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Showing posts from June 11, 2008

Khir Bhawani Mela - Kheer Bhavani Mela in Jammu and Kashmir

Khir Bhawani Mela is the annual festival held at the shrine of Mata Khir Bhawani in Tullamulla village in Jammu and Kashmir. The shrine is also referred as Ragyna Bhagwati and is noted for a unique holy spring whose water changes its color. The Khir Bhawani Mela is observed on the Ashtami day in the Jaishta Shukla paksha (June – July). In 2018, Khir Bhawani Mela date is June 22.
Khir Bhawani Mela celebrates the discovery of the holy spring by a pious Brahmin. And for many the festival celebrates the arrival of Mata Ragyana (Khir Bhawani) to the valley.
Legend has it that the idol of Goddess Bhawani was brought to Tula mula Village by Lord Hanuman from Lanka after the epic battle in Ramayana. The idol of Goddess Bhavani was worshipped by Ravana and he had got the idol after intense austerities. Once Ravana was defeated by Lord Ram, Goddess asked Hanuman to shift her from Lanka.
The name Khir Bhawani comes from the deities favorite offering, rice pudding, which consist of rice cooked …

Plan to Stop Special Paid Darshan Tickets at Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple

Tirumala Tirupati Lord Venkateshwara temple is considering to do away with all kinds of special darshan tickets, reserved sevas and paid worships. It is a welcome move as the so called VIP darshan tickets and other paid worships creates two classes of devotees at the world famous abode of Lord Balaji – poor and rich. Such tickets bought using money power by impatient devotees, cause inconvenience to poor devotees who stand in long queues for hours and often reminding them of their poor social status even before the Lord.M. L. Melly Maitreyi writes in The Hindu about the plan to de-commercialize the TirupatiTempleIn a significant initiative to ‘de-commercialise’ the world-famous temple of Lord Venkateshwara and enhance the spiritual experience for devotees, the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Board is contemplating scrapping of special darshan tickets as also some of the ‘Arjita Sevas’ (paid worship). In tune with the reforms, the Board recently constituted a two-member committee t…

International Survey on Religious beliefs and Opinions of Scientists in India

The Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) of TrinityCollege in Hartford, Connecticut, recently released the results of a survey conducted on religious beliefs and opinions of academics and scientists in India. The majority of the Indian scientists are Hindus (66%) and the next large group was atheists (10%). Some of the interesting questions in the survey included do you approve of the space scientists going to Tirupati to seek the blessing of Lord Venkateswara before launching a satellite. The Worldviews and Opinions of Scientists in India Summary Report gives the highlights of an international, academic web survey conducted. The survey was conducted between August 2007 and January 2008 in cooperation with the Center for Inquiry India. The large national sample of Indian scientists, the first of its kind, included 1,100 participants from 130 universities and research institutes.The summary report contains three sections. The first is a profile of the …

Thoughts of Swami Ranganathananda

Differences are only on the surface, at the sensory level. Deep down there is perfect unity.Do a whole day's honest work, then sit and meditate; then resign yourself to God. Otherwise, the meditation has no meaning or value. Meditation at the end of an active day, filled with good deeds, has meaning, and is rewarding.Socio-political ideologies uninspired by high moral and spiritual values tend to nourish the lower self of man from which proceed selfishness and intolerance, violence, and war. The first object of every religion is to check and discipline this lower self of man.A citizen should have a sense of national responsibility. It is only when these two values – freedom and responsibility – come together that the individual becomes a citizen, a true grihastha (householder). Swami Ranganathananda