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Showing posts from February 25, 2015

Tesu Flowers and Holi Festival

The color used to play Holi in ancient India was extracted from Tesu flowers which bloom during the spring season. It is believed that Lord Krishna played Holi with Radha using colors made from Tesu flowers. Even today many of the temples in Vrindavan, Braj area and Mathura play Holi with traditional yellowish-orange coloured water extracted from dried Tesu Flowers.
Tesu Flowers is also known as the flame of the forest and is the flower of the Palash tree. It is believed to possess medicinal properties and is also good for the skin.
Fresh Tesu flowers are used to welcome guests and it is also used to sprinkle water on devotees during Holi.
The flowers are soaked overnight in water and can also be boiled to obtain fragrant yellowish – orange coloured water.
The dried flowers can be dried and powdered for an orange powder.

Story of Balrama and Demon Dhenuka

The story of Balrama, the elder brother of Sri Krishna, and demon Dhenuka is found in the Vishnu 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.
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 dead body of the demon to the top of a palm tree. Numerous fruit fell down due to this act.
Numerous …

Phagu Dasami or Fagu Dasami

Phagu Dasami, or Fagu Dasami, marks the beginning of the Dola Purnima festival in Orissa and Eastern parts of India. Fagu Dasami is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha. In 2018, the date of Phagu Dasami is February 25. It is observed six days before Falgun Purnima. Dola Purnima is also known as Dola Yatra or Dola Jatra and coincides with the Holi festival.

The festival celebrates the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha. From Phagu Dasami to Dola Purnima, the images or idols of Lord Krishna and Radha are placed in swing and worshipped. The six-day festival is held in homes, temples and by spiritual organizations.

The highlight of the festival is the smearing of the idols of Krishna and Radha with ‘abir’ or ‘gulal’ (colored powder).

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 24, 2018.
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.

Truth is the summit of bliss – Teachings from Narada Smriti

Truth is the greatest gift and the highest duty.
If a human being follows truth all his life, then he is a living god.
Following truth is great than performing hundred yajnas.
Truth is the one mode of winning purity, truth the ship that bears men to heaven, truth weighted against a thousands-horse sacrifices outweighs them, truth is the highest oblation, the highest asceticism, the highest morality, truth is the summit of bliss, by telling truth man attains by himself the highest self which is itself truth.

Truth is said to be the one unequalled means of purification of the soul.

The truth is the ladder by which man ascends to heaven as a ferry plies from one bank of a river to the other.
Narada Smriti

Today’s Hindu Calendar – February 25, 2015 – Tithi, Vrat, Good Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festival

Tithi in Hindu Calendar on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (Today) – Shukla Paksha Saptami Tithi or the seventh day during the waxing phase of moon in Hindu calendar and Panchang in all places. It is Saptami Tithi or the seventh day during the waxing phase of moon till 4:23 PM on February 25. Then onward it is Shukla Paksha Ashtami Tithi or the eighth day during the light phase of moon. All time based on India Standard Time.
Nakshatra – Kartika or Krithigai or Krittika Nakshatra till 10:54 PM. Then onward it is Rohini Nakshatram.
Rashi or Moon Sign – Mesha Rashi till 5:13 AM. Then onward it is Vrishabha Rashi.
Festivals, Vrat and Auspicious days –
Kali Yuga Year – 5116
Vikram Samvant 2071 – Phalgun Shukla Paksha Saptami Tithi or the seventh day during the waxing phase of moon in Phalgun month in North India - Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jammu and Kashmir.
Jayanama Samvatsar/ Shal…