Thursday, October 7, 2010


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Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Amavaasya / Kali Yugaabda 5112 / Vikruti Purattaasi 21 (October 7, 2010)


Concerned but not overly so about the Ayodhya judgment and its ramifications, Nazneen, a 22-year-old Muslim woman from an unlettered family of weavers (living in Lallapura area of  Varanasi) is translating 'Ramcharit Manas' (Ramayana in HIndi) into Urdu. Said ''Whatever be the high court's verdict, it should be respected by all. But one can't deny that Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram.'' This bright alumnus of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth further said, ''So far, I have completed the translation up to Sunderkand. I hope to conclude my work in the next month-and-a-half.'' Nazneen has already translated into Urdu the Hanuman Chalisa by legendary poet Goswami Tulsidas, as also Durga Chalisa or verses in praise of the goddess. She said, ''Even if the verdict comes in favour of Muslims, they should come forward generously to build a temple of Ram in Ayodhya. Islam never permits a mosque at a disputed site. Ram is not for Hindus alone; his character is a source of inspiration for people of all communities.'' Nazneen derives inspiration from writers and scholars of Mughal period like Abdul Qadir Badayuni who had translated Ramayana and Mahabharata in Arabic and Persian during the period of Mughal emperor Akbar. From a report by Shri Binay Singh in THE TIMES OF INDIA, September 30, 2010.


Martin Buckley, a UK writer, fell in love with India and decided to work as a sub-editor at BUSINESS INDIA magazine in Mumbai, Bharat. During his time in the country, he travelled to many places from Allahabad and Rishikesh to Bodhgaya. But the tale of Rama never left him. So when he returned in 2005, he travelled from Ayodhya to Sri Lanka like Rama, a journey documented in his book, An Indian Odyssey. At the launch of the book at Madras on March 27, 2009, Buckley spoke about the people's relationship with the epic. "I think it's fascinating that this book that was prehistorically written is still worshipped," he says. He adds that Valmiki's version of the story is very real. He is impatient with the smug secularism of certain people in the country. "India's culture is what it is. It's wonderful to live in a place where every minority has a voice, but let's not forget the totality of Indian culture," he states. From a report by Smt Lakshmi Kumaraswami in THE TIMES OF INDIA March 28, 2009


Shri Rattansi (48) does timber business based in Dharapuram, Erode district (Tamilnadu, Bharat); he manages the Sankara Gosala in the town since 1998. Recently he visited Karur to receive a donation of 40 cows valued at Rs. 3.5 lakhs. He expected Smt Amudha, 52, who came forward with the offer, might own a few hundreds of acres of land. But he found that the lady with no encumbrance lived under a thatched roof in a tiny plot of land. With construction of buildings all around, the grazing patches were gone and she had found it impossible to find enough fodder for her cows. Nor would she accept requests from several persons to part with the cows. Through her astrologer she had learnt of Sankara Gosala that has the blessings of Kanchi Shankaracharya. Her cows were shifted to Dharapuram, bringing the total number of cows at the Gosala to 81. But an anxious Amudha kept on enquiring about the well being of the cows. She also made frequent visits to see for herself. At last, finding it difficult to live away from her cows, she shifted her residence to Dharapurm to be at the service of gomata always.

As told to team PANCHAAMRITAM by Shri U. Sundar and Shri Rattansi.


 The place is Gingee, Tiruvannaamalai district (Tamilnadu, Bharat). Parthasarathy, 80 plus, goes from one fruit shop to another, a gunny bag in hand, collecting over-ripe fruits. He gathers broken pieces of biscuits from bakeries on the way. Early in the morning, as he sets out, Smt (65), his wife, places a vessel full of food cooked at home by her. Now, , a staunch devotee of Hanuman, climbs the hill housing the Gingee fort and the Veera Anjneya temple. Once inside, he lets out a loud hoot. In no time, dozens of monkeys descend around him. Unperturbed, Parthasarathy feeds them all sumptuously.  This routine of the devout Parthasarathy-Saraswati duo has been going on for 40 years. On no single day the monkeys missed Parthasarathy and his annadaanam.  Once when Parthasarathy went on a pilgrimage to Kashi, his son Thirumalai (40) performed this duty. Pilgrims to the temple who observe his love for the vanaras look up to him in reverence.   A report in DINAMALAR, September 15, 2010.


When we are told that over one lakh ton of plastic waste is dumped every day in India, the enormity of the havoc wrought by plastic on the earth and the atmosphere could be gauged. Upasana, an NGO of Auroville, (Puducherry, Bharat) is making an attempt to stem this rot and calls it `Small Steps'. Small Steps, formed in 2007, tries to promote a responsible alternative to throw-away plastic bags. Upasana has designed a cloth bag and hopes to distribute these bags without cost throughout India, but the main aim is to promote the use of re-usable bags. In India carrying cloth bags is considered old fashioned. Upasana aims to make one crore bags. This in turn creates the possibility of 1,000 jobs in the villages. Women in 14 villages around Auroville have been trained by Small Steps to make the trendy cloth bags. So far 5 lakh bags have been distributed, informs Smt Uma, the project director. It all started with Uma's family performing a puja in a Shiva temple at Devgarh, in Bihar. Devgarh is a temple town and on the tourist map. Being on the tourist map means that tourists leave behind telltale signs of their visit.In this case, heaps of plastic bags. That provided the trigger for this project.        

DINAMALAR, September 29, 2010. (Also