Archive for the ‘Pooje’ Category

Update : Sree Raghavendra Swamy Birthday – February 22nd 2018

Rayaru 1

The birthday of our beloved Rayaru is on February 22nd 2018. Since the past 9 years, I have been posting regularly about giving a Birthday Gift to our Rayaru. What might a person like Rayaru need you may ask? He needs nothing materialistic since he left all those very early in his life. He needs our utmost love and devotion and sincere Bhakthi. And now you have an opportunity to show all these to our beloved Rayaru by giving him a gift which he loves immensely.

Yes, I and many in my family have been giving a little bit our time and chanting “Sree Raghavendraya Namaha” a minimum of 16,000 times. Once you complete the chanting, any number greater than 16,000 offer it our be beloved Rayaru. Start chanting and get the blessings from Sree Raghavendra Swamy.

Some tips on how I do the Japa Count:

1. Chant in the morning, and in the evening. Keep a notepad and write down how many you have chanted. I usually have an excel spreadsheet since it makes easy to count. No writing, just recite “Sree Raghavendraya Namaha”.

2. No head bath everyday, regular thing you do for every day Pooja. In the evening, no bath, again whatever you do to perform evening pooja. Wash your face, hands and legs and perform the chanting in the evening.

3. If I miss chanting a few days, I will make up the count during the weekends when I have time.

4. I recited 1080 times everyday in the morning. I have a Japa Mala with 108 beads, so used to chant 10 rounds everyday morning.

P.S: please send info@saptaaha.com with your japa count. Thanks Harsha Avare.

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Maha Shivaratri – 13th -14th February 2018

shiva_Pooja

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on 13 or 14th February 2018. Please check your local calendars. It is mandatory to visit the temple and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva during this day. In many customs they do fast on this day, but in our Madhwa tradition it is a festival and we do not fast. I remember visiting the Shiva Temple at Vijaya College in Bijapur which had 1001 Lingas along with my parents every year.

Both SBAT and SSVT temples have special pooje for Maha Shivaratri. The attraction in SBAT is Rayara Brindavana. The attraction in SSVT is Lord Venkateshwara. We will definitely visit one of the temples and get the blessings from Lord Shiva.

Attached below are prayers to say for Lord Shiva and seek his blessings.


Vandhe Sambhum Umaapathim Suragurum
Vandhe Jagath Kaaranam
Vandhe Pannaga Bhooshanam Mrigadharam
Vandhe Pasoonaam Pathim
Vandhe Soorya Sasaanga Vahnni Nayanam
Vandhe Mukundha Priyam
Vandhe Baktha Janaasryam Cha
Varadham Vandhe Sivam Sankaram

Meaning:

I bow to Sambu the Lord of Uma and the teacher of the Devas. I bow to the Lord Who is the root cause of the entire world. I bow to the Lord, Who has the serpent as His ornament, Who carries a deer. I bow to the Lord of all beings. I bow to the Lord Who has the Sun, the Moon and the Fire as His three eyes. I bow to Him Who is fond of Mukundha. I bow to Him, Who is the refuge of all devotees and Who grants boons to them. I bow to Siva, the creator of all auspicious things.

This blog has an entire page dedicated to Lord Shiva. Check the link below to find 20 lyrics on Lord Shiva:

Update: Pushya Nakshatra and Thursday – January 4th 2018

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 .

January 4th 2018 is Pushya Nakshatra and Thursday.

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/

Update: Makara Sankranthi – Jan 15th 2018

The 2nd week of January is the festival “Makara Sankranthi”. This year it is on 15th, which is a Monday.

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 – December 29th 2017

December 29th 2017

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 December 29th 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.

Achyutam Keshavam Lyrics

 

We had an amazing satsangha today at Ms. Rajani Srinivas house at Maryland. Ms. Rajani sang a song on Lord Krishna which was so meaningful and beautiful. I asked for her to send me the lyrics, and so I am posting it here to help all my extended family.

The song like I said is beautiful, heart touching and so emotional. Thanks Rajani for the lyrics.

Below is the link for the lyrics and the video on youtube.

Achyutam Keshavam Lyrics

And below is the video on youtube.

Achyutam Keshavam Youtube

2017 Shree Krishna Janmasthami Pictures

Hope you all had a wonderful and joyous Shree Krishna Janmasthami. The festival was on a Monday, so the whole morning was spent in meetings and work, and once the clock ticked 5.30 PM, I shut down the computer and got into festival mode.

Every time I FaceTimed my Dad, he was amazed to see how the Tulasi plant had grown and kept telling me that Lord Krishna just needs one Tulasi leaf offered to him and nothing but water. It is just devotion, dedication and utmost faith that he needs.

Seeing all the Tulasi that had grown, I had this wonderful idea of creating a Tulasi Vrindavana for Lord Krishna and hence the Tulasi plants you see in the picture.

Most of the festival preparation was done during the weekend, I even tied the Tulasi garland Sunday night since Monday morning was going to be hectic at work.

We prepared all the food yesterday evening after work, my Daughter joined us through FaceTime during the pooje until the end when we gave Argya to Lord Krishna. I just love technology, we can meet, share, see and perform ePooja remotely.  And today morning, I was able to show my parents all the pooje which we had done.

My own blog helped in getting all the links for songs, food items and recipes.

Food prepration like you see were items such as:

  • Moong dal Kosambari
  • Channa dal Kosambari
  • Uppittu or Upma
  • Avalakki
  • Sweet Avalakki
  • Chakli
  • Thengolu
  • Om Pudi
  • Shankar Poli
  • Rava Laddoo
  • Besan Laddoo

Now for the next big festival Shree Gowri Ganesha Festival. Will post all links and recipes as we approach the festival.

May Lord Krishna Bless us all. Jai Shree Krishna!

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