Interesting Facts about Tirupati Balaji you may not know

The Tirupati Balaji temple is one of the most revered holy sites of Hindu religion and many people believe that life of a devout Hindu is not fulfilled till the time he visits this temple. Let’s go through few of the amazing facts about Tirupati Balaji
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Tirupati Balaji temple, Andhra Pradesh by Chandrashekhar Basumatar
  1. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, (TTD) is the trust that manages the Tirupati Balaji Temple. Apart from the sale of prasad, darshan tickets etc., a huge chunk of money comes from the gold offerings and donations made to the deity. It is estimated that TTD earns more than Rs 6 crores per day.
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Tirupati laddu source by Wikipedia
  1. The Laddus have been used as Prasad in the temple since the last 300 years. To counter the black market of Laddus developing on the name of Tirupati Balaji Temple, the laddus were patented under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act. The pious offering was introduced in the year 1715 and today, and as of today more than 150000 laddus are made daily.
  2. On an average, more than 50000 pilgrims visit Tirupati Balaji Temple every day and on special occasions like the annual Brahmotsavam, the number of devotees can go up to 500,000 or more. Many people come from Chennai as it is the nearest metro city having an international airport. You can hire direct Chennai to Tirupati cabs for convenience.
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Srivari bamhostavam source by Wikipedia
  1. Tirumala is mentioned in the most important holy scripture ‘Ramayana’.  As per it, during the Treta Yuga, Lord Rama stayed in Tirumala for some time after winning the war against Ravana in Lanka.
  2. Having hair on the head is considered as a sign of beauty and Vedic wisdom urges us to control this distraction. Pilgrims express their devotion to Lord Venkateshwara by shaving off their hair at the temple.
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Shave head child in Tirupati source by itsmylifenmyspace
  1. The temple is surrounded by ancient hills having beautiful natural rock formations. One of the hill is in shape of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Venkateshwara.
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Garuda shape hill source by gotirupati
  1. Oil lamps are used in worshipping Lord Venkateshwar and the amazing fact is that these lamps never get flickered out. It is believed that these lamps were lit up thousands of years ago and will remain like this forever.
  2. At one kilometre from the Tirumala temple, there is a natural stone arch which is an ancient wonder. A detailed survey was conducted by the Geological Survey of India scientists and it is found to be 2.5 billion years old. This natural stone arch has the shape of a serpent hood, Sankha and Chakra, which are all the sacred elements associated with Lord Vishnu’s celestial body.
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Natural stone arch in tirumala source by Wikipedia
  1. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi Devi resides in the chest of Lord Vishnu. During Nija Roopa Darshanam ritual on Thursdays, Lord Venkateshwara’s idol is decorated with wood paste. When the decoration is removed, the impression on Lakshmi Devi remains. This imprint is then sold by the temple authorities.
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Tirupati balaji stupa source by pranav
10. Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and many others are seen visiting this temple very often. The jewellery related to this temple is very popular and believed to be holy and blissful. You will find many people wearing Tirupati Balaji bracelets as a symbol of their devotion and love to Lord Venkateshwara.
The whole process of standing in a queue for Darshan could be tiring. To have more comfort in your trip, it is recommended that you travel in Chennai to Tirupati cab. Savaari.com is a reliable provider of Chennai cab service.

Written By Avyaya Jawalkar

Maharana Pratap : Valour and Unbreakable determination personified



Related imageMaharana Pratap(Source of image: rajputras.blogspot.in )

Contents

  • Introduction of Maharana Pratap
  • Childhood of Maharana Pratap
  • Maharana Pratap's Coronation
  • Unbreakable oath to free 'Motherland' by Maharana Pratap
  • Battle of Haldiighat: Supreme fighter 'Maharana Pratap.'
  • Severe destiny of Maharana Pratap
  • Devotion of Bhamashah towards Maharana Pratap
  • Last Wish of Maharana Pratap

Introduction of Maharana Pratap


 
Maharana Pratap is a name worth remembering to begin one’s day with. His name is engraved with gold among the list of valiant kings who protected the Nation, Dharma, Culture and Freedom of this country by sacrificing his life! This is a holy remembrance of his valor!

Who does not know the name of the great king of Mewar, Maharana Pratap Singh? In the history of India, this name has always proved to be motivating for qualities like valor, bravery, sacrifice and martyrdom. Many brave warriors like Bappa Rawal, Rana Hamir, Rana Sang were born unto the Sisodiya family of Mewar and were given the title of ‘Rana’ but the title of ‘Maharana’ was only bestowed on Pratap Singh. 

Childhood of Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap was born in 1540. Rana Uday Singh, the Second, of Mewar had 33 children. Among them, the eldest was Pratap Singh. Self-respect and virtuous behavior were the main qualities of Pratap Singh. Maharana Pratap was bold and brave right from his childhood, and everyone was sure that he was going to be a very valiant person as he grew up. He was more interested in sports and learning to wield weapons rather than general education.

Maharana Pratap's Coronation


 
During Maharana Pratap Singh’s time, Akbar was the Mughal Ruler in Delhi. His policy was to make use of the strength of Hindu kings to bring other Hindu Kings under his control. Many Rajput kings, abandoning their glorious traditions and fighting spirit, sent their daughters and daughters-in-law to the harem of Akbar with the purpose of gaining rewards and honor from Akbar. Uday Singh appointed before his death, Jagammal, the son of his youngest wife as his heir although Pratap Singh was elder to Jagammal but he was ready to give up his rights like Prabhu Ramchandra and go away from Mewar but the chieftains did not at all agree with their king’s decision. Besides they were of the opinion that Jagammal did not possess qualities like courage and self-respect which were essential in a leader and king. Hence it was collectively decided that Jagammal would have to sacrifice the throne. Maharana Pratap Singh too gave due respect to the wish of the chieftains and the people and accepted the responsibility of leading the people of Mewar.
 

Unbreakable Oath of Maharana Pratap to free the ‘Motherland.'

 
Maharana Pratap's enemy had surrounded Mewar at all its’ boundaries. Shakti Singh and Jagammal, the two brothers of Maharana Pratap had joined Akbar. The first problem was to gather enough soldiers to fight a face-to-face war which would have required vast money, but Maharana Pratap’s coffers were empty whereas Akbar had a large army, a lot of wealth and a lot more at his disposal. Maharana Pratap, however, did not get distracted or lose heart nor did he ever say that he was weak as compared to Akbar.

Maharana Pratap's only concern was to immediately free his motherland from the clutches of the Mughals. One day, he called a meeting of his trusted chieftains and made an appeal to them in his serious and lustrous speech. He said, “My brave warrior brothers, our Motherland, this holy land of Mewar, is still under the clutches of the Mughals. Today, I take an oath in front of all of you that till Chittod is freed, I will not have food on gold and silver plates, will not sleep on a soft bed and will not stay in the palace; instead I will eat food on a leaf-platter, sleep on the floor and stay in a hut. I will also not shave till Chittod is freed. My brave warriors, I am sure that you will support me in every way sacrificing your mind, body, and wealth till this oath is fulfilled.” All the chieftains were inspired with the oath of their king and they too promised him that till their last drop of blood, they would help Rana Pratap Singh to free Chittod and join him in fighting the Mughals; they would not retreat from their goal. They assured him, “Rana, be sure that we all are with you; waiting only for your signal and we are ready to sacrifice our life.”                      

Battle of Haldighat : Supreme fighter 'Maharana Pratap.'

 

Akbar tried his best to bring Maharana Pratap under his clutches; but all in vain. Akbar got angry as no compromise could be arrived at with Maharana Pratap, and he declared war. Maharana Pratap also started preparations. He shifted his capital to Kumbhalgad in the Aravalli range of mountains which was difficult to access. Maharana Pratap recruited tribal people and people dwelling in forests in his army. These people had no experience of fighting any war, but he trained them. He appealed to all Rajput chieftains to come under one flag for Mewar’s independence.

Maharana Pratap's army of 22,000 soldiers met 2,00,000 soldiers of Akbar at Haldighat. Maharana Pratap and his soldiers exhibited great valor in this battle although he had to retreat but Akbar’s army was not successful in completely defeating Rana Pratap. 

Maharana Pratap and his faithful horse named ‘Chetak’ also became immortal in this battle. ‘Chetak’ was seriously injured in the battle of Haldighat but to save his master’s life, it jumped over a big canal. As soon as the canal was crossed, ‘Chetak’ fell and died thus it saved Rana Pratap, risking its life. The strong Maharana cried like a child over the death of his faithful horse. Later he constructed a beautiful garden at the place where Chetak had breathed its last. Then Akbar himself attacked Maharana Pratap but even after six months of fighting the battle. Akbar could not defeat Maharana Pratap and go back to Delhi. As a last resort, Akbar sent another great warrior General Jagannath in the year 1584 with a huge army to Mewar but after trying relentlessly for two years, even he could not catch Rana Pratap.

Severe destiny of Maharana Pratap

 
Maharana Pratap used to take his family with him even when wandering in the jungles and valleys of the mountains. There always used to be the danger of the enemy attacking at anytime from anywhere. Getting proper food to eat was an ordeal in the forests. Many times, they had to go without food; they had to wander from one place to another without food and sleep in the mountains and forests. They had to leave the food and immediately proceed to another place on receiving information about the enemy’s arrival. They were constantly trapped in some catastrophe or the other.

Once the Maharani was roasting ‘bhakris (Indian bread)’ in the forest; after eating their share, she asked her daughter to keep the left over ‘bhakri’ for dinner, but at that time, a wild cat attacked and took away the piece of ‘bhakri’ from her hand leaving the princess crying helplessly. That piece of ‘bhakri’ was also not in her destiny. Rana Pratap felt sorry to see the daughter in such state; he got angry with his valor, bravery, and self-respect and started thinking whether all his fighting and bravery was worth it. In such a wavering state of mind, he agreed to call a truce with Akbar. A poet named Prithviraj from Akbar’s court, who was an admirer of Maharana Pratap, wrote a long letter in the form of a poem to him in Rajasthani language boosting his morale and dissuading him from calling a truce with Akbar. With that letter, Rana Pratap felt as if he had acquired the strength of 10,000 soldiers. His mind became calm and stable. He gave up the thought of surrendering to Akbar, on the contrary, he started strengthening his army with more intensity and once again immersed himself in accomplishing his goal.               

Devotion of Bhamashah towards Maharana Pratap

There was a Rajput chieftain serving as a minister in the regime of forefathers of Maharana Pratap. He was very much disturbed with the thought that his king had to wander in forests and was going through such hardships. He felt sorry to know about the difficult times Maharana Pratap was going through. He offered a lot of wealth to Maharana Pratap that would allow him to maintain 25,000 soldiers for 12 years. Maharana Pratap was very happy and felt very grateful.

Maharana Pratap initially refused to accept the wealth offered by Bhamashah but at his constant insistence, he accepted the offering. After receiving wealth from Bhamashah, Rana Pratap started receiving money from other sources. He used all the money to expand his army and freed Mewar except Chittod which was still under the control of the Mughals.   

Last wish of Maharana Pratap

 
Maharana Pratap was lying on the bed made of grass even when he was dying as his oath of freeing Chittod was not still fulfilled. At the last moment, he took his son Amar Singh’s hand and handed over the responsibility of freeing Chittod to his son and died in peace. There is no comparison in history to his fight with a cruel emperor like Akbar. When almost the whole of Rajasthan was under the control of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Maharana Pratap fought for 12 years to save Mewar. Akbar tried various means to defeat Maharana, but he remained unbeatable till the end. Besides, he also freed a large portion of land in Rajasthan from the Mughals. He underwent so much of hardship, but he preserved the name of his family and his Motherland from facing defeat. His life was so bright that the other name for freedom could have been  ‘Maharana Pratap.' We pay tribute to his valiant memory!    

Source: Sanatan.org
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Posted by Shoumik Das

Swami Vivekananda’s talk on Shivaji

Swami Vivekananda’s talk on Shivaji

An Evening talk on Shivaji

It was a beautiful moonlit night and Swamiji was sitting in the verandah of the bungalow of the late Mr. Bhattacharjee on the South Beach of Madras (already referred to), conversing in Hindi with Mr. Munshi Jagamohanlal, the private secretary of the Maharajah of Khetri. This gentleman had been sent by the Maharajah to trace out the whereabouts of the Swamiji and to fetch him back to Khetri to bless the newly born son and heir to the State.
When Swamiji was at Khetri about a year previously, the Maharajah of Khetri had begged of him to confer the boon of a son and Swamiji while he was in one of his higher moods had actually blessed him saying that God had granted his prayer. So the Maharajah wanted Swamiji back in his palace at any cost and could not remain contented until he saw him. When I went over there after my office work I prostrated before Swamiji and took my seat; and suddenly Swamiji began to sing a Hindi song in praise of Shivaji in his own masterly way, the last two lines of which were:—
दावा द्रुमदंड पर चित्ता मृग झुंड पर, भूषण बितंड पर जैसे मृगराज हैं ।
तॆज तम अंशपर काह्न जिम कंसपर, त्यॊंमिलेच्छवंसपर शर शिवराज हैं ॥
(As forest-fire is to the forest trees, a leopard to the deer-herds and a lion to the stately elephants; as the sun is to the darkness of the night, as Krishna was to Kansa, so was king Shivaji, a lion, towards the hordes of Mlechchas.)
It was a long song as I learnt it afterwards; but I who had learnt in my school days that Shivaji was a cunning unprincipled freebooter, ‘an upstart robber,’ a marauder and a treacherous mur-derer, suddenly interrupted Swamiji and asked him how that praise and those lines were justified in the case of Sivaji. Was he not a mere child of fortune, a marauder who collected similar men like himself and succeeded in establishing a kingdom by sheer cunning and treachery? Swamiji imme-diately gave up his singing and saw me full in the face, his face being lit up with the fire of indignation and said,
“Shame on you, Doctor.
“You are a Mahratta and still that is all you know of the greatest king that India had produced within the last three hundred years; one who was the very incarnation of Siva, about whom prophecies were given out long before he was born; and his advent was eagerly expected by all the great souls and saints of Maharashtra as the deliverer of the Hindus from the hands of the Mlechchas and one who succeeded in the establishment of the Dharma which had been trampled under foot by the depredations of the devastating hordes of the Moghals.”
“This is what comes of your reading Indian History written by foreigners who could have no sympathy with you, nor could they have any respect for your culture, traditions, manners and customs which they could not understand. Is there a greater hero, a greater saint, a greater bhakta and a greater king than Shivaji?
Shivaji was the very embodiment of a born ruler of men as typified in your great Epics. He was the type of the real son of India representing the true consciousness of the nation.It was he who showed what the future of India is going to be sooner or later, a group of independent units under one umbrella as it were, i.e., under one supreme imperial suzerainty.”
I was simply thunderstruck and seemed to myself so small, so foolish and so ignorant; still the spirit of enquiry in me could not be put down even by those eloquent and fiery words of indignation which Swamiji gave expression to, for I thought whatever might be said of Shivaji there could be no explanation for his treacherous conduct towards Afzul Khan, the great Pathan commander sent from the court of Bijapur, whom he is said to have killed under circumstances which any one who has a spark of morality in him could not but abhor.
Still with some amount of hesitation but with a mischievous curiosity to find out how Swamiji could condone this treacherous deed of Shivaji, I begged of him to tell us something about the real life-history of Shivaji and what he thought of his one act which had been considered the greatest blot in his life and on account of which his character had been painted so black.
Then Swamiji began to give a brief account of the life of Shivaji, with great feeling and enthusiasm and we listened to the same with great eagerness and rapt attention; for so engrossing and interesting it was to listen to those soul-stirring words of Swamiji who spoke at the time with so great an earnestness and yet with so much pity and kindness.
It was a pity there was no one to take down all that he spoke that evening in shorthand, nor did I make any notes at the time either, for my mind was so absorbed in following his narrative that the idea of taking down any notes never entered my brain. Yet the indelible impressions he made on even our callous hearts that memorable evening do still persist though somewhat dimmed, and the following is but an imperfect reproduction of those impressions.
“Doctor,” began Swamiji, “it is a pity that in our schools, History of India written by foreigners alone is taught to our boys. The foreign writers of the Mahratta History can never shake off their bias nor understand the real character and greatness and the inner motive of the actions of Shivaji.
We cannot blame them for their beliefs which more or less depended on the writings of the Mussalman chroniclers who out of spite and hatred, denounced Shivaji as a felon or freebooter.
On the other hand there are many Mahratta bakhars or chroniclers who have written about him but who, true to their ancient puranic ideal, looked upon Shivaji as an incarnation of God born to relieve His devotees from the oppressions of Mahomedan fanaticism and to re-establish the Dharma.
Naturally the foreign writers leaned on the side of the Mussalman chroniclers and considered the account given by the Mahrattas as mere superstition. But fortunately there are many independent Persian manuscripts dealing with the history of Aurangzeeb, Shivaji and the Bijapur kings.
They corroborate the account of the Mahratta chroniclers so far as facts are concerned, though they do not share in their belief of the superhuman nature of the exploits of Shivaji.And if young men who have any patriotic feeling towards the history of their motherland were to make researches in finding out and translating these manuscripts much truer light may be thrown on the greatness of the doings of Shivaji and of many others who helped in the formation of the great Mahratta Confederacy and it will be a valuable addition to our knowledge of the real History of India.”
by  Dr. Mc Nanjunda Rao
From the Archives of The Vedanta Kesari
The Echoes of Teachings of Swami Vivekananda
IV(November 1914, p. 218-219)
Monday, September 26, 2016
Posted by Shoumik Das

Let's celebrate Holi and Rangapanchami in righteous way !


holi-main-image

Content

  • History of Holi
  • Rituals of Holi
  • Subtle drawing of the Holi ritual by Sanatan Sanstha's seekers
  • Tradition of Holi
  • Significance of Holi
  • Do's and Dont's during the Holi Festival
  • Celebrate Holi in the traditional way !
  • But did you ever ponder over this ?
  • Curbing Malpractices during Holi is our Religious Duty !
  • Dhoolivandan
  • Rangapanchami
  • HJS's appeal to Hindus !

History of Holi

The Bhavishya purana narrates a story in the context of this festival which is as follows - A female demon invaded a village and she started harassing little children. Hence the people obscenely abused and cursed her, they lit a fire everywhere to frighten her and thus drove her away.

Rituals of Holi

In this festival the main emphasis is laid on the burning of Holika or lighting of the Holi bonfire. The origin of the traditional lighting of Holi is attributed by some to the burning of evil demons like Holika, Holaka and Putana who troubled little children or to the burning of Madan (the Deity of Beauty who tried to distract Lord Shiva's meditation) according to others.
According to some scholars this is probably a remnant of the tradition of fire worshippers. However one should not light the Holi bonfire during the day. First the doer should purify himself and make the resolve 'I am performing this ritual of worship along with my family to overcome the trouble wrought by the demons' After the Holi sacrificial fire dies down, it should be extinguished by sprinkling milk and ghee and then fruits like coconuts and pomelo should be distributed to the people assembled there. The entire night should be spent joyfully in dance and song.
This particular full moon day carries special importance as this day holds the Raja-Tama in the atmosphere in its original fire-form (Tej). This is the day when the Principle of the Primal Shakti from the Universe, which imparts dissolution, is active in a Marak form. The worship of this Principle helps the jiva by purifying its subtle body and to a certain extent the atmosphere around it is also purified. The worship performed on this day liberates the jiva from its Raja-Tama orientation. Thus in a way, the jiva is reborn after this Pournima.
Hutashani Pourninma (nature's first sacrificial fire) and Ninad (yell) the reason for the yell.
Due to not being able to tolerate the marak Shakti and satvikta of the Deities that get prakat in this sacrificial fire, the negative energies get disturbed and begin to move at an incredible speed. Due to this, a negative pressure is created in the environment. The pockets of subtle vacuum in the atmosphere get filled with the negative energies and they start to dash into one another due to the sheer numbers rushing into the subtle vacuum at the same time. This causes them to create a yowling sound. This is why this Holi pournima is called Hutashani (yelling) pournima.
A representation or immitation of this sound is the yelling that people do during the Holi sacrificial fire. The spontaneous sound that is generated out of a person when falling from a great height is a shrieking type of sound which is known as Hutashana. (For example - The butterflies in the stomach that are experienced when in downward motion whilst sitting in a giant wheel are due to the pressure which is experienced in the pockets of vacuum in the stomach. This in turn creates surrounding vacuum pockets in the adjoining area in the stomach. In the entire stomach cavity, the air that rushes in to fill these pockets of vacuum creates a subtle sound due to the speed of its movement. There is no word to describe this sound and so it is called 'subtle hutashana' These subtle sounds which have been generated in the body cavity are released through the medium of the actual yelling sounds.) - Brahma tatva (18.5.2006 7.58 am.)

* Subtle drawing of Holi ritual by Sanatan Sanstha's seekers

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holy-ignited
Subtle picture of ignited Holy

* What is mean by Subtle picture/drawing


Tradition of Holi

lathimar-holy
Seeing the form of the Holi festival as prevalent today one realises that this festival is basically celebrated at a social level. Though over the passage of time a number of religious and cultural rites and rituals have been included in it by more civilised people, yet the social form of this festival has still remained intact. Holikotsav, Dhulikotsav and Rangotsav are the three festivals which stand out easily. Holi, Dhulvag and Rangapanchami are their popular names.



Significance of Holi

Beginning from the full moon day (pournima) of the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun till the fifth day (panchami) this festival is celebrated for two to five days depending on the regional variations. It has various names such as Hori, Dolayatra in North India, Shimga, Holi and Hutashani mahotsav, Holikadahan (burning of Holika) in Goa, Konkan and Maharashòra and Kamadahan (burning of desires) in South India. One can also call it Vasantotsav or Vasantagamanotsav that is the festival celebrated to welcome the Vasant (spring) season.
It is a festival of radiance (Tej) in the universe. During this festival, different waves of radiance traverse the universe, thereby creating various colours that nourish and complement the function of respective elements in the atmosphere. - A Scholar (Through Ms Anjali Gadgil)

Do's and Dont's of the Holi Festival

* Burn dry wood instead of wet wood.
* Do not steal wood for the Holi bonfire.
* Celebrate Holi keeping in mind it's purpose of uniting the Hindus.


Celebrate Holi in the traditional way!

Recently, citing reasons of deforestation, Anti-Dharmik Organisations like the Andha-shraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANIS) have been giving wrong advice to the people in society encouraging them to use garbage to light the Holi fire. One should not light the Holi sacrificial fire with garbage, since it pollutes the environment. Rather, if Holi is celebrated with the bhav of worshipping the Deity Holika, the atmosphere will become sattvik.

But did you ponder over this?

There is wide scale deforestation throughout the year on account of felling of trees for construction purposes, production of paper and other activities backed by man's selfish interests. However, so-called environmenta-lists ignore this and wake up from their slumber to create a hue and cry over the felling of trees on Holi, the religious occasion for Hindus that is celebrated once in a year. Their contention is that 'Trees are cut during Holi, which causes damage to the environment'. They also make fake appeals like - 'Burn (eradicate) evil thoughts in the fire of Holi' or 'Burn garbage in the fire of Holi'. Do not fall prey to such false, sacrilegious reasoning; but celebrate Holi and Rangapanchami as prescribed by Hindu Holy scriptures and use natural colours.
Dry wood should be used instead of felling good trees to light Holi fires. Also, the basic objective of celebrating Holi is to forget our differences and come together. If people bear this in mind and celebrate the festival, they can save wood by having just one Holi sacrificial fire for the entire village or locality instead of each group separately burning wood for Holi. When Holi is celebrated, as per traditional practices, it is essential that the sanctity of the religious practice be maintained. Sanctity will be lost if dirt and garbage is used for the sacrificial fire of Holi.

Curbing Malpractices during Holi is our Religious Duty!

In the present times, there are a lot of malpractices taking place in the name of celebrating Holi. Similarly, on the day of Rangapanchami, people indulge in malpractices such as - throwing balloons filled with dirty water, applying dangerous dyes and colours to the body etc. These malpractices harm Dharma, and thus, putting an end to them is our religious duty. Spread this word in society and even after doing so, if you come across such incidents, lodge complaints with the Police. Sanatan Sanstha conducts public awareness campaigns in this regard.



Dhoolivandan

On this day either the ashes of Holi or dust is worshipped. This is the first day (pratipada) in the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun. Dhoolivandan itself is Dhulvad in Marathi. After ritualistic worship the ashes of the Holi sacrificial fire is offered obeisance with the following mantra which means:
"O dust (dhuli), Brahma,
Vishnu and Mahesh salute you,
Hence O Deity of the elements,
Grant us opulence and protect us."
Lord Vishnu performed Dhoolivandan at the beginning of Tretayuga. The implied meaning is, Lord Vishnu began His 'work' through the incarnation of various radiant colours. Rang panchami, played without Dhoolivandan signifies the 'Play' (Leela) of the Incarnation, which is manifest in the forms of various colours. The Dhoolivandan is the worship of the destroyer form of the Deities. - A Scholar (Through the medium of Ms Anjali Gadgil)

Rangapanchami

krishna-holyIt is celebrated on the fifth day (panchami) in the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Phalgun by throwing a red, fragrant powder (gulal) and splashing coloured water, etc. on others.
The fire, which shines with its brilliance on Holi, decomposes the raja-tama particles in the atmosphere and this helps activate various Deities in the form of colours. This bliss is celebrated by throwing colours in the air. Thus, Rang Panchami is a symbol of victory over raja-tama. Rang Panchami, played on Falgun Vadya Panchami involves invocation of Gods and is a part of worship of the manifest form of Gods. Its purpose is to activate the five elements of radiant manifest colours and to touch and feel the Deities who are attracted to the respective colours. These five elements are a source, which help activate the element of the Deities according to the spiritual emotion of the Jiva. Rang Panchami is the worship of the saviour form of the Deities. - A Scholar (Through the medium of Ms Anjali Gadgil)
Let us stop immoral practices during this Rangapanchami and Protect Dharma
1. Do not apply colours forcibly. Stop people from doing so and give them the reasons.
2. Stop those who extort money from people on the roads.
3. Stop beggars from wearing masks of Deities.
4. Stop people from using excessive colours and hurling water balloons.
5. Do not use harmful chemical colours.
- A Scholar (Through the medium of Ms Anjali Gadgil, 26th February 2006, 11.09 a.m.)




Hindu Terminal and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti's appeal to Hindus...

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti - Uniting Hindus globally
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Celebrate Holi and Rangapanchami in traditional way!

There is wide scale deforestation throughout the year on account of felling of trees for construction purposes, production of paper and other activities which are fuelled by man's selfish interests. However, so-called environmentalists ignore this and wake up from their slumber to create a hue and cry over the felling of trees on Holi, the occasion of Hindus that is celebrated just once in a year. Their contention is that 'Trees are cut during Holi, which causes damage to the environment'. They also make fake appeals like 'One should burn (eradicate) one's evil thoughts in the fire of Holi'. They irreverently appeal to people to 'Burn garbage in the fire of Holi'. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti appeals to all Hindus that they should not fall prey to such misguided thoughts and pseudo appeals and should instead celebrate Holi and Rangapanchami as prescribed by the Hindu Holy Scriptures by using natural colours.
The appeal letter further states that dry wood be used instead of felling good trees for Holi. Also, the basic objective of celebrating Holi is for one and all to forget their differences and come together. Thus, if people bear this in mind and celebrate the festival, they can save wood by having just one sacrificial fire of Holi for the entire village or locality instead of each group separately burning wood for Holi.

If the directive of the so-called environmentalists to burn garbage in the sacrificial fire of Holi is followed, then poisonous gases emitted by poisonous waste will in turn lead to more pollution. Thus, do not implement such dangerous directives. When Holi is celebrated, as per traditional practices, it is essential that the sanctity of the religious practice be maintained. The sanctity of the festival will be lost if dirt and garbage is used for the sacrificial fire of Holi. The HJS also asserts that why does one need the pretext of Hindu festivals to burn (eradicate) one's evil thoughts; they (evil thoughts) can be eradicated at every moment, right through the entire year !

Celebrate Rangapanchami with natural colours!

Several malpractices, such as the use of dangerous colours containing chemicals that harm the skin, throwing balloons at people which are filled with colours and dirty water, smearing colours on people forcibly, consuming liquor and misbehaving with ladies, eve teasing, fighting, polluting lakes and wells with colours, etc. have crept into the festival of Rangapanchami, which in reality is a blissful event. The HJS appeals to all to prevent the occurrence of such malpractices and celebrate the festival of Rangapanchami in a traditional way using natural colours.- Shri. Ramesh Shinde, Spokesperson for Maharashtra State, HJS
>>Related News
This news report appeared in the Times Of India regarding HJS' campaign to protect Khadkwasla Dam from pollution on Rangpanchami.
Volunteers to protect Khadakwasla dam
Manjiri Damle
[23 Mar, 2005 TIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

PUNE: Volunteers of the city based Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) will deploy a team of volunteers to protect the Khadakwasla dam water from pollution on Holi and Rangpanchami day.
A statement released by the HJS here on Wednesday said that hundreds of youths smeared with colours come to bathe at the Khadakwasla dam on Holi and Rangpanchami. "The colours used for the festivals contain harmful chemicals. Since Pune draws its drinking water from Khadakwasla dam it was the duty of every Puneite to protect the dam water from this pollution", the statement said.
As many as 70 volunteers of the HJS will stand guard at the Khadakwasla dam right from morning till evening on March 26 (Holi) and March 30 (Rangpanchami). They will prevent revellers from entering the water and bathing in it. Another team of volunteers will also patrol the city areas to prevent incidents like eve-teasing and other untoward incidents during the celebrations.
The statement said that this time volunteers of the Khadakwasla grampanchayat, local police and employees of the irrigation department have also decided to assist HJS activists in their drive. It further said that during Holi and Rangpanchami a large number of youths come to the dam and park their vehicles haphazardly which results in traffic jams. This puts added pressure on the police, HJS said adding that the Samiti decided to pitch in and do the job of guarding the dam.
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/msid-1060192,prtpage-1.cms
(Ref.: Sanatan's Publication : Holy Festivals, Religious Festivals and Vowed Religious Observance
Compilers : H.H. Dr. Jayant Athavale and Dr. (Mrs) Kunda Athavale)

Courtesy: Monthly Sanatan Prabhat 

Why do we do Aarati?



Why do we do Aarati?

Towards the end of every ritualistic worship (pooja or bhajan) of God or to welcome an honored guest or saint, we perform the aarati. This is always accompanied by the ringing of the bell and sometimes by singing, playing of musical instruments and clapping.

It is one of the sixteen steps (shodasha upachaara) of the pooja ritual. It is referred to as the auspicious light (mangla niraajanam). Holding the lighted lamp in the right hand, we wave in a clockwise circling movement to light the entire form of God. 

Each part is revealed individually and also the entire form of God. As the light is waved we either do mental or loud chanting of prayers or simply behold the beautiful form of God, illumined by the lamp. At the end of the aarati we place our hands over the flame and then gently touch our eyes and the top of the head. 

We have seen and participated in this ritual from our childhood. Let us find out why we do the aarati? 

Having worshipped God with love - performing abhisheka, decorating the image and offering fruits and delicacies, we see the beauty of God in all His glory. Our minds are focused on each limb of God as the lamp lights it up. It is akin to silent open-eyed meditation on His beauty. The singing, clapping, ringing of the bell etc. denote the joy and auspiciousness, which accompanies the vision of God. 

Aarati is often performed with camphor. This holds a telling spiritual significance. Camphor when lit, burns itself out completely without leaving a trace of it. It represents our inherent tendencies (vaasanas). When lit by the fire of knowledge which illumines God (Truth), our vaasanas thereafter burn themselves out completely, not leaving a trace of ego which creates in us a sense of individuality that keeps us separate from God. 

Also while camphor burns to reveal the glory of God, it emits a pleasant perfume even while it sacrifices itself. In our spiritual progress, even as we serve the guru and society, we should willingly sacrifice ourselves and all we have, to spread the "perfume" of love to all. We often wait a long while to see the illumined God but when the aarati is actually performed, our eyes close automatically as if to look within. This is to signify that each of us is a temple of God. 

Just as the priest reveals the form of God clearly with the aarati flame, so too the guru reveals to us the divinity within each of us with the help of the "flame" of knowledge (or the light of spiritual knowledge). At the end of the aarati, we place our hands over the flame and then touch our eyes and the top of the head. It means - may the light that illuminated God light up my vision; may my vision be divine and my thoughts noble and beautiful. 

The philosophical meaning of aarati extends further. The sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light. God is the source of this wonderous phenomenon of the universe. It is due to Him alone that all else exist and shine. As we light up God with the flame of the aarati, we turn our attention to the very source of all light, which symbolizes knowledge and life.



Also the sun is the presiding deity of the intellect, the moon, that of the mind, and fire, that of speech. God is the supreme consciousness that illuminates all of them. Without Him, the intellect cannot think, nor can the mind feel, nor the tongue speaks. God is beyond the mind, intellect and speech. How can this finite equipment illuminate God? Therefore, as we perform the aarati we chant; 

Na tatra suryo bhaati na chandra taarakam 
Nemaa vidyuto bhaanti kutoyamagnib 
Tameva bhaantam anubhaati sarvam 
Tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhaati


He is there where the sun does not shine, 
Nor the moon, stars and lightning. 
then what to talk of this small flame (in my hand), 
Everything (in the universe) shines only after God, 
And by His light alone are we all illumined.

~By Swamini Vimalananda
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Posted by Shoumik Das

Swami Vivekananda – Principles and Philosophy


ByBengal Bee

Vivekananda was a renowned thinker in his own right. One of his most important contributions was to demonstrate how Advaitin thinking is not merely philosophically far-reaching, but how it also has social, even political, consequences. One important lesson he claimed to receive from Ramakrishna was that “Jiva is Shiva ” (each individual is divinity itself). This became his Mantra, and he coined the concept of daridra narayana seva – the service of God in and through (poor) human beings. If there truly is the unity of Brahman underlying all phenomena, then on what basis do we regard ourselves as better or worse, or even as better-off or worse-off, than others? – This was the question he posed to himself. Ultimately, he concluded that these distinctions fade into nothingness in the light of the oneness that the devotee experiences in Moksha. What arises then is compassion for those “individuals” who remain unaware of this oneness and a determination to help them. Vivekananda didn’t advocate the emerging area of parapsychology, astrology (one instance can be found in his speech Man the Maker of his Destiny, Complete-Works, Volume 8, Notes of Class Talks and Lectures) saying that this form of curiosity doesn’t help in spiritual progress but actually hinders it.
Swami Vivekananda belonged to that branch of Vedanta that held that no-one can be truly free until all of us are. Even the desire for personal salvation has to be given up, and only tireless work for the salvation of others is the true mark of the enlightened person. He founded Sri Ramakrishna Math and Mission on the principle of Atmano Mokshartham Jagad-hitaya cha (for one’s own salvation and for the welfare of the World).
Vivekanda adviced to be holy , unselfish and have shraddha (faith). He encouraged the practise of Brahmacharya. In one of the conversations with his childhood friend Sri Priya Nath Sinha he attributes his physical and mental strengths, eloquence to the practice of brahmacharya.
However, Vivekananda also pleaded for a strict separation between religion and government (“church and state”). Although social customs had been formed in the past with religious sanction, it was not now the business of religion to interfere with matters such as marriage, inheritance and so on. The ideal society would be a mixture of Brahmin knowledge, Kshatriya culture, Vaisya efficiency and the egalitarian Shudra ethos. Domination by any one led to different sorts of lopsided societies. Vivekananda did not feel that religion, nor, any force for that matter, should be used forcefully to bring about an ideal society, since this was something that would evolve naturally by individualistic change when the conditions were right.
The turban that Vivekananda used to wear is generally believed to be suggested by Maharaja of Khetri. But some followers of Ayyavazhi claim that Vivekananda visited the Swamithope Pathi during his visit to Kanyakumari in December 1892 and believe that he was impressed by the principles behind rituals of this monistic faith, such as wearing a head gear during worship in temple, worshipping in front of mirror etc., and started wearing a turban then on. Some also suggest that Vivekananda received some spiritual instructions from the disciples of Ayya Vaikundar. [1] There is no mention of this in Vivekananda’s biographies or works. It is also said that while he was a child, he was impresssed by the turban of the horse cab driver, who used to ferry his father on his daily work. Subsequently when he renounced the world and took to sanyasa, he started using one himself.
Though it may not be obvious but Swami Vivekananda inspired India’s (whom he loved so dearly) freedom struggle movement. His writings inspired a whole generation of freedom fighters in Bengal in particular and India at large. Most prominent were Subhas Chandra Bose, Aurobindo and countless others.
Source: http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Swami_Vivekananda_-_Principles_and_Philosophy/id/5498561
Photograph: Vivekananda House in South Pasadena – Swami Vivekananda stayed in this house for six weeks in 1900. On the left is the Vivekananda House as it is today. On the right is Swami Vivekananda standing in front of the house in 1900.
http://www.yousaytoo.com/aditya/rare-photos-swami-vivekananda/18461
Image result for Swami Vivekananda – Principles and Philosophy
Posted by Shoumik Das

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Why do we do Aarati?

Why do we do Aarati? Towards the end of every ritualistic worship (pooja or bhajan) of God or to welcome an honored guest or saint...

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