Upcoming Shravana Masa Festivals – August-September 2015

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As per Uttaradimatta Panchanga, this year in Manmatha Nama Samvatsara, Shravana Masa starts from August 15th and ends on September 13th.

There are many festivals during this month and as always I will re-post slokas, pooja details and many more details a few days before each of these important dates. Here is a list of important dates and festivals during Shravana Masa 2015.

Mangala Gowri Vrata

All details for this festival can be found here:

Vrata Details.

  • August 18th – Tuesday

  • August 25th – Tuesday

  • September 1st – Tuesday

  • September 8th – Tuesday

Nagara Chathurthi & Panchami

Pooja Details.

  • August 18th – Tuesday – Nagara Chathurthi

  • August 19th – Wednesday– Nagara Panchami

Shravana Masa Lakshmi Pooja

Pooja Details.

  • August 21st – Friday

  • August 28th – Friday

  • September 4th – Friday

  • September 11th – Friday

Vara MahaLakshmi  Pooja Vrata

Vrata Details.

  • August 28th – Friday

Sree Raghavendra Swamy  Aaradhane

Aaradhane Details

  • August 30th – Sunday– Sree Raghavendra Swamy Poorva Aaradhane

  • August 31st – Monday – Sree Raghavendra Swamy Madya Aaradhane

  • September 1st – Tuesday– Sree Raghavendra Swamy Uttara Aaradhane

Sree Krishna Jayanthi – Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Janmashtami Pooja Details

  • September 5th – Saturday

 Please refer to the closet temple or other calendar to find the dates of the festivals in the country you are living. These dates posted are based on Indian Standard Time.

Shri Krishna Janmashtami/Krishna Jayanthi Pooja Preparation – Tips & Tricks

IMG_3103Many of you have asked me how I prepare for one of the most exciting and beloved Festivals we have, Shri Krishna Janmashtami/Krishna Jayanthi or whatever name you wish to give this festival. It is celebrated all over the world. With the invent of internet, everyone wants to perform this festival and is looking for tips and tricks especially if you are working.  Based on decades of experience I have in observing as performed by my parents and performing the festival myself since I got married,  I am sharing some tips and tricks which will make it easy and not to stress out.

Remember, at the end of the day it is the Bhakthi and devotion which you can offer the Lord which is of utmost importance than the count of items you cook.

Since this year it is on a Saturday, and my daughter is joining us, it will once again be a Festival to perform with great enthusiasm and cook several dishes as well. Enough of my story right?

Attached below are some tips and tricks I follow.

Grocery List:

I buy all items new for this and Ganesha festival. Just a habit, nothing else. I am not listing how many lbs/kgs t buy, left to your discretion. With the list below you can prepare all items listed in Recipe Section.

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  1. Rice Flour
  2. Maida or All purpose flour
  3. Besan
  4. Urda dal flour
  5. Red chilli powder
  6. Hing
  7. Oil
  8. Moong Dal
  9. Channa dal
  10. Dry Coconut Powder
  11. Salt
  12. Thick Poha
  13. Thin Poha
  14. Sooji
  15. Jaggery
  16. Sugar
  17. Jeera
  18. Mustard Seeds
  19. Ghee
  20. Butter
  21. Milk
  22. Butter Milk since Yogurt is not used during this vrata
  23. Coconut

Pooja List:

I am hoping you have the daily pooja items like Haldi, Kumkum, etc etc. This list is specific for this day and in no particular order you can arrange them as you wish.

  1. Flowers, buy assortment of all flowers as shown below:Collages
  2. Fruits, all fruits are allowed in this vrata.IMG_29333. Banana plant and Leaves if available IMG_31034. Argya Items, milk, water, lemon, coin and a dry date. Keep them ready!IMG_30035. Prepare all the lamps to light, Mangalarathi and aarathi  using Ghee or Oil.IMG_3004IMG_30056. Make sure you have Rangoli, if you don’t have the dry powder, use Kundan Rangoli, a chalk and draw. If even that is not available, take some printouts and use them. I have used a combination of all of them as seen below. Draw small feet of Lord Krishna from the front door.

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O7. Prepare Gejje Vastra with Kumkum. No set number here, I use one set for each idol I keep.IMG_30158. Make sure you have camphor, Agarbathi and also soaked for Mangalaruthi.

9. Prepare the cradle for Lord Krishna. Once you are done giving the Argya, we rock the cradle and sing the lullaby. IMG_3089

10. If not anything else, just offer a coconut.IMG_1881

11. The detailed pooja procedure is posted at the following link:

Shree Raghavendra Sthavana Lyrics

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As requested by you all, attached is the scanned version of the song. A very old book and very dear to me. At a later date I will try to convert the same into English for those of you who don’t know Kannada. But for right now,please read the lyrics. At a few places since the book is very old, the letters are not visible. Let me know and I can update the comments sections for the same.

Guru Sthavana

This is one of the oldest lyrics I have in my book given to me by my Late Grandfather. It has the lyrics for Shree Raghavendra Sthavana. I learned the lyrics by my Mom.

During the Aaradhane the past three days, I was reciting this to our beloved Rayaru. My Husband recorded it today during the evening pooje. Attached is the video for the same. I will post the lyrics as and when I get time.

Mantralaya Poorva Aaradhane Pictures.

Attached below are links and a few pictures from Mantralaya. All credit to webmaster at Mantralaya.

344 th Aaradhane

344 th Aaradhane

Below are some links to see amazing pictures:

Rayara Aaradhane at Maryland – 2015

It was a humbling experience to be part of Rayara Aaradhane at SBAT Temple, Maryland here. Having our Beloved Rayaru’s mrutike Brindavana was unbelievable.We were able to perform Pada Pooja and Kanakabisheka for as well,

My Husband and performed Rayara seva at our house. This time I wanted to do 108 Pradakshina, so we made a little different arrangement at home. I have include a few pictures of my home Pooje as well.

I also met several wonderful ladies and men who were following the blog and came talked to me. Don’t want to mention any names to keep things private. To each one of you who came and talked to me, I am humbled and blessed to know that this blog has helped each one of you. This blog has reached this height only because of the blessings of our beloved Rayaru. Thanks a million to each one of you. I can’t express how much happiness it brings to me when you all come talk to me. Thanks again.

Attached are pictures from my home pooje celebrations of 344th Rayara Aaradhane.

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And a few pictures from the temple.

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How to perform Seva for Sree Raghavendra Swamy

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Many of you have asked me about details on performing seva to our beloved Rayaru at home. The link for performing seva at Mantralaya has been posted already. For more details see this post:

I have documented below how we perform seva at my place. This is how I have been doing seva, my Mom, my Sister, My Grandmother and other relatives perform seva. The rituals you follow may be different. So, follow this only if you wish. If you disagree with any of the rituals, better consult a priest or contact the Mutt and find out. I have documented it as a Q&A.

Q. 1: When to perform Seva?

A.1: Perform seva on days you know you will be able to devote the days you wish to perform seva. At any cost, the number of days should not be changed once you start the seva.

Q.2: How many days to perform Seva?

A. 2: Odd number of days. 1,3,5, 7 and so on.

Q.3: What to do if something happens while performing the seva?

A.3: For example, if someone dies, or some other untoward incident happens for which there is a Mailige( not sure what it is called in English) than you stop the seva immediately.

Q.4: Do we always have to keep a coconut?

A.4: Yes, if you are doing the seva for a specific reason, you have to keep a coconut when you do sankalpa.

Q.5: Do I completely fast while doing Seva?

A.5: You can eat just 1 lunch. No breakfast, no dinner. Maybe some milk and fruits in the night.

Q.6: Can I work during seva?

A.6: Yes, you can continue working while doing seva. However, no traveling.

Q.7: Should I take head bath everyday?

A.7: Yes, one should take head bath everyday.

Q.8 What clothes can be worn?

A.8: While performing seva for Rayaru, clothes which are washed and dried separately are supposed to be worn.

Q.9: What Pooje do I perform?

A.9: First, perform daily pooje for God. Next, perform pooje to Rayaru. Offer Coconut, Fruits,  flowers, light lamps, perform aarathi. Recite Rayara Ashtotra, and many more lyrics posted on this blog.

Q.10. Do we perform pooje in the evening also? Should I take shower in the evening also?

A.10. Yes, we perform pooje in the evening also. Many say women shouldn’t shower in the evening. However, since we would have touched so many other people during the day, and at work, we used to shower ( no head bath) in the evening also.

Q.11: How do we decorate the pooja room?

A.11 : As you would decorate for any other pooja. Place a coconut on the right side, and don’t touch it until you finish the seva.

Q.12: What flowers to offer?

A.12: We all know our beloved Rayaru loves Roses, so offer Roses. If not available, Jasmine is also fine.

Q.13: What to eat?

A.13: Food with no onion and garlic is eaten. Like I said, just lunch. No dinner, no breakfast. No store brought food. All food should be cooked fresh everyday.

Q.14: What to do with the coconut?

A.15: The day you finish the seva, break the coconut and share it with all your family members.

Q.15: Do we get a dream after the Seva?

A.15: If your bhakthi and devotion has reached our beloved Rayaru, he will definitely come in your dream as himself, or someone else and bless you. In many cases in our relatives we have had dream where an old priest gave us a purna phala, which is coconut, phala mantrakshate, flowers and so on.

A few in my family has never had a dream. So, don’t get disappointed if you don’t get any dream.

Q.16: Other than work, and pooje what else do I do?

A.16: Most time during the seva is spent chanting Rayaru’s name and reading devotional books. No watching TV, no movies, no extra curricular activities.

Q.17: Where to sleep?

A.17: No sleeping on mattress. Sleep on a chape. Remember, you are trying to give your utmost devotion & Bhakti. There are many who complain about the rituals, just remember we are doing this since we want. No one is forcing us to do this. If you don’t agree, and think just your Bhakti is enough, so be it.

Q18: Where can find all the songs and lyrics to recite?

A18: This blog has several songs and lyrics. Take a look at the following link:

P.S: Since many of you have asked, hence this post. I have documented what I have been doing. Like you all know, I am a great devotee of Rayaru, and I am even more tough while performing seva. So, this is just a guideline. Make any changes you wish.

MAY OUR BELOVED RAYARU BLESS ONE AND ALL WHO PERFORM HIS SEVA.

Upakarma(Rigveda and Yajurveda) – August 28th and 29th 2015

Upakarma is one of the ancient Vedic rituals practiced to date by every Brahmin. It is done once a year, during Shravana Masa- which is usually in August or September. The main activity performed in an Upakarma is the changing of the Janivara or Holy Thread. This year the dates are as follows:

August 28th and 29th 2015 – Rigvedics on 28th and Yajurvedis on 29th August 2015

Check your local panchanga to find out the exact date.

Did you know that Upakarma means “Beginning” in Sanskrit.

For more details on Upakarma, visit the Mantralaya site listed below:

And the procedure is very well explained in Sumadhwaseva web site. It has the YAGNOPAVEETA DHARANA VIDHI in Kannada, Sanskrit, Telugu and English.

Attached below is the link:

Now that we have all the details for the Upakarma, how about Raksha Bhandan? Raksha” means protection, “bandhan” means bound or binding. During this festival brothers and sisters show that they care for each other; include your cousins also. A sister will tie the rakhi, which is made of thread around her brother’s right wrist, usually with flowers attached to it. In return, her brother will give sweets, or money to show that they will love and protect them.

As with any other festival, there are many legends for this festival as well.

1. In ancient times a woman tied a ‘rakshaa’ on her husband’s wrist to protect him from evil. Later, she tied a ‘rakshaa’ on her brother’s right wrist, to protect him from evil influence and those factors which may taint his character, and to strengthen the bond of sibling love between them.

2. Vishnu helped the wife of Indra, to aid her husband in his battle against the demon Bali. Bali had driven Indra out of heaven. Vishnu gave Indra’s wife a silk thread to put on Indra’s wrist as a lucky charm. It enabled him to defeat Bali and regain his kingdom.

3. During the battle of Mahabharat,Queen Kunti tied a raksha on her grandson Abhimanyu to protect him in battle.

Ashtadala Padma Rangoli – ಅಷ್ಟದಳ ಪದ್ಮ ರಂಗೋಲಿ

For the greatest Lakshmi pooja, Sree VaraMahalakshmi I have practiced and  learnt how to draw the Ashtadala Padma Rangoli – ಅಷ್ಟದಳ ಪದ್ಮ ರಂಗೋಲಿ. I have drawn this on my notebook so it is easy to practice and draw the same for the Festival on Friday. As soon as I have the picture drawn for the pooje, I will post that as well. Once you draw for the Festival, share with me the image.

  • Draw one dot at the center.
  • Four dots at four corners.

rang1

  • Continue with 4 dots in between these four corners.rang2
  • Join dots 1 -3 and back to 1. 1,3,1.

rang3

  • The next set of 1, 3 and 1  as shown below.

rang4

  • Now join dots 2,4 and 2.

rang5

Join 2,4, 2 a second time as shown below

rang6

Quick and easy.

One last time, lets recap the Rangoli.

  1. One dot at center
  2. Four dots at four corners
  3. Four dots in between these four corners. So, totally 8 corners
  4. Join 1,3 and back to 1 in two corners
  5. Join 2,4 and 2 in the second two corners
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