883 – How to understand God?

God is truth and God is love. He is the supreme being. He is the support for the universe. Without him not an atom can move. He is the womb for the Vedas. Indra, Agni, Vayu, Varuna, and Yama are his assistants. Earth, water, fire, air and ether are his five powers. Maya is his elusive Shakti. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva are his three aspects. Creation, preservation, destruction, veiling are the five kinds of activities of God. He dwells in our hearts He is in us.  – Swami Sivananda

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809 – Water is life

 

Turned into strife.

Water makes up 60% of our bodies. On Earth, it appears as lakes, rivers, seas and oceans and it covers 71% of the earth’s surface. Water also exists in the air as water vapor. Currently 44% of all wastewater returns to earth untreated. This means that all our waste (human, household sewerage, toxic and medical) is released directly into the planet’s ecosystems.

We have forgotten what water means. Continue reading

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

786 – Ganesha, the remover of obstacles

Overeating, exertion, talkativeness, adhering to rules, being in the company of common people and unsteadiness (wavering mind) are the six (causes) which destroy yoga. Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1:15

I am quoting from Hatha Yoga Pradipika and my Guru, Sri Swamiji. Wednesday is Ganesha’s day. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles. All the habits which are described above are obstacles in our lives. We pray to Ganesha to guide us. However, our habits can be very tenacious and clingy.

Let us examine them one by one. 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

584 – Prayer on Mother’s Day

Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!
And how can she hold herself from you?
How can Syama stay away?
How can your mother, Kali hold herself away?
O mind if you are in earnest, bring her an offering
Of bel-leaves and hibiscus flowers;
Lay at her feet your offering
And with it mingle the fragrant sandal-paste of Love. – Ramakrishna Parmahamsa

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557 – Meditation on Devi

In the mudra of granting what you desire.

The mantra for granting our heart’s desire is from Saundarya Lahiri – Verse 3.

Avidyaanaamantas-timira-mihirodveepa-nakaree
Jadaanaam Chaitanya tabaka-makaranda-sruti-jharee;
Daridraanam chintaa manigunanikaa janmajaladhau
Nimagagaanam damshtraa muraripu-varaahasya bhavati.

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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

484 – Mother and Father

Swami Vivekananda said,

Mother is the first manifestation of power… With the name of mother comes the idea of shakti divine energy and omnipotence, just as the baby believes its mother to be all-powerful, able to do anything. The Divine Mother is the Kundalini sleeping in us; without worshipping her we can never know ourselves.

Who is the father? 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