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Showing posts from April, 2009

Thoughts on Bali or Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Temples

A Guest Post by Gayatri SankarThe HINDU WAY of LIFE has been a constant victim of criticism because of certain practices of its few followers. These non-following followers of the Hindu faith have corrupted the very meaning of the faith because they believe in their 'self-conceived notion' of pleasing the GOD for their materialistic benefits.I have spent 17 years of my life in Kolkata. Kolkata is famous for its KaliTemple in Kalighat. I used to occasionally visit the Temple with my parents. As a child, I never took initiatives to offer my prayers because I hardly understood what it means. Once as I was doing Pradakshina (circumambulation) around the temple, I stopped halfway when I saw a piece of flesh right in front of me. I took a closer look at it and I could see something looking like a Goat's ear. I realized it was a piece of flesh cut from a goat. I just could not control myself and I cried. The reason I cried was because I had never seen a piece of flesh so closely …

How to make Namaste image using Keyboard keys?

Hindus greet with two palms placed together and by bowing the head and say Namaste. Symbolically, it is bowing before the divine in the person – thus suggesting that the Supreme Soul resides in all. Here is how to make Namaste picture using Keyboard keys?The keys to be keyed in without spaces are_ underscore/ slash| line (shift backslash)\ backslash_ underscoreAnd you get a Namaste_/|\_
The image will be far better on Microsoft word.

Pregnant Women find Solace at Garbharakshambikha Temple in Tamil Nadu

ShriKarparakshambigaiTemple, also known as Garbharakshambikha or Garbharakshambigai temple, is situated at Thirukarukaavu near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu and is visited by childless couples for blessings, pregnant women for safe deliveries and for the protection of the unborn baby. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is the Shakti present here that is believed to protect the unborn babies. ‘Garbha' here means ‘uterus’ and ‘Ambika’ is an incarnation of Shakti who is believed to take care of pregnant women.There is also a Garbharakshambikha Shloka, which pregnant women and childless couples chant. GarbharakshambigaiTemple is located at Thirukarukaavu and the place is 20 km east of Thanjavur and 20 km southwest of Kumbakonam. (Information provided by Gayatri Sankar)

Surdas on Krishna as the Formless Brahman

Krishna awoke
Yashoda was enraptured
To see his face
Blooming as a lotus that captures
The rising sun’s first raysTaking off the coverlet
She said, awake, darling boy, awake,
Your loveliness makes me swoon
Your bewitching face is like the full moon
Seen through the sea’s foam
When it was churned for nectar.

He for whom the shrutis say ‘not this not this’
Whose name is chanted by Brahma, Shesha and Shiva
That formless Brahma has taken birth
In Brij, in human form, so it is heard.Surdas

Thoughts on Commercialization and Consumerism in Modern Day Hindu Festivals and Celebrations

A Guest Post by Gayatri SankarHow many people today celebrate festivals, keeping in mind the religious/ spiritual connection? Is Diwali celebrated to rejoice Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after spending 14 years in exile? Or is it a celebration for the victory of the 'good over the evil'?Commercialization and consumerism have far reaching effects on festivals across the globe. The impacts of commercialization and consumerism have polluted the true religious meanings and traditional customs. The growing trend of globalization has cast negative impression on age old beliefs. People tend to celebrate festivals not only as a customary practice but also as a means to exercise their spending power. They succumb to the ever growing popularity of globalization. In other words, festivals are no longer simple religious practices but are ways when producers make their fortunes. In course of time, the true meaning of festivals will remain confined to the history books.(This article ha…

River Ganga one of the 10 most endangered rivers of the world

In a few days time, Hindus will be observing Ganga Saptami, the day Ganga descended on earth, but the most revered river in the world, Ganga, has been enlisted on the list of 10 most endangered rivers of the world. The sand bed in the Ganga is increasing slowly and the increase is clearly distinguishable each year. A recent study of American scientists at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) suggests that there is a reduced flow in Ganga. Two years back a study by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had also indicated that Ganga might not reach the ocean in the distant future.Binay Singh Writes in the Times of India"The increasing sand bed, which defines the ecosystem, is an indicator of the gloomy future of the Ganga," predicted Uday Kant Chowdhary, a professor of civil engineering and coordinator of Ganga Research Laboratory, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU). According to him, sand bed in the Ganga is increasing five-six metre in width and 8-10…

Anandamayi Ma Jayanti

Anandamayi Ma Jayanthi celebrates the birth anniversary of Sri Anandamayi Ma, one of the most important spiritual teachers of modern India. She was born on April 30, 1896 in a small village called Kheora in Bengal in British India. A self realized soul, She attracted followers from all over the world. Anandmayi Ma Jayanti is annually observed on April 30.
From early childhood, Anandamayi Ma was exposed to the spiritual world and had divine experience. She continued to lead a spiritual life even after marriage. 
Anandamayi Ma’s husband understood that he had married a self realized soul and soon gave up the idea of a family life and helped her in her spiritual quest.
After few years, Anandamayi Ma started her spiritual journey and traveled across the subcontinent spreading the Truth. She talked about the Supreme Experience when asked questions on the subject. But never gave well thought out spiritual discourses or tried to form a spiritual group. She answered the questions of all peop…

Basavanna Teachings

The rich will make temples for Siva.
What shall I, a poor man, do?
My legs are pillars, the body the shrine,
the head a cupola of gold.
Listen, O lord of the meeting rivers,
things standing shall fall,
but the moving ever shall stay.The power of knowledge destroys ignorance;
The power of light dissipates darkness;
The power of truth is foe of all untruth;
The sharana's experience of God is the sole cure of worldliness; Basavanna

Where is the BRAHMAN?

A Guest Post by Gayatri SankarThe concept of being a Brahmin (A Hindu Priestly Caste) is highly misinterpreted by every Hindu, even by the Brahmins themselves. It is hard to digest the fact that Brahmanism is not a caste but a CHARACTER. This character rather characteristic once induced in ones live transforms a human being completely. It teaches him certain fundamental principles of life and gives logical reasons for activities/ gestures/actions usually executed by the humans who are followers of the HINDU way of life.People often talk about the caste system in Hinduism and ridicule it. This is because they are ignorant about the Hindu way of life. When India says, it is the Land of the Hindus; it does not mean it is land where people divide themselves in the name of caste. This man made discrimination has got nothing to do the with the pure and holy principle of Brahman. It is NOT a CASTE but a character present within every human. The way we do not get to see AIR, Brahman too is in…

Making of the Chariots for Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra Begins on Akshaya Tritiya Day

Construction of the chariots for Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra, or Car Festival, begins on the Akshaya Tritiya Tithi. Each year three new Rathas (chariots) are made for the ceremonial journey of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. The chariot making begins on the on the Grand Road of PuriJagannathTemple on the third day of the Vaisakh or Baisakh month. The chariots are completed in less than 60 days.
The three chariots used in the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra have specific size and dimensions and are a classic example of indigenous carpentry and engineering. You can find more details about the sizes and other measurements of each chariot in this article – the size and dimensions of the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra chariots.
No scales or measuring tapes are used by the carpenters for measurements. Instead the carpenters use their hands and fingers to build the giant chariots.
Each year nearly 1000 trees are felled for the making of the chariots. Equal number of trees are also planted each y…

Agnishtoma Soma Yagam in Kerala after 222 years

Agnishtoma Somayagam aimed at the prosperity of all living beings in the Nature began at the specially constructed Yagasala on the Shivarathri Manalpuram on the banks of PeriyarRiver at Aluva, near Kochi, in Kerala on April 25, 2009. The Agnishtoma Somayagam was last performed in Kerala in 1787. The unique Vedic Yagna is attracting scientists, researchers, scholars and devotees from different parts of India and abroad.It is believed that the intense energy that springs from the Yagasala will have a sudden positive impact. Agnishtoma Somayagam will conclude on May 1, 2009.New Indian Express ReportsThe rituals on the first day began at 4.52 a.m. when Vedic scholars led by Vaideekan Idamana Narayanan Potti and Kaimukku Vaideekan Sreedharan Namboodiri performed the ignition of the sacrificial fire. Raksha Purushan Sooryanarayana Sharma, Yajamanan Kurusaroor Narayana Adithiripad and Yajamana Pathni (wife) were present on the occasion.
The vedic sacrificial fire having the power of Sun was i…

Sister Nivedita Quotes

If the many and the One be indeed the same Reality, then it is not all modes of worship alone, but equally all modes of work, all modes of struggle, all modes of creation, which are paths of realization. No distinction, henceforth, between sacred and secular. To labour is to pray. To conquer is to renounce. Life is itself religion. To have and to hold is as stern a trust as to quit and to avoid.Sister Nivedita of the Ramakrishna Order

Vaishakh Month – Importance of Vaishakaha Masam

Vaishakha Mahina, or Vaishakh Masam, is an auspicious month in calendars followed in Kannada and Telugu culture (Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh). It is one of the highly auspicious months associated with Lord Vishnu. The month is also important in Gujarati and Marathi calendars. It is the second month in a traditional Hindu calendar in Kannada, Telugu and Marathi culture. Vaishakha mahina is associated with prosperity and Akshaya Tritiya is observed on third day of the month.

Significance of Vaishakh month is mentioned in the Puranas and the famous Vaishakh Snana takes place in the month. It is believed that taking bath in HolyRivers and Sacred teerths on the day will help in redemption of sins. The month is believed to be the ideal month to conduct pujas, homas etc for prosperity, off springs and well being.

Importance of Vaishaka month can be gauged from the fact that three of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations happened in this month – Parashuram, Narasimha and Kurma. (Those people who consi…

Madurai Meenakshi Temple Chithirai Festival 2012

Chithirai festival, or Chitra festival, is one of the most important annual festivals held at the world famous MaduraiMeenakshiSundareshwarTemple at Madurai in Tamil Nadu. It is celebrated for 12 days during the Tamil month of Chithirai or Chitirai (April – May). In 2012, the date of commencement of Chithirai festival is April 23 and the festival will end on May 4, 2012. Celestal Wedding or Thirukkalyanamof Lord Sundareswarar with Goddess Meenakshi is on May 2, 2012. The Car festival is on May 3.

The Chithirai festival begins with flag hoisting ceremony.

The most important rituals associated with the festival are the coronation of Meenakshi Amman on the eighth day, procession of Goddess Meenakshi on the ninth day,
Thirukalyanam or celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar on the tenth day, the car festival on the 11th day and the Theertha festival is celebrated on the 12th day with the Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi going round Masi streets and blessing the devotee…

Easy Sanskrit Online Course for Beginners

Sulabha Samskritam – Easy Sanskrit – is an online Sanskrit language course from beginners from Chinmaya International Foundation, affiliated to Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi and recognized by MahatmaGandhiUniversity, Kottayam, Kerala. Chinmaya International Foundation is the Academic Front of Chinmaya Mission Worldwide.
The Sulabha Samskritam Course is a stepping stone for learning the divine language Sanskrit. The course has been designed in a manner that any individual regardless of their mother tongue or age will get acquainted with the salient aspects of Sanskrit language without being unduly burdened with details and nuances that could overwhelm a beginner.
Easy Sanskrit Online Course is not a free course - there is a course fee of Rs 1500/- for those residing in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Paksitan, Bhutan and Afghanistan. For residents of other nations it is $150.
Sulabha Samskritam Course is entirely online. On registering for the Course, you will b…

All the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita in a 1 cm Square Tablet - the world's smallest Bhagavad Gita

Thanks to Nano Technology, the entire Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit is now inscribed in a 1 cm square tablet of 24 carat gold and is further developed into a gold pendant. Pawan Sinha from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, has created the Bhagavad Gita tablet and he has patented the Nano Technology of Gita tablet. Tanishq, branded jewelry, chain has launched this Gita gold pendant in India keeping in mind the Akshaya Tritiya on April 27, 2009.The Limca Book has recognized this tablet form of Gita as the world's smallest Bhagavad Gita. The tablet also contains a figure of Lord Krishna playing flute, which is smaller than a speck of sand.To see the tablet form of Gita you need to view it under a 20X microscope and if you wish to read it you need to view it under a 200X microscope!!!Times of India reportsAccording to Pawan Sinha of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): "It took over six years to create this first mini-book.

The Limca Book has recognized this ta…

Lavanya Gowri Vrata

Lavanya Gowri Vratha, or Lavanya Gouri Vritham, is an auspicious day dedicated to Goddess Parvati. In 2019, the date of Lavanya Gowri Vrata is May 9. The fasting observed on the day by women of certain Hindu communities is dedicated to Goddess Gouri – another name of Goddess Parvati.

Lavanya Gowri Vratha is observed on the fifth day during the waxing phase of moon in Chittirai month in Tamil Nadu. The corresponding month in Kannada calendar is the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha of Vaisakh month.

Lavanya Gowri Vrata is quite similar to the famous Swarna Gowri Vrata observed in Karnataka during Ganesh Chaturthi. But the Lavanya Gouri Vrata is not as famous as the Swarna Gouri Vratam and is observed only certain communities.

Teachings of Vallabhacharya

You should all be good and religious person – Not a God fearing man but a God loving man. Speak the truth. Be just and honest to all. Treat all persons equally. Have faith in Lord Krishna and surrender yourself to him. Be charitable and never harm the hungry and the weak. Realize that service to men and animals is service to God.You should believe that Krishna is our God and never slacken your faith in him and then he will surely protect you. You should regard him as the be-all and end-all of your life. Your ultimate good lies in serving him, which should be done with all your heart, mind and soul. Trust in his protection. Remember him always in all thoughts, words and deeds.Be free from sorrows and anxieties concerning your future, for you are safe in my (Lord Krishna’s) hands. Only you should love me with the love of Gopis. If you do so then you will surely secure liberation. That is the only means of union with Me, by which you will regain your original divine nature. Do not give y…

Book: 7 Secrets from Hindu calendar Art

7 Secrets from Hindu calendar Art by Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is an attempt to unravel the secrets behind the Hindu calendar Art and find answers to questions like – What is the source for the imagery of Hindu calendar Art? What is it saying? The book honestly tries to unveil legends, tales and symbolism associated with calendar art of Hinduism. Instead of color images, book uses the black and white renditions of the art.Apart from the popular Hindu deities, the book also attempts to unravel the local and region deities that are represented in Hindu calendars. There is the usual explanation of who is who in a calendar and a synopsis to the legend represented in the picture but what makes the book stand out is the narration of the symbolism in each calendar art.The chapters in the book are:Ganesha’s secret - Different people see God differentlyNarayana’s secret - What dies is always rebornArdhanari’s secret - God is within, Goddess withoutShiva’s secret - Withdrawal leads to destructionD…

Teachings of Yoga Vasishtam

Just as a steady boat, O Rama, is obtained from a boatman, so also the method of crossing the ocean of samsara is learnt by associating with great souls. The great remedy for the long-lasting disease of samsara is the enquiry, ‘Who am I? To whom does this samsara belong?,’ which entirely cures it. The Lord cannot be seen with the help of the sacred texts or the Guru. The self is seen by the Self alone with the pure intellect. Even the slightest thought immerses a man in sorrow; when devoid of all thoughts he enjoys imperishable bliss. Just as we experience the delusion of hundreds of years in a dream lasting an hour, so also we experience the sport of maya in our waking state. Yoga Vasishtam

Eco Friendly Jute Bag for Hindu Religious Ceremonies from Ecoexist

eCoexist, a social enterprise, based in Pune concentrates on producing environment friendly products with a social purpose. eCoexist is noted for its attempts to make environmental friendly religious festivals by producing eco-friendly idols, colors, bags etc. One of the latest environmental friendly products from eCoexist is Jute Bag for Hindu Religious Ceremonies.The beautiful hand made jute bag replicates the shape of a yantra and can be used to offer coconuts and prasad to your guests after a thread ceremony, a wedding or any other formal occasion!You can find more details about the Jute Bag and how to buy it at the website of ecoexist.

Why buy Gold during Akshaya Tritiya?

Investing money in jewellery, property or gold on Akshaya Tritiya day, which falls on the third of the waxing phase of moon in Vaishaksh month (April – May), is considered highly profitable by many devout Hindus. The reason behind such wide-scale investment in gold by Hindus is based on the astrological calculations that there is no need to select a ‘muhurat,’ or look for an auspicious time on the day, as the entire day is devoid of malefic influences. All investments made on the day only increases.
Astrologically, it is believed that the sun and the moon are most radiant and best placed on the Askhaya Tritiya day. Many devout Hindus choose the day to conduct auspicious functions.
This particular feature of Hindu astrology has been cleverly converted into a major marketing strategy by jewelers, real estate agents and other investment business people.
Thanks to the vociferous campaign unleashed by jewelry shops, Akshaya Tritiya a highly auspicious day in Hinduism has now been turned…

Teachings from Yoga Sutra

By the lack of the sense of Ego, various creative minds are born within that person. There exists only one higher mind (eka chitta) above all the differences in activities of the individual minds.
Out of all minds, the real one born out of meditation is free from impressions.
True knowledge is accomplished in the higher mind by resting in one's own nature and not passing from one impression to another one.
Liberation is that state in which the attributes/ qualities of nature (gunas) are absorbed in their cause, in so becoming devoid of any purpose. Pure consciousness is therefore established in one's own essential nature. Yoga Sutra

Swami Vivekananda Thoughts on Education

It is one of the evils of. . . civilization that we are after intellectual education alone and take no care of the heart. It only makes man ten times more selfish, and that will be our destruction. . .Intellect can never become inspired; only the heart when it is enlightened, becomes inspired.An intellectual, heartless man can never become an inspired man . . . Intellect has been cultured, with the result that hundreds of sciences have been discovered, and their effect has been that the few have made slaves of the many – that is all the good that has been done. Artificial wants have been created; and every poor man, whether he has money or not, desires to have those wants satisfied; and when he cannot, he struggles, and dies in the struggle. This is the result. The way to solve the problem of misery is not through the intellect but through the heart. If all this vast amount of effort had been spent in making men purer, gentler, more forbearing, this world would have a thousandfold mor…

Goddess Chandika

Goddess Chandika, also referred as Goddess Chandi, is mentioned in the Devi Mahatmya. She is one of the numerous forms of Goddess Durga and is counted among Ashta Shakti (eight powers of Durga) and also in some holy texts she is one of the Nava Durgas (nine forms of Durga). Popularly, Goddess Chandika is the form of Goddess Durga that killed demons Chanda and Munda.Various texts describe the form of Goddess Chandika differently. In some texts she has six arms and in some she has twenty arms. In one text, she is white complexioned, in another she is dark complexioned. In some texts, she is depicted as young woman but with arms. The only constant attribute is her Vahana – that is a lion in most texts.The form that Goddess Durga took to annihilate demons Chanda and Munda is unimaginable and it is beyond the capacity of human beings. The net result is that sculptures, idol makers and writers wanted to better what was imagined by the previous generation. Thus we have numerous forms of Godd…

Unique Hindu Baccalaureate Service Revives Ancient Traditions at an American University

(Article received via e-mail from the organizers of the Hindu Baccalaureate Service.)
A unique one-of-a-kind in the world Hindu Baccalaureate Service was held at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on Saturday, April 11, 2009, where the graduating students touched the feet of a Swami (monk) to seek his blessings.Attended by Nevada’s first lady Dawn Gibbons and Provost of UNR Marc Johnson, the Service at this top research university included a bhajan (devotional song) “Radhe Radhe Govinda” by famous performer Jim Eaglesmith and the graduating students chanted after him. Tilak (religious mark) was applied on students’ foreheads and they sought blessings from the burning flame, which was passed around.Organized by acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed and Indian Student Organization (ISO) at state-supported UNR established in 1864, it started and ended with ‘Gayatri Mantra’ (the most sacred verse from Rig-Veda, oldest scripture of the world composed around 1,500 BCE) recited by Rajan Zed. Trad…

Srimad Bhagavatam Quotes

Be it desire or fear or anger or affection or friendship or even the desire for union, when directed towards the Lord, it brings the greatest blessing to the devotee. These bring about his union with the Lord.
Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.
Those who are in full knowledge of the bodily conception of life, who know that this body is composed of nescience, desires and activities resulting from illusion, do not become addicted to the body.
The individual soul is one, Pure, nonmaterial and self-effulgent. He is the reservoir of all good qualities, and He is all-pervading. He is without material covering, and He is the witness of all activities. He is completely distinguished from other living entities, and He is transcendental to all embodied souls. Srimad Bhagavatam

Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu Messages and Quotes – Assamese New Year Greetings

Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu is the New Year as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in Assam. Here is a collection of Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu Messages and Quotes that can be used to greet your friends and relatives. Another Rongali Bihu here, Let us banish our worries and mistakes and start afresh. Happy Bohag Bihu! Let this Bihu give you the strength to do all that you dreamed to do during last year but didn’t dare to do. Let us welcome this Bohag Bihu with great hope, eagerness and anticipation. Let us look forward to a plentiful year of joy, satisfaction, peace and prosperity. Happy Bihu, let this year be filled with the things that are truly good. Let this Bihu usher in a Good and Sweet Year, both materially and spiritually. Let this Bohag Bihu bring peace and prosperity in the lives of all. Rongali Bihu stands for new and fresh – Life is always new and fresh – Let us strive to make all days Bihu. Let us vow to take life in our stride this Bihu and make it tolerable as well …

Goddess Javalajjihva – Javala Jihva

Goddess Javalajjihva or Jwala Jihva is a form of Goddess Durga which was responsible for the annihilation of Demon Rakta Bija. She is called Javalajjihva because in her heights of fury she opens her mouth to reveal a tongue which is in flames. It must be noted here that Javala Jihva is also one among the 108 names of Lord Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Information of Goddess Javalajjihva is very rare as she is one of the lesser known forms of Goddess Durga. Goddess Javalajjihva is depicted as four armed and she carries sword and other weapons associated with Goddess Durga. The color of her body is red and she has serpents coiled around her body. She rides a tiger.

Vishu Messages and Quotes – Kerala New Year Greetings

This is a collection of Vishu quotes and messages that I have read, received and some which I have sent. Vishu is the Zodiac Malayalam New Year in Kerala. Sending and wishing Vishu Ashamsagal to friends and relatives is a major highlight of the day.Vishu stands for new and fresh – Life is always new and fresh – Let us strive to make all days Vishu.
Let us welcome this Vishu with great hope, eagerness and anticipation. Let us look forward to a plentiful year of joy, satisfaction, peace and prosperity.
This is a time of new beginnings and for the celebration of life – Happy Vishu
Let this Vishu bring peace and prosperity in the lives of all.
Let us vow to take life in our stride this Vishu and make it tolerable as well as beautiful by accepting sorrow and happiness with sanity.
May this Vishu be a good one for all of us.
Happy Vishu! Wish you a happy and prosperous year with love, peace, hope and joy for the year ahead.
Let this Vishu usher in a Good and Sweet Year, both materially and spiritu…

Puthandu Messages and Quotes – Tamil New Year Greetings

This is a collection of favorite Tamil New Year Quotes, messages and greetings that we have read, received and some which we have sent and also some that we made for this Puthandu. Tamil New Year is observed on the first day of Chitirai month. People greet friends and relatives by saying Puthandu Vazhtukal.This is a time of new beginnings and for the celebration of life – Puthandu VazhtukalLet this Puthandu bring peace and prosperity in the lives of all.May this Puthandu be a good one for all of us.Let this Puthandu usher in a Good and Sweet Year, both materially and spiritually.Puthandu Vazhtukal! Let this be a delightful year, filled with delightful things in each of its days.From this Puthandu let us go forward with great hope that all things will be possible.Puthandu Vazhtukal, let this year be filled with the things that are truly good.Puthandu stands for new and fresh – Life is always new and fresh – Let us strive to make all days Puthandu.Let this Puthandu give you the strength…

Goddess Chamunda

Goddess Chamunda is one of the most popular forms of Goddess Durga. The origin of Goddess Chamunda is mentioned in the Devi Mahatmya and Markandeya Purana. While Goddess Durga was engaged in a battle with demons Chanda and Munda, Goddess Kali emerged from the forehead of Durga and killed Chanda and Munda. Pleased with Goddess Kali, Durga called her Chamunda.
Puranas contains numerous details of Goddess Chamunda. One legend mentions that she is one among the seven forms of Shakti that came to help Shiva while he was a waging a battle with Andaka.
There is another legend which says that Goddess Chamunda appeared to lap up the blood that fell from the body of demon Rakta Bija. The demon had received the boon that a drop of blood from this body that fell on the ground will produce thousands of demons of equal strength. In this form, she is known as Rakta Chamunda.
Goddess Chamunda symbolizes death, disaster, distress and destruction of Mother Nature. But Goddess Chamunda is kind and compass…

Vana Durga

Vana Durga is one of the numerous forms of Goddess Durga. This form is believed to be one of the earliest forms of Mother Goddess worshiped. As the name indicates, she resides in forests. Some of the Vana Durga temples in South India contain only four walls and the upper portion is left open. She is also believed to be the goddess of those people who resides in the forests.
She is exposed to the elements of nature. Her murti is never covered. It 
She is depicted as having a complexion of fresh grass and she stands on the head of a buffalo (demon).
She is shown as having eight arms with discus, conch, sword, shield, bow, arrow, spear, and gesture of warning.
Some of the important temples dedicated to Vana Durga are found in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Chakkulathukavu Temple near Thiruvalla in Kerala is a very famous Vana Durga Temple.

Some legends suggest that Pandavas worshiped this form of Durga during their exile period in the Mahabharata.

Hindu Priesthood or Modern Career – A tough decision for Youngsters from family of traditional Hindu priests

Whether to join the VedicSchools and study for Hindu Priesthood or to join colleges and pursue a career different from earlier generations is a dilemma a faced by many youngsters who are born into the family of traditional Hindu priests. The choice becomes even tougher for those young men who join college and continue studying in Vedic schools – because at one point they have to choose one career. But there are many people who first complete a professional degree and then continue studying Vedas – many believe that Vedic studies is a rare skill. Samanth Subramanian in a well researched article in captures the dilemma faced by many young Brahmin youngstersAfter seven years of juggling Vedas and school, Satya, a Tamil Brahmin, had to make the big decision: whether to follow his family and make a career in Hindu priesthood--or to forge his own new path. As an undergraduate engineering student now, he has only temporarily kept the decision on hold.The article explores the Ved…

Anju Bhargava in US President Obama’s Faith Based Council

Anju Bhargava, founder of Asian Indian Women of America, has been nominated as a member of the faith council that will advise the President of the United States on faith-based and other key issues, such as fatherhood and poverty. This particular office in the White House is meant primarily to support faith-based groups, including by helping them get government funding or access to legal guidance about religion-state boundaries. Anju Bhargava is noted for her insightful articles on Hinduism.Sitayanam, a Woman's Journey... of Strength, a contemporary perspective on Goddess Sita from Ramayana, is one of the articles of Anju Bhargava.Anju Bhargava is a graduate of StellaMarisCollege, Madras University, India and Rutgers University (MBA), with training at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, AmericanUniversity, Kellogg, Graduate School of Management and Dale Carnegie Institute. She has provided thought leadership in the public and private sectors. She has conducted workshops, presen…

Goddess Narayani

Goddess Narayani is one of forms of Goddess Durga and is mentioned in the Devi Mahatmya. She is the Mother Goddess and she is the fundamental and independent energy responsible for all animate and inanimate. Shakta worshippers believe that it is Her energy that creates, preserves and destroys.The term ‘Narayani’ is also associated with Lord Vishnu, who is also known as Narayana. Some scriptures suggest that Narayani is one of the names of Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Narayani is yet another attempt by the human mind to give form to Brahman. Some scriptures suggest that she is responsible for the creation of the Trimurtis – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Mridangam Ganesha Figurine from Lladro

Mridangam Ganesha idol is the fourth and last of the series of musical Ganeshas from Lladro, a Spanish firm noted for high quality porcelain figurines. In the limited edition statue, Lord Ganesh is depicted as playing Mridangam - a double-sided South Indian drum. Mridangam Ganesha was issued in 2009, the figurine is presently available in many online stores and retails for $850 (Lladro yahoo price).The other three musical Ganesha idols from Lladro were Bansuri Ganesha, Veena Ganesha and Dancing Ganesha.

Chaitra Purnima – Chait Poornima

Chaitra Poornima, or Chait Purnima, is the full moon day in the month of Chaitra (March – April) in a traditional Hindu calendar. In 2018, the date of Chaitra Purnima is March 31. Chaitra Purnima is a highly auspicious day for many Hindu communities and it is observed differently in different parts of India. The most important festival on the day is the Hanuman Jayanti.

The month-long Vaishakha Snana begins on Chaitra Poornima.

In Orissa, month-long special pujas dedicated to Goddess Mangala begins on Chaitra Purnima. The day is also highly auspicious for the fishing community and they offer special pujas for a better catch and safe fishing in the seas.

Goddess Katyayani - Information About Katyayani Ma

Goddess Katyayani is one of the popular forms of Goddess Durga and she is worshipped on the sixth day of Navratri in many regions. She got the name Katyayani Ma as she was born in the Katya clan as the daughter of Sage Katya. She is one of the nine Durgas or Nav Durgas worshipped during Navaratri. Details about Goddess Katyayani are found in the Matsya Purana, Agni Purana and Vamana Purana.
Goddess Katyayani is believed to have taken the form to destroy numerous demons and bring happiness to those who follow Dhrama. Some scriptures suggest that Goddess Katyayani is another name of Mahishasura Mardini Durga. Some idols show the big toe of her left leg pressing down demon Mahisha.
Goddess Katyayani was a popular deity during the period of Lord Krishna. She was worshipped by Gopis and Gopas in Gokula. An image of the Goddess used to be made using the clay and mud from the YamunaRiver and was worshipped for a month. This was known as Katyayani Vrata. At the end of the month, the idol is …

Vaishakh Snan – Holy Bathing Dates in Vaishakha Month

Vaishakh Snan, or Baishakh Snana, is observed in the month of Vaishakh (April – May) as per the traditional lunar calendar followed in North India. In 2019, Vaishakh Snan (date) begins on April 19 and ends on May 18. Vaishakh Snan is act of performing ritualistic bath (taking holy dip) in sacred rivers and Teerthas (sacred tanks) associated with Hinduism. Taking dip in the NarmadaRiver in Vaishakh month is considered highly auspicious. This year the Snan takes place in Adhik Vaishakh Maas and also in Nija Vaishakh Maas.

Vaishakh Snan begins on the Purnima day (full moon day) in Chaitra month and ends on the full moon day in Vaishakh month.

The important bathing dates during Vaishakha Snana are Chaitra Shukla Purnima, Vaishakh Krishna Amavasi, Vaishakha Shukla Tritiya, Vaishakha Shukla Panchami, and Vaishakha Shukla Purnima.

Damnak Chaturdashi 2019 date

Damnak Chaturdashi is a Hindu auspicious day which falls on the 14th day of the Shukla Paksha (Waxing Phase of moon) in Chaitra month (March – April). In 2019, the date of Damnak Chaturdashi is April 18. The day is of great significance to certain Hindu communities in Maharashtra and North India. Special pujas and rituals are performed on the day.

(We are in the process of collecting more information on Damnak Chaturdashi, if you have details about it please post on the comment section or email us.)

Teachings of Sant Kabir - Quotes - Sayings from Dohe and Vani of Kabir Das

Teachings of Sant Kabir from various sources inclduing books, Dohe, Vani and other translations of the works of Kabir Das. The Quotes and Sayings were collected for a long period.

Admire the diamond that can bear the hits of a hammer. Many deceptive preachers, when critically examined, turn out to be false
Between the grinding stones of cravings and aversions the whole world is being crushed. Kabir weeps at the plight of the world as none is able to see the truth.
A diamond was lying in the street covered with dirt. Many fools passed by. Someone who knew diamonds picked it up. (Those who seek true knowledge will acquire it.)
A rosary (japa mala) is rotating in the hand and tongue swings in the mouth. But if the mind is moving in all the four directions then this is not a meditation of God.

Listen, I see the world is mad. If I tell the truth they rush to beat me, if I lie they trust me.
If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth: Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which …