Archive for the ‘Hinduism’ Category

Update: Makara Sankranthi – Jan 14/15th 2018

The 2nd week of January is the festival “Makara Sankranthi”. This year it is on 14th, which is a Monday here in USA and Tuesday 15th in India.

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:

Guru Madhwa Rayarige Namo Namo Audio

The audio for Guru Madhwa Rayarige Namo Namo. Sung by my Sister Ms. Suma.

 

The lyrics are posted here:

https://meerasubbarao.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/ಗುರು-ಮಧ್ವ-ರಾಯರಿಗೆ-ನಮೋ-ನಮೋ-g/

Hosa Kannu Enage Lyrics & Audio

The past few weeks I had taken the much needed vacation. I visited my Sisters place and recorded a few songs. This is an amazing song written by Shree Indiresha Dasaru – ಇಂದಿರೇಶ ದಾಸರು. Thanks Suma for the amazing melodious voice. God Bless You!

This entire song is basically asking Sri Lakshmi to give new eyes so you can see Vasudeva’s suta- son, Sri Krishna. Each verse is asking Lakshmi to rid the worldliness of desires to food, pleasures, relatives, so you can get to Sri Hari. Listen to song sung by my Sister Suma. I will post the lyrics here soon in Kannada and English.

 

Why God Doesn’t Hear My Prayers?

Why god doesn’t hear my prayers? This is a common question all of us have, we question our devotion, we question our Bhakthi, we question the way we prayed, we also question if God is even there. This happens to me, to you, and everyone else who goes through tough times.

When good things happen we never ask why did this happen to me? However, when we go through tough times, and we see no light at the end of the tunnel, we ask these questions, why me? Why am I the one who is suffering so much? Why is that other person who doesn’t even pray to God have such a great life? Why is God testing me? How much more can I bear?

I am quite sure each and everyone of us, especially me has asked the above questions a million times. This video really really answers very well every question I raised above. I had tears the very first time I listened to the video. I am at peace with all the challenges I am going through now,  went through before and will go through the remainder of my life. The only thing I will pray to the Lord Almighty and our beloved Rayaru is to give me utmost strength to bear all those challenges he will throw at me.

Benefits of Vishnu Sahasranama

We had our November satsangha yesterday at Ms. Vani’s house in Herndon, Virginia. As I have told several times, we recite Vishnu Sahasranama followed by taratamya stotras and slokas.

Once we finished, Ms. Padma talked about the video she had listened in Facebook about the Benefits of Vishnu Sahasranama. I asked her to send the link, listened to it from start to finish to today. This is a gem of a video and couldn’t help posting it here in my blog.

We all recite Vishnu Sahasranama, but to literally understand the significance as told by our Acharyaru is truly amazing. Listen at your leisure. This was the very first time we heard about Dr. Vyasanakere Prabhanjanacharya, and his discourse is mind blowing. Blessed to have technology sow we can listen and learn from great scholars.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=642133839521531&id=519343811438492&_rdr

And if you have a facebook account, listen at the below link:

https://www.facebook.com/madhwacharya4youth/videos/642133839521531/

Updated:ತುಲಸೀ ಹಬ್ಬವಿವಾಹ ಉತ್ವಾನ ದ್ವಾದಶಿ – Uthwana Dwadashi/Tulasi Habba – November 20th 2018

ತುಲಸೀ ಹಬ್ಬವಿವಾಹ ಉತ್ವಾನ ದ್ವಾದಶಿ – Uthwana Dwadashi/Tulasi Habba – November 20th 2018 Tuesday
Last year’s pictures:

 

Close up of our little Tulasi Plant:

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Lighting of Agarbathi:

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Aaruthi for Tulasi.
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Tulasi Pooje Preparation 2013:IMG_2807

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Uthwana Dwadashi – Tulasi Habba or Tulasi Pooje is celebrated a fortnight after Deepavali. It signifies the day Tulasi married Lord Vishnu. On this day, Tulasi katte is decorated like a bride. Amla trees are planted along with the tulsi plant.

Pooje to be done in the evening.

What’s Tulasi?

In most Hindu homes, you find a Tulasi plant growing out of a Tulasi katte . Tulasi is considered to be a holy plant and is worshiped every morning. Tulasi has medicinal value and is often used as a herb in curing the common cold and cough.

So what’s Tulasi Habba?
Tulasi came out of the ocean during Amrita Manthan as a younger sister of Lakshmi. She too was devoted to Lord Vishnu and wanted to marry him. But Lakshmi who was already married to him did not like the idea and cursed her to become a plant. Thus the tulasi plant was born. But the all merciful Lord Vishnu took pity and fulfilling her wish declared that when he will be in the form of a saligrama, found in most temples and madhwa houses, she will remain close to him in the form of a tulasi leaf. Therefore even today a saligrama will have a tulsi leaf along with it. In front of every Hindu home there will be a tulasi katte in which a plant grows round the year.
Although the prayers are offered to Tulasi everyday by watering the plant in the morning and lighting an oil lamp before it in the evening, on Kartik Shukla Dwadashi there will be an annual Tulasi Pooja in the evening when the tulasi katte will be beautifully decorated with clay lamps.

Attached below is a screen shot of the Tulasi Vivaha Slokas and Procedure as printed in the Uttaradi Matta Panchanga. If you click on the image a bigger picture will display which has the words very very clear.

tulasi-vivaha-sloka

Here is the link for all the Tulasi slokas at this weblog.

1. Slokas

2. Daily Tulasi Pooja Procedure

3. Tulasi Sankeerthaney Lyrics and Audio

4. Devaranama on Tulasi – ಒಲ್ಲನೋ ಹರಿ ಕೊಳ್ಳನೋ

5. Vrundavanadevi Namo Namo Lyrics

6. Tulasi Pooje Songs

Updated : Dasara – Navarathri – October 10th – October 18th 2018

Dasara is celebrated all over India as a religious as well as a social festival. Nava means nine and rathri means night and so Navarathri means nine nights. Some call it as Navarathri, some as Vijaya Dashami, and some as Dussehra. Doesn’t matter what you call, does it?

This year Dasara is celebrated from October 10th – October 18th. Please check the dates in the country you are residing.

From day one of the festival, it is customary to keep a Kalasha (ಕಲಶ), this is filled with water(ನೀರು) and 4 betel leaves(ವೀಳೆದೆಲೇ) are arranged as shown below in the pictures.Apply Haldi (ಆರಿಶಿನ) , Kumkum(ಕುಂಕುಮ), and flowers, gejje vastra (ಗೆಜ್ಜೆ ವಸ್ತ್ರ) as shown again. This Kalasha is kept in front of the Pattada Gombe (ಪಟ್ಟದ ಗೊಂಬೆ) which is given during the marriage to the bride. This ಪಟ್ಟದ ಗೊಂಬೆ signifies Lord Srinivasa and Goddess Padmavathi. Again, see pictures below. These ಪಟ್ಟದ ಗೊಂಬೆ are decorated with different jewelery, crown, bangles, dresses every few years.

Pattada Gombe 2

If you are keeping an elaborate Gombe (Dolls), than the Kalasha and the Pattada Bombe are placed on the top shelf. And all other arrangements follow next.

Even though all the 10 days and nine nights are important, there are a few major days where pooja is done with great devotion and pomp.
Those days are as follows:

  • Saraswathi Pooja – October 16th
    Read more about Saraswathi Pooje here.
  • Durgasthami – October 17th
  • Ayoodha Pooja – Mahanavami – October 18th. Read more about Ayoodha Pooja here.
  • Vijayadashami – October 18th

Devotional Songs for Dasara:

Dasara Pictures around the world:

Food Prepared during Dasara

Other links posted on the blog:

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