Thursday, February 28, 2013

Madi - Traditional Outfit

Madi is the outfit (saree) worn by the Brahmin woman for doing pooja, preparation of food and the time of rituals. Madi is practiced only in Brahmins. Wearing Madi is considered the person to be pure in body.

Cultural Beliefs:
In Brahmin community, ancestors have introduced custom of Madi while cooking food and performing pooja for the purity of physical body.

Madi Instructions:
  • After taking bath, put on washed clothes.
  • The clothes should be untouched by other persons.
  • Collect only fresh water to cook the food and to wash the vegetables.
  • All the food grains like salt, sugar, rice and other items has to be touched when we are in madi.

Interesting Facts:
  • The yarn that is used for madi saree does not involve killing of the silk worms, so that it won’t bring any sin after wearing.
  • Cow Milk is considered to be non-madi as it is the purest.
  • Food cooked has to be offered first to god and then we need to consume it.

  • Madi is used for purity of the physical body and a clean mind.
  • By wearing Madi, cleanliness is maintained.
  • Bacteria, germs can enter the food if we don’t maintain cleanliness.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cow - The Sacred Animal

Cow is a sacred animal for Hindus. The cow is called as Holy Cow. Cow’s milk, ghee, dung, etc. has great powers in developing the human for his wisdom and intelligence. In south India temples are found near the temples.

Cultural Beliefs:
There are many things in the scriptures about cows. In the Rig-Veda, the cow is referred as Goddess, also called as Go-Mata and Kamadhenu. The cow is considered as the mother of all gods. Lord Krishna was fond of cows.  In the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan cow is emerged). every part of the cow has religious significance. The horn represents the gods, face represents the sun and moon, shoulders represent Agni and legs represent Himalayas.

According to the mythology Brahma created Brahmins and cows at the same time. Brahmins to write the scriptures and recite Vedas, cow to give milk and many other beneficial things for the humans.

In Mahabharata Yaksa asked Yudhisthira about nectar, then Yudhisthira replied “Cow’s milk is nectar.”

Cows are workshipable in heaven and are superior. A person who is devoted to cow can attain whatever he desires. A person who desires to get children, wealth, education, religion, happiness should worship cows and do service to the cow. The cow does welfare to human beings and is incomparable with anything.

Important Facts:
  • Every outcome from the Cow is good and pious for the human life.
  • The products made of milk are used in home/yagnya, Pujas.
  • Cow dung is mixed along with water and is used in front of the houses before placing Rangoli early in the morning in many rural areas.
  • Govatsa Dwadashi is the day to worship the cow along with her calf. This is called as Guru Dwadasi in Andhra. The festival is observed on dwadashi Krishna paksha of Karthika Masam.
  • Slaughter of cow is strictly prohibited as it is a crime as per ancients.
  • During house warming ceremony the cow is taken inside the new house.
Scientific Reasons:
  • Cow milk contains Proteins, Carbohydrates, minerals Vitamin-A (keratin-yellow substance), B, C, D and E.
  • Milk is nourishment for growing children.
  • Cow milk protects from HIV Melborne. The pregnant cows vaccinated with HIV protein, after giving birth the first milk produced contains colostrum which protects its newborn from diseases.
  • Cow milk is easily digestible and acts as a brain tonic by reaching the nerves.
  • Cow Milk is very beneficial for heart patients.
  • The cholesterol patient can use cow ghee as it does not increase the cholesterol.
  • Cow ghee has vast power to protect from the ill effect radioactive waves for the human body.
  • Cow ghee of 10grams used in human will produce 1 ton of oxygen. Ethylene oxides, propylene oxide, Foramaladeyore are produced when cow’s ghee is burned with rice. Ethylene oxide and Formaldehyde are used in operation theaters as this gives immunity against. Sacrifice done with cow ghee purifies the atmosphere and raises rain (Propylene oxide)
  • Paralysis and Asthma can be controlled by cow butter.
  • Cow butter is a blood purifier and raises the beauty.
  • Cow urine contains Phosphorus, Salts, Carbonic Acid, Calcium, Iron, lactose and Potash
  • Many medicines are made from cow urine to cure diseases as it contains 24 types of salts.
  • The urine is disinfected, purified the atmosphere and will improve the fertility of land (best fertilizer).
  • Cow urine will kill the germs and protects from atomic emissions.
  • Cow’s Urine is sprinkled all over the house for purification.
  • Adding small amount of Cow urine to water bucket and having bath creates an active energy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Adikha Masam- The Additional Month

Adhikha Masam:
Adika Masam is the 13th month (extra month) as per the Hindu lunar calendar. This Month comes to  equalize the solar and lunar calenders.The year will be having solar calendar(365 days) and Lunar calendar(354 days).The difference in the days makes the additional month between the two calendars. An Adhikha masam comes for every 32 months and is followed mainly by the people from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Cultural Beliefs:
Once Goddess Lakshmi Devi has asked Lord Vishnu (Srihari), how to perform the Adika Masam Pooja and danams. Lord Vishnu explained her that he is the god of Adikha Masam, also named as Purushottama. People who perform good deeds like Japam, Homam will bring good benefits and for people who does not do anything will bring bad fate and grief due to the loss of a son.

If not possible to perform during the whole month at least they should do on Krishna   paksha   Astami,   Navami,   chaturdashi,   Dwadashi,   pournami, chaturdashi etc.
A Brahmin named kaushika had a son, Maitreya who was addicted to drinking. One day in the forest Maitreya killed a Brahmin by name sourashtra and snatched all the money from him. After that the whole city as burnt as Maitreya has killed the Brahmin. Maitreya death took place. He was taken to Yama lokam by the Yama doothas and was thrown into hell for more than 10000 years.

After some period of time, Kaushila came to know about his son and started searching all the Shastras to find a remedy for killing the Brahmin. Then he performed the Vartha and gave 33danams. His son was saved from the hell.

Adhikha Masam Duties:
  • Getting up early and doing bath in rivers or wells.
  • Fast till night and eat food at night.
  • Don’t ask anybody anything.
  • Giving tamboolam danam to Brahmins,removes poverty.
  • Charity (Danam) has to be given on all the days. If not possible on all the days we can give on purnami, dwasahi and chaturdashi.
  • Danam of fruits and foods like Rice, jaggery,ghee.
  • Adikha Masam begins on Shudda padya and ends on Amavasya day.
  • Adhikha Masam is also known as Purshottama (Lord Vishnu is the head of this Masam) Masam and Mala (sins) Masam. Adhikha Masam is dedicated to Lord Krishna.
  • Among the Dwadasa Adityas there will be Aditya but in Adikha Masam there is no Aditya.
  • No festivals and functions are conducted during the adikha Masam.
  • Any Japam, Danam (charity) performed during this month will give extra benefits.
Interesting Facts:
  • In Adika Masam Tirupati Brahmotsavams will be conducted twice.
  • Fasting during Adika Masam will be very beneficial when compared with other days.
  • We should not perform auspicious activities such as installing god idols (devatha pratishta), marriage, Upanayanam, house warming (gruha pravesham) and all vrathams (except Ekadashi, Chaturmas).Golden womb (Hiranya Garbha) danam and pilgrimages are strictly prohibited.
  • Other functions and rituals like worshipping god, Sandhya Vandanam, seemantham (baby shower), Shardam (offering to the dead) can be done normally.
Scientific Reasons:
  • Solar Year is defined as one rotation of earth around the sun in its orbit. Due to moon rotation around the earth, lunar months are defined. But we can't say 12months = 1year based on moon rotation. Based on Sun, Moon, Earth ancient people developed lunar day, Months and Years. Solar months are defined as a measure based on movement of Sun.
  • Sun will change every zodiac sign (Aries, Taurus, etc.) in a span of 30 days this known as zodiac transit or zodiac constellation. But at sometimes Sun will stay 60 days in one zodiac sign and causes extra month. The first 30days are considered as Extra month("Adhikha Masam ").
  • Actual cause of this extra month is due to moon rotation. Sun will travel all zodiac signs in exactly one year(12months) but moon  will complete a month in 29days 12hours 43 minutes this makes difference when calculating a year. Moon will travel 13 degrees 20Minutes a day. The exact difference between Sun and Moon is 1- 13 degrees 20 minutes equal to 12 degrees 20 minutes this called as Lunar Day("Tithi"). One Lunar day is approx. equal to a Normal Day. 1month = 30 Lunar days(Tithi), 1 year = 360 Lunar Days but there exist only 354 days according to moon rotation. Moon will stay with one star in a day we have 27 stars = 27 days. 27days * 12 = 354days. This is because moon will not maintain constant speed while rotating around earth in a year.
  • Earth will rotate around sun exactly 365 days 6 hours 11 minutes 31 seconds. But Moon will rotate in 354 days. There is approx. 11 days difference between Earth and moon rotation around Sun. if earth rotate 19 times around Sun that is  19* 12 = 228 Months,  Moon rotates 235 times around earth and Sun. Because of this moon is rotating 7 months extra in its orbit. Our ancients stipulated a formula that for every 32.5 Solar Months there is One Extra lunar month is occurring.
  • If one extra month was occurred it will take another 28 months to occur another extra month thereafter it will occur in 34,34,35,28 months respectively.
  • Traditions says that in this extra month we can do our daily routines except not to start any special or auspicious celebrations (Marriage, House construction, Etc.). People strictly pray Lord Shiva and Vishnu and do meditation, donations, river bathing, visiting sacred shrines. People who are doing Chaturmas vrat need to do 5 months with inclusion of extra month.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gothram - The Family Name

Gothram is classification for descent through the male line and identifying the families. Gothram is the Root Person in a male ancestry. Marriages are fixed in India according to the gothram system. Gothra Matching is important in the hinduisum.Marriage between similar gothram’s is prohibited strictly.

Cultural Beliefs:
Among Brahmins the gothra system was started,a system to identify the families.The gothra system was from the seven sages namely Angirasa, Atri, Gautam, Kashyapa, Bhrigu, Vasistha, and Bharadwaja.

As per the ancients, the classification came into existence in the Vedic period to avoid marriages between the blood relatives and has strict rules to know who can marry which ancestry. The custom was first established by the Aryans to identify the particular family.
During the rituals and ceremony the ancestors are honored and given homage. Wedding with the same gothram are avoided for impure matrimony. Females when married belong to the husband gothram.

Interesting Facts:
  • The system is developed for changing social rules and laws and became more important for finalizing a wedding in the modern society.
  • It is necessary to first inquire about the gothram of the bride and groom before wedding alliance. If the gothram is different the alliance will bring happiness, prosperity and progeny for the family.
  • As per astrology the longitudes of the lagnas of the bride and groom from the different Gothram, bestow outstanding effects on their lives.
  • In the Gothram, GO (cow), tram (Shed) which means cow-shed protecting the male line. Cows are sacred animals in Hinduism.

Scientific Reasons:
  • Marriage between blood relatives (same gothram) can lead to genetic disorders and hybrid DNA combinations.
  • Humans have 23 chromosome pairs, in each pair of Chromosomes one is from the father and the other comes from the mother. In each cell we have 46 Chromosomes of which 23+23 are from father and mother.
  • Among these 23 pairs one pair (sex chromosome) will decide the gender of the child.
  • If the chromosome is a XX - girl, XY- boy. X is for the female attributes and y is for the male attributes.
  • Only Y chromosomes are inherited for male child and are preserved throughout the male line .Females never have the Y chromosome as they do not carry.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Planets in Astrology

Planets in Astrology:
The entire life (horoscope) of a person connects an individual around the planets. The planets have significance on the human lives. The position of planets at the time of birth influences the individual life. Astrology of a person’s revolves around the twelve houses of the person's horoscope. The solar system consists of nine planets which revolve around the sun. Without the planetary effect nothing exists in this universe even the five elements (Earth, water, Fire, air, space). The planets have the supreme power upon the entire world.
Cultural Beliefs:
As per ancients, the planets are gods, who is the cause for the happiness and sorrow and for the existence. The most powerful are the sun and the moon god. Venus was the companion of the moon and was very beautiful. Mercury is the messenger of gods. Mars is the god of war. Jupiter is the great god.

The planets were called as Navagrahas, which will influence the living being's actions (karma). Grahas were formed to destroy the demons and to sustain the Gods to establish faith.

The incarnations of gods are as follows:
Vamana- Jupiter
Parashurama- Venus
Koorma- Saturn
Varaha- Rahu

Astrology has excluded planets Neptune and Pluto and has included Rahu and Ketu and has the same effect. These planets will stay in own sign for a long time.

As per the Bhavishyat Puranam , People who work ship the planets and offer some naivedhyam will get rid of all the sufferings, griefs facing and will be blessed.We have to face the good and bad equally according to our previous birth deeds known as Karma, which cannot be escaped. The things will happen whatever is written on our forehead. The results will move through the planets’  effects.

Important Facts:
The planets position of the sun and the moon in twelve houses is decisive.
The day stars are Saturn, Jupiter and the sun and masculine in gender.
The night stars Moon, Mars and Venus and feminine in gender.
Mercury is for day and night and belongs to both the genders.
Each planet has influence according to the shape and distance of longitude. After the birth of a child, the planets take over the parts of the body on the basis of their speed. Based on the Dasha and antardasha the individual tends to behave and the body will act as per the significance of the planets .Each planet has its own color as per the astrology.

Every day is special according to the planetary vibrations. The week on a day represents the planets. Food consumed on the respective days can bear the vibrations and can gain benefits well.
Sun-Sunday: All fruits and plants.
Moon-Monday: watermelon, pumpkin and cucumber
Mars-Tuesday: Mango, dates and pineapple
Mercury- Wednesday: all kinds of food
Jupiter- Thursday: Lemon, orange and banana
Venus-Friday: Nuts such as badam, pista, almond.
Saturn-Saturday: all kinds of foods. Especially food prepared with oil

Ravi - Gur, red pulses, kesar (saffron), chandan, wheat, red fruits, red sweetmeats.
Moon - Rice, milk, curd, ghee, salt, sujji, white sweetmeats, sugar, cashew nuts, radishes
Mangal - Red Masoor daal (red lentil pulses), Gur (jaggery), pomegranates.
Budha - Green Moong (split green gram), torai, ghia, parwal (pointed gourd), pumpkin, green fruits, green sweetmeats.
Guru - Yellow laddu, chana daal, Gur, yellow fruits and sweets.
Sukra - Rice, sugar, sujji, white sweet meats, white fruits.
Shani - Black urad, mustard oil, gur, black til, black flowers, black fruits, black sweetmeats, black chana, satnaza.
Rahu/Ketu - Black urad, black til, black soap, black sweets

Pooja for planets:
We have to pray planets and offer naivedyam with devotion even if the time is favorable or not favorable to us
Sun-Gudaannam (rice cooked with Jaggery)
Moon- Payasam
Mars- Pulihora (rice cooked with turmeric)
Mercury- Ksheerannam (rice cooked with milk)
Venus- rice cooked with ghee
Saturn- black gram with gingili powder
Rahu- horsegram.
Ketu- Pulihora (rice cooked with turmeric)

Scientific Reasons:
  • The stars are fixed and the stars are revolving the earth as a narrow line. This line called as the ecliptic, have the loops at a certain angle in the earth. The line travel across the sun, Moon and the stars so astrologers divided the ecliptic into 12 sections.
  • When a planet passes through a certain zodiac certain events get triggered. Babies born at the same time same time in different years, share the same characteristics.
  • The heavenly bodies continuously roam in the universe. There are two types of heavenly bodies stars (have own light) and planets (get light from others).
  • Astrology says Mars was son of earth scientists found there are favorable conditions to live in mars same as earth.
  • Astrology connected metal iron to Saturn science found ferrous (iron) oxide on Saturn.
  • Jupiter was described as person with huge stomach and is related with yellow color. Science found that Jupiter is the biggest planet and resembles yellowish color.
  • Sunrays reach every planet and some rays reflect and reaches the earth.There is gravitational force acting between all planets in the Solar system, these acts as a hypothesis to believe astrology.
  • In astrology sun is related to health, Science states that vitamin -D can be highly absorbed by the bodies from sun rays
  • The moon is related to mental health. As per the science the tides are forming due to moon gravitational force and tides at the sea level will be more on full moon & no moon days. Doctors say that mad people will be in uncontrollable stage on full moon & new moon. Our body is filled with 70% of fluids; this makes clear that our emotions are interlinked with moon’s gravitational force.
  • Astrology states Saturn as 'mandh gaman' i.e. slow motion. Science also states Saturn take 22.7 years to rotate around the sun.