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Showing posts from February, 2014

Manibhadra in Hinduism

Manibhadra is the name of a Yaksha in Hinduism. Reference of this semi divine being is found in the Mahabharata. In Vana Parva Chapter 65 of the Mahabharata it is stated that a caravan of traders were attacked by wild elephants because they did not offer prayers to Manibhadra.
Yakshas are semi-divine beings that can change form at will.
In some texts, Manibhadra is associated with money and is also a guardian deity of a direction.
Manibhadra is also an important deity in Buddhism and Jainism.

Tree of Enlightenment at Joshimath Associated with Adi Shankaracharya

There is a cave at Joshimath in Uttarakhand and it is believed that Adi Shankaracharya mediated and lived in the cave. Near this cave there is a mulberry tree which is known as tree of enlightenment. Locals refer to it as Kaplavriksha and existed since the times of Adi Shankaracharya.
The tree is now very old and is not in a great condition.
But the tree still foliages in the spring time.
Joshimath or Jyotrimath is one of the four maths established by Adi Shankaracharya. The other three are the Sringeri Math in Karnataka, Govardhana Matha in Puri and Sharda Matha in Dwaraka.

Parli Vaijnath Temple Story – Parli Shiva Temple

ParliVaijnathTemple is dedicated to Shiva and is located at Parli in Beed District in Maharashtra. The story of this ShivaTemple is associated with the Churning of Ocean or Samdura Manthana mentioned in the Puranas. It must be noted that many scholars are of the opinion that Parli Vaijnath is a Jyothirlinga temple – DeogharTemple in Jharkhand also claim it is the same Jyothirlinga temple.
Legend has it that when Amruta appeared after the Churning of Ocean or Samdura Manthana, Bhagvan Srihari Vishnu took the form of Mohini and hid Amritha and Dhanvantri in the Shivling at Parli.
When those who followed Adharma touched the Shivling, flames emerged from it.
When those who followed Dharma touched the Shivling, Amrita (elixir of life) flowed from it.
The Shivling at Parli is believed to have Amrita and medicines (Dhanvantri). Parli is surrounded by mountains and forests with medicinal plants. Because of the presence of Dhanvantari in the Shivling, and of its surroundings Parli Jyothirlinga…

Which Flowers Are Offered To Hindu God Shiva During Puja?

A devotee while doing puja to Hindu god Shiva offers flowers and leaves. The preferred leaf is that of bilva or bel. So which are the flowers that are offered to Shiva during puja? Shiva is most pleased with white color flowers.

So a devotee can offer any white color flower to Shiva. Apart from white flowers, red color flowers are also offered to Shiva.
One of the widely offered flowers is the Dhatura flower.
Two flowers that are never offered to Shiva are the Ketaki flower and Champaka flower. Tulsi is also not offered to Shiva.
Related Why Ketaki Flower is not offered to Lord Shiva? Why Champaka Flowers Are Not Used In the Worship of Lord Shiva? Datura Flower associated with Shiva

Shivratri Provides Us with an Opportunity to Clear the Dust That Is Covering the Shiva in Us – Hindu Blog

Shiva represents the pure and Shivratri is the night when this pure form appeared to annihilate the sufferings of human beings. Why are we human beings suffering because we are not able to realize the Shiva in us? The formless, the all pervading one with no beginning and no end, took a form to pull us out from the never-ending suffering.

Most festivals associated with Hindu tradition are noted for its mirth, fun and frolic but Shivratri is associated with contemplation, prayers and meditation.
Shiva represents the truth and we humans are far removed from the truth. Shiva in human form represents the true human and we have become everything but human.
Shivratri provides us with an opportunity to clear the dust that is covering the Shiva in us. The dusts of ignorance, attachments, ego, jealousy, anger, insecurity, prejudice and false ideas have hidden the Shiva in us.
Realize the Shiva in us and life becomes bliss – We travel to a plane beyond birth and death.
Today is Shivratri - all p…

Dwarka Sri Krishna Temple Timing – Darshan Time at Dwaraka Sri Krishna Temple – Opening and Closing Time

Dwarka SriKrishnaTemple is one of the most popular temples dedicated to Sri Krishna and is officially known as the DwarkadhishTemple. The daily DwarakaTemple darshan timing in detail is given below. Please note that the opening and closing time will be different during festivals. Also the temple remains during Grahan (lunar and solar eclipse) in India.
Morning Darshan Time
The temple opens at 6:30 AM – 8:30 AM.
Darshan is stopped for Abhishek Snan for 45 minutes
Darshan begins again at 9:15 AM to 9:45 AM
Darshan is stopped for Snan Bhog for 15 minutes
Darshan begins again at 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Darshan is stopped for Arati Bhog for 15 minutes
Darshan begins again at 10:45 AM to 11:25 AM
Temple then closes briefly
Noon Darshan
The temple opens at 12:25 PM – 1:00 PM.
The temple then closes for few hours
Evening Darshan
The temple is open from 5:00 PM to 9:40 PM.
There will be four breaks of 20 minutes (no darshan) during the period.

Shiva Purana Audio – Download Shiv Puran Audio in mp3 for free

Shiva Purana contains the stories and incidents associated with Hindu God Shiva. Ved Puran website is now offering the mp3 audio version of Shiv Puran for download.  The files are large in size and are in zip format. There are three separate files to download.  Each file is size is 432 MB; 452 MB and 293 MB.
The file download locations are:
First 1 – 100 chapters (the files are in zip format)
Second 101 – 200 chapters
Third 201 to 261 chapters
You can listen to the chapters before downloading here listen to Shiv Puran online inHindi in mp3 format

Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal Teachings

Every moment of our life is very, very precious. Time passes very quickly. Do not waste even a single second of your life.
We have the ability to learn. Materials for knowledge are available to us. Teachers are available for teaching us. Yet man willingly prefers to live in darkness of ignorance. Within man exists an ocean of bliss. Yet he willingly prefers to live a life full of misery, pain and suffering. This is the tragedy of human life.
Seek to correct your bad habits. Regulate your life on pure, healthy lines, physical, mental and spiritual. Lead a pure and virtuous life. Only then can you experience true lasting peace and bliss.
Dharma is the cause of happiness. If today we do not have the mental peace and happiness of our ancestors, it is due to our gross neglect of dharma. When the practice of dharma declined, suffering began.
Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal – the 34th pontiff of Sringeri Sharada Peetam.

How to observe Gauri Tritiya Vrat? – Rules and Procedure of observing Gauri Tritiya Vrat

Gauri Tritiya Vrat is dedicated to Goddess Gauri and is observed on the third day of the waxing phase of moon or Shukla Paksha Tritiya Tithi. It can be observed on all the shukla paksha Tritiya tithi in a Hindu month. Nowadays it is most popularly observed on the third day during the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month. In 2019, Gauri Tritiya Vrat is on April 8, 2019. Rules and procedure and how to observe the Vrat is given below:
The fast is from sunrise to next day morning sunrise.
Goddess Gauri murti or picture should be worshipped with water, flowers and fruits. Sweet made from milk or honey is also offered as part of the puja. Red color flowers or lotus flower is offered as part of the puja.
Doing food donation to poor people and distributing clothes are considered highly meritorious.
Those observing fast can eat fruits. Salt is to be completely avoided.

Uma Vratam – How to observe Uma Vrat dedicated to Goddess Parvati

Uma Vratam is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is observed on the third day during the waxing phase of moon in Hindu months Chaitra (March – April) and Magha (January – February). It is performed to gain peace and prosperity in life. Detail procedure and how to observe Uma Vrat is given below:
Image of Goddess Durga or Parvati (Uma) is worshipped on the day.
White flowers, dhoop, fragrance and Chandan are offered to Goddess Uma on the day.
Salt is completely avoided.
Jaggery is offered as sweet on the day. You can also prepare sweets made using jaggery.
This vrat is also known as Gur Vrat, Guda Vrat, Maha Vratam and Jaya Durga Vratam.

Rasa Kalyanini Vrata – Dedicated to Goddess Lalita

Rasa Kalyanini Vrata is dedicated to Goddess Lalita. The vrat is observed for desire fulfillment and is observed on the Vaishakh Shukla Paksha Tritiya or Bhadrapad or the Margashirsh Shukla Paksha Tritiya. In 2018, the Vrata is on April 18, September 12 and December 10.
The fast on the day is from sunrise to next day morning sunrise. All normal puja methods are followed.
Goddess Lalita is offered tila, rice, white flowers and fruits on the day. Sweet made of milk or honey is offered as Prasad. Clothes are donation to poor people on the day.
The Vrata can be also observed on all the Shukla Paksha Tritiya in a Hindu month.
On the Vrat day, one has to forgo salt and sugar.

Willpower is nothing but willingness to do – BKS Iyengar

Meditation cannot calm your mind, but a calm mind can meditate.
Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit.
Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul, create the symphony of life.
The moment one goes a little more than the body wants to take, one is nearer to the Self.
Life means to be living. Problems will always be there. When they arise navigate through them with yoga – don't take a break.
Willpower is nothing but willingness to do. BKS Iyengar - Renowned Yoga Guru

Madhuka Tritiya Vrat Dedicated to Goddess Gauri form of Parvati

Madhuka Tritiya Vrat is dedicated to Goddess Parvati (Gauri) and Shiva. The Vrat is observed on the Shukla Paksha Tritiya day (third day during the waxing phase of moon) in the month of Phalgun, Chaitra, Vaishakh, Bhadrapada and Magha. The Vrat is observed for getting good wife or husband.
The image of Goddess Gauri sitting on a bull is worshipped on the day.
White flowers, fragrance and Chandan are offered to Goddess Gauri on the day.
The vrat is complete when the person performing Vrat offers food to poor children or elderly people – food donation or Annadanam.
In some regions, Madhuka Tree is also offered worship on the day.

Salt is completely forbidden on the fasting day.

To be honest with onself is the only way to progress – Dadi Janki

The good atmosphere is created through our mental attitude.
To be honest with onself is the only way to progress.
When we do not perform well, it is tempting to make excuses. One of the hardest things to learn is how to acknowledge our weaknesses. Until we are able to do this, we will continue deluding ourselves that we are something we are not, and we will never reach our full potential.
Never miss any opportunity for doing service. To do service is to increase distribute one's fortune and to become worthy of receiving God's love.
When I am totally honest with myself, I will be able to see my weakness as clearly as in the mirror. Once I have accepted that I need to make changes, I will become motivated to succeed. Each small success will inspire me to the next step and I will continue to progress.

The world outside is only the Infinite misinterpreted by the finite mind - Bhagavad Gita

The world outside is only the Infinite misinterpreted by the finite mind. (10.20)
He who amongst the mortals knows Me as unborn and beginningless, as the great Lord of the worlds, is undeluded and is liberated from all sins. (10.3)
Out of mere compassion for them, I, dwelling within their hearts, destroy the darkness born of ignorance by the luminous Lamp of Knowledge. (10.11)
I am the self, O Gudakesha, seated in the hearts of all beings; I am the Beginning, the Middle and also the End of all beings. (10.20)

Goddess Uma – About Goddess Uma

Uma is Mother Goddess Shakti. She appeared as the daughter of Himavan, King of Himalayas, and his wife, Mena. Uma means ‘one who measures Shiva.’ ‘U’ means ‘Shiva’ and ‘ma’ means one who measures. She is Shakti.
Goddess Uma appeared before Indra, the king of Devas, to impart the knowledge of Brahman (Supreme Reality) – this is mentioned in the Kena Upanishad.
As per Matsya Purana, Uma appeared after the death of Sati to bring back Shiva into householder’s life. But Shiva was not ready to accept Uma and then she performed severe austerities to please Shiva.
Popular stories of Goddess Uma are found in the Kumarasambhava of Kalidasa. Goddess Shakti performed severe tapas without taking food. As per Kumarasambhava, Uma means ‘do not daughter.’ Here ‘Ma’ means ‘do not’ and ‘U’ means ‘my daughter.’ Legend has it that Mena, mother of Goddess Uma, was worried about her daughter undertaking severe penance and therefore constantly uttered ‘Uma’ and Goddess got the name.
Goddess Uma is popularl…

Hindu Scriptures on Learning – Quotes on Learning in Hindu Books

When children, O Brihaspati, giving names to objects, sent out Vak’s first and earliest utterances, all (knowledge) that was excellent and spotless, treasured within their hearts, was disclosed through (Vak’s) grace. (Rig Veda, 10.71.1)
The student learns a fourth from this teacher, a fourth through his own intelligence, a four from his fellow pupils, and the remaining fourth in course of time (by experience).
Wonderful indeed is this treasure of yours, O Bharati (goddess of learning)! It increases with expenditure and dwindles on hoarding!
He that has not cultivated his intelligence but has merely heard of many things can scarcely understand the real import of the scriptures, like the spoon that has no perception to the taste of the soup it touches. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, 54.1)

Ardranandakari Tritiya Vrat – Dedicated to Goddess Bhavani

Ardranandakari Tritiya Vrat is observed on the Shukla Paksha Tritiya day in Ashada month and is dedicated to Goddess Bhavani. In 2019, the date of Ardranandakari Tritiya Vrat is July 5. One who observes the vrat will be blessed with peace, pleasure and prosperity.
Worship on the day is offered to Goddess Bhavani and Shiva. Different names of Goddess Shakti are chanted on the day. Vegetarian food is eaten on the day.
Worship involves Aarti, offering of white color flowers, fragrance and offering of white color sweet.
After the completion of the Ardranandakari Tritiya Vrat, one has to do donation of clothes to poor children and old people.

Ravana Will be Jain Tirthankara in Future After He Receives Enlightenment

Every soul is capable of self-realization. It is believed by Jains when the next set of 24 Tirthankara will appear on earth, Ravana, the demon king the Ramayana, will be one of them. Times of India reports  Tirthankaras are born as human beings who subsequently achieve enlightenment and show the world the right path. Their teachings form the Jain cannons. Mahavir is the last of the 24 reigning Tirthankaras, and Jain texts say that Ravan will be one of the 24 Tirthankaras in the next cycle, expected to come into force in roughly 84,000 human years.   It is believed that Ravan and the 23 other future Tirthankaras are still trapped in the cycle of birth and death, some even in hell. "When they receive enlightenment, all the world will know. There will be no illness or drought for miles from the place they are born, all species will be able to hear and understand them, a throne will magically emerge, there will be a shower of flowers and an aura will circle their heads," says Ma…

Searching For the Infinite While Infinite Is All Around Us

Once a small ocean fish went to an older fish and asked, ‘Excuse me, you are older than I, so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the ocean?’
‘The ocean,’ said the older fish, ‘is the thing you are in now.’
‘Oh! This? But this is just water. What I am seeking is the ocean,’ said the disappointed fish as it swam away to reach elsewhere.
 The older fish exclaimed, ‘Oh little fish! What are you looking for? Just look!’
Living in the very ocean and searching for it! That is the irony of human situation — searching for the Infinite while infinite is all around us.

Brahmamanda Purana in Hindi – Read Brahmamanda Purana Online

Brahmamanda Purana is one of the most important Puranas. It contains valuable information on Ganesha and Krishna. It It deals with topics such as Cosmogony, Religion, Philosophy History, Geography and Astronomy. Now the Ved Puran website is offering the entire Brahmamanda Purana in Hindi online. It is not in pdf format. So you can only read it online.
LinkRead Brahmamanda Purana Online

On Why Ramayana is History – Ithihasa

Noted writer and former professor of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Ka. Va. Na. Sarma recently gave a speech on the subject why Ramayana is history – Ithihasa. His speech was based on astronomical and geographical data. The Hindu reports  Rama lived in the same Vaivaswata manwantara as the present generation and belonged to 24 mahayuga and going by the ice age that ended in 8000 BC some computerised calculations put his year of birth as 5,114, he said. He considered 4,366 BC and 3,618 BC also as possibilities and veered around to the view that the latter was the year of Rama’s birth.  Rama was a modern man belonging to homo sapiens adept at using bow and arrows, Mr. Sarma said. The journey of Rama, the Ramayana, could be mapped right from his journey with Viswamitra to Midhila where he married Sita.  Rama Sethu was constructed to Lanka with pumice stones and it might not be one continuous bridge and the description of crossing the ocean in the Ramayana supported it, he said b…

Samudreshwar form of Shiva

As Samudreshwar, Shiva is the lord of the seas. The popular belief is that Shiva as Samudreshwara helped Sri Ram in crossing the sea and reaching Lanka. This form of Shiva is mainly worshipped by people who make a living from the sea, especially fishermen.
One of the most popular temples dedicated to Samudreshwar form of Shiva is located in Mumbai. It is located at the jetty of Manori in Mumbai.
Another shrine is located in Varanasi. There is also a SaptSamudreswarMahadevTemple in Haridwar.
The greatness of Samudreshwar Shivling is mentioned in the Kashi Khanda of Skanda Purana.
Devotees propitiate Samudreshwar Shivling for attaining knowledge and liberation.

Teachings from Anandalahari

By you this universe is born; by you this world is created; by you it is protected;
O Devi! By you it is consumed at the end.
You who are eternally the form of the whole world; At the time of creation you are the form of the creative force; At the time of preservation, you are the form of the protective power; And at the time of dissolution of the world, you are the form of the destructive power.

You are the Supreme Knowledge, as well as ignorance, intellect and contemplate.

Thou art the effulgent light that dispels the inner darkness of the unwise.

Thou art the stream flowing with the honey of consciousness for the ignorant.

Thou art the rosary of Chintamani jewels for the poor and the tusk of the boar (incarnated) Muraripu for those who are immersed in the ocean of births and deaths. Hymn from Anandalahari

Tulsi Plant May Be a Potent Medicine Against Cancer

Hindus have been using Tulsi, or Basil, as medicine from the Vedic Age. It is also widely worshipped in India. Tulsi plant is mainly associated with Hindu God Vishnu. Now a group of researchers in the United States indicates that Tulsi plant may be a potent medicine against cancer. Tulsi or basil has eugenol that helps fight cancer. Business Standard reports
"When you grind basil leaves, a compound called eugenol comes out. If I could make it produce eugenol in higher amounts, that basil plant would serve as a storehouse of that anti-cancerous compound," said Chandrakanth Emani, assistant professor of plant molecular biology at Western Kentucky University-Owensboro (WKU-O) in the US.  In his lab at the Owensboro facility, Emani and his students are genetically engineering the basil to produce more eugenol, a compound in basil that, in his words, "has a very great pharmaceutical value because it's shown to control breast cancer".  "Eugenol, when they put it …

Real meditation is the highest form of intelligence – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Real meditation is the highest form of intelligence.
To be choicelessly aware of everything about you and within yourself, is meditation.
If you are aware of the political and religious propaganda that goes on ceaselessly, aware of the many influences about you, you will see how quickly you understand and are free of every influence as you come into contact with it.
For what you are, the world is.
Your inward conflicts express themselves in outward disasters.
The inner craving ever modifies the outer.
To bring about a radical and peaceful change, there must be voluntary, intelligent inner transformation.
Related Jiddu Krishnamurti Words of Wisdom

Gyan Keshav – About Manifestation of Vishnu as Gyan Keshav

Gyan Keshav is a manifestation of Vishnu. This manifestation is associated with Knowledge. The popular belief is that those offering prayers to the murti form of Gyan Keshav will be blessed with good education. This form is also worshipped for attaining self realization through the knowledge that all animate and inanimate is Bhagvan Vishnu.
The murti of Gyan Keshav has four hands and is cream in color. The murti holds chakra, gada, shankh and lotus.
One of the important temples dedicated to Gyan Keshav is located in Varanasi. The temple is located on the banks of Holy River Ganga.
Students and those going for interviews, tests and examinations take the blessing of Gyan Keshav.

Download Umiya Mataji Songs and Prayers in mp3 audio for free

ShriUmiyaMatajiTemple at Unjha in Gujarat is one of the most popular temples dedicated to Goddess Umiya, who is the patron deity of Kadva Patidar community. The official temple website is offering seven songs and prayers of Umiya Mataji for free. You can download and save a copy of the songs.
Goddess Umiya is an incarnation of Goddess Shakti – she is believed to be Goddess Sati and Goddess Parvati (Uma).

You can find Goddess Umiya Mataji Songs and Prayers songs here.
In the website right click and save for downloading.

How NRIs and Foreigners Can Participate in the Annual Amarnath Yatra?

Non Resident Indians and Foreigners wishing to participate in the annual Amarnath Yatra should register at the Punjab National Bank, Circle Office, Jammu. They need to follow all the procedure that is to be followed by Indian devotees. These include:
Filled-in Application Forms which are found on official website of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board.
Compulsory Health Certificate (formats of Application Form and Compulsory Health Certificate are available at the Board’s Website). Compulsory Health Certificate should have been issued by National Health Services of the country concerned after 1st February, 2014.
Scanned photograph.
Registration of Rs 500/- per Yatri (to be deposited in the Punjab National Bank: Swift Code: PUNBINBBJTS, Account Number 0794000101212056)
The intending pilgrim will have the choice of collecting the Yatra Permit from the designated branch of Punjab National Bank located at Jammu or Srinagar.
Registration of ex-India Pilgrims shall be subject to availability of …

How can one become free from lust completely? – Sri Ramakrishna Answers

Harinath (who later became Swami Turiyananda): How can one become free from lust completely?
To this Ramakrishna replied:

“why should it go, my boy? Give it a turn in the other direction.

What is lust? It is a desire to get.

So, desire to get God and strengthen this desire greatly.

The more you go towards East, the farther away you will be from the west.

The more you increase your love for God, the more your lust and anger will decrease.”
Source - God Lived with Them: Life Stories of Sixteen Monastic Disciples of Ramakrishna - By Swami Chetanananda

Chin Mudra Posture of Hindu deities – Chinmudra Hand Posture of Hindu Gods

Chin Mudra is an important hand posture of a Hindu deity. The murti holds the right hand up in such a way that all the fingers expect the index finger points upwards. The index finger is gently bent and it touches the thumb. Chin Mudra posture symbolizes imparting of spiritual education.

Chinmudra is also known as Vyakhyana Mudra.
This hand posture basically symbolizes teaching, explanation or instruction.
The mudra is usually ascribed to gods and saints.
One of the most important examples of a deity holding the hand in Chin Mudra is that of Dakshinamurti form of Shiva.
The essence of teachings of Shiva is depicted in Chin Mudra. As per the teachings of Dakshinamurti, the Lord is Pati, the human beings are pashu and worldly things are pasam.
The thumb represents pati, index finger represents pashu and the other three fingers represent worldly things.
Pasam is of three kinds: Anavam, Kanmam and Maya. These three pasams are depicted by the three fingers pointing upwards.
Human being…

Sarada Temple Dedicated to Shiva at Shamshabad near Hyderabad – Temple Maintained by Sringeri Sarada Peetham

SaradaTemple is located near National Highway 44 at Shamshabad near Hyderabad. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and is famous for its serene surroundings. Shiva is worshipped here as Chandramouliswara – in the Shivling form. The temple also has murtis of Goddess Sri Sarada, Ganesha, Subramaniam Swami, Krishna, Navgrahas and Adi Shankara. The New Indian Express reports  The construction of the Shiva temple took place under the supervision of the former civil servant, who earlier served as the Executive Officer of the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams, and Vedantam Subramanyam Ravi, former deputy general manager at Singareni Collieries. “The work on the `3 crore project began in 2009 and was funded by the Peetham. It was thrown open to the public in November, 2012, after the consecration of the main idol by Sri Bharati Theertha Swami, the 36th Shankaracharya, head of the peetham.”  Besides the main temple, an additional 1,100 sq yards were also allotted which now house an ‘archaka’ complex …

Sri Narasimha Saraswati Quotes

I do not want to enjoy the objects of the senses which can only lead to misery. So, I shall pass on from the state of celibacy directly to the life of a sannyasi.
Wealth, family ties and responsibilities are as unreal as a dream.
Youth is transient as a flower which soon withers. Thus life is very short when viewed in the light of the only purpose of it, i.e., Self-realization.
To be emotionally attached to anything in this phenomenal world amounts to mere self-betrayal and is self-defeating too.
This body, with the skin as its surface layer, flesh, bones and the blood within, is as frail a structure as a water bubble.
Excessive fondness for one’s spouse and children is the root of all other evil tendencies.
In itself, this body of ours is made of inanimate matter and is ever changing and perishable.
Only the ‘Self’ within is eternal and is our only true being.
Sri Narasimha Saraswati – an incarnation of Sri Dattatreya and appeared before Swami Samarth of Akkalkot

Which is the second avatar of Lord Vishnu? – Second Avatar or Incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu

Second avatar of Vishnu happened during the churning of ocean or Samudra Manthan. This incarnation was to help Devas and Asuras in balancing the churning chord. As per Hindu scriptures the second Avatar of Hindu God Vishnu is the Kurma Avatar – which is referred as the turtle incarnation. The story of Kurma avatar is one that symbolically narrates the process of evolution.
Information about the Kurma Avatar is mainly found in the Bhagavad Purana (Canto 8 Chapter 7), Agni Purana and Ramayana (Balakanda Chapter).
Other resources
Story of the Kurma Avatar of Lord Vishnu Kurma Jayanti
Temple Dedicated to the Kurma Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Rath Yatra Is Observed at Night at Mubarakpur in Soro near Balasore in Orissa

There is an age-old tradition that Rath Yatra should not be held at night. But Sri Sri Gosein Danda Baladevjeeu temple at Mubarakpur in Soro near Balasore in Orissa has been defying this tradition. The chariots of Jagannath, Bhalabhadra and Subhadra are pulled during the Rath Yatra after sunset. The Rath Yatra is here held on the same day when Puri Rath Yatra is held. Times of India reports  "Like every other year, we followed the same tradition this year too. This has been the trend here for the past five centuries. We are not bothered by this restriction. On the day of Rath Yatra, we follow all rituals as per the Puri temple, with this exception. While in Puri, individual chariots carry the three deities, here we pull only one chariot. All the three deities are placed on the same chariot," temple priest Mahesh Panda said. Besides, the deities here are unique in many ways. They are different from those of Puri in terms of their symmetry. Here the idol of Balabhadra is bigge…

Do not try to stop your thoughts instead make them divine – Swami Chinmayananda

The secret of success in life lies in keeping the head above the storms of the heart.
When a person is left alone, he starts thinking of higher reality - about death, life, soul, God and the mystery of all.
Just as a river is a flow of water, the mind is a continuous flow of thoughts. To think of stopping the mind is foolishness. The attempt of the seeker in the seat of meditation is not to stop the mind or destroy the mind. Give the mind a new direction - change the direction of your thoughts. Do not try to stop your thoughts. Instead, make them divine.
Comfort comes as a guest, lingers to become the host, and stays to enslave us.
Swami Chinmayananda

Uttaradi Math Panchanga 2015 – 2016 for free download – Manmathanama Smavatsara – 2015 – 2016

Shri Uttaradi Math, the seat of Jagadguru Sri Madhvacharya, provides yearly Panchanga in Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Sanskrit and English. The Panchanga for the year 2015 – 2016 (Manmathanama 1937) has been released by Uttaradi Mutt. These Panchangas are sought by devotees around the world. You can download them for free in pdf format.
The 2015 – 2016 Panchanga is from March 21, 2015 to April 7, 2016.

You can get details about all the Panchangapublished by Uttaradi Mutt here at the official website.

Story of Diti – Mother of Demons in Hinduism

Diti was the daughter of Daksha Prajapati and wife of Sage Kashyapa. It is believed in Hinduism, that she is the mother of Daityas or demons. Diti served Sage Kashyapa with devotion to attain a valiant son. She was blessed with a child but Indra killed the embryo and cut into forty nine pieces and they became Maruts (a group of Devas).
Indra was the son of Aditi, another wife of Sage Kashyapa, and she did not like Diti’s son to be powerful and challenge Indra. So it was on her advice that Indra killed the son of Diti.
This cruel fate did not deter Diti from giving up, she continued serving Sage Kashyapa and she was blessed with two powerful sons, Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu.
These two demons had defeated Indra numerous times.
Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu are believed to be the ancestors of demons.
Related Story of the Birth of Devaki – Mother of Sri Krishna – due to curse of Diti

Which is the first avatar of Lord Vishnu? – First Avatar or Incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu

Hindu God Vishnu is believed to have taken numerous avatars to annihilate Adharma and usher in Dharma. As per Hindu scriptures the first Avatar of Hindu God Vishnu is the Matsya Avatar – which is referred as the fish incarnation. The story of Matsya avatar is one that symbolically narrates the beginning of civilization.
Matsya Avatar warns about the impending end of a cycle of creation.
As per Hindu scriptures, this incarnation also rescues the Vedas from demon Damanaka.
Other resources  Story of the first avatar of Lord Vishnu Matsya Avatar Jayanti

Simple Prayer Dedicated to God Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu

Narasimha is the fourth avatar of Hindu God Vishnu. This is one of the fiercest forms of Vishnu. But young Prahlada proved that a devotee who follows dharma need not have any fear of this form. Here is a simple prayer dedicated to Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu.
Simha muke rowdra roobinyaam abaya hasthaankitha karunaamoorthe sarva Vyaabithamm loka rakshanyaam paapa vimochanam thuritha nivaaranam lakshmi kadaaksham sarvaabeeshtam aneham thehi lakshmi narasimhaa

Story of Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu

About the Attributes of Ministers in the Court of Dasaratha in the Ramayana

Valmiki Ramayana talks about eight ministers and their attributes which made Ayodhya a peaceful and prosperous city. For any nation to progress, the administration should be of par excellence. Sudhamahi Regunathan talks about the Attributes of Ministers in the Court of Dasaratha in this article in the Times of India. Valmiki recounts the attributes of Dasaratha's ministers and says that these men were vidyavinita. That means they were not only learned but also full of a humility that comes from learning. He implies that they were people who internalised what they learnt and applied it to everyday life. They were humble not as ministers of Dasaratha, but by virtue of their erudition. So the first qualification is to select the person who is qualified enough, which means possessing adequate knowledge to carry out the job assigned to him. Such a person will be secure in his learning and so will not need to resort to arrogance or bullying to get by.  Further, the ministers were of im…

Stop the Mind from Running about and Still It – A Story

There is a popular story about how a child, one late afternoon, was running about playing with her shadow and trying hard to catch it. However much she tried, she could not succeed and then began to cry.
A sadhu, noticing her efforts, came forwards and asked the child to stop running and look at her shadow. She did so, and now the shadow stood still. He then asked her to touch her head, and the shadow did likewise. ‘There,’ he said, ‘you have now caught your shadow!’
The child became happy and stopped running about, catching the shadow in its different places.
The same principle can be used in trying to understand ourselves, without a shadow of doubt. We must be able to stop the mind from running about and still it. As the mind and the ego are stilled, they cast no shadow; then only are we able to catch the source of light, our consciousness. This is known as going back to he source and attaining knowledge.
Source – Prabhuda Bharata – October 2013 – Page 14

Ram Gayatri Mantra in Hindi – Sri Ram Gayatri Mantra

Ram Gayatri Mantra is a popular prayer dedicated to Bhagvan Sri Ram. This prayer is chanted for getting the blessings of the Sri Ram incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu.
By chanting the Ram Gayatri mantra a devotee will get the courage to face life. The mantra is also chanted for attaining and peace and progress.
The Ram Gayatri Mantra is

Experience is the only source of knowledge – Swami Vivekananda

The goal of mankind is knowledge. Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. Pleasure and happiness come to an end. The cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for. After a time man finds that it is not happiness, but knowledge, towards which he is going, and that pleasure and pain are great teachers, and that he learns as much from evil as from good.
Experience is the only source of knowledge.
Any system which seeks to destroy individuality is in the long run disastrous.
Each life has a current running though it, and this current will eventually take it to God.

Swami Vivekananda - Random Thoughts collected from Complete Words of Swami Vivekananda

Love Is The Highest Bliss That Man Can Attain To – Rabindranath Tagore

Our soul when detached and imprisoned within the narrow limits of a self loses its significance. For its very essence is unity. It can only find out its truth by unifying itself with others, and only then it has its joy.
To understand anything is to find in it something which is our own, and it is the discovery of ourselves outside us which makes us glad.
In love the sense of difference is obliterated and the human soul fulfils its purpose in perfection, transcending the limits of itself and reaching across the threshold of the infinite. Therefore love is the highest bliss that man can attain to, for through it alone he truly knows that he is more than himself, and that he is at one with the All.
Rabindranath Tagore

Dhanik Muni – Story of Dhanik Muni the founder of Dhankas

Dhanik Muni is the founder of the Dhanka community. The popular belief is that Dhanaka Muni appeared during the Satya Yuga, the first of the four eons in Hinduism, to annihilate demons that were terrorizing the world and spreading Adharma.
Legend has it that frustrated at the plight of good people on earth, Mother Goddess Earth offered prays to Shiva. She requested him to put an end to the rule of demons.
Shiva was performing intense austerities when He heard the prayers. He opened His fiery eyes and looked at His Dhanus (bow). From it appeared a great warrior and Shiva named him Dhanik Muni.
The Muni went to Earth and annihilated all the demons and restored Dharma on earth. His weapon was the bow.
After finishing the divine mission, Dhanik Muni observed penance. His bow was transformed into a loom. He adopted the profession of weaving and his descendants and followers did the same.

Action taken after scrutiny results in peace – Shirdi Sai Baba

Bad thoughts separate you from others and make you forget the divinity. So you must combat evil thoughts arising in your mind.
As soon as thoughts come to you, you should not rush into action, but use your intelligence and arrive at a correct decision.
Action taken after scrutiny results in peace.
The root cause of fear in man is the absence of pure and sacred thoughts in his mind.
However learned and powerful a person be, if he is not virtuous, he will succumb to his weaknesses. Shirdi Sai Baba 

Five Sheaths or Vestures Covering Human Body as per Hindu Philosophy

As per Hinduism, there are five sheaths or vestures covering human body. This is an important aspect through which Hindu philosophy understand a human being. The five sheaths or vestures covering human body are:

Annamaya Kosha or the sheath of food or the physical body.

Pranamaya Kosha or the sheath of vital breaths or the animal body or the emotional sheath, the seat of desires, which a man has in common with all animals, in other words, the vital functions.

The Manomaya Kosha or the sheath of mind, or the mental body or the rational soul, or the body that distinguishes man from the lower animals.

The Vijnanamaya Kosha or Intuitional body.

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss body.

It is with the mental body that a man performs sacrifices in order to go to heaven; and it is with the mental body that a man plans mischief to rob others of their possessions and to appropriate them himself. So this mental body is a double faced animal one face turned towards Dharma (like goodness) and other turned…

Bhujanga Devi Temple – Stones are offered by devotees at this Temple in Uttar Pradesh

BhujangaDeviTemple is located at Naglabheekan village in Etwah District in Uttar Pradesh. Devotees offer stones here to get their wish fulfilled. Bhujanga Devi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Durga.
The murti of Bhujanga Devi worshipped in the temple is black in color and as a height of six feet. The temple is visited daily by more than 100 devotees and the small temple is surrounded by stones. The number of devotees swells during festivals and auspicious days like Navratri.
Legend has it that a mentally challenged woman was cured by the Goddess when she offered stones to the deity.
Black stones are widely offered to the deity.

Vaidyanath Ashtakam Text in pdf in Hindi – Vaidyanatha Ashtakam Prayers Lyrics in Hindi

Vaidyanath Ashtakam prayer is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. In the lyrics of the prayer Shiva is glorified as the god of the physicians. Shiva as Vaidyanath is the supreme physician. You can download the prayer text in Hindi in pdf format.
The prayer is chanted for attaining good health.
It is also chanted on Shivratri and Pradosh days.
Link Vaidyanath Ashtakam Text in pdf in Hindi

Ashtamangala or Eight Auspicious symbols in Hinduism

The term ‘Mangala’ means auspicious and ‘Ashta’ means eight auspicious – thus Ashtamangala refers to eight auspicious symbols. These eight symbols are associated with good fortune in Hinduism.
The eight symbols are –
Parasol – A handheld collapsible sunshade.A pair of golden fish.A treasure vase.LotusRight turning conchSrivatsa (endless knot)Banner of victoryWheel of Dharma.
These symbols were associated with royalty and were present during the coronation of a king.

Shiv Panchakshar Stotra in Hindi in pdf – Download Shiv Panchakshar Mantra Text

Shiv Panchakshar Stotra glorifies various attributes of Hindu God Shiva. The mantra is widely chanted by Hindus during the worship of Shiva. It is also an important Stotra during festivals and auspicious days dedicated to Mahadev. You can read mantra in Hindi below. You can also download a copy and save it in pdf format.
Shiv Panchakshar Stotra is chanted during Shivratri festival. It is also chanted on the 14th day during the waning phase of moon and also Pradosh fasting day.
This mantra is chanted daily morning and evening in the Shravan month.
You can download the prayer here – Shiv Panchakshar Stotra in Hindi in pdf

Get Free E-book on Somayagam

If you wish to learn about Somayagam – basic information about the important rituals held during this Vedic Yajna – then this e-book on Somayagam will be of great help. It gives a basic idea of the yajna.
You can download e-book on Somayaga here.
You need to visit the Somayaga website and the register an email address. Then a link will be send to the email address confirming the mail and you can download the e-book from the page.
Excerpts from the book
What is Somayaga?
Somayaga is a highly spiritual and effective ritual performed as prescribed in the Vedas. This lasts for six days. SOMA juice is used as the main oblation – hence the name SomaYaga. Remember that Soma is known as the king of medicinal herbs.
How and when did Yaga start?
Scholars hold that Yajnas have a history of over 5000 years in India. The earliest mention of Soma and Soma Yāgas are to be found in the Rig Veda – which is the oldest of the Vedas. Thus there is no doubt that Soma Yajnyas are as old as Indian Vedic hi…

Benefits of Nine-faced Rudraksha – What are the benefits of wearing nine face Rudraksh

Rudraksh beads are considered holy in Hinduism as they are believed to have appeared from the tears of Hindu God Shiva. The Rudraksh bead appears in numerous faces. The nine-faced Rudraksha bead is worn by many Shiva devotees. The benefits of wearing it include renewed vigor and strength. It is also worn for attaining success in new ventures in life.
The goddess of Nine-faced Rudraksha is Goddess Durga.
The navgraha or planet associated with the Rudraksh is Ketu.

Nine-faced Rudraksha gives good benefits when it is worn alone - it should not be embedded into gold or silver. The best method is to tie it on a thread and wear it around the neck.

Shivashtakam Lyrics in Hindi in pdf – Download Shivashtak Prayer Text in Hindi

Shivashtakam is a very popular prayer dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. The prayer is chanted during worship of Shiva especially during Shivratri and on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi days. The prayer is given in hindi text in pdf below. You download a copy of the lyrics.
Shivashtak is also chanted on Pradosh fasting days.
The prayer consists of eight stanzas and praises the glory of Shiva.
LinkDownload Shivashtakam Lyrics

Learn Goddess Saraswati Prayer Online – Saraswati Vandana – Yaa Kundendu

Saraswati Vandana – Yaa Kundendu is a very important prayer dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning in Hinduism. Now you can learn the prayer online. You can read the Sanskrit text, transliteration in English, easy break up of words, meaning and gist. You can also listen to the audio of the prayer. The entire learning process is easy and is suitable for children.
Link Learn Goddess Saraswati Prayer Online

Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram Lyrics in Hindi in Pdf – Download Shiva Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram Text

Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram is a very popular prayer dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. This prayer glorifies the twelve Jyotirlinga temples dedicated to Shiva. These temples are a must visit for a Shiva devotee. This important prayer is chanted during Shivratri.
It is also chanted by many Shiva devotees every morning and evening.
It is believed that those homes in which the prayer is chanted will be blessed with peace and prosperity. Homes will never be devoid of food grains.
Link - Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotram Lyrics in Hindi in Pdf

Difference between Goddess Chandi and Goddess Durga

Goddess Chandi and Durga are manifestations of Mother Goddess Shakti. According to Markandeya Purana, Mother Goddess Shakti took the form of Chandi and annihilated numerous demons. But what is the difference between Chandi and Durga.
Goddess Chandi is an unimaginably ferocious form of Goddess Shakti. When Goddess assumes the form to annihilate demons she is Chandi.
Goddess Durga is a benevolent form of Shakti. When Goddess assumes the form of a savior she is Durga.

It must be noted that Goddess Shakti took thousands of forms in his fight against the army of demon Mahishasura.

Saraswati Chalisa in Hindi – Download Goddess Saraswati Chalisa in Hindi in pdf

Saraswati Chalisa is a popular prayer dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. The prayer is in forty verses. The prayer is provided in pdf format below. You can save a copy of it. The prayer is chanted during morning and evening hours. It is also chanted on Vasant Panchami and during Navratri.
The prayer is highly auspicious for artists and students.
The prayer is extracted from Gurutva Jyothish magazine.
Link – Saraswati Chalisa in Hindi

Five Important Bathing Ghats on Ganga River in Varanasi

There are numerous bathing ghats or spots where devotees can take holy in the Ganga at Varanasi. But there are five important bathing Ghats at Varanasi. They are known as Panch Tirtha Ghat. The Five Main Bathing Ghats at Varanasi are: Panch Ganga Ghat Manikarnika Ghat Dasashwamedha Ghat Assi Ghat Varuna Ghat
Apart from the above said Pancha Tirtha Ghats devotees also take bath at;
Meer Ghat Man Mandir Ghat Scindia Ghat Daarbhanga Ghat
So, next time when you visit Varanasi try to find the Pancha Tirtha Ghats and take holy dip there.

Twelve Face Rudraksha – What Are the Benefits of Wearing Twelve Face Rudraksh

Twelve-Faced Rudraksha is worn by Shiva devotees to get blessings from Surya, the sun god. Rudraksh bead is associated with Shiva. It is believed that there are up to 21-faced Rudraksha. Twelve Face Rudraksha is considered rare.
The deity associated with twelve-faced Rudraksh is Surya.
It is worn by getting relief from skin related troubles.
Devotees also wear for attaining clarity of thought. It is believed to help in intelligence.
Those people who are under the influence of fear and doubts get relief after wearing the Rudraksh.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 Reflections

Seekers of happiness in the world of sense objects, as result of their strife and struggle, gain their insignificant success in the field of sense enjoyments. If the same effort is applied by them in the right life of constructive living, they can come to discover their identity with the Eternal Absolute, the Self. (7.23)
The more an individual misunderstands himself to be only a mere mass of flesh, and continuously pants for self-gratification through sense indulgences, the more he moves towards suffering. (7.15)
The point of concentration is to be considered, no doubt, as the symbol of the Truth that the devotee is seeking, but it cannot in itself be the Truth. Murti (Idol) worship is only a convenience for gathering true concentration, for getting an initial momentum for the final flight into themselves, to reach the self and discover therein their own oneness with it. (7.24)

Source - Holy Gita Ready Reference - Chinmaya International Foundation - Page 166- 67

Lehsunia Shivling – Merits of Worshipping Shivling Made from Cat's Eye Gemstone

Lehsunia Shivling is made using gemstone cat’s eye. This type of Shivling is mainly worshipped in home and in sacred places. It is also worn by devotees as ornaments. It is widely believed that by worshipping Shivling made using Lehsunia one will be able to attain victory over enemies.
It is worn as an ornament either as a locket in a chain around the neck or as a ring on finger. People who have constant fear of attack from enemies usually wear the Lehsunia Shivling as an ornament.
In some regions it is also worn as a deterrent against fear of darkness and ghosts.

Chausathi Mela at Varanasi

Chausathi Mela at Varanasi is observed on the first day of the Chaitra month as per traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. It is dedicated to the 64 Yoginis – Chausath meaning 64. In 2019, Chausathi Mela date is March 21. Legend has it that the sixty four yognis were asked by Shiva to go to Varanasi (Kashi) and oust King Divdos.
As per belief the 64 Yoginis arrived at Kashi on the first day of the Chaitra month.
The murtis of 64 Yoginis are located on the Chausathi Ghat. The murtis and temple are given a fresh coat of paint. The temple is decorated with flowers and flags and the Yoginis are covered with new clothes.
Shringar aarti is performed on the day. People offer flowers, sweets and abhir.
As the Mela coincides with Holi festival, people throw gulal on each other on the day.

Attukal Pongala Live in 2018 – Watch Online Live Webcasting from Attukal Temple Trivandrum in 2018

Attukal Pongala Festival 2018 will be aired live online from 9:00 AM on March 2, 2018. You can watch it online for free. Guinness World Records have certified it as the largest annual gathering of women in the world in which more than 2 million women participate.

Time of live webcasting by the temple website:
Attukal Pongala - March 2, 2018 – Morning 10.00 AM to 12.00 PM Noon and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
You need to have the Unreal Media Player 5 plugin installed in your browser to view the Pongala live.
Link – View Attukal Pongala Live here.
You can also watch the live telecast here.

Live online on Janam TV
Live online at Asianet News Channel.

Teachings from Book – God Lived with Them

Vedanta says that a knower of Brahman becomes fearless. Fear originates from duality. Because an illumined soul experiences the non-dual Brahman, he can never fear anyone.
After attaining Supreme Knowledge one cannot commit any evil deed. How can one who has realized God or attained knowledge through discrimination, renunciation, love, devotion, and purity, do mischief? Therefore, after attaining non-dual knowledge whatever a person does, it must be good.
Worldly means are of no avail to one who wants to attain the knowledge of God.
Bliss is inherent in human beings; therefore they cannot bear pain, for it is foreign to their true nature. However, grief plays a very important role in life. It makes people understand the impermanency of the world.
God Lived with Them: Life Stories of Sixteen Monastic Disciples of Ramakrishna - By Swami Chetanananda