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‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn (Arabic: علي بن حسين زين العابدين‎) (approximately 6 January 659 – 20 October 712) is a great-grandson of Muhammad as well as the fourth Shī’ah Imām (the third Imām according to Ismā’ilī Islam). His mother was Shahrbānū and his father was Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī. His brothers include ‘Alī al-Aṣghar ibn Ḥusayn and ‘Alī al-Akbar ibn Ḥusayn. He is known as Zayn al-Abidīn “Beauty/Best of the Worshippers”. He is also referred to as Imām al-Sajjad “the Prostrating Imām” and Sayyid as-Sājjadīna wa r-Rāki’īn “Leader of Those who Prostrate and Bow”. ‘Alī ibn Ḥusayn, like his grandfather, cultivated land and palm date orchards. All the human qualities and attributes were collectively present in his personality. He was the complete specimen of tolerance, forgiveness and self-sacrifice. During the prayers he would get himself so absorbed that he did not have any attention towards anything except God. He traveled to Mecca, on foot, twenty times and continuously guided and conducted people through the attractive melody of the Qur’anic verses. As the son of Ḥusayn ibn ‘Alī, he was under great scrutiny and could not directly guide those who secretly followed the household of Muhammad. But he conveyed his understanding of the relationship between human and God by the prayers and supplications that he offered God during his extensive nighttime vigils in the mosque of the Prophet in Medina. These prayers and supplications were written down and then disseminated by his sons and the

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1.I have tried to cull out some information, which many may not know, that are really amazing, on various aspects of life. I have tried to do this from the shrutis and smritis.

The original mantras and shlokas and their interpretations have been reproduced from the originals. In some places  I have given my own interpretations. If this is not acceptable to scholars, I would humbly offer my apologies to them while submitting to them simultaneously one word about our shrutis and smritis:our traditions allow an amazing liberty to interpret the texts as the reader sees fit.

2.Before I write anything further, I would like to say one word. I am not a scholar of Sanskrit. I have not had the privilege to study it as a subject, deeply. As my fortune would have it, coincidentally, about 18 years ago, I got the opportunity to serve in the Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, near Jigani. While there, I had the unique opportunity of listening to the lectures by extraordinary people, greatly learned, greatly experienced. Hearing these wonderful discourses I was deeply affected and  somehow got pushed to studying Sanskrit texts at least in their English and Kannada versions. At this time, most fortunately for me, Shri Phanirajji and his wife Dr.Ramaa were giving discourses in their house, which was also not far from mine. Their discourses on the various Upanishads, Bhagadvad- Gita, works of Shankara and others were given daily. I have never heard such wonderful and interesting discourses anywhere else. They were incomparably lucid, particularly because Phanirajji is an exceptionally patient man who would  not object to a student stopping him in the middle to ask for clarifications. He would never admonish them or ask them to seek the clarifications at the end of the talk. He would clarify the doubt then and there till the seeker was satisfied. And all this he did with his wonderfully  smiling face. He would then resume his discourses from exactly the spot where he had been stopped.  Dr.Ramaa would also give similar talks.

3. These talks changed our outlook on life completely. We happily realized, but unhappily a little late in life, the oceans of  deep knowledge waiting to be enjoyed. I can never ever express adequately my gratitude to these Gurus for what they have done to me and my wife. (At about this time, my wife was stricken with a terrible nervous disease which made her bed ridden for almost 18 months. This situation forced us to stop the great experience of listening to the discourses).

4. Fortunately for us, my wife, my children and I have the hobby (the only hobby) of reading: fiction, autobiographies, science, and all other forms of literature. This included some books on Vedanta and similar lore. Thus, mostly from the discourses of the learned, a little from self study, however inadequate, I came across some passages which were sometimes surprising, others amazing and yet others giving very appropriate guidance for living .This I thought was an unusual privilege given to me and I was eager to share with others who may be interested, some of these great passages. At the same time, I had the

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