Monday, July 22, 2013

Random 5.0

|| ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय नम: ||

|| Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Namah ||

Translation: Om, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, O Vasudeva, O all-pervading Eternal Spirit, I offer my respectful obeisance unto You.


[Om or Aum: Refers to the Supreme Infinite Spirit or Being. Om represents the Shabda Brahmn. It is the primeval sound (the pranava naad), the sound of the universe itself.

Namo: Salutation, worship. Possibly derived from naman (to bow in obeisance).

Bhagavate: Unto the Supreme Being.

Vasudevaya: Unto Vāsudeva, or Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the primeval Lord.

Namah: Prostration or Namaskar to Bhagavan Vasudeva. This namaskara, and the joining of the palms are indicative of the feeling of union of oneself with the other. 'I and you are one' - that is prostration, that is namaskara. 'Bhagavan Vasudeva, I am one with you' is a spirit of surrender, and here begins meditation on Bhagavan Vasudeva. When this mantra is chanted one has also created the requisite atmosphere in the mind for contemplation on Bhagavan Vasudeva, to begin meditation and to feel His presence.]

As per the proleptic Julian calendar, Krishna's date of birth is July 21, 3228 BC. [Though some accounts say: 3227 BC.] Krishna (also: Krishn, Krshn, Krsna) was born under the Rohini nakshatra, in the month of Bhadrapada, on the 8th day of the waning moon at midnight.

Hence, the annual commemoration of the birth of this magnificent avatar, Krishna Janmashtami (kṛṣṇa janmāṣṭami), also known as: Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti or sometimes merely as Janmashtami... is celebrated on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Shraavan (August-September). Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on Shraavan Poornima (Full Moon).

In 2013: Krishna Janmashtami falls on August 28. However, in certain parts of the country it will be celebrated on August 27 (at midnight).

[Dates of Janmashtami are decided by the star constellations Ashtami and Rohini. Hindus follow traditional lunar calendar, which has further categories namely, Amavasyant calendar and Purnimant calendar.]

Śrāvaṇa is the fifth month of the Hindu year, beginning in late July and ending in the third week of August. Śrāvaṇa begins with the Sun's entry into Leo.  

During Dakshinayana or Pitrayana (the Summer Solstice - 21st June) the Sun enters into Karkataka (Karka) rashi (Cancer). Hence, Dakshinayanam or Pitrayana is also referred to as Karka Sankraman or Karkataka Sankranti. The month of Śrāvaṇa begins with the Sun's entry into Leo.  

[Karka Sankraman or Karkataka Sankranti (21st June) indicates ending of the Uttarayan (Winter Solstice, Makara Sankranti, Pongal) Punya kaal and the beginning of Dakshinayana Punya kaal, whereas Makara Sankranti (Pongal) marks the beginning of Uttarayan Punya kaal and the ending of Dakshinayana Punya kaal. Dakshinayana or Karka Sankraman is a time for performing Pitru tarpan or the rituals to pay our respects to our Pitr Devatas (ancestors) apart from performing charitable deeds, besides worshiping Lord Vishnu, chanting Vishnu-Sahasra-Nama stotram (the one thousand names of Shri Vishnu) and worshiping Lord Varaha (the 3rd avatar of Lord Vishnu/Dasavatara).] 

Sanskrit: Viṣṇusahasranāma: Though the Lord has innumerable names, the "Vishnusahasranāma" refers to the thousand names of the all-pervading Supreme Being - Shri Maha Vishnu, who is the master of all the worlds, the supreme light, the essence of the universe and who is Brahmn. All matter animate and inanimate resides in Him, and He in turn resides within all matter. [In Sanskrit, sahasra means "a thousand" and nāma (nominative, the stem is nāman) means, "name".]

The four arms indicate the Lord's omnipresence and omnipotence. The right side of the body represents the creative activities of the mind and the intellect. The left side symbolizes the activities of the heart; that is, love, kindness, and compassion.

A silent repetition of a divine name or of a verse in praise of a deity is referred to as  Japa. An audible chant of such names or verses is called the Stotra. Of the latter the Sahasranama form, especially the Vishnu Sahasranama, devoted to the Lord Vishnu and the Lalita Sahasranama, devoted to the Goddess Shakti, have a special place. [Vishnu-Shakti. Narayan-Narayani. Parameshvar-Parameshvari. Jagadishvar-Jagadishvari. That's the duality. Hence: the concept of "ArdhaNarishvar". It is not literal, though, it does not mean half-man half-woman. And it does not mean 'tritiya prakriti' either. It simply indicates that the Supreme Creator (Brahmn) does not discriminate based on gender, etc. That is the essence of the "Vishwaroop", "Virat-roop" or the "Universal form" of the Supreme. "Vishwa", means universe/cosmos and "roop", means form, it encompasses/incorporates the whole of creation/universe/cosmos (and everything in it... whether seen or unseen, animate or inanimate). 

Swami Vivekananda imbibed and conveyed this essence succinctly:

|| Bohu-roope sammukhe tomar aami,
Kotha khunjichho Ishvar?
Jibe prem kore jei jon,
Shei jon shebichhe Ishvar ||

Translation: Service to humanity (not restricted to human beings alone) is service to God. That is true worship. 'Coz the Almighty is everywhere, omnipresent: Vishwaroop, the Universal form.

Those who have understood and imbibed this message have achieved "self-realization" (Param-aatma realization). Such "self-realized" persons overcomes his or her human boundaries and becomes one with the world spirit. 

The Almighty is present within the heart of every heart as the Supersoul and thus there is no distinction between differing bodies. All beings are equal. All His creations are equal in His eyes. ["I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all." ~ Srimad Bhagavad Geeta: 9.23] 

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 20) says:

|| aham atma gudakesha
aham adis ca madhyam ca
bhutanam anta eva ca ||

Translated: "I am the Supreme Spirit, O Arjun, seated in the hearts of all living entities. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings." 

No wonder He is the emperor of our hearts. 

The very first name with which the Vishnu Sahasranama starts, is 'Visvam' commonly understood as 'this world' or 'this   existence'. And when one notes that this word derives from the root 'Vis', which means to enter, to be present in, to support, or to pervade, one starts seeing the deeper reference to the Divine Omnipresence that pervades all existence. Multiply this example of this first name a thousand fold, and one sees the magnificent sweep and depth of the Sahasranama. In conclusion, it stresses one great fundamental truth: that a thousand names or forms, all point to but one ultimate God - the Brahmn.

In lunar calendars, Śrāvaṇa begins on the new moon and is the fifth month of the year.

The Shravan maas vrat is the most auspicious of all vrata-s. Shravan maas (the month of Shravan) is the best time to worship Lord Vishnu [Brahmn - the Supreme Creator, Purushottam Satya - the Ultimate Truth, the Param-aatma - the Supreme Spirit, the Parameshvar - the Supreme Being.]

To observe the Shravan maas vrat, there is no hard and fast rule or code to follow. However, there are some niyama or rules that are followed by many devotees (during the vratam). Here are some of them:

  1. Eka Bhukta Bhojan (taking meals once a day) or Naktha Vratam (keeping fast during daytime and taking prasad or fruits or a light meal at night).
  2. Worship Lord Vishnu and pray to (His consort) Devi Lakshmi. [She is the devi/goddess/deity/symbol of wealth. Devi Lakshmi represents not only material wealth, but also the wealth of grains, courage, valour, wisdom, offspring, success, prosperity, well-being and eternal bliss/spiritual contentment. Though it is mentioned as grains (and unhusked rice is kept near the idol), it means nutrition, healthy and balanced nutrition.]
  3. Perform abhishek to Lord Vishnu.
  4. Abstain from non-vegetarian food. [This is essentially done keeping the season and change of weather in mind. Fruits, milk, etc enhance one's immunity. In the coastal areas... it is thought that most fish spawn during this period and so, abstaining from fishing during Śrāvaṇa will lead to increased availability of fish throughout the year.]
  5. Shravan Somvar Vrat, Shravan Mangalvar Vrat/Mangal Gauri Vrat, Shravan Sukravar Vrat, etc are also observed.

However, it is entirely up to us as to how we want to observe the Shravan maas vrat.

Krishna's "Dvi-vidha nishtha" (2-fold path) is not exclusive of his doctrine of "Karm Yog" - the art and science of achieving perfection in action.

Srimad Bhagavad Geeta: Chapter 3, Verse 3:

|| sri-bhagavan uvaca:
loke 'smin dvi-vidha nistha
pura prokta mayanagha
jnana-yogena sankhyanam
karma-yogena yoginam ||

Meaning: sri-bhagavan uvaca: the Blessed Lord said; asmin loke: in this world; dvi-vidha: two kinds of, two-fold; nistha: faith, path, foundation; pura: formerly; prokta: were said/declared/explained; maya: by Me; anagha: O noble one; jnana-yogena: by the linking process of knowledge, i.e. the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness by the path of knowledge; sankhyanam: for the empiric philosophers; ca: and; karma-yogena: by the linking process of action, i.e. the science of the individual consciousness attaining communion with the Ultimate Consciousness by the path of action; yoginam: for the followers of Yog.

Translation: O noble one [Arjun], in this world a two-fold foundation (to attain salvation) has been expounded by Me of old: by the discipline of knowledge for the followers of saNkhya, and by the discipline of action for the followers of Yog.

That is: I have already explained the two-fold path leading to the realization of the Self (Brahmn). People who have a meditative bent of mind can take up renunciation - if they so wish. [That is the path for those inclined to understand Him (attain communion with the Ultimate Consciousness) by empirical, philosophical speculation.]

While the rest (those who are yet to have that [meditative] bent of mind) are better off taking to an active lifestyle (be a householder).

Philosophy in Sanaatan Dharma has always been practical in its motive or purpose. It professes to teach a method for attaining salvation (mukti, freedom from the constant cycle of life). Seeking the truth is not for the sake of the truth as an abstract end in itself; it is for the sake of the salvation (mukti), which that truth is believed to bring with it.

|| Tvameva maataa cha pitaa tvameva,
tvameva bandhushcha sakhaa tvameva,
tvameva vidyaa dravinam tvameva,
tvameva sarvam mama deva deva ||

 || O Lord, You are the Mother, You are the Father,
You Are the Kinsman and You are the Friend (Companion).
You Are My Wealth Of Knowledge, Strength, Power And Valour.
You Are My God Of Gods || 

July 22: Guru Pūrṇimā: The full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadh (July-August) is observed as the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers. This was also the day, when Krishna-Dvaipayana Vyasa (better known as Maharshi Veda Vyasa) was born to Maharshi Parashara and Satyavati, thus this day is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima. Traditionally Buddhists too celebrate this day in honour of Lord Buddha who gave His first sermon (on this day) at Sarnath. [Lord Buddha traveled from Bodhgaya to Sarnath about 5 weeks after achieving enlightenment.] The sermon Bhagavan Shri Gautam Buddh gave to the five monks was his first sermon, called the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Setting the Wheel of Dharma in Motion or Discourse on the Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dharma and Vision). It was given on the full-moon day of Asadha. Students of Indian classical music, which follows the Guru shishya parampara, too celebrate this auspicious occasion (Guru Pūrṇimā).

Throughout the ages, Moon has been identified and recognized to bring bountiful blessings to those seeking God's Grace. This auspicious purnima occurs once a year and is the most important time for connecting with the Divine/Brahmn. This day is significant for disciples who seek to get initiated by their Guru, students who desire to get the blessings of their teachers, and for everyone who wants to honour persons of great wisdom and learning. Monday, July 22nd, is the most auspicious Full Moon of the year (to pay one's respect and reconnect with Brahmn or the primeval Guru). Guru Purnima 2013 ushers in a new energy to inspire us to overcome our limitations, even lethargy. Let us dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of inner bliss and divine light: Sat-cit-ānanda (pronounced as: sach-chid-ānanda - one who has achieved eternal bliss of self-realization. Sat describes an essence that is pure and timeless; cit is consciousness; ānanda is absolute bliss or spiritual ecstasy).

The Sanskrit root "Gu" means, darkness or ignorance. "Ru" denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore one who removes darkness of our ignorance is a Guru. Only He who removes our ultimate darkness, known as Maayaa, and who inspires and guides us on to the path of Self-realization (Param-aatma realization) is the Supreme Guru, the Satguru. Though students refer to their academic teachers as guru, the connotation of the word guru in this case is one who imparts temporal knowledge (Apara Vidya) and is thus offered respect.

[Incidentally, the tenth avatar, the Kalki-avatar (also referred to as: Kalkin and Kalaki) is often a metaphor for "Eternity" or "Time". (Time is Kala in Sanskrit. 'Avatar' means: descent and refers to a descent of the divine into earthly form. Avatar comes from the Sanskrit avatirna: "manifest/descent from the Lord.") Kalkiḥ, the tenth and final Maha Avatar (great incarnation) of Shri Maha Vishnu, will bring to an end the dark and destructive influence of Kali and set the stage for Satya Yug of the next cycle to manifest. (There is a time given to human beings/manav-jaati to rectify themselves). The origins of the name probably lie in the word Kalka, which refers to "dirt", "filth" or "foulness". Hence Kalkiḥ (कल्किः) means the "Destroyer/Remover of Foulness", "Destroyer/Remover of Confusion", "Destroyer/Remover of Darkness", or "The Annihilator of Ignorance". (athāsau yuga-sandhyāyām: Thereafter, at the conjunction of two yugs [Kali-yug and Satya-yug/ sandhyāyām = evening, twilight], janitā viṣṇu-yaśaso: the Lord of the creation will take His birth as the Kalki-avatar and be born to Vishnuyasha. dasyu-prāyeṣu rājasu: At this time the rulers of the earth will have degenerated into plunderers; the non-Aryans (wicked, selfish and low-minded entities/miscreants/duskrtam/Mlechchas) who pose as kings begin 'devouring' men (people) who appear righteous/noble-hearted (sAdhUnA.n, opposite of duskrtam). The undesirable activities of the Mlechchas would be on the increase. Things will become so bad as the years go by that this world will be like one of the hellish planets in which people are born to suffer. Everyone will be fighting with each other. The world will slide into a state of constant war and chaos. nāmnā kalkir jagat-patiḥ: will arrive Kalkiḥ, the incarnation of the Lord; jagat-patiḥ - the Lord of creation.) 

(sAdhUnA.n/Sadhunaam: is the opposite of duskrtam. It does not mean the profoundly devout or ritualistic people [the ones that diligently perform rituals.] It is simply a reference to people in general: i.e. humanity. Some amount of negativities will always remain; else it will lead to stagnation. However, evil has not been created by the Param-aatma. Evil is the outcome of unmitigated greed and unbridled dominance. Evil comes about due to collective inaction, lack of action or lack of timely action.)

ashvam ashu-gam aruhya devadattam jagat-patih: (It is said) the Kalki-avatar will come riding upon a white winged horse (Devadatta), brandishing a flaming comet-like sword, (or wielding a comet like a sword), intent on eradicating/subjugating the reign of evil/miscreants/duskrtam on Prthvi-loka. For this purpose, this avatar will reconcile all opposites (opposing sides); rejuvenate Dharma (the noble principles of Sanaatan Dharma, the 'eternal way of life' as it should be for the greater good/as per: dharma-samsthapanarthaya) so as to re-establish 'Ram-Rajya' (a just, prosperous and inclusive society). The flaming comet-like sword is a symbol for "discernment", or Wisdom, slicing away the bonds of lies, make-believe and foulness/filth, lifting the fog of confusion (from our eyes and thoughts)... thus showing the way, and thus also liberating the souls to greater awareness of truth/Sat/Satya (i.e. dharma/actions that benefit society) and goodness/Sundar (opposite of filth). It also indicates that this avatar will be a trailblazer (pathfinder, pioneer). Shri Vishnu will return as the final Avatar, amid fire and flames (utter confusion, degeneration and decay) to also set the Wheel of Dharma in Motion: to "awaken" the minds of those who live at the end of Kali Yug, so that they take corrective action by inculcating and disseminating the right values/principles/ideals... thus giving rise to a race/manav-jaati (generations, people) that shall follow the noble/Sattvic ideals of Krita/Sat/Satya Yug*. [Here: Sat/Satya i.e. "Truth" does not mean honesty, and "dharma" does not mean moralism, it does not mean religion either. That is too narrow a definition. "Truth" means dharma. Dharma, a term that transcends the mere confines of one's duty/responsibility to a higher realm of societal good. It also transcends mere personal gains. While a person's karma consists of the action they take relative to their duties, called dharma.] The Kalki-avatar is a warrior, a warrior-par-excellence; a warrior against adharm (wicked and malicious entities/evil/duskrtam), a guide and Satguru (possessor of eternal wisdom). 

*Sat/Satya Yug does not mean 'the age of truth'. It does not mean that everyone becomes honest or truthful. Here, "truth" does not mean honesty or moralism. That is too narrow a definition. It means that corrective measures will have to be undertaken so as to rejuvenate the doctrine of karm, which will help in the regeneration of dharma - actions that benefit society. This will ultimately lead to the rejuvenation of Sanaatan Dharma - the 'eternal way of life'. [His purpose is: dharma-samsthapanarthaya: to reestablish the noble/Sattvic principles and ideals of Sanaatan Dharma - the eternal way of life, which would have withered away.] Sat/Satya/Krita Yug is the time for spiritual transition wherein humans will have to reach a higher level of existence, by moving out of his or her inferior manas (lower mind or lower self) and gradually move into the superior manas (higher mind or Higher Self).

The Kalki-avatar has three souls (symbolic): satyam-sivam-sundaram. One soul is the preserver/Vishnu (to preserve the world... from chaos); the second soul is the destroyer/Shiva (to 'destroy' filth and confusion, to 'annihilate' ignorance of Kali Yug) and the third soul is the creator/Brahma (to 'create' a new era/yug, i.e. to set the stage for Sat/Satya/Krita Yug of the next cycle to manifest). The symbolic form of Kalkiḥ is on a white (winged) horse wielding a brilliant sword. However, another etymology from Sanskrit is 'white horse'. Meaning: Kalkiḥ is the 'white horse'. [Horse-faced or more likely, horse-jawed? A la the Hayagreeva-avatar? Since greeva = jaw.]

Dharma (Sanaatan Dharma - the 'eternal way of life') is depicted in the form of a cow. However, this 'cow' is not a reference to a bovine creature per se, but symbolizes the four pillars: Sat/Satya/Dharma, spiritual quotient, karm and daan (charity in the spirit of charity, not ostentatious). In the 1st yug - Sat/Satya/Krita Yug - this 'cow' stands on all four, indicating that the four pillars are well-balanced and strong. Towards the end of the 2nd yug - Treta Yug - the 'cow' stands on three legs, signifying some amount of imbalance. Then towards the end of the 3rd yug - Dvapar Yug - the 'cow' stands on two legs, signifying an even greater amount of imbalance. However, towards the end of the last yug - Kali Yug - this 'cow' is found to be barely able to stand... on one leg. 

According to the Vedic scriptures, human or Earth evolution forms cycles of approximately twenty-five thousand years. God incarnates in each cycle, about every two thousand five hundred years. [However, this may not be a reference to an entire maha-yuga or a four-yug cycle, but a mini cycle within the larger maha-yuga. As for the avatars, there are 24 known avatars.] Kalkiḥ, as per the scriptures, is the tenth and final Maha Avatar (great incarnation). The name Kalki means literally, "of iron" or "machine." It does not imply that this avatar is a robot made of metal, but that His birth is in the age of iron or machines. [An age when negativities predominate. An age when noble values and principles fall below the minimum level.] The Vedic scriptures describe time in a cycle of four ages or yugs: the Golden Age, Silver Age, Copper Age and Iron Age. [Note the symbolism of the 'cow' above.] Our present age is the Iron Age, therefore Kalki is the Avatar of this iron or machine age. The 'destroying powers' of Kalkiḥ ... is sharpest of all. When avatars arrive, they trigger or accelerate karmas. Thus that which was previously suppressed or hidden is exposed. Krishna brought out both the positive and the negative, including dushkrtam/evil, exposing people, as they had never been known before. Krishna knew who He was and what His purpose was. Krishna knew each soul already and so will Kalki (i.e. just like Krishna, Kalki too will know who was what in his or her previous birth. Just like Krishna, Kalki too will remember His own previous appearances. And just like Krishna, Kalki too will be the 'healer' - Dhanvantari). The avatars create situations - time, place and opportunity - which bring forth both the good/positive as well as the bad/negative. [One can say: so as to let out the "toxin" or "poison" or "filth".] We gather that the Kalki-avatar will start His campaign in His thirty-second year and roam the earth for twenty years (slicing away the bonds of lies, make-believe and foulness/filth; lifting the fog of confusion (from our eyes and thoughts)... thus showing the way; exterminating with His sword the Prabda Karm of numerous entities/persons [those whose minds are devoted to iniquity] thereby 'liberating' them. Preventing their inevitable journey/descent into one of the Hellish planets, or maybe even to the lowest of the Hellish planets. [The Lower Planets (Adho-Lokas) are not to be confused for the Hellish planets. The latter are further below.] And thus also providing them with an opportunity to accrue Punya Karm - positive balance of Karm). The Kalki-avatar (like the Krishna-avatar and the Buddh-avatar before Him) is also Satguru, primeval guru. And only the Almighty, the Satguru (possessor of eternal wisdom) can forgive, 'liberate' and wipe out the entire stock of bad/negative/Prabda Karm (the metaphoric  'paap-ka-ghada'). No amount of rituals can make it happen. Any other guru can only offer temporal knowledge (apara vidya).

[Manava Grihyasutra, Manava Sulbasutra and Manava Dharmashastra (Manusmriti or rules of Manu) texts are ascribed to Svayambhuva Manu. (However, since several of our ancient texts have been tweaked, embellished and even rewritten, we cannot rule out the same for these texts too). There are innumerable universes, with one Brahmā in each of them. There are fourteen Manus who are prominent within this universe, each overseeing a manvantara or manuvantara. "Manu" is a title for the one who rules a manvantara. Each "Manu" is endowed with great knowledge and wisdom. [The word "Manav", signifying human or humanity, comes from "Manu". Manav = human, mankind; antara = period, cycle.] Each kalpa (1,000 maha-yugas) is reigned over/overseen by a succession of 14 Manus, and the reign of each Manu is called a "manvantara". A single manvantara is approximately 71 maha-yugas. Yajña as Svāyambhuva Manu is the first Manu. Vāmana as Vaivasvata Manu is the seventh and current Manu. [Thus, we are in the seventh Manvantara, named as: Vaivasvata Manvantara.] His original name is Satyavrata. He saved mankind from the great deluge by building specially designed boats/ships (nao) as per the advise of the Matsya-Avatar. [tumhi ho naiyaa tumhi khevaiya/You are the boat and You are the boatman. tumhi ho saathi tuhmi saharay/You are the companion and You the support: Dolphins provide guidance to ships caught amidst swirling waters. Similarly, the Matsya-Avatar provides guidance during very difficult times. Also: this avatar will swim against the tide to rescue/salvage humanity and society, and will not shy away from taking the plunge no matter how turbulent the waters - for the benefit of humanity and society... and to re-establish dharma: dharma-samsthapanarthaya.] Each Manu is the progenitor of a line/lineage. Therefore, each Manu is the progenitor of a group of humans, who eventually intermix. Thus it has been said that Manu is the 'progenitor of mankind' - Manav-jaati ('lineage of Manu') or manuṣya-jaati ('born of Manu'). And thus, all human beings are therefore called Manava.

The Srimad Bhagavad Geeta (Chapter 10, Verse 6) says: 

|| maharsayah sapta purve
catvaro manavas tatha
mad-bhava manasa jata
yesham loka imah prajah ||

Translation: "The seven great sages (the Sapta-Rishi) and before them the four other great sages (Sanaka, Sanandan, Sanatana and Sanat, collectively known as the four Kumaras) and the Manus [entities that arrive in all loka... during times of great calamity, distress and turbulence - pralay - in order to guide and resettle mankind, so that creation continues and the universe is kept running] come from Me, born from My mind (manasa, manasa-jata/brain-child), and all the living beings populating the various planets (loka) descend from them."

Apparently, Svayambhuva Manu performed tapasya at Naimisa on the bank of the Gomati River for acquiring the privilege of having Lord Vishnu as his offspring in three different lifetimes. Lord Vishnu, being pleased with Svayambhuva, granted this blessing. Hence the Lord will be born to Svayambhuva as the Ram-avatar, the Krshn-avatar, and the Kalki-avatar/Kalki Vishnuyasha. Thus, Svayambhuva would appear as Dasarath, Vasudev (Shri Krshn's father), and finally as Vishnuyash/Vishnuyashas (now, this could be a name, or it could also be an indicator for immense fame, influence and affluence. The mother's name is Sumati. Again this could be a name or it could indicate an intelligent, caring and respected person.) shambhala-grama-mukhyasya brahmanasya mahatmanah bhavane vishnuyashasah kalkih pradurbhavishyati: Lord Kalki will appear (Prādúr) in the home (Bhavanê) of the most eminent brahmana (brahmanasya: erudite person?) of Shambhala village. This great soul (mahatmanah) - Vishnuyasha - will also be the head of this village: shambhala-grama-mukhyasya. (Shambhala is the name of the fabled Buddhist Pure Land or mythical kingdom situated somewhere in Inner Asia. Shambhala, ruled over by Lord Maitreya - the future Buddha, is mentioned in various ancient texts, including the Kalachakra Tantra + other texts that predate Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet).] Note: Neither Dasarath nor Vasudev are in the same league as their respective progeny (Lord Ram and Lord Krishna), though. Dasarath, despite being a well-known king, was a "Maryada-Purush," meaning, 'one who accepts prevailing societal norms ['maryada'], whether positive or negative, and abides by them'. He wasn't a reformer or a soldier-statesman a la "Maryada-Purushottam" Shri Ram... who overcame numerous obstacles to bring about positive societal change. [Here: soldier = one who fights adharm that plagues society (such as: social ills, discrimination, negative perception and mindset, and the like) and brings about positive change.]

Kali does not mean demon, Kali means bud. However, the Golden Age of Kali Yug will gradually wither away to make way for the 'Iron Age' of Kali Yug. yarhy ālayeṣv api satāḿ na hareḥ kathāḥ syuh: And when Kali-yug comes to a close, the lower modes of material nature will become so strong that people will lose interest in spirituality, in dharma and in the doctrine of Karm. Talent and intellect will be envied as well as ridiculed. Sanaatan Dharma will become ostentatious and a means of livelihood. The scriptures will be misinterpreted to serve adharm. Spiritually advanced persons will be rare. svāhā svadhā vaṣaḍ iti sma giro na yatra: The planet will be filled with people who will be unable to understand logical conversations. They will be too slow-minded and dull-witted, not capable of being taught much. They will lack common sense and perspective; they will not know what they need to do; instead they will be fond of dry meaningless arguments. Thus, there will be great imbalance. Prthvi-loka will be overly disturbed by evil/duskrtam who will instigate constant disturbances and upheavals. At such a time (according to various texts including the Mahabharata) a radiant Brahmana (erudite person?) named Kalkiḥ Vishnuyasha, possessor of immense Sattva Guna (noble traits/qualities), matchless splendour (charisma?), great energy, intelligence and prowess/valiance, will be born. So as to restore balance, order and peace in the world, to destroy/subjugate evil/duskrtam (to prevent chaos on Prithvi-loka) and to rejuvenate dharma (dharma-samsthapanarthaya) in society. [Valour is a special human quality, usually demonstrated in the performance of extraordinary and unselfish deeds (nishkam karm) in the face of great peril - for the greater good.] Kalkiḥ will be just, dynamic, sharp, well-educated, well-mannered, a thought reader (antaryāmī), a face reader (physiognomy, mukh-samudrik) and a forecaster, besides possessing immense knowledge of world affairs, excellent negotiation skills and mind travel techniques. Kalki will indulge in intense diplomacy and lead a life of self-discipline, i.e. will be a Rajarshi. [Raja + Rishi.] Kalkiḥ and His consort: one will be fair complexioned, the other dark. Meaning: they will be opposites of each other [जगाम त्वरितो ऽश्वेन शिव-दत्तेन तन्मनाः] This is unsurprising, 'coz none can equal the Unicorn. [Ekashringa - one without a parallel.] They will be married as per traditions [धर्मान् संस्थापयिष्यसि] The beloved of Kalkiḥ (कलि-प्रियान्/Kali-Priyanh) is named Padma/पद्मां (meaning: lotus; lotus-like face/Mukhakamal? Good looking? Serene or pleasant looking? Or could it mean: beloved of the "lotus"? And as we know: Lotus is Nirmal. Lotus is serene. Lotus is pleasant. The Lotus Flower represents the "primordial purity" of the body, speech, and mind.) Padma lives in Sinhal-dveep/सिंहलद्वीप or Sinhale/सिंहले | (Sinhale = Sinha [Lion] + le [of]; dveep = island. Sinhal-dveep = "the island of the lion".) || समुद्र-पारम् अमलं सिंहलं जलसंकुलम् || ~ This spotless/clean land of the One is surrounded on one side by sparkling waters. There is a great ocean beyond these sparkling waters.

People will be too strongly in the mode of ignorance to even comprehend the basic concepts of dharma and karm. So Lord Kalkiḥ will not come to preach (unlike Lord Buddha - the Enlightened One). Instead, Bhagavan Kalkiḥ will be the doer (karm yogi) of Kali Yug. The word Kalki can also be taken as an abbreviation of the word Nishkalanka. Nishkalanka means Nirmal (spotless, crystal clear). However, at the end of Kali Yug, in this 'dirty mud', a great task has to be accomplished. As the Mahabharata says: "Having stabilized the Earth in its own place, the Supreme Purusha, with His limbs dripping with water and mud accomplished His work for the benefit of the world." This is self-explanatory. [Purusha does not mean male. Purusha = Cosmic Spirit.] Dharma, justice, goodness and humanity have to be rescued/uplifted despite great odds. The world has to be saved from chaos. The end of Kali Yug is a time of great adharm. Dharma, justice, karm and goodness declines below a minimum level, so much so that it is even beyond the greatest of sages, holy people or yogis, to raise the consciousness and purify the Earth. At such a time God incarnates to take care of His children. The Kalki-avatar will help humanity and save this world. And just like Lord Krishna, this avatar too will be firm, decisive (not arrogant or boastful) and a people's person. [God is always amongst the people. God resides in the heart of all living beings. The Almighty is present within the heart of every heart as the Supersoul. God never shies away. Nar-Narayan is one of the 24 avatars. Nar = human or humanity. Narayan = another name of Shri Maha Vishnu. It means: benefactor of mankind/humanity (not restricted to humans alone).] A one-man army, He shall carry with him the conviction, tenacity, determination, dedication and humility of Lord Ram, the extraordinary calibre, keen insight, good judgment, nonpareil intelligence and illumined wisdom of Lord Krishna and the compassion and forgiveness of Lord Buddha. The Crusader (Reformer-Soldier-Statesman) who shall set things in order shall be known as Kalki... the annihilator of the present Kali Yug - the Iron Age. It would be beyond the capacity of ordinary humans to assess and understand the phenomenon that would be termed as Bhagavan Kalki - the deliverer of the Yug of Kali. Bhagvan Kalkin, equal in stature to Lord Krishna... will be a magnificent avatar and the 'yugavatar' of Kali Yug. He truly shall be a man of wisdom. It is about 5000 years since the advent of Lord Krishna on Prthvi-loka. During His time dharmic ideals had crumbled under the influence of entities like Duryodhan, Dushshasana and Shakuni. Also: Duryodhan had tactfully sent the Pandavas on a 12-year exile with the 13th year to be spent incognito. If their identity were to be revealed during the 13th year, another cycle of 13 years would ensue. [Lord Krishna... who happened to be a cousin of both the Pandav and the Kaurav Kings knew the game being played by the evil Duryodhan (under the guidance of the wily Shakuni). Krishna's brilliance, euphemistically known as 'Sudarshan Chakra' cut through every vyuh. The Mahabharata War was 'Dharm-Yudh', battle of principles. It was not fought over land or property, but to defend certain Sattvic (noble) principles and values. It also foiled Duryodhan's machinations, thereby saving society and Sanaatan Dharm from adharm.] At the end of Kali Yug... a person of the stature of Kalki Bhagavan will be required to show the way - to deliver humanity and revive society. [Is that a pointer towards Mahabharat II? Only time will tell. But then the Kalki-avatar's arrival will be to prevent such an event.] Every era (yug) sees the arrival of a Sanatana Purusha (a purn avatar, manifest God Himself; Purusha = Cosmic Spirit) - One who is much higher than aḿśa or partial avatars. Such a One is a yugāvatāra. Every Yug needs an Avatar to announce the start of the journey. And every Yug needs an Avatar to announce the closure of that journey (plus the impending arrival and/or commencement of a new one). Thus every Yug has its own Avatar. 

The departure (to Vaikunth-loka) of the Maha Avatar or yugāvatāra signifies either: #1. Yuganta: the end of an era/yug + the commencement of a new era/yug, or #2. Yuga-sandhya - the twilight of an era/yug. The current Kali Yug began: at midnight of 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar. This is because, Lord Krishna departed on 18th February 3102 BC. The period after his departure marks the beginning of Kali-yug. Given the cyclical nature of each maha-yug (a four-yug cycle: Sat/Satya/Krita, Treta, Dvapar and Kali Yug) and its ratio of 4:3:2:1, we can conclude that: Kali-yug (the final yug of each maha-yug) will be the shortest. Krita/Sat/Satya Yug will follow it. Therefore: the time on earth by the respective Maha Avatars will be in descending order. [Shri Krishna lived among humans for 125/126 years. Gautam Buddh for about 80 years.] So the Kalki-avatar's time on earth will be the shortest. And this is not surprising, 'coz in His periodic appearance/arrival (albeit in human form/incarnation/avatar) as part of "... sambhavami yuge yuge"... S/He does what none (no other mortal) can do. S/He also heals + provides guidance and shows the way [i.e. S/He puts together the required framework/architecture, sets the ball rolling, sows the right seeds and creates the road-map for the future, besides identifying the most suitable entities (among the available ones) to carry forward the task/work. Thereafter, it is for others (His 'instruments', et al) to accomplish the unfinished/remaining task... as part of their karm yog. Once S/He accomplishes what S/He set out to do... S/He departs (to Vaikunth-loka).] The transition from each Kali to Sat/Satya Yug will be accompanied by some amount of natural disaster. But a 'pralay' may not precede each Sat/Satya Yug. However, if humanity chooses to remain unprepared for natural disasters (and/or contributes towards it), then as Swami Vivekananda said: "The wind is blowing; and those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is that the fault of the wind?" 

The Śrīvatsa mark is on Shri Maha Vishnu's chest, symbolizing His consort Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi. Vishnu is thus Srivatsankita, the one who bears the sign of Srivatsa. [Srivatsa (the beloved of Sri) is an ancient auspicious symbol in India. It is a mark on the chest of Vishnu where His consort Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi resides. It is also a mark of His immortality.] It is said that the 10th (and final) Maha Avatar of Shri Maha Vishnu (in the current maha yug or four-yug cycle), Kalki, will be the bearer of the Srivatsa mark as well. [SrivatsavakshaaH is another name of Shri Vishnu. The Śrīvatsa mark also adorns the images of the Jain Tirthankaras and of the Buddha as well.

Nostradamus has predicted the coming of the 'blue-turbaned-one' (from the East). His quatrains are not to be taken at face value. Therefore, this 'blue-turbaned-one' means: one belonging to a country that has the makings of a 'blue turban'. The Indian Peninsula, ocean topped and surrounded on both sides by seas (blue-hued waters), forms the shape of a 'turban'. Thus, Bhagavan Kalki has to be from India, the land of Shri Ram, Shri Krshn, Bhagavan Mahavira and Bhagavan Shri Gautam Buddh, among other greats. [However, in the current maha-yuga (the four-yug cycle: Krita/Sat/Satya Yug, Treta Yug, Dvapar Yug and Kali Yug) the ninth avatar, Bhagavan Shri Gautam Buddh, is not part of one faith, while the Kalki-avatar too appears to be part of many faiths. And this too underlines the importance of this Maha Avatar. No wonder: "As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee." And that: "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me."] The name "Bharatadesam" means, the 'Land of Bharat' or the 'Land of the Bharatas'. "Bharatadesam" is also known as "Bharatavarsha", which literally means the continent ('varsha'; Sanskrit) that is dedicated ('rata') to light, wisdom ('bha'). Our Vedic Rishis and Munis (learned and enlightened persons) devoted themselves to the quest for the Eternal Truth or 'illumined knowledge' (kevala jnana) and the Ultimate Reality or eternal bliss (spiritual ecstasy) i.e. satchidananda

[Sat-cit-ānanda: 'one who derives happiness through one's consciousness'. In other words: one who has achieved eternal bliss of self-realization/Paramaatma realization. Sat-cit-ānanda (pronounced as: sach-chid-ānanda). Sat describes an essence that is pure and timeless; cit is consciousness; ānanda is absolute bliss.]

|| sthavaranam himalayah || ~ "and of immovable things (sthavaranam) I am the Himalayas." The mighty Himalayan ranges "embrace" this great land. This land is especially blessed. Bharatvarsha is punya-bhoomi - worshipable motherland. Bharata means "the cherished", Bharatavarsha is the land of Bharata; it is the bhumi of the Bharatas or "cherished land" (and this is not confined to the descendents of Puru only.)

Bharatvarsha is our 'Punya-Bhoomi' or worshipable Motherland and the nation of our ancestors. It is in this land that the eternal principles of Sanaatan Dharm were understood and practiced for many millennium - and compiled as well. The philosophy and culture that evolved in this land are very distinct and vibrant... for which we should be proud. It is this land where a clarion call was given to all humanity to pursue the goal of becoming higher spiritual beings and realize the "Ultimate Truth" (Brahman, the Paramaatma, the Parameshvar, the Ultimate Knowledge or the Ultimate Reality.)

The planet creates what it needs again, and after years of drought and famine the clouds will supply rain again: this probably means, that once balance and Dharma is restored, as re-established by Bhagavan Kalki, the planet (and society) begins to heal and rejuvenate itself. Aspects that were either extinct, fast eroding or very low (due to the imbalance) will appear again. And so, everyone will again live in harmony and work towards a common cause and goal, based on spiritual upliftment, prosperity and Loka-kalyana/the greater good. In other words: a just, prosperous and inclusive society: Ram-Rajya.

Such a one... who shall be termed as Bhagavan Kalki... one equal in stature to Lord Krishna shall guide humanity. One who was known as Lord Krishna then shall be known as Lord Kalki now. In the circumstances when society (and even Prthvi-loka) finds itself totally handicapped and without a solution... at such a time it is only the Almighty who can help humanity come out of the confusion/chaos ... and rejuvenate itself. Thus, Bhagavan Kalki will be the doer (karm yogi) of Kali Yug.

[Please note: 'Ram-Rajya' does not mean welfare economics. 'Loka-sangraha' or 'Loka-kalyana' does not mean welfare economics or even welfare society. It means: welfare of all, the greater good. Their foundation is based on 'Raj Dharma' and Karm Yog. 'Ram-Rajya' means: a just, prosperous and inclusive society. The two pillars of 'Ram-Rajya' are Dharma and Karm (we have already discussed what they mean earlier in this post.) Shri Ram, a "Maryada-Purushottam," one who overcame numerous barriers to eliminate social ills, is also renowned for upholding 'Raj-dharma', the duties and responsibilities of a ruler. He was a nation-builder (just like Shri Krishna). We have had a robust trading history since Treta Yug. Plus: the technology, technical know-how, literature, et al at their disposal is way ahead of us. 'Ram-Rajya' is still a reference point since it is the best of the best... among all the golden ages we have had. In the current yug (Kali Yug) e.g. Samraat Chandragupta Maurya, Samraat Ashoka and Samraat Vikramaditya strove to re-establish Ram-Rajya and were successful to a great extent. Hence their rule is associated with Golden Age.  

Shri Ram was also a facilitator. And given the all-round development and awesome technology of that era we can well imagine the infrastructure he would have put in place (and which was well-nurtured through the years) w.r.t education, knowledge, research, trade, healthcare, sanitation, and so on. [We continue to marvel at the well-planned and advanced underground drainage system and covered sewers that our ancients built (and many of which have managed to survive the onslaught of time). It is an important civic amenity. We are not unaware of the benefits of a well-planned drainage system, be it in our everyday life, during monsoons, et al ... and how much they contribute towards health and hygiene, right?] Shri Ram also did not look at his people or society as strata, groups, etc. Hence he went about eliminating various social ills, negative perceptions and mindset. He successfully integrated and assimilated various marginalized groups into society. (And this would have no doubt given these hitherto marginalized people dignity and happiness. It would have also generated tremendous amount of goodwill for Shri Ram, thus giving him the crucial moral gravitas... that is important for a ruler.) Siya-Ram not only achieved this huge task through the sheer dint of their karm alone ... they were also willing to undergo incredible hardships, including the proverbial 'agni-pareeksha' (trial by fire), to make it happen. Imagine their vision and the magnitude of their tenacity and determination. They not only put in their time but also their heart into it. They were not perfunctory. They faced endless challenges, but did not regard them as good or bad. For them challenges were simply challenges. Siya-Ram lived amidst forest-dwellers (we also know about the Ram-Shabari story, don't we?) and adivasis (like Hanumanji, Jambavan, Angad and Sugreeva) for many years and traveled the length and breadth of the country. He was not condescending either. E.g. He walked up to welcome the Vyadh chief, Guhaka, after spotting him from afar. As for Shri Hanumanji, Jambavan, Sughreev or Angad, they were staunch allies and personal friends with Shri Ram and Lakshman. [Shri Ram was, thus, able to secure his borders and gain long-term allies.] Shri Hanumanji was a highly-skilled pilot ('Pavan-putra': Airman) and flew a variety of aircraft (vimana). This has been mistranslated as 'Hanumanji carried Ram and Lakshman on his shoulders'. Shri Ram was able to strike the right balance between material aspects and spiritual quotient vis-à-vis his rule, kingdom and people. Spirituality is not ostentatious, it is not mere rituals; rather it is like the rudder of a ship. Shri Ram put in place the required infrastructure and systems; he upheld 'Raj-dharma'; he re-established dharma and the doctrine of karm; he paid personal attention and made personal efforts to eliminate negative perceptions and mindset... and did away with various social ills (that masqueraded as "maryada" or 'socially accepted norms'). Thus 'Ram-Rajya' is still the benchmark for a just, prosperous and inclusive society. Shri Ram's life and times, or for that matter the life and times of say, Samraat Chandragupta Vikramaditya, has to be understood... for their greatness and contribution to be fully grasped. Force-fitting them into modern jargon and models will not do.]

Who is Vishnu and Who is Krishna? Who is the Buddha and Who the Bodhisattva? Well, He can take an infinite number of forms, simultaneously. The incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water. (Some of His other avatars are: Kapila Avatar, Rishabha Avatar - the first Tirthankara, Rudra, Dhanvantari Avatar, Devi Durga or Ambika [also known as Devi Parvati or Shakti - in whose image is the image of our motherland], Mohini-avatar, Hayagreeva Avatar, Hamsa [the swan] and so on. And though the great Chanakya is revered as 'Yug Purush' - Man of Destiny, the Timeless Man, who can say? However, Chanakya, like Shri Krishna (and unlike Machivelli), was a nation-builder. We don't know what sort of editing or additions might have happened to his works. He was a visionary, and so probably gave insights re: how the latter part of Kali Yug will play out. As to how later entities interpreted all that... we can only speculate.) Apart from the direct incarnations, there are innumerable empowered incarnations. The indirectly empowered ones are called vibhūtis. However, of all the various avatar-s of the Supreme, krishnas tu bhagavan svayam, which means that Lord Shri Krishna is the greatest and the most magnificent of all. 'Coz He is the highest Purna avatar. Those who have seen Him have seen the Param-aatma Himself, in a manner of speaking, that is. 'Coz He is Achintya, inscrutable, an enigma and Brahmn, the Supreme Creator. He is Purushottam [the Cosmic Spirit]. He is Om. He is Svayambhu: "self-manifested", the Eternal-Uncreated Lord of the three Worlds (tribhUvaneshvar). He is Satya-Sundar (dharma/truth and beauty/goodness). He is not manushya, He is not part of Manav-jaati. (For us, one complete day and night consists of 24 hours. But the life span of Brahma [the one who resides in Satya-loka, the highest planet in the material realm] is 311.04 trillion human years. And one complete day and night of this Shri Brahma is 8,640,000,000 human years. So, you can imagine what one complete day and night for the Param-aatma means.]) Only those who live in Vaikunth-loka, the one outside the material universe, know how He looks like. However, one can gain entry into the eternal Vaikunth planets on the strength of one's dharm and karm alone. [Here: Sat/Satya i.e. "Truth" does not mean honesty, and "dharma" does not mean moralism. It does not mean religion either. That is too narrow a definition. "Truth" means dharma. Dharma, a term that transcends the mere confines of one's duty/responsibility to a higher realm of societal good. It also transcends mere personal gains. While a person's karm consists of the action they take relative to their duties, called dharma.]

The Srimad Bhagavad Geeta: Chapter 15, verse 6: 

|| na tad bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāńko na pāvakah
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaḿ mama ||

Translation: "That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world." [The abode of the Supreme Being - Kṛṣṇaloka - is described here. It is the chief amongst the spiritual planets (Vaikunth planets). In the spiritual sky/realm/universe, all the planets are self-luminous. But that is not the case in the material realm/universe. (E.g. in our solar system only the sun is self-luminous.) The shining effulgence of all the planets in the spiritual universe (called Vaikuṇṭha-loka) constitutes the shining sky known as the brahmjyoti. However, this effulgence (jyoti) emanates from Kṛṣṇaloka - the Supreme abode of the Parameshvar who is also the Supreme Creator - Brahmn.] 

Chapter 11, verse 12:

|| divi surya-sahasrasya
bhaved yugapad utthita
yadi bhah sadrisi sa syad
bhasas tasya mahatmanah ||

Translation: "If hundreds of thousands of suns were to rise at once into the sky, their radiance might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Spirit." 

Chapter 9, verse 11:

|| avajānanti māḿ mūḍhā
mānuṣīḿ tanum āśritam
paraḿ bhāvam ajānanto 
mama bhūta-maheśvaram ||

Translation: "The ignorant deride Me when I descend in My human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be."

The Ram-avatar and the Krshn-avatar are depicted as blue-hued. There are several strands to this. However, Lord Krishna is often shown as having a dark-blue complexion. Not just blue, but a deep blue, like the velvet blue that sometimes can be seen in a dark sky, like a blue that one may have at times seen from the deck of a ship thousands of miles from shore on the Pacific Ocean. This perhaps can be explained thus: whenever there is something of unfathomable depth, it appears to be deep blue - be it the sky or the ocean or anything else (such as: the blue pre-dawn hours). The waters of the ocean look blue from afar. But if you go near and take it in your palms, you will no longer find it blue; it will be very clear, transparent. ... Shri Krishna is just like the deep blue waters of the ocean. Achintya (inscrutable) and yet, he never ceases to fascinate. He is also the Supreme Neelkanth. He is Ghanshyam - one who absorbs "poison" so as to cleanse society (of filth) and thus, rejuvenate Sanaatan Dharma - the 'eternal way of life'. [Blue also stands for: meditation/introspection, peace, tranquility, depth, stability, trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, patience, decision-making and truth/dharma: one's karm - duties/responsibilities that also benefits society.] 

[krishnas tu bhagavan svayam: from this we can also understand the importance of Bhagavan Sri Kalki. Thus, this avatar too will be velvet blue-hued... signifying the Varaha-roop (besides His role as Ghanshyam - the Supreme Neelkanth). Of all the roop/forms of the Supreme, the Varaha-roop is the greatest. However, all the Maha Avatars are Ekashringa Varaha - the one-horned boar, or Unicorn Boar. It does not refer to any animal per se. Ekashringa or Unicorn indicates rarity, one without a parallel. Incidentally, the current kalpa is the Shvetavaraha Kalpa, the "cycle of the white boar." (Svheta or Shveta = White. Varaha = the great boar).

The Mahabharata says: "Having stabilized the Earth in its own place, the Supreme Purusha, with His limbs dripping with water and mud accomplished His work for the benefit of the world." This indicates the Varaha-roop, and is self-explanatory. Purusha does not mean male. Purusha = Cosmic Spirit.]

Krishna, the 8th Vishnu, will return as Kalki, the 10th Vishnu.

|| mlEccha nivaha nidhanE kalayasi karavALam
dhUmakEtum iva kimapi karALam
kEshava dhrta kalki sharIra jaya jagadIsha harE ||

O KEshav! O jagadIsha! (Lord of the universe) O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of Kalki. All glories to You. You appear like a comet... and carry a flaming comet-like sword for bringing about the subjugation of the wicked Mlechchas (miscreants/duskrtam) at the end of Kali-yug.]

Guru Purnima 2013 is significant as the Moon will be in the sign of Sagittarius and (hence) will be receiving the aspect of Jupiter, which makes it even more auspicious. Besides planet Ketu (lord of horse-headed Ashvini) will trine the Moon. This makes Guru Purnima 2013 very special. [On a separate note, the Hayagreeva is also an avatar of the Lord. This avatar 'rescued the Vedas... which was taken to rasatala'. Probably means: that this avatar rescued the Vedas from decay and degradation; i.e. rejuvenated the Vedas (its contents: Vedic knowledge) by cleansing it of various unwanted aspects and embellishments... that may have seeped into them. Veda comes from the root 'Vid' which means, 'to know'. 'Vid' has in turn given rise to 'Vidya', knowledge.]

To the greatest of all Guru-s, the primeval Guru, the Satguru, the Universal Guru, I bow in reverence:

Gurur-Brahmaa Gurur-Vissnnur-Gururdevo Maheshvarah |
Gurure[-I]va Param Brahma Tasmai Shrii-Gurave Namah ||


1.1: The Guru is Brahma, the Guru is Vishnu, the Guru-Deva is Maha Eshvara (the Supreme Eshvara/Lord; Auspiciousness and Compassion personified),

1.2: The Guru is Verily the Para-Brahmn (Supreme Brahmn), Salutations to that Guru.

Here is a shloka from the Brhadāranyaka Upanisad: 
असतोमा सद्गमय। तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमया। मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय॥ ॐ शांति शांति शांति - बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद् 1.3.28.

|| (Aum) Asato mā sad gamaya
Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya
Mrtyormā amrtam gamaya
Aum śānti śānti śāntih ||
(Brhadāranyaka Upanisad 1.3.28)


"(Aum) From ignorance, lead me to truth (knowledge)
From darkness (all negative aspects), lead me to light (wisdom, enlightenment)
From death, lead me to immortality
Aum let there be peace within ourselves, let there be peace in the world, let there be peace in the universe."

[Aum (also known as Om): The syllable Om (written out as Aum with each letter having its own significance) represents Brahman, the supreme creator, as well as the whole of creation. It is also the primeval sound (Pranava Naad), the sound of the universe itself.]

'Chaturmas' begins from this day. Chaturmas literally means "four months", derived from the Sanskrit catur, "four", and māsa, "month".

The sun enters the zodiacal sign of Karka (Cancer) and begins to move southwards in the month of Ashadh.

Chaturmaas (Sanskrit: Cāturmāsa) is a holy period of four months (July to October), beginning on Shayani Ekadashi - the eleventh day of the first bright half, Shukla paksha, of Ashadh (fourth month of the Hindu lunar calendar/Shaka Samvat) - until Prabodhini Ekadashi, the eleventh day of the first bright half of Kartik (eighth month of the Hindu lunar calendar) in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

In Hinduism, Lord Vishnu is believed to 'sleep' on this day; hence the eleventh day of Ashadh is called Devashayani Ekadashi. He is believed to 'wake up' on the eleventh of Kartik, hence called Prabodhini Ekadashi. The period corresponds with the rainy season in India. This day heralds the setting in of the much-needed monsoon, as the advent of cool showers usher in fresh life in the fields. (Though this year we have already had an abundance of rains.)

[This Lord Vishnu is the Garbhodakasayi Vishnu - the 'second form' of Shri Maha Vishnu, also known as Anantashayi Vishnu or Anantashayana Vishnu. Anantashayana in Sanskrit, literally: 'sleeping/reclining on the serpent Ananta/Shesha'.]

He does not 'sleep', not literally, that is. It is said Lord Vishnu is 'asleep': essentially to avoid holding any auspicious ceremonies, such as weddings, etc, during these four months. [Primarily to avoid the change of season/weather and the various ailments that comes with the onset of monsoon. Instead, attention is paid toward maintaining good health, via meditation and vrat (self-control/abstinence from rich, fatty or oily food), performing puja, recital of mantras and stotras, and through charity. Fasts and vrat/abstinence during this period help maintain good health.]

Major festivals within this holy period (Chaturmaas) include: Guru Purnima, Krishna Janmashtami, Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri (Durga Puja - Vijayadashami/Dussehra/Dasara) and Diwali/Deepavali. 

1. Mars meets Jupiter:  Before dawn on Sunday, June 21, the red planet dropped below M35 star cluster and paid an extremely close visit to the largest world in the solar system. Orange-hued Mars appeared less than one degree from Jupiter low in the east. The two planets will glide past each other in the Gemini constellation over the course of the next few days as Jupiter rises higher each morning while Mars sinks close to the sun. [For the best views, observers will need to have a clear line of sight towards the horizon using binoculars.]

2. Venus pairs with Regulus: As dusk sets in on Sunday, July 21, look towards the very low western horizon for a beautiful pairing of two bright white, star-like objects. Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo, will set fast while brighter Venus snuggles up to it - only one degree away. [Regulus marks the heart of the lion and lies 78 light years away. A hot blue-white star, it is about 3.5 times larger than our Sun and, at 300 million years old, is an adolescent when it comes to star lifetimes.]

[The best views will be with binoculars from southern latitudes, where the pair will appear higher in the sky and farther away from the sunset glow.]

3. A Rare Look at an Iridescent Cloud: We've been told that every cloud has a silver lining - but did you know some clouds wear a rainbow cap?

This breathtaking photo (captured in mid-July) is of an iridescent cloud, a phenomenon occurring right in our own atmosphere. Iridescent clouds, known as "rainbow clouds," occur when sunlight diffracts off water droplets in the atmosphere.

4. Starry Night: Despite the glow from towns scattered throughout the valleys near Uludağ Mountain in southern Turkey, stars that form part of the Milky Way shine brightly in the skies above in this picture released July 6.

5. Cosmic Gold: This artist's illustration shows two neutron stars at the moment of collision. New observations confirm that colliding neutron stars produce short gamma-ray bursts. Such collisions produce rare heavy elements, including gold. All of Earth's gold likely came from colliding neutron stars.

Until now, astronomers believed that all the gold on Earth, and in the universe, was forged in ancient supernova explosions. But new evidence indicates that the birth of this precious metal is due to the cataclysmic collision of two neutron stars. The impact produces a titanic flash of intense but short-lived gamma ray bursts (GRB) along with a debris cloud filled with a complex cocktail of heavy elements, including copious amounts of gold.

Using NASA's SWIFT gamma-ray hunting satellite, astronomers on June 3 detected just such a distant, high-energy explosion - dubbed GRB 130603B - some 3.9 billion light-years from Earth. The team of astronomers estimates that material (some of it gold) equal to about one-hundredth the mass of our sun, was ejected by the gamma-ray burst. 

The resulting infrared glow from the burst can only be produced by the radioactive heavy elements rich in neutron stars, and the team believes it indicates that GRBs are a product of two neutron stars merging.

With several moons worth of gold being produced by just one GRB, and the many such blasts that are thought to have occurred since billions of years, astronomers suggest that neutron star collisions are the primary factories for gold in the cosmos.

The amount of gold produced and ejected during the merger of the two neutron stars may be as large as ten moon masses. At today's market rate, that amount of gold would be valued at ten octillion dollars - that's a 1 with 28 zeros behind it.

Unlike supernovae, where lighter elements like carbon and iron are born from the demise of a single star, GRBs are the universe's most cataclysmic events and are powerful enough to forge precious metals.

6. Silver in Space: Researchers have concluded that silver production occurs in less massive stars than those that produce gold - and through an entirely different type of nuclear fusion, called the weak r-process.

Stars with masses eight to nine times that of the sun may explode at the end of their lives as faint low-mass supernovae and create elements up to palladium and silver, but not heavier. It seems that this weak r-process can be connected to supernovae of much lower masses than what was previously thought.

So while the amount of the metal ejected by a single star may be quite low - as little as a billionth of the original mass of the star - these silver-producing supernovae may be more widespread than their larger, gold-producing cousins. That cosmic disparity, may help explain why silver on Earth is so much more abundant than gold.

7. The Eye of the Moon with Chander Budi:

8. Byangoma with chhata... since it's raining all around!