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Showing posts from March 1, 2015

Solah Shukravar Vrat Dedicated to Santhoshi Mata

Solah Shukrawar Vrata is fasting and prayers dedicated to Santhoshi Mata for 16 consecutive Fridays. Solah Shukravar Vrat is considered highly beneficial by Hindus and many devotees have testified that they have benefited enormously and their wishes fulfilled by observing Solah Shukravar Vrat. The 16-Friday fasting can be observed by both men and women. Solah Shukravar fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. The fast is broken in the evening by consuming white-colored food like sweet made of milk and rice. Devotees should avoid sour food on the day. Worshiping Santhoshi Mata by offering prayers or by singing bhajans is considered highly auspicious. Another major spiritual activity on the day is listening to the stories of Santhoshi Mata. Offerings made to Mata during Solah Shukrawar Vrata should be jaggery and non-fried gram. The devotee observing Solah Shukravar fasting should make it a point to forgo one meal. It is popularly believed that Goddess San

Maya Sita – The Story of Maya Sita Replacing Original Sita

There is a legend that the Sita that Demon Ravana kidnapped from the forest was not the real Sita but Mayasita – one that looked like Mata Sita. This interesting story is found in the Devi Bhagavatam but is not mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayan. One day when Sri Ram, Lakshman and Mata Sita were on exile in the forest, Agni Bhagavan – the Hindu Fire God – appeared before Sri Ram and reminded him that objective of his avatar was to kill Demon Ravana and the time has arrived for Ravana to kidnap Mata Sita. Agni thought that it was improper for demon Ravana to touch Mata Sita, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Therefore Agni suggested that He will guard the original Sita and provide a Maya Sita to Sri Ram. Sri Ram agreed and the original Sita was thus replaced with Mayasita. Ravana thus kidnapped Maya Sita from the forest. After Ravana was killed, Lord Ram asked Mayasita to undergo Agnipariksha to prove her chastity. When Mayasita entered Agni (fire), Agni Bhagavan t

The Story of Queen Chudala from Yoga Vasishta – Remain in the world and practice detachment

In a story narrated in the Yoga Vashishta, Sikhidhvaja, a king, was overwhelmed by vairagya (the sense of dispassion). He renounced his kingdom and went away to practice meditation and penance in the jungle. In his absence, his wife, Queen Chudala ruled the kingdom. Now Queen Chudala was a Yogini. She was gifted with wisdom and internal vision and she had realized that her husband was wasting his time doing sadhana in the forest. She had intuitive experience or 'aparoksha anubhuti.' The queen did try to persuade her husband to stay in the kingdom and attain moksha but her words were taken lightly by the king. The king started his Tapas (austerities) in the forest and the queen ruled the kingdom. Soon the queen decided to help the king who was wasting his time in the forest. Using her yogic powers she reached the place where her husband was sitting in sadhana or intense meditation. And soon the king realized her presence as he was not doing ‘sadhana’ but m