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Showing posts from November, 2010

Alakh Niranjan Meaning

Alakh Niranjan is the term used by sadhus, babas and tantrics of the Nath Sampradaya sect to greet each other. The Nath Sampradaya was founded by Gorakhnath and is dedicated to the worship of Shiva. Alakh as per the Nath tradition means – absolute freedom from all types of bondage; Niranjan is one among the numerous names of Shiva and it means pure. Nath Sampradaya sect believes that Shiva as Adinath taught the secret of the Supreme Being to Matsyendranath and He taught it to Gorakhnath. Gorakhnath is the most important teacher of the Nath Sampradaya tradition. Some scholars are of the view that the term Alakh Niranjan was coined by Gorakhnath. Alakh Niranjan is thus primarily invoking Shiva who resides in all living and nonliving – he is ever pure and beyond all imaginations and thoughts of human beings. Lucky are those who realize this and escape from all types of Karmic bondage. Note - Alakh Niranjan is also used as a greeting term in Sikhism.

Sanskrit Book Fair in Bangalore in January 2011 – Official Website of First World Sanskrit Book Fair

The first world Sanskrit Book Fair will be organized from January 7, 2011 to January 10, 2011 at National College ground, Basavanagudi, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The fair will feature books, DVDs and CDs on Sanskrit literature and its translation into Indian and foreign languages. The concept of Sanskrit speaking village and Sanskrit speaking market will be introduced in the fair. You can participate and register for the fair and know more about the fair here at the official website of the Sanskrit Book Fair.

Update - Sharath CV went to the book fair and provided this link which contains photos and a small note on the book fair - you can find the photos and write up here. 

Margi Purnima

Margi Purnima is the full moon day that falls during the Margashirsha month (November – December). Margi Purnima 2018 date is December 22. Special rituals, observances and prayers are held by certain Hindu communities on the day.

Not much information is available regarding this full moon day. It is of importance to certain Vaishnava sects in eastern parts of India.

Swami Visharadananda Thoughts on Fear and Expectations

While there are many problems in life, the problem of fear is one of the basic problems. Whatever we are afraid of, we carry it in our mind. If we are afraid of ghosts and scorpions, for instance, we carry them in our mind. We make them a part of our mental baggage effortlessly! It is as if a crowd is always on move with us, and wherever we go, this crowd is following us. It is the crowd of things we are afraid of. Another thing that we carry with us is our expectations from others or from places. These expectations throw open the doors for other undesirable things. Fear and expectations are the two doors through which the world enters our mind. If we do not sort them out, we cannot …lead a happy and peaceful life on earth. Swami Visharadanandais associated with the Ramakrishna Mission

Niyams – 10 observances in Hinduism for a Meaningful and Happy Life - Ten Niyamas

Niyams, or Niyamas, are 10 observances in Hinduism for a meaningful and happy life. Some scholars define the term Niyams as self restraint codes. The ten niyamas are mentioned in the Patanjali Yoga. The shloka that defines the ten Niyams is – Siddhanta – Sravanam danam matirisvara pujanam, Santoshah tapah astikyam hrih japasca tatha vratam. The 10 niyamas as mentioned by the Shloka are – Siddhanta – reading, listening and contemplating to discourses of spiritual scripturesDaan or Dhanam – CharityMati – the ability to differentiate between good and evil. The courage to say NO and move only in the path of dharma.Puja – Worship of GodSantosha - ContentmentTapa – Penance and austerities to stay in the path to Moksha or liberationAstikyam – Belief in the Supreme TruthHri – ModestyJapa – Repetition of MantraVratam – Sacrifice of desires, ego, and sensual pleasures. The Niayamas are primarily meant to discipline the thought and actions of an individual.

Marathi Margashirsha Month in 2018 - 2019 - Margasira Mahina Maharashtra Calendar 2018

Margashirsha Month is the ninth month in a traditional Marathi calendar followed in Maharashtra. Margasira Mahina 2018 in Marathi calendar is from December 8, 2018 to January 5, 2019. Champa Sashti, Gita Jayanti, Mokshada Ekadasi and Datta Jayanti are observed in Margasira Mahina.

Margashirsha Lakshmi Puja is observed on the Thursdays in the month.

Sankashti Chaturthi monthly fasting dedicated to Ganesha in Margashirsha Mahina is on December 25, 2018 – Moonrise or Chandrodaya is at 8:56 PM – Indian Standard Time.

Margashirsha Mahina Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha Margashirsha Mahina 2018 Shukla Paksha (Waxing phase of moon) is from December 8 to December 22. Margashirsha Month 2018 Krishna Paksha (Waning phase of moon) is from December 23, 2018 to January 5, 2019.

Purnima or full moon in Marathi Margashirsha Mahina in 2018 Margashirsha Pournima or Full moon day is on December 22, 2018. The Purnima begins at 2:09 AM on December 22 and ends at 11:18 PM on December 22. Dattatreya Jayanti …

Rig Veda Teachings on Cooperation

Let us speak together, Let our thoughts be one, Let us be of one mind. Let the place be common, Assembly be common, Mind and thought be common. Let the resolve be the same, And the mind be of one accord. May we live in harmony and agreement. Rig Veda (X, 191-3, 4)
Rig Veda Teachings on Creation

Why Chasing Sense Pleasures are Worthless? – Bhagavad Gita

That happiness which arises when the desired sense object comes in contact with the sense organs is indeed a thrill that is nectarine in the beginning. But, unfortunately, it vanishes as quickly as it comes, dumping the enjoyer into a pit of exhaustion and indeed into a sense of dissipation.

To explain: sense enjoyments arise only when the sense organs are actually in contact with the sense objects. This contact cannot be permanently established, for both the objects and the instruments that come in contact with the objects – the mind and intellect – are variable and changing. Also, the sense organs cannot enjoy the sense objects all the times with the same appetite, and even if they do so, the very object in the embrace of the sense organs withers and putrefies.

No individual can fully enjoy even the passing glitter of joy that the sense organs give, for even at the moment of enjoyment the ‘joy-possibility’ in it gets unfortunately tainted by an anxiety that it may leave him.

Hence, t…

A 16th Century 80 feet high elephant statue at Azhagar Kovil Village near Brihadeshwara Temple in Tamil Nadu

A majestic 16th Century 80 feet high elephant statue is located at Thuravu Melazhagar – Azhagarkovil and Azhagapuri – temple at AzhagarKovilVillage which is around 6km from BrihadeshwaraTemple at Gangaikondacholapuram. Like numerous such monuments and statues associated with Hindu religion, this one too needs urgent repair and attention. The story here too is the same there is total neglect from authorities and Hindu society. The sheer size and the intricate designs that are part of the Azhagarkovil elephant statue would have easily placed it in the category of National Monument in any country around the world other than India. In India, government authorities spend lavishly on creating statues of corrupt politicians and of all those Tom Dick and Harry whom the politicians think has the capacity to create vote banks. Suganthy Krishnamachari writes in the Hindu Gazing at the Azhagarkovil elephant, whose majesty even the scaffolding and the thatch are unable to obscure, one cannot help w…

Bheema Jayanti – Bhimasena Jayanthi

Bheema Jayanti is believed to be the day when the second of the Pandava brothers, Bhimasena, was born. Bheema Jayanti 2018 date is December 15. It is observed on the 8th day of the Shukla Paksha of Margashirsh month. Kunti is believed to have given birth to Bhima with the blessing of Vayu or the wind god.

All the important victories of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata are built around the pillar Bhima. He is the brute force that crushes all that stands in the path of Dharma.

In the 18-day Kurukshetra battle in the Mahabharata, all the 100 Kauravas including Duryodhana and Dushasana were killed by Bhima.

Temples dedicated to Bhima in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra conduct special pujas and processions on the day.

Nag Panchami in Margashirsh Month – Nag Pujan - Nag Dive

In Margashrish Month (November – December), a Nag Panchami and Naga Puja festival, pujas and rituals are held in many parts in western India. Nag Panchami in Margashirsh Month 2018 is on December 12. It is also known as Nag Pujan - Nag Dive. This particular Nag Puja or rituals, dedicated to Snakes, is observed on the fifth or Panchami day during the waxing phase of moon in Margashirsh month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Please note that the most popular Nag Panchami is observed in Shravan month (July – August).

In some regions, Nag Devi – the female serpent, is worshipped on the Nag Panchami in Margashirsh Month.

Swami Kriyananda Thoughts on Meditation

Meditation gives meaning to everything one does. The Bhagavad Gita says, "To the peace less person, how is happiness possible?" Inner peace is like lubricating oil: It enables the machinery of our lives to function smoothly. Without mental peace, our emotions and the various demands placed upon us in our lives grind together and create inner stress, leading eventually to a physical or nervous breakdown.
Psychometric studies have shown that meditation produces a healthy ego, that it expands a person's world view and enables people to cope better with the stresses of life. Meditators, in addition, have shown significant gains in overcoming depression, neurotic behavior, and feelings of social inadequacy.
Meditation develops concentration, so essential for success in every activity.

Swami Kriyananda

Goddess Vakula Devi – Vakulamata Devi – Mother of Hindu God Venkateswara

Goddess Vakula Devi, or Vakulamata Devi, is the mother of Hindu God Venkateswara as per certain Hindu traditions. A temple dedicated to Goddess Vakulamata is located facing the TirupatiBalajiTemple at Perurbanda village. Goddess Vakula Devi is the incarnation of Mother Yashoda – foster mother of Sri Krishna. Legend has it that Mother Yashoda could not witness the marriage of Sri Krishna with Rukmini. To console Her, Sri Krishna promised that when he will appear as Venkateswara during the kali yuga and she will be his foster mother and will get the opportunity to witness His marriage. Mother Yashoda thus had the fortune of being the mother Venkateswara in Kali Yuga. As promised it was Goddess Vakula Devi who went to King Akasa Raja to ask Goddess Padmavati’s hand in marriage. It was she who conducted the marriage of Padmavati and Venkateswara.

Sabarimala Prasadam through Courier at Your Home – DTDC Courier & Cargo Ltd to take Sabarimala Aravana Payasam around the World

DTDC Courier and Cargo Ltd is delivering Sabarimala Prasadam through Courier at your home. They are providing the service around the world. The Sabarimala package delivered at your home will contain a Can of Aravana Payasam, a pouch of Unniyappam, packets of Vibhooti, Kumkum and Manjal, and a picture of Lord Ayyappa. The cost of ordering a holy package is INR 275/- + Taxes to any address in India and INR 1700/- + Taxes to any address around the globe. We are publishing a letter sent to us by DTDC Courier and Cargo Ltd regarding this matter DTDC Courier and ltd has been authorized by the concerned authorities to carry the Holy Prasada of Lord Ayyappa through courier all over the world. Devotees can walk into any of the DTDC offices across the globe and place their orders for the Holy Prasada. Orders can also be placed at using your credit or debit card payment online. The DTDC delivery boy will be knocking your door within 10days from date of booking with the Holy Package of Pr…

Margasira Masa 2018 - 2019 in Telugu Calendar – Telugu Margasira Masa 2018

Margasira Masam is the ninth month in a traditional Hindu Telugu calendar followed in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Margasira Masam 2018 starts on December 8, 2018 to January 5, 2019.  The holy Dhanur Masa begins on December 16 in this month. Dhanur Masa is the period between the entry of Sun in Dhanu Rashi and Makara Sankramana.

Sankatahara Chavithi dedicated to Vinayaka in Margasira Masa is on December 25, 2018 – Moonrise or Chandrodaya is at 8:56 PM – Indian Standard Time.
Telugu Margasira Masa Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha Margasira Masa Telugu calendar 2018 Shukla Paksha (Waxing phase of moon) is from December 8 to December 22. Telugu Margasira Masam 2018 Krishna Paksha (Waning phase of moon) is from December 23, 2018 to January 5, 2019.

Ekadasi Fasting Dates in Telugu Margasira Masa are: Vaikunta Ekadasi - December 18
Saphala Ekadasi – January 1, 2019
Pradosh Fasting Dates in Telugu Margasira Masa are: Pradosh - December 20
Pradosh – January 3, 2019
Purnima in Telugu Margasira Ma…

Why Marriages are not held in Margazhi month or Tamil Margali Masam?

Margazhi month, or Margali Masam, is a highly auspicious Tamil month. It is the last month before the Uttarayana Punyakalam begins. Some Hindu communities do not hold auspicious ceremonies like marriages in the Margazhi month. This is not a general rule but is followed strictly by some Hindus.

The main reason for not conducting marriages is that people want to use the holy month to concentrate on spiritual activities.

The importance of Margali Masam was announced by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita when He said Maasanam Margasheershoham – among the twelve months, I am Margazhi.

Margazhi Month is also considered the dawn period of Devas. The belief is that the Devas who had gone to sleep during the Dakshinayana wake up in the month of Margazhi.

A human year is considered to be a day of the Devas. The day time begins with Uttarayana Punayakalam – mid January. The night time of Devas begins during Dakshinayana Punyakalam – mid July.

The reason for not conducting marriages during Margazh…

Chennai – Mookambika Temple – Sringeri – Udupi Package Tour from Indian Railways

Rail Tourism India, the tourism arm of Indian Railways, is conducting spiritual tour from Chennai to MookambikaTemple and Sringeri. The five-day tour includes darshan at MookambikaTemple, Visit to Sringeri, Dharmasthala, and Udupi SriKrishnaTemple. The Spiritual Tour starts from Chennai .

The price of per person occupancy is Rupees 8900/-, double occupancy is 4950/- and triple occupancy is 3750/-

Hanuman Ashtami at Ujjain Bade Ganesh Temple

Hanuman Ashtami is a unique ritual observed at the BadeGaneshTemple located at Ujjain. Hanuman is worshipped in the form of Panchmukhi Hanuman – five-faced Hanuman. The temple is located on the Har Siddhi Road near the MahakaleshwarTemple. Hanuman Ashtami 2018 - 2019 date is December 31.

Bade GaneshTemple at Ujjain is also a famous center for Hindu astrology. The temple also conducts classes on Sanskrit and Astrology.

Hanuman Ashtami is observed on the krishna paksha ashtami day in Poush month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.

Tripur Bhairavi Mahavidya Jayanti – Tripura Bhairavi Jayanthi

Goddess Tripura Bhairavi is the 8th Goddess among the ten Mahavidyas. Tripur Bhairavi Mahavidya Jayanti date is January 20, 2019. It is believed that this form of Goddess Shakti appeared on earth on this day. Tripur Bhairavi Mahavidya is worshipped for defeating sensual desires and for attaining peace and prosperity.

In some Tantric scriptures she is also referred as Kala Bhairavi. It is said that she presides over the world that is undergoing transformation – from good to bad and from bad to good.

Mahavidyas are ten in number and they are the forms of Goddess Shakti – she appears in these ten forms to provide knowledge about the Ten Supreme Forms of Energies.

It is annually observed on Paush Shukla Paksha Chaturdasi Tithi.

Sudhanshu Maharaj Quotes

Sudhanshu Maharaji is a modern day Hindu Guru. Here are few quotes and teachings of Sudhanshuji Maharaj. Prayer, Endeavor, Inspiration, and Industry I consider them four fruits of life.
We build our good luck through them. Inside every man Resides God and Inside every man there is a superman.
What we require is that we recognize our significance and strive to uplift ourselves mentally and spiritually. Then the superman inside us will be awakened and the divinity inside us, will lift itself and excel. As the reflection of the moon can be seen in still waters, similarly one who is at peace can see God. Luck is stronger but endeavor is much stronger then luck. Do give importance to your luck but not more than your action. Sudhanshuji Maharaj

Why are puja items dropped in a river after Hindu pujas? – Why it should no longer be followed?

Dropping of puja items in a river is a very old tradition when all the puja items used in a Hindu puja were made of natural materials. Rituals and pujas are performed by a devotee to fulfill certain wishes. As per Hindu Holy Scriptures, water is one of the manifest forms of the Supreme Being (God). It is also said in the Rig Veda that in the beginning there was only Water. So when the devotee offers the puja items to water the devotee feels that it is directly offered to the Supreme Truth.

Dropping of puja items in rivers should not be practiced anymore as majority of puja items are not natural products. Most of the Hindu puja items today contain plastic and numerous other non-degradable materials. Rivers in olden days were free flowing and therefore what was offered was immediately carried away and there was no stagnation.

It must be noted that several rituals and practices in Hinduism were started more than 5000 years ago. In ancient days, only natural materials were offered to Hind…

Swami Dayanand Saraswati Thoughts on the Four Stages of Life in Hinduism

Swami Dayanand Saraswati founder of Arya Samaj Brahmacharya (or the 1st stage of life) is meant for perfecting one's body and acquiring knowledge and culture. Grihastha (or the 2nd stage of life) is for the pursuit of useful occupation and professions, marriage, etc. Vanaprasth (or the 3rd stage of life) for meditation, concentration of mind on abstruse subjects, perfection of character and acquisition of divine knowledge. Sanyasa (for the 4th stage of life) is meant of disseminating knowledge of the Veda and the Shastras practicing virtue and renouncing vice, preaching the gospel of truth and dispelling doubts and ignorance of the people. But all those who do not discharge the most important duties of Sanyasa, such as the preaching of truth and righteousness, are the most degraded wretches, and will go to hell. Therefore, it is necessary for Sanyasis to devote themselves assiduously to the preaching of truth and enlightening the minds of the people who are in doubt, to the studies of…

Pandu Osha

Pandu Osha is observed in Orissa in the Margashirsh month. It is dedicated to Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers. Pandu Osha 2018 date is December 22. Some texts suggest that the Osha is dedicated to Pandu the father of the Pandavas.

Annually Pandu Osha falls on the Purnima or full moon day in Oriya Margashirsh month. It is also known as Pandu Purnima.

A popular story associated with Pandu Osha states that the King of Kalinga had no children and his luck changed after he and the queen observed the Pandu Osha.

Akhand Dwadashi Vrat 2018 – Akhand Dwadasi Date in 2018

Akhand Dwadashi Vrat is observed on the 12th day of the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Margashirsh month. Akhand Dwadasi Date in 2018 is December 19. The Vrat is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu. Food made using milk of cow is eaten on the day. Curd is consumed by thos offering the vrat.

The vrat is also observed by some Hindu communities on any of the 12th day of the Shukla Paksha in Margashirsh, Paush, Phalgun, Chaitra, Vaishak, Jyeshta or Ashada month.

It is believed that observing this vrat will help in attaining peace and prosperity in life. It is also performed for a good family life.

The Great Hindu Tradition – Book with Meanings of Hindu Rituals and Why We Perform Them

The Great Hindu Tradition by Sri Sarma Sastrigal attempts to clear the curiosity that arises in the mind of Hindus when they perform a particular ritual. The book gives insights into Vedic principles and Shastras and on why we perform certain rituals in our daily life.  Ancient customs and traditions are explained in simple English in the book. The Hindu reports about the book Swami Dayananda Saraswati described the book as different as it gives answers to common questions. “This is a handbook of Vedic dharma,” he said. Nirmala Lakshman, Joint Editor, The Hindu, said “the book, with smaller to larger examples, reminds us of our links to the community and the world at large.” She said a great deal of clarity about the traditions and cultures had been brought out in the book. Where to buy the book? I wanted to buy the book. So I searched for the publishers name in all the newspapers that published the news of the release of the book. There was no information on who the publisher was or from…

Dashaditya Vrat – Dasaditya Vrata

Dashaditya Vrat is observed in the Margashirsh month in traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. Dashaditiya Vrat 2018 date is December 18. It is observed on the 10th day of the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Margashirsh month.

Those undertaking the fast listen to the Dasaditya Vrat Katha.

The vrat is mainly observed in North India especially in Uttar Pradesh.

Obama as Nataraja on Newsweek Cover November 22, 2010

The Newsweek cover of November 22, 2010 edition has US President Barack Obama in Nataraja pose – the cosmic dance Hindu God Shiva as Nataraja. The cosmic dance of Shiva as Nataraja represents – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, the cosmic dance symbolically represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. It represents the Supreme Truth. The Newsweek cover page of November 22, 2010 is headlined as "God of All Things" – Why the modern presidency may be too much for one person to handle. The Newsweek cover suggests that Obama is not God Shiva to solve all issues. But it was unnecessary to bring the Nataraja symbol into American political squabbles as Nataraja Shiva Murti is worshipped by millions of people in HinduTemples and homes.  It is the unparalleled insight of the ancient Saints of Hinduism that they were able to express the entire cycle of cre…

Qualities of a True Guru or Saint – Sri Krishna in Uddava Gita

In the Uddava Gita in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana, Sri Krishna advises Uddava regarding the qualities of a true guru or saint. Here are the qualities enumerated by Sri Krishna.

Gurus are kind to all.They won’t wrong anybody.They have no grudge against anyone.They have endurance, patience, fortitude.They are free from scandals.They take pleasure and pain in the same vein.They are ever ready to help others.They are not enchanted by worldly things.They have tender heart but full command over their sense organs.They are pure, benevolent, detached.They eat only for survival and never for taste.They are totally and always at ease.They are unperturbed.They are devoted to Brahman (Supreme Truth).They are thoughtful.They are alert and conscious.They are serious.They are patient in dangers.They have won over all the six weaknesses – hunger, thirst, pain, lust, old age and death.They give due honor to others.They are skilled and dexterous.They are friendly to all.They are merciful and wise.

Official Website of Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

What is the official website of SabarimalaAyyappaTemple? Or is it better to ask is there an official website of Sabarimala? There is no clear answer to this question. This year the I & PRD Department of the Government of Kerala has put together a website that gives latest information about SabarimalaAyyappaTemple. Luckily this website is functioning now and is updated regularly.

You can find the I and PRD Department website on Sabarimala here - Official Website of SabarimalaSreeDharmasasthaTemple – this is being currently promoted as the official website of Sabarimala by Devaswom Minister’s website.

Note – the Travancore Devaswom which manages the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple, which is visited by millions of people, has only a domain name and no content for more than a year now.

Anadeshwar Bhairav Jayanti

Anadeshwar Bhairav Jayanti is mainly observed in Jammu and Kashmir and is dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. Anadeshwar Bhairav Jayanti 2018 date is December 31. Anadeshwar Bhairav is one of the manifestations of Shiva and is worshipped by certain Hindu communities in Kashmir.

The Jayanti is observed on the 10th day of the Krishna Paksha or waning phase of moon in Poush month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.

Special rituals dedicated to Anadeshwar Bhairav are observed on the day.

One of the important temples dedicated to this form of Shiva is located in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Swami Chidananda Motivational Thoughts

The oyster yields a pearl because that is what it holds within its bosom. The gold mind yields gold because that is that it holds within its bosom. What will you yield from within the depths of your own personality, your nature, your individual identity? What will be your gift to the world? It is for you to choose. It is for you to make this choice and to live your life in this grand arena, which gives you the occasion, the opportunity, and the unlimited scope and freedom to be what you are. To make the right choice – purposefully, intelligently, wisely, with discrimination – is the great privilege of only one species of creatures on this planet Earth, and that is the human being. Reflect well on this, and act in harmony with this inner fact. What a great blessing, what a great privilege this life is! It would be a pity not to see it as such. Make up your mind, therefore, that each day, every moment, at every step, your choice will be to manifest the Truth within you, and never any thin…

Importance of Bhasma or Vibhuti – Significance of applying sacred ash or Vibhuti on the body

The popular belief in Hindu tradition is that applying Vibhuti, or Bhasma, or sacred ash, on forehead and other parts of the body will help in redemption of sins. It is also believed that Bhasma which is made using burned cow dung has the power to cure various diseases and it also helps in improving physical and mental health. In Hinduism, Bhasma or Vibhuti is associated with Shiva.

While applying Bhasma one should chant the mantra – Om Namah Shivaya. Bhasma should be applied using the middle three fingers – not the thumb and the little finger.

One should take Bhasma in the left hand and apply it using the right hand.

Bhasma applied on forehead and on the middle of the head will help in removing lethargy and laziness.

Vibhuti applied on neck, hand and chest will help in redemption of sins.

Some saints are known to apply Bhasma all over the body. This is in adoration of Shiva. It is also believed that this will help in removing sins committed in previous births.

Thulabharam in Tirupati Temple – TTD Tulabharam

Thulabharam in TirupatiTemple is held at the Srivari Padi Kavali. In the Thulabaram ritual, a devotee sits on a pan of the weighing balance and the other pan is filled with materials greater than the weight of the devotee. Devotees usually offer sugar, jaggery or coins. The commodity used to weigh is donated to TirupatiVenkateswaraTemple. TTD, the administrative body of the temple, provides the materials needed for performing Tulabharam. Tirumala News writes about this unique ritual which is performed by more than 100 devotees daily. On the left corner of the Padi kavili of the SrivariTemple one will see a large steel balance kept for weighing persons who want to fulfill their vow to Lord Venkateswara. Nearly 100-200 persons fulfill their vow at this spot by donating commodities, metals or even coins worth their weight to Lord Venkateswara . Legend says that Sri Venkateswara had become heavily indebted and had taken huge loans from kubera, the Hindu god of wealth and hence his devotees we…

Chandogya Upanishad Quotes

Chandogya Upanishad is part of the Sama Veda. There are eight chapters in it. Here are few quotes from Chandogya Upanishad: Previous to creation all this was being, one only without a second, Name and form were not. Just as by one clod of clay all that is made of clay is known, the modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the truth is that all is clay. Just as by one nugget of gold all that is made of gold is known, the modification being only a name, arising from speech, while the truth is that all is gold. Where one sees another, one hears another, so long as there are two, there must be fear, and fear is the mother of all misery. Where none sees another, where it is all one, there is none to be miserable, none to be unhappy. Through purity of food comes purity of mind, through purity of mind comes a steady memory of Truth, and when one gets this memory one becomes free from all knots of the heart.

Ayyappa Devotional Songs Online – Listen to Ayyappa Songs in Malayalam

Each year during Mandala Makaravilakku Festival at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple, musicians bring out special devotional songs dedicated to Ayyappa in Malayalam. This year an exclusive portal dedicated to Ayyappa by Malayalam Newspaper Mathurbhumi is presenting the latest Ayyappa songs online. You can listen to Ayyappa Songs titled Ambili Poovalle Ayyappan by Kalabhavan Mani. Another set of songs is by Ganesh Sundharam. You can listen to the songs online. There is no option of download. You can find the Ayyappa Devotional Songs Online here at Harivarasanam website of Mathurbhumi Newspaper

Mathurbhumi has stopped the Harivarasanam website.

Link – Malayalam Ayyappa Songs by Kalabhavan Mani  Link – Malayalam Ayyappa Songs by Ganesh Sundharam

Six months Ravivar Vrat – Sunday Fasting for Six months from Margashirsh to Vaishakh

Some Hindu communities especially in the Mithilanchal region of North India observe Sunday fasting (Ravivar Vrat) for six months. Prayers and vrat on the day is dedicated to Surya or the Sun god.

The Sundays are calculated from the first Sunday of Margashirsh (November – December) month to the last Sunday in Vaishakh month (April – May).

The vrat is kept for peace and prosperity. It is observed by both men and women.

Please note that such vrats are limited to certain Hindu communities and the rules and method of observing the vrat varies from region to region.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa – A story on the power of habit that keeps out truth

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to narrate wonderful stories with a moral or valuable lesson. Here is one such story on the power of influence and habit that keeps out truth.

A group of fisherwoman who were on their way home from a distant market was caught in heavy rain. So they took shelter in the home of a flower seller. The florist opened the room where he used to stock his flowers and asked the fisherwomen to take rest there at night and start their journey early morning.

The room was filled with fragrance of various flowers and this made the fisherwomen uncomfortable. None of them were able to sleep.

Then one fisherwoman came up with an idea that they should sprinkle some water on their fish baskets so that it will generate foul smell which will make them sleep.

All the other women agreed to the idea and they sprinkled water on their fish baskets and kept it near their head and slept peacefully. The fragrance of the flowers did not trouble them.

Such indeed is the power of infl…

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Quotes

Here are few quotes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – an unparalleled devotee of Sri Krishna While chanting the name of the Lord one should earn Divine wealth. The divine wealth to be earned are kindness, nonviolence, freedom from lust, truth, equality, equanimity, detachment, stability of mind, control over senses, seriousness, compassion, friendship, brilliance and tolerance.

Men chanting the name of the Lord should be more tolerant than a tree and be humble enough to give honor to all else.

One should be so engrossed in God while singing His name that tears start rolling out of the eyes; speech may grow ecstatic and the body starts feeling spiritual and passionate.

The best and the easiest way to get purged is by chanting the name of God. Anyone can chant the name of the Lord any time and anywhere. There is no barrier of time and place. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Chaitanya Goswamis – Who are the Chaitanya Goswamis?

Bhagavad Gita in Daisy Format for the Visually Challenged and Blind People

The Bhagavad Gita in Daisy format is the first of its kind and is primarily aimed at people who are blind or cannot read printed material. DAISY is the short form of Digital Accessible Information System and DAISY assists people who, for various reasons, have challenges using (reading) regular printed media or written materials. The Gita in Daisy format is presented by Swami Radhanandji from the USA, together with Dr Dengla, the visually challenged principal of NAB-PNM, Rehabilitation Centre for the blind in MountAbu, Rajasthan, India, with the support of Mukesh Modi, chairman and founder of Adarsh Credit Cooperative Society Ltd, MountAbu. Times of India reports Daisy format is not only for the benefit of the visually challenged or the print disabled but also for the sighted who do not want to read. When Swamiji used to give discourse through Skype from the USA, Dr Dengla religiously recorded the same for two hours daily in the Daisy Recording Studio of the centre, financed by Modi tog…

Sankashti Chaturthi in November 2011 – Sankashta Chaturti for Ganesha

Sankashti Chaturthi, or Sankashta Chaturti Vrata, which falls on the fourth day during the waning phase of the moon (Krishna Paksha) in a Hindu calendar, is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesh. Sankata Nivarini Chaturthi November 2011 date is November 14. Sankashti Chaturti is the fourth day after the full moon. Ganesha devotees observe a fast on this day from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting on Sankashti Chaturthi  begins at sunrise and ends after sighting the moon. Those devotees undertaking a fast on the day perform evening puja before taking food. Ganesh Temples conduct special poojas on the day.

The significance of Sankashti Chaturthi Vrat was explained by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas. It is also detailed in the Narasimha Purana and Bhavishaya Purana.

It is widely believed by Ganesh devotees that observing Sankashta Chaturti will bring material progress, happiness and fulfillment of desires.

Sant Sunderdas Teachings

I’m neither angry nor friendly to anyone; Neither attached nor jealous; Neither I’ve enmity towards nor ready to attack on anyone; Neither I start debates nor am aggrieved at someone; There is neither companionship nor inclination towards a person; I speak neither ill nor have any dealings with anyone. I like only to think of Brahman and nothing else. Sant Sunderdas 

Book - Plants of Religious Significance: The Hindu Perspective

Plants of Religious Significance: The Hindu Perspective is written by Rabindranath Lackhan from Trinidad and Tobago. The book aims to provide information about the plants and flowers used in Hindu rituals and pujas. Sri Lackhan wrote the first edition of the book while he was an undergraduate student in 1985. Now he has published a revised edition of the book. The book is currently available in stores in Trinidad and the author is planning to make it available on

You can contact the author and know more about the book here at his official website - Rabindranath Lackhan Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday writes Rabindranath Lackhan wrote the first edition of the book while he was an undergraduate student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine campus. Lackhan told Sunday Newsday that he and his good friend Ramnarine Ramkissoon became involved with a community project and helped in the construction of a Hindu temple in California. They decided to spruce up the sur…

Dhatri Puja in Kartik Month – Dhaatri Puja

Dhatri Puja is dedicated to the gooseberry tree and this particular puja is observed by certain communities in South India. Dhatri Puja 2018 date is November 20. In this particular puja, Awala or Amala or Gooseberry tree is equated with Goddess Lakshmi. Gooseberry, or nellikkai, is also known as Dhaatri.

Dhatri puja is essentially performed for prosperity and auspiciousness.

Special pujas are performed under the gooseberry tree or using parts of the tree at home.

It is observed on the trayodasi after Hariprabodini Ekadashi.

Utthana Dwadashi – Uttahana Dvadasi

Utthana Dwadashi is observed in Kartik month. Special pujas are offered to Tulsi plant and Damodara form of Sri Krishna on the day by many Hindu communities in South India.  Utthana Dwadashi 2018 date is November 20. The ritual is observed on the 12th day of the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Kartik month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Tulsi leaves and flowers are offered to Damodara on this day. The ritual is mainly performed by the Vaishnavites.

Many Hindu communities also perform the Tulsi Vivah and puja on the day.

Great Lessons from Upanishads Ignored by Those Practicing Untouchability – Nitya Chaitanya Yati

In the Isavasa Upanishad the opening verse begins with a pertinent question – “Whose is wealth? (kasya svid dhanam?). The answer is also given in the same verse: ‘Everything belongs to God’ (Ishavasyam idam Sarvam). After declaring this cardinal truth, the Upanishad gives a golden instruction: “Do not grab (exploit) and learn the excellence of living an unselfish life.” In spite of such definite instructions given by the best of ancient teachers, most Indian people treat their fellow beings more abominably than dirt, and the powerful among them go on depriving the majority of their rightful means. That danger is also given as a caution in the Isha Upanishad – Demonic are those worlds of the blinding darkness of ignorance into which they go, the deniers of the self who are already dead to the spirit of truth.” Most people who pride themselves as Hindus come under this category of the marauders of the self because they are too gross and selfish to see the Self. They look at their most ben…

Tirupati Balaji Temple Goes Green – Environment Friendly Measures Adapted by Tirumala Tirupati Venkateswara Temple

TirupatiBalajiTemple, the most visited place of worship in a year and is also the richest temple in the world, is now setting example for other Hindu Temples by going green. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanms (TTD) has adapted numerous environment friendly measures. Here are some of the ecofriendly and green concept promoted by TirupatiVenkateswaraTemple.
Solar Cooking System Clean energy to feed over 70, 000 people daily. Solar Cooking system saves 120, 000 liters of diesel. 106 solar dishes that use solar energy to convert water into steam, has become the pioneer effort in energy saving and also reducing oil pollution in the hill shrine. The steam is also used for the bathing purpose of thousands of devotees daily. It must be noted that during weekend, auspicious days and festivals the shrine attracts more than 100,000 people daily. Solar powered lights Windmills – produces 140 lakh units annually accounting for its 40-45 per cent of the energy needs. The total requirement in a year is 350 lakh…

Gopalashtami – Gopal Ashtami in Jammu and Kashmir

Gopalashtami is an important festival dedicated to Lord Krishna and is observed on the eighth day during waxing phase of the moon in the month of Kartik (October – November). Gopalashtami 2018 date is November 15. Gopal Ashtami festival celebrates the day when Krishna became an independent cowherd.

Go Puja, worship of cows, are performed on the day in Jammu and Kashmir by the Kashmiri Pandits and other Hindu communities.

In other regions of the India, the festival is known as Gopashtami. It is believed that Lord Krishna was allowed to herd the cows for the first time on this day by his foster father Nanda. Till then he was only looking after the calves. The day is a major event in all Krishna temples and in places associated with Krishna in Kashmir.

We Must Not Let Our Resentments Stay with Us - Swami Prabhavananda

Until we actually reach oneness with God, it is of course quite natural that we should have misunderstandings and quarrels with one another. But we must not let our resentments stay with us, or they will eat into our hearts like cancer.

Suppose someone has wronged you, and you feel irritated. When you begin to meditate, what happens? Prayer and meditation concentrate the mind and intensify the emotions. Consequently, the molehill of irritation becomes a mountain of anger. You start to imagine terrible things about the person who has wronged you. You find yourself unfit to pray and meditate, unable to come to God, until you are sincerely reconciled with your brother.

There is only one way to feel sincerely reconciled, and that is to try to see God in all beings, and to love Him in all. If you have been angry with your brother, pray for him as you pray for yourself—pray that both of you may grow in understanding and devotion to God. At once, you will gain spiritually. But if you keep yo…

Skanda Purana in Hindi – Read Skand Puran in Hindi Online

Skanda Purana is one among the 18 Puranas and narrates the stories associated with Hindu God Muruga, also known as Kartikeya and Skanda. Skanda Puran is the largest of the 18 Puranas. Skanda Purana in Hindi is provided by Ved Puran website. You can read it online in Hindi but there is no download option.

You can read Skanda Purana in Hindi here at Ved Puran.

Vrishchik Sankranti – Vrishchika Samkranti

Vrishchik Sankranti marks the beginning of the Sun’s transition from Vrishchik Rasi to Dhanu Rashi or from Scorpio Zodiac to Sagittarius Zodiac. Vrishchik Sankranti 2018 date is November 16. Time - 6:21 AM on November 17. (note a day in Hindu calendar ends just before next day sunrise.) There are 12 Sankrantis in a Hindu Solar Calendar. This Samkranti is an auspicious day for many Hindu communities in eastern parts of India.

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

Next is the Dhanu Sankranti and with it begins the Dhanu Masa.

Swami Shantananda Puri Quotes and Teachings

The main obstacle in self realization is our identification with our body as ‘I.’ We consider ourselves as separate individuals with different bodies. Just as the electricity generated from a generator goes into all the bulbs and is linked with each other by the continuous flow of current, the Supreme Energy called as the Self or Paramatman pervades all the bodies and thus forms one indivisible Totality. The identification with the individual body as the Self is the main sin we have all committed and it is this which has led us into all miseries and sufferings.

Enlightenment can never be obtained through any amount of rituals, pujas, havan or sacrifices nor can it be obtained by accumulating abundant wealth. Renunciation through repeated contemplation will alone lead one to immortality. (Source – Book – Sadhanas from Kaivalyopanishad) 
All our fears are our own shadows – A Story A thirsty dog came to a river bank. When it bent down and saw the waters of the river, another dog was seen …

Hanuman Chalisa Lyrics in Hindi Font – Download Chalisa Hindi Script in pdf format

Hanuman Chalisa is written by Goswami Tulsidas and is the most popular prayer (bhajans) dedicated to Hanuman. Here is Hanuman Chalisa Lyrics in Hindi Font. It is in pdf format and you can download the Chalisa Hindi in Script using pdf reader installed on your browser.
Link - Hanuman Chalisa Lyrics in Hindi font

Dharni Vrat – Dharani Vrata dedicated to Vishnu

Dharni Vrat is dedicated to Srihari Vishnu and is observed in the Kartik month. It is observed on the 12th day of the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Kartik Month. Dharni Vrat 2018 date is November 20.

Note – Some Hindu communities observe this vrat on the 12th day during the waxing phase of moon in Margashirsh month. This date is on December 19, 2018.

The popular belief is that observing this ritual will help in attaining Shradha, which will help in moksha. Hands, legs, eyes, ears and nose of Vishnu are worshipped on the day.

The importance is this Vrata is mentioned in the Matsya Purana.

Swami Yatiswarananda Thoughts

A danger in spiritual life is to be extremely selfish. Many a time, I have found that at least in the beginning of spiritual life, spiritual seekers think too much of themselves. They forget about others. So it is good to pray not only for one’s own welfare but also for the welfare of all. Just as you aspire after peace, you want to attain purity; you want to attain illumination, so also pray for peace, purity and enlightenment for everybody. ‘Let all people move towards the Supreme Being. Let all people become pure. Let all people become illumined.’ This kind of prayer has a broadening effect on our mind. You will be astonished to see how quickly this kind of prayer soothes your nerves and calms your mind. Besides expanding our consciousness to some extent, this kind of prayer and salutation greatly helps us in the practice of meditation. Swami Yatiswarananda - Associated with the Ramakrishna Mission Source – Book – Meditation and Spiritual Life, Swami Yatiswarananda, Ramakrishna Math.

Goddess Yogambigai – About Hindu Goddess Yogambikai

Goddess Yogambigai is a manifestation of Goddess Shakti. She is popularly worshipped in certain temples in Tamil Nadu and here she is the consort of Hindu God Shiva. In some temples she is also referred as Siva Yoga Nayaki. When Shiva is mainly worshipped as teacher or Guru, Goddess Parvati appears as Yogambikai. She is the consort who showers the wealth of knowledge on her devotees. This is a calm form of Goddess Shakti. She is more like the wife of a householder who leads Grihasthashramam. She and Shiva form an ideal couple for devotees to emulate. During the Navratri festival in (September/October) at the Ramana Maharishi Ashramam, Goddess Yogambikai is decorated in nine different forms of Goddess Shakti. In the Yogambikai form, Mother Goddess is the consort of Shiva at the famous Vaithya Lingam Swami Temple in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.

Book – Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History

Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History by Andrew J. Nicholson attempts to prove that the unified Hindu identity did not happen with the arrival of the British in India as widely propagated by the British, Christian missionaries and Marxist historians. Andrew J. Nicholson, assistant professor of Hinduism and Indian intellectual history in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Stony Brook University, suggests that the unity happened during the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries when philosophers and saints of the Bhakti cult treated the philosophies of Vedanta, Samkhya, and Yoga, along with the worshippers of Vishnu, Shiva, and Shakti, as belonging to a single system of belief and practice. About the book from the flyer Drawing on the writings of philosophers from late medieval and early modern traditions, including Vijnanabhiksu, Madhava, and Madhusudana Sarasvati, Nicholson shows how influential thinkers portrayed Vedanta philosophy as…