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Showing posts from August 26, 2015

Traditional Athapookalam – Symbolic meaning of Pookalam made during Onam

Athapookalam or Onapookalam is the flower bed or flower arrangements done during Onam in Kerala. It is a distant cousin of Rangoli in North India and Kolam in Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, the making of the Pookalam begins on the Atham day, ten days before Thiruonam. Originally, the Pookalam consists of ten small round steps. The ten steps or rings are believed to represent ten different deities in Hinduism. There is also a belief that the floral carpet symbolically represents the fight between Asuras (demons) and Devas (Demi gods).

Each day of the 10-day Onam festival used to be represented on the Pookalam. On the Atham day, there will only be a single ring, the next day which is Chithira there will be two rings and finally on the Thiruonam day there will be 10 rings. On the first day only a single color flower is used, second day two colors and on the final day 10 different colors of flower is used.
In some places, each nakshatram of the day used to be marked on the Pookalam. For exa…

Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir on Madan Mahal Mountain in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh

Gupteshwar Mahadev Temple is located on Madan Mahal Mountain in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. The temple is believed to have existed during the Ramayana period. It is believed that Bhagavan Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman visited the temple during their exile period in the Ramayan.
Legend has it that Sri Ram wanted to have a darshan of Maa Narmada during his sojourn in the Chitrakoot region.

Bhagavan Sri Ram offered chunari to Maa Narmada and made a Shivling out of sand and worshipped it. Thus, Sri Ram created the Shivling worshipped here during the Treta Yuga.
The temple was hidden for long time. A big boulder had blocked the opening of the cave. The temple was discovered in 1890.

Thousands of devotees visit the temple in Shravan month. Shivratri is the most important festival here.

Siddhanath Mahadev Yatra at Khargone – Sidhnath Mahadev Shivdola at Khargone in Madhya Pradesh

Siddhanath Mahadev Yatra at Khargone is observed in Bhadrapad month. On this day the murti worshipped in the Sidhnath Mahadev Temple comes out of temple in traditional attire to interact with devotees – Mahadev Sidgnath. In 2018, this ritual at Khargone was held on August 28.

After the abhishek and puja in the temple, Shri Siddhanath Mahadev comes out and settles in a designated place in the temple.
After prayers performed here Shri Siddhanath Mahadev moves out into the city. Nagada, Janja-manjira and dol tashe is played on the occasion. People chant the name of Mahadev as he makes his way through the crowd.
It takes nearly 20 hours to complete the entire process of the tour of the town.
Siddhanath Mahadev Yatra at Khargone is annually observed on Bhadrapad Krishna Paksha Dwitiya Tithi or the second day during the waxing phase of moon in Bhadrapad month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Madhya Pradesh.

Padmakshi Temple at Hamankonda near Warangal

Padmakshi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Padmakshi who is fondly referred as ‘Amma’ or ‘mother.’ She is the consort of Lord Shiva. The present shrine is believed to have been built during the 12th century by the Kakatiya rulers.
The deity is also referred as Padmakshamma and the shrine is located atop a Gutta or a hill. The pond at the foot of the Padmakshi hillock is a sacred tirth.

Annakonda Pillar in the temple is a unique piece of architecture. The quadrangular column is made in black granite stone and is located at the entrance of the shrine. The four faces of pillar are imposing.
The most important festival in the shrine is the Batukamma festival observed during Navratri (September – October). More than 100,000 women participate in the festival.

Gajendra Moksha – the story of an elephant and a crocodile and its symbolic meaning

Gajendra Moksha, or Gajendramoksham, is an important incident found in the Bhagavad Purana and it shows the importance of Bhakti, prayer and true devotion. Once there was an elephant named Gajendra. He was the king of a huge herd of elephants and he had thousands of queen elephants with whom he used to bathe and play in a huge lake. Gajendra was proud about his status and on a summer day he was arrogantly bathing in the lake with his friends. Suddenly a crocodile from below caught him by the foot and tried to pull him to the bottom of the lake.

Gajendra fought hard to get rid of the crocodile but the battle continued for thousand years. In the meantime, all this friends and queens deserted him. Finally realization dawned on an exhausted Gajendra and he prayed to Lord Vishnu. Soon Lord Vishnu appeared before him and on seeing the Lord, Gajendra plucked a lotus with great effort and offered to him and said ‘Narayana, Preceptor of all, Bhagavan; I bow down to you.” Gajendra was instant…

Apah – Water Goddess Mentioned in Vedas

Apah are water goddesses mentioned in the Vedas. They are mainly mentioned in the Rig Veda. As Water goddesses they cleanse and purify devotees. They bless them with boons. They also grant vitality, immortality and strength.
They are also mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Puranas. As per the Vedas, Indra, the king of Devas, is believed to have made channels for them to flow into the sea.
Apah are mentioned mostly as a group of goddesses and they are mothers are wives in the Vedas.
They participate in the yajnas (sacrifice). They partake in the offerings and they also bless with boons.
It is said that waters of Apah are filled with honey. They also carry milk and honey and they are pleasing the Devas.
Related Pushan – Vedic Deity in Hindu Tradition

Bade Mathuradhish Mandir at Kota - Shri Bade Mathuresh Ji Temple at Patanpol in Kota

Bade Mathuradhish Mandir at Patan Pole near Kota is dedicated to Bhagavan Sri Krishna. The shrine is located at Patanpol locality which is around 7 km from Kota Railway Station.
Legend has it that a murti of Shri Mathureshji was moving through Kota and heading towards another place. The chariot carrying the murti was moving through Kota amidst ritualistic chanting. The chariot suddenly stopped in front of the haveli of Rai Dwarakadasji, a minister of the king of Kota.
People tried several ways to move the chariot but it did not move an inch.
Rai Dwarakadasji then offered prayers to Bhagavan Sri Krishna and asked the Lord to reside is his house. The chariot then moved and the murti was enshrined in the Haveli.
The murti to this day is enshrined in the same haveli. The temple follows the rituals of Pushtimargiya. Sri Krishna is worshipped in his child form here.
This temple is the Pratham Peeth (first seat) of Pushtimarg.
The architecture is similar to the architecture of havelis fou…

Story of Ramdevji of Ramdevra – Ramdevpir

Ramdevji of Ramdevra is widely considered as a manifestation of Ranchor – Bhagavan Sri Krishna. He is also known as Ramdevpir or Ramsha Pir. The story of Ramdevji of Ramdevra shows us that devotion and faith is above caste, gender and class.

Ramdevji symbolically represents the fierce power of divinity willing to listen to voice of the oppressed.

Ramdevji was born in the royal house of Ajmal, a Rajput feudal king of Pokaran village in Rajasthan. Ramdevji’s father Ajmal prayed for a boy child to Ranchor. He got his wish fulfilled but instead of becoming an heir for the throne, the child took up the life of a Sadhu. He left behind his princely comfort and status.

He moved around singing bhajans and performing miracles for devotees.
Legend has it that once Ramdevji was traveling through a village. It was the day of Raksha Bandhan. Ramdevji came across a young woman belong to the untouchable caste. She was crying. He asked her name and inquired as to why she was crying. The girl told tha…

Ramdevra Fair and Festival at Ramdevji Mandir – Ramdevji Temple Fair and Festival

Ramdevji Temple fair and festival is observed in Bhadrapad month. It is the most important fair at Ramdevra - 12 km to the north of Pokhran in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan in India. Ramdevra fair and festival 2018 date is from September 11 to September 19.
Ramdevji temple stands around the samadhi of Baba Ramdev, who lived here during 14th century. Ramdeviji is widely considered a human incarnation Ranchor – Bhagavan Sri Krishna.
Thousands of people participate in the annual festival observed here. People from villages and towns in Rajasthan and Northern Gujarat arrive in the temple to make their offerings.
Ramdevra Fair and Festival is annually held from Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Dwitiya (dooj) to Bhadrapad Shukla Paksha Dasami – second day to tenth day of the waxing phase of moon in Bhadrapad month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Rajasthan.

Kinnara in Hinduism – Divine Beings with Horse Head and Human Body

Kinnara are divine beings mentioned in major scriptures in Hinduism. They are diving being with horse head and human body. The earliest reference of Kinnaras are found in the Satapatha Brahmana. There are several versions of the origin of Kinnara in Hindu scriptures.
Manu Smriti and Bhagavad Purana states that they were created by Prajapati along with Yakshas, apsaras and gandharvas.
Some Puranas are of the view that they were born out of thumb of Brahma.
Certain Puranas also mention that they are children of Sage Kashyapa.
Kinnaras are male for one month and female for another month. They are romantic in character and love flowers.
They render various services to Devas by assuming various forms. They sing, dance and play musical instruments in heaven.

Kinnaras mainly serve Kubera, who is also known as Kinnaresha.
On earth they are believed to have guarded fields. People used to place kinnara figures on the corner of fields.
It must be noted that Kinnaras are also shown in Hindu scul…

Matoshri Sarutai Punyatithi at Mayani near Satara – Death Anniversary of Matoshri Sarutai

Matoshri Sarutai Punyatithi is observed in Bhadrapad month. It is the death anniversary of  Matoshri Sadguru Sarutai Mauli. The day is of great importance at Mayani near Satara. Matoshri Sarutai Punyatithi 2018 date is September 29.

Matoshri Sadguru Sarutai Mauli was a great saint the Bhakti tradition in Maharashtra. She taught the great truth of Advaita in simple language. Her teachings are based on the wisdom shared by Sri Dattatreya.

Matoshri Sarutai Punyatithi is annually held on Bhadrapad krishna paksha panchami tithi or the fifth day during the waning phase of moon in Bhadrapad month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra.

Hercules – Was He Hindu God Krishna or Vishnu?

It is believed by many scholars that Hercules of Greece was Krishna or Vishnu. The name Hercules is derived from Hari one of the names of Vishnu. Megasthanes has recorded two gods of India – Hercules of the plains and Dionysius of the mountains, the description resembling Krishna and his elder brother Balarama. The name Hercules is understood to have been derived from the term Har-Kuul-isa (Heri-cul-eesh), meaning “Lord of the lineage of Hari” – according to linguistic interpretation.
Source – Encyclopedia of Hinduism published by India Heritage Research Foundation.

Durga Mandir – Durga Kund at Varanasi – Goddess Durga Temple at Varanasi

GoddessDurgaTemple at Varanasi is unique as the construction of the mandir structure is based on the philosophy of 64 Yantra and 64 Vidya. The temple is also famous for a holy pond known as Durga Kund.
Legend has it that Goddess Durga had appeared to protect an ardent devotee of her in Varanasi. This devotee was a prince who was harassed by his father’s second wife and family. Goddess Durga defeated the enemies and help the prince attain what was rightfully his.
Only the face of the murti of Goddess Durga is visible in the sanctum sanctorum.
The temple also has murtis of Goddess Lakshmi, Saraswati, Bhadrakali, Kapal Bhairav, Rudra Bhairav, Kukuteshwar Mahadev, Jwarhareshwari Devi, Hanuman, Brahma, Parneshwar Mahadev, Surya Bhagvan and Radha Krishna.
The temple follows the nagar architecture style. The present shrine was built in 18th century by the Mahrani of Nattor.
Navratri is the most important festival here. On Bhadrapad Dwitiya Tithi special rituals are observed as it is believe…

Shiv Sahastra Namavali in Gujarati - Shiva Sahasra Namavali in Gujarati Text

Shiv Sahastra Namavali is one of the most popular mantras dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. This - Shiva Sahasra Namavali in pdf format in Gujarati is for free download. The prayer consists of the 1000 names of Shiva in Gujarati. This mantra is believed to have been narrated first by Vishnu and is found in the Shiva Purana. It is chanted during the worship of Shiva especially on Shivratri and Pradosh.
Link Shiv Sahastra Namavali in Gujarati

Hanuman Chalisa in Gujarati in pdf – Download Hanuman Chalisa Lyrics in pdf in Gujarati for Free

Hanuman Chalisa, composed by Goswami Tulsidas, is the most popular prayer (bhajans) dedicated to Hanuman. Below is the link to Hanuman Chalisa pdf Gujarati text. You can download it for free. The Gujarati lyrics is uploaded in google drive. There is no authorization required for downloading. It is absolutely free. For easy download you need to be logged into gmail or any other google product. The chalisa is created by Gita Press, Gorakhpur.
Link - Hanuman Chalisa Gujarati in pdf

Sunderkand in Hindi in pdf – Download Sunderkand Text in Hindi in pdf

Sunderkand is the famous chapter in the Ramayana. Below is the link to Sunderkand in Hindi from Ramcharitamanas. You can download the text in Hindi in pdf. It is believed that reading Sunderkand daily helps in attaining peace and prosperity. The text is provided by Gita Press of Gorakhpur.
LinkSunderkand in Hindi in pdf

Good Date for Travel in February 2016 – Good and Auspicious Dates for Journey in February 2016

Some Hindus look for good date for travels, especially long distance journey, foreign travel, while traveling on plane, train etc. Here are the good and auspicious dates for journey in February 2016 for travels.
February 3 February 5 February 10 February 11 February 12 February 13 February 17 February 19 February 20 February 24 February 25 February 28

Words to Contemplate – Mata Amritanandamayi

Even death is not complete annihilation. It is only like placing a period mark at the end of a sentence. Just as we continue writing, life continues. Understanding this, we shouldn’t succumb to depression. During our life, there will always be a mix of pleasure and pain…
Establishing  an equilibrium in the midst of life’s swinging pendulum is the purpose of spirituality.
There are many paths of entertainment and pleasure. However, heartfelt smiles and kind words have become extremely scarce.
Related Spirituality is receptivity, the ability to accept allexperiences of life without reacting to them – Mata Amritanandamayi

Gayatri Japa Sankalpam – Gayathri Japam

Gayatri Japa Sankalpam, or Gayathri Japam, is observed on the day after Shravan Purnima. In 2017, the date of Gayatri Japa Sankalpam is August 8. Brahmins in South India perform this ritual as part of the Upakarma and Avani Avittam ritual. This annual ritual involves the chanting of Gayatri Mantra. Yajur, Rig and Sama Vedi Brahmins perform this ritual on the same day.

On the day, after the initial rituals, Gayatri Mantra is chanted for 1008 or 108 times. The sequence and the mode of performing the rituals depend on mutt (Math) affiliation. The ritual is performed in the morning and there is a specific period for chanting it.

You can read the Gayatri Japa Sankalpam here.