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Showing posts from July, 2009


Religious People Should be Gender Blind

We Hindus worship Mother Goddess in numerous forms. And a large section of the worshippers of Goddess in Hindu society practice gender bias in numerous ways – the most horrific form of it is in sex-selective abortion and female infanticide. Worshippers of feminine aspects of divinity, often fail to respect women in real life.Writing on this subject in the Faith section of Washington Post, Aseem Shukla, Co-founder of Hindu American Tradition, says that the sacred traditions should be gender blind. As a Hindu male I can speak to the choices I can make. I can choose to see our most sacred scriptures, the Vedas, as influenced by some of the towering divine intellects that communed to put forth this compilation--Gargi, Savitri or Anasuya--who happened to be women. The four major divisions of my faith--Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Smartha and Shakti--all worship Femininity as an equal half to a male representation, but the Shakti followers worship the Mother Goddess as a representation of the cre…

Chandra Grahan Time Middle East and Dubai – Lunar Eclipse August 2009 Timings

There is a shallow penumbral lunar eclipse, Chandra Grahan, on August 06, 2009. The Eclipse will be take place in Middle East, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Oman and Abu Dhabi. But it is not visible to the naked eye. The grahan time is from 02:04 to 05:14 in Gulf countries. Here are the timings in Middle East and Dubai. All local time.United Arab EmiratesDubaiEclipse Begins at 03:04 AM on August 6, 2009Eclipse Ends at 06:14 AM on August 6, 2009Abu DhabiEclipse Begins at 03:04 AM Eclipse Ends at 06:14 AMBahrainEclipse Begins at 02:04 AMEclipse Ends at 05:14 AMKuwaitEclipse Begins at 02:04 AMEclipse Ends at 05:14 AMQatarEclipse Begins at 02:04 AMEclipse Ends at 05:14 AMSaudi ArabiaEclipse Begins at 02:04 AMEclipse Ends at 05:14 AMOmanEclipse Begins at 03:04 AM Eclipse Ends at 06:14 AMRelated

Chandra Grahan August 2009 Timings in United States

Chandragrahan August 6 Timing in South Africa and Kenya

Chandra Grahan August 2009 Timings in Europe and En…

Putrada Ekadasi Vrat Katha – Story of Putrada Ekadashi

Putrada Ekadasi Fasting is observed during the waxing phase of moon (Shukla Paksha) in Shravan month (July – August) in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Orissa. This Ekadasi fasting is observed as Pavitra Ekadasi in North India. Putrada Ekadashi is also observed during the waxing phase of moon in December/January. An interesting story associated with this Ekadasi fasting suggests that it observed for begetting children. Legend has it that a king named Suketumana had no children. He and his wife, Saivya, performed several austerities and religious performances but without any success.The king was worried that he will not have children to perform his last rites and other rituals for forefathers. A sad king left his kingdom and wandered through many lands and finally reached the ManasarovarLake in the Himalayas. Here he was greeted by saints. He wanted to know what the saints were doing at the ManasarovarLake. They said that they were here to observe the Putrada Ekadas…

Book – Spiritual Handbook India by Stephen Knapp

Spiritual India Handbook – a guide to a guide to festivals and traditions, temples and holy sites – written by Stephen Knapp explores the holy places in India. Stephen Knapp, a writer and philosopher, is noted for his works related to Santana Dharma. Basically, the book is a guide to foreign travelers who intent to visit holy sites in India. It’s not the usual travelers guide but a guide that apart from the basic information, gives details of why the spot is holy and what benefits you get by visiting the place – more of such spiritual notes. For Example this is how Stephen Knapp introduces MathuraAs we begin our tour of the holy places of East and Central India, the first major holy place to see is only a short three hour ride by train or bus ride south from Delhi. Now that they have built a nice highway through the area, the road is much faster than it used to be. Vraja, which has a perimeter of 168 miles and is composed of many villages and towns, is considered nondifferent from the…

Pavitra Ekadasi Vrat Katha – Pavithra Ekadashi Story

Pavitra Ekadasi is observed on the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in the Shravan month as per traditional North Indian Calendar. The corresponding Ekadasi in other regions is known as Putrada Ekadashi. The Pavithra Ekadasi Vrat Katha (Story) narrates how a king was able to beget children after observing the Ekadasi.Legend has it that a king named Mahijit had no children. The sad king one day convened the assembly of all the citizens and wanted to know what sin he had committed for not having children.A group of citizens decided to visit the Ashramas of great saints and find out the reason why King Mahijit was not having children. After traveling for days they finally reached the Ashram of Sage Lomasa.Sage Lomasa had the power to see the past, present and future. Sage Lomasa realized that King Mahijit was a merchant in his last birth and used to travel around selling his goods. Once during his journey he became very thirsty and soon reached a lake but he saw a thi…

Nandafalva Hindu Temple and Community in Hungary Turns 30 – Special celebrations on August 1

Nandafalva Hindu community in Hungary turns 30 years old on August 1, 2009. The community was formed in 1979 – several young adherents of Hindu teachings led by Swami B.A. Narayan formed the Nandfalva Hindu Community. Nandafalva is named after the Hindu holy place called Nandagram. After 20 years of activity, the HinduTemple opened its doors in 2000 AD. The temple practices Vaishnavism.
The HinduTemple at Nandafalva is a brilliant fusion of Hungarian and Hindu architectural styles. The temple is inspired by the Orissan style temple architecture. The 100 kilo bell residing in the temple tower resounds daily in accordance with Hungarian custom.On the 30th anniversary of its founding, the Nandafalva Hindu Community is presenting visitors a special festival. Beginning at 4:00 pm on August 1, 2009, the Open House aims to exhibit the valuable gifts of Vedic culture. The event will take place at 15 locations in the SanctuaryPark around the temple.
Visiting all the locations, the guests will ga…

Go Not To The Temple – A Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your own house with the Fragrance of love... Go not to the temple to light candles before the altar of God,
First remove the darkness of sin from your heart... Go not to the temple to bow down your head in prayer,
First learn to bow in humility before your fellowmen...Go not to the temple to pray on bended knees,
First bend down to lift someone who is down-trodden... Go not to the temple to ask for forgiveness for your sins,
First forgive from your heart those who have sinned against you.Rabindranath TagoreYou may also like to readLook to this day - A poem by Sage

Dalit Priests in Hindu Temples – a much needed revolutionary change

Sanskrit and VedicUniversities in India have started opening the doors Hindu priesthood to all those who want to practice it. The Vedic school managed by the world famous TirumalaTirupatiVenkateswaraTemple has started training Dalit priests. The much needed progressive and revolutionary change of breaking the male Brahmin monopoly of Hindu priesthood is surely happening but at a snail’s pace. Tamil Nadu Government has set up a Hindu priest training center and has already started inducting people from all sections of Hindu society as priests in temples run by the government. Famous temples in Bihar have started appointing of Dalit priests. In 2002, the Supreme Court of India had ruled that a person belonging to Hindu community could be appointed as priests in temples so long as they were qualified to conduct the ritual.Times of India reportsIs India on the threshold of real change in that most regressive of monopolies, the priesthood? This has always been the domain of male Brahmins. B…

What do the Upanishads teach us? – Edmond Holmes

The authors of the Upanishads did not all think alike; but, taking their meditations as a whole, we may say that they are dominated by one paramount conception’ that of the ideal of oneness of the soul of man with the soul of the universe.
The Sanskrit word for the soul of man is Atman and the word for the soul of the universe is Brahman.
‘God’s dwelling place’, says Professor Radhakrishnan in this exposition of the philosophy of the Upanishads, ‘is the heart of man. The inner immortal self and the great cosmic power are one and the same.’
Brahman is the Atman, and the Atman is the Brahman. The one supreme power through which all things have been brought into being is one with the inmost self in each man’s heart.’
What is real in each of us is his self or soul. What is real in universe is its self or soul, in virtue of which its All is One, and the name for which in our language is God.
In other words of one of the Upanishads: ‘He who is the Brahman in man and who is that in the sun,…

India Post Provides Water-Proof Envelopes to Send Raksha Bandhan Rakhi

The annual Raksha Bandhan festival observed on Shravan Purnima celebrates the bond between brother and sister. Indian Postal Service is now providing water-proof envelopes to make sure that the Rakhis send by sisters to brothers are not damaged due to the heavy monsoon rains. Raksha Bandhan 2009 date is August 5.Priyanka Sahay writes in Times of IndiaAs the festival that brothers and sisters eagerly wait for nears, post offices across the city make full arrangements to play the perfect messenger. The department has provided each post office with special envelopes that can carry rakhis and letters safely even in times of bad weather. As many as 7,200 envelopes costing Rs five each have been supplied to various postal units.“The waterproof quality is your best bet during rainy season,” said Jagdeep Gupta, senior superintendent, post offices, Chandigarh.

“Even though these envelopes, which come with three colourful printed versions, will be sent along with other posts; we will ensure spec…

Sayings from Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural

Tirukkural is a Tamil poetic composition by Saint Tiruvalluvar and contains advises on various subjects. Pretending knowledge of things not learnt, one loses credit for the knowledge one really possesses. Don’t pretend to be knowledgeable of things that one does not know.Desire is the seed out of which is born the unending cycle of birth and rebirth.If there is no true understanding all the knowledge that the five senses give is of no avail.Pain of all kinds holds him in its relentless grip who fondly holds on to the things of the world. Tirukkural

Bhagavad Gita for Blind People – Gita in Braille Script

Only limited number of copies of the Bhagavad Gita in Braille Script, meant for the visually impaired people, is published and it is also not easily available. In an attempt to make the Bhagavad Gita in Braille Script available to those who require it, B B Chaudhary, assistant commissioner with Delhi Police, has translated the Bhagavad Gita into Braille script.The small Bhagavad Gita handbook for Blind People is now ready for publication and will soon be distributed around the world. Times of India reportsOn what made him choose the Gita one of the many Upanishads for translation, Chaudhary says, "It's a part of Mahabharata in which Sanjay describes the war to Dhritrashtra, the Kaurava king. The idea came to my mind because Dhritrashtra was blind.'' Chaudhary juggled between his busy work schedule and book translation to come out with the final draft.Hailing from a village near Sasaram in Bihar, Chaudhary came to Delhi to prepare for civil services and got selected in…

Supodan Varna Shasti in Shravan Month - Supodanvarn Sashti

Supodan Varna Shasti is performed on the sixth day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Shravan month. The sixth day in a traditional Hindu calendar is known as Sashti and therefore it is also known as Supaudana Shashti Vrata. In 2019, the date of Supodan Varna Shasti is on August 6.

Supodan Varna Shasti is of importance in Marathi culture. The ritual is only performed by few Hindu communities. Special prayers are offered to Lord Shiva on the day. Food cooked using pulse and rice is eaten on the day. The same is also offered as Prasad.

Quotes from Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta

A 10th century spiritual work, Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta is dedicated to monistic Shaivism.Just as juice, jaggery and sugar are only different states of the same thing, namely sugarcane, so do all beings abide in the supreme Lord in different states or forms.In the kindled light of the Self, stirred up by the wind of contemplation, the imaginations of the aspirant are sacrificed and he becomes one with that light.The Supreme Lord seems still when the various elements are still, glad when they are glad, gloomy when they are gloomy, but truly he is not so.When by virtue of the store of gems of supreme wisdom, collected in the treasure house of the mystic heart, the state of Maheshwara is reached; one realizes ‘I am in all. Hence, what misfortunes can befall, and by whom?’Paramarthasara of Abhinavagupta

Singhara Teej

Singhara Teej is the first of the three Teej festivals observed in North India. In 2017, the date of Singhara Teej is July 26. It is also known as Hariyali Teej and is observed three days after the Shravan Amavasi or Hariyali Amavasya. Singhara Teej is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Singhara Teej is also dedicated to the monsoon rains and new lush green nature. The festival is mainly observed in Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Special prayers and pujas dedicated to Goddess Parvati are performed on the day. Women wear green colored dresses and green bangles resembling the lush green nature. Women also paint their hands with new Mehandi or henna designs. It is a sort of thanksgiving to Mother Nature.

Numerous songs praising Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and those praising Mother Nature are sung on the day.

Inspirational Hindu Quotes

When two pieces of dry twigs are rubbed, fire is ignited,
If earth is dug, it gives out water,
If there is enthusiasm nothing is impossible,
If you start towards the right direction and keep working, you will reach the goal. When the great ocean was churned (samudra manthanam) by gods, it gave rise to many things. Along with numerous attractive objects, dreadful poison also came out. Poison could not frighten gods nor could precious gems tempt them from their efforts. They continued to churn the ocean till the nectar (amrita) came out.

Sudharma the only Sanskrit Daily Newspaper in the World Turns 40

Started in 1970 by Sanskrit scholar Kalale Nadadur Varadaraja Iyengar, Sudharma is the only Sanskrit Daily Newspaper in the world today. The Sanskrit Newspaper has a daily circulation of about 2,000 copies and is mostly circulated through post and has subscribers around the world especially in Japan and USA. K.V. Sampath Kumar, son of Mr. Iyengar, is the present editor of the daily.To mark the 40th year, a special anniversary issue was brought out on July 19, 2009.Published from Mysore, the only income generated by Sudharma is from the 250 rupees of annual subscription fee. It is the determination of K.V. Sampath Kumar and his love for Sanskrit language that is keeping Sudharma afloat. Selected issues of Sudharma are available online in PDF format. You can read the Sanskrit e-paper and know more about Sudharma from its official website here.

Jyoti Bheemeshwara Amavasi Vratam or Pathi Sanjeevani Puja

Observed by women, Jyoti Bheemeshwara Amavasi Vratam, or Pathi Sanjeevani Puja takes place on the Ashada Amavasi (No moon day in Ashada). In 2019, Jyothi Bheemeshwara Amavasi Vratam date is August 1. The Vrata is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is observed by women for the long life of male members in the family. Unmarried women also perform it to get good husbands. This Vrata is popularly known as Bheemana Amavasya Vratam.

Pathi Sanjeevani Puja is performed for the long life of husbands by married women. The Vratam is observed for nine consecutive years and on the final year a lamp (Deepam) is given to brothers or other male members by women.

Special Thambittu Deepa and two Kalikamba lamps are prepared on the day by women. The two Kalikamba lamps represent Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Therefore the observance is also known as Deepasthambha Pooja.

Another unique ritual on the day is the preparation of Kadabus or dough balls with coins hidden in it. Brothers break …

Deepasthamba Puja 2019 date - Deepasthambha Amavasya Pooja 2019

Deepasthamba Puja, also known as Deepasthambha Amavasya Pooja, is an important observance undertaken by women in Karnataka. Deepasthambha Puja 2019 date is August 1. It is observed on the no moon day (Amavas) in the Kannada month of Ashada (July – August) and is a unique Kannadiga ritual. On the day women pray for the well being of male members in the family – husbands and brothers. The ritual is also known as Bheemana Amavasi Vrata.

Deepasthambha Puja is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Married women perform it for the long life of husbands and brothers. Unmarried women for getting a good husband.

A pair of lamps made by women on the day using mud known as Kalikamba represents Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on the day. Special pujas are done on the auspicious day to appease them. Thambittu Deepa or Thembittu lamp made from flour is made on the occasion and lit to cool all bad emotions like anger, frustration etc. It is these lamps that give the ritual the name Deepastham…

Tirupati Balaji Temple to Remain Closed During Surya Grahan on 22July

The famous TirumalaTirupatiBalajiTemple will remain closed during the Surya Grahan period on July 22, 2009. As per the TTD Panchangam the Solar Eclipse takes place from 05:28 Am to 07:21 Am on July 22. In view of the Surya Grahan, the TempleDoors of Lord Venkateswara, Tirumala will be closed from 9 pm on July 21 to 8 am on July 22.All morning Sevas such as Ekantham will not be conducted and there will be no Sahasra Kalasabhishekam. Sarva Darshanam will commence from 11 am on July 22. On July 21, the Ekantha Seva to the Lord will be conducted at 8.30 pm. This was reported by TTD in a Press Release. All time is based on Indian Standard Time.

Dos and Don’ts of watching Solar Eclipse – Precautions while viewing Surya Grahan

The most important precaution to be taken during Solar Eclipse is not to watch the eclipse with naked eye. Watching the Eclipse with naked eye might cause permanent damage to the eye or blindness. The safest method of viewing a Total Solar Eclipse is by projection, in which a small opening is used to cast the image of the Sun on a screen beyond the opening. Don’ts During Solar EclipseNever watch the eclipse with a naked eye.Don’t use Binoculars to view the eclipse.Don’t use Telescope to view the eclipse.Don’t use any cheap or easily available filters in Telescope or Binoculars to view the sun. Only specifically designed filters should be used with Telescope and Binoculars.Don’t watch the eclipse using color film.Don’t watch the eclipse with non-silver black and white film.Don’t watch the eclipse with medical x-ray films with images on them.Don’t use smoked glass to view the sun.All developed films lack a silver emulsion and therefore it should not be used to view the eclipse.Do’s Duri…

Hindu Leaders in Britain Pledge to Help in Environmental Conservation

Hindu Leaders in United Kingdom as part of an international initiative led by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) and the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS) have pledged to help in climate protection and environmental conservation. Times of India ReportsThe religious leaders have decided to set a benchmark for using a range of products and services. The measures include creating awareness through endorsement of traditional food and promotion of sustainable lifestyle.

These plans will be developed and implemented over the next nine years - a timeframe chosen to encourage long-term planning.Ranchor Prime, researcher on Hindu environmental issues said: "Food has always been at the heart of the Hindu way of life. Now with food, and especially the environmental cost of meat, right at the top of the global climate change agenda, Hindus feel they have something to say. One of their key concerns is to change public perceptions of the cow as simply a source of food."

Teachings from Narada Bhakti Sutras

Narada Bhakti Sutra is one of the popular Sutras and is attributed to Sage Narad and it expounds the Philosophy of Devotion. By attaining divine love man becomes perfect, immortal, and satisfied forever.On attaining true devotion, man does not desire anything else; he grieves no more, is free from hatred and jealousy; he does not take pleasure in the vanities of life; and he loses all eagerness to gain anything for himself. Realizing that, man becomes intoxicated and fascinated, as it were, because he is completely immersed in the enjoyment of the Bliss of the Atman, the truest and highest Self.Than all other paths, Devotion is readily available and easily attainable.
Narada Bhakti Sutra

Solar Eclipse Time in Kerala – Surya Grahanam on July 22, 2009

The total solar eclipse, Surya Grahanam, taking place in India on July 22, 2009 is a partial eclipse in Kerala. It is a partial solar eclipse in South India and begins before sunrise and ends by 07:20 AM. The moon will cover the sun by around 50 to 60% in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kochi (Cochin), Ernakulam, Calicut (Kozhikode), Thrissur and Kannur and other nearby regions. But this will happen early morning. Here are the timings of Solar Eclipse in some important towns and cities in Kerala.TrivandrumEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:13 AMCochin (Kochi) Eclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:14 AMKannur Eclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:15 AMKozhikode (Calicut) Eclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:15 AMThrissurEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse …

Solar Eclipse in West Bengal – Surya Grahan Kolkata Time on 22 July, 2009

The Total Solar Eclipse, or Surya Grahan, which will take place in India on 22 July, 2009 is a total eclipse in some parts of West Bengal. But it is a partial eclipse in Kolkata and Midnapore. It is a Total Solar Eclipse in Darjeeling and Siliguri. The time of eclipse in India is from 05:30 AM to 07:40 AM.Here are the timings of the Partial Eclipse in Kolkata and other nearby cities in West Bengal.KolkataEclipse Begins at 05:28 AMGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:26 AMEclipse ends at – 07:30 AMMidnaporeEclipse Begins at 05:28 AMGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:25 AMEclipse ends at – 07:29 AMTotal Solar EclipseDarjeelingEclipse Begins at – 5:30 AMTotal Solar Eclipse begins – 06:27 AMTotal Solar Eclipse ends – 06:29 AMEclipse Ends at – 07:33 AMSiliguriEclipse Begins at – 5:30 AMTotal Solar Eclipse begins – 06:28 AMTotal Solar Eclipse ends – 06:30 AMEclipse Ends at – 07:33 AMIt must be note that the eclipse on July 22, 2009 is a total solar eclipse in places like Patna, Bhopal, Indore, Surat,…

Solar Eclipse in Hyderabad – Surya Grahan 22 July 2009 in Andhra Pradesh

The total solar eclipse, Surya Grahanam, taking place in India on July 22, 2009 is a partial eclipse in Hyderabad and other parts of Andhra Pradesh. It is a partial solar eclipse in South India and the Surya Grahan begins before sunrise and end by 07:20 AM. The moon will cover the sun by around 60 to 70% in Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Nalgonda, Kurnool, Vijayawada and nearby regions. Here are the timings of Solar Eclipse in some important towns and cities in Andhra Pradesh.HyderabadEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:21 AMEclipse ends at – 07:20 AMKurnoolEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:21 AMEclipse ends at – 07:19 AMNalgondaEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:22 AMEclipse ends at – 07:21 AMNelloreEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:21 AMEclipse ends at – 07:19 AMVijayawadaEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:21 AMEclipse ends at – 07:20 AMYou may also like to readPla…

Solar Eclipse Time in Karnataka on 22July 2009 - Surya Grahan in Bangalore

The total solar eclipse, Surya Grahanam, taking place on July 22, 2009 is a partial eclipse in Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka. It is a partial solar eclipse in South India and the Surya Grahan begins before sunrise and ends by by 07:20 AM. The moon will cover the sun by around 65 to 70% in Bangalore, Hubli, Mangalore, Mysore, Sringeri and nearby regions. Here are the timings of Solar Eclipse in some important towns and cities in Karnataka.BangaloreEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:17 AMHubliEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:21 AMEclipse ends at – 07:17 AMMangaloreEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:16 AMMysoreEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:16 AMSringeriEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:16 AMYou may also like to readPlaces in India Where Total Sol…

Book: Samarpanam – English Commentary of the Vishnu Sahasranamam

The book titled, Samarpanam, which contains word-by-word translation and interpretation of the Vishnu Sahasranamam, is the result of four years of research and dedication by Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, the present head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore (South Kerala). The book is published by Konark Publishers, Delhi.‘Vishnu Sahasranama,’ chanted by Bheeshma after the 18-day Kurukshetra battle, consists of the thousands of Lord Vishnu and it has symbolic meanings.The Hindu reports“The Vishnu Sahasranamam was recited by Bheeshma Pitamah at the end of the Mahabharata war as he approached his hour of attaining peace, in response to the six questions asked by Yudhishtira. The concept of attempting an English commentary of Vishnu Sahasranamam came some years back at a programme in Salem where I quoted a few lines and followed it up with an explanation. Hearing this, [the then] Chief Justice of India K. Subba Rao, who was sharing the dais, asked me to prepare a commentary a…

Surya Grahan in Chennai – Solar Eclipse in Tamil Nadu on 22July 2009

The total solar eclipse, Surya Grahanam, taking place on July 22, 2009 is a partial eclipse in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (Puduchery). It is a partial solar eclipse in southern parts of India and begins before sunrise and by 07:20 AM. The moon will cover the sun by around 70% in Chennai, Coimbatore, Kannyakumari, Madurai and nearby other regions. Here are the timings of Solar Eclipse in some important towns and cities in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.Chennai Eclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:21 AMEclipse ends at – 07:18 AMKanyakumariEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:12 AMPondicherryEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:17 AMMaduraiEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:20 AMEclipse ends at – 07:14 AMCoimbatoreEclipse Begins before SunriseGreatest Phase of Eclipse – 06:19 AMEclipse ends at – 07:13 AMTrichy (Tirunelveli) Eclipse Begins …

Book: The Hidden Oracle of India: The Mystery of Naadi Palm Leaf Readers

In the book titled ‘The Hidden Oracle of India: The Mystery of India’s Naadi Palm Leaf Readers,’ the authors, Andrew and Angela Donovan, narrates their first time encounter and experience with the Naadi palm leaf readers of Tamil Nadu. Naadi palm leaf readers is said to accurately read the details of the lives of people which has been written down on palm leaves thousands of years ago. It is also referred as the Naadi Astrology. The popular belief is that the Naadi palm leaf containing past, present and future of living beings were compiled by Sages like Agastya, Bhrugu, Vasishta, Shukra and other saints. What is interesting in this form of astrology is that a compilation contains future of all human beings born or yet to be born.Some are of the view that the palm leaf were compiled by Lord Shiva and passed on to the Sapta Rishis.Naadi is a collective name given to the supposed palm-leaf manuscripts written by ancient sages. These Naadi Granthas are in the custody of scholars and astr…

Lessons from Upanishads

Some unparalleled lessons from the Upanishads. This supreme Brahman, the self of all, the great abode of the universe, more subtle than the subtle, eternal, That is thyself and thou art That. Kaivalya UpanishadLike a chariot drawn by the wild horses is the mind, the man of knowledge should hold it in with an unswerving attention. Shwetashwatara UpanishadHeaven is the association with the holy. Niralamba UpanishadBondage consists in imagining a plunge into the flux of existence with its possessive claims on fields, gardens, houses, children, wives, brothers, mothers and fathers. Niralamba UpanishadUpanishads

Are Hindus Obsessed with fair skin even when praying to a Dusky Lord Krishna?

The images of popular Hindu Gods like Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali are dark or blue or dusky in appearance. Some of the prayers and bhajans dedicated to Gods and Goddesses extol their dark color. But even while praying to these dusky skin gods and chanting these mantras, a large section of Hindus have an obsession for whiteness or fair skin complexion.There are numerous other Gods that are blue or dusky colored. Lord Ram is blue colored. Popular characters in the Mahabharata have dusky skin tone. Arjuna is said to have had dark skin tone and it is mentioned in numerous regional versions of the Mahabharat. Draupadi, for whom all the kings and princess of that era vied for in the Swayavara, was dark. Some were even ready to go into war for the dark-colored Draupadi, who had captivated and enamored all the men her era.But followers a great tradition that worships dark color is obsessed with fair skin.Perhaps we Hindus yearn for fair skin because it is what major…

Surya Grahan Mantra – Prayers and Mantras Chanted during Solar Eclipse

During Surya Grahan, devout Hindus perform several rituals and chant different prayers and mantras. Hindu Pregnant women chant Santana Gopala Mantra during the Suryagrahan.
Most devout Hindus chant the Ashtakshara Mantra dedicated to Shri Krishna or the Astakshari Mantra dedicated to Lord Vishnu.Ashtakshara mantra dedicated to Lord Krishna is ‘Shri Krishna ha sharnam mama.’Astakshari Mantra dedicated to Lord Vishnu is 'Om Namoh Narayan Ya namah.'Mahamrityunjay Mantra and Shiva Panchakshari Mantra dedicated to Lord Shiva are also chanted during the Surya Grahan period. Shiva Panchakshari Mantra is Om Namah ShivayaMahamrityunjay Mantra isOm Tryambhakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya MaamritatThe Santana Gopala Mantra chanted by pregnant women isOm Devaki Sudha Govinda
Vasudeva Jagath Pathe
Dehimey Thanayam
Krishna Thwamaham
Saranam KadhahaaDeva Deva Jagannatha
Gothra Vridhi Karap Prabho
Dehimey Thanayam Sheegram
Ayushmandham Yashashreenam!Mantras…

Taregna Village in Bihar the Best Place to Watch Total Solar Eclipse on 22 July

The Total Solar Eclipse, Surya Grahan, taking place on July 22, 2009 will be visible for 3 minutes and 38 seconds in the morning from TaregnaVillage in Bihar in India. Thousands of scientists and Astro tourists are expected to arrive in the village to watch the eclipse as it is the epicenter of the 22 July Total Solar Eclipse. Interestingly, ‘Taregna’ means counting stars. Aryabhatta, the famous astronomer of ancient India, is believed to have studied stars and planets from Taregna. He is said to have had his observatory at Taregna Math.In India, the eclipse will commence before sunrise. Surat and Vadodara in Gujarat, Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Patna in Bihar, Darjeeling and Siliguri in West Bengal, Gangtok in Sikkim and Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh are also expected to be excellent locations for a good view of the solar eclipse.Taregna is about 35 km from Patna.In Patna, the Eclipse begins at 05:29:57 AM.Total Solar Eclipse Begins at 06:24:37 AM.…

Aadi Masam – Tamil Month Aadi

Aadi Masam is the fourth month in Tamil Calendar and some people consider the month as inauspicious or bad as Dakshinayana Punyakalam, the night time of Gods, begins in the Aadi month. But numerous unique Tamil rituals and festivals are also observed during Aadi month so some people consider it as auspicious.
In some regions newly married couples stay separate during Aadi month. This is because in earlier days it was considered that if a woman conceives (get pregnant) in Aadi month, she will deliver in March or April the hottest months. This would put the life of mother and child in danger. But this custom is not followed by many people today.
Dakshinayana Punyakalam, the night of Devas, begins on the first day of the month Aadi. The sun changes its direction during this period and next six months is the night time of the gods and ends with Uttarayan in January. Due to this reason, no auspicious events are held in the month.
Numerous rituals are held in Aadi month.
Tuesdays in the m…

Quotes from Sri Ramanuja Gita Bhashya on Controlling the Sense Objects

Sri Ramanujacharya’s commentary on the shlokas 59 to 61 in the Chapter II of the Bhagavad GitaThe sense objects are the food of the sense. The sense objects turn away from one who has withdrawn his senses from objects. But still one may hold the relish for them. Relish means hankering. This means that the hankering of the sense objects does not go away by abstinence alone. But even this hankering will go away when one sees that the essential nature of the self is superior to the sense objects and that the realization of this self gives greater happiness than the enjoyment of sense objects. When there is an attempt to subdue the sense objects and realize the self there will always be a conflict in the mind.With a desire to overcome this mutual dependence between the subduing of the senses and vision of the Self, one has to conquer the senses which are difficult to subdue on account of their attachment to sense-objects.
So, focusing the mind on Me (Krishna) who am the only auspicious obj…

It Is All About Pandavas In This Karnataka Village

All traditions and beliefs in BannikoppaVillage in Haveri District of Karnataka revolve around the legends based on the five Pandava brothers in Mahabharata. Bannikoppa villagers believe that the Pandavas lived in their village for one year during their exile period. Majority of the male members in the village are named after the Pandavas. The village domesticates only cow and no other animal because Pandavas did not like domesticating any other animal.When some villagers tried to rear goats or breed fowls, they all were killed by rare diseases. Only Lingayat Panchamasali community members live in the village as it is believed that other community members cannot live in the village. So other community members don’t stay overnight at the village.A century-old temple in the village is named after the Pandavas and it is the only temple in Bannikoppa.BannikoppaVillage is about 6 km from Shiggaon in Haveri District of Karnataka.Times of India ReportsElders of this 250-household village bel…

Hari Tritiya

Hari Tritiya is observed three days after no moon day or Amavasi in the Shravan month as per the traditional Hindu calendar in North India. In 2017, the date of Hari Tritiya is July 26. The day is dedicated to women. Girls and women indulge in swinging, singing and dancing on the day. The festival is also known as Hariyali Teej in many regions.

Hari Tritiya festival is a festival dedicated to the lush green nature after the first monsoon showers. It is essential a celebration of the green nature. Women make merry on the day and special gifts are given by elders to all the women members in the family.

The festival is of great importance in the Braj region in Uttar Pradesh.

People also prepare various different types of sweets and food items in their homes. This is first offered to the important deity in the region and later distributed as Prasad.

Book: Puntanam and Melpattur: Two measures of Bhakti – English Translations of Jnanapaana and Narayaniyam

The book ‘Puntanam and Melpattur: Two measures of Bhakti’ contains the English translations of the Malayalam Jnanapaana poem by Puntanam and Sanskrit Narayaniyam of Melpattur. The book also contains a small poem by Mahakavi Vallathol. The verse translation in English of the poems is done by Vijay Nambisan. The book is published by Penguin Books India and is part of the Penguim Classics.Jnana Paana by Puntanam and Narayaniyam of Melpattur is considered to be gems of medieval Indian literature. Narayaniyam is a Sanskrit classic and is dedicated Lord Guruvayoorappan (Lord Krishna). It is a condensation of the Bhagavad Purana in 1036 shlokas (stanzas).Jnanapaana is a Malayalam classic and is an important literary work in the Bhakti tradition. Apart from the translations, the book also contains a detailed introduction on these literary gems.The flyer of the book saysFor four centuries, Jnana-paana and Narayaniyam have been touchstones of faith in Kerala. Puntanam’s Jnana-paana may claim to…