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Showing posts from July 11, 2008

Hindu Women Priests

Hindu Priests, known as ‘Pandits or Pujari,’ are traditionally men and it is etched in the mind of many Hindus that only men can do the traditional pujas. It is true that the puja in temples and other auspicious ceremonies like marriage and housewarming are performed by men but it does not mean that Hindu women cannot become priests. There is nothing in the Hindu scriptures that bars Hindu women from taking up the job of a priest. And a slow change is taking place in Hinduism with more and more women taking up the position of priests and what is even more encouraging is that many Hindus are welcoming the change - there are thousands of Hindu Women performing pujas in Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and Mumbai. Pune has several institutions training women to become priests.
First of all there is no written code in Hinduism on any matters and therefore there is nothing called scriptural sanction. Many of the modern day practices like keeping out women from the job of priests and certain sections of…

Kataka Sankramana

Kataka Sankramana, or Karkataka Sankramana, is the Dakshinayana Punya Kala. A year in Hindu calendar is divided into two halves or Ayanas. In 2018, Kataka Sankramana begins on July 17 and in some places in South India, Shraddha and Tarpana is performed on this day. One half is known as Uttarayana (January to July) and the other Dakshinayana (July to January). Uttarayana is considered to be the daytime of Devas (gods) and Dakshinayana is the nighttime. In science, Kataka Sankramana is the progress of Sun (Surya) to the south of the equator.

In North India, Karkataka Sankramana is known as Karka Sankranti. Is this period inauspicious? It is not. In Tamil Nadu, the Aadi month begins with Dakshinayana and no auspicious events are held as it is the first month during the nighttime of Devas. But numerous pujas including the Varalakshmi Pooja takes place in this month so there are many people who believe it is not inauspicious.

In North, the four most auspicious months or Chatur Mas happ…

An Initiative to Save the Water Used in Bathing Shiva Idol in Shravan Month

The Hindi Month Shravan is dedicated to Lord Shiva, especially the Mondays in the month.Worshiping the Shivling with water is considered highly auspicious and thousands of pitchers of water are poured on the Shivling in temples across North India. This pure water simply flows out and this is happening when several Indian states like Rajasthan are facing acute water shortage. Purshottam Gaur, a Pandit and Environmentalist in the state of Rajasthan, has come with a plan to recycle the water used in Shiva Temples in Rajasthan and increase the ground water level.This initiative is highly praiseworthy and should be encouraged. Harsha Kumari Singh reports about this unique effort on NDTV.
'This is pure clean water that is allowed to flow into gutters where it becomes dirty and adds to the mosquito menace. Wouldn't it be better to recycle this water?'' says Pandit and environmentalist Purshottam Gaur.

Purshottam has a simple but effective way to harvest this water. At a Shiv te…