Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Shānti Mantra: Saha Nāvavatu

There are in total ten śhānti mantras in the Vedas. These mantras are very popular and are usually chanted at the beginning and end of a class. Each veda has their own śhānti mantras, and thus before the study of an Upanishad the respective mantra is chanted. The mantras have their own svaras- this means there is a specific way to chant it, as per the Vedic tradition.

Śhānti mantras are mantras invoking peace and harmony. Each mantra finishes with chanting the word "śhānti" three times. Pujya Swamiji says, this doesn't mean that there are three types of śhānti; there is only one. But there are three types of problems that can deny our śhānti. When chanting these mantras we pray for freedom from these problems.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Secrets from Mother India: Natural Face Wash

It's been almost seven months that I am using natural products in my daily routine. Having found out what kind of horrible things are present in our cosmetics, I really didn't want to continue poisoning myself any longer! :-) This includes shampoo, soap, face wash, deodorant and moisturizer. 

How is it that in general we are not aware or realizing that what we put on our skin, gets absorbed and enters our bodies?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Atma Puja: The Divine in You

Sometimes people may wonder, why do you worship a form, a mūrti? To many people it's confusing to see the manifold forms of Gods and Goddesses, and they get lost in understanding the meaning behind it.

Actually, it's very simple. In Hinduism we say there is only one. One Lord, one all pervasive power, one shakti. This power represents the force in and through the universe, and includes the creation of nature, the law of karma, and the order in each part of our life. As it's very obvious, there are so many aspects in creation. There's creation itself, sustenance, destruction, there's motherhood, fatherhood, dance, music, knowledge, etc. All of these aspects, are depicted in a form, which we call a mūrti.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kara Darshanam: Invoking the Goddesses

On October 5th 2013 a very auspicious festival has started in India. It's called Navaratri, and it's a 9 night/10 day festival where they worship the three main Godesses for three days each: Durgā, Lakshmī, and Saraswatī. These nine days are very powerful for prayers, especially when praying for a good life partner, love, health, and financial security.

There's a beautiful small prayer which we can do in any place. It may be difficult to find a temple or an alter to pray to a Goddess, but with this prayer it's not even necessary! Because we invoke these three goddesses in our own palms.