Light the Lamp Within You

Karthigai Deepam in Tamil and Karthika Deepam in Telugu, this festival of lights signifies lighting the lamp within. This post details the story behind this festival and the also the inner meaning conveyed

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2014 – The Year That Was – A recap…

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2014 started with a wonderful ten-day trip to Bihar School of Yoga and Rikhiapeeth with 60+ children from 7 schools who participated in Children Yoga Festival 2013 commemorating Golden Jubilee of Bihar School of Yoga.

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This was followed by a grand finale of Children Yoga Festival 2013 and release of Ankur Katha 2013 – a collection of stories by children for children in presence of His Excellency Rosaiah ji, Governor of Tamilnadu.

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Principal’s conclave one each at Chennai and Cuddalore to reach the message of Jiva Vigyan (LIFE-SKILLS education) to the schools with a combined participation from around 60 schools.

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Inauguration of Ankur Kshetra to reach our yoga and life skills programs to common public during later part of the year.

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Inauguration of SSM lecture series by H.H. Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji at Satyananda Yoga Centre, Triplicane in December 2014.

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New business associations and collaborations, more schools, educational institutions and bodies in Tamilnadu and neighbouring states evincing interest in our Satyananda Yoga and Jiva Vigyan programs, 2014 has been an overall positive year bringing more hopes for a promising year 2015 ahead.

We at Ankur and BLISS Group are thankful to each one of you, especially Satyananda Yoga family, who made this possible for a bootstrap start-up which was established two years ago to make the future of our upcoming generation happily successful, significantly contributing to the skill force of resurgent India.

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Looking forward to your continued support and patronage in the journey ahead.

That was Wonderful

I was surrounded by darkness. I couldn’t see a thing.   “Where am I?”, I could feel someone near me, but who was it? A small light was beaming miles away. Suddenly someone caught my hand and said, “Ankur, can you see it?” Oh!! That was a relief, it was Ankitha, my twin sister.

We both walked fast to reach it.Just one step and then one more. I stretched my hand to touch the light, Ankitha was still holding my hand tightly. “No!!!”, we both yelled.

Suddenly there was light all over. I turned my head to see Ankitha who was staring at the meadow with her jaw dropping. Suddenly she noticed feathers below her feet.   Ankitha picked it up to examine it. We wondered about its texture and colour. We followed the trial in silence.  Suddenly a lovely cry of a bird startled us. “Wow!!”, it was a bird with majestic blue eyes, long golden red feathers and it gave out a musical cry. “It is a PHOENIX”, she whispered in surprise. It was sitting on a rock. “I am Fawkes, I have been told that the first human to enter this magical world will be the only one who can help me”, she said.

“But what should we do?”,Ankitha asked. “I had a  magical feather with me, that made me special. I lost it and I am getting old. You have to complete your task of getting it. Take right and remember it must be done by sunset”, it said with a twinkle in it’s eyes.

Without another word we took right and Ankitha lead the way. I raised my eyes to see a black door. We ran to the door and pushed it. “Are you nuts Ankur!! Turn left”, she said. There was another door. Putting my head down, I looked at her. She had a scroll of parchment. She read it out aloud,“One will lead you to Heaven and One to Hell. Solve me if you can and that will lead the way. I am so fragile that you can break me by saying my name. And I can help you win the game”

Abinaya-Agastyaa-Shofia

“This is not gonna work!! I am off, that Fawkes is a freak. She must be kidding,” I said. “Ssh! be silent. Ahh!! that is it, it’s SILENCE”, Ankitha said jumping up and down. The door opened and it was dark. A suit of armour was standing on the other side. As I went near it, it took out it’s sword, facing me. “Oh!! My God, am I to fight him?” And there was another sword which came out of thin air. I caught it and the fight began. He swung his sword towards me, but missed me by inches. Far away Ankitha covered her mouth with her hand. The next moment the sword cut me deep in my hand making me bleed. Horror struck me. I just raised my sword and pierced it through his chest. He fell down with a ‘clunk’. It was over, and the door he guarded was open.

We went through the door and to our surprise we saw the feather, but it was about 50 miles away and was floating in mid-air. “How are we to get it ?” she said. And suddenly it struck me, “Maintain Silence”, I said. And the feather slowly settled on my out stretched hand. The next moment we were near Fawkes. “Oh!! Thank you so much dears”, she said. She flew and sat on my hand, got the feather and something like a pearl of tear touched my hand. I winced but the wound in my hand was gone. “You have got to go home, if not now, then you can never”. And with a goodbye, I just opened my eyes to see my house and Ankitha sleeping on her bed.

“That was wonderful!!!”

Story by Y.Abinaya, P.Agastyaa, M.Shofia, Class XI,

Mahatma School, Madurai,

Published in Ankur Katha 2013

The Tallest Tower

Everybody is running towards the ten-acre large playground at the heart of the town.  All educational institutions and business establishments have also declared the day off so that everyone can witness the event.  The event actually started a week ago but no one was able to witness what was going on inside because of the huge 100 feet screens erected around the ground blocking the visibility to passers-by.  This has been the talk of the town since two weeks when the screens were first raised.

Rishi is the organiser and invited all the schools and college students as special invitees for the event.  Ankur and Ankita are busy running around overseeing the arrangements.

At 10 am, the scheduled time the screens were dropped down.  The whole ground was filled with students, their parents and other curious audience from the town and around.

One could see a huge tower made of sticks running about 100 feet high.  By the side of that lay a huge brick tower 110 feet high.  There were two more empty sites next to these, probably allocated for two more towers.  In front of these huge towers was a podium from where Rishi started addressing the audience.

“Dear friends, I know you are all curious about the happening here?  One huge tower made of bricks and one made of sticks are to my right.  The place towards my left is allocated for two more towers to be built in front of you.  Let me introduce you the background. What started as a casual conversation between me, Ankur and our respected Mayor a couple of months ago about who is more powerful, humans or animals or inanimate objects has culminated into this wonderful event.

It was decided to conduct a competition and we summoned the best architects to build the tallest towers made of sticks and bricks.  The effort started a week ago and the result lies in front of you towards my right.  These towers are completed.  The brick tower is higher of the two.

More interesting part of the event will unveil in front of your eyes. We have also requested the best dog trainer and gymnast trainer to train dogs and men to form a dog tower and human tower respectively.  They have one hour to complete the task.”

Rishi turned towards the dog trainer and the gymnast trainer and asked, “Friends are you ready?”

The excitement was obvious in their faces as they nodded.

Rishi turned towards the Mayor and requested, “Sir, may I please request you to start the timer inaugurating the second part of the competition.”

Mayor then switched on the high digital timer with a remote, inaugurating the competition.  Whistles blew.  From behind came running a huge chain of dogs and trained gymnasts.

5…10…15…30…45…50…55.  As the time passed the size of the tower started growing higher and higher.

It was surprising to see dogs scaling up the backs of their friends in such an organized manner.  Everyone was awestruck and was in full of admiration of the dog trainer for the wonderful work he has put in.

It was 58 minutes.  The dog tower was 98 feet high.  The human tower is now 135 feet high and still going strong and fast.

human tower1

59 minutes and Ooops… the human tower collapsed. Huge casualty.  All the people above the third level of the structure came down with a thud.  There was absolute silence for a second.  People were shocked.  The doctors and ambulance were rushed immediately to attend to the injured.

Mayor ordered an enquiry. The human tower trainer was surprised at the sudden turn of events. Each gymnast in the human tower is an expert. He believed that the feat though difficult did not deserve this kind of ending given the ability of each participant in the structure. The enquiry report pointed to one gymnast in the third level of the human tower.

Ankur is in conversation with Rishi at his backyard. “I agree with you Rishi that humans are the most capable and strong species on this world but their biggest strength is also their weakness. No doubt they are also the weakest species”.

Ankita flew in just then and was surprised by the statement. “Why do you think so Ankur?”

“As I was flying around helping the victims of last week’s crash, I observed a glee joy in the face of the culprit. I was taken aback and silently followed him. I was surprised as he shared this as his success with his friends. This guy at the third level of the human tower was slighted by the guy at the second level from the top during the practice session.  He wanted to teach him a lesson.  He also had a score to be settled with the trainer. He used his expertise for hurting and causing injury to his fellow team mates.” explained Ankur

There was silence for a couple of minutes.

Rishi broke the silence. “The power of sticks, bricks and dogs were all guided by humans.  It was possible because of their capability.  No other creature could have done this feat.  Humans are no doubt ablest and strongest creatures on this planet.  Humans have the freedom of choice and the power of Will.  They are bestowed with intelligence and creative ability.  They can use it either in a creative and constructive manner as they had exhibited in other towers or for destructive purposes affecting harmony and peace as seen in the human tower.”

“The best of talents, skills and human capabilities are of use, only when applied in a constructive, harmonious and all-inclusive manner”, Rishi concluded.

The story of an Intelligent Monkey & Foolish Crocodile

“Ankur, you look so tensed. What’s the matter?”

“Oh! Rishi. You have come at the right time. One of my friend has to complete his project. The target date is fast approaching and there is a lot of work to do. I promised to help him. But am not sure, if I can. Can you help me?”

“I am reminded of the story of the cool and relaxed monkey.”

“Sorry Rishi, I have no time for stories now.”

“But, I thought you wanted my help.”

“This is unfair, Rishi.”

“Honestly, I am trying to help you.”

“OK. Tell me the story” asked Ankur.

Once upon a time, there lived a monkey on a tree that bore juicy apples near the banks of a river. One fine day, a hungry crocodile swam up to that tree looking for food. He saw the monkey on the tree and asked if the monkey can offer something to eat.

The kind monkey offered him a few apples. The crocodile enjoyed them very much and asked the monkey “can I come again for some more”.  The generous monkey happily agreed.

croc1

The crocodile returned the next day. And from that day their friendship grew. They started discussing everything under the sky, like all friends do. The crocodile told the monkey about his wife living on the other side of the river. The kind monkey offered him some extra apples to take home to his wife. The crocodile’s wife loved the apples and made her husband promise to get her some every day.

Meanwhile, the friendship between the monkey and the crocodile deepened. The crocodile’s wife started getting jealous. She wanted to put an end to this friendship. The crocodile’s wife thought to herself that if the monkey lived on a diet of sweet apples, his flesh would be very sweet. So she asked the crocodile to invite the monkey to their house.

The crocodile did not like the idea and refused. But the wife was determined to eat the monkey’s flesh. So she thought of a plan and pretended to be very ill. She told the crocodile that the doctor said that she would recover only if she ate a monkey’s heart. If her husband wanted to save her life, he must bring her his friend’s heart.

The crocodile was now in a dilemma. He could not decide what to do. The crocodile’s wife pleaded to save her life, as without her the crocodile would become very lonely. Finally the crocodile decided to invite the monkey home. He offered the monkey a ride on his back across the river to his wife. The monkey happily agreed. As they reached the middle of the river, the crocodile began to sink. The frightened monkey asked, “What’s happening?”

croc2

The crocodile said “Sorry friend.  My wife is ill and the only cure is a monkey’s heart. So I will have to kill you, to save my wife”

The monkey was shocked. He couldn’t believe that his good friend would do this. He had to act quickly to save his life. He knew getting tensed is not an option. In a relaxed tone, he said “What a wonderful opportunity you have given me my friend, to save your wife’s life. I am very happy and glad you chose me for this job.” He waited for a moment and acted as if he has forgotten something. He said, “Oh! I have left my heart on the tree. Can you please ride back to the tree, so that I can bring my heart and give it to your sick wife?”

The crocodile felt bad for cheating such a good friend. He expressed surprise and ignorance that monkeys can keep their hearts separately. The clever monkey said, “We are given this ability, to keep our hearts safe while jumping from one tree to another.”

The crocodile who didn’t understand the monkey’s plan, swam back to the tree. The monkey ran up the tree to safety.

He told the crocodile “ Oh foolish crocodile.  My heart is very much with me.  I will never trust you again or give you fruit from my tree. Go away and don’t come back again.”

“Hmmm… Ok. Now I get the message. You mean to say, I need to stay relaxed and alert to help my friend. If I get tensed, I will only spoil the work further”, said Ankur.

Rishi smiled.

Ankur thanked Rishi for the timely advice and flew away singing happily…

The Argumentative Couple

Ankur and Rishi are on a walk by the lake side. There is greenery all around. It is absolutely silent and calm except for the chirping of birds and the soothing sound of gentle breeze.

Both had actually set out for a stroll to chat on some interesting topic. But the weather was so engrossing they had not opened the mouth.  They are enjoying the weather to the fullest.

Screeeeeeech! 

A motor bike stopped suddenly on the road.  The guy riding the bike parked it and walked towards the bench swiftly. From the expression on his face one could observe he was very angry.

Ankur’s eyes fell on the girl on the bench equally agitated.  She was restless.  The mood of the duo is contrary to the surroundings.  As soon as the guy approached the girl he lifted his hands as if to slap her.  But the girl acted faster.

For a moment there was silence.  The guy was shocked.  Within seconds, the area was echoing with the arguments of the two.  They were both shouting at the top of their voices.  Probably, someone standing on the top of the mountain beside the lake, could clearly hear their argument.

Rishi was also observing this.  Suddenly, a smile emerged on his face.

When Ankur turned around to see Rishi’s response, he was surprised.  He could not understand why Rishi is amused. As if reading Ankur’s mind, Rishi started explaining.

“Can you observe Ankur, how both of them are telling the same thing and neither are able to understand that”

Ankur listened to their argument closely and concurred with Rishi. He could not understand why are they arguing, when both are of the same opinion.

He asked Rishi “why is this happening?  At the first instance, I don’t see any reason for them to shout so loudly in such a calm atmosphere.  Probably if they start speaking with each other calmly they will understand better”

“You are right Ankur.  They are not even two feet apart from each other.  Even a whisper can be clear to each other in such a calm atmosphere.  But the problem is  – physically they are very close to each other; their thoughts are also matching, but mentally and psychologically they are separated far wide.”

Rishi continued… “Contrary to what we generally believe, it is the un-manifest and not so obvious thoughts and emotions that drive our day.  If these two people become aware of their emotions and psychological distance, they will be able to interact in a pleasant tone and realise that their opinions don’t differ.”

Ankur responded in agreement.  He further added “I believe, even if they had different opinions, they could come to an understanding if they speak to each other calmly and reduce the psychic and emotional distance between them”

“You are right Ankur” agreed Rishi.

“I suggest Rishi, you should go and speak to them so that they stop their fight.  You should help them.”

“Unsolicited help or advice won’t work Ankur.  Now that they have vented out their anger, within a few minutes you will see that they would calm down and start talking to each other normally”

As they were conversing on these lines, they had moved past the boy and girl to the other end of the lake.  After about half an hour on their way back , Ankur observed the couple – now calm and talking to each other in a normal tone.

Ankur was once more convinced of Rishi’s wisdom.

A determined Nachiketas…

Ankur picks up a twig and places it on the branch of a tree.  There is a breeze and the twig falls down.  He and his friend Kala, the crow were trying to place the twigs on top of the tree to make a nest. It has been three hours since they have started this effort but could not place even one twig on the branch.

“Ankur, see this! see this!” exclaimed Kala.

He had been finally able to place the twig in the right position so that it does not fall.  They quickly started gathering more twigs and started giving the nest a shape.  Finally, by the dusk they were able to complete building the nest.

nest

Rishi had been silently observing this all through the day.  He was amazed by the effort taken by these two little birds to build a nest.

He congratulates the friends…  “Ankur and Kala, Congratulations. You both have done a wonderful job.”

They both smiled in acknowledgment.

“Where is Ankita?  She is not to be seen.  Why did you not call her for help?” asked Rishi.

“She is off to a picnic along with her friends” replied Ankur.

“Oh! I See. Why you did not join her?” asked Rishi.

“I stayed back to help my friend, Kala build the nest.  She wanted to start her family soon.”

“Wow!  This is wonderful.  You remind me of Nachiketas” Rishi expressed happily.

“Nachiketas?  Who is this?”, Ankur enquired.

“He is a small little boy. The hero of Kathopanishad”

“Whaw!  So, he is a young hero.  I would like to know his story” Ankur expressed interest. Rishi started narrating the story.

“Nachiketas is the son of Vajrashravas, a great sage.  Once he performed a great yagna. At the end of the yagna, as is customary, he invites the poor and needy and starts giving away his cows and other wealth. Little Nachiketas was observing all this with great enthusiasm.  He observed that his father is giving away only old clothes, unusable things, old and dry cows retaining with him all the new and healthy ones.  Nachiketas was worried.

nachiketa2

He felt this type of donation would only invite worry and misery to his father.  He somehow mustered courage to question his father. He went and asked him “Whom would you give me away to?”

His father laughed, kissed his son on the forehead, hugged and said “You are my dearest son.  Whom would I give you away to?  You would be always with me.  You don’t worry” said Vajrashravas.

“But father, you are supposed to give away all your possessions.  I am also your possession.  So you need to give me away” Nachiketas insisted.

“Oh! stop this nonsense Nachiketas.  I am not going to give you to anyone” shouted Vajrashravas.

“But father, if you do not give me away how will you get the benefit of performing this Yagna” Nachiketas doesn’t relent.

Vajrashravas was tried with all activities related to Yagna.  He could not be patient with Nachiketas anymore.  He shouts “I would give you away to death and now get away from here”

nachiketa1

Nachiketas is happy that his father has taken the right path by choosing to give him away – his best possession, even though it means pain for Nachiketas.  He was glad that his father had taken the right path instead of a pleasurable one.  He wanted to follow the path of his father – the path of right and proceeds to Yamaloka.”

“This act of yours Ankur, reminded me of Nachiketas. You did not make a choice that is easy and pleasurable – to go with your sister on a holiday, but decided to stay back to help your friend and put in a long day of tiresome work to build the nest.  I admire your perseverance and your friend’s too”

“Thank you Rishi.  But what happens to Nachiketas after that?  Does he reach Yamaloka?  What happens over there” Ankur’s questions won’t stop.

Rishi smiles.  “I know you won’t let go, just like Nachiketas”

He continues with the story… “Nachiketas proceeds to yamaloka. At the entrance of yamaloka he comes to know that Lord Yama has gone out and would take time to be back.  Nachiketas waits near the gate for three days and three nights till Lord Yama arrives. On his arrival, Lord Yama enquires about Nachiketas and was surprised to note the strong will of the little boy.

He felt bad that a small little boy had to wait at his door steps for three days and nights.  After serving him well, he asks Nachiketas to ask for three boons which he would grant in lieu of the three days he had to wait at the gate.

Nachiketa first asks for happiness and wellbeing of his father.  Yama grants him the same.

yama-nachiketa

He then enquires about the fire rituals to be practiced to attain swarga (heaven) and be happy over there. Yama notices that the child is not asking anything for himself.  He is impressed. He then grants to him the second boon by answering Nachiketas’ doubts.

As the third boon, Nachiketas seeks to know about the secret of, ‘what happens after death’. Yama is taken for a shock. He is surprised at the inquisitiveness of such a young child. Wanting to test his determination, Yama says, “Death is a mystery even to the Gods and so cannot explain the same to you. You may ask for any other boon.”

He offers him a very long life, lots of wealth, pleasures, power, etc.  But Nachiketas is intelligent.  He knows that, all these had no value when compared to the knowledge he had sought. As a last attempt, Yama tries offering him the boon to live as long as he wants and the power to rule the entire world.

But Nachiketas insists to know what happens after death.  Convinced of the determination of the young boy to stick to the right path and not get distracted by anything that is less interesting, Yama finally shares the secret to Nachiketas.

Ankur exclaims, “Oh! So twice Nachiketa makes the right choice and on both occasions he sticks to the right decision. What perseverance!  But Rishi, my decision to stay back and help my friend is such a small thing compared to what Nachiketas has done. I think it is inappropriate to compare me with Nachiketas.

Rishi smiles again.  “I agree with you.  I said, you reminded me of Nachiketas.  To make right choices in smaller aspects of life and showing perseverance to follow through the choice, is the first step to develop determination and perseverance, like Nachiketas.

“Whaw! we started loving Nachiketas. Thanks for sharing the story Rishi. We shall strive to emulate him… Ankita should have been back by now from the picnic. Need to catch up with her. Bye! Rishi.”

P.S: Ankur acknowledges and thanks the artists of the images and the internet for making them available on-line…

The Two Mothers

Dhritharashtra and Pandu are brothers. Pandu the younger brother was crowned king, as the elder Dhritharashtra was blind. Gandhari, wife of Dhritharashtra also blind-folds herself as she did not want to see the world which her husband cannot see and enjoy. Kunti and Madri are the wives of King Pandu.

dhritarasthra_gandhari

Pandu the king of Hastinapur was cursed to die the moment he touches any of his queens. The king was worried that he could not have any children. To provide comfort to the king, Kunti shares a secret about her ability to have children with the help of a boon given by Sage Dhurvasa. Overjoyed with the news, the king immediately requests Kunti to make use of the boon and have children.

Kunti had a clear vision of the kind of children she wanted to mother.

Kunti and the Birth of the Sun God’s Child

She prays to lord Yama, the upholder of Dharma to provide her with a child who would uphold Dharma in the world. She is blessed with Yudhishtra (Dharmaputra).

She then prays to lord of the winds Vayu to bless her with a child who would be as strong as the wind. Vayu blesses her with Bhima.

Next she prays to the ruler of heavens Indra to bless her with a child who is as brave and valorous as Indra himself. Indra blesses her with Arjuna, the warrior.

Kunti then shares the mantra with Madri, the other queen of Pandu, who is blessed with Nakula and Sahadeva by Ashwini devatha twins. Thus Pandu is blessed with five children – pancha pandavas, with the help of his queen Kunti’s clear vision.

Gandhari, wife of Dhritharashtra was pregnant when Kunti was first blessed with Yudhishtra. She was filled with jealousy and could not wait any longer to have her own children. She was worried that her children also cannot adorn the throne. She resorts to short cut methods and mothers hundred children – Kauravas.

gandhri

Subsequent to King Pandu’s sudden death, Dhritharashtra was crowned the king, as there was no other option. Dhritarashtra and Gandhari were not only physically blind, but mentally blind due to jealousy. They wanted their eldest son to be crowned the next king, even though they knew that, Yudhishtra being the eldest is the rightful heir.

Consequently they played blind to the ill acts of Kauravas guided by the bad company of Sakuni, their maternal uncle. Pandavas suffer repeated humiliation in the hands of their cousins and were ultimatley left with no place even to live. As the story progress, in the fight for justice through the war of Kurukshetra, all the Kauravas get killed in the hands of Pandavas.

the_kauravas

Gandhari blinded by jealousy could not provide her children the right direction. She along with her husband exhibited minimum resistance to the wrongful deeds of Kauravas. Consequently, they could taste only short-lived success. Ultimately, they had to face humiliating defeat and death in the hands of their cousins.

With a clarity in vision, Kunti could provide her children the right direction. She taught them to be patient, endure pain, persevere, gain strength and follow the path of righteousness to attain the heights of glory and success.

What Should I Do?

A severe storm lashed for the past 4 days.  As I woke up in the morning I was glad that I could see the sunrays.

In the past 4 days, I had seen incessant rains, gale winds. It was chaos all over. I flew over to Rishi’s drawing-room. He was getting the latest update from the TV on the situation around…

It was unusual calm… calmness after the storm as it is said.

It was as though the nature has become tired and is now taking rest.

Storm

Huge gigantic trees got uprooted and lay all over. As the camera zoomed, I could see the blades of grass slowly standing up recovering from the severe storm. I was surprised.

GrassInStorm2

A chain of thoughts started in my mind… the storm-within started ?!?!?

I asked Rishi “Should I explore the depths and conquer the heights like a tall tree or should I stay firm to the ground and even be able to conquer the storm.  What should I do?

There was a gentle smile on His face. He answered.

Ankur…

“If you are a tree… explore the depths and conquer the heights.

If you are a blade of grass conquer the storm and stay firm on the ground.

Know yourself, Be yourself”

I suddenly remembered the Story of Vanamahotsav Competition…

I smiled…

The Leap to SUCCESS

In the journey to search Sita, Hanuman realizes his strength, thanks to his team mates who remind him about his capabilities.  With their encouragement Hanuman decides to leap across the sea to reach Lanka.

Hanuman reaches the top most part of the hill, grows in size before taking the leap. He prays to Lord Rama and flies off with a thud.

hanuman1

A mountain – Mainaka on the seabed recognizes Hanuman as devotee of Rama who is on a journey to Lanka in service of Rama.  He felt Hanuman must be tired and mounts in size so that Hanuman can rest for a while before proceeding with the journey.  He introduces himself as a devotee of Rama and offers his service to Hanuman for rest.

Having known the whereabouts of Sita in Lanka, Hanuman has no time left even for rest and is in a hurry to find Sita.  However, he cannot refuse the help offered by the friendly mountain.  Now there is a challenge – he has to please the mountain who has come up with a friendly offer, but at the same time needs to move forward in his journey.  He quickly puts his feet on the mountain and then leaps back again thanking the friendly offer from the mountain.  Thus he obliged the friend, but did not waste time along the journey.

As Hanuman was almost nearing the coast on the other side of the sea, a huge demon ‘Surasa’ blocks his way.  She says “you cannot move forward without entering my mouth”.  Again Hanuman has no time to waste in fighting with the demon but he is aware that he cannot move forward without crossing the demon.  Hanuman cleverly gets into conversation with the demon and both come to a deal – if Hanuman can get into demon’s mouth and come out safely, then the demon would not come in his way.

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Hanuman kept increasing his size.  The demon, with an intent to establish her supremacy, also grows in size with her mouth wide open. Suddenly, in a fraction of second, Hanuman becomes smaller, flies into the demon’s mouth and comes out even before the demon could realize what has happened. Accepting defeat Surasa gives way to Hanuman. Crossing both the distractions, Hanuman finally reaches his destination safely.

Similar to Hanuman’s leap across the ocean, is the journey of any successful person.

All along the path of success, one is faced with difficulties and pleasurable distractions. Both are obstacles along the path of success.

Always being conscious of the goal and aware of distractions, successful people leap forward, cleverly maneuvering through the obstacles – pleasurable or otherwise.

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