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Showing posts from March 8, 2018

Sheetala Ashtami 2018 date - Shitala Ashtami 2018

Sheetala Ashtami is dedicated to Goddess Sheetala in the month of Chaitra (March – April) as per the traditional calendar followed in North India. Sheetala Ashtami 2018 date is March 9. Sheetalashtami Vrat is observed on the eighth day (ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of moon) in Chaitra month. The popular belief is that observing this Vrata will help in curing various diseases.

Goddess Sheetala is propitiated to get rid of several diseases like chicken pox. A unique ritual of offering stale food is observed during Sheetala Ashtami. Food need for Sheetala Ashtami puja is prepared a day before in advance.

People offer various food items to the Sheetala Mata on the day. People also feed old people on the day and take their blessings.

It must be noted here that some communities observe the eighth day of Krishna Paksha of every month as Sheetala Ashtami. But the most auspicious one is the Chaitra Krishna Paksha Ashtami.
How is Sheetala Ashtami Observed? The prasad or bhog re…

Yali – Animal with Lion’s Body and Elephant Trunk - The Vahana or Vehicle of Budh or Mercury

Yali is a mythical animal which has the body of a lion but with a trunk of an elephant.  In this form Yali is the vehicle or Vahana of Navagraha Budh or Mercury. As per Vaishnava tradition, Yali is a combination of elephant, lion and snake. It has the head and body of lion but with an elephant trunk and has the tail of a serpent.

It must be noted that modern paintings show Budha riding on a lion. The trunk part is avoided.

Yali sculptures are widely used on the walls and pillars of South Indian temples. When Yali is a combination of elephant, lion and snake it is mainly noted for its ferociousness and strength. Yali thus has the strength of an elephant, ferociousness and speed of a lion and the fear factor associated with a snake.

This type of Yali is sculpted at the entrance of temples and homes to keep away evil.

One of the popular story of Narasimha states that Yali was subdued by Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu. Therefore the utsava murti of Narasimha in some temples ride on Yali Vaha…

Ganda Bherunada Narasimha Incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu

Lord Narasimha as Ganda Bherunada (two-headed bird) is a rare incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is mainly worshipped in South India. Gandabherunda, or Gandha Bherunda Narasimha, is a combination of bird and animal with two heads and said to have manifested from Lord Narasimha as he was not able to control his anger. It is also believed that Ganda Bherunada incarnation was answer to Lord Shiva’s Sarabha form. This is also the emblem of Karnataka State in India.

Ganda Bherunada is not mentioned in the Bhagavad Purana but is mentioned in the some regional scriptures and in some Puranas. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu took the form of Narasimha (half-man half-lion) to annihilate Demon Hiranyakashipu. But after completing His divine mission, Narasimha could not control his anger and turned to destroy the universe. Lord Shiva took the form of Sarabha to pacify Narasimha. But Lord Narasimha took a more terrible form of bird-animal with two heads – Ganda Bherunda.

The most famous drawing of Gan…

Story of Gandaki River and Brahma

There are numerous stories in Hindu Puranas regarding the origin of the Gandaki River. On such story is associated with Brahma, the God of creation. Salagrama, or Shaligrama, the black stones with stripes in the form of symbols associated with Lord Vishnu is found in the Gandaki River.

Legend has it that Lord Brahma was saddened when he realized that so many people had strayed from the path of Dharma and had become sinners. Brahma sat in meditation thinking about the unfortunate situation. Sweat from his face fell on the earth and ran as a river.

It was known by the name of Gandaki as it appeared from Ganda – cheek of Brahma.

Gandaki River requested Brahma to accept her as his spouse. But Brahma declined.
She then decided to perform intense penance to restore Dharma. Her action resulted in the appearance of Vishnu in the form of Salagrama.

Shani Temple Near Gwalior | Famous for Shani Amavasya | Hanuman Threw Shani From Lanka Here

Shani Temple near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh is associated with the story of Hanuman rescuing Shani from the prison of Ravana in Lanka. It is said that during the Ramayana period, in order to rescue Hanuman threw Shani from Lanka and Shani Bhagavan landed at the spot where the temple is located. Shani Amavasya attracts more than a lakh devotees to the shrine.
This famous Shani Temple is located at Aiti Village in Morena District in Madhya Pradesh. The temple is around 18 km from Gwalior and around 37 kilometers from Morena.
The temple is located on a hilltop known as Shani Parvati. A 14-kilometer circumambulation of the mountain (parikrama) helps in nullifying the effect of Sade Sati and other Shani related problems in horoscope or janam kundli.
The murti of Bhagavan Shani worshipped in the temple is very old and it was established during the Ramayana period.
There is a unique murti of Hanuman outside the temple. Hanuman has a dagger tied to his waist and is stepping on a monkey.


Knowledge Means Progressive Awareness Of Our Ignorance - Swami Nityasthananda

The whole universe is a mystery and everything within it is mysterious. We cannot claim – rather it is presumptuous to do so – that we know fully about anything in this world. As we go on discovering, the mystery deepens. As we go on gaining knowledge, we become more and more aware of our ignorance.

Perhaps, it is not unreasonable, though paradoxical, to say that knowledge also increases our ignorance, and knowledge means progressive awareness of our ignorance.

The ignorance prior to knowledge is tamas, like darkness due to a low vibration of light, and the ignorance that follows knowledge is sattva, like darkness due to a high vibration of light.

Though we cannot know anything completely, still it is not wise to stop learning. The very attempt to know itself is immensely beneficial. Even though we cannot know fire in its totality, the knowledge that it burns is of great advantage to us.
Swami Nityasthananda 0f Sri Ramakrishna Mission

Hindu Calendar – March 8, 2018

Tithi in Hindu Calendar on Thursday, March 8, 2018 – Krishna Paksha Saptami Tithi or the seventh day during the waning or dark phase of moon inHindu calendar and Panchang in most regions. It is Krishna Paksha Sashti Tithi or the sixth day during the waning or dark phase of moon till 3:49 AM on March 8. Then onward it is Krishna Paksha Saptami Tithi or the seventh day during the waning or dark phase of moon till 5:08 AM on March 9. All time based on India Standard Time.
Good – Auspicious time on March 8, 2018, as per Hindu Calendar – Good and auspicious time from 2:50 PM to 11:59 PM. Nakshatra – Vishakha or Vishakam Nakshatra till 12:26 AM on March 8. Then onward it is Anuradha or Anusham or Anizham Nakshatram till 2:12 AM on March 9
In western parts of India (Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and south Rajasthan), Anuradha or Anusham or Anizham Nakshtra on the entire day on March 8 and till 12:45 AM on March 9.
Rashi or Moon Sign – Vrischika Rashi till 4:25 AM on March 10.
In western parts of I…