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Showing posts from April, 2008


Animation Film Ghatotkach

Ghatothkach, or Ghatotkacha, is the son of Bhima and Hidimbi in Mahabharata. Hidimbi, a demon (Rakshasi or Asura), is noted for her magical powers. And her son Ghatothkach inherited all the magical powers of his mother and the strength of his father Bhima, the second among the Pandavas. The cartoon film titled Ghatothkach – master of magic, narrates the tale of a five-year-old Ghatotkach. In the film, Ghatothkach, lovingly called ‘Ghattu’ is the prince of the forest and is blessed with extra-ordinary powers. He has loads of fun with his magical powers, but also uses them to protect everyone around him.As a five year old, he rescues ‘Gajju’ – ababy elephant which leads to a lifelong friendship.The film is the journey of a prince and his elephant friend – full of magic. When challenged by evil forces that are out to destroy him and to stop him from fulfilling his destiny, Ghattu and Gajju form an invincible team to fight them. (Story synopsis and image as found on the official website …

Hindu Farewell Sermon to Graduating Class at University of Nevada-Reno

Hindu Baccalaureate Service - A farewell sermon to a graduating class at their commencement ceremonies – will be held at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on May 11, 2008. Known as Dikshant Utsav in Hinduism, the ceremony is the first of its kind in the University of Nevada. The function is being organized by Indian Student Organization of UNR and Rajan Zed, Indo-American leader noted for the reading of Hindu scriptures in Senate. News Blaze ReportsSwami Vedananda, well-known Hindu monk from California, will be the keynote speaker at this First Annual Hindu Baccalaureate Service (Dikshant Utsav) of UNR. He plans to bless the upcoming graduates with wisdom from Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita-all ancient Hindu scriptures, and applying tilak (religious mark) over their foreheads.Starting with Gayatri Mantra by Zed and followed by Gita recitation by Subhashree Misra of Nevada Desert Research Institute, it will also include prayers/blessings by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and …

Words of Wisdom – Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Today, because of the communication between machines, even people in far off places seem very close. Nevertheless, as the communication between hearts is absent, even those who are physically very near to us are really very far. The beauty of society lies in the communication between hearts.Rowing a boat against the current is difficult, but if there is a sail it becomes easy. Love for God is like a sail that helps the boat go forward.Devotion, like tincture used for cleaning a wound, purifies the mind.Our knowledge of wisdom is limited to words; to bring it into our experience is possible only though devotion.If you cannot find free time to spare for acts of worship, try to be like the Gopis (in Krishna’s Vrindavan). They were continuously thinking of God while immersed in their work.Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Hindu Vrat: Benefits of Fasting in Hinduism

Fasting, known as Vrat or Vratam, is an integral part of Hindu religion. Each day of a week is dedicated to a particular deity in the Hindu pantheon and depending on personal choice a devotee can fast on any day. Apart from this there are Ekadasi and Shasti in a month, which are fasting days. Fasting is also associated with important festivals like Navratri, Teej etc. The main aim of all fasting days associated with Hinduism is to rise above the mundane materialistic nature and understand the all encompassing and blissful nature of Brahman. Some Benefits of Fasting on Spiritual LevelFasting purifies the mind.It controls passion.Checks emotions.Controls the senses.For many it is also a sort of penance as it provides a window to escape from sins. Fasting controls the tongue, which when let loose is the greatest enemy of man.Benefits of Fasting to the Physical BodyFasting overhauls the respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urinary systems.Impurities and poisons from the body are remove…

Quotes from Prasnottara Ratna Malika of Adi Shankaracharya

Prasnottara Ratna Malika of Adi Shankara in Sanskrit is a collection of 67 verses (question and answers). It tries to answer questions that arise in the mind of common man who is new to the spiritual world.Who can be considered as a Guru?That one who knows the truth, who lives in and as truth and who always strives for the good of his disciple.What is the seed of the tree of liberation (moksha)?The attainment of perfect and true knowledge and its application in everyday life.What is the root cause of fear?Death.Who is an intelligent person?That one who is endowed with the power of discrimination.Who is the enemy?Idleness.What is the essence of this life that we are leading?The understanding that it is only transitory and will not last forever.
What can be considered as the dearest thing for a man?The leading of a life that is entirely devoted to the good of himself and others.What spoils the mind and brings down its efficiency?Love of the abnormal or extreme kind.Who is the blindest of…

Swami Jyotirmayananda on Yamas and Niyamas in Raja Yoga

The yamas (ethical restraints) and niyamas (ethical observances) listed in Raja Yoga are important life codes.The niyamas, or ethical observances, includeSaucha (maintaining physical and mental purity),Santosha (contentment),Tapas (austerity),Svadhyaya (the study of scriptures and repetition of mantra)Isvarpranidana (surrender to God).The yamas, or ethical restraints, includeAhimsa (non-violence), Satya (thinking, speaking, acting on the basis of truthfulness), Brahmacharya (control and sublimation of sex energy), Asteya (non-stealing in both its gross and subtle forms)Aparigraha (non-covetousness or non-hoarding of possessions you do not need). These great yamas and niyamas of Raja Yoga can help a person in developing righteous conduct.Swami JyotirmayanandaSource: Extracts from the Tattvaloka Magazine ‘Advice to Students’, Yoga Research Foundation.

Swami Dayanand Saraswati on the Importance of Japa

Japa is the repetition of a word or short sentence during the practice of meditation. In Japa, the letter ‘pa’ stands for that which removes or destroys all impurities and obstructions and the letter ‘ja’ stands for that which puts an end to the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, Japa is an indirect means for liberation, moksha. By destroying the varieties of obstructions to knowledge, Japa paves the way for liberation. Japa, then, is more than a mere discipline or technique.Japa also helps in removing unwanted thoughts.In Japa, I know exactly what is to come next. If something else pops up, I know this is not what is expected and I bring back the chosen thought. In the process I learn how to dismiss unwanted thoughts and retain the one I have chosen.Swami Dayanand Saraswati(Source: Two Talks on Japa Mantra Meditation)

A Revolutionary Change: Dalit Hindu Temple Priests in Tamil Nadu Temples

The present Tamil Nadu government had made a law in May 2006 that provided all Hindus, whatever their caste, to become priests and conduct temple rituals if they are ‘qualified.’ To educate Hindus in becoming priests the government had setup six priest-training institutes. The first batch of students from the training institutes will be ready to adorn the role of Hindu priests from June 2008.To train Hindu priests, the government had setup two Vaishnava and four Shaiva priest-training institutes. The Vaishnava Archaka Training Institutes are housed at the Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam and the Parthasarathy SwamiTemple in Chennai. The four Shaiva institutes are at Tiruvannamalai, Madurai, Palani and Tiruchendur. The centers are run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of the Tamil Nadu State Government.The students are trained in all methods of temple worship and rituals and the year-long certificate course is known as 'Agama Sastras' (priesthood st…

Hinduism and Big Bang Theory: The Cosmic Event in Upanishads and other Hindu Scriptures

There are numerous theories regarding the origin of universe but the Big Bang model is the broadly accepted theory. But thousands of years before scientists came up with Big Bang model, did the sages of Upanishads knew about the cosmos wake up. In his long introductory essay in the book ‘The Big Bang and the Bhagavad Gita,’ R.A.S. Koacha suggests that the early saints of modern day Hinduism knew about this cosmic event through mystic insight.Big Bang Theory postulates that 12 to 14 billion years ago, the portion of the universe we can see today was only a few millimeters across. It has since expanded from this hot dense state into the vast and much cooler cosmos we currently inhabit. (NASA)Some of the conclusions from the book – ‘The Big Bang and the Bhagavad Gita,’ R.A.S. KoachaIs Brahman an oblique reference of Big Bang?The very name ‘Brahman’ representing the Ultimate Reality in Hindu religion appears to be nothing but an implicit reference to the ‘Big Bang’ itself. The word ‘Brahm…

A Short Video Introduction to Hinduism

This video is a short introduction to Hinduism or Hindu religion, which is referred by Hindus as Sanatana Dharma. The video, credited to vastvideo, is pretty old and looks like it was shot in the 50s or 60s. It gives a short and neat introduction to Hindu religion but ends abruptly leaving the viewer a bit confused, especially for those people who are new to Hinduism. Therefore the transcript of the video is provided and the figures mentioned which are pretty old are corrected. And the confusion which occurs in the end is cleared through writing. Ages ago while the societies and cultures and people in other parts of the world were still in the crudest and most primitive stage, India was a great thriving civilization with an art, a philosophy and an advanced religious system already highly developed. In fact, India has been called the cradle of religion and Hinduism, the faith which developed there and numbers the largest following (in India) has an origin that is prehistoric. Sacred l…

Quotes from Chapter 18 of Bhagavad Gita – The Spirit of Renunciation – Translated by Purohit Swami.

Arjuna asked: O Mighty One! I desire to know how relinquishing is distinguished from renunciation. (18.01) The sages say that renunciation means forgoing an action which springs from desire; and relinquishing means the surrender of its fruit. (18.02)
Some philosophers say that all action is evil and should be abandoned. Others that acts of sacrifice, benevolence and austerity should not be given up. (18.03)
O best of Indians! Listen to My judgment as regards this problem. It has a threefold aspect. (18.04)
Acts of sacrifice, benevolence and austerity should not be given up but should be performed, for they purify the aspiring soul. (18.05)
But they should be done with detachment and without thought of recompense. This is My final judgment. (18.06)
It is not right to give up actions which are obligatory; and if they are misunderstood and ignored, it is the result of sheer ignorance. (18.07)
To avoid an action through fear of physical suffering, because it is likely to be painful, …

Udhava Gita Quotes

Lord Krishna to UdhavaOne who is endowed with scriptural erudition culminating in realization, who has attained to the Self, and has not mere theoretical knowledge, should surrender knowledge to Me – knowing the universe to be but an illusion.For I am the desired goal of the Jnani and its efficient means; I am his worldly prosperity as well as liberation. There is nothing else but Me which is dear to him.Those who have perfected themselves in knowledge and realization attain to My Supreme abode. Since the Jnani cherishes Me through his knowledge, therefore he is the most beloved to Me.Austerity, pilgrimage, repetition of the Mantra, charity, and whatever else is sacred, cannot improve that perfection which springs from even a modicum of realization.Therefore, O Uddhava, dwelling on your own self till the attainment of realization, he endowed with knowledge and realization, and worship Me with devotion.The threefold modification, O Uddhava, which has come upon you is an illusion, for i…

Hinduism Course: Summer 2008 Hindu Studies Program at Rutgers University

The Summer Hindu Studies Program at RutgersUniversity for 2008 offers courses addressing different elements of and approaches to Hindu philosophy and culture. The program is open to visiting students and community members, as well as Rutgers students. Following are the courses in Hinduism conducted in Summer 2008Hinduism Through its Arts, Legends, Mystics and Yogis - This course will explore some of the most prominent features of the universe of Hindu narratives in their myriad expressions, both traditional and modern, and how they inform their audiences about the Hindu view of life. (Duration: June 23, 2008 - August 1, 2008)
Hinduism: Engagement with the Modern World - The course will consider some of the ways voices speaking from within the Hindu tradition have responded to issues of importance to modern sensitivities, ranging from Orientalism, gender and social equality, ecology, globalization, materialism and consumerism. ( July 7, 2008 - August 13, 2008)Hindu Philosophy - This c…

Thulabaram Offering at Guruvayur Krishna Temple with Paracetamol Tablets

One of the most important offering at the famous Sri Krishna temple in Guruvayur, Kerala, is the ‘thulabharam.’ In the Thulabaram ritual, a devotee sits on a pan of the weighing balance and the other pan is filled with materials greater than the weight of the devotee. Devotees usually offer sugar, jaggery, tulsi leaves and banana. Recently, Paracetamol tablet was added into the long list offerings made by devotees.Devotees are known to make unique offerings while performing Thulabharam ritual. Hundreds of ‘thulabharam’ are offered daily at the temple. A couple of years ago, a person performed ‘thulabharam’ with gold. The unique allopathic medicine thulabaram was performed by the son of a wholesale medicine dealer. Temple authorities later handed over the 72 kg Paracetamol tablets to the Government hospital in Guruvayur. (The Hindu)Thulabaram ritual is performed in major temples in South India including Tirupati.

Brahma Kumaris Tips on Managing Thoughts to Achieve Success and Happiness in Life.

Excerpts from an article published by Prajapita BrahmaKumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya (Brahma Kumaris).Have you ever thought about the fact that there is never a moment when you are not thinking and that whatever you are not thinking and that whatever happens in this world begins with a thought?Here are some simple steps to help you manage your thoughts and achieve success and happiness in life.Start watching your thoughts, without identifying them.At the outset thoughts are like the waves of the ocean, which do not stop even for a moment like the watch ticking.Do not be discouraged by the fact that you are becoming a part of your thoughts. Just watch your thoughts as an observer.You may even get carried away by your thoughts. Never mind.What you need to do whenever you detect this, is to take yourself out of your thoughts immediately and get back as a detached observer.Just watch after some time you will be able to know your negative thoughts. Now concentrate on all the positive t…

Chota Kailas, Om Parvat and Gauri Kund Yatra

MountAdi Kailash, popularly known as Chhota Kailash and Baba Kailas, is considered to be one of the abodes of Lord Shiva in the Himalayas. Chota Kailash is also noted for the formation of the Sanskrit letter ‘ॐ’ (om or aum) from snow. The annual pilgrimage or yatra takes place from June to September.


MountAdi Kailash and Om Parvat are in the region of 12,000 to 14,000 feet and are located in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand. Another major attraction is the Parvati Sarovar (Tal) or ParvatiLake or Gauri Kund at the foot of Adi Kailash.
Other attractions during the trek include the snow-clad peaks of Annapurna, Kali River, jungles with wildflowers and fruits, Narayan Ashram, and numerous waterfalls. The trek also passes through numerous places mentioned in Hindu scriptures like the KuttiVillage, named after Kunti, the mother of Pandavas. The journey also provides opportunity to interact with people living in the Chaudans, Byans and Darma valleys and learn about their social and cultura…

Shri Naryana Guru: Jiva Karunya Panchakam

All are of one Self-fraternity.
Such being the dictum to avow,
In such a light how can we take life,
And devoid of least pity go on to eat?The non-killing vow is great indeed,
And, greater still, non-eating to observe;
All in all. Should we not say, Oh men of righteousness,
Even to this amounts the essence of all religions?If killing were applied to oneself,
Who, as a favor, would treat such a dire destiny?
As touching all in equality, Oh ye wise ones,
Should that not be our declaration for a regulated life?No killer would there be if no other to eat there was
Perforce, himself must eat!
In eating thus abides the cruder ill than in killing
In that it killing makes.Not killing makes a human good -
Else an animal's equal he becomes.
No refuge has the taker of life,
Although to him all other goods accrue.Shri Naryana Guru

What is a Gurumantra?

Gurumantra, or Guru Mantra, as the name indicates is a letter, a word or group of words that a Guru suggests to a student or Shishya when he/she is accepted as a disciple. Usually, a Gurumantra depends on the character of the student, especially the Gunas - sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. A true Guru easily gauges which Guna is dominating the disciple.Now, finding a true Guru is major issue. True guru never advertises; he/she is a like a wildflower and students or disciples are like bees and butterflies that search for the fragrance and reaches the flower even if it is hidden in the darkest spot in the jungle. True Guru is not a magician and he never performs miracles to attract disciples.The sole aim of the Gurumantra is to control the senses and set the individual in the path of Brahman consciousness.Those people who want to gain wealth and climb up the social ladder will never be initiated by a true guru. Such disciples usually never find the true guru and instead land up at the feet…

Krishna, Don’t make me an orphan – A Poem by Mataji Vanamali

O Shoure (Krishna)! Please don’t make me an orphan!
O thou who art the sole support of the abandoned!
Please don’t make me an orphan!

Birth after birth have I wandered through the desert of life,
Searching for Thee,
I’m but an unknown flower, faded and worn,
Unknowingly I have reached thy doorstep,
How can I offer myself to thee?
How can I be used in they puja?
O Shoure! (Krishna)! Help of the helpless!
Please don’t abandon me!

In the carnival of life I missed my way
And fell into a nightmare that lasted for eons!
O Lord of Lakshmi! Wilt thou not stretch thy hand and haul me to the shore?
O Ocean of compassion! Wilt thou not come running to save me?

O thou delight of my eyes!
Thou alone art my mother, husband, friend and relation,
No sons or grandsons do I have other than thee!
Having given up all my blood relations,
I have sought refuge at thy feet alone,
Will thou not accept me O Beloved Vanamali,
Wilt thou not come running to me, my darling Vanamali!Mataji Vanamali

Hanuman Quotes from Ramayana

When Hanuman first met Sri Ram, he says: ‘the jeeva is deluded by maya, so I could not recognize my lord in your form’.
On another occasion Hanuman tells Rama: ‘when I think of myself as a body, I am your servant; when I think of myself as an individual soul, I am part of you; but when I realize I am atman, you and I become one.’
Hanuman to Tara, wife of Vali: A man reaps the fruits of the actions he has performed: actions whether good or bad, and death grants him these fruits. No man’s action depends on those of another. This human body is like a bubble on the surface of water. No one need mourn for another since we are all to be pitied. You are in a pitiable state and you feel sorry for Vali who is dead. There is no cause for grief in this world where everything is transient.

Words of Wisdom – Anand Swami Saraswati

If we want to recite the Gayatri Mantra, we shall have to dispossess our mind of hatred, and throw out all feelings of jealousy and enmity; only then we can achieve the state of being happy. Miseries do come in life and if we lose our patience and our mental balance, we shall retain base thoughts. It is thoughts which disturb us. It is the heart that brings us sorrow and it is the same heart that brings gladness. So life can be hell or heaven, the result of thoughts. This world is what we think it to be.Anand Swami Saraswati

Is the Gopura of Murudeshwar Temple in Karnataka the tallest Hindu Temple Gopuram in the World?

The famous MurudeshwarTemple in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka now possesses at 249-feet Raja Gopura. The Murudeswar temple complex is renowned for the tallest idol of Lord Shiva in the world, which is 123 feet. The latest addition to the temple is the Rajagopuram, which was opened on April 12, 2008. And is it the tallest the tallest Hindu Temple Gopuram in the World? Newspaper reports indicate that the Rajagopura of Murudeshwar Temple is the tallest in Asia. Earlier it was the 236-feet Rajagopuram of the Sri Ranganatha temple at Srirangam. But strangely several websites and newspapers are claiming it only to be the tallest in Asia. For more comparison, Qutub Minar another tallest structure in the world is 237.8 ft.If Gopuram can be considered as a unique ornate structure associated with Hindu Temples, then the Gopura of Murudeshwar Temple in Karnataka should be the tallest in the world. This is when considering that some of the largest Hindu temples in the world are in Asia, …

Orissa Deity That Remains Under Water

The idol of Lord Narayan Gosain at SinghapurVillage near Rasulpur in Jajpur District of Orissa is kept underwater, except for three days in a year. People in large number gather on these three days to have a glimpse of the God. And the unique annual ceremony is known as Singhapur yatra. This has been a practice here for more than four centuries.The idol of Lord Narayan Gosain remains in a pond near the temple, Madhutirtha Khetra, dedicated to Him. The idol is brought out on Pana Sankranti day (March – April) for three days and on the fourth day the idol is again immersed in the pond.So, why is the idol kept underwater? There is some history involved. In the 16th century, Kalapahada, a Muslim invader, after destroying numerous temples and Hindu idols reached the region. The then King of Madhupurgarh, to save the idol from Kalapahad, hid it in the pond. But people and the King were unhappy as the idol remained underwater. A few days later, Lord Narayan Gosain appeared in the dream of th…

Sayings of Shrii Shrii Anandamurti

The Supreme Entity is the vastest entity; the ultimate source of all cosmic emanations. The Supreme Entity, which is difficult to conceive, is the subtlest of the subtle. He is farther away than any other entity, but again He is nearer than the nearest. Only the one who looks into the innermost recesses of himself can realize the Supreme Entity.Human society is one and indivisible. Don't try to divide it. Each and every individual should be looked upon as the manifestation of the Cosmic Entity.He is infinite. He has no beginning and no end. He is the unbroken flow of pure and serene bliss, stretching from beginninglessness to endlessness.Shrii Shrii Anandamurti

Sunlight Falls Directly on the Jyotirlingam of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple

With the removal of a wall between the new compound and the original compound, sunrays will now fall directly on the Jyotirlinga at the 18th century Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. This was a long standing desire of Shiva devotees and the Jyotirlingam got the first glimpse of the sun on Monday, April 14, 2008.From The HinduThe original 2500-sq feet campus of historic Kashi Vishwanath temple was merged on Monday with the 6,000-sq feet new campus which has Tarakeshwar and Rani Bhavani Bhuvaneshwar temples.Large space has also been created for devotees for other spiritual activities like arti (prayer), meditation, devotional singing and keertan (prayer-meet) within the compound. The unified campus had a look of unique grandeur. Also, the old golden temple was brightly lit with the sunrays reaching its every nook and corner directly. The 'Jyotirlingam' was exposed to the sunrays probably for the first time in the history of the temple, which was built by the queen Ahilya Bai …

Swami Rama Tirtha Quotes

If you live in unison with your true Atman or Spirit, if you always keep yourself in touch with God in you, with your own Self or Atman, you are inspired all the time. What is wrong with you is that your mind comes in contact with earthly magnets on all sides, worldly attachments which magnetize you and put you out of order, you are no longer in running order, deranged.If you are not inspired today, the sole reason is that you do not keep yourself isolated, or insulated enough. You allow worldly objects to magnetize, to hypnotize you, you allow them to play foul and fast with you. If you want to regain your original powers and inspiration, keep yourself insulated, isolated for a while.Bury yourself in the Reality, in Divinity, in God, in the true Atman. Keep yourself buried in the Spirit, in the Truth. Live alone for a time, set apart sometime of your day for keeping in touch with the Reality; merge yourself, bury yourself in God. Do that and the spoiling magnetism and wrong hypnotism…

Significance of Sundarkand in Ramayana

Sundarkand forms part of Ramcharitmanas of Goswami Tulsidas which is commonly known as Tulsi Ramayana. It is the essence of the Ramcharitmanas, and is awarded as much importance as the Bhagavad Gita in the Mahabharata.
Like the Gita, the Sundarkand can be read independently. It has a powerful theme: When you are on a good mission, God gives you strength to overcome all obstacles.

Sundarkand commences with Hanuman’s departure for Lanka in search of Sita and ends with Rama and his army’s preparation to reach Lanka across the sea. This entire episode is called sundar or beautiful because every act described in it is auspicious, elevating the human mind and promoting right human values.

Hanuman initiates action for the friendship between Rama and Vibheeshana because of which eventually, Vibheeshana comes to be accepted in Rama’s camp. The Sundarkand paves the way for the reunion of Rama and Sita.

Even Lanka’s burning is described as a beautiful act as it is to destruct evil. Throughout the ep…

What to do on Ram Navami?

Ramnavami, or Ramanavami, is the birthday of Lord Ram and is celebrated by Hindus around the world. The method of celebration varies from region to region but fasting is an integral part of Ram Navami in most places. Lord Ram and Vishnu temples conduct elaborate pujas. Large scale community celebrations are organized in different parts of India which includes recitation of Ramayana and performances by folk artists. Maximum number of Rama Navami pujas take place in Hindu homes.

The rituals associated with Ram Navami starts on Chaitra 1 and ends on Ramnavami. Some devotees fast on all nine days but majority of the people fast only the Ramnavami day.

Those people who undertake fast on the day only eat food made using potatoes. Turmeric, garlic, onion and ginger are avoided. Another method of fasting is to eat only fruits or raw vegetables. There are also staunch Lord Ram devotees who undertake nirjala upvaas (fasting without water). It is believed that Lord Ram was born at noon so many p…

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi on Sinful Action and Meritorious Action Explained in the Karmayoga of Bhagavad Gita

Arjuna asks Krishna whether it is not a sin to wage war and slay friends and relatives in battle. It seems to us a natural and reasonable question. Sri Krsna Paramatman gives an answer in the Bhagavad Gita. An action that outwardly seems to be bad and cruel need not necessarily be sinful. Acts that apparently cause pain to others may have to be committed for the good of the world and there is no sin in them. Then what action is sinful and what is meritorious? The Lord answers this question also. Only such deeds as are motivated by desire and hatred can be sin. Those performed for the well being of the world without being impelled by desire and hatred are meritorious even though they may seen to be cruel.The question arises: Is there any action that does not spring from desire or hatred? I will give an example. When a judge awards punishment to a man found guilty of crime is he driven by desire or hatred? His sentence may seem cruel but it is indeed for the Atmic well-being of the accu…

Ramayan Online Quiz Contest for Children in USA

Kaun Banega Ramayan Expert (KBRE) is an online quiz contest based on the epic Ramayana for children in the United States of America. The aim of the contest is to increase the awareness of Ramayana among children in USA. KBRE contest is a special project by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA and Balagokulam. Those who wish to participate can register online or in-person at the Balagokulam centers in USA. Children between the ages of 5 to 15 years are eligible to participate in the contest. Participating children are divided into four age groups: Group 1 – age 5 and 6; Group 2 – age 7, 8 and nine; Group 3 – age 10,11 and 12 and Group 4 – 13,14 and 15.The quiz competition is held in two phases – first phase is an online quiz and the second phase is the in-person contest.KBRE is now open for online registration and the participants can take online exam starting from April 13.The website also provides interactive resources and reading material on Ramayan and there is also a practice quiz session…

Sabarimala Temple April 2017 Monthly Puja

SabarimalaAyyappaTemple in Kerala attracts thousands of devotees during the Vishu Puja held annually in April. In 2017 April, SabarimalaTemple will open for Vishu puja on April 10, 2017. Meda Vishu Darshanam will take place at 0530 hrs on April 14, 2017. The temple will close on April 18, 2017.

This year the annual temple festival also falls in April Month. For this the shrine will be open from March 31 to April 9, 2017.
The Sabarimala Temple which remains closed for the major part of a year is open for a longer period only during Mandala Makaravilakku season (November – December – January). Next major opening of the temple is during the Vishu season. The temple also opens on the first day of every Malayalam month.
Devotees can perform all the important rituals associated with the temple during the Vishu period. It is considered highly auspicious to have the ‘darshan’ of Lord Ayyappa on the Vishu day. A unique ritual performed by the head priest on the Vishu day is the distribution o…

Swami Sukhabodhananda Quotes

The wise way to live life is to plan with a purpose, prepare with a prayer, proceed positively and pursue persistently. Life’s heaviest burden is one’s fight with life and to now flow with life. Ego is a disconnection with existence. By operating from ego one is against the wholeness. To be inwardly nothing, is to be part of that wholeness and in harmony with the whole.People strive to increase their standard of living, but not their standard of thinking. The best computer is the one between the ears. Understand the mind, transform and transcend the mind, by the discipline taught by yoga.Swami Sukhabodhananda

Swami Dayananda Saraswati on Inadequate Self

To be born a human being with the unique faculties of discrimination and choice is both a great blessing and a terrible curse. This is because exercising one's choice often creates conflicts. The source of all conflict is the feeling we get of being incomplete – of being inadequate and wanting. This wanting, inadequate self, the only self of which one is aware, is like the sruti in Indian music. The singer produces various melodies, but always keeps her voice in tune with sruti, the constant background drone of the tanpura. Similarly, there is constant sruti in our hearts which drones on: ‘I want this...I want that…’ This constant wanting finds articulation in various specific wants, each an expression of the conclusion that one is an inadequate being.
What one does to achieve comfort varies from person to person. What is common is that everyone wants to acquire or get rid of something. A person's desires keep changing –something which was once desirable, may no longer be so.…

Unique Mercury Shivling at the Earth Peace Temple at Sinhagad, Pune

The new EarthPeaceTemple at the Siddhanath Forest Ashram at Sinhagad near Pune, Maharashtra is in the news due to a unique alchemical Mercury Shivalinga or Shiva Lingam installed in the temple. The linga is made of solidified mercury (paras mani) and is possibly the largest akhand Shivalingam. The temple belongs to Hamsa Yoga Sangh, a non-profit organization. Spiritual guru and founder of the Hamsa Yoga Sangh, Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath says that the unique Shivalinga is a symbol for earth peace. The Shivlinga weighs over a tonne and is around 30 inches in height. Yogiraj Siddhanath indicates that the Earth Peace Temple Shivling is possibly the largest known unbroken Shivling – akhand Shivalinga. Mercury when purified and brought to a solid state is called the ‘Philosophers Stone’ or Paras Mani (Mercury Gem).The Indian Express reports'Shivling can be termed the elusive philosopher’s stone and has a distinctive spherical shape,' Yogiraj Siddhanath said. He said the science of…

Osho Quotes on Intelligence

Intelligence needs tremendous courage, intelligence needs an adventurous life.Intelligence needs that you are always going into the unknown, into the uncharted sea. Then intelligence grows, it becomes sharpened. It grows only when it encounters the unknown every moment. People are afraid of the unknown, people feel insecure with the unknown. They don’t want to go beyond the familiar; hence they have created a false, plastic substitute for intelligence – they call it intellect.Intellect is only a mental game. It cannot be creative.Intelligence creates a Picasso, a Van Gogh, a Mozart, a Beethoven. Intelligence is a totally different dimension. It has nothing to do with the head; it has something to do with the heart.The expert, the knowledgeable, the intellectual, has no insight of his own. He depends on borrowed knowledge, on tradition, on convention. He carries libraries in his head, a great burden, but has no vision.Intellect is in the head; intelligence is a state of heart wakefulne…

Comic Book on Andhaka – the third son of Shiva and Parvati

The April 2008 issue of India Authentic series presented by Virgin Comics and Deepak Chopra is based on Andhaka – the third son of Shiva and Parvati. This is the 12th book in the India Authentic series. Legend has it that Andhaka was born when Parvati closed the eyes of Lord Shiva with her hands. The world was engulfed in darkness and the intense heat produced by Shiva’s third eye combined with his sweat to give birth to a blind and deformed child. Andhaka was given to demon king, Hiranyaksha who had no offspring.Later, Andhaka did intense ‘tapas’ for several years to please Brahma. Finally, Brahma relented and Andhaka was given eyesight and a boon that he will only be killed, if he ever chose his mother in marriage. Several years later Andhaka happened to see Goddess Parvati and wished to marry not knowing that she was his mother. This led to a major confrontation between Shiva and Andhaka and he was finally killed by Shiva. The story of Andhaka and Shiva slaying him has inspired a…

Swami Chidananda on Tantrism and Tantric Sex

Tantra, or the practice of ‘sacred sexuality,’ is becoming very popular in the West today. Do you think these teachings offer an authentic spiritual path?

No, I do not think that these teachings offer an authentic spiritual path. Why? Because of human frailty, human weakness. The human mind is so made that it always takes the path of least resistance. It always wants the easy way.Tantra is an approach to God through all types of sense enjoyment. Everything is offered to God and so everything becomes sanctified; nothing is profane. One enjoys sense satisfaction and sees it also as part of God's bliss. There is a view, and it has something to it, that while in all human experiences duality persists – there is an ‘I am enjoying this object’ feeling – that in the ultimate sexual experience between a truly loving male, intensely in love with the female and fully reciprocated by the female, there is no consciousness of one's individuality. There is a total fusion of the separatist co…

How to observe or celebrate Ugadi?

Ugadi, or Ugadhi, is the Kannada and Telugu New Year. This is a short description of how Ugadi is celebrated in Karnataka and includes the important pujas performed, neivediya prepared, food and other rituals. The main to do list include – buying new clothes, Neem flower and leaf pachadi preparation, oil bath and Ugadi Panchanga Sravana. There are slight variations in the mode of Telugu Ugadi celebration.
Things Needed New Clothes for family membersNeem leaves and flowers for PachadiNew Year PanchangaFresh fruitsGeneral Puja Flowers Ugadi Puja The eldest female member in the house usually prepares for the Ugadi puja.

House is thoroughly cleaned.

Mango leave festoons or other decorations are installed on doors and windows.

Ugadi pachadi or neem flower with jaggery is prepared.

New clothes for family members are arranged before the deity or in the puja room. A small mark using a pinch of turmeric and kum kuma is made on the new clothes, mostly on those areas which is not easily visible.

Sri Chinmoy Quotes on Love

One has to use love, not to bind or possess the world, but to free and widen one's own consciousness and the consciousness of the world.Where there is oneness, it is all pure love.He who does not love life, to him life is a taut and rigid grasp. He who loves life, to him life is a beautiful and powerful clasp.You can easily tell whether your love is vital or pure. When your love is vital, there is a conscious demand, or at least an unconscious expectation from the love you offer to others. When your love is pure or spiritual, there is no demand, no expectation. There is only the sweetest feeling of spontaneous oneness with the human being or beings concerned.Sri Chinmoy