Towards the end of every ritualistic worship (puja or bhajan) of the Lord, we perform the aarti. This is always accompanied by the ringing of the bell and sometimes by singing, playing of music.It is referred to as the auspicious light. Holding the lighted lamp in the right hand, we wave the flame in a clockwise circling movement to light the entire form of the Lord. Each part is revealed individually and also the entire form of the Lord. As the light is waved we either do mental or loud chanting of prayers or simply behold the beautiful form of the Lord, illumined by the lamp. We experience an added intensity in our prayers and the Lord’s seems to manifest a special beauty at that time. At the end of the aarti we place our hands over the flame and then gently touch our eyes and the top of the head. The philosophical meaning of aarti – the sun, moon, stars, lightning and fire are the natural sources of light..Therefore as we perform the aarti chant.It is there where the sun does not shine, Nor the moon, stars and lightning then from this small flame everything shines in front of Lord and by his light alone,we all illumined.
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
dhimahi– let us meditate (a verb)
dhiyo (dhiyah)– thought(s)
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.”
Though the entire year and months are a blessing for being to learn, grow, cherish and experience bliss; yet some particular time of the year holds special significance. Especially according to Hindu calendar every month has their unique significance and comes as a special grace for the devotees. Like the sacred month of Kartik is believed to be auspicious due to the visit of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva on Earth.
Rituals of Kartik Maas:
Kartik maas usually occurs in the October and November month as per the English calendar. Kartik Mahina is named after the Hindu god Kartikeya and in the Vaishnava calendar, God Damodara governs this month. This month is considered sacred not only due to religious and mythological tales, but as it is this month is a relief after the scorching heat and humid season. The rituals performed during this month are: Snaan (holy bath), Daan (charity), Tara Bhojan (star meal), Vrat (fasting), buying and donating of Suvarna (Gold), Rajat (Silver), Bhumi (Land), Vastra(Clothing), Tapasya, Japa, Homa, Yagna, Annadaan (donating food), Puja with Tulsi leaves, Deep daan (offering lamps), Abhishek of Vishnu’s Idol with holy Ganges water, Shodasopacharas to Deities, Veda- parayana, Purana Shravan, Bhajans, Deva Stutis, Visits to temples, ‘Jaagarans’ (keeping awake in the night singing hymns), Guru seva and etc.
This time of the year is the transition phase from Sadhana to Kaivalya i.e. from sowing and cultivating the seeds of devotion by noble deeds, now is the time to experience the bliss and fruitful results from it. As the entire year devotees are involved in adoring and pleasing the Lord by performing sacred acts and this month is a celebration to live the joyous result of the dedication. Therefore this is the month of all happy festivals of Karva Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami, Dhan-Teras, Diwali, Govardhan Puja, Bhai Duj,Tulsi Vivaah, Kartik Purnima and so on.
This year the Kartik maas begins from 28th October, 2015 and ends on 25th November, 2015. May all the devotees light the lamp of love within and create a beautiful ambience of peace and humanity!
Family is an integral part of life and it’s crucial for us to maintain our relationships and fulfil the responsibility as a member of the house. Conflicts, issues, tensions, coldness, aggressive behaviour and lack of harmony and financial insecurity are few of the major issues affecting the happiness of the family; so by following few Vastu tips it can be overcome.
- Be cautious about the south-west corner of the house as most of the conflicts are traced in this area. If there is a water source or door in this zone then extra care must be taken as it must be avoided.
- A wall, pillar, pits etc. in the centre (Brahmasthan) of the house are inauspicious. Keep this area neat and tidy or hang a metal chime here.
- Have plenty of light in south and south-west area of your house.
- For health related issues, check north-east, centre and south-east zones of your house. The faults must be improvised carefully.
- An extended south-east or bedrooms in the south-east can be the cause for too much of aggression, bad temper or domestic violence.
- The head of the family should live in the south-west bedroom as it is important for maintaining authority and a balanced outlook.
- A blocked north or a toilet in the north-east causes lots of interpersonal conflicts and disturbances among family peace.
- Extensions in south-east and north-west are responsible for certain families constantly getting embroiled in litigation.
- For educations aspect, children must study in the north-east rooms facing east. They should sleep with their head towards the east.
- In case of financial issues, investigate the north-east corner and keep it clean and clutter-free. An aquarium or fountain can be placed in north of north-east of the house.
- Place your assets like jewellery, cash, bank cheque-books, property papers and other important documents in a central north room of the house with the almirahs kept in the south-west corners of the room and opening towards the north.
To cherish the glories of reverent Goddess Durga and her different forms on each day, the nine days are dedicated to her nine avatars. Removal of negativity is stabilised by the revival of positive energy so the next three days are dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, who showers the prosperity and wealth on her devotees. She bestows with divine energy and fulfils the need of her worshippers so that they can lead a serene and contented life ahead.
The blissful manifestation of Goddess Durga is in her fourth day avatar which is Devi Kushmanda is widely worshipped for her divine cosmic energy and smile. She is said to be the illuminator of the Universe for her vibrant smile, which clearly justifies her name- ‘Ku’: little, ‘Usma’: energy and ‘Anda’: cosmic egg or Universe. Also known as ‘Ashtbhuja’ because of her eight hands, is said to reside on the core of the sun. Goddess Kushmanda is worshipped for her source of light that transformed the eternal darkness into bright prosperous Universe. Her divine smile and glowing face releases all the worries of her devotees and illuminates their path of life. She is a form of ‘Adi-shakti’, who created brightness in the existing universe.
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