INTERVIEW WITH

Br.Sri.V.Rajagopala Ganapatigal

STAR TELLER (ASTROLOGY MAGAZINE) JAN 2007 ISSUE

Br. Sri. V. Rajagopala Ganapatigal interviewed by Hemamalini Raghunathan

‘Vedic knowledge is essential for spiritual quest’

The basic Vedic concepts can more or less suit everyone universally. These have to be made more comprehensible to the modern mind, to provide practical utility in day-to-day life. The wealth of Vedic knowledge should not remain obscure and purposeless. Generally, people start with simple spiritual pursuit, as enunciated in our Sastras, to progress in their spiritual journey.

Many of us, including youngsters, want to involve ourselves in spiritual activities, in order to make their spiritual quest very effective. It is very essential that the aspirants are to be guided in the right path. Vedas, Sastras and other religious scriptures are the only sources that can tell us the path of righteousness. We all look for competent teachers (Gurus, Vedic scholars) to explain us the detailed code of conduct, as recommended in our Sastras.

One such Vedic scholar is Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapatigal, who is the editor/publisher of a monthly magazine on Hindu religious and spiritual matters in Sanskrit and Tamil  namely "Vaithikasri", Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapatigal (044-24361210; 9381061946) has been certified in Sastras, Vedanta, Nyaya, Meemamsa and Srowtha with top honors.

He has also completed a diploma course in Computer Science. He runs a Veda Patashala (Gurukul type of School) at his residence. Apart from "Purohit" services. Sri V. Rajagopala Ganapatigal ganapatigal@gmail.com  www.vaithikasri.com

gives lectures and discourses on Ramayana, Bhagavatha, Mahabharata etc. He believes that our Sastras can provide convincing answers to the spiritual doubts of the modern mind. Knowledge of ancient precepts is a must to all. Here, the vedic scholar explains the code of conduct for our everyday issues, pertaining to spiritual and religious way of life.

* Please tell our readers about your your family background, education etc.

I hail from a family of Deekshitars i.e. Vedic scholars who have performed yagna sacrifices and are still performing Agnihotric rites daily throughout their lifetime. I was born in the village Sengalipuram in Tamil Nadu, where hundreds of Deekshitar families are living for generations till today. In Gurukul tradition, I was educated under renowned vedic scholars like P.S. Ananthanarayana Vajpeyi. I was a co-student of the junior Sankaracharya Sri Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi Sankara Mutt, while studying Nyaya Sastra under Mahamahopadyaya Br. Sri S.R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal. I have been  certified in Krishna Yajur Veda from many reputed institutions like Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt. Tirumala Tirupathy Devasthanam, Sringeri Mutt, Sri Sangaveda Vidyalaya at Varanasi, etc. My ambition in life is to find a way to reach the precepts from the Vedas, Hindu scriptures and Puranas to the younger generation. To achieve that purpose, I am running a magazine, along with a website. I am making use of the modern technology also, to reach to the vast world, the precious vedic concepts, which give expression to aspirations and ideals of mankind, irrespective of the era in which he lives. The basic vedic concepts can more or less suit everyone universally. These have to be made more comprehensible to the modern mind, to provide practival utility in day-to-day life. The wealth of vedic knowledge should not remain obscure and purposeless. Generally, people start with simple spiritual pursuits, as enunciated in our Sastras, and progress in their spiritual journey.

* How are Veda mantras to be chanted? Do you teach the meaning of those mantras to the very young boys in your Veda Patashala?

Veda mantras are very powerful. For obtaining the full power of these mantras, we should follow certain restrictions, as enunciated in "Vyasa Siksha".

Geethee Sheeghri Shira:kampee thata likhitha paathaka:

Anarthagnyolpa kanthas cha shadethe paathakaadhamaa;

The following are to be avoided, to get the power of the mantras fully-chanting the Veda mantras in a musical form, very fast, shaking the head, reading from a book not knowing the meaning and not having the proper voice for chanting.

Among the above mentioned six types of chanting the Vedas, singing the Vedas in a musical from is the biggest fault and it will produce negative results. When Veda mantras are chanted in proper tone, intonation and proper pronunciation, the outcome is more pleasing than music.

Very young boys are not taught the meaning of the mantras. Correct  pronunciations are given prior importance, to produce the right sound vibrations. There is a separate course to understand the meaning (Bashyam) of the Veda mantras, as they grow up.

* How are women described in Sastras?

Aahaaro dvi guna: Sthreenaam Buddhis thasaam chatur Gunaa:

Shat guno Vyavasayascha Kaamas cha(a)shta guna: Smrutha:

Women have been created by Lord Brahma(the God of Creation) with the following attributes:

* The food intake is twice that of a man.

* The intuitive decision making process is four times better than a man.

* The ability to do physical work is six times more than a man.

* The urge to get one's desires fulfilled is eight times more than that of a man.

* While sleeping, in which direction should we keep our head?

Generally, we can choose the direction according to the place where we sleep. Usually, as per the saying.

Swagruhee poraakshira: shethae aayushyam dakshinaa shiraa:

Prathyak shiraa: pravaasee thu na kadaachith udak shiraa:

* We can keep our head towards East direction, when we sleep in our house,

* When we sleep in the house of our father-in-law, the head should face the South.

* When we are travelling or our of station, we should keep our head facing the West.

But, never at any place or at any time, should we sleep keeping our head in the North direction, even as per the science of Vastu.

* What are the different types of Aasanas (seating) to be used for mantra japa? Can you explain the different results of using various aasanas?

We should not sit on the plain floor to chant any mantras or to do any japa.

* :Bhoomow manthro na sidhyathi"

Sitting on the plain floor and doing any japa, will not give any results.

* "Sarvaan Kaamaan Avapnothi Manushyah Kambalasane"

By sitting on a white woolen cloth and performing the japa, we can get all that we want.

"Krishnajine Bhaveth Mukthini"

Sanyasis(Monks) or Brahmacharis(Bachelors) can perform japa sitting on the skin of the deer (Krishnajinam). By doing this, they can attain "Moksha" (Liberation).

"Moksha sreer vyagra charmani"

Sitting on Tiger's skin will bestow great wisdom and salvation.

* "Kushasane Bhaveth Gnanam"

One can attain good memory-power, concentration and wisdom, by sitting on the asana made of Kusha grass.

"Arogyam Pathra nirmithe"

Anybody performing japa, sitting on leaves will enjoy good health.

"Pashaane Dhukkha mapnothi"

Anybody performing japa sitting on a stone or plain floor will attain grief.

* "Kaashte Naanavidhan Gadhan"

If anyone uses dead or cursed woods like Bamboo and other forest woods for japa, he will get various diseases. But if you sit on a wooden plank keeping your legs on the floor, it will yield good results.

* "Vasthre shriya mavapnothi"

Anyone performing japa sitting on a spread of cloth, will get prosperity.

All the above are applicable to all mantra japas, recitation of Vishnu Sahasranama, Lalitha Sahasranama, all stothras and sloka parayanams. The location where we do japa is also another  important factor. If differs according to different locations (places).

* If you perform any japa, reciting of sloka, mantras etc in your house, the results will be equivalent of reciting the mantra once.

* If you do it nearby any river, pond or well, the results will be of 2 times (Double).

* If done in a cow-shed or near a homa fire, then the results will get multiplied of 100 times.

* If japa is done in the shrine of any diety, temples, pilgrim places, the results will be 100 crore times.

* If we have to travel during the days of "Chandrashtama", what should we do as a remedy?

When the Moon transits the eighth Zodiac sign (rasi) from the birth sign (rasi), the period is called "Chandrashtama". It occurs each month for approximately two and half days. Starting new ventures or travelling should be avoided during these days.

If you need to travel during these days, you should worship Lord Moon by offering pure milk in a Silver cup to the lord; then give half of this milk to any married woman, whose husband is alive. You can start the travel after drinking the balance milk. This would bring good results.

*Which is the best suited star, to perform the marriage of a girl?

Generally if you count from the birth star of the girl, the stars that fall on 2,4,6,8,9,11,13,15,17,18,20,24th are considered good. In addition, it is said in the first Ashtaka of Yajur Veda that if the girl's marriage is performed on the day of Swati Nakashatra, then she would lead a happy compatible life with her husband and she would never return to her parents house with any misunderstanding. Therefore, of all the stars, Swati is considered the most appropriate to celebrate one's daughter's marriage.

* What are your comments about the current state of astrology and astrologers?

Astrology is a Vedanga. In olden days, it was used more for mundane purposes (less for individual predictions), for the welfare of the country. Its spiritual side should be highlighted more by the astrologers, than the predictive part. Commercialization of astrology, like buying Gold on Akshaya Trithiya day, should be strictly discouraged. Pariharas should be recommended in such a way to enhance the spiritual strength of the individual.

* What do you want to tell our readers on the eve of New Year?

In your fast life, spend atleast a few seconds in prayers to your family deity daily. Apply tilak of sacred ash, kumkum, saffron or chandan (whichever is customary to your family). Meditation on the deity and applying the tilak will helop you a lot and save you from dangers. Wearing Rudraksha and Tulsi beads will also protect you. Yantra worship is to be discouraged, as it is very difficult to prepare and energize an yantra, as per the sastraic tradition. Performing and participating in homas or yagnas are veyy effective. Perform Surya Namaskar for healthy life. I pray the Almighty to bestow good health, prosperity and peace of mind to EST readers.