Bankim Chandra Chatterji on Murti (Idol) Worship in Hindu Religion

The true explanation consists of the ever true relations of the subjective Ideal and to its objective Reality. Man is by instinct a poet and an artist. The passionate yearnings of heart for the Ideal in beauty, in power, and in purity, must find an expression in the world of the Real. Hence proceed all poetry and all art.

Exactly in the same way the ideal of the Divine in man receives a form from him, and the form is an image. The existence of Idols is as justifiable as that of the tragedy of Hamlet or of that of Prometheus. The religious worship of idols is a justifiable as the intellectual worship of Hamlet or Prometheus.

The homage we owe to the ideal of the human realized in art is admiration.

The homage we owe to the ideal of the Divine realized in idolatry is worship.

Today’s Hindu Calendar – September 3, 2014 – Tithi, Vrat, Good Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festival

Tithi in Hindu Calendar on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 (Today) – Shukla Paksha Navami Tithi or the ninth day during the waxing phase of moon in Hindu calendar and Panchang in all places. It is Shukla Paksha Navami Tithi or the ninth day during the waxing phase of moon till 9:19 PM. Then onward it is Shukla Paksha Dasami Tithi or the tenth day during the waxing phase of moon. All time based on India Standard Time.

Nakshatra – Jyeshta or Kettai or Triketta Nakshatra till 1:39 PM on September 3. Then onward it is Mool or Moolam Nakshatram.

Rashi or Moon Sign – Vrischika Rasi till 1:39 PM. Then onward it is Dhanu Rashi.

Festivals, Vrat and Auspicious days – Jyeshta Gauri Puja in Maharashtra. Adhuka Navami.

Kali Yuga Year – 5116

Vikram Samvant 2071 – Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Navami Tithi or the ninth day during the waxing phase of moon in Bhadrapad month in North India - Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir.

Jayanama Samvatsar/ Shalivahana Saka 1936 – Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Navami Tithi or the ninth day during the waxing phase of moon in Bhadrapad month in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Goa

Vikram Samvant 2070 – Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Navami Tithi or the ninth day during the waxing phase of moon in Bhadrapad month in Gujarat.

18th day of Aavani Masam in Tamil Calendar followed in Tamil Nadu. (Jaya Year)
18th day of Chinga Masam in Malayalam Calendar in Kerala. (Kolla Varsham 1190)
17th day of Bhadrapad Month in Calendars followed in Assam and Bengal. (Bengali Year 1421)

Bad Period on September 3 2014
Rahukalam – 12:26 PM to 2:00 PM
Yamagandam – 7:44 AM to 9:18 AM
Gulikai – 10:52 AM to 12:26 PM
Durmuhurtham – 11:18 PM on September 2 to 12:03 AM on September 3
Durmuhurtham – 12:01 PM to 12:51 PM
Varjyam – 11:36 PM on September 2 to 1:09 AM on September 3

Good Time on September 3, 2014
Abhijita Muhurta – not present
Amirta Kalam – 8:57 AM to 10:31 AM

Yog – Vishkamba (Bad Yog) till 11:49 AM. Then onward it is Priti (Good Yog).

Karana – Bava (Good) till 4:08 AM. Then onward it is Balava (Good) till 3:25 PM. Then onward it is Kaulava (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.

Onam 2014 date – Thiruonam Festival in Kerala in 2014

Onam 2014 date based on Malaylam Calendar in Kerala. Onam is the most popular and important festival in Kerala in India. The Thiruonam festival of Malayalis rises above all barriers of religion, caste, creed and financial status. Thiru Onam 2014 date is September 7, Sunday. It is believed that during the four days of Onam festival, the legendary Asura King Mahabali (Maveli) comes to visit his subjects. Malayalis prepare floral carpets, sumptuous foods and sweets to welcome Mahabali.  First Onam is on September 6.

Onam is celebrated over four days -
  • Onnam Onam or First Onam is on  September 6. 
  • Second Onam or the most important day of Onam is the Thiruonam and it is on  September 7 
  • Third Onam or Munnam Onam is on  September 8. 
  • Fourth Onam or Naalam Onam is on  September 9.
The preparation for Onam begins on the Atham nakshatram day in the Malayalam Chingam month (August – September). Atham falls around 10 days before Thiruonam.

During these ten days children and women prepare the floral design called Ona-Pookkalam in front of their houses to welcome King Maveli. Today there are Pookalam competitions organized by various organizations.

New clothes, known as Onakodi, are exchanged by family members. Preparation for the grand feast on Onam begins in advance.

On the Tiruvonam day members of the family gather together, usually at the ancestral home, for Onasadya (traditional Onam feast) served on plantain leaves. The significance of the Ona Sadya is established from the popular Malayalam saying “kanam vittum onam unnanam” - Onam feast should be prepared even if one has to sell all the seedlings that are kept to sow for next harvest.

Onam is traditionally a harvest festival and earlier the people of Kerala used to entirely depend on agriculture.

After the Onasadya, women and children engage in folk games, songs and dances like Oonjalattom (soaring high on the swing), Thumbithullal - a traditional folk dance, Kaikottikkali or Thiruvathirakali.
Onam is also time for snake boat races (Vallam Kali) and there are numerous competitions including the famous Aranmula Vallam Kali.

Apart from this there are other traditional rural arts and games like Pulikali, Kummati kali, Ona Thallu etc take place during the period.

Malayalis are today spread around the world and Onam transports each Malayali to their home in Kerala.

Each malayali has sweet memories of Onam and it is dusted out and remembered with a nostalgic smile on every Onam.

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Indra and Tiny Sages Called Valakilyas

Valakilyas are a group of tiny sages mentioned in Hindu scriptures. The sages were the size of the thumb but were very powerful due to their piety, Brahmacharya and intense penance. Once, Indra and the Valakilyas were on their way to the ashram of Sage Kashyapa to attend a yajna.

Indra, the king of celestial beings, was haughty and arrogant and this behavior often caused problems to the celestial world. On the way to the ashram, Valakilyas had fallen into water collected in a hoof mark left by a passing animal. Indra, who soon reached the spot, mocked at the tiny sages who were in a puddle and sped away.

Sage Kashyapa received Indra but was a worried man because Valakilyas had not yet reached. Indra then jokingly narrated what had happened and asked Sage Kashyapa to not to wait for the tiny sages.

Sage Kashyapa narrated how powerful the Valakilyas were and he also warned Indra that they might be performing a yajna to replace Indra as the king of Devas.

Soon Indra and Sage Kashyapa reached the spot of the yajna and asked the Valakilyas to desist from it.

The sages relented and said that the one to come from the yajna would Pakshindra, king of all birds, and that bird was Garuda.

With the blessing of Valakilyas, Sage Kashyapa became the father of Garuda.

Indra made the mistake of judging the sages by their outward appearance. Symbolically the story explains one should not judge a person by outward appearance.

Tirupati Balaji Temple to have New Administration

The world famous Tirupati Balaji Temple is all set to have a new administration. The Andhra Pradesh government has constituted a Specified Authority to manage Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati with Principal Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Government (Revenue-Endowments) as its Chairman. The existing Board of Trustees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has ceased to exist. 
DNA reports 
 "The Specified Authority shall exercise all the powers and perform all the functions of Board of Trustees of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams until further orders," a Government Order issued by Principal Secretary J C Sharma said here. 
Sharma himself will head the authority as he is the Principal Secretary in charge of Endowments Department, and run the affairs of the ancient hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara, which attracts millions of devotees from all over India and also abroad.