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Showing posts from March 23, 2010


Kottankulangara Sridevi Temple at Chavara in Kerala – Men Cross Dress for Goddess in Chamayavilakku Festival

According to Hindu tradition all animate and inanimate rise and fall in the Supreme Truth. Chamayavilakku Festival 2015 date is March 24 and 25. This concept has given rise to numerous unique traditions in Hinduism like the Ardhanareeshwara and unique temple festivals related to the concept half-man and half-woman. One such festival is the Chamayavilakku festival held at the KottankulangaraSrideviTemple at Chavara in Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Vana Durga – an incarnation of Goddess Shakti.

Please note that the festival is today being associated with homosexuals, crossdressers and transgender. But this is not correct. The ritual is a unique offering done by straight men to the Goddess. Homosexuals, crossdressers and transgender actively participate in the ritual.

The ritual is held during the last two days of the 11-day temple festival. On the day, regular men from all walks of life dress up as women for the chamaya Vilakku (chamaya is make-up, vilakku is lamp). The offering i…

Bengali New Year 2012 – Poila Baisakh or Naba Barsha

Bengali New Year is known as Poila Baisakh or Naba Barsha and it is observed the first day of the Baisakh month as per traditional calendar followed in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Bengali New Year 2012 date is April 14.

To welcome the New Year, the houses are thoroughly cleaned and decorated with seasonal flowers. Entrances to the houses are decorated with elaborate rangolis known as alpana using a paste made out of rice flour.

An earthen pot or ‘kalash’ decorated with rice flour paste is placed in the center of the rangolis. The swastika symbol is drawn on the pot. The pot is filled to the brim with water and mango leaves are arranged at its neck. The ‘kalash’ symbolizes a prosperous year.

Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh are worshipped and women wear white sari with red border and men wear dhoti and kurta.

In some areas, people take part in Prabhat Pheries or early morning processions. Then it is time to meet friends and relatives and exchange gifts and greet each other - Shubo N…

Dharmaraja Dasami 2017 Date – Yamadharmaraj Dasami

Dharmaraja Dasami or Yamadharmaraj Dashami is dedicated to Lord Yama, who is the Hindu God of death. Dharmaraja Dasami 2017 date is April 6. A puja dedicated to Yama who is also known as Yamadharmaraj is held on the day. This Vrata is observed on 10th day during the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month.

Basically the pujas that are performed on the day concentrates on removing the fear of death from a devotee. It would be nice to note hear the story of young Nachiketas in the Katha Upanishad who went to the abode of Yama to learn about the secret of death.

Meaning of Prayer Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu — May all beings in this universe be happy.
Sarvesham svasti bhavatu — May prosperity and welfare be unto all beings.  SarveshamSarvesham Santir-bhavatu — May peace be unto all beings.
Sarvesham purnam bhavatu — May plenitude and fullness be unto all beings.
Sarvesham mangalam bhavatu — May auspiciousness and blessedness be unto all beings.
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah— May all be happy.
Sarve Santu niramayah — May all be free from disease, pain and suffering.
Sarve bhadrani pasyantu — May all behold that which is auspicious, pleasant, nothing fearful nor unpleasant. Bhadra is auspicious, blessed, mild, pleasant.
Ma kaschidduhkhabag bhavet—May not sorrow fall to the lot of any one.
Thus, this has been an ancient tradition — wishing well, wishing peace, happiness, prosperity, freedom from disease and pain, plenty, fullness, blessedness and auspiciousness to everyone.
Source – From an article titled The Subjective Dimension of Prayer by Late Swami Chidananda

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