Yopam puspam veda Puspavan prajavan pasuvan bhavati Candramava Apam puspam Puspavan, Prajavan pasuman bhavati Ya Evam Veda Yopa mayatanam Veda Ayatanam bhavati. Agnirva Apamayatanam Ayatanavan Bhavati Yo gnerayatanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Apovagner ayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Ya Evam Veda Yopa mayatanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Vayurva Apamaya tanam Ayatanavan bhavati. Yova Yorayatanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati| Apovai va yorayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati. Ya Evam veda Yopamayatanam Veda Ayatanavan Bhavati Asowvai tapanna pamayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Yo musya tapata Ayatanan Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Apova Amusyatapata Ayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Ya Evam Veda Yopa mayatanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Candrama Vama pamayatnam Ayatanavan bhavati. Yascandra masa Ayatanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Apovai Candra masa Ayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Ya Evam Veda Yo pamayatanam veda Ayatanavan bhavati Nakshtrani va Apamayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Yo Nakshtrana mayatanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Apovai Nakshtrana mayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Ye evam Veda Yopamaya tanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Parjanyova apamayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Yah parjanyasya syayatinam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Apovai parjanya Syayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Ye Evam veda Yopa maya tanam Veda Ayatanavan bhavati Samvastaro Va Apamayatanam Ayatavan bhavati Yassavatsa rasyaya tanam Veda Ayatavan bhavati. Apovai samvasara ayatanam Ayatanavan bhavati Ya Evam veda Yopsu Navam pratistitam veda Pratyeva tistati Rajadhi rajaya Prasahya Sahine| Namo Vayam Vai Sravanaya Kurmahe Samekaman Kama Kamaya mahyam Kamesvaro Vai Sravano dadatu Kuberaya Vai Sravanaya Maha rajaya Namah.
The world is all made of water and forms the basis of everything and is worthy of our prayers. As water is cool so also is the moon –cool like flower and water. He who understands this gets all prosperity [read with progeny and cattle].
Fire is also a producer of water and air is a producer of fire. Sea water rises as vapor in the skies as clouds and falls as rain to give us warmth and prosperity; Sun is also related to water. As we see the star [through astrological position] which determines rain and prosperity, we see the relation of stars for all this prosperity through water. Each year we get rains, and in order to get our rains the year around, the seasons count as equally important. The world revolves on water like a boat sailing in the ocean and he who understands this gets all the prosperity. [read with progeny and cattle].
This mantra is taken from Taithreeya Aranyakam of Yajur Veda. It is normally sung in a chorus by all the priests together after performing any Yajna or Pooja.
In summary, this stotra explains how water is the basis of this universe.He who understands the flowers of water, becomes the possessor of flowers, children and cattle. Moon is the flower of the water, He who understands this fact, becomes the possessor of flowers, children and cattle. He who knows the source of water, Becomes established in himself,
Choosing a university for Ph.D. Research is a daunting task which is made all the more difficult if you are considering universities outside your own country of origin. Although I am an American, I have been a professor of English at a South Korean university the last four years. I wanted to pursue a PhD in English specializing in the study of literature and the environment from an interdisciplinary point of view or what is called ecocriticism. Ecocriticism is a new a field and there are only a handful of universities in the world that have strong English departments in this area. Most are in the United States with the University of Nevada Reno arguably being at the forefront with its strong ecocriticism faculty and involvement with the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE).
In the Eastern half of the world there are five universities that are heavily involved with ASLE, located in Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Japan, and India. Pondicherry University is the intellectual home of Ecocriticism Studies and the ASLE in India. This is largely due to the work of Dr. Murali Sivaramakrishnan who heads the English Department at Pondicherry University and is founder and president of ASLE India. The fact that Pondicherry University is one of five universities in the East associated with ecocriticism and the ASLE is in and of itself a profound and compelling reason for me to choose Pondicherry University for PhD research.
But for me, the main reason for choosing Pondicherry was the strong English Department that has developed and the chance to work directly with Dr. Murali. One of my deep interests is consciousness studies involving the ecology and evolutionary dynamics of whole systems. I was already familiar with a small part of Dr. Murali’s broad and interdisciplinary work when I cited his paper, ‘Involution and Evolution: Some Conceptual Issues in the Contexts of Indian Discourses’ in an earlier paper I did during my MA research. Dr. Murali has written numerous books across several areas, has lectured worldwide, and has created paintings, photographs, sculptures, and poems of world renown. He is well known at University of Nevada, Reno, and the ASLE, having won a Fulbright Postdoctoral Travel Grant to teach and do research there in 2006-2007. I especially love his new book “Learning to Think Like Myself” which left me stunned for a couple of days after reading it because it echoed so closely some of my own thoughts and doubts about the cost to my family for wandering the world in search of wisdom and understanding, and the loss of rootedness and home you trade for this privilege. For me, the opportunity to study under Dr. Murali is the most fortunate opportunity of my lifetime. When people ask me why I am studying at Pondicherry, I know I cannot really explain to them how blessed and fortunate I feel, but I always have the thought “My God, why would I study anywhere else!”
There is an intellectual excellence at Pondicherry I have never seen or felt anywhere else. Recently, at the India National ASLE Conference at Pondicherry I was amazed at the depth of articulation and understanding in the research presented. I had been used to presenting in a much more informal manner. I was outshined by every other paper presented. That Pondicherry has such academic rigor and passionite students and faculty only deepens my belief there is no better place in the world for me to pursue my research than Pondicherry University. Combine this with the warmth of the students and faculty, the beauty and location of the campus, and the low cost of an education that I do not feel I could get anywhere else in the world, why would I go anywhere else?
–Mark A. Shryock — firstname.lastname@example.org
Conversations with Children by S. Murali. Puducherry Co-op Book Society, 9, Jeevantham Street, Ashok Nagar, Pondicherry 605008. 2005. 38pp. Paperback. Rs.60.00. ISBN 81-87299-10-06.
S. Murali is a painter of repute, and a literary critic who has specialised in Indian literary theory and aesthetics. He is Reader in the Department of English, PondicherryUniversity. Conversations with Children, his second collection of poems, lives up to the promise of his first collection, Night Heron (1998); however, unlike Night Heron, it has no illustrations.
The twenty-five poems here have a variety of themes — the title poem deals with the problem of communication, while “My Father and R.K.Narayan” is a moving tribute, mourning both his father and the eminent writer, who “died a few days before R.K.Narayan did.” As in the earlier collection, love of nature is an important theme; “The Bleeding Tree” which laments over deforestation has an allegorical quality about it. Some poems, such as “I Like to let the word fly about”, “There’s no Wisdom in Poetry” and “Afterward” deal with the art and craft of poetry. Some poems are based on the Puranas. There are five poems about Krishna, and his miraculous childhood exploits. There are poems expressing the feelings of Eklavya, Garuda, Krishna, Karna and Kaikeyi. “Amba Upanishad” expresses the anguish of Amba, the princess forcibly brought to Hastinapur by Bhishma to be his brother’s bride; she confesses, “I had not known enough of hate/ Before now, to hate so much . . .” In “I, Bahuka”, the protagonist wonders who he really is, the glorious King Nala, husband of the beautiful Damayanti, or the dark, ugly Bahuka he became when bitten by a serpent. Murali’s poems are characterized by careful craftsmanship. His free verse experiments with a number of stanza forms, such as four-line stanzas and three-line stanzas. Some poems have a refrain, but he avoids rhyme.
The title poem is representative of his work – there is deep thought, a feel for human relationships, closeness to nature, and striking imagery. “Conversations with Children” is a meditation on the way children casually avoid listening to adults and their sermons about “general rules of behaviour”, and “dos and don’ts”. The imagery is concrete, and original:
Like cows in the mid-stream of highway traffic
nonchalant they stand, letting each word
glide by; dodging and ducking, or with a simple
toss of the head disengaging artha from sabda
as simple as peeling bananas.
Waste water cascade.
Most Indians will respond to the unusual image, as the picture of a cow placidly chewing its cud in the middle of the road springs to mind. The next image, of peeling a banana, starts on a new line, to highlight the ease with which unpleasant conversation is side-stepped, for it is considered only “waste water”. Two lines are used as a kind of refrain, occurring thrice in the poem:
Fly away, fly away word –
there’s just not any space for you.
But the poem is not a facile condemnation of the younger generation; it is only after “long years of wandering” that the poet has realized that “Conversation is all”, earlier he was among those who thought that “it’s all conversation”. “Now my children beside me” indicates that it is an older (and wiser) man who is speaking. There is a note of hope as he sits with his children; communication can take the form of responding together to nature, its fury and its beauty:
Now my children beside me, I sit and watch
the slow fading of light in the new monsoon
trees all agog with words, the wind
and lightning; thunder calls across the sky.
So much meaning being tossed about
in the open. Shall we reach out
and clutch? Conversation is all
But they do not understand the importance of conversation, the response to the plea for reaching out and clutching is negative:
and clutch? Conversation is all
empty dispensation of words
a loose cloud over all
And the poem ends with the refrain: Fly away, fly away word –/ there’s just not any space for you.”
One does not know (and the poet probably does not care) how a non-Indian reader would respond to such imagery. Would they slot the cow or the monsoon into the category of the “exotic Other”? Would they be able to understand the reference to “artha from sabda” (and the implied allusion to Kalidasa)? The same questions could be asked about Murali’s poems about figures from Indian mythology. But there is no doubt that these poems are a rewarding experience for the Indian reader; they are thought provoking, and present fresh perspectives on characters like Kaikeyi.
Prof. Shyamala A. Narayan
Journal of Indian Writing in English 14.3.2007
[Addressed to Charles Lamb, of the India House, London]
Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
This lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Beauties and feelings, such as would have been
Most sweet to my remembrance even when age
Had dimm’d mine eyes to blindness! They, meanwhile,
Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
To that still roaring dell, of which I told;
The roaring dell, o’erwooded, narrow, deep,
And only speckled by the mid-day sun;
Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock
Flings arching like a bridge;—that branchless ash,
Unsunn’d and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves
Ne’er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still,
Fann’d by the water-fall! and there my friends
Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds,
That all at once (a most fantastic sight!)
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
Of the blue clay-stone.
Now, my friends emerge
Beneath the wide wide Heaven—and view again
The many-steepled tract magnificent
Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles
Of purple shadow! Yes! they wander on
In gladness all; but thou, methinks, most glad,
My gentle-hearted Charles! for thou hast pined
And hunger’d after Nature, many a year,
In the great City pent, winning thy way
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun!
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb,
Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds!
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves!
And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my friend
Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
Less gross than bodily; and of such hues
As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes
Spirits perceive his presence.
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
As I myself were there! Nor in this bower,
This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark’d
Much that has sooth’d me. Pale beneath the blaze
Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch’d
Some broad and sunny leaf, and lov’d to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Dappling its sunshine! And that walnut-tree
Was richly ting’d, and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass
Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
Through the late twilight: and though now the bat
Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters,
Yet still the solitary humble-bee
Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
That Nature ne’er deserts the wise and pure;
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes
‘Tis well to be bereft of promis’d good,
That we may lift the soul, and contemplate
With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last rook
Beat its straight path along the dusky air
Homewards, I blest it! deeming its black wing
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light)
Had cross’d the mighty Orb’s dilated glory,
While thou stood’st gazing; or, when all was still,
Flew creeking o’er thy head, and had a charm
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom
No sound is dissonant which tells of Life.
—-SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE