Spiritual Message though a Village Woman (Post No.3529)


Written by London swaminathan


Date: 9 January 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 17-45


Post No.3529



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Hindu saints are great writers. They propagate great ideals through simple similes or imageries. When those examples are seen in our day to day life, it goes straight in to our head and heart. Ramakrishna Paramahmasa was one who propagated the highest ideals in Hindu literature through parables, pithy sayings and similes. It is a strange coincidence that a Tamil saint who lived approximately 1000 years before Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa also used the same simile.


An ascetic or a Yogi is like a water carrying village woman. She fetches water from a faraway well or tank in five or six metal pots piled up one over the other on her head. Juts to avoid the boredom, she gossips with other women watch fun on her way, but always remember the water pots on her head. An ascetic or Yogi also does everything like an ordinary man but always remember God. Though the women artistes in the Circus, Folk dance and Acrobats also do such things they are trained for it. But a village woman is just an ordinary person bt with extraordinary talent in carrying and balancing the water pots.


I have given below the sayings of Paramahamsa and Pattinathar; I have already written about Pattinathar. Please read my post: “Eyeless Needle changed the Life of a Millionaire”- posted on 2nd January 2017.


Pattinathar Verse:-

What though  they do, what though they undergo,

The liberated are ever poised in Silence.

With easy skill she  sports a gait

Flourishing her hands Twain.

Yet the house maid has an eye on the water pot

She carries on her head – Pattinathar Poem



Ramakrishna Sayings: –

As a boy holding to a post or pillar whirls about it with headlong speed without any fear of falling, so perform your worldly duties   fixing your hold firmly on god ,and you will be free from danger.


As the village maidens in India carry four or five pots of water placed one over the other upon their heads, talking all the way with one another about their joys and sorrows, and yet do not allow a single drop of water to spill, so must the traveller in the path of virtue walk along his route. In whatever circumstances, he may be placed, let him always take heed that his heart does not swerve from the true path.


The magnetic needle always s to the North, and hence it is that the sailing vessel does not lose her direction. So long as the heart of man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness.







Mystery about Swan: Can it separate Milk from Water?

Why Saints are called Paramahamsa?

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Post No.1153; Dated 6th July 2014.

From the days of the Rig Veda and Chandogya Upanishad, swan is always associated with the bright sun and saints.

All the water birds close to swan are grouped under the Anatidae family. Hindu mythology understood the unity pervading the family. Their approach was very scientific when they dealt with swans, geese and ducks.

Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaaya Dhimahi
Tanno Hamsha Pracodayaat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”

This one of the several popular Gayatri mantras.

Great saints are called Parama hamsa. It means Supreme Swan. We have great saints like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1856) and Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893-1952) within the last two hundred years. Sadasiva Brahmendra composed short and sweet kritis in Sanskrit and had the ‘mudra’/signature “paramahmasa” in all his compositions.

When it used in the context of great Yogis (ascetics) it does not mean the bird Swan (Hamsa in Sanskrit). It is the combination of two words Aham + Sa= Hamsa. I am He. It is the essence of Advaita philosophy. God and Man are one at the highest level. All the famous Upanishads have this philosophy: Aham Brahmasmi/ I am Brahman, Tat Tvam Asi/ You are That etc.

When saints who are well versed in the Yogic techniques breathe in and out it sounds ‘Ham…… Sa…… ‘Ham…… Sa….’ leading to Soham+ He is I.

Chandogya Upanishad (4-7) included an instruction (advice) from a swan. Dattatreya learnt something good from everything in nature including a bird. Hindus used everything in nature for the spiritual advancement of man.

Is it true that swans can separate milk from water and drink only milk?
Another meaning at a different level:-

Hamsa is the vehicle of God Brahma and his consort Sarasvati. All are white in colour symbolising purity and knowledge. Hamsa is associated with Holy Ganges and holy lake Manasa Sarovar. It is one of the purest birds. Hamsa Gayatri confers the power of discretion on the person who recites it. Like that Hamsa separates the good things from the bad things, Water birds separate good water from the bad water. It has got a sieve like structure (lamellae) in its mouth which separates water from mud. Probably this is what lead to the belief that Swans can separate milk from water and drink only milk. In Sanskrit Ksheera means milk and pure water.


Hamsa in the Vedas

Hamsa in the RIg Veda (1-65-5; 1-163-10;2-34-5;3-8-9;;AV 6-12-1 etc) and later literature denotes the bird gander. These birds are described as dark in colour on the back( RV 7-59-7), they fly in troops ((RV 3-8-9), swim in the water (RV 1-65-5), make loud noises (3-53-10), and are wakeful at night (AV 6-12-1) according to Vedic Index.

The Hamsa is credited with the power of separating Soma from water (as later milk from water) in the Yajur Veda (Kataka, Maitrayani, Vajasneyi Samhitas and Taitriya Brahmana).
The soma plant when crushed exudes the juice with a hissing sound. This is compared to the hissing of a swan when disturbed on the water (RV 1-65-5)

The Asvins are invited to the soma sacrifice like a pair of swans hastening to the water (RV 5-78-1).
It is also sacrificed in the Asvamedha Yajna along with two hundred other animals, birds, plants and other grains.


Sun and Paramahmsa
The sun and the spiritually elevated man are compared with the wise swan in the Shivapurana (2-15-10).
The Mute Swans are known to go about in pairs and they are greatly devoted to each other. Even Buddhacharita of Asvagosha mentioned this in the context of appealing to Gautam Siddhartha to come back to his wife.
Ramayana described swan as god Varuna’s bird (7-18-28)

Nala Damayanti and Swan
The golden coloured swan (whooper) caught by Nala was mentioned in the Mahabharata (3-54-19). The bird promised to plead Nala’s cause with Damayanti and was thereupon released. He flew with his party to her place and allowed himself to be caught by her and then performed his mission.


One of the incarnations/Avatars of Lord Vishnu is Hamsavatar in the form of a swan. Apart from Dasavatar (ten incarnations) we have 11 more Avatars.

Kalidasa & Sangam Tamil Literature
I have already written about the Bird Migration in Kalidasa and Sangam Literature.
Kalidasa referred to the strange habit of swan ‘separating milk from water’ in Sakuntalam drama (Act 6-33). A Gatha Sapta Sati poet copied it. Naladiyar in Tamil also copied Kalidasa.
Paranar, a Brahmin poet of Sangam period used lot of similes from Kalidasa along with his colleague Kabilar. Paranar in his poem– Natrinai 356 — sang about a swan flying to the golden peaked Himalayas after feeding itself with fishes in the Southern Seas. Pisiranthaiyar said the same thing in Purananuru verse 67. All these are just echo Kalidasa’s poems.

Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa and Meghaduta have got too many references to water birds such as swan and cranes, geese and ducks.

Pillows were stuffed with the feathers of swan in ancient India.

A woman’s gait is compared to the gait of a swan in Tamil (Aka.279) and Sanskrit literature.

The swans are remarkable for their stately flight very high in the sky and they seem to approach the sun, says Mankudi Kizar of Madurai Kanchi (385-38).

Different types of swans such as Raja Hamsa, Kala Hamsa, Maththa Hamsa, Maha Hamsa, Kshuta Hamsa and Kadamba Hamsa are found in Sanskrit literature.


Ramayana and Mahabharata have interesting stories about swans. One of them is about the white colour of the swan (7-18-29/31). Varuna avoided Ravana by transforming himself to a swan and later gave a boon to the bird for his help and made him permanently white! Since Brahma has it as his Vahana the bird is also called Surapriya (Friend of the Devas). Swan is always associated with glory, purity, affection, love, majesty and divinity!!

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Salt Doll Stories explain Brahman


By London Swaminathan
Post No 948 Date 1st April 2014.

Salt Doll Stories & Chemistry Experiments explain ‘Satyam, Janam, Anantam Brahma’

Brahman is the word used for God in the Upanishads. Sri Sathya Sai Baba popularised the Taittiriya Upanishad line ‘Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma’ through his sweet and beautiful Bhajan song, meaning God is Truth, God is Knowledge and God is Infinite. Though great philosopher saints Shankara , Ramanuja and Madhwa elaborated on this line, experiencing Brahman is explained the best in the short and crisp stories of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Earlier, the Vedic seers explained great doctrines through simple experiments like we do it today in the chemistry labs of schools and colleges. Many chemical salts are used in the laboratory for qualitative and quantitative analysis experiments. Vedic seers asked young students to bring a handful of salt and asked them to put it in a glass of water. Then questions were asked to find where the salt had gone and how it disappeared, did the water taste differently in various parts of the cup etc. Through this simple experiment seers explained the nature and qualities of God. They used the tiny seeds of the Banyan tree as well. Tamil saints and Siddhas (enlightened souls) also used the same salt doll similes in their verses. Earliest reference comes from a 2000 year old Tamil book called Kalitokai.

best ice use it

Ramakrishna’s Stories

Story 1
A salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. It wanted to tell others how deep the water was. But this it could never do, for no sooner did it get into the water than it melted. Now, who was there to report the ocean’s depth?
What Brahman is cannot be described in Samadhi one attains the knowledge of Brahman – one realises Brahman. In that state reasoning stops altogether, and man becomes mute. He has no power to describe the nature of Brahman.

Story 2
Once four friends, in the course of a walk, saw a place enclosed by a wall. The wall was very high. They all became eager to know what was inside. One of them climbed to the top of the wall. What he saw on looking inside made him speechless with wonder. He only cried Ah! Ah! And dropped in. he could not give any information about what he saw. The others too climbed the wall, uttered the same cry,’ Ah! Ah!’ and jumped in. now who could tell what was inside!
What Brahman is cannot be described. Even he who knows it cannot talk about it.

scaling wall

Story 3
The husband of a young girl has come to his father in law’s house and seated in the drawing-room with other young men of his age. The girl and her friends are looking at them through the window. Her friends do not know her husband and ask her pointing to one young man, “Is that your husband? “No”, she answers, smiling. They point to another young man and ask if he is her husband. Again she answers, “No”. They repeat the question referring to a third, and she gives the same answer. At last they point to her husband ask, “Is he the one?” She says neither yes nor no, but only smiles and keep quiet. Her friends realize that he is her husband.

One becomes silent on realising the true nature of Brahman.

There is a proverb in Tamil, “Those who have seen never talk; those who talk have never seen (the God)” (Kandavar Vindilar; Vindavar Kandilar).


A Siddha by name Sivavakkiyar uses the simile of mixing water with salt to establish the truth that Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are one and the same. Once the water is mixed with the salt it becomes unseparable. Shiva and Vishnu are one.

Another Tamil saint Tirumular says in Tirumanthiram that the dumb are trying to describe that which cannot be described.

The following Upanishad line is translated in Tamil verses by several Tamil saints in several of their verses:

Yato vacho nivartante aprapya manasa saha (Whence all speech turn back with the mind, not reaching It). Taittiriya Upanishad

Mozikkum winaivukkum ettatha nin tirumurtham (Abirami Andhati) in Tamil.


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