April 9, 2014

Excellent explanation to the divine name Ra Ma

“Ra” in Sanskrit means “That which is Radiant” and “Ma” stands for “Myself”.

That which shines forth within me, is Rama. That which is radiant in every particle of the Being is Rama.

Rama is born to Dasharatha and Kaushalya.

Dasharatha (In Sanskrit this means “the ten charioted one”) signifies the five organs of sense and the five organs of action.

Kaushalya (Sanskrit for “skilled”) stands for skill. The skillful reiner of the ten chariots can give birth to Ram. When the ten are used skillfully, radiance is born within.

Rama was born in Ayodhya (Sanskrit for “the place where no war can happen”). When there is no conflict in our mind, then the radiance can dawn. Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, was born of Sumitra (the good friend). When the ten are cooperating with you then Awareness is born.

Source: http://www.artofliving.org/ram-navami

April 4, 2014

Guruvayur Utsavam Pictures !

The Utsavam lasts for ten days. Beginning on the day of Pushya (the 8th asterism) in the month of Kumbham ( February-March), it ends after the Aarattu on the 10th day.Religiously, it is the restoration of divine Chaithanya. Brahmakalasam is preceded by the Utsavam. It is aimed at the purification and energisation of the powers of the deity. It is the last of the long series of rituals of kalasam and at the end, the flag will be hoisted heralding the Utsavam.

Culturally, it consists of various processions, illumination and modest fire-works (this is a specialty of Guruvayur Utsavam that no explosives are used, unlike most of the other Kerala temples). All ten days, the place wears a festive look, streets dressed up with arches, festoons etc., houses freshly thatched and painted.

Every shrine and building is tastefully decorated with lights, plantain trunks, bunches of coconut and arecanuts. Two Gopurams and the bahyankana (outer-courtyard) are elaborately decorated with illuminations and eye-catching electric displays. The lamps, deepasthambams and vilakku are all lightened.

More Info about the festival can be found here.


March 14, 2014

Karadayar Nonbu – The Vrata by Tamil Women

Karadayan Nombu or Vratam is an important fast observed by Tamil women. Today March 14th is Karadayan Nonbu.
Karadayan Nombu is based on the legend of Satyavan and Savitri. Based on this legend, each region in India observes an Upvaas in different time of the year. In Tamil Nadu, it is observed during the transition of Tamil Month Maasi and Panguni. The story of Satyavan and Savitri is a sub plot in the Mahabharata.

Savithri among the five Satis leads the image of a loyal and steadfast wife who could bring back her husband from Yama the God of Death because of her intrepidity and thinking-on-her-feet capacities.

The oldest known version of the story of Savitri and Satyavan is found in “The Book of the Forest” of the Mahabharata. The story occurs is told by Markandeya. When Yudhisthira asks Markandeya whether there has ever been a woman whose devotion matched Draupadi’s, Markandeya replies by relating this story:

The childless king of Madra, Ashwapati, lived as an ascetic for many years and prayed to the Sun God Savitr. He wished to have a son for his lineage. Finally, pleased by the prayers, God Savitr appeared to him and granted him a boon saying that he will soon have a daughter. The king is joyful when his daughter is born and named Savitri in honour of the god. Savitri, born out of devotion and asceticism becomes the embodiment of these qualities later in life.

Savitri was so beautiful and pure that she intimidated all the men who came near her. When she reached the age of marriage, no man asked for her hand. So her father told her to find a husband on her own. She set out on a pilgrimage and founds Satyavan, the son of an exiled, penniless, blind king named Dyumatsena who was a forest-dweller.

Savitri returned to find her father speaking with Sage Narada who announced that Savitri had made a bad choice: although perfect in every way, Satyavan was destined to die one year from that day. In response to her father’s pleas to choose a more suitable husband, Savitri insisted that she had already chosen her husband. Narada finally agreed and King Ashwapati gets Savitri and Satyavan married. Savitri went off to the forest wearing the clothing of a hermit and lived in perfect obedience and respect to her new parents-in-law and husband.

Three days before the predicted death of Satyavan, Savitri began to observe a fast and vigil. Her father-in-law warned her that she had taken on too harsh a regimen, but Savitri assured him that she had taken an oath to perform these austerities and Dyumatsena offered her his support as well.

On the morning of Satyavan’s final day, Savitri asked her father-in-law’s permission to accompany her husband into the forest. Since she had never asked for anything during the entire year of her marriage Dyumatsena granted her wish.

The couple went into the forest and while Satyavan was splitting wood, he suddenly became weak and laid his head on Savitri’s lap. Yama, the God of Death, had come to claim the soul of Satyavan.

Savitri followed Yama as he carried the soul away. When he tried to convince her to turn back, she offered various wise arguments. She praised Yama for his just rule as King of Dharma, and for his noble conduct with no expectation of return.

Impressed by her oratorical skills Yama praised both the content and style of her words and offered her any boon, except the life of Satyavan. She first asked for the eyesight of her father-in-law and restoration of his kingdom. Next her wish was for a hundred sons for her father and then a hundred sons for herself and Satyavan. The last wish cleverly created a dilemma for Yama, as it would indirectly grant the life of Satyavan. However, impressed by Savitri’s dedication and purity, he offered her any boon, but this time omitting “except for the life of Satyavan”. Savitri instantly asked for Satyavan to return to life. Yama granted life to Satyavan and blessed Savitri’s life with eternal happiness.

Satyavan awoke as though he had been in a deep sleep. Meanwhile Dyumatsena regained his eyesight even before Savitri and Satyavan’s return. Savitri retells the story to her parents-in-law, husband, and the gathered ascetics. As they praised her, Dyumatsena’s ministers arrived with the news of the death of his usurper. Joyfully, the king and his entourage returned to his kingdom.

From then Savitri has always been idolised as the ideal woman who used her wits to win back the life and riches of her husband. Unfortunately in the modern mind the label ‘Sati Savitri’ has assumed a negative connotation and used to describe paragons of virtue in joint families, especially as dep[icted in TV serials. The strength and ability to hold families together under any circumstances has become somewhat unbelievable when the norm seems to be women who are ready to come out of relationships on the flimsiest of excuses.

However there are many caregivers who, being younger than their husbands by quite a few years, are spending their own twilight years caring and being loyal to ailing spouses. This is true of men as well who care for their wives but unfortunately they are not called Sati Savitris. They may be called Ekapatni Ramas, but considering what happened to Sita that may be an iffy title.

Today marriages happen because the couples think that they are Made for each other.
The next stage they become loving and Mad for each other.
Soon the fights and disagreements set in making them SAD for each other.
Incompatibility and different types of torture part their ways and the couple become BAD for each other.

February 26, 2014

Importance of Gayathri Manthra by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.

Swami Dayananda talks about the importance and meaning of Gayathri Manthra.

Part of the 2013 Anniversary Talk titled ‘Living In the Present’.

The Gayathri Manthra topic from 19th minute of this 4o minute audio lecture.

Audio of the lecture


The Gayathri Manthra topic from 19th minute of this 4o minute audio lecture.

Transcript from the lecture

Why is Gayathri Manthra a great prayer ?

You can prayer for wealth, power etc. Gayathri does not have that kind of a prarthana. The one who burns all confusions and ignorance is called Bhargaha.

Yo Bargaha , naha Asmakam , prachodanam kuryath.
May that lord who burns all confusions make our minds decide properly. To be at the right time right place is not in your hands.

In an intersection of a road, When we seen the green light, the assumption is someone else has seen the red light and responded to it also. That is why Prachodayat. Lord, bless to decide me properly. Between the two rights, what will work is another decision.

When a boy is 9 years old, the whole life is open for him. What prayer he has got. O lord, bless me to make decisions properly, to be at the right place at the right time. Every successful man was at the right place at the right time. Really true. It is not in your hands.

Therefore Gayathri prays for you to be at right place at the right time. Therefore one has to do One has to do.

There is no sharing karma, your karma is yours. You have to do it. You are doing what you have got to do it. Decisions can become very painful. You do not have the heard to dismiss. It is allowed in Dharma to dismiss this person for helping in some other way. So this painful decision , the first thing should be painful decision.

Therefore when I told this to an audience, one fellow told me, ” I have been procrastinating, I have lost jobs, relationships. So I missed out a possible marriage, your talk was inspiring. So from next week onwards I’m not going to procrastinating”.

From NOW on make it a point to do what is to be done from NOW on. However painful it is, do it first. May the lord help you.

Om is the lord – Avathi , rakshathi ithi ohm.
Om is the bhu – Om is the earth, the lord is the earth.
Om is bhuva – Om is the all above the earth
Om is svaha – Om is all that is beyond our perception.
That is OM.
That Varenyam – Only in India it is possible. That OM thatvam , that lord has to be understand. You have to choose to know. Nowhere in the world, Bhagawan is to be understood. For us what it is here is easwara. Om is Bhuhu, Bhuvaha, Suvana.

God is to be understood not to be believed. Pending understanding, it is ok to be believe.

Dheemahi – we meditate up on. We include others also. We include all of them. Savitha is the sun, the solar system, and the whole universe.
Savithuhu – the lord of the entire universe.
Sabaraha – The one who is all knowledge and who burns all ignorance.

Make our minds think properly, decide properly, understand properly. Let there be no corners in my mind on what is to be done.

What is real and what is not real? Let there be no confusion about that. That’s how we should use the time. Time is available for what you are interested in. What is TO be done, it does not depend on your interest, and it should be done.

What choice you have got to play the role of a mother. You have no choice. What choice you have got. Just play the role.
There is no choice. What is to be done is Easwara. May the lord help to do what is to be done IN TIME.

February 10, 2014

Hindu Antyeshti Samskar – Practical Guidelines for Final Rites.

Very useful guidelines on Antyeshti for Hindus living outside India, especially in USA.

Published by Hindu Mandir Executive Conference.

Foreword by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.

To Read or download, see link below.




January 10, 2014

Learn and Teach Vishnu Sahasranama – Compilation of resources

Tomorrow (Jan 11th) is Vaikunta Ekadesi day. Here is a compilation of resources found on the web to learn and understand Vishnu Sahasranamam.

This may be useful to start learning for yourself or teach Vishnu Sahasranamam to the next generation from the Vaikunta Ekadesi day.

Vishnu Sahasranama Stothra English & Samskritham PDF to read and download.


You can download the pdf file from this page.

Vishnu Sahasranama Stothra SLOW recitation With English Subtitles – MS Subbulakshmi

THis video will be useful to listen and read the sthothra at the same time slowly , especially for kids.

Download the VishnuSahasranamam SLOW recitation in MP3 format


How to Teach Vishnu Sahasranama Stothra to Kids
This video will be useful to know the methodology to teach the stothra to kids.


Background of Vishnu Sahasranama Stothra

  • In Mahabharatha , at the end of Kurukshetra War King Yuddhishtra went to Bhishma who was laying on a death bed of arrows to gain his lifetime’s knowledge and experience. During the conversation (Anusasana Parva, Section 149, verses 14 to 120) he posed these questions -
  • Who may be said to be the one god in the world?
  • Who is the one refuge of all? By glorifying and worshiping whom, can people attain peace and prosperity?
  • What is, in your opinion, the greatest Dharma – one’s true nature?
  • By doing Japa of what, can creature go beyond the bonds and cycle of birth and death?

Bhishma responded by reciting these one thousand names of Lord Vishnu and reminded him that either by meditating on these names or by invoking the names through archana (Offering), our minds can be lifted to higher consciousness.

Benefits of Reciting Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stothra – Phala Sruti

That man who hears the names every day or who recites them every day, never meets with any evil either here or hereafter.

  1. If one becomes desirous of earning the merit of righteousness, one succeeds in earning it (by hearing or reciting these names).
  2. If it is wealth that one desires, one succeeds in earning wealth (by acting in this way).
  3. So also the man who wishes for enjoyments of the senses succeeds in enjoying all kinds of pleasures, and the man desirous of offspring acquires offspring (by pursuing this course of conduct).
  4. That man who with devotion and perseverance and heart wholly turned towards him, recites these thousand names of Vasudeva every day, after having purified himself, succeeds in acquiring great fame, a position of eminence among his kinsmen, enduring prosperity, and lastly, that which is of the highest benefit to him (viz., emancipation itself).
  5. Such a man never meets with fear at any time, and acquires great prowess and energy. Disease never afflicts him; splendor of complexion, strength, beauty, and accomplishments become his.
  6. The sick become hale, the afflicted become freed from their afflictions; the affrighted become freed from fear, and he that is plunged in calamity becomes freed from calamity.
  7. The man who hymns the praises of that foremost of Beings by reciting His thousand names with devotion succeeds in quickly crossing all difficulties.
  8. That mortal who takes refuge in Vasudeva and who becomes devoted to Him, becomes freed of all sins and attains to eternal Brahma.
  9. They who are devoted to Vasudeva have never to encounter any evil. They become freed from the fear of birth, death, decrepitude, and disease.
  10. That man who with devotion and faith recites this hymn (consisting of the thousand names of Vasudeva) succeeds in acquiring felicity of soul, forgiveness of disposition, prosperity, intelligence, memory, and fame. Neither wrath, nor jealousy, nor cupidity, nor evil understanding ever appears in those men of righteousness who are devoted to that foremost of beings.
  11. This hymn in praise of the illustrious Vishnu composed by Vyasa, should be recited by that person who wishes to acquire happiness and that which is the highest benefit (viz., emancipation).
  12. Those persons that worship and adore the Lord of the universe, that deity who is inborn and possessed of blazing effulgence, who is the origin or cause of the universe, who knows on deterioration, and who is endued with eyes that are as large and beautiful as the petals of the lotus, have never to meet with any discomfort.

Astrological importance of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama

  1. As mentioned above recitation and meditation of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotra can help anyone who is seeking relief from various problems and can fulfill his or her desires.
  2. Helps minimizing evil combinations/affliction of planets as indicated in one’s birth chart. One can also heal through and overcome various curses and misfortunes.
  3. Many astrological classics including Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra have mentioned its use to obtain peace and relief in difficult situations. In fact it is a universal remedy to pacify and empower all planets in one’s birth chart.
  4. Difficult periods indicated in a person’s birth chart including:
  5. Dashas and antadashas of death inflicting planets(marak periods) and functionally malefic planets.
  6. Difficult transits of Rahu, Ketu or Saturn especially over Luminaries, that is, natal Sun and Moon.
  7. When transiting Jupiter moves through one’s 8th House.
  8. Weak and inauspicious Sun, Moon, Lagna(Ascendant) Lord as indicated in one’s birth chart.
  9. Incurable diseases, health problems, fear, anxiety and low state of confidence and self-esteem.
  10. Financial losses, conflicts and poor economic condition.
  11. Problems with progeny and any problem affecting children.
  12. Marital problems and divorce conflicts.
  13. Ensuring success in exams, business ventures and other competition.
  14. Natural disasters or when one’s country/state is in a state of turmoil and distress.
  15. Spiritual progress and grace of Lord Vishnu.
  16. To fulfill any other desire or overcome any difficulty.


Hari Ramasubbu

December 31, 2013

Useful e-book from periyava.org – Dharma Sastras & Common Dharmas Applicable To All

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Message from Periyava.org (summarized)

We are pleased to bring you the Twentieth edition of the e-book series from the Kanchi Periva Forum.

This month’s ebook is a special edition focused on Dharma Sastras & Common Dharmas applicable to all – which are extracted from a series of discourses given by Sri Maha Periva.

We also invite you to regularly visit our parent website www.periva.org which has a rich treasure of information, articles and a large collection of direct audio files of Periva’s Upanyasams.

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To View and Download the book, click this link.


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Table Of Contents.

December 30, 2013

50 Points about todays India – The Colonial Native Vs The Hindu – Vamadev Shastri

A Fantastic and must-read article on today’s India to be read by every educated Indian , written by David Frawley (aka Vamadeva Shastri).

This article is a light and quick read – 50 points in 10 minutes.

The Colonial Native Vs The Hindu - Vamadev Shastri – September 2, 2013


The Colonial Native Vs The Hindu

1. A defeatist tendency exists in the psyche of modern Indians perhaps unparalleled in any other country today. An inner conflict bordering on a civil war rages in the minds of the country’s elite.

2. The main effort of its cultural leaders appears to be to pull the country down or remake it in a foreign image, as if little Indian and certainly nothing Hindu was worthy of preserving or even reforming.

3. The elite of India suffers from a fundamental alienation from the traditions and culture of the land , that would not be less poignant, had they been born and raised in a hostile country.

4. The ruling elite appears to be little more than a native incarnation of the old colonial rulers who haughtily lived in their separate cantonments, neither mingling with the people nor seeking to understand their customs. This new English-speaking aristocracy prides itself in being disconnected from the very soil and people that gave it birth.

5. There is probably no other country in the world where it has become a national pastime among its educated class to denigrate its own culture and history, however great that has been over the many millennia of its existence.

6. When great archaeological discoveries of India’s past are found, for example, they are not a subject for national pride but are ridiculed as an exaggeration, if not an invention, as if they represent only the imagination of backward chauvinistic elements within the culture.

7. There is probably no other country where the majority religion, however enlightened, mystical or spiritual, is ridiculed, while minority religions, however fundamentalist or even militant, are doted upon. The majority religion and its institutions are taxed and regulated while minority religions receive tax benefits and have no regulation or even monitoring.

8. While the majority religion is carefully monitored and limited as to what it can teach, minority religions can teach what they want, even if anti-national or backward in nature. Books are banned that offend minority religious sentiments but praised if they cast insults on majority beliefs.


9. There is probably no other country where regional, caste and family loyalties are more important than the national interest, even among those who claim to be democratic, socialist or caste reformers.

10. Political parties exist not to promote a national agenda but to sustain one region or group of people in the country at the expense of the whole. Each group wants as big a piece of the national pie as it can get, not realizing that the advantages it gains mean deprivation for other groups. Yet when those who were previously deprived gain power, they too seek the same unequal advantages that causes further inequality and discontent.

11. India’s affirmative action code is by far the most extreme in the world, trying to raise up certain segments of the population regardless of merit, and prevent others from gaining positions however qualified they may be.

12. In the guise of removing caste, a new castism has arisen where one’s caste is more important than one’s qualifications either in gaining entrance into a school or in finding a job when one graduates. Anti-Brahminism has often become the most virulent form of castist thinking.

13. People view the government not as their own creation but as a welfare state from they should take the maximum personal benefit, regardless of the consequences for the country as a whole.


14. Outside people need not pull Indians down. Indians are already quite busy keeping any of their people and the country as a whole from rising up. They would rather see their neighbors or the nation fail if they are not given the top position.

15. It is only outside of India that Indians succeed, often remarkably well, because their native talents are not stifled by the dominant cultural self-negativity and rabid divisiveness that exists in the country today.

16. Political parties in India see gaining power as a means of amassing personal wealth and robbing the nation. Political leaders include gangsters, charlatans and buffoons who would stop short at nothing to gain power for themselves and their coteries.

17. Even so-called modern or liberal parties resemble more the courts of kings, where personal loyalty is more important than any democratic participation. Once they gain power politicians routinely do little but cheat the people for their own advantage.

18. Even honest politicians find that they cannot function without some deference to the more numerous corrupt leaders who often have a stranglehold on the bureaucracy.


19. Politicians divide the country into warring vote banks and place one community against another. They offer favors to communities like bribes to make sure that they are elected or stay in power. They campaign on slogans that appeal to community fears and suspicions rather than create any national consensus or harmony.

20. They hold power based upon blame and hatred rather than on any positive programs for social change. They inflame the uneducated masses with propaganda rather than work to make people aware of real social problems like overpopulation, poor infrastructure or lack of education.

21. Should a decent government come to power, the opposition pursues pulling it down as its main goal, so that they can gain power for themselves. The idea of a constructive or supportive opposition is hard to find. The goal is to gain power for oneself and to not allow anyone else to succeed.

22. To further their ambitions Indian politicians will manipulate the foreign press to denigrate their opponents, even if it means spreading lies and rumors and making the country an anathema in the eyes of the outside world.

23. Petty conflicts in India are blown out of proportion in the foreign media, not by foreign journalists but by Indians seeking to use the media to score points against their own opponents in the country.

24. The Indians who are responsible for the news of India in the foreign press spread venom and distortion about their own country, perhaps better than any foreigner who dislikes the culture ever could.

Digvijay Singh Addressing The Meeting
25. The killing of one Christian missionary becomes a national media event of anti-Christian attacks while the murder of hundreds of Hindus is taken casually as without any real importance, as if only the deaths of white-skinned people mattered, not the slaughter of the natives.

26. Missionary aggression is extolled as social upliftment, while Hindu efforts at self-defense against the conversion onslaught are portrayed as rabid fundamentalism.One Indian journalist even lamented that western armies would not come to India to chastise the political groups he was opposed to, as if he was still looking for the colonial powers to save him!

27. Let us look at the type of leaders that India has had with its Laloo Prasad Yadav ( ex CM Bihar), Mulayam Singh Yadav( ex CM UP) or Jayalalita to mention but a few. Such individuals are little more than warlords who surround themselves with sycophants.

28. Modern Indian politicians appear more like colonial rulers looting their own country, following a divide and rule policy, to keep the people so weak that their power cannot be challenged.

29. Corruption exists almost everywhere and bribery is the main way to do business in nearly all fields. India has an entrenched bureaucracy that resists change and stifles development, just out of sheer obstinacy and not wanting to give up any control.

30. The Congress Party, the oldest in this predominantly Hindu nation, has given its leadership to an Italian Catholic woman simply because as the widow of the last Gandhi prime minister, she carries the family torch, as if family loyalty were still the main basis of political credibility in the country. And such a leader and a party are deemed progressive!

31. The strange thing is that India is not a banana republic of recent vintage but one of the oldest and most venerable civilizations in the world. Its culture is not trumpeting a militant and fundamentalist religion trying to conquer the world for the one true faith but represents a vaster and more cosmic vision.

32. India has given birth to the main religions that have dominated East Asia historically, the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh, which are noted for tolerance and spirituality.

33. It has produced Sanskrit, perhaps the world’s greatest language. It has given us the incredible spiritual systems of Yoga and its great traditions of meditation and Self-realization.

34. As the world looks forward to a more universal model of spirituality and a world view defined by consciousness rather than by religious dogma these traditions are perhaps the most important legacy to draw upon for creating a future enlightened civilization.

35. Yet the irony is that rather than embracing its own great traditions, the modern Indian psyche prefers to slavishly imitate worn out trends in western intellectual thought like Marxism or even to write apologetics for Christian and Islamic missionary aggression.

36. Though living in India, in proximity to temples, yogis and great festivals, most modern Indian intellectuals are oblivious to the soul of the land. They might as well be living in England or China for all they know of their own country. They are isolated in their own alien ideas as if in a tower of iron.

37. If they choose to rediscover India it is more likely to occur by reading the books of western travelers visiting the country, than by their own direct experience of the people around them.

38. The dominant Indian intelligentsia cannot appreciate even the writings of the many great modern Indian sages, like Vivekananda or Aurobindo, who wrote in good English and understood the national psyche and how to revive. It is as if they were so successfully brainwashed against their own culture that they cannot even look at it, even if presented to them clearly in a modern light!

39. Given such a twisted and self-negative national psyche, can there be any hope for the country? At the surface the situation looks quite dismal.

40. India appears like a nation without nationalism or at least without any national pride or any real connection to its own history. Self-negativity and even a cultural self-hatred abound.

41. The elite that dominates the universities, the media, the government and the business arenas is the illegitimate child of foreign interests and is often still controlled by foreign ideas and foreign resources. It cannot resist a bribe and there is much money from overseas to draw upon. Indian politicians do not hesitate to sell their country down the river and it does not require a high price.

42. Fortunately signs of a new awakening can be found. There is a new interest in the older traditions of the country and many people now visit temples and tirthas.

43. Many young people now want to follow the older heritage of the land and revive it in the modern age. The computer revolution and the new science are reconnecting with the great intelligence of the Indian psyche that produced the unfathomable mantras of the Vedas.

44. Slowly but surely a new intelligentsia is arising and now several important journalists are writing and exposing the hypocrisy of the anti-Hindu Indian elite.

45. Yet only if this trend grows rapidly can there be a real counter to the defeatist trend of the country. But it requires great effort, initiative and creativity, not simply lamenting over the past but envisioning a new future in harmony with the deeper aspirations of the region.

46. One must also not forget that the English-educated elite represents only about three percent of the country, however much power they wield. The remaining population is much more likely to preserve the older traditions of the land. Even illiterate villagers often know more of real Indian culture than do major Indian journalists and writers.

47. Meanwhile overseas Hindus have become successful, well educated and affluent, not by abandoning their culture but by holding to it. They see Hindu culture not as a weakness but as a strength.

48. Free of the Indian nation and its fragmented psyche, they can draw upon their cultural resources in a way that people born in India seldom can. Perhaps they can return to the country and become its new leaders.

49. However, first this strange alienated elite has to be removed and they will not do so without a fight. The sad thing is that they would probably rather destroy their own country than have it function apart from their control.

50. The future of India looks like a new Kurukshetra and it requires a similar miracle for victory. Such a war will be fought not on some outer battlefield but in the hearts and minds of people, in where they choose to draw their inspiration and find their connection with life.

51. Yet regardless of outer appearances, the inner soul of the land cannot be put down so easily. It has been nourished by many centuries of tapas by great yogis and sages. This soul of Bharat Mata will rise up again through Kali (destruction) to Durga (strength). The question is how long and difficult the process must be.

December 20, 2013

Swami Omkarananda – Sanskrit Upanyasam – Not to be missed.

An not-to-be-missed upanyasam about the greatness Samskritham , Bharatheeya culture and Vedas in Samskritham language for 45 mins.

I’m sure even people who have less Samskritham knowledge can understand it , since most Indian languages have Samskritham words.

Swamiji is from Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham and a great teacher of Vedanta. One of his vedanta guru is Swami Paramarthananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam(Swami Dayananda Saraswathi). His ashram is in lush and picturesque Theni, Tamilnadu.

More info at website is http://www.vedaneri.org/

More information about swamiji.

HH Sri Swami Omkarananda
  • HH Sri Swami Omkarananda has taken up the sacred mission of rejuvenating the spiritual values and cultural traditions of India.
  • Born in a family steeped in culture, he adopted the Vedic life style from an early age.
  • He took his Sanyasa from Pujyasri Swami Chidbhavananda, founder of Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam, Tirupparaithurai.
  • He studied Vedanta under Pujyasri Swami Paramarthananda, one of the foremost disciples of Pujyasri Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.
  • Through his eloquent discourses, he drives home the deep insights of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, such that even an average person can comprehend them with ease.
  • He expounds the essence of some of the sacred texts in Tamil, such as Tevaram, Tiruvachakam, Tirumandiram, Tayumanavar’s hymns, Bharatiyar’s songs and in particular Tirukural.
  • He interacts freely with people of all strata without discrimination of caste, creed, age, economic status or education and attracts them by his compassionate words and friendly demeanour.
  • It is no exaggeration to say that all those who have been attracted by his teaching are rooted in spirituality and lead a purposeful life of righteousness and love, and enjoy inner peace.
  • He is actively engaged in many social activities, contributing to the well being of the society through the two Trusts he has set up – Vedanta Sasthra Prachara Trust and Sri Dakshinamurti Seva Samiti.
  • Under the auspices of Vedanta Sasthra Prachara Trust, he has successfully developed a settlement called Vedapuri in Theni on the bank of the river Mullaiyaru and has established Sri Swami Chidbhavananda Ashramam there.
  • Under the auspices of Sri Dakshinamurti Seva Samithi, he has constructed a magnificent edifice named Adiguru Sri Prajna Dakshinamurti Vidya Pitham and conducts its affair in a grand manner.
  • He succeeded Pujyasri Santananda Swamigal as the pontiff of Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham at Pudukkottai, in the lineage of Sri Dattatreya.
  • He has established Sadguru Santananda Satsangam Trust in Chennai to further enlarge his range of activities for the well being of people.
Sri Sri Judge Swamigal AdhisthanamSri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham
  • Sri Sadasiva Brahmendra Saraswati’s (also known as Judge Swamigal) Samadhi is located at Pudukkottai. He attained Mahasamadhi around 1908.
  • His disciple Sri Swayamprakasa Mahaswamigal installed a Linga at the Adhishtinam and performed Mahakumbhabhishekam in the year 1936. He later directed his disciple Sadguru Sri Santananda Swamigal to look after Sri Judge Swamigal’s Adhisthanam. He installed the idol of Sri Bhuvaneshwari in the year 1962. He founded Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham. Under his divine guidance homams have been regularly performed for the past fifty years.
  • Sadguru Santananda Mahaswamigal attained Mahasamadhi in the year 2002. On 11th May 2005, Pujya Sri Omkarananda Mahaswamigal took charge of Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham.
  • The most important mission of Pujya Sri Swamiji at Sri Bhuvaneshwari Avadhuta Vidya Pitham is to conduct various homams for the benefit of the world, which are executed by Sri Bhuvaneshwari Charities Trust and Sri Swayamprakasha Avadhuta Sadasiva Trust. Pujya Sri Swamiji has also founded Sri Bhuvaneshwari Seva Mandali to carry out social service activities like free tuition to needy children, etc.,


Hari Ramasubbu

December 4, 2013

Mathur: Samskritham Village in Karnataka

Mathur, a culturally rich village on the banks of the river Tunga in Karnataka.
Villagers use Sanskrit here for their day to day conversation and not just during poojas.

It is one of the two villages in India where Sanskrit is the official language. The villagers speak a dialect called Sanketi, which is a mixture of Sanskrit, Tamil and Kannada. It has no written script.

There is a village paatashala, which teaches chanting of Vedas in the traditional way, especially Krishna Yajur Veda along with other ritualistic rites from Bodhayana sutras and Aabhasthamba sutras. Other rituals for yagnas are conducted for learning purposes.

An example of their brilliance was seen when they told about this famous verse from Bodhayana Sutra of the Shulba Sutra (around 4000 BC) in Mathematics, ‘Deergachatursasyaa akshanyaa rajjuh: Paarsvamanischa Thiryakmani cha. Yatpruthagbhute kuruthasthatubayam karoti.’ It is nothing but a Pythogaras’ theorem stated in Shulba Sutras, 1000 years before Pythogoras wrote it.

Venkatesh avadhaani( a sanyasi, whose knowledge of Sanskrit is amazing) explained it by drawing a rectangle and a diagonal with a chalk on the floor of his house and showed how these Sanskrit words state that the area of the square on one side of the diagonal is equal to the area of the sum of squares on the side and base of that rectangle.

A Japanese gentleman has been attending the classes for the last couple of years, learning and writing advanced Vedic scriptures.

Here is a video from Mathur Village where the villagers converse in Samskrtham.

Sankethis are Smartha Braahmanas who are descendants of Vadama Iyers who migrated to Karnataka 1000 years ago. One group from shencottai  and from other parts of tamilnadu. Musician R K Srikantan, violinist R K Venkatramasastri,  Shriramkumar, veena R K Surnarayana . You find a good concentration near Mysore, Hassan etc in Karnataka.
 Sankethis also pray to Narmada Nadi during Sandhya Vandana just like Vadamas as they come from Narmada River Valley.
 Sankethi can be written in Kannada Lipi. Sankethi is a language that is jaathi specific, ie, there are no non-Braahmana Sankethis.
More information about Sankethi’s are available here http://www.sankethi.org/

Source: Facebook – Untold Story Of India

November 14, 2013

Ashtakam on Kanchi MahaPeriyava from Kanchi Forum Admin

A peaceful and mesmerizing Ashtakam on Kanchi MahaPeriyava in Tamil .
It is sung by Master Avinash from California, composed by the administrator of Kanchi Periyava Forum

An Ashtakam is a song consisting of eight sections and each section being sung to the same tune.
Thotakashtakam is one example of an Ashtakam, sung by Thotakacharya.

Here is the link 6 minute ashtakam

Here is the lyrics of the ashtakam

November 7, 2013

Divine Darshan of Beautiful Radha Krishna

Have divine darshan of Beautiful Radharkrishna!

November 4, 2013

Deepavali Anugraha Sandesha by Sringeri Acharya

Deepavali Anugraha Sandesha by Sringeri Acharya

Following is the Anugraha Sandesha in Kannada elucidating the significance of Deepavali by Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji.

For the benefit of non-Kannada speaking devotees, also provided is a transcript of the Anugraha Sandesha in English as well as English captions in the video.

Transcript of the Anugraha Sandesha on Deepavali 2013.

Among the festivals that we celebrate every year, the Deepavali festival is an important one. “Deepavali” means – a row of lamps. A Lamp represents Jnana (knowledge). Move away from darkness towards light of Jnana – this is the message of Deepavali. Darkness represents ignorance. Dispelling Ignorance and Attaining Jnana – is the essence of Deepavali. Jnana is most important to man.

Bhagavan says in the Bhagavad Gita – Na hi Jnanena Sadrisham Pavitram iha Vidyate. (There is nothing that is as Pavitra as Jnana). The Shastras say that Mukti (liberation) can be obtained only by Jnana. Hence Jnana is of paramount importance. We must acquire this Jnana and dispel ignorance. This is possible only through a Sadguru.

Without a Guru’s Grace, ignorance remains and the acquisition of Jnana does not come about. When we realize this fact and make efforts towards acquiring Jnana, our life becomes purposeful. May this Deepavali festival bring about such a realization and inspire everyone. May everyone rid themselves of their mental impurities, be of a pure mind, and cheerfully and lovingly engage with all.

Sri Adi Shankaracharya has said Tvayi mayi ca anyatra eko vishNuH Vyartham kupyasi mayi asahahisNuH.(When the same consciousness pervades you and me, “who hates whom? Who can be angry with whom?). Hence hate and anger are unwarranted. Everyone must be amicable and loving to all. This is our message on this occasion. May this Deepavali bring about the welfare of all. May everyone joyfully celebrate this Deepavali and be a recipient of God’s Grace.

Bhagavan Krishna Paramatma annihilated Narakasura on the Ashwayuja Krishna Chaturadashi.Hence the day is called Naraka Chaturdashi. It is on this day that Bhagavan put an end to Narakasura and brought about the wellbeing of all. Hence on this occasion, we must remember Bhagavan with utmost devotion, worship Him and be a recipient of His Grace. May everyone be a recipient of Bhagavan’s Grace and live with joy. Such is Our blessing on the occasion of this Deepavali Mahotsava.

Video in Kannada


Source : Jagadguru Sri Chandrashekhara Bharati Mahaswamigal Facebook group

October 21, 2013

Deivathin Kural Phone Sathsangh – Every Saturday 10am to11am Central Time USA.

Jaya Jaya Shankara Hara Hara Shankara !

About Deivathin Kural

Deivathin Kural (Voice of God/Hindu Dharma) is a compilation of teachings from Shri Kanchi Mahaswami (Maha Periyava) compiled by Shri R Ganapathi. Deivathi Kural is a priceless gem that contains the quintessence of the Vedas and Dharma Shastras explained to common layman in an easily understandable language.

Deivathi Kural is an in-depth material on various aspects covering Advaitham, Religion, Vedhic Religion, Common Dharmas, Society, Culture, Politics, The Path of Karma, Bhakthi, Devatha Murthis and Avatara Purushas . It is indeed an excellent source material to get answers for questions on Hinduism with the authority of the Mahaswami.

English translation of Deivathin Kural is available at Kamakoti.org and this thapas blog here.

About Deivathin Kural Phone Sathsangh: It is a phone based sathsangh where Deivathin Kural book is read over a conference call at USA time. While listening, one can also read the chapter that is read from kamakoti.org website side by side.

This sathsangh was started this back in 2009 with Sri Periyava’s grace.If you know about Deivathin Kural and donot have the time to “read” it every week, this phone sathsangh is a great place to “listen” to Deivathin Kural.

When: Every Saturday, 10am to – 11am Central Time USA

Language: Tamil

How : Conference Dial-in Number : 661-673-8600 Participant Access Code : 669430#

Which volume is currently being read in the sathsang ?

This book contains 7 volumes and runs to more than 5000 pages. Currently we’re reading the 5th volume . We are reading chapters that are not there in the website www.kamakoti.org — so you will have to just listen in after you dial-in unless you have the hard copy of the book. Once we get back to the chapters available on the website, you can open the website and follow-along.

More Info: If you want to attend the sathsangh, please email Balaji Srinivasan at balajispn@yahoo.com  so that the co-ordinators can plan the conference call capacity.


Hari Ramasubbu

September 14, 2013

Mahalaya Paksham – 2013

Useful Information on Mahalaya Paksham  from various sources.

From Wikipedia:

Pitru Paksha (Sanskrit: पितृ पक्ष), also spelt as Pitr paksha or Pitri paksha, (literally “fortnight of the ancestors”) is a 16–lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitrs), especially through food offerings. The period is also known as Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Sola Shraddha (“sixteen shraddhas”),Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara paksha.



From Sarma Sastrigal (sarma.sastrigal@gmail.com) 

Here is a comprehensive Mahalaya Information in one pdf format

A ‘paksha’ is 15 days. When the Sun enters ‘kanya rasi’ (Virgo) in Krishna paksha, the period is termed as ‘Mahalaya paksha’.
It is said that our ancestors get Yama’s permission and descend from Pitru loka during Mahalaya paksha, and receive with
satisfaction the offerings of their progeny.

This year this Paksham starts on Friday, the September 20th 2013.

Karunyaka pitrus:
This is also the only paksha where we get an opportunity to offer ‘tarpana’ even to the departed souls of our choice, other than our
own pitrus. This is known as ‘karunyaka pitru tarpana’. For instance, we can do it for persons who died without issues.

At least on one day:
Persons who have lost their father can perform ‘Tharpanam’ daily. Yes, during the entire period.

Or else, one should perform ‘Mahalaya sraaddha’ at least on one day during the paksha as hiranya roopam.

Significant days:
Those who wish do it on only one day as Hiranya sraaddham, they can do it on a convenient day. Following days are considered
significant, one can consider, if possible, to choose a day cited here: Maha Bharani (23rd Sept), Maha Vyatheepadham (26th Sept),
Madhyaashtami (27th Sept) and Gaja chaaya (2nd Oct).

Brahmana Bojanam :
Brahmana Bojanam also is (as samaaraadhana menu) also highly recommended during the Hiranya roopa Sraaddham.

Chaturdasi & Amavasya:
Of course they have to avoid certain days, ie., Chaturdasi & Amavaasya (3rd and 4th of Oct. These days are meant for particular persons, ie., Chaturdasi is allotted for those who died in accidents and by other unnatural (durmaranam) deaths. It is said that widows and Brahmacharis can observe Mahalayam on the day of Amavaasya, the 4th.

For those who have attained ‘siddhi’ (Sanyasis) , the 1st of October (Tuesday) is recommended.

Paarvana Sraaddha:
While on the subject let me point out that though it is no mandatory as such, this Mahalaya Sraaddha can also be performed as ‘Paarvana’ vidhaanam ie., with Homam. But as it may involve a lot of preparations in addition to the monetary aspects it may not be possible to perform this every year for all.Sufficient (more) space also is required. Hence, if possible, one can think of doing this, at least once in the life time.


From Shri K.Raman (kramansmail@gmail.com)

1-MAHALAYA PAKSHAM -2013-Daily sangalpam.pdf

All about MAHALAYA PAKSHAM -2013.pdf

August 31, 2013

How does prayer influence destiny? – Answers by Swami Viditatmananda

Destiny is like the river that is flowing and my free will is like the boat.

Answers by Swami Viditatmananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam

Question: Does prayer always go along with devotion?

Answer: When I pray to the Lord, I accept in my mind that the Lord is all-powerful and merciful. He can give me what I need and is kind enough to give it to me. I cannot pray if I don’t have this kind of trust. I cannot perform a prayer unless I am convinced that my prayer is going to be answered, or at least going to be heard, with a sympathetic ear. I do not want to say something to deaf ears! If God does not listen to me at all, then I do not want to pray to him. So when I perform the prayer, I know that He listens and cares. There is at least that understanding or acceptance on my part! This is devotion. This kind of śraddha or trust is involved in prayer.

Question: How does prayer influence destiny?

Answer: Prayer is an expression of free will. The human being has been given free will and, therefore, the capacity to perform a deliberate action, which is what we call purushārtha. Purushartha means a deliberate action that is performed, using free will. Then there is destiny, prārabdha. There are many forces in life, which are not in my control. My own action, however, is in my control. In every situation, there are two factors, prārabdha and purushārtha or destiny and free will.

In explaining this, a certain example is sometimes given. Let us say that I have a boat and it is floating in the river. Destiny is like the river that is flowing and my free will is like the boat. I have a certain freedom with reference to my own sail with which I can guide my boat whichever way I wish, even as the river is flowing. Similarly, there is a flow of destiny in life, but I do have a limited amount of freedom to navigate my boat to my destination. In life, there are many things and situations that are not under our control. How we respond to each situation is something that is within our control. This is where free will, purushārtha or self-effort, comes in.

Prayer is an expression of my free will. Although there is destiny, with the help of my prayer, I can bring about some change in my destiny. If my destiny is very strong, I may not be able to change it significantly, but if my destiny is weak, I can change it. So prayer can definitely influence destiny. In praying, we are performing a deliberate action that we call puNya, meaning that we are worshiping the Lord and thus creating a positive influence. The positive influence created by prayer can counteract any negative influence that may be in my destiny. In that sense, I can bring about some change in the effect of destiny. How much change, however, will depend upon how powerful my destiny is and how powerful my prayers are. But any positive thing that I do will definitely counteract something negative, which may be there in my destiny.

Posted by AVG Sevak

August 19, 2013

AvaniAvittam/Upakarma – Importance – Kanchi Mahaswami & Others

Namaste , Some useful information about Avani Avittam /Upakarma/ Sraavana Purnima


Avani Avittam Importance By Kanchi Mahaperiyava


This is the right name for it; not ‘Aavaniyavattam’. Though this is the right name, it does not convey the right meaning. We should call it ‘Aavani Purnima’; nay, even this is incorrect. We should in fact call it ‘Sraavana Purnima’.

Followers of Aapasthambha sutra should perform a karma called ‘Upakarma’ on the day of Purnima in the lunar month of Sraavana, if there are no blemishes on that day. Sraavana Purnima generally is found to occur on the day of Avittam star in the solar month of Aavani.

Hence that day is referred to as Aavani Avittam, further twisted in spoken parlance to ‘Aavaniyavattam’.

This same Upakarma should be performed by Rigvedis on the day of Sravana (Tiruvonam) star in the lunar month of Sraavana and by Samavedis on the day of Hastha star in the lunar month of Bhadrapada, which comes next to Sraavana.

What is the purpose of Upakarma?
The purpose of performing any karma will be known if we note the Sankalpa uttered by the Upadhyaya during that karma. When he utters Sankalpa, we should ask him for the meaning of the Sankalpa. Only then he will at least show interest in learning the meaning himself. Rigvedis’ sankalpa is as follows:
“Adhitanam chandasam ayatayamatvaya adhyayana viryavattartham”

Import of this: That which is not ‘yatayamam’ is ‘ayatayamam’. What is ‘yatayamam’? Even in Bhagavadgita, we come across “Yatayamam gatarasam puti paryushitam cha yat”. One yamam means three hours. Food loses its efficacy after three hours after cooking. Based on this, the term ‘yatayamam’ is used to denote objects which have become useless with time. For food it is three hours; similarly various materials have different limiting times upto which they are useful. If these time limits are crossed, their efficacy diminishes.

Same with Vedas. After Upanayanam, study of Vedas commences on the first Aavani Avittam day. Utsarjana karma is done in the following Pushya (Thai) month, study of Vedas is halted and in the next six months, as much as possible of the six Vedangas, viz. Siksha, Vyakarana, Chandas, Niruktam, Jyotisham and Kalpasutram is studied.

Then in the Sraavana month of the following year, on the day of Upakarma, Upakarma is performed and study of Veda mantras is commenced again. This karma of starting study of Vedas is known as Upakarma. Only if Upakarma is performed in this manner, will the meagre store of Veda mantra with us have power. If not, it will become ‘yatayama’ like the food described in Bhagavadgita.

If at least the Gayatri mantra which is with us is to have power, we must perform the karma of Upakarma without mistakes in mantra and with understanding of meaning. Only because Upakarma is not performed with sincerity, some karmas done these days become useless owing to loss of power of mantras. Hence Upakarma should certainly be performed.

If we are to commence uttering a mantra, it will bear fruit only if we worship the Rishis and Devatas who gave us that mantra at the beginning and receive their blessings. Their power of Tapas (austerity) will accrue to us through that mantra. There are three ways of worshipping them. One is invoking them in an object (kurcha of darbha, purna kumbha, lemon, betelnut fruit or lump of clay) and worshipping them with sixteen specified upacharas.

The second method is doing ‘Tarpanam’ with water for those Rishis. The third method, more powerful than the previous two, is to perform ‘Homam’ in Agnimukham for them.

Hence during Aavani Avittam, we should arrange for an additional Upadhyaya to explain to Grihasthas during the progress of Homam the Rishi or Devata for whom oblations are being given in Agni by the main Upadhyaya.

More important action required:

On a Sunday prior to Aavani Avittam Grihasthas should assemble in a place and learn as far as possible from knowledgeable Upadhyayas the Upakarma procedures properly and completely with meaning and intent; on the day of Upakarma, they should observe those procedures without forgetting the meaning.


Translated by: P R Kannan, Navi Mumbai
Source: www.kamakoti.org

கல்வித் திட்டத்தில் கால அளவைகள்


கல்வித் திட்டத்தில் ஒவ்வொரு வருஷத்தையும் இரண்டு டெர்ம்களாகப் பிரித்திருந்தார்கள். முதல் டெர்ம் சுமார் ஐந்து மாஸம் கொண்டது. இரண்டாவது டெர்ம் சுமார் ஏழு மாஸ காலம். முதல் டெர்முக்கு ‘உபாகர்மம்’ என்றும் இரண்டாவது டெர்முக்கு ‘உத்ஸர்ஜனம்’ அல்லது ‘உத்ஸாகம்’ என்றும் பெயர்.

உபாகர்மம் என்றவுடன் சில பேருக்காவது ‘ஆவணியாவட்டம்’ – அதவாது வருஷா வருஷம் புதுப்பூணூல் போட்டுக் கொள்ளும் நாள் – என்று நினைவுக்கு வரலாம்.

இது ரிக் வேதிகளுக்கு ச்ராவண மாஸத்தில் ச்ரவண நக்ஷத்ரம் வரும் நாள். ச்ராவண மாஸம் என்பது ஆடி அமாவாஸ்யையிலிருந்து ஆவணி அமாவாஸ்யை வரையுள்ள காலம். ச்ராவணி என்பதன் திரிபுதான் ஆவணி.

யஜுர் வேதிகளுக்கு உபாகர்மம் என்பது ச்ராவண மாஸப் பௌர்ணமியன்றாகும்

ரிக் வேதிகள் ச்ரவண நக்ஷத்ரத்தை வைத்து நாளை நிர்ணயிக்கிறார்கள். யஜுர் வேதிகள் பௌர்ணமித் திதியை வைத்து நிர்ணயம் செய்கிறார்கள்.

மிகவும் பூர்வ காலத்தில் ச்ராவண மாஸப் பூர்ணிமை தப்பாமல் ச்ரவண நக்ஷத்ரத்தன்றேதான் வந்து கொண்டிருந்தது, அதனால்தான் அந்த மாஸத்துக்கே அப்படிப் பேர். தப்பாமல் ச்ரவண நக்ஷத்ரமும் பௌர்ணமியும் ஒன்றாகவே இருந்த காலத்தில் அந்த நாளில்தான் ரிக் வேதிகள் யஜுர்வேதிகள் ஆகிய இருவரும் உபாகர்ம டெர்மை ஆரம்பித்தார்கள். அப்புறம் க்ரஹக் கோளாறில் அம்மாஸப் பௌர்ணமியன்று ச்ரவண நக்ஷத்ரத்துக்கு அடுத்ததான அவிட்டம் வந்தபோதும் யஜுர் வேதிகள் பெனர்ணமித் திதியிலேயே உபாகர்மாவை வைத்துக் கொண்டார்கள். தர்ம சாஸ்த்ரங்களில் குறிப்பாக ‘ச்ராவண பூர்ணிமையில் உபாகர்மம் செய்யவேண்டும்’ என்றே சொல்லியிருப்பதால் (பூர்ணிமைத்) திதியை யஜுர் வேதிகள் முக்யமாக எடுத்துக் கொண்டிருப்பதாகத் தெரிகிறது. அதனால் அவிட்டத்தில் அந்தப் பூர்ணிமை வந்தாலும் அன்றைக்கே உபாகர்மா செய்தார்கள்.

இதுதான் “ஆவணி அவிட்டம்” – அதாவது “ஆவணியாவட்டம்” என்று நாம் சொல்வது.

ரிக்வேதிகள் இப்போதும் திதியைப் பார்க்காமல் சரவண நக்ஷத்திரத்திலேயே உபாகர்மாவை “ச்ராவணம்” என்றே சொல்வது இதனால்தான். இப்படியாக, ரிக்வேதிகளுடைய உபாகர்மாவுக்கு அவிட்ட ஸம்பந்தமேயில்லை. ஆனாலும் தக்ஷிணத்தில் யஜுர்வேதிகளே பெரும்பாலாராயிருப்பதால் அவர்கள் கொடுத்த “ஆவணியாவட்ட”ப் பெயரையே ரிக் வேதிகளும் தங்களுடைய உபாகர்மாவுக்கும் சொல்கிறார்கள்.

இப்போதும் சில வருஷங்களில் ச்ராவண மாஸப் பௌர்ணமி ச்ரவண நக்ஷத்ரத்திலேயே வருகிறது. அப்போது ரிக் வேதிகள் யஜுர்வேதிகள் ஆகிய இரண்டு பேருக்கும் ஒரே நாளில் உபாகர்மா வருகிறது.

ஸாமவேதிகள் இதற்கு ஒரு மாஸம் தள்ளி (ஆவணி அமாவாஸ்யையிலிருந்து புரட்டாசி அமாவாஸ்யை வரையுள்ள ஒரு மாத காலமாகிய) பாத்ரபத மாஸத்தில் ஹஸ்த நக்ஷத்ரத்தில் உபாகர்மா செய்கிறார்கள். அநேகமாக அது பிள்ளையார் சதுர்ததியாகவோ அல்லது அதற்கு ஒரு நாள் முன்னே பின்னேயோ இருக்கும். ஹஸ்தமும் பஞ்சமியும் ஒன்று சேர்ந்திருந்தால் விசேஷமென்று சாஸ்த்ரங்களிலிருந்து தெரிகிறது. ச்ராவண மாஸ்ப்பூர்ணிமையும் ச்ரவணமும் தப்பாமல் சேர்ந்தே வந்த அக்காலத்து பாத்ரபதமாஸத்தில் ஹஸ்தம் பஞ்மியிலேயே வந்திருப்பதாகத் தோன்றுகிறது. தற்போது அது அநேகமாகப் பிள்ளையார் சதுர்த்தியன்றோ, அல்லது அதற்கு முதல் தினமான த்ரிதீயையாகவோ வருகிறது.

உபாகர்மம் என்பதே இப்போது பல பேருக்குத் தெரியாத வார்த்தை. (தாங்கள் என்ன வேதம் என்பதுகூட அநேகம் பேருக்குத் தெரியாமலிருக்கலாம்) தெரிந்தவர்களில் பெரும்பாலாரும் அது பழைய பூணூல் சிக்குப்பிடித்து அழுக்காவி விட்டதே என்று புதும் பூணூல் மாற்றிக் கொள்கிற ஒரு நாள் என்றுதான் நினைக்கிறார்கள். உண்மையில் பூணூல் மாற்றிக்கொள்வதென்பது உபாகர்மாவிலே ஒரு சின்ன அங்கம்தான்.

உபாகர்மா என்பது அந்த ஒரு நாளோடு போகாமல் அடுத்த ஐந்தாறு மாஸங்களான ஒரு டெர்முக்கு ஆரம்ப நாளாக இருப்பதாகும்.

இந்த முதல் டெர்மில் மூலமான வேதத்தை மட்டும ஆசார்யர் கற்றுக் கொடுத்துச் சிஷ்யர்கள் சொல்லிக் கொள்வார்கள். அதாவது ‘ச்ருதி’ என்றே சொல்லப்படுவனவான தேவதஸம்ஹிதை, ப்ராஹ்மணம், ஆரண்யகம், உபநிஷத்துக்கள் ஆகியவற்றில் பாடம் நடக்குமூ. புஷ்யமாஸம் என்கிற நம் தை பிறக்கும்வரையில் இந்தப் பாடம் தொடரும். (புஷ்யத்துக்குத் ‘தைஷம்’ என்றும் பெயர் உண்டு. ‘தைஷம்’தான் ‘தை’ ஆயிற்று.)

அப்போது ‘உத்ஸர்ஜனம்’ என்கிற கர்மாவைச் செய்து ச்ருதி பாடத்தை முடிப்பார்கள். புஷ்யமாஸம் பூர்ணிமையிலாவது அதற்கு முன்வரும் ரோஹிணியிலாவது உத்ஸர்ஜனகர்மா செய்யவேண்டும். ஸாமகர்கள் (அதாவது ஸாமவேதிகள்) புரட்டாசியில்தான் உபாகர்மம் செய்வதால், அத்யயன டெர்ம் ஐந்து மாஸமோ அல்லது குறைந்த பக்ஷம் நாலரை மாஸமோ இருக்கவேண்டும் என்ற விதிப்படி, அவர்கள் மாக பூர்ணிமையில் உத்ஸர்ஜனம் செய்யவேண்டும். தை அமாவாஸ்யைக்குப் பதினைந்து நாட்கள் கழித்துவரும் பௌர்ணமியே மாக பூர்ணிமை.

உத்ஸர்ஜனம் என்றாலும் விஸர்ஜனம் என்றுதான் அர்த்தம் – அதாவது “விட்டு விடுவது”. வேத அத்யயன – அத்யாபனங்களை ஒரு கட்டத்தில் விட்டுவிடுவதற்காகச் செய்யும் வைதிக கர்மா உத்ஸர்ஜனம். மறுபடி ஏழு மாஸம் கழித்து அடுத்த “ஆவணியாட்ட”த்தில், விட்ட கட்டத்திலிருந்து வேத பாடத்தைத் தொடங்கவேண்டும். ‘உபக்ரமணம், என்றால் தொடங்குவது என்று அர்த்தம், அதனால்தான் அன்று செய்கிற கர்மாவுக்கு ‘உபாகர்மா’ என்று பெயர்.

வேதத்தில் புதுப்பாடங்கள் இல்லாத இந்த ஏழு மாஸந்தான் இரண்டாவது “டெர்ம்”. இதில் வேதாங்கம் எனப்படும் வேதத்தின் ஆறு அங்கங்களான் சி¬க்ஷ, வ்யாகரணம், சந்தஸ், நிருக்தம், ஜ்யோதிஷம், கல்பம் ஆகியவற்றில் பாடம் நடத்துவார்கள். ஏனைய எல்லா வித்யைகளைக் கற்றுக் கொடுப்பதும் இந்த டெர்மில்தான். உபாகர்மாவுக்கான நாள் வந்தவுடன் இதை நிறுத்திவிட்டு, வேத பாடங்களுக்குப் போவார்கள். அதை உத்ஸர்ஜனம் பண்ணினவுடன் மறுபடி இந்த வேதாங்கங்களிலும் காவ்யம் முதலான இதர வித்யைகளிலும் விட்ட இடத்திலிருந்து ஆரம்பிப்பார்கள், இந்த உத்ஸர்ஜனம்தான் வடக்கே “ஸரஸ்வதி பூஜா” என்று சொல்லும் வஸந்த பஞ்சமி.

தற்போது “ஆவணியாவட்டம்” என்று பண்ணுவதில் போளியும் வடையும்தான் முக்யமாயிருக்கின்றன. ஒரு டெர்ம் முழுதும் கற்க வேண்டிய வேத பாடங்களில் ஆரம்ப ஸ¨க்தத்தை மட்டும் உபாகர்மாவன்று வாத்யார் சொல்ல, மற்றவர்கள் தப்பும் தவறுமாகத் திருப்பிச் சொல்லி விடுகிறார்கள். அதுமட்டுமில்லை. ‘விட்டு விடும்’ உத்ஸர்ஜன கர்மாவையும் அன்றே பண்ணி (இப்படி ஒன்று வாத்யார் பண்ணி வைப்பதாகக்கூடப் பல பேருக்குத் தெரிவதில்லை) , வேதாங்கங்களிலும் ஒவ்வொன்றில் ஒவ்வொரு ஸ¨த்ரத்தை மாத்ரம், வாத்யார் சொல்வதைத் திரும்பவும் உளறிக் கொட்டிவிட்டு முடிப்பதாக ஏற்பட்டிருக்கிறது. ஒரேயடியாக இந்த ஆவணியாவட்டத்துக்கே ‘உத்ஸர்ஜனம்’ செய்யாமல் எதனாலோ விட்டு வைத்திருக்கிறார்கள். வடை, போளிக்காக இருக்கலாம் இப்படி நாமே நம்மைப் பரிஹஸித்துக் கொள்ளும்படியான துர்த்திசையில் இருக்கிறோம்.



Excellent upanyaasam in Tamil rendered by Nannilam Sri Rajagopala Ghanapatigal (Editor of Vaithikasri magazine) on the importance of Avani Avittam & Gayatri Japam at Nanganallur, Chennai on 18th August, 2013.

August 18, 2013

The Great Hindu Tradition – Excellent source of Information on our Dharma.

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August 14, 2013

Benefit of chanting manthras – Swami Viditatmananda Of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam



Is there any difference between doing japa by chanting a Sanskrit mantra, and doing it in our own language? Is it true that you need to recite specific mantras for specific purposes? Even if you don’t know the meaning of the mantra, you are supposed to get the benefit by reciting it. How does that work?

Answer: Let us understand the purpose of doing japa. Japa means reciting the names of the Lord or a mantra of the Lord. So, one aspect of japa is the repeating of a given name in remembering the Lord. The idea is that when I remember the Lord, the remembrance is meant to invoke the devotee in me and evoke a spirit of devotion, bhāvanā, in me. This is the second aspect of japa. This is very important. If I find that instead of chanting a Sanskrit mantra, chanting a mantra in my own language invokes devotion in me, I would consider it to be better. A mantra is not for its own sake; it is meant to invoke devotion. It is the spirit of devotion that ultimately heals or purifies my mind.

It is true that in itself, a Sanskrit mantra also has an effect. This is why we are told to repeat the Vedic mantras even if we do not understand their meaning. Any mantra, recited properly, exerts a positive influence upon us. Thus, when we recite a simple, “Rama, Rama, Rama” or any other name of the Lord, it does have an influence upon us.

This is because when we utter a word or even a sound, the air originates from our navel or the region of the heart, slowly travels upwards, strikes our skull, comes down through the various regions and ultimately emerges from our lips. Whenever we utter a name this process takes place, impacting even the skull. This is the reason why the names or mantras, which are prescribed by the scriptures or our teachers, have a positive effect that influences our personality, when we recite them.

If you do not know the meaning of the mantra, it is a good idea to chant the Sanskrit mantra with the proper intonations. But knowing the meaning is always better than not knowing the meaning. A mantra that creates a feeling of devotion in me would be more effective than a mantra that does not. But, to answer the question, reciting a mantra in the Sanskrit language definitely has an effect because it does influence one’s

personality. Sometimes we hear priests chanting Vedic mantras and you can feel the effect.

They say that by reciting the Vedic mantras, you get brahmavarchas. This is the spiritual glow, which you can see in some people because they have been chanting the Vedic mantras for many years with devotion and commitment. The very vibrations that those mantras create have an impact upon our body and then our mind. Thus, a mantra has an effect independent of whether or not we understand the meaning of what it is that we recite, but an understanding of it will evoke a spirit of devotion in us. To that extent, whatever is chanted in that spirit of devotion is definitely more effective than chanting without devotion.

Posted by AVG Sevak


Hari Ramasubbu

July 29, 2013

Bhagavata Saptaha at Sringeri

From Sringeri Acharya on Bhaghavatham and Narayaneeyam


Nochur Venkataraman during the Bhagavata Saptaha in Guru Nivas in the Jagadguru’s presence

With the blessings of Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji, a Bhagavata Saptaham was organized in Sringeri by a group of devotees led by Sri Natarajan of Arasikere. Renowned Upanyaska and Sadhaka, Sri Nochur Venkataraman conducted the Bhagavata Saptaha in Pravachana Mandiram near Goddess Sharadamba temple from 14th June to 21st June. The Saptaham began on 14th June 2013 with the Jagadguru personally blessing the start of the event.

The event commenced with the Parayana of the Bhagavata Mahatmyam followed by a discourse on the significance and greatness of Bhagavatam by Sri Nochur Venkataraman. Hundreds of devotees attended the event.

From 15th June onwards, Parayanam of Srimad Bhagavatam began everyday at 5:30 am and went on till 3:30 pm in the afternoon. Sri Nochur Venkataraman delivered lectures in Tamil in the mornings from 7:30 am to 9 am and from 3:30 pm to 5 pm. The lectures were tinged with Bhakti and Jnana as Sri Venkataraman described various events in the Bhagavatam such as the Kapila Upakhyanam, the Uddhava Gita, the Jada Bharata Upakhyanam, the Prahlada Charitam and so on.

On 19th June 2013, at the request of the devotees, the afternoon lecture of Sri Nochur Venkataraman covering the Dashama Skanda of Bhagavatam took place in the divine presence of the Jagadguru at Guru Nivas in Narasimha Vanam.

Audience listening to Nochur Venkataraman during the Bhagavata Saptaha in Guru Nivas in the Jagadguru’s presence

On the concluding day In His Anugraha Bhashanam rendered in Tamil at the Pravachana Mandiram, the Jagadguru said that Srimad Bhagavatam’s importance is underlined by the fact that Bhagavan Veda Vyasa found satisfaction only after composing this Mahapurana that extols the Supreme Being. The ever-fresh and attractive Lilas of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, described in the 10th Skanda of Srimad Bhagavatam bring divine joy to the reader and the listener. Inspired by the account of the life of Bhagavan in Srimad Bhagavatam, many great people penned literature in the form of Kavyas, Natakas, Stotras in many languages and fulfilled the purpose of their lives. One has to only look at the Krishna Karnamrtam of Lila Shuka or the Gita Govinda of Jayadeva to get a taste of the devotion and emotion expressed in such literature.

The Jagadguru then talked about the greatness of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Referring to a statement of Bhagavan in the Gita – यन्मे त्वदन्येन न दृष्टपूर्वम् – where Bhagavan tells Arjuna that he is the first to see the Vishwaroopam or the Cosmic form, the Jagadguru said that some wonder if this statement is indeed true.

This question arises because Bhagavan had shown a similar form to Mother Devaki at the time of His birth, and also to Mother Yashoda, when she demanded that He open His mouth to check if He had indeed swallowed mud. The Jagadguru pointed out that it is not uncommon in the world that in order to give joy to the recipient, the giver says, “What I am giving you now has never been given to anyone else before”. Similarly, we also say, “What I am saying has never been told to anyone else”. This too gives a sense of importance to the hearer. Could Bhagavan also be doing the same when He says to Arjuna that He has never shown the Vishwaroopam to anyone else before?.

However, Bhagavan cannot lie. The Jagadguru in His own inimitable way explained that Bhagavan had used the word “anyena” (by others) in the masculine gender to imply that no man before Arjuna had seen the Vishwaroopam. Hence no one need have the doubt in the statement of Bhagavan for Devaki and Yashoda who had also seen the Vishwaroopam earlier were women. The Jagadguru explained that He had provided this illustration to indicate that the words of Bhagavan can never be categorized under falsehood. The intelligence and the adherence to Dharma that Bhagavan exhibited during His presence on earth is impeccable.

Some question the relation between Bhagavan and the Gopikas and wonder if it conforms with Dharma. Sri Shuka Maharshi Himself says in the Bhagavatam – तेजीयसां न दोषाय वह्नेः सर्वभुजो यथा – that Bhagavan remains unaffected, even as fire that burns everything, cannot itself be burnt or be affected.

The Dharma Shastras also say – दृष्टो धर्मव्यतिक्रमः साहसं च महताम् – Great personages appear to transgress Dharma (sometimes). However they remain unaffected. This does not mean that we too can take to this course of action. Anything that is dropped in the sacrificial fire is burnt and reduced to ashes. However, we cannot consume all of them and assume that the digestive fire in our stomachs can burn everything. Similarly, we cannot imitate every act of Bhagavan. Rather we must foster devotion and faith towards Him.

Bhagavan Himself declares this and says in His own words that such a person who surrenders everything and acts for Him, is freed from all bondages of Karma and attains Him -

मन्मना भव मद्भक्तो मद्याजी मां नमस्कुरु ।
मामेवैष्यसि युक्त्वैवमात्मानं मत्परायणः ॥

यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत् ।
यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् ॥
शुभाशुभफलैरेवं मोक्ष्यसे कर्मबन्धनैः ।

That is why we end even our Pujas with the statement – तत् सत् ब्रह्मार्पणमस्तु – that conveys that the Puja itself has been done as an offering to Him.

​ ​
The uniquess of the Avatara of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is that it is here that the Gita Upadesha has been given. Even if people cannot study Srimad Bhagavatam, one may study Sriman Narayaneeyam that is a concise form of the Mahapurana and was penned by Sri Narayana Bhattatiri.

The Jagadguru then praised Sri Nochur Venkataraman for conducting the Bhagavata Saptaham in a befitting manner, and blessed one and all.

Jagadguru blessing Nochur Venkataraman

The event ended with Sri Nochur Venkataraman receiving the Jagadguru’s Blessings and the Avabhrita Snanam of the Vigraha of Bhagavan Sri Krishna taking place in the sacred waters of the holy Tunga river.

June 29, 2013

Advaitha Saadhana – Kanchi Maha-Swami’s Discourses on Advaitha in english

ADVAITA-SAADHANAA – Kanchi Maha-Swamigal’s Discourses rendered in English

Ra. Ganapthy’s ‘Deivathin Kural’ (Vol.6) in Tamil published by

English translation by V. Krishnamurthy

To read or view the document click here


To download from original source click here



May 21, 2013

Sumangali Prarthanai or Pondugal: A South Indian Ritual To Honor Ancestral Elder Women

This information might be useful for most Brahmin families who live outside of India.

Sumangali Prarthanai or Pondugal: A South Indian Ritual To Honor Ancestral Elder Women

Sumangali Prarthana is a ritual seeking the blessings of women of the family who are no more; something akin to the nandi sradham, only there are no vedic rituals or mantras in this ritual.

It is purely a ladies’ function. In most families this function is performed during important events like marriage, upanayanam etc, while in some families it is performed every year.

It is believed that performing this puja will satisfy the unfulfilled yearnings of all the girls and ladies who have passed away at young age and they would in turn bless the family. It is common practice to conduct the Sumangali Prarthana before the marriage if the daughter is getting married and after the new daughter-in-law comes home if the son is getting married. This function is not performed on Tuesdays or Saturdays.

Usually, 7 ladies and 2 young girls (preferably below the age of 10) are invited to participate in the function, partake the feast and receive thamboolam. There is no objection for near relatives of the hostess to participate. Now a days many people do with 7 (6+1) or (5+2) ladies as it has become difficult to get together the 9 ladies to sit for the function.

Different families follow different customs. The ladies who sit for the puja represent all the women of the family who are no more alive. Since there is no explicit avahanam through manthrams of any pithrus, ladies generally accept the invitation.

This function is very akin to the nandisradham performed prior to the upanayanam in many respects. While nandisradham is presided over and conducted by the purohitha of the family and the kartha is a gent; this function is presided over by the elderly lady members of the family.

Usually the kartha is a sumangali from the family. The gifts to the ladies vary among families and also depend on the financial status of the kartha, very similar to the nandi sradham. The menu for the feast is also very similar.

Though no vedic rituals are performed, Sumangali Prarthana is considered to be a very important and sacred function and all the preparations are done with a great deal of Shradha and Bhakthi. This is one function where the gents of the family are excluded from the rituals. They are asked to enter the hall only after initial puja is offered to do namaskarams and seek the blessings. Otherwise, they can stick around to offer any help around or in the kitchen and then await call for lunch, when the ladies have been fed and seen off.

The consent and convenience of all the prospective participants would have been obtained in advance and there would always be a few standbys for any unexpected dropouts. In the olden days, the preparations for the function had to start the previous evening. Armed with a bucket of oil and packets of turmeric powder, kumkum, flowers, betel leaves and nuts, and shikakai powder, we would go to all the invitees’ houses and invite them giving a measure of oil and the other things we carried. The items were for the lady’s bath and adornment the next day.

I am not sure if the custom is being followed anywhere today. Perhaps, these days one would have to carry, shampoo sachets, moisturizing cream, lipstick and the like. We did not have that invitation round this time at our home as most of the participants were from the family and immediate family.

All the participants are supposed to take an oil bath in the morning and come dressed in 9 yards saree only. There is no match to the beauty of the ladies all dressed in nine yards sarees and with no make up other than turmeric powder in their face and flowers in their hair, fresh from an oilbath.

In memory of those souls who are no more with us, a new 9 yards saree and pavadai as offering (these two would be used by some members of the family after the puja) are kept in wooden trays, along with oil, betel leaves, flowers, turmeric, kumkum and neem leaves early in the morning and the blessings are sought. This has to be done by a member of the family before taking bath! In all our rituals, I have not some across another ritual which is done before taking bath.

As I was staying at a neighboring house (not enough space for all invitees at home), my mother sent word for me at 5.30am. I sent back the messenger as I was yet to bathe.

My mother sent the messenger back saying, “I want her to come here before taking bath”. It has been a long time since I myself conducted this ritual. When my astute and blessed mother-in-law was alive, she used to take care of these little things and I used to be busy in the kitchen.

My mother made me offer the saree and pavadai with oil and other items to the elders (who are in heaven) and asked me to pray for their blessings for the family. This done, the saree had to be washed and dried before the actual function.

In some families new dresses for all the girls and ladies of the family are bought and kept at the puja and later on used by the family members. Anyway, not all the dresses are washed prior to the function.

Though the cooking for this function is usually done by the women in the family, the hired cook prepared the feast as all of us were quite tired after the poonool. An elaborate lunch (again samaradhanai vattam) was prepared including

Parikkai pitla,
Vazhakkai kari
Chakka kari,
Pudalangai thoran,
Payar thoran,

The menu also included three types of fruits, mango, jackfruit and banana. Vadai and Neiyappam were also prepared. It is a practice at home to make polis which was discontinued this time as no one was in a mood to have more sweets.

When all the invited ladies arrive, they are received with kumkum, haldi, flowers and pachai (rouge!). This pachai is a paste made of kumkum and water and is applied on both sides of the cheek outside the earlobes.

They are then taken to the function hall where a place has been marked for each one with two places for the deceased seniors at the head of the hall. The saree and pavadai meant for the deceased seniors are kept in the palakai along with some gold chain and flowers and betel leaves, neemleaves, turmeric and kumkum.

Banana leaves are laid out for serving food at the place where the saree and pavadai are kept (this place is called pudavai kalam – meaning where pudavai or saree is kept) meant for the departed souls and also for all the invited participants, after having invoked the departed seniors. After all the items are served on the leaves, puja is done offering flowers, turmeric powder, kumkum betel leaves, neem leaves and water to the departed souls and all the invitees, by the eldest lady of the family .The other members of the family including male members offer puja and namaskarms at the pudavai kalam site only. Doopam and Deepam are offered at the place where elders are invoked, i.e., at the pudavai kalam and also to all the participating ladies by the eldest lady of the family.

This is one of the functions where ladies are served first. After lunch, the ladies are given a special mixture called Chukkumanam (mixture of dried ginger and jaggery) as a digestive aid after the heavy meal. They are also given paanakam to drink. They are offered thamboolam, dakshina and mehendi.

These days, people give more expensive gifts like sarees, bangles, and the like to the invited ladies. After the invited ladies are seen off, the other members of the family have their lunch. The food served at pudavai kalam ( the two places earmarked for the departed ) is partaken of by two ladies of the family.

After lunch the saree and pavadai are given to some family members who have to wear them and replace them at the same place. In the night a pot of water is also kept near the pudavai kalam to quench the thirst of the heavenly visitors.

In the olden days (during the time of my grandmother), the saree kept at the pudavai kalam was kept inside a trunk after the function and worn only after the next Sumangali Prarthana. The saree inside the box, kept after the previous Sumangali Prarthana was taken out on this occasion and worn by a member of the family.

May 4, 2013

Siva Temples of South India.

From the book “Siva Temples of South India” by Bharatha Vidya Bhavan.


Somnath (Gujarat)Srisailam (AP)

Ujjain (MP)

Omkareswara (MP)

Kedarnath (UP)

Bhimashankar (Maharashtra)

Varanasi (UP)

Tryambakeswar (Maharashtra)

Vaidyanath (Bihar)

Nageswar (Gujarat)
















The five great Elements of nature are represented at each one of these temples. Together these temples are called the Pancha Bhoota Kshetras

Srikalahasti (AP)









Akasha (Ether / Space)




These are certain places where Lord Siva assumed Rajo Guna and performed heroic deeds for destroying evil forces. Eight such places are specifically mentioned and collectively called Ashta Veerattana Kshetras.








Andhakasura SamharamTripura Dahanam

Kala Samharam

Daksha Samhanam

Kama Dahanam

Gajasura Samhanam

Jalandrasura Samharam

Brahma’s head was plucked



Saptha Vidanga Kshetra are the seven places where the seven places where the seven Lingas said to have been brought by Mucukunda Chakravarti from Devaloka are worshpped. These Linga Murti’s are called “Vidanga” because they were created by Maya without a chisel (Vi means without and Danga means Chisel). Further each of these places are indentified with a dance form of Thyagaraja (Lord Siva)







Veedhi VidangarNagara Vidangar

Sundara Vidangar

Avani Vidangar

Nila Vidangar

Adi Vidangar

Bhuvani Vidangar

Ajapa NatanamUnmatha Natanam

Para Vira Taranga Natanam

Biringa Natanam

Kamala Natanam

Kukkuta Natanam

Hamsapada Natanam


The five places where Lord Nataraja performed his Tandavam are collectively known as Pancha Sabha meaning five assembly halls of Lord Nataraja





Kanaka SabhaRatna Sabha

Rajata Sabha

Tamira Sabha

Chitra Sabha

Ananda TandavamOordhva Tandavam

Sandhya Tandavam

Muni Tandavam

Tripura Tandavam



Pancha Arama Kshetram are those five places where the pieces of a Swayambhu Linga are installed. This Swayambhu Lingam was being carried by Tarakasura in his throat, which was broken into five pieces by Kumaraswamy (Subramanya) during the course of the battle with him and these pieces fell at the following places.


Gunipundi (Bhimavaram)



Drakshashrama SwamyBhimarama Swamy

Somarama Swamy

Kshirarama Swamy

Amararama Swamy


The Arupadai Veedu are identified as directly associated with Lord Muruga. These six places collectively are called the Arupadai Veedu



Pazhamudir Solai



Navagraha Kshetra

Worship of the Navagraha Murti is done in various ways not only to appease them for mitigation of their malefic influence but also to seek their blessings for acquiring peace, wealth, prosperity and longevity of life in the world. Perhaps, to satisfy this need, a shrine is set up apart for the planetary deities in all Siva temples. They are installed on a single platform with the Sun God as the presiding deity in the centre. There are however a few temples where one or the other of the Navagraha deities individually find a shrine exclusively dedicated for them

PLACE Planet
SuryanarkoilTirvarur / Tingaloor

Vaitheeswaran Kovil








Mangal (Mars)

Budha (Mercury)

Guru (Jupiter)

Sukra (Venus)

Shani (Saturn)




April 13, 2013

Online panchangam for this Vijaya New Year

Tamil and Kannada Panchangam for this new year from Sringeri Peetham.


January 25, 2013

MustRead – True lies of Sushil Kumar Shinde – S Gurumurthy – Indian Express

Must read facts from S Gurumurthy on Current Home minister’s absurd accusations on Hindus and HIndu organizations. Please share it with your psuedo-secular-minority-appeasing friends.

True lies of Sushil Kumar Shinde
By S Gurumurthy 24th January 2013 07:04 AM

“The RSS and the BJP were behind the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts,” declared Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on January 20, 2013, adding that the training camps run by the RSS and BJP were promoting ‘Hindu terrorism’. A day after Shinde’s declaration, Hafiz Saeed, leader of the LeT, the Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist outfit, called for a ban on the RSS. So Shinde is the witness for the LeT to accuse the RSS of terror. Now look at the evidence, first the blast onboard the Samjhauta Express from Pakistan in which 68 persons were killed.

LeT Culprit, say UN, US

“Qasmani Arif…chief coordinator of the relations of the [LeT] with other organisations…has worked with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to facilitate terrorist attacks including…the bombing of February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat (India).” This is what resolution [No 1267] of the Committee on Sanctions of the United Nations Security Council [UNSC] dated 29.6.2009 declares. Adding that Qasmani was funded by Dawood Ibrahim and he did the fundraising for the LeT and the al-Qaida, the UNSC said, “In exchange for their support, al-Qaida provided support staff for the February 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express in Panipat.” This resolution is available on the UN site. Two days later, on July 1, 2009, the United States Treasury Department said in its press release: “Arif Qasmani has worked with the LeT to facilitate terrorist attacks, including…Samjota Express bombing.” The US named four Pakistanis, including Arif Qasmani as terrorists, under Executive Order No 13224. This press release is still on the US Treasury site. The United Nations Security Council and the US Treasury Department thus named the LeT, Qasmani and Dawood Ibrahim as accused in Samjhauta terror. This is just the beginning of the torrent of evidence pointing to the LeT and Pakistan.

Pakistan Minister’s Confession

Six months after the UN and US announced sanctions against the LeT and Qasmani, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Mallik himself admitted that Pakistani terrorists were involved in the Samjhauta blast, but with a rider that “some Pakistan-based Islamists had been hired by Lt Col Purohit to carry out the Samjhauta Express attack.” [India Today Online 24.1.2010]

Headley Involved in Samjhauta — US Probe

Not just the UN. Or the US Treasury. Or just the admission of Pakistan’s Interior Minister. Independent investigation in the US revealed more. Some 10 months later, Sebastian Rotella, a US journalist, wrote in his investigative report titled ‘U.S. agencies were forewarned about suspect in 2008 Mumbai bombings’, that Faiza Outalha, the third wife of David Coleman Headley had confessed [in 2008, which was made public in 2010] that Headley was involved in the Samjhauta blast. Rotella added that Faiza felt that “she had been innocently used” in the Samjhauta terror. [The Washington Post 5.11.2010] A while later, in a follow up investigation, Sebastian Rotella disclosed in April 2008 that Faiza returned to the embassy in Islamabad with the tip about the 2008 Mumbai blast when she again linked him to the Samjhauta blast.

Rotella commented that though India and the US blamed the attack on Lashkar, the US authorities had not implicated Headley in that still-unsolved attack, however.[The Washington Post 14.11.2010] So, independent, neutral probe in the US also pointed to Pakistan and the LeT in Samjhauta blast.

Narco Test Pointed to SIMI Role

Even at the start of the Samjhauta investigation in 2007, the evidence clearly pointed to the role of the Students Islamic Movement of India [SIMI] and the LeT. India Today [19.9.2008] in its report titled ‘Pak hand in Mumbai train blasts, Samjhauta Express blasts, says Nagori’ gave meticulous account of the involvement of the LeT and Pakistan in the Samjhauta terror. The report was based on narco test testimonies of SIMI leaders. India Today said that the narcotic tests were carried out on general secretary of SIMI, Safdar Nagori; his brother Kamruddin Nagori and Amil Parvez in Bangalore in April 2007, three months after the Samjhauta blast; the results of the narco test of the SIMI leaders were available with the magazine; it revealed that SIMI activists had executed the Samjhauta blast, with the help of the Pakistani nationals from across the border; while Nagori was not directly involved, two members of SIMI, Ehtesham Siddiqui and Nasir, were directly involved; SIMI members, including Nagori’s brother Kamaruddin, were involved in the Samjhatua blast; for executing the Samjhauta blast, the Pakistanis had purchased the suitcase cover from Kataria Market in Indore and one of the members from SIMI had helped the Pakistanis to get the suitcase cover stitched. Investigation had established that in the Samjhauta blast, five bombs packed in suitcases and activated by timer switches were used.

Conspiracy by Maharashtra Police?

Why were these clinching pieces of evidence not pursued? How the blame shifted from the Islamists to the Hindus? Some elements in the Maharashtra Police appears to have colluded in linking the 2008 Malegaon blast to the Samjhauta blast. When leads were thus pointing to Pakistan and SIMI as partners in the Samjhauta blast, in November 2008, as an anti-climax, the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad [ATS] shockingly told the Special Court through the public prosecutor that Col Purohit allegedly involved in the Malegaon blast in which RDX was used, had supplied RDX for the Samjhauta blast though one ‘Bhagwan’. [The Indian Express 15.11.2008] Within the next 48 hours, [17.11.2008] India Today online refuted the ATS claim saying that Samjhauta investigators had told India Today that a study of the blast by the National Security Guard(NSG) said that no RDX, but Potassium Chlorate and Sulphur, had been used as explosives. The magazine also recalled that immediately after the blasts, then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil told the media that not RDX, but, a ‘new type of explosive’ had been used to bomb the Samjhauta Express. On that very day [17.11.2008] the ATS counsel retracted the statement he had made earlier involving Col Purohit in the Samjhauta blast. [The Hindu dt19.11.2008]. But the damage was done in the 48 hours. Immediately, Pakistan said that it would raise the issue of Purohit’s involvement in Samjhauta at the Secretary-level meeting on November 25, 2008. Finally on January 20, 2009, the Maharashtra ATS officially denied that Col Purohit had supplied RDX for Samjhauta. This was how the Samjhauta focus — later the blame — shifted from the LeT and the SIMI to Purohit and via Purohit on to Saffron. The Maharashtra ATS’ attempt to link Malegaon 2008 to Samjhauta, which shifted the focus away from the LeT on to Purohit, needs to be probed particularly given Dawood Ibrahim’s deep influence on Maharashtra Police.

If Shinde is telling the truth, then the United Nations Security Council and the US Treasury Department are fabricating charges against Qasmani, Dawood and the LeT; Faiza Outallah and The Washington Post are telling lies to fix the LeT and Pakistan; the SIMI officials’ narco evidence is fabricated; and Rehman Mallik’s confession about Pakistani involvement is false. Can it be more ridiculous?

It is clearly the lies of Shinde, the vote bank politician versus all neutral evidence. If this was how the Samjhauta probe was perverted, in the Malegaon 2006 blast the Maharashtra ATS has filed a chargesheet where the SIMI cadre had confessed to their role in the blast. But the CBI is procuring confessions to exonerate them and implicate others, Hindus in the case.

So Malegaon 2006, is becoming a case of confession vs confession! In Malegaon 2008 blasts, Col Purohit and his associates have been charged and the evidence submitted in the Court shows that the accused in the Malegaon 2008 case were planning to assassinate RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar for taking money from the ISI! [Outlook 19.7.2010] How could the RSS which is the target of the conspiracy itself be the conspirator? Does Shinde know what he is talking?

QED: Shinde now has a good companion in his mission against the RSS in Hafeez Saeed, boss of the global terror outfit LeT. Can a Home Minister tell more deadly lies against his own country’s interests, all for just a few million votes?

S Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues.

E-mail: comment

January 18, 2013

Vedic Way To Victory !! New Year Message by Swami Paramarthananda ji

Vedic Way To Victory !!
New Year Message by Swami Paramarthananda ji

First of all I wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.

In our tradition we are supposed to get up early in the morning and offer our prayers to the Lord is one very important and significant prayer for mornings. This is the well-known “Kara Krava Lakshmi”, “Kara Madhya Saraswati” and “Kara Moola Gauri” – Prabatha Kara Darshanam.

Look at your hands for Lakshmi resides in the tip of the hand, in the middle there is Saraswati, and at the end is “Durga” or “Gauri”. When you look at the hands don’t look at the lines remembering palmistry but pray to Durga/Lakshmi/ Saraswati. One needs to remember and invoke the grace of all these three deities.


Durga Lakshmi & Saraswathi

There are two reasons to worship Durga Lakshmi & Saraswathi:

1.They are the spouses or consorts of the three murthis (Brahma/Vishnu/ Shiva)
2.These deities represent three very important Shaktis or powers (Resources).

Durga Devi represents our health especially important as we are growing old.
Lakshmi Devi represents wealth for when health is lost you will realize the importance of wealth in the form of expensive medical bills.
Saraswati Devi represents wisdom or knowledge.
These three basic resources are required by every one of us: health, wealth, and knowledge.

When we have them we don’t know their value and take them for granted. Only when we are deprived of any one of them we discover the value of that particular resource. Therefore all the three are equally important.

When we are sick we think that health is most important. In poverty we feel that wealth is the most important. So which of the three is deprived we conclude that is most vital for living. Actually there is no pecking order and if we give weightage each would score 33.33%!

Health, wealth, and knowledge are necessary for survival, for success in our ventures, and life itself. Hence Sastras recommend that we remember these three resources every day.


  1. In our tradition we talk of two navaratris – one is called Vasanta (Spring) Navaratri and another is Sarada (Autumn) Navaratri.
  2. During navaratri we exclusively worship Durga for three days, Lakshmi for three days, and Saraswati for three days. We invoke the grace of these three shaktis then what follows? The tenth day is called “Vijayadasami” or victory.
  3. The Vedic way of victory is Shakti Samyam – all the three resources must be there and they must be in balance. Otherwise life will be a failure. Therefore let us start the New Year by invoking these deities and every day too.

The scriptures say that we must ask for two types of favours from each deity

  1. Two types of health
  2. Two types of wealth
  3. Two types of knowledge.

What are the two types of health we must pray from Durga Devi?


  1. One is the physical health which is extremely important and second is the mental health. Our modern lifestyle is such that we are neglecting Durga Devi. All the magazines talk of “lifestyle diseases”. Our very lifestyle is the cause of diseases. These are due to improper lifestyle – our eating habits are wrong, sleeping habits are wrong, and working habits are wrong. They reveal that we are disrespecting Durga Devi.
  2. One morning prayers states: In Brahma Muhuratham one must not sleep. Sleeping in this time will deplete one’s punyam and produce pappam. For this sin one must do praichittam. Even before New Year eve people attend all night parties, drink all kinds of things, and don’t even see the New Year sunrise (lifestyle disease). Even there is an English proverb that talks about the virtues of rising early: Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy.
  3. When you rise early you get the blessings of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati. We are violating all health habits (eating, sleeping, and working habits are wrong because we don’t enjoy our work).
  4. There is too much pressure and stress. Work place has become a field of war due to increased competition. I have to outperform all my competitors; there is pressure and lot of aggression. Working places resemble war zones and when we come home it is like Ashoka coming from a Kalinga war. Therefore mental stress is a major problem of modern day living.
  5. Continuous stress reduces the immunity of a person and that invites all kinds of diseases. A person may be chronologically 40 years but ravaged by constant stress the body ages to 60.
  6. A man squanders his health initially working for wealth. Then he squanders his earned wealth in search of health! And ultimately loses both.
  7. In Sanskrit there is a humourous verse – O doctor, my namaskarams to you for you are the elder brother of Yama dharmaraja. Why elder? Yama only takes life while the doctor takes both the life and money and say,” Operation was successful but the patient died”.
  8. So Durga Devi is so important and one must pray every day to HER for physical as well as mental health.

What are the two types of wealth we must pray from Lakshmi Devi?


  1. One is the outer wealth in the form of money, gold, shares, real estate etc and the other is contentment. In the Vedic jargon wealth is reduced to “gold and land” to signify every kind of wealth.
  2. Swami Dayananda says that we call it real estate for we ourselves have a doubt. Like ever silver is never silver!!! We have to invoke Lakshmi Devi for without external wealth we cannot conduct life. We respect money without which survival is not possible. Even a sanyasi requires wealth in the form of food, clothing, and shelter.
  3. Vedas state that we should not stop with the desire for external wealth; internal wealth is just as important – inner wealth in the form of contentment or tripti. If Tripti or contentment is not there we will face several problems. Then desire for external wealth will not be balanced for without contentment desires will escalate. Desires by themselves are harmless but unknowingly “Kama” will be converted into Lobah or Greed. Kama (desire for wealth) is one of the four purusharthas but it needs to be balanced with contentment.
  4. Modern lifestyle provides a conducive environment for GREED. Every manufacturer is promoting greed for his products through advertising. There is an advertisement you might have seen.
  5. A child is asking mom that for pongal it wants a I-pad or Laptop and not some boring toys. The media drives this acquisition and greed in society. If we are not careful we will fall under the trap of greed.
  6. The first consequence of greed is running after Lakshmi Devi and ignore the other two deities which disturbs the “shakti or resource balance”. Instead of “Shakti Samyam” Lakshmi will become predominant and unbalanced life will have disastrous consequences.
  7. Greed will pressurize the mind to become more and more aggressive, and more violent. The value of Ahimsa is thrown to the winds. I shout at everybody as they don’t keep up with me. I work with constant pressure and aggression. Greed will also force a person to compromise with dharmic values too like Indian politicians.
  8. First the “shakti imbalance” and the second “the loss of dharma” will obstruct success in our life especially spiritual success. Thirdly when there is greed, there is competition and cut throat philosophy.
  9. Some will become more and more rich while most would become poor. There will be few “haves” and many “have nots” and the widening disparity will increase the crime rate. We can never live in contentment for fear of burglary, chain snatching, or even murder. The headline “Old couple murdered” is getting regular and our children are not around.
  10. Greed creates a lot of stress. The world has enough for human need but world does not have enough for human greed. If humanity is in the grip of greed then the natural resources would be exploited more. We are abusing nature and it is already turning violent on us. These environmental/ecological imbalances will affect the next generations and they will not have enough even for an ordinary life.
  11. Greed causes problems both at the micro and macro level because of individual greed, family greed, corporate greed, national greed. In fact recession is caused from corporate greed. They are promoting more and more loans and credit cards (acquire more and greed is promoted!!!). In our parent’s generation the word loan was fraught with shame while now we wear it as a crown (bhushanam)!
  12. We are so caught up with external wealth that we forget the internal wealth of contentment (tripti). Veda says that whatever you earn legitimately one must be contented without comparing with neighbours or falling for New Year discount sales! Therefore we must pray to Lakshmi Devi to extend wealth to include contentment too.
  13. We don’t appreciate the value of contentment for we wrongly think that our level of enjoyment would come down. This is a serious misconception and delusion born out of greed.
  14. Our Sastra take great pains to remove this misconception: If external wealth is the source of joy then internal wealth of contentment is as much a source of joy if not greater.
  15. In Traittreya Upanishad this important message is given graphically. They have divided external wealth into ten levels.
  16. Let us imagine a man acquiring more wealth and goes from level 1 to level 2. Let us take another wise man who progresses in contentment levels from level 1 to level 2 (contentment is also divided into ten levels parallelly) .
  17. Traittreya Upanishad states the second person who progresses on the contentment scale has hundred times more joy than the person who finds happiness in material acquisition.
  18. Let’s say at level -10 a Ambani or Bill Gates and take a wise man sitting under a tree without bank balance, without laptop, without I-pad, without television, without home theatre, without home itself. He’s joy is hundred times more than the richest man on earth.
  19. So when you pray for Lakshmi Devi every day include external wealth and also internal wealth.

What are the two types of knowledge we must pray from Saraswati Devi?


Then there is another important deity, “Saraswati”. From Saraswati Devi we have to seek two types of knowledge.

One knowledge is material knowledge given by material sciences; science and technology being developed in thousands of laboratories all over the world. They are trying to corner the external world with better set-up; better houses, better gadgets and everything better and better. Conquering the external world and manipulating the set-up which is called Apara Vidya.

The Para Vidya is spiritual sciences represented by our scriptures which are designed to change our internal mindset.

  1. Material sciences are used to adjust the external set-up to suit our likes and dislikes. While spiritual knowledge is to change our mindset. This is extremely important for however advanced material sciences maybe we can never be totally in control of the external set-up.
  2. Go to Pondicherry and see the havoc played by the cyclones! The external set-up is uncontrollable, unpredictable, and unsustainable and we will have to face unfavourable professional situations, we will have to face unfavourable family situations, unfavourable personal situations according to our karma. We have to face unfavourable set-up either temporary or face them lifelong.
  3. The doctor will say, “You will have to live with it” for there are many genetic diseases for which there are no remedies. In such a situation material sciences will throw their hands in despair. When we cannot adjust the set-up it has become a choiceless situation then you will have to adjust the mind. Our mindset and perspectives must be adjusted such that it cushioned and protected from the external unfavourable situations.
  4. Like wearing a cooling glass in hot sun that protects the eyes but when things cannot be changed externally we must know how to adjust the mind. That is why our Sastra make a difference between spiritual ignorance and spiritual knowledge.
  5. An ignorant mind is like a convex lens that magnifies any external unfavourable situation. The doctor only says there should be an investigation and the mind begins to dread the worst.
  6. The mind is always is insecure, always in panic and exaggerates every little difficulty. Spiritual ignorance exaggerates every choiceless situation. In contrast spiritual knowledge is one that makes a person face even the most unfavourable situation with an appropriate attitude.
  7. Lord Krishna in the Gita presents two techniques to deal with any problem: Karma yoga and Jnana yoga.
  8. Material sciences teach how to adjust the world while spiritual sciences alone will tell us how to adjust the mind. Mental adjustments are necessary when we are facing choiceless situations. There are certain situations that have no remedy and at that time you need spiritual knowledge to cope with your situation. Therefore pray to Sarawati for both types of knowledge.

So on this auspicious new year let us invoke the grace of Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati for two types of health, physical and mental; two types of wealth, physical and contentment; two types of knowledge, material sciences and spiritual knowledge.

Let this prayer be on behalf of ourselves, our families and the entire world.

January 10, 2013


Hindu Demographics

From 1,700 people in 1900, the Hindu population in America grew to approximately 387,000 by 1980 and 1.1 million in 1997.

As of 2008, the estimated U.S. population of Hindus of Indian origin is approximately 2.29 million (mainly of Indian and Indo-Caribbean descent).

Click here to download Hinduism Today’s analysis on the US Hindu population.

Estimates are that there may also be as many as 1 million practicing American Hindus, not of Indian origin, in the U.S.

Click here to download Hinduism Today’s world map of the Hindu diaspora.


Hindus are the most affluent andmost educated immigrant community in the United States.The comparison chart below illustrates this in detail. Figures in percentages unless otherwise noted.

Asian Indian
Chinese Filipinos Japanese Koreans Vietnamese
Not Proficient in English

0.7 0.8 30.3 8.4 31.3 7 10 32.9 40.4
Less than High School 15.3 29.1 48.5 12.6 23.6 13.1 9.5 13.8 37.8
College Degree 25.3 13.6 9.9 64.4 46.3 42.8 40.8 43.6 13.8
Advanced Degree 3 1.2 1.6 12.5 8.5 4.3 4.6 5.6 2.5
Median Personal Income $23,640 $16,300 $14,400 $26,000 $20,000 $23,000 $26,000 $16,300 $16,000
Median Family Income $48,500 $33,300 $36,000 $69,470 $58,300 $65,400 $61,630 $48,500 $51,500
Living in Poverty 9.4 24.9 21.4 8.2 13.1 6.9 8.6 15.5 13.8
Public Assistance 1.3 4.5 3.5 0.9 1.8 1.6 0.9 1.6 4.8
Homeowner 78.2 54.4 52.4 56.8 65.7 67.6 70.8 51.9 60
In Labor Force 63.6 59.8 61.5 71 65.1 68.3 58 62 63.5
High Skill Occupation 21.4 12.3 9.6 51.6 41.9 29.7 32 27 22.6


Business Creation $200 Billion in Market Value
Percentage of Silicon Valley Startups 40%
Number Employed 20,000-30,000
Number of Physicians 38,000
Number of Medical Students & Residents 12,000
Hindu Americans in Science and Technology Account for < 1% (0.5%) of the U.S. population, but more than 5 % of Scientists, Engineers and Software Specialists in the U.S.
Hospitality Sector – Ownership Own 35% of total real estate
Hospitality Sector – Market Value $40 billion
Hospitality Sector – Number Employed 850,000
Estimated Global Population (World) 930 million
Estimated Population (Outside India) 20 – 22 million
Estimated Income (Outside India) $300 – $400 billion
Estimated GDP (Outside India) $1 trillion
Estimated GDP per Capita (Outside India) $50,000
December 31, 2012

Prayers for Contentment , Health and conviction to follow our Dharma.

In this English Calender year 2013, may Bhagawan Bless us all with Contentment , Health and Conviction to follow our Dharma in-spite of the lure by western ideals.




December 28, 2012

Today is Thirvadirai Festival – Ardhra Darsanam Festivel – For Bhagwan Shiva

Info on Ardhra Darisanam.

Based on Shri Raman’s email forward and Mahesh’s Sage of Kanchi blog.


Arudhra Darshan 2012 – Lord Shiva Ardra Darshanam

Arudhra Darshan, also known as Ardra festival, is an auspicious day dedicated to Lord Shiva in Tamil Calendar and it celebrates ‘the cosmic dance’ of Lord Shiva as Nataraja.

In 2012, the date of Arudhra Darshan is December 28. Arudhara Darshanam is observed on the full moon day in the Tamil month of Margazhi (Margali Masam).

Arudra festival is celebrated with fervor in Lord Shiva temples in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia and in other parts of the world by Tamil speaking population.

Arudara Darshanam festival is of great importance at the Chidambaram Nataraja Temple in Tamil Nadu and marks the conclusion of Margazhi Brahmotsavam.

The cosmic dance of Lord Shiva as Nataraja represents – Creation, Protection, Destruction, Embodiment and Release. In essence, it represents the continuous cycle of creation and destruction. This cosmic dance takes place in every particle and is the source of all energy. Arudra Darshan celebrates this ecstatic dance of Lord Shiva.

It must be noted here that Arudhra, Ardra, Arudhara, Arudra, Arudara are the different spellings used in English language to mention the festival.

Significance of Ardhra Darshanam


One of the eight fasts (vrata) of importance in favour of Lord Siva, according to Kanda Puranam, is Thiruvathirai fast. Those, who perform it, are expected to arise from bed before dawn, complete their daily ablutions, go to the Siva Temple, witness the anointing ceremonies, light ghee lamps, offer their prayers, view the Nadarajah’s procession and fast without food until the next day when they can partake meal with Saivite devotees after their early morning ablutions and Siva worship. Patanjali, Vyakrapada and Munsishesha rishis are said to have followed this fast and obtained benefits according to puranic stories.

ARTHIRAI: Only two out of twenty-seven stars are honoured with title “Thiru”. They are Athirai and Onam, which are assigned to Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu respectively. The Saiva world surprisingly has assigned a birthday for the Primordial. Athirai seems to have been assigned to Lord Siva from very early times according to literary evidences (Kalitthogai; Paripadal). Athirai is also called Chemmin, meaning red star. The word Siva too has the meaning of a red person. Those who gave Siva a peerless position also assigned one of the biggest stars to him.

MARKALI THIRUVATHIRAI: The last day of Thiruvembavai is the tenth day, which falls on Markali Thiruvathirai. According to an old verse of Paripaddal, girls on Markali Thiruvathirai find out from elderly women how to perform the rites for Ambavadal and then start off the rites bathing in cold water before dawn and praying that the world become cool with sufficient rains in their ceremony.

The Bhagavada Purana also refers to a Karthiyayini fast performed in Markali by girls similar to the above one. The ceremony conducted by girls in favour of the Mother Goddess became extended to Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu irrespective of gender and age in later times. This “Markali bathing” is referred to in some ancient poems (Narrinai; Ainkurunury; Kalitthogai) as “Thai bathing” because after the full moon in mid Markali we get part of Markali and part of Thai, there giving license for both terms. Saivites recite the twenty verses of Thiruvembavai sung by Saint Manikkavasagar daily for ten days ending on Markali Thiruvathirai. Vaishnavites recite the thirty verses of Thiruppavai sung by Saint Andal, one daily for the whole month of Markali. The divine charioteer, Lord Krishna observed that he is Markali of the calendar months and Thiruvathirai of the stars in Bhagavad Gita.

ARDHRA DARSHAN: Saivites hold Markali Thiruvathirai as one of the most holiest days of Siva. Saint Thirugnana Sambandar singing to Poompavai asks whether she is going away without witnessing Athirai (Thirumarai). It is significant that one of the six anointing ceremonies of Lord Nadarajah takes place on this day. Further Lord Nadarajah comes out in a procession of this day to give Darshan to his devotees.

In Sanskrit ‘Arthirai? is called ‘Ardhra?and the Thiruvathirai anointing ceremony is called Ardhra Abisheka and the Thiruvathirai viewing as Ardhra Darshan. It is held as a great achievement to be able to view Nadarajah’s procession on Markali Thiruvathirai in Chidambaram. Saivites from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) used to go in boats to Vedarniyam (Thirumaraikadu) and then to Chidambaram for this ceremony annually in olden days.

Travel restrictions between India and Ceylon put an end to this annual Saivite trek from Ceylon. However lands and properties donated by Saivites in Ceylon to Chidambaram Nadarajah bear testimony to the attachment of Ceylon Saivites to Chidambaram and its Lord. There is a great festival in the ten days ending on Markali Thiruvathirai in Chidambaram. This will be followed by the anointing ceremony in the early hours of Markali Thiruvathirai. Then it will be followed by the procession of Lord Nadarajah with his consort to bless the multitude of devotees.

Chendanar of Cheppurai sang the Thiru Pallandu decade so as to get the chariot, which stuck in the mud to move on a Thiruvathirai procession in Markali (Thiru Pallandu). His only decade forms one of the five hymns recited in Siva Temples even today. Nandanar’s ambition to get Arudhra Darshan saw no bounds. He was forced to go on postponing his departure day after day due to his subservience to his Master thereby earning for himself the name of Thiru Nalai Poovar. His story is the theme of a musical drama by Gopala Krishna Bharathi in the late 19th century. The hermits of Darukavanam, due to their arrogance, overlooked the peerless Lord Siva, paying no heed to the path of knowledge, followed the pathway of Karma (action) and performed a huge fire ceremony.

The gracious Lord took the form of a beggar to enlighten them when he dropped in at the doorsteps of the hermits smitten by his Grace forgot what they were doing and followed him one after another. The hermits became furious and brought one of the five dreadful creatures to destroy the Lord. Lord Siva destroyed all of them and stood upon one of them (Muyalagan) and performed a Tandava dance enlightening the hermits who was the Lord of the universe. This darshan is said to have taken place on the Markali Thiruvathirai. Therefore viewing the procession of Nadarajah on this day is said to be very beneficial.

THIRUVATHIRAI KALI (MASHED FLOUR): Cendanar of Naukoor, a disciple of Paddinattu Adigal, used to eat only after feeding some Saiva devotees. Due to a constant bad weather he could not get together all the essentials for a proper meal. He had no option but to mix water with flour and prepare a mashed paste. Lord Siva understood his predicament. He wanted the people to know how sincere his devotee was to him. Therefore he disguised himself as a Siva devotee and visited Cendanar’s hut and enjoyed what was given to him as food. The temple attendants saw the premises scattered with the mashed paste the following morning. Inquiries led to an understanding of Cendanar’s piety and he was thereafter bestowed with all due respect. This incident took place in a Markali Thiruvathirai. This is why Thiruvathirai Kali forms an important prasad on this holy day.

Ardhraa Darshanam (Kanchi Periyava Upanyasam) –39 minutes — in Tamil




Aani Thirumanjanam Of Lord Natarajar Pt.1

Aani Thirumanjanam Of Lord Natarajar Pt.2

December 20, 2012

Quote From Kanchi Mahaswami on Sun and Shadow

Quote From Kanchi Mahaswami on Sun and Shadow

“If we walk facing the sun, shadow will follow you without you even knowing about it.

We should have a goal that is prescribed by the shasthras. If we follow the goal (you walk towards the sun), money & status will follow you (like shadow without leaving you even if you donot want it).

Instead if you turnaround and follow the shadow, you are walking against the sun .You will never be able to catch the shadow and the shadow will eventually leave you, just like money and status will leave you after some time.

What is the point of turning away from Sun, (the noble goals prescribed by Shasthras) and going behind shadow (money & status) “

Please forgive if there is an error in translation


Dr Veezhinathan talks about Mahaperiyava (3 minutes in tamil)



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