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If you have always been weak with numbers and wondered why it is so, wait a minute! There might be something more to blame than just your lack of practice. You can easily pass on the blame on your horoscope! You think I am joking?
According to Indian Astrology, Mercury, also known as Budha, is the planet of intelligence and the IQ of a person depends on the strength of Mercury in the horoscope. Budha, a son of Chandra and Tara, is the god of merchandise and protector of Merchants. He is represented holding a scimitar, a club and a shield, riding atop a winged lion. He has a greenish complexion and thought of to be mild and eloquent by nature.
The planet of Mercury epitomizes logic, calculation and mathematics as far as astrological terminology is concerned. He is in charge of all artistic pursuits. That is the reason why Mercury rules education, writers, lecturers, traders, teachers, artists and businessmen. Your style of communication as well as your speaking patterns depends on the position of Mercury in your Horoscope. But the planet is as good as its associates. If associated with benefic planets, mercury gives honest ideas of increasing wealth. On the other hand if associated with malefic planets, it leads to wealth generation through wrong means such as stealing or cheating. A badly placed Mercury can cause several health problems like psychic diseases, insomnia, nervous breakdown and many communication related problems among others.
Mercury has two faces, giving it a double nature and makes one detached and independent as well as an extremist at the same time. It loves the company of learned and is said to be the lord of the north direction.
So the next time you are being rounded up for poor maths grades, you can safely put it on your horoscope!
Contributed By Mihir Ajgaonkar
Rahu and Ketu are referred to as the demons who consumed nectar and became immortal.
In almost all books of astrology of India they are referred to but have rarely been praised. It may be because of their mystic nature and a lot of mysterious stories associated with both these planets.
According to the vedic sages the point where the moon’s north node cuts the earth’s axis in the zodiac and thus makes a shadow on the zodiac is called Rahu and the South node of the moon is called Ketu. Ironically Rahu, the North Node which is looking towards earth signifies Materialism and Ketu which is in to the Darkness, as it is reversely pointed looks like tail Or symbolically an inward look in to the sub consciousness Or signifies Spirituality as Opposed to Rahu and both nodes are always 180¾ apart in the 360¾ 12-House divided Zodiac.
By the advancement in research, a lot of predictions have come out with lots of interesting aspects and significance of Rahu and Ketu in one’s horoscope. Rahu as such depending on its placement and strength etc. factors can some times give a tremendous and sudden mystical developments and great Raja Yoga karaka facilitator.
Based on the sacred Hindu mythological literature of India it was unraveled that long ago there were constant wars between Devatas and Asuras.The asuras always won with the guidance of their guru Shuckracharya’s majestic Mritha Sanjivi power, which the guru had obtained as a fruit of his penance, propitiating Lord Shiva. The power of this Mritha Sanjivini is, it can resurrect the dead, back to life. In this way, each Asura who was killed in the war by the Devas, was brought back to life by this manthra. Thus, this ensured constant defeat for the Devas and the Asuras continued to rule the heavens.
Once there was a great war between the Asuras (demons) and Devatas (gods). The Devatas were routed in the war and they went to Lord Brahma to seek his help. Brahma told them to churn the ocean.As a result they would be able to obtain Amrit (nectar) which would make them immortal and all powerful and after consuming it they would be able to defeat the Asuras. Churning the ocean was a very big job and so the Devatas sought the help of the Asuras. Lord Indra, went to heavens, and, sought for peace, and, said that henceforth, the Devas and Asuras should never wage war against each other, and, told them the need for churning the milk ocean and the power of consuming the Amrith. The Asuras, agreed, and inside their evil minds, they thought, once the churning is over and the Amrith is obtained, we will steal the Amrith.
The king of the serpents Vasuki was to become the rope, while a hill named Mandrachal offered to become the pivot. Lord Vishnu, in the form of a tortoise, became the base and the churning process began.
The Devatas held the tail of Vasuki and the Asuras held the head. Various things came out, during this churning of the milk ocean(Kshir sagar). There was a pot of Vish (poison) which created havoc in all the three worlds. Lord Shiva drank the poison to save the world, but he did not let the poison go beyond his neck which became blue in color. That is why Lord Shiva is also called ‘NeelKant’ (“one with a blue neck”).
At last Dhanvantari came out with a pot of Amrit and immediately there was a mad scramble for it among the Devatas and Asuras. Seeing this, Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini (a beautiful dancer) and offered her services in distributing the Amrit equally to both the Asuras and Devatas. She made both of them sit in two different rows but she gave the Amrit to the Devatas only.
Towards the end, one of the Asuras saw through her trick. He went and sat among the Devatas and drank the Amrit. The moment Chandra (Moon) and Surya (Sun), who were sitting besides him saw that he was a Asura, they informed Mohini. Lord Vishnu came in his real form and let out the Sudarshan Chakra (wheel) at the Asura. The Asura’s neck was separated from the body, but he did not die as he had drunk the Amrit, Lord Brahma made SvarBhanu’sson of Viparchit) head
and body join with a snake, thus, the head joined a snake’s body, came to be known as RAHU and the snake’s head joined with SvarBhanu’s body, came to be known as KETU. Lord Brahma, granted RAHU and KETU a boon for accepting this new form, a place amidst the planets, the Navagrahas. RAHU and KETU, even to this day, hold the grudge against surya and chandra, and cause solar and lunar eclipse to affect them.
RAHU and KETU’s power increases between sunset to sunrise, their power of vengeance is so strong that they cause an astrological moment called the RAHU KAALAM, that stays every day during the day for 1 hr and 30 minutes. This time is considered to be highly inauspicious for undertaking any good deeds and is only good for propitiating the divine mother.
Also there is another esoteric serpent symbolism associated with Rahu and Ketu to Kundalini Shakthi (Energy). The Head being Rahu (Signifying the different cosmic head petals of the Cosmic Snake Sahsrara Chakra or Awakening) and the tail being Ketu (Muladhara Chakra – Ganesha – or the beginning).
And yet another version is that, the Skanda Purana story of Rahu is a repetition of the same with one difference. Gods and Demons had decided to churn the ocean to extract nectar. The emphasis is that demons were as much a part of the effort to churn the ocean as gods. When nectar was got, Lord Vishnu decided to give nectar only to gods, not to demons. Rahu came to know of this decision. He assumed the shape of a god and entered the group of gods to drink nectar. Lord Vishnu cut off the head of Rahu.
Contributed By Chandana Veera Reddy
Every time you switch on the news channel, you can see clippings of a theft or a murder that took place somewhere in the world. You might even end up seeing some riots or the news about a girl who fell victim to the atrocities of some sick minded people of our society. What’s your first reaction like? “What can we do? It’s kalyug!”, you’d probably say. Really? You might even add how good it would be to have lived during the satyayug when people lived together in peace and harmony and cared for each other. Let me ask you one thing. Is it fair to blame the time or the age we are living in for the innumerous crimes that take place every day in our society? For us to understand this, we first need to realize what we mean by a yug or an era.
According to the ancient texts and scriptures, Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an epoch or era within a four age cycle. The cycles are said to repeat like the seasons. Each yug involves stages or gradual changes which the earth and the consciousness of mankind goes through as a whole. The cycle starts from the satyayug and goes on till kalyug until starting all over again.
It’s believed that the satyayug also known as the “Era of truth” was a time when mankind was governed by gods. During this age, there was no divide between the rich and the poor as there was no need to work. This is because all that people required was obtained by the power of will. The chief virtue of this era was the abandonment of all worldly desires. As a result there was no hatred or sorrow. The people would follow all the rules and regulations sincerely and conduct their dealings in a just and honest manner. Hence this was known as the “Golden Age”.
As of now, we are believed to be living in kalyug or the age of the vice. This is the last of the four ages described in the Hindu scriptures. Lord Krishna foretold that Kali Yuga will be full of extreme hardships for people with ideals and values. Isn’t it true to our world? We realize that the more a person tries to stay close to his ideals the more miserable the life he has to live whereas people who lie and cheat lead a comfortable life, enjoying all the materialistic pleasures the world has to offer.
Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, which is referred to as the Dark Age because in it people are as far away as possible from God. It seems true looking at number of crimes in the society and the sorry state of the society in general. The Mahabharata prophesized some events in the kalyug which bear striking resemblances in today’s world. It said that in the kalyug, rulers will become unreasonable and will no longer protect their subjects becoming a danger to the world. They will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality. Moreover, lies, greed and wrath will become common. Humans will openly display animosity towards each other. Sins will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish. People will take vows and break them soon after. Gurus will no longer be respected and their teachings will be insulted.
Sounds familiar? This is exactly what’s happening in our world. I don’t know if you believe in the concept of yugs or not. I don’t know if you believe in spiruality or not. But I do know one thing. You cannot and should not blame the time for the poor state of our society. If you want to see a change in our society make it happen. If you say that it’s not possible for a single person to make a change, its true. But as is evident, every achievement that seems big today began with the dream of a single man. Do your bit and see how it sets off a domino effect. Let’s do our bit to make this world a better place to live in. Your tiny contribution counts too!
Contribution By Mihir Ajgaonkar
A man wearing fourteen mukhi Rudraksha becomes highly auspicious, like Lord Shiva. Anyone who wears even one Rudraksha seed is always admired like saintly men and deities and can even attain liberation”.
Origin and Significance
Considered a part of Lord Shiva, Rudraksha is a natural seed of the blue fruit of the evergreen tree Elaeocarpus ganitrus, also simply known as the Rudraksha tree. It has its origin in the Sanskrit words, ‘Rudra’ and ‘Aksha’. ‘Rudra’ is another name for Lord Shiva, and ‘aksha’ means teardrop.
Mythological tales have it that the Rudraksha plant was born out of Lord Shiva’s tear drops. The unique properties and divine powers of Rudraksha have been described in the authentic shastras like the Rudraksha Jabala Upanishad, Padma Purana, Shiva Purana, Devi Purana and Bhagavat Purana. For thousands of years, they have adorned the bodies of sages and saints leading a fearless life in far-flung frontiers seeking enlightenment and liberation.
The wearer of Rudraksha not only makes Lord Shiva happy but also pleases Lord Vishnu, Brahma, Ganesha, Indra, Durga and the ruling deities of the nine planets. Especially during worshiping Lord Shiva, Devotees should wear Rudraksha beads as it is much dear to him. These “holy beads” give peace, power and protection. Traditionally, Rudraksha are worn as necklaces, bracelets, and pendants and used for meditation.
Rudraksha has the power to influence, evolve and protect your life on the deepest level- The Soul.
They amend the karma of the wearer, leading a person naturally to the correct path of truth and purpose, making the pace along the path quicker and progress easier.
“The desire for wearing Rudraksha is the result of attaining the perfection of knowledge and Blessings of God during previous births.”
Rudraksha – Its benefits and working
How will Rudraksha benefit you?
• Effective in controlling stress, thus help in eradicates worries and blesses the wearer with greater peace of mind.
• Brings clarity, sharpen the mind, and increase the power of intuition.
• Build powerful shield circles from negativity and eliminate obstacles along the path to your success.
• Charge the soul with shakti (spiritual power), increasing the soul’s own radiance and its ability to more fully express its divine power & wisdom in the material world.
• Create an intimate connection with the positive forces in nature and the universe, help to heal the vital energies and bring them into pleasant balance.
• Widely used in Ayurveda to cure several diseases.
• Combat the effects of stress (including hypertension, depression, and high blood pressure without the harmful and often addictive side-effects of tranquilizers, anti-depressants, and beta-blockers)
• Improve concentration, enhance relaxation and exhibit anti-ageing properties.
How do the Rudraksha beads work?
The holy beads work on the different chakras of human body as well on different planets and invite blessings from God. They work best when worn on body, touching skin is not necessary but the method and time of wearing it is important.
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With an annual footfall of more than half a million devotees every year, “Char Dham” is undoubtedly one of the most widely visited shrines in India. But before we delve into the popularity of these holy shrines, we first need to understand what Char Dham is all about. According to Hindu mythology, the term Char Dham was first coined by the prehistoric Hindu philosopher Shri Adi Shankaracharya.
Char Dham literally means “four abodes”. These abodes are believed to be homes of the Hindu gods and are considered to be the holiest places of pilgrimage. It consists of four historic temples which are spread across 4 different regions of India, truly encapsulating the message of national unity. These are namely- Badrinath in the north, Puri in the east, Dwarka in the west and Rameshwaram in the south.
In the north lies Badrinath, a temple of Lord Vishnu, situated at a height of 10,400 feet above the sea-level in the Garhwal Mountains of Uttaranchal. It traces its origins to the word “Badri” which refers to a berry that was said to grow abundantly in the area, and “nath” which means the Lord. Legend has it that Shankara once discovered a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan made of Saligram stone in the Alaknanda River. He originally enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs. It was brought to its present day location by the king of Garhwal in the sixteenth century.
Puri, a small coastal town of Orissa, is situated on the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal. The resident deity at this dham is Shri Krishna, who is celebrated as Lord Jagannath. He is worshiped here along with his elder brother Balabhadra and his sister Subhadra. This temple was built by an Oriya king Chodagangadeva in the twelfth century but it is believed that it has been there since time immemorial. Legend has it that Vishwakarma himself carved the idols out of wood. When the time came to make the idols, he ordered for a special kind of wood and went into the temple. He closed the doors of the temple and thought that he would remain inside till the idols were ready. Till the time the idols were ready, no one was supposed to enter the temple. Unfortunately, moved by the impatience of his queen, the king had the doors opened before Vishwakarma came out. When they went in they found that the God had carved all the idols up to their elbows. He was about to put on the hands but before he could do so, he saw the king and left angrily, never to be seen again. So the unfinished idols had to be set in the temple as it is and worshiped. That is why Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are handless.
In the west lies Dwarka, a holy shrine situated on the west coast of Gujarat. It was home to Shri Krishna after he left Mathura. The city lies in the westernmost part of India and dates back to 2,500 years. The story behind this temple is that one day, Durvasa Muni, who was known as a saint who could be easily angered, was invited by Lord Krishna and his wife, Rukmini, to dinner. When a person is invited to dinner, etiquette dictates that the host should not eat until the guest has been satisfied. On the way to dinner, Rukmini became thirsty and asked Krishna for help. Krishna then put his foot in the ground and the Ganges water flowed forth from the earth. As Rukmini was drinking the water, Durvasa turned and saw her drinking without his permission. He became angry and cursed her to live apart from Lord Krishna. That’s the reason why Krishna’s temple is in the town and hers is located outside the town.
Rameshwaram is a small town located in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. According to legends, the lingam was built on Rama’s return from Lanka. Ravana was a Brahmin and it was a sin to kill him even in war. Hence, Rama decided to atone for this sin at the place from where he began his battle march. As a result, Hanuman was dispatched to Varanasi to bring the image of the lingam from the Kashi temple there. However he was delayed and the auspicious moment was about to pass. Therefore, Sita built a lingam of sand and the prayers were conducted. This lingam is referred to as Ramalingam. When Hanuman returned with the lingam from Varanasi he was peeved to find that the prayers were completed. To placate him Sita also installed the Kashilingam and decreed that this lingam should be worshipped before the Ramalinga.
Over the years another Char Dham evolved in Garhwal Himalayas, where Adi Shankaracharya attained freedom from embodiment. It’s known as the “Char Dham of Uttarakhand”. Badrinath, one of the four sites in the original Char Dham, has become the central site of this Himalayan pilgrimage circuit called the Chota Char Dham. Located in the Garhwal region of the state of Uttarakhand, the circuit consists of four sites—Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Char Dham Yatra has great significance in the lives of the Hindus. It is commonly believed that undertaking the Char Dham Yatra washes away all the sins and opens the doors for “Moksha” or salvation. It offers a sense of belonging and is believed to purify the mind and the body. Therefore it’s said that every Hindu, regardless of his age should embark upon this journey at least once in his lifetime.
Contributed By Mihir Ajgaonkar