Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2012

Special Diet Food to be served in Community Kitchens to Amarnath Pilgrims

Amarnath pilgrims visiting the Holy Cave Shrine to have darshan of the naturally formed ice Shivling from 2012 will be served special diet food which will help the devotees in sustaining the harsh climate and the tough trek. Amarnath Yatra is held annually from end of june to August (Raksha Bandhan day).
Annually more than 500,000 pilgrims visit the holy cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.  Zeenews reports
Pilgrims undertaking the arduous trek to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas will be served food by community kitchens according to a standard diet chart prepared by the Shrine Board.

Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has prescribed a standard diet chart to be followed from this year by community kitchens that serve food to lakhs of pilgrims visiting the 3,888-meter high cave shrine.

Aurobindo’s Answer to those who view Vedic hymns as primitive and childish

The poet has to express a spiritual and psychical knowledge and experience and he cannot do it altogether or in the abstract language of a philosophical thinker, for he has to bring out, not just the naked idea of it, but also its very life and the most intimate touches as vividly as possible.
He has to reveal in one way or another a whole world within him and the quiet inner and spiritual significances of the world around him and also, it may well be the Godheads, powers, visions, and experiences of planes of consciousness other than the one that our normal minds are familiar with.
He uses or starts with the images taken from his own normal and outward life and that of humanity and from visible nature, and though they do not of themselves actually express, yet obliges them to express by implication or to figure the spiritual and psychic idea and experience.
He takes them selecting freely his notation of images according to his insight or imagination and transmutes them into instrume…

Galungan Festival in Bali Hindu Culture

Galungan Festival is an important annual ceremony in the Hindu culture in the Bali Island of Indonesia and it celebrates the victory of the good (Dharma) over bad (Adharma). The ritual and festival is also dedicated to various gods in Hindu pantheon and to the dead ancestors. The 10-day festival is observed once in 210 days in Balinese calendar. It is based on the legend that gods visit people on earth during the period and ancestors visit their relatives.

Like all Hindu festivals, the important aspect of the festival is the victory of the good over evil. Here it is represented by the death of demonic ruler Mayadenawa
The 10-day festival begins on a Wednesday. A thanksgiving ritual is performed a day before on Tuesday.
Galungan represents ‘Pawedalan Jagat.’ The day before the ten-day festival begins; Balinese Hindus thank Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva for the creations on earth. They also invite the Gods in Hindu pantheon to join the celebrations. As part the rituals, the worshiping murtis…

Paper on – How Advaita Vedanta and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali can provide meaningful perspectives on collaboration?

A paper written by Srinivasan S. Pillay M.D. and Prasad Kaipa Ph.D tries to analyze – How Advaita Vedanta — a Hindu philosophy of non-dualism — and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali can provide meaningful perspectives on collaboration and how they can be applied to teams and organizations.
The paper also explores how these perspectives are grounded in brain science, and how combining the insights from brain science and Advaita Vedanta and Yoga Sutras provides unique strategies for collaboration.  You can read the paper here at The Hindu Business Line Advaita Vedanta is the non-dualistic system of Vedanta expounded primarily by an 8th century Indian philosopher named Sankara. This philosophy rests on the tenet that non-duality does not mean the non-existence of a second thing, but its non-existence as other than yourself. In the collaboration context, this would imply the importance of being aware of the unifying principles underlying two parties coming together.

Teachings from Niti Shastra

If a margosa seed be dropped into a beverage composed of sugar, honey and ghee, the whole of it becomes bitter, that although milk may rain upon it for a thousand years the mixture will lose nothing of its bitterness. This is symbolical of the wicked, who, however good people may be to them, never lose their natural tendency to do evil.
In the afflictions, misfortunes and tribulations of life only he who actively helps us is our friend.
Just as a plant of the forest becomes a friend of the body when by virtue of its medicinal properties it cures an illness which afflicts the body, however different the one may be from the other; similarly, he who renders us services should be considered our friend, however lowly may be his condition and however far he may be separated from us.
One should keep oneself five yards distant from a carriage, ten yards from a horse, a hundred yards from an elephant; but the distance one should keep from a wicked man cannot be measured.

Contentment brings immeasurable delight – Sage Patanjali

Pain are of three degrees – mild, medium and intense, caused by three types of behavior – direct indulgence, provoked and abetted. They are motivated by greed, anger and delusion and they have to be countered and corrected with right knowledge and behavior.

Non violence in word, thought and action causes one to abandon one’s hostile nature.
Self discipline eradicates the impurities of body and mind and kindles the sparks of divinity.
A cleansed body with a purified mind becomes a fit instrument for self awareness.
Contentment brings immeasurable delight.
Related To practice restrain one of the ways is total surrender ofoneself to God – Sage Patanjali

Inspirational Teachings – Swami Chidananda

In spite of, because of, all the deficiencies and imperfections of the human mind and knowing how it is subject to various moods, some positive, some negative, you must take a stand that these things do not affect you. These things do not rob you of the greatest ever chance given to the individual to rise up and ascend back into its universal abode of perfection, fearlessness, freedom and absolute completeness.

The scriptures also tell us the type of person we should be. They say that people in the least category have no stuff in them.
Even before launching into an undertaking they begin to think of all the obstacles and conclude that it is too much for them.
People of the middling type undertake a project, but when some obstacles come in the way, they give up.
But people of real stuff, who know that they are made in the image of an omnipotent God, once they have undertaken some venture—even if they are repeatedly assailed by obstacles and adverse circumstances—never turn back.

Triyambake, Goddess Durga with Three Eyes

Goddess Durga is sometimes depicted as having three eyes. When she is depicted with three eyes she is referred as Triyambake. The three yes of Goddess Durga is similar to Shiva – the third eye represents fire – symbolically knowledge that consumes ignorance.

Symbolically the left eye of Goddess Durga represents desire - the moon; the right eye represents action (the sun) and the third eye on the forehead depicts knowledge (fire).
Triyambake name is found in all the important prayers dedicated to Goddess Durga.

Teachings on Paramatma and Jivatma – Bhagavan Sri Ram

It is the shadow of the Paramatma (Supreme Truth or God) that you see reflected in all the living beings as Jivatman (Eternal Self or Soul)
Paramatma alone is real; this world is unreal (maya). The latter appears as real in man's vision, hearing and thoughts, but it lasts only as long as the things seen in a dream last.
This Atman (Eternal Self) is certainly different from the body, senses, mind, and prana. It is blissful, supreme, non-dual, permanent, formless, sinless, and pure. The moment this realization comes to you, you are liberated.
If you constantly think of the Atman, your mind will be purified and your ignorance will be uprooted along with the past tendencies, just as your ailments will completely disappear by your taking medicine daily. When the mind is pure, you will get unalloyed bliss.
When one realizes the truth of the unity between the Jivatma (soul of man) and the Paramatma (God) whether by instruction from the guru or from spiritual texts, that every moment the…

Importance of Chandra in Birth Chart or Horoscope

Navgraha Chandra or moon is reflection of Sun and its position is of great importance in birth chart or horoscope. It is considered as the queen of the Navgrahas and it rules the mind. The moon creates generous and charitable persons. Moon also influences our moods. Chandra governs chest, eyes (right eyes for ladies and left eye for men), throat, voice, veins, and kidneys.
Chandra is considered maternal which governs relationship with our mother, their health and maternal relatives. Chandra also has influence on intelligence, fixed assets, maturity, emotions, wealth, travels, fame and name, looks, governmental favors, respect and sleep. Poets and authors also enjoy the moon’s grace
If Chandra not well placed in one’s birth chart the person will suffer from lung diseases such as colds, sinuses, asthma, tuberculosis, womb, skin, mental related diseases.
The day in a week associated with Chandra is Monday.
It also stays approximately for 2.25 days in a Rashi or astrological sign.

On Hinduism as an Open Source Religion

Josh Schrei (Strategist, Producer, Writer, Critic, Activist) writes in the Huffington Post that the key point of differentiation between Hinduism and these other faiths is not polytheism vs. monotheism. The key differentiation is that Hinduism is Open Source and most other faiths are Closed Source. In simple terms Hinduism gives the freedom to the individual to approach, conceive and perceive God in the way he/she wants. This freedom is lacking in most religions.  Josh Schrei writes  If we consider god, the concept of god, the practices that lead one to god, and the ideas, thoughts and philosophies around the nature of the human mind the source code, then India has been the place where the doors have been thrown wide open and the coders have been given free reign to craft, invent, reinvent, refine, imagine, and re-imagine to the point that literally every variety of the spiritual and cognitive experience has been explored, celebrated, and documented.  The results of India's God Pr…

Teachings from the songs of Sri Tyagaraja

Nidhi Nala Sukhama – Ramuni Sannidi Seva Sukhama
What constitutes happiness? Nidhi (money) or Sri Rama’s Sannidhi (Divine Presence)?
What constitutes sweetness? A concoction of milk, butter, sugar and rice? Or the nectar of a bhajans of devotion to the Lord?
What constitutes grace? A dip in holy river Ganga of the soul? Or dabbling in the polluted waters of narstuti – the praise of an ordinary mortal? Or waiting for the appreciation of humans.

Symbolism in Parvati as Gauri and Kali

Goddess Parvati in Gauri form is bright as full moon. In Kali form she is dark as the night sky. All these are various forms of Mother Goddess with deep symbolism.
During creation, Mother Goddess is Gauri. The mother of all animate and inanimate. She nourishes her children and represents hope. She protects them and guides them in the path of Dharma
But when her children stray from the path of Dharma and embrace Adharma, she takes the form of Kali. In this form she symbolizes death. She devours everything. She prepares the ground ready for next cycle of creation.
After complete destruction, She again takes the form of Gauri and becomes Mother. This cycle continues.

Gauripatta – The Base of Shivling

Kanvashram Mela at Kotdwara in Uttarakhand

Kanvashram Mela is annually held during the Basant Panchami day at Kotdwara in Uttarakhand. The fair is an important annual even at the Ashram believed to be that of Kanva Rishi whose daughter was Shakuntala. In 2019, Kanvashram Mela is on February 10.

It is widely believed that the famous episodes in Abhijana Shakuntalam happened here. MaliniRiver here was witness to the episodes between Shakuntala and Dhushyanta.
Rishi Kanva found Shakuntala in the forest and he brought her up in the ashram. Emperor Bharata was also born in this Ashram.
The Kanvashram fair attracts thousands of devotees to the ashram. Saraswati Puja is the main highlight during the mela.

The impulse of vengeance can only lead to negative karma – Dada J P Vaswani

God has made His plans for us: we must put our faith in His goodness and wisdom and pursue the path of truth and justice: then, indeed, man can become the master of his own destiny.

Learn to be responsible for your thoughts, words and actions – therefore, think good thoughts; speak only what is true, pleasant and useful; act in conformity with the voice of your conscience.
Forgive and forget: revenge and retaliation are best left to Divine Justice. The impulse of vengeance can only lead to negative karma.
Refrain from causing pain to others: when we harm others, we are harming our own future! The consequences of our action will reflect upon us.
Related Dada J P Vaswani on Forgiving and Forgetting

Hanuman Sits on a Seat Created by His Tail in Ravana’s Court, Story

One of the famous incidents in Ramayana is Hanuman creating a seat using his tail and sitting in Ravana’s court when he is denied a seat by Ravana. Hanuman reaches in Lanka in search of Sita and finds her in the Ashokavana garden. Hanuman gives the message from Sri Ram and decides to test the strength of Ravana. He wrecks havoc in the garden and kills numerous soldiers and Akshaya, the young son of Ravana.
Finally, Hanuman is ensnared by Indrajit, the eldest son of Ravana. Indrajit had to use a divine noose to capture Hanuman.
Bound by Indrajit, Hanuman is brought before Ravana who sits on a high majestic throne.
Since Hanuman is a representative of Sri Ram, he requests to be given a seat in the court and treated with dignity.
Ravana refuses him a seat and mocks Hanuman for his monkey form and Sri Ram for sending a monkey as an emissary.
Hanuman then causes his tail to expand and then coils it on the floor of the courtroom and forms a high tower and sits atop it with dignity.
Hanuman …

Purushottamakshetra Mahatmya to Be Published in English – Odia and Regional Languages in India

Jagannath Temple Administration is all set to publish Purushottamakshetra Mahatmya in English and regional languages in India. Purushottamakshetra Mahatmya is considered to be the authoritative holy text on pujas, rituals and festivals dedicated to Hindu God Jagannath. Purushottamakshetra Mahatmya is part of the Skanda Purana.
Purushottamakshetra Mahatmya is found in the Utkala Khanda section in the Skanda Purana and consists of 3,600 Shlokas.  Indian Express reports
According to Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb, it was Baba Chaitanya Charan Das who had started the book version of it and Mumbai-based Venkateswara Press had published the book which has gone out of print now. “We are working not only on how to revive the edition but also in multiple languages,” he said.  Since the religious text is in Devanagri script, the attempt is to get Odia and English versions of the work while efforts will be made to diversify into Hindi as well as Bengali too. The whole attempt, according to the…

Morgaon Ganesh Temple Palki Yatra from Mangalmurti temple in Chinchwad

A Palki yatra – with palanquin of Ganesh murti – to the famous MorgaonGaneshTemple is held annually during the Magh Ganesh Jayanti and Bhadrapad Ganesh Chaturthi from the Mangalmurti temple in Chinchwad in Maharashtra. MorgaonGaneshTemple is one among the Ashtavinayak Temples in Maharashtra. Morgaon Ganesh Temple Palki Yatra 2018 date is January 21 and September 13.

Ganapatya saint Morya Gosavi was closely associated with the MorgaonGaneshTemple. It was he who established the famous Mangalmurti temple in Chinchwad. So the annual yatra is sort of thanksgiving. Thousands of people participate in the yatra. The follow the murti of Ganesha to the temple.
Legend has it that MorgaonGaneshTemple came into being after Ganesh overpowered demon Sindhu. It is the first temple visited in the Ashta Vinayak spiritual tour – visiting eight shrines of Ganesh.
The Palki Yatra is spread over two days.

Sri Chintamani Fair and Yatra at Kalamb near Yavatmal

Sri Chintamani Fair and Yatra are held at the famous underground ChintamaniGaneshTemple at Kalamb in Yavatmal District in Maharashtra. In 2019, the fair and yatra will be held from February 5 The most important date is February 9, 2019. The fair ends on February 12.

ChintamaniGaneshTemple is located at Kalamb on the Nagpur - Yavatmal road. Chinta means worry in local Marathi language and the belief is that Sri Chintamani removes all worries. The temple is also noted for a sacred water body known as Ganesh Kunda.
ChintamaniGaneshTemple is also one of the 21 kshetras or important temple dedicated to Ganesha.
Shri Chintamani yatra begins on the Magh Shukla Paksha Pratipada and the important rituals and fair is held from Chaturthi to Saptami. Nearly 50,000 people attend the yatra and fair.

Adi Shankaracharya – Essential Teachings

The world is filled with attachments and aversions and is like a dream; it appears to be real as long as one is ignorant but becomes unreal when one is awake.
Just as a piece of rope is imagined to be a snake and an oyster to be a piece of silver, so is the atman (soul) determined to be the physical body by an ignorant person.
Atman is verily one and without parts, where as the body consists of many parts, and yet the people see these as one. What else can be called ignorance but this?
All beings are, by nature, pure consciousness itself. It is due to ignorance that they appear to be different. Adi Shankaracharya
Related Teachings from Dakshinamurti Stotra of Adi Shankaracharya

Baba Lal Dayalji Jayanti

Baba Lal Dayalji Jayanti is the birth anniversary of the Baba Lal Dayalji, a popular saint during the 14 and 15th century. His Jayanti is observed on the Magh Shukla Paksha Dwitiya – second day during the waxing phase of moon in Magh Month. Baba Lal Dayalji Jayanti 2019 date is February 6.

Baba Lal Dayalji (1355 – 1665) found the famous Darbar Shri Dhyanpur near Batala in Gurudaspur in Punjab.
Baba Lal Dayalji chose the spiritual path at a very early age and after long search found an apt Guru in Swami Chaitanya Dev.
He spread the knowledge of Brahman among people. He is believed to have lived for nearly 300 years.
He attained moksha at Shri Dhyanpur.  A person having faith in Brahman, no matter whether he adopts a vow of silence or sings his Isht's praise, always remains in a state of intoxication, and his Surat is absorbed in the bliss of Shabd. He neither remains attached to family and home, nor does he wander in forests. Says Lal Dayal, such a person enjoys the bliss of Atma…

Sri Sri Ravishankar on Three Kinds of Love

There are three kinds of love. The love that comes out of charm, that which comes out of comfort and divine love.

The love that comes out of charm does not last long. It comes out of unfamiliarity or attraction. In this, you lose the attraction fast, and boredom sets in. This love may diminish and bring along with it a fear, uncertainty, insecurity and sadness.

The love that comes out of comfort and familiarity grows, but it has no thrill, no enthusiasm, joy, or fire to it. For example, you are more comfortable with an old friend who is a familiar person rather than with a new person.
Divine love supersedes both the above. It has an ever present newness. The closer you go, more charm and depth come to it. There is never boredom and it keeps everyone on their toes. Sri Sri Ravishankar
Related Sri Sri Ravishankar Quotes on Love

32-feet tall Shiva Murti at Koneshwaran Temple in Sri Lanka – The tallest Hindu God Statue on the Island

The tallest Hindu God murti in Sri Lanka was erected in the eastern port city of Trincomalee. The 32 feet statue of the Hindu God Shiva stands on the hill top at the KoneshwaranTemple close to the main Trincomalee town.
The murti was built by an architect from Tamil Nadu and unveiled on January 9, 2012.

Related Tallest Shiva murti in Nepal Top ten tallest Hindu god murtis in the world Top 5 tallest Shiva murtis in the world

Swami Sivananda on Concentration

Once a Sanskrit scholar approached Kabir and asked him, “O Kabir, what are you doing now?” Kabir replied, “O Pundit, I am detaching the mind from worldly objects and attaching it to the lotus-feet of the Lord.” This is concentration.
Concentration or Dharana is centering the mind on one single thought. Vedantins try to fix the mind on the Atman. This is their Dharana. Hatha Yogins and Raja Yogins concentrate their mind on the Six Chakras. Bhaktas concentrate on their Ishta Devata. Concentration is a great necessity for all aspirants.
During concentration, the various rays of the mind are collected and focused on the object of concentration. There will be no tossing of the mind. One idea occupies the mind. The whole energy of the mind is concentrated on that one idea. The senses become still. They do not function. When there is deep concentration, there is no consciousness of the body and surroundings.
When you study a book with profound interest, you do not hear if a man shouts and c…

Program on How to Perform Venkateswara Puja at Home at SVBC

A special television program on how to perform Venkateswara puja at home will be telecast on the Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel (SVBC) from January 30, 2012. The program will be educational in nature and will teach Suprabhata Seva and Sri Venkateswara Puja Vidhanam. The program is titled Govindam Paramanandam.
Around 600,000 booklets on how to do Venkateswara Puja at home will be disturbed to devotees in this year.  Indian Express reports Participating in the monthly 'Dial Your EO' programme here on Friday, TTD LV Subramanyam. said `Govindam Paramanandam' is a spiritual program meant to teach the devotees how to perform the Venkateswara Puja at home. "The TTD has already printed 60 lakh booklets on the puja methods and they will soon be distributed to the devotees,'' he added.  He said the TTD is also contemplating to organize three week spiritual workshops for Intermediate students during the summer vacation across the state with the help of eminent scholar…

Adi Murti, Hindu God

Adi Murti is a term used to refer Hindu God Vishnu. The term Adi Murti is used to the primordial source of energy responsible for all animate and inanimate in the universe. This only being is indefinable but for the sake of devotees, ancient seers used terms like Adi murti and Adi Shakti to give form to the formless.
Dattatreya is also refered as Adi Murti in certain texts.
Vishnu seated on the coils of Serpent Adi Sesha is also believed to be Adi Murti.

3D Short Movie on Swami Vivekananda and 3D Holographic display system inaugurated in Vivekananda House at Chennai

Vivekananda House (known as Vivekanandar Illam in Tamil) at Chennai is associated with the Sri Ramakrishna Math since 1897 when Swami Vivekananda stayed here for nine days after his successful journey of the West. In commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Vivekananda house at Chennai, India – housing a cultural heritage museum in memory of Swami Vivekananda – launched India’s first Stereoscopic 3D short movie on Vivekananda and his message to the youth.
Chennai’s first 3D Holographic display system was also inaugurated in Vivekananda House today. The system allows users to see Swami Vivekananda in a 3Dimensions perspective.

As part of 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai is launching “Experience Vivekananda” Project, an initiative to spread Swami Vivekananda’s personality and message through state-of-the-art multimedia galleries at Vivekananda House utilizing short inspirational videos, 3D animated movie …

Daridra Narayana Sashti

Daridra Narayana Sashti is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu. The popular belief is that Vishnu has two opposite forms Lakshmi Narayana and Daridra Narayana. One is the prosperous form and another is the poor form. Daridra Narayana Sashti 2019 date is February 11.

Daridra Narayana Sashti is observed on the sixth day during the waxing phase of moon in Magh month – Magh Shukla Paksha Sashti as per Hindu calendars followed in North India.
The day is dedicated to the service of the poor. Hungry and poor people are offered food on the day.
Sanatana Dharma believes that serving hungry living beings is the greatest service to God.

Baba Muktananda Teachings

Shiva, the self of all, has already been attained. These spiritual techniques exist not to make us attain the Self but to remove our forgetfulness, our errors, and our ignorance of that Self. Everyone has already attained the Self, but is unaware of it.
Meditate on your Self, honor your Self, worship your Self, for God dwells within you as you.
This universe is Shiva’s own garden, Meant for a joyous stroll.
As long as a man is bound by a particular sect, there is a possibility of feeling hostile toward other sects, but for one who has gone beyond all sects, such feelings do not arise in his mind. A sect is like a fence. When a plant is small, it requires a fence for its protection, but after it has become a full-grown tree, a fence is no longer necessary.
Baba Muktananda (1908 – 1982) – associated with Siddha Yoga

Udupi Paryaya 2012 controversy – Demeaning the Teachings of Sanatana Dharma – These Swamijis are a Shame

‘Gu’ means the darkness and ‘Ru’ means the remover of the darkness. On account of the power of removing darkness, the teacher is known by the significant name ‘Guru’. The Udupi Paryaya 2012 controversy once again proves that the modern day Gurus and Swamijis are in self made darkness by ignoring the teachings of Sanatana Dharma for fame, power, money and pleasure. Ego has blinded these Swamijis. Even Sri Krishna cannot correct them.

‘Paryaya’ means transition or change and is an important event and festival in South Karnataka, especially in Udupi. In 2012, Udupi Paryaya festival date is on January 18, Wednesday. The festival happens in once in two years and celebrates the transfer of authority of the ‘Paryaya Peetha’ and the rights of worship and management of the famous Udupi Sri Krishna Temple and Mutt from one seer of the Ashta Mutts to another.
The controversy in 2012 – It seems Sugunendrateertha Swamiji of Puthige Mutt was not invited to the Paryaya festival because he had visited…

Invoking Hanuman’s Name To Not To Forget Lessons

There is a popular belief that invoking Hanuman’s name will help in remembering all the lessons. Many students worship Hanuman daily and seek his blessings to not to forget what they have studied. It was Surya, the Sun God, who gave Hanuman this boon.
Legend has it that Surya was Hanuman’s Guru. Hanuman was so intelligent that he learned all the lessons within a fortnight. Surya was happy to have such a student. Surya also knew that Hanuman was a manifestation of Shiva.
Surya did not want to lose the companionship of Hanuman so soon. So Surya repeatedly caused Hanuman to forget the lessons so that the teaching may continue for several months.
Hanuman repeatedly learned the lessons with devotion. Surya was pleased with the efforts and dedication of Hanuman and finally allowed him to return to earth.
Surya also gave the boon to Hanuman that whoever invokes his name and prays to him will never forget the lessons that they have studied.

How Hanuman became a Chiranjeevi? – One withou…

1000-year-old Shiva Nataraja Murti (Idol) in Solid Bronze in Amsterdam Museum – Highest Level on Bronze Casting in Ancient World

X-ray of a 1000-year-old Shiva Nataraja Murti (Idol) at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam revealed that it is made of solid bronze – once again proving the expertise that ancient Hindu kingdoms had in the use of metals. The dancing Shiva murti is believed to be highest level achieved on bronze casting in ancient world.
It was always believed that Shiva was pure bronze but to the surprise of the researchers the aureole and the demon under Shiva’s feet too were of solid bronze.  Rijksmuseum reports At 153 cm x 114.5 cm, the Rijksmuseum’s Shiva is the largest known bronze statue from the Chola Dynasty (9th to 12th century) kept in a museological collection outside of India. Given its weight (300 kg), the statue has always been suspected of not being hollow.  The statue was created ca. 1100 in South India. Each temple had its own set of bronze statues which were carried through the city during major temple festivals. This gives the statues their name: utsavamurti, which is Sanskrit for ‘festival …

Surya Sashti in January 2018 - Magh Surya Sashti

Surya Sashti is dedicated to Surya (the Hindu sun god) and is observed on sixth day of a fortnight in a Hindu lunar month. Surya Sashti in January 2019 date in February 11. Vrat, pujas and rituals dedicated to Surya are performed on the day. This is the Surya Sashti in Magh month.
Surya Sashti is observed when Sashti falls on Sunday or Ravivar. Sunday is dedicated to Sun God in Hindu tradition.
Some people fast on the day till sunset others till the pujas are concluded. Gayatri Mantra and other mantras dedicated to Surya are chanted on the day.
Vratas dedicated to Surya is observed on the Shasti (Sixth) and Saptami (Seventh) of lunar fortnight in different Hindu months.

Software to Translate Sanskrit Texts into Hindi with Complete Accuracy

Sanskrit­ – Hindi Machine Translation system launched during the World Sanskrit Conference claims to be the first software to translate Sanskrit texts into Hindi with complete accuracy. The software will also be made available soon.

The project involves collaboration amongst University of Hyderabad, IIIT Hyderabad, JawaharlalNehruUniversity, SanskritAcademy, Hyderabad, Purna Prajna Vidyapeeth, Bangalore, Tirupati Vidyapeeth and JagadguruRamananandacharyaRajasthanSanskritUniversity, Jaipur. Deccan Herald reports
The ‘Sanskrit­ Hindi Machine Translation system', first ever developed in India, was launched on the first day of the week-long World Sanskrit Conference, inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Thursday.  The Sanskrit-Hindi translation software has simple tool for transliteration of Sanskrit into Hindi. It also has a morphological generator that extensively shows the ‘Subantas’ and ‘Tingantas’ (inflectional forms of a noun or a verb). It also handles derivation…

Life is Maya means just that you do not perceive it the way it is – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Detachment does not mean non-involvement. You can be deeply involved but not entangled.

Inclusiveness is a more intelligent way to exist, because that is how the whole existence is functioning.
Comfort will never come to one who does not touch the stillness within himself.
Fear and ignorance are always together. Knowing releases one from fear.
When we say, life is maya, it does not mean that life does not exist; its just that you do not perceive it the way it is. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Related Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Quotes on Stagnation and Stillness

Mookam Karoti Vachalam Prayer with English Meaning

Mookam Karoti Vachalam is a prayer dedicated to Sri Krishna. The prayer extols that Supreme Bliss can be achieved through the unwavering devotion of Sri Krishna. The prayer is given below in Hindi with English transliteration and English meaning.

The meaning - Salutations to Sri Krishna, who is the personification of Supreme joy.
By His grace even the dumb can become eloquent in speech, and the lame can cross over mountains (of obstacles in life).

God is not attracted to outer appearances but rather by the cleanliness of the inner self – Shirdi Sai Baba

God is not attracted to outer appearances but rather by the cleanliness of the inner self.

Amongst bhaktas there is no high and no low. All are one. If one’s heart overflows with love to God, differences between man and creatures pale away into insignificance.
Take what comes. Be contented and cheerful. Never worry. Not a leaf moves but by His consent and will.
We should not harbor envy, rivalry, or combative disposition towards others. If others hate us, let us simply take to Nama Japa and avoid their company.
Related Shirdi Sai Baba – On Goal of Life

Goddess Shakambari Devi

Goddess Shakambari Devi is an incarnation of Mother Goddess Shakti. It is in this form she nourishes all living beings. Shakambari means ‘She Who Is Clothed In Leaves And Twigs.’
In the Devi Mahatmya it is mentioned that Goddess Shakti appeared as Shakambari Mata after a period of hundred years of drought. All the plants had died and there was nothing to eat. Shakambari Mata brought forth from her body fruits, flowers, vegetables and herbs to suffice the hunger of the people.
The form of Shakambari Devi is de scribed in detail in Durga Saptashati. Maa Shakambari is blue in color. Her eyes are like lotus flower. She is depicted with numerous arms – one arm is shown as carrying a lotus with bees circling it. The other hands carry bow, arrows, flowers, roots, and vegetables.
The stories of Goddess Shakambari is closely related to Goddess Banashankari and many scholars are of the view that both are the same goddess worshipped in different names.
The most popular festival dedicated to God…

INTACH Restores Leaning Bhadrakali Temple at Sarah in Himachal Pradesh

The BhadrakaliTemple at Sarah near Dharmastala in Kangra District in Himachal Pradesh was damaged in an earthquake in 1905. The temple was successfully restored by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage). The temple is dedicated to the Bhadrakali manifestation of Goddess Shakti.
The Tribune reports
Malvika Pathania, state convener of INTACH, said they had approached Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for a financial grant for reconstructing the temple. The Chief Minister gave a grant of Rs 7 lakh for the project with which it had now been reconstructed. She said initially the advice of a geologist from Uttar Pradesh, who was an expert in the restoration of old buildings, was taken for the reconstruction. The geologist had said that the temple at one time had many natural water sources and an inn around it.  The services of artisans from Orissa were hired for the reconstruction. Each stone of the temple was dismantled and numbered so that it could be put back at the s…

Nityananda of Ganeshpuri Teachings

Go back and do your duty without desire for fruit and without sacrificing efficiency. This is the highest service that you can render.
God is here, there and everywhere. There is not a pinhole where this one will not be found.
Without an intense sense of renunciation and dispassion for worldliness there can be no progress whatsoever, and if you don’t listen, you will fail in the end.
The mind should be like a lotus leaf which, though in water, with the stem in the mud and the flower above, is yet untouched by both. Similarly, the mind should be kept untainted by the mud of desires and the water of distraction, even though engaged in worldly activities.
Then just as the stalk, stem and leaf, when properly cultivated and not disturbed, will culminate in the lotus blossom, similarly, if the detached mind and faith are firmly established in the lotus of the heart and never allowed to wax or wane with happiness and difficulties, His grace will be invoked.
Related Nityananda Quotes

Symbolism of the Inverted Tree in Hinduism

In Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, the cosmic tree is represented as a huge inverted tree. It is a symbol that the entire universe originates from a single source. The roots of the tree are in the skies. Wisdom and creative energy is dispensed to earth through the branches.
The inverted cosmic tree is always represented by the pipal tree. It is an image of the living cosmos and is considered to be the center of the world. The cosmic tree connects the sky, the earth and the netherworld.
The inverted cosmic tree also represents the path of spiritual ascent.
It is also a symbol of the ultimate spiritual experience.
Ignorance is when forget the true source (roots) and cling to leaves and branches – whose existence is depend on the roots.

Online Course on Vedas and Upanishads – Study Vedas and Upanishads at Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS)

The Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies (OCHS) is a Recognized Independent Centre of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. The centre provides various courses in Hinduism online in English and the next session of the online course on Vedas and Upanishads starts on January 16, 2012 and you can enroll now. Course cost is £95 fully inclusive.

The aim of the course is to provide the student with a broad understanding of the contents of these works, as well as the religious beliefs and practices they advocate.
All study materials are delivered via the web. The tutor will always be available by email. You will also be able to communicate online with your fellow students.
You can find more details about the course structure and how to enroll here at the official website of Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies(OCHS).

To make room, it is enough that the cramping be removed; room is not brought in from elsewhere – Sri Ramana Maharishi

Self realization is nothing to be gained afresh; it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought ‘I have not realized.’
Stillness or peace is realization.
There is no moment when the Self is not. So long as there is doubt or the feeling of non-realization, the attempt should be made to rid oneself of these thoughts.
They are due to the identification of the Self with the not-Self. When the not-self disappears, the Self alone remains.
To make room, it is enough that the cramping be removed; room is not brought in from elsewhere.
Related You yourself impose limitations on your true nature ofinfinite being – Shri Ramana Maharishi Thoughts

Deepal Chopra on Rituals

Rituals are a way for families to feel that they belong together as one mind and heart. You cannot help but feel close when you sit down to a meal that everyone enjoys or attend a party where everyone shares the same excitement and happiness. Lighting the diya is a quieter experience, but it has the same effect. It unites people at a level of reverence.
Rituals should never be empty. They remind us who we are. If we come from the light, an oil lamp can remind us, once a day at least, of who we really are. Everyday existence is hectic and full of distractions. Caught up in activities, everyone gets distracted. So it is good to find your center for a moment, and performing a ritual does that for many people. Deepak Chopra
Related Deepak Chopra Thoughts

Efforts to create a manual for Similar Puja and Rituals in Jagannath Temples around the World

Efforts are underway to create a manual based on Skanda Purana for Similar Puja and Rituals in Jagannath Temples around the World. There are thousands of Jagannath Temples in India and around the world. The most important Jagannath Temple is located at Puri in Orissa and is believed to be the Mool Sthan or Srimandir (permanent abode) of Jagannath.  Daily Pioneer reports
The manual is being prepared by the Mukti Mandap on the basis of the Skandha Puran and after it is finalized, it will seek the approval of the Sankaracharya before being recommended for observance, according to Gajapati Maharaja of Puri Dibyasingh Dev. The Gajapati told media persons here on Saturday that for the promotion and extension of the Jagannath cult worldwide, the Jagannath Temple Administration is going to organize ‘Sri Jagannath Mandir Aikya Sthapan’, to forge oneness among the Jagannath temples in the country and abroad, and a national conference during the ‘Sri Jagannath Pancha Ratra’ (Five nights for discu…

By fulfilling desires in us, those desires don't go away – Subhashitam

For noble-minded ones, entire universe is family.

Dharma will protect those who protect Dharma.
Truth is one and the Sages call it by different names.
In life, what we give must be more than what we take.
By fulfilling those desires in us, those desires don't go away.
Related Subhashitam – Wise words to ponder

Thai Amavasai Ritual at Vedaranyam Temple in Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu

Thai Amavasai is the no moon day in the Thai month in traditional Hindu calendar followed in Tamil Nadu. The day is of great significance at the famous VedaranyeshwararTemple in Vedaranyam. Thousands of devotees take holy dip in the Bay of BengalSea at Kodiakarai, Vedaranyam and Poompuhar in Nagapattinam District.

Legend has it that Saint Agasthiyar got a darshan of Shiva at VedaranyeshwararTemple in Vedaranyam on Thai Amavasai day after he took a holy dip in the Bay of Bengal.
In commemoration of this holy event thousands of devotees throng this temple for taking a dip in the "Siddhar Ghat" area. Inside the temple, the devotees took another dip in the 'Manikarnika Ghat'.
On the day, devotees also perform rituals in memory of dead family members at Kaveripoompattinam near Poompuhar at the confluence of Cauvery and Bay of Bengal
At Ananthamangalam near Porayar, devotees visit Sri Hanuman temple in connection with Thai Amavasai.

God and I – Thoughts by Teachers

If you possess happiness you possess everything: to be happy is to be in tune with God – Paramahansa Yogananda
If I have a little mind and I think of God, the God of my thinking will be a little God, though I may clothe him with grandeur, beauty, wisdom and all the rest of it. – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Go over and over your beads, paint weird designs on your forehead, wear your hair matted, long and ostentatious, but when deep inside you there is a loaded gun, how you have God? – Kabir
God is a philosophical black hole – the point where reason breaks down. – Kedar Joshi
That formless ground of Being is always the deepest dimension of who we all are, and it is the ultimate source and wellspring of all that is. In that Ground, nothing ever moves, because there is no time, form, subject or object. There is only One, eternally at rest and at peace. – Andrew Cohen

Hindu Prayer before Going to Bed

It is a must for many Hindus to offer prayers before going to bed. The Hindu prayer mainly asks for forgiveness for wrong actions done knowingly or unknowingly. Below is the Hindi and English version of the prayer with meaning.

The Meaning 
O Lord, kindly forgive my wrong actions done knowingly or unknowingly;
either through my organs of action (hands, feet, speech)
or through my organs of perception (ears, eyes) or by my mind.
Glory unto Thee, O Lord, who is the ocean of kindness.

Rokadia Hanuman Mela at Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh

Rokadia Hanuman Mela is annually organized on the Paush Purnima day at Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh. This mela attracts thousands of people. Rokadia Hanuman Mela 2019 date is January 21. Burhanpur is around 340 km southwest of Bhopal.

The Rokadia Hanuman mandir is a famous temple dedicated in this part of Madhya Pradesh.
The Paush Purnima Rokadia Hanuman Mela attracts people from nearby towns and villages. The mela is also a happy hunting ground for people looking for exclusive rural crafts.

Peacock Feather and Snakes in Hindu Tradition

There is a belief among in many Hindus that keeping peacock feather in home will help in keeping away Snakes. It is also believed that it helps in keeping away lizards. This belief stems from the fact that peacocks are natural enemies of snakes.
Krishna used to wear peacock feather on his head as an adornment. Krishna defeating Kaliya Snake is also associated with this belief.
Another reason is that Lord Muruga (Kartik or Skanda) has peacock has his vehicle and it is shown trampling on a snake.
Thus peacock feather is divine and this is the main reason why it is used to scare away snakes.

Walking from Varanasi to Sabarimala for Eco-friendly Cause

R Ananthapadmanabhan, a devotee of Ayyappa, is walking from Varanasi to SabarimalaAyyappaTemple – nearly 3000 kilometers. He has taken this endure in 2011 – 2012 Sabarimala Mandala – Makaravilakku pilgrimage to highlight the dangers of the use of plastic by devotees going to temples.
Times of Indiareports
A van, with posters in different languages explaining the ill-effects of plastics, follows him at a distance. Ananthapadmanabhan carries an irumudi kattu (a two-chambered bag to carry offerings to the deity and snacks, grains and lentil to be consumed by the pilgrim) on his head, a water bottle and a banner on his back explaining the need to protect the environment in and around Sabarimala.  "Every year, 8,750 tonnes of garbage are collected in the Sabarimala hills after the pilgrims leave. Even during the pilgrim season, it becomes difficult to take the mandatory holy dip in the Pamba river, enroute to the shrine, as the waste is dumped into the waters," says Ananthapadmana…

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Sayings

It is because the doctrine of human unity based on the spiritual oneness of all beings is not propagated in the right manner that we have today many divisions leading to many conflicts.
A house must be built on solid foundations if it is to last. The same principle applies to man, otherwise he too will sink back into the soft ground and becomes swallowed up by the world of illusion.
Look out into the universe and contemplate the glory of God. Observe the stars, millions of them, twinkling in the night sky, all with a message of unity, part of the very nature of God. Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Related Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings

Uttarayani Mela at Gangoli Rameshwar Temple in Uttarakhand

GangoliRameshwarTemple in Uttarakhand is dedicated to Shiva and the mela held here during Makar Sankranti and Uttarayan is very famous. In 2019, Uttarayani Mela at GangoliRameshwarTemple is on January 15.

The mela is of great importance to the people in the Kumaon region.  Gangoli Rameshwar temple is located in Pithoragarh district. A highlight of the festival is the trade that takes place between people from the hills and the plains. Numerous rare items are traded during the fair including healthy ponies. 
Another important festival at the temple is observed on the Chaitra Purnima day.
Another popular Uttarayani Mela is held at Bageshwar in Uttarakhand.

Ambalpady Temple Timings - Ambalpady Mahakali Temple in Udupi Timings

AmbalpadyTemple in Udupi in Karnataka is dedicated to Sri Janardana and SriMahakaliTemple. Ambalpady Mahakali Temple temple timings of this popular KaliTemple in Udupi region is given below.

Ambalpady TempleOpening and Closing Time:  5:30 AM to 12:30 PM
3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Fridays and during Navratri the temple is open for longer hours - 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM.
TempleAddress Sri Janardana and SriMahakaliTemple,
Udupi District,
Pin - 576103.
The temple is located around 2 km from Udupi KSRTC Bus Station.

Black Buffalo – Vehicle of Yama

The vehicle or Vahana that is associated with Yama, the Hindu God of Death, is the black buffalo. All images of Yama show Him riding the black buffalo. The name of the Buffalo is Paundraka.

Legend has it that Paundraka was born from the thighs of Rudra form of Shiva. It is as quick as the mind. Paundraka is a He Buffalo. The black color represents the unknown world that a person goes after death.
There is a belief that Buffalo is one of the most senseless animals. Just like the buffalo, death arrives to us senselessly – and takes our life without looking at age, status, religion or any other social parameters.

Vedic Odyssey Hindu Spiritual Tours in India for Foreigners

Vedic Odyssey is a project by Dandapani, Hindu priest and meditation teacher, based in New York City. He conducts spiritual adventures (spiritual tours to holy places associated with Hinduism) for people interested in getting a first hand knowledge of Hindu culture to India. Currently he has two interesting spiritual trips lined up in January 2012 and February 2012.

The first trip includes 10 mile walk around sacred Arunachala hill in Tiruvannamalai, meditation at Virupaksha cave at Ramana Ashram, Visit to Chidambaram and Rameshwaram. You can get details of this trip here - South India and Malaysia ,Jan-Feb 2012

The second South Indian Spiritual and Culinary Adventure is set to begin on the 19th February in Mahabalipuram, South India and conclude on the 28th February 2012 in Chennai, South India. The journey includes: Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Chidambaram, Swamimalai, Darasuram, Thanjavur, Chettinad district, Pillaiyapatti, Madurai and Chennai. You can get details of this trip he…

Osho Thoughts on Maya

Drop your desires to know the real meaning of life.
Whatsoever meaning we give to life, we give it to life. If you want to know the real meaning of life, then you have to drop giving all meanings to it.
Your desires are giving meanings to life and they are attempting to define the indefinable.
And if you remain clouded with your desires, whatsoever you know is nothing but your own dreaming.
That is why we say that this life, this so – called life lived through desires, is maya, it is a magical thing. You create it, you are the magician. It is your maya, your magic.
Related Osho on Sri Krishna

BR Hills Temple Daily Opening and Closing Time in Karnataka

SriRanganathaswamyTemple located in BR Hills in Karnataka is a popular temple dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu. BR Hills Temple detail time is given below. The temple is atop the hillock Biligiri Rangana Betta and is situated at a distance of 24 Km from Yelandur and 90 Km from Mysore.

BR Hills TempleTime:
Daily Opening and Closing time: 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

During Dhanurmasa (December 15 to January 14)
4:00 AM to 2:00 PM
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

During Rathothsava Festival
6:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Shravana Saturday (July/August)
6:00 AM to 2:00 PM
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Malani Purnima and Dhalo in Goa in Paush Month

Malani Purnima and Dhalo is observed in Paush Month in Goa and is dedicated to Vandevi, the forest deity. Malani Purnima 2019 date is January 21. During the festival of Dhalo, women decorate and worship the Tulsi Plant(tulsi Vrindavan – basil plant in a pedestal) as the symbolic representation of the forest goddess.

Earlier people in the region used to depend on the forest for their livelihood. The forest goddess is invoked for blessings of health and prosperity. Women worship the Goddess by singing folk songs and by performing folk dance. It is essentially nature worship – thanking the forest for protecting and providing food.
Community celebrations are held near forests or around huge trees. The sacred trees around which worship and performance take place is known as Rashtroli.

Mitra – Vedic God in Hindu Tradition

Mitra is a Vedic God mentioned in the Vedas but he is rarely worshipped today in Hinduism. He is one among the Adityas and is associated with friendship and solidarity. The name Mitra means a ‘devoted friend’ or ‘friendship.’ He is the son of Aditi. He represents the relationship between the living beings. Social morality, comradeship and rules of association are his domain.
In Vedic society, as the guardian encouraged the virtuous and pious and protected them. He also punished the sinners who did not keep their promise in the society. Code of honor important in early society was looked after by Mitra.
Legend has it that Sage Vasishta and Agastya were born to Mitra and Varuna in Urvasi. Legend has it that Mitra and Varuna placed their semen in an urn before Urvasi. From the semen was born Sage Vasishta and Agastya – the men who defined code of behavior in ancient society.
According to Bhagavad Purana, Mitra also had sons in Revathi, who represents prosperity. The three sons were Utsarga,…

Quiz on Popular Hindu Festivals

This is a quiz based on popular Hindu festivals. The only aim of the quiz is to share and learn more about Hindu festivals. Your comments and opinion and more ideas on questions are welcome.

The Quiz is embedded below:

ProProfs - HB Quiz PF Related
Quiz on Hindu God Shiva Ramayan Quiz – A Quiz on Hindu God Ram Hanuman Quiz – A quiz on the life of Hindu God Hanuman A Quiz on the Narasimha Incarnation of Lord Vishnu A Quiz on Nagas or Serpents in Hindu Tradition
A Quiz on Child Krishna – Based on Bhagavad Purana
Quiz on Animals in Hindu Tradition