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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 …

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 and Teachings from Prasnottara Ratna Malika of Adi Shankaracharya - Simple Teachings of Adi Shankara

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 bl…

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…

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 positiv…

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

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, …

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 …

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 …

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…

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…

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…