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Showing posts from April 22, 2015

Aranyani – Vedic Goddess of Forest

Goddess Aranyani is mentioned in the Rig Veda and she is the goddess of the forest. Aranyani is an invisible goddess. She is described as the spirit of the forest. She is not worshipped after the Vedic age but many similar Goddesses are worshipped throughout India.
Some scholars are of the view that Aranyani is the forest itself. Through Aranyani the forest is worshipped as the feminine aspect.
Symbolically, Aranyani is the primary source of life and fertility.
People only get to hear her voice. Her eternal presence is felt through the unknown voices from the forest.
A single hymn in the Rig Veda describes her – Rg Veda X. 146

Symbolism in Airavata – the White Elephant of Indra

Airavata is a white elephant that appeared after the Samudra Manthan, or the churning of the ocean, episode mentioned in the Puranas and Mahabharata. It was gifted to Indra, the King of Devas. Symbolically, Airavata represents the white clouds that appear after the rains – Indra riding on the white clouds throws thunder bolts and force the dark clouds to shed rain and clear the sky.

Airavata is a unique elephant – apart from the white color – the elephant has six trunks and six pairs of tusks. In some Hindu cultures, especially of those in Southeast Asia, Airavata is a three-headed animal.

Airavata is also referred as ‘the brother of Surya’, the Sun God. Symbolically, this suggests that Airavata clears the dark cloud that blocks the path of Sun.

On Old Kitchen Utensils in Hindu Homes in South India and Their Impact on Health and Well Being

We might have knowingly or unknowingly replaced all old kitchen utensils in our homes without realizing their importance and positive impact on health and well being. Kitchen Utensils in Hindu Homes in South India like Kal chattis, urulis, eeya pathirams, irumbu kadai, vengala panai, cheena chatti, sembu sombu etc had a unique purpose and also were helpful in keeping one healthy.
Sheela Rani Chunkath explores the importance of Old Kitchen Utensils in Hindu Homes in South India in her article in the New Indian Express  Excerpts from the articleCheena chattis and irumbu kadais are frying pans or woks made from iron. Do you wonder why our grandmothers did not take iron supplements? Traces of iron from the food cooked in these vessels helped to maintain healthy haemoglobin levels in blood. For example, let’s consider the case of eeya pathiram which was traditionally used to make rasam. Canards are being spread that the vessel is made of lead. It is not. There are two types of eeyam—one is…

Instead of cursing the dark, let us each light one small lamp – Mata Amritanandamayi

Death is part of life. All of us must face it today or tomorrow. The important thing is not how we die, but how we live.
Just as the footprints of all animals can fit in that of an elephant’s footprint so too the essence of all scriptures is contained within the Gita.
Truth and compassion towards all beings are the twin peaks of human existence.
Try to make others happy; don't despair over all the evil in the world. Instead of cursing the dark, let us each light one small lamp.

Never waste away the time in hand. Don’t think that it is easy to contemplate on the Divine in the final moments of one’s life. Mata Amritanandamayi