Gayatri is the equal partner of the sun and the mantra for prana, with three forms. In the early morning, Gayatri is a little girl. At noon she is a young woman in her prime. In the evening she is a wise, old woman. The colors used for Gayatri are red in the morning, yellow at noon, and grey at night. Continue reading
The coconut is called the divine fruit, Shri phal. Who does not venerate the coconut? It is used as an object of worship. It is delicious in food, used in medicines and cosmetics. Every part of the tree is utilized.
“The mind has its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of heaven”, Milton. Continue reading
Who does not love the colours of the seasons? There is no misunderstanding and there are no clashes. In the Hindu tradition, we have different colours for different days of the week. There are numerous arguments on the subject. Continue reading
We all know the story about Ganesha’s head. You may think that I am repeating myself. That is not the case. The version we know is the blood thirsty one and it is misrepresented. Continue reading
Every important Hindu God has an animal as its vahana (vehicle). They are never without them. In Sanskrit vahana means that which carries or that which pulls. These vahanas are either animals or birds and they represent the various spiritual and psychological energy that bears the Gods. The vahana may wear a saddle upon which the deities sits, or they may pull a chariot, driven by the deity. Continue reading
Shankaracharya addresses Shiva, as the great ruler. He says, “O Auspicious One, the Great Ruler, O Compassionate One, O Thou wielder of the Trident, Thou Lord of Gauri and of the creatures, the destroyer of all bondage of the jivas, Thou Lord of Varanasi, out of thy mercy Thou projectest, maintainest and destroyest this world. Thou art the Great Ruler.” Continue reading
Ganesha’s favourite food is modak which are dumplings made from rice flour, stuffed with coconut and jaggery. The reason why it is considered so special is because it was first offered to Shiva and Parvati by the junior gods. It was said that if this special offering was consumed by anyone, he would have the power of understanding the scriptures and be master of all knowledge. Parvati being a mother wanted both her sons to have it. However they refused to share it. They were given a task and whoever completed the task, first that person would get the modak. Continue reading
Swamiji has given a wonderful explanation of worship of God as either formless or with a form. Nirakaar is formless and nobody can dispute the statement as no one has seen God. So an individual can say anything about God. He gives an example of three disciples quarrelling over the exact colour of a chameleon. They had all seen the chameleon changing his colours, so they could not agree. Continue reading
The meaning of Ishta Devata is the personal deity with whom a devotee feels the greatest affinity. According to Swami Sivanananda, our worship of a God is defined by the element which is predominant in us. Our body and mind are composed of five elements. These are earth, water, fire, air and ether. Our elements have to be in harmony for us to tread on the path of self-realization. What ensures that our elements are in balance is the flow of prana. Continue reading
Elephants are venerated and treated with respect. Feed an elephant a dozen bananas and you will be surprised how quickly she can eat them, twelve dozen bananas are a better bet. And I have done that. Continue reading
Wednesday and we venerate Ganesha. Visualise him with the brilliance of the dawn at sunrise. In his left hands, he holds the noose, and the gesture of fearlessness. In his right hands, he holds the granting of boons and the goad. Continue reading
How did Ganesha come into being?
Ganesha is the son of Parvati and Shiva. Shiva did not want to have a son. That’s why Parvati created a boy from her body oils. Listen how this came about, and why Ganesha got an elephant head. You will find more information referring to yoga, meditation and ayurveda at Yoga Vidya.
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You can listen to Swami Vishnu Devanandas original voice and chant with him Jaya Ganesha!
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