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Showing posts from October 4, 2018

What is Aruna Prashna? – Surya Namaskara Prasnam

The article originally written and contributed by Sarma Sastrigal Aruna Prashna, also known as, Surya Namaskaram is considered as most significant one among all the Veda Mantras for worshiping the Surya Bhagwan (Sun God in Hinduism). The entire Aruna Prashna mantras are found in the first prasna of Taittiriya Aranyakam of Yajur Veda. This is called Surya Namaskara Prasnam. In this Surya Namaskara Prasna, there are 32 Anuvaakams (chapters). 130 Panchaasath (paragraphs) can be found in this total 30 Anuvaakams. When the Japam is performed, it is the sampradaya, to offer one sashtanaga namaskaram, facing east (Surya Bhagwan), at the end of every panchaathi (paragraph) or alternatively at the conclusion of each anuvaakam depending upon one's health condition. The last anuvaakam ends with the description of one vratam called 'samvatsara vratam' and also proclaims that one who does this vratam becomes a punyatma. It concludes with the following words: 'tha

Varasiddhi Vinayaka Vratha and Puja - How To Perform Varasiddhi Vinayaka Puja?

Varasiddhi Vinayaka Vratha is dedicated to Ganesha. Many communities perform it on the Ganesh Chaturthi day in Bhadrapad month (the first day of 12-day Ganesha Festival). The Vratha can also be performed on other Chaturthi falling during Shukla Paksha or waxing phase moon in other months. The belief is that after the successful completion of the puja and rituals Vinayaka blesses the devotee for the success of his/her wishes – thus the puja is named Varasiddhi. For some communities Varasiddhi Vinayaka Vratha is an elaborate puja with complete participation of all the members of the family. Such pujas are usually performed under the guidance of a priest. Although Varasiddhi Vinayaka Vratha is called a Vratha there are no fasts involved. It is more of offering worship to Ganesha on the day. Simple Varasiddhi Vinayaka Vratha A clay Ganesh murti is used for the puja. Modak is prepared at home as prasad. Red color flowers are used for puja. Durva grass is offered Fruit

Sage Vishwamitra and Indra – Story on the Greatness of Gayatri Mantra

Sage Vishwamitra performed intense austerities to become a great sage. Indra, the king of Devas, wanted to test the qualities of the Vishwamitra, who before becoming a saint was a king. The story explains the importance and greatness of Gayatri Mantra. Vishwamitra was born in the Kushik Dynasty. King Vishwamitra once visited the Ashram of Sage Vasishta and came to know about the holy cow Nandini in the Ashram, which had wish fulfilling power.  King Vishwamitra felt that the cow would be more use to a king. So he asked for the cow. But Sage Vasishta said that Nandini would only leave the ashram only if she likes. Nandini was not ready to leave. Vishwamitra and soldiers tried to take the cow away forcibly but were defeated by the powers of Nandini. An insulted Vishwamitra soon realized that spiritual powers were more powerful than a king’s commands and arrows. Vishwamitra then abdicated his throne and took to the life of a Sanyasi. He performed intense meditations and

Hanuman Sits On His Tail Seat High Above in Ravana’s Court - Story

One of the famous incidents in Ramayana is Hanuman creating a seat using his tail and sitting in Ravana’s court when he is denied a seat by Ravana. But this is not part of Valmiki Ramayana but found mostly in regional and folk versions of the story. Hanuman reaches in Lanka in search of Sita and finds her in the Ashokavana garden. Hanuman gives the message from Sri Ram and decides to test the strength of Ravana. He wrecks havoc in the garden and kills numerous soldiers and Akshaya, the young son of Ravana. Note - Angada, the son of Vali, also goes to the court of Ravana as messenger of Rama before the war. This is also not part of Valmiki Ramayana but is found in the Lanka Khanda of Ramacharitamanasa of Tulsidas. But Ramcharitmanas does not mention about Angada sitting on his tail. It merely mentions about Angada sitting in the assembly of Ravana. Finally, Hanuman is ensnared by Indrajit, the eldest son of Ravana. Indrajit had to use a divine noose to capture Hanuman. B

Papa Ramdas Quotes - Teaching and Thoughts of Papa Ramdas

Papa Ramdas (1884 – 1963) was a popular saint and philosopher of the 20th century. He founded the Anandashram at Kanhangad, South India, in 1931. Papa Ramdas quotes are mostly from magazines. This is a small collection of teaching and thoughts of Papa Ramdas and it will be expanded as more quotes are received.  Death holds terrors for us. This is because we think we are merely physical bodies subject to birth, growth, decay and death. To shed this fear we must realize that we are immortal and that even if the body perishes we are not going to perish. Only when fear leaves our hearts we shall remain in peace. We cannot see everything as divine because we have got a mind which is obsessed with desires. Desires debar us from the vision of the Divine in each and everything. Love is not bargaining; it is not give and take. It is spontaneous merging of souls. The first quality or virtue we have to develop, before we aspire to have God's humility…you have in fact to unlearn

Mahishasura Mardini Stotram Text in Hindi with English Meaning in pdf - Aigiri Nandini Prayer With Meaning

Mahishasura Mardini Stotram is one of the most popular bhajans dedicated to Goddess Durga and is believed to have been composed by Ramakrishna Kavi. The prayer begins with the lines Aigiri Nandini. This particular pdf format of the Mahishasura Mardini Stotram Text contains the verses in Hindi with English meaning of each stanza. The English translation is done by S N Shastri. Link - Mahishasura Mardini Stotram Text and English Meaning Goddess Durga annihilated Demon Mahishasura (the invisible demon) and was given the title Mahishasuramardini (conqueror of Mahisha). The story is found in Devi Mahatmyam part of Markandeya Purana. Generally portrayal of Mahishasuramardini is that of Durga appearing with eight hands riding a fierce-looking lion.