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Showing posts from August, 2009

Limited Edition Lord Shiva-Themed Pen from Swiss Caran d'ache Worth $15000

Swiss Caran d'ache is known for high quality and high priced writing instruments that are smart in looks and durable in performance – Swiss Quality. In 2009, a limited edition 108 fountain pens and 55 roller pens have been created by Caran d'ache to honor Hindu God, Shiva. Today, there is a huge interest and vast market for various products based Hindu Gods and other aspects associated with Hinduism. Several international brands are tapping into this unexplored market sometimes successfully and sometimes landing in trouble and controversy by hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.This collector’s item has been created by Caran d'ache, in collaboration with the jeweler and artist, Edouard Jud. According to Caran d'ache the Shiva-themed pen isProduced entirely by hand in 800 solid silver with a distinctive somber finish, these sumptuous pieces evoke all the mystery and symbolism of the most important figure in the Shaivait tradition. Shiva, the personification of the…

Parivartini Ekadasi Vrat Katha – Story of Parsava Parivartini Ekadashi

The Parsava Parivartini Ekadasi observed during the waxing phase of moon in Bhadra month is associated with incarnation of Lord Vamana of Lord Vishnu and also with sleep of Vishnu during Chatur Mas period. Parivartini Ekadasi Vrat Katha (Story) extols the glory of the legendary King Bali.King Bali was popular on earth for his honesty, compassion, justice and there was all-round prosperity in his kingdom. He made the utopia a reality. Although born into a family of Demons, King Bali was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. His glory and power made Indra (the lord of Demi Gods) weak. Soon King Bali overthrew Indra and took over the heavenly kingdom. Indra took refuge at the feet of Lord Vishnu.Lord Vishnu took the form of Vamana – a dwarf Brahmin and went to the palace of King Bali who was conducting a huge Yajna. King Bali was distributing gifts to all gathered there and the young Vamana asked for three steps of land. King Bali thought that three steps of land was too little and asked th…

Krishna: History or Myth – Documentary on the Existence of Lord Krishna

Krishna: History or Myth is a documentary that proves the existence of Lord Krishna through archaeological, astronomical and other evidences. The documentary goes deep into both scientific knowledge and religious belief. Manish Pandit, a UK-based nuclear medicine physician, has produced and directed ‘Krishna: History or Myth.’"Krishna existed in reality and not merely in the imagination of devotees and scripture writers." "The film relies on four premises -- the archaeological evidence, the astronomical evidence, the living traditions and the oral traditions to prove that Krishna existed and the Mahabharat did occur," says Pandit, originally from Pune and now working as a consultant and an honorary senior clinical lecturer in nuclear medicine in United Kingdom. (PTI News)
Krishna: History or Myth is currently being dubbed into eight Indian regional languages and also in Spanish and German.Manish Pandit can be contacted at
Saraswati Films Ltd.
35 Arcadia Ave, Sale,

Hindu Temple Choir – Hindus Innovate In United States with New Form of Praying

A temple choir which is a rarity in Hinduism is being practiced in United States by Hindus. “Om! Ganesha Sharanam!” the choristers sang from the corner of New YorkGaneshaTemple in Flushing, Queens, on Ganesh Chaturthi and it marked the beginning of Hindu Temple Choir.Religious Choir is a disciplined group of people that sings as part of a religious ceremony and is mostly associated with Christian prayers in Churches. Choirs are not performed in Hindu Temples. Hindus do sing bhajans in group in temples but it is not choir as it is sung without any proper practice and is sung more out of devotion. TempleChoir is not performed in Hindu religion because Hinduism gives importance to individual worship and an individual can come and visit a temple whenever he/she feels. Hindu Bhajans are mostly solo performances. The auspicious beginning of Hindu Temple Choir was made by about 50 singers at the New YorkGaneshaTemple in Flushing, Queens, during the Ganesh Chaturthi in 2009.New York Times rep…

Sri Narayana Guru Jayanti

The 19th century sage and social reformer, Sri Narayana Guru, a member of the Ezhava community in Kerala, was revered for his deep spiritual attainment, humanistic philosophy and commitment to social reform and equality. In 2015, the date of Sri Narayana Guru Jayanti is on August 30. He taught the ideal of ‘One caste, one religion and one  God for mankind’ and stressed social self-upliftment by the lower castes to fight the caste system.

Sri Narayana Guru Jayanthi is observed on the Chathayam Nakshatram day in the Malayalam month of Chingam. (August – September) Sri Narayana Guru (1854-1928) brought about revolutionary change in Kerala by organizing the lower caste people. His motto was one caste, one religion, one god – echoing the teachings of the Upanishads.

Special programs and pujas are held on the day in Kerala, other parts of India and around the world by Shree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP).

You may also like to read Sri Narayana Guru Teachings

Padma Ekadasi – Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Padma Ekadashi

The Ekadasi fasting observed on the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad month in traditional North Indian calendar is known as Padma Ekadasi. In 2019, Padma Ekadasi date as per North Indian calendar is September 9. It must be noted that the Devshayani Ekadasi observed in the month of Ashada month is also referred as Padma Ekadashi.

Padma Ekadasi is observed during the Chaturmas period.

This Ekadasi is also referred as Vamana Ekadasi, Parsava Parivartini Ekadashi and Jaljhlini Ekadasi.

The name of this Ekadasi varies from region to region. But the legend associated with this Ekadasi remains the same. It is said that Lord Vishnu who is sleeping during the Chaturmas period changes his sleep position on this Ekadashi day.

All the usual fasting rules associated with Ekadasi fasting is observed on the day. Some people opt for a strict complete fast.

Scientists Attempt to Find Sanjeevani Herb of Ramayana

In the Ramayana, Lord Hanuman carried the mountain with the Sanjeevani Herb to save the life of Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Ram, who was struck and rendered unconscious by the arrow of Indrajit, son of Ravana. For thousands of years, scientists, Ayurveda practitioners and common people, have been trying to identify the exact Sanjivani Herb that brought back Lakshmana to consciousness. Sanjeevani literally means something that offers life. Now a group of scientists from Bangalore have zeroed in on two plants grown in the Western Ghats, Aravali and the Vindhyas, which could be the Sanjivani herb that saved the life of Lakshman. Kalyan Ray writes in Deccan HeraldA fern Selaginella bryopteris and an orchid Flickingeria fimbriata, could be the potential species representing Sanjeevani, said researchers from the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore and College of Forestry, Sirsi.“S.bryopteris is known to offer protection against heat shock and ultra-violet ray sho…

The story of Sage Dadhichi and Vajrayudha - Dadeechi Rushigalu and Narayana Varma Japa

This article is a guest post and is written by Sri Narahari Sumadhwa. He has used Telugu names of Hindu saints and gods. It is presented without editing and I have only added the popular names of Saints in braces.
Dadeechi Rushigalu (Saint Dadhichi) was born on Bhadrapada Shudda Ashtami. The day observed as Dadeechi Jayanti.
Sage Dadhichi is considered in the Puranas as one of our earliest ancestors and he shines in this great country as the illustrious example of sacrifice for the sake of the liberation of the suffering from their distress. No sacrifice is too great for the noble-minded in this world.
During Krta Yuga, there was a daitya (demon) named Vritrasura. He, associated by Kalakeyas, was attacking Devataas (demi gods) and people were made to suffer a lot. Devatas (demi gods) were losing their battle against Daityaas. At that time they went to Lord Brahma, who took them to Srihari (Lord Vishnu), who recommended them to make a weapon to destroy Vritrasura, with the help of b…

Sunia Festival in Odisha

Sunia is observed in the Bhadarva month in Orissa and is considered to be the traditional New Year in Odisha (Oriya New Year) by some communities. The day is observed as Bamana Janma day or Vaman Jayanti – the day when Lord Vishnu appeared as Vamana. In 2019, the date of Sunia festival is September 10.
Sunia festival was observed mainly by Rajas and Zamindars. It is the day when they renewed the lease on the land and water body etc. The one-year lease of various types used to begin on the day. Farmers and citizens also used to pay the tax on this day to the rulers. But with the abolishment of Zamindari system in India, Sunia festival has no relevance and is ignored by majority of the people.
The festival is of great importance in Puri for the Orissa royalty associated with the PuriJagannathTemple. Thousands of people are invited to the PuriPalace and a Mahaprasad ceremony is held on the day.

Thoughts of a Hindu Soldier in the United States Army

A devout Hindu, Rajiv Sriram Srinivasan, aged 23, is a Lieutenant in the United States Army. In an essay competition conducted by Hindu American Foundation, Rajiv shared his thoughts on the identity crises he faced as being a man of Hindu faith believing in the peaceful coexistence of all beings and at the same time the need to patriotically serve United States as an army officer. Rajiv’s essay is highly inspirational and touches the core teachings of Sanatana Dharma.Rajiv is also the founder of the non-profit Beyond Orders that connects soldiers in war zones with NGOs in the United States to meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi and Afghani people.
Here are some excerpts from the essay of Rajiv Sriram Srinivasan titled My Battle Within: The Identity Crisis of a Hindu Soldier in the US Army. It was selected as the first prize winner in the age 23-28 category of HAF’s competition.As I dawn my body armor, grab my weapon, and prepare to lead my platoon of 32 soldiers into Afghanistan, …

Dharo Atham

Dharo Atham is a unique ritual observed in Gujarat during the waxing phase of moon (Shukla Paksha) in Badarvo or Bhadrapad month. Dharo Atham 2019 date is September 6. It is observed on the eighth day of Shukla Paksha. Mothers observe Dharo Atham for the wellbeing and long life of their daughters and sons.

Dharo Atham ritual consists of worshipping of ‘dharo’, green grass, and listening to the story associated with the ritual.

Married women and mothers eat only once in the evening of the eight day of waxing phase of Bhadrapad month. The food eaten on the day is cooked on the previous day.

Ganesh Chaturthi Nirmalya Segregation and Flower Recycling to make Natural Holi Colors in Pune

Hundreds of kilos of flowers are used for puja and decoration during Ganesh Chaturthi festival. As part of eco-friendly Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrations in Pune, e-coexist, an environmental organization, is going to recycle the flowers used during Ganesh Chaturthi festival to make colors natural colors for Holi festival.Ganesh Chaturthi Nirmalya Segregation project of E-coexist One of the biggest outputs of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is the tonnes of 'nirmalya' - the offerrings collected during the immersion. These offerings are made of several items : flower garlands, fruits, coconuts, spices, honey and camphor. While most of the offerings themselves are made of natural items, they come wrapped in plastic bags, plastic boxes or glass bottles.Traditionally, these items were meant to be immersed with the Ganesh idols, as an offering back to nature. However, since immersion of these on large scale is bound to cause problems, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has successfull…

Puzzle Activity Book and Online Games for Children – Where Is Hanuman?

'Where’s Hanuman' published by Penguin Books India (Imprint – Puffin Children Books) is an illustrated book for children based on the Ramayana. The book contains puzzle scenes and activities starting from the wedding of Lord Ram and Mata Sita. The puzzles are based on Exile of Lord Ram, Kidnapping of Sita, Coronation of Bali, Searching and Finding Sita, BuildingBridge, Attacking Lanka, Killing Ravana and the return by Pushpaka Vimana to Ayodhya. The activity book is meant for children to learn about the adventures of Hanuman and Ramayana in an engaging and exciting way. Where Is Hanuman is written by By Alister Taylor and Chris Woods and is illustrated By Benjamin McClintic The official website of Where Is Hanuman has some interesting online games for children. You can play the online games here.

Vaman Ekadasi – Vamana Ekadashi

Vaman Ekadasi is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the moon) in Bhadrapada month (August – September). Vamana Ekadashi is associated with the Lord Vamana incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Lord Vamana appeared on the earth on this Ekadasi day. In 2019, the date of Vaman Ekadasi is September 9.

Lord Vamana appeared to end the rule of King Mahabali. Onam celebrations in Kerala which is based on the episode of King Bali and Lord Vishnu from the Puranas takes place during this period.

The significance of Vaman Ekadasi was narrated to Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, by Lord Krishna. It is believed that those who observe this Ekadashi will be free from their sins.

All the usual fasting rules associated with Ekadasi are observed on the day.

In Gujarat, Vaman Ekadasi is known as Jal Jhilani Ekadashi. This Ekadasi is also known as Parsva Parivartini Ekadasi.

You may also like to read How to observe Ekadasi Fasting? What food to eat for those observing par…

Mukta Bharan Saptami

Mukta Bharan Saptami is observed in the Bhadrapad month in North India. In 2019, the date of Mukta Bharan Saptami is September 5. It is observed on the seventh day of the waxing phase of moon in Bhadra month. This unique ritual which falls during the Shukla Paksha of the month is important to some Hindu communities.

Doobali Satham and Uma Maheshwar Puja are also observed on the day.

Saptami Vrat is generally dedicated to Lord Surya.

Rishi Panchami in Gujarat

Rushi Pancham, or Rishi Panchami, is a unique ritual observed by farmers and women in Gujarat on the fifth day of the waxing phase of moon in Bhadrapad month (August - September). Rishi Panchami 2019 date is September 3.

 As per Hindu tradition, women are not supposed to perform any religious ritual or visit temples during menstrual period. If a woman happens to break the rule, then she can perform the Rishi Pancham ritual and absolve the sin.

In some Hindu communities, there is a belief that during menstrual period, a woman should not touch anyone or any vessel.

Legend has it that a woman who did not stick to this rule was born as a dog in her next birth. A holy saint who realized that the dog was a woman in her earlier birth, asked the owners of the dog to perform Rishi Panchami vrat so that the woman can escape from pain and rebirth. The couple performed the Vrat and the woman got moksha.

Women fast on the day, which falls on the fifth day of Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad month.

Nuakhai – Odisha Harvest Festival Thanking Mother Earth

Nuakhai is an important social event and festival mainly observed in Western Odisha in the Odiya month of Bhadra. In 2019, the date of Nuakhai is September 3. The festival is sort of thanks giving to Mother Earth for a good Kharif season harvest. Nuakhai means partaking of the first grains of paddy.

Nuakhai is observed on the day after Sri Ganesh Chaturthi. It is the fifth day during the Shukla Paksha of the Bhadarva month (August – September).

On Nuakhai day, Mother Nature is worshipped for providing food and all those elements essential for the survival of living beings. Goddess Shakti symbolizes Mother Earth and is worshipped in some regions and the new Kharif season crop is offered at a Shakti temple. The offering is made in leaf-cups made from Sal, Palasa, Tendu or Kurei leaves known as ‘Dana.’

Family members then consume the holy offering.

Traditional songs, dances and other cultural events are organized on the day.

Helicopter Services for Manimahesh Yatra

Mani Mahesh Yatra is an annual pilgrimage to ManimaheshLake and KailashPeak in the Bharmaur Region of Chamba District in Himachal Pradesh. The yatra begins on Sri Krishna Jayanti and ends on Radha Ashtami. The official yatra is only for a fortnight in August/September. Now the Chamba District administration has started helicopter services to ManimaheshLake for those who would like to avoid the tough 14-km trek.

The Helicopter ferries devotees between Bharmour, the base camp of the Manimahesh pilgrimage, and Gauri Kund, which is one kilometer away from the Lake. The ManimaheshLake is located at an altitude of 13,500 feet.
The water of the ManimaheshLake is believed to be holy and pilgrims take a holy dip and pray to the reflection of the KailashPeak on the Lake. There is also a four-faced Shivalingam installed near the lake.
You can get more details of Manimahesh Yatra in this article.

Bali Tritiya In Odisha In Bhadra Month

Bali Tritiya is observed on the third day, or Tritiya, of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of the Bhadra month in Orissa. In 2019, the date of Bali Tritiya is September 1. Bali Tritiya fasting is observed by married women and is dedicated to Lord Shiva (Maheshwara) and Goddess Parvati (Uma). Images of the divine couple are made using sand and worshipped on the day.

Bali Tritiya is quite similar to the Hartalika Teej vrat observed on the same day in other parts of India.

As per the Padma Purana, Goddess Parvati observed Bali Tritiya Vrat to get Lord Shiva as her husband. The intense rituals and tapas performed by Goddess Parvati softened the heart of Lord Shiva who was in terrible anger over the death of Sati.

Another popular legend associated with the Bali Tritiya ritual suggest that Lord Ram had performed the worship of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati from images made from sand and asked for their blessings before going into war with Ravana.

In a unique ritual, people beat …

Aghor Chaturdashi – Dedicated to Avadhuta Baba Kinaram

Aghor Chaturdashi is an observance associated with the Aghori Sect. In 2019, the date of Aghor Chaturdashi is August 29. It is a sect with followers in Nepal and in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Aghori Acharya Maharaj Kinaram one of the most prominent Gurus of this community was born on Aghor Chaturdashi day. Baba Kinaram is the founding father of the ancient Aghor Seat of Varanasi.

Aghori Acharya Maharaj Kinaram was born on the 14th day of the Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapad month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. His divine birth is believed to have happened in the year 1658 A.D

Viveksar, credited to Baba Kinaram, is said to be the most authentic treatise on the principles of Aghor.

An Aghor is an Avadhuta or Abhayadhar. One who has realized the immortality of the soul (Avinashi) and is free from all worldly bonds and is constantly immersed in the thought of Tatvamasi is called an Avadhut.

Eco-friendly Ganesh Idols from Alum or Fitkari

People from all walks of life are joining into create awareness about the need to use eco-friendly Ganesh idols for Ganesh Chaturthi puja and make a positive difference. Some people are coming forward with unique solutions to Plaster of Paris idols and one such innovative idea is the making of Ganapati Idols using Alum. This unique solution which also helps in cleaning water was put forth by Civil engineer Ramesh Kher from Pune.
Large quantities of Alum, or Fitkari, (aluminum sulfate) are used clean portable water in India. Aluminum sulfate along with another chemical called sodium aluminate is pumped into lakes to control algae growth. The growth of algae is considered to be one of the main reasons behind murky and smelly water bodies.
Ramesh Kher from Pune who has come up with the idea suggests the Alum Ganesha idols will help in protecting and saving the rivers and lakes.
The main idea here is to make use of the Ganesh idol immersion environment friendly and also bring about a p…

Research on Historical Places Associated with Ramayan in Sri Lanka

Ramayana Trail Executive Committee associated with the Ministry of Tourism Sri Lanka is conducting extensive research to unravel the places associated with Ramayan in Sri Lanka. They have also got a website exclusively dedicated to the Ramayana Research in Sri Lanka.Ramayana Trail Executive Committee have identified around 18-places associated with Ramayan. Some of the places identified are CobraHoodedCave the place where Mata Sita was held captive. Rawan Ella cave, Nala Sethu, Molagoda etc are some of the places identified.You can find details of the Historical places associated with Ramayan identified so far in Sri Lanka here at the official website of Ramayana Trail Executive Committee – Ramayana ResearchYou may also like to readRamayana Related Sites in Sri Lanka

Lalita Sasti – 2019 Date | Importance And How to Observe Lalita Shashti Vrat

Lalita Shashthi festival is associated with the Vaishnava Sect and is dedicated to one of Gopis of Vrindavan. Lalita Sasti 2019 date is September 4. The day is of great importance to ISKCON devotees.

Importance of Lalita Sasti Lalita Sashti Vrat is dedicated to Goddess Lalita Devi, a gopika in Vrindavan. This vrat is believed to have been suggested by Sri Krishna.

It is believed that married couples observing this vrat will be blessed with healthy children. Parents observe this for health, intelligence and long life of their children.

The vrat is quite similar to fast dedicated to Goddess Sashti. In some regions the fast is also known as Santan Sashti Fasting.
Who was Lalita? Lalitha was one of the best friends of Radha. She constantly features among the eight Gopis associated with Krishna and Radha. Lalita Sashti is observed on the sixth day during the waxing phase of moon in Bhadrapad month.

Scholars are of the view that Lalitha who was elder to Radha was a witness to the love of R…

Aja or Annada Ekadasi Vrat Katha – Story of Aja and Annada Ekadashi

Aja, or Annada Ekadasi, is observed during the waning phase of moon (Krishna Paksha) in the month of Bhadrapad in North India. The corresponding period in other regions is the Krishna Paksha of Shravan month. Aja Ekadasi Vrat Katha was narrated to Yudhishtira by Lord Krishna. The story of Annada Ekadashi is associated with the famous king Harischandra.King Harischandra was famous for his truthfulness and honesty. Once Sage Vashista praised the truthfulness of Raja Harischandra but Sage Vishwamitra was not ready to accept it and he decides to test King Harischandra. Vishwamitra vows to prove that Harischandra also lies. As a result of Vishwamitra’s tests, King Harischandra had to give up his kingdom and family and had to take refuge in Kashi. He becomes an undertaker in Kashi. But never lies. He always upheld truthfulness and proper code of conduct.One day the great sage Guatama met King Harischandra and the king narrated his sad tale to him. Sage Gautama advised King Harischandra to …

Maheshwaram Ganesha – Largest Silver Ganesh Idol in the World

Episode Silver store in Lower Parel in Mumbai has created 11 Silver Ganesh idols which are five feet high and 4.5 feet in width making them the largest and tallest silver Ganesh idols in the world. The cost of this Big Silver Ganesha is 23.5 Lakh (2.35 million Indian rupees). This precious sterling silver Ganesha idol is called Maheshwaram Ganesha.It is a limited edition Ganesha Idol and only 11 pieces of this Silver Ganesha Murti will be sold worldwide.
The idol will be unveiled on August 18, 2009 at the High Street Phoenix Store as part of the Ganesh Chaturthi reportsThe Lord is seated, with a conchshell, the Bhagvad Gita, and a lotus in his hands. His vahan, the mouse, moves around him playfully, and is depicted in multiple positions around him. His crown is embedded with emeralds, while the ornaments are crafted using rubies and other semi-precious stones.For Deepak Whorra, MD and Head Designer at Episode, considers the Maheshwaram Ganesha one of the toughest p…

For Cow Protection – Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yathra

Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yathra is dedicated to the protection of cow and will begin on Vijaya Dashami, 30 September 2009, from Kurukshetra in Haryana. The 108–day yatra will cover all the towns and villages in India.Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yathra is conducted under the guidance of Poojya Jagadguru Shankaracharya Shree Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swamiji of Shree Ramachandrapura Math in Karnataka.The Aim of the Yatra – Villages progress by devotion to cow, progress of villages results in progress of the nation, leading to the progress of the world. The yatra is supported by several Hindu seers and organizations. The Yatra will conclude on Makara Sankranthi, 17 January 2010, in NagpurYou can get more details about the Gou Grama Yatra and also on how to participate and contribute in this unique endeavor here at the official website of the Yatra. – Gou Gram Yatra
You may also like to readParticipate in Parliament of the World’s Religions 2009

Kaliyadalan Ekadasi – Kalia Dalana Ekadashi

Kaliyadalan Ekadashi, also known as Kaliyadaman Ekadasi, is observed in Odisha during the Krishna Paksha of Bhadra month (Bhadrapad). The corresponding Ekadasi observed in other regions is known as Aja Ekadasi, or Annada Ekadashi. This Ekadasi observed in Orissa is associated with the Krishna and Snake Kaliya episode. In 2019, the date of Kalia Dalana Ekadasi is August 26.

Snake Kaliya had poisoned the water of Yamuna making it unfit for drinking. All the animals and birds that drank the water of Yamuna died. Lord Krishna intervened and subdued Kaliya and freed Yamuna from his clutches. Kaliya left Yamuna and the water became poison free.

Kaliyadalan Ekadasi is observed in remembrance of this divine event. On the 11th day of the Bhadra month, Kaliya Dalan Vesha is observed in PuriJagannathTemple.

Pola Amavasya 2019

Pola festival is dedicated to the cows and ox. It is observed in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and other parts of rural India on the Shravan Amavasya (no moon day in Sawan month). Farmers pay respect to bullocks and cows as cattle is their main source of livelihood. In 2019, the date of Pola Amavasya is August 30.

A day before Pola Amavasya, the rope tied on the ox is removed and turmeric paste and oil is applied the body of cows, ox and bullocks.

On Pola day, cattle are bathed and special food prepared like Puran Poli, Kichadi and Bajari are provided to them.

The animals are also adorned with various ornaments and clothes. Their horns are given a fresh coat of paint.

The bull is also worshipped on the day and villagers in large numbers gather to pay their respect. The animals are taken around the village in processions accompanied by music.

Many farmers also start the next farming season on the day.

Thoughts on Sri Krishna Jayanti

There is a Higher Power pulsating in us. It is the light of intelligence. It illuminates the thoughts and feelings in us. The light illuminating all these faculties is one and the same in all. It is represented as Sri Krishna. Krishna is infinite wisdom.When everybody is sleeping in the prison of his Ego, when the sense organs are all asleep, the mysterious Light shine forth during meditation and in that darkness the Blue Boy of Brindavan is born.This Supreme Essence born as a mass of Beauty, Music and Joy, dazzling in Wisdom, noisy with Laughter, ever a Master of Circumstances, a King of Events, frisking about in life’s melancholy contentions, meeting challenges with daring and confidence, at once a Hero and a Child all rolled in one – this is the perfect God-Man, the Eternal Child of Brindavan.Swami Chinmayananda
(Source – Excerpts from one of Swami Chinmayananda’s Sri Krishna Jayanti discourse) We take refuge in Thee – who art avowed to Truth, who art the Abode of Truth. True in all…

On Hinduism and Atheism

Hinduism was never uncomfortable with Atheism and in fact it is perhaps the only religion that has accepted a fully developed school of thought supporting atheism. The Carvaka philosophical school rejected the notion of karma, moksha, the authority of the sacred scriptures including the Vedas, and the immortality of the self. The Carvaka School of Thought only recognizes direct perception (anubhava) as the true means of knowledge (pramana).While atheism negates the existence of God, Hinduism sees God in all animate and inanimate. In fact Hinduism sees atheism also as a path to reach the Supreme Knowledge. Prakash Shesh, a management consultant, writes in Times of India Hinduism — the religion of a large majority of Indians — officially accepts that atheists can continue to be Hindus. India has produced many towering personalities who did not believe in God. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, despite his traditional upbringing, was an avowed nonbeliever. The Indian atheist list would include: Ba…

Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel to Broadcast Live the Ringing of the Bells at Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple

Two huge bells placed at the Ghanta mandapam before Bangaru Vakili (Golden Threshold) in SrivariTemple in Tirumala Tirupati is sounded daily to alert people on commencement of various rituals like Thomala, Archana, Koluv and Naivedya Samarpana sevas. Now, Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel, the official television channel of Tirumala Tiruapati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to telecast live the ringing of the bells. Express Buzz reportsIt will be telecast every day without fail, even if the scheduled programme has to be stopped midway, SVBC officials said.According to them, the ringing of the bell on Tirumala has a mythological and historical importance. It is said that only after hearing the bells of Tirumala, that the Deva, Yaksha, Kinnera and other celestial beings take their food.The Ghanta Mandapam -- also known as Maha Mani Mantapam and Mukha Mantapam -- was constructed in 1417 AD by Amathya Mallanna, a minister in the Vijayanagara court, popularly known as Madhava Dasu.The bell is…

Annada Ekadasi

Annada Ekadasi, also known as Aja Ekadashi, is observed during the waning phase of moon (Krishna Paksha) in August/September. Annada Ekadasi 2019 date is August 26. In North India, it is observed during the Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapad month. In other regions, the corresponding month is Shravan. It is believed that those observing this Ekadasi will be redeemed of sins.

It is believed that King Harishchandra got back his kingdom, dead son and family after observing Annada Ekadasi. It was Saint Gautama who asked the honest king to observe the particular Ekadasi so that he will be able to overcome all the difficulties in life. The king got back all that he had given to Sage Vishwamitra. It is said that those observing Annada Ekadasi fasting is sure to be freed from all the sins.

There are no separate rules for fasting on the day. People avoid eating grains and beans on the day.

Ekadasi fasting is observed on the 11th day of a lunar fortnight and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

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Bhagavad Gita on How to Attain Serenity of Mind

Teachings from Bhagavad Gita on how to attain serenity of mind.

Verse 16 in chapter 17 of the Bhagavad Gita talks about austerity and serenity of mind. (Chapter 17, Verse 16)

Serenity of mind, good heartedness, silence, self-control, purity of nature – these together are called ‘mental austerity.’
Serenity of mind can be gained only when our relationship with the world at large is put on a healthy basis of understanding, tolerance and love. Further, one who is an uncontrolled sensualist can have little serenity or composure.
The mind runs out through the sense organs into the sensual fields to eke out its satisfaction. The driving force that sets the mind on its endless errands is an intellect ever seething with desires.
Quietude of the mind can be gained only when it is protected from both the inflow of stimuli from the tempting sense objects of the outer world and the whipping desires that march out from the intellect to drive the mind out into the fields of enjoyment.
One who has …

Rekha Panchami in Odisha

Rekha Panchami, also known as Raksha Panchami or Rakhya Panjami, is observed in Odisha and is dedicated to Batuk Bhairav – an incarnation of Lord Shiva. In 2019, the date of Rekha Panchami is August 20.

The festival is observed for protection from wild animals and is also dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Rekha Panchami is observed on the fifth day of the Krishna Paksha of Bhadra month.

On this day, paintings of Batuk Bhairav or Bhairab, Ganesh and Mahadev (Shiva) is drawn on doors of homes. Some people draw the picture of Nandi the vehicle of Lord Shiva on the back door.

A prayer (invocation) to Lord Shiva is written on palm leaf and is hung on the top of the door. Along with the palm leaf, kusha grass and a small packet of rice also hung on the door.

At night there is a ritual of making small offerings to wild animals and snakes.

Chandra Sashti Vrat – Chand Chhath

Chandra Sashti, or Chand Chhath, is observed on the sixth day of the dark fortnight (waning phase of moon) of Bhadrapada month (August – September). In 2019, the date of Chandra Shasti Vrat is August 21. A fast is observed on Chandra Sashti Vrat day by unmarried women. Pujas and prayers are offered on the day to Chandra, the Hindu moon God.

The fast on Chandra Shasti Vrat begins in the morning and ends after seeing the moon. Water is offered to Chandra. The Vrat is performed to get a good husband and for a happy and prosperous life.

During the same period, Hala Shasti or Hal Shashti is observed. This is dedicated to Lord Balram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna.

Hindu Glass Temple in Malaysia - Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman Temple

Three hundred thousand pieces of colored glasses, namely blue, red, yellow, green, purple and white, will give shape to the Arulmigu SriRajaKaliammanTemple at Jalan Tebrau in Johor Bahru State of Malaysia. And when completed in October 2009, it will be the first HinduGlassTemple in the world. Around 95 per cent of the Arulmigu Sri Raja Kaliamman temple's walls, ceiling, domes and pillars will be adorned with more than three hundred thousand pieces of colorful glasses imported from Thailand, Japan and Belgium. The estimated cost of the temple is 3 million Malaysian Ringgit.The original Arulmigu SriRajaKaliammanTemple was built in 1922. The temple needed a makeover and the Temple committee decided on transforming the temple into something unique. The star online writesTemple president S. Sinathambhy, who is also an art teacher, said that so far RM2mil had been spent to renovate the 87-year-old temple.He added that he conceptualized the design while riding in a motorised taxi (tuk…

Khudurukuni Osha in Orissa

Khudurukuni Osha is observed in Orissa on the Sundays in the month of Bhadrab (August - September) by unmarried women and girls. Also known as Khudarankuni or Khudurkuni, it is mainly observed in the coastal districts of Orissa. Goddess Maa Mangala (Durga) is worshipped on the day.
Khudurukuni Osha rituals are based on the legend of a young girl named Taapoi. She had to undergo sufferings in the hands of her sister-in-laws when her brothers were on a sea journey. Therefore there is a belief that the ritual is observed by women for the safe return of their relatives (brothers) who venture into the sea.
Khude Bhaja or Khuda, which is fried left out particles of rice, are offered to Goddess Durga. ‘Khudurukuni’ means one who is very eager for khuda. Other offerings that are made are Kantiali Kakudi (a type of thorny Cucumber), Lia (fried paddy), Ukuda (fried paddy sweetened by molasses) and coconut. It is said that the young girl Taapoi survived on Khuda after her brothers left. She …

Sri Jayanti – Birthday Festival of Lord Krishna

Sri Jayanti is the name used to refer the birthday festival and celebrations of Lord Krishna in some regions, especially in North India. Shri Jayanti is popularly known by the name of Sri Krishna Jayanti or Janmashtami. In 2019, Sri Jayanti date is August 25. In North India, Shri Jayanti is observed on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of moon) in Bhadrapad month.

It must be noted that Sri Krishna Jayanti is observed on two different days. This is based on different calculations followed by the various Hindu regional calendars. In some regions, Sri Krishna Jayanti is observed on September 2.

Sri Jayanti celebrations reach its zenith in Mathura and Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. Numerous rituals are observed here on the day. Apart from pujas, prayers and fasting, children appear as various characters in the legends associated with Shri Krishna. They present small dramas based on Krishna’s life.

People of the region refer to the massive celebrations on Sri Jayanti as t…

Hindus in Afghanistan – Oldest Inhabitants Who Are Today Marginalized

Hindus are undoubtedly one of the oldest inhabitants of Afghanistan. Hindus are native people of the land. Some scholars are also of the view that the Vedas originated in Eastern Afghanistan. It is the land of Gandhari and Shakuni of Mahabharata. Today, majority of Afghan Hindus have been wiped out. The marginalization of Hindus began in the medieval period and continues to the present era. They were mercilessly butchered or forced to forgo Hindu tradition. And those that were able to escape persecution have taken refuge in India, United States and countries in Europe. Those Hindus that are surviving in Afghanistan are second class citizens. They are required to pay a poll tax and face numerous other impediments in day-to-day life. Reza Mohammadi Writes about the Hindus in Afghanistan in the Some excerpts from the article
…the growth of religious fundamentalism has now pushed the Hindus out of government offices, forcing them into the bazaars. It is now many years since…

Raghavendra Aradhana 2019 - Samadhi Day of Guru Sri Raghavendra Swamy in 2019

Raghavendra Aradhana in 2019 is the 348th Aradhana Mahotsava of Sri Guru Raghavendra Swamy. It is the death anniversary of the Guru. Shri Raghavendra Swamy, a 16th-century saint, and Guru, advocated Vaishnavism and popularized the Dvaita philosophy of Madhvacharya. The Raghavendra Aradhana 2019 will be held at Mantralayam on August 17.
Monday, August 16:   Poorva Aradhane Tuesday, August 17:   Madhya AradhaneWednesday, August 18:  Uttara Aradhane Meaning of the term Aradhana for Raghavendra Devotees -  Aradhana is the day when Raghavendra Swamy entered the Vrindavan for his Samadhi. They do not like to use the word death anniversary.
A correction from a reader ... Raghavendra Swami Aradhana is the day when Rayaru entered Brindavana alive and he is continuing there for about 700 years. It's not death anniversary... Most mutts and organizations associated with Sri Raghavendra Swamy around India will be observing the Aradhana. It begins with the Poorva Aradhana.

It is annually observe…