Archive for the ‘Hinduism’ Category

Update: Sree Narasimha Jayanthi – May 17th 2019

Narasimha Jayanthi celebrated on May 17th 2019

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

Updated Post: Akshaya Thritiya ಅಕ್ಷಯ ತೃತಿಯಾ – May 7th 2019

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.

Vikari Nama Samvatsara – 2019-2020

I hope you all had time to celebrate our Beloved Rayaru Pattabhisheka and his birthday and Pushya Nakshatra on Sunday.

PS: These dates are based on India time, festival dates may vary in other parts of the world.

Vilambi Nama Samvatsara is finally coming to an end. The new year Vikari Nama Samvatsara for all of us starts on April 6th 2019. The new year calendar has already come and hope you all had a chance to buy the same.

I am posting a few important dates just so you can all have it handy for the new year. As always, will post details about festivals, important dates as and when it approaches.

  • April 6th 2019 – Ugadi Festival
  • April 13th 2019 – Shree Rama Navami
  • April 19th 2019 – Shree Hanuma Jayanthi
  • May 7th 2019 – AKshaya Thrithiya
  • May 17th 2019 – Shree Narashima Jayanthi
  • August 4th 2019 – Nagara Chauthi
  • August 5th 2019 – Nagara Panchami
  • August 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th 2019 – Shree Mangala Gowri Vratha
  • August 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th 2019- Shree Shravana Lakshmi Pooje
  • August 9th 2019 – Shree VaraMaha Lakshmi Pooje
  • August 14th 2019 – Rigveda Upakarma
  • August 15th 2019 – Yajurveda Upakarma
  • August 16th, 17th and 18th 2019 – Shree Raghavendra Swamy Aaradhane
  • August 23rd 2019 – Shree Krishna Jayanthi
  • September 2th 2019 – Swarna Gowri Vratha and Ganesha Festival. Looks like both are on the same day as per Uttaradi mutts calendar
  • September 3rd 2019 – Rishi Panchami
  • September 14th 2019- Mahalaya Begins
  • September 28th 2019 – Mahalaya Amavasya
  • September 29th – October 8th 2019 – Navarathri 
  • October 26th – 29th 2019- Diwali Festival
  • November 9th 2019 – Tulasi Habba
  • January 15th 2020 – Sankranthi

 

Will update post 2020 later. Hope this helps you all for a quick reference.

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.

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