faith

Today’s Panchang

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The daily update of the planetary positions as per time, place and circumstances.

Folk & Sons (12)

 

Today’s Panchang

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The daily update of planetary arrangements which have their effects on time, place and circumstances

Folk & Sons (9)

Daily Gita and Srimad Bhagwatam

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dhṛtarāṣṭra uvācadharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetresamavetā yuyutsavaḥmāmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caivakim akurvata sañjayaQ=&t=r={!M Wv==c=Q=m=-Z=eF=e ku-oZ=eF=e s=m=v=et== y=uy=uts=v=- +m==m=k-=- p==[#v==xc=Ev= ik-m=- aku-v=-t= s=]j=y=This is daily Gita and Srimad Bhagwatam Series in which we present their timeless and valuable teachings.

They are not mere cock and bull stories but essential truths related to self awakening.

Today’s Verse

Bg 1.1

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya
Translation:
Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra, desiring to fight, what did they do?
Purport:

Bhagavad-gītā is the widely read theistic science summarized in the Gītā-māhātmya (Glorification of the Gītā). There it says that one should read Bhagavad-gītā very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and try to understand it without personally motivated interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gītā itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the Gītā directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand the Bhagavad-gītā in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gītā all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gītā. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

The topics discussed by Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Sañjaya, as described in the Mahābhārata, form the basic principle for this great philosophy. It is understood that this philosophy evolved on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, which is a sacred place of pilgrimage from the immemorial time of the Vedic age. It was spoken by the Lord when He was present personally on this planet for the guidance of mankind.

The word dharma-kṣetra (a place where religious rituals are performed) is significant because, on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was present on the side of Arjuna. Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the father of the Kurus, was highly doubtful about the possibility of his sons’ ultimate victory. In his doubt, he inquired from his secretary Sañjaya, “What did they do?” He was confident that both his sons and the sons of his younger brother Pāṇḍu were assembled in that Field of Kurukṣetra for a determined engagement of the war. Still, his inquiry is significant. He did not want a compromise between the cousins and brothers, and he wanted to be sure of the fate of his sons on the battlefield. Because the battle was arranged to be fought at Kurukṣetra, which is mentioned elsewhere in the Vedas as a place of worship – even for the denizens of heaven – Dhṛtarāṣṭra became very fearful about the influence of the holy place on the outcome of the battle. He knew very well that this would influence Arjuna and the sons of Pāṇḍu favorably, because by nature they were all virtuous. Sañjaya was a student of Vyāsa, and therefore, by the mercy of Vyāsa, Sañjaya was able to envision the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra even while he was in the room of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. And so, Dhṛtarāṣṭra asked him about the situation on the battlefield.

Both the Pāṇḍavas and the sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra belong to the same family, but Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s mind is disclosed herein. He deliberately claimed only his sons as Kurus, and he separated the sons of Pāṇḍu from the family heritage. One can thus understand the specific position of Dhṛtarāṣṭra in his relationship with his nephews, the sons of Pāṇḍu. As in the paddy field the unnecessary plants are taken out, so it is expected from the very beginning of these topics that in the religious field of Kurukṣetra, where the father of religion, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, was present, the unwanted plants like Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s son Duryodhana and others would be wiped out and the thoroughly religious persons, headed by Yudhiṣṭhira, would be established by the Lord. This is the significance of the words dharma-kṣetre and kuru-kṣetre, apart from their historical and Vedic importance.

Today’s Panchang

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Meaning of Gayatri Mantra

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gayatri-mantra

Goddess Gayatri or the Mother of all the Vedas is adored and praised by chanting the powerful Gayatri mantra. The word ‘Gayatri’ itself explains the reason for the existence of this mantra. It has its origin in the Sanskrit phrase Gayantam Triyate iti, and refers to that mantra which rescues the chanter from all adverse situations that may lead to mortality.

The first line ‘Om bhur bhuvah svah’ is not actually part of a Gayatri mantra and it is a special utterance called ‘vyahriti’ that has been added to the beginning of the famous mantra.

The First word ‘OM’ is the prime subject around which the entire creation revolves and it is the permanent truth within which everything exists. It is an auspicious sound made at the beginning of many prayers.

The expression ‘bhur bhuvah’ and ‘svah’ is technical, but a simple way to think of it is as a “call to creation,” that the light of the sun (the light of God) shines on the earth (bhur), in the sky (bhuvah), and in space (svah), and therefore the implication is, “let that light also shine on me.”

The word-to-word breakdown of the Gayatri mantra that most Hindus know is:

tat– that (God)

savitur– of the sun

varenyam– the best

bhargo (bhargas)– light, illumination

devasya– divine

dhimahi– let us meditate (a verb)

dhiyo (dhiyah)– thought(s)

yo (yah)–which

nah –of us, our

prachodayat– May it push, inspire (a verb)

 

The most important word in the Gayatri mantra is the word, “tat” which is a neuter pronoun meaning “that.” It is a reference to “that One,” God.

The sun, which is the source of illumination, heat, food and so many other things in our life, can naturally be seen as the “representative” or symbol of God in this world.

There are two verbs in the Gayatri mantra, ‘dhimahi’ and ‘prachodayat’.

Dhimahi means, “let us meditate on the light (bhargo) of the sun which represents God.”

This is the basic meaning of the first part of the Gayatri Mantra.

Coming to the second part, the verb ‘prachodayat’ literally means, “it should push,” but in more poetic language we can translate it as “let it inspire.”

Dhiyah is “thoughts,” so dhiyo yo nah prachodayat means, “may our thoughts be inspired”

Thus the most literal meaning of the Gayatri mantra is:

“Let us meditate on the light of the sun which represents God, and may our thoughts be inspired by that divine light.”

 

Hindu New Year: Gudi Padwa and Ugadi

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gudi-padwa-celebration

Beginnings are an epitome of hopes, happiness and immense enthusiasm. The Hindu New Year or Gudi Padwa or also called as Ugadi is widely celebrated to inaugurate the Hindu year. This is the first day of the Indian month of Chaita according to the lunar calendar. This day also marks the beginning of new season and end of the Rabi crops. People from all around India perform special rituals on this day and welcome the New Year with immense joy.

Gudi Sthapna:

The preparations for this special day include proper cleansing of the house and decorating the home at its best. The family members install the Gudi at the entrance of their residence by taking a long stick, a sacred cloth which is mainly red or yellow in colour and a Kalash. After placing the kalash it is adorned with mango leaves and flowers. This ceremony is highly sacred and considered to bring happiness, prosperity and success for the family.

Special significance:

The festival is celebrated in honour of Maratha Shivaji Maharaj, a great king who had a kingdom that spread across the entire part of western India. This is the reason people worship the Gudi which is a cloth which flies like a flag that is usually a sign of victory in an army.

This day also represents love and devotion between the wife and husband. On this day newly married daughters with their husbands are invited for special meals and resents. Thus this is the festival where families and relatives get together to celebrate the joy. Special delicacies are also prepared like Shrikhand and Poori or Puran Poli in Maharashtra and a mixture of six tastes called Ugadi Pachhadi or Bevu Bella in South India.

This year Gudi Padwa is on 8th April 2016 and we wish that it brings new ray of hope in everyone’s life.

Relevance of Good Friday

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Good-Friday-Photos-6

The most solemn day in the Christian calendar or the beginning of God’s plan to save his people from their sins; in which ever context you consider- Good Friday is the holiest day for Christians. It is the day on which Jesus was crucified. It comes on the Friday immediately preceding Easter Sunday. The day is known for the sacrifice of Jesus and His sufferings on account of our sins.

All Christians observe this day with great humility and reverence. People spend this day in fasting, prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross. They honour and memorize the event, passion and suffering through which Jesus went through.

Origin of Good Friday:

There are two possible origins for the name “Good Friday”. The first may have come from the Gallican Church in Gaul (modern-day France and Germany). The name “Gute Freitag” is Germanic in origin and literally means “good” or “holy” Friday. The second possibility is a variation on the name “God’s Friday,” where the word “good” was used to replace the word “God,” which was often viewed as too holy to be spoken aloud.

 

From the prayers to ceremonies to official recites services, each one f them may have a different ritual on this day; yet everybody is sorrowly mingled with joy. It’s a day to become aware of our thoughts, words and actions which brought the world in such state; but also to adore the grace and love of God. Each one of us should remember his sacrifice and live up to the expectation of creating a loving world.