Home is the place where people spend their maximum time of their life; therefore our home should be the representation of our personality. The happiness and warmth of the inmates transforms the house into home yet a perfect house is also required to keep the inmates happy. So it is like a vice versa process.
For restoring balance and harmony in the home, certain rules of Vastu should be considered, which are quite helpful during the planning and designing process of the house.
- Rooms should only be square or rectangular shaped, and not irregularly shaped. Kitchen, toilets and puja room should not be next to each other.
- Kitchen should not be directly in the front of the main door.
- Study rooms, treasury rooms and living rooms should preferably be in the north side of the house.
- Bedrooms and store rooms should be in the southern part, avoid bedrooms in the central portion (brahmasthan) of the house.
- Dining room, children’s bedroom and study room in the western corner of the house is considered appropriate.
- Bathroom, study room and stores in the eastern corner of the house.
- The stairs should not be made in north-east or brahmasthan, preferred location is in west, south-west or south.
- Have lofts and attics in the south and west side of the rooms.
- Puja room should be in the north eastern corner or it can also be inside the study room or dining room in the north-east corner.
- Rainwater or drainage should have an outlet in north, east or north-east side.
- Elderly people are more comfortable in the south-west corner of the house.
- The number of doors and windows should be more on the ground floor and less on the upper floors.
- Allow plenty of natural light and fresh air within the house, as dark houses collects a lot of negativity.
- There are certain dates when neither muhuratha nor auspicious time is required, so you can begin your construction or move into your house on Akshaya Tritiya, Phulera Duj, Vijaya Dashmi and Vaisakhi.
(For further guidance of Vastu, consult shubhpuja.com)
Vastu involves an understanding of the eight directions that includes four cardinal directions and four angles or vidishas. The centre part of all these directions is called ‘brahmasthan’. Every direction is unique in its own way and there is certain speciality of each of them, so according to their significance the house should be planned and constructed.
West direction is capable of giving success, glory, fame and fortune.
North is the place of mother. By leaving open space in north, the maternal side of the family prospers.
South direction is responsible for wealth, success, happiness and peace.
North-east zone is assigned to water. Appropriate for constructing borewell or underground tank. This sector gives stability to the family.
North-west zone is assigned to air. It is good to keep finished goods in this area as they will move fast. It is responsible for relationships, friends and enemies.
South-east zone is assigned to fire. Kitchen, pantry, furnace or boiler should be placed there. Zit is responsible for good health and healthy finances of the inmates of house.
South-west zone is assigned to earth. This is the best area for master bedroom. It gives stability to the head member of the family.
These directions cannot change the destiny yet it ensures the safety measures by creating a harmonious space and strength to bear the problems in life. It is like a free will to a person, where he decides what to choose or not.
‘The truth of palmistry could rest upon the solid foundation given by the study of the thumb alone.’ This statement defines the significance of ‘thumb’ in the domain of Cheirognomy and the complete palmistry itself.
We often find cutting off the thumbs of the enemies during war, or of the prisoners for their crime. Even in the early days when prisoners were brought for justice in the court, they covered their thumb with their fingers- symbolising the giving up of his will and independence, and begging for mercy.
First or Nail Phalange: When the thumb is unequally developed, the first phalange is extremely long and the holder possesses extreme ‘will’.
Second Phalange: When the second phalange is extremely longer than the first one, the holder is logical and in spite of innovative ideas and skills, they lack the determination to carry it out.
Third Phalange: When the third phalange is long and thumb is small, the person is bent towards passionate and sensual side, as it is the boundaries of Mount Venus i.e. love.
Another noticing factor is the flexibility or stiffness of the first joint of the thumb. When supple, the first phalange is allowed to bend backwards; when on the contrary, the thumb is stiff, the first phalange cannot be bent back.
The Supple- Jointed Thumb:
This is the symbol of extravagant nature, one who is natural spenders of wealth as well as thoughts. They are quite adaptable to new people and situations and settle down easily.
The Firm-Jointed Thumb:
These people are more practical and possess a stubborn determination which makes them strong. The stick to one thing and have their own thoughts of making the best in their own home and country.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
The unique study of Palmistry is divided into two major sections or sciences known as cheirognomy and cheiromancy. Cheirognomy is the branch that deals with the shape of hands and fingers, and cheiromancy deals with the lines and markings of the palm. The inter-related branches are incomplete without each other and correct predictions can only be done by thorough study of both the sciences.
Have you ever thought that what is the shape of your hand and how the varied shapes of hands affects our thoughts, nature and even career. Here we will discuss the seven major types of hands, which may again be subdivided into further categories.
The Elementary or Lowest Type:
The palm is thick and coarse with short and clumsy fingers, and short nails. Here the palm dominates the hand i.e. the animal nature prevails. These types of people possess little mental capacity and have a strong influence towards the order of brute. Violent and passionate in life yet their coward instinct prevents them to take risk.
The Square or Useful Hand:
The palm is square at the wrist, square at the base of the fingers, and square shaped fingers. In fact the nails are also short and square. Such people are orderly, punctual and precise with great sense of discipline. They prefer reason to instinct, peace to war, and are quite methodical in work and habits. They are not adaptable to people, new ideas and have no interest in creative or art work. They disbelieve what they cannot comprehend.
The Spatulate or Nervous Active Type:
It is unusually broad at the wrist or at the base of the fingers, with the tips of each finger resembling the spatula. They are restless and excitable and never stick to anything for long. They are intense lover of action, energy and independence. This is like a hand of great engineers, explorers, scientists, navigators and mechanics; but not always. They possess an original way of perception and singular independence of spirit.
The Philosophic or Knotty Hand:
The hand is long and angular, with bony fingers, developed joints, and long nails. Such people are humanity lovers and are quite distinct from the crowd. They are silent and secretive, deep thinkers and very careful over little matters. They are proud with the pride of being different; and rarely forget an injury yet bestowed with patience. Brahmans, Yogis and other mystic people like Jesuits of Catholic Church, often possess such hands.
The Conic or Artistic Type:
This is a medium sized hand, palm slightly tapering, and the fingers full at the base, or slightly pointed, at the tip or nail phalange. Main traits of such hand is impulse and instinct; the one in which love of luxury and indolence predominate. Though quick in thoughts and ideas, yet they are devoid of patience and tire easily. They do not reason, they judge by impulse and instinct and are good conversationalists. Possess generous, sympathetic and emotional temperament.
The Psychic or Idealistic Hand:
The most beautiful hand, yet the most unfortunate of seven types is a long, narrow, and fragile-looking, with slender, tapering fingers and almond shaped nails. They have a pure visionary and idealistic nature; who have no idea about being logical or practical. They are easily influenced; and seem to dwell on the confines of spirituality, without knowing why. Thus in the worldly sense they are usually left behind in the race for fame and fortune.
The Mixed Hand:
The mixed type is so called as the hand cannot be classified as square, spatulate, conic or psychic; the fingers also belong to different types- often one pointed, one square, one spatulate, one philosophical, etc. This is the hand of ideas, versatility and is generally of changeability of purpose. They are adaptable to people and circumstances, clever, but erratic in the application of talents. They find their greatest scope in work of diplomacy and tact. They usually become ‘jack of all trades’ and fail to possess the pure development.
Realizing the importance of transforming phase within one’s life, certain traditions and customs are still performed in the present era. The transition from child to a youngster and then adult are best explained through the “Upanayanam Samskara” or “Janeu ceremony”. Literally Upanayan consists of two words, ‘Upa’- near and ‘nayan’- eye or inner vision; so this is a process of gaining inner vision through the guidance and learning of Guru. Initially this process or sanskar began after realizing the importance of learning and cultivating the passion for gaining knowledge from the Guru.
Depending upon the varied religions and castes, different ages have been allotted for performing this ceremony yet the main motive behind this is to highlight the commitments made by one towards his studies or learning, by avoiding any kind of distractions.
Significance of Upanayanam:
It is believed that every being is born the same and they further create themselves through karmas, so this process is similar to a second birth i.e. ‘dvij’, where one realizes the importance of their life and attains a motive. It also marks the beginning of a new life for the child as he attains the first most important lesson from his father or Guru, learning to recite Gayatri mantra. So here the child is believed to grasp the meaning and crux of the mantra, rather than parrot learning, and imbibing the positive vibrations while chanting it.
Significance of thread:
The pious thread used in the sanskar ceremony is made up of nine fibres, which are Omkar, Agni (deity of fire), Nag (serpent), Som (moon), Pitar (ancestors), Prajapati (deity of procreation), Vayu (air), Yama (deity of death) and Vishvadevata (deity of the universe).
Usually the three strands thread is used, that holds varied relevance:
- Three strands refer to the ultimate Trinity- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh
- Also to the Tridevis- Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali
- Three states- wakefulness, dream and deep sleep
- Three qualities – sattva, rajas and tamas
- Related to past, present and future
- The three dimensions-Heaven, Earth and nether regions
- The debt of one’s teacher, parents and scholars
- Relation with ida, pingala and susumna nadi, through which the ‘kundalini’ (hidden) energy manifests as prana and consciousness
Relevance in present scenario:
“He who sees all creatures in himself, himself in all creatures, does not show abhorrence to any one; knowing all beings to be one’s own-self and seeing the unity of man-kind, how can there be for him delusions, sufferings and sorrows”. These lines from the Upanishads sums up all and provide a direction to the being in this material illusionary world.
This ceremony aims at providing the attributes of love, compassion, benevolence, discipline and valuing human relationships. In the modern education, the light of values and morals is diminishing so to preserve the brightness of moral values, it’s necessary. The wearer of this sacred thread also learns the main goal of his existence and keeps himself engrossed on the path of divinity, avoiding disturbances and turbulence.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
The customary tradition of tying a Mauli on the wrist during any religious ceremony has usually been witnessed by us. In the beginning or at the end of the ceremony, pandits tie a mauli on the right hand of males and on the left hand of females. The ceremonies are considered incomplete without the mauli and it holds various religious and scientific significances.
Relevance of the thread (Mauli):
- The auspicious blessings of Tridev- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh and Tridevi- Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga; are bestowed upon the devotee by tying mauli.
- Mauli acts as a protecting shield against the evil energies and worldly problems.
- To receive the grace of the Gods which are worshipped during the puja or havan.
- The thread signifies the unconditional promise of serving and surrendering ourselves in the feet of God Almighty.
- The pious thread provides the strength to fight against diseases, enemies and other dangers.
- It is believed that Lord Vishnu during his incarnation of Vamana tied a red thread on the hands of King Bali to grant him immortality.
- As per Ayurveda, our entire body is processed through veins so when we wear a mauli, it helps in creating a balanced blood circulation and proper body functioning.
- The mauli on the wrist helps in controlling the blood pressure.
- It is beneficial in controlling the Vaat (Wind), Pitt (Bile) and Cough (Phlegm) s, when they are in a disordered state.
- It also acts as a commitment of love and care, when tied by a sister on her brother’s wrist.
||Yen baddho bali raja danvedro mahabalah
Ten tvamanubadhnaami rakshe maachala maachala||
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
The vast cultural and historic occurrences in India have always added to its colourful list of events. Considering the emotions and sentiments of varied communities and religious groups in India, India ranks at the top with 21 public holidays in a year; according to a report by Times of India. Recently even the Uttar Pradesh government is demanding a holiday on the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap that falls on May 9. So may be an addition in the list of state holidays for the lucky ones. But anyhow his birth anniversary i.e. Maharana Pratap Jayanti is celebrated every year on 3rd day of Jyestha Shukla phase as a full-fledged colourful festival. This year it is on 21st May 2015.
The renowned patriot is well known for his valour, pride, enthusiasm and love for his motherland. In the entire journey, he was committed and dedicated towards getting the lost Chittor back. The well-known Battle of Halidighati is the epitome of Pratap’s bravery and passion to get his state back. It is said that the yellow coloured soil of Haldighati turned completely red during the battle in 1576. So not only the battle but his intelligence, good conduct and grounded attitude made him praise worthy among all.
Thus to celebrate the victory and courage of this hero, Haldighati festival is also organized every year in Mewar, Rajasthan. The cultural events includes the bright decorations with traditional handicrafts stalls and cultural music; that gives the feel of a mini traditional India. All the stalls are designed as per the local requirements and represent the chivalrous acts of Pratap. Thousands of tourists join this multi-cultural fair to pay homage to the brave ruler and be a part of this colourful celebration.
Special pujas and processions are also organized in other states along with cultural events at Schools to celebrate the victory of goodness over evil. This day acts as an inspiration for Indians to hold that faith and compassion for their motherland and adopt the virtuous attributes like him.