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Showing posts from March, 2009


Vasant Durga Puja

Basanti Puja, or Vasant Durga Puja, is observed during the Chaitra Navratri. In 2020, Basanti Puja is on March 25 and will end on April 2. There is a popular belief that Goddess Durga was mainly worshipped during the Basant or Spring Season. But it was Lord Rama who changed the Durga Puja period. Lord Ram wanted the blessings of Goddess Durga to defeat Ravana therefore he invoked Goddess Durga during Ashwin (October – November).

Sri Basanti Devi Durga Puja Amantran Adhibas – March 30
Sri Basanti Devi Durga Puja Saptami Puja, Nabapatrika – March 31
Sri Basanti Devi Durga Puja Ashtami Puja, Sandhi Puja – April 1
Sri Basanti Devi Durga Puja Navami Puja – April 2
Sri Basanti Devi Durga Puja Desmipuja bisarjan – April 3

Nowadays, the Vasant Durga Puja, or Basanti Puja, is not a major festival. Therefore all the rituals associated with the Ashwin month Durga Puja are not performed in the Chaitra month.

The Durga Puja in Ashwin month is also known as Akal Bodhon, or untimely invocation, as …

Jaya Durga – Goddess Jayadurga

Goddess Jaya Durga, or Jai Durga, is one of the numerous forms of Goddess Shakti. She is mentioned as the presiding deity in two Shaktipeetahs. Jaya Durga form of Goddess Shakti is worshipped at Baidyanathdham, at Deoghar in Jharkhand, India and another is believed to be at Karnat – exact location not yet discovered.
After Sati’s death, Shiva roamed around with the body of Her. Lord Vishnu realized that this never ending mourning would destroy the world and therefore to stop Shiva, Vishnu used Sudarshan Chakra to cut down the body of Sati into pieces. The places where Sati’s body parts fell are Shaktipeetahs. There are 51 Shaktipeethas.
It is believed that Sati’s heart fell at Baidyanathdham and she is worshipped here as Jaya Durga. Her ears is believed to have fell at Karnat but this spot is yet to be identified and the form of Shakti worshipped here is also referred as Jaya Durga in scriptures.
Jaya Durga is depicted as having dark complexion. She is three-eyed and four-armed. Sh…

Cheti Chand Quotes and Messages – Sindhi New Year

Cheti Chand, is the Sindhi New Year and here is a collection of Cheti Chand quotes and messages. These quotations were collected from numerous sources and edited to suit the Cheti Chand day. Hope you will get ideas from these quotes to wish your friends and relatives.Let this Cheti Chand bring peace and prosperity in the lives of all with the blessings of Lord Varuna.
Happy Cheti Chand! Let this be a delightful year, filled with delightful things in each of its days.
Keep moving is an important lesson that Lord Varuna (God of water) teaches. Water flows unceasingly. If it stops, it becomes stagnant. Let us aim to be the free flowing pure water. Forget the past and start flowing with positive thoughts from this Cheti Chand. Happy Cheti Chand.
Wish you a Happy Cheti Chand with love, peace, hope and joy for the year ahead.
From this Cheti Chand let us go forward with great hope that all things will be possible and we will attain our dreams.
Forget worries and mistakes and start afresh! Happy …

Ghatasthapana during Vasant Navratri – Pot with Grass Symbolizing Goddess Durga

Ghatasthapana is an important ritual during Navratri. It literally means installing a pot which symbolizes Goddess Shakti. A Pot with image of Goddess Durga embossed on the side of it is place in the Puja room. The pot is placed on a bed of sand. This is performed on the first day of Navratri especially during Vasant Navratri in North India.
The pot is filled with mud and sprinkled with cowdung. Barley seeds are sown in it. Some people also sow barley seeds on the bed on which the pot is placed. The Ghata (Pot) is installed at the auspicious time of the first day of the Navratri. It is believed Goddess Shakti blesses the Pot with her presence.
The pot is sprinkled with water on all the nine days. Pujas and other rituals are performed.
At the end of the ninth day, the barley shoots will reach a height of 2 to 3 inches and its then pulled out and distributed.
Ghatasthapana is an important ritual during Navratri and Durga Puja (September – October) and also at the same period during Das…

Gudhi Padwa Quotes and Messages – Gudi Padva – Maharashtra New Year

Gudhi Padwa, or Gudi Padva, is the Marathi New Year and here is a collection of Gudhi Padwa quotes and messages. These quotations to wish friends and relatives were collected from numerous sources and edited to suit the Gudhi Padwa day. Let this Gudhi Padwa usher in a Good and Sweet Year, both materially and spiritually.
Wish you a happy Gudhi Padwa with love, peace, hope and joy for the year ahead.
Happy Gudhi Padwa and let this be a delightful year, filled with delightful things in each of its days.
From this Gudhi Padva let us go forward with great hope that all things will be possible.
May this Gudi Padwa be a good one for all of us.
Another Gudhi Padwa is here to banish our worries and mistakes and start afresh.
Happy Gudhi Padwa. Let this New Year herald new optimism, zeal and cheer.
Let us welcome this Gudhi Padwa with great hope, eagerness and anticipation. Let us look forward to a plentiful year of joy, satisfaction, peace and prosperity.Let this Gudi Padva bring peace and prosperit…

Naba Barsha 2019 date - Bengali New Year in 2019

Naba Barsha or Poila Baisakh is the traditional Hindu New Year in West Bengal and Bangladesh. It is celebrated in the month of Vaishakh or Baisakh (April – May). In 2019, the date of Nababarsha or Poila Baisakh is April 15. The New Year is popularly referred as Naba Barsa or Nava Varsha in Bengal and Pohela or Poila Baisakh in Bangladesh. It is the first day in the traditional Hindu Bengali Calendar.

In Bengali houses, Naba Barsa is welcomed with elaborate alpanas (rangolis). A kalash is placed in the center of the alpana pattern and it symbolizes prosperity. Houses are elaborately decorated with flowers as there is no shortage of flowers during this season. Another important event is the Prabhat Pheris or early morning processions.

Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Lord Ganesha are worshipped on the Bengali New Year day.

Traders perform the halkhata ceremony that marks the advent of the Bengali New Year. All shops are decorated with flowers and one will notice stringed f…

Why is Gudhi or Flag raised on the New Year Day in Maharashtra?

One of the most important events on Gudhi Padwa, the Marathi New Year, is the raising Gudhi. Gudhi, or Gudi, is a special kind of flag raised by Maharashtrians outside the house on the Hindu New Year Day – the first day of Chaitra month (March – April). Gudhi is also known as Flag of Brahma – Brahmadhwaj or Brahma Dhwaj. Raising of the Gudhi in front of one’s house symbolizes hope, happiness, joy, glory and celebration of victory. The Gudhi is made of 5 to 10 feet long bamboo or any other wooden stick. A piece of silk or cotton cloth is tied at one end of the stick like a flag. A silver or steel or brass pot is placed on top of the Gudhi. A garland of flowers is placed on the top. In some regions neem leaves and sugarcanes are placed around the pot. There are numerous legends associated with hoisting of the Gudhi. Some believe it is hoisted to the celebrate Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya after annihilating Ravana and other demons. Some Maharashtrians hoist it to commemorate the numero…

Soubhagya Gauri Vrata in Chaitra Month – Gauri Puja in Chaitra Month

Soubhagya Gauri Vrata is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is observed on the third day of the Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra Mas (March – April). In 2020, the date of Soubhagya Gauri Vrata is on March 27.

Observed by women in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Sowbhagya Gauri Vratam is also known as Gauri Tritiya. Married women pray for a happy family life and unmarried women pray for a good husband on the day.


Legends of Goddess Parvati and Shiva are often referred to in Hindu Scriptures. Ramayana and Mahabharata are full of references of the main characters performing important rituals dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Shiva. It is believed that Goddess Parvati performed intense austerities to get Lord Shiva as husband.
Regional scriptures and legends mention about Sita Devi performing the Gauri Tritiya to get Lord Ram as her husband.

Goddess Gauri is another name of Goddess Parvati. Some scriptures indicate that Lord Shiva finally agreed to marry Goddess Parvati on the Gauri Tr…

Pure Tamil Calendar with No Trace of Sanskrit or Foreign Language

Sanskrit terms are widely used is many regional languages in India especially to denote auspicious days, auspicious time, festivals etc. But all these regional languages have specific terms in the respective language for these auspicious occasions; but most people prefer the Sanskrit terms. B. Shrinivas, a software entrepreneur and publisher of Dheivamurasu, a spiritual Tamil magazine, has launched a pure Tamil Calendar with no trace of any foreign language influence. The calendar published by Dheivamurasu magazine is fully in Tamil – even for numerals. Today, English numerals are used in most regional language calendars and most people are not even aware that each regional language has their own set of numerals. The Hindu reportsFor instance, the full moon is not Pournami, but Niraimathi, according to the calendar. Similarly, the new moon is not Amavasai, but Maraimathi. This may come as a surprise to even lyricists who have been penning songs in Tamil apparently not in the chaste li…

Documentary and Book – Return of the Rituals: Rites of Passage of Nagarathar Children

‘Return of the Rituals: Rites of Passage of Nagarathar Children’ is the title of a documentary film and book by Dr Kala Shreen. As the title indicates, the book deals with rituals that were forgotten but which are slowly being picked up by the modern generation of the Nagarathar community in South India. The documentary film focuses on old rituals and older generations who had participated in the rituals shares their knowledge and experience.The New Indian Express reportsThe Documentary film has captured the ceremonies, which had become obsolete over the last century. Kala spent three days for shooting, when the ceremonies were enacted as one could not capture live performances of these obsolete rituals. People who were over 80 years of age were interviewed for the documentary. They shared their experiences of the past. Indigenous songs of the community were documented and tunes composed for them.The book has two sections. The first section is a description of three life cycle ceremon…

Srivari Kalyanam – Tirupati Balaji Temple Ritual to performed at Delhi in March 2009

Sri Srinivasa Kalyanotsavam, the celestial wedding ritual at TirumalaTirupatiVenkateswaraTemple, will be performed at New Delhi by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD). The divine wedding of Lord Balaji and his consorts Sridevi and Bhoodevi is one of the most famous rituals at the TirupatiTemple. Srivari Kalyanam is now being organized in different cities around India for pilgrims who are unable to travel to Tirupati. In Delhi, the celestial wedding ritual will be held on March 21, 2009.The idols of Lord Balaji and Goddess Padmavati will be brought to Delhi in a special chariot of the celestial wedding. You will get more information about the event at the: TTD Information Center,
e-Darshan Counter,
College Campus,
No.2 Faculty Flats,
Dhaulakulam,
Opp Sathyanikethan,
New Delhi
Ph: 011-24112349You may also like to readImportance of Srivari Kalyanam Ritual

Cow Dung and Ghee can fight pollution – Agnihotra Practitioners

Institute for Studies in Vedic Sciences believes that the ancient Vedic Practice of Agnihotra can fight global warming and reduce pollution. The Vedic practice of Agnihotra involves burning of cow dung along with ghee and rice in a copper altar at sunrise and sunset while chanting specific mantras. The fumes that rise from this burning contain chemicals that absorb pollution and kill harmful bacteria. On March 12, 2009, the members of the institute are celebrating World Agnihotra Day.Aditya Paul writes about Agnihotra in Expressindia.comTo most rational and critical minds, the first question is how can burning cow dung help the environment? Dr Rajanvale answers, “Our institute scientifically researched the theory and I must admit though we are convinced of the effects, we don’t really understand the reasons. For example, we conducted an experiment at a junction in Pune in which we took air samples on a day without doing a morning and evening Agnihotra and a day after doing the Agnihot…

Meena Sankranti – Mina Samkranti

Meena Sankranti marks the beginning of the Sun’s transition from Meena to Mesha or from Pisces to Aries. There are 12 Sankranthis in a Hindu Solar Calendar and Meena Sankranti is the last in one cycle. It is an auspicious day for many communities in eastern parts of India. In 2019, the date of Meena Sankranti is March 15. Time is at 8:10 AM on March 15.

‘San’ means plenty and good and ‘Kranti’ means radical change and Sankranthi means plenty of good change. Meena Sankranti day is of importance is Orissa.

Nadi Sri Subramaniya Swamy Temple in Fiji Islands

This is a Guest Post by Dr R Sri Ravindra Rajah - writing about his visit to Nadi SriSubramaniyaSwamyTemple in FijiIslands.Very recently I visited FijiIsland for the first time and went to Nadi Sri Subramaniya Swamy temple. This temple which is the biggest HinduTemple and only Shaiva temple in PacificIslands built according Agamic traditions by Indian builders. It was opened by the late Sivasubramuniya Swami of Hawaii in 1994. This temple had its second Kumbabhishekam in June 2006.

Thaipoosam is the biggest festival at this temple is celebrated for ten days with flag hoisting ceremony. Devotees from all over Fiji and other PacificIslands come to the temple. This temple is run by Sangam - The India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam, which also runs number of primary and secondary schools all over Fiji for over 100 years. Recently it had started Sangam Institute of Technology.

One of the features of the temple is that both old and new traditions of conducting poojas are maintained. Local non-brahmin p…

Ancient inscriptions on the outer wall of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple to be digitized

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is planning to gold plate the outer walls of the sanctum sanctorum of TirumalaTirupatiBalajiTemple. When the outer wall is covered with gold sheets, it will also cover up ancient inscriptions found on the wall. To save the centuries old inscriptions, TTD and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are planning to preserve the inscriptions and digitize it and upload on a website.The inscriptions mainly narrate the socio-economic, political and religious situation that had existed during a particular period and is of great help to historians. There are also plans to maintain a replica of the temple with inscriptions at the Tirumala museum. A.D. Rangarajan writes in the HinduSadhu Subrahmanya Sastry, the TTD’s former epigraphist-cum-archaeologist, copied 1,150 of the inscriptions in 1922 employing the ‘eye copy’ technique. These included 640 inscriptions in the area that will be covered up. But the ASI’s Mysore-based epigraphy wing, equipped to deal …

Avacayam in Delhi – Mentally Challenged Young Adults produce Gulal for Holi from Flowers

Avacayam meaning dazzling flowers in Sanskrit is the program begun by Society for Child Development (SFCD) and supported by the Department of Environment that converts hundreds of kilos of waste flowers in non-toxic gulal for Holi. Avacayam today provides regular income to 1,500 disabled adults and helps in creating environmental friendly Holi colors. The Holi color produced by SFCD is available in South Delhi. Girija Duggal writes in Hindustan Times  Says the NGOs executive director Dr Madhumita Puri, “No one has really looked at the opportunity to provide the mentally challenged a space in a [manufacturing] chain, where they could be productive,” says Puri. It was this that led to the formation of Avacayam.  Discarded flowers from temples, marriage pandals, homes and nine hotels in the city are used for this purpose. And the simple task of cutting petals provides them a regular income — for every kilogram of petals cut, they earn Rs 50-100.  In its fourth year now, Avacayam has sp…

Idols of Hindu Gods to be auctioned by Christie’s in March 2009

Christie’s, one of world’s leading art business and a fine arts auction house, is auctioning several idols of Hindu gods on March 20, 2009. The auction titled ‘Indian and Southasian Art’ also includes paintings, sculptures, stone works and miniatures associated with Hinduism The most important idol going to be auctioned is a rare idol of Lord Shiva and Goddess Uma as Somaskanda – Tamilnadu, Chola Period, 13th century. The idol is estimated at $600,000 - $800,000.Other idols important idols that are to be auctioned include a bronze figure of Goddess Parvati ($200,000 - $300,000), bronze figure of Lord Vishnu ($200,000 - $300,000) and green stone figure of Surya ($180,000 - $250,000) . The idols and paintings that are going to auctioned are from 1st millennium AD to 18th Century. Most of these idols and paintings were stolen or usurped from India during the British rule and some after independence. RelatedLord Shiva Idol auctioned for record $4.07 million

Why: Waving of Lamp during Hindu Puja – Ritualistic circling of Diya before Deity

Waving of lamp or Diya before the murti or the image of deity is an indispensable aspect of the worship and prayer in Hinduism. The circling of light (diya) ritual is known as Dipa, Arati, Aratika or Nirajana. It is performed usually at the end of a Hindu puja. For the ritualistic circling a lamp with one, three, five or seven wicks dipped in clarified butter or oil is used. Some people prefer to use camphor (Karpura).
Symbolically, the person who performs the circling of Diya and the people who witness is believed to conquer ignorance and burn up all the sins performed.
The waving of the lamp is also recognition of the fact that whatever is born perishes and is later born again. This wheel of life and death has been going on perpetually from time immemorial like the cycle of sunrise and sunset. We pray to the deity to save us from this cycle. Lucky are those that are able to attain Moksha and merge with the Supreme Truth (Brahman). The sole aim of human being is to attain Moksha or l…

Char Dham Yatra – opening and closing dates of Chardham Yatra temples in Uttarakhand

In Hinduism, Char Dham Yatra in Himalayas comprises of pilgrimage to BadrinathTemple, KedarnathTemple, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, India. These are some of the most important temples in Hindu religion remains closed (October to April) for major part of the year due to harsh winter and heavy snowfall. In 2011, the Char Dham Yatra begins on May 6. The date of opening of YamunotriTemple and Gangotri Shrine is May 6, 2011. KedarnathTemple will open on May 8, 2011 and Badrinath Shrine will open on May 9, 2011. During the Chardham Yatra period, Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) conducts spiritual tour. Online reservation facility is also available. Helicopter Services are also available from Agastyamuni to Kedarnath and Badrinath. Closing Dates in Char Dham Yatra 2011 Gangotri Temple will close on October 26, 2011 – on the Diwali day


Yamunotri Shrine will close also close on the Diwali day.



Badrinath Temple will close 10 day after Deepavali.


KedarnathShrine will close the day after Diwa…

Book: Swami Ranganathananda Reader

Swami Ranganathananda Reader edited by Rajiv Mehrotra is a select compilation of the writings of Swami Ranganathananda, who was the 13th president of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission. It is an impossible task to select a few writings of Swami Ranganathananda because all his written words give new insight, inspires and kindles us to think and act. Rajiv Mehrotra admits that no selection can do justice to the Swami but it can at least offer a flavor. Born in the village of Trikkur, Kerala, on 15 December 1908, Shankaran Kutty, joined the Ramakrishna Order after getting inspired by the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. Shankaran Kutty was initiated into Sanyasa by Swami Shivananda and he became Swami Ranganathananda.Swami Ranganathananda was an internationally acclaimed speaker and inspired thousands of people in India and abroad and in 1986, he was awarded the first Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. He passed away in 2005.
Swami Ranganathananda Reader…

Gobinda Dwadasi – Govinda Dwadashi in Puri Jagannath Temple

Govinda Dwadasi is an auspicious day which falls on the 12th day during the waxing phase of the moon in Phalguna or Falgun month. In 2020, the date of Govinda Dwadasi is March 7.

Gobind Dwadasi is considered highly auspicious by Vishnu devotees. Gobinda Dwadasi is of great significance at the PuriJagannathTemple. A rare combination of calculations as per Hindu astrology and almanac taking place provides the opportunity to take holy dip at the Mahodadhi Teerth on Puri coast.

Mahodadhi Tirth is a six kilometer long stretch of the Puri Seacoast from Chakra Tirth to Swargdwar.

It is expected that more than thousands of devotees will take a dip at PuriJagannathTemple seacoast on the auspicious day of Gobinda Dwadasi Buda.

Volunteering opportunities in India and US with Sewa International USA

Sewa International USA is providing a unique opportunity for college students and new college graduates to help others and make an impact locally, nationally and internationally. The project duration varies from one month to six months to fit both the requirements of the volunteer and the project. The opportunities are available in various countries such as India, USA, Guyana and Suriname. The aim of Yuva for Sewa is to put Swami Vivekananda's vision of Sewa into action.The projects of Sew International USA are designed to develop personality, build leadership and team work, empower visionaries and provide experience in helping the community.The projects are available in the following fields: Basic Education, Technical Education, Self Employment, Women Empowerment, Healthcare, Yoga for Better Health, Stress Management and Positive Social Change, Environmental Care, Publicity and Awareness. You can find more details about the project and download application project here – Yuva for…