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Importance of Upanayana in Hinduism – How to Perform Upanayana Ritual?

Upanayana is a sacred ceremony in Hinduism by which a boy or girl between the ages of seven and sixteen is initiated into the spiritual world. Upanayana literally means ‘providing an additional eye’ – upa means additional and nayana means eye of spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The term also means leading the disciple to the Guru (upa – means near and nayana means leading.) Symbolic symbol of Upanayana is the wearing of yajnopavitam or sacred thread.

Yajnopavitam or sacred thread is believed to have worn by the creator. There is no reference to it in the Grahyasutras. Bala Gangadhar Tilak has stated that it is remnant of the cloth worn by Prajapati.
Not all Hindus perform Upanayana. Numerous Hindu communities and sects do not perform the sacred thread ceremony. Like all rituals in Hindu religion this one is also not mandatory.

Those who wear the sacred thread are known as twice born. When a child starts his spiritual education by learning the Vedas, the child is getting a new life. Gur…

Valliyankavu Devi Temple in Idukki, Kerala

Valliyankavu Devi Temple is a powerful shrine dedicated to Mother Goddess Shakti at Paloorkavu near Mundakkayam in Idukki, Kerala. The shrine has two separate sanctum sanctorums – one dedicated to fierce Goddess Bhadrakali and another dedicated to the motherly form of Parashakti Durga.


Legend has it that the murti of Durga worshiped in the temple was originally worshipped by Pandavas and Panchali during their exile period inthe Mahabharata. The murti of Bhadrakali was installed by the tribals of the region.
The temple courted trouble when some people suspected that the tribals were performing ‘bali’ (human and animal sacrifice) in the shrine. The government then took over the temple.


Even today, the temple performs symbolic ‘guruti or bali’ using white pumpkin after the last puja.


Guruti is not performed in the shrine when Sabarimala Temple opens for Mandala Makaravilakku season. The Guruti restarts with Mahaguruti after the Makaravilakku festival in Sabarimala. Thousands of devotee…

Hindu Calendar Today – March 31, 2017 – Tithi, Vrat, Good - Auspicious Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festivals

Tithi in Hindu Calendar, today, on Friday, March 31, 2017 (Today) – Shukla Paksha Chaturthi Tithi or the fourth day during the waxing phase of moon inHindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Shukla Paksha Tritiya Tithi or the third day during the waxing phase of moon till 2:21 AM on March 31. Then onward it isShukla Paksha Chaturthi Tithi or the fourth day during the waxing phase of moon till 11:59 PM on March 31. Then onward it isShukla Paksha Panchami Tithi or the fifth day during the waxing phase of moon. All time based on India Standard Time.
How is March 31, 2017 as per Hindu Panchang? – Good and auspicious time till 7:00 AM. Nakshatra – Bharani Nakshatra till 9:54 AM on March 31. Then onward it is Krittika or Karthigai or Kartika Nakshatram till 8:15 AM on April 1.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Bharani Nakshatra till 7:06 AM on March 31. Then onward it is Krittika or Karthigai or Kartika Nakshatram till 4:53 AM on April…

Muslims Offering Prayers to Lord Venkateswara Especially on Ugadi – Story of Bibi Nancharamma

Lord Venkateswara, famous as Tirupati Balaji, is worshipped and offered prayers by Muslims in certain regions in Kadapa and Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh. Muslims offer prayers in Venkateswara Temples in Kadapa and Rayalaseema during Ugadi, the Hindu lunar year in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.

Why Muslims Offer Prayers to Lord Venkateswara Muslims in the region believe that Bibi Nancharamma, a consort of Lord Sri Venkateswara, is a Muslim. This belief is based on a folk story prevalent in Rayalaseema region.

It is explained by some scholars that the story about Bibi Nancharamma was a folk imagination during the times of conflicts between Hindus and Muslims during the medieval times (Deekshitulu 2010: page 66).

The story is believed to have helped in unifying Muslims and Hindus of the region. Story of Bibi Nancharamma The story of Bibi Nancharamma is associated with Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of prosperity and consort of Lord Vishnu.

In the regional legend, Godde…

Story of Avvaiyar

Avvaiyar was a great devotional poetess of Tamil Nadu. Her life story is very interesting as she asked for old age to escape from marriage so that she can lead a hassle free spiritual life. The most popular legend is that Avvai was the daughter of Athy, a low caste woman, and a Brahmin named Pagavan.

Unreconciled to his marriage with a low-caste woman, Pagavan unwillingly made Athy promise to abandon her children.

Avvai, the first of seven children, was adopted by a family of traditional singers known as Panars. The adopted child surprised her parents by completing an unfinished song.

When her marriage was being considered, she appealed to Lord Ganesha to extricate her from this travail, and she was transformed into an old woman.

She then led a life of wandering minstrel and her songs and sayings are popular even today.
She is believed to have had darshan of Lord Muruga.
Muruga Gives Darshan to Avvaiyar Legend has it that once Avvaiyar stopped to rest in a forest during her travel. A…

Hindu Calendar Today – March 30, 2017 – Tithi, Vrat, Good - Auspicious Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festivals

Tithi in Hindu Calendar, today, on Thursday, March 30, 2017 – Shukla Paksha Tritiya Tithi or the third day during the waxing phase of moon inHindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Shukla Paksha Dwitiya Tithi or the second day during the waxing phase of moon till 4:33 AM on March 30. Then onward it isShukla Paksha Tritiya Tithi or the third day during the waxing phase of moon till 2:21 AM on March 31. All time based on India Standard Time.
How is March 30, 2017 as per Hindu Panchang? – It is a good day after 11:10 AM. Nakshatra – Ashwini or Ashwathy Nakshatra till 11:24 AM on March 30. Then onward it is Bharani Nakshatram till 9:54 AM on March 31.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Ashwini or Ashwathy Nakshatra till 9:24 AM on March 30. Then onward it is Bharani Nakshatram till 7:06 AM on March 31.
Rashi or Moon Sign – Mesha Rashi.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Mesha Rashi.
Festiva…

Gauri Tritiya

Gauri Tritiya is an auspicious day dedicated to Goddess Parvati and is mainly observed in Maharashtra. In 2019, the date of Gauri Tritiya is April 8. It falls on the third day of the waxing phase of moon in Chaitra month (March – April) in a traditional Marathi Calendar. Gowri Tritiya is mainly observed by women. Gauri is another name of Goddess Parvati.

There are numerous rituals and festivals associated with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In this particular observance, it is believed that Goddess Parvati returns to her parent’s home during the period. Another legend sites that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on the day.

Women conduct special pujas at home and invite neighbors, friends and relatives to take part in the ritual. An image of Goddess Parvati is worshipped along with other deities. The prayers are for the well being of the family. Unmarried women pray for good husbands.

The observance is also known as Soubhagya Gauri Vratam in Telugu culture.

It must be not…

Story of Jayadratha Kidnapping Draupadi in the Mahabharata

Story of Jayadratha kidnapping Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas, is found in the Vana Parva of the Mahabharata. Jayadratha was the king of Sindhu. He attended the swayamvara (marriage ceremony) of Draupadi but did not succeed in marrying her. However, he continued to nurture a secret desire for her.
Lust Blinds
Once during the 12-year exile period of the Pandavas in the Mahabharat, Jayadratha happened to pass through with his army through the forest in which the Pandavas was living. He saw a beautiful woman standing on the doorway of the ashram. He was overpowered by lust and evil desires made him ask his deputy to find out if the woman was interested in making him her lord.
His deputy soon returned and told Jayadratha that the woman was Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas. He also advised the arrogant king that it would be foolhardy to nurture such evil designs and it is better we vacate the place as soon as possible.
Men who are drunk in power never listen to sane advice. Power and lust i…

TTD Panchangam 2017 in pdf – Venkateswara Temple Telugu Panchanga by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams – Tirupati Balaji Temple Panchangam 2017 -2018

TTD Telugu Panchangam is one of the most popular Telugu Panchangams and is published by the Balaji Temple during Ugadi. TTD Panchangam 2017 – 2018 is currently available online in pdf format at the official Venkateswara Temple website. This is the Hevilami Nama Samvatsara Panchangam for the year 1939 (as per Telugu Chandramana calculations).


You can now download or read online the TTD Panchangam from March 2017 to March 2018 for free. It is published by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the administrative body that looks after the Tirupati Balaji Temple.

Link - TTDPanchangam 2017 – 2018 in pdf.
You will need pdf reader installed to read or download the Panchangam.

When all desires are dropped the mortal becomes immortal - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Now as to him who is free from desire, who is beyond desire, who has gained hisdesire, for whom the Soul is his desire. From him the life powers go not out. Growing one with the Eternal, he enters into the Eternal.

When all desires that were hid in the heart are let go, the mortal becomes immortal, and reaches the Eternal.

And like as the slough of a snake lies lifeless, cast forth upon an ant-hill, so lies his body, when the spirit of man rises up bodiless and immortal as the Life, as the Eternal, as the Radiance.
The small old path that stretches far away has been found and followed by me. By it go the Seers who know the Eternal, rising up from this world to the heavenly world.
 - Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Hindu Calendar Today – March 29, 2017 – Tithi, Vrat, Good - Auspicious Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festivals

Tithi in Hindu Calendar, today, on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 – Shukla Paksha Pratipada and Dwitiya Tithi or the first and second day during the waxing phase of moon inHindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Shukla Paksha Pratipada Tithi or the first day during the waxing phase of moon till 6:32 AM on March 29. Then onward it isShukla Paksha Dwitiya Tithi or the second day during the waxing phase of moon till 4:33 AM on March 30. All time based on India Standard Time.
How is March 29, 2017 as per Hindu Panchang? – Good and auspicious time till 2:40 PM. Nakshatra – Revati Nakshatra till 12:44 PM on March 29. Then onward it is Ashwini or Ashwathy Nakshatram till 11:24 AM on March 30.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Revati Nakshatra till 11:39 AM on March 29. Then onward it is Ashwini or Ashwathy Nakshatram till 9:24 AM on March 30.
Rashi or Moon Sign – Meena Rashi till 12:44 PM. Then onward it is Mesha Rashi.
In western parts of I…

Ugrasena – Story of Father of Kamsa

Ugrasena was the father of Kamsa and the ruler of Mathura. His story is mainly found in the Srimad Bhagavad Purana. He is the maternal grandfather of Lord Krishna.

Ugrasena was not the hereditary king of Mathura. He acquired the right to rule Mathura as Vasudeva, father of Sri Krishna, was not interested in kingship.

When the rule of the solar race over the Mathura region ended, Surasena, king of Yadava clan, occupied the throne of Mathura. His son Vasudeva, father of Lord Krishna, did not wish to become the king. Ugrasena, a chief of an important Yadava clan occupied the throne.

Ugrasena was a noble ruler but unfortunately, he had a son, Kamsa, who was arrogant and oppressive. Kamsa found an evil ally in Jarasandha. He married the daughters of Jarasandha who was ruler of Magadha.

Many a times, Ugrasena attempted to change the cruel and inconsiderate behavior of Kamsa. But all advices of the wise king fell on deaf ears. The advice given by Ugrasena to Kamsa isfound in the Krishna Lee…

Food Cooked by Sita in the Ramayana and What Did Mata Sita Eat In Lanka?

The food that was cooked by Mata Sita in Ramayana was so delicious that it is part of several folklores. A story from Himachal Pradesh connects Sita’s kidnapping by Ravana to the tasty food she cooked. It is believed that Mata Sita did not have to eat anything in Lanka because Indra gave her a food which made sure that she was never hungry during her forced stay in the capital city of the demon king.

As per the folklore, a crow carried the food Mata Sita cooked during her exile period in Ramayana to Lanka. Ravana happened to taste the food. He was so much happy and content with the food that he decided to kidnap Sita and get her to Lanka so that she would cook for him.
Sita’s kitchen is very famous and the objects used by Mata Sita can be found in the Sita-ki-rasoi in Ayodhya.

Sita Rasoi in Chitrakoot


There is also a Sita Rasoi in the Chitrakoot area in Uttar Pradesh. It is located on the crown of the hill above Hanuman Dhara. Bhagavan Sri Ram, Mata Sita and Lakshman resided here drin…

Swamini Vimalananda Thoughts

Meditation is prescribed as a balm to remove all the stress and strain of life.

Even though the Truth, the self, is self-evident we are unable to realize the same due to gross obstacles like dullness of the intellect, attachment to pleasures and objects etc.

The gross obstacles are removed by spiritual practices like japa, asana, pranayama, practice of discrimination and self control, and cultivation of qualities like tolerance and faith.
When a disciple listens with faith, he understands that the import of the Scriptures is, “I am not the finite entity that I consider myself to be, but the Infinite Truth.

Swamini Vimalananda of Chinmaya Mission

Related
Never look back for a moment - Swami Chinmayananda
Sublimation of the ego is the aim of spirituality – Swami Tejomayananda

Hindu Calendar Today – March 28, 2017 – Tithi, Vrat, Good Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festivals

Tithi in Hindu Calendar today, on, Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – Amavasya Tithi or the no moon day inHindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Amavasya Tithi or the no moon day till 8:12 AM on March 28. Then onward it isShukla Paksha Pratipada Tithi or the first day during the waxing phase of moon till 6:32 AM on March 29. All time based on India Standard Time.
How is March 28, 2017 as per Hindu Panchang? – Good and Auspicious time after 8:30 AM Nakshatra – Uttarabhadra or Uthrittathi Nakshatra till 1:47 PM on March 28. Then onward it is Revati Nakshatram till 12:44 PM on March 29.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Uttarabhadra or Uthrittathi Nakshatra till 1:41 PM on March 28. Then onward it is Revati Nakshatram till 11:39 AM on March 29.
Rashi or Moon Sign – Meena Rashi.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Meena Rashi.
Festivals, Vrat and Auspicious days – Gudi Padwa – New Year in Maharasht…

Ashvattha Tree in Hinduism – Spiritual and Religious Importance of Ashvattha Tree

Ashvattha Tree is popularly known as pipal (ficus religiosa), or the sacred fig, and it is of great spiritual and religious importance in Hinduism. It is known as the tree of knowledge and enlightenment. It is the symbolic inverted tree mentioned in Hindu scriptures. Ashvattha Tree is also the seat of gods and abode of the Goddess of wealth.

Ashvattha literally means the tree under which the horses stand. As per old beliefs, it was the chariot of Gods.



Ashvattha in Vedas The tree, as per Atharva Veda, is found in the heaven and Devas, or demigods, sat under its shade.

The holiness and sanctity of the tree is also mentioned in the Rig Veda.

The tree showers soma (the drink of the Gods), as per the Chandogya Upanishad.

As per Katha Upanishad, the roots of Ashvattha grow upwards and its branches grow downwards. (Symbolism of the inverted tree.)

As per the Rig Veda, the wood of the tree was used to make vessels.

The twigs of the tree were used for oblation in the Vedic fire-altar.

Gods …

Geometric Symbol and Diagram for female principle in Hinduism

There are particular symbols for male, female, creation etc in Hinduism. The symbol for female principle in Hinduism is circle with a dot in the center and inverted triangle. These geometric symbol and diagram explains the female principle or nature in Hindu religion.

As per the Shaktas, or the school of thought that believes in the female energy concept, Mother Goddess Shakti is the deciding factor in salvation or moksha.
Creation is only possible in Mother Goddess. The life force is her wish. She is the mother of all energy forms.
She is worshipped in innumerable forms including Durga, Kali, Parvati, Chamunda…
She is also worshipped in the form of symbols especially in the tantric school of thought.
Circle with a dot in the center and inverted triangle symbolizes fertility. The concept of fertility should not be narrowed down to sexual union of human beings only. It symbolizes regeneration, greenery and plentiful. This is the reason why Mother Goddess takes the form of Annapurana a…

Hindu Calendar Today – March 27, 2017 – Tithi, Vrat, Good - Auspicious Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festivals

Tithi in Hindu Calendar, Today, on Monday, March 27, 2017 – Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi Tithi or the fourteenth day during the waning phase of moon inHindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi Tithi or the fourteenth day during the waning phase of moon till 9:33 AM on March 27. Then onward it isAmavasya Tithi or the no moon day till 8:12 AM on March 28. All time based on India Standard Time.
How is March 27, 2017 as per Hindu Panchang? – There is no good and auspicious time on the day. Nakshatra – Purvabhadra or Pooruruttathi Nakshatra till 2:30 PM on March 27. Then onward it is Uttarabhadra or Uthrittathi Nakshatram till 1:47 PM on March 28.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Purvabhadra or Pooruruttathi Nakshatra till 3:20 PM on March 27. Then onward it is Uttarabhadra or Uthrittathi Nakshatram till 1:41 PM on March 28.
Rashi or Moon Sign – Kumbha Rashi till 8:35 AM. Then onward it is Meena Rashi.
In western…

Meaning of Balaji – Lord Vishnu – How Venkateswara Came to be Known as Balaji?

The Balaji form of Lord Vishnu is most famously associated with Lord Venkateswara who is worshipped in the famous Tirupati Balaji Temple in Tirumala. As per Bhagavad Purana the name Balaji means ‘the cosmic child’ or ‘eternal child.’ This meaning has nothing to do with the present day meaning of the term. So how did Venkateswara came to be known as Balaji.



True Meaning of Balaji in Srimad Bhagavad Purana When man breaks Dharma, he breaks cosmic order. Nature is in disarray. The cosmic dissolution happens to set the house in order.

Destructive storm and torrential rains destroy all manmade things in the universe. The raging waters consume all that is there in the world.

Then on the endless ocean, a banyan leaf floats and on it, we get the first glimpse Balaji – a dark child, suckling his right toe. He is the cosmic child. Next cycle of creation begins with his appearance. (This form of Vishnu is also referred as Vatapatrashayin).

But before the next cycle of creation, there is a gre…

We then play to play not to win

Our aim in life should be to directly experience the true reality behind all the forms in the universe. We are impressed and inspired when read or hear spiritual teachings. We decide to follow them. Either we become blind followers or drop following halfway through. We should read and listen to spiritual teachings but stop following them blindly. Think. Contemplate over them. Then chalk out our own path. Then we will be able to lead a better and fruitful life. Only then will we be able to have self realization. Until then what we are having is borrowed realization.

When we realize the unlimited universal Self, we learn more about the limitations of our body, mind and intellect. 
We have been fed this wrong notion that we are an island. In the island, we are supposed to have only certain type of people, ideas and beliefs. This is wrong. By supporting this wrong teaching, we are limiting ourselves. That life force which is present in me is present in all animate and inanimate. This knowl…

Hindu Calendar Today – March 26, 2017 – Tithi, Vrat, Good - Auspicious Time, Nakshatra, Rashi and Festivals

Tithi in Hindu Calendar, today, on Sunday, March 26, 2017 (Today) – Krishna Paksha Trayodasi Tithi or the thirteenth day during the waning phase of moon inHindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Krishna Paksha Trayodasi Tithi or the thirteenth day during the waning phase of moon till 10:28 AM on March 26. Then onward it isKrishna Paksha Chaturdasi Tithi or the fourteenth day during the waning phase of moon till 9:33 AM on March 27. All time based on India Standard Time.
How is March 26, 2017 as per Hindu Panchang? – There is no good and auspicious time on the entire day Nakshatra – Shathabhisha or Sadayam or Chathayam Nakshatra till 2:50 PM on March 26. Then onward it is Purvabhadra or Pooruruttathi Nakshatram till 2:30 PM on March 27.
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), it is Shathabhisha or Sadayam or Chathayam Nakshatra till 2:50 PM on March 26. Then onward it is Purvabhadra or Pooruruttathi Nakshatram till 3:20 PM on March 27.
Rashi …