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At the end of you answering question you always put in something like "Jai Bum Bhole" could you tell us what some of these phrases mean? Namaste

Namaste,

At the end of prayers and pujas, it’s routine for devotees to call out a small praise or recite the many names of Bhagvan. So, for my posts, I always add a small praise to Bhagvan (God), depending on which facet of Bhagvan was guiding me through the question or was on my mind whilst answering.

For the question that I ended with “Jai Bum Bhole!”, or “Jai Bhole Nath!” I was thinking of Lord Shiva. Bum is the one of the beej (seed/root) mantras to Lord Shiva. Bhole Nath is one of the 108 names of Lord Shiva which means the ‘Kind Hearted One’.

Jai means ‘victory to…’, ‘praises to…’ or ‘reverence to…’. For example:

Jai Sri Krishna (which I use a lot) means ‘Praises to Lord Krishna’.
Jai Bajrangbali means ‘Victory to Lord Hanuman’ (He with the strength of a diamond).
Jai Bhavani Maa means ‘Reverence to Mother Durga’ (She like the abode of the universe).

I hope I’ve helped!

Jai Ambe Maa! (Victory to gentle Mother Durga!)

Anonymous asked:
I want to get a tattoo of symbol that I will be able to use to symbolize being a Hindu. I want the om word written in Hindi but I want to know whether there are other symbols too? I have uttermost respect for my religion as a Hindu which is why I want to display it on my body.

Namaste,

The traditional Sanskrit OM is symbolic of Hinduism, while other variations of the OM are often symbolic of other religious streams that have taken on the OM from its Hindu roots. However, since India has thousands of languages, there are regional variations of the symbol. The Devanagari writing (Hindi) of OM is either ‘ओं’ or more commonly ‘ॐ’. Other Hindu OM variations are found in Bengali, Assamese and Oriya script, Grantha script, Tamil script, Telugu script and Malayalam script.

Such various other symbols from certain regions may be written in their particular script, but they also connote a religion different from Hinduism. This includes the Sikh ‘Ik Omkar’ written in Gurmukhi script, the Buddhist OM written in differing Tibetan, Balinese, Javanese and Siddham scripts, and lastly the variation of the Jain OM.

If your intent is to display your faith in Hinduism, be careful in choosing which OM you will use, as some OMs connote Sikhism, Buddhism or Jainism.

I hope I’ve helped!

Jai Bum Bhole!

>Happy Krishna Janmashtami to you all!

(also known as Krishna Jayanti, Gokulashtami)

This year marks Lord Krishna’s 5241st birthday!

This Jayanti will take place on the 16th of August in the Western Hemisphere and the 17th in the Eastern Hemisphere. Parana will take place the day after. Please check your city for specific Tithi and Puja times!

Wishing you all a blessed night~

THE BIRTH OF OUR LORD SRI KRISHNA - KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI 2014

Many thousands of years ago, the city of Mathura in northern India was ruled by a powerful and evil demon called Kansa.

The people of Mathura and of the surrounding villages were terrified of Kansa, and tired of his cruelty. It seemed that there was no one on earth brave and strong enough to defeat Kansa. Kansa seemed invincible.

But Kansa did have one soft spot, and that was his fondness for his sister Devaki. Devaki was good, kind and gentle, as unlike the cruel Kansa as possible. When Devaki was old enough, it was arranged that she would marry Vasudev, a good and noble man who was a follower of Vishnu, and did not fear the demon Kansa at all. Kansa, despite his evil ways, held Vasudev in great respect. So Kansa rejoiced at Devaki’s marriage with Vasudev, and celebrated the wedding with everyone else.

But suddenly, as the wedding ceremony came to an end, a voice was heard - a voice which seemed to come from the sky, and which filled the great hall and awed all those who stood there. ‘The marriage of Devaki and Vasudev shall be blessed, for of this union shall be born eight sons,’ said the voice. ‘But let the demon Kansa beware - Devaki’s eighth son will be his end.’

The entire gathering was thrown into fear and confusion. Kansa’s rage knew no bounds. The ground shook with his fury. ‘Who dared speak such sacrilege?’ he roared. But even in his anger Kansa recognised the voice of destiny, and he was afraid. ‘Throw them into prison,’ he thundered, pointing at Devaki and Vasudev. ‘Let them be watched every minute of the day for the rest of their lives!’ Kansa’s demon soldiers surrounded Devaki and Vasudev and took them off to the deepest, most secure dungeon in Kansa’s palace.

Devaki and Vasudev lived in the dungeon, watched night and day by Kansa’s soldiers. Many years passed. Devaki gave birth to six sons, one after another. Kansa killed each child within minutes of its birth.

When Devaki was expecting her seventh child, Vasudev prayed long and hard to Vishnu. ‘Save this child,’ he prayed. ‘Don’t let Kansa kill all our sons!’ Vishnu heard his prayers, and magically transferred the baby into the womb of Rohini, another wife of Vasudev. Soon Rohini gave birth to the baby, Devaki’s seventh son. He was called Balaram, and brought up safely and in secret by Rohini among the villagers of Braj. Meanwhile, Devaki and Vasudev told Kansa that their seventh child had been born dead.

Very soon after, Devaki began expecting her eighth child, the one, it had been said, who would kill Kansa. Kansa doubled the guards on the prison, and waited anxiously for the birth of this child.

Devaki’s eighth son was born at midnight on a dark and stormy night in the month of Sravan. The baby was as dark as the clouds that covered the sky that night. He was therefore called Krishna, which means ‘dark’ or ‘black’.

Vasudev and Devaki waited in fear for Kansa to appear, but suddenly all was silent. The guards at the prison door fell asleep, as did every living creature in that great palace. Suddenly the dark dungeon was filled with a shining light and once again there came a voice out of the sky.

'Take your son to Gokul, across the river Yamuna, to the house of Nand, the cowherd,' said the voice to Vasudev. 'Nand's wife has just had a baby. Leave your son with her, and bring her child back to Devaki.'

The light vanished and the prison became as dark and dreary as before. But the doors stood open, the locks broken, the guards snoring with their heads on their weapons. Vasudev’s chains fell away from his ankles. In great wonder, he took up his son in his arms, and walked out of his prison, into the dark and stormy night.

Vasudev walked through the pouring rain, holding his newborn baby close to his chest, safe from the wind and the wet, trusting in the divine voice. But when he came to the river Yamuna, he saw that the great river was in flood. The bridge had been washed away, and no boat would be able to cross that furious flood.

Vasudev despaired - how would he cross the river? Yet he had to obey the divine voice. Vasudev stepped into the angry waters, the baby held high above his head. The river rose higher and higher, the waves grew ever more furious, and Vasudev feared for his life.

But the newborn baby laughed, and put its tiny foot out of its swaddling sheets and touched the waves. All at once the river stopped raging, the waves grew still and the water level subsided.

And from the river rose a huge serpent. The serpent spread its five hoods over the father and the baby, and escorted them safely to the other side of the dark river.

Vasudev climbed out onto the far bank of the Yamuna. Silently he marvelled at the wonders he had seen, but hurried on to find the house of Nand, chief of the cowherds of Gokul.

In Gokul all was silent, except for the pouring rain. Men, women and children slept safe and dry inside their homes. Vasudev found his way to Nand’s house. Here too, all was silent. Vasudev shook Nand awake, and explained the prophecy and told him what the voice had asked him to do. Nand led him unquestioningly to his newborn child.

A lamp burned low in the room where Nand’s wife Yashodha slept with her newborn baby daughter. Silently, quietly, Vasudev entered the room. He laid his baby son down beside Yashodha and picked up her baby daughter. Just as silently as he had come, Vasudev returned to Mathura with the baby girl.

In Mathura, all was as he had left it - everyone slept, deep in an enchanted sleep. The prison guards snored over their weapons, the prison doors stood wide open, the palace was silent. Only Devaki waited, awake and anxious, for Vasudev’s safe return.

Vasudev entered his prison, and laid the baby girl beside Devaki. The prison doors shut on their own, Vasudev’s chains fastened themselves around his ankles, and the prison guards woke up, stretching and yawning, and amazed that they had fallen so sound asleep. The guards hurried to the prison door to make sure their prisoners were still safe and secure, and saw Devaki holding a newborn baby in her arms.

'The eighth child, the eighth child has been born!' cried the guards. A messenger went running to summon the demon king Kansa.

Kansa came at once, angry yet afraid. He flung open the prison doors and snatched the baby from Devaki’s arms. ‘The baby is a girl,’ said Devaki. ‘How can she harm you, brother?’ asked Vasudev. ‘Will you not spare us at least one child?’

But Kansa was not to be moved. ‘This is your eighth child,’ roared Kansa. ‘Girl or boy, the child must die!’ But the baby slipped out of his hands, and shining with a glorious light, flew out of the prison window. All that remained was a laugh and a sweet voice which said, ‘Kansa, you cannot kill me! I am Devi, born as a baby to fool you! Your destroyer has been born as foretold, and he is safe! You will die at the hands of Devaki’s eighth son!’

Kansa was furious, but there was nothing he could do. ‘You will rot in prison forever,’ he roared at Devaki and Vasudev. ‘I will find your eighth child and kill him, no matter what it takes!’

But Krishna was safe in Gokul, with Nand and Yashodha, who accepted him as their son.

It was Lord Vishnu Himself’s serpent Shesh Nag, who spread his hoods over Vasudev and Krishna, to guide them safely across the river.

Happy Nag Pancham to all Gujaratis!
Nag Panchami (called Nag Pancham) is celebrated 15 days after the traditional Panchang date in Gujarat and is observed three days before Krishna Janmashtami!
USA: August 15 India: August 16 Malaysia: August 16 UK: August 16 

Happy Nag Pancham to all Gujaratis!

Nag Panchami (called Nag Pancham) is celebrated 15 days after the traditional Panchang date in Gujarat and is observed three days before Krishna Janmashtami!

USA: August 15
India: August 16
Malaysia: August 16
UK: August 16 

Happy Bol Chauth!
Bol Chauth (Bola Choth, Bahula Chauth) is a day we set aside to give thanks to Mother Cow, or Gau Mata. Take today to think about all the precious gifts Gau Mata bestows to us; her sweet milk, butter, cheese, ghee, cow patties and ever-gentle nature. Offer a kind touch or food to our Earthly Mother, decorate her and remember to treat others with the same gentleness. Perform Gau Puja. Give praise and offerings to all domesticated animals in your home. The cow gives and gives to us, with asking so little in return, as the Lord does to us. Fight for animal rights today, especially the cow, to offer her a better thank you for what she gives.
Jai Gau Mata Di Ki!
USA: August 13Canada: August 13UK: August 14India: August 14Malaysia: August 14

Happy Bol Chauth!

Bol Chauth (Bola Choth, Bahula Chauth) is a day we set aside to give thanks to Mother Cow, or Gau Mata. Take today to think about all the precious gifts Gau Mata bestows to us; her sweet milk, butter, cheese, ghee, cow patties and ever-gentle nature. Offer a kind touch or food to our Earthly Mother, decorate her and remember to treat others with the same gentleness. Perform Gau Puja. Give praise and offerings to all domesticated animals in your home. The cow gives and gives to us, with asking so little in return, as the Lord does to us. Fight for animal rights today, especially the cow, to offer her a better thank you for what she gives.

Jai Gau Mata Di Ki!

USA: August 13
Canada: August 13
UK: August 14
India: August 14
Malaysia: August 14

Anonymous asked:
Do you find it offensive if a person has an 'om' tattoo below the waist? Particularly, on the foot? I have seen it many times and wondered how others felt about it. Thank you :)

Namaste,

It seems quite prevalent in parts of India that anything ‘below the waist’ is considered dirty, impure or offensive. However, this is a relatively new concept, and when I mean relative, I mean a few thousand years ago- which is not long ago considering the huge span of time since Hinduism was first widely a part of society. The heightened idea that this area should be covered and avoided at all times was brought in through Mughal rule and eventually British rule, but there was some pre-existing stigma against ‘below the waist’ etiquette before then as well. For convenience, I’ll focus on the feet in this response.

In untouched Hindu India, the feet were generally to be avoided because they walked on the dirty ground all day, as often people went barefoot even outside. Not out of superstition, but out of honest respect, one made sure to not touch another with their feet so as to not get them dirty. It’s common to wash one’s feet especially before entering a temple or performing puja out of respect for cleanliness.

The bottom of the foot is however, greatly avoided out of respect for others. When standing on something, it connotes the claiming of power or conquering, to make the thing stood on act as an object that has been vanquished. For example, one should never touch books with their feet, out of respect for knowledge, as it is never fully conquered. Our Maa Kali, as She was eliminating Raktabeej and the rakshas, was ceased only after accidentally placing Her foot on Her dear Lord Shiva, which out of embarrassment and shame caused Her to stick out Her tongue and stop Her reign of destruction.

The top of the foot is specifically touched by others out of utmost respect and humbleness, as when we perform puja, we clean and gently touch the feet of the murti. It’s also common as a greeting for a younger person to touch the top of the feet of respected elders to show humility and reverence. Jewelry is also often placed on the feet, and are seen as objects of beauty. However, jewelry with the image of Bhagvan are avoided on the feet, because the feet are often the very first thing to be dirtied in day-to-day life.

Because of the tendency of uncleanliness that the feet naturally have, would you put an image of Bhagvan there? The feet are also seldom seen or particularly noticed throughout the day, so would you be reminded often of Bhagvan?

If the purpose of the tattoo is to increase your awareness of Om, the universe and Brahman, shouldn’t one place it where it is noticed frequently and treated with care? Every image we have of Bhagvan and what the universe represents are essentially manifestations of their divinity, to remind us of their nearness and relevance, and to guide us to destroy our karma and reach eternal moksha- wouldn’t one want to treat this image as one would treat a tangible, touchable God?

I hope I’ve answered your question!

Jai Shiv Shankar!

Happy Raksha Bandhan!
Also called Rakhi Purnima or just Rakhi, this day celebrates the loving bond between brother and sister. Meaning ‘tying the knot of protection’, Raksha Bandhan is a day where sisters tie a sacred thread (sometimes simple, sometimes very ornate) to the wrist of their brothers to symbolize the eternal promise to protect and care for one another. Rakhi also celebrates brother-sister like family ties between cousins or distant family members and sometimes between biologically unrelated men and women. So, tie a rakhi to your brother’s wrist, say a prayer for him and feed each other prasaad in the presence of loving family and the Lord; exchange gifts and wish each other a safe and blessed year!
UK, USA, India, Malaysia, Canada: August 10

Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Also called Rakhi Purnima or just Rakhi, this day celebrates the loving bond between brother and sister. Meaning ‘tying the knot of protection’, Raksha Bandhan is a day where sisters tie a sacred thread (sometimes simple, sometimes very ornate) to the wrist of their brothers to symbolize the eternal promise to protect and care for one another. Rakhi also celebrates brother-sister like family ties between cousins or distant family members and sometimes between biologically unrelated men and women. So, tie a rakhi to your brother’s wrist, say a prayer for him and feed each other prasaad in the presence of loving family and the Lord; exchange gifts and wish each other a safe and blessed year!

UK, USA, India, Malaysia, Canada: August 10

Shravana Putrada Ekadashi (Vrat and Parana)
Hinduism gives utmost importance to rituals performed at the time of birth and death. Hinduism prescribes certain rituals at the time of the death which are preferred to be performed by the son. The son is traditionally prescribed these roles based on Vedic marriage customs (the daughter moves away from her parent’s home, so the son usually takes on the parent’s duties and care taking.) Therefore, funeral rites are typically done by the son. Henceforth, many Hindu couples take this day to pray for a son in order for their funeral rites to be partaken in the ancient way. Shravana Putrada Ekadashi is a fast for this wish; the fast is broken with Parana feast, the day following the fast.
San Jose, USA Ekadashi Tithi: 3:34am on August 6, Tithi Ends: 1:17am on August 7. San Jose, USA Parana: August 7 between 6:33am and 9:07amLondon, UK Ekadashi Tithi: 11:47pm on August 6, Tithi Ends: 9:17am on August 7.London, UK Parana: August 7 between 5:40am to 6:20am.Mumbai, India Ekadashi Tithi: 8:04pm on August 6, Tithi Ends: 1:47pm on August 7. Mumbai, India Parana: 6:21am till 8:54am on August 7.
Please look up your specific city for accurate tithi and parana times.

Shravana Putrada Ekadashi (Vrat and Parana)

Hinduism gives utmost importance to rituals performed at the time of birth and death. Hinduism prescribes certain rituals at the time of the death which are preferred to be performed by the son. The son is traditionally prescribed these roles based on Vedic marriage customs (the daughter moves away from her parent’s home, so the son usually takes on the parent’s duties and care taking.) Therefore, funeral rites are typically done by the son. Henceforth, many Hindu couples take this day to pray for a son in order for their funeral rites to be partaken in the ancient way. Shravana Putrada Ekadashi is a fast for this wish; the fast is broken with Parana feast, the day following the fast.

San Jose, USA Ekadashi Tithi: 3:34am on August 6, Tithi Ends: 1:17am on August 7.
San Jose, USA Parana: August 7 between 6:33am and 9:07am
London, UK Ekadashi Tithi: 11:47pm on August 6, Tithi Ends: 9:17am on August 7.
London, UK Parana: August 7 between 5:40am to 6:20am.

Mumbai, India Ekadashi Tithi: 8:04pm on August 6, Tithi Ends: 1:47pm on August 7.
Mumbai, India Parana: 6:21am till 8:54am on August 7.

Please look up your specific city for accurate tithi and parana times.

Anonymous asked:
Are there any foods that cannot be offered to God during Puja? Such as meat, caffeine, etc?

Namaste,

There are many substances that a practicing Hindu should avoid eating in his or her daily diet as well as what he or she offers for prasaad (offered to God). There are three gunas (qualities) of food in Hinduism.

Foods that are to be offered to the Lord are sattvic foods, or foods containing the sattva guna (pure quality). Sattvic foods cleanse the mental state and pave the way for a pure mind and body. Hindus are recommended to also partake in only sattvic foods. Sattvic foods include nuts, seeds, oils, most mild vegetables, all fruits, dairy from well-treated cows, legumes, whole grains, natural sweeteners (like honey and jaggery) and select spices and herbs. 

The second guna is called Rajas, containing the quality of motion or restlessness. Rajasic foods are neither beneficial nor completely harmful. Rajasic foods are not recommended to offer as prasaad. Rajasic foods include coffee, sodas, energy drinks, mushrooms, chocolate, overly spicy foods, overly salty foods, unfertilized egg, onion, garlic, canned or fermented foods, and not freshly made foods.

The third guna is called Tamas (harmful and sedative quality). Tamasic foods should never be consumed. Tamasic foods weaken the immune system, cloud the mind and harm the Earth. This guna is to be avoided and never offered to the Lord. Tamasic foods include alcohol, all meats, inhalants, overly fermented foods, onions, garlic, fertilized egg, mushrooms, stale or rotting foods, tobacco and mind-altering substances.

I hope I’ve helped!

Jai Bole Nath!

Anonymous asked:
hello & namaste. Someone told me women shouldn't pray or do puja to Shri Hanuman because he was a life long bachelor and took a vow of celibacy, is this true? In my country most Hanuman devotees are women and I never heard this before, can you please tell me whether or not this is true? Thank you. Jai Bajrangbali!

Namaste,

While Lord Hanuman is Brahmachari, or celibate, both women and men can worship him equally. Those devotees who are celibate however, are known to attain the Lord’s special blessing, as those devotees are following in His direct footsteps.

It’s actually recommended that women chant Hanuman Chalisa during their menstrual cycles so as to ward off any negative energies while the woman’s system is ridding itself of impurities. Since the Hanuman Chalisa itself is known as a spiritual cleanser, it’s only appropriate that one should cleanse the mind as the body cleanses itself as well!

I hope I’ve helped!

Jai Bajrangbali Ki!

That which helps you in your spiritual evolution is right. That which obstructs and hinders your spiritual evolution is wrong. That which leads to unity of Self is right. That which leads to separation is wrong. To do good to others, to serve and to help others, to give joy to others, is right. To give pain to others, to injure others, is wrong. 
-Swami Suryadevananda

That which helps you in your spiritual evolution is right. That which obstructs and hinders your spiritual evolution is wrong. That which leads to unity of Self is right. That which leads to separation is wrong. To do good to others, to serve and to help others, to give joy to others, is right. To give pain to others, to injure others, is wrong. 

-Swami Suryadevananda

Nag Panchami
On this day we worship the snake and revere its importance to this Earth. In Mahabharata, this day is to commemorate the saving of the entire snake species from eradication by a Prince whose father was killed by a snake king. To offer a prayer to a murti or live snake is auspicious on this day. The mantra of this festival is:
Naga preeta bhavanti shantimapnoti via viboh Sashanti lok ma sadhya modate shashttih samh
(Let us be blessed by the Goddess snake, let everyone obtain peace, let us all live serenely without disturbance)
Today we avoid breaking, digging or shoveling Earth so as not to disturb snakes. Vrat is observed either today or the day before for Nag Chaturthi.
USA: July 31st India: August 1st UK: August 1st Australia: August 1stMalaysia: August 1st

Nag Panchami

On this day we worship the snake and revere its importance to this Earth. In Mahabharata, this day is to commemorate the saving of the entire snake species from eradication by a Prince whose father was killed by a snake king. To offer a prayer to a murti or live snake is auspicious on this day. The mantra of this festival is:

Naga preeta bhavanti shantimapnoti via viboh
Sashanti lok ma sadhya modate shashttih samh

(Let us be blessed by the Goddess snake, let everyone obtain peace, let us all live serenely without disturbance)

Today we avoid breaking, digging or shoveling Earth so as not to disturb snakes. Vrat is observed either today or the day before for Nag Chaturthi.

USA: July 31st
India: August 1st
UK: August 1st
Australia: August 1st
Malaysia: August 1st

Hariyali Teej
Hariyali Teej, also called Sindhara Teej symbolizes the union of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati. On this day, mostly women worship and pray to Goddess Parvati for spiritual bliss and a happy love life. Many observe vrats on this day. Married or away-living women are encouraged to visit their parents, wear fine outfits (preferably green) and swing on outdoor swings. Families also present gifts to their daughters and married kin.
Happy Teej!
USA: July 29th India: July 30th UK: July 30th Australia: July 30th Malaysia: July 30th

Hariyali Teej

Hariyali Teej, also called Sindhara Teej symbolizes the union of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati. On this day, mostly women worship and pray to Goddess Parvati for spiritual bliss and a happy love life. Many observe vrats on this day. Married or away-living women are encouraged to visit their parents, wear fine outfits (preferably green) and swing on outdoor swings. Families also present gifts to their daughters and married kin.

Happy Teej!

USA: July 29th
India: July 30th
UK: July 30th
Australia: July 30th
Malaysia: July 30th