Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sri Rama Navami 2014

On Chaitra Sukla Navami (the ninth day of the bright half of Chaitra) 'Sree Ramanavami' is celebrated.

Rama Navami is the ninth day of the waxing phase of the moon in the month of Chaitram as per Telugu calendar. Rama Navami is celebrated on Tuesday, 8th April, 2014.

Sree Rama was born on this day and years later on the same day Rama married Sita. 'Sree Sitarama Kalyana Mahotsav' (wedding) is performed in the abode Sitarama Temple, Bhadrachalam, Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh with great tradition and Bhakti. On behalf of Andhra Pradesh Government, Chief Minister with his wife visits the Kalyana Mahotsav and offers Silk Clothes and Pearls as Talambralu (auspicious) to the God and Goddess. The whole of this celebration is telecasted live in Doordarshan. Paanakam a drink made from jaggery and pepper. Kosambari prepared from mixing soaked Moong Dal, coconut , banana is offered as Naivedyam and distributed among devotees. Reciting of Ramayana on Rama Navami is considered auspicious.

"Wherever four Hindus live, Rama and Sita will be there" so said Swami Vivekananda, one of the foremost harbingers of modern national renaissance of Bharat. The reverse also is equally true - wherever Rama and Sita live, the people there will remain and live as Hindus.

Every hill and rivulet of Bharat bears the imprint of the holy feet of Rama and Sita. Sri Rama reigns supreme to this day in the hearts of our people, cutting across all barriers of province, language, caste or sect. Even the tribes living in isolated valleys and jungles have names like Mitti-Ram and Patthar-Ram. In some other tribes, every name carries the proud suffix of Ram, such as Lutthu Ram, Jagadev Ram, etc. In many northern parts of Bharat mutual greetings take the form of Jay Ramjee Ki.

Sri Rama has become so much identified with all the good and great and virile qualities of heroic manhood that expressions such as 'Us me Ram nahi hai' (there is no Rama in him) - meaning that a person has lost all manliness and worth - have become common usage. And when a Hindu quits the world stage, he is bid God-speed in his onward journey with Ramanama satya hai or Raghupati Raghava raja Ram, patita paavana Sita Ram. In fact, the latter couplet has become the nation's bhajan par excellence.

Sri Rama's story, Ramayana, has been sung and resung in all the languages and dialects of Bharat. The tradition of writing epics centering round the saga of Rama's achievements started by Valmiki in Sanskrit and was continued by Tulsidas in Hindi, by Kamban in Tamil, by Ramanujan in Malayalam, by Krittivasa in Bengali and Madhav Kambali in Assamia and in fact, in almost every Bharatiya language. The tradition is being continued up to the present day. The Ramayana Darshanam of K.V. Puttappa, the national literary award of Bharat by the Jnana Peeth. The enchanting Geet Ramayana composed in Marathi by G.D. Madgulkar and set to tune by Sudhir Phadke is now thrilling the hearts of millions in Maharashtra.

The various tribal groups too have sung the story of Ramayana in their dialects. Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Janaki mirror the ideals for millions of tribal boys and girls. The Khamati tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, which is Buddhist, depicts Ramayana as the story narrated by Buddha to his first disciple, Ananda, and carries the universal message of Buddha. How deeply significant that every group and sect even in distant and far-flung parts of Bharatavarsha should have found a radiant reflection of its own ideals in the form of Sri Rama!

The comparison of Sri Rama's fortitude to Himalayas and the grace and grandeur of his personality to the ocean - 'Samudra iva gaambheerye, dhairye cha Himavaan iva' - portrays how inseparably his personality has been blended into the entire national entity of Bharat.

Where in lay the secret of this unique greatness in Rama's personality? He is called Maryaada-Purushottama - the great one who never deviated from the norms set by Dharma. In the eyes of the Hindu, the touchstone of human excellence is Dharma. Devotion to Dharma came first in Rama's life and considerations of his personal joys and sorrows came last. It was his supreme commitment to putra-dharma (duty of a son) that made Rama smilingly depart to the forest for fourteen years at the bidding of his father. And this he did on the very day he was to be anointed as the future emperor of Bharat. He would not budge from the path of Dharma - righteousness - even when his own preceptor, his parents, his brothers and the whole body of his subjects tried to dissuade him. He upheld the supremacy of Dharma in every one of his human relationships and hence became an ideal son, an ideal brother, an ideal husband, an ideal disciple, an ideal friend, an ideal kind and even an ideal foe.

The one and supreme concern of Sri Rama's life was the welfare of his subjects. He would forsake everything else to uphold his kingly duties - the Rajadharma. The night previous to his scheduled coronation, when Rama and Sita were alone in a happy mood in view of the next day's joyous occasion, Sita asked Rama, "What is that thing which hold dearest to your heart?" Rama fell serious for a moment and said, "Dear Sita, you know I love you most dearly, but I love the subjects of Ayodhya more and if their welfare demands, I would not hesitate to sacrifice even you!" The following couplet conveying this idea is cited often:

Sneham dayaam cha soukhyam cha yadi vaa Jaanakimapi|
Aaraadhanaaya lokasya munchate naasti me vyathaa||

And Sri Rama did live up to his words. When he felt that the call of his royal duties - Rajadharma - demanded the forsaking of Sita, he wavered not in carrying it out. The most crucial test came when Lakshmana violated the orders of Rama and admitted Durvasa to Rama's presence with a view to averting the destruction of Ayodhya by Durvasa's curse. Rama stuck to the law of the land and awarded death penalty to Lakshmana - one whom he loved dearer than his own life. It was with such a fiery faith that Rama followed the dictates of Dharma.

To such a one, how could power and pelf hold any fascination? When Bharata came to him in the forest and implored him to return to Ayodhya and become the emperor, Sri Rama firmly refused. Here was enacted a scene unparalleled in the annals of world history - each of the two brothers trying to out-argue the other to make him accept the emperorship of a great and mighty kingdom.

Sri Rama's role as one of the first and foremost national unifiers of Bharat is also unique and extraordinary. He embraced Guha, the forest King and ate in his house without the least hesitation. No sense of high or low ever touched his all-embracing love of his people. He even enjoyed a fruit tasted and offered with devotion by Shabari, a tribal lady in the far south.

The Vanaras or the forest-dwellers too felt that Rama was their own. He endeared himself to them so intimately that they became, in fact, his chief allies against Ravana. All over Bharatavarsha, the dear, little squirrel with its three brown stripes bespeaks the devotion to Sri Rama even among the animal world. Along with the Vanaras, a solitary squirrel had played his humble part in carrying sand for the construction of bridge to Lanka and Sri Rama's caressing of the little one on the back had left those indelible stripes for all future generations.

Sri Rama's intense adoration for the motherland has been immortalized by a legendary couplet which is playing on the lips of millions even to this day: Janani janmabhoomischa swargaadapi garreyasi (the mother and the motherland are to me greater than the heavens themselves).

The story of Rama is not that of a single towering personality dwarfing all others. The other characters like Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata and Hanuman too shine in their own greatness. All of them are so closely interwoven with Sri Rama's life and achievements that it is well-nigh impossible to think of any one without the other. In fact, the most popular picture of Sri Rama, i.e., of Sri Rama Pattabhisheka includes Sita, Hanuman and all his brothers. And in the bringing out of the greatness of all these partners of his life-drama, Rama's instinctive recognition of their merit and virtues played no mean part. He would always be the first to openly appreciate the unique and noble traits in others' character. Even for Kaikeyi, who was responsible for his banishment to forest, Rama had only words of kindness. And as for Ravana, the abductor of his wife, Rama's unstinted praise of his erudition and prowess at once lifts the story of Ramayana to heights unsurpassed in the annals of human history.

No wonder, the story of Sri Rama has crossed the boundaries of Bharat and inspired by many a distant people, their culture and literature. Indonesia - with Muslims forming 80% of her population - continues to adore Rama and Sita as her great cultural standard-bearers, and Ramayana as her national epic par excellence. Indonesia also prides herself in having the biggest drama stage in the world - with Ramayana as its chief attraction. And the credit goes to that country for celebrating the very first grand World Ramayana Festival some years ago.

The birthday of Sri Rama, indeed, signifies an event worth of remembrance by every one, whatever his country or race or religion, who cherishes the time honored sublime values of human culture and civilization.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happy Ugadi Festival 2014 !!

Ugadi is observed as the New Year of SouthIndians (in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka ) marking the new blossoms and the coming of the harvest. It is the first festival of the telugu calender.

'Jaya" is the name of the new telugu year which starts from 31st March 2014.

Ugadi is the New Year's Day for the people of Andhra Pradesh and also for the Telugu people all over the world. Those who live north of the Vindhya hills observe it as "Barhaspatyamana". People living to the south of the Vindhya hills observe it as "Sauramana" or "Chandramana".

According to Chandramana, Ugadi is celebrated on the bright fortnight ('Shukla Paksha') of the first month ('Chaitra Masa') in the first season of the year i.e. Spring ('Vasanta-Ritu'). As all these important elements are present, this day has special significance marking the commencement of a New Year.


It is believed that the creator of the Hindu pantheon Lord Brahma started creation on this day - "Chaitra Suddha Padhyami" or the Ugadi day. Also the calculations of the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya proclaim the Ugadi day as the beginning of the New Year, New month and New day. The onset of spring also marks a beginning of new life with plants acquiring new life, shoots and leaves. The vibrancy of life and verdant fields, meadows full of colourful blossoms signify growth, prosperity and well-being.

With the coming of Ugadi, the naturally perfumed Jasmine's spread a sweet fragrance, which is perhaps unmatched by any other in nature's own creation. While large garlands of Jasmine are offered to Gods in homes and temples, Jasmine flowers woven in clusters adorn the braids of women.

Predictions Of The Year:

Ugadi marks the beginning of a new Hindu lunar calendar with a change in the moon's orbit. On this day, people chant mantras and the pundits make predictions for the coming year. Traditionally, the "Panchangasravanam" or listening to the yearly calendar was done at the temples or at the Town square but with the onset of modern technology, one can get to hear the priest-scholar on television sets right in one's living room.

Preparing For The Occasion:

Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are given a thorough wash. Shopping for new clothes and buying other items that go with the requirements of the festival are done with a lot of excitement.
Ugadi is celebrated with festive fervour in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While it is called Ugadi in Andhara and Karnataka, in Maharashtra it is known as "Gudipadava".

On Ugadi day, people wake up before the break of dawn and take a head bath after, which they decorate, the entrance of their houses with fresh mango leaves. The green mango leaves tied to the doorway signify a good crop and general well being. It is noteworthy that one uses mango leaves and coconuts (as in a 'Kalasam', to initiate any puja) only on auspicious occasions to propitiate gods.

People also splash fresh cow dung water on the ground in front of their house and draw colourful floral designs. This is a common sight in every household. People perform the ritualistic worship to God invoking his blessings before they start off with the New Year. They pray for their health, wealth and prosperity and success in business too. Ugadi is also the most auspicious time to start new ventures.

Every year on 'chaitrasuddha padyami' we celebrate the beginning of our new year. Things that should be done on this day:

Get up early (before dawn ) and take a bath using sesame oil, and bathing powder (the traditional way), get ready with new cloths. Next recite to the Lord Surya our New year resolutions and while offering flowers, holy water, light, insence. After that we savour the 'Vepaputa pachadi' (neemflower concoction). "Nimbhakusumabhakshanam" means...

"Sataayu rvajradaehaayuh sarva sampatkaraaya cha

sarvaarishTa vinaaSaaya, nimBha kusuma bhakshaNam"

this neem flower concoction has tamarind syrup, the flower of mangoes, the flowers of Asoka tree as a few of its many ingredients.

"tvaamashThaSoaka naraabheeshTa! madhumaasa samudbhava!

nibaavi Soakasamtaptaam maamaSoakam sadaa kuru"

which means...

In my life suffering with sorrow i am a bit of the 'asoka'! I serve thee. In the bloom of full spring you blossom oh 'asoka'! You make me free of sorrow!

The tree of asoka has such divine stength.

Special Delicacies:

It is a season for raw mangoes spreading its aroma in the air and the fully blossomed Neem tree that makes the air healthy. Also, jaggery made with fresh crop of sugarcane adds a renewed flavour to the typical dishes associated with Ugadi.

"Ugadi Pachchadi" is one such dish that has become synonymous with Ugadi. It is made of new jaggery, raw mango pieces, Neem flowers and new tamarind. The inner significance of this preparation is to indicate that life is a mixture of good and bad, joy and sorrow and all of them have to be treated alike.

All experiences have to be treated with equanimity. Every one should make a resolve that he will face calmly whatever happens in this year, accepting it with good grace and welcoming everything. Consider everything as for one's own good. Men should rise above sorrow and happiness, success and failure. This is the primary message of the Ugadi festival.

In Andhra Pradesh, eatables such as "Pulihora", "Bobbatlu" and preparations made with raw mango go well with the occasion. In Karnataka too, similar preparations are made but called "Puliogure" and "Holige". The Maharashtrians make "Puran Poli" or sweet 'Rotis'.

Kavi Sammelanam:

Kavi Sammelanam or poetry recitation is a typical Telugu Ugadi feature. Ugadi is also a time when people look forward to a literary feast in the form of Kavi Sammelanam. Many poets come up with new poems written on subjects ranging from Ugadi to politics to modern trends and lifestyles.

When we hear the 'Panchamga sravanam' (foretelling of the year to come) because of 'tidi' we learn about wealth, 'vaaramu' (week) tells us about life, 'nakshatramu' (star) gives us deliverence from sins, 'yogamu' helps us in eradicating disease, 'karanam' tells us about good omens. Hearing the 'Pancamga sravanam' would give us blessings equal to that of offering land, gold, cattle, grain, virgin(like marriage). Hearing the fortunes of great ones would also give us health, wealth and life has many best returns.

Ugadi Kavi Sammelanam is also a launch pad for new and budding poets. It is generally carried live on All India Radio, Hyderabad and the Doordarshan - Hyderabad, following "Panchangasravanam" (New year calendar) narrating the way the New Year would shape up in the lives of people and the state in general. 'Kavis' or poets of many hues - political, comic, satirical reformist, literary and melancholic make an appearance on the Ugadi stage.

Ugadi is thus a festival of many shades. It ushers in the New Year, brings a rich bounce of flora and fills the hearts of people with joy and contentment.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Maha ShivaRatri Wishes!!

Hindus celebrate for an auspicious festival devoted to Bhagwan Shivaji and is referred as Maha-Shivaratri (Sivaratri). The name MahaShivaratri when translated to english is known as  ’Night of Shiva’. Hindus celebrate and perform most of the religious ceremonies during the nighttime.  MahaShivaratri is a Hinduism festival celebrated yearly  during the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha or Phalguna according to the Hindu calendar.

Bhagwan Shivaji, also referred as Lord Shiva was married to Parvati on the day we now call Shivaratri. This is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. Lord Shiva’s dance and poses of Tandava have influenced positions in Yoga and the classical Indian dance Bharatanatyam.

Hindus and Shivaji devotees repeat the spiritual and holy chant ’OM NAMAH SHIVAYA’. Sages and religious tradition says those who utters the various Names of Shiva during Maha Shivaratri, with perfect devotion and concentration are freed from their sins and reaches the abode of Lord Shiva and lives stress-free & happy. Many devotees and hindu pilgrims travel to historic and auspicious Shiva temples, which reside mostly in India and south asia.

Maha Shivaratri is not celebrated it's  a time of spiritual healing everywhere. 

May the Choicest Blessings of Lord Shiva shower on us always !!

Wishing you all a very Happy Maha Shiva Ratri!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lord Sri Rama Song ------bhaLi bhaLi rAma pamtapu rAma

Hi friends,This song was came to know by one of my friend Sudha Rani Garu.Soon I started searching about the audio /Video  , I found it from "Srihari-Rasaanandam" album.So here I am sharing the Lyrics and the audio link.Enjoy it!!

భళి భళి రామ పంతపు రామ నీ-
బలిమి కెదురు లేరు భయహర రామా

విలువిద్య రామా వీరవిక్రమ రామ
తలకొన్నతాటకాంతక రామా
కొలయై ఖరుని తలగుండుగండ రామా
చలమరి సమరపు జయరామ రామా

రవికులరామా రావణాంతక రామ
రవిసుతముఖకపిరాజ రామ
సవర(గా కొండలచే జలధిగట్టిన రామ
జవసత్త్వసంపన్న జానకీరామా

కౌసల్యారామా కరుణానిధిరామ
భూసురవరద సంభూతరామా
వేసాల పొరలే శ్రీవేంకటాద్రిరామ
దాసులమమ్ము కావ(దలకొన్న రామా

bhaLi bhaLi rAma pamtapu rAma nI-
balimi keduru lEru bhayahara rAmA

viluvidya rAmA vIravikrama rAma
talakonnatATakAMtaka rAmA
kolayai kharuni talaguMDugaMDa rAmA
chalamari samarapu jayarAma rAmA

ravikularAmA rAvaNAMtaka rAma
ravisutamukhakapirAja rAma
savara(gA koMDalachE jaladhigaTTina rAma
javasattwasaMpanna jAnakIrAmA

kausalyArAmA karuNAnidhirAma
bhUsuravarada saMbhUtarAmA
vEsAla poralE SrIvEMkaTAdrirAma
dAsulamammu kAva(dalakonna rAmA

You can listen from : ( Copy & Paste it on your browser )

Happy Vasant Panchami!!

Vasant Panchami, the Festival of Kites, falls on Panchami of the Sukal Paksh ( Waxing moon) towards the close of winter in the month of January-February. The weather circle seems to be changing otherwise Vasant used to bring a message of softness in the weather in place of the hard cold season. Vasant is the time when mustard fields are yellow with it the spring is ushered in. So Punjabis welcome the change and celebrate the day by wearing yellow clothes, holding feasts and by organizing kite flying. 

Birthday of Goddess Saraswati:

It is believed that on this day goddess Saraswati was born. Hindus celebrate Vasant Panchami with great fervor in temples, homes and even schools and colleges. Saraswati’s favorite color white assumes special significance on this day. Statues of the goddess are dressed in white clothes and are worshiped by devotees adorning white garments. Saraswati is offered sweets which are given away as ‘prasad’ to all people attending the ritual worship. There is also a custom of ancestor worship, known as ‘Pitri-Tarpan’ in many parts of India during Vasant Panchami.

The Foundation of Education:

The most significant aspect of Vasant Panchami is that it is also the most auspicious day to begin laying one’s foundations of education – of how to read and write. Pre-school children are given their first lesson in reading and writing on this day. All Hindu educational institutions conduct special prayer for Saraswati on this day. It is also a great day to inaugurate training institutes and new schools – a trend made famous by the renowned Indian educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (1861-1946), who founded the Banaras Hindu University on Vasant Panchami day in 1916.

A Springtime Celebration:

During Vasant Panchami, the advent of spring is felt in the air as the season undergoes change. New leaves and blossoms appear in the trees with the promise of new life and hope. Vasant Panchami also announces the arrival of another big springtime event in the Hindu calendar - Holi, the festival of colors.

Saraswati Mantra: Sanskrit Prayer:

Here is the text of the popular 'pranam mantra' or Sanskrit prayer, Saraswati devotees utter with utmost devotion on this day:
Om Saraswati Mahabhagey, Vidye Kamala Lochaney |
Viswarupey Vishalakshmi, Vidyam Dehi Namohastutey ||
Jaya Jaya Devi, Charachara Sharey, Kuchayuga Shobhita, Mukta Haarey |
Vina Ranjita, Pustaka Hastey, Bhagavati Bharati Devi Namohastutey ||

Saraswati Vandana: Sanskrit Hymn:

The following hymn is also recited on Vasant Panchami:
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha| 
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana|| 
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||

English Translation:

"May Goddess Saraswati, 
who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon, 
and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops; 
who is adorned in radiant white attire, 
on whose beautiful arm rests the veena, 
and whose throne is a white lotus; 
who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me. 
May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance."

Spiritual Significance:

  Hindus all over the world celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm, as it is believed to be the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, the God principle of motion (gati), Who is also associated with the creation of the Universe. She is the Energy (Shakti) related to the male deity, Lord Brahma.

Rituals and Celebrations:

The most significant aspect of this day is that Hindu children are taught reading and writing their first words on this day - as it is considered an auspicious day to begin a child's education. Educational institutions organize special prayers for Saraswati on this day. The great Indian guru Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya laid the foundations of the world-class academic institution, Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya on Vasant Panchami. 

The lady of the house dressed in yellow with zari and gota on the dress, looking like Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu (a housewife is always alluded to as Lakshmi and no other goddess) with the chonp, bindi on the forehead and yellow and red bangles on the arms, sets the trend for everyone to become festive.

The puja is begun by the youngest girl present by applying the teeka on everyone's forehead and then, by turns, everyone sprinkling water, aipun and roli by the third finger of the right hand dipped in each liquid, by turn, holding the finger each time by the thumb loosely and then letting it go with a light jerk,',so as to sprinkle the attached liquid onto the deity. This is done three times with each liquid. The rice and flowers are picked up by the fingers and thumb and showered on to the gods. Everyone puts a little colour onto the gods. The heralding of summer begins with a bit of color sprinkled even today (before Holi) on the gods. The lady of the house then takes a few ber's, some sangaris and a laddoo and a paan (the same paan along with the nariyal can be given to everyone since paan is now a very expensive item) and gives them to each member present. This activity can be done in two installments as it is difficult to hold all these items at one time. The receiver takes the offerings in both hands and touches them to the giver his or her forehead and returns these items to the giver, but from the second installment, he or she must take one or two items at least and eat them in the puja room.

Saturday, January 25, 2014