Tag Archives: Hinduism

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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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

On whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Ce7yZ5yAAq3C3k9pYHsA7T

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

Naadayogi Sri Tyagaraja Swami

Sri Tyagabrahma or Sri Tyagaraja Swami (1767-1847AD) is one among the Music Trinity of Carnatic Music. He was born to a pious couple in Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu. Along with the study of Sastras, he learnt music from the well known Vidwan, Sonti Venkataramanaiah. He was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, and started composing keerthans at a very young age. To him the idol of Sri Rama was a living presence. Tyagaraja associated simple daily activities like waking up, taking a bath, eating food, sleeping, etc., with the Lord and composed keerthans for all these occasions. He studied the Naradeeyam, a treatise on music. He considered Sage Narada as his Guru and consistently meditated on him. Sage Narada appeared before him and bestowed on him the knowledge of music. 

Tyagaraja was initiated into the Sri Rama mantra. When he completed chanting the mantra ninety six crore times, he heard a knock on the front door. When he opened the door, he was blessed with the vision of Lord Rama accompanied by his consort, Seeta. An overjoyed Tyagaraja sang in praise of his divine parents: Devi Seeta and Sri Rama. 

After his marriage, Tyagaraja led an extremely simple life of a householder. To him, Sri Rama was his wealth. Rama Bhakti was his kingdom. When the king heard of the great musician, he extended a royal invitation to Tyagaraja to become the court musician. He sent royal gifts in the form of silken apparel, gem-studded ornaments and gold coins. Tyagaraja politely declined both – the royal gifts and the glory of becoming a court musician. He composed a beautiful krithi: “O Mind, tell me the truth. What gives you real happiness – material wealth or Lord Rama’s divine association?” The royal attendants went back. 

Tyagaraja’s elder brother was very unhappy and annoyed that his brother had rejected the seat of Asthana Vidwan. He blamed it all on Lord Rama who had become the heart and soul of his brother. At night Tyagaraja’s brother secretly took the idol of Lord Rama from the puja-room and tossed it into the Kaveri river. In the morning, when Tyagaraja went into the prayer room for his regular worship, he found the idol missing. Overwhelmed with grief, without food and sleep, he searched for Rama everywhere. He went on a pilgrimage, and at every pilgrimage centre, Tyagaraja composed beautiful keerthans on the presiding deity of the temple. After a long, arduous search, the Lord appeared in his dream and told him that he was on the river-bed of Kaveri. Extremely happy, Tyagaraja retrieved the idol of Sri Rama and with all festive celebrations reinstalled it back in his prayer room. His brother realized his mistake as well as the great devotion that Tyagaraja had for the Lord. 

It was the marriage function of Tyagaraja’s daughter. One of his disciples brought a beautiful portrait of Lord Rama and Seeta as a gift for the newly-wed. From a distance, Tyagaraja saw his disciple walking and coming with the gift. To Tyagaraja, it was not a portrait. It was the Lord accompanied by Seeta walking towards him. With a joyous heart overflowing with devotion, he sang, “O Lord of my life, knowing that the sole purpose and fulfillment of my life is to have your glorious darshan, you have walked all the way and come along with Mother Janaki to bestow upon me your grace and blessings!”

Once Tyagaraja went to witness a program by a touring groupe. The artists performed to a song in raga Ananda Bhairavi:”Mathura nagarilo”. The sequence was the Gopis asking Krishna who had blocked their path, to give them way to go to Mathura to sell milk. Tyagaraja was overjoyed at the beautiful performance of the artists. He immensely praised and wholeheartedly blessed them. They were overwhelmed to receive such appreciation from the great Musician-Saint. The head of the troupe offered his salutations and made a strange request. He asked for Ananda Bhairavi Raga as a gift from Tyagaraja! Everyone including Tyagaraja was surprised. Tyagaraja asked him for the reason. He said, “in the years to come, people will hear and read of your greatness as a devotee of Lord Rama and a Musician-Composer par excellence. People will then read and hear about this event where you gave away Ananda Bhairavi Raga as a gift to a small insignificant musical troupe like ours. Along with your immortal glories, we will also be remembered and become immortal! Our lives will become blessed and fulfilled!!  Tyagaraja was stunned at his sweet innocence, and gave away his rights over the raga to them. Hence only three krithis written earlier to this event by Tyagaraja in Ananda Bhairavi Raga are available. 
Tyagaraja continued to teach music to all those who reached him. He composed around 24,000 keerthans, but only around 700 are available. His krithis are simple, but full of devotion. They contain the essence of the scriptures. Tyagaraja chose music as his path to God realization: NAADOPAASANA. His Pancharatna Krithis are well known and every year during Sri Tyagaraja Aradhana, these krithis are sung by musicians who gather there for the celebrations. When Tyagaraja knew that his time to leave his physical body was approaching, he took the vows of sanyasa. Lord Rama appeared in his dream, and told him that he would be bestowed with mukti or liberation after ten days, which Tyagaraja has recorded in his keerthan. On the sacred Pushya bahula panchami, Tyagaraja Swami attained samadhi and merged with Sri Rama.
“SRI RAMA JAYA RAMA JAYA JAYA RAMA!”

=============================================================================

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

On whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Ce7yZ5yAAq3C3k9pYHsA7T

For Talks on Significance of Ramayana — Check the Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa-mk1aBgQPRxonV9TqFdxgHrJqtZnOr0

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

Bhakta Prahlada

Hiranyaksha (Eye for Materialism) and Hiranyakashipu (Wrapped in Materialism) were brothers born in the Rakshasa clan. When Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Varaha, Hiranyakashipu was furious and wanted to take revenge on the Lord. Therefore he undertook severe penance. When he was away, Indra and his army attacked the rakshasa kingdom and finding that the rakshasa wife was pregnant, Indra decided to carry her away to his Loka so that when she gives birth to a child he can immediately kill the rakshasa child. However Sage Narada met Indra enroute and convinced Indra to release her saying that her child would not be an enemy of the gods but on the other hand would be one of the greatest devotees of Lord Vishnu. Hearing Narada’s words, Indra released Hiranyakashipu’s wife. Narada took her to his hermitage and she spent her time listening to the Lord’s glories as expounded by the Sage. The child in the womb had picked up all the discourses by Narada (prenatal education)! 

Pleased with Hiranyakashipu’s penance, Lord Brahma appeared in front of him and asked him what he wanted. The rakshasa asked for immorality which was not possible. Hiranyakashipu then demanded, “I should not die at the hands of any of Lord’s creations such as, the gods, gandharvas, yakshas, human beings, rakshasas, animals etc. No weapon should destroy me. I should not die in the outer space, nor on earth nor in the waters. I should not die inside the house nor outside. Death should not come to me at day-time nor night-time.” Lord Brahma granted him the boon. The foolish rakshasa failed to realize that the cause of his death was embedded in his own words! Hiranyakashipu came back to his kingdom. He brought back his wife also from Narada’s ashram. She was blessed with a son who was named as Prahlada (one with exceptional brilliance). 

Prahlada grew up as an exceptional devotee of Lord Narayana since he was already initiated into Hari Tattwa by Guru Sage Narada when he was in his mother’s womb. At the appropriate time, he was sent to the Guru-kula for education. Hiranyakashipu vain and arrogant with the boons that he had obtained from Brahma, considered himself the supreme lord. Temples were built and his images were worshipped. “Hiranyaya Namaha” (salutations unto materialism in the form of gold) was the mantra! Prahlada on the other hand chanted “Om Namo Narayanaya” (Salutations unto the Supreme Lord, Narayana). The teachers tried to convince Prahlada to worship Hiranyakashipu but he not only politely refused, but initiated the other children into the Narayana Mantra. The terrified teachers brought back Prahlada to his parents and expressed their inability to change him. Hiranyakashipu tried but in vain. Seething with anger, he gave the most cruelest of punishments to his son. Prahlada was thrown down a mountain, tossed into the ocean, put into raging fire, brought under an elephant’s foot, thrown in front of a hungry lion and poisonous snakes, threatened by weapons, made to drink poison – but nothing happened to Prahlada. The Lord protected him and he came out of each test unscathed. 

The furious Hiranyakashipu dragged Prahlada to the court and challenged him to show Sri Hari. Little Prahlada said that the Lord was All-pervading, including in the pillar that Hiranyakashipu pointed out. The rakshasa struck the pillar with all his might and strength wanting to see the Lord, his arch-enemy whom Prahlada worshipped. Lo! The pillar split into two and from inside emerged a strange figure. It was neither man nor animal, it was half-man and half-lion. It was dusk – neither day or night. Lord Narayana who had come as Nara-Simha caught hold of Hiranyakashipu and dragged him unto the threshold of the hall – neither inside nor outside. The Lord placed the rakshasa on His lap – neither in space nor on ground nor water. Without using any weapons, Lord Narasimha used his beautiful long claws (nails) to rip apart the wicked rakshasa. Every bit of the boon had been taken care of, and yet Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Narasimha. The Lord then gathered his loving devotee, Prahlada to himself. Prahlada invoked and worshipped the Lord with chants while the devatas joyously rained down flowers.

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

On whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/Ce7yZ5yAAq3C3k9pYHsA7T

For Talks on Significance of Ramayana — Check the Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLa-mk1aBgQPRxonV9TqFdxgHrJqtZnOr0

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