Ma Vaishno Devi Darshan: Inside Story

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Vaishno Devi, one of the most widely visited shrines in India, sees an annual footfall of over 8 million people from across the globe. But very few people are aware of the fact that a trip to this holy shrine is incomplete without the darshan at the Bhairon temple. Bhairon Mandir, located at a distance of 1.42 kilometers from Bhawan is situated atop an adjacent hill involves a steep climb, which can be undertaken either on foot or on ponies or palanquins. It is the highest point of the entire climb and is situated at an altitude of 6619 feet.Shubhpuja vaishno devi

Legend has it that once a devotee of Mata Vaishnodevi, Sridhar organized a Bhandara (Community meal) in which the whole village and Mahayogi Guru GorakshNathJi along with all his followers including Bhairon Nath were invited as it was wish of Mata Vaishnodevi to invite MahaYogi Guru Goraksh NathJi.

Guru Gorakshnath visited a Bhandara along with more 300 disciples including the Bhairon Nath. Bhairon Nath was amazed by seeing the power of divine mother. He wanted to test her powers. For this, he asked Shiv Avatari Guru GorakshnathJi for his permission. Guru Gorakshnath said I do not recommend but still if you wanted to test, go ahead.

 Bhairon Nath on locating the ashram started observing Vaishnavi secretly. He was enchanted by Vaishnavi’s extraordinary beauty and began to pester Vaishnavi to marry him. She tried her best to keep him away, but on failing to do so, she decided to flee away into the mountains to continue her tapasaya. Bhairon Nath however refused to give up and chased her down to her location. The goddess after halting at (present day) Banganga, Charan Paduka, and Adhkwari, finally reached the holy cave shrine. When Bhairon Nath continued to follow her despite the goddess trying to avoid a confrontation, the goddess was compelled to kill him. Bhairon Nath met his ultimate fate when the goddess, just outside the mouth of the cave, beheaded him. The severed head of Bhairon fell with force on a distant hilltop. Bhairon Nath upon his death realised the futility of his mission and prayed to the deity to forgive him. The almighty Mata felt mercy and gave him a boon that every devotee of the goddess would have to have the darshan of Bhairon after having the darshan of the Goddess and only then would the yatra of a devotee be complete. Hence it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Bhairon mandir is the final link of the pilgrimage.

Fasting- The New Cool!

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Chiming bells and sandalwood aroma,the air smells of faith. Faith had many shades, of which fast and fasting are of the brightest hues.

For ages,people have believed in fasting, from saints to common man to politicians, I’ve always wondered why would people believe in it in the first place.

As ayurveda puts it, fasting helps in detoxification of the body. It is a normal body process eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colour, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, glands and skin. This process is prReligious fasting shubhpujaecipitated by fasting because when food is no longer entering the body, the body turns to fat reserves for energy. When fat reserves are used for energy during a fast, it releases chemicals from fatty acid into a system which are then eliminated through the above mentioned organs. Chemicals that are absorbed from environment like DDT are also excreted through urine during fasting.

Second prescribed benefit, is the healing that begins in the body during a fast. During a fast, energy is diverted away from digestive system due to its lack of use and towards the metabolism and immune system. Healing process during a fast is precipitated by body’s search for energy sources. Abnormal growth like tumors in body, do not have full support of body’s supplies and thus are more prone to autolysis (self-destruction). Also, production of protein for replacement of damaged cells (protein synthesis) occurs more efficiently because fewer mistakes are made by the RNA/DNA (genetic controls), which governs the process. A higher efficiency in protein synthesis results in healthier cells, tissues and organs.

There is a decrease in core body temperature which is a direct result of slower metabolic rate and general bodily functions. Following a drop in blood sugar level and using the reserves of glucose found in liver glycogen, the BMR is reduced to conserve as much energy within the body as can be provided. Growth hormones are also released during a fast due to greater efficiency in hormone production.

Finally, most advantageous is the feeling of rejuvenation and extended life expectancy as an anti-aging hormone along with growth hormone are produced more efficiently during fasting. “The only way to extend the lifespan of a mammal is by strengthening the immune system, which also increases life expectancy and feeling rejuvenated and young.

 Religion holds the view that in a while one needs to get rate of every materialistic thing that are an integral part of our life and get closer to god.

So, fast to fast up your body and life.

Vinayaka (Ganesha) At Your Rescue

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Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya“, loud gleeful voices with great zeal and passion reminds us of our own beloved Lord Ganesha. Lord of wisdom, knowledge and prosperity is graciously worshipped by the keen devotees, who curiously wait for the fun filled festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is celebrated in the month of ‘Bhadra’ (mid-August to mid-September) for about 5 to 10 days ending with ‘Ananta Chaturdashi ’. Gana refers to a collective form, thus like our body is composed of a collection of atoms and molecules so Lord of ‘Ganas’ is ‘Ganesha’. The favourite among the Hindu deities, he is widely worshipped and admired by all Hindus (Santana Dharma) and even around the globe.

Worshipping every deity involves our personal motives behind it so adoring Ganesha leads to the removal of obstacles as well as shower of success, prosperity, wealth, knowledge and domestic harmony. Celebrating this festival with unlimited zeal compels us to unravel the origin of this event. To promote national harmony and oneness among the citizens, Chatrapati Shivaji began the tradition of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, which was carried ahead by Bal Gangadhar Tilak during the 19th century. It was marked as a footprint on history when the entire country united against British Raj, irrespective of their caste, creed or class. Till date, this festival is heartily celebrated all around India especially in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Why is placing Ganesha’s statue considered so auspicious?

If we observe any workplace or restaurant in India, an idol of Ganesha is generally evident, which highlights the faith of his devotees on Him. Lord Shiva himself blessed him to be worshipped at the beginning of any auspicious occasion or puja. Something is really special about our Ganesha as he is widely praised and worshipped, being a supernatural combination of an elephant and human. The idol of Ganesh is an inspiration in itself, as every part symbolises the secret to divine knowledge and spiritual importance.

  • Elephant head is a symbol of royal walk, wisdom and effortlessness; he easily removes the hindrance from his path and walks ahead.
  • Trunk is a sign of consciousness and it is also said that he broke his tusk to write the epic, Mahabharata; therefore he is referred as the God of Learning too.
  • The four worthy hands represent enlightenment, removal of obstructions, spreading sweetness and bestowing grace upon his devotees respectively. They indicate the ‘Gyan shakti’ and ‘Karma shakti’.

Did you ever think why our mighty Ganesha chose the small troublesome pet as his vehicle?

Rat/Mouse portrays the avarice and greed which increases within us if not controlled, thus a vice person tries to control his uncontended desires by riding on his senses. Ganesha is omnipresent, omnipotent and formless energy, which is present in every being; it’s just a matter of realization and analysis.

Every toddler is acquainted with the beauty of moon but its sight is avoided on this day. Apart from the varying cultural myths of Satrajit’s ‘Syamantaka GANESH CHATURTHIjewel’, the fact is that that Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the fourth day of the waxing moon period, when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in such angles that the moonlight is negatively charged and avoided to be exposed. So the next time when your Grand ma tells you to beware of the moon then kindly obey her orders.

Thus, this event is like the stress relieving permanent ayurvedic solution, which teach us about our mythology as well as aware us about the truth of life. Now it depends on us to take advantage of the opportunity or to just let it go.

Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja

Divinity online – Shubhpuja featured in New Indian Express

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Covered along with Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankarji
Covered along with Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankarji
Saumya Vardhan, founder and CEO of Shubhpuja.com, decided to work on a concept wherein one could book religious services with the click of a button, looking at the plight of her friend’s mother, when her father passed away. Even in her moment of despair, the lady couldn’t afford a quiet moment—running from pillar to post, calling pujaris, informing relatives, getting the pandals set up, and looking into a gazillion of other needs.

Thus, in 2013, was born Shubhpuja.com, an online portal for astrological, occult and numerological consultations, religious ceremonies, yagyas, homas and various other pujas. “These days, there are many preachers who take advantage of gullible people, especially those who neither have the right knowledge nor the time to learn about religious and spiritual sciences. Thus, I wanted to create a platform with pandits/astrologers who had the right education, skills and experience and who didn’t take devotees for a ride,” says Delhi-based Saumya, who once worked for KPMG and E&Y in London..

Shubhpuja featured in New Indian Express

Manglik Dosha

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If you have been a part of wedding preparations at some point of your lives, chances are that you’d probably have come across the term “Manglik Dosh”. You might have heard this term more prominently during the discussion about the boy’s and the girl’s horoscopes. Manglik Dosh, as the name suggests, refers to the impact that the planet Mars makes on a person’s life when it takes certain positions in the ascendant chart. People born under this influence are called Mangliks. Technically, for a person to be manglik, Mars should be in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, or 12th house of the ascendant chart.
Since Mars is regarded as a bold and fiery planet, a manglik by nature is quarrelsome and aggressive. This domineering and bold nature is said to spell disaster in their married lives.
It is astrologically believed that the manglik dosh is unfavorable for marriages, causing discomfort and tension in relationships. There are several myths regarding this condition, the most famous being that the non manglik spouse dies after marrying a Manglik, even though this is an extreme possibility.
There are a number of measures one can take to ensure a blissful married life. It is believed that the negative consequences for a single-manglik marriage can be resolved if the manglik first performs a ceremony called akumbh vivah, in which the manglik “marries” a banana tree, a peepal tree, or a silver or gold idol of the Hindu God Vishnu.

The bad effects of Mangal Dosh can also be reduced with the help of astrological remedies including the application of Pooja, Mantras, and Gemstones.
There are various combinations regarding the extent and effect of this dosh in the horoscope. But of late, an increasing number of individuals are placing less emphasis on Manglik Dshubhpuja manglik_doshaosha, during the selection of a life partner. And what’s wrong in that? Finally it comes down to personal preferences while giving importance to such conditions.

This is so because there are many contradictions to this condition. To begin with, this Dosh is popular only with Hindus. If this Dosh really existed, then it must be applicable to people of all religion, cast and creed. Logically speaking, this Dosh, is therefore connected to the Hindu religion alone rather than Astrology as a whole. Now if the fate of a person is written in his/her Horoscope wouldn’t he/she die according to his/her own fate? In other words if the destiny of the person along with his death is written in the Horoscope at the time of birth, how and why will it change after marriage?

Whatever your beliefs maybe, Manglik Dosh still continues to be one of the most widely discussed and debated topics in regards with the Hindu marriages.

Contributed By : Mihir Ajgaonkar

Vaastu Shastra – 8 Directions And Their Significance.

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If you have ever bought a house, chances are that you must have bought it in accordance with the vaastu of that place. Even if you haven’t, you might have surely heard about referring a vaastu expert before buying a new place. But why do you need to refer to someone before buying a new house? Is it all that necessary? Read on to find out.
Vaastu Shastra, one of the most ancient doctrines of Indian civilization, deals with the science of architecture and designing. It gives an insight about how a building should be planned and designed, in order to channelize positive energy in our lives. Mostly, this science deals with the orientation of the buildings and its appropriate design. It’s said that a home that is in adherence with vaastu directions makes for a comfortable living. Such a house gives good health, prosperity and wealth to the occupants. According to the scriptures each direction has a deity associated with it. There are eight directions in totality. Our shastra says that if we worship, idolize and honour the Lords of these eight directions, people yield eternal blessings in the form of success, health and prosperity.

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These directions can be better understood as follows:
North: This direction is governed by Kuber, the god of wealth. It is therefore said to be the best direction for business people who are interested in applying some Vaastu in their lives. The following steps need to be taken in order to take advantage of this direction:
o Have the office in the north part of the house or the building to climb up the ladder of success.
o If designing for your home, keep your vault in the north direction in order to ensure a healthy flux of wealth.
o Keep construction in the north to the minimum, so as to maintain a high efficiency. Constructions in the north can adversely affect the prospects of wealth.
o Do not have any toilets or garbage bins in the north.
o Do not put any staircases in the north, for it can promote financial loss in one’s life. East: This direction is governed by lord Indra, the king of Gods, a symbol of a new beginning. East stands for sunrise, or new beginnings. It is an auspicious direction for people who are trying to end something bad and getting started with something new. It is the direction of prosperity. Here are the things in the house that can be in the eastern part of the house or face the eastern direction:
o The entrances to the house, living room, study and the place of worship should face the east.
o Treasure boxes, lockers etc. should open towards the east to promote prosperity.
o No kitchen or toilet should be in the east.

West: This direction is directed by Lord Varun, the lord of rains.
West, is probably the most pitiable direction. Out of all the Vaastu directions, this is the one that has more instructions for ‘don’ts’ than ‘dos’. People who live in the western part of the house do not lead a happy life. Following are the things that one needs to be aware about the western direction:
o It is better to have a staircase or a tank in the west than anything else.
o Store the garbage bins or build the garage in the western direction of the house.
o The bathroom should be situated in this direction.

South: This direction is of Yama, the god of death. As a result, there is a fear amongst the people following vaastu shastra, regarding this direction. This is because one can never be sure about the consequences of this direction. Hence its advised that this direction should be used in cycles. Some tips to make the most of this direction are as follows:
o Try keeping a tank or an overhead tank in the south portion.
o Put the staircase to the house in the southern part.
o Do not put a basement in the south direction.
o The kitchen and dining room should not be in this direction.

North East: This place is a supervised by lord Eeshaan, and is a source of wealth, health and success. North-east is the direction of god. It is the most auspicious direction and it is known to promote positive aspects in men and women. When taking care of the northern corner or side of the structure, remember the following details to take advantage of Vaastu:
o Having open spaces in the north-eastern direction is a good idea.
o Having a slope in the north-eastern area would be a smart step.

North West: This place is directed by lord Vaayu and he brings on us good health, strength and long life. The north-west is the direction that handles interpersonal relationships. The kind of relationships people have with the other members of the family certainly depends on this direction. Here are a few things that you would certainly have to keep in mind:
o There should be no underground water tank in the north- west part of the house.
o The kitchen, the dining room and the master bedroom should certainly not be in this direction.
o No extensions should be made from this direction.
o Avoid having a basement in the north-western part of your house.

South East: This direction is governed by lord of fire- Agni. South-east is thought to be the direction of the logical reasoning. Here are some of the important things you need to know about this direction:
o It is very beneficial to have the kitchen in this direction.
o Any electrical instruments, like TVs, motors, batteries, inverters, home theatre, etc. should be placed on the south- eastern side of the room.
o Do not have a toilet or a tank in this direction.

South West: This direction is directed by Niruti, the god who protects us from evil foes.
This is the direction of the demons, the opposite of north-east. As a result of this, it can command the business field and the decisions made in that field. Here are some important things for you to keep in mind:
o Rent out the place in the south-west part of your house.
o Do not have any overhead tanks or basements in the south west for it promotes discord.
o It is wise to keep your valuables in this direction.
So the next time you think of buying a new property, do not forget to look into its vaastu to enjoy a happy and a prosperous life!

Contributed By Mihir Ajgaonkar

Are you scared of Lord Shani? Make him happy with these 5 easy things!

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Lord Shani the God of Justice, is the Chief Justice in the Human Life Court. He always provides the justice according to our deeds or karmas. Treated as “Rudra Avtar” of Lord Shiva, he is caring, loving and firmly believes in giving instant results but only on the basis of karma!

Kalyug or the modern times are filled with sins. And in this unchaste era, people are chasing the amenities like computers and technology in pursuit of happiness breathlessly. Happiness and peace are going away from man. In this melee, people say that God Shani is troubling us. Do they think that God has nothing better to do? Has he enmity with everybody? Is God Shani our enemy? No!
Shani is concerned about all beings in the world with a thinking of no friendship & no enmity.
People are more scared of God Shani than the punishment he gives. Today in the whole world people are having different opinions, myths and many false statements about Lord Shani. Most of the people resemble Lord Shani as cruel, full of anger and a God who never benefits the humans. People worship Lord Shani only when they are surrounded by Sade Sati (7.5 years) or Shani Dhaiya (2.5 years), unfavorable shani mahadasha and pains.
Not many of us know that among the nine planets, the planet Saturn has an important significance in life of every individual. Lord Shani gives peace, prosperity and justice to everyone.
He is more easily pleased than people believe. The devotion of God Shani solves all the problems pertaining to the body, family, society, mind, finances and occupation. People have taken the name of Lord Shani to scare others, but very little has been done to dispel that fear.

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Make Lord Shani happy without any tantra-mantra. Know what actually make him happy :

Renunciation of anger – Saturn’s nature is said to be cruel, for its work is to punish the evil. So to avoid the wrath and anger of Lord Shani. One should be calm, composed and stay away from anger.

Tolerance – Shani is substantial in nature. This is because a harsh or bitter substance such as mustard oil is dear to him. A person should keep his tolerance level high he should never use abusive words and behave nicely with all.

Respect– Recognize that Shani is the lord of aging, so one should always respect their parents, elders and even teachers in order to keep Lord Shani happy. Making your elders sad or suffer will lead you to a miserable life.

Charity (Daan)– In Shani Puja, lays the importance of charity. Charity to the needy frees your ego and hence makes Lord Shani happy.

Compassion – Compassion for others is the most important part of the religion. Helping the poor or weaker sections of the society by giving the necessities for the survival always makes Shani shower blessings on you.