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Showing posts from June 27, 2008

Gupt Navratri or Ashada Navratra

Gupt Navratri, also referred as Gayatri or Ashada Navratri, is nine days dedicated to the nine forms of Shakti (Mother Goddess) in the Hindi month of Ashada (June – July). Gupt Navaratri is observed during the Ashada Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon). In 2017, Gupt Navratri begins on June 24 and ends on July 2.

Gupt Navratri rituals are followed mainly in the Hindi speaking states in India. It is largely observed by women in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The nine days are dedicated to worship of various forms of Shakti.

This Navartri is particularly important for all Upasakas or worshippers of Varahi. Varahi is one of the seven Matrikas of Devi Mahatmya. It is also referred as Guhya Navratri in Himachal Pradesh.

Some people fast on certain days of Gupt Navratri and vegetarian food is consumed during the period. The most important event during the nine-day period is community worship of the nine forms of Durga or Shakti. Women in a locality gather in a household during evenin…

New Book: The Pregnant King – narrates the unknown tale of Yuvanashva and other minor characters in Mahabharata

The novel ‘The Pregnant King’ by Devdutt Pattanaik is based on the less known character King Yuvanashva in the Mahabharat. There are hundreds of characters in the Mahabharata but we only hear about a select few. Some of these lesser known characters were extraordinary individuals and their tales are interesting and equally appealing like the tales of the famous Pandavas and Kauravas. Devdutt Pattanaik in ‘The Pregnant King’ brings to light the journey of Yuvanashva, a childless king, who accidentally drinks a magic potion meant to make his queens pregnant and gives birth to a son.From the Novel – The Pregnant King‘I am not sure that I am a man,’ said Yuvanashva. ‘I have created life outside me as men do. But I have also created life inside me, as women do. What does that make me? Will a body such as mine fetter or free me?’The novel uses materials from the Mahabarata and from the folk versions of Mahabharat in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.This unusual novel is also the story of Yuvan…

Pandarpur Yatra - Pandharpur Ashadhi Ekadasi Wari Pilgrimage

The annual Pandharpur Yatra to the famous VithobaTemple at Pandarpur in Maharashtra is an unparalleled pilgrimage that breaks the barriers of caste, creed, rich and poor. In 2017, the Pandarpur Yatra Palki of Tukaram Maharaj from Dehu near Pune will start on June 16 and will end on July 4, 2017 at Pandarpur on Ashadi Ekadasi. VithobaTemple is also known as VitthalRukhminiTemple and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The most important annual pilgrimage is a 21-day trek known as Pandharpur Ashadhi Ekadasi Waari and culminates on the Ekadasi day in the Marathi month Ashadi.

One of the most famous pilgrimages in Maharashtra, Pandharpur Ashadhi Ekadashi Wari has been taking place for more than 700 years. The procession was started in the current form by Sant Tukaram's son Narayanmaharaj in 1685. But it is believed that the first pilgrimage was done by the parents of Saint Dnyaneshwar in the 13th century and Sant Dnyaneshwar during his time popularized it.

The main Pandharpur Yatra starts …

Elephant – the Thirteenth Guru of Dattatreya

Once I saw a wild elephant being trapped. A tame female elephant in season was the bait. Sensing her presence, the wild male emerged from its domain and fell into a pit that had been cleverly concealed with branches and heaps of leaves. Once caught, the wild elephant was tamed to be used by others. This elephant is my fourteenth guru because he taught me to be careful with my passions and desires. Worldly charms arouse our sensory impulses and, while chasing after the sense cravings, the mind gets trapped and enslaved, even thought it is powerful. (Source: The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD)EarlierHoneybee – the Twelfth Guru of DattatreyaHoney Gatherer - the fouteenth Guru of Dattatreya

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