Nabadwip in Hinduism – Vaishnava Pilgrim Center in West Bengal



Nabadwip is a famous Vaishnava pilgrim center associated with Hinduism. It is located in West Bengal and is one of the important places associated with Sri Krishna Chaitanya, the founder of the Bengal School of Vaishnavism. Mayapur associated with ISKCON is located across the river from Nabadwip.

Popularly known as Nadia, Nabadwip consists of nine islands. Four of the islands are on the eastern bank of Bhagirathi and the rest five are on the western bank.

It is believed that when Bhagirathi River changed its course and a huge island emerged on the east of the river and the new island was called Nabadwip.

Nabadwip was the capital of Bengal during the 12th century and it was a center of Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy, especially of Neo Logic School of philosophy.

There are more than 150 temples in the region.

Dola Purnima and Rash Purnima are the important festivals in the region.

Hindu Festivals in April 2015 – Hindu Vrat – Fasting – Rituals in April 2015



Dates of important festivals associated with Hinduism in April 2015 – based on major Hindu calendars and Panchang used in India. The festivals, Vrats and ritual days in April 2015 are based on Indian Standard Time (IST).

April 1, 2015 – Pradosh Vrat
April 1, 2015 – Madan Dwadasi, Vaman Dwadasi, Anag Trayodasi
April 3 – Purnima Vrat
April 3 – Painguni Uthiram
April 4 – Purnima
April 4 – Chandra Grahan – Lunar Eclipse Visible in India
April 4 – Hanuman Jayanti

About the tree that is used to make the new murti of Jagannath during Nabakalebara at Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa



The tree that is used to make the new murti (idol) of Jagannath during Nabakalebara at Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa has to pass numerous tests. The neem tree used to make the murti is referred as Daru.

The selection of daru is made as per the instructions mentioned in the pothi (manuscript) which is with the Daitapatis.

Darus are no ordinary neem trees. Since Jagannath is dark, the tree from which his murti is to be carved has to be dark. The tree should have four principal branches, symbolizing the four arms of Narayana.

However, as Jagannath’s siblings are fair, the wood for their idols are lighter in colour. The Jagannath tree should have four principal branches, symbolizing the four arms of Narayana.

The daru will be collected from the Neem tree having the symbols of Sankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma on it.

The Neem tree should be close to a riverbank or a pond and there must be a termite mound or a crematorium near it.

The tree should be located near a three way fork on a road or human path or should be surrounded by three mountains.

There should be no bird nest on the tree.

No branch should be broken or cut.

The tree must not have any branch lying below 12 feet from the ground level.

No creepers must have grown on the tree

There should be Varuna, Sahada or Bilva trees (these trees are not very common) close by.

There has to be a Shiva temple in the vicinity.

Once the tree is found it is chopped by chanting mantras. Symbolically an axe made of gold makes the first cut.

The leaves, branches and unused part of the tree are buried nearby.

Swami Vivekananda on the Word Atman



I will not translate this word to you in English because the idea does not exist in Europe; it is untranslatable. The modern attempt of German philosophers is to translate the word Atman by the word ‘Self’, and until that word is universally accepted, it is impossible to use it. So, call it as Self or anything, it is our Atman. This Atman is the real man behind. It is the Atman that uses the material mind as its instrument, its Antahkarana as is the psychological term for the mind.

Vedanta Kesari Magazine published by Ramakrishna Mission, Chennai, Explains more about the term and what Swami Vivekananda meant

Etymologically the term Atman means that which is eternal (from the Sanskrit root word  att, ‘that which exists always’).

So, eternal soul means Atman. Is there also non-eternal soul? In a way, yes, and that is called Jiva which is Atman plus body and mind (so it becomes jivatman).

While Atman is never born or grows or decays and dies, in its embodied state it seems to undergo change, and the most expressive manifestation of this change is

birth and death. In reality, however, Atman is the birthless, deathless, eternal core of human personality.

Today’s Hindu Calendar – March 31, 2015 – Tithi, Vrat, Good Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festival



Tithi in Hindu Calendar on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (Today) – Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi or the eleventh day during the waxing phase of moon in Hindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi or the eleventh day of the waxing phase of moon till 9:00 AM on March 31. Then onward it is Shukla Paksha Dwadasi Tithi or the twelfth day during the waxing phase of moon. All time based on India Standard Time.

How is March 31, 2015 as per Hindu Panchang? – It is a good and auspicious day after 12:39 PM

Nakshatra – Aslesha or Ayilyam Nakshatra till 1:01 PM on March 31. Then onward it is Magha or Makam Nakshatram.

Rashi or Moon Sign – Karka Rashi till 1:01 PM. Then onward it is Simha Rashi

Festivals, Vrat and Auspicious days – Ekadasi Fasting

Kali Yuga Year – 5117

Vikram Samvant 2072 – Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi or the eleventh day during the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month in North India - Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir.

Manmathanama Samvatsar/ Shalivahana Saka 1937 – Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi or the eleventh day during the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Manmathanama Samvatsar/ Shalivahana Saka 1937 – Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi or the eleventh day during the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month in Maharashtra and Goa. (Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi till 7:34 AM on March 31 in Maharashtra and Goa. Then onward it is Chaitra Shukla Paksha Dwadasi Tithi.) This time is only applicable in western parts of India.

Vikram Samvant 2071 – Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi or the eleventh day during the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra Month in Gujarat. (Chaitra Shukla Paksha Ekadasi Tithi till 7:34 AM on March 31 in Gujarat. Then onward it is Chaitra Shukla Paksha Dwadasi Tithi.) This time is only applicable in western parts of India.

17th day of Painguni Masam in Tamil Calendar followed in Tamil Nadu. (Jaya Year)
17th day of Meena Masam in Malayalam Calendar in Kerala. (Kolla Varsham 1190)
16th day of Chaitra Month in Calendars followed in Assam and Bengal. (Bengali Year 1421)

Bad Period on March 31, 2015
Rahukalam – 3:36 PM to 5:08 PM
Yamagandam – 9:26 AM to 10:59 AM
Gulikai – 12:31 PM to 2:03 PM
Durmuhurtham – 8:50 AM to 9:39 AM
Durmuhurtham – 11:21 PM to 12:07 AM on April 1
Varjyam – 11:06 PM on March 30 to 12:54 AM

Good Time on March 31, 2015
Abhijita Muhurta – 12:07 PM to 12:55 PM
Amirta Kalam – 9:52 AM to 11:40 AM
Sarvatha Siddhi Yoga – sunrise to 1:01 PM

Yog – Dhriti (Bad Yog) till 12:39 PM. Then onward it is Shoola (Bad Yog)

Karana – Vishti or Bhadra (Bad) till 7:34 AM.  Then onward it is Bava (Good) till 8:50 PM. Then onward it is Balava (Good).

Rest all hours that are not part of Bad Period are Good time. When bad period overlaps into good period, that much time of bad period should be eliminated from good period.

What Precaution Pregnant Women Should Take During Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse?



Hindu Blog receives numerous queries regarding what precaution pregnant women should take during Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse? Next Chandra Grahan is on April 4, 2015. This is because many devout Hindus have numerous fears regarding Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse. There is a belief that pregnant women will be affected by Chandra Grahan but this has not been scientifically proved. The safe option adopted by most Hindus is to remain indoors during the period of Grahan. Pregnant women chant the Santana Gopala Mantra during Grahan.

The Santana Gopala Mantra is dedicated to Lord Krishna and is chanted for an easy and safe pregnancy and to get a healthy baby.
The Santana Gopala Mantra is
Om Devaki Sudha Govinda
Vasudeva Jagath Pathe
Dehimey Thanayam
Krishna Thwamaham
Saranam Kadhahaa
Deva Deva Jagannatha
Gothra Vridhi Karap Prabho
Dehimey Thanayam Sheegram
Ayushmandham Yashashreenam!

Ayurveda indicates that pregnant women should sit or lie down on a mat containing Darbha grass or Kusha Grass during Grahan. It is also advised to keep some Kusha Grass with the pregnant woman. This is advised more during Surya Grahan or Solar Eclipse.

Some devout Hindus fast (Fasting or Upvaas) on Grahan day but pregnant women should avoid fasting and should follow the usual routine prescribed by the doctor.

The most important thing that pregnant women should do is to avoid getting tensed with the fear of grahan. Eclipse is a natural phenomenon. If you are so concerned remain indoors.

There are some evil-minded people in the guise of astrologers who try to take advantage of people during Grahan by suggesting costly pujas etc. Avoid such people.

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Durdureshwar form of Shiva – Durdureshwar Mahadev



Durdureshwar is one of the manifestations of Shiva. Information about this form of Shiva is found in the Skanda Purana. Durdureshwar Mahadev Shivling is worshipped near Ujjain. Information about Durdureshwar Shiva is rare and what little we know is found in the Skanda Purana.

Durdureshwar Mahadev is one of the 84 Mahadev temples in Ujjain.

The shrine is located in the Jayathal Village near Ujjain.