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Showing posts from July 7, 2009

About Hindu Funeral Operators in Varanasi – Yes, they are like Tour Operators

If you don’t have the energy or time to make for the funeral arrangements of a dead relative, just call one of the Hindu Funeral Operators in Varanasi. Every rites and rituals associated with Hindu funerals including transporting the corpse to a Ghat on the banks of Ganga and performing the Shraddh ceremony a few days later. It’s not free. Operators don’t work for free. The price currently ranges from Rupees 5,000 to 100,000.Yes, the funeral operators have budget class, economic class and premium class. As the price goes up the quality of the materials used in cremation also goes up. Once the price is paid, the relatives only need to arrive at the appointed time. (Even if this is not possible may be the tour operators will capture the funeral ceremony in video and courier it to the relative in DVD format)Hindustan Times reports about this new funeral business which is thriving“The idea is to provide a single-window solution,” says Pandit Jagdish Tripathi, a panda (priest who conducts …

Nag Panchami 2011 - Snake Festival

Nag Panchami, or Nagpanchami, is dedicated to the worship of Nag or Snakes. Naga Panchami 2011 date is August 4 as per traditional Hindu calendar. It is observed in the month of Shravan (July – August) and in eastern parts of India also during the Ashar Month (June – July). The festival is observed on the fifth day after Shravan Amavasi (no moon day) in most places.

Snakes, known as Nagas, are worshipped in Hinduism religion and the two of the most popular Gods in Hindu Religion – Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva – are closely associated with serpents. Lord Vishnu has the seven-hooded Snake Shesha as his bed and Lord Shiva wear nagas as his ornament and this close association has deep symbolic meaning.

In eastern parts of India the festival is known as Naga Panchami Manasa Devi Ashtanag Puja and is observed five days after Purnima (full moon day) in Ashar Month and five days after Amavas (No moon day) in Shravan Month. In rest of India, the festival is mainly observed after Amavas in Shravan…

Is a Guru essential? – A Discussion between Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna

When Swami Vivekananda first visited Ramakrishna Paramahamsa he asked: ‘I have read the Bhagavad Gita and other scriptures several times, I lecture and give discourses on the Gita and Ramayana. Do I still need the help of a saint; do I still need a guru?’

Sri Ramakrishna didn't reply to Vivekananda's question. After a few days Ramakrishna called upon Vivekananda and handed him a parcel to be delivered at a village a few hours away by the sea route.

Early morning the boat and sailor would be ready and all he needed to do was to go to the village and deliver the parcel to the designated person.

Vivekananda agreed and decided to start early. He found the boat and the sailor ready to put out to sea. Suddenly, upon sitting in the boat, Vivekananda realized that he didn't know the road to the village. He inquired of the sailor who had no clue, either. Vivekananda decided to go back to his guru to ask him the shortest way to the village.

Upon this Ramakrishna said, ‘Narendra, this is…