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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