Originally broadcast October 11, 2013
Jan 20, 2021
Sep 25, 2020
Sep 18, 2020
Originally broadcast October 11, 2013
Swami Kaleshwar always stressed the importance of staying positive. You must believe that you are capable and can successfully learn Telugu. That "can do" attitude will keep you motivated and on target. If you have a history of successfully learning foreign languages, it is relatively easy to believe that learning another language is possible. You can trust in your abilities. However, if you don’t have that experience or if you’ve struggled with learning, it’s important to find a way to believe that you can still be successful. If you’ve even taken one small step, such as successful memorization of the vowels, then celebrate that success and use that as a catalyst for positivity. Then keep going onto the next steps.
We’re familiar with syllables being sounds that are building blocks of a language. Sounds are also the building blocks of creation. God manifests through divine sound, bijaksharas. These divine sounds, bijas, are the building blocks of the universe. Everything we see, and cannot see, is made of light and vibration from seed sounds.
C.P Brown’s life is an amazing story of un-paralleled dedication and love for the Telugu language. When Sri Kaleshwar was asked about C.P Brown’s role in the Ancient Mission and the work he did to preserve the Telugu Language, Sri Kaleshwar confirmed that C.P Brown was a divine soul.
Monika and Nityaananda discuss the ancient language of Telugu and the role of learning Telugu in bringing the ancient knowledge to the globe.
(originally broadcast May 11, 2016)
As a student majoring in South Asian Languages and Literature whose ultimate goal is to study Telugu literature, it is quite frustrating that I rarely come across any articles on Telugu materials in my classes. So I was very excited when I came across an article on Telugu women’s oral Ramayanas in my class on the Ramayana in Comparative Perspective about the variety of extant versions of the Ramayana. The article is by Narayana Rao, who is one of the preeminent Telugu scholars in the country.
For me learning the Telugu script was about diving more deeply to an understanding of mantra and yantra as was taught by Sri Kaleshwar. The struggle of learning a new alphabet as an adult helped me re-evaluate what I thought I knew about a beginner's mind. But once I found a method of studying, and started practicing writing out the different variations of vowels, consonants and secondary consonants, I was so amazed by the joy it brought me. I could do it! And for sure you can too... please be inspired.
For me, something tremendous happened the first time I heard the 108 names of Shirdi Sai Baba sung in pure devotion. It was my first night in the Baba temple at Sri Kaleshwar's ashram in Penukonda, India. As I sat in front of the Baba statue for the first time in that way, listening to this long chanting of what at the time felt like an impossibly long twister, I felt a deep silence and peace descending over my mind. As my mind became quiet it felt like my soul started to listen, it was a similar feeling to drinking cool sweet water after going a very long time without anything to drink on a very hot day.
As students of a Dattatreya lineage we are learning to interact with creation in new and powerful ways using the five elements. We are learning about the five elements now in this modern age, and in a lot of ways it is new to us. Yet it is in fact a very ancient knowledge that was recorded in ancient palm leaf manuscripts. One example of practice implementing with the five elements is called Aarti.
Folk music plays a central role in creating cultural identity. Traditionally folk music is defined as orally transmitted songs or music with an unknown composer. Folk music is often classified as the oldest songs of a culture or the ‘root’ songs from a specific language. Historically in India they have always made a classification between Classical and Folk music however, even most classical music from India has the origin of an unwritten process of learning.
Palm leaf manuscripts are one of the oldest mediums of writing known to man, originating in South and Southeast Asia. The creation of palm leaf manuscripts is a great well known tradition in India. The training and the knowing of how to unlock the knowledge hidden within them was passed down from one generation to the next. Restoration of these ancient manuscripts was a primary part of a traditional practice.
Guru is the remover of darkness. "Gu" means darkness, and "Ru" means remover. Darkness refers to what obscures the light of awareness. Guru is the enlightenment principal that aids one in the realization of the true Self, the whole Self, and the holy Self.
Who is the goddess Mahisasura Mardini and what is the power behind this chant? Mother Divine is an incomprehensible power and force; in fact, she is the force, the power, the shakti. In the Indian tradition every incarnation or form of the Mother has a name, a story, and represents an embodied frequency of energy within the cosmic reality. The story of Mahisasura Mardini is important if we wish to understand the power of this chant beyond just the literal translation. This ancient story is set in a time not so different from now. When a demon Asura king named Mahishasura though extreme austerity to Shiva, was granted the boon of eternal life. Mahishasura asked Shiva the boon of everlasting life that no man, beast, demon or deity would ever be able to kill him.
Our beautiful Telugu is like
the moonlight that has come
down. Its sound is like the
sweet food mother gives with
her own hands...
There is so much about human consciousness that modern Western civilization is just starting to recognize. We have only begun to investigate and validate transcendent experiences through our modern way of knowing. Humans are capable of transcending the ego and experiencing unitive awareness and the fundamental oneness of non-duality. The feeling of deep connection with other individuals, with the earth, the ecosystem, and the cosmos is a real human experience. In these states, one's sense of identity extends beyond the individual and the persona.
Bijakshara is also defined as a “seed sound.” Sri Kaleshwar (1973 - 2012), a modern day saint, often used the seed as an analogy to describe a bijakshara. A seed, when planted and properly cared for with the right amount of water, sun, nutrients, and air, will begin to sprout and grow into a plant. How amazing that a seed can potentially produce a huge mango tree that will again produce more fruits with more seeds! How does that tree come out of that seed? The bijakshara acts like a seed, when cared for through a dedicated practice that includes utilizing mantras under sometimes very specific conditions, will grow into something amazing that will bear fruit and more seeds with more creative potential. Working with the mantras and energy channels from the palm leaf manuscripts is like planting a seed into a human soul and caring for that seed in a beautiful way. That fledgling human soul can grow into a beautiful mature soul capable of so much magnificence.
The study of Telugu is still a challenge for Westerners today, for many of the same reasons that CP Brown faced in the 1820’s. Because of CP Brown, resources for the study of Telugu as an English speaker are available. The CP Brown Telugu-English dictionary is to date the most academically noted source of the Telugu-English Vocabulary.
At the very heart of this knowledge, is the study of the Telugu language. Sri Kaleshwar was a true liberator who wanted his students to look and experience the truth for themselves. This is one of the reasons he wanted us to learn Telugu.
My real dream is when you’re able to read Telugu, to know what’s inside the palm leaf books... take the time, learn and translate the knowledge, release that quite amazing information to the globe.
Our bodies are made of these seed sounds. Our soul is composed of these seed sounds. The Divine Mother, Herself, not only manifests through Her sacred sound, She, too, is made up of all of these sounds. In one palm leaf manuscript, there is a sacred drawing of the Divine Mother that shows through Her body how our bodies are made up of these different sounds. There is a specific vibration for your heart, your eyes, ears, throat - the entire human body and everything in nature is connected to a sacred sound in the Telugu language.
I can’t describe the thrill I felt the first time I read for myself the letters and mantras from a manuscript in Telugu. The ability to read Telugu has expanded my consciousness. Teaching and healing sessions have come to life in new and beautiful ways. I never thought I would be going back to a university program at this point in my life, but Telugu is at the heart of the ancient knowledge and my dharma. Mastering Telugu is an important part of my life’s work.
When there is a group of people who can read and successfully translate the Telugu formulas in these manuscripts, a major step in making this priceless knowledge available to the people who need it will have begun. This is a huge undertaking much bigger than one individual or group. It is about doing something something real and lasting for humanity. As the knowledge in these palm leaf manuscripts is implemented and becomes a part of everyday life, we will see a real positive shift of consciousness in the world.
Yogi Vemena was one of the greatest Telugu poets. He was known for his mastery of yogic practices and for writing about his spiritual experiences in short, simple poems. At a young age he came into contact with a great sage, Lambika Shiva Yogi, and spent the rest of his life researching the Divine. His poetry was a means of expressing his realization of God and the mysterious process of awakening to consciousness.
A poem celebrating the 2016 'Sacred Language of Telugu' campaign to support five women in their study of Telugu.
I have actively been studying Telugu since the summer of 2015 when I began studying Telugu at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That Telugu course was the first step towards my nearly life-long goal of being fluent in Telugu. I spent a large portion of my childhood in a Telugu sp...
In olden days only a section of people specialized in writing on palm leaves. Knowledge in written form was passed on by copying the text from old manuscripts to new manuscripts. At present, very few people know the technique of writing on palm leaves; the tradition has come to an end. The practice doesn’t exist as people no more understand what’s written on the palm leaves. Some even throw the manuscripts in the river without making a copy of it. Thus some of the most valuable resources and knowledge are lost forever.
In case you aren’t familiar with the teachings of this lineage, they all come from palm leaf manuscripts that Sri Kaleshwar considered his life mission to share with the world. In this atmosphere, when he begged and pleaded and commanded his students to learn Telugu it created a huge pressure for me. I felt I had the ability to learn Telugu but simply couldn’t manage it. After 4 or 5 years passed in this way I remember telling Swami that personally I felt that without a teacher I had no confidence I could learn Telugu in any significant way. Swami eventually hired Telugu teachers to work with us. They were great people, dedicated and sincere, but being able to teach a language competently requires a special skill set. Needless to say, we went through three or four Telugu teachers with minimal results.
Krishnadevaraya was of the opinion that a King should always rule with an eye towards Dharma, or perfect judgement, and his enlightened approach to ruling for the welfare of the people is amply proved by his extensive annual tours around the empire, during which he studied everything personally and tried to redress the grievances of the people and to punish the evil doers. With regard to the promotion of the economic progress of his people, Krishnadevaraya says, “The extent of the kingdom is the means for the acquisition of wealth. Therefore even if the land is limited in extent, excavate tanks and canals and increase the prosperity of the poor by leasing him the land for low rent, so that you may obtain wealth as well as religious merit.”
Annamayacharya was born in Andra Pradesh, and lived during the reign of Krishnadevarya. Annamayacharya's music is about both the pain and the bliss that a soul must undertake when awakening. He worships Venkateshawara, the Kali Yuga’s incarnation of Vishnu, quarrels with him, professes extreme doubt over his Guru’s presence and ultimately, surrenders, receiving enlightenment. This divine play between God and a devotee is captured in over 36,000 sankeertanas.
Veerabrahmendra, the great seer of India, was a 14th Century Avatar of Brahma. He is known for the ‘Kalagnana’, or ‘Knowledge of Time’, a collection of 14,000 verses written on palm leaves foretelling the astrology of the world. Veerabrahmendra opened his channels through meditation, developing a powerful connection with Mother Divine. His commitment to Her, he said, was to write everything She taught him.
For many years Sri Kaleshwar asked his students to learn Telugu. Hidden in the palm leaf books, ancient manuscripts dating back thousands of years, is incredible knowledge and enlightenment techniques saints have been practicing, perfecting, and passing on for hundreds of generations.