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Showing posts from March, 2012

Mangalvari Chaturthi 2018 date and time

Mangalvari Chaturthi happens when Chaturti tithi falls on Mangalvar or Tuesday. Chaturthi is the fourth day of a fortnight as per traditional Hindu calendar.  The popular belief is that prayers done on the day are highly meritorious and rewarding. Prayers on the day are dedicated to Ganesha.
Mangalvari Chaturthi 2018 date and time April 3, 2018

July 31, 2018

August 14, 2018

December 25, 2018

Sri Ram Stuti in Hindi – Text in pdf Format

Sri Ram Stuti is a popular prayer dedicated to Bhagavan Sri Ram. The prayer extols the glory of the Maryadapurushottam Avatar of Hindu God Vishnu. This is a pdf version of the prayer in Hindi. There are a couple of versions of Sri Ram Stuti. This particular one is one of the most popular versions. Chanting this prayer is highly meritorious and helps in attaining peace and prosperity.
Link - Sri Ram Stuti in Hindi in pdf.

Hindu Quotes on Food

In Hinduism, food is worshiped as Goddess Annapurna. As per Hindu religion, at Kashi, while Lord Shiva grants Moskha, Goddess Parvati as Annapurna makes sure that food is available to all living beings.

From earth, herbs from herbs, food; from food, seed, and from seed, human beings. We thus consist of the essence of food. (Taittiriya Upanishad)
The food we daily take has its effect on our psychology and character. It may be satvik, good and strengthening to the spirit; or destructive of serenity, passion-producing, rajasik; or wholly bad causing deterioration of mind and intellect and increasing inertia, tamasik. (BhagavadGita, Chapter VII – 8 to 10)
Mother Annapurna, you who are eternally complete, you, the very life of Shiva, Give me food so I can sustain my body to achieve supreme knowledge. (Adi Shankaracharya)
Food and the eater that is the extent of the whole world. (Brahadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.6)

The purer the food, the better the mettle; the purer the mettle, the better the m…

Guruvayur Temple Darshan Timings

SriKrishnaTempleat Guruvayur in Thrissur District, Kerala, is renowned in the Hindu world for the unique idol murti of Krishna – Krishna is known here as Unnikrishna or Balakrishna. The darshan timings in the Guruvayur temple are as follows:

The temple opens daily at 3 AM. The temple closes for a brief period from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM. The temple closes at night at 9:15 PM. (Timings changes on special occasions).
Morning PujaNirmalyam - 3:00 AM to 3:30 AM  Oilabhishekam, Vakacharthu, Sankhabhishekam – 3:20 AM to 3:30 AM
Malar Nivedyam, Alankaram – 3:30 AM to 4:15 AM
Usha Nivedyam – 4:15 AM to 4:30 AM
Ethirettu pooja followed by Usha pooja – 4:30 AM to 6:15 AM
Seeveli,Palabhishekam,Navakabhishekam, Pantheeradi Nivedyam, and Pooja -7:15 AM to 9:00 AM
Ucha pooja (the noon pooja) – 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Evening Puja
Seeveli – 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Deeparadhana – 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM 
Athazha pooja Nivedyam – 7:30 PM to 7:45 PM 
Athazha pooja – 7:45 PM to 8:15 PM
Athazha seeveli – 8:45 PM…

Anjaneri Mountain – Hindu God Hanuman’s Birthplace

AnjaneriMountain, around 20 km from Nashki, near Trimbakeshwar, is the birthplace of Hindu God Hanuman. A temple dedicated to Anjani, mother of Hanuman is located here. The temple attracts more than 100, 000 devotees during Hanuman Jayanti. The place also attracts large crowd on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The temple is located in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges and is around 20 km from Nashik. The temple is near Trimbakeshwar.
AnjaniTemple is built in stone and is situated 4,200 ft above sea level.
The place is surrounded by forests and barren land. There is no proper road to reach the place.
The Hanuman Jayanti fair at AnjaneriVillage is famous for jatra (procession) and wrestling.
A 10 minutes walk from the temple to the left side takes one to the SitaCave, another place associated with Ramayan.

Bhadrakali Temple at Kurukshetra – Shri Devi Koop

BhadrakaliTemple, also known as Shri Devi Koop, is one among the 51 shaktipeetahs. It is believed that the right heel of Goddess Sati fell here. It is believed that before the Kurukshetra War in the Mahabharata, Pandavas took blessings at this BhadrakaliTemple. The temple is located on the Jhansa Road and is north of ThanesarTown.
It is also believed that mundan sanskar – hair removing ceremony – of Sri Krishna and Balram was performed at the BhadrakaliTemple.
SthaneshwarMahadevTemple dedicated to Shiva is located nearby.

Jyotirlinga Temple near Pune in Maharashtra

The Jyotirlinga Temple near Pune is the famous Bhimashankar Temple. It is the sixth among the twelve or Dwadash Jyothirlingas. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is located on the banks of the Bhima River and is about 125 km from Pune in Maharashtra. Shiva appeared here in the form of a Jyoti (small flame).
The murti of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga is in an underground chamber and is visible through the light of a lamp. Marigolds and Bilva leaves are offered here.

Bhimashankar Temple daily opens at 04:30 AM. Aarti is performed thrice a day-04:30 AM, 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. The Sanctum Sanctorum is closed after 3:00 PM for a short period on Mondays and during special tithis (days) like Pradosh etc.

Mahapuja is performed at 12:30 PM. The temple closes at 9:30 PM. A devotee can enter the Sanctum Sanctorum and perform pujas and abhishek.



Jaya – Vijaya and the Story of the Birth of Sri Ram

Jaya and Vijaya were the doorkeepers of Vaikunta. They were the favorites of Hindu God Vishnu. Once Sanakadi Rishis – Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanat Kumara – wanted to pay respects of Vishnu in Vaikunta but Jaya and Vijaya stopped them. The arrogance of doorkeepers resulted in the Sanakadi Rishis cursing them to be born in Mrtyu Lok as Rakshasas (demons).

In Vaikunta there is no aging or death. So the curse that be born on earth – suffer and finally die.
Jaya and Vijaya were then born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. Sri Hari Vishnu took the Avatar of Varaha and annihilated Hiranyaksha. As Narasimha Avatara, Sri Hari Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu.
Jaya and Vijaya were then born as Ravan and Kumbhakarna. This time, Vishnu took birth as Sri Ram and killed Ravan and Kumbhakarna.
This story symbolically suggests that all living beings are good. It is due to ignorance that we become bad. When bad qualities reaches its zenith and begins to harm other living beings, Sri Hari Vishnu …

Guru Sangamam - Confederation of Indigenous Spiritual Movements

Guru Sangaman literally means a confluence of Gurus. This is a confederation of indigenous spiritual movements of India – an initiative by the present heads of the ancient spiritual lineages of the country to present the various hues and colors of Indian spirituality on a common platform.

The first meeting of the confederation has been fixed on 12th April 2012, between 11:00 am and 4:30 pm in New Delhi.
Objectives of Guru Sangamam To create a common non-religious, non-political platform for all spiritual movements having their origin in the sacred land of India and which are focused towards spiritual liberation of an individual, irrespective of one's caste, creed, belief or ritual. To nurture the fundamental longing in a human being to seek the truth about the nature of one's existence. To educate the world about the universal nature of India's spirituality To collectively work towards presenting India as the "Spiritual Capital of the World," in a manner that …

Sant Dadu Dayal Teachings

God belongs to the caste of love, love is dear to Him; Love is his body, and love alone is His color.
When love and devotion arise, one is firmly established in blissful meditation.
The One alone dwells within my heart, Day and night I repeat His Name. The Name of God alone is true; keep that within thy heart. Forsake all hypocrisies and cumbrous practices; this is the teaching of all Saints, O Dadu.
The vessel of flesh is impassable and rough, the subtle transmigratory body is drowning in it; Dadu says: If the body is without Ram the mind cannot be controlled.

Ramghat, Haridwar

Ramghat is an important bathing spot at Haridwar. Sri Vallabhacharya Prabhu is believed to have meditated here. The spot is around 500 meter from the famous Har Ki Pauri.
Large number of people arrive at this Ghat to take holy dip. It is also a must visit spot for the followers of Sri Vallabha Acharya – associated with the Pushti Marg.
The place is located in the heart of Haridwar city and there are numerous hotels nearby. The place is also famous for its unique markets.

Official Website of Bhimakali Temple Shimla – at Sarahan Bushahr in Himachal Pradesh

BhimakaliTemple at Sarahan Bushahr in Himachal Pradesh is dedicated to Mother Goddess Shakti. She is worshipped here in the form of Bhima Kali. The Bhimakali temple is around 180 km from Shimla the capital of Himachal Pradesh. The administration has created an official website of the temple with information on distances, accommodation, history and pujas.


There are numerous legends associated with the place and one suggests that the ear of Sati fell here after the famous Daksha Prajapati – Sati – Shiva – Vishnu episode.
Link - Official Website of SarahanBushahrBhimakaliTemple

Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji on How to Control the Mind?

It is true that mind is so powerful to disturb us like anything.

First of all, you have to allow your thoughts to flow in their own way. Then there will not be any stress on your mind. Then the flow of thoughts should be channelized in the way you like.
For example, if your mind is showing fruits, let it think. Take Krishna to that place and show him all the fruits your mind is carrying with it, and tell Krishna that all those fruits are for him. Then your mind is purified because of his presence there.

Now, here you did listen your mind and you will achieve your focus on Krishna (or your goal also).

Hanuman and Kalanemi

Demon Kalanemi was deputed by Ravana to kill or obstruct Hanuman who was on his way to Himalayas to bring Mrita Sanjeevani (medicinal herbs to rescue Lakshman).

Kalanemi found the orders of Ravana against the rules of battle. He objected to it as it was cowardice and cheating. But Ravana did not agree and Kalanemi thought that better than serving Ravana it was to get killed at the hands of a Sri Ram Bhakt.
Kalanemi sets off for the Himalayas and produces a lake, a temple, a garden and he himself appears in the garb of an ascetic. Hanuman who passes through the area asks the ascetic for permission to quench his thirst.
Hanuman enters the lake, where an alligator, an Apsara (divine being) under a curse, takes hold of his foot. Hanuman easily overpowers and kills the alligator. The Apsara is released of the curse and informs Hanuman that the ascetic is a demon in disguise.
Hanuman then slays Kalanemi and the demon dies remembering Sri Ram’s name.

Violation of Human Rights of Hindus in South Asia - Hindu Human Rights Report

Hindu American Foundation (HAF) has released its eighth annual Hindu human rights report. Hindus in most countries in South Asia especially in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are facing numerous human rights violation. The population of Hindus in many countries is shrinking rapidly. Disappearance of Hindus in thousands goes unreported. Hindus are subjected to restrictions on religious freedom, violent attacks, rape, forceful conversions, discriminatory laws, attack of places of worship, and economic and social marginalization in many nations in South Asia.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), the leading U.S. based Hindu human rights group, released its eighth annual report – Hindus in South Asia and the Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights, 2011.
You can read or download the full report here at the official website of Hindu American Foundation.

Baba Hari Dass Teachings

People easily drop out from small setbacks. Firmness of aim automatically brings faith. Without faith, the aim can't be stable.

We have to be honest to ourselves in our spiritual life.
It is always a desire, which pulls the mind out in the world taking various forms. Sometimes the form of desire appears as if very spiritual, but deep inside, there is a desire of name, fame, etc.
The biggest obstacle to Self-realization is the deluded mind. The mind which is colored by our ego, attachment and desire.

Changes in Hindu Marriage Law in India

The Union Government of India has approved various proposals seeking changes in the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 – the law that governs the marriages in India. The most important change is that women will be entitled to a share in the property or assets acquired by the couple after marriage. Another highlight is that the six months cooling period can be waived and divorce can be granted immediately – irretrievable breakdown of marriage is a new ground for granting divorce.

You can read more about the changes in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954 here at the Times of India.

Aathon Festival – Dedicated to Gaura and Maheshwar – Sathon Aanthon Vrat

Aathon festival, also known as Sathon Aanthon Vrat, is mainly observed in the Soar valley of Pithoragarh and adjoining areas of western Nepal. In 2018, Aathon is from September 16 to September 18. The vrat and festival observed in Bhadrapad month is dedicated to Shiva and Goddess Parvati – Maheswar and Gaura. The three-day festival begins on the Shukla Paksha Saptami day in Bhadrapad month.

Aathon is observed for the welfare of the family and for good harvest. It is one of oldest forms of Gaura Worship in the country.
The main ritual includes tying of ‘dor’ on the right hand by women – a sacred thread. This thread is tied till the next Aathon Festival. Seeds of five grains and fruits are offered to Goddess Gaura for prosperity of the family.
On the Ashtami day, women in the village offer prayers before the murtis of Gaura and Maheswar – the murtis are made by the men of the village.
On the navami day, married women do prayers to Dub Dhaga or Mangalsutra.
At the end of the festival, a…

Lust, anger and greed are the three gates of damnation – Bhagawad Gita

Triple are the gates that lead to hell, destructive of the Self. They are lust, anger and greed. Knowing these three as such, one should therefore reject them.
The man who is liberated from these three gates to damnation, O Kaunteya, practices what is good for him and thus achieves the Supreme Good.
To those who are ever devout and worship Me with love, I give them the Yoga of Discrimination by which they come to Me.
Out of pure compassion for them, dwelling in their hearts, I destroy the ignorance-born darkness by the luminous Lamp of Wisdom.
When he realizes that the whole variety of beings exists in the One, and is an evolution from that One alone, then he becomes Brahman.
Related Mind is unsteady and difficult to curb but it can be controlled through practice and dispassion – Bhagawad Gita

Places Where Kali Resides in Kali Yuga

The present age as per Hindu Tradition is the Kali Yuga. Kali has numerous meanings – anger, suffering, grieve, hurt, confound and confuse. Please note that this is not the Goddess Kali (Kaali). It is the demon Kali. Hindu scriptures state that there are five places where Demon Kali resides in Kali Yuga.

It is believed that for the welfare of humans and other living beings, the domain of Kali has been restricted to five areas. It was King Parikhshit, the Grandson of Arjuna and son of Abhimanyu that decided on the five places that Demon Kali can reside.
Legend has it that King Parikshit once happened to witness a king attacking a cow and a bull. There is no greater sin than to kill a cow and King Parikshit decided to kill the king for attacking the cow and bull.
Parikshit was about sent his arrow on the king, suddenly the cow turned into Mother Earth, Bull turned into Dharma and the king turned into Kali.
Kali pleaded with the Parikshit that he was forced to attack mother earth and dh…

Importance of Nandana Ugadi

Nandananama Samvatsara begins on March 23, 2012. Nandana means that which bestows happiness. The year is ruled by the planet Shukra or Venus. Nandananama Samvatsara ends on April 10, 2013.

Dr. Kandadai Ramanujacharya writes about the importance of NandanaUgadi in the Hindu The year Nandana returns after a cycle of 60 years. Why is the number 60 so significant in our lives? Says Sanskrit scholar Dr. Kandadai Ramanujacharya, “The number six is symbolic in more than one way. Life has six stages: birth, growth, change, identity, decay and death. Similarly, man is wrought with six moods: hunger, lust, joy, sorrow, aging and annihilation. Six is a significant number in as much as it represents our mind which is our sixth sense organ with six faculties: reason, emotion, thought, awareness, knowledge and intelligence. Six impurities that rival man, according to our Shastras are lust, anger, greed, pride, delusion and envy. The universe is full with sixes. And we celebrate our 60th year of bi…

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa on formless Brahman

Fire itself has no definite shape, but in glowing embers it assumes certain forms. The formless fire is then endowed with forms. Similarly, the formless God sometimes invests Himself with definite forms.
The sun is many times larger than the earth but distance makes it look like a very small disk; so the Lord is infinitely great, but being too far away from Him we fail to comprehend His real greatness.
God is absolute eternal Brahman as well as the Father of the Universe. The indivisible Brahman, pure Existence, Intelligence and Bliss, is like a vast, shoreless ocean without bounds and limits in which I only struggle and sink, but when I approach the always sportive personal deity, Hari, I get peace like the sinking man who finds the shore.
Related Sri Ramakrishna Sayings

Sage Vishwamitra and Indra – Story on the Greatness of Gayatri Mantra

Sage Vishwamitra performed intense austerities to become a great sage. Indra, the king of Devas, wanted to test the qualities of the Vishwamitra, who before becoming a saint was a king. The story explains the importance and greatness of Gayatri Mantra.

Vishwamitra was born in the Kushik Dynasty. King Vishwamitra once visited the Ashram of Sage Vasishta and came to know about the holy cow Nandini in the Ashram, which had wish fulfilling power. 
King Vishwamitra felt that the cow would be more use to a king. So he asked for the cow. But Sage Vasishta said that Nandini would only leave the ashram only if she likes.
Nandini was not ready to leave. Vishwamitra and soldiers tried to take the cow away forcibly but were defeated by the powers of Nandini. An insulted Vishwamitra soon realized that spiritual powers were more powerful than a king’s commands and arrows.
Vishwamitra then abdicated his throne and took to the life of a Sanyasi. He performed intense meditations and became a powerful…

Hindu Groups in United Kingdom Protest Dow Chemicals Sponsoring Of London 2012 Olympic Games

Dow Chemicals is a major sponsor of London 2012 Olympic Games. Dow Chemical owns Union Carbide responsible for 15,000 poisoning deaths in the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1984. Bhopal Gas Tragedy was an industrial catastrophe that occurred in 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Around midnight on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, the plant released methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other toxins, resulting in the exposure of over 5,00,000 people. (Gas Tragedy pictures).
The Guardian UK reports  Representatives of the 800,000-strong Hindu community in the UK will meet on Tuesday night to rally opposition against Dow Chemical being a major sponsor of the London Olympics. The company's sponsorship of a wrap around the Olympic stadium has already raised the threat of a boycott of the games by India.  The meeting, hosted by the Hindu Forum of Britain, an umbrella organisation for nearly 400 Hindu groups, comes as new details have e…

How one attains liberation? – Ashtavakra Answers

Janaka asked, “Oh Lord, how does one attain liberation and how is non-attachment attained? Please tell me this.

Ashtavakra replied, “Oh beloved, if you want liberation, then renounce the passions as poison and take forgiveness and innocence, compassion, contentment, and truth as nectar.

You are neither earth nor air nor fire nor water nor ether.

To attain liberation know yourself as the witnessing consciousness of all these. If you separate yourself from the physical body and rest in consciousness then this very moment you will be happy, at peace, and free of bondage.

You are not a Brahmin or other caste. You are not in any of the four stages of life.

You are not perceived by the eyes of other senses.

Unattached and without form, you are the witness of the whole universe.

Know this and be happy.

Oh expansive one, religion and atheism, happiness and misery, order of the mind – they are not for you.

You are neither the doer nor the enjoyer.

You have always been liberated.

Related
Wise wor…

Shatarupa – the concept of Goddess Shatarupa

The concept of Shatarupa is closely associated with creation. It tries to explain the birth of the different living beings on earth. Shatarupa means one that can take numerous forms. The concept of Shatarupa is also an extension of the core teaching of Sanatana Dharma that all living forms are the manifestation of the Supreme Truth.
The symbolic story – Legend has it that the first being that was created by Brahma was Goddess Saraswati. Brahma was unable to control his passions for the first female form.
Knowing the intention of Brahma, Goddess Saraswati moves away from Brahma taking the form of a cow. To follow her, Brahma takes the form of a bull. The Goddess then becomes a mare; Brahma becomes horse. Every time Goddess Saraswati turned into a bird, animal or tree, Brahma took the male form.
The Goddess who thus took different forms came to be known as Shatarupa.
Such stories are meant to simplify the core teaching of Sanatana Dharma which is otherwise difficult for common man to u…

When we think that God is near all our burdens will diminish – Mata Amritanandamayi

If there is a resting place nearby, the mere thought that the luggage which you are carrying can soon be unloaded lightens the burden. In the same way, when we think that God is near, all our burdens will diminish.
God is very close to you, that is why you cannot see Him. Is it possible to see our own face without the aid of a mirror? And will it be possible to see our image in a mirror if the mirror is completely covered with dust? Look after wiping away the dust particles and cleaning the mirror; then certainly you can see.
Searching for God outside ourselves is like trying to catch fish by emptying the ocean. Therefore, become introspective and look within.
The moment you remember your parents, relatives, friends or your favourite food, you see them in your mind’s eye. You have to build a similar attachment to God. That is the purpose of japa, meditation and satsang. Mata Amritanandamayi
Related Mata Amritanandamayi – Words to Ponder

Story of Hanuman in Jain Ramayana

There are numerous retellings of Valmiki Ramayana. Each retelling is based on the teachings and ideas of a particular religion or community or sect. In Jain retelling of Ramayana, the main difference from the original is that Hanuman is not a celibate. Here is the synopsis of the story of Hanuman in Jain Ramayana – the story from Paumacariya (meaning the deeds of Padma – the Jain name of Sri Ram) of Vimalasuri.

The key difference from the original –  Hanuman is not mentioned as an Amsha Avatara of Shiva.He is the son of a Vanara who has a name sounding like Pavan – the Hindu wind god.Hanuman is a relative of Ravana.Hanuman marries relatives of Ravana.He allies with Sugriva through marriages with family members of Sugriva.Hanuman is at first angry at Sri Ram for killing a relative of Ravana. As per Vimalasuri’s retelling Hanuman belongs to the Vanara lineage. Vanara and Rakshasa (to which Ravana belongs) belong to the Vidyadhara lineage. This lineage consists of super beings who can ch…

Bana Linga – Shivling with Striations

Bana Linga is a unique Shivling with a number of striations formed by a natural process. Bana Lina are Swayambhu – appeared naturally. The striations may be in sizes ranging from that made of a needle point to that of a hand. Legend has it that Bana Linga appeared on earth when Shiva destroyed the Tripuri palaces of demons. The stones from the Tripuri that fell on NarmadaRiver turned into Bana Linga.

Bana Linga is named after Demon Banasura as he was an ardent devotee of Shiva and Shiva blessed him with them. It is believed that Banasaura how was doing austerities to please Shiva on the banks of Narmada collected the Lingas. As the Lingas were in the possession of Banasura it got the name Bana Linga.
There are numerous other legends also associated with the name Bana Linga – one is that Bana means an arrow, a reed-shaft, cow’s udder and pike.
Another legend has it that Shiva appeared in the form of Linga before Banasura on the Narmada River bank and the pieces from the linga that fl…

Make your smile cheap and anger expensive – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Meditation is seeing God in yourself. Love is seeing God in the person next to you. Knowledge is seeing God everywhere.
The practice of silence has been know throughout the ages, in many different traditions and cultures, as a great tool for enhancing self-discovery. Maintaining silence, even for just a few days, can have remarkable effects on the system, reviving energy and enthusiasm, and providing deep rest for the mind and body.
Meditation is not concentration; it is de-concentration.
Make your smile cheap and anger expensive.
Related Stretching emptiness is bliss – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Bijasan Mata Mandir Navratri Mela and Festival in Bundi in Rajasthan

Bijasan Mata Mandir in Bundi in Rajasthan is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The Navratri Mela and festival in the temple attracts thousands of people. Bijasan Mata Mandir Chaitra Navratri Mela 2019 is from April 6 to April 14, 2019. The Ashwin Navratri Mela is from October 10 to October 18, 2018.

The murti of Bijasan Mata is in the form of Her sitting atop demon Rakta Beeja. The temple was built in 44 AD and is located around 10 km from Indragarh Sumerganj Mandi. The temple is located atop a 1000 ft high hillock and one has to climb thousands of steps.
The Chaitra and Ashwin Navratri fair attracts thousands of people from Rajasthan and nearby states. Ugra Murti of Goddess Durga is worshipped in the temple and devotees have witnessed numerous miracles of the deity.

Sri Suktam English Meaning and Explanation in pdf format

Sri Suktam is an important prayer dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi from the Rig Veda. Shri means Goddess Lakshmi. The mantra helps in fulfilling the desires of devotees. This particular Sri Suktam text in pdf consists of meaning and explanation of the mantra and is provided by Swami Shantananda Puri. You can download it for free.
LinkPdf text of Sri Suktam with Meaning and Explanation

Go on doing good, thinking holy thoughts continuously; that is the only way to suppress base impressions – Swami Vivekananda

Go on doing good, thinking holy thoughts continuously; that is the only way to suppress base impressions. Never say any man is hopeless, because he only represents a character, a bundle of habits, which can be checked by new and better ones. Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character.
Teach yourselves, teach everyone his/her real nature, call upon the sleeping soul and see how it awakes. Power will come, glory will come, goodness will come, purity will come, and everything that is excellent will come, when this sleeping soul is roused to self conscious activity.
Do not disturb your mind by vain arguments; this truth only becomes effulgent in the heart which has been made pure.
He who cannot be seen without the greatest difficulty, He who is hidden, He who has entered the cave of the heart of hearts—the Ancient One—cannot be seen with the external eyes; seeing Him with the eyes of the soul, one gives up both pleasure and pain. He who knows this secre…

Official website of Tara Tarini Temple at Berhampur in Ganjam in Orissa

TaraTariniTemple is a popular temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti and is one among the 51 Shakti Peeths. The administrative body of the temple has created an official website of TaraTariniTemple. The temple is located about 30 km from Berhampur in Ganjam District in Orissa.
The website contains all details regarding accommodation and sevas conducted in the temple. Currently there is no live darshan and other internet based services like e-donation or accommodation booking.
LinkOfficial website of Tara Tarini Temple

Vasanthotsavam 2019 at Tirupati Balaji Temple – Vasantotsava in Chaitra Month

Vasanthotsavan is an annual festival held in Chaitra month (March – April) at the famous Tirumala Tirupati Balaji Temple. Vasantotsava 2019 date is from April 17 to April 19. The festival is held from Chaitra Shukla Paksha Trayodasi to Chaitra Purnima as per traditional Hindu calendar and Panchangam followed by Tirupati Venkateshwara Temple. The Vasanthotsav was started in 1360 AD as per the temple records.

Vasantha means ‘spring’ and utsavam means ‘festival’. The festival is held at the Vaibhavotsava Mandapam.
Snapana Thirumanjanam Abhishekam (Holy bathing) is performed to the utsava murthy of Venkateshwara and his consorts on all the three days.
On the third day, abhishekam is performed to the murits of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman along with Krishna and Rukmini.
Procession of the consecrated murtis are taken in a procession in the evening on all the three days.

The Tirupati Balaji Temple complex and it surroundings are well decorated with lights, flowers and other decoration…

Avvaiyar Teachings

Big is the frond of the palm but scentless; sweet scented is the tiny magizha flower. Judge not men therefore from size merely. The vast ocean has water not fit for a bath; the tiny spring by its side has good drinking water.
Thought it is really rice that sprouts out of the husk, yet if the husk be gone paddy will not grow; likewise even unto men of great energy, nothing will be possible except with suitable instruments.
Harsh words do not conquer soft ones; the arrow that strikes down elephants harms not a piece of cotton; the rock that is not split with the long iron crowbar, splits when the roots of a tender shrub enter it.
Related Avvaiyar Quotes
Avvaiyar – the Tamil saint-poetess lived thousands of years ago, propagating virtues, morality and spirituality through simple poems.

World’s Yoga Day – June 21

Important Yoga Masters of India met on December 4 and 5 in 2011 Bengaluru,  India – on the Art of Living Foundation Headquarters, by invitation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the President of the Yoga Portuguese Confederation. The aim of the meeting was to bring under one roof the various yoga masters and to chalk out plans to spread yoga. As part of spreading awareness – the yoga masters decided to observe World’s Yoga Day on June 21.  During this Summit was Proclaimed the World Yoga Day on the Solstice – June, 21st – the Day of Light and Wisdom associated to it – and with the support of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, and the VYASA - Vivekánada Yoga University – it is a date that does not celebrate any human event, but is a Cosmic Auspice, a Day that highlights the relation between the Earth and the Sun, and by consequence with the Galaxy and the Cosmos, and it Is sang in all the Cultures that have always been unquiet with the observation and study of the Surroundings where they belon…

Greed enhances quantity and not quality – Swami Sukhabodhananda

Greed to become someone is deleting the richness of who you are and telling you that you are incomplete.
Action born out of greed in an unintelligent effort.
Greed enhances quantity and not quality. The beauty of life has never been in quantity but in quality.
Greed means a desire for more without seeing the richness of what you already have.
An action born out of greed deepens your ignorance.
Related Swami Sukhabodhananda Motivational Quotes

Why Goddess Lakshmi is known as Chanchala?

Goddess Lakshmi is also known as Chanchala or the fickle one – liable to sudden and unpredictable change. Goddess Lakshmi as Sridevi blesses devotees with fortune, power, pleasure and prosperity. When society was formed and when Asura King Bali was with the side of Dharma, Sridevi blessed him with prosperity. With Sridevi on his side, Asuras had everything in abundance including food and wealth.

But King Bali once ignored the blessing of Sridevi and declared that he has the power over the earth and he can give anything and as much he desires. Bali forgot that all his prosperity was the blessing of Sridevi. Arrogance led to the downfall of King Bali.
Later, Vishnu in the form of Vamana usurped all his wealth.
The Devas under Indra had become poor and powerless when Sridevi was with King Bali.
Sridevi fed up with the arrogance of King Bali left him and sided with Indra.
For this act, Asuras chided that Sridevi is faithless – yesterday she blessed Bali, today she is with Indra, no one …

Non-Brahmins as Priests in Kerala Temples

Pujas in Kerala Hindu Temples were handled by priests who were Brahmins by birth. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages thousands of temples in Kerala including the famous SabarimalaTemple, have started appointing Non-Brahmins as priests.
Times of Indiareports  In the last two months, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) filled up 50 out of the 100 posts for pujaris (priests) with non-Brahmins, who will soon start performing rituals in shrines assigned to them among the 2,000 temples under TDB. TDB had conducted a recruitment drive six months ago and interviewed hundreds of applicants belonging to all castes and they selected 199 pujaris, out of which 40% were non- Brahmins.  "Even our ancient scriptures say a person becomes a Brahmin through his deeds and life-style than by birth,'' said additional chief secretary K Jayakumar.

Tripura Sundari Temple Navratri Mela and Festival in Banswara in Rajasthan

TripuraSundariTemple at Talwara in Banswara in Rajasthan is dedicated to Goddess Tripura Sundari, an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The Navratri Mela and festival in the temple attracts thousands of people. Tripura Sundari Temple Chaitra Navratri Mela 2019 is from April 6 to April 14, 2019. The Ashwin Navratri Mela is from October 10 to October 18, 2018.

The murti of Tripura Sundari has 18 arms and is seated atop a lion. The five-feet high murti made of blackstone. The temple was built in 1483 AD and is located around 10 km from Indragarh Sumerganj Mandi.

The Chaitra and Ashwin Navratri fair attract thousands of people from Rajasthan and nearby states.
Garba Dances are held during the Ashwin Navratri mela.
The temple is around 20 km from BanswaraTown. On the Banswara - Dungarpur Road, take a Left Turn at Talwara (14 km from Nanswara) and go straight (5 km) to reach the mandir.

If you want peace, make the whole world your own – Mother Sarada Devi

If you want peace, make the whole world your own.

In the fullness of spiritual realization, a person finds that the God who resides in his heart resides in the hearts of all.

Forgiveness is a great religious austerity. There is no higher virtue that forbearance.

The goal of life is God-realization and the way is self surrender.

Related Mother Sarada Devi Teachings

Documentary film on the Tiruvannamalai Temple in Tamil Nadu

Tiruvannamalai Temple located at Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Shiva. ThiruvannamalaiArunachaleswararTemple is a massive temple and is noted for its huge gopurams, thousand pillar mandapam, sacred ponds, sculptures etc. This particular video in two parts highlights the important architectural aspects of Tiruvannamalai Temple. The documentary voice over is  in Tamil but the images are self explanatory and anyone can understand them.











Related Online Virtual Tour of Thiruvannamalai ArunachaleswararTemple – 360 Degree view of Tiruvannamalai Shiva Temple

Ayodhya Parikrama during Chaitra Month and Ramnavami

Ayodhya Parikrama is the circumbulation of important temples in Ayodhya. The parikramas are held several times a year. One of the important parikrama is held during the Chaitra month during Ramnavami. In 2019, Ayodhya Parikrama date is April 13.

Pilgrims begin the journey after taking a holy dip in Sarayu River. The parikrama begins from the Nageshwarnath temple at Swargdwar Ghat. The temple is believed to have been built by Kush, son of Sri Ram. Nageshwarnath Temple is also known as Nageshwar Mahadev Temple.
Ayodhya Parikrama passes through Rama Ghat, Sita Kund, Mani Parvat, Brahma Kund and ends at Kanak Bhavan.

Kodungalloor Bharani Festival in 2019 – Kodungallur Devi Temple Kavutheendal Festival in Meenam Month in 2019

KodungallurBhagavathyTemple at Kodungalloor in Thrissur District in Kerala is dedicated to Mother Goddess Shakti (Bhagavathy) and is a very popular Shakti Shrine in India. Kavutheendal 2019 date is April 6 and Kodungalloor Bharani Festival is on April 7. Kavutheendal and Bharani festival in Malayalam Meenam month is the most popular festival here.

The highlight of the festival is the largest congregation of oracles (Komarams or Vellichapads) on the Kavu Theendal day. Dressed in red, with untied hair, brandishing their swords both men and women Komarams create an electric atmosphere.
The oracles perform a mad run around the temple. They throw objects inside the temple mainly sticks which signifies the Kavutheendal. The oracles also sing numerous songs that are associated with the legend of the Goddess and those associated with farming, culture and mother earth.
Another highlight is the hurling of abuses at the deity – locally known as Kodungallur Bharani Pattu. The lyrics of the song co…

Panch Dwaraka Darshan Tour from Tamil Nadu by Indian Railways

Rail Tourism division of Indian Railways is offering a 13-day trip in April 2012 from Tamil Nadu to the Panch Dwaraka Temples. The trip includes visit to Pushkar, Nathdwara, Kankroli Dwaraka, Dakor Dwaraka, DwarakanathTemple, Bet Dwaraka and NishkalankMahadevTemple.

The trip is from April 1, 2012 to April 13, 2012.
Cost – Rupees 6670/- per person.
Online booking available.
The Trip includes: Journey by Sleeper Class train Accommodation in Non AC Dormitories / Hall Comfortable Non AC road transfers (55 seater buses) Vegetarian food (All meals) Hygienic Kitchen on train Experienced tour escort and security on train
You can book ticket and get more details here at the official Rail Tourism Website of Indian Railways.

You cannot expect everlasting happiness in the world around us – Swami Sivananda

A knowledge of the ways and habits of the mind and its operations, the laws of the mind and the method of mental control and mental discipline, is very necessary if you want to enjoy real happiness and peace of an unruffled and abiding nature.

You cannot expect everlasting happiness and perennial joy in the world of sense around us. The mischievous monkey – mind plays havoc in a variety of ways and causes and cares, worries and anxieties. Money, property, women and children do not give permanent satisfaction. This is the experience of all people.
Desire is the seed from which sprouts ceaseless births. Desire arises from a sense of imperfection or limitation, by identifying with the finite body, mind and ego.
The secret of successful teaching and discipline is the proper training of the child. Every teacher should have faith in the child.
Related Swami Sivananda Quotes on Peace

Five Temples with Murtis Installed by Pandavas in Kerala

There are numerous temples in India with murtis that were installed by the Pandava brothers. Pandavas are believed to have installed murtis of Shiva, Vishnu and Durga. There are five temples in central Kerala dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu (Sri Krishna) all which have murtis installed by the Pandavas. The five temples are TrichittattuMahavishnuTemple, PuliyoorSrikrishnaTemple, AranmulaParthasarathyTemple, ThiruvandoorVishnuTemple and ThrikkodithanamTemple.

All these temples are located in and around ChenganoorTown in Kerala, which is an important Railway Station during Sabarimala Pilgrimage.
The murti at TrichittattuMahavishnuTemple was installed by Yudhishtira.
PuliyoorSrikrishnaTemple murti was installed by Bhima
AranmulaParthasarathyTemple murti was installed by Arjuna
ThiruvandoorVishnuTemple murti was installed by Nakula
ThrikkodithanamMahavishnuTemple murti was installed by Sahadeva.
It is widely believed that visiting the five shrines on a single day is highly meritorious. The pilg…

Kali Santarana Upanishad Text in pdf with English meaning

Kali Santarana Upanishad is one of the smallest Upanishad and contains the importance of the chant Hare Rama...Hare Krishna. The particular text of Kali Santarana Upanishad in pdf contains English meaning with Sanskrit text and English transliteration. Kali Santarana Upanishad is part of the Krishna Yajur Veda and is a conversation between Brahma and Sage Narada.
Link - Kali Santarana Upanishad with English Meaning

11-volume Encyclopaedia of Hinduism from India Heritage Research Foundation and Rupa Publications

Encyclopaedia of Hinduism by Rupa Publications and India Heritage Research Foundation is a comprehensive guide on Hinduism. The 7068 page Encyclopedia in 11 volumes with rich illustrations of temples, places, thinkers, rituals and festivals aims to promote a better and deeper understanding of Hinduism.

More than 2000 scholars were directly or indirectly involved in the project edited by Dr. Kapil Kapoor, a former Professor of English at the Centre for Linguistics and English, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi and Concurrent Professor at the Centre for Sanskrit Studies, JNU.

A highlight of the book is the bibliography added at the end of each article, which helps a reader to take the study of each entry in the encyclopaedia in a detailed manner.

Encyclopaedia of Hinduism
Published by Rupa Publications Editor in Chief – Dr Kapil Kapoor Pages 7184 - 11 Volumes Price – 21,000

The book is currently available at a discount price in many online stores.

Sri Chinmoy Thoughts on Karma

When one realizes God, one has the capacity to stand above one’s own fate or karma.
The law of karma applies to everyone and at the same time one can transcend it by one’s meditation. The law of karma exists and at the same time it can be transcended by realization, oneness with God and by the power of spirituality.
The best way to get rid of bad karma is to enter into the field of aspiration, concentration and meditation. Sri Chinmoy
Related Sri Chinmoy Thoughts on Desire and Aspiration

Chaitra Month Tuesdays at Taratarini Temple at Berhampur in Orissa

The Tuesdays in Chaitra Month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in Orissa is of great importance at the famous TaratariniTemple at Berhampur in Orissa. This is the most important festival observed at the Tara Tarini Pitha – one of the important Goddess Shakti Temples in India. In 2019, the auspicious dates are March 26, April 2, April 9 and April 16.

More than a million devotees visit the temple during the Chaitra Month. More than 200,000 devotees alone visit the shrine on the four Tuesdays in the month. The highlight of the festival is the offering of hair to the deity by many devotees. Special arrangements are made for this and nearly 1000 barbers work overtime during the period.
The popular belief is that breast of Goddess Sati fell here and thus making it one of the most powerful Shakti Peetah in the country.
Goddesses Tara-Tarini is the presiding deity in most houses in Southern Orissa.
This important and famous Shakta Pitha is situated atop a hill at a distance of 30…

Story of Revati, wife of Balarama

Revati is the wife of Balarama, the elder brother Krishna. There is an interesting story that narrates the marriage of Balaram and Revati. Revati was born when human beings on earth were of huge size. Reva, father of Revati, wanted the best groom for his daughter. For this purpose, both father and daughter went to Brahma, the creator. The journey, the meeting and the return journey took thousand years. It must be noted here that one human year is one day for the Devas.

Reva and Revati returned to earth and found that the earth has undergone sea change. Human beings were no longer of giant size. The father and daughter found themselves odd amongst human beings of shorter stature.
No man was ready to marry Revati. This made the father and daughter unhappy. The father and daughter moved away from civilization and started leading a rustic life. It is said that Revati used to wrestle with animals and drink large amount of wine.
Balarama too was a huge figure and he was also not happy to m…

A Quiz based on the Holi Festival

Importance of Garuda Purana – Rituals dedicated to Dead

Garuda Purana is named after Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu. Many people today believe it is bad to keep Garuda Puran at home. Garuda Purana has two parts; the second part which deals with knowledge regarding journey of the dead and the rituals that have to be performed by relatives to help the dead persons to have a smooth journey.
This Purana was composed by Veda Vyasa as one of the eighteen puranas and it is believed that Hindu God Vishnu himself revealed it to Garuda.
Earlier in traditional Hindu homes a priest was invited to recite Garuda Purana after the death of a person so that relatives are given the required knowledge to perform Shradh and other rituals towards the dead. Sadly, this is no longer followed in majority of Hindu homes.
Today many people believe it is bad to keep the book Garuda Purana in their homes. The book is also not read by many fearing death will happen in the family. Some communities only read it during the ten days after the death of a person.
Is there a…

Vedic Athirathram in Pakazhiyam System in 2012 in Kerala after 112 years

Athirathram is a Vedic yajna and is one of the world’s oldest surviving rituals. An Athirathram in Pakazhiyam Sambradayam or System will be held from March 23 for 12 days at Mattathur Kunnu Kaimukku Mana at Kodakara in Thrissur in Kerala. The Athirathram is being performed for the welfare of all living beings. The Yajamana of the yajna is Kaimukku Vaidikan Raman Somajipad.

This yagam based on Asvalayana Bodhayana Samyukta Pakazhiyam system and is taking place after 112 years. The Yajna is being conducted by the Tretagni Foundation.
Athirathram of a different sampradayam was held in April 2011 in Kerala and this was highly successful.
What is Athirathram? Vedic Yajna (Yajgya or sacrifice or ritual) is performed for the prosperity of human race through peaceful co-existence with nature by energizing the various forces in nature – especially sun. Agni, fire, that represents Sun, the Prathyaksha Brahman or Visible God, in Sanatana Dharma, is worshipped during the Yajna. This vedic ritual i…

Pehowa Teerth Mela

Pehowa Teerth Mela is annually held at Pehowa near Kurukshetra in Haryana. A small pond here is believed to be River Saraswati which has gone underground. Pehowa Teerth Mela 2019 date is April 4. It is observed on the Chaitra Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi day as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.

The fair attracts thousands of people. The belief is that people who met their death in accidents or were killed get moksha if Shradh is performed here.
A temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati is located here. Legend has it that King Prithu performed Shradh here for his father. The holiness of this tirth is mentioned in Puranas.