Archive for the ‘Hobbies’ Category

Updated: Deepavali-Diwali – October 21st – 24th

The word Diwali originated from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali” which means “rows of light”. This 5 day long Hindu festival is celebrated throughout the world with great enthusiasm and happiness. Diwali or deepavali is the festival signifying the victory of good against evil.

It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India and all over the world. Diwali comes 3 weeks after Dasara.

The first day of Diwali celebrations i.e. on Thrayodasi ತ್ರಯೋದಶಿ is called as Neeru Thumbuva Habba ನೀರು ತುಂಬುವ ಹಬ್ಬ in Kannada. This day all the vessels which are used to fill or collect water are cleaned in the evening, decorated with mango leaves, flowers, and rangoli. I remember all the water geysers and boilers were washed, filled with fresh water and rangoli drawn on them this day.

The rangoli prepared is by soaking rice in water for a few hours and grinding the same into a smooth paste. My Mom used to take a piece of cloth, dip it into this rice paste and draw Rangoli every where from the front door to the kitchen. All corners of the house used to have rangoli, which used to be as white as milk. Just amazing.

Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated on the second day of diwali celebrations. People wake up early in the morning apply the kumkum (ladies in the household do the arathi), on their foreheads and then take bath.

We used to all sit on a platform, usually called a Mane which is decorated with Rangoli designs, lamps lit on both sides. Everyone is applied Kumkum on the forehead, given betel leaf, nut, and arathi is done by elderly ladies in the house. They will take the oil cup and dip a flower  in it and apply it on everyones head. And the man are supposed to give money for the ladies doing the Aarathi. Such a nice tradition, isn’t it?

The story goes that Narakasura the daemon ruler of Pragjyotishpur after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned 16,000 daughters of the gods and saints in his harem. On the day previous to Naraka-chaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned daughters and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. As a symbol of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood and returned home in the very early morning of the Naraka-chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice.

Another legend is about King Bali. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all ‘Devatas’ so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali’s powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height ‘Brahmin’, and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height ‘Brahmin’ asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish. That very moment that short-height ‘Brahmin’ disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.

The third day of Diwali is the most important day during which we perform Lakshmi Pooje; to the Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Pooje falls on the dark night of Amavasya. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek blessings of Goddess of Wealth.

I am sure you all will do the Lakshmi Pooje, and get her blessings. The most important song we sing while performing Lakshmi Pooje is Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma song.

The fourth day of Diwali is called “Bali Padyami“. Bali would come out of Pathala Loka and rule Bhuloka as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is known as ‘Bali Padyami’.

P.S: Diwali dates – 2014

This year Diwali is celebrated from November 1st – November 4th.

October 21st – Neeru Thumbuva Habba

October 22nd – Naraka Chaturdasi

October 23rd – Lakshmi Pooja

October  24th – Bali Padyami

What is Naraka Chaturdashi?

Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated on the second day of diwali celebrations. People wake up early in the morning apply the kumkum (ladies in the household do the arathi), on their foreheads and then take bath.

The story goes that Narakasura the daemon ruler of Pragjyotishpur after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned 16,000 daughters of the gods and saints in his harem. On the day previous to Naraka-chaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned daughters and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. As a symbol of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood and returned home in the very early morning of the Naraka-chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice.

Another legend is about King Bali. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all ‘Devatas’ so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali’s powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height ‘Brahmin’, and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height ‘Brahmin’ asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish. That very moment that short-height ‘Brahmin’ disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.

October 23rd – Lakshmi Pooja

P.S: Past few years pooja pictures attached below….


The third day of Diwali is the most important day during which we perform Lakshmi Pooje; to the Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Pooje falls on the dark night of Amavasya. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek blessings of Goddess of Wealth.

I am sure you all will do the Lakshmi Pooje, and get her blessings. The most important song we sing while performing Lakshmi Pooje is Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma song.

Some useful links for Lakshmi Pooja:

October 24th – Bali Padyami

The fourth day of Diwali is called “Bali Padyami“. Bali would come out of Pathala Loka  ಪಾತಾಳ ಲೋಕ and rule Bhuloka ಭೂಲೋಕ as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is known as ‘Bali Padyami’.

King Bali of the netherworld, with his mighty power, had become a threat to the gods. To curb his powers, Lord Vishnu in the guise of a Brahmin boy (Vamana), visited him and begged for that much land he could cover with three footsteps.

So, with the first step, Vamana covered the entire heaven and with the second step the earth. When he asked Bali where he could keep his third step, Bali offered his head and put the Lord’s foot on his head. Lord Vishnu banishes Bali into the Pathala (nether land) by his third stride. Later, pleased by his generosity, Lord Vishnu grants him a boon to return to earth once in a year to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance and spread the radiance of love and wisdom.

Links to songs sung while performing Aarathi during Diwali.

Diwali Songs Part 1

Diwali Songs Part2

Dishes to be prepared for Diwali

Rangoli for Diwali

Goddess Lakshmi Songs

Rangoli For Lakshmi Pooja

Snake Gourd Kootu – Paduvala Kayi Kootu

Snake Gourd Kootu – Paduvala Kayi Kootu is a dish which my Husband loves dearly. Last week when we went to H-Mart found Snake Gourd, and both kinds of Pumpkin. He wanted me to make this Kootu, so here is the recipe.

I used the same procedure as posted in Sweet or Sihi Kootu. Used Moong dal instead of Toor dal.

The very first time I fried all the ingredients I received a phone call, lowered the heat and went to take the call. By the time I came back the ingredients where charred black. Had to redo the whole thing again. So, while frying the ingredients, stay close to the Gas Stove. :)

Ingredients to grind:

  1. Urad dal or Uddina Bele –  1 tablespoon
  2. Whole Black pepper or Menasu – 10
  3. Raw Rice – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
  4. Whole Red Chillies – 5 (use less than less spicy)
  5. Fresh or dry coconut – 5 tablespoons

P.S: 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

Other Ingredients:

  1. 1 big Snake Gourd washed and chopped
  2. 1 cup cooked Moong dal or Hesaru Bele
  3. For seasoning :  Oil, mustard seeds, hing, turmeric.

Method:

  • Fry all the ingredients mentioned in ingredients to grind. Once it is cooled, grind into a smooth paste.
  • Cook moong dal in pressure cooker along with Snake Gourd.
  • In a big vessel, mix the cooked dal, add the ground paste.
  • Add salt.
  • In a pan, heat oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, hing, turmeric.
  • Add this to the dal, and vegetable mixture.
  • Let it boil for a few more minutes.
  • Serve with rice or chapathi.
  • I had made Sweet Pumpkin Palya and fried a few Happala and Sandige.

snake-gourd-kootu

 

Poorva/Madhya Aradhana – Srirangam Mutt Pictures

Some amazing pictures from Srirangam Mutt.

  1. Poorva Aradhana – Srirangam Mutt
  2. Madhya Aradhana – Srirangam Mutt

Shri Krishna Janmashtami/Krishna Jayanthi – August 17th 2014

ಕೃಷ್ನಯ ವಾಸುದೇವಾಯ
ದೇವಕಿ ನಂದ  ನಾಯಚ
ನಂದಗೋಪ  ಕುಮಾರಾಯ
ಶ್ರೀ  ಗೋವಿಂದಯ ನಮೋ  ನಮಃ

ಕೃಷ್ಣಯ ವಾಸುದೇವಾಯ  ಹರಯೇ  ಪರಮಾತ್ಮನೇ
ಪ್ರಣತ ಕ್ಲೇಶ  ನಾಶಾಯ  ಗೋವಿಂದಾಯ  ನಮೋ ನಮಃ

KRISHNAYA VASUDEVAYA
DEVAKI NANDA NAYACHA
NANDAGOPA KUMARAYA
SRI GOVINDAYA NAMO NAMAHA

KRISHNAYA VASUDEVAYA HARAYE PARAMAATMANE
PRANATHAH KLESHA NAASHAAYA GOVINDAAYA NAMONAMAHA


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Shri Krishnastami is celebrated on Sunday August 17th 2014. Sri Krishnastami or Krishna Jayanthi marks the celebration of the birth of Lord Sri Krishna;the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the ‘Rohini’ nakshatra on Ashtami; that’s why it is called Krishnastami. In karnataka it is also known as Gokulashtami and Janmashtami. The festival occurs between August and September in our English calendar.

According to our Hindu mythology, Krishna was born to destroy Mathura’s demon King Kamsa, brother of his virtuous mother, Devaki. A celestial voice told Kamsa that he would be killed by the eighth child of Devaki. Alarmed by the message, Kamsa imprisoned Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. Taking no chances, Kamsa went on killing Devaki’s children soon after birth. Lord Krishna was born as the eighth child of Vasudeva at midnight. But at Krishna’s birth, under divine instructions, Vasudeva left the prison unnoticed with the baby. He crossed the mighty river Yamuna which was in spate due to heavy rains. Without any difficulty, he walked across the river protected from rain by the mighty serpent Shesha, and reached Gokul. In Gokul, on the same midnight, a girl named Yogamaya had been born to Yasoda, wife of Nanda a herdsman. The babies were exchanged, and Vasudeva came back to prison with the girl. When Kamsa was told that his sister had given birth to a child, Kamsa attempted kill the child. But the baby who was Goddess Maya, flew off to the heaven, warning Kamsa that Krishna, who would kill him, had already been born and was alive. Eventually, Krishna killed Kamsa, and released his parents from the prison, and brought peace and happiness to the common people.

In our Madhwa tradition, we are supposed to fast on this day, and late during the night; usually midnight we are supposed to give Arghya to Lord krishna. Here is the stotra to be said while giving Arghya to Lord Krishna. While giving the Arghya, hold a coin, a lemon and dried date in your right hand, and using a silver spoon offer 3 times milk and 3 times water to Lord krishna in a silver bowl, and keep repeating the below Stotra as well. Everyone in the household has to give Arghya to the Lord.

Argya Stotra

Arghya Stotra

Arghya Stotra from the Utharadi Matta Panchanga

Arghya Stotra from the Utharadi Matta Panchanga

Krishna Arghya

Jathaha Kamsavadarthaya Bhoobharotharanayacha|
Kouravanam Vinashaya Dhaityanam Nidhanaya Cha ||
Pandavanam Hitharthaya Dharamasamsthapanaya Cha|
GruhanaArghyam Maya Dhatham Devakya Sahitho Hare ||

Chandra Arghya

Kshirodharnava Sambhootha AthiGotraSamudhbhava |
GruhanaArghyam Maya Dhatham Rhohinya Sahitho Shashin ||

Another set from Prasanna.

Krishna Arghya mantra
jatah kamsavadharthay bhubharo harNayacha

kouravaNam vinashaya diatyanam nidhanaya cha
panDavanam hitarthaya dharma sansthapanay cha

grahaNaarghyam mya dattam devikya sahito hare||

chandra arghya
kshirodarNav sambhootham atrigotra samudbhavam
grahaNrghyam mya dattam rohiNya sahitah shashinah||

The food items performed are mostly sweet dishes, fried items and items with Avalakki. All these dishes are performed with extreme madi. If you are not able to do so, here are some useful tips:

1. The most important thing in any festival is the breaking of the coconut and offering it to god, so bring a coconut.

2. Keep also 5 fruits for offering to god, like Banana, Mango, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Plum, Pear and so on..

3. You can make the following dishes which have been mentioned here in the blog which need no cooking at all, add the seasonings after you do the Naivedaya to god.

4. If you don’t mind cooking on the gas stove, here are other recipes you can make as well

5. Bring lots of flowers which are again easily available; roses

6. Offer butter also to the Lord which again is available in all grocery stores.

7. Below are several links which has all the songs in praise of Lord Krishna posted in this blog.

8. Here are some links from dvaita.org as pdf files

9. We also place a silver cradle and keep the Ambegalu Krishna idol in the cradle and rock the cradle while singing the following song:

10. Recite Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya as many times as possible.

11. Little feet of Lord Krishna are drawn as well along with other rangolis.

11. Last but not the least, do as many namaskaras as you can and break the fast.

Once you finish the pooje, surrender yourself to the Almighty Lord by saying the following Stotra.

ಕಾಯೇನ  ವಾಚ ಮನಸೇನದ್ರಿಯಿರ್ವ
ಬುದ್ಧ್ಯತ್ಮನ  ವ  ಪ್ರಕೃತೆ  ಸ್ವಭಾವತ್
ಕರೋಮಿ  ಯದ್ಯಥ್   ಸಕಲಂ  ಪರಸ್ಮೈ
ಶ್ರೀಮಾನ್ ನಾರಾಯಣಯೇತಿ ಸಮರ್ಪಯಾಮಿ

KAYENA VACHA MANASENDRIYAIRVA
BUDDHYATMANA VA PRAKRITE SWABHAVATH
KAROMI YADYAD SAKALAM PARASMAI
SRIMAN NARAYANAYETI SAMARPAYAMI

May Lord Krishna Bless ALL

ಶ್ರೀ ಕೃಷ್ಣರ್ಪನಮಸ್ತು

Shri Raghavendra Swamy Aaradhane – August 11th-13th 2014

August 11th – Monday- Shri Raghavendra Swamy Purvaradhana
August 12th - Tuesday- Shri Raghavendra Swamy Madhyaradhana
August 13th  – Wednesday- Shri Raghavendra Swamy Uttararadhana

This year Shri Raghavendra Swamy Aaradhane is from August 11th -13th  and is celebrated all across India, and many other countries in Rayara Matta’s and also many households. My parents do Rayara Seva every year during Aaradhane, and I being a strong devotee  of Rayaru do it myself; no matter where I am in the world. I did it when I was in India, Dubai and continue doing here as well in the USA. So, if you are a devotee, than try doing as much or as little as possible to this great Guru of ours and get his blessings.

If you need to know how to do Seva, here is a link from the Mantralaya web site about who and how the seva should be performed. Read the link here:

In paragraph 10, it clearly states other ways of offering seva to Rayarau as such:

10.Are there other ways of performing Seva to Rayaru?

Yes. As stated before, if one is sincere and devoted to Hari, Vayu and Rayaru, there are many ways of performing Seva to Rayaru. The following section lists some of the main ones:

a) Sitting in one place and reciting Sri Raghavendra stotra 108 times.

b) Hejje namaskara (going around the Brindavana advancing one foot at a time and performing namaskara for each stride)

c) Urulu Seva – rolling on the body and going around the brindavana. This is forbidden for women.

d) Reciting Sri Raghavendra stotra 108 times while performing abhisheka for Rayara Brindavana with cow’s milk.

e) Going through religious works composed by great gyaanis; some of the popular ones are Sudha, Parimala, Sri Madhva Vijaya,Sri Raghavendra Vijaya etc.

In all of the above cases, the main ingredient is sincerity, pure heart and intense devotion.

I have added several lyrics on Shri Raghavendra Swamy in this blog, you can look for those at the lyrics page, or click on the Shri Raghavendra Swamy categories section and you will be listed with several songs. There are several songs as well on the audio on youtube page.

A new page is also created with all the lyrics for our beloved Rayaru.

Late Shri Mantralaya Swamigalu doing pooje can be watched here at youtube

Arathi being done to Shri Raghavendra Swamy brindavana at Mantralaya can be watched here

Listen to Sri Raghavendra Stotra here at youtube

You can also listen to all the songs recorded ever on Sri Raghavendra Swamy ever at KannadaAudio.com

Shri Vara Mahalakshmi Vrata – August 8th 2014

Shri Vara Mahalakshmi Vrata is performed by married Hindu women to seek the blessings of the Goddess Mahalakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu.

The Vrata is observed on the Friday immediately preceding the full moon day of the month of
Sravana Masa. On the day of Pooje or Vrata, women clean their homes and decorate their front yards with rangolis. Later, they take a bath and deck wear pure silk saree and jewellery. The lady performing the pooje makes a mandala with the drawing of a lotus upon it. A kalasha filled with rice and topped with fresh mango and betel leaves, a coconut smeared with haldi and kumkum and cloth are placed on the mandala and Lakshmi is invoked therein.

After the worship of the kalasha, follows the worship of Ganesha, then the worship of the sacred thread. Now the main worship of Vara Lakshmi begins and the scared thread is worshipped a second time. It is then tied to the right hand of the lady. After the worship thamboola is given to 5 married ladies.

The same evening, we invite all the neighboring ladies(married women) and offer them tamboola; also called veeledele Adike, which is an offering of betel leaves, fruits, betel nuts, kumkum, haldi and dakshine. At this point the ladies also sing songs in praise of goddess Varalakshmi.

Attached below is a scanned vrata procedure in Kannada:

So, here comes the link which has the lyrics for all songs posted on this blog on Goddess Lakshmi.

And here comes the link which has colorful and many designs for drawing Rangoli

And can any festival be complete without authentic dishes? Here are some recipes posted in this blog:

Attached is the post link for the links I have for lyrics, and Shravana Friday Pooje procedure.

P.S: As always no food is prepared with onion or garlic.

Shri Vara Mahalakshmi Vrata pooje at Chandrika’s house six years back.

Shri Vara MahaLakshmi Vrata 1

Shri Vara MahaLakshmi Vrata 1

Update : Nagara Chauthi/Panchami – July 31st- August 1st 2014

Nagara Chauthi is the fourth day of the Shravana masa. On this day married women take head bath and wearing wet clothes (or washed clothes separately) which makes it very pure, either do the pooje to the snake hootha or place a silver idol of Nagappa and continue. Unboiled milk or raw milk, haldi,  soaked kadale, gejjevastra and flowers are offered to the idol of Nagappa. Women who do the pooje on this day fast as well. This is how we do the pooje in Madhwa houses. No fried items are prepared during this day. Women also prepare thambittu and do aarathi to Nagappa using the same. All this needs to be done in madi.

P.S: No Kumkum is applied to Nagappa on Chauthi. The gejjevastra is prepared by applying Haldi. No deep fired items as well.

Next day being the Nagara Panchami, everyone in the house performs the pooje; including children. If you are offering milk to the idol of Nagappa; it is customary to do the pooje to Nagappa as soon as you wake up, take a shower and even before drinking your coffee in the morning. As done in the previous day, place a silver plate, keep the idol of Nagappa. Pour 3 times milk, water, haldi, kumkum, gejjevastra, flowers and kadale. Prepare the thambittu and do the aarathi.

P.S:Kumkum is applied to Nagappa on Panchami. The gejjevastra is prepared by applying Kumkum. No deep fired items as well.

It is also customary to draw images of Nagappa on the front door, hosthilu and also near the place you worship using rice paste. Haldi, kumkum, gejje vastra and flowers are applied to these as well.

Lord Krishna was playing ball with his friends, when suddenly the ball got entangled in the high branch of a tree. Krishna volunteered to climb the tree and fetch the ball. But below the tree the river Yamuna was flowing in full glory, in which the snake Kalinga was living. Nobody dared to go near that place. Lord Krishna ignoring the warnings of his friends jumps into the water. The dangerous ‘Kalinga” serpent comes up. But Krishna was ready and jumping on the snake’s head, starts dancing on its head. Kalinga realizes the strength of Lord Krishna and pleads with Krishna: “Please, do not kill me.” Krishna takes sympathy on Kalinga and after taking a promise that henceforth he would not harm anybody, he let the snake go free into the river again. Hence, Nag Panchami is also commemorated as a day of victory of Lord Krishna over Kalinga the legendary snake.

What to eat during Nagara Chauthi?

So, here are the items you can prepare during this day, when you are not supposed to fry anything.

What to eat during Nagara Panchami? No frying on this day as well. And no dish made out of Vermicelli or Shavige.

To prepare Thambittu follow this procedure:

P.S: Nagara Panchami Haadu/Song is posted here

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