889 – Why is three a sacred number in Hinduism?

In Hinduism we follow the path of Dharma. Dharma consists of three principles, Artha (material wealth), Kama (fulfilling of desires) and attaining Moksha (righteousness and liberation). Fulfilling our responsibilities and commitments will lead to a life of harmony and detachment. Continue reading

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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866 – Extracts from Durga Chalisa

To be read during Navratri. Dear Ones enjoy the blessings of the Mother.

I bow to you Durga, the bestower of happiness,
I bow to you, O Goddess Amba who ends all miseries.
The radiance of your light is limitless
And all pervading and all of the three realms (Earth, Heaven and the Netherworld) are enlightened by Thee.

Your face is like the moon and mouth very huge.
Your eyes shine with a red glow
And you have a frightening frown.
O mother, your look is enchanting, the very sight of which
Ensures welfare of the devout.

All the power of the world reposes in
Thee and it is you, who provide food and wealth
For the world’s survival.
Like the feeding, Mother Annapurna,
You nurture the whole universe and you are
The one, who appears like the timeless
Bala Sundari (the young girl of extreme beauty).

At the time of dissolution, it is you,
O Mother, who destroys everything.
You are the beloved consort of Lord Shiva, Gauri.
Lord Shiva and all the yogis always chant your praise
Brahma, Vishnu and all other Gods ever meditate on you.

You appear in the form of Goddess Saraswati too,
To grant wisdom to the sages and thus ensure their welfare.
In the form of Goddess Lakshmi,
O Mother you appear in the world
And repose by the side of Shree Narayan.

Dwelling in the ocean of milk,
O goddess with Lord Vishnu,
Please fulfill my desires.
He who sings your glory with devotion, love and sincerity
Goes beyond the cycle of births and deaths.

O Merciful Mother! Show me your favor and make me feel
Happy bestowing me with all sorts of riches and powers.
Pray with sincerity, Ma has a mother’s heart and she knows what you wish for.

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848 – Festival of color and powder, Holi

Holi is a festival which technically welcomes summer. After Holi is celebrated, cold water baths happen and one wears cool, cotton clothes. The message of Holi is to spread love, peace and unity. It is celebrated on the full moon in the month of March, or in the Phalguna month which is the twelfth month of the Hindu calendar. It corresponds with February – March in the Gregorian calendar. Continue reading

847 – Full Moon – Phalguni Purnima

Phalgun month in Hinduism is very significant. According to the Hindu calendar it is the last month and corresponds to February and March in the Gregorian calendar. It is a month of happiness and pleasure. It marks the end of winter and the beginning of summer. The Ramayana and Mahabharata took place in this month. Continue reading

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

788 – A Prayer and a Promise

Swami Satyananda asked God to help him only twice.

In 1963 and in 1989, he asked for help from the Divine. He had been told by Swami Sivananda to spread the message of Yoga and to present it in a logical and effective way. From 1956 to 1963 he travelled all over Asia as a wandering sannyasin. On his travels he found that it was almost impossible to become a Seer. Continue reading

773 – Some questions

For which we seek the answers.

Why are temples built facing the east? Temples are built facing the east so that the first rays of the rising sun can fall on the image of the deity. The deity faces east, and the devotees face west, so that the sun’s rays fall on the god and are reflected on the devotee. Temples are compared to a woman’s body, sitting with her knees bent. The place where the deity is installed is known as the Garbha Griha, womb. 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

747 – Be regular with your Sadhana

We celebrate the awakening of Vishnu after four months of sleep today. Hindus worship Lord Vishnu and seek his blessings and love. Tulsi leaves and flowers are offered to Vishnu and Lakshmi. Dev Uthani Ekadashi (Ekadashi means eleven as in the eleventh day of two fortnights of the waxing and waning of the moon, in the lunar month) marks the awakening of Lord Vishnu after a four-month period of sleep. On this day, it is possible to get rid of our karmas and seek salvation. We also request Vishnu to grant us a place in his abode—Vaikunth Dham. The mantra chanted is Om Namo Bhagvata Vasudevaya, and the other mantra is the Maha mantra. Continue reading

704 – Pitru Paksha Shradh

An important Hindu ritual

Pitru means ancestors. Paksh refers to a lunar phase (fortnight). In the lunar month there are two pakshas or fortnights, suklapaksha (bright fortnight) and Krishnapaksha (dark fortnight). Shradha means a Hindu rite performed on behalf of departed ancestors. Pitru Paksha Shradha is a ceremony in which devotees pay homage to their dead ancestors. Various rituals are observed. Pitra means dead ancestors and these rites enable their souls to rest in peace. Offering food in the name of the ancestors is the most important part of the ceremony. Continue reading

631 – What faith one belongs to

Why does one have to explain?

The Same God

Now there are varieties of gifts, the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord: and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common God.
1 Corinthians 12. 4-7 Continue reading