--> Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2011


Modern Science Meets Vedic and Puranic Thoughts

In an article titled ‘ Hinduism: Where Science andSpirituality Intersect ’ in the Huffington Post Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, Hindu Chaplain, Columbia University and New York University suggests that some theories of modern science were already detailed in Vedas and Puranas. The important examples that he provides is of multiple existence of the universe, several universes and relativity of time  Some excerpts from the article   In a recent article, in the U.S. News and World Report, physicist Roger Penrose theorized that the Big Bang might be one in a cycle of such events, suggesting that the universe has had multiple existences. This is common knowledge to one familiar with Vedic philosophy and cosmology, which very clearly indicates that the universe has had many births and deaths.   The centuries-old wisdom of the Vedic texts doesn't stop there. They claim that our universe is just one of many universes, a concept entertained by modern science and referred to as "the multiver

Goddess Chamundi Devi

Goddess Chamundi Devi is one of the most popular forms of Goddess Durga. The origin of Goddess Chamundi is mentioned in the Devi Mahatmya and Markandeya Purana. While Goddess Durga was engaged in a battle with demons Chanda and Munda, Goddess Kali emerged from the forehead of Durga and killed Chanda and Munda. Pleased with Goddess Kali, Durga called her Chamundi. There is another legend which says that Goddess Chamundi appeared to lap up the blood that fell from the body of demon Rakta Bija. The demon had received the boon that a drop of blood from this body that fell on the ground will produce thousands of demons of equal strength. In this form, she is known as Rakta Chamundi. Puranas contains numerous details of Goddess Chamundi. One legend mentions that she is one among the seven forms of Shakti that came to help Shiva while he was a waging a battle with Andaka. Goddess Chamundi symbolizes death, disaster, distress and destruction of Mother Nature. Goddess Chamundi

Meena Rashi Navratri Mantra

Chanting of the Meena Rashi Navratri Mantra helps, Meen Rashi born person to attain wealth, prosperity, property, job and desire fulfillments. The mantra should be chanted after taking bath in the morning. You should sit in your pooja room or in a quiet place and chant the mantra. The mantra is ऊॅं सती नमः The mantra should be chanted 21 times. Chanting of the mantra also helps in overcoming your enemies.

A Ganesh Chaturthi Puja during Pitru Paksha in Nagpur

Pitru Paksha period, which is dedicated to performing Shradh for the dead, begin immediately after 11-day Ganesh Chaturthi Puja. The Wada of Raje Mudhoji Bhonsle in Nagpur installs Ganesha on Anant Chaturdasi day and the festival continues for next 15 days. The festival is also known as Maskarya or Hadpakya Ganpati utsav as it commemorates a battle victory. Times of India reports Continuing with a 256-year-old tradition, the Bhonsles celebrate 11-day Ganeshotsav during pitra paksh. n Friday, Mudhoji installed two idols of Ganesh in the courtyard of his home in Mahal, which as per the Hindu calendar was a chaturthi. "Our ancestor Shrimant Raje Khandoji Maharaj Bhonsle had first celebrated this utsav in 1755. This was because when he set out for Bengal for a battle, he had worshipped before the Lord to grant him victory. When he returned victorious, the Ganesh utsav had already passed off. So he once again brought in an idol and worshipped it and had a public celebration for 11

Shila Devi Temple Mela at Jaipur during Navratri

Shila Devi Temple is located at Amer Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan, and is dedicated to Goddess Kali.  The Navratri temple mela in 2023 is from October 15 to October 23 and the most important date is October 20, 2023 Ashwin Shukla Paksha Chhath (Sashti) - sixth day of the waxing phase of moon in Ashwin month is highly auspicious at the temple.  Shila Devi Temple Mela attracts more than 100,000 people. The murti worshipped in the temple was recovered in the form of a slab from sea. Later when the slab was washed the murti of Goddess Kali appeared. This is the reason why the murti is known as Shila Devi. The nine-day navratri festival sees the chanting of Durga Saptashati and other sacred texts.

Durga Ganapati form of Ganesha

Durga Ganapati is one among the 32 forms of Ganesha. This form of Ganesh showers the affection like that of mother and protects His devotees from all evils. Durga Ganapati Mantra is Taptakanchana Sangkaashah Chashtahasto mahattanuh! Diptankusha Sharam Chaksham Dantam Dakshe Vahan Karaih!! Vaame paasham karmukam cha latam jamboom dadhata karaih! Raktamshukah Sada Bhooyat Durga Ganapatirmude!! The body tone of Durga Ganapati murti is red. He is also adorned with red-colored clothes. This form of Ganapati has 8 hands – they hold ankusha, bow, arrow, tusk, spear, kalpa creeper, indigo berry and a conch. Constant prayers to this form helps in removing sorrows. Durga Ganapati is also worshipped for avoiding troubles during travels.

Download Devi Mahatmyam pdf in Sanskrit with English Transliteration

Devi Mahatmyam extols the glory of Mother Goddess in her numerous forms – Durga, Kali, Chandi… This particular Devi Mahatmyam in pdf for download for free is in Sanskrit with English Transliteration and is provided by Gita Press. It is part of the Markandeya Purana – Chapter 81 to 93. As it consists of 700 hymns, Devi Mahatmyam is also known as Durga Saptashati. Link – Devi Mahatmyam pdf in Sanskrit Note - you will pdf reader installed to download or read the text. Related Durga Saptashati English pdf – Download and Read Devi Mahatmyam in English Text

Hindu Calendar 2012 with Tithi in pdf – Download Hindu Calendar 2012 for free

Hindu Calendar 2012 with Tithi in pdf for free download is based on Calendars followed in North India – Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. A month in this Hindu calendar begins after Purnima and ends on Purnima. All important festivals and fasting 2012 dates are marked in the calendar. Link – Download Hindu Calendar 2012 with Tithi in pdf If you are not comfortable using Google documents then you can use this alternative link - Hindu Calendar 2012 . (right click and use save link as option)

Bhanu Pradosha

Bhanu Pradosha is observed when Pradosh Vrat falls on Sunday (Ravivar). Pradosh fasting is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. In 2022, Bhanu Pradosha are marked on January 30, June 12 and June 26. Bhanu is one among the numerous names of Surya, the Sun god. Pradosh Vrat is observed on the 13th day of a lunar fortnight as per traditional Hindu calendar. To be observed as Bhanu Pradosh the Trayodasi or 13 th day should fall on Sunday and it should be Trayodashi tithi during sunset. Certain Hindu communities in South India observe special rituals on the day.

Vedic Marriage Rituals – What Hindu Marriage Ritual Means?

Hindu marriage rituals have undergone a sea change in the last hundred years. The pure simple Vedic marriage rituals have been transformed into complex rituals. Writing on the subject in Livemint in an article titled ‘ Vedic rituals recognize the marriage of equals ,’ Aakar Patel introduces one of the best books published on the subject – The Vedic Hindu Marriage Ceremony (Sanskrit Text :Transcreation with English Translation) by P. Lal. Some excerpts from the book as quoted by Aakar Patel in the article The wedding begins with the purohit addressing the gathered: “Say these words to bless the wedding: ‘May all be holy (Om punyaham), may all be successful (Om riddhim), may all be well (Om svasti).”  The guests respond: “Om punyaham, Om riddhyatam, Om svasti”.  The man, karta, giving the bride away then welcomes the groom, who replies: “I am honoured (aham ase). The bride is blessed by the presence of divinity.”  The couple then receive each other with these words.  Bride:

Sri Ram and Sita Murti Porcelain figurine from Lladro – Limited Edition Lord Rama and Sita Idol

Sri Ram and Sita Murti in porcelain is from Lladro, a Spanish firm noted for high quality porcelain figurine. They are releasing a Limited Edition idol of Lord Rama and Sita during 2011. Sri Ram and Sita murtis are two separate pieces. Lladro has not mentioned the price. The murti are in two pieces and belong to a scene that will be completed in 2013 with two more creations, Laksmana and Hanuman. Lladro figurines are high priced and ranges above $1000. You may also like to read Shiva as Nataraja from Lladro Limited Edition New Ganesha Idols from Lladro – Dancing, Mridangam, Bansuri and Veena Ganesha

Paramahansa Muktananda Quotes

The world is nothing but a school of love, our relationships with our husband or wife, with our children and parents, with our friends and relatives are the university in which we are meant to learn what love and devotion truly are. Meditation is not some strange technique that we have to learn with great effort and difficulty... Whatever we accomplish in this world we accomplish through the power of concentration, which is nothing but meditation...Above all, meditation stills the wandering mind and establishes us forever in a state of peace. Happiness is within us, and it is ours, but we are always superimposing our own inner joy onto something outside and thinking it comes from there. Paramahansa Muktananda

Aghora Shiva

Aghora Shiva is the fiercest form of Shiva and is the middle form in the Pancha Mukha Shiva concept. Aghora Shiva faces the south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva, which first absorbs all life and then renovates the universe by creating things afresh. The term Aghora has two meanings – one who is not fierce – meaning the handsome. Another meaning is the fiercest. It is for a devotee to decide how he/she wants to approach Aghora Shiva. For his devotees who follow dharma – Aghora Shiva is the handsome. For those who tread the path of Adharma he is the fiercest. The term Aghora first appears in the portion dedicated to Shiva in the Adharva Veda. The mantra associated with this form of Shiva is the Aghora Mantra composed by Aghora Maharishi. The mantra has 51 letters. aum hrong aghore ghore hungm, ghortare hungm; aum hreengm kleengm, sarvatah sarvaange, namaste rudra roope hungm A popular belief is that one who chants the Aghora mantra and wears b

Lessons from Bhagavad Gita – Being Honest about one’s Weakness

If Arjuna was a slave of his image then he would have lost the Mahabharata war. Arjuna was honest about this weakness and was ready to share it with Sri Krishna. The greatest warrior became a weakling and sat down asking guidance. The world got the Bhagavad Gita and Arjuna fought successfully for Dharma. Ramnath Subramanian, CEO and President, The Bhakti Center, explores this aspect of Bhagavad Gita in an article titled ‘ The Bhagavad Gita and the Value of Vulnerability ’ in the Huffington Post. Excerpts from the article This very lesson is conveyed at the onset of the Bhagavad Gita, India's classic on yoga and spiritual wisdom, where prince Arjuna provides a remarkable example of vulnerability. Arjuna was a veteran of many battles and had never lost a single combat. His acts of prowess, courage and intelligence were world-famous. Yet, Arjuna faced a situation where he had to fight his own kinsmen.  His courage was tested and he broke down in front of his dear friend Krishna, expr

Yoga Ganapati form of Ganesha

Sri Yoga Ganapati is one among the 32 forms of Ganesha. This form of Ganesh is worshipped for yogic powers and also for avoiding disturbances during meditation. Yoga Ganapati Mantra is Yoggarudho Yoga pattabhiramah Balarkabhah Chandra neelamshukadayah! Pashekshvakshan Yogadandam dadanah Payanityam Yoga Vighneshvaro nah!! Yoga Ganapati is depicted as absorbed in meditation. A unique aspect of this form is that the knees of the murti are strapped and are in meditative posture. This form of Ganesha has crimson body color and he wears blue clothes. Yoga Ganapathi has four hands. They hold yoga staff, sugarcane, noose and a flower bud. It is believed that constant meditation on this form of Ganesha helps in attaining yogic powers. He also keeps out mental disturbances. A true devotee can achieve peace through prayers to Yoga Ganapati.

Parama Pada Sopanam – Buy Traditional Version of Snake and Ladders Online

Parama Pada Sopanam is a traditional version of the popular board game Snakes and Ladders. Kreeda Games, which is involved in creating traditional Indian Games, is making this ancient game available in their stores. You can also buy it online. Parama Pada Sopanam means Steps to the Highest Place (where Parama Pada means highest place and Sopanam means steps). The game was believed to be symbolic of a man's attempt to reach God. The ladders represent virtues and the snakes represent vices. The snakes carry names linking them to stories from our epics. Kreeda has slightly modified the traditional game to appeal to today's children. Done on a 2 feet by 2 1/2 feet canvas the game is attractively designed and appealing. All the snakes in the games have names such as Bakasura, Kumbakarna etc. which are representative of certain vices. A booklet has been given with a short story of these characters to make it more appealing to children and parents who may not know the tales. You c

Sati Godavari Mataji Quotes

Man considers that his greatness lies in achieving name and fame and material possessions. In pursuit of these goals he keeps his intellect in abeyance and drags it deep down to ignorance and degradation and in the process he ruins himself. The intellect should always be nourished and nurtured on proper food that of contemplation of the divine, meditation, constant repetition of the divine name and mental invocation of one’s guru. By having love and compassion for all beings and living in contentment and in contemplation of God one can make one’s life happy on earth and worth living. When the intellect is thus nurtured and kept in its true greatness through the above said steps worldly glory and respectability that a man craves for automatically follows him. Sati Godavari Mataji

Tallest Vishnu Sculpture in World – Biggest Idol of Hindu God Vishnu

The tallest sculpture of Hindu God Vishnu is located at Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Park in Bali in Indonesia. This biggest sculpture of Vishnu remains unfinished. The current height of the statue is 23 meters (75 feet).  The original plan was to build a 146 meter gold plated Vishnu riding Garuda on top of an 11 storey entertainment complex. If completed this would have been on the tallest statues in the world. But Bali Hindu religious leaders opposed the commercialization of Hindu Gods as they felt its massive size might disrupt the spiritual balance of the Bali island. Mandala Garuda Wisnu Kencana, or Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK), is a private cultural park on the Bukit Peninsula at the southern end of the island of Bali in Indonesia. You may also like to read World’s Tallest Hanuman Idol – Tallest Hanuman Statue at Parital in India Top ten tallest Statues of Hindu Gods in the world

Book – The Timeless Faith - Dialogues on Hinduism

Book titled ‘The Timeless Faith – Dialogues on Hinduism’ by Deepam Chatterjee attempts to clear many misconceptions and doubts about Hinduism. Many people gather knowledge about Hinduism often from the wrong source. Even many Hindus are happy with superficial knowledge. The net result is that there is lot of confusion. Deepam Chatterjee attempts to guide people who are interested in learning about Hinduism in the right direction. Excerpts from the from the introduction to ‘The Timeless Faith: Dialogues on Hinduism  The hallmark of Hinduism has been its great capacity to mould itself to the lifestyles of people without losing its identity, and helping seekers focus on attaining the transcendent absolute. One may ask, who then, is a true Hindu? A real Hindu is one who searches for the Ultimate Truth and relentlessly pursues answers to questions such as, ‘Who is God? Who am I? What is my purpose? How to know God? What is the Ultimate Truth?’ A true Hindu firmly believes in allowing

How Earthquakes Happen? – Story In Hindu Religion Associated With Serpent Adi Seshaition

It is believed in Hindu tradition that the earth rests on the thousand headed Ananta or Adi Sesha – the snake or serpent on which Hindu God Vishnu reclines. The story on how earthquakes happen is connected to Ananta holding earth on his head. Puranas states that Ananta fed up with his mother Kadru’s evil tactics to defeat Garuda’s mother went on pilgrimage and started performing intense austerities (Tapas) at Badrikashram and Gandamadana. Pleased with Ananta, Brahma appeared before him and asked to go to Patala (netherworld) and hold the earth on his head. Brahma also asked Ananta to wipe out Adharma by using his Tejas. The belief is that when the balance on earth tilts in favor of Adharma, Ananta uses his powers to get the balance in favor of Dharma. As Ananta has thousand heads, he holds the earth on one head. When that head gets tired he shifts it to another. Earthquakes happen when Ananta shifts earth from one head to another.

Eco-friendly Immersion - Wash-Melt Process Instead Of Immersion in Ganga For Durga Puja Idols in Kolkata

Instead of immersing the Durga idol after Durga Puja, Kolkata civic body is planning to offer Durga puja organisers the option of melting the idols with jets of Ganga water. This environment-friendly immersion process is already followed by Naihati Kali pujas. The Telegraph India reports In the proposed process, the melting of idols, after completion of the religious rituals, symbolises immersion. “We want to introduce the wash-melt process, at least at Babughat, after Durga Puja. Discussions are on with the fire services. The puja organisers will have the option of choosing this process or going for the conventional one,” said Debasish Kumar, mayoral council member (parks and garden).  This is a welcome move to minimise Ganga pollution. Despite the widespread use of lead-free paint last year, lead contamination of the river has increased,” said Krishnajyoti Goswami, a scientist working on lead pollution.  Representatives of many of the clubs welcomed the proposal. “The Hooghly is e

Madhyashtami

Madhyashtami is observed annually during the Mahalayam fortnight which falls before Ashwin Navratri (September – October). It is an important day during at Gaya. This fortnight is popularly known as Pitru Paksha Shradh. Madhyashtami 2023 date is October 6. This day is chosen by those people who do not perform paksha mahalyam – rituals on all 15 days. Observing one day Shradham is known as Sakrun Mahalayam. Sakrun Mahalayam is in addition to the Amavasya Shradh, which should be performed by all people. The importance of Madhyashtami is that one need not worry about tithi, vara, Nakshatra and other doshas and can perform the ritual.

Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram Lyrics in English in pdf

Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram is dedicated to the Mother Goddess and extols her glory in 1000 names. The Lalitha Tripura Sundari form of Mother Goddess is worshipped through the Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram prayer. Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram Lyrics in English is in pdf format and you can download or read it online. You will need pdf reader installed to read it. Link - Lalitha Sahasranama Stotram in English

Navratri at Dad Devi Mata Temple at Rajasthan – Mandir Shri Dad Devi Mata Ji

Dad Devi Mata Temple , at Ummed Ganj in Kota District in Rajasthan, is dedicated to Shri Dad Devi Mata Ji, (डाढ़ देवी मंदिर ) an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Dad Devi Mata Temple 2023 Navratri mela and festival is from October 15 to October 23. The most important day is the fifth day of the Navratri. The Goddess is the Kuldevi of the Tanwar Rajputs and the temple attracts nearly 50,000 people during the Chaitra and Ashwin Navratri. The murti of Dad Devi Mata at this 10th century temple is seated on a lion and she is ten armed and each arm holds a weapon. The temple is around 25 km from Kota and is on the banks of  Charmanyavati River (Chambal River). The popular belief is that Dad Devi is originally Raktadantika devi.  The devi is known as Dad Devi because her molar teeth protrudes to the outside.

Kautilya Quotes

That mother and that father are enemies, who do not give education to their children. Wealth will desert the childish man who always consults the stars. Even the fangless serpent should raise its hood, for with or without poison, a raised hood is frightening. The fish, the toad and the birds protect their infants by sight, thought and touch – so do good men. Anger is the origin of all legal disputes...murder also results from anger. Kautilya Related Chanakya Sayings

Pitru Pandhravda

Pitru Pandhravda is observed during the Krishna Paksha of Bhadrapad month – fortnight of waning phase of moon – and is dedicated to the departed souls – dead parents and relatives in Maharashtra . Pitru Pandharwada 2023 date is from September 29 to October 14, 2023. This fortnight dedicated to the departed souls is known as Pitru Paksha and Mahalya fortnight. No auspicious ceremony is held during the period. Hindus only eat vegetarian food during the period. Shradh rituals are offered to dead ancestors and dead family members. The most important Shradh is observed on the Amavasya day (October 14, 2023). Other important Shradh dates include Avidhava Navami on October 7, 2023. Read more about  Pitru Pandhravda in here.

Navratri 2021 – 8 days not the usual 9 days in 2021 – Why?

Navratri is the celebration of 9 nights dedicated to Goddess Shakti but in 2021 there are only 8 nights in traditional Hindu calendar. Navratri 2021 begins on October 7 and ends on October 14, 2021. So why is that in 2021 it is 8 days not the usual 9 days. This is because two tithi falls on a single day in all Hindu calendars. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – Navratri day 3 and 4 are marked on the same date – October 9, 2021. Dwitiya and Tritiya falls on the same date. In North India , Navratri day 5 and day 6 falls on the same date – October 11, 2021. – Panchami and Sashti falls on the same day. In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka   – Navratri 5 and 6 are marked on the same date – October 9, 2021. Panchami and Sashti falls on the same day. The auspicious and important festival dates remain the same in all regions.

Creating A Map of The Sacred Forests

Many temples and traditional homes in India have sacred groves in their vicinity. Sacred groves contain rare trees and plants with medicinal properties. Legend has it that when Hanuman was flying with the Saneevani mountain to save Lakshman’s life, chunk of the mountain fell at numerous places. Sacred groves appeared at the places where the chunk fell. Dr Shonil Bhagwat, a reasearcher at Oxford University, is creating the first ever map of the sacred forests. The Tribune reports Dr Shonil Bhagwat’s field studies show how some parts of India have one sacred forest for every 741 acres. He has expert knowledge about threatened tree species in the religious forests of Karnataka, home to ‘poison arrow’ trees (Antiaris toxicari), and some unusual types of fig (Ficus microcarpa) and myrtle (Syzygium zeylanicum).  He has taken a particular interest in the Kodagu district of Karnataka where devarakadus or sacred groves have been damaged by illegal cutting, grazing and fires. Some of these deva

Modern Notions of Evolution and Ancient Hinduism

In an article titled ‘ Ancient Hinduism enlightens modern notions of evolution ’ in the Washington Post, Aseem Shukla, Co-founder, Hindu American Foundation, suggest that the concept of modern evolution is nothing new to Hinduism as the concept was detailed in Hindu scriptures. Excerpts from the article ...cosmology, science, and the ancient Vedas--Hinduism’s sacred scripture--are eerily complementary.  Lord Brahma, the Lord of Creation, often depicted as one of the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, is described as creating the universe in an unending cycle over each of his days and nights.  If the Big Bang theory is posited to have occurred 13 billion years ago, Hindus would have no trouble at all agreeing that an Intelligent Designer, Lord Brahma, indeed guides the creation of the universe.  Even more, Swami Vivekananda, one of modern Hinduism’s intellectual giants wrote in the early 20th century, whether an intelligence made the material world, or whether, as some scient

Thoughts on Radhashtami – Symbolism in Radha – Krishna Divine Love

Today is Radhashtami – Radha’s birthday. Radha is the longing for the Divine, the unknown infinity – Krishna! If you read Radha the other way round, it is Dhara. Dhara moves away from the source. When it moves towards its source it is called Radha. Coming back to the source, the source is Krishna. When you move towards yourself you move towards Krishna. Longing for the source is Radha. Without Radha, Krishna cannot be reached, that is why we sing ‘Jai Jai Radha Raman’ in Satsang – moving back to the source. It is like sweetness in the sugar, sweetness cannot be separated from the sugar. Light and Sun, Water and Fluidity, Gravitation and Earth, Flower and Fragrance, they cannot be separated from each other; such is the bond between Radha Krishna. Sri Sri Ravishankar Information Provided by Deepa You may also like to read On the Love of Radha and  Krishna  – its symbolic meaning by Swami Chinmayananda

Ganesha Idols Made from Zambian Emerald to be Auctioned for Saving Asian Elephants

Ganesha Idols Made from Zambian Emerald will be auctioned to create awareness and raise funds for the conservation initiatives of  Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) for the Asian Elephant in India. World Land Trust (WLT) and ethical coloured gemstones mining company, Gemfields, together with Jaguar Land Rover and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA India), have collaborated with ten of India’s top jewellery designers to create a unique collection of bespoke Zambian emerald jewellery. The collection will go on tour around India to each of the designers’ boutiques from August to October 2011. On 14 October, Sotheby’s will auction the collection at an exclusive event held in the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, with a percentage of profits from each jewel going towards the World Land Trust’s ‘Indian Elephant Corridor’ project. You can get more details here .  

About Hindu God Ganapati – Mahaganapati, The First To Be Worshipped

This article is written by  Dr. A V Srinivasan  on the auspicious occasion of Ganapati festival. Ganapati or Ganesha is the remover obstacles in Hinduism and everything begins after offering prayers to him.   There isn’t a Hindu who does not recognize instantly the most revered God Mahaaganapati. Irrespective of the region of India, irrespective of one’s special affiliation to any aspect of Hindu religion, Hindus offer their first prayer by invoking and worshipping Mahaaganapati, the Lord of obstacles, before any auspicious tasks are undertaken. Even westerners who have little exposure to Hinduism know the “elephant-headed” God. It is a common Hindu belief that the first prayers must be offered to Mahaaganapati seeking His blessings to proceed so that the rest of the mission may proceed smoothly and without incident. For example, most concerts of Indian classical music begin with a composition in praise of Mahaaganapati. Lord Ganapati occupies a very special place in the hearts of Hind