A Friend In Need

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”

Gloria Naylor

Happy Janmashtami One and All! 

Krishna is always special in India. He is there in everyone’s life here. Now-a-days, I do see his devotees across the world irrespective of religion. 

What is so special about him?

Why is he spoken about even after ages? 

Once Saurabh Jain, the one who enacted as Shri Krishna in Star Plus Mahabharata 2013, in his Instagram handle, spoke about how people see him as the Lord Krishna himself and share their worries, pain and ask him for guidance. 

Such is the impression people have. Shri Krishna is seen as the guiding force. There is no caste, creed, religion or sex for the supreme being. He is all here for the people who love him truly. As simple as that. He goes a mile extra for such people. He stays with them in every step and ensures they reach their goals and destination that must be reached. He is the journey himself. 

In his life he had taught the world many aspects through his way of living, being around with people, the way he carried himself in intense situations. And he never missed timing. When he had to be there for his friends he had been there. Neither a moment delayed nor a moment prior. He has been just there for his friends. He was a friend of all. The poor. The rich. Brahmin. Kshthriya. Male. Female. It never mattered. He would have their backs till the moment arrived and then he would appear at the right moment to take their hands and lead the way to the destined destination. 

Treating Friends

He taught how to treat people, especially friends. We do see in real life how people treat their friends. Few people use them. Few people put down their own people. Say, when a friend is rich, people use them for paying bills in a get together. His big heart is taken for granted. His wallet gets burnt. There is also the other extreme where poor people are ill treated. Most times friends are seen with benefits. Unconditional love for friends is a rare trait. Both Krishna and Rama have been an epitome of unconditional love, friendship. 

Lord Krishna treated Sudhama, his poor Friend and Arjuna, his rich Friend alike. Both were from different castes. But it didn’t stop him from treating them alike with respect and love. Beyond helping them to grow with his guidance, he respected them and their privacy. He always maintained the invisible line when it came to helping others and respecting them. 

He never did it all by himself. He let them do and appeared when his presence was much needed. In the case of Sudhama, he was in poverty beyond words. He was Krishna’s childhood friend. He tried all his means in an ethical way to lead a good life and when he couldn’t find a way, he went to Krishna, the king of Dwaraka upon the request of his wife. 

Being Humble

Sudhama was shabbily dressed and had some flattened rice in a torn cloth to offer it to his beloved friend. As Sudhama reached Krishna’s palace, the security guards did not let him in. But Krishna came running to receive him. Sudhama was moved. He did not openly ask for help. Krishna understood his situation and blessed him prosperity.

Krishna did not put his friend down. He neither felt proud about his wealth nor made fun of his childhood friend. He just empathized and did what he could do to help his friend. 

Zentangles in Flower vase with Lotus flowers which is close to Krishna. Self Designed one for Krishna Janmashtami.

The Takeaway

In our lives after college we might lose touch with childhood friends in the course of life. Say after some 10 years you accidentally meet your friends. You may bump into any of the following situations. 

Your friend fastly moves away from your sight. He may not have achieved his goals and might feel shy and move away. And some other time you may meet a friend who is in a higher position than yours and he may think why to talk with his peers and he wouldn’t smile back even. The vice versa is also possible. Where you are in a higher position and you think small about others.

Krishna, through his actions revealed that if a friend is in a lower financial status due to some reasond, but is here looking for help, do not question him knowing his situation. If in a position to help him, in ways you can, do it wholeheartedly with no ounce of pride. That way one can do a sane service and his respect isn’t at stake. Just need to thank God that we are in a better position, the position where our hands give rather. 

Krishna, the Jagad Guru even during intense times never left himself behind. In friendship if both Friends connect with the child in themselves even after years, then the ego dies. Friendship just becomes immortal. 

This Janmashtami let’s vow to treat people better with love and respect. Especially our friends. If one does not have a friend like Krishna. Being one may help. Might be. 

With love,

Rukmini

Periya Puranam – A History And Beyond

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Michael Crichton

Hello All,

Hope you are doing good. With lock down there is no way out on weekends. Sometimes it’s difficult but at times it does constantly remind me that there is a way in. And to learn or know something new, Sky’s the limit.

Hailing from Srirangam called Bholoka Vaikundam, I know very little about Nayanmars. Do not ask me if I know more about Alwars. I do not know them as well. But I have seen Alwars frequently during Thiru Adhyayana Utsavam also known as Pagal Pathu, Ra Pathu Utsavam, here in Srirangam which is celebrated during Vaikunda Ekadashi every year. But I have never been to Arubathi Moovar Vizha which is the famous festival in Mylapore every year in the month of Panguni. 

So, I thought I should start knowing more about Nayanmars. Hence writing about Nayanmars. And when it is about Nayanmars, it’s nothing but Periya Puranam that strikes my mind. As I learn about them I would like to share with you for two reasons. If you know about Nayanmars please do comment on this blog and let me know if the story is right or wrong. Another is to send some spiritual vibes which are more positive and powerful. And I guess we need this with the situation we are in. 

So, now straight into the introduction for Periya Puranam. 

Periya Puranam is also called Thiruthondar Puranam. It is 12th in the list of 12 Thirumurais (Panniru Thirumuraigal). These are 12 sacred texts of Shaivites. And this Periya Puranam is a treasure, a collection of life histories of all the 63 Nayanmars. This was compiled by Sekkizhar in the era of Kolothunga Chola II, King Anabaya Chola. 

Sekkizhar was the prime minister and poet in his court. Kolothunga Chola II was dazzled by the work Seevaga Chindamani. The work is about how a prince Seevagan conquers his kingdom back, by marrying eight dames exhibiting his heroics and errotics, gains the support of those kingdoms and becomes powerful. Ultimately, he renounces his kingdom realising the impermanence of the world and becomes a hermit. 

But King Anabaya Chola was stuck with the materialistic part of the work beyond the balance. Which naturally happens for any human. All that matters is to be aware of it and strive for balance. But the Chola king has gone so deep to make him aware of his off balance state. To put him back on track, Sekkizhar, a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva wanted to pen about Nayanmars. 

Some Illustrations Depicting Periya Puranam and Sekkizhar. Illustrations inspired from the pins Enrich Minds and 123RF from Pinterest.

To lead a peaceful life being spiritual helps. Too much erotica could spoil and ruin one’s life to destruction. And if a King goes off balance, the entire kingdom is at stake. So Sekkizhar travelled places to collect evidence and life histories of all the 63 Nayanmars. 

Most of the Nayanmars were leading a normal middle class life yet were strong about their spiritual seeking and their devotion to Lord Shiva. Despite hurdles, they were strong willed to go with their conviction.

Periya Puranam is a treasure as it clearly reveals about the time, place, the way of living of all Nayanmars. And Nayanmars are not from the same caste or sex. They are from all castes, creed and sex. The book is an epitome of Inclusiveness.

The book says that devotion, god, the elements of nature is for all. All that it requires is a heart full of love, conviction and purpose.

Most quotes on History say that it is a waste of time to read them and urge people to create one rather. But in Reality, one can read, relate and be inspired from History. And Periya Puranam not only says about devotion to God. Along with that it clearly emphasizes on love, compassion, acceptance. These aspects of life seem trivial but are difficult to put in practice in real life. But Periya Puranam is all about these little things that matter in life through the life histories of Nayanmars. 

So Periya Puranam is much more than to be seen as history as such. 

Planning to read and write about Nayanmars in the coming weeks as well. Hope things go as planned. 

Happy Week ahead! 

With Love,

Rukmini

References

www.shaivam.org

Periya Puranam Aaivu Nool, Vijaya Publications