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Now And Then, I Think Of Then And Now!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Now and then, I think of then and now. Today is Mahasivarathri day. Till a few years back, I used to spend the major part of the night in a Siva Temple and watch the Pooja. As I am not physically up to it these days, I watch the night long ceremonies in Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Centre which is telecast on TV channels. I am amazed by the massive crowd he draws from all over the World for this night long ceremony. Ceremony is probably a misnomer as the night witnesses more of dancing and singing. Last year I was amazed by the jigs he himself danced which found our ace dancer of the tinsel world, Prabhu Dava woefully wanting.


    I was just thinking of how much the celebration of Sivarathri has undergone a change. When I was in my early teens, there used to be special midnight shows of well known movies like Chandralekha to keep awake through the night. Keeping awake on Sivarathri those days was more important than visiting Temples! The midnight show would start well after midnight and would go on till the wee hours of the morning. At the end of the movie we would sleepily walk back home, have a hot cup of filter coffee and have a bath in half a bucket of water as there was terrible water scarcity in Madras (Chennai) then. We had a hand operated coffee grinding machine for grinding fresh coffee powder and it was my job to do the grinding. The hot coffee would be followed by a quick and simple lunch at 10a.m. There was no habit of having breakfast in our circles those days. We would sleep through the day till the evening and we would all be looking like zombies!


    Jaggi Vasudev packs his religious chanting and discourse interspersed with a lot of music and dancing. Or should I say that he packs the music and dancing sessions with some religious discourse in between? As the chanting gets hysterical, people start dancing like possessed ones. This dancing will be more interesting than the ones that accompany the music and dancing sessions. We can spot celebrity film stars from Mumbai and Chennai dancing in gay abandon. Today’s singers include Sonu Nigham, Daler Mehndi and Sean Roldon. Over one lakh people have registered for the night of fun and devotion.


    It is said that Winter at Chennai officially ends on Sivarathri day. This is just an old belief. Air conditioners in my house have been switched on a week back more to escape the marauding mosquitoes than to keeping ourselves cool. The summer fruits have already started crowding the pavements. Hotels will sell more Rose Milk and Buttermilk than coffee or tea. Tempers will be running high everywhere where people congregated for various purposes. Incidents that made people smile a couple of months back would make them mad now. The Sun’s transit from South to North is considered auspicious for dying but it makes living really tough.


    It is a great pity that summer is the chosen time for examinations in schools and colleges. The educationists probably think that minds get sharper in summer. We underwent similar experience in our student days in our youth but Chennai was much cooler then with a sharp rainfall most of the evenings. Of the four seasons only Summer has two M’s in between. Does it mean anything to you? Of course, it means nothing to me!
     
  2. Vandhuamma

    Vandhuamma Silver IL'ite

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    :clap2::clap2:
    Just now was reading your posts in other thread....

    Sapaaaa Ipavae kanna kethuthey ( Vadivelu style):facepalm: Read half through and realised by brain is not tuned to read further.

    Did not want to post there some how :thinking:
     
  3. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Intriguing title and a great write-up, Sir. In one sitting we got to tour the world: Jaggi Vasudev to Bollywood to olden days to ....ending with a line even on the marauding mosquitoes! Thoroughly enjoyed the then and now fare:)
     
  4. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    It is such a pleasure to read you first thing in the morning! You are better than others sir. You only think of then and now, only now and then. Many people live in the world of "in those good old days" more often than necessary. I do also think of then and now, every now and then looking at my children wanting and hoping to build memories for them only because of the time and place I live. So yesterday a few minutes were spent telling stories of what heir dad when he was my son's age on Shivarathri day. For the most part, I have spent trying to stay awake watching a movie but on TV on Shivarathri day. Have I ever succeeded? Nope, never. We are talking of sleep here sir and all I can think of is my mother constantly telling me "Even if the sky is falling you need your sleep". Bless her heart. I miss her too much these days :( Growing up quite traditionally, Shivarathri was important for my dad and grand mom. Dad being such a happy go lucky person would only look forward to the special foods that grand mom would make. Looking for fun in everything we did was such a dad quality - oh how I miss him :( Oh well!!!

    I have a lot of friends who are ardent devotees of the said guru and I think there are special meditation sessions held here as well. earlier I would get invited and I always tried to show up but me being me might have not impressed people enough with my bhakthi. So there was no invitation this year. But sir, we are talking of Shiva here...eka bilvam shivaranam will make him dance in joy for us and bless us taking away our sins, giving us boons. Why not watch him dance and enjoy and shed tears of happiness? If everyone is a dancer who is left to watch? I am so out of touch! I had no idea who Sean Roldan is. It is Raghavendra!!!! Just kidding! I had no idea who raghavendra was even. I googled and found this article How Raghavendra became Sean Roldan Like he says being open helps and I think Jaggi Vasudev also wants everyone to be receptive. If changing name helped this singer, perhaps all that singing and dancing might helps these lakhs of devotees.

    You make an important point when you say "The Sun’s transit from South to North is considered auspicious for dying but it makes living really tough." While dying is not in our hands, two of most favorite people, dad and FIL have passed on just before Shivarathri, what they have taught me is living and living happy is definetly in our hands! I am sure with all that attention you are paying to various activities on the occasion of the festival on TV has made you go "Shiva, Shiva!" more than you have ever have done. Bholashankar that he is, I am sure he is smiling and blessing every one!

    This change in weather is something that I am perpetually perplexed about. Thank fully today has started off as a pleasant day outside as well. As I write, we are at a grand 23 F hoping to go up o 43 F but sir that sun is up and shining. That is all that matters and that is what puts a smile on my face at least. You know sir, it has been ages since I have written a feedback as soon as I woke up and I am doing that today (the loooong response is a testimony :relaxed:). Another reason for that smile. And now with your now and then, tehn and now you made me think of everyone that meant the world to me. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    It is very interesting to read about Jaggi Vasudev's style of Shivarathri celebration with fervor dancing in between chanting and discourses. I couldn't believe 100,000 register for such an event. Gone are the days, people watching Rudarabhishekam and chanting Rudram, Chamakkam besides singing Lingashtakam and bhajans about Shiva.

    Here in The Hindu Temple of Florida, it is a day long celebration (Don't ask me why it is not a night long celebration) conducting abhishekam to Linga in the morning. They also set up a Lingam in the middle of the temple so that devotees can go around and keep some Vilva leaves and do Palabhishekam.

    My routing every Shivarathri is to go the spiritual center and listen to Vedic chants from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed by soul-rendering bhajans finishing past midnight. When it gets closer to 11:30 p.m., the energy of the devotees become phenomenal with speedy bhajans. I don't stay up all night but return home by 12:30 a.m.

    Happy Shivarathri.

    Viswa
     
  6. joylokhi

    joylokhi Platinum IL'ite

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    Loved the very apt title to your snippet. Nice reflections , made really interesting read.
     
  7. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Jaggi Vasudev is becoming Guru of many of management professionals and they pay upto $3000' for a short course.My daughter has attended the course through Video conferencing.
    and she has taken meditation very seriously. In her opinion, domestic problems do not get solved but due to change in her perception, she is able tackle the problems more easily and does find more time to solve than to worry.
    While young, we eagerly awaited Shivarathri, not for abhishekam or Rudram chanting, but for the boiled Sweetpotato (with jagory) -called'Nei kizhangu' prepared in a vengala paanai.
    I like to read a few of Guru's strange views about yugas, long for divine love etc.
    We have a small Shiva lingam at home that is being worshipped for the past 200 years.My husband's great grandfather while taking bath in kaveri felt that something was struck tightly between his toes.He just wanted to remove and throw it. But something struck him that he should take it out and see what it was.It was a small Shivalingam, two inches in height and half an inch thickness, black in colour with three beautiful white vibuthi marks engrained.After the grandfather, it was given to my husband, the most devoted among three grandsons and it is being worshipped daily with due devotion.My husband sincerely believes that he was saved from the accident only due to grace of Lord Shiva.Even today we have poojas four times with all abhishekam, archana etc.
    A nice experience!

    Jayasala 42
     
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  8. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    My dear Anna

    Nice tittle.very true then and now,then I used to give the first feedback and now see newcomers have become your fan.

    Earlier during young days I have gone to bajans and was awake. But now many days are Sivaratri because I don't get proper sleep. Today I had the opportunity to go to Temple for Sivaratri. I always like to listen to Rudram. Was there till the end .Felt very peaceful.

    Enjoyed reading your awesome post as always
     
  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Vandhuamma
    A message as cryptic as the one in Da Vinci Code! This is your first visit to my blog and I extend a hearty welcome to you. They say that a sea will be at its roaring best when there are more people to admire it. I am like that sea. I am just nothing without my readers.
    Sri
     
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  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @GeetaKashyap
    Dear Geeta
    What can please an ametuer writer like me more than such words as yours? To tell you the truth, I wrote this with my mind going back to my childhood observance of Shivarathri. I was such a pampered child that my mother used to be carrying me around till I was five! The weekly oil baths and the twice a year castor oil treatment are still green in my memory. Nostalgia is the most effective elixir of life.
     
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