One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God. ~Ramakrishna~

Benefits of performing Abishekas

Jun 26, 2014

Various types of Abishekam

Abhishekam is the ancient sacred Hindu custom of bathing a deity in water, milk, honey, ghee, fruit juice and other liquids. This resulting mixture is intended to be served as prasadam to the devotees who offer their prayers. The pouring of these liquids symbolizes the pouring of a devotee’s purest love for God.  Performing this ceremony, with a pure mind, faith and conviction, results in washing away of sins, and purification of the devotee’s own heart and mind.  Generation after generation, millions of Hindus continue to perform abhishekam to this very day.
But Atheists may raise many questions like over this ritual.  Why is necessary?  Aren’t we just wasting food? 

We get the answer from Sudha Aditya in "The Inner Journey" compares this act to a mother caring for her child:

Take a mother and her child, for example. The mother loves her child dearly and she spares no effort to please it. She cooks the child’s favourite dishes, dresses it in fine clothes and does everything in her power to make the child happy and feel loved and cared for.  The mother never thinks that her is wasting her money, time or effort.
Similarly, the abhishekam is an offering to God and should not be viewed as a waste of materials, effort or time.  In fact, Sudha Aditya goes on to say:

…what we are offering Him by way of abhishekam is actually an minuscule part of what He gives us. We are merely giving Him what already belongs to Him.
As we move into the ritual, the puranic(ancient) vedhas had left evidences that each form of Abhishekam has a definite purpose and devotees are blessed accordingly as stated below:
One who performs abhishekam using:
  • Mangoes will be gifted with Victory ever
  • Panchamirth will be gifted with Prosperity
  • Tender coconut water will be gifted with Good position
  • Vibhudhi(Ash) will be gifted with Goodness
  • Sandal will be gifted with Highest post
  • Paneer(Rose water) will be gifted with Happiness
  • Milk will be gifted with Long life
  • Sesame oil will be gifted with Relief from viral disease
  • Lemon will be gifted with overcome fear of death
  • Bananas will be gifted with full Granary
  • Curd will be gifted with Flourish with generations
  • Honey will be gifted with Good health
  • Jaggery will be gifted with Relief from grieve
  • Sugar will be gifted with Overcome enemies
  • Food will be gifted with All wealth and health
  • Water will be gifted with Peace
The rituals and custom we observe and perform are carried out through generations just not for the religious sake but as the chanting of "OM" creates wonders each of these rituals have been carefully meant to its value and the perfect way of carrying forward it with full faith and dedication results only in peace for everyone on all worldly matters.

Sri Sai Sachcharira - Chapter -9 - Part 1

Jun 12, 2014

Effect of touch of Guru's hand and Sai Baba's words, URS on Ramanavami Day, Chandan celebration, Arrangement for the fare, Inter-relatedness of US and Ramanavami, Renovvation of mosque.
Shirdi Sai Baba, Mylappore, Chennai

Effect of touch of Guru's hand and Sai Baba's words

The power of the touch of the hand of Sadguru is great and astonishing. The subtle body, which is indestructible even by the fire and it envelopes the world, is vanquished by the mere touch of the hand of Guru. Sins of innumerable births are washed away. The mind of such people who have no interest in religious and Godly matters become inclined to piety. The voice gets chocked by ecstasy at the mere 'darshan' of Sri Sai Baba's enchanting form, tears begin to flow and when the heart is overtaken by emotion, bliss of Atmic experience follows with the feelings of "I am that"(So_Aham).

When ego begins to be inflated in devotees, then Guru by annihilating it bestows his power and enables them to attain their final aim and make them worthy of eternal happiness and contentment. The one who takes refuge in Baba becoming humble easily attains virtue, prosperity, pleasures and liberation. There are four paths leading to God-realization works, wisdom, yoga and devotion. Of these the path of devotion is full of pitfalls, and thorns. But if by relying upon Sadguru and avoiding pitfalls and thorns one proceeds further the ultimate aim is easily attained. For the upliftment of devotees the following words of assurance given by Sri Sai Baba are memorable.

In the house of devotees there shall be no shortage of food and clothings'. This is my special attribute that whosoever takes refuge in Me and worships Me in his innermost being I am always worried about his welfare. Lord Krishna too dwelt upon this in Gita. So do not worry unnecessarily for food and clothings'. If you are desirous of asking for something then ask only for God. By giving up the wordly praises and titles, get grace of God and his boon of being fearless, keep on holding fat to your "Ishta"(particular chosen form of God). Engage all your senses and mind in contemplation of God. Do not be attracted to anything material and be immersed in Me so that the tendancies of your mind are not drawn towards senses, progeny, wealth, name and fame. Then your mind shall become steady, peaceful and fearless. Attaining this state is indicative of 'sthitpragya'. If the wavering of mind is not controlled then it cannot be concentrated upon and ultimate goal cannot be achieved".

URS on Ramanavami Day

There was one inspector Shri Gopalrao Gund in Kopargavon village. He was a great devotee of Baba. He had three wives, but none had a child. By the race of Sri Sai Baba he got a son. In the event of being so happy in 1897 he got an idea that a fare or urs should be held in Shirdi. He expressed his idea to other devotees - Tatya Patil, Dada Kote Patil and Madhav Rao. They all liked the idea and they got evev the approval of Baba.

For holding urs was required Government permission. So an application was sent to the collector. But permission was not granted due to objection by village official, but on trying a second time for it the permission was finally granted and with the approval of Baba holding urs on Ramanavami day was decided accordingly.

But now there was difficulty of getting water. There were only two wells in village of which one used to be dry and water of the other was salty. Baba turned salty water to sweet water by dropping a flower into the well. But for how many people water from one well suffice? So Tatya Patil arranged for getting water from outside. Temporary storage of woods and bamboo were put up and boats were arranged. A friend of Gopal Rao Damu Anna Kasar liven in Ahmednagar. He was grieved beacuse of having no child. He too was blessed with a son by the grace of Sri Sai Baba. Sri Gund asked him to offer a flag. Another flag was given by Shri Nana Saheb Nimonar. Both the flags were taken in procession with great gaiety through out the village, and at last they were hoisted on the corners of the mosque which was called Dwarakamai by Baba. This programme continues to be held as before even till to-day.
Ramanavami at Shirdi

"Chandan" Celebration

This celebration was the idea of muslim devotee of Korhal Shri Amir Shakkar Dalal. Normally such a celebration is observed in the honor of Muslim Pir. Lots of sandal paste is collected by rubbing it on a stone sill and placed along with perfumed sticks in large flat vessels. The sticks are lighted and taken in procession to the mosque where the celebration comes to an end. The 'sandal paste' and burning perfumed sticks are scattered on Neem tree and around the mosque. For the first three years arrangements for this celebration were made by ShriAmir Shakkar and after him, his wife did the same. So flag procession by Hindus and 'Chandan' procession by the Muslims were taken out together. This tradition continues even till to-day.

Arrangement for the Fare

The sacred day of Ramanavami is very dear to the devotees of Sri Sai Baba. The external and internal matters were managed by Tatya Pati and a great devotee of Sri Sai Baba Radhakishna mai respectively. On this occassion their residence used to be full of guests and they had to take care of all people who gathered there. At the same time they had to make all necessary arrangements for the fare. The other job she used to do with pleasure was to sweep and clean the mosque and white-wash it. The walls and courtyardof the mosque got blackened due to smoke coming out of constantly burning fire inside it. when Baba would go to Chawadi for taking rest there during night then she used to do all the work. Everyhting including burning pier had to be taken out of the mosque and after cleaning and white-washing they had to be placed in their proper places and properly decorated. The most dear activity of Baba was feeding the poor, which was a part of all the celebrations. For this purpose grand feast used to be arranged. All this job used to be done at the residence of Radhakrishna mai. Many rich persons helped by contributing money. Several volunteers also took active part in the arrangements of the fare.

Inner-relatedness of Ramanavami and URS

In 1911, a changed occured in this programme. A devotee KrishnaraoJogeshwar Bhishma, the author of Sagunopasana, stayed one day before the fare in the Dixit Wada at Shirdi along with Dada Saheb Khaparne of Amaravati. When he was lying in its corridor, Laxmanarao alias Kaka Mahajani was going towards the mosque carrying with him articles of worship. They both exchanged their views how to hold URS fare together with Ramanavami celebration?

......to be continued....

Chithraguptha Swamy - Chithra Pournami special

May 14, 2014


Mashibhajansanyuktaschrasi Twang! Maheetale|
Lekhani-Katinihasta Chitragupta Namostute ||
Chitragupta Namstubhyam Lekhakaksharadayakam |
Kayasthajatimasadya Chitragupta! Namostute ||

Lord Chitragupta is the Divine Accountant and personal assistant of Lord Yama  who keeps an account of our karmas. It is believed that Chitragupta examines the good and bad deeds(Karma) of every person. When a person dies, his soul first reaches  Lord Yama, where Chitragupta tallies the deeds and report it to Yama. Special worship is done in Honour of Him on this day - Chithra Pournami
to appeal for forgiveness for our shortcomings are raised on this day.
 
The history of Shri Chithragupta Swamy is given in three different versions but is inter- related. 

One version narrates as Lord Shiva gave a picture depicting the rainbow colours which was given life by Goddess Parvathi and eventually became Shri Chithra(picture) Guptha Swamy. 

The second version goes like this….. In order to clear the curse of Shri Indira Devan, Shri Chithragupta Swamy was delivered by Kamadhenu in the Indira Heaven. That is why we avoid cows milk and curd to sanctify the diety of Shri Chithragupta Swamy.

‘Chith’ means inner conscience. ‘Aptham’ means hidden conscience. Whatever we hold back in our conscience is brought out by Shri Chithragupta and plans the life of a person. Hence the name Chithragutha. 

Having to account the sins and goodness of crores of people Lord Yama Dharma felt it difficult doing it all alone so he prayed to God Shiva to give him an assistant. Immediately Lord Shiva instructed Brahma to give an assistant to Lord Yama. Brahma knew that this is possible only by Sun God(Surya Devan). So Brahma created a fire within the sun. The sun develops romance and in that romantic mood seven colours of the rainbow integrates and forms into a girl and she became to be known as Neeladevi and she lived with the sun. The relationship results into the delivery of a male child in the tamil month of chithirai and that too on a full moon day hence he was named as Chithraputhiran(The son of colors). The child on delivery carried a book in his left hand and a writing nail in the right. (Since Chithragupthar was born of a rainbow people as sacrifice present him with multi colored clothes).

Chithraguptar performed penance and prayed to Lord Shiva and in turn he received intelligence and all brilliance. In order to test his powers he began to create. This stunned Brahma the “God of Creation”. This act was complained to Sun God. The Sun God advised his son Chithragupta that he determines the time of human beings by terming day and night likewise you can account for the goodness of human beings. The work of creation is Brahman .

The sun god decided to get his son married inorder to bring him into control. The Virgins who came as descendants of shiva namely Mayabrahman’s daughter Prabhavathy, Manu Brahmam’s daughter Neelavathy, Viswa brahma who occupied anthanar dharmam whose daughter Karnagi. All there three were married to Chithraguptar. Lord Yama who was annoyed over the way Chithraguptar was maintaining his family in a happy way, complained to his father ‘‘Sun” and ‘Sun God’ immediately sent Chithraguptar to be responsible and help Lord Yama.

Chithraguptar who went along with his wives to Yama’s world is still accounting the goodness and evil activities of mankind from then on.

It is but a blessing that Shri Chithragupta Swamy in accompaniment of Shri Karnagi Ambal is seated in the sanctorium of a temple in the centre of Kanchipuram near the bus stand. This temple adds effect to Kanchipuram town which is considered as one of the seven heavens.
 
In 1907 when temple renovation was done under the earth and beneath the altar a statue was found that of Chithraguptar with his wife. The period of the statue is not known. That statue is kept in the main sanctum.

Thulabara Mandapam Kanakarayar a minister in Chola King Chenni Valavan’s cabinet created a statue for festive occasions. This diety is separately placed in the temple and it is taken in procession.

On Chithra Pournami (full moon day of the Chithrai month) special pooja and the marriage celebrations of Chithraguptar takes place and food is sponsored.

Off the nine planets Kethu’s Lord is Chithraguptar. Hence any offering made to Chithraguptar will relieve us from all trial and tribulation of Kethu planet.

The offering comprises of cereals, seven lamps, and multicolour clothes. Added to this an abhisheka is done.

Most importantly there is only one temple for Chithraguptar and that too in Kanchipuram.

On this auspicious day, special poojas will be performed in temples and people take bath in holy rivers/temple ponds and pray to wash their sins.  There is a Chitragupta Temple at Kancheepuram and it is the only temple in South India for Chitragupta.
 
Also women observe fasting on this day from early morning 6am and finish the fasting once they see the moon in evening through a sieve. Some do not consume any salted food this day. Its a belief if married women does this vrath she will be suhagan - sumangali (Living with her husband till her death) forever.
 
 

Shri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Shri Srinivasa Perumal Temple
Singapore

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