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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

 

 

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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

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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.

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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

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Adding Mooka Pancha Sati

Adding Mooka Pancha Sati

Added Mooka Pancha Sathi Slokas by Sri Mooka Shankarendra Saraswathi.

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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:

 

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New Guru Stotrams

New Guru Stotrams

Added the following guru stotrams to the site:

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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

 

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New Ganapati Stotrams

New Ganapati Stotrams

Added new ganapati stotrams

 

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Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Patanjali Yoga Sutras

 

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are added to the Web site.  Maharṣī Patanjali’s Yogaśāstras form the foundation of Yoga, which is now popular everywhere.  They succinctly summarize the science of Yoga in sūtra-form (aphorisms), which are easy to memorize.

  • Samadhi Pada (51 sutras): Samadhi refers to a blissful state where the yogi is absorbed into the One.   Maharṣī Patanjali provides an overview of the yogic context, while outlining its basic principles, goals, and processes in this pada, which contains the famous sutra ‘yogaścittavṛtti nirodhaḥ’ (1.2) which means that yoga is controlling chitta-vrittis (mental fields and patterns).
  • Sadhana Pada (55 sutras): Sadhana is the Sanskrit word for “practice” or “discipline”.  In this pada, Maharṣī Patanjali defines Ashtanga Yoga (eightfold yoga) as ‘yama-niyam-āsana-prāṇāyāma-pratyāhāra-dhāraṇā-dhyāna-samādhayoṣṭāvaṅgāni’ (2.28), in which yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi form the eight limbs of yoga and describe each of them in great detail in this pada and the next one.
  • Vibhuti Pada (56 sutras): Vibhuti is the Sanskrit word for “power” or “manifestation”.  In this pada, Maharṣī continues defining the rest of the limbs of yoga in great detail and describes the powers associated with yoga sadhana.
  • Kaivalya Pada (34 sutras): Kaivalya refers to emancipation and liberation and used interchangeably with moksha (liberation), which is the goal of Yoga.
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