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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 …

Words of Wisdom from Poems of Mira Bai

Life waxes and wanes imperceptibly,
it does not stay long.
The leaf that has once fallen
does not return to the branch.
Behold the Ocean of Transmigration
with its swift, irresistible tide.We do not get a human life
just for the asking.
Birth in a human body
is the reward for good deeds
in former births.Mira Bai

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.

Quotes from Uddhava Gita

With a pure mind one should observe in all beings as well as in oneself only Me, the Atman, who am both inside and out, and unobstructed like the sky.
Ideas of rivalry, jealousy, pity, and egoism quickly depart from a man who always thinks of Me in all men.
Charity, the performance of one’s duty, the observance of vows, general and particular, the hearing of the scriptures, meritorious acts, and all other works – all these culminate in the control of the mind. The control of mind is the highest Yoga.
The foolish man who, with his vision blinded, is tempted by such illusive creations as women, gold, ornaments, apparel and the like, considering them as objects of enjoyment, is destroyed, like the moth. (Uddhava Gita 3.8)
The clever man should take the essence out of all sources, from scriptures small as well as great – like the bee from flowers. (Uddhava Gita 3.10)
Expectation is surely the greatest misery, and the giving up of all expectations is the greatest bliss. (Uddhava Gita 3.44…

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

Why Bhagavad Gita advises not to revel in sense pleasures?

Even an average intelligent man, if he cares to investigate his own experiences with the outer world, will discover, all by himself, that joy-hunting among finite objects is no profitable preoccupation. The law of diminishing returns works in all our experiences and the very thing that gave a certain unit of joy in the beginning, itself soon becomes a stinking putrefying pit of sorrow.
Finite things can only torture us with hope of getting a more satisfactory joy and whip us along the path of sensuousness, making us pant is sheer exhaustion. 
Man, if he is wise, is satisfied only with the infinite and refuses to revel in sense pleasures. 
The more chaste, full, divine joy is gained only when come to experience the Self.
The enjoyments that are born of contacts are only generators of pain, for they have a beginning and an end. O son of Kunti, the wise do not rejoice in them. (Gita 5.22)
(Source: Holy Gita – Ready reference – Published by Chinmaya International Foundation)


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)

Yoga Sutras on Distractions of the Mind and How to Control the Distractions

… distractions of the mind, are: sickness, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sense addiction, false view, non-attainment of a stage, and instability. A dissatisfied, despairing body and unsteady inhalation and exhalation accompany the distractions. For the purpose of countering them, there is the practice of eka-tattva (Oneness). Clarification of the mind results from the cultivation of friendliness, compassion, happiness, and equanimity in conditions of pleasure, dissatisfaction, merit, and absence of merit, respectively. Or by expulsion and retention of breath. Or steady binding of the mind-organ arises in activity of involvement with a condition. Or having sorrowless illumination. Or [on a] mind in a condition free from attachment. Or resting on knowledge [derived] from dream or sleep. Or from meditation as desired. Mastery of it [extends] from the smallest to the greatest. The accomplished mind of diminished fluctuations is like a precious (or clear) jewel assuming the col…

Swami Sukhabodhananda Thoughts

At the end of one of my programmes, a lady danced for three hours in sheer celebration. Then she came and sat next to me and told me how happy she was. As she was drinking coffee, the beverage spilt on her beautiful saree. Immediately, she screamed, saying her joy from the three-hour dance was gone.

Looking at this incident, I learnt that three hours of happiness was invalidated by a sorrow lasting for a few seconds. If our mind can work like this, the reverse is also possible. The three hours of sorrow can be invalidated by a few seconds of joy.Swami SukhabodhanandaRelatedSwami Sukhabodhananda on Ego

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,…

Sant Jnaneswar Quotes

Those who try to cross Maya or illusion on the strength of their intellect get lost, Those who try to cross using knowledge are swallowed by pride, Those who take the help of the books are consumed by ego and arrogance,Those who perform ritualistic actions get caught in issues of right or wrong, Those who use youthful strength get consumed by lust, Those who perform external yajnas are caught in the web of desire and ambition.The ideal path to cross over Maya or illusion is of spiritual devotion. Alertness is required to avoid the pitfalls of ego and desire.Sant Jnaneswar (1274-1296 A.D)Sant Jnaneshwar, also known as Jnanadeva, is the author of the Jnaneshwari, a Marathi commentary on the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. You may also like to readQuotes from Jnaneshwari

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…

Why Lord Ram Send Mata Sita to Forest? Was Lord Rama Right or Wrong?

One of the greatest merits of Hindu Scriptures is that it is open to interpretation and criticism. Some of the actions of Lord Ram in Ramayana have been criticized and many even doubt whether Lord Ram deserves the reverence and worship that he is getting. All the actions of Lord Ram that are open to criticism today could have easily been polished and edited by Sage Valmiki and presented him without any so called flaws. This is the greatness of Hindu scriptures; it does not preach or impose teachings and ideas but kindles the reader to think, participate in a healthy debate and reach a conclusion. It wants the reader to remain independent and think independently.Our king might accept a wife who had stayed in another man’s home but not me – On hearing a washer man question the purity of the Queen of Ayodhya, Lord Ram decides to send a pregnant Mata Sita to the forest. Rama is the ideal king and for a modern reader this is heights of stupidity and absurdity. A modern reader would want Lo…

Savitri Chaturdashi Fasting in Bengal

Savitri Chaturdasi, or Sabitri Chaturdashi, is observed on the fourteenth day of the Krishna Paksha (waning or dark phase of moon) in the Bengali month of Jyeshta (May – June). Married women fast on Savitri Chaturdasi Vrata day for a happy married life and for the well being of their husbands. In 2019, the date of Savitri Chaturdashi is June 2.

Sabitri Chaturdashi is quite similar to the Vat Savitri Vrata observed in North and Western parts of India. It must be noted that in Orissa, Savitri Brata is observed on the Amavasi day in Jyeshta month i.e., the next day of Savitri Chaturdashi.

Like in all regions, the Savitri Chaturdashi is based on Savitri – Satyavan Legend in the Mahabharata. Women take inspiration from Savitri who saved her husband from the clutches of death.

The fasting method varies from region to region. Most people keep fast from sunrise to sunset. There is also a popular belief that Savitri Chaturdashi Vrata should be observed continuously for 14 years.

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.

Nityananda Quotes

Once you attain perfect inner peace, there is
No need to travel anywhere.
No need to see anything.
No need for pilgrimages to holy places.
All can be seen within. Coming and going are simply the mind’s delusions.
True peace, true liberation is attained
When the one Self in all is seen.
This is liberation from bondage,
This is desirelessness.
If you are looking for the object held in
Your hand,
Look in your hand—not elsewhere!
So with all things:
Test them within. Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri

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…

Chandan Purnima in Odisha Puri Jagannath Temple - Chandan Yatra at Puri Jagannath Temple

Chandan Purnima, also known as Chandan Jatra, is observed on the full moon day (Poornima) in the month of Baishakha or Vaishakh (April – May) in PuriJagannathTemple. In 2018, the date of Chandan Purnima is April 30. It is one of the most auspicious days in the 42-day Chandan Yatra. The deities of the JagannathTemple and Five Pandavas are taken on a boat along the Narendra Pond during the yatra.

Chandan in Chandan Purnima refers to the sandal paste used to smear on the idols during the festival to keep it cool during the summer heat. Sandal paste is also mixed in the water in the Narendra Pond.

Chandan Purnima festival is also held in numerous other temples dedicated to Lord Jagannath in Orissa. It begins on the Akshaya Tritiya day. In some temples the festival concludes on the Chandan Purnima day. In some temples the festival continues for 21 or 42 day festival.

Chandan Yatra is observed at the Narendra Tank at Puri. Origin of Chandan Yatra is traced back to the Mahabharata era. The P…

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…