Shri Jagannath Rath Yatra,Puri(Sri Gundicha)


Ratha Jatra, the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town in Orissa, on the east coast of India. The presiding deities of the main temple, Sri Mandira, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple precincts in an elaborate ritual procession to their respective chariots. The huge, colourfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha temple, some two miles away to the North. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode in Srimandira.


Pahandi

The journey of the deities to the world outside, starts with an elaborate royal ritual called Pahandi - literally, going forward in a step by step movement to the accompaniment of several devotees beating the ghanta, kahali and telingi baja.


Significance of Ratha Jatra


The festival is also known as Gundicha Jatra, Ghosa Jatra, Navadina Jatra, Dasavatara Jatra and by a variety of other names. For the devoted and believers, it is considered the most auspicious occasion. Rathe tu vamanam drishtwa punarjanmam na vidyate A glimpse of the Vamana, the dwarf form, an incarnation of Lord Jagannatha, is sure to ensure emancipation, release from the cycle of birth and death.Jatra is an essential part of the ritual of the Hindu system of worship. Jatra literally means travel or journey. Normally, it is the representative deities of temples more popularly known as Utsava Murti in south and Chalanti Pratima or Bije Pratima in Orissa, partake in these journeys. It is rarely that the presiding deities come out of the sanctum for such ritual journeys. The Jatra for the Ritual Journey take two forms – one involving the short circumbulation around the temple and other involving a longer journey from the temple to some other destination. The Jatra is considered as an important part of festivities and ceremonies of each temple and is considered as a special and sacred occasion.Rath Jatra being unique among all Jatras is the grandest festival of the supreme divinity who has manifested himself in the Kali Yuga to emancipate humanity and to relieve them from their sufferings. Lord Jagannatha is identified fully with Vishnu and Krishna. In his original manifestation as Nilamadhaba, he was worshipped in a sacred Nyagrodha Briksha or banyan tree. The branches of the tree had spread for several miles and any one entering this area was instantly emancipated and was relieved of the travails of the birth and re-birth. In fact, the influence of Yama, the God of Death, is supposed to have been curtailed in the sacred city of Puri – Srikshetra on account of the presence of Lord Jagannatha and therefore it is also called the Yamanika Tirtha.


The Chariots

The three chariots of Balabhadra, Subhadra and Jagannatha are newly constructed every year with wood of specified trees like phassi, dhausa, etc.and decorated as per the unique scheme prescribed and followed for centuries stand on the Bada Danda, the Grand Avenue.


Lord Jagannatha’s Chariot is called Nandighosa. It is forty-five feet high and forty-five feet square at the wheel level. It has sixteen wheels, each of seven feet diameters, and is decked with a cover made of red and yellow cloth. Lord Jagannatha is identified with Krishna who is also known as Pitambara, the one attired in golden yellow robes and hence the distinguishing yellow stripes on the canopy of this chariot.
The Chariot of Lord Balabhadra, called the Taladhwaja, the one with the Palm Tree on its flag, has fourteen wheels, each of seven feet diameters and is covered with red and blue cloth. Its height is forty-four feet.
The Chariot of Subhadra, known as Darpadalana, literally trampler of pride, is forty-three feet high with twelve wheels, each of seven feet diameters. This Chariot is decked with a covering of red and black cloth, black being traditionally associated with Shakti and the Mother goddess.

THE SATHYA SAI EHV PROGRAMME(SSEHV)

The Sathya Sai EHV Programme is based on the five core human values:




These five values are inter-related and inherent in human beings, raising them above the level of the animal kingdom.

The Programme's logo is the tree of life bearing five fruits, each used to represent a value. These symbols are particularly effective when used with young children who find them easy to remember:

A pair of cherries is used to symbolise Right Conduct, because they look like a pair of arms and legs.

A Pear is used to symbolise Peace, because the spelling is similar.


An apple is used to symbolise Truth, because it was related to truth in the Adam and Eve story.


A strawberry is used to symbolise Love, because it is a fruit shaped like a heart and has sweetness.

A bunch of grapes is used to symbolise Non-violence, as the four values of Right Conduct, Peace, Truth and Love, collectively, when put into practice, will culminate in Non-violence, so this bunch of fruit is used to symbolise unity.

The values are specific because they are in line with a human being’s make up. They are also heavily interrelated (e.g. right conduct is action with love, and according to conscience) and give rise to many related values under each main heading. The Values are taught through five teaching components:
The Teaching Components:
  • Theme for the Week
  • Silent Sitting
  • Story Telling
  • Group Singing

Group Activities
When young people are given the opportunity to consider and practice these values and see the qualities within themselves, a fully integrated personality and character will develop.

Before explaining these teaching components, each value is explained briefly below:
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Avatar Of Lord Vishnu(Incarnation of Lord Vishnu(part-III)

With the departure of Lord Krishna (Krishna Avatar), the age of Kali set in, in this age, the true devotion to vedas was replaced by empty rituals. To enlighten the world in such times, Lord Vishnu descended the earth as Buddha, the enlightened one.
Lord Buddha was born to Mayadevi, the wife of Sakya King Shuddhodana, in the Lumbini forest, and named Siddhartha.
Buddha advocated the Middle Path, in which he offered a balanced, harmonious way of life, steering between two extremes of self-indulgence and total abstinence.

Buddhism rests upon four Noble Truths:


Suffering is universal,
It is caused by desire and yearning
Suffering can be prevented and overcome and
Eradication of desires can lead to removal of suffering.


To prevent suffering one has to conquer craving and desire and this conquest leads to the attainment of nirvana or complete enlightenment


Because of his great Godly power, Lord Krishna is another of the most commonly worshipped deities in the Hindu faith. He is considered to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Shree Krishna delivered Bhagwad Gita on battlefield to Arjun. He, like Lord Rama, is also known for his bravery in destroying evil powers throughout his life. The Lord is usually depictted as play ing the flute (murali), indicating spread of the melody of love to people. He is also shown with his childhood devotee Radha. The Lord is usually remembered and worshipped as Radha-Krishna. The pair symbolizes the eternal love between people and god. Lord Krishna is also shown with his pet cow, his childhood favorite. Lord Krishna performed many divine sports (leela) as a child.


The tenth and the last avatar of Vishnu, Kalki, is yet to appear. Kalki will appear at the end of the Kalyuga. This avatar will appear seated on a white horse with a drawn sword blazing like a comet. He shall come finally to destroy the wicked, to restart the new creation and to restore the purity of conduct in people's lives . NEXT->
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Avatar Of Lord Vishnu(Incarnation of Lord Vishnu(part-II)

Parsu is the name of an axe-like weapon adopted by this incarnation. Parasuram was a brahmin who manifested himself at the close of the satya-yug. This appearance was for the purpose of defeating the tyranny of the power-drunk kshatriyas. When the kshatriya kings of the earth and their ministers became very corrupt and tyrannical, the goddess Prithvi (Mother Earth) went to Lord Vishnu and prayed for relief. Lord Vishnu answered the prayer and appeared on the earth as a descendant of the great sage Brigu. Parasuram avenged the gruesome murder of his father by a kshatriya king and freed the earth of oppression perpetrated by the rulers by clearing the earth of kshatriyas.


Lord Rama is one of the most commonly adored gods of Hindus and is known as an ideal man and hero of the epic Ramayana. He is always holding a bow and arrow indicating his readiness to destroy evils. He is also called "Shri Rama". More commonly he is pictured in a family style, (Ram Parivar) with his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and devotee Hanuman who is sitting near Lord Rama's feet.



Balaram was the older brother of Shri Krishna. He was so powerful that he, single handedly, at a very tender age, killed the great demon, Asuradhenuka, who had the form of a ass. Another demon tried to carry off Balaram on his shoulders, but the young boy beat out the demon's brain with his fist. When Shri Krishna went to Mathura, Balaram accompanied him and supported him till Kamsa was killed by Shri Krishna. He also taught Duryodhan and Bheem, the use of the mace. His chief weapon is ploughshare (hal) and therefore called Haldhar. Those who hold the view that Balaram was not incarnation of Lord Vishnu but of the great serpent Sesha on whom Lord Vishnu reclines, claim that the ninth avatar is Buddha. NEXT->


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Avatar of Lord Vishnu (Incarnations Of Lord Vishnu)

Before the latest creation of the present universe, the four Vedas (the holy books delivered from the mouth of the Supreme-God) remained drowned in the waters. It was necessary to get hold of them to instruct Brahma about the work of creation. Vishnu was therefore appointed to bring up the Vedas from the deep. He took the form of a fish (matsya), descended into the waters and brought up these sacred books.
In Kurma avatar, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise and took the newly created earth on his back in order to render stability to the trembling globe. It is believed that even to this day the earth is supported on the back of this tortoise.
In periodical destruction of the world, once the earth sunk into the deep waters. Lord Vishnu, the great preserver, taking the form of a boar (Varaha), descended into the waters and drew up the earth with the help of his tusks.
This special form was adopted by Lord Vishnu to kill a demoniac ruler Hiranyakashyap, who had pleased the Lord Brahma with his religious offerings. Lord Brahma had given him the blessings that no known man or animal born in the natural process could kill him, that he could not die in the day or in the night, on earth or in heavens, either by fire, water or by any weapon. It was to kill such a tyrant and to remove him from the earth that Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Narasingh which was neither man nor animal, came out of a broken pillar, laid hold of the demon king by its teeth, put him up on his thighs and tore him up in the middle by his claws. It was evening time (twilight) - neither day nor night.
The fourth lineal descendant of Hiranyakashyap, named Bali, through his devotion and penance defeated Indra, the god of firmament, humbled other gods and extended his authority over the three worlds. All the gods appealed to Lord Vishnu for protection and He became manifest in His Dwarf Avatar of Vaman for the purpose of restraining Bali. Once when this king was making a great religious offering, Lord Vishnu in the form of Vaman appeared before him in the company of other brahmins. Bali was extremely pleased to see a holy man with such a diminutive form and promised to give him whatever he should ask. Lord Vishnu asked only for as much land as he could measure by three steps. Bali laughingly agreed to grant the boon of three steps. Lord Vishnu as dwarf stepped over heaven in first stride and earth in the second stride. Then out of respect to Bali's kindness and his grandfather Prahlad's great virtues, Lord Vishnu stopped short and left him in pathal, the subterranean region. Bali's capital was Mahabalipuram.NEXT->
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"Bhagavân on Bhâgavatam" -Divine Discourses of Bhagavân S'rî Sathya Sai Baba

"Bhagavân on Bhâgavatam"
'Bhagavad Purâna'
'The Story of the Fortunate One'
based on the Divine Discourses of Bhagavân S'rî Sathya Sai Baba .

Those who are working or speaking very nicely or badlyare by a saintly person praised nor criticized;freed from good and bad qualitieshe sees things equally
Vyâsadeva (S.B. 11.11: 16)
1. What is Bhâgavatam?
[S'rîmad-]Bhâgavatam is one of the greatest of the eighteen Purânas.
2. What is the essence of the 18 Purânas?
"Paropakaraha Punyaya, Papaya Parapedanam." To do good to others is merit. To hurt and cause suffering to others is sin.
3. What is the main theme of Bhâgavatam?
It is the story of the Divine glory of Lord Hari and His devotees.
4. What are the subjects dealt with in Bhâgavatam?
It gives a description of the creation of the universe, the story of the Avatâras, the story of Nârada, a detailed narration of the Avatâra of Krishna and many other episodes.
5. Who wrote Bhâgavatam in Sanskrit?
Sage Vyasa.
6. Who inspired the Sage to write Bhâgavatam?
Sage Nârada.
7. Who narrated Bhâgavatam even before Vyâsa?
Brahmâ narrated Bhâgavatam to Vyâsa, sage Vyâsa to S'uka.
8. How does Vyâsa begin the Bhâgavatam?
Sage Vyâsa begins Bhâgavatam as a narration by the sage S'uka to king Parîkchit who was on his death bed because of a curse.
9. What is the curse?
King Parîkchit was cursed that he would die of a serpent bite on the seventh day commencing from the day he was cursed
10. Who cursed King Parîkchit?
Thapasvin Sringi.
11. Why did he curse?
One day king Parîkchit went for hunting. After some time he was very thirsty and was in search of an âs'rama. He caught sight of one and entered. He called aloud. But no one answered. He saw a sage deep in meditation. There were signs of people moving about, but none came to him. He got angry because he did not receive the honor due to him as the ruler of the country. He saw a dead serpent on the ground, he lifted it and put it round the neck of the sage and went his way. When Sringi, the son of the sage (S'amîka) came to know about the sinful act, he cursed that the man who committed the sin would die of a serpent bite within seven days
12. What was the reaction of Sringi's father to his son's hasty action?
S'amîka did not approve of the hasty action of his son. He should not have cursed the ruler of the country because it would affect the entire country. Parîkchit had been a righteous and a kind ruler, but for this one impulsive act, yet he could not do anything, but asked his son, to see that the king was informed about the curse.
13. How did the king receive the curse?
King Parîkchit was sad and sorry for his impulsive act and welcomed the curse as a boon, because he was given a chance of involving himself in holy activities before his death.
14. What do we learn from this episode?
Whether one commits a sin, knowingly or unknowingly, one has to suffer the consequences, but repentance would absolve him of the sins committed.
15. What do we learn about the life of Sage Nârada from Bhâgavatam?
Nârada was the son of a servant maid. She was serving some Rishis who had come to a forest, to stay for four months (Chathurmasya Vrata). Nârada was a small boy. He would often sit and listen to these sages. When they were about to leave after four months, he wanted to follow them. But they advised him, to chant the name of Hari, and to take to the path of devotion. He was made to realize, that God alone is the dearest to an individual and none other. One day when Nârada's mother died of a serpent bite, he left the forest in search of his goal. One day he heard a divine voice warning him to give up the desire of having the vision of God too. Then he took to "Soham" ("I am That" - "I am God") meditation and gave up his life only to take a new life form.
16. What is the special name given to each chapter in Bhâgavatam?Skanda [Canto].
17. How many Cantos are there?Twelve.
18. Who is the famous writer of Bhâgavatam in Telugu?Bammera Pothana.
19. What is an Avatâra?Avatârana means descent. Avatâra is the descent of the nameless and attributeless divinity in a form suitable to execute the task of destroying the wicked and protecting the good.
20. How many types of Avatâras are there?Avatâras are many in number. There are some Avatâras that appear on earth only for a short time, fulfill the Avataric mission and disappear, Matsya (fish), Kurma (tortoise), Varâha (boar), Narasimha (half-man half-lion) and Vâmana (dwarfman). There is the Avatâra of Râma who is called an Amsa-Avatâra because He shared the divinity with His three brothers (Lakshmana, Satrughna and Bharatha); the Krishna Avatâra is an example of Purna-Avatâra (total).
21. Mention the 10 Avatâras of Vishnu.The ten Avatâras in sequence are Matsya, Kurma, Varâha, Narasimha, Vâmana.Paras'urâma, Râma, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki.

What is the relationship between the game of cricket and Dharma? -SAI INSPIRES

How will it help in our spiritual journey? Swami lovingly gives us a tip to take one step forward towards Him today.


The game of life is worth playing and becomes an interesting tonic, only when there are bounds for field, and rules and restrictions for the players. Imagine a game of football or cricket where there are no rules or boundaries or umpires. The game will be chaotic, it will soon degenerate into a riot, a free fight. Dharma (Right conduct) is what makes the game of life interesting, decent and desirable.
- Divine Discourse, July 23, 1975
Life is a Game, Play It. Baba
What can we learn from the game of football to lead our lives blissfully? Swami teaches us sweet little tricks that will make our days joyful.

Life is a game of football. You are the ball and you are bound to be thrown and kicked about. How long have you to bear this treatment? Until the air is full in the ball. Deflate it, and no one will kick it again! The air that inflates is the ego. When the ego is out, Bliss comes in. Remove the ego in you and make yourself useful to your parents and society. Do not belittle others or your parents as illiterate or ignorant. They are far more knowledgeable than you are. Never cause tears to fill the eyes of your parents. Love them, revere them and serve them. Be humble and loving, and in the company of good and Godly. Remember the Name of God indicating His Glory, His Mercy, His Love... All egoistic feelings will flee away from you.
- Bhagwan Shri Sathya Saibaba,Divine Discourse, July 10, 1980.

Hindu Religious Festivals:Ganesh Chaturthi



This God of knowledge and the remover of obstacles is also the older son of Lord Shiva. Lord Ganesha is also called Vinayak ( knowledgeable ) or Vighneshwer (god to remove obstacles). He is worshipped, or at least remembered, in the beginning of any auspicious performance for blessings and auspiciousness. He has four hands, elephant's head and a big belly. His vehicle is a tiny mouse. In his hands he carries a rope (to carry devotees to the truth), an axe (to cut devotees' attachments), and a sweet dessert ball -laddoo- (to reward devotees for spiritual activity). His fourth hand's palm is always extended to bless people.


A unique combination of his elephant-like head and a quick moving tiny mouse vehicle represents tremendous wisdom, intellegence, and presence of mind.


The day on which Ganesh frequencies reached the earth for the first time, that is, the day on which Lord Ganesh was born, is called the fourth day (chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of Magh according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar. Since then, an association between Ganapati and chaturthi has been established.

Significance
Since the frequencies of Ganapati and those of the earth on the date (tithi) of chaturthi match, they favor each other. This implies that on this date, more frequencies of Ganapati reach the earth.
Chaturthi means turyavastha, a state beyond the state of waking (jagruti), dream (svapna) and deep sleep (sushupti), which is the target of a seeker.

Hindu Religious Festival:Dasera(Dussehra)


Dasera is a major Hindu festival, as it makes up one of the three-and-a-half auspicious days (sade teen muhurta) of the year. It is the name imparted to the tenth day (dashami) of the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month, Ashvin. Also known as Dasara, Dusshera. and Dusshera.
Other names, meaning and significance of Dasera
Dasera is derived from another name for the festival, dash-hara (dash means ten and hara means defeated). Nine days before Dasera during the Navaratra, all ten (dash) directions are saturated (hara) with the female deity’s (devi’s) energy. Since this signifies victory (vijaya) over all the directions, it is also called Vijayadashami, dashami referring to the tenth day of every fortnight of the Hindu lunar calendar. Dasera is also called the concluding day of Navaratra, as it follows the Navaratra. The immersion of the Navaratra (female deity’s) statues is done either on the ninth day of Navratra or on Dasera itself.
History of Dasera
This day signifies victory and valor. Lord Rama slayed the evil Ravana and emerged victorious on this day. Arjun, along with the rest of the Pandava princes, was wickedly exiled by the Kauravas. During the thirteenth year of the exile while living in obscurity, on this particular day, Arjun, removed his weapons, which he had hidden in the hollow of a shami tree, and attacked the Kaurava army and emerged victorious.
Method of Celebration
During the nine-day Navaratra preceding Dasera, on the first day, that is, the day of installation of the pot (ghatasthapana) nine types of food grains are germinated in the altar. On the day of Dasera those sprouted food grains are uprooted and offered to the deities. In several places the main door of the house is decorated with sheaf of rice grains. The following four rituals should be performed on this day.
Trespassing the border (Simollanghan): In this ritual the border of the town one lives in is crossed in the north-east direction in the afternoon. One should stop the border crossing at the nearest shami or apta tree, where available.
Worship of the shami tree (Shamipujan): The shami tree or apta tree is worshipped with the recitation of special prayers, asking for victory over one’s defects and enemies, success in one’s endeavors and reunion with friends.Then rice, a betel nut (nuts from the betel tree found in India) and a gold coin (copper coin as a variant) are placed near the roots of that tree. After circumambulating the tree, some mud from its base and some of its leaves are brought home. Leaves of the apta are offered as gold to God and friends. Conventionally, gold should be gifted by the young to the old.
Worship of the deity Aparajita (Aparajitapuja): At the site where the shami or apta tree is worshipped, eight petals (ashtadal) are drawn on the ground and a statue of the deity Aparajita is placed on it and worshipped chanting a mantra, asking for success in one’s endeavors.
Worship of instruments (Shastrapuja): Soldiers clean their weapons, arrange them in a row and worship them. Farmers and artisans, too worship their respective implements or instruments. Some also perform this ritual on the ninth day (navami), that is, the day preceding Dasera.
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