Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy New Year 2009!

Another year, another chance
To start our lives anew;
This time we’ll leap old barriers
To have a real breakthrough.

We’ll take one little step
And then we’ll take one more,
Our unlimited potential
We’ll totally explore.

We’ll show off all our talents
Everyone will be inspired;
(Hmm…while I’m writing this,
I’m getting very tired.)

We’ll give up all bad habits;
We’ll read and learn a lot,
All our goals will be accomplished,
Sigh...or maybe not.

Oh well, Happy New Year anyway!

New Year’s Reality Check - Joanna Fuchs

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Sunday, December 14, 2008


In this section, all the 30 Paasurams of the great ThirupPaavai rendered by Sri Andal is given with explanation. For all 30 days of Margazhi month, daily 1 Paasuram should be sung and each Paasuram explains the greatness of Sriman Narayanan. These Paasurams can be sung daily but is said to be special if we chant the 30 Paasurams for each day of this Margazhi month and each Paasuram has its own explanations and greatness. So, chant 30 Paasurams - each 1 Paasuram for 30 days.

All the Paasurams are easy to learn. So, chant the Paasuram and get the blessing of the Perumal and Kodhai completely. People, who can't chant, can visit any of the temples nearby, hear the ThirupPaavai said in the temples and get the blessings of the Perumal and SoodikKodutha Sudar Kodi - Sri Andal.

The explanation of each Paasurams is explained as Sri Andal is explaining to her friends.

ThirupPaavai Pasasuram (click on the italic phrase of each Paassuram to view)

Paasuram 1 :
Maargazhi Thingal
Paasuram 2 : Vayyathu Vaazhveergal
Paasuram 3 : Oangi Ulagalandha
Paasuram 4 : Aazhi Mazhai Kanna
Paasuram 5 : Maayanai Mannu
Paasuram 6 : Pullum Silambina
Paasuram 7 : Keesukeesu
Paasuram 8 : Keezh Vaanam
Paasuram 9 : Thoomani Maadam
Paasuram 10 : Notrucchuvakkam
Paasuram 11 : Katrukkaravai
Paasuram 12 : Kanaithu
Paasuram 13 : Pullin Vaai
Paasuram 14 : Ungal puzhakkadai
Paasuram 15 : Yelley Ilangiliyae
Paasuram 16 : Naayaganaai
Paasuram 17 :
Paasuram 18 : Undhu Madhakalitraan
Paasuram 19 :
Kutthu Vilakku
Paasuram 20 : Muppathu
Paasuram 21 :
Yeatra kalangal
Paasuram 22 : Angan Maagnalan
Paasuram 23 :
Paasuram 24 : Andrivvulagam
Paasuram 25 : Orruthi
Paasuram 26 : Maaley
Paasuram 27 : Koodarai
Paasuram 28 : Karavaigal
Paasuram 29 : Sitram
Paasuram 30 : Vangam - ThirupPaavai

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Margazhi Month Prayers

The Tamil Margali Masam, or Margazhi Month, is the month of Bhakti and Music. The importance of Margali Masam was announced by none other than Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita when says Maasanam Margasheershoham - among the twelve months, I am Margazhi. Rendering of Tiruppavai and Tiruvembavai, religious discourses and music festivals are the major highlights during the period. In 2008, Margazhi month begins on December 16 and ends on January 13, 2009.

Chanting of the Tiruppavai of Andal is the most important event in the month. Tiruppavai consists of 30 verses and a verse is chanted on each day of Margali. Another major highlight in the month is the drawing of kolams (rangoli) daily in front of houses.

The most important festivals in the Margali month are Vaikundha Ekadasi, Hanuman Jayanthi and Arudara Darshan. The month also marks the end of the pilgrimage season in Sabarimala.
The month is also of great significance in the Srirangam Sri Ranganatha Temple. Apart from the Vaikunta Ekadasi, the Srirangam temple during the month witnesses the Pagal pathu and Rapathu – the chanting of Tiruvaimozhi.

Margali Masam is also the time of the winter solstice when the days are shorter and the nights are longer. This Margazhi month has another speciality also. This month is considered and should be considered as the divine and highly spiritual month because in all the other months, there are lots of festivals and happy occasions fall. The main reason why there are no festivals in this month is mainly because of mind and soul should completely think only towards the perumal and this is the only month in which all the 30 days should be dedication towards the perumal.

There is also a scientific meaning, which explains the greatness of the Margazhi month. During this month, the ozone layer will be lowered a little bit and because of this, any disease will reduce and gives a healthy body.

Margazhi Month is also considered the dawn period of Devas. Uttarayana Punayakalam begins in mid January – the daytime of Devas. One year of ours is a day for the Devas. The night time of Devas begins during Dakshinayana Punyakalam. - Margali Masam

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Friday, December 12, 2008


Girivalam; ; Circumambulation of Arunachala Hill

Girivalam (also called Giri Valam) spiritual festival observed on every full moon day at Tiruvannamalai for sacred Mountain Annamalai.In tamil language, "Giri" means mountain and "Valam" means circumambulation. People with spiritual seeking choose to walk around the mountain and worship Aruanachala temple of Tiruvannamalai on pournami day called Girivalam.
Girivalam is connected to the hill Annamalai , considered as a deity and god Shiva temple called Arunachaleswarar an Tamil ancient massive shrine found at the bottom of the Tiruvannamalai hill. This Arunachaleswarar temple named after "The mountain of fire" . The god who lives there also called by the same name. In sanskrit "Arunam" stands for fire with red colour, "asalam" can be read as "malai" or hill. In fact the mountain is red in color, stand high for 2668 feet with 16 KM in diameter (approximately).

During the Girivalam (Giri valam) circling, people visit eight siva lingams located around the Arunachala mountain. Each lingam represent one direction, if you watch closely Tiruvannamalai town itself structured around this lingams in octagonal dimension. Each lingam has its own name Indra Lingam, Agni Lingam, Yama Lingam, Niruthi Lingam, Varuna Lingam, Vayu Lingam, Kubera Lingam and Esanya Lingam.

Indian spiritual history has it that even today a number of siddhars are living on the hill. During the fullmoon Maha Girivalam (Giri Valam) or Deepam festival day of Karthigai month It siddhars movement would be there and the whole atmosphere would be filled with perfumes of herbal plants. This will provide peace of mind and good health to body. It is a proven fact that Tiruvannamalai girivalam pulls 100,000 of devotees to circumambulate the Arunachala mountain and obtain seeken wish comes true by praying to siva Annamalai.The giri valam circumambulation path has been well maintained with rows of sodium lights around the hill.People can walk round the clock 24 hours a day without any fear or getting lost. To improve the devotees experience, Tiruvannamalai town government has established many road side stores as well as strict vigilant Police patrol around the mountain

Girivalam Circumambulation Tips

Normally people start just before dawn or after sunfall. As Tiruvannamalai is rocky place day time may not be suitable because of hot sun and dry humidity weather.

As per custom full day fasting is required before you circle the mountain. People eat only after completing the walk around mountain.

Walking around the hill is kind of walking meditation where you supposed concentrate your steps and chanting your preferred mantra. You hear many different slogans and chanting like arunachala arunachala, annamalaikku arohara, siva siva, muruga muruga, ramanana, Krishna Krishna yogi ramsuratkumara, yesuvey yesuvey, jesus Christ and buddham saranam kachaami etc. As per my guru Yogi ramsuratkumar, which ever mantra you like to chant which ever god you like to pray , whomever you want to follow as a guru doesn't matter. What count is remembering god and being spiritual.

Good to keep a bottle of distilled water with you and first aid medicine like glucose in case your body experience the low sugar because of fasting. You see people serving free water, milk and juices throughout the girivalam path, you can try if you want but remember you don't break the fasting until you finish mountain circling.

Keep ample of 1 rupees and 50 paise coins so you can ration to anyone who is in need. By doing this you are actually helping your karma to curb it's previous sins (local saying).

Please note 14 km of walking around the arunachala mountain must be done with bare foot and no shoe wearing. Occasionally you will be pinched by small pebble on the path or others may step on your toe giving you refreshment and acupuncture effect, you find enjoy walking. On karthikai month (November) you see enormous crowd more than a million dashing, it is better in crowd and walk carefully.

The most remarkable thing you notice during the girivalam is people who is walking along with you. People from Europe/America/asia and Africa will be walking along for some mysterious reason and seeking. The reason they choose to walk with you on this specific day, because both of your karma has some kind of contact, that connection pulled both of you to cross again. Nice isn't, but thats what spiritual seekers says. So be gentle in case someone step on your toe while walking.

Thiruvannamalai Girivalam -

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Kartigai Deepam

ON THE full moon day of the month of Kartigai (November-December) which falls on the ascension of the Kritigai star, the Hindus celebrate the Kartigai Deepam. It is on this day that the huge beacon is lit on the holy hill Arunachala, in South India.

Once Lord Shiva assumed the form of a hill at Tiruvannamalai in South India. Here He quelled the pride of Brahma and Vishnu who were quarelling as to their relative greatness. One day, when Lord Shiva was in meditation, Parvati left Him and went to the hill of Arunachala. There She performed penance. She was the guest of the sage Gautama. It was during Her penance here that Mahishasura was killed by Durga hidden by Parvati. Parvati saw Shiva as Arunachalesvara. She was taken back by the Lord to His side, and made His Ardhangini once more, that is, She occupied half of the body of the Lord.

Arunachalesvara is Tejo Lingam. Arunachala or the Tiruvannamalai Hill is the place that represents the fire element. (The five elements are represented by five holy places in India.)

When the light on the top of the Tiruvannamalai Hill is unveiled on the Kartigai Deepam day, people see the big light and worship it. They recite again and again in a loud voice "Harohara". The esoteric meaning is that he who sees the light of lights that is burning eternally in the chambers of his heart through constant meditation attains immortality. The light on the Arunachala brings the message to you that the Self or Lord Shiva is self-effulgent, He is the light of lights.

On the Kartigai Deepam day in South India, people make bonfires in front of temples in the evening. It is said that Lord Shiva burnt the chariots of several demons who were torturing sages and celestials. This bonfire symbolises this legend.

People place rows of earthen lamps in front of their houses on the evening of Kartigai Deepam and worship the Lord. They also light a variety of fireworks.

Annihilate the three impurities, namely, egoism, selfish action and delusion. Burn the mind, senses and the desires in the fire of knowledge of the Self or Shiva-Jnanam. Attain full illumination and behold the light of lights, which illumines the mind, intellect, sun, moon, stars, lightning and the fire. This is real Kartigai Deepam.

May the light of lights illumine you all! May Lord Shiva bless you with more light! May you merge in this supreme light and attain the eternal abode of bliss and immortality!

Hindu Fasts & Festivals - Sri Swami Sivananda

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.

Survival is nothing more than recovery.

The more we exploit nature, The more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival.

Moderation is the secret of survival.

Author: Manly Hall

In a world where change is inevitable and continuous, the need to achieve that change without violence is essential for survival.

Author: Andrew Young

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

The rhythm of life is intricate but orderly, tenacious but fragile. To keep that in mind is to build the key to survival.

The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.

Author: Jane Wagner

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness, and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.

Author: Aristotle

The planet's survival has become so uncertain that any effort, any thought that presupposes an assured future amounts to a mad gamble.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Different Ways of Living

Some animals live in families. Some live in great big groups. And others live mostly by themselves. Animals have to find the right way of living together so they can stay safe, take care of their babies, and find food.

A giant panda mainly eats bamboo, and it takes lots of bamboo to fill up a panda! To make sure there's enough bamboo for everyone, each panda has a territory where it lives alone, except during mating time or when a mother is rearing her cub.

Some Animals Live Alone

Tigers are stealthy hunters who sneak up on prey such as deer or wild pigs-then pounce! But hunting is hard. It can take 10 tries before a tiger nabs a meal. Living alone means there's enough prey to eat and makes quiet hunting easier.Lions are hunters, too. But they live in groups called prides. On the African plains, finding enough wildebeest, zebra, and antelope to eat is no problem. But catching them is. Lions have better luck when they hunt together, surrounding a herd and then flushing out their prey.

Others Like a Little Company

Eagles live and hunt together in lifelong pairs. A male and female both help to build a nest of sticks and twigs, lined with soft grasses. When the eggs hatch, one parent stays home to protect the young eaglets while the other searches for mice or fish to eat.
This herd of muskoxen is huddled together for protection. If a wolf comes too close, cousins, aunts, and uncles form a tight circle, with their sharp horns facing outward and their young safe inside.
What's bringing these ladybugs together? It's time to hibernate for the winter. By bunching together, the ladybugs keep each other warm.

And Some Really Love a Crowd!

Sea lions gather when it's time to mate. They meet at the same beach year after year.

And sometimes people, too, like to come together to have a good time with lots of friends!

Carus Publishing Company Feb 2004 - ProQuest Information and Learning Company

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How To Pray?

The scriptures indicate that there are seven (7) techniques of successful prayer:
1. When you pray just talk to God as a little boy would to a father or mother whom he loves and with whom he feels in harmony. Tell Him everything that is on your mind and in your heart.
2. Talk to God in simple everyday speech. He understands every language. It is not necessary to use an exaggerated formal speech. You would not talk to your father or mother that way, would you? God is your heavenly father (or mother). Why should you be formal to Him or Her? This will make your relationship with Him more natural.
3. Tell God what you want. You might as well be factual. You want something. Tell Him about it. Tell Him you would like to have it if He thinks it is good for you. But also say and mean it that you will leave it to Him to decide and you will accept His decision as best for you. If you do this regularly it will bring to you what you ought to have, and thus fulfill your own destiny. It will be possible for God to give you things that you should have-wonderful things. It is really unfortunate, the marvelous things we miss, things God wants to give us and cannot because we insist upon something else, something only a fraction as fine as He wants to give us.
4. Practice praying as many times during the day as possible. For example, when you are driving your car, instead of the aimless thoughts that go through your mind, talk to God as you drive. If you have a companion in the front seat, you would talk to him or her. Would you not? Then, imagine the Lord is there and in fact He is, so just talk to Him about everything. If you are waiting for the subway train or bus, have a little chat with Him. Most importantly say little prayer before you go to bed. If it is not possible, get into bed, relax and then pray. God will lull you to a wonderful carefree sleep.
5. It is not always necessary to say words when you pray. Spend a few moments just thinking about Him. Think how good He is, how kind He is and that He is right by your side guiding and watching over you.
6. Don't always pray for yourself. Try helping others by your prayers. Pray for those who are in trouble or are ill. Whether they are your loved ones or your friends or neighbors, your prayer will profoundly affect them. And...
7. Last but not the least whatever you do, do not make all prayers into the form of begging God for something. The prayer for thanksgiving is much more powerful. Make your prayer consisting of a listing of all the fine things you possess, or all the wonderful things that have happened to you. Name them over, thank God for them and make that your whole prayer. You will find that these prayers of thanksgiving grow.

In the final analysis, please do not pray to God to run after you to satisfy your selfish desires. You are supposed to do your work as efficiently and skillfully as possible. With faith in God and using the above techniques of prayer you will have success in every walk of life.

Hinduism.About.Com - Shri Gyan Rajhans

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Why Pray?

Many of you, I'm sure, are confused about the underlying philosophy of prayer. Consequently, often your prayers are not answered. Here, I attempt to provide some insights into the success of prayers.

To begin with we must understand as to why do we pray? There are basically 12 reasons for prayer:
1. We pray to depend on God for help in distress.

2. We pray for asking God for enlightenment.

3. We pray for communion with God through single-minded devotion.

4. We pray for asking for peace from God when the mind is restless.

5. We pray for surrendering ourselves to God completely.

6. We pray to God for giving us the ability to comfort others.

7. We pray for thanking God for his blessings.

8. We pray for expecting God to decide what is best for us when we are in a dilemma.

9. We pray for making friendship with God.

10. We pray for melting the mind and ego in silence in God.

11. We pray for requesting God to give strength, peace and pure intellect, e.g. Gayatri Mantra.

12. We pray for asking God to purify the heart and make us abide in Him forever.

In essence, what the above 12 reasons convey to us is that a prayer has two parts: one is soliciting a favor from the Almighty and the other is surrendering ourselves to His will. While the first part is practiced by most of us on a daily basis, the second part is the real and ultimate goal because it implies dedication. Dedication means feeling the light of God within your heart. If your heart is devoid of divine light, you will not be happy, cheerful and successful in your lives.

Remember, your success depends on the inward state of your mind. Your mind will create hindrance in your work if it is not in communion with God because He alone is the permanent abode of peace. Yes, I agree that most of us want to have riches, healthy lives, nice children and prosperous future. But if we always approached God with a begging attitude then we are treating Him as our bearer to supply the things required by us at once. This is no devotion to God but devotion to our own selfish desires.

Hinduism.About.Com - Shri Gyan Rajhans
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Gyan Rajhans, M.Sc. (Eng.), P.Eng, CIH, ROH, is a pioneering scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Health, Canada. He is also the producer/broadcaster of Vedic Religion Radio Program since 1981 on CJMR 1320 AM every Sunday (6:30 - 7:30 p.m.). He partakes in volunteer work for the Hindu community every weekend, and delivers discourses on prayer and meditation every Sunday at various temples.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

5 Principles & 10 Disciplines

The Basics of Hinduism


1. God Exists: One Absolute OM. One Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara (Shiva)Several divine forms

2. All human beings are divine

3. Unity of existence through love

4. Religious harmony

5. Knowledge of 3 Gs: Ganga (sacred river), Gita (sacred script), Gayatri (sacred mantra)


1. Satya (Truth)

2. Ahimsa (Non-violence)

3. Brahmacharya (Celibacy, non-adultery)

4. Asteya (No desire to possess or steal)

5. Aparighara (Non-corrupt)

6. Shaucha (Cleanliness)

7. Santosh (Contentment)

8. Swadhyaya (Reading of scriptures)

9. Tapas (Austerity, perseverance, penance)

10. Ishwarpranidhan (Regular prayers)

Subhamoy Das -

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Operasi Khidmat Sosial (OPKIS) 2008

Tempat: Ladang Pulau Carey, Banting, Selangor
Tarikh: 28-30 Nov 08 (Persediaan Awal) - 30-07 Dec 08 (Program Berlangsung)

Operasi Khidmat Sosial (OPKIS) ialah satu program yang dianjurkan oleh Jawatankuasa Kebajikan Siswa/I (JKMI) sejak dari dahulu lagi. Program ini merupakan satu program keluarga angkat.

Selama berlangsungnya program ini, kita akan menjalankan pelbagai aktiviti untuk setiap penduduk di ladang tersebut. Selain itu, kita juga dapat mendalami asam garam kehidupan mereka sebagai seorang warga ladang di mana sebelum ini tidak pernah terlintas di fikiran kita.

Apakah yang pernah kita sumbang kepada masyarakat sebagai seorang mahasiswa/I?

Apa tunggu lagi? Sertailah OPKIS untuk berbakti kepada masyarakat!

Untuk maklumat lanjut, sila hubungi:

Tel: 017-618 7120

Blogspot -

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Atmah Project

Anyone is welcome to participate in the Atmah project and volunteering can be done in many ways.

“They can teach a skill, coach a team, sponsor some children, donate in cash or kind, facilitate seminars, organise field trips, provide provisions or adopt a poor family. The list is endless,” adds Kana.

Those wishing to volunteer their services or assist on the Atmah project can contact Kana at 012-289 0796.

NST Online - Features

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tirukalyanam: Lord Subrahmanya - Valli

Legend has it that the ghat region of Tamilnadu was ruled by Nambirajan, the king of the Kuravas or the hill tribes. Nambirajan worshipped Shiva, praying for a daughter; his prayers were answered and it was revealed to him that he would discover a baby in the nearby woods and that she would be his daughter.

Accordingly the Kurava king discovered ‘Vallinayaki’ in the woods and brought her up as his own.

Valli grew up to be a beautiful maiden and Subramanya - son of Shiva and Parvati sought her hand in marriage. Their courtship is full of very interesting stories which form the basis of many and folk and classical performing arts in Tamilnadu.

Murugan assumed the form of an old bangle seller, and sold bangles to Valli, in return for a local delicacy of honey soaked corn flour. A conversation ensued between the two, which was interrupted by the arrival of Valli's brothers, a valiant lot who were highly possessive and protective of their sister. Flustered by their sudden appearance, and unwilling to indulge in battle, Skanda manifested himself as a Vengai maram (a stump of which is still seen in the Temple at Velimalai in Southern Tamilnadu).

Skanda appeared again, in the guise of an old tribal king and sought her hand in marriage. The brothers materialized again, and Skanda transformed himself into an old ascetic from the Himalayas, and they left the spot.

Upset by the ongoing hindrance, Skanda sought the help of his brother Vinayaka - the remover of obstacles, who appeared on the spot as a wild elephant. The scared Valli, embraced Skanda and promised to offer him anything in return for protection from the wild beast. Skanda sought her hand in marriage, and Valli consented gladly, realizing that her suitor was none other than Murugan, whom she and her tribe held in great regard.

Valli married Murugan and the marriage was celebrated in great splendor by Nambirajan, the King of Kuravas.

Indian Temples - Valli Kalayanam

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Tirukalyanam: Lord Subrahmanya - Devayanai

Long, long ago, when Lord Subrahmanya was staying at Kanda Verpu, the two daughters of Lord Maha Vishnu, Amrita Valli and Sundara Valli, cherished the desire of becoming the consorts of Subrahmanya. With this aim in mind they both went to Saravana Poigai and commenced austere penance to fulfil their desires.

Pleased with their prayer and worship, Lord Subrahmanya appeared before them and told Amrita Valli, "You will be brought up by Indra as his daughter and I shall marry you in due course." Her younger sister Sundara Valli was also graced with a similar blessing. She was born to sage Sivamuni and brought up by Nambi, the headman of Veddas.

Amrita Valli took the form of a female child and went to Mount Meru, the abode of Indra, and told him, "I am the daughter of Maha Vishnu and the responsibility of looking after me has been entrusted to you." On hearing this, Indra became very happy and directed Airavatam, his white elephant, to take care of the child.

The elephant with all love brought her up and affection and she attained the age of marriage in course of time. Hence she came to be known as Devayanai, one who was brought up by the heavenly elephant of Indra (yānai in Tamil means elephant).

The six sons of sage Parasara were cursed to become fishes in the Saravana Poigai. On request for redemption, these six boys were ordered to pray to Lord Subrahmanya.

When they got his darshan, they could get redemption. It was also made known to them that Lord Subrahmanya would come to Tirupparankunram after vanquishing the demon Surapadma. Anxiously they waited for the arrival of Subrahmanya.

When the mission of Subrahmanva to vanquish Surapadma was over at Tiruchendur, on his way, he came to this spot followed by all the devas and heavenly beings whom he had released from the untold miseries caused by Surapadma.

On his arrival at Tirupparankunram, the sons of Parasara received Subrahmanya and, at their request, he consented to stay there. He at once ordered Viswakarma to construct a beautiful abode for himself, for the devas and for others.

He also suggested to the heavenly architect to build roads and erect a city around them. Indra, the king of the angels, desired to get his daughter Devayanai married to Subrahmanya, as a mark of his gratitude for relieving him and the devas from the depredations of the demon Surapadma.

He expressed his desire to Brahma and Vishnu who were present there. They were only too glad to hear the proposal. When they communicated the desire of Indra to Lord Subrahmanya he readily agreed to it and said: "Devayanai has been praying at Saravana Poigai in the Himalayas for this happy marriage. Now the time has come for its being solemnised." As Subrahmanya agreed to this marriage, Indra sent a messenger to bring his wife Indrani and daughter Devayanai from Mout Meru.

The marriage took place at Tirupparankunram, after the victory of Subrahmanya over Surapadma. All arrangements for marriage were made and the marriage was performed at the Tirupparankunram Temple. All the devas, Siva and Parvati attended the marriage and blessed Subrahmanya and Devayanai. Since then, the temple has become a very famous abode of Subrahmanya.

Lord Murugan Home Page - Tirupparankundram

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cannibalism: A Part From Some

Theodore de Bry copper engravings of J. de Léry Le Voyage au Brézil de Jean de Léry 1556-1558 (La Rochelle, 1578)

During this battle, a number of the Tipiniki Indians were captured and killed. On the way back to their settlement at Ubatúba, the Tupinambá camped near the mountains of Taquarussu. There they killed, cut up, roasted and ate some of their enemy. The chief offered some flesh to Staden who refused it, saying ‘even animals don’t eat their own kind’, to which the chief replied: ‘I am a jaguar, it tastes good’.

While Staden was still in captivity, he witnessed more cannibalism. On of their captives who fell ill was killed. Because the Tupinamba Indians said he was too ugly, they cut off the head and threw it away. They also threw away his intestines because they thought it might have been infected, but the rest was distributed among the village huts before being roasted and enthusiastically eaten.

After the prisoner’s body had been cleaned and prepared for eating, it was painted white, then skinned. First the legs were cut off above the knees, then the arms. Each limb was detached and given to a different woman who had previously decorated herself with paint. Then, with the limbs, they would chase each other round the huts, which caused great amusement. Finally, the body was cut open down the spine and shared out, with the women taking the intestines.

The women make a thick soup from the intestines and the head, then they shared it out among themselves and their children. After killing the prisoner, the chief gave himself a new name and scratched the top of his arm with an animal’s tooth so as to leave an honoured scar. Then he rested all day so that his arm did not loose its strength from dealing the deadly blow.

Image V: How the Tupi Indians Roasted Their Meat
The Indians set up a grill, consisting of four posts set in the ground. They were as thick as a man’s arm and had a fork at the top, across which sticks were laid to form a platform. The meat was then placed on this platform and a slow-burning fire lit underneath. It was not salted but left to roast for a day and a night, so it would not go bad. They often used the meat of a wild animal, common in the Brazilian forest, called a tapir.

Here a prisoner of the Tupinambá Indians is shown, decorated with feathers, before being beaten to death. After execution the corpse was washed, cooked, cut up and eaten. Elaborate rituals were performed from the moment of capture until the last ounce of flesh, blood and bone was finally disposed of, all in the name of similar atrocities committed by rival tribes against the Tupinambá.

English 165CL - Caribeean Literature (Winter 2002)

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Problems Of Life - Exam?

For those of us who are studying at school or college, the time of exams is very stressful and difficult. If exams are really making you ill, worried, or depressed, don't hide your feelings. Talk to someone about it. In some cultures, people think it is wrong to share their feelings and worries with others. But this is the only way to get help! In Britain, there is a saying, 'A problem shared is a problem halved.' So you must find someone to talk to about these problems. Maybe you can speak to a friend, or someone in your family. Or teachers at your place of study. Or a doctor. If one person doesn't help you, ask someone else.

Different people deal with exams in different ways:

Peter, 17,about to take exams in chemistry, biology and maths, says "different people deal with exams in different ways".
"There is so much pressure placed on you to pass exams. I feel I would be letting my parents and my brother down if I didn't do well." His answer to the problem is: "Stay on top of the work."
He recommends, "I don't just sit there and read. I try to condense (make short) my notes, by making new notes of the important points. Then I can read through it faster in the last few days."

Louise, 18, taking English Literature, media studies and theatre studies, says,
"I revise one subject for an hour, then move to another subject for an hour, and carry on like that for as long as I can."

Here are 10 top tips by educational psychologists:
  1. Get help: ask a teacher or tutor about how to revise, and exam skills - how to work when you are in an exam.
  2. Take short rests during your time of work and revision. If your mind is tired, it will not remember well.
  3. Plan your work: revise at times when you know you will work at your best.
  4. Stay healthy: get enough sleep, eat sensibly.
  5. Exercise: you need exercise to work well. Walk, run, play sport - whatever you enjoy.
  6. Be positive: stop thinking about the future and failing.
  7. Do your best: no-one can do more than this.
  8. Be alert: if you feel ill, talk to someone about your worries.
  9. But don't be too relaxed! Some stress over exams makes you work hard for them.
  10. Be sensible: if it upsets you to talk to your friends about an exam when it is finished, don't do it! In fact, don't even think about the exam you have finished. What is done is done. You cannot change what you have written!

If you are studying in the evening, don't go straight to bed afterwards. Your mind will still be 'going round and round' - thinking too much. Do something else, maybe walk or get exercise. Choose something that will relax you, and make you think of other things.

You do not need to face exams alone. God can help you. Search for Him. He can be a friend to you.

Examination Survival - SOON Educational Publications

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Malaysia May Ban Yoga For Muslims: Cleric

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29, 2008 (AFP) - Muslims in Malaysia may be barred from the ancient practice of yoga if they engage in Hindu "religious elements" during the exercise, a top Islamic cleric said Wednesday.

Harussani Zakaria, a controversial cleric from the northern Perak state, said the government-backed National Fatwa Council would soon release a decree, or "fatwa", which would decide if Muslims were allowed to practise yoga.

"If it involves any faith or religious elements it is definitely not permissible but if it is just a form of exercise that is all right," Harussani told AFP.

"Muslims cannot practice yoga in its original form because it involves another religion," he said in response to a call to ban Muslims from engaging in yoga.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, where more than 60 percent of the population of 27 million are Muslim Malays who practice a conservative brand of the religion.

The practice of yoga, a popular stress-buster in Kuala Lumpur, dates back thousands of years in India, where it was a favorite of holy men before becoming hugely popular internationally, especially among western celebrities.

Zakaria Stapa, a professor in the Islamic faculty of the National University of Malaysia, had called on Muslims to stop practising yoga, saying it could cause them to "deviate from their faith", news reports said on Wednesday.

Muslims in Malaysia practised yoga not just for exercise but also as part of the growing urban lifestyle and involved "chanting mantras while in various positions", he said.

"Why should we look for other alternatives to exercise and search for peace? Yoga could cause (Muslims) to stray from their faith because its movements are according to the style and traditions of Hinduism," he said.

The fatwa council, one of Malaysia's highest Islamic bodies, last Friday banned women from dressing or behaving like men and engaging in lesbian sex, saying it was forbidden by the religion.

AFP - Thursday, October 30

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kanda Shasti Vratam

On the sixth day of Kanda Sashti, Lord Senthil Andavar and his army of devotees engage the army of supertitan Cur in battle on the beach at Tiruchendur and vanquish them in an hour-long running battle. At last Cur hides in the form of a monstrous mango tree (below) at the bottom of the ocean, but Murugan hurls his Vel and splits the tree/demon into a cock and a peacock.

Kanda Shasti Vratam is observed once a year in the month of ‘Aippasi’ (October–November) starting from the ‘piratamai’ the 1st phase of the brightening moon.

Of all Kanda temples it is the one in Tirunchendur in Tamil Nadu, India that draws the largest number of Kanda devotees. All roads, at the time of the Vratam, seem to lead to Tirunchendur. Beside the temple by the sea there appears to be a sea of heads. The Kantan's Tiruvilaiyaadal (divine sport) Soora Samharam is enacted during the sixth day of the festival. This is a drama to grant a great boon to Curapatman by Kantan. Curapatman is given the honour of becoming Kantan's vehicle mayil vahanam (peacock vehicle) and ceval kodi (the rooster on Kantan’s flag).

During the six days of Kanda Shasti, devotees, usually fast. They fast in many different forms: some devotees take only one meal a day and that single meal is the evening meal; to some that single meal consist of fruit and milk; others forego all solid foods, even abstain from taking medication take only a liquid diet; some even forego the liquid diet. Of the above forms taking milk would defeat the purpose of clearing long stored fat. Not taking any liquids could be harmful, as many unwanted matters tend to remain in the body. The ideal form of fast would be that during all six days and nights to abstain from all solid food and even medicine but take water, coconut water, strained orange juice and or such permissible liquids. These liquids help to flush out unwanted substances and to clean the body.

At the end of the six-day fast the body is indeed cleaner than it was before. The mind is cleansed by the pilgrimage, meditation, worship and other devotional activities. A pure mind in a pure body is a sublime combination and conducive to realizing the Divine. This is the reward and benefit of Kanda Shasti Vratam.

India Divine - Articles On Hinduism

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Vinayaka Kavacham

Ganesha Kavacha - The protective armour hymn of Lord Sri Ganesh

vaLar sikai-yai paraa-baramaai vayangu vinaayakar kaakka
May Vinayagar protect the crown of my head

vaaindha senni aLavu-padaa adhiga savundhara dhEga madhOr-kadar thaam amarndhu kaakka May Vinayaaka protect my head

viLa-rara netriyai endrum viLangiya kaasipar kaakka
May Vinayaga protect my forehead

puruvam thammaith thaLarvin mahO-dharar kaakka
May Mahodhara Ganesh protect my eye brows

thada vizhikaL baala-chandhiran-aar kaakka
May Balachandra Vinayaga protect my eyes

kavin vaLarum adharam gajamukar kaakka
May Gajamukha Ganesha protect my lips

thaalam gaNak-kireedar kaakka
May Ganakreeda Vinayaka protect my tongue

navil sipukam girijai-sudhar kaakka
May Girija-sutha Vinayaka protect my mouth(?)

nani-vaakkai vinaayakar thaam kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my speech

avir nagai dhun-mugar kaakka
May Dhunmukha Vinayaka protect my smile

aL ezhil senjevi paasa-paaNi kaakka
May Paasapaani Vinayaka protect my ears

thavirthal-uraadhu ilang-kodi pOl vaLar-mani-naasi-yaich chindhi-dharth-thar kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my nose

kaama-rupoo mugam thannaik gunEsar nani kaakka
May Gunesa Vinayaka protect my face

kaLam ganEsar kaakka
May Ganesa Vinayaka protect my neck/throat

vaamam urum iru-thOLum vayangu kandha-poorvajar thaam makizhndhu kaakka
May Skanda Poorvaja Vinayaka protect my shoulders

Emam urum maNi-mulai viggina vinaasan kaakka
May Vigna Vinaasaka Vinayaka protect my breast

idhayam thannaith thOm agalum gaNa-naadhar kaakka
May Gananatha Ganesha protect my heart

agattinaith thulangu Erambar kaakka
May Heramba Vinayaka protect my middle

pakkam iraNdaiyum dharaa-dharar kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my sides

pirut-taththai paavum neekkum viggina-karan kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my posterior

viLangi lingam viyaaLa-poodanar thaam kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my genitals

thakka kuyyam thannai vaggira-thuNdar kaakka
May Vakrathunda Vinayaka protect my anus

saganath-thai al-lal ukka gaNaban kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my loins/hips

ooruvai maNgaLa moorth-thi uvandhu kaakka
May Mangala Moorthi Vinayaka protect my thighs

thaazh muzhan-dhaal mahaa-buththi kaakka
May Mahabuddhi Vinayaka protect my knees and legs

iru-padham Eka-dhanthar kaakka
May Eka Dhantha Vinayaka protect my feet
vaazh karang-gap pirap-prasaadhanar kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my arms

mun-kaiyai vaNanguvaar nOi aazh-tharach-chei aasaa-poorakar kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my forearms
viral padhuma aththar kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my fingers

kEzh-kiLarum nagang-gaL vinaayakar kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my nails
kizhakkinil budh-dheesar kaakka
May Buddheesa Vinayaka protect me in the East

ag-giniyil sidh-dheesar kaakka
May Siddheesa Vinayaka protect me in the Southeast

umaa-puth-thirar then aasai kaakka
May Uma Putra Ganesh protect me in the South

mikka nirudhiyil ganE-surar kaakka
May Ganesura Vinayaka protect me in the Southwest

viggina-varth-thanar mErkku ennum dhikku adhanil kaakka
May Vignavartha Vinayaka protect me in the West

vaayuvil kasa-kan-nan kaakka
May Vinayaka protect my Northwest

thigazhu dheesi-thakka nidhiban kaakka
May Vinayaka protect me in the North

vada-kizhakkil eesa-nandha-narE kaakka
May Eesa Nandhana Vinayaka protect my Northeast

Eka-dhanthar pakal muzhudhum kaakka
May Eka Danta Vinayaka protect me through out the day

iravinunj chandhi-iraNdan maattum Ogaiyin viggina kirudhu kaakka
May Vinayaka protect me in the night and at dawn and dusk

iraak-kadhar boodham uru-vEdhaaLam mOhini pEi ivai-yaadhi uyirth-thirath-thaal varum thuyarummudivu illaadha piNi palavum vilak-ku pu-paasaangusar thaam viraindhu kaakka
May Paasa-Angusa Vinayaka protect me from all the problems caused by evil spiritsand from all
kinds of diseases

madhi gyaanam thavam dhaanam maanam oLi pugazh kulam vaN sareera mutrum padhivaanadhanam dhaaniyam giragam manaivi maindhar payil natpaadhig-gadhi-yaavum kalandhu sarvaayudhar kaakka
May Sarva-Ayudha Vinayaka protect my intellect, spiritual intelligence, spiritual life, charitable endeavors, honor, wealth, property, house, spouse, children and friends

kaamar pavuth-thirar mun-naana vidhi-yaarum sutra-melaam mayoorEsar eng-yaandrum virumbik kaakka
May Mayuresa Vinayaka protect my grandchildren, ancestors and all my relatives

vendri see-vidhang kapilar kaakka
May Kapila Vinayaka protect my life/existence

kari-yaadhi-elaam vigadar kaakka
May Vigada Vinayaka protect all these

endru ivvaaru idhu thanai muk-kaalamum Odhidinnum-paal idai-yooru ondrum ondru-raa munivar-kaaL ariminkaLyaar oruvar Odhinaalummandra-vaangu avar dhEgampiNi-aravach-chira-dhEgam aagi man-num
if you chant this in the morning, noon and evening,no problems will beset youwhoever chants thishis/her bodywill be rid of diseasesand will endure

Agasthiar.Org - Ganesh Kavach

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Diwali (Divali, Dewali, Deepavali)

Diwali is a five day Hindu festival which occurs on the fifteenth day of Kartika. Diwali means "rows of lighted lamps" and the celebration is often referred to as the Festival of Lights. During this time, homes are thoroughly cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Laksmi, goddess of wealth. Candles and lamps are lit as a greeting to Laksmi. Gifts are exchanged and festive meals are prepared during Diwali. The celebration means as much to Hindus as Christmas does to Christians.

Because there are many regions in India, there are many manifestations of the Diwali festival. In at least one area, the festival begins with Dhanteras, a day set aside to worship Laksmi. In the Indian culture, wealth is not viewed as a corruptive power. Instead, a wealthy person is considered to have been rewarded for good deeds of a past life.

On the second day Kali, the goddess of Strength, is worshipped. This day also focuses on abolishing laziness and evil.

On the third day (the last day of the year in the lunar calendar), lamps are lighted and shine brightly in every home. The lamp symbolizes knowledge and encourages reflection upon the purpose of each day in the festival. The goal is to remember the purpose throughout the year.

The fourth day of Diwali falls on the first day of the lunar New Year. At this time, old business accounts are settled and new books are opened. The books are worshipped in a special ceremony and participants are encouraged to remove anger, hate, and jealousy from their lives.

On the final day (Balipratipada) of the festival, Bali, an ancient Indian king, is recalled. Bali destroyed the centuries old philosophies of the society. However, in addition to this, he is remembered for being a generous person. Thus, the focus of this day is to see the good in others, including enemies.

Because there is no one universally accepted Hindu calendar, this holiday may be celebrated on a different date in some parts of India, but it always falls in the months of October or November.

Religious - KU Medical

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