Post No. 10,514

Date uploaded in London – –    1 JANUARY   2022         

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Vishtaspa’s favourite horse Aspa Siha (Black Horse) was rolling on the ground in agony as his four legs disappeared into his stomach. Not all the medicine men of the land could cure him.

Zarathustra /Zoroaster heard this story from the keeper of the dungeon and offered to cure the sick horse. Permission was granted. After bathing, putting on clean clothes and saying his prayers, Zarathushtra  presented himself in the courtroom.

Before he would cure the horse,  Zarathushtra  laid down four conditions. The first was that Vishtaspa  should embrace the new doctrine. Vishtaspa agreed. Then the prophet stroked the right leg of the sick horse reciting certain prayers. Immediately the leg straightened and shot out.

The second condition was that , Zarathushtra  be taken to the chambers of Queen Hutoxshi to whom he would explain the new faith and if she is convinced of its truth, she should embrace it.  Permission was granted. Zarathushtra convinced the queen who gladly accepted the new faith . Zarathushtra returned to the court where he stroked the left leg of the horse reciting his prayers. That leg too straightened and shot out. The Prophet’s third condition was that the Crown Prince Asfandiar , be asked to swear on his sword that he would accept the new faith and spread it throughout the land and beyond. The prince agreed. The third leg shot out as , Zarathushtra stroked and recited certain prayers.

His last request was that the innkeeper be summoned and made to swear , on pain of death, to tell the truth as to how the putrid matter came to be under the pillow of the Prophet . The innkeeper was summoned and he confessed the truth, pointing out  those courtiers responsible for the act. Vishtaspa ordered the guilty courtiers to be beheaded, but Zarathushtra pleaded that they should be banished instead as that would be punishment enough.  And so they were led out from the gates of the city to fend for themselves. The horse Aspa Siha was completely cured.

My Comments

This miracle is similar to the miracle done by Tamil Boy Wonder Thiru Jnana Sambandar who straightened the back of great Pandya king in Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India), who was a hunch back and suffering from severe stomach pain. Young little boy Sambandar cured him with holy ash and Tamil Mantra.

Hutokshi is Suddha Akshi = Good Eye in Sanskrit. Even Tamil Sangam literature has a poet wit that name Nakkannai= Good Eye; we have Sulochana= Good Eye , a common name for girls.

One day , when travelling on a wintry road, he was refused hospitality by the favourite of a prince.  For this he bears him a grudge , and he predicts his punishment on the day of judgement, when the good will be sorted out from the wicked.

Zarathushtra married three times and had 3 daughters and three sons. At the age of 77, he was murdered by a hostile border chief Tur- bara- Tur.

Zend Avesta and Zarathustra’s life have lot of Sanskrit names. The Parsees or Zoroastrians led a life like brahmins worshipping Fire every day. They wore sacred threads like brahmins. They worshipped Varuna as the supreme god instead of Indra. They praised Asuras instead of Devas. Probably he was a revolutionary against the established Vedic order. But there are common Gods between the two religions.

–Subham —

tags-  Miracles, Zoroaster, Zarathushtra, Horse, Vishtaspa



Post No. 10,510

Date uploaded in London – –   31 DECEMBER  2021         

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MILLIONS of Tamil Hindus recite one hymn every day, on Hindu God Skanda/ Kartikeya, known as Sknada Shashti Kavasam . It is to seek protection from god for all parts of the body from all sorts of evils such as enemies, diseases and interestingly evil spirits and ghosts! Kavasam means armour, protective shield.

When it talks about protection from ghosts and evil spirits, some voodoo customs are described. I was wonder struck to see the same description in the life of Zoroaster.

Regarding the date and birthplace of Zoroaster utter confusion prevails; no agreement among scholars until today. But one could say that he lived before Buddha and Mahavira. So, we can safely say that he lived before 2600 years ago, may be 3000 years ago.

Those who are familiar with Vedic Sanskrit can easily see the similarities between Avestan language and Vedic Sanskrit. Asva= horse (aspa) is found in most of the names.

Zoroaster  founded Zoroastrianism. They followed Vedic Brahmins and worshipped Fire. Their emblem was Fire altar. They wore sacred thread like Brahmins. Zoroaster is a Greek word for Zaratushtra.

Kanchi Paramacharya (1894-1994) was a great linguistic scholar and he said that word Sourashtra (a region in modern Gujarat of India) gave the word Zoroaster. Their holy book Zend Avesta has the Vedic Chandas (Zend). He was proved right because the Parsees (Persians from Persia, now called Iran) came back to same Saurashtra area when Muslims started killing them. ( For more details see my old articles; links are given below).

His name in old Persian or Avestan was Zarath + ushtra (Ushtra is camel in Sanskrit; he was from a family of camel breeders is one theory)

Now let me start with the miracles

Miracle 1

When he was born, it is said that he laughed whereas other children cry. In the Farvardin Yasht, we are told that the whole of Nature rejoiced at the birth of the Prophet.  Pliny (23-79 CE) in his  Natural History writes that the vibrations of the child’s head were so strong that no hand could be held on it.


Miracle 2

A black magician , DORASURAN, and his followers made several attempts to kill the child.  He was kidnapped and thrown among a herd of cattle to be trampled to death, but a sturdy cow stood over him till his mother found the baby and took him home.

My comments

It is similar to the miracles in the life of Lord Krishna. He also had to tackle a lot of  Asuras sent by the king Kamsa. Here we should note the word ‘Asura’ in Dorsuran. Asura is used as epithet to several gods in the Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world. Even today Tamils and others use this word whenever they wanted to say ‘great force’ – e.g asura vega, asura balam

Later mythology gave only negative meaning to this word. Even the kings of the Assyrian dynasty   called themselves ‘Asuras’.


Miracle 3

Then Dorasuran and his men placed the child in a wolf’s lair after the baby wolves had been slain. When the wolf pair returned, they wanted to devour the infant, but their jaws locked, and they were paralysed. A pair of she goats passed by and carried the baby with them. At last, DUGHDOVA, his mother found him and took him home.

My comments

Here also we see some similarities with lord Krishna’s life. Dughdova means, milkmaid, similar to Yasoda, foster mother of lord Krishna . Krishna also tackled  Denukasura, a Calf Demon.


Miracle 4

One last attempt was made by Dorasuran himself. He crept into the bed chamber of the sleeping child, javelin in hand, but as he lifted the weapon his hand was paralysed. The javelin fell to the floor with a clatter. He fled.

At the age of 20, Zarathushtra is said to have left his home to meditate in a cave, like a typical Hindu ascetic. His first vision of Ahura Mazda, Lord of Life and Wisdom, was received when he was thirty. Seven other visions, six communications with  Ahura Mazda’s Powers, later known as the Amesha Spenta , Immortal Shining Ones, or Benevolent Immortals.

His first convert was his own cousin Maidhyomaongha, mentioned in the Gathas. The two men wandered from village to village, but none would listen to their preaching.

My comments

Here we come across a lot of Sanskrit words.

Gatha – song found in the Rig Veda

Amesha – Amrita , liquid or juice of Immortality

Spenta – Sveta = white= Pure

Ahura = Asura = great strength= great force

Mazda = Mahat = great = big

Maidhyomaongha- Vidya Maha Tunga = great peak of knowledge

Maidhya may be vidya/knowledge/education or

Vaidhya = doctor, medicine man

Zarath ushtra= yellow camel or camel lovers/breeders


Miracle 5

At long last they were invited by Kavi Vishtaspa , the ruling prince of Bactria = Afghanistan to explain the new doctrine to him and his court. For three days Zarathushtra preached his doctrine. But certain courtiers became jealous. They smuggled dead matter, human hairs, bones, putrid nails, under the pillow of the prophet who stayed at an inn. The terrified innkeeper was made to swear silence or else he would be killed.

In open court the noblemen accused the Prophet of being a black magician. The evidence was produced Vishtaspa was enraged and ordered Zarathushtra to be flung into a dungeon. At the moment prince’s favourite horse Aspa Siha , was rolling on the ground in agony as his four legs disappeared into his stomach. Not all the Hakims of the land could cure him.

Let me continue in the next part how Zarathushtra did his fifth miracle and converted everyone to his faith.

Here we see the materials used in black magic. This is what the author of SKANDA SHASHTI KAVASAM also said in the Tamil hymn. Whoever recited the Tamil hymn can tackle the black magicians.

My comments

So the black magic materials were the same in Tamil Nadu, southern most part of India and north west part of India- Afghanistan.

The name of the prince also has the word Aspa= Asva. In India we had Dasa Ratha= Ten Chariots and Maharatha, Adhiratha etc. In Iran, we have Asva instead of Chariots.

Asva may be a dynasty name!

In the Mahabharata we have at least six names ending with Asva and six more names ending with Ratha.

All these show Indian influence. Moreover Hindu queens Gandhari and Kaikeyi came from Afghanistan and border area near Iran.

Afghanistan , Iran etc have Sanskrit words (Iran=Aryan)

Afghanistan = Upaghani+ Stan

Black magic people used human hair, bones, dead animals, putrid nails according to both this story and Tamil hymn. It has been there for 3000 years.

Here we see the horse name Asva Siha; Tamil literature and Sanskrit literature also give names of horses ad elephants. This is a custom followed by them from Epic Period.

5 Feb 2020 — நான் தினமணிக் கதிரில் 1992ம் ஆண்டு டிசம்பரில் பார்சி மத மக்கள், இறந்த பின்னர் ..

Zoroaster | Tamil and Vedas › tag › zoroaster

Posts about Zoroaster written by Tamil and Vedas. … We see some other Vedic concepts in the teachings of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster).

You’ve visited this page 2 times. Last visit: 23/05/21

MORE ABOUT ZOROASTER FROM RIG VEDA, VARAHA … › 2020/08/01 › more-about-…

1 Aug 2020 — Thanks for your great pictures., MORE ABOUT ZOROASTER FROM RIG VEDA, VARAHA MIHIRA AND KANCHI …

Who was Zoroaster? Why Did Parsees ‘Return’ to Gujarat? › 2013/12


25 Dec 2013 — Kanchi Paramacharya (Shankaracharya). Swamikal said in one of his talks that Zoroaster was from Saurashtra. The reason for Parsees coming back …

8 pages

Parsee | Tamil and Vedas › tag › parsee

19 Apr 2017 — Why did Parses Return to India, I gave 20 points listed by Dattopant Thengadi … The reason for Parsees coming back to Gujarat after the ..

To be continued………………………….

tags- Zarathustra, Zoroaster, Gatha, Miracles, Black magic, Kantha shasti , Kavasam, Iran, Persia, Avestan

Who is London Swaminathan?- 8 Swamiji Krishna’s Miracles! (Post No.10360)

Lalgudi Veda and London Swaminathan
Mr Pathmanatha Iyer of London honouring Lalgudi Veda.
We honoured Lalgudi Vedanarayan (BT Engineer,London; now in Chennai) on behalf of Tamil Heritage foundation for his powerpoint presentation on Shiva Temples in Tamil Nadu; he has visited almost all 220++ temples sung by Saivite Saints)


Post No. 10,360

Date uploaded in London – –   20 NOVEMBER  2021         

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Swamiji Krishna

Swamiji Krishna of Ayakkudi near Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu is our family Guru. He did give Mantra upadesa to our family members. He gave full one hour Mantra Upadesa to Sri S Venkataraman (Senior Sub Editor Dinamani, Madurai; SV). My brother S Srinivasan and my father V Santanam (News Editor, Dinamani) were given simplified version of Ganapathi Homam. Every day they must do Homam before sunrise. They put Ashta Dravyas / Eight Ingredients into Havan fire and do some Naivedaya (food offering). Of the three, my brother only developed thought reading and face reading powers like Swamiji (Krishna).

Before I go into the details of our association with Swamiji, I want to tell a few things about Mr S V (Senior Sub Editor, Dinamani, probably later made as Deputy News Editor; because BBC recruited me in 1987, I did not remember much about Dinamani, that happened after 1987)

In addition to his (S V ) Daily Homam, he did Aubasanam which every married Brahmin should do. Recently he passed away. I have seen only one person in my whole life who did the mid day prayer at noon. A brahmin as Brahmachari (bachelor) should do Samidhaa dhaanam in fire in the morning and three times a day Sandhya Vandanam (Sun Worship with the most powerful Gayatri mantra found in Four Vedas). This Sandhavandan is common to all Brahmins whether you are married or not. Mr S V. who my dad calls affectionately as ‘Hey Dhhadi’ ( Mr Beard) because he grew Dhaadi/beard as a saint in course of time. He used to go out halfway through his work at 12 noon to the three taps outside our big building and open the tap to do Mid Day Sun Worship (Maadhyaanhikam). All the workers who use the same taps at lunch time will stand away till he finishes the ritual. I have never seen anyone in my life who did this right on time. I know a few others who couple it with Morning Sun Worship.

In London I do only two times a day cutting the mid day worship. I just recite the most famous mantra in it every day. It runs like this (roughly translated; from Yajur and Atharvan Veda)

Give me 100 years of life to see you, to hear good things, to speak good things, to live healthily, to live happily , to enjoy etc and then look at the SUN with handmade telescope; fingers in two hands made , crossed you get a small hole through which you have to see the sun). Mr S V did it every day in front of us and workers. He never bothered about anything or any one.

This is not the only reason I am writing about him. He is also one of my Little Gurus. I will tell you one interesting anecdote in my life. I joined Dinamani on February 1, 1971 . So it should have happened at least 40 years ago. I was allocated an MIG flat in Madurai Ellisnagar under Journalist quota just like that. Only two flats were allocated to journalists. Myself and AN Sivaraman’s (Editor Dinamani) son were the two applied and so both of us got them just like that. Ellisnagar was once a grave yard cum crematorium.

On the day I did Grahapravesam, 100 yards away there was a big fire. My mother asked me what was it. I did not say one of the dead bodies was being burnt there. This we witnessed for decades and then my brother and others who also got further allotments fought against powerful politicians and changed it. We won at the end.

After moving to my new flat in Eliis Nagar, my eldest son developed severe diarrhoea, uncontrolled for several days. We took him to allopathy, Mumbo Jumbo, abracadabra magicians (Mantriks), temples with neem leaves and yet the diarrhoea continued. I went to see Dhaadi S V. He did give me all practical advice and said it should stop. And told me “Look you have moved to a new place and so you must expect some teething problems”. I was so disappointed I plainly told him, Sir I came to you to get some Hindu Short Cuts to cure the problem magically, divinely; but you talk about this like  ordinary men.

He smiled and said t me, OK OK, I will teach you one mantra ;Do it 11 times a day after the bath with full concentration; your problems will disappear. I did it sincerely and the problem disappeared, and my son became healthy after a few days. Years later , perhaps decades later, I came to know that is the first stanza in Durga Suktam. Even today I do it after my shower every morning. Whenever I went to India I used to give him a box of sweets and new Dhoti as Guru Dakshina. This is the reason I wrote about him.

His father was quite opposite to him. Even Swamiji (Krishna) used to call him ‘Duryodhana’. He would say What? Immediately Swamiji used to say you are as rich as Duryodhana! (the real meaning is he cant see or say anything good in his life)

 I will tell you one more interesting thing. He knew that I had been allocated a flat in Ellisnagar , Madurai. Whenever I go to his house to see his on S.V, he would deliberately call me, How is your house in the crematorium? During first few occasions I was upset. Later I retorted Oh My House! Everybody says I am lucky to get a house in the Shiva Bhumi ( all Hindus know that Shiva lives in crematorium; and of course , every where including Kailash!)

One last thing about my Little Guru SV, my house and his house used to alternate Saturday Bhajans. In Goplala Krishna Bhagavathar Pathadi/style.

Whenever Sri Gopalakrishna Bhagavathar of Pudukkottai comes, there will be an all night bhajan at my house or SV’s house or in the house of one Mr Lakshmana Iyer; very near my house)


My father, brothers in Swamiji Puja

Now let me start with some miracles done by Swamiji Krishna:

One day he did his Ganapathi Homam in S.V.s house. After the homam he was going through the house. We were all following him. Suddenly he asked us to do Namaskaram (prostrating on the ground as a token of saluting God or elders) pointing to some vacant space. Then he told us that a saintly person visited on the day (probably because Swamiji did Ganapathi Homam). Then Mr Duryodhana (S V ‘s father) told us that his great grand father was a saint and he took us to the place where his picture was hung on the wall.

Everytime Swamiji visits Madurai, we used to see an elephant going in front of our car (Madurai has many temple elephants; the mahouts take them on city rounds to get money for himself and food for elephants)

Sorry, Excuse me for One side titbit!

We used to invite the elephant man to our house and give him four annas (later 25 paisa) and jaggery and raw rice to the pachyderm. The elephant would eat it and then we provide one jar of water to it. It would take water in its trunk and blow on us. It is considered auspicious and medicinal. If we give him four annas more, he would command the elephant to bend and then we would be lifted up on to the elephant and we would enjoy a Kingly ride for 100 yards. When we do it for our children in the house they would cry out of fear. An enjoyable scene for their parents!

As soon as the elephant poo on the road, every one , young and old, would run and jump on the elephant poo. It is considered medicinal. If the elderly people see it urinating they would run to the back of the elephant and take the urine in their hands and sprinkle on their heads. Anything that is coming out of cow and elephant are considered anti bacterial and medicinal; every big temple and every Shankara Mutt do Elephant Puja and Cow Puja in the morning even today (Gaja Puja and Go Puja). As children, we would watch the cows climbing steps, 20 to 30 feet high in Madurai Krishnan Kovil/temple at North Masi Street).

Coming back to miracles again…..

Decades ago there was a manager in Madurai Indian Express. He had no issue. That was his big worry in life. My father, circulation manger and others at top, go on tours to different places covered by Madurai Dinamani Edition. We covered  8 districts out of 12 at that time. Madras Edition covered 4 districts and Pondichery only. So my father V Santanam is known as Editor Dinamani than the actual Editor A N Sivaraman; he was from Ambur of Tirunelveli district. He used to joke with my father, Hey Santhaaaaanam; I went to temples in Tirunelvli and introduced myself as Dinamani Editor. They told me ‘No, we know Dinamani Editor in Madurai very well’. (As if ANS is a fraud). My father never replied to criticism or appreciation. His usual style of replying is Just a Smile!)

Coming back to Miracles

So as part of circulation drive, my father, Manager MR J S M decided to go to Tenkasi area because it was Courtallam season time (Kutraalam on the Western Ghats has beautiful water falls; ‘season’ means the three month period when the water is in full flow in the falls; millions would visit the place and enjoy bathing until it becomes very dark.)

When we heard they were going to Courtallam, my self and my elder brother jumped onto the car.  We all finished bathing and eating and buying forest grown fruits in the place and about to leave for Madurai 100 miles away. My told Mr JS M, hey JSM, there is one Swamiji living in this area. He has been writing to me to visit him. MR J S M was the driver of the car as well. So he could have told my father,’No Sir I am very tired’. But his good times. He said ‘YES’. We all drove into the tiny village, Ayakkudi. One good or bad habit of Agraharam people (Brahmin Streets are called Agraharam; probably that was the first street immediately after the river or that was the street of High Caste Hindus. Agra in Sanskrit mean –First, foremost, chief, best, prominent, principal, pre-eminent)

All the people residing in the street would come out and stare at you. This happened to us whenever we visited our uncle in Mayuram Mahadhaana Street as well (as our Kula Deivam is Sri Vadhyanatha Swami at Vaitheeswaran Koil, we used to go there every year).

So the whole Ayakkudi brahmins were looking at us as if we are strange and rare animals . As soon as we walked into a little house of Swamiji, he welcomed us as if we were already known to him. He immediately saw Mr J S M and said this gentle man is suffering because of lack of issue/child. No worries; you are going to get a baby very soon. This surprised everyone of us. Neither my dad nor JS M opened the topic at all. After a year that came true as well. From that day we stuck on to that Swamiji till his Samadhi day.

I think Swamiji Krishna died before he became 60. He was a serious diabetic which even hospitalised him in Madurai for a month or so. The Government Hospital became a Five Star Hotel because of him, where top police officers including I G of Police Dr SM Diaz, Achuthan Nair SP used to visit him. Irrespective of religion, even Muslims used to visit him.

Swamiji himself told us the story of a Muslim millionaire who visited a prostitute and lost his diamond ring. While he was looking for it in the rubbish nearby in the dark so that no one would notice him, Swamiji called him and told him where to find it. When he got it he fell at the feet of Swamiji and asked Swamiji How can I reciprocate your kind gesture? Swamiji told him please provide me all the necessary things for Ganpati Homam before sun rise. I don’t know the place now. Was it somewhere in Karnataka? The millionaire Muslim made open the shops at mid night and brought all the Ashta Dravyas and baskets full fruits and what not, all before sun rise.

Swamiji used to tell us (boast to us) brothers , all these stories whenever he remembered, most of these in Madurai General Hospital!! He used to tell us, “Look at me , a Ganpathi Upsakar; but yet I am in hospital; it is all Rahu Disa. I pray to Ganpathi that none of you should be hospitalised for at any time in your life.

Swamiji Krishna with Sabraimalai Chief Priest

He would eat food from only two houses including ours. Rich people used to send him some dishes to hospital, he would bless them, but the food would go to the nurses there! He knew who were pure in Thought Word and Deed (Tri Karana Suddhi- Mano Vak, Kaya) My mother’s food was accepted by Swami Shanthananda of Pudukkottai, Swamiji Krishna, Sambamurthy Satrigal, Kanchi Parmacharya’s brother, Mr Ramamurthy of Mayuram, Kanchi Mutt representative for Tiruppavai work, Sri Gopalakrishna Bhagavathar, Rama Gopalan of RSS (later Hindu Munnani) and 100 others.

As I told you before Swamiji did teach us Mantra at various levels. He took me to all the Ayyappa Temples except Sabarimalai. I visited Achankoil, Kulaththupuza, Aryankavu  and Chenganoor Bhagavathy Temple with him. At Thazaman Mutt he gave me the Mantra. There he introduced to me Sri Sankararu Kandararu, Chief of Sabarimala Temple. Wherever he goes there will be a motor cade following him sometimes with police security.

I will tell you about more miracles in the next part

To be continued……………………….

Letters to my eldest brother

tags– Swamiji Krishna, S Venkatraman, Ellisnagar MIG flat, miracles


Picture of Zoroaster

Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 30 May 2018


Time uploaded in London – 15-27


Post No. 5060


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.





I have already given the stories of walking on the water and flying through the air from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sources. There is one more story from the Parsi religion. When we talk about religion, we believe in the miracles done by great saints. But the strange thing about the Greek writers is that they wrote fanciful stories and  interesting stories about Alexander the Great. The stories range from Alexander falling in love with Hindu and other women to walking on the water etc.

Purana= mythology

Here is the story about Z of Persian/Parsi religion (Persia= Modern Iran)

ZARATHUSHTRA , appearing in the Zerdsht Nama, dated 1278 CE has the following anecdote:

ZARATHUSHTRA  having arrived at the banks of River Araxes, found no boat. He worried about his wife and himself exposing themselves semi naked just to cross the river.  There were lot of people watching them. He prayed to the Lord and then they all walked safely on the surface of the water and crossed the river. Since Muslim invaders destroyed most of the Parsi scriptures, we wouldn’t know whether this story is from any ancient book or a later one. The fact that ZARATHUSHTRA  and his family walked on the surface of the water may be due to Indian influence. From Rig Vedic seers to Vasudeva (father of Krishna) we have many stories in Hindu religion about walking on water or rivers obeying the commands of the saints.

Alexander ‘Mahatmyam’ (Great Holy  Story)

Alexander, the hero of much fairy tale, figures in some marvellous affairs with the waters, of which one is the passage of the sea at Pamphylia. Greek Historian Arrian (First century CE) in his Anabasis of Alexander 1-26 says that there is no passage along beach except when the north wind blows; “at that time after strong South wind, rendered his passage easy and quick, not without divine intervention, as he and his men interpreted.”

Greek biographer Plutarch (46-120 CE) in his life of   Alexander refers to the same legend and quotes Menander in connection with it, but Alexander himself made no claim of anything miraculous in the passage.


Greek historian Appian (First century CE) also knew the legend and in his Civil Wars mentioned it in connection with an adventure of Caesar’s in the Ionian Sea.


Greek geographer Strabo (First century CE) said the army passed in the water for a whole day and the water was up to navel.


Greek historian Callisthenes, however, said that sea not only opened for him but even rose and fell in homage. He quoted Eusthatius for his statement. But this statement should not be taken literally but may be looked upon as a rhetorical embellishment to something which was understood more prosaically.


Roman historian and hagiographer Josephus (First century CE) gives the event an undeniably miraculous touch. In the Antiquities, he described the Hebrew crossing of the Red Sea (under Moses), he cites this legend in confirmation of that in Exodus, and the sea divided for Alexander, in an offhand way referring to the other historians as his authority.

There is another story about in the Pseudo Callisthenes. When Alexander arrived in Babylon, he himself went in disguise as an ambassador to Darius. He received and entertained him, with a banquet in the evening. During the course of the banquet a Persian Lord recognised Alexander, and informed Darius, Persian King.  Alexander, finding himself discovered, fled from the hall, snatching a torch to light him through darkness. Fortunately, he chanced upon a horse at the door. Now by the might of the gods, Alexander crossed the river, but when he had reached the other side and the fore feet of the horse rested on dry land, the water which had been frozen over suddenly melted, and the hind legs of the horse went down into the river. Alexander however leaped from the horse to land, and the horse was drowned in the river.


So all cultures have similar stories, which in course of time, changed into mythology.  When religions had such stories, they were all attributed to help from the gods.  When historical figures appear in such stories some find heroic adventures there and some others say they are nothing but lucky coincidences. These stories make the history interesting to read.

Source: The Indian and Christian Miracles of Walking on the Water, William Norman Brown, 1928





Miracles in Mahavamsa!


Research paper by London swaminathan
Post No. 1280; dated 10th September 2014.

Mahavamsa Research article No-2. Yesterday I posted “Astrology in Mahavamsa”.

There are lot of miraculous anecdotes in the Mahavamsa as any old book would have. Some of the stories have remarkable coincidence with Sangam Tamil Period anecdotes. Stories resembling Manuneethi Choza and Kumanan episodes of Sangam age are in the book. Buddha’s miracles in Sri Lanka are also reported in the book. If we get rid of the miracle portion of those stories, we can get some historical information.

What is Mahavamsa?
Mahavamsa is a book in Pali language narrating the history of Kings of Sri Lanka. It gives a continuous history from the date Vijayan from Bengal ( India ) landed in Sri Lanka. It covers the period between 543 BCE and 361 CE. The book was called Mahavamsa following the Raguvamsa of Kalidasa in which Kalidasa gives history of solar race that ruled Northern India. Mahavamsa means Great Dynasty or Great Chronicle.

Miracle 1
In the chapter 10 on consecration of Pandu abhayan, we hear about a miracle of banyan leaves changing into gold cups. Later the princess was called Swarnapali (Swarna means god). We have similar stories in Mahabaharta. Whoever donates food can change something into gold. Half of A mongoose changes into gold by rolling on the leftover food of a poor charitable family.

srilanka landing

Miracle 2
In chapter 11 on King Devanampiya Tissa, we hear about miracles of gemstones coming out of earth on its own. Eight types of pearls were heaped on sea shores. He decided to send them as gifts to his friend, the great king of India, Asoka. But they had never met until then. It is similar to Tamil king Kopperunchoza and poet Pisiranthaiyar who became great friends without meeting.

Miracle 3
A few “earth quake miracles” are in Mahavamsa. In Chapter 15 on The acceptance of the Mahavihara, when the king donated the Mahamegha park area to the Buddhist brotherhood, the earth shook. The king asked the (thera) Guru why the earth quaked, and he said, “Because the doctrine is founded in the island”. When the thera scattered the jasmine flowers given by the king, again the earth shook. Now the thera gave another explanation about the Bhodi tree getting rooted in the island.

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Miracle 4
A lot of miracles are about Buddha or his disciples travelling through sky and landing like air planes. We hear about such stories in the Hindu Puranas. Narada is one of the space travellers. He is an interplanetary and inter galactic traveller according to Hindu mythology. This type of miracle is found throughout Mahavamsa.(Eg.Chapter 14)

Miracle 5
In Chapter 17- The Arrival of the Relics, the urn containing Buddha’s bones and ashes rose in the air from the back of an elephant to the amazement of the king and the people.

Miracle 6
In the chapter 19- The Coming of the Bodhi Tree, the tree rose into air 80 cubits high and was floating and sending forth six colour rays. When it landed the earth shook. Though Hindus wore worshipping trees from time immemorial, Sri Lankan Buddhists took the tree worship to new heights. It was worshipped, decorated, taken into processions and temples were built over them.


Miracle 7
In the chapter 28 on building a Thupa, we hear about iguana miracle. Hindus have similar stories in most of the temples: some animals or birds worshipping or indicating the divinity or sanctity of the place. Here an angel appeared in the form of an iguana and led the hunters to a brick kiln. He immediately informed the king about bricks in the middle of the forest which can be utilised for building a Stupa. Later different types of precious metals and gem stones appeared everywhere. People gathered them and presented them to the king.

Miracle 8
I have already reported Elephant Miracles from Indian literature separately. We have such reports in Mahavamsa as well. One of them is in chapter 35- Twelve Kings. A servant maid takes a child to an elephant to be beheaded by the elephant. When she said to the elephant that the queen has sent the child for beheading, the elephant cried and went to the prison where the king was imprisoned. It broke open the prison gates and took the king on its back and helped him to cross the river. He came back after three years with a big army and won his territory back and the same elephant was made the royal elephant.
Tamil literature is full of elephant miracles:
a)Tamil saint Murthy Nayanar was crowned as a king by an elephant
b)Famous Tamil king Karikalan was made a king by an elephant.
c)Mighty king Mahendra Pallava sent an elephant to behead saint Appar, but it refused to kill him.
d)Tamil Choza king ordered beheading of a child, but a bold poet stopped it
e)An elephant stopped grazing the crops and listened to a Tamil girl’s song.
f)Kanchi Paramacharya made one hesitant elephant to be on its track again.
g)U.Ve.Swaminatha Iyer, Doyen of Tamil literature, also gave a similar story about a crying elephant in his essays.
h)The elephant name Asvattama changed the course of the Mahabharata war.
i)Kalidasa gives information about elephant bridge for the army.
j)Hannibal took the first elephant to Europe.
k)Hindus lost war because of cats scaring the elephants in North West Frontier.
l)Pallavas had a mysterious elephant crown like an Indo-Greek king.
m)Tiruvanaikaval Temple is based on a spider and elephant story.
n)Gajendra Moksha story happened again in African jungle
o)Buddha tamed elephant Nalagiri
p)Udayana and Kovalan tamed elephants.
q)Hindu temples and religious Mutts do Gaja Puja (Elephant worship) every day.

I have posted all the proverbs and anecdotes about elephants in my earlier posts. So Mahavamsa story is not uncommon.

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Miracle 9
I have reported all the Rain Miracles separately. We have a similar rain miracle in Chapter 36- Thirteen Kings. King Sangabhodi made a vow to bring rain to drought affected areas. He went into Maha Vihara (Buddhist temple) and lied in the corridor. Until the Devas (angels) bring rains to my land I woudn’t budge an inch. I will die here if there is no rain, he said. Immediately there was copious rain which was brought by the Devas.

There are a lot of miracles about Buddha’s visit to the island in The Mahavamsa.


Miracles of Asvins in the Vedas


Written by London Swaminathan
Post No. 1159;Dated 8th July 2014.

Miracles are part of mythology. But in Hinduism we come across miracles even in the Vedas. Western scholars take the Vedic statements as true historical records and use them to support their fanciful Aryan-Dravidian Race Theory. The Vedic twins Asvini Devas are attributed with lot of miracles. The “scholars” expounded (in fact bluffed) lot of theories. If one puts them together and read them, they will be utterly confused. But orthodox Hindus believed them with all the traditional faith in the Vedas.

Asvins are called Dasras (enlightened giving) and Nasatyas (kind & helpful); also known as horsemen, Asvinau, Aswinikumaras.

They are the sons of Vivaswan and Saranyu. They are the doctors of the gods (Svar Vaidhyau).
They healed the blind and the lame. They are invoked in various Hindu ceremonies. They ride in three wheeled chariots drawn by horses or birds.

They are the harbingers of dawn – Ushas. Their other appellations are ‘ocean born’(Abdhijau), ‘wreathed with lotuses’(Pushkara srajau), sons of the submarine fire (Badaveyau) and Gadagadau.
Western scholars compared Asvins with the Dioscuri of Greece. But not many similarities exist between them.
In the Nirukta, they are interpreted as heaven and earth, day and night, two kings, performers of holy acts. They represent light or luminous objects.

asvins book

The number of hymns (57 specific hymns and mentioned 376 times in the Rig Veda) addressed to them testifies to the enthusiastic worship they received.
In the Mahabharata they are the parents of Nakula and Sahadeva. Like Asvins, they are also twins.
The Vedic poets use beautiful similes in their hymns. They praise Asvin twins
Like two hymn singing Brahmanas
Like two charioted heroes
Like two beautiful damsels beautifying themselves
Like a wise married couple
Like two Chakravaka birds/ swans
Like two lips that speak sweetly with the mouth
Like two breasts that give nurture to life


Miracle 1
The twins Asvins restored youth to old Chyavana. He had a beautiful young wife named Sukanya. When Asvins wanted to marry her, she hesitated. Asvins told her that they would make her husband young and then she can choose one among them i.e. two Asvins and Chyavana. When all the three came before her, she rightly chose her husband Chyavana.

Miracle 2
Bhujyu episode is mentioned at least in eight hymns in the Rig Veda. Bhujyu was the son of king Tugra. When enemies from an island gave him trouble, Tugra sent Bhujyu by boats to attack them. His boat was broke in the mid sea. Then Asvins saved him, according to Sayana (RV1.117-14). Bhujyu’s ship had 100 oars. This serves as an evidence for naval forces during the Vedic period.

Miracle 3
In Khela’s battle a leg was severed like a wild bird’s pinion. Immediately Asvins gave Vispala an artificial iron leg. This shows that artificial limbs were fixed in those days (1-116-15).
Poetess Gosha has a hymn on Asvins. (RV 10-40).This serves as an evidence for literate women in Vedic society. Gritsamada’s hymn (RV 2-39) to Asvins is a beautiful poem:–

Dioscouri of Greece and Rome

Come near like two press stones, with a common aim
Like two zealous men moving to a tree of treasure
Like two hymn singing Brahmanas to the assembly
Like two people’s envoys called at many places.

Like two charioted heroes going in the morning
Like two leaders, come together to your choice,
Like two beautiful damsels beautifying themselves
Like a wise married couple among the people.

Like two horns come earliest to us hither
Like two hoofs, travelling with rapid motion
Like two Chakravaka birds/ swans at the day’s dawning
Come towards us, mighty, like charioted heroes.

Like two boats take us across; like two poles
Like axles, like spokes, like fellies carry us.
Like two dogs ward off all harm to our bodies
Like two crutches protect us against falling.

Like two raging winds, two confluent rivers.
Like two quick seeing eyes, come towards us
The two hands most useful to the body
Like two feet take us towards our welfare – RV 2-39

This shows Rig Vedic people are highly literate and cultured. We also hear about the ship attacks, maritime warfare etc. Medical science has advanced to transplanting an iron leg. Women poets (poetess) sang hymns and were part of the Vedic society.


Miracles of Sri Seshadri Swamikal


Miracles of Sri Seshadri Swamikal of Tiruvannamalai

Written by London Swaminathan
Post No. 1120; Dated:– 20th June 2014.

Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu is famous for many things. This is one of the Five Main Shrines (Pancha Bhutha Sthala) of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is in the form of Agni (fire) in this shrine. It is also famous for several saints including Arunagiri nathar (author of Tiruppugaz in Tamil), Sri Ramana Maharishi and Sri Seshadri Swamikal. Ramana is known to all spiritual aspirants around the world. But Seshadri Swami is not known to many outside Tamil Nadu. His life was full of miracles. Studying his life shows how the world looks at a budding saint, how the family puts all the hurdles in one’s spiritual path and how one becomes great saint at the end.


Seshadri was born (22 January 1870) in Kancheepuram. The city of Kancheepuram was the capital of Pallava Dynasty for several centuries. Its fame spread throughout India because of its great temples and university. It was the Nalanda of the South. One of the Chalukya kings conquered Kanchi but not to touch a single stone. Because it was so beautiful he ordered his soldiers not to destroy it.

Long ago, Adi Shankara brought 30 families from the North to Kanchi, because of shortage of Shakta practitioners. They were known as Kamakoti family, well versed in Sri Vidya Worship. Seshadri was born in that family to Maragatham and Varadarajan. Seshadri’s mother Maragatham was extremely beautiful and well versed in arts and Sanskrit literature.
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Tiruvannamalai Temple

Seshadris father Varadarajan died when Seshadri was young. His death came on the appointed day as he correctly predicted before. After a few years his mother Maragatham also died saying the name of Arunachaleswar, God of Tiruvannamalai. Hindus believe that any one dying with the thought of Arunachal (Tiruvannamalai) gets liberated from the cycle of birth and death. His mother’s death with the words of Arunachala Siva made a deep impression in Seshadri’s mind. He used to draw the hill of Tiruvannamalai and offer puja (worship) to it.

Though Seshadri mastered lot of Tamil and Sanskrit scriptures, his mind was only thinking of god. His behaviour was very strange and similar to that of a mad man. For hours doing Puja in a secluded place or behind the closed doors and even at the crematorium was the order of the day. When the elders in the family warned about going to crematorium and getting all the ‘impurities’ it did not bother him. He made every one dumbfound by arguing with a great scholar about it for three hours in Sanskrit! A section of Hindus believe that doing prayer at the crematorium will increase its effect tenfold. But one must have proper maturity to do it. The last warning came that he can’t enter the house once he goes to the crematorium for pujas. He was waiting for those words. From that day he did not enter the house.

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Temple With the Hill of Tiruvannamalai

Every spiritual aspirant needs a guru for proper initiation. Seshadri was lucky to get one North Indian Guru by name Balaji Swami who came to Kanchi on his way to Rameswaram. Seshadri took Sanyasa (vow to lead an ascetic life) from him and proceeded to Tiruvannamalai where he stayed for next forty years.
When he was a child a few miracles happened which showed that he was going to become great. Once when his mother took him to the temple, a seller was selling Krishna idols. When he asked for one, his mother hesitated. The vendor was ready to give him free of cost. At last mother bought him one. But Seshadri was allowed to choose one from the pile. He put his hands through the pile of mini statues and chose one. As soon as he left all the figures were sold which never happened in the life of the vendor. Next time when his mum took Seshadri to the temple he came running and kissed the hands of Seshadri and touchéd his feet saying that he was a divine child. From that day he was known as Golden Hand Seshadri.

When one of the family friends came to his house asking Seshadri for his daughter, the eldest in the family told him loud and clear that he can’t be married because his horoscope was an ascetic’s horoscope. Though everyone in the family resented it, his statement came true.

What happened in Seshadris younger days never stopped even when he became old. If he went to a shop and touched any eatable with his “unclean” hand, no shop keeper would object to it, because that shop would do a roaring business on that day. He used to throw out articles from the shop. But vendors were waiting for that moment.


His control over animal world also was also amazing. I have already written about it in my post “Mysterious Tamil Bird Man” (Posted on 19th April, 2012). He called hundreds of beautiful birds of different varieties at the backyard of a house, just to amuse his devotee!!!

Another time a snake was coming quickly towards him. All his friends ran for life. But Seshadri called the snake and it climbed over him and spread its hood over him like an umbrella. He used to bathe several times every day and he was given a nickname “cormorant” (water crow in Tamil).

His behaviour was like a mad man. He used to laugh for an hour without any rhyme or reason, looking at the sky and “listen to the heavenly music of the Gandharvas (Singers in the heaven)”.

There was another holy man by name Vitobha Swamil at Polur near Tiruvannamalai. He fell sick and told his devotees that he would ‘depart’ within three days. One day Seshadri looked at the sky and was shouting “Vittobha going, Vittobha going”. Within a short time people received the news of Vittobha’s death from the nearby town. As he was a Tri Kala Jnani, he could see the present, past and the future events.

There are scores of anecdotes like this in his life. He never did any miracle for the sake of miracle to attract people. No one could predict what he was going to do next minute. In Tamil there is a proverb meaning Siddhas and beggars have the same style/attitude (Siddham Pokku Sivam Pokku; Andi poku adhe pokku) . Seshadri Swami was a typical example of this saying.

He visited the house of Judge Sundaram Chettiar once. He started playing with him by throwing his upper garment on his neck like a garland. This he did several times. Soon he was promoted as a High Court Judge. Once he sat on the pyol (Thinnai in Tamil) of a poor cart man’s house. The old woman in the house gave him porridge. He asked him to sell the cart and the bull. Next week he got married to a rich woman and he sold his bullock cart and migrated to Madras. So many good things happened to so many people. His look can destroy even the past karma and change the future to good.

Venkatrama Iyer was working as a teacher at Danish Mission High School. Because of jealousy of a few people he was about to be dismissed. One day he saw Swamikal coming and took off his shoes and fell at his feet. But contrary to his expectations of blessings, he was beaten with his own shoe several times. Venkatrama Iyer was shocked. When he went to his school he saw an envelope on the table. He felt very bad and opened the envelope thinking that it was his dismissal order. But he was promoted as the Head Master of the school. Swami can eradicate anyone’s past bad karma.

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Sivaprakasa Mudaliyar was a Sub Inspector of police. He was stopped on the road by the Swami and was asked whether he would accept ten rupees more. He told Swami that he would be glad to take it. Swami put his dirty cloth on him and took it. When he saw his superiors on the same day he was given ten rupees increment!

He did penance at the Durga Temple at the foothill. He advised his devotees to follow Rama instead of reading Ramayana. Ramana Maharishi came to Tiruvannamalai after Seshadri. When Ramana was doing severe penance, insects were crawling over him and he was bitten by the insects. Seshadri Swamikal saved Ramana and revealed him to the world as a saint. When Seshadri Swamikal died Ramana took part in the funeral procession.

Seshadri Swamikal also predicted his death and died in 1929 after a serious illness. His Samadhi ( holy grave where his body is buried) is very near Ramanashram (The author was fortunate to visit both the Ashrams). A lot of people were cured of their sicknesses and received advice from him. Even now the very thought of him or a prayer to him would do wonders.

Next time you visit Tamil Nadu, don’t forget to visit the two great Ashrams of Ramana and Seshadri at Tiruvannamalai. Seshadri Swamikal’s full life history is available in Tamil and English.


Famous Yogi Explains Miracles- Part 1


Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893-1952) is one of the greatest Yogis of modern India. He entered Mahasamadhi  in Los Angeles, California, USA on 7th March 1952. The great world teacher demonstrated the value of Yoga not only in life but also in death. Weeks after his departure his unchanged face shone with the divine lustre of incorruptibility: “ The absence of any visual signs of decay in the dead body of Paramahamsa Yogananda offers the most extraordinary case in our experience…….. No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death…… No indication of mould was visible on his skin and no visible desiccation took place in the bodily tissue”, was the report of Mr Harry T. Rowe, Los Angeles Mortuary Director.

“An Autobiography of a Yogi” written by Paramahamsa Yogananda sold millions of copies in different languages. “The Master Said” was a book of his quotations and anecdotes. Following excerpts explain the miracles. Since he was a great Yogi he explains how miracles happen in simple terms.

(Sub headings only are mine, rest is from the book. I have selected only anecdotes where he dealt with the miracles.)


1.Why Gurus don’t cure disciples’ sickness?

“When a certain student became sick, Paramahamsaji asked her to see a doctor. A disciple asked:

Master why didn’t you heal her?

“Those that have received from God the power of healing use it only when He commands”, the Guru replied.  “The Lord knows that sometimes it is necessary for his children to undergo suffering. People who want divine healings should be ready to live in accordance with God’s laws. No permanent healing is possible if a person continues to make the same mistakes and thus invites the return of the disease. True healing is effected only through spiritual understanding. Man’s ignorance of his real nature or soul is the root cause of all other evils—physical, material and mental”, said the Master.


2.Did Jesus change water into wine?

Master, how could Jesus change water into wine? A disciple asked. Yoganadaji replied: “The universe is the result of a play of light—vibration of life energy. The motion pictures of creation, like scenes on a cinema screen, are projected and made visible through beams of light. Christ perceived the cosmical essence as light; in his eyes no essential difference existed between the light rays composing water and the light rays composing wine. Like God in the beginning of creation, Jesus was able to command the vibrations of life energy to assume different forms.

All men that overpass the delusory realms of relativity and duality enter the true world of Unity. They become one with Omnipotence, even as Christ said ‘He that believeth on me, the work that I do shall he do also: the greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father (John 14-12).

3. Ancient Saints visit Earth

Yoganandaji and a group of disciples were taking their evening exercise on the lawn of the Encinitas hermitage. One of the young men inquired about a certain saint, whose name he did not know.

Sir, he said “it was the master who appared before you here some months ago”

“I don’t remember”, Paramahamsaji replied.

“it was out in the back garden, Sir”.

“ Many visit me there; I see some who have passed on, and some who are still on earth”.

“How wonderful, Sir”

“Wherever a devotee of God is, there His saints come”. The guru passed a minute or two while he did a few exercises. Then he said:

“ Yesterday, while I was meditating in my room, I wanted to know certain things about the life of a great master of ancient times. He materialized before me. We sat on my bed for a long time, side by side, holding hands.”

“Sir, did he tell you about his life?”

“Well, Yoganandaji answered, “in the interchange of vibratio I got the whole picture”.


4.Why do Great Saints “Suffer”?

With awe the disciples were discussing the sufferings gladly endured by the martyred saints of history. The Master said:

“ The fate of the body is wholly unimportant to a man of God realization. The physical form is like a plate that a devotee uses while he eats the wisdom-dinner of life. After his hunger has been eternally satisfied, of what worth is the plate? It may get broken, but the devotee hardly notices. He is absorbed in the Lord”.

“ The life of each Master follows a certain unseen pattern. St Francis was afflicted with diseases; the fully emancipated Christ allowed himself to be crucified. Other great personages such as St Thomas Aquinas and Lahiri Mahasaya passed their days without tremendous stress or tragedy. Saints attain final salvation from backgrounds vastly different. True sages demonstrate that, regardless of external conditions, they are able to reflect the Divine Image within them”.


5. Why some Yogis don’t use Miracles?

Paramahamsa Yogananda said to his disciples on one occasion, “Most people are interested in miracles and wish to see them. But my Master, Sri Yukteswarji, who had control over all natural forces, held very stern views on the subject. Just before I left India for lecture in America, he said to me, ‘Arouse in men the love of God. Don’t draw them to you by displays of unusual powers’. If I walked on fire and water, and filled every auditorium in the land with curiosity seekers, what good would come of it? See the stars, the clouds, and the ocean; see the mist on the grass. Can any miracle of man compare with these essentially inexplicable phenomena? Even so, few men are led through Nature to love God—the Miracle of all Miracles”.

Picture: Sri Yogananda with Sri Ramana Maharishi


6. How do Gurus help save their disciples?

How may a saint take on himself the bad karma of others? A student asked. The Master replied:

“If you saw that someone was going to hit another, you could step in front of the intended victim and let the blow fall on you. That is what a great master does. He perceives, in the lives of his devotees, when unfavourable effects of their past bad karma are about to descend on them. If he thinks it wise, he employs a certain metaphysical method by which he transfers to himself the consequences of his disciple’s errors. The Law of Cause and Effect operates mechanically or mathematically; yogis understand how to switch its currents. Because saints are conscious of God as eternal being and Inexhaustible Energy, they are able to survive blows that would kill an ordinary man. Their minds are unaffected by physical disease or worldly misfortunes.”

Continued in Second Part…………………….. contact

Aladdin’s Magic Lamp and Tamil Saints

Aesop’s Fables, The Thousand One Nights, Decameron Tales, The Canterbury Tales and many more folk tales of Europe have adapted Indian stories. Many of the characters themselves were alien to Europe. For example when Aesop used an Asian animal or bird we knew for sure it was not from Europe.


The art of storytelling has developed to the highest standards in India. In the Forest of Naimisaranya , saints used to gather and listen to stories. Sometimes such sessions lasted for twelve years. Though most of the stories are mythological in nature we come across all the fables, anecdotes and supernatural elements. Putting one story within another is story is also typical Indian. We see all these traits in the above European and Middle Eastern books. They have adapted many stories from the stories of Vikramaditya, Pancha Tantra, Katha Sarit Sagara, Dasa Kumara Charitra and Maha Bharata. Many Western and Eastern scholars have already identified such areas. But not many people knew that they have even copied from the miracle stories of Tamil Saints Sambandhar, Appar and Sundarar. Aladdin and the wonderful lamp is part of The Thousand One nights. But it was added by a European author to the Arabic version of 1001 nights just two hundred years ago. He attributed it to a Syrian in the Middle East.Aladdin’s genie performed several miracles for him.


Most of the Hindus know the Yaksha Prasna story of Mahabharata. Yakshas are super natural spirits who occupy the lakes, trees, junctions of the roads and hills. They are supposed to have supernatural powers. In Tamil literature we come across Bhutham, a benevolent natural spirit, in the Pandya inscriptions, Thevaram Hymns, Silappadikaram and other minor Tamil works. The Bhutams or the spirits or the supernatural beings have done marvellous tasks.


Sinnamanur Copper Plates of Pandya King narrated how a Pandya king used the service of Bhutams to repair the tanks and lakes. Irayanar Kalaviyal commentary also gave this story.

Saivite saint Tiru Gnana Sambhandhar was going from one town to another town to worship god in different temples. When he went to Thiruvaduthurai, his father Siva Patha Hruthayar asked him for some financial help to do a yagna (fire ceremony). Then Sambhandhar started singing a hymn.  Immediately a Bhutam appeared before him and left 1000 gold coins in front of the shrine. Sambhandhar sent the treasure to his father.


Another great Tamil great saint Appar was reconverted to Hinduism from Jainism. He prayed for Hindu religious symbols to appear on his body. It is customary to have those symbols marked on the body like tattoos during initiation ceremony. Immediately a Bhutam appeared before him and marked the holy Saiva symbols Tri Sul/Trident and the Bull emblems on his shoulders.

One may wonder who the Bhutams were. Were they some Shiva devotees dressed like short and ugly dwarfs? Or were they some supernatural beings that appeared like bolt from the blue?


The next episode will show that that they were NOT ordinary human beings disguised as Bhutams.

Sundarar, the last of the three Thevaram saints, was receiving paddy and pulses on a regular basis from one of his devotees who was a rich land lord. Because of a big drought the crops failed. So the land lord was very much worried. One day he went to bed skipping his dinner. Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and told him that he had given him paddy for Sundarar. When the landlord woke up, he saw a mountain heap of paddy. When he sent a word to Sundarar about this miracle, Sundarar thought how he was going to carry all the paddy to his home town Tiruvarur which was miles away from the Landlord’s town. Shiva sent his Battalion of Bhutas ( Bhuta Ganam) to shift them to Sundarar’s  place overnight. Since all these things were beyond human comprehension, they wrote everything for future generations.


Sundarar was very good friend of the King of Chera (modern Kerala)  country. When he visited the Chera country, the king gave him enormous gifts. But he lost all those to robbers who were none other than Shiva Bhuta Ganas. When Sundarar prayed to god and sang about it, he got all the robbed goods back.


Silappadikara Sadukka Bhutam

Silappadikaram is a moving Tamil epic. It has a reference to Bhutas in the City Squares. They used to ask questions like the Oracles of Delphi. One of the Bhutas in the city of Pumpuhar ate bad people who were liars, traitors, prostitutes or people who have illicit intimacy. In another place the epic refers to a person beaten to death by the Bhuta because of his lies. The four Bhutas in charge of four castes vacated the city before Kannaki burnt Madurai.

So we can safely conclude that the above episodes lay seeds for all the ghost or spirit stories in the European literature.



ஓதமீள வேலெறிந்து பேராயிரம் கிரது செய்தும்

பூத கணம் பணியாண்டும் புவனதலப் பொதுனீக்கியும்

யானை யாயிர மையமிட்டும் அபரிமித அதிசயங்கள் செய்து

–சின்னமனூர் சிறிய செப்பேடு

வசையில் மாக் கயல் புலிசிலை வடவரை நெற்

றியில் வரைந்தும்

தடம் பூதம் பணிகொண்டு தடாகங்கள் பல திருத்தியும்

அரும்பசி நோய் நாடகற்றி அம்பொற்சித் ரமுயரியும்

—-சின்னமனூர் பெரிய செப்பேடு


தவம் மறைந்து ஒழுகும் தன்மை இலாளர்

அவம் மறைந்து ஒழுகும் அலவற் பெண்டிர்

அறைபோகு அமைச்சர், பிறர்மனை நயப்போர்

பொய்க்கரியாளர், புறங்கூற்றாளர், என்

கைக் கொள் பாசத்துக் கைப்படுவோர்

எனக் காதம் நான்கும் கடுங்குரல் எழுப்பிப்

பூதம் புடைத்து உண்ணும் பூத சதுக்கமும்

–சிலப்பதிகாரம் (இந்திர விழா எடுத்த காதை)



Space ships and Special Prayer Days

The title may look strange to many of you. You may wonder what a spaceship has got to do with special prayer days. I would like to explain why Hindus insist doing prayers on particular days and at particular times and in particular places. If the prayers are done by great saints miracles do happen. But when we do the same, no such miracles occur. Why?


Hindus believe that praying on festival days like Shivratri, Durgashtami, Ganesh Chathurthy, Kanda Shasti, Janmashtami, Rama Navami etc will increase the benefits many fold. Praying during solar or lunar eclipse will also boost the power of our prayers is a popular belief. Hindu scriptures support this belief. Is it true that certain places or certain days or certain times are more beneficial than other days? Yes, it is true.


When Adi Shankara sang the Kanakadhara Stotram a shower of golden gooseberries (amalaka) fell from the heaven for the sake of a poor devoted lady. When Saivite Nayanmars and Vaishnavite Alwars sang hymns, hundreds of miracles happened. It is the same old story with a lot of saints like Nivritti, Jnandev, Sopana, Muktabhai, Eknath,Namdev, Tukaram, Ramdas, Chaitanya,  Shirdi Saibaba, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana and many more Babas.


Why doesn’t God answer our prayers when we sing the same old hymns sung by our saints?


Let’s look at this example:

If you want to send a spaceship into space orbit or beyond that point you need to plan a lot of things. You can’t launch a spaceship from anywhere on earth. You must have a space station at a vantage point, most times near the sea or uninhabited places. Moreover the latitude and longitude of that place must be taken into account. For example, it is advantageous if the launch pad is nearer the equator.


You have to design a rocket which exceeds a speed of at least eight miles per second (11.2 kilometres/second). This is called escape velocity. Then you must have sufficient energy to lift the rocket. The heavier the rocket, the more fuel you need to get to this speed. Then you must have an aim – like the Moon or Mars, and do the calculations accordingly and correctly. If you make even a small mistake in the calculation, the space pod at the tip of the rocket may fall back on earth or travel several thousand miles away from its destination. We often read of such failures in the newspapers. Most space missions to Mars have failed.

For launching every rocket they have Launch Windows. They have to fire the rocket at a specific time. If they miss it they have to wait for another like that. This is especially true when scientists want to launch a spaceship to a particular planet: they have to calculate the orbit of that planet and the time it comes closest to earth etc. If they want to use the ‘gravitational slingshot’ to speed up the journey, they have to adhere to a particular time. This will save an enormous amount of fuel.


One can apply this principal to prayers on special days or by special people:


We must have some aim and focus only on it (like the space ship). We must make great preparations like selecting a particular place, day and time (like launch windows). We must have enough fuel (number of times or recitation of mantra) and right speed (intensity of prayer). If our ego, hatred, desire, bad thoughts etc. are eliminated then the prayer becomes fruitful. We attain ‘escape velocity’ for our prayers and it goes straight in to orbit (of God). Since saints like Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhwa, Chaitanya or Yogis and Rishis knew these “launch windows” and they attained the escape velocity easily for their prayers to achieve great success. But we always waiver, make the wrong calculations and the wrong demands so our rockets (prayers) easily fail.


Special festival days are like launch windows – they are the right time for our prayers to be sent. Our prayers will easily reach the target. Festival days act like gravitational slingshots – our prayers, even if you recite the mantra just 100 times, are boosted several thousand times. In short it reaches its destination and gives you the expected results quickly.