Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Atla Taddi

Atla Taddi:
One of the most important festivals of Telugu people is atla taddi. It comes after the Dasara festival celebration .It is celebrated on asvayuja bahula tadiya. Every unmarried girl dreams of her future husband, future married life. To fulfill those dreams they do some vrathas and pujas. Among those vrathams Atla taddi nommu is important. This is called as karva chauth in the north India.

Cultural Beliefs:
It is celebrated by girls crossed after 5 yrs. and woman. If we perform this vratha unmarried girls will get a good husband, if married the husband will remain healthy.In general this is celebrated till ten years completion of marriage. Completion of the vratha is marked as udyapana.They has to perform puja and has to give vayanalu to Muttayiduvulu (married ladies).

According to the legend, Narada maharshi advised gauri Devi to perform atla taddi to get Lord Shiva as her husband. The vrata is performed mainly for worshipping moon to obtain prosperity of woman, happiness in family.

Also there is an interesting story in the puranas.In olden days a king had a beautiful daughter named Kaveri. She has performed the atla taddi nomu with her friends with pure devotion. Everyone who has performed the puja along with her are blessed with handsome husbands but Kaveri used to get matches from ugly or old aged persons. She got vexed with this and went to forest and did severe penance. Lord Shiva and parvathi appeared before her then she yelled her pain to them. Then they told her that she made a mistake when doing the vratha.

As she was fasting during the vratha her brothers got worried. So they fired grass and they have shown this as moon to her in the mirror and made her to break the fast, because of this she is not getting a good husband. Lord Shiva and parvathi advised her to perform the vratha once more and disappeared. Kaveri went again home and performed the puja with great devotion and she got a handsome and brave husband.

Atla taddi Procedure:
Before atla taddi night 11 married women (considered as goddess) and one man (considered as goddess brother poturaju) has to be invited for the puja and dinner. While inviting them we have to give them oil, Sunni pindi(bath powder) and kunkudukai (Reetha) Soap nuts for taking head bath.

Morning need to get up early in the brahma muhurtha time and take head bath. Toranam has to be decorated to the house.Prepare rice, mudda pappu (plain dal), gongura chutney, curd and eat the food with ghee before sunrise. Fasting has to be done till evening even without drinking water. One can break the fast after the moon is visible. 

11 married women and the one who is having this puja have to fast. Women swing in the uyyala (swing). Women sing folk songs like atla taddi aaratloi, mudda pappu mudatloi. They apply gorintaku (mehandi) on their palms.

Evening puja has to be performed for Lord Ganesh (made of turmeric).Keep undrallu as naivedyam. Gauri Devi puja has to be performed. Kalisam has to put before god. Deepam (made of rice flour and ghee has to be lit in front of goddess gowri. Gauri Ashtothra satanamavali or Sahasranamam has to be recited. Keep Atlu (Dosas) as naivedyam

After puja Blessings has to be taken from married woman. vayanam has to be given to all the woman invited. Vayunam consists of 11 atlu (dosas),blouse piece, one fruit, Pasupu and Kum Kum,tamboolam. The lady giving the vayanam tells “ichinamma vayanam” (I gave her the vayanam), and the lady receiving tells “puchukuntina amma vayanam” (I took the vayanam). After giving the vayanam the lady who has given has to take blessings from them.

For dinner food has to be prepared with 11 varieties of vegetables known as dappalam. mudda pappu(plain dal), gongura pachadi, pulihora palatalikalu (sweet with rice flour, jaggery and milk),ghee and curd.

The above process has to be done for 10 years. After completion of ten years Udyapana has to be done. After Udyapana there is no need to observe the vratha.

Interesting Facts:
The vayunam has to be given to the 11 ladies who already took this vayanam.
While giving vayanam the woman who is giving and taking the vayanam has to cover the vayanam with their saree pallus.

Scientific Reasons:
  • Among the nine planets mars (Kujudu) likes Dosas, if we put dosa as naivedyam then kuja dosha is reduced and relation grows between couple. Dosas has to prepared with rice and black gram(minumulu) as they are charity for moon and rahu as per astrology.
  • Applying gorintaku (Mehendi) reduce the harmful bacteria on skin. Cools the skin. 
  • To overcome problems during pregnancy atla taddi vayanam has to be given. 
  • Fasting during the vratha is observed because it results in autolysis a biological process. This breaks down the fat stored in the body to produce energy. A wife fasts for the increase in life expectancy for her husband. Fasting by wife leads to higher reproductive longevity and for higher sexual activity. the wife increase in sexual activity is directly proportional to her husband’s sexual activity, which in turn means, husband is going to have higher life expectancy due to increase in sexual activity. 
  • The Food for dinner consists of pulihora(yellow tamarind rice) that reduces the impact of kuja. Curd will give better profits in business. palatalikalu prepared with jaggery  will  fulfill unfulfilled desires and cures diseases. Ghee is used for good health, energy and longevity.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pitru Paksha-Ritual to Dead Ancestors

Pitru Paksha:
It is a ritual performed by parents or relatives for the departed souls of dead ancestors. Tarpanam and Shradha are performed on all Amavasya days. The most important period to perform Shradha is the Pitru Paksha period during the Krishna Paksha ie in the Ashvin month ie September – October.

Cultural Beliefs:
The Shradh that is performed on the Ashwin Pitru Paksha touches the ancestors instantly and their souls will rest in peace. In Hindu Puranas especially in the Agni Purana, Garuda Purana and Matysa Purana details about the Shradh are mentioned. Yama, the god of death is the one has explained the importance of Shradh performed on Pitru Paksha.

As per Matysa Pura, Agni, Vasus and Rudras act as mediators during Pitru Paksha and take the rituals and food offered to ancestors. The ancestors will bless the one's who perform the shradha ritual. In some places, the last day of the Shraddh is of great importance. The ritual is conducted near temples or on river banks.

Karna the hero of mahabhartha has never ever saod to any one who asked him for help.He has donated wealth and done many kinds of charity except donation of food.When he lef the world and reached heaven there was only material world and no food at all.He then realized that he has not done any kind of food dontation.He prayed god of death to sent him back on earth fpr 14 days to make up his deficiency.Karna then came to earth and fed the poor and brahmins for 14 days of Mahalaya Paksha.On his return to heaven he had food and all kinds of benefits from the deaparted souls.

How to Perform?
In the fifteen days period of PitruPaksha, people have to honor their ancestors with a pure heart on the thithi of their ancestor's death. They should involve some spiritual practices like meditation, chanting mantras. By invoking the blessings of the ancestors it results in good health, wealth, courage and protection.

This is a powerful period in which persons make every possible effort to satisfy their Pitras in order to attain wisdom, protection, loving life. Along with this, people should avoid to start any new project or major undertakings during this time. 

Interesting Facts:
People should do special care of this ritual in order to eliminate conflicts among the family members.people can avoid other problems like  unemployment, serious illness, unsuccessful marriage life, developing addictions, giving birth to a physically or mentally handicapped child etc.
  • People should not start any new activities like settling marriages, or any new other projects.
  • People fast on the day. Non-veg food has to be avoided
  • People should not consume onion, garlic, outside food, processed foods, drumstick, etc.
  • People should donate food & clothes to the poor people in compliance with their needs and convenience.
  • Shaving should be avoided during the entire 15 days of Mahalaya Amavasya.
  • Individuals should read some puranas like Garuda Puranam, Nachiketa story from Upanishads and Ganga Avatarana chapter from Shrimad Valmiiki Raamaayanam.
Science:
In this period lot of diseases like viral, jaundice are spread. Mosquitoes are spread in large numbers which brings diseases. People have to care of hygiene and cleanliness and should clean their houses. So this is the reason there are not advised to start any new activities.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rudraksha


Rudraksha:
Rudraksh is a holy seed which is used as a beed chain(mala) for chanting certain repetitive prayer's in Hinduism. Rudra - aksha means Rudra (Lord Shiva) Aksha (Eyes) this Sanskrit name gives meaning as it is originated from Lord shiva eyes. Usage of these beeds brings calmness in mind,body & soul.

Cultural Beliefs:
Story behind this rudrask is Lord shiva went for a long Yogic meditation(Tapas) to kill Demon Tripura in an extream emotional happiness tears came out from eyes of shiva and reached the earth and grown as rudraskh tree. Rudraskh central seed varies in different sizes(1-21) they are called eka -mukhi(one face),dwi-mukhi(two-face),tri-mukhi(three -face) Etc. 

Due to its mystical and divine properties its shows a positive effect in reduction of stress,anxiety,depression and blood pressure.Significant research stated that when rudraksh was placed around the neck region due to its electro magnetic and inductive properties it regulates the heart beat and ensures normal blood circulation in the human body. It increases concentration & fertility

Interesting Facts:
The name rudraksha also signifies “under the protection of Lord Rudra.”Rudr√£ksh are purified before use by first washing with coconut water, then milk, ghee, yogurt and finally water.The round shaped beed is called as rudraksha and oval shaped beed is called as bhadraksha.

Rudraksh acts as a powerful Armour around the individual and keeps the mind calm and healthy. Yogi's wear rudraksh because it gaurds as a protection shield and gives a pleasant sleep irrespective of place where they sleep. 


Rudraksh was popularly found in Indonesia(java),Nepal,India. Nepal rudraksh is somewhat bigger in size with dark color texture when compared to rudraksh from Java. Rudraksh from Nepal & Java have a natural hole in middle. But when it comes to healing powers there is no difference between Nepal,Java & India. 


The State produced by rudraksh will give brain boosts the confidence and inner strength of the wearer significantly and as a result the heartbeat, circulation, function of endocrine glands and activity of neurons and respiration is normalized in the physical body.

Rudraksh will give positive effect to the wearer within 48hours after wearing with proper puja.Rudraksh starts working central nervous system and give positive affect on human neurophysiology. Vedas also show there are more powerful Rudraksha Beads from 1 Mukhi to 21 Mukhi each capable of aligning our mind and the positive energies around us to specific aspects of health, happiness, spiritual fulfillment, prosperity, creativity, intuitive ability, material fulfillment, family harmony, attraction, self empowerment and fearless life. 

How to Find a Real Rudraksh: 
Natural rudraksh was Reddish Brown/Pale yellow in color
when rudraksh was kept in boiling water for some time it will not change with regard color,texture or shape.
When rudraksh was kept in a glass of water it will not float on water.
When rudraksh was kept in between two copper coins due it's magnetic properties it will move slightly.
When rudraksh was kept in a glass, with little amount of water covering rudraksh and place thermometer and record temperature after 30 minutes significant raise in temperature(1 or 2 degrees).
When rudraksh is kept in milk, the milk will not spoil even after 2 to 3 days. ekmukhi rudraksh will keep milk fresh even for 5 days.
The best way is to take x-ray photograph to count the number of mukhis.

Scientific Reasons:
Scientifically, the rudrakasha beads are dielectric as they store electrical energy and also possess permanent magnetic properties. The dielectric and magnetic properties of the rudraksha seeds impart positive charges in the bioelectrical system of the human body in a life­-supporting manner. As a result, the electrical make-up of the body changes.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Dasara


Dasara:
Dasara is a Hindu festival celebrated for ten days in the month of September or October. Dasara is also known as Vijaya Dashami i.e. success of Good over Bad. Dasara is also called as Navaratri, the first nine days mother Durga is worshipped in different forms. On the 10th day they honor Durga.

Cultural Beliefs: 
As per the Hindus tradition, People believe that three forms of Goddess Durga namely Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi and Mahakali are the Shakti energies of (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).

There are many stories for Dasara festival in the Hindu mythology.

1) Lord Rama king of Ayodhya has killed Ravana who took illegally sita to his lanka kingdom. Lord Rama has performed “Chandi Home” and invoked Goddess Durga blessings on Ashvin Shukla Dashami. Rama defeated Ravana. People perform “Aditya homa” & “shanti yagna” to create powers in the atmosphere around the house that will keep the house clean and healthy. The purpose of the yagna is to get rid of ten bad qualities namely Lust(Kama), Anger(Krodha), Delusion(Moha),Greed (Lobha), Pride(Mada), Jealousy (Matsara), Mind (Manas), Intellect(Buddhi),Will(Chitta) & Ego(Ahankara). 

Sundara kanda is recited for nine days. Some perform the Aahavaneeya Agni, Grahapatya Agni or Dakshina Agni yagnas for three times a day. Also the aditya homas with surya mantras are recited. They believe that these mantras keep the heart, brain and the digestive functions in balance in the months of winter when there is inadequate sunlight.

2) Demons (Asuras) tried to defeat gods and capture heaven. One of the demons named Mahishasura was very powerful. He created destruction on earth. All the gods decided to join their energies into a single energy and gave form to Shakti. A powerful female virgin with ten hands is emerged as shakti. All the gods gave their weapons to Shakti which is in the form Goddess Durga. Durga with ten weapons in ten hands riding on lion has battled for nine days and nights and finally on the tenth day of Ashwin shukla paksha, she defeated the Demon Mahishasur.

3) Pandavas lost in the dice game with kaurvas and had to proceed to vanas (forests) for twelve years and one year of agnyatwasa(hiding from enemies) .pandavas were in the forest for 12 years hiding their weapons in a hole of Shami tree before entering the kingdom. After the completion of agnyatwasa year on the vijayadashami day they defeated kauravas.From that day the shami tress and weapons are worshipped as a symbol of victory.

Interesting Facts:
We have nine planets Sun, Moon , Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, North Node and South Node

The Human body have nine openings  2 for seeing - Eyes(Chakshu), 2 for hearing - Ears(Karna), 2 for breathing - Nostrils(Nasika), 1 for speech & eating – Mouth(Noaru), 1 for Malotsarjan - Anus &  1 for Mutrotsarjan – urinary opening.

Navaratri means nine nights. We have to seek blessings from the nine planets to control our nine openings. In the festival time all the planets has to be worshipped      and the openings should be cleaned with heart the mind and soul. If all planets favors and the openings of the human body are under control, the human life is a great success.

The first nine days are for cleansing the impurities in order to experience the divinity. On the last day we have to worship the weapons commonly known as “Ayudha puja”. The Divine is worshipped like this so that one can progress spiritually.

Nine Days of Dasara:
The following are the nine forms of Goddess Durga for the ten days of the festival:
Day 1 - Sailaputri : Durga is of two arms and carries a  three-pronged spear and lotus and sits on a bull. She is the rebirth of sati who is the Daughter of the Daksha and wife of lord Shiva. She was born as parvathi in her second birth.
Day 2 - Brahmacharini : Durga is of  two arms and a rosary and a water pot in her hand. She is very peaceful in the meditation form.
Day 3 - Chandraghanta : Durga is of ten arms and rides a tiger. She carries bow, pot, lotus, rosary and sword. She is Beautiful like the Moon.
Day 4 - Kusmanda : Durga is of eight arms and rides a tiger. She holds a pot, arrow, lotus,disc and rosary. This form brings happiness also it is believed that darkness ends when she smiles.
Day 5 - Skandamata : Durga is of four arms and rides on lion. She holds lotus, pot and bell. She will be blessing with one hand. She is the mother of Skanda(Lord karthikeya), who is the leader for army against evil.
Day 6 - Katyayani : Durga is of four arms and rides a lion. She holds a sword, shield and lots. She is born to the age Katya. She is another aspect of Mother Kali. She gives love and never hesitates to rise up when in anger.
Day 7 - Kalaratri : Durga is of four arms and carries a sword, a weapon and noose. She rides a donkey. She is cruel and violent. This tells us life has dark side also.
Day 8 - Mahagauri : Durga is of  four arms and carries a weapon and hand drum. She rides a bull. She is the Great White Goddess. Her two hands will be in blessing posture. She is pure.
Day 9 - Siddhidatri : Durga will be sitting on a lotus holding lotus, book, mace and disc. She is surrounded by gandhravas, demons, gods and yakshas. She is of great spiritual Powers and knowledge.

In the south, Special Alankarams of Goddess Durga are done at , Goddess Kanaka Durga temple(Vijayawada). The Alankarams may change every year according to tidis and Nakshatrams. The Alankarams of Durga Devi are
Swarna Kavachalakruta,Bala Tripura Sundari, Annapurna, Gayatri, Lalitha Tripura Sundari,Saraswathi,Maha Lakshmi, Dura Devi, Mahishasura Mardhini and Raja Rajeswari.

Colors for Dasara:
There is tradition of colors. Nine colors represent the nine avatars of Goddess Durga. The colors are Green, orange, yellow, blue, pink, grey and royal blue. On the tenth day Red color is used.


Significance:
Dasara is mainly selected for starting new ventures like business, construction activities for new buildings House warming, buying new vehicle, buying gold etc. Many parents start their children learning activity. Farmers start new crops and start work in the fields, machines are worshipped, traders worship their account books, intellectuals worship Pens & Computers and children their school books. Buses, trucks and huge machineries in factories are all decorated and worshipped.

Scientific Reasons:
Dasara falls in between two natural seasons i.e. between winter and the summer time. When season changes the planets and atmosphere are helpful for the progress of chemical compositions in humans. This is the season where people suffer from many viral and bacterial diseases like small pox and viral fever. Also there is more moisture for germs to grow and spread. Precautions have to be taken care to stop them from spreading. So people perform yagnas during the navaratri time which purifies the air by killing all the bacteria, germs and viruses. It maintains the level of life by giving air (Praana Vayu)

Fasting is a good method in the festival time so that it keeps regulating the body. Diet balance and giving it sometime so that the body can recover itself from the seasons change. We should consume milk fruits, nuts, etc. which helps in building our body because they are more nutritious than the regular food we are consuming. Self-purification can be obtained fasting and to overcome our senses. 

Read More about Navaratri