Monthly Archives: December 2013

How Kali became the Neivedyam for Thiruvadirai?

Tomorrow is the festival of Thiruvadirai or Arudra Darshinam.

Did you know How the Sweet offering of Kali became the neivedyam for Lord Shiva??

kali

 

A devotee called Sendanar had the habit of eating only whatever was left of the food offered to the Lord and then distributed among other devotees. On Thiruvadirai day in a Marghazhi, he could offer to the Almighty only some pittu and kali. With much regret that he could get nothing better, he offered these to the Lord. As he stood a little later in Nataraja’s sanctorum, the Lord effected a shower of pittu and kali on Sendanar, in recognition of his deep devotion. Since the day of that miracle, kali is the special offering to Lord Nataraja on Marghazhi Thiruvadirai.

Subramania Bharathi

“Thani Oru Manithanukku Unavu Illai
Enil Intha Jagathinai Azhithiduvom”

11.12.13 is the birth anniversary of Subramania Bharathi

bharathiyarSub

Chinnaswami Subramania Bharathi was an Indian writer, poet, journalist, Indian independence activist and social reformer from Tamil Nadu, India. Popularly known as Mahakavi Bharathiyar , he is a pioneer of modern Tamil poetry.

Born in Ettayapuram of the then Tirunelveli district(presently Tuticorin district) in 1882, Subramania Bharati studied in Tirunelveli and worked as a journalist with many newspapers, notable among them being the Swadesamitran and India. Bharathi was also an active member of the Indian National Congress. In 1908, an arrest warrant was issued against Bharathi by the government of British India for his revolutionary activities forcing him to flee to Pondicherry where he lived until 1918.

Bharathi is considered to be one of the greatest Tamil poets of the modern era. Most of his works were on religious, political and social themes. Songs penned by Bharathi have been widely used in Tamil films and Carnatic Music concert platforms

His poetry expressed a progressive, reformist ideal. His imagery and the vigour of his verse were a forerunner to modern Tamil poetry in many respects. He was the forerunner of a forceful kind of poetry that combined classical and contemporary elements. He had a prodigious output penning thousands of verses on diverse topics like Indian Nationalism, the National Flag, the Mahabharat, love songs, children’s songs, songs of nature, glory of the Tamil language, and odes to prominent freedom fighters of India like Tilak, Gandhi and Lajpat Rai. He even penned an ode to New Russia and Belgium. His poetry not only includes works on Hindu deities like Sakthi, Kaali, Vinayagar, Murugan, Sivan, Kannan(Krishna), but also includes works on Allah and Jesus. His insightful similies have been read by millions of Tamil readers.

His poems are brimming with a vigour which is unmatched by his contemporaries in Tamil Nadu. If it is love that oozes through his Kannamma songs or valour which breaks through the lines in his patriotic songs he managed to capture the imagination of generations of Tamilians. Like a fire that lights up anything which comes in touch with it, his poems aroused the passions of Tamilians and gave them the impetus to participate in the national freedom struggle with gusto. His poems stand out for beauty in both the form and content.

Swami Gnanananda

Its the 40th Aradhana Celebrations of Sri Gnanananda Thapovanam from 5th-20th december.

Swami Gnanananda Giri, the sixth Peetathipathi of Jyothir Mutt, one of the four Amnaya Mutts established by Adhi Sankara. The Sage who breaks the aging process.

Sadguru Sri Gnanananda Giri Maharaj, a Himalayan Sage, Mahayogi and great Gnana Siddha lived to a phenomenally long and undetermined age. Not much is known about his early life. Many were curious to know the secret of his conquest of the aging process of the body. He would discourage their queries about his age, saying with a gentle smile “Ask me about the immortal Atman within and not about the perishable body”.

But, from his chance remarks, those close to him have made out an account of his life. He was born of orthodox Brahmin parents in Mangalapuri near Gokarna, a sacred pilgrimage center in Karnataka, most probably 1200 years ago (could be more).

to buy a gold plated statue of Swami Gnanananda please click the below link

http://www.thejus.com/products/gnanananda/161/

While a boy of tender years, he experienced Saktinipata or Descent of Grace and was led by a light to the famous Kshetra in Maharashtra, Pandharpur on the banks of Chandrabhaga River. There he met his Guru Sri Swami Sivaratna Giri, belonging to Jyotir Mutt, the northern regional mutt established by Adi Sankara Bhagavatpadacharya. Whenever he referred to his Master, emotion surged in him obstructing the flow of words. Obviously, years spent by him in the tutelage of his preceptor were replete with scintillating episodes of joy and experience.

Sadguru Gnanananda’s teaching was pure Vedanta, the timeless message of the Upanishads. It is fundamentally the way of total renunciation, so that finally there is no ego left to manifest itself. He is the Vedantic Ideal living in the Spaceless Here and Eternal Now. By unintermittent Tapas of constant awareness of Self, he has with his Presence, sanctified the entire world. He is a true Sadguru in the line of Adi Sankara, abiding in the peaks of spiritual experience. The traditional message issues forth from him in such pristine purity that its import is always clear and the direction safe and authentic. He is one of the rare saints which knows the complete secret and can perform Navaganda Yoga which means separating physical body into nine parts.

He was easily accessible to all. An inexhaustible fountain of Divine compassion, God’s mercy flows through him equally to all, to the saint and to the sinner alike. His gentle response to those who came to him for succour used to be “Let us pray”. Though he did not overtly perform miracles and in fact emphasized that they were mundane and belonged to the realm of illusory phenomena, extraordinary things happened in the presence of the great Jeevanmukta. He is verily a Kalpaka Vriksha, a wish-fulfilling celestial tree who gives the devotees what they want so that they may gradually turn Godward with a desireless love and total self-offering and develop keen aspiration for attaining Self Knowledge, which is what he really wants to bless them with. Truly, Sri Gnanananda is like an immense iceberg much of that is hidden from our vision. Established in Sahaja Samadhi, he was the greatest Bhakta among Bhaktas, a peerless Yogi among Yogis and a Gnani of unequalled stature among Knowers of Atman. Above all, he is Guru par excellence among the preceptors, who teaches the import of the Mahavakyas by his presence as Jeevanmukta. As the inner Guru, he lights up the Lamp of Wisdom in the hearts of his disciples. Speaking to them in his eloquent language of silence he transmutes their ego consciousness into constant Self-awareness. Sri Gnanananda has been introduced to the west by a French Benedictine monk, Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux O.S.. He has written a book ‘Guru and Disciple’ in which he describes his encounters with the Sage in whom he discovered his Guru

Why is Lighting a GajaVilakku considered important for Karthigai

Did you know that lighting a Elephant Lamp or Gaja Vilakku during Karthigai Deepam is considered very auspicious?

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Once upon a time there lived a King and he had only one daughter. She loved an elephant which grew with her and she considered the elephant as her own brother. After her marriage she missed her brother elephant very much. So for every Thirukarthigai/Karthigai deepam occasion, she will light elephant lamp(Gajalakshmi vilaku) and she will prepare tender coconut, elephant leg size milagu Milagu Adai, Pori,Adhirasam,Vella Seedai and keep them as neivedhyam for this festival.

Rangoli and Deepavali

rangoli

So what Rangoli did you make today for Diwali?

‘Rangoli’ is a Sanskrit word which means a creative expression of art through the use of color.The word rangoli may also have come from “rang” (color) + “aavalli” (row), which means row of colors, or from rang+avalli, which means creepers of colors. Basically, Rangoli is the art of drawing images and motifs on the floor and walls of one’s home using different color powders. Designed with a beautiful combination of various colors, the Rangoli images create an enchanting piece of art. Basically a floor painting, a rangoli image stands for a sign of welcome.

The main purpose of making rangolis in diwali is to welcome Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess ofwealth, to individual homes apart from warding off the evil eye. The art of rangoli is known by different names in different regions such as “Rangoli” in Maharashtra, Alpana (in Bengal), and Kolam (in South India). Although Rangoli has its origins in Maharashtra, today it is practiced everywhere. One of the most popular arts among Indian women, rangoli is an age old custom of India, and practiced all over the country.

The Rangoli designs are passed down through generations, with some of them being hundreds of years old. Though the designs vary in different sections of India, the basic approach is common. The designs are geometric and proportioned. It has been a tradition in culturally rich India to draw Rangoli on the festivals and other auspicious occasions as it is considered a holy ritual. There is a unique relationship between the festival of diwali and rangoli. Diwali is a major festival of India and drawing rangoli on diwali is a part of diwali celebrations

Sundal and Navarathiri

What Sundal did you make at home today???

Do you know why On each day , ‘sundal’ or spiced pulses, lentils and legumes (a different variety on each day) are offered to the Gods and Goddesses as neivaidhyam and then to the guests as prasadam.???

Well Some believe that significance of offering Sundal during Navarathri is purely for the nutritional value, that during the dull days of September-October, when the weather’s really not too peppy, people get easily tired and that the wise saints therefore prescribed that protein- and vitamin- rich sundals be served during Navarathri to rejuvenate people. They also make up for the deficit in vegetable supply in the month of Purattasi since these lentils/pulses are rich in proteins and minerals.

Some others also say that sundal is offered to appease the nava-grahaas or nine planets. According to this theory, only the nava-dhaanyas or lentils associated with the nine planets, namely wheat, rice, tuvar dal, moong (green gram) dal, chana dal, white field beans, sesame seeds, horse gram and urad dal are cooked and served.

Singing and Navarathiri

One of the very important aspects of Navarathiri in the South is the Singing associated with it. One of the first questions anyone would ask you during your visit to a Golu is ” Do you know to Sing?”

Do you know that Ambal is known as Gaana Priya and hence when we sing we invoke her blessings. Most of the songs are in praise of the Gods

Golu is also a social gathering, celebrated mainly by women and girl children and meant to prove their merits; A lots of marriage proposals are made during these time around, just by simply visiting one another’s home, getting to know each other, and socialize in a free way and exchange views.

The significance of this Navaratri festival just cannot be ignored as a routine ritual, but it has a lot more inner meaning and is refreshing for the women and children in general.

Gaja Vilakku or Elephant Lamp

Did you know what this Gaja Vilakku Signifies??

This lamp which is shaped like an elephant is linked to the concept of salvation through surrender. Gajendra moksha – the lord saving his elephant devotee from the jaws of a ferocious crocodile – is the legend behind this concept. Lighting the “Gaja Vilakku” epitomises “Saranagathi” or total surrender to Lord Narayana.
gaja

To buy this Gaja Vilakku please click on this below link

http://www.thejus.com/products/lamp/92/

The Story of Gajendra Moksham is as below

Gajendra Moksha, or Gajendramoksham, is an important incident found in the Bhagavad Purana and it shows the importance of Bhakti, prayer and true devotion. Once there was an elephant named Gajendra. He was the king of a huge herd of elephants and he had thousands of queen elephants with whom he used to bathe and play in a huge lake. Gajendra was proud about his status and on a summer day he was arrogantly bathing in the lake with his friends. Suddenly a crocodile from below caught him by the foot and tried to pull him to the bottom of the lake.

Gajendra fought hard to get rid of the crocodile but the battle continued for thousand years. In the meantime, all this friends and queens deserted him. Finally realization dawned on an exhausted Gajendra and he prayed to Lord Vishnu. Soon Lord Vishnu appeared before him and on seeing the Lord, Gajendra plucked a lotus with great effort and offered to him and said ‘Narayana, Preceptor of all, Bhagavan; I bow down to you.” Gajendra was instantly released from the grip of the crocodile.

This is a symbolic story writes Sant Keshavadas. The egoistic soul is the elephant. As long as we are young, healthy and wealthy, we feel many people love us and we become egoistic. The crocodile symbolically represents death, which ends everything.

When we are caught in the jaws of death, there is no one who can save us. Friends flee, relatives disappear. Our own body fails us miserably. Like the elephant in the story, the only solution from suffering is to turn to the Lord. In the moment of that utter surrender, God rushes to our aid, destroys death, and releases our soul from the clutches of death – and that is liberation or Moksha that comes by the grace of the Supreme