Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tulsi Damodara Vivah - Some more significance

Tulsi, or holy basil plant, is considered to be the beloved of Lord Krishna. Tulsi Vivah ritual is performed during the waxing phase of moon in Kartik month starting from the Kartik Suddha Ekadasi to Kartik Purnima. While performing the Tulsi vivah ritual women listen to the Tulsi Vivah Katha. There are several versions of Tulsi Puja story this is one of them.

Once there lived an old lady who used perform the Kartik Snan and then water Tulsi plant and offer prayers. She used to worship Tulsi without fail and used to perform the Tulsi Vivah ritual. After the ritual, the old woman always ask the Tulsi plant to fulfill her wish that her dead body should be carried by Lord Krishna to the pyre.

Tulsi Plant (Tulsi Devi) used to hear her prayer daily and she had the capacity to fulfill the wishes of her devotees but to make Lord Krishna carry the dead body of the old lady to the pyre was beyond her capacity.

Saddened by this fact, Tulsi began to wither and she started shedding her leaves. One day Lord Krishna visited Tulsi Devi and found her in a real bad shape and wanted to know the reason.

Then Tulsi Devi narrated the story of the old woman who daily asks for her dead body to be carried by Lord Krishna to the pyre. She said that she cannot ask Lord Krishna to do such a thing. As I cannot fulfill her wish I am sad and this is the cause of my sorry state.

Lord Krishna gave his usual smile and said that the wish of the old woman will be fulfilled and asked Tulsi Devi to forget about the problem and asked her to return to her glorious form.

On the last day of the Kartik month the old woman repeated her usual ritual and prayed for her body to carry to the pyre by Lord Krishna. After chanting the prayers, the old lady fell down and died immediately.

Her family members and neighbors arrived on the scene and decided to move the dead body of the old woman. But the body could not be removed. It had become so heavy that even 10 people together could not move it.

Tulsi Devi then remembered Lord Krishna. She prayed to the Lord save her devotee who is lying on her feet.

A large number of people had gathered at the scene as the news of the death of old lady spread and the subsequent miracle of the body becoming so heavy.

Soon a young boy appeared and asked what all the commotion was about. An elderly person narrated what had happened.

The boy said he will move the body and went to the dead body and chanted some words into the ears of the old woman and touched the body. The body now became lighter like a flower. The boy then shouldered the body to the pyre.

People gathered there were surprised to see this miracle. The pyre was lit and the young boy slipped out of the crowd.

Only Tulsi Devi knew that the young boy was Lord Krishna who had arrived to fulfill the prayer of her devotee.

Spiritual significance of Tulasi Puja

What is the spiritual significance of Tulasi Puja done on Utthana Dwadashi day ?
Tulasi puja is celebrated by performing marriage of Saligrama representing Vishnu and Tulasi representing the Prakriti – Nature. Tulasi Puja symbolizes the union of Universal consciousness and Nature Prakriti. Saligrama stone is available in river Gandaki of Nepal is considered as sacred stone. Saligrama stones most ancient stone formations of the universe and is used as representation of Vishnu. Vishwam ( Vishnu Sahasranama) is the form of the Lord Vishnu and Saligrama represents symbolically the same.Out of Vishnu Maya, the universe is projected. Tulasi represents the prakriti – maya aspect. Tulasi being a medicinal plant also represents the healing aspect of nature.

What is the spiritual significance of Uthana Dwadashi ?
Utthana represents waking up. It is the day Lord Vishnu who was sleeping in yoga nidra woke up on that day. Lord Vishnu uses the Maya for the creation of the Universe. He is not affected by the maya. But individual soul – jivatma is trapped in maya. This maya which traps individual soul is called avidya maya. Individual soul is nothing but the reflected consciousness of the Lord Vishnu – Vasudeva as sakshi inside us. Shri Vishnu is the Bimba – original and the sakshi in the individual soul is the pratibimba. Uthana dwadashi at the individual level is waking up from ignorance of maya. The individual soul finding the Vasudeva in him. Realizing the Sakshi.

What is the spiritual meaning of Dwadashi ?
Dwadashi means twelve. Sanskrit is a beautiful language . It communicates dual meanings in single word. Dwa – dashi also means two ways. We have two paths – outward and inward. We have two purposes – outer and inner. Dwadashi is the day we chose one of these. We see the world outside and seek happiness. This becomes our outer purpose. The inner purpose of life is to seek the Lord within. Lord Vasudeva – Sakshi inside us. Excessive focus on getting happiness from the outer world makes us demonic (asuric) in nature and focusing on the inner Self makes us divine (devas). These qualities are described in chapter 16 of Bhagavadgita.

What is the spiritual meaning of killing shanka chuda sura by Shri Vishnu ?
Again Sanskrit wordings communicate dual meaning. Shanka stands for conch and also shanka stands for – doubt. At the individual level shanka sura is the demonic nature in jiva creating doubts. Shankasura or doubts get killed when we read Shastras – scriptures which tell our essential nature as divine. Shastras are nothing but words of Lord Vishnu – Vishnu himself. Killing of Shankasura represents the destruction of ignorance by reading scriptures and removal of ignorance by Sadguru who is one with the Lord Vishnu.
At the cosmic level – shanka represents the conch. Conch is symbolic of the Omkar – primodial sound. Killing the primodial sound is bringing into manifestation of the universe. Conch is used as sacred object in Tulasi puja.

What is the significance of Tulasi ?
Tulasi is the medicinal plant which cures many diseases. All the plants take carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Tulasi plant does it more efficiently. Hence having Tulasi in house is considered as auspicious. Tulasi puja also represents our respect for nature which is nothing but manifestation of maya of Lord Vishnu.

Tulasi represents the healing aspect of nature. While nature binds jiva with avidya maya, nature also provides individual soul chance for liberation in the form of Vidya maya. Mind which is purified and is full of satva.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sri Vijayarayara Katte Adoni

The history of Adoni dates back to Ramayana Period.  Mountains surround Adoni.  Shri Rama during His vanavasa visited this place and on one occasion Rakshasas come to disturb Shri Rama who would be resting on one of  the mountains.  Understanding this, Shri Anjaneya fights with them and kills them.  Hence this place is aptly called ‘raNa mandala’.

·        Knowing this, Shri Vyasa Thirtha during his visit to Adoni installed the deity of Shri MukhyaprANa on the hillock and he is now popularly known as ‘raNa mandala AnjanEya’.

·        Shri Vyasa Thirtha installed another MukhyaprANa deity closer to the hill and he is called mangarAya.  The place is called MangarAyakOte.

·        Mangarayakote is the place where Shri Gopala Dasaru was bestowed ‘Ankitha’ by Shri Vijaya Dasaru.

·        Shri Vijaya Dasaru stayed at Adoni for almost 8 to 10 years before moving to Chippagiri.

·        Shri Vijaya Dasaru installed the deity of Shri MukhyaprANa at Adoni.

·        In the same vicinity, Shri Vijaya Dasaru sowed Ashwaththa vRuxa that stands tall even to date.

.       Sri Vijayadasaru continued his tapashcharya on ashwatha katte and gained aparoksha gnyana. And now this place is known as Vijaya rayara katte in Adoni

Saturday, November 10, 2012

How to celebrate Dhan Teras or What to do on Dhanteras?

Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi is observed two days before Diwali in North India, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The day is dedicated to Dhanvantari, the physician of the gods. Lakshmi Puja in the evening is an important ritual on the day. There is no straightforward answer to what to do on Dhan Teras or how to observe Dhanteras, as the rituals and celebrations vary from region to region. Here is a general idea of what people do on Dhanteras.

Dhanteras is observed differently by different communities. It is considered to be highly auspicious day to do new purchases and investment. Most people complete the Diwali shopping on the day. The first lamps of Diwali are lit on the day. People hang up paper lanterns with festoons and sends out the message of the arrival of Diwali.

Dhanteras is not all about material wealth it is also a time to develop spiritual wealth and family bonding. All family members arrive at ancestral home on the day. Grand Parents and Parents wait for the day as sons, daughters and grand children arrive from distant places.

Goddess Lakshmi is welcomed into the house on Dhanteras day in many regions in the evening. Rangoli is drawn on doorways and tiny footprints of Lakshmi are drawn in vermilion to symbolize her arrival. Devotional songs dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi are sung in the evening. Sweets are offered to the Goddess on the day.

Dhanteras – Dhan means ‘wealth’ and theras indicates ‘the thirteenth day’. In most places in North India, Gujarat and Maharashtra, Dhanteras is an auspicious day to buy precious metals like gold, platinum and silver. Women shop for gold or silver or at least one or two new utensils on the day. Precious metal bought on the day is seen as a sign of good luck.

Earthern diyas are lit on Dhanteras day in the evening to banish the evil spirits.

Cows are worshiped on the day in many regions.

In some regions, people wake up early in the morning, take bathe, and wear new clothes. Fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset and is broken after lighting an earthen-lamp in front of the door of the house.

Deepdaan is an important ritual observed on Dhanteras day in many regions. Lamps are lit in the name of all family members and ancestors and they are floated in a river or pond.

Dhanteras is also observed as Yamadeepdaan by many communities.

Lakshmi Puja is done on the Dhanteras day by many communities. It must be noted here that majority of people observe Lakshmi Puja on Diwali day. Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras is more popular in Gujarat.