Article Written by London swaminathan

Date: 9 November 2015

Post No:2314

Time uploaded in London :– 8-35 AM

( Pictures were taken by london swaminathan ) 



Indian artist Subodh Gupta has created an art installation near the famous Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) In South Kensington, London. This is part of India festival run by the V & A.

This huge bucket has become a huge attraction to the tourist crowd that frequents all the museums in South Kensington area in London.

Subodh Gupta uses everyday objects and turns them in to “sculptures” through this Big Bucket;  Subodh wants to show the world how much natural resources are wasted. Here in this installation, he has shown the stainless steel utensils spill over the bucket like water over flowing  a bucket. He has used lot of ever silver pans, plates, cups, pots and pans to create this. The shiny utensils show the temptation for newer things. The empty vessels also tell us that the world is still a poverty stricken place, but with a bright future. The bucket is shiny. This bucket will be standing on the road until January 2016.

A lot of tourists stand near the bucket and pose for photos. It has become a great attraction.




V and A had arranged two days of Deepavali festival in the museum on 7th and 8th November 2015. Cultural programmes including music and dance were held. Two women from Prakruti Dance organisation in Harrow did a story telling event for children. The story was based on Ramayana. They did a bit of dance and music and made the children to participate in the drama.

Later a musical concert was also held. Famous musicians from India and West Africa presented this concert. Award winning flautist Keith waithe,  Sitar player Mehboob Nadeem, Tabla player Sanju Sahai, Vocalist Pooja Angra presented a fusion music concert. In addition to the music, dance and storytelling, Rangoli  was also done.

Hindu Forum of Britain, the umbrella body of over 130 Hindu organisations, held it its annual Diwali festival inside the Parliament building on 4th of November 2015. David Cameron, British Prime Minister is giving his annual Deepavali lunch on 10th November 2015. Various organisations including South Indian Society, UK hold Diwali dinners separately.




Pictures of V&A Museum Diwali Events in London.

London Mayor organised a Diwali event in Trafalgar Square (London) in October itself to the surprise and opposition from the orthodox Hindus.


Pictures from Trafalgar Square Diwali event in London.


Bitter gourds and The Meaning of Pilgrimage!

12 jyotirlinga

Picture shows 12 Great Shiva Shrines around India.

Article Written by London swaminathan

Date: 6 November 2015

Post No:2306

Time uploaded in London :– 10-06   AM

(Thanks  for the pictures) 


There was a great saint named Tukaram. He was a votary of God’s name. Once people from his village decided to go on a long pilgrimage and they requested Tukaram also to follow them. Tukaram expressed his inability, but requested them to be kind enough to take with them to all the places they visited some bitter gourds that he would give them. He wished that the bitter gourds should be given a dip in all the holy waters where they took bath and also have them taken to all the temples they visited.

Not caring to know the significance of what the saint said, the villagers took the bitter gourds from him and carried all along the pilgrimage, obeying the instructions of the saint in regard to dipping them in the holy waters and taking them to the temples.

bitter gourd

In a few months, the party returned from the pilgrimage and handed the bitter gourds back to Tukaram. Tukaram was happy and invited all the members of the party to a feast next day to celebrate the successful completion of their pilgrimage. Tukaram made a special dish out of the bitter gourds which he had sent on the pilgrimage. They were served with various preparations and they started eating. When they tasted the gourd dish, they all remarked it was bitter and asked Tukaram why he served it. Tukaram, as if greatly surprised, asked them how it could be bitter when it was made out of the gourds that had gone on the pilgrimage. It was no doubt bitter when he handed them over to the pilgrims before the pilgrimage, but he wondered why it had not lost its bitterness in spite of pilgrimage. This was a great lesson to all the pilgrims.

There are so many who go on pilgrimage and return as bitter before. But if you go on a pilgrimage as urged by God within, and continuously remember Him all through the pilgrimage and see only purity and goodness of God everywhere, you will achieve purity. Such a pilgrimage will surely beneficial to you.

ashta vinayak

Picture shows Eight famous Ganesh shrines in Maharashtra.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa on Pilgrimages

As cows, after eating their fill, lie down quietly at a place and chew the cud, so after visiting a sacred spot or a place of pilgrimage, you must take hold of the holy thoughts that arose in the mind while there, sit down in a solitary corner and think of them till you are immersed in them you must not devote yourself to the pursuit of the senses driving away the higher ideas from your mind immediately after you leave the holy places.


Travel in all the four quarters of the earth, yet you will find nothing (no true religion) anywhere. Whatever there is, is only here (i.e. in one’s own heart).


The milk of the cow in reality pervades the whole body of the animal through its blood, but you cannot milk it by squeezing the eras or the horns; you can get the milk only from the teats. Similarly God pervades the universe everywhere, but you cannot see Him everywhere. He manifests Himself more readily in sacred temples which are full of the spirit of devotion diffused by the lives and spiritual practices of the devotees of former times.


3 Mother Anecdotes

Written  by London swaminathan

Date: 1 November 2015.

Post No:2292

Time uploaded in London :–  15-04

(Thanks  for the pictures) 


Two small boys were hesitant about approaching their mother for a permission which was almost certain to be denied. They felt that they must take the long shot, however. “You ask her”, said Billy to his younger brother. “No, you”.

At this point the mother chanced to overhear the balance of the conversation.

“Oh, go on, you ask her”, urged Billy. “No, you do it”, said the younger, “you have known her longer than I have.”

Mum, I am nearer to you than Papa

A number of years ago my little girl said to her mother, in one of those bursts of confidence that children sometimes have, “Mama I am nearer to you than I am to papa.” Her mother asked, “Why, what do you mean, my dear?”

“Why ,” she replied, “I am your own little girl, but I am only related to papa by marriage.”

Whipping Credits!

John D.Rockfeller, Sr. was reared with strict discipline. Upon one occasion, while being punished, he succeeded in convincing his mother that he was not guilty of the offense for which he was being whipped.

“Very well, son,” is mother replied with grim humour, “but we have gone so far that we may as well proceed. It will be credited to your account for next time.”

Hindu Couple: Proverbial Blessings in Tamil and Sanskrit!


Written  by London swaminathan

Date: 30 October 2015.

Post No:2287

Time uploaded in London :–  19-42

(Thanks  for the pictures) 


Tamils wish a couple,

“May you prosper without fail, sending down fresh stems like a Banyan tree, taking root like the spreading Arugu grass and surrounded by friends and relatives like the Bamboos” (Three plants re mentioned)

(Tamil: Aal pol vizuthu vittu, arugu pol aver odi, muungil pola suRRum musiyaamal vaazka)

There is a similar blessing in the Rig Veda quoted by Romesh Chunder Dutt (1848-1909) in his ‘Lays of Ancient India’,

“Happy man and beauteous bride

Be this place your home of pride!

Loving man and duteous wife

In peaceful union pass your life!

May prattling children fill your home with peace,

And lisping babes their grand-sire’s bliss increase!”

The lord on his gifts bestow

And happy children round us grow

Loving man and duteous wife

In peaceful union pass your life!

–Rig Veda 10-85


Get all the 16 !

Another popular Tamil blessing to the couple is

“May you have sixteen and live most prosperously”

Some people interpret it as sixteen children, which is wrong.

The sixteen mean the following

1).Name and Fame 2).Good Education 3).Energy/Will power 4).Victory 5).Good Children 6).Gold/Prosperity/Wealth 7).Grains/paddy/wheat/no lack of food 8).Good Karma 9).Intelligence 10).Beauty 11).Pride 12).Ever Young/Youthful 13).Courage 14).Good Health 15).Long Life Span 16).Enjoyment (Sexual/sensual)

There is another version which replaces some of the above with Good Company, Faith in God, Good Wife, worry free mind, Satya/Truthfulness. In short all good things in life for a happy, healthy long life.

Tricky Blessing: Deerga Sumangali Bhavah

Whenever a married woman prostrate before an elderly or saintly person, she is blessed “Live with your husband for ever (You should never become a widow).This is a very tricky blessing given to women. It may mean several things

1.Both of you should live a long life and you should die as a Sumangali before your husband (as a married woman, never as a widow).

2.This will avoid suffering without husband at the evening of one’s life

3.This will avoid her committing Sati i.e. dying with her husband in the funeral pyre

4.This will give her husband a very long life. Instead of blessing both of you should live longer, if one says that you should be a married woman with mangala Sutra around your neck for ever, that means your husband should live as long as you live.

With this tricky blessing, Yama (God of Death) was duped by Savitri. When he gave her the boon to be a Sumangali for ever, her dead husband was revived. This is the most famous story among Hindu women (Satyavan- Savitri).

In short if a woman is blessed to be Sumangali for ever, that means both herself and her husband will live a long happy, married life.

This blessing is found in 2000 year old Tamil Sangam literature as well (Akam verse 86 line 19: Peril Kizaththi Aka)


Story on Counterfeit Coins


Compiled  by London swaminathan

Post No.2276

Date: 26 October 2015

Time uploaded in London: 17-15

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My teacher at Setupati High School, Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India) taught us a simple thing. When you see a counterfeit coin or currency note, never ever circulate it. Destroy it because It produces a chain reaction of cheating:

  1. Someone gave me a fake coin and cheated me; I get angry and frustrated.
  2. But to revenge that cheater, I cunningly pass it on to another person in the darkness or when the other one was not alert. That way I also become a criminal by circuiting the false money.
  3. The person who received try the same thing. So one coin or fake currency creates hundreds of cheaters.

My teacher V G Srinivasan voluntarily took such fake coins or currency notes and cut them in to two and threw them into dust bin or drainage so that no one else could use it. Though he lost the money, he tried to create a better society. From the day I learnt it from him, I have been following it. In London coins of several countries change hands every day because of tourist traffic. Sometimes the coins which look like British coins come to my hand. Immediately I add them to my old coin collection. If I get counterfeit currency I destroy them.

When I read a story told by Swami Ramdas of Anandhashram, I am reminded of my teacher who is no more.


Nine  Counterfeit British-pound Coins

Here is the story:

A saint was earning his bread by stitching clothes. A person, who got a great quantity of cloth prepared into garments by this saint, used to pay him for the work in counterfeit coins. The saint was quietly accepting the bad coins although he knew them to be false.

One day the saint had to go out on some work, leaving his shop in charge of the servant. At that time, the patron came for getting the clothes made. And, as usual, he offered some bad coins. These the servant returned saying, “These are bad coins. Give me good ones.”

When the saint returned, his servant said, “A certain man from the town had come to deceive me by paying  counterfeit coins.”. The saint replied: “Why did you not take the false coins? He is always paying me such coins which I accept readily. I am burying them all underground. If I not accept them, you know, other people will be cheated by him.”

That is how saints serve the society.

(It does not mean that we have to keep quiet when a person continuously cheats some one or the society. We have legal ways to trap such people and punish them.)


Be Smart to get an Interview!


Compiled  by London swaminathan

Post No.2273

Date: 25 October 2015

Time uploaded in London: 19-41

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A travelling salesman was anxious to gain admission to the office of a prominent industrialist, the establishing of business relations with whom would be the highlight of his whole trip. But the man in question was difficult to see. Entering his outer office, he gave his card to the secretary. It was taken within and, through the partly opened door, the salesman saw the executive tear it in half and throw it into the waste basket.

The secretary returned meanwhile and stated that her employer would not see him. “May I have my card back?” asked the salesman. Slightly embarrassed the secretary reported to her superior who sent her back out again with a nickel (coin) and a message that he was sorry, but the card had been destroyed. More than equal to the occasion, the salesman drew another card from his wallet and gave it to the girl.

“Take this back to him,” he said “and tell him that I sell two cards for a nickel.”

He got his interview and he got his order!


I sell Brains, not Trunks!

An advertising salesman arrived at a large Chicago hotel and took a room. He carried with him only a small grip and the hotel porter asked for the tags for his trunks.

“I have none”, said the salesman.

“Why, I understood you was a salesman”, said the porter.

“That is right, I am. But I don’t need any trunks. I sell brains”.

The porter scratched his head and said, “Well, Sir, Boss, you is the first travelling salesman what ‘sever come here without no samples.”


May I speak to your mother?

“I owe my success as a salesman”, said the speaker, addressing the gathering of young men being trained for this profession, “to the first five words which I invariably utter when a woman opens the door, ‘Miss, may I speak to your mother?”

Source: An old book of Anecdotes

Who are the Four Sleepless People?


Compiled by london swaminathan

Post No.2270

Date: 24 October 2015

Time uploaded in London: 19-42

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Don’t use pictures. Don’t reblog for at least a week.

Kuto nidraa daritrasya parapreshyacharasya cha

Paranaariprasktasya paradravya harasya cha

–Garuda Purana 115-68

Who is without sleep?

Daridrah = Poor

Parapreshyacharah = Spy sent to another country (007, James Bond like people)

Paranaariiprasaktah = Who is in love with another’s wife

Pradravya harah = Thief (who has taken other’s wealth)



Who are the Four Unpardonable people?

Who are the four who do not deserve expiation?

Mitradruhah krtaghnasya striiggnasya pisunasya cha

Chaturnaamapi chaiteshaam nishkrtih naiva nisrutaa

–subahsita ratna banadakaara 155-92

Mitradruha = Betrayer of Friend

Krtaghna = Ungrateful

Strighnah = Killer of woman

Pisunah = Slanderer


Four Type of People

Satpurusa = Unselfish men who are helpful

Samaanya = Ordinary men who help another with selfish motive

Maanusaraaksasa = Demoniac men who ruin other’s welfare for selfish gains

Nirarthakam parahitam nighnanti = Those who harm others without reason


Ete satpurusaah parartaghatakaah svaartam paritjya ye

Saamaanyaastu paraartamudyamabrtah svartaavirodhena ye

Tesmi maanusaraaksasaah parahitam svaartaaya nighnanti ye

Ye nighnanti  nirartakam parahitam t eke na jaanaamimahe

–Niti satakam 64


Walking Stick in Charaka Samhita!

stick2  stick3

Written by London swaminathan

Post No.2267

Date: 23 October 2015

Time uploaded in London:19-46

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It is amazing that Charaka in his medical treatise deals with even Walking Sticks. If he has composed a sloka (couplet) on such matters, the Old Aged people must have been looked after very well 2000 years ago. Manu deals with ‘looking after’ old people in another sloka.

The ancients believed that an assembly (Sabha) is considered an assembly only when there are elderly people seated in it. We may compare it to the Rajya Sabha of India and House of Lords of Great Britain.

Here is the sloka on walking sticks:

Skalatah sampratishtanam satrunam cha nishudanam

Avashtambanamayushtam bayagnam dandadaranam

–Charaka Samhita 5-102

One who has the walking sticksgets the following five benefits:–

Skhalatah sampratisthaanam = Prevention from slipping

Satruunaam nisuudanam =  Attacking the enemy

Avastam-banam = Support

Aayusyam = Longevity

Bhayagnam = Averts fear.

Most of the old age people die after slipping and falling in the bath room. Probably the shock triggers fear, depression and several other things in addition to fracture. Knowing this Charaka has emphasised the use of walking sticks.


Benefits of Serving Elders

Abhivadana silasya nityam vruddopasevinah

Chatvari thasya vardhante ayurvidya yaso balam

–Manu Smrti 2-121

One who serves the elderly people will get the following four benefits:

Ayuh = Longevity

Vidyaa = Knowledge

Yasas = Fame

Bala = Strength


Are Children Innocent or Naughty? Why did the Lady Teacher Cry?


Compiled by London swaminathan

Post No.2233

Date: 10  October 2015

Time uploaded in London: 22-13

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Teachers and Class rooms

In the classroom the lady teacher was trying, without success, to quell what looked like a small riot. The principal was passing through the hall, stopped and what all the noise was about.

The pretty young teacher was almost in tears. “I was explaining the students the difference between the concrete and abstract, stating that abstract is something you can’t see, and concrete is something you can see. Then I asked James to give me an illustration.

“My pants are concrete. Yours are abstract, he answered”.

The principal, attempting to repress a smile, helped the teacher restore order to her class, and then, going into the hall, finally gave vent to the laughter he could no longer restrain.


Children are Innocent

The day of a big snowstorm, the country school teacher felt called upon to warn her students against playing too long in the snow. She said, “Now, children, you must be careful about colds and over exposure. I had a darling little brother only seven years old. One day he went out in the snow with his new sled and caught cold. Pneumonia set in and three days later he died.”

The room was silent and then a youngster in the back row raised his hand asked, “Where is his sled?.”


In English class a small boy was told to write an essay about King Alfred, but was warned not to elaborate overly much on the family story of the cakes. The boy delivered his essay which, after summing up the chief historical facts, concluded with, “There is another incident in King Alfred’s life. One day he visited a house where a certain woman lived – and the less said about that, the better.”


bhadravathy sai school

Too beautiful to describe!!

When the pupils are assigned the task of writing an essay on “the most beautiful I ever saw”, the least aesthetic young man in the class handed in his paper first with astonishing speed. It was short and to the point –“The most beautiful thing I ever saw was too beautiful for words.”


Stack of One Hundred Dollar Bills U.S.

Stack of One Hundred Dollar Bills U.S.

Million Dollar Question!!

Given the assignment of writing a composition about what they would do if they had a million dollars, all of the children in the class except Willy were busily writing away.

The teacher, becoming of his aware of his idleness, said severely, “Willy, don’t you know that you are supposed to tell what you would do if you had a million dollars?”

“Well”, said the boy, lazily leaning back on his chair, “this is exactly what I would do if I had a million dollars.”


Socrates – A True Citizen of Athens!


Compiled by London swaminathan

Post No.2223

Date: 7   October 2015

Time uploaded in London: 21-34

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Greek philosopher Socrates lived in Athens. He was preaching his philosophy in Athens, which the rulers did not like. Therefore they brought up a false case against him. They accused him of poisoning the youth of Athens with his bad teachings. In the end he was imprisoned and sentenced to death.

Hearing of this, Plato, Creto and his other disciples were deeply grieved. Therefore some of them were planning to get him out of prison secretly. They even made arrangements to this effect. But they feared that Socrates would never agree to their plan. So they sent Creto to persuade him.

One early morning, Creto entered the prison. He saw that Socrates was sleeping soundly on a cot. Socrates knew that he had only forty eight hours to live. He seemed to be absolutely unconcerned about it. Creto did not want to disturb him and so he sat down in a corner.

After sometime Socrates woke a up and Creto conveyed his and other disciples’ wish. He told him that all were bent upon releasing him by breaking open the prison.


But Socrates said no and continued, “The laws of Athens and the people of Athens may have done injustice to me. But for the reason we should also commit an injustice, is not proper. To counter lie with a lie and evil with an evil is not ethically right. Thus have I always held. It is therefore unworthy of me to escape from prison stealthily. I was brought up by the state, married according to her laws; nay, I even joined the army to defend her – all these things I did as part of the duty of a citizen. If I so wished I could have migrated to another state, for nobody can compel me to stay here. But by staying here I have accepted all the rights and responsibilities of a citizen. Today I may be guilty in the eyes of the people and that too, assuming for the sake of argument, unjustly. But I have been sentenced according to the laws of the State. Now if I accept your advice and run away, don’t you think that I shall be shaking the very foundation of laws of the land? And thereby will I not be harming the state and the citizens? Creto to act like this will be to return evil for evil”.