Archive for April, 2018

Update: Sree Narasimha Jayanthi – April 28th 2018

Narasimha Jayanthi celebrated on April 28th 2018

Narashima2

Khambha-Narashima

Narashima2

This day signifies the appearance of Lord Narasimha on the planet. Lord Narasimha is the fourth and the greatest incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is believed to have appeared to protect his devotee, Prahlada, from his father Hiranyakashyapu .

If you listen to the song ” Narashima Nembo davana” posted on youtube, there is a paragraph which explains how Lord Narashima came from the pillar. Hiranyakashyapu pointed out at a pillar in his palace and asked Prahalada whether Lord Vishnu was present in it pillar. Prahalada who was a great devotee said yes. Next, you know Hiranyakashyapu uses his Gadha and broke open the pillar and there emerged our Lord Narasimha who than slained  Hiranyakashyapu using his sharp paws.

The day signifies the triumph of good over evil and the eagerness of the lord to protect his devotees from evil.

When my Parents visited us last year, my Father recited the “Bhagavatha Purana” for three weeks at my place. The way my Dad explained this part of the Purana, brings tears to my eyes every time I listen “Narashima Nembo Devana”. The greatest mistake I made was to not record the purana. Hopefully will record the next time my Father visits us.

Here is the link for the song Narashima Nembo Devana on Lord Shri Lakshmi Narashima

Here is the link for Kayo Shree Narasimha.

About Narasimha Jayanthi: Ms. Lakshmi’s write up summary from the book  “ಭಾರತೀಯ  ಹಬ್ಬ  ಹರಿದಿನಗಳು” by ಶ್ರೀ ಶ್ರೀ ರಂಗಪ್ರಿಯ ಮಹಾದೇಷಿಕ ಸ್ವಾಮಿಗಳು.

“The pillar in evil Hiranyakashipu’s royal court, signifies the ṃērusthambha, the central backbone system. Through the central nervous system called ṣuśumna, the brilliant light emanated. The energy associated came out  in its full fierce glory  as Narasimha and later transformed into the peaceful form after the destruction of evil force.”

When is Narasimha Jayanthi celebrated?
Narasimha Jayanthi is one of the important festivals of Vaiśnavas. It is
celebrated in the vaiśāka māsam,on ṣukla pakśa chaturdaśi, after akśhaya thrithēya, svāti nakśatra, siddha Yōga, vanija karanam. The date is  determined according to chāndramāna system. Since the inception of this avatāram is in the evening, the worship is done in the evening. It is considered to be more auspicious if this day coincides with sōmavasarē, Monday or ṣanivasarē, Saturday.  It is a sacred day to remember Lord Narasimha’s  sarva vyāpakatva- all pervading – spiritual knowledge,
wealth, strength, valor, splendor, and compassion toward His devotees.

Which are the major manifestations of Lord Narasimha?

There are three major forms of Lord Narasimha.

1. Ugra-Narasimha – His fierce form: In this form He has conch – ṣanka, discus – chakra, mace – gada, bow – chāpa, bells – ghanta-, trident like – ankuśa, and his two hands ready to chisel the demon heart, as His āyudhams – weapons. This form is  worshipped in the evenings.
2. Lakshmi Narasimha: In this form he is very peaceful – ṣanta – with His consort – Sri Lakshmi sitting on his left lap, with ādiseṣa on his head as umbrella, and Prahallāda standing in his front praying with his folded hands.  This manifestation is followed after his fierce form– as a result, he is worshipped in the morning.
3. Yoga Narasimha – meditative: Here, He is in his Meditative form for those who aspire for results of Yoga.

What are the various ways of experiencing Lord Narasimha?

Sāligrāma – sacred stone that pervades the presence of the deity
Narasimha mantra – sacred chant
Idol worshipping
Fire – agni – by performing homam.
Reading scriptures such as the Upaniśad and ṣruthi – sacred knowledge orally transmitted by the Brahmans from generation to generation.

What are the items are offered to Lord Narasimha?

There following items are offered to Lord Narasimha:

– Incense, lamplight, flowers and ṣrigandha or perfume.-
tuḻasi or Holy Basil — Since he has the element of both viśnu and rudra-
kamalam – Lotus,
bilva daḻam – leaves of stone apple,
japākusumam- red hibiscus can be offered to the Lord.

What kinds of  food can be offered to Lord Narasimha?

Athirasa – fried cake made with jaggery and rice flour.
Pāyasa – milk puddings made out of any of moong dal, channa dal, and – – – Pānaka – typically made with jaggery water and pepper, or fruit juice like lemonade.
Any sātvik food can be offered with great devotion by chanting the Narasimha Mantra. sātvik  food is that food creates an internal calmness and balance, when one consumes it.

The lord graciously accepts devotees’ service and reverence.  All worship should be followed by distribution of Prasāda  or food offered to God.

How do we worship Lord Narasimha?

Lord Narasimha can be worshipped in two ways.  The first is detailed below:
Along with firm faith, worship of Narasimha is associated with rigid criteria.
This is explained in detail below
1. ācharana ṣuddhi – Requires strict adherence to performance.
2. Cleanliness of ḍravya- physical things like utensils, lamps, ingredients.
3. Inner sanctity of five senses – body, intellect, mind, place, and act of worship
4. Chastity of Mind, speech and deeds unification, compassion, calmness of virtuous soul within. These are to prevent any glitches that might distract the mind while doing the worship.
5. Taking bath and starting with daily routine worship followed by pūja sankalpa-declaration to do worship, and completion without break with little or no food intake till then.
6. Bodily calmness in turn calms the mind. This helps to open up the channel that leads to internal visualization and realization of Narasimha.
These are things that keep body, mind and intellect in balance to further the pursuit of (worship til)attaining perfection.
7. Those who seek Salvation, do fasting till worship is over in the evening.Those who seek all types of desire fulfillment  do fasting till the next day morning worship and  follow with chanting of Narasimha mantra.
8. To do further,  people could do hōma – oblation and read “Nrsimhatāpini ” upaniśad.
9. An idol of Narasimha can be donated to someone who has great respect and potential to worship the idol.

The second means of worship is detailed for those who find it difficult to adhere to the above strict rules, can do the following steps

1. ḍhyāna or  meditation – along with imagining the worship of Narasimha with the above said flowers etc.
2. Acts of mind and soul offered to God is also oblation. This is equivalent to hōmam.
3.Various purifying actions performed during puja
a. snānha – ablution, pāna – intake of water and food offered to God
b. pādya – chant with clean and clear heart and intellect
c. arghya – water offered with respect from the river of faith
d. āchamana – water used for sipping same river
e. abhiśeka – for the lord
f.  Mind filled with the flow of thoughts of God from the river of faith,
ṣraddha – as the water for cleansing.
4. ātma – Offer sacred soul which is inside the body.
5. bow and perform salutation with state of equanimity
6. ṣaranāgati– self surrender to the Lord

With pure mind and internal contemplation there is no need for external rituals to be performed. Pāramārthika or worship of realizing supreme alone with internal purity surpasses all other forms of worship. That is, true worship with internal purity is more powerful than the external rituals.

As part of worship, singing, listening to discourse is recommended at the end of the worship.

What is the power of worshipping Lord Narasimha?

Lord Narasimha destroys sins, grants virtues, grants moral religious merits, grants objects of human pursuit – Puruśhartha. The lord grants ultimate peace, knowledge, and joy. He fulfills wishes for the seekers of the worldly desires.

Insight about this incarnation of ṣri mahāviśnu:
The brilliant form of Narasimha is described as comprising of three entities.  1. Brahma from feet to naval, 2. Vishnu–naval to neck  3. Rudra–neck unto head., From there onwards– it is  the supreme Godhead,  Parabrahma.
Narasimha is personification of truth–perceived and experienced by those who are in the state of union with divine, and that, which is beyond senses – Yoga Samādhi.

The brilliant form of Narasimha is also considered and viewed as an internal phenomenon.

” ōm namō bhagavatē narasimhāya namas tējas-tējasē āvir-āvirbhava vajra-nakha vajra-damśtra karmāsayān randhaya randhaya tamō grasa grasa ōm svaha; abhayam abhayam ātmani bhūyistha ōm ksraum ”
-Stanza from Srimad Bhāgavatam

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Dreams for future women, lessons from the past 101 years as a woman

My grandmother (Ajji we call in our language) turned 101 today, yes you read it right hundred and one years old. I spent a few hours last week while I was in India with my grandmother. We celebrated her 100th birthday and all her extended family was invited for this occasion. It was the same time during which I was profiled in USA Today article. My uncle read out the article to her and my Ajji was super happy. She hugged me, kissed me told my parents they were lucky to have me as a daughter. The one thing which stuck me was when Ajji told “ During my time, I was not allowed to go to school. I fought with my father and studied until 2nd grade so I could at least read and write Kannada(our regional language in Bangalore, Karnataka). In my next birth I want to study, work hard and be like you”. I was stunned to hear that, my 101 year old grandmother was thinking of studying, working and succeeding in life. And this might not go well with our President, but asked me to take everyone with me to USA so that they could all succeed in this country which I call my home now. It shocked everyone around us.

That long flight back home from India, I kept thinking what my Ajji said. I kept thinking how hard her life was, I kept thinking how much she longed to study, I kept thinking how fortunate we were to be able to study, work and succeed and finally how we all have taken this for granted.

Ajji went through tough tough challenges in life, lost my grandfather in her late 50’s for cancer, lost her daughter and daughter-in-law, her 6 sisters, many in her extended family, but she never lost her strength, never lost her will power, never lost her will to survive all odds.

Ajji was the pillar of strength to the entire family and to my parents a great deal. Ajji was responsible for allowing my Mom to continue studies after her High school. Mom was told to stop studies after her high school, Mom influenced by Mahatma Gandiji went on Satygraha to coerce her Father and family to let her continue studies. Mom completed her Bachelor of Arts and later got married. When Mom decided to continue her studies after three kids, Ajji came and stayed with us to help my Mom complete her Masters and become a History Professor.
When Mom had a major accident, and needed help since I was in my final year of Engineering college, Ajji was right with us helping us in everything.

Ajji was super excited that her granddaughter my daughter Sneha was pursuing Medicine and was going to be like her Husband a Doctor. She asked Sneha to be the best Doctor, help patients like her great grandfather and have compassion and above all be humble.

Today being my Grandmother’s 101 birthday, I wish her A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. AJJI YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION NOT JUST TO ME BUT WILL BE TO EVERYONE WHO READS THIS ARTICLE. We have learnt a lot from our Ajji, and I hope to keep learning from her.

And here is the USA Today article link and a picture:

http://project.mediaplanet.com/20819.pdf#page=11

Updated Post: Akshaya Thritiya ಅಕ್ಷಯ ತೃತಿಯಾ – April 18th 2018

Please check with your local calendar to find out about the same.

Akshaya Tritiya ಅಕ್ಷಯ  ತೃತಿಯಾ is the most important day in the hindu calendar.  Akshaya means growth and tritiya is the third day of the month in Vaishaka Masa. They say that in order to perform any major function like marriage, gruhapravesha you don’t even have to check your horoscope for finding a good Muhurtham. Any ritual or religious function performed on this day leads to growth.

The Uttaradi matta panchanga also mentions it is very important to apply gandha ಗಂಧ to the Lord. So, if you have access to the same, please do that as well.

On this day, many ladies give thambula including blouse piece, and other items. Any thing you give or donate they say becomes akshaya. Meaning infinite or one that never diminishes.

So, if you have decided to do anything new this year, this is the right day to get started.

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