789 – Promise and a prayer

In the previous blog article, I wrote about a prayer and a promise. We had gone to a forest sanctuary for a holiday. In India, where ever there are mountains, there are temples perched on a peak. We visited two temples and in both places the guide told us that one’s wishes were always granted but one had to fulfill one’s promise. I thought that was ridiculous as my understanding was that one went to offer prayers with a genuine and sincere heart. The divinity always understood what the supplicant was asking. Yesterday when I read Swamiji’s lecture, I appreciated what our guide was saying. Continue reading

763 – Veneration of Trees in Hinduism

We were taught to respect Mother Earth and treat the trees with respect. Many trees are considered sacred to specific deities. Trees become objects of worship or shrines are built beneath them. Mango trees are considered holy because they are associated with many rituals. Tulasi is considered sacred to the disciples of Vishnu, Wood apple or Bilva tree is considered sacred to disciples of Shiva. The neem tree wards off evil. Continue reading

762 – Takeaway from Festivals

Growing up as children in India as a Hindu, one learns a great deal from our numerous festivals. It is not taught but one’s awareness becomes heightened watching family members. All the festivals are based on triumph of good over evil. I am sharing with you the history and background and how this becomes a part of one. Continue reading

625 – Hurray for Dads and Mums

Keep your kerchiefs out to dry your tears. This happened in the Ranthambore National Park.

A very ill tigress raised three cubs. It is unusual because she kept them with her for four years. The law of the jungle dictates that cubs leave their mum, by then the time they are two. What happened here? Continue reading

613 – Who is Ayyappa?

Ayyappa is the son of Vishnu and Shiva? How did this come about? He was born out of the mystical union between Shiva and Mohini, who is the temporary avatar of Vishnu. Vishnu took the form of Mohini to undertake tasks that he could not accomplish in his original male form. Continue reading

561 – 3 quick ways of quietening our mind

1. Anuloma Viloma

Become aware of the breath and visualize the prana flowing in and out of the left nostril to the count of 27. Repeat with the right nostril. Now practice with the breath and visualize the prana flowing in and out of both nostrils, to the count of 54. You have unblocked both nostrils and restored the balance between Ida (mental activities) and Pingala (vital activities) nadis. Continue reading

508 – Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri will be celebrated on the 18th of February 2023. Why do we celebrate this festival? Maha Shivaratri is known as the “Great Night of Lord Shiva”. It is considered one of the most important Hindu festivals. The meaning of Shiva is auspiciousness and prosperity—bestowing principle. Shiva controls the cycle of birth and death. He is responsible for the creation of languages, art, dance, music, yoga, ayurveda and herbal medicines. Continue reading

505 – Who is perfect?

We are all perfect and with perfection comes imperfection. I know this is like a riddle my dear ones. Pause and think.

Is anyone of us an ideal person?
Are we faultless?
Are we outstanding all the time?
Are we always impeccable in our behavior?
Are we adept at everything we do?
And the list goes on… Continue reading

504 – Mutual imperfection

It leads to acceptance of each other. 

“Shiva, Parvati nu Saubhagya.” The meaning is: may you be as successful as Lord Shiva and Parvati in your married life.

Shiva and Parvati have been eternally married to each other. There is a divine strength which connects them.

Let us examine this heavenly relationship which consists of mutual imperfection leading to the union of prakriti (nature in all her aspects) and purusha (self, pure consciousness). Parvati is prakriti and Shiva is purusha. Continue reading

500 – Practice Atmabhava every day – Part 1

The practice of Atmabhava (love for humanity) is like being aware of all the gods 24/7. We have seven days in the week and each day is allocated to a God.

Monday is dedicated to Shiva. Devotees fast for the whole day and can have one meal only. Fasting starts after sunrise. After rising from the bed, one should meditate on Shiva. Then have a bath and offer prayers to Shiva and Parvati. If fasting, wear white clothes. White flowers and white food are offered. Benefit is to receive Shiva’s blessings. Continue reading

488 – How to offer flowers to the Deity

There is a ritual to be followed when one offers flowers to the Deity. There are many flowers which can be offered. Some of the favorites I have listed below.

Hibiscus—Botanical name Hibiscus rosa-Sinensis. The goddess loves the Hibiscus flower. It is her favorite flower. The hibiscus belongs to Kali. She represents empowerment, and with that comes destruction of evil. Therefore, she is considered a fierce Goddess. The red hibiscus is symbolic of Kali’s tongue. She portrays a form of energy and this blood symbolism becomes life affirming and it ties her to the life forces that pulsate in all of us. Continue reading

486 – The Goddess is infinite and all-knowing – Part 1

Boons and blessings.

Ravana had been granted a boon from Lord Brahma that no God or demon could kill him. He thought that he was invincible. He also received a flying chariot and he could change his shape. He did not realize that the boon did not stretch to humans. And he could be killed by a mortal. Continue reading

481 – Goddess Parvati

Parvati is the power of Shakti of Lord Shiva, the beloved wife of Shiva and the mother of Ganesha and Kartike. She is the Yogamaya of Lord Vishnu, she tied a rakhi (sacred thread) on Vishnu’s wrist, thus making him her brother. She wears a Mangal sutra (a string of gold and black beads), which is a sign of marriage for Hindu women round her neck. Continue reading