Most of us find it irresistible to cuddle a small baby with his eyes smeared with kajal. Somehow or the other, our hands extend automatically to the face of the child and we end up cuddling the baby. But, it has been a practice of years by out grandparents to apply kajal on the night of diwali to everyone’s eyes, be it a baby or the grandparents themselves.
As per the shastras, Diwali night is considered to be the night of black magic as well as Devi Lakshmi. All the shaktis wander in the night time of Diwali which can be caught by the person who wants them and to hurt a person from whom they are sent forward.
The kajal, being emenating from the wick of a sanctified lamp is said to protect the person, especially the eyes which cause “Buri Nazar” to affect the individual.
There is a cutom of lighting a great earthen lamp on the night of diwali which burns the whole night and people pile up some earthern lamp on the top of the wick to collect the kajal. This kajal is used by the grandparents to apply in everyone’s eyes.
On the night of Diwali, there is high level of pollution as well as the small insects which fly to the light, the glow worms and the small insects which have a short span of lifetime, practically the night only. They die in the morning. This creates problems in the eyes of the people. And due to the cold and dry winds, the eyes start to pain a lot and lacrimate a lot. This excessive tears cause burning sensation in the eyes, itching and scratching.
The kajal or collyrium is cool in nature. As per Ayurvedic sciences, applying kajal keeps the eyes fit and protect it from cold and other seasonal factors which effect the longevity of the eyes.
Goddess Durga is the divya-shakti, which can be a bounty of love and care as well as the source of destruction too. She symbolises the power of divine mother as even the Gods pay homage to her strength. Adoring Ma durga during nine days by keeping fasts and worshipping her is the perfect way to realize our upmost goal and motive of existence, which gets blur in the magical world of materialism.
Kanya Pujan marks the ending ceremony of the auspicious Navratri and is conducted on Ashtami or Navami day of Navratri. It is also known as ‘Kumari puja’, a ritual of worshipping young girls symbolising Goddess Durga. Homage is paid to nine small girls and one boy through this ritual. Special food is prepared according to the varied rituals among family, which is offered to the nine girls in the form of nine devis. Certain dakshina or new utensils are also offered to them. Then the prasadam is consumed by the family to break their fast and mark the completion of auspicious navratri.
Devotees should read the last chapter of Durga Saptashati and chant mantras to welcome the kids. The ceremony should begin by washing their feet and then tying ‘mauli’ (red thread) on their wrists. Special puri, halwa and chana are offered to them along with fruits. People should touch their feet and seek blessings from them by pleasing these young kids.
Worshipping the kanyas helps the devotees to receive wisdom, moksha, strength, wealth and dharma. Mantra for kanya pujan is as follows:
मंत्राक्षरमयीं लक्ष्मीं मातृणां रूपधारिणीम्।
नवदुर्गात्मिकां साक्षात् कन्यामावाहयाम्यहम्।।
जगत्पूज्ये जगद्वन्द्ये सर्वशक्तिस्वरुपिणि।
पूजां गृहाण कौमारि जगन्मातर्नमोस्तु ते।।
The nine auspicious days of navratri are a tribute to Goddess Durga, which provides a devotee the opportunity to express his faith and love for Her. These days are a journey of seeking forgiveness from the Shakti and receiving Her strength to further cross the hurdles. These nine days of navratri can be completely blissful by chanting the following mantras.
||Yaa Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Vishnu Maayethi Sabdita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha||
Salutations again and again to the Devi, who dwells in all living beings as the power of Lord Vishnu
||Yaa Devi Sarva Bhooteshu Buddhi Roopena Samsthita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha||
Oh Devi who resides everywhere in all the living beings in form of intelligence and beauty I salute to you. Take my salutations again and again
||Jagdamb Vichitramatra Kim Paripoorna Karunaasti Chenmayi
Aparadha Parampara Param Na Hi Mata Samupekshate Sutam||
Oh mother of the world, you are the one who looks after her children. Your love and kindness towards me is no surprise O mother Goddess. Being a mother you forget all our sins and correct us without abandoning your children
||Sarvasvaroopey Sarvashey Sarvashakti Samanvietey
Bhayebhyah Traahi Na Durge Devi Namostutey||
Oh Goddess Durga, please protect us from all kinds of fear. Oh omnipotent Durga I pray to you
||Om Sharanaagata Deenaartha paritraana paraayaney
Sarwa syarthi harey devi Naraayani Namostutey||
You who are perpetually endeavouring to protect the weak and the poor and remove their misery. Oh Narayani, I pray to you
To achieve steadiness and cleanse the mind, body and soul; we adore and praise the supreme Lord and his miraculous creation. Literally, ‘Man’ means mind and ‘Tra’ means wave or vibration, so mantra is a technical practice that enlightens the mental and physiological state. You might have heard about distinct mantra for different deity and purpose. For every puja conducted at home, the Vedic scholars chant so many mantras yet most of us are oblivious to the relevance of chanting mantras and simple recite them in our daily routine. Let’s know them and then chant.
Biological and Spiritual Significance:
- Mantra chanting balances the nervous system and normalizes the hormone production, which in turn maintains the working of the body systems.
- An upsurge in the energy level is attained, which replaces the materialistic thoughts with realization of Almighty.
- It transcends the senses of the body and we feel free from the bond of time and space, thus away from the weight of worries.
- ‘As music has charms to soothe a savage beast, so the spiritual sound of mantra soothes the restless mind’; it soothes our cellular level.
- Mantras awaken our dormant conscious and help us to connect with our spiritual identity; we begin to experience oneness among us and Him.
- It helps us to concentrate on our breathing pattern, whose regulation is a secret for stronger immunity and body balance.
- It won’t work if you don’t do it, so by constant repetition, in group or alone, it will enhance the will power and faith.
- Mantra activates the chemical signals in the body that transforms the unconscious into conscious, automatic into deliberate and mindless into heartfelt.
- Chanting mantras is a conscious method of controlling our moods, and in turn, our frequency and resultant all-around radiance.
- It enhances the concentration level and in turn the memory power enlarges.It acts as a brain stabilizer and one can experience the state of trance by recognizing our own natural state.
The pros of reciting mantras are unlimited and not just few of them mentioned above, but all of it can be experienced if you try it sincerely. No matter from which ever generation you belong, the next time you chant a mantra, do it genuinely and then feel a change within you.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
Adoring and praising the creation of supreme Lord begets gratitude in the mortal beings. But in a world, where biasedness prevails in terms of caste, religion, colour, dialect and so on; the human beings have disregarded almighty and his beautiful creation. The true essence of humanity and kindness is overshadowed in the presence of abhorrence, cruelty and self-centred traits. Remembering those lovely lines of a poet, “Ek Umar Bhi Kam Hai Pyaar Ke Liye; Log Kaha Se Samay Nikal Lete Hai Nafrat Ke Liye”; meaning- Life is too short for love; where do people get time for hatred.
Getting far away from the base of life, we are indulged in the glittering world of materialism; i.e. the major cause of troubles and grief in our lives. When the matured beings are parting from the devotional feelings of remembering God then imagine the deteriorating culture among the new generations.
Yet here we highlight the worth of remembering God by adhering the holy Vedas and how they prove to be beneficial for us.
Significance of Vedic Worship:
Our Vedas are the source of living on the spiritual path, towards the supreme destination of existence. Performing the worship according to the rites and rituals helps us to celebrate and honour life every moment and also seek His blessings for prosperity and physical or mental well-being. The Vedic worship includes a combination of Mantra (recitation of Vedic mantras), Yantra (meditation on mystical representation of subtle energies) and Tantra (rituals of worship).
- The worship includes all the five Panchamahabhutas or the five elements of fire, water, earth, air and ether that represents the presence of ‘macro world’ within our ‘micro world’.
- It brings happiness and longevity in life by seeking the grace of Supreme Lord.
- By performing the worship, positive ambience is created by rejuvenating the entire space.
- Pujas and Homas being self-healing meditation techniques benefit an individual with a more ideal state of mind and body.
- It increases harmony in the family creating a significant decrease in emotional numbness.
- Vedic worship radiates increased IQ, better moral reasoning and emotional maturity among the people, who perform it.
- It is a self-cleansing ceremony that leads to active brain functioning, decreased cardiovascular disease and improved general health and blissful long life.
Most importantly, the worship as per Vedic rituals leads the devotees to seek fruitful blessings of the creator more than the latest short cut ways, available nowadays. No matter how far we progress, the realization and awareness about omnipresent and omniscient God is an essential dose for mortal life; and thanking Almighty every moment enlightens the humans on the spiritual path.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
“Na ca saknomy avasthatum bhramativa ca me manah nitmittani ca pasyami viparitani kesava”; meaning- O Krishna, I am unable to keep composed; my mind is unsteady, and I see dire indications of inauspicious omens.” The supreme Krishna guided the perplexed Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra and the direct gospel from the lips of Lord Krishna holds significance in our daily lives and provides solutions to everyday troubles.
The 700 shlokas across 18 chapters as a part of epic Mahabharata highlights the Vedantic views, which needs to be imbibed in our lives. The core philosophies of karma, dharma, reincarnation, atman, brahman, maya and moksha forms the basis of the teachings of Krishna.
In the beginning of the chapter, the act of knowing your true self i.e. leaving apart the physical body and materialistic possessions that are delusion, identify your higher self or eternal soul. When man is free from the effect of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, anxiety and other such emotions; then he completely connects with the supreme power and stays neutral and contented at every situation in life.
Be in the moment:
Gita explains about the relevance of cherishing the journey more than the final destination. Whatever field you have mastered in, the pleasure of creating yourself up to that level is more inspiring and beautiful than the final end of creation. So be it any phase of life, if you live in that very moment without being judgemental about results, the greed and curiosity for more, vanishes.
Gita highlights the necessity of weighing everyone at the same level, be it friends or foe. “He alone sees truly who sees God in every creature he does not harm himself or others.” If the Supreme father doesn’t discriminate among all his kids, then how can we mortal beings perform against the law of nature? As the feelings of acceptance indulges the flower of love blooms within us and provides the strength to treat everyone as One human family.
Be cautious about your actions:
Lord Krishna explains Arjuna that every situation in our life is the result of our prior actions; fate and destiny need not to be blamed. Think about what you are doing right now, as your present actions decides your future results. The beautiful life is a gift of God, utilise it now and get rid of your flaws within time.
Have faith on HIM:
Almighty is infinitely more, beyond what can be seen, felt, heard by our physical senses; so it’s pointless to be thoughtful about every action on this planet. Have faith on his supreme blessings and say ‘I am in you and you are in me’. This bestows you with strength that prevents you to get trapped in the vicious circle of life.
Perform your duty:
“You might like another’s duty, and dislike yours. But still, do your own duty, and not another’s, even if you can do another’s duty very well. Or you’ll go on being caught up in the field of opposites. And there will be no end to your suffering.” It is much easier to become a hermit and stay in forest, leaving your family and responsibilities; but the true challenge is to perform your duties within the world of illusion and stay connected to the true self every second.
Act good, the lord is watching:
As a watch keeper, the Lord is aware about every act you perform. We can fool other mortals but not the supreme power. So be true to yourself and act wisely, without expecting the fruitful results, as it is your journey that matters. Gita says that you keep doing your duty in the best way you can and there will always be bigger power that will protect the truth. In short, never stop your war against injustice just because your enemy look so formidable. ‘In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to re-establish the principles of truth, I advent Myself time to time.’
The elements of Bhagvad Gita has been inspiring from the life of Mahatma Gandhi to Robert Oppenheimer, so why not you. Each one of us is Arjuna on the karmic battlefield of life, and the teachings of Lord guide us to win the battle against our own blood relations.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
The varied perspectives about gemstones and their relevance are quite intricate as more than rational justification, the personal testing is considered appropriate. Highlighting the craze of gemstones we head back to the great hall in which beautiful empress Cleopatra had received the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, which was decorated with furniture studded with rare gems and Jewels. Even in recent history, the Peacock throne of the Moghuls was studded with jewels of all kind and had attracted many invaders. So be it any era throughout the world, the magical effects of gems have been witnessed.
Being of different colours and lustre, the gemstones work on the concept of colour therapy. The seven colours of VIBGYOR along with the infrared and ultra violet invisible colours, affects the human system differently. It is important to note that the wavelength of coloured light emanating from the nine planets is believed to match those radiating from each planet’s corresponding gemstone. A particular stone absorbs all kind of solar and cosmic energy and allows only a particular type of energy to pass through it; which is then absorbed by the body. If prescribed properly, this actually helps the individual in restoring the body balance and attaining self-improvement.
Other relevance of Gemstones:
The glittering gemstones are considered the secret to happiness, fortune, health and monetary bliss in life. As the ancient Gemological texts of India explain that white light is actually composed of nine colours, symbolic of the nine planets, so the particular planets radiate their energy and influence through colours. Depending upon the position of the moon sign in a particular sign of the Zodiac at the time of birth, a particular gem is allotted. Now theses gemstones are not a sure shot success mantra, if you think, but it adds on to the continuous effort of an individual and further helps to receive positive fruits. Stones have a capacity to remove the hurdles caused by faulty positioning of planets, which may halt the success in one’s life.
Gem and planetary impact:
Ruby – Red colour energy improves courage, self-confidence, blood circulation and vitality, reduces anaemia, liver and gallbladder complaints, bowel problems and skin and heart diseases. It strengthens will and purpose as the forces guiding one’s actions.
Emerald – Green colour energy is referred to encourage swiftness and freshness, as it is a nature colour that provides happiness, peace and reduces restlessness. Beneficial for wealth and property matters; and cures insomnia and depression.
Yellow Sapphire – Yellow colour energy stands for wisdom, ambition, science, and confidence; and it attracts fame, health and success to the wearer. It raises one’s vibration to the higher side of the nature and promotes actions born from a sense of duty and humanity.
Pearl – White colour energy denotes peace, simplicity, soft nature and friendship; deepens one’s emotional feeling and emotional healing. It aids in memory enhancement, cures uterine disorders, heart trouble and eye diseases, hysteria and pleurisy etc. It also increases sexual strength, removes melancholy and increases fortune.
Blue Sapphire – Blue sapphire brings mental peace and financial rewards to the afflicted person. It is the fastest working gemstone among the 9 planetary gemstones. It fortifies one’s acceptance of responsibility and one’s sense of duty. It simplifies life and encourages thrift and the reduction of the need for personal pleasure and satisfaction.
Diamond – It is said that the one who wears a diamond has a luxurious life. Diamond is supposed to enhance the name, fame and artistic quality of the person who wears it according to old beliefs. It improves stomach disorders, migraine, and cataract and helps in Soothing effect on the eyes, ears and the nervous system. It gives vitamin K. Controls pituitary glands.
Cat’s Eye- This gemstone protects its wearer from hidden enemies, sudden dangers and diseases. It may enhance one’s psychic abilities, insights, mysticism and perception of the paranormal. It may inspire one to adopt a simpler lifestyle and gravitate more toward asceticism and austerity.
The faith on this unique art may vary but if you truly believe in it, and adopt a particular prescribed gemstone, then they surely work in your favour.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja