Archive | August 2015

244. Raksha Bandhan

The relationship between siblings is something great. The bondage will continue lifelong. The bond of love between a brother and a sister is deepest and cannot be expressed in words.

In South India, on Garuda panchami day, sister prays for the welfare of the brother and the brother gives some gift to the sister.  In the same way, “Rakhi” or “Raksha Bandhan” is celebrated in North India.

On this special occasion the sister ties rakhi, around the wrist of the brother, after praying for his safety and wellness. Rakhi or Raksha means protection. The brother assures to protect the sister from all the evils by accepting this bond and gives her gift. The family members used to unite for this function.

This festival is celebrated in the month of shravana on the poornima day. Those who are close family friends, can also tie rakhi  to show the affection. By this, the social wellbeing is maintained.

I want to share an interesting news about Raksha Bandhan. When British were ruling India, Rabindranath Tagore tried to create a brotherhood feeling between the hindus and the muslims, so that they can fight against British unitedly. In Shantiniketan he arranged for “Rakshabandhan Mahotsava”.

This festival actually helped to create harmony and trust between hindus & muslims. Even now, it is very essential to continue this practice as this festival holds the key to peaceful existence of love and friendship among mankind irrespective of caste or creed.

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243. Sree Raghavendra Swamigal Aradhana

Sree Raghavendra is the renowned saint whose fame is spread all over the world. People rich or poor, without discrimanation of caste or creed, worship him and get their desires fulfilled as he is Kamadhenu and Kalpakavruksha.

Sree Raghavendra Swami was born to Thimmanna Bhatta and Gopikamba on thursday on sukla navami day of phalguna month in the year 1595 at Bhuvanagiri near Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. Sree Raghavendra swami’s original name is Venkatanatha, as he was born with the blessings of Tirupathi Venkatachalapathi. Venkatanatha had an elder brother named Gururaja and an elder sister named Venkatamba.

On dwithiya day of sravana krishna paksha in the year 1671, he attained jeeva samathi at Manchale village. Before entering, He gave a soulful speech to the crowd of thousands of people gathered. The important messages He told are “Right thinking and right living are more important. Every action in our life is a puja to Lord. Every second in our life is precious. Worshiping God is our highest duty. Miracles are to be performed with yoga, siddhi, gnana and shasthras to show only the greatness of God and the wonderful powers that one can attain with His grace. Devotion to God should not be blind faith. We should accept Lord’s supremacy wholeheartedly”.

In treta yuga, the stones which had been sanctified by Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana’s fottsteps, were used for constructing the brindhavana.  He had advised his disciples to arrange slabs around Him once the japamala rolling by fingers in the hand stops. He started reciting the pranava manthra and slipped into deep samadhi. When the japamala rolling stopped, as per His instructions, the desciples arranged slabs upto His head and placed a copper box containing 1200 Lakshmi Narayana saligramas which were brought from Gandaki river in Nepal. They placed the covering slab over it and filled it with earth.  This day is celebrated each year as Sree Raghavendra swami aradhana.

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Sree Raghavendra Swami Madhyaradhana Alankara ’15 at Coimbatore.

It is believed that he would live for 76 years physically on this earth, another 300 years in the brindavana through His literary works and another 400 years in the brindavana without physical form, for helping the mankind and save them from miseries and troubles.

242. Sree Guru Raghavendra mahimai – III

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Words are not suffcient to express and experience Sree Guru Raghavendra mahimai. We have to get the inner feeling to realise it.

In North Karnataka, there is a village called Kireetagiri near Gadag.The village head Venkata Desai invited Raghavendra swamy to his house. It was summer season and mangoes very available in abundance. The mango juice was kept in a big pot for serving during meal time. All were busy with puja works & nobody noticed that  the young child of Desai fell into the mango juice and died. Rayaru came to know about this by this Gnanadhrushti. Sometime after, Desai searched for his son and found out his dead body in mango juice. He felt that if he informs this news, everybody has to starve and they won’t get the blessings of rayaru. Rayaru himself asked Desai to bring his son. Finally, the news spread to everybody and the dead body of the child was kept in front of rayaru. Rayaru sprinkled holy water on him and recited some hymns. The child got up and Desai  was greatly elated with joy. Desai  donated a village named Kriritagiri to rayaru which remains now under Raghavendra swami mutt.

Once the desai of Shirasangi, who is the hater of brahmins, placed a dry wooden piece and asked rayaru to give life to it.  Rayaru sprinkled holy water and chanted manthras. The wooden piece sprouted like a green plant. The desai then changed his attitude towards brahmins and also understood the power of our beloved rayaru.

I am happy to share more and more miracles of Rayaru.

241. Upakarma

Upakarma is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Sraavana. In brahmin families, the brahmacharya of a boy begins with “Upanayana“.  A boy or a married man has to change the sacred thread known as “Yagnopavitham”  every year on upakarma day.

To infuse new energy and erase dhoshas, the rituals on this day are mandatory. By dharmic practices and  vedic manthra recitals, we are thanking the rishis who made them. By wearing new janivara and doing upakarma, a brahmin pays his three debts ie to the teacher, to the God and to the forefathers.

The three threads in Janivara represent  mummoorthis viz., Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The nine divinities in Yagnopavitham are Omkaara, Agni, Naaga, Soma, Pithru, Prajapathi, Vaayu, Soorya and Vishwedhevathagalu. A prayer to atone the sins is important on this day. While wearing new Janivara the brahmana has to say, “I am wearing this sacred thread which is highly pure and inseparable from God & which gives me strength and dignity. While removing the old thread one has to pray, “I remove this with respect “. This day is more auspicious as Sreeman Narayana took the incarnation of Hayagreeva on this day.

Next day, after early bath, “gayathri japam” has to be done without fail.

240. My writings – 2

When I started to write short stories, many monthly and weekly magazines were publishing short stories. I used to wait and purchase “Ananda Vikatan” and “Kalki” to read the short stories.

But, nowadays we see that magazines give little space for short stories and they publish short stories rarely. The theme based stories are being neglected by many magazines. Moreover, some magazines publish stories of popular authors only. I heard that recommendation also works out in some magazines.

My second short story got published in Ananda vikatan magazine and the third one in Kalki again, simultaneously. Many gentlemen show their power at home after retirement and women also need retirement from home, at times. This is the theme of my story “retirement”. Another story in kalki is based on an usual comedy  which normally happens in many houses. Cable networks and Internet were not introduced at that time and people used to wait for cinemas shown in TV DD channel.  From the beginning, I have decided not to write my own experience or my relatives’/friends’ experience. On reading newspapers/books or seeing/hearing some incidents in society, we may get spark. I use this spark in my stories sometime and some stories are based on my full imagination.1992_AV(26-01)_Retirement 1992_Kalki(20_01)_TVCinema

239. Reincarnation

Many people believe that our soul begins a new journey of life in a new body after death. There are many convictions about it. Some say that until our soul attains liberation, it takes many births.

There are many variations we see in our daily life. Some people are born as rich and some as poor. Some people suffer due to  illness or finance problems from birth to death. Some get everything in life without doing any work. Some succeed in life and many fail. We are coming to a conclusion that whatever we do in earlier births, the result we get now.

We allow some people to grab our hard earned money. We convince our mind that we would have done something wrong to them in earlier  births. Some people are coming forward to help us voluntarily without much acquaintance. They are not even bothered about getting our thanks or  gratitude. We can say reincarnation is a perfect way of punishing or rewarding one’s deeds, even after biological death.

Do you know why I am saying all these to you? Suppose if  somebody snatches benefits of your hard work, don’t bother. They deserve it as their right because of their deeds in earlier births. Definitely, whatever we miss in this birth, we will get it in next birth. So, be good to all and do good deeds, without bothering about immediate result.

238. Janmashtami

We celebrate the birthday of Sree Krishna as “Janmashtami” or “Gokulashtami” or Krishna Jayanthi”. It falls on ashtami day after krishna paksha in the month of shravana as per madhva calender.  All the Hindus celebrate this festival very grandly as Krishna is favourite God to all. Normally we observe fasting throughout the day and prepare neivedhyam items in madi.

In the evening we decorate the house and kolam afresh in front of the house. We also draw “Putta krishna pada” from this kolam. We have to draw krishna pada in such a way that Lord krishna comes from rangoli to our puja room and sit in the plank kept in front of krishna photo. We have to imagine that He walks step by step.

Screenshot from 2015-09-08 22:54:32

We have to put rangoli on the plank and keep krishna vigraha in a plate. We have to do pooja in the usual way with  kunkum, manjal, chandan, akshadai, gejavasthram, flowers, garlands, ghenta, dheepa, dhoopa and aarathi to the photo and vigraha. We have to say slokas, sthothrams and songs on Lord Krishna while doing the pooja. We have to keep thamboolam, cocunut, all types of fruits, milk, curd, butter, aval, murukku, cheedai and laddu varieties as neivedhya.

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After performing puja, we have to give arghya. We have to keep a lemon and a coin in our right palm and pour water, milk and again water three times. We have to keep a bowl under our right arm. We have to say the arghya manthram while giving arghya.

அர்க்ய மந்த்ரம் :

ஜாதம்  கம்சவதார்த்தாய  பூபாரோத்தாரணாய ச

கௌரவாணாம் வினாஷாய தைத்யானாம்  நிதனாய ச

பாண்டவானாம் ஹிதார்த்தாய  தர்மசம்ஸ்தாபனாய ச

க்ருஹாணார்க்யம் மயா தத்தம் தேவக்யா  சஹிதோ ஹரே

தேவகி சஹித ஸ்ரீ க்ருஷ்ணாய நமஹ

இதமர்க்யம் இதமர்க்யம் இதமர்க்யம் சமர்ப்பயாமி.

After giving arghya we can take simple tiffin along with fruits and nevedhyam items.

237. Varalakshmi Vratha

Varalakshmi Vratha is being celebrated in Hindu culture very grandly. To bring prosperity and wealth, we worship Goddess Varalakshmi.

Varamahalakshmi pooja at my brother's place.

Varamahalakshmi pooja at my brother’s place.

This pooja comes in Shravana month before poornima(full moon). We have to collect items  for this pooja on the previous day itself. We have to get up early(brahma muhoortham) and take bath. Absolute madi is required for doing this pooja. As the kalasa has to be kept facing east, we have to make arrangements accordingly.

We have to clean the place and put rangoli.

Place a plank or peeta(manai) and keep a banana leaf(nuni vazhai ilai)  on it. Spread rice on the banana leaf as we have to keep the kalasa on this rice bed. Fill the kalasa with rice or water(as per tradition). Put dry fruits, betal nuts, betal leaves, gold or silver coins in it.

Decorate the outside of kalasa with turmeric, kunkum and chandan. Apply kunkum, turmeric and chandan to a coconut & place it on the top of the kalasa, surrounded by mango leaves.

We have to decorate the Goddess Lakshmi’s face and keep it against the coconut and tie it with a thread. Some people put a sari and blouse to Lakshmi. We can put kunkum, turmeric, chandan, jewels to Lakshmi. We can put a garland to the Goddess.

First we have to keep the kalasa separately, for bringing from outside. We can keep the kalasa as such on a stool by tying vazhakkannu on the 4 side legs. While coming inside, the woman carrying the kalasa has to tilt the padi with rice & belladhu achu(2) kept on the hosthulu, with the kalasa, so that they fall inside the house. It is the significance of bringing wealth through Lakshmi to our house.

We generally sing the song, “baghyaadha lakshmi baaramma” at the time of entry. Then we have to keep the kalasa safely on the rice bed. We can keep a Lakshmi photo behind it.  We have to light the lamps and begin Ganapathi pooja first. We can prepare a cone shaped turmeric Ganesha.  We have to keep some sacred yellow threads tied with flowers and putting knots for puja. After finishing Ganapathi puja, we have to start Varalakshmi puja. We have to perform puja using kunkum, turmeric, chandan, akshadai and flowers.

We have to perform Ganapathi pooja and Varalakshmi pooja in this order(this may vary slightly from house to house) : Dhyaanam, Sankalpam, Aavaahanam, Asanam,  Arkyam,   Padyam, Aachamanam, Madhubarkam, Panchamrutham, Snanam, Vasthram, Aabaranam, Upaveetham, Gandham, Akshadha, Pushpa, Anga pooja, Ashtothram(kunkuma archanai), Dhoopam, Deepam, Neivedhyam, Thamboolam and Aarathi. The male members can do Aachamanam, Pranaayamam and Ghenta pooja also. While doing the pooja  we have to do archanai using flowers and akshadha. We can say sthothrams, slokas and songs while doing lakshmi pooja. It will be good if we say “Lakshmi Shobana”.  Finally we have to do Pradikshana namaskara by saying our prayers to Goddess. All the ladies should then wear the sacred thread on the right wrist. Thamboolam with mangala items should also be given to all.

Happy Varalakshmi pooja!

236. How are we duped easily?

I have seen the tamil film “Sathuranga Vettai” few days back in TV. In this film, it is shown how common people are duped in day to day life. Really it is worth to see.

Why are we so gullible?  We believe people who come door to door, asking for money, mentioning some noble cause. We are thinking that the money goes for the right purpose. In many cases, the money goes to the pockets of people coming for collection. When a con man approaches decently, we are getting deceived easily. We are also falling into the traps of advertisers and marketers.

How do we come to believe  that things are true when they are not? Even the smart and sophisticated  people use unrelated information to decide whether something is true or not. The chit companies and MLM are easily capturing common people. Some small gifts and advertisements are enough for trapping people. Mostly women are falling in these and losing their hard earned savings. Promising a better life, agents approach poor families, demanding them a sum and escape afterwards.

We are not greedy that our money will become double within a year or so. While giving donations, we have to give them to the right person directly. There are many safe saving plans with nominal interest. We can put our hard earned money in them and relax.  Let us be cautious and avoid being duped by anybody.

235. Yogasana – 3 ( Makarasana)

makarasana

Makarasana is  very simple exercise. Those who are suffering from back pain get relief gradually if they do this asana daily. Some people would have experienced compression in spinal nerves. For them it is very useful. The body gains the flexibility as all the parts of  it are stretched.  By doing this, the pull of gravity is transferred from abdomen and thighs to the ground. It gives relief from aches and fatigue.

For doing makarasana, we have to lie flat on the stomach.  Then, we have to raise the head  and shoulders slowly. We have to stretch both the hands on the front side. Similarly, we have to raise both the legs on the backside in the air. Only the stomach should rest on the floor.  We can close the eyes and relax the body, by inhaling and exhaling the air slowly.  Then, we have to release the hands, bring down the hands and keep the head on the floor.  Afterwards turn and return to normal. Our body will become light and flexible.