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15 years of Blogging – A million thanks

On this day, Avidhava Navami I would like to dedicate this post to my Mother, my beloved Amma.

Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava, Aachaarya Devo Bhava, Athithi Devo Bhava

To this date and month, I have completed 15 years of blogging. I would always pick up the phone and tell Amma any new post or updates about my blog. She was always so happy, and quite amazed how I always balanced my personal life and professional life.

This blog means a lot to me. I truly cannot express my feelings in words. What started as a personal space for me to have all lyrics, slokas, festival pooja vidhis, and food recipes at one place has now turned into a huge resource not for just me but millions across the world.

I remember when I started the blog there was nothing available on YouTube, not many websites for lyrics or any resources for festivals. 15 years later, you can see thousands of YouTube resources, blogs for almost anything and everything. None of that changed my dedication to my blog, and the time and energy I put towards updating it.

I always felt, if the blog helps one person to be able to recite stotra, songs – I would be blessed. Hearing from so many of you across the world, I know it has helped thousands. And your blessings have carried me through good, bad and tough days in life.

I shared many authentic recipes, especially made by my Amma and Ajji – you all prepared the same, and were happy to share your own recipes and twists of the same.

I shared my heart out when I lost dear and near ones – You supported me like your own. The number of messages, emails, and texts you all sent helped me pass through those tough days.

I shared my challenges when I broke my leg, when I had severe leg pain for years – You prayed for me and a few of you visited Mantralaya and prayed for me to not have surgery, and Almighty Lord and Rayaru heard your prayers and healed me with no major complications.

I shared good news about my Daughter completing her Medical School, and in a matter of 2 more years will be an Orthopedic Surgeon, You all celebrated with me and shared your best wishes.

I shared my very personal dreams with you all, whether it be about Lord Venkateshwara, Lord Narashima or our beloved Rayaru. You all felt ecstatic just reading my post.

I share my visits to several holy places, temples I visit across the world, and you all provide numerous suggestions and share your experiences

When someone asks for lyrics, there are several of you who volunteer to share lyrics at the earliest and send me the same.

What an amazing extended family I have in my life, very rarely do we get this kind of blessings from God and I feel truly humble to be able to have this in my life.

This blog has helped me be a better person everyday and every second. There are several of you who reach out to me, and to be able to talk to you one on one and guide you all through in this tough and challenging world in itself is a blessing from God.

Once again, thanks to each and every one of you who read this blog. A million thanks.

And saluting my Mother again on this day.

मातृदेवीम नमस्तुभ्यं मम जन्मदात्रिम त्वम् नमो नमः । बाल्यकाले मां पालन कृत्वा मातृकाभ्यो त्वम् नमाम्यहम ॥

I, Salute my Mother who gave me birth; I also salute my other Mothers (women) who added knowledge and wisdom to my actions and life to make me a good human being.

The above sloka credit to @bhargavasarma twitter thread.

Moved to North Carolina

While we were in India, as I mentioned we visited NR Colony Mutta almost everyday we were in Bangalore. The day we were supposed to fly back, I had tears in my eyes since there was no way in Maryland I could visit temple everyday, not even possible every week. The Rayaru mutta is quite far and takes almost an hour drive on toll road. Lord Almighty and beloved Rayaru heard my prayers. 

Due to COVID the past two years I have not traveled for work and there is no need in the near future also for me to travel. Our Daughter who will be soon doing her Senior year in Residency asked why we shouldn’t move to North Carolina so we could be close to her. We thought not a bad idea, found an amazing new Apartment and moved 3 weeks back. Our Maryland home is there as is, we have not rented or sold it. We will visit our home quite often and hopefully move back once our Daughter finishes her residency in 2 years.

This home in North Carolina is just 6 mins from the Shree Venkateshwara temple and Shree Krishna Vrindavana, NC. We visit both temples 2-3 times a week. It has been amazing being part of the Thursday evening Rayaru Bhajane at Shree Krishna Vrindavana. Yesterday, at Shree Krishna Vrindavana we witnessed Amavasysa Durga Pooja. It was the first time ever I recited Shree Lalitha Sahasranama.

The first visit to Lord Venkateshwara temple, as I was looking at the Lord and thinking ” I didn’t get to see you in India, we were nervous visiting Tirupathi, you at least are going to give me darshana here every week”. A flower from the right side of Lord Venkateshwara fell. It was amazing and I just can’t express my happiness.

If you are in North Carolina, let me know we can meet. Hope to see some of you. I already met a couple of extended family at the temple last week who follow the blog.

https://www.svtemplenc.org/#/home

 

Blog Hits a New Record -1.7 Crore 17 Million Views

Last year 12th September 2021, I had posted about 1.6 crores 16 million views.  As I was spending sometime today, I saw the statistics and was blown away.

The first person I would tell was my Mother. I know she is somewhere up there and watching over me and blessing me as always.

I lost track especially being very busy with work in USA and now spending some time here in India. I have been blessed to attend my Ajji’s annual ceremony, visit several temples here in Bangalore, especially the Rayaru mutta at Chickpete which is almost 290 years old. I took some pictures and video with permission from the temple authorities, I will post it soon.

Today being Narashima Jayanthi, we visited NR Colony mutta. Mantralaya Swamigalu had come and we got Mudra Dharane from Swamigalu. Will post video soon.

Planning on visiting Udupi, Sonde and other nearby places. Also visiting Mantralaya. I will share all details and hope to take several pictures and videos.

I am truly thankful to all of you for all your support and hope to continue spreading my knowledge and do whatever little I can do to promote Hinduism.

BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. THIS BLOG WOULDN’T HAVE REACHED WHERE IT IS WITHOUT ALL OF YOU.

And it goes without saying, my sincere namaskaras to Lord Almighty and our beloved beloved RAYARU.

MAY THIS BLOG CONTINUE ITS JOURNEY TOWARDS REACHING many many more people.

Pitru Devo Bhava

Today 8th January is my Father’s birthday. He turns today 88 years old. If you follow my blogs, you know everything I have learned is from my Father. Yes, we all learn life sessions from our Parents. But for me, my Father is also my spiritual guide, my one and only one Guru. From teaching me how to do Naivedya to what stotra to recite while doing Mangalaruthi, he is my God. He is my Father and he is also my Mother since the day we lost our Amma.

During his bday I would like to dedicate a sloka which is so appropriate for everything that my Father has done to me and is still doing and helping us in our Spiritual journey.

The sloka brought tears to me because it is everything that I would like to convey to my Father. My sister echoes the same sentiments and so does my brother.

Such an amazing sloka, saw it somewhere that it is from Mahabharatha.

पिता स्वर्गः पिता धर्मः पिता परमकं तपः ।
पितरि प्रीतिमापन्ने सर्वाः प्रीयन्ति देवताः ॥

pitā swargaḥ pitā dharmaḥ pitā paramakaṃ tapaḥ |
pitari prītimāpanne sarvāḥ prīyanti devatāḥ ||

My Father is my heaven my father is my dharma my father is the ultimate penance of my life. If a father is happy, all Gods are pleased.

I dedicate this blog to my Father. He is my Father, he is my Mother, he is my guide, he is my Spiritual Guru.

Here it is WISHING MY FATHER A VERY VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Have a Blessed 2022

2021 was tough for many of us. It was COVID doing it’s turn with different variants, and also loss of several lives. I lost so many relatives and the most devastating one was My Mysore Ajji, who we lost in May of 2021. We were coming to terms with the loss of my Mother when we lost Ajji. It was very tough since the entire India was in lockdown.

We hope to travel to India at least for the 2nd anniversary of our Mother in early March. 2022 No idea what rules will be in place for COVID and what new variant will come.

As you all know, I make no new year’s resolution. If I need to change anything, I try to do it today and not wait for New Years. Hopefully, all of you will have a blessed 2022. Hopefully, COVID will slowly become an Endemic instead of continuing as a Pandemic.

I promise to continue to write more and more in the year 2022. I hope I can travel to several of places I want to visit in India and post about them. I hope I can learn more about our scriptures and share them in my own language which inspires many. I hope I can continue to learn lot more from my Father and keep posting those amazing snippets he shares with me.

Once again, Have a blessed 2022. Stay safe, stay vaccinated, stay healthy, stay blessed, and stay connected.

Blog Hits a New Record -1.6 Crore 16 Million Views

Last year I had posted about 1.4 crores 14 million views. I lost track of the number of visitors and never paid any attention when it had even crossed 1.5 crores 15 million views. As I was spending sometime today, I saw the statistics and was blown away.

The first person I would tell was my Mother. I know she is somewhere up there and watching over me and blessing me as always.

To be honest today when I saw the number, I had tears in my eyes. The love and affection I have received from so many of you even without seeing you all is truly humbling. How blessed and lucky I am to be able to receive the same from all of you.

To know I inspire so many of you to be able to perform pooje, to have a work life balance, and to be able to show that no matter what high position we are at work, no matter where you live, no matter how much you earn, at the end of the day if you are not able to submit yourself to the Almighty Lord what use is this amazing gift of life we have been given.

I always thought if my blog is able to inspire 1 person, my goal is achieved. I thought the same at work also, if I am able to motivate 1 person to look at my work ethics, my passion, and say “If Meera is able to reach such amazing position at work, why not me?”. With your emails, texts, messages, and messages on LinkedIn I know I have inspired so many of you in your spiritual, life and work journey.

BIG THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. THIS BLOG WOULDN’T HAVE REACHED WHERE IT IS WITHOUT ALL OF YOU.

And it goes without saying, my sincere namaskaras to Lord Almighty and our beloved beloved RAYARU.

MAY THIS BLOG CONTINUE ITS JOURNEY TOWARDS REACHING many many more people.

ಆಷಾಢ ಮಾಸ – Ashada Masa Shree Mahalakshmi Pooja

ಆಷಾಢ ಮಾಸ or Ashada Masa starts July 10th and ends on August 8th in Plava Nama Samvatsara 

During this month, there are no marriages, upanayanas, or any good deeds performed. However, it is during this month that the Chaturmasa Starts, and the last day of ಆಷಾಢ ಮಾಸ or Ashada Masa is Bhimana Amavasya.

As I was talking to my Father today, he was mentioning about Ashada Masa Shree MahaLakshmi Pooje to be done every Friday.

My Father was also mentioning that there is nothing in the puranas that this month is inauspicious. He was mentioning this was the month when Ganga came to earth, it is the beginning of Chaturmasa, Ashada Friday’s doing Shree Mahalakshmi pooje is very auspicious. And this is the month on Ekadashi that we do the mudra dharane. 

 

kolhapur-lakshmi

So, the Friday’s July 16th, July 23rd, July 30th, and August 6th would be the days to perform Shree MahaLakshmi Pooje in the evening.

My Mysore Ajji had taught my Mom doing Shree MahaLakshmi Pooje every Friday almost 30 years back. My Mom performed it throughout her life. Last year, as we were mourning our Mom, and I was crying unconsolably while talking to my Daughter she asked me “Amma, what’s one thing Ajji used to perform that you want to carry forward.”. I said I haven’t seen anyone in the family do Shree MahaLakshmi Pooje every single Friday throughout the year for several years. And maybe we continue that tradition from her. I immediately mentioned to my Sister, we both decided we will carry forward that legacy of our Mom and started doing Shree MahaLakshmi Pooje every Friday evening. We haven’t missed since we started. And the pandemic has aided in working from home and be able to continue this tradition.

2013-shravanamasa-lakshmiPooje

 

The way we do the pooje is like below:

  1. Use both Idol and photo of Shree MahaLakshmi
  2. Do sankalpa
  3. Apply Haldi, Kumkum, Mantrakshate, and flowers
  4. Recite Shree MahaLakshmi Sahasranama, 1000 names of Shree MahaLakshmi 
  5. Recite Lakshmi songs
  6. Recite Devranama
  7. Do Naivedya
  8. Mangalaruthi and Aaruthi

You can perform the pooje in the morning, but evening time while sun is setting is very auspicious. So, for Ashada masa if time permits, please do Shree MahaLakshmi Pooje every Friday in the evening. If you cannot do Shree MahaLakshmi Sahasranama, you can at least perform Ashtotra which is 108 names.

Here is a link of Shree MahaLakshmi Sahasranama http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Lakshmi_Sahasranama_Stotram#Sahasranama

And here is another one in several languages:

https://www.drikpanchang.com/hindu-names/goddesses/lakshmi/1008-lakshmi-names.html

Our Mysore Ajji

This Akshaya Tadige Ajji completed 105 years. She was sick for the past few months. It was heartbreaking knowing Ajji had left this world. Yes, Ajji left this materialistic world yesterday and joined her Husband, her daughters, her daughter-in-law and many of her extended family and friends.

This picture you are seeing was during my Dad’s 80th Shastiputhi function. The bond between Mom and Daughter is so very well seen in the picture below. 

I searched for so many pictures, but none conveyed the message I wanted to about our Ajji and the bond she shared with Mom and in turn us grandkids and great grandkids.

Ajji always laughed when I told her I had written about her in my blog, she would say what have I done to get this much love from you all. She loved when I read out your comments and told her about the blog.

Ajji was fierce, Ajji was a strong role model, Ajji was a fighter.

Ajji was our Iron Lady, and our dearest Mysore Ajji.

With all the challenges Ajji faced, her devotion towards God never wavered and we never heard her complain ever about God.

Ajji was the big banyan tree, we all took shelter under. 

Ajji was a great musician, from her we learnt all the songs, all stotras and all slokas.

Ajji was a great role model, who taught each one of us how to fight adversity we face in life.

Ajji was a guru to us, who taught us how to pray and count our blessings.

Ajji was a great cook, and taught me so many amazing madhwa dishes.

Ajji was a mother, grandmother and great grandmother and showed us how to navigate these roles brilliantly.

Ajji was a giver, and showed how each one of us could benefit from doing charity. 

Ajji showed us education matters, and even more so how women need to be independent. 

Ajji also showed even more than education, how culture matters and how we should be cultured. 

Ajji dealt with so many tough challenges, and she taught us how to keep swimming even when we face tough challenges.

Ajji will live with us forever with her songs, the things she taught us and her love.

The family lost a great woman who was the head of our family or in one word a matriarch. 

I can still taste the brinjal vangibath, Rubbida huli, Akki tari Upma and Ajji’s favorite Bonda. All I learnt from Ajji’s visit to my parents house or our visit to our Mama’s house.

WE LOVE YOU AJJI. WILL MISS YOU FOREVER.

P.S: The other post I wrote about our Ajji, you can read below:

Be Human

I got woken up around 2.15 AM today Friday with severe headache and back pain. My first reaction was “I might have COVID, courtesy the visit to a dentist to get the crown replaced”. My daughter was so upset I had gone to a dentist. She has first hand seen COVID patients and how they suffer. This pain sent shivers, and immediately in the dark night I ran towards the dresser to get the perfume bottle out, spray and smell it. It smelled amazing and I was like thank god I am okay. I had heard if you are unable to smell, than you definitely have COVID. I have heard from so many family, friends and colleagues of their beloved ones losing life to COVID or getting so sick with it.


I couldn’t go back to sleep, all night I kept thinking of the thousands who have lots their lives and the many more thousands of loved ones who couldn’t say goodbye to their loved ones. Having lost my Mom a couple months ago, I know how tough it is, the long journey to India knowing Mom is no more, the pain of saying goodbye to her knowing I will never hug her again, knowing I will never talk to her again, knowing I will never tell her “Amma I love you” and collapsed on the ground when she was taken to be cremated. My loved ones hugged me, consoled me, talked to me and were with me. I will never ever be able to forget each one of them. I pray for their wellbeing.

None of that happened to the thousands who were so loved, who wanted to be held, wanted to be consoled. Tears flowed all night and I prayed for everyone who lost their life, I prayed for everyone who lost their loved one. Many weren’t even able to cremate or bury their loved ones. They couldn’t perform the last rites.


No matter what color, race, religion, country you belong, just this one time try to belong to humanity. The light is at the end of the tunnel, we just need to be patient. There is no other humane thing we can do during this pandemic than wear mask and not spread it to others.

Be human and respect every human life. That is our utmost responsibility at this time during the pandemic. 

Wear a mask, social distance, stay home and save life.

Some Updates

Hope you all had a wonderful Adhika Aswina Aswayuja masa. I did a few things myself. Recited Krishna Stotra, Shree Achutaya Namaha, Shree Ananthaya Namaha Shree Govindaya Namaha, Shree Krishnaya Namaha and Shree Raghavendraya Namaha 33 times everyday.

My Sister and I also did Taratamya Bhajane reciting 33 songs on behalf of my Mom. My mother was very particular about Adhika Masa and did lot of activities on our behalf. We miss her dearly. And so decided we could do something in her name. We recited all her favorite songs and prayed any punya should go to her.

The day we finished the Bhajane on behalf of my mother, the next day morning I had a dream wherein “Mantralaya Swamigalu HH Shri Subudhendra Teertha Swamiji comes in my dream and helps me and my sister do an elaborate Pooje”. It was an amazing dream, and I feel Mom who was a great devotee of Rayaru, and so the current swamigalu came to bless her and that Rayaru has accepted our bhajane on Mom’s behalf. I just couldn’t stop and texted everyone about this amazing dream.  

We also did Shree Raghavendra Satsangha at my sisters place and our Satsangha devotees joined by Zoom.

Today October 14th is our Mothers birthday. It was a sad day, we all missed her so much and the whole day there was this sadness. Wherever Mom is, hope she still is able to recite her favorite Rayaru Stotra.

COVID has been raging in India and also here in USA. Please take it seriously, wear a mask, wash hands often and above all stay safe and as much as possible stay indoors.

Hope to post often, somehow since Mom left us, nothing feels of any importance. Please do forgive me, will try to be more regular.

Hope you all have a wonderful upcoming Dasara.

 

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