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Showing posts from August 22, 2018

Gandharva Veda – About the Musical Instruments and Music of Gandharvas in Ancient Hindu Religion

Gandharva Veda is an upaveda associated the Sama Veda. Here is a look at the meaning   of the term Gandharvas and a note on the musical instruments and music mentioned in the Gandharva Veda. According to ancient tradition, Gandharvas were semi-divine class of musicians and their music was denoted by the term Gandharva. They sang to the accompaniment of the veena (lute). The saman’s denoted Gandharva as music outside the sphere of vedic music. The word ‘saman’ is explained in Vedic literature as the musical rendering of Veda verse (rk). Meaning of Term Gandharva Naradiyasiksha gives the etymology of the word Gandharva as ‘ga’ – stands for geya (song), ‘dha’ for the skilful playing on instruments like veena on which the various dhatus are to be produced by strokes on the strings, and ‘va’ for the percussion instruments like veena and vamsha. Abhinavagupta gives another etymology – gam vacam dharayati, this vak is in the form of song. Musical Instruments of Gandharvas Th

Kulasekara Alwar – Story of one of the 12 Alwars who was also a King

This article is an excerpt from an article titled – The Privilege of Kulasekhar Alwar written by K.C. Muthyalaiah Chetty in February 2016 edition of Saptagiri Magazine published by TTD. The Tamil saint poets called as Alwars are twelve in number - (Poigai Alwar, Pudatt Alwar, Peyalwar, Tirumalisai Alwar, Madurakavi Alwar, Tiruppanalwar, Tondaradipodi Alwar, Tirumangai Alwar, Kulasekara Alwar, Periyalwar, Nammalwar, Andal). They belong to the Vaishnava cult. The Nalayira Prabandham, a collection of four thousand hymns, was sung by the famous twelve Vaishnavite Alwars of South India in praise of Vishnu and His Avataras. Of the twelve alwars only two Madurakavi and Tondaradipodi have not sung of Tirupati. The hymns of the remaining ten alwars have reference to Vengadam and its Lord Venkateswara. Kulasekara Alwar is one among them. The Alwars dived deep into the ocean of devotion and they immersed in the Lord. Their poetic outpourings laid a mystic experience to the Lord.

Malayappa Swamy of Tirupati – Meaning and Significance Malai Kunia Ninra Perumal

Malayappa Swamy is one among the numerous names of the utsava murti (presiding processional deity) in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala. The most popular names of the deity worshipped in Tirupati temple are Balaji and Venkateswara . The name Malayappa Swamy is widely used by Telugu and to a certain extend by the Kannada and Tamil speaking community. Origin of Name Malayappa Swamy In ancient times, Malayappa, the Utsavamurthy of Lord Venkateswara was often referred to as ‘Malai-kunia-ninra-Perumal’. It means, the Lord who stands in a valley between two hills. Another meaning of the term is the ‘Lord stood on the hill which bowed low to Him.’ Over the course of time, his name was shortened to Malayappan or Malayappa Swami. The main deity worshipped in Tirupati Balaji Temple is immovable. During pujas, rituals, festivals and processions, which involves the moving around of the deity, Malayappa Swamy is worshipped. The belief is that the Tejas (divinity) of the ori

Mandhata Baba Temple near Sambalpur in Orissa protects and worships Turtles

The temple is located at Maneswar near Sambalpur in Orissa. The temple pond which is home to more than a thousand turtles was built in the 16 th century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. But (kurma) turtle was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and people here worship the turtles. Gangetic turtles are found in the pond. The pond is spread over four hectares and has earthen embankments and rocks on sides. Turtles rest and breed on these embankments. People feed them with rice and have learned to co-exist with them.  The 16th century temple of Lord Shiva, better known as Mandhata Baba temple, was constructed by the first King of Sambalpur Balaram Dev. Turtles are the major attraction of the tank spread over an area of more than one and a half acres. It is a unique example of turtle conservation.

Lalhi Chhath 2023 date - Lalahi Chhath Puja Vidhi - Importance of Hal Chhath

Lalhi Chhath Vrat, also known as Hal Chhath, is observed in Bhadrapad month (August - September) in North India and the ritual is dedicated to Balarama, the elder brother of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Lalhi Chhath 2023 date is September 5. The vrat is observed on the sixth day during the Krishna Paksha (waning phase of moon) in Bhadra month in North India - Bhadrapad Shashthi tithi. As it is observed on the sixth day the Vrat is also known as Lalhi Shashti Vrat. Lalahi Chhath Puja Vidhi A fast is kept on the day by women in North India .  In some regions, the devotees who observe the fast do not even drink water. Grains produced as a result of ploughing (use of Hal) the ground is not eaten on the day.  Milk of buffalo is used on the day. Another highlight of the festival is the use of Mahua Twig to brush the teeth on the day. Branches of kash, palash and jharberi are worshipped on the day. An offering of seven grains are also made – wheat, rice, maize, gram, moong, arhar a

Sinful and Meritorious Action Explained in the Karma Yoga of Bhagavad Gita - Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi

Arjuna asks Krishna whether it is not a sin to wage war and slay friends and relatives in battle. It seems to us a natural and reasonable question. Sri Krsna Paramatman gives an answer in the Bhagavad Gita. An action that outwardly seems to be bad and cruel need not necessarily be sinful. Acts that apparently cause pain to others may have to be committed for the good of the world and there is no sin in them. Then what action is sinful and what is meritorious? The Lord answers this question also. Only such deeds as are motivated by desire and hatred can be sin. Those performed for the well being of the world without being impelled by desire and hatred are meritorious even though they may seen to be cruel. The question arises: Is there any action that does not spring from desire or hatred? I will give an example. When a judge awards punishment to a man found guilty of crime is he driven by desire or hatred? His sentence may seem cruel but it is indee