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Showing posts from March, 2016

Rudramsa Durga

Rudramsa Durga is one of the most popular forms of Durga worshipped in Hinduism. The name Rudramsa indicates that she incorporates in herself aspects of Rudra form of Lord Shiva. The Rudra form that is incorporated in Rudramsa Durga is that of the Shiva that created numerous spirits in anger to destroy those who had deviated from the path of Dharma. She is part of the Goddess Shakti worship.
Some scholars are also of the view that Rudramsa Durga is associated with Lord Shiva who is worshipped at Kedarnath in Uttarakhand. The form of Shiva that is worshipped in Kedarnath is that of a huge buffalo.
Rudramsa Durga is depicted as having dark-blue complexion – Shyamala. She has four arms and wears red-colored clothes – Rakthambhara. She wears gold ornaments and has a unique tapering crown, which is not part of many forms of Durga.
Rudramsa Durga carries in her hands sword, spear, conch and discus. She rides on a lion. In some portraits, sun and moon are depicted on her both sides.

How Ravana got his name? – Story of the name Ravana

Ravana means the one who screams. The story of the name Ravana is associated with Shiva. How the ten-headed demon king in Ramayana got also gives an idea about the arrogance and physical strength of Ravan.

Legend has it that Ravana was arrogant of his powers. Once to impress Lord Shiva, he attempted to lift the Kailash Mountain. Shiva to quell the arrogance of Ravana simply placed his toe on the mountain. Ravana’s forearm were crushed and he let out a deafening scream.
From this day, he got the name Ravana meaning the one who screams.

Ugadi Quotes and Messages - Kannada and Telugu New Year

This is a collection of favorite Ugadi quotes and messages that we have read, received and some which we have sent and also some that we made for this Ugadi. Let this Ugadi bring peace and prosperity in the lives of all.On this Ugadi, let the bitter taste of neem remind us of the struggles in life and the sweet taste of jaggery the progress that results from the struggle.May this Ugadi be a good one for all of us.Let this Ugadi usher in a Good and Sweet Year, both materially and spiritually.Happy Ugadi and let this be a delightful year, filled with delightful things in each of its days.This Ugadi let us go forward with great hope that all things will be possible.Happy Ugadi, let this year be filled with the things that are truly good.Ugadi stands for new and fresh – Life is always new and fresh – Let us strive to make all days Ugadi.Let this Ugadi give you the strength to do all that you dreamed to do during last year but didn’t dare to do.This is a time of new beginnings and for the…

Ganesha Purana – About Ganesh Puran

Ganesha Purana is one of the minor Puranas. Ganesh Puran is believed to have been written between 11th and 14th century and is credited to the Ganapatya sect – who considered Ganesha as the Supreme Godhead.

The Purana extols that Ganesha is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of the universe.

It consists of 247 chapters and is divided into two parts. The first part contains information about worship of Ganesha. The second part details Ganesha as creator, protector and sustainer of the universe. The second part basically contains stories of Ganesha, his avatars and how he defeated the demons.

The first part is known as Upasana Khanda and the second part is known as Krida Khanda.
Ganesha Gita is also part of Ganesh Puran. In it, teachings of Ganesha on yoga, karma, bhakti and jnana are detailed. It is quite similar to Bhagavad Gita.

Marathi Calendar 2016 – 2017 in pdf – Free Download of Marathi Panchang for Durmukhi Nama 1938 Year

Marathi Calendar and Panchang 2016 - 2017 in pdf is created by the Uttaradi Math and is based on the Panchang and calendars followed in Maharashtra. The Marathi Panchang for Durmukhi Nama Samvatsar 1938 contains auspicious dates like shubh muhurat, marriages (Vivah muhurat), Mundan ceremony, Upanayan, house warming (grih Pravesh) etc. The Marathi Panchang is from April 8, 2016 to March 28, 2017.

This calendar is easy to use and contains all the basic information in a simple format. The numerals used are English.

You can read in pdf format online and download and save copy and read using pdf reader.

The Panchangam and calendar can be downloaded from here - Marathi Calendar of Uttaradi Math in pdf.

Quotes from Yaksha Prashna in Mahabharata

What is heavier than earth, higher than mountains, faster than wind and more numerous than straws?
Yudhishthira: One’s mother is heavier than earth; one’s father is higher than mountains. The mind is faster than wind and our worries are more numerous than straws.

What is more in number than grasses? What does not close its eyes while sleeping? What does not move even after birth? What does not have a heart? What grows with speed? Who is a friend, for one who goes abroad?

Yudhishthira: Worries outnumber grasses. The fish does not close its eyes while sleeping (symbolism of ever awake atman). Eggs do not move even after birth. A stone does not have a heart. The river grows with speed. Education is the only friend of people who go abroad.

What is that which, when renounced, makes one loveable? What is that which when renounced makes one happy and wealth?

Yudhishthira: Pride, if renounced makes one lovable, by renouncing desire one become wealthy, and to by renouncing avarice one becomes…

Gandharvanagara – The Concept of Imaginary City or Mirage Town in Hindu Books

Gandharvanagara is a concept found in Hindu books. It is an imaginary city or mirage town. Hindi Sabdasagara describes Gandharvanagara as follows:
Owing to different optical illusions, villages and cities may appear to exist in the sky and also on seas, rivers, etc. When during summer the air on the upper strata of deserts, seas etc. gets heated, expanded, and rises up, the light passing through it becomes multi-coloured and gives reflections in the sky in the form of village parts or  cities. Also can be seen therein reflections of trees, boats etc. This is a mere optical illusion. This reflection immediately fades out also. This unreal city, which is an optical illusion, is Gandharvanagara.
Sage Vyasa in Mahabharata equates Sages disappearing from sight like the Gandharvanagara fading out.
Gandharvanagara, an interesting atmospheric phenomenon, is also mentioned in works on Hindu philosophy — especially the Advaita Vedanta — as an illustration of something which appears but does no…

Badi Patan Devi Temple at Patna, Bihar

Badi Patan Devi Temple, at Patna in Bihar, is one among the 52 Shaktipeethas. The temple is located near Harmandir Sahib in Patna. The popular belief is that right thigh of Goddess Sati fell here.

Legend has it that when the body part of Goddess Sati touched the ground here three Goddesses – Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati – appeared. All the three goddesses are worshipped at the Badi Patan Devi Temple.

Black stone murtis of the three goddesses are worshipped in the main sanctum sanctorum. The goddesses are in standing posture. Their attire is sari and crown. Murti of Vyom Bhairav represents Shiva in the sanctum.
Devotees make offering in a big havan kunda found in front of the sanctum.

A murti of Mother Goddess sitting on a lion is found on the Verandah behind the main sanctum. A large bell is also found here.

Tuesday is the most auspicious day in the temple.

Pujas are performed here as per Vedic and Tantric tradition.

The most important festival here is the Vasant Navratri…

Our attachments lend a false beauty to things – Swami Chinmayananda

We can impartially judge something only when we stand apart from it. Detachment cannot exist when we have a sense of intense ownership or possessivness. That is why an author or an artist consults reviewers for their opinions. Our attachments lend a false beauty to things; blinded with the pride of possession, we often fail to see the ugliness of cherished possessions.

Just as we, blinded by attachments and prejudices, fail to see the real nature of things and beings, so also do we, deluded by our lack of detachment, remain blissfully ignorant of our own weaknesses and faults. The divine life starts with the practice of detaching ourselves from our body, mind, and intellect, and impartially estimating the motives, intentions, and purposes that lie behind our thoughts, words and deeds.

Such impartial witnessing is called introspection.
 – Swami Chinmayananda

Related Swami Chinmayananda on Life of Harmony

Swayamvar in Hinduism – About the concept of Swayamvara

Swayamvar is the freedom of a bride to choose her husband in an open assembly. This was an important marriage concept practiced in Hinduism. ‘Swayam’ means oneself and ‘vara’ in this context means to select a groom. Swayamvara gives a hint into the position of women in ancient Hindu civilization.

A king would proclaim his daughter’s Swayamvara and invite many princes, nobles, warriors and learned men. On the day of Swayamvar, all the contenders will be present in the palace before the king.

The princess would go before each of them. She would observe the suitor carefully. Her maid would brief her about the background of the suitor his family, achievements, powers and other aspects of his personality.

After having studied the suitors, she would declare her choice by garlanding that person. Her choice is honored by all present.

In another type of Swayamvar, the suitors present will have to prove their worth by displaying their strength or martial skills or knowledge. The suitor who su…

Jala Samadhi – Casting off body underwater – Jal Samadhi

Jala Samadhi is a unique ritual practiced by Yogis. It is giving up one’s life in water. Jal Samadhi is a method of casting off one’ body voluntarily and it should not be mistaken for suicide. A true yogi has the power to discard one’s life at one’s own will.

Jala Samadhi is performed when a yogi realizes that the purpose of the body has been successfully accomplished. Such a yogi then enters into a deep state of Samadhi underwater.
There were also instances when Jala Samadhi was opted when a person had lost a philosophical debate. It is said that father of Ashtavakra entered into a debate with another scholar in the court of King Janaka. The condition put was that whoever lost the debate would perform Jal Samadhi. Ashtavakra’s father lost the debate and he then performed Jal Samadhi. Years later Ashtavakra came to the same court and defeated the scholar who had defeated his father. However, Ashtavakra did not ask the scholar to take Jal Samadhi. Instead, he asked King Janaka to st…

Sharing and serving would enhance our ability to love – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sharing and serving would enhance our ability to love, our ability to accept…and if you have that as a goal, and both move in this direction, together, I tell you, there will be no problem.

When there is a common interest, a common goal, a common path, to move on, that nourishes the relationship, rather than focusing on the relationship all the time.

Love is essential in relationships, not mere attraction. In attraction, there is aggressiveness. In love, there is submission. This is the difference between love and attraction. Though attraction does form the first step, you cannot stand on the first step for too long. You have to move on to the next pedestal. That is love.

If the relationship comes from the space of giving, rather than need, it is a good quality relationship.

Related The world starts from where we are – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Tarakeshwar – About the Tarakeswar Form of Shiva

Tarakeshwar is one among the numerous names of Hindu God Shiva.  As Tarakeshwar, Shiva gives the moksha mantra to a dying or dead person. This helps the person in crossing over to the next world. There are two popular temples dedicated to Tarakeswar – one is located at the Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi and another is located at Tarakeswar, around 58 km from Kolkata, in West Bengal. This form of Shiva is worshiped for attaining liberation or moksha.

There is a wrong belief that moksha is to be attained after death. Moksha is to be attained while living on earth.

Shiva helps a devotee to realize the futility of worldly life. He tries to wean away his devotee from the world of attachments, anger, frustration, and lust. When self-realization adorns in a person when he understands the true nature of the world, the person attains bliss on earth.

True nature of the world is that there is only Supreme Truth. All Animate And Inanimate Rise And Finally Merge In Shiva – The Supreme Truth.

When w…

Goddess Rankini Temple at Ghatshila in Jharkhand – Ghatshila Rankini Devi Mandir

Goddess Rankini Devi is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. Rankini Mandir located at Ghatshila in Jharkhand is a popular shrine dedicated to this form of Mother Goddess. The shrine is located atop Kaprighat hill, which is around 4 km from Jadugoda.
It is widely believed that during ancient times, people who traveled through the dense forest for their protection and well being worshiped the Goddess.

Goddess Rankini Devi is worshipped in the form of a Shila or naturally occurring rock. She is decorated with sindoor, garlands and silver eyes.
Bhimji Tribe performed the puja to the murtis from ancient times. Even today, the priests in the shrine are from the tribe.
The main offering in the shrine is tying of a coconut, supari and arwa chaval wrapped in red cloth. Devotees for wish fulfillment make this offering.
When the wishes are fulfilled, people donate animals to the shrine.
Coconut and batasha are offered as Bhoga. Daily Aarti is performed at 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM.

Sankashti Chaturthi April 2017 date – Ganesh Sankatahara Chaturti April 2017

Sankashti Chaturthi, or Ganesh Sankatahara Chaturti, is dedicated to Hindu God Ganesh. Sankashti Chaturthi April 2017 date is Friday, April 14. Ganesha devotees observe Sankashta Chaturti day from sunrise till the sighting of the moon. The day falls on the fourth day during the waning phase of moon or Krishna Paksha in a Hindu lunar month.

Fasting on Sankashti day is believed help in attaining peace, prosperity and knowledge. The fast is mainly observed in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The day is known as Sankatahara Chaturti in Tamil Hindu culture.
The importance of Sankashta Chaturthi Vrata is found in the Narasimha and Bhavishaya Puranas. The greatness of the Vrata was explained by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers.
You may also like to read How to observe Ganesh Sankashti Chaturthi? Sankashta Chaturti 2017 dates

Goddess Alopi Devi – About Hindu Goddess Alopi Devi

Alopi Devi is a manifestation of Goddess Shakti and is one among the 51 Shaktipeetahs. The legend of the Goddess is associated with the death of Sati at the yajgna conducted by Daksha and the subsequent anger of Shiva and his roaming with the body of Sati and Vishnu then cutting the body using his Sudharshana Chakra to save the universe. The temple dedicated to Alopi Devi is located at Prayag (Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh.

Alopi Devi is also popularly known as Goddess Madhaveswari.

The popular belief is that the fingers of the hands of Goddess Sati fell at the spot where the AlopiDeviTemple stands. It must be noted that Goddess Alopi temple is also part of the Ashta Das Shaktipeetah concept more famous in South India and propagated through the Ashtadasa Shaktipeetaha Stotra of Adi Shankara.

Alopi means disappeared. The Goddess gets the name Alopi because of the belief that the last part of Goddess Sati’s body fell here and disappeared. Hence this is the last spot from where Goddess…

Clean and Organized Home and Workplace

Why we do not have a clean and organized home or workplace? Because we are busy or we are lazy. When we are unorganized for a long period we get used to it. We do not even realize how messy we are. This will affect our mental wellbeing.

When we have a neat and organized home or workplace, we will be more organized, there will be easy access to things, there will be space utilization, there will be harmony and there will not be any irritability.

The mess in our surroundings affects us unconsciously. We must always remember that our home and workplace is a reflection of our inner world.

The best place to start the cleaning process is from our home.

When we do the cleaning process, we will come across many things that we do not need. However, there will be people who will be happy to possess them. It can be clothes, shoes, toys, utensil etc.

When we give them away to the needy, we will feel happy, light and more organized.

Do not have the hope that we can clean years mess in a day. Do…

Story of the Birth of Devaki – Mother of Sri Krishna

Devaki had the greatest fortune of giving birth to Sri Krishna. But before this divine event she had to undergo several hardships – spent several years in jail; see her six new born sons getting killed at the hands of Kamsa. Devaki had to undergo all these sufferings as a result of a curse.
Legend has it that Devaki in her previous birth was Aditi, the wife of Sage Kashyapa. The Sage also had another wife Diti.
Aditi became pregnant and gave birth to Indra. Diti too was blessed by Sage Kashyapa that she too will give birth to a brilliant son.
Aditi did not want anyone greater than Indra so she hatched a plan with Indra to kill the son of Diti in the womb itself.
For this evil purpose, Indra took became small as a microorganism and entered the womb of Diti and killed the baby in the womb.
Diti who came to know about the reason for the sudden abortion, cursed Indra that He will never be the ruler of three worlds. She cursed Aditi to be born on earth and spend time in jail and see her s…

How Arjuna Received the Gandiva Bow?

Gandiva was the bow of Arjuna in the Mahabharata. Arjuna received the Gandiva bow from Agni. Legend has it that Agni gave Arjuna the bow for helping in performing the Khandava Dahanam or the burning of the Khandava forest. There is an interesting story as to how Arjuna came to receive the Gandiva bow from Agni.
Once there was a king named Shvetaki. He conducted several types of yajnas for several years and this filled the kingdom with smoke. The yajna place was continuously under smoke and the Rishis found it difficult to even breathe. They all left the place.
This did not deter Shvetaki who decided to conduct another yajna for 12 years but none of the Rishis were ready to take part in it.
Shvetaki then prayed to Shiva for a solution and He gave him Durvaasas as the priest for the yajna.
Durvaasas continued the yajna for 12 years pouring unlimited materials into Agni.
Agni was now overfed and could no longer take anymore food. His brilliance started to fade and this started causing …

Unknown anxiety and fear overpowering the mind

There are times when many of us feel nervous without any reason. Unknown anxiety overpowers us. We are unable to remain calm. We imagine things and bring with it fear and worry. There will be uneasiness in stomach and our normal breathing pattern will be disturbed.

The main reason for this problem is that we are not in control of our mind. We are allowing mind to take control of us. We are believing the stories created by the mind. These stories often are about something untoward going to happen in the future.

In such situation, breathe properly. Relax. Tell the mind that am not going to fall for this.

Overpower the mind by stating that there is nothing to worry about as all that is here is the Supreme Truth.

Chant any mantra you know like ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ or ‘Om Namo Vasudevaya.’

Take the mind away from fearful thoughts and fix it on our personal deity.

Do not allow the mind to wander.

Always have a simple and easy translation of Bhagavad Gita. Read the chapter that you like mos…

Live Darshan of Tulja Bhavani – Online Darshan from Tuljabhavani Temple in Tuljapur in Maharashtra

TuljaBhavaniTemple is one of the 51 Shaktipeetahs dedicated to Goddess Shakti. Goddess Tulja Bhavani is worshiped as Ambabai, Jagadamba, Tukai, Bhagwati and Durga in western parts of India. Now the famous TuljabhavaniTemple in Maharashtra is offering live darshan of the principal deity worshipped in the temple.

You can have the live darshan here at the official website of TuljaBhavaniTemple.

ShriTuljaBhavaniTemple located at Tuljapur in Osmanabad District in Maharashtra is one of the most important Goddess Shakti Temples in western part of India. Tulja Bhavani was the family deity of Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj and also of thousands of families in Maharashtra and neighboring states.

Rauravam Hell in Hinduism

Details regarding Hells in Hinduism are found in the Puranas especially the Garuda Purana. Rauravam Hell is mainly used to punish those people who have persecuted other living beings. In the Rauravam Hell, people are bound with ropes by attendants of Yama and thrown into the hell where they are bitten by snakes.

When such people are thrown in the Rauravam Hell, people whom they had tormented or cheated on earth assume the shape of snakes.

This concept of heaven and hell in Hindu tradition is based on Puranas. Such stories and incidents in Puranas are meant to keep human beings disciplined on earth.
Upanishads state that hell and heaven are on earth and lucky are those who realize the true self and attain bliss here.

Tukaram Gatha in pdf – Download Poems of Sant Tukaram Maharaj in pdf format

Poems of the great Bhakti saint and poet Sant Tukaram Maharaj is known as Tukaram Gatha. Below is the link to the Tukaram Gatha in pdf and you can download it for free. Tukaram Gathas are famous for its wisdom and Bhakti towards the Supreme Being in the form of Lord Vitthal.
LinkTukaram Gatha in pdf

Sant Tukaram (1608-1649 CE) was one of the greatest saints of India, and as such he has influenced and is still influencing the devotional and spiritual world of people of Maharashtra.

Sant Tukaram was an ardent devotee of Lord Vitthal of Pandarpur. He began intensive studies of the writings of all Varkari saints right from Sant Jnandev to Sant Eknath. This strengthened his devotion towards Lord Vithal.
The most important aspect of the literary study had on Tukaram was that he could overcome his reclusiveness and began to mingle with people striving towards their upliftment.

Sant Tukaram’s poetry initiated an upheaval against casteism, diabolic religious practices, economic exploitatio…

Saraswati Temples in Kerala

Here is a list of popular Saraswati Temples in Kerala, India. Goddess Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of wisdom, knowledge, intelligence and learning.

Panachikadu Saraswati Temple Panachikadu Saraswati Temple is located near Kottayam. The temple is known as Souther Mookambika. The main deity in the temple is Vishnu. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped in a separate sanctum. She is worshipped here in the form of Mookambika.

Chottanikara Temple Mother Goddess is worshipped in three forms in this popular temple. She is worshipped as Goddess Saraswati in the morning, as Lakshmi in noon and as Durga in the evening.

Varkala Shivagiri Sharada Temple This temple was consecrated by Sri Narayana Guru. Goddess sits on a white lotus here. The temple is located at Varkala Shivagiri.

Kumaranalloor Devi Temple Mother Goddess is worshipped in five forms here. She is worshipped as Goddess Saraswati in the early morning hours. Kumaranalloor is located near Kottayam.

Vadakum Paravur (North Paravur) Sri Mookambik…

Hindu Story of Origin of Tides or Waves in Sea

The story of origin of tides or waves in sea as per Hinduism is associated with Sage Aurva. The story is found in the Vamana Purana.

Legend has it that Sage Aurava, performed intense meditation, or Tapas, for several years. The intense austerities and rigours penance of the Sage resulted in the creation of Vadavagni – a scared fire.

Brahma entrusted Saraswati River with the sacred task of depositing the Vadavagni in the sea.
The sacrificial fire of Sage Aurava was deposited in the sea by Saraswati River. Here it took the form of a horse and lives forever. Regular exhalations of the horse result in waves, or tides, in the sea.

Giridih Surya Mandir – Sun Temple at Giridih in Jharkhand

Giridih Surya Mandir in Jharkhand is a unique modern temple dedicated to Surya, the Hindu sun god. The temple is in the form of a chariot with a beautiful lotus structure atop it. The architecture of the sun temple at Giridih is inspired by the famous Sun Temple in Konark, Orissa.

The temple is located in the middle of a pond. The length of the temple is around 60 feet, height of the dome is 50 feet and that of sanctum, which is in hexagonal shape, is 15 feet.

The murti of Surya Bhagavan in the temple is sitting on a chariot driven by seven horses. Aruna, the charioteer, can also be seen.

Other murtis that are worshipped in the temple include Lakshmi Narayan, Rama, Sita, Hanuman, Shiva, Parvati, Vedmata Gayatri, Radha and Krishna.

The most important dates it the temple are Saptami and Sundays.
The most important festival and puja is observed here during Chhath Puja.

Holi Festival and Lord Krishna - How is Holi Celebrations Related to Sri Krishna?

The Holi festival heralds the advent of spring season and a new world of hope, color and gaiety. Celebrating the beauty of nature through natural colors was Lord Krishna’s way of teaching us that our existence on this planet solely depends on a beautiful and calm Mother Nature. The most colorful and wildest of Holi celebrations take place in Vrindavan, Mathura and in the nearby villages like Barsana. The festival here recreates the magic in which Lord Krishna played Holi with Radha and the Gopis, splashing color all over.
In some regions, Holi is celebrated in memory of Lord Krishna annihilating evil in the form of a Demon. The name of the demon varies from region but in essence in all regions, Holi festival is the celebration of the victory of good over evil and a sort of thanksgiving to Nature.
In some parts of North India, the lighting of fire is dedicated to killing of Demon of Putana by Lord Krishna. In most regions, bonfires are lit to celebrate the death of Demon Holika.
Holi i…

How to Celebrate Holi?

Get natural colors in powdered or watery form and throw it on friends, relatives, and passersby on the Holi festival day. Because this is what Lord Krishna did? Sri Krishna ran around the villages in Vrindavan, Gokul and Barsana playing Holi. He used pichkaris to splash colors on Gopis and Gopas.

Although there are a couple of myths associated with Holi, it is the one associated with Krishna that is the most famous. Of course, Holika Dahan (Holi bonfire) is associated with the unwavering Vishnu devotion of young Prahalad.

In Mathura and Vrindavan, Holi celebrations start well in advance like the Lathmar Holi. There are numerous other Holi related celebrations in the villages in and around Mathura and Vrindavan.
The celebrations at homes begin three days before the full moon or the Holika Dahan day.
Special saris called Dandia is made for married daughters during Holi. Children are also presented with new clothes.
Arrival of Holi festival in homes: Three days (12th day of waxing o…

Holi Thoughts by Swami Sivananda

All great Hindu festivals have religious, social and hygienic elements in them. Holi is no exception. Every season has a festival of its own. Holi is the great spring festival of India. Being an agricultural country, India's two big festivals come during the harvest time when the barns and granaries of our farmers are full and they have reason to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor. The harvest season is a festive season all over the world.
Man wants relaxation and change after hard work. He needs to be cheered when he is depressed on account of work and anxieties. Festivals like Holi supply him with the real food and tonic to restore his cheer and peace of mind.
The religious element in the Holi festival consists of worship of Sri Krishna. In West Bengal and Orissa it is also called the Dol Yatra. The word dol literally means ‘a swing’ An image of Sri Krishna as a babe is placed in a little swing-cradle and decorated with flowers and painted with colored powders. The pure, inno…

Story of Samjna, Wife of Surya - the Sun God

Samjna is the wife of Surya, the sun god in Hinduism. She was the daughter of Vishwakarma, the divine architect. However, Samjna was unhappy with her married life due to the unbearable heat of Surya. She hid in the wilderness disguised as a mare to avoid Surya’s intense brilliance. When she left, she disguised her handmaiden Chhaya in her place.
Soon Surya discovered his wife’s secret and transformed himself into a stallion to have intercourse with her.
Samjna in the form of mare turned her face to him; he breathed upon her and she conceived through her nose.
From their union came the horse-headed Ashwins, as well as the god of death Yama and his sister Yami.

Samjna agreed to return to Surya, but first she had Vishwakarma, her father, trim away some of Surya’s rays to diminish his brightness.

Sun Rays Fall Directly on the Murti Worshipped at Sri Veda Narayanaswami Temple near Tirupati

Every year on 25th, 26th and 27th of March, the sun's rays fall on the main murti worshipped at the Sri Veda Narayanaswami Temple at Nagalapuram near Tirupati between 1800 hrs and 1815 hrs. On the first day, the rays fall on the feet, on the second - on the chest and on the third on the forehead. The temple is located on the Chennai – Tirupati Highway and is around 81 km from Chennai and 70 km from Tirupati. The shrine is dedicated to the Matsya Avatar Murti of Vishnu.

Legend has it that Surya, sun god, pays his respects to Lord Vishnu by shedding his rays on Him and warming Vedanarayana Swami who had to fight a long battle with Somakasura in the cold waters of the ocean to retrieve the Vedas.
Architectural Wonder
This holy event has been happening in spite of the fact that the distance between first prakaram and the sanctum sanctorum is more than 600 yards and has many structures in between. It is yet another example of the architectural wonder of ancient Hindu world. The …

Lakshmi Jayanti 2019 date

Lakshmi Jayanti is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and it is believed that she appeared on this day. Lakshmi Jayanti 2019 date is March 21. This particular Jayanti observance is limited to few communities in South India. It is observed on the Phalgun Purnima day - full moon day in Falgun Month.

The popular belief is that Goddess Lakshmi appeared during the Samundra Manthan – churning of ocean.
Goddess Lakshmi is associated with prosperity, wealth and cleanliness. The cleanliness aspect is quite often ignored. When the mind is clean of jealousy, ego, hatred and anger, Goddess Lakshmi makes such minds her abode. Prosperity and peace automatically arrives when the mind is clean.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Teachings

They whose budhi and mind are wholly merged in That, who remain rooted in the Supreme, and have finally become one with Him, they go whence there is no return, their sins dispelled by wisdom.

Sages look with an equal eye on a Brahmin, adorned with learning and humility, or a person who follows Adharma, or a cow, or an elephant and even on a dog.

With buddhi firm and not bewildered, abiding in God, the knower of Brahman neither rejoices on obtaining what is pleasant nor sorrows on obtaining what is painful.

Unattached to external contacts and finding joy in the Atman, the yoga yukta, who is in union with God, enjoys bliss imperishable.

Related Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Teachings Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 quiz

Why Saraswat Brahmins Eat Fish?

Generally, Brahmins do not eat fish or other non-vegetarian food. However, Saraswat Brahmins settled in many regions of India consume fish. So why this exception? It is believed that Saraswat Brahmins are descendants of Sage Saraswat, son of Sage Dadichi and Saraswati River.

Legend has it that once there was a terrible drought for several years. Living beings found it difficult to survive. People abandoned the study of Vedas. But Saraswat was nourished by his mother Saraswati River. She fed him fish daily. He thus kept studying Vedas.

When the drought ended, people returned and flocked to him to learn the Vedas. It is said that 60,000 people learned Vedas from him. They were the ancestors of present day Saraswat Brahmin community.

As their ancestor, Sage Saraswat, had survived on fish during drought, the community eat fish.
Please note that some sub communities of Saraswat Brahmins do not consume fish.

Vellore Jalakandeswarar Temple Photos – Online Virtual Tour of Jalakandeswarar Temple in Vellore Fort

JalakandeswararTemple at Velllore in Tamil Nadu is dedicated to Shiva. The temple is located in the Vellore fort and is noted for its architecture and paintings. website is providing an online virtual photo tour of the VelloreJalakandeswararTemple. In the online virtual tour you can get a 360 degree panoramic view of the temple. There are 21 beautiful pictures of the temple by A. Suresh Babu of view360.
You can take the online Virtual Tour of Jalakandeswarar Temple in Vellore Fort here.

Our lives depend on the well being of the whole – Mata Amritanandamayi

Our true nature is like the sky, not the clouds. Our true nature is like the ocean, not the waves. Clouds and waves come and go. The sky and the ocean remain.

Our lives depend on the well being of the whole. Therefore, it is one of our foremost duties to lovingly care for all living things.

See how easily nature overcomes obstacles. If there is a stone in the path of a tiny ant, the ant just walks around the stone and continues on its way. If there is a rock where a tree is growing, the tree simply grows around the rock. In the same way, a river flows around a log that is blocking its path. We, too, should learn to adapt to all the circumstances in life, overcoming them with patience and enthusiasm.
To worship everything – seeing God in all – is what religion advises. Such an attitude teaches us to love nature.
– Mata Amritanandamayi

Shiva with Six Faces

We are aware of Panchanana Shiva – Shiva who is worshipped in five faces or five different forms. However, there is also a lesser-known concept of Shiva in which he is worshipped with six faces.

This concept is more popular in South India and is closely associated with the worship of Muruga.

Panchanana Shiva faces are Sadyojat, Vamdev, Aghora, Tatpurush and Ishana.

In this rare concept, Shiva has a sixth face, which is known as Athomugam or Adhomugha. This is a compassionate form of Shiva. He is the source of all life forms – both known and unknown.
The names of the other five face of Shiva in this concept are Saththiyosatham, Vamathevam, Ahoram, Thatpurusham, and Esanam.

Why Shiva is known as Hara?

Padubidri Temple – Shri Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapathi Temple at Padubidri in Karnataka

Padubidri Temple is popularly known as Shri Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapathi Temple. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Ganesha. Padubidri Temple is located on National Highway 17 at Padubidri and is around 24 km from Udupi and 35 km from Mangalore.

It is believed that Sage Bhrigu installed the Shivling worshipped in the Shri Mahalingeshwara Mahaganapathi Temple. Lord Parashuram consecrated the Ganesha murti, which is carved on Rudrakshi Stone.
The murti of Ganesha is 2.5 feet tall. The utsava murti, or processional deity, in the temple is also more than 1000 years old. Ganesha worshipped here is known as Ishtasiddhi Maha Ganapati as he fulfills the wishes of His devotees.

The most important festivals observed here are Shivratri, Ganesh Chaturthi and Meena Sankranti temple festival.

The temple chariot is huge and is not for its intricate and beautiful carvings. Padubidri Temple Darshan and Puja Timings Morning 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM Evening 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM Three maha pujas are don…

Holi Rang – How to make natural red color for Holi Festival at home?

Red is one of the most important colour (gulal) used during the Holi festival. The original colors used for Holi festival are all natural in origin and are made using the trees and flowers that bloom during the Holi Spring season. Sadly, the powders and colors used during the festival today are made from chemical substances and are dangerous. Here are few simple tips to create natural Holi red color –
Natural Red Color Powder for Holi Red Sandalwood powder. This is available in shops. Or you can make them by powdering small pieces of Sandalwood.
Powder of dry red hibiscus flowers mixed with any white flour will give natural red color.
Buy rose petals and dry them in sunlight. Once the rose petals have lost all water content and are in crisp form, grind them and this is will give a fragrant gulal.
The red Annatto seeds can be grounded in a mixer to create dry red color.
Natural Red Color Water for Holi Boil red sandalwood or powder in water. You will get a thick red color solution and thi…

Pradosh Vrat April 2017 Dates – Pradosha Vrata Monthly Fasting Dedicated to Shiva in April 2017

Pradosh is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Shiva and occurs twice in a Hindu month. In April 2017 Pradosh Vrat dates are April 8 (Saturday) and April 24, 2017 (Monday). The fasting is observed during the two phases of moon (waxing and waning). It is also referred as Pradosha Vrata.

As it falls on Tuesday, the Pradosh is known as Som Pradosh.

Staunch Shiva devotees fast on the Pradosh day and they break their fasting after the evening prayers. Pradosh as the name indicates is a period just before sunset and after sunset. Loosely the Pradosh period is between 1.5 hours before sunset and 1 hour after sunset.

Most devotees prefer to pray to Lord Shiva or remain in Shiva temples during the Pradosha period. If at home devotees chant any of the mantras dedicated to Lord Shiva or read the Shiva Purana.

You may also like to read Story, rituals and Importance of Pradosh How to observe Pradosha Vrata?

Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati Teachings

One of the dangers of pride is thinking that you are the doer. Then you are dealing with spiritual ego, which can involve an almost shocking lack of humility.

The ego provides only negative choices.

When giving up even the smallest attachment, you are giving up a small piece of illusion. Sit quietly and ask yourself that simple question, repeatedly. Who am I? When you begin this practice, your ego mind will offer you a whole list. I am a mother: I am a spiritual seeker, or even I am depressed and lonely. Do not accept these labels. Recognize them as what they are: a list of our attachments.

Self-knowing allows Kundalini energy to rise straight up the spine, into the top of the head and out into the Universe. The more deeply we obtain openness and oneness with this higher energy, the more it will lift us up spiritually – and the closer it will bring us to realization of our oneness.
Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati (1940 – 2012) 

Somvati Panchami

Somvati Panchami is an auspicious date associated with Hindu religion and it occurs when Panchami or the fifth day of a fortnight in Hindu calendar falls on Monday. Somvati Panchami 2017 date is September 25. 
The day is considered highly auspicious to perform pujas and rituals for prosperity.
Some people observe a fast on the day for the well being of the family and for wish fulfillment.
Prayers on the day are mainly dedicated to Shiva, Ganesh and Nagas (serpent gods).

Ekadashi April 2017 date – Ekadasi Monthly Fasting for Vishnu in April 2017

Dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu, Ekadashi Vrat is observed on the eleventh day of a fortnight in a Hindu lunar calendar. Ekadashi dates in April 2017 – April 7 and April 22/23. Fasting from sunrise to next day morning sunrise is generally observed by many Hindus. Some observe the fast from the start time of Ekadasi Tithi and break the fast at the beginning of Dwadasi Tithi.

April 7, 2017 Ekadasi is known as Kamada Ekadashi Vrat.

The April 22/23 Ekadasi is known as Varuthuni Ekadasi Vrat.

The Ekadasi will be observed in most regions on April 23. Smarta tradition will observe it on April 22, 2017.

The preparation for Ekadashi fasting begins on the Dasami day – the day before Ekadasi. On the Ekadasi day, devotees observe complete fast. The day is meant for hearing religious discourses and performing pujas.
There are also devotees who do not observe total fast. They avoid grains especially rice and consume fruits, nuts and milk.
The fasting comes to an end on the Dwadashi day with the cons…

They who refused to stop at failure meet with success – Thoughts

For a happy life, never control anyone’s life.
When we value and appreciate others, it enhances their confidence and self-esteem. They then pass it on to others.
Everything in interconnected in this universe. From the dust to the distant star. How? They all are Supreme Truth.
Opportunities never end. However, we stop looking and blame on our bad fortune.
They meet with success who refused to stop at failure; they meet with success who overcame the thought of quitting; they meet with success who banished all thoughts of negativity. Abhilash

Surya Kavach in Hindi – The Stotra in pdf

Surya Kavach is a popular prayer dedicated to Surya, Sun God. This particular Surya Kavach Stotra is in Hindi and is in pdf format. You can download it for free. The prayer is chanted for prosperity and to get relief from diseases. It is considered highly meritorious to chant this mantra on Sundays.
Link - Surya Kavach Stotra in Hindi in pdf

Effective Communication to Dissolve Ego and Avoid Strain in Relationships

When effective communication does not take place, relationships suffer due to misunderstandings. Ego clashes occur and there will be strain in relationships. Thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions and opinion vary from people to people. We must learn to respect this all-important fact.

When we are patient and try to understand what the other person is saying, we are shedding our ego. This helps us in having good relationships. We break down barriers and we achieve success.

When we speak with ego to a person, we are creating boundaries, shutting down doors and we are increasing the distance. Net result is tension and lack of mental peace. Bad relationships and lack of success.

When ego is dropped there is togetherness. Now only thing to do is dissolve the difference of opinions. This can be done through mutual understanding, trust and commitment.

Always speak face to face.

When a conversation is taking place switch off mobile and all other distractions. Be nonjudgmental.

Be empatheti…

Papanasini Ekadasi – Papanashini Ekadashi

Papanashini Ekadasi is observed when there is rare combination of Pushya Nakshatra overlapping from the Ekadashi day to the next day, which is the Dwadashi day. Such a complex calculation is only followed in certain regions and by certain communities. In 2018, Papanasini Ekadasi date is February 26. It is mainly observed in Orissa and by certain Vaishnava sects. The Ekadasi on February 26 is known as Amalaki Ekadashi in all other regions.

The Dwadasi day, the day after this Ekadasi, is a highly auspicious day in PuriJagannathTemple. It is known as Govinda Dwadashi day and it is expected that nearly a million people will take holy dip in the sea near JagannathTemple. A rare combination of calculations as per Hindu astrology and almanac taking place after 48 years on this day.

Rasai Devi Yatra at Nangaon Village at Daund Taluka in Pune District of Maharashtra

Rasai Devi Yatra at Nangaon Village is observed in Chaitra month (March – April). It is the annual fair and festival at the Rasai Devi Temple at Nangaon Village in Daund Taluka of Pune District, Maharashtra. Various unique pujas and rituals are held during the annual yatra. Rasai Devi Yatra 2019 date is April 19.

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Rasai Devi, a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. This form of Goddess Shakti is widely worshipped as a village deity and kuldevata (family deity) in Maharashtra.

For the annual festival, the shrine is decorated with lamps, lights, flowers, leaves and sugarcane for the occasion.

The festival and fair attracts hundreds of devotees to the Rasai Devi temple.

Various offerings are made to appease the deity. Red flowers are offered to the deity. Procession is part of the festival.

Nangaon Rasai Devi Yatra is annually observed on Chaitra Purnima tithi or the full moon day in Chaitra month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Ma…

Rasai Devi Yatra at Vadgaon Rasai Village at Shirur Taluka in Pune District of Maharashtra

Rasai Devi Yatra at Vadgaon Rasai Village is observed in Chaitra month (March – April). It is the annual fair and festival at the Rasai Devi Temple at Vadgaon Rasai Village in Shirur Taluka of Pune District, Maharashtra. Various unique pujas and rituals are held during the annual yatra. Rasai Devi Yatra 2019 date is April 19.

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Rasai Devi, a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. This form of Goddess Shakti is widely worshipped as a village deity and kuldevata (family deity) in Maharashtra.

For the annual festival, the shrine is decorated with lamps, lights, flowers, leaves and sugarcane for the occasion.
The festival and fair attracts hundreds of devotees to the Rasai Devi temple.

Various offerings are made to appease the deity. Red flowers are offered to the deity. Procession is part of the festival.

Rasai Devi Yatra at Vadgaon Rasa is annually observed on Chaitra Purnima tithi or the full moon day in Chaitra month as per traditional Hindu lunar ca…

Sukai Devi Yatra at Kapsal Village in Chiplun Taluka in Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra

Sukai Devi Yatra at Kapsal Village is observed in Chaitra month (March – April). It is the annual fair and festival at the Sukai Devi Temple at Kapsal Village in Chiplun Taluka of Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra. Various unique pujas and rituals are held during the annual yatra. Kapsal Sukai Devi Yatra 2019 date is April 19.

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Jagadamba, a kind manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. This form of Goddess Shakti is widely worshipped as a village deity and kuldevata (family deity) in Maharashtra.

For the annual festival, the shrine is decorated with lamps, lights, flowers, leaves and sugarcane for the occasion.

The festival and fair attracts hundreds of devotees to the Sukai Devi temple.

Various offerings are made to appease the deity. Red flowers are offered to the deity. Procession is part of the festival. Kapsal Sukai Devi Yatra is annually observed on Chaitra Purnima tithi or the full moon day in Chaitra month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar…

Yellamma Devi Yatra at Honwad Village in Bijapur District in Karnataka

Yellamma Devi Yatra at Honwad Village is observed in Chaitra month (March – April). It is the annual fair and festival at the Yellamma Devi Temple at Honwad Village in Bijapur District in Karnataka. Various unique pujas and rituals are held during the annual yatra. Honwad Yellamma Yatra 2019 date is April 19.

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Yellamma, a kind manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. This form of Goddess Shakti is widely worshipped as a village deity and kuldevata (family deity) in South India.

For the annual festival, the shrine is decorated with lamps, lights, flowers, leaves and sugarcane for the occasion.

The festival and fair attracts hundreds of devotees to the Yellamma Devi temple.

Various offerings are made to appease the deity. Red flowers are offered to the deity. Procession is part of the festival.

Honwad Yellamma Devi  Yatra is annually observed on Chaitra Purnima tithi or the full moon day in Chaitra month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed …