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Showing posts from August 4, 2016

Story of Indra and Sage Gautama Competing To Marry Ahalya

Ahalya was created by Lord Brahma. She was extremely beautiful and without any blemish. Brahma wondered to whom Ahalya should be given away as a bride. The story of Sage Gautama and Indra competing to marry Ahalya begins at this juncture.

Both Indra and Sage Gautama wanted to marry the heavenly beauty. Both were not ready to sacrifice. Brahma then declared that he who went around the earth first would be the winner.

Indra started on his Airavata (white elephant). But the wise and intelligent Gautama circumambulated a cow that was giving birth to a calf.

According to scriptures, he had accomplished the task of going around the world in less than minute. Indra soon completed the task but realized that Sage Gautama had won the hand of Ahalya in marriage by beating him in the race.

Indra kept the grouse and later he cheated the sage later and made love to Ahalya.

Related Story of Ahalya in the Ramayana

Shimga Festival – Holi of Mangela Kolis in Mumbai

Mangela Kolis are a fishing community residing in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The annual Holi festival of the community is known as Shimga and is celebrated in a unique way.

Suhasinis (married women) perform puja in front of a selected betel nut tree trunk (arecanut tree). It is then ceremoniously brought to the village.

The Kolis look upon the tree-trunk as a goddess and venerate it. It is treated like a bride.

Women anoint it with turmeric paste and bath it by pouring water over it. It is the dressed with flowers.

This is followed by the ceremony of ‘Oti Bharan’ – lap filling. This is similar to the ritual dedicated to a bride. Betel nuts, paan, coconuts, veni comb and mirror, rice and dry fruits are placed in a yellow cloth and the bundle is tied to the tree trunk.

The arecanut tree is then taken out in a procession around the wadi or village. It is then erected in a pit at a chosen spot.

A puja is the performed and various offerings including sweets are placed in front of the tree.

Spiritual paths and practices have to be renewed according to the times – Mata Amritanandamayi

Sanatana Dharma does not insist that God should be called only by a particular name or that God can be attained only through one prescribed path. Sanatana Dharma is like a vast supermarket where everything is available. It gives us the freedom to follow anyone of the paths indicated by the great self-realized souls, and even to open up a new path to the goal. There is even the freedom to believe or not to believe in God.

All doors cannot be opened with the same key. In a similar way, to open our minds we need different keys to fit our different samskaras and levels of understanding.

In Sanatana Dharma, the garment that is made is not cut to the same measure for everyone. Furthermore, for each individual, the garment may have to be remodeled at times, to fit the person’s stage of development.

Spiritual paths and practices have to be renewed according to the times. This the contribution the great souls have made to Sanatana Dharma. This dynamism and expansiveness are the hallmarks of H…