Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sree Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram

Hi Readers,

As Ram Navami is nearing and falls on 1st April'2012, I am going to share my view point and opinion about Sree Ram, his nama smarana/japa and its benefit in general to human being. 

It is said that Rama Nama has come into existence much before the birth of Lord Sri Rama. It is said that the word Rama is divided into syllables Ra + Aa + Ma; Ra means Rudra; Aa means Brahma; Ma means Vishnu and the confluence of the three trinal lords Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara is Rama.

The word Ram is a confluence of two letters Ra + Ma. It is believed and said that these two letters are Jivaaksara (life giving letters) carved out of the most significant Mantras the Narayana Astakshari and Shiva Panchakshari. The letter Ra is carved out of Narayana Astakshari (Om Namo Narayanaya!) and the letter Ma is carved out of Shiva Panchakshari (Om Namah Shivaya!).

These two letters called life giving letters, the soul of these two powerful Mantras are put together to form the Taraka Mantra Ram. Without these two letters, these manthras become ineffective. Any one chanting this Taraka manthra is equivalent to worshipping both Lord Sri Maha Vishnu and Lord Shiva.It is believed that Lord Shiva keeps on medidating on this Taraka Mantra. 

The word Rama has the triple power of destroying sins, conferring peace, and dispelling ignorance. When you utter the word "RAM", you first open the mouth with the sound "Ra". All your sins go out when your mouth is open. When you utter "M" by closing the mouth, the entry is barred against the sins that have gone out.

Taraka Mantra means the one that helps us to cross the ocean of Samsara and free us from the bondage cycle of birth and death. If it is chanted as Rama it is a name, if it is chanted as Ram it is a Mantra, if it is chanted with addition of the word Sri (Sri Rama, Sri Ram) power of Goddess Sita is added to it.

Sree Rama Rama Ramethi Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasranama Tat Thul-yam Rama Nama Varanane

The above Mantra is believed to have been the Taraka Mantra that Lord Shiva used to recite and told Goddess Parvathi to meditate on this.
It is only Ram Nama which is equal to a thousand names of Vishnu. Perhaps the above sloka indicates that chanting of Ram once is equal to 10 times chanting of Vishnu, chanting of Ram twice is equal to 100 times (10 x10) chanting of Vishnu and chanting of Ram thrice is equal to 1000 times (10 x 10 x10) chanting of Vishnu. Thus the effect of chanting Ram Nama gets multiplied in geometrical progression. It is believed and said that Lord Shiva always keeps meditating on this Taraka Manthra.

It is the most favourite manthra of all the deities and by chanting, one gets the benefit of invoking all the 33 crores of devathas. There are many instances in history where mere chanting of Rama Nama has resolved many miseries.

In this Yuga Kali, Nama Japa/Smarana is the way to get liberation from the cycle of birth and deaths. 

" Sree Ramachandra ki Jay, Pabansuta Hanuman ki Jay!!!"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hanumanji -One of the mightiest deity to rule over astrology

Hi Readers,

Today, I am going to share my views on the aspect of worshiping Hanumanji to clear troubles that are perceived to be a result of unfavorable configuration of celestial bodies. The mythological stories from Markandeya Purana, Ramayana and Vishnu Purana contribute towards the aspect of worshiping Hanumanji to clear any astrological hindrances. 

Hanumanji is popularly worshiped to clear hindrances caused by black magic, sorcery, witch craft and unfavorable astrological situation. The story behind all this belief is narrated below.

The villain of the epic Ramayana was the mighty demon Ravana. When he carried away Sita, her aggrieved husband Rama, accompanied by Hanuman and a massive army of monkeys laid siege on Lanka, the capital of Ravana's empire. As the battle progressed, the demon lost all his brothers and sons and it became clear that he was headed towards defeat. Finally, he sent for his only surviving son Mahiravana, a powerful sorcerer who ruled over the underworld (patala loka). Mahiravana was a great devotee of Goddess Kali from whom he had obtained vital occult secrets. Initially Mahiravana did not wish to join the fight against Rama since he felt the latter's cause to be just. But understanding his weakness for ritual magick Ravana addressed him thus: "Think of the powers the goddess Kali will grant you when you offer to her the heads of two handsome and virile youths like Rama and Lakshmana." Needles to say, Mahiravana agreed.
The great sorcerer Mahiravana managed to kidnap both Rama and his brother Lakshmana while they were sleeping. He left behind, in place of their bed, a dark trail stretching deep into the bowels of the earth. Hanuman immediately dived into the tunnel and made his way to patala, the subterranean kingdom of Mahiravana. There he found the two brothers tied to a post, their bodies anointed with mustard oil and bedecked with marigold flowers, ready to be sacrificed. Near them, Mahiravana was sharpening the sacrificial blade and chanting hymns to invoke the goddess.
Hanuman taking the form of a bee whispered into Rama's ear, "When Mahiravana asks you to place your neck on the sacrificial block, inform him that being of royal lineage you have never learned to bow your head. Tell him to show you how." Mahiravana fell for the trap. No sooner had he bowed his head in the ritually prescribed manner than Hanuman regained his form, seized the blade, and decapitated the sorcerer. Thus did Hanuman turn the tables and sacrificed the demon himself to Mother Goddess Kali. Impressed, she made Hanuman her doorkeeper and indeed many temples of the goddess are seen to have a monkey guarding their doorways. Further, to this day, Hanuman is invoked in any fight against sorcery, and amulets and charms depicting him are therefore extremely popular among devotees.
Mahiravana's death filled Ravana's heart with fear. He consulted the court astrologers who studied his horoscope and decreed that the alignment of celestial bodies was not in his favor. Now, Indian astrology is governed by nine planets, known as the navagrahas. Ravana thought that by changing the alignment of these heavenly bodies he would be able to alter his destiny. Mounting his flying chariot he rose to the skies, captured the nine planets, and herded them to his capital in chains. He then began a series of rituals which if successful would force the planets to realign themselves in his favor. When Hanuman came to know of this ritual, he assembled and led a band of daredevil monkeys to Ravana's sacrificial hall, intending to disrupt the proceedings. They found the villain sitting beside a fire altar with his eyes shut in profound meditation, mouthing mantras. The group of simians let out a loud war cry and rushed into the hall. They snuffed out the sacred fire, kicked off the ceremonial utensils and wiped off the occult diagrams (yantras) painted on the floor. Unfortunately none of this roused Ravana from his deep trance and he continued chanting the holy formulas. Hanuman realized that Ravana would have to be stopped at any cost, otherwise the villain would succeed in changing the course of destiny.
Towards this end he devised a mischievous plan, and ordered his lieutenants to enter the female chambers and scare away Ravana's many wives. The monkeys did as instructed and attacked Ravana's queens and concubines, pulling their hair, scratching their faces and tearing away their clothes. But it was all to no avail; the immovable Ravana did not stir.
At last the monkeys confronted Mandodari, the chief wife of Ravana. They bared their teeth, beat their chests and began to grunt menacingly. Terrified, Mandodari lamented, "Woe is me. My husband meditates while monkeys threaten my chastity." Her words ashamed Ravana to open his eyes and rush to her defence. Thus having successfully distracted Ravana, Hanuman ran back to the sacrificial hall and liberated the nine planets held captive there. For having successfully aborted Ravana's misplaced attempts to subvert fate, Hanuman won the eternal gratitude of the grahas and is thus believed to exercise considerable power over them. Correspondingly, he is worshipped by his devotees whenever they perceive their troubles to be a result of the unfavorable configuration of celestial bodies. Indeed, Hanuman is often shown trampling under his feet a woman who is said to represent Panvati, a personification of baneful astrological influences.

Panvati, or Panoti, is a woman mentioned in Hindu scriptures and she symbolically represents the all the bad astrological influences caused by the Navgrahas or nine planets. The most popular image of Panvati is that of Hanuman trampling on her and holding her hair.
As per Hindu astrology or Jyothi Shastra, the Navagrahas play very important role in the fate of a man. The good alignment of nine planets is very important for prosperity and peaceful life as per horoscope. But usually the planets are never in good alignment and cause lot of trouble and these troubles are symbolically represented by Panvati.

The popular belief is that Hanuman has the power to overcome the Navgrahas. Therefore people pray to Hanuman to find solutions to troubles caused by the nine planets.
Thus Hanuman overpowering Panvati represents his ability to keep the Navgrahas under check and help his devotees.

Another interesting legend deals specifically with the planet Saturn (Shani). Perceived to be an unfavorable influence, it is believed that Saturn visits each individual at least once in his/her lifetime for a period of seven-and-a-half years. As fate would have it, Saturn descended on Hanuman when he was busy building a bridge over the ocean to help Rama and his army cross over to Lanka. Hanuman requested the planet to postpone his visit till he had successfully assisted Rama in regaining Sita. But Saturn was adamant and Hanuman had to bow against the will of nature. He suggested that Saturn sit on his (Hanuman's) head as his hands were engaged in serving Rama and his legs were too lowly for Saturn.
Saturn happily settled on Hanuman's head and the mighty monkey continued with his work, piling heavy boulders and stones on his head in an apparently casual manner and carrying them to the construction site. After a while Saturn found it impossible to bear the load of the heaped boulders any longer and wished to climb down. Hanuman insisted that he complete his mandatory seven-and-a-half years but Saturn pleaded for release saying that the seven-and-a-half minutes he stayed on Hanuman's head felt like seven-and-a-half years anyway. Thus speaking Saturn took leave of Hanuman and since then worshippers of this monkey god rest assured that the unavoidable ill effects of Saturn's sade-sati (seven-and-a-half year's stay) can be whittled down by a true devotion to Hanuman.

Thus, Hindu devotees appease Lord Hanuman to get out of any hindrances caused by unfavorable planetary positions. 

Vermilion smeared all over his body from head to toe - Hanumanji

Hi Readers,

After a long interval of time, I am again back with one story taken from Hindu mythological verses. In all over India, the Lord Hanuman is depicted with red Vermilion and oil smeared all over his body. There is a short story behind this from which, Hindu's derived the tradition of worshiping Lord Hanuman by applying a paste of Vermilion and Oil all over his idol.

The story goes as below,

After safely reaching Ayodhya, Rama in no time settled down to a happy life of kingship and matrimony. Hanuman continued to be a constant and devoted companion with an unrestricted access to Rama.
 Life went on normally. Many delightful episodes from this period establish Hanuman as the ultimate bhakta, and shed much light on his unique personality.

Every morning Hanuman would observe Sita put a red mark on her forehead and smear the parting of her hair with vermilion powder, enacting a ritual which is the exclusive prerogative of married women in India. Being naturally of a curious bent of mind he asked her the reason behind this daily ritual. "For the well-being of my husband," replied she. Hanuman, ever the humble well-wisher of his chosen lord wondered: "If a virtuous woman like Sita has to apply vermilion in this manner for the good of Lord Rama, I, a mere monkey, need to do more." Thus thinking, he took a bowlful of the paste and smeared his whole body with it. Needless to say, both Rama and Sita were move by the purity of Hanuman's heart. Since then, idols of Hanuman are colored a rich vermilion red. 

Jay Siaram!! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God Loving or God fearing ???

Hi Readers,

I got moved by one of the article published today in a leading news paper here, and wanted to share my view point over it.

The article was about overcoming one's own fear. It had two short stories one taken from Sufi stories and another from the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. I liked the view point of author in it and was moved by a statement where he wanted the readers to think of people who depict themselves as god fearing. I have personally come across people who mention they are god fearing. I was searching for a suitable bride for my brother in matrimonial sites, and many a times marked it.Usually, parent's mention it that their daughter is god fearing. Believing in God  or having strong faith in God is many a times marked as God fearing. However, as the author said, I agree with him, we love God not fear him. We should have a faith like a small child who when thrown in air laughs and has faith in us that we won't let him fall. But, yes this fear starts to occupy our mind when we reach the age of understanding things. As a small child we used to fear ghosts. When we were in school we feared examinations, then the result etc. After we complete our education, we feared of getting a job, gradually we are becoming more and more fearful. Yes, we do not show this fear but it is in our own mind.

As we can eradicate darkness by lighting a small candle, same way by having faith, trust and love in God and our own self, we can eradicate fear.If God is everywhere, if God is watching us, definitely he knows about our pain. He will help us in best way he can do.

Today, I was talking to my Mom about something, when she mentioned about her experience at bad times. She said," I did many attempts to over come that difficult phase, but it took me more than 3 yrs to overcome. I had met many people whom I thought would help me. They did not help me and my attempts went on failing one after the other. When I finally got over this phase, the person who helped me did it in just 8 days. I understood, the people who did not help me are not my enemy, instead they were my friends in some way, who showed me hope and kept up my spirit to drag through this entire 3 yrs."

Is not it true, I remember one good example of this while searching a job. When I attempted interviews and could not clear. However, these interviews had kept up my spirit and given me hope that I could get my desired job. When I got my job, it hardly took the HR team to select me in a day long process. So, my point in this is never to get disheartened by failure, but think of the hope that kept you going. The hope that gave you a positive state of mind. Love god and have faith, he will rescue you before you suffocate.

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