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Showing posts from January, 2013

Story of Sabari in the Ramayana - Did Sabari Offer Half Eaten Fruit to Sri Ram?

Mata Sabari, an old woman mentioned in the Ramayana, attained moksha through her devotion to Sri Ram. Through the story of Sabari, Sri Ram demonstrated to the world that what is more important is devotion and not caste, creed or the value of the offerings. There is always a debate regarding the fruit offered by Mata Sabari. Whether the fruit was bitten or not bitten is a worthless debate. It is when we are bound by this body and ego that we feel bad about a bitten fruit. When True Bhakti dawns the difference melts away.

Mata Sabari, a very old woman, was an ardent devotee of Sri Ram. During His search for Mata Sita in the forest, Sri Ram along with Lakshman reached the hut of Sabari.
The old woman who was overwhelmed with joy had nothing to offer to Sri Ram. Tears trickled from her eyes and then she remembered about the wild fruits that she had collected the other day.
Sabari was not sure whether the fruits were tasty, sour or poisonous. So she tasted them first a little and threw aw…

Info on the official website of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra by Government of India

To get all the important details of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra conducted by Government of India, the Yatra governing body has created a official website. It provides all the forms required, all information regarding payments, age, health related queries etc.
The website also contains maps, itinerary, selection process, printable forms, batches etc.
Link – Website of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra by Government of India

Story of Akshaya Patra

Akshaya Patra is a divine bowl that was given to Panchali, the wife of Pandavas by Surya, the Sun God. During their exile period in the Mahabharata, Pandavas traveled across the country and wherever they camped, numerous saints and people used to visit them. The Pandavas found it difficult to provide food to the visitors. So Panchali prayed to Surya and He gave her the Akshaya Patra. The divine bowl would give food all day till Panchali takes her food. After the queen of the Pandavas had eaten, the bowl would not provide any food on the day.

Kauravas who never spared an opportunity to trouble Pandavas requested Sage Durvasa to visit the Pandavas. Sage Durvasa was known for his short temper and used to curse people if he was angry.
Kauravas made sure that Durvasa reached the camp of Pandavas after Panchali had eaten her food.
Pandavas were forced to invite Durvasa and his students for food. Akshaya Patra will not provide any food on the day as Draupadi had eaten her food. They had no…

About Patal Bhuvaneshwar Cave Temple in Uttarakhand

PatalBhuvaneshwarTemple in Uttarakhand is a natural cave temple dedicated to various gods in Hindu pantheon and is mentioned in the Skanda Purana. The cave temple is dedicated to Shiva and has naturally formed murtis of various deities. Patal Bhuvaneshwar temple is located about about 37 km from Chaukori and 14 km from Gangolihat in Pithorgarh District in Uttarakhand.

G. Brindha writes about this amazing cave temple in the Hindu One has to descend 82 steps to reach the underground tunnels. One has to squeeze in, crawl and worm one's way into the tunnel, holding on to the supportive chains on the walls and taking care not to slip. Between the stairways there is a footlinga of Lord Narasimha. At this point, one can see both ways up to the entrance and down to the main cave. On reaching down, one sees a big idol of Seshnag, holding the Earth on his hood.  There is a Hawan Kund in front. It is said that King Janamejayan performed Nagayaga here, as instructed by Rishi Ullanga to avenge…

Ashtavakra Gita in English in pdf format

Ashtavakra Gita is a classical text associated with Advaita school teaching and contains the teaching of Sage Ashtavakra. You can download the Ashtavakra Gita English translation for free in pdf format from the below link. The Ashtavakra Samhita is in the format of a dialogue between Sage Ashtavakra and King Janaka. 
Link - Ashtavakra Gita in English in pdf format
Related Story of Ashtavakra

Why Dasaratha Had to Send Sri Ram to the Forest?

Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya and father of Sri Ram, had to send his son to the forest for 14 years due to a curse. King Dasaratha was a great warrior and he had even helped Indra in the war in against demons. He was one of the greatest archers and could hit an arrow on target by merely listening to the source of the sound.

One day the king was on a hunting expedition near a forest in Ayodhya. The king could not find any animal for a long period of time. Then he suddenly heard a sound of some animal drinking water.
He shot an arrow in the direction of the sound and suddenly he heard the cry of a man.
To his utter dismay, the king found that he had shot a young man. The young man was Shravan Kumar a devoted son. He used to carry his blind parents in two baskets and carry them by tying the baskets to the two ends of a strong pole.
When the unfortunate incident took place, young Shravan Kumar was collecting water for his blind parents.
Shravan Kumar pardoned Dasaratha but requested …

Largest and Tallest Shivling in the World

There are no official statements regarding world’s largest and tallest Shivling. So there are many temples and sacred places claiming that it houses the largest Shivling in the world. Here is a look at some of the tallest Shivlings the world.

Shivling at Arjundhara in Jhapa, Nepal

A 151-feet long Shivling installed at Arjundhara of Jhapa in Nepal is currently believed to be the tallest in the world. The Shivling is known as Moksheswar Shivling. (Please note that there is no official confirmation regarding the height of this Shivling)
Shivling at KotilingeshwaraTemple in Kolar District in Karnataka

The Shivling at the world famous KotilingeshwaraTemple in Kolar District in Karnataka is 108 feet. This unique spot also houses a 35 feet Nandi and millions of Small Shivling.
Tallest Naturally Formed Shivling

It is believed that tallest naturally formed Shivling in India is located at the SidheshwarnathTemple at Lower Subansiri District in Arunachal Pradesh in India. This swayambhu Shivling h…

Genius does not argue, it creates – Rabindranath Tagore Quotes

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Real freedom is of the mind and spirit; it can never come to us from outside.
Bigotry tries to keep truth safe in its hand with a grip that kills it.
Genius does not argue, it creates.
If everyone were to act where would the audience be?
Rabindranath Tagore

Morari Bapu Teachings

Whatever action is performed with compassion is truly karma; without compassion, it is all merely kriya.
The desire for the unattained and attachment with already attained possessions leads to bondage.
The amount of energy we utilise in looking after our physical body, the same amount is enough to realise God, no more.
Don't ever have expectations for happiness; if you receive it, then consider it as God's prasad, share it with others.

Born on Sunday – Good or Bad – in Hindu Astrology

If you were born on a Sunday, then as per Hindu astrology your character and life will be influenced by Surya or the Sun God. The good effects of being born on Sunday include that the person will be handsome, intelligent and will show tremendous enthusiasm. The bad effects include that the person will be angry and proud.

The person will be of helpful nature and will always be ready to help the poor and needy.
As the person has a tough time in controlling his/her anger, in fights and arguments the person will put full strength. After arguments and fights, he might forgive but will keep a grudge in the mind.
By now is it clear that maximum damages in life for people born on Sunday will be caused by anger. Try to control anger through meditation.
The deity to be worshipped is Surya. Chant mantras dedicated to Surya. When mind is agitated try to chant the Gayatri Mantra.

Hindu Scriptures – Quotes on topic – Your destiny is in your hands

We reap what we sow. We are makers of our own fate. None else has the blame, none has the praise. (Swami Vivekananda)
If one thinks of oneself as free, one is free, and if one thinks of oneself as bound, one is bound. (Ashtavakra Gita)
You are what your driving desire is. As you desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
The cause of happiness or misery is no other than one’s self; it is an idea of the mind. (Bhagavad Gita)
Man is not bound by any other laws excepting those which he makes for himself. Our thoughts, our words and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw round ourselves for good or evil. Once we set in motion a certain power, we have to take the full consequences of it. This is the law of Karma. (Swami Vivekananda)

Spiritual and Symbolic Meaning of the Story of Kumbh Mela

The basic story associated with Kumbh Mela is the churning of ocean or Samudra Manthan. But there is spiritual and symbolic meaning to the story which is quite often missed. The story is symbolic – the churning of ocean by Devas (demigods) and Asuras (Demons) is always taking place in us. There is a constant fight in us to overcome the lower mind – the place of desire, ego, jealousy and ignorance.

When we finally defeat the craving of the body and ignorance, we will get the amruta or elixir of life. We are merged in truth. We defeat the temporary and find bliss in the permanent.
The Kumbh – the pot – is the human body. It is our free will as to what we want to churn out of it.
Kumbh Mela thus is an opportunity for us to reflect.
It is also a venue for the best minds to meet. It is also a venue for common seekers to mingle with the Gurus.

Melmalayanur Angalamman Temple Contact Information - Phone and Address

MelmalayanurAngalammanTemple is one of the rare temples dedicated to Goddess Parvati as Angalamman. The contact information and address of the temple is given below. Please note that the contact information might be updated when new information is available.

Contact Information and Address: The Executive Officer,
Sri Angala Parameshwari Temple,
Gingee Taluk,
Villupuram District,
Tamilnadu – 604204
Phone - 4145 234291
Email id -

Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan Invites Nomination for Swami Chinmayananda Award for Young Scholars

Chinmaya International Foundation Shodha Sansthan (CIFSS) Invites Nomination for award for young scholars below the age of forty to recognize their intellectual achievements and encourage them in their academic pursuits.

Heads of institutions/departments, eminent citizens and applicants themselves can make the nominations in the prescribed form so as to reach the Director, CIFSS on or before 31-01-2013.
An expert committee will evaluate the merit of nominations and make its recommendations.
The award will be declared on 15-02-2013.
You can find all details including how to nominate and applications form here at the official website of CIFSS.

Thirunageswaram Temple Timings

Thirunageswaram is an important temple dedicated to Rahu in Tamil Nadu. The detail opening and closing timings of temple are given below. The time is to give a general idea. The temple will be open for longer period during special occasions like Rahu Transition (Peyarachi) and festivals.

Thirunageswaram Timings:
Morning the temple is open from 5:30 AM to 1:00 PM Evening the temple is open from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Story of Ravana and Gokarna

Legend has it that the Shivling worshipped in the famous MahabaleshwarTemple in Gokarna was gifted to Ravana, the demon king in Ramayana, by Shiva. Legend has it that Ravana conquered the world and turned towards Kailash, the abode of Shiva. Ravan attempted to uproot the HolyMountain and tried to shake it. Shiva just pressed his toe on the Mountain and Ravana was crushed by the weight of the mountain.

Ravana who realized the omnipotence of Shiva immediately started singing the Sama Veda to impress Mahadev.
Shiva was impressed by Ravana’s piety and gave him a Shivling.
Shiva promised Ravana that no one will be able to conquer him as long as the Shivling is worshipped in Lanka.
Shiva put a condition that if the Shivling was kept down before reaching Lanka, then it will not move from the place.
Ravana carried the Shivling to Lanka but on the way at Gokarna he wanted to take bath. So he gave the Shivling to a little boy and asked him to not to keep it down. The boy agreed. But put a co…

Book – Commentary on Valmiki Ramayana – Read Online

Valmiki Ramayana commentary by L Ananta Rama Rao explores the various aspects of the great epic. You can read the entire book titled Valmiki Ramayana online for free. The author also tries to point out some important differences occur in regional versions especially with the Kamba Ramayana. The book is basically a commentary on the Valmiki Ramayana.
Link – Book Commentary on Valmiki Ramayana

Story of Bhima and Bakasura in the Mahabharat

One of the famous stories associated with Bhima, the second of the Pandava brothers, is that of him killing the demon Bakasura. This happened when Pandavas were living in Eka Chakra village after escaping from the wax house built by Duryodhana.

Pandavas and their mother, Kunti, reached Eka Chakra and decided to stay there. Soon they discovered that the village was terrorized by a demon named Bakasura.
Bakasura used to attack the village and kill people and animals. So the villagers made a contract with Bakasura, in which a house from the village will provide food to the demon. Bakasura also ate the man who carried the food.
Kunti found out that it was her neighbor’s turn to provide food. The poor woman of the house only had a son and if he was killed, there would be no one for her. Kunti agreed to solve the problem. She consoled her that one of her sons will carry the food to Bakasura.
Kunti then asked Bhima to carry the food to the demon. He took the food to the cave of Bakasura a…

Slide Show of Talakad Temples in Karnataka – Photos of Talakad Temples

Talakad near Mysore in Karnataka is famous for the Vaidyeshwara, Pataleshwara, Maruleshwara, Mallikarjuneshwara and Arakeshwara - Shiva temples – Panchalinga Temples. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has created a slide show of the Talakad temples, CauveryRiver and sculptures in the temple. There are more than 100 photos in the slide show. Some photos provide minute details of the sculptures found on the outer walls of the temple.
Link – Slide Show of Talakad Temples in Karnataka

Tripura Rahasya Quotes

Only those who do not need to engage in action are happy; they are perfectly content and self contained, and they experience happiness that extends to all the pores of the body…
He is a fool who misjudges good precepts for falsehood.
Misery is not absence of happiness, but limited happiness. For as happiness recedes misery pours in…
Faith is like a fond mother who can never fail to save her trusting son from dangerous situations.
Related Teachings from Tripura Rahasya

Beneshwar Mela in Rajasthan

Beneshwar Mela in Rajasthan is annually held from Magh Shukla Paksha Ekadasi to Magh Purnima as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in Rajasthan. Beneshwar Mela 2019 date is from February 16 to February 19. The most important date is the Magh Purnima day – January 31, 2018.

Beneshwar temple is dedicated to Shiva. The Shivling worshipped here is located on a delta formed by Som, Mahi and Jakham Rivers.
The festival is one of the largest tribal fair in India.
Beneshwar temple is located around 7 km from Sabla, which is on the Udaipur – Banswara – Dungarpur Road.
Banswara town is around 52 km from the temple. Udaipur is around 123 Km from the temple.

Meditation needs an awake mind not an unconscious one – Annamalai Swami

All suffering begins with a notion of duality. As long as this duality-consciousness is strongly fixed in the mind, one cannot give real help to other people. If one realizes one’s non-dual nature and becomes peaceful within, one becomes a fit instrument to help others…
Meditation needs an awake mind not an unconscious one…
Meditation is not something that should be done in a particular position at a particular time. It is an awareness and an attitude that must persist throughout the day…
If you give your mind your full, detached attention, you begin to understand the futility of all mental activities. Watch the mind wandering here and there, seeking out useless or unnecessary things or ideas which will ultimately only create misery for itself….
Related Annamalai Swami Teachings

Saraswati Kavach and Yantra for Performing Well in Exams

For performing well in studies and exams, Hindus take refuge in Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and arts. Sarasvati Kavach and Yantra are used by students to improve concentration and memory power. The benefits include better performance in exams.

What are Sarasvati Kavach and Yantra?
Sarasvati Kavach and Yantra are two different divine representation of Goddess Saraswati.
A Yantra is also a visual form of mantras. The power of the mantras are captured in it. It is kept in puja room.
Sarasvati Kavach as per astrologers is made during shubh muhurat (rare auspicious time period in a year). Mantras for auspiciousness are chanted and the Pran Pratishta is performed by priests. It can be worn on a part of the body.
Hindu Blog view
Sarasvati Kavach and Yantra will not perform any miracles. It will only help in improving confidence level. A student using the divine items should also work hard.

Rewasa Dham at Sikar in Rajasthan – Rewasa Temple

Rewasa Dham, a 16th century temple, is located at Sikar in Rajasthan and is dedicated to Bhagvan Sri Ram and Shri Agradeva Maharaj. It is believed that Mata Sita gave darshan to Agradeva Maharaj in the spot where the present day temple stands. The temple is associated with the Shri Ramanada Sect and numerous incidents from life of Bhagvan Sri Ram are depicted on the walls of the temple.

Opening and Closing Time of the Temple Morning Darshan Time – 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM Evening Puja Time – 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The most important festivals observed at the temple are Ramnavami, Janaki Navami, Janmashtami and Shri Agracharya Jayanti.
The temple is around 100 km from Jaipure.
Nearest Railway Station is Goria Railway Station at 4 kms.

Hayagriva Beej Mantra – Benefits and Importance of the Hayagriva Mantra

Hayagriva incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu is associated with Vedas. Srihari Vishnu appeared with a human body and horse head to recover the Vedas, which were stolen by Asuras or Demons. Hayagriva Beej Mantra and its importance are mentioned in the Sri Hayagriva Upanishad. The benefit of chanting mantra is that it helps in attaining self realization. On the request of Sage Narada, Brahma taught his all important Beej Mantra.

The single syllable Hayagriva Beej Mantra is ‘Hlaum’
Sri Hayagriva Upanishad says – this single-syllable beeja-mantra is the word Hlaum, which consists of the three letters h, l, and om.

Benefits and Importance of Hayagriva Beej Mantra They who chant this Hlaum beeja-mantra attain both wealth and learning.They attain knowledge of the transcendental form of Lord Hayagriva and they also attain liberation, becoming free from the entanglement of residing in a material body.They become the rulers of the dik-palas, kings, and nagas.Surya and others diligently chant this …

Siddharameshwara Temple at Yelanadu in Karnataka

Siddarameshwara temple at Yelanadu is located in Chikkanayakanahalli Taluk in Tumkur District in Karnataka. This is one of the 57 temples associated with Shivayogi Siddarama – the holy saint is said to have constructed temples at various place where he under took penance for spreading Shaivism during the 12th century. His Holiness Siddarama is considered as one of the prophets of Lingayat Religion.

The place, where the temple currently stands, was once a thick forest and Shivayogi Siddarama during his journey of spreading Shaivism stayed at this place and performed Tapas under a tree. As time passed he was surrounded by an ant hill. Cattle of a nearby village used to give milk on its own on this ant hill which was observed by the cattle grazer and informed the fact to his master in the village.
A temple was then built on the spot. One of the most important offering in the temple is Ellu or Sesame.
The temple is around 7km from Huliyar and 50 km from Hosadurga Road Railway Station.

Ravana Temples in India - Hindu Temples Dedicated to Ravan in Ramayana

There are several temples dedicated to Ravana in India. Ravan is one of the biggest demons in Hindu Scriptures. Although he is the chief of demons in the Ramayan, Ravana is worshipped for his intense devotion to Shiva and his scholarly trait. Known temples dedicated to Ravana are found in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. It must be noted that there will be numerous other temples dedicated to Ravan which is yet to be recorded.

DashananTemple at ChinnamastikaTemple in Kanpur
DashananTemple is a small shrine dedicated to Ravana on the premises of ChinnamastikaTemple in Kanpur. The shrine is only opened during the Dasara Festival. A 5ft murti of Ravana is found in the temple.
45ft Ravana Murti at KhonpuraVillage in Madhya Pradesh
The huge murti of Ravan is worshipped on the open ground of the KhonpuraVillage. The murti is more than 200 years old. You can read about this murti here.
Mandore in Rajasthan - Ravana is Son-in-Law here
Mandore near Jodhpur in…

Valuable Lessons – Swami Sivananda

Be tranquil within. Let that inner peace and joy radiate through a serene countenance. A serene countenance is peaceful, smiling and serious and does not betray any violent emotions. It is like the surface of a still lake.
Do not boast of your birth, position, qualifications and spiritual attainments. Praise others. See good in all. Treat even the lowliest creatures as your equal and with respect.
Be artless. Be simple in your speech. Do not twist words and topics. Be plain; avoid diplomacy, cunningness and crookedness. Be simple in your dress. Be simple in your food.
Let your words agree with the thoughts; let your actions agree with your words. Let there be harmony among your thoughts, words and actions. Swami Sivananda

Thindal Murugan Temple Pooja Timing – Darshan – Visiting Time at Thindal Muruga Temple at Erode in Tamil Nadu

ThindalMuruganTemple at Thindal in Erode in Tamil Nadu is one of the famous temples dedicated to Lord Muruga. DetailThindalMuruganTemple Pooja Timing is given below. Hundreds of people visit the temple daily to have the darshan of the murti of Muruga who blesses them with prosperity. Visiting time is from 6:00 AM in the morning to 8:30 PM. On special day, the temple is open till midnight.
Daily Puja Timings 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Tuesday and Friday 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Krithigai, Amavasai and Sashti and other festival and vrat days 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Akbar Fort Near Sangam – Home to Patalpuri temple and Saraswati Koop – Opened during Kumbh Mela 2013

Akbar Fort near Sangam – Prayag in Allahabad houses the PatalpuriTemple and Saraswati Koop. The fort is under the control of the Indian Army and it has opened the fort for devotees during Kumbh Mela 2013.

It is believed that River Saraswati follows beneath the Saraswati Koop – a deep well. The Patalpuri temple is believed to have been visited by Bhagvan Sri Ram and also finds a mention in the accounts of Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang.
Akshay Vat tree located within the fort is a very old banyan tree, believed to be dating back to the Mahabharat times.
Other two important spots in the fort are Patalpuri Dwar and Ganga Dwar. Express Indiareports
The Army on Thursday opened the access to the pathways that would lead visitors to the historic Patalpuri temple and the mythical Saraswati Koop, located within Akbar Fort near Sangam here. The Army’s ordnance depot is located in this fort, which was built in the 16th Century.

Why do we draw Rangoli?

Rangoli is an important part of Hindu festivals and celebrations. But ever wondered why do we draw Rangoli. It symbolizes happiness and prosperity. It is a welcome sign for Goddess Lakshmi.
Rangoli are basically a sign of welcome – part of Aditi Devo Bhava – guests are equal to god.
The popular belief across India is that Rangoli invites Goddess Lakshmi into the home.
It also stands for cleanliness.

Understanding Kumbh Mela Festival – Thoughts and Quotes on the Greatest Festival on the Banks of Ganges

Millions of people will be performing holy bath at Prayag – Sangam (Allahabad in India) on the banks of GangesRiver starting from January 14, 2013. These millions arrive on the banks of Ganga without any persuasion, advertisement or force. They arrive on their own. The only force that draws them to the Sangam is Moksha or Liberation – to merge with the Supreme Truth and escape from endless birth and death.

Sangam is the confluence of River Ganga, Saraswati and Yamuna. Sanagm or Prayag is the holiest place in Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). All Hindu scriptures talk about the greatness of Sangam.

Why Hinduism does not fit into the definition of religion set by western scholars is answered best during Kumbh Mela? Thousands of traditions, groups, rituals, prayers, practices, sects; different language, clothes, food, - it’s a festival of unity in diversity. Thousands of traditions arrive to become ONE at Sangam. The core teaching that brings them to banks of Ganga is that – there is only Tha…

Makar Sankranti Quotes and Thoughts from Hindu Blog

Makar Sankranti is all about light that removes darkness. Who is worshipped on Makar Sankranti – Sun (Surya)? Who is Surya? – Pratyaksha Brahman or the Visible God. We are offering prayers to that Sun whose physical presence is responsible for all life on earth. It is sort of a thanksgiving after the long and harsh winter.
Makar Sankranti and Moksha
By bathing on Makar Sankranti day in holy rivers we are not going to attain moksha. For attaining moksha we have to remove the darkness which is stopping us from realizing the truth in us – the truth present in all animate and inanimate.
When we realize that there is only Truth we attain moksha. Liberation is not after death but it has to happen while living on earth. And it can only happen when we realize that there is no second – only Brahman. When this happen desire, anger, ego, jealousy, competition drops and we become one with Brahman.

Vidurashwatha Temple Address and Contact Number – Timing

VidurashwathaTemple is a famous temple dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. The temple is also famous as a NagaTemple (Snake Worship). This temple is visited for pariharam associated with Naga Doshas. The detail timing, address and contact number of VidurashwathaTemple is given below.

Detail opening and closing time: Usual daily temple timing: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Special days and during Jathra and festivals Timing:
6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Contact Address: ShreeVidurashwathaNarayanaswamyTemple,
Gowribidanur Taluk,
Chikkaballapur District.
Pin – 56120
Contact Telephone number: 91-8155-288143
You can also contact Pradhana Archaka Sreedhara Sastry for pooja related queries on  9901398826, 9611008445

Nearest Railway Station: Vidurashwatha Railway Station – 2 KM Gowribidanur Railway Station – 9 KM Hindupur Railway Station – 17 KM

Video by BBC - the house in which Swami Vivekananda Stayed in New York– Which is a Shrine Now

A video by BBC shows the home in which Swami Vivekananda stayed in New York during his famous visit to the United States in the 19th century. The short video also contains interview with people who are currently taking care of the home and spreading the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.
The video length is 2:20 minutes
You can view the Video here in BBC 

Swami Vivekananda on His Mother – The love which my mother gave to me has made me what I am

Today - January 12, 2013 - is the birthday of Swami Vivekananda.

Swami Vivekananda said this about Bhuvaneswari Devi, His mother

…always suffering, always loving . . . The love which my mother gave to me has made me what I am and I owe a debt to her that I can never repay . . . I know that before I was born, my mother would fast and pray and do hundreds of things which I could not even do for five minutes. She did that for two years. I believe that whatever religious culture I have, I owe to that. It was consciously that my mother brought me into the world to be what I am. Whatever little good impulse I have was given to me by my mother, and consciously, not unconsciously.
Source – Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda 9 202-3 We need to learn to respect the unfathomable pain and struggle our mothers, sisters, wives and of other millions of women. They never advertise their struggle or pain. We owe to them what we are today and what we will be tomorrow. We are here because of women. (hin…

Story – Bhakti is Greater Than Wealth

Worship of God in mind is always better than worshiping through show of wealth and pomp. We make spirituality and worship an event by loud music and numerous other embellishments. But true Bhakti is in realizing the God inside us. Once a king wanted to show his devotion to Vishnu for this he built an ornate temple and fixed the date for the consecration (Kumbhabhishekam ceremony) of the temple.

Advertisements about the greatness of the temple were announced in all nook and corner of the kingdom. There was huge preparation for the inauguration – dancers, priests, musicians from all over the kingdom and neighboring kingdoms arrived to participate in the event.
The night before the Kumbhabhishekam of the temple, the king had a dream and in it Vishnu appeared and said that a poor potter has built a small temple and he is going to dedicate it to Me tomorrow. Vishnu said that he cannot disappoint his ardent devotee – the potter. The potter was a great bhakta and he always thought about Vis…

Kumbh Mela 2013 Photos

This particular photo tour consists of photos taken during Kumbh Mela 2013 at Prayag – Sangam (Allahabad). Below are photo links to collection of Kumbh Mela photos. The page will be updated as more collections are published online.

Link - Kumbh Mela 2013 photos by Indian Express
Link - Kumbha Mela 2013 photos by Hindustan Times

Link - Kumbh Gathering in 2013

Related Photo Tour of Haridwar Kumbh Mela 2010

Sri Ranganatha Yatheendra Maha Desikan Thoughts

Untouchability is unacceptable. Only those who do not perform their duties with sincerity and commitment are untouchables. Caste has no role here.

This is Kaliyuga. My views may not have takers. Not only the politicians, but most of the people are committing mistakes. But there is hope if there is repentance.
Ego is the cause of all caste and religious conflicts.
Adherence to dharma and performing one’s duties will bring about the change.
Discipline is essential for the development of tolerance, a vital ingredient for harmony.
You can achieve anything with kindness and love. On the other hand, enmity begets enmity. If you need friendship and fraternity, you have to tolerate, adjust and unite. The policy of give-and-take is a must for the peaceful life.
Sri Ranganatha Yatheendra Maha Desikan – 46th pontiff of Sri Ahobila Mutt
Source – interview published in The Hindu.

Children Aspiring to Become Naga Sadhus Will be Ordained During Kumbh Mela 2013

Shri Panchyati Akhara Naya Udaseen is the only Akhara that ordains children as Naga Sadhus before the age of 14. Children not immediately ordained as Naga Sadhus – they are allowed to live with their Gurus so they can get first hand information about a life of Naga Sadhu. The children can then decide to stay or return home. After the children are ordained as nagas, they are given proper education, be it in traditional Vedic or Sanskrit schools or modern schools run by the akhara.
Hindustan Times reports  Hundreds of children aspiring to become naga sadhus will be ordained Bal Naga Sadhus of Shri Panchyati Akhara Naya Udaseen in the Kumbh Mela. The centuries-old tradition also gives ordained kids important designations such as mahant, kothari, and bhandari.  The training of these teenaged naga sadhus begins under the watchful eyes of their revered guru. By the time they become adults, they are adept at handling these roles efficiently. Currently, there are over 350 child naga sadhus in…

The Significance and Meaning of Narayana – By Sri Tridandi Chinna Srimannarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar Swamiji

Narayana is the Supreme Being – this is what is explained in the Bhagavad Gita. In the 10th and the 11th chapters of the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord clearly says that He is present in each and every object and is responsible for its survival. There is no being or object without Him. He is present in and is the cause of support for every atom that exists. Thus He is in everything, not just in heaven or space.
Arjuna was scared upon seeing the universal form of the Lord. He could see neither the beginning nor the end of it. In the 10th and the 11th chapters, the Lord clearly explains how He is in everything and everything is within Him.
These two chapters explain the meaning of the word NARAYANA.
RA in Sanskrit means that which perishes; NARA means that which never perishes – but only changes its name, color, place or form. NARA means all such objects (to explain the plurality, the word NARA becomes Naara.
AYANA means support –from within and outside. Support to what? The answer follows…

Why is Kumbh Mela Held in India?

There are two important reasons why Kumbh Mela is held in India. One is based on stories in scriptures and another is a practical reason. The practical reason is that Kumbh Mela is meant for the great minds in Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) to meet and discuss and share knowledge for the welfare of the living beings. Decisions and new findings in philosophy and science taken during the Kumbh Mela are then carried by the saints to different parts of the world.

Reason in Puranas

The most important and widely accepted reason in scriptures is found in the Bhagavad Puran. Puranas are filled with wars between Devas (demigods) and Asuras (demons). The Devas always have the upper hand but occasionally due to some curse or misdeeds the Devas lose this upper hand. Lord Indra, the king of Devas, was once cursed by Sage Durvasa and as the result of this curse, Demons overpowered the Devas.
To find a solution the Devas approached Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu advised them to obtain Amrut - ‘the nectar of i…

Siddarameshwara Jayanti of Bhovi Guru Peetha

Siddarameshwara Swami is the spiritual guru of the Bhovi Community in Karnataka. Siddarameshwara Jayanthi is the birth anniversary of the guru and in 20120 it will observed on January 19. The day is of great significance to the Bhovi community.

The Bhovi Guru Peetha, inspired by Guru Siddarameshwara, works for the betterment of the Bhovi community.
The spiritual guru is a guiding light in various matters associated with community.
The community follows the teaching of Lord Basavanna.

The jayanti is observed usually on Paush Krishna Paksha Dasami as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in Karnataka.

Kumbha Masam 2019 – Malayalam Kumbham Month in 2019

Kumbha Masam, or Kumbham, is the seventh month in a traditional Malayalam calendar followed in Kerala. Kumbha Masam in 2019 begins on February 13, 2019 and ends on March 14, 2019. Auspicious days in the month include Attukal Pongala, Sri Ramakrishna Jayanti, Tirunavaya Ekadasi, Kumbha Bharani, Chottanikara Makam and Tiruvilamala Ekadasi.

Mahashivratri is on March 4.

The month is of great significance in Bhagavathy Temples in South Kerala. Temple festivals are held in this month. Festivals in all most all the important temples are held during the period.

Full Moon and No Moon Day Veluthuvavu or full moon day (Purnima) – February 19Karthuvavu or Amavasi – March 6 Ekadasi fasting dates - February 16 and March 2
Pradosham Fasting is on February 17 and March 3

Sashti Fasting - March 12
Festivals and auspicious days include: TempleFestival at EttumanurMahadevaTemple begins on Ezhara Ponnana Darshan is onTirunavaya Ekadasi – Temple festival Guruvayur SriKrishnaTemple - Chottanikara Makam - At…

Why Sugriva and Vali Became Enemies?

Sugriva and Vali were brothers. Vali ruled Kishkinda, the Vanar kingdom (monkey kingdom). The brothers loved each other but destiny made them enemies. Legend has it that once a demon named Mayavi came to Kishkinda and started killing monkeys and destroying fruit bearing trees.

Vali challenged Mayavai. The demon was no match to Vali in strength and he escaped and hid in a cave. Vali and Sugriva pursued the demon and challenged him in the cave.
Vali asked Sugriva to wait outside the cave. Several days passed and Sugriva heard roars from inside and breaking of rocks. Then one day there was silence inside the cave.
Sugriva did not hear the customary yelling of Vali after defeating his enemy. Suddenly Sugriva noticed blood coming out of the cave. Sugriva thought that Mayavi had killed Vali. To stop the Mayavi from escaping from the cave, Sugriva closed the mouth of the mountain with a huge rock.
Sugriva then reached Kishkinda and narrated what had happened. He then declared himself as the…

Makara Masam 2019 – Malayalam Makaram Month in 2019

Makara Masam, or Makaram, is the sixth month in a traditional Malayalam calendar followed in Kerala. Makara Masam in 2019 begins on January 15, 2019 and ends on February 12, 2019. 
Other important festivals and auspicious days in the month include Makara Chovva or the first Tuesday in Makara month.

Makara Bharani is a major festival day at Goddess Bhagavati Temples in Kerala and is on .

Madhva Navami is on February 14.
Thaipusam dedicated to Lord Subrahamania is on January 21.
Fasting - Vavu - Pournami Amavasya (Karutha Vavu) is on February 4

Purnima or full moon day (Velutha Vavu) is on January 21

Ekadasi Fasting dates are January 17 and January 31.

Pradosham dates are January 19 and February 2

Shasti fasting is on February 11.
Next month in Malayalam Calendar is the Kumbha Masam.

All great people have become great because of their love for others – Swami Chinmayananda

To a sincere devotee nothing is impossible. Mere devotion alone is not sufficient. Devotion to the Lord must be ever dancing in our heart, and our hands and legs must sweat in work, our head (intellect) must think well, and thus, ‘holding on’ to Him in love, let us use all the faculties and powers. He has so lovingly given us. Then no one can fail. No one will lose. None can come to sorrow.
All great people have become great because of their love for others. They gained greatness because they learnt to love.
The lord is the sheer embodiment of love. If we understand what love is, teach ourselves to love all, we have served our Lord. There is no puja greater than that, no tapas more effective.
Love is an ability, a capacity in our minds, which is to be systematically cultivated. Once the faculty of love has developed, thereafter, we have the total freedom to love, and any situation is a fertile field for the cultivation of our love. Swami Chinmayananda

Sri Agastheeswarar – About Shiva as Agastheeswarar

Shiva is worshipped as Sri Agastheeswarar in many temples in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu. Shiva is given the name Agastheeswarar and worshipped in those temples in which Sage Agastya installed the Shivling. The main Murti in some temples where Sage Agastya performed worship is also known by the name.
Legend has it that Sage Agastya had installed and worshipped 108 Shivlings in South India. In many of the 108 temples, the presiding deity Shiva is known as Sri Agastheeswarar.
Sage Agastya was an ardent devotee of Shiva and it is said that it is due to the unparalleled spiritual strength of Agastya that Shiva is worshipped in the name of the Saint.
Legend has it that once all the saints of world assembled in the Himalayas to hear Hindu God Shiva talking about the secret of the Veda and Tantra. When all the pious people were assembled in Himalayas, the earth tilted. To restore the balance of the earth, Shiva asked Sage Agastya to go south as the spiritual strength of Agastya w…

Kumbh Mela 2013 in Numbers – Facts

Kumbh Mela held once in 12 years at Allahabad (Prayag – Sangam) in India is the largest ever gathering of human beings for a single purpose in the world. So how big is Kumbh Mela 2013? Here are few numbers and facts to give an idea how big the Mela which begins on January 14, 2013 is.

Kumbha Mela 2013 is spread over 56 days.
100 million people will be participating in the Mela – India Government estimate is 10 crore.
Kumbh Nagri in Prayag (epicenter of the Mela) is spread over 58.03 square km
Total amount of business expected to be done due to Kumbh Mela is 12,000 crore rupees (120 billion rupees)

Jobs created direct and indirect during Kumbh Mela - 650,000

Law and Order 30,000 policemen are on duty during the period. There are 30 police stations. 45 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Kumbh Nagri 120 CCTV cameras in AllahabadCity
Fire department 30 fire stations. Multi-purpose vehicle with gadgets that can evacuate people trapped in debris In case of a power failure – fire depart…

Bengali Magh month in 2019 – Magh Mash in Bangala Calendar 2019

Magh month is the tenth month in a traditional Bengali calendar. The previous month was the Poush Mash. As per Gregorian calendar, the Magh month begins in Mid January and ends in Mid February. In 2019, Maagh Mash in Bangala Calendar begins on January 16 and ends on February 13, 2019.

The Aamabashya  or no moon day in month is Feb 4.

Purnima or full moon day in Magh month in 2019 is on January 21.

The Ekadashi in the month are on January 17, 2019 and January 31.
Important Festivals in Bengali Maagh month in 2019 
Sarasawthi Puja - February 10
Maagh Month Ganesh puja is on February 9

The next month in Bengali calendar is the Phalgun month.

Maasi Month 2019 in Tamil Calendar– Masi Masam in 2019 in Calendar in Tamil Nadu

Maasi month is the 11th month in a traditional calendar followed in Tamil Nadu. Maasi Month in 2019 begins on February 13 and ends on March 14. Mahashivratri is observed in Masi month in 2019 - March 4, 2019. Maasi Maham ( February 20, 2019) is another auspicious day in the month.

Pillayar Sankatahara Chaturthi is on February 22

Pournami and Amavasai Maasi Amavasai is on March 6 Pournami, or full moon day, in Maasi month is on February 19

Festival and Auspicious dates in Maasi Month 2018 Ekadasi – February 16Pradosh – February 17Ekadasi – March 2Pradosh – March 3Sashti – March 12Karadayin Nombu – March 14

Rudra Gita Quotes

Thy (God Vishnu’s) presence behind Nature cannot be seen but can be inferred. It is Thou as Time, imperceptible but irresistibly fast in movement that drives, with terrific speed, all manifested beings along their course like a terrific wind blowing away the massed clouds, and ultimately brings them to their destruction by the interaction of elements.

All the creatures of the world, steeped in lust and greed, and engrossed in thoughts on the ways and means of securing their worldly ambitions, are quickly consumed by Thee, the un-winking and watchful spirit of Time, as a hungry serpent might swallow a rat that it comes upon.
The whole world is gripped with the fear of death; but to us who know Thee, Thou are a haven free of fear.
Of all the blessings a man can receive, the highest is what is got by spiritual enlightenment. With spiritual enlightenment as the boat, man crosses the limitless ocean of samsara.
Rudra Gita

Siddarameshwara Jayanti - Shri Shivayogi Siddarameshwara

Siddarameshwara Jayanthi is the birth anniversary of the 12th century saint poet from Karnataka. In 2020, Siddarameshwara Jayanthi will be observed from January 14 to 16.  Shri Shivayogi Siddarameshwara was a great contributor to Lingayat Teaching and he is considered as one of the five important teachers of Lingayat Pantha

Siddarameshwara, who called himself Kapila Sidda Mallikarjuna had composed over 68,000 vachanas – holy teachings – but sadly only 1,992 of them are available today.
He was an important reformist in the 12th Century. He believed in physical toil, practiced community labour and advocated equality for women in public life.

Shiva Sutra Quotes

Every individual who is aware of his spiritual nature being Atman realizes of his being an actor on the world stage; and he is, therefore, not affected or deluded by the particular role he is enacting.

The manifested world is the stage on which the manifested Jiva play their limited roles.
It is mind (mental knowledge) that is vitiated by the illusion of duality, and is the source and instrument of bondage of the spirit in man which is inherently free, and essentially an expression of the Reality.
Only on overcoming delusion of mind caused by attachment even to the subtlest objects on the highest planes of manifestation, there is attainment of that Knowledge, inherent in Reality, all-embracing and through which anything can be accomplished. Shiva Sutras

God verily exists – He alone is the Truth – Sri Ramakrishna Explains

A question that is commonly asked is: ‘If God exists, why we cannot see him?’ For this, Sri Ramakrishna’s reply is simple: ‘You cannot see God during the days of your ignorance, just as you cannot see the stars in the sky during day-time, even though they do exist.’ Not only does he exist he is the only truth that exists!

Does that mean that the world in which we live, move and have our being is unreal?
It is unreal if satya or reality is defined as something which never changes, unaffected by three aspects of time past, present and future. Compared to that, this world is ephemeral, constantly changing, and hence unreal.
Good God! Then, how can we, or how should we, live?
Sri Ramakrishna says: ‘Live like the maid-servant in her master’s house. Though she apparently treats the children of her master as her own, she knows in her heart of hearts, that they are not. Her own children live in her ancestral village’.
Another example he gives is: ‘The boat can be in the water, but, water sh…

Hanuman Standing on Demons

There are numerous murtis (idols), sculptures and paintings of Hanuman stamping on demons. One of the most famous painting and sculpture of Hanuman standing on demon is that of him tramping on panvati (bad astrological influence). Others demons are identified as Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Indrajit (Meghnad), Kalanemi and Mahiravana.

It is believed by most Hanuman devotees that Hanuman had on one or more occasions defeated the above said demons.
Panvati, or Panoti, is a demon mentioned in Puranas and she symbolically represents the all the bad astrological influences caused by the Navgrahas or nine planets. The most popular image of Panvati is that of Hanuman trampling on her. This means that Hanuman can remove all the bad astrological influences.
Mahiravana who had kidnapped Sri Ram and Lakshman was defeated by Hanuman. (You can read the story here).
Kalanemi was defeated by Hanuman when he was on his way to get Mrita Sanjeevani. (You can read the story here).

Lessons from Swami Vivekananda

Intellect has been cultured; result, hundreds of sciences have been discovered, and their effect has been that the few have made slaves of the many – that is all the good that has been done.
Artificial wants have been created; and every poor man, whether he has money or not, desires to have those wants satisfied and when he cannot, he struggles and dies in the struggle. This is the result.
Through the intellect is not the way to solve the problem of misery but through the heart.
If all this vast amount of effort had been spent in making men purer, gentler and more forbearing, this world would have a thousand fold more happiness than it has today. Swami Vivekananda

Ravivar Vrat Katha – Story Read on Sunday Fasting Dedicated to Surya

Ravivar Vrat in Hindu Religion is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God in Hinduism. The popular belief is that observing Sunday fasting will help in early cure of skin diseases. Long ago there lived a pious old lady who performed Ravivar Vrat without fail. She used to get up early on Sunday morning, plaster her house with cow dung and then offer food to Surya. The old lady led a very happy life with the blessing of Sun God.

The old lady did not own a cow so she used to collect cow dung from her neighbor’s cowshed. The neighbor lady was jealous of the happy life of the old lady. So to stop the Ravivar fasting of the old lady, she started tying the cow inside her house.
The next Ravivar, the old lady could not offer her prayers as there was no cow dung to plaster the place. So she did not cook any food and went hungry the whole day.
The sun god appeared in her dream in the night and blessed her with a beautiful cow and a calf. In morning, the old lady found the same cow and calf that was i…