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Showing posts from August, 2008

Gandhiji on the Importance of Bhagavad Gita

The Gita is the universal mother. She turns away nobody. Her door is wide open to anyone who knocks. A true votary of the Gita does not know what disappointment is…When disappointment stares in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there, and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies – and my life has been full of external tragedies – and if they have left no visible, no indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.Mahatma Gandhi

American Sanskrit Rock Band Shanti-Shanti presents new album Veda

Shanti Shanti, the only Sanskrit Rock Band in United States of America, has released a new album titled Veda: Selections of Sanskrit Chanting from the 4 Vedas. The album contains verses Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva Veda.Shanti Shanti is a unique family Rock Band - Sisters Andrea Devi Forman and Sara Anjuli Forman, their younger brother Micah Mahdev Forman and father Robert Henry Forman and mother Linda Forman are the performers.Veda: Selections of Sanskrit Chanting from the 4 Vedas consists of 11 tracks: Narayan Suktam (Yajur Veda)Shanti Mantra (Yajur Veda)Narayana Upanishad (Atharva Veda)Mantra Pushpam (Rig Veda)Sama Veda (selection) (Sama Veda)Upanishat Sarasamgraha (Atharva Veda)Raag Saraswati (Gandarva Veda)Sri Suktam (RigVeda)Shri Rudra Prashna (Yajur Veda)Ganesha Upanishad (Atharva Veda)Ayu Suktam (Atharva Veda)You can find more details about the Rock Band and Veda here.Veda: Selections of Sanskrit Chanting from the 4 Vedas (2008)
By Shanti Shanti
Price: $15.00

Automatic Drum and Bell Ringing Machine for Hindu Temples

The automatic drumming and bell ringing machines made exclusively for Hindu temples by RKS Metal Screens based in Coimbatore is today used in over thousands of temples around the world. The idea of the automatic drum and bell is the brainchild of Krushnaswami, the owner of RKS Metal Screens, who produced the first machine in 1980.Samanth Subramanian writes about the automatic drum and bell in LivemintThe simple machine consists of a metal frame with two bells, two cymbals, and a large drum. When switched on, a motor kicks clappers and drumsticks into operation. In perfect rhythm, the clappers ring on the bells and cymbals, and the drumsticks mark out a background tattoo.RKS Metal Screens sells around 300 units a month, many for export to Singapore, Indonesia, Canada, the UK and the US. It is in India, however, that the RKS auto drum bell has truly found fame. Despite competitors having sprung up over the last few years, the auto drum bell of choice remains RKS – ‘partly because ours w…

School Children in Maharashtra make 20,000 Eco-friendly Ganesh Idols

With the help of National Green Corps (NGC) in Maharashtra, school children from 800 schools across the state have made 20,000 eco-friendly Ganesh idols using soluble clay and vegetable dyes rather than Plaster of Paris and chemical paint, which are polluters. National Green Corps (NGC) which is under the Directorate of Social Forestry is constantly conducting workshops prior to popular Hindu festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi, Vat Poornima, Shravan, and Nagpanchami to spread the awareness for the need for nature friendly celebrations.National Green Corps (NGC) in Maharashtra has more than 400,000 school children as its members and they have been spreading the message of eco-friendly celebrations in villages and towns in the state. reports about this wonderful movement in Maharashtra“.. students who are part of the NGC will continue to implement the Ganesh festival awareness campaign in every village, advising people to make idols with materials that are easily sol…

Atham Nakshatram in Chingam Month – Preparations for Onam Festival Begin in Kerala

There is a famous saying in Kerala – Atham Pathinu Ponnonam. In 2018, the date of Atham is August 15. It means the tenth day from Atham day is Thiru Onam – the day King Mahabali or Maveli visits his citizens. The famous Atha Pookalam (floral designs) made during Onam has ten rings. On the Atham day there is a single ring and as each day progress a ring is added to the Pookalam and finally there are ten rings on the Thiruonam day. Thiruonam in 2018 is on August 25.
Square clay pyramids are made on the Atham day and is kept outside the house and a small pookalam is made and it signifies the beginning of Onam festival. Atham is one among the 27 nakshatrams (Asterism) in Kerala astrological calendar. 
The ten stars (nakshatrams) that lead to Onam are - Atham, Chithira, Chodhi, Visakam, Anizham, Thriketa, Moolam, Pooradam, Uthradam, Thiruvonam. The days are meant for the preparation of Onam. Houses get cleaned, menu is decided, pickles are prepared, banana chips and other delicacies are pr…

Hindu Festival Pola in Maharashtra – Indian Farmers Pay Respect to Bullocks

Hinduism is rooted in nature and is one religion which observes festivals exclusively dedicated to animals. In 2018, the date of Pola festival is September 9. Pola festival observed in Maharashtra and other parts of rural India by farmers pay respect to bullocks and cows. It is observed on the Amavasi (no moon day) in the month of Shravan in Maharashtra.
Special care is given to oxen by farmers as it is their main source of livelihood. The rope (Vesan) tied on the ox is removed and turmeric paste and oil is applied the body on the previous night. On Pola day, bullocks are bathed and special food prepared like Puran Poli, Kichadi and Bajari are given to eat.
Oxen are also adorned with various ornaments and clothes. Their horns are given a fresh coat of paint. The bull is also worshipped in many places and villagers in large numbers gather to pay their respect. Bullocks are taken around the village in processions accompanied by drums and lezhim. Many farmers also start the next farmi…

Yet another Success Story of Hindu Priestesses in an Indian City

Hindu women are today conducting prayers, pujas and rituals in different parts of India. Many Hindus have started to prefer women priests over male priests because the Hindu Priestess is never in a hurry, she performs the puja neatly, she explains what she is doing, and why she is doing it to the family. Hindu women in the family are more comfortable as they get a chance to clear their doubts regarding rituals. No wonder why there are more than 600 Hindu Priestesses in a city like Nagpur in Maharashtra.In North and Western India, Hindu Priestesses are today conducting pujas like Vaastu Puja, Maha Rudra, pujas associated with birth and death, Satya Narayan Katha puja, Satya Vinayak, Satya Dutta, Satya Amba, Satya Shiv, Satya Gajanan, Udakshanti, Rudra, Ati Rudra, Pranpratishtha, Atharvashirsha, Bramhanspatisukta, Shripurushsukta, Shrisukta, Shri Soursukt and several other pujas. Today there are several organizations and ashrams in India and abroad that are actively training women to pe…

Sri Ganesha – Animated movie based on Lord Ganesh in Tamil

Sri Ganesha is an animated movie based on Lord Ganesh in Tamil produced by Chennai based Magic Box. The 45-minute 2-d and 3-d animated movie released in DVD and VCD narrates the origin, childhood of Lord Ganesha and about the rat - his Vahana or vehicle. The makers claim Sri Ganesha has been produced in such a way that it will attract both youngsters and elders.The CD is priced at Rs 99 and the DVD is priced at Rs 125 and is marketed by Abirami Recording Company.RelatedAnimated Movies based on Gods in Hindu Religion

Lord Ganesha Shaped Women's Strapless Purse from Judith Leiber – Price $5595

Famous clutch-maker Judith Leiber has introduced a women's strapless purse in the shape of Lord Ganesh, which is a collectors item. The price of Ganesh Evening Bags is $5595 and around 285,000 rupees in India. The bag is adorned with multi-tone Austrian crystals and has a swirl-embossed gold-tone circular bottom.Famous Porcelain masters like Lladro and Lenox have already introduced several Ganesha sculptures. Most of them are limited editions and unique sculptures. The only one released by Lenox was priced around $2000. Lladro has already created a series of Ganesha porcelain figures which is a major hit around the world and the price ranges around $900. In recent years, there is a craze for Lord Ganesha shaped idols, paintings etc. This cute-faced Hindu God who is the remover of obstacles (Vigneshwara) and the Lord of the Ganas (Ganapati) is slowly and steadily becoming the face of Hinduism around the world.

NDTV Imagine’s Ramayan in VCD and DVD

The hugely popular Ramayan serial being telecast on NDTV Imagine television channel in India will be soon released in VCD and DVD packs. The home video of NDTV Imagine’s Ramayan will hit the market before Diwali. The TV channel will release the mythological series in three- to four-volume VCD packs. (Business Standard)The Ramayan on NDTV is available free online on Bigflix.

MBX – When Mahabharata becomes a mixture of The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars

MBX is a new version of the epic Mahabharata from Virgin Comics, Perspective Studio and Grant Morrison (famous comic book writer). This blog had written about this project couple of months back but then it was not clear about the look and feel of the project. Now Grant Morrison in a very very long introduction explains in detail about the project. If you have the patience and interest then you can read it here at the official site. If not, in nutshell MBX will be a perfect amalgamation of The Lord of the Rings and the technology of Star Wars. But what all these foreign writers forget is that Hindu epics are not science fiction or mythology but history and a way of life of millions of Hindus. Unparalleled lessons are imparted in it and Hindus live by it. You can take a look at this teaser to get the feel of the 3D animation of MBX.

Places and Shops selling Eco-friendly Clay Ganesha Idols in Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi

Shadu or clay Ganesha idols are nature friendly but installing them at home is also the traditional method of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. If you are reading this post you must be already aware of the need to use eco-friendly clay Ganesh idols. Here are few shops in Mumbai that is selling eco-sensitive Vinayaka idols made by an NGO named eCoexist based in Pune. Shops in Mumbai selling eCoexist clay Ganesh idols: Bombay StoreDhoop crafts, Khar , 9322230788Ashlyn Jane, Khar, 0222 6001620Green Ways, Pedder Road, 09820562063Eco Corner, Worli 02224813450Manisha Gutman, Andheri, 09850084383Radhika Arora, Juhu, 09821017349
Culture Shop, Powai, 9322741705

New Book on the Women of the Mahabharata

‘Women of the Mahabharata, the Question of Truth’ by Chaturvedi Badrinath critically looks into the stories of twelve women in the epic Mahabharata. Each woman in the Mahabharata has a tale to tell and through it some valuable lessons are imparted provided you are ready to empathize with her. There is something more to each woman in the Mahabharata provided you are ready to look beyond the established narratives. Chaturvedi Badrinath provides new insight into the stories of Shakuntala, Savitri, Damayanti, Sulabha, Suvarchala, Uttara Disha, Madhavi, Kapoti, Draupadi, Anamika, Devyani, and Madhavi.The stories of some of these women are already well known but majority are unknown. From Orient Longman’s Flyer to the bookThe women of the Mahabharata are incarnate in the women of today. To read the stories of their relationships is to read the stories of our relationships. They demand from the men of today the same reflection on their perceptions, attitudes, and pretensions too, as they did…

Garuda Purana Quotes

Death is certain for those who are born, and birth is certain for the dead. This is inevitable and therefore a wise man should not grieve over it.
Nobody should form an excessive attachment to anybody; the body is only a dream, what then of other persons’?
As a traveler, taking resort in shade, rests awhile and then departs again; so is the coming together of beings.
The good things eaten in the morning are destroyed by evening; how can there be permanence in a body which is sustained by these foods? (Chapter 9)
The evil are ever prone to detect the faults of others, though they be as small as mustard seeds, and persistently shut their eyes against their own, though they be as large as Vilva fruit. Garuda Purana

Sankatahara Ganesha

Sankatahara Ganesha, or Sangadahara Ganapati, is one among the 32 forms of Lord Ganesh. As the name indicates, he is the remover of sorrows – ‘Sankata hara’. In this form Ganesha is shown as seated on a red lotus and his Shakti (female energy) sits on his lap. Ganesha and Shakti together are depicted in Tantric form of worship.The complexion of Sankatahara Ganesha is that of the rising sun and is shown wearing blue color dress. He has four arms and holds a goad, another a noose, a bowl of sweet milk and the right hand is in boon giving posture.Sankatahara Ganesh is shown as a celibate in non-Tantric forms. The female energy or Shakti that is depicted is green in color and holds a blue flower.
You may also like to readAshtavinayaka - eight forms of Ganesha

Idols of Hindu Gods and Sculptures to auctioned by Christie’s in September 2008

Christie’s, one of world’s leading art business and a fine arts auction house, is auctioning several idols of Hindu gods and sculptures, stone works, miniatures at its auction of artworks in New York on September 16, 2008. The idols on sale range from the 1st century BC to 18th century AD. Bronze figure of Shiva as Nataraja, Vishnu, Skanda (Muruga), Ganesha, Goddess Durga, Goddess Ambika, Goddess Parvati, Kamadeva and idols of numerous other deities and paintings are part of the auction. Around 85 idols and paintings related to Hinduism will be auctioned by Christie’s on the day.Most of these idols were stolen from India during the British rule and some after independence. What is baffling is that nearly 60 Hindu idols and around 15 paintings of ancient India is going to be auctioned and there is not even an attempt from any quarters in India to get back these priceless idols and artifacts.The costliest is Shiva Nataraja of Chola Period (975 AD), estimated at 1.5 million dollars from …

Quotes from Bhagavad Purana

He from whom the creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe takes place,who is both the material and instrumental cause of it, who resides as Knowledge in all beings, who is self-luminous, who revealed the wisdom of the Vedas in the mind of Brahma the Creator,whose wisdom is the wonder of even the gods, in whom the worlds created out of the three Gunas exist without affecting Him in the least whose light of consciousness is over beyond the reach of Maya, upon that Truth supreme we meditate. Bhagavad Purana

Ashta Vinayak Temples – eight Swayambhu form of Ganesha

Ashta Vinayak is the eight swayambhu (self made or naturally formed) forms of Lord Ganesh on earth. The Ashta Vinayak temples are located in eight places in Maharashtra, India. The idol of Lord Ganesh in these temples is formed on a single large stone. The form of Vinayaka can be clearly recognized on the stone. It is believed that Lord Ganesha appeared at these eight places. Ashta Vinayak or the eight SwayambhuTemples dedicated to Lord Ganesh in Maharashtra are:
Mayureshwar or MoreshwarTemple: Located along the banks of KarhaRiver in Morgaon village in Pune District, Lord Ganesh is known as Mayureshwar or Moreshwar. Ganesha is here depicted as riding a peacock. It is believed that Lord Ganesha appeared in this form to destroy a demon named Sindhu. Morgaon village is located in Baramati Taluk and is around 55 km southeast of Pune city.
ChintamaniVinayakTemple:ChintamaniGaneshTemple is located in Theur in Pune District. It is believed that Lord Ganesha took the form of Chintamani to get…

Important days in a Week and Month dedicated to Lord Ganesha

Each day in a week is dedicated to a particular deity in the Hindu pantheon. People visit the temples or offer pujas or undertake a fasting to the deity on the particular day. In a week, Tuesdays and Fridays are dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Ganesha is the god of auspiciousness, intellect and remover of obstacles and every auspicious beginning is undertaken after offering prayers to Vinayaka.Tuesdays and Fridays are considered auspicious to Ganesha throughout the Hindu world. People observe vratas on the day or visit Ganesha Shrine or make special offerings. Unmarried girls in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, offer special prayers and observe a Vrata on all Tuesdays in a year to get married to a good home and to get good husbands. In some places in India, Ganesha is worshipped before sunrise on Fridays. It is believed to bring special benefits.Sankatahara Chaturthi or Sankashti Chaturthi is an important and auspicious day dedicated Lord Ganesha in a Hindu month. It falls on the four…

Meet Mata Bhakti Priyananda who leads a Solitary Life at the Origin of River Ganga

Mata Bhakti Priyananda, or Bhakti Priya, lives in a cave at Tapovan meadow (more than 13500 feet) near Gangotri Glacier, the origin of River Ganga. She is 51 and has a Master's Degree in Special Education from NorthernIllinoisStateUniversity. And her religion is peace. She worships a god who, she believes, created this wonderful Nature.David's Journal from India in talks about Mata Bhakti Priyananda, who lives at Tapovan meadow, a destination beyond source of River Ganges and reaching the place is torturous with vertical climbs. Mata Bhakti Priyananda shares her experience at the Tapovan Meadow and also talks about global warming and other issues affecting the area. But what is she doing is doing in a cave faraway from civilization, friends and families. The article does not give a direct answer. Real quest for inner peace and search for truth often takes daring human beings to places where many are scared to go or only dream to go. You can read about this unique women…

Quotes from Subala Upanishad

He who knows this as seedless (Brahman), he verily becomes seedless. The Self is not attainable even by a hundred expositions of the Vedas, nor by the study of the countless scriptures, nor through the means of intellectual knowledge, nor through rituals, nor through severe austerities, nor through Samkhya, nor through Yoga, nor through observance of four stages of life.The Self is achieved only through contemplation and discipline. Having become tranquil, self-controlled, withdrawn from the world and indifferent to it and forbearing, he sees the Self in the Self. He becomes the Self of all.
Subala Upanishad

Sanskrit Voice introduces Sanskrit Expressions to enable interaction among the language lovers and learners

Sanskrit Voice is a website created by Seshu Karthick to spread the awareness of Sanskrit through the internet. Now Sanskrit Voice is providing an opportunity to students and those interested in Sanskrit to express on the web through Sanskrit Expressions, an online community tool. The main aim of Sanskrit Expressions is to provide a platform for Sanskrit enthusiasts and students to express each other. Sanskrit Expressions has two components - Word-Game and Two-Liners. The Word-game helps the users build their Sanskrit vocabulary steadily, while the Two-liners will encourage them to frame short-sentences and converse in Sanskrit. You can find more details and join Sanskrit Expressions here. Related Sanskrit Voice Digest – a Compilation of Blog Posts by Sanskrit Bloggers

Birth of Ganesha as the Mind Born Son of Lord Shiva

Puranas are filled with numerous stories regarding the origin of Lord Ganesha. The most widely accepted birth of Lord Ganesh is that he was created by Goddess Parvati. But there are also some Puranas that suggest that Ganesha is the Maanasika Putra (mind born) son of Lord Shiva. The reason for the different stories regarding the birth of Ganesha is explained in the Shiva Purana. It states that Ganesha originated in different ways in different Yugas (Hindu era) and each time there was a need for him to appear. Origin of Ganesha as the Mind Born Son of Lord Shiva happened when the Devas (celestial beings) approached Lord Shiva and asked for help to escape from Asuras (Demons). Shiva agreed to help them. And he meditated. Soon from his mind appeared a child with the head of an elephant holding a trident in one hand. This was Ganesha who immediately instilled confidence in all those present. Goddess Parvati took the child in her lap and said to the assembled that no human or divine endeavor…

New Book – This IS No Secret – Explores the Wisdom of Mystics and Saints of India

The book ‘This is No Secret’- Path to Abundance and Heart Awakening by Joy Kapur claims that contains the essence of the wisdom of India’s ancient seers. It will give you insights and show you how to create abundance from anywhere, anytime and at any age. ‘This Is No Secret’ is an E-book in a downloadable PDF format. So, is it yet another book on the long list of books dealing with self-improvement, goal setting, positive thinking and wealth generating? Here is what the author says about the bookThe ancient Vedic seers believed that heart is the seat of consciousness and how it holds the key to manifesting your destiny. Heart is the most powerful antenna that receives and emits powerful vibrations known to the modern day scientist as the electro-magnetic field of the heart and how it is interconnected to world around us and its role in the interconnectedness to non-physical realm of mind, psyche and consciousness.This is not my knowledge. I became a conduit in the hands of an unseen p…

Rishi Panchami

Rishi Panchami is observed on the fifth day after the new moon in the Bhadrapada month (August – September). In 2017, Rishi Panchami is on August 26. Rishi Panchami is of great significance in Nepal and in the hill districts in India. In Nepal, it is the third and final day of Teej, which begins with Hartalika Teej. It is also the day to show respect to the Sapta Rishis – the seven sages. The day is also observed as Rushi Panchami. 
In Nepal, women observe a strict fast on the Rishi Panchami day. The fasting is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also undertaken by men in some regions. The fast is broken in some places after the Rishi Panchami Pooja. Women have a special bath on the day using Datiwan herb. Special Kalash is prepared on the day and prayed to. Women in large numbers visit Lord Shiva temples.
In India, on the Rishi Panchami day homage is paid to the Sapta Rishis – the seven sages – Kashyapa, Atri, Bharadhvaja, Vishvamitra, Gauthama, Jamadagni and Vashishta.
Rishi Panchami is…

Sudharma – The Sanskrit Newspaper Goes Online

Sudharma, the only Sanskrit daily newspaper in India, began its online version in June 2008. Started in 1970, Sudharma daily sells around 3000 copies through subscription. The internet version of Sudharma is aimed at reaching a wider audience. Published from Mysore, the only income generated by Sudharma is from the 250 rupees of annual subscription. By going online Sudharma is planning to attract advertisers, which is essential for the survival of the only Sanskrit daily.Like any other newspaper, Sudharma publishes daily news and happenings in Sanskrit. But importance is given to Sanskrit language and news related to the latest developments in Sanskrit. You can find the online version of Sudharma – the Sanskrit Daily here.

Shri Krishna Jayanti Celebrations in Braj Bhumi – the birthday of Lord Krishna in Mathura and Vrindavan

Krishna Janmashtami or Shri Krishna Jayanti is celebrated in India and around the world. But none of it will be able to match the celebrations held at Mathura and Vrindavan. Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir or the two temples at Sri Krishna Janmashthan, the exact place Shri Krishna was born, is the main center of celebrations in Mathura. It is also known as Brij Bhumi and thousands of people converge here on the day of Lord Krishna's birth anniversary. In 2018, Krishna Janmashtami in Mathura and Vrindavan is on September 3. In RanganathTemple at Vrindaban the birthday celebrations will be observed on September 3. Then there is the Latta Ka Mela celebration on September 4.

The main Krishna Janmashtami celebrations are held at Mathura, Vrindavan, Govardhan and Nandgaon and begin at midnight. The entire area is also referred as Brij Bhumi or Braj Bhumi.

Idols of Lord Krishna in the various temples in Mathura, Vrindavan, Govardhan and Nandgaon will be decorated with new Jardozi cloth and…

Hartalika Teej Vrat 2008

Hartalika Teej Vrat is an important Hindu fasting dedicated to Goddess Parvati in North India. It is one among the three Teej festivals observed in North India. The other two are Hariyali Teej and Kajari Teej. Hartalika is observed mainly in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and is some parts of Maharashtra. There is a widespread belief that by observing Hartalika Teej Vrat unmarried women will get desired husband. In 2008, the date of Hartalika Teej Vrat is September 2. Hartalika Teej Vrat is observed by both married and unmarried women. Married women observe the Vrat for a happy married life. Hartalika Teej is based on the intense austerities (tapas) observed by Goddess Parvathi to get Lord Shiva as her husband. It is believed that Goddess Parvati will bless those women who observe the Vrat. The fasting rules of Hartalika Teej Vrat are very tough and some women even don’t drink water during the fasting period. You may also like to readHow to do Hartalika Teej…

Shri Krishna Museum at Kurukshetra in Haryana

The SriKrishnaMuseum at Kurukshetra in Haryana is the only museum in the world exclusively dedicated to Lord Krishna. Bhagavad Gita was rendered by Lord Krishna at Kurukshetra. Conceived by Gulzari Lal Nanda, who was twice the acting Prime Minister of India, in 1987, the Museum in its present form was inaugurated by, Shri R Venkatraman, President of India on July 28, 1991.
Today, two blocks of ShriKrishnaMuseum at Kurukshetra have six different galleries which present and preserve ideals associated with Lord Krishna. The main attraction here is the huge paintings depicting the battle of Kurukshetra.
Wood carvings, metal castings, ivory carvings dedicated to Lord Krishna are the main attraction in the first gallery. Second gallery consists of archeological objects associated with Lord Krishna. Miniature paintings, palm leaf etchings, Pahari and Rajasthani paintings, murals and illustrated manuscripts are part of the third gallery. Important episodes in the Life of Krishna are presented…

Osho on Lord Krishna - Thoughts - Teachings - Quotes

There are thousand statements about who Krishna is and Krishna belies all the statements. How does one understand a man with so many sides to him? No statement however severe and astute can wholly encompass Krishna's wholeness. It lies in the fact that he has no personality of his own, that he is not a person, an individual – he is existence itself.
You can say that he is like a mirror; he just mirrors everything that comes before him…and when you see yourself mirrored in him, you think Krishna is like you. But the moment you move away from him, he is empty again. That's leadership. One wants to see in Krishna what one wants to see in him. Nothing more nothing less.
There are thousand statements about who Krishna is and Krishna belies all the statements. How does one understand a man with so many sides to him? No statement however severe and astute can wholly encompass Krishna's wholeness. It lies in the fact that he has no personality of his own, that he is not a person,…

What are Brahma Sutras?

Brahma Sutras are aphorisms or sayings which systematize the teaching of the Upanishads. Badrayana is believed to be the author of the Brahma Sutras and it is also known as Shariraka Sutra and Vedanta Sutras. Brahma Sutras 544 (according to Sri Ramanuja) in number occupies the foremost position of authority in the system of Vedanta.It is believed that there were several commentaries on the Brahma Sutras even before Adi Shankaracharya. The earliest commentary available now is that of Adi Shankara but Shankaracharya himself mentions about several other ancient sages and learned men talking about the Brahma Sutras.Lord Krishna mentions Brahma Sutra in the Bhagavad Gita:The sages have described Him in many ways, in various Vedic hymns, and also in the conclusive and convincing verses of the Brahmasutra. (13.04)Brahma Sutras attempt to formulate, elaborate and defend the philosophy of the Upanishads. There is also a widespread belief that the author of Brahma Sutras Badarayana is but Veda …

Book on the Hindu Temple Architecture in India

The book titled ‘The Temple Architecture of India’ by Adam Hardy delves into the principles and processes underlying the designs of ancient Hindu Temples in India, which are architectural gems. The book traces the origins and formation of the Northern Nagara and Southern Dravida style of architecture. The period of these two classical architectures between 6th and 13th centuries is referred as the great age of Hindu temple construction.‘The Temple Architecture of India’ traces the extraordinarily development of Northern Nagara and Southern Dravida style of architecture and role played by the cultural and religious values between 6th and 13th centuries in it. A short historical background of the temples without the usual dynasty categorization is major attraction. The highlight of the book is the illustrations. In the quality drawings in the book, the complex Hindu temple architecture is dissected and is presented as simple components. ‘The TempleArchitecture of India’ is divided into …

Ganesh Chaturthi Darshan – BEST Bus Trip in Mumbai during Ganeshotsav 2008

BEST buses are the most popular mode of transport in Mumbai for common man. During Ganesh Chaturthi 2008, BEST is planning trips to most popular Ganesh pandals in Mumbai city. People will get an opportunity to visit all the famous Vinayaka Chaturthi pandals and BEST authorities are trying to make arrangements with the Pandals to have special arrangements for BEST commuters so that there is no delay in the trip. BEST authorities will be issuing passes for the Ganesh Chaturthi Darshan.
The special BEST Ganeshotsav Darshan is expected to start from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and will cover areas in South Mumbai like Girgaum and Khetwadi. Then the bus will cover the most famous Ganesh Chaturthi mandals in Mumbai located in Byculla Ganesh Galli, Khotwadi and Lalbaug.The bus will then move to Ganesh pandals in Dadar and Mahim and finally the trip will end at Chembur.

Kajli or Kajari Teej

Kajari Teej, or Kajli Teej, is observed on the third day after Shravan Purnima and it one among the three Teej festivals – the other two being Hariyali and Hartalika Teej. In 2017, the date of Kajari Teej is August 10. Kajari Teej is dedicated to Lord Krishna and special pujas are also performed to the neem tree. The festival is mainly celebrated in Bundi in Rajasthan and in some parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.
Festivals associated with Lord Krishna are always filled joy and dance. Women and girls wear colorful new clothes and dance and enjoy on the day. Special Swings are prepared for the day and women take turns in swinging while other women sing and dance. Songs sung on the day welcome monsoons and praise the love of Krishna and Radha.
A community puja is performed around a neem tree in the village. Specific rituals are performed by elderly women and young women learn the tradition and perform it.
Kajli Teej in Bundi in Rajasthan is no…

Buy Ecofriendly Natural Clay Ganesh Idols for Ganesha Puja

When celebrating and performing pujas and rituals on Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi, please make sure that you buy Ecofriendly Natural Clay Ganesha. Hinduism and Nature are so entwined that one cannot be separated from another. Ganesha itself is a classic example of the role of Nature in Hindu religion. But still we Hindus do little to stop pollution. At least we can stop creating more pollution in the name of Ganesha by only buying natural clay Ganesh idol and natural items for Ganesha Puja.
The glossy Plaster of Paris Ganesh idols with chemical paint is good to look at but when it is immersed (Ganesh Visarjan) in water it creates water pollution. Plaster of Paris Ganesh idols take months to dissolve in water and it becomes a breeding ground for harmful germs. The chemical paints used to decorate the Ganesh idols contain heavy metals such as mercury and lead and this enters the water and this very same water is used by humans. The environmental pollution caused by Ganesh Cha…

Book on the Dog in Hindu Mythology and Sacred Texts

A new book titled ‘Sarama and Her Children: The Dog in Indian Myth’ by Bibek Debroy traces the role of dogs in Hindu scriptures like the Vedas, Epics, Puranas, Dharma Shastras and Niti Shastras. The most famous dog in the Hindu religion myths is the dog in the Mahabharata that accompanied the Pandavas. Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, declined to enter heaven without the dog as he was not willing to ignore the loyalty of the dog that followed him till his death. There are also numerous other references to dogs in the classical texts. But still several Hindus consider dogs as inauspicious. The widespread assumption is that dogs have always been looked down upon in Hinduism and a legacy of that attitude persists even now. Tracing the Indian attitude towards dogs in a chronological fashion, beginning with the pre-Vedic Indus Valley civilization, Bibek Debroy in ‘Sarama and Her Children: The Dog in Indian Myth’ discovers that the truth is more complicated.Dog is mentioned for the …

Thoughts on God – Sri Sri Ravishankar

When you know you own God you will not be in a hurry to get something out of God.
When you have infinite patience, you will realize God belongs to you.
God does not test you because he knows you completely - your past, present and future.
God is calling you every moment.
God is the Seer himself. Who sees - that is God.
God is love. Being in love is sharing that love.
This entire universe is made up of God. There is nothing outside God.
God is responsibility, total responsibility.

Sri Sri Ravishankar

Robert Ernest Hume on Upanishads

In the long history of man's endeavor to grasp the fundamental truths of being, the metaphysical treatises known as the Upanishads hold an honored place. They represent the earnest efforts of the profound thinkers of early India to solve the problems of the origin, the nature, and the destiny of man and of the universe, or – more technically the meaning and value of ‘knowing’ and ‘being.’ Though they contain some fanciful ideas, naive speculations, and inadequate conclusions, yet they arc replete with sublime conceptions and with intuitions of universal truth.R E Hume
(Source: preface to The Thirteen Principal Upanishads)

Kolkata Badamtala Ashar Sangha Durga Puja Pandal Rights Sold to US Company

Badamtala Ashar Sangha Durga Puja Pandal in South Kolkata is one of the famous Durga Puja mandals in the city – especially noted for its innovative themes. The rights of the 2008 Durga Puja pandal and celebrations of Badamtala Ashar Sangha Durga Puja committee has been sold to ‘Media Morphosis,’ a US Company. Yep, Corporatization of Durga Puja – in common man’s term privatization.According to Times of IndiaThe entire expenses of the Badamtala Ashar Sangha Puja in south Kolkata will be borne by the US Company 'Media Morphosis' which will promote it in the media and the web.

In another trend-setting move, the organizers have got superstar Mithun Chakraborty to endorse the pujaIn the beginning there were no sponsors. Durga Puja committees managed with funds collected from public. Then came sponsors. And now corporates! Public is happy!In Hinduism, spirituality is in the mind and not in external objects. The religious aspect of a festival – prayers, pujas, food etc – is confined to…

Alfred North Whitehead Quotes on Religion

Religion is the vision of something that stands beyond, behind and within, the passing flux of immediate things; something which is real, and yet waiting to be realized; something which is a remote possibility, and the greatest of present facts; something that gives meaning to all the passes, and yet eludes apprehension; something whose possession is the final good, and yet it is beyond all reach; something which is the ultimate deal, and the hopeless quest.Alfred North Whitehead – Science and the Modern World. P. 191. (published in 1925)
(Don’t be surprised if the sentences above have striking similarities to ideas mentioned in Brihadaranyaka and Mandukya Upanishads.)

Durga Puja Idols in Fiber Glass

If the Durga Puja tradition is to be strictly followed, the idol of Goddess Durga should be made from pure clay and should only be decorated with natural paints. But today majority of the Durga Puja idols are made from Plaster of Paris and painted using chemical paints. Another popular material used is paper mache. There are also plastic idols but are rarely used. A new entrant to the list of material used to make Durga idols is fiber glass. Fiberglass Durga idols are mostly exported from India to various Durga Puja celebrations take place around the world. The advantages are that the idol is lighter in weight and is easy to transport. Chances of breaking are minimal. It can be molded to look like clay idol. If the Durga idol is not to be immersed in water at the end of the festivities, then it can be reused. Fibre glass Durga Idols are not meant to be immersed in water. Today, Fiber glass Durga idols are the costliest and a medium sized idol will cost around $6000. Minimum sized clay…