Update: Mahalaya Paksha Masa – September 21st – October 5th 2021

The fortnight (15 days) preceding the Navaratri/Dasara or the second half “Krishna Paksha” of Bhadrapada Masa is called Pitru Paksha also known as Mahalaya Paksha. This period is important for honoring our ancestors. This year it falls on the following days in the United States and India.
I was talking to my Father and he said this is the period where you remember all people who have made some impact in your life, relatives, friends, well wishers who have departed this world, and you have no way to convey your thanks, gratitude to them, and this is the time to offer your tarpana and say Thanks to them. Such noble thoughts. The person doesn’t have to be just your father or mother, anyone who is not in this world and you know them. Our religion is just awesome. We just have to know the real meaning of why we do certain rituals.
No functions such as upanayanam, marriage, gruhapravesha, engagement or any such activities performed during these 15 days. These 15 days are totally dedicated to our ancestors.
Pitru Paksha – Mahalaya Paksha :September 21st – October 5th 2021
There are many resources available online to assist in giving tarpana and doing shradha for the departed souls of ones family. Attached below are all the links.
If you have any resource, please share.

P.S: Please refer to dates in your country, and check with elders or temple priests.

Interesting facts about Jagannatha Dasaru

Credit: My Brother B.S.Ramesh

My brother shares lots of interesting facts n our daily whatsapp chat. He truly has extraordinary memory and is a voracious reader. He shared all the below interesting facts about Dasaru. The past week was Jagannatha Dasaru Aaradhane and that’s when my brother was sharing all the details.

Jagannatha dasaru was a friend of Dewan poornaiah. The dasa was very well known fir his Rangoli.
He always drew rangoli while singing and, therefore, came to be known as Rangoli Dasaru.
He visited Srirangapatna twice and Dewan poornaiah came to know of the devotion of Dasaru when he found that Dasaru had drawn a rangoli of lord Ranganatha without certain ornaments.


When the Dewan asked Dasaru the reason, he replied that the Lord was not wearing the ornaments .
The Dewan ordered his bodyguards to go to the Ranganatha temple and check the veracity of the claim.

The body guards came back ,and said the Archaka had not set the ornament on the idol.

Jagganatha Dasaru has a very close connection with Rayaru. When Rayaru was Prahalada, Dasaru was his younger brother Sahalada. When Rayaru was Balika Raja, Dasaru was king Salya,the brother of Queen madri and mother of Nakula and Sahadeva. Salya was the charioteer of karna. He was equal to Krishna in steering a chariot.

Though a lot is known about Jagannatha Dasa and his magnum opus,” Harikatamrutasara”, very few know that his father, Narasappa, was also a dasa. Narasappa was a landlord of Byagavatti village, now called Talati, near Manvi in Raichur district.

Narasappa worked as a Kulkarni – an official who collected taxes. He was falsely framed and implicated in a case and dismissed from service.

Narasappa then approached Timmannayya, the Dewan of Adoni – which then was under the Nawabs.
Thimannayya gave Narasappa a small piece of land and advised him to give up service under the nawab.
Timmanayya himself came under the influence of Vijaya dada and took to the dada tradition. He came to be known as Gopal Vittala.

Narasappa settled in manvi and became a dasa with the Ankita Narasimha Vittala .
When Jagannatha dasa was born- he was called Srinivas Acharya then- Gopala Vittala advised Narasimha Vittala to send his son for further studies to the Rayaru Matha at MAntralaya.

Srinivas Acharya met the then matha pontiff, Varadendra tveeetha and instantly composed a five stanza poem called Varadendra Pancharathnam.

The first stanza was in praise of varadendra theertha and Varadaraja swamy, the second was in Rayaru and Lord Rama, the third was on Vasudeva and Vayu, fourth was on moola ramadevaru and setting up of the matha in mantralaya and the last was a desire by Sreenivasa Acharya to study .

Tomato Uppittu or Upma

We have hundreds and hundreds of Tomatoes, green chillies and capsicum growing in our garden. My husband loves Tomato Uppittu or Upma. So, less ingredients, and a very very tasty upma. Yummy.

Tomato-Upma

So, used almost 10 big tomatoes, 5 red chillies in this Uppittu or Upma.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Rava or Sooji or Rave
  • 10 big tomatoes chopped.
  • 5 red chillies.
  • 4-5 curry leaves finely chopped
  • 3 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • sugar to taste
  • 2-3 tsp Oil, and 1 tsp mustard seeds,  1/2 tsp turmeric, pinch of hing for seasoning

Method:

First, in a non stick pan or any deep vessel fry the rava continuously until it turns golden brown. Make sure it doesn’t burn out. Transfer this onto a plate.

Next, add  oil. When it is hot enough add all the seasoning ingredients one after another. Add green chillies and curry leaves also. Add the tomatoes and 2 cups of water and cover. Let this boil until the tomates are cooked. Now add the salt, sugar. Once this boils as well, slowly add the rava. While you are adding rava, make sure there are no lumps, so keep stirring continuously. It should look watery when you have added all the rava.

Now, cover the vessel, and cook on slow fire for another 15-20 minutes, once the rava is cooked, add coconut, finely chopped cilantro.

Tomato-Upma

Serve with chatnipudi and yoghurt. Enjoy.

What does Morya mean?

Credit: My brother B.S.Ramesh shared on our whatsapp.

There is a significance of the word MORYA in “Ganapati Bappa Morya”!!

Devotees chant Ganapati Bappa Morya all the time to sing the praises of Lord Ganesh. But how many of us know what the word Morya signify?

The word Morya refers to a famous devotee of Lord Ganesh in the fourteenth century called Morya Gosavi, originally from village called Shaligram in Karnataka where his devotion was looked upon as madness!!

He later travelled and settled in Chinchvad, near Pune and invoked the Lord with severe penance. He attained siddhi (special powers and blessings) at Shree Chintamani and his son built the temple to commemorate the event. It is said that Moryaji also performed penances at Siddhi Vinayak in Ahmedabad and in Moreshwar/Mayureshwar at Moregoan where he also built the temple. Overwhelmed by the devotion of Moryaji, he was blessed by Lord

Ganesha to fullfill any of his wish. Morya asked to be remembered forever on this earth whenever anyone remembers his Lord, as his ‘Param Bhakt’.

Thus this depicts the inseparable relationship between God and his devotee.” Always remember this when you say ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya’.

Design Gejje Vastra

As a child, I grew up watching both my Mysore Ajji and Bangalore Ajji making gejje vastra. While Mysore Ajji made the traditional ones, Bangalore Ajji made so many designs with gejje vastra that my mother used them for big festivals like Shree Varamaha Lakshmi Habba, Gowri Habba, Ganesha festival, Dasara festival.

However, this year I was determined to start and at least try a simple design for adorning Lord Ganapathi with some fancy Gejje Vastra and tried this.

It is very simple, I took three gejje vastras, and braided them and put stickers in between.

It looked just divine on the Lord. However, once we put all flowers and garike it was hard to see the same.

So, next year if you need an idea, this can help you get started. Simple, easy and looks fancy.

Blog Hits a New Record -1.6 Crore 16 Million Views

 

Last year I had posted about 1.4 crores 14 million views. I lost track of the number of visitors and never paid any attention when it had even crossed 1.5 crores 15 million views. As I was spending sometime today, I saw the statistics and was blown away.

The first person I would tell was my Mother. I know she is somewhere up there and watching over me and blessing me as always.

To be honest today when I saw the number, I had tears in my eyes. The love and affection I have received from so many of you even without seeing you all is truly humbling. How blessed and lucky I am to be able to receive the same from all of you.

To know I inspire so many of you to be able to perform pooje, to have a work life balance, and to be able to show that no matter what high position we are at work, no matter where you live, no matter how much you earn, at the end of the day if you are not able to submit yourself to the Almighty Lord what use is this amazing gift of life we have been given.

I always thought if my blog is able to inspire 1 person, my goal is achieved. I thought the same at work also, if I am able to motivate 1 person to look at my work ethics, my passion, and say “If Meera is able to reach such amazing position at work, why not me?”. With your emails, texts, messages, and messages on LinkedIn I know I have inspired so many of you in your spiritual, life and work journey. 

BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. THIS BLOG WOULDN’T HAVE REACHED WHERE IT IS WITHOUT ALL OF YOU.

And it goes without saying, my sincere namaskaras to Lord Almighty and our beloved beloved RAYARU.

MAY THIS BLOG CONTINUE ITS JOURNEY TOWARDS REACHING many many more people.

I never share my picture, but thought this would be appropriate to say once again a BIG THANK YOU!

2021 Ganesha Festival

We had an amazing festival, hope you all had a wonderful Gowri Ganesha Festival. We visited my Sister’s place for Gowri festival. Ganesha was performed at our home.

Last week we had visited New York for the US Open Tennis tournaments. On our return we stopped by at Edison, New Jersey and purchased an amazing Rajastani Mantap and matching table, and also got eco friendly Ganesha. I also did some DIY Gejje vastra, which you can see in some pictures, will post soon.

We had many many family and friends visit us in the morning and night. The food was as always very elaborate for this great festival.

  1. Moong Dal Kosambari
  2. Chana Dal Kosambari
  3. Potato Palya
  4. Chayote – Seeme Badanekayi Palya
  5. Idli
  6. Chatni
  7. Dal Thove
  8. Saaru/Rasam
  9. Kootu
  10. Appi Payasa
  11. Kadabu
  12. Modaka
  13. Capsicum Vegetable bath
  14. Happala
  15. Potato and Chayote bonda

To see everyone have food on plantain leaf was a feast to the eyes. All the flowers, tulasi, cucumber, green chillies, capsicum, plantain leaf were from our garden.

It was good I had taken Thursday and Friday off from work. And having the weekend was a blessing to recover and be ready for work starting Monday.

I missed my Mom so so much, was able to talk to my Father and to hear the joy in this voice when I told him all the menu and how every single pooje I do, I dedicate to him. And everything I am spiritually is because of my parents. They never ever told me from when my memory serves, that I am a girl, I cannot do this, I cannot do that. Blesses I am to have such amazing parents.

Some pictures from the festival. Click on each image to see them in high resolution.

Gowri-Ganesha Festival – September 9th and 10th 2021

Pooja preparations:

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Gejje Vastra and Flowers getting ready to be offered to God.

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flowers-gejjevastra

Fruits and coconut for Lord Ganesha:

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Kadabu, Modaka and Idli for Lord.

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kadabu-for-ganesha

After the morning pooja and naivedya.

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Close up of the Lord.

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Evening Pooje.

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Chakkali prepared by my Husband for the Lord.

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Mangalaruthi and evening naivedya chakali for the Lord to request him to come home every year.

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The Ganesha festival falls on the fourth day Bhadrapada Masa. That’s why we say “Bhadrapada Shulkada Chauthi Aamdu”. Swarna Gouri Vrata and Ganesha Festival is celebrated on September 9th and 10th. Check your local calendars.

As always, check your closet temple to find the correct dates.

An idol of Gowri made of clay is brought two days before the Ganesha festival. Gowri is an incarnation of Parvathi. Gowri Habba, also called as Swarna Gowri Habba is celebrated one day before Ganesha Festival.

The Legend:

Goddess Gowri, while taking shower, created Ganesha out of the mud of and placed him at the entrance of the house. She told him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath. Lord Shiva returned home and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate. Shiva became angry and cut off Ganesha’s head. When Gauri came to know of this she was grieved.

Lord Shiva ordered his servants to cut off and bring to him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. The servants went on their mission and found only an elephant in that position. Lord Shiva then joined the elephant’s head onto the body of Ganesha.

Mr. Lakshmisha P, had left a comment here that he had the pdf files for the Swarnagowri vratha puja & katha. Attached below are the links for both the pdf files he has provided.
Thanks so much Me. Lakshmisha for all the support and also the time you have taken to convert this into pdf.

We used to sing at the top of our voice “Ganesha bhanda, kai kadubu tinda, chikka kerele edda, dodda kereli bidda”.

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Lord Ganesha is not just worshiped on this day, but is worshiped first in all occasions since he is considered to be the remover of all obstacles, one who brings good luck on new activities or endeavors.

As always links for several resources songs, lyrics and stotras are posted on this blog.

P.S: If you would like to get email updates on when new articles are added, you can subscribe by clicking on the left hand side on the “RSS Feed“. It will take you to a new page, and you can enter your email ID.

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:

bale-yele-oota

In case you see the moon on this day, here is the sloka you are supposed to say:

ಚೌತಿ ಚಂದ್ರ ದರ್ಶನ ಅಪವಾದ ಪರಿಹಾರಕ್ಕಾಗಿ

ಸಿಂಹಃ ಪ್ರಸೇನಮವಧೀತ್
ಸಿಂಹೋ ಜೌ0ಬವತಾ ಹತಃ |
ಸುಕುಮಾರಕ ಮಾರೋದಿಃ
ತವಹ್ಯೇಷ ಸ್ಯ್ಮಮಂತಕಃ ||

Simha prasenamavadith
simho jambhuvatha hathah |
sukumaraka marodhihi
thavahyesha syamanthakaha ||

P.S: The above sloka in Kannada is exactly as it is in the Uttaradi Matta Panchanga. Rather than taking a picture, I typed in the words. The English translation is done from the Kannada sloka to the best of my knowledge.

As always no food is prepared with onion or garlic.

Shravana Friday’s

It was amazing performing Shravana Masa Friday poojes for the past 4 weeks. Even though I do Shree Maha Lakshmi Sahasranama every Friday, following my Mother’s foot steps, Shravana Masa is different since I also recite the Shukravarada Haadu. So, reciting all the songs and the Shukravarada Haadu will be missed for the next one year.

The list of Shree Maha Lakshmi songs I have in the blog is amazing, so I picked a few new ones each Friday so I could get to them all. A few pictures of the Friday’s pooje. We don’t have the vratas in our family.

The flowers such as Jasmine and Roses, the Tulasi all from our own Garden. The enthusiasm to prepare everything, arranging, decorating is something which brings so much joy each Shravana Masa. Until next year.

2021 Krishna Janmasthami Pictures

Hope you all had a wonderful festival. What a treasure the blog was for all recipes, slokas and stotras. Rather than using several books, I just take my laptop along with me so I have easy access to everything. While cooking, I have it on my island so I can lookup recipes. This blog truly has become my own encyclopedia. There are many things I could improve, hopefully I will get sometime to work on those improvements.

As far as items I prepared, there were 3 new items this year I prepared. Peanuts Laddoo, Wheat flour Laddoo, and Sajjappa. I will post recipes for each of them.

All Tulasi, jasmine flowers, Roses, Shevantige – Mums were from our Garden. Also, were vegetables likes green chillies, capsicum, and cucumber from our garden.

The list with three new recipes was almost as same as last year.

  • Moong dal Kosambari
  • Channa dal Kosambari
  • Sweet Avalakki
  • Mosaru Avalakki
  • Khara Avalakki
  • Thengolu
  • Om Pudi
  • Shankar Poli
  • Chakli
  • Peanut Laddoo
  • Sajjappa
  • Wheat Laddoo

And here are some pictures from the festival. We followed the Vrata Ratna Mala book my father had given me in 2012.

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