Update: Makara Sankranthi – Jan 14th 2017

The 2nd week of January is the festival “Makara Sankranthi”. This year it is on 14th, which is a Saturday.

P.S: Please check your local calendars and temples to see the exact date.

Makara Sankranthi is a widely celebrated festival in different parts of India.  On this day,  Lord Surya or Sun is worshiped.  It is also celebrated as a harvest festival in many parts of India. On this day, Sun begins his journey to the Northern Hemisphere, most commonly called as Uttharayana.  As with all other festivals, this festival also has many legends, two such commonly told legends are:

1. Lord Surya or Sun visits Shani on this day.

2. Bheeshma Pithamaha, who was able to choose when he will die, chose this day to end his life.

The house is cleaned, and decorated with fresh green mango leaves tied as thorana to the front door. Beautiful, and colorful rangoli is drawn at the front of the house.  After performing the pooja, yellu(Sesame seeds) and Bella(Jaggery) is offered to God. Usually it is prepared by mixing Till, finely chopped Jaggery, roasted groundnuts cut into small peices, with finely chopped dried coconut, and Putani, also called as Hurigadale.

Attached below are the pictures and the steps to making Yellu Bella.

yellu

I use the following proportion to prepare the yellu:

* 1/2 cup Yellu or Sesame Seeds
* 1 cup Groundnuts or peanuts ( Fried, skin removed and cut into half)
* 1 cup Dhalia or hurigadale
* 1 cup finely chopped dry coconut
* 1 cup Jaggery, finely chopped

Usually the Sesame seeds are cleaned, washed and dried. Later, they are fried. I skip this step, and just fry the Sesame seeds for a few minutes.

Next, grate the black portion of the dry coconut. Chop them into squares as shown in the above picture. Chop the Jaggery also and make sure they are dry. My mom used to keep it in the sun for a few days.

Mix, all the ingredients together. Distribute to your family and friends. If all the ingredients are dry, it will stay for months.

Here is the recipe for Yellu Unde/Burfi:

Ingredients:

  1. Sesame Seeds/Yellu – 1 cup
  2. Peanuts – 1 cup
  3. Dhalia – 1 cup
  4. Jaggery – 2cups
  5. Grated Coconut – 2 tsp
  6. 7-8 cardamom – ground finely
  7. 2 tsp Oil or Ghee(I never use Ghee)

Method:

  • Fry the Sesame seeds for 4-5 minutes. Take out in a plate.
  • In a pan, heat oil or ghee. Now add the jaggery. Add just enough water so that the Jaggery dissolves.
  • Keep stirring for almost 9-10 minutes until the jaggery starts leaving the sides.
  • Next, add peanuts, sesame seeds, dhalia and mix well. Let it continue on the stove top for another 3-4 minutes. Add in the cardamom as well.
  • Turn off the stove. Grease a tray, and pour the mixture. Let it cool a little bit.
  • Cut squares. ANd the left over, was formed to a round shape.
  • Finally garnish with grated coconut.

I called it Yellu Burfi, and everyone called it Sesame Squares.

Most dishes prepared during this day are made out of Yellu or Sesame seeds and Rice. It is also tradition to prepare Sweet and Khara Pongal during this festival. The recipes are posted here in the blog and are attached below for your convenience:

If you wish to cook elaborate dishes during Sankranthi, many authentic recipes are posted here:

And you can find various Rangoli designs here:

Update – Vaikunta Ekadashi – Jan 8th/9th 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE WHO HAS VISITED THIS BLOG. MAY 2017 BRING PEACE HAPPINESS, AND HEALTH TO EACH ONE OF YOU!

January 8th 2017 is Smartha Ekadashi.

January 9th 2017 is Bhagavatha Ekadashi.

P.S: Please check your local calendars and temples to see the exact date for Vaikunta Ekadashi.

Vaikunta Ekadashi falls in the month December-January. This year it falls on January 8th and 9th 2017. This is observed with all solemnity in the temples of Lord Vishnu. Please check your local calendars to see when it falls.

Vaikunta Ekadashi is of great significance at the Tirupati Balaji Temple, and also all Balaji temples. They prepare what is called a “Swargada Bagilu” also called as ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the heaven‘ This gate is opened on this day. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord. Scores of devotees queue up to pass through the Gate of Vaikunta in the temples.

For the devotees of Lord Vishnu, every Ekadashi is a very sacred day No rice should be eaten on Ekadashi days. This is very important.

Those who are unable to fast completely can take some light fruit and milk. So you may ask why we shouldn’t eat rice, so here comes the story for the same.

The sweat that fell down from the head of Brahma assumed the form of a demon and said to the Lord, “O Lord! now give me an abode to dwell.” Brahma replied, “O demon! go and dwell in the rice particles eaten by men on Ekadashi day and become worms in their stomach.” For this reason rice is prohibited on Ekadashi.

If you don’t believe in this story, just think of all the benefits you can get from fasting.

Fasting makes a man strong, both spiritually and mentally.Fasting controls passion. It checks the emotions. It controls the senses also. It is good to fast once in a while as it recuperates the body. Ekadashi observance cleans our body and the digestive organs get much needed rest.

Those people suffering from ailments and on medications should take the advice of a doctor before fasting. Never torture your body in the name of religion. There is nothing wrong in having fruits or milk. And you can bring a certain amount of flexibility in the way it is observed.

Nava Brindavana Part 4 – Shree Raghuvarya Theertharu

You can read the first three parts of this series in the link below:
Nava Brindavana Series

Shree  Raghuvarya Theertharu

screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-3-51-44-pm

The fourth Brindavana here is that of Shree Raghuvarya Theertharu

He was the Guru of Raghottama Theertha (of Tirukoilur).

He traveled all over the country to spread the message of Madhwacharya. Once when he reached the banks of Bheema river in north Karnataka, the river gave way for him.

A few incidents about Shree Raghuvarya Theetharu can be found in Uttardi Mutta Website. Link provided below:

Shree Raghuvarya Theertharu

Slokas:

महाप्रवाहिनी भीमा यस्य मार्गमदान्मुदा।
रघुवर्यो मुदं दद्यात्कामितार्थप्रदायकः॥

|| mahApravAhinI bhImA yasya mArgamadAnmudA .
raghuvaryo mudaM dadyAtkAmitArthapradAyakaH ||

Article Credit:

  1. My Brother B.S. Ramesh
  2. Uttaradi Mutta
  3. Image Credit : Madhwa Mixer

 

Nava Brindavana Part 3 – Shree Vageesha Teertharu

You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of this article in the link below:
Nava Brindavana Part 1 – Sree Padmanaabha Theertharu
Nava Brindavana Part 2 – Sree Kaveendra Teertharu

Shree Vagheesha Teertharu

The third Brindavana here is that of Shree Vageesha Theertharu. Shri Vageesha Teertharu succeeded Shri Kaveendra Teertharu.

His Poorvashrama name was Raghunathacharya. He was one of the greatest scholars of his time. He was the third Madhwa saint to enter Brindavana at Nava Brindavana.
Vageesha Thertha, the successor of Kaveendra Thertha entered Brindavana  in 1406.

vageesha-theertharu

His Aradhane Thithi is Chaitra Krishna Tritiya (April-May)

Sloka : 

वासुदेवपदद्वन्द्ववारिजासक्तमानसम्।
पदव्याख्यानकुशलं वागीशयतिमाश्रये॥

vAsudevapadadvandvavArijAsaktamAnasam .
padavyAkhyAnakushalaM vAgIshayatimAshraye

Article Credit:

  1. My Brother B.S. Ramesh
  2. madhvacharyars_lineage.pdf
  3. Image credit: www.raghavendramutt.org/

 

Nava Brindavana Part 2 – Sree Kaveendra Teertharu

You can read Part 1 of this article in the link below:
Nava Brindavana Part 1 – Sree Padmanaabha Theertharu

Sree Kaveendra Teertharu – 1392 -1398

The second Brindavana here is that of Kaveendra Theertha. He is believed to be the brother of Rajendra Theertha, the founder of Vyasaraja Matha. He was earlier known as Vasudeva Shastry.

The first bifurcation of the Madhwa or Dwaitha Matha or Peetha took place when Vidyadhiraja handed over the reigns to Kaveendra Theertha.

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Vidhyadhiraja Theertha had appointed Rajendra Theertha as his successor. Vidhyadhiraja fell ill and he could not get in touch with Rajendra Theertha as he was away on Sanchara. He then appointed Kaveendra Theertha as the successor and passed away. When Rajendra Theertha came back he found what had happened and he travelled further south towards Mysore and founded the Vyasa Raja Matha.

Kaveendra Theertha was a great devotee of God. He attained his eternal peace on the ninth day of Chaitra Shuddha in Pramathi Samvatsara and was laid to rest beside the Brindavan of Padmanabhatheertha.

His Aradhane Thithi is Chaitra Krishna Tritiya (April-May)

Sloka : 
Sanskrit :
वीद्रारूढ पदासक्तं राजेंद्रमुनिसेवितम् ।
श्रीकवींद्रमुनिम् वंदे भजतां चंद्रसन्निभम् ॥

Kannada :
ವೀಂದ್ರಾರೂಢಪದಾಸಕ್ತಂ ರಾಜೇಂದ್ರಮುನಿ ಸೇವಿತಮ್ |
ಶ್ರೀಕವೀಂದ್ರ ಮುನಿಂ ವಂದೇ ಭಜತಾಂ ಚಂದ್ರಸನ್ನಿಭಮ್ ||

English:

Veendraroodhapadasaktham rajendramuni sevitham |

shreekaveendra munim vandhe bhajatham chandrasanhibham ||

Article Credit:

  1. My Brother B.S. Ramesh
  2. http://raghavendramutt.org/about/shri-kaveendra-teertharu
  3. madhvacharyars_lineage.pdf
  4. Image credit: www.raghavendramutt.org/

 

Nava Brindavana Part 1 – Sree Padmanaabha Theertharu

It has been a hectic 2016 and from today I am taking few days off until January 2nd 2017. For someone who is extremely busy, by 11 AM I was already wondering what I should do for the next 10 days. At that very moment, my husband reminded me that I had several books which I could go read. And I started with the book, “The Bountiful NAVA BRINDAVANA”, written by Amman Sathiyanathan and translated in English by K. Lakshman and given to me by Canchi Ravi during his last visit to USA and on the occasion of Rayara Satsangha.If you are planning to visit Mantralaya, definitely visit Nava Brindavana if time permits.

The book details:

nava-brindavana-book

The details about Nava Brindavana is just unbelievable, and the book has all details from how to visit this place, to details about all the brindavanas, and why this place is so sacred. Just was amazing to read the details. Nava Brindavana is sacred since this was the place where Bhaktha Prahlada meditated to Lord Narashima to get mental solace after his father Hiranyakashapu was killed.  Lord Narashima blessed Bhaktha Prahlada in this place.

So, I decided to write details about 9 of the most prominent saints who’s resting place (Brindavanas)  are in Nava Brindavana.

Sree Padmanaabha Theertharu – (1317-1324)

Sree Padmanaabha Theertharu is the very first successor of our Guru Shree Madhwacharya. He was the first disciple of Madhwacharya. His original name was Shobana Bhatta. He was a great scholar and intellect of his times and he lost a marathon debate to Madhwacharya after which he converted to Dwaita philosophy. He has many books to his credit, he was the first to write a commentary on the Bhasya of Madhwacharya. This was called Sattarkadipavali. Other works are Sanyaayarathnavali, Gitabhashya and Gitatatparya. He has also written commentaries on all the ten Nirnaya Prakshikaas. He headed the Dwaitha Matha for six years and nine months.

padmanabha-theertha

Padmanabhatheertha after entrusting Mahasamsthana to Naraharitheertha, handed over the idol of Sri Gopinatha inherited by Madhwacharya to one Lakshmidharatheertha, his disciple. It is that heritage which is now known as Sreepadaraja Mutt.

Sloka : 
Sanskrit :
पूर्णप्रज्ञकृतं भाष्यमादौ तद्भावपूर्वकम् ।
योव्याकरोन्नमस्तस्मै पद्मनाभाख्ययोगिने ॥

Kannada :
ಪೂರ್ಣಪ್ರಜ್ಞಕೃತಂಭಾಷ್ಯಮಾದೌ ತದ್ಭಾವಪೂರ್ವಕಮ್ |
ಯೋ ವ್ಯಾಕರೋ ನಮಸ್ತ್ಸಸ್ಮೈ ಪದ್ಮನಾಭಾಖ್ಯ ಯೋಗಿನೇ ||

English:

Poornapragnakrutham Bhasyamaadaw tadhbhavapoorvakam |

Yovyakaro namasthasyai padmanabhayogine ||

Aaradhane of Sri Padmanabha Theertharu is in Kartika Bahula Chaturdashi  sometime in November – December. This year Aaradhane was on 28th November 2016.

Article Credit:

  1. My Brother B.S. Ramesh
  2. http://raghavendramutt.org/about/sri-padmanabha-teertharu
  3. madhvacharyars_lineage.pdf

Sriman NyayaSudha Mangalotsava @ Mantralaya

rayaru

Image Credit: SRSmutta.org

Amazing collection of pictures to view in Mantralaya on the occasion of Sriman NyayaSudha Mangalotsava programme. Take a look here:

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