Sunday, December 5, 2010

The importance of looking within



Namaste, Hari Om,

What does it mean when we look within? Is it a physical view, cutting our self open and looking at our internal organs or performing an x-ray?

Physically looking within is not so, looking within is using our mind and breath. Our breath is used as the scalpel to open our inner selves and look within. Through breath we can control everything, vision, touch, hunger, pain and our minds. When the mind is in control through the power of breath then we can control our senses and look within with greater effect. With the breath in control, Our minds act as the x-ray to scan our body for relaxation and to dive within. The mind can be discussed in depth but we will save that for another day as its extremely indepth.

I have been blessed to attend a yoga class today where the teacher painted a picture of our being as compared to a bow and arrow.

With a bow and arrow, the harder you pull the arrow towards you, the further it goes and much powerful it will be.

Same for looking within, the more we look within (pulling the arrow back) the more peace and goodness we can project outward.

By projecting peace and goodness outward we can help others.

We create a pleasant surrounding that wards away negative energy.

How does one look within? Meditation works, for those beginning, guided meditation is the best way to go. This can help you by focusing on yourself while meditating. Also self reflection as the day ends can also help you look within, think about your day and how you impacted others. There are many ways to look within, but having the desire and time is important. Yoga can also help those trying to calm their minds and relax their tensions, yoga helps our outside body relax and get in tune with our minds, thus leading to better meditation sessions.

Good luck in your inward journey, may we all be a powerful arrow projecting peace and goodness to the world! Never forget, everything is within us, that same divine spark thats everywhere is also within us.

Jai Shri Krishna,
-SimpleHinduBhai

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shubh Diwali! Nov 5th 2010! Happy Diwali! 5 days of Diwali?



Namaste, Hari Om,

Shubh Diwali to you all! Diwali in 2010 will take place on Nov 5, 2010!

Its celebrated in great style all accross the world, from the US, Islands, Europe and all the way to the grandest place, India!

There are various ways to celebrate this great time, some countries/towns host Diwali shows/ceremonies - We just attended the Diwali Nagar in South Florida, We performed a Devi Play (Will post the video Soon).

But there are more questions regarding Diwali.. Is it one day, two days or five days? Lets take a closer look...

I have been in India during Diwali time and have celebrated Diwali across the five days. The time is nice when kids and pople go door to door sharing and taking sweets. Also the fireworks are on the same level with the US's 4th of July. Its a great time where lights are everywhere and people are happy. Also its important to note that you have a right to celebrate Diwali, taking it off from work is mandatory and should not come with problems. I myself am taking this day off as a Religious Holiday, not a sick day or personal time. Stand up for yourself, just as others have as well for their religious holidays!

Our borthers and sisters at Hindu Americation Foundation have done so much for Diwali in the political realm in the USA; http://www.hafsite.org/media/pr/diwali-2010 please read their message.

Also, our President of the US will be celebrating Diwali in India; click here to read.

What do the days mean During Diwali? Read ahead from http://www.diwalifestival.org/
Jai Maa
- SimpleHinduBhai




Five Days Of Diwali:


Deewali is a festival of joy, splendor, brightness and happiness. It is the festival of lights and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by all Indians all over the world. The uniqueness of this festival is its harmony of five varied philosophies, with each day to a special thought or ideal. People celebrate each of its five days of festivities with true understanding, it will uplift and enrich the lives.

The first day of Diwali: Dhanteras

The first day of Diwali is called Dhanvantari Triodasi or Dhanwantari Triodasi also called Dhan Theras. It is in fact the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksh, the dark forthnight of the month of Kartik. On this day, Lord Dhanwantari came out of the ocean with Ayurvedic for mankind. This day marks the beginning of deepawali celebrations.

On this day at sunset, Hindus should bathe and offer a lighted deeya with Prasad (sweets offered at worship time) to Yama Raj, the Lord of Death and pray for protection from untimely death. This offering should be made near a Tulsi tree, the Holy Basil or any other sacred tree that one might have in their yard.

The second day of Diwali: Choti Diwali

The second day of dipawali is called Narak Chaturdasi. On this day Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasur and made the world free from fear. On this day, one should massage the body with oil to relieve it of tiredness, bathe and rest so that Diwali can be celebarated with vigour and devotion.

On this night, Yama Deeya should not be lit. The Shastras (Laws of Dharma) declares that Yama Deeya should be offered on Triodasi night with Prasad. Some people mistook it to mean that because Yama Deeya was lit on that night, that it should always be lit on the night before deepavali. This is absolutely not true. It is advisable that one consults with a learned Pandit or Hindu Astrologer for proper guidance on this matter.

The third day of Diwali: Lakshmi Puja on Diwali

This is the day when worship unto Mother Lakshmi is performed. Hindus cleanse themselves and join with their families and their Pandit (priest) and they worship the divine Goddess Lakshmi to achieve the blessings of wealth and prosperity, the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

The fourth day of Diwali: Padwa & Govardhan Puja

On this day, Govardhan Pooja is performed. Many thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna caused the people of Vraja to perform Govardhan Pooja. From then on, every year Hindus worship Govardhan to honour that first Pooja done by the people of Vraja.

The fifth day of Diwali: Bhai Duj

The fifth day of the Diwali is called Bhai teeka. This is the day after Goverdhan Pooja is performed and normally two days after Diwali day. It is a day dedicated to sisters. Many moons ago, in the Vedic era, Yama (Yamraj, the Lord of death) visited his sister Yamuna on this day. He gave his sister a Vardhan (a boon) that whosoever visits her on this day shall be liberated from all sins. They will achieve Moksha or final emancipation. From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to enquire of their welfare.

This day marks the end of the five days of deepavali celebrations. This is also known as Bhai fota among Bengalis. Bhai fota is an event especially among Bengalis when the sister prays for her brother's safety, success and well being.

Friday, October 29, 2010

2010 Divali Nagar - Coral Springs, Florida Oct 28-30th - Devi Play LIVE Streaming!

Namaste, Hari Om,

Divali Nagar is a celebration for the community regarding the values and teachings of Divali.

Its hosted by a local non-profit organization based in Florida that has put a great deal of time and effort into this community event. There are various forms of devotional dancing, music, singing, and art work - There are also old Indian village replicas.

One aspect of Divali Nagar we wanted to promote is the Devi Play. The Devi Play is from the Sri Mad Devi Bhagvatam, we recently posted about the exact article on the blog; http://simplehindubhai.blogspot.com/2010/03/sri-mad-devi-bhagvatam-bhagavata-purana.html. 

Its a wonderful play depicting the Devi's importance in the Ramyana when Shri Rama is sorrowful in the loss of Sita Mata. Please see the play Live Streaming Via this link Oct30th; http://www.divalinagar.us/livefeed.php  

Please Provide comments or let us know what you think of the play - Takes place Saturday Oct 30th - 6pm US Eastern Standard time, that will be, 12am In Germany, 12pm In Singapore, or 3:30AM In India.

If you can not watch it, it will be recorded and posted to the internet. Its finally a chance to dive deeper into the influence of the Devi within the  Ramayana.

Jai Adi-Shakti Maa!
-SimpleHinduBhai

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hindu-Blog.com: Hinduism and Nature (Go Green Connection)



Namaste, Hari Om,

No religion, perhaps, lays as much emphasis on environmental ethics as does Hinduism. It believes in ecological responsibility and says like Native Americans that the Earth is our mother. It champions protection of animals, which it considers also have souls, and promotes vegetarianism. It has a strong tradition of non-violence or ahimsa. It believes that God is present in all nature, in all creatures, and in every human being regardless of their faith or lack of it.’ - Dr. David Frawley

(Note: I don't wholly agree with the first line, i believe all religions hold this same emphasis, just in various ways). 

Plants are mothers and Goddesses.” - (Rig Veda Samhita x-97-4)

This is extremely powerful, a mother can birth children, thus trees and plants can birth new off spring. We should look at mother nature as a true mother, they provide shade, food and sustainability in living conditions.

All to often we forget about the world we live in, sometimes we think that we are just one person, how can we save this earth, "We are just a drop in this big ocean".

Well the maha sagar (great ocean) would be nothing without every drop, same for our efforts - together we can fill any bucket drop by drop.

There is a old stigma that the older generations do not know of the go green theme, or are unaware of our planets suffering. Looking at the below points, not only do the older generations know of it, they also forewarned us all of it. In the Garuda Purana, Garuda flew to the three worlds and told Vishnu that he has seen movable and immovable creatures in all three worlds. I stopped and thought to myself, what is an immovable creature? These are plants, trees and living matter that does not move, yes even rocks!

If we do not have respect for the life forms that support us, how can we support each other? Lets take a look at some of the notes from past scriptures;

Waters cleanse humanity from the evil of pollution committed by it.” - (Atharva Veda Samhita xii-2-40)

The waters we have in our world are being defiled by pollution all for the magical dollar. We are sacrificing our own mother for the sake of pleasing our materialistic needs. Ganga Mata came from the louts like feet of Lord Vishnu, thus she is pure and ever cleansing. Wherever there is dirty water caused by humans, there will be a lack of good health and food standards – is this a direct link to dirty water? Yes.

Continue reading the below, it’s a great eye opener to those who are Hindu/faith based/religious, and question why we should go green. You can not afford a dualistic lifestyle while walking the spiritual path – I have often said that we can not just turn off the Spiritual switch when we want too. It must be on always as we are tested always!

Contaminating our bodies with flesh and sorrow (From the dead animals as they experienced pain while bing slaughtered) is bad, same for contaminating our planet. It starts with one drop, together we can fill the bucket and clean up this world.
 
Enjoy,

Jai Mata Ki Jai,

-SimpleHinduBhai





Please read the Article below from Hindu-Blog.com:

Nature and Hinduism are so entwined that it is quite impossible to think about one without the other. The need for an ecological balance is stressed in the Vedas and Upanishads and this message is repeated in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Gita, Puranas and in the messages of Hindu saints. Mother Nature is worshipped in Hindu religion. But for majority of Hindus, worship is confined to temples and homes and thus they are equal contributors in global warming, pollution and emissions.


Here are a few thoughts which ancient seers of Sanatana Dharma had shared more than 5000 years ago regarding the importance of nature and majority of them are highly relevant today.

•One should not destroy the trees. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-48-17)

•Plants are mothers and Goddesses. (Rig Veda Samhita x-97-4)

•Trees are homes and mansions. (Rig Veda Samhita x-97-5)

•Sacred grass has to be protected from man's exploitation (Rig Veda Samhita vii-75-8)

•Plants and waters are treasures for generations. (Rig Veda Samhita vii-70-4)

Earth, in which lie the sea, the river and other waters, in which food and cornfields have come to be, in which lives all that breathes and that moves, may she confer on us the finest of her yield. Earth, in which the waters, common to all, moving on all sides, flow unfailingly, day and night, may she pour on us milk in many streams, and endow us with lustre. (From the Atharva Veda - Hymn to the Earth - Bhumi-Sukta)

May those born of thee, O Earth, be for our welfare, free from sickness and waste, wakeful through a long life, we shall become bearers of tribute to thee. Earth my mother, set me securely with bliss in full accord with heaven, O wise one, uphold me in grace and splendor. (From the Atharva Veda - Hymn to the Earth - Bhumi-Sukta)

•Earth, atmosphere, sky, sun, moon, stars, waters, plants, trees, moving creatures, swimming creatures, creeping creatures all are hailed and offered oblations. (Taittiriya Samhita i-8-13)

•One should protect the habitation. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-71-3)

•Waters as friends of man give full protection to his progenies. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-50-7)

•One shall take care of quadrupeds. (Taittiriya Samhita iv-4-10)

•One shall be auspicious to animals. (Taittiriya Samhita ii-3-14)

•One shall not find fault with animals. (Chandogya Upanishad ii-18-2)

•Waters represent splendor. (Atharva Veda Samhita iii-13-5)

•Waters bear off all defilements and cleanse people. (Vajasaneya Samhita iv-2)

•Whoever injures the essence of food, kine or steeds is a robber who sinks both himself and his offspring into destruction. (Rig Veda Samhita vii-104-10)

•Offerings are dedicated to waters of wells, pools, clefts, holes, lakes, morasses, ponds, tanks, marshes, rains, rime, streams, rivers and ocean. (Taittiriya Samhita vii-4-13)

•There was only water in the beginning. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad v-5-1)

•Waters and herbs should have no poison. (Rig Veda Samhita vi-39-5)

•Waters are to be freed from defilement. (Atharva Veda Samhita x-5-24)

•Waters cleanse humanity from the evil of pollution committed by it. (Atharva Veda Samhita xii-2-40)

•Waters are healing and they strengthen one to see great joy. (Taittiriya Samhita vii-4-19)

The Mahabharata says that 'even if there is only one tree full of flowers and fruits in a village, that place becomes worthy of worship and respect.’

‘No religion, perhaps, lays as much emphasis on environmental ethics as does Hinduism. It believes in ecological responsibility and says like Native Americans that the Earth is our mother. It champions protection of animals, which it considers also have souls, and promotes vegetarianism. It has a strong tradition of non-violence or ahimsa. It believes that God is present in all nature, in all creatures, and in every human being regardless of their faith or lack of it.’ Dr. David Frawley

We Hindus are always proud to hear others praise our culture. We publish them, discuss them in social circles but rarely follow the unparalleled teachings in our scriptures.

Lord Ganesha, Holy Cow, Worship of Mountains, Worship of Nagas (Snakes), Tulsi and the numerous other plants and animals that form part of Hindu worship are nothing but messages incorporated by wise Hindu Saints to teach us that we humans are part of nature and not outside it and above it.

The Hindu concept of Brahman, the Supreme Soul, suggests that all animate and inanimate and all born and yet to be born are part of Brahman. Therefore an imbalance in a particular part will affect all other parts. The Supreme Being then finds out a method to transform that defective part. Since Brahman is present in all, it is easy to transform. And we humans might term such a transformation as the End or Death or total annihilation. For the Supreme Soul, it is a small repair work carried out by a minute virus.

Mother Nature is not dependent on Human Beings but Human Beings are. Ancient Seers knew it and therefore they worshiped Nature. Modern Humans termed it as animism and replaced it with more refined worships. And the result of such a refined worship ...

‘In our arrogance and ignorance we have destroyed the environment of this planet. We have polluted the oceans, we have made the air unbreathable, we have desecrated nature and decimated wildlife. But the Vedantic seers knew that man was not something apart from nature, and, therefore, they constantly exhort us that, while we work for own salvation, we must also work for the welfare of all beings.’ Karan Singh

Only a people’s movement can save the earth from destruction. We are armed with wise teachings of our saints. Now what we need is its implementation.

Courtesy: Quotes from Vedas as found in the articles of Dr. S Kannan and Dr. Karan Singh

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why do you let the little things in life bother you?



Namaste, Hari Om,

Why do you let the little things in life bother you?

In our lives we come across many people who worry too much about the little things in life. There is a famous saying, “Don’t worry about spilled milk”. Spilled milk here refers to small things, like a little ding in your car, someone cutting you off on the road, or someone forgetting a minor detail that can be corrected fast. These small things can cause anger in many people when in reality its nothing but spilled milk, a problem that can be fixed with ease.

When walking the spiritual path we must learn tolerance. Through tolerance we can evolve and free our minds from tension over many things. Someone who gets angry and agitated over little things in life needs to review why they act the way they do. Think about problems that make you angry over all, these problems are usually linked to your anger over the little things. This is when you take out your anger from major problems (i.e. bad day at work, bad grades etc..) onto the little things (Spilled milk).

When our minds are free from anger, we can evolve faster as the mind is calming and can receive wisdom and love with ease. Anger blocks spiritual growth, and when you get angry over the little things in life, it only gets worst as bigger problems happen. Tolerance is gained through practice.

How do you practice tolerance? Yoga and breathing exercises really work, breathing alone can cure many things even anger. Click here for special pranayama breathing tips; http://www.yogiclogic.com/Yoga-articles/pranayama-in-yoga.php.

When someone or something minor makes you angry, talk to your self. Ask, is my anger necessary? Is it a major problem that will cause great effort and time to correct? Will the person feel good if I yell at them over something so little? The answer most of the time is NO.

When you get mad at someone, put yourself in their shoes (look at life from their perspective), sometimes others have had a bad day, or they might be suffering with great sorrow and you might not even notice it. Be compassionate to those who are not skilled, teach them and help them become better if they fail or have a minor mistake.

Look at someone and remember the good that they do, the good things they have given to the world and to yourself. One should not only focus on the bad, as we tend to remember the bad and forget the good in people. This is the seed of problems in relationships with parents and significant others, our own worries over small things cause us to miss the true beauty in others. Why worry over the small problems in life, have faith in the Supreme Being.

Words from Lord Krishna below;

Delusion arises from anger. The mind is bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed.” - Bhagavad Gita

"One must elevate --- and not degrade --- oneself by one’s own mind. The mind alone is one’s friend, as well as one’s enemy. The mind is the friend of those who have control over it, and the mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it." - Bhagavad Gita (6.05-06)

In this time of Navratri, may Saraswati Mata bless our minds to think peacefully and be thankful for those we have close to us. Do not take anyone or anything for granted or hurt anyone (even animals) over small problems in life, we have too much to be thankful for.

Jai Shri Krishna,
Jai Saraswati Mata ki Jai..

-SimpleHinduBhai

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hindu Calendar: Navratri Oct 8-16, 2010



Namaste, Hari Om, Jai Mata,


This time of the year is very special, Navratri is a time for the Jagajanani Bhavani Mata (Universal) mother. It is celebrated in various ways and forms across the world and across India. The all mighty Devi is worshiped throughout the nine nights, seeking the blessings of the divine mother will help us all in our path towards spirituality.

A while back we posted about the Ramayana and Navratri link, you can read the posting here once more. http://simplehindubhai.blogspot.com/2010/03/sri-mad-devi-bhagvatam-bhagavata-purana.html 

It is a great example that shows how powerful these nine nights are. Shri Rama Ji himself performed the Navratri fast and the Devi gave him power and blessings to conquer the evil king Ravana.

Let us all dispel the dark forces in our life with the Shakti of the caring Mata Ji. Any efforts toward the divine Devi will go a long way, fasting and meditating on her glories will enhance our vision and energy. Those seeking happiness and protection should look towards a mother.

Just as childern think of their mother in times of pain and suffering, in hunger and thirst, let us think of our divine Mother in this wonderful time of Ashwin.

Jai Mata Di,
-SimpleHinduBhai

__________________
Below explanations come from http://www.mantraonnet.com/navratri.html , great info on the general overview of Navratri and how its celebrated acorss India.

Nav-Ratri - The festival of nine nights is one of the most prominent festivals of Hinduism dedicated to chiefly Mother Durga an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. This is the most pious and pure time in the complete Hindu calendar. These nine nights are dedicated to the three main goddesses of Hinduism - Parvati, Lakshmi and Sarasvati.
The first three nights are dedicated to the goddess of action and energy. Her different manifestations viz Kumari, Parvati and Kali are worshipped during these days.


Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped for the next three days in her various aspects as the goddesses of peace, plenty and bliss. Fulfillment is more important than wealth itself. As the goddess of wealth, Goddess Lakshmi bestows wealth, success and fame and fortune to her worshippers and devotees. The four hands of Goddess Lakshmi indicate that she has the power to bestow on humanity the four ends of human life. In one hand she holds a lotus flower - reminding us of ever-lasting life and the immortality of the soul. The other hand that holds another lotus symbolizes to us to detach ourselves from too much of the worldly power, position, considerations, etc. Another hand holds what symbolizes material wealth, prosperity which are to be used as a means / tools for the achievements or goal in life; while the other hand, the fourth one is shown open and pointing downward, showering wealth and reinforcing the message of sharing.


On Lalita Panchami (the fifth day), children gather all the books in the house before a sacred lamp and invoke the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. It is also the occasion for all artisans to lay down their tools before the goddess and seek her benediction upon their trade. Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge. She is the goddess of the spiritual knowledge and the knowledge that frees us from this bind of this materialistic world. She is worshipped during the final three days of the Navratri.
On the eighth and ninth days of the festival, yagnas are performed as a final act of farewell that marks the termination of the ceremonies. Ghee or clarified butter, a sweet concoction of rice cooked in condensed milk (paayas or kheer) and sesame seeds are traditional items used in the yagna to the chanting of mantras conveying the theme-"This is my offering to God".

On the tenth day or Vijaya Dasami, more popularly known as Dussehra, enormous effigies of Ravana stuffed with firecrackers are torched with flaming arrows to the delight of throngs of revelers. It is also valued by devotees as an auspicious occasion to start an enterprise and for the business communities to open their annual books of account.

North Indian Belief :
Lord Brahma of the trinity Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva, granted Mahishasura the "buffalo demon," or simply Mahisa (buffalo) a boon that protected him from any man in the world . Empowered by this gift, Mahishasura set out to conquer the world, heaven and the world, and brought about the defeat of Indra king of deities. At the pleading of Indra, the king of the Gods, Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva created Durga, the female through and amalgamation of their own shakti or divine power. Endowed with the trinity's shakti, Durga proved to be a formidable opponent who fought Mahisa for nine days, beheading him on the tenth. The nine nights simply translated Navratri, symbolize the nine days of battle, while the tenth day, vijayadashami-literally means the victorious tenth day of conquest. This great epic is recounted and celebrated slightly differently in various regions taking on different forms and names. In West Bengal Navratri, and vijayadashami are respectively celebrated as Durga Puja and Dasara. In South India the festival includes other female deities an dedicates three days of the festival to Lakshmi, the female archetype of wealth and fortune, and another three to Saraswathi, the female archetype of learning, music and knowledge. In northern India it takes the form of the great epic Ramyana where Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu is victorious over the evil king Ravana.



Eastern Indian Belief :
Daksha, the king of the Himalayas and the plains, and his wife, Menaka, had a daughter called Uma. Uma, right from her childhood, started worshipping Shiva as her would be husband. Shiva, being pleased with the worship of Uma, came to marry her. Daksha did not like this tiger-skin clad groom with ash & dirt spread over all of his body. Uma got married to Shiva but was prevented by her father from moving to Kailash, the abode of Shiva. Daksha, later on, arranged for a 'yagna' where everyone except Shiva was invited. Uma, feeling ashamed of the behavior of her father and shocked by the attitude towards her husband, committed Sati (the woman immolates herself in a burning pyre). Shiva came to know about this and went to Daksha's house. He lifted the body of Uma on his shoulders and started dancing madly. With the supreme power dancing, the World was on the verge of destruction. Narayana, another SuperGod, came forward as a saviour and used his 'Chakra' to cut the Body of Uma into pieces. Those pieces started falling off from the shoulder of the dancing Shiva into different parts of the World. Shiva was finally pacified when the last piece fell off from his shoulder. Narayana revived Uma for a new life. Daksha, who was extremely sorry about his misdeeds, prayed for mercy and was finally forgiven. The places where the pieces had fallen are known as the 'Shakti Piths' or energy pits, few of these places being Kalighat in Calcutta, Kamakshya near Guwahati among others. Ever since peace was restored, Uma, with her four children, Ganesh, Kartick, Saraswati and Laxmi and with her two 'sakhis' - Jaya and Bijaya, comes to visit her parent's home each year during the season of 'Sharat' or autumn when Durga Puja is celebrated.
 What is AkalBodhan?
In the 'Ramayana', as it goes, Lord Rama went to Lanka to rescue his abducted wife, Goddess Sita, from the grip of Ravana, the king of the Demons in Lanka. Before starting for his battle with Ravana, Lord Rama wanted the blessings of Devi Durga . He came to know that the Goddess would be pleased only if she is worshipped with one hundred 'NeelKamal' or blue lotuses. Lord Rama, after travelling the whole world, could gather only ninety nine of them. He finally decided to offer one of his eyes, which resembled blue lotuses. Goddess Durga, being pleased with the devotion of Lord Rama, appeared before him and blessed him. The battle started on the 'Saptami' and Ravana was finally killed on the 'Sandhikshan' i.e. the crossover period between Ashtami (the next day) and Navami (the day after). Ravana was cremated on Dashami. Since the period of this worship was different from the conventional period (during the spring - 'Basanta'), this puja is also known as 'Akal-Bodhan' or a worship (Bodhan) in an unconventional time (A-Kaal).


Navratri in various parts of India

The festival which is devoted to the Mother Goddess known variously as Durga, Kali, Bhavani, Amba, and Chandika, has been celebrated in it's most unique and different nature in various parts of India and abroad with devotional songs, bhajans and cultural programs with the world renowned Garba or Dandiya Raas in the state of Gujarat.


Western India : - Here this Festival is celebrated in a most unique and unusual way. The Garba or Dandiya Raas is the most significant feature during the festival of Navratri. This is the traditional and folk dance of the state of Gujarat, but today, people throughout the country perform this dance with great fervor and enthusiasm. During the dance, a decorated pot is ceremoniously placed with a light inside and the women folk dance in a circle, singing 'traditional songs' or 'garbas'. Then there is a pooja on each day of this holy period where Goddess Durga, known in this state as Ambe Maa is worshiped for prosperity and happiness. The word "Garba" by which the pot as well as the dance is known is etymologically close to the word Garbha meaning womb. In this context the lamp in the pot, symbolically represent life within a womb. The Dandiya Raas or the dance as this is called is played with dandiyas or wooden sticks. Apart from Gujarat, Dandiya Raas and Garba's is a common feature in all over India and especially in cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodra and Surat. The women wear their vibrant, mirror-work ghaghras and cholis in different styles and the men in their traditional attire; play garba to traditional and rhythmic songs.

Northern India: In Northern India specially in Punjab and Delhi, even the name of the festival is changed, this becomes Navratras, here this is a period of fasting for seven days, and the people are said to keep their "Navratras" or fasts. On the eighth day or Ashtami, devotees break their fasts by calling young girls home and these girls are treated as the goddess herself. They are called "Kanjak Devis". People ceremonially wash their feet, worship them and then offer food to the "girl-goddesses" giving them the traditional 'puri', ' halwa' and chana' to eat along with bangles and the red 'chunnis' to wear with a token amount of money as "shagun". The ninth day is then called Navami which means literally the ninth day of this holy and pious period. Another prevalent practice is of sowing pulses, cereals and other seeds on the first day of this festival in a pot which is watered for nine days at the end of which the seeds sprout. This pot is worshipped throughout the nine days. This custom is also indicative of fertility worship and is known as "Khetri".It is significant of prosperity and abundance. On the first day of the Navaratras, grains of barley are planted in the puja room of the house. Every day some water is sprinkled on it. On the tenth day, the shoots are about 3 - 5 inches in length. After the puja, these seedlings or the "Khetri" as this is referred to is submerged in water . This custom suggests a link to harvesting. The sowing and reaping of barley is symbolic of the "first fruit". 


West Bengal & Eastern India :- In West Bengal, Navratri is celebrated as Durga Pooja, where beautiful idols of the Goddess are decorated and adorned, and worshipped for a period of nine days and immersed on the tenth day. Different manifestations of Durga are worshipped every night and this is one of the biggest and most important festivals for the people of W. Bengal. For these ceremonies Pundals (temporary public booths) are erected. The ceremonies are conducted amidst grand prayers and mass feeding.
South India : - In southern India celebrations constitute a display of images of God and toys at home for nine days amidst much pomp and gaiety with poojas and archanas conducted for Goddess Durga.

In different states of India especially around the North, the Ram Leela is performed during Navratri. It is the staged enaction of the Ramayana. This is the day according to the Ramayana when Lord Ram killed the demon Ravana and hence this day marks the victory of good over evil. The day after Navratri (i.e the tenth day) is known as Dassera. In many parts of India this is also referred to "Vijaya Dashmi" and is celebrated with equal pomp and glory associated with Divali.
In northern India, on the tenth day (Dassera) giant effigies of Ravana. Kumbhakarna and Meghnad (Lord Rama's enemies), are publicly burnt. But despite the various ways in which this festival is celebrated the feature that is common is that of the worship of the mother goddess.

Hindu-Blog.com: "Different Colour of Saris That are offered to Hindu Goddess"



Namaste, Hari Om,

"Different Colour of Saris That are offered to Hindu Goddess" - Hindu-Blog.com

I never really knew the actual colors for the other Devi's, but its interesting to note when we perform Puja at our home or Mandir. Also the explanation is really nice:

Enjoy,
-SimpleHinduBhai

From Hindu-Blog.com:
_______________
Different Colour of Saris That are offered to Hindu Goddess


One of the most important offering that is made to a Hindu Goddess is traditional sari and blouse – cotton saree or silk sari. The sari offering is traditionally made to incarnations of Goddess Shakti – Durga, Bhagavathy, Parvati etc. But saris are also offered to various other goddesses in Hindu pantheon like Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati. The color of the sari depends on the purpose of manifestation – thus most Shakti incarnations are given red saris as they appeared to restore Dharma by annihilating Adharma.

Durga is offered only Red color sari.

Goddess Lakshmi is offered orange, yellow or red color – mostly a mix of yellow and red or mix of orange and red.

Goddess Saraswati is offered White color sari or Yellow color – or a mix of yellow and white. When it is a mixed color yellow will be the border color.

Goddess Kali is offered Purple color sari in most regions. In some regions a mix of purple and red.

The saris are offered to Goddess Bhagavathy in South India on any Tuesday or Friday or any of the auspicious days associated with the Goddess.

In other regions the offering is made during Navratri, Durga Puja and during the Jayanti celebrations of various incarnations of Shakti.

Hindu-Blog.com: "Navratri Puja Lamp – For How many days should one keep lamp or Diya during Navaratri?"


Namaste, Hari Om,

"Navratri Puja Lamp – For How many days should one keep lamp or Diya during Navaratri?"

Nice article on Hindu-Blog.com, talks about lighting Diyas (Deep) on this special time of the year. Nautratrii starts this friday, so lets all try to keep the diya lit for at least three days. Special reason why written below.

Happy Nauratrii to everyone!

- SimpleHinduBhai

____________
Hindu-Blog.com:

 The lighting of the lamp for Navratri Puja is known as Deepa Stamba Sthapana in some regions. The Navratri lights (diya) are lit for nine or seven or five or three days. The lamp should be lit using ghee and it should be continuously lit for 9 or 7 or 5 or 3 days. The number of wick used in lamp varies from region to region – but generally during auspicious occasions like Navratri puja people light 5 or 7 wicks in a traditional lamp. You can also light one or two wicks.


The lamp that is lit during Navratri should be adorned with flowers or garland.

It is believed that while prayers are offered before the lamp – 27 nakshatras or birth stars are invoked atop the lamp.

Only rule that should be carefully followed is that once the lamp is lit is should be continuously lit for 9, 7, 5 or 3 days. You should not stop after the first day and then start two days after. 

Hindu Calendar Oct 22nd 2010: Maharas Purnima - "divine Raas Lila of Sri Krishna with Radha and Gopis"

Namaste, Hari Om,

Oct 22nd, 2010 Ras Leela.

Also see more detailed information on the Ras Leela from this website;
http://www.krishnajanmashtami.com/performing-rasleela.html

Enjoy,
Jai Shri Krishna,
-SimpleHinduBhai

Nice article From Hindu-Blog.com:
_______________________________
Maharas Purnima

The Purnima or full moon day in Ashwin month (September – October) is observed as Maharas Purnima in Braj region of North India. Maharas Purnima 2010 date is October 22. It is believed that divine Raas Lila of Sri Krishna with Radha and Gopis happened on the night of Maharas Purnima. Due to this importance, the day is also referred as Raas Lila Divas or Ras Lila day. A fasting (Vrata) is also observed on the day. The day is popularly known as Sharad Purnima.

There is also a close connection between the moon and the Sharath Purnima day – it is believed that moon’s rays contain nourishing elements. It is believed that the moon is closest to the earth on the day

The significance of Sharat Purnima is mentioned in the 10th chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad Purana. It is also said that the moon is close to the earth on the day and due to this the rays of the moon has several curative properties.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hindu Calendar: Sept 15th 2010 - Radha Ashtami (birthday of Radha)


Namaste, Hari Om,

From Hindu-Blog.com;

Radha Ashtami, or Radhashtami, celebrates the birthday of Radha and it falls on the eighth day during the waxing phase of the moon in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. In 2010, the date of Radha Ashtami is September 15. Radha and Krishna – the union of human soul and divine – the highest form of Bhakti. In every human being, there is a Radha waiting to merge with Krishna. Very few are lucky enough to reach that state of mind and when it takes place there is the ‘leela’ – eternal bliss.

The love of Radha and Krishna has been immortalized in verses by many poets of yesteryear and the unparalleled love continues to inspire many. To understand the love of Radha and Krishna, we need to undergo reformation. We need to realize the divine in all animate and inanimate. When that happens the individual becomes Radha and the individual sees Krishna everywhere.


The meeting of Radha and Krishna always takes place in pristine Nature. Extolling that human beings are part of Nature and the ideal way of existence is by living in harmony with Nature.


Hindu-Blog: Pictures of 32 forms of Ganesha – Photo Gallery and Slide Show of 32 forms of Ganesh

Namaste, Hari Om,



http://www.zeenews.com/imagegallery1514.htm

As we are in the Ganesh time frame, Ustav, lets keep remembering that sweet view of Ganapati Baba. The article from Hindu-blog talks about the 32 forms of Lord Ganesha. Article summary below with a link to the 32 Forms..

There are some rare photos, one of the rare ones are the Shakti Ganapati, "Four-armed and seated with one of His shaktis on His knee, Shakti Ganapati, "the Powerful," of orange-red hue, guards the householder. He holds a garland, noose and goad, and bestows blessings with the abhaya mudra."

Jai Ganesha,
- SimpleHinduBhai

Ganesha appears before his devotees in several forms – among them some forms have been clubbed together thus we have collections like 8 forms of Ganesha and also 32 forms of Ganesh. Zeenews has put a photo gallery and slide show of the 32 forms of Ganesh. Along with the pictures of the 32 forms of Ganesha, there is also a simple explanation of each form like - Bala Ganapati is ‘the Childlike’ for of Ganesha. In His hands He holds a banana, mango, sugar cane and jackfruit, all representing the earth’s abundance and fertility. His trunk garners His favorite sweet, the modaka.

http://www.zeenews.com/imagegallery1514.htm

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hindu Calendar: Ganesh Jayanti Saturday Sept 11, 2010 - Guide to Worshipping Lord Ganesha


Namaste, Hari Om, Jai Ganesh Baba,

This is one of the best times of the year for all across the world! Ganesh Jayanti marks the day of Lord Ganesh's coming to this world.

What to do on this day? Since this day is a most pleasing day to Lord Ganesh, fasting is encourged, if you can do an all day fast even better, but do what you can. Listening to Lord Ganesh Bhajans and performing Puja/Havan in the name of Lord Ganesh will be beneficial as well. Offering sweets and prasad, especially Ladoo!

We did post about Lord Ganesh in an earlier post, see the link below:
http://simplehindubhai.blogspot.com/2010/01/lord-ganesha-remover-of-obstacles.html

Also please see the Ganesh Upasaana Book from Swaha International, its a great small book detailing the Guide to Worshipping Lord Ganesh. Please read through it as it contains very nice information regarding Lord Ganesh and symbolism etc.. We would usually post about many aspects of Lord Ganesh, but this guide does an amazing job of conveying the meanings and reasons to Lord Ganesha's amazing features.

- Danyavad, Jai Ganesh!
SimpleHinduBhai


"The first section of the book presents the nature of ‘Ganesh’, symbolism of the form as well as brief insights into the significance of the ‘Swastika’, the symbol of good luck and other emblems of this deity. A philosophical explanation of ‘Ganesh Visarjan’ or final immersion of the murti into the waterways is also presented. Some frequently asked questions pertaining to Pooja are also answered in this segment of the book.The second part of the book deals exclusively with the physical preparations and the actual worship of Shri Ganesh. Designed for personalised use, all preliminary preparations are comprehensively explained. A pooja checklist and a step by step format for offerings and mantras are clearly laid out so that the devotee can make use of this valuable information at any time. Powerful Sanskrit Stotras with English translation, pertaining to this form of God are included." Source: http://www.swahainternational.org/news/new-swaha-publication-ganesh-upaasanaa-a-guide-to-ganesh-worship/ 



May Lord Ganesh Always be with us, and his blessings ever remove obstacles for us all!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Krishna Janmashtami is on 1st/2nd September 2010

The above painting is form an artist named Syamarani dasi and is copyrighted www.bhaktiart.net. 

Namaste, Hari Om, Jai Shri Krishna,

Happy Krishna Janmashtami!

This wonderful day needs no major introduction, best thing to do is read the Glorious Gita and sign the praises of Shri Krishna. Also going to your local Mandir to support plays, dances and the event will make you feel happier. A link on Hindu-Blog.com helps us all to further understand this wonderful day, also see below from the site;
 -SimpleHinduBhai

                                 "Sri Krishna Janmashtami celebrates the birthday of Lord Krishna and is observed on the eighth day of the Shukla Paksha of Bhadrapad month as per traditional calendar followed in North India. The corresponding months in other region is the Shravan month. In 2010, the date of Janmashtami in North India is September 2 and in other parts it is on September 1.

The Sri Krishna Janmashtami is observed on different days in different parts of India and this is due to the differences in regional calendars and also due to the various calculations in the time of the birth of Krishna.

The Smarta Tradition observes the festival on September 1 and the Vaishnava Tradition on September 2.

In Maharashtra, Janmashtami is famous for the Dahi Handi and the next day is observed as Gopalkala.

Special pujas are held in Sri Krishna Temples around the world. Special poojas and rituals are also held at midnight – the time of Krishna’s birth. Processions with tabloids depicting various episodes from the life of Shri Krishna enacted by children are a major highlight of the festival.

Staunch Krishna devotees fast on the day and it is a 24-hour fast."


Bharatanatyam Krishna Nee Begane Baaro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bRP3hTpQP8


Jai Shri RadhaKrishna,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hindu Calendar: Tulsidas Jayanti - Sunday August 15, 2010


Namaste, Hari Om , SitaRam,

Sunday Aug 15, 2010 will mark a great day in Hinduism, the Jayanti (birth) of Goswami Tulsidasa Ji, the creator of the Ramcharitmanasa.

Many of you know of the Ramayana, Tulsidasa's gift was a blessing of Shri Ram himself. The ability to have the vision and love is truly the work of a great aatma (soul).

Tulsidasa's story is an interesting one, the link below from Hindu Jagruti helps to provide a brief but meaningful view of Tulsidasa Ji.

http://www.hindujagruti.org/articles/39.html#4 <- Please click here for the full story on Tulsidasa Ji.

On this day, fasting will be great, but even greater will be remembering Shri SitaRam and the wonderful glories written by Goswami Tulsidasa Ji. Reading the Ramayana will be a blessing to anyone, but on this day, remembering Tulsidasa's love and joy for Shri Ram is a blessing in itself.

Please note: if you do not have a Ramayana, Youtube is a good source for videos on the Ramayana, also the link from Gita Press is a place to find a .pdf version of the Ramayana so you can read on your computer.

YouTube: 
- Tulsidas Movie (One of my favorite movies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xA8s1zOBbOM , part 1).
- Mohammed Rafi - KAHA JUPE HO RAJA RAM (Tulsidas) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-3Xl7HkEXA <- Beautiful song, shows us The Name of Shri Ram is all you need. Ram Nam Satya hain!


Gita Press: http://www.gitapress.org/Download_Eng_pdf.htm

Jai Shri Sita Ram, Jai Jai Goswami Tulsidasa!!

SitaRam, Jaya Ram, SitaRam.
- SimpleHinduBhai

Monday, July 12, 2010

Article: How to Reduce the Ego


Namaste, Hari Om,

Found this great article in an email sent by a dear friend; How to Reduce the Ego. The Ego is something very dangerous if not controlled. Many scriptures talk about it and its effects. We have heard many characters with Ego and how it has destroyed them, i.e. Ravana in the Ramayana Epic - He thought he could conquer the three worlds and ill treat people, but his Ego blinded him to the grace of God, and even then the warnings were also blind. Just in our life, if we do not open our minds and close our mouthes, we will not be able to receive the special grace and love from God and others. Please read below, very important.

SitaRam! Jai Ram!
-SimpleHinduBhai



How to Reduce the Ego.


The ego is that part in us which feeds off praise, compliments and success. When we live in the ego we are inevitably subject to feelings of superiority / inferiority, pride and worthlessness, success and failure. If we want to avoid these negative emotions we need to transcend the ego. If we can transcend the ego, we will find that people are instinctively more attracted to us, even though we are no longer trying to impress. It may seem a great paradox, yet, limiting the role of our ego can make a radical difference to our lives.

These are some factors which can reduce the power of the Ego.

1. Don’t Try to impress

Don’t speak about your own achievements. Don’t drop names of great people you have met. Avoid forcing your accomplishments and success into the conversation. If you have been successful in accumulating wealth, try to keep quiet about it. All these factors may impress your own ego, but, you can guarantee they will have little impact on other people.

2. Be aware of False Modesty.

Sometimes when we say. “O I’m absolutely hopeless”. Actually what we are wanting is for people to respond. ‘O no your not, your really good.” Humility means that we don’t take excessive pride in our achievements, but, it also means we don’t exaggerate our failings in the hope of gaining sympathy.

3. Be Careful of Flattery.

We need to be careful about receiving praise, in some ways it can be as difficult as receiving criticism. The problem is that the ego likes receiving praise and so we can easily become addicted to being flattered. Don’t seek out people who are keen to flatter us, as this is only feeding the ego. Also, be wary of flattering other people in the hope that they will return the compliment.

4. Don’t use your Religion / Spirituality to Impress.

It is a mistake to feel that the practise of a religion / spiritual path gives us a moral superiority over other people. If we feel any superiority we are missing the whole point of spirituality. Spirituality is about a feeling of oneness not of proving that one path is better than others. This can be one of the most insidious types of ego. This is because when we wrap up the ego in a sense of moral superiority, we can easily trick ourselves into thinking we are reducing the ego, when actually we are strengthening it.

5. Be Aware of the extended Ego.

Ego, is not just about feeling we are better than others. Our Ego can also be expressed via national / religious feeling. When we feel a pride or superiority in our religion / nation, there is still the same problem of ego but, it is expressed through an extended sense of reality. This sense of superiority / pride is just as damaging as if it was contained to ourselves. However, we can feel that because it is not directly related to ourselves, somehow there is no ego involved.

6. Don’t Speak badly of Others.

Quite often, when we speak ill of others there is a subtle attempt to make ourselves look better. We may not explicitly say it, but, when we point to someone’s shortcomings we imply that we don’t have these, and therefore we are much better than them. The important thing here is the motive. Be very vigilant; what is your inner motive for criticising someone else? If it is to make you feel / look better, be very careful. The irony of course is that when we criticise someone, often we have the same imperfections ourselves, it is just that we find it easier to see them in other people.

7. What is Your Motivation for Doing Something?

If nobody knew that you had done it, would you still do the action with the same intensity? Can you work without expecting reward and praise? If you can do things selflessly with no desire for people to find out, this is a sign you do not give importance to the ego. If you only do things in the hope of praise, then you are working to satisfy the ego. The sad thing is that if you really work selflessly, at some point, your efforts will receive much greater recognition because people will come to also value the selfless motivation behind the action. Try doing some things but not let anybody no about it. 8. Don’t rely on Your Physical Appearance to Impress.

If you rely on your physical beauty to impress this is definitely coming from the ego. This is not to see beauty is bad thing, far from it. But, real beauty is heightened by modesty and the absence of ego. Avoid paying excessive interest to your physical looks.

To reduce our ego, we have to give great importance to our thoughts and motivation behind our actions. We have to be very strict with ourselves and work out why we are doing something. To reduce the ego, requires great vigilence, we need to reflect on each action and motivation. However, to reduce the influence of the ego, is of great value, it is the key to achieving a sense of inner peace.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Swaha International: Importance of Havan

Namaste, Hari Om,

While browsing Swaha International's site I came across this interesting but brief article on the Importance of Havan (whats known as a offering into the sacred fire, Havan can also be called Havana, Homa and Homa-meaning in Sanskrit, "Fire offering" etc..).

Many cultures have this same practice on some scales,the lighting of candles, using smoke, and meditating/praying to a flame is on the same level. This proves time and time again that we are truly one.

Havan has been going on for 5000+ years, Havan is a procedure of eradicating inner imperfections prevalent in our being. This procedure has all the healing techniques incorporated in it beautifully. It is a rare combination of accupressure, touch healing, meditation, psychiatry, knowledge and wisdom. It is a perfect combination of thought and procedure.

Like many things we do in life, we must keep our minds pure as well as our bodies before entering/performing a Havan ceremony. Preparing the mind can be done by staying away from, anger, greed, lust, and hateful thoughts.  We must also be calm and ready to perform the offerings. Showering and cleansing our bodies is important as we will be pure on the inside and outside. Also what we eat makes a big difference, try not to eat heavy food prior to havan, even fasting helps greatly. Also eating meat should not take place at all, not only is it wrong to do this during sacred rituals, its extremely bad for the environment - by being vegetarian it helps the environment more than stopping the use of fossil fuels (i.e. no use of cars). Plus compassion for animals is something that should be adopted by everyone as we are all the same diving spark from the Lord.

One thing to note, just like a building takes time before it can stand on its own during construction, so to we must continue to build our shield with havan after havan, this way we will build a pure loving energy field that stems from that great divine lord.

Performing havan helps us in life in many ways, the article talks about the many ways, but helping us with negative karma is one reason, but the other is to bring that loving energy so we can always remember thy sweet grace of the lord.

Please see the link below from Shiva Upaasanaa on how to perform Havan as well.
http://simplehindubhai.blogspot.com/2010/02/lord-shiva-shiva-upaasanaa-guide-to.html

Please continue reading the article from Swaha International;
SitaRam,
-SimpleHinduBhai
__________________

Importance of Havan

Source: http://www.swahainternational.org/religious-articles/importance-of-havan/#more-1623  

Havan is one of the ten positive virtues or niyam that is prescribed for the devotee whose aspiration is to draw closer to the Divine, ultimately acquiring Oneness with Him. It is also one way of performing Deva yagya, one of man’s five daily duties, according to the tenets of Sanatan Dharma.

What is havan?
This is an age-old Hindu ritual in which offerings of ghee, googol, sugar and other saamaagri are offered into the sacred fire to the accompaniment of Sanskrit mantras.

Why should havan be performed?
Havan has a purifying effect on both the devotee who performs this sacrifice as well as one’s environment. Through the chanting of mantras and offerings into the fire, one’s chakras are re-energised, creating a revitalised and rejuvenating effect for both the body and mind. Positive thoughts, words and actions then pave the way for further success.
The combined effect of the materials, when mixed and used in the havan produces a fumigatory response to the atmosphere, purifying the environment around. Negative energies are dispelled and a protective shield is built around the house where the ritual is performed, thereby warding off any untoward energies. This induces peace, prosperity and good health, conditions which augur well for clarity of thought, increased power of discrimination and improved usage of mental faculties. The result, then, is success in all undertakings.
The process of bhoot-shuddhi or purification of the tattwas or elements takes place within the individual who performs havan, thereby transforming one’s thought-patterns. Qualities of anger, rash and irrational thinking are replaced by calm, tranquil and controlled attitudes. The individual acquires greater control of his life, which offers wider scope for daily success.
Scientific experiments have proven that havan destroys harmful bacteria in the atmosphere. A scientist named Tautilk proved that a patient stricken with typhoid disease can be freed of this scourge if he is exposed to the smoke of havan for half hour. In addition, performing this sacrifice of havan is also one way of burning away one’s karma.

When should havan be performed?
Ideally, this practice should be carried out daily. In every home havan should be done at least once per week by all members of the family. The early hours of the morning are most conducive for all religious actions as the atmosphere is charged with praan (energy) at that time. However, this time may not suit the needs of all families. As such, the practice may be done at a time that is best suited for the devotee.

How should havan be performed?
A complete guide on the preparations and performing of havan is provided in our publications, Devi, Shiva and Soorya Upaasanaa.
The performance of havan, while essential in the spiritual evolution of every devotee, is also important in fostering family togetherness. Through the practice of mantra recitation and the various activities involved in the physical preparations for havan, devotees develop a greater appreciation for the traditional religious practices of Sanaatan Dharma. All of this helps to build Hindu pride and resilience.
Through this powerful sacrifice, one is protected and shielded from all untoward elements. As such, the flames of the sacred fire should burn brightly in every home every day of the week.

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gita-Blog: Austerity-of-Speech (Think Before You Speak!)


Namaste, Hari Om,

Beautiful article from Gita-Blog!
We must always watch our tounge, it is like a bow and arrow, once you let the arrow (hurtful words) from the bow (mouth) its impossible to stop. We should always be humble, thats a trait that will take us even higher in this world where words can cause more pain in many minds.
- SimpleHinduBhai

_____________

Continue to read below or click here for the original Link From Gita-Blog: http://gita-blog.blogspot.com/2010/06/austerity-of-speech.html

In our life, many times it happens with us that we say something and then realize that the person, or people, on the receiving end have not understood what you meant or have completely misunderstood you. Sometimes they get hurt with your speech & such thing mostly happens when you are speaking in anger. So what you say can make or mar your impression on other persons. As is said, "Your words can take you places or can come back to haunt you when you least expected." So we should be very thoughtful while speaking anything, that's why it is said that, "You should think before you speak". Bhagwat Gita also says that we should have control over our speech & below verse explains about the "Austerity of speech" & how we can practice that:


"anudvega-karam vakyam

satyam priya-hitam cha yat

svadhyayabhyasanam chaiva

van-mayam tapa ucyate" (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Seventeen verse 15)
 "Sri Krishna said: O Arjuna, Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature."

 So before you speak anything, just think twice -Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt someone? After examining all these aspects, speak such words which shall be beneficial to others & shall not hurt anyone in anyway. Otherwise, as is said that, "Speech is Silver & Silence is Gold", practice this, as there are times when silence has the loudest voice.

*Above is from Gita-Blog; http://gita-blog.blogspot.com/2010/06/austerity-of-speech.html

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Are we alone?


Namaste, Hari Om,

RE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUErfVm5rQQ Video from Swaha International. 

This nice video from Swaha International explains in such a nice way by Pundit Hardeo Persad  Ji, on relationships and how our relationships reflect on 6 aspects of living a noble life. We all want to live or work in someone's memory, a way to do this is by maintaining our virtues. By living in truth we can keep the memory of a mother alive, and by living in knowledge the memory of a father will be upheld etc.. Look at those who find comfort and solace at the feet of God, they are never alone, even if they are on top of a mountain - they are never alone.

As the video says, we are never alone, our lord is always with us. The below will form your family once they exist in your life. These six conditions will allow us to never be alone. Rise beyond, and develop these virtues.

Truth - Is the Mother
Knowledge - Is the Father
Dharma - Is the Brother
Compassion - Is the Friend
Peace - Is the Consort
Forgiveness- Is the Son

SitaRam, LaxmiNarayana,
- SimpleHinduBhai,


Links:
The words of Chanakya "The guru of governance" can be found here; Google Books. pg 122.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hindu Calendar: May 26th 2010, Narasimha Jayanthi – The Legend and What to Do on the Day?

Namaste, Hari Om,

Great article from Hindu-blog.com on Narasimha Jayanthi!
Source click here: 

From Hindu-Blog.com:
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Narasimha Jayanti celebrates the incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of Narasimha (half man – half lion) to save Prahlad from demon Hiranyakasipu. Narasimha is the fourth of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. In 2010, the date of Narasimha Jayanthi is May 26.

According to Puranas, Lord Vishnu appeared as Narasimha on the Chaturdashi day in the month of Vaishakh.

Demon Hiranyakasipu had obtained a boon from Brahma that he could not be killed by man or beast, by day or by night and from inside or outside. And also he could not be killed by any weapon.

After receiving such a powerful boon, Hiranyakasipu conquered heaven and earth and declared himself as God and asked people to worship him and not Vishnu.

But Hiranyakasipu’s son, Prahlāda, was a staunch Vishnu devotee and disobeyed his father. The whole kingdom worshipped Hiranyakasipu; but in his own house his son worshipped Vishnu. Father tried all means to change his son, but he failed miserably. He then tried to kill but each time the young boy escaped from the clutches of death with the blessings of Vishnu.

Fed up with his son, one day Hiranyakasipu challenged Prahlada and, looking to a stone pillar, asked, ‘If your god is omnipresent, is he in this pillar also?’ Prahlad answered, ‘HE is present in the pillar and even in the rust.’ Hearing this Hiranyakasipu slashed hard on the pillar with a sword.

Suddenly, Lord Vishnu emerged from the pillar in the form of a Narasimha and slew the demon at dusk. Narasimha killed the demon by keeping him in his lap and tearing his heart with bare hands thus overcoming all the boons the demon had attained from Brahma.


Devotees fast on Narasimha Jayanthi day and visit Lord Vishnu temples. People also give alms on the day and perform Annadhanam (donate food to poor). It is believed that those people who observe Narasimha Jayanti vratam will reach the ‘Vaikunta’ – abode of Vishnu.

Also: Videos of Narasimha http://www.hindu-blog.com/2008/05/videos-of-narasimha-avatar-of-lord.html

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Leave the results in God's Hands"...

Namaste, Hari Om,

What does that mean? In Hindi there is a famous saying, सब कुछ प्रभु के हाथो में हैं. Everything is in God's Hands - Which relates to the above title which comes from a beautiful quote;

"As human beings, our job is to do the best and leave the results in God's hands. When we leave the results in God's hands, then nothing of this world bothers us anymore. It is only then that we start to live according to the principle of "sweet is Thy will" - Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Looking at the words, there is no doubt this quote (or similar to it) can be found in every religion. I have seen it in many religions touching on the subject of troubles, faith and worries.

We are all brought here on this earth for a reason, sometimes we do not know what that reason is until we come across something that gets our full attention and we develop a drive to do it. This could be a calling such as a teacher, doctor or just volunteering for others. Whatever it is, we should do our best in what we do - leave the results in God's hands. When we truly let go of the outcome and have full faith we are truly alive. Understand that there is always someone watching over you at all times, even when you are in the darkest moment or in a faraway place with no one - there is always someone watching over you with their sweet grace.

Sweet is Thy will - we must have faith in knowing that everything that happens in life happens for a reason, do not worry about the negative aspects as this will only slow us down. We can not change the past, do your best now and leave the results in God's hands. We are all not perfect, all we can do is try in this world. Once we accept and understand that we are not perfect, we can start to work on the path of becoming perfect, humbleness and understanding goes a long way in this path.

Hari Om, Namaste,
- SimpleHinduBhai

Hindu Press International: "Yogi Astounds Indian Scientists" (70 Years without Water/Food)


Namaste, Hari Om,

No food or water for 70 years? Hard to believe?
This blessed soul was under the watch of many doctors and it was proved to be correct!  Its a great lesson for those who fast across all the religions, because we are all one, and we have levels of fasting etc..

I have heard many cases of someone going without food for a long time, but water is just amazing! When we perform fast we go into another mode of thinking, another mode of acting - Our bodies become receptors for great vibrations. These vibrations bring energy, therefore when we meditate we let go of the worldly things and look within and absorb the energy around us.

Doing these things are not impossible, examples from the below article remind us of this. The belief that its real is the first step, and the sincere request to the world and God for energy during fasting is all thats needed. Energy is all around us, and it even greets us in the morning with a warm ray of sunshine - We just have to be aware of the world and realize that everything gives off energy and all we have to do is ask humbly for it... From touching a plant, tree or just opening your palms to the sun, humbly asking with sincereity goes a long way. Please enjoy the article;

Try it, next time you are hungry, tired or thirsty, talk to nature.. Talk to The Powers the be :)

Hari Om, Namaste,
- SimpleHinduBhai

http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/xpress/hindu-press-international/2010/05/17/yogi-astounds-indian-scientists/

Yogi Astounds Indian Scientists


May 17th, 2010

Source: www.breitbart.com

AHMEDABAD, INDIA, May 10, 2010: An 83-year-old Indian holy man who says he has spent seven decades without food or water has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him during a two-week observation period. Prahlad Jani spent a fortnight in a hospital in the western India state of Gujarat under constant surveillance from a team of 30 medics equipped with cameras and closed circuit television. During the period, he neither ate nor drank and did not go to the toilet.

The long-haired and bearded yogi was sealed in a hospital in the city of Ahmedabad in a study initiated by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the state defense and military research institute. The DRDO hopes that the findings, set to be released in greater detail in several months, could help soldiers survive without food and drink, assist astronauts or even save the lives of people trapped in natural disasters.

“We still do not know how he survives,” neurologist Sudhir Shah told reporters after the end of the experiment. “It is still a mystery what kind of phenomenon this is.” “If Jani does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one,” said Shah. “As medical practitioners we cannot shut our eyes to possibilities, to a source of energy other than calories.”

Jani has since returned to his village near Ambaji in northern Gujarat where he will resume his routine of yoga and meditation. He says that he was blessed by a goddess at a young age, which gave him special powers.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hindu Calendar - Parshuram Jayanti May 15, 2010


Namaste, Hari Om,

This is a very important day in the Hindu Calendar, piece of history that is hardly spoken about these days. Many of you know Parshuram from the great Ramayana, but his story is one that is extremely deep! As you all might know, he is the sixth aavatar of Lord Vishnu (click here to read about the aavatars of Lord Vishnu). Parshuram is mentioned in many scriptures, but his story is one that is very interesting. I encourage all of those to look at the video on youtube or continue diving deeper into Parshuram's history - it will build a stronger understanding of the connection between everything that takes place in the Ramayana and Shiv Puran. Example, when Shri Rama Ji broke the Shiva Bow, many people thought Parshuram was crazy or mad for treating Lord Rama in that way, but the significance and history of Lord Shiva and Parshuram's bhakti is very deep! Again, all is one, the relationship of Parshuram depicts the great devotion of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, thus its shown again when Shri Rama ji offers devotion (as Lord Vishnu) back to Lord Shiva. The universal love is all over, its painted with words, pictures and all the senses! Jai Jai Shri SitaRam! Continue reading at the below links, great information...

Jai Shri SitaRam
- SimpleHinduBhai



Video in English about Parshuram: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLv93fO0aKY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUMz2sK4zA4 <- From the Ramayana

Source for the below: http://www.hindujagruti.org/articles/18.html

अग्रत: चतुरो वेदा: पृष्‍ठत: सशरं धनु: ।


इदं ब्राह्मं इदं क्षात्रं शापादपि शरादपि ।।

Meaning: Parshuram who is well-versed with the four Vedas and sports the bow and arrow upon His back (that is the one who has the radiance of both the Brahman and the Kshatriya) will destroy evildoers either with a curse or with an arrow.

When fighting, mere use of weapons is insufficient for a seeker. He should have the potential to curse in conjunction with the former. Shri Parshuram single-handedly eliminated the warriors from the earth, circumambulating it twenty-one times. What exactly does this mean? He destroyed the evil Kshatriyas. If He were to destroy all the Kshatriyas on the earth thoroughly even once then not a single Kshatriya would have survived for the second round! However He slew only the evil Kshatriyas. Let us all attempt to destroy the evildoers atleast once.

Bhagwan Parshuram, the sixth Incarnation of Vishnu, belongs to the Tretayug, and is the son of Jamadagni and Renuka. Parshu means axe, hence His name literally means Ram-with-the-axe. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Lord Shiva, from whom He learned the methods of warfare and other skills. Even though He was born as a Brahmin, He had Kshatriya (warrior) traits in terms of aggression, warfare and valour. Hence He is said to be a 'Brahma-Kshatriya' and one who possesses Brahmatej and Kshatratej.


He killed the entire army and King Kartavirya Sahasrarjuna, who took away the magical cow (Kamadhenu) forcibly, that belonged to His father Jamadagni. In revenge the King's sons killed Jamadagni in Parshuram's absence. Furious at their unrighteous act, He killed all sons of the King and also went on killing all corrupt Haihaya Kings and warriors on the earth 21 times.

He then conducted the Ashvamedha sacrifice, done only by sovereign Kings and gave the entire land He owned to priests who performed the sacrifice (Yadnya).

He is a Chiranjeevi (Immortal) who fought the advancing ocean back, thus saving the lands of Konkan and Malabar (Maharashtra - Karnataka - Kerala coastline). The coastal area of Kerala state along with the Konkan region, i.e., coastal Maharashtra and Karnataka, is known as ParshuramKshetra (area).

He has been a Guru to Bhishma, Dronacharya and later also to Karna. He taught Karna the extremely powerful Brahmastra (a celestial weapon). But He also cursed that the knowledge would be useless to Karna, predicting much in advance that Karna will join the unrighteous Duryodhana in the Kurukshetra war. Such was His love for Righteousness.

Also, the Sudarshan chakra (or Sudarshan Vidya) is said to be given by Parshuram to Lord Krushna. The purpose of the sixth Incarnation of Vishnu is considered by religious scholars to be to relieve the earth's burden by exterminating the sinful, destructive and irreligious kings that pillaged its resources, and neglected their duties.

Parshuram is a martial Shraman ascetic. However, unlike all other Incarnations, Parshuram lives on earth even today. The Kalki Purana states Parshuram will be the martial guru of Sri Kalki, the 10th and final Incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is He who instructs Kalki to perform a long penance unto Shiva to receive celestial weaponry.

He created a temple of worship right after He resurfaced Kerala from the sea. He placed statues of various Deities in 108 different places and introduced martial arts to protect the temple from the evil.


Wikipedia has some great info on Parshuram as well, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parashurama#Shiva.27s_Bow
 
Hari Om,
Namaste,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hindu Calendar: April 21, 2010 - Budhashtami in April 2010 – Ashtami Vrata dedicated to Budha Graha and Goddess Parvati


Namaste, Hari Om,

Budhashtami in April 21, 2010 – Ashtami Vrata dedicated to Budha Graha and Goddess Parvati

Why Its important: Day dedicated to Maha Parvati Mata. She is the universal mother who offers great protection and guidence for her devotees. She is also the mother of the maha Ganesh Baba and Husband of Lord Shiva. She is the embodiment of a loyal and perfect woman - She is also the Shakti form of Lord Shiva, many of us are familiar with the story of Ganesha Baba, but it was noted that no one in the three worlds could have stood up to Parvati Mata's rage when her son was hurt (Lord Ganesh). Not even Maha Lord Shiva himself could contend with the power of Maha Shakti Maa Parvati Devi. 

What to do on this day: One should fast and offer prayers to Parvati Mata, Om Parvati Mata...Chanting her name and meditating on her will be great.

Also please read the story of how Mata Parvati met Lord Shiva, its very nice and has a great lesson on devotion. Its written in the Maha Shiv Puran very beautifully as well. http://www.srichinmoy.org/resources/library/stories/puranas/parvati_longs_to_marry_shiva

Jai Mata Ki Jai,
-SimpleHinduBhai



Here are some nice words from Hindupad.com
(sources: http://hindupad.com/vratas-pujas/budhashtami-vrata-2010-budha-ashtami-puja/
http://hindupad.com/vratas-pujas/budhashtami-in-april-2010-ashtami-day-dedicated-to-budha-graha-and-goddess-parvati/)

Budhashtami or Budh Astami is a vrata dedicated to Budha graham and Goddess Parvati. Astami that falls on Budhvar or Wednesday is observed as Budhastami vrata. In April 2010, Budhashtami date is April 21st. Budha (Mercury), one of the celestial gods in Hinduism and one of the Navagraha (nine planets in Hindu Astrology), is worshipped during this vratam. It is an auspicious and meritorious ritual especially for those who are suffering from Budha graha dosham as per their birth chart and Horoscope.


Goddess Parvati is also worshipped on Budhastami for wellbeing and prosperity. Marital bliss is the main purpose of worshipping Goddess Parvati on Budhashtami day. Next Budhastami dates are in September 2010.


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Budhashtami Puja, or also spelt as Budh Ashtami is a vrata dedicated to Goddess Parvati, observed on every Ashtami day that falls on Budhvar or Wednesday. In 2010, Budhastami dates are – 21st April, 1st September, and 15th September. Budhashtami may fall either in Shukla Paksha or Krishna Pakshna in a month. Devotees observe fasting on Budhashtami and worship Goddess Parvati for wellbeing and prosperity.


Budhastami vrata is also performed by those who have Budha graham dosham to pacify the effect of Budha grah on their future. In 2010, Sri Krishna Janmashtami falls on (1st September, 2010) Wednesday hence it is very significant and meritorious to perform the Budhashtami vrata on that day.

Budhashtami 2010 dates and time:

Budhashtami in April 2010 – 21st April – Ashtami will overlap on 22nd till morning 8:36

Budhastami in September 2010 – 1st September – Ashtami will overlap on 2nd morning 6:10 am

Budhashtami in September 2010 – 15th September till night 4.48 am
 
 
Jai Parvati Mata Ki Jai!
Uma Pati Maha Dev Ki Jai!