Anuradha nayar

Asatoma sadgamaya
Tamasoma jyothirgamaya
Mrithyoma amrithamgamaya

This is the true prayer—the seeker’s admission of his sense of limitedness and his heartfelt cry for assistance in transcendence. It is not a prayer for the things of the world. It is not a pray for food, shelter, health, partnership, riches, success, fame, glory or even for heaven. One who recites this mantra should realize that such things are full of holes, soaked in pain and, even in abundance, will forever leave him wanting. It should be in this full understanding that one should turn to this prayer.

The essence of each of this mantra is: “O, Guru, help me free myself from my sundry misunderstandings regarding myself, the universe and God and bless me with true knowledge.


Now what exactly is true knowledge?

Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya—means “Lead me from darkness to light.” When the Vedas refer to darkness and light, they mean ignorance and knowledge, respectfully.

This is so because ignorance, like darkness, obscures true understanding. And in the same way that the only remedy for darkness is light, the only remedy for ignorance is knowledge. The knowledge spoken of here is again the knowledge of one’s true nature. I think the ultimate knowledge is the knowledge of oneself, the true knowledge of oneself with one’s surroundings, one’s knowledge from one’s own true and unprejudiced observations etc. The first step towards knowkedge is the understanding that Knowledge is different from Information.

As we are transitioning from the information age to the knowledge age, we also have to start thinking about the transition in to knowledge age and ask ourselves” Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

Difference between Knowledge and Information

The human mind’s content is based on the kinds of things that one interacts with on a daily basis. Many a time people perceive things based on either what they have seen, experienced, heard, read, learned or inferred after some experimentation.

These perceptions are then categorized in the mind as data, information, knowledge, understanding or wisdom. Unlike wisdom information is as a result of what the brain has recorded in the past.

.All perceived knowledge or information derives from human experience and/or human reason. We may attempt to accumulate this perceived knowledge or information through pragmatism, coherence, correspondence, etc, but absolute knowledge can never be attained with this tools. We, as humans find it difficult to distinguish our perceived knowledge from absolute knowledge. Our knowledge fails to transcend into the realm of the absolute. Because information we acquire is relative and often conditional, it can not exceed mere conjecture.

Information being practical knowledge  is relative and not absolute.

 True knowledge is not relative and is absolute.

Information of course is needed for our day to day existence and for exist in this practical world. But we should build up our information on the strong foundation  of true knowledge. Without that strong foundation our construction of information can be shaky which will again lead to prejudices and preconceived notions. These

prejudices and notions need not be absolutely true. In my opinion this will make the world a pandemonium of evils the fruits of which we are already bearing.

But the strength of the strong knowledge as the foundation for information will help us to create a generation of optimistic, practical, enthusiastic to face the life individuals who can call a spade a spade. Knowledge reflects the understanding of Universal Truths or basic laws or patterns. Knowledge is based on values, meaning systems and understanding unpredictability and uncertainty are parts of life. This knowledge itself can strengthen the minds of our youngsters and which inturn will bring down the rate of suicides and terroristic attitudes injected in them through the injection of wrong information from their surroundings.

O N V Kurup Sir

The following poem may not be the best elegy, dirge and lament of all time. But it

comes from the heart, not of an individual but the lament from the heart of a society.


You say

He is dead !

He left us!

He passed away!

But …

At the rising sun and at its going down; he is there
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; he is there
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; he is there
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; he is there
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn; he is there
At the beginning of the year and when it ends; he is there

Still you say

He is dead ?

He left us ?

He passed away ?


Is not dead

Death is nothing at all.

It does not count.

Has only slipped away into his world of fantasy

Nothing has happened.


കാലങ്ങൾ മുന്നേ നീ രചിച്ചോരു,
ഭൂമി തൻ ചരമഗീതം പോൽ,
കാലാതീതമാം ഒരു പേർ
ഈ നാടും രചിച്ചിടുന്നു.

നിലച്ചീടുമീ ഹൃദയ താളം,
ഒരു നവ മഹാ കാവ്യമായ്,
മലയാള ഭാഷ തൻ മാറിൽ,
മയങ്ങട്ടെ സ്നേഹാദരങ്ങളാൽ

READING IS FUN (once you make it fun for them)

Reading is not just about books, it’s about having fun in all kinds of places—places unimaginable. It is about how to  spark the imagination of a child, how art and culture and related places can positively impact your child’s reading skills.

The first step to reading is to choose the right book.

Selecting something to read can be emotional. All of us have read books that leave us breathless and in a state of trance. But for kids, that feeling is escalated, because selecting the right book is a declaration of independence as a reader and a commitment to a new journey. These books should foster their imagination, expand their understanding of the world, empower and comfort them and should fuel start a lifelong love of reading.

Choosing a child’s book is a match-making process because not all children will love the same books. Choice of books changes with the child’s growth milestones.

Toddlers and babies are attracted by brightly coloured pictures of simple objects. They like to listen more and enjoy rhythmic and rhymic  reading mainly by mothers.

For the next age group choose a book that you think you will enjoy. Put yourself in their place, think and imagine from their mindset.

There are some more tips which we can use to initiate our little ones in to the wonderful world of books. We will deal with all of them one by one in the other issues.


Anuradha Nayar

The kitchen can be a fascinating place for young kids. They see grown-ups working briskly in there, watch the steam rise from pots on the stove, and smell what’s on the menu that night. Teaching your kids how to cook will not only help equip them for a healthier, simpler life once they leave home – but it’s actually a really great way to help them learn. Kids who can cook develop confidence and self-assurance and a greater understanding of the world in a range of ways. There’s nothing like a sense of achievement to improve self-esteem. Cooking is a great way to boost children’s confidence as the results are quick – and there for the whole family to enjoy. It’s surprising how a fussy kid will try a new food when it’s something he’s cooked himself. Give your child the option of two different veggies to include with dinner, find a recipe and let him help cut and cook up the vegetable. Cooking helps children understand why we eat the foods we do – what foods go well together, and what we need to include for a balanced meal.


Children learn by touching, tasting, seeing, feeling and listening. Cooking activities are ideal for children because all their senses are stimulated by this experience. When a child’s senses are engaged as they are during cooking experiences, learning becomes more meaningful and memorable. Through experience with food children as young as three years old can successfully learn the concept of eating variety of foods.

Cooking experiences also build the child’s knowledge and skills in science, math, reading and communication. Cooking can be thought of as science experiences that a child can eat.  When they are with us in the kitchen and cooking, they observe the changes in food ingredients. The touch of food makes them learn about temperature differences as hot and cold. They understand what is floating, sinking, dissolving melting and freezing. During cooking experience, children learn math skills such as counting and following instructions. References to simple concepts about quantity and conversations about colour, texture, shape and sizes frequently occur which make the children aware of these concepts. Cooking also involves reading and communicating. Children vocabulary is enriched as they learn new terms in recipies such as stir, blend, slice, shred and freeze.

Food nourishes our bodies, provide comfort and can symbolise love and security. When children help in the preparation of a meal, they feel they are making an important contribution to the adult world. This fills them with a sense of pride, personal satisfaction and self confidence. When a child is introduced to cooking and encouraged to cook we are telling him that” You are a big help”  “ you can do this”

and “You are important”. These statements are undoubtedly the laying stones for their immense self confidence. Let us all start boosting their confidence atleast in this way.

Remember to step back and let them do things by themselves– after showing them the safest way to do everything of course!

Omelette Wrap
Eggs                                    2
Cheese slices                           2
Chopped onions                      ½ cup
Chopped green chillies              ½ cup
Chopped tomato                      ½ cup
Chopped coriander leaves            ½ cup
Chopped carrot and cabbage          ½ cup
Boiled and mashed Potatoes          ½ cup
Potato chips powdered to coarse grains
Sweet chilly sauce
Soya sauce
Salt to taste

Break the eggs and mix it with 3 spoons chopped onions, 3 spoons chopped tomato,  3 spoons  chopped carrot and cabbage, 1 spoon chopped green chillies, 1 spoon chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste. Make it in to a big omelette. 

Mix the rest of the chopped veggies with little salt, a small spoon soya sauce and a small spoon sweet chilly sauce. Use the chillies according to you taste.
Mix the mashed potatoes with little salt and a pinch of sugar. You should be careful in the use of salt as the omelette, the veggies and the sauces have salt in them.

Keep the omlette on an aluminium foil.
Spread the cheese slices on it.
Over it spread the mashed potatoes.
Then spread the mixed veggies.
Again spread the mashed potatoes on it.
Then sprinkle a considerable amount of powdered potato chips on it. Now roll the aluminium foil. Your omelette wrap is ready.








“Katha Kahe So Kathak”

A dance form from North India, Kathak has gained immense popularity for its sparkling footwork, fast whirling movements and subtle abhinaya or mimetic dance.

Kathak is said to be derived from the word Katha, meaning “the art of storytelling” and the word Kathakar “the story teller”. There is a popular saying in Hindi saying “Katha Kahe So Kathak”, one who tells a story is a Kathak). It appears that in ancient times, a class of professional story tellers recited the epics and mythological stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana with an added element of Abhinaya(acting). While reciting they, danced and acted. The art form was handed down from one generation to another in a hereditary manner as an oral tradition.

Later the Mughals banned this art form from being performed in temples and were made to perform in royal courts for sheer entertainment. The kathakars had to change with history and the royal orders and it was there that they developed a style of pure entertainment for the emperors.  Medieval traditions imparted Kathak a distinct Hindu-Muslim texture. Thus, with the passage of time Kathak went on changing its form and character. This change was also reflected in the dress of Kathak dance.

During the nineteenth century Kathak enjoyed a revival and gained prominence among the kings and zamindars (feudal lords) not only as a form of entertainment but also as a classical art form. Slowly and gradually Gharanas or schools of Kathak emerged. The Jaipur Gharana of Kathak emphasized technical mastery of pure dance. In the court of Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Oudh (a student of Kathak), Kathak dance emphasized dramatic and sensuous expression and developed into a distinct style called the Lucknow Gharana.

Kathak dances are performed straight-legged and the ankle bells worn by the dancers are skillfully controlled. In Kathak dance the emphasis is more on footwork as against hasta mudras or hand formations in Bharatnatyam dance. Kathak dance can be performed by both men and women. A Kathak dancer is not required strictly to stick to fixed steps and stages in. He or she can change the sequence of steps to suit his or her skill and style of dancing. Modern exponents of Kathak dance are Birju Maharaj and Uma Sharma.

Bharatanatyam—A curtainraiser

Bharatanatyam is one of the most popular classical and traditional dances of India, originating from Balasaraswati which is nothing but a diversification of Natya Yoga. Its history dates back to almost 2000 years. The origin of Bharatnatyam is in Thanjavoor of Tamil Nadu inspired by the sculptures of the ancient temple of Chidambaram. Bharatanatyam brings forth into the practice the spiritual semblance through synchronized physical and emotional body movements.

The alternative name of Bharatnatayam is Daasiyattam. Earlier, Devdasis performed the natya in the ancient temple. The Devdasis were women who lived their life as dancers and worship to god by paying obeisance through their dance. The traditional form passed from one generation of Devdasis to another, generation by generation. As the dance form entered into the royal courts, the dancers were soon begin to be called as Rajanartakis, who had the expertise in perform the royal courts.

Bharatanatyam is  a dance form which makes use of the combination of Bhava, Raga, Tala and Natya. Its purpose is not just entertainment or seeking pleasure but an embodiment of several cosmic relationships and expressions emanating from all the seven worlds (according to Hindu mythology). The dance is pristine and has immense knowledge immersed in it but the most interesting fact being there is no barrier for learning this fabulous art form. Age, knowledge or gender will never stand in your way to learning if you have the real passion.

Jyothirgamaya salutes Ashraya and the entire team

Since its inception in 1999, Ashraya has been relentless in the pursuit of welfare of specially gifted girl children. The organisation has been instrumental in rehabilitating empowering and educating these children. This “Innovative Conceptualization of Ideas in Social work” award has been presented to Mr Venugopalan Nair and the entire team at Ashraya, honouring their efforts for the cause. Jyothirgamaya salutes the endeavour and spirit of everyone associated wth Ashraya.


അകലുന്ന ചിറകുകൾ…..

#‎APJAbdulKalam‬…. You’ll live in the heart of ‪#‎Indians‬

അഗ്നിയാളുന്നോരിരു ചിറകുകൾ,
എന്നേക്കുമായ് അടർന്നോരു പക്ഷിയായ്,
ഒരു ജനതയൊന്നാകെ വിതുമ്പുന്നു,
നവലോകം തേടി നീ അകൽന്നീടുമ്പോൾ.

ജനനമൊരു ദരിദ്രനായ് തോണിയേറി,
ഒടുവിലോ നാടിൻ പ്രഥമ പൗരനായ്,
മരണത്തിൽ ഒരു പ്രജ മാത്രമായ്,
പുനർജ്ജന്മം ഒരമൂല്യ ഭാരതരത്നമായ്.

ഒരു മതഭ്രാന്തും ജാതിവെറികളും,
പല വർണ്ണക്കൊടികളും കണ്ടില്ല പിന്നിൽ,
കണ്ടതീ നാടിൻ അതിജീവനത്തിൻ,
ഏഴഴകുള്ള കിനാക്കൾ മാത്രം.

പവിഴങ്ങൾ മുത്തുകൾ ഒക്കെയും കണ്ടേക്കാം,
വരും പല തലമുറകളിലൂടിനിയും,
എങ്കിലും കഴിയില്ലീ നഷ്ടം നികത്തിടാൻ,
ഈ മണ്ണിലും മാനവഹൃദയങ്ങളിലും….


From Jyothirgamaya.org