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Showing posts from December, 2012

Hatha Yogis in Kumbha Mela 2013 to Freeze One of Their Legs for World Peace

A group of Hatha Yogis will be performing a miraculous feat during Kumbha Mela 2013 – the will be freezing one of their legs for world peace. They would freeze their legs for a particular period of time. It must be noted that some Hatha Yogis maintain the same position of a specific limb for years and can eat, sleep and even cook food in this position.

Hatha Yogis have already demonstrated their ability to conquer hunger, thirst and sleep and practicing penances of extreme kind.

Kumbha Mela 2013 begins on January 14, 2013 Hindustan Times reports  Having surprised the world by their ability to conquer hunger, thirst and sleep and practicing penance of an extreme kind, a group of 'Hath Yogis' have now resolved to 'freeze' one of their limbs in a particular position for a specified period of time for world peace. The mystical feat would be performed during the Kumbh Mela, to be attended by crores of devotees and onlookers. Though the date is yet to be finalised, the hath y…

Spirituality Is Simply the Process of Not Identifying With What We Are Not – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

First we need to know that the basis of our misery is that we have established ourselves in untruth. We are deeply identified with that which we are not. Somewhere along the way we have gotten identified with things around us. We have got identified with our body and mind. That is the source of suffering.
The whole experience of transcending your limitations must happen within you. If you want to transcend, only if you are truly willing, it can happen. Otherwise no power on earth or in heaven can move you.
Spirituality is simply the process of not identifying with what we are not, to shed the layers of conditioning so that we know what we are NOT. When that is completed, we arrive at something that cannot be discounted. This discovery will be the recognition of divinity, and we will see that there is no reason for misery in the world. 
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev - founder of the Isha Foundation

Under Whatever Form One Worships That Which Has No Form, It Is Only a Means of Perceiving It – Ramana Maharishi

Surrender to Him and abide by His will whether He appears or disappears; await His pleasure.  If you ask Him to do as you please, it is not surrender, but command. You cannot have Him obey you and yet think you have surrendered. He knows what is best, when and how. Leave everything entirely to Him. The burden is His. You no longer have any cares. All your cares are His.   That is surrender. That is Devotion.

Under whatever name and form one worships that which has no name and no form, it is only a means of perceiving It. To know the truth of one's Self as the True reality, and merge and become One with It is the only true Perception/Realization/Liberation. Understand this!
He whose pure mind turns inward and searches whence does this 'I' arise, knows the Self and merges in You, the Lord, As a river into the sea.

Sri Ramana Maharishi

Pushyabhishek 2019 at Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa – Pushya Abhishek

Pushyabhishek is an important annual ritual performed at the world famous PuriJagannathTemple in Orissa in Paush month. Pushyabhishek 2019 date is January 21. It is observed on the Pushya Nakshatra day in Paush month – it coincides with Paush Purnima or the full moon day in the month. Abhishek means ‘to shower’.

The day is the ceremonial crowning of Lord Jagannath. He is the made the king on the day. The belief is that Trimurtis, Gods, Devas and Saints arrive to witness the Pushyabhishek.
There is a belief that the Trimurtis, Gods, Devas and Saints assembled near the sea at Puri. Therefore the sea is also worshipped on the day. It is also believed that it is a rare opportunity in a calendar year to pray to all the gods at a single holy spot.
On the day special pujas are observed for peace and prosperity of all the living beings on the earth.
The highlight of the day is the Samudra Aarti – or prayer to the sea. It is attended by thousands of devotees.

Story of Birth of Murugan

When Adharma flourishes, the Supreme Truth appears in one form or another to restore Dharma and the story of the birth of Murugan is no different. Three demons – Surapadma, Simhamukha and Tarakasura – armed with powerful boon that only a son born of Shiva would kill them embarked on a massive rampage and devastation. The Devas and human beings were overpowered and Adharma flourished.

The demons were of the belief that Shiva who was in deep meditation will not return to the life of a householder. So they thought the one destined to fight them will never be born.
On advice of Brahma, Kamdev deployed his arrows on flowers to wake up Shiva from his meditation and instill passion for the benefit of the world. Kamdev succeeded in his mission but was burnt into ashes by the fury of Shiva.
The divine spark that emanated from Shiva as a result divided into six and Vayu (wind) and Agni (fire) carried them and deposited it in Ganga. The HolyRiver placed them in a cluster of weeds and here the …

Food Eaten During Margazhi Month in Tamil Culture

Margazhi (mid December – to mid January) is a holy month in Tamil Culture and is dedicated to worship and music. Food is also an important part of Margazhi culture. Special delicacies are prepared during the month. The Hindu has created a video on the traditional food prepared during the period. You can watch the video here on youtube.

Goddess Manasa Devi

Manasa Devi is a snake goddess worshipped in eastern parts of India especially in Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa. She presides over the serpents or Nagas. Her worship is very ancient – some scholars are of the view that she was worshipped from pre-Aryan Time.

Manasa Devi is believed to be the daughter of Shiva. Some texts suggest that she is the sister of Snake Vasuki.
The popular belief is that she can cure snakebites and give relief to people from any adversity.
She is worshipped on the Panchami day in Ashar and Shravan months. The most important date is the Nag Panchami day.
Legend has it that when people stopped worshipping snakes, Manasa requested, Lord Shiva, to include her in the pantheon, so that she is worshiped by humans. Shiva responded that if Chand, a businessman, of Anga kingdom agrees to worship her, then her wish would be fulfilled.
Chand had no respect for Mansa Devi as he was an ardent devotee of Shiva. Due to the activities of Goddess Manasa he suffered immensely. He…

T. Shankar – A Ramayana Research Scholar

No one exactly knows there are how many versions of Ramayana in the world. T. Shankar is an independent research scholar and an avid student of the Ramayana, who explores the stories in various different versions of Ramayan.

Puspha Chari talks to T Shankar about the various versions of Ramayana in the The Hindu. There is only one, yet many Ramayanas have been composed through the millennia. What do you think is the reason? Valmiki’s Ramayana and the subsequent versions were written in Sanskrit. I think poets felt the need to focus on the local language to take the great epic to the people. The subsequent Ramayanas were trans-creations and, therefore, reflect changes over time. Could you tell us some of the similarities as well as the differences of the many Ramayanas? The broad story is the same. Though Valmiki is acknowledged as aadhikavi, every writer of the original Ramayana is a poet and philosopher. And every Ramayana is a master piece. As for differences, in Valmiki’s Ramayana,…

We don’t have to win every time in order to be happy – Swami Sukhabodhananda

There are two sources of stress, internal and external. Internal stress involves thoughts, values, beliefs and opinions. External stress involves wrong exercises, faulty breathing habits, unhealthy eating habits, pollution and sleep problems.

Nobody can avoid stress in life. One has to minimize stress. That is possible if one can work on both internal and external stress. The most important factor is our mind and how it looks at life.
Transforming the mind involves the understanding that there is no complete satisfaction in life; there is only a possibility to improve upon the existing state of affairs. We don’t have to win every time in order to be happy; happiness does not depend only on success. Learn to respond and not to react to events and incidents in life. If one continues reacting, reaction becomes a habit. Then an egoistic and reactive "I" emerges. It will have its own foolish logic.
In esoteric teaching there is an important law called the law of three. The posit…

Akshauni – Army Combination in Ancient Hindu World

Akshauni is an army combination used in war in ancient Hindu world. Akshauni is mentioned in the Mahabharata. It is said that in the Great War in the Kurukshetra in the Mahabharata, 11 Akshaunis fought on the side of the Kauravas and seven Akshauni fought on the side of the Pandavas.

The number of animals, chariots and humans in a Akshauni is 218, 700.
The Akshauni consists of
21, 870 Chariots
21, 870 Elephants
65, 610 horsemen
109, 350 foot soldiers.
The number of horsemen used to be three times of chariots.
The number of foot soldiers used to be 5 times that of the number of chariots.

Story of Haihaya Prince and Son of Sage Tarkshya Arishtanemi – How Death is overcome by Those Following Dharma

The story of Haihaya Prince and Son of Sage Tarkshya Arishtanemi is found in the Markandeya Samasya Parva in the Mahabharata. It is a story that narrates who people who follow Dharma can overcome death. A prince of Haihayas was interested in hunting. Once while on a hunting tradition, the prince shoots an arrow on an antelope. But to his dismay he found that he had shot and killed a Sage who was wearing an antelope skin.

The sorrow and remorse of the prince made him lose his senses. He reached the palace and narrated to the King of Haihayas about the sin he had committed. The entire palace was distressed.
The king along with the prince then reached spot where the unfortunate incident took place. But they could no find the body of the Sage. The searched the entire forest and finally reached the ashram of Sage Tarkshya Arishtanemi.
The king narrated about the incident that happened earlier on the day and now that they could not find the body of the dead Sage.
Sage Tarkshya Arishtanemi…

Book on foods offered to Gods in Hindu Temples in India

Food offered to deities in Hindu Temples in India varies from region to region and it is impossible to write about the subject in a single book as the subject matter is encyclopedic. Book titled ‘Bhog: TempleFood of India’ attempts to explore the various types of food offered to deities in some of the important temples in India. The book is written and published by by Geeta and Arun Budhiraja.
One of the highlights of the book is the images of the various divine food and the recipe.
The book is priced at Rupees 3900/-.
You can find more about the book and how to order it online here at the official website.

Bondage and freedom are states of the outer mind not of the inner spirit – Sri Aurobindo

The entire identification of the self with the body is the primary characteristic of complete barbarism.

All birth is a progressive self-finding, a means of self realization.
Bondage and freedom are states of the outer mind not of the inner spirit.
A compromise is a bargain, a transaction of interests between two conflicting powers; it is not a true reconciliation.
Where there is not the personal egoism of the doer, desire becomes impossible.

Sri Aurobindo

Akanda Deepa Vrata

Akanda Deepa Vrata is performed for prosperity by devotees. The main ritual involves keeping a diya (deepa or traditional lamp) lit for an entire Hindu lunar month. The Vrat begins on the first day of a Hindu lunar month – the day after Purnima in calendars followed in North India. In other regions, it is the day after Amavasya.

The Akhanda Deepa is lighted on the first day. The lamp is either made of bronze or brass. The medium used to burn the lamp is cow ghee. A single diya is lit.
Once lit the devotee keeps the lamp burning till the end of month (first day after Purnima to Purnima or first day after Amavas to Amavas).
Each day pujas and offerings are made to the lamp. The puja involves meditation, offering simple flowers and a single fruit.
On the last day of the puja, lamps are lit around the house. A puja involving family members, relatives, friends and neighbors are held. Any sweet dish is prepared and distributed as Prasad after offering to the diya.
It is considered highly …

New Big Hanuman Murti (Idol) at Mysore - Karya Siddhi Hanuman in Mysore

Ganapathi Sachchidananda Ashrama in Mysore is preparing to consecrate a big murti of Hanuman – Karya Siddhi Hanuman idol – in Mysore. The Hanuman murti is 42 feet tall and is place on a 30 feet pedestal. The pedestal stands on Karyasiddhi Hanuman Sannidhi (Temple).

The murti is chiseled out from a 200-tonne Grey Granite Rock.
The reason for making the Hanuman Murti: Sri Ganapathy Sashichidananda Swami, the ashram chief, said - People who have faith in Hindu scriptures believe that their wishes will be fulfilled with the darshan of Hanuman. This urge of devotees made me do this.

Some details about the Murti:
It took 10 months for 18 sculptors to carve the murti. Subramanya Achar from Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, headed the work.

The murti is installed on a 30-feet high pedestal. The pedestal itself is on an octagonal temple.

A 5-feet tall saffron Hanuman murti has also been erected to facilitate puja.

Spiritual Values to Be Developed – Bhagavad Gita

Humility, unpretentiousness, non-injury, forbearance, uprightness, service to the teacher, purity, steadiness, self-control. (Chapter 13, verse 7)
The renunciation of sense objects, and also absence of egoism; reflection on the evils of birth, death, old age, sickness, and pain. (Chapter 13, verse 8)
Non-attachment, non-identification of self with son, wife, home, and the rest, and constant even-mindedness in the occurrence of the desirable and the undesirable. (Chapter 13, verse 9)
Unswerving devotion to Me by the Yoga of non-separation, resorting to sequestered places, distaste for the society of men. (Chapter 13, verse 10)
Constant application to spiritual knowledge, understanding of the end of true knowledge: this is declared to be knowledge, and what is opposed to it is ignorance. (Chapter 13, verse 11)

Rama Raksha Yantra Benefits

Rama Raksha Yantra is used to alleviate fear and to attain success in all activities of life. Another important benefit is that worship of it helps in removing hurdles in day-to-day activities. Yantra is a geometric composition used as a tool in meditation and is a visual representation of a deity. Rama Raksha Yantra is associated with Bhagavan Sri Ram.
People who are associated with Rama Raksha Yantra state that it helps in attaining wealth and also in gaining high stature in society. One of the important benefits is that constant meditation of the Yantra helps in removing bad habits.
The Yantra is usually hanged or kept at homes or shops or at workplace.
Rama Raksha Yantra is available in gold, silver and copper plated tamra patra.

Vulture in Hinduism

Talk about Vulture in Hindu religion and the first image that comes to the mind is of Jatayu fighting Ravana who was abducting Sita. Another Vulture that is mentioned in Hinduism is Sampati, brother of Jatayu. Both Sampati and Jatayu are the sons of Aruna, chariot driver of Surya, the sun god.

Legend has it that the two brothers once tried to reach sun. In the attempt, Jatayu almost got his wings burnt. To save his brother, Sampati flew above Jatayu and in the process burnt his wings.
In the Ramayana, Jatayu tried to stop Ravana who was forcibly carrying away Sita on his Puhsphak Vimana – flying machine. In the attempt, Jatayu was fatally injured. But Jatayu lived long enough to inform Sri Ram and Lakshman about the abduction.
It was Sri Ram and Lakshman who performed the last rites of Jatayu who died chanting Ram Nam – name of Sri Ram.
This act of Jatayu helped in attaining moksha and also sanctified all the vultures.
Sampati who had lost his wings was residing in a cave and confirme…

Book – Sri Muruga – Legend, Short Stories and Worship

Book titled Sri Muruga – Legend, Short Stories and Worship by Rahul Kabade is an attempt to provide a simple and good understanding of Muruga – Son of Shiva. One of the most popular deities worshiped in Hindu pantheon in South India. Muruga is Kumaraguru – the child guru who explained the greatness of ‘OM.’ Muruga is known as Kartik in North India and western parts of India. He is popularly known as Murugan, Skanda, Sharavana and Subrahmanya in South India.
The book gives a proper understanding regarding the incarnation of Muruga.
Importance and meaning of the various names of Muruga like Shanmukha, Subrahmanya, Karthikeya, Guha Velayudha, Swaminatha and their meaning are explored.
Stories associated with Muruga. His war against Tarakasura and Surapadma are detail.
Important saints of Murugan tradition are introduced to readers.
Temples of Muruga including the   Aaru-padai Veedu, six abodes of Muruga are detailed.
Festivals, rituals, worship and importance of symbols of Lord Muruga…

Valuable Lessons from Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Bodies are like pillowcases. It doesn’t matter whether they remain or drop off…
If you keep your heart immersed always in the ocean of divine love, your heart is sure to remain ever full to overflowing with the waters of the divine love…
Occult powers are heaps of rubbish…
Live in the world like a dead leaf. As a dead leaf is carried by the wind into a house or on the roadside and has no choice of its own, so let the wind of the Divine Will blow you wherever it chooses…
Think of vast ocean filled with water on all sides. A jar is immersed in it. There is water both inside and outside the jar; but the water does not become one unless the jar is broken…What is the jar? It is the I-consciousness – the ego. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Chandeshwar – Shiva as Chandeshwara

Chandeshwar is one of the manifestations of God Shiva. Chandeshwara is a kind and benevolent aspect of Shiva. Chandeshwar is also one among the Shivlings mentioned in the Kashi Khand. The term is also used to refer to an attendant of Shiva who is believed to have been a cowherd.
It is stated that one who worships Chandeshwar Shivling will not have rebirth and will escape from all dangers and worries.
Chandeshwar in human form is depicted as sitting on a lotus-throne. He holds arrow, axe, bow, club, hatchet, noose, rosary, trident and water jar. Snakes are also associated with Chandeshwar form.
ChandeshwarShivlingTemple in Varanasi is located near the BhishmaChandiDeviTemple on the Cariappa Marg in Sadar Bazar locality.
Chandeshwar temples are also located in Karnataka and Goa.

English Book – Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Solution of Life Problems – Download for Free

Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Solution of Life Problems is a commentary on Bhagavad Gita credited to Bengali Baba and was published in 1944. The book is currently available for free download in pdf format at the website of the Central Archaeology Library in New Delhi. The book is a commentary of the Bhagavad Gita in English with emphasis given on how the teaching in the Gita helps in solving problems in life.
Link – You can download the book here from ASI website - Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Solution of Life Problems (please note that in the link click on the pdf view to download the book)
The pdf file size is 58.2 MB.
You will need a pdf reader installed to read the book.

Bhagavad Gita in Bengali in mp3 audio for free download

This Bhagavad Gita mp3 audio in Bengali is provided by the Yatharth Geeta website. Each 18 chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is divided into different mp3 files. The translation and explanation in Bengali is provided by Shri Paramahansji Maharaj.
The size of the files vary from 20 MB to 44 MB. You will have to download several files to get the complete Bhagavad Gita with commentary in Bengali.
Each chapter is divided into two separate files. All eighteen chapters are available for download.
You can download Bhagavad Gita MP3 in Bengali here at yatharth geeta.

Story – Fight between Parashurama and Bhishma in the Mahabharata

The fight between Parashurama, an incarnation of Vishnu, and Bhishma, the grandsire of Kauravas and Pandavas, is the battle of the equals. It was the battle between Guru and Shishya. Parashurama fought for getting justice for Amba, the eldest daughter of King of Kashi. Bhishma fought for defending the valor of Kshatriyas.

Amba, Ambika and Ambalika were daughters of King of Kashi. When the Swayamwara ceremony of the princesses was being held, Bhishma arrived there and defeated all the suitors and won the three maidens. Bhishma won the maidens through Viryashulka – a suitor who shows most valor wins the hand of maiden.
Bhishma performed this deed for Vichitravirya, the king of Hastinapura.
Just before the marriage ceremony, Amba informed Bhishma that she had already chosen the king of Shalva as her groom. So it would not be dharma for her to marry Vichitravirya as she has given her mind to another man.
Bhishma then allowed the eldest maiden to go to king of Shalva. But king of Shalva…

Kakatiya Festival – Warangal Ramappa Temple 800th Anniversary Celebration

The 800th anniversary celebration of the WarangalRamappaTemple known as the Kakatiya Festival will be held from December 21, 2012. Also known as RamalingeshwaraTemple, the temple is dedicated to Shiva and is a classic example of Kakatiya Dynasty architecture.

The year long celebrations will mark 800th anniversary of construction of Ramappa temple. The Hindu reports Inaugural functions of the celebrations will be organised for three days from December 21 at archaeological sites of Kakatiyas at Warangal --Thousand-Pillar temple and Warangal Fort besides, Ramappa temple. The celebrations will also be held at other important places, which form part of Kakatiya Empire.

Lessons from the Conversation between Sri Rama and Sage Vasishta

When there is no egoism, there is no suffering.

Even while perfectly aware of the deception of the senses, we are like fools behaving like their slaves.
Even if you have eyes, you need light to see your steps in darkness. In the same way, even if you have enough knowledge, you need devotion to Him in order to see the right path.
Only the ignorant think that they are different. You should give up pride, egoism, wickedness and crookedness. You should never care for the criticism of others…neither should you find fault with anyone. Control your mind, speech and body and never be perturbed.
Conversation between Sri Rama and Sage Vasishta is found in the famous book Yoga Vasishta

This body is mortal always gripped by death but within it dwells the immortal Self – Upanishads

This body is mortal always gripped by death but within it dwells the immortal Self…
There is only one means to control one’s mind, that is to destroy thoughts as soon as they arise…
When all the desires that surge in the heart are renounced, the mortal becomes immortal.
When all the knots that strangle the heart are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal…
When, to a man who understands, the Self has become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be to him who once beheld that oneness… Upanishads

Benefits of Wearing Pearl Ring – Moti Stone

Pearl, or Moti, in Hindu astrology is associated with moon or Chandra. One of main benefits of wearing pearl ring as per astrologers is that it helps in attaining peace of mind and it also helps in controlling the anger. Moti stone is usually etched into gold or silver ring. There is also widespread belief that pearl helps in curing heart and stomach diseases.
Other benefits include: Increases the concentration power Respectable position in the society Increase of wealth Helps in improving the function of heart. Helps in curing stomach related ailments. Helps in improving relation between husband and wife.
Shudh Moti or Pure Pearl helps in attaining wealth and blessing of Goddess Lakshmi. Yellow colored pearl is also worn for attaining wealth Red color pearl is worn to improve intelligence and attain more wisdom. White colored moti is worn to improve social status Blue colored pearl is worn to fulfill desires related to senses.

Upanishad Ganga Serial on DVD – Buy Online

The path-breaking Upanishad Ganga Serial currently aired on Doordarshan is available in DVD format at Shemaroo stores. You can also buy the DVD online at Shemaroo. The first volume of DVD released has the first 17 episodes of the serial. Upanishad Ganga is a 52-episode television series produced by Chinmaya Mission and directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi. Upanishads are the source of all the teachings of Sanatana Dharma.
Features of the DVD

Volume 1, Episodes 1-17 includes:Option for English subtitlesSynopses Compilation of Sanskrit verses with transliteration & translation in English from each episodeCompilation of resources including books and DVDs for further reflection on the concepts from each episodeEasy access to powerful scenes, songs and chants
Where is it available?

From all leading Shemaroo outlets throughout India. You can also buy the DVD online at Shemaroo.
The DVD is priced at Rupees 999/-

More information on the DVD and about the Series can be found at the official fa…

Malayalam Calendar 2001 Online – Download Kerala Calendar 2001 in jpeg format

Malayalam Calendar 2001 followed in Kerala is provided by the Deepika Newspaper. The 2001 Malayalam calendar contains important festivals in Kerala and uses Malayalam language to mention Nakshatram and festival details. This Kerala calendar of 2001 of Deepika is not in pdf format but in jpeg format. But you can save the webpage or image format and use it.
You can visit the newspaper website and download it here - Deepika Malayalam Calendar 2001.
You can try this link or use the main calendar link.

Nambi Rayar Perumal Temple at Tirukurungudi in Tamil Nadu – Treasure Trove of Wooden and Stone Sculptures

Chitra Gopuram and the Main Gopuram at NambiRayarPerumalTemple in Tirukurungudi are famous for its wooden and stone sculptures. The temple is located at around 47 km from Palayankottai in Tamil Nadu. The temple has sculptures from stories in Bhagavad Purana. Sculptures associated with Shiva are also found on the gopurams.  Pradeep Chakravarthy writes in The Hindu   Composing forms out of other forms is a favourite theme for expert sculptors. Such sculptures are rare since it involved both imagination and flawless execution. This temple has several of them, and what is remarkable in these are the sizes, both the horse and elephant are composed of several ladies and the entire image is just one and a half feet! This is even more remarkable when we are reminded that the stone used is granite – one of the hardest stones!  Vibheeshana seeking refuge before Rama leaves for Lanka is a masterful part of the epic when Valmiki teaches us the various forms of persuasion.  Vibheeshana says, “Few…

About Hindu God Alagar

Alagar is a manifestation of Hindu God Vishnu mainly worshiped in Tamil Nadu in India. It is believed that Vishnu appeared in this form as the brother of Goddess Meenakshi (Parvathi). Legend has it that Vishnu descended from Vaikunta and appeared in the present day Alagar Koil region. He then gave his sister Meenakshi in marriage to Sundareshvara (Shiva) – the divine couple resides at MaduraiMeenakshiTemple.

The most famous temple dedicated to the Alagar form of Vishnu is located at around 21 km north-east of Madurai. The temple known as Alagar Koil is located on the foot of Alagar hills.
Scholars are also of the view that the legend was intended to unite Shiva and Vishnu devotees.
Alagar is worshiped as Kallalagar in Alagar Koil, as Kattalagar in SrivilliputturTemple and as Koodalagar in Madurai.
The murti of Algar is flanked by Bhu Devi and Shridevi.
Alagar riding a horse and entering the VaigaiRiver is an important ritual that takes place during the Chithirai Festival (April / Ma…

Story of Belli Saheb Who Made the Silver Chariot at Udupi Krishna Math

Late Ameer Hamza, who is fondly remembered as Belli Saheb, is the one who built the silver chariot at Udupi Sri Krishna Math. Belli Saheb has also made murtis in many temples in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. A practicing Muslim, the story of Belli Saheb is highly fascinating.
Deepa Ganesh writes about the life of Belli Saheb in The Hindu
They are not sure when it all started in their family, but Makbool, the older son of Ameer Hamza says his grandfather Sheikh Peeru saheb was a renowned silver craftsman. “My father’s initial lessons were from him.” But Peeru saheb mostly made huge silver utensils used in the temple. The little Hamza was in sixth standard when he had a tiff with his father. He was so upset that he ran away from home. It was sheer serendipity that he landed in Mysore. After working here and there to be able to fend for his food, he chanced upon the workshop of Subbanna Achar, who headed the team of silver and gold craftsmen in the palace of My…

Meditation applies the brakes to the mind – Ramana Maharshi

Meditation applies the brakes to the mind…
There is only one consciousness, equally distributed everywhere. You, through illusion, give it unequal distribution.
The eternal, blissful and natural state has been smothered by this life of ignorance…
Self realization is nothing but seeing God literally. Our greatest mistake is that we think of God as acting symbolically and allegorically, instead of practically and literally…You must get rid of the idea that you are yet to realize the Self. You are the Self here and now…
The more you prune a plant, the more it grows. So too the more you seek to annihilate the ego, the more it will increase. You should seek the root of the ego and destroy it…
Ramana Maharshi

Mongoose in Hindu Religion

Mongoose in Hindu religion is mainly associated with Kubera – the treasurer of wealth in Hinduism. It is shown as sitting on his lap. There is also a belief that Mongoose spits gem stones and jewels. The animal is associated with Kubera because of its ability to fight and kill snakes.

In many stories, Snakes are guardians of treasure, precious stones and jewels. To frighten the snake and take the wealth Mongoose is used.
Again in many stories some type of snakes are known to have diamond fixed on their hood (Nag Mani) - perhaps to get the diamond one needs the help of a mongoose.
There is also an interesting episode involving Yudhishtira and a Mongoose mentioned in the Mahabharata:
After the Rajasooya Yajna, in which all great Saints of Bharat participated, King Yudhishtira was surprised to see a mongoose whose half body was normal and half was golden. That mongoose was rolling over and over on the earth where great Saint sat and kept their feet. As thousands of great Saints had att…

Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park – Zoo at Tirupati

Koorma Nivas, Karthikeya Vanam, Mareecha Vanam, Gokulam, Chitrakooda Vanam…these are not names of places in Puranas but spots inside the SriVenkateswaraZoologicalPark. The Zoo at Tirupati has numerous sections that are named after Gods, places and important incidents in epics and Puranas. Thus in Koorma Nivas named after the Kurma Avatar of Vishnu you can see Turtles and Tortoises. In Karthikeya Vanam named after Muruga you can see Peacocks; in Mareecha Vanam named after demon in Ramayana you can see deers.
SriVenkateswaraZoologicalPark has got an official website with all important details including a virtual tour, contact information, details or flora, fauna and animals etc.
You can visit the official website of Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park here.

Shiva Temples in Punjab in India Practice Water Conservation

One of the important offerings in ShivaTemple is water. Devotees offer water to bathe the Shivling. With ground water levels in Punjab in India fast depleting some Shiva temples have resorted to diverting the water offered to Shivling to underground.
Times of Indiareports  If in two cases head priests of temples have prepared water recharging wells to return water being offered on Shivlings to the underground water table, another priest has made a slight shift in the ritual to save water.  Interestingly, a politician played a vital role in prevailing upon religious personalities to make these environment- friendly changes at shrines and in rituals also. "Every devotee offers water on the Shivling and once BJP Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna suggested that this water should not go waste and should be recharged. We then made a water harvesting system connected to the Shivling so that after filtration water flows back into the earth," said Swami Bhagwan Dass, who establis…

Words of Wisdom – Muktananda

As a mantra is repeated it first purifies the outer body and then the subtle body.
The love that pulses in the cave of the heart does not depend on anything outside. It is completely independent…
Many religions claim that theirs is the only path to the Truth…But God never made an agreement with any of these religions. All religions are of fairly recent origin, but God has existed since the beginning of time. He could not have signed a contract with any religious founder saying, ‘You are my exclusive salesman…”
Bigotry cannot please God, because He is never captivated by any ritual or any particular method of sadhana. It is only out of compassion that He reveals Himself to devotees when He is pleased by their selfless love.

Quotes on Attachment from Hindu Scriptures and Teachers

The surest sign of a man of the highest wisdom is that he is not attracted by the pleasures of the world, for in him even the subtle tendencies have ceased. When these tendencies are strong, there is bondage; when they have ceased, there is liberation. (Yoga Vasishta)
External attachment is attachment to sense objects. Internal attachment is self-identification with the ego and the modifications of the mind. The dispassionate man, absorbingly devoted to Brahman, is alone able to renounce both…He who has know the reality of Brahman cannot continue to feel attachment to this world. He who feels attachment has not known Brahman. He remains deluded and sense bound. (Adi Shankaracharya)
Pitiful are those who, acting, are attached to their action’s fruits. The wise man lets go of all results, whether good or bad, and is focused on the action alone. (Bhagavad Gita)
Do not cultivate too much attachment to things of the world, which appeal to carnal desires and sensual thirsts. A moment come…

Story of the Previous Birth of Kubera

In Hindu tradition, Kuber is the treasurer of wealth and he distributes it among people. A story in the scriptures indicates that Kubera got the opportunity to be the treasurer of wealth due to the blessing of Shiva. In his previous birth Kuber was a known as Gunnidhi. He used to perform all his duties – both religious and family – exceedingly well.

But due to bad friendship, Gunnidhi started losing interest in his duties. He started squandering the wealth of his father. His mother who knew about the change of character of her did not inform the father.
Soon Gunnidhi lost all his wealth. Fearing the anger of his father, Gunnidhi ran away to the forest.  After walking deep into the forest, he came across as ShivaTemple. It was a Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi Tithi and people were observing monthly Shivratri Vrat.
Gunnidhi had not eaten any food on the day and he was thirsty and hungry. He was happy to see the puja offerings in the temple.
He decided to steal the food offerings after peo…

Download Bhakta Ramadasu Spiritual Songs and Prayers

Bhakta Ramadasu was an ardent devotee of Sri Rama. He compsed several spiritual songs and prayers dedicated to Vaikunta Rama at the temple of Bhadrachalam. His Keertanas are now offered by the official website of BhadrachalamTemple for free download. Nearly 30 songs of Bhakta Ramadasu are available for download.
LinkBhakta Ramadasu Spiritual Songs

Importance of Hanuman Bahuk

Hanuman Bhauk is an important prayer dedicated to Hanuman and was written by Goswami Tulsidas. It is believed that Tulsidasji wrote to prayer to cure  his shoulder pain. Once, Tulsidas had an excruciating pain in one of his shoulders. He then composed a poem extolling the glory and greatness of Hanuman. He also asked Hanumanji to cure his body ailments. Miraculously Tulsidas had relief from the pain.

It is believed that chanting Hanuman Bahuk helps in curing various body pains, diseases, psychological problems, fear of ghosts etc.
It is also chanted by those people who believe that their enemies are doing black magic against them.
A person can chant Hanuman Bahuk daily as part of his normal prayers.
Another method of chanting Hanuman Bahuk is by doing certain austerities for 40 days. On all forty days, Hanuman Bahuk is chanted in the morning. The person only eats vegetarian food. No smoking and drinking during the period. No gossips and no unnecessary talks.
Chanting the Stotra is a…

Pandavas as Examples in Management Study

What if management lessons are applied to the Characters of Pandavas and Sri Krishna in the Mahabharata – Krishna as the CEO; Yudhishtir who binds together values; Bhima (outcomes); Arjun (learning); Karna (legitimacy); Nakul (process) and Shadev (purpose).
An old article in Times of India compares Pandavas with modern executives:  The great Indian epic can be used to compare each of the Pandavas to managers of today with their roles, strengths, weaknesses and consequences.  The popular elective course — Spirituality for Global Managers — has management students looking at Krishna as the CEO; Yudhishtir who binds together values; Bhima (outcomes); Arjun (learning); Karna (legitimacy); Nakul (process) and Shadev (purpose). Says Ramnath Narayanaswamy, professor at IIM-B: "The Ramayana and Mahabharata are outstanding texts for all times and can be contemporised to any age. The Pandavas, Karna included, are each a great hero with a fatal flaw."  What is interesting is the way in…

Information on Musical Concerts and Programs in Chennai during Margazhi Month

Numerous musical concerts and programs are held in the Tamil Margazhi month (Mid December to Mid January) in Chennai and other important cities and towns in Tamil Nadu. The Hindu newspaper has created an exclusive page dedicated on Chennai Margazhi season online. In it you can get information about musical concerts and dance programs in the city. The articles in the special edition also focuses on personalities, memories etc. There are also interviews with eminent personalities in the field of music and dance.

Link – Chennai Margazhi Season

Lessons from Yoga Vasistha

What is contentment? To renounce all craving for what is not obtained unsought and to be satisfied with what comes unsought, without being elated or depressed ever by them – this is contentment…

There is no power greater than right action in the present moment
Enlightenment is characterized by the pure inner light.
This creation emerges from nothing, it dissolves in nothing its nature is void, it does not exist…
There is no place in the universe, no mountain, no sky, no heaven where one does not undergo the consequences of action performed by oneself…

Ameda Temple in Kerala That Accepts Snake Murtis (idols) from Sacred Groves

Snake worship, or Nagaradhana is very popular in Kerala. Earlier important houses in an area had a special grove dedicated to serpents which contain plants, shrubs and trees with medicinal properties. But majority of people do not want a sacred grove in their property as this reduces the value of the property in real estate market. So people are removing the Snake Murtis worshipped in the property. One temple which is currently hosting such removed murtis is the AmedaTemple in Ernakulam in Kerala.
The Hindu reports  What happens when there is no one to look after them and the sacred groves (Sarpakavu) are left in the lurch? Just like there are old age homes to take care of the elderly, Ameda Temple is one of the temples that “accepts” the snake spirits of the sacred groves from places that the land owners are unable to maintain. It has the shrines dedicated to the Nagaraja and Nagayakshi along with the main deity known as Saptamathrukkal  “We try to talk to the land owners about prese…

Story of Sage Kandu - How Passion Undid Years of Penance In A Day?

Sage Kandu performed intense austerities to attain the ultimate goal – self realization. He built an ashram at secluded spot on the banks of GomatiRiver. He did Tapas by standing between five fires in summer and in winter he performed Tapas by staying in cold water. The story of Sage Kandu is found in the Brahma Purana.

Indra, the King of Devas, was afraid of Sage Kandu’s asceticism as he worried that the sage would unseat him in the heaven.
Indra deputed Pramolcha, an Apsara (damsel), to disturb the austerities of Sage Kandu.
With the help of Kama (god of love), Vayu (wind god) and spring, Pramolcha created a perfect setting in the Ashram. Her songs disturbed the meditation of the Sage. Passion aroused in him and He took her inside the ashram.
Sage Kandu used his powers to turn into a 16-year-old youth and made love to Pramolcha.
Hundreds of years passed. In between Pramlocha asked permission to leave but the sage asked her stay. This continued for several years.
One day Sage Kandu…

About Cherial Paintings – Nakashi Patam in Telengana and its lone practitioner

Cherial Paintings – Nakashi Patam were used by story tellers in Telengana region of India to narrate stories from the Mahabharata, Shiva Purana and Adi Purana. The stories from local legends and myths were also narrated by the storytellers with the help of Cherial paintings.
The Hindu writes about this painting and its lone practitioner  Vaikuntam Nakash is today the lone practitioner of the 500-year-old Cherial painting tradition, just like his father was. His father chose to train his sons Vaikuntam and his brother. The genesis of the art form lay in wall paintings in temples and on ‘vahanas’ and gradually became part of the region’s oral narrative theatre. “We make our paintings on the instruction of the story teller and the narrative sequence. Then the story teller leaves to return after a year during which time the ‘chitrakars’ would have completed the scroll. In the olden days, the chitrakar or nakash would receive articles such as rice and dried coconut, as a fee on the complet…

Anger transmuted into love becomes an energy powerful move the world – Swami Sivananda

This body is an instrument or servant of the Soul, and not its prison…
Divine will is all powerful. God wills, and everything comes into being that very second. Man wills, but takes a long time for attaining a thing or materialization of the desire object as his will is weak…
By anger one loses his energy…Anger transmuted into Love becomes an energy so powerful as to move the whole world…
The mind is like a strolling street dog. You are eating out of garbage cans. You who are heir to immortal glory, divine blessedness – why are you picking up these little droppings and try to fill yourself? Swami Sivananda