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Showing posts from December, 2007


Hyderabad Chilkur Balaji Temple – the Visa God

Working or moving to the United States, Australia or other Western countries is a dream for many Indians. But enough visas are not issued by these western countries to meet the growing aspirations of the middle class Indians. So many Indians seek divine intervention and head to the Chilkur Balaji Temple – the Visa God. Vauhini Vara writes about this amazing divine intervention in The Wall Street Journal.

Chilkur Balaji Temple is about 25 km from Hyderabad off the Vikarabad road and on the banks of Osmansagar.

Some excerpts from the article titled – Divine Intervention? Indians Seek Help From the 'Visa God'
In the late 1990s, this small temple on the outskirts of Hyderabad -- the
capital of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh -- drew just two or three
visitors a week.
C.S. Gopala Krishna, the 63-year-old head priest of the
Chilkur Balaji Temple, wanted more people to come. So he gave Lord Balaji a new
identity. "I named him the Visa God," he says. Now, Mr. Gopala Krishna'…

Vedantic Concept of Life and Modern Science

The Vedantic concept of origin of life was discussed in a paper presented by Phalguni Banerjee at the International Conference on Science and Spirituality for World Peace. The paper talks about the failure of modern science to provide any satisfactory answer regarding life and its deeper reality. In the paper, Phalguni Banerjee points out that a synthesis between the Vedantic idea and modern science can expand the domain of our scientific conception of Life and find some satisfactory answers. The paper was recently published in KangalaOnline.Some excerpts from the paperOver the years in an attempt to understand life, modern science has made extensive attempts to understand only the molecular constituents like RNA and DNA in the bodies of living entities. In this regard Dr. TD Singh, founder director of Bhakivedanta Institute, attended a lecture on the origin of life by the world-renowned reductionist, Professor Stanley Miller. Dr Singh asked him during the question and answer session,…

Aitareya Brahmana Quotes on Pilgrimage

Flower like are the heels of the wanderer
Thus his body grows and is fruitful
All his sins disappear
Slain by the toil of his journeying.There is no happiness for him who does not travel!
Thus we have heard. Living in the society of men,
the best of men becomes a sinner.
Therefore, wander!
The feet of the wanderer are like the flower, his soul
is growing and reaping the fruit; and all his sins are
destroyed by his fatigues in wandering.
Therefore, wander!
The fortune of him who is sitting, sits; it rises when
he rises; it sleeps when he sleeps; it moves when he moves.
Therefore, wander!Aitareya Brahmana

Did Guinness World Records Make a Mistake in Judging the World’s Largest Hindu Temple?

Recently the Guinness World Records had certified BAPS Akshardham temple in Delhi as the world’s largest Hindu temple. But is it really the largest temple in the world? The doubt arises when the large temple complexes in Tamil Nadu are taken into account. Akshardham is 356 ft long and 316 ft wide, its grounds covers 86,342 sq ft. The total area of the temple complex is 32 acres of land.MaduraiMeenakshiTemple is 850 ft long and 800 ft wide. The total area of the complex is 17 acres.Other temples in Tamil Nadu that might challenge the Guinness World Records are the Thiruvannamalai Shiva Temple, Srirangam SriRanganthaswamyTemple complex and Thiruvarur Temple.The above picture is of the Thiruvannamalai Shiva Temple.
Hindustan Times reportsWhen informed that the entire Akshardham complex was spread over 30 acres, said B Raja, joint commissioner of the MeenakshiTemple, said, ‘A temple is a place for prayer. It is incorrect to include facilities for non-religious activities such as restaurant…

Hawaii Hindu Temple Opts for Fly Ash Concrete Mixture and Goes Green

KauaiHinduTemple under construction on Hawaii Island fashioned a foundation in which 60% of the usual portland cement is replaced with fly ash. The all stone IravianTemple in Kauai, Hawaii, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the construction which began in 1990 is still in progress. Hinduism Today Magazine reports‘To create the two 6,500sf pads for the stone temple, the architects used only 80 tons of cement, instead of the 230 tons of cement and 75 tons of steel required with conventional reinforced concrete.’
With cement production now contributing more than 6% of global greenhouse gases and growing fast, alternative construction methods are mandatory. By mixing in some fly ash, we could reduce cement use by half.

Prof Mehta, an expert on concrete and fly ash and who helped in the construction, says, ‘This demonstrates a revolutionary method of concrete construction which, if widely adopted could save millions of dollars a year, create structures to last far longer than they do now and …

Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari Quotes

By true Satsang, the mind is purified and the intelligence is clear about the inner being. If intelligence is clear, then ‘Divyagyan’ or God's true self is revealed. By ‘Divyagan’ we can have darshan of God, who is within us all.Love is the main thing. You can do japa, chant mantras, or do worship, but if you do not have love then all these things are worthless.If you want to have some coconut, first you have to remove the husk, then break through the hard shell to find the coconut. This illusion of self has been with us for a long time, so it is hard to break. But we all have to try very hard to do this. When the ego is removed, then in its place we will have devotion. Devotion means complete love. This devotion is what we are looking for.Prahlad Chandra Brahmachari

Quotes from Nitishastra of Bhartrihari

The attribute most noble of the hand
Is readiness in giving: of the head
bending before a teacher: of the mouth
Veracious speaking: of a victor’s arms
Undaunted valour: of the inner heart
Pureness of the most unsullied: of the ears
Delight in hearing and receiving truth —
These are the adornments of high minded man
Better than all the majesty of empire.Nitishastra - Bhartrihari

Special Arrangements at Tirupati Temple of New Year 2008

New Year witnesses heavy rush of devotees at the TirumalaTirupatiBalajiTemple during. Keeping this in mind, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs) have made special arrangements for New Year 2008.The Vigilance Officials will keep open both tollgates round the clock from and December 30th 2007 to January 1st 2008 night for the convenience of the pilgrims to hassle free darshan of Sri Venkateswara Swamy. In view heavy rush of pilgrims on January 1st all the Arjitha Sevas have been cancelled.

Quotes on Lord Nataraja

O my Lord, Thy hand holding the sacred drum has made and ordered the heavens and earth and other worlds and innumerable souls. Thy lifted hand protects both the conscious and unconscious order of thy creation. All these worlds are transformed by Thy hand bearing fire. Thy sacred foot, planted on the ground, gives an abode to the tired soul struggling in the toils of causality. It is Thy lifted foot that grants eternal bliss to those that approach Thee. These Five-Actions are indeed Thy Handiwork.Chidambara Mummani KovaiToday is Arudara Darshan

Amma Mata Amritanandamayi to feature In God's Name – a CBS Network Documentary

In God's Name, a primetime special produced by CBS Network (United States) in association with French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet, will explore the complex questions of our time through the thoughts and beliefs of 12 of the world's most influential religious leaders. Amma Mata Amritanandamayi is the lone Hindu spiritual leader in the list of 12 eminent religious personalities. And incidentally she is the only women featuring in the list. In God's Name will be broadcast Sunday, December 23 at 9pm ET/PT (United States).
About In God’s Name from CBS
These diverse and powerful voices offer provocative, compelling and enlightening perspective on myriad issues in our post-9/11 world, including the rise of terrorism, fanaticism, intolerance and war.The preview of In God's Name
The program marks the first time that this distinct group of leaders has appeared in one broadcast. These spiritual beacons speak out about violence and hatred and reveal their own thoughts abou…

Sayings of Totapuri – the Guru of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Brahman is the only Reality, ever-pure, ever-illumined, ever-free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable agency of Maya (illusion), that enchantress which makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really one and undivided. When a seeker is merged in the state of supreme happiness of Samadhi, he does not perceive time and space or name and form - the production of Maya. Whatever is within the domain of Maya is unreal; give it up. Dive deep in the search for Self and be firmly established in It through Samadhi. You will then find the world of name and form vanishing into nothing, and this puny ego merging into cosmic consciousness.Totapuri

Akshardham Temple New Delhi – The World's Largest Hindu Temple

The BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in New Delhi has been bestowed with the honor of being the world's largest Hindu temple by the Guinness Book of World Records. In yet another world record, Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushotam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Pramukh Swami Maharaj has been credited with establishing and consecrating the largest number of Hindu temples ever by a single person. The AkshardhamTemple in New Delhi is spread over an area of 86,342 square feet. It is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high. The grand temple has been built in Vedic design with ornate, hand-carved stones and was consecrated on November 6, 2005.Poetry in stone, the temple is a masterpiece in pink sandstone and white marble and has 234 ornate pillars, over 20,000 sculptures and statues of deities, eleven 72-foot-high huge domes and numerous decorative arches. The temple stands on 148 huge elephants and is encircled by a double storied colonnade which depicts tales from the epics. …

Dashavatar – Animation film based on Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu

Dashavatar, an animation film based on the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, is produced by Pune-based Anushvi Productions in association with Phoebus Creations Media Pvt. Ltd. This 2D animation film has voices of famous Bollywood actors and is directed by Bhavik. The narration is through the eyes of two children Aarti and Ajay, who are saved from kidnappers by Lord Vishnu. Sage Narada narrates to them how Lord Vishnu saved them but the children are not willing to accept the fact that Lord Vishnu saved them from the kidnappers. To prove this and the power of Lord Vishnu, Sage Narada transports the children to the time when Brahma created the universe. The children watch the entire creation process and the ten incarnation of Lord Vishnu.The animation film is scheduled to release in 2008.Related
Ten Incarnation of Vishnu and Evolution
List of Animation films based on Hindu Mythology

Get Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Prasadam through India Post

The Indian Department of Posts has made arrangements for dispatching the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple Prasadam. The prasadam packet known as Swami Prasadam will contain a sealed tin of aravana payasam, one packet of appam, vibhoothi, sandal paste, abhishekam ghee, manjal (turmeric powder), kumkum, pepper, vibhoothi from Vavar Mosque and a small laminated picture of Swami Ayyappa.
The prasadam items are available through post during the mandalapooja and makaravilakku season and on the first few days of the Malayalam months. The devotees wishing to receive the prasadam through post have to remit Rupees 210 by money order in the post offices. The address for remittance is The Executive Officer,
Travancore Devaswom Board,
Sabarimala, 689713,
Pathanamthitta District,
Kerala.

The prasadam packets will be dispatched through registered parcel post. Out of the money order an amount of Rupees 10 will be used for providing ‘annadanam’ (free meal) to the pilgrims. No idea how the Travancore Devaswom Boa…

The Mother Aurobindo Quotes

It is no use reading books of guidance if one is not determined to live what they teach. One need not leave the earth to find the Truth, one need not leave the life to find his soul, one need not abandon the world or have only limited beliefs to enter into relation with the Divine. The Divine is everywhere, in everything and if He is hidden, it is because we do not take the trouble to discover Him. Generally, it seems to me that this is the first question one should put to oneself: "Why am I here?" I have seen this in children, even in children of five or six : "Why am I here, why do I live?" And then to search, with whatever consciousness is available, with a very little bit of consciousness: why am I here, for what reason? This seems to me the normal starting-point. One need not leave the earth to find the Truth, one need not leave the life to find his soul, one need not abandon the world or have only limited beliefs to enter into relation with the Divine. The Div…

On Hindu Family Record Books and its Keepers at Haridwar

There are hundreds of priests in Haridwar who keep record books filled with the genealogies of Hindu families visiting the ancient city to pay homage to their dead. A particular Priest or Panda keeps the record of a set of families and relatives leave there remarks on the dead person in the book. In an article in the Washington Post, Emily Wax writes"It's so lovely that we still feel so emotionally connected to seeing the books," Parthi Krishnan, a hotel manager marveling at the record book's faded pages. There were remarks written by relatives through the years: "A good listener," one entry said. "Hard worker," another said. "You see, a computer has no feeling," Pawan, a Hindu priest, explained. "There is an intimacy in seeing the handwritten notes of a family." Millions of Hindu families in northern India come to priests such as Pawan to record their family trees, a tradition that has survived Mughal conquests, British coloni…

Bhagavad Gita for Blind in Braille

Adhyatmika Chetana Samiti, a Hindu spiritual awareness organization in New Delhi, India, has brought out the Braille version of Bhagavad Gita for the visually impaired people. ‘We have already printed Krishna Chalisa, Durga Chalisa, Hanuman Chalisa, Sundar Kand. We have now added Shrimad Bhagavad Gita to the same list, which has been printed in three parts in Braille language,’ said Pandit Ramkumar Sharma, Founder and Chairman Adhyatmika Chetana Samiti. You can buy the Bhagavad Gita here at the official website of Adhyatmika Chetana Samiti. Related Malayalam Braille Bhagavad Gita for Blind People

Garuda Comic from Virgin Comics

Garuda is the eighth comic book in the India Authentic series by Deepak Chopra and Virgin Comics. Garuda, the Hindu mythical bird and vehicle of Lord Vishnu, is revered and finds a prominent place in Hinduism and is worshipped as a deity in several Lord Vishnu shrines. Lord Vishnu appearing on the Garuda Vahanam (Vehicle in the form of Garuda) is the most auspicious sight during the Brahmotsavams held in Vishnu temples in South India, especially in TirupatiBalajiTemple.Deepak Chopra is presenting Garuda as – the Avian warrior Garuda. On the Garuda Comic from the flyer. Born with blazing gilded wings of a hawk and the body of a man, Garuda became the sworn enemy of his half-brothers, the slithering serpents. When the crafty snakes hold this mother hostage and demand that Garuda steal the nectar of immortality from the gods, the warrior Garuda is caught between his own oath of walking the path of dharma and saving his mother.Like all previous issues of India Authentic series, the emphas…