Archive for the ‘Pooje’ Category

Update: Makara Sankranthi – Jan 14th 2017

The 2nd week of January is the festival “Makara Sankranthi”. This year it is on 14th, which is a Saturday.

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:

Update – Vaikunta Ekadashi – Jan 8th/9th 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE WHO HAS VISITED THIS BLOG. MAY 2017 BRING PEACE HAPPINESS, AND HEALTH TO EACH ONE OF YOU!

January 8th 2017 is Smartha Ekadashi.

January 9th 2017 is Bhagavatha Ekadashi.

P.S: Please check your local calendars and temples to see the exact date for Vaikunta Ekadashi.

Vaikunta Ekadashi falls in the month December-January. This year it falls on January 8th and 9th 2017. This is observed with all solemnity in the temples of Lord Vishnu. Please check your local calendars to see when it falls.

Vaikunta Ekadashi is of great significance at the Tirupati Balaji Temple, and also all Balaji temples. They prepare what is called a “Swargada Bagilu” also called as ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ or ‘the gate to the heaven‘ This gate is opened on this day. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord. Scores of devotees queue up to pass through the Gate of Vaikunta in the temples.

For the devotees of Lord Vishnu, every Ekadashi is a very sacred day No rice should be eaten on Ekadashi days. This is very important.

Those who are unable to fast completely can take some light fruit and milk. So you may ask why we shouldn’t eat rice, so here comes the story for the same.

The sweat that fell down from the head of Brahma assumed the form of a demon and said to the Lord, “O Lord! now give me an abode to dwell.” Brahma replied, “O demon! go and dwell in the rice particles eaten by men on Ekadashi day and become worms in their stomach.” For this reason rice is prohibited on Ekadashi.

If you don’t believe in this story, just think of all the benefits you can get from fasting.

Fasting makes a man strong, both spiritually and mentally.Fasting controls passion. It checks the emotions. It controls the senses also. It is good to fast once in a while as it recuperates the body. Ekadashi observance cleans our body and the digestive organs get much needed rest.

Those people suffering from ailments and on medications should take the advice of a doctor before fasting. Never torture your body in the name of religion. There is nothing wrong in having fruits or milk. And you can bring a certain amount of flexibility in the way it is observed.

Sriman NyayaSudha Mangalotsava @ Mantralaya

rayaru

Image Credit: SRSmutta.org

Amazing collection of pictures to view in Mantralaya on the occasion of Sriman NyayaSudha Mangalotsava programme. Take a look here:

Lord Narashima in my Dream

Narashima2

I really have no clue what to make of the dream, but Monday early morning around 4.30 AM I saw Lord Narashima in my dream. I was thinking about the Satsangha we are having this coming Sunday, and wondering that my Beloved Rayaru had not come in my dream for a long long time.

I do have a Lord Narashima idol which was given to me by my Mom during my last visit. I do worship the idol everyday. But, to get the Lord in my dream was just chilling. There wasn’t much which happened in my dream, just that I was in a temple praying to Lord Narashima.

Humbled and also blessed to see our Beloved Rayaru’s Lord in my dream. As always, wanted to share with you all about this.

 

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.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 6.27.06 PM

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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/

Power of Reciting Shree Raghavendraya Namaha

Satsangha-photo6

A few months back when we performed Satsangha at my place I mentioned about a miracle. Hope you all remember that. If not, link below:

A miracle on Thursday

Since the Satsangha we attended just two weeks back, my Husband and I decided we should spend 1 hour every evening from 7.00-8.00 PM in our Pooja room, learn new slokas, stotras, understand the meanings of several we already know. We started by reciting Shree Guru Raghavendra Stotra, and reading the meaning from the book I mentioned in the above post. We are almost done, and will be reading the last sloka today. Next, since it is Dasara, we will start reciting a few of Lord Venkateshwara Stotras and Slokas. I will definitely keep you all posted on anything new I learn.

Rayaru-Photo

I might have also mentioned several times that I recite “Shree Raghavendraya Namaha” 108 times every single day. I really have no clue when I started this. So, to know how powerful reciting this Japa brought chills. Maybe now I realize why I have so much calmness, so much confidence in the work I do, and courage when I jump for any new opportunity which comes my way at work or at home.

So, here are some of the details from the book. All credit goes to the author and publisher of the book. I have no intention of copying, I am just trying to spread the word about how powerful doing the Japa is.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

The 16th sloka which goes like this:

ದೋಷಾಸ್ತೆ ನಾಶಮಾಯಾಂತಿ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರಪ್ರಸಾದತಃ |
ಓಂ ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಘವೇಂದ್ರಾಯ ನಮಃ ಇತ್ಯಷ್ಟಾಕ್ಷರಮಂತ್ರತಃ |
ಜಪಿತಾದ್ಭಾವಿತಾನಿತ್ಯಮ್ ಇಷ್ಟಾರ್ಥಾಸ್ಸ್ಯುರ್ನ್ಯ ಸಂಶಯಃ || ೧೬ ||

दोषास्तॆ नाशमायांति राघवेंद्रप्रसादतः ।
ओं श्री राघवेंद्राय नमः इत्यष्टाक्षरमंत्रतः ।
जपिताद्भावितानित्यम् इष्टार्थास्स्युर्न्य संशयः ॥ १६ ॥

doshaaste naashamaayaanti raaghvendraprasaadataha |

“OM shri raaghavendraaya namaha” ityashtaaksharamantrataha |

japitaadbhaavitaanityam ishtaarthaahasyurna samshayaha || 16 ||

This 16th sloka tells us the power of Shree Raghavendra Mantra – “OM shri raaghavendraaya namaha”.

Shree Raghavendraya Namaha is the Raghavendra Ashtakshara Mantra, consisting of eight syllables.

The meaning of this mantra is: Salutations to the great Guru Shree Raghavendra, who rules the hearts and minds of devotees, who destroys all  sins and fulfills all wishes.

The next few paragraphs explain about what Japa is. Devotees who sincerely do Japa of Guru Mantra are insulated and protected from shocks and dangers of life. Guru Mantra instills calmness, confidence, and courage in a devotee, who is comforted and secure in the warmth of Sadguru’s love. His mind is purified.

It is mandatory to chant the Guru Mantra 108 times daily in the morning, after bath. Fix the mind on Guru and chant the mantra mentally with eyes closed before lit lamps in the puja room. Wear washed cotton or silk clothes, as these are natural fabrics which effectively absorb and transmit the energy of the mantra into the body. The mantra loses its power if chanted aloud, or within anybody’s hearing.


Now, that you all know the power of this mantra, start reciting it everyday after bath for 108 times. Simple and yet so POWERFUL!

 

 

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:

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