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Wednesday

Bharat maa

Posted by bhavi


Bharat maa 

Bharat maa - Mother India

Maa Thawewali

Posted by bhavi

Maa Thawewali




The Goddess Maa "Shakti" is the "Supreme power" which saturates the entire of the universe, and from which the Universe has emanated. There is nothing in the world, which is not "Shakti" in its essence. Shakti is the Great Mother of the Universe. Maa fights and vanquishes the evil forces to protect her Bhaktas (Devotees). She is always on the lookout for ways and means of helping her Devotee. Maa is very "Karunamayi", "Kripalu" and "Dayalu" (Kindhearted).

There are several names and forms of Maa Shakti. Bhaktas (devotees) worship her by many names in many forms, Maa Thawewali is one of them. There are 52 "SHAKTIPITHAs" in all over India, this place is also as like as "SHAKTIPITHA".

The holy place of Maa Thawewali is situated in Thawe in Gopalganj District in Bihar, INDIA. Maa has arrived here from his another holy place Kamrup, Assam where she well known as "Maa Kamakhya", on the prayer of her great devotee "Shree Rahshu Bhagat". Maa also known as "Singhasini Devi". Thawewali Maa is very "dayalu" and "bhaktavatsal". No one has come empty handed from Maata temple. Maa has always answered the prayers of her devotees.

The time of Morning Aarti - between 5:00 to 7:00 am and in Evening 7:00 pm (depends on season). Devotees worship maa with "Laddo", "Peda", "Narial" & "Chunari".

Two days in week Monday and Friday are very important for worshiping to make pleased Maa. On these days Devotees gathered and worship Maa in large number in comparison to other days. The special Mela is organized during two times in year, in the month of "Chaitrya" (March) and "Ashvin" (October) on the great occasion of "Navratra".


Maa has given each one of her devotees what they deserve to get. Maa needs no expensive preparation from us. She needs few inexpensive and common things. Maa needs nothing from her devotees except few things like devotion (Bhakti), pureness (Pavitrata), and love. Greatness and miracles of Maa needs no description in words it is an invaluable experience of an individual who has to experience it in their own SHARDHA and BHAKTI.

This holy story pertains to about 14th century AD. King ‘Manan Singh’ from ‘Chero’ dynasty was ruler of ‘Hathuwa’. Although Manan Singh was a devotee of Maa Durga but he was having a proud nature. He claimed to be the greatest devotee of Maa Durga and did not like other saints and religious persons. People were not happy with the King due to his unkind nature and behavior.


The fort in which the king resided was located at present ‘Thawe’. One “Rahashu” lived in the same village who was a true devotee of ‘Maa Kamakhya’. People used to call him ‘Rahashu Bhagat’ to convey their respect to him.


Once there was a great famine in the state of Hathuwa. People started to die due to hunger. There was very bad condition everywhere, but the king continued to levy tax even in that miserable condition. Poor people became sadder due to the cruel attitude of the king. They did pray to “Maa Kamakhya” for relief. To relieve her devotees from their grief and pain, Maa Kamakhya appeared in midnight while sitting on seven lions and told to Rahashu Bhagat to cut ‘Katara’ (grass) and to worship her in midnight. Rahashu Bhagat used to cut ‘Katara’ (grass) whole day and yielded it in midenight by seven lions of Maa Kamakhya. Thus he got ‘Manasara’ (a type of holy Rice). Every morning Rahashu Bhagat distributed the Manasara among poor people. Rahashu Bhagat became very famous because he had relieved the poor people from their hunger.


When the king came to know about all these developments, he became very angry and called Rahashu Bhagat and insulted him. The king ordered Rahashu Bhagat to call Maa Kamakhya to prove his true devotion.


Rahashu Bhagat requested the king not to do so and suggested the King to pray the Maa with an honest heart but the king insisted to call Maa and threatened Rahashu Bhagat to kill in case of disobedience. At last, helpless Rahashu Bhagat started to pray Maa Kamakhya to call her. On the call from her true devotee, Maa Kamakhya started her journey sitting on seven lions from Kamrupa (Assam) where she is known as “Kamakhya Devi” to Thawe.


RahashuBhagat again requested the King to drop his insistence but the king did not agree and forced Rahashu Bhagat to call Maa. Meanwhile Maa appeared in Vindhyachal for sometime and was called Maa “VindhyavasniDevi”. In her way to Thawe Maa reached Kalighat in Calcutta and was called Maa “KalkaDevi”. Rahashu Bhagat again requested king to quit his wish and warned him for mass destruction but the king was not agreed.


In her way to Thawe Maa stayed at Patna for a while and was called “PatanDevi”. Then Maa appeared in “Aami” and “Ghodaghat” was called “AmbikaBhawanii” and “GhodDevi” respectively.


When Maa reached “Thawe” the weather and appearance of the place began to change. Due to hundreds of thunders King’s palace fell and destroyed. Everyone was feared. The devotees of Maa started to pray her to save them as they had known that Maa had reached Thawe.


After sometime, Maa appeared through broken head of RahashuBhagat and showed her right hand wearing a “Kanagan” (Bracelet). The four handed Maa appeared sitting on the seven lions and blessed her devotees. On the pray from her true devotees, Maa made the things normal and disappeared.

Maa Ganga

Posted by bhavi


Maa Ganga



Ganga its origin at the source Gaumukh (the shape of the ice forming like a cow's mouth), gushing from the depths of Gangotri glacier. The Glacier is high and mighty at a height of4255 m above sea level and is approx 24 km in length and 7-8 km in width. It is known as Bhagirathi after King –Bhagirath in it’s initial phase of long journey. It emerges in the ice caves of Gangotri glacier and gushes down to join river 'Alaknanda' and becomes Ganga. The ancient holy scriptures are full of legends associated with river Ganga.
 
Father to 60,000 sons King Sagar defeated all the asuras (daemons) on the earth and planned to accomplish  Ashwamedha Yagya to reinforce his supremacy. As was customary and prevalent in ancient times, he sent his horse across the earth accompanied by his sons toGods for their blessings. Frightened and insecure, The King of Heaven,

Lord Indra stole the horse and tied it to the ashram of Sage Kapil. Extremely livid and enraged seeing the horse in Chapel’s ashram, 60,000 sons attacked the sage’s hermitage. Sage Kapil’s deep meditation was broken and as he opened his eyes fuming in anger, the 60,000 sons of King Sagar were burnt to ashes, excluding the prince Asamanjas. Then Anshuman the grandson of King Sagar went to bring the horse back from the Sage and plead for his forgiveness. At that point sage Kapil suggested that the bringing back sons to life can happen only if Ganga is brought from heaven to earth. Neither Anshuman nor his son Dilip were could accomplish this feat.  But Dilip's son, Bhagirath was resolute in his objective to get this mission accomplished. After intense meditation for several years he was able to please Ganga to descend to the earth. But to prevent the earth from flooding, Lord Shiva tied Ganga on his knotted locks. Only after years of worshipping by King Bhagirath; Lord Shiva blessed him and released seven streams Ganga from his locks.  Ganga’s pure water reached and just as an elixir could achieve, it touched the Ashes of King Sagar’s son liberating them from death and sending them to heaven. The streams or distributaries Bhagirathi, Janhvi, Bhilangana, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Saraswati and Alaknanda amalgamate at Devprayag to form Ganga. 

Bhagirath Shila, the rock on which King Bhagirath is supposed to have meditated, is located near the temple of Ganga. Even today it is widely believed that water of holy Ganga is believed to have Elixir (nectar) in it. Even scientists have concluded after research that the water from Ganga at its origin is in a pure state and remains uncontaminated even after being kept for several years on end. Secretions of herbs and mineral content from the Glacier which mix with the water, give Ganga Jal the medicinal properties which it is known for.

Radha Rani

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Radha Rani




Radha Radhika - Krishna (Devanagari: राधा, IAST: Rādhā) is the principal devotee of Krishna in the Bhagavata Purana, and the Gita Govinda of the Hindu religion. Radha is almost always depicted alongside Krishna and features prominently within the theology of today's Gaudiya Vaishnava religion, which regards Radha as the original Goddess or Shakti. Radha's relationship with Krishna is given in further detail within texts such as the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Garga Samhita and Brihad Gautamiya tantra. Radha is also the principal object of worship in the Nimbarka Sampradaya, as Nimbarka, the founder of the tradition, declared that Radha and Krishna together constitute the absolute truth.

Radha is often referred to as Rādhārānī or "Radhika" in speech, prefixed with the respectful term 'Srimati' by devout followers. Radha is one of the most important incarnations of Goddess Lakshmi.

In the story of Krishna, as told in the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana, he spends much of his youth in the company of young cow-herd girls, called Gopis in the village of Vrindavan. The Mahabharata does not describe Krishna's earlier life in Vrindavan in much detail, and focuses more on the later battle of Kurukshetra but within the Bhagavata Purana the child-hood pastimes of Krishna are described very vividly. Within the Bhagavata Purana, Radha is not mentioned by name but is alluded to within the tenth chapter of the text as one of the gopis whom Krishna plays with during his upbringing as a young boy. Krishna left Vrindavan for Mathura at the age of 10 years and 7 months according to Bhagavata Purana. So Radha is assumed to be also 10 years old or less when Krishna left Vrindavan.

Vaishnava tradition states that Radha was born in either Barsana, or Rawal, a village about 8 kilometers from Vrindavan, near present day New Delhi in India. There are a number of accounts of her parentage. Her father was the king of cowherds called Vrsabhanu. Vrsabhanu was a partial incarnation of Lord Narayana while her mother Kalavati was a partial incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.

Her worship is especially prominent in Vrindavan, the place where Krishna is said to have lived over 5000 years ago. Wherein Her importance surpasses even the importance of Krishna. Radha's love for Krishna is held within Gaudiya Vaishnavism as the most perfect primarily because of its endless and unconditional nature. Thus she is the most important friend of Krishna, 'His heart and soul', and His 'hladini-shakti' (mental companion potency).

In the Brihad-Gautamiya Tantra, Radharani is described as follows: "The transcendental goddess Srimati Radharani is the direct counterpart of Lord Sri Krishna. She is the central figure for all the goddesses of fortune. She possesses all the attractiveness to attract the all-attractive Personality of Godhead. She is the primeval internal potency of the Lord."

Sita Maa

Posted by bhavi

Sita Maa




Sita is one of the principal characters in the Ramayana, a Hindu epic named after Her husband Rama. Goddess Sita was born in Sitamarhi (Punaura) in Bihar (India), taken to Janakpur by King Janak part of Nepal. She is esteemed as the standard setter for wifely and womanly virtues for all Hindu women. Understood theologically in Hinduism, Sita is an avatāra of Lakshmi, one of the forms of the Goddess or Shakti, who chose to reincarnate Herself on earth as Sita and endure an arduous life in order to provide humankind with an example of good virtues.

Shri Panduranga Vittala

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Shri Panduranga Vittala


Vithal, or Vitthal, or Vithoba, or Pandurang (a form of Krishna) is worshipped in some temples in Kerala. Vittala's original temple is at Pandharpur, Maharashtra. It is located 65 km west of Solapur, on the banks of the river Bhimarathi also known as Chandrabhaga. Phandarpur is referred as Pandaripuram by GSBs in Kerala.




The name Vithoba means Father Vitthala. Vitthala is said to have been derived from the word Vishnu in Kannada. Panduranga is a sanskritized form of Pandarga, the old name of Pandharpur.


Story of Panduranga Vittala




It is said that the devotee Pundalik founded Pandharpur. His father Janudeva and mother Satyavati lived in a thick forest called Dandirvan.




Pundalik was a devoted son but soon after his marriage he began to ill-treat his parents. To escape from this misery, the parents decided to go on a pilgrimage to Kashi. When Pundalik's wife learnt about this, she also decided to go. She and her husband joined the same group of pilgrims on horseback. While the son and his wife rode on horseback, the old couple walked. Every evening when the party camped for the night, the son forced his parents to groom the horses and do other jobs. The poor parents cursed the day they decided to go on a pilgrimage.Soon the party reached the ashrama of the great sage Kukkutswami. There they decided to spend a couple of nights. They were all tired and soon fell asleep-except Pundalik who could not sleep. Just before daybreak he saw a group of beautiful, young women, dressed in dirty clothes, enter the ashrama, clean the floor, fetch water and wash the swami's clothes. Then they entered the inner room of the ashrama, and came out in beautifully clean clothes and passing near Pundalik, they vanished.




Next night he saw the same sight again. Pundalik threw himself at their feet and begged them to tell who they were. They said they were Ganga, Yamuna and other holy rivers of India in which the Pilgrims bathed and washed off sins. Their clothes became dirty by the sins of the bathing pilgrims."And because of your ill-treatment of your parents," they said, "You are the greatest sinner."This brought about a complete change in him and he became the most devoted son. Now the parents' rode the horses while the son and his wife walked by their side. By their love and affection, the son and his wife urged the parents to give up the pilgrimage and return to Dandirvan.




One day it so happened that Lord Krishna, the King of Dwarka, while feeling lonely, was reminded of his early days in Mathura. He particularly remembered his sports with the milkmaids, the cowherd boys, and his love, Radha. Though she was dead, he longed to see her again. By his divine powers he brought her back to life and seated her by his side. Just then his queen, Rukmini, entered the room. When Radha did not rise to pay her respect, Rukmini left Dwarka in anger and hid herself in Dandirvan forest. After some days, Lord Krishna set off in search of Rukmini. He first went to Mathura, then to Gokul. He met the milkmaids and cowherd boys. They too joined in the search. They went to Mount Govardhan in her search.At last they reached the banks of the river Bhima in the Deccan. Krishna left his companions at Goplapura, and he himself entered Dandirvan forest alone in search of her. At last he found her and managed to calm her. Krishna and Rukmini came to Pundalik's ashrama.




But at that time Pundalik was busy attending to his parents. Though he knew Lord Krishna had come to see him, he refused to pay his respect to the god before his duty towards his parents was done. He, however, threw a brick outside for lord Krishna to stand upon. Impressed by Pundalik's devotion to his parents, Lord Krishna did not mind the delay. Standing on the brick he waited for Pundalik. When Pundalik came out and begged God's pardon, Lord Krishna replied that far from being displeased, he was pleased with his love for his parents. Lord Krishna then ordered him to worship Vithoba, or God who stood upon a brick.




An imposing temple was built at the place where Krishna and Pundalik had met. Inside the temple stands Krishna's image on a brick. By his side stands the image of Rukmini.This temple covering a vast area has a total of six gates.




The eastern entrance to this temple is known as the Namdev gate (after the great 13th century Vaishnava saint). The sanctum enshrines the standing image of Vithoba also known as Panduranga, Pandhari or Vitthala. Stylistically the image dates back to the 5th century. There are inscriptions in this temple dating back to the 13th century which place origin of this shrine to the 6th century.



Tuesday

Pundarik Swami

Posted by bhavi

Pundarik Swami
He is the first Gandhar of Rushabhadev 1st thihthakar
Pundarik Swami had got the Moksha Pad here with 5 crores monks.
So it is also named as Pundarikgiri.


Simandhar Swami

Posted by bhavi

Simandhar Swami





Wednesday

Vayu Dev

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Vayu Dev


Vayu


Vāyu (Sanskrit: वायु, IAST: Vāyu; Malay: Bayu, Thai: Phra Pai) is a primary Hindu deity, the Lord of the winds, the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman. He is also known as Vāta (वात), Pavana (पवन, the Purifier), and sometimes Prāna (प्राण, the breath).

As the word for air, (Vāyu) or wind (Pavana) is one of the Panchamahābhuta or five great elements. The Sanskrit word 'Vāta' literally means "blown", 'Vāyu' "blower", and 'Prāna' "breathing" (viz. the breath of life, cf. the *an- in 'animate'). Hence, the primary referent of the word is the "deity of Life", who is sometimes for clarity referred to as "Mukhya-Vāyu" (the chief Vāyu) or "Mukhya Prāna" (the chief of Life).

Sometimes the word "vayu," which is more generally used in the sense of the physical air or wind, is used as a synonym for "prāna".There is however a separate set of five deities of Prāna (vital breath), Mukhya-Prāna being chief among them, so that, in Hindi and other Indian languages, someone's death is stated as "his lives departed" (uske prān nikal gaye) rather than "his life departed." These five Vāyu deities, Prāna, Apāna, Vyāna, Udāna, and Samāna, control life (and the vital breath), the wind, touch/sensation, digestion, and excretion.

Vāta, an additional name for Vāyu, is the root of the Sanskrit and Hindi term for "atmosphere", vātāvaran (वातावरण).

Pavan is also a fairly common Hindu name. Pavan had played an important role in Anjana's begetting Hanuman as her child. Hence Hanuman is also called Pavan-Putra (son of Pavana) and Vāyu-Putra.

Lord Ayyappa

Posted by bhavi


Lord Ayyappa





Lord Ayyappa

Affiliation Deva
Abode Sabarimala
Mantra Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa
Weapon Bow and Arrow
Mount Tiger

Ayyappan, (Malayalam: അയ്യപ്പന്‍ , Tamil: ஐயப்பன்)is a Hindu deity. The worship of this deity was largely confined to South India previously, but now devotees started pouring from all over the world. Lord Ayyappan is worshipped in a number of shrines across India: at Kulathupuzha, in Kerala, he is worshipped as a child; at Achenkovil in conjunction with his consorts, Pushkala and Poorna; and at Sabarimala as an ascetic - a celibate meditating in solitude for the benefit of all mankind. The name "Ayyappan" is used as a respectful form of address in Malayalam, and the famous mantra Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa can be directly translated as Give me shelter, Lord Ayyappa! He is considered to be born out of the union between Mohini (Vishnu) and Shiva.

The most famous Ayyappa shrine in India is the one at Sabarimala with over 50 million devotees visiting it every year, making it the second largest pilgrimage in the world.

Names

Dharmasasta, Hariharasudhan, Manikandan,Manikanth, Sathanar, Sastan, Cattan (from Sanskrit Sasta), Ayyanar, Natrayan, Nattarasan, Bhutanathan, Pandala Raja, Kumararaja ,Shastha, Ariyan , and Pamba Vaasan.

Background

The asura princess Mahishi was burning up with anger at the trick the gods had pulled on her brother, the asura king Mahishasura. As Mahishasura was blessed with invulnerability to all men, the gods had sent goddess Durga, to fight and kill him. Thus, Mahishi began performing a fearsome set of austerities, and pleased the creator god Brahma. He granted her the boon of ruling the universe and being invulnerable except to a being that had the combined strength of both Shiva and Vishnu. Since such a person did not exist, she thought she was safe and began conquering and plundering the world.

The gods implored Shiva and Vishnu to save them from this catastrophe. Vishnu found a possible solution to the problem. When Vishnu had taken on the Kurma Avatar, he also had to manifest himself as Mohini, the enchantress, to save the nectar of immortality from the demons who were not willing to share it with the gods. If he became Mohini again, then the female Mohini and the male Shiva could have the divine child who would combine their powers and beat Mahishi.

Some versions give a sightly more detailed version of the union of Shiva with Vishnu. One version tells that the asura Basmasura had so pleased lord Shiva with his austerities that Shiva gave him a boon of anything he wished. So Basmasura asked for the ability to burn to ashes anything which he placed his hand over. No sooner had Shiva granted this, than Basmasura ran after the god, threatening to turn him to ashes.

Shiva called to lord Vishnu for help. He hid himself in a certain tree as Basmasura ran here and there searching for the god. Vishnu became aware of the events, and decided that he would take the female form Mohini, "the Enchanting", and try to trump the asura's powers. When Basmasura saw Vishnu in this form, he was bewitched by her beauty. He earnestly tried to court her. So Vishnu instructed Basmasura to hold his hand over his head, and vow fidelity. With this act, Basmasura was reduced to ashes.

Vishnu found Shiva and explained the whole affair to him. Shiva asked if he too could see Vishnu in this female form. When Vishnu appeared thus, Shiva was overcome with passion, and united with "her" (Shiva's seed caught in Mohini's hands, per one version of the story). The two gods thus became "HariHara Murthy", that is a composite form of Shiva and Vishnu as one god.

From this union lord Ayyappan was born. He combines in himself the powers of Vishnu and Shiva, and is a visible embodiment of their essential identity. Lord Vishnu gifted the new-born deity with a little bejeweled bell necklace, so this god is called Manikanthan Swamy. The Tamils call him Ayyanar, and he is also called Shastha or Shasthappan by most South Indian communities.

In most Tamil versions of the story, the legend ends with the birth of the god, and with his passage around the region. But in Kerala, the story continues with Ayyappan's adoption by the Pandalam Raja, and the subsequent encounter with Mahisi.

Early Childhood

Lord Ayyappan had his human sojourn as the son of the Raja (King) of Pandalam, Kerala. At that time, Raja Rajasekhara ruled the kingdom of Pandalam. During one of his hunting expeditions, the Raja was puzzled to hear the wails of a child on the banks of the River Pampa. He moved in the direction of the voice to find a resplendent infant there. The beautiful baby with radiant face wore a gemstone (precious stone) around his neck, hence the name Manikantan ("Mani", means gemstone and "kantan" means wearer around the neck). Manikantan was born of Hari (Lord Vishnu) and Hara (Lord Shiva), with Hari assuming the form of a female (Mohini). Hence Ayyappan is also named as Hariharasutan (Sutan meaning Son).The king, though pious, charitable, just, and God-fearing, had no children. The king was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and his queen was devotee of Lord Vishnu. They had prayed to their respective deities for blessings in the form of a child. He accepted the child as God's gracious response to his fervent prayer for an heir to his throne. Manikantan was given proper education and training and he grew into a boy well versed in academic lore and martial arts of the time like Kalaripayattu. The Cheerappanchira kalari at Muhamma, in Alappuzha District was responsible for his training in the martial arts. Meanwhile the Rani (Queen) gave birth to a son, however the king regarded Manikantan as his elder son and decided to crown him as the Yuvaraja (heir).

Since the minister of the Raja was always against Manikantan becoming the Yuvaraja, he along with his sycophants turned the queen against the king's decision. On the coronation day of Manikantan as Yuvaraja, the queen pretended to be suffering from unbearable stomach ache, and said she was unable to get any relief from the treatment of any doctor (Vaidya). Finally a fake practitioner appeared at the instance of the minister, and prescribed "the milk of a tigress" as the cure of the queen's illness. The king appealed to one and all to get the tigeress-milk, but no-one dared. At last, Manikantan volunteered and went to the forest in search of tigress Milk, despite the king's attempt to stop him. The king was deeply frightened that the deemed Yuvaraja may not come back alive.

Victory

Manikantan entered the forest to fulfill his divine duty, to rid the world of demoness Mahishi. Manikantan killed her and released a beautiful woman who had been cursed to become Mahishi. The young woman asked Ayyappan for his hand in marriage, but he declined, being a celibate. However he promised that she would be visited by pilgrims and would be housed next to his temple, and if the number of new pilgrims visiting him stopped, then he would marry her. Hence she is now worshiped as Maalikapurathamma. There is also another version of this story. It is believed that Maalikapurathamma was a young girl in Cheerappanchira family where Ayyappan was trained for Kalari (martial arts).

On the death of Mahishi, Indra - the king of the gods, who was displaced and banished by Mahishi, led several tigers for the disposal of Ayyappan.

Days later Manikantan entered the palace precincts riding a fierce tigress and followed by a pack of her cubs. The schemers were frightened into confessing their plot. They were convinced of his divine origins, and prayed to him to be with them for their own salvation and for the safety of the kingdom. Immediately Manikantan disppeared. The king would not eat anything if Manikantan did not come back. Then Manikantan gave a vision (Darshan) to the king.

Filled with emotions of happiness, grief, fear, wonder and 'Bhakti' (devotion to God) and self-surrender, the king stood praying for the mercy and blessings of Manikantan. He repented he could not fully visualize the truth of the divine powers of the Lord and repeatedly requested Him to forgive him for behaving as if He were his son only. The Lord lovingly embraced the King who prayed to bless him by freeing from ego and the worldly life of birth and rebirth and grant Moksha (salvation). He told the King that he was destined to return. The king implored Lord Manikantan to allow him to build a temple and dedicate it to him and the Lord assented.

Manikantan then enlightened the King on the path of attainment of Moksha. The Lord shot an arrow that fell at the top of Sabrimala and told the King that he could construct a temple at Sabarimala, north of the holy river Pampa and install His deity there. Ayyappan also explained how the Sabarimala pilgrimage shall be undertaken, emphasizing the importance of Penance vratham and what the devotees can attain by His 'darshan'.

But before the departure of the Lord, the King secured a promise from the Lord that on thai Pongal on January 14, every year,(celebrated as "Makara Jyothy" all his personal jewellery (usually kept at the Palace) will be adorned on His image at Sabarimala. Hence on the 12th of January every year, the Jewellery will be taken on foot from the Palace by a special emissary of the kingdom, after the puja with all pomp, devotion and reverence. Immeditely when the Arti is over, Royal Garuda (Eagle) flies over the Palace, (which seems to be quite automatic). The Royal Garuda flies ahead, and appears guide the pilgrims throughout their journey. Since there was no modern means of communication like Telephone or Mobile, to the hundreds of thousands of Devotees desirous of worshipping Lord Manikantan's Jewels enroute to His Abode, this Garud was the sole and absolute signal of advance information even to the Temple authorities at Sabarimala to get ready for the adorning of the Jewels. This journey on the 12th and 13th of January finally reaches Sabarimala on January 14th. Immediately after the jewellery is adorned on the Deity, there is an Aarti ( offering by burning Camphor). The miracle is that just after the Arti, without loss a second, the Jyothy appears on the east side of the Temple up above the Hills (details are given hereunder).

But then the Lord further consoled the King saying that the devotees who held him and his descendants in 'Bhakti' shall happen to be devoted to Him as well. Manikantan then blessed the King and all others assembled there, and vanished. The King duly constructed the temple at Sabarimala, dedicated to him. The deity for installation was prepared by Parasurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and was installed by himself.

Prasadam

A strong liking for sweets is a common factor of all Hindu Gods and Ayyappa is no exception. Appam and Aravana (Payasam made of rice, ghee and jaggery) are the prasadams of the Lord.[citation needed] There is an interesting story behind these prasadams also. The Raja of Pandalam admitted Ayyappa to a famous Kalari (gymnasium where traditional martial arts of Kalaripayattu is taught) at Cheerappanchira in Cherthala in Alappuzha district. The young daughter, Leela, of Kalari Panicker fell in love with Ayyappa. But Ayyappa was so involved in his studies that he didn't notice the girl's infatuation. It's also believed that she later became Maalikapurathamma who was dejected when Lord Ayyappa refused her marriage proposal, after offering her a seat in Saram kuthi near Sabarimala Devasthanam.[citation needed]

Soon the girl started bringing him food to capture his attention. Time passed by and the girl reached her puberty. And her family, following the Hindu tradition, prepared special cuisines to celebrate the occasion. One mandatory item on the menu is Rthumathikanji (porridge made using rice and five times the quantity of jaggery). On that day she took this porridge to Ayyappa, who was practising payattu in the Kalari. He liked it very much and requested the girl to bring only the porridge everyday. It is believed that the practice of offering Aravana as prasadam to the God was born from this incident.[citation needed]

Legend

Lord Ayyappa is the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple. Information on the life and teachings of the Lord are mostly based on legends. In fact, there are very many popular stories associated with Him among the devotees. These differ from one to another depending on the imaginations of the narrator and inherent variations due to the passing down of the stories from generation to generation. However, there are a few events which are common in all the stories and which can stand historical scrutiny.

Examples are:

• All stories confirm that Ayyappa lived in the Pandalam Palace as the son / savior of the King.

• He had had super-human or divine knowledge, wisdom, and courage and had great liking for the King and his people.

• He protected the King and the kingdom from the attacks of enemies.

• At the end of His life in Pandalam, He vanished into the forests and is ever since worshiped at the Sabarimala temple.

The most popular and widely accepted story goes to say that Lord Ayyappa had had His human sojourn as the son of the Raja(King) of Pandalam. At that time, Raja Rajasekhara ruled the kingdom of Pandalam. During one of his hunting expeditions, the Raja was puzzled to hear the wails of a child on the banks of the river Pampa. He moved in the direction of the voice to find a resplendent infant there. The beautiful baby with radiant face wore a bead ('mani') around his neck. Mythology has it that Manikantan was Ayyappan, born of Hari and Hara. The King, though pious, charitable, just, and God-fearing had no children. He accepted the child as God's gracious response to his fervent prayer for an heir to his throne. Manikantan was given proper education and training and he grew into a boy well versed in academic lore and martial arts of the time.Meanwhile the Rani gave birth to a son. The King regarded Manikantan as his elder son. He decided to crown him as the Yuvaraja. The King's corrupt Minister had had a deep dislike for Manikantan. The Minister made the innocent Queen believe that adverse consequences would befall her if Manikantan was crowned Yuvaraja and that the kingdom actually belonged to her son.

They conspired between them to get rid of Manikantan by hook or crook. They bribed the royal physician into becoming an accomplice of theirs. The Rani pretended to be afflicted with severe pain in the stomach, and the physician prescribed the milk of a tigeress as the only cure for the ache. The King was in an agonizing fix. He knew that none could be deputed for a mission that was so patently suicidal. However, the youthful and valiant Manikantan stepped forth and volunteered to fetch the milk. Despite the worried protestations of his foster-father, he set out for the fearful forests.

Days later Manikantan entered the palace precincts riding a fierce tigeress and followed by a pack of its cubs. The schemers were frightened into confessing their nefarious plot. They and others now knew that Manikantan was no ordinary being. They were convinced of His divine origins, and prayed to Him to be with them for their own salvation and for the safety of the kingdom. However, Manikantan was now determined to leave the place.

Filled with emotions of happiness, grief, fear, wonder and 'bhakthi' (devotion to God) and self-surrender, the king stood praying for the mercy and blessings of Manikantan. He repented he could not fully visualize the truth of the divine powers of the Lord and repeatedly requested Him to forgive him for behaving as if He were his son only. The Lord lovingly embraced the King who continued to pray: " Lord, kindly bless me by freeing me from my egos and the worldly life of birth and rebirth and grant me ' moksha’ (salvation). Kindly continue to be the savior of my family and stay eternally in my kingdom.” Manikantan then enlightened the King on the path of attainment of 'moksha'. These words of the Lord are contained in ‘Bhuthanathageetha’, which is in the form of conversation between Him and His foster-father. To the King who is by now mentally cleansed and completely immersed in 'bhakthi', Lord Ayyappa said: " I am to free you from all worldly sorrows & worries and to grant you 'moksha'. All those who are and would be born in your family shall have my blessings unfailingly. I am always accessible to 'bhakthi' and only 'bhakthi ". The Lord told the King that he could construct a temple at Sabarimala, north of the holy river Pampa and install His deity there. Ayyappa also explained how the Sabarimala pilgrimage shall be undertaken, emphasizing the importance of 'vrutham' and what the devotees can attain by His 'darshan'.

The Lord further consoled the King saying that the devotees who held him and his descendants in 'bhakthi' shall happen to be devoted to Him as well. Manikantan then blessed the King and all others assembled there, and vanished. The King duly constructed the temple at Sabarimala, dedicated to Him.

There are various lore’s connected with Lord Ayyappa. These relate to discovery of the child at Pampa, Manikantan's youthful days in the Pandalam palace, bestowing the power of hearing and speaking upon the deaf and dumb son of His teacher as Guru-dakshina, His friendship with Vaver, bringing the tigeress's milk, accomplishing His divinely destined mission of annihilation of the demoness Mahishi, eliminating the forest-thug Udayanan, bestowing moksha on Sabari, blessing His foster-father with moksha and so on. Legend also goes to say that Manikantan was the incarnation of Lord DharmaSastha. Raja Rajasekhara was in his previous birth a rich and pious 'brahmin ' by name Vijayan who was a very strong believer and devotee of Lord Dharma Sastha. Such was Vijayan's ' bhakthi' towards the Lord that He blessed the brahmin by granting his wish to be born as his son in his next birth when the Lord would offer him "moksha'.... A collection of legends called Ithihyamala first published in 1904 gives a slightly different version.In it the Raja of Madurai finds Ayyappan ,as a young man well versed in archery ,in a forest.The story then follows the same pattern as above except that the Raja recognises him as an Avtar or incarnation of Shastha.This story could be nearer the truth.The Pandyans subsequently migrated to Pandalam in Kerala.This story is plausible since it explains why members of Pandalam Royal Family even today do not stand directly in front of the sanctum sanctorun at Sabarimalai.This version puts Ayyappan as a Senapathi or Captain of the Pandyan army whose popularity and influence with the King was disliked by locals.It is obvious that even subsequent generations of Royals would be honoured by Ayyappa and would apparently cause the idol to stand up-the ostensible reason for Royal family members not standing in front of the idol.If he were their ancestor-adopted or otherwise this could not be the case. Also the popular Kerala version places the Vishnu-Siva union and birth of Sastha smack in the 13-14th century since Ayyappan's close friend is a Muslim.Islam has come to India in historical times!

Pilgrimage

The Pandala Raja constructed a small temple, 18 steps above the ground as instructed by the lord himself.[citation needed] Each of these eighteen holy steps represents a desire one must conquer in life. The 18 steps and the temple have in recent times been coated in gold. The original vigraham was a wooden idol , and was inaugurated by Parashurama (incarnation of Vishnu).[citation needed]

The common cry heard during the pilgrimages to his shrine is "Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa!" ("Oh Swami, we take refuge in you").

Pilgrimage to Sabarimala begins from the 1st of Vrichikam, a Malayalam month coming in the middle of November (probably between 14-17. The most important day for Ayyappan is Makarasankranti Day, which is the 1st of Makara (a month of the Malayalam calendar). This day will fall between January 14-16. Currently millions of devotees come from all parts of India to Sabarimala for a glimpse of Lord Ayyappan, having undertaken 41 days of Vratham (austerities). In 2005, at least 50 million devotees made the pilgrimage to Sabarimala (from 1st Vrichikam to the 1st Makaram).

On Makarasankranti,*** every year without fail, miraculous events occur. Firstly as the jewels (Thiruvaabaranam) of the Lord are transported from the Old Pandalam Palace to Sabarimala, a Krishnaparanth (holy Garuda - an eagle - the vehicle of Lord Vishnu), circles above the precious jewels (in fact guarding them), like a protector. This rare eagle is rarely seen in the midst of people for a long period of time, yet the auspicious bird follows the Thiruvaabaranam procession, finally circling above Sanithanam at Sabarimala nine times as it pays its respects to Lord Ayyappan. During this time, there is not a single star in the sky except for a special Nakshatram. As the beautiful jewels are placed on the golden body of the Lord within the temple, the several hundred thousand devotees outside, crammed into any available free space, chant "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa". When the jewels are finally all adorned on the Lord, the Nakshatram in the sky miraculously disappears, as all the Devas and Celestial beings leave the sky to get a glimpse of the Lord in all his splendor. Within moments of the Lord being adorned with the Thiruvabaranam, an effulgence (Divya Jyoti) appears in the opposite hills of Shabarimala, appearing 3 times. This hill is called Ponnambalamedu. It is believed that the Lord himself appears in the form of that Divya Jyoti. It is firmly believed that Lord Indra himself lights the divine efflugence. The entire hillside reverberates with the chant "Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa" as the devotees witness this auspicious Darshan, as the Devas and celestial Rishis arrive at Sabarimala to participate in birthday celebrations of Ayyappan effulgence. These auspicious sights are different forms of the Lord Himself appearing. The devotees then climb the 18 holy gold steps to arrive at the sanidhanam where they finally get a glimpse of the Lord as Himself, in all beauty, Manikanta Shri Dharmasastha, adorned with jewels. It is believed that if one witnesses these events after having undertaken 41 days of severe austerities (Vratham), one can attain Moksha.[citation needed]

This is why Ayyappan is also known as "Kaliyugavaradhan", since He can help us attain Moksha in this difficult age of Kaliyuga, the age of hypocrisy and violence.

Vazhi Nada (or Vazhinadai)

Vazhinadai is the set of verses sung by devotees while trekking to Sabari Mala. The first Ayyappa says the first verse (example: Devan Saranam). All the other Ayyappas respond with (Devi Saranam).
Swamiye……………………………Ayyappo
Ayyappo …………………………Swamiye

Swami Saranam …………………..Ayyappaa Saranam
Ayyappaa Saranam ……………...Swami Saranam

Devane .........................................Deviye
Deviye ..........................................Devane

Bagavaane ...................................Bagavathiye
Bagavathiye .................................Bagavaane

Easwarane ...................................Easwariye
Easwariye ....................................Easwarane

Sankarane....................................Sankariye
Sankariye ................................... Sankarane

swami saranam.....................ayappan saranam
ayappan saranam...................swami saranam


Devan Saranam …………………...Devi Saranam
Devi Saranam ……………………...Devan Saranam

Eswaran Saranam ………………..Eswari Saranam
Eswari Saranam …………………..Eswaran Saranam

Bagawan Saranam …………….....Bagawati Saranam
Bagawati Saranam …………….....Bagawan Saranam

Sankaran Saranam ……………....Sankari Saranam
Sankari Saraman ………………....Sankaran Saranam

Pallikattu ………………………….....Sabarimalaikku
Sabarimalaikku …………………....Pallikattu

Kallum Mullum …………………....Kaalukku Methai
Kaalukku Methai ………………....Kallum Mullum

Kundum Kuzhiyum ……………...Kannukku Velicham
Kannukku Velicham ………….....Kundum Kuzhiyum

Irumudikattu ……………………....Sabarimalaikku
Sabarimalaikku …………………....Irumudikattu

Kattum Kattu ……………………....Sabarimalaikku
Sabarimalaikku …………………....Kattum Kattu

Yaarai Kaana …………………….....Swamiyai Kaana
Swamiyai Kandaal ……………......Moksham Kittum
Eppo Kittum ……………………......Ippo Kittum

Dega Balam Thaa …………….......Pada Balam Thaa
Pada Balam Thaa …………….......Dega Balam Thaa

Aatma Balam Thaa ………….......Mano Balam Thaa

Aethi Vidappa .............................Thooki Vidappa
Thooki Vidappa .......................... Aethi Vidappa
Mano Balam Thaa …………….....Aatma Balam Thaa

Ney Abhisekham …………….......Swamikke
Swamikke ………………………......Ney Abhisekham

Karpoora Deepam .....................Swamikke
Swamikke ...................................Karpoora Deepam

Paneer Abhisekham ………….....Swamikke
Swamikke ………………………......Paneer Abhisekham

Avalam Malarum …………….......Swamikke
Swamikke ……………………….......Avalum Malarum

Swami Paadham …………….. ......Ayyappan Paadham
Ayyappan Paadham ……….........Swami Paadham

Devan Paadham …………….........Devi Paadham
Devi Paadham ……………….........Devan Padham

Easwaran Paadham ………..........Easwari Paadham
Easwari Padham …………….........Easwaran Paadham

Villali Veerane .............................Veera Manikandane
Veera Manikandane ...................Villali Veerane

Bhooloka Naathane .....................Bhoomi Prabhanjane
Bhoomi Prabhanjane .................. Bhooloka Naathane

Sadguru Naatha ...........................Ayyappa
Guruvin Guruva ......................... Ayyappa
Kaliyuga Varada .......................... Ayyappa
Kaanana Vaasa .............................Ayyappa
Kann Kanda Deivame ..................Ayyappa

Swami Thintakka Thom Thom …………………..Ayyappa Thintakka Thom Thom
Ayyappa Thintakka Thom Thom ………………..Swami Thintakka Thom Thom

The Austerities

Devotees observe traditional austerities (vruthams) before their pilgrimage to sabarimala. Austerities normally start from the first day of the Malayalam month Vrishchikam . Devotees initiate the vrutham by wearing a Thulasi or a Rudraksha mala. After this ceremony, the male pilgrim and the female pilgrim are addressed as ayyapan and Maalikapuram respectively, until their completion of the pilgrimage.


During the period of vrutham, Devotees are expected to undergo practices of simple living, and absolute cleanliness. The mind and body are to be kept impeccably pure and absolute celibacy is practiced. The devotee is expected to behave in an austere and sober fashion during his vrutham. Total abstinence from all vices like alcohol, tobacco and non-vegetarian food is stipulated. Personal adornments, hair cutting, shaving, etc. are also taboo. The devotee is expected wear black/blue/saffron clothes. The devotee is expected to pray daily in the mornings and evenings after bathing. The prayer ritual may be performed by going to any temple or in one's own pooja room. Those devotees who are desirous of worshipping Lord Ayyappa on 'Makara Vilakku' day, January 14th,(this year, 2008, it is on January 15th), may continue their vrutham till that day. The vrutham continues till the pilgrim returns from his pilgrimage to Sabarimala and removes his `mala' after breaking a coconut and offering prayers.


The life of the man can be improved and re-energized by performing Tapas or austerity. Tapas may be performed in body, speech and mind as per 'Gita'. When man applies himself to these three components, he changes for the better.

Given below are the austerities and regulations that has to be strictly followed for taking pilgrimage to Shri Sabarimala:

The vritham has to be undertaken after getting permission from parents. Then one has to get the permission of the Guru. After this the date is fixed to commence the vritham. The previous day before the said date one has to offer prayers to ones family deity and make a holy knot with yellow cloth with 1.25 currency units within and present it to the family deity, thereby taking Her/His permission to commence the vritham.

Previous day before starting the vritham, the devotee willcleanly shave, clip his nails, trim his hair and make himself physically clean. The holy mala / garland (tulsi / uthradsham) should be cleaned and smeared with sandal paste and placed before the portrait of Lord Ayyappa. The devotee should also buy a new pair of coloured (black, blue, saffron) dhoti and towel/shawl.

On the day of starting the vritham the devotee shall raise early, bath and offer prayers to family deity, Navagrahas and perform pooja to the holy mala. Then he shall go to temple with his Guru. The mala has to be received from the Guru in midst of chanting of Saranam. After wearing the mala the devotee becomes Lord Ayyappa himself and starts the demands of pious life.

The devotee shall withdraw from all social activities and spend his time by taking part in praying, poojas, bajans, visiting temples, cleaning temples, feeding the poor, helping the poor/sick and attending religious discourses.

He shall take only satvic foods and refrain 100% from taking meat, intoxicating drinks / drugs, chewing betel leaves and from smoking.

He shall bathe twice, if possible thrice, daily and perform pooja by at least chanting 108 Ayyappan Saranam. He shall continuously chant Saranam Ayyappa in mind, both at work and at home.

He shall not hurt anybody verbally or physically.

He shall treat all co-devotees as Lord Ayyappan himself and serve them in all the ways.

He shall not feel proud of the respect and privileges he gets when he is wearing the holy mala. When others prostrate themselves on his feet he shall not feel proud but dedicate the same to Lord Ayyappan and say aloud 'Lord Save everybody for their faith in you'.

He shall not cause inconvenience to his family members on account on observing the vritham.

As he starts his vritham every year, he shall think that he is doing the same for first time and follow all the rules of the vritham strictly.

He shall strictly follow brahmacharya (continence), refrain from sex, thinking of sex, develop passion against all women including his wife, and treat all women with motherly feeling.

He shall not apply oil to his hair and shall not take bath with oil smeared over his body.

He shall not attend any social function like birthdays, engagement, and wedding, etc. and shall not feast in anyone's home who have not undertaken the vritham.

He shall avoid being in the proximity of dead body and shall not eat anything till he bathes if he accidentally sees one.

He shall always carry a tulsi leaf with him to prevent him from evil feeling and from Thitu.

He shall not sleep on bed but on floor, he shall not use pillow but wooden block, he shall not use footwear but walk with bare feet.

He shall totally surrender himself to Lord Ayyappa.

One should remember that the grace and power of Sabarimala increases and reflects back by observing the above rules strictly


Daily Pooja

Media:English Transliteration of the Saranamhttp://ayyappan-ldc.com/Ayyappan.ram

Add the words 'Saranam Ayyappa' after each line:

1. Swamiye
2. Harihara Suthane
3. Kannimoola Mahaa Ganapathy Bhagavaane
4. Shakti Vadivelan Sodarane
5. Maalikaippurattu Manjamma Devi Lokamathave
6. Vaavar Swamiye
7. Karuppanna Swamiye
8. Periya Kadutta Swamiye
9. Cheriya Kadutta Swamiye
10. Vana devathamaare
11. Durga Bhagavathi maare
12. Achchan Kovil Arase /Achchan Kovil Rajave
13. Anaadha Rakshagane
14. Annadhaana Prabhuve
15. Achcham Thavirpavane
16. Ambalathu Aasane
17. Abhaya Dayakane
18. Ahandai Azhippavane
19. AshtaSiddhi Dayagane
20. Andmorai Aadarikkum Deivame
21. Azhuthayil Vaasane
22. Aaryankaavu Ayyaave
23. Aapath Baandhavane
24. Ananda Jyotiye
25. Aatma Swaroopiye
26. Aanaimukhan Thambiye
27. lrumudi Priyane
28. lnalai Therppavane
29. Heha para suka daayakane
30. Irudaya kamala vaasane
31. Eedillaa inbam alippavane
32. Umaiyaval baalakane
33. Umaikku arul purindavane
34. Uzhvinai akatruvone
35. Ukkam alippavane
36. Engum niraindhone
37. Enillaa roopane
38. En kula deivame
39. En guru naathane
40. Erumeli vaazhum kiraata -Shasthave
41. Engum nirainda naada brahmame
42. Ellorkkum arul puribavane
43. Aetrumaanoorappan magane
44. Aekaanta vaasiye
45. Aezhaikkarul puriyum eesane
46. Aindumalai vaasane
47. Aiyyangal teerppavane
48. Opillaa maanikkame
49. Omkaara parabrahmame
50. Kaliyuga varadane
51. Kan.kanda deivame
52. Kambankudiku udaiya naathane
53. Karunaa samudrame
54. Karpoora jyotiye
55. Sabari giri vaasane
56. Shathru samhaara moortiye
57. Sharanaagadha rakshakane
58. Sharana ghosha priyane
59. Shabarikku arul purindavane
60. Shambhukumaarane
61. Satya swaroopane
62. Sankatam therppavane
63. Sanchalam azhippavane
64. Shanmukha sodarane
65. Dhanvantari moortiye
66. Nambmorai kaakkum deivame
67. Narttana priyane
68. Pantala raajakumaarane
69. Pambai baalakane
70. Parasuraama poojithane
71. Bhakta jana rakshakane
72. Bhakta vatsalane
73. Paramashivan puthirane
74. Pambaa vaasane
75. Parama dhayaalane
76. Manikanda porule
77. Makara jyotiye
78. Vaikkathu appan makane
79. Kaanaka vaasane
80. Kulattu puzhai baalakane
81. Guruvaayoorappan makane
82. Kaivalya padha daayakane
83. Jaati mata bhedam illathavane
84. Shivashakti Aikya svaroopane
85. Sevipparku aananda moorthiye
86. Dushtar bhayam neekkuvone
87. Devaadi devane
88. Devarkal thuyaram therthavane
89. Devendra poojitane
90. Narayanan mynthane
91. Neiabhisheka priyane
92. Pranava swaroopane
93. Paapa samhaara moorthiye
94. Paayasanna priyane
95. Vanpuli vaakanane
96. Varapradaayakane
97. Bhaagavatottamane
98. Ponambala vaasane
99. Mohini sudhane
100. Mohana roopane
101. Villan vilaali veerane
102. Veeramani kantane
103. Sadguru nathane
104. Sarva rokanivarakane
105. Sachi ananda sorupiye
106. Sarvaabheestha thayakane
107. Saasvatapadam alippavane
108. Patinettaam padikkutaiyanaadhane


Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa

(tamil) Adiyen therindum theriyaamalum seidha sakala Kutrangalaiyum poruttu kaattu rakshittu arula vendum, Shree satyamaana ponnu patinettaam padimel vaazhum en om Shree Harihara sutan kaliyugavaradan aananda chittan ayyan Ayyappa Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.

(malayalam) Adiyon arinjum ariyatheyum cheythupoya sakala kuttangaleyum kshemichu kathu rakshichu mappu nalkunna, Shree sathyamaya ponnu pathinettam padimel vaazhum en Om Shree Harihara Sudhan kaliyugavaradan Aananda chittan Ayyan ayyappa Swaamiye Saranam Ayyappa.

The Guru (Called as Guruswamy or Periyaswamy)

It is said that chanting the name of the Guru is equivalent to chanting the name of Lord Shiva, Guru's abode is Kashi Kshetram and water used to wash Guru's feet is Ganga.

The role of the Guru is significant in the Ayyappa cult. The Guruswamy is usually an elderly person who has undertaken pilgrimage to Sabarimala not less than eighteen times and has travelled by the traditional long route and had darshan of Makara Jothi. The devotees treat the Guruswamy as Ayyappan himself. It is important that pilgrims gain knowledge from the Guru on all the aspect of the Pilgrimage. One should serve the Guru physically, mentally and verbally.

The pilgrims should give the due respect and reverence which the Guru deserves. All instructions of the Guru should be carried out without fail. The Guru will enlighten the Shishyas about the austerities to be followed. He will teach them the slokas, and ways to perform pooja and bhajans. He shall prepare them for the pilgrimage mentally and physically. He will lead the pilgrims safely and comfortably to Sabarimala " Swamiye Sharanam Aiyappa..."

Lord Agni

Posted by bhavi



Lord Agni

Lord Agni


Hindu God Agni, the fire-God, single to Indra in the Vedic legends of Ancient India. He is regularly the fire of the sun, of lightening, and of the hearth that men glow for purpose of worship.

While the great personification of the fire of sacrifice, Agni is the mouth of the gods, the shipper of the oblation and the messenger between the individual and the great orders.

Hindu God Agni is one of the three highest deities of the Rig Veda, e.g Lord Agni, Vayu and Surya. These three gods lead over the earth, atmosphere and sky respectively.

In Rig Veda, biggest number of hymns is address to God Agni. Hindu God Agni is the child of Angiras and the grandson of Sandila, one of the seven large sages. Vishnu Puran, still, claims that Agni is the eldest son of Brahma. His wife name was Swaha and through his wedding he has three sons, Pavak, Pavman and Suchi.

Bhagwan Agni is describe in the scriptures as ruddy-hued and having two faces-one emperor and the other severe. In Hari Vans, Bhagvan Agnidev is dressed in black and has burn as his typical and carries a glowing javelin. He has four hands and rides in a chariot tired by red horses.

Bhagwan Agni Dev Ji Purana is said been perform by Agni himself to wise Vashist. It has piece on ritualizes and religious methods of devotion, the talent of wars the laws of Hindu and glorification of Shiva.

Mira Bai

Posted by bhavi


Mira Bai


Mirabai

Mira is regarded as an incarnation of Radha. She was born in Samvat 1557 or 1499 A.D. in the village Kurkhi, near Merta, a small state in Marwar, Rajasthan. Mira was the daughter of Ratan Singh Ranthor and the grand-daughter of Dudaji of Merta. The Ranthors of Merta were great devotees of Vishnu. Mira Bai was brought up amidst Vaishnava influence, which moulded her life in the path of devotion towards Lord Krishna. She learnt to worship Sri Krishna from her childhood. When she was four years of age, she manifested religious tendencies. Once there was a marriage procession in front of her residence. The bridegroom was nicely dressed. Mira, who was only a child, saw the bridegroom and said to her mother innocently, "Dear mother, who is my bridegroom?". Mira’s mother smiled, and half in jest and half in earnest, pointed towards the image of Sri Krishna and said, "My dear Mira, Lord Krishna—this beautiful image—is your bridegroom".


Mirabai, or Mira Bai or Meerabai, was a 16th century princess whose life is known more through legend than verifiable historic fact. The following biography is an attempt to report those facts of Mirabai's life which are commonly accepted.

Mirabai's Rajputi grandfather, Rao Dudaj, created the fortress city of Merta, where Mirabai's father, Ratan Singh, ruled. Mirabai was born in Merta about 1498. The family worshipped Vishnu as their primary deity.

Her mother died when Mirabai was about four, and Mirabai was raised and educated by her grandparents. Music was stressed in her education.

At an early age, Mirabai became attached to an idol of Krishna, given to her (legend says) by a traveling beggar.

At age 13 or 18 (sources vary), Mirabai was married to a Ranjputi prince of Mewar. Her husband died only a few years later.

His family was shocked that, first, she did not commit sati, burning herself alive on her husband's funeral pyre, as was considered proper for a Rajputi princess (rani). Then they expected her to remain secluded as a widow, and to worship his family's deity, the goddess Durga or Kali.

Instead of following these traditional norms for a widowed Rajputi princess, Mirabai took up enthusiastic worship of Krishna as part of the Bhakti movement. She identified herself as the spouse of Krishna. Like many in the Bhakti movement, she ignored gender, class, caste, and religious boundaries, and spent time caring for the poor.

Mirabai's father and father-in-law were both killed as a result of a battle to turn away invading Muslims. Her practice of Bhakti worship horrified her in-laws and the new ruler of Mewar. The legends tell of multiple attempts on her life by Mirabai's late husband's family. In all of these attempts, she miraculously survived: a poisonous snake, a poisoned drink, and drowning.

Mirabai returned to her home city of Merta, but her family also opposed her turning from traditional religious practices to the new Bhaki worship of Krishna. She later joined a religious community in Vrindaban, a place holy to Krishna.

Mirabai's contribution to the Bhakti movement was primarily in her music: she wrote hundreds of songs and initiated a mode of singing the songs, a raga. About 200-400 songs are accepted by scholars as being written by Mirabai; another 800-1000 have been attributed to her. Mirabai did not credit herself as the author of the songs -- as an expression of selflessness -- so her authorship is uncertain. The songs were preserve orally, and were not written down for a long time, which complicates the task of assigning authorship.

Mirabai's songs express her love and devotion to Krishna, almost always as Krishna's wife. The songs speak of both the joy and the pain of love. Metaphorically, Mirabai points to the longing of the personal self, atman, to be one with the universal self, or paramatma, which is a poet's representation of Krishna.

Mirabai was a "loyal wife" according to her people's tradition only in the sense that she devoted herself to her chosen spouse, Krishna, giving to him the loyalty she would not give to her earthly spouse, the Rajput prince.

Mirabai wrote her songs in Rajasthani and Braj Bhasa languages, and they were translated into Hindi and Gujarati.

After some years of wandering, Mirabai died at Dwarka, another place sacred to Krishna.

Mirabai's willingness to sacrifice family respect and traditional gender, family, and caste restrictions, and to devote herself completely and enthusiastically to Krishna, made her an important role model in a religious movement that stressed ecstatic devotion and that rejected traditional divisions based on sex, class, caste, and creed.


Selected Video

Payoji Maine

Climax from "Meera Shyam" (1976)

Kinu Sang khelu holi



Tuesday

SatyaNaryan

Posted by bhavi

SatyaNaryan


The Satyanarayan Puja is a Hindu (Devanāgarī: हिन्दु) religious observance. It is a ritual performed by Hindus before/on any major occasion like marriage, house warming ceremony etc. It can also be performed on any day for any reason. The Satyanarayana Puja is unique in that it does not require a Brahmin to perform.It is believed the ceremony originated in Bengal as Satya Pir ritual performed by all communities (Hindu, Muslim and buddhists) and later in 1800s morphed into Satyanarayan puja.[1],[2],[3]

The Satyanarayana Puja is usually done on the Purnima day of every month (the day of the full moon) or a Sankranti. It is also done on special occasions and during times of achievements as an offering of gratitude to the Lord. These occasions include marriage, graduation, new job, and the purchase of a new home to name a few. In addition, it is said that a devotional performance of this puja will bear children to couples trying to start a family.

The puja starts by a prayer to Lord Ganesha, to remove all obstacles that may occur as a result of incorrectly performing the puja. This is done by chanting all the names of Lord Ganesha and offering prasad (a food offering, usually consisting of one of Lord Ganesha's favorite foods - modak, a sugar and coconut mixture, or lhadu) and the showering of flower petals.

Another part of the prayer involves a prayer to the Navagraha's - the nine important celestial beings in the universe. They consist of Surya (the Sun), Chandra (the moon), Angaaraka/Chevaai (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru aka Bruhaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Sani (Saturn), Rahu (the head of the Demon snake), and Ketu (the tail of the Demon snake).

The rest of the puja consists of worship to Satyanarayana, an extremely benevolent form of Lord Vishnu. First "panchamritam" is used to clean the place where the deity is placed. After placing the deity in the correct position, Satyanaraya swami is worshipped. Names of Satyanarayana are chanted along with offering of a variety of prasad (including a mixture of milk, honey, ghee/butter, yogurt, sugar) and flower petals.

Another requirement of the puja is that the story of the puja be heard among all those observing and partaking in the pooja. The story involves the origin of the puja, the benefits of it, and the potential mishaps that may occur with the careless performance of the puja.

The prayer concludes with an Aarti, which consists of revolving a small fire-lit-lamp in the vicinity of an image of the Lord. After the puja is over, participants and observers of the pooja are required to ingest in the prasad that was offered and blessed by the Lord.

It is told that Satyanarayan Katha is in REVA volume of Skanda Purana. But this volume is devoted to pilgrimages on the valley of river REVA. In Satyanarayana there is no Reva river. In original Skanda Purana there is nothing like Satyanarayana. Recent Skanda Puranas added it with clear note of its new addition in Skanda.

The Satyanarayan Puja is performed in reverence to the Narayan form of Lord Vishnu. The Lord in this form is considered an embodiment of truth. This puja is conducted to ensure abundance in ones life. Many people carry out this puja immediately after or along with an auspicious occasion like a marriage or moving into a new house or any other success in life. It is believed the ceremony originated in Bengal as Satya Pir and was later adapted into Satyanarayan puja.

The Satyanarayan puja can be performed on any day. It is not a puja confined to any festivities. But Poornima (full moon day) or Sankranti are considered to be most auspicious day for this puja.

Performing this puja in the evening is considered more appropriate. However one can do it in the morning as well. On the day of the puja, the devotee has to fast. After bathing the person can begin the puja.

Materials needed for the puja
Satyanarayana Pooja Preparation

* 'Sinni': A special type of food offering, which is prepared by mixing unboiled milk, flour, sugar, smashed bananas, and other flavours like cinnamon etc., or optional garnishing like groundnuts, cashews, cherries, crushed coconuts/fruits etc.
* Kumkum powder, turmeric powder, rangoli
* Incense sticks, camphor.
* Thirty betel leaves, thirty betel nuts, two coconuts.
* Five almonds,
* Flowers to offer
* One thousand tulsi leaves; banana tree as a canopy[2]
* One square shaped wooden platform
* Two copper jars, two plates.
* One shawl
* A mixture of milk, curd, honey, sugar, ghee to make the panchamrita, Sandal paste.
* Akshat (rice grains) with kumkum powder.
* Attar, Indian perfume.
* Two flower garlands, conch shell, bell, a cloth, a ghee lamp and an oil lamp.

Shri Satyanarayan Katha

Shri Satyanarayan katha (narrative) comes from the Skandha purana, Reva kaanda. Suta Puraanikji narrated these stories, in Neimishaaranya to the Rishis who were performing a 1 ,000 year yajna for the benefit of mankind lead by Shounakji .

For those who observe the fast religiously and regularly, there are some great lessons to be learned from the 'katha' (narration)

This is shown by characters who ignored their promise to perform the puja after their wish had been fulfilled. They suffered as a result. Therefore one is to deduce that one must stick to the promise given to the Lord in exchange of the desire fulfilled by His Grace. One is not to ignore or/and forget the Lord's Grace. Prasad is symbolic of God's Grace which Kalavati ignored as she learned of her husband's safe return.

One can understand her eagerness in wanting to be re-united with her beloved, but one must understand that if one forgets to be thankful for gifts received from the Lord, one would have to go through another test until one remembers to remember.

When the rich merchant is asked what the boat contains, he untruthfully replies 'Only dry leaves' and the Mendicant says 'So be it' The above incident tells us that the spoken word has power. What you speak, manifests. Hence one must not speak an untruth. Especially an inauspicious untruth.

In the last story one learns that no one is higher or lower in status in the eyes of the Lord. Hence one must accord respect to whoever it may be, who is taking the name of God.

Satyanarayana Katha (story)

Satyanarayana Katha

CHAPTER 1

Shri Sathyanaranayana katha is from Skandha purana, Reva kaanda. Sutha Puraanikji was the narrator of these stories, in Neimishaaranya to the rishis lead by Shounakji who were performing a 1000 year yajna for the benefit of mankind.

Shounakaji and others now ask Suta Puranikji an important question. "When a man has a desire, how can he fulfill that ethically sound desire? By worshipping whom, by what vrita, or tapas? Please let us know.

Sutaji was pleased to know that this question they asked, was for the benefit of the mankind and not for their personal benefit, for, they had abandoned their homes and all desires. Sutaji said " this question was also asked by Devarshi Naradaji once to Lord Narayana Himself; Let me tell you that story.

Once Naradaji was traveling all over the worlds and finally came to Bhuloka, where he found almost everyone was suffering one or the other misery on account of their past Karmas and were not knowing how to extricate themselves from their untold miseries which were multiplying everyday on account of their ignorance. Being a Satjana his heart felt their agonies and immediately he reached Vaikunta, to Lord Narayana to find the right answer for getting the people out of their miseries. But when he sees the Lord, being a great devotee of the Lord, he forgets his purpose and starts praising the Lord. The Lord Narayana smiles at him and asks the purpose of his visit, knowing that normally Naradaji does not visit Him without a purpose. Naradaji tells Him what he saw and requests Him a panacea for all such miseries. The Lord is now happy at this question of Naradaji because of Naradaji’s intention of benefiting the world by seeking the right answer. The Lord said:

Yes, there is a vrita called Sri Satyanarayana vrita which is not known to the inhabitants of the Bhuloka. This is a secret and yet since your interest is the benefit of the mankind, I shall narrate to you this vrita. This can be performed by anyone (anyone means it does not need an expert or a priest to worship the Lord - ANYONE of any caste, community, creed can worship the Lord directly) and very easily. One who does this, will get all the benefits and the pleasures of this world and will eventually get Moksha too. Now Narada wants to know more details of this vrita. The Lord says, this can be done any day, in the evening. Gather friends and relatives and perform this vrita with faith and devotion. The night should be spent in Bhajans and praise of the Lord. All those attending Pooja should be given food and respect. Thus the performer will get all his wishes fulfilled.

CHAPTER 2

Sri Lord Narayana tells Narada the further story:

There was an old and poor Brahmin in the city of Kashi. He was a man of virtue and yet extremely poor and was always begging for the next meal. Since the Lord is Viprapriya- (Brahmana priya means Lover of Brahmana- Brahmana means anyone on the devotional path ) - He came in the guise of an old Brahmin and accosted him " Tell me my friend, what ails you?". The brahmin replied "I am an old and very poor man and I shall be grateful if you can tell me how to get rid of this poverty of mine which does not seem to leave me". The Lord replied "Why don’t you perform Sri Satyanarayana Vrita", and He told him how to perform the Vrita.

The poor man now desires to do this vrita and thinking over these thoughts of the Lord he goes to bed. He could not sleep on account of these thoughts. Again in the morning he had same thoughts and he says to himself, "whatever I earn today by begging I shall use it to perform the vrita". Since the Lord likes such feelings, (Bhavena Devam - Lord does not want our material possessions, he is won by the genuineness of our feelings) that day, he got plenty of money while begging and thus pleased, he took the necessary articles and performed the vrita.

Very soon he became rich and had all the things of the world and thereafter he started performing the vrita every month and thus he enjoyed all the pleasures of the world and finally reached the Moksha too.

Now Shaunakji and other rishis want to know how this vrita spread in the world. Also those who have heard the story, what benefits they got.

Sutaji replies:

Once when this brahmin was performing the Sri Satyanarayana Pooja there came to his house a woodcutter. He saw the pooja and wanted to know what it is and what are its fruits. The brahmin said, "This is Sri Satyanarayana Pooja. Whatever desires you have in your mind will be fulfilled by performing this vrita. My own poverty and troubles all ended by my very decision to perform this vrita". On hearing this, the woodcutter prostrates to the Lord, takes prasad, and decides to perform this pooja next day. He thought in his mind, "Whatever amount I get from the sale of the wood tomorrow, I will use it for the performance of the vrita." That day he sold the wood for twice the price. Happily thinking of the Lord Satyanarayana he proceeds to do this pooja, inviting his friends and relatives. Thus performing regularly he became rich and happy and finally reached Satyaloka.

CHAPTER III

Suta Puranikji continues the story:

Once there was a good king called Ulkamukha. He was wedded to truth and sense- control. Everyday he used to go to the temple, worship the Lord, distribute alms to the needy. Once he was performing Sri Satyanarayana Vrita on the banks of a river. At that time there came a merchant in a ship loaded with precious goods. He approached the king and wanted to know the details of the pooja and also its fruits. The king said, "My friend, what we are doing is a vrita called Sri Satyanarayana Pooja. This is done with a desire to have progeny, wealth, property, etc. By this, we are worshipping Lord Narayana or Mahavishnu".

The merchant said, "Please tell me the details as to how to perform this vrita, because I would like to have children whom I have not been fortunate to have till now." The king tells him the details of the vrita and the merchant returns home. He tells the details to his wife and they decide to perform this vrita if they get a child. Sometime later his wife Lilavathi became pregnant and delivered a girl who was named Kalavathi. Lilavathi reminded her husband about the vrita and he kept postponing it, till his daughter grew of age and was ready to be married. The father finds a suitable groom and marries her off and again forgot to perform the vrita although he had decided to do so at the time of marriage of his daughtier. The Lord now wanted to remind him.

The merchant and his son-in-law were in a city called Ratnasara where king Chandrakethu was ruling. There was a theft at the palace and the burglars were chased by the police. The running burglar saw these two merchants resting near a tree and they left the booty with them and ran off. The police caught the two merchants with the stolen goods and they were straight away sent to the prison. The king himself overlooked to investigate. It is this time the merchant suddenly realized that this was all on account of his forgetting the promise to the Lord. At about this time, back home both Lilavathi and her daughter Kalavathi lost all their belongings due to thefts at home and were rendered beggars. During one such wandering trying to find some food Kalavathi sees Sri Satyanarayana Pooja being performed at one house. She goes in, hears the story and details and returns to tell her mother what had taken place. Lilavathi now knows that it is their forgetting to do the Pooja that had created all these problems. Next day she calls her relatives and friends and performs the Pooja, begs for forgiveness. Accordingly, the king had a dream that the merchants were innocent and he releases them on inquiry and gives them lot of wealth.

CHAPTER IV

Suta Puranik continues the story:

Thus released from the custody the merchants were returning home. They reached the outskirts of their town in their ship. The Lord in order to test them again comes in the form of an old Sanyasi and inquires as to what the load in the ship is. The merchant bluffs and says that it contains dried leaves. The sanyasi says "Tathasthu". When the merchant returns to the ship he finds that it does contain now dried leaves only. He swoons and when he regains his consciousness he realizes that these are doings of the Sanyasi whom he had cursorily dismissed earlier. He seeks him out and begs for forgiveness. The ever-merciful Lord again forgives him. Now that the merchant was near the town, he sends a messenger in advance to Lilavathi to let her know that they are on their way home. Lilavathi. tells her daughter to complete the Satyanarayana poola they were performing and goes ahead to meet her husband. Kalavathi does the pooja, but in a hurry to meet her husband, she neglects to take the prasad; and when she nears the anchorage, she does not find the ship nor her husband! It looked to her that they both sank/drowned. She swoons and now she decides to die.

The merchant thinks that this must be on account of some fault on their part in ignoring the Lord and then and there he decides to do the pooja as a part of expiation from his side for mistakes of omission or commission. The Lord now pleased makes him realize that it is the daughter’s oversight in not accepting the prasad that has created this problem and now if she goes and takes the prasad, everything would be all right.

Kalavathi returned to the altar and took prasad with all faith and reverence. And her husband returned and from then onwards, they all performed Sri Sathyanarayana Pooja regularly till the end of their life and finally after death, they reached Satyaloka.

CHAPTER V

This chapter is important to us as we too tend to behave like the King in this story, in respect of pooja/worship/religion of other people.

In the woods of Nemisharanya, Suta Puranikji continued the story narrating the greatness of this Vrita to Shounaka and other Rishies:

In ancient times, there was a King called Angadwaja. He was good and righteous king {like all of us, good and righteous}; and yet once he ignored the prasad of Sri Satyanarayana Pooja and had to suffer very dearly to that.

Once this king was returning from hunting the wild animals in the forests. He rested under a tree for a while. A few yards away a small group of cowherd boys had gathered to perform Sri Satyanarayana Pooja. They did not have anything except their daily bread they were carrying and a talkative among them became their priest and they played the game of doing a pooja. At the end of the pooja, they offered the prasad to the king who, out of contempt and pride, left it untouched.

Pretty soon all his wealth was lost; his hundred children died and he now knew, being a good king that this was all on account of his contempt for those children’s pooja. Without any delay the king goes to that very spot where the cowherd boys had done the pooja earlier, gathers them all around him performs the Satyanarayana Pooja with all shraddha and bhakthi.

Thus the king again got all his wealth and kingdom and kins.

Suta now tells the Rishis that this Vrita is specially effective in Kaliyuga. This Lord of Lord is called Ishwara, Satyadeva, Sri Satyanarayana and by many other names. He alone has taken names and forms.

One who reads this story and one who hears it will be rid of all woes and difficulties.


Types of Vishnu

Pauranikas consider Narayana or Vishnu as of four types based on the celestial world — 1. The Lord of Paradise (Vaikunta Nadha) 2. The Lord-lying on the ocean of celestial waters (Anantha sayana) 3. The inhabitant of the white Island (Sweta Dvipa), and 4. The Lord of Goloka (Golokanadha).

1. Jyotistoma is the region of light from the earth to 21st plane. It is full of fire. It is Vaikuntanatha–the first sacrifice. "This fiery and divine sacrifice (Swaha yajna) consists of 34 utterances and the 21st plane is its establishment (Pratista). Thirty three fire-deities related to Vishnu are its limbs. The whole of these deities is Vaikuntanadha Vishnu". He will be awake for eight months and sleeps for four months. During these four months, there will be dominating influence of water and the fire becomes recessive. So the sacrifices will be destroyed. This is what we call ‘sleep of Vishnu’.

2. Dwadasa yajna extends from 22nd plane to 33rd plane which is full of spiritual water (Apa) and essence (Soma). This is the Lord Vishnu lying on the Ocean. He is said to be having 34 utterances including Prajapati (Pridvi). He is the second Vishnu. Vishnu of the celestial ocean, always sleeps and often awakes. The Splendour of ignition (Agni) is the waking state. The ignition will be weak in the sea and hence the sacrifice will be slackened. The word ‘sleep’ denotes this condition.

3. Navaha yajna starts from 17th plane to 25th plane. The sacrificial Vishnu of this region will have white island as His habitation but is established at 21st level. He is the third Vishnu called Lord Satyanarayana. As Satyanarayana will always be in self-mortification, He is always awake. He never sleeps since Navaha yajna at 21st plane uniformly continues throughout the year.

4. Pancha Dasaha yajna extends from 22nd plane to 36th plane. It is uttered by Sama Veda. Here Gau spirits are born and hence is called Gosava or Goloka. It is established at 29th plane. This region is pervaded by the ocean, a form of spiritual water, air and essence. The spiritual waters are the form of cows (Gua Spirits). They are of spreading nature. This is the supreme world (Paramesti). Lord Vishnu of this world is called Govinda.

These four divisions belong to Pridvi that extends up to 33rd level. Thus they are the four dwellings places of the four types of Vishnu. The Lord of Goloka has two arms but the others are four-armed.

Lord Satyanarayana owing to utter blackness is white in complexion. The other three are blue in color. As Satyanarayana is an embodiment of Tapas, (self- mortification). He has no wife.

The others forms have wives. Govinda Vishnu’s wife is Radha. She is the splendour of Vak (Vagjyoti) and carrier of wisdom (Janana Vahini). Lakshmi is the consort of Samudra Seyana Vishnu. She should be considered as Padma (Pridvi) born of the sea having the quality of terrestrial atoms (mrit paramanu lakshana). Vaikuntanatha has five wives – Pridvi, Tulasi, Ganga, Saraswati and Lakshmi. .

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