Sunday, 6 February 2011


Dear SELF,

We do not own anything in this world and dependent upon so many things
and people for our basic survival. In spite of this fact we tend to
feel that we are doing everything not only for ourselves but also for
others! How innocent we are to feel like that. We tend to forget that
we are only a speck in this Universe.
The moment we were born we come to this world after having a miserable
state in our Mother's womb for almost 9 full moths with all the filth
we can think off with a cry which helps to breath in and out, off
course with empty hands, when everybody around us start to feel happy
of our presence in this world and until we depart from this world
after a short stay to act in the drama of life again with empty hands
in the presence of sorrow expressed by all around us to a place from
where we came (home)
So even before we were born, during the acting life and also even
after leaving this mortal coil, we all depend upon so many things and
so many people around us. I am sure it is very clear now that we do
not have anything to claim as our own and that is the reality. We need
to be aware of this fact in every moment of our existence.
So far what we have talked about is ourselves (what we think and
believe are i.e.. the physical bodies) under the influence of
ignorance (lack of knowledge) which is ajnana. which can only be
removed by knowledge (Jnana) which is nothing but what we really are.
To know what we really are is the mission of this temporary life which
we got due to various good deeds we have done in our previous lives.
We need to utilise this precious life of ours to know who we really
are Not what we think and believe we are, we can talk about it next

The 5th day of Magha masam is very significant, the day on which
Vasanta Panchami falls, the first day of long waited spring after the
cold spell of winter, which happens to be the Birthday of Maha

As 'Diwali-the festival of lights is to Maha Lakshmi, goddess of
wealth and prosperity, and Navaratri is to Maha Durga, goddess of
power and valour, V(B)asant Panchami is to Maha Saraswathi, the
goddess of knowledge and arts. This festival is celebrated every year
on the 5th day or Panchami of the bright fortnight of lunar month of
Magha. Vasant comes from the word 'spring' as this festival heralds
the beginning of the lovely spring season.
Hindus celebrate Vasant Panchami with great fervour in temples, homes
and even in schools and colleges. Saraswathi's favourite colour yellow
assumes special significance on this day. The statue of the goddess is
dressed in yellow cloths and is worshipped by devotees wearing yellow
garments. Saraswathi being offered with yellow colour sweets for
example yellow lemon rice or yellow kesari sweet!
\the most significant aspect of Vasant Panchami is that it is the most
auspicious day to begin laying one's foundation of reading and writing
especially to pre-school children. It is also a great day to
inaugurate training institutes and educational establishments like
schools and colleges, a trend made famous by the renowned Indian
educationist Pandit Sri Madan Mohan Malaviya (1861-1946), who was the
founder of the sacred Benaras Hindu University on the Vasant Panchami
day in 1916. I was very fortunate to be a pupil of this great
institution for a tear in 1961!
This is the time of the year when life spurts in the nature by way of
new leaves, blossoms appear on the tress with the promise of new life
and hope which makes Nature at it's Best!

Now let us watch Her divine form with her Beeja Mantra by clicking the
link below

There are only two main popular Saraswathi temples in Bharat one is in
Kashmir and the other one is which is more popular is Gnana Saraswathi
temple in Basara about 30 kilometres from Nizambad, in the north
Telangana in Andhra Pradesh and I wish I was there!. We were there a
couple of years ago and it is the temple one should visit in life time
which is on the banks of Godavari river.
If anybody wants to watch the magic of Basara, please click the link
below which lasts about just over 33 minutes and can be watched in the
evening with all the family.

Anybody who like to read about the temple and wish to visit in the
future, please click the following two links

If you want to listen Saraswathi songs with Sankalpam, please click
the link below for those who have little time to spare

Those who want to listen some Hindi tunes on Saraswathi, please click
the link below

Does anybody wants to listen the beautiful Bhajan on Saraswathi by
Anup Jalota! If so please click the link below

I am sure at least some of you want to listen or watch Saraswathi
Gayatri by clicking the link below

If anybody has not satisfied with the information on Vasant Panchami
yet, please click the link below to read more

With Love, Light & Peace to all,


Saturday, 5 February 2011


Dear SELF, About almost 85% world population regularly think of some super power unknown controls every thing in this wonderful creation which we all enjoy. It is everybody's right and the property of selected few. But it is generally labelled to certain individual groups historically which is wrong according to Sanatana Dharma.
Sandhyavandanam means a ritual carried out just before Sunrise and just after sunset and these two periods are considered more auspicious and some people insists that it should be done on midday (12.00 noon) and even some others go to the extent of doing at 12.00 midnight when the day ends and the next day begins.

It is a common belief among many only Brahmins should perform Sandhyavandanam especially after Upanayanam just before start learning life principles under a learned Guru. Some others believe even this is wrong. We are all Human and we are dividedd according the way, we think, speak and act and only these three aspects of life dictates who is who?

If we could understand various aspects of the rituals of SANDHYAVANDANAM, THEN WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHO SHOULD PERFORM REGULARLY THIS RITUAL by clicking the link below

This is just a thought came to my mind early this morning and sharing with you all and let us hope that this message may add some value the way we live as humans

With Love, Light & Peace to all,
Reply Forward

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Dear Sisters & Brothers, We all living creatures need three basic requirements which we all aware already, namely 'khana (food), kapada (cloths to cover our body) & makhan (some shelter to live in and sleep). How many of humans have all these three basic needs around the world. The estimation is at least one in ten but the reality is much more without the fault of their own, No place on earth has an exception to this fact including the so called most advanced country in the world namely A me ri Ka.

Now the second universal phenomenon is of course FRAUD in all levels in various proportions which we examine just by watching/reading a ten minute video by clicking the link below

Please watch this video clip with attention and then only read the forward message which explains the fate of the humanity for the basic requirements just to sustain life.
How many unfortunate people including our daughters, sons, grand children, sisters & brothers can have at least one square meal a day with the money wasted on the name of fraud around the world?

Let us hope we will arise, awake and do some thing as individuals now but not later on as so many lives are at danger every second!


With love, light & Peace to all,

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 17:32
Subject: Amrita eNews - Jan 2011

Fighting Hunger - Our Goal
January, 2011
The fight against hunger is far from over. Today, we produce more food than ever, yet more than one in 10 people on earth suffers from hunger. In the United States, one in eight Americans do not have dependable access to food. Our Auction proceeds will directly support Fighting Hunger.
Join us in Action Now!

Embracing The World's Fighting Hunger Projects
January, 2011
In today's world, people experience two types of poverty: The poverty caused by lack of food, clothing and shelter, and the poverty caused by lack of love and compassion. Of these two, the second type needs to be considered firstbecause, if we have love and compassion in our hearts, then we will wholeheartedly serve those who suffer from lack of food, clothing and shelter.- Amma

In the United States, one in eight Americans (more than 35 million) don't have dependable, consistent access to food due to limited money and resources, and nearly 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 75 fall below the poverty line for at least one year.

At present, ETW volunteers in 40 cities throughout North America prepare and serve 73,000 meals a year for the homeless and hungry.

When the majority of India's people earn less than Rs. 80 ($1.66) a day, and the price of a kilo of rice ranges between Rs. 20 and Rs. 80, it is no wonder that nearly 50 percent of India's population suffer from malnourishment. The fight against hunger is far from over. Today, we produce more food than ever, yet more than one in 10 people on earth suffers from hunger. But this war can be won - the United Nations Development Program puts the annual cost of ending hunger at just an additional $13 billion more than what is already being spent by governments and organizations around the world.

At present, Embracing the World feeds more than two million people annually throughout India. ETW also distributes uncooked rice, milk and other staples to deeply impoverished communities. In the first six months after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, ETW provided more than six million free meals to disaster victims, as well as more than 185 tons of uncooked rice to help the victims make ends meet.
Brief History of our Auction for Action project
January, 2011
Online auctions, initially launched in 2003, have a new name, 'Auction for Action,' as Amma inspires true action, an action with a purpose. Auction for Action is a not-for-profit, which serves and contributes all proceeds directly to Embracing the World (ETW), an international collective of charities. We believe that having the basic needs met is the fundamental right of any human being, and that it is the responsibility of each of us to strive hard to ensure that one day, every human being can live in dignity, safety, security and peace. This year, Auction for Action will directly support 'Help Fight Hunger,' one of ETW's worldwide humanitarian projects. You can find more information on 'Help Fight Hunger' and bid for a cause by visiting:

Amma in South India
January, 2011
Amma is now in Chennai, as a part of her South Indian tour. To give a glimpse of what Amma's tours are like, here is a small example.
Amma was in Kozhikode on Jan 10, 2011 as a part of the South Indian tour:

When many see Amma giving darshan in Kozhikode, they cannot believe their eyes. It seems like total chaos—devotees being pushed into and pulled out of Amma's arms at such a rate. It was estimated that 1800 people were seen in an hour and Amma gave darshan for about 15-18 hours continuously. Jan Kounen, the director of Darshan: The Embrace, the recently released documentary about Amma, once filmed Amma when she was going at such a speed. He said, "She is going so fast, so at first the eye doesn't catch it; it just kind of looks disorganized, like a blur. It was too fast. So I decided to shoot her in slow motion. Only then I started to see: 'No, it's not like that; there is such grace and beauty there. Everything is so deliberate; it is like a ballet.'"

Telemedicine camp by AIMS
January, 2011
A free medical camp was conducted by AIMS in Idukki district at Kannampadi Government High School on January 16, 2011. The camp was organized by Idukki Wild Life Division. More than 300 patients received the benefit of medical attention and treatment. Fourteen patients were selected for further investigation and management.

AIMS conducts these medical camps frequently throughout the year.
Amrita Center for NanoSciences (ACNS)
Did you know?
ACNS conducts research in cancer nanotechnology and was the first such center established by the Government of India. Research is aimed at developing affordable nano-implants.
ACNS is developing techniques for the early detection and treatment of cancer using quantum dots, gene slicing, and nano-particles. Nanotechnology is also being developed to treat malaria, inflammations and osteoporosis. ACNS also conducts research in the development of thin-film devices for sensor applications and solar cells.
Mother's Kitchen feeds more than 73,000 meals every year in the U.S.
The Mother's Kitchen project has been providing a full-course healthy meal to the needy on a regular basis in various centers all over the United States.

If you would like to support the various humanitarian activities please click here


Gems to treasure
Compassion to the poor is our duty towards God.
-- Amma

If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.
-- William Penn

If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.
-- Buddist saying


Featured Center
Amma Center in San Ramon
For more details


The Amma Shop
Net proceeds from your purchases will benefit Amma's various humanitarian projects.
Visit The Amma Shop today and gift your dear ones with something they will surely love!


Immortal Bliss subscriptions
Immortal Bliss, a quarterly magazine, contains Mother's message, reminiscences by her senior monastic disciples, experiences of devotees from all over the world, poems dedicated to Amma, stories for children, and reports on the humanitarian activities that Amma's mission spearheads worldwide, among other features. The magazine enshrines Amma's teachings, and for this reason, many have found it to be a link to Amma, especially in her physical absence, offering solace and providing guidance. Please visit our online shop to subscribe to this magazine.


Thursday, 30 December 2010


Dear Sisters & Brothers, The day came for all humans to celebrate New year 2011 which was going on all our life. What is the most important thing which we are able to enjoy life with what we have? Let us think about it today.
To my simple mind, the only thing we all need is good health for this human body to enjoy and this is possible to only humans to appreciate fully. The next question is how to get Good Health (GH)? as easy as possible for which we all spend lot of time and money all our life.

There is simple way we all can do, any where at any time , in any day with little effort and cost which at least we can try to prove ourselves! What is it? What is the proof that it will work?
The other thing is we all take New year resolutions on the New year eve to make our lives as pleasant as possible.

May I request that can we try to 'EAT A BANANA EVERY DAY THAT KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY' !
Any body, any age group especially who are PREGNANT, and any other common problems like hypertension & other ailments can eat at least one banana two or three times day is preferable. To read the evidence for this and other uses of this King of fruits, please click the link and read and if you are convinced only you can try.

Let us hope and pray that we all have a good health to all of us , our family and friends. Please feel free to send the link to anybody who will be grateful for doing this.

With Love, Light & Peace to all,


Friday, 24 December 2010


Dear Sisters & Brothers, Hope we all ready to celebrate CHRISTMAS-2010.
We just touched the subject of the oldest culture on earth recently which I am sure we all read. What is the greatness about India> Please have a look at the forward message and see if we agree. Please do not think, that India is the only country in the world and every country has good and bad about every thing and we need to take only good and leave the not so good for the Time.

We all spend almost half of our life in sleep. I am now 65 years of human life with the body which means about half of that about 33 years of sleep. During the remaining 32 years of wakeful life, it took me about 30 years (15 years really) to support my self and another 25 years (13 years really) to get married, to have children and educate and support them, to get them married and to let them live on their own. So about 28 years of my wakeful life out of 32 years of this body and leaving only about 8 years (really 4 years) to do what I wanted to do as all the time is mine and nobody else's!

I can do what I want, when I want and where I want and how long I want, That is the beauty of the so called retirement which I am in. How long more? Nobody knows! Is it not the real mistry? If it is not mistry, what is it. See how life goes. It does not matter what we did was right or wrong as there is only very thin line in between right and wrong depending upon so many factors like time, the society we live in, and of course our frinds we are associated which can turn our life in any direction.
We should be grateful for our Mother Land, Mother, Father without whom this body of ours does not exist, Guru who gave us education, knowledge etc and of course other humans, plants, animals and all the non-living objects and Pancha Bhutas from where we all came and where this human body goes and joins the same 5 elements. What remains is our real self which is pure consciousness namely 'ATMA' which has no birth or death and it is eternal as PARAMATMA OR BRAHMAN not Brahmin!

We started with sleep in the first place. Let us see what is sleep and why should we spend 50% of our time in this human life. Please click the link below to read and see what we feel

With Love, Light & Peace to all,

Thursday, 4 November 2010


It has been said often enough that Hindus celebrates everything. So they do. The birth of Gods, death of asuras, victory of Gods, marriage of Gods, the new year, new months, full moon, new moons, harvests, birthdays, initiations marriages, deaths, anniversaries- you name the event, and it is reason for music, dance, processions and what have you.
There is the religious flavour lurking behind it all. The reasons for this lie deep, in the origin of Hinduism as an organic religion. Its followers have over time considered anything, animate or inanimate, to be sacred and aspects of divinity.
That is also why even secular events like harvests take on religious overtones, with the patron deity presiding over the festivities. As soon as something happens, there is a kind of thanksgiving to the divine that follows it.
Apart from the universally celebrated festivals like Ganesh chturthi, Diwali and Dasara, there are others that are observed in specific communities or geographical area. The worship of Murugan (as during the festival of Skanda Shasti) is predominant in Tamil Nadu, where God is considered as a patron of the region. The festival of Onam is a good example that is celebrated solely by Keralites. Another interesting aspect of Onam is that it is perhaps the only major Hindu festival that celebrates the reign of an asura king, although a benevolent one. If you travel around the country, especially in villages, you will hear people tell you a variety of legends involving different Gods behind a single festival. You will also find versions of the same festival being celebrated under different names in different regions.
The following is the summary of some of the main festivals and occasions that I e. mailed throughout out the year to remind friends all over the world, as they are busy with their routine work and jobs.

* We are starting with Ganesh Chaturdhi as it is customary

GANESH CHATURTHI: Let us offer our humble prayers to Lord Ganesha, who represents wisdom, and to His consorts Siddhi and Buddhi who grant wealth and knowledge, to bless us all with true knowledge, discrimination, dispassion, good health and prosperity. “May you remove our difficulties with lustrous axe in your hand and bring success to all our noble efforts”.
Ganesh Mantra: Aum Sri Ganeshaya Namah.
His Bija Akshara (root syllable) is Gung (pronounced as the English word ‘sung’)
His two feet represents the power of knowledge and the power of action. The elephant head is significant in that, it is the only figure in nature that has the form of the symbol Om.
Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most popular of Hindu festivals. This is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, which is most sacred to Him. It falls on the 4th day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada (Aug-Sept). Lord Ganesha, the eldest son Parvathi and Lord Shiva is the remover of all obstacles. Clay figures of the deity are made and after being worshiped on the day or in some areas like Mumbai for ten days, they are immersed into water. If one wants to see the real hangama of Ganesh Chaturthi, one should be in Mumbai during the festival. The Siddhi Vinayaka temple in the heart of Mumbai is a famous landmark.
Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh recommends: On the Ganesh Chaturthi day, meditate on the stories connected with Lord Ganesha early in the morning, during the Brahmamuhurta period (4.00- 6.00 a. m). Then after taking a bath, go to the temple and do the prayers of Lord Ganesha. Offer Him some coconut and sweet pudding. Pray with faith and devotion that He may remove all the obstacles that you experience on the spiritual path. Worship Him at home too. You can get the assistance of a pundit. Have an image of Lord Ganesha in your home. Feel His presence in it.
WHAT EVER YOU DO ON THAT DAY, NO ONE SHOULD LOOK AT THE MOON ON GANESH CHATURTHI DAY. If at all any body sees the moon, the only way he or she can be freed from the curse by listening the story of how Lord Krishna cleared his character regarding the Syamantaka Jewel.

DASARA OR NAVARATRI: These festivals are celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin (Septem-Octo) from the shukla paksha, pratipada to dashami or 10th day of Aswin. Dasara is celebrated all over India with a lot of fanfare and religious fervour. It is an occasion for pujas and festivities like music, dance and cultural programmes. In South India specially in Tamilnadu Dasara is called Navaratri (9 nights)
According to Hindu mythology, a very powerful Asura Demon king Mahishasura prayed the Almighty and asked for a boon that his death should be at the hands of a woman and by no other human being or any form of living being.
When his cruelty became unbearable, people prayed to Sakthi, the concert of Shiva to save them from the Demon and provide them with salvation. Sakthi then took the form of Durga and killed the Demon Mahishasura. The fight took place for 9 days and nights, hence the name Navaratri.
PURPOSE OF DASARA: Festivals like Dasara are designed to make man aware of his divinity, to endow him with purity to become aware of its holiness to imprint on his heart the wisdom won by sages after years of yearning. The Dasara festival honours the victory of Devas (Gods) over the Asuras (demons), the force of righteousness over the force of evil. The Gods were able to win, because of para-shakti, the dynamic aspect of Divinty.
IMPORTANCE OF DASARA: During the festival of Dasara, the three Goddesses- Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped according to certain practices. The tenth day is celebrated as the victory day.
In Dwapara Yuga, when the Pandavas had to spend a year incognito, they hid their weapons on the advice of Krishna, in a Jammi tree which is thick in foliage and whose branches are filled with latent fire. Vijayadasami was the day on which Pandavas retrieved their weapons from the tree and used them to win victory over the Kauravas.
In the Tetra Yuga, Sri Rama’s coronation after His victorious return to Ayodhya from Lanka was prepared on Vijayadasami day.
This is the day on which Shiridi Saibaba left His mortal coil and went to Mahasamadhi.
NAVA DURGA: There are nine forms of Durga. 1. Durga, 2. Brahmacharini, 3.Chandraghanta, 4. Kushmanda, created the Universe with a smile. 5. Skandamata, as Kumar Kartik’s other name is Skanda. 6. Kattayani, 7. Kalratri, 8. Mahagouri, whose complexion are totally white, 9. Siddhidatri as she delivers success.
During the nine days (Navaratri), the first 3 days are dedicated to Goddess Durga, dressed in Red and mounted on a lion. The next 3 days dedicated to Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and prosperity) dressed in Gold and mounted on an owl. The last 3 days of Navaratri are dedicated to Saraswati (Goddess of knowledge), dressed in milky white and mounted on pure white swan. Dandidya and Garba Rass are the highlights of Dasara in Gujarat. In Bengal Durga puja is done in the grandest form.

DIWALI OR DEEPAVALI, FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: Diwali or Deepavali means ‘a row of lights’ which is celebrated on Amavasya day, the 15th day of dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Ashwin which usually comes in October-November every year. It is most popular and eagerly waited festival in India. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs regard this festival as a celebration of life. It usually comes after 18 days of Dasara. The common practice is to light small oil amps (diyas) and places them around the home.
Goddess Lakshmi’s Birthday: The Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi incarnated on the new moon day (amavasya) during the churning of the ocean, hence the association of Diwali with Lakshmi.
Vishnu rescued Lakshmi on Diwali day. Lord Vishnu in His fifth incarnation as Vaman-avatara rescued Lakshmi from the prison of King Bali and this is another reason of worshipping Ma Lakshmi on Diwali.
Krishna killed Narakaasur: On the day preceding Diwali, Lord Krishna killed the demon king Narakaasur and rescued 16,000 women from his captivity. The celebration of this freedom went on two days including the Diwali day as a victory festival.
The return of the Pandavas: According to the great epic ‘Mahabharata’ it was Diwali day, when the Pandavas appeared from their 12 years of banmishment as a result of their defeat in the hands of the Kauravas at the game of dice (gambling). The subjects who loved Pandavas celebrated the day by lighting the earthen lamps.
The victory of Rama: According to the epic ‘Ramayana’, it was the Diwali day, when Lord Sri Ram, Ma Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhya after vanquishing Ravana and conquering Lanka. The citizens of Ayodhya decorated the entire city with earthen lamps and illuminated it like never before.
Coronation of Vikramaditya: One of the greatest Hindu king, Vikramaditya was coroneted on the Diwali day, hence Diwali became a historical event as well.
Special Day for the Arya Samaj: It was on the Diwali day, when Maharshi Dayananda, one of the greatest reformers of Hinduism and the founder of Arya Samaj attained his nirvana.
Special day for the Jains: Mahavir Tirthankar considered being the founder of modern Jainism also attained nirvana on Diwali day.
Special day for Sikhs: The third Sikh Guru Amar Das institutionalised Diwali as a Red-Letter Day when all Sikhs would gather to receive the Guru’s blessings. In 1577, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar was laid on Diwali. In 1619, the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind, who was held by the Mughal Emperor Jahengir, was released from the Gwalior fort along with 52 kings.
The Pope’s Diwali Speech: In 1999, Pope John Paul II performed a special Eucharist in an Indian church where the alter was decorated with Diwali lamps, the Pope had a ‘tilak’ marked on his forehead and his speech was bristled with references to the festival of lights.
Diwali is a festival of 5 days. The 1st day of Diwali is called Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi, which falls on the 13th day of the month of Ashwin. Dhan means wealth and this day has a great significance for the rich mercantile community of Western India.
The 2nd day of Diwali is called Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwal, which falls on the 14th day of the Ashwin. This is the day on which Lord Krishna killed Narakaasura.
The 3rd day of Diwali is the day of Lakshmi Puja. This day is known as Chopoda Puja- balancing the accounts and their closing. In spite of Amavasya, this day is regarded as most auspicious.
The 4th day of Diwali is called Padwa or Varshapratipada marks the coronation of king Vikramaditya. Govardhan Puja is also performed in North India on this day.
The 5th and last day of Diwali is known as’Bhayya Duj’ in Hindi speaking belt and as Bhav-Bij in Marathi speaking belt and in Nepal it is called Bhai-Tika. This is the day of showing love between sisters and brothers and also a day of food sharing and sharing gifts as well.
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore has so aptly put forth the true significance of Diwali in the following beautiful lines.

GAYATRI JAPA DAY: The Gayatri Japa Day falls the day after Raksha Bhandan day (sisters tie Rakhi-a coloured thread of love on the wrist of their brothers to protect them against evil influences) Gayatri Japa Day is a holy and most glorious day intended to remind us all of the greatest and most glorious of all Mantras, the sacred Gayatri Mantra. The very meaning of the word Gayatri is ‘that which protects one who sings it’. The celibate, the Grihastha or householder and the Vanaprastha or one who is retired, must repeat this Mantra every day. The sanyasin or renunciate is asked to repeat AUM instead of this Mantra.
‘NA GAYATRYAH PARO MANTRAH’ meaning ‘there is no Mantra greater than the Gayatri’
Let us all start repeating this holy Mantra every day starting on Gayatri Japa Day until the appointed final call comes.
The Gayatri is as follows:

Om bhur bhuvah svah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dheemahi
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayaat.

Om: symbol of para Brahma
Bhur: Bhu Loka or the physical plane.
Bhuvah: the astral plane
Svah: the celestial plane

Tat: That; the transcendental paramatma; God
Savitur: the creator
Varanyam: fit to be worshipped.

Bhargo: remover of sins and ignorance; glory, effulgence
Devasya: resplendent, shining
Dheemahi: we meditate

Dhiyo: the intellect, understanding
To: who
Nah: our
Prachodayaat: enlighten, guide, impel.

Meaning: “We meditate on the glory of the creator who has created the universe, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the embodiment of knowledge and light, who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May He enlighten our intellect”?

In Gayatri Mantra there are five parts:
Om is the first part,
Bhur bhuvah svah is the second part,
Tat savitur varenyam is the third part,
Bhargo devasya dheemahi is the fourth part, and
Dhiyo to nah prachodayaat is the fifth and last part.



The day of full moon, Hindus traditionally celebrate Purnima, in the month of Ashada as Guru Purnima, which usually comes in the month of July. Also known as Vyasa Purnima, the day is celebrated in remembrance and veneration of to sage Veda Vyasa. He is the Adi (original) Guru of the Hindu Dharma. Vyasa was the son of the sage Parasara and fisherwoman Satyavati and the grand son of the renowned sage Vasistha. He personified the combination of sagely wisdom and the practical approach of the fisherwoman. It is essential to cultivate both to excel in life.
Vyasa was born on the full moon day (Purnima) of Ashada. Purnima which denotes illumination and Vyasa Purnima points to spiritual enlightenment. Yasa is considered to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Apart from codifying the Vedas, Vyasa composed the Puranas and Brahma sutras and also dictated the epic Mahabharata consisting of almost one-lakh verses and it is considered as the fifth Veda.
Guru Purnima day is considered as the most auspicious day on which ones Guru are worshiped. The word Guru stands for the source of light, which dispels the darkness of ignorance. The worship of Guru means a journey from darkness to light. (Tam soma Jyotirgamaya)
Only He who removes our ultimate darkness, known as Maya, and who inspires and guides us on the path of God-realisation is the true Guru. A spiritual aspirant, no matter how brilliant, can never attain knowledge by his or her own endeavour. This is stipulated in the Shrimad Bhagawatam in which Jadbharat reveals to king Rahugan:
“O Rahugan! One cannot attain knowledge of Atma and Paramatma by performing penance, sacrifices, renunciation, Vedic study or worshipping deities of water, fire or the Sun. But when the dust from the feet of God-realised Guru sprinkles on our heads, then we can surely attain this knowledge”.
Adi Shankara echoes a similar injunction: “If a person, despite possessing, a handsome, disease-free body, fame, a mountain of wealth, and even if he has studied the Vedas and all other scriptures, and has himself composed many scriptures, but has not surrendered himself at the feet of a Guru, then he has achieved nothing, nothing, and nothing”.
NO DOUBT, THE guru plays a vital role in boosting the aspirant frequently, when he or she loses track, becomes despondent or simply runs out of steam. The aspirant is thus better able to obey the Guru if he understands and finds a ‘real’ Guru.
A famous verse known by heart by almost all Hindus and their children glorifies the Guru.

Gurubrahma Guruvishnu gururdevo Maheshwara I
Guruhu Sakshaat Parambrahman tasmi Shrigurave namaha II
Meaning: “The Guru is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva), veneration to the Guru who is Parabrahman manifest”.
The second line of the couplet does not literally mean that the Guru becomes Parabrahman- God, rather he is venerated as if God is manifesting through him.
Therefore on the day of Guru Purnima, disciples introspect, and resolve to offer puja and reverence to Guru in mind, speech and action; implicitly obey his unvoiced wishes, commands, serving him as one would God and lauding his glory and redemptive attributes.
Swami Sivananda (one of the close disciples of Sri Ramakrishna September 8th, 1887- July 14th, 1963) recommends: to wake up at Brahmamuhurta (at 4 a. m) on this most holy day, to mediate on the lotus feet of ones Guru. Mentally to pray him for his grace, through which alone one can attain self-realisation. To do vigorous japa and meditate in the early morning hours.
After bath, to worship the lotus feet of the Guru, or his image or picture with flowers, fruits, incense and camphor. To fast or take only milk and fruits the whole day.
Alternatively, one may observe the vow of silence and study the books or writings of Guru. The best form of worship of the Guru is to follow his teaching in ones own life, to shine as the very embodiment of his teachings, and to propagate his glory and his message.

HOLI: The festival of Holi is celebrated on the day after the full moon in early March every year. Holi ranks as the most colourful festival of all. Holi provides a refreshing respite from the mundane norms as people from all walks of life enjoy themselves. During Holi, practices which other times could be offensive are allowed.
Now a days Holi festival is an excuse for Indians to shed inhibitions and caste differences for a day of spring fever and big fun. Indians all over the world eagerly await and look forward to the festival of colours, as bonfires are lit to banish the cold dark nights of winter and usher in warmer spring. Dhuleti, day after Holi, is the actual festival of colours, when everything in sight is covered in a riot of colours.
The twin towns of Nandagow (where Lord Krishna grew up) and Barsana (where Shri Radha grew up), near Madhura, are the epicentre of celebrations. Here celebrations start a week earlier than rest of India. Men of Nandagow raid Barsana with hopes of raising their flag over Shri Radhikaji’s temple. They receive a thunderous welcome as the women of Barsana greet them with long wooden sticks. The men are soundly beaten as they attempt to rush through town to reach the relative safety of Shri Radhikaji’s temple. Men are well padded, as they are not allowed to retaliate. In this mock battle the men try their best not to be captured. Unlucky captives can be forcefully lead away, thrashed and dressed in female attire before being made to dance! Famous poets like Surdas, Nanda-das, Kumbhan-das and others have written beautifully as to how Lord Krishna was similarly received and forced to wear a sari, forced to wear make-up and made to dance before being released by the gopies of Vraj.
The next day, men of Barsana reciprocate by invading Nandagow.
Women in India especially enjoy the freedom of relaxed rules. It is good time to ventilate their latent heat and experience strange physical relaxation without the usual social and caste restrictions.
Myths&Legends: 1. Most of us know the story of the devotee Prahalada, the son of Hiranyakasipu. It was on this day that Holika, the sister of Hiranyakasipu who tried to kill Prahalada by taking him on her lap and sitting on a pyre of wood, which was set ablaze. Holika in spite of her boon was burnt to ashes while Prahalada remained unscathed proving again Devotion and Righteousness wins the day. 2. This is the day to celebrate the memory of immortal love of Lord Krishna and Radha. Holi is one of the oldest festivals even before Christ.3. Holi Purnima is also celebrated on the birthday of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, mostly in Bengal, Puri, Mathura and Brindavan.
Holi is the only Hindu festival during which non-vegetarian food is allowed and I could not find any reason anywhere why it is so!

HURRAY! BURA NA MANO, HOLI HAI (‘Do not mind, it is Holi’!)


Lord Krishna appeared on the midnight of the dark half a month of Sravana. This corresponds to July 19th 3228 B.C. This year it falls on Wednesday, August 16th at 12.00 midnight. His avatara lasted for a little over 125 years until Feb, 18th 3102 B.C on the new moon light of Phalguna which marks the beginning of this current age of corruption as Kaliyuga.
Sri Krishna Janmastami occurs on the eighth day (Astami) of lunar fortnight, hence the name (Krishna+astami), which is usually in the month of August, is celebrated for two days. The first day is called Krishnastami or Gokulastami and the second day is called Kalastami or more popularly called Janmastami. Lord Krishna is regarded as the 8th avatar or incarnation of Vishnu. The life of Sri Krishna is the most stirring saga of one of the greatest saviours and profounder of Dharma. The stories of how He killed, one after another, all the demonic adversaries- Pootana, Shakata, Agha, Dhenuka, Bakaa, Keshi, Kansa, Shishupala, Jarasandha etc has made Him the peerless saviour of mankind.
KRISHNA’S BIRTH: Mathura was the capital of a kingdom in North India. Ugrasen was the king of Mathura. He had a son, Kansa and a daughter, Devki. During the lavish wedding of Devki to Vasudev, Kansa heard a celestial voice announce, ‘O Kansa, Thy death is written at the hand of the eighth son of born to this union’.
Through the ensuing years, the demon king put to death six children born to Devki in the dungeons of the palace. On the day that Krishna was born, it was raining and dark. At midnight a bright light appeared in the room of Devki. Then the child was born. Vasudev, terrified for the baby’s safety, carried in a basket through the opened gates of the dungeon. On account of the heavy rain, the river Yamuna was swollen. But as he stepped out of the prison, the rain stopped and the dim light of the moon showed the way. A huge snake taking the shape of an umbrella protected the child. As he reached the river, the waters were divided leaving a dry path for Vasudev to cross. Vasudev went to the home of his friend Nanda where he exchanged the baby boy with a baby girl and went back.
The following day, when Kansa tried to kill the baby girl, she slipped from his hands and an image of Devi appeared. She spoke to Kansa,” The one who is destined to kill you as already taken birth elsewhere”. Sri Krishna flourished under Nanda’s and Yashodha’s care and later on slew the wicked Kansa.
Even Sri Krishna could not escape the Karma phala, when He lost his body after a hunter of Bhavalka shot his toe by mistaking it for the beak of a bird., at a sacred place Prabhas near Dwaraka. Arjuna performed the last rights of Sri Krishna’s body.
Meaning: Kleem means Earth. It is the first element. Krishnaaya signifies Water, Govindaaya signifies Fire, Gopijana-Vallabhaaya signifies Air. And Swaaha signifies Akasha. This Mantra thus represents all five elements in the Cosmos as manifestation of the Divine. The Gopikas through this Mantra taught the world that God should be adored on the Omnipresent Divine everywhere in the Cosmos. Hence in every atom, in every particle, the Divine is present all the time.


Maha Shivaratri (the great night of Shiva) is celebrated throughout the country. Shivaratri falls on the 14th day of the dark half Margasira (Deb-March). This is one of the most unique festivals. Unlike other festivals, this festival is celebrated at night. This festival is also very different from others because no special foods are made on this day. People usually eat normal meals during the day, and at sunset, begin a fast along with prayers to Lord Shiva. This ritual ends at sunrise next day, with a feast to break the fast. It is said that whoever fasts all through the night and worships Lord Shiva will attain heavenly Bliss. The reasons to celebrate Maha Shivaratri, 1.The formless Sadashiv appeared in the form of Linga exactly at midnight of Shivaratri. The Shivlinga, symbolically representing the Jyoti-flame of the fire, and NOT AS A PHALLIC SYMBOL, AS HAS BEEN PERSISTENTLY AND IGNOMINIOUSLY MISREPRESENTED BY NON-HINDU WRITERS SINCE COLONIAL TIMES. 2. Lord Shiva married to Parvati on Shivaratri. 3. On Shivaratri, Shiva became Neelakhanta by drinking poison that came from the ocean during the churning of kshira sagar. So Shivaratri pooja is considered a day of thanks giving for protecting us from annihilation. The other significant events occurred on Maha Shivaratri , the onset of Dwapara Yuga and the manifestation of the 12 Swayambhu Jyotirlingas of Bharat.
THE STORY OF KING CHITRABHANU: In the Shanti parva of Mahabharata, Bhishma, whilst resting on the bed of arrows and discoursing on Dharma, refers to the observance of Maha Shivaratri by king Chitrabhanu. The story goes as follows-Once upon a time King Chitrabhanu of the Ikshvaku dynasty, who ruled over the whole of Jumbudvipa, was observing a fast with his wife, it being the day of Maha Shivaratri. The sage Ashtavakra came on a visit to the court of the king.
The sage asked the king the purpose of his observing the fast. King Chandrabhanu explained that he had the gift of remembering the incidents of his previous birth.
The king said to the sage that in his previous birth, he was a hunter in Varanasi and his name was Suswara. His only livelihood was to kill and sell birds and animals. One day while roaming through forests in search of animals, he was overtaken by the darkness of night. Unable to return home, he climbed a tree for shelter. It happened to be a Bael tree. He had shot a deer that day but had no time to take it home. So he bundled it up and tied it to a branch on the tree. As hunger and thirst tormented him, he was kept awake throughout the night. He shed profuse tears when he thought of his poor wife and children who were starving and anxiously waiting for his return.. To pass away the time that night, he engaged himself in plucking the Bael leaves and dropping them down onto the ground.
The next day he returned home and sold the deer and then bought some food for himself and his family. The moment he was about to break his fast, a stranger came to him, begging for food. He served the food first to the stranger and then had his own.
At the time of his death, he saw two messengers of Lord Shiva. They were sent down to conduct his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. He learnt then for the first time of the great merit he had earned by the unconscious worship of Lord Shiva during the night of Shivaratri. The messengers told him that there was a Shiva Lingam at the bottom of the tree. The leaves he dropped fell on the Shiva Lingam. His tears, which had shed out of pure sorrow of his family, fell on to the Shiva Lingam and washed it and he had fasted all day and night. Thus he unconsciously worshiped the Lord on Shivaratri day and night.
At the conclusion of the tale, the king said that he lived in the abode of Lord Shiva and enjoyed divine bliss for long ages and now he has born as Chitrabhanu.
People observe a strict fast on this day. Some devotees do not even take a drop of water and they keep vigil all night. The Shiva Lingam is worshiped throughout the night by washing it (Abhisheka) every three hours with milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee (panchamruta) while chanting Shiva Maha mantra ‘Aum Namah Shivaya’. Offering of Bael leaves are made to the lingam as Bael leaves are considered very sacred and it is said that Goddess Lakshmi resides in them.
Those who utter the name of Shiva (meaning auspicious) during Shivaratri with perfect devotion and faith are freed from all sins. He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives there happily. He is liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. Many pilgrims throng on Shivaratri to various temples of Maha Deva, like Srisailam, Kalahasthi and to all Jyotirlingas except Kedarnath as it is closed for public during this time.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi in Andhrapradesh brings out Shiva Lingam from his body on Shivaratri day. Shivaratri is celebrated with great pomp at Puttaparthi.

MAKARA SANKRANTI: (PONGAL) Makara Sankranti is celebrated on January 14th every year in the month of ‘Magh’. On this day the Sun moves from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. It is a day of great significance and marks the beginning of auspicious time. The beginning of the period, when the Sun travels northwards, is considered highly favourable for auspicious activities. It is celebrated as Pongal in South especially in Tamilnadu. In the North it is observed as Makara Sankranti or Uttarayana.
It is a very significant day and newly harvested rice is cooked for the first time and offered to Sun and other deities. The poor are fed and given cloths, money etc, in charity. In the morning, after bath, people offer libations to their dead ancestors and visit the temples. Bhishma pitamaha waited in his couch of arrows, for a long period, only for the onset of this auspicious season, before finally making his departure from the mortal world.
In Assam it is called Magha Bighu or Bhogali Bihu, the festival of feasts. In Punjab, it is observed as Lohri, to mark the end of winter and advent of spring. Lohri is celebrated in cities, towns and villages alike, with great fervour and enthusiasm.
Lord Surya on His dazzling chariot that has thousands of spokes and magnificent wheels and driven by seven horses begins His journey northwards into the Makara Rasi, filling our lives with light and getting rid of the darkness. This light not only fills our material life and helps our plants grow at seeding time, but also gets rid of our ‘internal’ darkness, showing the path of self realisation-moksha.
Young girls are seen to put up Gobbemmalu, which are round balls of cow dung that are decorated with vermilion, turmeric and coloured flowers. These are placed in the middle of bright muggus in the front yards of the dwellings and are worshiped with Navadhanyas (nine types of grains) to welcome the Lakshmi, the Goddess of abundance and prosperity. Young girls worship for good husbands, on this occasion. After this, the women folk get gathered to sing and dance to the accompaniment around these gobbis.
Haridasulu (Madhwas) are seen singing eulogies of the Almighty and seeking alms from the people in early hours of the days. Gangireddu Ata is another festival where the trained oxen dance to the tunes of Nagaswaram played their master is a great attraction. In some areas kites are seen soaring high in the sky on the day of Makara Sankranti. People seem to correlate the soaring kites with their high spirits on the eve of this festival. In some places, they have the focus on the newly married couples that are presented with special gifts and clothes.

ONAM: Onam is an annual festival celebrated mainly by Malayalees all over the world irrespective of cast and faith. It falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug-Septem) and lasts for 10 days.
Onam is related with King Mahabali who was ruling Kerala in a time. He was an Asura king but was very nice and truthful. During his ruling time it is said that people did not even lock their houses in the night because, there was no thieves, no corruption, no betrayal. All people lived united, without the difference of rich and poor. All had a good time and like wise the king was so good that he will give anything to anyone.
At that time the Hindu Lord Mahavishnu decided to test king Mahabali. He came to earth as Vamana a poor dwarf, and went straight to king Mahabali and told the king that he has nothing and he want three feet of land to live. The king hearing this laughed and told Vamana to take three feet of land from where ever he wishes. Suddenly Vamana began to grow and he covered the whole earth by one foot and covered the sky with other foot. Then he asked Mahabali where is the space for the third foot. By seeing all this, the king understood that Vamana is not an ordinary person, and Vamana has come to test him so the king without hesitating showed his head to keep the third foot. Vamana kept his third foot on the king’s head and the king was pushed down under the earth (pathala). The king after going to Pathala asked Vamana his true identity, Suddenly Vamana vanished and Lord Mahavishnu stood before Mahabali. Seeing this overjoyed Mahabali. The Lord told Mahabali that he wanted to test Mahabali and he was won in that. The Lord also asked Mahabali to ask any boon for himself. Mahabali told the Lord that, he loved his people very much so he wanted permission to visit Kerala once a year, and the Lord gave permission for that. It is the day i.e. the day Mahabali visits Kerala is celebrated as Onam.
During Onam, people put flower mats in front of their homes to welcome the king. There will be competition for the laying of flower mats. Everyone will wear new dresses and will be visiting almost all temples, which they can, and also they perform lot of dances like Thiruvathira Kali Thumbi Tullal etc. Whatever may happen they will not miss the grand family or community lunch served on green shining clean banana leaves arranged in a row.
There is a saying in Malayalam that “KANAM VITTU ONAM UNNANAM” which means, “We should have the Thiruonam lunch even if we have to sell all our property”. They give that much importance to the lunch on the Thiruonam day. We were very fortunate to have Thiruonam lunch from Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi’s divine hands (Amma) in 2004 on Thiruonam day at her Ashram in Kerala.
The fest is traditionally vegetarian and includes banana wafers, crisp papadams, patchadi, aviyal, kootu, payasam, rice and sambar and a variety of pickles and puliinji, a ginger chutney.

RAKSHA BANDHAN OR RAKHI: This is a celebration of sisters and brothers which falls on the full moon day of the month of Sravan (August-September) As per the tradition, the sister on this day prepares the pooja thali with diya, roli, chwal and rachis. She worships the deities, ties Rakhi to the brothers and wishes for their well being. The brother in turn acknowledges the love with a promise to be by the sister’s side through thick and thin and gives her a token gift.
This festival has been celebrated in the same way with the same traditions for centuries. Only the means have changed with the changing lifestyles. This is the day that still pulls the siblings together. They try to reach out to each other on the Raksha Bandhan day. The joyous meeting, the rare family get-together, the erstwhile feeling of sisterhood and brotherhood calls for a massive celebration.
The sisters tie the Rakhi, thread of love to their brother’s wrist amongst chanting of mantras, put roli and rice on the forehead and pray for his well being. She bestows him with sifts and blessings. The brother also wishes her a good life and pledges to take care of her. He gives her a return of gift. The gift is the physical acceptance of her love, reminder of their togetherness and symbol of his pledge.
Well, that is kind of an end to the rituals but the celebrations actually start after that. For parents, it is a family reunion. Tasty dishes, wonderful sweets, exchange of gifts and sharing past experiences. For those who are not able to visit each other, Rakhi cards and e. rachis and Rakhis through mail perform part of communicating the Rakhi messages. Hand made Rakhis and self made Rakhis are just a representation of personal feelings of the siblings.
The crux is that Raksha Bhandan or Rakhi brings people together in the spirit of all Indian festivals.


Sri Rama Navami is dedicated to the memory of Lord Rama, the 7th Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Sri Rama is portrayed as being the ideal man and his wife Sita is the ideal woman. We all know Sri Rama Navami commemorates the divine birth of Sri Rama. This auspicious day is celebrated on Chaitra sukla Navami (9th day of the bright half of the month Chaitra . In the latter years on the same day, Sita Rama Kalyanam (marriage) took place
In the word Rama,’Ra ‘ came from the sacred Mahamantra ‘Aum Namo naRAyana and ‘Ma’ came from the highly sacred Panchakshari mantra of ‘Aum NaMAh Sivaya’ of Mahadeva (Shankara or Shiva). So Rama nama is the Taraka mantra an auspicious and favourite of both Saivites and Vishnanites.’Where ever 4 Hindus live, Rama and Sita will be there’ so said Swami Vivekananda. The reverse is also equally true. Where ever Rama and Sita live, the people there will remain and live as Hindus. In many Northern parts of Bharat, mutual greetings take the form of ‘Jai Ramjee Ki’
The name Ramayana teaches us two lesions; 1.the value of detachment, 2.the need to become aware of the divine in every being. ‘Be in the world but not of it’. When we utter the word Rama, we first open the mouth with the sound ‘Ra’-all our sins go out when our mouth is open. When we utter Ma, by closing our mouth, the entry is barred against the sins that have gone out. We all know the famous sloka,
“ Sree Raama Raama Raamethi
Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasra Naama Thattulyam
Raama Naama Varanane”
If you utter Rama Nama, it is equavalent to chanting Vishnu Sahasranama. Such is the importance of chanting Rama Nama.
Ramayana teaches us, ‘Renunciation leads to the joy and attachment brings about grief.
It is highly believed that reading, watching or at least listening of the sacred Ramayana around Sri Rama Navami is very beneficial. Fortunately for Telugu people, there is an audio version of Ramayana in 9 parts, which is free on the Internet, which took me 5 hours to listen. We can listen for 9 days approaching Rama Navami. It is really high quality narrating with beautiful language and once you start listening, it is very difficult to stop until it is finished. To access this, please go to on the left side click down loads-devotional songs. Then click Srirama to listen Ushasri Ramayanam. Have a go at it and see what you think!
It is also desirable to read or listen, HANUMAN CHALISA and ADITYA HRIDAYAM, the latter not only on this occasion but also on every Sunday before the Sunrise and the former every Tuesday morning and Saturday morning, these two days being the favourite of Sri Hanuman.
The ‘Ramayana’ literally means ‘the march of Rama’ in search of human values. We all owe a lot to the great sage Valmiki (Ratnakar who was a robber transformed into a great sage) who told the story of Rama to the humanity. As we all know Ramayana is written in so many languages in the world but the one who is responsible for its wide popularity goes Rama charita manus by Goswami Tulasidas. In the modern world, the credit goes to late Sri Ramananda Sagar’s Ramayana serial which was shown on the little box in whole (including Uttar Ramayana) for the first time which enabled to appreciate by all sections and by all ages and by all kinds of people, educated or uneducated with English sub titles, that was watched by millions through out the globe. We are very fortunate to witness the modern marvel in front of our eyes sitting in our own homes, with all the family.
We all know this function is shown in Andhra on television live from Bhadrachalam every year. Bhadrachala Rama is special in that, this is the only place one can see Rama with four hands and only here one can see Sita sitting on Sri Rama’s left lap. Such is the significance of Bhadrachala Sri Rama.

SHRAVANA MASAM: Shravana Masam (month) which comes this year between July 26th to August 31st. During this time the mood sets in, in terms of religious fervour. It is the most important month, which needs a special mention for women who perform pujas for the welfare of their family.
It is during this month that Goddess Lakshmi along with Chandra (Moon) her brother rose from Ksheerasagara Madhanam i.e. Churning of the ocean of milk. Lakshmi emerged in all her splendour with nine gems, unlike ‘Karthika’ month, Shravana month is a month of festivals.
While Fridays are reserved for worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, Tuesdays are marked for worship of the Goddess Gowri or Parvati,
This year (2006), in this sacred month of Shravana the following festivals occur:
July 30th NAGA PANCHAMI: these two festivals of snakes fall on the fifth day of bright fortnight of Shravana month. Snake worship no doubt owes its origin to man’s natural fear of these reptiles. Because of cyclical moulting, the serpent is believed to be immortal by the Hindus. Temples also been erected in honour of snakes. There is one famous temple in Karnataka state at a place called Subrammania, which is also the name of great snake on which Lord Vishnu reclines when he sleeps in the sea.
Snake worship is more common in peninsular India than in North India.
On these days women draw figures of snakes on the walls of their houses using black powder, cow dung and milk. These festivals also herald the arrival of Ganesh almost exactly after a month.
In Kerala the snake temples are crowded on these days and worship is offered to a stone or metal icons of cosmic serpent Anantha or Sesha. In Punjab this festival is celebrated in September- October and is called Guga Naumi
In West Bengal and parts of Assam and Orissa, the snake deity worshiped on these days is the Goddess Manasa.
Naga Panchami is observed in different ways in different parts of India. It is one of the most ancient fasts and finds it’s mention in the Puranas and is believed to be one of the most auspicious days of the year.

August 1st MANGALA GOWRI VRATAM: This festival is called Shravana Mangalavara Gowri Vratam. In this festival both married and unmarried women take part in equal measure. It is not just an elaborate puja performed in all religiosity in the morning, it also entails a grand ‘perantam (a sacred get together of women folk in every household in the evening)
This festival is celebrated by women folk for the welfare of their whole family.

August 4thVARALAKSHMI VRATAM: The glory of performing the Varalakshmi Vratam, narrated directly by Lord Shiva Himself, is elaborately discussed in the Skanda Puranam. This is a festival to propitiate Shri Varalakshmi (Mahalakshmi)- the consort of Lord Vishnu, who is the abode of all mangalam (auspicious), prosperity and wealth. It is to be performed on the Shravana Shukla Shukravaram (Friday), on the Friday immediately following the full moon day in the auspicious month of Shravanam. This Vratam is undertaken by the sumangalis (whose husbands are still alive) for good progeny, good health and wishing long life for the husbands.
Lakshmi is symbolic of eight forces- wealth (Shri), earth (bhu), learning (saraswati), love (priti), fame (kirti), peace (shanty), pleasure (tushti), and strength (pushti). Each of these forces is called called a Lakshmi, and collectively, they are known as Ashta (eight) Lakshmi
The previous evening of the festival, the house is cleaned and a bronze or silver kalasam is filled with rice or water, coins, turmeric, a whole lime, betel leaf and nut. The kalasam is decorated with sandal paste and kumkum, a coconut smeared with turmeric is kept on it and mango leaves placed around. The face of Goddess Lakshmi decorated with jewels is placed against the coconut. Arati is taken at night after the Goddess is offered white pongal for neivedhyam.
The next morning the Goddess is welcomed to the specially erected pandal by singing the song “Varalakshmi Raave ma intiki”. The kalasam is placed on a bed of raw rice spread over a plantain leaf. Pooja is begun with an invocation to Lord Ganesha. During the pooja the Lakshmi sahasranamam and other slokas are chanted.
After doing the pooja that would include the Lakshmi Ashothram and sahasranamam, a yellow thread called ‘saradu’ is tied by the women on their wrists. The women who do the Nonbu fast that day eating only certain foods that have been offered to the Goddess first.
In the evening, women visit one another for exchange of thamboolam. The next day after doing the punar pooja, the holy water is sprinkled through out the house or the rice is added to the storage.

August 9th SHRAVANA PURNIMA OR KAJARI PURNIMA: This fall s on the same day as Raksha Bhandan on Shravana Purnima. This festival is mainly celebrated in Madhya pradesh and some parts of Uttar pradesh. This festival is important to the farmers as it signifies the beginning of sowing season. They worship Goddess Bhagavati and seek blessings for a good crop.


THAI POOSAM: Thai Poosam is a festival occurring in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan-Feb) on the day of the star Poosam around Purnima (full moon) celebrated mainly in Tamil Nadu. One of the legends to this festival is, there was a demon named Tharakasura who gave lot of trouble to the Rishis and saints. Lord Murugan was called by his parents, Lord Shiva and Parvati and given the job of destroying the Asura. Lord Muragan set of with the blessings his parents to destroy the demon. He took with him twelve weapons, eleven of which were given by his father, Lord Shiva and the ‘vel’ given by his mother Parvati. Lord Murugan destroyed Tharakasura on the Poosam nakshtra day in the Tamil month of Thai, hence the name Thai Poosam.It is celebrated in all Murugan temples, the main temple being in Palani. Thus it is a special day for the worship of Lord Murugan or Subramanya.
Thai Poosam Kavady-The carrying of Kavady symbolizes the carrying of one’s burden and then resting it at the feet of the Lord. Kavu+Adi is a pole slung across the shoulder to evenly distribute the weight of whatever is being carried. This day falls on the full moon day.

UGADI: Ugadi is the most important festival for Hindus, which falls on Chaitra Suddha Padyami or the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Chaitra that falls in the months of March or April.
People of Andhra and Karnataka use the term Ugadi for this festival, the people of Maharashtra term the same festival, observed on the same day as Gudi Padwa. The New Year as per the solar calendar followed by people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala around the same time of the year in March or April. The Punjabi New Year ‘Baisakhi’ falls soon after Ugadi.
Ugadi is the beginning of the Telugu New Year. According to the English calendar, this would be described as February 20th, 3102 B. C . In order to bring about this aspect of the commencement of a new yuga , our Ancestors have been calling that day as Ugadi , the day of new era or the day of the a new Yuga.
Ugadi is also the day on which Sri Krishna gave up His mortal body in a sacred place of pilgrimage called Prabahatsa near Dwaraka. This day is also the commencement of Kaliyuga in which we live in the present moment.
On this day, it is the practice of the rural folk to eat what is called ‘UGADI PACCHADI’. This is chutney made from neem flowers, mango juice, honey, jaggary and other ingredients with different tastes. The inner significance of this preparation is to indicate that LIFE IS A MIXTURE OF GOOD AND BAD, JOY AND SORROW AND ALL OF THEM HAVE TO BE TREATED ALIKE. ALL EXPERIENCES HAVE TO BE TREATED WITH EQUANIMITY. We all should make a resolve that we will face calmly whatever happens in this year, accepting it with God’s grace. Welcome everything and consider everything as for our own good. We should rise above sorrow and happiness, success and failure. This is the primary message of Ugadi festival.
Let us always keep the following things in mind. 1. It is not necessary that all situations should be favourable to us. 2.It is not possible that all people be helpful to us. 3. It is not possible that all things work out as per our wishes. 4. We should always tell ourselves “What God does for us in spite of all our efforts, will be only for our betterment.

VAIKUNTA EKADASI: Vaikunta Ekadasi, the Ekadasi of Vaikunta (the abode of Vishnu) falls on the 11th day of the Sukla Paksha (the waxing phase of the moon) of Dhanur (Margazhi in Tamil) month. Hindus consider it a very auspicious day and observe it as a day of prayer and fasting. According to legend, the gods and demons churned the divine ocean for Amrita on the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi, following which Shiva consumed the poison that resulted. Hence Shaivaites consider this Ekadasi as Nanjunda Ekadasi. It is believed that whoever dies on this day will achieve Moksha.
According to Padma puranam, during Krita Yuga, also termed as the golden age, an asura called Muran harassed both devas and mortals. Unable to bear his tyranny, the devas sought refuse in Shiva. He directed them to approach Vishnu. Vishnu agreed to help devas and went out to battle with Muran. During the long battle, which lasted one thousand celestial years. Vishnu needed to rest for a while. He entered a beautiful cave called Himavati in Badrikashrama to sleep. Muran wanted to strike Vishnu while he was sleeping. However, Shakti, Vishnu’s female energy emerged out of his body and assumed the form of beautiful damsel who fought Muran and vanquished him. When Vishnu awoke, he was very pleased and named this maiden as Ekadasi and granted a boon. The maiden said, “O Lord, if you are pleased with me and wish to give me a boon, then give me the power to deliver people from the greatest sins, if they fast of this day”. Vishnu granted her the boon and declared that people worshiping her would reach Vaikunta. Thus it is said, was born the first Ekadasi, which was a Dhanurmasa sukla paksha Ekadasi. Sages and devout people have been since, observing the Ekadasi vrata regularly. Here the demon Muran represents the tamasic and rajasic qualities in us. The import of Ekadasi vrata is that one can conquer rajasic and tamasic tendencies in us through fasting. This helps us to reach our ultimate destination, Vaikunta, which is the place or stage of no ‘kunitha’ or dullness, stupidity and misery.
Due to the above two legends, this divine event is interpreted in the following manner. The ocean of milk is the human heart filled with satvic tendencies (kindness, purity and goodness). However in all of us there exist both types of inclinations, good (devas) and bad (asuras). Only sadhana or the churning process will throw out the poison in us and we can procure the sweet nectar, which will liberate us from the cycle of birth and death. Shaivaites call this day as Nanjunda Ekadasi, as it was on this day Shiva consumed nanju, the poison that emanated from the churning of the ocean.
Some schools of thought that Sri Krishna gave the Gitopadesam to Arjuna on the day of Vaikunta Ekadasi. For the Vaishnavas, it is very holy day and should be ideally spent in fasting, prayer and meditation. While Vaikunta Ekadasi is observed in all Vaishnava temples, the day is very special at the Sri Ranganatha temple at Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. We were very fortunate to be at Srirangam on Vaikunta Ekadasi a few years ago without knowing, that day was Vaikunta Ekadasi. As there were thousands of people on that day, we were not able to have the darshan of Sri Ranganatha. We hope to go again to have the darshan, when the time comes. On this auspicious day, Lord Ranganatha in all His glory and resplendence enters the Parama Padha Vassal (the gateway to salvation) at the sacred precincts of the temple at Srirangam and showers His blessings and grace on mankind.

VASANTA PANCHAMI: Vasanta Panchami is a festival full of religious, seasonal and social significance and is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. With verve and new sense of optimism. Vasanta means ‘the spring season’. It is a festival dedicated to Saraswati. Bengalis call this festival Saraswati puja. The image of the Goddess is taken in procession and immersed in the holy Ganges.
Magh sud 5 (5th day of the bright fortnight of Hindu lunar month Magh) is the day of Vasanta Panchami (Jan-Feb) every year. It is believed that this day is Saraswati’s birthday and this day is also known as Saraswati day. She is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga and the consort of Lord Brahma. In Maratha country, Goddess Saraswati is sometimes called the wife of Ganesh and sometimes as his attendant. Saraswati is also known by various names such as Vina pani (holding Vina0, Sharada (giver of essence). Vagis vasi (mistress of speech), Brahmi (wife of Brahma), Maha vidya (knowledge supreme) etc.
On Vasanta Panchami day Saraswati is dressed in yellow cloths and garments and worshiped with puja, Havan etc; Men and women wear yellow cloths on that day. Sweetmeats of yellowish hues are exchanged with relatives and friends. Saraswati has four hands signifying four aspects of human learning, mind, intellect, alertness and ego.
On this day children are taught their first words, as it is a very auspicious day. Pundit Madan Mohan Malaviya laid the foundation of the great Kashi Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya on this Vasanta Panchami day, which became a world famous top class academic institution.
The white swan of Saraswati is symbolising sattwa guna (purity and discrimination)
On this memorable day, Lord Shiva burnt the god of Love, cupid. The gods had sent Cupid to tempt the Lord while He was absorbed in samadhi, in order to beget a powerful son who would be able to destroy the wicked demon Tarakasura. Cupid discharged an arrow at Lord Shiva from behind a tree. Shiva became very angry and opened His third eye and reduced Cupid to ashes.


OTHER COMMONLY CELEBRATED FESTIVALS: Apart from the main Hindu Festivals described above, there are other important dates in Hindu calendar worth mentioning and are celebrated by millions of Hindus all over the globe. The following are mentioned here.

January 12th 1863: Swami Vivekananda’s Birthday
February 18th 1836 Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s Birthday
April 14th 1891 Dr. Bhimarao Ramji Ambedkar’s Birthday

Monday, 1 November 2010


Diwali is a festival of warmth and love. Diwali is about visiting friends and relatives, sharing food and sweets, exchanging gifts and celebrating the prosperity and plenitude of harvests granted to us through the grace of god.

Traditionally, Diwali is a four-day celebration beginning with Dhantraiyodashi when diyas are lit as an offering to God. The second day is Narak Chaturdashi when demon Naraksura was killed by Lord Krishna.

Laxmi Pujan is celebrated on the third day with prayers for the blessings of the previous year. This is also the special day on which Ram, Sita and Lakshman returned to Ayodhaya.

Puja is conducted to welcome the New Year the following day, a day for new beginnings

Those who would like to know about this universal festival of DIWALI and the origin and background stories which are now forgotten can be read by clicking the link below


There is not one reason but 10 reasons to celebrate Diwali all over the globe and please click the link below

To celebrate this four day festival of DEEPAVALI by all the family to brighten up our life in everyday, please click the link below

KALI PUJA (LAKSHMI) is on Friday, November 5 and please click the link below to know more about Kali puja

LET US Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul. The sun does not shine there, nor do the moon and the stars, nor do lightnings shine and much less fire. All the lights of the world cannot be compared even to a ray of the inner light of the Self. Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali".

Telugus are a bit more fortunate especially for our younger NOT YET MARRIED SISTERS & MARRIED SISTERS AS WELL to listen RUKMINI KALYANAM during the four days of Deepavali in the evening by all the family to get good natured husbands who are yet to get married and to have a happy, blissful married life to those who are married with good natured daughters and sons by clicking the link below in TELUGU AUDIO

By listening this we not only hear Rukmini Kalyanam but also the live darshan of Lord Sri Venkateswara in your own home!


Those who cannot have 4 hours to spend also there is a way but you need to spend about 2 hours in a shorter version of the same thing by same divine soul by clicking the link below and listen parts 80 & 81 of Bhagavata pravachanam by SRI CHAGANTI KOTESWARARAO GARU

Let us hope and pray that we all get a blissful Diwali with all our family & friends not only during Diwali time but everyday of our remaining time on this sacred earth.

With Love, Light & Peace to all,