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Showing posts from May, 2016


Goddess Hingula – Information about Goddess Hingula

Goddess Hingula is a form of Mother Goddess Shakti. She is associated with cooking and is known as Hinglaj Mata, Goddess Hingulei or Hingulaksi. Information about Goddess Hingula is found in the SaralaMahabharata. As per Puranas, Goddess Hingula appeared in that spot where a part of the head of Goddess Sati fell after her body was split into 51 pieces by Vishnu. Shiva was roaming in the universe with the body of Goddess Sati and this was causing havoc in the universe. Vishnu split the body to rescue the universe.

As per Sarala Mahabharata, one can achieve his/her desired object if he/she worships or mediates on Goddess Hingula. It is also believed that food cooked become delicious through the blessings of the Goddess.


King Nala was blessed by Goddess Hingula and that is the reason why he was able to cook such delicious food.

Goddess Hingula is worshipped in the form of fire and she is linked with the Agni Kona or southeast direction. Although murtis of the Goddess are found in the sh…

Panch Akasha – Five Spaces in Yogic Practice

Panch Akasha are five spaces inside body in yogic practice. Akasha or Shunya means space, vaccum or sky and panch means five. These five spaces are

Shunya Akasha Ativa Shunya or Ati Shunya Maha Shunya Shunyati Shunya and Antah Shunya
As per Hathayogapradipika,

Shunya Akasha is inside the heart lotus (Anahata Chakra);
Atishnuya is the akasha inside the throat lotus. Mahashunhya is the akasha inside the lotus between the ajna chakra (eyebrows)
Information about Shunyati Shunya and Antah Shunya is found in the Satchakranirupana of Paramananda. It is said that meditation on Antah Shunya brings about mukti or liberation.

Jalakrida Ekadasi – Jalkrida Ekadashi

Jalakrida Ekadashi is observed on the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha of (waning phase of moon) in Jyeshta month as per traditional Oriya calendar. Jalkrida Ekadasi is popularly observed as Apara Ekadasi in other regions. Jalakrida Ekadasi is associated with the PuriJagannathTemple ritual. In 2018, the date of Jalakrida Ekadasi is May 11.

Ekadasi fasting is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is observed during the 11th day of a lunar fortnight. In some regions, certain Ekadasi’s attach a regional flair – mostly associated with a famous Vishnu incarnation that is worshipped in the region. Such instances are more noted in Orissa and is associated with the Lord Jagannath worship.

Few examples of Ekadasi associated with Lord Jagannath observed in exclusively in Orissa are Jalakrida Ekadasi, Bhoumi Ekadasi, Papanashini Ekadasi etc.

Bhadrakali Gyaras

Bhadrakali Gyaras is observed on the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) – waning phase of the moon – in the month of Jyeshta (May – June). Bhadrakali Gyaras 2019 date is May 30. This day is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is mainly observed in Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir especially by Aryan Saraswat Brahmins.

Hindu communities that observe Bhadrakali Gyaras believe that Goddess Kali appeared on the day on earth to protect her devotees.

Kundeswar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Kundeswar Form of Shiva – 40th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Kundeswar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. It is believed that worshipping Kundeswar form of Shiva will help fulfilling all desires.

The temple dedicated to Kundeswar Mahadev is located near Gomti Kund in Ujjain.

This form of Shiva is associated with Kunda Shiva Gana.

Kundeswar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 40th temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here.

Story of Kundeswar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain

One day Shiva and Goddess Parvati was traveling to Mahkaal Van or Ujjain. The divine couple decided to take rest on a mountain. Shiva decided to roam around the mountain. He appointed Shiva Gan Kunda as the guard and guide of Goddess Parvati.

Shiva did not appear for a long period. Goddess Parvati asked Kunda to go in search of Shiva but he did not move as he was told by Shiva to guard Goddess Parvati.

In anger, Goddess Parvati cursed Kunda to be born on eart…

Vandevi Temple at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand – Van Devi Mandir

Vandevi Temple at Jamshedpur is dedicated to Goddess Kali. She is the presiding deity of the city of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. Van Devi mandir is also known as the main dwar or gate of the city.

The black stone murti of Goddess Kali is north facing. She stands on Shiva with protruding lips. She wears several gold ornaments and has a mukut or crown.

The main offering to Goddess Vandevi is hibiscus flower.

The most important puja here is performed on Kali Puja on Diwali day.

Another auspicious day is December 22 – Shatchandi Yagya is performed every year on the day.

The murti worshipped in the temple is very old. The present temple structure was built in 1997.

Truck drivers make special offering in the shrine for a safe journey.
Hundreds of years ago, the area was part of forest and no one visited the place. Trucker drivers who passed through the area offered prayers to the Goddess and sought her blessings for an incident free journey.

Bhadrakali Ekadashi

Bhadrakali Ekadasi is observed during on the 11th day of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) – waning phase of the moon – in the month of Jyeshta (May – June). As the name suggests, it is dedicated to Goddess Kali and is mainly observed in Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir especially by Aryan Saraswat Brahmins. In 2018, the date of Bhadrakali Ekadashi is May 11.

It is believed by Aryan Saraswat Brahmins that Goddess Kali or Bhadra Kali made her divine presence on earth to annihilate Adharma on the Bhadrakali Ekadashi day.

This Ekadasi is observed as Apara Ekadashi in other parts of India and by other communities. In Orissa, this Ekadasi is known as Jalakrida Ekadasi and is associated with Lord Jagannath.

It must be noted that Bhadrakali Ekadashi has nothing to do with the Ekadasi fasting associated with Lord Vishnu.

Story of Guha, the Boatman in the Ramayana

Guha is the king of fisher folk and it is he who ferries Bhagavan Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman across the river on the first day of their exile period in the Ramayana. Guha, the boatman, who heard about the exile immediately, asked Sri Ram to stay with him. But Bhagavan told him that during exile period he cannot stay in a human settlement.

Guha then offered to cook some food. But Sri Ram told him that he cannot eat cooked food as during exile he can only eat what he gets from forest.

Guha then asked to take him as a servant. This was also denied as hermits they cannot have servants. Finally, Guha took out his boat into the waters. He ferried them across to the other side to the starting of Dandaka forest.

Bhagavan then instructed Guha not to ferry anyone else across the river for the rest of the day. He did not want anyone to follow them into the forest.
Guha is an important character in Bhakti literature. Bhagavan Sri Ram treated him as a friend and with respect.

Hiranyakeshi Dharmasutra

Hiranyakeshi Dharmasutra belongs to the Taittiriya Shaka of Krishna Yajurveda. It is part of Hiranyakeshi Kalpa. It is a textbook on rules of conduct and religious and civil law. The text is credited to Satyasadha Hiranyakeshi and is believed to have been composed during 2nd century AD.
It forms the 26th and 27th prasnas of Hiranyakeshi Kalpa. It is also not an independent work as many of the rules found in the book is found in other Dharmasutra texts.

What makes Hiranyakeshi Dharmasutra an important work in later Vedic literature is that it may be taken as the oldest proof for checking the authenticity of the text of Apastamba. Srauta Sutra or Apastamba belongs to the Taittiriya Shaka of Krishna Yajurveda.
The text is concerned with the rules, duties and responsibilities about the conduct of the people as the members of a family, society or a kingdom. It also deals with marriage, sacraments, brahmacharin, etc.

Teachings from Sukraniti

Those rulers who do not follow niti or morals are unfortunate and go to hell, either through misery or through cupidity.

Association with the Guru is for the acquisition of Shastras and the Shastras are calculated to increase knowledge.

To maintain a healthy and prosperous life wealth is necessary. So long as there is wealth, one is respected by all. However, the man without wealth, though well qualified, is deserted even by his wife and children.

The best profession is agriculture.
The collector of taxes is to be like a gardener who collects flowers and fruits after having duly nourished the trees with care.

Kanika in Mahabharata

Kanika was a cunning minister of Dhritarashtra, the blind king in the Mahabharata. He was learned, shrewd, cunning and crafty. He earned the name ‘Kanika Kuta Niti’ because of his political philosophy.

As per the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata, when war with the Pandavas was in the offing and various ideas were being aired, King Dhritarashtra took the advice of Kanika. He advocated the annihilation of the Pandavas.

Here are some of the political philosophies of Kanika.

Threaten the timid. Bow before the strong, Bribe the greedy. Kill the enemy even if he were your son, friend, brother, father or preceptor. This is the royal path to success.

Never disregard an enemy even if he be weak. Note that even a spark of fire will burn down a forest with external help like the wind.

Carry the enemy on your shoulder when times are adverse. Once times become favorable, break him, even as a mud pot on a stone slab.
Political assertions of Kanika can be found in Adi Parva chapter 139 of the Mahabhara…

Sankashti Chaturti June 2017 date and time – Ganesh Sankatahara Chaturthi Monthly Fasting in June 2017

Sankashti Chaturti, or Sankatahara Chaturti, is a highly auspicious day dedicated to Lord Ganesha in a Hindu month. The date of Sankashti Chaturthi Vrata is Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Chandrodaya or moonrise is at 10:11 PM. As the chaturthi falls on Tuesday, it is known as Angarak Sankashti and is considered highly auspicious.

Sankashta Chaturthi falls during the waning phase of the moon – fourth day after the full moon (Poornima). The day is known as Sankatahara Chaturthi in South India. Fasting and visiting Ganesha temples is performed by Ganesha devotees on the day.

Fasting on Sankashti Chaturthi begins at sunrise and ends after evening puja or after sighting of the moon. Lord Ganesha Temples conduct special pujas on the day.

The significance of Sankashti Chaturthi Vrata was explained by Lord Krishna to Yudhishtira, the eldest of the Pandavas. It is also found in the Narasimha Purana and Bhavishaya Purana.

Observing Ganesh Sankashti Chaturthi is said to bring material progress, happi…

Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebid

Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid in Karnataka extols the superiority of Hindu architecture. This 12th century temple is one of the most ornate temples built by Hoysala. The shrine is known for its minute details. Literally several thousands of sculptures adorn this wonderful temple.


Hoysaleswara Temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva.
The temple is divkuta, having two sanctum sanctorums, two sukanasis and two navarangas. It appears like two temples were built symmetrically side by side and was connected by a small corridor.

The temple is in the form of a star and stands on a platform. The shrine is built of soapstone.

The southern shrine has a linga named Vishnuvardhana and the northern side has a linga named Shantaleshwara.

In front of the navarangas are two nandimandapas and in the far east is a shrine for Surya.

The horizontal friezes of the shrine has sculptors illustrating episodes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavad Purana.

Above the friezes are thousands of sc…

Story of Mandhata – Omkareshwar Island near Indore in Madhya Pradesh

Mandhata – Omkareshwar Island is a holy spot on the banks of Narmada River, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh. A popular legend has it that when King Mandhata ruled the region, the island shone brightly.

 A puzzled sage Narada asked Shiva why the island appeared bright.

Shiva replied that the Mandhata – Omkareshwar Island would change forms in four yugas or ages. It would appear as a giant sparkling gem in the Satya Yuga, a mountain of gold during Treta Yuga, copper during Dwapara Yuga and rock during the present Kali Yuga.

The island comprises of two lofty hills and the hills are divided by a valley in such a way that, when viewed from above, it appears to form Om.
The famous Omkareshwar temple, one of the 12 jyotirlinga temples, is located on the island. The entire island has numerous temples and is a sacred spot.

Kalamukha – One of the Schools of Shaivism in South India

Kalamukha was an important Shaiva sect from the 10th to the 13th century in the present day Karnataka in India. As per some scholars, the Kalamukha school of Shaivism was an extreme sect who indulged in practices like eating food in a skull and besmearing the body with ashes.

The followers of the sect was known as Mahavratin – men with great vows. They marked their foreheads with black streaks.

Kalamukha had its stronghold in parts of present day Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and to some extent in Tamil Nadu.
It is widely believed that the Kalamukhas were replaced by the Virashaivas during the end of the 13th century.

Take blame and burn away negative karma – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

When someone blames you, what do you usually do? You blame them back or you set up some resistance in yourself.

How do you feel when someone blames you? Hurt, unhappy, sad, heavy? This is all because you are resisting. What you resist, persists. You get hurt because you resist the blame.

Know that when someone blames you, they take away some negative karma from you. If you understand this, you will only feel happy about it.
If you resist when someone blames you, you are not allowing them to take away the negative karma. Even if you don’t reach outwardly, you may still be resisting inside. Actually it is fine to resist outside, but inside don’t resist. You will feel immediately lighter. You can feel happy: Oh, good, somebody is blaming me and taking some of my negative karma.
 – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Different Names of Narmada River

Narmada River is known by several different names in Hindu Puranas. Here are some o the different names of Narmada River with its meaning.

Narmada is known as surasa as her waters (rasa) destroy sin and pollution. She is known as Kripa as she bestows favors to the world. She is known as Mahati and Reva due to her swift flow. Narmada is known as Karabha because she radiates happiness. She is known as Vipapa – one without sin.
Vishalya as she is healer of wounds.

Kigga Temple Timings – Opening and Closing Pooja Time – Darshan at Sringeri Kigga Temple

Kigga Temple, located near Sringeri in Karnataka, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva and Sage Rishyashringa is worshipped in the combined form here and the shrine is also known as Rishyashringeshwara Swamy Temple. Kigga Temple Timings are given below. Please note that the darshan timing will be extended during festivals and important rituals. The opening and closing time will be curtailed when there is grahan or eclipse.

Kigga Temple Morning Timings

5:30 AM to 8:30 AM 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM Evening Timings 4:30 PM to 8:15 PM
The shrine is open for 24 hours on Shivratri and on Rathotsava festival day.

Tarkulha Devi Mandir in Gorakhpur – Uttar Pradesh

Tarkulha Devi gets the name from the tad, or palm trees, found in the region. Tarkulha Devi Mandir is a very popular Shakti Temple in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. Legend has it that the murti worshipped in the temple belonged to Shaheed Bhandu Singh, who was hanged for participating in the revolt of 1857 against the British rule in India.

The shrine of Goddess Tarkulha Devi is east facing. There is a pindi form and murti form of Tarkulha Devi in the sanctum sanctorum.

The marble murti form of Goddess is 4 feet in height. She is covered with chunari and flowers. Only the face of Mother is visible. She wears a crown.

Bells of different size can be found in front of the temple.

Goat sacrifices are still made in the shrine.
The most important festival in the shrine is the Chaitra Navratri, thousands of people visit the temple to participate in the month long mela.

The world would be a much poorer thing if one creed absorbed the rest – Dr S Radhakrishnan

We cannot have religious unity and peace so long as we assert that we are in possession of the light and all others are groping in the darkness.
When two or three different systems claim that they contain the revelation of the very core and center of truth and the acceptance of it is the exclusive pathway to heaven, conflicts are inevitable. In such conflicts, one religion will not allow others to steal a march over it, and no one can gain ascendancy until the world is reduced to dust and ashes.
The Hindu solution to the problem is to seek the unity of religion not in a creed but in a common quest.
The world would be a much poorer thing if one creed absorbed the rest. God wills a rich harmony and not a colorless uniformity.
Source - The Hindu View of Life

Lumpeshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Lumpeshwar Form of Shiva – 41st Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Lumpeshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. It is believed that worshipping Lumpeshwar form of Shiva will help in washing away sins of committed in seven births.

The temple dedicated to Lumpeshwar Mahadev is located near Khedapati Hanuman Temple at Bhairavgarh in Ujjain.

This form of Shiva is associated with giving relief to king Lumpadeep.

Lumpeshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 41st temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here.

Story of Lumpeshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain

There lived a king named Lumpadeep. Once he happened to hear about a saint who possessed a divine cow. The king wanted to own the cow. He reached the ashram of the saint along with his army and demanded the divine cow. The saint was not ready to part with his cow. In anger, the king destroyed the ashram and killed the saint.

A few hours later, the son of the saint returned and could n…

Jagannatha Dasa Bhagabata – Oriya Version of Srimad Bhagavad Puran

Jagannatha Dasa Bhagabata is a classic text in Oriya which contains ethical principles, philosophical ideas and spiritual values. This Oriya version of Srimad Bhagavad Puran was completed during the 16th century AD and is credited to Jagannatha Dasa.

The original version contains eleven volumes or Skandas. There is a 12th and 13th chapter which many believe was composed by some other poet.

From the arrangement of the theme in Jagannatha Dasa Bhagabata, the eleventh volume appears to be the last because it describes the departure of Bhagavan Sri Krishna from earth.
Jagannatha Dasa Bhagabata contains 329 chapters. The author has deviated from the original text in several ways.

Kigga Temple Address – Contact Address of Kigga Rishyashringeshwara Swamy Temple near Sringeri in Karnataka

Kigga Temple, located near Sringeri in Karnataka, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva and Sage Rishyashringa is worshipped in the combined form here and the shrine is also known as Rishyashringeshwara Swamy Temple. The detail contact address with phone number is given below.

Kigga Temple Address

Executive Officer,
Shri Rishya Shringeshwara Swamy Temple,
Kigga Post,
Sringeri Taluk,
Chikkamagalur District,
Pin code - 577 139
Telephone: 08265-258722

Email: kiggatemple[at]gmail[dot]com

Purnima June 2017 Date and Time – Full Moon Day in June Month in 2017

Purnima, or Poornima, is the full moon day in a traditional Hindu calendar. In 2017, the date of Purnima in June month is June 9. The time is from 4:16 PM on June 8 to 6:39 PM on June 9. The Purnima in June 2017 is the Jyeshta Purnima in most regions. Vat Savitri Purnima Vrat (June 8) is observed on the day in western parts of India. Purnima Vrat is marked on June 8.

Sant Kabir Jayanti is observed on the day. The day is also observed as Snana Purnima at the Jagannath Temple in Puri and in other places in Orissa.
Some Hindu communities observe fast on Purnima day. Special pujas and rituals are performed in many temples.

Snana Purnima or Snan Yatra is held on the day at the Puri Jagannath Temple.

The day is also the last day in the Jyeshta month in the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.

Make decisions based on the complete picture

If we cannot tolerate pains and disappointments then we can never fulfill our dreams.

It takes lot of time and dedication to build trust but it can be destroyed quickly.

Make decisions based on the complete picture.

There is no special ideal and good time; every time is good to begin something good.

We often fail to appreciate many things that make our life happy.

Face your fears with confidence. There is no point in suffering. Face it and get over it.

www.hindu-blog.com Abhilash

Annamacharya Jayanti 2019 date – Annamayya Jayanthi

Annamacharya Jayanti is the birth anniversary celebrations of Saint-Poet Annamayya, who composed more than 32,000 devotional songs extolling the glory of Lord Venkateswara, the lord of Seven Hills in Tirumala Tirupati. Annamacharya Jayanti 2019 date is May 18 as per Tirupati Balaji Calendar. This is the 610th birth anniversary celebrations of Annamaiah.
Sri Annamacharya was a saint composer in the fifteenth century and he hailed from the Tallapaka village in Cuddapah District, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is one of the earliest popular composers in Telugu.

Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya began to sing lullaby during Ekanta seva in Tirumala Temple. It has become a custom and his descendants are singing lullaby even today.
Annamaiah who has been popularly known as  “Pada Kavitha Pitamaha” and “Sankirtanacharya”, was a staunch devotee of Vishnu never missed any opportunity to praise his glory.
His Jayanti is annually observed on Vaishakh Purnima Tithi.

You may also like to read A Prayer dedicated …

Garuda Stambha and Garuda Dhvaja

Garuda Stambha is a stone pillar topped by a stone image of Garuda, the half man – half eagle Vahana or vehicle of Lord Vishnu. The same pillar is called a Garuda Dhvaja when it is an imperial sign.


One of the earliest Garuda Stambha and Dhavaja belongs to the 2nd century BC and is found at Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. Heliodorus of Taxila, who was sent by Indo-Greek ruler Antialkidas to the court of King Bhagabhadra, erected it in honor of Bhagavan Srihari Vishnu.

Free standing pillars with garuda figure is an essential feature of temples dedicated to Vishnu or his avatars in India and Nepal.
A Garuda Stambha in a Vishnu temple is of same importance as Nandi in a Shiva Temple.

Agastyamuni Mandir in Uttarakhand – Agastya Muni Temple

Agastyamuni Mandir is located around 25 km from Guptkashi and around 7 km from Tilwara in Uttarakhand. The shrine is dedicated to Sage Agastya. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has a murti of Agastya Muni, Shringi Rishi and Hanuman.

The temple complex also has murtis of Sri Krishna and Vishnu. The mandap area of the temple has a Shivling with Lord Vishnu and Ganesha standing in front of the pillars.

The outside wall of the main temple has sculptures of Bhima and Hanuman.

The guardian deity of the shrine is Chetrapal Bhairav.

There is also a havan kund in the temple which is opened only once in twelve years.

The main temple structure is simple with its chhatra mounted with wooden cupola. A brass kalash is atop the shikar.

The important festival observed here are Panchami and Chath. Important rituals include Ratri Puja and Char Prahar Puja.

A shobha yatra, which passes through 217 villages, is held in Baishakh month.
The main offering in the shrine are sesame oil, first crops of th…

Pradosh Vrat June 2017 date – Monthly Shiva Pradosha Fasting in June 2017

Pradosh Vrat, also known as Pradosha, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Pradosh day falls on the 13th day of a lunar fortnight. Shiva devotees observe fast from sunrise to the end of Pradosha period. The puja and rituals are performed during the twilight period. June 2017 Pradosh dates are June 6 (Tuesday) and June 21 (Wednesday).

June 6 Pradosh Vrat is known as Bhauma Pradosh as it is a Tuesday.


Pradosh as the name indicates is a period just before sunset and after sunset. The Pradosha period is between 1.5 hours before sunset and 1 hour after sunset.

It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are in a pleasant mood during this period and they fulfill the wishes of the devotees.

You may also like to read How to observe Pradosh Vrat?

Ramana Maharishi on Supreme Devotion

The end and aim of the path of devotion consists in the devotee leading a life of absolute purity in thought, word and deed. He considers himself merely a servant of the Lord and ever acts with that faith and devotion that he has no desire to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Such a devotee finally comes to realize, not as a matter of intellectual ratiocination, but by direct and indubitable experience and by submergence in the Divine, the truth, namely that all his acts are really the acts of the Supreme Ordainer. He does not feel as having an individual will of his own or any initiative in the acts he does or even an independent being separate from that of the Lord.
He is entirely free from the sense of “I” and “mine,” no matter what his body may appear to do or what he may appear to possess. He thus shines in the resplendent glory of the selfless Existence. This indeed, is what is called Parabhakti, or Supreme Devotion.

Ramana Maharishi

Related
Be as you are – Ramana Maharishi

Arumugan – Why Muruga is known as Arumuga?

Arumugan is one among the numerous names of Muruga. He is known as Arumuga, or the one with six faces, because when Goddess Parvati joined him he had six faces and twelve hands.


Lord Muruga, also known as Skanda, Subrahamaniya and Kartik, was born as six different babies to Lord Shiva after he awoke from the deep meditation after Goddess Sati’s death. Six Krittika stars looked after the six babies.
When Goddess Parvati found the six babies, she hugged them, and they became one. He then came to be known as Arumugan.

Significance of the six faces One face removes ignorance and spiritual darkness engulfing the world. One face showers boons on devotees who follow dharma. One face watches the pujas and offerings and blesses those devotees offering it with a pure mind. One face helps those in search of self realization and investigating the truth of Pranavam or Om. One face destroys the enemies and those how practice adharma. One face looks lovingly at his consorts.

Abar Mata Mela

Abar Mata Mela is observed in Vaishakh month. It is the annual fair and festival at the Abar Mata Temple in Madhya Pradesh.  Abar Mata Mela 2019 date is May 18. Abar Mata is a powerful grama devata. She is worshipped for attaining wealth and peace.

The festival and fair attracts hundreds of devotees to the mandir.

Processions, pujas, rituals, fireworks etc are part of the festivities.

For the annual festival, the shrine is decorated with lamps, lights, flowers, leaves and sugarcane for the occasion.
Abar Mata Mela is annually observed on Vaishakh Purnima tithi or the full moon day in Vaishakh month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Madhya Pradesh.

Ashta Siddhi – Eight Yogic Powers as per Hinduism

Ashta Siddhi is the eight Siddhis or yogic powers as per Hinduism. They are: Anima – becoming very minute like an atom.Laghima – becoming very light in weight like cottonMahima – becoming large in size like a mountain or an ocean.Prapti – touching faraway object with one’s hand.Prakamya – the power to behave according to one’s desire.Vasihstva – controlling all beings and things in the world.Ishitva – Controlling births and deaths of beings and things.Vasishta – the power of making all beings and things behave according to one’s will. These siddhis are mentioned in Vyasa Bhashya on Yogasutra of Patanjali (III:45). To attain them one has to bring the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) under control through intense practice.

Related
Laghima Siddhi

Who is the author of Venkateswara Suprabhatam?

The Venkateswara Suprabhatam, or Venkatesa Suprabhatam, was composed by Prativadi Bhayankara Annan, a disciple of Sri Manavala Mamuni. Suprabhatam is the first and foremost ritual performed in the morning at TirumalaTirupatiBalajiTemple. And the hymns written by Prativadi Bhayankara Annan are sung by priests at this time.

The Head of the Idol worshipped at Kedarnath Temple Found in Nepal – 4000-year-old Mahabharata mystery solved?

KedarnathTemple located in the Himalayas in UttarakhandState of India is one of the most popular temples associated with Hindu religion. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of a Bull but without the head. Bhim Shankarling Shivacharya, the 54-year-old head of Kedarpeeth, in Uttarakhand indicates that the idol (murti) worshipped at Jangam math in Bhaktapur in Nepal is the missing Head of the idol worshipped in Kedarnath.

English Translation of Bhaja Govindam by Adi Shankara

Composed by Adi Shankaracharya, Bhaja Govindam, or Bhajagovindam, is a popular devotional song in Hinduism. The 31 stanza composition in Sanskrit is not just a devotional song. Each word in Bhaja Govindam is pregnant with meaning and the composition is a sort of short synopsis of the teachings of Santana Dharma.
This English translation of Bhaja Govindam was found in a magazine published in Autumn 2003 by the Sivananda Ashram. The magazine also contained an article on the song by Dr M.N. Nandakumara. Sadly, I was not able to locate the name of the translator.
Adi Shankaracharya’s Bhaja Govindam
1 Seek Govinda, Seek Govinda,
Seek Govinda, O Fool!
When the appointed times comes (death),
grammar rules surely will not save you.

Tamisram Hell in Hinduism

Details regarding Hell in Hinduism are found in the Puranas especially the Garuda Purana. Tamisram Hell is mainly used to punish those people who rob others of their wealth, wives and children. In the Tamisram Hell, people are bound with ropes by attendants of Yama and beaten till they faint. After they recover their senses, the beating is repeated.

Those who try to escape are bound and pushed again into the hell.

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.

Vindhyavasini Durga – Goddess Vindhya Vasini

Vindyavasini Durga is one of the most popular forms of Durga in North India and this form of Goddess Shakti is associated with the VindhyaMountains. Vindya Vasini Durga is widely believed to be residing in the tough mountains of Vindhyas and it is her favorite abode. The word Durga also means ‘not easily accessible’ due to her residing in the Vindhyachal. Stories of Vindhyavasini Durga are found in the Vamana Purana.
Vindhayavasisni Durga is referred as Sashi Mukhi – the moon-faced. She has the glow of the lightning. On her tapering crown, there is a crescent. She is depicted sometimes as three-eyed.
In some icons and images she is depicted as having four arms but in some she has eight arms. When she has four arms; they carry conch, discus, and two hands in the posture of blessing and protection. When she is eight-armed she carries discus, conch, sword, mace, arrow, bow, trident and noose.
She is mostly accompanied by a lion, which stands by her side and it is her Vahana. Sometimes…

Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Sholingur in Vellore District of Tamil Nadu

Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Sholingur is dedicated to Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu. Legend has it that Narasimha Swamy gave darshan to Saptarishis here for a split of second and they attained moksha. It is also believed that Prahlada had darshan of Yoga Narasimha Murti here.

There is also a shrine dedicated to Hanuman here. Anjaneya helped a king and saved his kingdom by annihilating a demon on a Sunday. Sunday is therefore great importance at the shrine of Hanuman here.



The water in Chakra Teertham here contains medicinal properties.

The temple is divided into three separate shrines:

Big Hill Temple – shrines of Yoga Narasimha Swamy Shrine and Amirthavalli is located here. Small Hill temple – Murti of Hanuman is located here. Town Shrine – Shrines of Adi Keshava, Bakhtositha Swamy, Alwars and Andal are located here.

Ekadashi June 2017 date - Monthly Fasting for Vishnu in June 2017

Ekadashi in June month based on Hindu calendar and Panchang. It is the eleventh day in a Hindu calendar and is dedicated to Hindu God Vishnu. Ekadashi Fasting in June 2017 are on June 5 and June 20. Fasting on Ekadasi is considered highly meritorious and the popular belief is that one attains moksha or liberation after performing Ekadasi.

Ekadasi on June 5 is known as Nirjala Ekadasi. The popular belief is that observing this one Ekadasi is equal to observing all the other Ekadasi in a year. This Ekadasi is also known as Bhim Ekadasi.

Ekadasi on June 20 is known as Yogini Ekadasi.

Related How to observe Nirjala Ekadasi fasting? What food can be eaten on Ekadasi fasting day? How to do Ekadashi Fasting?

Devipatinam – Navapashanam Where Rama Worshipped Navagrahas before going to Lanka

Devipattinam or Devipatinam is a coastal village near Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. It is believed that the Lord Ram prayed to Navagrahas at Devipattinam before embarking on his journey to Lanka. Lord Ram placed nine stones as symbols of the nine planets, Navagrahas, at Devipattanam and therefore the place is also known as Navapashanam or Navabashana. It is an important place visited by pilgrims on the way to Rameshwaram Dhaam.

The nine stones placed upright by Lord Ram can be still seen in the water close to the beach near a bathing ghat of the ThilakeshwarTemple, also known as NavagrahaTemple. The nine stones symbolize the nine planets or Navagrahas. Lord Ram performed the ritual so that the nine planets would shed their auspicious light on him in the battle with Ravana to rescue Sita.

The ThilakeshwarTemple is dedicated to Shiva and Parvathi (Durga). Shiva here is known as Thilakeswarar and the Goddess is known as Soundaryanayaki. The shrine has a beautiful image of an eight-armed…

Bada Mangal dedicated to Lord Hanuman in Lucknow

Bada Mangal, dedicated to Lord Hanuman, is observed on Tuesdays in the month of Jyeshta (May – June) as per the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India. Bada Mangal is mainly observed in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and nearby regions. The origin of the festival is traced to the Naya Hanuman Mandir at Aliganj in Lucknow.

Bada Mangal is the name for more specifically used to describe the first Tuesday in the month of Jayeshta or Jeth. A big fair is organized in the region during the period. The fair and the festival is believed to be more than 400 years old.

There are numerous theories regarding the origin of the Bada Mangal fair. One legend suggests that the child of the Nawab of the region fell ill and doctors were unable to cure the child. The wife of the Nawab took the child to different places in the hope of find a solution to the child’s illness. One day during her search she met the priest of the Naya Hanuman Mandir at Aliganj. The priest asked her to leave the child be…

Story Narasimha and Demon Ambarya

Story of Narasimha avatar of Vishnu and Demon Ambarya is mentioned in the Brahma Purana. This story happens after Narasimha vanquished Hiranyakashipu.
Legend has it that after killing Hiranyakashipu, Narasimha roamed around the world annihilating all that practiced Adharma. He killed scores of demons.
He then arrived on the banks of Godavari River near Dandakaranya forest.
Demon Ambarya ruled the region. Even Devas were unable to defeat him.
Demon Ambarya and his large army attacked Narasimha. In the terrible fight, the entire army was vanquished. The invincible demon was killed and the place was rid of his terror.
The place where the demon was vanquished came to be known as Narasimha tirtha

Story of Sage Kashyapa and Takshaka

Story of Sage Kashyapa and Takshaka is associated with the curse of King Parikshit. When King Parikshit was cursed that he would die by Takshaka's poison, Sage Kashyapa decided to rescue the king.

Sage Kashyapa started from his ashram and reached halfway. Takshaka met him on the way and bribed him. He sent the sage back laden with presents of gems, ornaments etc.

When people got the news about this, they derided Sage Kashyapa, who on account of covetousness, retreated from the duty of saving the King's life and non-cooperated with him in every way.

To escape from the sins, Kashyapa sought the help of Sage Sakalya, who advised the former to bathe in the sacred tirthas in the Godavari and Sarasvati rivers.

Sage Kashyapa did so and regained his old reputation.

Related Parikshit – Story of King Parikshit in the Mahabharata

Navadha Bhakti as Mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam

Navadha Bhakti is the nine forms of devotion explained by Prahlada in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Here are the nine ways:
Fellowship with SaintsFondness for the Lord’s Divine StoriesService of Guru’s Feet without ConceitSinging Lord’s Virtues InnocentlyMantra Japa with Unflinching FaithSense control and Attendant CharacteristicsExperiencing the World EquanimouslyContentment with Whatever One GetsGuilelessness, Uprightness and Straightforwardness

Infinite Is God and Infinite Are His Expressions

The great sages and seers have tried to express the truth of God in varied ways. Some say He is personal, others say He is impersonal. Some say He is with form, others say He is without form. Some say He is endowed with divine attributes, others say He is attributeless.

Sri Ramakrishna, in the light of his own mystic experiences, resolved, in his simple way, all such contradictions. ‘Infinite is God and infinite are His expressions. He who lives continuously in the consciousness of God, and in this alone, knows Him in His true being. He knows Him as impersonal no less than as personal.’

Brahman, Absolute Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss, may be compared to an ocean, without beginning or end. As through intense cold, some portions of the water of the ocean freeze into ice, and the formless water appears to have form, so through intense love of the devotee the formless, Infinite Existence manifests Himself before him as having form and personality. But forms and aspects disappear before…

Goddess Huligemma Devi

Huligemma Devi is an incarnation of Goddess Renuka Devi. It is believed that Mother Shakti appeared in the form of Goddess Huligemma before two of her ardent devotees named Nagajogi and Basavajogi at Huligi in Karnataka.

Goddess Huligemma Devi appeared in the form of Shaligrama and Sri Chakra in the village of Huligi.
Many communities believe that it is through her presence at the village that the region is able to overcome natural calamities.
The most important dates in a month associated with Goddess Huligemma Devi are Tuesdays, Fridays, Full moon day and No moon day (Amavasi).
Shibikotsava, Devi Bhagavata reading, Purana patana rituals are performed in the temple associated with Goddess Huligemma Devi. The most important temple is located at Huligi.

Symbolism in Peacock the Vehicle or Vahana of Hindu God Muruga

Peacock is the vehicle or Vahana of Hindu God Muruga, who is also known as Kartik, Subramanya, Skanda and Shanmukha. The blue color of peacock represents infinity. Peacock is noted for its excessive pride – this is a negative trait – but here it symbolically represents the pride that a seeker of Truth should have for Supreme Self. By being proud of Supreme Self, he/she shunts out all other diversions and constantly meditates on the Supreme Being.

In most images of Muruga, the peacock is shown clutching serpent with its claws. The serpent represents ego and fleeting pleasures. The peacock does not kill the serpent even though both are sworn enemies. The peacock keeps the serpent under control indicating the need to enjoy worldly pleasures through discrimination and by not overindulging in it.

You may also like to read The concept of Vahana or Vehicle of deity in Hinduism Makara or Crocodile in Hinduism Garuda as the vehicle of Vishnu Vrishaba the Vahana of Shiva Hamsa or Swam the Vahana…

Prahlada Natakam during Narasimha Jayanti Festival at Varadaraja Temple at Melattur

During the Narasimha Jayanti festival at Varadaraja Temple at Melattur near Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, the famous Prahlada Natakam is enacted which is based on the story of the Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu.
Prahlada Natakam was written by Venkatarama Shastriar during the 19th century.
The Varadaraja Temple at Melattur has a murti dedicated to Narasimha.


The temple also has an awe-inspiring mask of Narasimha, which the actor who plays the role of Narasimha incarnation wears every year.
It is believed that the actor enters into a kind of spiritual trance whiling enacting the drama.

Gangeshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Gangeshwar Form of Shiva – 42nd Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Gangeshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. It is believed that worshipping Gangeshwar form of Shiva is equal to visiting all the sacred teerths on earth.

The temple dedicated to Gangeshwar Mahadev is located at Khargata Sangam (Mangalnath ghat). This form of Shiva is associated with the descent of Ganga on Earth.

Gangeshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 42nd temple visited during the parikarama of Shiavalayas here.

Story of Gangeshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain Legend has it that once River Ganga was cursed by the sea god. River Ganga approached Brahma to find a solution to the curse.

Brahma asked Ganga to go to Mahakaal Vana (Ujjain) and do penance before a Shivling located on the banks of Shipra River.

Ganga reached Ujjain and did penance before the Shivling. She was relieved from the curse and got darshan of Shiva here.
As Ganga did penance here, the Shivling came …

Chitreshwar Shiv Mandir – Chitreshwar Shiva Temple in Jharkhand

Chitreshwar Shiv Mandir is an ancient temple dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. It is located in Chitreshwar Village, which is around 12 km from Baharagoda in Jharkhand. The site of the shrine is between Swarnrekha River and Rangro Canal and is famous for Gajan festival in which devotees walk over fire.

The temple is more than 3000 years old and is mentioned in the Utkala Khanda of Skanda Purana. The shrine has one of the largest natural Shivling. A unique offering here is the murti of Nandi. One can see hundreds of Nandi murti in the temple.



The temple complex houses a separate shrine dedicated to Goddess Durga. She sits atop a lion and the murti is made of Ashtadhatu.

Another shrine in the complex is that of Raghunathji.

There is also a beautiful life size murti of Garuda in the temple.

The most important festivals in the temple are Makar Sankranti, Chatira Sankranti, Shivratri, and Navratri – Durga Puja.

Chaau Nirtya is performed during Chaitra Navratri (March).
A huge fair is organize…

Taruna Ganapathi

Taruna Ganapathi is one among the 32 forms of Ganesha. Taruna Ganapati is depicted as having a compassionate face. It is believed that this form of Ganesh helps in curing health problems. The Taruna Ganapathi mantra is -

Pashankusha pupa kapitha 
jamboo swadanta shalikshuapi 
svahasthai dhattai sadaa yah 
tarunarunabh payathsa yushman 
taruno ganeshah.

In this form Ganesha has eight hands and holds noose, goad, berry, golden apple, paddy, broken tusk, modak and sugarcane. The body color of Taurana Ganapati is that of midday sun.

The popular belief is that worship of this form will help in getting good health.

A murti of this form is worshipped in the MahakaleshwarTemple in Ujjain.

Why Surya is also known as Martanda or Martandan?

One among the numerous names of Surya, the Sun God, in Hinduism is Martanda or Martandan. He got this name as he was born from a dead egg (Anda or Andam).


A pious couple once found a still egg – it had golden color. Not knowing what to do with the couple prayed to Brahma. Brhama asked them to place it at a sacred place known as Satisar and pray to Shiva for a solution to revive the still golden egg.
Shiva directed the couple to Vishnu, who broke the egg with his Sudarshana Chakra and from it Surya appeared in the form of Martanda – wearing yellow garments, with four arms bearing a lotus, a book, a rosary and a raised open palm.

Satisar is a holy place located in Jammu and Kashmir. There is a famous Martanda temple here.

Vishnu’s Symbol Shankh – Story of Origin of the Shankh

Shankh or Conch is an important symbol of Vishnu. After the great deluge, Bhagavan Srihari Vishnu was floating on the waters of deluge (Vatapatrashayi). Vishnu then created Brahma and asked him to begin the next cycle of creation.

Brahma who was given the freedom of creation soon became arrogant and forgot about his origin. His ego created numerous errors in creation.
To teach the arrogant Brahma a lesson, two demons named Lokan and Kantakan emerged out of the ears of Vishnu. They chased Brahma with an intention to kill him.
Brahma now realized his mistakes and took refuge at the feet of Vishnu. The ever-compassionate God forgave Brahma.
For their service, Vishnu offered Lokan and Kantakan boons. As boon, they asked Vishnu to fight them for a month and then kill them and give moksha.
Vishnu blessed the demons with the boon. He fought them for a month and then annihilated them. He then made the demons Nithyasuris – part of him. Thus Lokan was transformed into Shankha and Kantakan was t…

Provide Good Food to the Mind

Negative thoughts and feelings harm us more than the person or persons on whom it is directed.

The best way to keep negative thoughts and feelings is to engage in hobbies like gardening, reading, music, writing, dancing etc.

Key to a healthy mind is realizing that happiness does not reside outside.

Positive thoughts, acceptance and contentment are good food for the mind.
Observing the mind and getting mastery over it is the best method to have a healthy mind.

Abhilash
www.hindu-blog.com

Parijata Tree – The Story of How the tree of Heaven Reached Earth

As per Hindu Tradition, Parijata Tree appeared during the Samudra Manthan or Churning of Ocean. The tree was carried to heaven by Indra. It was Sri Krishna who brought the tree from heaven to earth.

There are a couple of popular legends associated with Parijata was brought to earth. The most famous and widely accepted story is that of Sri Krishna bringing it to earth.
After defeating Narakasura, Sri Krishna and his wife, Sathyabhama, went to heaven to return umbrella and earrings of Aditi, the mother of Indra. Narakasura had forcefully taken them away.
While returning, Sathyabhama asked Sri Krishna for a Parijata Tree to be planted in her garden. Sri Krishna immediately uprooted a Parijata Tree and carried it to Dwarka.
The act of uprooting the divine tree angered Indra. Blinded by anger and ego, Indra stopped Sri Krishna. A war ensued and the foolish Devas and their King Indra was easily overpowered by Sri Krishna.
When Parijata Tree was brought to Dwarka, Rukmini, another wife of S…

Bhimgoda, Haridwar – Holy Kund – Tank

Bhimgoda is a sacred tank at Haridwar. Thousands of devotees take a holy dip in this kund. Bhimgoda is named after Bhima, the second of the Pandava brothers. It is located around 300 m from Hari Ki Pauri. A temple located in front of Bhimgoda has murtis of 24 incarnations of Hindu God Vishnu. Origin of Bhimgoda Legend has it that Pandavas were on their way to Himalayas and when they reached the spot they felt thirsty. It is said that Bhima thrust his knee and a kund or pond was formed. Water from River Ganga flows into the tank.
Bhimgoda is located below a mountain and there a few murtis located here.
The spot is chiefly popular with devotees for taking holy dip.







Story of Mohini Avatar of Vishnu and Virochana

Virochana was the son of Prahalada, ardent devotee of Vishnu and Narasimha Avatar appeared to save him. The Story of Virochana teaches us how lust overpowers man and destroys him. Vishnu in Mohini Avatar teaches this important lesson. Legend has it that Virochana attained the title of Shriman and he became more powerful and illustrious than Indra, the king of Devas. He became Shriman as he was blessed by Surya, who gave him a crown on which Goddess Lakshmi resided.



Shriman is one with whom Goddess Lakshmi resides.
Virochana was an Asura (demon). With the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and with the help of the Sanjivani Vidya (that mantra which had the power to bring back the dead), Virochana overpowered Indra and other Devas.
Indra then sought the help of Vishnu.
Vishnu then took the form of Mohini, the enchantress. Virochana who came to know about the beauty of Mohini was desperate to see her.
Virochana was mesmerized by the beauty of Mohini. He lost all his control and was overpowere…

Tek Chand Maharaj Jayanti – Birth Anniversary of Tekchand ji Maharaj

Tek Chand Maharaj Jayanti is observed in Vaishakh month. It is the birth anniversary of Tekchandji Maharaj – the divine guru of Damodar Vanmshiya Kshatriya Gujrati Darji samaj. Tek Chand Maharaj Jayanti 2019 date is May 18.

His followers organize various spiritual programs and prayer meeting on the day. Thousands of devotees participate in the various program held across North India.
Tek Chand Maharaj Jayanti is annually observed on Vaishakh Purnima Tithi or the full moon day in Vaishakh month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Madhya Pradesh.

To achieve liberation or moksha we need to think

To achieve liberation, or moksha, we need to think and have independent viewpoints. If we blindly follow, we will never achieve our goal.

Thinking comes with responsibility because we have to make choices and take decisions.

Those who blindly follow never achieve liberation because they are being led and used by their leaders. Blind followers are after desire fulfillment. Desires are never fulfilled. Only true knowledge shuts the gates of desires.

To achieve liberation we need to ask questions. With each doubt cleared or question answered, we are removing the layers of ignorance that is covering the Truth.
Asking questions or having doubt is not blasphemy. It is an important element in faith. It helps us in understanding our faith better.
Abhilash
www.hindu-blog.com

Goddess Bhagnakhidra

Goddess Bhagnakhidra is a tantric deity who was worshipped during the medieval period. A manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti, She is the destroyer of diseases. Goddess Bhagnakhidra was propitiated for the welfare of children, elderly and to overcome contagious diseases.

A murti of Goddess Bhagnakhidra is worshipped a subsidiary deity in the famous Chausath Yogini Temple at Bhedaghat near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.

It is also not known whether she was part of the 64 Yoginis or 81 Yoginis.
She was essentially a tantric deity and was worshipped along with Shiva and Shakti.

Sita Lava Kusha Temple at Wayanad in Kerala

Sita Lava Kusha Temple is located at Pulpally in Wayanad District in Kerala. Sri Pazhassi Raja constructed the shrine in the 18th century. The murtis worshipped in the temple are that of Mata Sita, Lava and Kusha. The temple and its surrounding areas are believed to be places where Sita stayed after Sri Ram abandoned her in the Ramayana.


There are separate shrines of Mata Sita, Lava and Kusha here. Kava and Kusha is known as Murikkanmar. The subsidiary deities worshipped in the temple are Ayyappa, Ganapati, Subrahmanya and Vettakkorumakan (Shiva). Nagas are also worshipped in the shrine.
The main nivedyam for Sita Devi is sweet or payasam made out of white rice. Special offering to Lava and Kusha are sweet appam.
The main festival in the shrine is observed in Malayalam Dhanu month from 18th to 23rd.
Another festival is observed on the Revathi Nakshatram day in Makaram month.
Special pujas are observed during the Mandalam season (November middle to December end).
It is believed that …

Sashti Viratham June 2017 date – Muruga Sashti Fasting in June 2017

Sashti Viratham is a monthly Hindu fasting dedicated to Lord Muruga or Kartik or Shanmukha. Sashti Viratham June 2017 date is June 29. Sashti is the sixth day after Amavasi (no moon) and Poornima (full moon) in a traditional Hindu calendar. The Shashti after Amavasai is considered highly auspicious by Muruga devotees and a fast is observed on the day.

Sashti is the sixth day after Amavasi (no moon) and Poornima (full moon) in a traditional Hindu calendar. The Sashti after Amavasi is considered highly auspicious by Muruga devotees and fasting is performed on the day.

Fasting on Sashti is considered highly beneficial and some devotees observe a complete fast for 24 hours.

Many devotees make it a point to visit Muruga temple on Sashti day. Some people only eat the Prasadam given from the temple on the day.

You may also like to read How to observe Sashti Fasting

Teachings from Tirukkuruntandakam

Seated firmly without fatigue or fidgeting, bring your upper eyelids close to the lower. Subdue the five senses, fill your heart with love for the Lord alone. Let thought flow freely on that one alone. There in the effulgence emerging, you will see the Lord who is a body of light. Those who do so, do surely see the truth. (Tirukkuruntandakam, 18)
Tirukkuruntandakam is a poetic work of Alwars. The main theme of Tirukkuruntandakam is that the soul is wholly dependent on God who is the sole supporter and it can hope to escape the suffering by means of sincere prayers and worship to Him.

(Source page 31 of Philosophy and Theistic Mysticism of the Alvars by S. M. Srinivasa Chari)

Gandhari in Mahabharata - Story of Queen Gandhari

In the Mahabharata, Gandhari is the queen of Hastinapura, wife of Dhritarashtra and the mother of the Kauravas. According to Adi Parva chapter 110 of the Mahabharata, when she heard that her husband was blind from birth, she wrapped a thick band of cloth over her eyes so she could not see. The name Gandhari because she was the princess of Gandhara.
Sage Vyasa blessed Gandhari that she would have one hundred sons. Although she got pregnant, she did not deliver for two years. When she heard the news that Kunti, wife of Pandu, had given birth to a son, in sheer despair and jealousy she hit her womb so hard that a big mass of flesh came out.
On advice of Sage Vyasa, the mass of flesh was cut into 100 pieces and deposited in jars of ghee. The remaining pieces were put in an additional jar. In due course, 100 sons, and a daughter Dushala came out of the jars.
When her sons grew up, she noticed their wrong doings and their animosity for Pandavas. However, she remained silent. She did try t…

Shani Story – The Birth of Shani Dev

Shani, or Saturn, is one among the Navgrahas or the nine planets associated with Hindu Religion and astrology. Shani Dev is born of Surya (Sun God) and Chhaya. The story in Hindu Scriptures regarding the birth of Shani Dev is very interesting. Lord Vishvakarma, the architect of the universe, married off her daughter Sangya to Surya.
Surya was considered deserving in all aspect to marry Sangya. The couple had three children named Manu, Yama and Yamuna. Now Sangya was very delicate so she could not endure the splendor and heat of the sun for long period.
To find a solution to this she created a replica of herself from her shadow (Chhaya) and asked to take her place as the wife of Surya. Sangya then went to UttarakushaMountain and started doing penance. The replica Sangya possessed all the qualities of the original one and therefore Surya failed to notice the change. Soon Chhaya gave birth to a child who was of black in complexion - Saturn.
Surya could not believe that it was his son …