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Showing posts from August 18, 2010

Pulikali during Onam in Kerala – Pulikkali – The Dance of the Tiger

One of the colorful cultural programs that is held during the Onam festival in Kerala is the Pulikkali – ‘Puli’ means tiger and ‘Kali’ means play. Pulikkali is a display of a mock hunting of a tiger by a hunter. What makes the Pulikali famous is the painting of the tiger done on the body of men with paunch or potbelly. Although Pulikali is performed in all parts of Kerala, the traditional and the most colorful Pulikalis are held in Thrissur District in Kerala. Pulikkali used to be performed during the festival of Muharram, by the Muslim soldiers of the British army stationed in Thrissur before independence. Then it was known as Puliketti Kali. The soldiers danced with peculiar steps decking themselves up with paint and cloths that had an uncanny resemblance to the majestic looks and stealthy moves of the mighty Tiger. A major Pulikali procession is held during Onam in Thrissur and is attended by several Pulikali. A small version of the mock fight between Puli and hunter is enacted in o…

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

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

Swami Tapovanam Thoughts on Spiritual Practices

The liking for spiritual practices and exercises therein should show steady progress. The ways of the mind should be watched and tested from time to time. One must check up and see every year, every month, every day, how far one’s exercises are fructifying, how far passions like love and hate, and vain thoughts are subsiding and how much the mind delights in the thought of God.

The main use of Japa, Dhyana and other modes of worship is to win God’s grace and the resulting purity of mind – purity of the mind means the cleanness and peace of the mind on the cessation of its mischievous activities arising out of the attachment to sensuous life. The more the mind gets purified the more it delights in Japa, Dhyana etc. The more one’s spiritual exercises progress the more purified one’s mind gets. So spiritual effort and mental purity should advance steadily hand in hand.