Posted in Diary, Spirituality, Travel

Shivamogga Trip – 2

Next day we woke up early for the Bhadra river dam, place where Guruji Meditated. The climb was bit unexpected but became pleasant when I saw Guruji walking around with a hundred plus crowd! I joined them too and we had a great stroll around the place. the Dam has some wonderfully lush green islands with resorts on them. the breeze flew so well, and masters gestures and smiles were all too good!

After a truly close meet with him, we did the long sudarshan kriya, and took a bath in the river. the water was so inviting, first I thought I wont take the whole bath, but after wetting feet, I just got into it fully and enjoyed the cold water thoroughly, splashing water on those next to me! we also took a darshan of the temple there.

Whole trip I had the stomach upset, emphasizing to me how much more sadhana I need to do for fitness! Especially the stomach related exercises are getting missed out, so will add them.

The bus returned to Shivamogga town, where we rested and had meals.  Evening we went to another town Sirsi, this time the bus had an added flavour of Truth and Dare game challenging the people beyond their comfort zones! We reached the place just when Satsang got over. The view of Jog falls on the way was awesome. In Sirsi, we visited Marikamba Temple, where it was so wonderful to sing the Devi songs we sing in Satsang. The temple has such serene blissful energy, and the deity has such innocence and beauty!After meals we returned to Bangalore with a fully filled trip and a truckload of Sattva !

Posted in Diary, Spirituality, Travel

Shivamogga trip – 1

The Art of Living foundation is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. We visited Guruji’s mahasatsangs in Karnataka last two days. The journey began from an early morning bus in Bangalore, packed with some 50 YES!+ graduates, volunteers and teachers. The bus carried with it laughters, singing, puzzles and stories ranging from ghost stories to Guru stories! The first stop was at Arasikere, a town north to bangalore. The school grounds was packed with seats under a shamiana, and we had lovely music by Chayanna – Swami Suryapada going on. His singing is like fresh water in the fast flowing river! The songs, samskrit shlokas, just flow through him.

Guruji soon arrived and after a couple of formalities, and songs, spoke about keeping cleanliness, removing ignorance, fighting against corruption and such important things. He said by practicing pranayama, meditation, one automatically gets into doing good work effortlessly.

After Satsang we had delicious curd rice made with hot boiled rice and some other dish, served with love by the volunteers for all the satsangees. They must have served thousands of people that day!

Then we moved on to Shivamogga, often called as Shimoga for short, and got into our lodges which were booked by our local organizing team there. It was all made so much comfortable!

Shivamogga satsang started at 6 pm in a huge ground again filled with chairs. Guruji made it a point to invite and give seats to all the Math incharge swamis, who had came to grace the occasion.

Posted in Best things in the world

A clean Room

Recently Varun Bhalerao from Caltech University visited IIA and it was super pleasure to be with him and attend his talks. You combine a four years of IITB engineering training and on top of that the practical hands on work in a Space Technology lab at Caltech, you get Varun. An absolute genius when I met him years ago, in Fergusson college, he bagged gold medals in Astronomy olympiads in his junior college days. He made a rare switch from an EE Btech in IITB to Astro in Caltech!

He spoke about the new X ray space telescope they are building at Caltech, its requirements, capabilities, deployment schedules and many interesting things. The best part was Varun explained things very clearly, making it understood to the audience. The next day he spoke about other compact star objects and their studies.

The third day we visited some of our labs at CREST – IIA’s center at Hosakote. Apart from remote monitoring of Hanle’s observatory, this center has some ingenious labs for space technology testing and fabrication. The room is called Clean Room, because its dust particle density is ensured to be much smaller through filtered air supplied in the room. The room can be visited in special suits covering your whole body, and the transition to the rooms chambers is through an Air Shower. The chambers have successive cleanliness, in the sense that one has 3lac, 1lac, 10k and then even lesser number of particles larger than .5 microns per meter cube. the cleanliness is maintained to avoid any contamination of the space grade instruments. in Space telescopes, if you have even a small contaminant, then it will evaporate on exposure to the radiations, and spoil the entire set of observations.

The room had many ovens so to speak, containers where you can bake the material to specific temperature for evaporating its surface contaminants and then outgassing the vapors. if the vapors are more than allowed limit, the sample is sent back to the fabrication unit!

I learnt many new things, things not written in your textbook diagrams. for example, there is a pipe near primary in a reflecting telescope, which allows only the light reflected from secondary to go into it, thus avoiding any stray light directly entering in. Then there are axial and other safety precautions in the mounting of the telescope in the satellite. There are precautions on what materials you use to make all those small parts.

We also visited the optics lab where the research focus is on adaptive optics, a method of correction for atmospheric disturbance in the propagation of light from stars to the earth based telescopes. The lab had state of art facilities and equipments.