Archive for the ‘Hinduism’ Category

Rayaru and Srimushnam

Being a part of the Rayara satsangha group has brought so much joy and so much information about our Beloved Rayaru. Mr. Rajaraman Nagarajan sends us Moola Brindavana pictures everyday without fail. We also get to see pictures of other deities which devotees share. One such picture which Mr. Rajaraman Nagarajan shared this week was about the place Rayaru lived in Srimushnam, and I remembered my Brother had written a detailed article about the same. And this was the right forum for me to tie together the picture and the article. All credit for the picture and article goes to Mr. Rajaraman Nagarajan and my Brother Ramesh. I pray to our beloved Rayaru to shower his choicest blessings on both of them.

Article Credit : My Brother Ramesh

Image Credit: Mr. Rajaraman Nagarajan

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Raghavendra Swamy is by far one of the most popular Madhwa saints. He is also perhaps the most well-known Madhwa seer but also the world over.

Over the years, there has been growing interest in Raghavendra Swamy his works, life and times and the many mathas or temples dedicated to Raghavendra Swamy. Almost every aspect of the life and times of Raghavendra Swamy has been so well documented that there is very little left of him that we do not know.

Yet, Rayaru is such a magnanimous person and the depth of his knowledge and  philosophy is so deep that we get the facts about the seer of Mantralaya and each passing day seems to bring in a new facet of his personality.

Though there is growing interest about Rayaru, there are still many things that are yet to become popular. One such aspect is the places where Rayaru spent time. Though we are all familiar with Bhuvanagiri, where he was born: Bichale where he spent thirteen years in the house of  his close devotee Appanacharya and Mantralaya where he entered Brindavana in 1671, there are many other places which are not as popular among visitors and pilgrims as these three places.

One such place is Srimushnam, one of the ten most holy Vaishnava shrines in the world. If Ayodhya is known as the birth place of Lord Rama and Mathura is associated with Krishna, Srimushnam is the revered Varaha Kshetra or the abode of Lord Vishnu or Hari.

Apart from being home to the Varaha Swamy temple, Srimushnam has another distinction which many are not aware of. It is here that Raghavendra Swamy is supposed to have spent close to twelve years.

A staunch Madhwa, Raghavendra worshipped the Varaha diety here and stayed in a house. This was much before he entered Bichale in Karnataka sometime in 1658.

Rayaru was born in Bhuvanagiri which is just a few kilometers from Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. Srimushnam too is near Chidambaram and Rayaru spent much of his formative years in the Mudarai- Kumbakonam-Thanjavur, Srirangam-Srimushnam belt for several years.

If he learnt Vedas, Shastras and other religious texts at Madurai, he took Deekshe at Thanjavur, joined the Sri Matha of Vijendra Theerta at Kumbakonam and spent years meditating at Srimushnam and worshipping Hari.

Rayaru stayed for years at a house in Srimushnam and this house can still be seen. The Nanjangud Mantralaya Matha, or the Sri Raghavenmdra Matha, took over the house in 2010 and constructed a temple dedicated to Raghavendra Swamy here.

The Nanjangud Raghavendra Swamy Matha is the official matha of Raghavendra Swamy and its name stems from the holy city of Nanjangud near Mysore which  has a Rayaru temple where there is an exquisite idol of Raghavendra Swamy. Since many seers of the Matha spent time here, the samshtahan came to be called as Nanjangud Mantralaya Matha.

The then seer of the Raghavendra Swamy Matha, Sushameendra Theertha, had wanted to develop a Raghavendra Swamy Matha at Srimushnam so that devotees and pilgrims can get accommodation and Theertha Prasada. He wanted to provide overnight accommodation to people.

He also wanted to renovate the house where Rayaru had lived.

His successor, Suyateendra Teertha Swamy, brought this idea into action. On November 24, 2010, he performed the Pratishtapana of Sri Rayaru and Sri Mukhyaprana in the premises of the old Rayara Mane or the home of Rayaru.

Incidentally, the stone for constructing the Brindavana was taken from the same segment in Madhavara, where the stone for the Moola Brindavana at Mantralaya was brought. It was Rayaru himself who had asked Dewan Venkanna to construct his Brindavana from the rock at Madhavara, which is near Mantralaya.

This makes the Brindavana of Raghavendra Swamy at Srimushnam the only other Brindavana apart from Mantralaya to be sculpted from the same stone.

Today, the house of Rayaru in Srimushnam has been transformed into a temple of Rayaru. The Mantralaya Matha maintains the home and matha and provides several facilities for pilgrims and devotees.

Another interesting fact about Srimushnam  for Madhwas is that Madhwacharya spent time during a Chaturmasa here and he gave some excellent discourses on Vishnu Purana, Bhagavath Geetha and other topics.

Srimushnam is today one of the foremost pilgrim centres for Vaishnavas. It is among the few places where we can see Varaha with his consort Bhoo Devi. It is also the place sanctified by Madhwacharya and Raghavendra Swamy.

This is also the place where Vyasa Raja or Vyasa Theertha and his guru, Sripadaraja, spent time as did Raghuttoma Theerta of Tirukoilur.

Incidentally, the Nanjangud Mantralaya matha has drawn up ambitious plans to develop the matha into a center of learning. It wants to expand the matha activities further so as to spread the Dwaitha tenet. It also plans to start a VedicSchool and a research center.

As of now, the newly established Matha  provides transit accommodation, Teertha Prasada (lunch) and other basic amenities for pilgrims.

For more details contact Nanjangud Sri Raghavendra Swamy Matha
No 1, North Car Street,
Srimushnam

608703
District: Cuddalore.

Tamil Nadu
Ph: 09486568218

8 Million All Times Hits to Kalpavriksha Kamadhenu – Thank You

I had never imagined having so many visitors visit this blog even in my wildest dreams. I had posted about 7 Million in April 22, 2016, and within a few months to have another million is just unimaginable.

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THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. Let us keep our culture alive, spread our customs and traditions in a good way and above all spread tolerance and patience.

None of this would have been possible without the blessings of Lord Almighty and our Beloved Rayaru.

I have gone silent for the past few months, have gone through some tough challenges in personal life. It was tough to keep faith during those challenges, and our Beloved Rayaru has his own way of showing light and making us feel secure once again.  I promise all of you that I will keep posting regularly and keep this blog lively once again.

THANKS AGAIN. AND HERE IS TO WISHING WE WILL REACH ANOTHER MILLION IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

Update: Pushya Nakshatra and Sunday – November 20th 2016

Rayaru

Rayaru

The common interpretation of Pushyaarka Yoga is the combination of Pushya Nakshatra and Thursday or Sunday.This common interpretation is when moon entering Pushya nakshatra on Thursday  or Sunday is PushyArka yoga .

Raghavendra Mutta says “On this Holy day one should Recite or Chant Guru Stotra ( Raghavendra Stotra)s, Singing songs will bring happiness and prosperity in your life.”

The significance of this day is also mentioned in Rayara Stotra – 27th Stanza.

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Anyone who recites this holy Sri Raghavendra Stotram 108 times with intense devotion, on the occasion of solar/lunar eclipse or the combination of Sunday with the star Pushya, will be relieved of all evil influence, e.g., haunting etc. (27)

You can find more details about this great day below in the link:

To find lyrics on Rayaru, please visit this page:

The Raghavendra Stotra to be recited is posted here:

Shri Raghavendra Stotra or Shri Poornabhodha Stotra Lyrics/

Updated:ತುಲಸೀ ಹಬ್ಬವಿವಾಹ ಉತ್ವಾನ ದ್ವಾದಶಿ – Uthwana Dwadashi/Tulasi Habba – November 12th 2016

ತುಲಸೀ ಹಬ್ಬವಿವಾಹ ಉತ್ವಾನ ದ್ವಾದಶಿ – Uthwana Dwadashi/Tulasi Habba – November 12th 2016
Last year’s pictures:

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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.

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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: Deepavali-Diwali – October 27th – 31st

Diwali dates – 2016

This year Diwali is celebrated from October 28th – 31st

October 28th – Neeru Thumbuva Habba

October 29th – Naraka Chaturdasi

October 30th – Lakshmi Pooja

October 31st – Bali Padyami

The word Diwali originated from the Sanskrit word “Deepavali” which means “rows of light”. This 5 day long Hindu festival is celebrated throughout the world with great enthusiasm and happiness. Diwali or deepavali is the festival signifying the victory of good against evil.

It usually occurs in October/November, and is one of the most popular and eagerly awaited festivals in India and all over the world. Diwali comes 3 weeks after Dasara.

October 28th – Neeru Thumbuva Habba

The first day of Diwali celebrations i.e. on Thrayodasi ತ್ರಯೋದಶಿ is called as Neeru Thumbuva Habba ನೀರು ತುಂಬುವ ಹಬ್ಬ in Kannada. This day all the vessels which are used to fill or collect water are cleaned in the evening, decorated with mango leaves, flowers, and rangoli. I remember all the water geysers and boilers were washed, filled with fresh water and rangoli drawn on them this day.

The rangoli prepared is by soaking rice in water for a few hours and grinding the same into a smooth paste. My Mom used to take a piece of cloth, dip it into this rice paste and draw Rangoli every where from the front door to the kitchen. All corners of the house used to have rangoli, which used to be as white as milk. Just amazing.

Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated on the second day of diwali celebrations. People wake up early in the morning apply the kumkum (ladies in the household do the arathi), on their foreheads and then take bath.

We used to all sit on a platform, usually called a Mane which is decorated with Rangoli designs, lamps lit on both sides. Everyone is applied Kumkum on the forehead, given betel leaf, nut, and arathi is done by elderly ladies in the house. They will take the oil cup and dip a flower  in it and apply it on everyones head. And the man are supposed to give money for the ladies doing the Aarathi. Such a nice tradition, isn’t it?

The story goes that Narakasura the daemon ruler of Pragjyotishpur after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned 16,000 daughters of the gods and saints in his harem. On the day previous to Naraka-chaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned daughters and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. As a symbol of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood and returned home in the very early morning of the Naraka-chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice.

Another legend is about King Bali. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all ‘Devatas’ so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali’s powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height ‘Brahmin’, and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height ‘Brahmin’ asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish. That very moment that short-height ‘Brahmin’ disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.

The third day of Diwali is the most important day during which we perform Lakshmi Pooje; to the Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Pooje falls on the dark night of Amavasya. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek blessings of Goddess of Wealth.

I am sure you all will do the Lakshmi Pooje, and get her blessings. The most important song we sing while performing Lakshmi Pooje is Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma song.

The fourth day of Diwali is called “Bali Padyami“. Bali would come out of Pathala Loka and rule Bhuloka as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is known as ‘Bali Padyami’.

What is Naraka Chaturdashi?

October 29th – Naraka Chaturdasi

Naraka Chaturdashi is celebrated on the second day of diwali celebrations. People wake up early in the morning apply the kumkum (ladies in the household do the arathi), on their foreheads and then take bath.

The story goes that Narakasura the daemon ruler of Pragjyotishpur after defeating Lord Indra had snatched away the magnificent earrings of Aditi, the Mother Goddess and imprisoned 16,000 daughters of the gods and saints in his harem. On the day previous to Naraka-chaturdashi, Lord Krishna killed the demon and liberated the imprisoned daughters and also recovered those precious earrings of Aditi. As a symbol of that victory Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with the demon’s blood and returned home in the very early morning of the Naraka-chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then the custom of taking bath before sunrise on this day has become a traditional practice.

Another legend is about King Bali. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all ‘Devatas’ so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali’s powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height ‘Brahmin’, and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height ‘Brahmin’ asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish. That very moment that short-height ‘Brahmin’ disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.

October 30th – Lakshmi Pooja

P.S: Past few years pooja pictures attached below….

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The third day of Diwali is the most important day during which we perform Lakshmi Pooje; to the Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Pooje falls on the dark night of Amavasya. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek blessings of Goddess of Wealth.

I am sure you all will do the Lakshmi Pooje, and get her blessings. The most important song we sing while performing Lakshmi Pooje is Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma song.

Some useful links for Lakshmi Pooja:

October 31st – Bali Padyami

The fourth day of Diwali is called “Bali Padyami“. Bali would come out of Pathala Loka  ಪಾತಾಳ ಲೋಕ and rule Bhuloka ಭೂಲೋಕ as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is known as ‘Bali Padyami’.

King Bali of the netherworld, with his mighty power, had become a threat to the gods. To curb his powers, Lord Vishnu in the guise of a Brahmin boy (Vamana), visited him and begged for that much land he could cover with three footsteps.

So, with the first step, Vamana covered the entire heaven and with the second step the earth. When he asked Bali where he could keep his third step, Bali offered his head and put the Lord’s foot on his head. Lord Vishnu banishes Bali into the Pathala (nether land) by his third stride. Later, pleased by his generosity, Lord Vishnu grants him a boon to return to earth once in a year to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance and spread the radiance of love and wisdom.

Links to songs sung while performing Aarathi during Diwali.

Diwali Songs Part 1

Diwali Songs Part2

Dishes to be prepared for Diwali

Rangoli for Diwali

Goddess Lakshmi Songs

Rangoli For Lakshmi Pooja

Updated : Dasara – Navarathri – October 1st – October 11th 2016

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 1st – October 11th 2016. 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 9th
    Read more about Saraswathi Pooje here.
  • Durgasthami – October 9th
  • Ayoodha Pooja – Mahanavami – October 10th. Read more about Ayoodha Pooja here.
  • Vijayadashami – October 11th

Devotional Songs for Dasara:

Dasara Pictures around the world:

Food Prepared during Dasara

Other links posted on the blog:

Ganesha Festival Pictures – 2016

It was a festive day yesterday. Just the thought of doing pooje to our Lord Ganesha lit up the mind and the house. As always, the blog, the computer and the phone assisted us in many many ways.🙂

Attached are some pictures of the greatest festival at my place. This year we decided to bring Ganesha instead of using the Gold idol one we used to use. We plan on bringing the same from now on.

We had relatives and friends for pooje in the morning and evening. We served food on Banana leaf from our own garden. As always I had prepared food as per our tradition –

  • Moong Dal Kosambari
  • Channa Dal Kosambari
  • Beans Palya
  • Seme Badnekayi Palya
  • Idli
  • Chatni
  • Chitranna
  • Payasa
  • Modaka
  • Kadabu
  • Saru
  • Kootu
  • Happala Sabdhudana Sandige
  • And Yogurt

Hope you all had a blessed Ganesha festival.

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Home grown banana leaf used for serving food:

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Evening Pooje:img_3349 img_3351

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