Enjoy light reading

 

 

  • Amazing Technology – Mega City.

     

      CLICK & ENJOY  THE MEGA CITY

    (contributed by: user Kumar on 14.6.2011)

     

  • Birth of Lord Krishna.

    Birth of Lord Krishna

    Birth

    Traditional belief based on scriptural details and astrological calculations gives the date of Krishna’s birth, known as Janmashtami, as 18 July 3228 BCE and departed on 3102 BCE. Krishna belonged to the Vrishni clan of Yadavas from Mathura, and was the eighth son born to the princess Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva. Mathura was the capital of the Yadavas, to which Krishna’s parents Vasudeva and Devaki belonged. The king Kansa, Devaki’s brother, had ascended the throne by imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. Afraid of a prophecy that predicted his death at the hands of Devaki’s eighth son, Kansa had the couple locked into a prison cell. After Kansa killed the first six children, and Devaki’s apparent miscarriage of the seventh (which was actually a secret transfer of the infant to Rohini as Balarama), Krishna was born.

    Since Vasudeva believed Krishna’s life was in danger, Krishna was secretly taken out of the prison cell to be raised by his foster parents, Yasoda  and Nanda, in Gokula. Two of his other siblings also survived, Balarama (Devaki’s seventh child, transferred to the womb of Rohini, Vasudeva’s first wife) and Subhadra (daughter of Vasudeva and Rohini, born much later than Balarama and Krishna). According to Bhagavata Purana it is believed that Krishna was born without a sexual union, by “mental transmission” from the mind of Vasudeva into the womb of Devaki. Hindus believe that in that time, this type of union was possible for achieved beings. In one story, Kansa sent an ogress named Putana to poison baby Krishna with her breast milk. She approached him and suckled him. Instead of her poisoning him, he sucked the life out of her, revealing her true form.

    Childhood and youth

    Krishna holding Govardhan hill as depected in Pahari painting

     

    Nanda was the head of a community of cow-herders, and he settled in Vrindavana. The stories of Krishna’s childhood and youth tell how he became a cow herder, his mischievous pranks as Makhan Chor (butter thief), his foiling of attempts to take his life, and his role as a protector of the people of Vrindavana.

    Krishna is said to have killed the demons like Putana, sent by Kansa for Krishna’s life. He tamed the serpent Kāliyā, who previously poisoned the waters of Yamuna river, thus leading to the death of the cowherds. In Hindu art, Krishna is often depicted dancing on the multi-hooded Kāliyā.

    Krishna is believed to have lifted the Govardhana hill and taught Indra, the king of the devas and rain, a lesson to protect native people of Vrindavana from persecution by Indra and prevent the devastation of the pasture land of Govardhan. Indra had too much pride and was angry when Lord Krishna advised the people of Vrindavana to take care of their animals and their environment that provide them with all their necessities, instead of worshipping Indra annually by spending their resources. In the view of some, the spiritual movement started by Lord Krishna had something in it which went against the orthodox forms of worship of the Vedic gods such as Indra. In other versions,Lord Krishna sensed that the rain came from a nearby hill, and advised that the people worshiped the hill instead of Indra. This made Indra furious, so he punished them by sending out a great storm. Lord Krishna then lifted the hill and held it over the people like an umbrella.

    The stories of his play with the gopis (milkmaids) of Vrindavana, especially Radha (daughter of Vrishbhanu, one of the original residents of Vrindavan) became known as the Rasa lila and were romanticised in the poetry of Jayadeva, author of the Gita Govinda. These became important as part of the development of the Krishna bhakti traditions worshiping Radha Krishna.

    The Prince

     

    Krishna with his two principal queens. (From left) Rukmini, Krishna, Satyabhama and his vahana Garuda.

     

    On his return to Mathura as a young man, Krishna overthrew and killed his maternal uncle, Kansa, after avoiding several assassination attempts from Kansa’s followers. He reinstated Kansa’s father, Ugrasena, as the king of the Yadavas and became a leading prince at the court. During this period, he became a friend of Arjuna and the other Pandava princes of the Kuru kingdom, who were his cousins. Later, he took his Yadava subjects to the city of Dwaraka (in modern Gujarat) and established his own kingdom there.

    Krishna married Rukmini, the Vidarbha princess, by abducting her,at her request, from her proposed wedding with Shishupala. Krishna subsequently married 16,100 maidens who were held captive by demon Narakasura, to save their honour. of which eight were chief—collectively called the Ashta Bharya—including Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravrinda, Nagnajiti, Bhadra and Lakshana. Krishna killed the demon and released them all. According to strict social custom of the time, all of the captive women were degraded, and would be unable to marry, as they had been under the Narakasura’s control. However Krishna married them to reinstate their status in the society. This wedding with 16,100 abandoned daughters was more of a mass women rehabilitation. In Vaishnava traditions, Krishna’s wives are believed to be forms of the goddess Lakshmi—consort of Vishnu, or special souls who attained this qualification after many lifetimes of austerity, while his queen Satyabhama, is an expansion of Radha.

    When Yudhisthira was assuming the title of emperor, he had invited all the great kings to the ceremony and while paying his respects to them, he started with Krishna because he considered Krishna to be the greatest of them all. While it was a unanimous feeling amongst most present at the ceremony that Krishna should get the first honours, his cousin Shishupala felt otherwise and started berating Krishna. Due to a vow given to Shishupal’s mother, Krishna forgave a hundred verbal abuses by Shishupal, and upon the one hundred and first, he assumed his Virat (universal) form and killed Shishupal with his Chakra. It is said that the blind king Dhritarashtra also obtained divine vision during this time to be able to see the Lord’s form. Essentially, Shishupal and Dantavakra were both re-incarnations of Lord Vishnu’s gate-keepers Jaya and Vijaya, who were cursed to be born on Earth, to be delivered by the Lord back to Heaven.

    Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad Gita

     

     

     

    Arjuna Wijaya statue in Central Jakarta depicting Krishna and Arjuna riding a chariot.

     

    Once battle seemed inevitable, Krishna offered both sides the opportunity to choose between having either his army called narayani sena or himself alone, but on the condition that he personally would not raise any weapon. Arjuna, on behalf of the Pandavas, chose to have Krishna on their side, and Duryodhana, Kaurava prince, chose Krishna’s army. At the time of the great battle, Krishna acted as Arjuna’s charioteer, since this position did not require the wielding of weapons.

    Upon arrival at the battlefield, and seeing that the enemies are his family, his grandfather, his cousins and loved ones, Arjuna becomes doubtful about fight. He lost all his hopes and put down his Gandiv(Arjuna’s bow). Krishna then advises him about the battle, with the conversation soon extending into a discourse which was later compiled as the Bhagavad Gita.

     

    Krishna displays his Vishvarupa (Universal Form) to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

     

    Krishna had a profound effect on the Mahabharata war and its consequences. He considered the Kurukshetra war as a last resort by voluntarily making himself as a messenger in order to establish peace between the Pandavas and Kauravas. But, once these peace negotiations failed and was embarked into the war, then he became a ruthless strategist. During the war, upon becoming angry with Arjun for not fighting in true spirit against his ancestors, Krishna once picked up a carriage wheel and converted it to a Chakra (discus) to challenge Bhishma when the latter injured him. Upon seeing this, Bhishma dropped his weapons and asked Krishna to kill him. However, Arjuna apologized to Krishna, promising that he would fight with full dedication hereafter, and the battle continued. Krishna had directed Yudhisthira and Arjuna to return to Bhishma the boon of “victory” which he had given to Yudhisthira before the war commenced, since he himself was standing in their way to victory. Bhishma understood the message and told them the means through which he would drop his weapons—which was if a woman entered the battlefield. Next day, upon Krishna’s directions, Shikhandi (Amba reborn) accompanied Arjuna to the battlefield and thus, Bhishma laid down his arms. This was a decisive moment in the war because Bhishma was the chief commander of the Kaurava army and the most formidable warrior on the battlefield. Krishna aided Arjuna in killing Jayadratha, who had held the other four Pandava brothers at bay while Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu entered Drona’s Chakravyuha formation—an effort in which he got killed by the simultaneous attack of eight Kaurava warriors. Krishna also caused the downfall of Drona, when he signalled Bhima to kill an elephant called Ashwatthama, the namesake of Drona’s son. Pandavas started shouting that Ashwatthama was dead but Drona refused to believe them saying he would believe it only if he heard it from Yudhisthira. Krishna knew that Yudhisthira would never tell a lie, so he devised a clever ploy so that Yudhisthira wouldn’t lie and at the same time Drona would be convinced of his son’s death. On asked by Drona, Yudhisthira proclaimed

    Ashwathama Hatahath, naro va Kunjaro va

    i.e. Ashwathama had died but he was nor sure whether it was a Drona’s son or an elephant. But as soon as Yudhisthira had uttered the first line, Pandava army on Krishna’s direction broke into celebration with drums and conchs, in the din of which Drona could not hear the second part of the Yudhisthira’s declaration and assumed that his son indeed was dead. Overcome with grief he laid down his arms, and on Krishna’s instruction Dhrishtadyumna beheaded Drona.

    When Arjuna was fighting Karna, the latter’s chariot’s wheels sank into the ground. While Karna was trying to take out the chariot from the grip of the Earth, Krishna reminded Arjuna how Karna and the other Kauravas had broken all rules of battle while simultaneously attacking and killing Abhimanyu, and he convinced Arjuna to do the same in revenge in order to kill Karna. During the final stage of the war, when Duryodhana was going to meet his mother Gandhari for taking her blessings which would convert all parts of his body on which her sight falls to steel, Krishna tricks him to wearing banana leaves to hide his groin. When Duryodhana meets Gandhari, her vision and blessings fall on his entire body except his groin and thighs, and she becomes unhappy about it because she was not able to convert his entire body to steel. When Duryodhana was in a mace-fight with Bhima, Bhima’s blows had no effect on Duryodhana. Upon this, Krishna reminded Bhima of his vow to kill Duryodhana by hitting him on the thigh, and Bhima did the same to win the war despite it being against the rules of mace-fight (since Duryodhana had himself broken Dharma in all his past acts). Thus, Krishna’s unparalleled strategy helped the Pandavas win the Mahabharata war by bringing the downfall of all the chief Kaurava warriors, without lifting any weapon. He also brought back to life Arjuna’s grandson Parikshit, who had been attacked by a Brahmastra weapon from Ashwatthama while he was in his mother’s womb. Parikshit became the Pandavas’ successor.

    Family

    Krishna in Balinese Wayang form

    Temple car carving of Krishna playing flute with Radha , Suchindram , Tamil Nadu

     

    Krishna had a total of 16,108 wives, out of which eight were his princely wives and 16,100 were rescued from Narakasura, who had forcibly kept them in his harem, but all of them are considered to be incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi.

    The first son of Queen Rukmini was Pradyumna, and also born of her were Charudeshna, Sudeshna and the powerful Charudeha, along with Sucharu, Chharugupta, Bhadracaru, Charuchandra, Vicaru and Caru, the tenth. Pradyumna fathered the greatly powerful Aniruddha in the womb of Rukmavati, the daughter of Rukmi. This took place while they were living in the city of Bhojakata.

    The ten sons of Satyabhama were Bhanu, Subhanu, Svarbhanu, Prabhanu, Bhanuman, Chandrabhanu, Brihadbhanu, Atibhanu (the eighth), Sribhanu and Pratibhanu.

    Samba, Sumitra, Purujit, Satajit, Sahasrajit, Vijaya, Citraketu, Vasuman, Dravida and Kratu were the sons of Jambavati. These ten, headed by Samba, were their father’s favorites.

    The sons of Nagnajiti were Vira, Candra, Asvasena, Citragu, Vegavan, Vrisha, Ama, Sanku, Vasu and the opulent Kunti.

    Sruta, Kavi, Vrisha, Vira, Subahu, Bhadra, Santi, Darsa and Purnamasa were sons of Kalindi. Her youngest son was Somaka.

    Madra’s sons were Praghosha, Gatravan, Simha, Bala, Prabala, Urdhaga, Mahasakti, Saha, Oja and Aparajita.

    Mitravinda’s sons were Vrika, Harsha, Anila, Gridhra, Vardhana, Unnada, Mahamsa, Pavana, Vahni and Kshudhi.

    Sangramajit, Brihatsena, Sura, Praharana, Arijith, Jaya and Subhadra were the sons of Bhadra, together with Vama, Ayur and Satyaka.

    Diptiman, Tamratapta and others were the sons of Lord Krishna and Rohini.

    Later life

    At a festival, a fight broke out between the Yadavas who exterminated each other. His elder brother Balarama then gave up his body using Yoga. Krishna retired into the forest and sat under a tree in meditation. While the Mahabharata narrates the story that a hunter named Jara mistook his partly visible left foot for a deer and shot an arrow wounding him mortally; while Krishna’s soul ascended to heaven, his mortal body was cremated by Arjuna.

    According to Puranic sources, Krishna’s disappearance marks the end of Dvapara Yuga and the start of Kali Yuga, which is dated to February 17/18, 3102 BCE. Vaishnava teachers such as Ramanujacharya and Gaudiya Vaishnavas held the view that the body of Krishna is completely spiritual and never decays as this appears to be the perspective of the Bhagavata Purana. Krishna never appears to grow old or age at all in the historical depictions of the Puranas despite passing of several decades, but there are grounds for a debate whether this indicates that he has no material body, since battles and other descriptions of the Mahabhārata epic show clear indications that he seems to be subject to the limitations of nature. While battles apparently seem to indicate limitations, Mahabharatha also shows in many places where Krishna is not subject to any limitations as through episodes Duryodhana trying to arrest Krishna where his body burst into fire showing all creation within him. Krishna is also explicitly described as without deterioration elsewhere

     

     

    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna)

     

     

  • Rethinking the Mother of All Exams

     

     Rethinking the Mother of All Exams

     

    NEW DELHI — For more than half a century, one aptitude test has determined the self-esteem, future and even the spouses of generations of Indian adolescents, chiefly boys. The Joint Entrance Exam of the Indian Institutes of Technology is a brooding cultural force that is visible across the nation, on signboards and newspaper advertisements, as “I.I.T.-J.E.E.,” the first abbreviation many Indian children learn. It is an ominous inevitability for millions of boys, a fate decided in their cradles, a certainty like death. Last year nearly half a million candidates took the test — one of the toughest exams in the world — to compete for about 5,000 seats in the best of the I.I.T.’s and nearly as many seats in the less sought-after institutes. Coaching for the J.E.E. is an industry valued at billions of rupees. There is so much demand that some coaching classes have their own entrance exams. But the J.E.E. is now on its way out.

    It is not the only engineering entrance exam in India. Lower down the rungs, there are other colleges, which require other exams to qualify. Competition is fierce all the way. Disturbed by the number of entrance exams, the Human Resource Development Ministry has decided to devise a common exam that would govern the admission process of several engineering institutes, including the famed I.I.T.’s. The nature of the new aptitude test, which is expected to debut in 2014, would be different from the J.E.E. The selection procedure, too, would be very different from what the I.I.T.’s use today. So, the type of person who enters the I.I.T.’s in the future may be very different. Opinion is divided on whether the new I.I.T. graduate will be better or worse than current alumni.

    The I.I.T.’s are nothing without the national perception of the “IITian.” And the perception is that he is primarily a he. And that he must be very smart. As some Indians point out with a hint of pride, in Scott Adams’s “Dilbert” comic strip, the brilliant Asok, who died on a Moon mission and reincarnated as part man and part Snickers bar, is from I.I.T. The fame of the institutes is an enduring relic from the years when socialism impoverished India and securing an elite engineering degree became the most elegant way for smart Indians to escape to America.

    The I.I.T.’s were never great centers of learning by world standards.

    Rather, they were museums that collected young Indians with excellent quantitative abilities. In the 1980s and ’90s, the migration of Indian scientific talent to the United States, deplored here as a “brain drain,” became a subject of intense debates in schools and colleges. Once, during the convocation ceremony at I.I.T.-Madras, the chief speaker received a standing ovation when he declared, “Brain drain is better than brain in the drain.” His words traveled with the speed of a rumor across Madras, also known as Chennai, through homes and schools, evoking laughter and applause, and delivering a bleak reminder to young boys that their lives depended on passing the J.E.E.

    In Madras in the ’80s, many smart girls were not allowed by their families to take the J.E.E. for fear that it would then be hard to get them married. One girl I knew who cleared the exam was not allowed by her parents to attend the institute, probably for the same reason. But the boys who made it to the I.I.T.’s became the heroes of their neighborhoods. Other boys hated them, and pretty girls wanted to marry them. The adulation would follow them until the end of their time.

    The glamour of the I.I.T.’s has always inspired parents to force their children to take the J.E.E. Increasingly, those parents are from modest educational and financial backgrounds. A few years ago, in Mumbai, I walked into a J.E.E. coaching class that conducted its own entrance exam to filter out 9 out of 10 applicants. An orientation program for parents was under way. A man who could not read English was sitting with brochures and study materials. He was disturbed that I was carrying a red book while he had not been given any such book. I told him that the book I was holding was a novel called “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

    “Is it a guide?” he asked.

    For a long time, the IITians were from urban, literate middle-class families, and it was inevitable that their success would inspire small-town Indians to prepare for the mother of all entrance exams.

    Coaching colleges essentially dispensed with formal schooling and focused on the J.E.E. alone. As they became increasingly successful, it became evident that the J.E.E. was no longer an aptitude test but a giant goal that could be achieved through years of brute hard work and coaching.

    I.I.T. professors and alumni have been mourning the falling quality of the students. Last October, Narayana Murthy, the co-founder of Infosys and an I.I.T. alumnus, told an audience in New York that the new IITians were substandard. “They somehow get through the Joint Entrance Examination. But their performance in I.I.T.’s, at jobs or when they come for higher education in institutes in the U.S. is not as good as it used to be.”

    It is improbable that the I.I.T.’s will ever regain their old glory. The circumstances of the nation have changed, and the smartest Indians do not need an engineering degree to find a place in the world or to make a decent living. Also, the government has not invested enough in the I.I.T.’s, and the most talented scientific minds have the option to enroll in genuinely outstanding centers of learning in the West instead of being stuck in a place that has derived its prestige largely from the fact that only one in 50 cracks its entrance exam.

    Manu Joseph is editor of the Indian newsweekly Open and author of the novel “Serious Men.”

     

     

     

    (source:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/world/asia/02iht-letter02.html?scp=3&sq=india&st=nyt)

  • Apology to all lawyers.

     

     Apology to all lawyers

    And you think lawyers don’t have hearts?

     

    The United Way realized that it had never received a donation from the city’s most successful lawyer. So a United Way volunteer paid the lawyer a visit in his lavish office. The volunteer opened the meeting by saying, ‘Our research shows that even though your annual income is over two million dollars, you don’t give a penny to charity. Wouldn’t you like to give something back to your community through the United Way?’.

    The lawyer thinks for a minute and says, ‘First, did your research also show you that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and she has huge medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay?’

    Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbles, ‘Uh… no, I didn’t know that.’

    ‘Secondly,’ says the lawyer, ‘ did it show that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children?”

    The stricken United Way rep begins to stammer an apology, but is cut off again.

    ‘Thirdly, did your research also show you that my sister’s husband died in a dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children, one of whom is disabled and another that has learning disabilities requiring an array of private tutors?’

    The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, says, ‘I’m so sorry. I had no idea.’

    And the lawyer says, ‘So, if I didn’t give any money to them, what makes you think I’d give any to you?

    (contributed by : Samy Narayana on 15.09.2012)
  • Keep Walking….

    Ever wondered why people who walked always felt better?

    Here is the answer…

    Keep walking………..& what is the medical explanation ?

    Keep Walking….. Because…

    The Organs of your body have their sensory touches at the bottom of your foot.

    If you massage these points you will find relief from aches and pains as you can see the heart is on the left foot.

    Typically they are shown as points and arrows to show which organ it connects to.

    It is indeed correct since the nerves connected to these organs terminate here.

    This is covered in great details in Acu-pressure studies.

    God created our body so well that He thought of even this.

    HE made us walk so that we will always be pressing these pressure points and thus keeping these organs activated at all times.

     

     

     

    (contributed by :  Amr on 09.08.2012)

  • Caller.

     

     Caller

    Caller: Hello, can I speak to Annie Wan?
    Operator: Yes, you can speak to me.

    Caller     : No, I want to speak to Annie Wan!
    Operator: You are talking to someone! Who is this?

    Caller     : I’m Sum Wan ..And I need to talk to Annie Wan! It’s urgent.
    Operator: I know u are someone and u want to talk to anyone. But what’s this urgent matter about?

    Caller     : Well just tell my sister Annie Wan that our brother, Noe Wan was involved in an accident. Noe Wan got injured and now Noe Wan is being sent to the hospital. Right now,

    Avery Wan is on his way to the hospital.

    Operator: Look if no one was injured and no one was sent to the hospital from the accident that isn’t an urgent matter. You may find this hilarious, but I don’t have time for this!

    Caller     : You are so rude! Who are you?

    Operator: I’m Saw Lee.

    Caller     : Yes! You should be sorry. Now give me your name!!

     

  • Aging Gracefully.

     

     Aging Gracefully

     

    Poem by –

    *The Mirror* (Edmund Burke 1729-1797, Irish Philosopher)
    I look in the mirror
    And what do I see
    A strange looking person
    That cannot be me.

    For, I am much younger
    And not nearly so fat
    As that face in the mirror
    I am looking at.

    Oh, where are the mirrors
    That I used to know
    Like the ones which were
    Made thirty years ago

    Now all things have changed
    And I’m sure you’ll agree
    Mirrors are not as good
    As they used to be.

    So never be concerned,
    If wrinkles/ extra flab appear
    For one thing I’ve learned
    Which is very clear,

    Should your complexion
    Be less than perfection,
    It is really the mirror
    That needs correction.

     




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