wrath of Durvasa Muni, who cursed them to go grey. On the advice of Lord Mahavishnu that this curse could be removed only by administering Amrutham taken from Palazhi, the devas took it from the Palazhi, but the Asuras snatched it from them. Lord Mahavishnu in the disguise of Mohini, went to the Asuras and got back the Amrutham and restored it to the Devas. Lord Shiva, when went to see Lord Mahavishnu who was in the guise of a Mohini succumbed to her beauty and out of their union, was born a child. Lord Shiva adorned the Child's neck with a golden chain and ordered that the child be entrusted to the care of his childless disciple, king Rajasekara of Pandalam.

One day King Rajasekara went for hunting in the forest adjoining the banks of River Pampa, along with his men. He started hunting courageously in the dense forest which was a sanctuary for many wild animals. After that hunting was over, King Rajasekara advised his men to take rest and sat there entertaining himself with the sight of the natural greenish beauty and the water-falls, of the forest.

At that time, he hearda child crying from somewhere in the forest. Surprised, he went round and reached the banks of River Pampa. There he saw a beautiful and bright-lit child kicking its legs and cryingout, and was in a dilemma whether to take the child to the Palace or leave it there itself.

While the King was engrossed in his thoughts, a Sanyasi appeared before him and told the King that he need not be afraid of the child and take him to the Palace and that the child belonged to Kshatriya dynasty capable of mitigating all sufferings. The Sanyasi further stated that since the Child had a gold chain around his neck, his namebe called "MANIKANDAN" and when the child completed twelve years, the King would know his divine history. After uttering these words, the Sanyasi disappeared.

The King of Pandalam was very joyous; he took the child to his Palace and briefed the Queen about the incident. The King and the Queen, having prayed to Lord Shiva, for a child, were very happy that they had been blessed with a child. The people also felt happy that a heir to inherit the Kingdom after the King, has been found. However, the Diwan of the Kingdom who was thinking that he would be the next crown after Rajasekara was worried.

When the child, named Manikandan, began to grow in the Palace, everything began to prosper in kingdom. He was taught all martial arts and sastras and the Guru was surprised at his brilliance and agility and the extraordinary talents. The Guru came to the conclusion that he was not an ordinary child, but a divine power. After completing his education under the Guru, Manikandan approached the Guru to offer his Guru Dakshina.

When Manikanda went to his Guru for his Ashirwathams, the Guru told him that he already knew that he was a divine power and he was blessed for having been given an opportunity to have Manikandan as a student. The Guru further told Manikandan that he had one request to make and that was that his only son who was blind and dumb should be given vision and speech. Manikandan called the Guru's son and put his hands on his head and immediately Guru's son had his vision and speech. Manikandan told the Guru not to reveal this to anyone and went to the Palace.

In the meanwhile, the Queen gave birth to a male child and the child was named Raja Rajan. King Rajasekara, impressed with the talents of Manikandan, decided to crown him, treating him as his eldest son. He ordered the Diwan to make arrangements for the same. The Diwan hated this and started devising plans to prevent Manikandan from being crowned to the throne and to annihilate him. He tried various methods including poisoning of food, but failed in all these. However, Manikandan's body bore an injury due to these and ordinary physicians could not cure it. Lastly, Lord Shiva disguising himself as a physician, treated Manikandan's injury and cured him.

Having failed in all his attempts to kill Manikandan, the Diwan approached the Queen and told her that she had her own son, it was not correct to crown a person who came from the forest. He further told the Queen since Arthasastra itself has justified any misdeed if it was done to extract a good thing, he would suggest that the Queen should pretend as if suffering from severe headache and he would make the physician tell that only a tigress' milk should be brought to cure the Queen and since Manikandan would only go to the forest to bring the milk, he would be in danger from the wild animals and even if Manikandan returned without bringing the tigress' milk, the King's love for him would not be as before. The Queen, became a prey to the Diwan's plot and agreed to do what he told, so that her son could succeed the King to the throne.

The Queen, as told by the Diwan, cried out loudly that she was suffering from severe headache and the King, believing this, called the Diwan to bring in the best physicians to treat her. The Physician, brought by the Diwan examined the Queen and told the King that the Queen had been suffering from a dangerous disease and it could be cured only by applying Tigress' milk. The King sent several of his men to the forest for bringing this milk. The King understood that it was an impossible task and wanted his dear Queen to be cured at any cost and offered half of his Kingdom to anybody who brought the Milk.

When the King was thinking about this, Manikandan asked him to let him go to the forest promising to bring the milk. However, the King told him that he was awaiting to be crowned to the throne that he was also not of age and hence refused to let him go. Manikandan told the King inspite of his refusal, he had to go lest he would be cursed for not curing the Queen. Since the King persisted in his refusal Manikandan wanted the King to promise to do something he wanted. The King gave the promise and asked him what he wanted and immediately Manikandan asked the king to permit to go to the Forest. The King felt disappointed that he had been tricked and with no other alternative permitted Manikandan to go to the forest.

King Rajasekara made arrangements to send a group of his loyal men along with Manikandan, which however was refused by Manikandan on the ground that the tigress might run away seeing the crowd of soldiers. King Rajasekara sent alongwith Manikandan necessary foodstuffs and coconuts with three-eyes, in remembrance of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas, sent by Lord Shiva, accompanied Manikandan to Forest.

However, on his way seeing the atrocities of Mahishi in the Devaloka, he went there and in the battle between them, Mahishi was pushed by Manikandan into the earth, where she fell on the banks of Azhutha River. Manikandan clashed with her there.
At the end, of the battle between Mahishi and Manikandan at Azhutha River banks, Manikandan climbed up her chest and danced violently. The impact of his dance was felt in the Earth and Devloka and the Devas were afraid. Mahishi knowing that the divine power dancing on her body was none other than the son of Hari and Haran, prostrated before Manikandan and died. This dance was witnessed by Lord Shiva and Mahavishnu from a place called Kalakatti (It is said that Leela, daughter of Kavalan, a Karamban, with a face of Mahishi and freed herself from the curse and obtained Moksha by the grace of Shri Dharma Sastha, which is described in Sabarimala Temple as Malikapurathu Amma, by which name she has a temple there)
After killing Mahishi, Manikandan went to the forest for the tigress milk, when Lord Shiva appeared before him and told him that though he had done good for the Devas, still there was one main task and that was to give comfort to the King Rajasekara who was very concerned about him and also to cure the Queen's ailment. Lord Shiva further told him that he could go to the Palace with the tigeresses andLord Indran would help him. As stated by Lord Shiva, all female devas in the disguise of a tigeresses and male Devas, as tigers with Lord Devendran as the tiger on whom Manikandan rode, they started their journey to the Palace.

When Manikandan, with the tigers and tigeresses, approached the Palace, the people who ridiculed him when the started his journey to forest whether he wanted a toy tigresses, really got panicky seeing the violent bunch of animals and started running helter shelter.

The Sanyasi who appeared at the forest at the time of King Rajasekara's visit there when he heard a child's cries, again appeared at the palace and told King Rajasekara the Identity of Manikandan. Hearing this, the King stood in great surprise and silence. He stood non-pulsed as he saw Manikandan riding a tiger and people running away. Seeing the King, Manikandan descended from the Tiger's back and told him that since the tigresses were there, he could get the Queen cured with their milk. King Rajasekara, fell at his feet and asked to forgive him for whatever happened without his knowledge, and asked him to send back the tigers as the Queens ailment had been cured themoment Manikandan went to the forest. That day Manikandan reached the age of Twelve.

King Rajasekara told Manikandan that the Diwan was responsible for all these things and hence he should be punished. However, Manikandan told the king that he need not punish the Diwan and all had happened only through the will of God, and he told further that time had come for him to go to Devaloka since the task for which he created himself in the Earth is completed and asked the King what boon he wanted from him and he was ready to give it as he was much pleased by his devotion. Immediately, King Rajasekara told him that they wanted to raise a temple in his memory and suggest a suitable place for the temple. Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at a place called Shabari, where in Sri Rama's era a Sanyasini called Shabari observed Dhavam. Lord Manikandan told the King to build the temple in that place and then he disappeared.

At the advice of Saint Agasthya, King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone for the building Shabarimala Temple. Bhagwan Manikandan, had made it clear that he would grace only those devotees who offer Dharshan after performing Viradha for fortyone days keeping themselves isolated from family desires and tastes and leading a life like Brahmacharys, thinking of good things always, and that while coming for his darshan, they shall adorn themselves with three-eyed coconut and foodstuff/Aantha Garland in their heads, as the Bhagwan did when he went to the forest to fetch tigress milk, and bathed in River Pampa raising slogans of Saranam and climb the eighteen stairs.

As graced by the Bhagwan King Rajasekara completed building of the temple with eighteen stairs to reach it. When the King was thinking how to put Dharmasastha's figure in the temple for darshan to devotees, he recalled the words of the Bhagwan, the River Pampa was a holy river as River Ganga, Sabarimala was a holy place as Kasi. Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman to Sabarimala who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the day of Makarasankranthi. Every year lakhs and lakhs of people throng to Sabarimala irrespective of caste or creed and adorn themselves with garlands and irumudis, chants slogans on Lord Ayyappa, bathe in holy river Pampa, climb up the eighteen stairs and get the grace of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha.


SWAMIYE SHARANAM AYYAPPA

The Jewel Casket is carried on head from the ancestral residence of the royal family of Panthalam to the Shrine on the day. A Garuda, the Brahaman kite, follows this ornaments-carrying procession, hovering about in the sky, After these ornaments are worn on the Lord the bird circles the temple in the sky three times and disappears. Excited by this sight the devotees begin to chant "Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa". A Star never seen before in the sky appears on the day of Makarajyothi day before the sighting of the Jyoti. A Jyoti is seen for a little time on the hilltop showing the presence of Swamy Ayyappan gracing his devotees.

"SHARANAM VILI"

Sharanam Vili is the chanting of Lord Ayyappa's name by the devotees while climbing the hills of Shabarimala, they also do this when performing the pooja of "Kettunira"
and also at the time of travelling to the Lord's Place (Shabarimala).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

days without you...............

I miss you so much day and night
I can't realise why you're gone
I just think I treat you right
but now I'm again alone

The days without you are so long
these days - without your kiss and smile
and I don't know what I've done wrong
I've been thinking of this for a while

A few questions that I need to know -
why does my heart feel so bad ?
why you could ever hurt me so ?
why can't I get you out of my head ?....

Now I'm standing here alone
with this weight upon my heart
wondering why you're gone
remembering our feelings from the start

In my mind I have all my memories in a range -
each moment spent with you
is unforgettable
but I can't realise what made you change
for me this is just un-get-able

I know I won't pull trough without you by my side
so baby come to me - don't run and hide
The only thing I want is to be with you
please honey - make my wish come true

Don't you know that you make my days count?
And I'm always happy when you're around
it doesn't matter what we do
as long as I'm here with YOU

miss............u............

hi........this is a very important person in my life friends....



he helped to to see this world differently......he gave me hope and strength to struggle and



he showed me the meaning of living. gave me the joy to look forward in my life. to forget my past and he managed to take out the softer part of me.....



such a great man..........i respect you and give you the "most important person in my life" title.



dont care how many years u will be away but still i will be hoping that you will come back........



i still remember those cute laughter of yours............



i miss the places we went and explored.............



you helped me to discover and explore many things in my life......



not just physical but mentally tooo.....



whatever happens, life have to go on but i will be still waiting for you forever and ever,



may God bless you with all the best things in life.............



may you also be blessed with sweet things in life tooo....



lots and lots of love from my heart........



a gratitude and tribute for you mr E, (as what ur mum calls u)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

nenjekul peidhidum maamazhai- tamil and english meaning

vaaranam aayiram


Nenjukkul peidhidum maa mazhai
Neerukul moozhgidum thaamarai
Sattendru maarudhu vaanilai
Penne un mel pizhai

I feel the rain in my heart
Lotus is sinking in the water
Sudden change in climate
Girl, fault is on your side

Nillamal veesidum peralai
Nenjukkul neenthidum tharagai
Pon vannam soodiya kaarigai
Penne nee kaanchanai

huge Waves never stop
You swim in my heart girl
You shine like a golden beauty
girl, you are daughter of kasi

Oh shaanti shaanti oh shaanti
Yen uyirai uyirai neeyenthi
Yen sendrai sendrai yennai thaandi
Ini neethan yenthan andhathi


oh shaanti, you carried my life
why did you go after me
you are my chapter hereafter

Nenjukkul peidhidum maa mazhai
Neerukul moozhgidum thaamarai
Sattendru maarudhu vaanilai
Penne un mel pizhai

Charanam 1

Yedho ondru ennai eerka
Mookin nuni marmam serka
Kalla-thanam yedhum illa
Punnagaiyo boganvilla

Something attracted me
you add mystery in nose tip
Your natural smile is like boganvilla

Nee nindra idam endral Vilai yeri pogadho
Nee sellum vazhi ellam panikatti aahadho
Yennodu vaa veedu varaikkum
Yen veetai paar yennai pidikkum

The place you stood can fetch more price
The path you take can become ice bars
come with me to visit my home
you see my home and will start liking me too !


Ival yaaro yaaro theriyadhey
Ival pinnal nenje pogadhey
Idhu poyyo meyyo theriyadhey
Ival pinnal nenje pogadhey

I dont know who she is
my heart, dont follow this girl
cant make it whether this is true or false
my heart, dont follow this girl

Nenjukkul peidhidum maa mazhai
Neerukul moozhgidum thaamarai
Sattendru maarudhu vaanilai
Penne un mel pizhai.. oh.o.


Nillamal veesidum peralai
Nenjukkul neenthidum tharagai
Pon vannam soodiya kaarigai
Penne nee kaanchanai

Charanam 2

Thookangalai thooki sendrai
Yekkangalai thoovi sendrai
Unnai thaandi pogum podhu
Veesum kaatrin veechu veru

You took my sleep away
You made to long for you
When i cross you
I can feel the air is different

Nil endru nee sonnal en kaalam nagaradhey
Nee soodum poovellam oru podhum udhiradhey
Kadhal enai ketka villa
Ketkathadhu kadhal illa

If you say stop, my time doesnt move
the flower which you put on your hair never falls down
love never asked me before entering me
if one doesnt propose, that is not love

Yen jeevan jeevan neethaney
Yena thondrum neram idhuthane
Nee illai illai yendrale
Yen nenjam nenjam thaangadhey

You are my life
i felt that at this very moment
if you refuse
i cant bear it at all

female harmony:
Nenjukkul peidhidum maa mazhai
Neerukul moozhgidum thaamarai
Sattendru maarudhu vaanilai
Penne un mel pizhai.. oh.o.


female & male harmony:
Nillamal veesidum peralai
Nenjukkul neenthidum tharagai
Pon vannam soodiya kaarigai
Penne nee kaanchanai

m: Oh shaanti shaanti oh shaanti
Yen uyirai uyirai neeyenthi
Yen sendrai sendrai yennai thaandi
Ini neethan yenthan andhathi

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

HAPPY DEEPAVALI MALAYSIANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


WISH U ALL A VERY HAPPY AND JOYFUL DEEPAVALI THIS YEAR..............

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wedding Planning.................








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Saturday, August 30, 2008

alone

Purity once had a name,
And beauty once had a face.
Life once had a meaning,
And once I was safe.
Once there was freedom,
And once I could laugh.
Happiness once was alive,
And once I had another half.
Once I shared his love,
Once I was by his side,
Once I felt I fitted,
So quickly that died.
His grace so great,
His beauty so vast,
All I ever wanted,
Was for it to last.
Fate maybe had another plan,
and he had another love,
But it all fell apart,
The hand too big for the glove.
Now it's all died away,
Happiness, joy, love; all memories.
Now I walk alone in this dark, dark world,
With no light to guide my way..............

To Watch You Leaving

To Watch You Leaving . . .

is to know such pain, it's jagged edges tearing into my soul. As a stake from the garden tears into the warm, dark earth.

To Watch You Leaving . . .

knowing all the while that never again will I fit myself, warm with sleep, against your solid back.

Nor hear your steady breathing. Or feel the beating of your heart.

To Watch You Leaving . . .

aware in every moment of every day that my dreams, my future; once tied with silken ribbons to yours, will never come to be.

And the mornings once so silent and hopeful, us gazing at the mountains and so gently awaiting forever - are now but small pieces of my past.

To Watch You Leaving . . .

your heart a tight fist of anger and your dry eyes betraying nothing of you. I cry for both of us, my love, because you will not.

To Watch You Leaving . . .

is to know that I've lost my place on this earth. My station. My heart's home. That I will wander, forever a nomad. Alone and afraid. And in my troubled dreams watch you leave, again and again.

For the balance of my days.

Slow Tears

i I look up
as a tear rolls slowly
down my cheek
I think about better days
and wonder if I'll feel that way again
you look at me
with those eyes I know so well
always serious, so deep and insightful
as though you're always in control
But not today
not now
Now you look so scared
like for once you don't have the answer
I gaze at you
looking deep into those hazel eyes
Hoping to understand
why you've said those things you did
I wonder for a moment
if this is all a dream
if I shall wake in the morning
and be relieved
you look at me
with a confusion I have never seen
slowly pull me towards you
and wipe the tears from my cheek

RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS..............

In real life, some people are not really meant to be together, and sometimes when you’ve tried everything humanly possible — and I mean really tried everything including asking for divine intervention — and failed, it’s smart to know when to walk away.

Walking away does not necessarily mean you will be able to stop loving that person because if you really love someone from your heart and soul you will never stop loving that person. Love is so much bigger than all of us because it’s the very fabric by which we are made of. And when you love someone what you are basically doing is getting in touch with what you are made of. Trying to stop love is like trying to get out of your own skin — good luck with that!
Walking away or “getting over” that person means that you stop expecting him or her to give you what he or she in unable to, is unwilling to, or just doesn’t want to. And sometimes that something is commitment.

But I think a lot of people walk away too soon. This is the sad reality of the “modern” world we live in. We think that relationships come in little neat packages with instructions “Add A Little Sex And Live Happily Ever’. Many people don’t realize that relationships need time and work. And with all the advice about “too many fish in the sea”, walking away seems the coolest thing to do. It shows that you “don’t care” and from where this kind of advice comes from, that is supposed to be a good thing. But many years later — just like the people who gave you the advice — you are still trying to “catch fish” in that sea. What does it say about you if you can’t catch even one fish in a sea with too many fish?

Many more aren’t willing to work as hard to make a relationship work as they work hard in their professions or careers. These same people start pushing premature commitment because of their own internal pressures and are quick to conclude it isn’t working and walk away.

And then there are some people who try to work things out but go about it the wrong way — nagging, begging, blaming, guilt tripping, giving ultimatums, playing break-up on and off again games etc. This very same things you do to try to get a “commitment” are the very things that make a commitment phobe even more weary of committing or run like an escaped death-row convict.

So true, being in love with someone who is afraid of commitment is hard, but commitment phobia is not a “terminal illness”.

Men and women do get over their fear of commitment. I did. And you probably have heard or know of many men and women who were written off as commitment phobes by the people they were in a relationship with and two months later they have committed to someone else. And the person who dumped the commitment phobe is left confused, angry, jealous, bitter and feeling terribly inadequate — like something is so wrong with her/him that someone who could never commit to them, had no problems committing to the next person.

Sometimes what a commitment phobe needs is:

– someone who doesn’t automatically assume that it’s all a selfish act but understands and appreciates where the fear and anxieties are coming from (fear of losing one’s independence, fear of marriage, fear of intimacy, fear of having kids, fear of financial burdens, fear of sharing a home, fear of offending family members, fear of moving to another state or country etc). Understanding and appreciation can help the two of you come to a compromise you can both live with.

– someone who is emotionally well enough and emotionally secure enough to give some real tough-love; Many commitment phobes have been through so many relationships and know exactly how the script plays out. Having a game-changer who will not play by the script can sometimes be the “shock therapy” a commitment phobe really needs.

– someone who is committed to really helping the commitment phobe get to that place where he or she feels “safe” enough to come out of their hiding place. Commitment phobia, like all fear, is really a wall to hide behind. And seeing that there is really nothing to fear is a great relief to a commitment phobe.

So before you walk away, make sure that you’ve earned your way out — that is given it everything you got and more. That way you don’t look back with regret because you dumped someone you still love and a few months later he or she commits to someone else.

dumped?

There is not an easy answer on how to recover from being dumped by someone that you love. When you are experiencing the agony of a heartache, many people will offer you advice that you do not want to hear at that moment. You may hear comments like "I told you so", "you can do much better", or "it's their loss" and even the ever so popular "just get over it, you don't need them". No one can measure the amount of pain that you are feeling, and all the emotions that are attached.

You may experience feelings of rejection, betrayal, sorrow, loneliness or even anger. It is normal to dwell on all the good times in the relationship and forget anything that was negative. You may begin to blame yourself, and wonder what you could have done differently. Your pain is real and although most people have experienced a similar loss, your feelings are incomparable. Everyone deals with situations differently and there is not one person that can identify with the way it affects you.

The good news is that you are in control of your feelings and can determine the outcome. You can decide what is the best remedy for you in this situation. You may chose to stay busy and surround yourself with positive people, so that you are not alone to dwell on the emptiness that you feel. Eventually you will have to deal with your emotions, instead of camouflaging them in a crowd. You may want to be alone with a gallon of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, looking at photographs, and listening to sappy love songs. It is good to cry and release the emotions that you are feeling.

The one mistake that you should avoid is contacting the one who dumped you. This person did not care about your feelings when they dumped you, why would they care how you are feeling now? I remember my first heartbreak. I did not think the pain would ever go away. My Daddy told me "quit crying, because no man is worth your tears, and the one who is, won't make you cry". I can assure you that the pain is only temporary and will eventually fade. One day you will look back on your relationship without regret. Every relationship that you experience should be a preparation for the final one. Sometimes you have to trample through bad weeds to find your castle, but the thorns that pricked you along the way will miraculously heal when you arrive at your destination.

Do not be consumed with the notion that you were dumped by someone that you loved. Instead, remember the feelings of being in love and that you can experience that once again with someone that will value your relationship. Time heals wounds, and will guide you to the castle that is waiting for your arrival.

self motivation

Staying motivated is a struggle — our drive is constantly assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. Everyone faces doubt and depression. What separates the highly successful is the ability to keep moving forward.
There is no simple solution for a lack of motivation. Even after beating it, the problem reappears at the first sign of failure. The key is understanding your thoughts and how they drive your emotions. By learning how to nurture motivating thoughts, neutralize negative ones, and focus on the task at hand, you can pull yourself out of a slump before it gains momentum.

Reasons We Lose Motivation.

There are 3 primary reasons we lose motivation.
Lack of confidence - If you don’t believe you can succeed, what’s the point in trying?
Lack of focus - If you don’t know what you want, do you really want anything?
Lack of direction - If you don’t know what to do, how can you be motivated to do it?

How to Boost Confidence

The first motivation killer is a lack of confidence. When this happens to me, it’s usually because I’m focusing entirely on what I want and neglecting what I already have. When you only think about what you want, your mind creates explanations for why you aren’t getting it. This creates negative thoughts. Past failures, bad breaks, and personal weaknesses dominate your mind. You become jealous of your competitors and start making excuses for why you can’t succeed. In this state, you tend to make a bad impression, assume the worst about others, and lose self confidence.
The way to get out of this thought pattern is to focus on gratitude. Set aside time to focus on everything positive in your life. Make a mental list of your strengths, past successes, and current advantages. We tend to take our strengths for granted and dwell on our failures. By making an effort to feel grateful, you’ll realize how competent and successful you already are. This will rejuvenate your confidence and get you motivated to build on your current success.
It might sound strange that repeating things you already know can improve your mindset, but it’s amazingly effective. The mind distorts reality to confirm what it wants to believe. The more negatively you think, the more examples your mind will discover to confirm that belief. When you truly believe that you deserve success, your mind will generate ways to achieve it. The best way to bring success to yourself is to genuinely desire to create value for the rest of the world.

Developing Tangible Focus

The second motivation killer is a lack of focus. How often do you focus on what you don’t want, rather than on a concrete goal? We normally think in terms of fear. I’m afraid of being poor. I’m afraid no one will respect me. I’m afraid of being alone. The problem with this type of thinking is that fear alone isn’t actionable. Instead of doing something about our fear, it feeds on itself and drains our motivation.
If you’re caught up in fear based thinking, the first step is focusing that energy on a well defined goal. By defining a goal, you automatically define a set of actions. If you have a fear of poverty, create a plan to increase your income. It could be going back to school, obtaining a higher paying job, or developing a profitable website. The key is moving from an intangible desire to concrete, measurable steps.
By focusing your mind on a positive goal instead of an ambiguous fear, you put your brain to work. It instantly begins devising a plan for success. Instead of worrying about the future you start to do something about it. This is the first step in motivating yourself to take action. When know what you want, you become motivated to take action.

Developing Direction

The final piece in the motivational puzzle is direction. If focus means having an ultimate goal, direction is having a day-to-day strategy to achieve it. A lack of direction kills motivation because without an obvious next action we succumb to procrastination. An example of this is a person who wants to have a popular blog, but who spends more time reading posts about blogging than actually writing articles.
The key to finding direction is identifying the activities that lead to success. For every goal, there are activities that pay off and those that don’t. Make a list of all your activities and arrange them based on results. Then make a make an action plan that focuses on the activities that lead to big returns. To continue the example from above, a blogger’s list would look something like this:
Write content
Research relevant topics
Network with other bloggers
Optimize design and ad placements
Answer comments and email
Read other blogs
Keeping track of your most important tasks will direct your energy towards success. Without a constant reminder, it’s easy to waste entire days on filler activities like reading RSS feeds, email, and random web surfing.
When my motivation starts to wane, I regain direction by creating a plan that contains two positive actions. The first one should be a small task you’ve been meaning to do, while the second should be a long-term goal. I immediately do the smaller task. This creates positive momentum. After that I take the first step towards achieving the long-term goal. Doing this periodically is great for getting out of a slump, creating positive reinforcement, and getting long-term plans moving.
It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter periods of low energy, bad luck, and even the occasional failure. If you don’t discipline your mind, these minor speed bumps can turn into mental monsters. By being on guard against the top 3 motivation killers you can preserve your motivation and propel yourself to success.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Beautiful Heart

The more hurt and pain you have gone thru in life, the stronger and more
beautiful your heart will be.....

One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.

A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces missing.

The people stared. How can he say his heart is more beautiful?? they thought. The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."

"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges - giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands.

The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.

They embraced and walked away side by side.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

swiftly and tenderly

How well do I know you ,
Cuddling up in the same blanket,
misty window pine breaking thru,
a little warmth in the iced jacket,
Blood stained hand with guilt unfolding.

Take me to your world of wonder,
I jump up into your heavenly abode,
take me on a train to the hills,
down into the country road.

This is life, I think,
maybe more than anything I desire,
more than words would ever be able to describe,
the touch of woods in the fire,
that simple touch which burns the twigs,
and gives light,
comsumed in pain.

Kindness is consumed into lustful thoughts,
No, that's not life,
a friendly touch turns out to be sexual,
No, that's not mine,
Maybe the longer you linger in my arms,
in sweet surrender,
I will sing to you,
my songs of sorrow,
just to see how your smile comforts me,
from my evil desires,
it keeps me away,
divine,
in a sense.

Swiftly and tenderly,
you make me go away,
away from this world,
closer to your heart.

=Ray of Light=

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Unhappiness & Depression

The Cause of Unhappiness
The cause of unhappiness is a belief. What happens, no matter how undesirable or destructive to our life, health, desires or loves, does not cause unhappiness. The belief that we have to be unhappy is the only cause.
We merely believe we need to have things or avoid things in order to avoid unhappiness, which we would not have to fear if we did not believe we needed to be unhappy.

What Causes Unhappiness
When a person is believing he/she has to be unhappy, what they are believing is that they have to be unhappy because they believe they are against themselves. The belief in unhappiness is the belief in being wrong for oneself. Unhappiness, in fact, means that I believe that I do, or want, or think, or feel a way that is bad for me.
A person believes: Certain things I do not want to happen may happen or are now happening. I don’t want them to. I feel bad (and am worried or afraid now) because I “shouldn’t” be thinking negatively about my life now. Maybe I shouldn’t be not wanting what is evidently happening anyway. I am (as-if) denying reality, and that is wrong. I will be unhappy about this in the future because when certain things I do not want or do not like happen I will feel a way that is bad for me. It is wrong to expect misfortune. That is “unhappy” of me.
It doesn’t matter that if the undesirable event happens to me from circumstances out of my control, or if I think I am the cause or part of the cause; unhappiness comes as me believing that I now have proof that I am bad for myself.
“Bad for myself” means I am not really wanting for me what I “should” be wanting for me, and something can prove it. The belief is that this event “proves” it.
Basically, feeling bad means that I believe that what I do, or think, or want, or feel means I am against my own best interests. I believe these are a bad way of doing thinking, wanting or feeling. The way I am being is a bad (wrong, self-defeating) way of being.
This could be called the same as believing that I will be a way I shouldn’t be, or think a way I shouldn’t or want or feel a way I shouldn’t. If we didn't believe that we could be a way we “shouldn’t” we couldn’t feel unhappy no matter what else we felt.
All unhappiness is the fear that we have a bad attitude for ourselves. We are afraid that something proves we are bad for ourselves in the sense that we are in some way against what we are for, and for what we are against. We are afraid that we have a self-defeating attitude.
The fear that we have a bad, or self-defeating, attitude is the same as distrusting the very source or cause of our motivation. We are unhappy when we believe our very life, our heart, our self is against all that we live for; our personal happiness.
Happiness is the freedom to be as we are, however we are; richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, gaining or losing, succeeding or failing, wanting or not wanting, approving or not approving, forever. Happy is what we are and what we’ll be if we don’t believe we are wrong to be as we are.

The Seven Understandings of All Unhappiness

1. Unhappiness is the feeling of a belief about a perceived or imagined phenomena; not an experience caused by the phenomena or anything else.
2. Unhappiness is experiencing your own believing that an event is bad and/or should not be because you believe IT causes unhappiness.
3. Believing something causes unhappiness is the very reason it seems to “cause” unhappiness.
4. Believing that something can cause unhappiness is the only cause of the fear of it. By “fear” is meant loathing, need to avoid, need to cure, need to kill or eliminate, disgust, hatred, terror, horror, repulsion, disdain and all such similar feelings.
Fear is not a simple desire to avoid, destroy or otherwise prevent or eliminate a threat to your desire values. That attitude does not need to presume avoiding unhappiness in order to justify a simple desire.
5. Believing someone or something is morally wrong or evil, psychologically “sick” or behaviorally inappropriate is to fear that person or thing as if it could cause unhappiness.
6. Unhappiness is fearing that unhappiness can “happen” or be caused by anything.
7. Unhappiness is believing that something is necessary, something has to be, should be, ought to be, or must be other than what it is.

ways to be happy................

What is happiness? We all have our own definitions. It could be feeling joyful, optimistic, content, or even just truly relaxed. Some may say that happiness is freedom from the kind of strain or unhappiness they used to feel. Some are not even sure happiness is something they have time for. They may think, “It’s enough to just get through my to-do list every day. I don’t have time to pursue happiness on top of everything else.” And yet, would they insist that they must strain and feel tense to accomplish their goals? Or might they think they can feel peace of mind, content, yes, even happy, and still succeed in getting everything done? So here are ten sure-fire ways to increase your happiness quotient and achieve your goals more easily than before!

Don't expect perfection from yourself or anyone else. Don't forget this is planet Earth. And don’t expect perfection in working these happiness tips, either. Lean into them everyday, and your life can change. Progress is good enough.
Accept. Stop judging. When we judge ourselves, our circumstances, or other people, it leaves no opening to settle into and accept “what is.” If your circumstances seem too severe to accept, try to resist less. And less. You will give yourself emotional space to move toward acceptance and change at the same time. Sounds like a contradiction, but that’s the beauty. It isn't.

Stay in the present. Do not waste time and energy regretting the past or worrying about the future. Worry is a drain. We might think that worry teaches us or motivates us, but calm presence is the best source of happiness, wisdom, and positive action.

Be grateful. When we put our attention on all the good in our lives, the good tends to increase. Remember to be thankful for the small blessings, the everyday things.

Decide to be happy. Having the intention to be happy, regardless of current circumstances, attracts conditions that support you. The old saying that “like attracts like” even works with your intentions. They act like a magnet and draw to you more of what you are already resonating. If you want to be happy, make happiness your first desire.

Be self-authorized. Stop making choices based on what others believe you should do, think, or be. Stay true to your own innate knowing of what is best for you. Speak your truth in a kind manner. Let others be responsible for their reactions.

Choose how you feel. We often say that something or someone "made" us feel a certain way. And yet, as we watch people react so differently to the same event, we see with our own eyes that people choose how they feel. Learn to pause. Take a moment to choose how you wish to react and feel. You may be surprised at how much leeway you have!

Examine your beliefs. Often things in our life we accept as facts are really self-defeating beliefs. Once you find these beliefs are not true, they will shift and dissolve. Beliefs influence every decision you make.
Expand your options. Allow for more possibilities in the present and future, regardless of past experience. Drop the word "can’t" from your self-talk. Allow yourself to dream big. On a weekly basis, write down all your desires, and let the sky be the limit.

Create what you desire. Rather than putting all your energy into pushing away the things you don’t want, direct your energy into creating what you do want. Come up with even just one action step - and then the next - and start building the life you desire.

heart broke

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

how do to understand non heterosexual


How to Understand Gay and Lesbian People


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Gay men and Lesbians are not as different from the rest of society as you may assume they are. They have been labelled, they have had to fight for acceptance, and for equal treatment under the law, such as the right to marry and adopt children. Do you really know about them, or do you just think you do?

Steps


  1. Learn that gay men and lesbians are no different from any other group of people. They have dreams and goals, and want to be happy and lead productive lives. The more time you spent around gay and lesbian people, the more you realize that they're just people, the same as you.
  2. Forget about stereotypes; they almost always do not apply.

  3. Accept the fact that the ability to love or care for another is not solely related to sexuality; love has no gender. Gay relationships are built and based on the same foundations as straight ones: mutual attraction, love, respect and trust.
  4. Realize that it is not your business who other people love. That is personal to each individual, and has nothing to do with your life (if you choose to keep your life separate). The way others live does not affect the way you live in any way, so if you choose to stay away and segregate yourself from gay men and lesbians living openly, they will not attempt to force their friendship on you.
  5. Understand that gay and lesbian people do not choose to be gay and cannot make themselves straight; just as straight people do not choose to feel attracted towards the opposite sex.
  6. Be open minded, as you would be with any other person. Do not assume that a person is sexually attracted to you; if you're a girl, do you assume that all straight boys are into you, because they like girls? That would be ridiculous, and the same thing applies to everyone - just because a person is attracted to your gender does not mean that they are sexually interested in you. Being friends with someone who has a different sexual orientation to you is no different to having a friends of the opposite sex.


Tips


  • Straight people do not need to be nervous around gay people. Treat the gay community as you would the heterosexual community.
  • If you meet a person at work whom you suspect might be gay, refrain from asking them about it. Ask yourself if you would appreciate being asked about your sex life by a work colleague? Probably not. Accept them as you would any of the other workers, and befriend them equally. If they wish to disclose their sexual preference, they will, but leave it for your coworkers to decide when or whether to do so.
  • Be aware that it probably took a lot of courage for someone to inform you of their sexuality, and that it is a gift of honesty and trust. It is important to that person's integrity to be honest about themselves, and you owe it to them and to yourself to be as understanding to them as you would want them to be with you.


Warnings


  • Never use any of your views, whether religious or not, to make a homosexual feel that they are evil, or untouchable. If you truly want to understand them as people, you will need to approach the subject with an open mind. Disapproving of the "sin" should not make you hate the person who you believe to be "sinning".
  • Many devote people do not consider homosexuality a sin. Do not try to force your views on LGBT people.
  • Hostility will most often be met with hostility. In keeping with the title of our article, to truly understand someone, try to open a dialogue rather than lecturing based on your past knowledge or experience. Opening yourself to a person and truly making yourself willing to hear him or her can go a long way towards real understanding between both of you. Using derogatory slang is - at the very least - thoughtlessly using language that shows to other people that you don't respect the LGBT community.


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations





Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Understand Gay and Lesbian People. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

fasting

Fasting is not a new concept to people in developing countries or to Islam. Food fasting is a common practice in our cultures, as a part of religious practices. There is Ramadan which requires a month of day-time fasting; fasting being one of the five pillars of Islam. Other religions that inculcate fasting in their ritual practices are Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism (during Yom Kippur), Confucianism, Jainism, and Christianity (before Easter).
Apart from fasting as a form of religious observance, it is also practiced as a form of civil disobedience. Hunger strikes, for example, are a form of resistance popularized by Mahatma Gandhi. This practice is common in India, where workers irrespective of religion would go on a fast in front of their workplaces to either protest unjust practices of their employer/government or some other demand-like action against injustice. They fast until their demands are met and at times declare a fast unto death. Fasting is used as a political weapon the world over by people to protest against the injustices practiced by their governments. From political prisoners in America to Asian immigrants who have been incarcerated in Australia, fasting has proved to be a powerful tool to send out a message.

In some countries, some people go on a silence fast, when the person doesn’t talk for a day or a few days. It is called by different names in different countries of the south. In the Indian subcontinent, it is called “mouna virath” where mouna means silence and virath means fast. Some health resorts require all its members to go on silence fasts during the period of stay in the resort. While it has not been scientifically proven that this actually has health benefits for the person, it requires great effort and discipline on the part of the person participating in the silence fast, for not even a grunt or a groan is allowed. Silence fasts helps in inculcating discipline in humans and most martial arts schools use them in training.

But an energy fast?

Earth Facts

According to the World Watch Institute and the Rainforest Conservation Fund, here are a few earth facts:

*Almost two acres of rainforest disappear every second. With shrinking rainforests, thousands of species which inhabit the rainforests, such as the gliding tree frog and the colorful macaw, have made the endangered species list.

*Smog and increasing pollution is choking our cities with more people falling ill as a result and developing higher health bills.

* Drastic population increases have necessitated burning of carbon-based fuel, like coal and oil, for power production. As a result, the carbon locked in millions of years worth of ancient plant growth was released into the air, laying a heat-retaining blanket of carbon dioxide over the planet. Earth's temperature has increased significantly, just as climate scientists had predicted 30 years ago. And annual damages from weather disasters have increased over 40-fold.

* Our consumption of chemicals has exploded, with about three new synthetic chemicals introduced each day. Almost nothing is known about the long-term health and environmental effects of new synthetics, so we have been ensnared again and again by belated discoveries. As pesticide use has increased, so has the evolution of pesticide-resistant pests.

* The increase in the human population in the past 30 years is equal to that of the past 100,000 years! This extreme increase in the number of people and the pressures to accommodate the human population has had a direct effect on the amount of land used by each person, either directly or through economic demand. As a result of this expansion, incursions of human activity into agricultural and forested lands have accelerated.

* Our oceans and sea life are in trouble and we need to do something about it. The global economy has more than doubled in the past 30 years, putting pressure on most countries to increase export income. Many have tried to increase revenues by selling more ocean fish, for which there is growing demand, since the increase in crop yields no longer keeps pace with population growth. Result: over-fishing is decimating one stock after another and the catch is getting thinner and thinner.

Fast Or Buy?



Can you go without man-made energy for a day?
Energy fasts are pretty much the same as food fasts, except you go completely without man-made energy for a day. It would be easier to observe this in the developing and underdeveloped countries if we pretend we are in the midst of a power cut and a petrol pump strike for an entire day.

But why energy fast instead of fasting from a natural resource like water, for example? This is because after population pressures, human energy use is the second link in the chain of environmental destruction. All human beings need energy; for warmth, for cooking food, and in the developing and developed countries for our manufactured goods, transportation and communication. Evidently the locating, refining, production, and distribution of consumer-ready power itself require energy.

But why is this important? Because every time we use energy, there are costs to nature.

The late David Brower, founder of Earth Island Institute who is considered by many to be the dean of the world environment movement, said in 2000, “Many environmentalists hail new efficient and ‘green’ energy sources, while forgetting that our greatest untapped source of energy is still the energy we can conserve by not using so much of it. Earth Day Energy Fast is the kind of idea that we need right now to put ‘conservation’ back in the conservation movement. To all those who are concerned about climate change, air pollution, species extinction, and the other costs to the earth of making energy, it's time to take action. Give the Earth a break it can feel by going on an Earth Day Energy Fast.”

So instead of just buying energy efficient gadgets, which is important but also easy, try going on an energy fast. Better still, try to combine your food fast with your energy fast, which is comparatively easier. Depending on the climatic conditions of each country, one can observe it in spring, winter, summer or fall. Go on an energy fast for one day. Get your community involved.

The Green Ribbon Pledge


The green ribbon stands not only for environmental awareness but also means the person wearing it has taken the pledge to conserve
While the red ribbon stands for AIDS awareness, the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness, the green ribbon stands not only for environmental awareness but also means the person wearing it has taken the pledge to conserve. Join people worldwide who have taken the green ribbon pledge to conserve energy for a secure future. There are hundreds of things you can do every day to reduce energy consumption. The result will be that you’ve saved energy and money, increased our national security, improved our air and water quality, lessened threats posed by global warming, and benefited the health of all humans. Here are a few suggestions from the Green Ribbon Pledge:

LIGHTS & COMPUTERS: Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms; turn off appliances and computers when not in use.

LIGHT BULBS: Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.

FULL LOADS: Wash only full loads in dish washers and washing machines.

WINDOW SHADES: Keep drapes and shades closed at night in winter (to keep heat in) and during the day in summer (to keep heat out).

HEATING & COOLING: Adjust home and office thermostats down at least one degree when heating and up at least one degree when cooling (adjust further when you are out).

WATER HEATING: Put an insulating blanket on your water heater (saves 540 kWh/year).

LOW-FLOW FAUCETS: Install faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads to reduce water use and energy used for water heating (saves up to 446 kWh/year).

HOT WATER PIPES: Insulate hot water pipes, especially at their outlets from hot water heaters (minimum savings of 340 kWh/year).

GREEN ENERGY: Purchase green energy from renewable energy sources where available (where not available, hook up with local groups and companies that supply green vehicles and spread awareness about it).

CARPOOL/PUBLIC TRANSIT: Take public transit or carpool to work, school, and events.

CAR CARE: Keep your car well tuned, tires inflated, and have regular oil changes.

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito – African proverb.

Cutting down energy use is the most important thing you can do to secure our and our children’s future from the negative effects of unreliable, unstable and environmentally damaging energy sources

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

dying

Feel the blowing leaves and reeds
Lying on our backs in that field
Felt like we were the only humans
Banished in the middle of no where

Staring at the thousands of stars
Feeling the crisp night prickle my spine
Feeling your heart beat so close to mine
And repeatedly saying the same three words

"I love you" is what you told me
Before we promised we would be together
Forever and ever, you have my heart
And I could feel your warm embrace

And now I'm here, all alone
Wondering what I've done so wrong
Watching my whole life before my eyes
And feeling the cruel world crash down on me

Can't you see what pain you've caused?
Can't you see I'm dying...

hurt

There must be a wound!
No one can be this hurt
and not bleed.

How could he injure me so?
No marks
No bruise

Worse!
People say 'My, you're looking well'
…..God help me!
he've mummified me -
ALIVE!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Heart Is Broken.

Is there a better place,
To be right now,
Than to be home,
Listening to the crickets’ sounds,
Outside the windows.
Is there a better place,
To be right now,
Than in the bed,
Closing my eyes,
Falling into a deep sleep,
To forget about the days,
Forget about the nights,
Forget about you.

Heartbroken,
Nothing better than to sleep,
To forget that you are gone,
To forget your lies,
Forget the way,
You told me,
You never loved me,
Forget the way,
You looked at me,
When you left me,
I want to forget,
I want to leave this world,
Close my eyes,
Fall to sleep to stop the heart,
From beating.

I block my ears,
From hearing the sounds,
Like your voice,
Like when you sing to me,
Those lovely songs,
They sounded to tender,
Now they kill me,
They hurt me,
I don’t want to hear anything,
Don’t want to hear the waves,
Hitting against the sand,
Don’t want to hear the birds,
Chirping outside the windows.
Don’t want to see my face,
Don’t want to see you,
Don’t want anything,
That has to do with you,
I want to close,
I want to block away,
The world to stop the pain,
In my heart.
I want my heart to stop beating,
To stop bleeding,
From your words,
Your lies.

worthless

Was it worth the the countless hours?

My mind still races and never stops asking.

Then I ask myself was it worth all those beautiful flowers?

Or was something in their color lacking?

Was it worth the time we spent together?

Or was I just replaceable, like old, brown, cheap leather

Did the days in the park mean anything, as the hot warm sun shined down upon my lover?


The numerous memories we had together, you blew away as if light as a feather.

And the fruitful dreams I had of YOU turned to nightmares cold and black

Because the pain I felt from you was worse than searing burns upon my back.

You showed no sorrow, for the heart you turned hallow, so I had no choice but to follow.

So I left my empty heart and tried to take another’s, like you had shown

But the sounds of tears from another heart did nothing to fill my own

Was it worth going through so many others, after my heart was shattered apart?

For the pain still remains in the bottom of my heart

What now?

I looked forward to sleep.
Sometimes I dream, and you are there.
And then
I realize,
Here's the reality of my life I've come to hate.
Careless whispers heated the coldness of my smile.
Once upon a time,
Long sexy strokes of confidence coloured my skin,
Because then,
You were there.
I don't know if I'll ever forget
How you made everything to me
Seem complete.
You were the passion underneath the harshness of those tidal waves.
They used to sink me and drown me.
And then,
You gave your breath to me,
And then
I tasted the sweet flavor of life.
Now, I need to break the intricate web,
You have woven around me.
Safety cradles me like a soft lullaby.
But then,
That was the only song I wanted to hear.
And then, you threw it away.
Bittersweet sensations,
Lingered like an unwanted scar.
You hid me far away from the painful truth,
And then
You tossed your heart high into the nighttime sky.
Far enough,
I cried because I couldn't see it.
Now, I look forward to sleep.
I can dream,
When you were there.
But like love insatiable,
You remain where memories call like haunting winds.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Same-sex love in classical Indian literature

It is often said by ignorant and/or homophobic people that same-sex relationship and love is a Western import. The term “Western” itself is an anomaly as it assumes that the West is a monolithic entity; but that’s another issue.
In this essay, I will reveal that same-sex relationship and love is not an alien import but rather has existed in Indian society throughout the ages [1]. That ironically, it was homophobia that was an import from the ‘West’ rather than homosexuality. Same-sex love has existed in Indian society and culture and this can be seen if one were to do a literature survey.

This essay will have three parts, each touching on the literature of era, each giving a sampling of the works of the particular era. You will notice that a lot of religious texts will be quoted as well as religious icons will be mentioned. The reason for this is that when one talks about Indian culture and literature, one cannot get away from the spiritual aspect. Indian society is deeply intertwined with it, be it with Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism or Sikhism.


I. Ancient (Before 8th C) and Medieval (8th to 18th C) Sanskritic, Buddhist & Jain Traditions

Friendship & Marriage

Friendship between same-sex (predominantly between men) was often expressed in intimate terms. An example of this closeness is the relationship between Krishn and Arjun.

Krishn says to Arjun:

Thou art mine and I am thine, while all that is mine is thine also! He that hateth thee hateth me as well, and he that followeth thee followeth me! … O Partha, thou art from me and I from thee. (Vana Parva [2])

On the last night before returning to Dwarka:

Krishn of great energy proceeded to the apartments of Dhananjay [3]. Worshipped duly and furnished with every object of comfort and enjoyment, Krishn of great intelligence passed the night in happy sleep with Dhananjay as his companion. (Aswamed Parva [4])

So sacred was friendship that it used the same symbolism as the seven circambulations made around the sacred fire during a Hindu wedding. Saptapadam hi mitram or seven steps taken together constitutes friendship. Ram and Sugriv walked round the fire seven times to seal their friendship [5].

A prominent character in the Mahabharat, Bhisma, was actually quite against it. He said that a man goes to a woman “for the sake only of offspring” as a one who overcomes all difficulties. He also mentioned that sex and marriage came when the human race degenerated.

In the five books of the Panchatantra[6], what is to be noted is that all the characters (animals of different species) are male and form close friendships. In one story, friendship triumphs marriage.

Births Other Than Natural

The obvious heterosexual pairing is absent in various instances. Sometimes it takes the form of being born from the elements and sometimes from same-sex unions or designs. Sita (Ramayan) and Draupadi (Mahabharat) were born from the earth and fire respectively. Jarasandh was born as two halves from two women and later joined by a demoness (Mahabharat). Kartiki was born by Agni swallowing Shiv’s sperm and hence is also know is Skanda from the verb skandri [7] (Shiv Puran [8]). Ayappan was born out of the union between Shiv and Vishnu in the form of Mohini (Bhagawat Puran). The latter depicts the fluidity of gender. Ganesh was born outside of the womb (Shiv Puran).

Shiv ordered two women to have sex in order to have children after their husband died. Hence Bhagirath (meaning of the two vulvas) was born (Krittivas’s Ramayan).

Dual mothering is also another form free from same-sex pairing. Agni is also known as dwimatri or of two mothers. The gender of firesticks in Sanskrit is female. Friction, not penetration produces fire.

Here is the gear for friction, here tinder made ready for the spark.
Bring thou the Matron, we will rub Agni in ancient fashion forth.
Mortals have brought to life the God immortal
The sisters 10, unwedded and united, together grasp the Babe, the new born Infant.
(Rig Veda [9])

Sex Change

And then, among the many sex change stories, there are two that stand out – Sikhandi and Brihinala from the Mahabharat. Sikhandi was a woman in the previous birth reborn to avenge a wrong done to her. Popular TV depicts Sikhandi as an effeminate man. Bhisma recognised the woman in him and refused to wield a weapon against him. Bhisma said:

O joy of the Kurus, I will not use my arrows against a woman, one who was once a woman, one whose name is like a woman’s or one who resembles a woman. For this reason, I will not kill Sikhandi. (Mahabharat)

Brihinala was the name of Arjun when he, along with his brothers, spent their last year in exile in incognito. He was a hermaphrodite – he had a man’s physique with a woman’s disposition.

Apart from the above two, another transformation stands out – Vishnu in the form of Mohini. In addition, there was also a term kimpurush, a “what man” – a being that would be a man in one month and a woman in another.

Gender as a Construct

The Vimalakirtinirdesa, in Mahayana Buddhism, relates about a monk, who after being turned into a woman by a goddess and then back to a man, is asked whether he felt anything different, anything innate about being a woman. He reveals that nothing about gender is innate. The goddess explained:

Just as you are not really a woman but appear to be female in form, all women also appear to be female in form but are not really women. Therefore, the Buddha said that all are not really men or women … All things neither exist nor do not exist. The Buddha said there is neither existence nor non-existence.

If there is nothing innate about gender, then is heterosexuality the one and only way?

Patajali’s grammar [10] and Jain texts talk about the concept the third sex with various ambiguous subcategories such as kliba, pandaka and napunsak. These have been part of the Indian worldview for nearly 3,000 years.

Other examples of explicit same-sex love and desire

Jain philosopher, Sakatayana, in the Strinirvanaprakaran said that a person was capable of being aroused by the same-sex, opposite sex or even a non-human animal. Going further, Jain thinkers said that there were three types of desires – from men, women and the third sex. Hence desire was fluid and transient.

In the Manikantha Jataka [11], the King of Serpents falls in love with a young ascetic. After a while, when the King is gone, the young ascetic grew pale from missing him.

The Kamasutra [12] specifically caters for all inclinations. The book is instructional and not prescriptive. It says that one should act according to local customs and one’s own inclinations and desires. It specifies three types of genders – pums prakriti, stri pakriti and tritiya prakriti – men, women and the third sex. The third sex was further broken down to various categories which included manly and effeminate gays and manly and effeminate lesbians. It is interesting to note that the book says that manly gays who hid their desires fulfilled them by working as masseurs and hairdressers. It even describes how masseurs work their clients to a achieve orgasm for both of them.


II. Medieval Materials – Perso-Urdu Traditions

During this period, homoerotic men were mentioned in a non-pejorative way. There were poets who wrote about their love for adolescent boys, sultans in love with their male slaves and Sufi mystics who pined for their lord like female lovers. Gay men were well integrated into the culture of cities like Delhi.

An example of a long term relationship was that between poet Mukaram Baksh and Mukkaram. After the former’s death, the latter observed a period of mourning observed by widows.

Sufi mystics believe in personal experience not dogma. To them, same gender love could transcend sex and therefore not distract them from the ultimate aim of gnonsis. They would adopt a female persona in their poems and songs when writing about God.

Urdu poets neither celebrated or denigrated homosexual love to the exclusion of other types of passion. Marriage was seen as a legitimate sphere of sexual activity but not of experiencing erotic energies. As long as a man fulfilled his duties of a householder, he was free to seek sexual pleasure and emotional involvement elsewhere. Hence erotic commitment was not a threat to marriage. One poet, Abru [13], when to such an extent to reject heterosexuality saying:

He who prefers a slut to a boy, is no lover, only a creature of lust.
Here are some examples same-sex attraction, love and liaisons:

Amir Khusrao, mystic poet-musician, mourned his mentor’s, Chishti saint Shaikh Nizamuddin Aulia’s, death:

The beauty sleeps on the bridal bed, her tresses all over her face;
Come Khusro, let’s go home, for darkness settles all around.

Looking at the empty bed, I weep day and night
Every moment I yearn for my beloved, cannot find a moment’s peace.

He has gone, my beloved has crossed the river,
He has gone across, and I am left behind. …


Sultan Qutbuddin Khalji, like his father Alauddin Khalji, were in love with their slaves. Qutbuddin’s slave was Khusrao Khan. Wrote a writer of their times:

He often wanted to put a sword through the Sultan and kill him while he was doing the immoral act of publicly kissing him. This vile murderer of his father was always thinking of ways to kill the Sultan. Publicly he offered his body to the Sultan like an immoral and shameless woman. But within himself he was seething with anger and choking on a desire for revenge at the way the Sultan forced himself upon him and took advantage of him.

When hauled before a king to explain a charge against him for dancing with crossdressers, said the mystic Akhi Jamshed Rajgiri:

I do not want a crown, I do not want a throne. I only want to rub my forehead in the dust and dance with abandon over the earth. If the Sultan would show me favour, then I might be allowed to dance even upon the winds … Because those who denounce me are not real men in the spiritual sense, they cannot accept love with all its consequences in their hearts. Oh my love, there a thousand snares in every form; oh my love, one who is not a real man can never experience true love!

Mughal emperor Babur wrote in his memoirs the Baburnama:

I maddened and afflicted myself for a boy in the camp-bazaar, his very name, Baburi, fitting in. Up till then, I had had no inclination for any-one, indeed of love and desire, either by hear-say or experience, I had not heard, I had not talked. … One day during that time of desire and passion when I was going with companions along a land and suddenly met him face to face. I got into such a state of confusion that I almost went right off. To look straight at him or to put words together was impossible. With a hundred torments and shames, I went on.

When Mughal emperor Jehangir asked poet-scholar Mutribi Samarqandi whether a fair young man was more beautiful than a dark one, the latter replied when he saw a dark-skinned youth:

A Hindu boy stole my wretched heart
He stole its tranquillity and its calmness
My reason, my judgement, my endurance, my patience
All of these he stole with his laugh.

He then saw a fair-skinned youth and said:

O moon-faced beauty in this beautiful night
So astonishingly desirable in the light if the candle
You have stolen Mutribi’s heart altogether
With a wink, guilelessness, playfulness and amiability.
Do not tell me to look at the splendour of the perfumed plants
My heart is your captive, what do I need from there?



III. Modern Indian Materials (19th to 20th C)

There were basically two developments that occurred during this period. The first was the rise of the homophobic voice in literature and the second, the sexual love between women becomes more prominent while that between men is drastically reduced.

There are five words for homoerotically inclined women – dugana, zanakhe, sa’tar, chapathai and chapatbaz.

Rekhti, poetry written by male poets in the female voice and using female idioms, became prominent in the late 18th and 19th C but in the 20th C, its was labelled as obscene.

An example of women loving women can be seen below. This is not imitating heterosexual love. Although a dildo is mentioned, there is an emphasis on kissing, petting, passionate embraces and clitoral stimulation. Shaikh Qalandar Baksh puts it in the following words:

I’d sacrifice all men for your sake, my life,
I’d sacrifice a hundred lives for your embraces
How beautiful is it when two vulvas meet –
This is the tale they tell each other all the time:

The way you rub me, ah! …

When you join your lips to my lips,
If feels as if new life pours into my being,
When breast meets breast, the pleasure is such
That from sheer joy the words rise to my lips:

The way you rub me, ah! …

How can I be happy with a man – as soon as he sits by me
He starts showing me a small think like a mongoose --
I’d much rather have a big dildo
And I know you know all that I know …



It must be noted that in pre-colonial India, not a single person was ever executed for homosexual behaviour. In contrast, gays were vilified, tortured and/or executed. In 1860, the anti-sodomy law came into being and incorporated in the Indian Penal Code (Section 377). While this proved to be progressive for Britain because the killing stopped, it was retrogressive for India. British educators and missionaries denounced Indian culture. The educated Indian elite became their agents – while not condemning the culture, they did not reject puritanical Victorian values which were put on a pedestal. In fact they claimed that Indian culture was originally similar to the Victorian one, which was both anti-pleasure and anti-sex.

The homophobia was so internalised by educated Indians that Pandit Madhavacharya in 1911 introduced the Kamasutra by saying that people should read the book for the right forms of love making and avoid the wrong ones.

However despite all the attempts by prudes, life went on and same-sex love survived in literature. One example is by Vikram Seth:

Some men like Jack
and some like Jill;
I’m glad I like
them both; but still

I wonder if
this freewheeling
really is an
enlightened thing –

or is its greater
scope a sign
of deviance from
some party line?

In the strict ranks
of Gay and Straight
What is my status?
Stray? or Great?



Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, a respected Muslim theologian, placed heterosexual and homosexual desire on the same plane.

No one is worthy of being called a human unless he has crossed the Rubicon of love. He who has not experienced the intensity of desire or the deluge of tears is less than human. When the ascetic in the mosque bows his head in Namaz, despite all his piety and devotion, he cannot help enjoying thoughts of smiling Houris and Ghilmaans of Paradise. Even the super-ascetics who seek the truth in the recesses of the mosques are not free from these alluring images.


Sanskrit scholar and priest of the Vaishnav temple in Sri Rangam said that same-sex lovers must have been heterosexual lovers in previous births. While the sex may change, the souls remain the same and this impels the souls to seek out one another. He added:

Homosexuality is also a design of Nature. Earth is overpopulated by the human species and the Earth Mother – Bhoomi Devi – is no longer able to carry the burden. So this is one of Mother Nature’s way (sic) of combating population explosion. Nature will not allow any species to dominate completely … The sly human is exterminating vitally important insect, plant, and even mammalian life in order to make life for himself more luxurious.


Conclusion

Many examples on same-sex love and relationships exist in Indian history. I have done injustice by only quoting a few. What was love so sublime has been tarnished by modernity. Like in many other instances, what is glaring is ignored. Despite the various examples of same-sex love in Indian literature, people choose to ignore it as it causes them discomfort or worse, cognitive dissonance.

Gays and lesbians are not special. They have been made so by homophobia.