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Story of Amavasya

The story of Amavasya is associated with Chandra, the moon God in Hindu tradition and Daksha Prajapati. Legend has it that Daskha Prajapati had 27 daughters. They are the Nakshatras or birth stars in Hindu astrology. Among the 27 wives, Chandra loved Rohini the most. This caused jealousy among other wives who complained to Daksha Prajapati.

Angry Daksha Prajapati cursed Chandra that he will shed all his beauty and radiance for neglecting his daughters. This resulted in Amavasya or no moon day.
Chandra, who lost his luster, then went to Shiva and complained that without his radiance living beings on earth will suffer.
Shiva promised to help him but he also said that he will not completely remove the curse. Thus we have the waxing and waning of moon.
Another legend has it that Chandra is also known as Somdev – one who is the storehouse of Soma, the drink of Devas. It is said that when the Soma drink is completely finished Amavasya happens. Chandra again produces Soma and when he is full…

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15 Quiz

This Bhagavad Gita Quiz is based on the 15th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The aim of the quiz is to understand few important teachings in the fifteenth chapter of the Gita. The questions might be tough. The aim of the quiz is to study Gita.

You can use Bhagavad Gita in your home to find answers as this will help you in understanding Gita more.

If there any mistakes or you would like to add more questions please mail the corrections and questions to hindublog@gmail.com
Related
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14 Quiz
Gita Chapter 16 Quiz

Maitrayana Brahmana Upanishad Quotes

As birds and deer do not approach a burning mountain, so evil never approaches those who know the Supreme Truth (Brahman).

What is without thought, though in the center of thought, what cannot be thought, the hidden, the highest – let a man merge his thought there; then will this living being be free from attachment.
Meditation should be directed to the highest being within; then the unclear understanding becomes clear.
By self discipline goodness is obtained; from goodness understanding is reached; from understanding the Self is known; and he who has known his True Self does not return to this world. Maitrayana Brahmana Upanishad

Story of Chintamani Ganesh

Chintamani Ganesh is worshipped at the famous ChintamaniTemple at Theur in Maharashtra and is also one among the Ashtavinayaka Temples. Chintamani is a wish fulfilling Gem which was in the possession of Sage Kapila. The holy saint used it only for Dharmic purposes. Ganapati got the name after he protected the Gem.

Once, Gana, the prince of the kingdom, came to the ashram of Sage Kapila with his army. Sage welcomed the prince and the army and served tasty food to the entire army.
Gana wanted to know the secret of Sage Kapila that made him produce such tasty food instantaneously.  He then came to know about the Chintamani Gem. He then wanted to possess it. But Kapila declined as he knew that the prince would use it for evil purposes.
Gana forcibly took the gem away from the ashram.
Sage Kapila then prayed to Ganesha for his help. Being pleased with Kapila's devotion, Ganesha first attempted to warn the prince through a dream. But Gana was adamant. He decided to kill Sage Kapila for…

Vaitheeswaran Koil Photos – Online Virtual Tour of Vaitheeswaran Temple in Tamil Nadu

Vaitheeswaran Koil in Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Shiva and is one of the important Navgraha Temples in India. Dinamalar newspaper is providing a virtual tour of the temple through high quality photos. There are six pictures of the temple. Shiva in the form of Vaitheeswaran helps in curing diseases. Siddhamirtham Teerth or Holy Tank is famous curing diseases. Devotees believe that the waters in the tank can cure various ailments and skin diseases.

LinkVirtual Tour of Vaitheeswaran Koil


Swami Ranganathananda on Truly Educated People

Swami Ranganathananda’s observances are based on a parable by Sri Ramakrishna
A father brought from the market two fruits for his two children at home; he gave one fruit to each child. The elder child took the fruit, found it fine, straightaway went to his room, closed the door, ate the fruit, wiped his mouth, and came to the courtyard. The second child took the fruit, found it fine, straightaway went to his comrades in the courtyard and shared the fruit with all of them.
Between the two children, who is the truly educated one? The first one is very intelligent, but that intelligence has become mere cleverness due to being self-centred; there you see just an individual, not yet developed into a person; but the second has achieved that growth into a person. He or she has spiritually expanded so as to think of others, care for others, and has developed the spirit of service. Here you can see the moral, ethical and humanistic development of the child. Our children must be 'helped to …

Remains of one of the Biggest Ancient Hindu Temples in Bali Island in Indonesia Discovered

Construction workers who were digging for drainage discovered remains of the one of the biggest ancient temples in Denspasar in BaliIsland in Indonesia. The ancient temple believed to have been built in 14th century is located near a Hindu learning center on Jalan Trengguli in East Denpasar. The excavation is in progress to there are currently no good photos of the temple.
Jakarta Globe writes The Denpasar Archeology Agency took over the excavation and have uncovered an 11-meter-long structure. “We will continue the excavation until [the whole structure is revealed],” said Wayan Suantika, an official with the agency. Suantika told reporters that, judging by the square structure’s similarity to ancient temples found in East Java, it likely dates back to the 14th Century. “The strengthener layers in between the stone plates were another characteristic usually found in 13th or 14th Century [structures],” he said.BaliIsland is home to most of the Hindus in Indonesia.

Sivajnanadeepika Teachings

The body is called the temple of God.

Rare are the jnanis, while innumerable are the ritualists.
It is quite certain that one can never become a Brahmin by wearing the sacred thread, or by keeping the tuft of hair.
Fake teachers make false distinction between punya and paapam and confuse devotees.

Today – October 29, 2012 – is Kojagari Lakshmi Puja and Vrat

Today – October 29, 2012 – is Kojagari Lakshmi Puja and it is observed on the Purnima (full moon day) after Durga Puja. Kojagari Vrat is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and is observed in Bengal, Orissa, and other parts of eastern India and also in some regions in western India.

It is believed that on Kojagari Poornima night in Aashin month (Ashwin Mahina), Goddess Lakshmi visits the homes of devotees and blesses them. Therefore special Laksmi Puja is held in the evening on the day in homes.
On the day women draw Alpana or Alpona patterns (something similar to Rangoli) at homes. Most preferred Alpana is that of Goddess Lakshmi’s feet.
Small clay murtis of Goddess Lakshmi are installed in many households on the day and prayers are offered. Special vegetarian dishes, fruits and sweets are offered to Goddess Lakshmi on the day.
You may also like to read Kojagari Lakshmi Puja Story - Kojagari Laxmi Puja Vrat Katha

Sage Vasishta Sayings

To crush the petal of a flower, the physical limb has to be moved (in exertion). To attain bliss eternal, not even the limb need to be moved! It is enough if the activity of the mind is checked.

The outlook of inequality and distinctions is what is called Avidya or ignorance and that is to be shunned always.
We must accept reason even though it be uttered by a child. That which is not reasonable, should be discarded as dry grass.
People, who lack knowledge, pass long days like unto beasts in great distress, deluded in the observance of rituals, penance, giving alms and pilgrimage.
Sage Vasishta

Lessons from Amanaska Yoga

Putting on ochre garments, holding a skull, plucking out strands of hair, maintaining heretical observances, ashes, an ascetics clothes (and) dreadlocks; intoxication, nakedness (and) conferences on the poetry of the Vedas, Tantras etc in assemblies... All (this) is exerting oneself for the sake of filling the stomach (and) is not the cause of the highest (good).

The mind indeed is the cause of liberation and bondage of men. The mind that clings to sense objects (leads) to bondage; the mind free from sense objects (leads) to liberation.
When (the yogi) is freed from sense objects, knowledge of an external (world) does not exist. And when knowledge of an external (world) has disappeared, then the yogi becomes equable with all things.
Just as ghee merged in ghee is devoid of separateness from ghee, so the yogi, merged in the highest reality, does not experience a state of separateness.
Amanaska Yoga - Amanaska Yoga is a dialogue between Shiva and Sage Vamadeva. 
Source - The Amanaska Yo…

Vajrasuchi Upanishad – Who is Brahmana?

Whoever he may be, he who has directly realized this Atma and who is directly cognizant of his Atma that is without a second; That is devoid of class and actions, that is free from the faults of six stains and six changes, that is of the nature of truth, knowledge, bliss and eternity, that is without any change in itself, that is the substratum of all the kalpas, that exists penetrating all things that pervades everything within and without as akas, that is of nature of undivided bliss, that cannot be reasoned about and that is known only by direct cognition. He who knows this truth is a Brahmana.

He who by the reason of having obtained his wishes is devoid of the faults of thirst after worldly objects and passions who is the possessor of the qualifications beginning with sama, who is free from emotion, malice, thirst after worldly objects, desire, delusion, etc., whose mind is untouched by pride, egoism, etc., who possesses all these qualities and means – he only is the Brahmana.

People Living Along Ganga River More Prone To Cancer

A recent study conducted by National Cancer Registry Programme under the Indian Council of Medical Research revealed that people living along the banks of GangaRiver in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal are more prone to cancer than anywhere else in India. Industries along the river have been releasing harmful effluents into the river such as arsenic, choride, fluoride and other heavy metals.
Times of Indiareports  Conducted by the National Cancer Registry Programme under the Indian Council of Medical Research, the study throws up shocking findings. The river is thick with heavy metals and lethal chemicals that cause cancer, it says. "We know that the incidence of cancer was highest in the country in areas drained by the Ganga. We also know why. Now, we are going deeper into the problem. Hopefully, we'll be able to present a report to the health ministry in a month or two," NCRP head A Nandkumar said. The worst-hit stretches are east Uttar Pradesh, the flood plains of Beng…

On How to Overcome Hatred – Dada J P Vaswani

Think of two people who have hurt you, made you angry or let you down recently - two people about whom you still feel animosity.

Now ask yourself: what is my animosity doing to me? Do I feel happy holding on to it? Does it make me feel happier? Does it improve my sleep? Is my life better, richer, more meaningful because of my resentment?

If the answer to all the above questions is 'No', then take a courageous decision.

Let go! Walk away from the disappointment and the bitterness!
What should you do when faced with betrayal, hurt, anger or disappointment? You can choose to react differently, by taking responsibility for your own emotions and feelings. You do this in full awareness that others do not influence your feelings. You choose your own. We have to learn to let go of disappointments and get on with our life. We need to forgive.
Related Dada J P Vaswani on Happiness

What is Kumbha Vivah?

Kumbha Vivah is getting married to a pot and this is suggested for those females and males whose horoscope has a bad marriage prediction. This is strictly related to astrology. The ritual is based on folk tradition and beliefs. Some people consider this as superstition.
In Kumbha Vivah – the Kumbha stands for void or null.
Kumbha is a clay pot. It has nothing inside it. By getting first married to the Kumbha the belief is that all the bad predicted in the first marriage gets over.
The pot is broken and thus all bad ends with the broken pot.
There are several variations of this ritual.
The ritual is mostly performed by mangaliks or people who have chowa dosham in their horoscope.
There is difference of opinion even among astrologers regarding the outcome of the ritual. Some say it will solve all the problems. But others are of the view that it does not mitigate the doshas.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14 Quiz

This Bhagavad Gita Quiz is based on the 14th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The aim of the quiz is to understand few important teachings in the fourteenth chapter of the Gita. The questions might be tough. The aim of the quiz is to study Gita.

You can use Bhagavad Gita in your home to find answers as this will help you in understanding Gita more.

If there any mistakes or you would like to add more questions please mail the corrections and questions to hindublog@gmail.com
Related
Chapter 15 Gita Quiz
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 Quiz

Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati Teachings

Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting in lotus pose with the eyes rolled up. Anything can be a meditation. Playing music properly is a very good way to do it.
If there is a spiritual teaching which is beneficial to people, it should be beneficial when one sits in a closed room where there is no one to offend him and it should be beneficial right in the market place where he is confronted by so many problems and people. All through he should be able to keep u his spiritual light as his eternal guide, under all circumstances, in all places and in all kinds of social and non-social situations. Otherwise I do not see any value to that wisdom.

Goddess Ishwari

Ishwari is the term used to refer to the Supreme Mother Goddess. When the term is used independently – Goddesss Ishwari – is The Goddess Shakti (Mother Goddess). When it is used as a suffix – as in Maheshwari, Parameshwari, Vishveshwari etc – it is used to refer to the female energy of the different manifestation of Shiva.

The earliest reference of the use of the term Ishwari is found in the Sri Suktam. Here Shri is referred to as – Ishwari Sarvabhutanam – Mother of all living and nonliving.
Ishwari is also used as suffix to explain the various manifestations of Goddess Shakti as in Goddess Sarveshwari, Goddess Akhileshwari etc.

Fake Websites Selling Kumbha Mela Accommodation in Tent Cottages Owned by UPSTDC

Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (UPSTDC) claims that fake websites are selling Kumbha Mela accommodation in tent cottages in Kumbh Mela area. UPSTDC claims that no one has right to sell accommodation inside the Kumbh Area.
Times of Indiareports  Officials in the Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation have come across a number of private operators, agencies and institutions have rented out tents that belong to the UPSTDC for the 2013 Mahakumbh. The transactions have been made through certain unauthorised websites which have been identified by the Kumbh Mela office in Allahabad.  Director general tourism, Manoj Singh said, "We have sounded an alert, while the mela officer has asked the inspector general Allahabad zone to examine the matter and register a case against the people or organisations behind these websites." Mela officer, Mani Mishra said that the way in which these websites have packaged their deals could lure anyone. For instance, o…

Teachings from Aghamarshana Suktam

That Supreme Light which projected Itself as the universe like a soaked seed which sprouts – I am that Supreme Light.
I am that supreme light of Brahman which shines as the inmost essence of all that exists.
In reality I am the same infinite Brahman even when I am experiencing myself as a finite self owing to Ignorance.
Now by the onset of knowledge I am really that Brahman which is my eternal nature.

Goddess Kalyani

Goddess Kalyani is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. This is one of the kind and caring form of Goddess Durga. In this form she is the embodiment of beauty and love.

Gods and Saints use the term to define Goddess Kalyani when she is in her peaceful form. In this form she exists among devotees who follow Dharma.
Goddess Kalyani form is also associated with fertility.
Kalyani is also one of the important names of Mother Goddess and is part of 108 and 1008 names of Goddess Shakti.

Dress Code in place at Talacauvery Temple, the Origin of Kaveri River in Karnataka

Bhagamandala-TalacauveryTemple management committee has decided to enforce dress code at the TalacauveryTemple, the origin of KaveriRiver in Karnataka. People wearing non-traditional dress will not be permitted inside the temple. Those who arrive unaware of new rule will be offered dhoti or shawl on rent at the two counters opened by the temple committee.
Times of Indiareports  One staffer and six guards have been deputed at each counter to check on the attire of tourists and pilgrims. Anyone who refuses to adhere to a "presentable and decorous" dress code will be asked to cover themselves with the shawl or dhoti.  "Out intention is to ensure visitors are modestly dressed," said temple committee president Appachattolanda Manu Muthappa on the rationale behind the move. "Sometimes visitors come wearing Bermudas, sleeveless tops or are skimpily dressed and that's not acceptable in a place of worship," said Muthappa.  The dress code was formally put in pla…

Today – October 22, 2012 – is Durga Ashtami

Today – October 22, 2012 – is Durga Ashtami – the third day of Durga Puja celebrations and the eighth day of the Navratri festival. A fast is undertaken on the day many devotees. Other important rituals on the day include Astra Puja, Sandhya Puja and also Kumari Puja. The day is also known as Virashtami and Maha Ashtami.
Legend has it that Goddess Kali appeared from the forehead of Goddess Durga to kill Chanda and Munda and Rakthabhija on the Ashtami day. On the day 64 Yoginis and Ashtanayikas – the eight consorts – of Durga are also worshipped.

The whole world is heaven for the one devoid of ego – Swami Sivananda

You will easily get illumination in solitude. Solitude has its charms. Prepare yourself for life in seclusion.

Never complain about bad environments. Create your own mental world wherever you remain and wherever you go. There are some difficulties and disadvantages wherever you go…God has place you there to grow quickly…
To the one devoid of ego, the whole world is a heaven of rest, a realm of peace and a kingdom abounding in all happiness. He who has no ego and who has surrendered himself to God is the master of every power and force.
Humility is the path of immortality. Vanity is the path of births and deaths…
Swami Sivananda

Today – October 21, 2012 – is Durga Puja Saptami

Today – October 21, 2012 – is Durga Puja Saptami. Mahasaptami is observed on the seventh day of the waxing phase of moon (Shukla Paksha) in Aswhina month. Pran Prathishta, Kolabou, Bodhan are the most important rituals performed on the day.

During dawn, just as the first light of sun descents on earth, Kolabau or Kola Bou rituals are performed. The Pran Prathishta, or life, is breathed into the idol of Goddess Durga. The ritual is performed on the Ghats of a river or pond. The idol of Goddess Durga is not taken to the pond instead life is symbolically transferred from water to plantain tree.

Watch Live Durga Puja Pandals in Ranchi – Dhanbad in Jharkhand in 2017

You can watch live streaming from Durga Puja Pandals in Ranchi and Dhanbad starting from October 19, 2015. The pandals in Dhanbad in Jharkhand are famous for its decorations. All traditional pujas and rituals are held in majority of the pandals.

Link - Live Durga Puja Pandals in Ranchi – Dhanbad - Dhanbadonline.com

Mantra to Get Money – Wealth – Prosperity in Hindu Religion in Hindi

The mantra to get money, wealth and attain prosperity is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi. People who do constant japa of this mantra – given below in Hindi – is believed to have attained immense wealth. Those that have attained wealth claim that daily chanting of the mantra helps in focusing – single pointed attention towards their job. It also gives them the hope of good prosperity. The mantra is: 
The English transliteration of the Mantra is
Om shrim hrim kleem tribhuvan Mahalakshmiye asmangh daridraya naraya prachur dhan dehi dehi kleem hreem shri Om

Today – October 20, 2012 – Durga Puja Sashti Rituals Begin

Durga Puja Sashti, or Sasthi, is observed on the sixth after new moon. In 2012, it is on October 20. Goddess Durga is welcomed on Sashti day to Puja pandals and households. The important ritual on the day includes unveiling the face of Durga Murti (Idol) and Kalparambho. Bodhon, Amontron and Adibas are some of the main rituals on Sashti day.

Kalparambho is the beginning of Pujas. Bodhon is the consecration (invocation) of Goddess Durga murti. Amontron is inviting the Goddess and Adibas sanctifying the stay of Goddess in the pandal of puja arena.

Adhyatma Upanishad Teachings

The wise should through the practice of deep meditation of Brahman leave off the recurrent conception of “I” and “mine” in the body and the senses which are other than Atma.
Having known himself as Pratyagatma, the witness of Buddhi and its action, one should ever think “So’ham” (‘I am That’) and leave off the idea of Atma in all others.
Having dissolved Jivatma into Paramatma with the thought of its being partless, like the either of a jar in the universal ether, be ever in a state of taciturnity (not speaking much).
Looking upon everything in all places and times as Brahman brings about the destruction of Vasanas.

Goddess Yogamaya

Goddess Yogamaya is one among the numerous forms of Goddess Durga. Goddess Yogamaya is regarded as the sister of Lord Krishna, born immediately before him. She is the child that flew away from the hand of Kamsa and warned him that Krishna has already born on the earth and will annihilate him in near future.

Yogamaya is the Goddess of delusion. Some scriptures point out that it was due to her spell that the entire kingdom of Kamsa fell asleep when Sri Krishna was born.
Goddess Yogamaya shares many characteristics of Lord Vishnu including the dark complexion. She is four-armed and carries conch and discus (Sudarshana chakra) in her upper hand. Her normal right hand is in ‘abhaya posture’ – blessing or protection. Left hand is placed on her thigh.

Kalanemi’s Advice to Ravana – Ramayana Teachings

Demon Kalanemi was deputed by Ravan to obstruct Hanuman who was on his way to bring Mrita Sanjeevani (medicinal herbs to rescue Lakshman.) Kalanemi had difference of opinion with Ravana but he obeyed him. Before leaving he advices Ravana and asks him to release Mata Sita and take refuge in Sri Ram.


...morning bathed in pure water, and performed the morning Sandhya and other duties, sitting in a lonely place in an easy posture, having renounced all belongings, all attachments and all objects of sense, which are outside thee, do thou gradually draw inside thy senses, which are roaming outside.

Do thou then always reflect upon thyself as distinct from the Prakriti. All this world, mobile and immobile, the body, the intellect and the rest, from Brahma to a blade of grass all that is seen or heard, is called Prakriti. It is also designated Maya.

It is the cause of the creation, preservation and destruction of the tree of the world. It always creates Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

Desire, anger a…

Goddess Sharda

Goddess Sharda is one among the numerous names of Goddess Saraswati. In this form she is the fountainhead of Knowledge. There is an interesting symbolic story associated with Goddess Sharda.
Legend has it that Shiva once opened his third eye and a terrible fire, Vadavagni, appeared from it. It threatened to destroy the universe.
There was huge panic all around. Goddess Saraswati remained calm. When Devas wanted to know how she can sit calmly when Vadavagni is burning the earth. She said that Shiva’s fire only burns those that are Adharmic – the corrupt and evil.
Saraswati Maa then took the form of a river and carried the Vadavagni into the ocean. She told that it will remain in the ocean till the time there are people on earth who follow Dharma. It will come out of ocean and destroy the world when there is no Dharma left on earth.
The saints who witnessed this event called Her, Goddess Sharda, the goddess who removes darkness of ignorance and ushers in light of knowledge.

Skanda Upanishad Teachings

Bound by husk, it is paddy; freed from husk, it is rice. In like manner Jiva is bound by Karma. If karma perishes, Jiva is Sadashiva. So long as he is bound by the bonds of karma, he is Jiva. If freed from its bonds, then he is Sadasiva.
The heart of Vishnu is Shiva. The heart of Shiva is Vishnu. As I see no difference between these two, therefore to me are prosperity and life. There is no difference between Shiva and Vishnu.
To see oneself as not different from Him (Supreme Being) is jnana or wisdom.
To make the mind free from sensual objects is dhyana and giving up of the stains of the mind is Snana.

Mahagauri Puja and Mantra for Early Marriage and Other Marriage Related Troubles

Mahagauri form of Goddess Durga is worshipped to alleviate marriage related problems. Those girls and women who are having delay in marriage should chant the mantra dedicated to Goddess Gauri as solution. The mantra should be chanted 11 times. Mahagauri Mantra is – Om Mahagauri daitye Namah:
The offering to Goddess Gauri includes 5 supari (betel nut), 5 lotus flowers, one coconut and one chunari (cloth). Another option is to feed hungry children or old people. Those people feeding hungry people can avoid the offerings. They just need to do prayers.
Apart from the mantra girls should also read Durga Saptashati – from the fifth chapter to the 11th chapter.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 Quiz

This Bhagavad Gita Quiz is based on the 13th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The aim of the quiz is to understand few important teachings in the thirteenth chapter of the Gita. The questions might be tough. The aim of the quiz is to study Gita.

You can use Bhagavad Gita in your home to find answers as this will help you in understanding Gita more.

If there any mistakes or you would like to add more questions please mail the corrections and questions to hindublog@gmail.com
Related Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12 Quiz
Gita Chapter 14 Quiz

Bhikshuka Upanishad on Paramahamsa

Paramahamsa live clothed or naked at the foot of trees, in ruined houses, or in burning grounds. With them, there are no dualities as dharma and adharma, gain and loss, and purity and impurity. They look upon gold and stone and clod of earth with the same eye (of indifference), live on alms, begging from all without any distinction of caste and look upon everything as Atma alone.
Being as nature made them, being free from the sense of duality and from covetousness, being engaged in pure contemplation, they meditate on Atma.
Having advanced far in the path of Brahman, and being pure in mind, they quit this body through the methods prescribed for Paramahamsa Sannyasins.

Agni Durga – About Goddess Agni Durga Form of Goddess Shakti

Agni Durga is a manifestation of Goddess Durga. This is a unique form of Mother Goddess Shakti as she has three eyes like Shiva. The description of her form is given in Agamas. She takes her name from her brilliant complexion like the lightning.

Vehicle or Vahana of Agni Durga is a lion.
She has eight hands and they hold disc, sword, shield, arrow, noose and goad. Two hands are in varada and tarjani mudra (blessing and warning).
A unique feature of the image of Agni Durga is that she is usually depicted along with two celestial women. They stand by her sides and hold sword and shield in their hands.
This is a fierce form of Goddess Durga. She is basically worshipped for getting protection from enemies.
There are no known temples that is exclusively dedicated to Agni Durga. She is found as minor deity in certain Goddess Shakti temples. She is also depicted on many temple walls in painting and also in pillars in sculpture form.

About Official Website of Panachikkadu Saraswathi Temple in Kottayam in Kerala

PanachikkaduSaraswathiTemple located near Kottayam in Kerala is a famous temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. The temple management has created an official website of the temple with important festival details including Navratri and Vidyarambham. PanachikaduSaraswathiTemple is one of the important temples in Kerala where children are initiated into the world of learning.
The temple is known as Dakshina Mookambika. The temple is located at PanachikkaduVillage which is around 11 km from KottayamTown.
Link – Official website of Panachikkadu Saraswathi Temple.

Today – October 16, 2012 – Navratri Begins

Navratri, also known as Navratras, is the festival of nine nights dedicated to Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati in the autumn season in India (September – October). In 2012, Navratri begins on October 16, 2012 and ends on October 23, 2012. It is observed during the Shukla Paksha of Ashwin month and Durga Puja, Dasara and Vijaya Dasami are also observed during the period.

The First day begins with Ghatasthapana - installation of pot with grains.
Fasting is an important part of the nine days in most regions.  Vegetarian food is preferred during the period. Some people opt for single meal on certain days of the period.
In South India, the period is famous for Saraswati Puja and the arrangement of Bommai Kollu dolls. Navratri concerts are also very popular in South India.
In western parts of India, the Navratras are popular for the Dandya dance.
In North India, importance is given to Kalash Sthapana and prayers and fasting during the period.
In eastern parts of India, it is the Durg…

Arka Vratam

Arka Vratam is dedicated to Surya, the sun god in Hindu tradition. The Vrat is observed on Sunday. The important rituals of the vratam include fasting, chanting of Gayatri Mantra or any other prayer dedicated to Surya. Devotee observing Arka Vrata will be blessed with peace and prosperity.

The devotee observing the vrat should wake up before sunrise on Sunday. After taking bath, should view the rising sun and offer prayers and chant Gayatri mantra or any other prayer dedicated to Surya.
Only a single meal is taken on the day – mostly during noon. The fasting is continued even after sunset. The single meal should be a simple pure vegetarian meal.
No pujas are performed during the evening hours.
It is believed that Arka Vratam helps in alleviating various diseases and it also helps the devotee to attain spiritual awareness.

Kamakshi Amman Temple Pictures – Virtual Photo Tour of Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram

KamakshiAmmanTemple located at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. Dinamalar newspaper has created a virtual tour of temple – high quality pictures of the temple. You can watch the photos in 360 degrees. There is also a narration in English regarding the elements in the picture.

Goddess Kamakshi is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti.
Link – you can take virtual tour of Kamakshi Amman Temple here at Dinamalar.

Anugita Teachings

One should learn to control one's mind and love Paramathma (the Supreme-Soul) with devotion.
Utterance of Aum (Pranava) is the easy means of self-realization.

The spiritual aspirant should be absorbed in the contemplation of God with single minded devotion and without outer consciousness.

If he meditates with the feeling of “Aham Brahmasmi' (I am Brahman), all his sins disappear and he would be emancipated. The individual soul will be merged with the Supreme Soul.

As life is transitory, one should adore only the truth. A yogi who is only meditating on the soul will have no rebirth.

Parabrahman is the goal of Pranava (aum). It leads to liberation and supreme peace.

We must remove the dirt of lust and anger and give up all attachments. The darkness of ignorance should be dispelled with the light of self-knowledge.

Anugita is a conversation between Sri Krishna and Arjuna and is found in the Ashwamedha Yaga Parva of the Mahabharata.

Troubles exist as long as we live in the domain of thought – Swami Turiyananda Teachings

Troubles exist as long as we live in the domain of thought. There is no peace until we transcend thought itself. When one kills the mind, the senses come under control.

What does it mean to kill the mind? It is to detach it from sense objects. The enlightened person has their senses under perfect control. The tortoise can draw in his legs: the seer can draw in his senses. I call him illumined.

Even a mind that knows the path can be dragged from the path; the senses are so unruly. But one who is wise controls the senses; the person recollects the mind and fixes it on Me. I call such a person illumined.

As long as one expects happiness, one stays restless. But the enlightened soul knows bliss in the Atman the Self within and wants nothing else.

Cravings torment the heart; he renounces cravings. I call such a person illumined. Craving for happiness brings suffering in its wake. 

The illumined soul keeps himself detached from the mind and intellect and directs them to work, whereas the…

Surya – Mind – Gayatri Mantra and Greatness of Ancient Hindu Teachers

Science has today proved that several mental disorders are directly related to various elements in nature. It is believed that depression increases when there is less sunlight. Ancient Hindu teachers understood the relationship between mind and various elements in nature. The most important among it is the Gayatri Mantra which is a prayer dedicated to Surya.
Gayatri Mantra is dedicated to Surya, Pratyksha Brahman. In it our ancient seers asks Surya to make our intellect and mind sharper and effective.
Modern science today talks about seasonal affective disorder, winter blues, summer depression etc. All these studies started just fifty years ago.
Our ancient seers had realized these entire phenomenons more than 6000 years ago.
Early morning prayer dedicated to Surya is not a mere ritual. It contains several benefits including sharpening of mind and intellect.

Video – Lecture on Scientific Values Found in Hindu Scriptures – Integration of Science and Spirituality by Dr N Gopalakrishnan

This video is an excellent lecture by Dr N Gopalakrishnan on scientific values found in Hindu Scriptures. The core theme of the lecture is the integration of science and spirituality.

An example from the speech:

How Dr N Gopalakrishnan Sir gives the scientific interpretation of this famous verse in the Bhagavad Gita - 
Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya, Glanirva Bhavathi Bharatha, Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya, Tadatmanam Srijami Aham
Whenever the system in equilibrium is disturbed, the system will adjust itself in such a way that the effect of the disturbance in nullified.
You can find the video here on Youtube
The video is embedded below

Teachings On Attachment – Swami Chinmayananda

Our attachments lend a false beauty to things; blinded with the pride of possession, we often fail to see the ugliness of cherished possessions.
Our attachment to the objects makes the objects powerful, and then the objects come to rule over our mind.
Toward all objects give up every trace of attachment. This is the secret means of winning over the mind.
The divine life starts with the practice of detaching ourselves from our body, mind and intellect, and impartially estimating the motives, intentions, and purposes that lie behind our thoughts, words and deeds.
Swami Chinmayananda

Goddess Jyestha – Hindu Goddess of Misfortune

Goddess Jyestha is the elder sister of Goddess Lakshmi. She is the goddess of misfortune. The characteristics of the Goddess are similar to Alakshmi. She symbolically represents poverty.

Goddess Jyeshta is usually depicted with a large belly and long nose.
The vehicle associated with Jyestha is ass. Her banner has the image of a crow. Sometimes she is also associated with owl.
Linga Purana indicates that she came out of Samudra Manthan (Churning of Ocean) and she finds her abode where people are unclean and inauspiciousness thrives. She avoids all those places that have divine presence. She looks for ego-inflated bodies.
In Hinduism, Goddess Jyestha symbolically reminds us that the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi should not give way to pride, indiscipline and arrogance. Unclean body, unclean surroundings, sloth and avarice are invitation to the goddess of misfortune and in auspiciousness.

Info on Official Website of Gaya Pindadaan and Shradh – Vishnupad Temple

Millions of Hindus perform Pindadaan and other Shradh rituals at the famous VishnupadTemple at Gaya in Bihar during the Pitru Paksha period (September – October). To help devotees the government has created an official website with information about priests who perform rituals, calendar, photos, videos, ghats where Shradh and pindadan is performed, and other basic information.
Link – Official Website of Gaya Pindadaan and Shradh

Amanaska Yoga Quotes

Always leave behind the material, the mental and the troublesome. Always turn to that which is stainless, beyond the mind and beyond appearance.

Some who are full of pride (although) knowing a multitude of Shastras, do not know the teaching, and (would not know it) even through hundreds of texts.
The tree of the mundane world will fall when the root(s) of the mind are uprooted by the yogi who grows strong through the nectar of equanimity.
The knower of the highest reality knows that the highest reality is beyond the duality of existence and non-existence; (it) passes beyond (both) sleep and wakefulness (and) is free from life and death.
Amanaska Yoga - Amanaska Yoga is a dialogue between Shiva and Sage Vamadeva. 
Source - The Amanaska Yoga A Critical Edition, Translation and Study by Jason Birch

How to Prepare Aravana Payasam? – Sabarimala Aravana Payasam

Aravana Payasam is an important sweet offering in many Hindu temples in South India. The most famous and popular Aravana Payasam is the one that is offered at the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple. To prepare this sweet offering the main ingredients are dry rice (unakkalari), ghee and jaggery.
The main difference between other rice payasams and Aravana is that excess ghee and jaggery is used in Aravana.
Ingredients Dry Rice (unnakalari) Jaggery Milk Ghee Kalkandam – Rock Sugar Dry grapes – unakka mundiri
The quantity of rice decides the amount jaggery, ghee etc.
Take dry rice in a vessel (hard bottom) and fill water. The amount of water should be just above the rice level.
Cook the rice.
When the rice is cooked start adding jaggery.
Keep stirring. This is important otherwise it will get stuck to the bottom.
The quality of Aravana payasam depends on how well the rice and jaggery are mixed together.
When the water starts to dry add ghee, rock sugar and dry grapes. (sometimes milk is also added.)
W…

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12 Quiz

This Bhagavad Gita Quiz is based on the 12th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The aim of the quiz is to understand few important teachings in the twelfth chapter of the Gita. The questions might be tough. The aim of the quiz is to study Gita.

You can use Bhagavad Gita in your home to find answers as this will help you in understanding Gita more.

If there any mistakes or you would like to add more questions please mail the corrections and questions to hindublog@gmail.com
Related Quiz on Chapter 11 of Gita
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 Quiz

A calm vision reveals unity – Jiddu Krishnamurti

When viewed without the twin distortions of love and hate, like and dislike, all forms, all effects, all causes are experienced as Brahman only.
But when the vision is affected by love and hate, each form, each effect and cause appears different from the rest.
When one mediates, the mind is calm and feelings are balanced, only in these conditions can one experience the many as One.
An agitated mind can never have a single vision. It runs along contrary lines, so it experiences the world, nature and the Cosmos as separate from Brahman. Such vision creates division.
A calm vision reveals unity. As the vision, so the impression, and the view of the world.
Related Jiddu Krishnamurti on Silence

Story – Atri Maharishi Becomes Surya and Chandra

A story found in the Puranas state that Atri Maharishi became Surya (Sun) and Chandra (moon) to help Devas in a battle against Asuras. Atri Maharishi is one of the Saptarishis and details about this great saint are found in the Rig Veda, Mahabharata, Puranas and other holy scriptures.

Devas and Asuras were engaged in a battle for several years. The arrows from Asuras shut out the light emanating from Surya and Chandra. The world plunged into darkness. Devas could not see anything and Asuras started taking advantage of the situation as they were used to darkness in the netherworld.

Devas then approached Atri Rishi. The powerful saint had acquired unlimited powers.

Immediately Sage Atri took the form of Chandra and Surya. One part of his body became Surya and the other part became Chandra.

He then gave light to Devas as Chandra.

He gave intense heat to Asuras as Surya. The heat killed the Asuras and Devas were able to take control of the world again.

Aathichudi Teachings

Aathichudi is a Tamil Classic text credited to Avvaiyar Speak sweetlyBuild not too big a houseBefriend after proper knowledge and understandingProtect your parentsForget not your parentsCultivate in seasonDo nothing improperSpeak not words of deceitDo nothing unbecomingLearn while youngForget not your dutySleep not too muchDesire not the forbiddenSpeak not harsh words to anybodyKeep the vow (Care for life is the real vow)Live for others.

Airavat – About the White Elephant of Indra in Hindu Tradition - Airavata

Airavat is the vahana or vehicle of Indra, the king ofDevas. Airavata is the king of elephants and is believed to have appeared during the Samudra Manthan or churning of ocean. The name is derived from Iravat suggesting that it appeared from water.

Airavat has four tusks and is noted for its pure white color. It was king Prithu who made him the king of elephants.
Airavat is the chief of the elephants that protect the four cardinal points of the earth. He defends the corners of earth. He has also got names like Ardh Matanga (elephant of clouds), Arkasodara (brother of sun), Naga Malla (the fighting elephant). Abharamu is the wife of Airavat.
White elephants are worshipped in India, Thailand and Burma. There are numerous stories in these regions associated with the divinity of white elephants.
Related Symbolism of Airavat

Bhagavad Gita Text in Gujarati – Download Bhagavad Gita Book in Gujarati in Pdf format for free

Srimad Bhagavad Gita Text in Gujarati in Pdf format for free is provided by Swami Shri Adgadanad Ji’s of Yatharth Geeta. This downloadable Gujarati Bhagwad Geeta Book is strictly for personal use. You can only download the eighteen chapters in Gujarati separately and not as a single book.
The Gujarati Bhagavad Gita is in pdf format and you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or any other pdf reader installed on your computer.
You can download it in Google drive here.

You can download the Bhagawad Gita in Gujarati from this link also – Gujarati Bhagavad Gita.

If the above link is not working you can try downloading in pdf here at bhuj mandir website.
Note – the chapter headings are given in English. On clicking each chapter you will get the Gujarati Gita.

Dnyaneshwari Teachings on Anger – Desire

Written by Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, Dnyaneshwari is the most popular commentary on the Bhagavad Gita in Marathi. 
A little poison can spread in the whole body and destroy life. A little desire of the objects of senses in the mind is also ruinous, because it unsettles discrimination (Viveka). Even an ascetic will have the feeling of affection, if he remembers objects of senses in his mind.
The affection will create desire, which is passion (Kama) personified. Where there is passion, there is anger, and anger destroys thought. Wandering thoughts destroy memory, like strong wind blowing out a lamp.
Like the world being gripped by darkness, when the light of the sun disappears, the distortion of memory makes people blind. This blindness in the form of ignorance unsettles the understanding and then complete ruin follows.
The understanding is confused in the same way as a man, who is blind from birth, runs here and there not knowing where he is going. The destruction of memory paralyses…

Swami Vivekananda on True Activity

Inactivity, as we understand it in the sense of passivity, certainly cannot be the goal. Were it so, then the walls around us would be the most intelligent; they are inactive. Clods of earth, stumps of trees, would be the greatest sages in the world; they are inactive. Nor does inactivity become activity when it is combined with passion.
Real activity, which is the goal of Vedanta, is combined with eternal calmness, the calmness which cannot be ruffled, the balance of mind which is never disturbed, whatever happens. And we all know from our experience in life that that is the best attitude for work. . .
The man who gives way to anger, or hatred, or any other passion, cannot work; he only breaks himself to pieces, and does nothing practical. It is the calm, forgiving, equable, well-balanced mind that does the greatest amount of work.
The only true duty is to be unattached and to work as free beings, to give up all work unto God.
Related All search is in vain until we begin to perceive t…

Tejobindu Upanishad Teachings

Supreme meditation should be upon Tejobindu, which is the Atma of the universe, which is seated in the heart, which is of the size of an atom, which pertains to Shiva, which is quiescent and which is gross and subtle, as also above these qualities.
That alone should be the dhyana of the saints as well as of human beings, the path of which is full of pains, which is difficult to meditate on, which is difficult to perceive, which is the emancipated one, which is decayless and which is difficult to attain.
One whose food is moderate, whose anger has been controlled, who has given up all love for society, who has subdued his passions, who has overcome all pairs of opposites, who has given up his egoism, who does not bless anyone nor take anything from others, and also who goes where they naturally ought not to go, and naturally would not go where they like to go – such persons also obtain three in the face (moksha while living on earth).

Yog in a Day in Hindu Astrology and Panchang – 27 Yogas in a Lunar Month

There are 27 Yog in a lunar month as per Hindu astrology and Panchangs. Each yog measure 13 degrees and 20 minutes – considering the 360 degrees of astrology calculation. Yogas are similar to Nakshatra in calculation but there is no link between them.

The 27 yogas are Vishkumbha, Preeti, Ayushman, Saubhagya, Shobhana, Atiganda, Sukarma, Dhriti, Shoola, Ganda, Vriddhi, Dhruva, Vyaghata, Harshana, Vajra, Siddhi, Vyatipata, Variyana, Parigha, Shiva, Siddha, Sadhya, Shubha, Shukla, Brahma, Indra and Vaidhriti.
Yogas are very important from the point of view of day to day rituals in temples and in selecting muhurtas.
Certain yogas like Vyatipata etc are considered highly inauspicious by certain Hindu communities.
Just like the Nakshatras the time period of Yogas varies from 15 hours to 27 hours.

Things Put inside Kalash Pot in Hindu Religion

Kalash is an important part of many Hindu festivals especially during Navratri. Kalash Pot is also permanently kept in shops and other establishment by many people. There is always doubt regarding what are the things that can be put inside kalash pot. There is no one answer to this question as the items used vary from region to region and from people to people. Some people only use water. The only common item that is put inside Kalash in all regions is water.
The important things that are put inside kalash are:
Water Coins Supari or betel nut Raw Rice Scent or Ghandh – a drop of perfume.

Pandupol Hanuman Temple in Alwar in Rajasthan

PandupolHanumanTemple is a very popular shrine dedicated to Hindu God Hanuman and is located at Pandupol which is around 35 km from Alwar Railway Station in Rajasthan. It is believed that Pandupol, a very beautiful place, was visited by Pandavas during their exile period.

This HanumanTemple was founded by Sant Nirbhaya Das Ji and is believed to be more 5000 years old. A simple temple without any major architectural temple attracts thousands of devotees.
The unique feature of the murti worshipped here is that it is in reclining position.
Main Offering at PandupolHanumanTemple – Dal, Bhati and Churma are offered at the temple. PandupolHanumanTemple – Darshan Timing – Opening and Closing Time The temple is open from 5:00 AM in the morning. Closing time is at 10:00 PM.
Important festivals in the temple are: Hanuman Jayanti (March/April) Ramnavami (March/April) Navratri (March/April and September/October)
Red thread and talisman is brought to the temple by devotees. Pujas are performed and t…

Gopuram of Srisailam Temple in Andhra Pradesh Collapses

The Gopuram on the northern side of SrisailamTemple in Andhra Pradesh collapsed at 2:20 PM on October 4, 2012. The tower was more than 500 years old and was 100 meter in height and was built of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Dedicated to Hindu God Shiva, Srisailam Temple is also known as BhramarambaMallikarjunaswamyTemple. It is one among the 12 Jyotirlinga Temples.
Times of Indiareports  The gopuram on the northern side, believed to have been built by King Shivaji, served as one of the main entrances to the Sri Bhraramba Mallikharjuna Swamy temple. It developed cracks showing stress and the wood used in it had decayed long back. The state government last carried out repairs to the heritage structure almost 50 years back in 1965.  An experts' committee, which was set up in 2010 to examine the condition of 40 heritage structures and ancient temples in the state after the collapse of the rajagopuram of Srikalahasti temple, had recommended immediate repair of the Shivaji gopuram. The e…

Subala Upanishad Teachings

There is neither Sat or Asat, nor Sat-asat.
He who knows this as seedless in this manner becomes himself seedless. He is neither born, nor dies, nor is deluded, nor split, nor burnt, nor cut – he does not feel angry, and hence he is said to be Atma, capable of  burning all.
One attains to this Atma by the six means of satya (truth), dana (Charity), tapas (religious austerities), non-injury to any creature, celibacy and complete indifference to worldly objects.
Whoever feels happy with the thought ‘I Know That,’ that learned person’s prana will never get out of his body at the moment of death, but will become absorbed in Brahman; and being absorbed in Brahman, he attains the state the State of Brahman Itself as he who knows this.

Durga Puja Guide Book for Blind and Visually Impaired

National Institute of Professionals (NIP) in Kolkata – an NGO working for the blind and visually impaired – has released a Durga Puja Guide Book in Braille. The book contains information about Durga Puja in Kolkata, Puja Pandals and also a map of important puja areas in the city.  News Track Indiareports  "With the Braille Durga Puja Guide, which provides a detailed map of all the leading puja pandals of Kolkata, we hope the visually impaired can indulge in pandal-hopping like the rest of the city does," said Debajyoti Roy, secretary of NIP.  The guide book was compiled in collaboration with the Forum For Durgotsab, West Bengal government, Rotary International and Public Relations Society Of India (PRSI).  In addition to the guide book, special arrangements for the differently-abled and senior citizens would also be made.  "There are 180 Durga Puja committees under our forum and every year we take the initiative to do as much as possible to make the differently-abled an…

Ramagita Teachings

I am the body, I am sense organs, the life breaths, I am a Brahmana, a Kshatriya, I am born, I am happy, miserable, I have lost this, gained this, all these and other functions of ordinary everyday life are due to the identification of the atma (self) with the action of the buddhi. In reality all these notions are in the buddhi, not in the self. But through ignorance they are taken to be in the Self. So long as this continues, the course of worldly life runs on.

Embodied self which is taken to be subject of birth, death, and the like is not subject to any of these conditions. Free from all these, it is the limitless unborn, undecaying, all pervading Brahman itself.
For one who has through not this, not this, arrived at the stage of realization of his self as the supreme self, the phenomenal world ceases to assert itself and he becomes perfectly indifferent to its joys and sorrows. By not this, not this, is meant here that the atma is beyond all that is within the range of speech and …

Why Water From Conch Or Shankh Is Not Poured On Shivling?

Water collected in Conch or Shankh is not usually poured on a Shivling while worshipping Shiva. Water from conch is only offered to Vishnu. As per Shiva Purana, water from conch is not offered to Shiva because he had killed the demon Shankchud. It must be noted that this rule of not pouring water from Conch on Shivling is not strictly followed.

Legend has it that father of Shankchud was demon Dambh. He was an ardent devotee of Vishnu and he had no children. He propitiated Vishnu who blessed him with Shankachud. Thus, both father and son were ardent devotees of Vishnu.

Demon Shankchud got the boon from Brahma that he will not be killed by the Trimurtis – Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva. The boon was linked to the purity and chastity of Shankchud’s wife Tulsi. The boon will be effective only till the purity and chastity of Tulsi was maintained.

The boon made Shankchud arrogant and he started harassing all living beings.

Finally, Vishnu decided to put an end to the Adharma of the demon. But Vis…

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 11 Quiz

This Bhagavad Gita Quiz is based on the 11th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The aim of the quiz is to understand few important teachings in the eleventh chapter of the Gita. The questions might be tough. The aim of the quiz is to study Gita.

You can use Bhagavad Gita in your home to find answers as this will help you in understanding Gita more.

If there any mistakes or you would like to add more questions please mail the corrections and questions to hindublog@gmail.com
Related
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Quiz
Gita Chapter 12 Quiz