Articles

Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmah

[Source]

Sri Rama Navami is the first festival after Ugadi, which celebrates the birthday of Lord Rama. Being the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama was born as a son to Queen Kausalya and King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. Rama Navami falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight, Shukla Paksha, of the Chaitra Masam.
The celebration indicates the victory of good over evil and establishment of Dharma. Chanting of Rama Nama is the way to attain purity, tranquility, insight, and ultimately liberation.

This beautiful stotram, while praises Lord Sri Rama for his great qualities, also teaches the Samskritam grammar by presenting all of the vibhakti variations of the word Rama in order (रामः, रामं, रामेण, रामाय, रामात्, रामस्य, रामे, भो राम). 

रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे  

रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः  

रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोस्म्यहं  

रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर 

[Sri Rama Raksha Stotram  

Meaning:  I contemplate on Sri Rama, who is the jewel among the kings, who always emerges victorious, and who is the Lord of Sita Devi.  I salute Sri Rama who  destroyed the mighty armies of the demons. There is no greater refuge than Sri Rama. I am a humble servant of Sri Rama. Let my mind ever meditate on Rama. O , Sri Rama. Kindly grant me  moksha (salvation).

What to do on Sri Rama Navami?   

This slokam from Sri Ramayanam uttered by Brahmarshi Viswamitra to awaken Lord Sri Rama tells us on how to start the day, which was also chosen to be the first slokam in Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam.

कौसल्या सुप्रजा राम पूर्वासन्ध्या प्रवर्तते ।  

उत्तिष्ठ नरशार्दूल कर्तव्यं दैवमाह्निकम् ॥ 1.23.2 ॥  

[Sloka 2 from 23rd Sarga in Bala Kanda from Sri Valmiki Ramayanam]

Meaning: O beloved son of Kausalya, O Rama the day dawns. O best among men, awake. Oblations to gods and other sacred rites are required to be performed.

The celebration starts with the Sandhya Vandam (Salutations to Sun God) in the early morning, as the Sun God is the ancestor of Lord Rama. Devotees embellish the temples and puja mandir at home with aromatic flowers. Entry ways are adorned with strings of mamidi toranam (mango leaves), eye-catching Rangoli, lively lights, and other decorative material.

Later the Lord is worshiped with Shodashopachārpūja (Ritualistic pooja). Sacred and medicinal plant tula, is an essential ingredient for the pooja, as it has the ability to attract the pavitraks (subtlest pure particles)  of Lord Vishnu. Choosing the right substance for worship as per the Vedas, generate  Chaitanya (Divine Consciousness) in the vigraha, which aids one’s spiritual progress.

Preparing special food and putting new attire is also important ritual on this day. A delicious sweet called Kheer is prepared from milk and rice or vermicelli; Kesari made from semolina, pure ghee, and sugar, is offered as a Naivedyam (sacrament).  In addition, Panakam (a sweet drink) and Vadapappu (soaked Moong dal) are also offered as Naivedyam.

The chanting of the divine name “Rama” continues for the whole day. Devotees listen to the legends of Lord Rama, recite slokas and stotras, carry out Ratha-yatra, (chariot procession) of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, and Hanuman. A special event which graces the occasion is Kalyanotsavam (Marriage) of Lord Rama and Sita. 

सुन्दरे सुन्दरो रामः सुन्दरे सुन्दरी कथः  

सुन्दरे सुन्दरी सीता सुन्दरे सुन्दरं वनम् ।  

सुन्दरे सुन्दरं काव्यं सुन्दरे सुन्दरं कपिः  

सुन्दरे सुन्दरं मन्त्रं सुन्दरे किं न सुन्दरम् ॥  

[Describing Sundara Kanda in Sri Valmiki Ramayana, one of the poetic marvels in the literature]

Meaning: Rama is handsome and so is Sita. The Ashoka forest in which Sita was there is beautiful. The Ramayana kavyam which describes these events is beautiful. Hanuman who attained self-realization is beautiful. The sacred hymns are beautiful. In this beautiful Sundara Kanda, which is the fifth chapter of Ramayana kavyam, what is not beautiful?

At some parts of India, devotees celebrate the festival for nine days starting from Ugadi and ending on Rama Navami with exquisite classical music concerts and literature events. Few places in North India, host fairs associated with the festival, culminating in eye-catching fireworks. Even fasting is another prominent Vrata in North India.

Sacred places associated with Rama, like Ayodhya, Ujjain, Rameshwaram and Bhadrachalam, draw thousands of devotees on this prosperous day.

At Ayodhya, a huge two-day fair is held followed by Ratha-yatra. A ceremonial wedding called Kalyanotsavam between 10 AM and 12:30 PM will be performed by temple priests at Bhadrachalam, on the banks of the river Godavari in Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh. The sacred Talambralu will be showered on the deities exactly at 12 noon.

This occasion is being broadcasted by All India Radio and telecasted through Doordarshan. The next day is the Sri Rama Pattabhishekam. 

The significance of Lord Sri Rama 

Lord Rama is an epitome of the perfect person. Through the enduring epic Ramayana, Lord Rama exemplified on how to encompass with Dharma.

Though Ravana was a great scholar, powerful, and ingenious, his audacity, self-pride, covetousness led him to his own demise. Whereas Lord Rama is content with respect, altruism, modesty, and a higher sense of duty.  Hence, people worship Rama not because of the success in his life, but for the qualities he maintained under most difficult situations.

Throughout his life, he teaches the world to choose Dharma over Artha, to choose Moksha over the Kama. As a son, he directs us to obey father’s order. As a brother, he cultivates the love and affection.

This sloka, although uttered by Asura Maricha to Ravana in Aranya Kanda when Ravana approaches Maricha to become the golden deer to distract Rama to abduct Sita, summarizes the qualities of Rama in one Sloka.

रामो विग्रहवान् धर्मस्साधुस्सत्यपराक्रमः।  

राजा सर्वस्य लोकस्य देवानां मघवानिव।। 3.37.13 ।।  

 [Sloka 13 from 37th Sarga in Aranya Kanda from Sri Valmiki Ramayanam]  

   Meaning: Rama is Dharma incarnate. He is pious. His strength is truth. He is king of all the worlds like Indra to the gods.

Watch the below video to know more about Sri Rama Guna Vaibhavam by Brahma Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao Garu, in Telugu:

 Here is the list of stotras, Keerthanas, satakam and slokas, which you can recite on the auspicious day: 

 

 

 

 

Comments { 0 }
Articles

Significance of Ugadi

कालः पचति भूतानि कालः संहरते प्रजाः 

कालः सुप्‍तेषु जागर्ति कालो हि दुरतिक्रमः 

[Chanakya Neeti Sastram]

Meaning:  Time digests all elements, time protects all beings, time is awake even in sleep, time is the only thing that can not be transgressed (by anyone).

[Source]

The New Year’s day of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka is known as Ugadi. Celebrated based on Vaidika Calendar, Ugadi is one among the auspicious festivals. According to the panchangam of the Vaidika Calendar, Chaitra Masam (Month) is the first month of the year and Ugadi falls on the first day of this month – Chaitra Shudhdha Paadyami. In addition, the Marathi New Year Gudi Padwa is also celebrated on the same day.

The term Ugadi is derived from two Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning), which indicates “the beginning of a new age.” Ugadi welcomes the Vasantha ruthuvu (spring season) where trees, plants, and fields are budding and beginning a new cycle of life.

How is Ugadi celebrated

Ugadi is a festival which brings exuberance and religious fervor.  People pray for health, wealth, and prosperity. The groundwork for the festival begins one week ahead by buying new clothes and other required items.

The festive day begins before the break of dawn. As per the tradition, people take a head bath (Kamya snan), put on the new clothes and decorate the house. One of the important decorative on an auspicious occasion is the strings of mango leaves called mamidi toranam, which grace the beautiful entryways and windows. In addition, people draw exquisite rangoli in front of the house.

 [Source]

Elegant garlands woven in clusters with an exotic fragrance of marigold, roses, kanakaambaram, chamanti, and jasmine are offered to God at home, in temples and also adorn the braids of women. Special dishes mark the scrumptious meal of the day. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures.

Ugadi yearly name: 

Each Ugadi has a specific name as per panchangam, which represent the character of the year. As each yuga (Era) has a cycle of 60 years, the cycle repeats after 60 years. For example, the Telugu name for 1954 is “Jaya“, which was repeated in 2014.

Here are the sixty Ugadi year names:

  1. (1867,1927,1987) Prabhava ప్రభవ
  2. (1868,1928,1988) Vibhava విభవ
  3. (1869,1929,1989) Sukla శుక్ల
  4. (1870,1930,1990) Pramodyuta ప్రమోద్యూత
  5. (1871,1931,1991) Prajothpatti ప్రజోత్పత్తి
  6. (1872,1932,1992) Aangeerasa ఆంగీరస
  7. (1873,1933,1993) Sreemukha శ్రీముఖ
  8. (1874,1934,1994) Bhāva భావ
  9. (1875,1935,1995) Yuva యువ
  10. (1876,1936,1996) Dhāta ధాత
  11. (1877,1937,1997) Īswara ఈశ్వర
  12. (1878,1938,1998) Bahudhānya బహుధాన్య
  13. (1879,1939,1999) Pramādhi ప్రమాధి
  14. (1880,1940,2000) Vikrama విక్రమ
  15. (1881,1941,2001) Vrisha వృష
  16. (1882,1942,2002) Chitrabhānu చిత్రభాను
  17. (1883,1943,2003) Svabhānu స్వభాను
  18. (1884,1944,2004) Tārana తారణ
  19. (1885,1945,2005) Pārthiva పార్థివ
  20. (1886,1946,2006) Vyaya వ్యయ
  21. (1887,1947,2007) Sarvajita సర్వజిత
  22. (1888,1948,2008) Sarvadhāri సర్వధారి
  23. (1889,1949,2009) Virodhi విరోధి
  24. (1890,1950,2010) Vikruti వికృతి
  25. (1891,1951,2011) Khara ఖర
  26. (1892,1952,2012) Nandana నందన
  27. (1893,1953,2013) Vijaya విజయ
  28. (1894,1954,2014) Jaya జయ
  29. (1895,1955,2015) Manmadha మన్మధ
  30. (1896,1956,2016) Durmukhi దుర్ముఖి
  31. (1897,1957,2017) Hevalambi హేవళంబి (హేమలంబ) .
  32. (1898,1958,2018) Vilambi విళంబి
  33. (1899,1959,2019) Vikāri వికారి
  34. (1900,1960,2020) Sārvari శార్వరి
  35. (1901,1961,2021) Plava ప్లవ
  36. (1902,1962,2022) Subhakrita శుభకృత
  37. (1903,1963,2023) Sobhakrita శోభకృత
  38. (1904,1964,2024) Krodhi క్రోధి
  39. (1905,1965,2025) Viswāvasu విశ్వావసు
  40. (1906,1966,2026) Parābhava పరాభవ
  41. (1907,1967,2027) Plavanga ప్లవంగ
  42. (1908,1968,2028) Kīlaka కీలక
  43. (1909,1969,2029) Soumya సౌమ్య
  44. (1910,1970,2030) Sādhārana సాధారణ
  45. (1911,1971,2031) Virodhikrita విరోధికృత
  46. (1912,1972,2032) Paridhāvi పరిధావి
  47. (1913,1973,2033) Pramādeecha ప్రమాదీచ
  48. (1914,1974,2034) Ānanda ఆనంద
  49. (1915,1975,2035) Rākshasa రాక్షస
  50. (1916,1976,2036) Nala నల
  51. (1917,1977,2037) Pingala పింగళ
  52. (1918,1978,2038) Kālayukti కాళయుక్తి
  53. (1919,1979,2039) Siddhārtha సిద్ధార్థ
  54. (1920,1980,2040) Roudri రౌద్రి
  55. (1921,1981,2041) Durmathi దుర్మతి
  56. (1922,1982,2042) Dundubhi దుందుభి
  57. (1923,1983,2043) Rudhirodgāri రుధిరోద్గారి
  58. (1924,1984,2044) Raktākshi రక్తాక్షి
  59. (1925,1985,2045) Krodhana క్రోధన
  60. (1926,1986,2046) Akshyaya అక్షయ

Ugadi Pacchadi : 

Ugadi pacchadi (chutney) is the amalgamation of six tastes which include  sweet, sour, salt, spice, tangy, and bitter which as a whole referred as Shadhruchulu.

The spring season opens the new harvest for aromatic raw mangoes, fully blossomed neem tree which makes the air healthy, tamarind, and jaggery made from the fresh crop of sugarcane. All these ingredients savor the customary pacchadi which epitomize the soul of Ugadi festival.

Each taste is a symbolic reminder of the myriad aspects of life for the year ahead:

  • Sadness – Neem Buds/Flowers for bitterness
  • Happiness – Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness
  • Anger – Green Chilli/Pepper for spice
  • Fear – Salt for saltiness
  • Disgust – Tamarind Juice for its sourness
  • Surprise – Unripened Mango for its tang

According to Ayurveda, the well balanced Ugadi pacchadi cleans away the vata, pita, kapha doshalu from one’s body by purifying the system and protecting against illness or disease.

[Source: Wikimedia]

Panchanga Sravanam:   

तिथिर्विष्णुस्तथा वारो नक्षत्रं विष्णुरेव च  |
योगश्च करणं चैव सर्वं विष्णुमयं जगत्   ||

Meaning: ‘Tithi’ , ‘Vaar’ , ‘Nakshatra’ , ‘Yoga’ and  ‘Karan’ , which are the five angas of Panchangam, are like Vishnu, the God Almighty.  In fact the entire Universe is the creation of God Almighty.

The above Shloka is the definition of a ‘Panchang’ , the Hindu Calendar based on astronomical calculations invented by our Sages thousands of years ago just by keenly observing the movements of celestial bodies, without any complicated scientific tools as are now-a-days available. They had divided the day into 5 components as detailed above, and again the day into two ways  i.e. as per lunar movement and solar movement respectively.

Here is another sloka stating the importance of listening to the panchangam:

Sri Kalyanagunavaham repuharam dusswapna doshapaham Gangaasnaana vishesha punya paladham godhaana tulyam nrunaam |   

Ayur vriddhimam utthamam shubakaram santaana sampathkaram Naanakarana susadhanam samuchitham panchangam aakarniyathaam ||

Meaning: The auspicious Panchangam is a weapon which destroys the evil, eliminate bad qualities in a person and gives the purity of bathing in the Holy river the Ganges. The person who follows it attains the punya of donating a cow, increased quality of life, and good off-springs.

Panchangam is intensely connected to Jyothisya Sastram(Astrology). Traditionally, the Panchanga sravanam, (listening to the yearly calendar) is held at temples or at the Town square by a Siddhanthi (Vedic Scholar). However, with the breakthrough technology, one can get to hear the sravanam right in the living room.

The Siddanthi make general predictions for the whole year to the gathering regarding the future aspects including happenings in the country, different places and in the lives of people based on their rasi (Zodiac).

Watch the video below for a detailed information on Ugadi by BrahmaSri Chaganti Koteswara Rao Garu, in Telugu: 

Read More: Kavi Sammelanam on Ugadi

We, the Vaidika Vignanam Team, wish you a happy and prosperous Ugadi. May all your wishes get fulfilled this year.

Comments { 1 }
Articles

What is Kavi Sammelanam?

[Source]

जयन्ति ते सुकृतिनो रससिद्धाः कवीश्वराः ।

नास्ति येषां यशःकाये जरामरणजं भयम् ॥ 

[Sloka 24, Bhartruhari Neeti Satakam

Meaning:

Only those poets who are virtuous and are well-versed in the art of writing poetry and who do not crave  for  becoming famous and are not afraid of old age and death, are honored as foremost among  poets.

[Durmukhi Nama Samvatsara Ugadi Kavi Sammelanam by TTD. Source: RSPN]

An exclusive assemblage of enthusiastic poets to recite their poetry and discuss on profound literature is well known or better termed as “Kavi Sammelanam” (poetry Recitation). Usually held on Ugadi ( Telugu New year day), Kavi Sammelanam has been in existence since eons ago.

The Sammelanam may contain 3 to 30 poets along with a Sanchalak (anchor) and a few poets. While the Sanchalak introduces the poets, they grace the stage. The subjects or point of discussion ranges widely from Ugadi to politics to modern trends and lifestyles. Versatile ‘Kavis‘ or poets enthrall the audience with their political, comic, satirical, reformist, literary and much more skills.

At present, the Kavi Sammelanam is stepping further by focusing on social issues. One such example is the Kavi Sammelanam held at Visakhapatnam in 2016. A group of professionals retired employees, students and homemakers assembled at Visakhapatnam Public Library to bring awareness on pollution and its preventive measures, through Kavi Sammelanam.

Kavi Sammelanam is also an excellent platform for new and aspiring poets. In 1956, All India Radio introduced the Sarva Bhasha Kavi Sammelan (National Symposium of Poets) which aims to “provide a creative platform for national integration and linguistic harmony through mutual interaction and coordinated presentation of the best in contemporary poetry of all Indian languages.”

Renowned poets of 22 Indian languages gather to offer their creative best before an invited set of audience, followed by the rendering their Hindi versions translated by prominent poets of different languages. Later, this two-hour program is broadcasted national wide on 25th January, on the eve of the Republic Day at 10 P.M. Moreover, regional language versions of this program are broadcasted from respective AIR stations.

Till date, Kavi Sammelanam stands as one of the best literary feasts and as a reflection of the rich cultural and literary heritage of Indian Languages.

Want to attend a Sammelanam, here is a list of few events in the USA. Which one are you attending? Do comment any Sammelanam which you are attending in India or USA.

List of Kavi Sammelanams in the USA:

Name 
Location 
Date 
Time
Umang – Tarang Hasya Kavi Sammelan   Bellevue, Washington April 29, 2017 6 PM – 10 PM PST
Hasya Kavi Sammelan    Lilburn, Georgia April 29, 2017 4 PM – 9 PM EDT
Silicon Andhra Ugadi Kavi Sammelanam  Milpitas, California April 1, 2017 5 PM – 8:30 PM PST
VEDA Samskritandhra Kavi Vaibhavam  Milpitas, California March 28, 2017 8 PM – 9:30 PM PST

 

 

Comments { 1 }
Significance of Maha Shivaratri

Significance of Maha Shivaratri

[Image Source: Pixabay]

mahokṣaḥ khaṭvāṅgaṃ paraśurajinaṃ bhasma phaṇinaḥ

kapālaṃ cetīyattava varada tantropakaraṇam |

surāstāṃ tāmṛddhiṃ dadhati tu bhavadbhūpraṇihitāṃ

na hi svātmārāmaṃ viṣayamṛgatṛṣṇā bhramayati 

[Sloka 8, Shiva Mahimna Stotram]

 In the “Shiva Mahimna stotram”, author Puspadanta describes him in a wonderful manner by mentioning Lord Shiva as unborn, the reason for the everyone’s existence, creator, nurturer, and destroyer.

Residing on the soaring Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, Lord Shiva is believed to be formless, shapeless and timeless. The ‘Linga’ stands as a personification of Lord Shiva’s formless nature. However, people pray both to his idol and also to the ‘Linga’. From the root of Lord Shiva originated ‘Om’. Hence when one chants ‘Om’, one indirectly worships Lord Shiva.

[Kailash Manasarovar. Source]

What is Maha Shivaratri? 

Celebrated annually in the honor of Lord Shiva,  Maha Shivaratri has been bestowed a lot of significance in Hindu mythology.

Literally, Shivaratri means the Night of Shiva, which marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. On the eve of Maha Shivaratri, devotees observe a day-long fast and worship Lord Shiva with great ardor.

nānācchidra ghaṭodara sthita mahādīpa prabhābhāsvaraṃ

ṅñānaṃ yasya tu cakṣurādikaraṇa dvārā bahiḥ spandate |

jānāmīti tameva bhāntamanubhātyetatsamastaṃ jagat

tasmai śrī gurumūrtaye nama idaṃ śrī dakṣiṇāmūrtaye |

[Sloka 4, Dakshninamurthy Stotram]

Meaning:

Like the light emanating from a lamp, kept in a pot with many holes, goes out in all directions; In the person in whom the wisdom goes out through the openings of ear, eye, mouth and thought, and when that person realizes that ‘I know myself”, this whole universe shines after Him alone, who shines in the consciousness as the knower. Salutation to the God facing the south, who is the greatest teacher.

Why is it Celebrated?

On this auspicious day of Shivaratri, a devotee who performs sincere worship of Lord Shiva is liberated from the cycle of birth and death and attains moksha (salvation).

The reasons behind the celebration and significance of Maha Shivaratri dates back to ancient Hindu scriptures. According to the Puranas, during the great mythical churning of the ocean – Samudra Mathanam (performed by the devathas (demi gods), and the daityas, (demons) to obtain the immortal nectar), a pot of poison developed from the ocean with a potency to destroy the entire world. As it was vicious, none was ready to touch it.

When everyone approached Lord Shiva in a predicament, epics has it that the great Lord agreed to consume the poison. The Lord carefully held the poison in his throat which turned blue due to the effect of the poison. This is why the Lord is glorified with a title ‘Neelakantha’ (blue throat). Maha Shivaratri is celebrated as a day of gratitude to Lord Shiva for protecting the world from the deadly poison (Maya).

According to another legend, while Brahma and Vishnu were arguing about which one of them was supreme and more powerful, a gigantic Lingam engulfed in flames emerged right in front of them. With an amazement, they looked up to determine its height. As it seemed to stretch to infinity, they could not even see its end. Lord Shiva emerged out of it and declared that he was the most supreme of the three and that he be worshiped in this Linga form.

It is said that one who observes fast on Shivaratri knowingly or unknowingly, attains salvation. One such example is the story of a hunter, Kannappa. Once while hunting for prey in the forest, he sat on a tree of bilva-patra, which is a dear leaf to worship Lord Shiva. Unaware of the presence of a Shiva lingam under the tree, the hunter kept plucking the leaves from the tree and went on dropping them on the lingam. In addition, the day turns out to be Maha Shivaratri.

tridaḷaṃ triguṇākāraṃ trinetraṃ ca triyāyudhaṃ

trijanma pāpasaṃhāram ekabilvaṃ śivārpaṇaṃ

[Sloka 1, Bilvashtakam]

Meaning:

I offer the bilva patra to Shiva. This leaf embodies the three qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas. This leaf is like the three eyes, and the sun, moon and fire. It is like three weapons. It is the destroyer of sins committed in three earlier births. I perform pooja for Shiva with the bilva patra.

During the first quarter of the day, a deer came there to drink water. But the hunter let it go, as the deer pleaded for mercy. In the second quarter, out of compassion towards the deer’s children, the hunter did not kill them either. Thus, the hunter was fasting unknowingly throughout the four quarters and he was only dropping the bilva-patra on the lingam. It was then that Lord Shiva himself appeared before the hunter and blessed the hunter with moksha.

When Shivaratri is celebrated?

माघकृष्णचतुर्दश्यां पूजार्धं च जगद्गुरोः |

दुर्लभं सर्वदेवानाम् एक बिल्वं शिवार्पणम्|

Masa Shivaratri (monthly Sivaratri) is celebrated on the Pradosha or Krishna Chaturdasi (14th day of the waning moon in lunar month) of every month.   Maha Shivaratri (the great night of Shiva) is celebrated on the Pradosha in the Magha masa.

There is a great description about the significance of Maha Shivaratri by Isha Foundation Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev. He explains the importance of this prominent night as follows:

“On this night, the northern hemisphere of the planet is positioned in such a way that there is a natural increase of energy in a human being. This is a day when nature is pushing one towards one’s spiritual peak. It is to make use of this, that in this tradition, we establish a certain festival which is night-long. One of the fundamentals of this night-long festival is to ensure that – to allow this natural upsurge of energies to find their way – you remain with your spine vertical – you stay awake.”

[Dwadasa Jyotirlinga. Image Source: World Top Blogger]

How is it celebrated?

It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting and meditating on ethics and morals such as self-restraint, honesty, non-injury to others, forgiveness thereby discovering one’s self. While some devotees stay awake all night, others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on a pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams.

On this auspicious day, unmarried women pray for a husband like him while married women pray for the wellbeing of their husband.

Similar to major Hindu Festivals, worshipping of Lord Shiva begins with waking up early in the morning. After taking a head bath and dressed in new or fresh clothes, the devotees light the lamp and incense stick at lotus feet of Lord Shiva in the Pooja room.

[Image Source: Pixabay]

The devotees chant Shiva Stotras and meditate. Here is a list of Stotras to chant on Shivaratri: 

The best form of prayer is to conduct Manasa Puja, which refers to conducting the ritual prayer to Shiva in heart.  Adi Shankaracharya describes Manasa Puja in the beautiful Shiva Manasa Puja stotram.

ātmā tvaṃ girijā matiḥ sahacarāḥ prāāśarīraṃ gṛhaṃ 

pūjā te viṣayopabhogaracanā nidrā samādhisthitiḥ | 

sañcāraḥ padayoḥ pradakṣiṇavidhiḥ stotrāṇi sarvā giro 

yadyatkarma karomi tattadakhilaṃ śambho tavārādhanam ||

[Sloka 4, Shiva Manasa Puja]

Meaning:

O Shiva, you are my soul, Goddess Parvati is my reason, my five senses are your attendants and my body is your home. All the pleasures of my senses are objects to your worship. My sleep is your meditation. Wherever I walk I am walking around You. Everything I say is your prayer and everything I do is in devotion to You.

[Somanath Jyothirlinga. Image Source: Temple Purohit]

According to the Shiva Purana, worshipping of Lord Shiva with the below six items results:

  • The lighting of the lamp is conducive to the attainment of knowledge
  • Burning incense, yields wealth
  • Holy bath (Abhishekam) to the Linga with water, milk, and honey, and Wood apple or belva leaves, which represent the purification of the soul
  • The vermilion paste applied on the Linga after bathing it represents virtue
  • Offering fruits results in longevity and gratification of desires
  • Offering betel leaves marks satisfaction with worldly pleasures

Chanting of the divine panchakshari mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”, continues throughout the day and night. The temples reverberate with the hymns of Lord Shiva.

Shivaratri Fast is considered to be one of the most important fast for the devotees. Shiva Purana says that if a devotee observes Shivaratri Vrata with utmost sincerity, pure devotion, and love, the devotee reaches the feet of Lord Shiva. While few devotees go on diet of only fruits and milk, some do not consume even a drop of water throughout the day.

According to Hindu mythology, observance of Maha Shivaratri Vrata helps a devotee to control the two great natural forces that bother the mankind; ‘Rajo guna’ (the quality of passionate activity) and ‘Tamas guna (the quality of inertia). When a devotee spends, an entire day chanting the great Adi Yogi Shiva, his/her emotion is controlled and evils like lust, anger, and jealousy, born of Rajo guna’ are subdued. Above and beyond, when a devotee observes Jaagaran (staying awake all the night and chanting Lord Shiva Panchakshari mantra), s/he manages to conquer the evils of ‘Tamas guna.

The Devotees maintain long vigils during the night, by listening to Puranas, singing Lord Shiva hymns and bhajans. Even during the night, Shiva Linga is given the holy bath. Devotees listen to the Puranas and legends related to Shivaratri and Lord Shiva thereby to understand its deeper meaning. Devotees break the fast the next morning by consuming the prasad offered to Lord Shiva.

Listen below (in Telugu) to know more about the significance of Maha Shivaratri and the rituals to be followed on the day, by Sri Chaganti Koteswara Rao Garu:

 

Vaidika Vignanam Team

Comments { 0 }
New Mobile Site

New Mobile Site

Vignanam-MobileSite

A new, shiny and crisp HTML5 Mobile Website with CSS3 and JQuery Mobile for Vaidika Vignanam is now available at http://www.vignanam.org/mobile/.  All of the content that is available via the full site is available through the mobile site along with the search experience, but the content is optimized for viewing on cell phones, and tablets.  Since it is completely done in HTML5, it is compatible and provides consistent viewing experience with all of the popular platforms, such as iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android (cell phones and tablets) and Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8.

Currently this mobile experience is not available by default and you need to go to http://www.vignanam.org/mobile in order to get the mobile experience.  Shortly, it will be made as the default mobile experience, i.e., all users going to the site from their cell phone will be targeted to this web site.  There is a plan to release a native app on each of the popular platforms based on this mobile site experience as well.  If you can help in porting this mobile experience into native apps for iOS or Android, please contact me at sri@vignanam.org.

Shubham Bhavatu,

Srinivas Vadrevu.

Comments { 0 }
New Discussion Forum

New Discussion Forum

Forum

Added a new discussion forum site for Vaidika Vignanam at http://www.vignanam.org/forum/, where users can provide their comments/suggestions/feedback that are visible to everyone.  It also allows everyone to contribute to the content of the site.  As the site is growing, we are receiving a lot of feedback everyday and in order to cope up with the comments and make sure all the comments are incorporated and to allow everyone to contribute to the site, this forum is created.

Your help is most appreciated in making sure the content on the site is valuable to everyone.  Please feel free to contribute to the forum directly.

savinayam,

Vaidika Vignanam Team

Comments { 0 }
Adding Mooka Pancha Sati

Adding Mooka Pancha Sati

Added Mooka Pancha Sathi Slokas by Sri Mooka Shankarendra Saraswathi.

Comments { 1 }
Happy Vijaya Dasami/Dasara: New Durga Stotrams

Happy Vijaya Dasami/Dasara: New Durga Stotrams

 

Wishing everyone Happy Dasara/Vijaya Dasami.  Adding the following new stotrams on this auspicious occasion:

 

Comments { 1 }
New Guru Stotrams

New Guru Stotrams

Added the following guru stotrams to the site:

Comments { 1 }
E-Book formats available for all Stotrams

E-Book formats available for all Stotrams

Added e-book versions for all stotrams in the Vaidika Vignanam site in two most popular formats – epub (compatible with ipad, iphone, ibooks, android, etc.) and mobi azw (compatible with kindle) under the ‘Multimedia’ page for each stotram.

For example, e-book versions for Vishnu Sahasra Namam can be found under http://www.vignanam.org/veda/sree-vishnu-sahasra-nama-stotram-media.html.   The specific e-book files can be downloaded for any language using the given links on the page, so that you can view them later on your ipad or kindle or any other tablet or mobile phone.

One advantage with these ebook versions over the pdf files, especially while viewing with mobile screens. is that scrolling and increasing/decreasing text size become easier, while pagination happens automatically depending upon the specific options you set.  We plan to release official ipad/iphone/android/windows phone apps for the site soon, which take care of all such issues and many more.   In the meantime, you can use the e-book versions for easier reading on your mobile screens.

If you know ios/android/windows phone programming and would like to help with creating the apps for the site, please contact us at sri@vignanam.org.

bhavadeeyaH,

Vaidika Vignanam Team

 

Comments { 2 }