Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rare Pictures of Indian Revolutionaries

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Friday, July 07, 2006

Trebiking (Biking + Trekking) to Edukumeri

Kiran (Vineet's Friend)

Date of Journey:
29-Apr-06 To 01-May-06

Kee..Kee…Keee..Keeeeeee…Some sound was coming from nowhere…with difficulty I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw the time and it was 5.00 AM. Then I realized the source of that sound..yes was my mobile alarm. I saw a new SMS from Jagga saying ‘Wake Up’ which came at 4.45 AM. How I can get up from a mere SMS??..Idiot…The reason for getting up so early is we (5 Boyz) had planned a biking trek (confused??...Go on reading!) to Edukumeri Via Bisile. And we are supposed to meet at 6.00 AM sharp Opp. to ISCKON temple. So I got ready and kick started my bike at 5.30 AM..and Zoom. I was the second one to reach there, Mayya was already there. By 6.30 AM everyone arrived on their bikes. We filled petrol full tank and started our journey.

We crossed Bangalore at almost by 7.15 AM and hit on NH-48 road. Nobody was in mood of hurry to speed the vehicles. Believe me….The NH-48 is awesome road for bikers. It’s like tasting ice cream in middle of summer. After crossing Kunigal, at certain gap of drive, we came across “Hebbagilu” on the right side. Opposite to that, to our left side, one road was visible. We hit that road on left side and even though road was rough, muddy and with potholes, we drove with great enthu to out first destination. The Marconahalli Dam.

We parked our vehicles outside the gate at 9.00 AM, crossed a park which had trees standing tall and we started climbing with our luggage to the top of the Dam. When we reached top of Dam…..I was dumbstruck with its beauty…I shouted “Wow Man”…..In front, the entire scene was filled with water 60 feet deep and fresh cold air blowing to our face. Backside, the scenery was very beautiful park but not maintained clean. I guess very less attention is paid to maintain it as visitors to this dam are rare case and also there is no publicity. There are lengthy chairs (similar to present in railway stations or parks) present to sit and watch the view on top of the dam. There was man who maintained that Dam showed us how the dam worked, how they leave water on other side. There was huge metal covering standing on top of dam with metallic pillars on four sides with letters ‘England’ inscribed on it. I guessed it could be made in England and on same time I wondered how they brought it here from England. Then there was display board of all statistics and measurements related to dam.

We climbed down and we went to bottom side of Dam at the Park side. There were 2 big holes to release water from other side. We left Dam at 9.30……and hit the rugged looking road which took back to NH-48 and continued our journey.

We reached Yadiyur at 10.10 AM and we came across yet another “Hebbagilu” on left side. Here, we took left turn into the town and went straight until we reached our second destination “Mahabalashwara Temple”. Vineet and Jagga went inside the temple while other 3 were waiting. Mean time, I saw a Chariot (“Ratha”) standing opposite to temple. It had some beautiful carvings on all its sides. One elder person of that town who was watching us (Me and Mayya) came near and started explaining all the figures carved on the chariot. The carvings which surprised me were of intimate scenes with one or more persons and more of surprise, it included intimate scene with animals also. I was shocked and was not able to digest this. How could they carve such things on chariot which carries God on festivals?

After Vineet came back, we made our bikes to stand in line horizontally..and did pooja and hit the coconut in front of our bikes for our safe journey. Later we drove back to NH-48 and continued our journey to next destination “The Gorur Dam”. On the way we came across green patch of grass and then we took rest for few minutes under a tree.
On the way to Hassan, you come across 4 way junction which takes to Sakleshpura to right side and Gorur to left side. We took left turn and reached Gorur at 2.30 PM. The Road from NH-48 to Gorur was too good with curvy paths and trees planted alongside the road, thereby experiencing AC effect through out the journey. With this type of road, all 5 drove like crazy at 80km/hr in single bee line. It looked like some bike race is going on.

After reaching Gorur, we came near to the gates of the Gorur dam. The security asked to bring permission letter from authority person whose office was 1km back from where we came. Since it was lunch time, the security told officer would have gone for lunch and we have to wait until he comes and get permission letter. But later, he decided to allow us to see the dam and asked us to tell inside officers that we could not get permission since it was lunch time only if they enquired. We parked our vehicles inside the gate under beautiful tree which had red flowers all over. While walking near to the dam, we were able to see letters “Narmada dam” carved in huge size on either side, one in English and other in Kannada. We climbed steps to reach the top of dam to have lovely sight of water flowing and hitting the dam. The walls towards the water were in sliding shape covered with large square like stones… with few stones blocks protruding at a certain distance at regular intervals. We climbed down and took some snaps on these stone blocks.

We had lunch at around 3.00 PM there itself. We went to temple which is situated opposite side of the dam, residing nearby a river.

We took our bikes near to that river, washed our faces, took some rest and continued our journey to Bisile. Instead of going back, we just took the road from Gorur Dam and continued further towards Shanivarasanthe via Mallipattana.

On the way we came across a road where it takes to Sakleshpura on right side and Bisile to left side. So we hit the roads on left side and continued towards Bisile. Our main aim was to see sunset at 6.00 PM at View point. The path was not smooth, it was muddy road with pebbles around. We came across a circle with 4 roads which again takes to Sakleshpura (32kms from there) on right side. One road was towards Bisile which was around 14 kms. The Nut in the metallic cover for chain socket got loosened in Jagga’s Bike and fell down somewhere on the road. So near the circle, there was repair shop where the repair fellow did some stuff to keep the covering. Meanwhile we all had rounds of Tea and Badam Milk. Then we kicked our bikes towards Bisile. After reaching Bisile, We have to cross police check post and continue further to reach the view point. When we reached view point at 6.20 PM, last visitors were leaving the place. We scouted on top of the view point for some time until 7.00 PM .and then we climbed down to our bikes. Luckily the main gates were not locked. So we took the advantage by opening the gates and rode our bikes to view point itself and parked on left side where there was flat area suitable for parking. We later closed the gates as it is after we got inside.

The black clouds were there on top of our head hence we could not see sun set. Alas!! From view point, the scenery was ultimate as good as painting. We could see Giribetta which was highest peak along with Kumara Parvatha to its right. There was display map of all mountains which were visible along with their names. We pitched tent there and we laid down our sleeping mats. We rested our backs on the mat and ate our snacks while we chatted. We had our dinner (chapattis with Chutney powder) and we slept at 9.00 PM.
It was very hot inside the tent and nobody was ready to sleep outside as we had heard some rumors that cheetahs frequent these places. We had taken candles to light them whole night.

We got up at 5.00 AM after having bad night (Could not sleep properly because of Kiran’s loud snoring L which was similar to Tiger….may be this effect was due to tiger biscuits eaten last night). We removed tent and packed our entire luggage. Vineet told there is one more view point at some distance. I was not interested as sun was hiding still even thought it was 6.00 AM. As rest of 4 were enthu to go there, I stayed back while they went to the view point and returned at 6.30 AM. Then we took our bikes down the view point onto the road, closed the gates as it was when we arrived, and moved on.

We had travel back on same road as we came through Bisile to a village called JagaTa. We came across lot of 2 road junction on the way…and we had to ask the villagers for the right direction. The journey was not an easy one. We have to go through muddy track initially, and then road full of pebbles which are waiting to make your bike to slip and slide. It was not a plain road track; it was full of ups and downs. I felt as though we are doing some cross road race without any audience. On the way we came across a triangle like path, where we got stuck as we did not know which one to take. So we rested there as Vineet took right turn and went ahead to confirm the road with any villagers who may come across. Then he came back and told left road takes to Kurkemane village while right road takes to JagaTa village. So we continued the ride after taking right turn. As we are coming down near to JagaTa village, we had to cross small channel of water which was flowing into farm where it was used to water the plants I guess. After crossing that, immediately we came to a halt. We could see JagaTa village in front of our track. But there was one big hurdle which we rode all this way to experience this. There was river flowing between us and JagaTa village and we must cross this now to continue our journey.

We walked across the river leaving the bikes on the bank to test how much deep it is. Luckily, it was coming to little less than our knees which was safe for only 150CC bike silencers (Mine and Mayya). Jagga inspected left side where their bikes could go without any problem to the silencers as it wasn’t deep that side. So first we all removed our shoes and took our entire luggage to that side of the road. The villagers saw us and they were happy to help us out of that river. They told us the stories of first bikers (7 to 8 ppl) who came in spite of pathetic roads. There was huge tree fallen on their path it seems and they had to lift their vehicles over that and come here. The water was also very much deep that time it seems and villagers were really surprised and shocked to see these people cross this river with their bikes. We then took our bikes one by one through the river. The river was full of pebbles of various sizes so we had to carefully cross the river without falling.

Finally all our bikes were parked opposite to the bank of river. The villagers were very helpful to us. They showed the hanging wooden bridge on the left side which they used to cross when the river rises to high level. They offered us drinking water which was very clean and sweet. They asked us whether we required breakfast. As we had already taken bread and jam for breakfast, we did not go for it. We had our breakfast under a shadow of big tree at around 9.30 AM. I took some beautiful of snaps of flowers in that village. Vineet was trying to capture photos of Swan flying on trees with his analog SLR camera while Mayya and Jagga were nagging him that he cannot use his camera properly.

After thanking villagers, we were set to ride to our next destination “Nagarhole Railway Bridge” which comes near Edukumeri Railway station (Regular trekkers would know this name). This journey was toughest one compared to whatever we did until now. To tell how the path is, I can say my bike fell 4 times on the way without any damage to myself.We were riding bikes on the route which are supposed to be for trekking. So obiviously, it will be difficult. The route was asphalted road until we reached Hongadahalla village and continued our journey further towards track.

I hate this type of roads which was full of palm size pebbles and with ups and downs. But risk has its own value that’s why we were ready to take this as challenge. The distance was some 15 kms but the journey took long time. While going down, we had to go inch by inch applying back and front breaks. While going up, we had to be in first gear and full accelerator. This was our regular routine drive on that path. On the way we came across flat road with tall trees surrounding and some cut woods lying on left side of road.
There we took some snaps and we continued our journey. We came across beautiful scenery on the way where we would stop our vehicles and take snaps.

By 11.30 AM, we came to final destination where we could see Railway Bridge on right side. We parked our vehicles nearby and walked towards Railway Bridge. There were tunnels on either sides of the bridge. Jagga was very happy as he was doing trekking first time on this Edukumeri track by crossing bridges and tunnels. We did not know which one takes us to Nagarhole Railway Bridge. So first we took left side of bridge and walked on the wooden planks of bridge. My legs were shaking as I was very much afraid of heights. Gradually, I became used to walking on the bridge. We crossed the bridge and all others went inside the tunnel except me as I had already been there. It was 2.00 PM already so we decide to move on. We had thought initially there could be path to Gundya which comes on the highway. Vineet took his bike, crossed the railings with great difficulty by using few slabs in slanting position. He went to either side where there was road visible to check whether it leads to Gundya or not. Later he came back and told there was no road. There came few railway workers who told us there is no way to Gundya and to visit Nagarhole Railway Bridge, we have to take right side of tunnel. While we prepared to leave, a single open carriage with some trekkers sitting on it passed on the track. May be they were going to Edukumeri railway station which was some 4 kms away to our left. We crossed the tunnel on right side and crossed one more small bridge. Then we had to cross longest tunnel existing in that track which is of 572mts. We switched on our torches and went through the tunnel to reach our destination Nagarhole Railway Bridge. The bridge was longest one and was at great height with Nagarhole River flowing underneath it. We walked across this bridge and then we climbed down to Nagarhole River with the help of passage like road on right side of bridge.

We enjoyed taking bath in the flowing water. Mayya, Vineet and Kiran swam for some time. At around 3.30 PM, we had our lunch on the rocks nearby river. We looked up the bridge and we saw a group of 8 to 9 trekkers crossing the railway bridge. After finishing our lunch, we came back to our bikes. May be those trekkers would have got surprised to see bikes standing in this type of area. While we drove back the same route as there was no alternative. Those trekkers were having bath near some small flowing water next to our bikes. They may have thought we were crazy to drive these bikes on this type of terrain. On the way, my bike again fell down for 5th time and this time along with me. I got some bruises on my elbow, but was able to manage it. We came to same place (near Hongadahalla village) where there was full of tall trees standing at around 5.00 PM. We decided to hook the tent there itself as there was good air blowing up. Vineet and I went to left side of mountain to get Sun Set View Point while others rested on their mats. We both climbed on right side also to mark Sun Rise View Point to get good snaps in the early morning.

At 6.30 PM, as the sun was coming down, we all 5 went to Sun set view point to take snaps. There were huge boulders standing on that place. We sat on that rocks and waited for our precious catch of Suns image. We took several snaps as the sun was going down.
I asked Mayya to stretch his hands in front and I took a snap of him which looks like he is holding sun on his palm. By 7.00 PM, Vineet and I drive down to nearby village 2kms away to get some food as we heard there was one hotel in that village. But when we reached there, the hotel was closed down and there was no curds packet available to eat with our food. We tried asking one more shop but it was in vain. We met a man who called himself as Secretary. He said he wanted to help but told his assistant is not there to cook food so was unable to. He said if we want, we can cook food ourselves in his room. And he said he will arrange room for sleeping. We told him we had brought tent so we would be sleeping in that. Then to try our luck again, we went to back to that same hotel, where the hotel fellow was standing. Initially he said there was no food available and after some discussion, he agreed to give rice and sambar if extra is present in his house. Later on he gave sufficient amount of rice and sambar to us. He warned us from not to sleep outside as there was elephant attacks recently in surrounding villages. We went back to our tent and rest were also ready to leave the place as one of passerby told them it would rain in the morning. So with reason of rain and elephants, we decided to go for a room in HongadaHalla village. So we kick started our bikes and drive down to this village to reach at 8.00 PM. The villagers were very helpful especially Head Master of the school. He gave us room initially, but we settled for “Ranga Vedhike” which was in open space as we required some cool fresh air.

We had our dinner at 8.30 PM and slept on our mats. We did not use tent this time. We got up at 5.30 AM morning next day and by 6.00 AM we were on the roads towards Sakleshpura. 5 kms before Sakleshpura, we came across our one more destination “Majrabad Fort” also called as “Summer Palace” at around 9.00 AM. This is situated near to the highway so it is hard to miss. We had Badam milk and Tea at hotel and started climbing up towards the Fort leaving our bikes near the hotel itself. While walking up, we came to series of steps (around 200 I guess) which lead to Fort. We reached the fort to be amazed by its beauty.

We hired a guide to tell about its history. This Fort was built by Tippu Sultan. There are 3 Doors to the Fort. It was mainly built to collect and store revenue taxes. Instead of taking all money to Mysore, Tippu wanted to have central place to store the money, hence this fort. The fort is in the shape of stars with 9 sides, each side having watch tower to watch enemies entering. There is huge channel on all sides of fort which was earlier filled with water and crocodiles and poisonous snakes were let into it to avoid enemies. Other than 9 watch towers, there is one extra watch tower which is in front of the fort and looks magnificent with sculptures. The fort has swimming pool at the center in the shape of Plus sign with steps all around it. We went inside the Watch Tower to have experience how the guards watched the building. We stood on top of tower and took some beautiful snaps. The guide showed us the place where Servants room, the kitchen, Bath room were located which are already destroyed by British. He showed us Tippu’s Toilet place which also had separate corner for his bodyguard to watch any enemy entry. He showed us Horse stable, Tippu bedroom, the storage room to store all grains and the storage room for arms. There was escape route to outside on top of the fort. The most thrilling monument was there were 2 escape routes near the swimming pool. These are underground passages used to escape on their horses. The left one leads to Mysore and right leads to Srirangapatna. These escape routes are cured by Govt. of India to protect them from climate changes. The Govt. has blocked the escape routes as there was some rape incident 12 years back in that secret passage. He showed us how the walls of the fort
Keep cool climate even in summer. Hence it was called Summer Palace as Tippu used to come here in summer to have cool climate.

Near to first entrance, on the ceiling we can see the map of the entire fort with star shape with 9 sides including the channel that surrounds the fort. The secret passages are not depicted on this. We came down to our bikes and started towards Bangalore on the NH-48 highway. On the way, we come across 4 ways junction, left road takes us to Hassan and while straight road takes to Bangalore. We continued towards Bangalore with full speed 100Km/hr. Now the bike race actually started. Of course nobody can beat Mayya on Highways. We took left turn towards place called Nuggehalli 2kms after CR Patna. We biked 15 kms towards our final destination “Narasimha Temple” built by Hoysalas. We went inside the temple to find doors closed. We hired a guide there again and he took over all the idols carved on the temple explaining each one of them. The idols start with ‘Brahma’ god and ends with ‘Surya’ god. The other idols consist of Ganesha with eight hands, Harihara, Krishnavatara, Vamanavatara, Parvathi, Kaali, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman, Garuda, Vishnu sitting on snake etc. the Polari came and opened the door for us. Inside there were 3 god idols including ‘Ugranarasimha’ god. He did pooja and gave us teertha. At around 2.00 PM, we started to leave to Bangalore. On the way we went to my Aunty house at Mullukere 5kms from Nuggehalli. We had curd milk, tea and then left to Bangalore.

On the way, I saw a man driving a bike standing on the pedals of his bike with his hands folded. I was shocked to see that and I gave thumbs up sign and he acknowledged by bowing down. We reached Bangalore at 6.30 PM. And at last we had Lemon Tea at 7.00 PM at Kiran’s favorite hadda to mark our successful journey. Cheers!!!!...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why Do We Follow Those Custom Rituals? Why Why Why?

Answers of why...

1. Why do we light a lamp?.

2. Why do we have a prayer room?.

3. Why do we do namaste?.

4. Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?.

5. Why do we wear marks (tilak, pottu and the like) on the forehead?.

6. Why do we not touch papers, books and people with the feet?.

6a. To touch another with the feet is considered an act of misdemeanor. Why is this so?.

7. Why do we apply the holy ash?.

8. Why do offer food to the Lord before eating it?

9. Why do we fast?.

10. Why do we do pradakshina (circumambulate)?.

12. Why do we regard trees and plants as sacred?.

12a. Why do we ring the bell in a temple?.

13. Why do we worship the kalasha?.

14. Why do we consider the lotus as special?.

15. Why do we worship tulasi?.

16. Why do we blow the conch?.

17. Why do we say shaanti thrice?.

18. Why do we offer a coconut?.

19. Why do we chant Om?.

20. Why do we do aarati?.

1. Why do we light a lamp?

In almost every Indian home a lamp is lit daily before the altar of the Lord. In some houses it is lit at dawn, in some, twice a day – at dawn and dusk – and in a few it is maintained continuously (akhanda deepa). All auspicious functions commence with the lighting of the lamp, which is often maintained right through the occasion.
Light symbolizes knowledge, and darkness, ignorance. The Lord is the "Knowledge Principle" (chaitanya) who is the source, the enlivener and the illuminator of all knowledge. Hence light is worshiped as the Lord himself.
Knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. Also knowledge is a lasting inner wealth by which all outer achievement can be accomplished. Hence we light the lamp to bow down to knowledge as the greatest of all forms of wealth.
Why not light a bulb or tube light? That too would remove darkness. But the traditional oil lamp has a further spiritual significance. The oil or ghee in the lamp symbolizes our vaasanas or negative tendencies and the wick, the ego. When lit by spiritual knowledge, the vaasanas get slowly exhausted and the ego too finally perishes. The flame of a lamp always burns upwards. Similarly we should acquire such knowledge as to take us towards higher ideals.

Whilst lighting the lamp we thus pray:
Deepajyothi parabrahma
Deepa sarva tamopahaha
Deepena saadhyate saram
Sandhyaa deepo namostute
I prostrate to the dawn/dusk lamp; whose light is the Knowledge Principle (the Supreme Lord), which removes the darkness of ignorance and by which all can be achieved in life.
2. Why do we have a prayer room?
Most Indian homes have a prayer room or altar. A lamp is lit and the Lord worshipped each day. Other spiritual practices like japa (repetition of the Lord's name), meditation, paaraayana (reading of the scriptures), prayers, and devotional singing etc is also done here. Special worship is done on auspicious occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and the like. Each member of the family – young or old – communes with and worships the Divine here.
The Lord is the entire creation. He is therefore the true owner of the house we live in too. The prayer room is the Master room of the house. We are the earthly occupants of His property. This notion rids us of false pride and possessiveness.
The ideal attitude to take is to regard the Lord as the true owner of our homes and us as caretakers of His home. But if that is rather difficult, we could at least think of Him as a very welcome guest. Just as we would house an important guest in the best comfort, so too we felicitate the Lord's presence in our homes by having a prayer room or altar, which is, at all times, kept clean and well-decorated.
Also the Lord is all pervading. To remind us that He resides in our homes with us, we have prayer rooms. Without the grace of the Lord, no task can be successfully or easily accomplished. We invoke His grace by communing with Him in the prayer room each day and on special occasions.
Each room in a house is dedicated to a specific function like the bedroom for resting, the drawing room to receive guests, the kitchen for cooking etc. The furniture, decor and the atmosphere of each room are made conducive to the purpose it serves. So too for the purpose of meditation, worship and prayer, we should have a conducive atmosphere – hence the need for a prayer room.
Sacred thoughts and sound vibrations pervade the place and influence the minds of those who spend time there. Spiritual thoughts and vibrations accumulated through regular meditation, worship and chanting done there pervade the prayer room. Even when we are tired or agitated, by just sitting in the prayer room for a while, we feel calm, rejuvenated and spiritually uplifted.
3. Why do we do namaste?

Indians greet each other with namaste. The two palms are placed together in front of the chest and the head bows whilst saying the word namaste. This greeting is for all – people younger than us, of our own age, those older than friends, even strangers and us.
There are five forms of formal traditional greeting enjoined in the shaastras of which namaskaram is one. This is understood as prostration but it actually refers to paying homage as we do today when we greet each other with a namaste.
Namaste could be just a casual or formal greeting, a cultural convention or an act of worship. However there is much more to it than meets the eye. In Sanskrit namah + te = namaste. It means – I bow to you – my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. Namaha can also be literally interpreted as "na ma" (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one's ego in the presence of another.
The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds. When we greet another, we do so with namaste, which means, "may our minds meet," indicated by the folded palms placed before the chest. The bowing down of the head is a gracious form of extending friendship in love and humility.
The spiritual meaning is even deeper. The life force, the divinity, the Self or the Lord in me is the same in all. Recognizing this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we salute with head bowed the Divinity in the person we meet. That is why sometimes, we close our eyes as we do namaste to a revered person or the Lord – as if to look within. The gesture is often accompanied by words like "Ram Ram", "Jai Shri Krishna", "Namo Narayana", "Jai Siya Ram", "Om Shanti" etc – indicating the recognition of this divinity.
When we know this significance, our greeting does not remain just a superficial gesture or word but paves the way for a deeper communion with another in an atmosphere of love and respect.
4. Why do we prostrate before parents and elders?

Indians prostrate before their parents, elders, teachers and noble souls by touching their feet. The elder in turn blesses us by placing his or her hand on or over our heads. Prostration is done daily, when we meet elders and particularly on important occasions like the beginning of a new task, birthdays, festivals etc. In certain traditional circles, prostration is accompanied by abhivaadana, which serves to introduce one-self, announce one's family and social stature.
Man stands on his feet. Touching the feet in prostration is a sign of respect for the age, maturity, nobility and divinity that our elders personify. It symbolizes our recognition of their selfless love for us and the sacrifices they have done for our welfare. It is a way of humbly acknowledging the greatness of another. This tradition reflects the strong family ties, which has been one of India's enduring strengths.
The good wishes (Sankalpa) and blessings (aashirvaada) of elders are highly valued in India. We prostrate to seek them. Good thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes springing from a heart full of love, divinity and nobility have a tremendous strength. When we prostrate with humility and respect, we invoke the good wishes and blessings of elders which flow in the form of positive energy to envelop us. This is why the posture assumed whether it is in the standing or prone position, enables the entire body to receive the energy thus received.
The different forms of showing respect are :
Pratuthana – rising to welcome a person.
Namaskaara – paying homage in the form of namaste (discussed separately in this book). Upasangrahan – touching the feet of elders or teachers.
Shaashtaanga – prostrating fully with the feet, knees, stomach, chest, forehead and arms touching the ground in front of the elder.
Pratyabivaadana – returning a greeting.
Rules are prescribed in our scriptures as to who should prostrate to whom. Wealth, family name, age, moral strength and spiritual knowledge in ascending order of importance qualified men to receive respect. This is why a king though the ruler of the land, would prostrate before a spiritual master. Epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata have many stories highlighting this aspect.
5. Why do we wear marks (tilak, pottu and the like) on the forehead?
The tilak or pottu invokes a feeling of sanctity in the wearer and others. It is recognized as a religious mark. Its form and colour vary according to one's caste, religious sect or the form of the Lord worshipped.
In earlier times, the four castes (based on varna or colour) – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra – applied marks differently. The brahmin applied a white chandan mark signifying purity, as his profession was of a priestly or academic nature. The kshatriya applied a red kumkum mark signifying valour as he belonged to warrior races. The vaishya wore a yellow kesar or turmeric mark signifying prosperity as he was a businessman or trader devoted to creation of wealth. The sudra applied a black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal mark signifying service as he supported the work of the other three divisions.
Also Vishnu worshippers apply a chandan tilak of the shape of "U", Shiva worshippers a tripundra (of the shape of "º ") of bhasma, Devi worshippers a red dot of kumkum and so on).
The tilak cover the spot between the eyebrows, which is the seat of memory and thinking. It is known as the Aajna Chakra in the language of Yoga. The tilak is applied with the prayer – "May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds." Even when we temporarily forget this prayerful attitude the mark on another reminds us of our resolve. The tilak is thus a blessing of the Lord and a protection against wrong tendencies and forces.
The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the subtle spot between the eyebrows especially so. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak and pottu cools the forehead, protects us and prevents energy loss. Sometimes the entire forehead is covered with chandan or bhasma. Using plastic reusable "stick bindis" is not very beneficial, even though it serves the purpose of decoration.
6. Why do we not touch papers, books and people with the feet?
To Indians, knowledge is sacred and divine. So it must be given respect at all times. Nowadays we separate subjects as sacred and secular. But in ancient India every subject – academic or spiritual – was considered divine and taught by the guru in the gurukula.
The custom of not stepping on educational tools is a frequent reminder of the high position accorded to knowledge in Indian culture. From an early age, this wisdom fosters in us a deep reverence for books and education. This is also the reason why we worship books, vehicles and instruments once a year on Saraswathi Pooja or Ayudha Pooja day, dedicated to the Goddess of Learning. In fact, each day before starting our studies, we pray:
Saraswati namasthubhyam
Varade kaama roopini
Vidyaarambham karishyaami
Sidhirbhavatu me sadaa
O Goddess Saraswati, the giver of Boons and fulfiller of wishes, I prostrate to You before starting my studies. May you always fulfill me.
6a. To touch another with the feet is considered an act of misdemeanor. Why is this so?
Man is regarded as the most beautiful, living breathing temple of the Lord! Therefore touching another with the feet is akin to disrespecting the divinity within him or her. This calls for an immediate apology, which is offered with reverence and humility.
7. Why do we apply the holy ash?

The ash of any burnt object is not regarded as holy ash. Bhasma (the holy ash) is the ash from the homa (sacrificial fire) where special wood along with ghee and other herbs is offered as worship of the Lord. Or the deity is worshipped by pouring ash as abhisheka and is then distributed as bhasma.
Bhasma is generally applied on the forehead. Some apply it on certain parts of the body like the upper arms, chest etc. Some ascetics rub it all over the body. Many consume a pinch of it each time they receive it.
The word bhasma means, "that by which our sins are destroyed and the Lord is remembered". Bha implied bhartsanam ("to destroy") and sma implies smaranam ("to remember"). The application of bhasma therefore signifies destruction of the evil and remembrance of the divine. Bhasma is called vibhuti (which means "glory") as it gives glory to one who applies it and raksha (which means a source of protection) as it protects the wearer from ill health and evil, by purifying him or her.
Homa (offering of oblations into the fire with sacred chants) signifies the offering or surrender of the ego and egocentric desires into the flame of knowledge or a noble and selfless cause. The consequent ash signifies the purity of the mind, which results from such actions.
Also the fire of knowledge burns the oblation and wood signifying ignorance and inertia respectively. The ash we apply indicates that we should burn false identification with the body and become free of the limitations of birth and death. This is not to be misconstrued as a morose reminder of death but as a powerful pointer towards the fact that time and tide wait for none.
Bhasma is specially associated with Lord Shiva who applies it all over His body. Shiva devotes apply bhasma as a tripundra (the form of "º "). When applied with a red spot at the center, the mark symbolizes Shiva-Shakti (the unity of energy and matter that creates the entire seen and unseen universe).
Bhasma has medicinal value and is used in many ayurvedic medicines. It absorbs excess moisture from the body and prevents colds and headaches. The Upanishads say that the famous Mrityunjaya mantra should be chanted whilst applying ash on the forehead.
Tryambakam yajaamahe
Sugandhim pushtivardhanam
Urvaa rukamiva bhandhanaan
Mrytyor muksheeyamaa amrutaat
"We worship the three-eyed Lord Shiva who nourishes and spread fragrance in our lives. May He free us from the shackles of sorrow, change and death – effortlessly, like the fall of a rip brinjal from its stem."
8. Why do offer food to the Lord before eating it?
Indians make an offering of food to the Lord and later partake of it as prasaada – a holy gift from the Lord. In our daily ritualistic worship (pooja) too we offer naivedyam (food) to the Lord.
The Lord is omnipotent and omniscient. Man is a part, while the Lord is the totality. All that we do is by His strength and knowledge alone. Hence what we receive in life as a result of our actions is really His alone. We acknowledge this through the act of offering food to Him. This is exemplified by the Hindi words "tera tujko arpan"– I offer what is Yours to You. Thereafter it is akin to His gift to us, graced by His divine touch.
Knowing this, our entire attitude to food and the act of eating changes. The food offered will naturally be pure and the best. We share what we get with others before consuming it. We do not demand, complain or criticise the quality of the food we get. We eat it with cheerful acceptance ( prasaada buddhi).
Before we partake of our daily meals we first sprinkle water around the plate as an act of purification. Five morsels of food are placed on the side of the plate acknowledging the debt owed by us to the Divine forces ( devta runa) for their benign grace and protection, our ancestors (pitru runa) for giving us their lineage and a family culture, the sages (rishi runa) as our religion and culture have been "realised", aintained and handed down to us by them, our fellow beings ( manushya runa) who constitute society without the support of which we could not live as we do and other living beings (bhuta runa) for serving us selflessly.
Thereafter the Lord, the life force, who is also within us as the five life-giving physiological functions, is offered the food. This is done with the chant
praanaaya swaahaa,
apaanaaya swaahaa,
vyaanaaya swaahaa,
udaanaaya swaahaa,
samaanaaya swaahaa,
brahmane swaahaa
After offering the food thus, it is eaten as prasaada – blessed food.
9. Why do we fast?

Most devout Indians fast regularly or on special occasions like festivals. On such days they do not eat at all, eat once or make do with fruits or a special diet of simple food.
Fasting in Sanskrit is called upavaasa. Upa means "near" + vaasa means "to stay". Upavaasa therefore means staying near (the Lord), meaning the attainment of close mental proximity with the Lord. Then what has upavaasa to do with food?
A lot of our time and energy is spent in procuring food items, preparing, cooking, eating and digesting food. Certain food types make our minds dull and agitated. Hence on certain days man decides to save time and conserve his energy by eating either simple, light food or totally abstaining from eating so that his mind becomes alert and pure. The mind, otherwise pre-occupied by the thought of food, now entertains noble thoughts and stays with the Lord. Since it is a self-imposed form of discipline it is usually adhered to with joy.
Also every system needs a break and an overhaul to work at its best. Rest and a change of diet during fasting is very good for the digestive system and the entire body.
The more you indulge the senses, the more they make their demands. Fasting helps us to cultivate control over our senses, sublimate our desires and guide our minds to be poised and at peace.
Fasting should not make us weak, irritable or create an urge to indulge later. This happens when there is no noble goal behind fasting. The Bhagavad-Gita urges us to eat appropriately – neither too less nor too much – yukta-aahaara and to eat simple, pure and healthy food (a saatvik diet) even when not fasting.
10. Why do we do pradakshina (circumambulate)?
We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and essence of our lives. Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores. This is the significance of pradakshina.
Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the center. This means that wherever or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us without partiality.
11. Why is pradakshina done only in a clockwise manner?
The reason is not, as a person said, to avoid a traffic jam! As we do pradakshina, the Lord is always on our right. In India the right side symbolizes auspiciousness. So as we circumambulate the sanctum sanctorum we remind ourselves to lead an auspicious life of righteousness, with the Lord who is the indispensable source of help and strength, as our guide – the "right hand".
Indian scriptures enjoin – matrudevo bhava, pitrudevo bhava, acharyadevo bhava. May you consider your parents and teachers as you would the Lord.
With this in mind we also do pradakshina around our parents and divine personages.
After the completion of traditional worship (pooja), we customarily do pradakshina around ourselves. In this way we recognize and remember the supreme divinity within us, which alone is idolized in the form of the Lord that we worship outside.
12. Why do we regard trees and plants as sacred?
The Lord, the life in us, pervades all living beings, be they plants or animals. Hence, they are all regarded as sacred. Human life on earth depends on plants and trees. They give us the vital factors that make life possible on earth: food, oxygen, clothing, shelter, medicines etc.
Hence, in India, we are taught to regard trees and plants as sacred. Indians scriptures tell us to plant ten trees if, for any reason, we have to cut one. We are advised to use parts of trees and plants only as much as is needed for food, fuel, shelter etc. we are also urged to apologies to a plant or tree before cutting it to avoid incurring a specific sin named soona
Certain trees and plants like tulasi, peepal etc., which have tremendous beneficial qualities, are worshipped till today. It is believed that divine beings manifest as trees and plants, and many people worship them to fulfill their desires or to please the Lord.
12a. Why do we ring the bell in a temple?

Is it to wake up the Lord? But the Lord never sleeps. Is it to let the Lord know we have come? He does not need to be told, as He is all knowing. Is it a form of seeking permission to enter His precinct? It is a homecoming and therefore entry needs no permission. The Lord welcomes us at all times. Then why do we ring the bell?
The ringing of the bell produces what is regarded as an auspicious sound. It produces the sound Om, the universal name of the Lord. There should be auspiciousness within and without, to gain the vision of the Lord who is all-auspiciousness.
Even while doing the ritualistic aarati, we ring the bell. It is sometimes accompanied by the auspicious sounds of the conch and other musical instruments. An added significance of ringing the bell, conch and other instruments is that they help drowned any inauspicious or irrelevant noises and comments that might disturb or distract the worshippers in their devotional ardour, concentration and inner peace.
As we start the daily ritualistic worship (pooja) we ring the bell, chanting:
Aagamaarthamtu devaanaam
gamanaarthamtu rakshasaam
Kurve ghantaaravam tatra
devataahvaahna lakshanam
I ring this bell indicating the invocation of divinity, So that virtuous and noble forces enter (my home and heart); and the demonic and evil forces from within and without, depart.
13. Why do we worship the kalasha?
First of all what is a kalasha? A brass, mud or copper pot is filled with water. Mango leaves are placed in the mouth of the pot and a coconut is placed over it. A red or white thread is tied around its neck or sometimes all around it in a intricate diamond-shaped pattern. The pot may be decorated wit designs. Such a pot is known as a kalasha.
When the pot is filled with water or rice, it is known as purnakumbha representing the inert body which when filled with the divine life force gains the power to do all the wonderful things that makes life what it is.
A kalasha is placed with due rituals on all-important occasions like the traditional house warming (grihapravesa), wedding, daily worship etc. It is placed near the entrance as a sign of welcome. It is also used in a traditional manner while receiving holy personages. Why do we worship the kalasha? Before the creation came into being, Lord Vishnu was reclining on His snake-bed in the milky ocean. From His navel emerged a lotus from which appeared Lord Brahma, the creator, who thereafter created this world.
The water in the kalasha symbolizes the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged. It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the world from the energy behind the universe. The leaves and coconut represent creation.
The thread represents the love that "binds" all in creation. The kalasha is therefore considered auspicious and worshipped. The waters from all the holy rivers, the knowledge of all the Vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalasha and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the abhisheka.
The consecration (kumbhaabhisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalashas of holy water on the top of the temple. When the asuras and devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared bearing the pot of nectar, which blessed one with everlasting life.
Thus the kalasha also symbolizes immortality. Men of wisdom are full and complete as they identify with the infinite Truth ( poornatvam). They brim with joy and love and respect all that is auspicious. We greet them with a purnakumbha ("full pot") acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful and reverential welcome, with a "full heart".
14. Why do we consider the lotus as special?
The lotus is the symbol of truth, auspiciousness and beauty (satyam, shivam, sundaram). The Lord is also that nature and therefore, His various aspects are compared to a lotus ( i.e. lotus-eyes, lotus feet, lotus hands, the lotus of the heart etc.).
The lotus blooms with the rising sun and close at night. Similarly, our minds open up and expand with the light of knowledge. The lotus grows even in slushy areas. It remains beautiful and untainted despite its surroundings, reminding us that we too can and should strive to remain pure and beautiful within, under all circumstances.
The lotus leaf never gets wet even though it is always in water. It symbolizes the man of wisdom (gyaani) who remains ever joyous, unaffected by the world of sorrow and change. This is revealed in a shloka from the Bhagwad-Geeta:
Brahmanyaadhaaya karmaani
Sangam tyaktvaa karoti yaha
Lipyate na sa paapena
Padma patram ivaambhasaa
He who does actions, offering them to Brahman (the Supreme), abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin, just as a lotus leaf remains unaffected by the water on it.
From this, we learn that what is natural to the man of wisdom becomes a discipline to be practiced by all saadhakas or spiritual seekers and devotees. Our bodies have certain energy centers described in the Yoga Shaastras as chakras.
Each one is associated with lotus that has a certain number of petals. For example, a lotus with a thousand petals represents the Sahasra chakra at the top of the head, which opens when the yogi attains Godhood or Realisation. Also, the lotus posture ( padmaasana) is recommended when one sits for meditation. A lotus emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Lord Brahma originated from it to create the world. Hence, the lotus symbolizes the link between the creator and the supreme Cause.
It also symbolizes Brahmaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma. The auspicious sign of the swastika is said to have evolved from the lotus.
15. Why do we worship tulasi?
In Sanskrit, tulanaa naasti athaiva tulasi - that which is incomparable (in its qualities) is the tulasi.
For Indians it is one of the most sacred plants. In fact it is known to be the only thing used in worship, which, once used, can be washed and reused in pooja - as it is regarded so self-purifying.
As one story goes, Tulasi was the devoted wife of Shankhachuda, a celestial being. She believed that Lord Krishna tricked her into sinning. So she cursed Him to become a stone ( shaaligraama). Seeing her devotion and adhered to righteousness, the Lord blessed her saying that she would become the worshipped plant, tulasi that would adorn His head.
Also that all offerings would be incomplete without the tulasi leaf - hence the worship of tulasi.
She also symbolises Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu. Those who wish to be righteous and have a happy family life worship the tulasi.
Tulasi is married to the Lord with all pomp and show as in any wedding.
This is because according to another legend, the Lord blessed her to be His consort. Satyabhama once weighed Lord Krishna against all her legendary wealth. The scales did not balance till a single tulasi leaf was placed along with the wealth on the scale by Rukmini with devotion.
Thus the tulasi played the vital role of demonstrating to the world that even a small object offered with devotion means more to the Lord than all the wealth in the world. The tulasi leaf has great medicinal value and is used to cure various ailments, including the common cold.
Yanmule sarvatirhaani
Yannagre sarvadevataa
Yanmadhye sarvavedaascha
Tulasi taam namaamyaham
I bow down to the tulasi, At whose base are all the holy places, At whose top reside all the deities and In whose middle are all the Vedas.
16. Why do we blow the conch?
When the conch is blown, the primordial sound of Om emanates. Om is an auspicious sound that was chanted by the Lord before creating the world. It represents the world and the Truth behind it.
As the story goes, the demon Shankhaasura defeated devas, the Vedas and went to the bottom of the ocean. The devas appealed to Lord Vishnu for help. He incarnated as Matsya Avataara - the "fish incarnation" and killed Shankhaasura. The Lord blew the conch-shaped bone of his ear and head. The Om sound emanated, from which emerged the Vedas.
All knowledge enshrined in the Vedas is an elaboration of Om. The conch therefore is known as shankha after Shankaasua. The conch blown by the Lord is called Paanchajanya. He carries it at all times in one of His four hands. It represents dharma or righteousness that is one of the four goals (purushaarthas) of life.
The sound of the conch is thus also the victory call of good over evil. Another well-known purpose of blowing the conch and the instruments, known traditionally to produce auspicious sounds is to drown or mask negative comments or noises that may disturb or upset the atmosphere or the minds of worshippers.
Ancient India lived in her villages. Each village was presided over by a primary temple and several small ones. During the aarati performed after all-important poojas and on sacred occasions, the conch used to be blown. Since villages were generally small, the sound of the conch would be heard all over the village. People who could not make it to the temple were reminded to stop whatever they were doing, at least for a few seconds, and mentally bow to the Lord. The conch sound served to briefly elevate people's minds to a prayerful attitude even in the middle of their busy daily routine.
The conch is placed at the altar in temples and homes next to the Lord as a symbol of Naada Brahma (Truth), the Vedas, Om, dharma, victory and auspiciousness. It is often used to offer devotees thirtha (sanctified water) to raise their minds to the highest Truth. It is worshipped with the following verse.
Twam puraa saagarot pannaha
Vishnunaa vidhrutahakare
Devaischa poojitha sarvahi
Panchjanya namostu te
Salutations to Panchajanya the conch born of the ocean Held in the hand of Lord Vishnu and worshipped by all devaas
17. Why do we say shaanti thrice?
Shaanti, meaning "peace", is a natural state of being. Disturbances are created either by others or us. For example, peace already exists in a place until someone makes noise. Therefore, peace underlies all our agitations. When agitations end, peace is naturally experienced since it was already there. Where there is peace, there is happiness. Therefore, every one without exception desires peace in his/her life.
However, peace within or without seems very hard to attain because it is covered by our own agitations. A rare few manage to remain peaceful within even in the midst of external agitation and troubles. To invoke peace, we chant prayers. By chanting prayers, troubles end and peace is experienced internally, irrespective of the external disturbances. All such prayers end by chanting shaanti thrice.
It is believed that trivaram satyam - that which is said thrice comes true. For emphasizing a point we repeat a thing thrice. In the court of law also, one who takes the witness stands says, "I shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
We chant shaanti thrice to emphasise our intense desire for peace. All obstacles, problems and sorrows originate from three sources.
Aadhidaivika : The unseen divine forces over which we have little or no control like earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions etc.
Aadhibhautika: The known factors around us like accidents, human contacts, pollution, crime etc.
Aadhyaatmika : We sincerely pray to the Lord that at least while we undertake special tasks or even in our daily lives, there are no problems or that, problems are minimised from the three sources written about above.
May peace alone prevail. Hence shaanti is chanted thrice.
It is chanted aloud the first time, addressing the unseen forces. It is chanted softer the second time, directed to our immediate surroundings and those around, and softest the last time as it is addressed to oneself.
18. Why do we offer a coconut?
In India one of the most common offerings in a temple is a coconut. It is also offered on occasions like weddings, festivals, the use of a new vehicle, bridge, house etc. It is offered in the sacrificial fire whilst performing homa. The coconut is broken and placed before the Lord. It is later distributed as prasaada.
The fibre covering of the dried coconut is removed except for a tuft on the top. The marks on the coconut make it look like the head of a human being. The coconut is broken, symbolising the breaking of the ego. The juice within, representing the inner tendencies ( vaasanas) is offered along with the white kernel - the mind, to the Lord.
A mind thus purified by the touch of the Lord is used as prasaada ( a holy gift). In the traditional abhishekha ritual done in all temples and many homes, several materials are poured over the deity like milk, curd, honey, tender coconut water, sandal paste, holy ash etc. Each material has a specific significance of bestowing certain benefits on worshippers. Tender coconut water is used in abhisheka rituals since it is believed to bestow spiritual growth on the seeker.
The coconut also symbolises selfless service. Every part of the tree -the trunk, leaves, fruit, coir etc. Is used in innumerable ways like thatches, mats, tasty dishes, oil, soap etc. It takes in even salty water from the earth and converts it into sweet nutritive water that is especially beneficial to sick people. It is used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines and in other alternative medicinal systems.
The marks on the coconut are even thought to represent the three-eyed Lord Shiva and therefore it is considered to be a means to fulfill our desires.
19. Why do we chant Om?
Om is one of the most chanted sound symbols in India. It has a profound effect on the body and mind of the one who chants and also on the surroundings. Most mantras and vedic prayers start with Om.
All auspicious actions begin with Om. It is even used as a greeting - Om, Hari Om etc. It is repeated as a mantra or meditated upon. Its form is worshipped, contemplated upon or used as an auspicious sign.
Om is the universal name of the Lord. It is made up of the letters A (phonetically as in "around"), U (phonetically as in "put") and M (phonetically as in "mum"). The sound emerging from the vocal chords starts from the base of the throat as "A". With the coming together of the lips, "U" is formed and when the lips are closed, all sounds end in "M".
The three letters symbolize the three states (waking, dream and deep sleep), the three deities (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva), the three Vedas (Rig, Yajur and Sama) the three worlds (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Suvah) etc. The Lord is all these and beyond.
The formless, attributeless Lord (Brahman) is represented by the silence between two Om Chants. Om is also called pranava that means, "that (symbol or sound) by which the Lord is praised". The entire essence of the Vedas is enshrined in the word Om. It is said that the Lord started creating the world after chanting Om and atha. Hence its sound is considered to create an auspicious beginning for any task that we undertake. The Om chant should have the resounding sound of a bell (aaooommm).
Om is written in different ways in different places. The most common form symbolizes Lord Ganesha's. The upper curve is the head; the lower large one, the stomach; the side one, the trunk; and the semi-circular mark with the dot, the sweetmeat ball (modaka) in Lord Ganesha's hand. Thus Om symbolizes everything - the means and the goal of life, the world and the Truth behind it, the material and the Sacred, all form and the Formless.
20. Why do we do aarati?
Towards the end of every ritualistic worship (pooja or bhajan) of the Lord or to welcome an honored guest or saint, we perform the aarati. This is always accompanied by the ringing of the bell and sometimes by singing, playing of musical instruments and clapping.
It is one of the sixteen steps (shodasha upachaara) of the pooja ritual. It is referred to as the lighted lamp in the right hand, which we wave in a clockwise circling movement to light the entire form of the Lord.
Each part is revealed individually and also the entire form of the Lord. As the light is waved we either do mental or loud chanting of prayers or simply behold the beautiful form of the Lord, illumined by the lamp. At the end of the aarati we place our hands over the flame and then gently touch our eyes and the top of the head.
We have seen and participated in this ritual from our childhood. Let us find out why we do the aarati?
Having worshipped the Lord of love - performing abhisheka, decorating the image and offering fruits and delicacies, we see the beauty of the Lord in all His glory. Our minds are focused on each limb of the Lord as the lamp lights it up. It is akin to silent open-eyed meditation on His beauty. The singing, clapping, ringing of the bell etc. denote the joy and auspiciousness, which accompanies the vision of the Lord.

Puttannanavara Chitragala Vivara

23 Movies from the great director Puttanna Kanagal

Kannada chitra rangada bangaaradha yuga (Golden age of Kannada film industry)

One of the doyens of Kannada film industry, a committed person to make Kannada films shine in the international scene, a perfected technician, a person of great social responsibilities, and above all a person who knew the ins and outs of film making. Mr. Puttanna Kanagal represented the Indian directors in a director's summit in Russia.
He is one of the greatest filmmakers who transcended the technical limitations of his time in filmmaking. His film "Maanasa Sarovara" is one of the finest on human psychology. His portrayal of "AmruthaghaLige" i.e., "The most auspicious moment" in the film "AmuthaghaLige" is his concern for Social change. His depiction of the tenderness of love in "Saakshaatkaara" shows his ability to handle an otherwise boring story in a way liking to the audiences.
Below I would like to list his works in Kannada. His works, though includes films in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam, are very few and so a list of them is given at the end. His works are only mentioned here. His works are best understood by watching them in action. My inert pen cannot convey all the action he brought on the screen. This is a small tribute to a great personality who made a considerable value addition to the world of filmmaking.

1) Bellimoda (literally means-Silver Cloud)
A film with close association with the literary personalities of Kannada. The film is based on Ms. Triveni's Novel "bekkina kaNNu". It has a few wonderful songs which are hummed even today. Dr. Da. Ra. Bendre's "mUDaNa maneyA muttina nIrina erakaava hoydaa" brings on the scene the "minugutaare" (shining star) .
Kalpana, who later worked with the director in another similar film called "sharapaMjara". She played tragic roles in both the films, which displayed her as a complete actress. Mr. Puttanna was restless to see the morning Sunrise in black and white, which he could see in colour through his camera but not on the silver screen. This film started a generation of good movies which led the golden age of Kannada film industry. Mr. Puttanna wandered one full week to search a tree from where the sunrise would be grand to match the lines of Dr. Bendre's lines, and he finally could locate one near Chickmagalur (The coffee district of Karnataka), and this tree has additional significance in the film.
Cast: Kalyan Kumar, Kalpana, Pandari Bai, Ashwath
Songs: Dr. Da.Ra. Bendre, Vijayanarasimha
Music: Vijayabhaskar

2) Mallammana Pavaada (1969)
A village leader's son is drugged and made dumb by his own step mother who wants her "own" son to get the property of her husband. To culminate the dumb fellow's fate she gets him married with a village lass (Mallamma), who educates him-besides getting herself educated. Thus she makes him capable of understanding what is happening around. Sounds the storyline is familiar? Yes you are right, the Hindi movie "beTa" is a poor copy of this Puttanna's original movie. Unfortunately Ravichandran made this very movie in Kannada as a remake (Annayya). An astoundingly good social story line wonderfully narrated by Puttanna made ripples in the filmdom and paved the way for some really good movies. As a typical characteristic of Puttanna Kanagal's movies, this film also has good music, wonderful display of characters. Listen to "Ever Lively" L.R. Eshwari's song "aashaa vilaasi".
Cast: Dr. Rajkumar and others
Songs: Kanagal Prabhakar Shastry
Music: Vijaya Bhaskar

3) Kappu Bilupu (1969)
A movie with the highlight of Puttanna's movies, i.e., fine music. Listen to P. Susheela's Golden hour, the song "ee chendada maneyalli" and "amma ninna tOLinalli kaMda naanu"
Cast: Rajesh, Kalpana and others
Songs: R.N. Jayagopal
Music: R. Ratna

4) Gejje Puje (1969)
A film to bring social awareness about a rampant problem of all times. This story is about a woman who is branded a "whore", and about how her child is innocently wants to know what it really means. A brilliant acting by Ashwath, Lokanath and Leelavathi. The film also has the portrayal of the innocence of childhood which is a common feature in Steven Spielberg's films.
The usual highlights of Puttanna's films like, carrying the audience without boring, good songs, sensible story handling and with a social touch are well witnessed in the movie. Songs like "gagnavu ellO.. bhUmiyu ellO..", "paMchamavEda prEmada naada" are from this movie.
Cast: Ashwath, Leelavathi, Lokanath and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha
Music: M. Ranga Rao

5) KaruLina Kare (1970)
Dr. Raj and Puttanna together make this a fine movie. Listen to the song "maisUru dasara, eshToMdu suMdara" by P.B. Srinivas
Cast: Dr. Rajkumar, Renuka, Kalpana and others
Lyrics: R.N. Jayagopal
Music: M. Ranga Rao

6) Sharapanjara (1971)
Probably actress Kalpana's best performance. The storyline deals with human psychology. Has best music with songs like "biLigiri raMgayya", "uttara dhRuvadiM dakshiNa dhruvakU", "koDagina kaavEri", "saMdEsha mEgha saMdEsha".
One more interesting thing is Puttanna could make heroine centric films like this one and make them commercially successful. So, it was the director's movie rather than a hero's movie.
Cast: Kalpana, Gangadhar
Songs: Dr. Da.Ra. Bendre, Vijayanarasimha
Music: Vijayabhaskar

7) Sakshathkara (1971)
One of the finest movies I have ever seen. The tenderness of love is depicted at its best. Has the best music. Has Dr. Raj with Puttanna for the third time (after Mallammana Pavada and Karulina Kare). Never to miss the song "olave jeevana saakShtkaara". Also has Narasimharaju with some real good humour. Mr. Prithviraj Kapoor has given one of his greatest performances as father of Dr. Raj in the movie.
Cast: Dr. Raj, Vajramuni, Jamuna, Narasimharaju, Prithviraj Kapoor, Balakrishna
Songs: Kanagal Prabhakara Shastry
Music: M. Ranga Rao

8) Nagara Haavu (1972)
This movie gave two actors to Kannada film industry, who later went on to get millions of fans. This movie introduced Vishnuvardhan (Puttanna renamed "Kumar" as Vishnuvardhan and told he should become as famous as the king by the name) and Ambarish. This is the only movie which had Vishnuvardhan in all of Puttanna's movies. After this movie, Chitradurga and its surroundings became tourist places. The movie has finest music and a song introduces 'Abhinaya Sharade' Jayanthi as 'Obavva'- the wife of a watch guard who became immortal after the war that followed.. Jayanti still remembers this role of her as her career's best performance. One more important thing is the versatility Puttanna brought in each of his films. Jayanthi though had a historical role, in her next project with Puttanna, she was given a role of 'fallen lady' in the film 'Edakallu guddada mele'. This movie is based on the novel by another famous writer of Kannada Mr. Ta. Ra. Subbarao.
Cast: Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Shivaram, Ashwath, Leelaavathi
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, R.N. Jayagopal
Music: Vijayabhaskar

9) Edakallu Ghuddadha mele (1973)
The movie has a social storyline. Jayanthi and Arathi have given their finest performances. Chandrashekhar (the hero of the movie) is caught between morals and pleasure. Has some of the finest songs of all times. The song "viraha nUru nUru taraha" personified Vijayanarasimha as "Virahanarasimha". Other humming tunes from the movie are "saMOsha Elu svaragaLa", "nillu nille pataMga", "saMnyaasi arjuna saMnyaasi", "guMDina mattE gammattu" still have their top position among good musical hits.
Cast: Chandrashekhar, Jayanthi, Arathi and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha,
Music: M. Ranga Rao

10) Upaasane (1974)
A musical extravaganza. The film has a spiritual storyline. The music is the highlight of the movie. The movie is undeclared tribute to the trinities of Carnatic music (Shyama Shastry, Thyagaraja and Muttuswami Dikshitar). The lyricists have rendered their best creative works for the movie. I cannot point out a single song as movie's highlight. The songs "bhaaratha bhooshira", "bhaavaveMba hoovu arali", "aachaaravillada naalige" are fantastically adopted in the film.
Cast: Arathi, Leelavathi, Laxmidevi, K.S. Ashwath, S. Seetharam, Vajramuni, Musuri Krishnamurthy
Songs: Purandhara Dasaru, Vijayanarasimha, Chi. Udayashankar
Music: Vijayabhaskar

11) Shubha MaMgaLa (1975)
Puttanna's portrayal of Shubha Mangala (meaning the reunion) is the uniting of the lovers. Film has a fine story, fine songs. Srinath appeared for the first time in Puttanna's film. Srinath's image as "Pranaya Raja" is depicted through the song "Hoovondu baLibaMdu".
Cast: Srinath, Arathi, Shivaram and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, M.N. Vyasa Rao
Music: Vijayabhaskar

12) Kathaa Sangama (1975)

As the name says, it is made with three stories of three different writers.
Puttanna's prolific capability of writing the story script is well exhibited through this movie. Obviously the story was fantastic and the technical work.
Cast: Rajnikanth,Arathi and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha
Music: Vijayabhaskar

13) Bilee Hendti (1975)
This film brought Kasthuri Shankar who sang the song "raMgEna haLLiyaage" with Vani Jayaram. The film has a tragic storyline. The tragic story is very well handled by Puttanna. The song "raMgEna haLLiyaage" is taken from a popular folk story which I had heard in our homes. The songs popularity inpired the making of another film with the name "raMgEna haLLiyaage raMgaada raMgEgouDa".
Dont' miss to listen to the song "yaava taayiyu paDeda maganaadarEnu"
Cast: Arathi,Anil Kumar,Margaret Thompson,Leelavathi
Songs: Vijayanarasimha
Music: Vijayabhaskar

14) Phalitamsha (1976)
The film brought "Mogambo" Amarish Puri into Kannada films. A fine movie with good music and a very good story. Listen to Vani Jayaram in the song "Love eMdare..."
Cast: Amarish Puri and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, Shyamasundar Kulkarni, R.N.Jayagopal
Music: Vijayabhaskar

15) Kaaleju RaMga (1976)
Some spirited music and "metallica" like songs. A film made in a different dimension then Puttanna's usual way. The songs like "Colleju raMgadalli". The story unfolds in a college campus.
Cast: Ambarish and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, Chi. Udayashankar
Music: Upendrakumar

16) Paduvaarahalli Paandavaru (1978)
One of the finest movies comparable to anytime anywhere movies.
Five people fight against the misdeeds of the so called "head" of a village and his followers. Has some of the finest songs like "janma neeDida bhUtaayiya", "tUkadisi tUkaDisi bILadiro tamma". Puttanna's careful observation has not left to expose how Hindi can be a language of deceit through two characters who claim not to know Kannada but only Hindi and collect money through the "head" of the Village and try to flee the village. But through dramatic events they get caught. Not to miss the song "kaNNa muchchi kuLitare", "Esu varsha aithe niMge"
Cast: Ambarish, Ramakrishna, Jai Jagadish, Ashok, Dhirendra Gopal, Arathi and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, R.N. Jayagopal
Music: Vijayabhaskar

17) Dharmasere (1979)
Remember the songs "kaMdaa, O muddu kaMdaa.." and "mUka hakkiyu haaDutide", "ee saMbhaaShaNe namma I prEma saMbhaaShaNe"? These superb songs are from this movie. The movie has a very touching storyline.
Cast: Arathi, Srinath, Musuri Krishnamurthy and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha
Music: Upendrakumar

18) Ranganaayaki (1981)
Another gem of a movie which won the national award for Puttanna and for Kannada. The story has a daring subject in which one falls in love his own mother not knowing she is his mother. The tragic ending ends the life of "raMganaayaki". Ambarish, Ashok, Ramakrishna, Arathi have given their finest performances in this movie. Fine songs like "jai jagadaMbe", "maMdaara pushpavu neenu", "kannaDa naaDina rasikara manavaa", "jai hRudaya jhEMkaara" and some of
the adoptations of "raMgabhUmi" (theatrical music) are the highlights of the movie.
Cast: Ambarish, Arathi, Ashok, Ramakrishna, Musuri Krishnamurthy and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, R.N. Jayagopal
Music: M. Ranga Rao

19) Maanasa Sarovara (1982)
Probaly the finest movie with a subject exhibiting the human psychology. This movie redefined the image of two actors (Srinath and Ramakrishna).
While Srinath proved that he is an actor of content, Ramakrishna got the image of a playboy through this movie. This movie also introduced another fine actress Padmavasanthi. The movie is concpicuously important as this was made after a similar tragic incident in the life of Puttanna. Some never to miss songs like "vEdaaMti hELidanu", "maanasa sarOvara", "cheMda cheMda", and Poet G.S. Shivarudrappa's poem "haaDu haLeyadaadarEnu" are simply superb and their picturization. The dialogues are awe inspiringly simple and good.
The movie won Puttanna awards and accollades. Vijayanarasimha penned a song which was a tribute to Puttanna "O guNavaMtha, O guNavaMtha" (in the movie masaNada hUvu).
The movie is filmed in Sandur and nearby places. The location, the songs, the picturization are all wonderfully crafted to bring the poetic moments Puttanna wants to bring in the minds of audiences.
Cast: Srinath, Ramakrishna, Padmavasanthi, Mysore Lokesh, Vaishali Kasaravalli
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, R.N. Jayagopal, Dr. G.S. Shivarudrappa and others
Music: Vijayabhaskar

20) Dharani Mandala Madhyadolage (1983)
Listen to the song "geLati O geLati", fantastic picturisation

21) RuNamuktaLu (1984)
Puttanna was a producer for this movie. Even with his money he made films of social awareness like this one. The film has fine songs and a very touching storyline.
Cast: Padmavaasanthi, Bhaarathi

22) Amtutha Galige (1984)
"A widow getting a new life" is how Puttanna depicts "amRutha ghaLige" (auspicious moment). The hero is a book worm and well mannered who marries his friend knowing that she was in love with another (Santhosh) friend of him. He lives with her and brings up "her" child. But conveys to Santhosh that he did a mistake and there is not point in continuing it any further. The film climaxes when Santhosh convinces the "window" to marry him. The moment when this happens Puttanna puts it the auspicious moment. The film has scenes from some of very good locations. Never to miss the songs like "hiMdUstaanavu eMdU mareyada", "paarvathi parashivara praNaya prasaMga" are from this movie.
Cast: Ramakrishna, Sridhar, Padma Vasanthi and others
Songs: Vijayanarasimha
Music: Vijayabhaskar

23) Masanada Hoovu (1984)
Has fine music, songs, storyline. The tragic moment happened in Puttanna's life during the making of this movie. Puttanna did not live to finish the movie.
Vijayanarasimha rendered a song to commemmorate the memory of Puttanna "O guNavaMtha". The songs like, "masaNada hUveMdu nInEke koraguve" are still popular.
Cast: Ambarish,Aparna
Songs: Vijayanarasimha, R.N. Jayagopal
Music: Vijayabhaskar