424 – Attainment of serenity and equilibrium

“When serenity and equilibrium prevail,
Not only ideas but dreams come true
And sleep is converted into samadhi.
Generally, the mind is dull and dissipated,
Sometimes it goes in for higher things
But then returns to its lower field.” – Swami Satyananda Saraswati.1960.

How do we become serene? Continue reading

379 – Nine forms of the Goddess worshipped during Navratri

  1. Shailputri is the daughter of the Himalayas. She is also worshipped as Parvati. Day one is dedicated to her. The offering is pure ghee offered on her foot. The prasad blesses the devotee with a life free of disease.
  2. Brahmacharini is a lover of simple food. Day two is dedicated to her. Devotees offers her a bhog (pudding) of sugar and fruits. She increases the longevity of the family members.
  3. Chandraghanta rides a lion and is believed to destroy all evil and wickedity. Day three is dedicated to her. She wears the half-moon on her head. She is pleased with an offering of milk (e.g., plant based), sweets and kheer.
  4. Kushmanda produced the cosmic egg with her smile, when the universe was plunged in darkness. Day four is dedicated to her. She is offered sweet fried bread (malpua) in syrup, and one fasts before the evening prayer.
  5. Skandamata is seated on a lotus, and she also has a lion as her ride. Day five is dedicated to her. She is offered bananas and she keeps her devotees in good health.
  6. Katyani is the daughter of the sage Katyana. Day six is dedicated to her. She is offered honey. Her blessings make the devotees free of bitterness.
  7. Kaalratri protects her disciples from evil powers and spirits. Day seven is dedicated to her. She is offered sweets made from jaggery.
  8. Mahagauri is offered coconut as prasad. Day eight is dedicated to her. It is also believed that if one offers coconuts to the Brahmins, then one will be blessed with a child.
  9. Siddhayatri protects the devotee’s family from any mishaps. Day nine is dedicated to her. She is offered sesame seeds and one fasts before the prayers.

The purification process

When we worship the goddess in her different avatars for nine days, we ourselves are going through a purification process. Also observe that none of the offerings are extravagant, they are simple foods, which most people can offer. The Goddess takes care of us as long we remain sincere in our devotion.

Aim Hrim Klim

Credits: hinduismnow.org

291 – Our Guru’s golden words

“You may go to temples and discharge all religious obligations as taught by your tradition, but that alone will not help you to unlock the secret chambers. However much you may sit for puja, please note that lack of concentration will render all your efforts futile. It is always best to aim first and then shoot. There is practically no use of shooting in the air.” – Swami Satyananda Saraswati Continue reading

290 – Collectively let us join our hands in prayer

A simple act like joining our hands in prayer can enable us to restore harmony in the universe. Why are our hands so important? We join our hands in prayer. We gesticulate with our hands. We express ourselves with our hands. We use our hands for eating and wiping our tears. We use our hands all the time. Our hands are centers of prana and the yogic mudras enable us to channelize the prana within ourselves. We use our hands for work and last but not least to express our love and tenderness for others and the earth. Continue reading

287 – Who is a millennium Dad?

The meaning of millennium is a period of great happiness or human perfection. So a millennium father is one who raises children free from fear. I have only taken fear as being free from fear is our oldest prayer as mentioned in the Vedas. Being fearless is the greatest gift our father can gift us. Continue reading

213 – Namaste Navratri and Summer Solestice

We all have to join together and rid the universe of evil and destruction. In the Shastras it is written that the easiest way to experience God in these troubled and turbulent times is by worship. We need not go into a complicated philosophical discussion. All we have to do is to bow our heads before the deity, who is greater than any other power of the world. Aradhana (prayer) starts from this act and progresses gradually towards bliss and love. Begin with the deity, one loves and adores (it can be the elements, chakras, and yantras), and one rises progressively above the form and merges into the supreme atman. Continue reading