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Unselfish performance of work is better than its renunciation – Bhagavad Gita

Arjuna says to Krishna: You praise both the renunciation of work as well as its unselfish performance — so which is better?
Krishna’s answer is that the renunciation of work and its unselfish performance both lead to the soul’s salvation. But of the two, the unselfish performance of work is better than its renunciation.

The reason? Action is better than inaction; even the maintenance of one’s physical life cannot be performed without action and the true worker is also the true renouncer for he does his work in a detached spirit.
Bhagavad Gita

Concept of Tirthas or Holy Water Bodies

Tirthas, or Teerthas, are holy rivers, lakes, ponds, water bodies near a temple or in a sacred spot and is famous for the holy and divine nature of the water. These water bodies are known as Tirtha. A water body becomes sacred after being connected to a divine incident or a holy saint bathing in it or due to miracle or finding something in it associated with a Hindu deity. There are also Tirthas that are mentioned in the Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and other epics.
Earlier the Tirtha included holy persons and even pious devotees. Thus a person who had studied the Vedas was a Tirtha. Padma Purana refers to the teacher, mother, father husband, wife all as tirthas. In Rig Veda, a tirtha was a shallow area of a river.
But later Tirthas became associated with a holy water body. Thus the Skanda Purana says that a place on earth resorted to by the ancient good men for the collection of merit is called tirtha.
The Brahma Purana classifies tirthas into four categories such as Deva, Asura…

Book: English Version of Bhaja Govindam of Shree Adi Shankara Bhagavatpadacharya

Written by Adi Shankaracharya, Bhaja Govindam is a very popular devotional song in Hindu Religion. The 31 stanza composition in Sanskrit is more than a devotional composition. Each word in Bhaja Govindam is pregnant with meaning and the composition is a sort of short synopsis of the teachings of Santana Dharma. Now K P Rathnakara Bhatta has translated Bhaja Govindam into English.There is a transliteration of the 31 stanzas along with explanation of each stanza. Here is an excerpt from the book – the transliteration and meaning of the first stanzaBhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam
Govindam Bhaja Moodhamathe
Sampraapthe Sannihithe Kaale
Nahi Nahi Rakshathi DukrnkaraneWorship wisdom Worship Wisdom
Worship Wisdom Childish Mind
When the death is clearly nearing
None will rescue thee, please mindBhaja means to worship, Govinda means the wisdom, the supreme wealth. Human beings face various types of death due to ignorance alone. Therefore it is advised to worship wisdom and except wisdom nothing will c…

Each House in Sasana Village in Orissa has a Sanskrit Teacher

At Sasana Village in Kendrapara District in Orissa, each home has a Sanskrit Pandit. Some are Sanskrit teachers in government schools and other institutions and others perform pujas and rituals. For generations each house in this village has made it sure that at least one child learns Sanskrit. Today there are households in this village were all the people teach or make a living through Sanskrit learning.

Kalinga Times writes about this unique village

The comparatively developed village, fully Brahmin-inhabited, has little above 200 population in 32 households.
In nearly all the families, one would come across Sanskrit Pundits employed in government-run Sanskrit medium educational institutions.
“We are proud patrons of Sanskrit. The ancient language is very much alive in the village though things are not so in other places,” said 76-year-old Baishnav Charan Pati, a Sanskrit Pundit who has retired from his teaching job.
In these parts of the state, Sanskrit is widely used as a ceremonial la…

Quotes from Mahabharata on Time

From day to day thousands of reason spring up for sorrow and thousands of causes for fear. These, however, affect the ignorant but are nothing to him that is wise.
There is none dear or hateful to Time! Time is indifferent to none. All are equally dragged by Time. Time causes all creatures to grow, and it is Time that destroys everything.
When all else is asleep, Time is awake. Time is irresistible. Youth, beauty, life, possessions, health, and the companionship of friends, all are unstable. He that is wise will never covet any of these. Do not to grieve for what is universal.

Teachings from Garuda Purana

Unhappiness comes from the sense of “I” and “mine”. As long as these feelings are there, true knowledge is impossible. Eliminating these means the elimination of one’s ego.
If one thinks of ignorance as a tree, the seed and the trunk of the tree are formed by the ego. Houses and land are the tree’s branches, wives and children smaller branches and material wealth the tree’s leaves.
Papa (sin) and punya are the tree’s flowers, and happiness and unhappiness fruits. People get tired of the hurly bury of life and seek comfort under the tree’s shade. But these are transient comfort and transient happiness. 
True happiness and true comfort come when one recognizes that the tree itself is an illusion.
Those who are learned chop down the tree with the axe of knowledge. It is such people who can unite with the Brahman and it is such people who become truly free. As long as one is ignorant, one confuses the physical being (jiva) with the soul (atman).
What really is knowledge? That which remo…

Vedangas – the Six Vedangas in Hindu Scriptures

Vedangas are additional limbs or chapters in the Vedas. There are six Vedangas. The 6 Vedangas are:Chhandas – Prosody (science of poetic meters)Jyothisha – Astronomy and astrologyKalpa – Construction and design of religious sitesNirukta- Vedic etymologyShiksha – phoneticsVyakarana – Grammar You may also like to readWhat are Brahma Sutras?Similarities Between Bhagavad Gita and Bible

108 flowers made of Gold offered at Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Temple

Rich devotees are always on look out for innovative ways to make offerings at Hindu temples. Recently a devotee offered 108 flowers made of gold to the famous KanakaDurgaTemple at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The golden flowers are now part of the temple ritual and can be offered by other devotees to Goddess Kanakadurga on Thursdays through the Swarna Pushparchana and the cost of it is Rs 2500/-The Hindu reportsC.C. Kesava Rao, proprietor of Fizikem Formulations, presented the flowers weighing 432 grams in all, and valued at Rs.750, 000. Mr. Kesava Rao and his family members are said to be staunch believers in the goddess and have benefited in the business. As a token of their faith in the presiding deity, Mr. Kesava Rao wanted to make a lasting contribution to the temple and approached the EO asking him to suggest an idea.EO of the templeMr. Vijaya Kumar suggested to Mr. Kesava Rao to contribute golden flowers, as the temple did not have them until now.

Words of Wisdom from Subhashitas

‘This person is my kin and that one is alien’ such a thought occurs only to the narrow-minded people. To the broad-minded person the whole world is one family.Fire, Loan and enemy traces, even if they remain in small amount, they grow back repeatedly, hence finish them without leaving a trace.Happiness is the highest gain,
Noble company is highest achievement
Questioning is highest knowledge,
Forgiveness is highest enjoymentWhen forests are on fire, wind becomes it's ally
The same wind is also responsible to extinguish a small lamp.

Goddess Aparna

Goddess Aparna is another name of Goddess Parvati. Parna means leaf and Aparna means not even leaf and Goddess Parvati got the name when she even forsook leaves during her intense austerity to get Shiva as her husband. Thereafter, Ma Parvathi was named Aparna, or the one who did not eat even leaves.Goddess Parvathi as Goddess Aparna is worshipped by those devotees who undertake fasting. It is said that Goddess Aparna helps devotees to overcome hunger and complete the fast in the appropriate way. Aparna is also associated with Goddess Annapurneswari or Annapoorna. Thus she is also referred as the food that is consumed during Navratri fasting. Yet another symbolism associated with Goddess Aparna is that she is a creeper without leaves. Goddess Parvati as Aparna is entwined to Shiva – this symbolism is found in the Anandalahari of Adi Shankaracharya. Lord Shiva by Himself is austere, clad in next to nothing, and presents an appearance that he has no wealth or gifts to bestow on devotees.…

Watch a Short Video Documentary and Pictures of Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2010 by CNN

This video and slide show on Haridwar Kumbh Mela was made during the Shahi Snan that took place on March 15, 2010. The short documentary and the pictures by CNN Producer and avid photographer Alex Zolbert tries to unravel the spiritual importance and the spiritual aspirations of the people that attend the Kumbha Mela. Like all foreign documentaries on Kumbha Mela, a small portion of the video and slide show is dedicated to the Naga Sadhus – whom the foreign press refers as the naked holy men.You can view the pictures and video here at the official website of CNN. The video is also embedded below. Please note that those people using Internet Explorer 6 browser might not be able to view the video. You may also like to readHaridwar Kumbha Mela PhotosWhat is Kumbh Mela?Story of Kumbha MelaSignificance of Kumbh MelaNaga Sadhus

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Thoughts on Upasana or Meditation

Upasana is dhyana or concentration or meditation. A form is required for concentration. Reality is always the same and changeless. Brahman, the Ultimate Reality, is Formless.

But Upasana of a form is done with a purpose, namely, the attainment of a given benefit. The purpose to be attained by worshipping or concentrating on a form differs. The scriptures tell you how to meditate and on what all forms and with what results.

The different Upasanas are all aids in the path to the ultimate goal, namely, understanding Reality. Scriptures prescribe Upasana in order to train the mind to concentrate. Upasana is the affair of the individual; there is nothing collective about it.

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati

Odhuvar – People Who Chant Thevaram and other Verses in Shaivite Temples

Odhuvar are men who sing ‘Thevaram’ and other Tamil devotional hymns and songs in Shiva, Ganesha and Muruga temples in South India. They sing the sacred hymns during the main puja period. The word odhuvar comes from the word odhu or othu, meaning to chant. The verses they chant are usually from the Tirumurai, which is a collection of twelve books with hymns praising the glory of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh and Muruga. It was compiled by Saint Nambiandar.Earlier only men used to perform the role of Odhuvar but now women are also taking up the place of Odhuvar in temples.There is also a three-year Thevaram course at the GovernmentMusicSchool which prepares students interested taking up the position of Odhuvar in temples.

Download Vishnusahsranamam Pdf in Hindi Text for Free

Vishnusahsranamam is one of the most popular mantras dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu Sahasranamam consists of the 1000 names of Lord Vishnu. This is a pdf version of the Vishnusahsranamam text in Hindi. Two versions of it are popularly chanted – one found in the Mahabharata and the other in the Padma Purana.

This free version of Vishnusahasranamam in Hindi text is provided by Gita Press.

You can download Vishnusahsranamam Pdf here at Gita Press.

You may also like to read Download Ramacharitamanas in English – Tulsi Ramayan from Gita Press for free Download Bhagavad Gita in Hindi from Gita Press

Kamada Ekadashi Vrat Katha – Story of Kamda Ekadasi

Kamada Ekadashi is observed during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Chaitra month (March – April). The story of Kamda Ekadasi is mentioned in Varaha Purana during a conversation between Yudhishtira and Lord Krishna. The Ekadashi Vrat Katha was originally narrated by Sage Vasishta to Maharaja Dilip, the great grandfather of Lord Rama. Lord Krishna retells it to Yudhishtira.There once lived a beautiful couple named Lalit and Lalitha. Lalit was a Gandharva and Lalitha was an apsara. They were good singers and dancers and they performed at the court of King Pundarika in Ratnapur. Once, Lalit had to perform at the palace without his wife. The love of the couple was so intense that they could not tolerate a moment’s separation. On the day, Lalit could not perform in his usual self and a courtier informed the king that Lalit was making mistakes in his dance performance as he was not with his wife.The king became extremely angry and cursed Lalit to become a demon for being overpowe…

Swami Visharadananda – Food for Thought

We like the ‘world’ because it makes us happy. As long as people make us happy, we love them. This fact is too hard to swallow, but it is the fact with most of us. People love one another because of their mutual usefulness. The day one ceases to be useful, he/she is discarded. A spiritual seeker should recognize this fact and accept it. 
We should acknowledge the reality of our mundane existence. For example, it is a common experience that an earning member gets more attention in a family than a non-earning one. The earning son is more useful and makes parents happy. They may not say it openly but even in a family, people are ultimately selfish. It sounds unfair, but it is a fact which cannot be ignored.
One can see people in their true colours when one is in real trouble. A true friend is one who stands by one’s side at the time of need. When we recognize this fact, then comes the question: why should we lose time and life for such people! In our scriptures we have the examples of se…

Goddess Umiya – Shri Umiya Mataji

Goddess Umiya is an incarnation of Shakti and is the patron deity or Kuldevi of the Kadva Patidar community of Gujarat. She is referred as Shri Umiya Mataji or Shree Ma Umiya and is the almighty mother Goddess of the universe. She is the provider of strength, peace and prosperity.
Goddess Umiya is the name given to Goddess Sati and Goddess Parvati by the Kadva Patidar community. Legend has it that once during one of their divine missions to annihilate demons, Shiva and Uma (Goddess Parvati) took rest on the banks of SaraswatiRiver. Goddess Uma created 52 statues from the mud here and Lord Shiva breathed life into them. These 52 people became the first people of the Kadva Patidar Community.
As per Kadva Patidar community tradition, Goddess Umiya has given birth to this universe and is the mother Goddess. Goddess Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali are her incarnations only.
She appears in different forms at different times on the earth to restore dharma and save her devotees.
One of the most…

Hatkeshwar Jayanti - When is Hatkeshwar Jayanti in 2019?

Hatkeshwar Jayanti is an auspicious day observed by the Nagar Community in North India. Hatkeshwar is Lord Shiva. Nagars observe the day Lord Shiva appeared on earth in the form of Hatkeshwar Shivling as Hatkeshwar Jayanti Day. In 2019, Hatkeshwar Jayanti is on April 18.

The festival is also known as Hatkeshwar Patotsav and it is celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Chaudas, the fourteenth day during the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month. It is the date of incarnation of Lord Hatkeshwar.

The highlight of the festival includes Satsangs, procession and Mahaprasad.


Once creation came to a stand still, everyone went to Shiva to find a solution. Shiva asked them to worship him in the form of a Shivling. Brahma created a Shivlinga made up of gold, i.e Hatak. This shivlinga was called Hatkeshwar.

The glory and greatness of this manifestation of Shiva is found in the Nagar Chapter of Skanda Purana.

You can read the story of Hatkeshwar Mahadev here in this article.

Kottankulangara Sridevi Temple at Chavara in Kerala – Men Cross Dress for Goddess in Chamayavilakku Festival

According to Hindu tradition all animate and inanimate rise and fall in the Supreme Truth. Chamayavilakku Festival 2015 date is March 24 and 25. This concept has given rise to numerous unique traditions in Hinduism like the Ardhanareeshwara and unique temple festivals related to the concept half-man and half-woman. One such festival is the Chamayavilakku festival held at the KottankulangaraSrideviTemple at Chavara in Kerala. The temple is dedicated to Vana Durga – an incarnation of Goddess Shakti.

Please note that the festival is today being associated with homosexuals, crossdressers and transgender. But this is not correct. The ritual is a unique offering done by straight men to the Goddess. Homosexuals, crossdressers and transgender actively participate in the ritual.

The ritual is held during the last two days of the 11-day temple festival. On the day, regular men from all walks of life dress up as women for the chamaya Vilakku (chamaya is make-up, vilakku is lamp). The offering i…

Dharmaraja Dasami 2019 Date – Yamadharmaraj Dasami

Dharmaraja Dasami or Yamadharmaraj Dashami is dedicated to Lord Yama, who is the Hindu God of death. Dharmaraja Dasami 2019 date is April 15. A puja dedicated to Yama who is also known as Yamadharmaraj is held on the day. This Vrata is observed on 10th day during the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month.

Basically the pujas that are performed on the day concentrates on removing the fear of death from a devotee.

It would be nice to note hear the story of young Nachiketas in the Katha Upanishad who went to the abode of Yama to learn about the secret of death.

Meaning of Prayer Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu — May all beings in this universe be happy.
Sarvesham svasti bhavatu — May prosperity and welfare be unto all beings.  SarveshamSarvesham Santir-bhavatu — May peace be unto all beings.
Sarvesham purnam bhavatu — May plenitude and fullness be unto all beings.
Sarvesham mangalam bhavatu — May auspiciousness and blessedness be unto all beings.
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah— May all be happy.
Sarve Santu niramayah — May all be free from disease, pain and suffering.
Sarve bhadrani pasyantu — May all behold that which is auspicious, pleasant, nothing fearful nor unpleasant. Bhadra is auspicious, blessed, mild, pleasant.
Ma kaschidduhkhabag bhavet—May not sorrow fall to the lot of any one.
Thus, this has been an ancient tradition — wishing well, wishing peace, happiness, prosperity, freedom from disease and pain, plenty, fullness, blessedness and auspiciousness to everyone.
Source – From an article titled The Subjective Dimension of Prayer by Late Swami Chidananda

You may al…

About Hindu Holy Books Kalpa Sutra or Kalpashastras

Kalpa Sutra sor Kalpashastras are ancient Hindu scriptures. They are part of the Vedanga. There are several books in the series and is named after the corresponding Saint who wrote it. Each Kalpasutra has five to ten thousand pages. The content of Kalpa Sutra About the content of Kalpa Sutra is best explained in an article published by Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham:Kalpa is the sastra that involves you in "work". A man learns to chant the Vedas, studies Siksa, Vyakarana, Chandas, Nirukta and Jyotisa. What does he do next? He has to apply these sastras to the rites he is enjoined to perform. He has to wash away his sins, the sins earned by acting according to his whims. This he does by the performance of good works. For this he must know the appropriate mantras and how to enunciate them correctly, understanding their meaning. Also certain materials are needed and a house that is architecturally suited to the conduct of the rituals. The fruits yielded by these must be offered to the…

Tirumala Tirupati to become Low-Carbon Footprint City

The abode of Lord Venkateswara, Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, India, is all set to become a low-carbon footprint city. TirupatiBalajiTemple is one of the most popular Hindu temples in the world and is visited by more than 60,000 devotees during off season and by more than 100,000 during festive days. European Aid and Development, which works under the European Commission, has identified Tirupati to be developed as a ‘low-carbon footprint city.' The Hindu writesThe thrust will be on putting in place energy-efficient measures and eco-business ventures to bring down emissions to make the cities leave a ‘low-carbon footprint.' The selection process hinges on two aspects: voluntary participation by the cities and their financial capability. The European Commission will hold deliberations at the national level, plan strategies at the State level and implement the ideas at the local level.Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, an independent consultant and expert in energy, environment and infrast…

Swami Vivekananda on the Spirit of Giving

Learn that the whole of life is giving, that nature will force you to give. So, give willingly. Sooner or later you will have to give up. You come into life to accumulate. With clenched hands, you want to take. But nature puts a hand on your throat and makes your hands open.Whether you like it or not, you have to give. The moment you say, ‘I will not’, the blow comes; you are hurt. In the long run, all people are compelled to give up everything. And the more one struggles against this law, the more miserable one feels. It is because we dare not give, because we are not resigned enough to accede to this grand demand of nature, that we are miserable. The forest is gone, but we get heat in return. The sun is taking up water from the ocean, to return it in showers. You are a machine for taking and giving: you take, in order to give. Ask, therefore, nothing in return; but the more you give, the more will come to you. . . A river is continually emptying itself into the ocean and is continua…

Online Live Darshan from Unjha Umiya Temple – Goddess Umiya in Gujarat

ShriUmiyaMatajiTemple at Unjha in Gujarat is one of the most popular temples dedicated to Goddess Umiya, who is the patron deity of Kadva Patidar community. The administration of UmiyaTemple is providing an online live darshan from the temple. Goddess Umiya is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti – she is believed to be Goddess Sati and Goddess Parvati (Uma).
You can see the live darshan from 06:00 AM to 09:30 PM (IST).
You can view the online live darshan here at the official website of UnjhaUmiyaTemple.
Related Mumbai Siddhivianayak Temple Live Darshan Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Online Darshan Online Live Darshan from ShirdiSaiBabaTemple

Madana Trayodashi 2019 Date

Madana Trayodashi is an auspicious day dedicated to Kama, the god of love and also to Lord Shiva. Madana Trayodashi 2019 date is April 17. It is observed on the 13th day of the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month (March – April).

In Kashimiri Hindu culture, the day is dedicated to husband-wife relationship. On the day husbands give their wives a sacred bath using herbs and perfumes.

In some regions the day is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. Garuda Purana suggests that the thirteenth day during Chaitra Shukla Paksha is ideal for propitiating Lord Shiva.

For some communities, the day is part of Holi festival and relates to the legend of Shiva burning Kama into ashes.

Wise Sayings on Knowledge

Cannot be snatched away by thief,
Cannot be snatched away by king,
Cannot be divided among brothers,
Not heavy either
If spent daily, it always keeps growing. The wealth of knowledge is the precious of wealth of all.
Through knowledge, one obtains humbleness.
Through humbleness comes eligibility.
Once eligible comes wealth.
Wealth can be utilized to perform good deeds (dharma).
Good deeds lead to happinessKnowledge and Royalty cannot be weighed together
King is worshiped in his own land where as a leaned man is worshiped everywhere.

Goddess Koushiki - Hindu Goddess Kaushiki

Goddess Koushiki is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti and the story about her origin is mentioned in the Matsya Purana and in the Markandeya Purana. Kaushiki Mata is believed to have emerged from the body of Goddess Durga as per Markandeya Purana. She emerged from the cells of Durga while she was fighting the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha. The story in the Matsya Purana is different. This Purana suggests that Goddess Parvati once performed austerities and tapsya to become fair (Gouri). Pleased with her prayers Brahma granted her the boon. When the boon was granted, a Goddess emerged from Parvati’s body. As she emerged from Her cells she was called Koushiki. Kosha means cells. The darkness of Parvati’s complexion entered Goddess Koushiki’s body.It is believed that Goddess Kaushiki resides in the VindhyaMountains. Please note that Goddess Parvati and Durga are incarnations of Goddess Shakti. She takes different forms to restore dharma and to protect her devotees and fulfill their wishes. …

Kodungallur Temple Pictures – Online Virtual Tour of Kodungallur Bhagavathi Temple

KodungallurBhagavathiTemple in Kerala is one of the most important temples in India dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Incarnations of Goddess Shakti is worshipped as Goddess Bhagavathi in temples in Kerala. Leen Thobias Leen Thobias of P4Panorama.com has created an online virtual tour (360 degree view) of the KodungallurTemple.Click on the image for the Virtual TourYou might also be interested inOnline Virtual Tour of GangaikondaCholapuramTemple360 degree view of Rameshwaram TempleBrihadeshwara Temple Virtual TourOnline virtual tour of Madurai Meenakshi templeOnline virtual tour of Kollur Mookambika temple – Single imageVirtual tour of Mahabalipuram Monuments360 degree view of Kanyakumari Rock memorial

Nishadraj Jayanti – Guharaj Nishad Jayanthi

Nishadraj Jayanti is observed on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month (waxing phase of moon in Chait month) as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. Nishadraj Jayanti 2019 date is April 10. The day is dedicated to the forest chieftain in the epic Ramayana who gave shelter to Lord Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman and helped them to cross the GangaRiver during their exile.

The day is of great significance in Madhya Pradesh and other parts of North India.

Nishidraj helped Lord Ram in adapting to forest ways.

Shiva and Ganesha Puppets by United States Firm Creates Uproar

Fluffy Ganesha and Shiva puppets being sold by Unemployed Philosophers Guild based at Brooklyn, New York, have attracted the ire of some United States-based Hindu organizations. The product is a magnetic finger puppet. You can play with the puppet or stick it on fridge or metal substances. The puppets are priced at $5.95Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, has described the use of Hindu deities aspuppets "inappropriate" and demanded that the company should recall these puppets. "Using Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or any other agenda is not okay as it hurts the sentiments of the devotees," he told local newspapers.Bhavna Shinde of the Forum for Hindu Awakening has written to the guild, saying the company had trivialised "the revered symbols of the Hindu faith". Her letter stated: "The concept of manipulating puppets and playing with dolls made after deities is downright denigrating, given that Hindus perform devoted …

Thoughts on Grief from Mahabharata

Dhirtharashtra who had lost all his sons and relatives in the battle laments over is foolish decisions which led to destruction of his family. Sanjaya tries to console the king. These are the words spoken by Sanjaya on grief.
A person may by indulging in grief perish himself, but grief itself, by being indulged in, never becomes light. If you feel your grief to be heavy, it should be counteracted by not indulging in it. Even this is a medicine for grief, viz., that one should not indulge in it.
By dwelling on grief, one cannot lessen it. On the other hand, it grows with indulgence. Upon the advent of evil or upon the bereavement of something that is dear, only they that are of little intelligence suffer and allow their minds to be afflicted with grief.
There is no profit or spiritual gains or happiness, on which the heart is dwelling and which is the result of grief.
Grief results from the pain of losing that is dear to one. This only results in walking away from the ultimate truth.…

Definition of Hindu

Is there a proper definition for the term Hindu? The meaning of the term Hindu has always been controversial for many reasons. Today it is limited to denote the practitioners of Hinduism or Hindu religion. But while searching for a definition of the term I came across a beautiful meaning and explanation of the term Hindu by Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan, Ph. D., D.litt. Indian institute of scientific heritage, Thiruvananthapuram. The definition of Hindu as per Dr. N. Gopalakrishnan reads like this – Aa sindho: sinduparyantham yasya bhaaratha bhoomikaa maathru bhoo: pithru bhoo (punya) schaiva sa vai Hindu iti smruthaa: Meaning - Whomsoever, is considering the land between the sapta sindu ( Indus valley river) upto Indian ocean as the motherland/ fatherland and holy land, is known as Hindu. This land is known as Hindustan which is defined as follows: Himaalayam samaarabhya yaavath hindu sarovaram tham deva nirmitham desam hindustaanam prachakshate. The land created by god himself and which is …

Read Sanskrit Magazine Online – Sampratam from Eklavya Sanskrit Academy

Sampratam is a monthly magazine in Sanskrit published by the EklavyaSanskritAcademy, Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India. The magazine is available for free reading online. You can also download and save a copy.The March 2010 edition of the Magazine contains details of the courses and programs conducted by EklavyaSanskritAcademy.You can read Sampratam Online here at the official website – the website has links to the latest and the issues of the past.You may also like to readVishvavani – Online Sanskrit Magazine Sudharma – the Sanskrit Newspaper OnlineA collection of Sanskrit Blogs

Ashok Ashtami 2019 date – Ashokashtami

Ashok Ashtami, or Ashokashtami, is a unique ritual associated with Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva and is observed on the eighth day during the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Chaitra month. Ashok Ashtami 2019 date is April 13. The day is of great significance in Orissa and in some Southern states of India. It is also held during Navratri in Ashwin month, in 2018 it is on October 17.
It is believed that Lord Ram performed Ashoka Ashtami rituals before beginning the final assault on Ravana. 
Ashokashtami is an important observance at the famous LingarajTemple in Bhubaneswar in Orissa.
The ritual is dedicated to propitiate Goddess Shakti to win her favor.

Story of Ashok Ashtami Legend has it that Lord Ram was unable to annihilate Ravana as he was being protected by Goddess Shakti. On the advice from the wise Bibhishana, Lord Ram performed rituals dedicated to Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva for seven days and he was blessed on the eighth day. With the blessings of Goddess Shakti, L…

Thoughts from Garuda Purana on Yoga

Yoga is the union of the atman with the Brahman. Before the union can be achieved, the intelligence, the mind and the senses have to be controlled and concentrated on meditating on the Brahman. There are six techniques of yoga. These are known as pranayama, japa, pratyahara, dhyana, dharana and Samadhi. Pranayama is the control over breath.Japa is the repeated chanting of a mantra or any of the names of God. Pratyahara is control over one’s senses. Dhyana is meditation on an object. The object of meditation can be the image of a god. When dhyana is continuous and focused, it becomes dharana. Samadhi is the final stage. This happens when the object of meditation is seen everywhere. There is a complete sense of union between the atman and the Brahman.There is a tremendous sense of freedom when this knowledge is attained. One feels as if one had been asleep earlier. It is realized that the atman has nothing to do with the happiness or unhappiness in a worldly life.

What is born dies and is reborn – Teachings from Dnyaneshwari a commentary on Bhagavad Gita

Dnyaneshwari is a commentary on Bhagavad Gita in Marathi written by Saint Dnyneshwar (Jnanesvara or Gnanadeva) (1274-1297).Whatever is born perishes and is later born again. This wheel of life and death has been going on perpetually from time immemorial like the cycle of sunrise and sunset. At the time of the big deluge these three worlds also get destroyed. Therefore beginning and end are inevitable. (2:159-161).Prior to birth creatures have no form. They acquire it after birth. When they die they certainly will not reach another state but only the previous. The form you see between the birth and the death is the projection (an illusive image) of Brahman due to the influence of Maya. (2:164-166).All creatures acquire a form due to the effect of Maya, therefore why should you shed tears over something which does not exist in the first place? Instead, you should think about the eternal Soul (Atman). (2:168-169).Those who develop a love for this Soul (Atman) are not influenced by sense-…

Annamacharya Keerthanalu Free Download – Annamayya Songs Download

Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya (1408-1503), the mystic saint composer of the 15th century, is the earliest known musician of South India to compose songs called ‘Sankirtanas’ in praise of Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala Tirupati. Here is an opportunity to listen and download Annamacharya Keerthanalu for free and is offered by the official Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. The Annamayya Songs are in real audio format (.rm) and you need a real player to listen to it. You can download and listen to nearly 8 kirtanas here at the official website of TirumalaTemple.

Melasti during Nyepi – the Balinese New Year

The first day of the four-day Balinese New Year (Nyepi) begins with the Melasti. This is a purification ceremony of the deities worshipped in Temples. Melasti 2018 date is March 15. Melasti is a purification ceremony and is also known as Mekiyis or Melis. Nyepi or the Hindu New Year in Bali is on March 17.

On the Melasti day, two other rituals are held and this is known as Bhuta Yajua to create balance between mankind, nature and the deities through the Pecaruan offering.
Pecaruan offering involves sacrificing of certain animals. The next day is known as ogoh-ogoh and huge Paper Mache idols of demons are burned.
The next day is Nyepi, the day of silence, which is Balinese New Year.
You can find more details of Nyepi in this article.

Eklingji Patotsav at Eklingji Temple in Rajasthan

Eklingji Patotsav is an important ceremony held in Chaitra month as per traditional north Indian calendar at famous EklingjiTemple in Udaipur Rajasthan. Dedicated to LordEklingjiTemple, is famous for a 50-feet Shivling with faces of Lord Shiva carved on four directions. Eklingji Patotsav in 2019 is on April 13.

In Patotsav, the head of the presiding deity is covered with a strip of garment in patotsav.

The unique black marble Shivling has four faces – east face is of Surya or Sun God; west face is of Brahma, north face if of Vishnu and south face is of Shiva as Rudra. The Shivlinga is garlanded by a silver snake.

EklingjiTemple is also famous for its architecture style and is located on the national highway 8, about 22 km north of Udaipur.

Mahapurush Maharaj on Overcoming Mental Disturbances

The mind is never quiet and this is the way of the mind. Restlessness is its very nature. There is nothing to fear in that— whether you feel joy or not, whether you taste the sweetness or not, do not give up your devotional practices. As you continue with your japa and meditation, the mind will become steady—then you will experience joy. Try to perform your spiritual practices and devotions without break and with great zeal, and pray to Thakur with real yearning. Through constant practice, dispassion, and with his grace, the mind will become steady and you will experience joy. Be one-pointed in your devotion and enthusiastically perform your spiritual practice with faith and firm conviction. Through these means, success is certain.Mahapurush MaharajMahapurush Maharaj or Swami Sivananda – a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, and the second President of Ramakrishna Order.

Book – Ramayana: Divine Loophole – A Graphic Retelling by Sanjay Patel

The illustrated book "Ramayana: Divine Loophole" is a thoroughly modern graphic rendering of the Epic Ramayana by Sanjay Patel, an animator at Pixar and whose works includes popular animated movies like ‘Monsters Inc’, ‘Cars’, ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘A Bug's Life.’ Sanjay Patel’s graphic retelling of the Epic Ramayan is influenced by the illustrations used in modern animated movies. Hindus who are used to cute and life like images of Lord Ram, Mata Sita and Hanuman might not be attracted to Sanjay Patel’s images with round edges or villains with hard-edged triangles. But this is a path breaking attempt to share one of the oldest epics in the world in a modern graphic language which is popular among international audience.The story of 'Ramayana: Divine Loophole' sticks to the original but the images are a perfect mix of different styles of modern animation drawings with strong influence of Japanese style of animation. Suhag Shukla, managing director of the Hindu Am…

Rang Teras

Rang Teras is an auspicious day observed on the 13th day of the Krishna Paksha of Chaitra month in North India. The corresponding period in other regions is the Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month. Rang Teras 2019 date is April 3. The day is of great importance in Sri Krishna temples in some parts of North India – especially in those regions where Krishna is worshipped as Srinathji.

In some regions, Rang Teras is noted for colorful processions and is part of Holi celebrations.

Goddess Lakshmi Idol from Lenox India – Limited Edition in Pre Production

Lenox India – associated Lenox US gift and collectible major and manufacturer of fine chinaware, accessories and gifts – is currently creating a sculpture of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi in ivory fine china and pure 24 karat gold. Goddess Lakshmi idol is a limited edition of 500 pieces and is priced at $3000. There is a pre-production price of $2500. Simmi Chopra of Lenox India is credited with this limited edition. Three years back, Simmi had brought out a limited edition Lenox Ganesha Idol and later a limited edition murti of Goddess Durga.Goddess Lakshmi idol is in preproduction stage. The official website writes about it – Lenox is pleased and proud to create this original sculpture of Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, prosperity, purity, and generosity; and the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. She will have a beautiful round nose ring (smaller than a baby's bangle) and her colors will match Lord Ganesha colors! This sculpture is currently being designed. It will be absolutely st…

Papamochini Ekadashi Vrat Katha – The Story associated with Papmochini Ekadasi

Papamochini Ekadashi is observed during the waning phase of moon in the month of March/April. The story or Katha associated with Papmochini Ekadasi was narrated to Yudhisthira by Lord Krishna. The story narrates how one can get rid of sins by observing the Papamochini Ekadasi Vrat.Once sage Medhavi, an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, performing Tapas (austerity) a forest named Chaitraratha. The forest was famous for its beautiful flowers and was frequented by Indira, demigods, apsaras and other heavenly beings. Apsaras, or damsels of heaven, tried to disturb the meditation of the sage but was not successful.An apsara named, Manju Ghosa betted with other apsaras that she will captivate the sage and disturb his tapas. For this she built a small hut not far away from the spot where the Sage was meditating. She used to sing songs and play Veena. The sage soon went in search of the source of the song and discovered the beautiful Manju Ghosa. On seeing, the arrival of the sage, Manju Ghosa ap…

Teachings from Taittiriya Upanishad

In the beginning all this was nonexistent. From it was born what exists. That created Itself by Itself; therefore It is called the self-made. That which is self-made is flavor; for truly, on obtaining the flavor one becomes blissful. Who could direct the prana and the apana if this Bliss did not exist in the akasa? Brahman verily exists because it alone bestows bliss. When a man finds fearless support in that which is invisible, incorporeal, indefinable and supportless, he has then obtained fearlessness. If he makes the slightest differentiation in It, there is fear for him. That becomes fear for the knower who does not reflect.That One who is Self-existent is verily Joy, Bliss, and Supreme Happiness. Who would have lived and breathed had not this Infinite Bliss existed? This verily is that which bestows bliss—the highest happiness. Taittiriya Upanishad

Online Virtual Tour of Murudeshwar Temple in Karnataka – 360 Degree view of the tallest idol of Shiva

MurudeshwarTemple in Uttara Kannada District in Karnataka, India, is famous for the world’s tallest murti (idol) of Lord Shiva (123 feet) and also the tallest rajagopuram (249-feet) in the world.Leen Thobias Leen Thobias of P4Panorama.com has created an online virtual tour (360 degree view) of the MurudeshwaraTemple. There are total 7 images of the temple and includes the huge Shiva murti and rajagopuram.Click on the image for the Virtual TourYou may also like to readOnline Virtual Tour of Thiruvannamalai Temple by view360.in

Nitya Neeti Teachings

One should not have friendship or love with the wicked. When hot, charcoal burns the hand, and when cold, it blackens and dirties the hand. The road gets trodden little by little. The cloth is woven little by little. The mountain is climbed little by little. Knowledge and money are also gain little by little. All these five are attained little by little. Man should learn arts, which come into use at times of difficulty. Consider Arjuna, who joined Virata’s palace as dance teacher.Nitya Neeti

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj On When Is There An Ego?

When is there an ego? The ego is there when you have certain reactions. You take delivery of whatever is observed spontaneously. You cling to it, register it, then only is there an ego. You see some building material lying on the road – you think that you are a carpenter and you start figuring how to use that material; the thought process has started, ego starts. If you are nobody, you will not bother about the building material – you will just observe it and go your way. Once it is out of sight it is out of mind; but when you receive that delivery, you cogitate over it, ego has started.Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj(Source:Prior to Consciousness – Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj ~ Edited by
Jean Dunn)

Colours Associated to Each Day in Hinduism

Each day of a week in Hinduism has got a colour associated with it. This is closely related to the deity worshipped on each day. White is the colour of Monday or Somvar; Red is the color of Tuesday or Mangalvar; Green is the color on Wednesday of Budhvar; Yellow is on Thursday/Guruvar; light blue on Friday/Shukravar; black on Saturday or Shanivar; Sunday it is orange.
Monday is associated with Shiva and Chandra (the moon god) and the color chosen is white. Other preferred colours are pale shades of blue, green and pink.
Tuesday is associated with Mars. Bright red is the color associated wit the day. Jet Black and bright shades of orange or pink are also worn by some people.
Wednesday is associated with Mercury. Green or Pear Green is the most important hue on the day. Other colors suggested are mild tones of blue, gray and brown.
Thursday is associated with Jupiter. Apart from yellow, the other colors preferred are Orange and golden.
Friday is related to Venus. Light blue and white is pre…

Hinglaj Mata Jayanti

Goddess Hinglaj Ma is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti and she takes her name from the mountain cave Hinglaj at on the Makran coast in the Lyari district of Balochistan in Pakistan. Hinglaj Mata Jayanti is on March 15, 2018. The popular belief is that when Lord Vishnu cut the body of Goddess Sati – to stop Shiva’s lament after Sati’s death – part of her head fell at Hinglaj or Hingula. Thus this is one among the 51 Shaktipeeths.

It is believed that Hinglaj Mata made her appearance during the 13th day of the Krishna Paksha of Chaitra Month as per traditional calendar followed in North India.

The spot is of great importance to Goddess Shakti worshipers.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa – A Simple Thought

Once a sage was lying by the roadside deeply immerged in Samadhi. A thief, while passing by that way, saw him and thought: ‘This fellow here must be a thief. He must have broken into some houses last night and is now sleeping through exhaustion. The police will be very soon here to catch him. So let me escape in time.’ Thus cogitating, he ran away.Soon after, a drunkard came there, and seeing the sage, said, ‘Hallo! you have fallen into the ditch by drinking too much. Eh! I am steadier than yourself and am not going to tumble down.’Last of all there came a sage, and realizing that a great saint was lying in the state of Samadhi, sat down by his side and began to press his holy feet gently. - Our worldly tendencies prevent us from recognizing true holiness and piety.Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Osho Thoughts on Shivnetra – the third eye

Modern physiology says that between the two eyebrows is the gland that is the most mysterious part of the body. This gland, called the pineal gland, is the Shivnetra, the eye of the Shiva, of tantra. Between the two eyes there exists a third eye, but it is non-functioning. You have to do something to open it. Otherwise, it remains closed. Close your eyes and focus both eyes on space in the middle of your eyebrows. Give total attention to it. This is one of the simplest methods of being attentive. You cannot be attentive to any other part of the body so easily. This gland absorbs attention like anything. If you give attention to it, both your eyes become hypnotised with the third eye. They become fixed; they cannot move. The third eye forces attention. It is magnetic. Your attention is brought to it forcibly. It is absorbed. It is said in ancient tantra scriptures that for the third eye, attention is food. And once you feel that the gland itself is magnetically pulling your attention, …