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Showing posts from November, 2014

Just see the unreal as unreal and you will realize your true nature – Nisargadatta Maharaj

If you go deeper into the matter, you will realize that the source of the body—the male sperm and the female ovum — is in itself the essence of food consumed by the parents; that  the physical form is made of, and fed by, the five elements constituting the food; and also that quite often the body of one creature does become the food for another creature.
Consciousness resides in a healthy body and abandons it when it is decayed and moribund. Reflection of the sun can be seen only in a clear dew drop, not in a muddy one.
One goes through life, year after year, enjoying the usual pleasures and suffering the usual pains, but never once seeing life in its true perspective. And what is the true perspective? It is this: There is no 'me', nor 'you'; there never could be any such entities.  Every man should understand this and have the courage to live his life with this understanding.
Just see the transient as transient, the unreal as unreal, the false as false, and you will …

Ekanamsha – About Goddess Ekanamsha

Goddess Ekanamsha is believed to a manifestation of Goddess Durga. Today she is more popularly associated with Bhagvan Sri Krishna and his elder brother Balarama. Thus Ekanamsha is Subhadra, sister of Sri Krishna.

Ekanamsha is usually depicted as standing between Balarama and Sri Krishna. She holds either a lotus or a mirror.
As per Brihat Samhita, the Goddess can be depicted with two, four or eight arms.
In some scriptures she is closely identified with Goddess Katyayani.
The worship of Ekanamsha is more popular in eastern parts of India and is associated with Jagannath cult.

Gita in Spanish Language – Download Bhagavad Gita text in Spanish in pdf for free

Bhagavad Gita text in Spanish language in pdf for free is provided by Shri Swami Adgadanandji of Yatharthgeeta website. Each chapter of Bhagavad Gita is presented in a separate pdf file. You can download all the eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita in Spanish as a single book.
You can download the Bhagavad Gita in Spanish in pdf format here.

Nagdive in Maharashtra in Margashirsh Month

Nagdive is observed during the first Thursday during the shukla paksha, or waxing phase of moon, in Margashirsh month. The ritual is mainly observed in Marathwada region in Maharashtra.
In the ritual, people bring sweets of their choice and burn diya over it by putting a cotton wick soaked in ghee. The sweet and the diya are held below any clean iron metal vessel or instrument.
The diya deposits black substance on the iron metal vessel and that's used as kajal – eyeliner.
Another important ritual that is observed on Thursday in Margashirsh month in Maharashtra is the Margashirsh Lakshmi Puja.

Vedic Math Multiplication Methods

The multiplication methods used in Vedic Maths helps in making the whole process easy and simple. By looking at the numbers one can multiply the numbers in our mind with Vedic Maths methods.  The New Indian Express Reports
Today we look at a method to find the product of two-digit numbers with the same first digit and the sum of the second digits is 10. Number pairs like 11 and 19, 12 and 18, 23 and 27 are examples of numbers which have the same tens digit and whose units digits add up to 10.
Let us break down this method into the following steps.
Multiply the tens digit (same for both) by the next consecutive number. That will be the first part of our answer.
Multiply the units digits of the two numbers. That will be the second part of the answer.
We have to remember that it is similar to the Nikhilam method, which has a base number and where the number of digits in the answer is decided by the number of zeros in the base.
For two-digit numbers we take 100 as the base, so the number of dig…

Bodgeshwar Temple Festival – Bodgeshwar Jatra at Mapusa in Goa

BodgeshwarTemple festival is observed in Paush month and is locally referred as Jatra. The temple located at Mapusa in Goa is dedicated to Kanakeshwar Baba or Bodgeshwar. Bodgeshwar Jatra 2020 date is January 9. The deity worshipped in the temple is also known as Bongini.
The annual jatra attracts scores of devotees to this small temple. The popular belief is that the deity is a wish fulfilling deity and prayers never go unanswered.
Special lighting arrangements are made during the annual temple festival.
Bodgeshwar Jatra is observed on Paush Shukla Paksha Chaturdashi or the fourteenth day during the waxing phase of moon as per Hindu lunar calendar followed in Goa.

Yamai Devi Yatra – Yamai Jatra Festival at Aundh in Satara

Yamai Devi Yatra is annually observed in Paush month at Aundh near Satara in Maharashtra. Yamai Devi Yatra 2020 date is January 10. The goddess is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Durga – she is also known as Mahishasur Mardini Yamai. ‘Ye Mai’ in marathi means come mother.
The annual Yatra to the YamaiDeviTemple attracts thousands of devotees. In the festival a palanquin atop a vehicle carries the murti of the goddess. People throw sindoor powder and follow the procession.
Yamai Devi Yatra is annually observed on Paush Purnima or full moon day in Paush month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Goddess Gadhimai – About Goddess Gadhi Mai

Goddess Gadhimai is a local deity worshipped in the Bara District of Nepal and is a fierce manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. There are thousands of manifestations of Goddess Shakti but what makes Goddess Gadhi Mai popular is the animal sacrifice performed to appease her once in five years. It is believed that slaughtering of animals relieve the anger of the goddess.
People believe that the all powerful Goddess can be pleased only through animal sacrifice. She is believed to bless devotees with prosperity. She is also worshipped to defeat enemies. People slaughter animals after desire or wish is fulfilled – like birth of a child, relief from disease etc.
Gadhimai Mela or fair, notorious for the sacrifice of large number of animals, is held once in five years in the Bara District of Nepal and is mainly attended by people from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in India. Nearly 400,000 animals are sacrificed during the period.
Goddess Gadhimai speaks through a high priestess in …

Hindu Temples at Turuvekere near Tumkur in Karnataka

A murti of Nandi, the divine bull of Shiva, carved from soap stone is enough to make the journey to Turuvekere near Tumkur in Karnataka worthy. The town also has the rare temple in which Shiva and Ganga are worshipped together. Turuvekere is located around 128 km from Bangalore and houses the famous GangadhareshwaraTemple.

GangadhareshwaraTemple is dedicated to Shiva and is built in Dravidian style of architecture and is known for its exquisite carvings.
The Shivling worshipped in the temple is referred as Gangadhareswara – it has matted locks of Shiva with Ganga. Sun, mood and the 27 birth stars (Nakshatras) also adorn the Shivling. The utsava murti of Shiva (the murti taken out for procession and rituals) has an eye on the foot. Another highlight of the temple is the huge Nandi murti.
The temple complex also houses a shrine of Goddess Bhavani. The temple also has a rare sculpture of Bedara Kannapa.
Huge bell made using soap stone is another attraction.
ChennakeshavaTemple located ne…

Shantadurga Chamundeshwari Kudtari Mahamaya Jatra at Ghudo in Avedem in Goa

ShantadurgaChamundeshwariKudtariMahamayaTemple is located at Ghudo in Avedem at Quepem in Goa. The annual Jatra or temple festival is observed in Paush month. Shantadurga Kudtari Mahamaya Jatra 2020 date is from January 8 to January 10.
This is the most important annual festival in the temple and is known as Jatra Utsav.

Hundreds of people arrive in the temple during the three days to witness the festivities.
Shantadurga Chamundeshwari Kudtari Mahamaya Jatra is annually held from Paush Shukla Paksha Trayodashi to Purnima as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Goa.

Timeless Wisdom – Sant Kabir

Everyone turns their mind to God in adversity, but not in prosperity. If one were to turn to God in prosperity, there would be no room for adversity.
Some are in suffering because of their body, some because of the mind, some are plagued by wealth. Kabir says all are aggrieved. Only the servants of the Lord are happy.
As fish cannot live out of water; as the thirst of the chatrak can be quenched only by the rain; with a like intensity, the saints yearn for the Lord; only the sight of Him can slake their thirst for Him!
We are like grains of wheat caught between the grinding stones of life. The grains that cling to the central axile of the grinding stones are uncrushed, while those that move away from the center are crushed into powder.
One enemy or the other always treads upon our heel; Lust may be driven out, but anger lingers; and greed will stay when anger goes; and then, when greed is gone, vain glory, vanity and the wish to be honored fills the emptiness left in the mind. Sant Ka…

Nabanka Bedha Ritual Associated with Goddess Lakshmi at Puri Jagannath Temple

Nabanka Bedha is observed a day before Makar Sankranti at the PuriJagannathTemple in Orissa. It is associated with the return of Goddess Lakshmi after her visit to the palace of Varuna Dev – Hindu sea god. Nabanka Besha 2020 date is January 14.
As per the belief in Jagannath Temple, Goddess Lakshmi is the daughter of Varuna Dev as she appeared during the Samudra Manthan or churning of ocean. She returns back to Shri Mandir from her father’s house newly harvested grains, rice, fruits, vegetables, spices, molasses, clothes, ornaments and numerous other items. These are her annual claims from her father’s house.
She reaches the PuriJagannathTemple and goes around the temple nine times displaying the presents that she got from her father.
This going around the temple is referred as Nabanka Bedha ritual.

Bharani Deepam 2019 Date at Tiruvannamalai Temple

Bharani Deepam marks the beginning of the main Karthigai Deepam festival day at the world famous TiruvannamalaiShivaTemple – SriArunachaleswararTemple – in Tamil Nadu. Bharani Deepam 2019 date is December 10. It will be lit in the morning 4:00 AM on December 10. Lighting of this Deepam or lamp is an important ceremony at the Tiruvannamalai temple on the Bharani Nakshatra day in Kartika Masam.
The flame for lighting the Tiruvannamalai Maha Deepam atop the ArunachalaMountain is carried from the Bharani Deepam.
The lighting of the Bharani Deepam by the chief priest in the TiruvannamalaiTemple marks the beginning of the main Maha deepam festival.

A flame lit from five different lamps symbolizing earth, air, fire, water and ether is the Bharani Deepam.

The Bharani Deepam is carried from the TiruvannamalaiTemple to the top of ArunachalaMountain by a group of fishermen.

Yellapur Jatra 2020 date – Yellapur Gram Devi Yatra in Uttara Kannada in Karnataka

Yellapur Jatra is annually held at YellapurGramDeviTemple in Magh month. The festival attracts thousands of devotees. Yellapur Jatra 2020 date is from February 16 to February 23. The festival and fair is annually held at Yellapur in in Uttara Kannada in Karnataka.
In the Yellapur Gramdevi jatra, the murti of the Devi is taken around the streets. Thousands of devotees gather to have a glimpse of Mother Goddess.
Yellapur is located around 70 km from Hubli.
Yellapur Jatra is annually observed from Magh Krishna Paksha Ashtami to Amavasya – from the eighth day during the waning phase of moon in Magh month to no moon day.

Story of Urvashi and Arjuna

Urvashi was one of the Apsaras in the celestial world. It was common for her to visit earth and fall in love with men. On one such visit she fell in love with Pururava, a king of the Kuru clan. The story of Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, and Apsara Urvashi begins here.
After years of courtship, Urvashi left Pururava and went back to the celestial world.
Years later Urvashi again visited earth and saw a handsome young man in Amravati. The man reminded her of his former love Pururava.
Urvashi approached the young man with desire to make love. But surprisingly she was turned away. This had never happened before. This hurt her false pride and ego.
An angry Urvashi wanted know the reason why a human being rejected an apsara like her.
The young man introduced himself and told her that he was Arjuna, the Pandava, and was a descendent of Pururava. This made her a motherly figure. She is also a beloved of Indra (it is believed that Indra is the father of Arjuna). Thus morality did not allow Ar…

Aazhi at Sabarimala – Fire Place in front of Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

There is a fire place in front of the eighteen steps at SabarimalaAyyappaTemple and devotees throw coconut into it. This place is known as Aazhi. Ayyappa devotees pour the ghee from the ghee-filled coconut near the Srikovil or sanctum sanctorum of the AyyappaTemple. The coconut devoid of ghee is thrown into the Aazhi.

The symbolic belief is that the ghee-filled coconut that is brought in the irrumudi is the jeev athma. When the ghee is offered at the shrine, the jeevathma merges with Ayyappa. The coconut devoid of ghee is considered as dead body or Jada and this is then burned in the Aazhi.
The pieces of Neyythenga should only be thrown into the huge fire bowl or Aazhi in front of the temple after completing the darshan.

Bhaum Pradosh at Ujjain Mangalnath Temple Dedicated to Shiva – Bhat Puja on Bhouma Pradsoh

Bhaum Pradosh is observed when fortnightly Pradosh vrat falls on Tuesday in Hindu calendar. The day is of great significance at the famous Mangalnath Temple Dedicated to Shiva in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. Special Bhat Pujan is held on the Bhouma Pradsoh day for prosperity.
Pradosh vrat is observed on the 13th day of during the waxing and waning phase of moon and is dedicated to Shiva.
It is believed that performing puja on the day will help those people having trouble due to the bad positioning of Mangal Grah in their horoscope. Shiva is said to have control over the Mangal Grah.

Bhat Puja is performed on the Bhaum Pradosh day for prosperity.

King Janaka and Lord Vishnu – Story on the limitlessness of the true self

Once, Lord Vishnu took the form of a Brahmin, and allowed himself to be brought to Janaka’s court as someone who had committed a heinous offence. The appropriate sentence for the offence was exile from the kingdom, and the king pronounced the judgment of exile on the Brahmin.
The Brahmin bowed his head in acceptance of the sentence, and asked the king, “Will you kindly let me know, Your Majesty, how far your kingdom extends?”
Janaka was taken aback. A wise man, he realized that the kingdom which had been ruled by his forefathers, did not really belong to him. Even his body was not his, for it was but an instrument of God! On the other hand, from the point of view of the soul, the vast universe was his! When this realization dawned on him, the king said, “O Brahmin! Endless is the kingdom of my soul! Live happily, anywhere you choose!”
Janaka was truly wise. He realized the immortality, the limitlessness of the true self.
SourceThe Seven Commandments of the Bhagavad Gita by J.P. Vas…

Baraha Dwadashi

Baraha Dwadashi is observed in Magh Month. The day is of great significance to Vaishnava devotees. Baraha Dwadashi 2020 date is February 6.
The day is of importance at Puri Jagannath temple.

This ritual is dedicated to the Baraha or Varaha incarnation of Bhagavan Vishnu.

Baraha is the boar incarnation of Vishnu and it appeared to rescue Mother Earth and the Vedas.

Special pujas are held in temples on the day. Worship and fast of Baraha incarnation helps in solving earthly problems. He is also worshipped for achieving good harvest.
Baraha Dwadashi is annually observed on the Magh Shukla Paksha Dwadasi or the 12th day during the waxing phase of moon in Magh month as per traditional Hindu calendar and panjika followed in Orissa.

Maharloka – One of the Worlds Mentioned in the Hindu Scriptures

Maharloka is one of the worlds mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. As per Vayu Purana, the rulers of the Kalpa live in the world. The rulers of the Kalpa are known as Kalpadikaris. A Kalpa is a period of cosmic time – it is around 4,320 million years of human beings. A Kalpa is one day of Brahma.
Some scholars are of the view that Kalpadikaris are great saints, who at the end of a Kalpa move to the Maharloka.
Ganadevas and Yamas are also residents of the Maharloka.
At the end of a Kalpa the three worlds are destroyed – the three worlds are Bhur, Bhuvar and Svar.
But Maharloka is not destroyed but the residents of Maharloka move to the next loka above it known as Janarloka.

Srikovil or Sanctum Sanctorum at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

Srikovil or the sanctum sanctorum at Sannidanam - SabarimalaAyyappaTemple is plated using gold. The life story of Ayyappa from His birth on earth to His disappearance at Sabarimala is written on copper sheets and is superimposed on the Srikovil.
The punapratishta or murti reinstallation was performed in 1951.
The gold plating of the srikovil was completed in 1997 – around 32 kilograms of gold and 1904 kilograms of copper were used for the purpose.
The murti of Ayyappa worshipped at SabarimalaAyyappaTemple is that of Brahmachari. He is also referred as Shasta.
There is a belief that the murti was created by Parashurama and Ayyappa merged in it.

Oriya Calendar 2015 in PDF format – Download Odiya Panji - Orissa Calendar 2015

This Oriya Calendar 2015 is provided by Kohinoor press and is published by the website nuaodisha. You can download the Odiya Panji for free. The calendar contains important festivals in Orissa and uses Oriya script for numbers. The months and weeks are also written in Odia or Oriya language. The calendar of 2014 is in jpeg format but you can convert it into pdf format.
You can visit the nuaodisha website and download it here – Oriya Calendar 2015

Universal Truths in Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita

The Atman (the Real) is deathless. It cannot be destroyed. Death is an experience, not of the Atman, but of the body.
The body is subject to change, disease, old age, and death. It has to be cast off like a worn out garment, so that the Atman may assume other embodiments. For death is certain for the born, as is birth for the dead. Thus grieving over death is futile.
The enlightened aspirant must realize that his right is to work, and work alone. The fruits, the results of the work, should never be his concern.
He whose mind is free from anxiety amid pains, indifferent amid pleasures, loosed from passion, fear and rage, he is called a seer illumined. Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita

Hanuman with Five Faces – Panchmukhi Hanuman

Panch Mukhi Hanuman is the form of Hanuman in which he has five faces. This is the Virata Rupa of Hanuman – a gigantic form that is beyond imagination of human mind. There are two forms of Panchmukhi Hanuman – in one all the five heads are that of Hanuman. In another form – only one head is of Hanuman and the other heads are that of Hayagriva, Narasimha, Varaha and Garuda.

As Hayagriva, Narasimha and Varaha are incarnations of Vishnu, Panchmukhi Hanuman is a combined avatar of Vishnu and Hanuman.

The five-faced Hanuman is widely believed to be Tantric representation of Hanuman as he is the perfect Siddha.

A story associated with Panchamukhi Hanuman states that Hanuman took this form to save Sri Ram and Lakshman who were captured by Mahiravan and Ahiravana during the Ram-Ravan war. The demons took them the netherworld and kept confusing the brothers with their black magic. Hanuman fought a fierce battle with the demons but was not able to defeat them. The only way to defeat Mahiravan a…

Bahiram – About Hindu God Bahiram

Bahiram is closely associated with Hindu God Shiva and is widely worshipped in the Amravati region in Maharashtra. One belief is that Bahiram is a corrupt form of Bhairav. The deity is also believed to be the guardian deity of the betel leaf gardens. Bahiram is also associated with the Khandoba worship in Maharshtra.
The most popular temple dedicated to Bahiram is located near Karanja-Baheram around 20 km from Achalpur. The temple is located atop a hill, locally known as, Bahiram hill, and is around 3 km from Karanja-Baheram.
The murti (idol) worshipped in the temple is Swayambhu, appeared on its own. The murti is 6 feet high and 8 feet to 10 feet in width.
Bahiram is the kul devata, or family deity, of many families in Maharashtra. Barias of Maharashtra annually go on pilgrimage to temples dedicated to Bahiram.
The main offerings to the deity include sindhoor, butter, coconut, lowers, red lead and parched rice.
Prayers are offered to Bahiram by couples for healthy children. The deit…

Malayalam Calendar 2002 Online – Download Kerala Calendar year 2002 in jpeg format

Malayalam Calendar 2002 followed in Kerala is provided by the Deepika Newspaper. The 2002 year Malayalam calendar contains important festivals in Kerala and uses Malayalam language to mention Nakshatram and festival details. This Kerala calendar of 2002 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 MalayalamCalendar 2002.
You can try this to use the main calendar link. (in this select the 2002 calendar for viewing)

Crowd-sourced animation movie in Sanskrit

Punyakoti, which explores man-animal conflicts, will be the first crowd-sourced animation movie in Sanskrit.
Produced by Puppetica Media, an India based media house, Punyakoti will be the world's first full length animated movie in Sanskrit. The movie will be crowd funded and crowd animated by studios/schools across the world. The movie will also feature a unique musical experiment by the legendary music composer Sri Ilaiyaraaja.
The movie is based on a Kannada folk song that narrates the story of a confrontation between a cow and a tiger.
You can find more about the movie and contribute to it here – Punyakoti – A Sanskrit Animation Movie

Hindu Calendar 2015 with Tithi in pdf – Download Hindu Calendar 2015 in English for free in pdf

Hindu Calendar 2015 with Tithi in pdf for free download is in English and is based on Calendars followed in North India – Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. A month in this Hindu calendar begins after Purnima and ends on Purnima. All important festivals and fasting 2015 dates are marked in the calendar.
Link – Download Hindu Calendar 2015 with Tithi in pdf
The calendar is based on Purnimat system. A traditional Hindu month begins after Purnima or full moon day.
In 2015 there is Adhik Masa or extra month. This extra month is added to match the lunar calendar with the solar calendar.

Ratanti Chaturdashi

Ratanti Chaturdashi is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is observed in Paush month. Special prayers, pujas and rituals dedicated to Goddess Kali are observed on the day. Ratanti Chaturdashi 2019 date is January 25. The day is of great significance in Orissa, Bengal, Jharkhand and other eastern states.
Ratanti means celebrated or beloved. Goddess Kali is worshipped in the form of mother on the day.
Ratanti Chaturdashi is observed on the Paush Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi or the 14th day during dark phase of moon in Paush Month.

Appachimedu at Sabarimala – Importance of Appachimedu on the way to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

Appachimedu is located on the way from Pamba to SabarimalaTemple. It is one of the important places that an Ayyappa devotee comes across while trekking to the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple. On both the sides of the path to the temple there are two deep pits at Appachimedu. These pits are known as Appachi and Eppachi. Ayyappa devotees throw rice powder balls (Ariyunda) into the pits.

Legend has it that one of Lord Ayyappa’s disciple named Kaduvaran resides here. He keeps all the evil spirits in control here and stops them from disturbing or harming the Ayyappa devotees.
People also believe that earlier when there was no electricity and other modern facilities, wild animals used to hide in these deep pits. To escape from their attack people used to throw rice powder balls – the animals used to go after the rice balls and spare the devotees.
Appachimedu was also the spot where Ayyappa devotees to used to give alms to beggars. But now this practice has been stopped.
Appachimedu is before Saba…

Neelimala at Sabarimala – Neelimala Mountain on the way to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple (Sannidanam) from Pampa

Nelimala is the first mountain (climb) on the way from Pampa to Sannidanam (SabarimalaAyyappaTemple). The trek here is tough as the mountain is steep. There are two steep climbs. There is thick forest cover on both the sides.
The path here is concreted. There is also a medical center here especially for helping heart patients.
Neelimala comes after PampaRiver, Pampa Ganapathi Kovil and Pandalam King Mandapam.
Once a devotee completes the climb of Neelimala, he reaches Appachimedu.
Neelimala is also considered the second toughest climb on the trek to SabarimalaAyyappaTemple.

Mangalvar Vrat Katha – Story of Tuesday Fasting in Hinduism

Tuesday fasting, or Mangalvar Vrat, is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and to Mangal Grah. In Hinduism, every fast has one or more story associated with it and those people observing the Vrat read or listen to the story on the fasting day. There are several stories associated with Tuesday fasting. This particular Mangalvar Vrat Katha is associated with Lord Hanuman.
Once there was an old lady who was an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman. She used to observe Mangalvar Vrat. On Tuesday, the old lady used to break her fast at a HanumanTemple. She used to share whatever food she had with Lord Hanuman.
The old lady was living with her daughter-in-law and she used to get four chappatis on Tuesday from her daughter-in-law. The old lady used to offer two chappatis to Lord Hanuman and eat the other two.
One day the daughter-in-law found out that the old lady was offering chappatis to Hanuman and not eating it fully and wasting them. Next Tuesday she only gave two chappatis. The old lady gave one to Lo…

Chennakeshava – Manifestation of Vishnu

Chennakeshava is a manifestation of Bhagvan Vishnu and in this form the deity is widely worshipped in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telagnana. Chenna Keshava literally means the ‘handsome Keshava’. Keshava is one among the numerous names of Vishnu.

The most famous temple dedicated to Chennakeshava is located in Belur in Karnataka. The other temples dedicated to the deity are found in K Bitragunta, Karimnagar, Kadapa, Anekal, Bagur, Sullia, Udupi, Hullekere, and Tumkur.
In Murti form Chennakeshava is in the Chaturbhuja form – four armed. The deity is usually made of black stone. The upper right hand holds conch; the upper left hand holds discus, lower right hand holds lotus, and lower left hand holds mace.
Chennakeshava is flanked by his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi.
The deity is lavishly dressed with fine clothes and jewelry.
The concept of Chennakeshava is based on the Supreme Being taking the most handsome form to give darshan to his devotees. A devotee wants to see his Lord in the…

Mandapam of Pandalam King on The way From Pamba to Sannidanam – Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

There are numerous holy spots on the trek to Sannidanam (SabarimalaAyyappaTemple) from Pamba. One such spot is the Mandapam of Pandalam King. Pandalam king had the rare fortune of becoming the father figure of Lord Ayyappa on earth. It was this king who built the temple at Sabarimala.
At the mandapam (a small open resting spot), a representative from the family of Pandalam King blesses Ayyappa devotees who are on their way to the shrine from Pampa.
Neelimala comes after the Mandapam.
The Mandapam is the next important spot after PampaGanapathiTemple on the way to Sannidanam.

Snake Bite Cure at Achankovil Ayyappa Temple

AchankovilAyyappaTemple is one among the five important temples dedicated to Ayyappa in Kerala. The temple is also famous for snake bite cure. It is widely believed that any kind of poisoning — especially snakebites — will be cured if the sandalwood paste of the deity is consumed. Times of India reports  The Achankovil Ayyappa temple, under the Travancore Devaswom, is one of the five temples where Lord Ayyappa is worshiped in various stages of life from balya (child) to sanyasa (hermit stage).  The temple is an exception in yet another way. Anyone, irrespective of religious beliefs, who seeks a cure for snakebite is allowed to enter the temple premises. He/she will have to stay in the 'padippura' for a couple of days after consuming the sandalwood paste and applying it on the forehead to be cured. The Ayyappa idol at this temple is in such a posture that his right hand is held like a cup where the sandalwood paste is poured. Along with a pinch of the paste, some teertham (holy …

Kena Upanishad on Brahman

Everything is Brahman – this is the great teaching. May I never deny Brahman. May Brahman never deny me. May there be no denial. May there be no denial of me. Let the great truths of the Upanishads live I me, who delights in the Self.
By who does the mind think? By whom do the eyes see and the ears hear? By whose desire does life begin to move? By whose wish does a person begin to speak? – The answer is Brahman, which is wholeness. Brahman is the ear of the ear, and the mind of the mind. It is the breath of the breath, and the eye of the eye.
Brahman cannot be expressed by speech, but it is that by which we are able to speak.
Brahman cannot be though by the mind, but it is that by which the mind thinks.
Brahman cannot be seen by the eyes, but is that by which the eyes see.
Brahman cannot be heard by the ears, but it is that by which the ears hear.
Kena Upanishad

Char Dham of Vishnu – The Four Most Sacred Places of Associated with Lord Vishnu

Char Dham, or Chaar Dhaams, are the sacred temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu or his incarnations (avatars). The four sacred places are Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Puri, and Dwarka. The Char Dhams are located in the North, South, East and West of India. Since the four sacred places are spread across the country, the Char Dham ‘thirthyatra’ is known as the Mahaparikrama.

It must be noted here that there is another famous Char Dham yatra that is the Char Dham in the Himalayas. Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri located in Uttarakhand. These temple remains only for six months.
The Char Dham of Vishnu are the four pilgrim sites that most Hindus wish to go when they decide upon a tirtha yatra.
In North India, in Badrinath in Uttarakhand, Narayana is worshipped in the form of Lord Vishnu.
In West, in Dwarka in Gujarat, Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Lord Krishna.
In South, in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Vishnu is worshipped in the form of Lord Rama.
In East, in Puri in Orissa, …

Yoga Nidra of Lord Vishnu – the cosmic sleep in Hindu Scriptures

In Hinduism, the cosmic dissolution (Mahapralaya) takes place when the cosmos goes beyond redemption due to destruction of Dharma ( as in the present period which is characterized by lack of moral and ethical values). This is not an end but a positive change or death before rebirth. This cycle is repeated endless times.
After the cosmic dissolution, there is a period of stillness. Vishnu reclines over the still cosmic waters on the endless coils of the serpent Ananta Sesha, which represents Time.
Everything that existed before the Mahapralaya lies around Him in the still primeval waters. This cosmic sleep is known as Yoga Nidra. Here He is focused on the Infinite Reality of His own identity.

Yoga Nidra ends with beginning of the next cycle of creation.
The next cycle of creation is symbolically represented by a lotus with Brahma seated on it that rises out of His navel.

Story of Pandavas and Seven Aravalli Sisters – Legend in Tamil Nadu

Seven Aravalli sisters lived during the Mahabharata period in present day Tamil Nadu and ruled the region known as Aravalli Pattinam. They were famous for witchcraft and they used sorcery and witchcraft to terrorize people. The story of Pandavas and seven Aravalli Sisters is a local legend narrated to explain the glory of Goddess Vanabhadrakali Amman.
Aravalli, Sooravalli, Veeravalli and 4 other sisters ruled the region by terrorizing the inhabitants. They remained unconquered and their arrogance and atrocities reached the ears of Bhagvan Sri Krishna. He requested the Pandavas to defeat the sisters.
Bhima, the second of the Pandavas, agreed to take up the mission and moved towards the kingdom of Aravalli sisters. But Sage Narada tipped the sisters about the arrival of Bhima.
Meanwhile, Bhima was passing through a thick forest. The sisters used their witchcraft and created numerous carnivorous animals like tiger, lion, bear and crocodile. All the animals were killed by Bhima using h…

Dakshin Kashi Wai in Satara in Maharashtra - Temples and Ghats at Wai

Wai, which is located around, 33 km from Satara in Maharashtra is known as Dakshin Kashi or the Kashi of South. The place gets the name ‘Dakshin Kashi’ thanks to ghats and temples which make the place look like a replica of Kashi (Varanasi). There are seven important ghats at Wai and more than 100 temples.

If it is GangaRiver at Varanasi, it is KrishnaRiver at Wai.
Ghats, steps, at Wai are located on the KrishnaRiver and it is the most famous feature that it shares with Kashi. There are several minor ghats and numerous small temples – many of them are small and badly maintained.
The most famous temple at Wai is not dedicated to Shiva like in Varanasi but to his son Ganesha. The temple is referred to as MahaganapatiTemple or Dholya Ganapati. The temple has one of the largest Ganesha murti in Maharashtra – nearly 10 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
There is also a KashiVishweshwarTemple on the banks of Krishna at Wai. The temple is noted for its huge Nandi and Deepasthamb – two lamp posts.

Pampa Ganapathy Temple – Ganapati Temple at the Base of Sabarimala Mountain on the banks of Pamba River

PampaGanapathyTemple, also known as Pampa Ganapati Kovil, is dedicated to Ganesha. This is the first temple and holy spot on the way from Pamba to Sannidanam – the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple. Prayers are offered here for a safe trek to Sannidanam.

The main offering at PampaGanapathiTemple is coconut. Devotees break a coconut here before climbing the mountain. Devotees visiting the AyyappaTemple should carry an extra coconut to break it at this shrine.
The temple also has subsidiary shrines dedicated to Nagarajavu (Serpent deity), Goddess Parvati Devi, Adimoola Ganapati, Hanuman Swami, and Bhagvan Sri Ram.
The river bank or arat kadavu in front of the Ganapathi Temple at Pampa is the spot where the utsava murti of Ayyappa from Sannidanam is taken for ceremonial purification at the end of 10-day Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple festival (March – April).
On the same day after the purification ritual, the utsava murti or procession idol of Lord Ayyappa is taken to the namaskara mandapam of the Pamp…

Plant Your Birth Star Tree – Janmanakshatra Vrikshaparipalana by Travancore Devaswom Board

Janmanakshatra Vrikshaparipalana is a green initiative by the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) in Kerala. As part of the program, a devotee can join the scheme to plant his or her birth star tree. Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) would plant and nurture the tree in the temples maintained by Travancore Devaswom Board.
Those who wish to join the green initiative can get more information about the project here in this website.
The directions to take part in the scheme are also available at Sabarimala Devaswom Development Project office.

Absence of self knowledge is known as ignorance or delusion – Yoga Vasistha

Absence of self knowledge is known as ignorance or delusion.
When the self is known one reaches the shores of limitless intelligence.
The individual is nothing more than the personalized mind.
Individuality ceases when that mind ceases; it remains as long as the notion of personality remains.
So long as there is a pot there is also the notion of a space enclosed within or confined to that pot; when it is broken, the infinite space alone is, even where the pot space was imagined before.
Liberation is attained when one arrives at the state of supreme peace after intelligent enquiry into the nature of the self and after this has brought about an inner awakening.
Yoga Vasistha

Mangalsutra Vati Symbolic Meaning – Reason For Using Golden Mangalsutra Cups

Mangalsutra Vati, or cups, is widely used in Maharashtra and in parts of Gujarat and Northern Karnataka. The reason for wearing the golden mangalsutra cups on chain after marriage is that it attracts lot of positive energy. Symbolically the joining of the two Vati means union of the male and female. It also means the woman is married and is blessed with divine energy.
The vati or golden cups are hollow on one side. The hollow side faces the body and good energy is attracted towards the cup.
The Vati Mangalsutra helps in keeping the body and mind healthy.
Some people claim that is also regularizes the blood circulation in the body.

Story of Dadhimukha – A Vanara in the Ramayana

Dadhimukha was part of the Vanara (monkey) army in the Ramayana. His name is also mentioned in the Mahabharata. As per Ramayana, he is the maternal uncle of Sugriva, the king of Vanaras. He was the guard and custodian of the Madhuvana, a forest rich in honey, fruits and herbs located between the MahendraMountain and Kishkindha.
Dadhimukha was also the leader of a large group of monkeys and he brought the army to rescue Mata Sita. As per Ramayana, the powerful Vanara leader brought 10 crore strong army to join Sugriva and Hanuman.
Ramayana mentions that Angada and other monkeys were happy on receiving the news of sighting of Mata Sita and caused damage to the Madhuvana in their celebration. Dadhimukha complained to Sugriva about the incident. Sugriva asked Dadhimukha to forgive the high spirits of the monkeys.

Bali Tarpanam at Pamba River – Offerings Made to Dead Relatives and Ancestors by Ayyappa Devotees at Pampa

PambaRiver which follows through the base of SabarimalaMountain is considered as holy as GangaRiver. Performing Bali Tarpanam on the banks of Pampa is considered highly meritorious. Annually Ayyappa devotees who visit the SabarimalaTemple do Bali Tarpanam to dead parents, relatives and ancestors.
The Bali Tarpanam is performed at Triveni – the PambaRiver, Kallar and Njunagar meet here. Performing Tarpanam is like performing it at Prayag the confluence of Saraswati, Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad.
Legend has it that Lord Ayyappa performed Tarpanam for the warriors who died in the war against Maravapada at Triveni.
Some people perform Tarpanam in memory of this incident.

Gangotri Glacier is Shrinking Fast – More Trouble for Ganga River

Around 70 percent of the water of the GangaRiver during summer months is provided by Gangotri Glacier. BhagirathiRiver, which is one of the main tributaries of the Ganga, originates from the glacier. A latest observation points out that the Gangotri Glacier is shrinking fast. The Hindu reports  The Gangotri glacier is rapidly disintegrating, states the latest observation of a team from the Almora-based G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development.  The team of the institute, which has been monitoring the Himalayan glaciers, particularly the Gangotri, since 1999, visited the glacier between June and October, this year. Kireet Kumar, Scientist in the Glacial Study Centre of the institute, said, “Our team has been observing disintegration in the snout of the Gangotri glacier for around three year now. This time the team observed that the disintegration on the right side of the snout is taking place at a rapid rate.” Dr. Kumar said rapid melting of the Raktvarn, Chaturangi…

Symbolic Meaning of Acts Performed During Hindu Pujas and Prayers

A simple prayer before the deity with hands folded and placed near the heart is the most common form of praying in Hindu religion. But there are also various other acts that Hindus perform while praying like lighting the lamp, offering flowers and leaves, burning camphor or offering food etc. In Hinduism, each act performed has a symbolic meaning.
Sprinkling of Water and Sipping while doing Puja Sprinkling of water symbolically performs the purification of the surroundings. Sipping of water is purification of oneself.
Lighting of Lamp It symbolizes removal of ignorance and ushering in of knowledge. The wick in the traditional oil lamp symbolizes ego and the oil or ghee used symbolizes our negative tendencies. When we are lit by self knowledge, the negative tendencies (oil) melt away and finally the ego (wick) perishes. (More details in this post)
Burning of Camphor Burning of camphor symbolizes the destruction of our egos and arrogance. When ego melts what is left is the pure Self.

Ram Baraat – Marriage Procession of Lord Ram and Mata Sita from Ayodhya in India to Janakpur in Nepal

Ram Baraat, which attracts thousands of Hindu saints and devotees, is annually held from Ayodhya in India to Janakpur in Nepal. This is the Baraat or marriage procession of Bhagvan Sri Ram. He goes to Janakpur in Nepal the city of Mata Sita. It is annually observed during Margashirsh month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.
It is believed that the first Ram Baraat was organized around 125 years ago by Lala Kokamal, a cloth merchant.
In the marriage and procession, Bhagvan Sri Ram is represented by Shaligram Shila and Mata Sita is represented by Tulsi plant.

World’s Tallest Sri Krishna Temple to Come Up in Vrindavan in India

World's tallest SriKrishnaTemple coming up in Vrindavan in India will be 700 feet tall when completed. Named ‘Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir’, the temple will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore. The new Indian express reports  President Pranab Mukherjee performed 'Ananta Shesha Sthapana Puja' at the temple on November 15, 2014, whose foundation stone for the temple was laid on March 16 this year. The idea of this ceremony is that the entire temple building will be resting on the hoods of 'Ananta Shesha' (snake) which is very auspicious. The 70-storey temple will feature a capsule elevator which will take visitors from the ground level to the 700 ft tall viewing gallery giving an immersive 3D sound and light experience of the different planetary systems described in the vedic literatures, project organisers said. A look-alike of the verdant forests of Vrindavan will be recreated around this magnificent temple from descriptions in the Srimad Bhagavatam; spra…

Who is the author of Harivarasanam?

Harivarasanam song is sung when doors of the sanctum sanctorum of the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple is closed for the day at night. This divine song which drenches the eyes of Ayyappa devotees in tears was written Kumbakudi Kulathur Iyer. Harivarasanam lyrics were composed in 1950. Kumbakudi Kulathur Iyer used to sing it daily when the temple doors were closed after performing the Athazapuja – serving the last meal of the day to Ayyappa. Today it is known as the Urakku Pattu – or the song that sends Ayyappa to sleep. In the beginning, the main priest used to play flute while closing the doors of the temple. Harivarasanam became the Urakku Pattu of Ayyappa after the infamous fire incident in the 50s, which burn down the old temple. When the new temple was built and the pujas commenced, Harivarasanam was inducted as the Urakku Pattu – the song to send Ayyappa to sleep. Swami Vimochananda and Vadakatham Ishwaran Namboodiri (who was the then melsanthi – chief priest) was responsible for making …

How to End the Sabarimala Vratam after visiting the Ayyappa Temple?

Most devotees on returning home after the darshan of Lord Ayyappa at SabarimalaTemple end the Vratam. Ayyappa devotees remove the Mudra Mala and hang it on the idol or painting of Lord Ayyappa at home. The mudra mala should not be placed carelessly anywhere. Some devotees remove the Ayyappa mala at a nearby temple where they had worn the mala.

The mantra to be chanted for removing the Mala is Apoorvamachalaarooha
Divyadarshan Karana
Shastra Mudrathaka Deva
Dehime Vrtamochanam After chanting this mantra the devotee should call aloud Swamiyeee Saranam Ayyappaa…and break a coconut and remove the mudra mala.
The general belief is that the Ayyappa devotee should enter home only in the evening after sighting a lamp after his SabarimalaAyyappaTemple darshan. If he reaches his place early, he spends the time at a nearby temple and waits till evening. Family waits at door in the evening with a lamp to welcome back the devotee. The family members invite the devotee by chanting Swamiyeee Saranam…

Ashtadasha Puranas – Which are the Ashtadasa Puranas? - The Ashtadasha Purana Shloka

Ashtadasha Puranas are the 18 important Puranas associated with Hindu Religion. There is a shloka which gives the first syllable of the name of each Purana. It is known as Ashtadasha Purana Shloka.
The Shloka is given below:
Ma Dwayam Bha Dwayam Chaiva Bra ThrayamVa Chaturdhakam, Anaapalinga kuskanicha....
Vishnu Purana Naradiya Purana Padma Purana Garuda Purana Varaha Purana Bhagavata Purana Matsya Purana Kurma Purana Linga Purana Vayu Purana Skanda Purana Agni Purana Brahmanda Purana Brahmavaivarta Purana Markandeya Purana Bhavishya Purana Vamana Purana Brahma Purana
Note – Shiva Purana is not considered as a part of Ashtadasha Puranas in some texts because it is considered as part of Linga Purana.
Note – In many modern list of Puranas Vayu Purana is replaced by Shiva Purana.