Friday, January 30, 2009

The Auspicious Grass

During my recent visit to Haridwar , my ancestors came in my dream. So I decided to perform tarpan ceremony for them. The pandit asked me to get Kusha grass for it. He told me some of the most hidden and secret method of performing tarpan as well as importance of Kusha.
Kusha also known as Durva is a kind of grass which is very important for all the religious ceremonies. Hindu priests always keep the kusha grass in their houses which they use them for purification ceremonies . During pooja, kusha is used for sitting mat(asan). It is believe that this grass originates from the hairs of Lord Vishnu during the churning of ocean (samundra Manthan). As per another legend, once the pot of nector was placed upon Kusha grass which was guarded by Garuda(the divine eagle). At the same the snakes attacked to pot of nector but the eagle snatched the pot. But few drops of nector fell on Kusha grass. The snakes had only one option to lick the drops fallen on kusha grass. But the blades of grass were too sharp that their tongue were divided into 2 parts. Since then it is believe that the snakes possess twin tongues. Kusha is also used to ward off ill effects of many natural calamities. During eclipses Kusha grass is put on all the food articles to prevent them intoxicated. If a person is suffering from the bad effects of Rahu, then Durva grass is used as a remedy. Last rites and rituals of dead body is performed with the help of Kusha grass to provide solace to departing soul. It is believe that goddess Sita manage to protect herself from Ravana with the help of single blade of kusha grass which was energized with the powerful mantras. Medically it is proved that this grass has a lot of medicinal properties. Also praying Lord Ganesha with Durva is considered as highly auspicious(Note- one should not offer it to goddess Durga). TO know the legend behind it click

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shyam Varna

Lord Krishna was an avatar(incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. He is also known as “Shyam varna” means dark complexioned. In some versions of classical text he is also described as having dark blue complexion. There are many legends behind this. Once lord Krishna was playing with his friends near the bank of Yamuna river. All of a sudden the ball fell into the river. Lord Krishna jumped into the river to get back the ball. But in the river there was an abode of a poisonous snake Kalia. Fierce battle took place between them. The snake fires all his deadly poison on Lord Krishna. Due to the poison his complexion changed to deep blue. Another aspect is Lord Vishnu resides in ksheer Sagar(cosmic ocean). So that water turns the complexion of the Lord into deep blue. The deep blue colour is a symbol of infinity and depth. The supreme soul can not be viewed with ordinary vision.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Basant Panchmi

Basant Panchami is celebrated on 5th day of lunar calendar in the month of Magh shukal Paksh. “Basant “ means spring season. It marks the beginning of spring season. This day is dedicated to worship of goddess Saraswati. She is the shakti of Lord Brahma , the creator of universe. She is the deity of knowledge. It rules the speech. It is believe that in day consisting of 8 prahar(division of time), she resides on everyone’s speech at least one of the prahar. The word spoken during that period becomes truth. The vehicle of goddess Saraswati is swan. The swan has ability to distinguish water and milk in a mixture. It denotes the wisdom power. The four hands of goddess represent the 4 vedas. She is holding “veena”(a king of instrument) having 7 strings representing 7 chakras of consciousness. People wear yellow color on this day. This color is a symbol of spirituality. Its a ritual to  prepare yellow sweet rice.This day is auspicious for learning. For the students the following mantra works as tonic-
Saraswati Mahabhage Vidye Kamalalochane !
Vishwaroope Vishaalaakshi Vidyam dehi namostute!!

Hope Goddess bless us with the spiritual knowledge which in necessary for all of us before quitting this world!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

7 Gateways to Heaven

In Kaliyuga, God has mentioned the seven most sacred placed where one can earn the “Punyas”. These places promise “moksha” to the devotees. These places are also called “Teerath sthal”. They are the gateway to divine kingdom. Some classics even says that during the period of “Chaturmaas” visiting these places brings more auspiciousness to the pilgrims. Following are the seven most sacred pilgrimage centre.
1)Kashi (Banaras)
3)Mayapuri (Haridwar)
5)Dwarkapuri (Gujrat)
7)Avantikapuri (Ujjaini)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Legend of Chamundaji

In Satyayuga there were 2 demons Shumbh and Nishumbh who with their extreme devotions manage to acquire extreme powers from Lord Brahma. The terrified gods requested to Jagdamba Devi for the help. She created another female “Kaushiki” out of her body with an assignment of killing the demon brothers. On hearing about the beauty of kaushika devi they send their commander ‘Chanda” and “ Munda”. Fierece battle took place between devi and Chanda and munda. Kaushika devi produced a shakti called “Kalika” from her forehead who ultimately killed the brave commanders Chanda and munda. After that incident kalika shakti known as “Chamunda Devi”. The temple situated at the bank of baan ganga in Kangra district. Across the river, there is a cremation ground , to bring solace to departing soul. A very interesting legend is linked regarding dead bodies brought to cremation ground with the boon granted to chand-mund. As per classical description goddess appeared in two forms
1) Maatrikas
2) 64 yoginis.
This temple is one of the 52 shakti peeth.
Click here for pictures

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Fire Goddess- Jwalajee

The temple of Jwalamukhi is situated in Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. It is surrounded by Shivalik mountain ranges. It is amongst the 52 shakti Peeth. According to legend, it is the place where the tongue of goddess Sati fell. In this temple the goddess is present in the form of tiny flames that is emerging from the cracks of rocks. There are 9 flames burning through ages without any combustible substance. These 9 flames are representatives of 9 forms of goddess namely,
1) Mahakaali
2) Annapurna
3) Chandi
4) Hinglaj
5) Vindya vaasini
6) Mahalakshmi
7) Saraswati
8) Ambika
9) Anjana

In the garbhagreh, the main flame is of goddess Mahakaali(bestower of bhakti and mukti). According to history of the temple once emperor Akbar visited it and tried to extinguish the flame of the temple. All his attempts were failed. He admitted the power of goddess. As an offering he donated a golden chatra at the temple. But he becamae arrogant. All of a sudden that chatra of gold turned into a strange metal which is still a mystery for the modern science. During the entire day 5 kinds of aarti is performed.
1) Mangal Aarti
2) Panchupchar Arti
3) Bhog
4) Sandhya
5) Shayan
The last aarti is performed around 9:30 pm. This is unique in many ways. It is performed in separate room known as “Sejabhawan”, where the bed of goddess is decorated with the beautiful dresses and rarest jewelries.
For some breathtaking pictures of the temple click here

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bitter Enemy

Sage Dronacharya and King Drupad were childhood friends. Once Drupad promised Dronacharya at the Gurukul that he will help him in the hour of need. After the completion of their education they were separated. Dronacharya was too poor to take care of his family properly. One day his son,Ashwathama was hungry. In this difficult time he remind the promise of his friend King Drupad. He went to his kingdom for the help. But Drupad made fun of Dronacharya. It was very insulting experience for a Brahmin. He started teaching Kauravas and Pandavas. As a guru-dakshina, he demanded king Drupad from his students. It was Arjun, who defeated Drupad and brought him to Dronacharya for revenge. But Dronacharya forgive King Drupad as he took his revenge via Arjun. Though Drupad went back to his kingdom, but a strong enemity was born in his mind towards Dronacharya. He arranged special Yagya. Lord Agni blessed Drupad with a boy and girl. The boy was Drishtdyum and the girl was Draupadi. In the Mahabharata war, Drishtadyum played important role in killing of Dronacharya. Later son of Dronacharya, Ashwathama took the revenge of his father’s death.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ashta Lakshmi

There are 8 roops of godess lakshmi as per hindu mythology. Each form is ruler deity of different form of wealth. They are as follows
1) Adi Lakshmi: This depict the form of Lakshmi that resides with Lord Vishnu in the Vaikuntha
2)Dhanya Lakshmi: The word “Dhanya” means grains. Food is prime importance for each individual.This form of lakshmi bless good food for good health.
3)Dhairya Lakshmi: This form of mother Lakshmi grants the boon of courage and strength.
4)Gaja Lakshmi: During the churning of ocean, this form of godess lakshmi emerges. She came out of the ocean sitting on a full-bloomed lotus and also having lotus flowers in both hands with two elephants by her sides, holding a beautiful vessels filled with milk and pouring it over godess Lakshmi.
5) Santan Lakshmi: In the family life, the children are the greatest asset. Those who worship this particular form of Sri Lakshmi are bestowed with the grace of mother Lakshmi and have wealth in the form of desirable children with good health & long life.
6)Vijay Lakshmi: “Vijay” means victory. Vijay is to get success in all undertakings and all different facets of life.
7)Dhana Lakshmi: “Dhana” means wealth. This form of lakshmi rules all the wealth and riches
8)Vidya Lakshmi: “Vidya” means education. To achieve the ultimate goal of life the inner knowledge is important . It is vidya lakshmi that grant all the knowledge.
So, Ashtalakshmi strota is recited to worship the 8 forms of godess Lakshmi.