Hinduism, Mantras

Why Many Mantras For Same Problem


Hinduism, being a Way of Life tries to offer solutions to day to day problems , apart from enquiring into the nature of life and death.
To know the nature of life and Life one must Live.
The body is considered sacred because Life dwells in it.
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Abusing body in the name of piety is not sanctioned.
The practice of undertaking penance by subjecting body to extreme rigors is rated as the lowest form of Tapas, penance.
Krishna declares it as Asura Tapas, rated lowest.
The body is to be respected.
Such is the concern for humans and life Hinduism offers solutions in the form of Slokas , Mantras and Poojas.
Each is different from the other.
One may notice that many Mantras are available for the same problem, be it removal of obstacles, success in endeavours, marriage, health issues, mental illness. …
For instance one has Asha Garuda Mantra, Varaha Kavacha, Sri Mantraraja Padham, Subrahmanya Bhujanga, Durga Suktha,Hanuman Mantras for the same issue.
Mental issues.
Why so many Mantras for the same problem?
There are two reasons.
One may have a personal deity which he adores.
The Mantra offered may not be on that Deity.
This may not deliver results.
Reason unknown.
On the other hand Mantras devoted to other Deities might deliver.
Second reason is that Mantras are sounds grasped from Ether by Rishis.
And Mantras being vibrations , one Mantra might suit one, but not others.
The Vibrations must suit the vibrations of the individual.
For instance my Family Deity is Subrahmanya, Palani Dhandayuthapani.
But one of the most powerful Mantras of Subrahmanya in Tamil, Kanda Shasti Kavacha does not suit me.
Instead of providing relief I get more problems.
But the other Mantras , either in Tamil or Sanskrit on Subrahmanya grants me relief.
I do not know the reason.
So I avoid Kanda Shasthi Kavacha and recite other Subrahmanya Mantras.
This peculiar aspect of the power of Mantras is the reason for the Sastras to declare that Mantra has to be initiated by Guru properly.
A GURU feels individual vibrations and offers a suitable mantra.
A real Guru does not offer a standard Mantra for all his disciples.

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Hinduism, Uncategorized

Why Ayush Mruthyunjaya Homas


 

The Blessing , Aaseervatha Mantra states,

Sree varchasvam ayushyam aarogyam maavithaath

Sobamanam maheeyanthe

Dhaanyam Dhanam pasum bahuputra laabham

Satha samvathsarm dheeragamaayuhu.

The blessings start with auspicious life.

The rest come later.

Once born it is the desire of one is to live as long as possible.

Dheergayus means a life span of 120 years in Kali Yuga, though it is mentioned as Satha Samvathsaram( 100 years)

Life depends on , contrary to what many think, wholly external forces not in our control,be it the air we beathe, water ,earth,fire and the ether.

We take these for granted.

We would appreciate them only in their absence.

The human body is made up of the five elements that make up the Cosmos.

We are nothing but a reflection, photocopy of the Cosmis in miniature.

One is likely to lead a longer life if these five elements in the Cosmos and in our bodies sync.

If there is a variation, one falls sick and in serious maladjustments one leaves the body.

While we strive to be tuned into Nature’s Rhythm, Nature should also cooperate.

That is not in our hands.

As we are nothing but the Cosmos in a small scale, our chitta ( higher plane over mind and intellect) should will for longevity.

By self tuning the Chitta one controls the Cosmos and its Principles.

This is Yoga.

This fine tuning can be done by chanting, listening to mystically locked sounds called Mantras.

And the propitiator of life , Agni, Fire carries the power of the Mantras to the other elements ,which being the same for us and the Cosmos ignites our Chitta.

And longevity is assured if the Homa Rites are performed correctly, as prescribed in the texts.

There are two types of Homas for Longevity.

The Ayush Homa and

The Mrutyanjaya Homa.

mahamritunjay-mantra

Maha Mrutunjaya Mantra.

Though they seem to address the same issue, Longevity there is a minor differnce.

While Ayush Homa increases the Life span in general, the Mrutunjaya Homa addresses the issue of ill health and diseases.

It is one thing to attain Longevity but Disease free Life is another..

It is advisable to perform both at the same time.

It is ordained in the Smriti that these Homas are to be performed every year for a child upto to the age of Five.

And one can have this  performed any time in during one’s life till one reaches Sixty.

For them these are performed in Sashtiapthapoorthy and Sathabhishekam.

Mruthyunjaya Homa.

Maha Mruthyunjaya Homam is dedicated to Lord Shiva to avoid untimely death. The Mruthyunjaya Homam is performed to achieve Jaya or Victory over Mritya or death. The object of worship of this homa is Lord Shiva. One of the synonyms of Lord Shiva is Mrityu. Mrityu which means death of the death or the destroyer of death. During this homa one chants 21 mantras. The prominent offerings in this homa are durva grass and an herb called amrita.

The former is famous for purifying blood and the latter is used as a medicine for in a, it is believed that this homam bestows longevity on the performer. The hymns are devoted curable diseases like arbuda or cancer. Since these are used as offerings in this hom to Mrityu, the God of death, praying for long life. These hymns are used in the purnahuti or the final offering in the famous Soma sacrifice. This homa also alleviates Mrityu dosha or untimely death.Dedicated to Lord Shiva to avoid untimely death The Mrityunjaya Homa is performed to achieve Jaya or Victory over Mritya or death.

Citation.

http://homam.in/mrityunjaya.php

 

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Hinduism

What Did Vedic People Eat ? Indus Sarasvati Harappa Food


I have noticed that despite the multitude of Languages,Dialects and terrain, the food habits of the people of India , especially of the Brahmin Community seems to be uniform.

I have made the observation on Brahmins because I am familiar with it.

During my professional Life, I have covered India extensively and had partaken food with the local people in Kashmir,Punjab,Bengal,Odisha, Gujarat, MP, UP , not to mention the southern states.

Copper plate from Harappa site.jpg Plate with vertical sides. Copper and bronze plates were probably used exclusively by wealthy upper class city dwellers. Discovered in 1938.

What struck me was the essential food habits are the same, right from offering water first to the householder eating later.

Major difference is that in the Northern States Wheat is consumed in place of Rice.

(Rice is consumed more in the Southern States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu,Karnataka, Andhra,and in th East Bengal and Odisha.)

Yet for Religious ceremonies Rice is being used and the vegetables that are used all over the country for important ceremonies like Sraddha remain the same.

Sanatana Dharma, being the unifying factor, I looked into what our ancestors of Sanatana Dharma Hinduism ate.

Here it is.

The Harappans grew lentils and other pulses (peas, chickpeas, green gram, black gram). Their main staples were wheat and barley, which were presumably made into bread and perhaps also cooked with water as a gruel or porridge. In some places, particularly Gujarat, they also cultivated some native millets; possibly broomcorn millet, which may have been introduced from southern Central Asia; and by 2000 BC, if not before, African millets. They fed local wild rice to their animals and probably began to cultivate it, though rice does not become an important crop until Post-Harappan times. The Harappans must have eaten a range of fruit, vegetables and spices : these included a variety of brassica, brown mustard greens, coriander, dates, jujube, walnuts, grapes, figs; many others, such as mango, okra, caper, sugarcane, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cumin and cinnamon, were locally available and probably grown or gathered by the Harappans, but the evidence is lacking. Sesame was grown for oil, and linseed oil may also have been used.

Meat came mainly from cattle, but the Harappans also kept chickens, buffaloes and some sheep and goats, and hunted a wide range of wildfowl and wild animals such as deer, antelopes and wild boar. They also ate fish and shellfish from the rivers, lakes and the sea; as well as being eaten fresh, many fish were dried or salted – many bones from marine fish such as jack and catfish were found at Harappa, far inland.

Harappan houses had a kitchen opening from the courtyard, with a hearth or brick-built fireplace. Pottery vessels in a range of sizes were used for cooking; in wealthy households metal vessels were also used.

Few certain agricultural tools have been found. Flint blades were probably used for harvesting. A ploughed field at Early Harappan Kalibangan shows that the plough was in use by the early 3rd millennium BC; its criss-cross furrows allowed two crops to be raised in the same field, a practice that has continued into modern times.

Richard Meadow
We have a good deal of evidence for Harappan subsistence. Staple crops varying by region and time period included wheat, barley, millets, rice, and pulses.

Food in Indus Valley civilization has been predominantly agrarian in which excavations reveal that the Indus valley people were habituated in consuming Barley which was one of the major cereals of the community. While specimens of Barley have been found in the ruins of Mohenjodaro, it has not been proved whether they used to consume rice or not. However the use of rice must have been known to them. Along with Barley the civilisation also cultivated peas and sesamum along with spices of brassica which is very similar to modern day Rai. While these have been major crops of the Indus Valley civilization, the civilisation also reared buffaloes, goat and sheep which prove that milk was major food article for these people. Along with the vegetarian food items the people of Indus valley civilization also consumed meat that was evident from the fact that meat was included in the offerings made for the dead. With the excavation of number of artefacts like sling balls of clay, copper fish hooks, the arrow heads, the flying knives etc strongly prove that these were required to kill and rear animals and birds which were dressed with these instruments and included in their food items after cooking. Their food items as such included beef, mutton, pork and poultry products, the flesh of Gharial or crocodile, turtle and tortoise, flesh of fresh local fishes from nearby rivers and dried fish from sea coasts. The bones and shells in hard form has been found in and around the houses of the Indus valley civilization.

References, Citations.

http://a.harappa.com/content/what-kinds-things-did-indus-people-eat

http://www.indianetzone.com/52/food_indus_valley_civilization.htm

Fuller, D. (2002) Fifty Years of Archaeobotanical Studies in India: Laying a Solid Foundation in S. Settar and R. Korisettar (eds.) Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, Volume III. Archaeology and Interactive Disciplines, Publications of the Indian Council for Historical Research. New Dehli: Manohar: Pp. 247-364.

Fuller, D. (2003) African crops in prehistoric South Asia: a critical review in K. Neumann, A. Butler and S. Kahlheber (eds.) Food, Fuel and Fields. Progress in Africa Archaeobotany, Africa Praehistorica 15. Colonge: Heinrich-Barth-Institut: Pp. 239-271

Fuller, D. (2003) Indus and Non-Indus Agricultural Traditions: Local Developments and Crop Adoptions on the Indian Peninsula, in S. Weber and W. Belcher (eds.) Indus Ethnobiology: New Perspectives from the Field. Lexington Books, Lanham, Maryland: Chapter 10.

Fuller, D. Q (2005). “Ceramics, seeds and culinary change in prehistoric India.” Antiquity 79 (306): 761-777.

Fuller, D. Q and E. L. Harvey (2006). “The Archaeobotany of Indian Pulses: identification, processing and evidence for cultivation.” Environmental Archaeology 11(2): 219-246.

Fuller, D. Q (2006). “Agricultural Origins and Frontiers in South Asia: A Working Synthesis.” Journal of World Prehistory 20: 1-86

For animals, the domesticates humped cattle, sheep, goat, and perhaps water buffalo were of principle importance for both primary (after death) and secondary (before death) products. See:

Meadow, R.H. and A.K. Patel (2003) Prehistoric pastoralism in northwestern South Asia from the Neolithic through the Harappan Period. In S. Weber and W. Belcher, eds., Indus Ethnobiology: New Perspectives from the Field. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), pp. 65-93.

Both wild animal and wild plant resources continued to be important including fish, molluscs, hunted animals, and various wild plants for fodder, food, and medicines. Linen, cotton, and wool were important resources for textile manufacture, and silk was also used., coming from wild silk moths. For the last, see:

Good, Irene, J.M Kenoyer and R.H. Meadow (2009) “New evidence for early silk in the Indus Civilization.” Archaeometry 51: 457-466.

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Goddess Abhirami, Thirukkadavur. Moolavar.jpg
Hinduism

Goddess Abhirami Plays How


There are incidents in one’s Life which defy Logic.

We, those who have not experienced them, brush them aside , saying it is a coincidence,vivid imagination.

Full of Life, we make jest of such things.

But when one faces difficult circumstances, one tends to clutch even a straw.

The difference between Gnani and ordinary mortals is that the former learns and proceeds towards Realization; we ,though for a moment are moved, get on with our Lives as usual!

I have personal experience of such incidents,

I have narrated a couple of them as Posts.

I have a friend, who is running a Media Group in Tamil ,a Film producer,Political commentator and very much down to earth.

Though not an Atheist or an Agnostic, one can not say he is deeply religious.

I met him , on his personal invitation, (after reading my blog,) in Chennai in March 2015 for the first time.

I went to his office around 2 pm and we were discussing many things, mainly Politics, News till 10.30 pm.

As I informed my eldest sister-in-law and my wife that I would be back in about two hours, they were worried and kept on calling me.

Finally I returned home by about 11.30pm.

What did we discuss at length?

As we were discussing politics and other things, topic turned towards Philosophy and Religion.

In the course of our talks he narrated this incident.

Let me narrate it in his words.

‘By now, you know I am not strictly religious, though I Believe in God.

I have been associated with Kanchi Mutt very closely and now have distanced by self after the passing away of the Maha Periyava.

I was then running more Magazines , which were trend setters and  I was kept busy .

During this period my wife fell ill and that too critically.

She was admitted to Apollo Hospitals ,Chennai.

She was on Oxygen and Doctors informed me that they had done their best and the rest is with God.

I was by her side for over eight days.

On the eighth day, I dozed off.

I had a vivid dream, where Goddess Abhirami bade me to come to Thirukkadavur.

I woke up.

I called my driver and proceeded towards Thirukkadavur.

It was Monson time in Tamil Nadu,July/August.

It was raining heavily.

With great difficulty we covered th distance in about ten hours and I reached the temple around 6 am.

The Sanctum had opened just then.

The Kurukkal, Archaka, was awaiting the arrival of Milk for morning Abhisheka.

Time wore by… 6.0..7… 7.30…

The archaka became restless as it was getting late and devotees have gathered and it was raining very heavily.

Then around 7.45 came a boy with an Aluminium Can of Milk.

The Archaka scolded him for being late.

The boy just smiled and went off saying that the Cows were sick.

The Abhishekam went on.

It was concluded by about 9 am.

Then came a man and asked the archaka for his forgiveness.

He stated that he could not provide the Milk that day as his cows were sick!

The archaka told him that a boy had come and delivered the Milk stating that the Cows were sick!

The man replied that he had no assistants!

..The Abhishekam over, Archanai began.

I started to offer details for the Archanai , but the Archaka kept on overlooking me and went on performing Archanai for the others.

I t was 9.30.

I asked him to perform the Archana .

He told me that the next Abhishekam will start shortly and he will perform the Archana, afer the Abhshekam and the mandatory Kattali Abhishekam by some other party, which was scheduled for the day.

I waited.

The Abhishekam over , the Archanai began for the other party who had scheduled the Archana for the day.

I was totally dejected as my archanai was not being done as I felt it was a bad omen.

But I looked on.

The Archanai Sankalpam began.

The Nakshatra was Magha, my wife’ nakshatra!

The name was my wife’s.!

Then the daughter’s name and nakshatra were recited,

They were my daughter’s!

I had realized then,

It was Abhirami’s way of Blessing Me!…

I did not do the Archanai as It had already been done.

…Darshan over, I started for Chennai and it continued raining heavily.

The Driver found it difficult to drive.

In the meanwhile I was running a high fever and was shivering, feeling giddy.

I told the driver to park the Car in a safe place.

I was shivering with fever and was delirious.

The driver said that he would manage by driving carefully.

I had dozed off and after an hour I saw a small girl sitting in the front seat near the driver, talking to him.

She was wearing a Green Petticoat,( a dress worn by young girls in the south)

I was trying to shout at the driver not to pick up hitch hikers.

If he wanted more money I could give it to him.

But no words came!

I slept off.

As I  woke up, the Driver was saying,

‘Sir, We are nearing Chennai, it is 5.30″

I asked him how it could be as I told him to wait and asked him.

‘Where is the girl whom you picked up?

He replied that the girl got down at the outskirts of Tirukkadavur saying that there would be no problem in reaching Chennai.

And that I and asked him to pick her up and was chatting with her!

He said he did not charge her.

We reached the Hospital.

My wife was looking normal and her oxygen had been removed.

She was able to talk and told me that some one who said he was close friend of mine gave her Kumkum prasadm from Thirukkadavur.

She asked me that who it was as she knew all my close friends.

I could not place him even after my wife’s description of him.

Then I remembered the Deity Abhiramai was wearing green Petticoat after the Abhishekam!

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Hinduism

What Is Agrahara, List Of Agraharams


Agraharam is a name given to the dwelling place of Brahmins in India.

This term is unique especially in South India.

The term Agrahara means Primary Garland.

Agraharam, Brahmins' Dwelling Place,jpg

Aerial View of Madurai,

Agraharam, Brahmins’ Dwelling Place, India,

This might denote the social status accorded to Brahmins because of their character.

Agrahara also means the primary Garland because of the lay out of the ancient indian villages/towns.

Every town /Village had, at its center,a Temple.

The streets were surrounding it in the form of a Garland..

The First street was the Agrahara, inhabited by Brahmins.

Aerial View of Madurai.jpg Aerial View of Madurai.see the structure of the streets now changed.

This comes after the Sannidhi Street,which contains more Small temples, other than the primary one,.

Then the Mada Veedhis.

This ,again is peculiar to South India.

Madam in Tamil means Balcony.

In ancient days the Mada Veedihs were the prerogative of the Kings.

Exception was Brahmins’ Dwelling Area.

After Mada Veedis came the Agrahara.

Then Mettukudi.

Other names were also used.

This as occupied by people of the other Varnas, loosely defined now as Caste,Kshatriyas, Vaisyas.

Outer most area was occupied by the Sudras.

Shudras were the off springs of Inter caste marriages and those who failed to follow The Vedic Dharma.

This was determined by disposition as well.

With the change in Brahmins vocation and their seeking their livelihood in other professions, this Agrahara has changed, the  houses having been sold to other communities.

Curiously enough, it is the Tamil, which is portrayed as anti Sanatana Dharam, which is untrue,that describes the Agrahara in details, not Sanskrit!

‘The houses had in front of them, a shed with short legs to which were tied fat calves; the houses were washed with cowdung and had idols (inside them). Domestic fowl and dogs did not approach them. It was the village of the guardians of the Veda who teach its sounds to the parrots with the bent mouth. If you (bard) reach (the place), fair faced bangled ladies who are as chaste as (Arundhathi) the little star which shines in the north of the bright, broad sky, will after sunset feed you on the well-cooked rice named after the bird (explained by the commentator as the rice called irasanam) along with slices of citron boiled in butter taken, from the buttermilk derived from red cows and scented with the leaves of the karuvembu, and mixed with pepper-powder, and the sweet-smelling tender fruit plucked from the tall mango tree and pickled.’

Agrahara List.

There are a number of places in Southern Karnataka named agrahara. These places might have, probably, originated as Brahmin villages.

  • Agrahara,(near Baragur) Handikunte post, Sira taluk, Tumkur dist, Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Arkalgud, in Hassan district of Karnataka state, India
  • Agrahara, Arsikere, in Hassan district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Channarayapatna, in Hassan district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Chiknayakanhalli, in Tumkur district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Chintamani, in Kolar district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Holalkere, in Chitradurga district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Hosadurga, in Chitradurga district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Hunsur, in Mysore district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Kadur, in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Kanakapura, in Bangalore Rural district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Koratagere, in Tumkur district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Malur, in Kolar district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Sandur, in Bellary district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Shrirangapattana, in Mandya district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Sira, in Tumkur district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara, Srinivaspur, in Kolar district of Karnataka
  • Agrahara Bachahalli, in Krishnarajpet taluk of Mandya district, Karnataka
  • Agrahara Palya, in Bangalore North taluk of Bangalore district, Karnataka
  • Agrahara Somarasanahalli, in Kola taluk of Kolar district, Karnataka
  • Agrahara Vaddahalli, in Hosakote taluk of Bangalore Rural district, Karnataka
  • Agrahara Valagerehalli, in Channapatna taluk of Bangalore Rural district, Karnataka
  • Konappana Agrahara, town in Anekal taluk adjoining Electronics City.
  • Rupena Agrahara
  • Agrahara,(near Baragur) Handikunte post, Sira taluk, Tumkur dist, Karnataka

Tamil Nadu[edit]

  • Annalagraharam, village in Kumbakonam taluk of Thanjavur district.
  • Ganapathi Agraharam, village in Thanjavur district
  • Kondayyampettai Agraharam, a locality in Thiruvanaikaval
  • Pallipalayam Agraharam, village in Namakkal district
  • Pudupalaiyam Agraharam, village in Kanniyakumari district.
  • Kolinjivadi Agraharam, village in Dharapuram taluk of Tiruppur district
  • Agraharam, village in Vellore district
  • Thuvariman Agraharam, village in Madurai district
  • Malaipattu Agraharam, Proposed Agraharam concept approved layout, in Sriperumbudur Taluk, Kanchipuram District.
  • Sannidhi Street, Ravanasamudram, Tirunelveli district.
  • Agraharam, village in Denkanikottai Taluk of Krishnagiri District

Kerala

  • There is a famous Agraharam in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala called Valiya Sala which is the lengthiest Agraharam in India.
  • Agraharams in Palakkad district are around 96. When the count of villages in the municipal area, they are around 18 of them. The concept is similar with houses in row on both sides and a temple at one end. They may differ in shapes – some are in straight line, some are T shaped and few have multiple temples within the village.
  • There are two main cluster Agraharams in Kottakkakam (Fort) and Karamana in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala State, India. The cluster in Fort is a string of several streets outside the four entrances of the Temple of the presiding deity of Thiruvananthapuram i.e. Sri Padmanabha Swami (Mahavishnu reclining on a serpent floating on ocean (Ksheerasaagaram). South Street, West Street, Ramaswami Kovil Street(North entrance), Pazhavangadi Street(East entrance), Thamman Street, First Puthen Street, Second Puthen Street, Third Puthen Street, Deekshidar Street, Edachery Kotta Street, Chottupura Street, Otta Street etc. are the main Agraharams in Fort cluster. Similarly there are several streets in Karamana Agraharam cluster also.
  • List of Kerla Agraharams.

The agraharams were constructed according to its own principles of architecture. Each house opened out into the street and each had a vasal-thinnai, which led to the ul-thinnai, rezhi, thazhvaram, adukkalai and kottil. Many of the agraharams had small inner courtyards, which provided adequate daylight to the rooms. Some of the agraharams are;

  • Kizhakkencherry Gramam, Palakkad
  • Vadakkencherry Gramam, Palakkad
  • Thekke Gramam (Southern Village), Chittur, Palakkad
  • Padinjare Gramam, Thathamangalam, Palakkad
  • Kizhakkencherry Gramam, Palakkad
  • Kuzhalmannam Agraharam, Palakkad
  • Agraharam in Thiruvananthapuram

Citations.

http://www.karmakerala.com/guide/kerala-agraharams.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agraharam

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