Archive | November 2019

493. Maruthamalai Murugan

The Coimbatorians are very proud to live in Coimbatore, as Marudhamalai Murugan is there. Lord Muruga temple at Marudhamalai was built in 12th century. It is known as Seventh House of Lord Muruga. As many other murugan temples, it is also situated upon a hillock, part of Western Ghats, about 15 Kms west of the Coimbatore city.  We have to climb about 50 steps to reach the temple. The Devasthanam Bus is also available to take us to the top.

Many health-concious people wish to settle in Vadavalli, Marudhamalai areas to visit the Lord Murugan often and also the pure air & serene atmosphere calm the body.  Many small mandapams are on the way for relaxing on the way, to reach the temple.  At the foothills, where the steps to the temple begin, is the Thaan Thondri Vinayakar Temple. The 18th step above the Vinayakar Temple is another significant spot because those, who are unable to make it to Sabarimala find praying at this place equally gratifying.

Another important deity is Idumban.  High above these are the Paambaatti Siddhar Cave, Uchchi Pillaiyar Temple and Pancha Vriksham that convey a lot about the hoariness of Marudhamalai.  Many devotees have contributed for the proper maintenance of the temple, clearing the hilly route for devotees to climb up easily, building resting houses, providing lights on the path to the temple and so on.

 The major  festivals  are celebrated in the temple are Chithra Pournami, Vaigasi Visagam, Aadi Krithigal, Thai Pusam, Aippasi Sashti and Thiru Karthigai.  Please visit Marudhamalai Murugan and get His blessings. 


492. Karthigai Deepam

     Karthigai Deepam is a Hindu festival which is celebrated mainly by Tamil Hindus and synonymous with lights. The day of Karthigai Deepam is fixed based on Tamil Solar Calendar and falls in the month of Karthikai (between November and December) when Karthigai Nakshathra prevails. This is also the time when Karthigai Nakshatra coincides with Pournami, the full moon day in the month of Karthikai and observed in most Hindu homes and temples.

Lord  Shiva appeared as an endless flame of light before Lord  Vishnu and Lord Brahma, who each considered himself supreme and said that the matter could be tested if the two could search for Lord Shiva’s Head and Feet. Lord Vishnu took the form of a Varaha  and delved deep into the earth, Lord Brahma that of a Swan and flew towards the skies. Lord Vishnu failed in his search and returned. But Lord Brahma, chancing upon a piece of  Thazambu, a flower, learnt from it that it had been floating down for thirty thousand years from Lord Shiva’s head. He seized upon this and claimed to Lord Shiva that he had seen the other’s top. Lord Siva realized the falsehood and pronounced that there would never be a temple for Lord Brahma in this world. He also interdicted the use of the flower Thazhambu in his worship. Lord Shiva appeared as a flame, this day is called Maha Karthigai Deepam.

This day is celebrated grandly in Thiruvannamalai. Hindu people respect and have complete faith on Lord Shiva. They consider him as the protector of the world and pray to him at all times. They have a strong faith that HE will see to all their sorrows and will take great care of them. He will try to fulfill all the desires of the humans coming to him with prayers. Sri Annamalaiar Hill is considered as Lord Shiva’s great presence in Thiruvannamalai. People believe that the huge light lit during 5 pm will make people close with Lord Shiva on Karthigai Deepam. Lord Shiva will shed all his blessings during this special time of the year. He is rigidly worshipped during this time. Great care is taken to light the huge fire in this place. People gather around the place and call in the name of Shiva to put an end to all the troubles and bring in peace in every life.

Karthigai is essentially a festival of lamps. The lighted lamp is considered an auspicious symbol. It is believed to ward off evil forces and usher in prosperity and joy. While the lighted lamp is important for all Hindu rituals and festivals, it is indispensable for Karthigai.   The wick in the lamp symbolizes our ego, the oil in the lamp denotes our inborn nature that cultures the ego and the flame signifies the spiritual wisdom that can inflame the ego  by burning out the innate behavior. Therefore, the lighting of the lamps represents the victory of good over evil. On  Karthigai Deepam, people light lamps in their houses to usher in prosperity and auspiciousness in their lives and ward off negativities and evil forces. Let us also worship the God, by lighting lamps in our houses.

491. Self-Worth

Self-worth is a feeling that you are a good person having all good qualities and who deserves to be treated with respect.  Many people think that they are greater than others and their self-worth is much more than others.  Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are intimately tied into how we view our worthiness and value as human beings.

The act of competing with others can help us feel like we have impressive good achievements under our belt, which then makes us feel proud of ourselves and enhances our acceptance of ourselves. Our ability, effort and performance helps us to measure our self-worth. Self-worth is determined mostly by our self-evaluated abilities and our performance in one or more activities that we deem valuable.

People compare their self-worth with others by comparing the factors like appearance, smile, behavior,  income, material possession, the kind of attention they get from others, social circle, importance, influence,  career and achievement. But, in reality, are the above factors only decide one person’s self-worth. His qualities like kindness, love towards others and the quality of fogiving others only decide self-worth of a person.

How can we improve our self-worth? We have to concentrate on improving self-esteem, boosting self-confidence, building a healthy self-image and developing courage to face our problems.  Self-worth is an internal state of being that comes from self-understanding and self-love. Our self-worth will increase when we have unshakable faith in ourselves.



490. Madhwanama mahimai

We all know the mahimai of Vayu Devaru. Madhwanama speaks the glory of His three incarnations in Kannada.  It is one of the famous works of Sripadarayaru.  He has infused this sthothra with pristine bhakthi and gyana. So, in terms of spiritual content and value, it is worthy of adoration and worship.

Sripadarayaru is revered by all religions. The Madhwas consider him as their guru. It is believed that he was an Amsam of Dhruva.  His contributions to Dwaitha, Haridasa Sahithya are remarkable. In this potent work of “Madhwanama”,  Sripadarayaru has captured the essence of Hari Vayu Sthuthi.  The incidents related to Hanuma in Ramayana and Bhima in Mahabharatha are described in Madhwanama.

     Since Sri Hari Vayu Sthuthi was in Sanskrit, he decided to write on the same subject in Kannada. Thus was born the Madhwanama. The Sri Hari Vayu Sthuthi and Madhwanama are sung in all the Madhwa households even today and they best represent in a concise manner the greatness of Hari. As Dhruva, he perhaps had the best credentials to wrote about God whom he had meditated upon, seen and even been blessed.

     There should be a meaning for our life in this world. Madhwanama helps us to recite hari nama.  It improves our thinking process. We get power of speech, good thinking, relief from diseases, freedom from mental stress and get relief from bondages, by saying and listening to Madhvanama.






489. Pancharathna Suladigalu

Vijaya dasaru was born in Chekalaparvi of Manwi Taluk, Raichur district. He went to Kashi for studies. One day in his dreams Purandara Vitala appeared, initiated him into order of dasas and gave him ankita ‘Vijaya Vitala’.  He is affectionately called Dasa Shreshta, for his personality, knowledge and the brilliant disciples he left behind.

     The contribution of Shri Vijaya Dasaru in particular to Suladi form of Sahithya is very immense.  He is popularly known as “Suladi Dasaru“. Five Suladis are very popular.  They are called Sri Vijayadasara Pancharathna suladigalu.

  1. Sri Narasimha Devaru Suladi
  2. Sri Durgadevi Suladi
  3.  Sri Mukyaprana Devaru Suladi
  4. Sri Kapila Devaru Suladi
  5. Sri Dhanvanthri Suladi.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The suladis were a form of poetry that was introduced in this world by the Haridasa of Karnataka. The word Suladi comes from the Sanskrit word Sudha, which means Gita. The Suladi is a composition rather very similar to the gita, another musical genre, in its arrangement and its musical structure.

    In a Suladi, each section is independent by itself. The pallavi is not sung at the conclusion of each section in a Suladi. In Suladis, some sections are sung in different tempos. The suladi starts in Malavagaula and ends with Sriraga. The other ragas used in between are Daruva, Matya, Rupaka, Jhampa, Trivida, Ata and Eka.

    All the suladis of Haridasas have mythological, spiritual and religious themes.  The followers of Madhwa sampradhaya should listen, sing and understand the Suladis.

488.Health benefits of Sesame oil

Sesame is known as the, “Queen of oil-seeds“.   Sesame oil is made from raw, pressed sesame seeds and has culinary, medicinal, and cosmetic uses.

In olden days, taking oil bath atleast once in a week, using sesame oil was a must in most of the Indian families. The practice of taking oil bath has started vanishing slowly. Our healthy life style also starts to face a decline because of this problem. he oil massage helps to soften the skin and ease tired aching muscles. The application of oil on the scalp keeps the body cool during the hot season and free of heat-related ailments, while the hot water bath provides relieve from aches and pains, and leads to deeper, better sleep after the stresses of the week.

Sesame oil contains two important anti-oxidants viz., sesamol and sesaminol which are helpful for our health. Sesame oil is good for heart problems and oil pulling in empty stomach is recommended for many ailments.  Sesame oil does a lot in controlling blood pressure and  healing wounds & burns. It protects us against UV rays and prevents arthritis problem.      If we massage our body using sesame oil, it refreshes our skin and helps to glow.

Sesame oil adds a delicious and nutty flavor to a wide variety of dishes. It’s a popular ingredient in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.  We can use sesame oil instead of cooking oil in day to day cuisine. Unrefined sesame is light in color, offers a nutty flavor, and is best used when cooking at a low to medium heat. Refined sesame oil, which is more processed, has a neutral flavor and is best for deep- or stir-frying. Toasted sesame oil has a deep brown color and delicate flavor that makes it best suited for dressings and marinades.

So, we have to use sesame oil daily in our cooking as well as for skin, to avail its full benefits.



487. Is Idli healthy?

In South India, Idly was the common breakfast in most of the families in yester years. Few years back, when the   young generation people started following the western culture, idly lost its value. Only the old people at home still followed the habit of  eating idly and the younger generation got many other options.

Let us see first how idly is made. The idly rice and the urud dhal of about 1/4th quantity   are soaked in water for 8 hours separately. The rice is ground to a coarse mixture and the urud dal is ground nicely to a soft ball like structure without adding much water.  We have to mix both the batters now by adding one spoon   of salt  and  allow the batter to ferment for 8 to 10 hours.  The idly batter is ready.  The idly plates are greased with little oil and  idli batter is poured & cooked in steam. The idly is ready now.

Idly is light as it contains no fats, saturated fats or cholesterols. The steamed, puffy and delectable, idly doused wiih the soothing sambhar is most favourable breakfast for many people. It goes well with coconut chutney or tomato chutney.  For aged people, it easily gets digested without any problem.  Generally, idli is steamed and the calorie intake is also relatively low. Idli is rich in fibre and protein content that keeps us full for longer and prevents overeating. This ultimately helps in weight control. The use of lentils in idli makes it a dish rich in iron. According to experts, consuming idli on a daily basis can help fulfil the daily iron requirement of 8 milligrams for men and 18 milligrams for women.

Nowadays, a welcoming change has started to happen. Many South Indians realise the importance of their traditional food and idly once again finds a place in the dining table of many youngsters.  Many varieties of idli attracts children also.

So, once again, I wish to say that nothing is equal to our idli and we should take it happily.