Posted by: sriramarao | June 7, 2013

Walk the Dog

(Received in an e mail. Posting for everyone to enjoy)
WALK THE DOG

Posted by: sriramarao | June 6, 2013

Hastinapur

H a s t i n a p u r-City of Wisdom in Buenos Aries,

Hastinapur, the city of wisdom, in Argentina

(Received this in an email. Posting here to share with the world)

Hastinapur has a total area of twelve acres. Its population consists of a dozen Indian gods and an equal number of Argentine human beings. Some of the Indian gods reside in authentic temples filled with the scent of Indian agarbatties while others stay outdoor enjoying the fragrance of the flowers from the garden. Some are sitting or standing on the pedestals and others hang on the sides of walls and pillars. The gods who have their own temples include Ganesh, Krishna , Surya, Narayana and Siva. Since it is Hastinapur there is a temple for Pandavas too. Hastinapur is clearly a place fit for the gods …who should be pleased with the cleanliness of the place, the serene surroundings and the green garden with Rosewood trees. The only noise comes from the hundreds of birds nesting in the trees. Then there is the soft music of the devotees who sing Bhajans. It is indeed a divine place which inspires sacred thoughts and holy spirit.

Ganesh is standing out in white against the greenery of the garden in the picture below.GaneshStandingInGarden

The dozen Argentines who live there look after the gods and the place. During weekend, the human population increases to over one hundred.
The Argentines do not go there seeking favours as many Indians do in Tirupathi. They go there for wisdom. This is why Hastinapur is called as the City of Wisdom (ciudad de la sabiduria).
Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning blesses the students through the sculptures all around the compound. The Argentines learn philosophy, read in the library, practice yoga and meditation and sing Bhajans.

On the other side of the fence, there are cows grazing and occasionally staring at the Indian gods. The cows are relaxed and free from fear because they know that they will not become food at the dining table in Hastinapur, which is a vegetarian place. The inmates cook vegetarian food and share it with the children from poor families in the neighbourhood.

Hastinapur does not have any godmen seeking fame and fortune and flaunting wealthy followers. It is an institution to pursue pure wisdom, peace and divinity. Neither in the city nor in the website names of those who run the place are given. The founders and directors of the Hastinapura Foundation do not seek publicity. They are humble but devoted people. They have their professions as company managers, engineers or professors. They volunteer their time and talents for the foundation.

Nor is Hastinapur the work of some overenthusiastic drum-beating Hare Krishna types or faith-lead Saibaba followers. Hastinapur respects all the religions and beliefs. Their ten temples include one for Buddha, one for Virgin Mary, one for the Greek god Demeter and another one called as the the Temple of All Faiths. Their library has books of all religions and schools of thought. Hastinapur seeks true wisdom, going beyond the boundaries of established religions. The City of Wisdom is not the ultimate destination. It does not prescribe wisdom doses. It simply helps people to seek, find and pursue their own path to wisdom. They give classes in yoga, meditation, philosophy, devotional singing and sacred drama. They organise workshops, seminars and retreats. They also provide community service. They celebrate festivals such as Ganesh Chathurthi and Baishaki. Their next project is to broadcast through radio.

Hastinapur temples do not have priests or other middlemen between the gods and worshipers. There is no money collection, like in Tirupathi.
Worshipers pray, recite mantras and sing devotional songs individually or in groups.

Meditation Hall

MeditationHall

Hastinapur has a post graduate course in yoga which takes three years to complete. The classes are held in the weekends only. There are 2500 students studying yoga and philosophy in the Hastinapur centres. The students are being taught by 100 teachers on philosophy and 120 teachers on yoga.

Many Argentines go to Hastinapur as a retreat from the hectic city of Buenos Aires which is just fifty kilometres away. They practice meditation in the quiet natural environment. They do yoga, read books from the library, discuss philosophy and join the singing of bhajans. Hastinapur is an authentic Ashram.

Hastinapur Foundation has published a number of books on Indian philosophy and translated Bhagwat Gita, Bhakti Sutras, Upanishads,Srimad Bhagwatam and Yoga Sutras. Their latest publication is Mahabharatha in Spanish. They have so far published three volumes and plan to do a total of twelve volumes in the coming years. Each volume is over 500 pages. The founder Alda Albrecht and other members of the Foundation have also written a number of books.

Main entrance to the Hastinapur city

MainEntranceToHastinapurCity

Hastinapura Foundation was established by Ada Albrecht in 1981. She introduced Indian philosophy and became a Guru for the Argentines seeking wisdom. She wrote a number of books such as �The Saints and teachings of India� and �The teachings of the monks from Himalayas�.

Gustavo Canzobre was one of her students, who is now the Director of the Hastinapur college of professors. He was seventeen years old when he became interested in Indian wisdom. During the Third Festival of India organised by the embassy in Buenos Aires in November 2010, he gave a talk on the temple architecture of South India . He has agreed to give a talk on Indian philosophy in the forthcoming Fourth Festival of India in December 2011. He is a manager in a local company for living and dedicates rest of his time to Hastinapura Foundation. He is knowledgeable about Indian vedas and upanishads and is going to India on his second visit in August this year.

Gustavo Canzobre in the picture below:

GustavoCanzobreInPicture

The architectural and scuplting work of the Hastinapur complex has been done entirely by Argentines. The architects and sculptors have studied Indian temples and have done their work professionally and aesthetically. Even now they are constructing some more buildings with Indian sculptures and statues.

Pillars of the entrance to Ganesh Temple Below

:

PillarsOfEntranceToGaneshTemple

The pond in front of the temple has fresh water and fish:

PondInFrontOfTempleWithWaterAndFish

 

A small outdoor Ganesh temple in the garden

OutdoorGaneshTempleInGarden

 

Hastinapura Foundation has sixteen centres in Buenos Aires and three more in the rest of Argentina . They have also established centres in Uruguay , Bolivia and Colombia . Information on the Foundation and its activities can be seen at their website

http://en.hastinapura.org.ar

Lord Siva is sitting majestically in the large garden guarded by Ganesh on the four sides:

LordShivaGuardedByGanesh

Latin Americans are, of course, known for fun and fiesta. At the same time, there are thousands of Latin Americans who take Mahabharatha and Meditation more seriously than many Indians….

Posted by: sriramarao | June 4, 2013

A stunning senior Moment Priceless and So True

A Stunning Senior Moment – priceless and so true too:

ATT000011

It is very much true to the core,
That this genaratioon have not seen,
Or felt actual pain in fulfilling resposiblities,
As we kept every thing at their feet to enjoy,
The sweat and sweating for the cause is not known,
They all born with golden spoon in their mouth,
All the inventions and the struggle is not felt,
As we have laid down every thing for them,
And still we feel for their safty and satiation,
Without asking them to see our happiness.
One can only know the value of anything,
When you get it by struggle and shedding sweat,
Let this generation know where is their origin,
And how it have been developed to the present,
For their benefit and welfare of future generation.
Posted by: sriramarao | March 29, 2010

Ben Stevenson’s Ballet Romeo and Juliet

Yesterday 14 February was a very cold day in Dallas, Texas. Being Sunday my son wanted to take us out and found an interesting programme Ben Stevenson’s Ballet of Romeo and Juliet, being performed in Bass performance Hall at Fortworth. Since the show was in the afternoon at 1400 hrs, we started around 1300 and reached the theate at 1345, in a formal attire. It was very cold and breezy. I was thrilled to see the amount of spectators that were standing in the que to collect the tickets which they purchased on line. People mostly dressed in formal attire young and old  were all there to witness the show. There were ample number of volunteers to guide every one in securing the ticket, going to the correct gate by climbing steps or going by lift, seating arrangements etc. There was a old American lady who may be around 85 slowly walked with a stick and when one volunteer asked her whether she can help her to get the ticket, she said ok. The old lady was having tubes from her neck hanging and also one flask like thing connected to the tubes in her hand. She said in her frail voice my husband is getting a  wheel chair for me, and she was helped by another volunteer to go up to the lift and to go to third floor of the hall. We had our reservation in the fifth floor and we were guided to our sets.

The Bass performance hall in Fortworth is a beautiful 5 storeyed hall and nearly 1000 people can be accommadated in the hall. The seats were very comfortable. The tickets were ranging from $ 114 to $ 19 per person depending upon the location of their seat in various side balconies of various floors and the location of their seat in the auditorium, with the seats closer to the dias where the view is good being costlier. The hall is extremely well maintained. There are some people who purchased a drink and some eats before the commencement of the show. Everyone was seated before the commencement of the Ballet. It was interesting that the volunteers at the gate won’t allow anyone to enter the hall once the gates are closed, and no one moves out of the hall, when the show was in the progress.The show commencd on the dot at 1400 hrs with

                                              

Act 1, Scene 1- The Market  Place in Verona

Romeo, son of Lord Montague tries unsucessfully to declare his love for Rosaline and is consoled by his friends Mercutio and Benvolio. As  day breaks and the townspeople meet in the market place, a quarell develops between Tybalt, a nephew of Lord Capulet, and Romeo and his friends. The Capulets and Montagues are sworn enemies and a fight soon begins. The Lords Montague and Capulet join in the fray, which is stopped by the appearance of  the Duke of Verona who commands the families to end the feud.

SCENE 2 – Juliet’s Ante-Room in the Capulet’s house

Juliet, playing with her nurse, is interrupted by her mother, Lady Capulet. Juliet’s molther tells her tht she is to be married to Paris. Lady Capulet ignores Juliet’s pleas that she is too young and shows her aughter that , physically, this is not so.

Scene 3 – Outside the Capulet’s house

Guests arrive for aball given by the Capulets’. Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio, disguised in masks, decide to enter the Capulet’s house in pursuit of Rosaline.

Scene 4 – The Ball Room

Romeo and his friends arrive at the height of festivities. The guests watch juliet dance. Thrilled by Juiet’s beauty, Romeo is entranced. When Paris become suspicious, Mercutio distracts the guests . Romeo and Juliet dance together, and Romeo takes  his mask off so taht Juliet can see him. Tybalt recognizes Romeo and orders him to leave, but Lord Capulet intervenes and welcomes him  as a guest in his house.

Scene 5 – The Garden of Capulet’s House

Juliet stands on the balcony of her room after the ball. It is a moonlit night and she cannot sleep.Romeo appears in the garden below. Juliet goes to join him and they declare their love.

                                                                                                 Intermission

 

ACT II

Scene 1 – The Market Place

 Romeo can think only of Juliet, and dreams of the day when he will marry her. In the meantime Juliet’s nurse pushes her way through the crowds in seach of  Romeo to givehim a letter. He reds that Juliet has consented to be his wife.

Scene 2 – Friar Laurence ‘s Cell

Romeo arrives and asks Friar Laurence to marry them. Juliet enters and the lovers are  secretly married by Friar Laurence.

Scene 3 – The Market Place

The crowd is dancing light heartedly. Tybalt begins to provoke. Mercutio Romeo enters the market place and tries to pacify the pair, but Tybalt succeeds in making Mercurio fight.Mercutio is wounded and dies. Enraged , Romeo fights  Tybalt and kills him.Romeo takes flight. The Capulets appear and grieve overTybalt’s boday. The Duke banishes Romeo from Verona.

                                                                                              Intermission

 

Act III

Scene 1 – Juliet’s bed room

Romeo and Juliet are together but Romeo mst flee the city with the dawn. They dance a desperate duet of farewell. Juliet’s parents enter with Paris and her nurse to make preparations for the wedding. Juliet is distraught and refuses to marry him. Juliet’s parents are angry and threaten to disown her. Juliet rushes to see Friar Laurence.

Scene 2 – Friar Laurence’s cell

 

Juliet falls at the Friar’s feet and begs for his help. He gives her a vial of sleeping potion, whih will make her fall into a death-like sleep. No one will know she is alive, ad her parents believing her to be dead, will bury her in the family tomb. Friar Laurene tells Juliet that he will send a letter to Romeo instructing him to return under cover of darkness and take her away from Verona.

Scene 3 – Juliet’s bedroom

That eveing Juliet agrees to marry Paris. Her parents are delighted. Left alone Juliet drinks the draught given to her by Friar Laurence. Her parents, arriving with Paristhe next morning, find her apparently  lifeless on the bed.

Sene 4 – The Caplet  FamilyCrypt

Juliet’s body is entombed in the crypt. Romeo, failing to receive the Friar’s message, returns to Verona stunned by grief  at the news of Juliet’s death. Disguised as a monk,he enters the crypt. Believing Juliet to be dead, Romeo drinks a vial of of poison. Juliet awakens and finding Romeo dead, stabs herself.

Overall this was a fantastic Ballet, and the special thing I observed  is the music was not played by any Orchestra, but it was recorded music.

Posted by: sriramarao | March 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Antonio Vivaldi

   ‘Tis the ‘Season’ for Vivaldi on Google’s homepage

It’s the 332nd birthday of Antonio Vivaldi, the Italian composer. Today’s Google doodle honors The Four Seasons,’ Vivaldi’s most famous composition.

When I woke up today morning and opened internet I was thriled to see the above Google picture and later realized that today is the birthday of Vivaldi,the Italian composer.

                                                                                                                                          

Vivaldi with his Violin 

Today marks the 332nd anniversary of the birth of ground breaking baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, a landmark that Google have marked with a Doodle on their homepage.

Here below are ten pieces of trivia on the musical pioneer.  

1. Born the son of a professional violinist in Venice in 1678, he was the oldest of nine children.  

2. He battled acute bronchial asthma throughout his life.  

3. He trained to be a priest for three years, and was ordained at the age of 25 in 1703. During these years Antonio Vivaldi was taught to play violin by his father. His earliest known performance was in 1696.  

4. Following his ordination, he put an end to saying Mass, claiming “his chest was too tight” due to his asthma, although many believed he quit because he was forced to become a priest against his wishes

5. The composer was given the nickname “Il Prete Rosso” which means”Red Priest”, due to his red hair.  

6. During his life, the prolific Vivaldi wrote around 500 concertos, along with a wealth of opera and religious-themed pieces.  

7. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni), is undoubtedly his most famous piece of work. A set of four violin concertos, each section was composed to resemble its respective
season. 

8. While something of a musical genius, he was also said to be somewhat cocky. He once claimed he could compose a concerto in all its parts faster than it could be copied.  

9. Most of Vivaldi’s music was lost. The majority of what we have of his work today was discovered in the 1920’s, packed away in a trunk.  

10. Like Mozart, Vivaldi died in poverty in 1741, and was buried in an unmarked grave.  

Many countries have issued many stamps on Vivaldi  over the years. I will come up with a blog on them in the near future.

You can enjoy the great music of Vivaldi of various seasons for the next few minutes

 

Posted by: sriramarao | February 13, 2010

The Pot

Every fault of ours can be an opportunity for success

the Pot

Posted by: sriramarao | February 13, 2010

Indian Niagra Falls in our very own Kerala

 

Here is our own Indian Version of Niagra Fallas at Athirapally & Vazhachaal

This breath taking natural wonder is  located 65 Kms from Trichur (Kerala) & 60 Kms from Cochin.

A tranquil & much needed escape from the troubles & stress of life! 

 

Just amazing…….not many of us would have known this to be such a wonderful scenic spot. Hope you get  a chance to visit this place!

Posted by: sriramarao | February 13, 2010

Having great fun with snowfall

 

I am presently in Dallas TX,USA with my son, along with my wife. The weather channel indicated on 10 Feb 2010, that there is likelyhood o  heavy snowfall on the night of 10th and my wife who never saw a anowfall was very excited and during the night got up almost every one hour to go out and see whether there was any snowfall. She was disapointed to see hat there was no snowfall till 110400 hrs. She got ready and did her pooja and when she finished and came out saw that the snow fall has started around 0500 hrs.. She was very excited woke me up and my son, and she got ready with her shoes and heavy woolens and went out and played in the snow for some time.

On that there was heavy snowfall and we both went out many times that day, and enjoyed the snow. She also made an iceman with the snow. All the trees, building tops, roads, lawns and everywhere there was snow. The snowfall continued for the whole day and night as well.

Both me an my wife played with the snow which was very soft threw at each other, made various figures with the ice.

The night was equally interesting. Since there was snow everywhere when we saw outside it was like bright moonlight all over and extremely beautiful. Outside was reasonably bright, there after we went out for a drive on the roads to see the snow and it was beautiful all over. We had taken lot of photogrphs that day and placing some of them in this blog for your view and enjoyment.on the 12th we went for a walk next to a river and saw beautiful views with the snow. There wee many birds swimming in the river and flying and shifting their swimming spot.

 

 Today is 13th of Feb, and the snow is slowly melting from the trees and roof tops and the roads are clear of the snow.

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