How to perform Ganesh Chaturthi Puja at Home?

Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi is one of the most colorful and widely celebrated festivals in India. Large number of people observe Ganesha Chaturthi poojas at home. Here is an explanation on how to perform Ganesha puja at home as mentioned in Hindu scriptures.
Ganesha puja on the Chaturthi day is usually performed at noon but nowadays people perform it when all the family members are present. Requirements
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A Clay image of Lord Ganesha. Red flowers Druva Grass blades Modak (jaggery filled sweet) Coconut Red chandan (Sandalwood paste) Incense and agarbathis First clean the house and take a bath. A Clay image of Lord Ganesha is installed in a raised platform. Pray to Lord Ganesh and you can recite mantras or bhajans dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Next step is to invoke Ganesha into the image. This is known as pranprathishta. The Pran Prathista mantra in Sanskrit to be invoked is found in the Rig Veda and is part of Ganesh Suktha.

ganananh tva ganapatim havamahe kavim kavinam - upamashravastamam | jyeshhtharajam brahmanan.h brahmanaspata A nah shrivnvannutibhih sida sadanam || (Rig Veda 2.23.1) ni shhu sida ganapate ganeshhu tvamahurvipratamam kavinam | na rite tvat.h kriyate kinchanare mahamarkam maghavan.h chitramarcha ||(Rig Veda 10.112.9) We invoke You, O Ganapati of the ganas (Lord Shiva attendants), Who are Brahmana-spati of the brahmas (prayers), the wisest among the wise, Who abound in treasure beyond all measure, the most brilliant one. Do listen to our prayers, come with Your blessings and assurances of protection into our home, and be seated. (Rig Veda 2.23.1)

Sit down among the worshippers, O Ganapati, the best sage among the sages. Without You nothing can be done here or far. Accept with honor, O wealthy One, our great and variegated hymns of praise. (Rig Veda 10.112.9)

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Now Ganesha is installed in the idol and one can perform arati and light the lamps. Some people perform the shhodashopachara, which are 16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha. (This ritual is usually performed by the priests, you can skip this.) Offer 21 blades of Druva Grass. Offer 21 modakas Offer red flowers Apply a tilak using red Sandalwood paste. Break the coconut or just keep it along with the idol. You can also keep fried grains. (The food of the rat – the vehicle of Ganesha). You can also recite the 108 salutations dedicated to Lord Ganesha or read the Ganesha Upanishad or just simply pray.

The number 21 signifies - the five organs of perception, five organs of action, five vital airs (pranas), five elements, and the mind. While performing Ganesha Puja at home, you can always be flexible. The strict rituals are meant for Vedic priests. All you need be careful is to perform the pujas with a clean body and clean mind. Do not get carried away by rituals – what is important is self realization. Realizing the Brahman in you. Each puja performed should be a step forward in Self realization.

As the ancient portions of the revealed scriptures state, the original rituals were a simple means of channeling one's devotion toward the divine. They did not require help from priests and clergy. However due to ignorance, laziness, or the tendency to lean on others, aspirants want their rituals to be done by someone else, namely a priest. In order to display their expertise and impress their clients, priests elaborate the rituals, causing them to become riddled by dogma and superstition – Adi Shankaracharya

20 comments:
Anonymous said...

Thanks Abhi, for the valuable details. It was practically impossible for me to find Ganesh Puja details anywhere the net as all sites are paid. So funny that ppl charge just to give information on puja. He bhagwan ye insaan kitna materialistic ho gaya hai!! :)... thanks again n God bless! regs, Shubh said... Thank you so much for such valuable details.. can i ask for some more favour.. can you tell me the full procedure starting from bringing the idol home.. I would want to do one and half day puja..please treat my request a little urgent,, you can also mail me on mitupaul@yahoo.com said... I guess it is clearly mentioned in the post. For home you can choose a small clay idol and bring it home. There is no special puja for bringing home the idol. Anonymous said... I will be out of town the day of Ganesh Chaturthi (3-sep-08) for 3 days. Can I do the pooja (i.e. bring the Ganesh idol)after I'm back home, which will be 4 days into Ganesh festival already. I really want to perform the pooja. Please advise. Anonymous said... I am bengali and this time i want to erform Ganesh puja on 3rd sep.I dont have any idea about this puja and i a simply gonna follow what is mentioned here in this blog.I have just one concern ,i am planning of buying Ganesh made of silver, as i want to keep this ganesha in my puja room forever.then what will be immerssion procedure,will i just immerssed it in abucket of water and agin keep the idol in puja room?I will be very thankul to you if someone can answer this query as puja is just day after tomorrow. said... Namaste, Good to know that you are using a silver idol. You can keep it in your puja room. You can perform a symbolic immersion by sprinkling water or by immersing the idol in a bucket of water. You can use the water to water plants. Anonymous said... Is 3 sep the first day or tenth day of ganesh chaturthi in 2008? Anonymous said...

Thank You for posting this. I am afraid to do any pujas as I feel I might not do them the right way. I had a question you said perform the shhodashopachara, which are 16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha. But you have given only 5 things to do in shodoshopachar puja as follows (This ritual is usually performed by the priests.) Offer 21 blades of Druva Grass. Offer 21 modakas Offer red flowers Apply a tilak using red Sandalwood paste. Break the coconut or just keep it along with the idol. You can also keep fried grains. (The food of the rat – the vehicle of Ganesha). You can also recite the 108 salutations dedicated to Lord Ganesha or read the Ganesha Upanishad or just simply pray. where are the rest of them? please reply, I am not in India, so it is still Tuesday here. so we are celebrating chaturthi tomorrow. Thank You said... You do an elaborate puja or a simple puja there is no difference. What is important is devotion. What is more important is understanding the Brahman – the supreme soul – whose manifestation is Ganesha. Meditating on Ganesha and offering a simple flower and a modak or a banana will be more than enough. About shhodashopachara – it is stated that it is done by priests, in home it is not always possible to perform such elaborate rituals. You get scared because you feel Ganesha is outside you, different from you…No...feel the Ganesha within you…Keep your body and mind clean because Ganesha (Brahman) resides in you. Anonymous said... Thanks abhilash for all your details

I am also performing ganesh puja at home from today. but i was not able to clean the whole home. As my home is very bgig and i m the only one to clean home. But i really neatly clean the mandir for ganesh puja. And i also thanks for your suggestion regarding symbolic immersion. Thanks a lot God bless you.

shalini said... is it compulsary to quit onions during puja. As i am still taking onions........ Please suggest........ said... Namaste Shalini...There is nothing compulsory. You can be flexible in food, rituals and puja methods. Pray to Ganesha with pure devotion that is all what you need to do. Anonymous said... Thank You for the quick response!!!it is nice to know that there are friends on the internet who care to answer the queations. Thank You said... Dear Abhilash,

I am impressed with your blog. I do Ganesh Sthapana every year, and even not do some of the steps mentioned here. All I care is that I realize Ganesha within me and bring it home so that my kids staying abroad can know how rich culture our rishis has given us. Bringing Ganesh idol brings 'Bhaav' in our life. Last year my 8 year son cried for three days before visarjan day. Every night before going to bed, he would take Ganesh idol in his lap and talk to him that I will not allow you to go. On visarjan day he was determined, not to allow us to do visarjan. Finally we agreed with him. We went to nearby lake, my son put Ganesh idol three times in the water and take it out and then we brought the Ganesh idol home and kept in his room for entire year. I couldn't have bring this much 'Bhaav' towards God otherwise. Ganapati Baapa Morya. This year he agreed with us and said that he will allow us to do visarjan. So, my point is as long as you do Ganesh Pooja with your heart and mind by realizing Ganesh within you, it does not matter if you forget or can't do certain pooja steps. Abhilash, thank you for the Sankaracharya quote and this very valuable post. I would suggest you put it somewhere where even more people get access to this. God Bless You. - Hiren D. Vashi - Sacramento - California. Anonymous said... I want to know if i decide to bring ganapati at home,for how many years should i have to follow the process? Anonymous said... Hi I am planning a trip to India for the Ganesh festival. It is said that it falls on the 23 of August. Now is that the first day or the last. Also not being a Hindi and not being able to speak the language is it ok to recite the mantras

in english. I have had my Genesh statue for several years but just never knew the proper way to worship. Also where could I buy some of these things out here on the east coast. One more thing is it a specific type of red flower. Thank you for any help that you may be able to give me. Anonymous said... I want to know what is is meaning of lighting a "5-wick" diya - please let me know Anonymous said... Thanx whoever has posted it!!!!

Only thing I want to know is that can this mantra be given in either kannada, hindi so that the pronounciation can be done correctly. As we all know that the prayer should or mantra should be recited correctly. I will be waiting for the hopeful. said... Hi, I wud like to bring ganesha home on this Ganesh Chaturthi and i live in Delhi, so wud like to know is 23rd Aug the begininig or ending of the festival... and what is the proceedure to follow during the festival period as in how many times the prayers need to be done during that period also do we keep the idol for the full period or how many days and what wud be the visarjan proceedure.. pls gv me the details.. so that i can start the preparations from now on..as i live in delhi i wud hv to find the source for the idol and all the necessary things required for the pujas. said... 23rd You Aug can is the beginning daily date in of the the festival or in 2009.

perform

evening

morning.

You can keep it for a day or do visarjan on the 3rd, 5th or 7th day or on Anant Chaturdashi day.

Ganesh Festival 2009 – 10-day Lord Ganesha Festival

Ganesh Festival, popularly known as Ganesh Chaturthi, or Vinayaka Chaturti, is the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the Hindu God of wisdom and auspiciousness. The elephant-faced Hindu god Ganesh is one of the most popular deities in Hinduism and is today worshipped around the world. Lord Ganesha is slowly becoming the face of Hindu religion. In 2009, the date of Ganesh Festival is August 23. The Ganesha Festival ends with the immersion (Visarjan) of the idol onAnanta Chaturdasi day on September 3.

Ganesh Festival is observed on the fourth day of the Shukla Paksha (Waxing Phase of moon) in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (August - September). In Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, Ganesh Festival is observed for 10 days. In other parts of India, it is celebrated for one day on the Ganesh Chaturthi day. In some regions for three or five days. During Ganesh festival, an idol of Lord Ganesha is brought home. Special prayers are performed in all Hindu homes and hymns and songs are sung in praise of Lord Ganesha. The origin of public celebration of Ganesh festival is traced to the period of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja, the great Maratha ruler, who asked people to perform public celebration to promote culture and nationalism in the 17th century. The large-scale Ganesh festival of today was revived by Lokmanya Tilak, freedom fighter, in the last decade of 19th century in Pune to spread the message of freedom struggle and to defy the British who had banned public assemblies. Large-scale Ganesh Festival celebrations take place in Maharashtra with millions of people visiting the various community Ganesh Pandals.

Thousands of Ganesh statues are installed in various public places inIndia and in HinduTemples and community centers around the world during Ganesh Festival. Millions of small Ganesh idols are installed in Hindu homes in India, especially in Maharashtra,Goa and Andhra Pradesh. After the festival these statues are immersed in the sea (Ganesh Visarjan ceremony). Ganesh Festival is also attracting lot of criticism from environmentalists and nature lovers primarily due to pollution caused by the use of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris. Hinduism takes inspiration and lessons from Nature. Ganesha itself is a classic example of the relationship between Hinduism and Nature. But still we Hindus do little to stop pollution and environmental degradation. At least we can stop creating more pollution in the name of Ganesha by only buying natural Ganesh idol and natural items for Ganesh Puja.

How to make Ganesh idols at home?
If you are looking to be creative and eco-friendly this Ganesh Chaturthi, then you can make Ganesh idols at home. Ganesh idols can be made at home using clay, paper, wood, flowers and vegetables. If you are buying a Ganesh idol, please opt for anenvironment friendly Ganesha. How to make clay Ganesha? Materials needed: Clay, paints, coil, aluminum foil, paint brushes, sandpaper, putty or glue and clothes.
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Mix the clay. You can get clay from riverbeds or buy it from stationary stores. While mixing the clay and using it, make sure that your hand is slightly wet. Make a skeleton – round face, hands, body and leg – using the coil or copper wire. Next create Ganesha by adding clay to each body part on the coil skeleton. First create the body and large stomach by filling that part of the coil with clay. Next create the head.

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Next create the trunk and stick it at the center of the head. Next fill the coil ears with clay. Create small balls of clay and flatten them like ears. Next fill the coil hands with clay, flatten the clay near palm. Next fill the coil legs with clay. Flatten the clay near feet or create separate feet. Now you will have a figure of Ganesha. If you want to be more creative, you can opt for four hands and other additions found in Ganesh Pictures. (Never expect your Ganesh to match those available in markets as they are created by professionals. But with trial and error you mind even end up creating better ones). Using a brush smoothen the exterior. Make sure that you don’t damage the structure. Now leave the Ganesha to dry but not in direct sunlight as cracks may appear. When the idol is dry, use sandpaper or brush to smoothen the exterior. If there are cracks use glue or putty. Use putty or glue at joints and brush it make it smooth. You can draw eyes and other aspects like ‘tilak’, eyebrows etc Make the idol dust free and smooth before painting. You can use chemical acrylic paints to beauty Ganesha but please don’t immerse such Ganesha’s in rivers, seas and ponds. You can also try out other natural methods to color but this is a difficult task as it is hard to prepare natural colors. But still you can look around for readymade natural colors. Now you can make crown and other items found on Ganesh idol using aluminum foil. You can also stitch small dress for Ganesha and decorate the idol with flowers.

If you are living in Mumbai or Pune you will get Ganesha mould in the market or from idol makers. Using this you can create Ganesha from paper. How to make paper Ganesha? Materials needed for Paper Ganesha: Paper, ghati gum, whitening powder, flour, aluminum foil or clay.
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Depending on the size of your idol, tear waste paper and soak it in water. Once soaked create fine pulp out it by grinding it. Take 150 grams of ghati gum and dilute it in water and mix it with paper pulp. Leave the pulp for a day and on the next day, the pulp will be like chutney. Add some whitening powder to it.

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Now the pulp will be like chappati atta. Make chappatis out of the atta. And stick them to the Ganesha mould. Now create a flour paste. Cover the mould with two to three layers of flour paste and finally cover it will paper and leave it to dry. Once dried, pull off the protective layer of flour. Use a brush or sandpaper to smoothen the idol. Use water colors to paint them. Draw eyes, eyebrows, tilak and other aspects. Make ornaments, crown and other items using aluminum foil or clay.

If you are interested in carving, you can create Ganesh from vegetables like pumpkin. The choice of the vegetables depends on the size and style of the Ganesha you intend to create. You can also use flowers or rangolis to create Ganesha on the ground or on boards.

Related Ganesh Visarjan or immersion

More articles on Ganesha Chaturthi with emphasis on an eco-friendly celebration.
Follow the link for the latest on: Ganesh Chaturthi,Ganesh Chaturthi 2007, Ganesha

Lingam Puja – How to Worship Shivling at Home?
Shivling or Shiva lingam connects a devotee with the Supreme Being – Lord Shiva. The lingam is the symbol of Lord Shiva and the lingam puja helps the devotee in understanding Lord Shiva. The Lord cannot be described but still we say he is without a beginning and an end and is without a form. It is difficult for a devotee to understand this formless nature. Therefore Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga before Brahma and Vishnu. The Lingam thus is a symbol of Lord Shiva. Each Lingam puja, step by step, takes the devotee to the eternal truth – that he/she is part of the Supreme Being.
Worshipping Shivling at Home Before starting the Puja, the devotee takes a bath and wear freshly washed clothes. Hymns praising Lord Shiva or the mantra ‘om namaha shivayaa’ are repeated to create a mood for worship. Then, the devotee sits in front of the lingam and blows conch or ring bells. This indicates the beginning of the Puja.

First it is the panchamrit abhishek - the libation of five holy liquids over the lingam. The

libation can consist of any five of the following – water from riverGanga, honey, sugarcane juice, milk, yogurt, ghee, seawater, coconut water or milk, fragrant oils, rose water or other precious liquids. Usually, only milk of cow is used. While pouring the liquid, om namah shivaya is uttered. Some devotees utter the Lord’s name 108 times and some 1008 times. There is no fixed rule. After the panchamrit abhishek, the lingam is cleaned with water from Ganga. (This is might not be possible always so just normal water.) After this the lingam is smeared with sandalwood paste and is decked with flowers. Water and sandalwood paste is used to keep the lingam cool, as Lord Shiva is always in a highly inflammable state. In some Shiva temples, cooling liquid constantly drops from pot hung above the Lingam. Next, sweets, coconut and fruits are offered to the Lord. Camphor and incense are lit and ‘arati’ is conducted. Some devotees fan the lingam and sing praises of the lord. Finally, ringing of bells or blowing of conch indicates the end of Puja. White ash (vibhuti) is rubbed on the forehead and it is also distributed. Fruits, sweets and coconut are distributed as ‘prasad.’
Posted by abhilash on 20.6.07 Follow the link for the latest on: Hindu Symbols, Shiva

Online Live Darshan of Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Watch Live from Varanasi Shiva Temple
Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most famous Hindu temples in the world. Shri Kashi Vishvanath Mandir authorities have now made arrangements for online live darshan of the Shivling worshipped in the Varanasi KashiViswanath Temple. This is the Shravan monthand there is nothing more auspicious than a darshan of Mahadev.

Note: The live darshan can only be seen through the Internet Explorer
Browser. The live streaming does not support Firefox, Chrome and Opera browsers. The live darshan is on the Windows Media Player and you will need it to have enabled in your browser. Usually this option is automatically enabled in most browsers. Please note that the online live darshan of the Shivling at Kashi Vishwanath Temple will be obstructed by devotees present there and therefore you will need tons of patience to have a proper glimpse. The live streaming depends on the speed of your internet connection. The online live darshan is only available when the temple is open. Link – Watch Live Online Darshan of KashiVishwanath Temple
Posted by abhilash on 12.7.09 4 comments Follow the link for the latest on: internet, Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Sawan Somavar Vrat – Mondays of Shrawan Mahina dedicated to Lord Shiva
Sawan Somavar, or Mondays in the month of Sawan or Shrawan (July – August), is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shrawan month is one of the holiest months in traditional North Indian Hindu calendar and is dedicated to the worship of Shiva. Sawan Mahina Somvar Vrat, or Shrawan Somavara Upvaas, is observed on Mondays. Fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset on all Mondays in the month. In Shravan Somvar 2009 days are July 13, July 20, July 27 and August 3. In the Sawan month, Shivalingam is bathed with holy water from River Ganga and devotees travel hundreds of kilometers to collect Gangajal. Fasting on Mondays dedicated to Lord Shiva is observed from sunrise to sunset. Married women observe Sawan Mahina Somvar Vrat for a happy and long married life.

Unmarried women observe Shrawan Somavara Upvaas for getting good husbands. Men observe the Vrata for a happy and peaceful life. Those who observe fast eat only a single vegetarian meal. Shivlinga is bathed with holy water from Gangesor milk at temples in the month. Devotees also offer flowers and Bilva or Bel leaves to Lord Shiva. It must be noted that Monday is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there are devotees who observeSomawar Vrat on all Mondays in a year.
Posted by abhilash on 9.7.09 Post Comments Follow the link for the latest on: Shiva, Shravan Month Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Download Shiva Tandava Stotram MP3 for Free
Shiva Tandava Stotram is a popular bhajans dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Shiva Tanadava Stotra was composed by Ravana, the demon King Ramayana, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. The Stotram imagines and praises Lord Shiva who performs the Tandava Dance. You can download Shiva Tandava Stotra in MP3 format for free here – Download Shiva Tandava Stotram MP3.
Posted by abhilash on 4.7.09 1 comment Follow the link for the latest on: bhajans, Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Aani Uthiram – Aani Thirumanjanam
Aani Uthiram, or Ani Uthram, is an auspicious day in the Tamil Month of Aani (or Ani) and is dedicated to Lord Nataraja (Shiva). The festival is also known as Aani Thirumanjanam and is observed on the Uthiram Nakshatram day. In 2009, the date of Aani Uthiram is June 29. It is popularly believed that it was on Aani Uthiram day that Lord Shiva appeared before Sage Manikkavachakar under a Kurundai Tree and offered upadesha (advice). Sage Manikkavachakar is the author of Thiruvachakam.

Thirumanjanam means ‘holy bath’. On Aani Thirumanjanam day – when Uthram Nakshtram falls in Aani month – an Abhishekam is performed in Lord Nataraja temples. The Abhishekam or holy bath of the idol performed during the twilight period (Pradosham) on the day is considered highly auspicious. Special rituals and processions are held on the day at Nataraja Temple. Another important festival that is dedicated to Lord Nataraja is the Arudhra Darshan. Related Posts Lord Shiva as Nataraja - Symbolism
Posted by abhilash on 25.6.09 1 comment Follow the link for the latest on: Hindu Festivals, Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Panchanana Shiva – Shivling with Five Faces
Lord Shiva is worshipped as Panchanana Shiva (Siva with five faces) in some temples in India. The five faces are etched on Shivling or Shivalingam and is known as Panchamukha Shiva Linga – five heads of Shiva carved on Linga. The five faces of Lord Shiva are known as Sadyojat, Vamdev, Aghora, Tatpurush and Ishana. And they represent direction and an aspect of Lord Shiva. Some ancient temples also have sculptures of Lord Shiva with five faces. Some paintings also depict Shiva with five faces.

An important prayer (Stotra) dedicated to Panchanana Shiva is the Shiva Panchanana Stotram. It explains about the glory of the each face of Lord Shiva in the Panchamukha Shivalinga. As per the prayer, the four faces of Shiva faces four directions and the fifth faces the sky.

In some texts, the fifth face facing the sky is replaced by a face on the southeast direction. Another symbolism suggests that the fifth face is the energy that sustains all and is present everywhere. Most idols do not show the fifth face that is the Ishana face. Scholars and saints have given numerous interpretations for the five faces. There are also some symbolisms associated with the each faces. Sadyojat faces west and represents creation Vamdev faces north and represents sustenance

Aghora faces south and represents dissolution. Tatpurisha faces east and represent spirituality that has destroyed the ego. Ishana face in the Shivling is described differently in various texts. In some texts, it is believed to be the face facing the sky and symbolizes purity and destruction of ego. Another interpretation suggests that Ishana is the Self and the energy that holds all the aspects together. In some interpretations, Ishana face is shown as facing Southeast direction and represents Eternal Shiva or Shiva as the Supreme Soul. Some of the important Panchanana Shiva temples are found in eastern parts of India like the one at Baronagar near Behrampore in West Bengal and Akhandalamani Shiva Temple inBhubaneswar in Orissa.
Posted by abhilash on 12.6.09 Post Comments Follow the link for the latest on: Interesting Facts, Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Batuk Bhairav Jayanti
Batuk Bhairav is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and is associated with Bhairav Nath. This form of Lord Shiva is mostly associated with Tantra and he is propitiated in this form for material

gains. Batuk Bhairav is also the child form of Shiva as Bhairav Nath. Another form is Maha Kal or Kal Bhairav. In 2009, the date of Batuk Bhairav Jayanti is June 2. It is believed that Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Batuk Bhairav on the tenth day during the waxing phase of moon in Jyeshta Month. Batuk Bhairav Stotra is chanted on the day. There are numerous Batuk Bhairav shrines inNorth India and the day is observed with special pujas and rituals in these temples. Lord Shiva as Batuk Bhairav and Kal Bhairav is worshipped by Tantriks and who believe in Tantrism.
Posted by abhilash on 27.5.09 Post Comments Follow the link for the latest on: Hindu Rituals, Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Namah Shivaya Shantaya Movie – Based on Lord Shiva
Directed by Abhijeet Kumar, Namah Shivaya Shantaya based on the teachings from the book titled ‘Namah Shivaya Shantaya’ by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti has won rave reviews at the Cannes film festival 2009. The film was screened at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival at the

Indian explores

the

life

of

Lord

Shiva

pavillion 108, Village International. The film on Earth and his unparalleled teachings.

About Namah Shivaya Shantaya from its makers:

Seven thousand years ago a great personality was born. His name was Sadashiva. A legend even in his own lifetime, and ultimately to be regarded as the father of human civilization, yet few know the story of how this great man became the god of all gods... In the days of Shiva, the Aryans started entering India from the northwest. Many of them had already arrived, many were on the way, and many were still making preparations to come. This period of Shiva was a most turbulent period in India. On the one hand there were the Aryans, the outsiders, and on the other hand there were the indigenous people, with their Tantra-oriented culture and religion. Into this conflict-ridden environment, Shiva was born. This film has at its core the renewal of a great and timeless message, still as relevant today as it was in times of old. From the very beginning, He was an omnipresent entity. Whenever, in the undeveloped and simple human society of those days, any need arose, Shiva was there to help; whenever any knotty problem developed, Shiva was there to solve it. Bringing to life the story of Shiva’s fight for justice, righteousness and peace in the fledgling society of his day, that message emerges, in essence, as that of unification: the coming together of all people as one; of all minds as one mind; and – ultimately – of all minds with the Oneness that pervades and encompasses all things for all time. You can find more details about the movie at theofficial website of Namah Shivaya Shantaya.
Posted by abhilash on 20.5.09 20 comments Follow the link for the latest on: Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Solah Somvar Vrat – Sixteen Monday fasting dedicated to Lord Shiva
Solah Somwar Vrat is observed for sixteen consecutive Mondays and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. A devotee can start Solah Somvar Vrat on the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in any month. But devotees usually begin the fasting inShravan or Kartik month. Solah Somvar Vrat is observed by women to get good husbands and many also observe it when they are blessed with a good married life. It is also believed that observing this Vrat will help in getting one’s wishes fulfilled.

Legend has it that moon(Chandra or Soma) was cursed by Daksha that his body will fade away. It is said that Chandra escaped from this curse after observing the Somvar Vrat. Many devotees choose the Chaturmas period to observe the Solah Somvar Vrat. Solah Somvar fasting begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. Some devotees observe 24-hour fast and they only consume water or tender coconut or copra. Some devotees opt for nuts, milk and fruits while fasting. On the 17th Monday of the fasting, special pujas dedicated to Lord Shiva are held. It must be noted that Monday is dedicated to Lord Shiva and there are several devotees who observe partial fast on all mondays or do special pujas or visit Lord Shiva temples on the day.
Posted by abhilash on 11.5.09 8 comments Follow the link for the latest on: Hindu Fasting, Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Symbolism in Vrishabha as the Vehicle or Vahana of Lord Shiva
Vrishabha, or Nandi, is the carrier of Lord Shiva. The word Vrishabha, or Vrushabha, has two meaning – the ordinary meaning is the Bull – thevahana of Lord Shiva. There is a hidden symbolism in Vrushabha. A shloka says ‘Vrsham Bhasyati iti Vrushabha – one who illumines right actions, their results and all dharmas. Vrshabha thus symbolizes ‘the best’ and the Vahana of Lord Shiva can be taken as the symbol of a realized soul or Jivanmukta. Vrishabha is also symbolically related to Lord Shiva’s role of destructor. Only a realized soul can easily understand the significance of death. Death is the beginning of regeneration and it is only a minuscule part in the great cycle of birth and death.

On the concept of Vrishabha as the Vahana of Shiva, Swamini Saradapriyananda writes Shiva’s destruction comes every now and then whenever a man’s life-span is over. But it is not the final end, because we are born again and again to exhaust the ‘Vasanas.’ How to attain the final salvation? The Vrishabha indicates how. Nirkuta (9-22) gives another derivative meaning for Vrishabha : ‘Atribrihati reta iti’ – roots out of the seed. When a Sadhak serves the Lord faithfully just as an ordinary bull serves his master day in and day out, without demanding or seeking anything for himself, then this very attitude sheds the seed of Vasanas and he will no more be born again. The Vrishabha attitude is the carrier of the most auspicious of all, the release from the bondage of life. You may also like to read About Nandi – the bull – found in Shiva Temples
Posted by abhilash on 13.4.09 Post Comments Follow the link for the latest on: Interesting Facts, Shiva Email this • Share on Facebook • Stumble It!

Lord Shiva as Sharabha – The Sharaba Incarnation
According to some Puranas, Lord Shiva took the form of Sharabha to pacify and control the Narasimha Avatar of Lord Vishnu. If Lord Vishnu as Narasimha was half-man half-lion; Lord Shiva as Sharaba was part human, part animal and part bird with numerous claws and legs – some writers equate the form to a dragon. Sharabha manifestation of Lord Shiva is not very popular and there is popular notion that this incarnation of Shiva was created to position Shiva as greater than Vishnu by some Shaivites.

Lord Narasimha's terrifying rage could not be dissipated even after He had slain the Demon King Hiranyakashipu. A more ferocious form of Sharabha was able to pacify Narasimha Vishnu. Soon Vishnu appeared in the pleasant form before his devotees. Shiva Purana describes the Sharabha for like this:

He had a thousand hands and wore matted locks. His head was adorned by the crested moon. He appeared like a bird with wings and beak. His body was fierce and fully developed. His fangs were very sharp. Adamantine claws were His weapons. His neck was black in colour. He had huge arms and four legs. He was blazing like fire. His voice was resonant and terrible like the rumbling sound of the clouds that gather at the end of the yuga. His three eyes were wide and blazing as the fire of the evil spirit of great fury. His fangs and lips were clearly visible. He was producing a hissing sound of humkara. Shiva of such a form appeared in sight. This fierce form of Shiva is also known as Sarabheswara. The image of two Sharabhas guarding the entrance of Shiva temples is common in many South Indian temples.
(Image source from the book Shiva to Shankara by Devdutt Pattanaik) Posted by abhilash on 27.2.09 3 comments Follow the link for the latest on: Interesting Facts, Shiva

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