Monthly Archives: September 2011

Navratri festival

Maa Durga

It is believed that Goddess Durga on her 10 day journey around the earth removes all evil. Thus navratri festival is very auspicious for hindu devotees. Devi has taken avatar to kill the king of asuras, Mahishasura. She killed the most fearsome demon Mahishasura along with others.

Maa Durga

Maa Durga

May Goddess Durga destroy all evil around you and fill your life with happiness and prosperity.

Maa Durga

Maa Durga

Further reading

Legends of Durga Puja

Navratri – Story

Rajni Mania

Rajnikant was bragging to Amitabh Bachchan one day,
“You know, I know everyone.
Just name someone, anyone,
and I know them.
Tired of his boasting, Amitabh called his bluff,
“OK, Rajini how about Tom Cruise?”
“Sure, yes, Tom and I are old friends, and I can prove it” Rajini said.
So Rajini and Amitabh fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise’s door,
And sure enough, Tom Cruise shouts: —
“Thalaiva! Great to see you!
You And your friends come right in and join me for lunch!”

…Although impressed, Amitabh is still skeptical.
After they leave Cruise’s house,
he tells Rajini that he thinks Rajini knowing Cruise was Just lucky.
“No, no, just name anyone else” Rajini says
..”President Obama”, Amitabh quickly retorts
…”Yes”, Rajini says,
“I know him.”
And off they go.
At the White House, Obama spots Rajini on the tour and motions him, saying :—-
“Rajini, what a surprise, I was just on my way to a meeting,
but you and your friend come on in and let’s have a cup of coffee first and catch up”.

Well, Amitabh Bachchan is much shaken by now,
but still not totally convinced.
After they leave the White House grounds,
he implores him to name anyone else.
“The Pope,” Amitabh Bachan replies
…”Sure!” says Rajini,
“My folks are from Italy and I’ve known the Pope a long time”.
Rajini and Amitabh are assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Rajini says,
“This will never work.
I can’t catch the Pope’s eye among all these people.
Tell you what, I know all the guards so let me just go upstairs and I’ll come out on the balcony with the Pope.”
And he disappears into the crowd headed toward the Vatican ..
Sure enough, half an hour later Rajini emerges with the Pope on the balcony.
But by the time Rajini returns,
he finds that Amitabh Bachchan has had a heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics.
Working his way to Amitabh Bachchan’s side,
Rajini asks him,
“What happened?”
Amitabh Bachan looks up and says,
“I was doing fine until you and the pope came out on the balcony
and the Italian man next to me asked,
*
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“Who’s that on the balcony with Rajini?”

rajni

How social networking can harm you?

Here is an interesting observation from a leading newspaper about social networking. Read here for details:

Be careful when using social networking

Lord Rama

Legends associated with Durga Puja (Navratri)

Legends of Navratri (Durga Puja)

 

Durga Puja or Navratri is an integral part of the Hindu culture in India. Celebrated in between September to November throughout the country, this Puja is considered to be one of the most complex and difficult puja out of all the Hindu ceremonies. It is a nine days long affair in which the Goddess of Power ‘ Maa Durga’ is worshipped in nine different forms namely Shailputri, Brahmcharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalratri, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri.

It is said that worshipping Goddess Durga with full devotion brings success, luck, health and prosperity to one’s family. There are also several legends and stories associated with this Pooja, to know them in detail, read on.

Maa Durga killing Mahishasura

Maa Durga killing Mahishasura

Curses on Arjuna (Mahabharata – Indian mythology)

Curses on Arjuna

Mahabharata is full of incidents of curses, yet when curses are mentioned with reference to Mahabharata in Indian mythology, we would normally associate Karna, but Arjuna also had some curses. But this can be argued that though these have been curses, Arjuna was able to use them to his and Pandava’s advantage.

Curse of Vasus

Chitrangada, in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, is one of Arjuna’s wives. Arjuna  travelled through India during his term of exile of twelve years. His visited Manipur in the eastern Himalayas, an almost mystic kingdom renowned for its natural beauty. There, he met Chitrangada, the daughter of the king of Manipur, and was moved to seek her hand in marriage.

Her father demurred on the plea that, according to the matrilineal customs of his people, the children born of Chitrangada were heir to Manipur; he could not allow his heirs to be taken away from Manipur by their father. Arjuna agreed to the stipulation that he would take away neither his wife Chitrangada nor any children borne by her from Manipur and wedded the princess on this premise. A son, whom they named Babruvahana, was soon born to the couple.

Babruvahana would succeed his grandfather as king of Manipur. Long after the battle of Kurukshetra, Yudhishthira decided to conduct the Aswamedha Yaga. The yaga horse enters the dominion of Manipur, where Arjuna challenges their King Babruvahana for a fight. Babruvahana kills his father in the ensuing battle.  However Arjuna’s snake-wife Uloopi resuscitates him to life by using the magical mritasanjivani gem owned bythe Nagas.

Uloopi reviving Arjuna after Babhruvahana defeated and killed him

Uloopi reviving Arjuna after Babhruvahana defeated and killed him

 

Arjuna’s death in the battle is also attributed to the curse of the Ashta-Vasus. The Vasus, enraged by Arjuna’s deceptive tactic of using Shikandi as a shield to kill Bhishma (an incarnation of one of the eight Vasus), cursed Arjuna that he would be slain by his own son. This curse comes to pass during the battle between Arjuna and Babruvahana.


Arjuna from bali

Curse of Urvashi

 Arjuna was received with all love and affection by his father Indra. Arjuna spent some very pleasant time going around and seeing the world of Indra. Capital of Indra was called Amaravati. In the court of Indra all the Gandharva’s sang divine songs and all the beautiful apsaras gave dancing recitals. All the apsaras, Rambha Urvashi, Menaka, Tilottama were there Arjuna watched all there performance and was very much fascinated. He kept looking at Urvashi. She also noticed Arjuna’s interest in her and the fire of love was kindled in her. Urvashi fell in love with Arjuna. Urvashi could not sleep in the night. She was constantly thinking about

Arjuna. She became too overpowered by her desire for Arjuna. She stole in to Arjuna’s chamber. Arjuna welcomed her with love, courtesy and honour. Urvashi expressed her desire for Arjuna. A surprised Arjuna told her that he had heard about the great romance between her and his ancestor Pururva. That was the reason he was kept watching her in Indra’s court as a child looks at her mother whom he had never seen. He only regarded her as the beloved of his ancestor. She was like a mother to him. Any other relationship was impossible even to contemplate.

Arjuna and Urvashi

Arjuna and Urvashi

Urvashi was very much mistaken,she thought Arjuna was interested in her as an admirer. Urvashi became furious with rage. She took it as a great insult to be turned down by a mere mortal. She said it was not proper to refuse a woman, her desire. Arjuna, by doing so has insulted her. Therefore, she declared, Arjuna, shall never be able to enjoy a woman’s company. He will become a eunuch. Arjuna was dumb with the injustice done to him by Urvashi. In the morning he told these things to a Gandharva, Chitrasena who he had befriended. Indra, being informed about Arjuna’s curse, came to him to console him. Indra said that he would request Urvashi to reduce her curse for a period of one year. The Urvashi curse will be of great help to Arjuna during the period of one year when they were to live in disguise. Arjuna stayed in Amravati for sometime. Indra gave him all the divine astras. Then he came back to earth but before that he learnt the art of dancing and singing from his friend Chitrasena and he became quite an expert in these fine arts.

Thus we see, such is the beauty of mythology stories from Mahabharata, where every incident serves a purpose and fits impeccably in the bigger scheme of things. Everytime I hear these stories, I wonder about the master story teller. A priceless contribution to world mythology.


Tirupati Laddu

Laddu, or Ladoo, is one of the most important offering and prasadam given to devotees at the Tirumala Tirupati Lord Venkateswara Temple. Tirupati Laddu is a spherical-shaped sweet made of flour and sugar. In fact, Tirupati and the huge laddus are synonymous. It is a customary duty of a devotee returning from Tirupati Balaji Temple to distribute ‘laddu’ as prasadam to his neighbours, friends and relatives.

Some quick facts about Tirupati Laddu

Around 150,000 laddus are made daily.
One laddu is given free to each devotee; the number of daily devotees that visit the temple is around 50,000.
A devotee can buy extra two laddus – a small laddu costs 25 rupees and big laddu costs 100 rupees.
The revenue from the sale of laddu annually is more than 11 million rupees.

Each laddu weighs around 100gms and is huge when compared with the normal laddu found in shops.
There is a super huge Tirupati Laddu known as Kalyana Laddu and it weighs around 500gms – ½ a kilogram.
Single largest laddu made is said to have weighed 32 kg.

The tradition of Tirupati Laddu is nearly 300 years old.
It is prepared by special hereditary priests known as archakas in special temple kitchen known as ‘potu’.
Ingredients used in Tirupati Laddu are Besan flour (kadalai mavu), Sugar, Cashew nuts, Cardamom, Ghee, Oil, Sugar candy, Raisins and Almonds.

On a day around 5000 kg of Besan flour is used.
Sugar around 10000 kg.
Cashew nuts around 600 kg.
Cardamom 150 kg
Ghee 300 liters
Sugar candy 400 kg
Raisins 540 kg

The ingredients are bought at the auction at the Commodities and Spices Exchange in Kochi. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTDs) the administrating body of the temple is planning to patent the Tirupati Laddu to stop counterfeits.

Meet GOOGLE PLUS – new social networking avatar

Looks like Google is trying its hand on social networking with its new project Google Plus. Not much is available about the project, but it seems that various social networking items are rechristened. Have a look at the following:

googleplus

1. Hangouts – Looks like this is similar to video conferencing.

2. Circles – Your circle, you and your friends. We already have it, Orkut, Facebook, Linked-in. How many social profiles can you manage?

3. Sparks – Way to find out about your interests, etc. Wasn’t buzz was something similar.

I really doubt that this project is just basic what I have wrote above and seriously hope that there is more to it. But the question is, this has to be really remarkable if it has to succeed. We have already seen people moving from Orkut, which was a huge success few years ago, to facebook.  It can happen again, from Facebook to GooglePlus, lets wait and see.

Note: The +1 button below is the building block of this project.