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Friday, July 19, 2019

​ This is another of those stories that has been around, but it is a story of courage and hope that is seldom seen, and therefore it is worth reading again.

Robby's Night 
TrueStory -- Worth Reading !!!

At the prodding of my friends, I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Hondorf. I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines , Iowa . I've always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons-something I've done for over 30 years. Over the years I found that children have many levels of musical ability. I've never had the pleasure of having a prodigy though I have taught some talented students.

However I've also had my share of what I call 'musically challenged' pupils. One such student was Robby. Robby was 11 years old when his mother (a single Mom) dropped him off for his first piano lesson. I prefer that students (especially boys)! begin at an earlier age, which I explained to Robby.

But Robby said that it had always been his mother's dream to hear him play the piano. So I took him as a student. Well, Robby began with his piano lessons and from the beginning I thought it was a hopeless endeavor. As much as Robby tried, he lacked the sense of tone and basic rhythm needed to excel But he dutifully reviewed his scales and some elementary pieces that I require all my students to learn.

Over the months he tried and tried while I listened and cringed and tried to encourage him. At the end of each weekly lesson he'd always say, 'My mom's going to hear me play someday.' But it seemed hopeless. He just did not have any inborn ability. I only knew his mother from a distance as she dropped Robby off or waited in her aged car to pick him up. She always waved and smiled but never stopped in.

Then one day Robby stopped coming to our lessons.

I thought about calling him but assumed because of his lack of ability, that he had decided to pursue something else. I also was glad that he stopped coming. He was a bad advertisement for my teaching!

Several weeks later I mailed to the student's homes a flyer on the upcoming recital. To my surprise Robby (who received a flyer) asked me if he could be in the recital. I told him that the recital was for current pupils and because he had dropped out he really did not qualify. He said that his mother had been sick and unable to take him to piano lessons but he was still practicing 'Miss Hondorf I've just got to play!' he insisted.

I don't know what led me to allow him to play in the recital. Maybe it was his persistence or maybe it was something inside of me saying that it would be all right. The night for the recital came. The high school gymnasium was packed with parents, friends and relatives. I put Robby up last in the program before I was to come up and thank all the students and play a finishing piece.. I thought that any damage he would do would come at the end of the program and I could always salvage his poor performance through my 'curtain closer.'

Well, the recital went off without a hitch. The students had been practicing and it showed. Then Robby came up on stage. His clothes were wrinkled and his hair looked like he'd run an eggbeater through it. 'Why didn't he dress up like the other students?' I thought. 'Why didn't his mother at least make him comb his hair for this special night?'

Robby pulled out the piano bench and he began. I was surprised when he announced that he had chosen Mozart's Concerto #21 in C Major. I was not prepared for what I heard next. His fingers were light on the keys, they even danced nimbly on the ivories. He went from pianissimo to fortissimo. >From allegro to virtuoso. His suspended chords that Mozart demands were magnificent! Never had I heard Mozart played so well by people his age. After six and a half minutes he ended in a grand crescendo and everyone was on their feet in wild applause.
Overcome and in tears I ran up on stage and put my arms around Robby in joy. 'I've never heard you play like that Robby! How'd you do it? ' Through the microphone Robby explained: 'Well Miss Hondorf. Remember I told you my Mom was sick? Well, actually she had cancer and passed away this morning And well . . . She was born deaf so tonight was the first time she ever heard me play. I wanted to make it special.'

There wasn't a dry eye in the house that evening. As the people from Social Services led Robby from the stage to be placed into foster care, noticed that even their eyes were red and puffy and I thought to myself how much richer my life had been for taking Robby as my pupil.

No, I've never had a prodigy but that night I became a prodigy. . . Of Robby's. He was the teacher and I was the pupil for it is he that taught me the meaning of perseverance and love and believing in yourself and maybe even taking a chance in someone and you don't know why. 
Robby was killed in the senseless bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April of 1995 And now, a footnote to the story.

If you are thinking about forwarding this message, you are probably thinking about which people on your address list aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message. The person who sent this to you believes that we can all make a difference.. So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we act with compassion or do we pass up that opportunity and leave the world a bit colder in the process?
Thank you for reading this 

May God bless you today, tomorrow and always
If God didn't have a purposes for us. 
We wouldn't be here!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cute Quotes

1. If time doesn't wait for you, don't worry !
Just remove the damn battery from the clock
and Enjoy Life !
2. Expecting the world to treat you fairly,
because you are a good person is like
expecting the lion not to attack you because
you are a vegetarian ! Think about this.

3. Beauty isn't measured by outer appearances,
and what clothes we wear, but what we are inside...
But don't try going out naked tomorrow, to assess
how others admire 'what you are inside' !

4. Don't walk as if you rule the world,
walk as if you don't care who rules the world !
That's called Attitude. Keep on rocking !

5. Every woman hopes that her daughter will marry
a better man than she did, and is convinced that
her son will never find a wife as good as his father did!

6. He was a truly good man... He never smoked,
nor drank, and never had an affair. When he died,
the insurance company refused the claim...

They said, "He who has never lived, cannot die"!
7. A man threw his wife in a pond of Crocodiles.
He's now being sued by Animal Rights Activists
for being cruel to the Crocodiles!

8. There are so many options for suicide :
Poison, sleeping pills, hanging, jumping
from a building, lying on train tracks, etc....
But many chose Marriage : It's slow, but sure!

9. Only 20 percent boys have brains,
the rest have girlfriends!

10. All desirable things in life are either illegal,
banned, expensive, or married to someone else!

Did you also notice they walked everywhere?"

A teenage boy had just passed his driving test and asked his father when they'd be able to have a discussion about using the car. 
The boy thought about that for a moment, decided he'd settle for the offer, and they came to an agreement.

After about six weeks, his father said: "Son, you've brought your grades up and I've observed that you have been studying the Bible, but I'm disappointed you haven't cut your hair yet." 
The boy said: "You know, Dad, I've been thinking about that, and I've noticed in my studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair - and there's even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair!"
"Did you also notice they walked everywhere?"

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara –

Jaya Jaya Sankara Hara Hara Sankara – This is one of the absolute classics!! This incident has been vividly described by Shri Thiruvannamalai Gowrishankar Mama.
Maha Periva Charanam,
“I once went to a place called Vaasangere in Karnataka to have His darshan. He was camping in the mines area which belonged to Sandur Maharaja. Swamigal was a sitting on a tarpaulin along with the other devotees. Annathurai Iyengar of Veda Raksha Nidhi Trust was also there with a few students from his Veda Patashala. It was around 10.30 in the night.
The Sandur Maharaja, Maharani and their son were also there. His son was a Reader in the Department of Mathematics at Yale University in the US. He had a PhD degree in Maths. His parents were standing there respectfully before Him but he appeared to be quite casual. Swamigal conversed with the Maharaja and Maharani in Kannada for a while.
After a while He turned towards their son and asked, “Where do you live? What are you doing?”
“I am a Reader in Maths Dept at Yale University”, he replied.
“What have you studied, you have done your PhD in which branch of Maths”, He asked.
Their son did not answer for a minute, hesitating to reply as he was unsure if Swamigal could make sense of what he had studied. His father goaded him to reply.
“Quantum Theory.”, he said, matter-of-factly.
Swamigal drew a +ve sign on the mud and circled it; He also drew a -ve sign and circled it. Pointing to the two signs Swamigal asked him,
“Did you use the positive or the negative approach in your Quantum Theory PhD thesis study?”
Their son who was a bit indifferent until then, was startled to hear this from Him. He was trembling for words and suddenly became more respectful and replied, “Positive Approach.”
“Why did you not take the Negative Approach, will you do you it later”, He asked.
“It is difficult to use the Negative Approach”, he said.
Swamigal looked at Annathurai Iyengar and said, “He is saying it is difficult; can you ask the Veda students to recite this particular verse from Rig Veda?”, and prompts them with first two words.
The students recited that particular verse for 5 minutes. After this He turned to their son and said, “you must have obtained your PhD in your 24th or 25th year correct?”
“In my 25th year”, said he.
“Rig Veda, the verse which you heard now, talks both about the Positive and the Negative approaches”, He said.
The son was astonished and requested the students to recite the verse again.
“Are you now thinking that you need not have spent lakhs and lakhs of rupees for your 25 years of education and if only you had studied the Vedas you would have learnt this Truth in just 7 years?!”, replied Lord Parameshwara.”
Narrated by Shri Thiruvannamalai Gowrishankar Mama!
Yale University is one of the top universities in the world, but obviously not a match for the Vedas! :)))
This is the beauty of Maha Periyava!!
Courtsey. Mahesh krishnamurthy

Experiences with Maha Periyava: Boundless grace and compassion
One is apt to think that "boundless compassion" exists only in rhetoric till one has a darsan of Paramacharyal. In His marvellous presence one instinctively recognised boundless compassion, purity, grace and the quality of equal vision. Countless must be the instances of His Grace curing diseases, warding off calamities, giving peace of mind and above all, guiding an aspirant on the razor-edge path of ascent along the Sushumna. Instance of the last kind might not be normally made public, as they pertain to the innermost lives of the persons. I happened to know of at least one such case, as it was of my father. From among my experiences, I give the following few.
When, more than four decades back, I passed the competitive examinations and got appointed to a top service, Paramacharyal specifically advised me that I decline that offer, which I did. At that time almost all who knew me were against my going by His advice and some even said that He was not qualified to give such advice! Events, far later, showed how gracious and farsighted He had been and what great kindness. He had shown in giving that advice!
Once, He, in His own inimitable manner, knocked good sense into me, and gave a lesson in dealing with one's Guru Maharaj. It is as follows.
He was camping at the place of my posting and I came to know that the timepiece He was using was not working well. So, I went to the shop and selected a good piece, which had a black dial and against which radium coated white numerals and hands stood out well. (Please bear this description in mind.) It was a bit costly. A relation of mine who was with me. At that time, and who was rather close to the SriMatham, advised me to go in for a cheaper variety. His reasoning was that devotees were giving timepieces to the SriMatham fairly frequently, and one cannot say whether Periaval will use a particular piece at a given time; and hence a costly place may not be with Periaval all the time. I was taken in by this argument, and got a cheaper piece, which had a white dial. I had completely overlooked the point that a Sishya must offer only the best to his Guru, particularly when it was available. When I took the piece to the SriMatham, Perival had gone inside, and so I gave it to Pudu Periaval, and informed the Manager, When I went in the evening for darshan, the Manager called me aside, and gave back the timepiece, saying, "Periaval saw the timepiece and wanted to know who had given it. He was told that Nagarajan had given it. He desired that the article be returned to you with the remark that He preferred to have one with black dial, against which white numbers were prominent. Many, who were present at that time, offered to get such a piece. But Periaval said that Nagarajan only should get it." When I heard this, I broke down and cursed myself for having listened to specious advice, and having been stingy towards Guru Maharaj. Needless to say that I rushed to that shop, was relieved to find that item on the shelf, and bought it. The above incident shows the all-pervasive awareness and infinite compassion of Periaval. I felt really happy and blessed, when some months later I saw Him using that same timepiece.
In 1962 Periaval was camping in Elayathagudi. On the day we went for darsan, He had walked a long distance and was seated in a temple. Pudu Periaval was in the SriMatham Camp, after seeing whom we went by cart to the place where Periaval was. I sought His blessing for the upanayanam of my son, to be performed soon. He said that we could go after taking "akshata", and were wondering why we in particular were asked to wait. After some time a devotee came in a car, and Periyaval sent the car to the camp to get the "akshata", gave it to us and permitted us to go. The reason for His action was revealed to us very soon. On the return journey my son (whose upanayanam had been arranged), suddenly became sick and started vomiting. No medical help was available In the bus or outside. We could only pray to Periaval and clutch the "akshata" so kindly given by Him. The boy became normal in a short time, and there was absolutely no problem thereafter. Then only we realised that Periaval, with His infinite grace and compassion and all-pervading knowledge, had given the "rakshaa" to mitigate the evil which might have befallen us otherwise.
I could write on and on. It all comes to the same thing, "BOUNDLESS GRACE AND COMPASSION".
Who can fathom Paramacharyal's infinite greatness?

Author: T.B. Nagarajan
Chaaturmaasya Vichaara - LAKSHA PRADAKSHINA
One of the austerities prescribed for Chaturmaasya Vratha is Laksha Pradakshina. It involves walking around an icon or idol in a temple one lakh times.
Apparently it looks difficult even for a normal healthy person to complete the same during four months period.
What is important is that, one should understand the significance of Pradakshina and Lakh is only indicative that it should be in abundant numbers according to one’s capacity (yathashakti) and physical condition.
Pradakshina means circumambulation (Parikrama) around the intended idol/icon in a temple which is a form of worship that is in vogue in Hindu religion and culture (Bharateeya Samskruti) since time immemorial.
Generally we come across devout Hindus taking Pradakshina around;
Thulasi plant;
Aswatta Vruksha;
Sacred Cow (Go Pradakshina);
Sacred fire;
Temple deity like;
Lord Hanuman;
Sri Raaghavendra Swamy Brundavana,
Navagraha etc.
Apart from normal Pradakshina, we come across special types of Pradakshina like...
Giri Pradakshina
Anga Pradakshina
Praakaara Pradakshina
Aatma Pradakshina etc.
Actually, Pradakshina is a sort of penance to beseech the God’s grace to get rid of bad karmas that one may be facing in life.
The guiding principle behind this is that, if God’s worship is performed with sincere devotion and total surrender it helps in reducing the impact of bad karmas and not by the amount of offerings to the God.
Recognizing God as the focal point in our lives we go about doing our day to day tasks. God is the centre point/source or essence of our lives and everything revolves around Him.
When we undertake Pradakshina every point on the circumference is equi-distance from the centre ie, the God and we are equally close to the God and His grace flows impartially towards us.
Pra means prominent/famous/the best and dakshina indicates the direction ie... to the right.
Pradakshina means prominently moving to the right side that is auspicious and eventual.
When we perform Pradakshina we circumambulate in clockwise direction and God always remains to our right side that symbolizes auspiciousness. This is just to remind ourselves to lead an auspicious and righteous life.
With regular chanting of divine Veda manthras in the temple it is believed that there will be accumulation and roaming of positive vibrations/energy around the idol/temple.
While making Pradakshina the mind will get purified, the devotee absorbs the positive energy and gets the divine aura that surrounds the Deity.
Pradakshina is a form of Prayaschitta (expiation). It should be performed with utmost humility and devotion in a meditative mood with focus on the concerned deity and not just as a routine.
Pradakshina is performed as a mark of respect, obeisance and total surrender to the deity.
It should be performed slowly and not in a hurry with our thoughts and actions dwelled on the God with folded hands.
According to its merits Pradakshina will tone down the sins; cause destruction of Karma; bestows upon what is desired; leading to the path of salvation.
Yaanikaani cha paapaani janmaanthara kruthaani cha
Thaani thaani vinasyanthi pradakshina padae padae
Meaning: let lapses and blemishes made in this current as well as the previous births and resultant afflictions perish with every pradakshina