Dear ones, my eldest granddaughter is writing a story about a boy living in a Hindu family. She is half German and she has been coming to Yoga Vidya since she was two. Her two younger brothers have also been coming. Well, she rang me up and asked me what being a Hindu meant. She associated it with being religious. Continue reading
Govardhan Puja is celebrated a day after Diwali. What is special about it? A Govardhan Parvat is made from Cow dung and people worship cows. The story behind it is that great festivities were going on in Braj. Braj is a region on both sides of the Yamuna with its center at Mathura. Continue reading
by Dr Radhakrishnan and Swami Sivananda
Dr Radhakrishnan is considered one of the most learned of Hindu Scholars. He was a philosopher, author, statesman and educationalist. His birthday on 5th September is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India. He was a former President of India and a professor of Eastern Religions at Oxford university. He was also named “Knight of the Golden Army of Angels,” the Vatican’s highest honor for a Head of State. Continue reading
Purifying the pranas leads to the blessings of the nine incarnations of the Goddess. How does this happen? When one unblocks one’s prana the elements, nadis, chakras are cleared. Five keys are used, and these are the psychic breath, psychic sound, psychic center, psychic nadis and psychic symbol. Listed below are the nine forms and their influence on the chakras. Continue reading
Quotes from the Bhagwada Gita,
One is dearest to God who has no enemies among the living beings, who is nonviolent to all creatures. I look upon all creatures equally; none are less dear to me and none more dear. But those who worship me with love live in me, and I come to life in them.
He alone who truly sees the Lord the same in every creature… seeing the same Lord everywhere, he does not harm himself or others.
Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving and full of desire to serve… Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigour, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then you will achieve your destiny.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Kaalratri protects her disciples from evil powers and spirits. Day seven is dedicated to her. She is offered sweets made from jaggery.
- 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.
- 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
Navratri means nine nights of worship. Nine colors are worn on nine different days.
White is the first color and it stands for peace and serenity. The Goddess Brahmacharini represents peace and serenity. She is depicted with a rosary in her right hand and a water pot in her left hand. Jasmine and white lotus are offered to her. Continue reading
What is worship? Puja begins with external things. One gathers flowers, makes sandal paste, prepares prasad (offering of food to the Goddess) and collects the necessary items for the external puja. However while one is performing this activity, one is conscious that one is attempting to please the mother. All these external activities take one’s mind inwards and focus on the deity. Continue reading
What is real worship? Reverence and adoration for a deity.
According to the Bible, worship is the giving of our entire self, our thoughts and our emotions to God’s use. All of life is an act of submission, an act of worship. Continue reading
Vishnu is worshipped in Vaishnava Tantra. He is the preserver of the world. He is said to manifest in human form in every era (Yuga), to relieve the world from suffering by evil persons, who being destroyed by him also attain their moksha. In Sattva, his Narayana form, in Rajas, his Narsimhan form, and in Tamas, his Varaha form is worshipped. Continue reading
Let it fill with divine energy and boundless love. How do we do this? By helping others is the quickest method. Love is the healer and true love is if we can love someone even if they are critical of us. Continue reading
Why are statues of the deity important for us in our sadhana? The statue is a symbol, a medium for establishing communion with God. Images are not frivolous visions of the artist, but they are emanating from his heart. When the murtis (deity’s statues) are made for worship, the craftsman follows the design rules of the Shilpa Shastras. Continue reading
Shiva is considered the Absolute Lord and his power is represented by Shakti, Durga, Kali and Mother. Durga is identified as the energy aspect of Shiva. Without Durga, Shiva has no expression and without Shiva, Durga has no existence. Shiva is the soul of Durga. Durga and Shiva are identical. Continue reading
We make such a fuss about twins. A good twin and an evil twin. Then there were all those novels and films written and made about lost twins, identical twins and twins hurting each other unknowingly. I was a twin and I have twin sons. What is interesting is that they buy similar things though they live in different continents and sometimes identical events happen to them. They are fraternal twins. Continue reading
Two friends were walking on a pilgrimage. The path was full of thorns and it was very rocky. They were wearing cloth shoes. They had to tread carefully as there were roots, and wet leaves everywhere. It was slippery and the trail was very narrow. Suddenly one of the friends let out a yell of pain. A thorn had gotten into his foot through the thin sole of his slippers. The other friend said that it did not matter as it was only a thorn. The friend asked him to stop and take the thorn out. Continue reading