Monthly Archives: April 2013

The fight between Lord Ram and Hanuman

Once in the court of Ayodhya kingdom a debate took place among the wisest of scholars. Great sages like Narada, Vasishta and Vishwamitra were also present in the court. The topic was the debate was, who/what is stronger, Lord Ram or His name ? Rishi Narada stated with confidence that it was Rama Nama (Ram’s name) and that He could easily prove his statement.

That day, when the court was about to disperse, Devrishi Narada, known for His interest in creating discord between two people, went upto Hanuman, who had been a silent witness to the debate. He told Hanuman to respect all sages except Rajrishi Vishwamitra, since He was king. Hanuman being the obedient person He was, followed the Devrishi’s words and greeted all the other sages except Vishwamitra. Sage Vishwamitra also did not probably mind it. But Narada made it a point to go to Vishwamitra and point out disrespectful Hanuman was being, by not greeting only Him. On  hearing this, Vishwamitra got thoroughly worked up so much so that, He even went up to Ram and asked Him to issue a death sentence again Hanuman, for not respecting Him. Vishwamitra was Ram’s guru and He could not disobey His guru’s words. Thus Ram ordered that Hanuman be killed the very next day. He also said that He would Himself shoot the arrow to kill Hanuman. Hanuman got scared and He went to Narada and asked why He was being punished for listening to Narada’s words. Narada asked Him to stay calm and not worry about anything. He also asked Hanuman to take a dip in the river and stand on it’s banks chanting the Rama Nama.

The next day, Hanuman obeyed Narada’s words and stood on the banks of the river, waiting for Ram to come and shoot the arrow. Ram came. Hanuman looked at Ram with full devotion and started chanting “Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram”, continuously. Ram kept shooting arrows but none of them could harm Hanuman. They would reach Hanuman and fall down at His feet. Ram got exhausted. Finally He took out the strongest weapon, the Brahmastra. But much to the amazement of the people gathered around, even the great Brahmastra failed.

In the mean time, Narada went to Vishwamitra asked Him to stop the fight. He confessed that it was all started by Him and that it was His way of proving that the Rama Nama was stronger than Ram himself.

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Hanuman was the greatest devotee of Ram
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Preventing buffer overflow attacks using GDB

Recently my article got published in the April 2013 edition of Linux For You magazine, which is Asia’s first and complete magazine on open source technologies. The name of the article is “Preventing buffer overflow attacks using GDB“. It demonstrates the case of a simple buffer overflow and how it can be exploited. The basic usage of GDB is also explained in the article.

You can read the article from here : Preventing buffer overflow attacks using GDB

The noble character of Lakshman

I would like to share with you all, another story which brings out how noble and loyal Lakshman was. When Seeta had been abducted, she had dropped her jewels. When Sugreev asked Ram asked to identify Seeta’s jewels He was not able to do it. Instead He was able to identify the yellow cloth in which the jewels had been wrapped, as Hers. Disappointed, He then passes the jewels to Lakshman asking Him to identify if they were Seeta’s jewels. Lakshman immediately identifies the anklets as Seeta’s. Ram asks Lakshman how He was so sure. To this Lakshman replied that, everyday after having His bath, He used to prostrate Seeta and worship Her. He had only looked at Her feet. During the fourteen years of exile, He had never looked at Her in the face. This was one the reasons that Lakshman could kill Indrajith (also known as Meghnadh), the son of Ravan. There were three conditions which were to be satisfied by a person if he wanted to kill Indrajith. He should not have slept, eaten or looked at a women’s face for fourteen years. Since Lakshman satisfied all these conditions, He was able to kill Indrajith.

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Ram and Lakshman meet Sugreev

The forgotten character in Ramayan

Recently, I was listening to Ramayana being chanted in a temple near my home. The priests were narrating the part where Seeta was arguing with Ram, regarding accompanying Him to the forest during the exile. Finally Ram had to give in. When Seeta and Ram come out, ready to leave for the forest, they find Lakshman waiting outside. He says he would also accompany Him and Ram agrees reluctantly.

That was when it occurred to me that a very important character has been forgotten. Ramayana speaks greatly of how ideal a wife, Sita is. But it never mentions much about Urmila, Lakshman’s wife. Ramayana probably devotes only a stanza or so to her. Seeta atleast got to stay with her husband, and fulfill her duties of staying with her husband during difficult times. But Urmila did not get that privilege. What happens to her, back in the palace is not mentioned in the epic.

When Ram and Seeta decide to go to the forest, despite Lakshman pleading with Him to not take Kaikeyi’s words seriously, Lakshman becomes upset. He decides to accompany them to the forest, and comes to his chamber to inform Urmila about this. Urmila does not insist that she would come to the forest along with him, like Seeta did. Instead, she asks him to take good care of Ram and Seeta and not to think about her. She foresaw that if she went along with Him, He would not be able to devote himself completely to the service of Ram and Seeta. Such is the great sacrifice of Urmila. Lakshman could become the ideal brother only because of Urmila’s sacrifices.

So what did Urmila do during those fourteen years ?

One version says that Urmila slept during the fourteen years that she was away from her husband. Before you misinterpret her, here is what happened. Lakshman was guarding Ram and Seeta at night, lest somebody attack them. Thus, when the Goddess of sleep, Nidra devi approached Him, He asked her to leave Him alone for the next fourteen years so that He could take care of His brother and sister in law, day and night. But as per the rules of nature, someone would have to bear the consequences of His sleepless. Lakshman asked her to inform this to His wife who was in the palace of Ayodhya. When Urmila was told this, she willingly asked that all her husband’s sleep for the next fourteen years be given to her. Hence, she was asleep for the fourteen years that Lakshman was away and during those fourteen years of exile Lakshman did not sleep at all. It was primarily due to this very reason that Lakshman was able to defeat Meganadh, the son of Ravan. Only one who had not slept, eaten or looked at a women’s face for fourteen years could defeat him. Lakshman could do this only due to Urmila’s sacrifice.

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Lakshman killing Indrajith (Meganadh)

There are many other equally noble characters who have not been given the importance that they should have gotten, for example, Sumitra, Mandavi, Sruthakirthi, Mandothari, etc.. But then again, Ramayana is filled with noble characters. If each character were to be described in detail, the epic would be endless and this would also take the focus away from the main moral, which is the victory of good over evil.

Shankar Mahadevan’s Coke Studio Performance

Here’s another song that I’ve gotten addicted to. Recently, I was listening to Shankar Mahadevan‘s Coke Studio performance. He sang the song “Allah hi Reham” ( from the movie My Name is Khan, originally sung by Rashid Khan). He was composer of the song. I know it’s quite outdated.

When I listened to the song, I was totally bowled over how he’s sung the song. Infact even after listening to the song, his voice is still echoing in my ears. That’s how amazingly he’s sung it. It’s such a complicated composition but he’s sung wonderfully well. Especially the ending part with the swaras in it amazing. While watching the video, one can see how involved he becomes while singing. After a certain point of time, his voice dominates the musical instruments.

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All in all, the listening experience was AWESOME !!! I guess I’ll be listening to this song for some days from now because it’s got me addicted to it. This is not the first time that I’m getting addicted to songs. Earlier it was the song Jiya Lage Na from Talash, that had gotten me interested. I got to know about both of these songs through a senior of mine, Sai Vikneshwar, a great music lover. 🙂

You can listen to the song over here.