There is no mantra greater than Gayatri which is described as a Kalpavruksha or the all-giving celestial tree, says noted Sanskrit and Telugu scholar and authority on scriptures Samavedam Shanmukha Sarma. The meaning of Gayatri mantra is ‘I pray to that God who spurs my intellect’.

Also, any mantra has to be chanted and not sung, as mostly mantras are guarded as a secret, he points out. And not chanting Gayatri mantra which is the basis for Trinity –Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara, is considered a sin in some cases.

Another interesting aspect which Mr. Sarma mentioned during the course of his lecture on the significance of Gayatri mantra at Veda Mata Gayatri Samsthan temple in HB Colony on Sunday morning was that while the multiple faces or heads of gods were circular looking in all directions, the many faces of demons like Ravana with ten heads were in a single row, meaning that demons looked in only one direction and ignored all wisdom.

Off-beat films

Films, whether in Telugu or Hindi, used to carry a message and reflected the social conflict of the times. Even romantic films used to carry a message.

But the scope was somewhat limited.

Later the scene shifted to action and there was tons of it with a liberal sprinkling of violence. With the Khans’ arrival on the scene the focus shifted back to romance. But of late films are taking up contemporary themes. ‘3 idiots’ focussed on studies for knowledge while ‘Rann’ dealt with media. Long time back ‘New Delhi Times’ based on journalistic experiences appealed to a limited audience. But now themes of off-beat films are now turning out to be mainstream what with a major release on terrorism and how the world viewed it coming from India.

Surely Indian cinema is going international and ‘all the world is a stage.’

Building bridges

Protagonists of United Andhra Pradesh have hit upon a novel idea. Just to rebuff anti-Andhra rhetoric in some parts of Telangana, they greeted visitors to a theatre screening a Nitin-starred movie with flowers. Nitin hails from Telangana.

Earlier at an all-party meeting convened by Joint Action Committee, all the leaders observed silence to mourn a student of Osmania University who committed suicide due to his apprehensions over delay in carving out Telangana.

Hopefully, such measures will send the right signal to those who are protesting the screening of films of actors not pledging support for a separate Telangana.

Playing fair!

The speeches of BJP senior leader M. Venkaiah Naidu are always laced with pun and fun. His speech at the Kalavani Stadium a couple of days back was replete with these two qualities. The occasion was the meeting of Rotary Conference 2010 and subject was women empowerment. He was countering the point, made by some, that women in India were not properly treated. Right from the days of yore women were kept at a high pedestal, Mr. Naidu asserted. That was, is and will remain our tradition and custom. He gave interesting examples to drive home this point. Hindus have goddess Saraswathi as their Education Minister and goddess Lakshmi as Finance Minister. And who is our efence Minister? Yes, you guessed it right, goddess Durga. Our names also start with lady’s first norm like, Lakshmi-Narayana, Radha-Krishna, Parvateesam ,etc. Further, it was our custom to write the names at the end of an invitation as Smt and Sri… so and so. But the English will start with Mr, followed by Mrs, as if the latter had no existence of her own, Mr. Naidu continued amidst applause from the packed audience.

(Prabhakkar Sharma, G.V. Prasada Sarma, Santosh Patnaik and R.Jagadeeswara Rao)