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Showing posts from May, 2009

Become a Hindu Priest Irrespective of Caste or Gender from Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Sanskrit University

If you have passed your senior higher secondary exams, then you can become a Hindu Priest by joining the one-year diploma course offered by JagadguruRamanandacharyaRajasthanSanskritUniversity in Rajasthan, India. Traditionally, Hindu priests are males from Brahmin community. This highly commendable new initiative will break the monopoly of Hindu priesthood and take it to other sections of the Hindu society.The fee for the one-year diploma course is Rs 2,500 and admission would begin in July 2009. Classes will commence from August 2009. The classes have been divided into two semesters.The course is designed by the JagadguruRamanandacharyaRajasthanSanskritUniversity and would have theory and practicals as well as audio-visual demonstrations of Hindu religious ceremonies. The theory paper contains lessons in various religious practices required from the time a devout Hindu is born until he/she dies.Anindo Dey Reports in Times of India‘Most priests who perform wedding and other religious …

Hindu Sacred Thread Ceremony (Upanayan) for Girl Child – Breaking Traditions for Good

The very mentioning of Hindu sacred thread ceremony (Upanayan), a Vedic practice, for a girl or woman will cause a flutter among orthodox Hindus and traditionalists. For the conservatives, sacred thread ceremony is only for boys and men. But Sejal Amod Ketkar, eight-year-old girl from Thane, went through the sacred initiation rite and the ceremony was performed by a female priest as male priests were not ready to perform the ritual on a girl.The sacred thread ceremony is no doubt part of orthodoxy and there are many Hindus who don’t perform it or rather ignore it. But millions of Hindus also perform the sacred thread ceremony but is limited only to the male members of the community. Why are girls or women kept out of the Hindu sacred thread ceremony? There is no answer to this. It is the practice that is being followed. The only reason for this is that rituals and ceremonies were decided by male members of the society and they just simply kept women out of it for power.The Upanayan ce…

New Serial Sarvapori Shri Swaminarayan Bhagwan on Colors TV

Sarvapori Shri Swaminarayan Bhagwaan is a serial based on the life of Shri Swaminarayan, 18th century saint who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Krishna. Bhagvan Swaminarayan (1781-1830) is the founder of the Swaminarayan Sampraday, a Bhakti Sampraday, which is today spread around the world with millions of followers.Serial Sarvapori Shri Swaminarayan Bhagwan will be telecast Sundays at 10:00 am (Indian Standard Time). About the Serial from the makersThe story begins as Rishi Vairatyanarayn prays to Lord Swaminarayan to manifest on earth and save the humanity engrossed in sin. Lord Swaminarayan appears and says he will be born to Dharamdev and Bhaktidevi in Chhappiya village of Bharatkhand as a normal human being. Demon Kalidutt who has spread terror with his sinful and cruel ways is unhappy with this liaison.Lord Swaminarayan informs Muktas in Akshardham that time has come for him to manifest on earth and teach people six motives of his. Kalidutt is hell bent to kill the new…

Trademark for Hindu Temple Deity Pictures – Should Hindu Temple Deities be Patented?

Few months back, AttukalTemple at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala had secured trademark protection for the picture of the deity and the title (tag) associated with the temple – Sabarimala of Women. AttukalBhagavathyTemple at Trivandrum holds the Guinness world record for the largest gathering of women in the world during the world famous Attukal Pongala Festival (February – March). Now Kerala High Court has registered a suo motu case against patenting of temple deity, on the complaint of a resident from Trivandrum, who has alleged that patenting means that the temple is a business project and not in tune with religious purpose.Trademark on the picture of the Attukal Devi and title ‘Sabarimala of Women’ means that only the AttukalTemple administration body has the right to use them and this helps to prevent unauthorized use of the picture and the title. (Even this blog cannot publish the picture of the deity.)The present case that has been registered against the trademark of Attukal Deviw…

Batuk Bhairav Jayanti

Batuk Bhairav is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and is associated with Bhairav Nath. In 2018, the date of Batuk Bhairav Jayanti is June 22. This form of Lord Shiva is mostly associated with Tantra and he is propitiated in this form for material gains. Batuk Bhairav is also the child form of Shiva as Bhairav Nath. Another form is Maha Kal or Kal Bhairav.

It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Batuk Bhairav on the tenth day during the waxing phase of moon in Jyeshta Month. Batuk Bhairav Stotra is chanted on the day.

There are numerous Batuk Bhairav shrines in North India and the day is observed with special pujas and rituals in these temples. Lord Shiva as Batuk Bhairav and Kal Bhairav is worshipped by Tantriks and who believe in Tantrism.

Lata Mangeshkar to Sing Sanskrit Keertans of Tallapaka Annamacharya

Seven Sanskrit Keertans of saint poet, Tallapaka Annamacharya, will be sung by Lata Maganeshkar and made available to the general public. This initiative by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) is to popularize the keertans (bhajans) of Tallapaka Annamacharya around the world. The songs of Annamacharya extol the glory of Lord Venkateswara. The songs Lata Mangeshkar would be singing are
Evam darshayasi
Tavamam drastam Tvameva sharanam Dasavidhacharanam
Prudul hema kaupina dharaha Majahihi dsthamanayitiMadrushanam.The music for these songs will be given by Sabarigirish, a music lecturer in Sri Venkateswara Music and DanceCollege and will be compiled by Dr Vibhishana Sharma, the station manager of community radio project of TTD.Times of India reportsInterestingly, though Lata was the ‘aasthana gayani', of TTD during 1960s, she did not sing any songs of Annamayya. However, M S Subbulakshmi, who succeeded her, had recorded some of the keertans of the saint poet.TTD executive officer (EO) …

Ancient Sanskrit Manuscripts at Anandashram Sanstha in Pune Being Digitized

Anandashram Sanstha at Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune was founded by late lawyer Mahadev Chitanmani Apte in 1888 to propagate Sanskrit and preserve and publish Sanskrit texts. There are more than 10,000-odd Sanskrit manuscripts at Anandashram Sanstha and majority of them dates back to the 16th and 17th century. The manuscripts are based on the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Vastushastra, Kamashastra, astrology, Ayurveda, creative arts like fine arts, music, poetry and literature and numerous other topics.Currently, National Mission for Manuscripts, an arm of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India is digitizing the Sanskrit manuscripts at Anandashram Sanstha. Laxmi Birajdar Writes in Times of IndiaEach of the manuscripts are being scanned and copied on to a computer. Finally, the pictures files will be stored in a DVD format.

Besides Sanskrti, Anandashram also has 400 manuscripts in Marathi and 400-odd palm leaves in Tamil. Currently, only the Sanskrit manuscripts are being digiti…

Sant Namdev Teachings

You are the Creator,
You alone are my friend;
You, O Lord, are all-pervading.
True meditation reveals You
in all Your perfection;
And the snares of illusion
are rendered ineffective.
Vast and vicious is this mesh of illusion,
Whose intricate tentacles suck you dry.
Sing with all your heart,
the Name of the Lord;
It costs nothing, O Nama,
to repeat His Name.Sant Namdev (1270 AD – 1350 AD) – Marathi Saint and Bhakti Poet

Hindu Community of Maple Grove Teach Forgiveness Lesson To Temple Vandals

In 2006, two youngsters for fun destroyed the HinduTemple at Maple Grove in Minnesota, United States. They broke the idols (murtis), sculptures, windows and more than 100 holes were drilled into the temple walls. The damages were calculated at $300,000 plus the irreparable damage of artworks. Instead of going ahead and punishing the two youngsters, the Hindu community chose the method of love, compassion, accountability and forgiveness.The youngsters who destroyed the temple were not aware of Hinduism and the symbolic value of the idols and sculptures. The Hindu community pleaded for mercy and a suspended sentence for the vandals. By working shoulder to shoulder with these youngsters the Hindu Community succeeded in changing their way of life. Now these young men are much happier, drug free and productive citizen of the society. On June 25, 2009, the temple will be performing a special ceremony to bury the desecrated idols.Bridgette Bornstein writes in"There's a tend…

Shiva Bibaha during Shitala Sashti in Orissa

Shiva Bibaha is the divine wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and is observed during the Shitala Sasthi festival in Orissa, especially in Sambalpur. In 2019, the date of Shiva Bibaha is June 7. Legend has it that Lord Shiva after the death of Goddess Sati started leading the life of an ascetic and lost interest in worldly life. Finally, the intense austerities performed by Goddess Parvati changed the mind of Shiva and he became a family man. Shiva Bibaha celebrates the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

On the Shiva Bibaha day, Lord Shiva, the bridegroom, arrives for the marriage ceremony to the house of Goddess Parvati along with other gods and goddesses in Hindu pantheon. Lord Hanuman and Narasimha lead the divine procession. All the rituals that are part of normal marriage ceremony in Orissa are followed for the divine wedding.

The divine wedding is held on the fifth day during the waxing phase of moon in the month of Jaishta (May – June).

You can find more details a…

Book: The Essence of AUM

The Essence of AUM written by K A Francis attempts to explore the world of AUM. The author introduces the readers to discussions on AUM that had taken place in history and the words of saints and other scholars. The book also searches for the origin of the term and when it was first used and written down. But what is more interesting is the author’s own findings and interpretations and comparisons.The author quotes from various sources:The most noteworthy….. discussion between Swami Vivekananda and his disciple Saratchandra Chakraborty…...took place in Calcutta in 1897’. And a catechism materialises to expound the implication of Aum. Swami Vivekanada quoth – ‘Even before creation Brahma existed as sound. Then came Aum. Or Sonic. Later different pre-existing sounds like ‘bhu: Bhuva: Swa’.The book is a great introduction to ‘OM’ and offers food for thought. The Essence of AUM
KA Francis
Konark Publishers
Rupees 125.00

Rabindranath Tagore Thoughts on Self

The self of mine that limits my truth within myself confines me to a narrow idea of my own personality. When through some great experience I transcend this boundary I find joy.
The negative fact of the vanishing of the fences of self has nothing in itself that is delightful. But my joy proves that the disappearance of self brings me into touch with a great positive truth whose nature is infinitude.
My love makes me understand that I gain a great truth when I realize myself in others, and therefore I am glad. This has been thus expressed in the Isopanishad – He who sees all creatures in himself, and himself in all creatures, no longer remains concealed.Rabindranath Tagore(Source: from the Forward by Rabindranath Tagore to The Philosophy of the Upanishads by S. Radhakrishnan)

Story of Goddess Annapoorna and Lord Shiva

In Hinduism, Goddess Annapoorna, or Annapurna Devi, is the Goddess of food. She is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati; in essence one of the numerous forms of Shakti. In this incarnation she nourishes all living beings and therefore Hindus consider ‘Annam’ (food) as holy. There is an interesting incident involving Lord Shiva and Goddess Annapoorna, which explains that even Moksha (salvation) is not possible on an empty stomach.
Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati used to play the game of dice. Once the game became so interesting that they started betting – Parvati kept her jewels and Shiva his trident. Shiva lost the game and lost his trident.
To get back his trident, Shiva betted serpent and this time too he lost the game. Finally, when the game ended, Shiva lost all that he had including his begging bowl.
A humiliated Shiva left for the Deodar forest. Lord Vishnu approached Shiva and asked him to play again to win back all that he had lost.
Taking advice from Vishnu, Shiva played again a…

2009 Greendex survey – India Tops the Chart in Environmentally Friendly Consumer Behavior

Indian consumers hold top ranking in 17-country 2009 Greendex survey, conducted by the National Geographic Society and the international polling firm GlobeScan. The survey is conducted to measure and monitor consumer behaviors that have an impact on the environment. An interesting aspect in the survey is that majority of the Hindus don’t eat beef and this means they are greener as beef requires greater energy to grow.Some results from the SurveyFactors contributing to the high ranking of India include a low incidence of having home heating (41 percent) and hot running water (38 percent) and a high incidence of using on-demand electric water heating (45 percent among those with hot running water), using solar energy to heat water (15 percent), and purchasing “green” electricity (34 percent, up 10 points from the past year). Contributing to the increased housing score are improvements in performance on several behaviors such as ownership of energy-efficient appliances, minimizing the us…

Book: Puffin Mahabharata for Children

This version of the Mahabharata for young readers in English is written by Namita Gokhale, a multi-faceted Indian novelist and publisher. The book is published by Puffin Books, publishers of fiction, picture books and children's classics. A major highlight of this Mahabharat for Children is the illustrations by painter and animator Sudhasattwa Basu.The beauty of this version of the Mahabharata is that it really caters to children by keeping the narration smooth and simple. There is a nice little explanation of the cycles of times in the beginning. What makes the book a more interesting read is that the author does not forget about the weaknesses in Pandavas and points out the flaws in their characters along with that of the Kauravas.Numerous stories that are part of Mahabharata are also mentioned in the book. The Bhagavad Gita and the other philosophical discussions are explained in simple language. Puffin Mahabharata
Author: Namita Gokhale
Published in India by Penguin Books India,…

Space Settlement Rocket Design Inspired By Orissa Temple Architecture Adjudged the Best by NASA

Sisters, Pooja Bhattacharya and Swastika Bhattacharya of Bhubaneswar, have won the grand prize for a rocket design-based on Orissan temple architecture and was adjudged the best at the space settlement design contest organized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US. The space vehicle is laid out in a triangular manner called Triratha as per ancient Kalingan Temple Style found in Orissa.Minati Singha writes in Times of IndiaPooja Bhattacharya and Swastika Bhattacharya of Bhubaneswar have won the grand prize from among 309 projects submitted by 875 students.

These projects were sponsored by 96 teachers from across the world. Students from US, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Dubai, UAE, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Romania, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uruguay participated in the competition.Puja Bhattacharya is a Plus Two second year student in BJBJunior College in Bhubaneswar and her younger sister, Swastika is a student of Class X at St Xaviers' High School, Keda…

Lokottara In Sanskrit Poems In Hinduism

Lokottara is a term meaning meta-empirical related to Sanskrit poems in Hinduism. It is something which transcends worldly levels of perception or enjoyment. In the field of poetics, it refers to the immense joy that the connoisseur experiences while reading the work of a poet or while witnessing a drama.
Critics in the field of poetics point out that though sound and sense, or rather word and meaning, are in common parlance and in poetry, there is an inexplicable joy that is derived from the latter.
According to another school of thought, supported by critics like Jagannatha Panditaraja (17th century), a poem is a collection of combination of words which conveys a charming idea. By this is meant not the kind of joy a person feels on being informed of the birth of a child.
The principal charm of poetry lies in its being impersonal. While the natural emotion is individualistic and immediately personal, poetic joy is generic and impersonal.
While emotions on the mundane level cause ha…

Mass Singing of Seven Sankirtans of Saint-Composer Annamacharya creates World Record

More than 150,000 participated in the ‘Annamayya Laksha Gala Sankeerthana’ at Parade Grounds in Secunderabad (Hyderabad) in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, May 10, 2009 to create Guinness World Record for Mass Choir. The earlier record was made in 1937 when 60,000 people participated in a mass choir of a single song in Germany. The disciplined crowd of 150,000 sang seven compositions of Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya (1408-1503) the mystic saint composer of the 15th century who is the earliest known musician of South India to compose songs called ‘ Sankirtanas’ in praise of Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala Tirupati.The New Indian Express reportsFrom the afternoon itself, people started pouring into the grounds. From children and youngsters to the aged, they came from various parts of the country and the world. More than creating a record, their sheer passion for Annamacharya brought them to the venue. For several weeks they had been practicing the seven sankirtans. Noted Annamayya sankirtana exp…

Bhaunri during Chandan Yatra in Puri Jagannath Temple

Bhaunri is the last day of the Chandan Yatra festival in PuriJagannathTemple. Bhaunri is also known as Bhramari, which means circle. The festival involves taking of the idols of JagannathTemple plus the idols of the Pandavas in a boat along the Narendra Tank at Puri.  Madanmohan – representative of Lord Jagannath – along with other deities – begins the 21-day water sport festival, popularly known as the Chandan Yatra, to beat the summer heat on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. The concluding ceremony is the Bhaunri and is noted for elaborate fireworks and musical show.

Navagrahas – Which are the Navgrahas?

Navgrahas, or Navagrahas, are the nine heavenly bodies that have the power to influence upon life on the earth. Nav means ‘nine’ and Graha means ‘the one that grasps you or in whose influence you are possessed.’ It must be noted that Graha does not mean a planet in the modern sense. But the term planet is widely used to describe the Nava Grahas. In strict sense, Navagrahas are the nine influences over the life of human beings. The Navgrahas are Sun (Surya), Moon (Chandra or Soma), Mars (Mangal), Mercury (Budh), Jupiter (Brihaspati or Guru), Venus (Shukra), Saturn (Shani), Rahu and Ketu.Navgrahas are installed in Hindu temples as subsidiary deities and there are also temples dedicated exclusively to Navagrahas.

First Hindu Gay Wedding in South Africa

What is believed to be South Africa’s first known gay wedding by Hindu rites was conducted recently by a Tamil Hindu priest. Although many elements in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony were missing, the Hindu priest guided the couple to undertake the ceremonial fire prayer and then got them tie a necklace. The Hindu community leaders here are upset as the marriage was not ‘Kanya Dhan’ as mentioned in Hindu scriptures.Times of India ReportsSales advisor Joe Singh and manager Wesley Nolan, both 21, spent 18 months preparing for their wedding after first meeting in the company that they both work for.

Singh said that he and Nolan were both "staunch Hindus" hence the Ganesha pendant to "ward off evil and remove obstacles from their path".

Nolan's parents disapproved of the relationship and did not attend the wedding, which took place at the residence of Singh's stepfather and his mother.The couple did not tie the traditional 'thali' string that a husba…

Sri Vidyaranya Swami on the Vedantic Idea about Who Really Witnesses

The light in the dancing hall uniformly reveals the person who presides over the concert, the audience and the dancer. Even when they are absent, the light continues.
The unchangeable witness is ever present as selfluminous consciousness; the intellect functions under its light and dances in a variety of ways.
The patron is the ego, the various sense-objects are the audience, the intellect is the dancer, the musicians playing on their instruments are the sense-organs, and the light illumining them all is the witness-consciousness.
The streak of sunlight coming into the room through an opening is motionless; but if one dances one’s hand in the rays, the light appears to be dancing.
Sri Vidyaranya Swami (Source: Sri Vidyaranya Swami’s book Panchadashi, Chapter X verses 11, 13, 14, 15 and 18.)

Hindu in Britain Loses Law Suit on Cremation on Traditional Open-Air Funeral Pyre

Davender Ghai, an elderly Hindu man, who wants an open-air cremation in United Kingdom when he dies, lost his case in the High Court in London. The devout Hindu was challenging the decision by Newcastle City Council in 2006, northeast England, which denied to let his body be burnt on an open-air pyre in line with his Hindu religious beliefs.Davender Ghai is the founder of the Anglo-Asian Friendship Society (AAFS) and had argued that a traditional open-air funeral pyre was essential for the release of his spirit into the afterlife and had suggested a site in a remote part of Northumberland. He wants his body to receive Vedic last rights and burned close to flowing water. Similar to what is the usual practice in Kashi.BBC ReportsOn Friday, Mr Justice Cranston ruled that pyres were prohibited by law, and the prohibition was "justified".Mr Justice Cranston said that Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who had resisted Mr Ghai's legal challenge, argued that people might be "up…

Download books of Nisargadatta Maharaj in English in PDF format for Free

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897 – 1981), an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita, is noted for his direct and simple explanation of non-dualism (Advaita). ‘I AM THAT’, an English translation of his talks in Marathi by Maurice Frydman, brought him worldwide recognition and followers. Now a website dedicated to Nisargadatta Maharaj – – is offering all the books of Nisargadatta Maharaj in English in PDF format for free download. The books that can be downloaded are: I am THAT, Seeds of Consciousness, Prior to Consciousness, Consciousness and the Absolute, Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj, The Nectar of Immortality, The Ultimate Medicine, Gleanings from Nisargadatta, I am Unborn and Self Knowledge and Self Realization. If you have not heard about Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj here is an example of his teachings: Nisargadatta Maharaj: The sweetness is the nature of sugar; but that sweetness is there only so long as the sugar is present. Once the sugar has been c…

Tirupati Darshan Booking Counter at Udupi

The E-Darshan facility is Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) online services to pilgrims in India on a single window system. An E-Darshan was opened at Geetha Mandira at Udupi in Karnataka. This is the second counter in the state, the first is in Bangalore. The system enables a devotee to book special darshan, Archana Anthara Darshan, Nijapada Darshanam and accommodation at Tirumala in advance.The counter will prepare bio-metric identity (computerised photograph and fingerprints) of those devotees wishing to visit the temple and record them in the temple's service ticket.Tickets for TTD's various Sevas like Srinivasa Darshana (Rs. 50), Post Archana Darshana (Rs. 200 barring Fridays) and lodging facilities can be reserved through this counter.A total of 7,500 Seva tickets will be reserved online everyday, on a first come-first serve basis at Udupi.Udupi's service counter will be open on all days of the week except Tuesday.On weekdays the counter will function from 9 am to…

Animation Film Little Krishna from Big Animation

Animation Series Little Krishna, produced by ISKCON’s India Heritage Foundation (IHF) and Reliance ADAG’s Big Animation, brings to life some of the most colorful episodes in the life of little Krishna in 3D animation. The choice of the stories in this 13-episode series is aimed at 5-9 years. Viacom Media’s kids’ entertainment channel Nick will be airing the series in India and South Asia.We have already had several animation films based on Krishna. But what’s new in this latest animation film based on Krishna’s childhood?I feel the quality of the 3D animation is better than some of the previous attempts but not yet world class. Once again Krishna is an action hero with more stunts inspired from movies to keep children glued to the television. RelatedAnimation films based on Hindu Stories

Did Ancient Hindus Know about Nuclear Weapons and UFOs?

Pusphak Vimana (plane) in Ramayana and Brahmastra (which has the effect of atomic bomb) used in Mahabharata and Ramayana are two of the most important incidents often used to relate ancient Hindus with UFOs and Nuclear Weapons. This is also a pet theme of UFO researchers. They believe that the knowledge about Nuclear weapons and planes were passed on to ancient Hindus by Extraterrestrials (ET).Such articles are published regularly on the internet without any new finds, sticking to the old revelations which are not yet backed by any solid proof. Most of the articles are repetitions of the articles published the past several decades. Recently, Sri Lanka Tourism had mentioned about the Ramayana Sites in the country and in it they talk about Werangatota, which is believed to be the place the Pushpaka Vimanam (flying machine of Ravana) could have landed. Werangatota is about 10 km from Mahiyangana, east of Nuwara Eliya.So Did Ancient Hindus Know about Nuclear Weapons and UFOs? Nobody can s…

Veda Vyasa Jayanti 2020 Date on Vaishaka Trayodashi in South India

Sri Veda Vyasa Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Sage Vyasa, the author of the Mahabharata and the Puranas. In 2020, the date of Veda Vyasa Jayanti in Vaishaka month is May 5. Veda Vyasa Jayanti is observed by certain Hindu communities on the 13th day (Trayodashi) of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Vaisakha month. This particular Veda Vyasa Jayanti is more popular in South India, especially with some communities in Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

It must be noted that Veda Vyasa Jayanti is observed during several dates in a year. This is because it is believed that Sri Veda Vyasa appeared several times to spread Dharma. The dates also differ from region to region and community to community.

Veda Vyasa is the editor of the Hindu scriptures – he has compiled and edited the vast volume of Hindu scriptures. And the vast repertoire of scriptures in Hinduism is primarily due to his efforts.

(This is an answer to a query to one of our readers, Harish Chandra, who was p…

To, We Hindus Are Not Confused About How The World Was Created

Jeninne Lee-St. John, a writer at, unnecessarily mentions about Hindus and takes a dig at us that we are confused about how the world was created. In Jeninne Lee-St. John’s words – Confused about how Hindus believe the world was created? (So are they; the religion has no single canon and there are many, sometimes conflicting, origin stories.) Yes! Hinduism has no single canon and there are many and some are conflicting this is because we are fiercely independent and we believe that each individual is a part of the Supreme Being and has the freedom and right to think about creation and origin and discuss it and write about it. The thought of two individuals can never be the same, if it is expressed without fear and favor. Our ancient seers did not impose an idea, but they sat under a tree and discussed it and you can find those discussions in the Upanishads.Now why did Jeninne Lee-St. John write about Hindus? The writer was introducing a new website (, which explai…

Book: Messages from Amma – In the Language of the Heart

The book titled ‘Messages from Amma – In the Language of the Heart’ contains quotations from Mata Amritanandamayi’s public talks and personal dialogues, and songs. The book is edited and the quotations have been collected by Dr. Janine Canan, psychiatrist and Amma devotee. Jaico Publishing House has released the book in India.Known to millions as Amma (mother) or Ammachi (mother), Mata Amritanandamayi spreads the message of love and compassion through her unique way of hugging and blessing. Dr. Canan has translated Amma’s messages to English so that they are preserved and available for all. Some of themes in the book are “Love, the Cure,” “Surrendering the Ego,” and “Entering the Stream of Grace.”
Messages from Amma
Editor - Janine Canan
Published by Jaico Publishing House
Price Rs.225RelatedAmma’s Thoughts on dealing with Recession and Financial Troubles

Swami Vivekananda On The Need to develop Physical Strength

We speak of many things parrot-like, but never do them; speaking and not doing has become a habit with us. What is the cause of that? Physical weakness. . . . First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you.Swami Vivekananda(Source - Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda 1: 134)

Allow Gurkhas who served in British Army to stay in United Kingdom

Pressure is mounting on United Kingdom (UK) to let all retired Gurkha servicemen stay in the country. This after UK government put up strict conditions to settle in Britain for those Gurkha servicemen who left the army before 1997.The Gurkhas have been a unique part of the British Army for two centuries and their history with the British Army begins with colonization of India by Britain. Most of the Gurkhas are Hindus and are famous for their bravery. More than Forty-three thousand Gurkhas died in two world wars fighting for UK.
The Economist reports

The Gurkha saga has been going on for years, with pay, pensions and immigration rights the main battlefields. The grievance now at stake is that Gurkhas who retired before July 1997 are not granted an automatic right to settle in Britain, on the grounds that they were based in Hong Kong until 1997 and were therefore unlikely to have strong British ties. Newer Gurkha recruits, who are based in Britain, and Commonwealth recruits (who make up …

Book: Kritimanimalai – English Translation of the available compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar

Kritimanimalai Tamil Part III with 400 compositions of Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar, authored by Late Sri Rangaramanuja Ayyangar, have been adapted into English by Padma Varadan – Sri Rangaramanuja Ayyangar’ daughter and disciple. Kritimanimalai in Tamil Language is a series which includes 700 compositions of the Saint Tyagaraja, 400 compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitar, 380 songs of Syama Sastri, Kshetragna and others. This unparalled enormous compilation of Carnatic music is a reference compendium.Padma Varadan and Vipanci Charitable Trust are in the process of the English Adaptation of Kritimanimalai and they have already released the English adaptation of Tyagaraja’s compositions in two volumes. Now, they have released the English Adaptation of the available compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar. English Adaptation of Kritimanimalai Tamil Part III with 400 compositions of Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar includes lyrics in English and Sanskrit, free translation, raga lakshanam, detailed notati…

Thirukkalyanam or Celestial Wedding Festival at Madurai Meenakshi Temple

Thirukkalyanam, or the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi (Goddess Parvathi) with Lord Sundareswar (Lord Shiva), is one of the major events during the annual Chithirai festival at the world famous MaduraiMeenakshiTemple in Tamil Nadu. The highly auspicious day is also known as Arumigu Thirukkalyanam.

The Thirukalyanam is observed during the Tamil month of Chithirai and is observed on the tenth day of the 12-day Chithirai festival.

Thousands of devotees gather at temple to have a glimpse of the beautifully decked idols of Lord Sundareshwar and Meenakshi and to witness the Thirukkalyanam rituals.