The Incredible Leh / Ladakh experience – A travelogue by Ramesh Ranjan

Set in Himalayan mountain splendour, Ladakh is an enchanted land, which amid the global chaos of our new century, seems in control of its own destiny. The scenic splendour of the soaring mountains and pristine valleys, coupled with the vibrancy of its cultural life, makes Ladakh one of the last undiscovered destinations, an adventure to feed the soul and enrich the senses.

Leh the erstwhile capital of the kingdom of Ladakh is now a dream destination of many and the Mecca of adventure enthusiasts! Leh, one of the coldest deserts in the world is located at a distance of 434 Kms from Srinagar and 474 Kms from Manali (Himachal Pradesh).

Leh is an adventurer’s haven. We have around 100+ bikers (mostly Royal Enfield bikes – mostly driven solo an in some cases with pillion riders including some women). It’s also supposed to be a backpacker’s haven with numerous trekking trails, valleys, and picturesque lakes. Renowned as the land of monks and monasteries there is lots to see in this amazing piece of land.

Surely a must place to visit in one’s life.

We embarked on this 7N/8D trip organised by and were joined by another 3 families at Delhi. Here are some glimpses of our trip to LEH, probably one of the best places I have visited in my life so far (have been to aroun 46 countries so far) and an unforgettable experience of driving thru the Himalayas across snow-capped mountains, deserts, sand dunes, lakes, highest Pass, highest Airport, highest Lake, highest Motorable Road – truly a high point in my life.

Read on the Travelogue @ Leh Ladhak  by Ranjan

Significance of Lord Ganesha

“Remover of all obstacles,
Pranava Swaroopi,
Embodiment of wisdom,

Devata of Muladhara Chakra!
O Lord Vinayaka,
The bestower of happiness
Who has Modaka in hand!
O Elephant-headed Lord!
Salutations unto Thee.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha.”

Lord Ganesha is an embodiment of wisdom and bliss. He is the Lord of Brahmacharins. He is the foremost among Brahmacharins or celibates. He is the Lord who removes all obstacles on the path of the spiritual aspirant, and bestows upon him worldly as well as spiritual success. Hence He is called Vigna Vinayaka. His Bija Akshara (root syllable) is Gung, pronounced to rhyme with the English word “sung”. He is the Lord of harmony and peace.

Amongst Hindu Gods , Lord Ganesha enjoys a very very peculiar & unique position . He is to be worshipped and revered first . If that is not done , other rituals / worships will not be fruitful . This is the boon given to Lord Ganesha by Supreme Lord so let us rever at His holy feet for success , wealth & wisdom. That way also , His blessings are unique as money without discretion leads to disaster but Lord Ganesha makes the wealth enjoyable.

Though Lord Ganesha took incarnation as illustrious son of Lord Shiva-Parvati , He is there since times immemorial . Thus in Baalkand of Ramayana , we find worship of Lord Ganesha at the marriage of His Divine parents Shiva -Parvati i.e. even before He was born ! Doha 100 reads as muni anusasan Ganpatihi poojehu Sambhu Bhawani ,

kou suni sansay kare jani Sur anaadi jiyan jaani.

On this Happy Festival of Ganeshji , may the blessings of Sri Ganesha be upon us all ! May He remove all the obstacles that stand in your spiritual path! May He bestow on you all material prosperity as well as liberation.

Mushikavaahana modaka hastha,
Chaamara karna vilambitha sutra,
Vaamana rupa maheshwara putra,
Vighna vinaayaka paada namasthe

MEANING “O Lord Vinayaka! the remover of all obstacles, the son of Lord Shiva, with a form which is very short, with mouse as Thy vehicle, with sweet pudding in hand, with wide ears and long hanging trunk, I prostrate at Thy lotus-like Feet!”

The following story is narrated about His birth and how He came to have the head of an elephant :—

Once upon a time, the Goddess Gauri (consort of Lord Shiva), while bathing, created Ganesha as a pure white being out of the mud of Her Body and placed Him at the entrance of the house. She told Him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath. Lord Shiva Himself was returning home quite thirsty and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate. Shiva became angry and cut off Ganesha’s head as He thought Ganesha was an outsider.

When Gauri came to know of this she was sorely grieved. To console her grief, Shiva ordered His servants to cut off and bring to Him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. The servants went on their mission and found only an elephant in that position. The sacrifice was thus made and the elephant’s head was brought before Shiva. The Lord then joined the elephant’s head onto the body of Ganesha.

Lord Shiva made His son worthy of worship at the beginning of all undertakings, marriages, expeditions, studies, etc. He ordained that the annual worship of Ganesha should take place on the 4th day of the bright half of Bhadrapada.

Without the Grace of Sri Ganesha and His help nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without His support, Grace or blessing.

In his first lesson in the alphabet a Maharashtrian child is initiated into the Mantra of Lord Ganesha, Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah. Only then is the alphabet taught.

The following are some of the common Names of Lord Ganesha Dhoomraketu, Sumukha, Ekadantha, Gajakarnaka, Lambodara, Vignaraja, Ganadhyaksha, Phalachandra, Gajanana, Vinayaka, Vakratunda, Siddhivinayaka, Surpakarna, Heramba, Skandapurvaja, Kapila and Vigneshwara. He is also known by many as Maha-Ganapathi.

His Mantra is Om Gung Ganapathaye Namah. Spiritual aspirants who worship Ganesha as their tutelary Deity repeat this Mantra or Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah.

The devotees of Ganesha also do Japa of the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra. This is as follows ;–

Tat purushaaya vidmahe
Vakratundaaya dheemahi
Tanno dhanti prachodayaat.

Ganesha and His brother Lord Subramanya once had a dispute as to who was the elder of the two. The matter was referred to Lord Shiva for final decision. Shiva decided that whoever would make a tour of the whole world and come back first to the starting point had the right to be the elder. Subramanya flew off at once on his vehicle, the peacock, to make a circuit of the world. But the wise Ganesha went, in loving worshipfulness, around His divine parents and asked for the prize of His victory.

Lord Shiva said, “Beloved and wise Ganesha! But how can I give you the prize you did not go around the world?”

Ganesha replied, “No, but I have gone around my parents. My parents represent the entire manifested universe!”

Thus the dispute was settled in favour of Lord Ganesha, who was thereafter acknowledged as the elder of the two brothers. Mother Parvati also gave Him a fruit as a prize for this victory.

In the Ganapathi Upanishad, Ganesha is identified with the Supreme Self. The legends that are connected with Lord Ganesha are recorded in the Ganesha Khanda of the Brahma Vivartha Purana.

On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, meditate on the stories connected with Lord Ganesha early in the morning, during the Brahmamuhurta period. Then, after taking a bath, go to the temple and do the prayers of Lord Ganesha. Offer Him some coconut and sweet pudding. Pray with faith and devotion that He may remove all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path. Worship Him at home, too. You can get the assistance of a pundit. Have an image of Lord Ganesha in your house. Feel His Presence in it.

Actually , as warrior son and like His brother Kartikeya , Lord Ganesha also killed many demons .Ganeshpuran records this history in details . Most of the places currently fall in Maharashtra so we find celebration of annual Ganesha Chaturthi etc in Mumbai , other parts at a very large scale there. In schools, offices it’s the declared holiday there.

In South & North parts of India , Lord Ganesha is worshipped daily to ward off evils and bring success & glory to the Devotees. Now even Vaastu experts advise household to keep an image of Lord Ganesha at the entrance door for good luck and fortune. People leave for office / business after chanting one or two hymns in praise of Lord Ganesha. Following one is most popular —


Did you know ?

1 MOPED is the short term for ‘Motorized Pedaling’.

2. POP MUSIC is ‘Popular Music’ shortened.

3. BUS is the short term for ‘Omnibus’ that means for everybody.

4. FORTNIGHT comes from ‘Fourteen Nights’ (Two Weeks).

5. DRAWING ROOM was actually a ‘withdrawing room’ where people withdrew after Dinner. Later the prefix ‘with’ was dropped..

6. NEWS refers to information from Four directions N, E, W and S..

7. AG-MARK, which some products bear, stems from ‘Agricultural Marketing’.

8. TIPS come from ‘To Insure Prompt Service’. In olden days to get Prompt service from servants in an inn, travelers used to drop coins in a Box on which was written ‘To Insure Prompt Service’. This gave rise to the custom of Tips.

9. JEEP is a vehicle with unique Gear system. It was invented during World War II (1939-1945). It was named ‘General Purpose Vehicle (GP)’.GP was changed into JEEP later.

10. The name of all the continents end with the same letter that they start with.

11. The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

12. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history.
  • Spades – King David
  • Clubs – Alexander the Great,
  • Hearts – Charlemagne
  • Diamonds – Julius Caesar.

13. The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

India Shining

It was the best of times, It was the worst of times so goes the old cliche
in many a start of a movie

In a way, I feel that is exactly what we are living in

The best and the worst of times …

I don’t think any other generation has lived through so much
of changes occuring in their Lifetime and mindset and outlook
in such a short span of time and with such long strides

Come to think of it
30 years back, there was B/W TV with just one channel
(Remember this LOGO)

Today we can watch any channel from anywhere in the world
on the internet, while having a video chat simultaneously

To someone from that era (we ourselves actually ),
today’s times would be nothing less than a sci-fi scenario

20 years back, even divorce was taboo
Today, live in relationships are becoming passe
We are actually getting ready to be bored with it

20 years back happy and gay figured in chidren’s poems
as words denoting the mindset of happy innocent children
Today, … …. O Boy … Parents would want their
child to be happy but not GAY

Technology has made life so much comfortable
The Cell phone with the cheapest rates anywhere in the world
has connected indians like nothing else ….
If the Green revolution freed us from carrying a beggin bowl,
the telecom revolution erased distances in a flash ..

And RELIANCE, whatever their internal squabbles,
made the cell phone affordable to the local sabziwala …

From Guduvancherry (There is actually a place by that name in Tamilnadu)
to Mumbai, From Kashmir to Kanyakumari
INDIA started to talk and boy, India have a lot to say
Walk while you talk to SMSing the janta for their views
(even though it has created a controversy for the
students in college),
What an idea Sirji became the byeline
for all pathbreaking innovations

Computerisation removed the serpentine queues
allowing anyone with the knowledge of basic internet usage
to book their tickets online … Away with the agents … to draw cash whenever they want … Away with the cashier at the banks …

Opening the economy to globalisation brought Malls
to India and the consumer revolution began …
With no middleman to inflate the prices, India
now wore branded clothing and Brand India became
INDIA SHINING although it did nothing for the politico

The Common Man .. the man on the street aka R K Laxman’s
dhoti clad check coated Indian became the epitome of
“Saala Main to saab ban gaya” whether willingly or not
is a different issue (Don’t be a spoilsport now )

All of which could not be imagined even 10 years back ..

Ok, so what there is still corruption, the metro still tilted over in Delhi
due to shoddy work, there is the flu now and increased materialism

But, In the best of time or the worst,
From Global economic giant to Nuclear superpower
to IT hub to outsourcing of BPOs & KPOs

India is where the action NOW is……


Young Green Coconut Water can prevent H1N1

Pls take young green coconut water daily.

Former associate professor of ecology at Universiti Malaya has authored several books on complementary therapy called, ‘Ecological Healing System’.Dr Palaniappan said his 33 years of research had shown that high acidity in the body resulted in loss of immunity, thus making people more susceptible to viral diseases like Influenza A (H1N1).Hence, to prevent acidity, it was essential to consume alkaline food and drinks that could neutralise excess acid in the body.

Dr Palaniappan recommends coconut water, which is alkaline, and therefore could be used as a herbal medicine for the prevention of H1N1.For example, he said, those who felt feverish and developed a burning sensation while attending to a call of nature because of extreme acidity, could neutralise it by drinking coconut water, twice a day, for three days. He also recommended orange, lemon and pomelo which, despite containing citric acid, were very rich in potassium and therefore, would not disturb the body’s immunity.

According to Dr Palaniappan, excessive physical activity like running a marathon should be avoided as it produced acid due to excessive metabolic activity.Similarly, he said, keeping late nights without adequate sleep and working without proper rest could also increase the body’s acidity which in turn, lowered immunity and made the body vulnerable to viral attacks.Dr Palaniappan’ s blog: discusses the therapy in more detail.

Did you know ?

  1. Coca Cola was originally green.
  2. The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
  3. The name of all the continents ends with the same letter that they start with.
  4. The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.
  5. There are two credit cards for every person in the United States .
  6. TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
  7. Women blink nearly twice as much as men!
  8. You can’t kill yourself by holding your breath.
  9. It is impossible to lick your elbow.
  10. People say “Bless you” when you sneeze because when you Sneeze, your heart stops for a millisecond.
  11. It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky
  12. The “sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.
  13. If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to Suppress a sneeze; you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die.
  14. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents great king from history. “Spades” King David; “Clubs” Alexander the Great; ” Hearts” Charlemagne; “Diamonds” Julius Caesar.
  15. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987, 654,321
  16. If a statue of a warrior on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has a all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural
  17. What do bullet proof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers all have in common?
    Ans. All invented by women.
  18. Honey This is the only food that doesn’t spoil.
  19. A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.
  20. A snail can sleep for three years.
  21. All polar bears are left handed.
  22. American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class.
  23. Butterflies taste with their feet.
  24. Elephants are the only animals that can’t jump
  25. In the last 4000 years, no new animals have been domesticated
  26. On average, people fear spiders more than they do death
  27. Shakespeare invented the word ‘assassination’ and ‘bump’
  28. Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
  29. The ant always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.
  30. The electric chair was invented by a dentist.
  31. The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.
  32. Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months, two rats could have over million descendants.
  33. Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.
  34. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
  35. Most lipstick contains fish scales.
  36. Like fingerprints, everyone’s tounge print is different
  37. And finally 99% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow

History behind Independence

Independence Day Also called Swatantrata Divas (Hindi)

The countdown had started much earlier. It was on February 26, 1947, when the British Government made an important announcement of policy. It declared, its intention to quit India by June, 1948, and appointed Lord Mountbatten Viceroy of India to arrange for the transfer of authority from British to Indian hands. This momentous declaration had already evoked hearty enthusiasm all over India. Mountbatten assumed office on 24th March, 1947, and on 3rd June broadcast the famous declaration laying down the method by which the power will be transferred.

Read on …the History behind India’s Independence…

Gayatri Mahamantra

Here is “pratipadartha” correct meaning of Gayatri Mahamantra as per Madwa Tradition.

Om bhuh= full of auspicious qualitites
bhuvah= the creator
svah = the Lord of Lakshmi and full of bliss
tat = the well known and universally present
savitr = the creator, sustainer and destroyer
varenyam = the one fit for praise, full of bliss and full of knowledge
bargah = seated in Suryamandala, all round protector, the lifter from the cycle of births and deaths and the giver of moksha
devasya = full of blissful qualities
dimahi = we mediate
dhiyo yo na pracodayat = the one who guides or propels our intellect
dhiya = intellect
nah = of us
praccodayat = let be the preraka or the guide

Reference : Sadachara Sangraha Published by Sri Krishna Raghavendra Trust of T Nagar Chennai.

Stress Busters

Cultivate gratitude.
Carve out an hour a day for solitude.
Begin and end the day with prayer, meditation and reflection.
Keep it simple. Don’t over-schedule.
Strive for realistic deadlines.
Never make a promise you can’t keep.
Allow an extra half hour for everything you do.
Create quiet surroundings at home and at work.
Go to bed at nine o’clock twice a week.
Always carry something interesting to read.

Breathe.. deeply and often.
Move.. walk, dance, run, find a sport you enjoy.
Drink pure spring water. Lots of it.
Eat only when hungry.
Be instead of Do.

Set aside one day a week for rest and renewal.
Laugh more often.
Luxuriate your senses.
Always opt for comfort.
If you don’t love it, live without it.

Let Mother Nature nurture.
Don’t answer the telephone during dinner.
Stop trying to please everybody.
Start pleasing yourself.
Stay away from negative people.

Don’t squander precious resources: time, creative energy, emotion.
Nurture friendships.
Don’t be afraid of your passion.
Approach problems as challenges.
Honor your aspirations.

Set achievable goals.
Surrender expectations.
Savor beauty.
Create boundaries.
For every “yes”, let there be a “no”.

Don’t worry, be happy.
Remember, happiness is a living emotion.
Exchange security for serenity.
Care for your soul.
Cherish your dreams.

Express love every day.
Search for your authentic self.

~Author Unknown~

“Beat It” – Michael Jackson will ever remain the King of Pop

“Beat it”, Michael Jackson will remain the King of Pop for ever. No matter what ever misdeeds he would have done, he will always be remembered as the King of Pop. No one has dominated world music like him. He cut across all nations, all religions, all sexes and all ages and won the hearts of millions world over. His ever green songs Beat It, Billy Jean King, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, We are the world still pound many a discs, restaurants and bars.
Not only was the King of Pop, he was the Master on the Dance floor. Who can ever forget the Moon walk and the twist dancing. Yes the scandals did hurt him and his image. His greatest enemy was himself. Its a pity that he had to die young and probably due to overzealous producers who wanted him back on stage to earn some big bucks, when he was not fully prepared physically and mentally. Fate has cruelly robbed a very talented artist from this world. But his name will always be etched in the Music & Dance Hall of fame.

Beat it…… he may be a Bad boy, but he lived a Dangerous, Thrilling life.