My Brother Ashvini





Aparna Hulithala


 
Copyright 2023 by Aparna Hulithala



Image by Suren from Pixabay
Image by Suren from Pixabay
 
It is my great pleasure to write about my brother. It is a  story of India too.  It is the story of our culture.  My brother showed how one should lead life on this beautiful earth. One should not be a  burden to the environment.  Man should use only minimum resources.  life is always beautiful if we abide by the rules set by Vedas.  Life is an opportunity to  reach God.  These types of ideals helped my brother to build his life and the people around him.

Let me introduce  my brother Ashvini Kumara to the readers.   In those days it was a system where children were given the names of Gods. Ashvini Kumaras are Deva vaidyas.   My brother Ashvini Kumar   studied agriculture.  The nutritious food can create health was his idea. In the modern age he deeply studied Indian culture. He was an expert in Vedic chanting.. In India many priests chant Mantras by heart But rarely they try to know the meaning. The ideals. and ideas of our Vedic knowledge are  very great. My brother  always explained these great ideals.  The swaram, the chanting tone in Sanskrit when perfect creates the positive energy. The Vedic chanting purifies the environment.  I am very fortunate that since my childhood the Sanskrit  verses, Vedic hymns chanted by my brother gave me inspiration. The great Epic Ramayana tells us that brothers should love each other.The love  and affection of siblings is itself a great asset.   The Bible says "love thy brother".   My brother Ashvini and I followed this.  Even a little berry we got in the field was shared by both of us.  My brother always waited for me for breakfast dinner and supper.  

To know more about the life of my brother  an introduction  of our environment is very essential. We are from India. Karnataka is the name of our state.  Kodagu is our district.  In Madikeri taluk we have a tiny Village called Kaggodlu.  In Kaggodlu there are few Brahmin families residing. HULITHALA is our family name. Even now in India  all consider Brahmin caste is upper caste and supreme.  Since time immemorial Brahmins played an important role in preserving Vedas. As they are the priestly cast people think they are great. They have many prescribed rules. They are pure vegetarians . The scriptures correctly say that any one can become Brahmin by cultivating good habits. The casts are not considered on the  basis of birth. But unfortunately people of India are considered cast by birth.  It is a sad fact  that people who possess the great qualities of a Brahmin are very rare to  find.

My brother was born in the Hulithala  brahmin family. In Brahmins also there are sub casts. we  are Havyaka Brahmins. Our mother tongue is Kannada.  We were brought up in the beautiful village Kaggodlu Hulithala. There were no electricity, vehicles le roads in those days. But we had a remarkable childhood. We  had plenty of things to eat and enjoy.  The paddy is grown in the fields. The cardamom and coffee are grown. There were bananas and orange  pomegranate, a variety of citrus fruits.

Our father worked as a high school teacher. and mother as home maker. My grandfather Hulithala Manjayya was a great Sanskrit scholar. Many elders told us about his stories. He was Vedic scholar.  Our grandmother was a  home maker.

Our father is Manjunatha and mother is Bhagirathi.   As I am  five years younger than my brother I recollected the stories of his childhood from our mother. Our mother said that he was such a bright baby that he began to walk at eighth month. My baby brother used to call her Amma at the eighth  month!  Our mother recalled that he asked for the mother's milk too. In India almost all people believe Vedic astrology. So our father  gave his birth date and time made a horoscope of  brother. His eyes were very sharp. My brother  always listened to chantings and  lullabies very happily. when he was three years old he learnt lingashtakam. It is a verse in praise of lord  Shiva Those who listened said that he was very fluent. He learnt to speak our mother tongue   very fluently. My mother said that she told her many stories.  My brother always gave food to cats and kittens He  liked the dogs. Buffalo and cows and ox were all his friends.  As there was no electricity at our village during his childhood he said that when he grows up he brings facilities. He produces his own electricity. He  was very calm and quiet. His concentration was amazing. He designed many models of fans and helicopters using bananas. He helped while planting. He loved the visitors  too.

He happily showed them the fruits like bananas and oranges.  When  Navarathri puja was performed in the home by Doddappa  father's brother he watched it too. To me also he told me about the rituals. When my mother conceived my brother was very happy. My mother said that he said that I should be named APARNA.  Amma said that my little brother chose this name from Lalitha sahsra nama.  Aparna is the name of Durgadevi. My brother worshipped Durgadevi.I still remember my brother telling everyone that my sister is beautiful.My brother Ashvini shared his toys with me. Ashvini stitched frocks for my dolls. He helped me to comb the doll.  When I was one and a half years old , he gave me his pen and pencil slate and slate pencils to play. He showed picture books. He showed me a lot of affection.He told me many stories. He taught me Sanskrit Shlokas.  Both of us sat in front of the pictures of Gods. Ashvini slowly pronounced a line. Then I followed him. He patiently tried to correct me.  I always said that I liked to worship  Lord Krishna. I have had a beautiful  photo of Udupi Krishna. To decorate The Lord  brother helped me to pluck the flowers. We both performed Puja. My brother loved to worship Lord Shiva and Devi. 

There were no televisions or mobile phones. Our father brought several books for us to read.   My brother learnt about many medicinal plants by seeing my elder uncle. As he used to give medicines many villagers frequently visited. Grinding the leaves and preparing medicines was also one of the games we often played. I always waited for my brother to return from school He was studying at Government Primery school Hulithala. He alone walked more than 2 km to school. While coming from school  ,he brought me wild flowers to play.  He brought fruits  too.  I still remember that most of  the days , I accompanied my brother to bring milk.    Even though I tried to quarrel with him for the silly matters my brother never quarreled with me. My parents told my brother  not to accompany me.  But Ashvini my loving brother always took me with him. Throughout his life, he showered love and affection.  At this stage of life  I remember the quote of the Bible "love thy brother". Ramayana also tells us about the relationship of  the siblings. It is true that one cannot get a loving brother.  Having a loving  brother is a great blessing and a great asset of life.  Fortunately  when I became a grown up girl , I began to learn my brother. I never quarrelled with him. He never scolded me even though I have made foolish mistakes, my brother always  corrected them. 

Really I was happy when my brother was studying in the rural school. My father made a bad decision to take my brother with him.  My mother was against it. My father was a high school teacher at Cheyandane. He was staying at his relatives house. We too accompanied my brother. Now I realise the sufferings of my brother in the house. Every Saturday when my brother came home he used to weep  The whole Sunday he used to narrate how he was tortured there in a single room. According to him, school was good. Friends were  good. The relatives and father tortured him. Even though we have a lot of coffee estates, the salary of my  father, my mother had no money. no freedom. Even today in most of the middle class families women  have no freedom.  In those three years my brother suffered a lot.  In our home at Hulithala my mother taught us very good morals. she told us beautiful stories. She always inspired us,

But in that house where my brother stayed with the father had no ideas or ideals.  " Home is the first school and mother is the first teacher is always true. As I was very young at that time I failed to recognise my brother's agony.  When there is no peace of mind,it is very difficult to achieve. But my brother was a topper and  won a rural merit scholarship. Thanks to my brother who gave me colour pencils  with that money. During holidays he learnt several verses of Bhagavadgita. He taught me also. We played with our cousin sister Shanthakumari too. My brother always built check dams to the stream.  Ashvini  used cycle dynomo and produced electricity. He always wished that father would appreciate him. But father never recognised our talents.

After passing 7th standard my brother daid that he would continue   his studies at Madikeri At last he came home. I was so happy. He changed the medium of instruction to English. My brother Ashvini was very brilliant he stood first in the school academic examination..  He was a voracious  reader, a good speaker.

  Really we should give attention to what others think about us. Every member of the joint family became very jealous of my brother .  We did not know anything about it. we never believed in Ghost stories.  But sadly we became the victims. Even though my brother's health deteriorated, he  studied well.  After completing his high school , he selected Science stream and joined St Philomina college at Puttur. After that my brother wished to join Agriculture. He joined University of Agricultural sciences Bangalore.  He completed  Bsc Agriculture from V C Farm Mandya campus. My brother  wished to  join higher studies. But his health  not permitted. It was the result of the food poisoning.

My brother had many dreams. He thought to improve our plantation.  But in the village and  family all felt that an educated person  should  join a job. The tragic fact is that nobody thought about his health or about his wishes. Everyone began to say that he was not willing to work. In Our country India our own families never support us. 

But I always liked to take risks. I thought to help my brother. This is the greatest decision which gives me happiness even today. Even though I had no money with me, I had the attitude. To achieve anything we need the grace of God. My brother learnt many Vedic hymns. My father's brother taught him. He became an expert in chanting.   He planted banana plants. Made a new coffee estate. He always encouraged me to study. He taught me how to live happily etc. Daily my brother Ashvini chanted Vedic mantras. Got divine experiences. He filled my life with happiness. When there was no electricity, he designed a turbine and   produced electricity.  As we had buffalos to use the cow dung my brother suggested setting up the new type of Gobar gas.     We got sweet milk from our buffalo.  We cultivated our own vegetables . Cultivated paddy. Really we were self sufficient. There  was prosperity.  My brother liked Organic agriculture. So he used  no pesticides. Our buffalos, cats and dogs helped agriculture.

My brother always tried new methods. He designed several agricultural equipment s. He always appreciated   the agriculture labourers. Throughout his life  he shared the knowledge..He designed a coffee cleaning machine and a digger.  Started his own tissue culture lab.

Meanwhile  my brother Ashvini searched a groom  for me. Really my brother taught me how to live simply. Once with my brother I visited the horticulture show. Thete I tried to see the plants cultivated in hydroponics method. But the exhibitors did not show me properly. Plants were not healthy. My brother said to me not to worry. In a few days he set up a small hydroponics farm. Cultivated water melon tomatoes and lot of greens. His experiments in the open hydroponics gave good results. In a pot, he got about 80 Kgs of tomatoes.
My brother visited Mahakumbha mela at Haridwar. He took us to many pilgrimage centers.

Giving food to all is a great work. so we should cultivate more he always said. Allmost daily ploughed the field with the tractor. put green manure plants. land became very fertile.

We planned a lot of things. Cultivation of different crops. In India we visit astrologers. My brother was also was an expert in astrology.  My brother narrated many stories about his past life and the worlds beyond Earth. Astrologer said that my brother has reached highest state through his chanting  Japa. Devi Goddess has blessed him.I felt sad that he is not enjoying the worldly pleasures. He is living like a saint. said astrologers. But for my pleasure he cultivated. He always accompanied me to the market. My brother even cooked very good dishes for me. During Navarathri  performed Puja. Always told us the stories, philosophy of Gita.

I was happy. My life itself was a celebration. My brother taught me to live happily.    The growth of  a plant, chirping of  a bird all things of nature gave me happiness

  During the Covid lock dowm my brother brought milk from a shop which is 3 kilometers away. During those days he accompanied Gunda our dog with him.  The frogs used to cross the mud road during rainy season . so we should not injure them thought my brother. So in the rainy season he walked.

As usual on 25th February, 2023 in the morning I was with my brother in our hydroponic farm. While returning I said there are bees. My brother said that they will not harm us. we both came to house. My brother talked to my parents. He sat in the padmasana. In a fraction of a second he passed away. It was a great tragedy of my life. It was no a string bite. nor heart attack. Astrolgy says that he was a Siddha. The divine  mother took my brother to her abode. My mother says that even now when she feels sad my brother appears before her. He is sitting in the posture of Japa. My father also weeps for my brother as he failed to recognise his divine nature.

I have satisfaction as a sister I have  performed all duties.I supported his ideas I even now feel it is a great  blessing that I lived with such a divine  natured brother. Truly I can say that both of us loved each other.We lived as the same side of a same coin!

*****

 I live in Madikeri, India. 




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