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Showing posts from February 20, 2008

Trivandrum Attukal Pongala Festival – World’s Largest Congregation of Women

A unique Hindu festival, Attukal Pongala is an annual congregation of more than a million women to offer Pongala to Attukal Devi, an incarnation of Shakti, the Mother Goddess in Hinduism. Pongala, or Ponkala, is an offering of boiled rice in earthern pot. Attukala Pongala has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest gathering of women in the world. AttukalTemple is located in Trivandrum, Kerala, and the deity is popularly referred as Attukal Amma.

In 2012, Attukal Pongala is on March 7.

Attukal Pongala takes place during the Malayam month of Kumbham (February-March). Millions of women gather on the day to cook Pongala. They arrive from different parts of India and from around the world. Each woman makes a hearth and cooks Pongala. Women also cook sweet dishes made out of jaggery and rice powder like – mandaputtu, appam and therali. The cooking ritual begins around 10.30 in morning and is completed with the sprinkling of theertham (sacred water from the temple) around…

Swami Sukhabodhananda on Freedom

Enlightenment is true freedom. It is called moksha which means freedom. Freedom not from something but just freedom. Freedom from something means you are bound by the thing you want to be free of. Freedom for something also assumes you are bound. But true freedom is like space that exists in the pot but is not bound by it.When the pot is destroyed the space is not, even though it may appear to be bound. Similarly freedom exists like space in the body but is not bound by the body. This freedom has to be discovered and not created by the effort of action.Freedom is not something other than bondage but in spite of bondage. One goes about putting effort, seeking enlightenment. The very effort becomes a barrier. The sought is hidden in the seeker. So if the seeker searches outside, then seeking is the denial of the sought. The day the search stops, the desiring mind starts flowering into a residing mind. Then one discovers that true freedom is within and it freely exists in and through one…