The term Sari is originated from the Sanskrit word Satika which means a single piece of cloth. It is a single piece of cloth without any stitches with a length ranging from 4.5 to 9 yards. The ancient Indian literatures including the Rig Veda has the mention of this garment. The ancient Sanskrit literature Kadambari by Banabhatta and Tamil poetry Silappadhikaram have descriptions of women draped in saris.
The Sari has a spiritual and sacred science associated with it. The vedic reasoning behind wearing a clothing that has no stitch is that it helps in easy flow of energy flow to the body. It is worn by people with the intention of raising their spiritual consciousness including men and women. It is the oldest and longest lasting garment that is worn in society till today without any modification except prints and fabric.
The human body absorbs the energy from the atmosphere and the first surface that it hits is our clothing or skin. So in order to receive the high energy without any blockages, people wear such clothing. It is draped in circles just like the natural flow of energy. So it allows to hold the circular energy flows to get absorbed by the body. Having stitches blocks the energy flow so it is perfect cloth to use that has no stitches at all.
The Stomach area is usually open or uncovered as it is the place of Solar Plexus or Manipura Chakra. It is the area of the body from where most of the energy can be absorbed. As the human body is house of both Masculine and Feminine energies termed as Shiva and Shakti, the left side of the body is feminine energy and right is masculine. Therefore women take left Pallu to apply little/suttle pressure on the left shoulder. The remaining cloth rests on the left shoulder in females and right shoulder in males to balance the respective energies.
Every single thing is purely applied science. Wearing a Sari has beneficial for all those who want to seek more that this culture has for them.
Banarasi Silk is famous for its gold embroidery. The city of Banaras ( Varanasi ) is full of weavers who are experts in silver and gold zari. For them it is their canvas. Based on the design and demand, a single Sari can take more than 6 months to complete. The special design patterns are floral motifs, mina work, jhallar designs, kalga and bel. Four main categories are Katan ( pure silk ), Kora (Organza) with zari and silk, Georgette and Shattir. Designs include Jangla, Tanchoi, Vaskat, Cutwork, Tissue and Butidar. Other famous varieties from the state are Shalu and Tanchoi.
Chanderi is named after the place of its origin in Madhya Pradesh. Basically three kinds of fabrics are used pure silk, Chanderi cotton and mix of cotton and silk. These are one of the finest saris in India which include design patters of peacocks, coins, floral arts, geometric shapes etc. The state also is famous for Maheshwari saris from Maheshwar and Dhokra silk.
In the east, West Bengal is famous for Tant Saris which are famous for lightness and transparency. Other varieties from the state include Baluchari, Kaantha, Garode/Korial, Shantipuri cotton, Jamdani etc. Assam is famous for Mooga silk and Mekhla cotton.
In Odisha we can find Sambhalpuri silk and cotton varieties. These are famous for traditional designs like Shankha, flowers, chakra etc. These handloom designs have other varities like Sonepuri, Pasapali, Bomkai, Barpali, and Bapta saris. The state has other varities like Ikkat silk, Bomkai, Khandua silk and cotton, Sonepuri silk, Brahmapuri silk, Pasapalli, Matha silk, Bapta silk, Kotpad Pata etc.
Western varieties come from the states like Maharasthra, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Maharashtra has varieties named as Paithanpattu, Yeola, Peshwai, Mahalsa, Narayanpeth, Khun fabric and Karvati tussar saris. Rajasthan is famous for Bandhanis, Kota Dorias and Bagru varieties. Gujarat also has similar varities as Rajasthan. Patola saris from Gujarat are also famous.
Southern regions of the Country has vide variety of Saris. The State Karnataka produces 9000 metric tonnes of mulberry silk every year. The state is famous for the well known Mysore silk saris. Other varities of Karnataka are Ilkal, Molakalmuru and Sulebhavis. The neighbor state Tamil Nadu is famous for Chettinad, Kumbakonam, Thirubhuvanam, Coimabatore cotton, Salem silk, Chinnalampattu, Kandagi, Rasipuram, Koorai, Arni silk, Chennai, Karaikudi, Trichurapalli, Nagarkoil, Thoothukudi and Thanjavur saris.
Andhra Pradesh is famous for Mangalagiri silk saris. Also varieties like Uppada silk, Chirala, Bandar, Bandarulanka, Kuppadam, Dharmavaram are popular in the state. Kerala is famous for its silk vairieties like Kerala, Maradaka, Samudrikapuram. Other varieties are Balarampuram, Mayilati, Kannur cotton, Kalpathi silk etc.
Composed by Ravana, the Asura King of Lanka, Shiva Tandava consists of 15 Shlokas dedicated to Lord Shiva. Ravana was one of the greatest devotee of Shiva. He created this Strotam in praise of Lord Shiva.
After defeating Alaka near Mount Kailash, Ravana was returning to Lanka on his Pushpak Vimana. On the way he saw a beautiful Kailash and wanted to fly to see it. But his Vimana was unable to rise above. He asked Nandi for the reason behind all this. Nandi replied that no one is allowed except Shiva and Parvati. Ravana made fun of his masters Shiva and Paravati and in return Nandi cursed him that he would be destroyed by a Vaanar.
Angry Ravana tried to lift mount Kailash with his twenty arms along with Shiva and Parvati. Lord Shiva pressed his toe and injured his fingers. Ravana cried in pain. In order to impress Lord Shiva he created this Shiva Tanadava Stotram.
After getting impressed by listening and dancing to this Strotam, Lord Shiva not also forgave Ravana but also gave him Chandrahasa. The dance performed with Great energy is termed as Tandava, originated from word ‘Tandul’ which means ‘to jump’.
जटाटवीगलज्जलप्रवाहपावितस्थले गलेऽवलम्ब्य लम्बितां भुजङ्गतुङ्गमालिकाम् ।The holy river Ganga flows flows from the long hair of Lord Shiva, consecrating the neck. Snakes hang around his neck like a beautiful garland. The sound of Damaru has filled the atmosphere. The Lord Shiva performs the Tandava. May Shiva bless us !
डमड्डमड्डमड्डमन्निनादवड्डमर्वयं चकार चण्डताण्डवं तनोतु नः शिवः शिवम् ॥
जटाकटाहसम्भ्रमभ्रमन्निलिम्पनिर्झरी विलोलवीचिवल्लरीविराजमानमूर्धनि ।The sacred water of holy Ganga flows through the Locks of Shiva’s hair and glorifies his head. The strong fire is burning on Shiva’s forehead. The bright Moon is placed as an ornament on his forehead.
धगद्धगद्धगज्जलल्ललाटपट्टपावके किशोरचन्द्रशेखरे रतिः प्रतिक्षणं मम ॥
धराधरेन्द्रनन्दिनीविलासबन्धुबन्धुर स्फुरद्दिगन्तसन्ततिप्रमोदमानमानसे ।May our minds seek joy in Shiva! In his mind resides the whole life of this universe. He is the consort of Daughter of Mountain King. His glance removes all the hardships and problems. He is the one who wears the entire universe. Salutations to Lord Shiva!
कृपाकटाक्षधोरणीनिरुद्धदुर्धरापदि क्वचिद्दिगम्बरे मनो विनोदमेतु वस्तुनि ॥
जटाभुजङ्गपिङ्गलस्फुरत्फणामणिप्रभा कदम्बकुङ्कुमद्रवप्रलिप्तदिग्वधूमुखे ।Salutations to Lord Shiva whose neck is glorified by the reddish brown serpent on his neck. The gem on Snake’s head is shining like a red Kumkum on face of Goddess of all directions who wears elephant skin shawl.
मदान्धसिन्धुरस्फुरत्त्वगुत्तरीयमेदुरे मनो विनोदमद्भुतं बिभर्तु भूतभर्तरि ॥
सहस्रलोचनप्रभृत्यशेषलेखशेखर प्रसूनधूलिधोरणी विधूसराङ्घ्रिपीठभूः ।Salutations to Lord Shiva whose footrest is covered with the dust of flowers presented by Devas including Brahma and Vishnu. He wears the moon as crown and his hair has Red Snake as garland. May Shiva bless us all.
भुजङ्गराजमालया निबद्धजाटजूटकः श्रियै चिराय जायतां चकोरबन्धुशेखरः ॥
ललाटचत्वरज्वलद्धनञ्जयस्फुलिङ्गभा निपीतपञ्चसायकं नमन्निलिम्पनायकम् ।
सुधामयूखलेखया विराजमानशेखरं महाकपालिसम्पदेशिरोजटालमस्तु नः ।।
May Lord Shiva bless us with all the Siddhis. He is the one who devoured the God of Love with fire sparkling on his forehead. He is the one who is greatly respected by the Lords of the heaven. He is the one whose head is shining with the gleam of cool shine of the Crescent Moon!
करालभालपट्टिकाधगद्धगद्धगज्ज्वलद् धनञ्जयाहुतीकृतप्रचण्डपञ्चसायके ।
धराधरेन्द्रनन्दिनीकुचाग्रचित्रपत्रक प्रकल्पनैकशिल्पिनि त्रिलोचने रतिर्मम ॥
Salutations to the Lord Shiva the one whose forehead burns with Dhagad sounds. He is the one who has three eyes. He is the one who offered the arrows of God of Love to fire. He is the artist who is expert in tracing lines on breasts of Pravati.
नवीनमेघमण्डली निरुद्धदुर्धरस्फुरत् कुहूनिशीथिनीतमः प्रबन्धबद्धकन्धरः ।
निलिम्पनिर्झरीधरस्तनोतु कृत्तिसिन्धुरः कलानिधानबन्धुरः श्रियं जगद्धुरंधरः ॥
Salutations to the Shiva whose neck is as dark as the Night of full moon covered with the dark clouds. He is the one who wears celestial river and the moon on his forehead. He is the one who carries the load of this Universe.
प्रफुल्लनीलपङ्कजप्रपञ्चकालिमप्रभा वलम्बिकण्ठकन्दलीरुचिप्रबद्धकन्धरम् । स्मरच्छिदं पुरच्छिदं भवच्छिदं मखच्छिदं गजच्छिदान्धकच्छिदं तमन्तकच्छिदं भजे॥Salutations to Lord Shiva whose neck shines like a fully bloomed blue Lotus flower used in the temples. Bless us Shiva with prosperity. He is the one who destroyed Manmatha, Tripura, all the Mayas of this world. One who destroyed all the darkness, the demon elephant, the Lord of Death Yama.
अखर्वसर्वमङ्गलाकलाकदम्बमञ्जरी रसप्रवाहमाधुरीविजृम्भणामधुव्रतम् । स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं गजान्तकान्धकान्तकं तमन्तकान्तकं भजे ॥Salutations to Lord Shiva around whom the bees fly because of the sweet smell of Kadambha flowers. He is the one who destroyed all the darkness, the demon elephant, the Lord of Death Yama. He is the one who destroyed Manmatha, Tripura, all the Mayas of this world.
अखर्वसर्वमङ्गलाकलाकदम्बमञ्जरी रसप्रवाहमाधुरीविजृम्भणामधुव्रतम् । स्मरान्तकं पुरान्तकं भवान्तकं मखान्तकं गजान्तकान्धकान्तकं तमन्तकान्तकं भजे ॥Salutations to Lord Shiva whose forehead is burning with the fire. The fire increases with air from the breath of snake around him. He is the one whose Tandava tunes with Dhimid sound.
दृषद्विचित्रतल्पयोर्भुजङ्गमौक्तिकस्रजोर् गरिष्ठरत्नलोष्ठयोः सुहृद्विपक्षपक्षयोः। तृणारविन्दचक्षुषोः प्रजामहीमहेन्द्रयोः समप्रवृत्तिकः कदा सदाशिवं भजाम्यहम् ॥Lord Shiva has same vision towards the entire universe, be it the different worlds, the Snake around his neck, general public or the Kings, the tip of the grass or Lotus flower, a precious gem or a dirt or sand. Where can I worship him?
कदा निलिम्पनिर्झरीनिकुञ्जकोटरे वसन् विमुक्तदुर्मतिः सदा शिरःस्थमञ्जलिं वहन् । विमुक्तलोललोचनो ललामभाललग्नकःशिवेति मन्त्रमुच्चरन्कदा सुखी भवाम्यहम् ॥When can i find happiness? By living near the Ganga in a cave worshiping Lord Shiva and washing away all my impure thoughts everyday? I’m devoted to Shiva and chant his Mantras. He is the one with magnificent eyes and glorious forehead.
इमं हि नित्यमेवमुक्तमुत्तमोत्तमं स्तवं पठन्स्मरन्ब्रुवन्नरो विशुद्धिमेतिसंततम् । हरे गुरौ सुभक्तिमाशु याति नान्यथा गतिं विमोहनं हि देहिनां सुशङ्करस्य चिन्तनम् ॥The one who reads this strotam, remembers it and recites it everyday gets purified. The great devotion to Shiva leads to Salvation. There is no other way except taking refuge under Shiva’s blessings. Thoughts of Shiva removes all delusions.
पूजावसानसमये दशवक्त्रगीतं यः शम्भुपूजनपरं पठति प्रदोषे ।The one who recites this strotam in the early morning prayers is bless with all health, wealth and prosperity.
तस्य स्थिरां रथगजेन्द्रतुरङ्गयुक्तां लक्ष्मीं सदैव सुमुखीं प्रददाति शम्भुः ॥
Composed by Shri Vedanta Desika, Shri Sudarshana Ashtakam consists of 8 Shlokas is dedicated to Sudarshana Chakra of Lord Vishnu. As a weapon to Lord Vishnu, Lord Sudarshana protects the universe and all its contents. Those who chant Sudarshana Ashtakam with devotion will fulfill all his desires and will be able to remove any obstacles in life.
Traditionally people used to recite this in homes when some falls ill, specially during high fever.
प्रतिभटश्रेणि भीषण वरगुणस्तोम भूषण जनिभयस्थान तारण जगदवस्थान कारण ।All the enemies of Lord’s ( Vishnu ) devotees run away from your fear. All the auspicious things find home in you. Your worshipper free themselves from the cycle of Birth and Death and cross the Ocean of Samsara easily. You stabilize the Entire Universe. You free everyone from their sins who seek your refuge. You bless everyone with knowledge of righteous conduct in Vedas. Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
निखिलदुष्कर्म कर्शन निगमसद्धर्म दर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ॥
शुभजगद्रूप मण्डन सुरगणत्रास खन्डन शतमखब्रह्म वन्दित शतपथब्रह्म नन्दित ।Dear Lord Sudarshana, you are a precious decoration to the hands of Lord Vishnu, the one who has the whole universe as his body. All the Devatas are free from the fear of Asuras only because of you. Lord Indra and Lord Brahma worship you. The Satapata Brahmana of Shukla Yajur Veda pays tribute to you. Scholars seek your help in overcoming their contestants. According to Ahirbudhnya Samhita, Ahirbudhnyan(Sivan) worships you to see your beauty with his own eyes. Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
प्रथितविद्वत् सपक्षित भजदहिर्बुध्न्य लक्षित जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ॥
स्फुटतटिज्जाल पिञ्जर पृथुतरज्वाल पञ्जर परिगत प्रत्नविग्रह पतुतरप्रज्ञ दुर्ग्रह ।You are the one who shines like an assembly of lightings covering you like a cage . You are the one who is surrounded by forms of Lord Vishnu. The Satapata Brahmana of Shukla Yajur Veda pays tribute to you. Even the great scholars find it difficult to understand your glory in full extent. The sixteen weapons that you have are there to serve you, this sight is beautiful. You rescue those who seek your protection. Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
प्रहरण ग्राम मण्डित परिजन त्राण पण्डित जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ॥
निजपदप्रीत सद्गण निरुपधिस्फीत षड्गुण निगम निर्व्यूढ वैभव निजपर व्यूह वैभव ।You are the one under whose feet, the righteous people are firmly attached. The Six Kalyaana gunas- Knowledge, Power, Strength, Wealth, Heroism and Effulgence- find home in you. The vedas also glorify you. You have the forms of Param and Vyuham . You bring down the fear of foes of Lord Indra. You are the reason behind burning down the Shiva’s city Kashi into ashes. You were at the tip of Shiva’s arrow when he was busy destroying Tripuraasura. Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
हरि हय द्वेषि दारण हर पुर प्लोष कारण जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ॥
दनुज विस्तार कर्तन जनि तमिस्रा विकर्तन दनुजविद्या निकर्तन भजदविद्या निवर्तन ।Dear Lord Sudarshana! You are the one who stop growth of Asuras and destroy them. You are like the Sun lighting up the Samsara which was like a dark night before. You remove all the false knowledge from the minds of your devotees. All the Devas celebrate your powerful actions and experience joy. You are the one who fight against the enemies of your devotees by revolving and rotating. May everyone prosper! Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
अमर दृष्ट स्व विक्रम समर जुष्ट भ्रमिक्रम जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ॥
प्रथिमुखालीढ बन्धुर पृथुमहाहेति दन्तुर विकटमाय बहिष्कृत विविधमाला परिष्कृत ।
स्थिरमहायन्त्र तन्त्रित दृढ दया तन्त्र यन्त्रित जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ।।
Dear Lord Sudarshana! You give Darshan to your devotees with your one foot placed forward and other following it. Your position is beautiful to behold. You are surrounded by magnificent and fearsome weapons. You conquer everyone from Maaya caused by Asuras and remain unaffected from such illusions. Beautiful flower garlands increase your natural beauty. You compassionate with your devotees and bless them when they worship you using Yantra and Mantra. Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
महित सम्पत् सदक्षर विहितसम्पत् षडक्षर षडरचक्र प्रतिष्ठित सकल तत्त्व प्रतिष्ठित ।
विविध सङ्कल्प कल्पक विबुधसङ्कल्प कल्पक जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ॥
Dear Lord Sudarshana of prime Gunaas! The real wealth is true knowledge about your Lord ( Vishnu). When anyone seek refuge to your holy feet, you bless them with unperishable wealth of Moksham. Devotees who recite your Mantra gain huge wealth. Devotess worhip you through Yantra formed by two Intersecting traingles. You reside in all creations of Vishnu. You are powerful enough to complete whatever you decide. Thus you are a Satya Sankalpa and serve as divine Kalpaka tree granting everything that a devotee wants. Lord Sudarshana you Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
भुवन नेत्र त्रयीमय सवन तेजस्त्रयीमय निरवधि स्वादु चिन्मय निखिल शक्ते जगन्मय ॥
अमित विश्वक्रियामय शमित विश्वग्भयामय जय जय श्री सुदर्शन जय जय श्री सुदर्शन ॥
Lord Sudarshan, you are the eye of Universe! You are the form of three Vedas and three fires of Yaagas- Gaarhapatyam, Ashavaneeyam and Dakshinagni! You are a form of true knowledge. You are in every form of Universe. Devotees worhip you by doing sacrificial rituals. You destroy all the fears and illness of those who worship you from all directions. Victory to You Lord Sudarshana! Victory to you Shri Sudarshana!
द्विचतुष्कमिदं प्रभूतसारं पठतां वेङ्कटनायक प्रणीतम् ।
विषमेऽपि मनोरथः प्रधावन् न विहन्येत रथाङ्ग धुर्य गुप्तः ॥
Those who recite these 8 verses in praise of Lord Sudarshana composed by Venkatnatha known as Vedantha Desikan have the fulfillment of all thier wishes. Powers of Lord Sudarshana will make all wishes come true and all the obstacles will fade away.]]>
In whatever way we have experienced joy in our life, we want to experience more of it again and again. Nobody on earth can restrict himself from experiencing the joyfulness. But because humans could not find joy, they somehow settled for pleasure. The one thing we all must fit into our minds is that pleasure is not joy. It is just a small form or limited part of a large picture.
Whenever we humans involve in acts of pleasure we need something or somebody to experience it. The deeper we seek pleasure the more dependency grows to that something or somebody. The present condition of the world is the same.
If things humans find pleasure from or people they involve are taken away, they feel broken, helpless, and futile. That means our existence would now depend on things or other people. That’s bondage. Nobody on this earth nor even animals cannot find joy in bondage. Our Inner being always wants freedom from all kinds of bondages.
” If you become a pleasure seeker, naturally you are setting up limitations in such a pleasant way that you cannot transcend it. Unpleasant limitations can be broken but pleasant limitations cannot be broken. ” :- Sadhguru
The first step towards the path of the Ultimate is that you are joyful on your own. You create joy for yourself and not things or other people. When we are joyful, it sets us free. We no longer think about what’s happening around, we forget what to eat and all that because we are in a state of pure joy. Joy is the ultimate freedom. So the most important thing for all of us is to seek joy.
Not outside but within ourselves. The source of joy is inside. If you’ll search outside you’ll become the pleasure seeker. You do not need the outside stimulus to feel happiness. So the Brahmachari is the one who is the creator of his joy within. Every Brahamchari is working towards attaining the goal of becoming joyful on his own.
Brahmacharya does not mean just celibacy. These are two different things. Many people think that how and why people restrict themselves from bodily pleasures. It is just a hormonal balance that anyone can achieve. One can be married and still be a Brahmachari, as you are not seeking joy from your partner. All the world can be a Brahmachari.
Two people once married can share joy instead of expecting it from each other. Abstaining from sexual activities is just used as a supportive system to become Brahmachari. Brahmacharya means that you are ecstatic by nature.
The first and foremost thing that every Brahmachari follows is avoiding lustful thoughts. Abstaining from sexual activities because it would be more of becoming a pleasure seeker. This infinite life is more than just a body. Every human is more than this body and therefore should not only focus on bodily pleasures.
Otherwise, there will be no difference between us and animals. Animals have specific goals of survival that are finding food to survive and mating to produce more of their kind for the survival of their species.
We all must have heard about the famous Indian proverb:
“Jaisa Ann waisa Mann”. That is “Like Food, Like Mind”.
Have you ever questioned why Food here is related to our minds and not bodies?
Whatever food we eat itself has a vibration in it. This energy or vibration comes from the environment, the one who cooks, and the place where this food is being cooked. Therefore the food that you take should be Satvik food. That is full of positive energy.
Meditating at-least for 10 – 15 minutes in the morning is a practice that everyone could follow. With practice, time can exceed. Meditation becomes easy when you focus on positive thoughts instead of attaining zero or no thought state. Because it is not possible to attain no thought state. Thinking about something good or chanting Mantra’s related to your religious beliefs is one kind of meditation. Doing Yoga would also help.
This is to keep you away from bad thoughts and consequently from bad practices. One best way to avoid wrong acts is to not know something wrong. Learn all good things, engage with all good people, read all good books, visit spiritual places according to your religion, your choice. Keep yourself so devoted to good things that you have no time to think about something else.
After all, we all are human beings. We all experience this world through this body. This immortal body also has its needs that you can never deny. But yes, you can always control yourself. Become the master. Avoid engaging more with the opposite gender. Or just avoid engaging physically with any other person. Let everyone experience life as they wish and be on your own. Again it will all depend on the information you are gathering.
In the form of humans and things, be with the good. Meet people who are following the path of spirituality. Read Spiritual content from books and magazines. Watch or attend Holy ceremonies more and you will realize the benefit. The energy of the temples, churches, gurudwara is so strong and positive that you can feel the vibe just by paying a visit.
Don’t hesitate with your beliefs. No one can change you except yourself. The ultimate decision is always yours. Don’t ponder over what others are going to think. People defy everything they can’t do or don’t believe, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. With so many examples, be motivated to follow the path of the ultimate and experience the joy within.
Many times you could come across arguments against your beliefs. Science sometimes has logic that forces us to blindly follow. But many spiritual and scientific studies are never brought to the world because it has no market. The western countries and money-making culture sell everything profitable. Bodily urges and sexual acts are given more value. It is because this topic is always paid more attention. Even doctors and scientists have believed that the benefits of Brahmacharya are so good that one must practice it. Indian values and culture have realized it long ago and so it has a culture that promotes spirituality more than anything else.
[ This article is written after gathering information from various sources that have similar teachings and practices. Forms may differ, religion may differ, methods may differ, lifestyle and culture may differ but they all have a common goal. The goal to experience the Universal truth. ]]]>
The 11th day before the full moon in Shukla Paksha and the 11th day after the new moon in Krshna Paksha is celebrated as Ekadashi fasting day. People all over India who practice Hinduism remain on a 24 hour fast.
There are a total of 24 Ekadashis associated with incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The number increases when there is an extra month called Kharmas or Malamas or Adhik Mas which keeps the Lunar and Solar calendars aligned.
In every mandala consisting of 40 to 48 days there are three specific days in which our body requires no food. This maybe different for different persons according to their physical needs. So fasting for these three days is beneficial for human body. In order to practice this Ekadashi is marked as the day of fasting when the planetary positions are such that affect our body the most in a positive way. There are three Ekadashis that come in this period of 48 days.
Not eating for a day cleanses the body from inside. The body detoxifies itself on its own. Cleansing of blood, veins etc. happens effectively when the energy is not occupied in digesting the food then in absorbing it.
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय नमः ||
” Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevay Namah “Mantra
The above mantra is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna both. It is known as Dwadakshari mantra or 12 syllable mantra.]]>
Also, I have seen bowls that never leak any liquid. Various traditional temples offer food to devotees in these eco-friendly plates that are natural and have various health and environmental benefits.
They were slowly replaced by plastics, paper, or Thermocol made disposables but they are unhealthy for the body and also damage the mother earth.
It is a good thing that people have realized this and again have started using them. Nowadays many different types of leaf plates are available which are more durable and stylish as well as eco-friendly.
Patravali or Pattal is a traditional Indian plate made of leaves. Usually, the plate is made of Sal tree leaves, but the leaves of other trees like Banyan, Fodder, Jack fruit, etc are also common. It is still popular in traditional food offerings at temples and other religious festivals.
Southern regions of the country use Banana leaf plates to serve food. Not only banana leaves are easily available but also their large size is big enough to accommodate different food items.
8 to 10 Sal tree leaves depending upon their size are stitched using small wooden sticks.
Many women in various rural regions weave them at their homes in their spare time to earn some money.
Although they can be manually prepared, some mechanical means have been discovered to prepare them in large numbers in less time amount of time.
Many rural women are engaged in the production of these eco-friendly utensils that are used in India where festivals are never away and food offerings to devotees are an integral part of the rituals.
There are total 12 or 13 Shivratris throughout the year. The one that comes on the Chaturdashi ( 14th day ) of Phalgun is named Mahashivratri.
” Mahashivratri is not a religious festival. It is associated with the astronomical phase of planet earth. It has a significant positive effect on the body.”
Mahashivratri is a lunar festival. During the night the planetary positions are such that there is a natural upsurge of energy in the body. To get more benefit, yogis try to keep their bodies vertical during the night. The energy flows in the upward direction passing through the 7 Chakras.
In Hindusim, people celebrate this festival by practicing fast on the day. Chanting Shiva Bhajans, mantras and worship-ping Shivalingas in the temples is usual practice. People gather together to offer Milk and Water to the Shivalinga. Both men and women offer Milk, Ghee, Water, Fruits and Belpatra to the Shivalinga. The Shivalayas are high energy places. Taking round circle of the Shivalinga helps in absorbing this positive energy. Below are Shiva mantras with thier meanings.
Shiva Panchakshara Mantra:-
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namaḥ ŚivāyaNamaskara to the Lord Shiva
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् |
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ||
Aum Tryambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam |
Urvaarukamiva bandhanaan-mrityormuksheeya maamritaat ||
Meaning of Mahamrityunjay Mantra:-
We worship the three-eyed One, who is fragrant and who nourishes all.
Like the fruit falls off from the bondage of the stem, may we be liberated from death, from mortality
The Fasting on the day and meditation in the night:-
All spiritual festivals in India are meant to purify mind, body and soul. They fill the minds with pure joy and peace. Cleanse your body through fasting. Calm your mind with Shiva mantras and meditation. Enjoy the Shiva Bhajans. Dance to the music of Shiva songs and forget all fears.
Navaratri means nine nights. Every month after Amavasya ( the new moon day ), the first 9 days are dedicated to feminine energy. Out of 27 days of the moon cycle, the remaining 18 days are considered to be masculine. The rest of 1 and a half-day is considered neutral. This is the reason that up to Navami (the ninth day ), Devi worshiping is predominant.
This Navaratri which ends with the Dussehra is considered most important as it is dedicated to Devi Sharada. The basic nature that separates humans from all living species is the learning tendency in us. No other creature on this planet has the power of willingness to learn. So this is that time of the year when we humans celebrate the most important thing in our life which is ‘learning’.
Also, Navaratri is the celebration of the victory of Good over Evil. Goddess Durga defeated the demon Mahishasura. All nine days are wholly devoted to nine incarnations of Durga listed below:
The first day is dedicated to Devi Shailaputri who is an incarnation of Devi Parvati. Also known as Hemavati. She rides on Nandi ( Shiva’s bull ) and carries Trishul in her right hand and a lotus in the left. She also has a crescent moon on her head like Shiva. The color of the day is Red which symbolizes action and vigor.
ॐ देवी शैलपुत्र्यै नमः॥
Om Devi Shailaputryai Nama //
The second day is dedicated to Devi Brahamcharini, the sati form of Parvati. She wears a white Saree and walks barefoot. She carries a Japamala ( rosary ) and Kamandala symbolizing peace and calming nature. The color of the day is Blue which symbolizes tranquillity.
ॐ देवी ब्रह्मचारिण्यै नम:
Om Devi Brahmachranyaya Namah //
The third day is dedicated to Devi Chandraghanta, the goddess with a half-moon on her forehead. She has a third eye which unlike Shiva is always open. The goddess is a symbol of courage and bravery. The color of the day is Yellow which is a mood lifter for everyone.
ॐ देवी चंद्रघण्टायै नम:
Oṃ Devī Chandraghantaye Namaḥ//
The fourth day is dedicated to Devi Kushmanda, the goddess who created the world with her smile. Ku means “a little”, Ushma means “the warmth” and Anda means “the cosmic egg”. The goddess has eight arms and is also known as Ashtabhuja Devi. She is the symbol of creation on earth. The color of the day is Green which is the color of vegetation on earth.
ॐ देवी कूष्मांडायै नम:
Om Devi Kushmandaye Namah //
The fourth day is dedicated to Devi Skandamata, the mother of Skand which is another name for Lord Kartikeya. The goddess has four arms with lotuses in two. She is carrying Skand in her lap while sitting on a lion. She depicts the mother nature of a woman. The color of the day is Grey.
ॐ देवी स्कन्दमातायै नम:
Om Devi Skandmataye Namah //
The sixth day is dedicated to Devi Katyayani, the goddess who slaved Mahishasura. One of the most fierce forms of Durga. The goddess rides a lion and is shown with four, ten, or eighteen hands. She is a symbol of courage. The color of the day is Red.
ॐ देवी कात्यायन्यै नम:
Om Devi Katyayanya Namah //
The seventh day is dedicated to Devi Kaalratri, the goddess who killed demons Shumbh and Nishumbh. One of the most violent forms of Durga. She is the destroyer of all evil spirits and negative energies. All the negative forms move away. The color of the day is White.
ॐ देवी कालरात्र्यै नम:
Om Devi Kalratraya Namah //
The eight-day is dedicated to Devi Mahagauri, the goddess of optimism. She is a reliever of all sufferings of mankind. The goddess has four arms. The color of the day is Pink.
ॐ देवी महागौर्यै नमः
Om Devi Mahagaurya Namah //
The ninth day is dedicated to Devi Siddhidatri, the goddess who fulfills all divine aspirations. She sits on a lotus and is the possessor of all Siddhis.
ॐ देवी सिद्धिदात्र्यै नम:
Om Devi Siddhidatraye Namah //
The four sites have temples of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of life on earth.
Yes, this name is famous all over the country to denote the Jagannath Temple situated in Puri, Odisha. The term Jagannath means the ‘Lord of the World’ or ‘World Personified’. Jagannath is alias for Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. The temple is around 1000 years old and is in Puri, one of the oldest cities in eastern India.
It is the only temple where goddess Subhadra is worship along with her brothers Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra (Balaram).The idols of the deities made of Sandalwood. It is a belief that Lord Brahma himself brought life to the idol of Lord Jagannath.
The site has Markandeya, Chandan, Parvati Talab(Pond), Shwetganga, and Indradyumn as small pilgrimage points.
The temple is in the south at the very tip of the Indian Peninsula. It is the place where
Lord Rama, along with Laksman, Hanuman, and his Vanar army built Ram Setu, to reach Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from Raavan.
The word Rameshwaram means ‘Lord of Rama’ which is Lord Shiva. Lord Rama while returning from Lanka worshiped the lingam here so that he can free himself from the sin of Brahmhatya after killing Raavan who was a Brahmin.
Ramanathanswamy temple is one of the most beautiful temples in India. It is the same place where Raavan’s brother Vibhishan devoted himself to Lord Rama. The temple is full of architectural amazements.
Dwarka or Dwarika is in the west in Gujarat. It is the westernmost part of India. The legendary Dwaraka Nagri is submerged in the sea now. The Dwarakadhish temple is devoted to the King Lord Krishna who after leaving Mathura settled here.
It is a belief that due to destruction by the sea, the present city is 7th settlement. Adi Guru Shankaracharya established Dwarkapeeth in the 8th century.
The Dwarakadheesh temple is also popular as Jagat mandir ‘Temple of the World’. According to traditions, the temple build by Lord Krishna’s grandson Vajranabha over the Harigriha, the house of Krishna.
Town Badri lies between the Nar and Narayan ranges in north. The town got its name after Badri or berry of Jujube tree found in the area. This place is famous for Lord Vishnu’s dual form Nar and Narayan. According to a legend, Adi Guru Shankaracharya found a black stone image of Lord Badrinarayan in the Alaknanda river.
The place where the idol was found is Tapt Kund. Two hot water lakes named Narad Kund and Surya Kund are present here.
It is a belief that visiting these four pilgrimage sites once in a lifetime opens the gates of salvation by washing all the sins.]]>
Not only that, but we also have a specific time to take a particular food item so that it can be completely absorbed or assimilated by the body. Following immunity boosters are always there in Indian dishes do that you don’t have to worry about taking them additionally.
Haldi has been a part of every other Indian dish that is cook in the Indian kitchens. It has will be use in India for thousands of years because of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that come from a compound called curcumin present in it.
Almost all Indian vegetable spice mix contains Haldi. We also have Haldi Milk that is take to heal from fevers, common colds and ensures fast recovery.
How can we forget a spice that was once used as currency in Greece. Yes, the Kali Mirch is also one of the gifted spice that comes from southern India. It contains piperine that prevents cancer. It also has Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Flavonoids, Carotenes, and other antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body.
The best way to have it is to crush the Kali Mirch seeds and add in Dahi (Yogurt), Buttermilk, salads, vegetables, etc. Kali Mirch ki chai ( black pepper tea) is also taken in India during winters to fight the common cold.
The antibacterial properties of Adrak made it a permanent member of Indian kitchens. It increases immunity and prevents nausea and soothes an upset stomach. It is also a natural blood thinner and contains anti-inflammatory compound gingerol that handles blood vessel relaxation.
It is add to Indian dishes . crushing ginger over the spice mix while cooking vegetables adds rich flavor. Again Adrak wali Chai is prepare in winter by boiling it in water before adding milk and other ingredients. This tea is one of my favorites.
Tulsi is the Holy Basil of India. It is find in almost every household and worshipped by Hindus daily. Works as a natural immunity booster and keeps infections at a bay. It protects against all infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa.
The leave extracts of Tulsi increases helper cells and natural killer cells activity thereby boosts immunity. Again the Tulsi Chai can be prepare by boiling tulsi leaves in water and adding other ingredients.
The storehouse of good health, Amla has twice as twice the antioxidant power of acai berry and about 17 times that of the pomegranate. It is a rich source of Vitamin C, is anti-inflammatory and can also cure mouth ulcers if taken in liquid forms.
Indians have amla in various forms. In winter months we prepare Amla Achar(pickle), Amla Murabba( Dried candy) are also taken and also it becomes a part of vegetable juices.
Dalchini contains cinnamaldehyde which handles powerful effects on health and metabolism. It also contains powerful antioxidant polyphenol.
It helps our bodies fight infections and repair cell tissue. It also lowers blood sugar levels.It can add in small amounts as a flavoring substance. Add a pinch of it in tea, baking items, vegetable curries.
Neem leaves have anti-bacterial properties and purify the blood. It helps in clearing toxins from the blood leaving a strengthened immune system. It take in small amounts by adding it to drinking water.
Also adding neem leaves in warm water for taking bath can kill bacteria present over the skin.