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Showing posts from June, 2009

Online Puja at Baba Baidyanath Temple – Deoghar Shiva Temple

The one-month Baba Baidyanath Shrabani Mela in the Hindu month of Shravan at the Baba Baidyanath Dham (DeogharShivaTemple) attracts more than a million devotees from India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet and around the world. BabaBaidyanathTemple is now offering devotees the facility to perform online puja. Some of the pujas that can be offered online are Pushpanjali, Vaidik Rudrabhishek, Shiva Pujan and offering of milk. Baba Baidyanath Dham at Deoghar in Jharkhand is one of the Dwadash Jyotirlingam temples. Shrabani Mela (July – August) is a major fair and festival at the temple and devotees carry water from GangaRiver to bathe the Shivalingam in the temple. The period of Shrabani Mela is considered highly auspicious for performing rituals and pujas dedicated to Lord Shiva. Those devotees who are unable to visit the BabaBaidyanathTemple can offer pujas online. You can request for the Prasadam and Pushpam of puja performed, which will be send by post. A video recording of the puja perform…

Oldest Man in India – Vedas and Vegetarian Diet the Secret to Long Life

Aged 112, Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi of Bangalore is believed to be the oldest man in India. This after British veteran Henry Allingham, aged 113, was declared officially the oldest man in the world by the Guinness World Records. Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi of Bangalore says the secret of his long life is laughing, loving, strict vegetarian diet, vitamin tablets and a passion for the Vedas.Times of India Reports"Chaturveda is the master of all Vedas and my favourite," Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi said. "If one follows the Vedas and keep one's body, soul and speech pure, a healthy long life is in store for him," he added.This sprightly centenarian gives lectures, writes articles, is a consultant and walks around comfortably with a walking stick. India's seniormost citizen's zest for life is infectious: "I have more to do in my life."

His grand-daughter (who'd rather remain unnamed) says, "Dada was born on Ram Navami day in 1897 in Bangalor…

Sri Narayana Guru Teachings

Sri Narayana Guru (1854 – 1928) was a saint and social reformer and he changed the fabric of Kerala society. Here are some his teachings from Atmopadesa Satakam.
Wise men know that there is only Knowledge, so they remain one with it and do not struggle. For them the truth to be known is here and now. Those who do not know their secret think of it as an unknown entity to be sought and discovered. Under that illusion they struggle and agonize themselves. Only a few see the secret of the wise.

Nobody remains established forever in a state of sameness. The process of becoming is going on; and all are subjected to this beginningless sport of the Divine. When all this is known in its entirety, one becomes happy beyond measure.
There is neither any death nor birth nor any manifested form of life. There are neither men nor gods nor anything of that sort there are only names and forms. Their substance is only that of a mirage in a desert and that is, for sure, no substance at all.
In the Eart…

Ancient Temple Dedicated to Poet Kalidasa at Kendrapara in Orissa

Kalidasa, the author of the immortal classic Abhijnanashakuntalam and the greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist, is worshipped in a century old temple at BabkarpurVillage in Kendrapara in Orissa. The villagers are very well aware of the greatness of poet Kalidas, who is believed to have lived during the fourth century AD. The temple has a rock-cut idol of Kalidasa and pujas are offered daily by a Hindu priest.The Hindu ReportsNoted Sanskrit researcher Dillip Dutta is fascinated with the annual ritual. "I rushed to the village to trace the unique legacy ... Initially I was under the impression that people had mistaken him to be a Hindu God and installed the idol in the temple." "But locals are well aware that they are worshipping the great Sanskrit poet. For them he is God," says Dutta, from Mugberia Gangadhar Mahavidyalaya in West Bengal's East Midnapur. The temple might have come up with the patronage of the local zamindar during the British reign, says Dutta. …

Book based on the Triple Eclipse of 2009 – History and What can be expected

The book titled ‘Will History Repeat Itself? Triple Eclipse of July 2009. Ominous? Promising?’ delves into the history of similar triple Grahan (Eclipse) and finds out what happened after the earlier triple eclipses and will the happenings repeat after the 2009 triple eclipse. In 2009, there is a lunar eclipse on July 7, a solar eclipse on July 22 and another lunar eclipse on August 6. The first recorded triple eclipse was in 3067 BCE and it coincided with the 18-day war in the Mahabharata. Another triple grahan happened 36 years later in 3031 BCE and saw Dwarka – the city built by Lord Krishna – going under the sea. The book ‘Will History Repeat Itself? Triple Eclipse of July 2009. Ominous? Promising?’ is written by DK Hari and D Hema Hari, founders of Bharath Gyan.DNA India reportsUsing planetarium software, which has been developed to precisely date the movements of various astral bodies for many thousands of years in the past and the future, the couple has tried to collate data fr…

Book: The Mahabharat Re-Imagined

The Mahabharat Re-Imagined written by Trisha Das and published by Rupa Publications is a collection of scenes from the Mahabharata and they have been interpreted by the author based on her level of thinking and imagination. One of the reasons for the universal and eternal appeal of the Mahabharat is that it allows a reader the freedom of interpretation and to suggest an explanation or criticize a character’s behavior. Trisha Das imagines how her Draupadi in Mahabharata would have behaved, if she was asked to marry the five Pandava brothers. 'Do you ask that my body, worshipped by my father's subjects and untouched by any man, now succumb to five men? Draupadi waved her hands wildly as she inched closer to Kunti, her shrill voice resounding off the walls, 'I would rather jump into the river and drown myself. At least I would die a princess, not a prostitute.'The author has taken such liberties with many scenes in the Mahabharata. Some of her other imaginations areWas Pr…

Vedic Prayers from Shvetashvatara Upanishad

May He, who created the gods and supports them; who witnessed the birth of the cosmic soul; who confers bliss and wisdom on the devoted, destroying their sins and sorrows, and punishing all breaches of law; – may He, the great seer and the lord of all, endow us with good thoughts! (Chapter IV, Verse 12)
He who at the beginning of creation projected Brahma (Universal Consciousness), who delivered the Vedas unto him, who constitutes the supreme bridge of immortality, who is partless, free from actions, tranquil, faultless, taintless, and resembles the fire that has consumed its fuel – seeking liberation I go for refuge to that Effulgent One, whose light turns the understanding towards the Atman. (Chapter VI, Verse 18 – 19)
Shvetashvatara Upanishad

Meera – Serial based on Meerabai on NDTV Imagine

NDTV Imagine will be soon telecasting a serial based on Meera Bai – a young Rajput princess whose love and devotion to Lord Krishna made her give up everything and thus elevated her to the status of a saint. The devotional songs Meerabhai had created in praise of Lord Krishna are considered to be the best Krishna Bhakti Bhajans and it continues to draw millions towards Krishna. The television serial Meera is produced by Sagar Arts. It is popularly believed that young Meera was just four years of age, she found herself to be deeply drawn towards Lord Krishna. As she grew older, her desire to be with her Lord grew more intense and she resolved to be committed to him forever. Despite being forced into marriage with another man (Prince Bhoj Raj), she defied the social norms and continued to worship Lord Krishna as her lover. The characters in Serial Meera will be essayed by a new generation of actors:Young Meera – Aashika BhatiaMeera’s mother (Veer Kunwari) – Gauri Harmit KaurMeera’s dad …

Hindu Temple Tour and Wedding Pujas to Help Singles Find Life Partners

If you are a bachelor and not able to get married or if you are a parent of a son or daughter with marriage related problems like delay in wedding then Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation has just created a wedding spiritual package – a tour of Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu that specialize in wedding poojas. There are numerous temples in Tamil Nadu where it is believed that if unmarried people offer their prayers they get married soon. Devout Hindus can conduct pujas at 11 temples in Tamil Nadu that are believed to help in solving marriage related problems. It is popularly believed that by praying and offering pujas at Thiruvidanthai, Mudichur, Thirumanan­ch­eri, Thiruserai, Madurai, Thiruvengadam, Thirukarukaoor, Thiruveezhamazhalai, Nallur Kalyana Sundareshwarar, Nathchiar Koil and Uppiliappan Koil people find solutions to their marital worries.ExpressBuzz reportsThe service would leave on Friday evening, starting July 3, from the city and will drop the devotees back in the cit…

Hindu Prayers for iPhone and iPod users - Shri Vishnu and Maa Durga Prayers

Now iPhone and iPod users can pray and pay tribute to Shri Vishnu and Maa Durga by chanting Vishnu Chalisa and Durga Chalisa and by performing Aarti at any time and place. Shri Vishnu Prarthana and Shri Durga Prarthana is an ideal choice and great help for devout Hindus who want to perform puja and prayers when they are away from home. The Hindu prayer Apps are a product of Robosoft Technologies Inc.Shri Vishnu Prarthana and Shri Durga Prarthana Applications containChalisa text and Chalisa meaning which can be viewed in Hindi and EnglishPictorial representation of Chalisa TextRich-quality, soothing and devotional Durga Chalisa audioChalisa text, Pictorial representation and Chalisa meaning synchronized with Chalisa audioEasy swipe gestures for Fast Forward and RewindPerform Virtual AartiHigh-quality, soothing and devotional Aarti audioPerform Puja starting with touching the bell to start AartiTouch the lamps to light themTouch the incense sticks to light themTouch the flower bowl to s…

Digital Art Pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses – Online Gallery

Digital Art Pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses with Shabda mantras and Beeja mantras in Devanagari is created by Rajesh Srivatsa. The present set of ten images are based on Agni Durga, Bhadra Ganesh, Ganesha, Karyasiddhi Hanuman, Krishna, Naga, Narasimha, Shiva, Surya and Varaha. The symbols, colors and details used in the images are taken from both the Puranic and Tantric scriptures.
The images are available for sale and you can find more details about the images and buy them here. The online gallery is owned by Raghavendra Reddy.The images are copyrighted to Rajesh Srivatsa.

Bhagavad Gita now available in rare Rajbangshi Language Spoken in Nepal

Rajbangshi Language is spoken by some communities living in Eastern Nepal and northern parts of West Bengal in India. It is estimated that around 300,000 people speak the Rajbangshi. The sacred Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita has now been translated into Rajbangshi Language by Pawan Rajbanshi, a journalist from Jhapa in eastern Nepal.Earlier the people who speak Rajbangshi Language used to read the Bhagavad Gita in Nepali, Bengali, Hindi or English. This new translation will enrich the Rajbangshi Language and take the Bhagavad Gita to more common people in the community. Rajbanshis mainly live in Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari in Eastern Nepal and in some parts of West Bengal. You May Also Like To ReadBhagavad Gita and Wealth CreationDownload Bhagavad Gita in TamilDownload Bhagavad Gita in HindiDownload Bhagavad Gita in English with commentary by Swami Chinmayananda

Quotes from Suktimala

The sun is decorative to the sky;
The bee is decorative to a garden of flowers;
Truth is decorative to speech;
Charity is decorative to wealth;
Friendship is decorative to the mind;
Love is decorative to the spring season;
Good words and proverbs are decorative to an assembly;
Modesty is decorative to all qualities.Ask for good qualities, not for beauty.
Ask for good character, and not the family.
Ask for achievements, and not the amount of studies.
Ask for enjoyment, and not the wealth.Suktimala

Netrotsava at Puri Jagannath Temple

Netrotsava at PuriJagannathTemple is a ritual performed a couple of days before the Rath Yatra. Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra remain confined for fifteen days after Snana Purnima. In 2018, the date of Netrotsava is July 13. It is believed that the deities get fever after the ritualistic bath. During the fifteen day period, the idols are given a fresh coat of paint. The day when the eyes of the deities are painted is known as Netrotsava.

After Snana Poornima, the deities do not appear before public and remain confined and this period is known as Anabasara. Netrotsava is also referred as the occasion for the renewal of youth of the deities – Navayauvana.

The eyes of the deities are given a fresh coat of paint by the respected priests. The first rains of monsoon season also arrive by this time. Devotees get a glimpse of Lord Jagannath and other deities after a period of 15-days after the Netrotsava ceremony.

Ancient Hindu Wisdom Quotes

One gets to meet experts in the fields of policy, astrology, scriptures and Vedas. Even the knowers of Brahman can be found. But rare indeed is to be found a person aware of his ignorance! Know that, everyday, the sun rises and sets and takes away along with him daily a portion of your life and therefore do good actions, ever and anon. All your earnings end up in your house. Kith and kin are only up to the cemetery. The unseen results of your deeds, both good and bad, alone will accompany you after death.

Donate in Renovation of Tamil Nadu Hindu Temples and Get Title of Patron and Gold Card

A unique scheme is being launched by the Tamil Nadu state government in India to renovate ancient and dilapidated Hindu Temples in Tamil Nadu. The scheme aims to create a corpus fund by offering a title and gold card to devotees who donate Rs Five hundred thousand rupees ($11000) for the fund.The title that will be conferred is known as “Thirukkovil Puravalar” (temple patron).The Gold Card carries the photograph of the devotee and is issued by the Tamil Nadu Hindu religious and endowment department. The devotee can use the Gold Card to avail special darshan at all the temples managed by the department without any fee for 20 years.Times of India ReportsAs many as 38,000 temples, most of them cultural treasures, have been managed by the government across the state. Many temples including some of the ancient ones had been in dilapidated condition. The government could not carry out renovation works due to inadequate funds.The government had sought a financial assistance of Rs 252 crore f…

Picture Book based on Pandarpur Yatra – Wari – Pilgrimage of Joy

“Wari – Pilgrimage of Joy” by Sandesh Bhandare from Pune is a pictorial representation of the annual Pandarpur Yatra from Alandi to LordVithalTemple in Pandarpur. The pilgrimage known as ‘Wari’ is undertaken in Maharashtra by millions of “Warkari” (pilgrims) and has entirely been a peoples' initiative. The book was released in English and French by Heritage India Communications Pvt Ltd.“Wari – Pilgrimage of Joy” was originally published in Marathi in 2008 and was a major success. The 147-page book in English has around 130 color photographs focusing on the daily routine of the pilgrims.Times of India reports"I had put up an exhibition of the photographs of the wari in France in March this year. There was a lot of curiosity about Indian heritage there and hence the publishers thought of publishing the book in French," Bhandare said.

"The Marathi book received a very good response from the people and since our aim is to take Indian heritage far and wide, our decision t…

Upanayana Samskara for Girls – Janoi or Sacred Thread Ceremony for Women

Wearing of sacred thread, also known as Janoi, is mainly reserved for the Hindu males. Upanayana Samskara for girls and women is very rarely performed. But in VidyamandirCollege in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Upanayana Samskara for girls and girls wearing sacred thread (Janoi) is not a rarity. The college has in the past 13 years performed the Upanayana Samskara of as many as 25 girls.In Hinduism, the Upanayana Samskara ceremony gives a child a second birth and entitles him to study the Vedas and participate in Vedic functions. In essence, after the Janoi wearing ceremony, the child commences his journey on the road to spiritual life.Deccan Herald ReportsThe Kanpur-based Vidyamandir College, which has received ‘A’ grade among all Girls’ Colleges in UP, will soon be holding an upanayan samsakara ceremony in which as many as 11 girls would be provided the ‘sacred thread’ amidst chanting of vedic hymns and mantras.
Speaking to Deccan Herald from Kanpur, college Principal Dr Asharani Rai sai…

Quotes from Yoga Sutras

When one cultivates a feeling of friendliness for the happy, compassion for the miserable, cheerfulness for the virtuous and indifference for the evil, one attains inner peace and cleanliness.
Present and future and past correlations with objects result unavoidably in pain.
When one is confirmed in non-possessiveness, the knowledge of the why and how of existence is attained.
When the mind maintains awareness, yet does not mingle with the senses, nor the senses with sense impressions, then self-awareness blossoms. Sage Patanjali' Yoga Sutra

Essay Contest by Hindu American Foundation

Hindu American Foundation (HAF) is inviting entries for its first ever essay contest. HAF is an advocacy group providing a progressive voice for over two million Hindu Americans. The topic of essay contest is: Why is it important to have a Hindu American identity? How can you advocate for this identity in your public and private lives? How can Hindu American advocacy be beneficial to American society?Essay RequirementsMinimum length: 700 wordsMaximum length: 1000 words12 point font, double spaced, 1-inch marginsEssays must be original work and must include a title, writer's name, email or phone number.All citations and paraphrases must be appropriately credited in a bibliography.Age Categories & Prize LevelsCategory 1: Ages 17 - 22; 1st Prize $300, 2nd Prize $200Category 2: Ages 23 - 28; 1st Prize $500, 2nd Prize $250Last Date of SubmissionAll essays must be submitted by the end of Tuesday, June 30. Essays must be submitted as an email attachment in pdf format along with a bri…

Jayateertha Vidyapeetha – School that Teaches Madhwa philosophy

The philosophy of Madhvacharya, based on Vedic tradition, is popularly known as Dvaita Vedanta or Tattvavada. As per Dvaita Vedanta, Lord Vishnu is Supreme and the world is real. Jayateertha Vidyapeetha, run by the Uttaradi Mutt, belonging to the Dwaita tradition founded by the 13th century Saint Madhwacharya, teaches Hindu traditions, knowledge in general, and Madhwa philosophy.Each student at Jayateertha Vidyapeetha is provided free education plus all the needs of the students are met by the school. Families of poor children are also helped financially by the school.The Vidyapeetha facilitates the students to take up SSLC exams as private candidates and also provides an opportunity for students to study (Sanskrit BA, MA etc) and write exams.C V Ramachandra writes about this unique institution in Express BuzzJayateertha Vidyapeetha is silently inching closer to its silver jubilee year. What started as a small experiment at ‘Vidya Mandira’ in N R Colony at Bangalore, has today grown i…

Panchanana Shiva – Shivling with Five Faces

Lord Shiva is worshipped as Panchanana Shiva (Siva with five faces) in some temples in India. The five faces are etched on Shivling or Shivalingam and is known as Panchamukha Shiva Linga – five heads of Shiva carved on Linga. The five faces of Lord Shiva are known as Sadyojat, Vamdev, Aghora, Tatpurush and Ishana. And they represent direction and an aspect of Lord Shiva. Some ancient temples also have sculptures of Lord Shiva with five faces. Some paintings also depict Shiva with five faces.
An important prayer (Stotra) dedicated to Panchanana Shiva is the Shiva Panchanana Stotram. It explains about the glory of the each face of Lord Shiva in the Panchamukha Shivalinga.
As per the prayer, the four faces of Shiva faces four directions and the fifth faces the sky.
In some texts, the fifth face facing the sky is replaced by a face on the southeast direction. Another symbolism suggests that the fifth face is the energy that sustains all and is present everywhere. Most idols do not show the…

Hindu Christian Dialogue in Mumbai – another pointless exercise

Several Catholic Church and Christian websites are reporting about a dialogue between Catholics and Hindus in Mumbai on June 12, 2009. Some of the Holy Men and Saints who will be representing the Hindus include Kanchi Sankaracharya Swami Jayendra Saraswati and Sri Sri Ravisankar, Swami Vageeshananda (Ramakrishna Mission) and Dadi Janakiji (Prajapati Brahma Kumaris). The list provided by official Catholic websites also includes the name of Swami Chidananda Saraswati (who is mentioned as president, Divine Life Society, Uttaranchal. But Swami Chidanandaji attained Mahasamadhi (passed away) in August 2008.
Majority of the Christians in India and Hindus have no problem and they respect each others faith. The problem is for a minority in both the communities – who are the self-proclaimed agents and defenders of the respective religions. A minority in Christian community in India still dreams of converting India into a Christian country. A minority in Hindu community opposes this overzealous …

How to register for Amarnath Yatra?

A devotee needs to register for Amarnath Yatra – the annual pilgrimage to the famous cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir in India dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave shrine is noted for the formation of a natural Shiva Lingam. The annual Amarnathji Yatra is conducted for two months and begins on full moon day in June and ends on full moon day in August. Registration for the Amarnath Yatra begins two weeks before the actual Yatra date. Devotees wishing to participate in the Amarnath Yatra can register at branches of Jammu and Kashmir Limited in India by paying a nominal fee. An option for online registration is also provided the Jammu and Kashmir Limited. You can find more details about the registration of Amarnath Yatra 2011 in this article. It must be noted that the Yatra faces frequent interruptions due to weather conditions and also due to political reasons. A Yatri needs to constantly keep updating regarding the latest developments and contact the Jammu and Kashmir Bank to know about the…

Bhagavad Gita Quotes on Leadership

Whatever a great man does, the same is done by others as well. Whatever standard he sets, the world follows.Work done in the spirit of common good, is free of attachment.Learn that (knowledge) by humble reverence, by inquiry and by service, the men of wisdom who have seen the truth will instruct thee in knowledge. Perform thou action, remaining united with Me at heart.Bhagavad Gita

What does Upanishad mean? – Meaning of the term Upanishads

Upanishads are Holy Scriptures in Hinduism and are part of the Holy Vedas. The subject matter of Upanishad is self knowledge and contains the attempts made by various saints of ancient world to know Brahman – the Supreme Truth – and their attempts to share their findings and methods. Scholars have given numerous definitions to the term Upanishad but two schools of thought have gained prominence and is widely accepted.First school of thought suggests that the word Upanishad is derived from the root ‘sad’, to sit, to which ‘Upa’ and ‘ni’ prefixes have been added. The word is taken to mean ‘to approach someone and sit down next to him’ – a student approaching a Guru to learn the self knowledge.The second school of thought is developed from Adi Shankaracharya’s definition of Upanishads. The word ‘Upanishad’ is derived by adding the prefixes ‘upa’ (near) and ‘ni’ (with certainty) to the root ‘sad’ meaning ‘to destroy, to go to and to loosen’. According to this derivation, Upanishad means t…

Book: The Thousand Names of Shirdi Sai Baba

The book titled ‘The Thousand Names of Shirdi Sai Baba’ extols the glory of Shirdi Sai Baba. The Thousand Names of Shirdi Sai Baba is popularly known as Sri Sai Sahasranamavali and is chanted by devotees while worshipping Baba. Each of the thousand names introduces the greatness of Baba to a devotee. This book is authored by Sri B.V.Narasimha Swamiji.The supreme purifier, enlightener, elixir (the philosopher's stone), ambrosia (the food and drink of the God) and divine nectar are some of the names and attributes found in the book.Shirdi Sai Baba devotees believe that the recitation of the thousand names of Shirdi Sai Baba will bestow good health, beauty, strength, vigor and vitality. The repetition of the thousand names of Shirdi Sai Baba will help a devotee overcome lust, anger, greed etc.‘The Thousand Names of Shirdi Sai Baba’ is published by Sterling Publishers and the book is available Sanskrit, English and Hindi.The Thousand Names of Shirdi Sai Baba
Author: Sri B.V.Narasimha S…

Basumati Snana Festival in Orissa

Basumati Snana festival is dedicated to Mother Earth and is celebrated mainly in Orissa in India. The festival is sort of a continuation of the Raja Sankranti festival. Special poojas are offered to Mother Earth for nourishing all the living beings. In 2019, the date of Basumati Snana is June 17.

Goddess Mahalakshmi, symbolizing Mother Earth, during the festival is offered sacred water. The idol (murti of Maa Laxmi) is also smeared with sandalwood paste.

Special pujas are performed on farmlands. People pray for a good harvest during the next agricultural season.

All these unique festivals still observed in rural India is a reminder of the wisdom of our ancestors. They valued the importance of nature. They lived in harmony with nature without tampering its rhythm.

If we do not adapt the wisdom of our forefathers, the human race will face umpteen problems and will soon perish like the dinosaurs.

Mithuna Sankranti

Mithun Sankranti, also known as Aashadh Sankranti, marks the beginning of the Sun’s transition from Mithuna to Karka Rashi (from Gemini to Cancer). There are 12 Sankranthis in a Hindu Solar Calendar and Mithuna Sankranti is the last cycle in the Uttarayana period. In 2019, the date of Mithun Sankranti is June 15. Time from 12:15 AM early hours of June 16.

‘San’ means plenty and good and ‘Kranti’ means radical change and Sankranthi means plenty of good change.

Raja Sankranti is observed during the period in Orissa. The rainy season starts in some parts of Indian during the Mithuna Sankranti.

Dakshinayana starts with the end of Mithun Sankranti in South India.

Dakshinayana 2019 – Pitrayana in 2019

Dakshinayana is the southern transit of the Sun. In Hinduism, a human year is equal to one day of gods. Dakshinayana is the night of the Devas and Uttarayana is the daytime. The Uttarayana and Dakshinayana period is calculated differently in South and North India. In North Indian calendars, Dakshinayana in 2019 begins on June 21. In South Indian calendars, it begins on July 16, 2019 and ends with Uttarayana on January 14, 2019.

In South India, Uttarayana period starts with Makar Sankranti on January 14 or 15 and ends on July 14 or 15. Dakshinayana is from July 14 or 15 to Makar Sankranti. This method of calculation of the period of Sun’s transit is known as the Nirayana System and in it Dakshinayana starts when ‘nirayana surya’ enters cancer.

In North India, Uttarayana period starts on December 21 and ends on June 21. Dakshinayana is from June 21 to December 21. This method of calculation of the period of Sun’s transit is known as Drika Siddhanta and in this method Dakshinayana start…

Somnath Temple Turns to Solar Energy to Set an Example in Energy Conservation

The world famous SomnathTemple in Gujarat, India, is implementing the use of non-conventional lighting in the temple premises to promote energy conservation. The somnath temple administration has installed two streetlights which run on solar energy. And if found feasible and efficient, the temple administration is planning to replace traditional lights with solar powered lamps.SomnathTemple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the twelve Aadi Jyotirlings. Millions of pilgrims visit SomnathTemple in a year. Indian Express ReportsDr Kamlesh Raval, manager, Somnath Temple Trust, said: “We have installed two of these lamp posts in front of the inquiry office on a trial basis. The temple administration had consulted energy conservation experts in this regard. We are satisfied with the initial result. If the plan succeeds, we plan to reduce the dependence on traditional lights by installing more of these.” He said solar streetlights also keep insects at bay unlike traditional streetlights. T…

Alakananda River Endangered by Hydroelectric Projects

AlakanandaRiver is one of the most important headstreams of GangaRiver. Alaknanda, a glacial river, meets BhagirathiRiver at Devprayag in Uttarakhand and later turns to Ganga. But Alakananda is now drying up even before it meets Ganga due to huge hydroelectric projects. In short, this will endanger River Ganga and badly affect its flow. AlakanandaRiver is a holy river and legend it has that Alakananda was formed while Mother Ganga descended on to earth. BadrinathTemple is located on the banks of AlakanandaRiver. D S Kunwar writes in Times of India about the drying up of AlakanandaAlaknanda, which once sliced through the Lambagar area just below the 400 mw Vishnu Prayag hydroelectric power project in Chamoli, doesn’t flow there any more. Reason: heavy construction work for a hydroelectric project has forced it to change its course. Environmentalists warn that a delicate ecological balance in the area has been gravely imperilled and say that up to 26 km of riverbeds along the Alaknanda …

Lord Ram is Abusive and Lord Hanuman is Slave for The Brooklyn Rail

As a child I used to listen to my Grandmother and Grandfather chanting Rama Rama Pahimam, Rama Padam Cheerane Mukunda Rama Pahimam, prayer dedicated to Lord Ram. Nowadays, in the morning I wake up listening to Jai Jai Shri Ram… of my neighbor. Similar prayers are chanted in millions of Hindu homes and Lord Ram is worshipped by millions of people around the world. But for an overenthusiastic writer who is ignorant of Hinduism at The Brooklyn Rail, Lord Ram is abusive and impotent, and Hanuman is a slave and a buffoon.The Brooklyn Rail publishes critical perspectives on arts, politics and culture. Lisa Moricoli-Latham was reviewing Sita Sings the Blues, an animated film, which is a personal interpretation of the epic Ramayana by Nina Paley. The animator, Nina Paley, was abandoned by her husband by e-mail. She finds parallel between her situation and that of Mata Sita. This animated film is in news for more than four years and recently it got a few awards, ran into a copyright violation …

Champak Chaturdasi – Champaka Chaturdashi Brata

Champak Chaturdasi Vrata is observed on the 14th day during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon in Jyeshta month (May – June). Champak Chaturdasi is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is believed that observing Champak Chaturdasi Vrata will help in curing lung related problems. This belief is more popular in Bengal and eastern parts of India. In 2019, the date of Champak Chaturdasi is June 16.

Champak Chaturdasi is observed the day before Jyestha Purnima – full moon day in Jyeshta month. A clay idol of Shiva is created and the deity is offered champak flowers and other usual items related to Shiva puja.

Museum based on Hindu Scriptures and Legends in Andhra Pradesh – Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam

Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam, at Surendrapuri near Yadagirigutta in Nalgonda District of Andhra Pradesh, is a mythological museum based on legends and stories from Hindu scriptures. The museum provides an opportunity to people to get acquainted important episodes and characters from Hindu scriptures like Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana etc. The museum is about 96km from Hyderabad and is located on Yadagirigutta Road.A visitor can see models of all the important Hindu pilgrim centers like Gangotri, Kashi, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Amarnath, Tirupati etc.There also models of the Sapta Lokas mentioned in the Puranas – Brahm Lok, Vishnu Lok, Shiva Lok, Naga Lok, Indra Lok, Yama Lok, Pathal etc.,Another important exhibit is the paintings on the life of Lord Hanuman. Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam is located on Yadagirigutta Road and just 2 KM before Yadagirigutta in Nalgonda District in Andhra Pradesh, India.You can find more details about Kunda Satyanarayana Kala Dhamam here at the offic…

How to observe or what to do on Vaikasi Visakam?

Vaikasi Visakam, also known as Vaigasi Visagam or Vaikaci Visagam, is the day when Lord Muruga is believed to have appeared on earth to annihilate the demons and restore order and alleviate the sufferings of human beings. Lord Muruga is believed to have incarnated on the Visakam Nakshatra on Vaikasi Pournami. Here is a brief guide on what to do on Vaikasi Visakam day.

How to observe Vaikasi Visakam? Vaikasi Visakam is a ten-day festival in Lord Muruga Temples and special pujas and homas are performed during the period. A car festival, or pulling of chariots, is organized on the day.

In homes, Vaikasi Visakam is observed by performing special pujas to Lord Muruga.

Idols, portraits, paintings of Lord Muruga are thoroughly cleaned and decorated.

Usual puja procedures are followed. Sarkarai Pongal, a special neviedya, or prasad, is prepared on the day. People also visit a nearby Muruga Shrine and do pujas and offer prayers.

Prayers that are chanted on the day include Kanda Sashti Kavacham…

Women in Hinduism

Hindu Scriptures see women as equal (not just women but all living beings) but in real life equality is missing and is conveniently ignored. Recently I came across an article titled ‘Original Hindu scriptures saw women as equal’ in The Huntsville Times by Dr. Narayana P. Bhat, a secretary of the board of trustees of the Hindu Cultural Center of North Alabama. In a very short article he describes how various Hindu scriptures see women and why Hindus should return to the Vedic tradition which treated women equally. A highlight of the article is that Mr Bhat is not oblivious of reality and states that there are Hindu scriptures which have writings denigrating women and also about the present status of women in Hindu society, which is not very encouraging. Here are some excerpts from the articleThe documentary account of women in Hinduism is dependent on the specific scripture and the context.
That women and men are equal in the eyes of dharma (righteousness) is made explicit in a beautifu…

Arjun – The Warrior Prince – Animated Movie Based on Arjuna of Mahabharata

Arjun – The Warrior Prince is based on the life of Arjun, the third Pandava brother, in the Mahabharata. Arjun is directed by Arnab Chaudhari and is produced by UTV Motion Pictures. From the trailer available it looks like this animated movie based on a character from Hindu scriptures is different from the earlier ones at least on the quality of animation.

Sculptures of Varadaraja Perumal Temple at Kanchipuram to be Restored – Thanks to REACH

Rural Education and Conservation of Heritage (REACH) is involved in the restoration and preservation of the sculptural heritage of India. Popularly known as REACH Foundation, the organization is currently involved in the restoration of the exquisite sculptures in the 100-pillar mandapa of the VaradarajaPerumalTemple at Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, is also involved in the project.VaradarajaPerumalTemple at Kancheepuram is more than 1200 years old and became famous during the Chola period (11th Century AD). The present sanctum sanctorum and the vimana were constructed during the 16th century by Vijayanagara rulers.The beautiful sculptures at the temple are covered by thick layers of lime plaster and the REACH Foundation is in the process of removing it. Sculptures include those of Hindu gods, other personalities from Hindu scriptures, aspects of daily life and animals.The Hindu ReportsThe instruments for the removal of plaster were specially made, …

Rukmini Vivah – Rukmini Haran Festival

Rukmini Vivah, also known as Rukmini Haran, is the festival dedicated to the marriage of Lord Krishna and Rukmini Devi. In 2019, the date of Rukmini Vivah is June 13. Rukmini Vivaha is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Jyeshta month (May – June). The marriage of Lord Krishna and Rukmini is one of the most celebrated events in the life of Lord Krishna and is a favorite theme of artists and musicians.

Rukmini Devi is believed to be an avatar (incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi). Rukmini was in love with Lord Krishna but her brother, Rukmi, who was a close associate of Kamsa, objected to the relationship. Rukmi decided give Rukmini in marriage to Shishupala.

Rukmini sends a messenger to Krishna stating that her marriage has been fixed and he should come and rescue her. Lord Krishna comes and rescues Rukmini; while escaping with Rukmini, Krishna engages in a battle with Rukmi and defeats him.

This romantic escapade is a favorite them for painters, artists and music…