Wednesday, January 24, 2018

RITUAL OF RATHA SAPTHAMI

Observe the Ritual of Ratha Sapthami on 24/1/2018

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Ratha Sapthami also called as Surya Sapthami or Surya Jayanthi is a festival celebrated on the Shukla Panchami in the month of Makara /Kumbha Masa(Magha masa for those who follow Chandra Mana) This year the festival is being observed today (24-1-2018) . 
There are two interesting stories about Ratha SApthami
1.It seems one Brahmin came to Sage Kasyapa’s home for Biksha. Athithi , the wife who was in the family way at that time was serving food to her husband and there was some delay in giving Biksha to the Brahmin .That Brahmin got angry and cursed that the child in her womb would die, It seems sage Kasyapa taught her this Ratha sapthami Vrutha and on the sapthami day , she gave birth to the Sun God(Adithya because he is son of adithi,)
2,It seems Bheeshma Pithamaha was not dying as per his wish even after the coming of Utharayana . Sage Vyasa told him that it is because of the sin committed by him in not rescuing Panchali when she was insulted in the Kaurava sabha .Then Vyasa taught on the sapthami day (Just after Makara sankrama) the Ratha sapthami Vritha ,When BHeeshma observed it , he died died the next day on the Bheeshmashtami
In tamil Nadu the day starts with ritual bath by Keeping seven leaves of Vellai Erukku (Giant milk weed –Kannada Ekku, Telugu Jilledu , Sanskrit –Arka ) on the head .(some people keep one on head, two on shoulders, two on knees and two on feet) A head bath is taken ,.Some people keep uncooked rice also on the Erukku leaves. Women in addition sprinkle turmeric powder on the rice . You are not supposed to apply oil on the head for that day. During the ritual bath the following Manthra or sloka is chanted:-
I.Manthra (translation by P.R.Ramachander)
“Saptha Saptha Maha Saptha, Saptha Dweepa Vasundara, Sapth Arka Parna Madaya, Sapthamyam Snana Machareth”.
“seventh , seventh , great seventh , the earth has seven islands ON this seventh day I am observing bath keeping seven Arka(erukku) leaves on the head.”
2. Stotra/Sloka(Translation by P.R.Ramachander)
Sapthsapthi-priye devi
Sapthalogaiga deepike!
Sapth-janmaarjitham papam
Hara sapthami sathvaram (1)
Oh Goddess who likes the seventh of sevenths ,
Who is the lustrous lamp among the seven worlds,
During this seventh linar day please remove,
The sins that I have earned in the seven births.(1)
Yanmayaathrakrutham papam
poorvam sapthasoojanmasoo!
thathsarvam Soka mohou cha
maakare hanthu sapthami (2)
All of those sins committed by me ,
In the earlier seven births ,
As well as my sorrows and passions,
May please be destroyed By Sapthami of Makara Month(2)
Namaami sapthameem devim
Sarvapaapa-pranaasi'neem!
sapthaarkka - pathra - snaanena
Mama papam vyabohathu! (3)
I salute the Goddess Sapthami ,
Who is capable of destroying all sins ,
And by the bathing with seven Erukku leaves,
Let all my sins be completely removed.(3)

Compiled by
P.Ramachander

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY CONTAINED IN THE FIRST 84 NAMES OF LALITHA SAHASRANAMA

An introduction to the story contained in the first 84 names of Lalitha Sahasranama

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This stotra (hymn which praises) occurs in Brahmanda purana (Old epic of the universe) in the Chapter on discussion between Hayagreeva and Agasthya.Hayagreeva is an incarnation of Vishnu with the horse head and is believed to be the storehouse of knowledge. Agasthya is one of the great sages of yore who is one of the stars of the constellation great bear. At his request Hayagreeva taught him the most holy 1000 names of Lalitha .

Parama shiva is one of the trinity of Hindu pantheons who is in charge of destruction. He married Sathi , the daughter of Daksha. Daksha and Paramashiva were not getting on well and consequently he did not invite Paramashiva for one of the great fire sacrifices that he conducted. However Sathi went to attend the function in spite of Paramashiva’s protest. Daksha insulted her husband and she jumped in to the fire and ended her life. Consequently at the behest Of Paramashiva Daksha was killed and later given life with a goat’s head. However this incident upset Paramashiva and he entered into deep meditation.Sathi took birth as the daughter of the mountain(Parvathy) Himalayas and started doing penance on Shiva for getting him as her husband. The devas faced a very great enemy in Sura Padma who had a boon that he could be killed only by a son of Shiva and Parvathy. So to wake Shiva from his deep meditation the devas deputed Manmatha , the God of love who shot his flower arrows at Paramashiva. Paramashiva woke up and opened his third eye and burnt the God of love into ashes. The Devas and Rathi Devi the wife of Manmatha requested Paramashiva to give life to Manmatha. Heeding for their request Paramashiva stared at the ashes of Manmatha.From the ashes came Bhandasura Who made all the world as impotent and ruled from the city called Shonitha pura.He started troubling the devas.The devas then sought the advice of Sage Narada who advised them to conduct a fire sacrifice. From the fire rose Sri Lalitha Tripura Sundari.
She was extremely beautiful, having dark thick long hair with scent of Champaka, Asoka and Punnaga flowers, having the musk thilaka on her forehead, Having eyelids which appeared as if it is the gate of the house of God of love ,having eyes which were like fish playing in the beauteous lake of her face, Having nose with studs which shined more than the stars, Having ears with sun and moon as studs, having cheeks which were like mirror of Padmaraga, Having beautiful rows of white teeth, Chewing Thamboola with camphor, having voice sweeter than the sound emanating from Veena of Sarswathi, Having such a beautiful smile that Lord Shiva himself could not take his eyes off, Wearing Mangala soothra and necklaces with beautiful shining dollars, Having breasts which were capable of buying the invaluable love of Kameswara, having row of faint beautiful hair raising from her belly, having stomach with three pretty folds, wearing red silk tied with a string with red bells. Having thighs which steal the heart of Kameshwara, Having knees which looked like crowns made of precious gems, having voluptuous legs, having upper part of the feet resembling the back of tortoise, Having feet which resembled the lamps made of gems which could dispel worries from the mind of devotees and a body with the golden red colour. She was given in marriage to Lord Kameshwara and made to stay in Sree Nagara at the top of Maha Meru Mountain.
Sree nagara had 25 streets circling it. They are made of iron, steel, copper, lead, alloy made of five metals, silver, gold, the white Pushpa raga stone, the red Padmaraga stone. Onyx, diamond, Vaidoorya, Indra neela (topaz), pearl, Marakatha, coral, nine gems and mixture of gems and precious stones. In the eighth street was the forest of Kadambas. This is presided by Syamala. In the fifteenth street live the Ashta Digh palakas.In the sixteenth lives Varahi alias Dandini who is her commander in chief. Here Syamala also has a house. In the seventeenth street live the different Yoginis.In the eighteenth street lives Maha Vishnu.In the nineteenth street lives Esana, in the twentieth Thara Devi, twenty first Varuni , the twenty second Kurukulla who presides over the fort of pride, twenty third Marthanda Bhairawa, twenty fourth the moon and twenty fifth Manmatha presiding over the forest of love. In the center of Srinagara is the Maha Padma Vana(The great lotus forest) and within it the Chintamani Griha (The house of holy thought),In its north east is the Chid agni kunda and on both sides of its eastern gate are the houses of Manthrini and Dhandini.On its four gates stand the Chaduramnaya gods for watch and ward. And within it is the Sri chakra.In the center of Sri Chakra on the throne of Pancha brahmas on the Bindu Peeta(dot plank) called sarvanandamaya(universal happiness) Sits Maha Tripura Sundari.

In the Sri Chakra are the following decorations viz., The square called Trilokya mohanam(most beautiful in the three worlds), The sixteen petalled lotus called Sarvasa paripoorakam(fulfiller of all desires), the eight petalled lotus called Sarvasamksopanam(the all cleanser), the sixteen corner figure called Sarva sowbagyam(all luck),the external ten cornered figure called Sarvartha sadhakam (giver of all assets), the internal ten cornered figure called Sarva raksha karam(All protector), the eight cornered figure called Sarva roka haram(cure of all diseases), triangle called Sarva siddhi pradam(giver of all powers) and the dot called Sarvananda mayam(all pleasures).
The devas prayed her to kill Bhandasura..When she started for the war with Bandasura, she was accompanied by the powers called anima, mahima etc, Brahmi, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Mahendri, Chamundi, Maha Lakshmi, , Nitya Devaths and Avarna Devathas who occupy the Sri Chakra.While Sampatkari devi was the captain of the elephant regiment, Aswarooda devi was the captain of the cavalry.The army was commanded by Dhandini riding on the Charriot called Giri Chakra assisted by Manthrini riding on the chariot called Geya Chakra..Jwala malini protected the army by creating a fire ring around it.ParaShakthi rode in the center on the chariot of Sri Chakra.Nithya Devi destroyed a large chunk of Bandasura’s armies , Bala Devi killed the son of Bandasura, and Manthrini and Dhandini killed his brothers called Vishanga and Vishukra.When the Asuras created blockade for the marching army, Sri Lalitha Tripura sundari created Ganesha with the help of Kameshwara to remove the blockade.Then Bandasura created the asuras called Hiranyaksha, Hiranya Kasipu and Ravana.The Devi created the ten avatars of Vishnu and destroyed them. She killed all his army using Pasupathastra and killed him with Kameshwarasthra.The gods then praised her.She then recreated Manmatha for the good of the world. 

This is the story is contained in the first 84 names of the first 34 slokas of Lalitha Sahasra nama which all together contains one thousand names.

Compiled by
P/R.Ramachander

STOTRA LITERATURE BY TYPE

 A FORWARD FROM A GROUP

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Stotra literature by type.
By
P.R.Ramachander
Most of the prayers in the vedic period were called Sukthams .Most probably they were used in Yajnas . The post Vedic Stotras can be classified as
1.Sahasranamams
These are the listing of thousand names of each God. If you go through them critically you may not find that all these thousand names are different and we find that several names are repeated. The most famous of the Sahasranamams are the Vishnu sahasranamam and the Lalitha Sahasranamam. Shiva Sahasranamam and Lakshmi Sahasranams are also relatively popular.Saharanamams are available for most of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and all other Gods and Goddesses. Trisathi giving 300 names, ashtotharams giving 108 names, Satha Nama stotrams giving one hundred names , Shodasa nama stotram giving sixteen names and Dwadasa nama storams(12 names) also belong to this category of stotras.
2.Ashtakams
These are possibly the most popular form of Hindu stotras. These normally contain eight verses praising the God or Goddess. Most of them are very simple and easy to understand. There is a phala Sruthi attached to every ashtakam giving the possible effect of chanting that particular prayer.
3.Kavachams
These are another very popular form of prayers addressed to Gods as well as planets . Essentially they request God to protect different parts of our body as well as mind. It also requests God to protect us in different circumstances. Narayana Kavacham is one of the most famous in this category.
4.Dasakam
These are similar to ashtakam but with ten Stanzas.

5.Panchakam
These are prayers with five stanzas.

5.Shatkam
These are again similar to ashtakam but with six stanzas

6.Spathakam
These are prayers with seven stanzas.

7.Pancha Dasi
These are longer prayers with fifty stanzas

8.Pancha sathi
These are still longer poems with five hundred stanzas.

9.Sthava Raja
These are supposed to be the king of prayers addressed to a particular God. Though they are not available for all Gods, many of them are available.

10.Bhujanga Stotram
These as well as Bhujanga prayatha stotrams are supposed to move like a snake. Adhi Sankara is credited with composing many such Bhujangams. His “Subramanya Bhujangam” is very famous

11.Dandakam
These are stotras where there is no restriction on the length of a line of a stanza. Some of the Dandakams are very long prayers with just one line. Shyamala Dandakam of poet Kalidasa is the greatest in this category.

12.Karavalamba Stotram
These prayers are addressed to the God requesting him to extend his hand in support to us. The Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalamba stotram of Adhi Sankara is possibly the most famous.

13.Suprabathams
These are prayers addressed to the lord to wake him up. The oldest among this type of stotras are the thirupalliyezhuchi in Tamil and the most famous is the Venkateswara Suprabatham.

14. Lahari
Lahari means waves. In this form of prayer the stanzas follow each other like waves. Soundarya Lahari of Adhi Sankara is possibly the most famous.

15.Pasuram
These are tamil prayers written by the great Vaishnavite saints of Tamil Nadu called the Azhvars.

16.THiruvachakam
These are again Tamil prayers written by Nayanmars , the Tamil saints eulogizing Lord Shiva.

17. Aarthi
These are Hindi prayers praising a particular God. These are available addressed to almost all Gods.

18.Chalisa
These are again Hindi prayers but have forty stanzas each. The most famous is Hanuman Chalisa composed by saint Tulsidas.

19. Gadhyams
Gadhyam means prose . Some of the Vaishnavite saints wrote prayers in prose and the most famous is the Gadhya Thrayam written by Saint Ramanuja

20.,Abhangs
These are prayers written in Marathi by those great devotees of Pandharpur,

20. Mangalams
Mangalam means auspiciousness and these are prayers which are sung at the end of chanting of prayer sessions as the last prayer.

FAITH IN GOD KRISHNA

Have deep faith in God Krishna to lead problem less life
Rewritten by
P.R,Ramachander
My grateful thanks to him who wrote it)

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Do not wail thinking of something,
Do not cry thinking of some one,
Do not ever be scared of life
Do not babble due to desire in the mind
Do not get angry when what you want does not happen
Do not get disappointed , when what you do not want happens
Do not get broken down when you are insulted,
Do not feel bad when you are avoided by others
Do not lose your life thinking of other men
Do not ever lose hope believing in luck
Do not believe in lines in your palm and lose Lord Krishna
Do not believe in horoscope and decide about your life
Do not think that your luck would change if you change your name
Do not try to know forecasts of your life
Please . please catch hold of the concept of Lord Krishna,
You have everything , you do not lack anything .
As long as you think that he is always with you.
Once while travelling in the middle of the forest at midnight,
One person got pain in the chest but for his good fortune
The one who was with him was a doctor of repute,
And when he told the doctor , he searched in his bag,
And gave him a round thing and asked to keep on lcking it,
But never swallow it and slowly his pain disappeared ,
But when they reached home and they found that ,
His daughter was sick, he requested the doctor ,
To give her an injection and the doctor told ,
“I forgot my medicine bag” and the person asked,
“What did you give me then?” and spit the tablet,
That he was licking and found that it was but a shirt button
And he asked his friend ., “How did I get cured?”
And his friend smile and told, “Due to your faith in me.”
Have faith in Lord Krishna like that person had on his friend,
You would be completely cured of all your problems.

TODAY IS RATHA SAPTHAMI BIRTHDAY OF SUN GOD


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Many people may not find time to Chant Adithya Hrudayam on RAtha Sapthami tomorrow .Here is a very short and simple prayer addressed to Sun God.Please chant it
Adhithya Dwadasa Nama Stotram
(Prayer of twelve names of Sun God)
(From most ancient Vedic times we used to worship the Sun God. It is believed that He would bless us with all that is good, if we pray him using this Stotra on Sundays.)
Ekachakro radho yasya divya Kanaka bhooshitha,
Sa may Bhavathu supreetha Pancha hasatho divakaro. 1
Let me become dear to the five handed day breaker,
Who travels in a one wheeled divine golden Chariot.
Adhithya pradhamam nama, dwitheeyanthu Diwakara,
Thrutheeyam Bhaskara proktham chathurthanthu Prabhakara. 2
First” son of Adhithi “, second the” day breaker”,
Third” he who makes things shine”, fourth the “maker of light”.
Panchamam thu sahasramsu, sashtamchaiva Trilochana,
Sapthamam Haridaswancha Ashtamanthu Vibhavasu. 3
Fifth “He who has thousand rays” sixth “He who has here eyes”,
Seventh “He who has green horses” , Eighth “ He who lights things”
Navamam Dina kruth proktham , dasamam Dwadasathmaka,
Ekadasam Threemurthy Dwadasam Surya eva cha. 4
Ninth “The maker of a new day” , tenth, “He who has twelve souls”,
Eleventh “Three gods” and twelfth The “Sun god”.
Dwadasadhithya Namaani pratha kale Paden nara,
Dukha pranasanan chaiva Sarva Dukhancha nasyathi. 5
To the man who reads these twelve names of the Sun in the morning,
Sorrows would be stopped from coming and all his sorrows would be destroyed.

courtesy:Ramachandra Iyer

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A LETTER FROM POST OFFICE

We don't know who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter department who understands


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LOVE!


Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month.
The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Mandy was
crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.
She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to
heaven, God would recognize her.
I told her that I thought that we could, so she dictated these words:


Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog?
Abbey died yesterday and is with you in heaven.
I miss her very much.
I 'm happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her.
She likes to swim and play with balls.
I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog.
I really miss her.
Love, Mandy
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Mandy,
addressed it to God/Heaven.
We put our return address on it.
Mandy pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she
said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.
That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.
A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet.
I told her that I thought He had.



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Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch
addressed, 'To Mandy' in an unfamiliar hand.
Mandy opened it.
Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.'
Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God
in its opened envelope.
On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Mandy and this note:
Dear Mandy,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I
recognized her right away.
Abbey isn't sick anymore.
Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.
Abbey loved being your dog.
Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to
keep your picture in so I'm sending it back to you in this little book for
you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you
write it and sending it to me.
What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.
I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.
By the way, I'm easy to find.
I am wherever there is love.
Love,
God

Saturday, September 16, 2017

REMEMBERING LEGENDARY INDIAN CLASSICAL SINGER BHARAT RATNA MADURAI SHAUMUKHAVADIVU SUBBULAKSHMI ON HER BIRTH ANNIVERSARY

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Today is the 101th Birth Anniversary of the music legend, Bharat Ratna, M.S. Subbulakshmi. She was one of the finest musicians this planet has ever seen or experienced. The sheer magic of her voice brings back memories of my childhood. My Mother's most favourite classical singer.Her renditions of devotional hymns and Sahasranama Stotra enjoys a special place in the Hindu way of life.When she sings 'Suprabhatam', even God wouldn't want to hit the snooze button.The spirit was attributable to a total and unparalleled surrender to the lord. The fact that the Mahatma chose only her to sing ‘Vaishnava Janato’ on many occasions, and that Pandit Nehru called her ‘The Nightingale of India’ were only added jewels to an already resplendent crown.

MSL who has millions of fans and music lovers across the world. Today she is no more amidst us., but the rich legacy of music she has left behind for us is enough proof of her living amidst us in our hearts.she inhales music with every breath that she takes. There have been no compromises, no tactical manoeuvres, no conscious efforts to capture attention, no sacrifice of quality at the altar of showmanship and no stooping to thrill, only striving to elevate. She merely sings from the depths of her soul and the world sways to the magic of her music.

I reverentially pay rich musical tributes to this immortal singer M S Subbalakshmi on her Birth Anniversary. She was a jewel in the world of music. Her legacy continues to serve as a beacon for those in music & art.

"Proud Of India's Classical Music World.