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Showing posts from March, 2015

Nabadwip in Hinduism – Vaishnava Pilgrim Center in West Bengal

Nabadwip is a famous Vaishnava pilgrim center associated with Hinduism. It is located in West Bengal and is one of the important places associated with Sri Krishna Chaitanya, the founder of the Bengal School of Vaishnavism. Mayapur associated with ISKCON is located across the river from Nabadwip.
Popularly known as Nadia, Nabadwip consists of nine islands. Four of the islands are on the eastern bank of Bhagirathi and the rest five are on the western bank.
It is believed that when BhagirathiRiver changed its course and a huge island emerged on the east of the river and the new island was called Nabadwip.
Nabadwip was the capital of Bengal during the 12th century and it was a center of Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy, especially of NeoLogicSchool of philosophy.
There are more than 150 temples in the region.
Dola Purnima and Rash Purnima are the important festivals in the region.

About the tree that is used to make the new murti of Jagannath during Nabakalebara at Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa

The tree that is used to make the new murti (idol) of Jagannath during Nabakalebara at PuriJagannathTemple in Orissa has to pass numerous tests. The neem tree used to make the murti is referred as Daru.
The selection of daru is made as per the instructions mentioned in the pothi (manuscript) which is with the Daitapatis.
Darus are no ordinary neem trees. Since Jagannath is dark, the tree from which his murti is to be carved has to be dark. The tree should have four principal branches, symbolizing the four arms of Narayana.
However, as Jagannath’s siblings are fair, the wood for their idols are lighter in colour. The Jagannath tree should have four principal branches, symbolizing the four arms of Narayana.
The daru will be collected from the Neem tree having the symbols of Sankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma on it.
The Neem tree should be close to a riverbank or a pond and there must be a termite mound or a crematorium near it.
The tree should be located near a three way fork on a road or…

Swami Vivekananda on the Word Atman

I will not translate this word to you in English because the idea does not exist in Europe; it is untranslatable. The modern attempt of German philosophers is to translate the word Atman by the word ‘Self’, and until that word is universally accepted, it is impossible to use it. So, call it as Self or anything, it is our Atman. This Atman is the real man behind. It is the Atman that uses the material mind as its instrument, its Antahkarana as is the psychological term for the mind.
Vedanta Kesari Magazine published by Ramakrishna Mission, Chennai, Explains more about the term and what Swami Vivekananda meant
Etymologically the term Atman means that which is eternal (from the Sanskrit root word  att, ‘that which exists always’).
So, eternal soul means Atman. Is there also non-eternal soul? In a way, yes, and that is called Jiva which is Atman plus body and mind (so it becomes jivatman).
While Atman is never born or grows or decays and dies, in its embodied state it seems to undergo c…

Durdureshwar form of Shiva – Durdureshwar Mahadev

Durdureshwar is one of the manifestations of Shiva. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. Information about this form of Shiva is found in the Skanda Purana. Durdureshwar Mahadev Shivling is worshipped near Ujjain. Information about Durdureshwar Shiva is rare and what little we know is found in the Skanda Purana.

Durdureshwar Mahadev is one of the 84 Mahadev temples in Ujjain. It is the last temple on the list of the 84 Shivalayas in Ujjain.
The shrine is located in the JayathalVillage near Ujjain.

The deity is worshipped for attaining peace and prosperity.

Dream that Reveals the Location of the Neem Tree to Carve the Murti of Jagannath

Nabakalebara is the change of the murtis worshipped in the world famous PuriJagannathTemple in Orissa. The murti is carved from a neem tree and the location of the tree is revealed through a dream – an order by Goddess Maa Mangala. The first phase for the search of the neem tree ends at the Maa Mangala temple at Kakatpur.
Important rituals are performed here.
This includes Jalaabhisheka and majana of the Goddess. Chanting of the hymns from Nrusingha mantra and Swapnadesha mantra.
The Daitapati servitors will sleep before the goddess for her Swapnadesha – order in dream – for the location of the Daru – the neem tree to carve the murti of Jagannath.
After getting the order through the dream, the daitapatis will have a meeting and a team will go in the direction to the find the tree.
Banajaga Yatra – In Search of the Neem Tree to Carve the Puri Jagannath Murti (idols) in Orissa Puri Jagannath Temple to have New Idols (Murtis) of Presiding Deities in 2015

About Manickavachagar and Avudaiyar Koil in Pudukottai District in Tamil Nadu

The famous Shiva Temple Avudaiyar Koil in Pudukottai District in Tamil Nadu is closely associated with Saint Manickavachagar who is one of the four important Saints of Shaivism out of 63 Nayanmars (63 important saints of Shiva in Tamil Nadu). He is believed to have had darshan of Shiva at Avudaiyar Koil.
Manickavachagar got initiated by Shiva to write the eighth Thirumurai, Thiruvachagam, and was titled Manickavachagar at Avudaiyar Koil. You can read more about the saint and the temple here in this article in the Hindu  As Manickavachagar, his original name being Thiruvadavoorar, embraced gnana margam for salvation, the Avudaiyar temple has been cast in this fashion. Surprisingly, the temple does not have nandi, flagstaff, balipeetam and Somaskandar is conspicuously absent. And instead of playing nagaswaram, melam and berigai, the blowing of conch, ringing of bell and thiruchinnam is in vogue. In the garba griha, the banam (shaft-like portion) of Siva lingam is not found. Instead, th…

Great Thoughts from Yoga Vasishta

He is a happy man whose mind is inwardly cool and free from attachment and hatred and who looks upon this world like a mere spectator.
He who has understood well how to abandon all ideas of acceptance and rejection and who has realized the consciousness which is within the innermost heart – his life is illustrious.
When pots are broken the space within them becomes unlimited. So also when bodies cease to exist the Self remains eternal and unattached.
Nothing is born. Nothing dies. It is Brahman alone appearing illusorily in the form of the world. Yoga Vasishta

Navadanya for Navgrahas – the Nine Grains Used in Hindu Rituals – Navadhanya

Navadhanya are the nine grains that are offered to the Navgrahas. They are also part of other Hindu pujas and rituals. The Navadanya includes Bengal Gram, Wheat, Horse Gram, Green Gram, Rice, White beans, Black Seasame seeds, Chic Peas, Black Gram. Bengal Gram is offered to Jupiter or Guru or Brihaspati.

Wheat is offered to Sun or Surya

Horse Gram is offered to Ketu

Green Gram is offered to Mercury or Budh

Rice is offered to moon or Chandra or Soma

White beans is offered to Venus or Shukra

Black Sesame is offered to Shani or Saturn

Chic peas or Chickpea is offered to Mars or Mangal

Black Gram is offered to Rahu

In some regions the Navadanya are rice, wheat, thoor dal, moong dal, chana dal, rajma, sesame, urud dal, horse gram. You may also like to read Nabapatrika in Durga Puja - Nine Leaves used in Durga Puja

Why is Goddess Kali portrayed as drinking blood?

Talk about Goddess Kali and the image that comes to our mind is that of a fierce woman with blood dripping tongue. But why does Goddess Kali drink blood? Demons or Asuras through severe austerities obtain boons from Brahma. The demons often try to attain boons of immortality but Brahma often denies it. Instead the demons are given death under specific circumstances. The Asura Raktabeeja obtained a boon from Brahma that every drop of blood that falls on earth from his body will produce more demons.
The Devas could no longer fight Rakthabeeja and were on the receiving end. Finally, Mother Durga appeared as the terrifying Goddess Kali, who sucked up every blood that fell from Raktabeeja. After destroying Raktabeeja, Goddess Kali remained blood thirsty and a horror to humans. Finally, Lord Shiva had to come down to earth to control her. This is the reason why images of Goddess Kali are shown with blood red protruding tongue.

Oneness is the Truth and Not Separation – Swami Chidananda Saraswati

A hurricane does not uproot the pliant grass that bends low before its fury, it snaps only proud lordly trees.
"I want Peace." Remove the 'I' and the 'want', and Peace is there.
The purpose of life is to live a good life.
The wave is never apart from the ocean. Even when it is thinking it is a wave, it is only the ocean.
Change your angle of vision. Oneness is the Truth, not separation.
To become dead to desires is truly to live.
Swami Chidananda Saraswati (1916 – 2008) was the president of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh – associated with the Swami Sivananda Ashram

Pure love has no attachment – Swami Parthasarathy

Why do you have to compare yourself with others? Just play your life's role without an air of superiority or inferiority.
Pure love has no attachment.
The moment you expect something its business, not love.
Love produces peace and harmony whereas attachment causes distress and disharmony.
Attachment is actually a pollution of love. When love is vitiated by self-centredness, selfishness it turns sour, changes to attachment.
You must learn to look at beings and things, environments and situations as they are and not as you would like them to be.
Swami Parthasarathy

Goddess Girija

Goddess Girija is one among the numerous names of Goddess Parvati. She is known as Girija as she is the daughter of the king of Mountains Himavan, who is also known as Himavat or Giri or Parvata Raja.
Legend has it that Giri, the king of the mountains, once performed intense austerities to fulfill the desire that Mother Goddess should be born as his daughter.
He performed the tapas for several years and one day went to take bath in the Padmateertha (Lake) in the Himalayas.
There he saw a very huge lotus with thousands of petals. Middle of the lotus was a new born who was happily playing.
King Giri went into the lake and took up the new born.
It was a girl child with a divine aura.
Giri showed the child to his wife Mena Devi who was ecstatic.
They adopted the child and named the baby Parvati.
Giri means hill or mountain and the daughter of King Giri came to be known as Girija.

Sringeri Mutt Kannada Manmathanama Samvatsara Panchanga 2015 – 2016

Current year as per Kannada Calendar is Manmathanama Samvatsara and the Sringeri Mutt has released the Kannada Manmathanama Samvatsara Panchanga 2015 – 2016. The Panchanga (from March 21 to April 8, 2016) is available for free online and can also be downloaded for free.
You can find the Sringeri Mutt Kannada Manmathanama Samvatsara Panchangam here at the official website.
Please note that you will need pdf reader installed to access the Kannada Panchangam.

Pichuka Vari Gantala Panchangam 2015– 2016 – Pichuka Vari Gantala Panchangam 2016

Pichuka Vari Gantala Panchangam is followed in Andhra Pradesh by many Hindu communities. This is the Telugu Panchangam for year 2015 to 2016 (March 21 to April 8, 2016). You can download the Panchangam in pdf at the BhadrachalamTemple website. You will need pdf reader installed to download the Panchangam. The Panchangam is in Telugu and contains all the important details.
Link – Pichuka Vari Gantala Panchangam

Talatala – one of the Subterranean Worlds in Hindu Scriptures

The Srimad Bhagavad Purana describes about seven cubical chasms in the earth. They are known as Bilva Swarga or the subterranean heaven. Talatala is the fourth of the chasms and thus it is one of the subterranean worlds in Hindu scriptures. The place is the abode of Maya who has the blessing of Shiva.
When the fourteen worlds of the universe are associated with parts of the body of the Supreme Truth (Vishnu), Talatala is the shanks – the part of the human leg between the knee and the ankle.
Legend has it that Maya, the king of Danavas, who is the lord of the Tripura lives at Talatala. Lord Shiva burnt the Tripura – the three cities of demons – and installed Maya as the emperor of the Talatala. He has the blessing and protection of Shiva. Maya is famous for his sorcery and magic. Sudarshana Chakra too cannot kill him inside Talatala.
The exact position of Talatala and other Bilva Swargas are not known. The region has a horizontal length and breadth of 10,000 yojanas and is made up of …

Ram Ghat on Shipra River near Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain – Sandhya Aarti at Ram Ghat

Ram Ghat is the most important ghat on ShipraRiver near MahakaleshwarTemple in Ujjain. Sandhya Aarti is performed on the Ram Ghat every evening. Special pujas are performed here which is dedicated to ShipraRiver. Priests offer flowers, incense, sandalwood and vermillion.

The Ghat is famous as there are murtis of idols of Pishachamukteshwar, Guheshwar, Dundeshwar, Damarukeshwar, Aruneshwar and Ardhanarishwar.
The Datta Akhara located on Ram Ghat is used by the Naga Sadhus during the Ujjain Kumbha Mela.

Nirguna Brahman - About Nirguna Bhakti School of Thought

Nirguna is one of the schools of thought in Hinduism. The NirgunaBhaktiSchool of thought believed in formless god – Nirguna Brahman. Sant Kabir is one of the founders of the Nirguna School of Bhakti and conceived Bhagvan Sri Ram as a formless God.
Nirguna School of Bhakti was split into two groups.
The first group gave importance to knowledge and had an intellectual approach.
The second group believed in love and attachment and total surrender to Brahman (God) for attaining That. This group was the mystics.
Brahman is the concept of God in Hinduism. Brahman cannot be described or imagined. Only that exists.

Banajaga Yatra – In Search of the Neem Tree to Carve the Puri Jagannath Murti (idols) in Orissa

Banajaga Yatra marks the beginning of Nabakalebara – the change of murtis worshipped in the PuriJagannathTemple in Orissa. Banajaga Yatra 2015 begins on March 29. The procession in search of the neem tree to carve the Puri Jagannath Murtis (idols) begins on the day. The yatra is undertaken from PuriJagannathTemple to MaaMangalaTemple at Kakatpur via Konark.
Banajaga Yatra exercise begins after an offering to Lord Jagannath in the PuriJagannathTemple on March 29. The main offering is a Agyan Mala it is specially prepared and is 12 feet long.
The procession is led by the Pati Mahapatra family who receives the Agyan Mala after the puja. The procession comprises of Daitapatis, Pati Mahapatra Sevaks, priests, carpenters, Lenka, Kahalia, Deula Karana, Tadhau Karana and security personal of PuriJagannathTemple.
The procession halts at the palace of the former king of Puri. Here permission is taken for the journey. The permission is given by giving betel nut and Mahaprasad to the leader of …

Brahmarakshas – What is Brahma Rakshas in Hindu Religion?

Brahmarakshas, in Hindu religion, is the ghostly form of a learned and pious person who by curse or due to some other reason got the ghoulish spirit form. In some region, Brahmarakshas is the fierce ghostly form of celibate youth, or Brahmachari, who met with a violent death.
As per one school of thought, Brahmarakshas is the spirit of a Brahmin, who had knowledge of Brahman. But the Brahmin due to various reasons like curse or sin got the ghoulish form.
Brahmarakshas is given the status of a deity and is usually worshipped in a corner in temples in South India especially in Kerala. You will find a slab or stone that is dedicated to Brahmarakshas in most temples. The place is never within the sanctum sanctorum but outside.
The main offering to Brahmarakshas is red cloth.

One of the earliest reference of the word Brahma Rakshas is found in the Atharva Veda - Sukta 111.
Today, Brahmarakshas is seen as a fierce ghost who goes around killing innocent people. All these are imaginations of fil…

Meena Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Meena Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Meena Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Meena Rashi Born people is Banyan.

Banyan is the English name and the scientific name is Ficus benghalensis.
Hindi name of the Magha Nakshatra Tree is Bargad Telugu name is marri chettu  Malayalam name is Peraal  Tamil Name is aalamaram Kannada name is aalada mara In Marathi it is known as Vada Bengali name is bat

Meena Rashi born people should plant the Banyan. Water it. They should also protect the Banyan.

Kumbha Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Kumbh Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Kumbha Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Kumbh Rashi Born people is Indian mesquite or Shami Tree.

Indian mesquite is the English name and the scientific name is Prosopis Spicigera.
Hindi name of the Pushya Nakshatra Tree is Jand or Shami Telugu name is Jammi Malayalam name is Tamil Name is Vanni Kannada name is Banni In Marathi it is known as Shami Bengali name is
Kumbha Rashi born people should plant the Indian mesquite. Water it. They should also protect the Indian mesquite.

Stone Throwing Festival in Himachal Pradesh – Pattharon ka Mela

Stone Throwing Festival, Pattharon ka Mela, is an annual festival held at DhamiVillage, around 25 km from Shimla, in Himachal Pradesh. The stone pelting ritual is held the day after Diwali.
Two groups participate in the centuries old festival – one group representing the royal family and the other representing common people.
Those getting injured in the festival smear the forehead of Goddess Kali murti in the vicinity with their blood. Firstpost reports  "Over 300 people participated in the stone-pelting exercise that lasted less than half an hour. It was stopped as some of them started bleeding profusely," said an organiser of the fair.  In this ritual, members of the royal family of the erstwhile princely state stood on one side, facing the villagers.  The locals, dressed in a new attire, lined the grassy slopes and pelted stones at the royal family members after the arrival of the deity of the Nara Singh temple, housed in Dhami's palace, at the Kali Devi temple in th…

Makar Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Makara Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Makar Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Makara Rashi Born people is East Indian Rosewood.
East Indian Rosewood is the English name and the scientific name is Dalbergia Latifolia.

Hindi name of the Pushya Nakshatra Tree is kala-shisham Telugu name is iruguducettu  Malayalam name is itti Tamil Name is nukkam Kannada name is beete In Marathi it is known as kalarukh Bengali name is
Makar Rashi born people should plant the East Indian Rosewood. Water it. They should also protect the East Indian Rosewood.

Dhanu Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Dhanu Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Dhanu Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Dhanu Rashi Born people is Pipal Tree.
Pipal is the English name and the scientific name is or Ficus Religiosa.

Hindi name of the Pushya Nakshatra Tree is Pipal Telugu name is Bodhi-drumamu Malayalam name is Arayal Tamil Name is Aracu Kannada name is Arali In Marathi it is known as Pimpal Bengali name is Asbattha
Dhanu Rashi born people should plant the Pipal Tree. Water it. They should also protect the Pipal Tree.

Yamai Devi – About Goddess Yamai Mata

Goddess Yamai Devi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Durga and in this form she is widely worshipped in Maharashtra. ‘Ye Mai’ in marathi means ‘come mother’. Yamai Mata is also known as Mahishasur Mardini Yamai.

Popular temples dedicated to Yamai Devi are located at Aundh near Satara and at Rashin near Ahmednagar in Maharashtra.
Legend has it that Goddess Lakshmi of Kolhapur and Lord Jyotiba invited her by calling ‘Ye Mai.’ She thus came to the region and was called Yamai Devi.
Yamai Devi is the family deity or Kul devata of many families in Maharashtra.

Correspondence course in communicative Sanskrit at M S University of Baroda

Correspondence course in communicative Sanskrit at M S University of Baroda is in association with Sanskrit-Bharati, an organization actively working at national and international levels to promote Sanskrit.  Times of India reports  The department of Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit of MSU's faculty of arts has designed the course with the support of Sanskrit-Bharati, an organization actively working at national and international levels to promote Sanskrit.  It has designed four different levels of this correspondence course named 'pravesh', 'parichaya', 'shiksha' and 'kovida'. At present, the department will offer the elementary 'pravesh' level.
After completion the students will know the basics of Sanskrit grammar which is enough to converse in simple Sanskrit and start understanding many words in 'shlokas'.  "This course will help to enrich vocabulary significantly and the students will be able to express themselves freely in Sanskr…

Vrischika Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Vrischik Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Vrischika Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Vrischika Rashi Born people is cutch tree.

Cutch tree is the English name and the scientific name is or Acacia catechu
Hindi name of the Tula Rashi Tree is Khair Telugu name is Chandra Malayalam name is Karinagalli Tamil Name is Karanagalli Kannada name is Kaggali In Marathi it is known as  khair Bengali name is khayer
Vrischika Rashi born people should plant the cutch tree. Water it. They should also protect the cutch tree.

English Panchangam 2015 – 2016 in pdf – Download Manmathanama English Panchanga for free

English Panchangam 2015 – 2016 is provided by the Thanjavur Panchangam and is known as the Surya Siddhanta Panchangam. The Panchangam is in PDF format and it can be downloaded for free and is for March 21, 2015 to April 8, 2016. This is the Manmathana Panchanga and follows the calendars followed in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The Panchangam provides all the necessary details and auspicious dates.
Panchangam in English is provided by Thanjavur Panchangam and it is also based on the Surya Siddhanta System.
You can download the Thanjavur Panchangam in English here at the official website.

Kali Yuga 5120 begins on March 18, 2018 – Current Kaliyuga Year 5120

Kali Yuga is the fourth and last of the four Yugas in Hinduism. Current Kaliyuga year is 5120. It began on March 18, 2018. Kali Yuga 5120 began on March 18, 2018 as Hindu lunar calendar followed in most regions – Chandra Mana New Year. It begins on April 14, 2018 as per Solar Calendar followed in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Bengal – as per Saura Mana New Year.

Kali Yuga is started with the disappearance of Sri Krishna from earth. Sri Krishna was not seen on the earth from the first day of Kali Yuga.

The duration of Kali Yuga is 432,000 years.

Kali Yuga is believed to have started in 3102 BC.

Kali has numerous meanings – anger, suffering, grieve, hurt, confound and confuse. We can find all these characteristics dominating the earth currently.

The only way to attain moksha in Kaliyuga is by chanting the name of God.

Related Places Where Kali Resides in Kali Yuga

Chaitra Shukladi – Chait Sukladi

Chaitra Sukladi is the New Year in traditional Hindu calendar based on the Vikram Samvant Hindu Lunar calendar followed in North India. In 2019, the date of Chaitra Shukladi is April 6 Vikram Samvant 2075 begins on the day. This New Year is observed on the first day of the waxing phase of the moon in the Chaitra month (March – April) in traditional calendar. In simple terms, after the Chaitra Amavasi day (no moon day).

Shukladi is one of the methods by which a lunar month is determined. Sukladi means starting from the bright half of the month or from the day after Amavasi (no moon).

Shukladi method is followed in the calendars followed in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In North India also Shukladi method is used to celebrate the Vikram Samvat New Year. But here a month is calculated from Purnima to Purnima (full moon).

Tula Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Tula Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Tula Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Tula Rashi Born people is Spanish Cherry.

Spanish Cherry is the English name and the scientific name is or Mimusops elengi.
Hindi name of the Anuradha Nakshatra Tree is Maulsari Telugu name is Malayalam name is Ilanji Tamil Name is Magizhamboo Kannada name is Ranjal  In Marathi it is known as  Bakuli Bengali name is  Bakul
Tula Rashi born people should plant the Spanish Cherry. Water it. They should also protect the Spanish Cherry.

The secret of the mystic way is total and passionate lover for God alone –Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

The secret of the mystic way – including both path and goal, for they cannot be separated – is total, passionate love for God alone, for sheer Divine Reality; however you may envision or experience it in the depth of your being. This all embracing all transcending love comes first. Formal disciplines of prayer and meditation are of secondary importance, although they do arise spontaneously out of authentic love.
When all-victorious love actually dawns, the lover’s mind, heartbeat, breath, lips, and even limbs are constantly repeating and celebrating the beautiful divine names. This ceaseless remembrance fills the entire atmosphere of the person with the glorious radiance of Truth. This is the life of immersion in God – whether waking or sleeping, in company or in solitude, in the workplace or in the shrine room. This is both path and goal.
In the humid environment of egocentric ambition called the world, one must pray fervently – not only every day but every moment – in order to keep…

Mahavatar Babaji

Mahavatar Babaji is a saint who is believed to be living for centuries in the Himalayas. No one knows the exact location of Mahavatar Babaji or his age. We get to hear about this miracle saint from individuals who consider him as their guru. He is called Mahavatar because he was not born from a womb.
The world came to hear prominently about Mahavatar Babaji through Paramahansa Yogananda. In his book, Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda talks about the experience people had with him (chapters 33 and 34).
Mahavatar Babaji was the guru of Lahiri Mahasaya; whose disciple was Sri Yukteswar Giri and Giri was the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda.
As per Yogananda, Mahavatar Babaji lives near Badrinath for millions of years in the same physical form.
As per Paramhansa’s description, Mahavatar Babaji appears to be youth of not more than 24 years.
Some people claim that Babaji is Guru Gorakhnatha, the great Shaiva saint.
Some people consider Mahavatar Babaji to be Kripacharya of the…

Chaitra Navratri Puja Vidhi – How to do Chaitra Navaratri Puja? – Rules and Procedure

Chaitra Navratri Puja Vidhi in North India include Ghatasthapana, Kumari Puja etc. Here is a simple method on how to do Chaitra Navaratri Puja in North India the Hindu way. The rules and procedure might vary slightly in various regions or depending on communities.
Chaitra Navratri Puja Vidhi

Jotiba Yatra 2019 at Wadi Ratnagiri near Kolhapur in Maharashtra – Chaitra Jyotiba Yatra 2019 at Kolhapur

Jotiba Yatra is annually held in Chaitra month to the famous JyotibaTemple at Wadi Ratnagiri near Kolhapur in Maharashtra. Jyotiba temple is around 20 km from Kolhapur. Jotiba Yatra 2019 date is April 19. The three day fair and festival begins on April 17.

Story of Jyotiba Fair
Legend has it that after defeating Kolhasur, Goddess Lakshmi settled at Kolhapur and appointed four guards in four directions. Lord Jotiba is the one who guards the southern direction. Another legend has it that Jyotiba is considered an incarnation of Kedarnath, who killed the demon Ratnasur. Sasan Kathis are the symbol of emancipation of the demon’s wife.

The most common belief is that Jyotiba is a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

Another belief in the area is that Jyotiba is a combined manifestation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

The Rituals

Thousands of people from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka participate in the annually yatra.
The main attraction of the yatra is the palkhi o…

Story of Maha Ashtami Punya Snan

Maha Ashtami Punya Snan is observed during the Shukla Paksha Ashtami in Baishakh month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar. The story of the ritual is associated with Parashuram, an avatar of Vishnu. This ritual is more popular in among Bengali Hindus especially in Bangladesh.
As per Hindu Tradition, Parashuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, killed his mother Amugha Devi with an axe to satisfy his father Jamadagni, who believed his wife was not pure.
The axe got stuck on the hand of Parashuram as a mark of sin.
For atonement of the sin, Parashuram bathed in the river Brahmaputra. The axe dropped from his hand and Parashuram free from the sin.
This divine incident is mentioned in Hindu scriptures but the popular name of Parashuram’s mother is Renuka.
The most important bathing spot on Maha Ashtami day is at Langalbandh in Narayanganj – 20 km east of Dhaka in Bangladesh.

Bengali Marriages Dates 2016 – Bengali Hindu Marriage Dates in 2016

Bengali Hindu calendar is different from the calendars followed in other regions in India especially in North India. Marriages dates in West Bengal in 2016 are given below based on Panchika 1423. This dates based on Panchang and calendar are to give an idea. The dates are from January 2016 to December 2016.
Bengali Marriage Dates 2016
January 2016 – January 19, 20, 21, 25, 28 and January 29.
February 2016 – February 6, 17, 22, and February 29
March 2016 – March 1, 3, 4, 6 and March 10
April 2016 – April 19, 22, 26, 28, 29 and April 30
May 2016 – May 8, 16, 17, 27, 30 and May 31.
June 2016 – June 5, 10, 12, 20, and June 27
July 2016 – July 1, 9, 13, 19, 20, 24, 29 and July 30
August 2016 – August 7, 9, 14, and August 15
September 2016 – No marriage dates
October 2016 – No marriage dates
November 2016 – November 21, and November 25.
December 2016 – December  9 and December 13.
Please note that sometimes the marriage time on a day might be before sunrise. Also when it is mentioned there …

Significance of Mango Leaves Toran on Ugadi – Mamidi Toranalu

On Ugadi, people decorate the entrance of home with Mango leaves (Mango leaf Toran) and this is a must for many Hindus. Fresh Mango leaves are attached to a string and are hung atop the doors and windows. Symbolically it signifies freshness, prosperity and the hope of a good harvest and incident free year.
Legend has it that it was Kartikeya (Muruga or Skanda) who asked his devotees to tie green mango leaves on doorways. It is said that both Ganesh and Kartik are fond of Mango leaves.
Related Ugadi Pachadi

Spiritual Significance and Symbolic Meaning of ‘Gudhi’ or Flag Raised on Gudi Padva

On the auspicious day of Gudi Padwa, when the Hindu New Year is celebrated in Maharashtra, Goa and some parts of Karnataka, one raises a symbolic flag or ‘gudi’ that is of great spiritual significance. It also has a symbolic meaning.

The Gudi raised on the Gudi Padwa day consists of a silk cloth, tied to a stick with an empty, inverted copper or silver jug of water (tambya) held up to the sky, outside the main door. This auspicious flag raising speaks volumes.
Empty your ego, take an inverted look within, hold yourself up to the vast sky of divinity and may your soul remain outdoors, away from the trappings of this world.

Shirdi Sai Baba Lamp – Lithophane Votive Light of Shirdi Sai Baba from Lladro

Shirdi Sai Baba lithophane is a molded artwork in thin very translucent porcelain that can only be seen clearly when back lit with a light source. It is an ideal Shirdi Sai Baba lamp for offering prayers in puja rooms and for meditation. Lladro, a Spanish firm noted for high quality porcelain figurines – Hindu religion related figurines include various forms of GaneshaNataraja ShivaSri Ram, Mata Sita and more.

Shirdi Sai Baba – lithophane votive light from Lladro is priced at Rs 6,000 /-
The size of the lamp is 12 X 9 cm.

Lladro signature stores are there in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore. It is also available in famous jewelry shops and boutiques.

Manmatha Nama Samvatsara begins on March 21, 2015 – Manmathanama Year 1937

Manmatha Nama Samvatsara is the name of the Hindu lunar year which is from March 21, 2015 to April 7, 2016. Manmathanama is followed in calendars and Panchangams used in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. In Marathi, Kannada and Telugu Calendars the Shalivahan Saka Year 1937 begins on March 21, 2015.
Note - the current year in Tamil Nadu which begins on Chithirai 1 (April 14, 2015) is also known as Manmatha.
The first day of a particular year is referred as Ugadi or Yugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is referred as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra.
Manmatha Nama is the Sanskrit name of the current year. There are sixty years in a cycle. The present is Manmatha Nama and is followed by Durmukhi. The previous year was Jayanama.
Each year has lot of specialties and these are mentioned in the respective Panchangas. The predictions – whether Manmatha Nama is good or bad – is mentioned during the Panchanga Sravana which takes place on the Ugadi day.

Kanya Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Kanya Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Kanya Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Kanya Rashi Born people is Mango tree.
Mango tree is the English name and the scientific name is Mangifera indica
Hindi name of the Kanya Rashi Tree is Aam Telugu name is Mamidi pandu Malayalam name is Mavu Tamil Name is Kannada name is Mavina hannu In Marathi it is known as Amba Bengali name is Aam
Kanya Rashi born people should plant the Mango tree. Water it. They should also protect the Mango tree.

Sadhguru on Overcoming Fear and Insecurities

You don’t have to leave your fears and insecurities because they don’t really exist. You keep creating them unconsciously. If you don’t create them, they don’t really exist. Why you create them and how to stop creating them, that’s the question.
The fundamental reason why fear has arisen in you is in this vast existence of which you don’t know the beginning or the end, you are just a little human being. Being the small entity that you are right now, naturally fear is there. It is overwhelming; there is fear and insecurity about what will happen to you.
As long as you are identified as physical body, as long as your experience of life is limited to your physical and mental faculties, fear and insecurity are inevitable. Only when a person begins to experience himself beyond the limitations of his physical body and mind, then this person can become free from insecurity and fear.
Experiencing yourself beyond the physical is what we are referring to as spiritual. Once this spiritual dime…

Story of the Previous Birth of Demon Putana Who Attempted to Kill Little Krishna

Demon Putana had attempted to kill little Krishna by breast feeding him poisoned milk. She was unsuccessful in her mission and was killed by little Krishna. Since Putana was annihilated by Krishna, she achieved moksha.
Legend has it that Demon Putana in her previous birth was the daughter of King Bali and was known as Ratnamala.
King Bali was conducting a yajna and Bhagavan Vishnu appeared there in the form of Vamana. On seeing the dwarf Vamana, Ratnamala desired that she should have him as her child in next birth and she should be able to breast feed the infant like a mother.
Vamana realized what is going on in the mind of Ratnamala and blessed her that her wish comes true.
But later when Vamana crushes Bali with his foot and sends him to the netherworld, Ratnamala is upset and blurts out that if she gets a son like Vamana she will kill him by mixing poison in her milk.
During Krishna avatar, Ratnamala as Putana gets opportunity to breastfeed little Krishna like a mother and she al…

On the Amazing Carvings and sculptures at the Ramappa Temple in Telangana

RamappaTemple in Warangal district in Telangana is famous for its intricate carvings and sculptures. The temple is located at Palampet village which is around 65 km from Warangal. Built more than 800 years ago, the temple is classic example of the craftsmanship and engineering marvel practiced during the rule of Kakatiyas.
The main murti worshipped in the temple is Shiva – Ramalingeswara Swamy. The Hindu reports The temple is known for its elaborate carvings that speak volumes about the dexterity of craftsmen. According to inscriptions, it was said to be built in 1213 AD by Recharla Rudra, a general of Kakatiya king Ganapati Deva.  
Among the amazing carvings include a flute at the entrance of sanctum sanctorum which when hit make the sound sa-ri-ga-ma. The pillars within the temple boast of such a fine carvings that one could pass a strand of hair through. It has 13 such carvings perhaps indicating the 13th century when it was constructed. Local guide G. Vijay explains that inside the…

Simha Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Simha Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Simha Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Simha Rashi Born people is Indian jujube.
Indian jujube is the English name and the scientific name is Ziziphus Mauritiana
The Hindi name of the Simha Rashi Tree is Ber
Telugu name is Regi pandu Malayalam name is ilanthappazham Tamil Name is Elandhai Kannada name is Yelchi Hannu In Marathi it is known as Bor Bengali name is Kul
Simha Rashi born people should plant the Indian jujube. Water it. They should also protect the Indian jujube tree.

In spotless mind is virtue found and not in show and swelling sound – Thirukural

Virtue enhances joy and gain; forsaking it is fall and pain.
In spotless mind is virtue found and not in show and swelling sound.
Motivation is a pride to possess.
Will power is the motivation to energize activity; in its absence, worldly wealth departs.
The kindly ones, even in harder times are sure to serve like a well in a dry riverbed.
Those who love their life, dare not pursue evil, however trivial it may be.

Athirathram at Sukapuram in Kerala from March 20 to March 31, 2015 – The World’s Oldest Surviving Ritual – Athirathram Vedic Ritual

Athirathram, an ancient Vedi ritual, will be held from March 20 to March 31, 2015 at DakshinamurthiTemple at Sukapuram near Edappal in Malappuram District in Kerala. It is also the world’s oldest surviving ritual.
What is Athirathram?
Vedic Yajna (Yajgya or sacrifice or ritual) is performed for the prosperity of human race through peaceful co-existence with nature by energizing the various forces in nature – especially sun. Agni, fire, that represents Sun, the Prathyaksha Brahman or Visible God, in Sanatana Dharma, is worshipped during the Yajna. This vedic ritual is known as Athirathram and is one of the world’s oldest surviving ritual. 
During the Athirathram, the Vedic rituals and yajnas performed during the period of the Vedic age will be recreated. For 12 days, one will be transported to the era of the Vedas and Upanishads. Today, the knowledge of Athirathram is only preserved by select Namboothiri (Brahmin) families in Kerala.
Athirathram invokes the abundance of the Universe th…

Vidyadharas – Divine Beings in Hindu Scriptures

Vidyadharas are semi divine beings mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. Some scholars are of the view that they are a semi-divine group of tribal people inhabiting the Himalayas especially the region near the source of GangaRiver. According to the Brahma Purana, Sudras who worshipped the Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu attained the status of Vidyadharas.
Vidyadharas are handsome and always roam along with their beautiful female partners – who are referred as Vidyadharis. The females are adorned with ornaments and flowers. The male members roam in the sky and on earth with swords. Flowers and garlands are constantly associated with this class of divine beings.
Information about Vidyadharas is found mainly in the Vishnudharmottar Purana.
Their king was Chitrakuta who had a Devaratha. Mahabharata mentions that they were ruled by Chakradharaman.

Karka Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Kataka Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Karka Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Kataka Rashi Born people is flame of forest.
Flame of forest is the English name and the scientific name is Butea monosperma.

The Hindi name of the Karka Rashi Tree is Palash or Tesu
Telugu name is Modugu Malayalam name is Shamata Tamil Name is  Porasum, Parasu Kannada name is Muthuga In Marathi it is known as Palas Bengali name is Polash
Karka Rashi born people should plant the flame of forest. Water it. They should also protect the flame of forest tree.

Book – At Ganapati’s Feet: Daily Life with the Elephant-Headed Deity

The book titled “At Ganapati’s Feet: Daily Life with the Elephant-Headed Deity” is written by By Janyananda Saraswati (David Dillard-Wright) and published by Mantra Books. The book is author’s journey through the spiritual world and his guide is Ganesha.
The first half of the book focuses on the author’s dilemmas and how Ganesha helped in overcoming the situation.
The author was born and brought up in the Christian world. Ganesha was a great discovery for him as it helped in realizing the true meaning of many Christian teachings. Therefore the book is peppered with important teachings from Hindu and Christian beliefs.
The first two chapters are titled: Ganesha of Newark Avenue: An Autobiographical Introduction Christianity and Hinduism: Opposites or Complements? 
This is authors’ personal journey into the world of Hinduism is largely helped by Ganesha. In nutshell through the first two chapters the author reiterates the great teaching of Rig Veda - "Truth is one, the wise…

Biraja Devi – About Goddess Biraja Devi

Goddess Biraja Devi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti and is worshipped in this form at the famous BirajaDeviTemple at Devidwar in Jajpur in Orissa. One popular belief is that Goddess Biraja Devi is Mother Goddess Earth. Another belief is that she is Mahishasura Mardini Durga. She is also worshipped as Savitri.
Legend has it that at the present location of BirajaDeviTemple, a yajna was conducted by Dharma, the god of righteousness. Rudra Shiva was worshipped at the yajna and it is believed that Mother Earth appeared at the yajna as the altar. She was called Biraja.
Originally Biraja Devi was worshipped in the form of a Vedic Altar and later on in the form of Stambheswari – in the form a pillar as carved figures were unknown during very ancient times.
It is by 4th century AD that Goddess Biraja was given a form. The form of the Goddess is similar to two-armed Mahishasura Mardini.
The Vedic origin of the Goddess is still remembered when the Goddess is worshipped as Savitri – …

Mithuna Rashi Tree – Which is the tree associated with Mithun Rashi Born People?

There are trees associated with each 12 Rashis. Mithuna Rashi also has a particular tree dedicated to it. People born on each Rashi should worship the particular tree. The tree associated and worshipped by Mithuna Rashi Born dyer’s oleander.

Dyer’s oleander is the English name and the scientific name is wrightia tinctoria
The Hindi name of the Mithuna Rashi Tree is Kapar
The Malayalam name is nilappaala. Kannada name is ajamara Tamil Name is Paalai  In Marathi it is known as Kala kuda Bengali name is Telugu it is known a ankuduchettu
Mithuna Rashi born people should plant the dyer’s oleander. Water it. They should also protect the Kapar tree.

National Vedic Conference at Sri Venkateswara Vedic University in Tirupati from March 17 to 20, 2015

National Vedic Conference will be hosted at the SriVenkateswaraVedicUniversity in Tirupati from March 17 to 20, 2015. The conference is held in three venues and papers will be presented in Telugu, Sanskrit and English. The Hindu reports  Eminent scientists will take part in the English sessions, named as ‘Veda Science’, to unravel the science behind the scriptures, while the Telugu sessions will be on ‘Veda Itihasa Purana Darsana (philosophy) and Sastras’. Under the concept ‘Veda Nivedanam’, pundits from the four streams of Vedas will recite verses throughout the day to spread a divine ambience.  A ‘Vedic exhibition’ will be conducted to display the different implements used in consecration of deities and for religious sacrifices like ‘Yagams’. Learned Vedic scholars will also be honored on the occasion.

Story: Taking Ganga Snan or Holy Bath in Ganga River Alone is Not Enough To Get Moksha

Taking a holy dip or bath in River Ganga is one of the most important rituals in Hinduism. Millions of Hindus perform the holy Ganga Snan during auspicious days and during Magh Mela and Kumbh Mela. The ritual is performed to achieve moksha or liberation and for redemption of sins. There is an interesting story which explains that mere Ganga Snan won’t wash away the sins or help in achieving Moksha.

Once Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati was traveling on earth. Goddess Parvati saw thousands of people heading towards River Ganga to take holy bath as it was an auspicious day.

Goddess Parvati wondered whether all these people will attain Moksha or liberation by bathing in River Ganga. So she asked Lord Shiva – do you think all these people heading towards Ganga will attain Moksha?

Lord Shiva laughed and said that only a dozen or so among them will get Moksha. Only that person who has come with devotion and pious mind will get Moksha. Only those persons who will not commit any sin after the…