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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 & coolness.

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 कीन्हीं बहुत बड़ाई।       Rama applauded many times.

तुम मम प्रिय भरतहि सम भाई॥ Rama even said that you are dear to him just like his brother Bharat.

सहस बदन तुम्हरो जस गावैं।    Thousands of people will pay tribute to you

अस कहि श्रीपति कंठ लगावैं॥   Saying this Rama again embraces you

सनकादिक ब्रह्मादि मुनीसा।     Many saints like Bhramha & Munisha

नारद सारद सहित अहीसा॥       Narad & Sarad have blessed Hanuman.

जम कुबेर दिक्पाल जहाँ ते।       Yama Kuber & Dikpal

कबी कोबिद कहि सकैं कहाँ ते॥   Kavi & Kovid, none could elucidate Hanuman’s glory.

तुम उपकार सुग्रीवहिं कीन्हा।    You were extreme benevolent to Sugreev

राम मिलाय राजपद दीन्हा॥      Befriended him with Rama & acquired him his Kingdom Kishkindha

तुम्हरो मन्त्र बिभीषन माना।     Even Vibhishan endorsed your mantra, as a result, became king of Lanka

लंकेश्वर भए सब जग जाना॥    Ravan, former king of Lanka, was scared of you.

जुग सहस्र जोजन पर भानू।       Sun, which is at thousands of distance from Earth

लील्यो ताहि मधुर फल जानू॥   You swallowed it believing it to be a syrupy fruit.

प्रभु मुद्रिका मेलि मुख माहीं।     Placing the ring in your mouth

जलधि लाँघि गये अचरज नाहीं॥Its not astounding that you leaped the ocean

दुर्गम काज जगत के जेते ।        The obscure tasks of the world

सुगम अनुग्रह तुम्हरे तेते॥        were achieved by your grace

राम दुआरे तुम रखवारे।            You are the concierge & guardian of Rama’s court

होत न आज्ञा बिनु पैसारे॥         No one can enter in his court without your consent

सब सुख लहै तुम्हारी शरना।     All pleasures are attained by your refugee

तुम रक्षक काहू को डर ना॥        No fear can abode the one whom you protect

आपन तेज सम्हारो आपै।          Once you commemorate your powers

तीनौं लोक हाँक ते काँपे॥           all three world’s start trembling with fear

भूत पिशाच निकट नहिं आवै।    Evil spirits can not disturb

महाबीर जब नाम सुनावै॥         when one sings your hymns & remembers you.

नासै रोग हरै सब पीरा।              you destroy all the ailments & take away all the pessimism

जपत निरंतर हनुमत बीरा॥      of those who regular remember you.

सब पर राम तपस्वी राजा।        Though Rama is the Supreme Being

तिन के काज सकल तुम साजा॥you accomplish all his tasks.

और मनोरथ जो कोई लावै।       If anyone ever desires for something

तासु अमित जीवन फल पावै॥   You fulfill his desires manifolds

साधु संत के तुम रखवारे।          You are Saints & the one who meditates protector

असुर निकंदन राम दुलारे॥        You slay demons & are dear to Rama

अष्ट सिद्धि नौ निधि के दाता।   You possess eight supernatural powers & nine treasures

अस बर दीन्ह जानकी माता॥    and this has been granted to you by Rama’s wife Sita.

तुम्हरे भजन राम को पावै।        Whoever sings your hymns directly possess the Supreme Being, Rama    

जनम जनम के दुख बिसरावै॥  and gets rid of all the adversities & negativities of life.

अंत काल रघुबर पुर जाई।         The one who is y our devotee, goes to the Supreme being’s abode after his body death

जहाँ जन्म हरिभक्त कहाई॥     And when they are reborn after that, they are always known as God’s devotees

और देवता चित्त न धरई।         Anyone who does not prayer to any other God

हनुमत सेइ सर्व सुख करई॥      but only to you, even he attains all the treasures of life ( generally it is said that every god imparts             something or the other)

संकट कटै मिटै सब पीरा।          All the ailments vanish & one is relieved from all the adversities

जो सुमिरै हनुमत बलबीरा॥      once when someone becomes your devotee & remembers you.

जय जय जय हनुमान गोसाईं।   I praise the victorious , the master of all senses, Hanuman

कृपा करहु गुरुदेव की नाईं॥       just like guru showers his blessings on his disciple, shower me with your blessings

जो शत बार पाठ कर कोई।        The one who recites this hymn 100 times

छूटहि बंदि महा सुख होई॥       All his troubles vanish & he gains all the life’s treasures.

जो यह पढ़ै हनुमान चालीसा।   Who ever recites this Chalisa

होय सिद्धि साखी गौरीसा॥       obtains all the powers & lord Shiva is the witness of this.

तुलसीदास सदा हरि चेरा।        Tulsidas, who is the writer of this Chalisa, will always remain you disciple

कीजै नाथ हृदय महँ डेरा॥        and he prays to the lord enshrine in his soul always.

पवनतनय संकट हरन मंगल मूरति रूप।           I call upon son of wind, an auspicious form to remove all miseries of my life

राम लखन सीता सहित हृदय बसहु सुर भूप॥     I pray to you to reside in my heart with Rama, Sita & Lakshman.

Benefits of reciting Chalisa

Reciting the chalisa everyday not just purifies you mind, body, heart & intellect but there are many other interesting facts about chalisa too.

  1. Its recitation helps in warding off the evil spirits of Saturn. Those under adverse effects of Saturn should chant the chalisa 8 times during night for consecutive 8 Saturdays.
  2. According to legends, once when Lord Hanuman saved Lord Shani’s life, Shani said that he will never harm true devotee of Hanuman, Thus those under adverse effects of Sade Sati should recite Hanuman Chalisa to save themselves from the ill effects of Shani.
  3. To ward off the evil spirits, Hanuman Chalisa is believed to be the most impactful of all the known verses.
  4. If someone recites Chalisa regularly at 8 times every night, he is able to get forgiveness for all his sins.
  5. Hanuman Chalisa can be used as a verse which can help you in not only attaining the wordly pleasures & wishes but also to attain the supreme abode. Tulsidas ends the end verse of Chalisa by saying that the devotee of Hanuman is the supreme pursuit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 minds.”

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:

  1. Sattva
  2. Rajas
  3. 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 is celebrated twice a year: First during onset of summer & second during onset of winter. During the climate changes, even our body requires time to get accustomed to the changes in the climate. And so we decrease the acidic nature in our body by fasting.

Also,it is believed that for “Sadhana” one needs to fast to attain the final enlightenment.

Prayers & offerings

On the first day, goddess durga’s face is inscribed on paper & established in the pooja attic.Kalash sthapana is done near the diety,with ganges water in the kalash covered with mango leaves & coconut on the mouth & moli being tied around.Barley seeds are sown in the small tub of mud prepared in the Puja attic. Roli & rice along with vermillion,flowers & fruits,sweets,betelnuts are offered each day with prayers.Sari is offered to goddess on the first day.Durga saptashati is recited everyday along with arti.For the first three days reciting & offering for Goddess Durga ( shailputri on first day,bramhacharini on second day & chadraghanta for beauty & bravery for 3rd day) are done , for next three offerings are done for Goddess Laksmi(Kushmanda on 4th day,skandmada on 5th day & katyayani on 6th day) and for last three days the offering are done for Goddess Saraswati(Kalratri on 7th day,Mahagauri on 8th day,Siddhidatri on 9th day). On the last day, Kanya puja is performed, when nine young girls, each girl denoting each goddess, are worshipped & offered food. It is believed in young girl / kids, god himself resides as they are unfamiliar to the worldly desires.After the final day the goddess durga inscribed paper is immersed in river.

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.

  1. One has to take the vow of fasting for 14 years & performing the puja to regain the lost prosperity.
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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 threads in the glass – left being of male & right of female, are offered from below upwards, unbroken rice grains & vermillion. Then the deity is washed with sandalwood paste, water containing flowers, fruit juice, water containing precious stones, and then the threads are worshipped with 5 substances(panchopachar) & dwadash avaran is done. Then sacred leaves like tulsi , bel dhatura are offered & patrapuja is performed. And finally naivedya of sweet pumpkin puris is offered.The string , now known as Raksha sutra is worn by females on left & by males on right hand while reciting mantras.( The older string is discarded & this one is worn each year)

 She agreed, did everything & tied the knot. Slowly Rishi Kaundiya prospered.One day when he noticed the Raksha Sutra on her hand,he inquired. Hering the whole story he became furious & tore the sacred thread yelling that it was due to his efforts that they had turned rich. As a result,early after Raksha sutra was broken, they lost all their wealth. Realising his mistake, Kaundiya decided to penance until the Lord himself appeared before him. But when many years passed and nothing happened, a loner visited him 7 told him that he should perform the Ananth Chaturdashi fast to regain all that he had lost & also to gain enlightenment. He returned to his home 7 did that fast and slowly prospered.”

Hearing this even Pandavas agreed to do the fast & as is known they soon regained all their wealth after the battle.

It is believed that whoever tells or listens to this tale with full devotion gets rid of all his problems & prospers.

Moral of Ananth Chaturdashi

Be it the Ananth Padmanabham fast or the Ganesh idol immersion, the celebration means commemorating the ultimate goal of life i.e. enlightenment & god- realization.

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 be05auty 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 wealth & prosperity which one gets after enlightenment.

One of the main characteristics of the people who have attained the knowledge is that to reach to this position they have to sacrifice a lot. This is denoted by the broken tusk. The two tusks refer to the intellectual (right tusk) & emotional (left tusk) part of human, where intellectual should always be higher than emotion is also represented by broken tusk. The big belly specifies that the human body should be capable of digesting all the positivity & negativities of life.

A mouse signifies ego which is capable of the nibbling all the good in person. A mouse sitting near the feet signifies that a learned person conquers his ego. A mouse gazing at sweets but not consuming them signifies that controlled ego can live in the world without being effected by worldly temptations. Right foot dangling over left foot (right part signifying intellect & left signifying emotion) denotes that one should always utilize intellect to overcome emotions.

 Process of worship 

On Ganesh Chaturthi, the idol of Ganesh made of clay is brought in the home with outburst of joy & excitement. We establish the positivity in our hearts. We offer him lots of love & devotion, mound the idol above the ground, and pray to it to bestow us with his true qualities of wisdom & wealth & take away all the negativities.

Everyday prayer is done with offerings of turmeric, sandalwood, kumkum, durva (grass) & modak (steamed sweet made of jaggery, rice & coconut). Turmeric, sandalwood & kumkum have medicinal effects on our body (turmeric being an antiseptic & sandalwood & kumkum being coolants). Grass is known to strengthen ones memory. Modak being steamed is good for health.

This everyday process of prayer is specific to each person. It is defined as “darshan” (knowing innerself) and not the “pradarshan” (display of our egos). That is why it is the effort which one puts is given importance then the way the prayers are offered.

Visarjan of the Idol

On the day of the Ananth chaturdashi, the idol established, is given back to the nature i.e. immersed in the river. It is the way of giving back the love to the nature (in the form of love we give to the idol). Idea behind the process is that which comes from nature should be returned to the nature.

Special Custom associated with moon

There is custom of not looking the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. Legend from Mudgal Purana states that once when Ganesh had too much sweet from his worshippers, in order to digest it, he decided to go for a ride. While he was travelling on his vehicle Mushak, due to overweight Mushak lost balance & Ganesh fell down. Watching this Chandra (moon) started laughing. Thus Ganesh got angry and cursed moon that from now onwards whoever sees you will lose his glory. Moon, realizing his mistake, apologized. At which Ganesh said, that this practice would be prevalent only during Ganesh Chaturthi.

Legend of the festival – Ganesh Chaturthi

This festival is celebrated throughout India to promote nationalism & integration amongst people. It holds its roots long back during Chatrapati Shivaji’s time. But it lost its essence in mid, and was revived again by Lokmanya Tilak to reinvigorate the spirit of equality in people. The festival was made public; the establishment of the statue in the public ground was taken as a forum to give speeches to inspire people against western rule. Also the public celebration was taken as the base for uniting groups of Brahmins & Non-Brahmins, lower & upper class, as all of them celebrated & prayed under the same Pandal.

 Have you ever recited Ganesh Chalisa?

जय गणपति सदगुणसदन, कविवर बदन कृपाल। विघ्न हरण मंगल करण, जय जय गिरिजालाल॥
जय जय जय गणपति गणराजू।मंगल भरण करण शुभ काजू ॥
जै गजबदन सदन सुखदाता। विश्व विनायक बुद्घि विधाता॥
वक्र तुण्ड शुचि शुण्ड सुहावन। तिलक त्रिपुण्ड भाल मन भावन॥
राजत मणि मुक्तन उर माला। स्वर्ण मुकुट शिर नयन विशाला॥
पुस्तक पाणि कुठार त्रिशूलं । मोदक भोग सुगन्धित फूलं ॥
सुन्दर पीताम्बर तन साजित । चरण पादुका मुनि मन राजित ॥
धनि शिवसुवन षडानन भ्राता । गौरी ललन विश्वविख्याता ॥
ऋद्घिसिद्घि तव चंवर सुधारे । मूषक वाहन सोहत द्घारे ॥
कहौ जन्म शुभकथा तुम्हारी । अति शुचि पावन मंगलकारी ॥
एक समय गिरिराज कुमारी । पुत्र हेतु तप कीन्हो भारी ॥
भयो यज्ञ जब पूर्ण अनूपा । तब पहुंच्यो तुम धरि द्घिज रुपा ॥
अतिथि जानि कै गौरि सुखारी । बहुविधि सेवा करी तुम्हारी ॥
अति प्रसन्न है तुम वर दीन्हा । मातु पुत्र हित जो तप कीन्हा ॥
मिलहि पुत्र तुहि, बुद्घि विशाला । बिना गर्भ धारण, यहि काला ॥
गणनायक, गुण ज्ञान निधाना । पूजित प्रथम, रुप भगवाना ॥
अस कहि अन्तर्धान रुप है । पलना पर बालक स्वरुप है ॥
बनि शिशु, रुदन जबहिं तुम ठाना। लखि मुख सुख नहिं गौरि समाना ॥
सकल मगन, सुखमंगल गावहिं । नभ ते सुरन, सुमन वर्षावहिं ॥
शम्भु, उमा, बहु दान लुटावहिं । सुर मुनिजन, सुत देखन आवहिं ॥
लखि अति आनन्द मंगल साजा । देखन भी आये शनि राजा ॥
निज अवगुण गुनि शनि मन माहीं । बालक, देखन चाहत नाहीं ॥
गिरिजा कछु मन भेद बढ़ायो । उत्सव मोर, न शनि तुहि भायो ॥
कहन लगे शनि, मन सकुचाई । का करिहौ, शिशु मोहि दिखाई ॥
नहिं विश्वास, उमा उर भयऊ । शनि सों बालक देखन कहाऊ ॥
पडतहिं, शनि दृग कोण प्रकाशा । बोलक सिर उड़ि गयो अकाशा ॥
गिरिजा गिरीं विकल है धरणी । सो दुख दशा गयो नहीं वरणी ॥
हाहाकार मच्यो कैलाशा । शनि कीन्हो लखि सुत को नाशा ॥
तुरत गरुड़ चढ़ि विष्णु सिधायो । काटि चक्र सो गज शिर लाये ॥
बालक के धड़ ऊपर धारयो । प्राण, मन्त्र पढ़ि शंकर डारयो ॥
नाम गणेश शम्भु तब कीन्हे । प्रथम पूज्य बुद्घि निधि, वन दीन्हे ॥
बुद्घ परीक्षा जब शिव कीन्हा । पृथ्वी कर प्रदक्षिणा लीन्हा ॥
चले षडानन, भरमि भुलाई। रचे बैठ तुम बुद्घि उपाई ॥
चरण मातुपितु के धर लीन्हें । तिनके सात प्रदक्षिण कीन्हें ॥
तुम्हरी महिमा बुद्घि बड़ाई । शेष सहसमुख सके न गाई ॥
मैं मतिहीन मलीन दुखारी । करहुं कौन विधि विनय तुम्हारी ॥
भजत रामसुन्दर प्रभुदासा । जग प्रयाग, ककरा, दर्वासा ॥
अब प्रभु दया दीन पर कीजै । अपनी भक्ति शक्ति कछु दीजै ॥
श्री गणेश यह चालीसा, पाठ करै कर ध्यान। नित नव मंगल गृह बसै, लहे जगत सन्मान॥
सम्बन्ध अपने सहस्त्र दश, ऋषि पंचमी दिनेश। पूरण चालीसा भयो, मंगल मूर्ति गणेश ॥

Amavasya & its singnificance

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

Amavasya & its singnificance

“Amavasya” is a Sanskrit word which is derived from “AMA” meaning together and   “VASYA” meaning to dwell i.e. the day when sun and moon dwell together.

Amavasya is the last day of the darker half (waning) of the lunar month when the conjunction of sun and moon takes place. It is the no-moon or the new moon day .

Scientific theories

Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) has proved recently that waxing and waning of moon affects human mind and body.

Physical Impact

Since ancient times scientists have proved that waxing and waning of moon affects the functioning of the human body just as it affects earth’s water bodies leading to tides. The gravitational force of moon declines during this day pulling everything up, leading to tides. The similar impact is there on our body’s fluid i.e. blood. Hence the blood circulation in our body increases leading to enhancing of our emotions i.e. if we are distressed we become more miserable, and if we are happy we feel much happier.

Emotional/Spiritual Impact

Due to water getting attracted towards moon, the gaseous elements in water (water vapor) come into high pressure zone. Since negative energies i.e. ghosts are in gaseous form, they get that high pressure energy and so they attack humanity to a larger extent on this day. The incidence of eloping, suicides and possession by ghosts is highest on new moon day.

Vedas Theories

Amalgamation of life happens on this day as the negative and positive energies are uniting and so the process of life slows down. You feel the presence of something only when it is taken away from you ( presence of your friend is felt only when he is away from you) . You understand the nature of your body only when it behaves unnaturally (it gets sick). These are the days given to everyone by god to rise from untruth to truth i.e. analyzing what is me (physically and mentally) and what is not me. Hence, Amavasya is believed to be the best day for seeking liberation.

According to Vishnu Dharm Shastra, amavasya is the day when our forefather’s souls (pitra ) visit earth. That is why, this day is considered to be auspicious for donating things to poor for fulfilling our Pitra’s desires.

According to Mahabharat, when Karna died, he could not get any food as he donated only gold. So during one of the amavasya’s he was sent back to earth so that he could donate food to the poor, only then when he went back to the yamalok, he was given food.

According to atharva veda,new moon is capable of bestowing wealth and valiant son.

Remedies

Offering prayers during amavasya are considered to be the best for liberation.

 Also fasting during this day reduces the acidity in our body, thus leading to the balancing of the gravitational force of moon on our mind and body. Performing prayers keeps you calm and ensures peace of mind.

Donating to the poor on this day leads to the balancing of the negative energy of earth (ghosts getting their desires fulfilled).

SOMAWATI AMAWASYA

Somwar (Monday) is considred to be the day of lord Shiva ( the destroyer or the god of ghosts).If amavasya falls on Monday its considered to be more powerful as the day of Lord of ghosts coincides with the day of fulfilling the desires of forefathers.

This day that is why is considered to be the best to perform the prayers for the remedy of “Pitradosh” (Karmic debt by ancestors).The prayer can involve chanting of maha mrityunjay mantra, offering water to the Shivalinga, offering water, milk and honey to peepal tree and worshipping Maha-Kali.It can also be accompanied by offering food to the crows.

Fasting and donating things to the poor is considered to be as auspicious this day as offering prayers during festivals like Diwali.One who fasts this day is bestowed with wealth,valiant sons and enlightenment.

 

BachBaras / Gau Vats Dwadeshi

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

BachBaras / Gau Vats Dwadeshi

Bach is short form of Bachda which means “calf” and baras means “twelve”. Bach Baras or Gau Vats Dwadeshi is a festival which follows janmashtmi (lord krishna’s b’day) and is done on twelth day of Kartik month (according to hindi calendar) during Krishna paksh (waning moon period ). This fast is observed in different parts of India with different names, but with same intention.

In India Cow is considered a pious mammal. It is believed that a cow bestows her blessings when worshipped.

On this day, cow and its calf are worshipped. In the morning after women do the regular bathing and cleaning they make idols of cow with dough and worship those idols by offering them prayers. When in evening cows and calves return to home after grazing, they are offered new clothes, garland and sprouted gram. They offer prayers and recite tales related to bach baras. Women who have children do fasting on this day, depriving themselves from eating wheat and foodstuff prepared by cow’s milk. They also avoid using knife to chop vegetables. They eat sprouted gram and chapatti made from maize. It is believed that cow bestows prosperity and longevity of children, if worshipped on bachbaras.

According to one legend, once when Lord Krishna was taking his cows and calves to grazing meadows for the first time, her mother Yashoda colored the floor with rangoli, offered prayers to cows and did Tilak on Krishna’s forehead. Only after that he allowed lord Krishna to take cows for grazing. Women fast on this day commemorating the first grazing tour of Lord Krishna.

According to another legend, in some far off village, an old lady use to reside with her daughter in law. Once when old lady went to take bath in the river, she ordered her daughter in law to give fodder to the calves and cook fish in the pot. As daughter in law was busy in some other work, she could not listen to her mother in law’s orders perfectly. She slaughtered the calf and cooked her. When the old lady returned she was heart-borke and had a delusion that his son’s life was in some danger. So the old lady resoluted to fast till the calf was back live again.

Seeing her mother in law panicked, feared daughter in law made calf effigy with dough and started to worship that effigy. During dusk, due the effects of fasting, when cows began to return from grazing land even her calf was seen returning. Watching this, the old lady was happy that the crisis to the life of her son was averted.

This fast observes importance of children in mother’s life. Both calf and its cow (mother) are worshipped this day.

Raksha Bandhan

Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan

“Raksha” is a Hindi word which means to protect and “badhan” mean knot.

“Raksh bandhan” actually signifies to the knot which protects the well being of the person. i.e. tie of protection.

The festival is celebration of love and bonding of brother sister relation.

The festival is celebrated on every Shravan Maas purnima (full moon day), according to Hindi calendar.

Celebration & Ritual

For this occasion, women shop for the pious knot (rakhi) weeks ago. On the occasion, they are called by their brothers to tie the knot. On the day of celebration, in the morning, they wear beautiful dresses and go to their brother’s houses with Arti tray, tray full of sweets / food and gifts and the pious knot.

They first do the tilak, then do the arti (where the tray lighted with lamp is rotated around brother’s face for 7 times – it is done to keep him away from all evils and to protect him) and then they wish for his long prosperous life and feed him with sweets. The brothers too pledge to protect their sisters and love their sisters throughout their lives. Then finally gifts are exchanged.

Scriptures Tell tales

  1. According to Bhavishya Purana, when there was a great battle between indra (god of rain ) and Bali (demon king). When Indra was loosing the battle, her wife Sachi went to Lord Vishnu, and asked for help. Vishnu gave her a pious bracelet and asked her to tie to Indra’s wrist. When sachi prayed and tied to Indra, Indra won the battle finally. That is why this occasion is not just marked as significance for brotherly sisterly relations, but for all relations.
  2. According to Bhagavat Purana, when once Vishnu won all the three worlds from Bali, King Bali asked Vishnu to reside with him, to which God Vishnu agreed. But her wife Lakshmi wanted to go back to her home – “Vaikuntha”. So she went to Bali and tied a pious knot, after which Bali asked her what she wanted as a gift. She asked that she want to return to her home along with Vishnu, for which bali agreed and thus strengthening the bond of rakhi.
  3. Ganesh had two sons, shubh and labh. Once on the occasion of Rakhi, when Ganesh sister came to tie the knot on his wrist, these sons desired for a sister too. At this Ganesh granted their request by creating a daughter by his and his wives flames, and called him Santoshi Ma ( “ goddess of Satisfaction”). There after Shubh Labh had a sister who protected and loved both of them.
  4. According to Mahabharat, Draupadi tied the pious knot to Krishna and Krishna protected Draupadi from all trouble faced by her.

 Historical Citations

  1. According to known theories, when Alexander The Great invaded India, her wife Roxana send a pious thread to King Puru and asked him not to harm her husband. In accordance with the pious thread tradition, King Puru never attacked Alexander personally.
  2. According to the most known theories, when Bahadur Shah invaded Chittor, Rani karnavati sent the pious rakhi to Humayun asking for his help. To keep the pious thread tradition alive, Humayun arrived. But by that time Chittor was sacked by Bahadur Shah and Rani Karnavati had performed Johar. Still to keep the promise, Humayun invaded chittor and freed it from Bahadur Shah and gave it back to Rani Karnavati’s son.

 

 

 

 

Mahamritunjay Mantra ( महामृत्युंजय मंत्र )

Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Mahamritunjay Mantra ( महामृत्युंजय मंत्र )

ॐह्रौंजूंसःभूर्भुवःस्वःत्र्यम्बकम्यजामहेसुगन्धिम्पुष्टिवर्धनम्

उर्वारूकमिवबन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीयमामृतात् ।।

Maha Mrityunjay Matra is also known as Rudra or Trayambakam Matra. This verse is an extraction from Rigveda.

In English read as: “ Om Hom Jum Sah Bhurbhuvah swah trayambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam,urva rukamiv bandhanan mrityur mokshiya mamritaat”.

Origin of the mantra: Once when moon was in trouble as cursed by king daksha, this mantra was recited by daksha daughter sati to free moon from its curse, as told by rishi markendeya.

Meaning of the Matra :

ॐह्रौंजूंसःभूर्भुवःस्वः

Om: primeval sound, a synonym for bhrama, the creator.

भू Bhur : Physical Plane

र्भुवः Bhuvah : Astral plane

स्वः Svah : Celestial Plane

“It means we invoke our physical, mental and spiritual (soul) world.”

त्र्यम्बकम्यजामहेसुगन्धिम्पुष्टिवर्धनम्

त्र्यम्बकम् Trayambakam : other name for god shiva ( three-tri eyed-ambakam )

यजामहे Yajamahe : the one whose worthy of worship, honor

सुगन्धिम् sugandhim : pious and fragrant

पुष्टि puṣṭi : well nourished

वर्धनम् vardhanam : strengthening, increasing

“We worship shiva who is pious and who nourishes and supports our life.”

उर्वारूकमिवबन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीयमामृतात्

उर्वा Urva:large

रूक ruka:liberal

मिव miv : move

बन्धनात् bandhanan : captivating

मृत्योर्मुक्षीय mrityurmokshiya : – mrityu ( death ) mukshiya ( freedom) : freedom from death

मा ∫Ma: me

अमृतात् amritaat: immortal

“We request you to liberate myself from fear of death and guide me to a divine path of deed which is immortal.”

Essence of verse

“I invoke my physical, mental and spiritual world to worship Lord Shiva (who is our creator and supporter for life) for liberty from fear of death and guidance to achieve divine path of deed which is immortal.”

The chanting of this matra is done in following circumstances:

1. When suffering from any disease.

2. If your horoscope conditions of the starts which can cause accidental disaster.

3. To prevent the partition between brothers.

4. To cure the epidemic like plague or cholera in a village/town.

5. When in the horoscope of husband wife there are defects related to “Nadi dosh” or “Shadashtak Dosh”.

6. When your mind gets deviating from religion.

7. When there is atrocious misery between people.

Number of chantings required for different conditions:

  1. For a nightmare or a disease: One lakh twenty five thousand times chanting is required.
  2. To get away from the fear of travel or accident: one thousand times chanting is required.
  3. For prosperity, fame and spiritual awareness or enlightenment: One lakh twenty five thousand times chanting is required