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The Importance of Japa in Hinduism

Japa, or Japam, is the repetition of a mantra or sacred verse. According to Agni Purana, the syllable ‘ja’ destroys the birth and death cycle and the syllable ‘pa’ destroys all the sins. The Japa is has the potential to unite the soul with the Supreme Being. It has miraculous powers which can infuse us with courage and confidence.Japa is the repetition of the name of that in which we believe and it gives us confidence and encourages us to rise above troubles.The Japa can be a repetition of the name of a God in the Hindu pantheon, or a mantra like the Gayatri Mantra or simply ‘OM.’The Japa is also seen as one of the ways to quieten the mind and also to gain control over the wandering mind. You may also like to readAbout JapamalaMother Meera thoughts on Japa

Mahashivratri Fasting – How to observe Mahashivaratri Vrat?

Mahashivratri Fasting is observed on the day before the Amavasya day in the Phalgun month (February – March). The corresponding period in other regions is the day before Amavasi in the Magh month. It is a complete fast on the day and people keep vigil at night or spend time in Shiva Temples or at sacred spots associated with Lord Siva. Mahashivratri Fasting date in 2011 is March 2.
Shiva is worshipped on the day with Bilva leaves, Dhatura, flowers, rice, water, milk and Panchamrut (milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey). Lord Shiva is worshipped throughout the night. The next day morning a sacrifice is performed with barley, sesame, porridge, Bilva leaves and the Mahashivratri Fasting is completed. This is performed at temples and sacred places. At homes people offer bilva leaves and water to Lord Shiva and end the vow with prayers. You can get a detailed idea of how to observe Shivratri Vrat in this earlier article.

On The Symbolism of Hindu Trinity

Hindu religious symbols and idols have a deeper depth for us to discover, over and above their mere external appearance. Stories of the Hindu trinity – Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva hide much more than their role of creation, sustenance and destruction. Similar is the messages hidden in the triad of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga. Devdutt Pattanaik explores the message hidden in the three worlds, three goddesses and three gods in an article in livemint titled Decoding the Hindu TrinityThe world Brahma creates is not the objective world. Hindu seers had scant regard for the objective, measurable reality. They believed that the human mind is so prejudiced that it can never ever truly break free from the fetters of bias. They focused their explorations on subjective reality, the virtual image of the world that every individual constructs in his or her mind.Data for this mental image of the world comes from the five senses. It is then shaped by prejudices, both positive and negative, which …

Chaitra Navratri March - April 2015 – Chait Navaratri 2015

Chaitra Navratri, also known as Chait Navaratri, is the festival of nine nights in Hinduism is dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati and is observed in the Chaitra month (March - April). Chaitra Navratri begins on March 21, 2015 and ends on March 28, 2015  It is also known as Vasant Navratras, Ram Navratri and Spring Navratri or Basant Navratri. As this Navratra ends on Ram Navami day, it also referred as Rama Navratri.

Chaitra Navratri is observed in the Hindu month of Chaitra (March – April). It is believed that Goddess Durga was originally worshipped (Durga Puja) in the Chaitra month and was also referred as Basanti Puja. It was Lord Ram who changed the period of Durga Puja.

Lord Ram wanted to get the blessings of Goddess Durga before beginning the war with Ravana. Therefore he invoked Goddess Durga during Ashwin (October – November). This is why the Durga Puja during October is also known as Akal Bodhon or untimely invocation.

The Chaitra Navratri is widely observed…

Today is Angarak Sankashti Chaturthi

Today, February 2, 2010 is the Chaturthi day during the Krishna Paksha (dark phase or waning phase of moon) of Magh month as per traditional calendars followed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Chandrodaya or moonrise time today is at 9:50 PM (Indian Standard Time). Sankashti Chaturthi, or Sankatahara Chaturti, is one of the most auspicious dedicated to Lord Ganesha, when the day falls on Tuesday it is known as Angarak Sankashti Chaturthi.
Please note that the Chaturthi today is the one during the Krishna Paksha (dark phase or waning phase of moon) of Phalgun month as per traditional calendars followed in North India.You may also like to readOnline Darshan from Siddhivinayak Temple Mumbai
How to perform Ganesh Sankashti Chaturthi?Sankashti Chaturti 2010 dates

Svetasvatara Upanishad Teachings

The one affluent divinity is hidden in all beings. He is all- pervading and is the inner-self of all creatures. He presides over all actions and all beings reside in him. He is the inner-witness. He endows all with consciousness and he is nirguna or free from the three gunas. Prakriti is perishable. Hara, the Lord, is immortal and imperishable. The non-dual Supreme Self rules both prakriti and the individual soul. Through constant meditation on Him, by union with Him, by the knowledge of identity with Him, one attains, in the end, cessation of the illusion of phenomena.The visible form of fire, while it lies latent in its source, the firewood, is not perceived; yet there is no destruction of its subtle form. That very fire can be brought out again by means of persistent rubbing of the wood, its source. In like manner, Atman, which exists in two states, like fire, can be grasped in this very body by means of Om.Svetasvatara Upanishad

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