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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 2019, Basanti Puja is on April 10 and will end on April 14. 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 Durgapuja Amantran Adhibas – April 10
Sri Basanti Devi Durgapuja Saptamipuja, Nabapatrika – April 11
Sri Basanti Devi Durgapuja Astamipuja, Sandhipuja – April 12
Sri Basanti Devi Durgapuja Nabamipuja – April 13
Sri Basanti Devi Durgapuja Dasamipuja bisarjan – April 14

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 Lord …

Panchajanya – The Conch or Shanka of Lord Vishnu

Panchajanya is the divine conch or Shanka that emerged from the ocean of milk during the Samudra Mantha (the churning of ocean) by the gods and demons for Amrut (Ambrosia). Lord Vishnu received the Panchajanya, which is considered to be a divinity in its own right. There is lot of symbolism attributed to Panchajanya. Lord Vishnu himself is said to be represented in the Shamka (Conch). Sun and Moon are said to reside in it, Varuna, the god of waters is said to rest in the middle portion; Prajapati, the first born and the progenitor of all beings in its tail portion; and River Goddess Ganga and Saraswathi in its front portion. You may also like to readImportance of Shankh in Hindu rituals

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…

Virodhinama Telugu Panchangam 2009 – 2010 of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams

Virodhinama Telugu Panchangam for the year 2009 – 2010 was released by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs) on March 14, 2009. The hard copy of the Virodhinama Telugu Panchangam was released on the day and is available in TTD offices. The soft copy in PDF file is yet to be uploaded on the Tirumala Tirupati Temple official website. As part of the Ugadi celebrations at TirupatiTemple, Panchanga Sravanam and Asthanam will be conducted from 0700hrs to 0900hrs on March 27, 2009.The soft copy of the Virodhinama Telugu Panchangam 2009 – 2010 will uploaded mostly on March 27 or the next day. (Last year it was uploaded the day after Ugadi celebrations.) You can keep checking the official website of the Temple to get the latest Telugu Panchangam.
Update:Virodhinama Telugu Panchangam for the year 2009 – 2010 is currently available on the official website of Tirumala Tirupati Temple.

Hindu New Year Shalivahan Shak – Saka New Year 1939

The Hindu New Year Shalivahan Shak begins on the first day of the Chaitra Month (March – April). It is believed that King Shalivahan had made a major victory and started the Shalivahan Shak (Year) from the day. Gudhi Padva, Marathi New Year, is also referred as Shalivahan Shak. In 2017, the date of Hindu New Year Shalivahan Shak is on March 21.
Shalivahan Shak or Saka Year is observed differently by Hindu communities and the Government of India. Saka Calendar is followed by the Government of India but the New Year begins on March 21 or March 22. But for Hindu communities that follow the Shalivahan Shak the New Year begins on the first day of the Chaitra month after the Phalgun Amavas (No moon day).
New Year is observed by Hindu communities on the Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada (the first day of the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month (March – April).
The current year which begins on March 28, 2017 in the regional Marathi, Kannada and Telugu Hindu calendar is 1939. A month is calculated…

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 …

Sister Nivedita on True Education

Unless we train the feelings and the choice, our man is not educated. He is only decked out in certain intellectual tricks that he has learnt to perform. By these tricks he can earn his bread. He cannot appeal to the heart, or give life. He is not a man at all; he is a clever ape.There is one way, and one way only. It is, throughout the early years of education, to remember that there is nothing so important as the training of the feelings. To feel nobly, and to choose loftily and honestly, is a thousand fold more important to the development of faculty than any other single aspect of the educational process. The lad in whom this power is really present and really dominant, will always do the best thing possible under any given circumstances.Sister Nivedita of the Ramakrishna Order(The Complete Works of Sister Nivedita, 4: 344-345)

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…

Maha Kumbabhishekam at Madurai Meenakshi Temple in April 2009

A Maha Kumbabhishegam will be performed at the MaduraiMeenakshiTemple in April 2009. Maha Kumbabhishekam is performed once in every twelve years in ancient Hindu temples. The rules and rituals associated with Maha Kumbabhishekam are mentioned in the Agama Shastra. It is performed to remove all inauspiciousness and usher in greater prosperity and peace. In 2009, the date of Maha Kumbabhishekam at MaduraiMeenakshiTemple in April 8. The time is from 0900 hrs to 1000 hrs.In view of the Maha Kumbabhishegam to be held on April 8, 2009, the sanctum sanctorum of the ArulmiguMeenakshiSundareswararTemple will remain closed from 02.4.2009 to 07.4.2209. However the devotees will be allowed to worship at the yagasala located in the North Aadi Street.During the Maha Kumbabhishekam rituals the divinity of the deities is transferred to Kalashas or Kumbhas (divine pot) through mantras and rituals. Different types of homas are performed at a specially prepared yagashala. The homas are conducted for s…

Naba Barsha 2018 date - Bengali New Year in 2018

Naba Barasha 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 2018, the date of Naba Barsha or Poila Baisakhis 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 Pheries or early morning processions.

Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Lord Ganesh 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 …

Teachings from Bhagavad Purana

In this world, you should realize that we should not become inordinately attached to anyone or anything. When the body which we think is ours; when even this has to be abandoned when we leave this world, what then can one say about one’s sons and one’s wife? Alone we come to this world and alone we walk the road to dusty death. Alone, man earns ‘punya’ and again, alone, man earns ‘papa’ also. Wealth which a man has earned by unrighteous means is taken away from him by his enemies who come in the shape of his sons and his dear ones and near ones! The man who guards such wealth which is earned unrighteously, is indeed, a fool. He is never happy since he has done wrong. He does not enjoy the wealth either. Use your intellect; control the wayward mind and try to maintain a neutral state of mind wherein you will be able to treat all things alike; where there is no feeling of mine and thine. Bhagavad Purana (Source – an interaction between Akrura and Dhritarashtra in the Bhagavad Purana)

Swami Vivekananda Teachings

We hear ‘Be good,’ and ‘Be good,’ and ‘Be good,’ taught all over the world. There is hardly a child, born in any country in the world, who has not been told, ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not tell a lie,’ but nobody tells the child how he can help doing them. Talking will not help him. Why should he not become a thief? We do not teach him how not to steal; we simply tell him, ‘Do not steal.’
Only when we teach him to control his mind do we really help him. All actions, internal and external, occur when the mind joins itself to certain centers, called the organs. Willingly or unwillingly it is drawn to join itself to the centers, and that is why people do foolish deeds and feel miserable, which, if the mind were under control, they would not do.
What would be the result of controlling the mind? It then would not join itself to the centers of perception, and, naturally, feeling and willing would be under control. Is it possible? It is perfectly possible.
Truth, purity, and unselfishness – whenev…

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 2019, the date of Soubhagya Gauri Vrata is on April 8.

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 Tri…

What to do on Gudhi Padva? - Marathi New Year

Gudhi Padwa, or Gudi Padva, is the Marathi New Year as per the traditional Hindu Marathi Lunar Calendar. Chaitra is the first month in the Marathi calendar and Gudhi Padwa is observed on Chaitra 1 or the first day of Chaitra. Two important things people do on the day are the erecting of Gudhi and sharing of a mixture of neem and jaggery. The astrological predictions for the year known as Sanvatsar phal is also read on the day. In 2017, Gudi Padva is on March 28. Here is a brief idea on how to observe Gudhi Padva.
People get up early in the morning of the Gudhi Padva day, and after bathing and morning prayers; erect Gudhi – the hoisting of flag on a bamboo staff. The flag hoisted on Maharashtrian New Year is made of green or yellow colored silk cloth. A bright garlanded goblet or pot is hung on top of the flag pole.
Symbolically, the raising of the Gudhi means empty your ego, take an inverted look within, hold yourself up to the vast sky of divinity and may your soul remain outdoors, …

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…

C Rajagopalachari Quotes

As Yama Dharmaraja taught Nachiketas, the vision of the Supreme cannot be attained by the mere study of Shastras; nor could knowledge of the Self come through subtlety of intellect or much learning or argument. The grace of God is the one thing necessary and for that the heart should melt in Bhakti.
Bhakti is different from Shastric learning. One may get by heart and recite without cessation the Sanskrit scriptures; one may know and repeat upside down the commentaries of the Acharyas. But righteous conduct and equanimity of mind are different and more necessary gifts.
When the heart has not mellowed, study and exposition of Shastras are a mere monkey game. Without wisdom in the heart, all learning is useless.
When that which is within and that which is without are one and the same, we have wisdom. When they are not, our learning is no better than the tricks of a trained monkey. The teaching of Sri Ramakrishna gives us, not mere learning, but true wisdom.’ (Source: Introduction to …

Shvetashvatara Upanishad Teachings

May He, who created the gods and supports them; who witnessed the birth of the cosmic soul; who confers bliss and wisdom on the devoted, destroying their sins and sorrows, and punishing all breaches of law; - may He, the great seer and the lord of all, endow us with good thoughts! (IV.12)He who at the beginning of creation projected Brahma (Universal Consciousness),who delivered the Vedas unto him, who constitutes the supreme bridge of immortality, who is partless, free from actions, tranquil, faultless, taintless, and resembles the fire that has consumed its fuel – seeking liberation I go for refuge to that Effulgent One, whose light turns the understanding towards the Atman. (VI.18-19)Shvetashvatara Upanishad

The Secret of Success - From the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Chinmayananda

A verse from the Bhagavad Gita discloses the secret by which success can be assured for spiritual seekers. ‘To those who worship ME alone, thinking of me alone, thinking of no other, ever self-controlled, I secure that which is not already possessed (yoga) by them, preserve for them what they already possess (kshema)’ (IX:22). If we consider this as a tip for the people who are sweating and toiling in the world, the verse yields a code of instructions by which they can assure for themselves complete success in their life.

If a person is capable of maintaining self-willed thought (sankalpa) consistently and with singleness of purpose, he is sure to succeed in any undertaking.

But unfortunately, the ordinary person is not capable of channelizing his thoughts. Therefore, his goal seems to be ever receding. Since his goal seems to be ever changing, his determination to achieve a particular goal constantly changes. To such a man of weak determination no progress is possible in any line of…

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

Symbolism of Flags in Hindu Temples

All Hindu temples have a flag and are hoisted mainly during festivals and auspicious days on a Dwaja Stambha. But in North India, flags are a constant feature of a Hindu temple and it flutters on all days. Symbolically, hoisting the flag suggest setting out to conquer, and a devotee comes to the temple to conquer his ego and gain control over the baser nature with the help of the Supreme Being.
The Sanskrit word for the flag is ‘dhvaja’ and it means whatever is raised. In the religious sense, whatever raises man to a higher lever of understanding and activity is a ‘dhvaja.’ The flag also suggests hope and desire to overcome ignorance.
Some flags and banners hoisted in temples act as a message board and give an idea about the deity worshipped in the temple. It also suggests which particular incarnation or manifestation of the God is given importance in the temple.
Some temple flags are specifically designed for the purpose of temple festivals and are only hoisted during the festival p…

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 2018, the date of Meena Sankranti is March 14. Time is at 1:58 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…

Thoughts and Quotes on Holi Festival – Swami Chidanand Saraswati

One of the great obstacles in life to our spiritual progress is the difference between what we do or say on the outside and how we really are on the inside. Holika had performed certain austerities by which she was entitled to this boon from God. On the outside, she was pious. But, on the inside she was not pure. Prahlad, on the other hand, was a simple, pure, loving devotee of God. This is what saved him. This inner purity and inner piety is what truly save us, what truly make our lives divine.
So many of us go to temple, do the rituals, offer money to the priests, and chant a certain number of prayers. Then, we go out and act in selfish, impious, dishonest ways.
All the rituals and puja in the world cannot make up for the lack of piety, honesty and compassion. The goal of going to temple is not just to perform rituals; the goal is to become spiritual. God is happier with pure, innocent, devoted Prahlad than with all the austerities and rituals performed by his father and aunt.
O…