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Showing posts from June 21, 2015

What is a Brahmotsavam? – Brahmotsava – the South Indian Hindu Temple Festivals

Brahmotsavam, or Brahmotsava, is the most important festival in a Hindu temple especially in South India. The name ‘Brahmotsavam’ because it is believed that Lord Brahma is supposed to conduct the festival in honor of the presiding deity of the temple. One of the most popular Brahmotsavams is the one held annually at the TirupatiTirumalaBalajiTemple.
Brahmotsava is usually a spectacular and colorful festival, which attracts thousands of devotees. Apart from the religious significance, a Brahmotsavam is of considerable, social, economic and political importance for the particular region.
The most popular Brahmotsavam is a nine-day celebration and is believed to bring about protection and happiness to the people. There are also Brahmotsavams that last for a day, three days, five days and seven days.
A major highlight of the Brahmotsava is the procession of the presiding deity in an elaborately decorated chariot (Ratha). Thousands of devotees pull the huge Ratha from the temple to the…

Shantadurga – Goddess Shanta Durga Devi

Shantadurga is a manifestation of Goddess Shakti. This is a peaceful form of Goddess Durga. She got the name Shanta Durga Devi after she manifested to create peace between warring Shiva and Vishnu.

Legend has it that a fierce fight broke out between Shiva and Vishnu. Brahma who realized that the fight would usher in total destruction and end of universe prayed to Mother Goddess Shakti for peace and protection.
Goddess Shakti appeared in the form of Shantadurga and put an end to the fight.
Goddess Shantadurga form of Goddess Shakti is worshipped at the famous ShantaDurgaDeviTemple in Goa. The murti of Shantadurga is seen here between the murti of Shiva and Vishnu.
Symbolically, the story of Shantadurga illustrates that without Mother Goddess, the earth will be barren and will be soon destroyed. What keeps the earth moving forward is the feminine aspect.

What is Satyanarayana Pooja?

Satyanarayana Puja, or Satyanarayan Pooja, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is the preserver of the Universe in Hindu religion. Satyanarayana is a highly compassionate form of Lord Vishnu. Performing Satyanarayana puja is believed to usher in prosperity. The puja is performed after marriages, important ceremonies, achievements, purchase of property or house etc. There are devotees who perform the Satyanarayan Puja on all full moon days (Purnima). Basically, Satyanarayan Pooja is saying thanks to the Lord and also asking him to sustain the achievements.
Satyanarayana Puja begins with the prayer to Lord Ganesha. Special prayers are also offered to Navagrahas. The rest of the Puja is dedicated to Lord Satyanarayana which involves normal puja procedures and the chanting of the various names of Vishnu. Varieties of food are offered as ‘Prasad.’
The puja also involves listening to the origin of Satyanarayana puja, which is read by the priest or an elderly person. It is heard by the family m…

Dakshinayana or Pitrayana

Dakshinayana or Pitrayana is the nighttime of gods in Hinduism and it lasts for six months or till Makar Sankranti. Uttarayana period starts with Makar Sankranti and it is the daytime of Devas. A human year is equal to one day of gods in Hindu religion. Dakshinayana is also the southern transit of Sun and nights are longer during this period. In 2018, Dakshinayana starts on June 21 for calendars followed in North India. For calendars followed in South India, Dakshinayana begins on July 16, 2018.

In Tamil Nadu, the month Aadi marks the beginning of Dakshinayana. There is also a belief that Lord Vishnu goes to sleep during this period and the Ekadasi just before Karka Sankranti is referred as Deva Sayani Ekadashi.

There are two methods followed in calculating the movement of the sun. In Drika Siddhanta method Dakshinayana starts when sayana sun enters cancer and this method is followed by some regional calendars. In this system, Dakshinayana begins on June 21, 2018.

But majority of Hi…

The only way we can maintain our inner peace and balance is to do our duty well – Dada J P Vaswani

Always expect the best; because human life is intolerable without the spirit of optimism and hope. Therefore hope for the best; believe that the best will happen. But also bear in mind that God’s Plan for us might be different from the plan that we have proposed for ourselves. He knows what is best for us.
If we develop an obsession about death, we can achieve nothing in life. At any rate, God did not give us this precious human life to be spent just waiting for death.
The secret of facing the unexpected without losing your inner calm and balance lies in acceptance.
The only way we can maintain our inner peace and balance is to do our duty well.
Every unpleasant, unwanted experience brings with it a wealth of wisdom and strength. The person who knows this, is prepared to face the worst; he greets troubles with a smile. He is a true victor, and his way is a way of victory. Dada J P Vaswani