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Showing posts from March 10, 2009

Avacayam in Delhi – Mentally Challenged Young Adults produce Gulal for Holi from Flowers

Avacayam meaning dazzling flowers in Sanskrit is the program begun by Society for Child Development (SFCD) and supported by the Department of Environment that converts hundreds of kilos of waste flowers in non-toxic gulal for Holi. Avacayam today provides regular income to 1,500 disabled adults and helps in creating environmental friendly Holi colors. The Holi color produced by SFCD is available in South Delhi. Girija Duggal writes in Hindustan TimesSays the NGOs executive director Dr Madhumita Puri, “No one has really looked at the opportunity to provide the mentally challenged a space in a [manufacturing] chain, where they could be productive,” says Puri. It was this that led to the formation of Avacayam. Discarded flowers from temples, marriage pandals, homes and nine hotels in the city are used for this purpose. And the simple task of cutting petals provides them a regular income — for every kilogram of petals cut, they earn Rs 50-100. In its fourth year now, Avacayam has spread t…

Yoga Postures Patent – Yogasanas to be part of Indian Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

In order to save ancient Indian Yogasanas from being patented and pirated, the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) created by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Indian Union Health Ministry's Department of Ayush has started to put on record nearly 1500 Yogasanas. The move will prevent any nation or organization or individual from patenting the ancient Indian Yoga postures. The Hindu reportsAccording to V K Gupta, who is the Project Leader of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library -- which incharge of the initiative -- 600 asanas have already been put on record. "We have completed the transcription (putting it on record) of 600 asanas, out of a target of 1,500," Gupta told PTI. Under the TKDL project, 1,500 different Yoga postures would be put on record from traditional sources of information like the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Vedas and Puranas. You can find more details about the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) in this article.

World’s Largest Gathering of Women at Attukal Devi Temple

The capital city of the state of Kerala in India, Trivandrum, is transformed into a sea of women devotees annually on the Pooram Nakshatram day in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February – March). More than two million women participate in the Attukal Pongala ritual, which is the largest annual gathering of women in the world. All the women that have descended to Attukal in Trivandrum from various parts of Kerala, India and around the world are here to cook Pongala to Attukal Devi, an incarnation of Shakti. The goddess worshipped at AttukalBhagavathyTemple is Kannagi, who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. There is a popular belief that the Goddess showers her blessings on women and children. The Goddess as an incarnation of Kannagi suffered injustice and her suffering symbolizes the suffering of women in all ages – and the goddess provides strength to overcome all the impediments in life. The 'Pongala' ritual comprises preparing ‘prasad’ for the d…

Vasant Navratri 2010 – Basant Navaratri

Vasanth Navrathri, also known as Vasant Navratras, is the festival of nine dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati in the spring season in India (March – April). In 2010, Vasant Navratri begins on March 16, 2010 and ends on March 24, 2010. As it is observed from the first day of the Chaitra month, it is known as Chaitra Navratra and since it is observed in the spring season, some people call Spring Navratri or Vasant Navratri.The nine days of festival is also known as Ram Navratri.The Vasant Navratri is more popular in North India, especially in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and other northern states. Temples in this hill states conduct elaborate festivals and melas during the period. You can find more details about Vasant Navratri 2010 in this article.

Thoughts and Quotes on Holi Festival – Swami Chidanand Saraswati

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