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Tulsi Vivah

Posted by on Nov 25, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Tulsi Vivah

Legend relating to Tulsi  According to Padma Purana, Tulsi plant was actually a woman named Vrinda. She was wife of demon Jalandhar (who was born when the third eye heat of Shiva was absorbed by ocean). Being born out of Shiva’s third eye & ocean, he demanded being worshipped as God & getting all the nectar’s that were obtained by ocean churning. Refusing to his desires demigods had to fight with him. Due to Vrinda’s purity & chastity, he became invincible. At that time to defeat him, Vishnu disguised as Jalandhar took away her chastity; hence Jalandhar lost his invincibility & was defeated. Losing her husband & her chastity, Vrinda cursed Vishnu to become black & to get separated from his wife. This curse was accomplished by Vishnu becoming Shaligram in Gandika river & by Ram losing Sita during one of his incarnations. And after that Vrinda became Sati on his husband’s pyre. Watching this, Vishnu transferred gave her a boon that she will be worshipped in this world as Tulsi plant & her soul will reside with him in his supreme abode as her consort also. Vrinda is actually believed as Radha Rani’s immediate associate. She was responsible of taking care of all the worldly desires for Krishna, and for the same she made a Garden specially dedicated for his past time. That garden was known as Vridavan. Delighted by her services, Radha once arranged throne for her & Krishna, where when they were seated, Lalitha recited mantras for them for marriage. Thus Vrinda got Krishna. To follow Radha’s boon to Vrinda, every year Tulsi is married to Krishna ( Vishnu’s incarnation) on 11th day of Karthik month (bright half of moon). According to another legend, Tulsi was obtained during churning of the ocean & was called the younger sister of Laksmi. She wanted to marry Vishnu, but as Laksmi was already married to him, she did not like her idea and so cursed her of becoming a plant. But Vishnu, being merciful, declared he will remain close to her in his Shaligram form. Rituals Of the Marriage The couple who does not have a female child takes this opportunity to do the kanyadaan of Tulsi. They observe fast on that day. The marriage altar is made around the plant with sugarcane & branches of Amla & tamarind. The pot in which Tulsi plant is planted is painted white. Then rangoli is made around it. In the evening, the plant is adorned with red dress followed by bangles around its branches. Then the Shaligram( Vishnu) is seated & honoured. Then the garland is exchanged followed by Kanyadaan, they are tied together with strong knot( with a cotton thread) & made to take 7 vows, impart vermillion & mangal sutra. And finally pani garahan is done. Spiritual significance of the marriage Tulsi resembles spirituality, and its marriage with the Vishnu( the supreme) resembles our soul’s accord with the supreme being. A specific time is given for the performance of the marriage ritual. It is believed that during this time, the frequencies of Lakshmi & Vishnu increase on earth i.e. frequencies of water & fire (The meeting of these two frequencies is termed as marriage). Thus when one paints the pot white & makes Rangoli he invites those frequencies to get into him & empower him with activeness &...

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Hanuman Chalisa – Its meaning & significance

Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hanuman Chalisa – Its meaning & significance

Legend behind Hanuman Chalisa A story is narrated in the history books, that once the famous poet Tulsidas had a dream of Lord Rama in Gokul, birth place of lord Krishna. So he went to Emperor Auragzeb to tell the story. Emperor challenged Tulsidas saying asking him to show Lord Rama there, at which Tulsidas said that it wasn’t possible without full devotion. Enraged Aurangzeb ordered to imprison Tulsidas. It is said that during this imprisonment Tulsidas wrote this legendary Hanuman Chalisa, and after the completion of the poetry, an army of monkeys arrived in Delhi at which the king could not get control. Finally Aurangzeb realized it was monkey god Hanuman wrath & so he released Tulsidas & urged him to reauest to monkeys to stop their mischief. Meaning of Hanuman Chalisa श्रीगुरु चरन सरोज रज              In the Lotus feet of my teacher/Guardian निज मन मुकुर सुधारि।            I purify the mirror of my heart बरनउँ रघुबर बिमल जसु          I illustrate the story of immaculate Rama जो दायकु फल चारि॥               which bestows four fruits (The 4 Purusharth : desire, prosperity, righteousness, liberation) बुद्धिहीन तनु जानिकै               Considering myself as frail & unwise सुमिरौं पवनकुमार।                 I contemplate Son of Wind ( Hanuman) बल बुद्धिविद्या देहु मोहिं          to impart power, knowledge & civilization हरहु कलेश विकार ॥                & to eradicate all the miseries of life. जय हनुमान ज्ञान गुन सागर।   I glorify lord Hanuman, the deep sea of knowledge & virtues जय कपीस तिहुँ लोक उजागर॥ I glorify The Monkey man “Vanara” ,who lightens the three worlds (earth, atmosphere & beyond)       राम दूत अतुलित बल धामा।     I glorify the faithful envoy of lord Ram, अंजनि पुत्र पवनसुत नामा॥      who is also known as son of anjana ( “anjaniputra”) & wind’s son ( “pavansuta”) महाबीर बिक्रम बजरंगी।           You are the distinguished warrior, the courageous & possess strength as “Indra’s vajra” कुमति निवार सुमति के संगी॥  You demolish despicable mind and befriend fine intellect कंचन बरन बिराज सुबेसा।        being gold complexioned he dwells in his handsome form कानन कुंडल कुंचित केसा॥       You adorn earrings & curly hair. हाथ बज्र औ ध्वजा बिराजै।       You hold “Vajra” in one hand & flag in the other काँधे मूँज जनेऊ साजै॥             You adorn the sacred thread “Janeu” prepared by “Munja grass” on your shoulder शंकर सुवन केसरी नंदन।          You are the delight of Shiva, the son of Kesari तेज प्रताप महा जग बंदन॥       You possess a majestic aura & are admired by the whole world बिद्यावान गुनी अति चातुर।     You are the laudable abode of the eighteen types of Vidya राम काज करिबे को आतुर॥      You are always willing to serve lord Rama प्रभु चरित्र सुनिबे को रसिया।     You adore listening Lord Rama’s legends राम लखन सीता मन बसिया॥   You reside in the heart of Rama, his wife Sita & his younger brother Lakshman. सूक्ष्म रूप धरी सियहिं दिखावा। You searched Sita by adorning the miniscule form बिकट रूप धरि लंक जरावा॥     And you set gold made Lanka ablaze by appearing in an outsized form भीम रूप धरि असुर सँहारे।        You destroyed all the demons by taking horrendous form रामचन्द्र के काज सँवारे॥          And that is how you performed all the deeds of Sri Rama. लाय सँजीवनि लखन जियाए।   You carried the Dronagiri Mountain from Himalayas which contained Sanjeevani to Lanka and saved Lakshman. श्रीरघुबीर हरषि उर लाए॥          Elated by this act Sri Rama embraced you. रघुपति...

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Gayatri Mantra – Its significance

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Gayatri Mantra – Its significance

The word “Gayatri” is derived from the Sanksrit phrase “Gayantam Triyate Iti” which means Gaya गय means Vital airs Triaye त्रायते means to save or defend Thus Gayatri word actually means to save the vital airs of the bodyi.e. to awaken the vital energy of the body, leading to sovereignty from ignorance & absolute liberation. Who is Gayatri? Gayatri is not really Goddess but the mother of the four Vedas and is known by three names : Gayatri,Savitri & Saraswati where Gayatri – power of Sense Savitri –power of Prana ( Life force) Saraswati – power of Speech Thus the three bestow purity of thought, deed & word & together they are known as Trinity. What is Gayatri Mantra? This mantra, which is specified in Rig Veda was actually given to Rishi Vishwamitra by the supreme being – God himself. Gayatri mantra is not just considered to be a normal Mantra but is considered to be the deity itself. The mantra is also known as “Vedasara” i.e. The root or crux of the Vedas. Yogis of Vedic age researched a lot for self awakening i.e.to awaken the energy pools –the 8 chakras. Their research led to the formation of Gayatri mantra. The secret lies in the distinguishing array of the alphabets in the mantra.As Gayatri is also known as Trinity, this mantra is arranged in groups of three. And as there are 8 chakras to awaken the inner self, there are eight syllables in each line. As one recites this mantra the pressure developed on his tongue, vocal chords, mind, and heart lead to his whole nervous system resonance hence titillating the chakras. That is why recitation & regular repetition of the mantra with correct pronunciation stimulates the magnetic charge in chanter’s body leading to sharper mind, open heart & better immune system. ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः । तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं । भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि । धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥ Aum Bhur Bhuvan Swah Tat Savitur Vareniyam Bhargo Devasya Dhi Mahi Dhiyo yo Nah Prachodayaat ~ The Rig Veda (10:16:3) Meaning of Gayatri Mantra Aum – The first word It is the vital vibration (the breathing sound). Each mantra starts with the word Aum because during its recitation the syllable A originate in the navel emerging from throat Syllable U rolls over tongue & M ends on the lips signifying the waking, dreaming & sleeping. Bhur,Bhuvah,Swah The three words actually means the earth, atmosphere & above. They signify the tamas, rajas & satva of the body ,the morning, evening & night of the system, the past, present & future of the being. By reciting this, chanter glorifies the Supreme Being & his existence. Tat Savitur Vareniyam Tat signifying the supreme god literally means that. Savitur signifying the brilliance of sun literally divine sun, Vareniyam literally means most desirable or adorable. These words signify adorable supreme being radiates knowledge thus taking away our darkness. Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Bhargo,the name of bhramha actually means light. Devasya is actually combination of deva and asya meaning divine grace Dheemahi means holding life. It actually signifies the light of the divine grace which holds life. Dhiyo yonah Prachodayaat Dhiyo means the intellect Yo means who Pracho means instigate,direct Dayaat means to impart It actually is a praying to god so that he imparts & directs our intellect. Thus the crux of the whole mantra can be written in these few words: “We meditate on the most adorable & lustrous Supreme Being, our creator to impart us the knowledge which can take away all the darkness of our intellect & awaken our...

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Navratri – The nine days of contemplation

Posted by on Sep 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Navratri – The nine days of contemplation

“Navratri” is a Sanskrit word derived from conjunction of two different words – “Nav” which means nine and “ratri” which means night. Hence the word navratri means nine nights. It is one of the longest festivals in Hindu tradition which goes on for 9 days and is dedicated to goddess “Durga” who is also known as the “Shakti”( Meaning power, energy). Why worship energy in form of Goddess only It is because mother is the original aspect of the supreme. The abstract absolute (Shiva – consciousness) can be known only through the world of attributes (Durga – energy) – journey of indefinite through definite. Singnificance of Navratri This festival is celebrated to get the blessing in different aspects of person’s life from all the goddesses which are known for their symbol of energy. As we all know, according to Newton’s law, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transformed from one form to another. This is exactly what we do in these nine days. The energy within us is invoked and transformed for the betterment. According to Bhagvad-Gita, the cosmic matter is made up of three basic energies/forces: Sattva Rajas Tamas Sattva arising from knowledge, is that part of matter, which when rules an individual, makes him steady minded leading him to peace and happiness. He develops a harmony with the environment. Rajas arising from desire is that part of matter, which when rules an individual, makes him disturbed and passionate when he sees the matter of desire, leading him to act restlessly and aggressively. He has the strength but gets worried because of his desires. His mind is generally in equilibrium, but he loses its equilibrium when sees the matter of desire & works with full strength to get the desired matter. Tamas, arising from ignorance, is that part which when rules makes an individual egocentric. He loses his sense of right & wrong and does things just for himself & not for the betterment of the society, thus leading to discontent & frustration. It is believed that every individual has all the three psychological forces. These nine days are used to invoke within us these powers to bring out the heavenly quality in us. One can acquire divinity only with the help of “Sadhana” for which these nine days are devoted. The celebration of nine days is progressed accordingly : Day 1 – Day 3 Goddess Durga, who is also known as “Shakti” is worshipped which destroys all the negative tendencies within us. However worshipping temporarily will not let one attain permanent solution. And so the seeds of positivity are supplanted on the first day( sowing of seeds on a bed of mud), which invokes the Sattva in us. Day 4 – Day 6 Goddess Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and desires is known to bestow blessings according to one’s needs. She invokes one with the difference between desire & needs, thus leading to Rajas negativities destruction. Day 7 – Day 9 Goddess Saraswati also known as goddess of knowledge & wisdom, bestows ones with wisdom which guides one in his rights & wrongs, thus leading to destruction of negativities of Tamas. Thus one is lead to the supreme truth. Thus by the end of the festivities, one if filled with good thoughts & deeds for betterment of society & thus himself. The tenth day being Vijaydashmi, it symbolizes the victory of good over evil, the moment when truth is drawn within. Significance of Fasting People generally fast during these nine auspicious days of Navratri to gain the blessings of goddess Durga. This festival...

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Ananth Chaturdashi (Ananth Padmnabham)

Posted by on Sep 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ananth Chaturdashi (Ananth Padmnabham)

Ananth Chaturdashi Ananth is a Sanskrit word which actually means “eternal” in English. This day, although being more famous as the final day of Lord Ganesh Festival : the day when the ganesh idols are immersed in water, is actually a day dedicated to the worship of Vishnu – The eternal lord. People fast this day for the fulfillment of their worldly desires and that is why this fast is known as “Kamya vrat”. Mythological Tales During Mahabharata, after Yudhishtir lost all his wealth to Kauravas, all pandavas were asked to live in exile for 13 years. During this period, when Lord Krishna visited Pandavas, Krishna advised them to keep the Ananth Chaturdashi Fast so that they could regain all their wealth and power. On this when Yudhishtir inquired who this Ananth was, Krishna told him that it is the other name for Lord Vishnu – The Immortal one. During the “Bhadrapad” month, Lord Vishnu rests on abode – Sheshnag. In him reside the 14 Lokas & the 14 Indras. So if one offers prayers to him, he bestows all the wealth & power. Listening to this, Yudhishtir inquired about the details of how to perform the fast and also inquired about who had done this fast earlier. So Krishna recited: “Rishi Bhrigu’s daughter – Deeksha was married to a Brahmin boy called Sumanta. They had a beautiful girl named Susheela. Susheela lost her mother when she was young. Worried, Sumanta remarried.Sumanta seconf wife,Karkashe, made Susheela’s life miserable.Inspite of all the varsities, Susheela matured into a fine lady. She was married to Kaundiya Rishi. After marriage, Kaundiya accompanied by his wife left for their home. During their journey, they passed through bank of a river. The day being Anath chaturdashi, Susheela saw many Brahmins & their wives wearing red and worshipping Ananth Padmanabh. Curious , Susheela inquired what they were doing. They told her that it was Ananth fast today and the fruits of the fast were Ananth ( infinite). Hearing this,even she showed her interest in performing the rituals & the fast . At which they told her that the fast is to be performed for 14 years each day on Bhadrapad shukla chaturdashi. The fast has to be performed by eating food without salt i.e. having fuits & milk only. After taking bath & wearing clean cloth she has to decorate the altar & then keep the kalash in south position of the latar. One has to take the vow of fasting for 14 years & performing the puja to regain the lost prosperity. Yamunapujan is done with 16 substances : By offering Yamuna a seat , washing her feets by giving her Arghya, bathing her with 5 substances, offering turmeric & vermillion, putting unbroken rice in the Kalash & concluding the puja by offering incense ( Dhup) , prayer ( arti ) , holy sacrament ( Naivedya).,etc. ( by offering puja to yamunaji one is awakening Sri Vishnu) Sheshnag with seven faces is made with sprouts of a grass named Darbha. The deity is invoked in the grass, he is offered the seat, his foot are washed by offering the Arghya,body worhip is done, his faces are worshipped, his name is worshipped & finally the puja is concluded by offering incense ( Dhup) , prayer ( arti ) , holy sacrament ( Naivedya).,etc. ( by offering puja to Sheshnag one is inviting Sri Vishnu) After this the worhip of the thread with 14 knots, the symbol of Sri Vishnu is done.The thread is purified by reciting holy prayers (mantras) & hence Sri Vishnu is invoked.The two...

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Ganesh Chaturthi

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh :  “Gan” stands for troops and “eish” stads for lord/leader.  Ganesh actually means “leader of all”. One can also see this as the lord of all the groups of atoms & energies. Lord Shiva is the ultimate god & hence his son represents a person who has attained spirituality & enlightenment. Significance of origin of Ganesh We all know the story of origin of Ganesh. When Parvati was celebrating with Shiva, she got the dirt on her. When she removed the dirt from her body, Ganesh was born. Then she went on to bathe, to removed left out dirt, and asked Ganesh to guard the entrance of the cave. When Shiva returned, he refused to allow Shiva to enter the cave, thus enraging Shiva. It resulted in Shiva chopping off his head, which was then revived by putting an elephant’s head instead (Parvati when asked Shiva to revive his son, Shiva instructed his disciples to go and find head of someone who was pointing north, and only this Elephant’s head was found).  How Parvati got dirt on her body? Why omnipresent Shiva could not recognize his own son? Shiva is known for peace, why did he then get enraged? Why elephant’s head was placed? Parvati, symbol of energy, got overexcited due to the celebration (“rajasik tatva” enhanced) which led to dirt on her body. Dirt signifies ignorance, whereas Shiva signifies knowledge. Ganesh hinders Shiva’s entrance signifying ignorance obstructs entrance of knowledge. Knowledge then overcomes ignorance signified by Shiva chucking off Ganesh’s head. And now why elephant’s head? Elephants travel & live in groups. Scientists have proved that they share emotions just like humans. Elephants are known for their wisdom & effortlessness. They don’t walk in obstacles, instead just remove the hindrance in their path effortlessly and move ahead. As stated in Mudgal purana, Ganesh’s elephantine head and human body have a specific significance. Ganesh’s head is symbol of soul whereas his body is symbol of earthly things. Also the amalgamation of his body (head of animal & body of human) specifies the unity between human kingdom and animal kingdom. This form unites humanity & rest of the world. This is the true meaning of devotion – uniting individuals. Significance of each part of Ganesh Big head denotes wisdom (enlightenment) which is gained by listening to lots of spiritual knowledge. For listening to different ideas & opinions (Vedas) to gain the knowledge one needs to have big ears. Also one should speak less & listen more to gain wisdom, which is signified by small mouth. Elephant small eyes are said to have deception (things appear to be much bigger than they normally are).One should always see others as higher than themselves i.e. surrendering pride & rendering humility. The elephant’s trunk can displace a tree and can also displace a needle. One should be able to face the ups & downs of the nature as represented by trunk. Once the knowledge is gained the person develops an intellect whereas he can differentiate between right & wrong, can have a clear thinking, away from prejudice & preconceived notions, thus leading to trunk (which signifies OM). The four arms indicate lord is omnipresent. Left side indicates emotion & right indicates reason. An axe in upper left & lotus in upper right signify to attain spiritualism one should cut off worldly attachments & win over emotions. Lotus sustains its beauty in marsh land similarly a person should retain his integrity in this world. Lower right hand in blessing mode denotes one should always give endlessly & a tray of sweets near denotes the...

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