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Showing posts from August, 2010

Tungnath Temple Dedicated to Shiva – Tungnath Trek in Panch Kedar Yatra

TungnathTemple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva and is located in Uttarakhand and is around a 3-hour trek from Chopata, which is on the road between Badrinath and Kedarnath. Tungnath shrine is the second temple in the Panch Kedar Pilgrimage and is located at an altitude of 12,000 ft the highest among the Panch Kedar temples but is the easiest to trek. It is believed that the legs of the bull form of Shiva appeared at Tungnath. The naturally formed ‘arm’ or Swayambhu Bhuja of Shiva is worshipped here.
The glory of the Tungnath temple is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. Shiva tells Parvati that whoever has darshan and seeks the blessings at Tungnath attains spiritual salva­tion irrespective of where he dies. Another legend states that Vishnu got his Sudarshan Chakra after meditating here. Like the other Panch Kedar temples, Tungnath was also built by the Pandavas.

In a calendar year, the Tungnath temple is only open from April to October. The temple remains closed during the winter period…

Dattatreya Teachings on Equanimity

Remaining contented in mind, I enjoy what is ordained by fate, and I wear linen garments or silks, or deerskin or rags or any other fabric that is offered to me.Sometimes I sleep on the bare ground; sometimes on grass or on a heap of leaves or on a slab of stone or in ashes; sometimes I lie inside a mansion on a rich bed over a precious bedstead as desired by God.Sometimes I take a bath with my body anointed with fragrant pigments. I put on rich garments and wear garlands and ornaments. Sometimes I ride in a chariot or on an elephant or on a horse and sometimes I wander stark-naked like an evil spirit.I neither revile nor praise people who are of diverse nature. I pray for their welfare and bless them with their union with the Alimighty Sri Hari Vishnu.DattatreyaYou may also like to readGuru Sri Dattatreya Teachings – The twenty four Gurus of Dattatreya

Gemstone Yellow Sapphire for Birth stars Punarvasu, Vishaka and Poorvabhadra – Navratna Pushkaraj or Pushiaragam

The Navratna Pushkaraj or Pushiaragam or Yellow Sapphire is associated with Punarvasu, Vishaka and Poorvabhadra Nakshatrams. These birth stars are also known as Punirtham, Vishakam and Poorurutathi in regional languages. Navratnas are worn by people who believe in astrology and horoscope and they believe that it will help in achieving success, alleviating diseases and improving luck. Each birth star or Nakshatra has a particular Navaratna associated with it. Pushiaragam is associated with Navgraha Jupiter or Brihaspati or Guru. This gem stone is also known by the name of Pukhraj and Topaz. Poorvabhadra birth star is also referred as Poorvabhadrapada and Pooratadhi.The popular belief is that the Yellow Sapphire will bring security, improve financial status, and bring fame to people born in the Nakshatras Punarvasu, Vishaka and Poorvabhadra. The birth stone is also believed to protect its wearer from misfortune and accidents.

Panivarai Shiva – A Rare Reclining Hindu God Shiva Painting at Vadakkumnathan Temple at Thrissur in Kerala

Reclining posture of Hindu God Shiva is very rare as the reclining posture is most popularly associated with Sri Hari Vishnu. But during a recent study of mural paintings in Kerala by Archaeological Society of India (ASI) a mural of reclining Shiva was discovered. Known as Panivarai Shiva, for long the image was thought to be that of Vishnu. Detail study has now revealed that it is the image of Shiva with Parvati, Ganga and other attendant deities. The Hindu reports An ASI study of 600 panels of murals in Kerala has revealed paintings that were hitherto covered, and also new details of the existing ones. Notable among them are the two rare paintings which are about 350 years old — a reclining Shiva and a Nataraja with 20 arms found on the walls of Vadakkumnathan temple at Thrissur. ‘For long this painting was thought to be a reclining Vishnu, since it was partly covered with soot. Another reason is that a reclining figure is usually associated with Vishnu and it is common in Kerala to pa…

Sant Dnyaneshwar Jayanti – Jnaneshwar Maharaj Birth Anniversary

Sant Dnyaneshwar Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Jnaneshwar Maharaj, who revolutionized the Bhakti cult in Maharashtra. Sant Dnyaneshwar Jayanti 2018 is observed on September 3. At the age of sixteen Sant Janeshwar wrote Jnaneswari – the first and the most popular Marathi commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. Jnaneswari continues to be read and discussed in Maharashtrian homes and its translation into various languages continues to inspire millions of people around the world.

Sant Dnyaneshwar on the eighth day of waning phase of moon or Ashtami day in Shravan month (July – August) as per traditional calendar followed in Maharashtra.

During the time of Sant Dnyaneshwar, the unparalleled teachings of Sanatana Dharma were considered to be the prerogative of certain castes and sects. Dnyaneshwar unleashed a silent revolution against the religious monopoly and orthodoxy of the narrow-minded priestly class.

Sant Jnaneswar was amongst the first to use the local language of Marathi to spread …

Teachings from Brahma Sutras on Brahman

Brahman is one without a second, can be described only as ‘Not this, Not that’, is the cause of all, is Bliss and is the Inner Ruler.Brahman is the material cause and the efficient cause and is an intelligent principle.Brahman is not the object of perception.The Self consisting of Knowledge is not the individual self but Brahman.Brahman, though different from the world, can be its cause, and yet the effect is not different from the cause.Brahman is uncreated, indivisible and omnipotent.While meditating on Brahman one should regard It as identical with oneself.Knowledge of Brahman frees one from the effects of all past karmas, from (apparent) good and evil alike. Nevertheless prarabdha-karma (that part of one’s karma which is due to be worked out in this lifetime) continues (from the point of view of the observer) until exhausted, when the knower of Brahman becomes (consciously) One with It.

Teachings of Bhushunda from Yoga Vasistha

Death does not wish to kill one who does not have attraction and aversion or false notions and mental habits. Death does not wish to kill one who does not suffer from mental illness, who does not entertain desires and hopes which giver rise to anxieties and worry, who is not poisoned by greed, whose body and mind are not burnt by the fire of anger and hate, who is not churned and ground by the mill of lust, who is firmly established in the pure awareness of Brahman the absolute and whose mind is not distracted. He whose mind and heart are established in Supreme Peace is not touched by the blinding evils born of lust and hate. Bhushunda is the name of a crow in Yoga Vasishta – this is an immortal crow constantly meditating on the Supreme Brahman. Sage Vasishta asks the crow about the secret of its immortality. Source - The supreme Yoga: Yoga Vasistha by Swami Venkatesananda You may also like to read The Story of Lord Ram and Bhushandi, the crow

Pictures of Murtis of Krishna and of Krishna Temples

Although small, this particular collection of pictures of murtis or idols of Krishna and temples of Krishna is unique. The image gallery is presented by Zeenews and contains the pictures of Madan Mohan, Radharaman, Dwarka etc.
You can view the image gallery here at zeenews.

Adhukha Navami – Men Remember Their Dead Wives

Adhukh Navami is a ritual observed in the Bhadrapad Month. The rituals on the day are dedicated to Goddess Shakti. In some regions, worship is offered to Goddess Gauri. Adhukha Navami 2018 date is September 18.

Widowers (men who had lost their wives) offer food to the poor – especially to a poor married woman. In some places dry food is offered to the poor people.

Women offer worship to Goddess Shakti for a good and prosperous year for the family.

As per some scholars, women observed this vrat for having healthy and intelligent children in the family.

Aduka Navmi is observed on the ninth day during the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in the Bhadrapad month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.

Swami Brahmdev Quotes

When a sculptor takes a stone, he removes all the unwanted parts and discovers the figure in that stone. Pain and pressure in life are processes that help remove all unwanted substances from our lives and realise our true Self. What causes you pain often turns out to be the most beautiful blessing of your life. If any source gives you pain, feel gratitude for that. For suffering creates the opportunity for change. Sometimes we need pressure and pain to make us change for the better. Aurobindo said that pain is a hammer in the hands of the Divine. Divinity is trying to make a true figure; He is removing all the unwanted substances very slowly, and all around you, for some it could also be their near and dear. Swami Brahmdev

Goddess Kamalaja – Hindu Goddess Kamalaja Devi

Goddess Kamalaja, is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti, and in this form she is believed to have helped Shiva in fighting Demon Tripurasura. Goddess Lakshmi is also referred as Goddess Kamalaja especially when she is associated with the Vasudeva Kamalaja. Vasudeva Kamalaja is half man - half woman incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu (Ardha Nari Vishnu), which is mentioned in texts associated with Hindu culture in Nepal. Here Vasudeva is Vishnu and Kamalaja is Goddess Lakshmi.Temples dedicated to Goddess Kamalaja Devi as an incarnation of Goddess Parvati is found at BhimashankarTemple dedicated to Shiva in Maharashtra. Another popular temple dedicated to the Goddess is found near the Lonar Cater in Maharashtra.Goddess Kamalaja Devi is worshipped on Tuesdays.The popular belief is that this incarnation of Goddess Shakti got the name Kamalaja as Brahma used to worship Her with Kamal or lotus flowers.

Amma’s Tales – Retelling Indian Traditional Stories for Children

Amma’s Tales is the main title of a series of books which retell lesser known Indian traditional stories in an innovative method for children. The stories are taken from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas. The ancient tales are reintroduced for children by Hema Vaidyanathan and colorful illustrations help in narration. For example the latest book in the Amma’s Tales is titled Tail Tales – the book contains three stories from the Ramayana in which Bali is the central figure. The common factor in three stories is the tail of Vali. The first book was titled - Tale of how and why You can find more details about the books and buy the book online here at the official website of Amma’s Tales.

Nakt Vrat – Nakth Vrata

Nakt Vrat is a ritual observed by many Hindu communities. In this type of fasting no food is eaten after sunset. There are various types of Nakt Vrat like observing it for seven consecutive Saturdays to pleas Shani Bhagavan. There is also a particular Nakt Vrat that is observed on the first day of the Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha. In 2018, this Nakth Vrat is on September 10.
This ritual is mainly observed in North India.
It must be noted that any fast that is kept from sunset to next day morning sunrise is referred as Nakt Vrat.

Navratna Gomedh for Nakshatras Ardra, Swati and Shatbhisha – Gemstone Hessonite or Gomedhakam

Gomedh or Hessonite is the Navratna that is associated with Ardra, Swati and Shatbhisha Nakshatras. The Gemstone is known Gomedhikam or Gomedha. The Nakshatras Ardra is also known as Tiruvathirai. Swati is also referred as Choti and Shatbhisha is known as Chathayam. By wearning the Gemstone people born in these birth stars can avoid delay in success. The birthstone also helps in fulfilling desires and it also helps in career.Gomedha is associated with Navgraha Rahu.The navratna is also worn for good health and success. It is also worn as a solution to problems created by Rahu and Shani in one’s horoscope.Wearing the navratna is also believed to fulfill the romantic endeavors of Ardra, Swati and Shatbhisha Nakshatras. It is also worn to avoid unexpected financial troubles.

Kusha Amavasya - Kushotpadini Amavasya - Darbiamavas

Kusha Amavasya is observed in Kashmir on the no moon day in the month of Bhadra (August – September). Kusha Amavasya 2018 date is September 9. It is also known as Darbiamavas and Kushotpadini Amavasya. The day is of great importance to the Kashmiri Hindu community. In some years, the Amavasi is observed in the no moon day in Shravan Month (July – August) – the previous month.

The day is dedicated to dead ancestors, parents and relatives. Shradh or Tarpan are performed on river banks and in sacred spots that perform Pinda Daan.

This Amavasya is also known as Darbi Amavas. As rituals on the day are associated Darbha Grass used in pujas. Kusha is another name for Darbha Grass.

Lohargal Yatra in Bhadrapad Month

Lohargal is a unique sacred spot located in Jhunjhunu District in Rajasthan. A perennial stream falls into sacred teertha or pond known as Suraj Kund here. Lohargal Yatra is held from Sri Krishna Janmashtami to Amavasya. In 2018, Lohargal Yatra is from September 3 to September 9. The ritual is observed from the eighth day of Krishna Paksha in Bhadrapad month to Amavasi or no moon in Bhadra month as per traditional calendar followed in North India.
Lohargal Yatra Story Legend has it that Pandavas after the Mahabharata battle repented on the banks of the Suraj Kund for the killing of relatives and thousands of other people in the Kurukshetra war. It is said that when the Pandavas washed their weapons in the Suraj Kund all of weapons melted. And the water body got the name Lohargal, that which melts iron.
It is now believed that bathing in the holy waters at Lohargal cures various diseases.

Lohargal is located around 70 km from Jhunjhunu.

Tirukural – Inspirational Quotes

What is aimed at is easier to achieve when one pursues relentlessly with a firm mind.

There is nothing hard to achieve for those who persist vigilantly with passion to achieve.

Perseverance will bring prosperity and the lack of it will only breed poverty.

The world will abandon those who give up their tasks midway unfinished.

Even if fact acts against your mission, you will be rewarded for your efforts.


Sri Aurobindo Books Online – Download Books of Aurobindo in PDF format for free

Sri Aurobindo was one of the greatest seers of India and his spiritual and philosophical ideas and thoughts continue to intrigue minds to this day.

Now the Sri Aurobindo Ashram is publishing the Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo and many of them are available online.

The Sri Aurobindo Books available online are in pdf format and is under the free download category.
You can find Sri Aurobindo Books Online here at the official website of Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

Swami Chinmayananda – Words to Ponder Over

The art of listening makes an individual creative, dynamic and full of potential success. The more we gratify our desires, the more they multiply. Act with a will to maintain your ideal. Learn to be cheerfully silent, gracefully silent, and powerfully silent. What we regularly encourage and constantly cultivate in our mind determines our character formation and ultimately our destiny. Swami Chinmayananda

Goddess Yogeshwari – Hindu Goddess Yogeshwari Devi

Goddess Yogeshwari is a manifestation of Goddess Shakti and this form of Mother Goddess is worshipped mainly in Maharashtra, Goa and in some parts of South India. Her origin is mentioned in the Varaha Purana. She is believed to have emerged from the flames coming out of the mouth Shiva. She is also known as Jogeshwari or Joga.In most temples of Yogeshwari she is considered as the consort of Shiva. In such temples she is a manifestation of Goddess Parvati.Murti of Yogeshwari Worshipped at Yogeshwari Devi Temple at AmbejogaiIn the form of Yogeshwari, Mother Goddess is believed to fulfill the desires of her devotees. One of the most popular temples dedicated to Yogeshwari is found at Ambejogai in Beed District in Maharashtra.

Swami Vivekananda Thoughts on Love

The first test of love is that it knows no bargaining. Love is always the giver and never the taker. The second test is that love knows no fear. The third test is that it is always the highest ideal. Love binds, love makes for that oneness. You become one, the mother with the child, families with the city, the whole world becomes one with the animals. For love is Existence, God Himself; and all this is the manifestation of that One Love, more or less expressed. The difference is only in degree, but it is the manifestation of that One Love throughout. Swami Vivekananda

Jodie Underhill – A British Woman – Plans to clear the trash left by Manimahesh Yatra Devotees

JodieUnderhill is involved in cleaning the mountains in Himachal Pradesh and she is now planning to clean the ManimaheshLake and its surroundings. Each year thousands of devotees trek to Manimahesh in Chamba District in Himachal Pradesh – a sacred spot associated with Shiva. But sadly many of them leave lots of garbage in the area and make the area dirty. JodieUnderhill was honored with a ‘Green Hero’ award at an environment film festival at Shimla last month for cleaning up garbage in the Dharamsala hills in Himachal Pradesh. Zeenews Reports 'I've just returned from Manimahesh where I went to evaluate the sites for our upcoming clean-up campaign,' Jodie said in an interview. 'I was saddened to see how dirty it was everywhere even though the annual Manimahesh pilgrimage has not even begun. You can see garbage on every step of the 14-km trail. There is also a large amount of human waste around the glacial-fed lake which is a health hazard. We have a mammoth task ahead of u…

Bengali Bhadra Month in 2018 – Bhadrapad Mash in Bangala Calendar in 2018

Bhadra month, or Bhadrapad Mash, is the fifth month in a traditional Bengali calendar. In 2018, Bhadra Month in Bangala Calendar begins on August 18, 2018 and ends on September 17. The current year as per Bengali calendar is 1425.
Some of the auspicious days in the Bengali Bhadra Month in 2018 include - Jhulan Yatra - August 21 - August 25Raksha Bandhan - August 26Janmashtami - September 2Ganesh Chaturthi - September 13Bishwakarma Puja - September 17 Purnima day in Bhadra month in 2017 is on August 26

The Amabashya in Bhadrapad Mash is on September 9

The two Ekadashis in the month are on August 22 and September 6

Next month in Bengali Calendar is the Ashain Month.

Teachings from Amrita Bindu Upanishad

Cows are of different colors. But the milk from all the cows is the same color – white. So too, the intelligent one should regard knowledge as the milk and the sources of such knowledge as the cows. Like the butter hidden in milk, the Pure Consciousness resides in every being. That ought to be constantly churned out by the churning rod of the mind. Taking hold of the rope of knowledge, one should bring out, like fire, the Supreme Brahman. (the rope is used create fire from Arani Mantha for lighting fire in Vedic ceremonies.) Being the one, the universal Soul is present in all beings. Though one, it is seen as many, like the moon’s reflection in water. You may also like to read Amrita Bindu Upanishad Quotes

Gemstone Red Coral or Pavizham for Nakshatras Mrigasira, Chitra and Dhanishta – Navratna Moonga

The Navratna, or Gemstone, that is assigned to Birth Stars or Janma Nakshatras Mrigasira, Chitra and Dhanishta is Red Coral. It is known as Pavizham or Praval or Moonga in regional languages. Nakshatra Mrigasira is also known as Makiryam; Chitra as Chithirai and Dhanishta as Avittam. It is believed that wearing red coral helps a person in building self confidence and courage. It is also suggested by astrologers for keeping away diseases. The Navratna also ushers in prosperity.Pavizham or Praval is associated with Navgraha Mars or Mangal.As the Gemstone Red coral is associated with Mangal, it is considered a hot stone and is worn on silver and copper jewelry. People born in Mrigasira, Chitra and Dhanishta Nakshatras wear red coral to avoid health related troubles and also to overcome enemies.

Vishnu Purana in Hindi – Read Vishnu Puran Online in Hindi

Vishnu Purana is one among the most important Puranas and it narrates the stories associated with Hindu God Vishnu and creation. Reading Vishnu Puran daily and on auspicious days associated with Vishnu is considered highly rewarding. The Purana is also read on Ekadasi fasting day by Hindus around the world. Vishnu Puran in Hindi is provided by Ved Puran website. You can read it online in Hindi but there is no download option. You can read Vishnu Purana in Hindi here at Ved Puran.

Nakul Navami – Nakula Navmi

Nakul Navami is the birth anniversary of Nakula and Sahadeva – the twin brothers among the Pandavas in the Mahabharata. Nakul Navami 2018 date is August 19. It is observed on the ninth or navmi day during the Shukla Paksha, or waxing phase of moon, in the month of Shravan as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.

Nakul and Sahadev are the sons of Madri. They were born with blessings of Aswini Kumaras.

Nakul is the eldest and Sahadev is the youngest. Mahabharata tells us that both were handsome men. It is also said that Sahadeva had great knowledge in astrology and his predictions always turned true.

Tulsidas Teachings

Today is Tulsidas Jayanti - the birthday of Goswami Tulsidas who is the author of the Ramcharitmanas. God, who is one without any desire, is shapeless, nameless, birthless, is a storehouse of virtue and the last refuge of all, resides in everything of the universe, takes the human form to do various deeds for the benefit of those who believe and depend on Him. The only duty is good of others.
The only dereliction is oppression of others. God is one but the proud and the vain have sculpted many out of their desires and fancies. Every living being has an animate, clean, simple, salubrious and indestructible particle of God and since He pervades each and every object, I make my respects to all. Where there is good will, there is all the wealth and where there is ill will, all the misery. Today is Tulsidas Jayanti

Sri Aurobindo Thoughts and Quotes

A selection of Quotes and Thoughts of Sri Aurobindo from his literary works.
The energy must be spent before it can be renewed. The human body is not a closed jar that gets emptied by spending. The human body is a channel that receives only when it spends. It is only effort, in whatever domain it be – material effort, moral effort, intellectual effort – which creates in the being certain vibrations which enable you to get connected with universal vibrations; and it is this which gives joy. It is effort which pulls you out of inertia; it is effort which makes you receptive to the universal forces. When one is in the countryside, when one walks under the trees and feels so close to Nature, to the trees, the sky, all the leaves, all the branches, all the herbs, when on feels a great friendship with these things and breathes that air which is good, perfumed will the plants, then one opens oneself, and by opening oneself communes with the universal forces.First of all, there is undoubtedly a…

Osho Thoughts – Don’t Be Stagnant

Man can live in two ways: either he becomes a stagnant pool of energy or he can become a dynamic flow, a river of energy. The stagnant pool never knows anything beyond itself because it never moves beyond its boundaries. The stagnant pool of energy becomes the ego. The river like flow helps you always to go beyond yourself. It is a constant transcendence. It is movement towards the oceanic, towards the infinite, towards the unbounded. Life should be like a river, always moving, never clinging, always ready to go into the unknown, always ready to risk the familiar for the unfamiliar. Osho

On Nag Panchami Give Milk to Poor not to Nag Murtis and Ant Hills - Pontiff Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swamiji of Panchapeetha

Milk is offered to Nag Murtis (Snake idols) and Ant Hills on Naga Panchami day. In some extreme form of worship people feed live cobras – offering milk and eggs to the snakes, especially to cobras near snake pits. Pontiff Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swamiji of Panchapeetha in Karnataka asked people to stop the practice of pouring milk on Nag Murtis and Ant hills on Nagara Panchami day and asked to donate the milk to the poor and needy.  Times of India reports Pontiff Jaya Mruthyunjaya Swamiji of Panchapeetha distributed milk to small kids at DGM School on Kondajji road in Davanagere on Wednesday, to mark the celebration of 'nagara panchami' symbolically.

He advised people not to pour milk on cobra idols or into termite mounds and instead give it to poor children.

The programme was held as part of an awarenss programme for the public to correct their superstitious beliefs and help the needy. During Nag Panchami, some people also decorate snake pits, known as Valmeekam or Puttu. Snake charm…

Tamil Avani Masam 2018 – Aavani Month in Tamil Nadu Calendar in 2018

Avani Masam is the fifth month in a year in a traditional Tamil calendar. In 2018, Avani Masam begins on August 17 and ends on September 16. The most important festival in the month is Sri Krishna Jayanti on September 2 and Ganesh Chaturthi on September 13. Avani Moolam is on August 21.

Ekadasi dates in Avani Masam are on August 22 and September 6.

Shiva Pradosham dates are on August 23 and September 7.

Pillayar Sankatahara Chaturthi is on August 29 (Ganesh Sankashti Chaturthi)

Aavni Ammavasai is on September 9

Muruga Sashti Fasting is on September 15

Aavani Pournami or full moon day is on August 26

Book – English Translation of Ashtavakra Gita – The Song of the Self Supreme

Ashtavakra Gita is a classical text associated with Advaita school teaching and contains the teaching of Sage Ashtavakra. This particular English translation with Sanskrit Text and annotation is by Radhakamal Mukerjee. The Ashtavakra Samhita is in the format of a dialogue between Sage Astavakra and King Janaka. The book is published by Motilal Banarsidas and you can buy it online.The English translation and the annotations by Radhakamal Mukerjee are extremely illuminating and helpful. The ideas of Absolute Monism narrated by Ashtavakra in his dialogue with King Janaka are simplified and presented in a simple manner. Ashtavakragita – The Song of the Self Supreme
By Radhakamal Mukerjee
Published by Motilal Banarsidas
Price – Paper Cover – Rupees 195/-You may also like to readBasic Teachings of Advaita by Sage Ashtavakra

Bhe Bharas in Gujarat in Shravan Month

Bhe Bharas is a ritual closely associated with Nature and is observed in Gujarat in Shravan month. Bhe Bharas 2017 date is August 23. Married women perform this ritual and it involves praying to various deities in Hindu Pantheon for rains so that the rivers, ponds and lakes are full.
A unique feature of the day is that no food is cooked on the day. The food for the day is prepared on the previous day.
Married women go to rivers, ponds or wells and perform community puja.

It is observed on Shravan Shukla Paksha Dwadasi tithi as per traditional Hindu Gujarati lunar calendar.

Garuda and Naga – Why Garuda and Nagas (Snakes) are enemies?

Garuda, the divine eagle, is the vehicle, or Vahana, of Hindu God Vishnu. Nagas or Snakes are his permanent enemies. There is an interesting story in the Purana that explains why Garuda and snakes are enemies. Sage Kashyapa had two wives named Kadru and Vinita. Kadru gave birth to thousand snakes who are considered to be the ancestors of the Snakes on earth. Vinita gave birth to the powerful Garuda.Once Kadru and Vinita put a bet on the color of the tail of the horse Uchaishravas – a seven-headed flying horse that was obtained during the churning of ocean or Samudra Manthan.Kadru claimed the color was black and Vinita claimed it was white. The stake was whoever lost the bet will serve the other.Kadru cheated by asking her sons, the Nagas, to hang on to the tail of Uchaishravas. Thus the white tail of the divine horse turned black as the nagas hung on to them. Vinita and Garuda were thus forced to serve Kadru. They were treated badly by Kadru and her sons. Later the nagas agreed to fre…

96 Years of The Vedanta Kesari Magazine of Ramakrishna Math in DVD

The Vedanta Kesari is a monthly magazine published by the Ramakrishna Math Chennai. Now all articles that were published from 1914 to 2009 (96 years) is being published in a DVD. The Vedanta Kesari Magazine is a veritable treasure-house of Vedanta. The DVD has more than 14,300 articles.The DVD has search facility indexed author-wise, title-wise, year-wise and by keywords plus other features.The Chennai Ramakrishna Ashram claims that the DVD is a veritable encyclopedia of Vedanta.The price is Rupees 500/-There is a Pre-publication offer at Rs 350/- until August 31, 2010.Packing and posting charges is Rs 60/- in India.You can find more about the DVD and order it online here at the official website of Ramakrishna Math Chennai.

Choth Kajali Vrat

Choth Kajali Vrat is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Hindu God Shiva and is observed by some communities in Gujarat. Choth Kajali Vrat 2018 date is August 30. It is observed on the fourth day of the Krishna Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Shravan month in Gujarat. For some communities, this is a continuation of the Phool Kajali Vrat which is observed on the previous day.

The vrat is observed for a happy and prosperous life.

A unique ritual that is performed on the day is the stripping of paddy. The grains are stripped and collected on the day. A complete fast is observed on the day. Some people take a meal at night or consume dry coconut.

Please note that in Shravan month there are numerous vrats dedicated to Goddess Parvati and all of them are performed for a happy and prosperous married life.

Lotus-Shaped Temple and hermitage at Santhigri Ashram at Pothencode near Trivandrum

A lotus-shaped Parnasala, or hermitage, at Santhigri Ashram at Pothencode near Trivandrum is garnering attraction due to its unique architecture. The hermitage is built around the resting place of Sri Karunakara Guru and it will also house a life-size golden structure of Sri Karunakara Guru. Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru had established the ashram in 1968 with the mission of establishing the Yuga Dharma in Kali Yuga. Today, the Guru has thousands of followers around the world. Sri Karunakara Guru merged with the Supreme Self on May 6, 1999. This lotus-shaped hermitage is memorial for the Guru built by his followers and admirers on the spot where the original hermitage stood.The lotus-shaped hermitage is a 91-feet structure and has a radius of 84-feet. The lotus-structure has 21 petals – 12 petals facing up and 9 facing down. At the heart of the structure is the Sarakoodam, a 27-feet enclosure made of teak wood in the shape of a lotus bud with a marble cask inside. Atop the cask are 1…

Madhusrava Tritiya – Madhu Shravani Teej

Madhusrava Tritiya is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is observed by newly married women in Shravan month. Madhusrava Tritiya 2017 date is July 26. It is observed on the third day during the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Shravan month. The day is observed as Hariyali Teej by some communities.

Madhusrava Tritiya is popular in the Mithala region of Bihar. It is also observed in other regions like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra by some Hindu communities.

Married women who are observing their first Shravan month participate in the ritual. Some married women visit and stay in their parent’s home during the fortnight.

You can find more details about the ritual in this earlier article.

Narayana Bali – Narayana Bali Puja at Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna

Narayana Bali is a ritual dedicated to those people who had met with an accidental death or had other unnatural death. It can be performed for ancestors, dead parents or dead relatives or other family members.The Narayana Bali puja is performed to satisfy their unfulfilled desires. Narayana Bali Puja is performed at Vishnupad Temple at Gaya in Bihar, MahabaleshwarTemple at Gokarna in Karnataka and also at Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu
One of the readers or blog, Suresh Kannan had recently performed the Narayana Bali at Gokarna he wrote a mail to the blog explaining the ritual. We are publishing some excerpts from it so that it will be helpful to people who want to perform the Narayana Bali.
The Temple priest asked me to take bath in the sea along with a coconut which has to be dipped 54 times and then a bath in the kodi theertha with 54 dips along with the coconut.
Then they asked me to change the clothing and sit in the homa, wherein first Ganesha pooja was performed, then Vishnu pooja,…

Gem Stone for Rohini, Hast, Shravan Nakshatras – Navratna Mothi or Muthu or Pearl

Each birth star or Nakshatra in Hindu astrology has a gemstone or Navratna assigned to it. The Navratna that is assigned to birth stars Rohini, Hast and Shravan is natural pearl known as ‘Mothi’ or ‘Muthu.’ Hast Nakshatra is also known as Atham in regional languages. Shravan is known as Thiruvonam. People who believe in horoscope, astrology etc wear stones assigned to their Nakshatram for luck, prosperity, peace and good health. Mothi is also known as Mukta in some regions.Mothi or Pearl is associated with Navgraha Chandra or Moon. It is believed that if people born in Rohini, Hast, Shravan Nakshatras wear ornaments made of pearl they will get the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi – which brings prosperity. It also provides wisdom and long life.

Pavitra Gyaras

Pavitra Gyaras is observed on the 11th day of the Shukla Paksha of Shravan month as per traditional calendar followed in North India. Pavitra Gyaras 2018 date is August 22. The ritual is mainly associated with the Vaishnava sect. The next day is observed as Pavitra Baras.

Special rituals are performed on the day in temples dedicated to Lord Krishna in Rajasthan and other parts of North India.

Pavitra Ekadasi is observed in these regions on the day.

Sanskrit Sayings

The ears are beautified by satsang (company and words of pious souls) not by earrings. The hands are beautified by charity, not by bangles. The body of good people is beautified by the good deeds and not by sandal paste.The ornament of man is his physical form, the ornament of the form is his inner virtues, the ornament of his virtues is his knowledge and the ornament of knowledge is forgiveness.People, occupied as they are with their own affairs, normally do nothing for others. The activity of those in who every stain of phenomenal existence has been destroyed are identified with Bhairava (Shiva), full of Him, is intended only for the benefit of the world.

Throw out both ignorance and knowledge to attain complete realization – Sri Ramakrishna

Ignorance is the knowledge of many things – the knowledge of diversity without the knowledge of unity or of the One God. The conviction that God is in all objects – that there is unity in variety – is called knowledge. Knowing him intimately is realization.Suppose you get a thorn in your foot. You take a second thorn to pick it out. Then you throw both away. So to get rid of the thorn of ignorance, you use the thorn of relative knowledge. Then you throw away both ignorance and knowledge in order to attain complete realization.Sri Ramakrishna

Mahishi – The Story of Demon Mahishi who was killed by Ayyappa

One of the main reasons for the incarnation of Hindu God Ayyappa was to annihilate the demon Mahishi. The popular belief is that the union of Hindu God Shiva and Vishnu in his Mohini incarnation gave birth to Ayyappa. The reason for this unique union was a boon acquired by Mahishi.
Mahishi was the sister of Demon Mahishasura who was killed by Goddess Durga, who came up on earth with the energy of the Trimurtis and other Devas. Mahishasura had received the boon that no man could kill him but he was eventually killed by Goddess Shakti in her Durga form.

Demon Mahishi went a step ahead and performed intense tapas and austerities to please Brahma. Finally, Brahma relented and as a boon Mahishi asked that a son born to Shiva and Vishnu should only kill her.
She asked this boon as Vishnu and Shiva had got better of all the boons that the demons had received earlier. Now it was impossible for a son to be born to Shiva and Vishnu as they were of same gender. Vishnu had taken the form of M…

ISKCON Krishna Lila Theme Park in Bangalore – Building it for Preserving Hindu Culture is a Foolish Reason

The proposed ISKCONKrishnaLilaTheme Park in Bangalore is an amusement park that is organized around the stories and moral lessons from Hinduism especially those associated with Hindu God Krishna. Estimated to cost Rupees 35 million, the project is planned at Vaikuntha Hill off Kanakapura Road in Bangalore. The makers claim that this costly project is to uphold and preserve Hindu culture.The Reason for Building the ISKCONKrishnaLilaTheme ParkThe makers of the theme park claim that they want to use modern technology to enrich people with the awareness of Indian culture, to deepen the appreciation of its timeless legacy and discover the relevance of the values embodied in the source books of Indian heritage in the form of KrishnaLilaTheme Park. Those behind the park want to present, conserve and uphold the cultural heritage of India as described in the ancient Indian classics, to the contemporary society, in an interesting and captivating presentation. They wishes to impress upon the you…

Shravan Dwadasi – Sawan Dwadashi Puja

Shravan Dwadasi puja is observed on the 12th day during the Shukla Paksha of Sawan month as per traditional calendar followed in North India. Shravan Dwadasi 2018 date is August 23. The day is of great significance to the Kashmiri Pandit community – an important ritual takes place on the day at a ShivaTemple in Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Shravan month is dedicated to God Shiva and various rituals are dedicated to him in this month. The most famous among them is the Shiva puja on Mondays. Apart from this Shiva temples in North India conduct numerous other pujas and rituals in Sawan month.

Teachings from Hitopadesha

Of all things Knowledge is esteemed the most precious treasure; because of its incapacity to be stolen, to be given away, or ever to be consumed.
There are two types of knowledge in use – the knowledge of strength and arms and the knowledge of books. The first is ridiculous in old age, while the second one is for ever honorable.
As the potter forms the lump of clay into whatever shape he likes, similarly a man can regulate his own actions.
Those who are learned in Vedas and posses many knowledge experience trouble when their reason is blinded by greed.
A combination of even small things serves the occasion. An intoxicated elephant may be bound with a few straws when formed into a rope.

Kaal Sarpa Dosha – What is Kal Sarpa Yog?

Kaal Sarpa Dosha is a bad planetary position in a person’s horoscope and is considered harmful by those people who believe in astrology. It is believed that those who have Kal Sarpa Yog in their horoscope will have to go through tough times throughout the life. Astrologers suggest that this dosha happens due to the bad positioning of Rahu. The best remedy suggested to get rid of this yog is to worship Hanuman and perform Nagdosh Nivaran Puja.
As a remedy for this dosha some people also release a pair of snakes into forest on the Nag Panchami day – fifth day of the shukla paksha or waxing phase of moon in Shravan month (July – August).
Another remedy suggested to get rid of Kal Sarpa Yog is feeding of ants and fishes.

Puri Ratha Yatra Stamps - India Post Issues Stamp on the Puri Rath Yatra

India Post, the official postal agency of India, has released a stamp on the world famous Puri Rath Yatra. The beautiful hand-painted stamp has the chariot of Jagannath in it with Vaishnavite saints singing the glory of Jagannath. The stamp is in the denomination of Rupees 5 and is available in all GPOs.You may also like to readIndia Post Issues Stamps on Astrological Signs – Hand Painted Zodiac or Rashi

Bijli Mahadev Temple in Kullu in Himachal Pradesh – Special Shravan Amavasya Puja after Lightning Strikes the Shivling

BijliMahadevTemple near Kullu in Himachal Pradesh attracts thousands of visitors during the Shravan Amavasya (No moon day in Sawan month – In 2018, it is on August 11 as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.) It is said that the Shivling worshipped at Bijli Mahadev Mandir gets damaged due to lightning every year in Shravan month – the temple priests then gathers the broken pieces and puts them together using butter. Therefore the name BijliMahadevTemple – Bijli means lightning.

At an altitude of 7,874 feet, the temple is about 25 km from Kullu in Himachal Pradesh and is located on the banks of the BeasRiver.

The popular belief is that the prayers performed on Shravan Amavasya are heard by dead forefathers and they help in fulfilling them.

A local legend has it that the Shivling at the temple captures the powerful energies from the atmosphere and keeps the world safe.
Every year lightening breaks the Shivling that is worshipped in the temple into pieces. Sometimes…