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Showing posts from January, 2009

What does Mukunda mean?

Mukunda is one among the 1008 names of Lord Vishnu. Mukunda means ‘liberator.’ As Mukund or Mukunda, Lord Vishnu saves a devotee from the endless cycle of birth and death and blesses him with Moksha.

Satapatha Brahmana Quotes

The Gods (Devas) and the Asuras (Demons), both of them sprung from Prajapati, entered upon their father’s inheritance – both truth and untruth: both Gods and Asuras, spoke the truth, and they both spoke untruth; and, indeed, speaking alike, they were alike. (9th Kanda, 5th Chapter, 1st Brahmana, Verse 12)
The gods relinquished untruth, and held fast to truth, and the Asuras relinquished truth, and held fast to untruth. (9th Kanda, 5th Chapter, 1st Brahmana, Verse 13)
The gods spoke nothing but truth, and the Asuras nothing but untruth. And the gods, speaking the truth diligently were very contemptible and very poor: he who speaks the truth diligently, becomes indeed very contemptible and very poor; but in the end he assuredly prospers, for the gods indeed prospered. (9th Kanda, 5th Chapter, 1st Brahmana, Verse 16)
And the Asuras, speaking untruth diligently were very prosperous: he who speaks untruth diligently, thrives indeed, and becomes very prosperous; but in the end he assuredly…

Prayers and Mantras Dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi

Saraswati Beej MantraOM Aim Saraswati NamahProstrations to Mother SarasvatiGoddess Saraswati ShlokaSaraswathi
Varade Kamarupini
Vidyarambam Karishyami
Siddhir Bhavatu Me SadaO Goddess Saraswathi;
Salutations to you
The giver of boons - The one who fulfills desires.
I shall begin my studies.
May there always be accomplishment for me. Saraswati Vandana

May Goddess Saraswati,
who is fair like the Jasmine colored moon
and whose garland is like frosty dew drops,
who is adorned with radiant white clothes
and on whose beautiful palm and arm rests the Veena,
those throne is a white lotus, and who is surrounded and
respected by Gods beginning with Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and
Lord Mahesh, protect me. I beseech Her to totally
remove my laziness and sluggishness.Saraswathi Gayatri MantraOm Vakdeviyai cha Vidhmahe,
Virinji Pathniyai cha Dheemahe,
Thanno Vani Prachodayath.Om, Let me meditate on the goddess of speech,
Oh, wife of Lord Brahma, give me higher intellect,
And let Goddess Vani illuminate my min…

Shani Pradosham – Sani Pradosham

Shani Pradosham is the Pradosha Vrata falling on Shanivar (Saturday). Sani Pradosham is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shaniwar, or Saturday, is dedicated to Shani, one of the Navgrahas. Shani is widely believed to be a troublemaker and it is believed that fasting and praying on Pradosham day will help in keeping the harmful effects of Shani away.

Pradosham falls on the 13th day (during the waxing and waning phase of moon) in a traditional Hindu lunar calendar. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati are in playful mood during this period and therefore they will readily fulfill the wishes of the devotees.

It is believed that people under the bad influence of Shani can escape it by praying to Shiva on the day.

You may also like to read How to observe Pradosham Vrata? Importance of Pradosham Shanivar Vrat dedicated to Lord Shani

Q&A: What is the Phone Number of Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple?

Many readers of this blog wanted to know the contact number of TirupatiTemple. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs), the administration body of Tirupati Venkateswara Temples has an InformationCallCenter. The number of the TirumalaTirupatiBalajiTempleCallCenter is 0877- 2277777 or 2233333. You can get all the relevant information regarding bookings, timings etc from the CallCenter. Devotees from outside India also can make use of the call center.The phone number of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs) CallCenter is – 0877 – 2277777 or 0877 – 2233333.If any of the readers have a better answer please post it on the comment section or please send to our mail id – hindublog @ If you have similar questions, doubts, and questions on Hindu religion please feel free to discuss with us or mail us the questions at hindublog @ You can also ask us to write on subjects related to Hinduism that you feel need to be addressed.

Mata Amritanandamayi Thoughts

Love is the medicine to overcome the disease of anger and selfishness. 
Anyone can do good actions. We should make sure that the flame of compassion in our hearts doesn’t go out. The words and actions that are borne out of compassion can even overcome death.
All the mahatmas have stressed on two things – Love and Faith. The rest is commentary.
The relevance of spirituality is only while living in the world. It cannot be practiced after we are dead and gone. Anything that cannot be achieved while living cannot be achieved after death.
Mata Amritanandamayi

Indian Railways Tour Package to Vaishno Devi Temple from Delhi

Rail Tourism India of the Indian Railways has launched a daily tour package to visit the famous MataVaishnoDeviTemple in Jammu and Kashmir from New Delhi. The package tour is for four nights and three days and there is an option of online ticket booking. Vaishno Devi, dedicated to the Goddess Shakti, is located about 12 km from Katra in Jammu and Kashmir at an altitude of 5200 ft.The four day and three night package includes:Comfortable Rail Journey in AC 3-Tier (Return ticket).On-board and off-board catering on fixed menu basis.Arrival / Departure transfer in non ac Bus, on seat in a coach basis.Darshan Slip (for Vaishno Devi).Accommodation in Bhavani Z Paradise Hotel or similar.Sightseeing (KolkandoliTemple at Nagrota).Food Facility at Bhawan.Services of Experienced Tour Escort.The cost of the tour package to VaishnoDeviTemple from Delhi is Rs 3,950/- per adult. The tour leaves from New Delhi at 2035 hrs by Rajdhani Express 2425 (Everyday).You can find more details about the India…

Soundarya Lakshmi – Hindu Goddess Soundaryalakshmi

In Hinduism, Soundarya Lakshmi is a form of Goddess Lakshmi. In this form Lakshmi, is the Goddess of beauty. Puranas indicate that Soundarya Lakshmi had turned an average looking Rati, Brahma’s daughter, to the most beautiful woman in the three worlds. It is believed that Rati and her husband, Manmatha, god of love, worships Soundarya Lakshmi. It is said that the Solah Shringar, the sixteen beauty methods used by a Hindu bride, was first given to Rati by Soundarya Lakshmi. There are no major independent shrines dedicated to Goddess Soundarya Lakshmi. She is also rarely counted among the Ashta Lakshmis.

Lesser Known Incarnations of Lord Vishnu

Dasha Avatar, the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, is very well known. It is believed that when Adharma spreads, Lord Vishnu incarnates to dispel the evil and ego-inflated beings and to uphold Dharma. Apart the popular ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, there are numerous other incarnations of Vishnu that are found in the Puranas and other holy scriptures associated with Hinduism.
Some of the popular incarnations that are not included in the Dasha Avatar are:
Mohini – the beautiful female who stole the Amrita from the demons and gave it to Devas after the Samudra Manthan (Churning of Ocean).
Hayagriva – the horse-headed incarnation that rescued the Vedas from the demons.
Balrama – Lord Balrama, the elder brother of Sri Krishna, is counted as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In South India, he is one among the Dasha Avatar.
Dhanvantari – the physician of the Gods is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Some of the famous and wise sages of ancient world like Dattatreya, Sanat Kumar…

Words of Wisdom – Swami Ramsukhdasji

If you want peace, root out your pride because it is the root of all the demoniac traits. All the other demoniac traits of Kali Yuga such as anger, greed, infatuation, jealousy, fraud and hypocrisy etc., depend on pride, because pride is their originator.Feeling of mine-ness with Bhagavan is the easiest and best of all spiritual practices.The man’s desire for God realization never perishes, though he may not accept and know it. He has a desire from this heart to be completely happy, free from all bondages and distresses. This is the desire for God realization. This desire is certainly satisfied, because this is the real and true desire of a creature.Man is not made a slave by things rather its desire makes him a slave. Swami Ramsukhdas

Book: Goddess Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur: Shaktipeeth

A recently released book titled ‘Goddess Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur: Shaktipeeth’ explores the famous temple dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi at Kolhapur in Maharashtra. Important architectural details and legends associated with the temple are narrated in the book. A major highlight of the book is the aerial photographs of the KolhapurMahalakshmiTemple by aerial photographer Gopal Bodhe.The book is authored by Gopal Bodhe, P M Powar, Dattatray Lad and Dyaneshwari Talpade.The book delves into the legends of Mahalakshmi of Kolhapur, local tales of Goddess Lakshmi, the idol worshipped in the temple, temple architecture, and various festivals celebrated at the temple.The book is published by Siddhishakti Publications.

Ancient Hindu Scriptures and Modern Business Management

The unparalleled wisdom in Hindu Scriptures like Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Puranas are now being applied in many areas of modern business management. An article titled ‘Applying Meaning to Management With Ancient Hindu Mythology’ by Rama Lakshmi in the Washington Post explores this new trend in Business Management by tracing the methods adopted by Devdutt Pattanaik, an expert on Hindu Scriptures and he also writes the column Management Mythos in the Economic Times.Excerpts from the article"I am a pattern-finder. The mythologies are stars -- I point out the constellation," Devdutt Pattanaik said. "The world of business and the world of our mythological tales are not too different. The characters and the situations are similar. I apply their meanings to modern corporate management. Business is run on a pattern of behavior. I help create the belief that governs behavior." "They understand how beliefs are created, how forms acquire meaning over centurie…

Quotes on Truth from the Upanishads

Satyam vada! Dharmam cara! – Speak the truth! Practice Virtue! (Taittiriya Upanishad Chapter I, section 11, Verse 1)Satyameva Jayate nanrtam – Truth alone wins, not untruth (Mundaka Upanishad Chapter Chapter III Verse 6). Satyam na pramaditavyam – Let there be no neglect of Truth (Taittiriya Upanishad Chapter I, section 11, Verse 1)By truth is laid out the path leading to the gods (Mundaka Upanishad Chapter III Verse 6). Truthfulness is excellent. What is excellent is truthfulness only. By truthfulness those who have attained to the state of blissfulness never fall from there. What belongs to sat, namely good people, that is indeed satyam (truthfulness). For this reason seekers of the highest good find delight in truthfulness. (Maha Narayana Upanishad Verse 78 – 1)

How can the mind be brought under control? – Bhagavad Gita

The mind can be brought under control through practice and dispassion says the Bhagavad Gita. Undoubtedly, O mighty-armed one, the mind is difficult to control and is restless; but by practice, O son of Kunti, and by dispassion, it is restrained. (Chapter VI, verse 35)Dispassion is the giving up of all attachments to the objects of the world and by giving up the expectations for the fruits of action. These two are the main causes for the agitation of thoughts, which thicken the flood of the thought flow and make the mind uncontrollable.Practice is the constant repetition of an idea regarding one and the same object of thought. From the moment we start trying to become aware of our own lives, we are in the realm of practice. As a result of this, the detachment that comes automatically to us is the true and enduring detachment. Dispassion born out of practice alone is the charter for spiritual growth.(Source: Holy Gita – Ready reference – Published by Chinmaya International Foundation, …

Surya Grahan and Pregnant Women – What should Pregnant Women do during Suryagrahan in Hindu Religion?

There is lot of fear among many Hindus regarding Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) and Pregnancy. Most people want to know about precautions to be taken during Surya Grahanam. The only precaution that you should take is that you should never look at the Sun directly during the Grahan. As a clear cut solution, ancient seers in Hinduism recommend pregnant women remain indoors during Grahan. The mantra chanted during the period is the Santana Gopala Mantra. Update: The next Surya Grahan is on June 1, 2011. But this is not visible in India and major parts of the world. Astrological View Point Now for those of you believe in astrology, there is a ‘punya kala’ when the Surya Grahan is visible. And people observe fasting during this period. If the Grahan is not visible in the particular region, there is no ‘punya kala’ and there are no restrictions. There is no restriction in moving around if there is no Surya Grahan in your region. Ayurvedic View Point Some traditions in Hindu religion ask pregnant…

Om Jaya Jagadisa Hare Song Lyrics – Hindi Text and English Translation

Om Jaya Jagadisha Hare is undoubtedly one of the most popular Hindi bhajans. Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri is the author of Om Jaya Jagadisa Hare. The prayer is sung by Hindus during prayers and Aarti in homes, temples and other sacred places. Here is the Om Jaya Jagadisa Hare Song Lyrics with Hindi Text and English Translation.
ॐ जय जगदीश हरे
स्वामी जय जगदीश हरे
भक्त जनों के संकट,
दास जनों के संकट,
क्षण में दूर करे,
ॐ जय जगदीश हरे

Om Jaya Jagadisa Hare
Swami Jaya Jagadisa Hare
Bhakta Jano Ke Sankata
Dasa Jano Ke Sankata
Ksana Men Dura Kare
Om Jaya Jagadisa Hare

Oh Lord of the whole Universe
Mighty Lord of the whole Universe
All Thy devotees' agonies
All Thy devotees' sorrows
Instantly Thou banisheth
Oh Lord of the whole Universe

जो ध्यावे फल पावे,
दुख बिनसे मन का
स्वामी दुख बिनसे मन का
सुख सम्पति घर आवे,
सुख सम्पति घर आवे,
कष्ट मिटे तन का
ॐ जय जगदीश हरे

Jo Dhyave Phala Pave
Dukha Bina Se Mana Ka
Swami Dukha Bina Se Mana Ka
Sukha Sampati Ghara Ave
Sukha Sampati Ghara Ave
Kasta Mite Tana Ka
Om Jaya Jagadisa Ha…

Qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas – Sariraka Upanishad

Non-violence, truth, non-theft, continence and non-possession, absence of anger, service to elders, cleanliness, contentment and honesty, non-conceit, candor, faith and non-injury are the qualities of Sattva.
I am the doer, enjoyer, speaker, am conceited these are the qualities of Rajas.
Sleep, laziness, delusion, attachment, sex and theft are the qualities of Tamas.
The person of Sattva is above, of Rajas is in the middle and of Tamas, low.
Right knowledge is Sattvika; of rituals, Rajasa; blindness, Tamasa.
Sariraka Upanishad

Learn Sanskrit Language Online For Free

An opportunity to learn Sanskrit language online for free is provided by Acharya website by Systems Development Laboratory in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. The basic lessons on Sanskrit provided by Acharya help to learn the language through self study. The online lessons have been catering to thousands of students more than a decade.
The online course consists of a series of twelve lessons and is aimed at giving the student a reasonably good introduction to the Sanskrit language. The website also contains a Sanskrit dictionary.
You can find more about Learn Sanskrit through self study here - Acharya.

And Obama Mentioned Hindus in his Inaugural Speech – the deeper meaning of this gesture

‘We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers.’ This sentence in the Inaugural Speech of Obama is seen as an acknowledgment of the accomplishments and contributions of Hindu Americans to United States. Vamsee Juluri, Professor of Media Studies, University of San Francisco, finds deeper meaning in this gesture, the first by a President of United States of America. Writing in The Huffington Post, Vamsee Juluri sees it as a recognition for whatever good Hinduism has stood for and for whatever good it can continue to do.Excerpts from the article So when Obama included "Hindu" in his address, I saw it as a recognition for whatever good Hinduism has stood for and for whatever good it can continue to do. I saw it as a recognition that was needed, because despite the spread of interest in yoga and spirituality in America, there have also been persistent misconceptions about Hinduism, particularly in the media.Although there have been many people who …

Swami Rama Thoughts on Enlightenment

Let me assure you that Enlightenment is not something that dawns all of a sudden. There is nothing called instant enlightenment. Many of you think that a guru comes and blesses you and you get enlightenment. This never happens. Many people would like to be enlightened in a second’s time without having to do any preparation.In the path of sadhana, preparation is very necessary. Preparation does not mean making any physical effort. Preparation means becoming aware of another level of consciousness.Consciousness does not dawn all of a sudden without sincere efforts. If you are tired of efforts and if you do not know what to do next, then grace dawns. The greatest power in the world is the divine power of grace. This happens when you are prepared, when you have done your duties properly, and you have completed all the preliminaries. Grace comes and fills the gap you find in human life…That grace comes when you use all your human efforts.
Swami Rama

Corporate Governance needs help from Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita

Sudden downfall of successful companies and their jailed bosses reading Holy Scriptures in prison is now a common phenomenon. Had these top leaders in industry taken to scriptures early they would have avoided the downfall and saved their employees. Dr S. Kannan, a Chennai-based chartered accountant, and author of ‘Vedic Management’ in an interview to D. Murali of The Hindu talks about the Corporate Governance and Indian Wisdom. He quotes from the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Samhitas which extol the need to be truthful, transparent and righteous in society.Some excerpts from the highly thought provoking interviewWhat accounts for the sudden downfall of otherwise successful organisations? Are there any insights from the scriptures in this regard?‘Vinasa kale viparita buddhih,’ which in Sanskrit means that when one is on the path of destruction, his mind gets perverted. ‘This happens due to the negative vasanas (inherent impressions) of a person which suddenly manifest and show…

Magh Saptami – Magha Shukla Saptami

Magh Shukla Saptami, or Magha Saptami, is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Surya, the sun god in Hinduism. In 2019, the date of Magh Saptami is February 12. It is observed on the seventh day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Magh Month (January – February). The most important ritual on the day is taking a holy dip (bathing ritual) on sunrise. The famous Chandrabhaga fair is held on the day at Konark in Orissa.

Thousands of devotees take a holy bath at the Chandrabhaga Tirtha near the KonarkSunTemple on Magha Shukla Saptami. Several thousands of devotees also take a holy dip at the near by sea.

The day is also observed as Ratha Saptami and is a major event in TirupatiBalajiTemple and in many parts of South India. Magh Saptami is also known as Surya Jayanti.

Swami Chidananda Thoughts on Sadhana

The great Rishis, in their compassion, have prescribed a very easy Sadhana for us: we can easily realize God by doing a little bit of Japa and engaging ourselves in the ceaseless service.
The great man who does Puja in the Mandir, the great Sevak who serves Swamiji personally in his Kutir, the great Yogi who meditates on the Ganges bank for four hours a day and the great worker who operates the printing machine or composes or binds the books-all of them are engaged in doing the same meritorious Sadhana that will yield the highest fruit of Self-realization.
The foremost thing is Bhava. If your Bhava is that you are doing every work for the purpose of attaining God then your work will be transformed into Sadhana. It may be that for the purpose of earning your livelihood you have taken up a job. But if you have this sublime Bhava, you will not only get your salary, but you will eventually attain Moksha, too! Swami Chidananda

Effect of Surya Grahan – Impact on People, Horoscope, Astrology and Predictions

The Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) that is going to take place on July 22, 2009 is being considered as bad for India by several astrologers. Many astrologers are of the opinion that the Suryagrahan will have a negative impact on the political setup in India and it might give rise to instability on the economic front. Nothing good is being predicted. All astrological predictions are talking about ill effects. The Surya Grahan will coincide with Shravan Amavasya (No moon day in Shravan Month as per traditional calendar Hindu followed in North India).Some astrologers are also opinion that there might be earth quakes, attacks, violence etc as the result of the Surya Grahan. The bad effect of the Surya Grahan will last for six months. You may also like to read

What to do during Surya Grahan?

Story of Surya Grahan and Chandra Grahan in Hindu mythology

Book: Indian Temple Sculpture

IndianTemple Sculpture by John Guy looks at Indian temple sculpture in context, as an instrument of worship which embodies powerful religious experience. The book serves as an absorbing introduction to the principal iconographic forms in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. A major highlight of the book is the pictures and photographs – 150 color and 50 black and white. The photographs are from the famous collection of South-Asian sculpture in London’s Victoria and AlbertMuseum. ‘Indian Temple Sculpture’ considers the cosmological meaning hidden in the sculptures, its origins, the temple setting and the role of sculpture within it and reveals the vivid rituals and traditions still in practice today.Kesavan Veluthat reviews the book in The HinduHe treats the subject under six separate chapters. The first chapter deals with how religion evolved in India in such a way as to require icons. A religion based on ritual does not require idols; one based on devotion does. Thus, the need for images …

Thoughts on Hinduism

Hinduism is like a tree that has grown gradually, than like a building that has been erected by some great architect at some definite point in time. K M SenHinduism believes in the oneness not of merely all human life but in the oneness of all that lives. GandhijiOne of the principal aspects of Hinduism that impresses me is its scientific nature. Hinduism has stood up to the challenges of modern science better than any other religion. The reason is simple: if anything is found at variance with facts, it is quietly forgotten. Hinduism is thus constantly refreshed and updated. The West had one reformation 500 years ago. We have a permanent reformation. A.B.VajpayeeThe faith which the Hindus had in their religion never wavered even in its worst days. It has had waxings and wanings which has kept the balance even. In judging the vitality of Hinduism the point should be emphasized that it has maintained itself through the ages and enforced obedience to itself without support from any kind …

Teachings from Yoga Vasishta on Brahman

The nature of the Absolute Reality (Brahman) cannot be satisfactorily talked about or discussed. It can only be experienced within the depth of one’s own being. (VI-b: 31-37)It is neither a being nor a non-being nor anything between the two. It is nothing, yet everything. It cannot be grasped by the mind and expressed in words. It is empty of all possible contents, yet is the deepest of all enjoyments. (III 119-23)EarlierYoga Vasishta thoughts on a liberated person

What to do during Surya Grahan? – Surygrahan or Solar Eclipse in Hinduism

There are numerous recording of Surya Grahan, or Solar Eclipse, in Hindu scriptures. The most famous being the Suryagrahan during the famous Mahabharata war. Usually, Hindus do not perform any work during Surya Grahan and they purify themselves by taking a bath and by chanting mantras. A complete fast is undertaken by many Hindus during the period. In Hindu religion, taking a holy dip at sacred rivers and tirths on the Surya Grahan day is considered highly auspicious.
Ancient sages and texts like Brahman Siddhanta restrict viewing the eclipse – one should look at an eclipse through a cloth or a reflection of it. A pregnant woman should never look directly at an eclipse.
Mantras Chanted during Surya Grahan Some of the important mantras that are chanted during the Surya Grahan include: Gayatri Mantra Ashtakshara Mantra dedicated to Shri Krishna. Ashtakshara mantra is ‘Shri Krishna ha sharnam mama.’ Astakshari Mantra is also taken as ‘Om Namoh Narayan Na Yah.’ Mahamrityunjay Mantra is …

Mobile Games Based on Mahabharata

Two mobile games based on Mahabharata titled ‘Abhimanyu’ and ‘Bheeshma’ was launched by Mauj Mobile, a company providing mobile content, applications, software, services and media solutions in India. Available in 2D and 3D setups, the game is based on two most popular characters in the epic Mahabharata.In the Abhimanyu game a player has to come out of the Chakravyuh. In the Bhishma game, the player has to defeat the Panadava Army without hurting the five Pandava brothers. You need a GPRS/WAP enabled SIM to download the games.

Book – Swami Vivekananda in America: New Findings

Swami Vivekananda in America: New Findings by Asim Chaudhuri is a third book in the series in a series on ‘new information’ about Swami Vivekananda. The book reveals some fresh information regarding the setting in which Swami Vivekananda had to work in America, the forces that opposed him and those that stood behind him and also details on some places that he visited during his most famous journey. A major highlight of the book is a large number of rare and impressive photographs.Incidents and the homes that Swami Vivekananda visited in Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, Washington, Connecticut, New Hampshireand California during his journey are unraveled in the book. The two earlier works in the series on new information about Swami Vivekananda are Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries, and Swami Vivekananda in Chicago, New Findings. Swami Vivekananda in America: New Findings
Author: Asim Chaudhuri
Published by: Adv…

Book for Friday evening sermons in Hindu Temples in Malaysia

A book titled '52 Velli Sinthanai Manikal' or 'Virtuous Thoughts for 52 Fridays' has been compiled by Malaysia Hindu Sangam (MHS) to serve as a guideline in delivering sermons at temples all over Malaysia. The book lays stress on national unity, important teachings of Hinduism and community service.The topics for sermons in 52 Velli Sinthanai Manikal highlights universal human values advocated by all religions and the ones that were vital for enhancing the spirit of unity and togetherness. The book was complied in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's call that all religious institutions play a proactive role in strengthening national unity.

"The prime minister's proposal that religious leaders help get the message across on unity through the Friday khutbah for Muslims and Sunday sermons for Christians is most appropriate.

"In line with this, temples in the country are encouraged to use this book as a guideline in their sermons eve…

Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies launches online course on Hinduism

Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies is an academy for the study of all Hindu traditions at OxfordUniversity. The new online course by Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies is titled Understanding Hindu Identity and it has been designed by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies to provide a thorough grounding in the beliefs, practices and traditions of Hinduism. The course begins on February 2, 2009 and is available to anyone with an interest in Hinduism, whether or not they regard themselves as members of the Hindu community.The course is approved and accredited by the University of Wales, Lampeter, widely recognized as a centre of excellence for the academic study of religion, working in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. The online course is modeled on classroom courses taught by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies for the past seven years in Oxford, Leicester, Harrow, and Birmingham.The course is taught online. The tutor is available for live consultation at set times of the …

Prayer to Lord Surya

Surya Ashtakam – a prayer dedicated to Lord Surya – the Sun GodAdhi deva Namasthubhyam,
Praseeda mama Bhaskara,
Divakara namasthubhyam,
Prabha kara Namosthu thy.

Salutations to the primeval God,
Please be kind to me , he who creates the morn.
Salutations to you the creator of day,
Salutations to you the creator of light.

Saptha aswa radha roodam,
Prachandam, Kasypathmajam,
Swetha padma dharma devam,
Tham suryam pranamamyaham

My salutations to the Sun God,
Who rides on chariot with seven horses,
Who is the brightest of lights,
Who is the son of Sage Kashyapa,
And who wears the white lotus flower.

Lohitham Radha maroodam,
Sarva loka pithamaham,
Maha papa haram devam,
Tham suryam pranamamyaham

My salutations to the Sun God,
Who is reddish brown in colour,
Who rides on a chariot,
Who has created all the worlds,
And who is the god who kills all the sins

Trigunyam cha maha sooram,
Brahma Vishnu maheswaram,
Maha papaharam devam,
Tham suryam pranamamyaham

My salutations to the Sun God,
Who is blessed with three fold qualit…

Sabarimala Makara Jyothi and Makara Vilakku 2018 Live Online – How to Watch?

The annual Sabarimala Makara Jyothi and Makaravilakku festival attracts thousands of devotees to the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple in Kerala. All the television channels in Kerala and some in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh will be telecasting live the Sabarimala Makara Jyothi and Makara Vilakku on Friday, January 14, 2018 in the evening from 1700 hrs or early. But sadly there is no website on the internet exclusively doing the live streaming of Sabarimala Makara Jyothi and Makara Vilakku Online. But still there is an option to watch it online, if lady luck smiles.

The news channels in Kerala like Indiavision, Asianet and Manorama News has websites doing live streaming. And almost all the News channels and Entertainment channels in Kerala will be doing Sabarimala Makara Jyothi and Makara Vilakku Live.

The best option to watch Makara Jyothi and Makaravilakku live is Asianet News Channel - you can watch it here - Asianet live tv

Another best option is you can watch Makara Jyothi and

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra 2009 by Government of India

Update: You can find details of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra 2010 in this latest article - Kailash Yatra . The below article is of the previous year.
Booking for the annual Kailash Manasarovar Yatra 2009 organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, from end of May/early June to September 2009 has started. The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is open to all Indian citizens above 18 years of age who wish to proceed to Kailash Manasarovar in China for religious purposes. The last date of receiving applications is Friday, March 20, 2009. The application forms and other details are available online at the Ministry of External Affairs website.Kailash Manasarovar Yatra includes visit to MountKailash – the abode of Lord Shiva – and ManasarovarLake. According to Hindu scriptures, those who take a dip in the Manasarovar and complete the parikrama (circumambulate) around MountKailash are absolved of their sins and are liberated from the cycle of birth and death. They are ultimately u…

Sankrant in Uttar Pradesh

The popular Makar Sankranti festival in India is known as Sankrant in Uttar Pradesh and several parts of North India. Sankrant is also known as Kicheri. In 2019, the date of Sankrant is January 15. The most important ritual on this day is taking bath at Sangam in Prayag (Allahabad). The day is an important bathing day during Magh Snan.

Millions of Hindus take a holy dip in the icy waters of Sangam at Prayagraj where the rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati flow together. Taking holy dip on this day is believed to help in attaining Moksha.

Another highlight of the festival is the sharing of laddus made of Gur and Til (Sesame seeds). In some parts of North India, the festival is also known as Til Sankranti.

You may also like to read Makar Sankranti in Different Parts of India

Makar Sankranti Rangoli and Kolam Pictures

Drawing of Kolams or Rangoli on Makar Sankrathi is considered highly auspicious. Surya Kolam (Rangoli with the drawing of Lord Surya), sugarcane picture on rangoli, boiling Pongal pot, Shri Kolam, chariot Kolams etc are the most preferred Rangolis and Kolams during Makara Sankranti. Here are a few photos that give an idea for Makar Sankranti kolams.Click on the images for a larger view. The images are copyrighted to the respective owners.Makara Sankranthi Shri Kolam
Makar Sankranti Surya Ratha KolamBeautiful Peacock Kolam
Simple Design
Simple Design 2
Boiling Pongal Pot KolamComplicated Design Kolam
Makar Sankranti Kolam with Sugar CaneSimple Design 3Update:Fresh Sankranti Kolams or Muggulu Published in 2010
RelatedPongal KolamsTamil New Year Kolams

Teachings from Mundaka Upanishad

As long as we think we are the jiva,
We feel attached and fall into sorrow.
But realize that you are the Atman,
And you will be freed from sorrow.
When you realize that you are the Atman,
Supreme source of light, supreme source of love,
You transcend the duality of life
And enter into the State of Oneness.The pranava (AUM) is the bow; the arrow is the self;
Brahman is said to be the mark.
With heedfulness It is to be penetrated;
Become one with It as the arrow in the mark.Know that Self alone, the One without a Second,
On which are strung Heaven and Earth,
Inner Space, Mind, Vital Energy, all the organs.
Leave off other words, for this is the Bridge to Immortality.Mundaka Upanishad

Saraswathi Puja Significance in Hinduism

Saraswati Puja, the worship of Hindu goddess of learning, is observed on the Basant Panchami (January - February) day annually in North and Eastern parts of India (January 22, 2018) and also during the last three days of Sharadiya Navratri (September - October) (October 17 to October 19, 2018). Goddess Saraswathi, or Sarasvati, is the Goddess of wisdom and learning in Hinduism.

In Maharashtra, Saraswati Puja is spread over three days:

Sarasvati Avahan - October 14
Sarasvati  Puja - October 15
Saraswati Balidan puja is on October 17

In Kerala, Saraswati Puja is observed as Vidyarambham. First the books are kept for puja on Ashtami evening and taken back on Dasami.

Vidyarambham in Kerala is on October 19.

Basant Panchami Saraswati puja and festival is of great significance in West Bengal and Orissa. Saraswathi puja is also observed by several other communities in North India on the same day. An important event on the day is the initiation of children into the world of letters on this d…

Book – Birds, Beasts, Men, and Nature — Tales from the Mahabharata

Birds, Beasts, Men, and Nature — Tales from the Mahabharata written by Kavita A. Sharma is a collection of thirty eight stories picked up from different chapters of the epic Mahabharata. As the title of the book indicates, the author concentrates on the birds and beasts in the Mahabharat and how these beings of forest interact with man and nature. All the tales teaches some basic value which is fast vanishing from human society.A highlight of the book is the refreshing illustrations. The thirty eight tales are preceded by an introduction which explains framework of the stories and this helps in a better understanding of the tales. The book also contains a Foreword by the famous Mahabharat scholar, Dr. Pradip Bhattacharya.Kavita A. Sharma is the Principal of the HinduCollege in Delhi and had earlier written the Queens of Mahabharata. Birds, Beasts, Men, And Nature – Tales From The Mahabharata
Publisher – Transedit Communications
Author – Kavita A Sharma
Price – Rupees 350/-