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Akshaya Trithiya
May 8th, 2016 by Sowmya

Akshaya Tritiya is observed on the third day of Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Vaishakh Month. It is believed that the sun and the moon are most radiant and best placed on the day. Lord Vishnu and his incarnations are worshipped on this day.
In 2016, the Akshaya Trithiya falls on 9th May 2016.
[The word ‘Kshaya’ means dissipating or reducing; hence the word ‘Akshaya’ broadly means perennial abundance. Purification, meditation, reflection and intention are prime today as the Sun and The Moon are exalted on Akshaya Tritiya. The Sun and the Moon are considered to be the eyes of the Lord. Since the sun and Moon are in exalted positions the lords eyes are fully open on Akshaya thrithiya day, hence His kataksha falls fully on all of us on that day. A special energy from Mahavishnu is available on this day. This energy can help us in achieving our resolutions and goals. We can also make resolutions for our Spiritual as well as our material goals. This is because #Vairagya is not renouncing or negating life but it is non-attachment. ]
The significance of Akshayathrithiya
Akshaya Patra Story
In the Mahabharata, While the Pandavas were in exile, Sri Krishna presented them with an Akshaya Patra – a bowl which gives unlimited amount of food. It is believed that Krishna had presented it on Vaishakha Shukla Paksha Tritiya day.
 
Birth of Parashuram
Parashuram, the sixth Avatar, of Srihari Vishnu appeared on the day.
Beginning of Treta Yuga
According to the Puranas, the day also marks the beginning to Treta Yuga.
Writing of Mahabharata
On Akshaya Tritiya day, Veda Vyasa began the composition of the Mahabharata. He narrated the great epic of Sri Ganesha on the day and who began writing it down non stop.
One of the most important and popular story associated with observing Akshaya Tritiya is that of Sri Krishna and Kuchela. Kuchela, a poor Brahmin and
schoolmate of Sri Krishna, visited Sri Krishna with the intention of asking some financial favor. Kuchela, also known as Sudama, carried with him handful of poha or aval (beaten rice). Kuchela was received warmly by Sri Krishna at Dwarka. On reaching, the palace of Krishna, Kuchela was ashamed to give the ‘poha’ to Krishna – as it was filled with stones and it also was drenched in his sweat. But the ever playful Krishna noticed the small bag in the hand of his schoolmate and soon grabbed it and ate a handful of ‘poha’. Kuchela could not believe his eyes, Krishna, the Lord all beings, eating his poha. Kuchela had tears in his eyes. The intense devotion of Kuchela came out in the form of tears – tears rolled down from his eyes. He was speechless.
It is said ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ (Guest are equal to God) and Krishna treated Kuchela like a God. The poor Brahmin was so overwhelmed by the love shown
by Krishna that he forgot to ask for financial help and returned home empty handed.
On reaching his village Sudama could not find his old hut. Instead his hut was replaced by a palace. His wife and children were wearing good clothes and
everything that was old and worn out was replaced with new.
It didn’t take long for Kuchela to realize that all this was the ‘leela’ of the ever-smiling Sri Krishna. The day Kuchela met Sri Krishna was hence observed
as Akshaya Tritiya.
This story proves that there is no greater offering to God than steadfast devotion.
Here is the link to the Satyanarayana puja (http://www.mantraaonline.com/satyanarayana-puja/), that can be performed on the Akshaya trithiya day.
Thanks to our Satsanghi Shobana Shankar for sharing this story for publishing on the site.
Hanuman Jayanthi Katha
Apr 21st, 2013 by Sowmya

In some parts of India, Hanuman Jayanthi is being celebrated on Thursday, the 26th of April. On this occasion, we are happy to present the Katha that is to be read as part of the Hanuman Jayanthi Puja which is already available at our site – Here

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Hanuman was born to Anjana, a female vanara, and Kesari, a male vanara, in Anjana Giri Mountain. His mother was an apsara who was born on Earth as a female vanara due to a curse. She would be redeemed from this curse on her giving birth to an incarnation of Lord Shiva, who is also known as Rudra, and endowed with the Supreme Power of exalted devotion to Bhagwan Hari. Hanuman is endowed with 28 transcendental divine opulences, with perfection in each. Anjana, along with her husband Kesari, performed intense prayers to Lord Shiva to beget Him as her Child. Pleased with their devotion, Shiva granted them their desired wish. Hence, Hanuman is also known as “Maharudra” because he was born of the boon given to Anjana by Shiva.
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Rama Navami Katha
Apr 17th, 2013 by Sowmya

This year Rama Navami is being celebrated on Friday the 19th of April. On this occasion, we are happy to present the Katha that is to be read as part of the Rama Navami Puja which is already available at our site – Here

Thanks to our Satsanghi Vidya Rangarajan for making the text of the Katha available to all of us.

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THE BIRTH OF SRI RAMA

From – Kamala Subramaniam’s Bhagavatham

The putrakama yaga was almost drawing to a close. Everyone was watching, all of a sudden, the fire seemed to burn with unearthly glow. Out of the fire rose a divine form. He was dark and he was clad in crimson silk. The entire yajnasala was illuminated by his presence. The king saw the divine being held in his hands a golden bowl with a silver covering. The celestial form spoke to the king in the midst of everyone. He said : “ I am a messenger from the creator Brahma. I have been commanded by the gods to hand you this vessel filled with payasa. Give it to your queens and they will bear you the sons for whom you have been aching since so many
years.”
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Satyanarayana Puja – Katha
Aug 7th, 2012 by Sowmya

This is the story underlying the Satyanarayana Vrata and can be read along with the puja. The Katha has also been included as part of the full Puja text that can be downloaded in various Indian languages HERE.
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INTRODUCTION

Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita (Ch4.9) \\\\\\\” Janma Karma cha may divyam yevam yo veththi tha-thwathah….\\\\\\\” \\\\\\\” One who knows My divine birth and activities will not be born again\\\\\\\”. Sri Sathyanarayana katha is one such activity of the Lord, by studying which we have every chance of being liberated. Sri Sathyanarayana katha forms a vital and integral part of this pooja. Not listening to the katha will be a major loss. Repeatedly hearing this story and meditating on its different aspects will make us more and more interested in the Lord and His activities. As the Lord Himself says further in
Gita (Ch9.14) \\\\\\\”Sathatham keerthayantho maam yathanthascha dradhavrathaah: \\\\\\\”The mahaatmaas among devotees, always speak and sing My glories, and try with determination, to realize Me\\\\\\\”

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Mangala Gowri Puja – Katha
Jul 22nd, 2012 by Sowmya

This is the story underlying the Mangala Gowri Vrata and can be read along with the puja. The Katha has also been included as part of the full Puja text that can be downloaded in various Indian languages HERE.
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One of the ways in which the Pandavas spent their time during Vanavasa was listening to Lord Krishna’s narration of various Poojas and Vrathas to be performed by mankind for the fulfillment of desires. On one such occasion Dharma Raja asks Lord Krishna to narrate a Vratha that will increase the “Aayu”– the life Span. Lord Krishna replies ‘Listen to me Yamanandana I will narrate a
Unique Vratha, which not only increases the life span of Sons, but also removes the Vaidavyya – \Widowhood of a daughter. Listen to me with single minded devotion. In the olden times there was a city named Kundanipura, there lived a very good and famous merchant called Dharmapala. He was very rich. However his only problem was he had no children.
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Vara Mahalakshmi Puja – Katha
Jul 22nd, 2012 by Sowmya

This is the story behind the celebration of the Varalakshmi Vrata and can be read along with the puja. The Katha has also been included as part of the full Puja text that can be downloaded in various Indian languages HERE.
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Suta Puranika addresses Shaunaka and other rishis thus: “Let me tell you a story about a Vrita which gives all the benefits and pleasure of this world to women. This Vrita was once narrated by Lord Parameshwara to Parvathi”.
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The Birth of Lord Krishna
Aug 20th, 2011 by Sowmya

Happy Janmashtami to all our readers. This year the Janmashtami is being celebrated today and tomorrow. On this occassion, we are happy to present the Katha that is to be read as part of the Janmashtami Puja which is already available at our site – Here .

Thanks to our Satsanghi Vidya Rangarajan for making the text of the Katha available to all of us.

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THE BIRTH OF LORD KRISHNA

From – Kamala Subramaniam’s Bhagavatha

Lord Narayana who is the soul of the Universe, who is the refuge of everyone, entered the mind of Vasudeva. People were amazed to see the glow that emanated from Vasudeva. He shone like noonday sun since the Lord had found an abode in him.

Devaki received in her the embodiment of auspiciousness, the essence of all wealth and glory of the Universe, the soul of the Universe, the indestructible atman which resides in every living and non living things. Devaki had the great fortune of becoming the mother of the Lord of the Lords. Like the East glows with the newly risen moon, she looked beautiful. Her form was radiant. But the world could not see it since she was captive in the house of Kamsa. Her glory was hidden like a lamp placed inside a pot; like Saraswati, the goddess of learning is hidden in the mind of a pandit who is greedy about his learning and refuses to impart with others.

Kamsa, however knew that she was glowing with an unearthly light. Devaki was holding the lord in her womb and the entire house was bathed in a strange light since she was there.Her lips bore a beautiful smile and Kamsa, looking at her spoke to himself and said

“Devaki has never looked like this before. It seems to me this strange glow in her is there because of the child that is to be born. I think it is Narayana who is to be born and that is why she looks so very beautiful. I must take proper precautions lest he should do what he was promised to do! I do not want to die. I could kill her now. But then she is a woman; she is my sister and she is with the child. Each killing in itself is an unforgivable crime and the world will condemn me if I kill her now. All my fame and all my wealth and even my life-span will suffer because of this sin. Is it not the fact that a man who lives in constant association with terrible deeds is but a walking corps? When he is alive people will curse him and when he dies he will go to the hell, which goes by the name of Andhatmas.

Kamsa desisted from killing his sister and awaited for the birth of the child with impatience. The thoughts of the coming child had become with him an obsession. While sitting down on a seat he would suddenly stop and look at the seat since he thought he saw a child on the seat. He would tell himself, there was a child on the seat and I was about to sit on it ! Terrible ! He would then go tot bed and try to lie down and there too he would see the child. He would move away from there and stand far away. Looking down he would see a child at his feet. He would go and sit down to eat . Instead of food he would see child on the plate. He would get up in disgust and walk from there. At every step the child would persist on his way. To Kamsa, the entire world seemed to be pervaded by the Lord of The Lords in the form of a mere child.

The time was drawing near. Brahma, Mahadeva and all the devas went to the presence of Devaki and stood in front of her with folded palms and praised the Lord. They said “salutations to Thee, O Lord, you were gracious to take different forms at different times to save us from despair. You were Matsya, Hayagreeva, Kurma, Narasimha, Varaha, Hamsa, Parashurama, Rama Yadna and Kapila. Many other forms were assumed by you. Now, when the earth needs you, please save the world form the great suffering she is undergoing. We bow down to you.”

They then spoke to Devaki and said you are fortunate princess, since you will be the mother of Narayana himself. Adishesha is already born to you and this child which is to be born will be the saviour of the world. You need have no more fear of Kamsa. His days are numbered. Having pacified her and encouraged her, Brahma and rest of the celestial hosts vanished from their presence.

The time was auspicious. It had the charm of all the six seasons. The planets and the stars were in the position from where they showered peace and joy to the world. The four quarters were clear and placid and the star Rohini was in the ascent, the star which is governed by Prajapati. The sky was clear and studded with stars which were shining brightly. The waters in the river were clear and sweet. The lakes were filled with flowers, lotuses and utpalas. The trees were covered with flowers. The gentle breeze was flowing and it brought intense scents of the flowers with it. The fire which were kindled by the Brahmins were burning without smoke and an air of peace and tranquility pervaded the earth. The mind of all men were happy for no reasons, only Kamsa was unhappy. The divine dundubhi was being played in the havens, kinnaras were singing and so were Gandharvas. Siddhas and Charanas were chanting the words of praise. The Apsaras and Vidyadharas women were dancing with abandon. The Devas and Rishis showered flowers on the earth. There was heard a great rumbling from the clouds which was like roar of the ocean. It was midnight. The Muhurtha was “Abhijeet” and Narayana, who is in the hearts of everyone, was born to Devaki, wife of Vasudeva.

Devaki gave birth to Narayana like the east brings the glorious moon.

The story of the lord Krishna’s birth shows how loving and powerful Lord is. Whenever evil in the world becomes unbearable God himself comes to save us in the form of incarnation like Lord Krishna. Not even a mightiest evil can do anything against God.
Hence daily we should pray to god and remember him by repeatedly chanting his name in everything we do.

OM KRISHNAYA NAMAHA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abirami Anthathi
Jun 11th, 2010 by Sowmya

The Abirami Anthathi is a divine, lyrical song on Goddess Abirami which has 100 verses. The term “Anthaathi” refers to the particular style of composition wherein each new stanza begins with the same word that was used to end the previous stanza.

The beauty of this Anthathi is the story behind it and that it was composed ad hoc by Abirami Pattar (Subramaniya Iyer) on the spur of the moment and with intense devotion.
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Narasimha Jayanthi – Katha
May 28th, 2010 by Sowmya

This is the story behind the celebration of Narasimha Jayanthi and can be read along with the puja which is available HERE. Our thanks to Satsanghi Vidya Rangarajan for providing this content for the web site.
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Narasimha Avatar is a proof of the Lord’s promise that, one who is totally surrendered to him, will be under the protection of Lord at all times.

Once Hiranyakasipu asked his son Prahlada , what did he learn from his teacher. Prahlada replied, I have learnt the essence of all the learning that Narayana is the one who illumines everything in the mind , gives bliss and fulfillment to all. Prahlada’s answer disappointed Hiranyakasipu , and he tried all methods to divert his son from the devotion to God. The child Prahlada was subjected to all kinds of torture , but Prahlada’s devotion to god strengthened further. Enraged at his son’s unshaken devotion to his arch enemy, Hiranyakasipu decided to put an end forever to Prahlada , by all possible means.
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The Slaying of Rakthabhija, Nishumba and Shumbha – Devi Mahatmyam 4
Oct 29th, 2009 by Sowmya

This is the fourth post on Devi Mahatmyam. These were short summaries given at our UAE Satsangh.

Thanks to Chitraji for providing the material for sharing with all of us.
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CHAPTERS 8, 9 AND 10 – THE SLAYING OF RAKTHABHIJA, NISHUMBHA AND SHUMBHA.

After the daityas Chanda and Munda and many of the battalions were destroyed, the lord of the asuras, with mind overcome by anger went forth attended by many thousands of big forces. Seeing that most terrible army approaching, Chandika filled into space between the earth and the sky with the twang of her bow-string. On hearing the roar of the Devi, the enraged asura battalions surrounded the lion, the Devi Chandika and Kaali on all the four sides.
At this moment in order to annihilate the enemies of the Devas, the great strength from the bodies of Brahma, Shiva, Guha, Vishnu and Indra along with the form of those Devas went to Chandika. Whatever was the form of each Deva, and whatever his ornaments and vehicle, in that very form his shakti advanced to fight with the asuras.
In a heavenly chariot drawn by swans advanced Brahma’s shakti carrying rosary and a Kamandalu. She is called Brahmaani.
Maaheshwari arrived, seated on a bull, holding a fine trident, matrikaswearing bracelets of great snakes and adorned with a digit of the moon.
Ambika Koumaari, in the form of Guha, holding a spear in hand riding on a fine peacock, advanced to attack the asuras.
Likewise, the shakthi of Vishnu came, seated upon Garuda, holding conch, club, bow and sword in hand.
The shakthi of Hari, who assumed the incomparable form of a sacrificial boar, also advanced there in a boar-like form.
Naarasimhi arrived there, assuming a body like that of a Narasimha, bringing down the constellations by the toss of her mane.
Likewise, the thousand eyed Aindri, holding a thunderbolt in hand and riding on the lord of elephants arrived just like Indra.
Then Shiva, surrounded by those shakthis of the Devas , said to Chandika, “ let the asuras be killed forthwith by you for my gratification”.
Thereupon from the body of Devi issued forth the Sakthi of Chandika and she told Shiva,” Go, my Lord, as an ambassador to the presence of Shumbha and Nishumbha. Ask them to give the three worlds to the Devas back, if they wish to live. But if through pride of strength, they are ready for a battle, let them come to me. Let my jackals be satiated with their flesh”.
Because that Devi appointed Shiva himself as Dhoota, she was known as Shiva-dhuti.
Hearing the words of Devi through Shiva, the king of asuras rushed to the place where Kaatyaayini stood. The terrible war began with numerous weapons. Seeing the asuras harassed by the band of Maatras, the great asura Rakthabhija strode forward to fight in wrath.
Whenever from his body there fell to the ground a drop of blood, at that very moment rose up from the earth asura of his stature. As many drops of blood fell from his body, so many persons came into being, with his courage, strength and valour. The world was pervaded by thousands of great asuras who were like Rakthabhija.
The Devas got intensely alarmed at this. Seeing the devas dejected, Chandika laughed and said to Kaali,” O, Chamunda, open out your mouth wide; with this mouth quickly take in the drops of blood generated by the blow of my weapon and the great asuras born of the drops of blood of Rakthabhija. Let this great asura, with his blood emptied perish”.
The Devi smote Rakthabhija with her various weapons, as and when Chamunda went on drinking his blood. Stricken with various weapons and bloodless, the great asura Rakthabhija fell lifeless on the ground.

After Rakthabhija was slain and other asuras were killed in the fight, the asura Shumbha and Nishumbha gave way to unbounded wrath. Supported by the great army, the two great asuras went for the fight. Then commenced a severe combat between the Devi on one side and the two asuras like two thunder-clouds on the other.
The Devi assailed the heroic Danava, Nishumbha who was advancing with battle-axe in hand, and laid him low on the ground. When his brother Nishumbha of terrific prowess fell to the ground, Shumbha got infuriated in the extreme and strode forward to slay Ambika.
The sound of the bell, bow-string, loud roars filled all the worlds which started destroying the strength of the asuras. The Devi split the arrows shot by Shumbha and Shumbha also split the arrows discharged by her. Then Chandika became angry and smote him with a trident. Wounded therewith, he fainted and fell to the ground.
Meanwhile, Nishumbha, regaining the consciousness, seized his bow and struck the arrows on the Devi, the Kali and the lion. As Nishumbha was advancing with the dart in hand, Chandika pierced him in the heart with a swiftly hurled dart. Thus Nishumbha and the other asuras were destroyed by Devi.

Seeing his brother Nishumbha slain, who was dear to him as his life, Shumbha angrily said to Devi” O Durga, you are puffed up with the pride of strength, don’t show your pride here. Though you are exceedingly haughty, you, resorting to the strength of others fight”
The Devi said:”I am all alone in the world here. These goddesses are but my own powers, entering into my own self!”
Then all those, Braahmani and others, were absorbed in the body of the Devi. Ambika alone remained.
The Devi said, “the numerous forms which I projected by my power here – those have been withdrawn by me, and now I stand alone. Be steadfast in the fight”
Then began a dreadful fight between them both on the earth and in the sky, while all Devas and asuras looked on. Various weapons were released by the asura and all were broken down by the power of Devi. The Devi pierced Shumbha’s chest with a dart, and threw him down on the earth. Pierced by the pointed dart, he fell lifeless on the ground, shaking the entire earth with its seas, islands and mountains.
The Devas became happy. The sun became very brilliant and tranquil became the strange sounds that had risen in different quarters. Praises were sung on the great Kaatyayini by the Devas .
Here ends the story of the slaying of Shumbha and Nishumbha of Devi Mahatmyam.

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