Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2016

Bhai Phota 2018 – Importance and Reason of Bhai Phonta Festival

Bhai Phonta is a festival dedicated to the brother-sister relationship and is similar to the Bhai Dooj festival observed in North India. Bhai Phota 2018 date is November 9. Fota, or Phonta, refers to the sandalwood paste that is applied on the forehead of brothers by sisters on the day. Sisters pray for the wellbeing and safety of brothers and this is the main reason. It is an important festival in many regions in eastern parts of India.
Where and When Bhai Phota is observed in the Kartik month in Bengali calendar and the day coincides with the Bhai Dooj festival in other parts of the country.
How is it Observed? The sisters fast from the morning of Bhai Phonta and the fasting ends when she applies the sandalwood paste tika on the forehead of brothers. She also ties a holy thread on the wrist of the brothers. Brothers in return promise to protect her and present her with gifts.
Favorite dishes of brothers are prepared on the day by sisters. A small puja and ritual is performed while…

Pratihareshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Pratihareshwar Form of Shiva – 20th Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Pratihareshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. Those offering prayers to Pratihareshwar Mahadev will become wealthy.

The temple dedicated to Pratihareshwar Mahadev is located near the eastern door of Nagachandreshwar at Patni Bazar in Ujjain.

This form of Shiva is associated with Nandi.

Pratihareshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 20th temple visited during the parikarama of Shivalayas here.

Story of Pratihareshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain
After their marriage, Shiva and Goddess Parvati resided at the Mandiranchal Mountain. Nandi was asked to guard the entrance and not to let anyone inside.

The lovemaking of the divine couple continued for years. Devas were worried that the child that will result from the copulation will destroy the world.

So they decided to approach Shiva and find a solution.

When the Devas reached the Mandiranchal Mountain, Nandi did not let the…

Bali Padyami 2018 date - Dedicated to King Bali During Diwali in Karnataka - Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in 2018

Bali Padyami is the day when King Bali rules the world with blessings of Lord Vishnu. Bali Padyami 2018 date is November 8. It is observed on the first day of the Kartik Masa in the traditional calendar followed in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. On the day people remember King Bali and pray for the return of prosperity that existed during his rule. Exchanging gifts on this day is a major highlight.
Rare Muhurta Bali Padyami is the half muhurta among the three and a half auspicious muhurtas in a year. One need not look for auspicious time on the day.
Auspicious Day to Give Gifts There is a popular belief that whatever is gifted on the day will be returned manifold with the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Story Legend has it that King Bali attained immense popularity due to his good governance. He attained near invincibility with the help of his Guru Shukracharya. As a result, Indra soon lost heaven to Bali. And Balindra got the coveted title of Chakravarthi – emperor. …

Nutan Varsh 2018 – Hindu New Year's Day in Gujarat in 2018

Nutan Varsh 2018 is the first day of Hindu Vikram Year 2075 and is the New Year day in Gujarat. Nutan Varsh 2018 date is November 8. It is also the first day of the financial New Year in North India. It is observed on the Kartik Sud 1 or first day of Kartik Month as per traditional Gujarati calendar.

Nutan Varsh 2018 which commences on November 8 is also referred as Vikram Samvatsar and Hindu New Year.

Hindu Vikram Calendar was started in 57 BC by Emperor Vikramaditya as a commemoration of his victory upon the Shaks. This victory took place at Ujjain, one among the four places associated with Kumbh Mela. This Hindu calendar is also known as Vikram Samvant and begins with the Month Kartik.

Nutan Varsh is also popularly known as Bestu Varsh.

It must be noted that Annakut and Govardhan Puja are also observed on the day.

Another important ritual observed on the day is Bali Padyami in south and western parts of India.

Annakut 2018 date - Importance and Reason For Observing Annakut Utsav in Gujarat

Annakut is observed mainly in Gujarat and Rajasthan after Diwali and on this day huge food offerings are made to Sri Krishna. Annakut is also observed as the New Year’s Day in Gujarat and is of great importance to many Hindu communities. Annakut 2018 date is on November 8. The reason for observing the ritual is associated with Sri Krishna.
How is it Observed The name Annakut is derived from the huge amount of food offerings on the day made to Sri Krishna. It used to take the form of a mountain. Thus the day also got the name – Annakut – 'Anna' meaning food and 'kut', mountain.
Offering sumptuous food to the favorite deity is the most important ritual on the day. People also wish each other for a peaceful and happy year. Gujarati Vikram New Year is also observed on the day.
It is said that Veda Vyas once revealed to Yudhishtira that one who remains peaceful and happy on Kartik Shud 1 (first day of Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon) will experience the same througho…

Diwali Padwa 2018 - Spiritual Significance of Diwali Padwa in Maharashtra

Diwali Padwa is the fourth day of Diwali observed in Maharashtra and western parts of India. Diwali Padwa 2018 date is November 8. It is observed on Kartik Shukla Paksha Pratipada or the first day during the waxing phase of moon in Kartik month as per traditional Marathi lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra and is of great spiritual significance. The day is considered highly auspicious. Vikram Samvat New Year begins on the day. Special pujas are offered to Ganesha on the day.Balipratipada is observed in western parts of India. King Bali began to rule Bhukok on this day. The day is usually spared for visiting relatives and friends. Many shops and business establishments remain closed on the day.
Other rituals that are observed on Deepavali Padwa include Abhayanga Snan, Govardhan puja and Annakut.

Thoughts on Samam - Jagadguru Sri Maha Periyava – Kanchi Paramacharya

The mind always remains agitated by constantly thinking of those, which it thinks give pleasure. That is why we do not know the joy of peace. If we realize the blemish in the objects of enjoyment and discard them with disgust, we can make the mind remain steady in the athma, which is of the form of peace.

Constantly think of the blemish caused by ‘vishya vratham’ (the objects of the enjoyment of the five senses – sound, touch, form, taste, smell) and discarding them and controlling the mind is called ‘samam’ – samauchyathe.

Putting it briefly, ‘samam’ means controlling the mind.
The reason why the mind goes after objects of enjoyment is the impression of previous expressions carried over through several births. Even after the death of the physical body, that impression enters into the subtle body and when life takes another birth and enters a new body, it becomes active again. Therefore, if those impressions are completely given up, the mind will of its own calm down.
 - Jagadguru Sri…

Make the right choice without fear and sentiments

Make the right choice without fear and sentiments. Our choices decide the course of our life. Bad choices make life a bumpy ride.

If our happiness is dependent on another human being then we end up with unhappiness, sadness, frustration, depression, hopelessness, anger, etc.

It is good to help others but it is foolishness to expect others to return the favor.

Our success depends largely on our conviction.

We worry about future. Why do we believe that only bad things will happen in future? Good things too will happen in future. Good or bad when it comes we will face it. Why waste our present for future.

Roop Chaturdashi 2018 date - Importance of Roop Chaudash

Roop Chaturdashi, also known as Rup Chaudash, is observed a day before Diwali in North India. The day is also observed as Narak Chaurdasi and Kali Chaudash. Roop Chaturdashi 2018 date is November 6. The day is observed differently in different regions.
How to observe Roop Chaturdashi? - What is done on Roop Chaudash?For some communities, it is the day for the traditional oil bath and importance is given to the maintenance of the body and therefore the day is also known as Soundarya Siddhi Divas. Yamraj, the god of death, and Chitragupt is also worshipped on Roop Chaturdashi day.After the sighting the moon on Roop Chaturdashi day, people take bath after applying oil and other traditional health products. Special powder of gram flour (Uptan) and other herbs are applied on the body.Clean dress is worn after the Roop Chaturdashi day bath and special prayers and pujas dedicated to Lord Yama is performed. People pray for the removal of the fear of narak (hell). It is believed that prayers …

Tough Time Will Pass

Rough weather does not last for a long period. Similarly, tough time in life will pass soon.

True friendship and relation is in being with people in their ups and downs.

Develop the art of listening because everyone wants to share their feelings and emotions.

When we are overpowered by guilt, we lose our confidence and find fault without ourselves. The only solution here is stop repeating the mistake and if possible try to rectify it.
Have faith, everything will pass and will be okay. Such a simple sentence can give ray of hope to the depressed.

Diwali in Tamil Nadu in 2018 - Deepavali 2018 in Tamil Calendar

Deepavali and Lakshmi Puja are one of the most important Hindu festivals in Tamil Nadu. Diwali in 2018 in Tamil Nadu is on November 6 as per Tamil Calendar. Lakshmi Puja will be held on November 7. Narak Chturdashi is observed as Diwali in Tamil Nadu.
In Tamil Nadu and generally in South India, Deepavali is celebrated to commemorate the killing of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna.

In Kerala, Deepavali is a low-key affair and some people consider it as the return of Lord Ram from exile.

There may be difference in date and myth but the central theme that good wins over evil, remains the same.

In North India, Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Ram along with Sita and Lakshman from his 14 years of exile after killing Ravana.

Complete Diwali Calendar in 2018

Sateri Devi – Information about Mother Goddess Sateri Devi

Sateri Devi is a form of Mother Goddess Shakti worshipped in Goa and Maharashtra. She is Grama Devata or village deity. She is also the patron Goddess of many communities. There is no proper authentic information regarding her origin but she is a deity who protects people from evil forces.

Sateri Devi is worshipped in murti form. She is depicted either in standing or sitting position.

Sometimes devotees only get to view her head. She is depicted with two or four arms. She holds various weapons.

Festivals associated with her vary from region to region. Numerous different types of rituals are dedicated to her.

In some regions there is a palkhi dedicated to her.
She is worshipped for early cure from diseases, for good rains and farm yield, for defeating enemies and for fulfillment of desires.

Vaital Temple at Bhubaneswar in Odisha – Tantric Temple

Vaital Temple is an 8th century AD shrine located around a kilometer northwest of the world famous Lingaraj Temple at Bhubaneswar in Odisha. A tantric temple, it is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda. The shrine is noted for its erotic sculptures and is also a classic example of Kalinga architecture.

The main murti of Goddess Chamunda is depicted as sitting on a dead body, flanked by an owl and a jackal. She has an emaciated body with sunken eyes and sunken belly. The entire look and form of the deity is ferocious.

The temple is rectangular and has a vault roof that looks like an upturned boat. The fifteen niches of the shrine hold various types of images.

A four-faced lingam adorns the front entrance.
An exquisitely carved image of the Sun God flanked by Usha and Pratyusha symbolizing the dawn is installed on its outer eastern face. Aruna is also found pulling the chariot of the sun.

Thoughts to Ponder – Swami Turiyananda

Man is merely an instrument, and the Lord is the operator. Blessed is he through whom the Lord gets his work done.

Everyone has to work in this world; no one can escape from it. But he who works for his own selfish ends, his work, instead of liberating him from the trap of maya, binds him.

On the other hand, the wise man, working for the Lord, cuts the fetters of work. ‘Not I, but the Lord is the doer’- this knowledge severs the bonds. This is a gospel truth. The notion that ‘I am the doer’ is merely a delusion, because it is difficult to trace who this ‘I’ is. If one carefully analyzes this ‘I,’ the real ‘I’ dissolves in God.

Our identification with the body, mind, intellect, and so on, is simply a delusion created by ignorance. Do they last long? Discrimination puts an end to them all. They all vanish, and there only remains the One Reality—from whom everything evolves, in whom all rest, and wherein they merge at the end. That Reality is the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, o…

Tihar Festival 2018 dates in Nepal – Diwali Festival in Nepal in 2018

Tihar Festival is a five-day festival which coincides with the Diwali and is mainly observed in Nepal. Tihar 2018 is from November 5 to November 9. It is observed from the 12th day of the Krishna Paksha or waning phase of moon in Kartik Mahina (October – November) to the second day of Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of moon in Kartik month as per traditional Hindu calendar in Nepal. Tihar Festival is not only dedicated to Hindu Gods but also to animals and plants.
Day 1 of Tihar Festival in 2018 Tihar festival on November 5, 2018 – The first day of the Tihar festival is dedicated to crow - messenger of Yama, the god of death in Hindu Religion. This day is known as Kag Parva.
Day 2 of Tihar Festival in 2018 Tihar festival on November 6, 2018 – The second day of the Tihar festival is dedicated to Dog and is known as Kukur Tihar.
Day 3 of Tihar Festival in 2018 Tihar festival on November 7, 2018 – The third day of the festival is the popular Diwali day and on the day cow is worshipped. Speci…

Yam Deep Puja 2018 | Yam Deep Daan | Yamadeepdaan in 2018 | Yama Deepam During Diwali

Yamadeepdaan, also known as Yama Deepam, Yam Deep Puja and Yam Deep Daan, is the first day of Diwali celebrations in North India and Gujarat. It is also known as Dhanteras. Diyas (lamps) are lit all night and these lamps are dedicated to Yam or Yamraj, the god of death.Yam Deep Puja 2018 is November 5. In some regions, lamps are lit for the ancestors and floated down a river or pond on the day.
Story of Yam Deep Daan Puja Legend has it that a 16-year-old son of King Hima was destined to die on the fourth day of his marriage due to a snake bite. A girl agreed to marry the unlucky prince knowing his ill fate.

The young bride was confident of her spiritual wealth and decided to save the prince. On the fourth night, after their marriage, she refused to let him sleep.

She collected all her jewellery, ornaments, and also the gold and silver coins in the palace and placed them in a heap at the entrance of door. Then she lit innumerable Diyas (lamps) all over the palace. To keep her husban…

Diwali Trivia

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the most widely recognized Hindu festival and in 2018 it will be celebrated globally on November 6. In Tamil Nadu and South India, it will be on November 8.

Diwali is a shortened version of the Sanskrit term ‘Deepavali’, which means ‘a row of lamps’.

Diwali is known as the ‘Festival of Lights’ - it refers to the rows of earthen lamps celebrants place around their homes.

Diwali light symbolizes the victory of knowledge over ignorance, and goodness over evil. It further represents an awareness of God in our lives.

The popular legend in Hinduism associated with Diwali marks the day when Lord Rama returned from a forced exile after defeating Ravana, the ultimate force of evil, in His time.

In South India, Diwali is also believed to be the day when Lord Krishna annihilated Demon Narakasura and restored Dharma.

In addition to Hindus, Sikhs celebrate Diwali in commemoration of the release of the Sixth Guru, Hargobind, from captivity by the Mughal Empe…

Gujarati Calendar 2017 Online – Download Traditional Calendar of Gujarat 2017 - Vikram Samvat 2073 – 2074

This Gujarati Calendar 2017 followed in Gujarat in India is provided for free by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The 2017 Gujarati Calendar contains important festivals in Gujarat and uses Gujarati language to mention tithi, fasting, festival details and Sud and Vad Paksha in a traditional Gujarati Month. This Gujarat calendar of 2017 is not in pdf format. But you can save the webpage and use it. You can also save and download to outlook.
Please note that this calendar is as per Gujarat VikramSamvat 2073 – 2074.
You can download it here at the official website of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.

Thoughts and Quotes on Dhanteras

Majority of Hindu festivals are based on seasons and are rooted in agriculture. Cattle are very important part of agrarian economy. On Dhan Teras farmers worship their cattle. The horns of cattle and oxen are colored red and are fed with sweets and other delicacies. Prasad made from sesame seeds are distributed as sesame symbolizes productivity. Thus each ritual on Dhanteras extols the need for the coexistence of man and Nature.

Goddess Lakshmi puja is also an important ritual on Dhanteras. In Dhanteras, ‘Dhan’ means wealth. On Dhanteras, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being.
Goddess Lakshmi is not all about gold, wealth or money making. There is also spiritual wealth, health is also wealth….Only that monetary wealth which has a strong backing of spiritual wealth can be enjoyed, replenished and sustained.
A Parthasarathy explains Goddess Lakshmi and wealth like this… Wealth in this context does not mean only money. It also includes the nobler values of l…

Uttarapatha in Hindu Scriptures

Uttarapatha is one of the five geographical divisions of India and it is mentioned in Bhuvanakosha section of Puranas. Uttarapatha is the present day North India. The other divisions are madhyadesha (central India), prachya (eastern India), dakshinapath (south India) and aparanta (western India).

Uttarapatha includes the entire valley of the Indus according to Kavyamimamsa of Rajashekhara.

Dharmasutras of Vasishta and Baudhyana, as well as Dharmashastra of Manu state that Uttarapatha lies to the west of the place where Saraswati River disappears.

As per Banabhatta, Uttarapatha included modern day western Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and the northwestern provinces of India.

Inscriptions indicate that Uttarapatha was a great trade route which extended from Saraswati to Taxila in Gandhara.
The region as mentioned in Pali literature included the whole of northern India from Anga (east) to Gandhara (northwest) and from the Himalayas (north) to the Vindhyas (south).

Dhanteras 2018 date - Dhan Teras Puja and Festival in 2018

Dhanteras is popularly known as the first day of Diwali festival. Dhan Teras is the day chosen by many people to make investments in gold or silver. Dhanteras 2018 date is November 5. It is observed two days before Diwali and falls on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of Kartik Month. In Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, the same period is the thirteenth day of Ashwina month. Special puja and rituals are observed on the day by some communities.

Dhanvantari Jayanti, Dhantrayodashi and Yamdeepdan are also observed on the day.

A new utensil or gold or silver is bought for the house on the Dhanteras day. Some people also make it a point to make an investment on the day as it is believed that investments made on this day will appreciate. Most people also wait for the day to purchase and give away Diwali gifts.

The day is also dedicated to Dhanavantri, the Hindu God of medicine, and therefore special Dhanvantari Puja is held on the day.

The day is of great sign…

Devi Patan Mandir Tulsipur near Balrampur – Ma Devi Patan Temple

Devi Patan Mandir is a popular Shaktipeetha, located at Tulsipur near Balrampur, in Uttar Pradesh. Ma Devi Patan Temple was established by Yogi Gorakshanathji and was renovated by King Vikramaditya. This very ancient shrine is on the banks of Siriya River. The temple is very popular with Hindus in Nepal.

As per historical evidences, whenever Muslim invaders tried to ransack the temple they met with death. Honeybees killed Meer Samar sent by Aurangzeb for destroying the shrine.

It is widely believed that it is at this spot Mata Sita prayed to Mother Earth to take her back. Mother Earth split up and took her in here.

The main deity worshipped in the temple is known as Pateshwari and the place is Devi Patan. She is also known as Ma Pataleshwar.

Legend has it that the Patambervastra of Ma Jagadamba fell here, so the word Patan was added with Devi, derived from Devi Sati’s Pat-paat-vastra. The legend is associated with the self-immolation of Goddess Sati at Daksha yajna.

Legend has it th…

Pictures of Traditional Rangoli Designs for Diwali and Lakshmi Puja

Rangoli patterns are an essential part of Lakshmi Puja during Diwali celebrations. These unique designs are known as ‘Kolam’ in Tamil Nadu. Today, colorful Rangolis are more preferred. Rangoli designs are drawn mainly to invite Goddess Lakshmi into the house. The two feet drawn along with the Rangoli designs symbolizes Godddess Lakshmi.

Six petaled lotuses, pointed starts, hexagons are some of the patterns widely drawn during Diwali. In some areas, especially in North India, different types of colors are widely used in the Rangoli patterns. In South India, generally the designs are kept white in color. At night, Diwali diyas are lit on the Rangoli designs.

Significance of Dhanteras and its origin

Dhanteras or Dhan Teras marks the beginning of Diwali and is observed two days before Diwali. It is the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of Kartik Month and is also known as Dhantra Yodashi. In 2018, Dhanteras is on November 5. The importance of Dhanteras is that a new utensil or gold or silver is bought for the house. The day is dedicated to Dhanavantri, the physician of the gods.

According to Hindu legend, when devas and asuras were churning the ocean for ‘amrit’ - the nectar of immortality - Dhanvantri emerged from the ocean with the jar of amrit on this day.

On this day, Hindus purchase gold, silver and other utensils. Many people begin the purchase for Diwali celebrations on this day. Crackers, candles, diyas, hatri, clays idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi, earthen katoris, kulris, chaugaras, toys and whole lot of other items needed for Diwali are purchased on this day.

For those doing business, Dhanteras is the day when new account books are bought and kept ready fo…

Story of Kakasura in the Ramayana

Bhagvan Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman were residing in the Chitrakuta Mountain during their exile period in the Ramayana. Kakasura, son of Indra, in the form a crow was flying over the Chitrakuta and noticed the divine couple.

Sri Ram was lying on the lap of Mata Sita and sleeping. Kakasura came in the form crow and scratched Mata Sita. The painful cry of Sita woke up Sri Ram.

Bhagavan Sri Ram immediately realized that the crow was Kakasura. He took up a sharp blade of grass, infused into it the spell of Brahma and directed it at the crow.

Fearing for his life, Kakasura flew all over the world. But the divine arrow followed him.

Trimurtis, Devas and Saints could not save Kakasura. Finally, Kakasura took refuge at the feet of Sri Ram.

Bhagvan Sri Ram said that the Brahmastra could never become futile so the arrow will hit the right eye of Kakasura. Accordingly, the arrow struck the right of eye of Kakasura.

Urdhva Pundram – Lord Vishnu Tilak Shape

Urdhva Pundram is the name given by Vaishnava devotees to the shape of tilak worn by them. Urdhva Pundram is worn daily by Lord Vishnu devotees. It is a perpendicular religious mark on the forehead of a Vaishnava devotee.

As per Puranas, Urdhva Pundram should be applied only after a person has had his bath, and wearing clean clothes.

No ritual, prayer or worship can be fruitful unless one applies tilak. The material used for Urdhva Pundram is pure soft clay, sanctified by utterances of mantras.
Sandalwood paste, holy ashes, and turmeric powder are also used for tilak by people depending on the tradition to which they belong.

One’s knowledge of God is limited by one’s capacity to understand him – Dr S Radhakrishnan

One’s knowledge of God is limited by one’s capacity to understand him.

The aim of the reformer should be to cure the defect and not criticize the view.

Error is only a sign of immaturity. It is not a grievous sin.

The Hindu method of religious reform helps to bring about a change not in the name but in the content.

When the pupil approaches his religious teacher for guidance, the teacher asks the pupil about his favorite God, Ishtadevata, for every man has a right to choose that form of belief and worship which most appeals to him. The teacher tells the pupil that his idea is a concrete representation of what is abstract, and leads him gradually to an appreciation of the Absolute intended by it.

– Dr S Radhakrishnan

Vagh Baras – Vagh Baras during Diwali in Gujarat

Diwali celebrations in Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan begin with Vagh Baras, or Vagh Barash. It can be considered as the first day of Diwali celebrations of Gujarati people. In 2018, the date of Vagh Baras is November 4. Vagh Barash is also known as Govatsa Dwadashi and Guru Dwadashi. Cows and other domestic animals are worshipped on the day. It is also the last day of transactions in the financial year for businesses and those who maintain account books.

Vagh during Diwali also refers to clearing of all financial deals and debts. New transactions begin only from Labh Pancham day.

At Nathadwara, Navnit Priyaji (Lord Krishna) appears newly dressed before the devotees on the day. Temples and sacred places are decorated beautifully on the day in all places.

You may also like to read How to do Lakshmi Puja during Diwali?

Rama Ekadashi

Rama Ekadasi is observed during the waning phase of moon in Kartik month (October – November). In 2018, the date of Rama Ekadashi is November 4. The smarta tradition will be observing it on Nov 3. The importance of this Ekadasi was narrated to Yudhishtira by Lord Krishna and is recorded in the Brahmavaivarta Purana. Ekadashi is an important day dedicated to Lord Vishnu in a Hindu lunar month and it occurs twice in a month. Devotees fast on the day and it is believed to absolve sins committed.

It is said that once a weak prince observed Rama Ekadasi fast after his marriage. The wife of the prince used to observe the Ekadashi from her childhood and the prince was emulating his wife. But the weak prince could not survive the fast and he died at night.

But his determination to observe the Ekadasi was rewarded and he became the king of temporary kingdom in heaven. The prince realized that with just observing a single Ekadasi he was able to attain this temporary kingdom and by bringing his…

Vaishvanara Agni

Vaishvanara is one of the names of Agni, the fire god in Hinduism. There are Rig Vedic mantras (IX. 66) dedicated to Vaishvanara Agni.

Vaishvanara Agni has various forms and lives in three abodes. He is described as having red tongues, seven faces, a huge mouth, red neck, tawny eyes, bright hair and golden seed. He is the dispeller of darkness.

He destroys demons and hostile powers, possesses excellent qualities and transcendental powers.
Vedas also state that fire by the name of Vaishvanara resides in the stomach of each being; this is combined with the life force (prana) causing the activity of digestion and assimilation of food.

Vajra Deha – Human Body as Strong as Diamond

Vajra Deha is an unusual type of yogic achievement mentioned in the Yogasutra. Vajra deha is a human body, which has attained the strength of a diamond.

The human body is made out of Panchabhutas or five elements. When the earth element responsible of hardness attains special dominance, the body can attain the hardness of a diamond.

The belief is that such a body becomes so strong that no weapon made of any metal can harm it.

Sage Dadhici is believed to have attained such a body by the power of his penance.
It is also believed that in Ayurveda there are specific medicines that can give a person Vajra Deha.

Convert your stumbling block into a stepping one – Swami Rama Tirtha

Vedanta says that your relations and connections ought to be an aid to you and not an obstacle. Everything you meet in this world should be a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. Convert your stepping stone into a stepping one.

People are ambitious because they cannot go against the all possessing nature of the soul or true self.

… he owns nothing, but on his face you find the bloom of happiness, and you find his muscles so strong and his arms so well built. He goes about in such a happy, cheerful, jolly mood, humming tunes of joy.

The more you get, the more you become greedy, niggardly and less happy. Happiness lies not in accumulation of wealth but in content only.
– Swami Rama Tirtha

Kukkuteshwar Mahadev in Ujjain – Story of Kukkuteshwar Form of Shiva – 21st Shiva Temple in Ujjain

Kukkuteshwar Mahadev is worshiped in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the 84 forms of Shiva worshiped in Ujjain. Those offering prayers to Kukkuteshwar Mahadev will get sins of their ancestors absolved.

The temple dedicated to Kukkuteshwar Mahadev is located on the Gandhavati Ghat on the banks of Shipra River in Ujjain.

This form of Shiva is associated with a king who used to take the form of a cock at night.

Kukkuteshwar Mahadev is counted among the 84 Shiva Temples in Ujjain and it is the 21st temple visited during the parikarama of Shivalayas here.

Story of Kukkuteshwar Mahadev form of Shiva in Ujjain

There lived a king named Kroushik. He was very popular with his subjects due to his efficient rule. But the king used to get transformed into a cock at night. The queen was therefore unhappy.

She consulted a saint who told her that the king was suffering from a curse of his previous birth.

To get rid of the curse, the king was asked to offer prayers at Mahakaal Vana (Ujjain).  …

Upa Puranas – About Hindu Scriptures Upapuranas

Upa Puranas occupy a very important place among Hindu scriptures. There are about eighteen or even more Upapuranas or minor Puranas. They are equally important as the major puranas but some scholars treat them with lesser importance.

Majority of the Upapuranas appeared several centuries after the Mahapuranas or eighteen major Puranas. But there are some minor puranas whose antiquity is as same as the major puranas like Narasimha, Nandi, Samba and Aditya Puranas.

Most of the Upa Puranas are treated as less important because they are taken as subsections of major puranas.

The eighteen Upapuranas are Santakumara, Narasimha, Skanda,Sivadharma, Ascharya, Naradiya, Kapila, Vamana, Asunas, Brahmanda, Varuna, Kalika, Maheshwara, Samba, Saura, Parasara, Maricha and Bhargava.

The contents of the minor puranas are generally the same as those of the major Puranas.

On the unstill mind – Jagadguru Sri Maha Periyava – Kanchi Paramacharya

What is the obstacle to one-pointed meditation? The answer is the unstill mind.

All problems are caused by the mind, by the desires arising in it. It is not easy to control the mind and keep it away effectively from desire.

If we ask the mind to think of an object, it seems to obey us for a moment, but soon it takes its own course, wandering off. The mind must be kept under control. Thinking and non-thinking must be governed by your will. Only then can we calm that it is under our control, that we are masters of our own consciousness.
Now we keep crying for no reason. If the mind is under control, we will keep smiling even if there is cause for much sorrow. And under the gravest of provocations it will not be roused to anger and will remain calm.
– Jagadguru Sri Maha Periyava – Kanchi Paramacharya 

Live Online Singapore Fire Walking Festival 2018 – Live Streaming of Firewalking Festival on Mobile and Internet

The annual Fire Walking festival at the SriMariammanTemple in Singapore attracts thousands of Hindu devotees. The firewalking festival is aired live online. The live streaming is available on the internet and mobile. The living streaming is available on October 28 and October 29, 2018.
You can view the live streaming if available here - Live Online Singapore Fire Walking Festival

Be our master do not let situations overwhelm us

When we are in a hurry, we are inviting trouble.

Focusing on what we do not have only brings unhappiness.

We cannot control as to what will happen the next moment but we can develop an attitude that will withstand any storm.

Be our master do not let situations overwhelm us.

The world wants too many things from us but the greatest accomplishment is in focusing on what we really want.
Always focus on the toughest job first.

How Sage Vyasa got the name Krishna Dwaipayan Vyasa?

The original name of Sage Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata, is Krishna Dwaipayan Vyasa. The word Vyasa means split, differentiates, or describe and he gets this name after He divided the Vedas in four: Rik, Yajus, Saman, and Atharva. But the actual name of the sage is Krishna Dwaipayan.
He was born of Satyavati, a fisher woman, and the wandering sage Parashara, who was the grandson of Sage Vasistha. Satyavati later married Shantanu.
Vyasa's complexion was dark and therefore he was referred as Krishna and the couple had the child on one the islands (dwipa) of YamunaRiver. That is how he got the name Krishna Dwaipayan. The island was covered by Badara (Indian jujube) trees, so he was also known as Badarayana.
You may also like to read The Story of the divine Birth of Veda Vyasa

Story of Origin of Apsaras

Apsaras are stunningly beautiful celestial damsels. They are the dancers and singers of heaven. The story of the origin of Apsaras is mentioned in the Puranas and they appeared during the Samudra Manthana – Churning of Ocean.

Urvashi, Rambha, Tilottama, Kratusthala, Punjikasthala, Menaka, Sahajanya, Pramlocha, Anumlocha, Chritachi, Vishvachi, and Purvachiti are among the prominent Apsaras.
Churning of the Kshira Sagara, the celestial MilkyOcean, was performed by Devas and Demons to acquire Amrita (Nectar of immortality). Devas and Asuras faced numerous difficulties and they were solved by Vishnu and Shiva.
Finally, churning proved successful and one after the other numerous things appeared. Apsaras were the seventh to appear from the churning. They then became the dancers and singers in the court of Devas.
Related Treasures that appeared during Samudra Manthana Samudra Manthan and Goddess Lakshmi Symbolism in the Churning of Ocean or Samudra Manthan 

Bliss is always with us but unfortunately we never realize it

Obsession is a mental disorder. It causes only discomfort.
Instead of worrying over little things go out and have fun.
It is true we failed a couple of times. Now try with a happier and positive frame of mind. We will not fail.
The journey for peace and happiness is often undertaken in the wrong direction. The right direction for this journey is to the inside not outside.  
Bliss is always with us but unfortunately, we never realize it. Abhilash

Story of Krishna and Snake Swallowing Nanda Gopa

Nanda, or Nandagopa, was the foster father of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. There is an incident mentioned in the Puranas in which Nanda Gopa is rescued by Sri Krishna from the mouth of a snake.

One day the Gopas headed by their chief Nanda performed Maheswara Puja in a nearby forest. They then decided to spend the night on the banks of Kalindi River. They were singing bhajans and keeping vigil.

Suddenly a python emerged from the forest and began swallowing Nandagopa. The python started swallowing Nanda by the foot.

The Gopas tried hard to loosen the grip of python on Nandagopa. However, they could not.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna reached the spot and gave the python a kick. It suddenly transformed into a deva, celestial being.

The Deva was known as Sudarshana. He was converted into a python due to a curse by Sage Angiras.

The Deva (demigod) had disturbed the Tapas of Sage Angiras and therefore he was cursed. The sage had told the deva that he will be relieved of the curse the day Lord Krishna to…

Vettakkorumakan Temple at Nilambur in Kerala

Vettakkorumakan Temple at Nilambur in Kerala is dedicated to son of Shiva (Kirata murti) and Goddess Parvati. The shrine is located on the banks of Chaliyar River and is near the Nilambur Bus Stand.

The main deity worshipped in the shrine is Vettakkorumakan. He is also referred to as Lord Sashta or Shasthavu.

The subsidiary deities in the shrine are Ganapati, Goddess Bhagavati and Nagas.

Nilambur Vettakkorumakan Temple is a classic example of Kerala Style Architecture.
The shrine is famous for the six-day festival called the Nilambur Pattu Utsavam which is held in Dhanu Masam (December – January).

Nilambur Vettakkorumakan Temple Pooja and Darshan Time

Morning Darshan - 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Evening Pooja Time - 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Hindu Concept – What Happens After Death

Hindu philosophy does not accept the scientific concept that death is the cessation of the individual. It proclaims that the soul with its innate spark of divinity continues or may continue its onward journey even after the demise of one’s physical body. The soul is thought to be wrapped in layers of karma or samskara (impressions of past actions) which continue to accumulate or diminish as we pass from one birth to another.

The soul in itself is pure, sublime, and without any attribute. It wears these diverse garbs (of samskara) which makes each one of us look different, act in a different manner and experience different destinies. The cycles of births compel the individual soul to travel through different paths in each birth. Thus, with each rebirth, it accumulates or works on varied experiences, both good and bad.

The eternal urge of the soul is to attain the supreme liberation and it tries to evolve from the lower to the higher states of consciousness, just as a student is promo…

Dhara in Hindu Snake Temples

Dhara is the pouring of Abhisheka water from Hindu snake temples on the body of the person suffering in life due to the anger of Nagas. The dhara is performed with water, milk, or tender coconut water. First dhara is offered to Nagaraja and Nagayakshi.

Those suffering from the wrath of nagas will be seated in front of the temple and the holy water or tirtha from the shrine will be poured on the person’s body. It is believed that the process cures bad luck and illnesses.

The offering will help in removing dullness, diseases and bad luck.
This ritual is widely performed in Naga Temples in Kerala.

Maihar Devi Temple – Satna Maihar Temple

Maihar Devi Temple is located atop Trikut mountain at Maihar in Satna. The deity worshipped in temple is known as Maihar Devi or Maa Sharada Devi. The shrine is also known as Ma Sarada Devi Mandir. The temple is located about 5 km from Maihar railway station.
Legend has it that when Shiva was carrying the body of Sati around the world and Vishnu used his Sudarshana Chakra to cut the body of Sati, the right breast of Goddess Sati fell at Maihar.
The popular belief is that Goddess Maihar is mother to her devotees. She blesses her devotees with knowledge and strength. Devotees that strive for self realization and salvation, or Moksha, never return without fulfilling them.
Maihar Devi Temple was built around 500 AD. One has to climb 1063 steps to reach the temple which atop the Trikoota Mountain. Ropeway facility is also available now.

Goddess Purnagiri – Maa Purnagiri

Goddess Purnagiri is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti. She is associated with Tantra. As per Hevajra Tantra, Purnagiri is one of the important Peetahs and Mother Goddess is worshipped here as Goddess Purneshwari.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva was carrying the body of his dead wife Sati around the world. There seemed to be no end to Shiva’s anger and grief. This led to an imbalance in the universe. Finally, Lord Vishnu decided to decimate the body of Sati with his Sudhrashana Chakra. He cut the body of Sati into 51 pieces. Her arms and leg fell at Purnagiri and she came to be known as Goddess Purnagiri.
Maa Purnagiri is worshiped for peace, prosperity, protection, good agriculture, healthy children, early cure of diseases and for victory over enemies.

Hingula Temple at Gopal Prasada Gada in Angul District in Orissa

Hingula Temple is dedicated to Mother Goddess Hingula also known as Hinglaj Mata, or Hingulei or Hingulaksi. The shrine is located at the Gopal Prasada Gada village in Angul District in Odisha. There is also an equally important murti (idol) of Lord Jagannath in the temple.

It is believed that Goddess Hingula arrived with King Nala and King Gajapati at Gopal Prasada Gada – they were on their way to Puri. Mother Goddess decided to stay at Gopal Prasada Gada.

Goddess Hingula has no other form except fire and she is linked with the Agni Kona (South East direction). For worship, there are murtis of Goddess is in various sizes in the shrine. There is also the utsava murti which is carried around during festivals.

The most important ritual and festival in the shrine is held on the Bishnu Damank Chaturdashi, which falls on the fourteenth day of the bright phase on the moon in the month of Chaitra (March – April).
Numerous festivals are organized through the year at the shrine. Food offering…

On Three Kinds of Ananda – Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

It is a joy to merge the mind in the Indivisible Brahman through contemplation. And it is a joy to keep the mind on the Lila, the Relative, without dissolving it in the Absolute.

There are three kinds of Ananda, joy: the joy of worldly enjoyment, the joy of worship, and the joy of Brahman.

The joy of worldly enjoyment is the joy of ‘woman and gold’, which people always enjoy.

The joy of worship one enjoys while chanting the name and glories of God.

And the joy of Brahman is the joy of God-vision. After experiencing the joy of God-vision the rishis of olden times went beyond all rules and conventions.

That is why one should cultivate a taste for God’s name. Any name will do – Durga, Krishna, or Siva. Then if, through the chanting of the name, one’s attachment to God grows day by day, and joy fills the soul, one has nothing to fear. The delirium will certainly disappear; the grace of God will certainly descend.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Aghamarshana Suktam – Importance

Aghamarshana Suktam is from the Rig Veda and it is believed that chanting this mantra will relieve one of all impurities and usher in light. Agham means all that impurities that keep truth out and Marshanam means to destroy or to alleviate. Aghamarshana Suktam is the 190th sooktam in the 10th mandala of Rig Veda. This sooktam was composed by Aghamarshana Rishi.

Aghamarshana Suktam is not a mantra that performs miracles or clears sins in a second. It is a mantra that helps a person to understand his true nature.
This mantra is chanted during evening prayers.
Some people chant the Suktam before taking bath as they believe it washes away sins. This belief is because Aghamarshana Suktam is dedicated to Varuna, the Lord of the waters. A Quote from Aghamarshana Suktam
That Supreme Light which projected Itself as the universe like a soaked seed which sprouts – I am that Supreme Light. I am that supreme light of Brahman which shines as the inmost essence of all that exists. In reality I am th…

Story of the Birth of Sri Rama

Story of birth of Bhagavan Sri Rama on earth begins with King Dasaratha of Ayodhya deciding to perform Ashvamedha Yaga to have children. The decision is welcomed by the sages and they all proceeded to make the necessary arrangements of the yaga. Sumantra, the charioteer, then reminds King Dasaratha of something he has heard from elders and tells him that Sage Rishyashringa should preside over the yajna.

Sumantra then requests King Dasaratha to discuss the matter with Sage Vasishtha and others. The sages were too happy to have Rishyashringa preside over the Ashvamedha Yaga.

When the Ashvamedha yaga was drawing to a close, King Dasaratha requests Rishyashringa to perform Putrakama yajna to beget a son. When the yajna was drawing to a close, a divine form appeared on the yajna fire and handed over a golden bowl with ‘payasa’ (sweet) to King Dasaratha.

The king distributed the sweet to his three queens and a year later they gave birth to four sons – Lord Ram, Lakshman, Bharatha and Shatr…

Bhai Dooj at Ratangarh Mata Ka Mandir and Kunwar Maharaj Temple

The Bhai Dooj festival falling after Diwali is highly auspicious at the Ratangarh Mata Ka Mandir and Kunwar Maharaj Temple in Datia in Madhya Pradesh. The twin shrines are around 60 km from Datia and Gwalior. In 2018, Bhai dooj is on November 9.

Kunwar Maharaj is believed to be the brother of Ratangarh Mata.

Ratangarh Mata Shrine is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is located deep inside forest on the banks of Sindh River. Kunwar Maharaj Temple is around 5 km from Ratangarh Mandir.
It is believed that those offering prayers in the shrine will get relief from poisoning.

Bhagavad Gita – Chapter Five Verse 7 – 8 – 9 – 10

One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled. (Bhagavad Gita, 5.7)

A person in the divine consciousness, although engaged in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving about, sleeping and breathing, always knows within himself that he actually does nothing at all. Because while speaking, evacuating, receiving, or opening or closing his eyes, he always knows that only the material senses are engaged with their objects and that he is aloof from them. (Bhagavad Gita, 5.8-9)
One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water. (Bhagavad Gita, 5.10)

Bhagavad Gita – Chapter Five Verse 7 – 8  – 9 – 10

Ballal Vinayak Form of Ganesha

Ballal Vinayak is the form of Ganesh worshipped at Pali in Maharashtra, which is one among the Ashta Vianayaka Temples in Maharashtra. The name Ballal Vinayak is the result of a boon given by Ganesha to child Ballala whose unwavering devotion resulted in Ganesh appearing to rescue him. Ganesha promised Ballal that from then onwards his name will be taken before him. The murti worshipped is also known as Ballalesvara Vinayak and Ballala Vinayaka.

Ballal Vinayak represents strength.
Legend has it that young Ballala was an ardent devotee of Ganesha. He and his friends used to worship Ganesha. Once Ballal and friends went to forest and worshiped a huge stone murti of Ganesh.
The parents of other children complained to Ballal’s father that his son was making their children lazy by always worshiping Ganesha deep in forest.
Fed up with constant complaints, Ballal’s father went to forest and found Ballal and his friends in deep meditation. Seeing Ballal’s father approaching all the children ra…

Annamurti – Manifestation of Hindu God Vishnu Associated with Food

Annamurti is a manifestation of Hindu God Vishnu and is associated with food. This form of Vishnu is similar to the Annapurna incarnation of Goddess Shakti (Maa Parvati). In this manifestation, Vishnu is the god of kitchen and food.

Annamurti form of Vishnu has two arms. On hand holds a ball of rice and another hand holds payasam (sweet or kheer prepared using rice, sugar and milk).
Murti (idol) of Annamurti is found in the famous Srirangam Temple in Tamil Nadu in India.
At Srirangam, he is the presiding deity of the kitchen in the temple.

Good date for giving birth in August 2018 – Auspicious dates for birth of baby in August 2018

There are many couples who look for good dates for giving birth of baby. These are the good dates for giving birth in August 2018. Please note that the auspicious date of birth of baby does not mean that everything will be auspicious. Horoscope etc is prepared after looking into numerous considerations. So consider this only just as a guide.

Good dates for birth of baby in August 2018

August 2 August 3 till 12:03 PM August 4 August 6 good time from 2:20 PM to 8:35 PM August 8 August 14 good after 4:45 PM August 15 August 16 August 17 good till 3:55 PM August 19 good till 2:25 PM August 23 August 24 August 25 good till 3:05 PM August 26 August 27
August 30 August 31

Story of Apsara Urvashi

Urvashi is a celebrated apsara in the court of Indra, the king of Devas. Legend has it that she was created from thigh of Narayana. Uru means thigh and hence the name Urvashi. She was created to rival the beauty of other damsels in Indra’s court like Menaka, Rambha and Tilottama.

Indra, the king of the Devas, according to his innate character thought that Nara Narayana wanted to overthrow him and rule over the heaven. So he sent Apsaras (nymphs) to disturb the two saints with sexual passion. Seeing the Apsaras, Narayana placed a flower in his thigh and immediately sprung from it a voluptuous nymph whose charms far excelled those nymphs sent by Indra. Since this beautiful nymph came out of the thigh she was called Urvashi.

Due to a curse, Urvashi had to live on earth and here she married King Pururavas. (you can read the story here)
Another famous story associated with Urvashi is her desire to make love to Arjuna, the third of the Pandava brothers in the Mahabharat. (youcan read the s…

Sri Ram Lamp – Lithophane Votive Light of Srirama from Lladro

Sri Ram lithophane is a molded artwork in thin very translucent porcelain that can only be seen clearly when back lit with a light source. It is an ideal Srirama lamp for offering prayers in puja rooms and for meditation. Lladro, a Spanish firm noted for high quality porcelain figurines – Hindu religion related figurines include various forms of Ganesha, Goddess Lakshmi, Ram Darbar and Shiva.

Sri Rama – lithophane votive light from Lladro is priced at Rs 6,000 /-
The size of the lamp is 12 X 9 cm.

Lladro signature stores are there in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore. It is also available in famous jewelry shops and boutiques.

Purnima November 2017 Time and Date – Full Moon Day in Hindu calendar in November 2017

Purnima is the full moon day in a traditional Hindu calendar and fast is observed on the day. In November 2017, the date of Purnima is November 4. The Purnima fasting is marked on November 3. The time is from 12:58 PM on November 3 to 11:14 AM on November 4. The Purnima in November 2017 is the Kartik Purnima in most regions. 
Tripurari Purnima is observed on the day.
Tulsi Puja final day rituals end on the day.
Dev Diwali is observed on the day in many regions.
Bhishma Panchak Vrat ends on Kartik Purnima day
Panchuka ends in Orissa
Some of the other rituals that are observed on November 4 Purnima day areare AkashdeepKarikeshwar Puja in OrissaKapal Mochan MelaRash YatraKartik Swami Darshan in Maharashtra

Some Hindu communities observe fast on Purnima day. Special pujas and rituals are performed in many temples.
The day is also the last day in the Kartik month in the traditional Hindu calendar followed in North India.

Vadakkumnathan Temple in Thrissur – Information about Shiva Temple in Thrissur

Vadakkumnathan Temple is located in the heart of Thrissur town in Kerala. This popular shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva is the witness to the world famous Thrissur Pooram. The main Shivling worshipped in the temple is not visible as it is under a mount of ghee. Shivratri is one of the most important festivals observed here.

Shivling at Vadakkumnathan Temple Shiva worshipped here is the Kiratha Murti – one who had a fight with Arjuna before blessing him with divine weapons. It is believed that Kiratha Murti had an injury during the fight with Arjuna. Therefore, abhishekam with ghee was performed for centuries.

The main Shivling worshipped here is covered by 5 meter high and 7 meter wide mount of ghee. The miracle here is that the ghee has not melted or gone bad even after several hundred years of Abhisheka.

Mother Goddess Parvati is worshipped in the shrine and she faces east.

A large sculpture of Nandi is also found in the temple complex.

Bhgavan Sri Rama and Shankaranarayana are worshi…

Turtle Sculpture between the Shivling and Nandi in Shiva Temples

In Shiva temples, Nandi – the bull – always faces the Shivling in the Sanctum Sanctorum. In most temples, between the Shivling and Nandi a sculpture of Turtle is also found. Some scholars are of the view that this turtle is Akupara – as per Hindu tradition the universe rests on the back of Akupara, the turtle.

Another view point is that, the turtle represents the Kurma Avatar of Vishnu.

Symbolically, the turtle reminds us for the need to withdraw the senses from the materialistic world to realize the Supreme Truth – the Brahman in the form of Shivling.

Popular Hindu Symbols