Archive | January 2018

398. Ratha Sapthami

ratha sapthami

Radhasapthami is an auspicious festival celebrated by Hindus and it is dedicated to Lord Suryanarayana. It is during this time that Surya/Sun moves from the southeast to the northeast. We worship Lord Suryanarayana for better health and well-being.  The Ratha Saptami festival seeks the benevolent cosmic spread of energy and light from the Sun God.

Ratha Saptami is also called Surya Jayanthi as it marks the birth of Surya and referred as Magha Saptami as it falls on the seventh day (Saptami) in the bright half Shukla Paksha of the Hindu month Maagha. It’s symbolic representation is sun god Surya turning his Ratha or chariot drawn by seven horses. The seven horses are said to represent the seven days of a week starting with Sunday, the day of Sun god Surya. The chariot has 12 wheels, which represents the 12 zodiac signs. The Sun’s own house is Leo (Simha) and he moves from one house to the next every month and the total cycle takes 365 days to complete.

Seven Arka leaves (errukkam leaf) are important on this day. Ladies keep seven leafs with turmeric and akshathai on their head and take bath. One on their head, two on shoulders, two on eyes and two on feet. Fasting is important on this day. It is very auspicious day to offer tarpana to our ancestors. Women put rangoli with seven horses and chariot representing sun god. chakkrai pongal is prepared  and offered to god for good health and prosperity.

On Ratha sapthami a one-day Brahmotsavam is held in Thirumala.On this day, the presiding deity of Lord Malayappa Swamy along with his divine consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken to a procession in Thiru Mada streets in Tirumala. The deities carried out in a jubilant procession around the Thiru mada streets encircling the holy Shrine of Balaji on seven different vahanams(sapthami=seven) .Due to this reason the day of RathaSapthami is called as “Mini-Brahmotsavam” in Tirumala.The day starts with  “Surya prabha vahanam’ at round 5.30 am early morning, followed by Chinna Sesha Vahanam at 9 am, Garuda Vahanam by 11 am,  Hanuman Vahanam by 1 pm, Chakrasananam by 2 pm, KalpavrishaVahanam by 4 pm, Sarvabhoopala Vahanam by 6 pm respectively.The day is ended with the Chandra Prabha Vahanam at 8 pm. Lord Venkateshwara will bless devotees for about 1 hour in each Vahanam (from the start time), in the Thiru Mada Veedhis of Tirumala Tirupathi.

397. My Mother

My mother’s name is Shakunthala.   She was born on Rishi Panchami day.  We, the daughters and sons’ remember her with love and gratitude. always.  She passed away few years back. When she was alive, I didn’t think about her much. After her death,  I used to remember her love and sacrifice.

My father passed away suddenly, leaving my mother and six children, when I was six years old.   She brought up all of us, very bravely and courageously, facing all the challenges in the life.  Ours is not a rich family.  By God’s grace and with my parents blessings’, we  all had good education, job and other virtues.  I was last of all  and my brothers  & sisters stood like pillars  with her, in making our family to earn good reputation, in the society.

I loved my mother very much.  It is quite natural that everybody loves his/her mother than anything in the world.  She showered unconditional love on all her children equally. After my father’s death, she lived like a Sanyasini.  She spent all her time for the welfare of the children. She felt very happy on seeing  our growth.  She didn’t even spend a second to think about her health or likings. She always lived for us.

Nobody can explain what a mother’s love is. Her love is made up of  joy, pain, sacrifice  and deep affection.  A mother can only show endless  and unselfish love.  She never expected anything from us. She was proud that she had very good 3 daughters-in-law and kind 3 sons-in-law.  The thought of her 9 grand children  gave her  more pleasure and  strength.

I always pray to God  to give His blessings  & my parents’ blessings to us and  make us live in peace and harmony.

 

396. Utharayana Punyakala

In our culture, our one year is equal to one day for Gods.  The day period for Gods is known as “Utharayana”  and the night period is known as “Dakshinayana“.  Uttarayana and Dakshinayana comprises of six months each. Utharayana means the northern movement of the sun. The period starting from Capricorn Zodiac (Makara Rashi) up to Gemini Zodiac (Mithuna Raasi) is called as Utharayana. The period when Sun leaves Gemini Zodiac is known as Kataka Sankramana and this marks the end of the Utharayana period.

People who have been spiritually aware have always identified this transition as a possibility for human consciousness to blossom. Particularly, the first half of Utharayana until the equinox in March is a period where the maximum amount of grace is available. The human system is more receptive to grace at that time than any other.

It is very essential to seek the blessings of Pithrus during the transit time.  Transit also coincide with the last day of Dhanurmasam the most sacred and celestial period to worship Lord Vishnu. It is more significant and meritorious to do sacred bath, prayer, japa, tharpana and charity.  Those who are eligible should also give Thila Tharpana to their forefathers (Sarva Pithru).

Sun directs our vision towards the holy and pure spirituality and guides us to dedicate our activities for a higher cause thus following the northward path. During this period of Uttaraayana, Sun’s power gradually increases and the day will be longer than the night. Since time immemorial human kind is accustomed to co-relate the cosmic events with individual life; Sun is an important cosmic body and every Sun-centric event has lot of spiritual, religious and cultural value.

So,  all the good things begin now.

 

395. Slokas on Lord Narasimha

The slokas on Lord Narasimha are very powerful.  If we recite them regularly, we will be saved from the danger from all sides  of the earth.

  1. ஓம் நரசிம்மாய வித்மஹே,  வஜ்ர  நகாய தீமஹி

தந்நோ சிம்ஹ பிரோசயாத் !

2. உக்ரம் வீரம்  மகாவிஷ்ணும்  ஜ்வலந்தம்

சர்வதோ முகம் நரசிம்ஹம்  பீஷணம் பத்ரம்

மித்ரு மித்ரும் நமாம்யஹம் !

3. மாதா நரசிம்ஹா  பிதா நரசிம்ஹா

ப்ராதா நரசிம்ஹா  சகா நரசிம்ஹா

வித்யா நரசிம்ஹா   த்ரவிணம்  நரசிம்ஹா

ஸ்வாமி நரசிம்ஹா   சகலம் நரசிம்ஹா

இதோ நரசிம்ஹா   பரதோ நரசிம்ஹா

யதோ யதோ யாஹி  ததோ நரசிம்ஹா

நரசிம்ஹ   தேவாத்   பரோ  நகஸ்சித்

தஸ்மான்  நரசிம்ஹ சரணம் ப்ரபத்யே !

4.      சிம்ம முகே ரௌத்ர ரூபிண்யாம்

அபய ஹஸ்தாங்கிதா  கருணா மூர்த்தே

சர்வ வ்யாபிதம் லோக ரக்ஷகாம்

பாப விமோசன  துரித நிவாரணம்

லக்ஷ்மி கடாக்ஷ  சர்வா பீட்ஷம்

அனேகம் தேஹி  ஸ்ரீ லக்ஷ்மி நரசிம்ஹா !

 

 

 

 

 

 

394. Masi Magam

 

masi magam     Masi magam is an auspicious day which comes in the month of Masi(Tamil month).  Magam is one among the 27 stars in the Hindu astrological system.  On Masi Magam day, temples idols are taken to sea shore, pond or lake for ceremonial bath in a procession. The devotees who flock the procession take dips in water body to get rid of their sins.

A holy dip in the designated sacred waters on this day is considered highly beneficial in many regards. The individuals win the blessings of Magha star, which is the symbol of consciousness, power and magnanimity. Since Magha star is the one related to Pitrus or ancestors, a holy dip on this day can win their blessings and remove pitru dosh. This day is ideal to perform the remedies for the afflicted Rahu, Ketu and Kalsarp dosh.

As per  a legend Lord Shiva appeared as a child before King Vallala of Tiruvannamalai who was an ardent devotee. The king was childless. Lord Shiva promised to perform his last rituals. He died on Masi Magam day and as promised Lord Shiva performed his last rites. Lord Shiva blessed the king that whoever bathes in the sea during Masi Magam will get ‘salvation.’ It is believed that every year Lord visits the sea to perform the last rites of the King Vallala.

The day is of great significance in Pondicherry, Kumbakonam, Srirangam and in numerous other shrines associated with Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti in South India and in those regions around the world which has Tamil speaking population.

393. Maha Sivarathri

maha sivarathri

The day before new moon or 14th day of every lunar month is known as Sivarathri.  The Sivarathri which comes in the month of Phalguna is known as “Maha Sivathri“. To overcome ignorance and darkness in our life we worship Lord Shiva on this auspicious day.

Many Shiva devotees observe fasting throughout the day and worship Lord Shiva.  It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers,  doing  yoga, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness, and the discovery of Lord Shiva.

On this night, the northern hemisphere of the planet is positioned in such a way that there is a natural upsurge of energy in a human being. This is a day when nature is pushing one towards one’s spiritual peak. Shiva is considered the ideal husband and unmarried girls and women pray for a husband like him.

According to a  legend,  after the Earth was faced with an imminent destruction, Goddess Parvathi pledged with Lord Shiva to save the world. Pleased with her prayers, Lord Shiva agreed to save the world on the pretext that the people of the Earth would have to worship him with dedication and passion. From that day onwards, the night came to be known as Maha Shivratri and people began worshipping Shiva with a great enthusiasm.

As per another legend,  during the great mythical churning of the ocean – Samudra Manthan conducted by the gods and demons for obtaining nectar to make them immortal, first a pot of poison emerged. The poison was so potent that nobody was ready to even touch it as it had the power to burn up the whole world. It was decided that the only one who could help them get rid of this poison was Lord Shiva. So they all went to him for help, and Shiva promptly agreed to consume the poison. However, the poison was so deadly that even if a drop had entered Lord Shiva’s stomach (his stomach represents the universe), it would have annihilated the whole world. Shiva carefully held the poison in his throat which turned blue due to the effect of the poison, and so he came to be known as Neelkanth. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated as a day of gratitude to Lord Shiva for protecting the world from this deadly poison.

Let us pray Lord Shiva on this auspicious day and get His blessings.

392. Investment in Mutual Funds

Mutual Fund is an investment made by many people  for the purpose of investing in  stocks, bonds and other assets.  The common people may not be knowing about the performance of their investments. Hence, they leave it to the control of professional money managers  who allocate the funds in a proper manner  to produce income or capital gain.

Mutual fund units, or shares can typically be purchased or redeemed as needed at the fund’s current  NAV(Net Asset Value)  per share. A fund’s NAV is derived by dividing the total value of the securities in the portfolio by the total amount of shares outstanding.  While investing in mutual funds, a mutual fund investor is buying part ownership of the mutual fund company and its assets. The fund manager is hired by a  board of directors and is legally obligated to work in the best interest of mutual fund shareholders.
One of the largest is the Fixed income category. A fixed income mutual fund focuses on investments that pay a fixed  rate of return, such as Government Bonds, Corporate Bonds or Debt Instruments. The idea is the fund portfolio generates a lot of interest income, which can then be passed on to shareholders.

Another group falls under the moniker Index Funds.  The investment strategy is based on the belief that it is very hard, and often expensive, to try to consistently beat the market. These funds are often designed with cost-sensitive investors in mind.

In mutual funds, fees are classified into two categories, Annual Operating Fees and Shareholder fees. The annual fund operating fees are charged as an annual percentage of funds under management, usually ranging from 1-3%. The shareholder fees, which come in the form of  commissions and redemption fees, are paid directly by shareholders when purchasing or selling the funds.

The advantages of investing in mutual funds are diversification, economies of scale, easy access, professional management and individual-oriented investment. So, without any hesitation, we can start investing in good mutual funds.

 

 

391. Garlic Chutney

garlic chutney

Nowadays, everybody has started to take care  of his/her health seriously. We all know that  garlic  is very good for the proper functioning of the heart. We shall see a simple dish made of garlic.

Ingredients needed for garlic chutney :

Garlic – 250 grams

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Urud dal – 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Sesame – 1 tsp

Red chilly – 10

Salt  – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – one bunch

Cooking oil – 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation :

In a kadai put oil and add cumin seeds & sesame. When they splutter, put red chilly and garlic. Roast nicely until the aroma comes. When it becomes cool, add salt and grind it to a paste.  Again put some oil in the kadai,  do seasoning with mustard seeds and urud dal. Add this to the garlic chutney. We can use this chutney as a side dish for tiffin items as well as  like a pickle for curd rice. This is really tasty and good for health also. Please try.

 

390. Awaken your strongest Self

You can reduce or resolve the problems of stress, fear, inner conflict,  feeling confused, self-criticism, self-blame, struggle and loneliness by awakening your strongest self.

If  you are a sportsperson, you can use sports to have a row-risk, fun and quick way to practice expanding your sense of self beyond your conscious mind and will power.  If you know yoga, it can be used to practice meditation to achieve mindfulness.  When you expand your identity beyond the isolated, lesser parts of your personality and ego, you integrate your conscious and sub-conscious resources, making it easier to face life’s challenges from a centre of  inner peace and support.

It is essential to create an own protective atmosphere all around you, at the time of stress. You have to choose actions that are congruent  with your high values. You should learn to live in the present moment instead of  regretting about the past or anticipation of the future. You should focus on what can be done rather than feeling about loss and misfortune.

It is normal to experience a rush of energy at the start of any large project or challenging event or  when we create images of multiple tasks  in multiple time frames. It is also normal  to be overwhelmed by  conflicting emotions, such as attraction  and fear of getting hurt. Feeling overwhelmed puts us into a frozen  stage.  By awakening our strongest self, we can attain normal stage.

By focusing  on a stronger life passion, you can reap the benefits of it even when the more cautious parts of you aren’t convinced that it will work. Self-doubt is your ego’s default position. Push it aside and choose to show up and follow the steps that focus you on moving forward with your new and stronger life passion.

It is dangerous to remain undecided for a long time. You have to feel the pain of staying at the same stage.  Goal setting, motivation, curiosity for new knowledge and a desire for self-mastery are the steps to be taken at this stage. You should believe that your brain is designed to be an effective dreamer and a creative problem-solver.  True confidence is not about winning or losing but is about knowing that regardless of what happens, you will be at peace with yourself.  “Awaken your strongest self” is the best thing you can do for your life, for your family, your career and yourself.  All the best.

389. Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018.  The new year with sweet 365 days are awaiting for us. Let us hope that everyday in the year 2018 is the best day in our life.

Our new year resolution  is to keep strong belief on ourselves. We can do anything and everything. We should accept the love and affection shown by others and we should also shower the same to them. Not only to them, to others who dislikes us also.  We should remember that the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched but they are felt with the heart. So, in this new year we should approach everything with the heart.

New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity for all those who have failed to start making the changes that they said they would make next week, next month, or  next year.   Losing weight is the top resolution for many people,  combined with “exercise more” and “stay fit and healthy”. It’s easy enough to start an exercise and diet program, but the trick is to find a decent one that will give you steady results and will be easy to stick to in the long run.  We have to avoid the activities like sitting before TV or computer for a long time. Nowadays people spend most of the time in social media, which is also bad.

If we avoid emotional eating, we can stick on to healthy diet.  After deciding the goal we have to work hard to achieve it. If we start postponing or taking frequent rest in between, we will become lazy.  To achieve the goal, we have to improve our concentration and mental skills. Meeting new people will help us to develop our career.  We should not hesitate to take chances and risk.

We should try to behave more politely in this new year. We should not hesitate to say “No” to unwanted things, to reduce stress in life. We should have quality time to spend for our dear and near ones. Sound sleep is a must for health. We should allocate time for useful skills and fun. We should enjoy each and every moment of  our life.

So,  once again I wish you all a happy new year.