Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Aum Namah Shivaya

In a few hours Krisha Chaturdashi of Magha will begin, please Chant the Shadakshari mantra - Aum Namah Shivaya and remember the Adi Guru for all His blessings on us.

Aum Namah Shivaya!

Shubha Maha Shiva Ratri!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apurva - Dhak (drum) - ঢাক

Andanda Utsav -Devi Durga

Dear readers,

It is again that time of the year when the fall colors bring a sweet flavor of festivity. Yes, it is Durgotsav (Durga Puja).

I wish all readers a blessed Durga Pujo.

Two videos below will surely make your day.

~ Souvik

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Art - Indian but not in India

Dear readers,

I was once told that ancient Indian art is preserved outside India than in India.

I saw it as a true statement when I visited the Art Institute of Chicago recently.

From 1st, 2nd century CE to 17th., 18th. century CE, India art is displayed in the main hall in the Art Institute.

Some (very few) of the pictures I took are being put on this.

~ Souvik

Ganesha with attendants, from India.

Uma-Maheshwara, Madhya Pradesh, India, 9th century CE

Vinadhara, Uttarakhand, India, 10/11th century CE

Ekamukhalingam, Uttar Pradesh, India, 5th century CE

Brahma, Cambodia

Vishnu, Nepal

Durga, Madhya Pradesh

Art Institute of Chicago - Public Notice 3

Dear readers,

If you are in Chicago, please visit the Art Institute of Chicago. It is free on Thursdays between 5PM - 8 PM CDT.

When you enter the Art Institute, the first thing that will grab your attention is the "Public Notice 3" by Jitesh Khallat.

He brings a very interesting point to public notice. It was on September 11, 1893 that Swami Vivekananda spoke in Chicago, IL, USA about religious tolerance and it was on September 11, 108 years later that the world saw the evil result of religious intolerance (terrorism) in form of WTC.

The speech of Vivekanda can be heard from the below link -

The same speech is on the stairway of the main hall in the Art Institute of Chicago.

~ Souvik

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Aradhana -Saptharisheeswara - The Eshwara (God) of the Seven Sages

Sri Saptharisheeswarar temple is located in Thiruthavathurai (Lalgudi), Tiruchi district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is in this temple that the seven sages (Saptarishis) worshipped Shiva to remove the curse on them.The legend goes that Kartikeya (Murugan, Skanda) after killing Tarakasura was fondly given to the Sapatarishis for nurturing. However, Arundhati and other woves of the Sapatarishis were a little negligent of their duties towards Skanda.This came to the notice of the Seven Sages, the progenitors of the human race and the wise ones infuriated by their spouses cursed them and asked them to leave home.When Kartikeya came to know of this, he in turn was in rage because of the misconduct of the Saptarishis towards their wives and in turn cursed them to be born on Earth. It was only after doing severe penance at the temple location of the Saptaisheshwara that the wise ones achieved the favor of Shiva and returned back to their heavenly abode and united with their spouses.
The sanctum of the Saptharisheeswarar temple is facing west and the Amman shrine the east. The five-tier majestic Rajagopuram with beautiful sculptures welcomes the devotees.
As one enters the temple via the Thiruvathirai mandapam, one can see the 12 rasis engraved on the ceiling. Separate shrines for Mahalakshmi and Saraswathi in the Maha Mandapam are special features. Close-by are the idols of Athri, Brigu, Pulasthiyar, Vasishtar, Gowthamar, Angeerasar and Marichi offering worship to the Lord.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

A word or two

Dear readers,
Please accept my heartfelt apologies for not being able to devote much time on the blog as I could do (and did) earlier.
The reasons are manifold but I would like to reiterate that I remain the same person with same values and the same servant of the Lord.
I also apologize to many who had commented on my blog articles with questions and queries but I could not respond to them earlier.
I have responded to many posts today, please do check the article you commented on to see my response on them.
Solah Somvar Vrat has become a world-wide movement today. My friends, my colleagues, my lawyer, my doctor, my realtor, my on-line friends, my readers, my relations, my clients - everyone is getting benefited by this vrat and I am so glad that Shiva gave me an opportunity to spread this word, the little that I could.
Please do the Solah Somvar Vrat, please spread the word so that everyone can be benefited by this vrat.
I will soon write from the numerous mails I have received from people all around the world on this.
Love and share love!
~ Souvik

Ananda Utsav

Dear readers,
Happy Janmashtami to you and your loved ones!
"Yatra Yogeshwarah Krishno, Yatra Partho Dhanurdhara:Tatra Shreer Vijayo Bhooti:, Dhruvaa Neetir Matir Mama."

Wherever there is Yogeshwar Krishna and Dhanurdhar (the Great Archer) Arjuna, there exists prosperity, success and justice.
~ Souvik

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Adbhut Sur

Ricardo Calazans from Brazil wanted me to share his Shiva bhajan with you on my blog.

Wish you all a blessed Shiva Ratri!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Ananda Utsav - How to celebrate Shiva Ratri?

Feb 11 night (Feb 11 around 15:00 hrs CST to Feb 12 18:00 hrs CST) CST is Maha Shiva Ratri.

People in USA should not get confused with Indian time slots of festivals.

Festivals be it anywhere are based on the soli-lunar calender. Mahashivaratri is celebrated on Krishna Chaturdasi night in the month of Magha.

How to celebrate?

Sanatan Dharma has rules of worship. Many stick to rules and I respect their views as well. However, I don't believe in rules which I don't understand. For me what matters is devotion, what matters is doing the right thing, what matters is what makes me feel closer to Him - my Shiva!

Worship is a very personal thing. For me what matters most is devotion. If my intention is clean and my devotion profound I can be closer to God more than one who is ritualistic but doesn't have the intention and devotion as I do. This is my belief.

Shiva is all about Love. There cannot be any Shiva if there is no Shakti and vice versa. Shiva doesn't exist without Shakti. When Sati self-sacrified herself in Daksha's Yajna, Shiva took samadhi. The same samadhi was broken only the reincarnation of Shakti again as Parvati. Thus, if anyone wishes to please Shiva, one should try to please his/her loved ones. Shiva is also the Guru. He is the Adi Guru. Thus, in life, Shiva stands for our teachers and our elders.

Understanding Shiva requires de-understanding one self and re-understanding others who matter in our lives.

I can give you twenty mantras and a manual of rituals to do on Shiva ratri but all that is useless unless you understand the true philosophy of Shiva, the true essence of Shiva Tattwa - which is love.

So, if you want to really please Shiva on Shiva ratri, just show affection to your loved ones, show that you care, give a call to an old teacher, shed a tear drop remembering your grandparents - that will bring you blessings far more than doing a ritualistic puja of 45 minutes in which neither understood the mantras nor understood the whole purpose behind the ritual.

Love your loved ones and share goodness around!

Aum Namah Shivay!

~ Souvik