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Showing posts from March 15, 2018

Symbolism in the Churning of Ocean or Samudra Manthan

Churning of Ocean or Samudra Manthan mentioned in the Hindu Puranas is an important event that was performed by Devas (demigods) and Asuras (Demons) to obtain Amrit (Elixir of life). The popular belief is that the churning of ocean (palazhi) was done to get Amrit so that it will return youth to the ageing Devas and they will be free from death. There is also a hidden symbolic meaning in the whole exercise of Samudra Manthan. Manthra Mountain was used as the churn and Snake Vasuki was used as the rope. To hold the churn, Lord Vishnu took the incarnation of Kurma or Tortoise. The poison that came out during the churning was consumed by Lord Shiva. The ageing process of Devas symbolically suggests the pollution of the mind. The mind gets covered with all impurities and this hides the Supreme Truth. The mind becomes easily corrupt and is under the sway of materialistic needs and desires. It becomes the seat of ignorance. The escape from death is Moksha and this has to

Story of Vidagdha Shakalya and Yajnavalkya from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

The story of Vidagdha Shakalya and Yajnavalkya is found in the third chapter of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad in Shukla Yajurveda. Vidagdha Shakalya was the son of Sakala. He was arrogant and was not ready to accept that Yajnavalkya was superior to him in knowledge. Once, King Janaka performed a big Yajna. At the end of the Yajna, Janaka announced that the wisest among the scholars assembled in the assembly would be rewarded with a thousand cows adorned with gold ornaments. Yajnavalkya stood up and asked his disciple to take the cattle home. Hearing this, the other scholars demanded that he answer their questions and prove that he was superior in wisdom. Yajnavalkya agreed and responded correctly and with full authority to a barrage of questions. The assembly was convinced that Yajnavalkya indeed possessed superior wisdom. Vidagdha Shakalya was not ready to accept the decision of the assembly and he rudely directed a volley of questions towards Yajnavalkya. The sage

How to make Kumkum powder at home?

Kumkum is a red powder applied on forehead and on the parting of hair by Hindu women. It is easy to make Kumkum at home provided if you have the right ingredients available. Here is a brief idea on how to make kumkum at home. Things needed Turmeric – Gather original turmeric. Boil it and then dry it in sun. Slaked lime – a caustic substance produced by heating limestone. Water How to make Kumkum powder at home? Powder the turmeric very well. Mix it with slaked lime. Add water. You will get a bright red color. Don’t make it too watery. Make sure that you mix all well. There should not be any small pieces in the mix.  Make a lump like small chapathi or poori ball. Dry it. Once dried break it and powder it again. You will get Kumkum.

Story of Shiva Blessing Vishnu with Sudarshana Chakra

There are numerous stories regarding to how Hindu Vishnu came into the possession of Sudarshana Chakra in Hindu Scriptures. One of the popular stories indicates that Sudarshana Chakra was gifted by Shiva to Vishnu. Legend has it that Vishnu one day decided to visit Lord Shiva who was residing at Kashi. Vishnu collected 1008 lotus flowers from Manasarovar to offer it on the Shivaling at Kashi by reciting the 1008 names of Shiva. After collecting the flowers from Manasarovar in the  Himalayas , Vishnu reached Kashi and was warmly welcomed by Shiva. Vishnu then began to offer the flowers one by one to the Shivling at Kashi. He chanted a name of Shiva and offered one lotus flower. Vishnu was fully absorbed in the process and Shiva decided to test Him and removed one lotus flower that Lord Vishnu had brought and hid it. Vishnu chanted the 1008th name of Shiva and when he looked for the 1008th lotus flower it was missing. Immediately Vishnu realized that He is known to h

Bali Island in Indonesia Switches off Internet Services for Nyepi - Hindu New Year

Internet services on Bali Island in Indonesia will be switched off on Saturday, March 17, 2018 as part of Nyepi – Balinese Hindu New Year. Internet providers will switch off mobile services for 24 hours to mark the Indonesian island’s annual day of silence. Nyepi is based on the ancient Balinese Hindu calendar. It is a sacred day of reflection on the Hindu-majority Island. Even the international airport shuts down on the day. The Guardian reports “It was agreed that internet on mobile phones will be cut. All operators have agreed,” Nyoman Sujaya, from the Bali communications ministry. The plan, based on an appeal put forward by Balinese civil and religious groups, was announced following a meeting at the ministry in Jakarta.  This is the first time internet services will be shut down in Bali for Nyepi, after the same request was denied last year. However, wifi connection will still be available at hotels and for strategic services such as security, aviation, hospita

Khajrana Ganesh Mandir – Info about Khajrana Temple in Indore – Madhya Pradesh

Khajrana Temple in Indore – Madhya Pradesh – is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The temple is unique for several reasons most important being devotees drawing ulta swastika, or upside down swastik. Khajrana Ganesh Mandir was built in 1735 by Ahalyabai Holkar. History of Khajrana Temple in Indore A local pandit named Mangal Bhat had a dream in which he saw a Ganesh murti under the earth at a particular spot. He got the place excavated after getting permission from Queen Ahalyabai Holkar. The murti was retrieved and a temple was constructed nearby. A small pond can still be seen at the spot from where the murti was retrieved. This is located in front of the temple. Upside down Swastik Devotees offer prayers for desire fulfillment and draw ulta swastika on the backside of the murti. Once desire is fulfilled, devotees return and draw the Swastika in the normal way. After this, modak or ladoo is distributed as Prasad. It is believed by devotees that desires are fulfilled by