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Showing posts from February, 2015

Thirunavaya Ekadashi at Tirunavaya Navamukundan Temple

Thirunavaya Ekadashi is observed in the ThirunavayaNava MukundaTemple in Kerala. Thirunavaya Ekadashi 2019 date is February 16. The Ekadasi falling during the waxing phase of moon in Malayalam month Kumbham is of great significance at the temple.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Navamukundan. Legend has it that Goddess Lakshmi and the elephant, Gajendra, worshipped Lord Vishnu here by offering lotus flowers. When the lotus flowers in the pond dwindled, to please his devotee Gajendra, Lord Vishnu is believed to have taken Goddess Lakshmi to his side so that Gajendra will have enough lotus flowers.

Another legend has it that the first eight idols installed by Navayogis disappeared soon after installation and the ninth idol also started sinking and was forcibly stopped. The murti of Lord Vishnu worshipped here is only visible from above knee.
Thirunavaya Nava MukundaTemple is located about at ThirunavayaVillage which is 8 km south of Tirur near Ponnani in the Malappuram Distri…

Goddess Anumati

Goddess Anumati is mentioned in the Rig Veda. She is invoked for divine favor and she is believed to bless worshippers with wealth, children, long life and wisdom. Anumati is also associated with the moon – some scholars that the age of moon just before full moon is Anumati.

Another set of calculation states that a day which has both the 14th day and full moon in a fortnight is referred as Anumati. Some texts also state that she governs the day when moon is in its third and fourth quarter.
The Goddess is worshipped in the ancient Rajasuya Yajna. References to her are found in the Rig Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata and Vishnu Purana.
Other References
Anumati is also the name of a River mentioned in the Rig Veda. As per Bhagavad Purana, she was the wife of Dhatr Aditya – one of the Adityas.
The word Anumati means divine favor or official approval.

Story of the Crescent Moon on Shiva’s Head

All pictures, paintings and idols of Lord Shiva are depicted with a crescent shaped moon (Chandra) on His head. An interesting incident led to Lord Shiva wearing the moon on his head. Daksha, the master of civilization, had married twenty seven of his daughters – the Nakshatras, lunar asterisms, to moon-god, Chandra. But Chandra ignored the 26 Nakshatrams and was enamored by only one among them the beautiful Rohini.
The other daughters complained to Daksha about Chandra’s partisan behavior and this angered Daskha who cursed Chandra that your body of which you are so proud will fade away.
Soon the body of Chandra started fading away and he approached Lord Vishnu who directed him to Lord Shiva who is the supreme physician and the keeper of the sacred herb Soma.
Lord Shiva helped Chandra in regaining his lost luster and glory with the herb Soma. But Daksha cursed him again and he took the help of Lord Shiva and this continued for a long period. Finally, Shiva asked Chandra to take refu…

Mang Tika in Hindu Religion – Why Hindu Women Wear Maang Tikka?

Mang Tika is an important ornament of some Hindu communities. It is part of an essential ornament of a bride in Hindu religion. But is there any reason why Hindu women wear Maang Tikka? Most people believe that it is worn as part of beautification. Some suggest there is reason that is associated with good health.
There is a belief that wearing Mang Tika helps in controlling the heat in the body.
Mang Tika is made of various metals including gold, sliver and bell metal. It is worn on the head and looks like a hanging pendant.
Today the ornament is available in numerous designs. Some are studded with costly stones.
Maang Tikka made of diamonds and pearls are in high fashion today. But no one has done a proper research as to do such costly Mang Tikka serve the original purpose.
Related Toe Rings in Hindu Religion

Are the Holi Water Guns Safe?

Water Guns, known as pichkaris, are an important aspect of Holi celebration. Today, there are various types of pitchkaris available in the market. Some of them have fancy designs and names to attract children. But most of these Holi water guns do not fall into the category of toys. Instead, they are industrial tools.

The traditional pichkaris have given way to foreign water guns. Brass cylinder and leather washers were used in traditional pichkaris and they were mainly handicraft products. There was a limit to the size of these water guns. The amount of force exerted through these pichkaris was minimal and the chances of children or adults getting injured were limited.

The modern water guns are made of plastic or tin and use nylon washers. They are available in different sizes and designs. They have less weight, larger stroke length and larger diameter. The net result is that large amount of fluid can be delivered in one stroke at a very high speed and pressure. The chances of chil…

Kubera Temple at Karnali near Vadodara in Gujarat – Kuber Bhandari Temple

The village Karnali located near Vadodara in Gujarat is famous for a very ancient temple of Lord Kuber Bhandari. Kuber is the treasurer of gods and he is believed to bless devotees with money, wealth and material possessions.  KuberBhandariTemple is situated on the banks of NarmadaRiver and is believed to be as old as 2,500 years.

Legend has it that Kuber offered prayers to Shiva at Karnali after he lost all his wealth to Ravana. Shiva was pleased with the penance and blessed him to be the treasurer of gods.
The shrine has murti of Kuber Bhandari and a swayambhu Shivling and is located in a serene spot.
The temple is located around 120 km from Vadodara. Vadodara to Dabhoi is around 55 km. From Dabhoi one has to reach Limpura which is around 60 km. From Limpura it is around 8 km.

Perform only deeds to which no blame attaches – Taittriya Upanishad

Speak the Truth Do not be careless about truth, Do not be careless about what is right Do not be careless about welfare Do not be careless about propriety Do not neglect your duties to the Gods and ancestors Let your mother be God to you Let your father be God to you Let your teacher be God to you Let a guest be God to you Perform only deeds to which no blame attaches, no other Respect such deed of ours as have been well done no other This is the rule, this the teaching, this is the instruction of the Veda – And so it should be respected Of course law have I spoken Of truth have I spoken Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Taittriya Upanishad

Why is Ganesha depicted in the form of Symbol OM?

Before the creation of the present Universe there was a great deluge, pralaya. It had destroyed the Universe as it existed then. According to Hinduism, creation has no beginning or end – the endless cycle continues. After a great deluge there is Shanti or peace. This peace is broken with the sound OM or AUM – the sound which emanates from the Supreme Soul.

The Ganapatya Cult, or the followers of Ganesha, believes that OM or Pranava Mantra the symbol of Brahman is embodied in the form of Ganesha. It is believed that Ganesh is the first word or the first cause.

This is the reason why occasionally Ganesha is depicted in the form of symbol ‘Om.’

You may also like to read Flowers and leaves offered to Lord Ganesh

Ashtadravya – Ashta Dravya in Ganapati Homan

Ashta Dravya, or Ashtadravyam, are eight sacred puja items that are offered to Lord Ganesha during the special puja known as Ashta Dravya Maha Ganapathi Homam. It is offered to Lord Ganesh to get his blessings – who blesses with wealth, prosperity and long life. The eight sacred things that are part of the Ashta Dravya are:

Coconuts,Molasses,Sesame Oil,Sugarcane,Lemon,Rice flakesBananaRice.
In some places Ashta Dravya are Dried coconut, puffed rice, jaggery, banana (kadali plantain), honey, sesame, sugarcane and fried paddy of rice.
For some communities Ashta Dravya are Coconut, Banana, Honey, Sugarcane, Ghee, Modhaka, Jaggery, Puffed rice.
The concept of Ashta Dravya is of South Indian origin and is more popular with Hindu communities in South India.
Ashta Dravya is also presented to little children, who are new initiates into the world of learning, by the Guru after receiving Gurudakshina (limited to some communities).
You may also like to read
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Why Parijata is known as Night Jasmine? – Why its flowers bloom only at night? – Why Parijata Tree is also known as Sad Tree? – Stories in Hinduism

Parijata is known as night jasmine as its flowers bloom only at night and they fall off before sunrise. A story mentioned in Vayu Purana indicates about this unique aspect and also why Parijata is sad tree or the tree of sorrow. In fact there are numerous stories in Hinduism which give reason to unique behavior of the tree. In all the stories sun is the villain.

Legend has it that a king had a daughter named Parijataka. She fell in love with Surya, the sun god. Surya reciprocated her love but as he could not stay with her, he betrayed her by abandoning her.
Unable to bear the pain and insult, Parijataka burnt herself to death. Soon parijata shrub appeared in the places where her ashes fell.
As Parijataka is angry and cannot bear the sight of the sun, its flowers bloom at night and fall off before sunrise.
As the tree appeared after a heartbreaking incident, it is also known as tree of sorrow or sad tree.

Dauji Temple at Talvan near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh

Dedicated to Balram, DaujiTemple is located at Talvan, which is around 10 km west of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh. The temple has murtis of Balrama (Dauji) and his consort Revati. There is also a murti of Sri Krishna in the main altar.

An outer courtyard leads to the main altar of the temple. To the right of the temple there is the Balbhadra kund or sacred pond.
The temple also has a few Tal trees. The region takes its name from these trees. Devotees offer worship to the tree as these trees were present when Balram, Sri Krishna, Gopas and Gopis roamed in Talvan.
The divine brothers had killed demon named Dhenukasura at Talvan.

The path of devotion and the path of knowledge lead to the same goal – Ramana Maharishi

Mukti, or liberation, consists in the utter annihilation of the ego, or ahamkara, and the entire destruction of my and mine or mamakara, by any possible means.
Further, as these are found to flourish together, being entirely interdependent, the destruction of either ahamkara or mamakara causes also the destruction of the other.
In order to attain that state of supreme Quiescence, or Mauna, transcending speech and thought, either the Path of knowledge or Vedanta Marga which leads to the annihilation of the ego, or the Path of devotion, or Bhakti Marga, which results in the destruction of “my” and “mine” is equally effective.
There, there can be no doubt that the path of devotion and that of knowledge lead to the same goal. Either path is one and the same.
Ramana Maharishi

Story of Balrama and Demon Dhenuka - Donkey

The story of Balrama, the elder brother of Sri Krishna, and demon Dhenuka (donkey) is found in the Vishnu Purana and Srimad Bhagavad Purana. Sri Krishna, Balrama and other gopas used wander through the woods with their cattle. Once during their mini excursions, they reached the region of forest controlled by demon Dhenuka.
The area was filled with Palmyra Palm trees – known as Tal or Taltar in Hindi and Panai in Tami.
The trees were filled with ripe fruit and the gopas wanted to taste them. They asked Balram and Sri Krishna to pluck some fruits.
The brothers shook some trees and brought down numerous fruits.
The fruits made loud noise when they fell down. This alerted Dhenuka. He took the form of an ass and charged towards the brothers. As per some stories, Dhenuka is referred to as the donkey demon.
The demon in the form of ass began to kick Balram on his breast with his hinder heels. Balrama seized both the hind legs and whirled the demon around until he died.
He then tossed the …

Word and World and Ancient Indian schools of Thought – Summer School by Chinmaya International Foundation and Manipal University

The main purpose of the 2015 Summer School organized by the Chinmaya International Foundation and ManipalUniversity will be to explore the many ways in which the word and the world have been brought to bear upon each other by the Sanskritic philosophers of ancient and early medieval India. 
It is also important to note that Manipal University (MU) has a Dvaita Philosophy Resource Centre (DPRC) whereas, Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) focuses on Advaita. The coming together of these two modern institutions rooted in traditions itself is very significant and upholds the spirit of Indian philosophy.
Who can apply?
The two-week International Summer School of six European credits (ECTS) is open for university students, researchers and faculty members from across disciplines.

You can find more details about the course and summer schoolhere at the official website

Sex workers of Varanasi offering Puja at Manikarnika Cremation Ghat during Chaitra Navratri

Nagar Vadhus of Kashi (sex workers or bride of the city) offers a unique puja at Manikarnika Cremation Ghat during Chaitra Navratri. Dance and music are played while the dead are being cremated. This takes place during the seventh night of Chaitra Navratri – March 31, 2020.
This is a very ancient tradition. The sex workers of Varanasi dance and play music while offering prayers to Shiva at Manikarnika Cremation Ghat.
After performing religious rituals, they present dance and music at the makeshift stage amid the burning pyres in respect of the lord of cremation ground.

Ma Chausatti Devi – About Goddess Chausath

Goddess Chausatti Devi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. She is associated with the 64 yoginis. Goddess Chausath is regarded as 64 yoginis and she is their swarupa. It is believed that Ma Chausatti Devi represents the combined form or the combined energy of the 64 goddesses.
The concept of sixty four Yoginis or Chausath Yoginis is very popular in eastern parts of India especially in Orissa.
They are the divine female attendants of Goddess Kali and Bhairava form of Shiva.
One of the popular temples dedicated to Ma Chausatti Devi (in single form) is located in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
She is worshipped for overcoming fear of enemies and darkness.

How to Make Natural Holi Colours at Home?

It is said that Lord Krishna used play Holi with bright-orange Tesu flowers. Earlier, many people used to make natural colours for Holi at home. Today, most people might not be aware of this fact as we are used to ready made chemical colors. Often these chemical colours are harmful and we tend ignore it during the fun. But if you have time, then you can make your own natural colours at home.
Dry Red Colour: You can use red sandal wood powder. Powder of dry red hibiscus flowers mixed with any flour will give natural red colour.
Wet Red Colour: Mix turmeric powder in water and add few drops of lemon juice. Within seconds, you will get bright red colour. Dry Yellow Colour: Mix two spoons of turmeric powder with four spoons of besan for bright yellow color.
Wet Yellow Colour: Mix Two spoons of turmeric in four liters of water and stir well. Wet Orange or Saffron Colour: Peel around 12 large onions and boil in half liter water. Remove the onion peels. Now you will get an orange color with …

Ancient Ganesh Murti Found While Carrying Out Works for Building a Temple

A 12 century Ganesh Murti was discovered on the premises of KCP Sugars and Industries Limited at Laxmipuram in Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh. The Ganesha Murti was found while carrying out works for building a temple on the premises of the sugar factory. The murti belongs is carved as per Chalukyan style of carving and is made of granite stone with trunk on the left side. The murti is 3-feet high. The Hindu reports

As part of its plans to build Sri Lakshmi Ganapathi temple, the factory management started works at north-east corner using an earthmover. While the earthmover operator was digging, he heard a sound and stopped operating the machine for a while. A few minutes later, he resumed the work only to find a stone structure. When the operator slowly removed the soil, he found a three-foot high Ganesh idol in a sitting posture, said CEO G. Venkateswara Rao.  As the news of the discovery spread fast, people from nearby villages thronged the company and performed puja. Archaeolog…

Prayer is the voice of the soul – Sudhanshuji Maharaj

Only the feelings arising from the deepest core of the heart can compel God to shower his blessings, love and kindness.
Prayer is the voice of the soul.
Prayer is power as it illumines the soul, strengthens the mind and purifies the heart.
During times of utter distress, when the heart sinks deep into sorrow and all doors of help seem to close, the key of prayer unlocks the door of the lord and provides anchor to the sinking ship of life.
Prayer unfolds layers of ignorance that conceal the true potential of a person.
When the innermost feelings of a person find divine expression, they originate in the form of a prayer.
Sudhanshuji Maharaj

Holi Rang Pashi

Rang Pashi is the first day of Holi celebration in Hindu homes and it falls three days before the Purnima or Poornima (Full Moon). Purnima is the day when Holika is burnt or Holi bonfires are lit. It must be noted that in Mathura and Vrindavan the celebrations begin nearly a month before the actual day of celebrations.
On the Rang Pashi day, all the members of the family assemble and the eldest member of the family sprinkle colors (gulal) and water with Tesu flowers.
Rang Pashi is a subdued celebration of Holi and all the women in the family wear Holi Dandia saris. It is mainly a day of get together and discuss about the preparation for the festival.
After the ceremony, sweets like gujia, papri are served. Non-vegetarian dishes are also served on this day. People also enjoy drinks like bhang and other alcoholic beverages.

Abhimukteshwar Form of Shiva

Abhimukteshwar is one of the manifestations of Shiva worshipped in important temples dedicated to Shiva. Abhimukteshwar Mahadev form is worshipped in Ujjain and Kashi. The popular belief is that this form of Shiva helps in attaining moksha immediately.
Abhimukteshwar Shivling is found in front of the main shrine in the KashiVishwanathTemple complex.
Visit to shrine of this form of Shiva is included in the important Parikramas performed in Varanasi.
Abhimukteshwar Mahadev is part of the Chaurasi Mahadev Yatra in Ujjain.
Symbolically this form of Shiva suggests that an intense desire for attaining self realization is possible instantly.

Mahabharata Manuscript by Abul Fazal – Court writer of Emperor Akbar – Found in Jamia Nizamia Varsity in India

Abul Fazal was one of the navratnas (nine jewels) of Mughal Emperor Akbar’s royal court. The rare Mahabharat manuscript composed by Abul Fazal was recently discovered in Jamia Nizamia in Hyderabad in India.
The translated version is in Persian and runs into 5,012 pages. It was in the personal collection of Moulana Mohammad Anwarullah Farooqui, the founder of Jamia.
The manuscript was forgotten and was recently discovered from the old manuscripts in the library of Jamia Nizamia.
Jamia Nizamia is one of the oldest Islamic seminaries of higher learning of Sunnis in India.

Thoughts – Swami Chidanand Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan

Attraction is not wrong but destruction which happens through that attraction is wrong. You can look at beautiful flowers, appreciate their beauty, smell them, its alright; but if you also pick flowers, that is wrong.
Neither is the appearance nor are the qualities bad; what is bad is the one whose intentions are bad. It is all about your intention, the rest doesn’t matter.
No matter what you do, your thoughts should be centered on God.
Others may not understand your today, but your good intention sooner than later will reap good rewards for sure.
Do not be bothered about the results, with good intentions you will be able to live in peace.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan

Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple March 2017 Monthly Puja

Monthly pujas in Sabarimala are held from the first day of particular malayalam month for next five days. In March 2017, SabarimalaAyyappaTemple will be open for Meena Masam monthly puja from March 14, 2017 to March 19, 2017.

The temple will remain open from March 31 for the Sabarimala Annual Temple Festival - March 31 to April 9, 2017.

Thousands of Ayyappa devotees who like to avoid the huge rush during the Mandala Makaravilakku season (November – January) make use of the monthly puja days. Nowadays, even these few days are attracting huge crowds.

Padi puja and other important rituals are held during the monthly puja days.

You may also like to read Sabarimala Calendar 2017 – 2018

Shri Waghjai Devi Yatra at Shindewadi near Bhor in Maharashtra

Shri Waghjai Devi Yatra is annually observed in Phalgun month. It is the important annual festival at WaghjaiDeviTemple at Shindewadi near Bhor in Maharashtra. The annual fair and festival attracts hundreds of people. Shri Waghjai Devi Yatra 2020 date is March 17.
Goddess Waghjai Devi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. She is widely worshipped in Maharashtra. She is also the kuldevi or family deity of many families.
Shri Waghjai Devi Yatra is observed on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Navami tithi or the ninth day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj Punyatithi at Sinhgad near Pune

Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj Punyatithi is annually observed in Phalgun month. He was the youngest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire. His mother was Soyarabai and he was the third Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire. Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj Punyatithi 2020 date is on March 17.
As per Gregorian calendar, his death anniversary is on March 3, 1700.
He had a very short reign. Soon after the coronation he went into exile and fought against the Mughals hiding in various forts.
He died finally at Sinhgad near Pune of an unspecified illness.

His death anniversary is observed annually on the 9th day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per Marathi Calendar

Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Bhosale Punyatithi – Death Anniversary of Dharmveer Sambhaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Bhosale was the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire. His mother was Saibai and he was the second Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire. He is popularly known as Dharmveer Sambhaji Maharaj as he died defending his faith – Hinduism. His Balidan din, or death anniversary, is observed annually on the no moon day in Phalgun month as per Marathi Calendar. In 2020, it is on March 24.
As per Gregorian calendar, he died fighting the Mughals on  March 11, 1689.
He had fought valiantly against the Mughals. But he was captured and humiliated and executed by Aurangzeb for not converting to Islam. This valiant act earned him the title ‘Dharmveer.’
Several meetings and programs are held on the Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje Bhosale Balidan Din.

Sadguru Shree Mamasaheb Deshpande Punyatithi – Guru Mama Deshpande Death Anniversary

Sadguru Shree Mamasaheb Deshpande Punyatithi is annually observed in Phalgun month. It is the death anniversary of Sadguru Shree Mamasaheb Deshpande, also known as Guru Mama Deshpande. The day is of importance at the ashram located in Pune. Sadguru Shree Mamasaheb Deshpande Punyatithi 2020 date is March 17.
Sadguru Shri Mamasaheb Deshpande was a freedom-fighter, philosopher, scholar and prolific author. He established Shreepad Seva Mandal (SSM).
The great soul belongs to the Shri Datta Sampradaya.
Sadguru Shree Mamasaheb Deshpande Punyatithi is annually observed on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Navami Tithi or the ninth day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Holi Quotes and Messages

This is a collection of favorite Holi quotes and messages that I have read, received and some which I have sent.
Let the colors of Holi spread the message of peace and happiness. I wish everybody a Happy Holi. Let the colors of Holi fill your heart with warmth and love. Enjoy and spread the colors of Holi. Holi is a time to reach out with the colors of joy. It is the time to love and forgive. It is the time expresses the happiness of being loved and to be loved through colors. Make merry with colors on Holi and the rest of the days with the colors of love. Holi is a special time of year to remember those who are close to our hearts with splashing colors! May this Holi be bright as the colors that splash on you! You’re so handsome let me darken you with Holi colors. Happy Holi! Holi is the apt time to break the ice, renew relationships and link yourself with those that you wanted to with a bit of color. Holi is the day to express love with colors. It is a time to show affection. All the col…

Symbolism in Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha Together

Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped together in all important pujas. One of the popular images of Goddess Lakshmi is that of Ganesha along her side. Some of these images also include Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning. There is a symbolism associated in worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha together.

It is with the blessing of Goddess Saraswati that we realize Goddess Lakshmi. She helps in attaining wealth through dharmic ways and maintaining it.

Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of prosperity and wealth. But when one is blessed with prosperity and wealth one needs a sound judgment and discernment to enjoy the prosperity and this is provided by Sri Ganesha. Ancient saints term this as ‘viveka’ – without viveka the blessing of Goddess Lakshmi will go in vain. And to keep us composed and calm we take the blessings of Ganesha. Ganesha also pulls us up by creating blockades on our path when we use the wealth in Adharmic ways.

It must be also noted that during Durga Puja – G…

Gems of Wisdom from Hindu Scriptures

Ekam shastram adhiyano na vidyat  shastranischayam, tasmat bahushrutah shastram vijaniyat chikitsakah; By studying one scripture alone, a definite conclusion cannot be made, therefore a physician should study many scriptures (Sushruta Samhita, 1.4.7.)
The intellect acquires critical acumen by familiarity with different traditions. How much does one really understand by merely following one’s own reasoning? (Bhartrihari, Vakyapadiya, 2.484)
Asha hi paramam duhkham nairashyam paramam sukham; The greatest misery comes from hoping and the greatest happiness lies in giving up hope. (Srimad Bhagavata, 11.8.44)
abhyasena tu kaunteya vairagyena cha grihyate; [the mind] is controlled through practice and detachment. (Bhagavad Gita, 6.35.)
Shiva shaktya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum na chede- vam devo na khalu kushalah spanditum api; If Shiva is united with Shakti, he is able to exert his powers as lord; if not, the god is unable to move. (Saundarya Lahari, 1)
‘Yah shastravidhim …

Vaishno Devi Story – Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Story

Vaishno Devi story begins when Mother Goddess Shakti appeared to annihilate the demons on earth who were spreading and encouraging Adharma. Story of Vaishno Devi has it that Mother Goddess Kali, Saraswati and Lakshmi appeared together at a holy spot. From the unimaginable light that they generated appeared a manifestation of the Mother Goddess. This was Ma Vaishno Devi.

She was then born as the daughter of Ratankar and his wife in South India. The happy couple named her Vaishnavi. From a young age, Vaishnavi was highly spiritual and longed to merge with Srihari Vishnu. Her presence on earth made all living beings happy. The spot she resided became heaven.
Years passed by. Vaishnavi then met Bhagvan Sri Ram during his exile period. They both immediately realized each other. She desired to be merged with Srihari Vishnu.
But Bhagvan Sri Ram asked her to continue her austerities and promised her that she will get the opportunity to merge with Him during Kali Yuga. Sri Ram told her that …

Matsya Avatar – the Fish Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Matsya, the one-horned fish, is the first among, the Dasa Avatara, the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The core concept of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) is that there is no beginning or end. There is only transformation. When man abandons Dharma and ventures into the territory of Adharma, Nature starts its destructive transformation. We humans term this as apocalypse or total annihilation. Lord Vishnu incarnated as Matsya to save all that was good in the world before its destruction.

Matsya Appearance Just before the total destruction of the world, Matsya, the one-horned fish, swam into the hands of a pious man and asked him to save it from a big fish. The pious man took the fish home and placed it in a small vessel. The fish kept on increasing its size. It was then transferred from the small vessel to a big vessel; from it to a well, from well to a pond, from pond to a lake; and finally it was transferred to the ocean but it still kept growing. The pious man in some Puranas is Manu, i…

Goddess Samanya Lakshmi – About Samanyalakshmi

Goddess Samanya Lakshmi is one of the manifestations of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of peace, prosperity and wealth. Goddess Samanyalakshmi is always depicted as having two hands. In fact the name is exclusively used to refer to the goddess when has two hands.
It must be noted here that Goddess Lakshmi is usually depicted with four arms.
But when she appears in the normal human form, she has two hands and is known as Samanyalakshmi.
This form of the Goddess resides among devotees and provides them with peace and prosperity. She resides in places which are clean.

Hari Jayanti 2020 date

Hari Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Bhagvan Shri Swaminarayan. He was born on Chaitra 9 in Vikram Samvat 1837 (3rd April 1781 AD) on the occasion of Ram Navami. Bhagvan Swaminarayan is the central figure of Swaminarayan sect and is an incarnation of the Supreme Being. Hari Jayanti 2020 date is April 2.
On this very special day, all followers of Bhagvan Shri Swaminarayan observe Upvaas. All Swaminarayan Temples worldwide carry out the birthday aarti at 10:10 PM (the time of incarnation) and then distribute the prasad of panchamrut and pinjaari.
During his stay on earth, Bhagwan Swaminarayan enlightened millions of souls and his immortal teachings continue to inspire millions around the world. Apart from spreading the message of Sanatana Dharma, he was also indulged in eradicating numerous social vices and correcting numerous unhealthy practices which were practiced in the name of Hinduism.

Photo Tour of Sri Venkateswara Swamy Temple at Jamalapuram in Khammam District of Telangana.

Dedicated to Lord Balaji, SriVenkateswaraSwamyTemple at Jamalapuram in Khammam District of Telangana is popularly known as Khammam Chinna Tirupathi. The Hindu newspaper is providing a photo tour of the shrine. The temple is also famous as Sain Jabali the blessings of Venkateswara after penance here. The spot is known as Suchi Gutta.
The temple is located around 80 km from KhammanTown.

You can take the photo tour here at the Hindu

The mind’s true home is the natural purity and simplicity of Reality – Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

The passion for external renunciation is like a blot of lightening. It may strike at any time. It is not a reasoned choice.
Before breaking open a jackfruit, you carefully rub your hands and forearms with clear oil so that the sticky milk of the fruit cannot adhere. Apply the oil of limitless awareness, and nothing will stick.
The mind’s true home is the natural purity and simplicity of Reality. This primordial abode must never for a moment be forgotten as we carry out our multileveled responsibilities for humankind.
Conventional enjoyments are the mere surface of true enjoyment – a rough surface, which consists of egocentric gratification and personal aggrandizement. We must unequivocally see through this deceptive surface in order to enter the depth of ecstatic Divine Enjoyment. To come to the end of worldly enjoyment is to experience Divine Bliss flowing through every action, every perception.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Venkateshwara Ashtothram in pdf – Venkateshwara Ashtothram Prayer in English

One of the popular prayers dedicated to Venkateshwara is the chanting of the Venkateshwara Ashtothram. Below is Venkateshwara Ashtothram lyrics in English in pdf format. You can download the file and save it for future use.
Chanting the Venkateshwara Ashtothram daily is considered highly auspicious. The mantra is chanted on all days by devotees.
Link Venkateshwara Ashtothram in pdf

Ilavrta Varsha Region in Jambudvipa in Hindu Scriptures

Jambudvipa is the name of one of the seven islands on earth mentioned in Hindu scriptures. It is named after Jambun or rose apple tree. Jambudvipa is interpreted either roughly as the northern hemisphere or the region in Asia with India and adjacent regions and islands. Some scholars are of the view that Jambudvipa is a heavenly place and not on earth.
As per Bhagavad Purana, Jambudvipa is divided into nine regions. Of these only Bharata Varsha is inhabited by human beings. The rest of the eight regions are occupied by celestial beings or by saints and pious persons.
One of the eight regions is known as Ilavrat Varsha and it is occupied by Siddhas, Charanas, Gandharvas. The celestial beings that live here have the power to become smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest. The gardens and lakes in the region are the play ground of the celestial beings and their wives. The region is also frequented by Shiva and Parvati.
The people who take birth on Bharatavarsha are divided…

Bhairavnath Bagad Yatra at Bavdhan in Wai near Satara - Bhairavnath Temple Festival and Fair at Bavdhan

Bhairavnath Bagad Yatra is annually observed in the Rang Panchami in Phalgun month. It is the most important and famous annual festival at BhairavnathTemple at Bavdhan near Wai in Maharashtra. Bhairavnath Bagad Yatra 2020 date is March 13.
The festival is noted for devotee hanging from a hook from a high post. The person who agrees to dangle from the hook performs a fast for 5 days. He stays in a temple and on the Bagad day eats only Neem leaves and does not drink a single drop of water. The Bagad ritual has a history for more than 800 years.
This annual agrarian festival attracts hundreds of devotees.
Bhairavnath Bagad Yatra is annually observed on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Panchami or the fifth day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra

Yashwant Baba Punyatithi at Mayani near Khatav in Satara District

Yashwant Baba Punyatithi is annually observed in Phalgun month. It is the death anniversary of pious soul Yashwant Baba. The day is of significance at Mayani near Khatav in Satara District. Yashwant Baba Punyatithi 2020 date is March 13.
Yashwant Baba led a simple life and taught people the value of humility and simplicity. He spread the message of harmony and truth.
Hundreds of people attend various programs organized on the day at Mayani near Khatav in Satara District in Maharashtra. The Samadhi or the final resting place of the saint is located here.
Yashwant Baba Punyatithi is observed on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Panchami or the fifth day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Mobile App to help Godavari Pushkaram Devotees

Godavari Pushkaram, which is held once n 12 years, will be held in 2015 from July 14 to July 25 is expected to attract more than a million devotees. A mobile app to help Godavari Pushkaram 2015 devotees was released recently. The mobile application is created by G Krishna Chaitanya of Sri Prakash Engineering College.  The New Indian Express
The app will provide details of 42 important temples, 24 tourist spots along with hotels,  bathing ghats, roads, hospitals, cinema halls, timings of buses, flights, trains, phone numbers, emergency services, cultural and spirtitual  programmes, etc. The App has been designed in the name of Satya Andriod Developers. The details can be had through Google Play Site freely, by a click on GMP.You find the Mobile App here on Google Play

Kanifnath Yatra 2020 at Madhi near Ahmednagar – Kanifnath Fair and Festival

Kanifnath Yatra is dedicated to Kanifnath, also known as Kanhoba. He is one of the nine Maha Yogis of Navnath Sampradaya. The annual fair and festival dedicated to Kanifnath is observed in Phalgun month. Kanifnath Yatra 2020 date is March 13. Samadhi of Kanifnath is located at Madhi near Ahmednagar.
Kanifnath is believed to be an incarnation of Prabuddha Narayan and is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana.
Kanifnath Yatra is annually held from Phalgun Krishna Paksha Panchami to Chaitra Shukla Paksha Pratipada (Gudi Padwa). The most important day is Phalgun Krishna Paksha Panchami or the fifth day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.
More than 500,000 people visit the Samadhi Sthal or the final resting place of Kanifnath.

Lakshmi Devi Yatra at Hasurchampu near Kolhapur – Lakshmi Devi Temple Festival at Hasurchampu

Lakshmi Devi Yatra is annually held at HasurchampuVillage near Kolhapur in Maharashtra. It is observed in Phalgun month. It is the annual temple festival at the LakshmiDeviTemple located here. Hasurchampu Lakshmi Devi Yatra 2020 date is March 13.
LakshmiDeviTemple at Hasurchampu is famous for its sculptures. This is a beautiful temple in the Kolhapur region of Maharashtra.
The annual festival of the temple is referred as jatra or yatra and it attracts scores of devotees. Palkhi, chariot and other rituals are held on the day.
Lakshmi Devi Yatra is observed on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Panchami Tithi or the fifth day during waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Savitribai Phule Punyatithi – Death Anniversary of Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Jyotirao Phule was a social reformer in Maharashtra. Savitribai Phule Punyatithi is her death anniversary and it is annually held on March 10. She was died on 10 March 1897. She along with her husband, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, played an important role in women’s education and widow remarriage in Maharashtra. She ably supported her husband in his social reforms. She is also a pioneer of the modern Marathi Poetry.
She was the first female teacher of the first women’s school in Maharashtra.
She opened school for Untouchable girls in 1852.
She openly supported widow remarriage and opened a home to help orphaned widows and children.
During the plague of 1857, she and her son opened clinic and helped thousands of plague victims.
She was born on January 3, 1831.

Girikshit – Bhagvan Vishnu is referred by This Name in the Rig Veda

Girikshit is one among the numerous names of Bhagvan Vishnu. In fact, this name is found in the Rig Veda. Girikshit means mountain dwelling or one who resides in the mountain. Some scholars are of the view that the name is strange as Vishnu is normally associated with pastoral or water or society and never with mountains.
But some scholars are of the view that it was a reference to a future incarnation of Vishnu. Balaji or Srinivasa or Venkateswara – the deity who blesses and offers relief in the dark age of Kali Yuga.
Vishnu appeared as Balaji or Srinivasa or Venkateswara in the Tirumala Hills. He resides there surrounded by seven hills. In fact he is one of the most popular deities in Hinduism in Kali Yuga.
Girishtha is also a name used to refer to Bhagvan Vishnu.

Satam Maharaj Punyatithi at Dhanoli near Sawantwadi

Satam Maharaj was a great saint the Bhakti tradition in Maharashtra. His punyatithi or death anniversary is annually observed in Phalgun month. Satam Maharaj Punyatithi 2020 date is March 11. The day is of importance at Dhanoli near Sawantwadi in Maharashtra.
Satam Maharaj performed numerous miracles during his life time. He also spread the teaching of love, humility and truth. His living style while on earth itself was a great lesson.
 Satam Maharaj Punyatithi is annually observed on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Dwitiya tithi or the second day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Our highest joy is in the losing of our egoistic self and in uniting others - Rabindranath Tagore

Man’s poverty is abysmal, his wants are endless till he becomes truly conscious of his soul. Till then, the world to him is in a state of continual flux – a phantasm that is and is not.
For a man who has realized his soul there is a determinate center of the universe around which all else can find its proper place, and from thence only can he draw and enjoy the blessedness of a harmonious life.
To know our soul apart from the self is the first step towards the realization of the supreme deliverance. We must know with absolute certainty that essential we are spirit. This we can do by winning mastery over self, by rising above all pride and greed and fear, by knowing that worldly losses and physical death can take nothing away from the truth and greatness of our soul.
Our highest joy is in the losing of our egoistic self and in uniting others. Rabindranath Tagore

Ayyappa Prayers in Malayalam in pdf – Download Lord Ayyappa Songs and Prayers in Malayalam Text

Lord Ayyappa is one of the most popular deities in South India. His shrine at Sabarimala in Kerala attracts millions of devotees. Here are Ayyappa prayers and songs in Malayalam in pdf format. The Malayalam text is courtesy SriSivaVishnuTemple.
LinkAyyappa Prayers in Malayalam in pdf

Moshi Kanifnath Yatra at Moshi near Pimpri Chinchwad – Kanifnath Fair and Festival at Moshi

Moshi Kanifnath Yatra is observed in Phalgun month and is dedicated to Kanifnath, one of the nine Maha Yogis of Navnath Sampradaya. Moshi located near Pimpri Chinchwad in Maharashtra houses a sacred place dedicated to the great saint. Moshi Kanifnath Yatra 2020 date is March 13.
Kanifnath is believed to be an incarnation of Prabuddha Narayan and is mentioned in the Bhagavad Purana.
Kanifnath Yatra is annually held on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Panchami or the fifth day during the waning phase of moon in Phalgun month as per traditional lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.
The annually fair and festival attracts thousands of followers of the Navnath Sampradaya.

Panguni Uthiram at Srirangam – Panguni Uthiram Festival at Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Panguni Uthiram at Srirangam SriRanganathaswamyTemple is an important annual ritual and festival. The ritual is known as Panguni Uthiram Perumal – Thayar Serthi Sevai. Panguni Uthiram at Srirangam in 2020 is on April 6.
Hindu Scriptures like the Puranas and the two epics – Mahabharat and Ramayan – indicate that Poornima (full moon) and Uthiram star coinciding in the month of Panguni (March – April) is highly auspicious.
The day is of great significance to Devas. There is also a belief that divine weddings take place on this day.
Special rituals and pujas are held on the day at SrirangamTemple.

Panguni Uthiram Darshan at Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala

Panguni Uthiram Darshan at SabarimalaAyyappaTemple in Kerala is held after Makaravilakku and before Vishu puja. Panguni Uthiram Darshan at SabarimalaAyyappaTemple in 2016 is on March 23. The shrine opens just for this day.
Hindu Scriptures like the Puranas and the two epics – Mahabharat and Ramayan – indicate that Poornima (full moon) and Uttiram star coinciding in the month of Panguni (March – April) is highly auspicious.
The day is of great significance to Devas. There is also a belief that divine weddings take place on this day.

Live Darshan from Shiva Temples in India

Three of the important Shiva temples that are offering free live darshan are the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, the Somnath Temple in Gujarat, Baba Baidyanath Dham in Deoghar and Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Temple. The temples have live webcasting during the arati period and important puja periods. The darshan of some these temples are also available on mobile internet.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi – You can view the live darshan here.

Somanth Temple – You can view the live darshan here.

Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Temple - You can view the live darshan here

Baba Baidyanath Temple, Deoghar - You can view the live darshan here

If readers have knowledge of other Shiva Temple live darshans please mail us at hindublog @

Shivratri 2018 Live Online by Isha Foundation - Mahashivaratri Festival 2018 Online

Isha Foundation of Sadhguru is offering live online telecast of the Shivratri celebrations on February 13, 2018 from IshaYogaCenter near Coimbatore. The Mahashivaratri Festival 2018 Online is on February 13. All the programs are aired live online.
To watch the live webasting you need to register online.
You can find more about the Shivratri Festival of Isha Foundation here at the official website and also how to register online.
The programs include: Pancha Bhuta Aradhana Guru Pooja at the Dhyanalinga Yogic Temple Live performances Question Answer session with Sadhguru etc

You may also like to read Live online Darshan from Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Shiva as Nataraja – Symbolism and Meaning hidden in the Natraja Murti

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva as Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) performs the Tandava – the dance in which the universe is created, maintained, and resolved. The idol and picture of Nataraja, or Natraj, that is famous throughout the world today achieved canonical form in bronze sculpture cast during the rule of Chola dynasty in South India by the 10th century. The Chola Nataraja is often considered to be the quintessential statement of Indian sculpture, incomparable in its merging of symbol and form.

Indian Laburnum Tree and Shiva

Indian Laburnum, known as Kirala or Amaltas in Hindi and Konnai in Tamil, is a tree associated with Shiva. Legend has it that Shiva used to wear garlands made of laburnum flower when going into war or other heroic situations. Nayanmars, the Shaivaite Saints, of Tamil Nadu believed the tree to be a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

From the poems of the saints, it is learned that the flowers were used to adorn the hair of Shiva.
The flowers of Laburnum Tree are widely used in the puja of Shiva in Tamil Nadu. It is believed that Konnai or Konrai is the favorite flower of Mahadev.
The tree is found on the foothills of Tiruvannamalai and therefore is praised as the tree that blossoms at the feet of Shiva.

The use of the flower is famous in Kerala during Vishu - the flower is an essential part of Vishukani.
SourceSacred plants of India by Nanditha Krishna and M. Amirthalingam

Ashvattha Tree in Hinduism – Spiritual and Religious Importance of Ashvattha Tree 

Ganesh Puja procedure at home – How to do Simple Ganesha Puja at home?

This is an explanation on how to do a simple Ganesh puja at home. Please note that this puja procedure is only to give an idea and you can be flexible in your Ganesha Puja. After taking bath Take the blessings of Lord Ganesha by touching the feet of murti or portrait. Ask Ganesha to help in make this puja a success. Remove all the puja items you used the previous time. Clean the murti or painting of Ganesha. Take very little water and sprinkle it on the murti and on you for self purification. Keep the lamp ready. Use cotton to make wick. Pour oil or ghee or mustard oil or any other cooking oil in the lamp. Dip the wick. Dip the wick and squeeze to remove the extra oil from one end and project it outside to light the lamp. Keep incense ready. Keep red flowers ready. If you have Durva Grass offer it. Keep a single banana or a fruit or a piece of coconut or a sweet ready. Keep sandalwood paste or red kumkum ready Light the lamp. Offer your prayers. Offer flowers. Apply sandalwood pas…

Learn Sanskrit Grammar Online Through Chinmaya International Foundation

Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF) is launching a new online Home Study Course on Sanskrit - "Learn Sanskrit Grammar - The Paninian Way". The faculty for the Course is Dr. V. Rajarao Bandaru, a renowned scholar and indologist.
The Course will be conducted live via webinar beginning March 28, 2015. The registrations for the course have already begun.
You can find more details here at the official website of Chinmaya International Foundation (CIF).

Aluva Shivaratri - Aluva Shivaratri 2019 in Kerala

Aluva Shivaratri is the unique Shivaratri celebration held on the banks of the PeriyarRiver at Aluva in Kerala. The banks of the river is popularly referred as Aluva Sivarathri Manappuram. Aluva Shivaratri 2019 date is March 4.  The Bali ritual is the most important ritual during the period. The festivals and rituals are held at the AluvaShivaTemple. The highlight of the festival includes reading of the Holy Scriptures associated with Lord Shiva. Hindu devotees spent the night without sleeping on the banks of the PeriyarRiver.

Another major ritual performed during the period is the Vavubali or Shradh and Tarpan performed in honor of dead parents, relatives and ancestors. Numerous cultural programs are also held during the period.

The Periyar Riverbank is here known as Aluva Manalpuram and for the Sivarathri festival a temporary sacred site is created to perform rituals.

Harivarasanam Song Text in Tamil in pdf – Download Harivarasanam Lyrics Dedicated to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Tamil

Harivarasanam, the most famous song dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, is recited just prior to closing of the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple doors at night. Here is the Harivarasanam lyrics in Tamil text in pdf format.
Harivarasanam song is sung when doors of the sanctum sanctorum of the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple is closed for the day at night.
Today it is known as the Urakku Pattu – or the song that sends Ayyappa to sleep. 
LinkHarivarasanam Song Text in Tamil in pdf

Pancha Bhootha Shiva Temples – Shivalingams of Five Natural Elements

Panchabhootha stalams are five ancient temples in India where Lord Shiva is represented in the form of five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether. In these five temples, linga or lingam which symbolically represents Lord Shiva is in the form of elements. Ether is known as ‘akasha’ in Sanskrit and is occasionally referred as Sky or Space while referring to the Pancha Mahabhoothas.
The five temples that represent Shiva in the form of five elements are:
Earth – EkambaranathaTemple or EkambareswararTemple in Kanchipuram – Shivalingam here is the element earth. The Shiva Lingam here is believed to have been created by Goddess Parvati from sand or earth. Water – JambukeshwarTemple or ThiruvanaikavalShivaTemple near Trichy – Jambukeshwara represents the element water. The deity is found under a Jambu tree over a small river. The small stream engulfs the idol during the rainy season.
Fire – ArunachaleswaraTemple or AnnamalaiyarTemple at Thiruvannamalai – Arunachaleswara or Shiva represen…

Harivarasanam Song Text in Telugu in pdf – Download Harivarasanam Lyrics Dedicated to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Telugu

Harivarasanam, the most famous song dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, is recited just prior to closing of the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple doors at night. Here is the Harivarasanam lyrics in Telugu text in pdf format.
Harivarasanam song is sung when doors of the sanctum sanctorum of the SabarimalaAyyappaTemple is closed for the day at night.
Today it is known as the Urakku Pattu – or the song that sends Ayyappa to sleep. 
LinkHarivarasanam Song Text in Telugu in pdf

Brahman is beyond cause and effect and all life emerges from that – Bhagavad Gita

Real knowledge lies in humility, non-violence, tolerance, simplicity, self-control and steadfastness, perception of birth, death, old age and disease, non-attachment to children, the family and home, and peace of mind in favorable and unfavorable circumstances, meditation in solitude and understanding of the Self, the Atman, the God. This is the real knowledge and anything contrary to it is ignorance.
Brahman (God) is beyond cause and effect, from whom all life emerges. He is devoid of all senses, yet shines through them. He is inside and outside all beings, and though faraway is very near. God has form and is also formless. He resides in every heart.
Nature is the cause of all material activities and effects and Spirit is the cause of the experience of all sufferings and enjoyments through the physical body.
God is the only reality as it abides in all beings. He does not perish when they perish. He who sees God abiding alike everywhere and does not kill this self by the Self, reach…