Ashadhi Ekadashi

Today is Ashadhi Ekadashi. People from all walks of life from many parts of Maharashtra and other parts of India too, converge in Pandharpur today for a night full of prayers and songs devoted to Lord Vishnu. 

One of the most popular forms of Vishnu worshipped in Maharashtra is that of Vithoba or Vitthala. The most famous temple for Vithoba is in Pandharpur. Pandharpur has thus been one of the main religious sites of Maharashtra since ancient times.

Significance of Yagyas

Q: Gurudev, what is the importance of yagna? I heard that if we do yagna, then even the rain comes. Why don’t we do a big yagna, and finish all the bad things in the world?

Sri Sri: Have you heard about the butterfly effect? A butterfly, fluttering its wings in Amazons, can affect the clouds in China. It means, every little thing, affects every other little thing in the universe, in the cosmos. So, yagnas are those ancient rituals or practices that have an effect on the environment, on the collective consciousness, and on the individual mind.

The Art of Rain Making

The twigs of Punarnava are offered in the Ahavaniya Fire and the resulting smoke is consecrated with the mantra, Hiranya Kesho Rajaso...

Agricultural Heritage

In ancient Indian literature, sutra denotes a distinct type of literary composition, based on short aphoristic statements, generally using various technical terms.

This literary form was designed for concision, as the texts were intended to be memorized by students in some of the formal methods of scriptural and scientific study. So, the ancient people were certainly technology focused. Technology is nothing but the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes.

Following sutras give us a glimpse of the rich knowledge and science discovered and practiced by our ancestors contained in the available texts as of today.

Meditation and the Thousand-headed Cobra!

If you look at the mythological pictures, you will find Mahavir sitting with a five headed cobra behind him. Or Lord Vishnu is sitting in meditation and there is a cobra behind him. Even in the pictures of Rishis, you will find a cobra with its hood open at the back. Have you seen such pictures? It is a very subtle thing!

See, when you are sitting in meditation, what is happening? Your consciousness is getting alert, opened and awakened, as though in your back ground there is a thousand headed cobra. Cobra signifies alertness.

Bhadrakali - The Auspicious One

Significance of Kali standing on top of Shiva

Kali is symbolic of enormous transformative energy; energy of destruction. When that stood on the Shiva Tattva, it became Bhadrakali, which means, the energy which only brings benevolent results. The whole thing is symbolic; it implies the energy that brings benevolent results only.

Shiva is the transcendental state; it means one who brings only benevolence and good to the world.

So when Kali, an enormous, destructive power was in rage; in that moment, Shiva came and lay down. As soon as she stepped on him, Kali’s power got controlled, channelized and became benevolent. So, even if there is destruction, it should be benevolent.

Marching into the New Year: April Fool!

Once upon a time, all over the world, everyone followed the same calendar; the Lunar Calendar. Even today, in Turkey and Iran, people follow the Lunar Calendar; March is the New Year.

Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Indian subcontinent, celebrated New Year's Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.)

The conjunction of the earth, sun and moon coming in alignment near the vernal equinox every year – a perfectly balanced point in the earth-sun-moon system, was deemed by the ancient, knowledgeable people as an apt milestone to usher in a New Day, a New Year and new hopes.