November 28th THANKS GIVING DAY!

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A North American Thanks Giving Dinner!!

Known or unknown, young or old, educated or uneducated, men or women
Who ever does something big or small saying THANKS is a  courtesy.
November twenty Eighth today  is THANKS GIVING DAY in America
What for, to whom, by whom and why? an interesting question!

Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among
Almost all religions after harvests and at other times.
Thanksgiving holiday’s history in North America based on
English traditions dating from the Protestant Reformation.

It indeed is a harvest festival, Thanksgiving the Lord for
Successful harvest. Pongal is the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival celebrated
In India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.  celebrated as Makar Sankranti.
Four-day festival, from January fourteenth to sixteenth,from the last day of
Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai, to
Convey Thanks to the Sun God for a successful harvest.Indeed a holy day!

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PONGAL FESTIVAL-HARVEST FESTIVAL Thanks giving Day in Tamilnadu

November 26th. SHOPPING REMINDER DAY

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Funny the viewers may think of the Blog Envius Thoughts posts peculiar
At times! Posts describe what we have not come across in India by that
Nomenclature and practice. Certain days strange and alien unheard of!
Twenty Sixth November today is one such -.Shopping Reminder day

Christmas – most wonderful time of year filled with gifts, festivities,
And a host of  promotions constantly bombarding people in United States.
Christmas has become commercialized, and one is surprised at
A holiday to remind people to shop when everyone is busy with shopping.

Yes, we have great Diwali, Sankranti, New year days at States different
To purchase  – textiles, provisions, sweets and savories -what not on earth?
But NO SHOPPING REMINDER DAY for us!!!!Yes, traditions and culture,
Differ in different countries over the world. We look with interest!

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ENVIUS THOUGHTS crosses 2,25,000 views.
I am glad to share with you that with the 202nd view at 10.00 hrs today viz Tuesday   the Twenty Sixth November 2019, (26/11/2019) , total views of the BLOG  crossed    TWO LAKHS AND TWENTY  FIVE THOUSAND (2,25,000) from more than 219 countries around the world on the 1761st day and 1794th post, thanks to your support and encouragement. Kindly continue.

GOVARDHAN PUJA- October 28th.

Govardhan Puja

India that is Bharat-our holy Motherland resplendent
With festivals and noble religious rituals sure great
That makes Indians of all hues and colors in all parts indeed proud
And look with heads high in the international arena in seventh cloud!

Lord Krishna who gave Geethopadesam through Arjuna to the world
Being shown  our gratitude on this holy day -Twenty Eighth October!
Happy Govardhan Puja today, the fourth day of the Five-day
Diwali festival. began on Friday with Dhanteras, followed by
Choti Diwali, Lakshmi Puja, Govardhan Puja and Bhai Dooj.
One of our biggest festivals and is celebrated globally also.

Pooja holds special significance for the devotees of Lord Krishna,
Who call him Govardhan Dhari. Lord Krishna took the people of Braj,
A place in Uttar Pradesh, under the shelter of the mighty Govardhan hill,
Picked up on his little finger, to protect them from the torrential rains.
He is worshipped on Govardhan Puja, which is a day to remember and renew
their faith in taking refuge in God.Let us join and seek HIS grace !

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FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS! Part I

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Our Brahadaranya Upanishadic prayer:

Asathomaa sath gamaya, thamaso maa jyothir gamaya
Mruthyomaa amrutham gamaya om shanthi, shanthi, shanthi!

 

Sanskrit Lyrics Lyrics transliterated in english Meaning in English
असतोमा सद्गमय ।

तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय ।

मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥

ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।

asato mā sadgamaya

tamasomā jyotir gamaya

mrityormāamritam gamaya

Oṁ śhānti śhānti śhāntiḥ

From ignorance, lead me to truth;

From darkness, lead me to light;

From death, lead me to immortality

Om peace, peace, peace

 

Yes “FROM DARKNESS LEAD ME TO LIGHT”

Here are two specific days today and tomorrow- Deepavali Day –twenty Fifth and twenty Sixth October this year- FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS.!
In any religion, festivals and prayers have deep meanings which many do not seem to appreciate well. Many a time criticize also unfortunately!
This DEEPAVALI, otherwise called DIWALI is one such. Those against would refer to the exorbitant expenses the festival imposes, air pollution thanks to crackers, likely accidents due to indiscriminate fire crackers etc. etc.

Coming from a family of humble means, I recollect Deepavali in my childhood days-say right up to my teens- when we had to make the purchases of dress just on the night of the first day when the merchants will  sell at a cheaper rate to clear their stock! I mean nineteen forties and early fifties!!! Similarly crackers for a couple of rupees!! My mother will do sweets and snacks at the cheapest cost!!! We used to look at those rich who used to fire 1000 valas and 5000 valaas with awe!!!

DEEPA AVALI-Deepavali –is ‘keeping the lamps in line’ that emit lot of light around and thus expelling darkness. The festival has religious, spiritual and social significance and dimensions making this Festival an all India pervasive!

RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE
Like every other festival in India, Diwali has a rich history. The reasons to celebrate the festivals of light can be traced back to ancient India. As several religions developed, more and more explanations and stories got attributed to this day. There are different legends associated with Diwali, which vary from region to region in India.

Legends of Diwali

Following are the Hindu legends associated with the festival of Lights: :
Return of Ram to Ayodhya
The most popular legend associated with Diwali is the legend of King Rama. Diwali is the day when Rama returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and defeating the demon king Ravana who abducted Sita, wife of Rama. People of Ayodhya were absolutely ecstatic at the homecoming of Rama and rejoiced by lighting up their houses and distributing sweets to each other, a tradition still followed by all those who celebrate the festival.

Legend of Narakasura

According to this legend, Diwali is the day when Narakasura was killed by Krishna. It is believed that Narakasura had availed a boon of long life from Vishnu. He created havoc in all the three worlds and started assaulting women. It is said that Narakasura requested Krishna that his death should be remembered by all, and this is the reason why the day is celebrated as Narakachaturdashi.

Incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi was born when Devas and Asuras were fighting over nectar while churning the ocean. Goddess Lakshmi decided to give nectar to the Devas.

Return of Pandavas

It is believed that Pandavas returned to their capital Hastinapura on this day after twelve long years of exile. And the occasion was marked by people by lighting earthen lamps (diyas).

Legend of King Bali

Diwali is also believed to be the day when King Bali was sent to Patala by Lord Vishnu in his Vamana avatar. Fearing the rising influence of King Bali, Vishnu asked for as much land as he can measure with three of his steps. He measured the entire earth and heaven with two steps and by placing third at the head of Bali (at his request), sent him to Patala.

Coronation of King Vikramaditya

It is believed that legendary king Vikramaditya was coronated on the day of Diwali, giving another reason to people to celebrate the festival.

Diwali as a Harvest Festival

Diwali was initially celebrated as the festival of harvest. It is the time when farmers in India reap their harvest and worship the Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of prosperity & wealth) by offering Her portions from fresh harvest.

History of Diwali in Sikhism

Also known as the Bandi Chorr Devas among Sikhs, the festival is celebrated to mark the release of the sixth guru of Sikhs – Guru Hargobind Singh from the Gwalior Fort, along with 52 other Hindu princes in 1619. When Emperor Jahangir agreed to release the Guru at the demand of the Sikhs, the Guru announced that he would not leave without other captive princes. Clever Jahangir declared that only those princes who would be able to hold the Guru while he is leaving the prison would be released along with him, knowing that all the princes won’t be able to hold the Guru. The Guru got a garment made which had 52 strings. Each prince held one string and thus the Guru was successful in getting all the princes released. Sikhs celebrated this day by lighting Golden Temple. Also, the foundation stone of Golden Temple was laid on the day of Diwali in 1577.

Significance of Diwali in Jainism:

Festival of Diwali is of importance to the Jains as it is on this day that Lord Mahavira (Last Jain Tirthankar) attained Nirvana. It is said that Mahavira attained Nirvana in the presence of several Gods who enlightened Mahavira and eliminated darkness from his life. Also, Ganadhara Gautam Swami (Chief disciple of Mahavira) gained Kevalgyan (complete Knowledge) on this day.

Importance of Diwali in Buddhism:

Buddhists celebrate Diwali to mark the conversion of emperor Ashoka to Buddhism on this day. The festival is known as Ashoka Vijayadashami among the Buddhists and they celebrate it by praying and decorating the monasteries.

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PART II will be posted tomorrow

October 7th-MAHA NAVAMI

 

Maha Navami

Maha Navami  is today the Seventh October-a holy day
For all who practice Hinduism! Gift of  our Motherland!
MAHA NAVAMI means GREAT NINEH DAY! During the Dussehra Festival
Festival of Nine Nights-dedicated to Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati
Goddesses of Valour, Wealth and Wisdom- three most essential for all!
The society to be at peace and plenty, noble and harmonious!

Maha Navami festival dedicated to Maa Durga and her nine avatars.
People worship the different avatars of Durga in different parts
On this day, the Mahisasurmardini, who killed the buffalo demon,
Form of Durga is worshipped. on this auspicious Maha Navami,
Goddess killed the evil Mahisasur. Navami is the day to laud
The victory of good over evil.Devotees worship for the protection
Of their family from all the obstacles and difficulties in life.
Goddess Durga empowers her devotees to fulfill all their ambitions
attain success. Maha Navami is an auspicious day to start something new. Let us invoke their grace and blessings today!

October 6th-MAHA SAPTAMI

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Religions’ noble objective is to unite the entire humanity with the bonds of LOVE and HARMONY, RESPECT and REGARDS. In India our holy Motherland in particular, by our tradition and culture respect all Religions and coexist with the followers of all religions and with the freedom of worship enshrined in our great Constitution we have temples and churches, mosques and Gurdwaras are abound in all places-East to West and North to South!
Rightly our Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi always stressed upon religious unity and all Indians-Hindus and Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Jains all involved voluntarily in our freedom struggle under Gandhi’s leadership and won historic freedom purely with the weapon of NONVIOLENCE AND TRUTH.
Very nobly he sang Ramdun every day in his prayer meetings:
ரகுபதி ராகவ ராஜாராம்
பதீத பாவன சீதா ராம்
ஈஸ்வர அல்லா தேரே நாம்
சப்கோ சன்மதி தே பகவான்!
Sunday the sixth October today is MAHA SAPTAMI day -Seventh day of Festival of Nine Nights called DUSSEHRA and NAVRATRI.
The seventh day of the Navratri festival is celebrated as Maha Saptami. During the grand Durga Puja festivity of 9 days, there is vital importance of the seventh day which is observed as Maha Saptami. As per the Hindu calendar, the day is celebrated in the month of Chaitra during Shukla Paksha on Saptami. According to the Gregorian calendar, the day falls in the month of March or April.

What is the Significance of Maha Saptami?
The day of Maha Saptami holds great significance as devotees worship Goddess Durga and seek her divine blessings. During all the nine days of the Chaitra Navratri, devotees worship and offer prayers to Hindu Goddess Shakti. It is believed that during the festivity, nine different incarnations of Goddess Durga are revered and worshipped across India. The day is also celebrated as Gudi Padwa in the states of Maharashtra, Ugadi in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and various other southern states and also as the beginning of the Hindu New Year.

The festivity and celebrations of Maha Saptami begin with offering a sacred bath to Navapatrika. It comprises of nine different plants including Paddy, Banana, Jayanti, Colacassia, Pomegranate, Ashoka, Turmeric, Arum Plant, and Bel. All these plants are together tied with Koyala and Aparajita plants and then Navapatrika is formed. This represents the win of Goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura.

At the time of war with Mahishasura, Maa Durga created eight different war partners called ‘Ashtanayika’. These nine different plants are the symbols of these eight war partners and Goddess Durga.
TOMORROW the seventh October is Durgashtami:
2019 Mahashtami, Durgashtami
Mahashtami, also known as Maha Durga Ashtami, is second day of Durga Puja. Maha Ashtami is one of the most important days of Durga Puja. Durga Puja on Maha Ashtami begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachara Puja (षोडशोपचार पूजा) which is very much similar to Maha Saptami Puja except Prana Pratishtha (प्राण प्रतिष्ठा) which is done only once on Maha Saptami.

On Maha Ashtami nine small pots are installed and nine Shaktis of Durga are invoked in them. All nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped during Maha Ashtami Puja.

Young unmarried girls, being treated as Goddess Durga itself, are also worshipped on Maha Ashtami. Worshipping of young girls during Durga Puja is known as Kumari Puja. In many regions Kumari Puja is done during all nine days of Durga Navratri. Kumari Puja on a single day during Durga Puja is preferred on Maha Ashtami.

The legendary Sandhi Puja is also falls on Maha Ashtami. The time window of the last 24 minutes of Ashtami Tithi and the first 24 minutes of Navami Tithi is known as Sandhi Time or the holy juncture during Durga Puja. Sandhi time is considered the most auspicious time during whole Durga Puja. Sandhi Puja is the culmination point and the most important ritual of Durga Puja. It is customary to perform Balidan or animal sacrifice at this sacred juncture. Devotees who abstain from animal sacrifice perform symbolic Bali with vegetables like banana, cucumber or pumpkin. For Brahmins any type of animal sacrifice is prohibited by scriptures and Brahmin community does only symbolic Bali. Even the famous Belur Math in West Bengal does symbolic Bali with banana during Sandhi Puja. It is customary to light 108 earthen lamps during Sandhi Kaal.
Here is a poem composed by Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathiyar on Navratri in Tamil, its transliteration and translation:
1.உஜ்ஜயினீ, நித்ய கல்யாணி
ஓம் சக்தி ஓம் சக்தி ஓம் சக்தி (உஜ்ஜயினீ)
2. உஜ்ஜய காரண சங்கர தேவி
உமா சரஸ்வதி ஸ்ரீ மாதா ஸா (உஜ்ஜயினீ)
3. வாழி புனைந்து சங்கர தேவன்
தோழி, பதங்கள் பணிந்து துணிந்தனம் (உஜ்ஜயினீ)
4. சத்ய யுகத்தை அகத்தி லிருத்தி
திறத்தை நமக்கருளிச் செய்யும் உத்தமி. (உஜ்ஜயினீ)

TRANSLITERATION

1. Ujjayinnee nithya kalyaaNi!
Ohm Sakthi, Ohm Sakthi, Ohm Sakthi (ujjayinee)
2. Ujjaya kaaraNi sankara devee
Uma saraswathi sri maathaa sa (ujjayinee)
3. Vaazi punaindhu maheswaradhevan
Thozhi, padhangkaL paNindhu thuNindhanam (Ujjayinee)
4 Sathya yugaththai agaththi liruththi
tThiraththai namakkaruLich cheyyum uththami. (Ujjayinee)
TRANSLATION

1. Primal Goddess of readiness
Auspicious eternally
Mother Might of the sacred syllable!
2. Cause of readiness in us
Consort of Sankara,
Uma, Saraswathi, Mother Mahalakshmi!
3. Praising the companion of Maheswara
We bow at Her feet and get ready.
4. She i9s good, she gives us strength
And encapsulates in us the Age of Truth!

Let us on this auspicious festival of Nine Nights invoke the grace and blessings of Durga for valor, Lakshmi for Wealth and Saraswati for learning and knowledge- three eternal needs of human beings!
With this we end this week’s Sunday story and we shall meet as usual tomorrow. Till then GOODBYE!

Navratri golu-Doll show at Bangalore by Sharadha

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Navratri Golu Doll Show at US by Sruthi.

Saraswathi Pooja at Chennai by Srivalli

Lord Vigneswara Day-September 2nd.

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This is how Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar, greatest Tamil Nationalist, patriotic poet invokes the blessings of LORD VIGNESWARA:
கற்பக விநாயகக் கடவுளே, போற்றி!
ஸிற்பர மோனத் தேவன் வாழ்க!
வாரண முகத்தான் மலர்த்தாள் வெல்க!
ஆரண முகத்தான் அருட்பதம் வெல்க!
படைப்புக் கிறையவன்;பண்ணவர் நாயகன்,
இந்திர குரு எனது இதயத் தொளிர்வான்
சந்திர மவுலித் தலைவன் மைந்தன்
கணபதி தாளை மனத்தில் வைப்போம்.
குணமதிற் பலவாம்; கூறக் கேளீர்!
உட்செவிதிறக்கும்; அகக்கண் ஒளிதரும்;
அக்கினி தோன்றும்; ஆண்மை வலியுறும்;
திக்கெலாம் சென்று ஜயக்கொடி நாட்டலாம்;
கட்செவி தன்னைக் கையிலே எடுக்கலாம்;
விடத்தையும் நோவையும் வெம்பகை யதனையும்
துச்சமென் றெண்ணித் துயரிலா திங்கு
நிச்சலும் வாழ்ந்து நிலைபெற்றோங்கலாம்;
அச்சந் தீரும்.அமுதம் விளையும்;
வித்தை வளரும், வேள்வி ஓங்கும்;
அமரத் தன்மை எய்தவும்
இங்குநாம் பெறலாம்; இஃதுணர் வீரே!

TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH
Hail Lord – Karpaka – Vinaayaka;
Hail Deity of Divine Intelligence!
Hail flower4-feet of the Elephant-faced!
Hail His feet of Grace whose face is the Veda!
He is the God of Creation, Lord of bards!
Indra’s Guru, Son of Him who in me
Inly shines sporting the crescent in His crown!
Let us embosom the feet of Ganapathi;
For varied are the resulting virtues
To which you do now listen Inner ear
Will open; the eyes of soul will shine bright
Flame will issue; manliness will mature;
In all directions the Flag of Triumph
Can be surely unfurled; the venomous adder
Can be held in handby fierce enmity,
Ills and venom undaunted, can flourish
Very well, rid of sorrows; fear will cease;
Elixir will flow; arts and sacrifices
Will grow; immortality – here and now-
Can be attained; realise these to be true.

Pooja at Bangalore home.Photo N S Ramnath.

 

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