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Showing posts from June 12, 2008

Significance of Shankh or Conch Shell in Hinduism

In Hindu religion, Shankh, or Samkha, is of great importance and symbolizes luster, brilliance, purity and auspicious beginning. It is a pious article and is used in all religious rituals. The most famous Shankha is the Panchajanaya of Lord Vishnu. In the Mahabharata, Lord Krishna and the five Pandavas had a separate conch shell and it is referred in the beginning of the Bhagavad Gita. In religious rituals, Shankh is used to announce the beginning of a prayer or arrival of deity and in some places sacred water is collected and distributed in it.
Shankh literally means ‘pacifying the inauspicious.’ In Hinduism, origin of the conch shell took place during the Samudra Manthan or churning of ocean. There are two types of Shankh – left handed conch shell and right handed conch shell. Valampiri Shankh or Lakshmi Shankh is the right handed conch shell and is considered auspicious.
Shankha is blown at every festival and auspicious beginning and the sound ushers in freshness and new hope. Ri…

Snana Yatra Festival at Puri Jagannath Temple – Bathing Ritual of Deities

Snana Yatra, or Snanayatra, is observed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Jyeshtha (June – July) at the famous PuriJagannathTemple in Orissa. In 2012, the date of Snana Yatra is June 4. On this day, the idols of Jagannnatha, Balabhadra, Subhadra are bathed. This is also the first occasion in the course of a year in Oriya calendar when the deities come out of the temple.
Snana Yatra takes place around 15 days before the famous Rath Yatra. The ritual bathing of the deities take place at the Snana Bedi located in the northeastern compound of the Puri Temple complex. 108 pots of water are poured on the idols and after this the deities enter into Anavasara or Anasara.
For the next fifteen days, devotees are not allowed the darshan of the idols. It is believed that the deities catch fever after a long ritual bathing and therefore does not return to sanctum sanctorum for the next fifteen days. During this period, the Sabara daitas repaint the idols.
The three idols are brought t…

Indian Railway Amarnath Yatra Package June – August 2008

Indian Railways is organizing various rail packages for Amarnath Yatra 2008. The packages are offered during the 45 day pilgrim season associated with the Shravani Mela from June to August. At present Indian Railway has listed packages from Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Pune starting from June 20 to August 2008.Amarnath is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus and nearly 500,000 people visit the holy AmarnathCave to have a darshan of the Ice Shivalingam and the two ice formations representing Lord Ganesh and Goddess Parvati.The Indian Railway Amarnath package includes pick up at Jammu Railway Station, darshan of Katra, travel from Katra to Srinagar to Baltal to AmarnathCave back to Srinagar and a tour of the MughalGardens. Accommodation is also provided.The packages are categorized in deluxe and budget packages. The deluxe package comes around Rupees 15,000 and this does not include the horse or helicopter travel from Baltal to Amarnath. The budget package comes around …

Python – the Ninth Guru of Dattatreya

My ninth guru is the python who catches and eats its prey, and then doesn't hunt again for a long time. It taught me that once my need has been met, I must be satisfied and not make myself miserable running after the objects of my desire. (Source: The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD)Another InterpretationFollowing the example of the python, one should give up material endeavors and accept for one’s maintenance food that comes of its own accord, whether such food be delicious or tasteless, ample or meager.If at any time food does not come, then a saintly person should fast for many days without making endeavor. He should understand that by God’s arrangement he must fast. Thus, following the example of the python, he should remain peaceful and patient.A saintly person should remain peaceful and materially inactive, maintaining his body without much endeavor. Even though possessed of full sensual, mental and physical strength, a saintly person sh…