Category Archives: Hindu Significance and Symbolism

Hindu Calendar: Chaitra to Phalguna: A Spiritual Yatra!

Lord Surya

Life is a series of experiences – an eternal journey from birth to death riddled with ups and downs: pain and pleasure, profit and loss, success and failure. Man is so preoccupied with his outer journey that he completely misses out the inner journey. In fact, every step taken outside should carry the stamp of a beautiful step taken within. Each one of our life’s journey – YAANA, must become a YATRA: a movement which helps one to cross the ocean of samsara. If the inner life is taken care of, the outer journey is automatically taken care of. This inner reorientation and transformation is the content of the Scriptures and the theme of the Puranas. Fulfillment is in “living” the words of the Scriptures and Realized Masters.

However, in and through life’s journey, constant reminders and guides are essential to keep us on the right path. The whole WORLD as an open UNIVERSITY provides us with these reminders. The entire VISHWA is a VIDYALAYA!! Everything around and about us are silent reminders of the great grand spiritual pilgrimage to be accomplished within each one of us – a rich culture and glorious tradition indeed!

The Hindu Calendar Year, known as SAMVATSARA has twelve months: CHAITRA to PHALGUNA. And throughout the year there are numerous festivals celebrated: UGADI to SHIVARATRI. Every month or rather the NAME of the month indicates where we are and what we should do on the path of self-improvement. It is equivalent to twelve graded exercises or steps in the scheme of spiritual evolution: from MANAVA to becoming MADHAVA – from the state of NARA to the State of NARAYANA: from BONDAGE to ABSOLUTE FREEDOM. Similarly with the FESTIVALS too!

The first month CHAITRA, indicates “many” or “variegated” (chitra – vichitra). It denotes our present individual state in the space-time world in a cause-effect relationship. VAISHAKA means more or excessive branching. It suggests our outer and inner world of multiplicity, diversity and plurality – the realm of change. Once identification and relationships become predominant, JYESHTA arrives! Jyeshtha means elder, big, or superior. Their opposites then automatically become evident. Comparison, contradiction and conflict starts! There is “I or ME” and the “OTHER”. The individual is then in a state of ASHADA! ‘Shad’ means ‘to sit’. ‘A-shad’ is its opposite, and hence ‘A-shad’ denotes an inner state of restlessness – a state which is not at all comfortable. An individual may have everything in life, but still can come to experience dissatisfaction, discontentment and unfulfillment. It is then that one starts enquiring into the ‘why’, ‘wherefore’, ‘how’, and ‘what’ of life. This is when Introspection starts. This month is also known as AA-SHADA, which means to “continuously sit” and introspect, take stock of one’s life and investigate into it. Guru Purnima comes in this month which signifies that one is ready for the Guru to enter into one’s life – a major turning point! When the Guru enters our life, SHRAVANA or ‘listening’ to the scriptures begins. Having heard the scriptural declarations, they have to be now reflected upon again and again, so that the knowledge gets well-rooted in the mind. This is BHADRAPADA: the state of ‘well-securing’ the knowledge within oneself. It denotes a sense of inner well-being (bhadratva). The next stage is Nidhidhyasana or Contemplation, represented by ASWAYUJA. ‘Yuj’ means to connect, unite or identify with. ‘Swa’ means tomorrow. ‘Aswa’ means ‘not-tomorrow’ and therefore signifies TODAY or the PRESENT. ASWAYUJA therefore represents contemplation. It also represents ‘pervasiveness’ or ‘expansion’, wherein the attempt is to include and accommodate everything and every being within oneself: to connect the micro with the macro; the individual with the Universal.

The next stage is KARTHIKA: invoking the Light of Knowledge, with the help of which the seeker can discriminate between the Real and unreal, the Permanent and impermanent. MARGASHIRSHA: ‘marga’ means path; ‘shira’ means ‘head’ or ‘higher’. Therefore, Margashirsha denotes ‘path leading to the Highest’ – negating and rejecting the lower and the false; and asserting and identifying with the Higher and the Real. PUSHYA means to nurture, nourish and maintain. When the seeker starts getting glimpses of the Higher within himself, he must consistently, constantly and totally identify and maintain that Higher State within himself. MAGHA means “don’t fall or don’t slip”. The seeker must not lose his hold of that Higher State. Inadvertedness can cause a spiritual fall which can be disastrous. The seeker should be alert and vigilant on the spiritual path. PHALGUNA denotes ‘not this….not this’. It denotes the Highest State of “That Am I” – the Absolute State of Realization.

The names of the twelve months of a Samvatsara through suggestion, significance and implication represent one’s Spiritual Evolution – the inner Spiritual Yatra leading the seeker from the realm of ignorance, change and mortality to the State of Absolute Knowledge, Changelessness and Immortality: the State of Jeevanmukti (Liberated-in-Life).

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Lord Venkateshwara and Karpura on His Chin!

Sri Ramanujacharya, the great exponent of Vishishtadvaita Philosophy entrusted Anantalwar, one of his disciples, with “pushpa kainkaryam” – offering of flowers as a seva daily to Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala. Anantalwar happily accepted and settled down in Tirumala along with his wife. Every day he would collect various types of flowers, make a beautiful garland and offer it to the Lord. Since it was not an easy task collecting the flowers in the hilly area, he decided to cultivate a flower garden. He first decided to dig a well as water-resource for the garden. Considering this as his seva to the Lord, Anantalwar took a vow that he and his wife alone would engage themselves in this task, and would not take the help of any other person. 
Anantalwar started digging the soil, loosening it and filling it into a basket. His wife carried the basket of soil a little distance downhill to empty it. She was pregnant and walking downhill and uphill was not easy for her. Nevertheless, she cheerfully participated in the seva. One day, as Anantalwar was digging the soil, a boy of about twelve years of age came along and offered his help. Alwar politely refused, but the boy insisted. Angrily, Anantalwar asked him to go away and not disturb him. 

The boy went away from there but approached Anantalwar’s wife. He offered his help to her. Not knowing her husband’s vow, she readily agreed. The boy made sure that Anantalwar did not see him helping the lady. After some time, strangely, Anantalwar noticed that his wife was coming back faster to collect the soil! Was she walking too fast? That was not possible. Was someone helping her? He decided to check. As she carried the basket of soil, Anantalwar followed her unnoticed. To his utter dismay, he saw the boy whom he had sent away helping his wife in carrying and disposing the soil.

Anantalwar was furious. This adamant boy had disrupted his tapas. Seeing the angry Anantalwar, the boy started running away. He kept turning back to see if Anantalwar was following him. Sure, Anantalwar ran behind him, but could not catch him. In a fit of rage, he hurled the crowbar which was in his hand at the boy. It struck the boy’s chin. Anantalwar tried to catch him, but he disappeared. 

Next day, when Anantalwar went to the temple, the priests pointed out the Lord’s idol to him. Anantalwar saw the chin of the Lord badly bruised and bleeding. He was shocked. He now realised that the boy who had come to help him and his wife was none other than the Lord himself. The bleeding had to be checked. He looked around and saw “pacha karpura” (edible camphor) in the sanctum. He took a handful of the karpura and applied it to the Lord’s chin. Miracle of miracles! The bleeding stopped. Anantalwar was overwhelmed at the Lord’s grace and compassion and prayed to Lord Venkateswara for forgiveness. The Lord appeared before him. Acknowledging the devotee’s love, the Lord declared that in future, every day, as a part of his alankara, His chin should be adorned with karpura and without it, His alankara would be incomplete!

Since then, Lord Venkateswara’s chin is daily adorned with karpura to remind everyone of His great devotee, Anantalwar. The karpura is later distributed as “prasad”. The crowbar which Anantalwar used can be seen displayed on the wall on the right side as one enters the main entrance of Lord Venkateswara’s temple at Tirumala.

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I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for
children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for
children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in
bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W
illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/store/children/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava-1-stories-for-children/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour
illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on
author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message
me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the
earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version
books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467.  Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Prakriti and Purusha (Annapoorna and Mrityunjaya)

The SUPREME REALITY, the Parabrahma is One-without-a-second: NAMELESS, FORMLESS, ATTRIBUTELESS. This Reality alone becomes Purusha (Spirit or Energy) and Prakriti (Matter). The play of these two factors is “Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution” – the space-time world in which the cause-effect relationship exists as the plurality and the multiplicity that we see within and without us. 

PURUSHA acknowledges PRAKRITI: Once in Kailasa, Lord Shiva who is ever rooted in his Absolute State of Perfection was playing a game of dice with Parvati who is His Sakti. As they were playing, Shiva mentioned that all creation was nothing but a whiff of imagination and from the absolute standpoint it really never exists – it is all an illusion! Parvati, who is none other than Prakriti, was not happy with the Lord’s statement. Maya is indeed a mighty power, and tangible too. Shiva did not agree with her. To prove to Sankara the importance of Maya-sakti, she withdrew her prakriti-aspect from ‘anna’ or food, and settled in Kashi in all Her glory as Mother Annapoorna – the Goddess of Food and Nourishment. Because of this, the entire food-system collapsed. Though Lord Shiva did not need food, all the living creatures including his attendants needed food. Deprived of food, everyone in all the three worlds lost their power and strength. Lord Shiva realized the power of His own Sakti, and came to Kashi. Food was available only in the kitchen of Sri Annapoorna in Kashi. Sankara came to her with a begging bowl seeking alms from her. Goddess Annapoorneswari served the Lord with payasam (sweet delicacy made of rice, milk and sugar) from a gem-studded golden vessel. Shiva, who represents Purusha, acknowledged the importance of Prakriti in the ‘creation-sustenance-dissolution’ of the all the worlds. By accepting alms from Devi, the Lord also points out the sanctity and importance of both, the food and the giver-of-food.

PRAKRITI acknowledges PURUSHA: Markandeya, the young son of Sage Mrikandu was destined to live only for sixteen years. When he was informed about this, he undertook intense tapas and invoked Lord Shiva. When death approached him in the form of Lord Yama, Markandeya did not in the least get frightened or disturbed, but held onto to the Shiva-linga in a tight embrace. In spite of repeated calls by Yama, he did not leave the Shiva-linga. Finally, Yama flung his deadly noose which not only went around Markandeya but it went around the Shiva-linga also. Yama had dared to put the noose around Shiva! Lord Shiva manifested Himself in the Linga and told Yama to go away because He had given His protection to the young boy. When Lord Death refused to go, Shiva got angry, lifted his left leg and flung Yama back to his Yama-loka. Markandeya was saved. Back at Kailasa, Sankara narrated the whole episode to Parvati and told her that he had flung Yama back to his abode just by the touch of his left leg. Parvati did not like Shiva’s self-glorification. She told Shiva that it is she who resides in the left portion of his body and therefore it was actually her shakti that taught Yama a lesson. Shiva smiled and told Parvati that the left leg cannot be lifted and used even a little, without the right foot firmly established on the ground. And it is He who resides in the right foot! Here Prakriti acknowledged the importance of Purusha!

Prakriti and Purusha are both equally important. Their characteristics and qualities are completely different and are in opposition with each other. Yet, they align and complement each other very beautifully. One cannot exist without the other. Both the aspects: PRAKRITI and PURUSHA together alone constitute ONE WHOLE. 

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I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for
children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for
children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in
bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W
illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/store/children/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava-1-stories-for-children/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour
illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on
author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message
me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the
earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version
books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467.  Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com

Devi Mookambike

The great Kola Maharshi performed intense tapas in the valley of the Kodachadri hills near Udupi in Karnataka. Pleased with his tapas, Lord Shiva appeared before him and granted him a boon. The Sage said that he wanted nothing for himself, but he wanted the Lord to reside in the sacred valley for the welfare of all the people. The Lord agreed and took the form of a Linga. However, the Sage wanted the presence of Devi Parvati also along with the Lord. In response to the rishi’s request, a golden line appeared on the Shiva linga to indicate the presence of Shakti along with Shiva. The place became known as Kollur.

Long after that, a rakshasa by name Kaumasura went about creating havoc amongst the pious and virtuous people. He undertook penance to propitiate Lord Brahma and ask for the boon of becoming invincible. His tapas was almost becoming fruitful and the Creator was about to bestow on him whatever boon he wanted. All the devatas were worried. If Brahma gave him the boon of becoming invincible, he would become a threat to all the three worlds. They all invoked Vagdevi – the Goddess of Speech and asked her to withdraw her grace from him. She agreed and withdrew the power of speech from the rakshasa, and as a result of that he became dumb. He could not ask the Lord for anything. From that day onwards, he came to be known as Mookasura. Mooka means ‘dumb’.

The angry Mookasura continued to trouble the devatas and sages. The devatas again prayed to Shakti. Devi appeared before them. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva along with their Sakti-s, Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvati, along with all the devatas transferred their powers to her. There was a fierce battle between Shakti and Mookasura and finally she killed Mookasura. From that day onwards she became known as Mookambika. She represents the power of speech (Vak) which destroys dumbness (mookatva).
Years later, as Adi Sankara was travelling through this region, pleased with his tapas, Vagdevi appeared in front of him desirous of bestowing a boon upon him. Sankara was overjoyed at the darshan of the Mother of the Universe and prayed to her to come with him and dwell in the land of his birth. She agreed to come with him, but she put forth one condition. While walking, he should not turn back and look. Sankara agreed and started walking. Mookambika walked behind him. He could hear the sound of her anklets. As they were approaching Kollur, suddenly Sankara did not hear the sound of Devi’s anklets. He turned around and looked. As per her condition, Mookambika or Vagdevi remained permanently there in Kollur, on the banks of the sacred Sauparnika river.
Sri Mookambika is the Goddess who destroys mookatva (ignorance) and confers speech (Knowledge) to all those who invoke her. Hence, during the Navaratri festival on the most auspicious day of Vijayadasami, Devi Mookambika is invoked and “Akshara Abhyas” or “initiation of the alphabets” is performed for little children before they start their formal education.

For updates of posts on Telegram join the group : https://t.me/BharateeyaSamskruti

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For Talks on Navaratri Check the Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa-mk1aBgQPTdQQCfPqHS1fFLDtDr1ArC

I Am delighted to inform you all that I have authored a book of stories for
children titled: ” Bharatiya Katha Vaibhava -1″.The book was released for Deepavali. This book features 25 unique and popular short Stories with beautiful illustrations from our Epics, and from the life of our Saints, Sages and Rulers… This is indeed a wonderful gift for
children especially to be given as a prize for competitions! You can order in
bulk too. Orders are welcome for libraries, schools etc..
Please note that Ebook kindle versions and paperback version [B&W
illustrations] can be bought online..Find the links..

Zorba Store:- https://www.zorbabooks.com/store/children/bharatiya-katha-vaibhava-1-stories-for-children/

Amazon:- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9390011663?ref=myi_title_dp

Amazon (outside India) : https://www.amazon.com/Bharatiya-Katha-Vaibhava-SHREEDARSHAN-K-ebook/dp/B08N53PM3B/

Note: To buy the full colour version book (paperback with colour
illustrations) please contact the author , as they are only being printed on
author’s request .Those who wish to avail of this offer, please contact/message
me.(Especially if you want a full color version book, please inform at the
earliest..)

For bulk orders and discounts on B&W version and for colour version
books you can contact For orders please whatsapp : 9739003467.  Email: naadopaasana18@gmail.com